Tag Archives: food




Closer and closer to the end of the countdown… I’m now down to two.  I’ll admit I’ve struggled with this post because I couldn’t think of just two things I could write about.  Finally I realised I should tell you two things I’ve done over the past week.

1.  I went to the Good Food and Wine Show.  No surprises there, right?  It was part of the countdown, after all.  My friend and I had an absolute blast.  We’ve been going for the past five years and have it down to a fine art.  This year there were a couple of spanners thrown in the works.  The first was that our favourite label’s distributor didn’t send them part of their consignment and there was none of our favourite sparkling to drink.  Well, actually, if we went to a class in the wine theatre then we could have had a sample of it.  The wonderful Sue, from our favourite label, managed to go see the guys in the wine theatre and brought us back a bottle of the sparkling – my friend and I are yet to set a date but we’ll enjoy sitting back and drinking that bottle!  Turns out that Sue was the envy of a couple of other labels as they were chatting to her when we arrived (just a few minutes after the doors were open) and we rocked up to the stall and asked for our order forms and then promptly handed over some money.  *lol*

The other spanner in the works?  Well, it wasn’t anything bad, that’s for sure.  This year we decided to go for tickets above the standard general entry and discovered the joys of the VIP room.  Can anyone say “free flowing drinks” and not just alcohol but water, juice and other things?  Pair that with incredibly comfortable seats (the Vago from Ikea – $40 and they were amazing) and also food.  Oh, the food!  We got to sit and watch all the chef theatre shows being live streamed AND we got tasting plates of the food!  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in my life… and it’s certainly the first time we’ve eaten more than we’ve drunk at the GFWS.  The staff in the room were fabulous.

2.  I went shopping.  I bought orange things and blue things, black things and grey things.  It’s all stuff I haven’t bought in years (years and years and years) but it was heaps of fun.  Can’t wait to show you!

Image from dailyteachertips.wordpress.com




Seven bottles of wine on the wall, seven bottles of wine.  Take one down, pass it around… yeah, maybe not, I don’t like to share!

I’m off to the Good Food and Wine Show today so today’s list is seven things I expect to do.

1. Visit the O’Leary Walker stand several times – I love their sparkling which is called Hurtle.  I’m sure they’re expecting me.

2. Watch Maggie Beer cook something yummy.  It’s bound to involve verjuice… it is Maggie Beer, after all.

3. Check out the food trucks.  One of them visits my local area weekly and they are seriously yummy.

4. Eat cheese, lots and lots of cheese.

5. Drink lots of wine samples.  Most of them will be good but some just won’t taste great and I’ll try and remember to skip them next year.

6. Eat chef inspired canapes – I have VIP tix this year and one of the bonuses is canapes and wine in the VIP room.

7. Laugh! This is an annual trip with my best friend and we always have a lot to laugh about.

Seven days to go.

Image from gogetfunding.com

Back to school!



My poor neglected blog… it’s been languishing here for a couple of days while we finished off the school holidays and then I sent the kids back to school and still didn’t get in here.  Sorry about that, MIP.

So, where were we?  Wow, what a lot of w’s!  *lol*  That’s right, I’d made one of my favourite salads and we went and spent a few hours with friends and had a fantastic time.  They’re on a nice little bit of land with space for the kids to race around and have fun without bothering anyone.  Miss8 had fun with their piano and the other kids, Mr7 had a blast on their tree swing and just randomly exploring and Master2 was shadowed by a dog everywhere he went – smart dog knew he would be a good sharer.  Just as well Domino (the dog!) seems immune to chocolate as there was a fair bit of sharing a cupcake or three between Master2 and the dog.

We did a final round of visiting people and running errands on the public holiday on Monday and managed to avoid getting stuck in any public holiday/end of school holiday traffic which is a small miracle in itself.  It was great catching up with people and chatting about what they’ve been doing recently, term time is pretty packed with kids and their activities so we made the most of the rare treat.

Then yesterday it was time to pack all the lunchboxes again (six between three children, slightly ridiculous in itself!) and send them all off to school (or kindy!) and try not to grin too hard as I said goodbye.  I think I managed it but wouldn’t like to put it in writing.  Oh, wait…

And now for the fun job of getting caught up on everything.  I’ve got work deadlines all over the place, school meetings, a massive to do list and a really fun volunteer thing I’m doing at the moment that has got me humming Christmas music with not a stray piece of tinsel in sight.  It’s a lot of “head down, get it done” stuff for the next week or so, I think.  And then next Friday I get to really enjoy myself with the Good Food and Wine Show which I’m looking forward to.

May your day be merry and bright…

One of my favourites…



Doesn’t that look delicious?  It’s coming into summer, the weather is warming up and it’s time to start thinking about salads.  This is one of my favourites, a spicy corn, avocado and bean salad.  The spice is from the zingy dressing.  It’s chock full of vegetables and is just so yummy!  My kids aren’t fans of anything too spicy and my husband has a limit on how many beans he eats – they’re not his favourite – but they’ll all give this a go… and I get plenty of leftovers to eat for the next couple of days.  It’s so easy to make and such a crowd pleaser… and it’s also a very BIG salad, that’s my pasta serving bowl right there.


4 corn cobs, husk and silk removed
2 x 400g cans of black beans, drained and rinsed – red kidney beans are great, too
2 small avocados, cut into chunks
400g cherry tomatoes, halved
200g feta, crumbled
5 shallots, roughly chopped
lime cheeks to serve (optional)

Chilli and lime dressing
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
grated rind and juice of 2 limes
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp red vinegar
2 tsp ground cumin

Cook corn in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again.
Slice lengthways down the corn cobs to remove kernels. Place in a large bowl with beans, avocado, tomatoes, feta and onion. Gently toss to combine.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season as required, Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve with lime cheeks, if using any.


I hope you enjoy it.  I’m off to decide whether I cajole the children to eat any or just sit down with the bowl and a big smile.

One month to go!



Not that I’m counting or anything, right? It’s one month til one of my favourite days of the year. Yep, better than Easter, Christmas and maybe even my birthday… it’s one month until the opening day of the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show!

For the past few years this has been a day to not only try (and buy!) lots of wines and drool over amazing food but also a day to spend with my best friend as we do the things we do best – eat, drink, laugh, find bargains, drink, catch up, chat to people… and have a wine or two. We lead such busy lives and, sadly, no longer live as close as we used to but this day is something we both look forward to. We catch up and laugh and thoroughly enjoy ourselves!

This year we’re going bigger and better with VIP tickets. I’m celebrating a, ahem, significant birthday and I’m not a big “party in my honour” kind of chick. Instead we’ll have the VIP tix and a (wine) barrel load of laughs. We get to see Maggie Beer and eat canapés made by Matt Moran (or at least inspired by him… puh-leeze, birthday gods, let them involve lamb!) and drink wine with whoever is game enough to join our raucous laughter.

Oh! And we get to order our yearly case (can I be greedy and order two?) of our favourite O’Leary Walker wines. Drat, now I’ve told you all the secret of Hurtle I’d better hope they have some set aside for us…

Introductions, part two



Always Unique, Totally Intelligent, Sometimes Mysterious.  AUTISM.  No beating around the bush, that is just one of the diagnoses that Mr7 has, or a label he carries.  Actually, given that it’s him he might sometimes carry it, other times he’ll rip it off to explore it and most often he’ll just eat it.  Autism, Global Development Delay, Intellectual Impairment, Sensory Processing Disorder, PICA… or in the disability world it’s more like ASD, GDD, II, SPD, PICA and add in NV and NTT or Non Verbal and Not Toilet Trained.

At the end of the day, it’s all guesswork with a level of frustration and huge dose of humour.  We can only guess at what he can and can’t understand but we know that he responds to love, music, laughter and food.  Oh, boy, does he respond to food!  My second baby but my biggest at a very healthy 9lb 11oz which was quite a shock, the doctor was suggesting I’d be lucky to get an 8 pounder and that was at the appointment where we set the induction date.  I try to keep that in mind – he doesn’t do what is expected and quite often manages a rather interesting surprise.  When it comes to birthweight or well timed displays of cooperation in public that’s great.  When it comes to eating something I’d really rather he didn’t (and let’s not gross you out by going into that further!) or redecorating his room with the contents of his nappy… I’d far rather pass, thanks!

As difficult and frustrating as life can be, it is also a huge adventure where things can be looked at in so many ways and the world is just waiting to be explored one sense at a time… although it’s usually taste and sound.  Taste is obvious but sound… well, he can’t verbalise words but he can do the “Ahhhh” and “Eeeee” noises and he also likes to bang his hands against everything to see what sound it makes.  And when I say everything I do mean everything – walls, doors, his baby brother, the TV, the ground, me… the list goes on.  He’s also really, really curious at what is on the other side of the door, any door, and will open them and wander through to explore.  This means that we keep all doors locked when he’s home to keep him safe and to keep him out of mischief.  I still haven’t quite gotten over the day when Master2 was a newborn and I suddenly realised that Master7 was nowhere to be seen or heard… and we were the only ones home at the time.  Racing around the neighbourhood with a newborn clutched against me, phone in hand, frantically screaming his name… I swear I got at least 30 new grey hairs from that five minutes of pure terror.

Still, it’s not all hard work.  He is so loving and affectionate, cuddling up and giving little smooches and batting his very long and thick eyelashes over those big brown eyes… he’s learned that’s really quite effective on most people.  He has also learned to play with his siblings, even if it’s just taking turns on the slide or jumping on the trampoline with them.  He has relationships with people other than family and they appreciate him for the loving, unique and valuable person that he is and that’s something that I’m so grateful for – they look at him and see a small boy, not a collection of diagnoses.

A lifelong devotee of The Wiggles, someone who enjoys music and plays his own drum track wherever he goes, an apple connoisseur, a giggler with a very ticklish spot under one arm, someone who knows how to use his charms to the fullest, a paper shredder far superior to any cross cut shredder you can buy, mischief and joy and noise… all in the shape of a seven year old boy.  He might not be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Holidays are coming but I can’t escape the lunchboxes



Ask any Mum one of the joys of school holidays and she’ll no doubt say “I don’t have to pack school lunchboxes, yay!” Of course, if you have one in daycare two days a week and one in vacation care several days a week then you can’t escape it.  I’m still yet to decide whether I like getting the days food sorted in the morning and then just handing out lunchboxes or whether I’d rather just hand out food on request.

If my boys ate “normal” amounts of food it wouldn’t be so bad – but look at the picture!  And this is only for the boys, I have a daughter as well and she can match them bite for bite if she’s so inclined!  What they’ll be like as teenagers scares me but I suspect meals will involve A LOT of pasta.

The two year old’s lunchbox routine is the same no matter what.  He has the clear container (top middle) with fruit of various kinds and a yoghurt for morning tea.  Lunch is the green container and it’s a sandwich on wholemeal or multigrain (usually raw honey but sometimes Vegemite or peanut butter), some cut up cheese and a banana.  Afternoon tea is the blue container with more fruit, cheese and some popcorn in it.

The seven year old has an extra container here, the small blue divided container at the bottom.  Normally he’s home for afternoon tea so I don’t need to pack it, it’s different during the holidays.  He eats about that amount (1/4 packet of rice crackers, several slices of ham, cheese cubes, sultanas and a banana) anyway.  And, yes, he takes two quite decent sized lunchboxes to school every day – one for morning tea and one for lunch.  In this picture he’s got a mandarin, a yoghurt, a sandwich and freshly popped popcorn for morning tea, lunch is two pieces of fruit, a sandwich, cheese sticks and ham slices and more popcorn.

The amount of food astonishes me, they even eat more dinner than I do most nights of the week – the exception being when it’s heavy on the vegetables!  And yet they’re not at all overweight so I have no idea where it goes.  I wish I did… I wish I had the same metabolism!  On the upside, they’re not really picky eaters and will give most things a go.  Sure, there are things they’re definitely not a fan of but on the whole I’m just happy that they do actually eat the vast amounts of food I pack and it doesn’t all come back to be thrown away!