Thursday, November 24, 2011

I have a thing for orange....

The photo REALLY looks like I screwed up the camera, big time.  I haven't.  I just went a bit nuts internet shopping.

I now have a real thing for orange, and slowly it is taking over my world.  My iPhone and iPad cases are orange, we are going to paint the living room orange, and all of this is orange.... and better yet, on sale! 

Actually, the ciroa kitchen tools are awesome.  I love the potato masher- it makes really smooth spuds.  And the knives are from Scanpan, they are brilliant for throwing in with my lunchbox for dealing with whole fruit.  (Often the fruit I take is not in the lunchbox or photo).

The Critter Cutters are a hit with my niece.  Every time she comes over, and I really do mean EVERY time, she asks for Butterfly Toast- which is simply a butterfly cutter with peanut butter....  One time I put sprinkles on it.... she nearly died of excitement.  She has been eating these for like a year now....

Here she is, dealing to her first butterfly sandwich, while Rosie watches on....

Here she is, more recently...

And being a big girl at the Spring Festival.

Simple as, man....

Alright, so this photo is AWFUL!

But look at the little doggie!  (or something).  He was crafted out of 2 marshmellows on a toothpick, with food colouring used to make his face.

The main is a pita sandwich with salad, and the staple strawberries and nuts.

Comfort Food

I found a bunch of photos from earlier.  I thought I had lost them when my camera died... but it turns out I didn't!  Yay!

So here we have a pasta bake, nut mix with cranberries in the side bits.

In the main section, boiled egg, strawberries, cheese slice and a couple of baked stuffed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And Another Way With Iskender

The Iskender revisited.  We now all know I LOVE LEFTOVERS and this is why.... Yummo.  The dark section is beetroot, yogurt and hummus in the other side, lettuce, carrot and cucumber with felafel patties and rice things... done in one of those rice shapers.... a heart and a star.  Too cute to eat really.  But I ate it all..... for morning tea!

Picking Away at the Food

This was my Model UN lunch.... we were running a Model UN event, and I wanted something I could totally eat on the run.

Here we have strawberries, kiwifruit with a giraffe pick, peanut butter lunch punch puzzle sandwiches, popcorn, mixed nuts, small sports-ball chocolates.... and there was a yogurt and fruit pottle on the side.

Wordless Wednesday: My Favourite Cookies

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Muffin-tin Iskender

After a lot of talking about Art today and how it really is breaking down things into smaller parts, this happened for dinner.... a deconstructed Iskender.  Which is nice.... as the foods don't touch!  Lol.

Here we have:
- Felafel patties
- Cucumber cubes
- Grated Carrot
- Cubed beetroot
- Lettuce slices
- Hummus
- Yogurt dressing

And it was all served with a side of rice. 

For Iskender lovers, tomorrow's lunch will involve this in some way.  I LOVE LEFTOVERS!

And a popular but simple lunch

Okay, this lunch had the kids totally in awe, and I wasn't really that impressed with how it turned out...

We have an easy lunchbox, with:
- Boiled egg (in cutesy eggshell holder)
- Homemade hummus in the penguin holder to dip the vege sticks in
- Carrot and Cucumber sticks with an elephant pick
- Peanut Butter on Wholegrain bread, jigsaw puzzle lunch-punched.
- Cheese wedge
- Strawberry
- Tomatoberry

But people wanting to see my lunch totally makes it worthwhile..... I am such a nerd.


If I have said it once... I have said it a thousand times... I LOVE Turkish food!  Yum.
So here is my regular Iskender meal... with felafel and rice.  You may notice the hummus taking center stage, and the nom-worthy felafels.  Nothing overly interesting, but YUMMO!

Otherwise it's just:
- Beetroot
- Tomatoberries
- Cucumber
- Carrot
- Lettuce
- Basmati Rice
- Yogurt and garlic dressing

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making some Hummus

I LOVE hummus, oh, if I could go to Turkey, I would come back so filled with hummus, tabbouleh and felafel.  Yum!  But, I was so keen to eat Turkish, but so lacking in hummus..... I sorta had eaten it all!


So I made my own, and was really impressed with the result.  I also got to use more of my Fernridge Olive Oil, infused with Garlic.  (It is spectacular, and made by an ex-teacher of mine)

This is the recipe.  Oh, it would pay to REALLY like Garlic to try this.  Or just omit the garlic and use regular olive oil!


1 cup chick peas.  You could use a can, but rinse the peas first. 
1/4 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon (or a little more, I lost track) olive oil

Soak the chickpeas overnight.  Rinse the water off and drain well. 
Cut up the onion and chop the garlic.  Throw this either into the food processor, or a container.  I used a stick blender because the clean-up is WAY easier, and nothing additional has to smell of garlic.
Add chick peas, and sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Blitz that stuff.  Go slow to start because it takes time for the oil and liquids to mix with the dry ingredients.  Pulse til smooth.

Transfer to an airtight container and store.

Look out for how I used the hummus....

One of my students tried to steal some today because it smelt so good.  I know, awesome... Always good to find another garlic lover.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And back in the garden....

Well, the garden had an overhaul yesterday.  For spring, the weather has been dodgy as.  So the spring growth has really done well for the weeds, but not so great on the cucumbers.

The first strawberry of the season.

How it looks right now.
But, the berries are doing well- straw, rasp and bosen.... the passionfruit is growing.  The lettuce is enjoying the wet weather, the celery is going great.  And the peas are great.  There are a few tomatoes hanging in there, and the companion plants seem to be holding their own for the moment.

Cookbook Review: My Favourite Recipes {Series}

It has been a while since I reviewed a cookbook.... so why not come back with a series?

I'm not sure who else has come across this series?  I picked up the "Chicken" one early on, and ordered the rest.  Mainly as I never know what to do with meat (being a vegetarian).  The first section is all the basics and dealing with whatever the theme is.  I now have about 7 of the books.

I have made a few things.  All of them seem to work out fine.  Nothing too flashy, just good honest food.

I decided to look at the Soups, Snacks and Salads book for a change... and to help with the ol' lunch preparation.

As I had leftover French Bread (Baguette) and a husband who declared that he didn't want 'snacks' in his lunchbox (thanks, by the way.... always good to have a heads-up AFTER doing the groceries!)... so I threw these together...

Waiting for the oven

Hot and tasty

Okay, so I deviated from the recipe a little... I can't make anything Pizza without Basil....  And I only had white mushrooms, not the brown.  Otherwise, I was pretty darn impressed.  I never have put corn on anything pizza before, but it worked well here. 

So, my opinion:
Information:  5/5 points
Recipes: 3/5 points
Originality: 3/5 points
Pictures: 4/5 points
Overall: 4/5 points

This brings us to 19 points, which isn't bad.  The pictures are accurate, and the information is excellent.  The recipes are nothing earth shattering, but they do have common, easy to locate, fairly economical ingredients.  I have been impressed, and glad I subscribed to the series.  As the first book was only a few dollars, and each subsequent one has been about $12, it is not bad for a good recipe book with accurate pictures.

The Lunch Rush

A lunch that didn't quite come together as planned.... oh well.  In the containers it does look cute as.

In the top we have a fritata with cheese and carrots, bagette pizza slices, strawberries, nut mix and hundreds and thousands cookies (yumo).  This bento is particularly nice because it is quite wide and it can fit more in that it seems.  The muffin thingies are full size regular muffin thingies....

Juicing for Well-Being

Since the diagnosis (the husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer about 6 weeks ago, and has since undergone surgery to remove 60cm of his colon) I have been juicing up a storm.

Basically I started juicing fruit and vegetables because he didn't like to eat them... crazy!  I'm a vegetarian, so basically the idea of not eating vegetables is abhorrent to me.  Now he even likes cauliflower... oddly.  Thank goodness for a great doctor, excellent surgeon, and a series of cancer episodes on Doctor Oz.  (In other news, I have been reading and cooking from Anti-cancer cookbooks...)

Anyway, juice is awesome, and pretty darn easy to make.  I actually think it is rather affordable.  We grow a lot of vegetables and the citrus trees are doing really well at the moment.  Almost all the different juices I make have either lemons or celery in at the moment because we have them growing nicely.

Here is one of my favourites at the moment: Pineapple, Lemon and Carrot Juice.

You will need:
4 Carrots
3cm of a Pineapple
1 large Lemon

Wash the carrots, chopping off the top bit where the fronds grow from.  Wash the lemon skin.  Cut a circular round of pineapple about 3cm wide.  Cut the lemon in half and the pineapple section in quarters.  Throw all the bits of fruit, skin still on, into the juicer.  Stir the juice.

This should make about 2 large glasses of juice.  I always serve with 2 ice-cubes.  Drink as soon as possible, but the lemon should prevent discolouration if you have to refrigerate for a bit.

And the benefits... Among others of course, but the reasons I use these are...

Lemon juice is really high in Vitamin C, and is great for moving things through the bowels... as well as having loads of anti-oxidants which help fight cancer. 

Pineapple juice is really good for joint health and mobility (I struggle with my ankle after surgery last year, and basically I'm preparing for surgery next month).  Really good for dealing with disgusting nasties in the digestive and intestinal tracts.   And for sorting out constipation... as our goal here is to have nothing hanging around in the colon, this is excellent....  (you may notice I am trying not to be too specific, as it is all pretty darn gross).

And carrots, oh the super food that is the carrot!  Carrots are high in all the vitamins, especially C and E, really good for clearing the intestines and dealing with harmful bacteria.  Indian healers have been using carrots for thousands of years to help patients recover from illness, so it can't be bad.  That, and I like carrots.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Lunchtime Rush

Over the years I have found that some days of the week are just plain SHOCKING to get organised.  Rubbish/recycling day is one of them.  And days when I forget to set the alarm....

Fortunately I was rather organised this week...

In the green container we have more of the lentil salad, the large square box has strawberries and an apple and carrot salad, with walnuts ready to add.

The container is not as bad as I had thought as far as traveling.  I will keep making sure it travels flat, as liquid can run between compartments, but, it is pretty similar to the easy lunchbox.  The advantage with this one is a more secure lid and the freezing compartment.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Yellow Lunch

This lunch had my class in absolute jealous mode.... mainly over the jelly....

Here we have in the yellow container Turkish flat breads with baked beans and Swiss cheese toasted on.

In the Easy Lunchbox there is lemon jelly - set into the container (a remnant of the husbands instruction to only eat clear foods prior to his Drs appointment), a hard boiled egg sliced into segments, cheese grape and pineapple skewers, mixed nuts with goji and cranberries and a couple of after dinner mints... yum!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Danish Pastry

I LOOOOOOVE Danish Pastry.  It has to be one of the all-time great foods.  I blame the fact that my Maternal Great-Grandparents emigrated from Denmark (obviously forsaking the fact that I am Scotish on my Father's side, and I do not like Haggis).

Anyway, I just found this recipe for Danish pastry.  It looks so good.  I'll probably give it a go later in the week... yes, I am procrastinating again from my novel.  But, this should prove to be a more exciting thing to do than popping down to the local bakery for Danishes....

Danish Pastry Recipe

I recently started writing for Wikinut, which is a great online community.  It was here that I found this gem of a recipe.  If you are interested in also writing for Wikinut, follow the link below and register. 

Write for Wikinut

Lentils and other goodies

Hello, here is today's lunch.  I am not sure how the apple and carrot salad will hold out, and I am pretty darn sure it is going to leak all over the place.  We shall see.

The best part is the boxes themselves.  I am excited to see how they will stack up today.

Here we have a lentil and bulghur wheat salad in the green container.

In the blue one, we have sandwich crackers with swiss cheese, strawberries and an apple and carrot salad.  There are walnuts for this salad in the container for the lentil one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another batch of new boxes

Okay, so purchasing lunchboxes is a bit of an addiction.... I know!  But, these were RIDICULOUSLY cheap, and are really, really, really fantastic.

They are the Stayfit range.  There are 2 sorts- heating and cooling.

The red lidded container is a thermal cup.  I look forward to making soup in for it in the winter.  And possibly lentils.  I do love lentils.

The others have the stuff that freezes in those cooly ice pack things built into the lids and/or the bases.

I have thrown the lid to the lunchbox shaped one (blue) and the whole of the smaller green containers in the freezer tonight.  For lunch I shall be having a lentil salad I think, and some sort of other lunch set up.  I haven't thought that far ahead yet!

And please do pop by my new blog, "Beyond Island Hopping".

It's been a while

Well, it has been a while....

And with my world slowly turned back the right way, here's to the universe.

Just a brief update... my Kitchen!  I blogged about the turmoil a while back, then hinted that it was done.  And I have pictures at last!

It's a long way from the teracotta and 70's orange we had when we bought the house....  And, I love it.  The benchtop matches the carpet in the house, the blue is just plain awesome, and the pictures on the wall are of foreign cafes.  The rubbish bin is 80% Beagle proof.  And the splash back is a beautiful black glass.

Check out the dishwasher!  My last one up and died while I had a broken leg, so, this one meant a lot to me.

You may notice the juice machine in the background.  My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer about 6 weeks ago, so it has been a mammoth change of everything.  He had surgery, which went well, and has been recovering nicely.  He will get chemotherapy in the new year.  But for now, and the reason for mentioning all this here, it is all about diet.  We are having a lot of broccoli, a lot of vegetable juices, and he is even eating vegetarian!  Big changes from the red-meat-lover.

So we are back in business, and ready to roll with lunch updates.

Also, please visit my new blog, "Beyond Island Hopping".  It is my travel blog, with tips, stories, and general awesomeness about traveling.  We just started a great new linky party, "Destination Friday" where you can link any blog posts or articles on the internet of your favourite vacation destinations, whether they are on your doorstep or the other side of the world.