Friday, May 25, 2012

Cooking up a storm

This week I've grabbed a few good cook books from the library and decided to really make an effort of using the recipes instead of hoarding scanned copies.
The first book drew me in from the lush red book cover, it was Nouha Taouk's Whispers from a Lebanese Kitchen. It sounded lovely and as I browsed through it I recognised a lot of the dishes that my mother in law serves. I had some yoghurt at home so I made up more laben. I also wanted to start with something very simple but tasty: the spinach pides or Fatayr as she has in her book.
Now it's pro-nounced F'toyeh by my husbands side though. I guess it depends which village you are from ; )

This is how they turned out. I didn't brush these with milk but the second batch I did and so they were more brown. I also made some ham and cheese pizzas for the kids. They weren't too bad but not as flavoursome as mother-in-law's ones. He told her I made them but they were a bit thick and she said to make the balls of dough after the first proving and to leave them for another 20mins, then roll them out flat. It seemed to do the trick because I made another batch today with added spices/peppers/mint and tomatoes to the spinach filling and they were really delicious.

Yesterday I also decided to make one of my favourite Lebanese dishes: Rice and Chicken or Riz a Shzesh (they all say chicken differently). It was so easy and tasty however the cinnamon was a bit overwhelming for me so lucky that I didn't use an extra teaspoon. I started the chicken stock and then you strain it into another pot to boil the rice in it. I used basmati rice instead of our usual jasmine. It came out light and fluffy. I used about two cups of rice and about 4litres of stock. By the time I remembered to check it, it came out perfect in my teflon pot. Then you shred the chicken and pan roast the pinenuts and almonds. It was really yummy even if a bit dry. I think my m-i-l uses ghee for the rice. Whoever came up with flaked almonds deserves a medal because it really makes the dish.

I had some leftover dough today and I made a few za'atar pizzas before my lightbulb moment and only made one tiny little cinnamon crown. It was bite size and oh so good. I really can see myself making more mini size ones in the future.

I am hoping that the other recipes prove to be just as good but I know that there are special extra bits which have not been passed on because these ladies do not use recipes and precise measurements. I will just have to hope for the best but it really is a nice book and includes the authentic nice dishes that I've tried already.
So do you hoard recipes or have any great ones you want to share?

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day weekend.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. Lucky me had breakfast sent to me in bed but I decided it best if we all ate at the table. My preschooler picked out the best gift ever. This cute little notebook was wrapped in clear plastic and I love it. He sure knows his mother well.

Inside it has two little white pads and a pretty pink lined pad.

Of course, it was a perfect match for my new handbag (I picked out myself)
from Strandbags. My old one is 6yrs and whilst a great size it is tearing at the edges.
It takes me forever to pick anything so I scoured bags online and then went instore to get it at 35% off so really, at $42, this bag is really a steal.

The brand is Laura Jones and it's a tote size but not overly huge. It has two zippered (a must!) compartments with a phone pocket but the best feature I reckon are the two side pockets which are big enough to hold my keys (you know how it takes for-ever to find keys) and I'll most likely put my mobile phone in the other. I was debating on getting the black one but this colour is for all seasons. I still use a little cheap one rom Kmart for quick trips and school pick-up.

My sister made these salmon bites again at mums along with oyster mornay on Saturday. She is sooo good I forgot to thank her. It was so cold though and we all sat outside while the kids ran around. Then on Sunday we had a bbq with my in-laws after church. By afternoon I was pooped and glad to be at home snuggling up in a blanket as it's getting chillier each day. We're only a month away from Winter.

I am so thankful for everything. I love being a mother/wife/sister/daughter/friend even though at times it's stressful and you can't get your own space. I ask God to give me the graces to get through and he is listening to me. I am so thankful for my healthy children and husband, to be able to live in a place where our freedoms are protected and I pray for all those who are suffering whether it be due to poverty, war, persecution of faith/religion/cast, or illness. We should be more kinder to each other and give more readily.

So what next? I shall be reviewing some kids music. Sounds exciting. Sounds like another giveaway!

Monday, May 7, 2012

and the winner is....

The Random Generator has spoken and lucky number 3 has won.
The would be Rebecca! Congratulations.
Please send me your details so I can send your box out.
I do not have your e-mail address as you have a no-reply on your Blogger account.

Thanks everyone.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bellabox Mother's Day Giveaway!

On Sunday 12th May we will be celebrating Mother's Day.
I am so happy to announce that you could be the winner of one of these boxes.
Normally I do not buy many snazzy products for myself but when I do I try to make sure that only the best and natural ingredients are what touch my body.
When Bellabox contacted me I was thrilled to know that their products are of the highest quality and it's a great way to try before you buy.

What is Bellabox?

bellabox is an innovative concept in beauty sampling. Each product is handpicked and we apply stringent selection criteria to all of the products that are available in our online store.

 This is their exclusive Mother's Day box. It's jammed with perfect products such as Gatineau's Day and Night emulsion, Alpha-H's Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask, OCC Lip Tar, Ozotic Nail Polish, Baroque Perfumies perfume stick, MOR Lip Nectar and Pangea Organics Skincare Discovery.

If that sounds good enough to smother yourself in just leave a comment about your mother or how you feel about being a mother. Winner will be announced on Monday.
Make sure you check back on Monday so I can grab your address and send it out pronto! Australian Residents only.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Top and Jacket.


I was really sad when this Target jacket for my 2yr old was getting a bit snug.
Today I was really happy when I found a look-a-like (ahem, knock-off) pattern from the Burda kids range so I bought it from Spotlight for $7 (it was just over half price).
The size ranges from 3-7 so it's perfect for both my girls. I can't wait to get it started.


Last weekend I sewed up this top. It is Simplicity 3887. I've made it before and wasn't really happy with the fabric I chose but I really like this light cotton.
I made view D with the long arms but the sleeve are really billowy and I don't like that. I'm going to have to slim down the sleeves.


I do like the way the neckline sits and it's going to be really great for our cooler morning and evenings. You know I always find it hard to choose colours and fabric when I am out shopping. Nothing seems to jump out at me but I find I have a wardrobe full of navy, greys and light pinks. Next time I think I might shop at Tessuti to find something really nice. I've seen quite a few Wiksten Tova's being made-up and now that it's a digital pattern I don't see why I shouldn't just buy that pattern too!

Today the sun is out even though we are in our last month of Autumn. Then it'll be Winter and we'll be trying to keep our bodies warm. Who knows how the weather will pan out. It's been pretty warm around these parts unfortunately due to climate change. I do hope we are doing all we can to preserve our beautiful Earth for many generations to come. I'm suppose to be catching up on a few chores while two are at school and the baby is asleep but I cannot be bothered.

If you find my motivation, send it back to me , won't you?

Stay tuned, I might be having a give-away next!