Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winter Warming Comfort Foods

photos 198It seems crazy to be writing about winter warming foods while I sit here in the middle of summer. But I know some of my readers on the other side of the world are shivering in their snow covered homes and some days, I wish I was there too!

Watching the Winter Olympics is helping with my imaginary snow days, but it’s still not cold enough for soup just yet.

I am really looking forward to those cold days again and the yummy comfort food that comes with it.

If you are freezing your fingers off on the other side of the world, enjoy this guest post from Schwartz:

The Ultimate in Comfort Foods

From hearty muffin-topped beef stew to warming leek and potato soup, there are a number of recipes perfectly tailored to those cold, dark nights. The beginning of the New Year is always a little dull so it’s the perfect time for comfort food. Coming home to a salad when the temperatures outside are plummeting isn’t the same as coming home to mouth-watering meal, fresh from the oven.

Something for all

If you’re cooking for a large family, curries, casseroles, homemade soups and Shepherd’s pies are all ideal options. If you make a big enough batch, you may even be able to live off the same taste-tantalising dish for the entire week. So why not visit the Schwartz website for more inspiration when it comes to creating a variety of flavoursome meals?

For the busy diner

Curried carrot soup is an ideal option for those wishing to warm their cockles the minute they walk through the door. If you’re organised, you can make a huge vat, which will most likely last you throughout the entire week. Once the mixture has cooled, simply pour it into several Tupperware containers and freeze each individual portion. Soups are also a great, cost-effective option for those looking for a lighter meal to warm them up on their lunch break at work.

A healthier alternative

The best thing about soup is that it doesn’t have to be overly creamy to be satisfying, yet it’s still a highly popular comfort food. The likes of white bean and kale, lentil and vegetable soups are all extremely flavoursome meals, but they’re still suited to those wishing to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Quick and easy curried carrot soup

All you need for this recipe is 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of curried powder (or seasoning of your choice), 1 onion (chopped), 1kg chopped carrots, 1 litre of vegetable stock and 500ml of water.

Method:

1. Begin by heating the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Sauté the onions until soft and then stir in the curry powder. Add the chopped carrots, ensuring they’re well coated in the mixture and pour in the vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

2. Place the soup mixture in a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the pan and add water until the soup reaches the desired consistency.

Back To School With Officeworks

calendar

My son goes to one of those schools where they sort out the stationery requirements for you and just charge you some money and give you a book pack full of stuff. It’s pretty handy because as much as I love stationery, I don’t have a desire to shop to the book list trying to decipher the codes and match them to the actual exercise books in the shop.

I don’t think anyone really enjoys doing that book list shop. Especially when every parent is doing it AT THE SAME TIME. It’s like the Christmas rush but with more paper cuts.

Officeworks have come to the rescue with their book list service. They do the shopping for you! Could not be any easier! You may even qualify for FREE DELIVERY. Just sit and do nothing. They have it covered. All good.

officeworks booklist service

See? Easy Peasy.

If you missed out this year, DO NOT FORGET this for next year. Write it down somewhere… Maybe on this:

post its

Oh so cute little post-it cube. I love you.

Back to school readiness does not end with the stationery list though. No siree! One has to have the home base covered too!

I found that out last year after painstakingly covering and labelling all my son’s books and pencils and sending him off to school, smug in my readiness and planning. Then he comes home with homework and we didn’t even have a pencil in the house!

I bought a pencil, an eraser and a ruler and the next week those things were lost and sometimes found only when Leo the dog was chewing on them. This was repeated several times throughout the year and I frequently lost my shit.

This year, I’m totally prepared. I went to Officeworks last night and bought these things:

homework kit homework kit1

This will be the homework box. The homework book can live in it for the week it is at home and the pencils, eraser, ruler and sharpener can live in it forever!

  • Blue plastic carry box $4.67
  • Stationery set (pencils, eraser, sharpener, ruler and mini highlighter) $2.00
  • Long wooden ruler $0.37cents!
  • I couldn’t go past the lego pencil box at only $5.99. I knew my son would love it and we need things we love to make things we don’t love (like homework) much more fun.
  • Scrapbook is from his book pack but also available from Officeworks but only in the photo for illustrative purposes and to make sure it all fits. It does.

Speaking of things we love, once your back to school shopping is done you can go nuts buying all the gorgeous home office stuff in all the pretty colours and chevron and cupcake and polka dot patterns. Believe me, I was very restrained not to buy the whole section of delicious home office goodies. I will save that trip for another day soon. My home office/dining table definitely needs a makeover!

But for now I bought a calendar – (very important for keeping track of all the school dates) and a folder to keep all those school notices in, because the pile on top of the fridge and some attached to the fridge with magnets, just wasn’t cutting it. Too much clutter!

I could spend HOURS at Officeworks deciding on what diary to buy and how many post-its I need and what colour scheme will be most pleasing for the home office/dining table. It’s good to know that Officeworks has the best prices.

For the month of January, (which is nearly over, so get down there!) they offer this Parents Price Promise: “If you find an identical stocked item on a quoted school list at a lower price we’ll beat it by 10%”

back to school appeal

They are also working with the Smith Family to help the education of young Australians in need. People are encouraged to donate school supplies or cash to the appeal in-store, with all contributions supporting disadvantaged young people on the Smith Family’s Learning for Life program.

Learning for Life supports young Australians in need, helping them to participate more fully in their education by providing programs as well as emotional, practical and financial support. There are currently more than 34,000 students on The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program across Australia.

Do you need another reason to go to Officeworks? The staff are really lovely and helpful and nice. No really, the are!

I’m heading back today to buy some of THESE.

book cover

 

 

Plastic slip on book covers. That’s right. SLIP ON. Only $1.99 each.

Because I will NOT be spending hours applying contact to school books and trying to ease out the air bubbles with a ruler. NO WAY, not again, not ever.

Are you back to school ready yet?

Disclaimer: Officeworks gave me some vouchers to spend in-store in exchange for this post. I agreed because I do truly, madly, deeply love Officeworks.

 

My Kids’ Favourite Book

Both of my kids love books and have about a gajillion of them. But there are some favourites that get read over and over.

peepo

I remember when Millar was a teeny tiny baby, we bought this book and started reading it to him. It delighted him from an early age and became his first favourite book. So much so that when he would crack the shits in the car, my husband and I would recite the book and he would calm down.

The book has now been passed to Xanthe and is a bedtime story favourite. Millar will now read it to her. I love that!

Here’s a video snippet of Millar reading to Xanthe.

And here is Xanthe “reading” the book from memory.

I think Peepo is the best kids’ book ever. Followed closely by the entire Hairy Maclary series and the Very Hungry Caterpillar.