Sunday, April 26, 2009

Food Glorious Food

Look at this, Moroccan Chicken - courtesy of the naughty, effervescent and vivacious Antipo! She's a bad influence on me thank goodness so feel free to stop by her blog and be corrupted!

The recipe calls for chicken pieces but I used breasts and cut them up (cos I am super lazy when it comes to bones!!).

1 (3 1/2 lb) chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin (to taste)
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch saffron
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 lb pitted prune
2 large Spanish onions, sliced lengthwise
1 cup whole blanched almond
vegetable oil
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 Rub all pieces of chicken with a mixture of salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand for 1 hour.
2 In a separate saucepan, cover the prunes with cold water and add the cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 -30 minutes depending on dryness of prunes.
3 Steam the onions in the casserole with the turmeric, saffron, ginger, salt, pepper and ¼ cup of water for 15 minutes.
4 Meanwhile brown the almonds in a saucepan with oil and drain onto paper towels.
5 Using the same oil and pan, brown chicken on all sides then transfer to the steamed onions and add 1 cup water. (this can be transferred into the tagine at this point and placed in oven ). Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
6 Add the cooked prunes and some of the prune water to the tagine and continue cooking until the chicken and prunes are really tender.
7 To serve, place chicken pieces on a serving dish (or simply leave in the tagine). Cover with prunes and sauce, then sprinkle with almonds and sesame seeds (if desired).

So, we went from that gastronomique extrodinaire to this...

Fish and chips from the corner takeaway! Sometimes you just gotta kick back and let someone else do the work!

Next month is New Zealand Music Month so stand by to be astounded and amazed by the wonderful weird and whacky stuff that passes for music down here. In the meantime, try this...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why I love Autumn

The colours are wonderful. The cold is not. However.....
see how pretty it is! These photos were taken just down the road from our house, near the High School the Scowly Teen attends. I have to say I really enjoy the drive to school!
The rabbit is healing well but sadly it appears they won't be back into the same hutch again. We had the two of them in the garden this afternoon to see how they got on but Daisy instantly started biting at Gretel (sorry, we had to revert to Gretel as after 7 months of using that name we can't stop!! He will no doubt go into therapy for his name (Justme).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An imposter in our midst!

This blog is not the one I had thought of writing, I was going to tell you all about the fantastic concert The Stud and I went to last night. I'll keep that for a day or two. In the meantime...

Oh yes, it has been a weekend for surprises and no mistake! See this photo of Gretel, happily munching on grass and wearing a cute pink harness?

WARNING THE FOLLOWING MAY MAKE YOU SICK! (or squeamish at the very least)

This morning Gretel had something protruding from her behind, it was about the thickness of my little finger and there was heaps of blood. Hm. The pet shop had mentiioned they might come into heat, I wondered if that had something to do with it at first. But then commonsense took over - I mean, say and do what you like, but it's always a bit odd for things to protrude from one's nether regions and I figured it would be the same for rabbits.

Of course, it's Sunday isn't it so we had to head off with haste to an emergency vet.

I told the vet that it appeared that Gretel had been bitten by her sister, Daisy. He still looked very puzzled. Has Gretel ever had any surgery? No, she hasn't.

And then he looked at my and said those 3 little words I hadn't expected to hear.

"Gretel's a boy".

$350 bucks later it seems that Daisy had bitten and grabbed one of the other rabbits testicles! which was what was hanging out...Gretel has now been "fixed" and has recovered from surgery faster than my wallet will. And has been renamed..... Hansel (of course).

The jury is still out on if Daisy is in drag or not as well.

Bring on Monday, I almost welcome you!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter and fine weather - yes, it is possible

Easter dawned and it was sunny! How lucky is that. Usually you're stuck somewhere way off the beaten track, quivering in the cold and wet with gale force winds and trying to hold on to your tent. But not this year. Of course, we stayed home this year. I dragged the family out for some sight seeing. This dinghy wasn't going anywhere in a hurry but it looked like it (she?) had some tales to tell nonetheless.
This is the last of some of our roses, can't recall it's name but it is beautifully scented (I refuse to have unscented flowers in my garden, I mean honestly, what's the point!?), it is growing stoically in a huge pot at the back door.

This is a view of Diamond Harbour, taken from the hills above Sumner en route to Lyttelton. This area is an old volcano but it is so pretty and the views are fantastic. Lyttelton itself is a favourite destination for family visits, it is only 15 minutes from home and has a great ice cream parlour! If you actually click on the photos you can see them even bigger.

The beach at Sumner looks deserted but most people were behind me, I was walking into the wind while everyone else was being driven out of it! The kids made sand pictures and collected shells, sticks and the odd crab shell which will sit in the bag by the front door until they decide what to do with them.
It's the first week of the school holidays and so far the weather is holding even now...must be some shite coming in winter eh?
Those of you who have to travel by car anywhere with children will know the lengths seemingly normal people go to in an effort to entertain the wee darlings. I came up with this (yes, while driving!)....

Farmer Pyjama had a lama
He also had a duck
He had some sheep with snowy white wool
And pigs that rolled in muck

Farmer Pyjama had a cow
He also had a hen
He had some geese and a parrot too
but cats?
Just now and then.
(c) AS

Monday, April 06, 2009


The Stud makes the world's best pickled onions. There! You heard it here first folks. As you can see, he's been busy. It's an autmn activity for him, as regular as leaves falling of the trees noless. We have dabbled with various flavours over the years, he likes the ring-burning chilli and I prefer the Namby Pamby Honey. This years experiment is with herbs.

Another give away for Autumn is of course the trees, I love this yellow one. It is in the park just 10 minutes walk from our place (ok, 20 mins if you're in heels).
I'm thinking of taking the kids there for a picnic if the weather holds this Easter weekend. I must be soft. My parents made us take picnics regardless of the weather and, I'm certain, sometimes BECAUSE of the weather.

What does Autumn mean to you, what family traditions do you have?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Shopping with the girls

I took the girls shopping. The 11 year old is re-designing her bedroom and I think we're going from the little girl to the tween. I have to say I was impressed with her choices. She has chosen a black and white colour scheme. The problem now is to sort the assorted teddy bears, stuffed toys and odds n sods - what to do with them? She wants to keep 'em all............

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The last gasp of summer

I made this salad with the almost-last of our tomatoes. They were late this year but welcome none-the-less and tasted fantastic. I have almost finished darting about the country and it is a welcome treat indeed for home cooked meals, even better with home grown ingredients!

Now the winter vege can do their thing and I have my eye on a rather nicely maturing pumpkin for soup (I roast the pumpkin first then do the soupy's wonderful) and there is the usual silver beets, potatoes. We even have a few roses in bloom.

It sure is good to be home.