snowflakes to the rescue

A few months ago I was talking to a Mum who asked if we had safety glass at floor level. If not she advised we should get stickers to stop any small children not noticing the window. This is something I had never thought about, but living in a late 60's terrace house I am sure we do not, and stickers didn't appeal. Inspired by my neighbors use of tissue paper snowflakes to give some privacy in their kitchen, I decided this was the perfect solution.

I looked on the web for images and started cutting!I'm not going to give you instructions as there are loads out there.

grapefruit + honey soda

today we made grapefruit soda, it's so delicious and simple and everyone enjoys it.

3 grapefruit 
1 tablespoon manuka honey
1/2 cup boiling water
soda or sparkling water

1.Juice grapefruit and strain. 
2. Dissolve honey in the boiling water, add to juice. 
3. Fill 1/3 of a glass with juice and top up with soda.

For the last couple of years I have received a large bag of grapefruit care of Mima's Grannie's grapefruit tree. She isn't all that fond of grapefruit so every year when they ripen they get stripped from the tree and given away. There's something I really love about grapefruit, I remember as a kid dad would give them to us for breakfast sprinkled with brown sugar and grilled for a few minutes.
I still have stores in the pantry of last years batch of marmalade (photo below). This year grapefruit and honey soda will suffice.

tamari almonds

I have been making and enjoying these Tamari Almonds for years. I always have a jar on the go in the pantry as I believe they are the perfect snack. While it is a super simple recipe, everyone who tries them loves them so I thought I should share it. They are something I make by eye, so writing a recipe was not as easy as you would think. I had a look on the internet and found a lot of people have posted recipes for Tamari Almonds so there are a lot of variations out there, if you don't like mine try some one else's recipe.
Almonds are a super food, low in saturated fat but full of the good monounsaturated fats, they contain zero cholesterol and one hand full of almonds contains as much calcium as a quarter cup of milk. I also read recently that they help lactating women produce milk so this makes a super easy and delicious afternoon snack, while breastfeeding. 

750g raw almonds
5 tablespoons of Tamari


1. Pre heat the oven to 180C. Place baking paper and then the almonds on a baking tray.
2. Pour over the Tamari and mix until evenly covered.
3. Roast the almonds for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is dry, stirring once halfway though.
4. Cool and transfer to a jar.

a blanket for moo

This weekend I finally finished my first ever crochet project, a blanket for Moo's bed. Moo loves the purple colour.

I used Freedom 100% wool chunky on size 8mm hook.
Perfect timing as it's pretty cold now being mid July.

My mum taught me the basics during her last stay with us. She taught herself to crochet as a kid so she could make clothes for her dolls. She now does beautiful fine detailed crochet and knitting which I hope to learn from her one day. This is just the start for me. 

rainbow connection : one

Everyone loves a rainbow don't they? We love them, this is our tribute to rainbows.

I was inspired to make rainbow cupcakes after a friend showed me a picture of these elaborate pinata cookies which she thought Moo would love. They looked incredible but to be honest the recipe didn't sound too tasty.
So I created my own version, using my old faithful Donna Hay kids' magazine cupcake recipe.

Basic Mix and Melt Vanilla Cupcakes - for 12 standard cupcakes

1 ¼ cups plain flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
125g butter, melted
2 eggs
¾ cup milk 
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Blue and Pink food colouring
7 cups and teaspoons for mixing colours
1 quantity of chocolate butter icing (see recipe below)
hundreds and thousands (rainbow sprinkles)
1. Preheat oven 160°c fan bake and line cupcake tray with papercases. 
2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
3. Divide cupcake mixture equally between the cups and mix your colours. We did red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink (I know technically pink isn’t in the rainbow but Moo insists it is).
4. Spoon one teaspoon of each colour into the papercases in above order
5. Bake for 20-25mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Place cakes on wire rack to cool.
6. Ice and decorate.
Chocolate Butter Icing
70g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
¼ cup sifted cocoa
1 tablespoon boiling water

1. Beat butter with electric mixer or beater for 5 minutes.
2. Add Icing sugar and cocoa, water and beat until light and fluffy.

around my house : one

salt and pepper

apple head people - I found these at a garage sale for $1

birds - I love these little birds, they rock in the egg shells

clowns - this pair of clowns is Moo's favorite!

sad ghosts - by Marcel Dzama and purchased at MOMA in LA

indians - my lovely husband drove to the Coro Cafe near Thames to buy these for me

lego heads


this is what we actually use for salt and pepper.

spaghetti wars

. on Monday we picniced with the kids and discovered we were both unknowningly entered in the same spaghetti bolognese competition to win a chopping block and apron - it turned into a friendly rivarly to win votes, even the boys joined in! 

. on wednesday we were inspired to start a blog together to share all the things we love to do. 
. on friday we became 'mima and moo'....
So we thought this would be fitting as our first blog entry.
When I was about 11 or 12 I learnt to cook spaghetti bolognese and spaghetti and meatballs with store-bought bolognese sauce, probably thanks to home economics class at intermediate.
My Mum was working fulltime and decided that having four teenage kids we had to be useful for something, so she insisted that we all have a turn cooking once a week. I alternated between those two different versions of spaghetti for probably a year. This is my version of Bolognese now that I make for my family, I like to add roasted capsicums and a dollop of ricotta on top.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 large carrot or two small chopped
2 capsicums 
500g prime beef mince
100mls red wine
400g tomato passata
sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp of fresh sage
1 tbsp of fresh parsley
ricotta or parmesan and fresh sage to serve
1. Heat olive oil in saucepan, add carrot and onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
2. Add meat and cook until browned, then pour in wine and cook until it has evaporated. Season with salt, add passata and simmer for 30 mins.
3. Meanwhile, blacken the capsicums under the grill. Place in container until cooled, peel and diced. stir through sauce along with fresh herbs.
4. Serve over on top of spaghetti with a dollop of ricotta or grated parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
We always have some of this bolognese sauce in the freezer ready to go. Sometimes I turn the sauce into cottage pie with a pumpkin top which is really delicious. When I make it, I like to cook it in the morning and then reheat it when we want to eat so the flavors develop.

olive oil
anchovies about 6
1 onion - peeled and chopped
garlic - 2 fat cloves - peeled and chopped
a carrot - peeled and chopped
parsley stalks - chopped
flat mushrooms - 3 large - chopped
bay leaves - 2
minced beef or lamb - 400g (I like lamb)
2 tins of whole peeled tomatoes - pureed
200ml red wine
200ml homemade chicken stock
a teaspoon of nutmeg
a good handful of parsley leaves - washed and chopped
1. Heat oil in cast iron pan, add the anchovies, let them dissolve. Add the onion and garlic, let them cook until the onion is clear. Add the carrot and parsley stalks, stir, then add the mushrooms and stir. Tuck in the bay leaves and leave to cook for ten minutes over a moderate heat, stirring frequently.
2. Turn up the heat and tip the meat in, break it up well with a wooden spoon, cook until the meat is coloured.
3. Mix in tomatoes, red wine, stock, nutmeg and some salt and pepper (not too much salt as the anchovies will do most of this). Let it come to the boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for hour and a half, stirring from time to time.
4. Reheat and check seasoning, serve with wholemeal pasta, parsley and parmesan.