Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top 10 lo-cal fish meals

When you're on a budget and trying to cover all the food groups, I'm always looking for a nutritious bargain. Whenever I buy protein of any type, I try to keep the cost to $10 per kilo or less for meat and chicken (not sure of comparable pricing overseas) and sometimes you can buy white fish fillets for $10 per kilo or less. Tinned tuna or salmon is also a good standby for a low fat mornay or fish pie. Besides the health benefits of eating fish, it can be really quite tasty and very low in calories. Here's a few I am going to be cooking up over the next few weeks.

1. Parmesan crumbed baked fish

2. Chermoula fish kebabs & couscous

3. Coconut crusted baked fish

4. Fish with citrus caper sauce

5.  Samak Tarator (Lebanese poached fish with pine nut sauce)

6. Mexican salsa ceviche

7.  Coconut Thai fish packets

 8. Low fat Thai fish cakes

9.  Low fat fish chowder

10.  Low fat fish & chips


Monday, January 30, 2012

Listography: Top 5 websites

I think Kate from Kate Takes 5 might be getting a little serious with her choice for Listography subjects. Serious or she's taking on a role as web designer or social media mogul. The week before last it was blogging tips. Come on Kate. What happened to the good old topics like games I used to play or my top 5 guilty pleasures. Just kidding Kate. I love linking up each week, time permitting. Gives me 5 minutes to think about 5 things I like.

1.  Hotmail.com

This is what I open first every day. It has every email account I own and it keeps me in touch with everyone and everything that's going on in my life, like my blog, who's commented, sponsorship deals (just kidding) and emails from friends.

2.  Google Reader

This is the second web site I go to. My favourite past time is reading other people's blogs, that is food and craft blogs and I love to see what everyone's been up to. I've also made a lot of friends in blog world and I love having that insight into their daily lives. I should also say I spend too much time reading other people's blogs.

3.  Facebook

Even though I don't really like Facebook, I find it's a necessary evil. I have a fan page set up for my blog and I like to check every morning if anyone's commented or liked something I've linked up on Facebook. I do like keeping in touch with friends who I don't see on a regular basis. But I really don't have any time for Facebook at all.

4.  zenhabits.net by Leo Babauta

I love all the blogs I have in my reader but if I see a post by Leo Babauta from zen habits first thing in the morning, I feel like I have some inspirational words to get me through the day. He always seems to say the right thing on a day when I need it, for example reducing clutter or keeping motivated.

5.  www.foodsubs.com- Cook's Thesaurus

Okay, so I might not visit this web site every morning or every day for that matter but it's one of my favourites. It's how I can cook what I cook. Not having every ingredient I need for a recipe never stops me from cooking it because of this site. There is practically a substitution for every ingredient for every recipe. I love it and it's one of my most used web sites.

So there you are Kate. Hope you don't take my earlier comment serious. Who knows? You might be asking for our top 5 underwear patterns or top 5 cheeses or something, although you know I'd love to tell you what my top 5 cheeses are! Head over to Kate's blog to see what everyone else is saying.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pinspiration: Let's have a picnic

Source: fitacola.com via Anne on Pinterest

We had a picnic morning tea last weekend at the park with the kids and it made me realise how we don't 'picnic' like we used to. Vintage picnic baskets filled with plates and cultery, kept snuggly inside the basket with leather straps. Glasses, cups and thermoses filled with wine, champagne, cordial or a hot cup of tea. Nothing like eating in the great outdoors with a large array of food on offer. We always take a thermos of coffee, sandwiches and cakes of some description when we go out on a day trip but not to purposely go out into nature and have an old fashioned picnic like we used to as kids.  There were places called "picnic grounds" specifically designed for that. Big shady trees, picnic tables, barbecues, playground equipment, a creek to swim in or just to relax and interact as a family. Here's some 'Pinspiration'.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Out and about: Kalinga Park

We visited my Mother last weekend and promised the kids a trip to one of her local parks, Kalinga Park. Mum is on the northside of town, where I grew up.

I can remember walking to Kalinga Park to play inter-school softball when I was at high school. The boy's sports always got top priority on the school's sporting grounds so us girls had to walk to Kalinga Park. No big deal I guess.

I also can't remember such fantastic playground equipment. This is all relatively new.

There's a great range of equipment for kids of all ages and abilities. In fact, I think there were more toddlers there on this particular day.

My kids were there 5 minutes and got a game of 'tiggy' started up. It was so muggy and the poor little guys were wringing wet with perspiration.

There are swings, slides and poles to slide down. (Check out my boy wearing his brand new school shoes to break them in before he started school. He thought he was such a big boy with his school shoes on. I had to pry them off him to get him in the bath. He would've worn them to bed if I let him!)

Funky designed picnic tables and chairs and free electric barbecues for a hot meal.

There's some hills to roll down. Toilets are close by as well.

There is a walking/bike track that goes from Kedron basically through to Nudgee Beach which runs through Kalinga Park. Kedron Brook runs beside the park and is always a good hunting ground for the kids and maybe even getting their feet wet (as long as it's not flooding which seems to be all the time here in Brisbane).

We'll be taking more food and more cold drinks next time. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it. A lovely park set in a natural bush setting.


Friday, January 27, 2012

{Real} Cherry Ripe Cake

Last weekend I took the kids to the park for a play and we took a cake. A real cherry cake. Not made from cherries in a jar or a tin but real ones. I often have a jar of Morello cherries in the fridge for all sorts of things but I probably would never think about using fresh ones. (I've normally got them eaten before they ever get a chance to go in a cake.)

When I have a need to bake, I spend absolute ages looking for recipes. I've got heaps of cookbooks and so many recipes to look at on the internet, I'm spoilt for choice. I nealy always go back to my good old favourite, the No Fuss Fudge Cake. I reckon if I added meat or fish, I could make it into a savoury version. It's just so versatile.

This cake could've quite easily been a bit like a Black Forest cake but with the addition of coconut it soon became very much like one of Australia's favourite candy bars, the Cherry Ripe. Cherries and coconut smothered in rich dark chocolate. I was going to smother the cake with dark chocolate ganache but it was a hot, muggy day and there would've been chocolate from here to Timbuktoo over the kids so the icing was good enough this time.

{Real} Cherry Ripe Cake

1 and half cups plain flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup pitted cherries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
6 tablespoons oil (I use canola)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
half teaspoon salt
  1. Turn oven to 180 C (375 F). Grease a 20cm tin well. Dust inside the tin with a little flour. Tap out excess.
  2. Put the flour, sugar, cocoa and water in a bowl. Add cherries and coconut.
  3. Add vanilla, vinegar, oil, baking soda and salt. Mix with beaters until smooth. (Mixture is runny.)
  4. Pour into the tin. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then take out of tin. Ice with your chocolate icing.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thriving on Thursdays - Linky Party # 4

Party time, excellent! I'm looking so forward to this week's party. I'm wondering if it can get any better than last week. What an amazing array of posts by so many talented people. I think I've got about 82 different recipes, crafts and projects to try. These were some of my favourites.

This old fashioned Oatmeal Cake by Cooking with K had me drooling. I love nothing better than an old fashioned recipe and this one by K's granny will become one of my favourites I think. Thanks K!

This vintage 'Hospitality Snack Set' just happened to be picked up by Erica at The Polka Dot Umbrella. I'm always on the look out for lovely tea sets and depression glass pieces. When I do find something I really like, it's usually over my budget so I leave it but how could you go past this set for $3! I'm so envious Erica. A great find. Thanks so much for sharing.

I've been seeing a lot of beautiful crafts and gift wrapping ideas using coloured twine since Christmas time and earlier. Vanessa from Nifty Thrifty Things has done it again with another 'nifty thrifty' idea and is sharing with us how to make it yourself with regular twine and embroidery thread. How about twine in whatever colour you want? Yes please!

You think you've seen it all and along comes someone with such creativity. I just love this Family Tree Word Art tutorial by Gardeners to Bergers. What a fabulous gift to give your grandparents on a significant anniversary. And the cost? A bit of time, a piece of paper and some printer ink. Priceless! Thanks Becca!

And in an age where we all too quickly throw away ripped or torn clothes or linen, Donna from Mom's Frugal gives as a run down on the lost art of patching. Donna has 6 children so I'm sure there'd be lots of hand me downs and what a better way to save your money than to repair and reuse. We all wore hand-me-downs when we were kids growing up. I think it looks kind of cute on worn knees of jeans and elbows of woollen jumpers. Thanks Donna for joining in.

Feel free to grab a 'featured' button from my menu above. I can't wait to read about what you've been up to this week. From what I've been seeing come through on my subscribed blog feed, I think we're all in for a treat.  Thanks everyone for joining in.

PS For anyone new to linking up, here's a few pointers.
URL:  The direct link to your blog post (not the home page).
Name:  The name of the post, not the blog, eg Gooey Chocolate Brownies etc.
Email:   Your email address. (I don't use this for anything but letting you know of the next party or commenting on your ideas.)

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