International food night Improvisation 

Well… It was meant to be Vietnamese but with all the carpet preparation that went out the window and trusty Italian saved the night.  

I made homemade pizza bases I topped them with pan fried chicken,  shallots, ham,  red capsicum,  olives,  avocado and lashings of cheese.  Not sure if that’s authentic but it sure smells yummy.   A glass of red should make it taste authentic. One base has tomato pizza paste the other pesto. That’s Italian enough for an exhausted chef isn’t it? 

According to Miss Bee they look “wow!  Pretty!  Hot?  Eat olive? ” According to hubby they look impressive. 

They look rather rustic (aka not round). 

Bon Appetit! French Cooking Night

Ohh laa laa Tonight I cooked up a storm a made a three course French dinner for our International Food Night.

I should have taken photos. Or somehow captured the smell so you could smell it. Although then you would have wanted to taste it.

If I might say so myself I was winning on my own culinary Master Chef battle tonight.

Entrée was the classic French Onion Soup served with sourdough French bread topped with melted cheese. Now they suggested Gruyere but I couldn’t find any of that in Coles. Instead I selected a smoked cheddar. The experts recommend a Swiss or even an Gouda as a suitable substitute but I read that after buying the smoked Cheddar. Let’s just say the subtle smoked flavour in the cheese married extremely well with the caramelised onions in the Soup.


Main meal was Beef Bouruingnon which I served as is no vegetables.  Rich red wine gravy with whole small brown onions, tender gravy beef and mushrooms. Lush. Decadent. Totally delicious on a cold winter night. beef-bourguignon-17686_l

Dessert was Tarte Tatin and the plump slow caramelised apple quarters were mouthwatering with their pastry base. This recipe had always appealed as you put the apple into the flan pan top with the pastry then bake it until golden. The appealing part was you then flip it out to reveal the apples when plating it. I added some fanned strawberries and a good dollop of yoghurt to serve. The yoghurt was perfect as the slight tartness cut through the sweetness.


These are not my recipes or photos but gives you an idea of what it looked like and a recipe if you decided your were inspired to cook French too!

Are you drooling? You should be. The best bit… there are leftovers!!!  Sometimes I even impress myself when I cook. Which is good because there are other nights where it seems more like I dragged my way through creating a meal out of Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard than I channelled a cooking Goddess.



International Food Night #3

Tonight the International Food Night #3 cuisine is Spanish! A yummy chicken dish with green beans and Sangria to drink. This idea of a monthly International Food night is much easier to achieve now I have a “menu” for the year! I kept it simple- Good Enough by choosing easier dishes and a maximum of two things (except maybe 2-3 times). No point having it all bigger than Ben Hurr and then deciding it’s too hard. Better to keep it easier and actually do it.

February: Delving into Twelving


The Albion As I have just started blogging I will do a ‘catch up post’ from January to now. Lots in one post but not much detail.

I had spent the last weekend of January setting up our calendars with all the ‘events’. Got to say I love our shared Google calendars as I can make recurring events, one off events and invite my hubby to whatever I want him to come to.

The very first weekend we jumped onto getting a major task completed. To bushwalk with a toddler you need a backpack child carrier. We had walked in Cradle Mountain with a sling but she’s just too heavy for long walks in the sling now. After much research we bought an Osprey Poco Premium with removable day pack which means we are now equipped to explore at will!

Lunch in Braddon at the hipster Paleo café Elemental. I confess we are heathen as we didn’t know it was paleo or particularly care. I am happy to report that the food was delicious- it was definitely a new experience eating nachos with sweet potato chips instead of corn chips. Our toddler gobbled it all up.

Bushwalk #1 Sunday 7th we Christened Poco with a short Bushwalk to De Salis cemetery which was a nice short walk given it was very hot and we had the new carrier. It worked a treat though it was hot a sweaty with the weather being so warm.

Brunch #1 Saturday 13th  Had some mum friends over for some coffee, pikelets and the all important chat.

BBQ #1 and Fire pit #1– Kept it simple and combined  International dinner #2 with BBQ night with lemon and garlic marinated lamb kebabs, Greek salad after a starter of olives, sourdough bread and homemade Tzatziki. Relaxed with marshmallows by the fire with the kids.(International dinner #1 was our Australia Day BBQ! That was genius as it was Good Enough!)

Local explorations: Poco got another workout as we explored the Multicultural Festival. in Canberra delighting in Weiss beer, Gozleme, paella… yummy. It was much easier to navigate the crowds by (a) going in the morning and (b) taking Poco instead of a pram.

Bike ride #1 Sunday 20th Rode around Lake Tuggeranong with the Weehoo bike trailer attached (now known as the Big Red Car to our Wiggles mad Miss Bee).

Made time to create– Scrapbooking! I did a rather dodgy job but finally finished the 9 pages I had been trying to do for the last year. They may not be what I would like in my dream life.. ie not perfect… but they are OK, they are Good Enough!

We rounded out February with Friday Pizza night #1 with my friend Dani then an outing to Rose Cottage with a gang of us listening to our favourite local Band 5150. Barry and Brian rocked it as usual!  Miss Bee burned up the dance floor until we had to retire her for the night. It was good to stick with our plan to connect with family and friends.


Saturday we hit the Royal Canberra Show. Miss Bee loved the animals and we loved checking out the giant metal art Alien in one of the pavilions (yeah that’s not a photo we took but that’s what it looked like. It was life size and scary!). The Bengal kittens were rather adorable too half asleep in a cat cage.

Sunday we decided to escape Canberra and had a delicious #2 Brunch at The Albion in Braidwood then drove through to Malua Beach just South of Bateman’s Bay so Miss Bee could experience the beach now that she’s well and truly walking (ok more like running). We found this beach using an AWESOME free App called Beachsafe. Uses GPS to find beaches close by and tells you if they will be patrolled.

It’s been a busy month. But I feel like we have really got out and had fun! This next month will be just as fun I’m sure.




Capture.PNGThe years whiz by. They wait for nobody. This year I am fighting against my busy life. I am making a stand to make my life the life I want. The life I want to look back on and be satisfied with. I want to live a wonderful life with my hubby Anthony and kids (three young adults and a toddler).  I am putting together a plan.  I am making sure that when the next new year’s eve rocks around I can look back and celebrate achieving my dreams big and small.  I am starting my year with a new idea that I call Twelvetimes.

This is how it works. I made a list of all the things I love doing, all the things that I value or look forward to and all the things I need to do. All those ‘one day’ things.

Then I decided that if I do things just once a month then by the end of the year I would hopefully have done all the things that bring me happiness and fulfillment at least Twelvetimes this year! 

Then there are the one off goals /seasonal type outings and ongoing projects (they have been added as a prompt to keep my focus on what matters instead of wasting my nights chillaxing by the TV when I would prefer to chillax by the TV with my knitting needles or crochet hook in hand!).

This is my massive goal list:

  • Go to the snow
  • Blue Lakes walk (buy a hiking baby pack)
  • Mt Kosciusko walk
  • go to Berry and look at maybe getting a cuckoo clock
  • monthly dinner with each set of parents
  • monthly bike ride
  • monthly bush walk
  • monthly gardening
  • monthly brunch of the month with mum friends
  • monthly dinner out as a couple
  • monthly Kids park- prefer with picnic lunch or snacks
  • monthly games night
  • monthly International dinner night
  • monthly meet up with friends
  • monthly breakfast or lunch out
  • Fire pit evenings 8
  • BBQs 10
  • craft on Tuesdays
  • beach at least 4 times
  • Taronga
  • live music -like 5150
  • Canberra Show
  • Multicultural festival
  • weekend away 4
  • train to Bungendore
  • Canberra Festival events
  • Botanic gardens
  • National Gallery
  • plan and book another big holiday… Great Barrier Reef? Fiji?
  • Knit 4 garments for Miss Bee
  • Knit my own cardigan
  • Scrapbooking
  • crochet rug

It looks kind of overwhelming but once I sat back and scheduled them into our calendars I started to get really excited about my year. There is a brisk pace but there is room to relax too. Part of my goal is to keep things achievable. It might mean that things are done in simplistic ways. Pared down to “tick the box” at times when life is break neck speed. After all, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with doing things simply. I tend to be the type who wants to overachieve and do things to an extreme. Enough is often not good enough. But this year it will be a change of pace. I will let ‘good enough’ be determined by the time available. Time is in short supply with a toddler. Plus, if I miss something one month well eleven times in a year is ‘good enough’ right?

I’m going to start this blog by doing a ‘rewind’ post to January. Which is good enough as I have been busy.