30 Nov 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Porcupines



Winter time is when I crave this sort of comfort food dish. But when your son comes home for dinner and requests that you make it because it "just doesn't taste the same when I attempt it mum", you just have to brave the heat in the in kitchen and make his wish a reality.
That is just a part of motherhood when one of your chicks leaves the nest. Making their favourite dishes when they come home for a feed.


Making porcupines is easy. Served with a big dollop of creamy mash, it will satisfy that comfort, carb craving at the drop of a hat.

INGREDIENTS

* 600g Minced beef
* 1 large diced onion
* 1/2 cup of rice (uncooked)
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1 egg
* Large can of tomato soup
* 1 cup of water

Preheat oven at 180 degrees and grease lightly a deep oven proof dish.

In a large bowl. Mix together the mince, onion, rice, flour and egg.

Roll the mixture into balls, and place into a deep oven proof dish.


Mix the soup and water in a large jug and microwave for three minutes or until just heated through.


Pour the sauce over the meatballs, cover and pop into the oven.

Bake for 3/4 of an hour, or until cooked through.


My boys devour this dish, and its not often we have any leftovers, but on the odd occasion that a meatball or two does survive until the next day, they make a really good tasting toastie with a dash of hot sauce.

Enjoy and have a wonderful week.

beck xx




27 Nov 2015

A FINAL HOORAH TO JUNIOR HIGH


We have barely recovered from last weeks grade twelve graduation and all its emotional ties , when BOOM,  it's time for our youngest to attend his grade ten semi formal and bid farewell to another year of schooling. That's it for us, our final hoorah to junior high. We are on the home stretch now, only two years to go and we are done.

My youngest boy is all grown up.

From a mischievous toddler...



Into a mature young man with the world at his feet.


He is our 'little old man'. Fifteen going on fifty. Serious most times, but a whole lot of giggles and fun at others. He puts his whole heart and soul into everything that he does.

He makes us so very proud.

Ben, you were the final piece to our family puzzle. A tiny bundle that bought with him so much joy. Though the years have passed by so much quicker than I would have liked, I look forward to watching you continue to grow and strive to achieve all your dreams. The world is your oyster, grab all that you can with both hands and never let go.

Linking up for FYBF with -  With Some Grace

beck xx







25 Nov 2015

WHITE RIBBON DAY


Today is white ribbon day.
An international day to raise awareness and prevention in the violence against women.


As I write this I am wiping tears from my eyes, my heart is beating fast, and although calming, my sadness and rage is still quite raw.

I just now finished reading A Mothers Story by Rosie Batty.

I can't even begin to imagine what Rosie, and women just like her go through on a daily basis. The constant fear of what's next, never knowing if they or their children are about to take their last breathe. It sickens me to the core.

I am one of the lucky ones. Growing up in a violent free environment, now married to a wonderful kind and gentle man. Never have I lived in fear. As I said, I am one of the lucky ones.

When I became the mother to four sons, I made it my life's mission to teach my sons right from wrong. To respect all women, to be kind and gentle, to never raise a hand with the intent to strike. To choose their words carefully before they speak and to remember that emotional abuse is just as bad, if not more damaging in some cases then physical violence.
If I have done my job well, and my sons take these values with them into their future, then I know in my heart I have raised them well.

Life Line   131144

Australia - NATIONAL 
1800 RESPECT (1800737732)

www.1800respect.org.au

NEVER ALONE Luke Batty Foundation

Www.neveralone.com.au

Helping women and children affected by the trauma of family violence.


Today, on white ribbon day, I wish to send an angel out to those who are in need.

RIP Luke Batty

24 Nov 2015

I WAS THERE...


Last week was a huge week. I put blogging on hold while I tackled it one day at a time, both physically and emotionally. I know it sounds all melodramatic, and some may even think me pathetic, but do you ever really stop and think where your life has gone ? How the ticking of a clock is counting down your life in moments ? Like you were there, but now your here and your unsure exactly how this came to be.

I had a few moments like that last week, moments that hit hard. You never realise as a young child just how fast life will pass you by. It only seems like yesterday I was there, that small child at the beginning of life with a path to discover laid out before me, and now I am here, feeling as though I have been rushed through life in the blink of an eye. Just yesterday, or so it seems, I was there, holding my first tiny bundle of joy in my arms, and now I am here, a mother to three graduates and another who in the new year will commence his final two years at school.

How did I get here ?

It hit home really hard on Friday as watched my third son make his way through the farewell arch at the Valedictorian Parade, the final hooray to the class of 2015.



I cried.
Tears of happiness that my cheeky monkey had graduated after years of hard work, and tears of sadness for time passed too quick. It is hard to fathom where the years actually go.

You stood proud my boy, tall and strong. A young man at the beginning of his life, with a path ahead of you just waiting to be discovered. It was both a proud moment for me, and a bittersweet one as I watched you take this moment all in your stride. It is a moment that I will cherish, just like all those other memories that I have tucked away.


I was there... to hold and comfort you for your very first cry.
I was there... for your first smile and your first steps.
I was there... when you first started school.
I was there... when you left.

And no matter what, I will always be there for you whenever you need me.

 I am ever so proud of you Isaac, you have the ability to be whoever and whatever your heart desires. You are strong, dependable and your path to the future looks so bright.






I am so glad that I was there to share this moment with you.

Mum xx

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

beck xx



16 Nov 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Salad Sides


Its getting hot around these parts, and cooking a hot  meal every night is not high on my agenda. So whether the family likes it or not, salad season has hit and I am enjoying every minute of it.

I love a good old "normal" salad. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber etc. But the boys tend to find that boring and not so "filling" so even though on busy days they are served this during Summer, I need to make the effort to entice them to eat more salads.

Over the weekend, I trotted out a delicious Coleslaw and Salsa. They were a hit, and will be on high rotation  over the Summer break this year....

COLESLAW


Cabbage, carrot, onion, celery and beetroot. Finally slice/shred all the raw vegetables and place into a large bowl.

SOUR CREAM DRESSING

* 1/2 cup of sour cream
* 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine all the ingredients of the dressing in a bowl, and using a whisk, combine well.

Pour over coleslaw and toss lightly to combine.


SUMMER SALSA


Dice cucumber, tomato and avocado and place into a large bowl. Add corn kernels and a tin of chick peas. Stir well to combine.


Two easy peasy salads that are so quick and simple to whip up even at a moments notice.
I served them with marinated chicken wings, slow cooked pulled pork and tortillas.



I hope every on had a wonderful weekend.

Enjoy

beck xx


13 Nov 2015

ITS ALMOST TIME...


It's the most wonderful time of the year....



When I was a child, the appearance of Christmas decorations in store and the playing of carols would ignite my childhood excitement.
There is nothing quite like the sparkle from a child that believes in Santa Clause and the magic of Christmas. Infectious happiness that invokes huge belly laughs and smiles that stretch from ear to ear.


Thinking back to when I was small, my mum was the Christmas queen, putting lunch on for all the family, and when I say all the family, I mean thirty plus bodies crammed into our Western Sydney home with no air conditioning and the full hot traditional lunch to boot. It was the norm and I thought nothing of it.
Fast forward some ahem thirty something years, and it's now my turn to woo the family with the Christmas feast. I am that child who would watch Christmas unfold before my eyes like magic, not realising how much work my mum really put in. That little girl is now someone who freaks out at the sight of decorations appearing in stores, turns into a raving lunatic when carols begin to play, and a woman who for the most part of the year runs a tight ship falls apart when she realises that Christmas is almost here and she hasn't bought or planned a darn thing !
Every year once it's is all done and dusted I give myself a swift talking too, that next year I will be organised, that next year I will start early, yet every year I let myself down time and time again.

However even though it seems as though I am running out of time fast, and it seems as though nothing will come together in time. I always manage to figure it all out. I would never disappoint my boys for the world, and Christmas is a tradition that we as a family adore. It is a time of togetherness, and cheer. A time to be thankful for the year that has past, and what is still before us. It is a time to reflect and just be as a family. It is my most favourite time of the year, and even though it keeps me ever so busy and leaves me exhausted, I wouldn't change a single thing, because deep down inside, I am still that little girl that believes in the magic of Christmas.



Linking up for FYBF with the gorgeous Grace of With Some Grace
Linking up for WEEKEND REWIND with the beautiful Sonia of  Life Love And Hiccups

beck xx



12 Nov 2015

3 THINGS #3


We have been busy around here this past week. With a graduation coming up, exams and a new school based trainee-ship beginning, we have all been in quite a spin. Add to that hubby working away and my yearly gig volunteering with the Salvation Army and their Christmas drive for those who are in need of a little help at this time of year, its rare for us to put our feet up and relax. Dinners have been rushed and basic, the house is in need of a little TLC and the washing is being done during the night time rush. But when we do get the chance to sit and relax for five minutes, I like to be surrounded by my favourite things. Flowers, candles, books and an ice cold beverage. The teens lock themselves in their bedrooms watching movies in a darkened room, reading books or playing the dreaded games machines, all the while with the cats sitting patiently on the bed watching their antics with much interest snoring their heads off in boredom. So nothing new there.

This week I have noticed that.....

My Gardenia has bloomed for the very first time. The flowers are gorgeous and the perfume is exceptional. Its the first time I have had success growing a Gardenia and I couldn't be happier. Every chance I get I stop to smell and admire the flowers.


We have been suit shopping for my sons graduation. Watching him trying on the different styles was enough to bring tears to my eyes. Its funny, when my older two boys graduated I was teary and emotional, but as we are preparing to watch our third son graduate and our baby begin his final two years of high school, it has occurred to me that this is finally it. We are on the last legs of parenting children and I am so not sure how I am feeling about this. Looking at my sons, I am constantly wondering where time went, how did we get here so quickly ? and what am I going to do with myself when all my chicks have flown their nest ?
I am not ready.....


I did manage to find the time to whip up my Nan's Condensed Milk Cake this week for school and work lunches. I hadn't made it in a long time and it took me back to my childhood when Nan use to make it for afternoon tea. You can see the recipe HERE


So in a nut shell, I have been flat out and not very blog worthy this week. My goal for this week is to be more organised. I know, even I am laughing out loud with this statement. Its just this time of year isn't it. Busy busy busy.

beck xx

9 Nov 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Condensed Milk Cake


You will want to grab a cuppa and sit down with a slice of this beauty once it's baked. A simple five ingredient cake that my Nan use to always bake back in the day. There is nothing like a Nan recipe is there. This one I'm willing to share, it was going to be her carrot cake, but I've decided to keep that recipe to myself for a little while longer.

CONDENSED MILK CAKE



INGREDIENTS

* 1 tin of sweetened condensed milk
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup of plain flour
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 50 grams melted butter



Preheat oven at 175 degrees.
Grease and flour a small spring form tin.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and beat until the mixture is smooth and silky.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until set and golden.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.



Enjoy

beck xx

6 Nov 2015

ROAD TRIP TO MELBOURNE - Part Four


There are just no words that could give the views of the Great Ocean Road justice. One of the worlds most scenic coastal drives does not disappoint. The 12 Apostles, water falls and iconic surf breaks, simply stunning is just not enough of a wow.

So I'm just going to let the photos talk for themselves....


















The views take your breathe away time and time again. This is a trip I will never forget. Take me back to the gorgeous views, the fresh salty air and a quietness I have never before experienced.

Linking up for FYBF with the lovely Grace

beck xx

3 Nov 2015

AWARDS NIGHT 2015


We had a  'proud parent' moment last night. Another moment to add to our collection of memories to cherish. Our boys have certainly gone above and beyond the dreams we ever had for them. It makes me feel a little smug when I think back to when some people told us we were too young to be married, too young to have a family.
Just too darn young.
Well guess what, we accomplished what we set out to do, young or not. To raise our boys to be kind, considerate well educated, selfless young men.

Our boys make us proud each and every day.


Last night it was our youngest sons turn to shine, at the 30th Annual Awards Night, and shine he did. His year of hard work and determination in Grade ten paid off when he was rewarded an excellence certificate and medallion for achieving high results across all subjects. He beamed with happiness at his achievements, I for one couldn't have been more proud.


This tiny little being that joined our family and bought with him so much joy, has grown into a fantastic, high achieving, accomplished young man that I know will go far in this world.



Congratulations my sweet boy, we are so very proud of you.

beck xx

Sharing my proud mum moment over at Essentially Jess  for #IBOT

CHICKEN PARM MEATBALL SKILLET

Its that time of year again where you look for and crave comfort food. Not only does the consuming of such foods warm the body and the soul...