Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another school year begins

Tomorrow it starts....the beginning of a brand new school year. The last one that this century will be less than a decade old. Three children at school, one beginning university.

I aim to be more organised this year with school lunches. I have cake and slices in the freezer, fresh fruit waiting to be packed, and home made plastic lined fabric wraps to put the food in. Trying to avoid plastic as much as possible, but I'm not ready to make the break just yet. Inspired by Julie at Towards Sustainability I have made little drawstring bags and those lovely plastic lined sandwich wraps which J (year 5) calls 'nappies'. Ahem...can I ever look at them the same way again?!
Hopefully there will be some photos of these baggies to show you when a) I get organised enough to take some, and b) I find out which of the styles I have made actually turn out to be practically useful in every day real life situations.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Boxing Day with friends

This is a temporary post, I'll leave it up for a few weeks. These are very low resolution (not good for enlarging), let me know if you want the higher resolution versions.

JW and the youngest B at Bateau Bay

A and BB at Bateau Bay

Bateau Bay panorama

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Early morning at the beach

What a beautiful time of day the early morning is! We went to the beach before breakfast on a day that turned out to be in the mid 30's, C. Just gorgeous. Almost I am persuaded that all that gritty awful feeling sand and salt is worth it, after all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Summer Holidays

7 Layer Dip - The Taste of Summer!

This recipe is very simple, very healthy, and I find that most people love it and many ask for the recipe after trying it. Variations of it abound: you can mash the beans or leave them whole, use whatever ingredients you have on hand as long as you stick with the salsa / sour cream / cheese mix. Big thanks to my dear friend BB for introducing me to this dish some years ago.

1 large tin of red kidney beans, drained - spread in base of pie dish

1 jar mild salsa (or hot if you prefer) - mix about 3/4 of the jar with the beans

Sour cream - spread a few generous dollops evenly over the salsa/beans

optional: 1 avocado - mash, spread over beans and salsa

Diced veggies of your choice - this bit takes the longest.

I used capsicum (red and green), tomato, lebanese cucumber, grated carrot. Use whatever veggies your family likes.

Top the lot with grated tasty cheese, serve with corn chips.

At the beach near dusk.

My breakfast on New Year's Day: lentil sprouts with fresh mango and fruit and nut gorp. Absolutely delicious.

Spiced nuts:

2 cups mixed raw nuts
3/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup dried fruit
1/2 - 1 cup unsweetened carob pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon cold pressed olive oil
1 teaspoon good salt (vegetable salt works well)

Toss the oil through the nuts until they are well coated. Toss again to coat with the garam masala and the salt. Bake in a moderate oven until the nuts are lightly golden, allow to cool. Mix in the dried fruit and carob pieces. Dare yourself to eat just one handful :)

A panoramic shot of the beach, a lovely sheltered cove.

Ess made this wonderful meal from her Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food cookbook (highly recommended), with couscous, chickpeas, and sheep milk yogurt.
Do give Jamie's site a visit - he is doing a marvellous work and is even giving confidence to people like me who are generally completely tone deaf in a kitchen sense.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today is enough

I made this as a signature line for a forum I visit regularly, to help me remember these important concepts. Life is about now! It's about what I choose to do right now. Remembering yesterday and planning for tomorrow are still both important, in their place; but both of those are built on today. I will not forget that today is all I have. Thanks to Jewells from Eyes of Wonder (see list of inspirational sites in my side bar) for sharing these wonderful words of wisdom.

Exercise builds muscle;
More muscle burns more fat;
Less fat makes it easier to exercise;
Exercise builds muscle;
More muscle burns more fat;
Less fat makes it easier to exercise;
Exercise builds muscle...

I read this at SparkPeople recently. I know it's true, so why aren't I doing it? The new year is 10 days old, and I don't believe in new year's resolutions any way. I do believe in the continuity of the journey, however: that the thread of my life from birth to death has many wiggles, some spiky up and down bits, and some parts that do very little. I am weaving this thread of my life each day, each moment, and it is part of the tapestry of everything. So, about exercise. I shall keep striving, keep encouraging myself to do it, to love to do it. I will not give up, but I won't beat myself up either.