Monday, November 8, 2010

News from the Square Foot Garden

The girls and I went for a walk to our plots today at the Community Garden and for the first time we found someone there who was visiting at the same time as us. We usually go out of hours just because it suits us better but we often wonder who owns all the other plots. Today a lovely older gentlemen riding his bike followed us in and Chloe started asking him questions straight away (of course!) and asked him which plot was his. He showed her both of his plots and exlained all the different things he had growing. By the time Chloe came back to me she was holding her hat and it was full of broad beans and dill. What a lovely fellow! So for dinner tonight we had broadbeans with our Apricot Chicken curry. Chloe had fun podding them with Ben. We also picked some Spinach for dinner tomorrow night and heaps of Rhubarb as it was starting to take over the garden bed. I offered some to our new friend but he refused. I think he just liked the idea of little kids eating the food he had grown.


Podding the Broad Beans
A little bowl of goodness

I haven't decided what to do with the Rhubarb yet. I might make some Jam and then cook up the rest and freeze it.

Other than the rhubarb and Spinach though, some of my vegies are definitly not thriving. My tomato plants are doing ok but my celery is going yellow and my peas have died. My Rocket has gone to flower but they were a dodgy looking plant from the beginning, I got them for $1 reduced to clear. My lettuce is finally growing but my Beetroot hasn't grown at all. Im about to do a google search to see what is going wrong. I wonder if I have over fertilised or if they just aren't getting enough water....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chloes New Party Dress

Chloe has out grown her favourite red party dress. I am going to miss it because it is just gorgeous. The best part about having another girl though is that it will get worn again in a couple of years. I bought some fabric from Crafty Mammas recently and decided it would make the perfect party dress. I just needed to find a pattern. I came across this tutorial over at From an Igloo and decided it would be perfect. A little bit special with a big skirt for lots of twirl.

I was also up for a bit of a challenge with this project and liked that the tutorial included shirring, which I had never done before. It also had a button hole in the back, which is never easy..

She NEVER stands still

Check out the Shirring :) it was really easy

Overall it turned out really well, in fact better than I expected. It was a good use of some special fabric and I like that the dress should fit for at least a couple of years. It has a big hem on it and the shirring makes it a bit stretchy so there is room to grow. It has long straps too so it can grow with her.

Robot dancing

The hard part is convincing her to take the 'special' dress off. She was so excited when she first saw it she went and gave it a hug and a kiss!

Monday, November 1, 2010

10 Minute Butter Chicken

Copied from the Simple Savings Website

I make it up in a large jar now, to save time. This Christmas I am going to make up gift boxes with a babyfood sized jar of the spices, a pottle of tomato paste and a carton of longlife cream.

25g butter

1 onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed (or 3 tsp of crushed garlic)

1/2 tsp each of; ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, turmeric

1/4 tsp garam masala

Pinch - 1/2 tsp of chilli, depending on taste (1/2 tsp is hot)

400g cubed chicken meat

100g tomato paste (approx 2/3 of a yoghurt pot)

3/4 cup of cream

Mix the spices together and add chicken meat and set aside. Melt butter and saute onion and garlic for 2 mins. Add chicken and saute for about 5 mins. Add tomato paste and cream and simmer gently for 5 mins.
This recipe is very flexible - you can use more cream or less cream and top up with water. You can cut down on the tomato paste or boost it to your taste. I keep a longlife cream 250ml and use this plus 1/2 cup of water because we like a lot of sauce.

You can use evap milk mixed with a couple of tsp of cornflour in place of cream, but it has to be absolutely last minute or it will 'curdle' and to extend it is to use less meat and cube pumpkin or potato very small, plus frozen peas and simmer until they are soft.'

Kill Anything Chicken Soup

8-9 chicken lovely legs, skinless

8-10 chopped cloves of garlic

1 chopped onion

2-3 small red chillies (Remove the seeds if you don't like it too hot as they're the hottest part, or just use one chilli. But you must use small chillis because they loosen mucus.)

2 teaspoons grated ginger


2 litres Continental chicken stock

2 finely chopped carrots

1-2 handfuls corn

1 cup macaroni pasta

2-3 handfuls baby spinich

Heat the oil in a stock pot and brown the chicken, garlic, onion, chilli and ginger.

Add the chicken stock, carrots and corn.

Bring to the boil, and if needed add water. Simmer for 15-30 minutes. Take out the chicken, pull the meat off the bone, break meat into small pieces and put back in the pot. Add macaroni and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Add baby spinach, taste, add salt and pepper if needed, then serve.

From the Simple Savings website