Random Thoughts on Thursday

~ from now until the end of the summer, I am going to be eating asparagus like there’s no tomorrow. Yes, I’m aware that the…side effects put some people off, but not me; I live for this time of year.

~ why, when you have just pulled a dish out of the oven, is it impossible to wait before taking that first mouthful? You know it’s gonna be hot, and you know you’re gonna burn the roof of your mouth…but you’re still gonna go there. Sigh.

~ does a honeybee think twice before stinging someone? The whole losing-your-stomach-with-your-stinger thing has got to be a bit of a downer, y’know? “Ahahaha – Imma gonna sting you….oh, cr*p.”

~ I’ve started my Christmas shopping. Yup. Mainly because my parents are off to Melbourne to visit my sister and her family in a couple of weeks, and I’m going to get them to take gifts across. And…because I love Christmas and giving gifts…and…Christmas.

~ Tall has had a couple of nights away recently (boo). I’ve been extra-lazy when Pickle wakes, and instead of feeding him in his room, I’ve let him join me in the bed. Two main reasons why this has proved to be a bad move: on Tuesday morning he woke me by kicking me in the face in his sleep, and later, when I asked where his bed was…he pointed to my bed. Oh dear.

~ barefeet + sandpit = bliss. When you’ve checked it for cat poo, obviously. Because….yeah.

Have you entered my GIVEAWAY for a gorgeous Rudi by Em cushion cover??

There are still a few days of voting left for the Munch Awards…if you fancy voting for Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle as the Best Kids Food Blog, that’d be dandy…but there are some other very awesome blogs nominated too, so vote for one of them instead if you’d prefer!


Meal Planning

I’m quite proud of my meal plan for this week. Instead of trolling through my recipe books, picking whatever I felt like for the week’s meals, I planned our meals based around the half jars of this and half packets of that which were lurking in our fridge.

Meal PlanThe 200ml of coconut milk, and handful of limp-looking mushrooms? Pan-fried monkfish with a curried coconut sauce, served on rice with stir-fried vegetables.

The two little cabbages from my dad’s garden? They were destined to be made into coleslaw for hamburgers, but unfortunately they’d gone to seed and weren’t able to be used. Not to worry – we had a bag of metro lettuce and some blue cheese, so our burgers went a little “gourmet”.

The few strips of streaky bacon, leftover from the Otago Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago? They’ll be going in to our perennial favourite, macaroni cheese.

The spring onion, three-quarters of a chilli, half pottle of sour cream and half tub of greek yoghurt will be toppings for mince-and-beans nachoes, while the eggplant I bought on special last week will become my favourite vegetarian dish: Melanzane alla Parmigiana. Ahem. I am horrified that I misspelled melanzane on my whiteboard…but not enough to want to change it.

All the vegetables not stir-fried for the monkfish meal will be added to a Thai chicken curry…green, red or Massuman, I haven’t decided yet.

I did forget about half a pottle of ricotta cheese, but fear not! It won’t be wasted! My husband is off to the Bledisloe Cup rugby game on Saturday night, so I might make myself a little salad with some baked ricotta served alongside. Yum.

What’s on the menu in your house this week?

**If you want to vote for Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle for the 2013 Munch “Best Kids Food Blog” award, voting is open until 29 October.**

Munch Award~~~~~~~~~
Fun with Food

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A Child’s Palate

Friends and family often comment on what good eaters our boys – especially Tiny – are. Not in terms of how much they eat, rather, what they eat.

I put it down to the variety of foods we offer them on a daily basis; the variety we’ve offered right from starting solids. We opted for feeding our boys by baby-led weaning, meaning they’ve always eaten what we eat, or at least tasted what we eat.

Pesto BagelNeither are keen on tomatoes or capsicum, but enjoy raw mushrooms and grapefruit. Both love paté and pesto, and Tiny is rather partial to salmon (smoked or fresh) and blue cheese. He must be the only three-year-old who doesn’t like tomato ketchup, and he’s only just started to eat pizza. Seriously, what kid doesn’t like sauce and pizza??!

Toddler eats CherriesMy in-laws were here over the weekend, and they were amused at his food choices. We went to a café for lunch one day, and on the way, he piped up, “I hope this café has sushi!”. Once inside, he chose brioche french toast over fish and chips; the in-laws were impressed, but Tall and I were unfazed, because this is a common occurrence.

IMG_2137So far, Pickle is proving to be as adventurous as Tiny – perhaps more so. He loves crunching on cucumber and celery, and will happily try anything he is offered. He might not like everything, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the trying it that’s important.

Cherries & AvocadoHe didn’t like peas the first time he tried them, but over the weekend, downed a bowl of them. Same with broccoli and raisins; we live by the “rule of 10”, offering things at least 10 times before ruling them out.

They do both enjoy “normal” kid foods too, especially of the “treat” variety. When Pickle was sick last month, he stopped eating all together…except for potato chips. We have an unwritten rule in this house: if we’re prepared to eat it in front of them, we have to be prepared to share.

A few weeks ago, I conducted a small experiment. I heated a can of tomato soup (sideline: I’m considering writing to Campbell’s to tell them their recipe for beef and tomato shepherd’s pie should be called cottage pie, seeing it’s made with beef, not lamb…) and took it to the table, asking Tiny if he’d like to have some red soup. He would. He came to the table and ate every last drop of that soup. “I don’t like tomato soup,” he told me. “What about red soup?” I asked nonchalantly, trying to keep a straight face. “Oh yes!” he exclaimed. “I do like red soup!”

**If you want to vote for Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle for the 2013 Munch “Best Kids Food Blog” award, voting is open until 29 October.**

Munch Award~~~~~~~~~
Fun with Food

Please copy and paste the button below and include it in your foodie post!
By clicking on the link below, you’ll be taken to an external page, where you can enter your link and see who else is linking up. Please take the time to visit them, too!

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Random Thoughts on Thursday

~ since almost losing my engagement ring last year while pregnant with Pickle, I have been wearing it inside my wedding band. I could probably swap them around again, but when I try, it just doesn’t look right anymore. It’s also still loose, and I’m still scared of losing it again.

~ The Sisterhood are having another Ninja Bake! It’s in October, and registrations are now being taken for stealth bakers. Last year’s stealth mission was SO MUCH FUN, and I can’t wait to do it again – why not join me in spreading some deliciously baked love??!

~ for a few weeks, I carried a thank you card around in my nappy bag, intending to drop it off to a friend one afternoon while Pickle slept in the car. It migrated out of my bag, and onto the bench, then onto the mantlepiece because said-friend was coming to visit. Two weeks later…it’s still sitting on the mantlepiece and I’m now wondering if we’ve gone past the point of no return?? It’s for Pickle’s birthday…which was two-and-a-half months ago….

~ when I was little, I once commented (after reading the racing results in the local paper, for some reason) at the breakfast table, “Gee, Quinella and Trifecta win a lot of races, don’t they?” I think I’ll be keeping that one from my racehorse trainer father-in-law!

~ Pickle is finally unswaddled, hurrah!! I tried three or four times unsuccessfully, but a couple of weeks ago, when I tried, he was obviously ready. He’s still a rubbish sleeper, and currently spends the night in bed with us, but we both sleep better when he’s snuggled in beside me. He does, however, hate the sleeping bag, so I’m glad we’re coming into warmer weather.

~ I love spring. My hayfever does not.

~ eating dinner on Tuesday night, Tiny suddenly asked, “Mum, what animal does pineapple come out of?” Tall and I almost choked; out of the mouths of babes, huh?!

~ I’ve been nominated for the Munch Awards Best Kids Food Blog; voting commences 4 October so keep an eye out for the link and vote for me, if you wanna.

Munch Award

Sharing the Love

I’ve seen other people get nominated for assorted blog “awards”, and now I’m very excited to have received my own! Blogging isn’t about any sort of recognition for me – this is my little space online – but it is nice to know that someone appreciates me being here.

That someone happens to be my friend Jo, who writes about her adventures into the big wide world at Over the Edge of the Wild, and she’s nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.

The Liebster Blog Award is for blogs with less than 200 followers; the idea is that if nominated, you answer your nominator’s five questions, then nominate five blogs of your own and ask five questions of them. You then link back to whoever nominated you (cool way of discovering new blogs!), and let your nominees know you’ve nominated them.

Then you sit back and wonder how many variations of the word “nominate” you’ve just used in the last paragraph.

Yes, it’s a bit like a chain letter, but it’s also (a) a bit of fun, and (b) a nice way of letting your favourite small blogs know how much you love reading about their little slice of the interweb.

And I think that’s pretty cool, because sometimes the little blogs get overshadowed by the big ones, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less important to their readers.

So without further ado, here we go:

1. If you could invite any four people to dinner, who would you invite?
Michael McIntyre (because he’s side-splittingly hilarious), Jamie Oliver (have you seen the way he tastes and seasons food??), my sister (because I love and miss her), and Stephen Fry (hilarious and insanely intelligent)
2. Winter or summer?
Summer (though some would argue that in Dunedin, there’s not much difference between the two, I beg to differ.). I hate being cold, and I love being outside.
3. What is the last thing you ate?
Breakfast: three pieces of toast with apricot jam, and a long black. Ever since that first breakfast in the hospital after Pickle was born, I can’t go past apricot jam. Even the half jar of precious Marmite in the pantry turns my stomach a little.
4. What destination would be top of your list of places to travel, and why?
Oh, this is a hard one! Um…at the moment, I’m going to say Istanbul, because it’s the one place we both really wanted to get to before we left England, and it just didn’t happen. The history and the food and everything we’ve heard about it…it sounds amazing.
5. And, because Aaron had so much trouble, let’s see what others think. Which would you prefer to own: a double sided lightsaber or a hovercraft?
My first response was a hovercraft, simply because I’m a lover, not a fighter, but then I started to imagine all the tasks that a double-sided lightsaber would nail, like trimming the hedge in a flash….but I’m going to stick with a hovercraft. They remind me of childhood summers in Wanaka.

And my nominees are:

MNM’s: Meghan takes the most amazing photographs, and peppers her beautiful words with equally-beautiful images.

Create Hope Inspire: Miriam is a creative inspiration! She sews, she acts, she crafts, and she’s spending this year being the best mama possible.

To Find a Silver Lining: Elizabeth is one of the most honest bloggers/writers I’ve come across, and I like that she doesn’t try to be something she’s not.

Sophie Slim: Sophie is one of the most inspirational 24-year-olds I think you’ll ever come across; she’s a wonderful mummy, and has the biggest heart.

Kiwi Womens Style: I’ve only recently discovered Kelly’s blog, but already I love her fashion experiments and style, especially her “Trying Out” series.

Ladies, if you accept my nomination, these are my questions for you:

1. Are you better at keeping your own secrets, or those of others?

2. What’s one thing you’ll always save on, and one thing you’ll always splurge on?

3. What’s your favourite thing to eat on Christmas day?

4. Do you go old-school and send Christmas cards, or do you embrace technology and send Christmas emails?

5. If you could change your name, what would you like to be called?

Joining up to share the l
ove over at Meghan’s place