Archive | October, 2012

People Made of Iron

31 Oct

I’ve struggled with this triathlon journey, I’ve made no secret of it, but on Sunday morning as I got the kids ready to 6am to go and try to find Daddy on the starting line, I felt little butterflies flitting in my belly.

We had had a terrible night’s sleep with the kids and we decided if I couldn’t make the start then there were other opportunities on the course to yell from the sidelines, but I felt a sudden urgency to be there.

It was a crazy feat to undertake, a massive achievement by anyone’s standards.
A 2km swim, followed by a gruelling hill course 90km bike ride, finished with a 21 km run as a little cherry on top.

It’s only a half Iron Man, he assures me, but the idea of someone willingly doing a full one if they didn’t have some kind of wild animal chasing them simply does not compute.

I would struggle to do just one of those elements, but all?

Only crazy people, and people made of iron, think that’s a fun way to pass time.

As we weaved our way through the competitors, they all looked the same. I couldn’t see Mister H.

1500 men and women were there, all dressed in wetsuits, looking like seals that suddenly all stood upright and put on little red caps.

My heart started to race.

There was only 5 minutes before it started, what if I missed him?
What if he didn’t know we were here, supporting him, loving him from the shore?

I stood on my tippy-toes and I saw my husband’s shoulders 15 meters ahead in the crowd, right up at the start line. I pushed the Titanic double pram through the throngs, excusing myself as I went but not caring if I took out people’s ankles, although with hindsight I realise that some poor dude had to do the whole event with a dinged Achilles.
I just had to let him know we were here.

His face lit up when he saw us. He exhaled as though perhaps he’d been holding his breath.
We only had time for a quick kiss before his race began and I had a tear in my eye as I saw him submerge.

Who’da thunk, after all these months of busting his chops about it, I’d be so emotional?

We estimated it would be only 5.5hrs until he was back with us, but somehow today that seemed an eternity. In the time it took for me to take the kids for breakfast and have a play, he would have achieved a massive goal, a dream.

I was amazed at the different kinds of people who were participating. Tall, short, fat, skinny, old and young.

Craziness does not discriminate, evidently.

Along the way we’d hang at a check point in hope of seeing him and calling encouragement and it was along this fence line that I met other people like me.
Wives who lamented the loss of their partners for such a gruelling training regime, loved ones who simply hoped their kin would finish in one piece, and veterans who had competed in many events and understood what the bug was all about.

I got a new understanding of how important it was to feel your family’s support.

I felt the thrum of anticipation of your loved one mastering their focus so as to ignore the pain racking their body and getting them over that line.

I remarked to someone how impressed I was with the many different walks of life competing. Some people powered through strong and tall whilst others limped through all tortured, but of 1500 who began, almost all finished.

She asked me if, seeing these old and fat and skinny and fit people achieve this, it made me feel as though I could do it too?

And I simply answered -

No fucking way.

A short poem to my husband, whom I have called my hero three times so far. Once at the birth of each of our babies, and on this day.








photo credit – Running with water image, Barry Alsop – Eyes Wide Open Images.

Wanton Wontons…..double happiness from my penpal

27 Oct

You’ve heard me mention my penpal from Bunny Eats Design.

My bunny-loving friend, Genie, has been a big, fat, bloggy inspiration to me and we become penpals mostly because I stalked her. This is her first ever guest post, so I’m honored to have her visiting us today…..not to mention dying to eat me some wontons. 
How good are these images?
Take it away, Bunster.

I picked up my wonton making skills from my Dad who owned and worked Chinese take-outs for a couple of decades. When I was old enough, wonton wrapping was one of the easy tasks that he would sometimes delegate.

Deep fried wontons are one of those Chinese side dishes that became super popular in the eighties and nineties. Easy to make and easy to sell, especially with a sweet or sour dipping sauce, these crunchy morsels are great with dinner but they’re nasty the next day and mystery meat may once have been a problem. As a Chinese foodie living in the west, I prefer to eat wontons in soup. Silky, mild and warming, they’re a great comfort food.

This wonton basic recipe makes 50 wontons which can be used immediately in soup or deep fried or frozen for future uses. You can find all these ingredients for cheap at your local Asian grocer and these days, sometimes even your normal supermarket.

Pork and Shiitake Wontons
Makes 50 wontons


  • 50 fresh wonton wrappers
  • 500 grams pork mince (about 1 pound)
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger


Rehydrate the mushrooms in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes until softened. Removed stems and discard. Cut each mushroom in half and then slice thinly.
Add sliced mushrooms and all other filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Using a slightly heaped teaspoon as a guide, place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Resist the urge to overfill the wontons as they will be difficult to seal.
Next, fold the wrapper in half diagonally to form a rough triangle. I avoid folding it perfect in half, because the overlapping edges are prettier.
Then make five pleats in the wrapper starting from one end and moving across until the filling is sealed. Place wrapped wonton on a plate or chopping board.
Repeat until you run out of filling or out of wrappers.

These can be refrigerated for several days or frozen. I like to freeze wontons on a tray, then transfer to a re-sealable bag or container once they have been flash frozen.

Wonton Noodle Soup is an ultimate comfort food for me and I love it when I’m sick or hungover. This travels surprisingly well and can be put together the night before or even in the morning before work. Just drain the soup into a jar and dump the rest of the contents into a plastic container. Zapped in the microwave for a few minutes, this is a great week day lunch when you don’t feel like a sandwich or salad.

Wonton Noodle Soup
Serves 1 


  • 6 wontons (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bundle dried egg noodles
  • 1 bok choy
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chilli sauce


Soak the dried egg noodles in hot water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain and put into a serving bowl.
In a small pot, bring the stock plus 1 cup of water to boil. Add light soy sauce and wontons and simmer for 5 minutes.
Wash bok choy, cut into half or quarter, and place on top of wontons so the bok choy gets lightly steamed for 1-2 minutes.

I like my bok choy to to still be crisp rather than soft.To serve, pour everything into the noodle bowl and top with chilli sauce.

We don’t own a deep fryer so I don’t deep fry all that often. When I do, I fry small batches at a time in a small pot of oil. I find 4-5 wontons at a time in a small pot is a good number. If you have a deep fryer, cook as many wontons as will fit easily in 1 layer. Avoid overcrowding the pot as it will lower the temperature of the oil and cook unevenly.

Deep Fried Wontons

Allow at least 4 per person as a starter


  • 4-5 wontons
  • 3 cups cooking oil
  • Dipping sauce of your choice (sweet chilli, plum sauce, sweet and sour work well)

Heat 3 cups of cooking oil in a small pot on the stove.
To test the oil for optimum temperature, carefully lower a small cube of bread into the oil and it should turn golden brown in 20 seconds.
Using tongs, carefully lower wontons into oil with filling side down so the meat is immersed in oil and cook for 5 minutes. Move wontons around the pot occasionally to make sure all sides tun golden at an even rate.
Remove wontons from oil, shake wontons of excess oil and drain upside down in a metal basket or on paper towels.
Serve with dipping sauce.

Genie is an illustrator/graphic designer and a rabbit enthusiast who really, REALLY loves food. She enjoys playing with her rabbit Tofu, fattening up her husband (The Koala) and eating with their friends in Auckland, New Zealand. Her blog Bunny Eats Design is loosely based on food, long earred critters and graphics and she dreams of designing for a food magazine or restaurant graphics and food packaging. She likes eating exotic food in exotic places and loves the mantra: “Eat well, travel often”.


It’s Just Me.

25 Oct body belly

When I was about 19 or so, I went to a music festival called Alternative Nation. It was Australia’s answer to Lullapalooza.

Like any self-respecting music festival it was incredibly muddy due to enormous amounts of rain leading up to the day and on the actual day itself.

Towards the evening, there was a naked man, covered in mud, lurching around. People were recoiling from him in horror. He held his Earth covered hands out, palms up -

‘Don’t be scared. It’s just me.’

Now, on this particular day I may, or may not, have partaken in a small amount of LSD, but I nonetheless found this to be incredibly profound.

I’ve written before about how I feel about my body, my machine.

I’ve written before about how it’s taken 35 years to learn to love and respect thy sacred vessel. If you want to read about that stuff, it’s here.

I think I talked enough about body image and eating disorders and I don’t need to talk about that any more…..because that’s not my reality any longer.

I love the strength in my body.

I love my pins.

I love my shoulders.

I love my chin.

So, here I am.

Don’t be scared. It’s just me.

Brotherly Love

23 Oct

When the divine Zanni, from Heart Mama, was expecting her new baby to join them any second, she wrote to her daughter Elka about the impending changes. Her letter got me to thinking about siblings, and in particular, my children.

In some families siblings are best friends, and in others they are like distant ships passing in the night.
Can you encourage friendships to grow?

Five month old Kiki lies on the floor, her eyes training on D Man’s every move. She is transfixed by the golden haired boy; her big brother. He runs back and forth in her line of vision, delighting in the fact that she turns her head to watch him, over and over again. She gazes at him adoringly, startling every now and then at his squeals, and he basks in her attention. Their giggles are like fairy laughter in my ears as I observe these first independent interactions of my first-born son, and new-ish daughter.

This is their earliest play developing, and they are so happy to just be near each other.

My son, D Man, often looks to me with his little arms outstretched -

‘Hold, Baby?’

We set them up so they’re safe and supported and gently put Kiki in his arms, and he just sniffs her and kisses her head…..then he gets bored and he pushes her away so she face plants on the couch and he reaches for a plastic dinosaur with one hand and picks his nose with the other…..but the first part is no less beautiful.


To continue reading, pop over to Heart Mama

Hot Sex Tips from 1894

21 Oct

On the hunt for the missing mojo I thought I’d turn to a little literature to get help me get my game on.

50 Shades of Grey had nothing. The whole deal was so implausible and poorly written it was like the Bold and The Beautiful had taken steroids.

Barely raised a tickle in my knicks, so when I saw this little pink, pocket-sized beauty I thought it was sure thing…..


Hell, there is even a bottle of tincture called Climax on the cover. Who wouldn’t like a hip flask of that in their handbag?


But then I realised she was a tad behind the times…..

Obviously, no one ever has sex on their wedding night these days, as everybody has drunk their bodyweight in champagne and danced until 3 am……and as for the ‘first time’ bit, well, not even my Grandpa would have fallen for that, what with my six-month old sitting on my knee at the bridal table.


Sex every day? Who wouldn’t want that, right?

Sex is awesome and fun and messy in a much more fun way than the rest of your day. Why wouldn’t you want to do that all the time?

Abnormal positions? Between the ancient Karma Sutra, that requires all participants to be yogis, and the accessibility of porn these days, haven’t we all seen everything before?

What exactly is an abnormal position? At the washing line? Don’t reckon I’ve seen that one.


Whoa, Mama!!  That actually sounds kinda hot…..

Alas, a mere few more pages in and I realized I’d been duped. Dear old Ruthie baby was nothing but a trumped-up prude, God rest her soul.

I don’t need that advice, Ruth. That’s what I’m trying to shake, sugar.

I was tut-tutting her uptight ways and then I realised perhaps this was closer to the bone than I dare admit.

Ummm, check.

Didn’t mean to let it side, but I’ve been a little pre-occupied.

Oh dear. If I started nagging much earlier, what then? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Mrs Smythers recommends you talk about mundane household matters at this point. Wouldn’t that enhance sleep?

‘Honey, the bathroom tap washers really need a …………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’


‘Babes, next time you mow the lawn, could you please………snooooooooooore’

Anyway you can see that the woman is clearly not going to be giving me mojo enhancements I was looking for, but the piece de resistance was on the last page…….check it out.

It’s not about the writing, it’s about the image……

Seriously, WTF is that?

Dear Mrs Reverend Smythers, thank you for allowing me to reproduce pages of your book for my blog as I really feel that this would be highly educational for my readers. It certainly makes me feel better about myself. It reinforces that I’m neither a prude nor a good Methodist.

If anyone knows what that implement is, please, enlighten me. Any guesses?

The Antidote To My Phenomenally Crap Day – A fat dose of perspective.

18 Oct

10 Stupendously Crap Things That Did Not Happen To Me Yesterday -

(in no particular order)

1. I did not have to clean up an over flowing toilet with a teaspoon.

2. I did not get someone else’s vomit in my mouth.

3. I did not get my face bitten by a rabid dog, and in turn, become rabid – and faceless.

4. I did not have to break rocks with a mallet to build a railway.

5. I did not get shot, in any part of my body, let alone my head, for voicing my opinion.

6. My computer did not die a horrible death taking all of my un-backed up projects and photographs to Cyber Heaven.

7. I did not have to watch my children go hungry today because I don’t have enough food to fill their bellies.

8. I did not lose anybody dear to me, nor even anyone I’m ambivalent about.

9. I did not slam my own hand in the car door, break three fingers and be forever branded an idiot.

10. I did not accidentally release my shopping trolley on a decline and run over a small child.

It would appear that yesterday was quite a good day after all, and today is sure to be better.

Get out there and have a wonderful day.

Strawberry Mini-Cheesecakes…….sadly, not delivered by my neighbour.

17 Oct cheesecake fini

When we were cool, before ‘burbs, we lived in apartment block called The Wroxton. It doesn’t quite have the same ring as Melrose Place, but that was kind of the vibe.

I had friends on the ground floor, and friends on the third floor, and my dear, dear friend Mrs Wilson on the fourth floor…..and of course, Anthony, the delightfully OCD, strata enforcer was on her floor also. I’ll get to Anthony another day but suffice to say that I had a great big soft spot for him, but not everyone in the building did.

Anyway, I’m not talking about strata enforcement, I’m talking about dessert delivery.

Every now and then after dinner, at about 8.30, there would be a little knock on my door, and the divine Mrs Wilson would be making a delivery.

‘I just thought you’d like a little Dark Chocolate Tart?’


‘I just thought you might like  little Creme Caramel?’


‘I just thought you might little a couple of little Cheesecakes?’

I love our new house, and I love the space it provides for my family, and the garden with the vegetable patch and beautiful big South Australian Honey Myrtle that offers such gorgeous, dappled, shade. No, I don’t miss much about our old life, but I really, really bloody miss Mrs Wilson’s cheesecakes , my friend, Mrs Wilson.

Seeing as my new neighbours are not the cooking kind, nor would I socialise with them even if they were (hate to be a snob but they are bogans in every sense of the word), I was simply forced to provide me with my own mini-cheesecakes. Mrs Wilson has since moved to Melbourne and the chances of her making a trip to give me some of that sweet, cheesy, biscuity joy is pretty damned slim-ola, so I had nowhere left to turn.

Yield : 20

What you will need :

For the base – 

  • Melted butter, for greasing
  • 1 250g pkt plain sweet biscuits (like Arnott’s Nice)
  • 125g butter, melted, cooled Icing sugar,to serve

For the filling – 

  • 2 x 250g pkts cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup thin cream
  • 1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry sugar-free jam (I like St Balfour, although this time I used my home-made strawberries left over from my Strawberry Yoghurt)

Preheat oven to 180C

Place cupcake patties into your muffin tins. You will need two tins.

Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined.

Use the back of a teaspoon to press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of your cases. Place in the fridge while making the filling.

To make the filling, use your electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks and cream. Beat until well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Wash and dry your electric beaters or a hand whisk to whisk the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Add to the cream cheese mixture and use a large metal spoon to gently fold until just combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared patty cases.

Heat your jam a little until it loosens and you place three dollops on each cheesecake. Use a skewer to swirl it through cheese mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden and just set in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to firm. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.

Am I Moralistic Crime Fighter or Just A Plain Old Bully?

14 Oct

I tried to do the right thing the other day, but in doing so, I think I ended up making quite a cock-up of the situation and wish I’d just pretended I hadn’t seen a thing. In the heat of a moral dilemma something bizarre came over me and I’m not sure if I’m proud or ashamed. Perhaps in making my confession to you I can just forget that deep inside me lies a moralistic crime fighter, or maybe I’m just a self-righteous wanker. You be the judge…

I was standing in a little Ma’n’Pa type deli in my local shopping strip. I’d never been there before and I have no affiliation with the place, in fact, I was not overly thrilled with the quality of the ham I bought so I will probably never go back….not to mention the fact that I’m well embarrassed.

An elderly dude shuffled in carrying with him the aroma of Old Bachelor. You know what I mean – it’s a little bit of tea, a little bit of musty fustiness and a sprinkling of urine for good measure.

He put a tenner on the counter.

‘The usual, please’

While the lady proceeded to cut his devon or brawn or whatever the usual may be, I was putzing about with my purse, when I saw this old gentleman behave in a most ungentlemanly fashion. He took a Honey Nut Bar from the counter and he put it in his pocket. Fairly brazen, one could say as I was not half a meter away holding my shocked ham…..or shocked, holding my ham, I believe would be more accurate.

A million thoughts raced through my mind, all of them heavily laden with exclamation marks, and I have no idea why. Who am I? The smallgood police? A retail watchdog? Wonder Bloody Woman?

Why do even give a shit?
 I mean, really, it’s not like I never stole anything.

I went through a stage in the summer holidays of my 13th year were I was so damned light-fingered I was like Oliver Twist without the torn pants and whole orphan baggage. You name it, I filched it. Food, lollies, clothes, jewellery. I was shocking. I was led astray by the wrong crowd, yes, but ultimately I found it quite thrilling.
That said, I doubt this octogenarian was doing it for a thrill, although it may be how the old codger can gets his jollies these days.

I wanted him to know I saw him, and I wanted him to feel bad about stealing. I got my vigilante on.

I don’t think for one single second that this is a black and white situation. I mean, stealing is bad, mmmmmkay……but maybe this guy just wanted a treat? Maybe his monthly pension didn’t stretch to nut bars and he just wanted to stick his dentures together one last time before he turned his toes?
Hell, maybe it was part of ‘his usual’ but that mortifying scenario didn’t even cross my mind until someone gently pointed out that perhaps I’m simply a big, fat bully.

Anyway, I took $2.50 out of my purse and I slipped onto the counter in front of him and I leaned quietly into his flappy, old man ear -

‘That’s for the bar you put in your pocket.’

He looked at me blankly, all confused and bewildered. Possibly feigning ignorance, or more likely he was struggling to understand me as suddenly I was speaking all growly and husky, like Batman, and even Lois Lane is all like “Quit mumbling, Batman – Just enunciate for God’s sake”

‘I saw you do it, now put it on the counter. Do the right thing and pay for it.’

Who the hell did I think I was? I honestly don’t know what came over me, I should have just minded my own business but to be quite frank, I have always struggled with doing so.

‘Alright’ he answered quietly and I walked outside.

Good deed done. Dishonesty averted. My cape was un-tarnished.

Had I left it there, perhaps I wouldn’t be feeling like this right now. The situation was more or less sorted, I got my point across and he learned his lesson.

Wrong. I became this self-righteous, uppity, freakozoid, and this is where it all went pear shaped.

I didn’t walk away. He started to collect up the money, but his shaky hands dropped a coin into a display. The shop lady came to help him.

‘That lady just gave me some money’

He was putting the money in his pocket, she was looking at me and I was looking at him and his little sphincter would have been clenching in that unique way it does when you know you’re busted.
 She walked up to me asking if I was ok, I said ‘yep, don’t worry about it’ and she walked away.

Was he sticking the money in his pocket?

Was he going to use it as I intended?

It didn’t appear so. Maybe he was taking his time, working out how to get the offending bar from his pocket to the counter without being obvious, but he was going too slow, I wanted that bar out in the open now. 
I could see the tasty snack poking out of his hip pocket so walked up to him, grabbed it out of his trousers and slammed it on the deli counter in front of the shocked man….then I quickly grabbed my pram and rushed of to a chorus of him calling out -

RightO. RightO. RightO.

I’ve only ever really known one other person to say ‘righto’ and he was an ex-lover… felt strange to be thinking of him in that moment.

My heart was pounding. I’d done the right thing, hadn’t I? Stealing is wrong, isn’t it? But I bullied a poor old man…..why did I do that?

So, there it is. I tried to do the right thing, but then I got carried away with myself and intimidated a poor old clepto, and I just can’t stop thinking about it.

If he was a teenager I would have been doubly on his case, but should I have let it slide because he’s old?

Should I have made excuses for him and turned a blind eye?

Devour Literature or Trash, Just Read……and Eat Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls.

11 Oct

I read some really frightening statistics this morning, courtesy of Bunny. Eats. Design.

Here they are -

One third of high school graduates will never read another book for the rest of their lives. (THAT’S 1 in 3!!!!)

42 percent of college graduates never read a book after college. (THAT’S ALMOST 1 in 2!!!!)

This is the one though…..

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year. (WTF!!!!! 80%??????? 8 out of 10………4 out of 5!!!!!!)

This is not referring to a lack of literacy in the slightest, but a lack of love for reading.

My parents read to me all the time, and in turn I read to my kids daily. It’s something nice to do, and it passes the time.

Obviously, they have their books and I have mine, but I get to climb into bed at the end of the day, after hiding the ‘Big Book of Dinosaurs’ in hope of being able to read a different book for D Man tomorrow (I cant be the only one that does that?), and open my book of choice and disappear from my suburban monotony bliss into whichever heady world I choose.
I adore reading. I adore words. I guess that’s why I love the sound of my own ‘type’ so much, but to imagine a life without being able to slide into an imaginary world at the turn of a page, doesn’t bear thinking about.

I just finished Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell. You know, the one they made the Meryl Streep movie out of?
Hardly War & Peace but a very fun and funny read.

Let me tell you, as one would suspect, the book shat on the movie.
The reason for this is because Julie Powell, the author/crazy woman who tackled every recipe in Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 12 months is quite naughty.

She’s candid, she swears like a trucker and she had a gustatory baptism of fire that she is very honest about. Harvesting bone marrow and killing a lobster are not for the faint of heart.

I think it struck a chord due to the very nature of the book (cooking/blogging/eating/drinking). The book was also realistic about the fact that all that butter-laden French food made her arse balloon. I found it unbelievable in the film when Amy Adams maintained her svelte appearance regardless of the lashing of cream and duck fat she scoffed daily.

Anyhoo, read my peeps. Read. It’s better than TV.
It invites your imagination to spark and not be spoon fed imagery.
Don’t get me wrong, TV has a place, but don’t let it be the only form of entertainment in your home.

Reading to your children is proven to increase their intelligence, and comprehension. The experts say that children need 1,000 stories read to them before they begin to learn to read for themselves. Sounds like a lot? It’s just three stories a day over a year (according to Huggies).

Ok, off my soapbox…all that ranting has made me peckish so I thought I’d share another of my Spring To Do List recipes.

I love these fresh spring rolls. We sometimes go to a roll-your-own Vietnamese restaurant in Newtown, Sydney, but making them at home is so simple, delicious and healthy.
Traditionally, the Vietnamese use pork and prawns in theirs, however, I’ve also had lemon grass beef, and sugar cane prawns.

I was making these for a picnic so I kept it quick and easy…… two favorite ingredients to any recipe!

I’m always disappointed when they have too much noodle action and not enough filling action so you can make your own ratio up to please your palate…..but, trust me, my way is really yummy!

I also put the sauce inside for ease of little people, and big people, eating outdoors, but you can make a separate dipping sauce if you want.

Yield : 14 rolls

You will need :

  • 1/2 BBQ chicken, or duck for extra yum, shredded
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 spring onions, julienned
  • 1/2 packet bean shoots
  • 1 good handful of mint leaves
  • 1 good handful of coriander leaves
  • crushed peanuts
  • 100g vermicelli, I prefer green bean vermicelli but simple rice is fine
  • 1 packet of rice paper
  • 2 tablespoons ketcup manis (sweet soy)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

Set yourself up a work station so everything you need is at hand.
Fill a baking tray with hot water, not scalding, just hot, and dip your rice paper in for 5 seconds.
Once upon a time I thought you had to leave it in until it was totally pliable and wet, but you don’t at all. In fact, it still feels quite cardboard-y after 5 seconds but it gets more pliable as it sits, and it’s way more manageable.

Smear a small amount of your sauce on the bottom and then add a little bit of your chicken, then your vegetables, then your herbs, bean shoots and top it with some noodles. Sprinkle some nuts on top and fold the bottom of your rice paper up, creating a semi-circle. Fold in the sides, one at a time and then simple roll the rest into a neat cigar.

Call the first one a practice one, ok?
Repeat, and repeat and repeat, until you’re over it or your ingredients are gone.

If your first one looks dodgerama, maybe try a little less filling……You’ll be a pro in no time.

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Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now and receive both the hard copy, and the ebook, plus my new mini ebook A Bit On The Side.

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Hold Them Close, Whilst Letting Them Go.

9 Oct

Nobody ever wants to imagine their child getting hurt, but the thing about life is that everyone needs to paddle their own canoe, and one day our kids will set sail without us.

Today, I’m writing for Lori over at Randon Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mum (RRSAHM). If you don’t know Lori, she’s a beautiful writer and a hell of a woman.
After the tragic loss of her husband, she laid her soul bare on her journey back to being ok.

Lori is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime by going to Borneo to raise money for the Orang Utans.
I wish I was going, but my own monkeys are still too little.

I can remember the very first time my son, D Man, hurt himself on my watch. It was one of those split second, yet slow motion, affairs that consisted of him rolling off the bed at about 6 months old.
His fall was broken by an open cupboard door and he kind of rolled onto the floor without injury, but he got a fright and bawled, and I felt like the worst Mama ever.

He got over it in minutes, I was fine in a few hours and a glass of wine and the world kept turning. Now, barely a day goes by without some form of head injury, and for the most part they are nothing serious…..but when it is a bit more serious, and that silent scream prefaces the tears, in that instant, I know that I would take all of my child’s pain if I could and make them feel better.

I can remember my very first heart-break. I was about 11, and I’d been a rat-bag, scallywag and had been kissing Matthew Forsyth under water at the local pool, as you do. When Matthew told everybody and I was branded a scarlet woman, I was devastated.

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