The Visit – The Man Himself!

Andrew and I not so long ago completed a ten week cooking class at the Ministry of Food Ipswich.  We fell in love with the simple whole food approach to cooking. It wasn’t that we were terrible eaters but I knew there is always room for improvement.   Our food habits are forever influences by Louise and Danella our Food Trainers.  I’m not sure the girls  realise that their voices are forever in my head.  So when we heard the MAN HIMSELF was coming to town……… the excitement started to build (well not sure about Andrew but I was pretty pumped!).

It was Jamie Oliver fever in Ipswich yesterday. A welcome fit for royalty – roads closed, police, security, cameras, media, politicians,  and celebrities.  Andrew and I were fortunate enough to snaffle tickets to see Jamie cook.

Picnik collagePhotos from here and edited in Instagram

I was interested to see if he really was as genuine and passionate in his food message as he is on TV.  The answer is YES…… this chap is 100% the real deal.  He oozed enthusiasm.  I felt a little like a giggling school girl.  I really couldn’t believe I was seeing the man himself.  Seems a little silly I know but he is …….. gosh dang pretty amazing.  He did seem a little tired ……..maybe it was our hot humid weather or that he had stepped off a plane from Korea.  But none the less he put on a good show and spread his message of simple, good, healthy, fresh, whole food cooking.

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The girls and guys at Jamie’s Ministry of Food Ipswich did a exceptional job.  Hats off to you all.

Oh I nearly forgot …….. What did he cook I hear you say?  Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Guacamole and Salsa.  They are on our menu this week!

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Twelve Christmas Favourites #7

#7 Christmas Favourite – Christmas Stories


We love Christmas stories in our house.  I have a rather large collection from when I was teaching.  I still can’t resist buying them.  Here are some of our favourites :

Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris and Bruce Whatley


 The 12 Days of Christmas (pop up) by Robert Subuda


The Christmas Book by Dick Bruna


It’s Christmas by Tina Burke


I love Christmas by Anna Walker


Christmas Cookies by Amy Krouse Rosenthal


The Mitten adapted and Illustrated by Jan Brett


The Three Bears’ Christmas by Kathy Duval


and my all time favourite that I struggle to read without tears (I am such a sook)

You Are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love


There is just something lovely about reading Christmas stories with Ben before bed.

We where excited to receive a new story from Cousin’s Tom and Maggie this week – Santa’s Aussie Holiday.   I love the inscription xoxo. I think we have read it every night since it arrived in the mail.  THANKS xo


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As I have previously said….. I am easily excited.

Yesterday I had decided to pull the cucumber plants out of the garden.  They looked a little sick and didn’t seem to be growing anything.  I squealed with delight when I went to pull out a plant and I found this:


I told you I was easily excited!  I quickly covered it back up, puffed out my chest and felt a little bit clever.  As you can gather I am not a very experienced gardener.  I’m learning as I go. However the tomatoes and beans seem to be going well – touch wood.  We are getting plenty of beans but they never seem to make it to the kitchen.  We eat them as we pick them!  I am hoping I can make tomato chutney with my tomatoes this season.



And on a not so sucessful note.  I pulled out the corn.  It went all soggy!  The chickens didn’t even want it!!  And I am also not sure what is going on with the pumpkin and zucchini plants.


If anyone has any garden tips I would be grateful.  Otherwise I will consult with Stephanie Alexander …… my gardening book.

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First Pumpkin

Halloween has never really been a major celebration in Australia…… well not for us anyhow.    But last year we had so many Trick-Or-Treaters.  So this year we thought we would do a little to join in.  Ben and I bought our first pumpkins to carve.

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I cut  lids and opened them and thought ewwwwww really??!!!!  I wasn’t expecting so much slop!!  I also didn’t really have any idea of what we would carve.  So I did what every good researcher does and ‘Googled’  it – Halloween carving templates and How to carve a pumpkin.    I had everything I could possible need right on the computer screen – Thank you Mr Google!

Ben and Andrew picked a scarey design and I picked a more smiley one.   I used a small stanely knife as I found that the easiest.  This is what we ended up with (don’t look too closely!).


And  in the dark…..


It was a bit of fun.  Ben is excited to put them out tomorrow and hand out lollies to the Trick-Or-Treaters.  So I think this is when I am supposed to say ‘Happy Halloween!’ (I’m a Newbie).

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Linking up with Life Made Lovely Monday (I know this is my second link up but there is so many lovely things happening!)