Our First Harvest of the Season

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We are a little excited around here.  We finally picked our first tomato…..YAY!!  We get a lot of birds and they have been enjoying our vegie patch more than us lately.  We have Australian King Parrots that have been particularly fond of our tomatoes!! It’s hard to get cranky as they are an amazingly beautiful bird.  But now that our plants are covered in tomatoes there is enough for everyone.  We don’t mind sharing xo


original photo from here

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Linking up with  Life Made Lovely Monday

Week 5 with Jamie – Beef

Picnik collage Week 5 Jamie\'s Ministry of Food Ipswich

This week on the menu was – Good Old Chilli Con Carne, Guacamole and Fluffy Rice.  Let me start by saying – SO SO GOOD!!  This was so out of my comfort zone and I am a little proud for diving in head first and not whinging!! I always thought I didn’t like chilli, beans or coriander.  Well…… now they are my new best friends!!!!  We  made the quickest, tastiest guacamole all on the chopping board (no bowls for washing up) and again SO GOOD!

After cooking we headed over to Mum and Dad’s with dinner for everyone.  My wonderful parents look after Ben while we cook.  We had a feast to share this week.  Bowls full with  Chilli Con Carne, Rice, Guacamole, and natural corn chips (the corn chips added for Ben to make it more appealing for little ones).   It was such a hit!  Seriously the tastiest meal I have had in some time – the flavor……yum!!  I can’t wait to cook it up for friends (or Andrew can cook it and I can relax).  So who’s up for dinner?

You can get the recipe from here.

Next Week – Pasta

Oh I forgot….. we also enjoyed some pumpkin muffins to celebrate Jamie’s Birthday…Happy Birthday xo

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Linking up with What we ate Wednesday

Week 4 with Jamie – Chicken….

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I have driven my husband mad this week!  You see our group chose Chicken Parmigiana and carrots in a bag to cook this week.  I was keen to cook the carrots in a bag but Chicken Parmigiana…… you had to be kidding….ewww!!!  I struggled all week with it.  I came to the conclusion I’m not such a great ‘team’ player…… I like things to go my way!!  My concern was ‘why on earth would we be cooking a fatty pub meal?’. Andrew kept telling me that I was just being silly and everything would be fine.  So I went to class this week not really excited about the whole idea of cooking the dreaded Chicken Parmigiana!

Well…… I have to apologize for all my complaining (my poor dear lovely husband….sorry xoxo).   Jamie’s Chicken Parmigiana was indeed fabulous!  A healthy extra tasty version of the fatty pub classic!  And the carrots in a bag…..oh I wish you could have smelt it – carrots, bacon, rosemary, orange zest = mmmmm YUM!  My parents joined us for dinner to share in our genius cooking.  There was not a scrap of anything left on the plates…..licked clean (well not literally)!

I have learnt a few valuable lessons this week (that I already knew anyway).  Jamie always puts an extraordinary twist on recipes and ‘oh Belinda…stop all the carrying on and just enjoy yourself!!’.

Next week – Chilli Con Carne, guacamole and fluffy rice….no complaining here!!

Linking up with Paisley Jade – Things I am loving xo and Heather  – Life Made Lovely Monday xo

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A Pyjama Angel

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“We each have an enormous capacity to make a difference and The Pyjama Foundation is actually doing that; changing the world, one child at a time”  Bryce Courtenay AM

Yesterday I opened a new and exciting door in my life.  I had my interview to become a ‘Pyjama Angel’.  What is a ‘Pyjama Angel’ I hear you say?.   It is  a Volunteer from the community that is  recruited, screened, trained and supported to help  children improve their literacy skills.  You must commit to one hour each week to read aloud to the same child – a child placed in Foster Care.  You go to the child’s home and share a wonderful hour reading and playing literacy/numeracy games.  It can be as easy as reading a picture book together and playing a game of  UNO.  But what is important is that you are there, with a very special child, giving them your attention and making reading a positive experience.  ‘Pyjama Angels deliver The Pyjama Foundation Love of Learning Program®, a literacy-based mentoring program which addresses statistics around children in care:

  • 92% of children in care are below the average reading level at age seven
  • 75% of these children do not complete schooling
  • 50% of the homeless come from a care background
  • 35% enter the juvenile justice system at some point (82% of Australian prisoners have below grade 4 level of functional literacy)
  • 28% of care-leavers are parents within 12 months of leaving care

There are around 31,000 children in care in Australia, a figure which doubled in the last decade. Indigenous children vastly over-represented.’

I still have to complete one evening of training before I start.  Corrin our Ipswich Coordinator will then place me with a child and  then the fun begins.  I am really excited.  I have  shelves full of books and cupboards full of games now that I am not teaching.  Ben and I of coarse enjoy using them but the ‘more the merrier’ they say.  I love to read stories aloud – it was my favorite time of the day as a teacher and now it is amazing to read with my son.  I am so excited to share my love of books with another little person who may not have experienced such joy before.   I will keep you updated – no names or photos  just wonderful stories!!

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Week 3 with Jamie – Breakfast…

Porridge, Frozen Fruit Smoothies and Banana & Blueberry French Toast were on the menu this week – I have never really made successful porridge before (not counting microwave porridge, real porridge in a pot!).  We love a good smoothy in our house ( but normally get them from Boost Juice).  But I do make a mean french toast with thick sliced tomato!   But of coarse in true Jamie style his recipes are a little different and always include a twist on what is the ‘norm’.

Andrew and I didn’t really have success with our porridge in class.  We didn’t cook it enough and it was a little chewy – Not so pleasant to eat!  Jamie’s smoothies have oats and nuts in them.  It gives a very different texture.  Andrew liked it…. I’m not so sure.  But OH MY GOODNESS the french toast is to die for.  It is definitely a sometimes food but a french toast sandwich with blueberries and banana….. so good!!!

Picnik collage Week Three Jamie

I was determine not to let the porridge beat me so this morning it was porridge for breakfast.  Ben was keen to help – he chopped the banana with his special knife.  He did keep asking me to clean his knife but I just kept telling him it was ok…. it was just banana.  At one point he wandered off and was found in the bathroom cleaning his knife on his bath towel….ewwww!!!  Not sure what he was thinking but we had a little chat about that!!  Once the porridge was cooked Ben was not so keen on it anymore and the drama began.  We have a rule in our house…… you have to try all new foods!!  If you really don’t like them (after five mouthfuls)  you don’t have to eat them.   We all sat up at the table eating our porridge.  Well Andrew and I were eating and Ben was examining his with his magnifying glass!  I am sure he was hoping it would miraculously disappear.    He did eat all the banana and brown sugar off the top and a little porridge……. will give it another go next week.  Andrew and I both loved it!!

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Next week Chicken Parmigiana and carrots in a bag ….

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