Thursday, May 31, 2012

#35 (36 to 36)

I've been a busy beaver today and managed to complete a task that I can cross off my 36 to 36 list. Number 35 already:
Create a weekly planner.  I already have my diary for 'appointments' and know all the regular things I need to do each week, but I want to plan my week better, so I can better manage my time. (i.e. have a set blogging day/time and a strict time of when I work on my Avon business etc.) and hopefully have more quality time with Little Spring during the day, more quality time with Big Spring in the evenings and earlier nights (so I can achieve #8, #18, #20 and #25).
Instead of just doing a basic paper one that I write on each week and then throw out when the week's finished, I decided to go all out and print up something pretty and laminate it, with matching laminated cards for the tasks.  I was going to use Velcro to attach the tasks to the calendar, but went with blue tack instead.  I think the Velcro would be too fiddly and I realised that if it was stuck on the calendar, you couldn't write on it if you wanted (using a whiteboard marker, you could add any additional notes or the non-regular appointments/tasks you had in that particular week).

I'm not usually one to blow my own horn so boldly, but I must say, I'm pretty proud of how it looks, I think because it turned out a lot better than I'd expected (especially with dramas I'd been having with my colour printer).  I designed the calendar and cards myself, printed them off, laminated them, cut out the task cards and voila - see for yourself:
 The Calendar - Slightly smaller than A3 when placed together (2 A4 calendars put together to make one)

The Task Cards - colour coordinated depending on the type of task

 The finished look! Based on my calendar for when we return from our trip down south in the coming weeks

If you are interested in having one of these Weekly Activity List for yourself, I'd be happy to customise one just for you and send it off.  Just let me know and I'll work out how much it will cost.  I can customise the colour of the calendar, the words to go on the task cards and the colours used to colour code the type of tasks.

So, 1 task down, 35 to go!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

36 to 36

I don't know if I should be thanking them or not, but Loz and Anna have convinced me to do a mini bucket list.  Seeing as it was just my birthday last week, it was the right time to do it.  Each of them had a lot less to do than me (showing my age difference!) but I'll still attempt it!  Basically, I'm aiming to complete 36 tasks before my 36th birthday.

My hesitation in doing the list is I feel I have enough on my plate to put 36 intentional things on that plate... but the organised (read: OCD) part of my personality is saying "do it, you know you want to... it's a list, that you can TICK off when you've achieved something on the list.  Ticking things off on a list feels good.  Go on, try it!".  Obviously that voice has won!  However, I'm not going to pressure myself too much.  It will be great to get all this stuff ticked off, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I get to my birthday next year and haven't done everything.  With that said, here goes!

(whew... I've gotten up to 24 and am stuck!) 
(now up to #30 and struggling even more!)

Yah!  I did it!  I don't know if they are all in the spirit of what the list is about, but it's my list, I made it to 36 (which is 8 and 9 more than my friends, so there!  LOL) and I am happy!  I'll keep you posted how I go!

  1. Get the cross stitch I did for Little Spring (that I started before she was even born) finally framed.
  2. Learn more about my camera and its functions (using the 'homework" that my aunty was assigned before her photography course which gets you familiar with your camera).
  3. Finish the aprons I'm making for gifts and for the winner of my "Cooking Like Grandma" Experiment participant. 
  4. Get the bridal party photos from our wedding framed... finally (they were only taken 10 years ago!).
  5. Enroll Little Spring in 3 year old Kindy for next year.
  6. Get into a regular exercise program and stick to it.
  7. Lose at least 10kg... and keep it off.
  8. Get into a better habit with my devotion life.  Set aside time each day.
  9. Finish my scrapbooking for my US travels, significant birthdays, Little Spring's life to date and Big Spring's ordination.
  10. Increase my Avon client base (I was going to put a number of how many clients to reach, but I can't control that entirely, so won't put a number.  I'm currently at 46, so will update you on how many I have this time next year!).
  11. Send out at least 10 birthday cards during the year.  I've gotten very slack and haven't sent out any for many months.
  12. Following on from #11, send out notes to all the dear friends I've missed sending birthday cards out to over the last few months (they were in my thoughts, but I didn't send cards).
  13. Reply to 2 friends who have send me a number of hand written letters, but I haven't replied as yet (sorry, Ange and Leah, that's you!).
  14. Write a book based on my "Cooking Like Grandma" Experiment with menu plans, shopping lists, recipes and other tid bits (self-published/printed, for myself and can print copies for anyone else who might be interested).
  15. Start going to markets and fairs up here, to see if I can find some vintage gems... a teapot for an old fashion morning tea party I'd like to have; tiered serving trays for said party and other trinkets such as those.
  16. Get rid of as much 'processed' food as possible from the pantry and fridge.  I've already been trying, but it's a definite goal.  Whether it be giving it away to the charity food bin at church or using it up, I want to get it out of the house!
  17. Start making clothes for Little Spring and perhaps for myself... and even Big Spring!
  18. Read at least 3 books (not including devotional - see #8).  This seems really pathetic seeing as I love reading and used to be able to read a book in a week or two... but I am a mummy now and have many things on the go and don't have the time like I used to (i.e. when I worked, I'd read on the way there and back and during lunch).  I try reading at night, but I'm usually so tired I can't concentrate enough to actually read and soak in the words... this is more about getting to bed earlier!
  19. Organise another Christmas Gift Box for Big Spring.
  20. Start writing regularly in my journal again (and utilise many of my blog posts to catch up the years missing in between entries.)
  21. Continue to get my household in order - going through each room and purging things.  I've been doing this for a while, but I'm still not satisfied that I've gotten rid of enough.  There still seems to be so much clutter.
  22. Go through Little Spring's toys again and get rid of stuff.  She has heaps and a lot of is is not age appropriate anymore.
  23. Go through Little Spring's clothes and send some to a dear friend who's just had a little girl.
  24. With the rest of Little Spring's clothes, either sell through a pre-loved sale on FB or give to charity.
  25. Follow up friends and family who had given me specific prayer points last year, start doing regular praying again and seek out new prayer requests from friends and family. (to coincide with #8).
  26. Print off and send more photos of Little Spring to my dad - Poppa.  He doesn't use a computer so doesn't have access to the photos like my mum does.
  27. Finish typing up my Nana's (dad's mum's) recipes in a recipe book and send out to her descendants.
  28. Hold a foot spa pampering afternoon for my Avon clients (with a test run on my friends first!).
  29. Update Little Spring's Family Tree Photo Board with the new editions (and more updated photos of babies!).
  30. Give feedback on the "Cooking Like Grandma" Experiment (updating both my blog and Facebook Page).  Obtain feedback from participants, collate and publish.
  31. Learn more about 'clean' eating.  I stole this outright from Anna.  She got me curious to know what that actually meant and how closely it related to what I'm doing with my Experiment.  A quick search and I'm keen to learn more!
  32. Bake more bread.  Because of the Experiment, I've been baking my own bread and haven't bought any for a few weeks.  But, it means we run out because I don't have a stock in the freezer like we used to.  So, I need to bake a few loaves and put them in the freezer, so we can eat unprocessed bread but still be stocked up in the freezer.
  33. Make my own pasta for the first time.  A friend is lending me her pasta maker and I hope to start using it often so I can justify spending the money on my own and make fresh pasta.
  34. Make my own sorbet for the first time.
  35. Create a weekly planner.  I already have my diary for 'appointments' and know all the regular things I need to do each week, but I want to plan my week better, so I can better manage my time. (i.e. have a set blogging day/time and a strict time of when I work on my Avon business etc.) and hopefully have more quality time with Little Spring during the day, more quality time with Big Spring in the evenings and earlier nights (so I can achieve #8, #18, #20 and #25).
  36. Be more intentional with Little Spring's toilet training, without pushing her.  Look into it a lot more (have already Facebook researched it amongst friends) for hints, tips etc.
My list now on the wall, ready to be crossed off!

My Birthday

It's been over a week already, but I'm finally getting around to blogging about it... I had the most fantastic day, so wanted to share it with you as well.

It started off with a very lovely breakfast in bed (a "Happy Birthday Breakfast") from Big and Little Spring... bacon and eggs with a side of toast.  Yum!

Little Spring and I then headed to Mainly Music as usual for a Monday morning.  Once we were home, a dear friend dropped passed to whisk me away for lunch.  Big Spring had prearranged it so that he would look after Little Spring so I could head out for a lovely lunch.  We picked up another friend on the way and headed up to Palm Cove.
We enjoyed some delicious food.  We'd decided to go the banquets option to try some food we might not have otherwise ordered and had a giggle amongst ourselves when we realised we'd obviously been watching too much MasterChef and were analysing the food like we were Gary, Matt and George judging the contestants' dishes!  Unfortunately I was having too much fun and forgot to take a picture of the dessert (a wonderfully refreshing orange sorbet and a side dish of coconut roasted in palm sugar).  I even forgot to take a picture of the trio, so quickly snapped a photo before we got out of the car at home (L-R: Jan, Gae and me... I'm very blessed to have these ladies in my life).

Once home, I had some quality time with Little Spring and then got ready for dinner out.  I put on jeans and my heeled boots (both hadn't been out in quite some time - but with the weather cooling off, it was nice to slip into the jeans.  I don't think I'd worn my boots at all since being in Cairns and heels at all are quite rare up here, so I felt like a giant walking around the house!).

The 3 of us (the Springs) headed into the city, where we were meeting up with about 30 friends for dinner at Montezuma's - mmm... Mexican cuisine on my birthday.  Considering it's my favourite cuisine it was a fantastic way to end my wonderful birthday day!  We discovered that another new friend from church shares the same birthday as me, so we celebrated together that night.  I had a wonderful time and felt so spoilt for the whole day... I even got presents!! :o)

Here's how the day ended:
It was divinely delicious... and free because I was the birthday girl!

Thank to everyone for making my day so very special!

Just before I sign off, I wanted to share with you what one dear friend wrote in an email to me after I told her about the dinner: "Its confirmation that you are settled in up there, having 30 people along for dinner, what a blessing!".  Amen to that!  I was so warmed by that perspective and it made me cherish the dinner all the more.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost Sunday

It hit me this morning, sitting in church, how much I just love Romans 8. There are so many of my favourite Bible verses packed into this Chapter... I didn't even realise until today! I don't want this blog post to get too long, but I'm afraid it might if I find too many verses to comment on!  So, here goes... 
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (verses 1-4)
It is so reassuring to know that we are not condemned, but we have been set free from the law of sin and death.  What Christ did on the cross allows us to live freely with Him.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." (verses 26-27)
So often I call on this verse when I find it hard to find the words to pray.  Before Little Spring came into our lives, we struggled for a long time with infertility.  I couldn't tell you how many times I would lie in bed, crying without words, talking to God.  I couldn't finds words to actually form a prayer, but in my groans and sobs, I knew God heard me and that the Spirit was interceding for me.

I've also recalled this verse when I know I've needed to pray for a friend.  I was on my way to help her, but didn't actually know what was wrong and what I was specifically driving into.  All the way there, I was praying for her, but not knowing what I was actually praying for, but knew God would hear my prayers.  After picking her up and finding out what had happened for her to need me, I kept praying all the way home for Him to give me the words to speak to her while we drove.  It was a calming feeling being able to pray and know that the words I needed would be there, even if I didn't know what those words were going to be until the exact moment I needed them.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (verse 28)
Through this verse we have the confidence to know that if we are doing God's Will... I've blogged about this before in Q is for Qualified  - qualified even though I'm unqualified.  If you can't remember what I wrote, or haven't read it before, click on the link and have a read - it's a verse for you as well, especially if you ever feel inadequate for the work God has set out for you!
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (verses 38-39)
Another very reassuring verse!  Romans 8:31b also puts it in a nutshell: "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

I remember many years ago when I was attending an Easter Camp, we were all having some wonderfully quiet time of prayer in a large group/circle.  Suddenly one of the girls got up, screaming and shouting and horrible profanities came out of her mouth as she ran out the door, slamming it open as she went.  A minute or so later, a blood curdling scream could be heard further down the camp site.  This all came from a gentle, quiet girl and those left in the room were naturally quite upset and unsure of what had happened.  To this day, I still don't actually know what happened to her that night.  Anyway, I was very upset by it and when I got home, I was talking to my parents and was scared that if someone like this girl could get possessed (what I thought she was, but like I said, I don't actually know), what's stopping me?  The best thing my mum said to me was that if I had Jesus in me, nothing else could get in.  The verse above reminds me of that it it's comforting to know!

Of course, there is so much more to Romans 8 than what I've written above, but those few verses are the ones that I always remember and often come to mind in certain circumstances.  If you haven't already done so today, I encourage you to read Romans 8 and absorb all that God has to say to you and may He bless you as you read His Word and open your ears and hearts to hear His message for you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


In my inbox, I recently received an email from "Baby Centre", a website I've been subscribed to since before Little Spring was even born.  It took me through her size in my womb each week.  Then, when she was born, it took me through her approximate development stages etc.  I'm still receiving the emails, but now that Little Spring is much older, the emails are a lot broader.

I found the latest post very interesting.  It was titled: "Your 2-Year Old: Intro to Manners". It went on to say:

I was actually a little baffled by this statement.  I never considered that manners were 'age appropriate' considerations.  From the moment Little Spring was able to talk, we taught her to say please and thank you (ta).  She was even at a point quite a while ago (and still is now), where she will continue to say "ta" until you reply with "you're welcome."  (We've had to warn people of this, to ensure they don't get an onslaught of ta's because they didn't know how to be compliant!).  Little Spring has also started to pick up saying "you're welcome."

I can't imagine not having taught Little Spring until now, especially with how well she uses her manners.  Of course, sometimes we have to prompt her, but she understands the concept and will use manners more often than not.  She understands what we mean when we say "where are your manners?" and will promptly use them appropriately.

She's even learned excuse me, which I was quite surprised by!  The other day, I was doing some cooking at the stove.  Little Spring came in carrying her steps (for the bathroom, to reach the sink), which she brings in to 'help' me in the kitchen.  I was obviously in her way, which she had no hesitation in advising me by saying "excuse me" quite clearly!  I then had to politely tell her that she couldn't stand in front of the stove because it was dangerous, but I was very proud of her using her manners all the same.

I think the most confusing things for kids is teaching them "please" whenever they ask for something.  They learn the concept, but get a bit confused thinking that by using that 'magic' word, they'll get exactly what they ask for no matter what.  Unfortunately it's a hard lesson to learn that "please" doesn't actually guarantee a positive response to their request.  Please should always be used, but it doesn't always get what you want!

When Little Spring uses please to ask for something I don't want her to have, I make an effort to praise her for using her manners, but try to explain that it was right that she said the word, but it doesn't mean she'll always get what she asks for.  Does an almost (in 3 months!) 3-year old get that concept?  Poor Little Spring.  If she really wants something, she'll then plead with me, with just one word "please?".  Over and over, and over again!

Anyway, this post isn't to brag about how wonderful Little Spring is (although we do think she's pretty wonderful!), but to put forward my confusion regarding an appropriate time to start teaching children manners!

Maybe it's just how I was raised, but if you are a parent, when did you teach your children manners and if you aren't a parent, how old would you expect a child to be before they started using manners with you?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Recipe Update and Starting the Experiment

I'll update the relevant recipe post as well, but I've just realised that I neglected to write the instructions for "Macaroni American" for Day 2.  My apologies!  Here they are below:

Cook macaroni according to directions for Boiled Spaghetti (Day 1).  Combine tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and bay leaf; heat.  Cube cheese.  Alternate layers macaroni, tomatoes and cheese in greased baking dish.  Cover; bake in moderate oven (370oF.) 15 minutes.  Serves 4-6.

Read on if you haven't started the Experiment yet, but would like to...

DON'T STRESS!  There seem to be quite a few of you who haven't started yet, because of time factor, forgetfulness, only just found out about it etc. and that's okay!  It's not too late!

Obviously having one start date wasn't the best idea on my behalf, so I'm letting you all know you can still join us!  Whenever it is that you are ready to start (this week sometime, next week, maybe a couple of weeks), start then.  I would rather have more people participating with different start times, than only a very few who were actually able start at the same time as me.

If you have started, please let me know in a comment on The Experiment Page.  If you haven't started, please let me know when you plan to... I'm so excited by all the feedback of people interested in this Experiment and I can't wait to hear what you all thought of it!

Happy experimenting everyone!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 2012 Date Night

Well, here is our May Date Night.  Unfortunately we haven't had our April Date Night yet, but once we've had it, I'll be posting it!

The Date Envelope:
Mock room keys that I made up (printed off some images from the web and then laminated then)
Brochure for Sabaya Ridges (formally Ridges Reef Resort, where we stayed for our honeymoon)
Information brochures on things to do in Port Douglas

The Plan:
Little Spring was picked up by some dear friends of ours, so that we were able to have our first ever night away since she came into our lives!

We then drove up the coast to have a romantic night away to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary... at the same place where we went for our honeymoon!

On the way, we stopped off at a beautiful place called Thala Lodge for lunch.  We'd been planning on going there since moving up here, but just hadn't had the chance, so thought this would be the perfect opportunity!  We had a delicious lunch and then headed on our way up to Port Douglas.

After checking in, we enjoyed some complimentary champagne and dessert bites (I'd arranged for wine and chocolate dipped fruit on arrival, but there had been some confusion, so they brought this up last minute... no complaints from either of us!).

We then went and explored the Resort.  A lot had changed since we'd been there 10 years ago, but there were some very familiar things as well.  We made a reservation for dinner and discovered that that night was the grand opening of their newly branded Ridges "QT".  We were going to be one of the first to eat in the restaurant!

While we waited for our reservation, we sat in the lounge bar and enjoyed a cocktail and coffee (guess who had which drink?!).  It was lovely and relaxing!

Just before dinner, we went back to the room to get changed and came down to discover a feast before us.  It was a buffet with almost everything you could think of and Big Spring got his fill of fresh seafood!  We felt like VIP with all the waiting staff constantly checking to see how everything was, plus all the managers etc striking up conversations to get feedback on the meal etc.  We couldn't express highly enough how wonderful it all was!

The next morning, we were the second people seated to enjoy their brand new breakfast menu.  We felt a bit special.  After discovering our check out was at 11am instead of 10am (as originally thought) we were able to take our time a little more, enjoying all that breakfast had to offer!

It felt like we'd eaten nonstop since starting on our romantic night away, so decided not to stop for lunch somewhere on the way home, and instead, drove straight to our friends' house to pick up Little Spring.  As much as we really enjoyed our time together, we missed our little girl and were looking forward to seeing her again after 24 hours!

On a side note, when were checking out, there is a little quaint shop with old fashion games and trinkets for sale.  I couldn't resist buying a box of jacks to take home.  My best memory of that game, is sitting on my cousin's kitchen floor, playing it with my family in 1988/89 on our trip to the States.

The Memories:

Lunch at Thala Lodge, with a gorgeous view!

Chillaxing in our room when we first arrived.  The sweets were samples of the dessert on offer for dinner that night.

More chillaxing at the lounge bar... Delicious Hibiscus Martini... some of the water running through the resort and the breathtaking sunset view from our balcony in our room

Dinner in the Bazaar Restaurant (new QT Brand).  Sorry for the dark photos but I didn't want to put the flash on and ruin anyone's intimate night!

 The section of the resort where we stayed on our honeymoon had been sold off to another hotel chain, but we took a walk down memory lane anyway.  This path hasn't changed a bit since we were there and I took this picture because this is where, at night, Big Spring stepped on what he thought was a piece of bark, which turned out to be a snake which uncoiled and struck him on the heel... thankfully it hit the strap of his sandal and not skin!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Well, I successfully (on the most part) bought all the food needed for next week's Cooking Like Grandma experiment!  It was a little exhausting (especially with Little Spring not being a happy camper for most of the time, when she normally loves shopping!), but relieved to have it done!  Here is some feedback for you, which might come in handy, if you haven't yet done your shopping (better get on to it though... there's not long to go!):

Cereal - I went with the rolled oats
Fresh Yeast - I couldn't find fresh yeast, so going with the dried yeast instead
Whole wheat flour - that's wholemeal flour in Australia
Dried savory - I couldn't find any so will just leave out as the suggested substitutes are thyme, sage or marjoram, which are already included in the poultry seasoning
Shortening - I decided to go with lard (pig fat - mm, nom, nom, pig fat!) instead of butter
American Cheese - as we don't have that 'variety'/'brand' here in Australia, I went with Cheddar
Fish - I'm cheating a little - instead of buying a whole fish and cutting off the head and tail and having to scale and debone it (as per the recipe), I've bought some fresh fish fillets instead and will prepare them with the same ingredients to get the same results
Tiny pork sausages - as Big Spring doesn't eat pork, I'm substituting these with beef ones
Pimientos - I couldn't find any here (don't think they have them in Australia), so just going with bell peppers as a substitute (they are a variety of bell peppers anyway)
Watercress - although common, I couldn't find any, so will probably leave that out of the recipe
Horseradish - couldn't find this at the greengrocer or supermarket as a 'vegetable' so might have to just buy a jar of it

Aside from those things above, I've been able to get exactly what I needed, which is awesome!  When I got home, I cleared out the fridge to make way for the Experiment (everything else was relegated to the outdoor drinks fridge!):

Except for the chili sauce, cheese and sausages, everything is unprocessed and in it's rawest state

I did the same for the pantry - I dedicated a shelf to the experiment ingredients.  Makes me realise how much 'stuff' I have in the pantry.  I don't know about you, but I clear it out and then it just builds up again!  Now I have one shelf for a whole week's worth of meals...what's with all the other shelves?!

 Almost everything here is in it's most natural state.  I was glad to read only one ingredient listed on most packaging, in other words, no additives, preservatives etc.  Next time, when I have more time, I'll actually cook my own tomatoes instead of buying them in a can, but I was a bit pressed for time and had to be realistic.  At least the other ingredients listed on the can didn't have numbers beside them (i.e. being a chemical), but were more natural ingredients for preservation. 

Good luck with your shopping!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Giveaway: The Experiment

As I've mentioned on "The Experiment" page, everyone who participates in this Experiment with me, will go into the draw to win a handmade (by me!) vintage apron.  Winners are not restricted to Australia. 

Here is what participants will be going in the draw to win:

To ensure you are in the draw, make sure you've done one of the following:
  1. If you are a blogger, let your readers know about this experiment via a blog post and link up with me the Experiment Page, with a link to your blog post (not your blog); or
  2. Leave a comment at the bottom of the Experiment Page; or
  3. Send an email to chattonell (at) gmail (dot) com.
If you are one of the people who would like to participate, but can't in the week I've set and haven't already let me know, please advise when you'll be trying the Experiment so I can keep in contact.

To be eligible to win the apron, you'll need to provide feedback after the Experiment is finished as well.

Happy cooking everyone, and good luck!

Shopping List: The Experiment

Below you find a list of all the ingredients you will need for the week.  You will note that I haven't put quantities of each item on the list.  This is because each of you will have a different family structure and how many people you will be cooking for each day.  You may need to adapt each recipe (double or halve, for example) the recipes, which will alter the quantity needed.  I've tried to itemise each of the ingredients to help you search for the items in the supermarket.

The ingredients listed in orange, are additional ingredients needed to make the poultry seasoning from scratch if you choose.

The ingredients listed in blue, are additional ingredients needed to make the Thousand Island Dressing from scratch if you choose.

The ingredients listed in green, are additional ingredients need to make the Taco Sauce from scratch if you choose.

Baking Goods Dried Fruit/Nuts
uncooked oatmeal dates
salt figs (or dates)
bran nut meats
soda raisins
flour salted almond nut meats
cereal walnuts (or almonds)
baking powder chopped peanut meats
fresh yeast Dry Food
whole-wheat flour brown or long grain rice
cornstarch Doritos

Dried Herbs/Spices macaroni
pepper soft bread crumbs
dry mustard
paprika Vegetables
cayenne Avocado
bay leaf onion
curry powder garlic
dried marjoram bell pepper
dried savory celery
dried parsley lettuce
dried sage pimientos
dried thyme tomatoes
rosemary green pepper
onion powder mushrooms
chili powder carrot
cummin  cabbage
garlic powder cucumber

Liquids white onions
salad oil potato
vinegar watercress
Worcestershire sauce cauliflower
pineapple syrup horseradish
chili sauce Fruit
tomato sauce (juice) lemons

Dairy/Cold Fresh Herbs
milk parsley
butter chives
Cream Canned Goods
eggs tuna
cheddar cheese kidney beans
parmesan-style cheese cooked tomatoes
American cheese cooked/canned corn

canned pineapple slices
Meat capers
bacon chopped stuffed olives
minced chicken gherkins
minced beef
cooked chicken
whole fish
spring chicken
tiny pork sausages
lamb shanks

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recipes - Day 7: The Experiment

Wow!  Day 7's recipes below... I didn't think I'd get them all finished today, but I have and it's a relief!  Going through the recipes in such detail has my mouth watering though, and I can't wait to start trying them all next week!

Another ingredient that I've researched (included in Day 7's recipes) is "horseradish".  I've certainly heard of this, but only in its form in a jar.  Here's what Wikipedia had to say: "Cooks use the terms "horseradish" or "prepared horseradish" to refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar. Prepared horseradish is white to creamy-beige in colour. It will keep for months refrigerated but eventually will start to darken, indicating it is losing flavour and should be replaced."

Recipes - Day 6: The Experiment

Day 6's Recipes below... we're nearly there!  Once again, I referred to a number of webpages, which I've included at the very end of this post, so you can click straight on the link if you want...
Thousand Island Dressing History and Recipe
Taco Sauce suggested recipe

Recipes - Day 5: The Experiment

Day 5's recipes below!  In one of the recipes, I refer to "Poultry Seasoning".  On googling what this would be, I came up with the following suggestion:
2 Tablespoons dried marjoram
2 Tablespoons dried savory
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon dried sage
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 pinch rosemary
1 pinch onion power
Blend all of the spices together and store in an air-tight container. Use for stuffing and poultry.  Makes about 1/3 cup.  Tip: If you prefer a more powdery consistency, grind your poultry seasoning with a mortar and pestle or pulse it briefly in a food processor.

Recipes - Day 4: The Experiment

Day 4's recipes below!  You'll note that I've added some information regarding one of the ingredients on the list, and included some website references.  If you'd like the direct links so you don't have to type them in, I'll include them at the very bottom of this post.
Link to breakfast cereals
Link to cereals

Recipes - Day 3: The Experiment

Day 3's recipes below.

Recipes - Day 2: The Experiment

UPDATE: I realised that I neglected to write the instructions for "Macaroni American".  My apologies!  Here they are below:

Cook macaroni according to directions for Boiled Spaghetti (Day 1).  Combine tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and bay leaf; heat.  Cube cheese.  Alternate layers macaroni, tomatoes and cheese in greased baking dish.  Cover; bake in moderate oven (370oF.) 15 minutes.  Serves 4-6.


Phew!  Day 2's menu was much quicker to collate, as you can see below!

Recipes - Day 1: The Experiment

Below you will find the recipes you need for Day 1 of the Experiment.  Whew!  It's taking a bit longer for me to collate these than I thought... making everything from scratch leads you from one recipe to another just for the ingredients list.  But, I'm still excited (even though it's hard work!).

The pictures below are jpeg, but should be a standard A4 size to print out.  Please let me know if you have any issues with printing them out legibly and formatted okay.

(Update: I just did a test run of printing them out and I think you will need to save these images to your computer and then print.  If you print directly from this page, they come up very small.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Desserts and Snacks - The Experiment

Hey everyone!

It's only a week until we begin the "Cooking Like Grandma" experiment!  I hope you're as excited as I am!  If you haven't registered your interest yet, please make sure you do on the dedicated Cooking Like Grandma page.  And don't forget to pass this on to any family and friends who might be interested in joining us!

So, you will have seen from a previous post the anticipated Menu Plan for the week.  You'll note that I haven't included snacks or desserts.  I didn't want to make it too strict and regimented for you, so I didn't add these things as well.  If you are interested in a meal plan for these as well, please let me know and I'd be happy to include some recipes that I'll be using during the week.

I'm actually going to use the Master Mixes for most of them, I think.  Although these are from my aunty, not my grandma, they are in line with my 'new' food philosophy in regards to cooking from scratch and getting rid of as many additives and preservatives from my diet.

In regards to how deep you and I want to go regarding the purging of additives and preservatives, here are some suggested steps during our experiment week:

Step 1: Getting on board this experiment and using the meal plan I've prepared (which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Step 2: Using 'vintage' dessert and snack recipes instead of store bought/prepared food for your morning/afternoon tea and treats.
Step 3: Buying organic fruit, vegetables and meat.  I haven't looked into organic food before.  I've never considered buying it because it's more expensive and harder to come across (although it's become more and more accessible), not to mention my lack of passion for any one particular 'healthy eating' view... until now!).  I'm planning on doing more research to find out what organic actually means, but my gut tells me that there wouldn't be chemicals on/in the food from insecticides, washing, hormones etc.  It would replicate food grown in your backyard.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Life in Alphabet - X

is for X Generation... Generation X! "The generation born after the Western post-World War II baby boom endedWhile there is no universally agreed upon time frame, the term generally includes people born from the early 1960s through the early 1980s, usually no later than 1981 or 1982"  Born in 1977, I definitely fit that criteria!

I did a little more research and found this list of traits of Gen Xers...
  • Individualistic
  • Technologically Adept
  • Flexible
  • Value Work/Life Balance 
I think I can relate to each of those characteristics, even if not for the same definition that was given on the website!

What generation are you, and do you agree with the 'generalisation' that is made of your generation? 

Just 2 more letters to go and then I'm finally finished my Life in Alphabet... this was suppose to be a month long project, but has turned into quite a few months!  Oops!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Menu Plan - The Experiment

In case you're a little worried about what we'll be eating during my Cooking Like Grandma Experiment, here's the menu plan to ease your mind!

 (If you click on the menu, it will take you to another page, where it will be larger and you can read it much easier).

There's nothing too out there!  No liver, or offal or anything else equally not-so-pleasant.  Then again, maybe that's your cup of tea and are disappointed there's none on the menu!

Most of these dishes are taken from the books I received in the package that started it all, but I have also taken a couple of recipes from Grandma Ellie's recipe tin, so there are a couple of 'newer' dishes dated around the 1960s.

I thought I'd ease into the whole Cooking Like Grandma thing... if this menu plan goes well and I get some good feedback, I hope to do this again in future, and might find some dishes to get a bit more adventurous with my taste buds!

If you have any thoughts on the menu plan, feel free to share them on the blog.  The experiment hasn't started yet, but initial feedback is welcome!

14 days until we start!  I'm excited!  I would like to have started earlier, but because of what the coming weeks look like, it might have been a little hard to stick to the plan for the whole week.  I hope you're getting excited as well!

As always, stay tuned for further updates... I'll be posting more information leading up to the start date, to ensure you have all the resources you need to 'experiment' with me!


I love a good bargain, especially when it comes to clothes.  And today I found just that!  At the church where Little Spring and I go to playgroup, they were having a sale of all the clothes they didn't sell at a fair they had over the weekend.  "Fill a bag for $5".  I filled 2!  I don't if all the clothes fit, but for $10, even if I only get 2 items out of it, I'll be happy!

3 tops, 4 skirts, 5 dresses and some clothes for Elijah... I definitely think $10 is a bargain!  Now to go and try them all on.  If they don't fit, I'll just recycle them back into the goodwill pile.  We've recently had a huge cull of our clothes and other things, so there's bags full at the front door, waiting to be given to the op shop... and few more donations won't hurt!

What bargains have you discovered recently?  Or, if it's been awhile, what's the best bargain you've ever found?