Monday, 17 February 2014

Hats off to Mums with big families!

A Mum at Oscar's kinder/school was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and so has been undergoing surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. I reckon that would be pretty exhausting for anyone - but this lovely lady is also Mum to 5 young lads. Another Mum at the kinder very kindly organised a meals roster where friends and family can go online and allocate themselves a day to cook dinner for the family and drop it over so Mum has one less thing to worry about. Such a great idea and I, for one, appreciated the opportunity to support the family in a practical way. However - cooking for seven has been an adventure!

Mums of large broods I take my hat off to you! I've cooked for their family a few times, now, and planning and executing a meal for so many really tested me. Some things were a matter of scale. E.g. instead of cooking the meal I'd usually make for my family I would triple it - so there'd be two serves for their family and one serve for ours. But even that necessitated additional planning and preparation. While I'd usually have enough in my pantry to make a (small sized) family serve of whatever, making in larger quantities saw me checking the pantry and heading to the shops to get the larger quantaties required.

I have several friends who have 4 or 5 kids and none of them seem to spend every waking moment in the kitchen. I can only suppose they are more organised than I as it seems to take me so much longer!

On the plus side - the french bechamel Thermie recipe makes a litre of bechamel. Which is way too much for a typical lasagne - but was just the ticket for the 3 large ones I've made today. Similarly the quick and easy chicken and corn soup was quick and easy to do twice in a row - so there's a generous serve for their family tonight as well as ours.

So the meals are ready and I'll hand them over at school pickup. Unfortunately the house is a mess as I really have spent all day cooking!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

To keep the possums out...

So after Parkview was broken into the other day, Sean has been securing the house. Think fort knox ;)

We are getting a chunky screen on the laundry door (so it can be safely left open over night for ventilation), we're getting quotes for an alarm and integrated CCT system and Sean has also installed new bolts on the side gates which are going to be a lot harder for an intruder to get past.

New much longer padbolt on the side gate

Of course, while he was installing the padbolts it occurred to Sean that he might as well add a little protection along the top of the gates to protect against marauding possums. We have quite a possum plague around here, and as Sean's greenhouse is just behind the gate it seemed like a good idea to protect the fruit and vegies being grown there. When we saw these strips being sold at Gardenworld it seemed like just the ticket to deter a possum from climbing over the gate and onto the property ;)

Possum protection on top of the side gates

Friday, 14 February 2014


Logged on to Facebook the other day to discover I've won a gorgeous apron from a work at home crafting Mumma. Perfect timing now I have Thelma!

Cooking is such a joy with Thelma. With this stylish apron I am going to feel positively glamorous and even more inspired. So watch this space for more Thermalicious creations!

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Today tried something new in Thelma. A lime chilli chicken dish. Was delicious!

Needed something to cheer me up - today got home to find that Parkview had been broken in to :(  Not much taken - but still.

On the plus side, they didn't take Thelma! What with the police etc. I did not have time to make the lemon curd tart I'd also planned to thermie. So will try that tomorrow!

Lime Chilli Chicken with Lemongrass and Coconut

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Cooking with Thelma

Was stuck wondering what to make for lunch. As usual I waited until I started getting hungry to plan. Thankfully with Thelma it was easy to put together a meal quickly and easily. Portabello Mushroom and Pancetta Risotto! Served with a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc it was a delicious easy lunch made in minutes!

Now while risotto was not massively faster to make than making it the traditional way (although chopping the onion and herbs in seconds was nice) the real winner was sitting down and playing with the kids while Thelma did all the hard work.

I'm still experimenting (haven't even scratched the surface on what the Thermie can do) but so far so good - I can see me using this a lot.

Portabello and Pancetta Risotto

Friday, 7 February 2014


So Thelma the thermie has arrived! She's been here less than 24 hours and so far she has made:
  • Vegie stock
  • Creamy Beef Curry
  • Wholemeal pancake batter
  • Cosmopolitans
  • French onion dip
  • Chicken and corn soup
It is early days, and I am still finding my feet with it, but it's so awesome to sit and watch TV / do something else while your onion is sauteing away in the thermie. A few of the recipes I would tweak but all very pleasant. So far so good! And the crushed ice slushie drinks? Awesome. Particularly on a 40 degree day like today!