Monday, August 16, 2010

Party Ideas

Little Man's first birthday is approaching faster than I ever expected.  

After much thought, research and brainstorming of ideas I think I have finally decided on the theme and colour scheme.

There is, however, just one thing that keeps niggling in my head:

They were featured here a little while back and I instantly fell in love.  I haven't been able to get them out of my head since then and desperately want to make a blue version for LM's party in October.  

My dilemma is the icing.  Is it runny frosting/buttercream, or is it ganache, or is it something entirely different?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated {I'm thinking of you MrsKT : ) }.

In the meantime I will be using this weekend's preschool cake stall as a trial run.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another favourite dinner

Here is the recipe to another family favourite of ours.  The only variation is that instead of the maryland I'd rather have the butcher cut up a whole chicken into six pieces and use that instead.   The reason being that Middle Man and I love the leg, Big Man and his father like the breast and the Big Man also likes the wing... I'm sure you know the drill.  Anyway, it works just as well and makes everybody happy.  The recipe comes from one of my old Notebook: magazines, May 2009 I think.

Thyme Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower

Preparation Time

10 minutes

Cooking Time

40 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 (about 800g) chicken marylands
  • 8 kipfler potatoes, washed, halved lengthways
  • 1/2 (about 600g) cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chicken stock
  • 1 tbs grated horseradish
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 bunch thyme
  • Steamed green beans, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat oil in a roasting pan over medium heat. Add chicken; cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. Add the potatoes to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to bowl. Add the cauliflower and onion and cook, turning occasionally, for 1 minute or until golden. Return chicken and potatoes to the pan.

  3. Combine wine, stock, horseradish and mustard in a jug and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven. Serve with steamed green beans, if desired.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spoilt Rotten

My husband knows that I absolutely adore fresh flowers and chocolate yet it takes a very special occasion, like the birth of a child for example, for him to ever bring me either.

I shall not complain.

Last weekend he whisked me off to Melbourne for some R'n'R while my mother looked after Big Man and Middle Man.  Little Man, who is still breast feeding, came along but it was still wonderful: exactly what I needed.

We kicked off the weekend with dinner at Nobu followed by an early night in bed.


After a little sleep-in on Saturday morning we drove south to the Mornington Peninsula for breakfast, lunch and wine tasting.  Breakfast was simple with just toast and coffee at a little cafe.  After a bit of a drive through the region we popped into a couple of wineries for some tasting before heading to Foxey's for some lunch and more wine tasting.  Lunch at Foxey's Hangout was awesome.  They do a whole lot of different tasting plates, a bit like tapas, and you can have your lunch with a glass of wine.  For anybody heading down there I highly recommend the mushrooms rolled in vine leaves.  My favourite dish by far.

Foxey's Hangout

The night was a very relaxing one for me: while my husband was out with clients at the rugby I had my Little Man bathed, fed and off to sleep early so that I could have a long bath, order room service and laze around with some trashy magazines.  I actually ate a three course meal of oysters, prawns and panna cotta uninterrupted.  Ahhh, bliss........

Our final day saw us indulge in the amazing breakfast at the Grand Hyatt.  My husband often stays there when he's in town on business and he's always raved about their fantastic breakfast.  He'd really talked it up so I was a little hesitant BUT..... O.M.G!!!  They have the most wonderful buffet spread you could e-ver imagine!  Fresh prawns, smoked salmon, a fridge full of fancy cheeses and cured meats, freshly cooked crepes and waffles... You name it; they have it.  I was in heaven.  

Dining room - Grand Hyatt Melbourne

I've now been back to reality for three days.  It's been good.  I could definitely do with a weekend like that every few months but it's definitely good to be back home with my big boys.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Comments please...

My friend Leanne from Mrs A in the Cove has given me my first blogging award - the Super Comments Award - and I am so excited.  Excited that, of all the blogs she follows and all the followers her blog has, she chose me among a handful of others.  Me.  Little-old-me, with my own handful of followers.  No more; no less.

Anyway, I'm very honoured and have just finished cooking dinner, washing up, bathing the boys and putting them to bed one by one, all the while thinking about what I will share about myself.  So here goes.

Why do you blog?
This is a long story.  Make a cup of tea and relax before you begin.

Earlier this year my husband and I were invited to 'Welcome Drinks' at the home of another family from Big Man's preschool.  I had absolutely no idea who 'Leanne' was and my husband and I both felt awkward going to the home of somebody we didn't even know.  For a whole week he nagged and nagged for me to find out whose house we would be going to, but I simply never got around to it.  

The afternoon of the party he phoned home from work to say he was almost ready to leave work and go to the party, and to ask if I'd found out who 'Leanne' was.  I hadn't.

I quickly hopped onto the computer and, TGFF (Thank God For Facebook), there was her gorgeous face (along with her gorgeous family) smiling back at me from her profile pic.  I instantly knew who she was.  I also noticed she had a link to her blog and the sticky-beak in me couldn't help herself.  I instantly fell in love with her blog and followed, in secret, for months for fear that she would think I was prying.  Eventually, I fessed up and was so inspired I started my own blog.  

To answer the question though, I don't really know why I blog.  I like being able to document my life; I like the idea of my boys being able to read this later; I love reading other people's blogs so I guess it's only fair that I share of myself too; I like writing; I like thinking about how I'm going to put my words together; I love the sound of the keys on the keyboard as I type with purpose, a purpose I don't really have for anything else in life at the moment except raising my boys.

What are your three best memories?

- Meeting my husband for the first time.  He smiled with his eyes and I was instantly besotted -

- The birth of each of my boys -

- All those moments of Deja Vu where I will be doing the most ordinary thing, and then somehow it will remind me of a place I've visited somewhere else on this Earth.  They are the simplest things like a smell, a song, the way the sun shines onto a footpath that take me back to a place I've visited in my travels -

If you could change your name, what would it be?

Oh, this is a funny question.

As a girl I hated having an ethnic name.  Mira is in fact short for Mirjana, a name that is rarely pronounced properly and Mira is what my family have always called me.  Growing up I just wanted an English name like all the other Australian girls at school.  Melissa, Michelle, Amanda were my favourites.   Come to think of it, I think my parents may also have been slightly embarrassed about my name too because every time my mother bought a birthday cake instead of baking one it said, "Happy Birthday Mary" on it.  Mary?  What the... ?

I have two older brothers, and the eldest is named Miroslav.  There is a family story of my parents wanting to name me Miroslava but my other brother got really upset that he wouldn't have a sister named after him.  In the end he was the one who chose Mirjana and, although I don't really like my name, it sure beats Miroslava which I associate with old ladies from my parents' village.  I have always been grateful to my middle brother for that.  

Now that I'm older I like the names of 'sexy' women.  Giselle and Eva are favourites nowadays.  Actually, I watched the Miss Universe pageant a few years ago and the Slovakian entrant, Miroslava, was hot hot hot!  All of a sudden I wanted to be Miroslava.

What are five things you can't live without?

I guess friends and family are the same for everyone, so I will list five in addition to this.

1.  Facebook
2.  Internet grocery shopping
3.  My car - actually, I probably could live without it, I'd just weigh 10kg less.  That would probably be a good thing...
4.  Antibiotics - someone in our home is always sick
5.  My GHD, concealer and tweezers

Four best books?

In a former life I used to read a lot.  I still love to read, but I barely have time to straighten my hair let alone read.  Here are my favourites over the years.  I cheated: I couldn't choose only four.

- The Body Shape Bible, by Trinny & Susannah -
- Baby Love, by Robin Barker -
- Conception, Pregnancy & Birth, by Miriam Stoppard -
- The Full Montezuma, by Peter Moore -
- The Babysitters Club series, by Ann M. Martin -
- French Letters, by Bruno Bouchet -

A unique and interesting fact about yourself?

I was a child piano prodigy.  

The piano used to be my whole world.  It isn't any longer.  In fact, the only time our paths cross is for about 5 minutes every morning when I encourage the Big Man to do his daily practice.  I actually don't miss it all that much.  There's more to this story but, like a friend I've lost touch with, it's not really a part of my life anymore and my life is as full as it ever was, with or without the piano.

What do you love best about yourself?

Two things:

I'm super-organised

I forgive easily 
(after all, I have my own flaws and need forgiveness too sometimes)

The best movie ever made?

The Wizard of Oz.  Hands down.  

If it were Freaky Friday who would I change with?

Ann Boleyn
I'm fascinated with this period in the history of the British royals. 

What's the best thing about being a woman?

I know I will alienate some women in saying this, but please know that that is not my intention as I too have suffered infertility and know how devastating it is...

...but the best thing that has happened to me, simply because I am a Woman, is experiencing pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

If you're still around and reading this ridiculously long post, Thank You.

So now, drumroll please....

My award goes to:

Melissa from Miss Sew & So
Yummy Mummy from Diary of a Yummy Mummy

I love reading your blogs and/or the comments you post on mine and would love to learn more about you.