Tuesday, May 28, 2013

brown rice salad - great for using up leftovers

I make this recipe when I have random bits of vegetables leftover - it is a good way to use them up! I add this to little containers for the Big Little's lunch and the Husband likes it too.

Ingredients for salad:
3 cups brown rice
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
1 small zucchini, finely diced
bunch of asaparagus
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pepitas

For the dressing:
2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
juice of one lime
1 tsp fish sauce

  1. Cook the rice however you prefer (I do it in the Thermomix). Add it to a bowl to cool.
  2. While rice is cooling, add the oil to a fry pan and then add the vegetables and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook for a few minutes until slightly golden and cooked through. Add to bowl with rice.
  3. Add sunflower seeds and pepitas to bowl.
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add to the rice and vegetables, mixing through with your hands.

Enjoy! Can be eaten hot or cold.

Serves 6.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What going out to brunch with a toddler *really* looks like.

So you get an idea in your head about going out to brunch with your beloved, because he has his first day off in six days and you know this great place with amazing eggs to eat. You drop the Bigs off at their respectable kindergarten/school, and off you go. Except, wait; you have to take the 18 month old, but nah, that's OK, we will cope, it will be fine, surely it can't be that hard.

Here's what it looks like.

Arrive at cafe, are seated by a lovely waiter, order your coffees and tell baby she has to stay in the pram.
You don't usually use the pram because it's more effective at keeping her out of mischief by tying her to your back in a wrap, but you figure in this situation the pram is warranted. It's a lovely pram, cushy, shaded and comfortable. The baby should really appreciate this, you think.
"No no no! OUT!" she says, struggling free of the buckles and rocking the pram side to side. Baby clearly has other ideas.
So you let her out, and put her into the highchair provided by the lovely cafe. She immediately stands up in it, despite being buckled in.
"DOWN. Chair!" she says to you.
"OK, fine" you say to her. You carefully rearrange the table and chair a bit so that the chair blocks off a small gap which Baby could use to get out and run onto the road.

You're standing beside the table, Husband is sitting on the chair opposite Baby. You go to sit down, Baby says "NO. Stand!"

Yep, this looks like fun.

The lovely waiter takes your order, and Baby makes a beeline for the cup which has sugar sachets in it. You quickly intercept, and convince her that she can play with the sugar sachets if she agrees to sit in the highchair. She agrees. You sit down in your chair. Baby is angelic, blonde, beautiful, and happily plays with the sugar sachets for a good ten minutes putting them from one cup to the next, counting "one, two, four.......eight!"

You even manage to drink most of your iced coffee which arrived as you put her in the chair.

Winning, you think.

But hang on, Baby is done with the sugar game now. You quickly make your order for breakfast (eggs Benedict with salmon, in case you were wondering) as you run off to grab her before she climbs into the lap of an old lady sitting at the next table beside you. "Cuddle?" she asks. The old lady agrees. This kid, she could get away with murder the way she charms people.

Breakfast is brought to the table and Baby is whining a bit, being placed back into the highchair. She keeps yelling "down! DOWN" so you try and bribe a few moments of peace by passing her your iPhone. This isn't greeted with much success as she tosses it onto the bricked floor. "No! Done!" says Baby, and she is standing up in the high chair again, precariously yet fearlessly, with that dazzling smile that means butter wouldn't melt. Except it *so* would.

Lovely waiter comes past with a barrel of monkeys for Baby, which entertain her for a whole 56 seconds, then are excitedly thrown over her shoulder, narrowly missing the old lady from earlier. "Monkeys gone. " says Baby.

Hrm, no shit.

It's Husband's time to wrangle now you think, he's finished 1/2 of his breakfast. So he gets ordered to sit on the bricked wall by Baby, and they play music seats for a while as you sit there and quickly shovel food into your mouth because you know it won't be long before it's your turn again.

Husband blows his nose, which equates to escape time in Baby language, and she runs to another empty table and starts pulling out napkin by napkin out, positively gleeful.

You glance at Husband, he glances at you, you mutually shrug, and then he brings Baby and her napkin holder and pile of napkins back to your table. You both finish your food. By finish, I mean inhale it very quickly.

Brunch is over. Food is finished. Coffee is drank. There's a pile of napkins beside you, which is the trade-off I guess.

Husband goes to pay for brunch at the counter, you quickly stuff the napkins back into the holder and exit the cafe.

You feel tired. That seems like a whole lot of effort for minimal gain. Yes the food was delicious, it was nice not to cook.. but was it worth it? Really?


Parenting. The ultimate exercise in temporary insanity.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

frystirfry mongolian beef

i found a recipe for mongolian beef which seemed OK but didn't have enough veges to me. so here's one i made up which is delicious! i am really fancy and used a large fry-pan because my wok died a bad death and this was the next best thing. it worked well, too. the frypan that is. so it's called a frystiryfry.!


500g lean beef strips
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 knob of ginger, minced
1 small red capsicum or half a big one, sliced into strips
1 leek, top and bottom removed, cut lengthways then into crescents
2 celery sticks, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/2 cup cornflour
 oil (not olive, I used macadamia but you can use coconut, peanut, sesame, grapeseed.. wot-evs)

steps to make it

  1. grab ya beef strips and dump it into a bowl that has your cornflour in it. use your hands to coat it. put to the side.
  2. add about 2 tbsp of your oil to a hot saucepan. then add the ginger and garlic. give it about 2 minutes to cook on a medium heat, stirring.
  3. add the soy/tamari and water, and bring heat up to a boil. add the sugar and let it cook about 3 minutes, then turn off the saucepan and set aside.
  4. in a large frypan (or wok if you want to be really fancy), add about 1/3 cup of oil and wait til it gets hot but not smoking. now add your beef strips and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes so they're seared but not cooked through. remove from heat, put beef strips onto a plate with paper towel and drain off excess oil.
  5. put frypan back onto high heat, add the sauce, it should boil fairly immediately. add the beef strips back, and now add the other sliced vegetables. 
  6. cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or so.

serve with brown rice or mung bean vermicelli and top with sesame seeds.


those damn silver linings

when you're having a morning where you wake up and the first thing you hear is fighting,
when your children are arguing before they have even opened their eyes
when you walk into the kitchen in a bleary-eyed haze and there are dishes aplenty,
when your six year old is screaming and crying in frustration over homework, repeating "there's no point, there's no point"and howling in a ball, and won't talk to you or let you touch her
when the baby eats bark and covers herself in it, lovely wet bark
when you have a small car accident and it's your fault,
when your take-away coffee order takes way too long to be ready,
when that damn duck at the park just will not leave you alone, 
when you notice that the washing has multiplied over night...

when. it's time to look for the silver linings
the friend you made at the park, who accepted and laughed with your filthy baby
the helpful woman on the other end of the phone, when you're gasping in frustration
that patch of sunlight on the grass,
the look on your six year old's face when she sees you have framed some of her artwork
the hilarity of a duck being annoying
when your husband holds you in his arms and says "don't explain. I get it. "

Those are the silver linings. They exist, even on the darkest mornings, despite that sun being up in the sky shining it's warmth even when you refuse to feel it. It's there. You are not alone.

quack quack. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

where do you begin

aside from jumping in the deep end?
a certain friend has pushed me to start blogging again so this'll have to do for the time being.
I'm hoping to have a fancier layout soon to keep me motivated.
The name chosen originates from the following:
Fireworks - the reality of living in a house among three fiery little women each with their own personalities and wits, weaknesses and journeys as children.
Waterfalls - we live on a mountain and there's a beautiful waterfall down the road. The waterfall represents the calm and serenity that I as a woman and a parent am constantly seeking. Sometimes it may be a beautiful view, others a yummy meal. Sometimes it's the quiet of children in bed after a day of screeching!
I found picking a name hard because I didn't want it to limit my writing.
I'm passionate about many things. I hope to paint a real picture of life for me. And I hope you'll get something out of it, whatever that may be.