Monthly Archives: April 2011

Meat-Free Monday: The Controversial Edition – Salmon Fritters

source: Food

Now, there seem to be two ways of thinking on this. Some people are vegetarian and eat fish, others believe that fish falls under the meat category and think true vegetarians do not eat seafood. Me? I eat meat and really have no opinion either way, but unless people ask me not to, I may occasionally include a fish dish in my Meat-Free Mondays, simply because I have so many good ones and they are cheap and easy (which is the whole point of these recipes anyway).

These salmon fritters are packed full of vegie goodnes, but please don’t tell Isla because they are hands-down her favourite thing to eat. I make them for her probably once a fortnight, and Sparky and I eat them too. Usually will salad or steamed vegies.

You need:

a 400g tin pink salmon – drained, flaked, bones removed
a large carrot
a couple of potatoes
a zucchini
an onion
an egg
plain flour
vege oil

1. Pop the salmon into a large bowl. Grate up the carrot, zucchini, onion and potatoes and add to the bowl.

2. Combine with the egg and a couple of tablespoons of plain flour. Season and mix well.

3. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls.

4. Heat a centimetre or two of vege oil in a frypan and pop the salmon fritters in in batches. Shallow-fry for a few minutes, then flip and cook through on the other side. Drain on paper towel.

Seriously tasty and so yummy on a sandwich the next day too. Hopefully this didn’t offend anyone!!

Sweet Peas and Sickies

Do you know what’s worse than having a sick kidlet? Having two. Which is where we currently are. Awesome.

But both littlies are currently sleeping off their cold/fever/cough thing so I am going to get in a spot of quickie gardening and a dash quickie crafting. Then some longie ironing.

Quickie gardening first. Hurray for the sunshine!!

source: Muck About

12-14 weeks and I hope to have something like this blooming on our front and back decks. Because in 12-14 weeks, it’s going to be miserable winter to the maximum and some sweet floral tones will be much needed. Enter sweet peas! And if you have 15 minutes and a plant pot spare, you could share in the joy.

It’s traditional to plant your sweet peas on St Patrick’s Day (apparently seeds planted before sundown on St Paddys Day gives you the strongest, most prolific flowering plants) but all around Australia you can plant your seeds any time before Anzac Day, to give a beautiful show of winter/early Spring flowers.

I have a few spare terracotta pots in the backyard that I’m using, but you can grow sweet peas in the ground, as long as the soil is rich and free-draining. They also require full sun (at least 6 hours a day).

I picked up a few packets of seeds at Bunnings – they’re Mr Fothergills – and they were about $3 a pack. One is a dwarf, and the other two grow to around 1.5-2m tall, so obviously need a trellis or some sort of support support.

I bought some 1.5m bamboo posts from the local nursery that I’m making into teepees (check here for instructions) and have a good quality potting mix. Plant your seeds about one knuckle deep (roughly twice the depth of their diameter and water the soil. If the soil is damp when sowing, you won’t really need to water them again until the seedlings emerge in a couple of weeks’ time.

*Gardening Australia suggests gently rubbing your seeds in some sandpaper and soaking them in some water overnight prior to planting, but I need a fix right now, so I’m popping the seeds in straight out of the packet. Tut tut, I know.

As the seedlings emerge and tendrils start to grow, gently wrap the shoots around your trellis, to encourage the plant to grow upwards. And once flowers start blooming in 12-14 weeks, be sure to cut them regularly, as the more you remove the flowers, the more the plant will produce. And that means more beautiful, fragrant, ridiculously pretty blooms for your house. And your friends’ houses. And your nana.

source: Cupcakes and Cashmere

Have you planted anything lately? Got some soil beneath your nails? Sun on the back of your neck? x

Play Time! The Useful Box.

Strainers are way fun, but a useful box is better

I’m guessing most people grew up watching Play School. I know I did. And in fact, I remember pulling out my first tooth watching Play School. I was trying to pull my green flanelette nightie over my knees, using my teeth (as you do) when POP! out came my tooth. I freaked out. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I have always associated Big Ted and Jemima with my teeth ever since.

Weird anecdotes aside, I’ve started to put together a Useful Box for Isla, when we get our craft on. It’s a great way to recycle bits and pieces from around the house, and it means we can replicate lots of the crafts they make on Play School. (Almost all the crafts on Play School are made with toilet rolls, masking tape, crepe paper and paddle pop sticks. Totes inventive!) Not all of it is recycled, but some are party leftovers and others are from cheapy shops, like The Reject Shop.

So far I’ve got:

  • egg cartons
  • toilet rolls
  • glad wrap/foil rolls and boxes
  • pasta boxes
  • ribbon and fabric scraps
  • pegs
  • wool
  • pipe cleaners
  • googley eyes
  • mini pom poms
  • paddle pop sticks
  • plastic cups
  • paper plates
  • stickers
  • newspaper
  • tissue paper
  • old magazines
  • butchers twine
  • balloons
  • felt
  • rubber bands (from our newspapers)
  • crepe paper

It’s a work in progress, but I love that I can look at our recycling or “rubbish” and find fun, creative uses for a lot of it. Plus I totally love making things out of crepe paper!

If you’re looking for a humongous list of creative play time activities for your little ones, nieces, nephews or neighbours’ kids, or if you’re just keen on making puppets out of toilet rolls, check out the Play School activities listed here. Many a winters day will be had…

K.I.S.S: Love it or get rid of it

so we bid a slow goodbye to our clutter…

In the never-ending quest to simplify our lives, Sparky and I have a heap of stuff we’d like to get rid of. Most of it is in really good condition, but we just have no need for it anymore (if we ever really did have a need for it to begin with).

So I’ve decided to start getting rid of five extra, unnecessary things every week. It’ll be like an ongoing declutter. I’ll either be selling them on ebay, donating to charity, giving them to someone I know who needs it, recycling or, as a very last resort, throwing them away.

This week we hope to bid adieu to these, via ebay:

barely used snowboarding mitts

dakine wrist guards – worn about three times
brand new ski gloves
good condition electric ski/board goggles

lightweight snowboarding jacket – worn three times max

heavy duty helly hansen snow jacket

Sparky and I lived and worked in Canada for a year a while back and fell for the snow big-time. Unfortunately we’ve only been once since coming home and the chances of us hitting the hills any time soon are slim to none. So it’s all going. Our snowboards, bindings and boots are on next week’s hit list!

Anyone else have some extra stuff around that they can clear out? I bet you’ll feel better if you do!