Sunday, December 29, 2013


 A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.
See that number up there? It's the last week of 2013: I can't believe it. How time has zipped by.
I will be doing the 52 project again next year. It's been so amazing capturing photographs of my children. It's been a pure delight, and I can't wait to turn them into photo books. (One day. Sooner than later. Maybe...)

Our kids on Christmas Day.

Kelly: The Joy.
Leah: The Presents.
Madison: The Angst.
Noah: The anticipation.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Oh Christmas. You already feel like forever ago. But I miss you. Actually, I miss you and the food. And the vibe. The Christmas music. The madness. There's something magnetic about you, that I don't want to give up just yet.

Perhaps it's Christmas Eve dinner with just our family: pie with roast veggies (complete with crispy potatoes) and pavlova; opening up our first presents (pyjamas), and then watching Carols on TV until we can't keep our eyes open...

... Or perhaps it's brunch on Christmas Day with Grandma and Grandpa: corn mini-quiches, sausages with caramelised onion, bircher muesli, nutty granola, and home baked bread. Eaten in excitement of what comes next...

... Presents. It's true, we don't let our children open one presents until it's almost lunch time. Some would say we were just awful to make them wait, but our kids have never woken early on Christmas Day, and I'm not undoing that for anyone! Besides, we think it gives them even more time to get excited about their presents. And it's worth the wait. When Daddy Santa calls their name, they are pretty much delighted with their (whopping) pile.

And while our big girls go off to have lunch with their mum and family, the next few hours are spent at home playing with each new toy. This year, I actually enjoyed my gifts for a little while before cleaning up the gift wrapping and preparing for the next meal. Leah gave me Abba/Arrival, and I went back to my childhood - around 10 years old to be exact - and remembered songs I haven't heard since then. Oh, how wonderful it was!

After some quiet time at home, we got ourselves ready for high tea at my husband's brother's place. On Christmas Day, we usually do dinner, but to ensure that we were able to have Christmas with my nieces, we pushed things earlier. Besides, who needs to eat three huge meals on Christmas Day? We met back up with our girls and enjoyed more food, and then headed outdoors to enjoy the late afternoon sun. We were back at home by 8:30pm, and the boys were bushed. The girls unwound by reading and watching a few TV shows on rewind while I got organised for our holiday.

I'm not sure what I love the most about Christmas. Perhaps it's all of it. Cooking like a mad thing; a house full of our children; watching the faces during the present opening; or remembering the Prince of Peace who was born to save us all. All in all, each Christmas is pretty memorable. And this year, the sun was shining, on what was almost a perfect Christmas Day.

What are your Christmas traditions? How do you "do" Christmas?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013



When I was looking for a good vegetarian savoury for Christmas, my Foodie Friend Melissa shared this recipe. I love it and since she's given it to me, I've made it each Christmas. You can have it hot or cold, with vegetables or salad, gravy or cranberry sauce. It's versatile, and quicker to cook than a turkey too!

There's no need to baste and it's great for Christmas Day. Gobble, gobble [it all up]!

250g ground cashews
125g fresh breadcrumbs
3 large eggs
250mls water
1 onion, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon marmite or vegemite
30mls vegetable oil
chopped parsley (whatever amount you like, a lot is good!)

1 Mix all ingredients together and put into a greased pudding basin. Cover with foil and tie with string or cover with the pudding basin lid. Put the pudding basin into a large pot and pour hot boiling water into it to cover about halfway up the basin. Place the pot lid on, and steam for an hour and a half (sometimes it needs 2 hours, but no longer as you want your mock turkey to be moist). Remember, to keep topping up the water with more boiling water.
2 When the middle starts to rise and the skewer comes out clean, remove the basin from the pot, and let it rest for about half an hour. Tip it onto a plate and slice it up.

Merry Veggie Christmas!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013


 A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.
Noah: So shy and quiet.
Madison: School friends + Christmas party + Pool = Memories forever.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Ho ho ho! You thought I had forgotten about this little spot of the world, didn't you? Well, I haven't, but late, late at night I think about all the things I usually enjoy but haven't had time for. And this little spot on the WWW often gets left till last when things are slightly craaazy.

Is it just me, but is the mad frantic stuff is almost over? You know, school concerts, work parties, last minute catch ups, more Christmas dinners than you can poke a stick at? I'm not complaining, no. But I'm looking forward to catching a breath soon. A little nanna nap on Christmas day, perhaps?

One of the things I do enjoy is Food Club. Oh, how I love it. And this weekend we enjoyed a little Christmas finger food at Melissa's place. She always makes her home so warm and Christmassy. And her neighbour has one of the most impressive Christmas light displays you ever did see. So commuting was on the cards as there is just not enough parking space on her street this time of year.

Oh, and here's a little of what we enjoyed at her home filled with people, candles, and tasteful Christmas decorations:

Pesto Cheese blossom
Iced Tea

Quinoa cakes with smoked salmon, shaved asparagus and crème fraiche
Individual sweet potato, mint and goats cheese tartlets
Cucumber tuna bites
Loaded potatoes
Mini bean salads with basil dressing
Chilled mulled wine

Mini Dulce de leche (posh caramel) ice creams
Lemon curd polenta tarts
Chocolatey chocolate cake
Egg nog

It was delicious!

I'm hoping there's a little time for more December posts, unless I overindulge in photo-taking when we head to the beach in a few more sleeps!

How have you spent your busy December? I know it's been busy. Don't you wish our school year started in June like the northern hemisphere? Less end of year concerts and break up events, don't you think?