Dearest Doggy-mama

Prompt #1 From Mama Kat this week is “Your pet wants to guest post on your blog”.  Sweet, I knew that Holy Shi Tzu has been biting his tongue for a while now, lets see what he’s got to say for himself;

Dear Mama

I think it’s time to clear the air.  You see I’m picking up these strange vibes in the house AND THEY ARE ALL COMING FROM YOU.

  1. You’re getting a little pushy and kicky in bed.  I know you are cold all the time so I try and get as far up in your grill each night to keep you warm.  I lay on your legs and pin you down so you won’t roll over into that cold spot, this way we all stay happy.  I feel like I am giving it 100% here, I AM A GIVER WOMAN,  but I’m not getting much back aside from being pushed off at 3am (though I’m sure this is accidental – just be a bit more careful ok?).
  2. Lets talk about the couch.  I’m pretty sure its my couch.  It’s brown, like me, has animal skin on it, like me and all the pillows on it are the same size as ME.  So…..when you shove me aside like I’m NOTHING, well this hurts, just remember how much you paid for me alright?
  3. Please also stop demeaning me by talking about my teeth in front of company.  They may be slightly buck, but if I was perfect how would all the other dogs in the world feel?  It’s hard enough for my friends having to live in the shadow of such a beauteous Shi Tzu, imagine if my teeth were straight!
  4. Please don’t let Dave Jack cut my hair again, EVER.
  5. Please trim my mullet so I can show off my studded collar to the Big Dogs, they know who’s boss but there is nothing like a little visual reminder of how tough I am.

That should do it for now, if you can work on those things in the New Year we’ll see about all those muddy footprints in the house, mmmmkay?


Capt. Lou Albano


Top 5 of 2009 – Pearl Jam Concert

What a year, seriously.  Not a stellar stand-out year by any measure but there were definitely some diamonds in the rough.

  1. The Pearl Jam concert. This show was incredible, the music, the weather, the company of my best friends and seeing a band you have loved for 16 years AGAIN.  How lucky am I?  So lucky in fact, that if I ever want to relive the moment all I have to do is watch the numerous videos I shot during my fav songs and listen to my god-awful-i-love-eddie-vedder wailing.  No.  I won’t be posting any of those for your viewing
  2. Pearl Jam Auckland 09

    Abs and I @ Pearl Jam


    The Jacks @ Pearl Jam!



Grilled Chicken Salad w/ Wasabi & Fresh Herb Dressing

Fact: This is the BEST salad ever.
Chef: Dave


Step 1:  Marinate chicken in soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce

Step 2:  BBQ the chicken breasts

Step 3:  Make the dressing while chicken is grilling; combine fresh garlic cloves, wasabi, fresh thyme, rosemary, basil, balsamic vinegar, EVOO and aioli.  Emulsify using your new George Forman Stick blender that you got for Christmas (thanks MIL!)

Step 4: Prepare salad of fresh lettuce greens, avocado, sunflower seeds, tomato and mashed boiled egg

Step 5: Slice cooked chicken, add to salad and top with the dressing.



Christmas Day 2009

I wasn’t prepared for just how prepared Ethan was to get amongst Santa’s loot on Christmas Day.  The child didn’t even wait until 6am!  I’m pretty sure he slept with one eye open the whole night, listening for the jingling sleigh-bells and the dent he was sure Santa would put in the roof when he landed.

But Santa did find us and showered the boy with gifts as per usual.

This year was different though.  Ethan was mesmerized by everything and seemed to want to savour the moment a lot more than in prior years.  He didn’t just tear into his presents with reckless abandon only to discard them for the next seconds later.  He relished each gift, opened it and was very thankful for each one.  It was fab for the hour it lasted!

But by 9.3oam it was all over, the exhaustion had set in and he was crashed out in his inflatable boat watching his new shark doco – we still had Christmas lunch with 40+ people at Mum and Dads to go yet, boy needs to learn how to pace himself!

The rest of the day was awesome, Auckland turned it on and the weather was blazing hot, we had such a great day with the family.  The kids had so much to do they were never fussy or whiny (Ethan saved that for the way home, bless) and the food was amazing.  We all got to chat with Hadyn via skype which was some consolation to him not being with us, but I’m sure he and Joanna had an awesome Christmas together on the big ship.

So it’s done.  The craziness of shopping and cooking and shopping are over for another year and I might need some physio for my wii injuries in the New Year.  Hope your holidays were special xxxx

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The night before Christmas…

Ethan was SO excited when this arrived in the mail yesterday.  He was worried that Santa may not have been able to read his return address on the letter he wrote.  Luckily Mama sent Santa a quick email just to make sure.  It’s quite handy how all of these guys have email and cell phones these days, Ethan was playing with a friend today and they were sending Darth Vader all kinds of text messages.

Santa Letter

Ethan and I spent yesterday baking up a storm – The Annual Christmas Shortbread.  This year Ethan did an amazing job, next he’ll be doing it by himself I think!
Mixing up the Shortbread

Cutting out the Cookies

Laying out his cookies

Shortbread success!

This one’s for you Boo

For the first time since Dave and I moved back from the states, we will be spending Christmas Eve sans Hadyn.  Though we may have had some drunken arguments and WAY too much bourbon on Christmas Eve’s past, it was always fun.  We love you Hadyn and hope you have a fantastic Christmas wth Joanna on that Big Ol Boat!  Click on the images to view them larger

Let’s make…….Fruit Leather!

There is sooo much yummy summer fruit around at the moment, I have been loving it-  and making huge messes in the kitchen as a result.  I was at one of the local orchard shops last week and out the front they have Bargain Bin fruit that is a little soft for full price sale.  I got a 3kg box of mixed pears, kiwi fruit, peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines for $3!!!!  This was in the middle of my Jam Frenzy so I have no idea what business I had setting myself up for another project, but hey I’M A FRUGAL SHOPPER PEOPLE!  I had to buy it.

So, let’s make some fruit leather shall we?

Step 1:  Chop the fruit into 1″ bits.  I leave all of the skin on except for furry kiwi skin.

Step 2:  Throw into blender.  Puree.

Step 3: Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and pour puree to make a THIN covering.  Trust me you want it so thin you can almost see through it.  Too thick and it will take forever to dry.

Step 4:  Bake in oven at a very cool 60° until no longer tacky and can easily be peeled off plastic.  This will take hours.  Just keep checking on it

Step 5:  Roll up lengthwise, cut into portions and wrap in plastic.  EVERYONE loves this stuff, especially if there are heaps of strawberries in your puree!

 I have always made fruit leather before in my dehydrator and been ‘quite’ satisfied with the result, but this method is SO much better.  It is super easy to check on the drying process and the sheets are much bigger and easier to roll and portion.  Will definately be using this process from now on.