Monday | Crash & Burn. Rest & Revive

A lovely, but hectic weekend of dinner dates, bbq’s, skateboarding, eeling, family workouts, playdates, cycling, swimming and the endless minutiae of weekend chores came to a head last night when Dave and Ethan finally returned home for the ER at 10pm!  Nothing major thank goodness, a suspected fracture in one of the small bones in E’s wrist sees him in a splint for 2 weeks with more x-rays to follow.  Dave and I were getting Nix in his bike seat after a lovely swim in the school pool; E was practising riding his bike with no hands……..

With one week left before he returns to school, I caught a glimpse of how tired Ethan had become over summer.  Slightly later nights and jam packed days have left him with little in the tank so a slow, quiet Anniversary Day is pretty much perfection for us right now.  

Dave left for Wellington at 5.30 this morning so I needed to get the week off to a relaxed and easy start for both the kids and myself.  I may not have had a shower yet but I have pottered, and tidied, gardened and played with the boys.  I have tackled some easy {but mundane & dreaded} tasks like the fly spots and cleaning the high chair – pretty much my most despised tasks around the house.  The whites are flapping on the line, the baby is asleep, the frog is chomping all the flies I’m catching to prevent any more fly poo on my ceilings {I wish!} and big is lying on the couch, reading and relishing a bit more screen time than normal.  

So by most accounts, a totally lame Auckland Anniversary day, but life is allowed to move a little slower in the SAHM lane right?  Knowing I’m not rushing off to work tomorrow allows a little chance to breathe and remember that the beaches and the parks, the pools and the ice-creams will all still be there on Tuesday and may just taste a little sweeter after our absence today.

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Around Here | Our House


Our house has been a massive work in progress since we bought it in May of last year.  We have done so much {and thankfully stuck to budget} and are now up to the final phase of finishing touches and tidying things up.  Little projects that are not in themselves huge expenditures, however the list of little projects is quite long!

This weekend we purchased new tiles for outside the front door, barked another of the backyard gardens (only one more to go!) and tidied up the long strip up the side of our driveway.  When we removed our septic tank and connected to town storm water in December, this area was completely uprooted as it houses the pipe carrying all of our wastewater to the street.  What was left was a strip of clay, now turned to dust by our fierce summer.  Mum and Dave were the rock shoppers and after one trailer load of inexpensive grey rock followed by a second trailer of river rock the front of our house is looking fab.

To finish the driveway we will plant three half wine barrels with miniature orange trees and then we will rest.  Until the next ‘little project’.


The End of Summer

Today marks the first day of Autumn.  We have harvested an awesome crop from the vege garden this season and now have more  tomatoes than we can eat!  Dave has just whipped up his usual batch of late summer hot sauce with our tomatoes plus our  habaneros and red chillies.  AND IT IS HOT!  Mouth is burning but I must eat more of it’s spicy freshness.

Dave Cooks: Homemade Salt n Pepper Squid Rings

Oh my God.  Internet geeks I might only say this once and consider it for your benefit…..NOM NOM.

I am a fat big fan of squid/calamari, whatever.  Especially The Backyard’s Salt n Pepper Squid dish.  I am probably only it’s #2 fan as Ethan is definitely Fan Numero Uno.

Every week when we grocery shop I park Ethan in the trolley in front of the fish counter so he can peruse the catch whilst I shop at the deli and then he bugs me to buy a tonne of fish (which we can’t afford).  We can however, afford to buy squid and I’m sure you can too.

Squid tubes?

This pack of 3 frozen tubes (I am guessing that’s what they are called) cost a whopping $2.57.  Total.  They were frozen and packed by Countdown so I’m pretty sure you can get them any old where.  Anywho, once you’ve got ’em, defrost those bad boys

Slice the squidNext, you want to slice them up, Dave cut them into pieces about 1.5cm thick.

Add salt and pepper to some flour

Next you want to grind a LOT of salt and pepper into SOME flour.  You know us, we never use measurements so here’s my advice; use less flour than you think you will need and more seasoning.  I think lemon pepper seasoning would also be pretty sweet in the mix.

Mix the squid and seasonings

Mix and shake, shake, shake the squid

Tip the squid into the flour mix and make sure those rings are all coated, pull the rings out and pop them in a colander to shake off the excess flour.

Fry those babies in some good oilOK, make sure your GOOD oil (ie canola EVO’s threshold is too low to fry so use another non-animal fat oil) is really hot, like spitting hot, divide the rings into approx two batches and fry til crispy.  Drain on paper towel, the serve!

Salt and Pepper Squid Rings w/ Marinara Wholewheat PastaWe served them with a creamy marinara sauce made from my old fav, Watties canned pasta sauce mixed with some cream cheese and some wholemeal pasta, a squeeze of lemon and a fresh salad with lettuce from the garden.

Seriously, this dinner took 10 minutes start to finish, the pasta took the longest to cook.  And did I mention it was insanely yummy.  Dave you’re a legend my love.