"Good water, good life; poor water, poor life; no water, no life" Sir Peter Blake

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Sky Tower is Crying!

Master Blake said to me today, "Mum, come and have a look at this!"
I then asked him, "What can you see?"
He then told me, "Mum, the Sky Tower is crying!"

I just thought to myself, what a great observation!
(and couldn't resist a photo)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I can always tell there is a rather large vessel entering or exiting the Viaduct when I can hear their bow thrusters through our hulls.  It reverberates around and sounds as though they are about 2m away from us!  One of the latest big boys boys that went out for a leisurely afternoon cruise was Ulysses, owned by Graeme Hart. Built for Hart in 2003 and in the Viaduct for the Rugby World Cup, it is one of 2500 megaboats that are over 45m worldwide.  Being 51m we found it interesting watching them maneuver through the pedestrian bridge then out through the narrow gap of the Viaduct Harbour entrance.

Apparently it has a diesel tank that is about 600,000 litres which would cost approx $900,000 to fill! It was fitted to accommodate a one way non stop trip for more than 11,000km.  It also has a retractable helipad, submarine, and stabilisers to keep the pool table level when playing pool!

Also, IT'S FOR SALE!!..... so if you have a spare $85 million I guess it's yours!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Super Easy Meatloaf

This is a recipe I have adapted from my dear friend Lyn Salmond, who actually got the recipe off her mother!  It's super easy, and can be adapted to any sort of minced meat, and often I throw in a few veges like grated carrot or zucchini to 'bulk' it up a bit. Really good winter evening meal and it looks like you've been slaving away for hours!

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

800g to 1kg mince (either beef, chicken or lamb)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 onion
pepper and salt

Mix all together and put in dish. and pour over the top with:
1 teaspoon marmite (or vegemite if you prefer) and 1 cup water.

Cook for 1 hour at 180degC.
(I used the bench oven for this).

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wicked Hash Browns

These are naughty but nice, and come up super crispy!  Very quick to make and versatile!

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15mins


4 potatoes, peeled and grated
1 1/2 C cheese, grated
2 eggs
Oil for frying

Grate potatoes into a bowl, then add grated cheese.  Mix in eggs to combine.  Fry in batches in frypan.  Drain onto paper towel then serve. Yum!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This is SO easy, it's amazing how quick I managed to mix it and get it in the oven! Easy one pot mixture!

I struggled however, to get the kids hands off it when it came out cooked!

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 50mins

2 C flour
1 3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C cocoa
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 C oil   i.e. rice bran, canola etc
2 large zucchini, grated with skin on

Sift dry ingredients. In separate bowl, add wet together. Add wet to dry ingredients.  Add wet to dry then put into lined cake tin. (It's rather a large cake so you might want to spread over two cake tins)  175 degC for 50mins.  Once cooled sprinkle with icing sugar to make it look fancy!

Awesome eh!!!  And the kids LOVE it!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Grandma's Easy Date Loaf

I have acquired a whole 1kg of dates, so I thought I'd rummage through my recipe book.  I found Grandma's recipe that she was given and after making it, it was SO yum, I just HAD to share it!

Grandma's note:  "Recipe given to me in the early 50's - a good one!")

Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30-35mins

1 cup dates - (cut each one for stones!)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar 
30g butter (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 cup boiling water
2 teapsoons baking soda

1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups flour

Oven 180degC.  Combine dates, sugar, butter, baking soda and boiling water in one bowl and let sit and melt butter. Mix to stir up.  In larger bowl sift flour, then add wet ingredients and add egg and vanilla essence.  Pour into paper lined loaf tin.  30-35mins or until skewer tests clean.

Try not to eat it all before it cools down!

Absolutely Anything Muffins!

I got this recipe of a friend recently, and I adapted a few items to make it as simple as possible (as I do!)

It's super easy to make, and they taste absolutely delicious too!

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15mins

2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup liquid    i.e. syrup, water, milk or juice
75g butter, melted
1 1/2 c fruit   i.e. banana, berries, apples, peaches etc

Sift dry ingredients. In separate bowl, add wet together. Add wet to dry ingredients.  Add wet to dry then put in muffin tins, and sprinkle 1 T sugar mixed with 1/2 cinnamon.  180 degC for 12-15mins.

It's that easy!!!

Note: It actually makes about 16 muffins which is great, as you have to sample at least 2 once they've come out, so it doesn't look like you've eaten any!

The City Crumb Consumers

Watching our local residents is very fascinating, especially these family of sparrows.  For the past 3 months we have had the same family of sparrows come and visit us just about religiously every day we have been here.  Originally it was only two, then the whole family (up to 14) came to visit, and now its just down to two again.  Freya and Blake have learnt to identify male and female sparrows and I think the kids purposely eat in the cockpit knowing that our "friends" will come and visit.

Often we hear a 'tap tap tap, tap tap, tap tap (eating the crumbs) on the cockpit floor and one often gets very confident and stands on the step inside the saloon looking at us!