Saturday, 21 January 2017

Butternut soup

There is nothing better than a nice bowl of soup with a slice or two of crusty warm, fresh bread with butter melting into it.

One of our favourites is Butternut soup, one reason being we grew butternuts this last season. Things always seem to taste better vwhen they're home grown. :)

I mix up my own curry powder, I am allergic to chillies and tomatoes so my blend works well for us, not too spicey but flavourful all the same.


About half a butternut (size dependant) approximately 500g or so. Chopped up.
1-2 potatoes diced
1 onion diced (not pictured)
1tsp curry powder
1.5 litres of water/ or stock (I tend to make my own chicken stock and use that)
1 can of chickpeas/butterbeans/canellini beans
some cream for stirring in when it's served 

our beautiful butternut we grew! :)
 Fry the onion in butter in a large pot, add the water/stock, the veggies and curry powder. Bring the water to  a gentle boil and cook until the veggies are soft.

Remove from the heat and use a stick blender (or any blender that will blend the soup nicely) Blend until smooth and serve. Add cream on top. I love to make swirly patterns :)

Yummy oozy, buttery gluten free bread

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Our mini family

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Week's recap

This week has flown by, I feel like I barely touched ground. In fact I think I have a complete mommy brain and forgot the entire week.

This week I have been doing some sewing, I finished up a tote bag pattern I was testing, and started in on a bridesmaid's dress for a friend. It was a pattern I tested last November and I have made some minor adjustments ( turned it into a maxi dress instead of knee length) I'll post pictures when its finished.

Gathering pebbles Tote

'A' has had a great week, he's been extra loving, he's started potty training and he's talking more and more each day.

The declutter challenge is going well, my habit is established- well just about. ;)
This weekend may be a productive one again, I'll be sewing, doing a couple of small update projects and some cleaning- again/still.

And hopefully working on a tutorial or two.

Our garden helper will be here again so the exterior will be worked on too- yay!

Happy weekend eve


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Garage door update

Just a super quick post, its late here. Our garage doors got replaced yesterday! The one on the right as you face it had never been opened in the 4 years and 2 months that we have lived here, previous owners bolted it shut :/ Seeing the new doors in we now see that the garage needs a paint too, its a never ending thing this diy stuff ;)


Before and after: what a difference

We had swimming again today, my fishy did a superb job again, I'm a proud mama. I did an experiment with fabric dye today too. So hopefully I'll have a tutorial in the next few days.

Almost midweek again, where does time go?


Monday, 16 January 2017

Gluten Free Chicken Schnitzel

Being Gluten Free I am limited to what and where I can eat out, so  I improvise and make my own restaurant style food at home. This time it was Chicken Schnitzel otherwise known as Crumbed Chicken. 

 I am a free style kind of cook, I rarely follow a recipe exactly  and guess the quantities of the ingredients I use and more often than not it turns out really good, I guess you can say I'm good at guessing ;)  Baking I do follow the recipe.  So the Cheese Sauce  is a guessing game of quantities.                                        

Chicken breasts- 1 per person
2-3 eggs beaten
Crumbs ( I use orgran gluten free crumbs)
Oil for deep frying

Veggies for the side 

Cheese Sauce:

50g of butter (about)
Corn flour to thicken
1-2 cups of milk
Grated cheese- as much as you would like
Season to your liking.

Melt the butter  and add in enough corn flour to thicken. Pour in the milk and stir until its smooth, simmer for a few minutes until it thickens, add in some grated cheese, stir until the cheese is melted. If it goes too thick too quickly add more milk. Should it go clumpy use a whisk to get rid of the lumps.

Dip the chicken breasts into the beaten eggs : both sides so that the crumbs will stick to it.

                                             The crumbs I use

 Dip and coat the Chicken breasts in the crumbs.

Heat the oil and deep fry on both sides to cook through.
Cook any veg that you want to serve with your meal. With this I cooked up some potato wedges and some Eggplant/Brinjal. It's also fantastic served with Creamed Spinach instead of a Cheese Sauce.

And just for fun, my cat once again inspecting things this time Finlay :)

Enjoy this quick and simple Gluten Free Meal :)

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Adventures of mel
Our three peas

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Progress update on some tasks

Another week gone by and we're still going strong on the diy  and the decluttering, in fact its all almost habitual now, I'm actually really enjoying it all. Yes even the decluttering :) . Our week went like this :

Our garden helper was here again today, he managed to get the HUGE stump out of the garden bed that's going to become a stoned walkway (as in pebbles and pavers) The stump took up that entire patch of soil!

Well the fan  update went terribly, 'M' has said "never again!" Every possible thing that could go wrong did go wrong, the final thing was the switch. While trying to drill holes to attach the switch panel the drill knocked the dial and broke it off! Meaning we can't switch it on or off. 'M' has to do a hack now and preset it on a setting and put in a regular light switch instead of a dial. I'll keep you posted on that one.

The garage  carport roof trim is being painted the primer layer is done, the undercoat is almost done and finally the topcoat will go on, even with the undercoat it's looking great.

We are also getting brand new garage doors! We have had really old metal ones that lift up and are upgrading to roll up doors. They are being installed tomorrow :)

All the pot plants are painted and laid out in a configuration I like, it took a few attempts to get it to what I think is right . The before pictures can be seen in this  post

Declutter challenge update: I have completed all 15 days successfully and weirdly I'm excited for the next 11 and a half months of this, its so refreshing to get rid of clutter, its like I can finally breathe.

Today was my birthday, so I got a special birthday lunch
I think the best thing about today was when 'A' said "happy birthday" when 'M' told him to say it me, it was a bit garbled but you could hear what he was saying, a truly heart melting moment.

Week 3 is fast approaching and I'm ready for it, bring it on!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

DVD shelves: currently.

This is a photo heavy post just showing how our DVD shelf project went.  And  I'm sharing them now quickly how we have them currently before we move them to a different room. 

We don't watch TV so we watch a lot of movies and series on DVD. Because of our extensive collection we needed somewhere to store them all. We built them into our entertainment/bbq/braai/lapa room that is attached to the house. The room is an odd shape sort of hexagon, so our solution was to build up instead of horizontal.

               Bailey making sure M is building the shelves correctly :)

Cover strips were attached to the back, making it easier to attach to the wall.

                                                           Side one complete

                                         M putting shelf 2 into place

 TA DA!  Both shelves up and almost full!
We'll be moving them into what will be our reading/games/TV room which is off the kitchen and dining room. The couch in the pictures has already been moved. We're getting there slowly but surely :)


Friday, 13 January 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole recipe

I love love love this recipe, I always make a huge dish that serves us 2 meals, that way I get a night off (meaning I clean/do laundry/fold laundry instead).
Its such a quick and easy yet delicious dinner.

You can use any kind of vegetable in this bake, something like a baby marrow (zucchini), aubergine (bringal/eggplant), butternut cooks nicely in the oven. I use a rectangular baking dish. Now on to the recipe :)


4 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
Enough rice for 4 to 6 people , any rice works. We use basmati.
500ml cream.
Chicken stock : 2 cubes or powder according to the brand's instructions.
Veggies chopped into rounds/slices
Grated cheese.
Ham cut into slices.


Precook the rice.
Precook and season the chicken strips.
Bring the cream and the chicken stock to a gentle simmer, it will thicken.

Now start layering your ingredients: rice on the bottom, then chicken, then veggies, then lay out the slices of ham.
Pour on the creamy mixture
Top with grated cheese.

And bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F)