Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm lovin'

Super toasty warm hands in the morning

Let me recommend this book to you.  
Simple Knitting

Its worth buying - I don't think there is a single project I don't want to do (and there are a quite a few I can't wait to do).  I have rediscovered my love for knitting.  I always thought I was rubbish at knitting....slow -frustratingly so, better at crochet.  Erika's illustrations and diagrams have taught me new and better ways to do things and I find that actually I quite like knitting after all.

Loving the absorption on this one's face as she "paints a picture of my face" I had to "sit still on a chair Mummy" and she got extremely annoyed that I kept pointing the camera at her.  I have a copy of Amanda Blake Soule's The Creative Family.  In it she talks about honouring your child's creativity by offering quality art materials. While a brand new easel would have been a little beyond us, we found this adults small one for $5 in a local oppie and Isla loves it. I love that in our limited space, it can be folded away when not in use.

Lovin' the lovely friend who bought me grapes and passionfruit from her garden.  Some of this is coming to you Juliet.

and simple satisfying mid week meals

Nin's Chicken Fettuccine (generous portions for 2-3)

Take one large skinless chicken breast, season with salt and pepper and wrap up in tin foil.

I like to lay it on a couple of rosemary branches - or slices of lemon if you have them, the idea being that a) it doesn't stick to the tinfoil and b) it infuses subtle flavour into the chicken.  You can just rub it in olive oil and seasoning - that works well too!  Throw it in a preheated over 180 0C for 20 mins and then let it rest (without opening) while you prepare the rest.

Chop up a couple of rashers of bacon and fry on a medium heat in a wee bit of oil, when that's nearly cooked, add half an onion sliced finely (we had red in the fridge, but whatever) and 5-6 button mushrooms sliced.  At this point I also added about 2 tablespoons of butter because I didn't have olive oil (just canola) and I love mushrooms with butter and garlic.  I did add a teaspoon of minced garlic toward the end so it didn't burn.

Simultaneously be cooking up some pasta in a large pot.  Penne is awesome with this, but Huz bought home fettuccine - hey ho, no biggy eh?  Right, so while your pasta is coking in one pot and the bacon and vege is in the other, you should chop up the chicken - it should be perfectly cooked and succulent since its steamed in its own juices, but if its still a bit pink wack it in the pot with the veg and stuff now.  Otherwise add this right after you have drained the cooked pasta and added it to the pan with the bacon and stuff (leave a little bit of water on the pasta - don't drain it to the point that its dry and stuck together).  Finish by stirring through a generous 3 tablespoons of basil pesto and a few cherry tomatoes, halved.  Serve.

This should be enough for two with leftovers, or if you want to extend it you could easily do bread and green salad on the side.

Variations - this is perfect for using up stuff in the fridge.
You can use smoked chicken, last nights sausages, ham...or none of the above if you are vegetarian
As for veges - capiscums, beans, frozen peas, asparagus are all fantastic

You can sub the basil pesto for other types of pesto (sundried tomato - just use less and add a little olive oil)
You can be fancy and make fried breadcrumbs a la Jamie Oliver
You can shave parmesan over the top

The only thing I think is a must is the fresh cherry tomatoes - the clean sweet acidic burst in your mouth cuts through all the rich flavours.  Yum!!

Linking up with Paisley Jade

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  1. Love your hand warmers, and the look of concentration on your little girl's face - too cute! And your pasta sounds so good.

  2. Ooh yum! Can't wait! Do you like feijoas? We have had our first ones this week and we're going to be over run by them soon!

  3. I've been a bit slack with blogger lately but I like to check out what you've been up to when I catch up :). Love the colourful peg aprons and gorgeous girly skirts and I think you're very clever knitting the fingerless gloves. My knitting stinks :(.
    Lol, you must have great op shops over there as you seem to find lots of useful things.
    Homemade jam in sparkly glass jars - lovely :D!

  4. Gorgeous post - those fingerless gloves - OH ME!!!! So gorgeous x

  5. Love Erika Knight...and YUM!!!!

  6. Your hand warmers are awesome!! That is such a cute pic of your girls too - so precious!

  7. Lovely post - feels warm and wintery somehow :) Especially love those labels ;)


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