Coffee lesson

decaf mac half topped up

I thought I knew my coffee.

I did.

I live in Perth.  We know our coffee.  We just do.

Long black, long mac topped up, cappuccino, latte, flat white… yeah we’ve seen it all.

So what’s that?

That, I was reliably informed on Saturday,  is a long mac half topped up.  Decaf.

Not heard of it?

Long mac = double shot.  Usually with milk added to the top of the glass = topped up.

But that’s too milky according to my friend.

Half topped up.


What is the point of a double shot of decaf coffee?

Rice salad and not drinking

Rice Salad

First of all, can I just say that by following this recipe you will enjoy the best rice salad you’ve ever tasted.


Justine’s Rice Salad

  • 1 cup brown rice (that’s one cup uncooked but obviously you cook it, then let cool)
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (I am generous with my half a cup)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of currents (I usually go the half cup)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup celery
  • big bunch of flat leaf parsley


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or less)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic crushed

We had this salad with The Best Beef Casserole last night and they work well as a combination.

Both taste great as leftovers.

So what news?

Well the boy is in Seattle to go to a gaming championship.

The girl is back in school, play a success, studying hard.

Groover is doing manly things like working.

And I am still obsessed by rowing – getting on the water as much as I can.

I fear I have become very dull indeed.

And the not drinking is probably not helping.

I’m doing Dry July this month.

I thought it would be harder.  There were a few moments when I thought I really wanted a glass of cold sav blanc, but water in my wine glass seemed to stave that off.

And you never know, a month off alcohol could be just what I need to cut back long term.

I have been waking up much earlier and much easier.

Although that could also be my rowing obsession.

Lamb chops anyone?

My version

So I tried the sticky lamb chops from Kathryn’s website.

They were very tasty and the honey foamed satisfyingly in the pan.

I think for me and Dippity they were a little sweet and I’d probably halve the honey next time.

The boys loved them.

Oh yeah.

And I forgot to add the spring onions.

Food blog you should visit

I went down to rowing this morning… It was my daughter’s first day and I’m down to help with the breakfast next week so I thought I should find out what I was supposed to do.

Dippity emerged dripping and happy.

As a first timer she was in a single scull (is that what they are called?) presumably until she can learn not to fall in.

Waiting for the girls to come up for breakfast I caught up with Kathryn who I have known since St Georges’ days.

She has a blog which I will be making a firm favourite.

Family Meal Rescue

And if any family is in need of rescuing, food wise, it’s us.

I am going to try this chicken recipe tomorrow night.

Here’s what it’s supposed to look like:

Proscuitto, spinach, bocconcini roast chicken with roasted tomatoes from Family Meal Rescue

Actually a few of the mums are thinking about learning to row – why should the kids have all the fun?

Hmmm interesting.

Crazy diet days

Alright enough already.

Too many people have told me about the protein diet where you eat protein only for three days and then have high protein after that, one day off a week, 10,000 steps a day… yeah yeah I hear ya.

Well I’m going to try it.

Stirling Bridge

At this point I would have put in a photo of me at my skinniest as inspiration… but I couldn’t find one… so this is a photo of me aged about 8 (and my bro): “Hmmm…” I’m thinking, “protein… ”

Anyway day one worked out okay.

I walked down to my favourite deli to get some sliced meat for lunch and realised I had left my wallet at home.

The 10,000 steps just became doable.

So on this diet, you’re supposed to not eat for an hour after eating, and then you have to eat again within three.

Well I’m just not good at keeping to time unless I’m on air…

I was so hungry when I got home.

Hungry and a little bit sick I think.

Anyway Groover, bless him, had found the lowest carb meal he could possibly find in Delicious and made it for me.

How yummy does that look?

Not as yummy as it tasted.

Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to eat the salad because it’s not protein and I’m on protein only for three days.


Day one and I break the diet.

A small, tiny transgression surely…

Anyway after dinner I really did feel sick – so I’m not sure whether this protein only thing really is that flash.

Or maybe I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine.

It wasn’t protein wine.

Sigh again.

Two transgressions.

It’s my birthday


Why is it that birthdays are less exciting the older you get?


Groover was sweet.  He knew I wanted to take choc chip cookies to work rather than a cake and so he made some for me.

Unfortunately they didn’t work out so well – dud recipe with no baking powder.

But I love that he tried.

Luckily I had bought extra ingredients and the result you see above.

And maybe next time he’ll go to for the best choc chip cookie recipe of all time.

We don’t call them nom noms for nothing!

Happy Anniversary

I took this photo on a bright spring morning

It was a beautiful spring day today.  the warm sun, so long denied us warmed my back as I set about putting my neglected garden in order.

Well pulled a few weeds anyway.

It is a satisfying thing to see a well swept back passage and no, that is not a euphemism.

Afterwards I pulled out my recliner and read my book in the dappled sunlight under my pergola.

I have been married today for 17 years.  That’s a long time isn’t it?

One ought to be able to celebrate milestones on one’s blog don’t you think… anniversaries, firsts, the cute things your kids say like:

“Mum!  You are NOT taking my photo!  You are NOT blogging this!!”

So that little milestone will go unrecognised on my blog sadly except with this oblique reference.

In the meantime – a batch of chocolate chip cookies has kept the family happy today.

A tale of two turkeys

Christmas is possible after all.

Following my melt-down yesterday, your fabulous support, my gorgeous family helping out, my lovely friend taking me out, and some successful Christmas shopping yesterday, I have recovered.

It was weird.  I haven’t felt like that before.  Completely overwhelmed I was.

But enough about that, you want to hear about the turkeys.

So Groover went food shopping yesterday and being as organised as I am went shopping for turkeys.

You see at one point we were going to get some free-range chickens because I love weber cooked chicken much better than turkey, but then as Christmas grew closer we kind of felt a bit nostalgic for that old Christmas turkey so we changed our minds.

Changing our minds meant we hadn’t ordered a turkey so Groover went out hunting and gathering with the masses.

He found a frozen turkey and bought it.

It takes three days apparently to thaw a frozen turkey.

It was only two days until turkey time… so it was close.

He shopped for the stuffing ingredients and weber trays and heat beads and then found a fresh turkey.

So just in case, he bought it as well.

Great.  Now we have two turkeys, and we don’t even like it!

At least we’ll sleep well.

So your suggestions please for what to do with leftover turkey.  I suspect we might need a few ideas.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Teaching the boy to cook

Isn’t bolognese the easiest thing to cook? It’s my go to dish when I really can’t be bothered. The kids will eat it – it doesn’t take long or too many ingredients.

Well the other night my son walked past me as I was chopping up the onion and I thought – hey – he could learn how to cook this and bolognese would become even easier to make – I could make it from the couch! Oh and besides, a good mother teaches her son to cook… right?

No sooner had I mentioned it when Groover pipes up. “Make sure you break up the mince” he says, “don’t cook the onion too fast” he mentions and before I knew it – he’s in the kitchen.

Bonus I thought and left them to it!

Cooking with Dad

Cooking with Dad

Cooking with Dad

Now that’s what I call being a good mother. 😉

The last person to make No Knead Bread

I am well behind the rest of the world on this one. The NY Times unveiled the No Knead Bread recipe on the 8th November 2006 and I have only today found time to make it.

Well yesterday and today.

No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

The trick is allowing the dough time to rise – 18 hours – and I imagine you could get away with less time if it wasn’t so freaking cold in my house.

The result – crunchy chewy crust – soft light interior.


I’m only posting this now to distract myself until Groover gets home so he can get a slice…

Of course baking bread also looks good to my daughter’s friend’s mother – see I can cook bread – I am trustworthy – I am the sort of homey type who will look after your daughter with care. Look at me – I am the GOOD mother.


(Oh how easily you are all fooled…)