Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Are you listening, Universe?

I've been feeling a bit homicidal in the traffic today, well maybe not quite homicidal, lets just say stabby. Stop driving 20 kms under the speed limit, it makes me want to stab you! Use your INDICATORS!! I don't like feeling like this, it makes me feel mean and it's not good for my blood pressure. I thought I should quickly (when people get out of the way) come home and write out what is playing on my mind, because feeling stabby is a sure sign of that.

Why, oh why can't cyclists use their bells on a shared walkway? Why do people with small dogs think that No Off Leash, or even No Dogs Allowed doesn't apply to them?  Why does the lady at the end of my street dive her mobility scooter with such rudeness? She's run me off the footpath 3 times in the last year, and it's not just me. I've seen her in action at the supermarket, and let me tell you those check out ladies are not impressed at all. Also, why the hell has my dishwasher stopped working?

Let me preface this paragraph with #HEYASIO. I've noticed increased police activity lately, and apparently they are stepping up their game for the G20 Summit that is to hit Brisbane soon. In case there is some awful terrorist activity, the police need to be at the ready, so they've spent this week assertive in their efforts to breathalyze everyone and scare the crap out of P Platers by following them for no good reason. It's crazy, and it's scary. Does being cynical of Australia's Prime Minister mean I am being complacent when I should be alert but not alarmed? Does not agreeing with this government's stance on Asylum Seekers mean that I am happy to open our arms to terrorists? Because no, my answer is no. It scares me that what I think is politicizing has allowed ASIO and Police in this country to have greater powers that diminish our privacy. What really scares me is that my 7 year old has the word terrorist in his vocabulary, the same way I had nuclear war in mine growing up. It's not cool. NONE of it is cool. 

What is with all the judgement on the internet lately? Not just on facebook, and no I have not been reading the comments in the wider news stories, I'm not that brave. Why is everyone so strident in their opinions? What has happened to tolerance and understanding? Respect for others differing opinions? There seems to be a shortage of compassion, and frankly, it's a piss off. We are all different, and isn't that great. No one has to be like anyone else. We are all beautiful fucking snowflakes that just need to get along.

I want to move house. I do. I love living near the ocean and I love our little house, there is so much love and so many great memories within these walls. But; no matter how much we love it, it will always be a small house on a small block on a busy street. I really am craving space and quiet, somewhere to spread out and breathe. Some room for a decent sized veggie garden, plant some fruit trees, have chickens, enough bedrooms to have happy children and comfortable guests. Maybe a pool. We all deserve a bit of what we like, don't we?

Are you listening, Universe?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Recipes and a giveaway featuring Oliving by Hans

This is a sponsored post. As usual, all words, enthusiasm and recipes are my own!

Do you love meat from the deli? My family does, a lot. We often joke in this house that we should buy a pig farm to save money. As much as we love (like LUUUUUURVE) ham and all it's delicious extended family, I worry about the health aspects of eating high fat foods all the time. Sometimes I can push that worry aside, and sometimes I munch on with foreboding guilt, and sometimes, and this is the worst of all, we go without. I know, it's awful! Last week, I got to sample some of Hans delicious new range called Oliving by Hans - a complete range of deli meats that replaces some of the saturated fat with olive oil, a concept inspired by the healthy Mediterranean Diet. Finally, we can have the ham love without guilt!

The Oliving by Hans range is quite extensive, with bacon, various salamis, kransky, cocktail franks, turkey breast, chorizo and twiggy sticks all making an appearance. The whole family was really impressed with the taste of everything, and something I particularly loved was that there was no weird refluxy thing going on after eating the salami. I had a lot of fun finding different ways to cook with the Oliving by Hans range, and have put together three recipes for you. Enjoy!

This is super simple, and was delicious served as a side to a variety of other dishes. Scroll to the bottom to see the whole table.


  • approx 4 cups of cooked, quartered potatoes.
  • 1 packet of Oliving by Hans Pansized Rindless Bacon
  • a big handful of rocket
  • about 3 chopped shallots
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic vinegar or salad dressing of your choice.

  • Chop the bacon into pieces about 3 cm square, fry in a large nonstick fry pan until almost crispy.
  • Throw in the potatoes and stir every few minutes until the bacon is mega crispy and the potatoes are browned on the edges. Don't rush this stage! Busy yourself with making a green salad or something. If it's sticking to the pan add a tiny glug of olive oil, just to loosen it up, but you don't want it too greasy. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, stir a few more times.
  • Place the rocket on a large serving, top with the bacon potato mixture and top with chopped shallots. 
This is best served at room temperature or a little warm. Pass the dressing at the table so that everyone can add to their own taste.

My children love Gozleme, and they are so easy to make. I made them for the same table as the Bacon Potato Salad but they are great to eat anytime. For these, I used Oliving by Hans Hungarian Salami, for a delicious mild taste.


  • 250 g of plain flour
  • 400 ml of plain Greek style yogurt
  • About 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • Oliving by Hans Hungarian Salami
  • Cheddar cheese, sliced thinly (optional)

  • Using a metal mixing spoon or your hands, mix the flour, salt, yogurt and olive oil together until you have a smooth dough. You can do this with one hand and keep the other hand free in case the phone rings! 
  • No need to rest the dough! Knead it for about 3 minutes, then chop it into 8 pieces.
  • Roll out the first piece of dough into an oval/rectangle shape, a few millimeters thick. Work with one piece at a time, keep the rest covered with a tea towel until you are ready to turn them into Gozleme, to save them from drying out.
  • Place a piece of salami and a slice of cheese on one half of the dough. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to wet the dough with water, going around the perimeter of the salami. Fold the dough over, and press down firmly to seal. 
  • If you like, trim the edges of the Gozleme to make it neat, but leave a good perimeter of dough or the filling will spill out when you cook it. Save the scraps to make a bonus Gozleme at the end. 
  • Continue until you have used up all the dough, resting the Gozlemes under a tea towel until you are ready to cook.
  • Pan fry in a little drizzle of olive oil over medium heat until golden brown, turn over and cook the other side. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up and cook them faster, they need a little longer to cook all the way through the middle. 
  • Drain on paper towels until ready to eat. Serve hot. 

I had never heard of Peperilli before, it is a bit like pepperoni but richer. Delicious! Wrapped up with cheese in puff pastry I thought these would be perfect for school lunch boxes, but it turns out my children thought they would be perfect as a snack and unfortunately ate them all on Sunday. Guess they must have really liked them! This is another easy recipe, but it might pay to hide them. Makes 8, but easy to expand.


  • 24 slices of Oliving by Hans Peperilli, a bit less than one packet.
  • 8 Slices of cheese - I used a combination of laughing cow cheese and cheddar.
  • 2 sheets of store bought puff pastry, thawed.
  • Milk, for glazing. 

  • Cut each sheet of puffed pastry into 4 triangles.
  • On each triangle, lay 3 slices of Oliving by Hans Pererilli, and cheese of your choice.
  • Roll up from the wide edge to the small, then bend the corners around so that it makes a croissant shape. Actually it makes a bit of a crab claw shape, but don't worry about it.
  • Use a pastry brush to glaze with milk. This gives it a nice colour when it cooks.
  • Bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes, or until browned.
  • Hide.

By now I hope you are inspired to try some of this healthy, tasty Oliving by Hans range yourself, and guess what, you can! Oliving by Hans is available at Coles, Woolworths, IGA and other independent supermarkets. Lucky for you, Oliving by Hans would also like to give away four $30 Coles gift vouchers for you to create your own healthy masterpiece!

Do you have a fantastic recipe that uses bacon, salami or any other small goods? Or would you just like to leave a comment telling me how deep your love is for bacon? Tell me in a comment , complete the Rafflecopter, and four winners will be drawn on Monday 20th October. This is a game of skill, not chance, so make your recipe/bacon fan fiction amazing. Four winners will each receive one Coles Gift Card to the value of $30. Open to residents of Australia only. make sure you leave an email address so I can tell you that you've won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sometimes Lunch isn't about the Lunchbox #snackosphere

This post is not sponsored, it is my submission in the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Healtheries #snackosphere project, as part of the #Kidspot #VoicesOf2014 competition, of which I am one of the top 30 Personal and Parenting Bloggers. I know, how lucky am I! The prompt I've chosen is 'lunchbox'. You know that as usual, all words and enthusiasm are my own.

I have 2 lunchboxes to pack every day, for two boys with very different tastes. One is allergic to eggs. One loves cake, the other hates it, but does like some cheese and crackers once in a while. One won't eat anything overly fancy, but loves crunchy lettuce on a wrap. One is not partial to wraps, (and just quietly you can forget crunchy lettuce, too) but would love a thermos of soup in the cooler months - there is no way the other will entertain the thought of soup. One loves a bit of sweet chilli on a ham sambo, the other would report me to the principal for such an offence. 

Am I making the task of packing the lunchboxes sound fraught with difficulty? 

It's not really. They each get a sandwich/wrap with some kind of protein/vegetable combo, a homemade (most of the time) muesli bar or piece of slice, maybe a small piece of cheese, a piece of fruit and a small packet of something chip like. Yes, chip like!

Busy boys need carbs to give them fuel for playground shenanigans, and need snacks that are portable, tasty and healthy. Yes, healthy! Obviously I'm talking about Healtheries snacks, not regular potato chips. I am happy to know that they are gluten free, have 70% less fat than regular potato chips, and have no artificial colours or flavours. Do the boys care? No, not at all! First priority for them is the great taste, and then it must be easy to eat. Can they eat it without interrupting a game of handball, or soccer, or some other fast paced playground adventure? If yes, then it's a big win for them. The first half of lunch is for eating, the second half is for playing, and they won't give that up for anything!

They like fruit, really they do. But sometimes, OK almost all of the time, the fruit I so lovingly packed in the lunchbox that morning comes home sad and lonely. 

Because sometimes, lunch isn't about the lunchbox.

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