Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cook it- Whole Baked Pumpkin With Cheese

Have you made the Beetroot soup yet? Here is another Hugh recipe that you can add to your list. Warning, it will make you fat. It's worth it though.

Whole Baked Pumpkin With Cheese

You will need

1 medium pumpkin or several small ones
Gruyère cheese or any melting cheese, up to 500 g
a few cups of cream
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
a knob of butter


Preheat the oven to 375ºF/191ºC.
Using a narrow pointed knife, slice around the stem of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. Scoop out pulp and seeds. Fill the pumpkin with grated Gruyère cheese until about a third full.
Fill the pumpkin with cream until about two-thirds full. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Throw in a knob of butter. Replace the pumpkin top. The filled pumpkin is now ready to bake. Bake at 375ºF/191ºC for about 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours, until tender and spoonable. Check the pumpkins for doneness by removing the lid and poking it with a knife or skewer.

 Cook it for your dinner.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Best House EVER!

This is the best place I have ever seen on one of my favourite blogs Apartment Therapy. Take the time to lustfully look it over here. And a sneak peak...

Nice hey! This couple are super cool and their kids are called Wylder and Arlo. One can not compete with such hipness. 

Get In Line- Del Kathryn Barton

Australian Artist Del Kathryn Barton is a favourite of mine. Her haunting figures with emancipated frames and bulging, bambi eyes adorn my living room walls. More importantly (but only slightly) they won her the Archibald Prize in 2008.

2008 Archibald Prize winner
Del Kathryn Barton
You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella

Del Kathryn Barton’s self-portrait depicts her with her son and daughter, Kell and Arella.
“This painting celebrates the love I have for my two children and how my relationship with them has radically informed and indeed transformed my understanding of who I am,” she says.

“The title of the work – you are what is most beautiful about me – alludes to that utterly profound ‘in-loveness’ that all mothers have for their children. Both my children have taken my world by storm and very little compares to the devotion I feel for them both. The intensity of this emotion is not something that I could have prepared myself for. The alchemy of life offered forth from my inhabitable woman's body is perhaps the greatest gift of my life.”
Known for its vibrant, figurative imagery, Barton’s work combines traditional painting techniques with contemporary design and illustrative styles. Although she does a lot of figurative work, much of it self-referential, she doesn’t do a great deal of portraiture though she was represented in the 2007 Archibald Prize with a painting of art dealer Vasili Kaliman.
Born in Sydney in 1972, Barton has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, where she taught for three years until 2003. She has had regular solo exhibitions since 2000 and has participated in national and international group shows including the Helen Lempiere Travelling Art Scholarship, the Blake Prize for Religious Art and the Sulman Prize. She was a finalist in the 2007 Dobell Prize for Drawing.
Excitingly enough, I was at the AGNSW when Del Kathryn Barton was announced as winner of the Archibald. I was in the gift shop actually (surprise!), when i over heard a handsome man and his two kidlets telling the sales assistant that 'mummy' had just won the Archibald. 50 grand right there. Spend up Bartons, i thought, it's only gonna get better! 

Check out some of her other works that can be seen here.

can you tell me my dream,2007, synthetic polymer paint, gouache, watercolour & ink on polyester canvas, 140.0 x 120.0 cm
Keeper of the   Polka-dots 2004 acrylic, gouache, watercolour and pen on canvas
223 x 173 cm 

The Last Night of my Life with Cat 2005
Signed lower right
75 x 53 cm

Barton has also collaborated with Australian fashion duo Romance Was Born to create these highly decorative wearable (?) pieces.

Del Kathryn Barton and Romance Was Born at Kaliman Gallery, collectionGarden Of Eden

See the lady talk about her work: 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Get In Line

Because I have run out of interesting things to say, and my shopping habits are not enough to sustain this blog (my husband sighs with gratitude), I have decided to start a new section. Get In Line.  Each week I will look at a different Artist, Exhibition (if I ever leave the house) or Movement.  Sound Good?

We're going to start with ....

....first person to name the Artist and Title wins a chicken dinner....

Get ready.

I'm Less Than Exceptional

I was a less than exceptional mother yesterday:

A restless nights sleep is cut short by The Young Man banging on his door 'open the door, mumma. Open door please, mumma'. A quick jab to my husbands leg solves that one, however, the cries of the lady baby  can not be remedied by this selfless soul. Breasts required. Day starts.

After making myself a coffee that i have no chance of drinking, I put on playschool, nurse the little one, sort the washing, nurse he little one, empty the dishwasher, nurse the little one, clean the coffee machine and nurse the little one. Playschool Over.

Rain means that a brief respite with friends is called short. Cue grumpy toddler. A nutritious lunch of chocolate eggs and a glass of milk  are served on the couch, in front of playschool. Daytime sleeps are short. Mine, nonexistent.

By 5.30 my sense of humour is well and truly lost under the pile of clean, sorted washing that The Young Man has thrown to the floor (for the 387th time). Husband due home in less than 15 minutes. I calmly walk to the bathroom and run myself a deep hot bath.

Dave's arrival is met with one crying lady baby, one crying toddler, no dinner- but a lovely hot bath waiting for ME, ME, ME! I enthusiastically hop in dunking my head right under the water and holding my breath, stretching my lungs to capacity. There is a reason that John The Baptist baptised man in water- its rejuvenating. I emerge ready for another day.

Oh no, that's not where it ends. Our delicious Indian take away went cold while we put over tired children to sleep, over and over.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Postie Loves me

He's done it again

What a fun little pack from here. Can't wait to use them up. I bought them with baby Olive in mind... but maybe they might look nice on a little something for me...

Chook House

Check out this chook house that was featured on Design*Sponge recently. The blog links to this New York Times article about keeping chickens inside... not my cup of tea but I'd consider it if I could have one of these.

Another rainy day here. The washing is piling up and we are all going stir crazy, might be time to get out The Young Man's 'Rainy Day Room'.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

After 3 Days of Constant Rain

After 3 days of constant rain, 6 cups of coffee and 327 Easter eggs, we need to get out of the house. We have eaten with friends, watched movies under brightly coloured quilts, read stories, dusted off the ugg boots and turned on the heater. Winter is on it's way. Most of the leaves have fallen from the magnolia to find a new home on the sodden grass. Buds are abundant and flowers are about to bloom (If possums don't get to them first).

We will take a walk along a wind swept beach, play in the park, jump in some puddles, drink yet another coffee and smile for a photo or two before snuggling back up in bed. I hope you get to do the same.

An offering from our friend Nicole at last nights feast.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cook It- Mexican Pulled Pork

The weather is keeping us indoors today so we have decided to do a big Mexican cook up for some of our friends.  The slow cooker has been on for hours, filling the house with the sweet aroma of this slow cooked Mexican Pork.

Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 4 oz (1/2 cup) Old Points: 4 pts Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 176 • Fat: 7.7g Protein: 25.8 g Carb: 1.3 g Fiber: 0.1 g

  • 2.5 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
  • cumin
  • adobo
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
Season pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo and garlic powder all over.

Pour chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Place pork in crock pot and cover. Cook low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumulated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

I've sneakily taken the lid off the crock pot for a sample. It's pretty bloody good.  All that's left to do is set the table and warm the tortilla's.

Tidy Up Your Act (And I'll Give You Something For Nothing)

Come on, do it with me, Tidy Up Your Pantry (gosh, I'm such a loser but I'm actually enthused by the idea)

After being inspired by Nicole over at Bubby Makes Three, I gave my pantry a serious tidy and it feels good !

Nicole explains how she made her own labels here. Check them out.

From Bubby Makes Three
 We are lacking a printer at The Beetle Shack so I had to improvise on the label front. I had some little tags left over from Christmas along with some red and white twine that i ordered from here .


After freeing all the pantry moths ;) and cleaning out the jars, I set about refilling and labeling them.

An improvement. Now It's your turn- Tidy your pantry, label some jars and email a photo to me (click on the word 'me').

The best looking maker over will be sent this sweet little set from Packagery

  You can check out their blog here. It's pretty beautiful.

* Libby this ones for you lady (should be easy, right?) xoxo

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Young Man Parties

Our little dude recently turned two. We had a little party for him with a few friends and I had an uber fun time getting everything ready. A construction theme was decided upon given that diggers, hammers and chain saws are an obsession for The Young Man.  I searched Etsy for a themed party pack and found this downloadable one for about $10.

I made all the kiddies a little tool belt filled with tools and a couple of lollies. Hard hats, dust masks and tape measures were supplied. Work began.

party hats

cup cakes

party favour

noiseless party blowers (winner)

tool belts

the cake

The little black noodle boxes contained the party favour. I'll post some pics of the contents ASAP- they were killer!


I've been a bit naughty lately but online shopping is SO hard to resist! I tend to think that if i don't actually swipe my card then the money is never drawn from my account. Fatal Error. WARNING, It's not true.

The result of this poor behaviour was a stern talking to from my darling husband. Money doesn't grow on trees and all that jazz. So no more spending, Okay?

Fortunately for me, my other boyfriend, the postie still has plenty of goodies to deliver for me. A large shipment has just been sent from a US shipping service that my beautiful sister informed me about, HopShopGo (if you don't know it, you really must do some research... but do heed my warning- you will pay).

I have ordered from Anthropologie, Nine West, Amazon, Gap and a few other places. In the next couple of weeks I will receive...

from Nine West


This last little puppy is the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker. I hope it's as good as i have heard... I have quite a few quilts to finish and I'm hoping this makes it a little easier! Has anyone got one? Is it great?

I'll let you know when they arrive but until then, better tighten up the purse strings (as my mother would say).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thank Goodness.

The Young Man-  "Daddy, Daddy, Your balls, we've gotta find your balls"

Daddy- "It's all right mate, i know where they are"

The Best Room In The House

Hi! I have a have a huge rump.

When we first bought this house it was truly the MOST unattractive place you could ever lay your eyes on, like, EVER (i'll try and find some pics). Timber paneling, school room blue carpet, pebble crete (is that what it's called ?) balcony, filthy windows, mouldy white brick externally, 1/2 acre of over grown scrub and the bathroom, don't even get me started on the bathroom. We have slowly been renovating, room by room.

I thought I'd show you my favorite room, The master bedroom.

This used to be a rumpus room with a tiny window out onto a tiny balcony. We put french doors in after building the deck and my husband, Dave built us a walk in robe in which i generously let him have a rung to hang his shirts. We had the day bed custom built just before having our first child, I've gotta say, it was a major splurge but totally worth it.

We still need to get a door for the wardrobe... but that'll never happen, so let's call this room 'finished' (until i choose to redocorate, again) .

You can see this room being loved by my family here