Thermomix Degustation – Grainger Style


The idea started last year when I commented to one of my friends that I haven’t used my Thermomix as much as I should.

Terry, my friends husband said that they would invite us over one free weekend to have a Thermomix dinner, however 12 months on and we still hadn’t organised something.

Thermomix. Receta MiniMagdalenas

Thermomix. Receta MiniMagdalenas (Photo credit: chocolatisimo)

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So I thought I might have another Thermomix dinner party with a few friends, after mentioning to a couple of friends, it has now turned into a Thermomix Degustation dinner, Grainger Style.

One of our friends sells the machines, so I asked Margy what she thought of the idea and she thought it was fantastic, so I mentioned my idea to a few more people, ladies who don’t have a thermie, and they too were excited.
The general consensus was great idea, so I decided on a date 12th April (Terry & Marina were on holiday until 11th and so were Diane & Coleman) and we have other friends going away on the 16th, so the 12th was the date.
I sat down and went through the Everyday cookbook (the new one), wrote down a whole list of recipes that I thought we could cook easily.  I was short a few, so rang Margy and asked her to give me some ideas.
Between the 2 of us we came up with a fantastic menu for our degustation.  By this time, I had loads of people asking if they could come, due to space, unfortunately we had to limit the numbers to 28.  Including Greg and myself after the invites and responses we have 25 attendees.
We decided that we would have our dinner party at the club (MOFSC), however, I won’t go into details, but the powers that be decided to put up too many  roadblocks, in my opinion unwarranted, (they obviously did not want us to be there), so now we are having it at our house.  Since starting this, we have had that many people ask if they can come to the next one, so hopefully if everything goes well tomorrow, there will be plenty more to come, but we will have to limit the number to 25 if we have a sit down meal.
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Greg set up all the tables and chairs last weekend, cleaned the windows and is generally being a good sport about the whole thing, given that he does not think much of the thermie.
I have spent this last week sorting out menus, ingredient lists and quantities, emailing all invited and asking for donations of food, that we require small quantities so that we  don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy stuff especially if we only need 50g of something.
I cant believe how generous everyone has been, I think that everyone has donated something to the mix
We now have 6 machines coming, wow!! I am sure it will be a fantastic evening.
We wanted to create and cook a large variety of food to be able to utilise the machine as much as possible, hence the degustation.
I have sorted out a few of the pantry items,both out of my pantry and some of the invited guests have given me their donations early.
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Table cloths, table settings, the table pretties (balloons & marshmallows) organised by Shelley and Marina, meat by Margy, groceries by Greg & Lee, thermies, and accessories by Marina, Shelley, Margy, Lee, Michelle and Julie, name place  settings by Maxine,lots of donations from all of the other ladies.
Thanks girls.
Our menu for our inaugural Thermomix degustation :-
Cocktails
Midori Splice
Strawberry Daiquiri
Peach Bellini
Tropical splice daiquiri
Home made lemonade
Appetisers
Sundried tomato dip
Herb & garlic dip
Capsicum & sundried tomato dip
Chicken liver pate
Foccacia – dukkah
Pizza Bianca
Entrees
Chicken Valute soup
Pumpkin feta zucchini field mushroom
Herbal chicken hors doeuvres
Arancini with saffron aioli
Mains
Chicken Valute meal
Lamb rack with port sauce on mashed potato
Beef stroganoff & mashed potato
Curry chicken & rice
Mushroom risotto
Desserts
Sweet chocolate & strawberry pizza
Lemon coconut pudding
Simple almond cheese – dairy free ricotta cheese with quince paste
Sticky date pudding / butterscotch sauce & custard
Fruity berry dream

Camp Quality Grainger Style


Camp Quality Grainger Style

On Sunday we participated in Camp Quality at our club (MOFSC, Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club). It was our first time as we were under the impression that it was only for house boats and pontoon boats.  because they are able to do crabbing and fishing up the estuary and we are not.  I  have since spoken to a lot of bigger boat owners at the club and all were disappointed that they were not aware of the need for different types of boats to be involved and I am sure that next year, they will try and keep the date free to be able to get involved.

Our club co-coordinator approached us a few weeks ago and asked if we would consider using our boat to take some families of the Camp quality kids around the estuary, we did explain that we didn’t think our boat was suitable due to the draft (the amount of water we need under the propellers,)  we were advised that ALL boats are suitable.  We said yes we will join the others. We had 4 families on our boat, and  we had a fantastic day. Even Grumpy dressed up.

The theme for our Camp Quality day is pirates.  There were that many pirates at our club on Sunday it was not funny.  There were  over 200 people that our boating members took out on the water for a few hours.  Water fights (water bombs, water guns, pistols, hoses and by one cheating pirate, buckets) were the highlight of the day. Unfortunately for our guests, I didn’t prepare very well (Grumpy’s words) because I didn’t fill up any water balloons so we had one of the boys, one of the mothers and 1 of the fathers filling up and getting ready the water bombs, to our detriment, however, we kept running out of ammunition and we wore the brunt of most of the other boaties firing lines.  In other words, were got soaked the entire time.

My friend Shelley and I made 100 lolly bags, one for each of the kids, we had to ensure that all children received a lolly bag, as it would have been unbearable for any child to be without. We had a lovely BBQ lunch with lots and lots of crabs, (250) that were donated by one of the local fisherman. One of the local supermarkets donated and fishing rod and reel for every child, we had bread rolls donated, someone made a huge cake with Camp Quality on it. It never ceases to amaze me, the generosity of our community.

Nearly all the boaties dressed up in pirate gear and we were no exception, I did go to the fancy dress shop and found that I wasn’t impressed with the selection of the clothing so  I went through my closet and found a red and white striped shirt, a black vest and a pair of harem pants, Grumpy wore his Maritimo shirt and Braandi was all dressed up in a pirate outfit.  We had so many comments about her as ran around the boat in her costume and just look gorgeous.

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We had 2 mermaids come up on the beach and I took the little girl down to have a swim, big mistake, she wanted to swim and look for fish, so the rest of the afternoon while we were sitting having lunch she whimpered and made all sorts of whiny noises, until I noticed a border collie swimming in the beach, so I let her go down and swim for another hour or so before it was time to go home.

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50′s inspired dresses for high tea


HIGH TEA

This post is inspired by my beautiful daughter in law Natasha (Tash, or Trashy as Kyel calls her), she just loves anything from the 1950′s.

After the second World War, there was a movement to have women go back into the home and the kitchen, to do “women’s duties” raising their children cooking and looking after the house.

1950s fashion was an enormous part of this movement. Unlike the severe styles of the 1940s clothing, 1950s fashions emphasized femininity, with softened shoulders, stilettos, wrist length gloves and full circle skirts with petty coats and pearls. Even working women’s outfits hinted at femininity, with pencil skirts and tiny hats with veils and feathers.

In truth, the New Look for 1950s women originated in the 1940s, with Christian Dior’s collection Corolle. This collection was a complete contrast to the severe, “make do, and fix ” aesthetic of 1940s fashion with full skirts, softened shoulders, a tight waist, emphasizing the bust and the hourglass shaped figure, thus creating the perfect feminine figure.

Dior went on to invent more haute couture 1950s fashions, including names like the Princess Line, Profile Line, A Line, and the H Line. His influence remained high all through the 1950s and Other fashion houses were forced to follow his originalities.

However, this perfect female figure was not possible in nature. Corsets, and “corselettes” made a comeback at the same time that those horrid conical bras became popular. ” Advertisements described them as “comfortable,” and even “innovative.”

When Tash was thinking about her kitchen tea, she wanted all attendees to dress up in the 1950′s, everyone looked fabulous.  And for Mother’s day last year, Mummy, Tash and I had a high tea at the Duxton. The experience was wonderful with lovely petit fours.  For Tash’s birthday she wanted to do the high tea idea again, this time with a 1950′s theme. The girls (Tash and her friends) all wore dresses with the 1950′s in mind.

She showed me a Facebook page of a lady in Bunbury Red Leopard Photography http://redleopardphotography.com.au/ who does 1950′s photography and has decided that she would love one of these photo sessions for her birthday and I decided that I would love to join her

 

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Casual Friday


Casual Fridaycasual Friday

Some companies allow employees to wear casual dress on Fridays. While not all companies allow it, it is becoming a growing trend.

If your workplace offers casual Friday, it can be something to look forward to at the end of the week. Not knowing what to wear and how to dress for it can sometimes make it more of a headache than a bonus.

If an outfit is something you would wear to the beach or an outfit that you would wear to a night club is something that would not necessarily be considered suitable to wear to the office. Leggings without a long top covering your bottom is NOT acceptable  as a work outfit.

 Some Ideas

  • Read your employment agreement or company policies to find out what is and isn’t acceptable attire for casual Friday. Follow the guidelines closely, you don’t want to risk your reputation or your job on something as trivial as the clothing that you wear.
  •  Ask other workers for some ideas of what they wear, especially someone who has worked for the company for a reasonable length of time
  •  It’s a good idea to stay professional and respectful even if it’s casual Friday. You don’t want to dress too casual, however, you can wear less formal clothes, but you still want to retain a level of professionalism.
  • Most companies will allow jeans and T shirts, and generally both men and women care wear these items and still look professional. You can also choose a casual skirt, however ensure that you don’t wear anything shorter than an 2.5cm or an inch above the knee. Ballet flats or low heels are also always considered appropriate. Men don’t necessarily have to Tuck their shirts in, as even a nice looking T shirt can look neat and tidy, shoes should always be worn by men, NOT thongs, loafers, deckies (deck shoes) or lace up leather shoes, even a decent pair of joggers can look professional, but leave the old rotten joggers at home.
  • If there is ever a possibility to be called in to meet a client or attend a business meeting, ensure that you keep a change of outfit suitable for the occasion, eg. Swap the t shirt with a blouse, and even a pair of jeans can look professional and if you do need to change clothes for whatever other reason, you will be prepared by bringing corporate / professional clothes to change into in an emergency.
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Life can get in the way sometimes.


Life can get in the way sometimes. It certainly did in our family.

On the 16th of November, at 6.30pm, we were on our boat in Dawesville tied up with 3 other boats ready to stay overnight when we got the dreaded phone call, Greg’s mother had been taken to Peel hospital with a suspected stroke and we had to untie the other boats tied alongside us and head back to Mandurah as fast as we could so that we could park the boat, drop the little girl off and go and pick up his father and take him to the hospital.

Mum was in Peel Health campus for nearly 2 weeks, what an absolute nightmare!! Unfortunately her stay was a nightmare for all of us,  every time we called the hospital, we were given conflicting info, there didn’t see to be any consistency with anything, she was told that she could leave on several occasions, she’d get dressed and then someone would come and tell her she had to stay. One thing that I must say is that the nursing staff were absolutely fantastic in their treatment of her, however, every other aspect of her stay, was deplorable.

On the Tuesday, 2 days after the stroke, the hospital had a social worker visit her in her  ward, she gave Mum a  on having an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) and advised her that she should organise it asap.  Given that she was in hospital, I took the form and said I would follow this up. On phoning the Peel ACAT service, I was advised that the hospital MUST request the ACAT referral, I contacted the hospital and asked when this could be booked and was told that they weren’t going to request one, until she was ready to be released, the bottom line was that they didn’t request one until I started jumping up and down and complaining to anyone who would listen. Luckily, I went to the city with my mum to have a high tea  with my daughter in law and one of the ladies who also attended works for a company that is associated with aged care, she put me in touch with someone who was able to rattle some cages.

We also tried to get an ACAT assessment for Dad, sadly, this was also a drama.

While all of this was happening, we realised that Greg’s father was not doing too well either, he was forgetting things that we had said a short while before and it was consistent.  On the following weekend, we had arranged to pick him up from his home and take him to visit the hospital when we found that he was missing, he had told a neighbour that he was driving to Fremantle hospital and that he had moved in with Greg & Lee, (they were going to move in with us but not until after Mum had come out of hospital.

When she was finally ready to be released, they lost her medicine list, and her file, they FORGOT to do a INR (Warfarin test) on her in the morning, so we had to stay at the hospital for another 2 hours until firstly the paperwork was found and secondly wait until someone was able to come and do the INR test. They phoned us at home later that evening with the results, and which tablets she was to have.

After she was released from hospital, both of them, their cat and their dog moved in with us, this is when the not so fun started.

While struggling with the dementia, we had serious issues with getting  his diabetes and insulin levels correct, luckily we were able to phone health direct for advice, that however was a nightmare!!! trying to help someone else, privacy and all that, tough luck if he had been dying.

We finally got the ACAT assessments both booked for the same day it turns out Dad has Alzheimer’s and advanced Dementia so we got a double whammy. The ACAT is extremely important, we found that without having the assessment, we were not able to organise any care either in the home or in a facility.

Well the ACAT was been done,  we were able to start organising some in home care for them both, well true to our NOT good luck, there were NO available high care packages in our area so we had to look for an alternative, residential care for Dad as neither Mum, Greg or I are able to cope with his care as he we work full time and his needs were more than we could cope with. I started applying for any residential care in the whole Perth area as I had tried in Mandurah / Rockingham area with no beds available.

After applying to over 30 facilities to find initially respite for Dad, I was starting to get very depressed after working a full day at work, then coming home and having people and other animals in our home and getting constant negative responses. We haven’t had anyone living with us for nearly 10 years now so it was a huge adjustment. I had received responses from about 25 facilities by either phone or email ( during those weeks my left ear got so sore from constantly being on the phone) and I was starting to think that Greg and I would not be able to take our annual (and very needed) break, I received a call from a facility in Carlisle at 9am and the woman was lovely, when she told me that unfortunately she couldn’t help me, I burst into tears and said that was just the way our luck ran, she told me that she would ring around their other facilities and see what she could do for me. By 1pm, I had all but given up hope, when my mobile rang and it was the care facility in Mandurah and the best thing was that it is just over the road and round the corner, only a 10 minute walk from home.

It was obviously meant to be, well Dad has now been placed in care, just around the corner and unfortunately this will be his new home, while Mum is going to stay with us until she feels that she needs to go into care herself.

Dealing with Centrelink on their behalf has been an absolute NIGHTMARE!!!

My mummy has been extremely helpful with this process as she has had a great more time to be able to research things for me, so I would like to send an enormous thankyou to her for all of her support and help through this very difficult time. I completed all of the forms for Centrelink to be able to act on their behalf and change their details. The documents were signed 27th November and hand delivered by mummy (after waiting for 2 hours in the Centrelink office) on Monday 2nd December, I received a response from them 6th January advising that some of the paperwork that was included in the bundle of paperwork handed in (I have taken copies of all of the paperwork included in the bundle handed in as there were several documents for both Mum & Dad, and I don’t trust people to do their work properly.

I spent more than 5 hours dealing with Centrelink on the phone and online on Tuesday trying to sort out this stuff, on hold for 40 minutes before being answered and then another 30 minutes before I was able to speak to the supervisor. When I eventually got to speak to her thankfully, she was very helpful.

This post might seem like nothing but a huge whinge, but there are two things that we have learned from all of this is that it is NEVER too soon to have an enduring power of attorney in place as in Greg’s dad’s case it was too late, we now have to go down the path of guardianship and administration which is done through the courts and takes more than 8 weeks, and we would not willingly put anyone through what we have been over the last few weeks, and that in a blink of an eye Life can get in the way of all the things that you love.

 

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Capsule Wardrobing is fantastic for travel packing.


Packing for travel can be a headache.  Using a Capsule Wardrobe is fantastic for travel packing and once created, you will never go back.

Capsule wardrobeCapsule wardrobe Courtesy Polyvore.

Follow these simple guidelines to create a simple travel capsule wardrobe.

Always try to chose neutral colours in both tops and bottoms, sort the bottoms first as they are the easiest to work with. When selecting tops,  always chose coloured tops that will go with each an every pair of bottoms, that way you can maximise the amount of outfits that you can create.

When choosing accessories, ensure that all selected will go with each top, this also maximizes the use of each item. Ensure that you include at least 1 pair of evening bottoms either a skirt or trousers and a pair of shoes suitable for evening wear.  Even T-shirts can be dressed up to be worn for an evening function with lovely scarves and costume jewellery.

Just with this simple capsule wardrobe , there are 56 basic outfits, add the accessories, tie the scarves differently and you can create a multitude of outfits.