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Tuesdays Tips #2 – Don’t Scrap it!

February 22nd, 2011 by Mrs Neurotic

Ok so we all love saving money right? And we all love good food yeah? Well this weeks tip is combining both of these things to make some liquid gold.


What am I talking about? Stock. The base of any good dish. And if it’s a bad stock it’s not going to taste too great. And I don’t care what anyone says I can always taste when it’s come from a box or from powder.


Everyone has their own stock recipe, so I’ll save that for another post.



But my tip today is. Don’t throw away those scraps! No I haven’t gone mad. But if you’d use it in a stock then keep it. Those carrot skins and tips, the ends of onions, the green course ends of a leek. It’s all good stuff! I keep a large zip lock bag in the freezer and just wack it all in together. Then when I make my stock I dump the contents into the pot along with my bones and out comes an awesome stock!

We interrupt this program for a brief announcement.

February 21st, 2011 by Mrs Neurotic


I know this blog is mostly about lots of things and not to much on my personal life. But excuse me for a moment as I need to get this out.


I have done a handful of blog posts that will never be made public. But this one is for all of you.


It has been over a month now. In fact it’s been 1 month and 6 days since we lost our Lucy. It’s starting to feel real now. I think the shock is over, the denial has passed and now I’m left with raw emotion.


I will not air it for all see. I’m sorry but that’s just not me. Never has been, never will be. I am an open book and I am here for people to talk to. But I do not feel the need to air all that is mine for the sake of others just to appease them. I’ve learnt a lot about the human race in the past few weeks, and some of what I have seen has saddened and disappointed me a lot.


So I will be making tributes to Lucy on my blog on and off. I have a Lucy List. The things we were supposed to do, and never did. I will complete that list and I will share it with you. But for now back to normal programming…



99 Luft Balloons…

January 23rd, 2011 by Mrs Neurotic

Yesterday we said goodbye to Lulu.



Yesterday people gathered from all over the world and all over our country to farewell our beautiful Lulu.



Yesterday between 4 and 5 pm Australian EST the sky was filled with red balloons in honour of a strong beautiful woman, loving mother, caring daughter and awesome friend.



Yesterday I didn’t cry. Whilst others cried I held them. The way I know Lulu would have wanted me too…


Yesterday we wore our awesome Hellpixie reversible skirts in honour of Lulu…


Yesterday a few girls may or may not have drank a little bit toooo much pink bubbles…


It seems like only Yesterday I took for granted a beautiful woman and friend… I wish it was still yesterday.

Don’t tell me cause it hurts…

January 20th, 2011 by Mrs Neurotic

I haven’t posted for a while. I’m not sorry. I’ve been busy.


Last Saturday the 15th of January I stopped being busy. My life changed forever. I lost one of my best friends.


The week before I’d been helping my friend. Her dear sister died tragically, albeit naturally, on Thursday night, the 6th of January. I received a call from my dear Lulu on Thursday night as she was driving to her sister. She was so devastated and confused that she needed me to give her the directions. The next week was a blur. Funeral arrangements. Reminiscing. Anger. Sadness. Love. She stayed with me for that time and I am so blessed for that because I got to hold her heart when she needed. I was as she said her “doorbitch”. We hugged. We cried. We told each other how much we loved each other.


On Friday 14th January we said goodbye to Amy, Lucy’s desperately adored sister. Lucy looked beautiful. In a gorgeous red and white polka dot dress (I’ll post photos when I have them). She had dyed her hair blue black 3 nights before. She was stunning. She said goodbye to Amy with all her friends and family. No one knew that she would be saying goodbye to us too.


After the funeral we went to the espy and had some drinks. Again there was more laughs, more tears, consoling friends and connecting with memories. We ended the night on St Kilda Pier with our smirnoff’s and wild turkey travellers in hand. That night she game back to my house one last time. With a dear friend of Amy’s. They needed to talk. Mr Elite had only found out that his soulmate had died 2 days prior and the connection they both felt to Amy was intense and they wanted to talk. They stayed up all night and chatted.


In the morning I woke at about 8:30 am. My little man (4) had a birthday party to attend and Mr Neurotic was going to take him. Lu had wanted to go home to see her babies for the day. Before the next part of the Losing Amy journey continued. I had suggested I would take her home straight away as I had a massage at 10:30. She had come bounding into my room and we sat on my bed and laughed and talked. She said she wanted to stay till I came back from my “rub up” and then I would take her and Mr Elite back to her house. My little lady (9) was here when I left for my massage, along with Mr Elite and Lu. When I left she said to me she wanted to lie down as she wasn’t feeling great. We put it down to drinking and grieving. I said goodbye and went for my massage.


About 15 minutes into my massage we heard a siren. It was a fire truck and it was going loud and fast. I remember thinking to myself, with all these floods how could there be a fire… About another 30 mins passed and suddenly my massage was interrupted with some insane banging and screaming outside. We thought there was some psycho outside thinking maybe we had drugs on the premisis. We were inside thinking what we should do. Then we both heard our names screamed out loud. It was Mr Neurotic. “Lucy’s collapsed. You have to come now.” No. God no. This couldn’t happen again. God no. Please.


I got home and there were 2 ambulances outside and a fire truck. I was bombarded with paramedics and a burley fireman asking me a billion questions. “What is her medical history” “Has she had any medication in the past 24 hours” “Can you get in contact with her next of kin” “We are working on her but we can’t keep her here.” “It’s very critical” “It’s 50/50″ “It doesn’t look good” “There will be no room in the ambulance as we’ll need 2 teams to keep working on her on the way to the hospital” “You can’t go in there.” I went into my room where I find My little Lady consoling Mr Elite. He was a mess. Screaming. Crying. Angry. Sad. Confused. Of course. All the things I was feeling but couldn’t express. I managed to get hold of some people and finally her mother. Her beautiful sweet mother. She had lost her daughter last week and was in pain. Now I had to tell her it was happening all again. “Tell me what you are saying… I do not understand.” Was all she could say. I couldn’t understand it so how could she. It wasn’t happening. It was too surreal. My Little Lady had been amazing. She had called 000. She had given the address, after a state of shock and confusion. She was there as Mr Elite performed CPR. She opened the door to the ambulance. She prayed with Mr Elite. They even meditated in the hopes they could bring her back from space. She was awesome. She is awesome. She won’t be though, no child should ever have to see what she did. She lost her Lucy too. She kept everyone together in a moment of crisis. She called Mr Neurotic and told him to come home she was everyone’s rock. I know Lucy would be proud.


We went to the hospital. We took Scorpio and Mr Elite with us. At the hospital we met with family. It was awful. The Doctor came into the room and told us that she had died.


She left behind Angsty Teen, Cyclone, Betty Boop, Scorpio, Aquaman, her parents, family and friends. And everyone’s heart is now broken.


That is all I want to say about that.


I want people to know that she died of a broken heart – literally. It was not suicide. It was not some virus that took both sisters. It was natural and could not have been forseen or prevented.


I will be back another day to talk about how I feel. But right now this is what happened. And it hurts.


Ever had a friend in need? I need your help.

September 1st, 2010 by Mrs Neurotic




A good friend of mine Lulu has a gorgeous little man aka Cyclone and he is struggling to find his place in the world of Primary School Education in Australia. He is 6 years old and he is on the Autism Spectrum.


Now in Australia most schools cater for children on the spectrum, most schools have aids and facilities to help these awesome children to get the best out of their education. But sadly Lulu has been let down by the system, let down by a school and more importantly let down by a Principal.


Please read Lulu’s story. Please help her if you can.



And if you have a blog please share Lulu’s story, she needs to get the word out.

iStovetop

August 27th, 2010 by Mrs Neurotic



Is this the way of the future? This is The William Stovetop. It’s still only a concept at this stage…



I sure hope so.


How awesome would that be?



Banana Muffins

August 25th, 2010 by Mrs Neurotic



If you buy bananas, there’s a chance your fruit bowl will have some of these occasionally:


And possibly if you’re anything like me… they might be even a little browner. Ok a lot. But you get the idea. Now I do two things with ripe bananas. One is I chop them up and freeze in a zip lock bag to use in smoothies. Two is I bake with them.


Now this recipe has to be the easiest banana muffin recipe in the world. No exaggeration. The other thing about this recipe is that it is extremely kid friendly. It’s one of those dump and mix recipes.


Banana Muffins


Ingredients:


1 1/2 C SR Flour
1 C Sugar
3 Ripe Bananas
4 Tbs Butter/Spread/Marg
4 Tbs Milk
1 Egg


Method:


Preheat the oven to 180C. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and using a stand mixer or handheld mixer combine on a low setting. I don’t even chop up the banana I just break it into pieces and let the mixer do all the work. Once all the ingredients are combined (you can still have a few lumps of banana) divide amongst 12 muffin holes or if you want to make mini muffins you can make about 30 – 40 depending how generous you are with the mix. I use a large ice cream scoop for the regular muffin size and a truffle sized ice cream scoop for the mini muffins. You can also add chocolate chips for a variation. Cook for 18 minutes in a 180C oven for regular muffins or about 10 minutes for mini muffins.


And you should end up with something like this…




Goat & Vegetable Soup

August 24th, 2010 by Mrs Neurotic



Don’t be afraid.


Cooking goat sounds scary I know.


But really it’s no different than lamb or beef. The flavour is very much like a cross between beef and lamb and it is excellent for casseroles, soups and curries. One of our favourite curries is a Nepalese Goat Curry, recipe to come soon.


For this soup you will need goat curry meat, which is funny because I don’t actually use it for Curry as the bones are such a pain to eat with. But goat curry meat (which is diced goat on the bone) is perfect for soup. The other thing I love about goat curry is it’s extremely affordable. I got a kilo for $6.99 from my butcher.



Goat & Vegetable Soup


Ingredients:

1 kg Goat Curry Pieces (on the bone)

2 Litres Beef Stock

1 Large Onion Diced

2 Large Carrots finely diced

2 Medium Potatoes finely Diced

Seasoning


Method:


Place the goat pieces into a baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil. Roast in a 250C oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Heat up your stock, now I make my own stock and freeze it but store bought is fine. Transfer the goat pieces to the pot with the stock and simmer on a very low heat for 2-3 hours. You will need to top the soup up with water to make sure the bones are covered. Once the meat is tender enough that it falls off the bone strain the soup and reserve the meat and bones.  Gently remove the meat from the bones and fork to flake the meat if needed. Taste and season the broth. Put the broth back on the stove and add your diced vegetables (for flavour and colour you can saute the onion if you desire). Add the meat back to the broth and cook for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Feel free to skim the fat off the soup at any time. Serve with warm crusty bread on a cold winters night. For this recipe I made 2 Rosemary, Sea Salt & Garlic Oil Focaccia loaves and it went together perfectly.


***Note*** When I make my stock I roast onion, garlic, carrot, celery with some bones and then boil with some herbs for about 3-4 hours. Homemade stock done this way will give a more intense flavour to the soup. If you are worried about the flavour lacking in a bought stock you can add roasted garlic, a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme to the first boil of the goat pieces. Please remember to discard  the herbs when separating the meat from the bones.



Tuesday’s Tip #1

August 24th, 2010 by Mrs Neurotic



To remove fat from the top of a soup/stock/stew you can refridgerate and remove when solid. But if you’re like me you can’t wait that long! Another tip, which I use often is to…



Photo: RecipeTips


Use a piece of bread to skim the fat off the top…


Isn’t that cool? Apparently you can also dunk lettuce leaves in there, but I haven’t tried it.


How do you remove excess fat from your dishes?



Vodka, I love you! – Part 1

August 23rd, 2010 by Mrs Neurotic

Yes it’s true. Some people appreciate a good Merlot, others a fine aged cognac. Me? I prefer vodka. And I’m not ashamed to say it.



Now people might think. Vodka? Pfft that’s not something you can appreciate. WRONG! There are so many different vodkas on the market and like wines each one works best for different things and each person has their own personal preference. And don’t think that vodka is just for drinking… nonononono. Things I love about vodka:


  • You can drink it…DUH!
  • You can cook with it.
  • You can infuse it.
  • It’s great for making tinctures and other homemade remedies
  • You can use it to clean glass.
  • You can make air freshener with it.
  • You can make funky flexible ice packs with it.
  • You can make vanilla extract with it.
  • You can use it as a skin toner.
  • You can make a great mouth wash with it.
  • Great as a footwash for stinky feet.
  • It’s a great goo remover.
  • It’s really good at removing marker and crayon off the wall.
  • It’s a great disinfectant.
  • You can use it to soothe a sore tooth.


So to show you all how awesome vodka is, I’m going to start off with a favourite cocktail of mine. Often known around these parts as “Mummy’s little helper”.


Mummy’s Little Helper – My Vanilla twist on a Classic Dry Martini


Ingredients:

2 x 30 ml Vanilla Vodka

A splash of Dry Vermouth (as little or as much as you like)

Ice


Method


Now I ain’t the stirring type so I want you to be as rough with this as possible. Put your ice in a shaker along with the Vodka and Vermouth and shake away as hard and as long as you can (helps with the frustrations too!). Then strain into a glass (sans garnish) and reminisce about the days prior to children where 5-6 pm at night was happy hour, now it’s what I like to call arsenic hour. When you do everything you can not to feed them “sugar dusted” cookies. I jest. My kids are angels. Ahem.



Anywho. Enjoy the martini and remember just because you are a mother and just because you like vodka doesn’t mean you can’t be sophisticated. No Alcopops. They are forsaken. One of my dreams is to go to a russian vodka bar and sit and sip vodka and eat caviar. And if you aren’t a mother and have no idea what I’m talking about then sit and drink your martini and think how damn lucky you are blessed I must be to have children.



Next week I’ll tell you more about the Vodka’s I’ve tried and my Favourites. I’ll have some more Vodka recipes too. In the meantime tell me… how do you like your Vodka?

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