Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Finding the Rhythm of Posting

I have so much I want to write about, to record and to share. I've got a big list of posts I've started to be tweaked & finished, I just need to figure out which ones to work on first!

I am also mulling over how much I want to share and what is appropriate to write... it's a tricky business, but I think for now my benchmark for deciding will be to ask 'would I be happy if my Nanna read/knew this'!!

I do feel like I'm starting this blogging thing quite slowly and am really keen to find a rhythm of regular posting... I think I'm in this place because I leapt out of the gates with my first few posts but hadn't thought beyond that as to how I wanted to keep the blog posts rolling out!

I'm also keenly aware that the looming arrival of B4 will impact on my time available for me to play with posts... however this will be compensated with much material for new and interesting posts on the topic of growing the BE Hive and adjusting to the new dynamic of BE x4!!

So for now, if you've joined me here, welcome and thanks for your patience as I warm up & find my footing... hopefully you'll enjoy the posts as they start rolling out with more frequency :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

[in the kitchen] Baked Moroccan Chicken & Rice

This dish is a firm favourite on the regular rotation for the BE Hive. It came to us by a chance sighting on, and over time I have tweaked it into something a little different and perfected it to our preferences.

It works well for us to provide left overs for lunches the following day. It also freezes well to store a meal for those days that there are no left overs from the previous night for Mr BE to take to work. It is also a great dish to prepare when having guests over, it's easy to prepare, doesn't necessarily look too flash on the plate but the flavours are always a hit.

What's in it...
  • 1 cup basmatti rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 2 med tomatoes, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 500g chicken thighs, 2cm slices
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons moroccan seasoning
  • 1 generous teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
The original recipe included peas in the vegetable layer - the BEs hate peas... so I omit those... I have done versions that included beans, carrots & snow peas in the vegetable layer, this is handy for meals where you just want to serve the whole thing from one dish and forgo the steaming of veggies on the side.

Put it together...
  1. Preheat oven to 220C.
  2. Spread basmatti rice evenly in the base of a baking dish.
  3. Spread diced onion, capsicum & tomatoes over the rice.
  4. Combine the lemon juice & chicken stock, pour over the rice/vegetable mixture.
  5. Combine the apricot jam, moroccan seasoning, garlic & olive oil in a bowl to make a glaze.
  6. Coat the chicken strips with the glaze and lay on top of the rice/vegetable mixture in the baking dish. Spread any remaining glaze mixture on top of the chicken.
  7. Place in the oven, uncovered for 35-40 mins or until chicken is cooked & rice has absorbed the liquid. Serve with steamed vegetables.

Putting it all together
Out of the oven & onto my plate... Mmmm

Monday, February 13, 2012

On Living A Dream... one you didn't know you dreamt

Most of the time I am in awe of where I am now.  I say "most" only because it would be dishonest to say everything is always perfect, but definitely most days are, and I guess every day has it's moments that can be put in that "perfect" category.

I was the girl who swore black & blue that she was never, NEVER, EVER having babies.  Seriously... you can ask my Mamma, she will concur that I swore it would never happen, it was not on my agenda, no way, YUCK... just not happening.  Mind you probably quite a good thing to be feeling this way at 15, no?!

By my mid 20's not only was I still swearing off babies, I was also the girl who swore she was never, NEVER, EVER getting married.  Seriously, you ask my Mamma, again she will concur!  Also my girlfriend's can also back this one up... A couple of unhappy relationships had landed me in a steadfast mindset that I didn't need nor want a man in my life.  It is my belief that although those unhappy relationships had ended as the result of negative things my exes had done, I needed to get over the fact that I had enabled them to treat me that way, I needed to get over myself, not them.

So began a period of self imposed 'singledom', a choice to give myself time to be me and to heal the wounds I'd allowed myself to be inflicted.  It was a good time, also a bad time, but an interesting chapter in my life.  Definitely a period of forging some fantastic friendships with solid gold girls who I will always hold dear (you know who you are girls).

Then somewhere along the way, as my late 20's were approaching, my mindset began to shift to a state of feeling that it might not be so bad to have a man in my life.  Nothing so serious as marriage of course, but a date or two, maybe a boyfriend, maybe that would be ok?  Not a necessity, not a NEED, but something that would be alright if it happened upon my path.

Sometime after that change of heart I found myself falling... into a whole new world.  One were I had a few dates, then a little while later person with whom said dates occurred became defined as my 'boyfriend'.  Within 12 months of that first date we were engaged, packing up our separate lives & heading from Brisbane to Alice Springs on an "adventure" together.  Less than 12 months after that there was a big fat wedding... where I wore the dress I never thought I'd wear... seriously, I tried that one on for a laugh thinking it would be a hoot to see myself all 'toilet roll dolly' style - next thing I new I HAD TO HAVE THAT DRESS!  It was a whirlwind, but there was no point in the whirling that I felt like I needed to get off the ride... it just felt right in a way I can't describe in words.

Fast forward a little over 3 years on from that day, I am a wife, and Mamma to one cheeky little Mini Man (22 months) and we are 6 weeks out from Mini Man becoming a big brother.

There have been so many fantastic experiences in the last 5 years and I know there a many more adventures to come.  I can't imagine my life any other way now.  I really have met my soul mate.

It's a dream come true.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

[in the kitchen] Madras Curry

I love to cook.  I get a great deal of pleasure out of filling the bellies of the BEs (including my own - I love to eat) with tasty, wholesome goodness!  I also love to share meals with friends and family.  I love to share recipes and to try new ones.  In light of these things, many of my posts will revolve around my kitchen...

I discovered this recipe a few years ago, after previously having only prepared curry using prepackaged sauces or curry pastes, I was delighted to discover not only just how easy it was to prepare the paste from the raw' spices, but also how exceptionally tasty it is!  I recommend giving it a go, it really isn't that much work...

Ever since the first time we had this Madras Curry it has remained a favourite on our 'regular rotation'.  The original recipe was made using beef, but in recent discussions with B2 (whilst eating a beef version) it was revealed that he wasn't a huge fan of the beef... so I decided to have a got at lamb instead... I think this will be a regular substitution, it was delish :)

(original recipe credit: Madras Beef Curry)

What's in it...
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil (approx)
  • 1kg diced lamb
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • steamed basmati rice,  steamed vegetables & poppadoms to serve
Put it together...
  1. Combine coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, chilli, garlic, ginger & lemon juice in a bowl to form a paste, set aside.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan over high heat.  Add half the lamb.  Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer to a bowl.  Repeat with remaining lamb.
  3. Reduce heat to medium.  Add spice paste.  Cook for 1 minute, to release the aroma of the spices.  Return lamb to saucepan.  Cook, stirring, until meat is coated with paste.  Add tomato paste & stock.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover.  Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  4. Remove lid.  Cook, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes, or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.  Serve with rice, vegetables & poppadoms.
Step 1
Steps 2 & 3
Step 4

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Contact from the BE Hive

So, here I type.  I've been contemplating blogging for a long time now.  I have spent a little time here and there playing with ideas and considering names, content and all that jazz.  I've had a few people suggest I might just be good at it (time shall tell!).  I am definitely addicted to reading blogs, they are my alternative to glossy magazines, I love that the 'articles' I read while stealing a moment with a cuppa come from real people on real issues that speak to me and my own experiences in this life.

I am also admittedly addicted to Facebook.  I manage to convincingly (even if the only person convinced is me) pass my Facebook use off as a necessary tool in maintaining contact with friends and family who live far far away, especially my Mamma who revels in this modern tool for seeing regular updates of her grandchildren.  (Welcome Mamma, maybe you'll be my only follower?! xx )

My husband says I am a social media addict... so... hey... why not let him be right and up the ante with a little blog posting as well!

What is the BE Hive?  It is my world, my little family, my everything.  It travels with us wherever we go, it is not the 4 walls we live in but the bonds that tie us together: Me (Queen BE, Mrs BE, Mummy BE, B1), my Spunky Husband (Mr BE, Daddy BE, B2), our Mini Man (Dudie, B3) and The Bump (B4) who is due to join us all on the outside in T-8wks (27th March).

What will I blog about?  Life, my life, the big, the little, the everyday things.

This will be a safe place that I can tell the everyday stories from the BE Hive and share them with my family and friends... and maybe a few new friends will drop in along the way...