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Saturday, 30 April 2016

2016 ALBUM: MARCH & APRIL

I was a bit late with finishing the March chapter of my 2016 album, so I decided to just wait with the post until I was done with the April chapter too. And whoa, this means I'm actually 1/3 through this album. I swear 2016 just started?


I had a bad case of the flu over Easter so ended up spending a little too much of March in bed, and didn't really take a whole lot of pictures. April's kinda been a bit of a waiting month. I went on leave after the first week, and I've been keeping busy since. A friend of mine also came to visit for a weekend, which coincided with my surprise baby shower (they caught me totally off guard, I was just taking the dog for a quick walk when a bunch of cars filled with balloons and friends in party hats pulled into my driveway haha)! Spring's also brought us a bit of sunshine, and sunshine = walks on the beach.

We have no plans for May, as I suspect we'll be rather busy once the little one arrives! My due date was yesterday, so guess he'll be here any day now. Hopefully he won't hold out on us too long!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY

Last week, we tried out one of those meal plan boxes. If you're unfamiliar with the concept: you get a a box delivered on the Sunday/Monday with a pre-planned dinner menu for the week complete with the recipes and all the ingredients. You still have to cook your food, but all the planning is taken out of the equation, you end up with way less food waste, and you get to try a couple of new recipes. We ordered it just to try it out and don't plan on turning it into a weekly affair, but I can also see us doing it again sometime.


As a special offer, we also got a free box of fruit with our meal plan box. It seemed like a good idea at the time when I was ordering, but I didn't really realize how big the box would be, and in retrospect I think about half of the amount of fruit would have been more appropriate for two adults. I've been starting my days with fresh smoothies everyday and constantly nagging at Graeme to take more fruit with him to work, but there's still a lot left. It also doesn't help that with a few exceptions, I'm allergic to most tropical fruit, so there's only so much of it I can actually eat. Bananas, melons, avocados, kiwis and even certain nuts will make me itch all down my throat, eyes and ears, and can even cause my tongue and throat to swell up. It's not so bad that I need to carry around an epipen or anything, but the reaction can last all day so I generally find that it's just not really worth it haha.

One thing I've learnt though, is that for some reason I can eat most of these fruits if they've been cooked. Fruit compotes, pineapple on pizza, coconut curry or mango baked into a cake? Yes, please, don't mind if I do! So in an effort to eliminate some tropical fruits from our fruit boxes, I decided to turn that deadly fresh pineapple into a delicious pineapple chutney. Now we're talking!

Ingredients:
1 red onion, chopped
3 chilis, chopped (I used really mild chilis, so I decided to leave the seeds in)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 pineapple, chopped into chunks
175 ml apple cider vinegar

Directions:
Add the onion, chilis and spices to a medium sized pot with a bit of oil, and cook on medium high heat until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pineapple and vinegar, and let it simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes and get thick and chunky. Transfer to sterilized jars and let cool.


This chutney is delicious with barbecued pork, or on a burger. Or, you know, you could enjoy it in one of my favorite ways to enjoy pretty much any chutney: in a grilled cheese sandwich. Lunch is served!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

SIMPLE OMBRE BABY BLANKET


Well, well, well! I started my maternity leave last Friday, meaning we are getting closer and closer to the due date at the end of the month (you start your maternity leave 3 weeks before the due date here). Pre-arrival maternity leave is pretty good so far. I still feel pretty great and the sun has literally been shining since I went on leave, and the dog's really been enjoying my company and the daytime walks. Mostly I've been busy with stuff around the house, though; tidying, organizing, purging. I've started tackling the monstrous pile of laundry that I'd been putting off, starting of course with the little one's clothes. It's impressive how someone so tiny (who's not even born yet!), can have so much stuff already. But it's mostly all washed and dried now, and ready to be put away in his nursery. Which is also pretty much all ready, so I'll probably share a post about that soon!


I've also knitted another blanket for him, this simple ombre one. It's so soft and cozy, and I love the colors. It started out as a project to use up some leftover yarn, and then escalated from there. I used Drops Baby Merino in petrol (leftover from this project), and then got some light sky blue and light grey to compliment, which gave it a nice ombre effect. I used a garter stitch throughout and 10 mm needles, making it a very quick project. Since I wanted to use up the petrol yarn and had more of that than the other colors, I purposely made the light grey panel the smallest (which now obviously means I have leftover light grey yarn--this is a never ending cycle, you guys!). And since the light sky blue and the light grey are quite similar, I feel it worked out pretty well. 

He can technically arrive any day now, and I'm looking forward to having him all wrapped up in this blanket! Though at the same time, I'm also hoping he takes his time and waits until about the 30th for logistics purposes haha. I've explained the situation to him, so I guess it just remains to see if he gets it and stays put, or if he's more of the rebellious, devil-may-care type. Time will tell!