Cabbage Roll Casserole

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There were lots of family favourite dishes in our house growing up and one of those was cabbage rolls.

My mother made the absolute best one. Then, later, after she died, my father tried his hand and got pretty darned good too.

I love the taste, but I’ve never been one to be too fussy about things that require too much “preparation” – all that rolling… who has the patience for that? Ne pas moi!

If you know me, you also know that this is not the sort of food I’d normally make. But, it’s all about the doing things differently so, that’s what I’m doing.

Today I decided that I’d do cabbage rolls differently. First of all, I used purple cabbage instead of green.  I found a fabulous one at the market last weekend so this is what put me on this path in the first place.

Then instead of making the filling and softening the full leaves (which always tear) I made a casserole.

It consisted of a layer of grated purple cabbage softened, then a layer of tomato rice (precooked), then a layer of cooked beef mince and onions, then more tomato sauce,  then another layer of purple cabbage followed by a layer of bacon on top and some additional tomato sauce near the end.

(Okay, it’s not pretty. I can see that.)

But, if the smell wafting throughout the house is anything to go by, it should be pretty tasty.

I’m off for a taste!

 

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Soft As A Baby’s

When you have fragrance allergies and sensitive skin finding toiletries that you can use can be a real challenge.

I have found very few moisturisers that I can use and have always found this frustrating. The end result is that I often skip this step in the beauty routine.

I’m getting older and it’s showing on my skin, so you have to know how happy I am to have found a new option.

I discovered it on Monday night when my little houseguest Isabelle was having her bath. Her mum finished up bathtime by applying a moisturising option I had not considered.

I figured if it was mild enough for Isabelle, it might work well for me.

What is it?

Organic coconut oil. Yep, the same stuff I’ve got in my kitchen cupboards

oilThe same stuff I love the taste of. The natural and organic miracle fruit.

I’ve tried it for the past few days and my skin feels absolutely marvellous.

In fact, it almost feels as good as Isabelle’s…almost!

Thanks, ladies, for such a great, and natural, answer to my skin challenge.

Plus, I just LOVE the smell.

And, it has so many other uses too. I must find where I can buy this in bulk!

list

 

Oh, Baby, That’s A Different Way To Spend A Day

Amid the looking for new projects, completing those already underway, and preparing for my trip to Canada, I had the chance today to do something different. And, I mean, really different!

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I was asked if I could help Chris’ colleagues who are in town with their wonderful baby girl, Isabelle, by actually babysitting for the day.  While I haven’t done this in maybe 30 years, I was game.  Because she is just the cutest and the best behaved little girl and just like her parents, she’s fun to be around.

So, today was the day.

We played and we ate. We played and we danced. We played and we slept. We played and went for a walk and we played and we at some more.

This little girl was so much fun.

But I’ll admit it, I completely understand why child rearing is a younger person’s game.

I’m shattered!

But, my heart is full and I’ll treasure these special moments with Isabelle for a long time! Miss you and your cheeky grin already, Sweetie!

Out For Lunch

I spent a beautiful morning in a beautiful city, clocking up a few thousand steps on my Fitbit.

Then I did my DID for today and took myself out for lunch. Literally.

I picked up my favourite meal from Home Thai and then found a lovely spot out in the sunshine, looking out over the harbour and I sat there enjoying the quiet – way better than eating in a crowded restaurant.

Today’s DID helped remind me how blessed I was to live in such a wonderful city.

A Brief City Escape

For today’s DID I spent the night in a different bed!

Before the rumours start. Let me explain.

Chris was chosen as part of a selective team from ANZ that was invited to attend the Google for Education Trainer Network. I think their focus will be on Google Earth. Part of this involves bringing people physically together. So, he was invited to come into town and stay with them at the funky Ovolo Hotel in Darling Harbour for a couple of nights.

Given how much my husband travels and that I’ll be gone for a month soon, I wanted to minimise the time we’re apart. So, I joined him at the hotel.

I didn’t take him away from his work commitments or the social ones either. In fact, I didn’t even tag along on their evening out.

What I did instead was get to experience a fabulous little hotel with a refreshing and vibrant personality. The Ovolo offers a free in-room mini bar, free and fast wifi, a direct email to the CEO for feedback, a free happy hour with drinks and snacks, iPads in the rooms, and the most hospitable and friendly staff I’ve seen in Sydney. And this is all located in an old woodshed building with an inviting urban decor. You can almost feel the history emanating from the exposed brick throughout the building.

See for yourself.

And, the hotel’s location placed me within walking distance of a few VIVID precincts –  Darling Harbour, Tumbalong Park and Barangaroo.

So, for today’s DID I seized the opportunity that presented itself, spent the night with my husband (well sort of – he joined his tribe, I racked up over 17,000 steps on my FitBit) and got to explore the colourful display that is VIVID.

Here’s a sampling.

But, seriously, if you’re in Sydney – get out there and see VIVID for yourself!

 

Fresh Without The Plastic

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For today’s DID I changed up my usual grocery shopping habits. Like most people in Australia, I do most of my shopping at one or both of the major grocery chains – Woolies or Coles, with a dash of Aldi’s on the side.

The produce selection there is okay, the quality is okay, and the prices are okay, but quite often I am turned off by just how much plastic and packaging these chains use in the selling of fruits and vegetables, that, let’s face it, come in their own packaging.

So, today we ventured out to Paddy’s Flemington market to get ourselves some fresher, better quality, cheaper pricIMG_7511ed and less packaged fruits and vegetables for our weekly shop.

The market atmosphere, the freshness of the produce and the vast quantity and selection were just what we were after. We came home with a colourful variety of tasty treats, most with no additional packaging with the exception of two small plastic bags.

They say eating colourful is eating healthy, so healthy it is!