when one can’t sleep, start cooking!

I couldn’t sleep last night, in part due to Mr FD’s constant mutterings and so gave up and decided to get organised in the kitchen before the school year starts again. So I baked up a storm and by 7am had a batch of mediterranean muffins and individual quiches to freeze for my school lunches – for those days when rushed for time, or Mr FD beats me to the leftovers! So now I have 12 lunches in the freezer!

Quiches to the left and muffins to the right!

Individual Quiches – quiches above are made with left over Christmas ham and camembert.

GI Low

Energy 553kj

Total fat 5.1 g

Sat Fat 1.1g

Carbs 8g

Fibre 0.6 g

Sodium 294mg

4 eggs

4 egg whites (or just use 8 eggs in total)

1 medium onion

1 shallot, chopped

170g crabmeat OR 170g ham, diced

½ cup skim milk

4 tbs plain flour

50g light camembert, sliced OR grated cheese

Black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180C. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add onion, shallots and crab meat/or/ham.

2. Mix flour with milk and pour into eggs. Mix well.

3. Pour into a lightly sprayed spring tin, quiche dish or large muffin pan. Arrange camembert/grated cheese on top and sprinkle with black pepper (cracked looks best).

4. Bake for about 30 mins / 25 if using large muffin tin, until egg mix is set.

5. Leave in tin for 5 minutes to rest and then slice/remove from muffin tin.

6. Can be frozen.

Mediterranean Muffins


GI Moderate

Energy 435kj

Total Fat 1.4g

Sat Fat 0.4g

Carbs 17g

Fibre 1.9g

Sodium 243mg

Makes 12 small, 6 large muffins

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup of oats

1tbs baking powder

50 g sundried tomatoes

1 cup tomato juice (canned tomatoes works well too!)

½ medium capsicum

6 black olives, sliced

2/3 cup skim milk

60g simple salsa (I use any salsa from the supermarket, or make your own)

2 eggs whites (I use the whole eggs)

2tbs parmesan cheese/grated cheese

1tbs basil leaves.

1. Soak sun dried tomatoes in ½ cup tomato juice for 30 mins. If not using sun dried tomatoes just add juice to mix.

2. Chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with capsicum, cheese, basil, sliced olives, flour, baking powder and oats.

3. Mix remaining ingredients and then add to dry mix.

Spray muffin tin with oil, pour in batter (I use an ice cream scoop) and bake at 180C for 20 minutes if small muffins and 25 if large.

5. Serve hot or cold, with salsa, mashed avocado and sour cream, or with soup.

6. Will freeze well.

I have fiddled with this a lot over time, and it works well with no dried tomatoes, a can or tomato, capsicum and onion mix; corn. Soy milk and gluten free flour without the cheese is also fine. Just ensure the salsa is there!

 Recipes by Michelle Truite, Cooking with Conscience.

The King’s Speech, a mighty fine speech indeed!

It was time to get out of the house. Mr FD and I were starting to just sit in silence and stare at each other. I started to imagine how good his head would look served up on a platter. So the Daughters descended and we went to the movies.

ladies who do lunch and a movie

We went to watch the movie The King’s Speech . It was without doubt one of the best movies I have watched in a very long time. Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI and his battle to overcome his stutter was an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. He deserves a golden globe and an oscar if they really mean anything.

Geoffrey Rush was, for once, a real Australian; a thinking, intelligent professional with that Australian sense of humor we all know so well. Superb. Daughters were both in tears at the end, it was such an emotional ride with the poor King, and yet at other moments we were laughing out loud.  Once the audience even applauded a scene!

Don’t wait for the dvd – go and watch The King’s Speech as soon as you can. You won’t be disappointed.

photographically so…

The week that was

homemade pizza with pumpkin and bocconcini, and salad for dinner

Christmas breakfast table awaiting the hungry hordes

apricots and fresh dates

a plate full of cherry goodness

my first attempt at a steamed pudding was gobsmacking good!

our singing friend, the Butcherbird (taken through a glass door so as not to frighten him away)

Rainbow over our horizon

a hibiscus cutting to be potted

using up the Christmas leftovers - fried rice la flamingo dancer!

lunch at the French Twist, Brisbane

Caxton Street, Brisbane, taken from French Twist at The Barracks

A pub that is still a pub! Many have been converted to offices.

please don't serve me sugar cubes like this - I am sure they are passed from customer to customer...ugh!

flowers that I can't remember the name of right now - I am sure some gardener will remind me

ageism is not a female word

I have taken umbrage. Dianne Keaton has a movie about to be released, and the Australian Women’s Weekly (January 2011) published an interview with her, a syndicated piece by Johanna  Schneller, that includes a photograph insert about women who have still “got it” – after the age of 50!

 Annette Bening was one of the examples they used as a glamorous woman who “just keep on getting better with age”. Annette Bening and I are the same age – 52. And though I haven’t asked Annette directly, surprisingly we don’t do lunch, I am sure that she would agree with me; 52 is not old. It is middle aged, yes. Old? I beg your pardon, but, hell no!

A magazine that brands itself as being for women, and to promote positive images to allow such stereotyping is beyond comprehension. A 52 year old woman in Australia has another 15 years in the workforce, as the expectation is that she will work until the age of 67 now. The average woman in Australia can expect to live some 84 years, so how the hell does 52 qualify anywhere near old?

At the age of 50 I went back to university, full time, to undertake a degree in education. I embarked upon a career in teaching at the age of 52. This year, as I turn 53 I am blending my old career, librarian, with my new career as teacher to become the leader of a resource/library centre. I have yet to reach the peak of my career. Daughter1’s mother in law is 67. In 2011, she will be teaching a whole semester at high school, then embarking on a world trip with a friend, a woman who is over 80!

For a respected publication to whittle the worth of a woman down to looking good after 50, as though it is a norm to be a desiccated, inactive woman is pathetic. What is sadder still is that the editorial team even considered that 50 was old and felt the need to insert photos of Bening, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Angelica Huston, and their ages into an article about Diane Keaton’s life is insulting to not only their achievements and talents, but also to all women, young or old.

 I would have thought that the need for such fluff pieces had long passed. When will women cease being their own perpetrators of inequality?