Month: September 2009

Sun-dried tomato pesto

This is Tessa’s fave.  So I’m putting it here so that she can find it and make it if she ever gets a food processor.  This stuff is useful for all manner of things from spreading on top of pizza, to putting in a sandwich to serving to your friends with crackers and brie.  Make it as runny as you want.  I like it thick and chunky, but different strokes for different folks.images-1

Throw into a food processor the following in whatever amounts work for you.  Adjust to fit and it will depend on how many sundried tomatoes you have, they are really expensive so play it by ear.

Sundried tomatoes and some of the oil they come with

Parmesan cheese grated finely

Walnuts (or almonds) but walnuts are better

olive oil

Press pulse and smush them up till they are the texture you want.  Thin down with oil (or not).

You can freeze this mixture.  It is great over pasta, with gnocci or on rice.  Best on crackers though!


Librarianship it turns out, is a hotbed of acronyms. It is truly spectacular how every time an important library committee meets they can choose a new acronym which poor library science students such as myself have to memorise. I feel lucky, so many have been used now that maybe they will run out. Or just feel obliged to put random letters together and make up the words to go with them.

Library Geek books.  Old style!

Library Geek books. Old style!

Rosa Graham Thomas (again)

I am the happy recipient of 2 Graham Thomas roses, they come from the very kind Helen and Russell who live across the road from Mum and Dad.  Wasn’t sure where to put them originally so they had a wee holiday in the wheelbarrow for a couple of days, but they are in now.

Graham Thomas

Graham Thomas

images-4 Graham Thomas grows really big so in my tiny garden, which is becoming totally crammed with roses, I mean really.  New ground is going to have to be broken, holes will be dug. And hell where will the vege garden go.  Maybe this weekend if I get enough study done the first of the potatos will hit the tires where they are going to be planted.  In other news Mitre 10 have vege seedlings on sale and given my low strike rate from seed last year I think it is going to be seedlings this year.

And where are my white muscari.  I have lovely strong green leaves and not a flower in sight.  This is what they should look like  over to the right.  For that matter where are my blue ones!   images-2

Mince and Potato easy dinner

We had this tonight and I thought, write it down while you remember it.  We have it relatively often when I have mince and can’t think of what to do with it other than with pasta or rice.  I think I made it up, but who knows!

Chop up onions and fry off with some garlic and a wee bit of oil.  Add mince (as much as you have, a small amount is really all you need) brown it and add some oregano or basil (or both) a slosh of red wine, and a small tub of tomato paste.  Let this simmer away and reduce down a bit, add water if it happens too quickly.

In the meantime wash and slice some spuds and pre-cook them in the microwave.  When they are not quite cooked, load them into a baking dish, like a high sided quiche dish, and spread them out, squirt them with oil, throw on some freshly ground pepper and chuck some salt at them. Take the mince mixture and put this onto the top but not quite to the edge of the potato.  Bake in the over at about 200 C until the spuds are cooked.  Serve with salad.  Yum and easy.

Devil may care by Sebastian Faulkes writing as Ian Flemming

Devil may careRemember this is James Bond, and don’t read this book with your 2009 feminist mind engaged.  Sebastian Faulkes was the writer chosen by the previous writer of the Bond books to continue the tradition.  This book is written as Ian Flemming would have written it, and continues on  immediately after Golden Eye.  The men are lean and hard and mean, the women are gorgeous and adoring and seriously hot, yet good with guns.  Just don’t go near this book if you are going to be offended by rampant smoking in the bedrooms after a jolly good  .. um seeing to, or if you find the idea of rampant caviar and champagne indulgence distasteful.

I really enjoyed it, jolly good fun, great pace and the goodies obviously are going to be the winners.  It is years and years since I read any of these and I just slipped right back into the zone.

Best Ads on TV

Thanks Jo for this.  This takes a bit to get to the point, but is great if you are over the Facebook/Twitter/Bebo/Myspace etc etc continuium.  Very cool and very funny.  Click the link below!

Sony VAIO: S.M.A.A

Set during a meeting of the SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTS ASSOCIATION, this humorous TVC created by Nascom Belgium promotes the new Sony VAIO.


Schaumann Scone Pie

This is one of all my kids favourites.  The recipe has to be put in here cos the paper it is on is all manky and falling to bits and this is a way of preserving it for posterity!

It is an old Food in a Minute with Alyson Gofton recipe.  This link will take you to the recipe on the website

This is the original and then how we really make it below:

250g mild salami (finely diced)

425g can Tomato and onion pasta sauce

The recipe from the website

The recipe from the website

1/4 cup finely chopped stuffed olives

1 red pepper deseeded and finely chopped

3cups self raising flour

50g butter, softened

1 1/2 cups grated cheese

11/2 cups milk

Mix the salami pasts sauce olives an red pepper together.

Make  scone dough with the flour butter and milk, put in half the cheese to make a soft dough

Turn dough out onto a floured board and kenad lightly.  Roll out into a 35 – 40 cm round and drape eenly oer a loose bottom flan tin.  Spoon the salami filling inside.  Flip over the edges, they will not comletely touch and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 200 C for 30-35 min til the pie is well risen, hot and golden.  Serve warm.

What we do:

Make a bolognaise mixture with whatever you like, add in some spinach or beans or anything you like.  It is good for left over spag bol, use this, noodles and all.

Make up the scone dough, spread over a loose bottom tin, and up the sides.  put in the filling, and enclose the rest in the scone dough all the way over the top using little bits of dough and spreading them out.  More cheese over the top and bake.

It is yummy, serve with salad or as a Friday night easy dinner.

One of those days

Look It Up!

Look It Up!

I mean, not a free period all day, ate my lunch while doing interviews with boys, walked to the canteen for emergency lollycake, then back to the onslaught.  Was full on.  Year 8 interviews in the library after school and I was at a meeting about wikieducator, which was pretty cool actually, but library total tip from exams, classes, lunchtime and the latest craze of tearing up paper to tiny pieces and throwing them all over the place.  Sigh.

Postsecret is fantastic

Hand out postcards to all and sundry, get people to write a secret on them and send them into an address.  That’s when you have postsecret.  Frank Warren started this about 4 years ago and it’s still going on.  I’m a big fan of these books, gave one to Tessa for xmas one year.  Check out the website and enjoy this video.

Alexandra. Blossom Capital of NZ

Apricot Blossom
Just back from Alexandra where the trees are smothered in blossom. Blossom Festival ages away yet, but someone forgot to tell the trees.
Returned with two Graham Thomas roses curtesy of Helen across the road from Mum and Dad and three sacks full of sheep poo. Fantastic stuff for the compost and the garden. Can’t wait to get out there and spread it around.
Mum also gave me some totally gorgeous white and baby blue muscari.
Great to see the parentals and the sister and co.

The Tomato Tart filling

Not tomato season yet, but every year I end up with  glut (great word) and the glut goes into my gut. Haha.  Anyway Lois Daish has this great recipe which I can’t find anymore but which I know off by heart.  It is a play it by ear kinda thing but is totally yum and is the thing I take to bookclub doos because everyone can eat it.  It is supposed to be a tart filling but tonight we had it over spagetti with olives and those little sausages flavoured with venison and red wine and it was pretty good.tomatoes

Throw a whole heap of tomatoes into a big pot, they should be chopped roughly.  You can play it by ear, the smallest amount I have cooked was 5 the largest about 10 so it’s your choice adjust all other additions to taste.  Into the pot throw, a couple of bay leaves, 1 desert spoon of sugar and 1 desert spoon of vinegar.  Put in some garlic, depending on your taste – for me it will always be a lot, sometimes I chop it sometimes I leave the cloves whole.  Put in a good grinding of pepper, some salt and put it onto simmer and walk away.  Yes walk away.

Go back after a while, kinda when you can smell gorgeous tomatoness in another room.  Taste it.  Usually I add more sugar at this point and some more vinegar.  You are after a nice thick consistance with a kinda sweet chutneyish taste but not really.  I cook this down till it is nice and thick and spreadable.

Use this lovely sloppiness as a tart filling for a blind baked tart, on spagetti, on rice, over potatoes.  It keeps in the freezer for winter meals and if you’ve cooked it long enough it tastes like summer.

You can add basil, rosemary, parsley, chopped cooked onions at the beginning, whatever you want.  If you have this in your freezer you will always have a meal for the vegans in your life.  Handy!

If I am making the tart I top it with feta or parmesan (no rennet for the vegans).