MY CREATIVE SPACE…when a party lives on…

Long after a party is over at our house, the theme seems to live on for quite some time. It’s the same with every party. I could never justify the expense or effort on things that would never be used again, so maybe that’s the reason that the Japanese influence is still strong at FGB headquarters.

We repeated the blossom tree craft last week at playgroup and each and every birthday card leaving our house in the last month has looked very much like this one….

A ‘how to make a paper crane’ tutorial was the Show & Tell last week along with a paper crane for each child in the class – I did mention she was obsessed didn’t I?! We now have them hanging along the kitchen window also and some gorgeous little origami hearts were made for each of us on Valentine’s Day.

Last week, just to use our asian soup spoons we had Chicken & Sweet Corn soup for dinner and on the
menu almost every day for lunch at the moment…

Cherry blossom sandwiches anyone?*

And I can’t forget Japanese Poker. Of course, as mentioned previously, all party decos stay up in the shed until the next party and once a month Mr FGB has a poker night in the shed. So this month the boys enjoyed Japanese rice snacks, Japanese lollies along with some Japanese beer and according to their fortune cookies, not all of them were going home rich men.

Do you find this happens at your house after a party….or is it just me? Maybe after all of the effort it takes, I just can’t let go?

How do you let your creative juices flow? Head over here to see some others.

* We did this another day with beetroot dip and open sandwiches – pink blossoms! A bit of creative fun never goes astray – we must amuse ourselves whenever we can and right now – I really only have room to move in the small things :)

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS

Last week I promised a weekly post on quick and easy, kid friendly recipes. Here is the first. I am by no means an expert and there are thousands of recipes out there, it’s just a matter of finding them and being willing to give them a go. These are not going to be gourmet recipes, no bells & whistles here, just recipes with few ingredients that can generally be found in your kitchen and take little time to prepare or cook.

Inspired by Melbourne’s cold & wet weather, this week’s easy recipe is…
SOUP
To be honest, I used to be a little scared of soups, but once I was shown how…. what could be quicker and easier! You can just make up your own using whatever vegies you have in the fridge along with some stock powder and boiling water. I like to add fried bacon & onion, a can of red kidney beans and some pearl barley to the vegies (grated or chopped).


If you are someone who likes to follow a recipe, here is a very yummy one that I found a few years ago in a Donna Hay magazine in a page of ten minute soup recipes.

SWEET POTATO & THYME SOUP

470g sweet potato, peeled & chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups chicken or vegie stock
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup cream (or milk)
salt & pepper

Place the sweet potato, onion, stock, thyme & mustard in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 8 minutes or until sweet potato is soft. Puree the soup with a stick mixer or in a blender. Return the soup to medium heat & stir through cream, salt & pepper.


Add some toast fingers or toast shapes (using cookie cutters) with butter or grilled grated parmesan.

We had pumpkin soup for dinner tonight and tried drinking it using straws. MUCH less mess! The idea came from ecoMILF who also had some great healthy & fun snack ideas for kids.

As I am the most keen of all to see more of these types of recipes, each week I am going to include a GUEST RECIPE, so if you have any recipes that fit into this category, and I’m sure that you do, then please email me separately or let me know about a recipe you have blogged & I’ll put your recipe up one week. It must fit the above criteria.

Emily from Screamstress left this great idea in my comments last week, so she has the honor of being the inaugural guest.

GUEST RECIPE:

SCREAMSTRESS’ COUSCOUS EMERGENCY MIX

My all time favourite 5 minute meal is my cous-cous. The kids love it and I add smoked chicken/tuna/cooked vegies/salad vegies/fetta/olives pretty much whatever I have available! This recipe is for a one kilo packet, which I then keep in the cupboard and use over a couple of months.

Add the following to one kilogram of plain dried couscous, then to prepare add equal parts couscous and boiling water to a bowl, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

* 4 tsp ground cumin,
* 4 tsp ground coriander,
* 2 tsp paprika,
* 3 tsp vegetable stock powder,
* 2 tbs dried onion,
* 1 tbs dried garlic,
* 2 tbs dried parsley,
* sunflower seeds.


Thanks Emily! This recipe reminded me of my Winter Warmer Soup-in-a-jar recipe that we have been using quite a bit lately. You could make up some of these and have it in the cupboard for a cold night when you need dinner pronto!

For more quick & easy midweek dinners see here.

While on the theme of midweek dinners, I came across this dinner idea for those of you who have a little more time to try and entice those fussy eaters…….themed dinners!


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