Saturday, 3 April 2010

Still here

No, I haven't been in hiding, nor sulking this time. Just been rather busy, and the school holidays have meant that by the time the kids are in bed, I am worn out and unable to string a sentence together, let alone remember what we've been up to. Back to school on Tuesday... WOOO HOOO! It's not that I don't enjoy having them all at home, not having to get up at 6.15am, etc., it's just that it's sooo noisy, and the house is a complete pigsty! Oh, and as they boys' favourite way to pass time is by playing 'explorers' out in the paddy fields, the washer has been running almost non-stop. Anyway, we have had rather a fun time over the last few weeks. For a start, we have added to our family:

Making their debut here today are Polly and Penny! Actually, their names could well change. K wants to call them Tinky and Winky (I don't think so), I quite like Thelma and Louise or Thomasina and Geraldine (Tom and Jerry), the boys want to name them after themselves... Any good suggestions?

I'm still trying to eat healthier, and came across some unusual choccie treats - vegetable chocolate! There was a whole range of different flavours, I picked up the following two to try out:

On the left is spinach and white chocolate, and on the right we have carrot and mandarin orange in dark chocolate. The verdict? A waste of money and calories! The carrot one was OK, couldn't taste much of the filling at all. The spinach one was absolutely disgusting, I took a small nibble and then passed it on to the children (who wolfed it down in seconds - I didn't tell them that it was made with spinach)!

I'd much rather eat my veggies in curry form - why ruin good chocolate? Speaking of curry, I made this healthy dish for dinner the other day (it was a Yoshikei recipe) and as it's so easy to play around with I will be making a lot more of the (I need to get my protein):

Tofu with curried vegetable sauce

2 packs of tofu, cut into large pieces
1 carrot, cut into juliennes
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch of nira (anyone know what this is called in English?)or spring onion, sliced thickly
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
240ml dashi (I used kombu)
30ml cooking sake
40ml soy sauce
40ml mirin
pinch of salt
1 rounded tablespoon cornstarch

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the vegetables and curry powder. Add all of the liquid ingredients and salt and heat to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, mix the cornflour with a little water and stir into the vegetables. Heat again until thickened slightly. Arrange the tofu on plates and microwave to heat through, then top with the curried vegetables.


  1. Ooh, Easter bunnies! So cute! I like your suggestion best :)

    I've tried that vegetable choco before and was distinctly underwhelmed too. I think I remember that they had a ginger one too which was much better!

    Your recipe looks yummy - out of curry powder at the moment but will give it a try soon!

  2. OH dear! What a risk with that chocolate! I would have thought that they'd try and make it as palatable as possible, I mean what is the use of making a horrible vegetable chocolate that peple already don't want to buy! Oh and Polly and Penny are so cute! Congratulations! :D

  3. I feel an ever growing empathy for my dear Aussie counteparts whose kids don't start school until 5-that means Miss Sunshine would have only started school at the end of Jan. I am exhausted after 3 weeks hols never mind an extra 2 YEARS at home. Bring on WEDNESDAY.

    Your bunnies are gorgeous. I vote for Benny & Butch, they're the names of the bunnies in my fav childrens book :)

    Yuck to veggie choco, you need to try my zucchini bread. I am currently munching through my special box of Quality Streets which I picked up at the supermarket today!!!

  4. Hi umebossy,

    Yes, I saw a ginger and lemon one and that sounded pretty good! I should have known better than to go for the spinach version, but I was feeling a little daring ;-) xxx

    Hi Lorraine,

    haha, no matter how bad these choccies were, I know they can't be as bad as some of that nasty stuff you tried in NZ! *shudders* xxx

    Hi achan,

    Although I'm looking forward to school starting, I'm very thankful that I'll still have my little princess at home - if we were in the UK she would have been starting pre-school next week! Wow...

    Happy Easter to you, too! xxx

  5. PS anchan, where on earth do you buy zucchini here? I've never seen them in the shops and grew some myself last year, but haven't any seeds left for this season :-( Have you ever tried zucchini cake? Yuuummm...

  6. I'm achan your anchan!!! or are you talking to yourself??????

    I buy zucchinis from Max Valu, recently on their cheap Tuesdays I've been able to pick them up for 100 yen. I am sure Jusco will have them. I can also find them at my tiny local fruit & veg shop.

    Check ou my blog there is a yummy zucchini chocolate bread, ie loaf/cake. I posted it about a week ago. My kids couldn't get enough of it!! I also have a more savoury recipe that I make too. Just love the stuff.