My pintrest mum attempt (chicken dumplings in broth)

Well this is a first. A recipe and how to. Normally our dinner is very bland and insignificant because my little kids are fussy but I’ve been craving dumplings since I saw the two chicks on MKR’s stuff them up earlier this week. So here goes, my recipe that you’ll have to be a bit flexible with as I cook by sight and don’t measure anything.

200g free range organic chicken mince (or just regular, or mince a couple of chicken boobs)
6 Swiss brown mushrooms, finely grated
1 large clove of garlic, finely grated
Piece of ginger size of your thumb, finely grated
3-4 shallots, sliced thinly
Dash of soy sauce
Gow Gee wrappers
2 litres of chicken stock
1 bunch of pak choy, thinly sliced

Step one: give the kids an iPad or put a Peppa pig DVD on.

Step two: put a large pot of water on to boil. Put stock in another pot on low heat to gently warm.

Step three: add a pinch of ginger and 1/4 of the shallots to the broth. Put everything else except the wrappers and pak choy in a bowl and combine well.

Step four: put about half a teaspoon of mixture into a wrapper, dampen the edges so they stick and go nuts on fancy wrapper designs. You can also just go for the good ol’ fold and close but I like to pinch to make little fans. If you don’t care how they look, get the kids in the kitchen to help. You’ll have a 10000% more chances of getting them to eat them if they help (disclaimer: no guarantee for fussy eaters).

Step five: when you’ve made enough to feed your tribe, put a few at time in the boiling water so not to crowd them. Also throw the pak choy into the broth that is gently simmering by this stage. Add a dash of soy sauce to the broth if you desire. Dumplings are cooked when they start floating.

Step six: divide the broth amongst soup bowls. Add 4-5 dumplings to each bowl. If you’re fancy, serve with chopsticks and those cool Asian soup spoons. If you’re like me, soup spoon for adults and ikea spoon and fork for littlies.




The home stretch

This time next week we will be unpacking boxes (or still moving if I am being realistic). We’ve had a few unexpected curve balls in the past week that will hopefully be resolved to ensure the handover date remains the same.

What I thought was efficiency and forethought has come back to bite us on the bum. We laid turf on Wednesday to take advantage of the predicted rain and give it a chance to establish before the kids start trampling it. Being 100% tank water reliant, I thought it was perfect timing.

Two things.

Firstly, by laying turf around the perameter of the house, there wasn’t a 75mm gap in some places between the ground and cladding as per building certification requirements. Our house did not pass the final building certification inspection. Tempers flared. I tried to fix the situation by removing the row closest to the house but apparently it will all need to be pulled up and regraded. My solutions appears to be like using a bandaid to try and fix a missing limb (ie crap)


Secondly, the rain we’ve experienced has been from tropical Cyclone Marcia. Rain is an understatement. More like curtains of water pouring down constantly. The road to the house is cut so we are unsure if the turf has floated off down the hill.

That’s really nothing compared to what many people have experienced so I am not concerned if it has. I am just trying to describe the amount of rain there’s been.

The rain is supposed to ease up tomorrow so hopefully by tomorrow afternoon we can start pulling up turf. It’s going to be a seriously messy, expensive job.

Thinking of everyone who’s been impacted by the rain, winds, flooding rivers and cabin fever! Stay safe!!

Lights, camera, not much action

It’s been slow going with all the final elements to go on the house before handover.

The last few weeks we saw the electrical and plumbing get finished off, each with their own mini dramas. The joys of building or renovating!

Firstly, the pendant lights I picked out months ago, which were super cool, looked crap. What a pain in the butt! I had to head back to Beacon Lighting at Kawana with three hungry, tired, messy kids and pick out something that didn’t look like horse flies buzzing around the kitchen bench from the other side of the room. Seriously, the original pendants were cool, but way too small for the space.

Thanks to a few buddies on Instagram for wicked advice and reassurance on the new pendants. Having never bought anything more than a lightbulb, the pendant light thing was a bit daunting.

What do you think? These bad boys set us back about $90 each and the bulb was another $10. These are instead of down lights, which is what is throughout the rest of the house, and be bright enough to make me look like I know what I am doing in the kitchen.

Tree Change

From the photos below, you will get a real sense of what I mean when I describe our move as a tree change.

This morning I walked up the street a bit to get these shots and it was like seeing the block for the first time again. For the last few months we’ve been so focus and busy on just the house site that I hadn’t paid any attention to the surrounding area. Even though it was overcast and showery, it was still beautiful to look at the landscape and made me remember what drew us to this beautiful spot in the first place.



Admittedly, I had a pang of sadness that it wasn’t a beautifully restored Queenslander sitting perched atop our little block, but I am so grateful to everyone who has contributed their talents to create a unique and funky midcentury inspired home for us. We definitely live in the “lucky country”. It really rocks to have so much freedom and choice. I have no doubt that we will come back to the Queenslander project in the future and find another, equally perfect block!

In case you hadn’t heard (where have you been??), it was my very talented brother-in-law, Simon Hughes of HBE Architects who designed our house to take advantage of the beautiful views and breezes. If you are in need of an experienced and knowledgable architect for your next project, please don’t hesitate to contact me for his details. I can’t wait to share the recent renovations Simon and my sister-in-law, Deanne, have undertaken on a house in Brisbane. All I can say is that it is a truly amazing transformation!

Very, very standard

I didn’t realise quite how standard and crap the standard inclusions are until they were delivered earlier in the week and I took it upon myself to double-check everything was there (and what we were getting).

Hmm this just wasn’t going to do, so off I went to the plumbing place to pick something else.

My kids hate shopping. Actually, they love it, because they think it’s a whole new play adventure space to explore and run around in. I hate shopping. After five minutes of trying to bribe the two littlies to stay out of display bathtubs and not sit on display toilets, I made a quick decision. I am still undecided but at least it’s an improvement and will make cleaning easier!


Black beauty? Panda? Black box?

Just a few of the nicknames being thrown around to describe the house.





The painters finished up today and I can’t wait to get some turf down to soften the appearance a bit. It’s quite distinctive, not to mention hard to photograph because we are on a ridge. If I try to walk back to get whole house in shot I walk down hill, so it just doesn’t happen.

Less than two weeks to go before pre-hand over meeting. Sparkies finish fitting out Electricals tomorrow and then it’s just plumbing, screens and wardrobes (I think??).

The windows are the feature walls

I’ve never been a big fan of feature walls, mainly because most people paint them the colour of Lego blocks and assign a different Lego colour to every room. It hurts my head just thinking about what it would be like to have a hangover in a house like that. Sorry if I’ve caused offence, if I have, it’s because you know I am right and I have one word for you – Dulux natural white.

In saying that, we chose white on white. Who knew there are so many whites?!







Next up… Outside!