Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eeek - time to get going again

Wow - it really has been as long as I feared - ironically life has been so full of exciting things that blogging just dropped by the wayside.
As we gear up to another trip to the US to defend our title won last year (but this time in Orlando, Flroida), I suddenly remembered I had been blogging this time last year.
So back to it.
Since I last updated this site, I have spent two weeks on a church trip to Romania (life changing), been to Hillsong with Nicole (inspiring and fun) and Melbourne for our wedding anniversary (cool).
I have travelled more this year than in my entire life - long may it continue. Having to tighten our belts a lot to keep this up!
Christian won an in-house scholarship to pay for his air fares to LA so that's a start.
Getting inspiration for yummy but inexpensive meal ideas from our vegan daughter-in-law - slowly persuading suspicious famiy members to eat them!

Tried this for Wayne's birthday dinner - no complaints!

Stuffed Capsicum with Panko Topping

1 cup of uncooked brown or green lentils or rice

4 large or 8 small capsicum

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot , cut into small pieces
1 small zucchini, cut into small pieces

Handful of button mushrooms
400gm can chopped tomatoes
2 cups or more spinach

1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme

½ - 1tesp chilli flakes (depending on your heat liking!)
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Salt and Pepper to taste

Panko Topping
1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs (or ordinary if you don’t have Panko)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 180C/360F.

Cook lentils or rice. If using lentils they should still retain their shape ((about 15minutes). Drain.

Cut peppers in half and deseed. Blanch by putting in saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then place in bowl of iced water. Drain after five minutes.

Heat a pan over medium heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and sauté until fragrant. Now, add the zucchini and mushrooms. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture for a few minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add the lentils or rice and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the parsley and re-season if necessary.

Lightly oil a casserole dish. Place the peppers in the casserole dish. Stuff them with the vegetable mixture. Pack it in tight. Cover them with tin foil and bake them for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take the tin foil out and sprinkle the peppers with the topping. Bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Panko Topping
Heat a small pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the Panko bread crumbs and thyme, cook for a few minutes until the Panko bread crumbs are well coated. Remove from heat and add parmesan and parsley, Season with salt and pepper.

For dairy-free option, substitute the Parmesan with lemon zest

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blogging excuses

Can't believe I am using the too busy to blog excuse but that would appear to be the case. Life has been frantic with sport, production, prayer group, a renewed commitment to exercise(gulp),exams...

Thankfully it is now the school holidays and I can catch my breath a bit.

So proud of Christian - only middle school student on the lighting crew for the production - he had a ball and was in his element both playing with the equipment and scrambling up the rigging. 'Joseph' was fabulous - I love watching school productions, seeing young people give their all, and sooo much talent on stage and in the orchestra. Well done.

Nicole and I are off to Sydney on Sunday for the Hillsong Conference and some girly time (have booked the Hilton for the last night and we will check out their day spa).
Very excited.

So that will be my next blogging excuse - no laptop.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Sam and Christian got to meet the US ambassador to NZ last week as he invited the winning teams to a celebration reception at Sky City. Christian was particularly pleased as the ambassador gave him his US/NZ flag pin to put on his blazer


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Immigrants of the Digital Age

Wow, crazy month. Not sure how I ever used to fit in working every day as well as studying. Things seem just as busy as they did then, although admittedly more of it is things I do by choice rather than necessity.

I went to a school assembly last week where the principal gave the students a great message on being safe on the internet. These are middle schoolers so they pretty much swim in the sea of the web everyday. They are of course what we now call 'digital natives' - those born and growing up in this new web-dominated world.

Our generation has been described as 'digital immigrants' and we will always I guess speak with an accent. I was talking with some parents after the assembly and I realised that a lot of us unconsciously choose to only learn a few key phrases out of the phrasebook!I want to be fluent in the language and topography of cyberspace and have gone out of my way to do so, and feel I am the richer for it.

The internet and all that goes with it, Facebook, Twitter etc is here to stay and we live here too - time to ditch the phrase book and go exploring with the natives.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers' Day

Just want to say Happy Mothers' Day to everyone, whether your kids are grown or tiny or somewhere in between.

Thank you to my lovely bunch (and my husband) for a beautiful lunch, lots of laughs and hugs and a ticket to Metallica - my kids know me so well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kiwis win World Robotics Champs in Dallas - Technology - Video - 3 News

Kiwis win World Robotics Champs in Dallas - Technology - Video - 3 News

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My plans for updating while we were away were foiled by the seconding of my laptop to programming duties. Can't really complain as we came home with five trophies including the world champion title and the coveted judges' award for outstanding team robot.
Brief thoughts...

The trip was fantastic, it was great finally getting to Disneyland and the boys loved every second of both it and California Adventure.

We loved San Diego Zoo and seeing the panda cub was unbelievable.

The competition itself was more intense than we could have possibly imagined. We had been warned but nothing could have prepared us for the frenetic pace and the tension of watching the matches that would take us through to the final in a packed arena, hosted by Grant Imahara from Mythbusters. Every Kiwi team was screaming their lungs out in support. We were louder than the impressively loud Puerto Rican team!!

Spent yesterday shopping in Los Angeles, checking out Hollywood and having a slightly scary trip on the subway.

We have banned the words robotics and programming for this next term, but then we will be back starting to prepare for next year's game which looks a lot more complicated than this year's.

Decided that I could get into this travelling lark despite my dislike of flying.

It is however wonderful to be home.