Tray Bake Pasta

This recipe has evolved from a stand at the stove gig to a throw it all in a pan gig.

I am all for making good food as easy as possible. I know the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is spend hours at the stove. Bonus ….. even a husband could make this one!!


TRAY BAKE PASTA

4-6 good quality sausages of your choice (head to your butcher for the best ones!)

1.5kg tomatoes OR 1 jar of pasata sauce if you need to sell a kidney for said tomatoes

1 onion (sliced)

2 springs rosemary

1 handful of thyme

1 pinch of dried chilli flakes (omit or pump it up depending on taste)

salt & pepper

2-3 glugs of good olive oil (I use garlic infused for extra flavour)

Pasta any shape/type but remember shapes are a great carrier for sauces (depending on how many you are feeding. I used 1x 500gm packet to feed my family of 5 with left overs).

Parmesan

Fresh basil leaves

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Add tomatoes, onions, herbs, chilli, salt & pepper to a large baking dish.

Take each sausage and pull the insides into small meatballs. Each sausage makes 5-6 meatballs.

Give it a big glug of olive oil cover with foil and bake for 20-25 mins.

Uncover and smoosh the tomatoes with a fork (if you have used pasata sauce skip this step).

Bake for another 10-15 until brown.

While this is happening cook your pasta in boiling salted water until done. Drain and keep 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the baking tray, add the cooking water and with a wooden spoon chuff up the baked on goodness to make the sauce.

Serve with fresh basil and grated parmesan.

Enjoy!!

J xx

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Get your iVac on with Godfreys

Now people I could wax lyrical about the joys of hoovering (vacuuming or luxing depending on where you come from) and housework but let’s face it ……. I bloody hate it.

I am very good at finding essential and must do jobs to get out of it. However the problem is with 3 kids and at this stage no dog (to lick up the crumbs) it doesn’t take long until my house looks like a barnyard.

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In the new pad we have carpet in the bedrooms and rimu flooring everywhere else.  For us it’s a novelty to have carpet and it’s wonderful not having 5+ rooms all with their own dust bunnies!

If you summed up my cleaning style it would be frantic. A quick whip round before visitors arrive.  When Godfreys asked me to try the iVac x10 it seemed to fit perfectly into my cleaning style.  Unplug the battery, whip round the house, empty the dust canister and plug it back it. DONE.

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I love the fact there is no changing from hard floors to carpet.  It flips between both perfectly.  It sucks up everything BUT if you’re like me and have small people you tend to hoover up all sorts.  When you “accidentally” suck up that Lego the iVac x10 stops and lets you get it out before the get into the workings, bejiggering the mechanisms.

It has some cool little accessories that can get into those couch nooks and crannies as well as nailing the cobwebs that hang out on the ceiling.

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Our iVac x10 has a new home in the laundry and at first I thought “ughhhh battery powered, I will have to charge it” but I now have got in the habit of when I have finished using it I just plug it in and it’s good to go for next time.

I never realised how much hoover cords annoyed my until I didn’t have one. It’s so freeing. No finding a plug, un-doing cords and only going so far because the cord won’t reach. I can flick around the WHOLE house in 10 mins now. Now don’t get me wrong I am still not a fan of hoovering but the iVac x10 sure makes it easier!!

If the iVac x10 sounds like your thing Godfreys are having their annual Stocktake Sale which ends on Jan 31st. Online and Instore. Get your hoover on people.

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The crew at Godfreys have been filled with Christmas cheers and have given me a iVac x10 valued at $299 to giveaway to one of you lovely people.

Hit the link below to enter.

http://dgo.nz/LPIJyn3F4579

Good Luck!!

 

 

 

 

Getting Fancy and Festive

Heading into December it’s Christmas party central.  Also we want to look good for Santa when he comes sliding down the ol’ chimney!

The awesome team at Shine On have let me trawl their virtual shelves to find some looks to fit every festive fashion need.

PARTY TIME

OTIS_SPLIT_JUMPUSIT
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-jumpsuits/products/sass-otis-split-front-jumpsuit-black

This jumpsuit is AMAZING! Jumpsuits quite intimidating if you’re not 5’10 and the size of a twig.  But the slits add flow so you’re less likely to get ol’ camel toe (a notorious jumpsuit issue)!!

nolan_wrap
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-dresses/products/sass-nolan-wrap-dress

Every gal need a pretty dress. This is it. Feminine and just down right pretty.

thisdressrach1
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-dresses/products/elm-silhouette-shift-dress-green-julypreorder

COLOUR! Want a dress that is a talking point?  This is it!

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https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-footwear/products/mollini-lolinas-black-stretch-satin

Holy Moses! These are come hither I am one sexy beast shoes!!

BANGING BOHO

SheWhoSeeks-561_1024x1024_ba9420b7-3696-4e33-a490-36cfc1747b61
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-dresses/products/madison-square-medusa-embroidered-dress-cobalt

I love this dress. Anything with tassels in my book is fun!

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https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-footwear/products/anacapri-tresse-sandal-cherry

You can’t beat a good summer sandal.  Dress up or dress down. Skirt, dress or shorts. Anything goes.

fate_rafinnne_jumpsuit
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/whats-new/products/fate-rafinne-jumpsuit

3 words. I need this!! The colour is stunning.

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https://shineon.co.nz/collections/whats-new/products/miss-lilly-kimocape-tribal-purple

Kimonos are the new knickers.Every girl needs them! Wear them over a dress, jeans or shorts. They will be your best friend this summer!!

CASUAL AS

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https://shineon.co.nz/collections/brands-silent-theory/products/silent-theory-twisted-tee-dress-grey-fleck

I have this dress in black and stripes and I get so many comments! Easy to wear, perfect for travelling very forgiving in the pooch department (my problem area!)

camo_shorts_2-800x1320
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-shorts/products/dricoper-drop-crotch-camo-shorts

Denim shorts. I staple every wardrobe must have. Perfect with that kimono!

 

 

cheetah1
https://shineon.co.nz/collections/categories-footwear/products/leather-sandal-cheetah-amazing

I live in these Ancapari slides. So comfortable even being so flat. Perfect for when jandals are a bit too casual.

So ladies and gents get your glad rags on and have fun this holiday season!!

J x

 

Asian chicken noodle salad – with Maggi.

Using the word “busy” for me and my family is an understatement. What with work, sport, school and kindergarten the list is ever growing! There are some days where dare I say it ….. I can’t be arsed cooking and if the kids want noodles for dinner they have noodles for dinner.
Because let’s face it even though we meal plan for the Gods, sometimes we are tired and the idea of cooking is more loathsome than finding half a worm in your apple.

Maggi 2 Minute Noodles are a Kiwi institution. They are the staples for students, first time flatters and men whose other half have gone out! We all have our favourites chicken, beef or oriental are the standards at our place. But Maggi have upped the ante and made sure that our love of noodles comes with the good stuff. We all know that wholegrains keep us regular and Maggi have added invisible wholegrains to their Chicken and Beef noodles. To complete the picture it’s good to know that Maggi noodles are lower in salt than other noodles on the supermarket shelves.

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So it got me thinking, how can I use Maggi 2 Minute Noodles in a meal for the family? A meal that is quick, easy and full of the good things.

With summer on the horizon I thought what better way to get a taste of summer by making an Asian Noodle Salad using the Maggi 2 Minute Noodles. Best thing about this salad is that all you need to cook are the noodles (or if you’re feeling fancy you can add prawns). Basically you chop everything up, make the dressing and add the cooked noodles. BOOM DONE!

Then sit back and imagine yourself of a island in Thailand or Bali ……. Oh wait you can’t relax. You have kids!

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The best thing about this salad is that you can basically add whatever is in your fridge or cupboard. You just want it to be fresh, crunchy and delish.

Asian Noodle Salad

2 packets Maggi 2 Minute Noodles – with invisible wholegrains.

1 rotisserie chicken OR leftover roast chicken from the night before.

½ an Iceberg lettuce or if preferred a bag of salad greens

1 telegraph cucumber – unless they are $5 each like they are at the moment!!

1 bag of mung beans

1 cup grated or julienned carrot

2-3 spring onions (chopped finely)

A small handful roasted peanuts

Dressing –

1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon minced garlic
Pinch of dried chilli (if you like a bite)

Mix until the sugar has dissolved – taste and jiggle quantities to your taste. Put aside.
Cook noodles as per packet instructions (do not add the flavour sachet). Drain and run cold water over them. Drizzle a small glug of sesame oil over to stop them sticking.

Chop lettuce, spring onions, cucumber (if you have sold a kidney) and shred chicken. Place in a large bowl.

Add the noodles, grated carrot, mung beans and roasted peanuts. If you haven’t brought roasted peanuts all you need to do is put peanuts in a dry pan and fry over a medium heat until golden (keep an eye on them as they go from brown to BLACK really quickly!)

Add the dressing and toss.

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Drop What??

We all need to wear pants, unless your name is Kimmy Kardashian BUT even Kim like a pant at times.

Now don’t get me wrong I still love a good jean but this winter I have been wearing the shit out of a good drop crotch pant.

You either love or hate the drop. I bloody love them. My mother bloody hates them and continues to comment on the fact. Bearing in mind I have just had my 31st birthday it’s pretty obvious your mother always has an opinion on EVERYTHING!!

Easy to wear. Dress up or dress down. Day to Night. They really are easy to wear AND frigging comfortable.

Stripes, denim and monochrome all feature in this mamas wardrobe.

Here are my favs.

STRIPES

Madame Midi Stripe $109 from Madame Goblin. These are up there with my favourite ever purchases. I love them almost as much as my children. Sometimes more. They also do small sizes for matchy matching.

ELM Lennox $89.95 from Shineon. More a relaxed fix these are perfect for a relaxing Sunday.

DENIM

Luxe Fleur Drop Crotch Jeans AU$99.99 from Decjuba. An extreme drop in the crotch area. Not for the faint hearted. Definitely size down.

MONOCHROME

mumMe Duffle Pant $69.95 from Bam + Boo. No seams and no fading from these bad boys. Bam + Boo are also bringing out also new style with pockets!!

FATE Halston Pant $139.90 from Shineon. Slightly shorter in the leg these pants also the most beautiful fabric. Lil bit shiny and silky. Perfect for the evening with heels.

Luxe Drop Crotch Pant AU$59.95 from Decjuba. You can’t go past a staple. I think I need the grey!!

Happy shopping!!

Jx

Winners and Losers

In life and adulthood there are winners and losers. Now I’m not talking about winning a race or a game of monopoly. Life is full of outcomes good and bad.

That job you really want. Sometimes you are successful and sometimes you are not. The hot guy that you have been seeing turns out to be a bit of a douchebag, you learn and move on. As Grandma would say plenty more fish in the sea!

A paper you have slaved over for weeks sometimes you pass and sometimes you have read the brief completely wrong and your lecturer wants you to re-write. Sitting your driving test and speeding and you get back to the depot only to be told “I am sorry I cannot pass you”. Life it FULL of ups and downs.

Why am I writing this?

Tonight I saw Maria from Happy Mum Happy Child shared a moment from her life on Facebook and it got me thinking …. We as parents try not to let our children fail or be disappointed but are we doing them a disservice in doing so?

Our choices and actions teach us boundaries. Even when they are small, children push those boundaries to learn how far they can go. It’s nature. Failure and disappointment is a natural part of life and in allowing our children not to experience this natural yet shitty part of life are we not teaching them a valuable life lesson.

Imagine getting to 18 and never experiencing disappointment or failure? You would not have the coping mechanisms and strategies on board to realise THIS IS NORMAL. You would not know what was happening and you would feel like your world was ending.

Now I am no expert but looking from the outside in I am seeing a generation of kids who have never experienced disappointment or failure. Never lost a game, race or been told no. There are always “winners” and “losers” in this world. Maybe the words are not the nicest but they are reality.

Are we setting our kids up to “fail” by not teaching them the crucial life lesson?

It saddens me when I hear of schools not allowing “winners” in a race, because the other children will feel disappointment. Does this also not allow the winning child to feel a sense of pride and achievement? It also allows us to be apart of society that cuts achievers down with extreme hatred ….. Tall Poppy Syndrome anyone?

Here in NZ our teen suicide rate is high, too high.

As a mother with a child heading into this turbulent time I hope that I have given him the foundations of life lessons to get him through. I hope I have instilled in him that there is more to life than what can seem like the end of the world.

I would love to hear others thoughts.

Like I said this is only my opinion. I am not a parenting expert or child psychologist. Just a mum speaking as I find.

WIN WIN WIN with Jord Watches

There is nothing better than a good watch. If your like me I am not a huge watch wearer (because of my job) BUT if I wear one it has to look good!!

Jord Watches are a little bit different because they are made from wood. Yes, you heard me … wood.

There are SO many to choose from different woods, different sizes and coloured faces. I also love the fact they are unisex.

Beautifully presented in a stunning wooden box with little drawers full of waxes, wipes and goodies These watches sure make an impressive gift.

Jord Watches have given me a $100 voucher to give away to one lucky Dot Dash follower. All you need to do is click the link and follow the prompts.

https://www.woodwatches.com/g/dotdash

I am wearing the Frankie in Sandalwood and Emerald.