Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (20th November ~ 26th November)

OMG - wonders will never cease to amaze me.... it's Monday and I am actually posting a Menu Plan Monday post!!!

I realise it's been a couple of weeks since I posted but I have been travelling around country Victoria on my training mission. I have cooked here and there but to be honest it's pointless of me to menu plan when I am away as hubby and the kids normally fend for themselves in the kitchen. I have planned meals for them in the past only to come home to find the ingredients etc still in the fridge so I just don't go there anymore.

I am home this week which is a little exciting as I can play in the kitchen again!! Sad really getting excited about cooking but I cannot help it. I guess there are worse things to get excited about though?

On the House of Murray Menu Planner this week is:


Saturday ~ Vespa's Restaurant, Carrum Downs
Sunday ~ Toasted sandwiches
Monday ~ Chargrilled Steak, Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream, Salad and Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce
Tue ~ Sage and Garlic Pork with Apple, Creamy Potato Bake
Wed ~ Chicken Saagwala and Steamed Rice
Fri ~ Beef Fajitas with Corn Salsa and Salad

Christmas Pudding

As you have probably gathered by now, I LIVE for menu planning! By menu planning it ensures that we have a weeks worth of meals organised which is especially useful Monday through Friday when there is not much of the day left after finishing work, picking up the kids from school and having to deal with the tasks of homework, clothes washing, showers, etc., and to do without the hassle of worrying WHAT we are cooking for dinner each night. Honestly if I left deciding what’s for dinner until I go home we wouldn’t eat until midnight!!

I know that our week starts on a Saturday but that’s just for the ease of fitting in with my grocery shopping which is normally done on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon. As usual more great menu ideas can be found at Menu Plan Monday over at I’m An Organising Junkie, don’t be shy pop over and have a look at other’s menu plans. You never know you may just find something different to have for dinner.

Some recipes for things we cook can be found over at our cooking blog, A Dash Of Flavour, normally posted after they have been cooked or just click on the links for each meal when they appear.

Happy cooking,

Kids with gadgets!

Yesterday during the lunch the kids were playing with my phone (a new Samsung Galaxy) and I still don't know how they managed to do this but they took photo's of themselves like this ~

I don't even know how they did it????? LOL!!!!

A while between posts....... for various reasons!?!?

Once again busy is the only describing word I can use for me and work at the moment but there have been some other issues and happenings also.

I have spent the last two weeks on and off travelling in south west Victoria, rolling out a new module for our computer system SAP to our country concrete batchers. I have to say it has been an interesting 2 weeks. Not only has it been fun, but it has seen long days and a hell of a lot of driving. My last night away this trip, last Thursday, I stayed at a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast in Cobden which I highly recommend. If anything I would have to say that it was one of the nicest places I have stayed for a long time. Called the Grand Central B&B and it was very comfortable and the hospitality of the hosts was absolutely amazing.

This was my room... for the night - wished I was staying longer!!

Anyways in between my travels I went on a shopping tour with Alex on Saturday 13th. It was a full bus tour and went for the whole day. I must admit I was absolutely knackered after my 5 and a half hour drive home from Heywood on the Friday night. I couldn't cancel on Alex as it was her first ever shopping tour - I am not sure if I should have introduced her to them so early in her life as she is already planning on attending next years one!!! We had a fabulous day together and although it rained a little I enjoyed every minute with my little girl. She is growing up especially wanting to buy makeup and looking at teenage style clothes. She even brought a handbag!!

We also attended Daniel's 1st birthday which was a pleasant day at Sean and Vicky's house last Sunday considering some dramas that have been happening behind the scenes. Vicky did really well entertaining us all with some delicious food - lasagna, cannelloni, salads etc. Both Sean and her look relaxed and made such an effort to make us feel comfortable and welcome. It was good to see Vicky's family again although the language barrier makes some conversation difficult.

I just cannot believe Daniel is already 1 years old!!!

Daniel loves cuddling uncle Noel

I definitely just wanted to relax this weekend after all my travels but unfortunately as always my best laid plans always end up changing. Saturday Noel worked so I took the kids into Frankston to start the Christmas shopping drama early this year. Mind you Alex and I got a few pressies on the shopping tour. After wandering around Frankston and all the toy shops we were successful with quite a few presents we popped into Bunnings to buy some more garden things. We needed a shovel as the handle on ours broke a few weeks ago and we are still trying to get our vegetable garden up and running. Even in a tool shop the kids managed to have fun....

I have to be honest and say that I have also been avoiding posting on our adventures etc as there has been some turmoil in the Murray family.... not just in our household but within the whole family. And while we have continued on with things it has been hard to remain normal or calm and to be honest I really didn't want anything to be said/written that could have strained the situation any further than where it has been at. It's been bad enough that this has been causing problems with our own relationship with Noel and I having many arguments recently.

In a nutshell to put you in the picture there was basically an argument which came to a head at the end of October (I have briefly mentioned it before), and since that argument many things (some not very nice) have since been said between all of the adult members of the family. Funnily enough the argument started due to lack of communication and lack of discussion as a family but it seemed that we have all been quite vocal since that day!! Needless to say it all came to a head yesterday when 5 adult members met at a park and tried to resolve the issue.

We all sat down and while it was very awkward starting off and a little heated, when we did start talking we all admitted that we played some part in the incident. We all agreed that the biggest component of this was NOT TALKING as a family and to each other.

The other pending issue was Christmas and the fact that due to all of this arguing etc Noel and I had decided to have Christmas at home by ourselves (just the four of us and my mam, of course). Our decision wasn't accepted by the family at ALL as we have never been apart before due to conflict. In fact the version turned from "us having our own Christmas to somehow shutting everyone out of our lives and not wanting to see anyone ever again".... a little drastic but I guess that's how others perceived the situation. Christmas was discussed and a compromise was made and we will now all spend time together on Christmas Day by having Christmas lunch at Mam and Dad's house. It was also agreed that from now on in there will be a rotation system putting Sean and Vicky up for Christmas next year (all going well), then Noel and I having Christmas at our house in 2012.

Another suggestion that was put forth by Mam which was that ALL of us as a family make some time every 4 - 6 weeks and get together for the day or even a few hours. Just to catch up and make sure we all keep up with what is happening in each others lives. Both Noel and I are all for this as it's something that we did used to do anyhow but for one reason or another it stopped happening.

We definitely left the park in a better mood than what we all arrived in!! Thankfully (hopefully) it has all been resolved and I am hoping that as a family we can all move forward.

Upon returning home, and I must say feeling somewhat better due to the positive outcome, Noel suggested we go out for dinner and spend the rest of the day as a family as we needed some quality family time. We went to the Canadian Bay Hotel, in Mt Eliza. I had seen it in the Cheap Eats Guide 2010. We had a wonderfully relaxing lunch with the kids. The meals were delicious and the atmosphere in the hotel was brilliant, in fact one of the nicest places we have been for awhile now. The kids both ordered burgers which they could have probably shared one together as they were massive while Noel and I just had to order the Seafood Platter for 2.

Alex and the Canadian Bay Beef Burger

Oliver and his Canadian Bay Beef Burger (with the lot)

The seafood platter was one of the nicest we have had. Most of the seafood was fresh and not deep fried covered in batter which was a bonus. On the platter were oysters, mussells, prawns (in their shell) and half a crab, grilled prawn skewers, grilled flathead tails, scallops in garlic butter and scallops in thai chilli sauce along with salt and pepper calamari.

We then took the kids slot car racing at Mobile Raceways in Dandenong. We all had a go at racing each other and I must admit it's fun. Oliver is totally engrossed in slot cars, even showing me which one he wants for Christmas!!

Of course I ruined the rest of the day by stopping on the way home to do the grocery shopping... bottom line as I told the family "if we want to eat tomorrow we need to do this today!!" LOL!!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Williamstown and Scienceworks

After Saturday night Noel and I decided we needed to have a nice relaxing day with the kids. The kids stayed at Jamie's house as it was an adult dinner party and it worked out well as Jamie had the boys and the cousins haven't seen each other for a long time.

Once we picked the kids up we asked them where they wanted to go..... after a few silly suggestions we all agreed on Scienceworks. Before going to the museum though we decided to buy some lunch and eat it at the foreshore because food in any public place can be expensive - I am sure you all understand what I mean?

Scienceworks is BRILLIANT. I am not sure who had more fun the kids or us adults...... well worth the trip to Spotswood.

The day finished off with toasted sandwiches!!!

My Family from

The Brie, The Bullet and The Black Cat

Something we have had in the planning for the last few months was a murder mystery dinner party which we held on Saturday night..... and what a great night it was. The game was called The Brie, The Bullet and The Black Cat. The theme was set in 1942 in Casablanca and all 12 of us at the dinner table were under suspicion for murdering the Black Cat, France's greatest mime artist.

Here is how the house and some of us looked on Saturday night......

People helped with the meals and of course the drinks kept flowing.... sssshhhhh but I cannot reveal the murderer!!!!
My Family from

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