Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas Pasta Salad

More than 20 years ago I was given a pasta salad recipe from my friend Linda and I would make it at Christmas time.  As with all recipes given by friends I name them after my friend. ie Linda's Pasta Salad, Kara's Lime Tart, Fran's Chocolate cake even though these aren't recipes that they made up themselves.

The pasta salad recipe is so tasty and I make it every Christmas for our family lunch.  The salad can be made at any time during the year however I only make it at Christmas so it's sort of a tradition.  Sienna just loves this salad however dislikes sultanas which are in it, however she is already dreaming about having this for Christmas Day and can't wait.  I'll have to take a better photo of it this year as I haven't got one specifically for the salad.  It's a savoury recipe and OMG it is so delicious.  I can guarantee you will love this pasta salad with the sweet and savoury and crunch of the apple, cashews and celery.  It's great to make this the day before so the flavours soak in so it's a great recipe for Christmas Day when you don't want to be in the kitchen.  In the picture below the pasta salad is on the left in the bowl which doesn't do it justice however it's a winner recipe.  I'll take a much better photo on Christmas Day and I'll update this post if I get to it before Sienna gets stuck into it.



  • 2 cups of uncooked pasta [shell or spiral pasta]
  • 3 red apples [cored and chopped finely - not peeled]
  • 3 shallots/spring onions [finely chopped]
  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 1/2 cup of celery [finely chopped]
  • 1/2 cup of sultanas
  • Salt & Pepper


  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of fruit chutney
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder


  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and cool.
  2. Chop all other dry ingredients.
  3. Place cooked pasta and dry ingredients together in a bowl and toss.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together dressing ingredients.
  5. Add dressing to dry ingredients and mix together.

This is a huge serving that can feed 10-12 as a side salad with a meal. Last year I made half the recipe because we also serve Asian Noodle Salad with our prawns and ham and bread rolls so it's plenty for our table of 11.

I've never been a big fan of pasta salads you know the ones in the deli section of the supermarket, they just don't do it for me.  I can promise you this is full of flavour and texture and your family and friends will love it.  Let me now if you end up trying this recipe I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Around Here

Today is my son's 15th Birthday and I can still remember the day he was born...or should I say the night he was born.  I had a c-section at 8.57 pm on a Thursday night at St Vincents Hospital in Melbourne.  I was in hospital for 5 days and then we came home.  The health service in Melbourne was amazing and I received a call from them as soon as we arrived home from hospital.  I remember I was leaning into his cot to put him down for the very first time and the phone rang so answered it and they rang to say congratulations.  They said a health nurse will be coming to visit at home and weigh the baby and see how I was going.  They also set up weekly, then fortnightly, then monthly appointments at the local community centre including putting me into a local Mother's Group with other new Mum's who had just had their baby.  One of those Mum's became a life time friend I made back then in Melbourne I am still in touch with her and consider her a friend even if we don't get in touch for months at a time.  We lived in Melbourne until James was 7 months old and have been back in Brisbane which is my home town ever since.

Over the years James has loved lego, magic, rubik cube, computers and reading.  He is thoughtful and kind and taller than me.  He is a lovely teenager and I'm very proud of the way I have raised him to be respectful and kind.  He loves school and is a great student.  Here's a few of my favourite pics of him this year.


Friday, November 23, 2018

Around Here

As mentioned in my previous post I've been taking a trip down memory lane in terms of going through my photos from the last few years and reminiscing about our family life.  Here's some more pics that I enjoyed revisiting.

Sienna got Bluey for her 9th Birthday.

Looking down.

That time when James went head over his handle bars of his bike on the way to school.  He was in shock and pain when I picked him up after that dreaded phone call from school.  This photo was taken about 5 hours later and all we could do was laugh at how ridiculous he looked.  Thankfully he was in much better spirits than when it first happened.  Broken colar bone, broken arm and various grazes on his knees.

Rainbow Bay our happy place.

Entertaining herself with a home made go kart of sorts - back seats of the Prado & her Power Wing.

Playing the flute at Christmas time.

Mum's spaghetti meal balls.

The Queensland Cup at the Gabba.

Lions match at the Gabba.

Her first time to watch a Lions game.

Family pic before the game.

Holding the Queensland cup.

James has always loved reading from when he was little and I love this about him.

Family fun in the kitchen.

Playing lego together.

Our first ever corn we grew.

School project for James.

Taken on his 10th Birthday - next Tuesday he turns 15.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Around Here

Around here friends daughters are graduating and it's got me thinking about photos I've taken of my kids over the years relating to school.  It's hard to believe that in 3 years time my eldest will be graduating and will be an adult.  Time really does fly by.  I've started a spreadsheet for each year and listed the dates and a description of the photos eg. 2014-05-03 School Assembly, 2014-05-15 School drop off etc. This way when I want to put together my photo books I don't have to search 365 folders for the images.  In the course of going through 2008-2013 so far, I have found many photos that bring back so many.  One of the things I'm so pleased to have done and that is I've taken lots of photos of my kids at home, playing in the backyard, their bedrooms, their toys, cooking etc. so I thought I would post some random photos I've picked out.  My kids have had a wonderful childhood and I'm so glad that I have taken all these images.  I'll post some more in a few days time.

Playing a memory game together.

Backyard fun.

Me and my baby girl.

Sienna's letter to Santa.

James pretending to be Santa.

Fun at Rainbow Bay.

Beautiful backyard sunset.

Sideshow Alley at the Ekka.

We had 2 Frog Mouth Owls in a tree in our Street, this was one of them.

Enjoying her dinner.

The first potatoes we ever grew.

Mother's Day Breakfast with these two.

Mother's Day self portrait.

The old water in the coke can trick...this is real..a small amount of water in the can you can do this.

Back yard fun with mud after the rain.

She is my outdoors girl and has loved getting dirty with mud ever since she was little.

Front yard portrait.

Lego fun.