Well then

after 4 years of avoiding it ,we’ve all managed to catch Covid. Eldest went down with it on Good Friday, then me a few days later, hubby on hist birthday and then the youngest a week after her sister.

We’ve been lucky to only have a mild case but good lord, it was horrible. I have never felt so drained and unmotivated. I spent the majority of my time between bed and the couch with a puddle of foster kitties to keep me company.

A week out and I still feel tired and a little snotty but I do feel a little better day by day. Glad the loss of smell and taste only lasted a couple of days, that was truly horrible.

Upside of it all, I got lots of sleep and got to binge a bunch of TV when I wasn’t sleeping.

Anywho, I’ve started doing some cleaning up on the blog. I’m moving all my craft posts to Nightwolf Crafts, going through old posts to re add photos that went missing during the move from my old hosting, deleting some posts that are outdated or are old giveaways and tidying up all my recipe posts.

Until next time. Hope you all stay healthy.

Around here in 2023

Welcome to 2023! Yeah I know it’s nearly the end of January but life has been a bit more relaxed since Christmas. We’re enjoying the warm days, sleeping in when we don’t have work, the kids are sleeping in the tent most nights. Cricket is on the TV. Life is just generally slower before the rush of back to school and more structure in the first week of February.
The eldest is off to High School this year so that will be interesting.

Anywho, what can you expect here on the blog for 2023?

  • I’m starting with a good clean up. The majority of my craft posts will be leaving, they may turn up on my craft blog – Nightwolf Crafts.
  • I have a couple of Catching Up posts scheduled that I wrote towards the end of 2022 and never posted.
  • In the Den Kitchen is going to get a major revamp. I’m not sure what as yet but it’s going to change.
  • I’ll be archiving a bunch of outdated posts.
  • Still posting my planner setups and weekly layouts.
  • A new 101 things list (the last one finished in October 2022)
  • More of the Travelling Tasmania series.
  • Party planning for a 13th and 9th birthday
  • A new series of posts.
  • General posts about blogging, family, food and planners.
  • I’m hoping to branch out a little in 2023 with some planner things but we’ll see how that goes Smile

Hope you all had a good Christmas & New Year and I hope 2023 is a good year for you.

2022 – a year in review

So 9 days into 2023 and I’m finally getting around to doing my year in review.

2022 was an … interesting year.

January – school holidays. Crafting. fatal car accident out the front of our house.Lots of foster kittens.Kids got first covid jabs. Dad’s birthday. my birthday. Dylan Alcott got Australian of the Year.
February – Covid boosters. Chinese New Year. Started setting up the craft room. Back to school (Grade 2 & Grade 6!!).  Kara’s birthday. 2nd Covid jab for her. Dad had a heart attack.
March – Statewide internet & mobile phone outage. Kara trialled contact. My uncle (Mum’s brother) passed away. School athletics. 2nd Covid jab for Anastasia. My niece turned 1.
April – Kara started club hockey.School holidays. workshop at Bev’s playing with polymer clay. Kittens with ringworm.
May – Artist trading card workshops. First game of club hockey. Rangers FC made the Europa League final, lost on penalties. But then made Scottish Cup final & won. Federal election, Labour won. School cross country. First trip away without kids. Battle of Crete memorial.
June – TPSSA Cross Country for Kara. Crystal workshop. Would have been Mum’s birthday.
July – School hockey. Flu vax for me & James. Paper making. School holidays. Children’s Uni event at AMC. Cousin got married, we were sick & couldn’t go. Arm warmer workshop at Rascal Robot. Kids sick
August – me sick. bought a new dishwasher, washing machine & dryer with tax return. Anastasia’s birthday. James finally got to see specialist about his knee (only taken a year & a half!). Book week.
September – James sick. Queen Elizabeth II dies and Charles becomes king. Applied to the high school Kara wants to go to. Club hockey finals, lost but Kara scored a goal. Hockey presentation evening. James had MRI on his knee.  TPSSA Athletics for Kara.
October – School holidays. Council elections. New dishwasher, washing machine & dryer delivered. James collapsed, ambulance trip to A&E. Blood clots to 90% of his lungs. Stayed in hospital for a week. Stem Club for Kara. Mental health issues for Kara.
November – James started physio. School Hobart trip with the Grade 5/6 classes. Social club hockey. TPSSA Swimming carnival for Kara. High school transition days.
December – End of year school stuff. Grade 6 leaver’s dinner. Presentation assembly, both girls got an award. Christmas stuff. Annual Christmas dinner with friends. Quiet Christmas day, short visits with immediate family. Set up the tent in the backyard & the kids pretty much stayed there every night. Quiet NYE.

So that is pretty much what happened in 2022 for us. Here’s hoping to a healthier 2023 and a good start to high school for Kara.

From the Den Kitchen–July 2022

Recipes we tried this month (there’s a few!)…


Maple-mustard chicken tray bake. Very easy and really yummy. Would probably use a different mix of veggies next time and cut them a bit smaller.


Easy yoghurt curry chicken. I think this is now one of my favourite chicken curry recipes now. Easy to make and full of flavour.


Air Fryer Beef Kabobs. These are yummy but I think they need something. The air fryer kabob rotisserie makes these so easy.


Baked Potato with BBQ Chicken. Want something different to try with chicken roast leftovers? Give this a try. Full of creamy, potato, cheesy, chicken goodness. Ok so the original didn’t have cheese on top but I added some grated cheese to the breadcrumbs.


Homemade Popcorn Chicken. Our littlest has recently decided that KFC popcorn chicken is her favourite so we thought we’d give the homemade version a go. She loved it even though it left her tongue tingly.


Manu’s slow-cooker crispy-topped French beef and beer stew. Winter is the perfect time for stews and this one is pretty good. Even got a thumbs up from the little. Need to work out a better way to do the topping in the over though as it was a bit hit & miss.


Classic beef and red wine stew with cheesy dumplings. Another beef stew. I swapped out the dumplings for my scone recipe as I didn’t have any polenta.


Best Hokkien noodle stir-fry. Not bad. Found it very salty. It gotten eaten but wouldn’t say it was a favourite.


Chicken & leek cannelloni. I love a good cannelloni and this makes a nice change from the ones with spinach. Also uses lasagne sheets instead of cannelloni tubes so you can make them as thick or thin as you like.


Slow cooked silverside with Honey sauce. Silverside has always been one of my favourite roasts. This one is so moist and not salty. We tried to make the honey sauce but it failed so I made my usual mustard sauce instead.

What’s been on your menu this month?

From the Den Kitchen–June 2022


Crack Chicken Casserole (with homemade Ranch) I can see how this got it’s name. So easy and very moreish. Big & I reheated it for lunch the next day. Big thumbs up.


Slow cooker cheesy French onion mince. Very yum and with meat prices (& everything else) going up this ends up being a budget meal with big taste. Leftovers also freeze well.


Meatballs in curry sauce. This is so good. Big thumbs up. Will be making it again but making smaller meatballs so it goes further. Also really good the next day.


Curry Beef Pasta. I was kind of interested to see how this would taste after noticing there is no curry powder in the recipe & not being entirely sure what Indian tomatoes were. Glad I read the comments as everyone said they added up to 1 tablespoon of curry powder. Most also said they used normal tinned tomatoes. Another one for the books.


Slow roasted corned silverside. Oh my. If you have only ever had the good old boiled silverside, you need to try this. So moist and delicious. I was worried it would still be salty but it wasn’t. Leftovers were still moist the next too.


Satay chicken stir fry. Only four ingredients but I’m not a fan. I have a feeling it was the sauce (Coles brand Satay Simmer Sauce). I’ll retry it with the Satay simmer sauce I usually buy and see if it makes a difference. Also I was half way through cooking the rice when I remembered it’s meant to be served over noodles. Oh well. Will report back when we try it again.

From the Den Kitchen– May 2022

Another month and some more recipes for you to check out.


Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. Wasn’t sure how this one would go but we made it before hockey one day and came home to a delicious filling soup.


Creamy French Onion Chicken Rissoles. So yummy. Pretty easy and very moreish. Reheats well the next day.


One pan cheese and bacon smothered chicken. OMG this is so many of my favourite things in one dish. If you love chicken and bacon you need to try it.


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu. Cordon Bleu is often called a difficult recipe. This version is really easy & gives you two methods for coating – we went with the Quick Dredge method. Then served them with Crispy Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary.


Pork Lo Mein. Needed a new recipe for leftover pork roast so gave this one a go. It was ok. Hubby & big loved it. Small ate all the vegies and noodles.


Chicken Chow Mein. This was meant to be a slow cooked version but someone (namely me) forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer in time to defrost. This was yum. No leftovers.


Winter Chicken & Mushroom Pie. Pies are a great go to when you want an easy meal. This one is really good. Great way to use up leftover roast chicken.

Until next time…

From the Den Kitchen–April 2022

Chicken Cordon Bleu rissoles & salad. I love cordon bleu but it is a pain to make. These rissoles are super yum and really easy. Big thumbs up from everyone.


BBQ Roast chicken. Needed a BBQ chook for  the next recipe but decided to make our own. This seasoning recipe is so close to the Woolworths BBQ Roast chicken. It’s a little spicier so the second time we made it we dropped back the chilli/paprika content and it was near spot on.


BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad. Big thumbs up from me but I love a good salad. Really nice the next day too. Makes a good lunchbox addition.


Pulled Pork Rigatoni. Something different to use up our leftover roast pork. Added some of the leftover gravy to the sauce. Didn’t use mushrooms. Only complaint was it was too much tomato. Going to try it again with less tomato and some extra veg.


Homemade hamburgers. Always a winner in our house as you can make them into a burger or just have them as rissoles. Enjoyed by all.


Lastly this month is a Slow Cooked Asian Glazed Chicken. Now we’re getting into the colder months, I’m trying to add more slow cooker meals into our weeks. This one was pretty good.


Until next month…

From the Den Kitchen – Hamburgers

This recipe comes to you courtesy of my brother’s Home Economics class back in the 90s. We’ve been cooking it, in different variations since then. It’s super easy and full of flavour. We mix it up every now and then by adding a cube of cheese into each burger.


  • 2 cups beef mince
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 bacon rashers
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • pepper, to taste
  • mixed herbs, to taste
  • plain flour
  • oil
  1. Finely chop bacon & onion.

  2. Mix all ingredient together except flour & oil.

  3. Shape mixture into burgers, as large as you like. Roll in flour.

  4. Shallow fry in oil, about 7 minutes each side.

  5. Serve.

Main Course

From the Den Kitchen–March 2022

Another month down and some new recipes for you all.


Thermofun Egg & Bacon Pie. Nothing beats a good E&B pie. It’s even better when you make them yourself. This one gets a thumbs up from everyone.


Mexican Chicken. Meh. Needs changes but a quick 4 ingredient meal.


Recipe Tin Eats Beef Stew. This is so good. Everyone loved it so that’s always a win. First time we did it in the slow cooker and it was so melt in the mouth delicious. Second time was on the stove and without the celery. Still delicious but not as good. This is one you can prep the night before, chuck it in the slow cooker then switch it on in the morning.


Beef Rissoles. If a fan of a good beef rissole and these were pretty yummo. Another liked by all, including the cat who stole half of one out of the pan.


Chicken Tetrazzini. This is so yummy. I made it without mushrooms as I’m the only one who eats them. Did cook up a batch in butter though and stirred it through mine.


Recipe Tin Eats Oven baked pork chops with Potatoes. This was ok but next time I might try it with a different cut of pork. Apparently you can also use chicken so we might try that sometime.


Satay Chicken. Pretty good. Most of the house don’t like satay. This one would be super yum over noodles or cold as a satay chicken salad (with a few additions). I’m thinking I’ll try that with the leftovers and let you know the result.


Ham & Corn Pasta Salad. Made this for the big kid for school lunches. She loved it. I loved it. Think it will become another addition to her lunchbox choices. Could also change the dressing flavour with the addition of different types of mustard- I’m thinking either Dijon or seeded.

From the Den kitchen: Lunchbox snack edition pt 1

With back to school upon us for another year I thought I’d share some of the lunchbox treats I make for the kiddos (or the kiddos make themselves/with some help)

Weet-bix Coconut Slice.

Apricot Scones. Have tried this with fresh & dried apricots, fresh wins hands down.

Choc Chip biscuits


Cinnamon Scrolls (Thermomix version)

Chocolate rum  balls

Apricot balls (Thermomix version)