Thursday, June 25, 2009

Recipe time: Family mince & rice bake

I got this recipe on the back of a soup packet and I make it at least once a week. :)



Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 15 ml sunflower oil
  • 10 ml paprika (2 teaspoons)
  • 500g minced beef
  • 250ml uncooked rice (1 cup)
  • 2ml salt
  • *1 packet Royco cream of tomato soup (Don't know if its available outside South Africa, the packet is usually 75g, but I guess any soup powder can work)
  • 750ml water
  • 5ml Worcestershire sauce (1 teaspoon)
  • 50g cheese, grated (I usually add a lot more :), but that's cause I prefer the cheese to make a thick layer on the top)

*I prefer to use the Chilli beef and green pepper flavour, it gives it a much nicer taste.

Method

Sauté onion in heated oil.

Add paprika and stir-fry for a few minutes.

Add mince and brown well.

Stir in rice and salt.

Place mixture into a large, greased casserole dish.


Mix soup powder with water, add
Worcestershire sauce and stir into meat and rice mixture.

Bake uncovered at 180 degrees Celsius (350 F) for 45 minutes.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Snip snip...

So, on Tuesday evening I tell my husband I am thinking of cutting my hair again. And he said fine, I can go on Saturday. Yeah right... I was becoming really fed up with my hair at that precise moment. I have curly hair, but the longer it gets, the flatter it becomes at the top. The only curls left is a few on the bottom strands. So I went to bed, still annoyed. Yesterday morning I woke up, took a shower and tied my long wet hair in to a ponytail. And then I cut it off... My first reaction was oh crap or something like that, especially when I saw the amount of hair in my hand. So I started to snip here and there and I think I have successfully cut my hair into layers! Now I have a head full of fluffy curls and a lot of body in my hair, and I feel no regret. I think I can still tie it up, haven't tried yet, but who cares. I cut my own hair! It was so much fun but I don't think I will do it again :)

Other news is that my husband may only be going overseas in November! Which really works for me cause it is still a long time. The going away in August thing was not working for me, even the September timing was not fine. So I am relieved... :) While the rest of South Africa is huddled in the thing called winter, I am thoroughly enjoying the "winter" in Kwazulu Natal. I think it's 25 degrees outside (Celsius, not Fahrenheit) :) There is not a cloud in sight and everything is still green. I really love this place... :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

New week, new look...

Yes I have changed my blog's look again, and it took me an entire morning! Ok, the current look took like 5 minutes but I experimented with other colours, some that hurt my eyes a little too much so I stuck with this one. Until something else comes along... :) I haven't blogged in quite a while but then again this has been an awfully quiet week. Last week we managed to go to the movies twice. First up was Drag me to hell which, apart from being really predictable, turned out to be quite enjoyable. It was more funny than scary, but still brought on some screams in the audience. The screaming was funny perhaps the first 2 times (I myself has done some screaming in theatres, not so much any more) but when people start screaming at parts that is not worthy of screams, it gets a bit annoying... ok very annoying. I have this rule about going to the movies. When you are there, shut off your cellphone and most importantly, do not make any loud comments during the movie, especially when sitting behind or in front of me. I may be passive aggressive, but one day I will snap and hit you with something. And I hate it when people answer their cellphones during a movie. That happened twice during the second movie we watched, Angels and Demons. I loved that movie, though I thought The DaVinci Code was still better.

My sister, her husband and their children are coming here on Friday to spend the night, so I will be having some company. Then its another week before my husband leaves for his 2 week trip, leaving me all alone. Though I have heard rumours of another pizza evening so I will be looking forward to that. :) I baked some coffee cookies yesterday and ate far too much of that, resulting in agony. I got up this morning feeling a bit under the weather and while I was sitting in front of the computer got so dizzy and nauseous that I got back into bed and slept the rest of the morning. Now I only have an annoying pain left where I first thought my appendix may be, but it turned out it was on the other side hehe. Thank goodness for that... I almost thought I was perhaps pregnant last week cause I was a day late but that was a false alarm... *sigh* And since then I have been seeing babies everywhere! On TV, on facebook (a lot of people I know) and on the blogs I follow. Its interesting that most of the blogs I follow are done by pregnant women... Ugh, I am rambling again... Hopefully this week will be a little more eventful. I did manage to see a monkey nearby this morning! They are quite a pest in many surrounding areas, but there are none here. So here is to hoping...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crock-a-doo-del-doo...

For the past 2 weeks I have managed to get in a full night's sleep without waking up more than 2 times. And then BAM, I had trouble sleeping again last night. I was awake for a really long time before I fell asleep, woke up a lot during the night and was up before my husband. Not literally up, but being awake. Its not like I have anything to keep me from falling asleep, I am stress free. I am not going to worry about the stupid job anymore, I am still able to be at home now so that works for me. I have had this problem forever... The good thing however is that I feel fully rested. I function at my best with less than 6 hours sleep. As I got up and made my way to the computer (morning ritual, tea in front of the computer first thing in the morning) I was greeted by this little fellow...


He was a gift from our friend from Bloem who came for a visit. He bought it at a stall next to the road at the Sterkfontein Dam. It's made from clay and honestly, I would totally mess it up if I had to make it. It is so cute! Oh yes, my husband made it back safely from Cape Town on Saturday so I have him here now until the beginning of July. :)

I did get the chance to get out last week while I was alone. And I did not mope around, I cleaned the house, did washing and everything! I have turned into a good housewife :) On Friday I went to dinner with a friend and her other friends to Mugg and Bean, which has turned into quite an expensive restaurant! I had an old favourite, nuggets and wedges. We went there at 7 pm and only left at 10 pm when we got dirty looks from the waiters. I guess sitting there for another hour after paying your bill is not such a good idea... :\ But it was a fun night. It all went well till I got home and spent the rest of the night being violently ill... :( And that after eating so healthy last week. I am still feeling a little under the weather so I will be going for a check up at the docter next week. I feel very thankful for the docter I have here. I have always had a female docter, and my first docter's trip here was with an older male docter. Yeah, that was uncomfortable. Then a girl told me about my current docter, who is female and not much older than me. That makes a world of difference...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Alone, with cold feet...

Hehe it sounds almost depressing but it is not really that bad. My husband is away until Saturday and for the first time ever I don't feel slightly depressed about it. It still sucks a bit but now I get to have some quality time with myself. And I also want to get some spring.. no wait, make it winter cleaning done. Our friend from Bloem is coming this weekend on the day my husband gets back so so much for alone time but I always enjoy having quests around. So by that time I want everything spotless. The only problem is that my feet are cold... I absolutely hate it. Of course it snowed nearby so it is relatively cold outside, though it is even colder inside. I don't mind the cold, I actually love it, but I can't stand it when my feet are cold. I managed to get some new slippers while we were in Pretoria so that is my new favourite thing to wear.


I also have this thing where I can't sleep without wearing socks. Even in summer, I will wear sandals and immediately after entering the house put on some socks. It just feels right. We had a nice champagne breakfast on Saturday morning for a friend's birthday and watched Terminator: Salvation yesterday. I can't believe how busy we have become! Every weekend we do something with friends. That is something that never happened in Bloem. I have never felt so welcome in a group as I do now.

I did something for a charity... :) I usually only give donations for charities that are animal related, like the SPCA, but I made a contribution to unicef, which is a children's charity. And all because of this little face:


The moment I saw him I had to have him. We actually left the shop and were halfway back to the car when I gave my husband a look. He immediately knew what the look was (he knows me so well) but did not want to go back. So I left him in a computer shop and dashed back to the shop, Mr Price Home, to go get my teddy. It took me about ten minutes to choose cause there was brown, white and gray teddies to choose from. I have always eyed the expensive but oh so soft gray teddies at Cardies, so I decided this was the closest I will ever get to having one. So I took the gray one. And it was only R20! Hmmm... I could always go back next week... ;)

Friday, June 5, 2009

This has been a crazy week...

Well, I have had a very interesting, yet really tiring week. It all started last Thursday when we were invited to a fashion show! I have never been at one, except for the embarrassing show I was in, yes.. IN, in seventh grade to show of the clothes we made for needlework class... :\ I just need to block that out quickly... OK I am OK, can go on now... The present day fashion show was held at the Golden Horse casino here in PMB, which is a really impressive building with this huge winged horse in front of it (I keep forgetting to take a picture). It was not really what I imagined cause it turned out to be a pre-show to the one held on the Saturday, but one of our friend's clothes were being featured. Apart from temporary deafness caused by sitting next to a speaker it was so much fun (there were even boys in swimwear... lol) I sooo wanted to take nice pics but my camera has a problem with small, darkish places. I managed these two pics:

My company for the evening :) This is my husband and our first friend we made here.


This is one of the pics that worked, just to show some of the clothes.


On Friday we went to Pinetown to buy my new computer parts... YES!!! I once again have a working computer! :D On Saturday we had lunch at the place we went to for our anniversary in January, this time in sunshine! So this is the pic of the patio area:


We went there with a friend and two of her friends from Pretoria (or Johannesburg, can't remember). I had some homemade chicken and mushroom pie with mash and veggies this time and it was yummy... :) It was the perfect day, just look at our view:


After that we went to the cutest little shop called Blue Spiral that sells all kinds of clothes and jewelery. After that we started to make our way home when somebody behind us started flashing us like crazy! We first thought it may be an idiot but then he called out flat tyre... Ah.. the nice end to a nice day... not. We were standing on a off ramp to the highway for almost two hours waiting for some help cause our tire was stuck. And so we continued our outing there beside the road. :)


The Sunday, still recovering from the annoyance of the previous day, we spent the whole day in front of the computers, not even bothering to get out of our pyjamas. My husband and I did the LAN thing for the whole day which in my view is sheer heaven.

Monday passed eventless but on Tuesday we took the long road to Pretoria. I can honestly say that I will never be able to live in that place. Yes it can be pretty I guess, but seeing the area under a cloud of smokey air pollution was quite a shock. And you never feel save there, too much crime. We first went to the museum to say hi to the friend we were staying with and was quite impressed with the size of the place. The next day I stayed at her house all on my own as my husband attended a full day meeting. At least that evening we went out to dinner at Menlyn, which is a gigantic mall. And the next day we came back. After spending two nights on a three quarter bed, trying not to fall off, I was starting to feel a little homesick. Gauteng is like the Free State where I grew up, flat and brownish, always looking dry. Our home on the other hand is surrounded by mountains and everything is green... though we were greeted by a bunch of cows at our complex gate... hehe that was strange and weird! So yes, I felt very happy when we came back yesterday. Even happier after we went to the mall and bought The Sims 3! Now I got something to do when my husband is in Cape Town next week! :)