Lazy Saturday

There is something I love about a lazy Saturday. Today is cool for Cambodia, it is quiet in our new street and I am sitting by the door at the kitchen table with a lovely breeze blowing through the back door. Lucia is making pancakes, Jamie is doing something on the computer, Ewan is still in bed, Phoebe is out tutoring and Colin has gone to collect her. Later Jamie is going wake boarding for a friends party and later we will meet up with some friends who are leaving soon. Whatever goes on in life and the stresses we always have I was reminded by one of our Khmer TA’s this week to find joy in each day. Today my joy is in the simple everyday routines and things which we do as a family.  



New House


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I am so excited to share pictures of our new house. We had to move due to the school moving and managed to get a house in the new area for the same price as our old house. It is a very different style and it feels a little strange to be in a house with a fitted kitchen and normal stairs!

IMG_9950IMG_9895IMG_9896 IMG_9897IMG_9900IMG_9893I think one of my favourite places is the little patio garden at the front of the house. We have borrowed a BBQ and put up two swings. The children can play outside on the street and to my delight I can see greenery from lounge and bedroom windows.


“KFC Saunders Style”


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Its Khmer New Year in Cambodia and rather than going away we are staying at home. Lots of the shops are closed and if they are stock is low. So what do you do when you have a craving for KFC? We probably could have trailed round Phnom Penh and found one KFC open but then I am gluten free so KFC is definitely out, besides it is $21 just for the chicken so once you have added drinks and fries we could have all gone to the cinema or swimming for the price of the take away.

So we thought we would have a go making our own. I made a gluten free version of my mums fried chicken recipe and cut the potatoes extra thin and double fried them. As I was making the chicken I remembered some paper bags I had found whilst sorting out some boxes. This is a great way to coat the chicken with the seasoned flour but gave me an idea to create a “take out bag” to put all the food in. Lucia helped me make the chicken and fries as a surprise for the others.

Gluten Free Oven Fried Chicken

This was made without measuring anything so may need adjusting !! My mum always used Season all but I cant get it here so I made it up.

Mix together:

  • 1/4 c tapioca flour
  • 1/4 c buck wheat or chickpea
  • 1/4 c cornflour
  • 1/2 c rice flour
  • 3 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2-3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper

seasoningchickenPut in a paper bag or box with a lid.Cut up the chicken into nugget sizes and dip into beaten eggs. Drop into flour in batches of 5-6 pieces and shake to coat well. luciaThis can be repeated twice. Meanwhile put 2-3 TBS oil, butter or Crisco into a oven proof dish and put into the oven on 200 until fat is hot.

coated chickenPut coated chicken into the pan and gently turn in fat until coated (you may need to add more oil) Then put into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy. It is worth gently turning the pieces half way through the cooking.

Cut Potatoes very thinly and fry until pale golden colour, then remove and fry again when chicken is nearly done.potatoeschips friesFor a bit of fun we decorated the bags with SFC (Saunders Fried Chicken) and I put the fries in the bag and wrapped the fried chicken in greaseproof paper.

bagschicken burgerOne of the kids wanted a burger so I put some of the chicken in a burger with mayo and lettuce and wrapped this in greaseproof paper too. To complete the effect we had little pots for ketchup and sprite and coke.


As an extra treat we had gluten free raspberry brownies and I had a coffee.

brownies coffee

I would have added “season all” if I had had it which is what my mum always used and think the chicken could have been seasoned a little bit more and cooked a little longer to make them a little more crispy but all in all the result was a success and there was none left!

Gluten Free Brownies

  • 1 c oil
  • 1 brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 c tapioca flour
  • 2/3 c cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Mix ingredients together and pour into a pan. Push frozen raspberries in at intervals and bake for 25-30 mins at 180.


What to do with papaya?


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We have started getting an organic vegetable basket from Discovery Farm for the weekends as I need to do the cooking. As it is seasonal it is challenging to see what to make from things you get each week.

This week it was papaya! Some was ripe and the rest was unripe and still hard after a week. I decided to make two things.


Papaya Salad

  • Grate the unripe papaya
  • Blend up in a mortar/food processor  roasted peanuts, 1-2 red chillies, fresh basil, 1 tsp fish sauce and lime juice
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Toss with the grated papaya


Papaya Chutney

  • Chop up papaya, 1 onion , 1 inch cube of ginger and garlic into small cubes
  • Fry 1-2 TBS coriander seeds until they start to pop. Remove from heat and grind to powder
  • With a small amount of oil in frying pan fry onion, ginger, garlic and spices ( 1-2 tsp of cumin, cardamon and the coriander)
  • Add the papaya and 1 cup of water.
  • Cover and bring to a gentle simmer until papaya is soft and mushy.
  • Add 1/4 c vinegar and more water if needed
  • I added 2 TBS of tamarind paste but this is optional.
  • Then add 1-2 TBS brown sugar to taste
  • Bring to the boil for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced a little bit. The liquid should be thick and not too runny.
  • I put my jars into a hot oven to sterilize. Leave them for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Put the warm-hot chutney in the hot jars and put the lid on immediately.
  • Leave to cool. They will be ready to use in about a month!
  • Best with cold meat, cheese or added to indian curries.


If you have any interesting recipes to use papaya with let me know.

I feel like I have been away from my blog for too long. I have needed to allow a little more time for family and home so my blog was the thing to go BUT I want to add things so that I can look back and see where I am at.

I have been getting inspiration from lots of places. I have beeen trying to broaden my creative vision by looking at different ways to express myself. I have been trying to mix my art with words and thoughts…..visual journalling.

This book really inspired me and the authors have a great website.

One really fun thing is I have got a little red leather book and a black pen and have started drawing my thoughts down in a mixture of pictures and words. Some things are funny others sad but it gives me a quick artisitic release each day.

My new project is designing a woodland story telling set for a Easter Kids Zone at church. Here is what I am being inspired by so far….

Found this cute idea on a web site while re
searching set design.

and read this fun idea there

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!!
I am in the process of thinking of my goals for this year, which is really fun. I want to make them achievable which is also a challenge.

What are your *new year* goals?

This year for me has started with sad news from various friends of mine and with all the economical doom and gloom and all my fav shops closing (how could they!!!) I was feeling a bit sad and it is only the 5th!!

Heard this great song *Soak up the Sun* today by Sheryl Crow (album £2.50 in Woolworths closing down sale…some good things)
It has this line in it which says :

It’s not having what you want It’s wanting what you’ve got

Dont you think that is so true. We need to be thankful for all the things we have and learn to pay attention to all the good things in our lives instead of worrying about what we dont have or what might happen.

So this week enjoy what you have and be thankful for it.


I am so proud of Phoebe. She is a lovely, caring, generous little girl. I cant believe I have had her for 9 years. The time has gone so quickly. I found this picture of her when she was 4! So cute!
We have been busy making her some presents. I made this little Elsie Bear doll. I had to prise it from Lucia who took an instant like to it!!

Lucia stitched the butterfly on this cushion and is very proud of it.
I am taking Phoebe and her best friend to town to go shopping and have a pizza for her birthday treat.

lovely yummy stuff

These are a few of the new lovely things I have in my shop tomorrow at Claires crop. I do have limited stock so get there quick . The shop will be open from 10am til 2pm. If there is anything you missed out on then please let me know and I can order it for you. Also if you are not at the crop and spot something you like contact me!

Sweet Christmas Paper and Chipboard

long time I know…

I have been rather busy lately and trying to fit too much in but as I have a moment I thought I would blog!

Thought I would share these. We had or photos taken by Andy Teo from Photocillin. We had such fun!

I had a string of bad school photos this year. Lucia’s was the only nice one so I was delighted with these!

Yes Christmas is not far away!!!

I am doing an online craft class with the lovely Elsie as part of my birthday present. I know I can hear you say you are too busy. I have found that over the last few months I have craved some creativity. This class is lots of little projects which take very little time, so I can be creative on a tight time schedule.

I am going on a saturday crop to Burfield and taking my shop. I have quite a lot of new things so I post them up soon. If you like something then send me a message and I will arrange to post it to you.

Just realised…

that my header is very out of date! Must get an autumn one. I am looking forward to seeing Mike and Jo my brother and his wife this week end.

Also I am face painting at a party and have some lovely new brushes to play with…so nice when the equipment works well. They do all the gorgeous swirls.

Also I am in the middle of planning Ewans birthday party and have got a massive piece of cardboard to paint some power rangers on. I have just ordered these little light wands/swords for the party bags…so excited.