The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Wednesday 1 January 2014

Summer living.

Adjusting life to the seasons is lovely. Sometimes I have to think about it and make a bit of a plan or I will forget things. One summer change was to use the stove as little as possible and make the most of cold meats, salads and BBQs. Doing this alone saved $100 on our gas bill and also it makes for quick easy meals. If we swim in the evening it means afterwards I can have tea on a plate in minutes. This means being outside and enjoying the beautiful evenings is much easier to do. When we have a BBQ I add extra meat so there is cold meat for the next night. It has reduced the amount I need to cook so much!

Another summer bonus is evening picnics at the beach. Then a swim. Evenings are so beautiful, sunset at the beach! To do it I pack a little picnic and off we go. It's such a nice night out.

In both cases having ready made salads that keep well is a huge help. They help during the day too as if I am hungry I will pick at these and not think of other things! 

We love fresh crunchy lettuces and greens. A favourite salad is rocket, slices of pear and walnuts. But to have on hand or travel you need something that is not going to wilt away or brown. 

A favourite is a salsa like salad which I just make with chopped onion, parsley, a tin of corn, chopped capsicum, tomatoes, chopped cucumber... all cut up about 1cm squares. It is colourful, yum and doesn't wilt. I keep this for a couple of days and it goes with lots of things really nicely. A tin of tuna on top makes a lovely lunch.

Another is my Mums rice salad. I use a little less rice and more salad... it actually is better the second day and even better the third day. On a picnic I will pack it into little mason jars, one per person, and include forks.  It's really good.

It is about two cups cooked rice, a handful or more of cashew nuts, a tin of corn, chopped capsicum, sliced celery, sultanas, chopped onion, pineapple pieces... honestly make it as big or small as you like and use the ingredients you like. Mix a teaspoon of curry powder in about half a cup of italian dressing and pour over and stir through. Let it chill and stir again. The flavour kind of develops! It is great with a BBQ or cold meats. Knowing I will get three days out of it I make it in quite big quantities. Just adjust to suit your family.

The other reliable one is so far nameless... lets call it Healthy Chickpea Salad!

It's a can of chickpeas. Cubed feta cheese, chopped onion, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, parsley. Dressing if you like. It's a bit like greek salad minus the bits that wilt.

When life is rushed pre prepared salads are just so handy and a good influence on me!

If there is one in the fridge I won't even think about what to have, I will go to that. Having a protein in each salad makes it a meal and keeps you full. Now secret of secrets... adding croutons, crispy bacon, cheese, grilled chicken makes salads appealing even to non salad lovers.  Small additions turn a salad into a whole meal. 

I'm happy we have several months to go of living like this as it is so easy and healthy too. 

If you have a good salad that lasts please share as I would love some more!


  1. Definite food for thought there, thank you! I'm currently menu-planning for a few nights away (meeting up with family) and trying to do lots before-hand to maximise fun-time once there!

    1. Mimi has one... you start with a few ingredients and the next day add more and the day after that add again, making each day different but building on what you have... need to find this! It might be good for camping!

    2. That sounds good too, Annabel - I certainly need to branch out more (at home and when camping) so will hunt for that one. Thanks!

  2. Ooooh, I'm writing down and saving that first recipe, girl. Looks positively yummy goodness.

    Here's my great summer go-to salad, one of my husband's favorites. We like to serve it with any summertime grilled fare.

    Picnic Kidney Bean Salad

    1 16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1/2 small onion, very thinly sliced
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded if you like
    1/4 cup bottled Ranch salad dressing (you don't need the full amount)
    1/4 teaspoon (OR MORE!) dry dill weed
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 medium tomato, seeded (if you like) and coarsely chopped
    Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

    I mix the dill, salt and pepper with the Ranch and chill it until I'm ready to use it. In a bowl (I usually double all of this!) combine the beans and veggies but not the tomatoes or the cheese yet. Toss to combine well. Pour the salad dressing over it and combine well. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in the tomato and cheese.

    I've been making this for my honey for nine years.

    Happy New Year,

    1. Thank you so much Kelley! I will be using this recipe. I know we will like this!


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