Mac ‘n’ cheese with Sun-Dried Toms & Smoked Paprika

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Yeahhhh a little naughty, but hey – every now and then is okay! Plus cheese = calcium. As does cream….. Mmmmmm 🙂

Ingredients

-1.5 cups cream
-2/3 cup milk
-3 big handfuls of grated cheddar
-3 handfuls freshly grated parmesan
-2 big handfuls sun-dried toms sliced (squeeze out most of the oil)
-1 handful dry crackers crushed (I used Coles cracked pepper water crackers)
-salt and pepper (a generous pinch or two)
-3 tsp smoked paprika and a dash more to sprinkle on top
-1 handful finely chopped parsley
-1 cup cooked peas
-400-500g pasta (macaroni makes sense!)

Method

1. Make pasta as per usual. (Boil in salted water until al dente). Drain, quick rinse in luke-warm water, set aside. Crank the oven nice and hot (about 200 C).

2. Boil cream and milk briefly, then remove from heat. Add in majority of both cheeses (leave some to sprinkle on top). Stir until melted and magical.

3. Add in salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Stir.

4. Add pasta to cheesey goodness and stir. Taste test. Season again to taste if necessary.

5. Tip pasta into oven-proof dish. Scatter sun-dried toms and peas and gently stir/poke at it so some toms and peas mix in and some stay on top.

6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, crumbled crackers,  parsley and then some extra smoked paprika. I also placed three sun-dried toms on top to decorate.

7. Whack in oven until hot and until crunchy cheesey top is lightly browned. (15 mins give or take).

8. Take out of oven and let it sit for 5 mins before serving. (This allows the sauce to solidify slightly).

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Mmmmmmm smells delicious and tastes even better. Enjoy! !

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Korean Pancakes – Pajun (Pajeon)

Korean pancakes! Inspired by this recipe.

My shredder worked wonders on the potatoes! I added red capsicum, which I attempted to shred and sent bits of red mush and capsicum chunks flying.

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I made the batter a little thick to begin with. I added in extra flour having thought the batter looked to thin, especially given the amount of liquid produced by the veg.

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The sauce was yum – intense and salty, but went very well with the pancakes and was needed.

I substituted poppy seeds for sesame (odd I know!) And had to use chilli powder instead of fresh or flaked chilli (having used the last of both the night before attempting to make a dog repellant – which failed by the way – turns out my dogs enjoy the taste of chilli…).

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My first pancake was quite thick, so I added in more water for the rest. Took approximately 5-6 minutes each side on a medium to medium-high heat.

I sliced the pancakes up into wedges and served with a side salad of carrot, spring onion, bok choy, bean sprouts with a light drizzle of sesame oil and soy. The crunch of the salad went very well.

Sat outside on a warm and humid evening with a glass of bubbles and a fresh Korean feast.

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Bun chay (Vietnamese noodle salad)

I think the last time I made a Vietnamese salad prior to this occasion was in year 7. I remember a school project where I was assigned the country Vietnam. 

I made a poster and everyone had to bring in a food from their assigned country to share. I chose a vermicelli noodle salad, I think with beef if I recall correctly.

The current salad was meat-free (as I’m now a veggo). I used this recipe as my guide.

Unfortunately my husband dislikes coriander/cilantro and, to some degree, mint,  so I substituted basil (which I had bought fresh and since frozen). (I grew up with a backyard overgrown with coriander and l♡ve it!!)

Had much trouble finely slicing/shredding the veg, even with my newly purchased vietnamese chef-endorsed shredder…. I then tried my julienne slicer and sent a carrot flying acrossthe kitchen….
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I also added some finely sliced bok choy – yum!

Made it in a large dish and then served it into individual bowls. I added the dressing at the last minute. I put in one tiny chilli (de-seeded) and it gave a real buzz – love my chilli!
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Plenty of flavour and super fresh. Looking forward to further Vietnamese meals.

Leftovers tonight! Yes! 🙂

My Ugly ‘Rons

Baked my first batch of macarons today. Followed this recipe, which was very well-written.

One variation I made was adding in 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste prior to folding.

I didn’t have a piping bag or nozzle so used a zip seal bag, which resulted in slightly oval macarons!

I also didn’t give my tray a good bang on the bench before baking,  which I later learnt helps reduce cracking.

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Had my oven on 150 degrees C (fan forced oven but on non-fan setting) for a touch over the recommended time.

Top tray was placed in the upper-mid shelf of my oven. I made the error of putting my second tray in at the same time,  which resulted in some cracking and no feet (the thin bubbly lip/base of macaron). I presume this was because of the oven temp being too low.

Next time I will half bake the top tray then move to a lower shelf,  and then put the second tray where the top tray was.

Top tray baked quote well. No cracks, but feet maybe a little large.  I think next time I will turn oven temp up 5 to 10 degrees. A little lumpy too – perhaps just a fraction more folding before I pipe the ‘rons.

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Filling: standard buttercream icing to start. I then added in a few drips of pink food dye, a couple of tbsp strawberry jam and a handful of white chocolate melted. I fridged the icing before filling.

Taste: my husband’s eyes lit up and a smile crept across his face. Much better than I expected.  Fragile and light, but crisp and chewy. Delish!!

Quinoa & pomegranate salad with candied walnuts

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Ingredients:

Handful walnuts
3 tbsp Brown sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
Good pinch Paprika
Pinch Salt
Olive oil

Sun-dried tomatoes (thin strips)
Cherry tomatoes (halved)
Handful parsley (finely chopped)
Pomegranate – seeds and juice
Handful dried cranberries
Handful slivered almonds
Handful pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp Linseeds
3 tbsp quick oats

Quinoa (+ boiling water)
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Method:
Mix top 6 ingredients in pan over low heat for 10 minutes or until walnuts lightly browned. Take off heat.

Make quinoa according to instructions. I microwaved mine.

Let quinoa cool a bit.

Mix remaining ingredients in bowl. Smash walnuts up into bite-sized pieces and add to salad.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add extra cinnamon if feeling festive 🙂

Planning for your future financial and legal affairs | Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers | Adelaide,. South Australia

http://www.tgb.com.au/node/408

Planning for your future financial and legal affairs

TGB’s Bethanie Castell writes about signing a Power of Attorney, and how an Attorney can help manage your financial and legal matters.

It is fortunate our law provides for an ability to appoint someone to effectively be us; someone to do our banking, manage the bills and do almost anything a person could do with his or her own financial and legal affairs.That person is called an “Attorney”, and is appointed by you signing a “Power of Attorney”.

An Attorney can be appointed in a variety of circumstances, such as if you are going on an overseas holiday, but it is most commonly used when a person is unable to manage his or her financial and legal affairs.

What are financial and legal affairs?

Financial and legal affairs are, as the name suggests, a person’s dealings with almost anything relating to money and documents where you have to sign your name. This can include, for example, dealing with Centrelink and Medicare, paying rates and taxes, gas, phone and other bills; changing electricity providers, withdrawing and transferring money, selling a car, and renting, selling or buying real estate. 

“Just sign here, thanks”. How often do you hear those or similar words in your life? 

But what if there comes a point where you cannot sign?

If you foresee a time where you may be unable to manage your financial or legal affairs, for whatever reason, then you can plan ahead and appoint a person now to either assist you now or in the future. 

When could a person be unable to manage his or her own financial or legal affairs?

The first example I will give is one that most people think of, that of old age.It is a known occurrence that many people as they age lose some of their mental abilities. Some elderly people may be, for example, a little forgetful about what they did earlier in the day, but others may have symptoms of or suffer from mild, moderate or even extreme Alzheimers or dementia. When a person’s ability to function mentally is questioned, so too can be questioned his or her ability to sign documents and manage financial and legal affairs.

But it is not just old age that may bring about a need to appoint an Attorney. Nor is it only a lack of mental capacity or ability that brings about such need. 

Injury or illness, whether permanent or short term, illustrates a perfect example of when having an Attorney is beneficial. Whether you are stuck in hospital or at home in bed and cannot physically attend the bank, or are rendered mentally incapacitated or are harmed due to a car accident or a nasty fall, having appointed someone to manage your financial affairs on your behalf can be invaluable.

Even though having an Attorney when a person is mentally incapable is very important, I wish to emphasise that lacking mental capacity is not necessary nor the only relevant factor in having an Attorney.

For example, some people are naturally not the best with numbers or just have a bit of trouble managing their financial or legal affairs. Others may just be very busy people, or have a lot going on in their lives.

Likewise, if a person is planning to go on a holiday, say overseas for a couple of months,  it can be so helpful for him or her to have appointed someone who can step into his or her shoes to manage financial and legal affairs while that person is away.  Thinking about backpacking in Thailand or cruising the Mediterranean? Then you should strongly consider appointing an Attorney.

What if I don’t have one?

Maybe I can wait until later in life?

Certainly, you can wait. There is no time limit as to when you can appoint an attorney, except (and this is the important part) when it is too late. It will be too late to appoint an Attorney when you are mentally incapacitated.  As mentioned earlier, if your ability to function mentally is questioned, so too will your ability to sign any legal or financial documents or manage any related affairs. 

If you do not have one and then require one, an interested person such as friend or family member will have to make a formal application to the Guardianship Board in order to be appointed.

So to consider when to appoint an attorney is about looking at risk; weighing up chances, such as in the examples given earlier.

The good part is, once you appoint someone they will forever be appointed unless you revoke, that is remove them from, their appointment, or they become mentally incapacitated or die.

You can also appoint a substitute. For example, I have appointed my husband to be my Attorney, but if he can’t take on that role for whatever reason (we might be holidaying together!), then I have appointed my mum and dad to act as my substitute Attorneys. 

Who would I choose to be my Attorney?

It is important to appoint someone you trust and someone, or at least a substitute, who will be willing and mentally and physically able to be your attorney when necessary. Your Attorney will have to act in your best interests and should be someone who you would feel comfortable ‘being you’ if you were unable.

When does the document take effect?

Another important question that needs answering is deciding when you would like this document to take effect, that is, when it can be used.

The person you have appointed can be given permission to act as your attorney either when you lose mental capacity or immediately upon signing the document.The latter choice means that the Attorney could assist you or completely manage your financial and legal affairs straight away, and could continue to do so even if you later lost mental capacity.

A third choice is to provide a specified and limited time during which the person you appointed can act as your attorney. This option can be beneficial to people going on an overseas holiday or being unable to manage their affairs for a short-term period. However, keep in mind that in such circumstances, if a person did lose their mental capacity during this time then he or she would be unable to again appoint an Attorney for the time after the specified period.

What now?

As they say, there is no time like the present. If you haven’t already appointed an Attorney, you should strongly consider doing so. 

No one knows what his or her future holds. At one point or another it is very likely you will wish to appoint someone to manage or assist you with your financial and legal affairs. Appointing an Attorney now can save you (and those who care about you) much hassle and trouble later on in life.

Bethanie Castell is a Wills and Estates lawyer at Tindall Gask Bentley. For advice about Powers of Attorney, contact (08) 8212 1077

Elder law and commars

I’ve long been a fan of the commar; its use clarifying and assisting with the comprehension of text.

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As a result, I’ve noticed myself adding many a commar into the long-winded slabs of legalese that is the Probate Rules. But please note, these rules are a walk in the park compared to much I’ve read. Take for example jargon-filled and painfully-slow paragraphs of constitutional law cases, where I would literally need to strech my legs and make a cuppa at the halfway point of a single sentence.

And why is it so often difficult to understand the writings of the law? I have no doubt that it stems from the language used years and years ago when laws were born and adopted from other countries.

But the question remains – when everything around us seems to be breaking boundaries and moving forward, why is much of the legal world living in the past?

Does it give lawyers another reason to charge to decipher the law, or do law-makers think ‘if it ain’t broke (but is just old and fuddy-duddy) then don’t fix it’?

Connections to the past give law authority; a sign of having stood the test of time. It fills it with history and gives it culture.

Much law, especially the law relating to wills and estate administration, has that (surprisingly pleasant) musty feel to it, a hint of old armchair and newspaper crosswords. But it isn’t stale; the law is forever changing. It gains youth as the world around it develops – take media and animal law for example. Refreshing and intriguing, yet no doubt tied to principles and modes of thinking that developed years and years ago.

But it is to wills and estates that I find myself drawn; an area of law that survives death but fails to survive without it. So connected to the past but forever looking into the future.

It plans for future generations, while constantly reminding us of our own mortality. It ages as much as it progresses, endlessly influenced by modern-day wealth mangement and the evolving concept of ‘family’.

The Probate Rules

‘I’ll just highlight the important bits’, I thought to myself.

It wasn’t long before I saw a trend appearing; pages and pages of Probate Rules had become neon.

‘So maybe I’ll underline they key words with pen’, I pondered.

That idea seemed to work. So did putting boxes or circles in pen around those words I considered even more significant than key words…

It was downhill from there.

I then decided to add a handful of arrows and asterics, as well as references to other relevant rules and sections of the Administration and Probate Act. Add a splash of pink and some ruled pencil lines and, well, …

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But on the upside; sureties’ guarantees and obliterated or interlineated wills? Not a problem. 😀