We have started our search for our more permanent accommodation here is Silicone Valley. Tonight we put in an application on a 3 bedroom townhouse which I fear may be a little squishy, however, it is in a beautiful area, within the catchment for incredible schools and within our budget. I don’t feel confident that it is ours as we aren’t the only people who have put in an application but it is a step in the right direction.
The good news is that we got word this afternoon that our shipping container arrived safe and sound! When I told Elliott he ran to open the door expecting to see all his toys and his bike waiting at the front door. Poor chap. A little bit of a wait to go. We won’t get it all until we move into our own place.
Well my days start here at 6am to be ready to get all the kids out the door at 7:30am. Levi and Tilly are early birds and more often then not, Levi is awake before me reading a book on the couch. Tilly and Elliott are awake soon after but poor Essie is just not a morning person. She asked me last week “Why can’t I just wake up when I’m not tired anymore?”. On Saturday we all kept super quiet so she could sleep until she wasn’t tired anymore and that was at 9am! She goes to bed at the same time as everyone but she does take longer to drift off to sleep. So weekday mornings I will let her sleep until 7am and then wake her up and carry her to the breakfast table. By the time we are heading out the door she is awake and excited about going to school.
All the kids are really enjoying school and have memorised the Pledge of Allegiance which is recited at the start of the days lessons. Tilly and Essie have jumped up to the next grade and seem to be doing fine. Essie in particular loves the math homework that gets sent home. Levi is finding the work relatively easy but there are few things he has to catch up on, like memorising the 50 states of America. He loves the challenge and loves the game Stack The States! But mostly he is looking forward to some very cool school excursions – Google and the NASA research park. Very exciting for a 10 year old boy even though he has already visited Google for lunch with Joel.
For me though after the school run I start thinking about the simpler things in life, like a coffee. This morning Elliott and I went to Mayfield Bakery for a latte, croissant and something I’d heard of but never seen, let alone tried – monkey bread. Yummy, yummy. The man at the counter explained that they use the same dough they use for the croissants but roll small portions in cinnamon and stack up in the muffin case and finished with a sticky glaze. Delicious but it probably falls into the category of a ‘sometimes food’!
A food that we eat every week though is tacos. We have decided to embrace our love for eating almost anything folded inside a soft tortilla and declared Tuesdays, in our home, as our Taco Tuesday.
My recipe here comes from Delicious magazine which calls for a barbecue chicken. Whole Foods sells organic barbecue chicken for just under $10 which I think is great because you’d be hard pressed finding an organic chicken under $10 in Brisbane, barbecued or not. The leftover chicken is perfect for chicken sandwiches the next day. Sometimes I make fresh tortillas but mostly, since I can buy tortillas from just about anywhere here, I have been buying. My favourite is a mix of corn and wheat and they form the base for a very quick mid-week meal.
The homemade hot sauce is little less hot sauce and a little more BBQ sauce. It is sweet and tangy and very similar to a BBQ sauce that I love to make. The kids love it which is always a win. I prefer a hot sauce on my tacos but the sauce is still good. The beauty of this meal is that everyone picks and chooses what they want. Deconstructed meals, like this, always work best when fussy toddlers are at the dining table. A good recipe to get the kids to help out with too.
quick chicken tacos
(adapted from Delicious magazine, September 2012)
1 barbecue chicken, meat shredded
8-10 flour and/or corn tortillas
1/2 iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 avocado, chopped with a squeeze of lime
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
a small handful of coriander leaves, chopped
Greek yoghurt or sour cream, to serve
homemade hot sauce
1/3 cup (80ml) tomato sauce
1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
a good pinch of chilli flakes
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
For the homemade hot sauce, warm all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then let it simmer for a few minutes. I find a squeeze of lime juice at this point freshens it up a little.
Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, coriander and a few extra wedges of lime on a platter. Everyone can help themselves to a tortilla which they can top with chicken, a drizzle of sauce, a dollop of yoghurt and a pile of salad. Too easy and no cutlery required!