Why hello there 2016!

So I started my blog and then didn’t blog for 6 months.  My bad!  Let’s see how I go this year!


The hectic days of NaNoWriMo in November, followed by the even more hectic days of December as the year came to a close, encompassing the end of the school year, Christmas and all the preparations and celebrations it drags with it, are over. We have held 2016 by her tiny feet, slapped her new pink bottom and heard her birthing cry. Now it’s time to plunge in with both feet, hands in the air, one eye closed against the fears and doubts, one eye open to the possibility of adventure and excitement. I don’t do “Resolutions” but I do have “Goals” although they are usually the same each year – lose weight, get fit, catch up with the filing, be a better friend, get my finances under control, take more time for my art. But I do choose One Little Word to live by for the year. This year it is DARE. This year I DARE to finally put myself out there, to complete the incomplete, to conclude, to take risks and be brave. By the end of this year, when she is an old crone taking her last hacking breath, I intend to be proud that I had the courage to put myself out there and tried to reach the stars. And so, my friends, WATCH THIS SPACE. Because this year, I am going to be DARING!




I have decided to try and branch out with my meals this year.  You know how you always stick to the same repertoire?  This was my New Years Day dinner and it was delicious!  I didn’t have the makings of a real Vietnamese salad so I just used shredded lettuce, carrot and cucumber, some sliced spring onion and a squeeze of lime juice.  I put the chicken balls on top and drizzled on some kecap manis.  Yum!  It is now going on the list!  My friend Helen suggested it would be healthier not to roll in the sugar, but it gave a fantastic caramelised finish and I think it balanced out the salty/sour/sweet balance you need for Vietnamese, however it does make a bit of a mess!   Try it without if you like.

Vietnamese Chicken Balls


500g Chicken Mince

3 tbspns fish sauce

1/2 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or 2 tspns minced garlic)

2 tspns minced lemongrass

3-4 tbspns chopped coriander

1 tbspn chopped mint

1 1/2 tspn cornflour

1/2 tspn salt

Few grinds fresh black pepper

Sugar for rolling the meatballs (about 1/4 cup)

1. Mix chicken with rest of ingredients except for sugar in large bowl. Mix gently because if you overwork the meat, meatballs will be tough.

2. Using slightly damp hands, roll mixture into golf ball sized meatballs. Put on a plate and refrigerate for half an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 200C.

4. Take meatballs out of the fridge and line a pan with baking paper.

5. Roll meatballs in sugar and place on paper.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, giving the pan a shake a few times to get even browning.



We made some lovely new friends as the year came to a close and shared New Years Eve with them as well.  Mel is a fantastic photographer and took this gorgeous photo of our Siberian Milly, who turned 2 on Christmas Day.  I hope to share more wonderful times with her and John over 2016!

Milly NYE 2015

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!  Pop in to see my Outlander updates, excerpts from my writing and more from my life.

Tracey xxx