Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spice it up...

I know I mentioned the Red Hill Spice Girls in passing a few weeks ago, but now that I have tried the products, it is definitely worthy of more than a mention. Red Hill Spice Girls has been around for a couple of years, but has recently been bought by Pam Stirling and her cousin Karen. I visited Pam and Karen a week or so ago in their spice blending room (based in Mt Eliza), and I was very impressed. The blending room is full of colours and flavours that you cannot even begin to imagine. They have a huge range of blended spices that are easy to use, and absolutely delicious. And they are always working on improving their blends with both flavours and colours (natural of course!).

After a coffee, a chat, and a taste of the delish Dukkah, I came home with 2 jars of spices (and by the way, I just love the packaging). I bought Mumbai Curry and Moroccan Ras El Hanout. I have to say, these were great, and have snuck their way into our regular repatoire of weekly dinners.

The Mumbai Curry is a family favourite. It is mild anough for the kids, and they love it with natural yoghurt, mango chutney and pappadams. It is spicy enough for adults, but you can add chilli for a bigger kick if you wish.

The Moroccan Ras El Hanout was also popular with the kids (and adults), and they love it with cous cous. There are recipes on the back of the jar, but I also added a couple of my own touches, such as topping it with coriander leaves (just call me Chef Susan).

I love the recipes on the back of the jar, but the girls also have other recipes you can use. One of the best things is that I don't need to buy anything special to whip up a great meal. The recipes I have tried all use staple items from the pantry, such as onions, chicken stock, or tinned tomatoes. As long as you have those things in the pantry with your choice of meat or veg, you can create an impressive and quick meal.

Now I just need to increase my supply. I want the Dukkah, the Marinating Rub, the Laksa, the Siam Salt and Pepper.....I want them all!

Where can you get them? The Girls go to markets such as Yarra Valley, Red Hill and Mornington. Details can be found on their website at If you can't get to the markets, just call Pam and Karen, and I am sure they will do mail order for you. Did I mention they also do Turkish Delight? Mmmmmm.......



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Clever Girl...

A few weeks ago I saw an article on the news about a Clever Girl (Nicole Golland) who had designed and made a reusable cloth envelope called Lopees to send money and correspondence to and from school. This is instead of using the printed paper envelopes that constantly flow between home and school.

I ordered and received very promptly 3 envelopes. Two for the school aged children, and one for kinder. They were a great price - $5.50 each, including postage within Victoria.

What I love about them is that they cut down on the use of paper envelopes, they are washable (for when I find them shoved in the lunch box with half a pear), and is made from organic cotton grown in India.

My only problem is now I am going to have to buy more. Did you know a Nintendo DS fits perfectly into one of these envelopes? As well as a crystal collection? So now the children have requested that I order more for them to keep their special things in!!!

To find out more information about this wonderful environmentally friendly product that makes my life easier, go to It would be great if all schools could include this in their booklists.

I just had to ask Nicole about the unusual name. “The name Lopees comes from my kids really, as we wanted something easy for kids to say, and it was the end of the word enveLOPE, and that is how we got Lopees…

Remember, you can email me at and let me know any Clever Girls you come across.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Clever Girls are back!

After a bit of a break from updating Clever Girls, I am back! I have just been a bit too busy to squeeze it all in, but it is starting to settle down again, and I have just been amazed as to how many Clever Girls are around.

There are Clever Girls doing beautiful jewellery (Georgie Cunningham, yummy spices (Pam Stirling -, and gorgeous bags (Judy - If you want to see Clever Girl, Karen Erasmus' art work, go to And don't forget Lee Bond's sun protective swimwear from

There are also Clever Girls, such as Sam Natoli and Kerri Duffey with great handmade cards Ambyance Design, and Tracey Wollen with Moosie Moo, art for children. Let me know if you want any of these girls' contact details.

And these are just the girls who are working for themselves while holding down a family and household. There are many other girls out there who work for organisations in both a paid and voluntary capacity who also should be applauded.

If you know a Clever Girl whose accomplishments should be celebrated, let me know.