Friday, December 11, 2009

Remember to buy in bulk

Check out my jar of CHOCOLATE.

70% cocoa, delicious and healthy.
Haha, well, apparently a SMALL amount a day is healthy.


My plan is to only ever use the good stuff so my kids get used to eating that and will hopefully reject the crap stuff.

Is it wrong of me to request of family at Easter that they only give the kids dark chocolate? It doesn't need to be the highest quality, just not the sort with lots of extra sugar.....the sort which I used to LOVE (milky bar anyone?).

My smarties obsession maybe coming to an end too, as I move on to REAL chocolate. It's going hand in hand with my cupboards slowly emptying of anything with a complicated ingredients panel on it.

I'm trying to follow the "if my great grandmother wouldn't recognise it as food, don't eat it" way of eating. I also keep hearing "if it wasn't around 10 000 years ago don't eat it".

Did they have chocolate around that long ago? If not, I'm sticking with the grandmother eating idea.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Setting up the Christmas Crib

We have a very basic Christmas Crib
(is it called that here, that's what we called it growing up in Kiwiland...)
and it consists of just a few figures that remain from a much larger set.

So the kids and I made a couple of new ones:

This snazzy looking guy is Joseph


And this bright little fellow is the Drummer Boy


Er, without his arms and his drum, which was to be made from a gum nut. Master 4 who was doing the artistic direction (hence the multicoloured punk hair and green leopard duds) does NOT want pipe cleaner arms or a drum. So it will be.

They will soon join the existing crew, see below:


Mary is on the right and Amahl on the left has been standing in for Joseph.


And sometimes they are visited by some other random lady with her baby, her puppy and her pet tiger cub. And a lego knight drops by occasionally too.

Mary and Amahl were made by my mum many years ago and are the perfect solution to crib figures for small children. I think we'll make some new ones every year, as happened when we were kids.

Hmmm, who to make next?
I have a faceless body on my work table awaiting a personality.....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

These are my boys, all shaven and shorn...

Gee, I let hubby out into the back yard to shave his head.....he gives himself a no' 4 in the summer (I DO NOT cut his hair, scarred from the one and only time I DID do it...)

And this is what happens:


Ok, Mr 4 was due for his buzz cut, but my blonde fluffy haired baby!!! Check out his hair in my previous playdough post, (20 months old but still my baby...)

Oh my gosh, he does look cute, his sqidgy baby cheeks are showing up again, but still, hubby cut my baby's hair WITHOUT TELLING ME!

Oh well, easy for summer, right?

The above photo was taken just a short while after this one...


I thought 4 1/2 year olds didn't get eggs on their heads any more. Well, when they're spinning round in the kitchen and slam their head in to the corner of the cupboard, they still do.

Gee, it has been a busy, busy day, so nice to sit down in front of my pc and catch up with the world :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The value of playdough

I went to my 4 year old's kinder AGM last I hear you say and yes, you'd be right. (I also brought my knitting so it wasn't all bad.)

But one thing I do remember the kinder teacher talking about was the value of playdough. As in it's value as a play material, rather than it's monetary value of course.

She said you could take a cranky, out of sorts, having a bad day child, sit them down at the playdough table and after a short while they'd be happily rolling and squishing.
According to her, playdough is somewhat undervalued by today's parents and many children don't have any in their homes.

You're kidding, right?

Tell me you had playdough at home growing up. Tell me your KIDS have playdough at home right now.

Playdough is an essential part of child hood.........if only so you can roll it into small balls and fire them at your brother.

However, I had my very own cranky, out of sorts, having a bad day, got out of the wrong side of bed, mummy never lets me do ANYTHING I want four year old very recently.

After trying to entice him out of his foul mood by the offer of making new playdough and being soundly rebuffed, I made it with his lil bro instead. Only to find after a very short while Mr 4 could not resist getting out the muffin pans along with lil bro and making a batch of cupcakes, just like mummy.

He thawed out remarkably

And was even happy to pose while pretending to eat one

Whereas this little guy actually DID eat one...

My sis has a no-cook playdough recipe on her blog here.

The one I generally use though is this:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Throw it all in a pot, mix and stir over a medium heat till cooked.
Takes about 5-7 minutes and works every time.
Store in an airproof container or in a plastic bag with all the air squished out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Healthy foods and eating for health

I've been doing some interesting reading and research of late on eating and health, and I wanted to share a couple of sites.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop writes about -
Healthy cooking, Traditional food, Vibrant health - Busting "Politically Correct" Health and nutrition information.

Ann Marie is the Cheeseslave
All about cheese, butter, bacon, raw milk and all those other things we're not supposed to eat.

And this list of Real Food Podcasts is on both the above sites.

My current favourite podcasts are from Underground Wellness.
And the host of Underground Wellness, Sean, can also been seen on You tube......and he's worth seeing, gals.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A food meme

This Food Fetish Meme (about Me, a MeMe got it? right) was thrown my way by the deliciously chocolatey Kath at Blurb from the Burbs fame. Yes, it was a while ago, I'm just catching up...

So here you go, more than ever wanted to know about my dietary predilections:

1. What's your #1 comfort food?
Custard. Thick, creamy, high in sugar, out of a tub....NOT made by me.
Or smarties, good old smarties. Pebbles to you kiwis. See, this is my favourite method of birthday cake decoration:


2. If you were stranded on a desert island what 5 foods would you want to have with you to survive on?
Cheese toasted sandwiches made with my home made spelt bread. Well, technically that's two foods. Ok, ummmm....pumpkin soup from my thermomix....yum! And the cheese (grated) can go in that too. Arnotts mint slice bikkies. Blueberries.

3. What are your signature dishes? (What dishes are you known for making?)
Well, cupcakes of course. Or chocolate cloud cake for grown up birthdays. Lasagne for family do's and a mean green salad to take to bbqs. Ok, I'm not a one-dish kinda gal.

4. It's Friday night, you don't know what to cook. You opt for?
Fish and chips from Shark-2-go up the road. They are goooooooooood......

5. What's your ultimate food weakness?
Arnotts mint slice. I know, a bit sad aren't I? But I can get through a packet of these in one sitting if I try hard enough.

6. What food can you soooo not eat?
The usual suspects such as liver and tripe. And I'm not a pork or pea fan. Or broad beans, ick.

You need a drink, you grab a.....?
Glass of water straight from the tap. Nothing better.

8. What's the most decadent dish you've ever had?
Goldensyrup dumplings...sweeeet, sticky, doughy. I'm sure there's something more elegant but I can't bring it to mind.

9. What's your favourite type of food?
Fresh and raw.....fruits, vegies, sushi.

10. Favourite Dish?
At the moment it's homemade tortillas with diced crumbed chicken, fresh tomato, spinach and cheese, mmmmmm.

11. If your partner could take you to any restaurant, where would you go?
Tokyo Tepenyaki Japanese restaurant down Chapel St. That was first on my hit list after coming out of hospy with my first bub.

12. Soup or Salad?
Soup in winter, salad in summer.

13. Buffet, Take-Out or Sit-Down?
Take-out or sit down. I feel like a guts if I have to get up to serve myself. Surely everyone's staring at my back thinking "wasn't she just up there? She does NOT need to pile that plate any higher..."

14. What's the most impressive meal you've ever made?
I will have to say my most impressive 'dish' right now is kick-arse sorbet made in my thermomix. What did I ever do before I got my thermomix??

15. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
I'm an ok cook, but a good baker.

16. Do you know what vichyssoise is?
Um, no. Some sort of cold soup?

17. Who's your favourite TV cook?
Don't watch the box on a regular basis although I was riveted by the original Masterchef series.
Can NOT see myself on there though.

18. Can you name at least three famous cooking personalities?
Maggie Beer, Nigella, Jamie Oliver. Predictable aren't I?

19. Homemade or homemade from a box?
Oh definitely home made, real food does not come out of a box. See?

I think this lot is lemon butter, blueberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, spag bol sauce, caramel and more blueberry muffins.

20. Tag three more foodies..
The only one I'm going to tag with this is my youngest sis The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady....head's up sis!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chocolate sorbet in the thermomix

Here it is, and this is where I found the recipe, from Jo at Quirky cooking.


It was soooo good I cannot do it again any time soon as I just couldn't help eating way too much of it!

Self control, where are you?

Ah that's right, you do not reside in my kitchen...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trying out the rapadura

A short while ago I mentioned rapadura, which is a sweetener made from evaporated sugar cane juice.

I managed to order some online, funnily enough it was cheaper for four 250 gram bags than for one 1 kilo bag so I went with the four.


This is what Jo at Quirky Cooking has to say about rapadura...

"Rapadura is evaporated cane juice - it's also known as Sucanat. It is just the juice extracted from the cane in a press, which has then been evaporated to dry it into granules. It has not been heated and spun to change it into crystals, so it has a grainy texture.

Because Rapadura is not heated, the vitamins and minerals have been retained. It also still has the natural balance of sucrose, glucose, and fructose, and contains components essential for its' digestion. It is metabolized more slowly than white sugar, and therefore will not affect your blood sugar levels very much at all. Refined, crystallised sugars will raise blood sugar levels, and the more refined the sugar, the more it raises your blood sugar."

See the rest of Jo's post about sweeteners here.

Now rapadura is a light brown colour, and in taste is vaguely reminiscent of brown sugar. It has some uneven sized grains so depending on what you want to use it for, you may want to grind it further. A thermomix is perfect for this but I'm sure any high powered blender will do.

So far I've used it to make lemonade syrup, a batch of snickerdoodle biscuits/cookies and just tonight I made a chocolate sorbet (in my Thermomix) with rapadura in it.

And oh my gosh, that sorbet was goooooood! I'm thinking the delightful writer of Gone Chocco might just appreciate this one and I will be sure to take a photo of it when I pull out the rest tomorrow and polish it off.

I digress.

Cooking with rapadura does not seem to be much different than cooking with regular sugar. The cookies turned out as expected, the sorbet as I said was sickeningly good and the lemonade syrup worked well too, the syrup gaining a beautiful deep brown hue and a bit of a brown sugar flavour. As I am a brown sugar fan, that's no problem for me.

Please excuse the manky tomato puree label left on my lemonade syrup bottle, I am generally too lazy to remove labels.


So in my quest to convert my family to a more whole food diet (um, a couple of the above foods notwithstanding...) the rapadura will stay. I just need to find somewhere to buy it in preferably larger and cheaper quantities.

If I find a decent supplier, I'll let ya all know.

Oh, and I'm taking delivery of some live kefir grains early next week, so that will be an interesting experiment this space.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A bit of this, a bit of that.......lots of everything

Life is busy. Busy busy.

Adding to my usual routine I worked three afternoon/evening nanny shifts with my kids in tow.....that included the school run to a VERY swanky school......but I have been driving their (the family I sometimes nanny for) Range rover so didn't feel as out of place as I would have pulling up outside that swanky school in my paint peeling ford........

It's a great job, I've known the family for 10 years and am happy to help out.
My kids love their kids and their kids look after my kids (their kids are older).
So it's almost like a non-job.

Except cooking dinner while helping a 10 year old with homework, trying to get the attention of the 7 year old to feed the dogs that are tripping me up in the kitchen, keeping tabs on a 13 year old boy and his phone, the laptop and homework supposed to be getting done, eating the pretend food my 19 month old is cooking for me in the playroom and trying to locate the drumsticks so my 4 year old can have a bash on the drum just a tad stressful.

Meanwhile nothing gets done at my house.

'Nuff said on that.

So in between all that I've done a bit of this


Made a few of these for Cup Day


Put the lil fella to work


Weathered a few hot days


Talked this one down from the brink


And found out Master H is NOT allergic to bee stings


Phew. It was quite a week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

To market to market........home again, home again

Well first up let me confess I forgot my camera....... in my defense, the market is 1 1/2 hrs away and we had to be leaving home at 7.30am with both kids and their supplies for the day, lots of cupcakes and ourselves. We being hubby and I.

The whole market-stall-for-a-day thing came about because my hubby is a good friend of the Nut Bloke, who asked hubby and me if we could mind his stall for the day because he would be out of town. The Nut Blokes stall on Saturday was at the Yarragon link 'cos it's just not very big in market terms!...., so we were happy to help out, because my mother-in-law lives in Yarragon so she was more than happy to have our boys for the day so we could man (and woman, haha) the stall.

And the Nut Bloke was happy for me to put some cupcakes on his stall for the day. However, it was a very quiet day, much quieter than usual according to the CFA ladies across the aisle who are there every market day (and who are doing their best to marry the Nut Bloke off to any eligible female who comes along!). So not a great deal was sold, maybe about half of what I'd made, and at the end of the afternoon I gave some away to other stall holders, who were busy trying to give their unsold goods away too. Now I have some lovely organic sourdough bread from a local farm, a bunch of beautiful fresh silverbeet, and other bits and bobs of fresh-but-looking-slightly-wilted veggies.

But fun was had, it was just hubby and I which happens very, very, very rarely. In between serving customers, which was fun too as many of them are locals and know my hubby from when he was a little tacker, we talked, laughed, joked and didn't get interrupted by small piping voices once! Much as we love our little monsters, it was heavenly :)

So no photos, sorry but you have already seen the varieties I made. Chocolate with chocolate ganache and white chocolate with raspberry.

Now, I did make one more variety, caramel, and they were first out of the oven the night before the market. And this is how they look now...


They sank. Yes, actually sank. Not just not-rounded on top, but sunken a bit in the middle. I have made these before and they were delicious and perfect looking, so I have yet to figure out where I went wrong, but I suspect it was in the caramel that gets mixed into the batter. Hmmmm. So, I'll figure out the problem there before I put that recipe up.

I got hubby to peel them out of their wrappers and dump them in a bowl, from where they were transferred to the freezer. I now have the perfect excuse to try my hand at cake balls. Yes, sad I know, hehehe....

And I've had a play around with my new cookie cutters, how cute are these little guys? They're on a bread and butter plate, if that gives you an idea of their size.


Hubby thinks these may go down well at a market and I think perhaps cake balls might too.

Lots of ideas floating round in my head...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gearing up...

Ok, so today/tonight I need to make a largish amount of different sorts of gorgeous looking and tasting cupcakes for the market tomorrow, where I'm crashing on The Nut Blokes stall.

But....... I worked last night until 1am (no kids in tow this time) so am feeling a little challenged.

Add to that Mr 4 has been in CONSTANT question mode, Mr 18 months bashed his head against the brick wall while climbing in/out of/around/under an enormous cardboard box, Mt Washmore is requiring some urgent attention and does anyone have any idea what's for dinner?

Methinks it will be a loooong day....

Photos of the market and a couple of overdue recipes will follow...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Do you know bread is being fortified now with folate?

I know, I know, I can't seem to make myself stop going on about food and what's in it these days.

And I recently found out, through an innocuous tv show on food followed by a little research, that commercially made bread is being fortified with extra folate, as of September just gone. Here in Australia anyway; seems like NZ is managing to put it off for the moment pending further investigation.


The risks of extra folate to the general, non-pregnant population appear to be unknown.

Hellooooo, is anyone actually out there, in decision-making-for-the-entire-population land???

So, get to making your own if you can....the recipe for this is here.


And it can be made with wheat flour just as easily as spelt, no adjustment required.

Do you know your food source?

When I was at the farmer's market this morning (after the baby market and before the supermarket....yep, and I wonder where my weekend went??) I quizzed the holder of each stall I went to about their growing/producing methods.


The delicious apples I buy are sprayed to control codling moth, as are most apples.
Ok, I will continue to peel them , much to my four year old's delight.

(There's now an apple seller who uses organic growing methods and does not spray, woohoo!)

The orange grower introduces beneficial bugs to control pests and does not spray.

The free range beef is completely grass and hay fed, no grain at all.

The coffee at the coffee stalls is fair trade, as is the hot chocolate.

The eggs are free range, they tell me they are as organic as they can be without actually having certification.

The raw milk, which is, ahem, for COSMETIC PURPOSES ONLY, has it's organic certification underway. And the kids love it, I mean, the kids love to BATHE in it. Right. Because you know it's illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption here in Australia.

The veggie guy says they are as natural and organic as they can be, without, once again, gaining their organic certification. And I enjoy seeing caterpillar chew holes on my beetroot leaves.

The tomatoes are sometimes sprayed, but not at the moment.
Need to bring a note pad next time so I can remember what they are sprayed with...

Strawberries are sprayed, lightly.
Ditto above.

Hmmmm, that's the guts of what I bought, I think. And it was very interesting morning, those that are making the effort to keep things as natural as possible are more than happy to wax lyrical about their product and methods.

Oooh, I feel so green and in touch haha, love it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I christened them!

With Billy's vanilla vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting...


This is quite a good recipe, but reading through the comments a few people managed to get it wrong. If you've ever made cupcakes you'll find the way the recipe is put together a little I used my own tried and true method instead.


And tweaked the ingredients just a tiny bit too.

Yes, once again I cannot just blindly follow a recipe. However, apart from the fact my buttercream separated (my fault), they turned out admirably. So much so that I might put this on my master list of cupcake flavours.

Now in the interests of sharing good cupcakeness around, I'll put up my version of this recipe sometime over the next few days. Vanilla is a classic after all, and we should all be able to pull a great vanilla recipe out of our sleeve at short notice.


Oh and the cupcake courier works admirably, hubbby's taking them to work tomorrow in it.
And it has the added bonus of keeping small fingers out...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Here's my birthday present!

Ok, not a great picture but here they are...


The 3 large boxes are cupcake couriers, which I finally received on the weekend. (Not the company's fault, I was waiting on my sis-in-law to fly them down with her when she came)

And on top of those is a cupcake stand that I recieved from my mother-in-law on the same day....hehehe, I'm easy to think of gifts for at the moment, yeah?!

I have another offer of some space on his stall from The Nut Bloke, so I'll be baking up a storm for Saturday 24th Oct. And now I can pack 'em all up and carry them.

Isn't it funny what gets me all excited these days?!

I thought I might christen my cupcake couriers with Martha Stewart's Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcakes, but I didn't really like the resulting chewy caramel encased in chocolate cake thing. It may have been because my caramel was several shades darker than it appears in this photo, and had a distinct burnt sugar taste to it......

The actual chocolate cupcakes part was fairly good though and easy to make.

That bit of the recipe is worth keeping.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spring is in full swing

We had some hail yesterday, real live freezing cold hail. Good 'ole Melbourne, throwing her best spring weather at us.


Yes, our minuscule backyard has fake grass as well as hail, you can probably tell what hubby's turned it into, do the golf balls give it away?

When I first arrived in Australia (following my hunky snowboarding Aussie boyfriend, now hubby, oh how long ago THAT seems!) I was under the mistaken impression that Australia was HOT.

All of it.

But that's not the case as I soon found out, seeing as I arrived at the very beginning of spring.
A spring that was one of the coldest, wettest I can remember, it nearly chased me back across the Tasman.
But seeing as we have the same weather across the Tasman, the lure of aforementioned hunky snowboarding boyfriend was enough to keep me here. (Oh lucky Australia, you get to keep me!)

Now here I am ensconced in domesticity..

training the next generation of food critics...


the next Booker Prize winners...


the next animal rights activists...


and squeezing in a bit of sewing in between.


I made this little lady one evening after hand drafting the oh so complicated pattern. She is now stuffed and awaiting a baby for her pocket, before she wings her way to somewhere...

Ahh, domesticity, I love you! Usually.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lets make a cake!

Hubby's birthday late last week so of course we needed a cake. To my kids, birthdays are all about the cake (apart from the presents of course) and "what cake should I have for my next birthday" is a topic brought up all too often.

So having exhausted my favourites due to father's day, mother-in-law's birthday and MY birthday, I was keeping my eyes open for something new.

What I came across on Lick the bowl good, was this blueberry lemon marble layer cake. Now, mine doesn't look quite like that, due to fact I made 2 layers instead of three, therefore had leftover blueberry preserve which I mixed into the icing. And I put a layer of sweetened whipped cream in the middle, 'cos I know hubby likes whipped cream. And the actual icing called for more butter than was in the cake, so I ditched that and just made a more simple one with a little butter. So true to form, it's not all that much like it's namesake.

The kids of course,were in on nearly every act:





It was delicious and not very difficult to make. Worth the effort.

Speaking of cakes and refined white sugar, I'm going to try some rapadura, which is apparently unrefined dried sugar cane (or sugar cane juice?), I need to find out some more about it. But it retains all it's nutrients and can (apparently) prevent the insulin swings brought on by consumption of refined sugar.

Jo at Quirky cooking gives a run down on different sweeteners including rapadura. It's something I want to look into in my quest to feed my family foods that are less refined......above cake excluded, obviously.

Watch this space.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We are Geelong, the greatest team of all....

Not my personal opinion but a line from the Geelong team song, Geelong being the team that won the AFL Grand Final on Saturday.

I know, it's not relevant to most outside Victoria and really, I have to say it's not that relevant to me either.
But hubby being an avid AFL fan and having no tv at the moment (due to using media center and an upgrade to windows 7 means an upgrade is needed for the video card.....or some such thing) he packed up both kids and went across town to a mates house to watch the game.

Without me.

Woohoo, relaxing kid and hubby free afternoon, here I come!!

So I managed to ignore my pc for the most part and I got some actual, real things done.

Organised some fabric and my WIP stash in my new basket storage system (....freezer baskets that I broke the law to scavenge off the nature strip during hard rubbish collection week, hard core criminal that I am...)


Finished one of the WIPs...


And tidied up the remainder of THIS mess which came about after a friend of ours, The Nut Bloke, asked if I'd make some cupcakes and ice them in football team colours for his market stall on Grand Final Saturday.


They had to be made and decorated on Friday, because The Nut Bloke was picking them up Friday evening for a Saturday morning market.
I ended up working on Friday, kids in tow, so I made the cupackes at work then raced home to decorate them. Hence the mess.
H is enjoying one of the rejects with some good ol' chocolate ganache, after the order went out.
And yes, he's standing there in his jocks, despite the fact it rained nearly all day and maintained a top temperature of about 10c.

And in the the ensuing rush and fluster I forgot to take a picture of my football coloured cupcakes. Decorated in stripes of either blue and white buttercream or red, white and black buttercream. Of course.

Wednesday tomorrow, baking day. Hmmm, what to make?
I'll be sifting through these sites for something that tickles my fancy, cupcake or otherwise:

52 cupcakes

Lick the bowl good

Cookies and cups

Mommy? I'm hungry!

Quirky cooking


Crazy about cakes

Have a look at the photos of Ashley's cupcake decorating party at the above blog, such a great idea for a party.
I wonder if I could adapt it to boys? At what age would something like this stop being cool for boys? I know H who is 4, would looooove to do this, but when he's 7? Or 10? Hmmm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We've got the sickies, bleck

The lil' fella is under the weather, waaay under it seems, eyes running, nose running and an awful sounding chesty cough.

But I have to share these photos from a couple of days ago when he was definitely feeling more like his usual self.

From the child who eats chalk, crayons (though not since I found out crayons have petroleum in them) and anything else he can pick up off the floor and out of the garden that will fit in his mouth.....when IS that stage supposed to be past, I'm pretty sure at 17 months he's meant to beyond that....

We have, mmm mmmmmmm, sand!

And just so you know I didn't actually force my own child to eat sand and that he did it of his own free will, here are three pictures:




In case you're wondering, I do feed this child actual, real food.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oooh, chocolate!

I decorated my latest cupcakes in the ever popular chocolate ganache and don't they look drool worthy?
They tasted impressive too, mmm mmmmmmmm.



Never made ganache? It's extremely simple:

Chocolate ganache

400 grams cooking chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups cream

  • Bring the cream to boil in a heavy based saucepan.
  • Place choc in a bowl and pour the hot cream over.
  • Leave for 1 minute to soften, then stir using a small spatula.
  • For a smooth surface, dip cupcakes in immediately.
  • For a fluffy look, let it cool then apply with a knife.
If you want to make a chocolate sauce, just add more cream.

I've made some caramel cupcakes too, and they were delish, as expected. The cupcake recipe used this homemade caramel that I made and the caramel frosting should use up the remainder of that batch of caramel. Except, I may have to make more caramel to make the frosting because, ahem, I don't think I have quite enough...

Standby for the caramel cupcake recipe because they were gooooooood.
Note were...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

See what I got!

One of my younger sisters, The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady, has sent me a piece of gorgeousness for my birthday.

Have a look.....



It's a beautifully made felted wool sweater bag. Fully lined, with fabric handles and a rosette of flowers and leaves artfully sewn on the front.

It is fabulous, I couldn't stop smiling when I opened it up, it's just yummy on so many levels!
Useful, recycled, beautiful, unusual....sheesh, it makes me feel like I really need to pull my finger out and get stuck into some projects. Which I do, of course.

Quietly putting aside the fact that I am behind on family birthdays by more than one or two months...

Get thee to they sewing machine!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Are you a chook lover?

I fell across Clucky when I was online today, located at Melly and Me...


How cute is that???
Not sure if my sewing talents stretch to Clucky, but I have a chook loving, softie making sis who will fall in love with this feathered friend for sure! Miss Lottie, I'm looking at you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Really good chocolate cupcakes - finally!

I think I have finally found a really good chocolate cupcake recipe. I have tried quite a few but never found just the right mix of flavour, texture and perfect dome-ness....and this recipe has all three.

See? They're chocolaty....


And perfectly domed.


Un-iced as yet, I'm thinking maybe some chocolate ganache will top them off nicely. They don't have any actual chocolate in them as they are flavoured with cocoa, so a rich topping will bring them to just the right level of gorgeous chocolate-ness.

Now, if you want to try the recipe out, may I suggest you add the sour cream into the wet mixture before you add the flour. (The recipe does not state when to add it.)

And a stick of butter is about 113.5 grams, so for 3 sticks of butter I used 340 grams.

Wednesday is my serious baking day because that is the day I have both boys in daycare, as a leftover from when I was working out of home. 

It's my recharge day, my sanity day, the day that as much as I love my kiddies, I REALLY look forward to. The house is filled with silence. Things stay where I put them. I can pee in peace. I don't need to wipe noses and butts and break up fights. Or haul the baby up from sitting on his older brother. Again. 
It's also my clean the house day and my 'important things that require concentration so no kids around' day.

The rest of the time my life is filled with this...


and this...


and quite a lot of this lately too...


And this, if the ladder is left anywhere accessible after fixing the sliding doors that have been slid too enthusiastically one too many times...


I'll stop there shall I?

They're always on the go, my little munchkins, and they wear mummy out. Especially after the all-nighters my lil guy has been pulling lately.....but that's another story.


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