Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rocky road cupcakes

My latest cupcake effort is for H's daycare class, being that it is his fourth birthday this week. 

I am sure his teachers will NOT love me, because the cupcakes themselves are chocolate and coffee (can't taste the coffee though) and the decorations are marshmallows, white chocolate, milk chocolate and gummy lollies. 

All stuck on with a butter cream icing. How else would I make a rocky road cupcake? My initial idea was to also pipe melted chocolate over the top.....but my choc wasn't smooth enough and wouldn't come out of the piping bag properly, so I ditched that idea this time round. (It was late, I was tired, first time with the piping bag. That's my excuse, lame I know.)

Here they are...


Hubby took a few to work, where they were veeeerrry well received. 

I however didn't eat one, as my sense of taste is still on holiday thanks to my stuffed up nose and head cold, sigh...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another thing my thermomix is GREAT at....

Ok people, hold a garage sale and sell your juicer, blender, food processor, rice cooker, electric mixer, your children and anything else not nailed down, because all you need in your life is a thermomix. And they are just a tad pricey. Well, maybe it's all you need in the kitchen, rather than all you need in life, that may have been a little generous.

The latest use for mine has been juicing. The sort of juicing where you put the whole fruit in the thermomix, add water and turn it on. I put in a carrot, an orange - peeled, some strawberries, frozen blueberries and water. Two minutes high speed......sounds like a concrete mixer with rocks in it is spinning on your kitchen bench......done. I could have run it through a sieve and not caught any lumps, it was super smooth. Did it taste good? I have no idea, I am so blocked up that all food is tasteless right now. Be a great way to lose weight, disconnect your sense of smell...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ah ha! It's Flylady that cleans my shower!

Have you heard of FlyLady? This is where my sister got her brilliant shower cleaning ideas, so brilliant I will never again have a crusty shower stall. Check out FlyLady's bathroom rant.

And I'm still Photobucket

My delightful almost four year old, H, who was being less than delightful today, gave me a very careful hug and some pats on the back when I was having a wail about how dreadful I was feeling. Aww, they can be so sweet when it strikes them, although he was rather trying today. His birthday tomorrow, enough said.

Crickey, where has the time gone??



and now...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ack, got the sickees here


This is me right now.


I'm doing lots of this...


And have too much of this...


And way too many of these...


I'm taking this...


And these...


And all I want to do is this...


As I said, BLERK. I'll try not to send it your way.

Snickers fans, this one's for you!

Hop over here to learn how to make your own snickers bars, easy peasy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How do you clean your shower?

Well my youngest sister, who has a hubby and two kids of her own imparted this pearl of wisdom re shower cleaning recently.......... actually I think she said it was someone else's pearl originally.....but I think it's inspired so I'm sharing it with you!

She told me......... clean one wall of your shower every day.

There it is, that's it!! So simple!

So if you clean one wall every day, you should never, ever be left with that icky pink soap scum build up, that you need to spend your Saturday morning scrubbing away.

To do this, I use baking soda as a scourer and a kitchen cloth for applying it. The baking soda I keep in a glass jar in the shower and the scourer pad likewise. I clean while I'm in there (quickly, as here in Melbourne we're on water restrictions), clean myself and wahoo, shower done!

Now because I know you're dying to see my eternally clean shower, here is a bit of it.


Glass jar of baking soda, kitchen scourer and container of honey for face wash. Honey? Yes, works a treat, more on that later. Oh, and sparkly white wall, see?!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One Harold or two?

Right, a runway cake will be dead easy, but, he wants Harold the Helicopter on it.
Here's the little guy...


Wooden, to go with our wooden Thomas the Tank Engine Train Set, and apparently Harold is retired now and no longer for sale. So I checked for him on Ebay Aus, and no one is selling him second hand. Well, darn it.

I have now managed to purchase 2 brand new Harold's from Ebay America, which should hopefully, please, please, please be here the day before the party.

I have a bad feeling that is asking too much, even though the seller quotes 7-10 days. My hubby just laughed when I told him. Oh yea of little faith!! I have faith......but, ahem, I will have a back up plan....

Oh, but why two you ask? 

Well, Harold is pretty cool, and I have 2 little boys who will both be after him, so for the sake of peace I have bought two. 
I do not usually buy two of everything, the little muchkins will learn to share by the time they're 20 I'm sure, however, I know that this will be a very coveted toy, not least because it comes on the top of a cake! and my husband also plans to join in the fray, as he is a helicopter fan too. 

So between the three of them they will have come to some sort of truce. 

Shoot, maybe I should have bought three??

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My favourite birthday cake recipe

Like many Australian's I am sure, I am the proud owner of a somewhat vintage copy of the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. Most of my childhood birthday cakes were made from this, so it brings back many fond memories. I have of course, broken out this book as my own children's birthdays roll around, but I have not had much success with the butter cake recipe. I have managed to find a decent substitute though, it works very well, is extremely easy to make and delicious to boot.

It came out of one of my Donna Hay magazines that I was given a subscription to a while back. And while I love the look of these mags, they have not been a whole lot of use to me except for this particular recipe.

So, here it is:

Simple Lemon Cake

220 grams butter, melted
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Heat oven to 180c.
  • Place melted butter, eggs, sour cream, caster sugar and lemon juice and rind in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until well combined.
  • Sift flour and baking powder over bowl and beat 3-4 minutes or until smooth.
  • Spoon mix into shallow 20cm x 30cm tine (I use a 20cm x 20cm), that has been lined with baking paper.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  • Cool in the tin.

And here is the finished result, from my youngest's recent 1 year birthday.


Haha, no, it doesn't come out of the tin quite like that, it does require a certain amount of butchering first.

It's not quite perfect, I don't know how my mum ever got hers to look as good as they did, and unfortunately she's not around now to ask.

Fortunately for me, this year my soon to be 4 year old has requested a runway cake, with a helipad on one side. Ok, even I can do that. Maybe the poor kid doesn't have much faith in my cake making abilities....he probably remembers the accidentally green, demented looking teddy bear cake I made when he was two. Poor kid, scarred for life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An interesting find in the house hunt

We are continuing on our mission to find a house that better suits our needs, and to that end, I went with an estate agent today to view some properties. 

Going into the garage at one place through the side door, I couldn't help but notice that it was reinforced steel door with major locks on it. Of course I had to ask what on earth did they keep in here, a few Rolls Royce, maybe a Porsche and a Bentley?? 

Ahhhh, said the agent, I should tell you a little about the history of this place. Well yes thanks, I would like to know if I need to be worried about unearthing any skeletons in the garden when I'm planting the spuds. Well she takes me through the steel door to the back of the garage, where there is another steel door, leading to a room off the back of the garage. Very well insulated, not a chink of light, except for a flue in the ceiling, and only reachable after going through two steel doors. 

Hmmm, the mind boggles.

Turns out it used to be a drug lab, which got busted about 4 years ago. The perfect spot for it....well, not so perfect obviously. Yikes, what sort of neighbourhood are we buying into??

It was not the right house for various reasons, but if it had been right, I wonder if it's history would have made us turn it down? If the energy of the place would have been disrupted by the goings on there, it's feng shui out of whack, it's karma cosmically out of synch, it's.............ok ok I'm waxing lyrical here. Anyway, that made my real estate viewings just a tad more interesting today. 

Wonder what I'll turn up next time?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fabric yoyos - very cute

Need a use for all those little scraps of beautiful fabric that you just can't bare to throw out? Make a yoyo. Or several of them. Or a hundred of them! These little guys are very cute and can be used to embellish just about anything. I made some that I used as decorations on our first ever Christmas tree.....I meant to make a hundred but only got up to ten or so. Oh well, should get to work on them soon so I have enough for this year's tree.

To make mine I used this tutorial by Heather Bailey.

These are mine....not all of them, for some reason whenever I get them out the kids love to carry them round the house....


Make some, and feel free to share, I'd love to see them!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Too much chocolate!

Ok, I know it's Easter and traditional to give chocolate but the sugar high will continue for weeks with the amount of chocolate we received. Even my one year old discovered the delights of it, to my chagrin. My hubby's relatives came round as invited for a late lunch, bringing a chocolate item from each one of them for each one of us, plus some more to be tucked away and doled out later. As if that was needed. My nearly four old was delighted, but unfortunately for him, there's no way he's going to eat everything he was given. I need to find a solution to this as it happened last year too, but he was young enough then that I could spirit away much of his stash. Now he's too savvy. I don't want to stop the relatives enjoying their grandkids and nephews though.

Hmmm, what to do about this one?

Early start

Kids up at 5am today.....enough said.....yawn

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Speaking of kids parties...

H will be 4 at the end of this month and has requested a party at a particular play centre. I've been there once before as H was invited to a party there by a friend of his. All ok, except for the menu. It consists of....

  • Baby frankfurts/cocktail franks (cheerios we call them in know, small red sausages, full of nitrates?)
  • French fries (think loads of fat and salt, tasted like beef fat when I tried one)
  • Fairy bread (hi GI white bread, with margarine and coloured sprinkles)
  • Cheezels/chips
  • A token fruit platter (very ordinary and as such, untouched by the kids)
  • "Bottomless" cordial
Also the option of adding chicken nuggets, party pies or sausage rolls.

This does not impress me in the slightest, yet food is not allowed to be brought into the centre, apart from a birthday cake. I asked if there were healthier options and was told not at this time.

What don't I like? I try to limit additives, preservatives and colours in my kids food, and this lot hits pay dirt. I realise it's a party but still, I don't like serving my kids this much crap, and it certainly goes against the grain to be serving it to other people's kids too.

However, there was a clause which said ' no food to be brought in...except for allergy sufferers'.
Now, my oldest is sensitive to wheat, not allergic, just sensitive, so we limit it which is fairly easy. I spoke to a staff member about that and it sounds like I will be able to bring some idea is to sub homemade cupcakes for fairy bread, juice for the cordial and....not sure what else, maybe I can pump up the fruit platter a bit more with more kid friendly fruit.

Is it unrealistic to expect a few "ever so slightly healthy" things on the menu in this sort of venue? I would be willing to pay more, depending on what they can provide.

Hmmm, need to think more on this.

Oooh, check out these jelly bean cookies!

As I was jumping from blog to blog, following various links, I happened across these bite-sized jelly bean cookies. 

How cute are they?? 

I thought they'd be great for a kiddie's birthday party, and seeing as H is turning 4 this month, I have my mind turned to party food.

This is them...


Jelly bean cookies. 

I will have to go on a hunt for the right cutter though, I think the author said she used a very small easter egg shaped cutter. 

Hmmmm, where to go?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Life after Thermomix

Well, now that I can tear myself away from my newest family member....the Thermomix.....I've finally made a start on Superman. Ok, not too much of a start, but I have cut out the pieces.

Here you can see his body and pocket, and the model, although if you recall, H wants his superman to have blonde hair the same as his. Now, the pocket is the substitute for his jocks being on the outside, ummmmmm, he won't have feet so no boots, and he'll need a yellow belt round the middle somewhere. Maybe as an edging to his pocket?


And here's his face and that of baby superman...


Ok, I haven't really got very far have I ?? I did cut out the baby body too, that's floating round somewhere. Now the challenge is to find somewhere to set up my sewing machine. 

The table I usually use is currently strewn with a dismantled computer, as Hubby is trying to fix his Mum's machine, also a large box of mindstorms lego and, go figure, a plunger. 
Currently my children's favourite toy. 

Who'd a thought that??

Friday, April 3, 2009

Look what I've been given!!

Someone in my life rang up a few days ago and told me they'd bought me an early birthday present.

Can you imagine what it is?

A Thermomix TM 31!

I'll try and describe it, but please, if you don't know what that is, either follow the link or look it up. It is a bit hard to describe; yes, it's another kitchen appliance but it seems to be so much more. For example, in making pumpkin soup from a recipe (which I don't usually do, I'm more of a throw-it-all-in kinda gal), the machine chops the onions, sautees them, weighs your chopped pumpkin, cooks it, then blends it all to perfection. So in making soup, all I used was a chopping board, a knife and the thermomix. Oh, and a spoon to slop in a bit of concentrated veggie stock.

Gee, I think I'm sold!

It comes with a recipe book that has all the basics and more, I can't wait to try some more out. I can see myself divesting the kitchen of a few of the appliances we already have in favour of this one. I think I am going to be forever indebted to this person, who is not even family, she obviously knows I'll get a lot out of it, as she has one herself.

I am in culinary heaven!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blogs, blogs, blogs

I have decided I need to consolidate things somewhat, so instead of spreading my interests across three blogs, I plan to focus myself on this one. So if you have been here...Chocolate Wombat...or here...Mind Your will now find me here. Oh, and here too, hehe. Couldn't resist one more!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...