Wednesday, 31 October 2007

"Picture Me" meme

Ali from Our Patch tagged me for the "Picture Me" MeMe.

Kate at Our Red House began this MeMe and said the following;

"The rules are simple: post a picture of yourself on your blog. As some may feel uncomfortable posting a current photo, a baby or childhood picture is fine. Post the picture, tell us the story behind it, copy the logo, and tag three others (without forgetting to tell them that they have been tagged!)"

I too, like a lot of people I know, dislike my photo being taken. This has gotten easier sometimes as I grow older - or maybe not. I chose this photo which was taken on my birthday this year (in March). I am at home in my lounge room, surrounded by my family. The birthday cake was home made by me (so my son could eat it!). It is my favourite boiled chocolate cake recipe. The photo is so typically me, always laughing on the outside - my glass is always least!
I tag the following people:
Busy woman @ A Vision Splendid
I'll try and post the cake recipe too...soon!

Healthy Hamburgers

We had these last night for dinner with egg, cheese, salad/coleslaw on fresh bread rolls.

500g (approx 1lb)minced beef
1/2 leek finely sliced
1 small carrot grated
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 zucchini (courgette) grated
1/4 quick cook oats
1/4 cup rolled oats
3tbs tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 egg

All my measurements are a bit on the approximate side - I just add a bit of everything. Mix it all together and I am sorry to say for those who don't like messy hands, it is the best way to mix it. If it seems too sloppy add a few more oats. I have a hamburger press so I normally get 8 good sized burgers from this mixture. You can also shape by hand or make into smaller rissoles/meatballs and serve with a side salad instead of in burger rolls like I did.
Cook as you would any other burgers. They will tend to brown quite well due to the tomato sauce (ketchup) in them.

Hope you like them, the oats give them a slightly nutty flavour and all the hidden vegetables are good for children too!

take care of you.

Sunday, 28 October 2007


One of the blogs I enjoy reading is Lightening's and I noticed recently she had a dig through her appliance cupboard. Among all her makers was a donut maker. I noted in the comment that she most likely didn't have the recipe anymore and I would happily supply it if she didn't. I use mine about once a month, make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for lunchbox treats! Since they are baked not fried the fat levels aren't too bad :) Also since there are so many commercially made products that my DS can't eat it is nice to make him things that are special! So here is the recipe for everyone else who also has one in their cupboard or finds a bargain at a garage sale and no instruction book.
(If you have a local Black and Decker factory outlet they retail for about $16.)

Basic Donut Mixture

1 cup SR flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
pinch bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
20g butter, melted

1. Sift dry ingredients in a bowl
2. Make a well in the centre, gradually stir in the egg and milk.
3. Fold in melted butter and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before using.
5. Cook doughnuts, being careful no to spoon to much mixture into each mould.
6. Toss while still warm in cinnamon sugar or leave to cool and decorate with glace icing.

Glace Icing

1/2 cup pure sifted icing sugar
2-3 tsp water, or fruit juice
2-3 drops food colouring (optional)

1. Combine icing sugar and water or juice in a medium bowl.

2. Add food colour if desired and stir until well combined.

3. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until icing is smooth and glossy.

4. Remove from the heat. Use as required.

For chocolate glace icing, add 1 tbs of cocoa to the dry ingredients and substitute water for 1 tbs milk.

Suggested toppings:
100's and 1000's
coloured sprinkles
silver cachous
grated chocolate
coloured sugar
crushed nuts

Take care of you!

Orange Cordial

In my attempts to make it from scratch as well as keep my grocery prices down, today I made some orange cordial from Rhonda's recipe @ down to earth. Also interestingly today she posted about her jar collection and funnily enough my cordial is normally stored in recycled glass bottles from the tomato puree I use in cooking. They are the perfect size to ensure my DS doesn't pour too much in or pour too much on the bench! (Is it all boys that are messy?)
Having tasted both I think I might prefer the lemon cordial myself, but then I am a bit of lemon fan anyway :)
Take care of you.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Chicken & Pear Salad with Tarragon dressing

Made this last night for tea since although it is only spring we have already had very warm summery weather.
Loosely based on a recipe from Australian Good Taste magazine.
The dressing was really nice and even though I didn't have any tarragon this time it was still nice without it!

serves 4
oil spray
2 (about 500g) single chicken breast fillets, sliced into about 4 strips each
1 green oak leaf lettuce (or other fancy variety - just not iceberg), washed, dried, torn
1 large ripe pear, quartered, cored and thinly sliced (tossed in extra OJ to stop it browning)
50g sprouts (I just grabbed a handful of snow pea and mustard ones)
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, split & de-seeded then sliced into crescents
1 punnet cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced into halves
You could also add celery, watercress and parsley to this mixture if you wish)

2tbs fresh orange juice
1tbs balsamic vinegar (white makes the dressing prettier, but I only have the brown one)
1tbs olive oil
1tbs chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
2tsp mustard
1tsp honey

1. Spray pan with oil spray, and heat adding strips of chicken. Cook until lightly browned on the outside and cooked through. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest then slice into thin slices across the grain.
2. While chicken is browning prepare all the other salad ingredients and gently toss to combine. Mix salad dressing in a jar, jug or shaker.
3. Add the chicken to the salad and pour over the dressing. Gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Take care of you

Saturday, 20 October 2007

My families favourite biscuits (this week)

Double choc chip cookies
Makes about 30

• 125g butter
• 1 cup brown sugar
• ¾ cup caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 1 egg
• 1½ cups self raising flour
• ½ cup Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa
• ¾ cup Cadbury Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat oven to 160ÂșC.
2. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
3. Mix in vanilla essence and egg.
4. Stir in flour and Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa.
5. Add Cadbury Dark Chocolate Chips.
6. Place teaspoons of mixture on greased baking tray and bake in moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.

Made these last week - recipe is on the Cadbury website or currently printed on the back of the Cadbury Dark Chocolate chips.
My children couldn't get enough and several people I work with thought they looked like bought ones! Still not sure if that is a good or a bad thing? One workmate also loved the fact they are crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
Do you have a favourite biscuit/cookie recipe?

All the small things...

If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito - Anita Roddick
It seems time has gotten away from me again and here it is two weeks without blogging! Thank you Jo for reminding me it has been a a while - I know you will be reading this :)
Life seems to be so many small things that seem to take up so much time. Sometimes I long to return to a simpler life where things passed more slowly.
Is it that we have less time or that we just try to pack too much in?
At the moment I have a few friends who are pregnant and I have been invited to two baby showers on the same day, at opposite ends of town. Fortunately the times overlap so I will be able to attend both. Common sense would have me attend only one, or none. In fact strangely I have never attended a baby shower before and now I get invited to two on the one day. Go figure?
Two of the girls having babies are people I have worked with so one of the projects a workmate and I tried was a nappy (diaper) wreath. Yes, it is basically a ring of disposable nappies(diapers) decorated with ribbons, toys and items for the baby. Unfortunately none of the girls were keen on the idea of cloth nappies (diapers), but you can make these items with the cloth versions if you know the receiver will use them!
We loved the first one so much we then made another. I still have a third gift to make so I am unsure whether to make another one or a nappy(diaper) cake. I still have a week to get my act together on that one :)

My apologies for the picture quality as they were taken with a mobile phone! Can you guess the sexes of the babies?
If you want to try this at home try this link for a diaper cake or this for the wreath.
Take care of you.

Sunday, 7 October 2007


Ironing would have to be my least favourite task but today I tackled it. Two hours later my ironing area looked like this (sorry I forgot tot ake the before shot!). I loaded up my ipod with some boppy dance type music and danced my way through the piles! Try it yourself, it certainly made the time pass faster and I also got to listen to a few of my favourite tunes! I keep smiling as I walk past the empty space! Do you have a task that you really don't enjoy?

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Napkin Swap

Today I received these gorgeous Napkins and a delightful watercolour from the lovely Heather who lives in the U.S. - she was my partner in the napkin swap organised by Rhonda @ Down to Earth. I felt thrilled that I received something so beautiful and well made. Thank you Heather, you really made me smile!
Take care of you.