Friday, December 24, 2010

Tasty Advice!

...S I LVE using the fantastic recipes at taste.com.au, they are simply fantastic. They are reviewed and rated well, easy t fllw, easy t print and mst imprtantly very gd t eat!



S what's the tasty advice?


I've nly just discvered they have a 'hw t' sectin the website!


And it's GREAT!


I wanted t blg abut this yesterday but my cmputer decided t change t Japanese fr sme reasn!

S
... check it ut... great advice n all thse niggly little 'expert' cking techniques!









x

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Baking #2

RasberrSpice Muffins!

This one is a yummy one! Rasberry Spice Muffins in my new little patty cases!

It comes from the "Muffin Bible" which was actually a present I bought for my hubby 6 years ago!



Making the Magic Happen! 

1. Blend together 2 cups plain flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp salt together in a large mixing bowl.

2. Whisk 1 cup sugar and 2 eggs in a small bowl until light. Blend in 2 tsp vanilla essence, 1/2 cup oil and 60g of melted butter (cooled)

3. Make a large well in centre of dry ingredients, pour in egg-sugar mixture and combine the two mixtures quickly until batter is formed.

4. Gently fold in 1 cup raspberries (I use frozen!)

5. Spoon batter into muffin tin or individual cases.

6. Bake at 200'C for 20-25 minutes




Here are my muffins in their pretty cases before baking!





And in their pretty cases after baking!





And here they are all ready to give away!



Merry Christmas Everyone! x

x

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Christmas Intention 2010

 Our Christmas "Intention" 



Today we decided on a 'Christmas Intention'! I'm calling it that instead of a 'Christmas Tradition' because this is the first time we've done it, so I guess it's not tradition yet. 


Our intention is that every Christmas, instead of having a Santa photo we will take a photo of our little Daisy girl (and subsequent children we're blessed with!) with their choice of gift for the Wishing Tree Appeal or something similar.


This year Daisy girl 'chose' a dolly just like one she has! She was very excited when we grabbed it off the shelf! We wrote on the tag that it will be for a little 5 month old girl, hopefully we can buy a toy for a little girl the same age as her every year!


What a special thing to learn at a young age. 

2011 pics

x

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Baking - Best Shortbread Recipe

Shortbread ... My way
This is a really lovely shortbread recipe... it came with my stainless steel cookie cutters 

which I bought a few years back from "King of Knives".

Ingredients
You will need 
200g butter (softened)
100g icing sugar
200g plain flour
100g corn flour

Method

Step 1: Beat the butter and icing sugar together until light in colour and well blended. 

I use electric beaters. 


Step 2: Add the flour and cornflour and mix to form a dough. I use a s/steel tablespoon to mix for as long as I can, then I knead it in the bowl using my hands to bring it together. 

(Add a little extra flour if it's too sticky)


Step 3: On a sheet of greaseproof paper, knead out the dough into a flat disc shape.

Then wrap it in cling wrap and place in fridge for 15 minutes (this rests the dough and it's better to work with cold).




Step 4: Preheat oven to 160'C

Step 5: Take dough out of fridge and cut in half so it's easy to work with.  Roll out the dough on a sheet of greaseproof paper to about 1/2 cm thick. You can lay a sheet on top too to help your rolling pin stop sticking. It's also a good idea to keep you unused dough in the fridge (especially in Summer) so that it's cool when you're ready to work with it. Chilled dough comes away from the cutters easier and can prevent the cookies spreading during cooking.



Step 6: Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out shapes and place on a greased/lined baking tray. (These cookie trays were super new but now they're a little more loved I use a sheet of greaseproof paper - I reuse the same sheet a few times per batch!)


Step 7: Sprinkle caster sugar over the top of each piece of shortbread. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. You want to err on the side of undercooked with shortbread. They should not have any browning or much colour to them at all! :)


As usual I forgot to take a 'finished' picture before sending them off to people! 
I'm sure you can imagine what they looked like! Will take a photo of the next batch all wrapped up! :)

R x

Here's a cute pic of my li'l helper!


We also use this recipe at Easter time and future Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 December 2005


Tomorrow is 10 December 2010, 5 years ago tomorrow, I was married to my best friend!


How time flies (when you're having fun!) 






This is the song I walked down the aisle to! My Dad and I would listen to this song together when I was a little girl....


The Lonely Shepherd


This is my Dad and I dancing at the reception! 




So what does one learn in five years of marriage?!


Here are just 5 things! (There are many more)


1. Keep focussed on things above! The Lord has blessed us greatly in our marriage and continues to do so.


2. Know each others Love Language and speak that language!


3. Kiss. Hug. Etc. ;)


4. Forgive. Often.


5. Serve one another




In our 5 years of marriage we have experienced highs and lows together. But one thing has remained constant, our love and commitment to each other and to the Lord.


And after 5 years, you still make my stomach do cartwheels! :) xxx




                                               All my love, forever. x

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ricotta Berry No Bake Cheesecake

After an impromptu coffee/cake after Mother's Group last week at McDonalds, I was inspired to make a cheesecake for us Mummy's this week!

I love this recipe, it's super easy and requires no baking. Delicious to eat and quite impressive to look at!

So here it is...

1. Grease and line a spring form pan.


2. Melt 100g butter and mix into 200g of crushed sweet biscuits... I used Arnott's Milk Coffee.


3. Push the biscuit mix into the base of the pan ensuring it is firm.


4. Set aside in refrigerator!


5. Pour 2 cups of bought vanilla custard into a pan. Add 2/3 cup of caster sugar and stir over heat until dissolved. Remove from heat.


6. Loosen 500g of Ricotta Cheese with a fork so it is smooth. (Top right)
  
7. Simmer some water in a saucepan.
    Pour 2 Tbls of water into a measuring jug, add 2 Tbls of gelatine.
    Put measuring jug in saucepan of water and stir over heat until gelatine is dissolved. Add gelatine mix
    to custard. (Top left)

8. Beat 600mL of thickened cream until lightly whipped (I did this by hand but you can use electric
    beaters!) (Centre)
  

9. Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta cheese, mix until combined. Fold the custard mixture into the ricotta and cream until smooth consistency.


10. Spread the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base and refrigerate overnight.


Got you intrigued...?

Well, I will post again tomorrow with the final stage! :)

It's looking good!

R


Ok, so it's been much longer than 'tomorrow' but finally I've remembered to post the finished product photos... let it be noted that I am NOT a food photographer! 




Once the cheesecake mixture has spent some time in the fridge (overnight is perfect but I often leave do the cheesecake in the morning, let it set through the day then do the jelly bit at night!) it's then time to put on the berries and jelly!


1. Evenly layer mixed berries (or berries of your choice) over top of cheesecake. I use frozen berries.


2. Make up Raspberry or Strawberry jelly according to packet directions, let it cool, then pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight.


Then came the part where we got to enjoy it at Mother's Group!



Bon Appetit! Let me know if you
try this recipe! 

x



Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Daisy Girl Is 4 Months Old

So it seems like only yesterday that I gave birth to my beautiful bundle of joy! I fondly looked over photos of her birth and the hours after and was thrilled all over again with her sudden but much awaited presence!

She has been in our lives for four months and continues to bring us joy each day!

What a blessing she is!

"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward." Psalm 127:3



Monday, October 11, 2010

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Today I made this yummy soup which my Mother-in-law gave me the recipe for. 
Quite delicious and very cheap! (basically the cost is 1kg of carrots - usually around $1.20)

I have paraphrased the original recipe (which I lost, probably somewhere in my recipe folder, about 1 year ago... ). I promise that I made it often enough that this is fairly accurate!


Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

1 large onion
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp cumin
1kg Carrots

6 cups water (2 tsp stock powder)
1/3 cup red lentils

1. Peel/chop onion, fry up onion and garlic in a hot saucepan until fragrant. Add cumin, stir frequently.
2. Peel and roughly chop 1kg carrots. Add to saucepan, fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add 6 cups water and two teaspoons of vegetable or chicken stock powder. Add more or less stock if desired.
4. Add 1/3 cup dried red lentils (can use canned if you wish)
5. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Then simmer until carrots are soft.
6. Allow to cool. Puree the soup using a blender or food processor.

The original recipe then called for adding sour cream.
However, the soup is still tasty (and slightly healthier) without!

Salt and Pepper to taste and you have a soup that cost you less than $4.00!


Mmm mmmm!


R

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Short Book For A Friday Morning…

Haggai
(squeezed in between the two Z's)

This morning I decided to take my Bible and my breakfast onto the deck in the sun. What a wonderful addition to our home it has been!

We’re really looking forward to Summer this year, entertaining and sharing time with others on the deck will be great!

A friend said that he was preaching on Haggai this coming Sunday and it got me thinking that I’d never really read the book of Haggai. So, knowing it was quite short I decided that I would study that this morning.

Here is what I learned:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tweet Tweet!

I remain undecided on what I would like in my daughter's room... I'm talking about decorating...

Store bought plastic toys don't appeal to me too much, wall decals, mobiles that sing tunes with that tinny ring to them... so until now, her room has been bare!

However, I came across a cute little sewing project! Some cheeky little birdies that I've made and am going to finish off as a mobile (have to go collect some sticks!)

Find the original idea here... Spool Sewing - Bird Mobile

I decided to have some fun and take some photos of my birdies in the tree outside... Enjoy!





So, a little hunting and gathering and this project will be done.... and ready to be hung!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Everyone needs a nook.... here's mine!

Have you noticed that we all need a little bit of space that is ours?
Somewhere you can leave things out and not put them away, a space that is simply defined as 'mine'.

My poor husband once had to put up with a whole room being 'mine'. We called it the study, but really it held all of my treasures (and all of my mess!)

The desk held the computer which of course we shared... however, the desk was also my sewing space, scrap booking space, a place to mark homework and assignments, a place to write programs. His space consisted of one shelf on the bookshelf and a plastic tub in the wardrobe which held my sewing supplies and spare coats!

The 'study', our second room in a house of two now belongs to our daughter... and boy did she bring a lot of 'stuff' with her when she came! So the room no longer belongs to hubby nor myself! It is Scarlet's!
As she grows I'm sure her possessions will too and our space in that room will diminish!

Daddy still possesses one shelf in Scarlet's wardrobe - the things Mummy couldn't bear to sort out and put in the garage for him!
And Mummy - well I've still got half the wardrobe, the half I share with board games and quilts! But it is home to my boxes of fabric, sewing machine, cutting board, buttons, baubles etc!

Now coming to the part about a nook, that's not my nook. As I can't sew within the cupboard... and so, I take over some of our 'bedroom', room one in the house of two!

This is my nook as it looks today... there are extra boxes of fabric scattered on the floor... the ironing board is up for pressing seams and there are numerous quilting projects scattered on the bed.


The latest of the projects has been a floor quilt for Scarlet as I was amazed to see the price of a small play mat in the shops when I had so much 'scrap' fabric at home.... the second was a surprise for my niece... much the same to Scarlet's quilt... and the third is a little birdy mobile which I will blog about tomorrow! Once I've gathered some twigs!

Here is my little girl on her quilt - love the toy from Aunty Hannah too! x

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Should I Bake Today!?

Whenever there is no chocolate left in the house - it's time to start baking!


Today I can't decide what to bake, perhaps Jam/Coconut Slice... 


I think I'll make scones tomorrow for Mother's Group on Wednesday... 


Some of my favourites are Caramel Slice, Anzac Biscuits, Banana Bread, Banana Cake, Banana Muffins... yes I like banana! and Cranberry/White Choc Chip Cookies...


Then suddenly I remember the kitchen is in shambles! Roast last night didn't get cleaned up! There's my first step!


Back soon with the results to the question - What Should I Bake Today!?





Thursday, September 9, 2010

And then there were three...

So I've pondered for 7 weeks now what life was like before Scarlet... and I cannot come up with any real answers. We are now three!

Life as a Mummy is markedly different to teaching a classroom full of children.

Firstly, I never had to change any nappies at school - although I was far more grossed out by the picking of noses or grotty hands and faces!
Secondly, the children in my class had to stick to my timetable - I'm running by Scarlet's clock a lot of the time!
And finally - although there are many more reasons life is different... I am happy with a lack of sleep, content with a groundhog day style of life and excited to see my little girl grow and change each day!

So why a blog?

Well, it seems as baby sleeps Mummy has a little time on her hands... and is quite restless for something to do!

So it's time to bring out the things that I love... writing, sewing, cooking and teaching.

Let's see where that takes me!