Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter...

... and happy 4 days off work. Four days isn't much of a break, you couldn't really call it a holiday, but it's enough time to spend with your family - the one you're born into and the one you choose. I'm very lucky that both my "families" are great, so was wonderful to spend quality time with them this seasonal break. On Friday my bestie was in town for a day (they live in Tassie now), so myself and the other bestie got to catch up with her, have lunch and drink a bit too much alcohol. As I was always taught by my "original" family, when invited to someone's house, bring something to share. So that's what I did, and of course, with Easter flare.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Showering a friend with sweetness

A few weeks ago we through a baby shower for my manager at work. She has been an inspiration to me and many others I work with and we wanted to show her how special she was by throwing a party for her and bub. I've been saving this post until Baby Stalley was born... and we just got the news that he arrived. So a BIG congratulations. We cannot wait to give him cuddles.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oozing with caramel

It's baking time with my little boy again. I asked him on the weekend what we should bake. His first response - CHOCOLATE CAKE! He then got the cookbook we used last time and pointed out the chocolate mudcake we made. Wanting to mix things up slightly, I told him we'd make some chocolate cupcakes instead. Not wanting to be boring, I decided to take them a step further and make a caramel for the centre and frosting. The result was an oozing caramel from the centre and icing of the cupcakes.

I love these afternoons with my little boy. It's a great way for us to do something together and get our hands dirty. He loves to help mix and add things to the bowl, and his favourite part has to be licking the beaters and spoon (and if he can, the bowl) when we're finished!

I did leave a few cupcakes without caramel centres for my sons lunchbox. I didn't want him jumping off the walls at daycare and coming home in a horrid mode (moreso than usual). A success all round!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Going bananas for chocolate

It's confession time again... I'm a hoarder of bananas! I can't help it. My son loves bananas, so each week I buy a bunch for his lunch. I always buy too many though so at the end of the week when the midges are starting to swarm, I pop them in the freezer. Recently I had more frozen bananas in my freezer than food! This week I fixed that by making heaps of banana "stuff". For dessert after my son's dinner, I've been processing a frozen banana with a spoonful of nutella and a few macadamia nuts. The rumours are true, it does resemble and taste like ice cream (so much so that my son believes me when I offer him banana ice cream for dessert). To make this post more like my normal sugar packed editions, I also used the bananas to make a birthday cake for my parents (they are a month apart, but we were slack celebrating Mum's, so combined them this year) - a choc-banana layer cake with choc-chip swiss buttercream. The chocolate cake recipe I used was more of a crumbly cake and the banana cake recipe I used was dense, so if I were to make this again, I'd use the recipe I've posted below, which is a richer chocolate cake. ENJOY!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Patriotism via food

I don't feel like Australians have much patriotism, unless we're at a major sporting event. As a country, we seem to support the underdog more than the over acheiver, we give critism from the sideline and we rarely produce movies that have a strong sense of national pride and achievement. HOWEVER, try to tell us certain foods are not Australian and you have a fight on your hands. We fight more often than not with the New Zealanders, who most notorisouly try to lay claim to the Pavlova - verdict is still out however this Aussie will agrue it's our creation! Other foods we feel are ours include lamingtons, ANZAC cookies, vegemite, pies and ninish tarts. Funny enough though, vegemite is owned by an American company, pies are more likely English and every country seems to have a variation on the ninish tart.

Another item I list under the Australian identity (which also reminds me of childhood) are cornflake cookies. Super easy to make with a sweetness from the sultanas and a crunch from the cornflakes. Give them a go if you've never tried them and feel free to leave me a message below with your childhood "patriotic" foods.