Swell 2012 – Staunch Koalas and Beached Whales

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2 days ago I was down at my beautiful creek while the annual Swell sculpture festival was being set up. I had a quick wander and took some pics of the art works that were set up. I really like the festival, it’s in a beautiful place and the sculptures are always really interesting. Here are some pics of a few of my favourite ones. I will probably post more in a few days because some of then you need to view at night, when they light up or become interactive.

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'Wow' viewed from the end of the rocks

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I'm beached az bro!

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some dogs made out of mirrors

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Octopus mail, similar to snail mail but reaches further

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want this in my back yard to sit on

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a staunch koala.. I think this was my favourite!

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no idea but they look cool!

That’s it for now, I will try to put more up after I look at night.

I’m off to the farmers market for some nanas!!

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Finally!!

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Almost one year to the day later, and I finally got on the paddleboard!! You may remember my previous post whinging about the friend who got a paddleboard.. Well this morning after I dropped M off at school, I drive by the beach for a quick squiz. Not a wave in sight, completely flat! On a whim, I took a photo and sent it to my friend, saying it was a perfect day for sup if she wasn’t busy. She wrote me back almost immediately and said great idea! I was stoked, then got my gear together and headed down.
By the time we got down there, the wind had picked up, unfortunately, but I did not let that deter me.
I only had a quick go, but I did do it properly, and most importantly, didn’t fall off!! Yayy!!
There were heaps of jellyfish in the water, boats going past, and a wind that got stronger by the minute. But it was still awesome.
So now I want a paddleboard hahaha!!

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this is a screen shot she took of me

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Kid thinks he can paddleboard!

Nerf guns, pizza and Muhammad Ali

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Yesterday was that dreaded and yet much anticipated day of days – M’s birthday. Enter the stress about presents, desserts, parties and activities. Considering we have a huge vacation coming up in just under two months, and that he has a roomful of toys that are rarely played with, I was unsure what to buy him. He also was booked in to spend time at the Ekka, which is the Brisbane show. So basically I knew he had a load of treats and adventures coming up, and decided to do a low key birthday celebration. Or that’s what I told myself was happening.
So naturally, I decide to bake a load of cupcakes for his class, like last year. But of course last years cupcakes were so decadent and cute, I felt bad sending boring old vanilla, and before I knew it I was planning yet another extravaganza: icecream cupcakes. Once again, the man in my head started in with his shiite but I bravely blocked his crap out, kept calm and carried on!

I went out the easy way with 2 packet mixes, since I had to make around 30.

Icecream cupcakes: 

1 cupcake mix or your own recipe
1 packet of icecream cones (I used small cup shaped ones with flat bottoms)
1 batch of buttercream frosting
Sprinkles, cherries, chopped nuts, whatever you like to deviate your icecream with!

Method:

Preheat oven and place icecream cones into a 12 hole muffin pan. Using the flat bottom ones will make your life easier as they Erroll balance in the tray properly. If you buy a foil bbq tray you can cut holes into it to balance proper cones if you’d like.
Make up your cupcake batter according to packet or recipe instructions.
Pour the batter into icecream cones. Only fill half way or two thirds, remember they will rise.
Bake as usual, according to packet or recipe instructions, and allow to cool.
While cooling make a batch of frosting. Buttercream gives a great soft serve effect when piped on, but glaze will look really good too.
When the cupcakes have cooled, ice according to the style of icing you have made, and decorate with sprinkles, chopped nuts, cherries, whatever.
Enjoy!

I made chocolate, banana, and some chocolate banana, so they looked a bit like the chocolate vanilla soft serve. I really like the dribble from the cupcake running over the edge, it looks just like real icecream.

They were a hit with the class, and the one that counts came home with a big smile on his face.

So what’s with the reference to Nerf guns, Muhammad Ali and pizza in the title, you ask?
Well Mr 9 requested the biggest, baddest Nerf gun I could find:

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And since I’m a glutton for punishment:

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A bullet cartridge with 100 darts.

We finished the day off with dinner at pizza hut for him and 4 friends.

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Oh, and Muhammad Ali? Meet the newest member of the family:

Ali, cos he’s fighter fish, der! Cute huh.
He also scored some boring clothes from his boring mother, some Lego from one mate, some Gelli Baff from tanah and tonk, sparklers and cash from another mate. Not a bad haul.
First thing this morning he was picked up to go to the Ekka, only for a long weekend since he is about to have a month off school said the big mean mum.

And that is that. Another year done and dusted. Can’t believe next year he is double digits. Time for me to buy a walking stick, I think.

And one quick pic of the pork chop to send you off with:

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P.s this recipe counts towards a resolution recipe lol!!

Resolution Recipe – Banana, Choc Chip and Weet-bix Muffins

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Ok guys, here is a new resolutions recipe that is not only reasonably healthy, but pretty tasty too. I was looking for something to cook that I already had most ingredients for, the only thing I had to pick up were the choc chips. The weet-bix adds a weet-bixy flavour, while adding fibre and making them really filling. And they’re really easy!
This is not only good for little kiddies, but the bigger ones too, and perfect for lunchboxes. If you wanted to make it even healthier you could swap the choc chips for sultanas.

Banana, Choc chip & Weet-bix Muffins

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Makes 12

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
4 Weet-Bix
185ml (3/4 cup) milk
2 eggs
80g (4 tbs) margarine
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
2 tbs brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease a 12-hole muffin pan. Mash bananas in a bowl, then crumble in Weet-Bix and stir in the milk.Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and margarine, then add to the banana mixture. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl and add wet ingredients and choc chips.
Stir until just combined, then spoon into muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

When I was finished cooking dinner and busy getting the bath ready for the boys, the house was suspiciously quiet. I found both the boys hiding in the cupboard stuffing their faces with one each! So they must be good.

Where oh where

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Did my rocky road post go? Can you see it? Cos it’s not listed.. And I posted it today, I know I did! Bugger.

Well, until I work it out.. A friend of mine who works in agriculture showed me this picture from a work book he got from a seminar.. Apparently there really is a difference between normal water and holy water, molecularly speaking.

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Rocky Road, Yo!

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So it has been non stop raining all week, just in time for school holidays. Awesome. To compensate for the lack of amazingness occurring due to the weather, M has been bundled off to the farm for a few days, where even though it is raining, there is always something exciting happening. Animals need to be fed, babies are being born, fences need fixing, cows need moving, rain hail or shine.
While he has been away I have been incredibly bored, watching non stop cartoons and eating spaghetti on toast.
This morning we woke up and there was a bit of blue sky peeking out from behind the clouds, so we decided to head down to the shops just to get out of the house. And for some reason, we ended up back at home with all the ingredients for rocky road.

Rocky Road
500g melting chocolate
1/2 cup chopped glace cherries, halved
250g milk coffee biscuits, roughly chopped
2/3 cup of baking marshmallows, halved

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Cook on med for 3 mins, stirring every minute.

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Stir through the biscuits, cherries and marshmallows until well combined.

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Press mixture into a small slice tray that is either greased or lined with baking paper.

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Place in refrigerator for around 2 hours or until set. Slice into small squares.

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Yum yum. Just had to test out a piece of course. I wish I had put in some peanuts, maybe even some coconut. Oh well, next time.

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Had to reblog this amazing discovery, backed up with real live scientific facts and stuff. Makes me look suspiciously at my youngest, wondering what other science stuff he has been withholding from me.

My Mojo is Back!! Resolution Recipes Live On!

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Finally, I have been struck with the desire to cook and create again! It may have something to do with the weekend visit from my sister The Slacker and her family, or maybe something to do with the fact that the creeping hand of the Black Plague has finally left my house, my kiddies, and myself alone! Yay! Whatever the case, i’m just glad is gone.

To celebrate our health being restored, I made a delicious pasta bake for dinner tonight. It was soo good, and definitely going on the keeper list.

Creamy Eggplant Pasta Bake

These are only rough guesstimates for measurements, use your own good judgement with how much you need.

1 package of Penne pasta
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
2 tins of crushed tomatoes
2 very large dollops of ricotta cheese
1 large eggplant, sliced into thick rings
olive oil
salt
sugar
basil
thyme
grated tasty cheese
thickened cooking cream

Grill the eggplant slices until they smell yummy. Highly technical, I know.
Lightly cook the garlic and onion, then add the tins of tomato.
Season with the herbs, salt, and sugar.
Add the ricotta and stir to combine.
Cook the Penne until just before it is ready, otherwise it gets too mushy in the oven.
Drain, then stir the sauce through. Pour the pasta into a large baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the amount of cheese you need to cover the baking dish, and cream.
Place the grilled eggplant rings over the pasta, and spoon the cream and cheese mixture over the top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170c for around half an hour, or until the cheese gets all golden and bubbly.
Serve with garlic bread, a salad, and if you live with grown ups, a glass of red. Milk, if you are at my place.

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Yummy yummy yummy. I ate 2 serves and seriously considered a third. M complained about the eggplant but ate it when I remind him that dessert its only for people who eat all of their dinner. K will eat anything.