Tag Archives: Awesome

Family Vacay, Anyone?

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So. After the last time I invited y’all over to spend some time at my holiday house, I decided to make a few changes. I really enjoyed everyones company, but I gotta admit, I really got sick of hearing a certain scratchy voice call out ‘Pauliieeeeeeeeeeeee!’ constantly. Wouldn’t have been so bad, except it was punctuated with a sickly sweet ‘Maa-arrrrrrrrrkkkk!’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping my leaf house. But next time there is a get together, I will be hosting at my palm house instead.

It's shaped like a palm leaf so it matches my other place. I'm clever like that.

That way everyone can have their own space.

Don’t worry, I have shark nets.

And I still have the Help.

He knows how to cook, this one. So I’m keeping him.

My villa is the one furthest out on the water, cos I need my privacy.

Everyone has their own spa bath, I got real sick of sharing last time.

And their own lounge too, since SOME people don’t like playing the All-In portion of pictionary. They can go to their own lounge and be lame.

And before you start asking, yes, there is a TV in that cupboard there, for anyone who might freak if they don’t watch Spicks & Specks.

You guys are allowed to come to my villa for sunset drinks on the balcony. But then you have to leave.

I will admit, though, sometimes I get a bit over the whole sun/sand/salt thing. Mucks up my hair. Thats when I cruise back to my forest villa. It’s actually where the help stay, but cos I’m pretty grounded and a totally awesome boss n stuffs, I don’t mind slumming it with them every now n then. But they still hafta deliver me cocktails.

See that fresh water in that pool there? Don’t splash, that shit don’t just fall from the sky you know. If you keep splashing you’re gonna hafta bring a bottle of replacement water with you when you arrive.

And since there is only so much I can handle of you guys fawning over me and carrying on about how much ya love me n stuffs (just trying to scam your way into my will, I’m sure of it), I have this restaurant sorted out so we don’t have to share meal times n stuff.

Hey look dad, a boat!

This chick’s job is just to stick fresh flowers in the water of whatever villa I happen to be on my way to.

I think these chicks might be twins or something, I dunno hey. I don’t pay them to chat.

In fact, this is starting to sound more and more like my kind of family vacay!

Black Forest Trifle Recipe

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Black forest trifle

The actual finished product

This is best made at least a day in advance, to give the flavours time to strengthen/mould/mix/whatever you wanna call it. The chocolate pudding needs 4 hours to set, so keep this in mind when arranging your timeline.

This will feed anywhere from 10-12 people, maybe even more if you have less piggy servings than I do.

Ingredients:

1 large chocolate roly-poly log (you could use chocolate cake; instead of slicing it, cube it and throw into the base of the dish rather than layering up the sides)

1 680g jar of morello cherries in syrup, pitted

1 480g can of cherries in syrup, pitted

1 package of instant chocolate pudding (I used Cottee’s)

1 Tbspn icing sugar

1 large tub of thickened cream

1 small block of dark chocolate

A handful of fresh cherries, to decorate

Optional: some liqueur to make an adults only version (traditionally in Black Forest cake, Kirsch is used), enough to taste

Method:

Make up chocolate pudding according to packet directions. Put in fridge to set for 4 hours.

Place half the block of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted, and dip the fresh cherries in, using their stems. Place on some baking paper and set aside to cool and set.

Slice the roly-poly log into approx 1 cm slices, and line the base and up the sides of your serving dish.

Drain the cherries and reserve approx. ¼ c of syrup. Mix the liqueur with the syrup, if using. Sprinkle the syrup over the roly-poly slices on the base and sides. Place the cherries in the base of the dish.

Top the cherries evenly with the prepared chocolate pudding, and smooth.

Whip the cream with the icing sugar, and smooth over the top of the pudding.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. This step is not necessary, but helps the flavors develop.

Lightly grate the chocolate bar over the top of the trifle, and decorate with the chocolate dipped cherries.

Serve and enjoy!

* Note – I used an enormous, deep fruit bowl for this, and it filled the entire bowl.

I was not able to take a picture of the one I made for christmas that showed the insides, but rest assured it is a big hot mess of cherries, cream, cake and pudding. yum.  I kindly made you a picture, though. Cos I’m pretty awesome and talented like that, yeah.

An artists rendering, a cross-section of the finished product

Christmas Snaps

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Christmas Pretties

 

Well Christmas has come and gone again, leaving scraps of wrapping paper, metal twisty ties, and cookie crumbs everywhere. Rather than write a post, I’m just going to dump a whole heap of photos..

 

Oof in the ball-pit he got for his birthday

 

The kitchen during my 4-day baking blitz

Once again, I went mental with the christmas cookies, and left it all up to the last minute.

Christmassy 'Whatever Floats Your Boat' Brownies, with Cherries floating this articular boat

I also made Chocolate Brownies and handed them out with the cookies. I thought the decorations were a cute, random, last minute idea.

Dipping fresh cherries in milk chocolate... yummmmm

I made some Chocolate dipped cherries to decorate the Black Forest Trifle I was making.

 

Making Gingerbread Men

 

 

 

The Kitchen after baking about a billion different things

I think I did about 40 loads of dishes during the baking blitz.

The Gingerbread dough resting in the fridge overnight, it was too sticky to use straight away

 

Cutting out dozens of little men made of ginger

 

White Chocolate & Macadamia Shortbread Trees, dipped in more White Chocolate and decorated with cachous

 

K's X-Mas present from Jo

My friend Jo popped up for a visit on Christmas Eve.

I almost told her not to because I had so much to do, but then decided her daughter could help me decorate the baked goods.

The finished cookie jar gifts

Jo decorated the jars for me while I made dinner – Vege Sausages, Potato Bake, Peas and Corn, with lots of butter, salt, pepper, and bbq sauce!

 

The white-milk choc marble tart I made for Christmas Eve dessert

Since I actually had some ingredients left over, Tyrin (Jo’s daughter) helped me make this tart for dessert.

 

I don't know what I would have done without Jo!

Jo wrapped all my presents for me while I wigged out in the kitchen, trying to finish all my baking, cooking dinner, dessert, feeding the kids, bathing them, putting them to bed and cleaning the house. Without her help I probably would have still been up at 3am trying to wrap presents.

 

Finally, everything finished, and it's only 1am!!

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for…

 

The boys waking up to their stockings

 

M teaching K to drive

 

A small portion of the loot

After we finished opening presents, I had intended to make pancakes for the boys for breakfast, but (wouldn’t you know it), my stove top blew up or shorted or something… I had just finished making the batter, too! I tried ‘bush mechanic’ some pancakes by using the electric wok, but it sooooo did not work out. It was a good thing that Jo had given K a banana for his gift, because he ended up having that for breakfast, while M had cookies!

Dhara

By the time we got to Ferny, the pizza production was well underway, the house was covered in rubbish, and everyone was in a good mood.

 

Waiting for yummy pizza

 

Paul the Pizza Man (close relly of Con the Fruiterer)

Paul cooked some fabulous pizza’s, with lovely, fluffy bases. Special shout out to Mark for rolling the bases out using a jar of Capers, since no-one seemed to realise that the rolling pin was missing, until the critical moment.

P & Boy

P just made good friends with the silver chicken.

And to finish it all off, Black Forest Trifle for dessert..

 

I was a little nervous about making the trifle, since I have never made black forest trifle, and I was not really following a recipe, but made it up. It turned out really nicely though, and made a huge bowl. We finished off on Boxing Day. And don’t worry, recipes will come, I promise!

 

So how was your Christmas? What did you eat?

 

 

Kodak Moments

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Well you are never going to believe this. I went to Robina yesterday to see if the Sony Center would be able to repair my camera. I bought it with 2 batteries, and 1 of them stopped charging. I plugged the charger in to different outlets around the house, and concluded that the problem definitely lay with the battery itself.

The young salesboy plugged the battery in and the light came on. I told him yeah but if you wait a few moments the light will turn back off again, it stops charging.’ He tried the other battery and the same thing happened. I was a little surprised, thinking ‘oh gosh I hope the other one hasn’t gone caput.’ Then he plugged the dead battery into the camera and turned it on.

‘The battery won’t charge cos it’s already full.’ He says to me.

Long story short, I felt like the biggest tool walking out of there.

But at least I have some pictures for y’all, finally!

1st, 2nd, 3rd!!

Bro made him a 'racing car'

K's birthday spot

Silly baby, wouldn't sit still for a christmas photo!

Christmas tree at night, stupid pic won't rotate!!

Birthdays, Beaches, Boardgames, and Bikes

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Well it’s been a few weeks since the last update, and there has been a heap on to report about. Unfortunately though, my camera battery has stopped charging, so I have been unable to take any pictures to show, which has played a fair part in my not bothering to post.

M’s class had a Christmas party to celebrate the end of the year, and we made some gingerbread men and heated up some cheese and spinach triangles to send in. He came home very happy and excited about the party food and activities they did. And because I’m a selfish mummy I can’t remember any of them and couldn’t be bothered asking M because that means he will stop doing whatever has him so entertained and quiet, and will come and bother me instead. Unfortunately, the camera won’t work, so no pictures of the gingerbread men.

M is on school holidays now, and by 1.13 on Saturday, around lunchtime, I was already ready to strangle him. Can you say ‘Attitude’? The 2 boys who live near us and play with M every day, both went away on holidays with their families for Christmas, so M is going to be driving me crazy for the next 3 weeks, when one of them gets back. Lucky boy, he has gone to Fiji with his family. I was hoping maybe they would take M too, haha.

The other day the 3 of us went over to D’s house to play Cranium with Tanah, D’s son. He is M’s age and in the same school and grade so they play together a lot. We also made some gingerbread men for D and her kids, and wrote their names on them as well as decorated them with buttons and socks and smiley faces and hair. After we played, Tanah had a Muay Thai class to go to, and D offered to take M along and have a tester lesson. Within the hour there were photos of the boys doing sit ups, push-ups, kicks, blocks and more, on Facebook. M had a great time and wants to join the gym now, but at $15 a lesson or $100 a month for a membership, I think it’s a bit steep for me. I will re-assess after New Year though.

Like most other families, we put our tree up on December 1st. We bought a new tree, a little bigger than our last one. For some reason, the last tree we had was a white one, 1.2 meters high, and I hated it. We decided to replace it this year with a regular green one, and are very happy with it. It’ is now dripping in baubles which have come from mum’s collection, almost more than the tree can handle. Sadly though, I can’t find my little angel ornaments, which I thought she had.  Again, the stupid camera won’t work so no pictures. L

Yesterday was a special day for us, as K turned 1!! We had a nice, low-key day planned out, depending on certain mini-people and their moods. The weather lately has been far from summery, with the last week raining solidly. The last few days have started to clear slightly, with warmish, cloudy mornings and rainy afternoons. We got up early in the morning and let K play with the balloons I had blown up the night before, and left in the lounge room for him to discover, while I did a quick 1-2 on the house. We got our beach gear together and headed to the creek, hoping we would manage a few hours before the weather turned on us. Stupid camera wouldn’t work, so no pictures. L

We splashed about in the warm water for a few hours, even though it was very overcast, and menacing grey clouds were moving closer and closer. A few days ago we met up with D at a new spot along the creek we hadn’t been before. There is a little shop right on the water, hidden from the road. There are a few tables and chairs, built all crazy, into the trees which overhang the water. There are 3 swings tied into the trees where the kids can launch themselves into the water, and the shop sells everything from hot chips, pies and coffee, to sunscreen, bread and sunnies. They also hire out paddleboards and kayaks. Maybe one day…. Hmmm… We decided to go back to that spot again, and M had a few swings, while K enjoyed floating about in the new floatie he got for his birthday, and watching his brother from the water. We were just about to order some chips for lunch when the first heavy drops started plopping down on us and in the water, so instead we gathered our gear up and quickly headed home. Stooooooopid camera. No pictures. L

When we got home K was fast asleep, mouth open and snoring, so I popped him down for his nap, M disappeared with his 2 friends, and I got started making K’s birthday cake. I found a fairly decent, easy chocolate cake recipe, and while that was in the oven I made a chocolate ganache. I was unsure if I wanted to do a chocolate cake with chocolate icing or a plain butter cake with buttercream frosting, but in the end I decided since it was his birthday, I may as well make something really nice. The ganache sat on the kitchen bench cooling and setting, next to the cake that was cooling down, when K woke up. I got him and M a little lunch and then got them both cleaned up and we went to the Pines to get them a Santa photo. I have never taken them to get one before, and this year I thought I might make it a little tradition on K’s birthday. M hated Santa when I took him as a toddler. He was more interested in standing and sussing out Santa from a distance. Sta-hooopid camera. L

After we got back from the photo (which might I add, I was sort of disappointed in, but I guess for the price of a Santa photo you can’t really expect them to sit there and take 50 pictures, waiting for the silly birthday boy to smile or even look at the camera), I iced the cake and decorated the top with sliced strawberries and some sprinkles shaped like love hearts, and plopped a big 1 candle in the middle (stupid dumb camera!! L). I had bought party hats for us to wear but I actually forgot to pull them out; silly me. We sang Happy Birthday, and enjoyed a slice of cake, watching K spread it all over his face, hair, in his eyes, in his ears, and all over his shirt (cameraaaaa! L).

After K’s first hit of sugar, M disappeared with his friends again while I tried to keep the sugared up, rowdy, newly crawling monster baby under control. Unfortunately the rain had set in so no outside play, instead we played with his new ball pit, and romped about in the balloons. He was being such a spaz, laughing randomly at his foot, then throwing all the balls from the pit all over the house, then just making heaps and heaps of noise. We finished off the day with his favorite dinner of pesto pasta, and then a biiiiig, loooong bath to clean all the sand, chocolate and basil out of his cracks and holes. After I finally got K then M to bed, I set up camp on the lounge with the rest of the cake (hahahahaha, it’s good to be big and growned up), the remote, and a glass of milk, and didn’t move until I rolled my ass into bed.

It was a really nice day though, weather and all, and I also enjoyed the chance to finally wear the new swimsuit I bought myself, the first new swimsuit I have gotten in 4 years. Quite exciting! I bought them last week and naturally it rained for a week solid after I did. I am also forcing myself to wear the bikinis without any board shorts or a tee to hide in (thank god the camera doesn’t work hahaha), thinking that this may subliminally encourage me to continue with the healthy eating/exercising I am trying to make part of my routine. Not that I don’t eat healthy most of the time, it’s just that this time of year is very hard, with 6 packs of fruity mince pies on sale at Coles for $1.30, until the end of Christmas. So cheap and so yummy warmed up with a little ice cream or cream. Plus all the other yummy bits and pieces that come with Christmas. But in an act of good faith, I have finally moved my exercise bike from the garage into the lounge room, which I find very encouraging and useful. I end up using it much more regularly when I get the boys to bed, if it’s sitting right there. I can ride for 20-30 mins and watch TV, and for some reason this boosts me to get on it to start with.

Sooooo what else has been happening… finally finished my Christmas shopping, and was feeling very pleased that I wouldn’t have to brave the madhouse that is the week before Christmas at any mall across the western hemisphere, when the camera decided to shit itself. Now I need to get to the Sony Center before Boxing Day, to see if they will repair it, if it’s still under warranty. I bought it on Boxing Day last year, so I’m hoping it should be ok. If I get my ass in gear and get to Robina.

This Friday there is a free movie playing along the beachfront, I was thinking of taking the boys but I don’t think K will enjoy it too much, plus there have been heaps of mozzies out after the rain and they really really love his fresh, young, 52 week old blood. They smash him. He gets really bad bites too, they go all hard and red and welt up, and we have had some issues with them over the last few weeks. Plus the weather might not be very friendly towards a movie under the stars night. We’ll see… PLUS the movie is High School Musical (which M actually loves). Sounding less and less likely.

Anyway that’s about it for now; I have a whiney baby trying to climb up my legs. I will hopefully have a working camera and lots of pictures for my next installment.

 

Time to celebrate!! Sorta kinda not really but you know…

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It is official, I and my humble little bloggy blogness has had over 1000 views. Wowzers. Thats kind of cray-cray.

When I started to  write this, back in May of this year, I thought it would mostly be family checking it out, with the odd random person coming across it by accident. Well, it appears not. Apparently I talk about the kind of stuff people Google. And then Google in all it’s kindness and generosity says to them ‘Hey, I know a someone who knows a something about the thingy you’re asking me about. Why don’t you go check her out. Cos she knows stuff, and clearly she is the shiznit.’ And so they mosey on over and check out the picture of moving boxes, or my rock hand, and sometimes even my off-the-hook hair braids pics. And it is those people, not you, family, but the mosey-ers, who have pushed me up, up and beyond the 1000 mark. Like, seriously. For real. Not joking. Over a thousand.

And just in case any of you random mosey-ers are reading this here celebration post, and blog themselves, and are right this very second thinking to yourself ‘1000, pffft, I did that in my first week’, well you can just shut it. Because this started out as a place for me to vent and complain about most things in my life that irritate me, from an anonymous platform (which I realised as soon as I sent the link to my family was kinda redundant). And it turns out that my rants and raves and occasional picture and recipe are actually kind of interesting to some people. So there.

I do have a place in society. It’s hunched over a Vaio, late at night, when everyone else is asleep and there is nothing better on TV. Lap it up peeps. Cos I am in demand.

 

To celebrate this auspicious event…

(omg my drunken neighbours just fell over something cos I just heard a way loud crash, damn, why does all the interesting stuff happen late at night when everyone is asleep and I can’t share)

… I am going to post this fairly awesome cookie recipe that I came across on a Real Blog. It’s called Fat Mum Slim and is written by a lady in sydney who I have now stolen recipes such as pancakes from, and added them to my pretty cookbook a certain someone made me for christmas a few years back. I should totes take pics of that cookbook, it would make a nice post.

Anyways… They don’t really have a name so I’ll just call them EveryCookies, and I will explain why as I get to the interesting part in the recipe. The recipe made me about 65 cookies, but I did roll them kinda big.

 

Ingredients:

500g butter

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk

5 cups self raising flour (yes thats right, 5 cups)

 

Method:

Cream together the butter, sugar and condensed milk. Now, I have quite a large bowl I use for making batters and dough etc. I recommend you also use a pretty huge one. I also used a wooden spoon and elbow grease to cream. If you can, use a mixer. Or get someone else to do it.

Sift the flour in and mix it really well.

Now for the interesting bit. What makes these EveryCookies? I can hear you asking. Well, this is where you throw in whatever you want to the mix. Since it’s so big, I divided it in to 3 and made some choc chip, some snickerdoodles, and some jam drops. Honestly, use your imagination. Try fruit, nuts or lollies. Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim has some great suggestions.

Now roll small teaspoonfuls into balls, and place on a greased or lined tray.

Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 14 mins or til golden.

I have 2 fairly large cookie trays for baking, and I did 2 batches, so 4 trays all up, approx 16 in each tray.

OK so I have a confession to make… clearly I like to bake a little now and then… and yet somehow I still managed to burn possibly about 30 of my EveryCookies (not that it stopped me from eating them, burnt bottoms and all). I blame it squarely on the baby. But I also suggest you keep an eye on the oven temp and time. You know your own oven, and you should be able to tell if it needs adjusting.

I did take photo’s of the huge mound aka Mt Cookie-vius but its 1.28am and I’m not uploading them now. But if you make them, link me your photos.

Go check out Fat Mum Slim since I found them there!

 

I also wanted to mention the ghost in my house with questionable taste, but that will have to wait til next time…

 

Nighty night everybody. Happy 1000th!!