Saturday, June 30, 2007

Who Knew...

Posted by MANDI at 8:11 PM 6 comments
that eating lunch could be so exhausting?

I was vacuuming while Offspring #2 was eating her lunch. It's the only time I can really do it - she needs to be containted in her high chair otherwise she tries to help. That or she treats the vacuum like a horse and tries to ride it all over the house. I knew she was really tired and was racing to get the last bit done before putting her down for a nap.

I guess I took too long!

In cooking news, I had another go at making Pesto Loaf. We really enjoyed the last one so this time I tried it with a basil pesto (storebought). I didn't roll this one quite at tightly and it turned out great. I think I like the basil pesto version a little bit better than the sundried tomato one.

We had leftovers for lunch today and everyone loved it. It's really easy - the breadmaker does most of the work - and so tasty. If you try it I'd love to know what you think.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Belated Birthday Post

Posted by MANDI at 8:20 PM 5 comments

I'm very late with the post about Offspring #1's 5th birthday. My excuse, and yes I think it's valid, is that my camera has been playing up so most of the pics were on Grandpa's camera. Hubby, in all his wisdom, decided to load the photos onto his laptop rather than my computer and then left it at work for two day so I couldn't retrieve any of the photos. In fact, until today I hadn't even seen any of them. After much begging, an a few un-subtle reminders, he brought his laptop home today and I finally managed to get the birthday pics. So....

It was #1's birthday on Sunday and we had a fantastic day. He had a Treasure Island party with a few little friends from school, some family friends and, of course, Grandma and Grandpa.

The kids all dressed up as pirates or mermaids and we decorated the backyard and played Treasure Island type games.

They played 'Walk the Plank', pass-the-parcel, a pirate version of musical statues where they had to freeze like a pirate when the music stopped, and had a treasure hunt too. Add in some yummy food and a birthday cake and we had a fun party happening.

#1 received lots of fabulous presents and hasn't stopped playing with them all week. I don't think he would be able to pick a favourite at this point as he loves them all so much.

Now we have to get busy with the thankyou notes!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Has Anyone Seen

Posted by MANDI at 12:31 PM 2 comments
the purple Teletubbie?

Because, I think we found it!

I'll be back tomorrow with photos and details of #1's birthday and party. We had a great day and he had a fun party. The cake was a little disappointing but, in all, a lovely day.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Posted by MANDI at 1:13 PM 2 comments
A super quick post today. We have so much on this weekend that it's not even funny anymore! Soccer this morning, school fete this afternoon (I had to make stuff for the cake stall), Hubby has invited a friend to dinner tonight then it #1's birthday, and birthday party, tomorrow.
at soccer this morning....
Offspring #1 scored a GOALLLLLLL!!!!!!
Yep, we're proud.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grandma and Grandpa Are Here!

Posted by MANDI at 9:08 PM 0 comments


Can you tell that we are excited? LOL They arrived this afternoon, a day earlier than expected, and are here for about 3 weeks. They drove up and we have their caravan parked in the backyard - it works out nicely because the house is tiny and it gives them a bit of space away from the kids when they need it. Heck, if all else fails I'll hide from the kids in the van!#1 has many plans for their visit, I'm not sure how many we'll fit in but we'll have lots of fun trying.

I am planning lots of yummy things for them to eat; some old, some new. They arrived in time tonight to try a newbie I'd had my eye on. It called for leftover roast lamb so, of course, we had to have a roast last night. The sacrifices I am willing to make are astounding!

Lamb Fritters With Spicy Yoghurt
from Cheap Eats

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup Greek-style yoghurt
1 egg
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
150g piece of pumpkin, grated finely
2 green onions, chopped finely
300g leftover roast lamb, chopped coarsley
vegetable oil, for shallow frying

1. Dry-fry cumin in large frying pan, stirring until fragrant.

2. Combine yoghurt with half the cumin in a small bowl.

3. Combine egg, flour and buttermilk in a large bowl with pumpkin, onion, lamb and remaining cumin; mix well.

4. Heat oil in same pan; shallow fry quarter cups of batter, in batches, until fritters are browned lightly. Drain on absorbent paper, serve with yoghurt.

I should note that I didn't have any green onions so I finely chopped half a brown onion and fried that up then added it to the rest of the ingredients. Everyone else was very complimentary and seemed to quite like these but I wasn't that impressed. I found them kind of rubbery, maybe I overmixed? To be totally honest, I'm kind of annoyed that I 'wasted' the lamb on this. I could have had more roast lamb toasted sandwiches for lunch tomorrow! Oh well, live and learn I guess.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Something Different

Posted by MANDI at 1:09 PM 2 comments
A quick update: yes I managed to remember to buy #1's birthday presents, but as suspected I did forget the shopping list! I had it in my hand then had to grab something else that #1 had forgotten to put in his school bag so put the list down and, very cleverly, left it sitting on the kitchen bench. Luckily I remembered most of what I needed and I did find what I was looking for gift-wise.

As you know the 'cold' weather we have been having has been a nice excuse to cook some yummy dinners that we don't normally bother with up here. I was making out my menu-plan last week and, running low on inspiration, I asked #1 if there was anything he wanted me to make. His usual requests are spaghetti bolognaise or tuna casserole and I wasn't let down this time. He did however note that we had just had spag bol a couple of nights before so I probably wouldn't make it again. Then he had an idea. Would I consider making 'Beja-table soup'? I duly considered his suggestion and agreed that yes, vegetable soup could be added to the menu-plan. Soccer training finishes right at dinner time, and it is breezy and rather nippy down at the oval, so that seemed a logical day to enjoy vegie soup and some freshly baked bread. Then I couldn't decide what bread to bake. I finally decided not to make bread at all, and it was delicious.

from The Bread Machine Book by Marjie Lambert

250ml water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
500g bread flour
2 teaspoons yeast
2 or 3 minced garlic cloves (didn't use)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary (used mixed dried herbs instead)
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

1. Put first five ingredients into breadmaker tin, in order suggested by your bread maker instruction. Set for dough and press start
2. 10 minutes before the dough cycle finishes, preheat oven to 200C. Lightly sprinkle cornmeal (I use regular flour) on a baking sheet.
3. Remove dough from bread machine and punch down. Let dough rest about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a round, about 1 cm thick. Place dough on baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with garlic, rosemary and coarse salt, then lightly press them into the dough. With your fingertips, pole shallow indentations all over the top of the round. Pour the remaining olive oil over the top, letting it pool in the indentations. Sprinkle with Parmesan over the top.

4. Bake bread about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

The foccacio needed a couple more minutes in the oven but we really needed to leave for soccer training so I turned the oven off and left it in there to finish cooking and keep warm. It worked a treat and, I think, was the best one I have made.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mummy-Brain Strikes Again!

Posted by MANDI at 9:49 PM 0 comments
Offspring #1 turns 5 on Sunday. I have decided on a theme, done the party invitations, organised most of the party, bought a bunch of goodies and made the shopping list for the rest, planned the games and prizes, and given lots of people ideas for gifts for #1. It wasn't until I was speaking to Mum-in-law a couple of nights ago that I suddenly remembered... I needed to buy the poor child a birthday present!
In itself, that wouldn't be so bad. Except that then it flew out of my mind and I didn't remember again until dinner tonight. When I was making a list of the extra party bits and pieces that I need to pick up at the shops tomorrow. When Hubby asked me if I'd bought 'the present' yet. When I slapped myself on the forehead and let out a big painful "Doh!". Then I added 'buy #1's present' to my shopping list!
I thought I had at least a couple more years (or a couple more kids, and that's not gonna happen) until I started forgetting the birthdays of my own offspring.
So now I just have to remember to take my list when I hit the shops in the morning! Hmmm... how hard can it be?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Remember How I Said...

Posted by MANDI at 8:40 PM 2 comments

that Offspring #2 was being really fussy with what foods she would eat at the moment?

It seems she has a new favourite food:

We had a BBQ for dinner tonight. Nothing fancy, just steak for the grown-ups, sausages for the kids, a potato bake, some vegies, gravy and corn on the cob cooked on the barbie. I just smear some butter over each corn cob then wrap them individually in foil and we cook them on top of the barbie-plate while the meat is cooking. (If you are using whole cobs you can peel back the leaves, smear the butter around then push the leaves back into place and cook them straight on the barbie like that).

Friday, June 15, 2007

And More Cool Weather Recipes

Posted by MANDI at 1:38 PM 1 comments
What a hectic day! I'm off out to a friend's baby shower tonight so I'm posting in between scrapbooking this morning, about a trillion chores and errands and before I race off to pick up Offspring #1 from school which is before we hit soccer training at 5pm and in the middle I need to organise dinner for tonight.

I made this one for dinner the other night and it was a resounding success with all. #2 is being particularly fussy at the moment, what with her teeth and the still lingering cold, and appears to only enjoy mashed potatoes at the moment but even she polished this one off. I split a pie between the kids and served them with some steamed vegies and, you guessed it, mashed potato!

Chicken Leek and Mushroom Pies
from Cheap Eats

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
2 rindless bacon rashers (strips), thinly sliced
200g mushrooms, halved (I sliced them to hide them from the kids!)
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup chicken stock (I had some beef stock open so used that)
1/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken (I used three chicken breasts and this was perfect)
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Heat oil in frypan; cook leek, bacon and mushrooms, stirring, until leek softens. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and bubbles. Gradually add stock; cook, stirring until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in cream, mustard and chicken.
3. Divide mixture among four 1-cup (250ml) ovenproof dishes; top each with a pastry quarter. Bake, uncovered, in oven, about 20 minutes or until browned.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Making The Most Of The Cooler Weather.

Posted by MANDI at 9:43 PM 2 comments

So, technically it's not really cool and it's nowhere near cold. I mean, most days are about 28C and the nights are around 14 or 15C so, even I - who hates the cold, has to admit that it's not cold. But... and it's a fairly big but, it is a heap cooler than it was and the nights get sort of chilly. The kids are in winter pj's, mostly because they won't keep their blankets on and they get too cold otherwise and then they wake me up all night long. My least favourite night-time cry at the moment is Offspring #1 calling, "Mum, can you come and pull my blankets up? I'm cold." Since I know for a fact that he has two arms and I well remember growing those arms (the used to poke me in the ribs often enough!) I think he should pull the blankets up himself. He, however, has other ideas.

The days are gorgeous. Cool enough to be outside at any time but warm enough to still be in shorts and shirts, although I am wearing my jeans as often as I can just because I can. It is quite cool doing the school run so I'm running through #2's many pairs of jeans too. Even if she changes into shorts by mid-morning at least some of her warmer clothes are getting a wearing. It is kind of funny at the shops at the moment as we are into Tourist Season (yep, it has capitals!) and the grey nomads are arriving in force. For the uninitiated, the grey nomads are the retired couples who travel around with their caravans chasing the sun and warm weather. They aren't hard to pick in town - those of us who live here are rugged up in the mornings (and so are our kids) and exchanging "isn't it chilly today?" comments while the tourists are running around in shorts and tank-tops exclaiming over the heat LOL.

Anyway, I'm making the most of the drop in temperature and cooking up some yummy meals that I either haven't made since before the move or haven't been willing to have the oven on for. The other day I made one of our very favourites, Lamb Shank Casserole. Not so long ago I thought lamb shanks were the bones you bought cheaply and gave to the dog. I couldn't understand why anyone would eat 'dog meat'. Boy, was I wrong! Hubby says this one ranks in the top 10 of my meals - I didn't realise he had a top 10 so now I'm bugging him to find out what the rest are! This is a recipe for 2 that has hugely generous serves and therefore feeds the two adults and two small children in my family, along with a large dollop of mashed potato, rather nicely. I have doubled and trebled it at various times and it works out every time. Just cook it for a bit longer or until the meat is quite literally falling off the bone. This one benefits from long slow cooking and is well worth the wait.

Lamb Shank Casserole
Cooking for Two

2 (about 500g) lamb shanks
plain flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 stick celery, chopped
1 large (about 150g) parsnip, chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 carrot chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
(I add beans too, about a handful, chopped in half)

Toss shanks in flour, shake away excess. Heat oil in pan, add shanks, cook until browned all over; remove from pan.

Add onion, garlic, celery and parsnip to same pan, cook stirring until onion is soft. Add wine, simmer, stirring, until reduced by half. Return shanks to pan, stir in puree, stock, bay leaf and pepper, simmer, covered for about 1 1/2 hours. Add carrot and beans and simmer for about another 30 minutes until vegetables are tender and lamb is tender and falling away from the bone. Discard bay leaf, stir in parsley and serve with creamy mashed potatoes (I added a handful of grated cheese to mine and they were very well received!)

Monday, June 11, 2007

An Easy Weekend Dinner

Posted by MANDI at 9:25 PM 2 comments
I whipped this up for dinner over the weekend. It was quick, simple and everyone dug in. That makes it a winner in my book. As you can see from my notes, I adapted the recipe somewhat based on what I had at hand.

Chicken Boscaiola
from The Ugly Binder

1 x 375g packet penne pasta ( I used 300g, and yeah, they are spirals not penne!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bacon rashers (strips), thinly sliced
200g button mushrooms, quartered (thought I had some but... I didn't, so they weren't in there)
2 chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced (I had three so used them all)
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoons dry sherry (oops, used Hubby's good aged port!)
1 x 375ml can evaporated milk (I used the light version)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaved
extra parsley to garnish.

1. Add pasta to a large pan of boiling water; boil, uncovered, until just tender. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a large pan. Add bacon rashers; cook stirring until browned all over. Add button mushrooms. Cook, stirring until tender, remove from pan.
3. Coat chicken in flour, shake away excess. Heat remaining oil in pan. Add chicken, in batches; cook until browned all over and cooked through.
4. Add bacon and mushrooms to chicken in pan, stir in combined sherry and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring for a few minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.
5. Add chicken mixture and parsley to pasta; toss until combined.
6. Serve pasta garnished with fresh parsley.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Aussie Tradition

Posted by MANDI at 7:38 PM 3 comments
I have a surplus of mince (ground beef) in the freezer and was looking for something vaguely interesting to do with it for dinner when I stumbled over this recipe. I'm not a big fan of the Aussie Meat Pie (yeah, I'm a heathen, I know. I don't like Vegemite that much either!) but figured that a home-made one had to be much better than a gristly, fatty and horribly salty store-bought one so thought I'd give it a try. This was a winner with all at the table. Even Offspring #2 gave me the 'thumbs up' and a big food-filled grin!

Meat Pie
from Tasty Mince Recipes

Shortcrust Pastry
3/4 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
90g butter, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons iced water

1 tablespoon oil
2 rashers (strips) bacon (I used ham, no bacon in the fridge)
1 small onion, finely chopped
750g beef mince (ground beef)
2 tablespoons plain flour, extra
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder (didn't have any so I used a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, could have added more)

Puff Pastry Topping
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. To make shortcrust pastry:
Sift flours into a large mixing bowl, add butter. Using fingertips, rub butter into flour for 2 minutes or until the mixture is a fine crumbly texture. Add almost all the water, mix to a firm dough, adding more water if necessary. Turn onto lightly floured surface, knead 1 minute or until smooth. Store, covered with plastic wrap, in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll pastry between two sheets of plastic wrap until it is large enough to cover base and sides of a 24cm pie plate.

2. To cook Filling:
Preheat oven to moderately hot, 210C. Heat oil in heavy-based pan; add bacon and onion. Stir fry over medium heat for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add beef, stir-fry over high heat for 4 minutes or until well-browned and liquid has evaporated. Use a fork to break up lumps as mince cooks. Add flour, stir over heat 1 minute.

3. Add stock, tomato paste, sauce, herbs and mustard; bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cook uncovered for 8 minutes or until almost all liquid has evaporated, stir occasionally, cool. Spoon into pasty shell.

4. To make puff pastry topping:
Brush edge of pie shell with egg, cover pie with puff pastry sheet, trim, press to seal. Make cuts around edge, cutting all the way through. Brush all over with egg. Use any puff pastry trimmings to make leaf shapes (I had a tiny heart cutter so used that instead) to place on top, if desired. ake four cuts around top of pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for 14 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate (180C) and bake a further 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Friday, June 8, 2007

About Me

Posted by MANDI at 11:32 AM 5 comments
A friend sent me this in an email. I have already done a couple of similar ones in the last couple of weeks and driven my friends silly with them so I thought I'd share it here instead (where most of those same friends will read it anyway!).
1. Were you named after anyone? Nope. My parents chose my name because no-one else in the family had it.
2. When was the last time you cried? Wednesday night - McLeod's Daughter's on tv.
3. Do you like your handwriting? usually, but not when I want to journal for scrapbookinging
4. What is your favourite lunch meat? salami
5. Do you have kids? yep - Offspring #1 and Offspring #2
6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? yep, except when I'm pmt-ing!
7. Do you use sarcasm? umm... yep!
8. Do you still have your tonsils? yep
9. Would you bungee jump? Before I had kids I always wanted to but not anymore. I gave birth and turned into a big chicken. I think I suddenly became aware of my mortality and it was a rude shock.
10. What is your favourite cereal? breakfast? uuurrrrkkk - I don't eat breakfast very often (morning tea seems a much nicer way to start the food intake) and really don't do cereal. I suppose muesli if I have to pick something.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not usually
12. Do you think you are strong? Physically? No. Mentally/Emotionally? Not really, just really really stubborn which kind of ends up looking the same but is quite different.
13. What is your favourite ice cream? Vanilla or choc-mint
14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Smile, eyes
15. Red or pink? pink
16. What is the least favourite thing about yourself? Impatience and quick temper
17. Who do you miss the most? from home -everyone! from here - Donna and Jodi AKA the traitors who left town LOL. From my life - my Nan.
18. What colour pants and shoes are you wearing? khaki pants, no shoes (but I did have black ones on earlier)
19. What was the last thing you ate? A bite of apple from Offspring #2's lunch. And I'm drinking coke in an attempt to soothe my sore throat.
20. What are you listening to right now? The radio, and Offspring #2 rattling around in her cot as she is settling into her nap.
21. If you were a rayon, what colour would you be? Pink. Always pink!
22. Favourite smells? I've had a blocked nose since Monday so pretty much any smell would be good right now.
23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Hubby
24. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Lots (Thanks Jodi!)
25. Favourite sports to watch? #1's soccer games
26. Hair colour? red, almost all the other colours have gone now so it's plain and boring and almost totally natural. It is several years since that happened!
27. Eye colour? blue
28. Do you wear contacts? no
29. Favourite food? Roast lamb, chocolate
30. Scary movies or happy endings? Oooohhh, hard question. I love 'em both.
31. Last movie you watched? Two Weeks Notice (Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant) on DVD last week while I was doing the ironing.
32. What colour shirt are you wearing? black
33. Summer or winter? At home - summer. Up here - winter. We're 8 days into winter and it's about 29 degrees (C) and gorgeous. The nights are almost cool but were still wearing shorts and t-shirts inside, you just need a pullover if you are outside.
34. Hugs or kisses? Bit of both
35. Favourite dessert? Cheesecake
36. What book are you reading now? Just finished The Boleyn Inheritance about Henry VIII's fourth wife, Katherine Howard.
37. What is on your mouse pad? An ad for Retravision (an appliance store) it was a freebie when we bought the computer several years and a hundred upgrades ago.
38. What did you watch on tv last night? How I Met Your Mother and The Amazing Race: All Stars (Oooohhh, I hate Sharla and Mirna!!)
39. Favourite sound? baby chuckles, little kids belly laughing and Hubby cracking up at stuff that I tell him. And wind chimes.
40. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Umm... Elvis. Sorry.
41. What is the farthest you have been from home? Not very far at all really. Just to Queensland.
I thought about tagging some other bloggers with this one but decided not to. If you want to give it a go, cut and paste at will!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I'm Sick

Posted by MANDI at 1:13 PM 3 comments
Too much sneezing, coughing and general feelings of urkiness to even consider cooking, scrapping or taking photos of anything. I'll be back in a couple of days when I'm feeling better.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Now I Have It

Posted by MANDI at 9:40 PM 5 comments

Yep, the small snotty one (AKA Offspring #2) has decided to pass her horrible cold onto me - it's understandable that I ended up with it as she hasn't let go of me for more than about 5 minutes over the last two days. I'm feeling pretty rotten right now but we had people to dinner so I needed to cook something decent. We had Coriander Crumbed Lamb Cutlets, always a success, with Potato Bake with some store-bought garlic bread and a delicious salad that our guests brought to the table. For dessert I tried a new cheesecake recipe that I have had my eye on for a while but never seem to get around to. This was my first attempt at a baked cheesecake and I have to say that I liked it, although it did turn out to be a little raspberry-er than I had anticipated. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it too so I guess it will be joining the repertoire of 'guests to dinner' dishes LOL.

Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake
from Australian Table Magazine, April 2007.

Biscuit Base
2 cups coarsely broken plain sweet biscuits
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup cream
75g butter, melted

150g frozen raspberries, thawed
2/3 cup caster sugar
750g cream cheese
2 eggs
grated rind of 1 lemon (left this out)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (put this in)

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. To make biscuit base, use a blender or food processor to process broken biscuits into fine crumbs. Place crumbs, almond meal, cream and melted butter in a bowl and stir until combined. Using fingers, press crumb mixture into a 22cm springform pan to come 5cm up the sides. Chill while making filling.

2. Place raspberries and 2 tablespoon of sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened. Press through a sieve and discard seeds. Set aside to cool.

3. Using an electric mixer with paddle or V-groove beaters, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon rind and juice. Pour into prepared shell.

4. Drop tablespoons of raspberry mixture over filling and swirl lightly with a round-bladed knife or small metal spatula. bake for 30 minutes, until crust is cooked through. Remove from oven, cool, then refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours. Cut and serve.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I'm Here Really

Posted by MANDI at 7:25 PM 7 comments
Sorry for the lack of posts this week - as I said in my last post, it was a crazy week and I'm quite pleased to be at the tail end of it. Hubby arrived back this afternoon to a very tired Mummy, a sick little girl (she has a rotten cold and is teething painfully) and a little boy who just wanted someone to pay some attention to him. What a great welcome home. NOT!

Dinner tonight? Hungry Jacks, again bought up on the plane. This time I managed to grab a photo for evidence (although, as you can see I had made a start on it when I remembered that I really needed to blog). It is looking a little worse for wear after a 2 hour plane trip and then being microwaved but it sure did taste good.

I did do some baking today, in the 5 minutes that Offspring #2 was happily engaged in something that didn't involve snotting all over me, and tried a new cupcake recipe. I have a favourite cupcake recipe that turns out deliciously light and fluffy little cakes but had decided that I at least needed to try a couple of others every so often. The write-up for these was good and they were okay, just a bit denser and cake-ier than I'm used to in cupcakes. That said, I have managed to eat 4 so far, so they aren't too bad! I doubled the recipe and ended up with 20.

All-Purpose Cupcake Batter

from Super Food Ideas, April 2006

Makes 12
60g butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
3/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12 hole patty pan with paper cases.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add vanilla and egg. Beat until well combined.

3. Transfer mixture to a larger bowl and fold in half the flour, followed by half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Stir until batter is smooth.

4. Three-quarters fill each paper case with batter. Smooth surface. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand cakes in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. Ice or dust with icing sugar as desired.


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