Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Midweek baking... Portuguese Custard Tarts...

A couple nights ago I had a major craving for Portuguese Custard Tarts... Haven't had them in ages, and just so happened to have the ingredients around... I used Jamie Oliver's recipe, freestyled a bit, cheated a bit, but they were goooood!


Not much blogging, have had a week and a half straight of night horrors and my mum is in Vietnam... I am just juggling right now!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday baking... Messy milo balls...

I'm going to be incredibly honest here, though it may sound harsh: since involving both children in my Friday baking, I have found it more stressful then enjoyable... I have thought about it at length and what I have come up with is this, when I am baking for therapy, I am emotionally invested in the process and the outcome... Stress negates the point for me... This week I saw a recipe on Stay At Home Mum http://m.stayathomemum.com.au/occasions/christmas/food/milo-balls/ for milo balls, it occurred to me that maybe if we made something for the kids, in a way that the kids would be more independent and emotionally invested in their outcome, maybe it would change the experience to be less stressful...
So this morning we gave it a go! I zipped up the mixture, set each kid up with their own station and sat in the middle to 'help' while they did the rolling of the balls and covering in coconut... The concept was perfect, it was super messy, but I didn't get stressed about it, because I didn't care so much about the outcome, more just making the process fun for both - can be tricky sometimes with a 2 year age gap! The recipe wasn't great, it said it was really sticky, I didn't count on how sticky! Mace couldn't roll the balls, so he covered them in coconut and ate the mixture, Marley enjoyed it but by the end wanted to watch me to it while she licked her fingers...
So good concept, bad recipe! Will be looking for more independent kid style recipes for our future recipes... Speaking if which, this is the recipe:

1 packet Arrowroot biscuits, crushed
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
3-4 tablespoons Milo
Coconut, for rolling

Crush biscuits until small or fine (this works well in a food processor if you have one!).

Add the milo and condensed milk and mix until well combined.

Roll into balls with your hands and then roll in coconut to coat.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

NOTE: Wash your hands every 2-3 balls as the mixture is VERY sticky

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kings Comics Sydney

Kings Comics
310 Pitt St Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
+61 2 9267 5615

We went on a kid free weekend to Sydney this past weekend, that's why no blogging, still catching up! Hung out with some awesome humans, watched some good football, all in all had a great time.. To me, the best thing about Sydney is Kings Comics! I just love it there...

They have everything, loads of stuff to browse and buy, I did both! We got Marley some cute My Little Ponies, and I got vol 1 and 2 of Faith and Angel - not realising I still haven't read vol 8 of the Buffy comic, so am stuck! The staff are awesome too... If you are geeked out about anything, you should check this spot when you are next in Sydney...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday baking... Peanut butter chocolate chip blondies....

There were a few birthdays this weekend, so even though I am killing it health wise, I baked for everyone else... Because it was a request of one if the birthday girls, they were the peanut butter chocolate chip, which I don't like which worked out well! The kids helped, jeepers it can be full on with both of them... I do think it is important that they both get the baking experience, even though Marley (half) bakes at kinder every Thursday, so I persist...

The kids thought that these were the bomb! Recipe jacked from Two Peas and their Pod, it makes almost double the amount that I like...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, until creamy and combined. Set mixture aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the peanut butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips, reserving the rest for sprinkling on top.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and lightly press them into the batter.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove blondies from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Diamonds... A dance experience...

Cassie's and I went to the GH Friday night to check out the new Boylesque, choreographed by Jason Coleman... It was worth it, amazing but a little short! At the end the drag queen on stage said to get down to the Famous Speigletent to catch Jason's show 'Diamonds'... We decided it was a good idea... Been meaning to get to the Speigeltent for ever!

It was a super warm Monday night, still in the low 30's while we queued, but we got brilliant seats and the show began... It was a danced story of Jason's life, from his youth, which included some hot hot hot superhero dances! To the first woman he dates, his mothers death and his search for a woman that was perfect... His travels around he world, with all sorts of dance, most of it beautiful! Especially the segments jacked from Boylesque! It was funny, touching and kept a smile on your face until the end where he introduces his baby mamma and son... I was telling anyone that would listen to check it out, as it was a two night thing, it felt like the stars aligned to get me and Cassie there, it was awesome...

Pics from the GH, not Diamonds... You should go tonight!!!

Big bed time!

Two weeks ago Mark and I were going about our morning routine while the kids slept... We heard a massive bang! And ran upstairs... Mace had climbed out of his cot, in his sleeping bag!!! And landed on his head! I was horrified, shocked, scared, but the little soldier was fine... The question of 'what kid does this?' plagued me... I had never heard of a kid in a sleeping bag climbing out of a cot, what sort if ridiculous upper body strength does this kid have? I was seriously freaked out!

My plan was to order a bed, but who knew how long that would take? Put him on a mattress, try to make his cot into a day bed? This stuck with me all morning, then it came to me! Marley has a trundle single bed under her bed, so I got in there and moved furniture all around, put his new sheets (I was planning to get him a bed in the next month) on and voila, he had his new big boys bed! The awesome thing about it is that it's not too high off the ground so if he did fall out, it's not a long way down... It is a perfect solution!

I was incredibly nervous that he wouldn't stay in it, Marley was in a big bed for over a month at this age, but she seemed more mature then our lad! In any case he has been awesome, he goes in and stays in, waits for us to get him before getting out in the morning... It's been a dream... I know it might not stay that way, but for right now, I am really happy with the outcome... He is too, he loves his big boys bed, and all of his sleepy pals...

Build A Bear Workshop Party

Things have been crazy this past week, I didn't even get a chance to talk about the birthday party we had for the kids! I am not a fan of home parties, at this point I find it all encompassing being social on big groups of people without the added pressure of having to cater and plan an event... Marley had been asking for a build a bear party for about 8 months, we thought it might be a good option for the kids double party... It works because my mothers group friends all have 2 kids with similar age gaps, so Marley's friends have younger siblings who are all little boys Mace's age...

The party was awesome, you choose your budget, no food allowed, no loot bags required as everyone takes home a bear! The beginning was a bit all over the place, I didn't feel that the hostess had a handle on making sure everyone stuck to the budget, ending up in me going over budget... It wasn't a big deal, I just find money awkward, and saying no even more awkward...

The party went for an hour and fifteen minutes, it was well executed, the kids were all really well behaved and seemed to enjoy their time... The bears are cute as ever, I can see how you could spend much more on a bigger package, but the $35 a head was enough for us! A great success, enjoyed by all! Highly recommended party idea...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Red State...

The hype about Red State was more about Kevin Smiths actions as opposed to the film, but being a Smith fan I wanted to check it... I has no idea what to expect, but it was a surprising horror/social commentary almost... It was interesting the way it went down and I don't want to give anything away, but I think it's a good film and check it if you like 'different' films.. It's no mainstream topic that's for sure...

Chocolate chip cookies...

Friday baking! Mace has figured out what we are doing Friday mornings in the kitchen, and wants to be involved too... So the three of us bake, it's tough, but I think it is important for both kids to get that experience... Today we baked chocolate chip cookies, they were freakishly amazing! Really... You should bake them! Haha, I would go a little bit easier on the sugar next time, and I didn't use walnuts because the kids aren't allergy tested yet...

Chocolate chip cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.