Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Baking.

Well I picked the most stinking hot day to spend baking in the kitchen. Yesterday got up to 30 degrees, with very little breeze. But when you've finally got your baking mojo on, you just gotta roll with it...am I right?!

The Hubsta took the kids out for the afternoon while I got on with the job. I wanted to make little plates of baking to go to my nearest and dearest for Christmas. I also made a Cranberry Cheesecake for Christmas lunch. I sure was stuffed by the end of the day.
Clockwise from the top left.
  • I was inspired by Delissimons christmas cookies. She's a real baking whiz. I love the pohutakawa design. It says Merry NZ Christmas. The Cookies are a Spicy butter biscuit.
  • Red Velvet chocolate brownies (Recipe here)
  • White Tim Tam Truffles inspired by Mrs Cake (Recipe Here)
  • I also made a batch of Russian Fudge something I haven't done since 4th form! (recipe here) I love fudge and am very fussy about how it tastes and so I'm pretty darn proud these turned out perfect.

Later on today comes the fun part. Surprise drop offs with the kids.

If I don't see ya (or read ya ;) ) for a while. Have an awesome Christmas and I look forward to reading the blogs of what we've all be up to these holidays.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Littlest Pet Shop party fun!

My little Miss 6 is now a Miss 7. Where has the time gone. She really wanted a Littlest Pet Shop party and like a good mum I obliged. After the mandatory google research, I managed to pull some enthusiasm together and put a party together for her and 6 friends, and tag along brother.
First Dadda practiced his face painting skills on our two. I thought he did a great job for his first time. It really set the scene for when the girls arrived, as they were keen as to pick a littlest pet to be.


Next we had craft time. Each of the girls was going to get a Little pet to adopt in their goodie bag so we decorated little carry bags for them. The stickers (mainly animal ones) were a big hit. Glitter and glue, they bedazzled those boring wedding favour boxes right up.

Other ideas
We had a game of jumping lily pads. Instead of musical chairs, we made green coloured lily pads which remained on the floor. Girls had great fun with this one.
For the decorations we had orange streamers with purple and white balloons with paw prints on them (the littlest pet shop theme colours)
For food we had hot dogs (American and the ones on a stick). Carrot sticks and dip, Sour worms...and that's about where the theme ended...the usual chips and dip, banana splits, fruit kebab etc.

This was the cake I made. Making birthday cakes has only become a recent thing for me (this is my fourth). I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I amalgamated a couple of ideas I had googled and came up with this one.

Great fun! The girls had a great time. Master 4 had his moments and negotiating master 5 months was a bit tricky but all in all it wasn't too stressful, but I'm pooped now!.


Happy Birthday my little girl xx


Thursday, December 16, 2010

What a sucky time to have a birthday.


7 years ago today we were waiting. After 9 months the anticipation was killing us. What was our first birth going to be like. Is it a boy or a girl. Who will it look like. Will my waters magically drop in the middle of the supermarket. Wouldn't that be so embarrassing! And we waited. The estimated Due date was 15 December...which had been and gone...could be any minute now we told our selves. Well this baby eventually arrived on the 18th December safely into the world and we experienced the miracle of child birth. The miracle is, the mother makes through to tell the story! Hard work alright!

An almost Christmas baby. What a sucky time to have a birthday! I feel sorry for people who have birthdays really in the thick of it...Christmas day, boxing day and the like. Friends are away having their holidays. No one wants to spend extra on presents.
So anyway I feel I can't quite get in to the swing of Christmas baking until after Saturday. A "littlest pet shop party" is on the agenda. The Christmas tree will disappear for the day and balloons and streamers will appear instead. I'll post some pics after the big day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

O holy night

Wish I could muster up a light show like this!



And I love this song too. Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mocha Cheesecake.


I love cheesecake and have made a couple of the unbaked kind but I wanted to try and make "New York" style cheesecake. After some googling I decided a mocha cheesecake would be ideal. Three of my favourite things meshed together; Coffee, chocolate and cheesecake and of course the recipient loves these thing too! So here's how to make one of your own!

Base:
1 Packet digestive biscuits
75 grams butter
Blitz biscuits (or cookies if you are American) into fine crumbs, add melted butter. Combine then press into 23cm spring-form tin. Put into fridge while you mix the filling.

Filling:
500 grams cream cheese
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp instant coffee
2 tblsp hot water
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cream
1/2 sour cream

Cream together cream cheese (room temperature) and sugar until creamy, using cake mixer. Combine coffee and hot water in a small bowl and allow to cool. Add eggs one at a time mixing in between each one. Next add flour, cream, sour cream and finally coffee (feel free to add more coffee if you want a more intense espresso flavour). Mix until creamy. Pour over biscuit base.

Bake: For 50 minutes on 180 Celsius. Mine looked like this. It still had a little bit of "wobble"


After cooling to room temperature, put it in the fridge to chill overnight.


Topping: Ganache
1/2 cup cream
3/4 chocolate chips
1/2 tsp instant coffee (optional)

In a small pot slowly melt together chocolate chips, cream and the coffee (if you want it). Cool slightly then drizzle over cheese cake. Chill in the fridge and then decorate as desired.

Tasted great...and I will definitely try another one for Christmas day dessert.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Paisley Jade.

*I thought I would re-post this blog I wrote last year for my new readers and for anyone who missed it last year. All of the below is still true...and then some. A year on PJ still inspires me..and she is still one of my favourite people in the whole world*


If you are a KiwiMummy blogger..there is probably no doubt you have PaisleyJade in your favourites list...and for good reason... I love her blog too. I have the privilege of knowing the famous Kristy of PaisleyJade in real life, and today is her birthday and I wanted to let ya'll in on some inside information on her. We've known each other for about 11 years, our husbands and children are besties and shes one of my besties too.

This is my top 10 list of reasons Paisley Jade is one of my favourite people in the whole wide world.

  1. She has the funniest sense of humour, a great laugh and she doesn't take herself too seriously.
  2. She IS theProverbs 31 woman.
  3. She is generous.
  4. She is amazingly creative. Sewing, card making, jewelery, cakes, toys and of course crocheting...are just a few
  5. She is a great wife and puts up with all of Symon's shenanigans and obsessions passions ;)
  6. She is an awesome youth pastor.
  7. She is a cool mummy to FOUR lovely, bright kids.
  8. She is the friendliest person I know.
  9. She is an amazing baker.
  10. She is the most encouraging person you will meet. If you are ever down or having a bad day she will always let you know she's there thinking and praying for you.
There you have it...if you love PaisleyJade- the Blog...just wait till you meet her in real life.

Happy Birthday PaisleyJade
xxx

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Operation Triathlon: the bike leg

The last time I owned a bike was 20 years ago and I looked like this...


I was rockin my BMX panther!

This week we dusted off hubby's old bike and took it in for a service and new wheel. I tried it out this morning and it was a far cry from the fun riding a bike used to feel like! The bike is a men's bike, and way to tall for my very short legs...and man was my butt sore after a ride around the block! I think I need a new bike for Christmas!

On a positive note 6:30am was a really nice time of day to ride. I have a real fear about riding on the city roads. Hubby has been hit by a car whilst riding a bike and I have caused a rider injury by accidentally opening the door without looking and having the poor rider plow into it. Not Good! So I think my fears are a little justified, so going for a ride when there is very little traffic and no parked cars is a good idea I think! It's also a great time to get out for a jog..when no one is watching. I'm really surprising myself (and hubby), I am NOT a morning person, but there has been something really invigorating about getting up a little earlier and getting some fresh air. I give Bubba (5months) a breastfeed and then head out. The weather has been fine and its fairly warm so it has been a bit easier.

I also picked up this book from the library. Did you know Hamish Carter is the youngest of five and completely bombed (26th) at the 2000 Olympics even though he was favourite to win. There's no way I want to be an elite athlete but its kinda cool to be inspired by other peoples failures and successes!


Hope your day is going smashing xx

Monday, November 22, 2010

Present sacks...

A while ago I got inspired to try and make personalized present sacks for the kids this Christmas. I call them "present sacks" because I don't "DO" Santa. Just my personal feelings on the matter. Why should some fat guy in a red suit get the credit for my lovely presents...anyhoo... beside the point. Stockings never quite seem large enough so a sack was a better idea.
Did I mention I'm the worlds worst sewer! Anything that requires a needle and thread would be taken over to the ma-in-laws...even I'm embarrassed to say putting on a button (only because I didn't have the "equipment" ;).

I went to spotlight for some inspiration and almost had a panic attack...so many fabric ideas...Where do I start...I just don't know!!!
Enter Home Economics Champion, My Ma-In-Law. I enlisted her help for some sewing lessons and expert knowledge on the subject matter. Poor her! I was a very fussy student. I had a particular way I wanted it to look in my head...but just needed the help to get it there...and this (drum roll please) is the finished product...





Now to fill them... Yay for Christmas.

Thanks so much Ma-In-Law for all your help!xx

Saturday, November 20, 2010

free..


“Don't tell me the sky is the limit, there are footprints on the moon!”

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. ~Walt Disney

Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.~John Wooden,

It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop ~Confucius

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters...





"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit".
Jeremiah 17:7-8


Sunday, November 14, 2010

I heart t-shirts

Is it me or does the closer you get to thirty the more you figure out who you really are?
I've decided I'm really just a jeans and t-shirt wearing kinda gal. Thankfully married to a jeans and t-shirt wearing kinda man. I love a good t-shirt with a fun joke or slogan. I also love t-shirts for a cause. Like the Glassons ones for breast cancer etc. I get to contribute to the cause and wear a cool t shirt too. Thankfully at my current work place (home!!) nobody cares that I wear a T-shirt. So I think t-shirt collecting might just be my new thing...cause I need a thing!
Any way I found this American site and picked these ones as ones I would totally wear if they had them in NZ



Another favourite for NZ themed t-shirts is Mr Vintage.


Do you collect anything weird or wonderful?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

whats new in my trolley this week.

I usually LOVE grocery shopping, its one of the highlights of my week. Watching the bill go up higher with each year with the extending number of mouths to feed and the flippin GST rise however is not so fun. I don't mind taking the kids with me sometimes. They are not tantrum-for-lolly-pop type kids. My secret is...they get a treat from the bakery section if they be good all the way round. And I mean all the way because the bakery section is the last possible isle. The favourite is a danish =$1.40. Pretty cheap way to get through shopping.
Anyhoo...being a food lover I'm always on the look out for some inspiration...heres a few things that made it to the trolley this week.

We are trying really hard to wean ourselves off coke and the like but I had to try this...100% apple juice with carbonated stuff for fizz and no added sugar. Not that bad for us..is it?!

Bubba is almost ready for solids. I already have some pumpkin in the freezer made up...but I like the pre bought stuff too and I'm looking forward to trying out these new fancy fan-dangle pouches. I can see they would be quite useful when we are out and about.

Nobody seems too fussed on bought fish'n chips at our house so these bake and eats are a great healthy substitute- can't go wrong with the red tick!

Okay so I lie...this is not new to my trolley...truth be told these babies make my trolley every time they are on special and its the only coffee I buy for home. Love it!

Oh-my-goodness is all I have to say about these...yummo!

All these were on special too!
Whats making your grocery shop interesting at the moment?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Operation Triathlon: T (Time) minus 5 months 3 weeks....EEK!

So what do you do if you have no idea how to do a triathlon? You head down to the local library and you find a book along the lines of "The complete idiots guide to... triathlons!" Who knew there was such a book!


Training progress- Well not much to report here. I have been to my work gym a couple of times. Walk/Ran around the block a couple of times...but are yet to hit the water. Hopefully tomorrow. I would like to make myself a daily schedule because I'm an all or nothing kinda gal...lately its been the nothing the kind ;) Onwards and upwards. I think I can, I think I can. Maybe these books I found will shed some light on a good training programme. I'll keep you posted!
Back story here >

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I love Saturdays...

January 15th 2011...D day. The Boss is expecting me back at work for some part time work, 1-2 shifts which usually means my Saturdays are gone. Since I started Maternity leave in April I have been enjoying my weekends. Great family time, spontaneous trips to the beach, takeaway nights, going to the Saturday morning market...here are some other highlights.

Mandatory Saturday morning coffee run

Finding these bad boys at the market. Thanks hubby for spending an hour shucking themAll these for $10!
Oyster kilpatrick

game time

Hubby hitting the garden

Fun at the beach

And I still have a couple more of months worth of Saturdays to enjoy... wahoo!