Tuesday, November 17, 2009

20 Years!

Finally I have some time to sit and write.

How time flies! A few weekends ago I attended my 20 year school reunion on the Gold Coast. Wow what a blast! I had the time of my life catching up with everyone. I did leave feeling as though there was still so much catching up to do with everyone. It is so hard to cram 20 years of your life into a few hours of chatting. I feel a catch up before Christmas is necessary, so I will contact as many as I can and see if we can organise a gathering. A dinner out in Brisbane maybe.
I was happy to know that Leo and Jack survived without me for the four days I was away(for the reunion), it was the first time I had ever been away from them, great for me and also good for them. Nanny visited and helped Dan out with boys, a big thank you to Mary for doing a great job!
I was surprised to see the veggies have grown over the four days I was away, due to the hot weather. The Lettuces had all bolted and were tasting very bitter, so off to the compost for them. I have some new seedlings in the ground but they are a long way off from anything edible.


The carrotts are nearly ready and the peas are starting to look good. I should have some tomatos soon they are all hanging there shiny and very green. The cucumber vines have flowers so this is promising. However I am waging a war with all the bugs, they seem to be taking over and making it difficult. So this weekend I will try out some more different organic herbicides, somthing has to work apart from me picking off all the big fat green catipillers by hand (that would be a long and tedious job). I also think it is time to bring out the slug trap they (the slugs) seem to have taken a liking to my baby cos lettuce seedlings.


On another note our beauthiful Mariah is not looking a s svelt as usual and I have have found out why! Please see movie below.
video
Last Friday was Jack's first day at daycare, he was a little upset but no where near as upset as Leo was. I hadn't thought how this would impact on Leo, he was not used to Jack being there with him, obviously the scenario has allways been the same Jack and I drop Leo off and then we would go home. So the good old autism kicked in and Leo had a big meltdown. Hopefully he will be a little better about the whole thing this Friday. Fingers crossed!




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boycott cage eggs!

Please boycott cage eggs were ever possible! It is a cruel industry and the need is no longer there! Take up eating free range eggs and chickens for that matter. If you have the chance read Karin's article from "The Garden Smallholder".

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some good cake receipes.

After making wedding cakes for quite some time, I stumbled upon some good cake recipes. The two cake recipes I like the best are from Confetti Cakes in New York. The main reason they work well is they taste great and are very easy to shape into children's novelty cakes. I have done a lot of experimenting with cakes (the tiered wedding variety & novelty shaped cakes) and worked out very quickly you need a firm cake or else disaster will strike! Yes we all love a nice light fluffy packet mix cake, that is fine if you want to slap on a bit of icing and presto you have your average home made cake......I frown as I write this(yes I suppose I am a baking snob!) Well here are my favorite vanilla and chocolate cake recipes



Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 ounces (225 grams) soft unsalted butter
2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup milk


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease & line pan or tin with non stick paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.

3. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

4. Set the mixer to slow speed and add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping thoroughly between additions.

5 Alternately add the the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture in three batches, starting with the flour. Scrape down the bowl between additions and beat until thoroughly combined. set the mixer to medium speed for about 20 seconds then stop and scrape the side of the bowl.

6. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans or muffin tins. For 9 inch cake pans and half sheet pans, bake 30-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean; for cupcakes bake 20-25 minutes or until they spring back after being touched.


Chocolate Cake

2 2/3 cups or 12 ounces (340 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
8 ounces (225 grams) soft unsalted butter
2 cups caster sugar
2 eggs room temperature
1 1/4 cups strong prepared non flavored coffee


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease & line pan or tin with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla and almond extract. Set aside.

4. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on a medium speed until smooth.

5. Set the mixer to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping thoroughly between additions.

6. Alternately add the flour and sour cream mixtures to the butter mixture in two batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture. scrape down the bowl after each addition.

7. gradually pour in the coffee. Scrape down the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.

8. Divide the cake batter evenly among the cake pans or muffin tins. For 9-inch cake pans and half sheet pans bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean; for cupcakes bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they spring back after being touched.

I know the chocolate cake has a lot of ingredients and takes a little more time, but it's well worth the effort. Happy Baking everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Madeline McCann

I really do hope they find Madeline McCann! My heart goes out to the McCanns as another Christmas approaches.

http://ceop.police.uk/madeleine/madeleine.asp