Monday, May 30, 2011

Who doesn't love a Cupcake?

Who doesn't love a cupcake? They are such a happy little joyful mouthful of deliciousness and can be made into so many flavours that you cannot possibly not love them.

Lately I seem to have been making dozens of them in a few kinds of flavours and it all started with the ones I made for my birthday. I really wanted butterfly cakes and not just one plain big old cake which has what's really started my current kitchen craze.

Then my delightful sister gave me a cupcake recipe book from the Love Bakery for my birthday and I of course can't let a good book go to waste and just had to try them. The vanilla cupcake recipe is very similar to the one that I've been making lately and it's honestly like eating flavoured air. That's how light and fluffy they are.

Then today I decided to give another couple of flavours a go. The classic chocolate had to be tried not only because it has a couple of different ingredients in buttermilk and white wine vinegar but because Master M is a bit of a chocoholic (you should have seen the colour of his face once he'd cleaned out the bowl!)

As for me, vanilla cupcakes are my favourite but I was desperate to try the mocha ones as not much beats that beautiful blend of chocolate and coffee. These didn't disappoint as they are absolutely DIVINE!!

Luckily for me, cupcakes freeze really well (yes even once iced) and I also made sure I made mini cupcakes as they're a better size for the kidlettes and my hips. :)

If you freeze them (and don't eat them all yourself) then you've always got something on hand for when unexpected visitors pop by. Just take them out of the freezer and by the time the kettle's boiled and the tea is made then the cupcakes are back to their beautiful, light, airy selves.

Enjoy your day my friends!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Lately I seem to have been doing a lot of cooking and baking. Some of it's due to the fact that we are on a strict budget right now so any baking is certainly going to help but I have to say that I'm thoroughly enjoying cooking up a storm.

The kidlettes have helped sometimes and I'm also trying out things that I've never made before like meringues and muffins. I can't believe I hadn't made either of them, especially as they're so easy to make but now I have, I'll certainly be making them a lot more.

So for a peek at just a few of my recent cooking and baking projects we'll go from left to right, top to bottom.

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Picture 1. Bread - home made bread always makes me feel such a cook. It's not difficult to make and always tastes so delicious, especially when warm!

2. Anzac muffins - My first attempt at muffins which turned out really well, except I've got to get used to cooking them in my tempermental oven. These are a hit with all the family and I'll definately be making these again. You can get the recipe for these here.

3. Minestrone soup - Nothing beats soup on a cool day and as we're in Autumn heading into Winter then soup is on the menu a lot at our house lately.

4. Meringues - I can't believe I'd never made these before but after whipping up my first batch at Easter time, they've been a regular anytime I have a lonely egg white which needs using.

5. Oysters Kilpatrick - Yum, yum, yum. These oysters were so good and such a lovely birthday treat for me.

6. Chocolate slice - this is one of the first things I ever baked and is always a hit. I haven't baked it in years but seem to have been cooking it quite a bit lately, especially for my brother's recent birthday as it's always been his favourite.

7. Butterfly cakes - just for me for my birthday (well.. I did share them!) I haven't had these in years and just wanted sweet butterfly cakes but I also made some traditional cupcakes too. They always go down a treat.

8. Cheese star biscuits - one of the most divine, moorish, cheesy biscuits ever made. They are also incredibly easy and come from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat cookbook. I made a double batch this time and they haven't lasted very long at all. Ah well....I'll just have to make some more.

9. Jam drops - such a classic biscuit and one that I could easily make with the kids.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pumpkin love

Aaaah pumpkins. Anyone in my family reading this will laugh and get a kick out of it because they know how much I've had an extremely hateful relationship with pumpkins for most of my life. I know that hateful is a strong word but that's exactly how I felt about pumpkins as I could hardly even think about them without wanting to be sick sometimes.

Then a few years ago, for some unknown reason (I don't think I was even pregnant at the time), I had some pumpkin. Since then I have been in love with this vegetable and have it with nearly every meal.

Now we have our own pumpkin vine taking over the back yard and soon I will be able to pick and eat my very own pumpkins. There are at least 12 that I can see peeking through the leaves....

...sitting at the edge of the vine for all visitors to see and admire....

...oh look, there's two close together. Don't they look just yummy...

...and just in case you're sick of looking at pumpkins by now, I've snuck in a photo with some passionfruit growing on the vine... next to a pumpkin of course!

Enjoy your day my friends xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday wishes

Friday 2oth May

My birthday

37 years old! Goodness, have that many years zoomed passed already?

So what did I do? Did I get spoiled, pampered, looked after?

Well not entirely.

It was a usual day in our household with darling hubby at work (leaving at 4am) and it was also a school day for Little Miss R. Master M and I spent the day together so I therefore didn't get very pampered and looked after by him.

The evening was a different matter. My birthday seemed all about food for some reason but that's ok because I'm very fond of food, good food, yummy food and sharing food. My uncle came over for dinner and so I didn't have to cook as he ordered pizza for us.

I have been really wanting Oysters Kilpatrick lately so I decided my birthday was the perfect day to treat myself. An entree of oysters, pizza for mains, then cake for dessert. Not just any cake, it has to be butterfly cakes because that's what I've been wanting rather than plain old cupcakes.

They were absolutley delicious! I also did a batch of plain cupcakes just in case the cream butterfly cakes weren't a hit and I'm glad I did because they proved perfect for putting the candles in.

Darling hubby didn't get home until it was nearly the kidlettes bedtime so he missed most of the day which was a shame but we'll make sure we spend Sunday doing something special instead I think.

All in all, it was a quiet but lovely day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Uuurrrggghh!! Computers!!!!!

No pictures with this post today as it's just an update to say I've been unable to access my blog from my laptop. I'm using my old laptop to do this post but unfortunately all my photos that I've wanted to share from different outings over the last week are on my other computer.

When I've got a bit more time I'll either transfer the photos to this computer or try and find out what's going on with my laptop. Right now I'm looking after Master M and Nephew R (both 3) and they're very excited about playing together, not that it takes much to get these two excited.

Until the next post when I hope everything will be back to normal.

Also a get well message for my sister Sandra from Hearts Landscapes which you can access from my side bar. She's been in hospital with pneumonia for the last week and is very slowly on the mend. Love you possum.

Love Susan xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Little Star!

I am so proud of Little Miss R. This week she was chosen as Start of the Week at her school.

She was so absolutely excited to be chosen (and so was Mum) that it has been a very happy and special time in our house the last 24 hours.

The best part of it was the school contacted me to let me know she was receiving the award on Assembly on Friday so I was able to share in her joy and excitement.

Happy moments indeed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 Things:: I made in my kitchen today

1. Pastry

I made a goulash last night and decided to make the leftovers into a pie tonight. I would normally just grab some frozen pastry out of the freezer (quick, easy and great when you're being lazy) but I had plenty of time today and it's really not difficult to make

2. Mayonnaise

This was the first time I have attempted to make mayonnaise and it was NOT a success. I think I've used too much oil because it's very runny and basically tastes just like oil. It's pretty crappy really so I think I need to research the correct amounts to use again.

3. Meringues

As I used the egg yolk in the mayonnaise, I couldn't waste the egg white and the best thing to use an egg white is for meringues. These were a resounding success which is really exciting because it's the first time I've ever made them. I can't believe that I've never made them before really or even why I thought that they were hard to make because they were SOOOOOO easy.

I had to taste one for quality control purposes and they are a bit addictive. I was good and only had the one, well maybe then I had another one once I picked the kids up from school as I couldn't let them have afternoon tea on their own could I? The kidlettes approved of this little treat too!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Water Play

Monday dawned fine and absolutely beautiful. What made it even better was it was a public holiday so we got to spend the gorgeous day as a family.

We dusted off the kayak and drove down to Coochin Creek to go for a paddle and have a picnic. The kidlettes absolutely LOVED being in the kayak and then it was even more exciting because my brother G turned up with his two boys which made the day even more fun.

It was so peaceful being out on the water in the kayak. We haven't used it in AGES and I'd forgotten just how much I loved kayaking. This first shot is looking one way up the creek towards the Bribie Passage.

...and then looking the other way down the creek towards where my brother lives.

Paddling around the monstrosity of a boat that has sunk in the middle of the creek I was amused to find a For Sale sign on the boat. Hmmm.. not sure if they'll have too many offers for this.

Looking back to the bank of the creek where the kids were playing and the dad's were getting the fishing gear ready.

Uncle G decided it would be a better day if he went back home and got the boat so off he drove just down the road to his house, launched the boat in the creek out the back and putted back up to where we were. How much fun was it for all the kidlettes to be in the boat. My kidlettes had never actually been in a boat before, only the kayak so it was the highlight for them.

Of course Little Miss R really wanted to catch a fish so she had a go off the bank, then sat in the back of the kayak desperately wanting a fish to hop on her line. Just after our yummy picnic lunch, Daddy took her back out in the kayak and I'm so very proud to say that she caught her first ever fish!!!! The excitement of it and the joy on her face was delightful.

Unfortunately it was too small (being only about 10 cm long) but we got a photo before it got thrown back and we have one very proud little fisher girl in our house now. She loves her little pink fishing rod even more now.

As for me, once all the big boys and the kidlettes were all occupied in boats, I realised that I had some rare time to myself. What to do? A cup of coffee beside the bank of the creek definately.....

...and of course some hooky time. I put my crochet basket in at the last minute, not because I thought I'd really get a chance to actually do any but something told me to bring it so I did. It was lovely to sit in the quiet beside the creek, hooking away and watching my family having fun out on the water.

Such happy days.