Friday, July 20, 2012

Mocha Sour Cream Cake

I love coffee cake, and this is a yummy twist on the coffee cake I loved as a kid!

2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 tablespoon boiling water
125g softened butter
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup plain flour
2/3 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and lightly grease and line two 20cm round cake tins.

In a cup combine the coffee and boiling water, stirring until disolved and set aside to cool.

Cream together butter and sugar until pale.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the coffee paste.

Fold in combined flours and sour cream alternatively until combined.

Spoon mixture between tins, smoothing tops and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until cooked.  Cool in tins for 5 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks.

Frost with Chocolate Sour Cream Ganache.  Melt 300 grams of dark chocolate in a small saucepan over another saucepan of gently boiling water.  Stir until smooth and then stir in sour cream.  Cool.

Sandwich cakes together with Ganache and then ice the top and sides of the cake.  You can dust this with cocoa powder just before serving.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Water Play in Winter

Miriam from MakeItGiveIt - Let it Shine blogged here about a great simple water play activity she engaged in with her boys last week.

It reminded me of a fun activity my boys LOVE to do in summer, and being that it was a sunny, yet rather cold day here in the swampy Waikato, I decided we needed to have some water play too!  The great thing about this is the kids generally don't get too wet, so it is ideal to do in winter.

We drag the chalk outside and go mad chalking lots of different designs.  The boys draw roads and general squiggles, and I make bunches of pretty flowers and draw odd demented looking boats, cars and robots.

Once that has been exhausted, I fill up old dishwashing bottles or old plastic water bottles and let them loose squirting water all over their creations and washing them away.  Sometimes I colour the water with food colouring for a bit of extra fun.  Danger Mouse often spends quite a bit of time 'watering' my bunches of flowers and giving the boats water to 'float' in.  Sprat is not that keen on ruining his drawings but is happy to destroy mine and The Girl has only just joined in, and just drinks the water.

The great thing I love about this (apart from it being an activity that is free if you already have chalk and entertains them for ages), is that on a crisp cold day like today they can still get a taste of water play and stay relatively dry, while spending ages outside having a ball!

Confession time.  I went totally snap happy today taking a million photos of Danger Mouse and The Girl only to find out I didn't have the memory card in the camera .... ahem.  By the time that was realised neither of them were too keen anymore and off to play with other things, but I am sure you get the picture with the few I did manage to snap.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shoe Bling - Possibly Vision Gone Wrong ...

I decided when I started this blog it wasn't going to be about lots of pretty perfect success stories.  This story is about a vision gone wrong (but regardless I am still a little bit in love).

I saw these on Pinterest a while back, tutorial link for is here, and had to have some.

The thought of making and owning these consumed me until I brought a pair of cheap white shoes from The Warehouse for $7.  I was on my way.

Problem was, when I started to make them, I decided maybe I had bad vision in my choice of glitter colour, and then lost all interest in them.

I had to finish them, but because of lack of interest, I completed them without care.  And then when I had finished them, because I wasn't careful, I disliked them even more.

So they sat in the corner for a month.  The husband walked past and laughed at their fate every once in a while and vowed to disown me if I tried to wear them in public with him.

And when I got them out today to blog about them, and they sparkled in the sun, I fell just a little bit in love with them.  A little bit.  If I find the energy I might tidy up the gems a bit on them (translate to actually glue them on properly and evenly, and fill in the gaps) and wear them out with the kids for some fun.  Maybe.

Op Shopping - Boardgame Magic

I love boardgames and have been hunting for age appropriate games for the kids.  I found these at the Salvation Army in Te Rapa for $5 each.  They are perfect games to play with Sprat, and thankfully came with all the pieces.

Check out how elaborate the Ratatouille game is - I just about needed a construction degree to put it together!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cranberry and White Choc Chip Cookies

I've made two batches of these in the last week - they are super yum!  They can also be made with dried strawberries.

125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white chocolate drops
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays.

Cream together the butter and sugars.  Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine.  Stir in the flour and baking powder until just combined.  Fold through the chocolate bits and dried berries.

Place heaped spoonfuls of mixture onto baking trays and bake for 15 - 17 minutes, or until just golden.