Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Raspberry and Tim Tam Chocolate Cake

Hello amazing goodness.  It was my treat night on Friday night.  Strictly I shouldn't be eating dessert, just a treat meal, but I have been desperate to make this.  I am SO glad I did.  It was worth a bit of rule bending.

My ganache was a bit lumpy.  I made it, then rushed off to my personal training session (I know, rich chocolate ganache and personal trainers don't really go together in the same sentence).  When I came back it had set well and truely and I had to coax it back into life.  Lumps like this don't affect taste.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk (add 1 teaspoon white vinegar to a cup of milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold black coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 packet Dark Tim Tams

Preheat oven to 160 degrees and prepare your cake tin.

Beat all ingredients (except the raspberries and Tim Tams) together at a medium speed until smooth and runny.  Pour into the prepared tin.

Set aside 4 Tim Tams from your packet (these are for the topping) and roughly chop up the rest of the biscuits.  Put these into the cake mix with the frozen raspberries and swirl until they are all combined.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until cooked.

Ice with Chocolate Ganache and decorate with remaining Tim Tams.  Hmmm yea.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Banana and Hazelnut Spread Loaf

Nutella is so good.  Pity I am too cheapskate to buy it.  Instead, if the kids are getting a chocolate spread treat, I buy them Homebrand Choc Hazelnut Spread.  Just as good, not as expensive, kids will never know....

I've been drooling over a dozen different Nutella Recipes on Pinterest lately.  Today instead of drooling, I actually got up and made something (the original link for this here).  It was a total hit with the boys (The Girl not so much).  They just eat it plain and its fair to say they love it as there is only a few slices left!  I added more banana into mine, as I like things with lots of banana!

2 cups flour
2/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (over ripe ones give the best flavour)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup full cream milk
3/4 cup Homebrand Choc Hazelnut Spread (or Nutella)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare a loaf tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & salt.  In a separate large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer at a medium speed until blended (I don't think this will cream due to the bigger amount of sugar - I just blended mine well).

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, milk and vanilla and beat until blended.  Add this to the flour mixture and fold together under just mixed.
Spoon spread into a small dish and soften it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the spread and stir until blended well.
Spoon the spread batter alternately with the plain banana bread batter into the prepared pan. Swirl batters together with a knife.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until cooked through.  Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Perfect Life

Don't you think there is just too much pressure on us as mummies these days to be 'perfect'?  Have a perfect house, perfect children, perfect body, perfect wardrobe, perfect 'life' .....

If you are a stay at home mum thats not meant to be enough.  So often people ask me when I am going back to work, am I going to study again and how many days a week are my children in daycare.  It seems being a stay at home mum these days is not a perfect choice for your life.  You are 'meant' to want to strive for more in your own life - study, have a career, spend time away from home enjoying doing things for yourself while your children are farmed out into care.  I've had women snub me in conversations once I've dropped the Stay At Home Mum bomb. 

Don't get me wrong here, I am not criticising women that do make these choices in their lives to further careers, study etc.  I also know some ladies are not lucky enough to stay at home, they have to work to help provide for their family, or they simply don't want to stay at home.  What upsets me is the perception that choosing to be a stay at home mum is seen as something not enough for a womans life.  That that choice lowers your status in society as you are 'just a mum' and seems to immediately deem you as someone having no goals, a bit of a no-hoper when it comes to your future and just labels you as 'mumsy'.

Since when did raising our children, serving our husbands and keeping a home not become the most important thing we do?  My children are precious.  They should be nurtured and protected - by me!  Their faith, morals, manners and beliefs should be taught at home by the hubby and myself.  They are our future, and how they live in the future all comes down to how I train them now - thats a huge responsibility that I have been given.  And I am proud of it.   My husband works hard to provide for his family - and I work hard to provide for my husband in the home.  He is proud of me and the work I do at home for our family.  That in itself is worth more to me than any possible career!

I am happy.  Stupidly happy.  I love what I do.  It completes me.  I am proud of my family and my husband.  I don't want anything else for my life.  I have it all.  I don't feel any yearn for having 'more' in my life, because I have all I need. Nothing is missing from my life.  My life is perfect exactly as it is.

I wonder if the people asking me when am I going back to work can say that about their own lives?  I am proud to be a stay at home mum and believe its the greatest and most challenging 'career' that I am ever going to have. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Great Sticker Trail

Lesson for today.  Never leave children and stickers unattended for any length of time.  I had a lovely shower and all was quiet in my house.  This is why.

The new design my bedside drawers now display.
The new design the Hubbys bedside drawers now display (I was trying to angle out his floordrobe)

The bathroom door handle.

The TV 

The cat didn't go unscathed.

The kids drawers (they were covered, this is just a small snippet).


You are probably wondering how long I was in the shower for?  8 minutes.  Thats right.  3 children, it doesn't take much time.  They were on a mission.

Randomly on the carpet.

The vacumn cleaner.

Couch cushions.

The TV remote took a hit.

And I think the trail ended here ....

Christmas Tradition - Decorations

We have a tradition in our home of each year putting a Christmas decoration in each childs Christmas Stocking.  This decoration is named and dated, and once opened the kids put them onto the tree anywhere they want.  When they are grown up and starting their own families, they can take all their decorations for their own trees and start the tradition with their own children.

Last year I brought three small Christmas Dove decoration kitsets at the Quilt and Craft Show from Elna Sewing & Jan's Patch.  Being the crafty mumma that I am, I thought it would be awesome to make their decorations.  Last year. 

This year, I finished one of the Christmas Doves I started last year.  I like it, its sparkly (which I love), and the colour combination of cream and gold is my favourite.  Plenty of time to make two more before Christmas ..... next year?....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wacky Wednesday 2

Wow, our second Wacky Wednesday rolled around so fast it crept up on me and left me totally unprepared.  Hate that. 

As decided last month, it was funny hat night.  Through being totally disorganised and living on a promise of it being this week, I cheated on getting the kids to make their own hats and the Dollar Store came to my rescue.  The deal was to wear the hats throughout the dinner prep and during dinner.

Introducing Police Man Sprat

Danger Mouse as a Fireman

The Girl as a ladybug

Hi-jinx Hat Hubby

and Cowgirl Mum (unprepared, bad hair, shiny face, tired eyes - pretty crazy looking - but thats often real life at home huh!)

Dinner was home made pizzas.  The boys got to put their own toppings on - under strict instructions to not eat it all before it landed on the pizza.

There was alot of eager anticipation to eat the finished pizzas. Waiting for them to cook was torture for the kids.  They created ramps on the dining room table with the table mats and were using them to race their cars and hats over.  Not something I would usually let them do, but being Wacky Wednesday why not.

Here I can share a picture of my pizza.  High protein, moderate fat, low carb Cauliflower Crust Pizza.  I am participating in a Spring into Summer 12 Week Challenge.  It possibly may break me.  More on this later.  I loved this Cauliflower Crust!  Link here in case you are interested in making your own.

 The boys were really proud of their kitchen achievements.

Over dinner we talked about what the boys want to be when they grow up.  Danger Mouse a Transformer Dump Truck Driver and Sprat a Policeman.  We talked, in 5 year and 3 year old terms, about how you can be anything you aspire to be and how its important to do something you love. 

The conversation then led to the kind of pets the boys were going to own when they grew up.  Danger Mouse an Elephant and Sprat a Police Dog and Police Cat.  Their imaginations took hold here and there was a lot of laughter and crazy notions about dragons and The Girl being an Elephant when she grows up.  We encouraged a bit of madness here, and the kids really got on board with Mum and Dad being silly.  I love to see the kids sit back and laugh while we, the parents, take on the roles of hyper children.  Its a great bonding experience through lots of laughter, and not only with the kids, but the hubby as well.

Dessert was served.  I found these amazing huge marshmallows at The Warehouse.

So another fun family bonding experience, albeit slightly less organised that the last one.  Next month?  Monster Burgers and facepainting.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Beaded Lanyards

The Craft and Quilt Fair hit Hamilton last week.  Its my favourite craft shopping experience of the year. 

I found these cute beaded lanyard kits at the Tinkering Tools site.  When I embroider, I forever lose my scissors.  Hopefully this will save the stabbing I often give myself by standing or sitting down on a lost pair of sharps.  I made these while I watched a movie with the hubby over the weekend.  They were a nice fast project, and I need an excuse to make some more!  Love them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not a Quiet Sideline Mummy

Its amazing what our children bring out in us.  Total happiness and joy.  Livid anger.  Fierce proudness.  Crushing hurt.  Fishwife screaming at sporting events....

Yes, today I discovered I am that mum.  The one that throws herself into cheering on my children with as much enthusiasm as the child is putting into their sport. 

Today was Sprats first ever Cross Country run.  As he is 5, they only had to do a casual run around a tiny park.  No big deal.  If you were any other parent except me.

As my tiny wee boy cruised around the track, I found myself following him with the long lens camera, screaming words of encouragement and waving furiously.  All while dragging The Girl, who was hanging half in and half out of her pushchair, and ignoring Danger Mouse who was crying because he couldn't run as he had stuffed his gumboots full of grass clippings.  There were thoughts of elbowing other mummies out of my way so I could get a better view -  honestly I did think about it, but thankfully I managed to keep that side of me under control.

It wasn't until Sprat was running down the home straight, and my screaming hit a frenzy that I realised I was the only mummy shouting.  In fact the only mummy following my child with a massive camera, and making any noise at all.  I was 'that' mum.

I wasted about a minute of my time stressing about what all the other parents might of thought of my frenzied crazy screaming, and then decided I couldn't care less, more so after Sprat came up to me, hugged me tightly and then grinned and gave me a high five.  He didn't have anything to say, his smile was so huge.  Cue 'Total Happiness and Joy' from mum.

I might not get the same reaction from him when he is 15 and I am doing this (lets hope its all out of my system by then), but for now my little man knows I am supporting him 100% and am behind him every step of the way and thats all that counts.  Im taking my Shouty, Fishwife Mummy label and wearing it proudly.