Friday, February 27, 2009

Delicious Chocolate Cake Recipe!

Thought i would share the recipe from the other night, it makes a great cake or also really yummy cupcakes!

3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs instant coffee
1 cup hot water
1 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
200g salted butter
2 3/4 cups castor sugar
4 eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract

Whisk together the hot water, cocoa and coffee until you have a smooth paste. Add the cold milk and whisk until everything is combined. Sift together the flour, bicarb soda and baking soda. In a separate bowl cream the butter for 2 mins. Add the castor sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating for 30sec after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until combined

Add part of the four mixture and part of the cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Do this until you have combined all ingredients together (try to mix as little as possible i use a whisk for this process not my kenwood as you dont want to overbeat and make them turn out tough!!!)

I then made a choc ganache/mousse filling which was 1.5 cups of cream and 400g cooking chocoalte melted over the stove and allowed to cool to room temp. Once it is cool add two cups of whipped cream to the ganache to make it more like a mousse. I also added chopped violet crumble at this stage to the filling.

I then made a chocolate buttercream to frost the top and outside of the cake and added more chopped violet crumble to the top!

Here are some pics....

What the cake batter looks like

The filling with violet crumble being mixed in

Before the cake was iced

The finished product! YUM!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just a quick share...

Well i feel like i haven't really blogged much lately! Life has been hectic and im not one for posting long deep posts on here...maybe i should start, and one day i might, but sharing my life, the deep stuff, with people i dont know, just hasn't happened yet! (wow im sure there is a rule for how many commas i can use in one sentence, do you think i just set a new record??!!) So here is a little share...

I had a brain and spine mri today which wasn't too fun! I have been dealing with lots of health issues for the past 3 months which i try not to harp on about because there is so much more to me and life than these issues, but they are always there constantly in the back of my mind even if they are not talked about a whole lot! I get the results sometime next week hopefully...and i have fingers and toes crossed that they are completely non eventful results as i haven't even had the mental or physical strength to think about what could be if they show up something i dont want them to show!! Im sure thats being really naive but thats how im choosing to deal with it so far! The good news was that i think i managed to have a few little naps whilst having the mri (dont ask me how since its so loud in there and not very comfortable) it might have something to do with the fact that it took nearly 2 hours to complete!

If you have been reading my blog from the start you will remember my earlier post about eating to live or living to eat. I have been doing fairly well in my eating/drinking. I think it is though all these health issues there seems to be only a few things i can actually control. What i eat is a major one of those, and whilst i haven't seen any improvements in the issues i have been experiencing i know that i wont be doing any harm by eating well and healthily! I have also done so much research on health its not funny! I do find it really interesting and i like the idea of taking as many steps to alternatively and naturally heal my body as possible, i mean weren't our bodies created with the function to heal? Anyway just a journey i wish i wasn't on, but at the same time have already learnt and changed a whole lot so got to find some positives from it!

Thats it, enough being inside my head for now :-) Cant scare you all off at once!

Here are a few cute pics to lighten up this post

Aww, this is my gorgeous sis, whom i want to thank for all her love and support through everything! You are a wonderful sister and friend and i love you lots xoxo

My gorgeous nephew again, he is too cute!

My little girl, just cos i think she is adorable!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A celebration for a few reasons....

Today was my dads birthday, so we all headed up to the "farm" to celebrate! It was a great night where we all got to celebrate together. My girls had been so excited to go there tonight, they were in their bathers as soon as they got home from school. They had a swim with their cousins which is always lots of fun!

I made dad a birthday cake which was demolished! Hopefully that is a good indication that it was yummy! It took me all afternoon so hopefully it was good!!!

Here is dad while we were all singing "Happy Birthday" to him!

This is the cake once i finished decorating it! It was chocolate layer cake with ganache in between the layers iced in chocolate buttercreme with violet crumble bits!! (very healthy as you can see!!!)

This is another one of the grandkids favourites, "the gator" or otherwise known as the poppy mobile!! As you can see they LOVE it!

There was also another highlight of our night! Our little nephew Jett started to walk!! YAY! It was soooooooo cute (very proud aunty moment here!!) and i got a couple of snaps of him taking these steps! How cute is he?!

I did it! Im so excited!!

Might post the recipe tomorrow for the cake for anyone interested...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Total Tigers!

Well today we headed to Jells Park for the Richmond Tigers Family Day. For Christmas we gave hubby a family membership to Tigers for 09 as we have regularly taken the girls over the past 7 years and they really are total tigers! We headed out early, hoping to get there before the big crowds but unfortunately it was packed!!!

The girls wore their jumpers and badges and we were hoping to get them a few signatures to add to their jumpers! I waited in one line for 2 hours for what we thought was autographs (being that we could get the players to sign the girls jumpers!). Ok well the line was to see Ben Cousins and so i expected it to be a popular line! After two hours of waiting we finally got there, only to get told we couldn't get the jumpers signed or take pics and we had to settle for pre signed posters and photos and a few smiles from the players!!! PHEW! I was a little peeved to say the least but the girls were happy so i guess that was all that mattered. In the meantime George had waited about 1.5 hours in another line to get a photo with some other players which the girls loved!

I took my camera (as i usually do anywhere i go, its like my 4th baby!) and when i went to take some pics it came up as change the battery pack! I was very confused since i had charged it before i came but put it away in my bag thinking something had happened cos it wouldn't work! I then had to rely on using our little point and shoot camera (arrrgggghhh this was not fun, the quality just doesn't compare!) only to get home and realise my camera was working again and had full battery power! It must have just been an error or something....but all in all was very annoying not to be able to take the pics i wanted of the day! The girls had a fun day, met players, got signatures and posters and also got to jump on the jumping castles there whilst we listened to a great cover band! All in all was a good day, and here are a few pics (excuse the quality!)

We then had to rush home as Caitlyn had a fairy party to attend late this afternoon! This was the first of the string of parties i am sure are about to come...she had lots of fun but is exhausted now from this huge day!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A new era!

Today my baby had her first full day of kinder! Ok so its only 2.5 hours a week but to me thats a huge deal! I am not used to having any "child free" time during my weeks over the past 7.5 years so it makes me feel a little lost! This morning during my few hours i was going to come home and put on some music and clean up the house with no interruptions! However, it didn't take me much convincing to drop the cleaning and head to the shops for a coffee with my sis! Plenty of time for cleaning!

Eleisha LOVES kinder. We already have a PILE of pastings and paintings from only a couple of half sessions! Every morning she wakes and asks if its kinder today and generally the answer is no! I am happy for her to be at kinder but part of me is sad that the era of having my babies home all day everyday has gone! Dont get me wrong there have been days when i would have given my right arm for a little peace and a few child free hours, however on a whole, i have loved the precious and valuable time i have been able to spend with my girls, watching them grow and teaching them a variety of different things (and them teaching me plenty too!!). So, i guess its left me wondering what i might like to do once all my girls are at school? (ok so thats still a few years away yet but the question seems to be asked by me more and more often lately!).

One thing i notice as my girls have grown is how much more organised i am as every year goes by. Like this year, having 2 of my girls at school has made me much more organised with things like lunches, baking, homework, activities, washing (to name a few)! I seem to "embrace" more my title of "mum" as each year passes. Im not sure if thats because my girls are getting older its easier to do, or (and this is what i think it is) being a mum is such a long learning curve, each year (month, week & day!) you learn a bit more about your child, or about being more efficient with housework, or how to fit in homework, snack, bath and dinner before hubby gets home but its a learning curve i embrace and strive to get better and better at!

Anyway enough ramblings from me for now, here is a quick snap of my kinder girl!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Banana Choc-Chip Muffins

Eleisha has been a little bored to say the least without her sisters around! Today i thought that we could do some baking, kill two birds with one stone so to speak, as i needed to make some after school snacks and keep Eleisha entertained! We had some bananas going old and decided to make banana choc chip muffins ( i have a REALLY fussy 5 year old who barely eats anything so i have to hide fruits and veggies in things that she might like).

Here are some pics from our adventures and i will include the recipe at the end in case anyone is after a really yummy recipe!

I caught Eleisha checking herself out in the reflection of the bowl! She was testing many different expressions, this one is definitely the cheekiest :)

Eleisha and mummy's reflection! (doesn't the bowl look filthy!!!!)

The best part im sure! In fact probably the main reason she loves to bake with mummy!

The final product! I love these baking cups from Robert Gordon they look beautiful before you bake in them but once you bake in them they just dont look that great! The only way i can see to get around this is to bake in just a plain white one then sit them in these nice ones! It probably didnt help that a 3 year old was helping put the mixture in them (and on the sides!!!) Oh well they still taste delicious!

Ingredients (makes 12)
60g butter
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 packet of Cadbury Choc Chips (220g)

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a medium muffin tray (12 sections) with paper cases. Melt butter in a small saucepan or heat-proof bowl in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.
Using a whisk, lightly beat milk, eggs and butter in a jug. Add to dry ingredients, along with mashed banana. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix ingredients until just combined. Stir in choc bits. Don't beat the mixture or the muffins will be tough.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm on top when lightly touched (get an adult to help with this). Leave in the tray for 3 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Well this is Eleisha's favourite thing to do lately with me, so i thought i would take a pic today and share! We go outside once we hear the postman and she loves it when we both stand on opposite sides of the letter box and look at each other!! I dont know why but she finds it hilarious!!

Hope you get a smile, one was definitely on my face!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hot cinnamon scrolls!

Well today i decided to make a treat for the girls. You know those cinnamon scrolls you can get at the shopping centres sometimes, well they are my girls favorite! We will usually buy them a mini scroll from the shops every now and then and they just rave about them. I stumbled across a recipe last night whilst looking for new bread recipes and decided i would try them today for the girls!!

Here is the recipe for anyone who might be interested (they dough was made in my bread maker but im sure you can just knead it yourself otherwise!) I would also suggest you half the dough...unless its for entertaining and you need lots!!!

1 cup milk
1 cup water
60g butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
750g plain flour
1 1/2 tablespoons dried active baking yeast
100g caster sugar
2 eggs

90g butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
extra 150g caster sugar
125g raisins (optional)
100g chopped walnuts (optional)

Vanilla icing:
250g icing sugar
60g butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons milk

preparation method
To make dough: In saucepan, heat milk, water and butter until very warm (butter doesn't need to be completely melted). Place milk mixture, salt, flour, yeast, sugar and eggs into bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle and press Start.
Once cycle is complete, remove dough from machine, punch down and divide into 2 equal pieces.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Grease two 23x33cm baking trays.
On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a large rectangle. Smear each piece with the softened butter. Combine the cinnamon and extra sugar and sprinkle evenly over the dough. If desired, sprinkle on the raisins and/or walnuts.
Roll the dough into two logs, starting with the long side. Cut each log into 12 rolls and place, cut side down, on baking trays. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. When cool, spread each roll with icing.
To make vanilla icing: Combine icing sugar, melted butter, vanilla and milk in a small bowl to make a thick icing.

Here are some pics for you to drool over!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blog Design

Im trying to personalise my blog to be more "me"! I figured since i have officially blogged for a month now i might try and work this thing out a bit more!!! Love to hear any ideas or suggestions too!

Thanks for reading...

School Days!

Well this morning i sent my two little girls off to school! Where has the time gone? I cant believe Caitlyn started prep today it seems like only yesterday she was born! WOW! Hannah was off to her first day of Grade 2 today also. The morning started at about 645 am and i could hear Hannah and Caitlyn teaming up and getting themselves dressed together. Was so nice to see, Hannah has really taken on the role of looking after Caitlyn with all things "school" as she is the expert after being through it all before!

It felt so nice to be back in routine this morning. Don't get me wrong, i love the sleep ins and relaxed mornings and having my girls home and enjoying them! However, i also love the routine of being organised, being out of the house in the mornings at 820 am and having all the girls dressed beds made and ready to start the day! I think it will be great for the girls to be back in routine as well.

So this morning i am sitting here enjoying peace and quiet, however Eleisha is noticeably missing her big sisters who usually entertain and amuse her all day long!

Here are lots of pics from this morning!!

Caitlyn in her classroom doing an activity

Hannah in her classroom (taken through the window so excuse the bad photo! The teachers are very eager to say goodbye to the parents in Grade 2!!)