Monthly Archives: August 2013

Breakfast Love: CADA

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CADA: Coconut, Almond, Date and Apple. I am absolutely, positively in love with this breakfast. It is refreshing, crunchy, sweet, filling and healthy.

If you have a Thermomix, you’ve probably have come across this recipe from Cyndi O’Meara. If you haven’t heard of it, or given it a go yet, do!

To make this recipe you will need to use your food processor or Thermomix.

CADA (adapted from here)

Ingredients

1 tbs shredded coconut

7 raw almonds

3 dried dates

1 medium red apple, quartered

Method

Place all the ingredients in the processor/Thermomix and pulse a couple of times. You don’t want to overdo it.

Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

CADA

The beauty of this recipe is that you can alter the quantities according to your taste. You can also add in your favourite ingredients, making this breakfast even better.

For me, I find the basic mix a little sweet, so I Like to throw in a tablespoon of sunflower seeds or pepitas and serve it with plain yoghurt. You could try adding a little cinnamon, your favourite dried fruits or Super Kitchen Machine swears by crystallised ginger.

This dish will be on high rotation at my place. In fact, if we aren’t eating it for breakfast, we are probably having it for dessert.

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Homemade Crumpets

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We really like crumpets in the Crooked House.  They are filling and relatively healthy.

Instead of picking up a pack shopping this week, I thought I would have a go at making my own.

There are a fair few recipes out there for crumpets.  The Thermomix forum has by far the simplest recipe out there, and I used this one. If you don’t own a Thermomix, there is nothing stopping you whizzing these up in the blender or with a hand mixer.  Otherwise I have tracked down another easy and highly rated recipe for you to try.  You can find it here. The only thing to note, is that reviewers said the mix benefited from some resting time.

Crumpet Recipe (From Thermomix Forum)

Ingredients

1 tbs raw sugar /or use caster sugar

120 g Self Raising Flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 egg

160 g milk

Butter/spray oil for greasing pan and egg rings

Method

1. Mill the raw sugar 3 seconds, speed 9 to make caster sugar

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix speed 4 for 5 seconds, or until smooth

3. Melt a little butter in a pan and grease your egg rings.

4. Place 2 tablespoons of mixture into each egg ring and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes or until bubbles stop forming on the surface.

As our mornings are busy, I made these the night before.  We prefer our crumpets toasted, so all I had to do was pop these in the toaster.

As you can see, I didn’t have egg rings.  I threw them out in a declutter mission because I never used them!  I am sure the boys prefered their shaped crumpets anyway.

Homemade crumpets

These have a slightly different texture than the store-bought variety.  You could compare it to a pancake in the middle.

Homemade Crumpets

They are certainly tasty and worth the effort for a special occasion. Maybe you could give these a go for breakfast on Father’s Day this weekend. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking ahead and peaked too early bringing hubby this one this morning….

Homemade crumpets

Nevermind.

Afternoon Treat: Yoghurt Parfait

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I am just about to leave to pick up my eldest son from Kindergarten.  On a Friday afternoon we usually do something fun to celebrate the arrival of the weekend.  Whether it be a trip to the park, or a shared milkshake, it is a very special time for us to share.

This afternoon, as the weather is gorgeous, I have decided to take the boys down to the waterfront.  Instead of popping into the cafe to pick up some afternoon tea, I thought I would make us all a healthy treat with the amazing berries I picked up this afternoon.

I know my little fruit bats are going to be so excited when I pull out this yoghurt parfait.

Yoghurt Parfaits

I layered the parfait with vanilla yoghurt, lemon curd (you can see my recipe for this here), banana, blueberries and strawberries.  Lovely and fresh and so suited to the weather we have here at the moment.

I can’t wait to tuck into mine!

Have a great weekend!

Father’s Day Present: DIY Personalised Plate and Mug

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For whatever reason, in Australia we celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September.  So in the last few weeks, my  thoughts have turned to what the kids and I will give the fathers in our lives.  In addition to a gift, the kids usually create something for their father and grandfathers.  This year for my father, we decided on a personalised plate and mug for him to use in the office.

To create this project I picked up a plain white plate and mug from Target.  After giving it a good wash and dry, I used a Sharpie to label the plate and mug, ‘Grandy’s Biscuit Plate’ and ‘Grandy’s Coffee Mug’.

Initially the plan was to let the kids go crazy on the crockery with coloured Sharpies, but they wanted to use paint.

How to Personalise Your Crockery

Using acrylic paint, the boys painted on some biscuits/cookies and finished them off with some choc chip dots.

They did a pretty good job of these, so I didn’t need to fix anything.  I did have some rubbing alcohol on hand, just in case I wanted to remove anything.

To fire the crockery and allow the print and painting to remain, I placed the crockery in my cold oven, turned the oven on to 350 degrees farenheit/180 degrees celsius and baked it for 30 minutes once it reached temperature.

And viola! Here is the finished product.

How to Personalise a Mug and Plate for Father's Day

How to Personalise a Mug and Plate for Father's Day

The plan is to bake a batch of his favourite biscuits, melting moments, and bundle these up inside the mug.

You could use this technique to create all sorts of fantastic pieces for yourself, or those you love. How about beautiful monogram plate to place on the mantel, or use a stencil to give your crockery some flair? The options are infinite. I am already itching to have a go at something else.

What would you do?

Not Just Your Ordinary Trip to the Park…..

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A little while ago I wrote about one of the ways I try to ‘mix up’ our trips to the park.  You can read that post here.

Today I thought I would write about another way I keep my 4 year-old entertained, engaged and learning, while having fun at the park – photo taking.

I often have my camera on hand when we head to the park.  Instead of having an album of pictures, taken from my perspective of the kids, it is nice to give my 4-year-old a ‘photography project’.

Children's Photography Project

Not only does my son have heaps of fun snapping pictures, the whole thing can be a learning opportunity if I choose the right photography project.  Some projects he has photographed include….

  • living things
  • non-living things
  • items of a particular colour/size/ shape
  • items with a particular purpose (transport/entertainment)

The other day at the park we decide to go into neighbouring bushland for a walk. I asked my 4-year-old to photograph things that he had never seen before. Here is some of what he found….

Children's Photography Project

Children's Photography Project

Children's Photography Project

Children's Photography Project

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Surprisingly, he is quite a good photographer.  There is only the odd one that turns out like this – when he is a little excited.

Children's Photography Project

So, what do I do with these pictures you may ask? Well, I will pick out a few of the better ones to make a layout for my Project Life album.  I also plan to create a collage of all the pictures on A4 paper.  I want these to accompany the story of the bush walk which I will type while Master O dictates. Master O is quite keen to tell his Kindergarten teacher about his adventure, so this illustrated story will be perfect for Show and Tell.

I highly recommend letting your young ones get creative with the camera. If you don’t want to risk damaging your camera or camera phone, consider buying the old school disposable cameras.  Happy snapping !

 

Little Boy’s Bed Pocket

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Every night my husband reads our son a story from Disney’s 365 Stories for Boys.

Bed Pocket

They both love the book, so I get a little cranky when I see it strewn on the floor or looking enticing to a possible page-ripping, 1-year-old.

So mustering some energy on a lethargic Sunday afternoon, I pulled out some scrap material and the sewing machine to run up a book pocket for my son’s bed.

These are easy to make and simply slip under the mattress and hang beside the bed.  They are perfect for storing not just books, but all those items you might use in bed, like the TV remote or hand cream.

Here is how I made mine……..

1. Cut two large rectangles for the pocket backing and two smaller rectangles for the pocket.

Bed Pocket

Bed Pocket

My measurements were 80  x  30  centimetres for the large and 35  x  30  centimetres for the small.  These measurements suited the size of my son’s bedtime book.  Alter the width of the rectangles to suit the width of the books or items you intend to store in you pocket.  Increase or decrease the length of the smaller rectangle to suit the depth  of pocket you require.  Just make sure that you do not make a pocket too deep for the height of your bed base!

2. Placing the two smaller rectangles right side together, hem one side.  Turn right side out and press.

Bed Pocket

3. Taking the two larger rectangles, place the material right side together and insert the pocket in between the fabric pieces.  Make sure the pocket’s hem is facing up.

Bed Pocket

4. Sew around the edges of the rectangle (I used a 0.5 centremetre seam), leaving a section at the top open to allow you to turn the whole thing right-side out.

5. Trim the excess material at the corners before turning right side out and pressing.

Bed Pocket

6. Sew the opening closed.

7. Slip the pocket backing under the mattress and fill the pocket with your books.

Here is my pocket, ready for use….

Bed Pocket

Bed Pocket

The whole project took about 15 minutes to complete and looks really neat.  I may just run a few more of these for the Master Bedroom.  It would be great to free up the night stand and bedside drawers of some of our ‘stuff’.

Have a wonderful week.

A Weekend in the Garden

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The other day I posted an update on the creation of our woodfired pizza oven and hanging herb garden.  You can read that article here.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

Last weekend we also completed a few other biggish jobs about the garden which I thought I would share with you.

With the arrival of a puppy to the household (and to help with his toilet training) we thought it best to forgo the ‘no mow’ stretch we had at the back of the house for some lawn. It once looked like this.

Gardening

Now it looks like this.

Gardening

 

gardening

It was a huge task.  Firstly the rhoeo border had to go as Murphy, the dog, loved pulling them out. Sections that survived his culling were flattened as he loved to run through it.  Next we had to move cubic metre after metre of stones and replace it with soil.  Once the whole thing was leveled, then we could lay the turf.  Hopefully the dog appreciates the time and effort everyone put in for him!

Instead of wasting the stones  and the pavers from this section of the yard, we decided to use them to top up the stones down one side of the house and put in a path.  Here is a picture of our finished job, still drying from the wash down.

Paving

pavers

Again this was a big and annoying job.  As the side of our house is angled every which way and there were obstacles to avoid, it was difficult to work out the line of best fit for the pavers.  We had string lines set up all over the place.

Some smaller jobs also got completed around the yard including a touch up coat of paint on the pizza oven.  I repotted and replaced a few of my herbs, including my parsley, which was gobbled up by the resident possum.  Hubby also hung a heater in the patio area so that we can sit out and enjoy the pizza oven and not freeze in the cooler weather.

It was nice to spend the weekend outdoors, even if it was dirty and back breaking work at times.  With these tasks completed, hopefully the whole family – but especially the dog – can enjoy the garden even more.