Saturday, 28 June 2014

Well, here I am again, all that arrived to eat have left, the kids are in bed,  even the man is in bed.  I'm all alone, its quiet...almost heaven.

Had a nice easy day today. No grandchildren to babysit (they come tomorrow this week), the man of the house is out, my kids are actually quietly watching t.v. and not trying to kill each other..there's not a lot of peace with two ten year olds.. just a leisurely morning, I even had time to play on the computer and actually drink my coffee while it was hot.

So I eventually started off my cooking today with a spiced sponge, some might call it a ginger fluff,  but if I called it that, certain people wouldn't eat it. Amazing the difference a name makes. This is my first attempt at making one of these.  I don't know why I haven't tried before because it was easy peasy. And really yummy.

Just in case that didn't turn out  (cos you don't know until you cut it after tea), I made some apple muffins that you dip the tops in butter and cinnamon sugar while they are still hot. Can't go wrong with anything cinnamon.

After they were made its like only 2.00 pm.  I almost don't know what to do with myself (ha ha)  more computer, more coffee. I am going to make the most of this time lol.

Playing games on  facebook  obviously makes time fly because all of a sudden its 4.00 pm, got to make tea. Because I wanted to continue my nice easy day,  I decided a nice easy main course was called for. So I made mexican potato pie. Nice and warm and spicy especially because the nights are freezing cold at the moment.  I also like to let the meat sit for a while so the flavour goes through it before I add the potato and put it in the oven.  It only needs 1/2 hour to cook.

So now its 5.00 pm, set the table, vacuum the floor so the 2 littlies don't eat the kids lunch that they dropped, nothing worse than crunchy, hard cheese  or something they stood in getting out of the chair.  Mind you the floor will look 3 times as bad once every one goes.

I'm almost pacing the floor now, just don't know what to do with my self  (good name for a song).
I know, I'll cook something else.  A chocolate self saucing pudding comes to mind.  I'm just starting to get the ingredients ready when daughter in law no. 2 arrives.  Make a cup of tea for her, play with the baby,
look at the time,  throw the potato pie together and put it in the oven. Talk, talk, chase the baby, everyone else arrives, more talk, talk, more chase 2 babies, take the potato pie out of the oven, quickly make the pudding, throw it in the oven, take a breath, dish up tea.

We all sit down, as usual, eat everything in sight, and fall into our usual food coma though a coffee wakes you up a bit. Might even fit in another bit of cake.
Son  (partner of daughter in law no. 2) arrives home from work, just as others are leaving, hello to 1 and bye to 5  and he goes straight to dessert, He loves chocolate pudding.

He eats, but he has to shovel fast because baby is tired and grizzly and needs to go home to bed.
Bye bye.
Clear the table, put leftovers away. look at the mess in the kitchen, make coffee and turn the light off. Won't hurt to leave it till the morning, will it? I will ponder that question while I drink my coffee.

I've pondered, I've drank my coffee, I went back to the kitchen  to turn the tap on to fill the sink, turned the kettle on instead, by mistake of course.  Made another coffee and turned the light off again.  My bad.

And well here I am again .. .

oh I almost forgot the mini food critic

with her muffin.

Nite all.. see you next week.


preheat oven to 180 c
lightly greased deep baking dish

serves 8 - 10

for pudding

3 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
2/3 cup oil

for sauce

2 1/4 cups brown sugar firmly packed
6 tablesppons cocoa
6 cups boiling water


with an electric mixer, mix all ingredients together and pour evenly into dish.


mix cocoa and sugar together.

sprinkle evenly over pudding.

carefully pour the boiling water over the top of the sugar mix.

cook approx. 45 mins or till skewer comes out clean.

sprinkle with icing sugar.


preheat oven to 180c

2 kilo mince steak
750 grams heinz frozen golden mix ( peas, corn, onion, celery and capsicum)
2 jars dolmio spicy peppers spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1/2 - 1 cups water
salt to taste
2 kg mashed potatoes
1 cup tasty grated cheese

in a large pot brown and drain mince.

in same pot saute vegies and garlic until just cooked.

add meat back to pot.

add spicy pepper sauce, water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and chilli powder.

mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.

tip into large deep baking pan.

cover with potato.

sprinkle with cheese.

cook till cheese is melted and golden brown.

serve with corn chips, sour cream and avacado


preheat oven to 180 c (160 c fan forced)
grease, flour and line bottom of 2 20cm cake (sponge) tins.

4 eggs
3 / 4 cup sugar
1 / 2 cup cornflour
1 dessertspoon plain flour
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 / 2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 dessertspoon golden syrup warmed

with an electric mixer on high, beat the eggs and sugar  until thickened and creamy.

Then sift in the flours, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, cream of tartar and bicarb soda.

Fold into the egg mixture and mix all together, then add the warm golden syrup, folding lightly.

Bake  for 25 minutes or until sponge bounces back when touched.

cool .

when cold cut each sponge in half and fill with whipped cream (or make 1 big sponge and sandwich 2 together)

ice with chocolate icing.

100 gm dark cooking chocolate
1/4 cup thickened cream
25 gm butter

melt all together in a heatpoof bowl over a pot of boiling water.

cool .

spread evenly over tops of sponges.

APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS with cinnamon sugar topping


2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 cup tinned pie apples chopped

mix all ingredients except the apple together.  then stir in apple.

evenly fill patty pans

cook 20 - 25 minutes till skewer comes out clean.


melt 1/3 cup butter in small deep bowl.

mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 dessertspoon of cinnamon together.

while hot, dip each muffin into the butter and then roll in the sugar.

serve warm or cold

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Well another Saturday night done and dusted.

It was Lily's birthday tea tonight, so we had  a party tea with homemade sausage rolls,  pizza pinwheels, party pies, cocktail frankfurts and some tortellini carbonara for the adults.

For dessert tonight we had choc orange whoopie pies, caramel wafer slice again and of course a birthday cake. A pinata cake.

whoopie pies.

With much complaining, I left the man of the house babysitting while I set to in the kitchen decorating the birthday cake and making the whoopie pies.  I made the birthday cakes last night so they cooled properly.
This morning I just had to trim them down, cut the middle out of the bottom section, fill it with lollies, join them together and then decorate it.

I wanted to use fruit sticks for the cake but couldn't get them anywhere so I used sherbet sticks instead.
Didn't look like what I had pictured in my mind but the kids were happy.  sherbet everywhere lol.

So i cleaned up all the mess, made the kids some lunch and had a well deserved cup of coffee.  The man disappeared outside so I took over babysitting duty till he reappeared.  Took a while, think he was hiding.

Once he was back, It was time to start on the sausage rolls and pinwheels.  I don't know how I do it, but the mess is back again, only 3 times as bad. Of course everyone arrives and you can't even see the kitchen for the mess  hence my sign....

Anyway, I get everything cooked and on the table, (the mess can wait )  and of course it all tastes excellent lol.
The mini food critic was happy as per usual and she wasn't sharing with anybody.

Home time comes for everyone and after waving them all goodbye its time to go back into the disaster area.
The man got there before me and started the dishes.."thanks Hun" so i cleared tables, put food away left him to it and here I am.

Now I think it's time for a coffee, a few games on facebook and off to bed cos tomorrow's another day..babysitting, washing school uniforms, vacuuming floors cos there's sherbet and god knows what everywhere and blah blah etc.
I'll be cooking again next weekend.  See you then.


large cupcake mould needed

preheat oven to 180 c 350 F)

2 packets cake mix (anything you like)
assorted lollies (i used freckles and jelly beans)
2 packets sherbet sticks
blue cachous

make cake mixes as directed in seperate bowls.

pour  1 of each mix into each piece of the cupcake mould.

cook for about 45 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

cool completely.

make butter icing.

trim cakes if needed.

take middle out of bottom part of cake.

fill with lollies.

sandwich top to bottom with some icing.

cover all of cake with thin layer of icing.

press sherbet sticks all around the cake.

pipe icing around top of cake.

sprinkle with cachous.


250 gm butter softened
3 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk.

beat butter in electric mixer till pale and fluffy.

add 1/2 the icing sugar and beat on low till combined.

add milk and rest of icing sugar and beat till combined.

for strawberry icing add strawberry essence to taste and  pink colouring.
cupcake mould


preheat oven to 180 c (350 F)

grease whoopie pie tin, round bottom tin,(pics below) or can be made in patty cases.


1 pkt duncan hines devils food cake mix

make as per directions on box.

drop about a tablespoon of mix into each hole or 1/2 fill patty pans.

cook about 10 mins for tins, 15 mins for patty pans. til skewer comes out clean.

orange filling

100gm cream cheese room temp
100 gm butter softened
zest 1 orange
2 cups icing sugar

beat together butter, cream cheese and zest.

add icing sugar 1/2 at a time.

beat till smooth.

chocolate top

100 gm dark cooking chocolate
1/4 cup thickened cream
25 gm butter

melt all together in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water.


makes 24 pies (48 halves) If using patty pans, I just cut the cakes in half and fill.

evenly distribute the orange filling over 24 bottoms.

cover with top.

using a teaspoon, cover tops with chocolate.



2 sheets puff pastry thawed
approx 4 tablespoons pizza sauce (enough to cover both sheets)
1/4  green capsicum finely chopped
1 1/2 cups ham chopped
1/4 cup pineapple chopped
1/4 cup champignons chopped
1 cup tasty cheese grated

spread both sheets of pastry with pizza sauce.

on one sheet sprinkle half the ham, the pineapple and half the cheese.

on the other sprinkle the ham, cheese, capsicum and champignons.

roll each sheet up like a swiss roll and cut into 1.5 cm slices.

arrange on a lined baking tray.

cook approx. 10 mins or till golden brown.

eat hot or cold.


preheat oven to 180 c

4 sheets puff pastry thawed
500 gm sausage mince
1  small carrot very finely chopped ( or processor)
1 small onion very finely chopped (or processor)
3 slices bread processed into breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 egg mixed well

mix together the sausage mince, carrot, onion, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and salt and pepper until well combined.

cut each sheet of pastry in half.

lightly dust a chopping board with flour and roll sausage mix into 8 sausage shapes the same length as the pastry.

sit the sausage just off the edge of one side of the pastry, wipe some milk along the edge with your finger and fold the other side of the pastry over the top of the sausage and seal down with a fork.

brush with the egg. can sprinkle with sesame seeds if liked.

cook till golden.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


 Out for tea tonight. A rare occurrence for a Saturday night.  Lizzy Lou's birthday. (daughter in law).

So me being me, after being shown a pic of a fancy looking cake says "I can do that, I'll make it for your birthday"  I mean how hard can it be?

This is the cake..26 eggs worth of cake..

But we don't like the white butter icing and the hearts are a bit valentine's dayish and why do you have vanilla cake in there when more chocolate is so much better.  Chocolate everything it is.

"I can do this"

Friday night , make the chocolate cake for the top and bottom.  Make the roulade for the middle..24 egg yolks, 8 egg whites,  lots of stirring and folding. Cook , cook.  Take out of oven and leave over night.

So I still have all these egg whites left.  Brain wave, make 2 forgotten puddings.  So easy.  Put in the oven and forget about them till tomorrow as well.


Saturday morning is here.  Grandaughter arrives to be babysat.  She's not so well...falls asleep.

 I look at all the cake bits...scarey.

I'm going to make something else, the cake can wait a bit longer. But of course I don't have everything  I need so I send the man out shopping while I have a coffee and ponder my next moves.

He's back.  Grandaughters still asleep.  I'm off to the kitchen to make citrus jelly slice.  I get that all made but have to wait an hour for the jelly to cool.

I guess I have to tackle the cake.

We decided just to go for whipped cream in the roulade instead of buttercream.

So of course the roulade doesn't roll cos it sure looks more risen than the one in the pics (there's a step by step picture guide for making this)  its splits in places,  but I followed all the directions so I don't know.
Keep going anyway cos I mean 26 eggs!!

So I assemble my cake, ice it with chocolate butter cream and use lots of after dinner mints and chocolate curls to decorate.  Its  the highest cake I've ever made.  But its done.

Sure looks like the original lol.

Oh, and somewhere in between I finished off the citrus slice.

Just to be on the safe side (cos I'm really worried about the inside of this cake) I send the man out to the cheesecake shop ( a bit of a plug for them) to buy a strawberry fields cake.  We love these.  We have 1 every birthday.

And because I have nothing better to do, I whip up a snickers  slice just in case we don't have enough food.

(top pic is from my recipe file).

Lizzy arrives to pick up grandaughter and I get ready to go out.

We have main course and get down to the business of dessert.   I cut up the slices and decorate the forgotten pudding.

I decide to go with the bought cake as the birthday cake.  Now I'm too scared to cut the damn  tower of chocolate.

Happy birthday Lizzy.

The time has come,  I have to cut the goes.

Well all things

Looks not too bad,  tastes not too bad,  but really hard to cut because it's so big.  Wouldn't make it again.

All in all another successful Saturday night and I couldn't go before the mini food critics had a look in..

She thought the cake was just fine lol.

Also through the week I made a choc bottom banana slice which was really yumm

see you next week.


6 egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
250 gm caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

preheat oven to 220 c

beat egg whites and salt till peaks start to form.

gradually add the sugar, then the cream of tartar and vanilla.

beat till thick and glossy.

spoon into lined swiss roll tin.
smooth out.

put into oven, close the oven door and quickly turn the oven off.


leave overnight or at least 10 hours.(mine sat in the oven from 8.00 pm friday night till i needed it at 6.00 pm saturday night.)

this is similar to a pavlova, so decorate as such.

i used cream, banana and passionfruit.



line 9 x 13 dish with baking paper.

1 pkt marie bicuits crushed
185 gm butter melted

mix together and press into bottom of dish.


1 can condensed milk
juice and zest of 2 medium lemons
1/4 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons gelatin

mix condensed milk, lemon juice and zest together.

dissolve gelatin in boiling water and stir into milk mixture.
pour over biscuit base.

refridgerate for an hour.

jelly top

1 pkt lime jelly crystals
1 teaspoon gelatin
250 ml boiling water
75 ml cold water
125 ml lime juice

dissolve jelly crystals and gelatin in the boiling water. stirring till totally dissolved.

add cold water and lime juice.

refridgerate 1 hour.

tip jelly over milk mixture and refridgerate. let set for at least 4 hours.

this can be made in a smaller dish which will make the slice a bit higher.


preheat oven to 180 c (350 f)
line a 9 x 13 ovenproof dish with baking paper

113 gm butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking cocoa

with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.

add egg and vanilla, beat until thoroughly combined.

add the bananas.

add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. mix well.

Divide batter in half.

Add the cocoa to one half of the mix and spread over base of dish.

Spread remaining batter on top .

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool completely.

drizzle with chocolate icing.


3/4 cup icing sugar
1 dessertspoon cocoa sifted
enough milk to make a runny paste.

mix all together and drizzle over slice with a spoon.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Well another Saturday night has come and gone.  It's 1.13 Sunday morning, and I'm sitting here wide awake, with my nose running like a tap and someone pounding my head with a hammer.  Other than that , all is good with the world.

For tea tonight we had chicken parmigiana with mashed potatoes and honey glazed carrots.  Followed by cream horns, coca cola cupcakes,  apricot danish and banana nutella danish.(the recipe for these is here but in a smaller version)

As usual everyone vacuums down main course so as to get to dessert quicker.
Looking at the table, I feel quite piggy.....where to start ?

The cupcakes look awesome even if i do say so myself lol.. I'm not real good with a piping bag yet, so took me a while but I'm happy with the result.

And the mini food critic was pretty happy as well.....

But I have more than one critic tonight,  he who's sitting there with the plate of cream horns in front of him, shovelling them down  at the speed of light, says " these aren't as good as the matches ". I'm just staring at him.  "I mean they're fine, but the matches are awesome. (the recipe is in here) You know it's the cream and jam to pastry ratio".

So I put chocolate icing on some with just cream in the middle.  they taste a bit like a chocolate eclair. yummy.

Then he he had to have a say about the apricot danish.  "Don't think this goes with that and I think I'd rather have them hot.. but his wife and the man of the house like them so I guess you can't please everyone.  I think they're alright.  Nice to make something different for a change.  Gets hard coming up with different meals week after week,, slaving over a hot stove,  washing dishes,  blah blah blah blah blah blah.  Whinge over lol.

Well now it's 1.54 am, I'm babysitting in 7 hours, so I'm going to go have another coffee cos like thats going to keep me awake and then go to bed.

And last but not least the man of the house sent me a nice little quote....

so true lol.

see you for another instalment next week.