Saturday, 26 July 2014

Another Saturday night, another birthday party.  This time it's miss Mia's  6th birthday.

It's been a loooooong day of cooking, but only had to do cakes cos the party was at my son's house, so he cooked  barbeque sausages and rissoles, roast pork, potatoes in foil and salads.  Doesn't food always taste extra good  when you don't have to cook it yourself.

I had a nice quiet  morning of cooking  because the boys had another party to go to.  No kids, no stress. Still the mess though,  dammit.

All the food today was by request, so its all things I have made before. I started off by making choc orange whoopie pies followed by spiced sponge cakes.

While they were cooling I actually cleaned up my mess and had a quick coffee.

Back to the kitchen to make the vanilla cupcakes for the fairy dress cake.  Because I had 2 ovens going I also pressed some biscuits for the caramel meringue tarts  that I would finish later.

Cupcakes are cooked so while they are cooling I made the ganache for the whoopie pies and the sponges. Also did the orange filling for the whoopie pies.

 The kitchen is going a bit downhill now,  sinks full of dirty bowls and cooking trays, benches are covered in cakes and ingredients but luckily I just have enough space to make icing and ice the cupcakes.

I didn't like my chances of getting the cake to my sons in one piece so I'm packing everything up and taking it to his place to put together.  Just as we are about to leave (the man's driving me) the kids arrive home, so I threaten them with death if they touch anything in the kitchen.. unless they plan to clean up the mess..ha ha.

We arrive at my son's and cart everything in and wouldn't you know it there's already people there and I've got icing hanging off my sleeves, icing sugar everywhere, hair tied in a knot, hot and sweaty, looking totally glam.  Oh well.

It takes 3 people to put foil on a board.  Go figure. And then me trying to put this stupid cake together while a monster dog is trying to eat it.. Let's get rid of the dog.  After a couple of setbacks, success,  the cakes done.

The man, of course, is drinking coffee and yacking while I'm standing there tapping my feet...I still have more cooking to do. "  Lets go ".

By now its 4.00 pm.  I need coffee so I'm going to make time to have one.  Bad move.  Drink coffee,  play games on facebook.  Bugger its 5.00 pm and I haven't made the matches or the meringue for the caramel tarts.  Rush job coming.

Cut the pastry for the matches, I'm making them bite size, sort of.  Half the size of the ones I made last week. Same fillings.  Put pastry in oven.  Burn pastry because I'm beating egg whites and not paying attention. Tip pastry into sink and start again.  Let's do one thing at a time.  Finish pastry first.

Ok. its done and cooling.  Pipe meringue onto tarts and cook them.  Lovely.

 Everything going to plan.  Except I'm still looking glam,  probably got more stuff hanging off me, and its 6.20pm and I need to get dressed and leave.  Had to be there 20 minutes ago.

Change of clothes, wash of the  face, throw some moisturiser and blusher on,  spray down the hair (its really curly )bit of conditioner helps it.  Lippy, ready.

Pack the food and kids in the car and leave.

It was a good night, all the family lots of food, a few drinks.  nice.

Finally arrive home and walk into the kitchen, damn, forgot I had to clean up my mess.

You know what?  Bad as it is,( how I get this messy is beyond me), I'm doing it tomorrow because I hear my bed calling, and I'm going to get in it. Night all.

Oh,almost forgot, made some really yummy banana muffins last Sunday.


3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup thickened cream
113 grams butter softened
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

preheat oven to 180 c

makes approx 21 large muffins

fill muffin trays with large patty pans

with an electric mixer, beat the sugars, butter, eggs and cream together.

add the bananas, cinnamon and vanilla.

add the flour, salt and bicarb soda. mix well.

3/4 fill each patty pan.

bake 15 - 20 mins until nicely brown and a skewer comes out clean.


125 grams cream cheese softened
60 grams butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

with an electric mixer, beat cheese and butter until smooth.

add vanilla and cinnamon.

add icing sugar in 3 batches, beating till smooth.

pipe or spoon on muffins. decorate with banana if desired.


24 cupcakes

large fairy wings
tulle skirt
toy tiara
large board (big enough for 24 cakes)
aluminium foil
pins (with pearl ends)
sticky tape
coloured cachous

cover board with aluminium foil, sticking down where needed.

predesign your cake to make sure it fits board . Take a photo so you remember.

try skirt on cakes for size

using star design and piping bag, ice cakes flat.

place fairy wings on board and stick down with tape.

following your design, place cakes on top of fairy wings.

place ribbon on  skirt using pins on inside of band.

place skirt on cakes using one pin in centre of ribbon and one on each side.

fill in gaps on bodice of cake with more piped icing. decorate with cachous.

add tiara and wand.


2 packets butternut snap biscuits
1 can caramel top and fill
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

preheat oven to 180 c

1/2 round patty cake tins needed.  makes 36

lay biscuits across holes of tin

place in oven and heat till soft, about 5 mins.

press biscuits into tin so you have a tart shape.


fill each biscuit with a rounded teaspoon of caramel top and fill.

beat egg whites till just stiff.

add sugar a bit at a time beating well.

spoon or pipe meringue over caramel.

brown in oven.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Well, here I am again, another week gone.

It was my mothers 80th  birthday ( that's her with my niece. Not looking too bad for an old girl hey ) today and all the family went out to lunch at a restaurant in Millpark/Epping. A long afternoon.  They finally did the cake and I could leave, because I still have to go home and cook dessert for tea. After all, it's Saturday night and they all still come for tea.

So we arrive home about 5.00 pm, the man makes a coffee, the kids hit the wii and I hit the kitchen running.

The decision was to have pizza for tea and to make something easy for dessert.  I settled on nutella tarts, marshmallow and raspberry chocolate sandwiches and matches.

I turn the ovens on, put the pastry into one and the chocolate biscuits into the other.

The biscuits only take about 5 minutes to soften so I pulled them out and started pushing them into the tins, burning my finger in the process.  "Ouch" but keep on pushing. This is the base for the tarts.

That done I lay the marshmallows on the other biscuits and whack them into the oven.  Now the pastry's done so I grab that out , throw another lot in and back to the biscuits.  Put jam on the tops, push the tops into the marshmallow and let them cool.

Put nutella into the tart bases then start melting the chocolate that goes over both.  If you haven't noticed, we are all chocolate freaks here lol.

They are done.

A few more sheets of pastry into the ovens  and the matches are well on the way to done.
I whipped the cream while the pastry was cooking and that's in the fridge.  I'm basically done for a while.

Everyone arrives at much the same time tonight, which was nice. And the biggest surprise was that no one is really hungry.  Looking really cheap for me tonight lol.
So I raid the fridge, pull out bacon and cheese and turn on the griller.  After I fried the bacon, I toasted some bread and made grilled bacon and cheese.  So easy, and everyone's happy.  Yay me. I'm a little bit more happy than the rest cos I had a can of moscato with mine (then I had another one).

Never seen sparkling wine in a can before these guys brought it out.  Was becoming quite attached to it, just to find out they are changing back to bottles.A little more in the bottles so possibly a little more tipsy next time lol.

Anyway, back to the kitchen to finish off dessert.  Some raspberry jam, lemon butter, nutella and banana and the whipped cream.  A dusting of icing sugar and we are all set.  Matches three ways. Yummo.

So the first lot leaves because the kids are knackered, the second is about to leave when number 5 son runs back in with some vegemite for me.  Bloody hell, 2.5 kg worth.

I think I'm going to have to come up with some ideas to cook with will be my 80th before I use it all.  Any suggestions gladly accepted.

For a change, its only  11.20.  Alls quiet, well almost, if the man turned the sound on his movie down.

I'm off to bed because tomorrows another day of.....babysitting, washing,  cleaning, you know how it goes.

nite all.  next week.....


preheat oven to 190 c

line bottom of baking tray with baking paper

to make 24....

6 sheets puff pastry thawed
raspberry jam
lemon butter
2 small bananas
600 ml thickened cream whipped
icing sugar to dust

cut 1 pastry sheet into 8 even pieces and place on the baking tray.

cover pastry with a piece of baking paper and place another baking tray on top, so it doesn't rise.

cook for 15 mins or until nicely brown.

continue with the rest of the pastry.


spread 8 pieces of pastry with the jam, 8 pieces with the lemon butter and 8 pieces with the nutella.  place slices of banana on top of the nutella.

put a couple of heaped dessertspoons of cream on top of each filling.

cover fillings with the rest of the pastry pieces.

dust with the icing sugar.


preheat oven to 170 c

1 packet chocolate ripple biscuits
1 packet mini marshmallows
100 gm cooking chocolate
raspberry jam

place 1/2 packet chocolate ripple biscuits on a baking tray, flat side up.

place 8 mini marshmallows on each biscuit.

place in oven for 5 mins or till marshmallows are soft.

spread 3/4 teaspoon jam on each of the leftover biscuits and quickly cover each marshmallow biscuit, creating a sandwich.

melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water, stirring till smooth.

spoon chocolate over top of marshmallow sandwiches

allow to set.


preheat oven to 170 c
1/2 rounded patty cake tin needed (pictured)

1 packet chocolate ripple buscuits
1 jar nutella
100 gm cooking chocolate
crushed hazelnuts (if desired)

place biscuits over hole of tin

place in oven till just soft about 5 mins

push biscuits into tin with your fingers creating a half round shape.


place about 1 teaspoon nutella in each biscuit.

melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water, stirring till smooth.

using a teaspoon pour chocolate over top of nutella to edges of biscuit.

sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts if desired.

allow to set.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Another Saturday night, another birthday,

I was all organised, I made sausage rolls, vanilla slice  and the 2 chocolate cakes for the birthday cake last night.. Babysitting again today, so I wanted to be able to take it easy a bit, relax, you know just amble along in the kitchen. No pressure.

Well,  ha de ha ha.  As usual didn't happen.

Started off reasonably well.  Ice the cakes.  The bottom just chocolate ganache and some sports ball decorations. The top, which is a half cupcake shape,  butter icing, 2 colours and more balls. All good.
What do we call the cake?  I don't know but the kid likes it.  So done.

Because I don't have enough there ever such a thing as enough?....I decide cupcakes for the kids and a spiced sponge for the adults is the go.

Make the sponges first. Made them a couple of weeks ago, not a problem.  This time one sinks a bit in the middle.. I'll just let them cool and worry about them later.

Cupcake time.  Vanilla cupcakes and I'm going to put lolly decorations on them.  I used the same recipe as I used for the malteser cupcakes minus the maltesers of course. The recipe is on here somewhere. These are reasonable quick to make and taste really yummy.And an added  bonus, I had made double the icing for the birthday cake and there's some leftover, so I'm using that.  Cool.

Lots of noise happening at the baby gate.  With a quick glance at the clock, I realise that lunchtime is nearly past.  Whoops.  Push a bit of the mess to the side and whip up a couple of vegemite sandwiches for the 2 littlies.  Making myself a cuppa,  I head off to the dining room for 5 mins while the bigger kids make their own lunches, threatening them with death if they knock anything over. (it's truly messy in there now). But seriously,  you only need a  6 inch square of bench space to make a sandwich, right?

Happy kids, coffees gone,  mess is still there, oh well, can't have everything.

Back to cup cakes,  whack some icing on them, cut up some lollies and " Voila"

Owl and turtle cupcakes.

I turn my attention back to the sponges.   I whip some cream, make more ganache and cut both sponges in half. Cream and icing hide a lot of faults.  So does the bin lol.  I throw out the sunken top and sandwich the rest together.  Looks great.  problem solved.

The man, who's been hiding outside all day, comes in looking for food.. "What was that pastry thing you were making yesterday?"  Oh I forgot about that.  Grab the vanilla slice out of the fridge and cut it into pieces.  He still doesn't know what it is.  Have to get him to help me lift it out of the tin.  Now he knows what it is, I can see the drool running out of his mouth lol.  Vanilla slice is one of his favourites.  Turned out pretty good too even if I do say so myself.

While he's inside, I rope him into vacuuming  the floor. That way I can make a quick pasta to go with our party tea of sausage rolls, store bought party pies (I was too lazy) and cocktail frankfurts.  Jesse's choice.

 It's 5.30 pm, alls done, ( not really), but the kitchen looks a tad better but I'm still in my dressing gown and ugg boots.  What a sight but easy to cook in.  One thing, wear, dirty and wash.

Clean me up, set table, everyone arrives, eat the party fare and sing happy birthday.
 Dessert is served.

Earlier in the week I had a brainwave (which doesn't happen too often) and a new creation was made.....
Chocolate truffle cheesecake slice.  Combine a chocolate ball mix, cheesecake, ganache and chocolate curls. Totally decadent. So I served it too.

I will never be thin.. But there again neither will the rest of them.  If you could see the table,  cupcakes, vanilla slice, cheesecake slice, birthday cake, sponge and the left over lollies as well. Thankfully, we are not that bad.  A lot left, which is good because the kids go back to school this coming week and they will need food for recess.

So here I sit, every ones gone home and for a change the mini food critic got bypassed and my eldest had the last word.  He took the birthday cake, altered it a bit and said."there now it looks like something"

I liked my way better.

next week.......


line 9 x 13 dish with baking paper


250g milk arrowroot or marie biscuits crushed
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 - (3/4) cup coconut
1 tin condensed milk


500 gm cream cheese room temperature
1 tin condensed milk
100 gm dark cooking chocolate
100 gm milk cooking chocolate
300 ml cream
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water


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


mix all together and press evenly into bottom of dish (if you think its a bit too soft, add the extra coconut.

refridgerate while making filling.


Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water. cool slightly.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth.

Beat in melted chocolate then beat in the cream.

Combine gelatine and boiling water stirring until dissolved.

Beat gelatine into cheesecake mixture.

Spoon mixture onto biscuit base and spread evenly.



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

cool slightly.

pour over top of cheesecake.


decorate with chocolate curls if desired.


1 block of chocolate

holding a knife in both hands, start at top of back of chocolate block (not the squares side) and drag knife down to bottom.  continue till you have enough.

another of my own creations.


24 iced cupcakes 
1 pkt fruit rings
1 pkt spearmint leaves
1 pkt party mix (you need the red and green berries and licorice allsort)
choc bits


1 red fruit ring (shell)
1 red berry (shell)
1 green berry (head)
1 spearmint leaf (flippers)

I also used an icing pen to dot on eyes.

stand the spearmint leaf on its side and cut it in half.

then place it flat on a bench and cut it in half lengthwise. so you now have 4 flippers.

position green head then place red berry on red fruit ring (use a bit of icing to glue them together) for shell, and place next to head.

Place flippers around shell. use picture as a guide.


2 fruit rings (eyes)
2 choc bits (eyes)
1 spearmint leaf (eyebrows)
1 licorice allsort (beak)

cut spearmint leaf same as turtle, so you get 2 cakes out of 1 spearmint leaf.

place 2 rings on cake. place choc bit in centre of each.

place eyebrows.

cut licorice allsort apart, using the corner of a piece of the licorice as a beak.

use picture as a guide.


1 1/3 cup thickened cream
2 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup cornflour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
30 grams butter
2 egg yolks
2 sheets of puff pastry thawed

pre heat oven to 180 degrees.

Place 1 sheet of puff pastry on flat baking tray,  top with baking paper and a second baking tray on top to prevent pastry from puffing.

Cook pastry for 15 minutes or until nicely browned, repeat with second sheet of puff pastry.

When pastry has cooled place in square 23 cm cake tin, trimming to fit.


Place milk, cream, caster sugar, custard powder, cornflour and vanilla in heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add egg yolks and butter combining well.

Pour custard on puff pastry sheet in tin and top with second pastry sheet.

cool in fridge.

ice or dust with icing sugar.

cut into pieces in tin (I did 9)

refridgerate. best eaten within 1 day.


2 cups icing sugar
1 dessertspoon softened butter
1 teaspoon strawberry essence (more or less to taste)
couple drops pink food colouring.
enough milk to make spreadable.

mix all together and spread over top of pastry.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Hi again.

I'm so glad today is almost over.  It's certainly been a long one.
Just about everyone is full of the flu, coughing and spluttering, pounding head, sneezing,  runny eyes and nose and I still have to cook and baby sit.

So because my day started early, and I was feeling crappy, I thought a slow cooker  meal was the go today. I swallowed down my coffee,  browned some beef, cut up some vegetables and threw them in the slow cooker and walked away from that for a while.

Lucky me then gets to seperate a few kids that are rolling around on the floor and yelling at the top of their lungs.  Geez, go outside for a while I know its like freezing out there but on a good note the sun's out.. throw on 3 or 4 coats and leave me alone in my misery.

Didn't happen.

Back to the kitchen I go,  little people following me but I have a new baby gate ( the man fell over the last one and made it unrecognizable and useless).  This one has a good lock so I'm on my own.

I'm not making pudding tonight, just a cake and some muffins and using the leftover slices I made earlier in the week..  I got clever on one of my sleepless nights...what do you do when it's 3.00 in the morning and you can't invent recipes in your head and then of course you have to get up and write them down so you don't forget them.
So here  are pictures of the finished products

I called this very orange jelly slice with chocolate. very orange,  very yummy.

and my ferrero rocher style slice...I call it sharrero lol.  Omg tastes just like the real thing.

Back to my cooking.

Lemon solo slab cake which is made with solo lemon flavoured soft drink.  Not much mucking around and goes a long way.

And then there were the muffins.. What a disaster.  Tried a new recipe I found called pumpkin pie cupcakes.
Won't be using that again.  Could have sent the kids out to play with them, they could have bounced them up and down the street....lovely little rubber balls.

I don't like a recipe getting the better of me, so back to the drawing board and ta da..spicy pumpkin muffins

much better.

I made that sound easy didn't I. Somewhere in between all of that I fed the kids, cooked and skinned pumpkin, blended pumpkin, cleaned pumpkin off every surface, had a cuppa with the daughter in law who came for a quick visit with bubby, found a bit more pumpkin to clean up and then cleaned the rest of the mess.  I am with out a doubt, the worlds messiest cook.

Any way the rest of the afternoon went pretty smoothly and I made a chicken satay to go with the beef,  cos some like it "hot hot hot" and some don't.

So everyone arrived, we ate, they left.  I'm sat here looking at the mess that's left as usual but I'm going to have a cuppa before I clean it, after all it's only 12.15 a.m.  I don't have to be up to babysit again until 9.15 a.m.  Plenty of time.

Oh almost forgot to tell you,  I put some of my recipes on and they featured my "very orange jelly slice" on their facebook  page.  I was really chuffed.

And of course I can't go with out the last word from the mini food critic, who was stuffing her muffin in 2 handed..".mmmmmm"

same time next week.  see you.

ps.  if anyone reading this is on facebook,  and you like my recipes, could you go to shazzies cookbook (on facebook) and like my page please....pretty please LOL.

SATAY CHICKEN...nice and easy

1 1/2 kilo chicken breasts
1 1/2 can coconut cream
2 chicken stock cubes
4 heaped tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups sweet chilli sauce.
salt and pepper to taste

trim and cut chicken into pieces.

spray a large pan with cooking spray and lightly cook chicken.

add coconut cream, stock cubes and peanut butter, stirring till smooth.

add sweet chilli sauce .

add salt and pepper.

simmer for 10  mins or till chicken is cooked through.

serve with rice.


1 1/2 kilo blade steak diced and trimmed
7 medium carrots cut into rings
2 medium onions cut into rings
3 full sticks celery (no leaves) diced
1 packet french onion soup
2 cups boiling water
2 beef stockcubes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 small - medium potatoes cut into 4

brown beef in frypan

place onions on bottom of slow cooker

tip beef including juices over onions

place celery and carrots on top of beef

dissolve french onion soup and stock cubes in water

pour over vegetables

cover crockpot and cook on high for 2 hours

turn crockpot to low and stir tomato paste into casserole.

cook 3 1/2 hours.

add potatoes.

cook another 2 -2 1/2 hours or till potatoes are cooked.

add salt and pepper to taste

thicken with 2 tablespoons cornflour mixed with 3 tablespoons water.

LEMON SOLO SLAB CAKE with lemon coconut icing

preheat oven to 180 c
line a swiss roll tray with baking paper

1 cup solo (or any lemon flavoured soft drink)
1/2 cup canola oil
113 gm butter
2 lemons zested (save juice for icing)
2 cups sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine solo, oil and butter, . Bring to a boil, over medium heat, stirring constantly.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, zest and salt. Add mixture from saucepan and with an electic mixer, beat well. Add eggs, milk, soda, and vanilla and beat well. Pour into  swiss roll pan.

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


500grams icing sugar
1 tablespoon butter
lemon juice from 1 lemon
enough milk to make spreadable consistency.

mix together and spread over cake.
sprinkle with coconut if desired.


2 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon all spice

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2/3 cup sour cream

1/3  cup  canola oil

4 large eggs

2 cups cooked pumpkin, pureed (approx 800 gm uncooked pumpkin)

Preheat oven to 180 c.
line 2 muffin tins with patty pans.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, brown and white sugar.

In another bowl, combine the sour cream, oil, eggs and pumpkin puree.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.

evenly divide the mixture between the 24 patty pans.

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



125 grams cream cheese room temp.
60 grams butter softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups icing sugar.

beat cheese and butter till smooth.

add vanilla

add icing sugar in 3 batches, beating till smooth.

pipe or spoon onto muffins.  sprinkle with cinnamon.