Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tomato Mustard

I have finally finished quilting my nephew's red and yellow quilt aka Tomato Mustard. I am quite happy with it and all I have to do now is get the binding made and sew it on. This has been a long term project started about 4 years ago. I got it out last year and realised that I wanted to make it bigger.

Instead of quilting in the stitch I went either side of the ditch using the width of my walking foot. I think it looks pretty effective. I have a quilt like this one to do for my niece. She was supposed to get it for her 10th birthday. She's now 14.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Windows and Doors Are In!

I went by the house again today hoping to see the windows were in and they were! It is looking so good now. The roof on the garage has also been completed.


You have to make these! These are soooo yummy. The texture is light and fluffy and the cinnamon and sugar so moreish. I came across these on My Baking Adventures (I have been looking at so many baking blogs... just check out my list on the left!). Here's the recipe:

8 oz unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2-3/4 cups plain flour
1-1/2 stp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup caster sugar

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
Form into balls and roll into the cinnamon and sugar mix. Flatten them slightly with your fingertips. Place onto baking sheets with greaseproof paper and refridgerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 180C. Place cookies 2 inches apart and bake for about 12-13 minutes.
The cookies are supposed to be chewy so do not overbake.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Windows Delivered

I went by the house yesterday and found that the windows, doors and guttering have been delivered. I didn't like the way they were just laying on the dirt though. All I could think about was someone throwing something to deliberately break them. These little windows are for my room and the guest bedroom. I quite like them.

Here's how everything was left. I hope they get them in quick enough.

The Termite's Rooms

On Sunday afternoon after we got back from our drive I took the boys (and my sister) into the house for a walk through. I wanted to get a photo of the boys in their rooms looking out their windows.

Illawarra Fly

On Sunday my sister and I and our collection of Termites took a drive to the Illawarra Fly. It was my sister's shout and I wasn't going to say no.

As it turned out my Termites were very brave during the tree top walk. The outer walkways wobbled. Termite 3 was scared the most. And it turns out that my sister... my TWIN sister is scared of heights! And I didn't know! What kind of sister does that make me?

After the tree top walk we continued on with our drive and went and had a look at Belmore Falls. This was spectacular! We went a different way home and had to drive on more dirt road. We came to a corner to say that water was on the road and indicators showed depth. When I kept going I had to stop! Here was this running water on the road and either side was water - a creek, or as my sister said 'holes'. To top it off I couldn't turn around if I wanted to; one lane in dirt... too hard and then the road straight ahead (after I went on the itty bitty road was a hill! Of course I'm brave and just forged ahead... oh my goodness...

Rainbow Cookies

Termite 2 loves anything to do with rainbows so when I saw the recipe for these on Munchin Munchies blogspot I just had to make them for him. There was also an idea to use the dough for making Lollypop Cookies. I gave that a go too.

These cookies remained soft after cooking. They were quite delicious really. Although the rainbows were a bit of a pain to do, the end results were well worth it. Here's the recipe:


3/4 (6 oz) cup butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
assorted food colouring

Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into fourths. Tint each with a different food colour. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 180C. Make ropes from each colour and then position them into rainbow shapes. Cut off the ends to make the bottoms of the rainbows straighter.

To make the lollypops simple mix portions of all four colours together and then roll into a snake shape. Shape these into lollypop shapes. After baking a attempted to use 6mm dowel for the sticks. It worked for a split second.

This is Termite 2. After taking this photo the lollypop fell to the floor!

Most Moist Banana Cake Ever

I have made this banana cake twice already and I'm making it again tomorrow to give away. My sister even took some back home (a 7 hour drive) to give to her boyfriend cause he so likes banana cake (and carrot cake - he's getting a recipe for that instead).

How many times does someone say "This recipe is great. It's the best I've made!" Well this time it's true. I believe the secrets are a very low oven and then it gets put into the freezer straight from the oven!

I found the recipe at Life In A Peanut Shell.

3/4 cup (6 oz) butter
2- 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1- 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1- 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp lemon juice
1- 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (I just used 2 bananas)

1/2 cup (4 oz) butter
1 (8 oz) packaged cream cheese, softened
3-1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 135C
  • Grease and flour a 9x13 pan
  • In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
  • Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
  • Stir in banana mixture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes - this will make the cake very moist.

  • Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Beat in 1 tsp vanilla.
  • Add icing sugar and beat on low until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
  • Spread on cooled cake.

Cook this! It really, really is moist.


I went to the house on Saturday with my sister and did a walk through and this is what I noticed on one of the beams... my last name! I couldn't help but share (I'm no longer anonymous - this trumps the need to be!). So my thoughts are that should I move from this house then I will always remember that my name is on one of the beams, so, technically it will always be my house!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On With the Roof!

I went by the block/house yesterday morning to get a few day shots of the frame but the workers were already there getting the roof on. The crane was huge! I did manage to get one day shot though.

The crane operator manoeuvred the crane to stretch it over the house to see how far it could reach. Then he started putting the trusses onto the top of the house.

Then I watched for a little bit whilst they started getting the roof trusses on top of the house.

In the afternoon I went back to the house to see what progress had been made. Well the roof was on and the guys were finishing up with the front of the house. Look workers!

There's still some work to be done on the garage. I will stop by today to get some more progress and hopefully do a 'walk through'.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frames Are Up!!

I took my sister to my house on Tuesday so I could show her the slab (oh how I love my slab... I'm proud of my slab). A couple of guys were there doing some plumbing stuff - digging big massive trenches in the dirt (well muddy, claggy dirt).

One of the guys said that the frames would be there on Thursday (that's today). I didn't get there during the day cause my sister and I went shopping.

So I went up there tonight. I felt compelled to photograph the progress as it happens. I arrived thinking that I would see a bunch of timber laying around and instead saw frames! How cool. Now I know that I have to go up every day. The photos aren't the best cause it was dark so I will take some more photos in daylight tomorrow.

Zebra Cake

How cool is this idea? I came across the Zebra Cake last night when I was surfing six different cooking blogs (and I'm still doing that tonight!). It is from The Food Librarian. There are some absolutely fabulous step-by-step pictures of how to do this cake. Go on over and have a look and then make sure you do it. It was fun and such a simple concept.

When I made my cake I used 1/2 cup for each of the vanilla and chocolate but next time I'd do 1/4 cup measurements. On AZ Cookbook she did 3 tablespoons of each. Check out her website too to see how close she got her stripes to go. For some reason my cake split. I do think it is the oven cause there's many things I cook that bake unevenly - if I do cupcakes the left ones cook faster than the right ones.

Too cover up the splits on the cake I thought I'd do a nice frosting. Why don't I ever listen to my first instinct? My first thought was to do a cream frosting with a hint of vanilla and sugar in it - very delicious, but no, I had to look at one of my cooking magazines and do the chocolate frosting that used chocolate and sour cream. Following the recipe exactly? No! I used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate and there was a distinct 'tart' floavour to the frosting. Note to self: listen to self.

Nephew's 13th

My visitors have been here for two days and we've been just hanging. I gave my nephew his birthday cake and it hid the wonderful rainbow colours underneath; nobody suspected a thing. May I just mention though that I wish I knew who had turned up the fridge cause it turned out that the cake was near enough to frozen! The Termites battled through though. My nephew and niece "dug" in as well.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Getting Visitors

Yesterday was my nephew's birthday. He turned 13. He's coming for a holiday tomorrow with his mum (my twin sister) and his sister. They haven't been here for 15 months. I've gone back home - HEAPS, but my darling twin sister hasn't bothered visiting me in OVER 15 MONTHS!!


Getting visitors is a good old excuse to getting some cooking done. I have been finding some more wonderful cooking blogs and came across a great idea for cupcakes from Recipe Girl. Bunny Cupcakes. I couldn't resist!

We'll be using these tomorrow for my nephew's birthday party.

And what's a party without a birthday cake? I was going to make him a giant cupcake cake with my newly purchased cake tin, but realised I didn't have enought cake batter and I didn't want to make up another mix, so I thought Rainbow Cake! Termite 2 loves rainbows. He helped me put it into the cake tin and then I swirled it around and it looked fabulous.

So now we eagerly await their arrival tomorrow. Tomorrow's jobs include changing all the Termites bedding and then getting the guest beds ready. Some movement of furniture will be necessary.

Easter Sunday

So the Easter Bunny came and left each of the Termites a trail of little eggs in their room leading to their main treat. They love this! Each of the Termites came and got me to show me before they collected the eggs. Well trained Termites.

Termite 1 got a Strawberry Freddo pack and the traditional Easter Bunny as well as his trail eggs.

Termite 2 got a Dragon Bucket (he LOOOVES dragons), the Easter Bunny and his trail eggs.

Termite 3 got a Freddo Frog pack, Easter Bunny and trail eggs.

It is tradition that chocolate is allowed for breakfast. After allowing the Termites to go for it I realise that it is time to form some important rules for next year. Here's why:

The chocolate massacre. Termite 3 had so much fine pulling his eggs apart after I showed him how I used to do it when I was a kid (and young adult... and when it was just me and his sister... and heck, I still do it! It's fun!).

What do I do? Put a small hole at the top of the egg or bunny. And then with your fingers you break off small pieces and place inside. Keep going until you end up with a 'nest' of broken up pieces.

Good Friday

Thursday was the last day of school so Termite 1 and I went for a 45 minute drive north to go to a very good fish market. The fish there is cheaper than where I live and I also wanted an excuse to go shopping cause it was Thursday night.

For Good Friday's dinner we ended up having a three course meal.

First we had homemade pumpkin soup. A family 'secret' recipe. It is so yummy!

For the main meal we had Baked Fish Fillets. This was so simple and quick.

And then for dessert we had one of the favourites of the Termites - cheesecake! And I have to confess that it was a packet one but oh so yummy and quick to prepare.

Easter Hat Parade & Easter Cupcakes

We had our annual Easter Hat Parade at school last Wednesday. That's my day off so I got to go to school just as a mum and see Termite 1. Apparently Termite 1 was very uncooperative and didn't want to make a hat. He told his teacher that we didn't do Easter. Unfortunately for him, since I work at the same school his teacher wrote me a note to ask me. Let's just say that Termite 1 got to do some of his hat in lunchtime!

For Termite 1's class and for mine, I decided to make some Easter Egg Topped Cupckaes. I got the idea from an IGA junk mail catalogue. These went down really well and since it was the last day of school many of the students weren't at school so some of the teachers got spoilt too.