Thursday, 30 June 2011


Roll on tomorrow, holidays! yay!

Tonight I've done my weekly baking session, one for home and one for morning tea at the fountain of knowledge tomorrow. That new fancy (not!) yoghurt cake recipe I've acquired and changed to suit. I mentioned it last time. It's pretty yum!
here's what you'll need, all pretty simple stuff, any yoghurt can be used, I have used vanilla and this time mixed berries.
plus a packet of these berries just before it goes in the oven.
Into the bowl of the mixer place the following:
1 cup of caster sugar
1 2/3 cup of Self Raising flour, or you can mix up your own plain flour, baking powder cocktail,
1 teaspoon of vanilla
the grated rind of a lemon
2 eggs
1/3 cup of oil, (I use Rice Bran Oil, but any will do)
1 cup of yoghurt, any flavour or variety
and whatever fruit you want to use, frozen, fresh or canned/tinned.
whisk it all up in the machine,
then pour it into your cake tin ( 24cm for the one volume)
then place your choice of fruit on the top and a sprinkling of brown sugar before you place it into the oven at 180 degrees for 45 mins.

I made some modifications to the recipe *as usual!*. Mine will not have the fruit on top as it will be inverted.
I very easily quadrupled the above quantites(except the lemon zest) in my Kenwood maj to put into 2 of my Nordicware bundt tins and then lowered the temperature back to 165 degrees and kept them cooking away for about 1 and a quarter hours.

the berries sink into the cake, and end up nicely spread through it.

this bigger one looks the best, the other one's berries didn't sink so well.

this one came straight out of it's tin.

this one hung in there for a while

but finally popped right on out.
I can see some big craters on the cake, mmmmn I'll have to work on them next time.

Or just fill 'em up with a cream cheese icing- yee hah!!
There you go, recipe included just for u sis <3, enjoy, j

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The week that was

This last week was so very busy,
Monday night we said goodbye to my sister who had very kindly made the trip to look after  the 2 young ones whilst we went to New Zealand- this never eventuated due to the Ash cloud from Chile. Ho Hum.

I did A LOT of baking for my kid's school's P and F as they were catering for 40 people one night and I was given the job of desserts. I decided on 2 baked cheesecakes, 2 pavlovas, 2 pineapple syrup cakes and my latest and greatest discovery, Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings, using puff pastry instead of crescent rolls. I was told there was plenty of leftovers for the following day's morning tea. I have NEVER been one to undercater anything. This was a busy Wednesday night and Thursday morning with a few extras baked for my own household and work morning tea on Friday. Thankyou FF for the yogurt cake recipe, I have made it twice this week alone.

The one above used berry yogurt and raspberries

It worked really well doubled in my favorite Bundt tin.

This one was not such a hit, it used vanilla yogurt and canned prunes.

This is my weapon of choice: 

 It's a Kenwood Major,and I can double most recipes very nicely in it. I've had it for more than 12 months now and it has made literally hundreds of cakes and dozens of pavlovas(2 at a time, 16 egg whites and a Kg of sugar) It was a good investment. I did a lot of research as everyone seems to have a kitchenaid, but went with my own past experience, I had owned a Kenwood chef for 20 years until it blew and I still have my mum's 35 year old one as a backup plan. I can most highly recommend Kenwood!
Though it would not be unusual for me to buy the Kitchenaid as my 2nd mixer!!

On Thursday I had a trip to a town 120 Km away for some dental work. May I just say that in coordination with my jewellery, Gold is involved in a custom made article, that no one will really ever be able to see. Unfortunately, no diamonds can be set in the said item. I think I shocked the dentist when I asked if I could select the colour of the gold! Even princesses must get to choose the colour of these items!

Thursday night saw my eldest son come home on the bus from boarding school for his holidays. He actually enjoyed the ride this time compared to past ones. He had the longest mop of hair I'd seen in a long time. Last holidays in Sydney a hairdresser actually spent so long checking him out, before cutting, for non-existent creatures that it was incredibly embarassing, I think she must have thought he was a hobo. We won't ever go back there! He now sports a very short, extremely lovely do which makes him look and feel so much better.

On Friday Mr MDK had a few scares in his piloting. He was on his way home in a big headwind when his plane told him that he would not have enough fuel to make it all the way so he turned back to get more fuel in a little outback town. He refuelled and then made the decision that it might take him longer to get home and it would be too close to dark so he was going to stay the night. hmmn I was a little worried about this as he had nothing with him and nowhere to stay. When he called I was also in the process of trying to explain to my son that he could not shave his head and that I would not let it be too short as he would be sent home from school until it grew to an acceptable length, couple that with the fact that the last time he had his hair all clippered off he stared in the mirror and cried for an hour. I reminded him of this, though he said he could not remember it. I didn't tell him he was only 2yrs old when it happened. Well I must have given the impression to Mr MDK that I wanted him home, so he checked out his flight plan and started to taxi etc.

Along the runway he blew a tyre.

Thankfully it happened when it did and not at the point of take off or at the other end when he landed. He then had to wait for someone to fly out in the morning and replace the broken one.

So he got his night away from home, sleeping in a converted shipping container and listening to campers tell tales around a campfire, whilst consuming plenty of cooling/warming beverages. His idea of a great night out!
He arrived bearing this to the saturday party.

Saturday saw us attend a friend's 40th and his daughter's 2nd combined birthday parties.
Here's what Bush kids get up to when they're sick of the Wii.

The big kids loaded the little kids in the toddlers cars and off they went.
I think the aim was a race, though to us adults it looked like a type of super noisy, destructive, break the cars game. Yes, there was blood involved, but the bleeder was tough and there were no tears.

The blue car was a write off at the end, perhaps that had more to do with the large load that was being pushed along and the ruts in the road!!!!
It's Stuffed!
Today I am going to implement the decluttering of shoes and clothes and cleaning ensuite policies.
As these little beauties arrived this week (purchased due to the recently changed shoe policy at work) and I need somewhere to put them.
I wore these yesterday and can say that there were no blisters or sore feet to be had.

AAh the only flowers to be found around here in the dead of winter!!

And one lonely Pierre de Ronsard!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Big Eggs

Check out what I found in my hens' laying boxes last week.


My eyes almost popped out of my head. I wondered which poor chook had laid this Ginormous egg. The little one here is even considered a large sized egg. The Big one is HUGE!!
I thought I should measure it.


The measurement says 118g, and the smaller one measured 67g,

but wait there's more........


Another one appeared 2 days later.
What's going on???? was there an emu sneaking into the chook yard?
I plotted and planned what I was going to do with these monsters.
I needed help. Inspiration please.
Something to honour them.
mmn what to do with these beauties.

I took the plunge (we were hungry!) and had a crack (haha) at a favourite of ours at home.



Just as I thought a double yolker, my two youngest even thought that they might have been triple yolkers.


And then we made something really simple- Throw 'em together rissoles. Yum Yum..

I love my chooks.
Better still, I love the eggs they produce. Most years we get little day old chicks in spring and raise them. Last year, I left it too late and missed out. This year, in the last few weeks, I have had to buy older chooks (who are yet to lay any return on my $200 investment) as I am not getting any eggs yet. Add to that one old hen who has started eating them before I can collect them. So these whoppers are indeed valuable. 
I read a lot before I got my first chooks many years ago and made sure that I would have all the right conditions for healthy, happy hens, who would lay GIANT eggs.

No roosters cockle-a-doodling at my house in the middle of the night!
Here they are. My girls.


I'm pretty sure these black ones, "Black Bond layers" are not laying any googies after just being moved to my house and having just finished their molt. I have 7 of these.
The Black and white spotty ones, Anconas, only lay very white eggs, and they haven't laid anything for ages, so it's not them.


These girls "Bond red layers" are still a bit too young to be laying, they're pullets. I have 7 of these. I have opened up my veggie garden so they can clean up the weeds and have a good scratch around.


Behold the beauty of the healthy fresh young chook! Check out how they have pecked and munched out the silverbeet plant.


Inquisitive aren't they? on the top right hand you can see a couple of scrappy old red chooks. I think it's one of them.

It's not you! You're in big trouble! you were caught with egg on your beak, you've been eating eggs!
Solitary confinement for you to hope you'll get over it. 
(Sounds a bit like a suspension from school!)
She's been removed from socialising with the other girls.   I have put her into her own very roomy (and 5 star!!!) cage with plenty of food and water, with the hopes that she'll forget about that nasty habit, well at least she won't be able to teach any one else how to eat them.

I'm pretty sure it's this one-very scrappy, in the process of molting, who's laid the GIANT eggs. She's about 4 years old and they might have just been her last eggs.
They sometimes do that, lay either very small or very large eggs when they are about to retire from hard labour laying.
For those of you who are interested, my chooks live a long, happy life, rewarded for their productivity with plenty of food, cuddles from the kids, and sometimes a few nice "kisses" from the dogs.
They always expire from natural causes.
And, due to the abundance of dogs around here,
 not too much of this -


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