Sunday, 26 February 2012

Another One Bites The Dust

Well, another challenge crossed off my list anyway... I may just have Queen on the mind after a fun singstar night doing Queen songs last night!

13. Cut flowers, weeds, tree branches whatever is there and arrange them in a vase creatively.

Here they are

A florist I am not, and those were literally ALL the flowers from my garden haha, I think I left maybe 2 of the purple ones, took all the red ones.... Not many flowers survive in my garden! If you can call it a garden...

And to update on other parts of the list:

3. Join the gym - and go at LEAST 2x a week - joined 14-2-12 - Ok, only been 2 weeks but so far have been going 4x a week, and I'm loving it (actually, I only went 3x last week as I couldn't get to my usual Wednesday night Zumba class there as we went to see the Roger Waters concert).

11. Collect all my family and friends birthdays, put them into my calendar and send them all birthday cards by post - collected 10-2-12, yet to send any - well, the first birthday is tomorrow. My Step-bro. Um, I haven't been organised enough to get a card out in the post to him, oops, sorry! The next birthday is on Friday.... We shall see how I go :)

32. Do a triathlon - Have decided to just do a run instead. The aim at the moment is 10km towards the end of the year, around October-ish. My friend from is going to do it with me :) I can't run to save myself, so it will be interesting. I can manage 10 minutes on the treadmill, which is only about 2km lol. And I don't think I could run 10 minutes on land, it's a lot harder. So I have a long way to go!

I have completed 9/101 so far. Not a bad effort for only about 2 weeks into it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Spaghetti Cupcakes - say wha??!

Ok they aren't exactly cupcakes but hey. But here is another way to use up a tin of spaghetti. From the 4ingredients website. So quick (I had them whipped up long before the oven had time to heat up) and seriously easy. And my taste testers approved them.

You could probably leave out the cheese if you wanted them dairy free, I added it to be naughty.

Makes 12
  • 420g tin spaghetti in sauce
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups (200g) mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Spray oil
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a bowl beat eggs, then add 1 1/2 cups cheese and the spaghetti and stir to combine. Grease muffin tins and evenly distribute the mixture across 12 muffin cups. Top each with remaining cheese and bake for 15 minutes.
Optional: This is a great easy kids’ meal as they can even decorate the tops of their “cupcakes” with sliced olives, mushrooms, ham or capsicum.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Something I not only haven't made before but

also I have never eaten before! Scotch Eggs. Have you had scotch eggs before? Did you buy them already made at the deli, or did you make them yourself? It's something I have never had before. I like sausages. I love eggs. Why on earth have I never had them? lol

So guess what was dinner tonight? It's a hard one. And they were bloody yum! Not so good on the ol' diet though. One scotch egg is 383 calories. Then if you are a hungus like I am after an intense session at the gym, you will aim for 2 haha. I will be honest and say I was full enough after one. But I reallllly wanted another, so went another half in the end. I am full now that's for sure!

Anyways, here is the recipe if you have never made them before (it's all very straight forward but never mind)

Scotch Eggs

4 eggs, boiled and peeled (I wanted mine slightly soft/runny in the middle, to get that I put the eggs in a pot, fill it with enough water to cover them, and then turn the element on high. Set your timer straight away for 11 minutes. Perfect. If you are wanting runny yolks do 10 mins, and if you are wanting hard boiled do 12-13 minutes depending how hard you want them).

450g sausage meat

1 cup breadcrumbs

some rosemary, chives, parsley, salt and pepper (though if you buy supermarket sausage meat it's likely to already be salted, I omit the salt).

What To Do:

1. While the eggs are boiling, mix the herbs with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into four.

2. Peel the eggs, then flatten one piece of the meat mixture on a floured board. Pop an egg in the middle and with wet hands roll the meat around it to form an even coating, then roll into a ball. If the meat gets a bit too sticky to handle, use a little seasoned flour. Coat well with breadcrumbs (you can dip in beaten egg first before crumbing but I found it wasn't necessary). Set aside while you make the remaining three eggs.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the Scotch eggs, turning constantly so they are brown all over. Next, lower the heat and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, turning often, to ensure the sausage meat is cooked through.
4. When cooked, drain on kitchen towels and leave to cool. Cut them in half or quarters and serve with salad.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Kitty Friends and Yummy Treats

Has been a busy week this past week. What with all the car insurance crap (we still are without the car!), and joined the gym, then on Wednesday we appear to have been adopted by a very gorgeous kitten. Have been advertising to see if she was loved anywhere else, but it looks like she may be ours now ♥. A lovely tempered kitty, so good with the kids, and the kids are good with her. We have named her Roxie.

She made herself right at home from day 1! Once we had fed her and deflea'd her etc, she was one happy kitty. And so loved by us now :)

Anyways, haven't had much time to do much of anything, but I'm getting there. Just done some baking for next week's lunchboxes. This is a recipe I adapted from another, has turned out bloody well!

Makes quite a few, I have got 12 standard sized muffins and 12 mini muffins out of one mix

Boysen'choc Muffins

2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
100g butter, melted (marg is fine)
1/2 c choc chips
1 c milk (or dairy free milk alternative)

Mix all the above ingredients together with a wooden spoon until just combined. (The trick with muffins is to not over mix them).

Drain 1 tin of Boysenberries (and keep the syrup if you feel like a special treat)
Toss the drained berries with flour - this helps prevent them all sinking to the bottom of the muffin

Add the berries into the muffin batter and stir through

You can make plain choc chip muffins using the above ingredients, minus the berries - this will only make roughly 12 standard sized muffins

Spoon into prepared muffin tins - fill right to the top, don't be shy. Bake at 220*c for 12-15mins for large ones, and 8-10 mins for mini ones

If you kept the syrup from the berries, boil it over medium heat until it has reduced by half and thickened. Allow to cool. Then drizzle over your muffin and enjoy (make a dessert out of it, add a bit of whipped cream, or yoghurt on the side too. Yummy)

Monday, 13 February 2012

It's been one of THOSE days

Ya know the one. Today I had lots of plans - to join the gym finally, to shampoo the carpets, and to get stuck into some crafty stuff.
Instead, I spent half the morning at the police station filing a report, then the other half of the morning and most of the afternoon on the phone to insurance etc sorting out our claim. On Saturday overnight some mongrels tried to steal one of our cars, leaving us with a smashed window and the ignition ripped out. Tow truck has taken it away now, hopefully it gets sorted soon.

But in between sorting all this with the insurance company, I dropped my cellphone in the bloody toilet. Have a good laugh, because I am - if I don't laugh I would cry. REEEAAAALLLY not what I needed today!

I have decided to ignore most of the housework today (I won't be thanking myself later but never mind), and in the few minutes spare, I actually tackled one of the craft projects I have been meaning to do for quite some time. It actually ticks a couple of things off my 101 Challenges list too -
44. Do at least one craft project a month
81. Create another piece of wall art
98. Make 5 things off my Pinterest crafts board

Ok, so #44 and #98 are more ongoing, but hey, I created a piece of wall art. Incidentally, I also get to cross #73 off my list - I updated the insurance on our other car, something I have been meaning to do for far far far too long. But hey, I was on the phone to them anyway haha!

73. Take care of a nagging life admin item (a trip to the post office, filing an insurance claim, making a doctor’s appointment).

But anyways, onto more fun things - What Did I Create Today?

It was so quick and so easy! Oh and cheap! I made this

Out of toilet paper rolls! Oh and guess what? I'm hanging it outside the toilet door, hehehe, I find it a li'l amusing. I think it looks kinda cool though, don't you?

Got the idea off Pinterest, there are several gazillion pinterest posts for toilet paper craft. Just cut up toilet rolls (I used the Kiwi Soft branded toilet paper, the toilet paper isn't glued to the roll, so perfect for reusing!), approx 3/4" thick, paint as desired (I painted the outside red and left the inside white which looks kinda cool), and then when it's all dry, using a hot glue gun just glue together in the design you like. I quite like the 5 petalled flower look, so glued all the flowers together, then arranged them in a way that I thought looked nice, then glued them all together. Then I just hung it over a picture hook nail in the wall.
My one smiling point for the day :)

Friday, 10 February 2012

The 101 Challenge

So yesterday I decided I was going to do the 101 Challenge, got the idea off my friend from 

To see my list, click on the page link at the top of the blog, or follow this link. I don't know how long it will take me to complete it all, a lot of them require spending money and we don't often have much going spare, so it could take a while but I'm hoping not too long. But follow my progress via the 101 Challenge link, will be crossing off and dating them as they get done :)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Spaghetti, Spaghetti Everywhere!

We seem to have a total over supply of tinned spaghetti at present. Like, about 5x more than any sane family needs in one household. So, I am trying to use them up. I am open to suggestions, recipes to try out etc.

Today, I am baking Spaghetti Pinwheel Scones. It's something I often make for the kid's lunches, so thought I would share the recipe with you lot, seeming as I seem to be on a recipe sharing roll. This scone recipe is the easiest scone recipe I have ever come across AND it makes light and fluffy scones, whilst being dairy-free adaptable. Then I have various different fillings I might add to make pinwheels with.

Spaghetti Pinwheel Scones


125g butter (dairy free marg works fine)
3 Tbsp water
1 cup milk (I find 3/4 cup is plenty, so add slowly! Oh, and rice milk, or other dairy free equivalent is fine)
3 cups flour (I do half/half with wholemeal flour and plain flour, more filling and better for you)
5 tsp baking powder


Tin of spaghetti in sauce
grated cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 220*c

Sift dry ingredients together.
Melt the butter with the water (I just bung them together in a bowl and microwave on low-medium heat for 45secs - 1min).
Add butter mix and milk to the dry ingredients (add the milk a bit at a time as to not make the mixture too wet)
Mix to a dough with a knife

Roll out on a floured surface into a long rectangle about 1cm thick

Spread the tin of spaghetti over the bottom 3/4 of the rectangle and top with grated cheese (omit if you want to keep it dairy-free, or use a dairy free cheese/soy cheese... I just used normal cheese as my kids can handle small amounts of dairy)

Roll up from the bottom to the top. I use a bit of the tomato sauce from the spaghetti to seal the top fold down.

Slice the roll into approx 1 inch slices and arrange on a baking tray (I spray the tray with oil first)

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool


Other filling ideas:

Hawaiian Pinwheels
Spread tomato sauce over the bottom 2/3 of the dough. Add chopped onion (optional), chopped bacon and small pieces of pineapple. Sprinkle over grated cheese, roll up, cut and bake (these are my faves!!!)

Cinnamon Pinwheels
Mix 3 Tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over dough. Roll up, cut and bake (nice for a sweet option - add a little sugar to the dough too if you like)

Vegemite and Cheese Pinwheels
A favourite amongst littlies - Spread Vegemite over bottom 2/3 of dough, sprinkle with grated cheese, roll up and bake.

Citrus Pinwheels (This is a filling I stumbled upon that I am yet to try, but sounds so good!)
Zest and juice of 3 medium sized citrus fruits - e.g. 1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 orange, 1 cup of coconut, 1 teaspoon of cornflour
Optional Glazing: Juice of 1-2 citrus fruits, 1/4 cup icing sugar
Grate the citrus zest into a small bowl. Add the juice. Add the coconut and cornflour and mix thoroughly - it should turn into a paste.
Spread the filling over the scone base. Roll up and cut, arrange on tray
If using the glaze, mix the icing sugar with the citrus juice and brush on the tops of the scones, then bake

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cooking, hmmm

I rarely cook dinner by following a recipe. But I'm also not as good a cook as I am baker, so really, I should follow recipes more often. I learnt to bake when I was a child. I remember my Granny teaching me to make french toast. I then remember teaching a friend's mother how to make it one morning after a sleep over, I was only about 7 or 8 at the time. I couldn't believe they had never made it before!
But cooking meals, dinners, well, I didn't want to learn. Because I didn't want to eat it. I grew up a very fussy eater (my Mum would say that's an understatement). I became a Mum myself when I was young (19), and I still hadn't learnt to cook. When I first met my husband, he cooked more often than me. Now he would have you believe that he can't cook - but that's only because he's out of practice! (He had a stint for a while that him and the kids cooked once a week, I enjoyed that break, I really need to get them back into that!!). ANYWAYS, I do go on. I taught myself to cook simply because I had mouths to feed. It was hard at first, because I was still quite fussy so I was cooking a lot of meals I had never tried before, nor would I try the meals I made.

Obviously, something had to change. I started making myself try the dinners I cooked for my family. I didn't enjoy them, but I forced some down. After a while though, I did start to enjoy the food! And now I really do quite enjoy cooking, and trying new things. But I now have so many old favourites that I keep forgetting to try new ones. Hopefully this whole trying a new recipe every week thing pushes me out of my comfort zone of trying baking recipes and actually try some new dinner recipes too.

But first, an old favourite. Out of a cookbook even. In fact, I have mentioned this cookbook before in this post here - such a good basic cookbook. The other night, I made Saucy Meatloaf. The whole family loves it. The curry powder in it just makes the dish. And the sauce. The sauce, the glorious sauce! You get the drift.

And it's easy. Even Mr7 has made it before, with very minimal help from me (mostly only to cut the onions as he doesn't like the crying effect haha).

Saucy Meatloaf, courtesy of the Watties Kiwi Favourites Cookbook

Takes 1hour 30mins to cook (allow a further 15mins to prepare) - I mention this as I normally only start thinking about dinner with about an hour to spare, this requires prior planning!


500g beef mince
500g sausage meat
2 onions, diced
1/4 cup milk (I use zero lacto milk, or rice milk)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
(then I also add grated carrot and courgette sometimes - like this time - as my 2 year old is fussy with his vegies, so it's an easy way to get some into him, but it's nicer without them, haha)


1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp butter (I use marg)


  1. Preheat oven to 180*c
  2. Mix together all the meatloaf ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and shape into a loaf. Bake for 45mins.
  3. Whisk the sauce ingredients together and pour over the loaf. Continue cooking for a further 45mins. Open the oven every 15mins and spoon some sauce over the top of the meatloaf to stop it drying out.
  4. Serve sliced, with extra sauce poured over.

The white stuff is the marg all whisked in - you could probably just melt it but it doesn't say to and this works well

The finished product - unfortunately a slightly blurry pic! Nice yummy thick bbq-type sauce over it, mmmmmmMmmmm

Monday, 6 February 2012

Baking with a Hangover

Ok, I wasn't reeeeeaaaaalllly hungover (no headache, just a tad sleep deprived haha). Had a couple of friends over the other night while hubby was out of town - a bit of a girls night... wine, singstar, wine, Just Dance, wine... you get the drift haha. One friend stayed over (as she doesn't live local) and the next morning I had the hankering to make cupcakes.

I thought I would team my urge to bake with my urge to try new recipes each week. Which was great. I found the most fantastic recipe. Like, seriously, amazing. I actually fell asleep dreaming about the cupcakes last night, they were that yummy. And they only use very basic ingredients (I'm all for recipes that mean I don't need a trip to the shops first!). So soft, so moist, so so so delish.
I have learnt I am a TERRIBLE decorator when I have had minimal boozy sleep. Therefore I cannot show you photos of my work, be too embarrassing haha. We had a piping bag spring leaks everywhere, and in the end I just "knifed it" (spread it on with a knife). My baking is rarely all that well presented as it is, but these took the cake haha.

But I shall share with you the recipe. Again, the only alterations I made were dairy free substitutes in place of milk. This was a Pinterest find... I didn't make the icing on this recipe, I made up a choc-peppermint buttercream icing to go on top. Oh, I lie, I also used less sugar because it felt very wrong using more sugar than flour - and they are most definitely more than sweet enough, I'll add a note below.. And also, these stuck like buggery to my silicone cupcake cups, NOTHING before has stuck to them. Best bake them using paper liners.

The Yummiest Scrummiest Chocolate Cupcakes courtesy of Glorious Treats

BEWARE - this makes 24 -27 standard cupcakes... I wish I had read that first as I would have halved the recipe hahaha

2 cups sugar (I used 1.5 cups)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk (Fine with rice milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 180*c
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don't worry, this is right).
Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.
Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack before icing.

Make them. You won't regret it.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Apple Sauce Brownies, low fat, low calorie!

A while ago I made some apple sauce brownies for my brother to say thanks for fixing my computer.... again. I just got a message from my sister in law asking for the recipe as apparently it was really good - and again, it's good for the diet! I put in my recipe book, and it worked out to be 117calories per piece (if you cut it into 16 even squares). I however never got around to making a batch for my family like I planned, so I haven't personally tried them. But I thought I would quickly whack the recipe on here for easy finding, and to share with any of my followers that are on a weight loss journey or just simply looking for a lower calorie sweet treat option.

Apple Sauce Brownies


• 1 cup unsweetened apple puree/sauce
• 1/3 cup cocoa
• 3/4 cup self-raising flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or choc buttons

Preheat the oven to 175°C and lightly spray or oil a 20x20cm baking dish.

Place apple puree/sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix as this will toughen the brownies. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for around 25-30 minutes or until the centre feels set and fudgy when a skewer is inserted.
Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before slicing into squares. If desired, dust with sifted icing sugar before serving.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New Year, New Recipes

I have decided this year I am going to try a new recipe every week - and blog about them. Well, that's the aim, undoubtedly life will get away on me and I won't do it every week, but I do bake generally at least once a week for the kids school lunches, so that's the aim!

Today I am baking Coconut and Jam Muffins, double batch - one for morning tea at a friend's tomorrow to share with my coffee group, and the other batch to freeze to throw into the lunchboxes for the next few days.

This is the recipe Coconut and Jam muffins, courtesy of Chelsea Sugar

The only adaptations I made was swapping butter for a dairy free margarine, and milk for lactose free milk to make it lactose free for my kids.

Waiting to go into the oven

The end result (haha, that green one in the middle got a lil squashed in the oven, but I managed to fit these silicone cups beside my muffin tin which was baking the other batch, so they got squished in there hehe!)

And the verdict? Pretty good! Next time I would probably only spoon half the mixture in, put the jam in then spoon the rest of the mixture on top so that the jam was in the middle (I did consider doing that today but tried to follow the recipe - "slightly imbedded" was kind of hard!). One I would make again, that's for sure, kind of a muffin version of Louise Slice.