Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Thank you so much for reading my little homemade blog. I really look forward to reading your comments every time. Thanks for your support over this past turbulent year.

I'm excited to start a brand new year. Filled with lots of hope, love, laughter and sunshine.
Sending everyone so much love and happiness over the holidays. Stay safe and look after yourselves and each other.

Much love Leah xo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quinoa, Corn and Zucchini Fritters

I really LOVE vegetarian food. I used to be a vego a while back. But when I was pregnant I started really LOVING MEAT!

Anyway I still eat meat now, just not so often. I prefer quality over quantity.

My family and I dont eat meat everyday. So its a challenge to come up with healthy vegetarian food, that is delicious. Not just having chips and salad all the time :P

I have been using a lot of quinoa lately, I adore it. Sweet or savoury, it works for both, amazing stuff!

These fritters freeze very well, that's why I love making them. Any recipe that freezes well, is a keeper in my book. I have to always have something on hand just in case I can't be bothered to whip something up. Or just in case people come over!

2 small cans creamed corn, doesn't need to be creamed
1 zucchini grated
1/4 cup dry quinoa cooked
1/4 cup grated hard cheese, whatever cheese you like, I used pecorino
1/4 cup goats cheese feta
4 spring onions
1 garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 eggs beaten
mixed herbs, use as much as you want, I used coriander, mint and Vietnamese mint
1/2 cup plain flour, or potato flour
2 teaspoons baking powder*
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onions, garlic and cumin in a little olive oil, set aside to cool.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, including the onion mixture.
Shallow fry about 2 tablespoons sized patty's in olive oil, for a few minutes each side. Drain on paper towel, or they get soggy. Keep them warm in the oven or serve immediately.

These fritters are delicious served warm with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt.

*I have started adding baking powder to fritters, and found they come out fluffier. You can omit this for a denser, more pancake like fritter.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Have We Lost Sight Of What It Is To Be A Parent?

"We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection." Dalai Lama

"Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our daily lives." Dalai Lama.

I seem to be surrounded by so many mums to be. They are everywhere.

Maybe it's cause I'm wanting to be pregnant myself that I think there are SO many around!

But I've been getting more and more upset with other parents, and parents to be, and myself for even caring and being upset about this.

You see im a bit miffed at people being so caught up in materialistic stuff. Stuff for their kids, stuff for themselves, so much STUFF!

When did having stuff become so important? Let me rephrase, certain expensive and pointless stuff? I know

I will come across as jealous. It's the first thing people will think about this post. But I don't mean it too be. I too know it IS a touch of jealousy. Mostly is is a worry that my daughter, will be like this. Thinking that she too needs this STUFF to get by, be popular, have friends etc.

I see it everyday. Mums with their Bugaboo prams, expensive bags and even flashy luxury cars. Don't get me wrong I love all this too, I sometimes use a Chanel bag for a baby bag, but I don't flaunt it. There is nothing wrong with stuff, but I suppose it's the way it is carried? Like it is such a status thing. There is an arrogance with some people I find intolerable, annoying and even shameful, it's depressing.

Its wonderful if you have worked hard for your stuff, even if you haven't, and want to spoil yourself and others. Why not? Especially if you have a crappy job, and you feel like its punishment for something you must of done many lifetimes ago....I know that feeling all too well.

I want my daughter to not be judged for wearing mostly target or hand me down clothes. Or being pushed around in a $20 Big W stroller or a much more expensive pram. One of my wants is for her to be happy, and too understand that having this STUFF, is not going to make your life any better or worse. I see my little girl and think she is amazing. The best thing I have ever made. I want to protect her from everything, sigh.... I know its impossible.

Its funny, I lived in the poshy posh Eastern suburbs of Sydney, and now living in the Wild Wild West, I see people are much more materialistic out here.....Strange.....

This time of year makes people a little nuts and want to go SO OVER THE TOP. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath, step back and think, will this STUFF really make me or my baby happy? Can we please at the very least, show a little compassion for one another? Or even flash a stranger a big beautiful smile? My daughter does this all the time. She makes so many people happy, even strangers. We need to learn so many things from our children, including the simple things are almost always the best.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WINNER of the Bakers Delight Comp ARE.....

The winners of the Baker's Delight comp are......

First prize is a Bakers Delight gift voucher to the value of $10. 
A beautiful polkadot mug, and
Madam Flavours white with rose tea, in a lovely collectors tin.

Second and third prize is a $10 Baker's Delight Voucher each. 

FIRST PRIZE goes to Shailisa, for her wonderful recipe for dairy AND sugar free lemon curd. I cannot wait to try it, sounds delicious!

SECOND AND THIRD PRIZE goes to Ling, for the lemon delicious, which I havent had it ages, will have to rectify that!

And Heidi, for those wonderful lemon bars, which I have made and loved!

Ladies if you could please email, or DM through Twitter, an address I can send your prizes.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and many thanks to Baker's Delight :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Apple, PB and quinoa bread

Anyone that follows this blog or my Instagram feed, knows how much I adore to bake a fruit bread. I love knowing exactly what's in it and love coming up with different flavours all the time.
I try to feed my family the best food I can make. If this means baking a fresh bread, and not having to buy a sugary banana bread, which I find is BORING anyway. I have to say I cannot believe how much sugar is in most take away breads! I find I can't even taste the fruit! What's the point of that?

Anyway G loves them. So that's enough for me. I love seeing her face when she tastes something new. Brightens my day I tell you :)

From chop to eat it takes me about 1 hour. 45 minutes of that is the baking. Too easy.

Dry ingredients
1/4 cup dry quinoa, I like the added crunch from this grain
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup whole oats
Caramel chocolate chips, use as much as you want

Wet ingredients, I stick blend the lot
2 eggs
1/3 cup vege oil, I use light olive oil
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large granny smith apples
1/4-1 cup vanilla caster sugar, depending on how sweet you like a fruit bread

Peanut butter to dot throughout the batter. As much as you want.

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, until well combined.
Next blend all the wet ingredients together till the fruit it as you like it, either chunky, or much more of a puree.
Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix well. Pour the batter into a lined bread tin. Bake for 45 minutes.

I always like to serve it warm, either toasted or microwaved for 45 seconds.

I've since changed the recipe a little to add the extra peanut butter that I used to dollop on the top, to the wet ingredients mix. So add about 2-3 tablespoons to the wet mix.
I found the PB when baked goes to paste-y, not very enjoyable.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sorry If This Post Contains TMI

I'm scared to have sex. there I finally said it, phew.

The idea of it right now gives me the chills, sorry hubs....

Its all because of my recent miscarriage. I know it is. You see I don't want to have another one, and I know that this plays in the back of my mind. Like a horrible EVIL NIGHTMARE, the worst thing that you can think of when pregnant came true.

I want more kids though, so its only a matter of time, I will get over my fear. I know I have to just get it over and done with, that's how you conquer fear and anxiety....right?

Hopefully one day I will be up the duff, again, I'm looking forward to it! Even though I had morning sickness the whole way through, and other lovely things, like reflux, pinched nerve in my back, insomnia and dreadful cramps, I loved being pregnant. Being a mother is the best thing I have ever done with my life. This may sound so simple to most people. But everyone has a calling, to be a surgeon, lawyer, baker, architect, chef or whatever, mine was to be a Mother. Or a "Money", as my precious little one calls me hahahahaha.

I love it. I know this is what I was meant to do with my life. Yes I believe the cliche that this is the MOST important job in the world. I am influencing and helping another human through life. Hopefully in a very good way. At the very least I want her to feel loved, appreciated and to know that she can come to her Mother for anything.

I've said it before, I have the most patient partner ever. I dont know how he puts up with most of the shit I put him through. His family don't like me to start with, this puts a major strain on our usually wonderful relationship.

I really need to learn to let stuff go, not dwell on what people say. So what if they don't like me, not everyone gets along? And now this crazy phobia I have developed. Yep he is a lucky man to end up with all my shitty baggage. I know we will get through this, and be better for it. Its going to take some time is all. Or maybe we need to move away again? We are so much better on our own. Not worrying who's going to drop by? or how we are going to navigate Christmas?

How do you get over and irrational fear?
Are you a, just do it person?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bakers delight

I first fell in love, and I mean REALLY fell in love with Bakers Delight when I was breast feeding Georgi. I was glued to the couch for the first month. Bub wanted to feed and feed and feed and that's it. I spent hours feeding. Desperately wanting food, at the very least snacks to keep me from fainting.

I had no idea how ravenous it made you. I read a few things about it. But it wasn't till I had to do it, did I truly understand the insatiable appetite I would have!

I will never forget the moment my mother put a passion fruit and white chocolate scone, from Bakers Delight in front of me. It was still warm from the oven. It had the most intoxicating smell, passion fruit. A favourite fruit of mine.

Fast forward to today. I was asked to try their new Lemon Sweet Range. You don't have to ask me twice. I had a few friends over for lunch and to try these new tasty treats. They sent over shareable Lemon & Cream Cheese Swirls, and Lemon & Cream Cheese Gourmet Scrolls.

I adore lemon. These swirls and scrolls were delicious. But I have to say I do prefer them slightly warmed through, it brings out the lemon flavour. I wanted it to have more of a lemon punch. But like I said I REALLY love lemon. The sour, mouth puckering type of love. The kids loved the cream cheese on top of the scrolls, typical they always want to eat all the good stuff! My niece kept climbing the chairs to stick her fingers in it!

It was going to be ridiculously hot day 36c! So going outside was now of the cards, but it turned out to be perfect.

I made a light lunch to accompany the Lemon Sweet Range,
Vege wraps,
Ham, cheese, tomato and mayo on grain bread,
Fresh fruit,
Homemade biscuits, Anzacs and shortbread,
Savoury cheese sticks and crackers

These lemony treats are definitely a wonderful morning tea treat. I love it with Madame Flavour's white tea with rose. It was a perfect match. Light and refreshing. Just make sure you warm it slightly. Really is soooo much better.

This brings me to my first giveaway!! I have been given 3 gift vouchers to the value of $10 each from Bakers Delight!

First prize is a Bakers Delight gift voucher to the value of $10.
A beautiful polkadot mug, as seen on the bottom left, and
Madam Flavours white with rose tea, in a lovely collectors tin.

Second and third prize is a $10 Baker's Delight Voucher each.

To win please leave a comment telling me what your favourite baked good is using LEMONS! Also either leave your email address, if it doesn't link back to one.

Who can resist Bakers Delight cape seed rolls, hands down better than the loaf, or the delectable passionfruit and white chocolate scones? Or the new Lemon & Cream Cheese Swirls, and Lemon & Cream Cheese Gourmet Scrolls?

Good luck I will be selecting my favourite answer and sending you first prize. The other 2 will be selected randomly.
This is open only to Australian residents.

Competition closes 6th November 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thank You

I would like to thank everyone who tweeted, DM, PM, emailed and sms'd me in regards to my last post about my miscarriage. Thank you very much for unbelievably lovely and kind words.

It does sadden me to know that so many women have gone through such an ordeal. What amazing strength you all have.

1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage. Not enough talk about it. The pain, the anguish and actual physical side of it.

I am one of those people that needs to know everything. Especially if it involves something happening to me. I felt so much better knowing what was involved with having a natural miscarriage. And SO much better for being able to talk about it.

Thank you to those of you that listened to me when I needed it.

I am feeling so much better. I am lucky to have my daughter to keep me busy, and laughing every single day.

I am extremely lucky to have a kind and caring man in my life I call my husband. He is my best friend. We have been through a lot together. I hope this is the last miscarriage we both have to go through ever again. But if it isn't. I know we have each other. And of coarse our amazing little Girl!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Day I Want to Forget But Can't

I haven't written a post in a while. I have had my hands full with my boisterous daughter.

Little G is now 15 months old, and what a kid. She is the most amazing little human EVER!

Everyday i look at her I get clucky for more babies. I have always wanted to be a mother and I knew I wanted more than one child.

I have been kidding myself saying, if I only have Georgi, that's fine, I'm more than happy with her. but there is something very deep within that is questioning that thought. I want more babies! And i am trying to kid myself into thinking i don't. I don't get it? why am i not happy with Georgi, she is so amazing! What is it about having babies? Being pregnant is uncomfortable to say the least, and I always get violently ILL! Then the pain of childbirth, and then the actual looking after the child afterwards!!! SCARY!!!

Well I found out i was pregnant at the end of August. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to have another child. a few weeks in I began to wonder why I wasn't sick. Why wasn't I throwing up like I always do? Everyone around me told me that I shouldn't be upset about that, celebrate and be grateful for being well! So I plodded along, thinking about the future made me smile. Georgi was going to have a brother or sister! How exciting!

Then about 10 days ago, I felt a strange sensation, and felt like I had to use the bathroom. so i got up went to the toilet, and there it was, blood. I felt nauseous and knew exactly what was going to happen. Another MOFO miscarriage :(:(:(:(

I was ordered to put my feet up, I was told things like;

"this happens to some women" 
"I know a women who bled throughout her whole pregnancy" And my favourite,
"you will be fine" FFS if i have to hear that again, I will scream!
"you can try again soon, it wasn't even a a baby yet"

This began on a Wednesday, and I was in hospital by the Friday, i ended up there until late Saturday night, when i was discharged to have my miscarriage naturally at home.

This is the worst. sitting around waiting for it to finish. it is heartbreaking to go through. Sometimes I wish I could have had a D&C, to get it over and done with.

I am feeling emotional, vulnerable, sick, weak, and generally blah. All over the place.

I know that it wasn't far enough along to be a baby, but it doesn't change the fact that I WAS PREGNANT. And know matter how much you say to yourself don't get excited yet, don't plan or do anything, you can't help it. You wonder, is it going to be a girl or boy? is it going to look like me or hubs? What am I going to name this one? Is Georgi going to love her sibling? Will they get along? 

The only person that understands what you have gone or going through is another women, that has been through it. That's it. Its is impossible to understand if you have never gone through it.

I don't know if I have the strength to even try again. Some days I think I do, but not yet. I'm no where near ready to try. What if I have another miscarriage? What if I'm never blessed with another child? Am I ungrateful? And when does the pain of losing babies end?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living in the Wild Wild West

I live in the west of Sydney. I have been living in the west now for about 9-10 months.

I have always lived in the east. I know the east as my home. I get so homesick whenever i go to any of my old east side haunts. Including the city.

The west has so many stigmas attached to it, but I'm not one to really buy into any of that. I like to make up my own mind about things.

Some of the generalisations include;

There are so many thugs out here,

Its not a safe place to bring up a family, let alone go for a jog or walk on your own,

That there is a massive amount of people dealing and doing drugs, as well as guns

And not to mention all the Muslims and bikie gangs!

Well from my experience so far, it has not been like that at all.

I have to ashamedly admit that I was a little scared at first, of living out here.

I kept telling myself I don't want to be around any of the above mentioned things!
I was really quite nervous about going out on my own, for the first time. I don't know what was going through my head that I thought to even be worried at all.

The riots that happened in Sydney on 15th September, scared the shit out of me. My beloved Sydney City was under siege!

Wtf happened? How did a stupid YouTube video get so out of hand?

I am one of the first people that can understand being passionate about something. I am almost always like this. Well I like to call it passion, some may say I'm headstrong and stubborn :P

Surely there are other ways of dealing with a video that has pissed you off so much, that you recruit your young children to hold behead those that insult the prophet signs! Wtf?

Again it is a YOUTUBE VIDEO!

I am a mixed race. My dad is Greek and when I went to school in the 80's I was called a 'wog.' I was bullied.

I was even automatically admitted to ESL, purely based on my full name, my full 'wogy' name. I hope to NEVER send my child to such an ignorant school. I want her to go to a school that tolerates all kinda of mixed races and cultures. And none that are religious either. I would like her to make up her own mind about such things. She could be Buddhist, or a witch or even belong to the Star Wars Academy, for all I would care. Sorry dad.....

I will hopefully teach her right from wrong and to be the best person she can be. Not to judge people on their names, sexual orientation, their colour, or anything. Even if they are wearing a hijab, or hare krishna robes or they might possibly even have heaps of tattoos *gasp!* She's just not allowed near those young girls I see running around shopping centres in really short shorts, flirting with boys, they scare me more than anyone! Nope she's not allowed to be friends with them....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quinoa and raspberry bread

I love making up new breads to have on hand when the craving strikes. This is almost everyday! So I try to make it as healthy as possible. Not too much sugar, if any at all, and full of as much healthy stuff as possible.

I would normally through in some nuts, almonds, pistachios or cashews, but because i share it with my one year old daughter, I don't do this anymore. This is what made me want to try a bread with quinoa. Quinoa, has a nuttiness to it, so it would be a perfect substitute for nuts! It was glorious in this bread, the top stayed crunchy, while the inside was soft and delicious!

I am definitely going to add more quinoa to things. It has yet to disappoint me.

Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup whole oats
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon heaped
1-2 tablespoons white choc chips

Wet ingredients
1/3 cup butter milk, you can use yoghurt
1/3 cup light olive oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
2 small pink lady apples

Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced

I begin by tossing all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Give it a mix.

Next blend all the wet ingredients together, I use a stick blender. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir till well combined.

Pour the mixture into a prepared baking loaf tin, bake for about 45 minutes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Little G's FIRST BIRTHDAY AND Coconut Cake

I cannot believe my little Georgi is ONE! ONE people!

Each day is something new and exciting for both of us.

She is learning to walk at the moment. But she is still a little scared to do so on her own.

She now has 6 teeth, I have to say 6 sharp little buggers, that she knows how to use. Thank goodness I'm not breastfeeding her, she bit me with her gums, I don't want to know what it would be like with teeth!

She is clever, funny, charming and most definitely mummy's little girl. She can also be cranky, and very very stubborn and determined.

I knew right away what i wanted to do for her birthday cake. Hubby and I both wanted it to be homemade. We didn't care about the rest of the food for the day, we really wanted her to have a cake she would want to eat. Something fun! But also a cake that wasn't full of sugar, something sweet enough, but not over the top.

I have relised something when it comes to having a kid, the expectations. OMG it is nuts. Seriously can everyone relax please when it comes to kids? Honestly, why do people feel the need to judge and point out all the things your not doing?? Instead of letting the baby enjoy her day. Besides they dont know whats going on. Just chill the frack out people....ok?

It was a wonderful day. She even napped!

My gorgeous, but always serious in front of the camera, niece. Pics of her are always blurry cause she never stops running around :P

You can see where G pawed at the cake to have some icing!

Hubs and I having our tea and cake after everyone had left and the baby was tucked into bed.

Coconut Cakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Icing

This made about 21 cupcakes, and a small 6 inch cake.
1 1/4 cup vanilla caster sugar, this is not a lot of sugar, by all means double it
250 ml whole block of butter, again this is not a lot of butter

6 eggs, at room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups flour sifted
400 ml can coconut cream
3-4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut
packet of white choc bits

Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced.
Start by creaming the sugar and butter, for at least 10 minutes. It has to go lighter in colour. Then add eggs, incorporating one at a time. (It might not mix all the way but will come together when you start to add the flour.)

Next add vanilla and baking powder.

Then alternate a cup of flour, then some coconut cream, until there is nothing left of either. Then add the milk, coconut and chocolate chips.

Spoon into patty pans and pour about 3/4 way in a small, well greased or lined 6 inch cake tin.

I baked the cupcakes for about 20 minutes and the cake for about 45 minutes. I'm still trying to figure out my oven, so please forgive if this is not accurate.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 blocks of Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temp
4-5 cups icing sugar mixture
1/3 cup raspberries blended and strained for seeds

Mix all the ingredients either with a hand blender or mixmaster. Add the raspberry puree. Then enough milk to make a smooth icing, that would be easy to pipe and spread.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chickpea Curry

It has been so cold here in the evenings, it gets to about 5C once the sun has gone down, that I have been cooking mostly warm, comforting meals. And lots of it. See I love leftovers. I like to make leftovers to eat for lunch the next day, and to possibly freeze, in case of frazzled lazy days or a screaming toddler!

As with all of my cooking this meal doesn't really have measurements. It is mostly to taste. If you love ginger, like I do add more. Or if you love chili, go nuts.
I like to use the reduced fat coconut cream, cause it is basically not as creamy as full cream coconut, but not watery like coconut milk. I like it to have a little thickness to the sauce. If you like it thicker use full fat coconut cream. This curry has just a hint of the coconut flavour, it is not over powering.

I also like to always have a vegetarian curry, as most of you know i love meat, but I just don't eat a lot of it. I prefer to eat mostly vegetarian even vegan food. You can definitely add chicken or fish to this. Personally I think it would be delicious with fish.

It seems like it has a lot of steps too it, but if your organised, and use a food blender is is super easy and quick. Even something I would say you could easily prep after work.

1 small onion
1 garlic
smallish piece ginger
2 10cm sticks celery
about a teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, ground coriander,
handful cashew nuts
2 teaspoons massal powdered vegetable stock
1 fresh tomato
270 ml can light coconut cream
chili, optional

1 carrot chopped
2 pieces lemon peel
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small bite sized pieces
1/2 bunch Chinese broccoli, cut into manageable pieces
1/2 pumpkin, cut into bite sized chunks
1 can chickpeas
handful of baby spinach
1-2 tablespoons coriander

steamed rice to serve

I start with making a paste in the blender. Add all the paste ingredients and whizz it up until smooth. Add chili at this stage too.

Fry the paste in a little vege oil for a couple minutes then add the carrots and lemon peel.
Next add whatever vegetables you like, and cook them to how you prefer. I like mine with still a little bite to them.
Then add the chickpeas, spinach and coriander. Fish out the lemon peels before serving. Serve with rice or noodles. So comforting, and much more delicious the next day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Moving and Life Right Now

Forgive me Father for I have sinned......It has been far too long since I blogged.

I have been incredibly busy, living life, you would say. I honestly don't know how mum's with blogs, blog everyday, and so wonderfully too. They are witty, charming, serious and most importantly their blog posts are always there, everyday, a new post. Not at all boring and tedious.

I'm not like this.

If life gets a little crazy, I can sometimes shut down, cocoon if you will.

recently I felt like I have needed all of my energy.

I have had to deal with so much in the last couple months.

Moving, yep that's right! We finally moved into our own place, and I love it! I used to love moving, but the idea of having to unpack and wash and clean etc with a toddler is not a good idea.

I have some very sad personal news, someone very dear to me, is very ill. I can't even bring myself to type the words. Everyone is very positive and "staying strong" and hoping that soon, this said person will be his "normal" and healthy self.

I have had a little family craziness re: insanity to deal with. Mostly it is all so ridiculous and so tedious not even worth talking about. Yet again I need to learn to develop a thicker skin, and let the bullshit wash over me. I will have to learn to wake up and look at myself and say, "I'm a Great Wife and , Mother" like a mantra EVERYDAY, until i believe it, (even if others don't and verbalise it!)

And most importantly my little G's FIRST birthday. YEP FIRST. I can't believe it either. It has gone way too quickly and it is both exciting and sad.

I have also wanted to have another baby, but who knows. Its all a roll of the dice really.

It is so strange, i really wanted a baby the first time round, thinking all of the time that ONE would be enough, 2 or more is just craziness, or a blessing, which ever way you look at it :P
But since having little G my hormones are going crazy. I want MORE! It makes me feel so selfish and silly. I should be so grateful having a perfect little baby. Having another, when there are so many unwanted kids out there is just selfish....right??

Hopefully I will be able to post more soon xo.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Simple Melt and Mix Chocolate Cake

Since living with the In Laws, it is difficult for me to cook and bake the way I used to. Mostly cause I dont like using someone elses kitchen, and/or equipment. I find it almost impossible to use the oven at their house. It is soooooo OLD, that I feel like I have to rub two sticks together to get a fire going first, then hope to god whatever I put in there will actually bake TODAY! GAH! Plus there is really nothing but a whisk and some bowls, so i'm always thinking of new ways to bake. No creaming lusious butter and sugar together into deliciousness. Thats how this cake came about, monster chocolate cravings, and hoping and wishing that it would turn out. If not, I could lick the bowl and spoons dry :P

I love chocolate cake. Love, love LOVE it. But mostly I prefer to bake something different when I get the urge to bake. Chocolate cake can be a little too simple. But sometimes simple is exactly what you need and want.

Saturday night I had the most ridiculous chocolate cravings ever. I prefer to make something when I have a craving, than to grab a chocolate bar. Most of you lovely readers by now know, its cause I find most bought sweets far too sweet. I like the idea of creating something special from a few ingredients. The mixing, measuring, tasting and baking, is the part I love. Oh and the sharing. There is nothing better than everyones smile when they see a chocolate cake on the table after work :)

I think you should always indulge your cravings, just not over indulge. Whether it means just a small square of chocolate, or a big slice of fudgy chocolate cake, I say go for it, just not everyday. Don't go nuts either way.

This cake hit the craving spot, it is spongy, not mud like, it wasn't dense and overly sweet. Exactly what I wanted with a slight coffee background :)

200 grams chocolate
150 grams butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 shot of coffee
1 cup flour
3 eggs at room temp
2 tablespoons sour cream

100 grams dark or milk chocolate, I prefer dark
1 tablespoon sour cream or cream *

preheat the oven to 180C
Seperate the eggs, place the egg whites in a large bowl, whisk until soft peaks form.

Place the chocolate, butter, sugar and coffee in a small pot and warm over low heat until the chocolate has melted. take off the heat, mix in the egg yolks, then the flour and sour cream.

Add half the egg whites and mix, then pour the rest of the whites in and mix gently.

Pour the cake batter into a well lined baking tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, careful not to over bake. Let it cool completely.

Melt the chocolate and sour cream together. Let it cool slightly, then pour over the cake.

This cake is delicious slightly warmed in the microwave, so the ganache becomes oozy and warm. 

* I like to use sour cream when I want a thicker ganache, and cream when I want it runnier. It makes ganache slightly tart, but delicious. The chocolate sweetens it enough for me, if not add a little brown sugar, or use milk not dark chocolate.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lemon Yoghurt Semolina Cake

When I'm in a not so good mood, i like to cook. I tend to want to stay in the kitchen all day and just cook, bake, roll, stew (in more ways than one) whatever takes my fancy.

These days i tend to end up with some of my best recipes. Who knew?

I started the day making a bolognese, i wanted it to simmer all day adding as many fresh from the garden ingredients, basil, garlic, tomato etc. I knew this wouldn't take me long, and I had to make something else.

I decided on a cake. I wanted something a little different. I have written this recipe down, and had almost forgotten about it. I have a small recipe book that I scribble in, even if it is only a few words for inspiration, then tend to make up the recipe as I go along, tweak it if you will :)

I have a love of baking for this reason, the tweaking. I love making a recipe my own, by adding this and that, and mostly from decreasing the SUGAR. For even less sugar you can skip the glaze all together, but even i think it needed the glaze. You can also add more sugar, I think up to 1/2 cup is plenty, and increase the lemon zest for a much more punchy lemony flavour.

I liked the subtly of the lemon of this light cake, perfect with a tea or coffee.

1/3 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt, I like Chobani

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup semolina
2 teaspoons baking powder
zest from 1 lemon

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
toasted almonds for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a large bowl add the flour, semolina, baking powder and lemon zest, set that aside to mix the rest of the ingredients.

Mix the oil, sugar, yoghurt and eggs in a small bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and give it s stir with a wooden spoon/spatula. Don't over mix, just enough for it to be combined.

Pour the cake batter into a lightly greased fluted cake tin.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Let it cool completely.

Make up the glaze with the icing sugar and lemon juice, adjust accordingly, more sugar or lemon if it is too runny or thick. Let it thicken a little, it makes it easier to handle and pour over the cake. Pour it over the cooled inverted cake, sprinkle the toasted almonds. Then EAT!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

House hunting, Meat and Life.

Hubs and I finally decided to start looking for a house to rent! YAYAYYAYAAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got sick of waiting for his work to make up their minds on where he will be placed.

We are going on 7 months of living with my hubs family. I can't say it has been all roses and sunshine, but it hasn't always been bad either.

I think mostly I just want my own space and privacy, and it gets to me not having that. Even to be able to enjoy each others company in peace, once the little one is in bed. I never thought that would be such a luxury, I miss that the most. 

I have always been quite an independent girl and then woman, to the point of stubbornness, and i think it upsets my Mother In Law that I am like this. I enjoy making my own food, washing my own clothes and cleaning my own house/space. Not that I'm saying that any of this gets done for me, I do all my own cooking and cleaning (well most of the cooking, I do live in a Greek house LOL) Honestly if any of you have lived in or with old school Europeans, my goodness, there is always HUGE amounts of food! Its nuts. I could feed the whole neighbourhood with the amount of food cooked here weekly. Mostly I like to continue eating exactly as I did before, and to cook it myself. Even though I continue to get these poor girl are you only eating that??? looks. Its only cause I refuse to have half a cow or pig on my plate each and every night. It makes me ill having too much meat. It will always remind me of this clip

in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" The funniest thing I believe in this movie, and on top of that, she looks like my Aunt bahahahahahahaha!

Anyway, we have been looking for a house to rent in Sydney now for 2 weeks. It is nuts! There doesn't seem to be anything decent around :(:(:( Well at least something that isn't over priced and either way too big, or falling apart. It is very disheartening, fingers crossed we get something very soon.

We have set a 2 month minimum to move by. For no other reason other than it will be G's first birthday! We would like to be in our own place by then for it. Strange? Maybe, but we would just like to have our own place for the special day. Neither hubs or I want have it here. We are thinking about having it in a park as an alternative, the only problem is that it is winter, and it may be quite cold or worse raining GAH!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Georgi's Christening 5/5/12

My baby girl had her Christening on Saturday.

It was a wonderful day filled with family and lots of love for my little girl. She is certainly one very lucky little one. She has a big family that love her very much.

And now a Godmother, that loves her and will always be there for her.

There was sooo much food, laughter and love, oh and a big pink princess jumping castle!

Little G cried her little head off once she was placed into the large urn to be baptised. At least she wasn't as bad as I anticipated. Once the church ceremony was over, she was ok. She was a little traumatised at bath time, but is back to her water loving self :)

What I wore, dark nails and a simple Zara dress, with Mimco necklace.

                                    My niece rocking faux fur!

G's amazing. Front.

                          Cap. My hubs called it her Mormon cap hehe!

                                    Back of the dress. Love. Big. Bows.

Booties. The lace ones came with the dress. Her Godmother bought the ballet slippers with wool trim, so she wore those.

Before the ceremony, she slept blissfully in the car.

With her Godmother :)

 After the ceremony. I had trouble getting her in the car seat cause of the length of the dress!

Her bonbonniere. Little keyrings, an Angel and a Cross.