Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Davy Crockett In Outer Space

Today we had my SIL come over with her 4 children, Master 7, Master 5, Miss 3, and Miss 10-Months. It was an exhausting day, even though they mostly just played the wii. So when they left, I whipped up a simple dinner of wholemeal ravioli, peas, and a tub of light French onion dip as a sauce. Took ten minutes to make, and filled the hungry tummies, allowing me to collapse into a quivering mess on the couch. Only a week and a bit to go of the holidays. *sigh*

Here is Master One's current favourite song/video clip. It's on the new album/dvd from They Might Be Giants - "Here Comes The Science"

He's a huge fan of "Here Come the ABCs" so I've just ordered the Science and the 123s cd/dvd sets for the kids, as the older ones like TMBG too. I *heart* my geek kids.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hold me closer tiny burger...

The kids spent all day in the kitchen today, whipping up multiple batches of muffins, getting a leap on our KCT recipes (and stocking up the freezer for term 4!) and even though I'd done all the dishes, I just didn't have it in me to cook after all that. So we had pizza. And you get a link.

Tiny Burger Cakes

A recipe (of sorts) in pictures of how to make these adorable cakes.
Beware, sometimes the side gallery pics are NSFW (or at least, not something I'd look at with Master 5 around)

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me...

While our dinner tonight pretty awesome, it was almost exactly the same as last time we had it and so there isn't much point posting it again.

So here is a really cool video I saw of computer parts being used as instruments.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
Tuesday Pizza
Wednesday Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli in French Onion Cream sauce
Thursday Lemon Chicken Stir Fry
Friday Shepherds Pie with Salad
Saturday Cheese & Bacon rolls with tomato
Sunday Chicken Parmagiana & Chips

Having a bit of a lazy dinner week this week due to school holidays, however the kids have been cooking up a storm with Master 5 being home and bored all day. This week Kids Cooking Thursday has a great $4 cookie recipe that's perfect for Kid's Choice Mix-ins.

As usual, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for literally hundreds of other menu plan blog posts, and don't forget to come back here for Kids Cooking Thursday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Geek Fest.

We stuffed ourselves silly at my niece's birthday party lunch bbq today, and barely ate a whole sandwich each for dinner. So, since tonight is the second lazy dinner night in a row, I'm having a link fest, theme o' the geek.

The Graphing Calculator Story An impressive tale of persistence and generally geekified sweeetness.

Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names That says it all really.

How to Stop Time Hiro Nakamura eat your heart out!

RPGer's Famous Last Words "Hah! I'm not dead yet. I still have five hit points." With 1,707 of these, I'm sure you'll find a few you've heard a party member or two say before!

The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clich├ęs In much the same vein, here lies everything that ever happened on a RPGer's playstation.

Touchable Holography This is genuinely cool, even for non-geeks. The University of Tokyo has come up with a way to 'feel' holographs. Pretty nifty.

Neil Gaiman's Bookshelves I knew that his basement was pretty special, from a few random comments he'd made on his blog, but I had no idea just how special that was!

Tales for the L33T: Romeo & Juilet Shakespeare meets stick figures and txt, designed to bring MySpacers up to date with the classics. It's not quite as lame as that sounds. Ok, maybe it is.

And finally, The Human Tetris Performance, awesome for what must have been hours of filming, but mostly the funky human voice soundtrack.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carn the Pies!

***Glaringly Obvious Forward Dated Post***

Master 5 recently decided he was a Collingwood supporter. Somewhere in the last week or so in fact. So since tonight was their last (or second last!) game of the season, I kept dinner simple so he could watch the game live on tv. (Mag)Pie and chips, real 'footy food' with some peas thrown in as a token vegetable.

For those of you who are less of the sporting persuasion, and more of the nerdling persuasion, allow me to mollify you with Lego Millennium Falcon Stop Motion!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pizza Bread

Not that much to say here. I left mine in the oven too long, because I was reading. Oops. It was just my regular bread recipe, made as dough, and then I folded through cheese, ham, pineapple and capsicum. After reshaping into a round, I sliced the loaf into quarters, but not quite all the way through to the tray. Then I smeared pizza sauce into the cracks, and a little on top, and poured on more cheese.

The kids liked it at least.

Flash Game Friday


Good for those with a lot of patience, or long attention spans.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kids Cooking Thursday: Pink Grapefruit and Apple Biscuits

While not exactly what I had in mind when I thought of making these, these super thin, chewy biscuits are still very yummy.

Super thin

Two weeks ago, we made Lemon Lime Cupcakes, and I mentioned how much I loved the sugary, crunchy tops. I figured, if the overflow of the cupcakes were so good, then making biscuit out of just the overflow would be all awesomeness. Well, it didn't quite work the same way, but they were still very nice biscuits.

Miss Three cheesing it up for the camera

We followed the recipe as linked, except in place of the lemon/lime mineral water, and the lemon extract, we used apple and pink grapefruit mineral water.

Ready for baking

These were way too close together, as the mixture flattened out completely in the oven.

Sugary close up

Miss Three did the sprinkles, can you tell?
If you'd like to join in with Kids Cooking Thursday please leave a permalink to your own Kids Cooking Thursday post, as per the rules.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken Kiev with Cheesy Vegtable Macaroni

Not much to say really. Mac & Cheese from a box, plus vegies, and a oven baked chicken kiev that came from the fresh meat fridge at coles. It was very tasty, but not really recipe worthy.

So here's a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy cover of one of the catchiest tunes to ever come out of a Rankin and Bass movie set to the original footage:
Mr Heatmiser, from 'The Year Without a Santa Claus'

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken & Roast Potato Salad

Chicken & Roast Potato Salad
500g chicken tenderloins
190g Capsicum & eggplant pasta sauce
120g baby spinach & rocket mix
1 head broccoli
10 - 15 baby potatoes (I used one of those microwave packs, that come with butter and parsley, but we could have used a lot more potato)

Preheat the oven to 190C.
Drown the chicken in the pasta sauce, and leave in the fridge for an hour. Microwave the potatoes until almost cooked. If using the prepacked baby spuds with butter and herbs, just follow the pack directions. Once removed from the microwave, coat the potatoes in a little butter and herbs, a dash of soy (if you like that sort of thing), and cut in halves. Place in the oven to roast. About 30 minutes should do it.
Trim the broccoli into florets and steam in the microwave.
After the chicken has been marinating for an hour, place a frypan on high heat. Give it a light but generous spray of oil. Fry the chicken until cooked through, turning at least once. Break the chicken into little bite sized pieces. Thisa will also let you see if it's cooked all the way through.
Toss everything into a large salad bowl, including your leaves. Season with a touch of salt and freshly ground pepper if you desire.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Short and Sweet

Went to the shops first thing this morning after dropping off Miss Three at kinder and Master Five at school. I got a bumper haul of goodies discounted as 'near use by' but nothing that has less than 3 days left! Most of it I used in tonight's dinner, and what's left is for tomorrow's.

To start with, I got Italian Meatballs (less than half price), stir fry vegetables, hokkien noodles, baby potatoes with butter and herbs (in a microwaveable container), cheicken tenderloins, and baby spinach/rocket salad mix. So to make tonight's dinner, all I had to get was a jar of sweet and sour sauce (store brand was only $1.79, although you can easily make your own with equal parts sugar and vinegar).

And the best thing was, even though it was all prepackaged foods, it was cheaper than buying whole vegies and chopping it all up myself. Quicker and easier too :D

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Tuesday Roast Potato and Chicken Salad
Wednesday Chicken Kiev with Cheesy Vegetable Macaroni
Thursday Freezer Suprise
Friday Pizza Bread
Saturday Family Pie, Wedges & Peas
Sunday Sandwiches (bbq birthday party lunch)

As usual, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for literally hundreds of other menu plan blog posts, and don't forget to come back here for Kids Cooking Thursday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sun is a Mass (of Incandescent Gas)

Singing Science Records

Fans of They Might Be Giants, especially the family podcasts might recognise a few of these. My kids love them. If you download the lot it'll fit on 3 cds quite comfortably.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Can't Sleep, Clown'll Eat Me!

Evil Clown Face Generator

Sweet dreams!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hay, Hay, It's Donna Day: Parmesan and Polenta Chicken

Another blog event from Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness: Hay, Hay, It's Donna Day. This is actually round 28, as you can see over at Chez Us. You might remember around this time last year my Triple Choc Pancakes for an earlier round of the same event. What follows is how I made mine, go and check out Stephanie's post for the original recipe, this would be great any way you made it!
(as I found out in the round up)

We had a lovely sunny spring day here today, so this went down great. Although Master One spat his out and made me heat up a can of pumpkin risotto, and Miss Three left most of her leaves behind. But it was a beautiful, fresh, light meal, and would be great for entertaining. I served with it garlic ciabatta rolls, and even had an Apple & Pink Grapefruit mineral water and Vodka with mine, very posh indeed.

Parmesan and Polenta Chicken
500g chicken tenderloins
flour for dusting
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup polenta
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
400g baby spinach leaves
one bunch basil, leaves only
1 cup of frozen corn kernals

Combine the parmesan and polenta. (depending on the size of your tenders, you may run a little short like I did, just top up the bowl by sight near the end of coating if you find that happening). Put the corn in a microwave container and heat on high for 2 minutes. Put the leaves in a big bowl.
Dust the tenderloins with the flour, dip into the egg & press into the combined parmesan & polenta to coat. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat & cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden & cooked through. Set aside to barely cool. Toss the warm corn through the salad leaves. Slice the chicken into small strips, and add to the salad. Smell that awesome sweet smell of the basil as the hot chicken and corn warm the leaves. MMM, heaven.

This is perfect for entertaining... if only we entertained more often!

We don't dress salads in this house very often, but if you do, here is the dressing that goes with:

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Place everything in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over the salad and top with shaved parmesan, just before serving.

Flash Game Friday

Fly The Copter

Click and hold to fly up, let go to fly down... sounds easy enough doesn't it?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kids Cooking Thursday: Chocolate coated Choc-Malt Brownies with Dulce de Leche

Recently I tried one of the new Milo bars, the type with the brownie base, topped with a layer of caramel, then the whole lot coated in chocolate. It had crunchy little balls of milo throughout too, but that I could take or leave. Then I thought, you know, I could so make these. And then I could use microwave dulce de leche as the caramel layer. And when I saw Cooking For Kids had a chocolate theme for September, well, everything just came together in one gooey, over-indulgent mess.

Homemade Milo Bars
185g butter
185g chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milo

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Melt butter and chocolate (double boiler/microwave, whatever works) and stir until smooth.
Allow to cool. Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat with a electric
mixer until light and creamy. Add vanilla. Fold through chocolate and butter mixture. Sift the flour, cocoa and milo over the mixture and mix to combine. (Miss Three loves sifting!)
Pour into a 23 cm(9 inch) square pan that has been lined with cooking paper.
Bake for 35-40 mins or until set. Check with a knife. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Nude Brownies

To make Dulce de Leche the easy way, take one can of condensed milk, empty it into the largest microwave bowl you own. Cook it on low for 2 minutes. If it starts to foam up, that's good, but if the foam goes over the edges, that's bad. Watch it. Turn the microwave off just before the milk boils over. Whisk it until smooth. Cook it again. Whisk it again. Be really, really careful. It gets HOT. Like sugary napalm. Once it starts to change colour, and stops foaming so high, it's done. Don't overcook it. It'll taste nicer the longer you cook it, but it also gets harder, and we are looking for flowy, not chewy or brittle here. Working as quickly as you can, smear the brownies with a generous layer.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Then all you need to do is coat them in melted chocolate. I always find that to make less mess if you place the items to be coated in the freezer for a while, cooling them, and the tray, right down so that the chocolate hardens quicker. You get a smoother coat, and less chance of kid sized fingerprints or little 'knocked it by accident' or 'just needed to taste test it' marks.

Served these to my family at Father's Day, they were a big hit. I overcooked my dulce de leche, but they were so tasty, no one seemed to mind the excessive chewy/brittleness.

If you'd like to join in with Kids Cooking Thursday please leave a permalink to your own Kids Cooking Thursday post, as per the rules.

This was an entry for September's Cooking For Kids: Chocolate, as hosted by Salt to Taste and thought up by Sharmi @ Neivedyam. What better post to enter a cooking for kids event, than a cooking by kids post?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slow Cooker Pork Casserole with Soy Roasted Potatoes

I knew posting all those recipes yesterday was a good idea. Those Roasted Baby Potatoes with Soy, Butter and Parsley sunk deep, deep into my brain. So when I went shopping last night, I thought ooh, I see discounted sliced mushrooms, and baby spinach, and baby potatoes... I know what I can do with all that. And I did know. I did all this.

Don't you love having a black slow cooker that is impossible to photograph well?

Slow Cooker Pork Casserole
500g pork, diced
1 onion, chunky diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 stick celery, diced
375g mushrooms, sliced
100g baby spinach
175g pk Masterfoods Farmhouse Chicken Casserole base

Throw everything into your slow cooker except for the spinach. Stir thoroughly to coat in the sauce. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove the lid. Stir everything around, then evenly pile on the spinach leaves. Leave the top off until cooking is finished, then serve.

Roast Potatoes... *drool*

These weren't exactly as seen on For the love of cooking, as I had no parsley, so I used just a smidgin of tarragon. I don't recommend the tarragon, and I think I might use just a bit less oil and/or butter next time. They were a little oily for me, but that may have just been because I was out of olive oil, and had to use canola. They were still very tasty though.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'd cook that...

We had heat-and-eat lasagna tonight, one of the few premade meals I can buy and still feed all of us for under $10. I'm on a bit of an extreme budget kick as we uber save to get our bank statements looking rosy, in the hope of getting a home loan. But today was still library day, with the all day out of the house that inevitably entails, so I had a lazy dinner night.

In the meantime, here's a bunch of links to things I'd rather be cooking. In my 'Unsorted' bookmark folder, I have a folder for recipes I like the look of, but haven't tried yet. That, in turn, is split up into Bread, Drinks (with a further sub-folder Booze), Desserts (likewise Cakes, Chocolate, Ice Cream), Dinner, Snacks (Savoury, Sweet), Soups, Slow Cooker. I have the same structure in my tried and true recipe folder, where I move across anything worth making again. Yeah, so my bookmarks are more organised than my household. I'm a nerd. Sue me.

At any rate, here are all the links from my Unsorted > Recipes > Dinner folder. Perhaps this will spark an Oh Yum from someone else reading, or maybe just inspire me while I'm in the supermarket next to narrow things down a bit. Either way, it's better than just linking to a list of common Evil Overlord stereotypes. But I wouldn't do that.

Crispy & sticky chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes & tomatoes
Bacon Basil Chicken
Chicken and Leek Lasagna
Roasted Baby Potatoes with Soy, Butter and Parsley
Baked Apples and Sweet Potatoes (side dish)
Hi-Lo Chicken Stuffed Loaf
Baked Sweet Potato Falafel
Tarragon Chicken with Buttered Leeks
Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad
Chicken, Mushrooms and Artichoke Hearts with Cheese Tortellini in a Light Lemon Butter Sauce

Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pasta
1 bbq chicken, skin and bones removed ($5)
400g sliced mushrooms ($2)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup ($1.69)
500g pasta ($0.59)
cheese to serve

Cook pasta in boiling salted water.
Meanwhile, heat mushrooms in a large frypan, with no butter or oil. Cook over high heat until the mushrooms start to sweat and go all brown and gleaming like you fried them in a tub of butter. Add chicken meat, and soup. Cook until soup has warmed into a sauce type consistency and is no longer a gelatinous blob. Drain pasta. Toss through sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese.

And all for less than $10! Serves 5 btw.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Easy Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pasta
Tuesday Lasagna
Wednesday Slow Cooker Pork with roast potatoes
Thursday Freezer Suprise
Friday Parmesan & Polenta Chicken
Saturday Supermarket Pizza
Sunday Sandwiches (lunch @ ILs)

As usual, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for literally hundreds of other menu plan blog posts, and don't forget to come back here for Kids Cooking Thursday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

See you in hell, Lego Boy!

Experiments with Temperature

Father's Day here in Oz, (well actually last week by the time this goes live, but still). I've spent all day at my parents house. Very full. Need more coffee.

DP got a coffee mug from Miss Three. It's kind of hard to tell in this pic, but it holds three times as much coffee as the purple one does.

The text reads World's biggest coffee mug for the world's best dad. He was well chuffed.
Caffeine addict.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not blogging about burgers...

Where the Wild Things Are cupcakes on Flickr

Despite the fact that we had very yummy homemade burgers tonight, on damper rolls, with big chunky fries, it's just a lazy dinner post tonight. Because it was really just another cook and assemble dinner, and that's not much fun to read about. So here's a selection of kitchen related link love for you, starting with these fabulous cupcakes.

Will It Blend?
Crazy Asian Drinks
Fight! Kikkoman!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Leftover Pasta

I used the leftovers from Wednesday's Pizza Braid to make a simple but tasty pasta. Pizza sauce, baby spinach and cherry tomatoes tossed with cooked corkscrew pasta, and topped with a little mozzarella cheese. Too easy.

Flash Game Friday

Ninja Burger Delivery

Wasabi gives you Super, Terrific, Extra Time!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kids Cooking Thursday: Lemon Lime Cupcakes

Lemon Lime Cupcakes
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
90 ml lemon lime fizzy drink (that's 1/4 cup and 2 tbsps, and we used lemon lime mineral water)

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan and line with patty cases.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing each until well blended. Stir in the lemon essence. Stir in the flour, alternating with the lemonade, just until the batter is smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly. (We made 12, but should have made 18.)
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack.

It may have been because we followed the above recipe (which is missing half an egg, because I scaled it down), or because I used mineral water instead of 'soda', or because our patty cases were full instead of 2/3s full before baking. Whatever the reason, our cupcakes ended up with a lovely crunchy top crust. The insides look and taste/texture like normal cake, lovely and light and fluffy and not overpowering at all.

But the top looks more like those Danish butter cookies with sugar baked on them... in fact you can see where the sugar has swollen in cooking, and it's all crunchy and toffee like and awesome. I don't rightly care that it shouldn't have happened, it's the best bit of the cakes, and that's why I've given you exactly the recipe I used instead of just linking to allrecipes. We were going to bring these to my parents house, but I think I may just eat them all myself. Maybe I'll give a few to Miss Three. She did help lots with the measuring after all.

Please leave a permalink to your own Kids Cooking Thursday post, as per the rules.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicken Pizza Braid

I first saw this recipe over at The Finer Things in Life and thought it was a great idea. I haven't actually used any of her recipe, but I used her idea, plus she's got some great step-by-step pictures of the method, so go check it out. Go on, I'll wait.

First, you'll need to make your dough. Use your favourite recipe, this is mine:
Pizza Dough
3 cups bread mix
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp yeast

Place everything in the bread machine and select dough cycle. Easy huh?

Once your dough is done with the rising and the kneading and the etc, roll it out into a rectangle the length of a baking tray. Line said baking tray with paper.
Spread the dough with pizza sauce, generously in the centre third, and more sparingly around the sides. Place your preferred pizza toppings down the centre third of the dough. We used chopped bbq chicken, cheese, baby spinach, and halved cherry tomatoes.
Then cut 8 even strips either side of the fillings. Start by cutting the middle mark first, then slice that part in half, and then half again, and then repeat for the bottom half, and the other side, ending up with 8 strips a side. (Amy has a good photo of this bit)
Starting at one end, cross the strips over to resemble a plait.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees C.

Ready for baking

Fresh from the oven

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Getting organised for back to school.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere we are 2 weeks away from the end of term three, and the end of our school year is almost in sight *shudder*. But I've noticed a lot of American Mum Bloggers posting about how hectic their houses are right now with the back to school rush, and since we had heat and eat lasagna for dinner tonight, I thought I'd share one thing Master Five does to help me ease the pressure of the morning school rush. He makes his own lunch.

Every day when he gets home from school, he brings his drink bottle and lunchbox into the kitchen. Then, while I give him fresh water in his drink bottle (he can't reach the sink yet), he gets himself a roll out of the freezer.

Our sandwich drawer

On a Sunday night when Coles down the super mark downs, I can get a bag of 6 rolls for 50c. Then I take them home, put stuff on them, place them in ziplock bags with sharpie names, and leave them in the freezer. The row on the far right is sweet things like honey and jam, which he is allowed to take once a week, the rest is meat or cheese etc.

Once he has his roll, he goes to the fridge and grabs a snack for recess, and his 'brain food' - a second snack his school has implemented at midday, so the children don't get all fuzzy before lunch (at 1:30pm).

The snack drawer

In there at the moment is celery sticks, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, a couple of mandarins and dried apricots.

Then the lot goes into the fridge, ready for him to grab in the morning and place in his school bag. He loves being able to choose his lunch, and feels very grown up for getting things ready and being "Oscar Organised" as they say it at school.

It takes me about 30 minutes every week or two, just making up rolls and chopping vegie sticks, to keep ahead of him, but it's much less time than making a lunch every day. And it's a lot healthier too!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pork, Mushroom & Spinach Pasta Carbonara

Not really a recipe tonight. I just fried up some mushrooms with some pork strips, added a jar of carbonara sauce once browned, and topped with baby spinach. Once the pasta was cooked I stirred the lot together. Not much to say when you cheat with the sauce.
...Look! A distraction!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Pork, Mushroom & Spinach Pasta Carbonara
Tuesday Lasagna
Wednesday Chicken Pizza Braid with Caesar Salad
Thursday Freezer Suprise
Friday Pizza Pasta
Saturday Beef Burgers on Damper Rolls
Sunday Sandwiches (big lunch @ M&D's for Father's Day)

As usual, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for literally hundreds of other menu plan blog posts, and don't forget to come back here for Kids Cooking Thursday.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stacksa pics

To make up for all the time you've spent not cooking recipes I've given you this week, here is a bunch of sites, with heaps of pictures (or really big archives) to keep you busy for a while.

The Cellar Image of the Day
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Motivational posters for Geeks

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Edible Word: Golden Eggs (Cupcakes)

It's been a long time since I joined in a blog event, (funnily enough that was one of Stephanie's too!) but when I saw that one of my favourite bloggers, Stephanie over at Dispensing Happiness was cohosting with Cath from A Blithe Palate another edition of The Edible Word (Remember that?) I could not resist any longer.

The book in question was Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Since it doesn't come out until the 8th, do what I did and go read the first chapter, available as a pdf on the Amazon site. Right at the end, it has this recipe, Golden Eggs.

It made 18 cupcakes, and this cake as well.

This event was perfect timing, I passed 14 of the cupcakes on to my sister when I visited her for her birthday, and then when my parents gave me a lift home, I gave them the cake. All the fun of baking, none of the calories! (Well some of the calories. We all had a cupcake each - except Master One).

Now, I don't know about these tasting like donuts, but we ate ours cold. Perhaps they taste like donuts if you eat them still oven warm. Either way, they were delicious. And as a bonus, when watching the step-by-step instructional video Gesine has on her blog, I actually learned something. All these years I've been cooking, and I don't think I've ever creamed something right. Everything I've baked since watching this has turned out so much nicer, even if it does take three times as long to make.

Keep an eye out in a few days at your local bookstore, looks like this one is a keeper! Also go and check out A Blithe Palate for 3(!) posts of round-up!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Flash Game Friday

Games for the Brain

A whole bunch of games to choose from, as a treat for the start of the month! ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kids Cooking Thursday: Red Velvet Cupcakes

I've always wanted to try Red Velvet Cake. It's not something people make over here, in fact, I'd never even heard of it until I started blogging. So when I was sifting through recipes, looking for a use for some leftover buttermilk (stay tuned for that recipe coming soon!) I Googled my way across this cupcake recipe, and thought we'd give it a try. Miss Three loved helping sift the flour and 'mixing' spilled flour and food dye on the tabletop while I used the hand mixer. This Sunday is Father's Day here in Australia, so these are going to my parents house with us to feed the hordes.
Since this post is prepared in advance (like the cupcakes) I only have an unfrosted picture, since I didn't want to get frozen icing stuck all over the bottom of the cupcakes that are in the top layer of my container. (Except the three 'iced' with molten chocolate, leftover from coating the last of last week's truffles. Those three got eaten, not frozen)

Red Velvet Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
30ml red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp bi-carb (baking soda)
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 15 muffin tins with patty cases.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food colouring and vanilla.
Stir in the bi-carb and vinegar. (Master Five was very excited to see the bubbles where the vinegar landed on the bi-carb)
Combine the flour, cocoa and salt, stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. (I totally forgot to leave them in the pans. None collapsed.) Ice when cooled.

I haven't included an icing recipe, partly because I think Americans have some sort of traditional cream cheese icing for this cake, but DP dislikes cream cheese, and partly because I chose to use Betty Crocker's Ready to Spread Deluxe Vanilla Frosting. So sue me. I wanted to see if it was as good as the Chocolate one. (It's not). That stuff... *drools* you can stick it in the freezer and then eat it in it's semi solid frozen state as the best, most coma inducing ice cream ever. Seriously.
I had to restrain myself from getting a tub of the Chocolate to do just that.

Please leave a permalink to your own Kids Cooking Thursday post, as per the rules.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Video killed the radio star.

After having pizza last night, I didn't want to pull out another slacker night, but we'd spent all day in town, and I just had no energy left.
So because it's the second night in a row, something special.
A Cory Doctorow story.
Read on video by Neil Gaiman

But if 16 minutes is longer than your attention span, try this:
30 Second Bunny Theatre

Standouts? Rocky Horror Picture Show, Highlander, and Raiders of the Lost Ark

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What have you got for me Abs?

Because it was crazy wet and blowy outside today and I wasn't going out for dinner ingredients, we had supermarket pizza, conveniently located in our freezer.

Because today is NCISday, I give you The Elements.

My monthly reads - August

Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
The well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson
Of Two Minds - Carol Matas & Perry Nodelman
More Minds - Carol Matas & Perry Nodelman
My Scary Fairy Godmother - Rose Impey
The Fire Within - Chris d'Lacey
The Timekeeper - Emily Rodda
Magic or Madness - Justine Larbalestier
Magic Lessons - Justine Larbalestier
Magic's Child - Justine Larbalestier
Icefire - Chris d'Lacey
Sweethearts - Sara Zarr