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Showing posts from August, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Just some random thoughts...
I was cuddling Little Miss M in bed the other night, waiting for her to go to sleep.  I watched in fascination as she went from  - flopping around like a fish out of water to  - waving her arms and legs around like a distressed octopus to  - checking out what was in-between her toes ("I'm just cleaning in between my toes, mama") to  - laying there quietly whispering to herself to  - snoring not-so-softly into dream land.
As I watched this progression into restful sleep, I couldn't help but notice how Little Miss M's eyes (or more specifically, her eyelids) would go from a rapid blink to a slow lazy blink until, eventually, her eyelids did not open again as she finally drifted off to sleep.
This would be in direct contrast to my journey into dreamland where I would shut my eyes first and then flop around like a fish out of water trying to find the most comfortable position and then quietly whisper to myself and then turn on the ipod to listen…


Yesterday was just another day in Ag's household.
After mom and daughter both had a tantrum (and it was a doosy, folks), we kissed, hugged and made up over cupcakes.  

More specifically, Hummingbird Bakery's Vanilla Cupcakes.  
Look - I found a use for those danged teacup saucers!
As before and as now, these are wonderful cupcakes.And so easy to make!!  I made this recipe (which is actually half of the recipe that can be found in the book) and it made 24 mini cupcakes (plus a huge spoonful of extra batter for the elder baker in the house).  I used the ingredients for the icing, but I did not measure.  I just mixed to taste and texture.

We took them over to Dear Husband's work today for a last minute afternoon tea break.  It was quite last minute, so my Dear Husband could only duck out for a few minutes to enjoy his coffee, cake and the-cutest-of-cute company. 

With the beautiful weather here, I've been going a bit crazy with the camera (can you tell?).  So, I'll lea…

Not so dirty, really.

Now, I don't know if I'm admitting to the greatest social no-no, but if I am I hope you can get past the contents of this post and still be my friend.  It's always a bit risky exposing bits of your personal life, but hey - what's life without risk?
Anyways, onto my potential social no-no.  
I don't know about you, but I tend to wear my jeans (and jumpers) a couple of times before throwing them in the wash.  
Call me lazy (for not putting it in the wash straight away), call me green (for saving water by not needlessly washing still relatively clean jeans) or call me gross, but I just don't see the point in washing jeans that have barely a speck on them.  I mean, it's not like I run around the playground and sit in sandpits and make mudpies.  I'm an adult who sits in chairs and uses napkins and drinks my tea with my little pinky sticking up.
So, what do I do with the jeans that I have worn once that are not really ready to go in the wash?  
Funnily enough, whi…

Much ado about nothing

I've been thinking about teacups lately.  
Teacups and teacup saucers.  
I was thinking of treating myself to a fancy teacup to enjoy my morning and afternoon teas in. 
Just because it's only tea for one it does not mean it should be less of an occasion, less of a mini party.  Especially if I have freshly baked sweet treats to accompany my cup of tea.  Right?

And so, with the credit card in hand, I started looking for a teacup for one.  
I found one that I thought I liked.  Bright, happy (it's Winter here, I need my "sunshine" from other sources), good size, not too dainty.  
But even on sale it was a bit pricey.  (This is coming from someone that has only bought crockery from Maxwell Williams - good stuff, but not exactly high end, is it?).  And that was just the teacup.  The pricey bit was just for the teacup.  I also had to consider the teacup saucer.  Which got me thinking...
Do I really need the teacup saucer?  
The teacup was a breakfast cup, so bigger than your M…


Today - I'm thankful for my ever-talented, extremely determined younger sister.

Remember this mess?  

Well, it has been a bedside project because I couldn't be bothered re-winding the yarn.  The problem with bedside projects is that I tend to want to go to sleep when I am in bed (yeah - go figure).
Anyways, I was inspired by my sister's effort to pick this up and get moving again.  So, sleep be damned, I'm going to finish this.  
I'm still not sure how I feel when, after I had finally gotten through all of the yarn that I ripped back, I find that I have nearly finished the body.  What a HUGE mistake!!  I ripped back to the neckline!  I really don't know how I knitted so much and not questioned how the garment was shaping up.

At least now, it's no longer a bedside project.  And this is where babywearing + fussy baby + knitting = productivity!!

Will I finish this winter jumper before the end of this winter??

New Kid On The Block

Move over cupcakes.  Make room for the Whoopie Pie!!
That's right folks... we're making Whoopie Pies (and get your head out of the gutter, you!).  Apparently the new cupcake has arrived.  The humbler, less pretentious cousin of the macaron is here. 

I won't bother telling you where the name supposedly originated from because EVERY article about the Whoopie Pie loves to retell it.  And you know I'm not really the type of person to jump on the latest bandwagon (notwithstanding my forays into Cake Pops, Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes, New York Times Cookies ... ok, so I do get sucked in by the hype).
Anyways, here is the Whoopie Pie, of humble Amish origins making it's way across the world.   This Whoopie Pie comes courtesy of the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book (the cake bit) and Chowhound (for the filling).  I couldn't bring myself to use the Hummingbird Bakery recipe for the filling because it required Marshmallow Fluff, which gave me a sugar rush just reading it …

And the Competition is on!

Please note - this post is filled with quotation marks (otherwise known as rabbit ears).  Please skip reading this post if rabbit ears offends you.
My Dear Husband requested for a Victoria Sponge Cake for his birthday this year.  Sounds like a simple request, huh?  Problem is, before I met my dear husband, I had never consciously tried a "sponge cake", much less a "Victoria Sponge Cake".  I'm sure I've eaten many a sponge cake, probably disguised as birthday cake or something like that.  But it has never been presented to me as "Sponge Cake" like you would say "Devil's Food Cake" or "Sour Cream Pound Cake". 
And so I went looking for a Sponge Cake recipe.  As with all classic, traditional, well-known and well-loved sweet treats, you can find numerous robust-almost-obsessive discussions on what makes a perfect Sponge Cake, particularly the Victorian Sponge Cake.  The description I like best "A Victoria Sponge is always …

What is Karma?

I would not call myself a fussy eater.  I love food.  I love new tastes; experiencing worldwide influences; trying new restaurants, new cuisines, new dishes.  I love food in it's simplest form and also complex dishes with those hints of this and undertones of that.  I love food.

Admittedly, my tastes are still developing.  Having gestational diabetes introduced me to "fruit" to curb my sweet cravings instead of just turning to chocolate (yeah - fruit, who da thought?).
And while I enjoy a variety of exotic vegetable dishes during a meal out, my vegetable cooking repertoire was pretty limited to broccoli and beans and just microwaved at that!
Now, again due to the gestational diabetes and Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals, I am exploring all types of vegies and new ways to cook them.  Even the broccoli has gotten a make over (mind you, I still like my microwaved broccoli).
 That's a raw prawn!  And I loved it!

But, wowser, I was a fussy eater as a kid.  I'm not sure i…

Mmmm - me love cookies

Once, I was so desperate for a chocolate chip cookie that I actually put a few dollars (!) in a vending machine for one of those super-sized chocolate chip cookies.
Oh oh - super-not-good!!!  And from there started my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

So, what is the definition of a super-good (nee perfect) chocolate chip cookie?
1 - freshly baked.  The cookie must be freshly baked.
2 - buttery without being too buttery.
3 - soft and gooey on the inside; a bit of a crunch on the outside.
4 - a good balance between cookie and chocolate.
5 - a caramel toffee undertone (I'm serious!).
6 - a little bit of summtin' summtin' that balances out as well as brings out the sweetness (again, I'm serious!).
7 - the time and the place to enjoy this humble yet complex concoction.
8 - there must be at least two of them for the one sitting.

Now I (used to) love Mrs Fields cookies. I have "used to" in brackets because I really don't know if I still love them.…

Go on... give it a go

I find it funny how the concept of the computer and the internet should be and can be impersonal, non-social and isolated but that it can also foster a sense of community and kind of "human-ness".  I mean, I can look at pretty pictures and long for what I see on the screen, but it's the human-ness and community that inspires me and tells me to "give it a go".
So, I came across some blog posts and were inspired to "give them a go".  And I'm so glad I did!!!
The soft ball inspiration came from browsing around sewandthecity blog (thanks for the inspiration!!).  I see these soft balls in every baby store.  I pick them up and have a bit of a play.  And, in agreement with the manufacturers spiel, think it's not a bad toy for a little one - teaches textures, encourages eye-hand coordination etc etc etc.  But did I ever think I could MAKE one?!?  Not until now - and so I gave it a go.

I'm pretty chuffed about this one and I can see a couple more bein…

Bright lights

My two brightest lights
There's a room in my house
With a dark corner
Over there.
I try not to go near there
Unless I have to.
I try to just quickly pass by it
But sometimes the darkness reaches out to me.

One time I sat there
Just sat there
And no-one could see me in the darkness
I had to come out of the darkness on my own.

Every other room and every other corner is so brightly lit
With my family; with my friends.
It's just this one room
With this one corner
That has this darkness
In my house.