Sunday, July 31, 2011

new recipe saturday

Vanilla slice

Vanilla Slice


  • 2 bought puff pastry sheets
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 3/4 cup cornflour
  • 1/2 cup custard powder
  • 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 750ml (3 cups) thickened cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Icing sugar, to dust


  1. Preheat oven to 210°C. Line a 23cm square pan with aluminium foil, so that the foil comes up over the sides (this allows you to lift out the slice).
  2. Place each pastry sheet on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, then bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Once cool, place 1 pastry sheet, cooked-side up, in bottom of pan. (You may need to trim it slightly to fit.)
  3. Place milk in a pan over medium heat. Scrape in vanilla seeds and add bean too. Warm gently, then set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Place cornflour, custard powder and caster sugar in a pan. Strain milk, discarding bean, into pan with cornflour and whisk until smooth. Add cream, then return to heat, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture thickens and boils. Add butter, stirring well to combine, then remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth. Pour into pastry-lined pan and set aside to cool slightly before placing other piece of pastry, cooked-side up, on top. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove from pan, cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.

I have become a crazy baking lady since we've moved. Mostly cakes and cupcakes but i think this week I need to branch out to vanilla slice. Maybe some other slice as well. Jack's new school is nut free so I'm trying to make him stuff to take rather than muesli bars etc, that may contain traces of nuts. He's loving all this baked stuff in his lunch box and that's fine with me. I think vanilla slice has afternoon tea written all over it. Yumo. 

Are you baking anything this week? Tell me about it!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Why hello there!

I have been ridiculously relaxed since we moved here. Even with boxes everywhere and a million things to do, with Michael away for a week and Jack starting school.
I've been baking everyday, the kids and I have been out to the library or the park or shopping or a walk on the beach there really is something to be said about the sea air. I find myself smiling at nothing. I don't think I realised how stressed I was in Blackwater. I thought living in a small town would be great but the drama really got to me. I'm loving being anonymous for now. We don't know the lady at the supermarket, we don't run into people we know every time we leave the house. Life is just us and I'm really enjoying it. 

This morning a family of ducks turned up on our front lawn. This sort of stuff didn't happen in Blackwater.

Lucky we have loads of bread on hand.

I sent the boys out really quickly to throw bread at them before they disappeared. The tradies up the road laughed at me when I grabbed my camera, I didn't care.

Bread overload maybe but who cares, they were happy and so are we. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday Love

I had forgotten how nice is was to shop on a regular basis. So much in fact that we've been here for a week and a half and I have been shopping every day. Hopefully soon the novelty will wear off but for now I'm loving it. 
So on Sunday Michael suggested a trip to Bunnings, sure I said. So off we went via a quick trip through the markets. It was Sunday after all.

$4 per child to ride the train. We wont be doing that again.

Lucky they liked it.

Michael gave Charlie some caramel fudge to try...

...He was not so impressed!

Jack on the other hand loved it, he's so my kid.

James wanted to me to take a picture of his new shoes, so we did it together. Must stop shopping.

I need to take my sunnies off for photos.

Charlie so over shopping he fell asleep in Bunnings.

I wanted to buy one of each of the pots. We came home with two. I'm happy with that.

Michael is so appreciating the shopping as much as me. He went off to the barber the day before and had his head shaved. Can you say burnt scalp?

That's my special James with his new pot on his head. I didn't get a photo of Michael doing it as well but he looked much funnier, especially when it got stuck on his scalp with no hair on it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Place and Yours

Every Monday I'll post a new theme for you to rack your brain with, take some photos then blog about it, when your done come back and add your link down the bottom so we can all have a sticky beak. Sounds good right?

This week I want to see your cookbooks.  Where do they live? Have you got a ridiculous amount of them? 
As I'm unpacking my cookbooks are going on my kitchen bench, I love that we have enough kitchen space in this house to have them in the kitchen. 

I get the irony that my Jenny Craig cookbook is next to my Donna Hay chocolate cookbook. It wasn't planned but I quite like it that way now.

Check out all that space my books look tiny!

So go get snapping and show me what you've got!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ah serenity

This is where I have been all week.
Having Michael home for a few extra days than we thought has been so relaxing and fun. We have been to the beach everyday, I still have half of my clothes in boxes and the linen cupboards are empty, but I don't care. New house is so pretty and so big, the kids are happy, we have no real plans so were just enjoying each day as it comes. Its so nice not to be busy. Soon reality will set in, when Michael starts work and Jack goes to his new school, we'll be back to routine but for now were having a little holiday at home. 

Can you see Jack? The boys took their boogie boards yesterday, Jack had no fear and kept going further and further out to try to get a wave. Poor thing has terrible skin and when he came in he was red. I think he might have had a reaction to the sand.

Michael helped James by dragging him through the shallow water, he loved it until the wave disappeared and he rolled on the sand. Oops. 

My little man. He kept bringing me sticks and seaweed and the occasional shell. Were starting our own shell collection. Its going very well. 

Playing chase with his Daddy. I don't remember the last time we all spent this much time together and I am loving it. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Place and Yours

Every Monday I'll post a new theme for you to rack your brain with, take some photos then blog about it, when your done come back and add your link down the bottom so we can all have a sticky beak. Sounds good right?

So this is our new backyard. Smallest backyard ever.
Show me your backyard, is it big, small, courtyard? 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shopping with Children

Shopping with small children is sometimes unavoidable. It can be stressful and annoying and make you want to spend longer in the liquor department than you probably should. 
Now my boys are big, Jack can read and James can read his own name when we go to the supermarket I give them a list and if they get everything from their list and help me with everything else, they get to pick something fun. A lollipop, a book, a new car, avocado. You get the picture. 

Excuse my dodgy pictures, I have been meaning to write this post for ages but I always forget when I write my lists, so these are from the car before we got out. 

It helps to write your list the way you go around the supermarket, and find one thing from every aisle. Or if your child is a bit older two things. Makes for a quicker shopping trip! Obviously my list isn't very well planned out but we've done it a few times and we've got this down pat. 
I give Jack more vague lists and let him pick certain things, like cereal. This week he picked sustain, but that because he's a 65yr old trapped in a 6yr old. James would have picked coco popps or fruit loops, not so much choice on his list.

James can read his names, and the letters of the alphabet but he's no where near putting letters together into words so for him he gets pictures.
This week he got Cat-food. Oranges. Bananas. Popcorn. Don't tell me it's not obvious. 

Once I've written their lists I add it to my list so we don't come home without stuff and I can give them a little nudge in the right direction if necessary. 

Do you have any tips to shopping with children I need to know about? 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Polly dolly


Celebrity Polly. So fun.
Except when you can't decide if what you've picked out is actually good enough for your celebrity.
I decided the beautiful Adele is wearing her Sunday shopping/brunching outfit. Casual compared to the stunning formal stuff she wears to events.
Sparkly bling and a casual jumper, jeans and fun flats. Hat to keep her hidden from the paparazzi, soft make up you can hardly tell she's wearing. Love it all.

Are you playing Polly Dolly with Danimezza?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thank god he's a country boy!

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again.
I married a country boy.
Today we went to Agrow which is like an outside shopping experience for people who run their own farms, my husband was in his element, talking to people about cattle (that's cows to me, I am not a very country girl), sizing up machinery, getting business cards and show bags. He was loving it.
He is good at his job, makes great money (that we spent very easily) but put him in a checked shirt and boots and he just looks comfortable.
Talk to him about how many sheep you can sheer in a day and he knows who your talking about, and what's an average amount and what's not.
It has just cemented in my head that we need our own land. Space for my hubby to make a chicken coop, milk cows, have a tractor, and teach the boys to ride a motorbike.
So I'm adding to our inspiration board a farm all of our own, cows and all.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Place and Yours

Every Monday I'll post a new theme for you to rack your brain with, take some photos then blog about it, when your done come back and add your link down the bottom so we can all have a sticky beak. Sounds good right?

Housework. I hate it, I love a clean house but I hate getting it that way. My most hated part of the housework? The washing up. I think it must be because my back is turned from the children so it's usually when bad things happen.

What's your most hated part of the housework?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Up, down, Up, down


What a massive week we're having. It's already Friday and July and my poor kids are stuck on school holidays with a crazed woman. 
On Wednesday this happened. Our whole world crashed around us. I spent most of the afternoon in tears and in a daze. Its crazy how much you can love someone who is the size of a nectarine. 
Yesterday we had an extra ultrasound, a more intense ultrasound. While the sonographer was doing her job I was quizzing her on what she could see (Thanks Dr Google for your tips and infinite wisdom) babies with a missing artery in the umbilical cord are quite often missing a kidney amongst many other things. So when she showed me there was 2 kidneys I felt a little brighter, then she found the third artery in the cord. This was a huge weight off our shoulders. She told us the reason the first scan raised red flags was missing artery and the thickness of the NT together. If it was one or the other they wouldn't have requested another scan. I was so relieved I wasn't even cranky that the first scan she'd missed this important factor. 
So after all that it's looking less likely there is anything wrong.
I'm staying positive, not stressing and hopefully on Wednesday when I go the doctors for my results he will give me good news.
After all this Michael has decided the baby is a girl. Only a girl would give us such grief, none of the boys ever stressed us out like this.  
Thank you to everyone who was thinking of us and praying for good news. I think its worked already. 


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