Monday, September 1, 2014

Lunch of Champions

Geez I love it when the kids are little and they eat everything!  
Or at the very least, they are willing to try everything.  
No preconceptions, no opinions or schoolyard murmurings to affect their food choices.

Baby is a good eater and is happy to try anything.  So until she starts demanding croissants and party pies (bless their pastry-loving hearts), this is a typical lunch.

Cheese, banana, mandarin, and Vegemite on corn cakes

Lunch has been assessed and the cheese is the first to be devoured

A face full of banana

Onto corn cakes with our favourite, Vegemite!

All gone!  Except for some mandarin... which the dogs polished off while no one was looking.
Happy second day of Spring friends! x

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fable Table: Little Hummingbird Cakes

This unseasonal burst of sunshine has got me bouncing about with productivity!  I've been cooking and cleaning and washing and generally pottering about for a couple of days now, feeling every bit the domestic diva.  However I won't be breaking out the summer frocks just yet as there is a still a wintry chill in the air.  Sounds like the perfect weather to bake a little something, don't you think?  
Something sweet.  
Something fruity.  
Something sunshiney and yellow.  
Something to celebrate the glorious warmth which is waking up the world outside.
Ooooh, Little Hummingbird Cakes it is!  Moister than a muffin but denser than a cupcake, these are little cakes.  And they are delicious!

Little Hummingbird Cakes

Make 24

You'll need:

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
1/3 cup shredded coconut

100g butter, melted
200ml coconut cream
2 eggs
grated rind of half an orange

1 large banana, mashed
200g tinned pineapple, chopped into little pieces

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and coconut.
3. In a small bowl, whisk butter, coconut cream, eggs and orange rind until well combined.
4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and fold together until not quite combined.  Now add the mashed banana and pineapple and stir to combine.
5. Drop spoonfuls of mixture into cases and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Done!  When your little cakes have cooled, plate them up with a dollop of cream and a dusting of icing sugar.  Now go sit in the winter sun with a cup of tea and your fave magazine and enjoy x

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hello World!

The sun has finally peeped out from behind the clouds and I feel as though it symbolises the end of this lurgiest of all lurgies which I have been suffering from for the past week.

All cooped up, unable to function as MamaBear, this has been one testing chunk of downtime.  Alas, much sleep and a few choice meds later, things are on the improve and this beautiful, sunny day is just what my soul needed to encourage its restoration.

It's times like this that I find it comforting to cherish the simple things... and so, I give you some happy snaps!

These girls - they're over-the-top-happy at all times and they're darn cute.  Note the need for new socks ;)

This beautiful bunch of flowers which Baby and I picked from the front yard includes many of my favourites - daphne, forget-me-nots, mini daffodils, erlicheer and snow drops.

These shoes, that colour, that sparkle!  Baby's first pair of shoes and simply perfect for picnics.

Waterlogue - have you used this app?  I love it!  It can turn an ordinary photo into a sweet watercolour painting.  This is one of my fave creations :)

Note to self: next year, get the flu jab!

I hope this hint of early spring has you smiling!  And for my northern friends, I hope you're enjoying the last, lazy summer days x

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fable Table: Coconut Banana Pancakes with Cheat's Caramel Sauce

Something cheeky happens when I'm home alone and I get the baking-bug... 

something indulgent...

something selfish...

I eat my experiments.  

There's no one around to taste test, you see, so it's up to me.

There's no one home to ask 'Whatcha bakin'?' or 'Can I try some?'

There's no one here... to stop me.

There it is.  My secret is out.  It feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders (and funnily enough, piled onto my hips!).

In all honesty, I do usually have something left of the baked-kind for the kids when they get home.

I may just skate around the truth when it comes to original quantities, is all.

It feels lovely when they walk in the front door and say 'Mmm what's that delicious smell?'  

I get a little flutter in my belly and a smile in my heart.

It makes me feel very MamaBear.

Anyhoo, today's experiment is a little variation on one of our Fable Family Favourites, Pancakes with Caramel Bananas.  Instead of frying sliced bananas and using them as a topping, today I added the sliced bananas to the pancakes as they were cooking.  

Needless to say as there was caramel involved, it turned out very tasty!

If you'd like to have a go, here's how to do it:

Whisk together 1 cup of coconut cream with one egg then add 1 cup of self raising flour and 1tbs dessicated coconut.  Whisk with a fork until combined.

Melt 1 tbs butter over low-medium heat in a large frypan.

Dollop spoonfuls of pancake mix into pan (I usually fit three to four pancakes, depending on how much it spreads).

Place thin slices of banana onto each pancake (make the slices no thicker than about 3mm to ensure it gets the chance to cook through).

When bubbles start to appear in the batter, flip your pancakes over.

Cook for another minute or so then pop them onto a plate.

Now for the Cheat's Caramel Sauce:

Put 2tbs butter and 2tbs brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds.  Stir to combine then microwave for another 20 seconds.  Add 1tbs cream and stir thoroughly.  Voila!  

Pour sauce over your pancakes and serve with vanilla ice cream (or tear off giant chunks of pancake, ungracefully slosh them around in the bowl of caramel sauce and devour like it's your last meal  - whatever takes your fancy).

Now can you see why I eat my experiments?  Luckily for the rest of the Five, I'm watching my sugar intake (today, at least) so there is plenty left to share with them when they arrive home.

But if I didn't have any left, no one would be any the wiser.  Just saying ;)

Hush Little Baby

Our little Baby absolutely loves the lullaby Hush Little Baby.  

It's really very sweet. 

She can be all fussy and whiney but I can pick her up, hold her tight and start to sing, and if she is tired, she'll close her eyes and settle straight away.  

Then there are those times when she doesn't want to settle and nothing I do works.  

But this post is about the magical powers of the lullaby!

Sometimes I'll be singing it for quite some time and I get a little tired of repeating the same verses, so tend to make up my own.

Here's the original:

Hush little baby, don't say a word
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird

If that mockingbird don't sing
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring

If that diamond ring turns brass
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass

If that looking glass gets broke
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat

If that billy goat don't pull
Mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull

If that cart and bull fall over
Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover

If that dog named Rover don't bark
Mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart

If that horse and cart fall down
You'll still be the cutest little baby in town.

A baby's expectation of seamless singing makes you come up with some pretty interesting verses off-the-cuff, but after much practise I've removed most of the nonsensical lines from my repertoire and this is how it goes:

Hush little baby, don't you cry
Mama's gonna bake you an apple pie

If that apple pie's too tart
Mama's gonna build you a billy cart

If that billy cart don't race
Mama's gonna sew you a gown of lace

If that gown of lace gets torn
Mama's gonna you a spotty fawn

If that spotty fawn runs away
Mama's gonna find you a sweet blue jay

And if that sweet blue jay don't sing
Mama's gonna start at the beginning.

The lyics are prone to change... I heard Bobby McFerrin mention chocolate cake in his version - who wouldn't go to sleep for chocolate cake?!

If you need a reminder of the tune, click here for a lovely version by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July Blues

Argh, so many half-written posts laying about!  You know when you get all inspired to write something then the inspiration gets interrupted (usually dinner time, a crying baby or arguing children)?!  It's school holidays here so there are interruptions aplenty but lots of inspiration too!  
We've squeezed a lot of fun into the last couple of weeks and the only real downer has been that BigBadWolf got really sick and had to go into hospital.  He's home now but looks like he'll be off work for another couple of weeks.  
I decided to snap some pics to lighten the mood in the hospital room and as it turns out they were all blue-ish so I continued the theme when we got home and made this lil' blue post :)

Apron and gloves.  Suggested attire when visiting the BigBadWolf in hospital.  That's the smiling patient up top there :)

The hills of home!  A nice view from said hospital room.

A card of good wishes from Berry and Bear

We decided that a dollhouse renovation would be a good school holiday project, starting with a new colour on the roof - aqua.

Crochet blanket, beautiful ombré

I've been admiring the ombré effect of this bag from for ages and it's had me playing with similar colours in an attempt to make something for Baby (a hat maybe? a jacket?)

I lurrrve this colour for a boy's room - rich, midnight tealy-blue. Found here

The Blues won in Round 16! Okay, so I exaggerated my own excitement, but seeing how happy it made Bear each time they kicked a goal, that made me happy.

There's a mixture of happy and not-so-happy amongst all those blues - here's hoping for more of the former in the coming days!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crochet Baby Sherlock Hat Project

This would have to be one of the cutest hat patterns I've ever seen - stripes, earflaps, buttons - all the ingredients for a super fun beanie!  It's been on the 'to-crochet' list for a couple of years but as Bear is too big for 'cute' beanies, I hadn't had any reason to make it - then my nephew had his second birthday - Yippee!  
I think it's more of an Aviator style than a Sherlock style, but either way I love it!

The perfect little hat for winter outdoor adventures!
Flaps to keep little ears toasty warm

Sea tones pair nicely with wooden buttons

Long ties can be tied in a bow

Pattern: A freebie called Baby Sherlock Hat available from the Red Heart site.

Yarn: Heirloom Easycare 8 ply in teal and soft blue.

- To save time, I used a 6mm in place of the suggested 5mm and used half double crochet in place of single crochet (I did start out using sc but it was taking aaaages and I was in a rush so started again and whipped it up in a couple of hours!).  
- As I used a bigger hook, it required fewer increases to get to the right size which led to fewer stitches in the final round which meant that I had to fudge my way through the placement of earflaps and front flap.  This made it fiddly, but that was my fault.
- I used the soft blue contrast colour to stitch a single crochet border around the outside.  When I got to the centre of each ear flap, I did ch35 then sc into each st back to the ear flap and continued the sc border around the hat.
- The buttons are stitched straight onto the hat - no button holes!

Next time:
I'll allow myself more time and will make the hat in single crochet as the pattern reads.  This means less fussing over flap-placement as I should be able to follow the pattern verbatim.

Result: It's a simple and satisfying project which I will very likely make again :D