Friday, November 25, 2011


At work today we had a morning tea to raise money for one of our staff members participating in Movember. For those of you who don't know during November each year, Movember is responsible for men all around the world growing (or attempting to grow) moustaches in order to raise money and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression.

My contribution to the morning tea was this moustache shaped cake :)

Not a bad spread!

Scott and his cake :)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

Em x

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chicken, Chorizo and Potato Bake

I have big things happening this big things....'s only 44 days till I become a married woman...

...I spent most of today with a gorgeous lady who took over 400 photos of my parents house and garden, which they have just sold and she is going to make them into a photo book that I can give them for christmas's OH's bday next week and I have organised for us to go to QLD for a week so he can see his 2 brothers that live there...this might not seem stressful but we leave tomorrow morning and OH still knows nothing about it, he is currently on his way back from working up north because his boss told him he has a job down here to do tomorrow....oh what a tangled web of lies we weave....

...Oh I'm tired just thinking about it all!!

So when you have a million things going on you want an easy meal, a tasty meal, something that makes your taste buds tingle and your belly happy :) something like this Spanish, Chicken and Chorizo Potato Bake!

For this, you will need:

350g chicken breast diced
100g thinly sliced chorizo
1-2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
3 potatoes thinly sliced
1 onion diced
200g swiss brown mushrooms sliced
2 tspns spanish seasoning
400g tin of diced tomatoes

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Place a heavy based casserole dish on the stove top and add the onion and chicken. Cook for 3-4 mins or until chicken is sealed.

Add the mushrooms and chorizo and cook for a further 2-3 mins.

Add the tomatoes, seasoning and spinach leaves and stir to combine.

Layer the potatoes over the top of the mixture and bake for 20 mins. Cover with foil and bake for a further 20-25 mins or until potatoes are golden :)


Not only will the house smell delicious but you will have a solid 10 minutes of peace and quiet while the family is enjoying it too!

Hope you are all having a fantastic week :)

Em x

Monday, November 21, 2011

Low Fat Iced Donuts...and a Day at the Driving Range!

Breakfast in bed is one of the easiest ways to make someone feel loved and special and cared for....

But making them caramelised apple pancakes for brekkie in bed is just spoiling them....

It's lucky I think my OH is worth it...and he is lucky he shared!!

And to try and work off some of our pancakes we made the most of the beautiful weather and took a trip to the local driving range...

Granted golf is not either of our strong points, but at least OH can smack the ball and make it look like he knew what he was doing....

.....I just looked like I got lost on my way to mini golf!

Once I realised my golfing career was over before it began, I decided to go home and make some donuts...they do take a bit of time but they are rally easy and so yummy fresh out of the oven dripping with icing!!

Low Fat Iced Donuts

For the donuts...
3/4 cup reduced fat milk
2 x 8g sachets yeast (1 tbspn)
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 cups plain flour
60g butter (melted)
2 eggs plus 1 egg white (lightly beaten)

Pre-heat oven to 180C and line 2-3 trays with baking paper. Heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds until lukewarm and add the yeast and half of the sugar. Stir well and allow to sit for 10 mins. It should be nice and frothy when you come back...if it's not, you need new yeast!

In a large bowl, sift the flour and remaining sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture, butter and eggs. Mix into a soft dough and knead for 5 mins or until nice and smooth. You could also use the dough hooks in your electric mixer for this. Cover the dough with a tea-towel and place the bowl in a warm spot for 45 mins.

Tick tock tick tock.....

Punch the dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out to 1.5 cm thick and cut the dough into discs with an 8cm pastry cutter. Use a 4cm pastry cutter to cut the holes out of the centre.

Place the donuts on your prepared trays and bake for around 8 mins or until risen and slightly browned. Once they come out of the oven wrap the donuts in a clean tea-towel to cool.

Now for the icing....

1.5 cups icing sugar
1.5 tbspns milk
1 tbspn cocoa
2 tspns strawberry essence

Combine the icing sugar and milk in a small bowl and mix well. It should form a smooth thick paste.

Divide this mixture into 2.

To one half of the mixture add the cocoa and stir well to combine.

To the other half of the mixture add the strawberry essence (and some pink food colouring if you want) and stir well to combine.

You may need to zap them in the microwave for 10 seconds so that they become runny and glossy.

Dip each donut into the icing and place on a try to set :)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm donuts!!

Hope you're all having a fantastic week!

Em x

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Look What I Made :)

I've just finished making a cake for a pre-wedding party this Friday night so I thought I would share the pics with you. It is a white chocolate and raspberry swirl cake with marshmallow frosting :)

I'm really happy with how it turned out, I just hope the family and the future bride and groom love it too!



Happy Wednesday everyone :)


Monday, November 14, 2011


Ok so after more or less a week of sitting around feeling sorry for myself and a particularly bad night on Friday, I got out of bed Saturday determined to knock this stupid mood on the head. I was supposed to go to my 10 Year High School Reunion that afternoon and you know I was not looking forward to it one little bit. At school I was the fat nerdy kid with frizzy hair, not alot of fashion sense and even fewer friends. I'd like to think I've changed dramatically since then, I've lost a heap of weight, I'm confident, on the odd day I think I look hot and I have some fantastic I discovered high heels and hair straighteners! But just the thought of being back there with the same people made me feel ill. Nonetheless, Alice twisted my arm and we decided to brave it together and you know it really wasn't as bad as I thought. The reunion was held at the school and we went for a bit of a tour to see how much it had changed and then we headed to the nearest beer garden because it was such a beautiful day and we weren't quite finished catching up. Occasionally I still felt like that fat akward little girl, but then I remembered we are all adults and just went and started talking to someone. That was one of the great things about it, people who never said boo to each other at school were all of a sudden having in depth conversations, people who used to think they were better then everyone else all of a sudden looked like hell and people who used to be shy and akward all of a sudden could hold their heads high :)

That was step one....step two was getting my motivation back. No more moping, no more sitting around. I went for a huge walk in the sunshine on Sunday and will try and keep it up. Walking makes me feel great, not only for the exercise but I find it relaxing and a nice way to de-stress at the end of the day. I also got a heap of things crossed off my to do list, including having a play in the garden...and look what I found when I was out first flower :) now if that doesn't make you smile, nothing will!

And the thrid and final step....get back in the kitchen!! I have always always always said baking is good for the soul, it makes me happy, it clears my head, it makes me feel calm and peaceful and I missed it. So on Sunday afternoon when I had done all my other bits and pieces, I put my pjs on, I put the radio on and I cooked my little heart out. Nothing overly exciting, just some things for OH's lunches when he comes home next week and I started making the frostings for a wedding cake I'm doing this week :)

OH, me and our sheep!

Caramel Banana Rice Bubble Slice

Ohhhh now this slice is very simple and very easy....melt 150g butter with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbspns banana topping and 1 tbspn honey. Combine with 2-3 cups of rice bubbles until they are well coated and press into a lined slice tin. Refrigerate overnight and then cut into slices. If you wanted you could drizzle these with some melted dark chocolate too :)

So basically the general theory is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put on your highest pair of heels, your sexiest outfit and do something that always makes you smile and before you know it, you won't be able to stop yourself :) And a big hug (thank you Netty) is always good to throw in there too :)

Em x

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catching Up.....

So I've been coming here a few times over the last few days to update because I like to do it every few days if I can. But I have sat here so many nights staring at the screen waiting for an entry to type itself....I haven't been cooking, I haven't been doing much of anything, I wanted to come write a blog just to say hello and I'm still here but it just didn't happen. Truth be told, my head has been all over the show. A long time ago, when I was at school I was all sorts of messed up, my head hurt all the time, my mood swings were ridiculous, I just wanted to be on my own and truth be told I spent a hell of alot of time sitting on my floor, balling my eyes out, music cranking, razor blade at the ready....luckily I never did anything too stupid and the scars were so tiny they faded long ago. It took a long time but I realised one of the main triggers was listening to certain music, don't ask me why, but normally I can keep a hold on it, but certain music just knocks me for six. Anyway OH and I were going through our CD's last weekend to try and finalise the wedding music and he pulled out this CD that I had long forgotten about. I thought seeing as so many years had passed and I haven't had any trouble, maybe I would be strong enough to listen to it and just enjoy it. Turns out I can't. I just can't seem to snap out of it and in the last few days I've been flipping from ridiculously happy to sitting on the floor in tears to utter inner peace so often it's making my head just bear with me while I sort this out please?

In the mean time, here is what I had for tea tonight...would you believe it's just 600g pumpkin, 1 capsicum, 1 bunch spring onions, 1 head brocolli, 100g mushrooms and 1 zucchini in a fry pan with 350g sesame tofu and 2 tspns crushed garlic? Yuuuuummmm and so simple!

And I have spent the last few days in Melbourne at a conference for work...OMG the christmas windows at Myer were up, I mean I love the christmas windows but wow early much?!

And check this out...was gorgeous to wake up to this morning :)

And last but certainly not least....Cinderella and her Prince Charming :)

Last Friday night OH and I went to a charity ball with my work...we didn't have alot of money to throw around but it was something different as we don't go to events where you get to frock up in long gowns and I can get the boy into a tie very often so we made the most of it and had a really fantastic night :)

Em x

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Cake Balls

Try saying that 5 times fast....

Have you ever tried to fake tan? It's a well known fact that I'm a little pale (to put it nicely) and with the wedding coming up people keep asking me if I'm going to get a fake tan. My answer has always been no way in hell because everyone knows I'm pasty and if I show up on my wedding day looking like an oompa loompa well i think that's just silly....

However, in saying that, OH and I have a trip away coming up in the next few weeks and the thought of showing off my lily white legs on holiday to a bunch of complete strangers is just not working for me (go figure huh!?). So I took some advice from OH's sister and have been trialling a gradual tan moisturising cream. I'm not sure if it's working, I mean sometimes I look at my legs and think they are starting to look a nice shade of brown, other times I think they look the same as they always did, and occasionally I look at them and think someone has snuck in in the middle of the night and painted my knee caps and my toes a very bright shade of gold....but nonetheless I am sitting here with my legs up in the air (so that the cream soaks in evenly of course) and persevering with it...

The true test will be if OH notices when he gets home after two weeks working away tomorrow night, but in all fairness in the last fortnight I have had my nails done, had my long hair lopped off and done weird things with the colour of my legs so he may just get home and come to the conclusion I've had far too much time on my hands...

Having alot of spare time is not always a bad thing though, I've tidied the house, done some gardening, crossed several things off my to do list (and added several things to it....) and I made these Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Cake Balls!

Even though when I took them to work they were met with a crowd of ladies very wary of the flavour combination, word soon got around that they were in fact rich and tasty and sweet and delicious and they disappeared quick smart...even if they were likened to testicles (thankfully only due to appearance and not to taste!)

You will need:

1 pkt buttercake mix
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
2-3 tspns mixed spice
180g cream cheese softened
300g white chocolate melts

Prepare the buttercake mix as per packet instructions replacing the liquid with the pumpkin puree - the one I was using called for 2 eggs and 3/4 cup milk so I added the eggs and 1.5 cups pumpkin puree and no milk.

Add the mixed spice and mix well.

Bake as per packet directions. Once a skewer inserted comes out clean remove it from the oven.

Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 mins. Whilst it is still warm go nuts and break it all up in a bowl ensuring it is well crumbled.

Add the cream cheese and mix it all together. The mixture should be holding together well. If you find it it crumbly add more cream cheese. Place the mixture in the fridge for 2-3 hours and leave the house so you don't eat it all.

Return to the house and remove the mix from the fridge. Scoop small balls out onto a lined baking tray. Place bake in the fridge for a further 2-3 hrs or overnight.

Melt 100g of chocolate in the microwave. Using a fork or a spoon gently roll balls one at a time through the chocolate and place back on the baking tray. Repeat with remaining chocolate and balls.

Place the tray into the fridge until the chocolate hardens. You can store these either in the fridge or at room temp.

They do take a bit of time and a few steps but they are so worth it :)

Em x


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