15 September 2013

5 Years

I just realised today that I've been blogging at this address for 5 years this month.

I popped back and had a look today at my very first post and it makes me squirm. I'm almost too embarrassed to link to it! But as a kinda very lame blog birthday present here it is... It consists of a VERY average photo of a packet mix I did with the kids.
It's cute but I took my photos with a point and shoot and I had no idea what I was doing except that I wanted some place to show my small but meaningful (for the kids anyway) efforts. Wow, what a long way we've all come. Haha.

Now some bloggers with lots of sponsors and time to organise do amazing giveaways and awesome stuff for their blogaversaries (I kinda really dislike that word) but I'm afraid I've got nothing for you, except to say thank you. It's quite humbling to think that people like what I do, make, see and create. As well as all the cheerleaders and the sense of community that blogging brings, I've made friends with fellow bakers, photographers, mothers, and breast cancer survivors that also blog. I've even been lucky enough to have met and become friends with some of them in real life not just online. I've been given an outlet to my creativity while keeping my family in the loop of our life, especially during tough times. Not trying to blow my own trumpet, but you can see how far I've come since that first blog entry as without this outlet I would have never entered "that baking competition", had recipes published, had photos reproduced in books, submitted and had published magazine articles, published a book or most important to me, be a voice for breast cancer.
Maybe one day someone might pay me for it?

Simply I want to say thanks, and I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing. I love this place. I hope you do too.


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11 September 2013

Behind the scenes....

there's always these two. Trying to be stealth and sneak up on me...

Inky kept photobombing me with his ears.

Coco Moco Slice

I don't know why I called it that. It sounded catchy.

This is a coconut mocha slice and its very smooth and sweet - I wasn't sure how this would go down, too sweet is sometimes overwhelming but the day after I made this it tasted even better so its one of those 'its even better the next day' recipes. And I keep eating it...it's delicious!

I can't take credit for the recipe though, this one comes courtesy of one of Grandma Farrell's Australian Women's Weekly recipe books I inherited (complete with all her notes and adaptations for her favourites which makes it extra special). If you, or the person/people you are making it for don't like coconut you could take that out and use oats, or even ground almonds...hmm now that I've mentioned it I might try it with that too.

90g coconut
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/3 brown sugar
100g butter, cubed

Mocha Topping:
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 tablespoon hot water
395g can sweetened condensed milk
100g dark chocolate, chopped
30g butter

Grease and line a square or oblong baking tin. 
Heat oven to 180 deg C.
Combine coconut, flour, sugar in a bowl and add butter. Mix with paddle beater in electric mixer until the butter is combined in the dry mix and resembles breadcrumbs or if you like the long version you can rub the butter into the mix with your hands (I prefer the quick way). Take mixture out and press into baking tin firmly and evenly.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes - or until the top is golden.

Mocha Topping:
While the base is baking you should start on this. Dissolve the coffee in the hot water in a medium size saucepan. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir over a low heat until the butter and chocolate has melted. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 3 minutes and it is thick and coats the back of a spoon well.

When base is cooked leave for 10 minutes until pouring topping over. Sprinkle with extra coconut (I used some lovely BIG chunks of Ceres Organic Coconut Chips because they are crunchy and so delicious).
Let cool to room temperature and then place in fridge to set.
Once set it will cut beautifully.

10 September 2013

The Bees are Back...

Yeah. I'm not getting too close. It appears they are here to stay. 
I wonder how many stings the kids will get this season? Last year the tally was 6, most of them strangely deliberate. 
Katie considers herself the 'bee whisperer' around here and is enjoying watching the man come to take the honey.

Did I mention this is my favourite season?