Friday Food: Lemon Cheesecake Pavlova

Lemon cheese cake pavFrankenstein desserts are all the go, and while I am not always a fan, I thought the combination of pavlova and lemon cheesecake sounded delicious. This was the cover recipe on the September issue of Taste Magazine, but you can find it online here now. The pavlova needs to be made the day before and cooled overnight in the oven and then the cheesecake added on top and the dessert refrigerated for at least 3 hours. In truth, you could easily serve this as a frozen dessert, which would have circumvented my problem- read on.....

I found the recipe annoying because it doesn't separate the sugar into two parts: one for the pavlova and one for the berries. I had measured it out could not be bothered doing it again, so I just made a 4 egg pavlova and had some extra small pavlovas. The recipe also lumps the toppings in with the general ingredients. I have separated them into better categories. I know I am supposed to read the whole recipe, but I just expect it will be organised the way I like!!!

I used fresh local strawberries instead of raspberries. The raspberries are either frozen, imported from overseas countries where they don't have strict food laws, or unbelievably expensive right now. MrsDrWho and MrsReno said strawberries were fine. I used posh lemon curd from the supermarket, and I added the zest of the lemon I juiced to the cheesecake, because I don't think you can have too much lemon really.

Although I followed the recipe faithfully and accurately, and refrigerated it for 6 hours, the cheesecake portion didn't "set" and oozed over the sides of the pavlova when I removed it from the tin. It still tasted the same, but didn't look spectacular at all. I didn't bother with the white chocolate decorations as this recipe involved many steps, and I was tired by the time it was in the fridge. You can refer the the recipe online for the instructions.

Good and not so good


Lemon Cheesecake Pavlova       serves 8-10

For the Pavlova:

  • 3 eggwhites at room temperature
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 1 tspn cornflour
  • 1/2 tspn white or cider vinegar. I have used malt at a pinch.


For the Cheesecake:

  • 25og Philly cream cheese, full fat, at room temperature
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 40ml (2 tbspn) fresh lemon juice and the zest
  • 2 tspn gelatine powder
  • 40ml warm water
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 145g (1/2 cup) lemon curd


For the topping:

  • 250g frozen raspberries or fresh strawberries
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 2 passionfruit, or a tin of passionfruit
  • 185ml double cream
  • 125ml thickened cream


Make the pavlova first. Line a 12 x 27cm loaf tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 120*C/100*C fan-forced.

Whisk eggwhites

I always wipe the metal mixer bowl and the beaters with some lemon juice or vinegar and it is vital that there is not a skerrick of egg yolk or the whites won't whip properly. Whip the eggs until they are just holding their shape and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time. It generally takes about 10-15 minutes to properly incorporate the sugar. The eggs are ready when you rub a little bit of the mixture between your finer and you can't feel a single grain of sugar: it is smooth and glossy.

Add sugar, cornflour, vinegar

Spoon into the tin and smooth the top and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Bake pavlova

Turn the oven off and leave it to cool overnight. If needs be, you could make the pavlova early in the morning on the day you want the dessert.


Before you start making the cheesecake part, put the the warm water in a small heatproof bowl or glass and sprinkle over the gelatine. Place this bowl/glass into a larger heatproof bowl and pour in boiling water until it comes half way up the sides of the smaller bowl/glass. Stir every minute for about 5 minutes until the gelatine is totally dissolved. Set aside until it is at room temperature.

Creamcheese lemon

Meanwhile beat the room temperature cream cheese with the sugar until it is smooth. Add the lemon juice/zest and beat briefly to combine and then finally beat in the cooled gelatine mixture.

Add lemon add gelatine

In a new bowl, whisk the thickened cream until it soft peaks form. Fold in about 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture and then add the rest. Fold gently to combine. Swirl through the lemon curd. The idea is that you will see the swirls of curd in the finished cheesecake.


Spoon onto the pavlova, even out the top and then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Layer cheesecake on pavlova

Prepare the berries by defrosting them if they are frozen, and blending them with the sugar. You could also push them through a sieve. I don't mind the pips in berries, and there is passionfruit, which is basically pips anyway. Whip the creams till soft peaks form and then assemble the dessert.


Gently remove the dessert from the tin, spoon on the cream and pour over the berry sauce and passionfruit. You can add some extra berries and white chocolate shapes too. I chose to put a slice of the sad squished dessert on a plate and then added the cream and fruit on top. I wish you better luck than I had with the gelatine setting, but be assured the taste was not affected at all. I think this would be a fabulous frozen dessert for Summer, especially as it can be made beforehand and served whenever you want.

Lemon cheesecake pavlova

Now It's Music I've Found, And I'm Tired, I'll Sleep Sound.

Oh I am so tired. I am beyond tired. Today we went for a walk and unexpectedly met Rafa and his dad. Hedy played so much she had to have a little lie down.

Hedy the ball Rafa

Then I had my hair cut and this afternoon I went to be a Patient-Partner at the Hospital. Seven people searched for, found and then palpated my spleen.  An enlarged spleen is a rarity, so the almost newly minted doctors and their tutors were excited to feel my spleen. I also had to exert myself so that they could hear the murmur in my heart. And get on the bed, off the bed, several times. I want to go to sleep, but I know if we go to bed now, I shall be awake in the middle of the night again.

Lorelai Gilmore is feeling very well. We met a new puppy, Sebastian, but I don't have a decent photo of him. Hedy, Sandy and Rafa played with him. Gilly?? No, Gilly met Sebastian's human and ascertained immediately that she had treats in her pocket. Gilly has never met a pocket full of treats she doesn't love!!

Gilly, never met a pocket she didn't like

Lorelai Gilmore has her "asking for a treat" face and paw down pat. Look at that face.

Gilly asking for a treat

Hedy Lamarr never passes up a treat, she also never passes up a muddy puddle.

Hedy in the muddy puddle

When Hedy bites Gilly, I squirt a little diluted apple cider vinegar at her. I only had to do this a few times before she realised what it meant. After that I just had to show her the bottle and say "No!". Unfortunately I left the bottle on the desk and Hedy wrought her revenge quickly, chewing off the top.

Hedy's revenge

I have been knitting something from Craftsy's new free Autumn Knit-along . They say Fall, I say Autumn. It is a gift, so I have not shown it as it truly is. I am very pleased though. It was a fun knit and looks great too.

Some knitting

I've also been trying to eat more vegetables. Tonight I had peas, sweet potatoes and potato. Yesterday I had some carrots, Hasselback potatoes with bacon and broccolini (not shown).

Bacon-y potatoes

I am tired in other ways too. A female politician has said she felt bullied by a male politician. The male Premier has decided there is no case to answer and the male politician apologised for his tone, but not the bullying. Now he is saying that he is the victim. How is it that he seems to have turned the whole thing around and made it about him?? The Premier says there should be mediation, but I think there should be a proper third party inquiry. I don't believe that putting a bully, and the person they bullied together is a good idea. I think it can give more power to the bully. No-one really know what happened, but the male politician threatening to sue anyone who discusses it seems wrong.

It is still a man's world.

Today is International Day of the Girl and a survey released shows that two-thirds of girls believe that gender inequality is a persistent problem in Australia. 40% say they do more chores than the boys in their family and only 16% feel they are valued for their brains and ability. Things have changed, but not enough. It seems that because girls have been given the same opportunities as boys, boys feel they have had something taken away from them. And when women are given equal opportunities to men, men also feel that they have lost out: I am speaking generally. I think of the way Julia Gillard was, and Hillary Clinton is, treated so poorly by men and by the media. I despair of old rich entitled white men. Women and men are certainly different, but deserve the same opportunities and respect. A few weeks ago I found a credit card on the road behind my parked car. I took the card to the police station and I had to fill in a form. The form was all "he", "him" and "his". Not even a pretence of "s/he". I do feel not as equal when simple things such as government forms only have male pronouns. I would like to see all forms with just female pronouns and then tell men that these pronouns are inclusive. I don't feel included.

What else can I talk about?? The Plebiscite for Same Sex Marriage. I cannot for the life of me work out why I can have a vote-that-might-not-even-be-worthwhile about same sex marriage, but not one about going to war or the deficit. It does seem now that The Plebiscite might be off. I think couples should be able to be married in a civil ceremony. Everyone should have a civil ceremony and then they can have their marriage blessed, or whatever, in a church if that is what they choose. And churches should be able to refuse if they want to. I don't want to interfere in their religion. I can't think of one good reason why there should not be same sex marriage. The arguments used against it sound oh so familiar to those used against African Americans, against our Aborigines and against women. And saying that children deserve a mother and a father?: even fifteen years ago in my classroom most of the children's parents were no longer together in their original family unit. There were single mums, single dads, people who had remarried, people whose spouse had died, the list goes on. I believe children are better off with two people, or one person, who loves them, rather than with two people who hate being together and make their home an unhappy or unsafe place.

I feel like Hillary after saying all that!!

And I just can't even start thinking about Donald Trump.

There. I've managed to while away an hour. Time for a cup of tea, maybe another episode of Fringe and then sleep. Tomorrow there is no walk, we don't walk on Wednesdays, so I plan to sleep all morning.

And now I plan to press "Publish" and be damned.

Friday Food: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus bacon rollsI don't have The Facebook, so on The Internet I have to peer above a big opaque box that obscures half the screen. In the gap on Tastemade Facebook I saw something delicious: bacon wrapped asparagus. Yum. Asparagus is plentiful and cheap now and to take advantage I went ahead and made three batches of this recipe. I made the first two with normal sized asparagus spears. I not only cut off the woody ends, I also shaved the bottom third of the skin away. I used teeny tiny asparagus spears for the third batch and though they were cute, there was a low asparagus to bacon and puff pastry ratio. I would stick to the ordinary sized asparagus from now on.

I found that the asparagus rolls worked best with only half the puff pastry and half the streaky part of the bacon. I don't call the "not eye" part of the bacon anything, but I have seen it in the deli with a "streaky bacon" label.  I didn't have any Parmesan cheese and so my rolls have none.

If I was up to it, I would serve this with some roasted tomatoes and maybe some Hollandaise or cheesy sauce. I plan to make a fourth batch and take them to Sewing on Wednesday.


Bacon Wrapped Asparagus     makes 12


  • 12 spears of asparagus
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 6-12 rashers of streaky bacon
  • pepper
  • 1-2 tbspn wholegrain mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-2 tbspn Parmesan cheese, finely grated


Preheat the oven to 230*C and line a tray with baking paper. I put the tray in the oven as it heats up so the puff pastry hits the very hot tray and starts to puff up more quickly. Or at least this is what I choose to believe.


Prepare the asparagus by cutting off any woody stems and if it is thick, peel the darker green skin off the ends. Cut the thawed puff pastry into 12 thin strips and create 12 long thin pieces of streaky bacon about the same length as the puff pastry.

And roll

Layer a strip of bacon overlapping slightly the puff pastry and twist on lots of freshly ground black pepper. I found the best way to cover the asparagus was to wrap the beginning across to the right and kind of seal the pastry together, and then bring the long end and spiral around to the left. 

One bacon wrapped asparagus

But of course do whatever works for you, I pinched the ends together.

Lay the wrapped asparagus onto the tray, spread on some mustard and then brush with the beaten egg. I did half with, and half without, mustard. This is where you would add the Parmesan cheese.

Brush mustard bake

Bake for 15 -17 minutes. I turned the tray after 10 minutes. They took 17 minutes to bake. They are ready when the pastry is a deep golden brown and crisp. You can cool on the tray and serve warm or cold, or piping hot. I like them every way!!!

Bacon wrapped asparagus

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Bedtime

The football finals came and went. This was Hedy's first footy party next door and she was not impressed: too noisy and too many new people. Gilly went to the part a few times but there was no barbecue and so no real incentive to stay. It was underdogs winning all round in the finals.

Footy final labradors

This week I ate somewhere nice: twice. I spent most of the rest of the week sleeping, or lying on my side on the couch watching Fringe from the start all over again. The weather has been typically vernal, with heavy rain interspersed with warm sunshine. Today after our walk we went to bed and I didn't wake up until 5-09pm. The sound of rain on a corrugated iron roof is very soothing, except if it results in floods and we have had floods again in the north and south. The Hydro lowered the dam in expectation of the heavy rain. Even so the dam has been overflowing all week.

A lot of water

I made some teeny tiny Baby Kiwi socks with the wool left over from my socks. I wound wool on, checking the repeats, and had enough left over. I am very pleased. I think the colours work better than an adult sized sock.


I rescued my new Vogue pattern from Hedy. Luckily she didn't tear it up, as she did with an old paperback from the recycling, but it is very grubby on the outside. I plan to make the dress without the gathered pockets.

Hedy and the pattern

Gilly continues to improve. She is wicked, she has stolen things from the grocery bags and on our walks she ranges far and wide. She is interested in life again, and maybe there will be some extra food involved??

Gilly investigates

Hedy has never really played inside the boom gate area, so she was quite worried about finding Gilly. You can just see Lorelai Gilmore in the bottom left corner. Hedy Lamarr heard the noise and leaped towards Gilly.

Gilly and Hedy in the bush

The Labradors love going for a walk. It has been very wet, but we don't mind the rain. I am a little tired of wet dogs inside. Thank goodness we have plenty of dog drying towels at home.

Hello smiling dogs

We always take a toy for Hedy to play with, to encourage her not to bite Gilly. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors two new balls-on-a-rope. Really, only Hedy plays with them, but the first thing to do is to remove the rope!!

Hedy with the new ball

And then remove the covering. We are careful to throw out old 'tennis' balls because the ball inside splits into pieces very easily.

This week nine Australian men were arrested in Malaysia for undressing down to their Speedos which were embellished with the Malaysian flag. I shall not say any more, Internet search them if you wish,   but the general reporting called them "boys" and basically, boys will be boys, right? Boys??!! They ranged in age from 25 to 29. These are not boys, they are men, and men with responsible jobs.  I don't understand why drinking too much and stripping to your undies in a foreign country is dismissed as just boyish behaviour.

Our duopoly supermarkets are complaining that customers using the self-serve option are keying in the wrong codes, saying a mango is a potato for example, and so stealing from them. What did they think would happen when they stopped serving customers?? I am always in a long line waiting to be served by a person. I won't use the self-serve as it takes away people's jobs. I know it is a pointless protest and I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, but apparently that is who I am!!

If it's Thursday, it must be bedtime. Oh look, it is and so it is. I don't think the fact that I slept for seven hours today and seven more in the night, will stop me sleeping again as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Friday Food: Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

Berries mixed inAt last, here are the cupcakes from what seems so long ago. Right now strawberries are stupidly cheap and so I have made three batches of these cupcakes to take advantage of the fresh berries. This recipe is from the YouTube video channel The Scran Line. Nick has so many new and unusual cupcake ideas that I could just work my way through them all year. I don't think I am as inclined to use tall buttercream frostings, as they are difficult to transport sometimes, and I tend to prefer more cake than frosting.

His method is a little different, but the cupcakes are delicious and it makes at least 24, which is a huge batch. You can definitely halve the recipe and I have done that very successfully. The recipe says to put the diced strawberries into the base of the paper case and then scoop the batter on top. I decided that I liked the berries to be mixed in, as when I removed the paper cases after the cupcakes were baked, there was a squooshy strawberry base and some of the berries stuck to the paper. You can choose whichever method you like. These will keep for about 2 days in the fridge, but they are best eaten soon after they are baked and I piped on the cream and decorated them just before they were eaten. I found freeze dried strawberries in the baking section and if you can't find them, I also used some extra finely diced berries and some fancy pink sprinkles.


Strawberries &  Cream Cupcakes     makes 24

  • 429g plain flour
  • 3 tspn baking powder
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 375ml milk
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 punnets strawberries
  • 2-4 tbspn (40-80ml) strawberry jam
  • 2-4 drops red food colouring


To decorate:

  • 600ml whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 tspn caster sugar, if you like
  • freeze dried strawberries
  • fresh strawberries, finely diced
  • fancy pink sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced. Line your muffin trays with paper cases. Prepare your berries by washing and hulling them and then chop into a fine dice, about 1/2cm. 

Dry and wet

Put the dry ingredients into the mixer bowl and mix on the lowest speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the softened butter and again mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Combine the wet ingredients: milk, oil, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla, in a container, and whisk together. with the mixer on low, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat until they are fully combined. Scrape down the bowl to check for any dry ingredients left, and then mix for a final 20 seconds.

Mix and colour

At this point you should fold in the jam and food colouring, if you are using it. The recipe says to put about 2 tbspn of the chopped strawberries into the base of the paper cases and then I always use an ice-cream scoop to measure out the batter evenly.

And berries

When I used this method I found the cupcakes had the dreaded Mary Berry "soggy bottom".

Berries in the base

So instead I folded the strawberries in along with the jam and food colouring and then just put one scoop of the batter into the paper cases.

Mixing the berries in

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Fill and bake

I always swap and rotate my trays half way through. Leave the cupcakes in the tin for just a few minutes so they are easier to handle and then cool completely on a rack. Once they are cold, place in an airtight container and maybe in the fridge if the climate is warm and you are not eating them until the next day.

Cupcakes and cream

When you are ready to serve, whip the cream (and vanilla and sugar if you like)  until stiff peaks form, and then pipe or spoon the cream onto the top of each cake and top with the freeze dried berries. I put a little bowl of each topping next to the cupcakes and then people could choose one, or all, of the toppings!!!

Strawberry and cream cupcake

Thank you Nick for a marvellous recipe, and as a bonus, I can eat these cupcakes as they have no chocolate, orange, grapefruit or coffee.

The C-raté Kid

I missed my window for Friday Food last week. I baked cupcakes on Friday and we ate them on Saturday night, but by Sunday it was just too late. In good news, it means I have already prepared this Friday's Friday Food.


Hedy has been preparing something. I wasn't quite sure what, but it looked ominous.

Not sure what Hedy is planning.....

What she was preparing was a complete evisceration of her cushion in her crate.

Hedy in her little box

Of course now, she hates it. She tries to find a spot that is comfortable, and there is no good spot. There are just lumps of green filling, so she has to sleep on the plastic base and look balefully at us.

Lorelai Gilmore is feeling very well. She went to the vet with Hedy Lamarr last week, just to have a happy visit where no-one took blood, or put a thermometer somewhere uncomfortable. Gilly had lots of pats and treats and Hedy didn't bark at all: though I did show her the little bottle of diluted apple cider vinegar a couple of times.

Gilly on the steps

Gilly is alert and interested and happy and this week she took off several times on our walk and once ate old bones. Hedy was Not Happy when she couldn't find her sister and she showed her displeasure by trying to fit all of Gilly's head in her mouth when Gilly came back. It is pretty marvellous that Lorelai Gilmore feels well enough to be a bit naughty.

Gilly ran away, Hedy bites her

Hedy shows her displeasure by both ignoring me, and woofing at me.

Hedy, not Hedy not looking then pay attention to me

I have started knitting some new socks with my Opal Sweet & Spicy 3 Kiwi. It knits up so beautifully and I am trying a new gusset decrease, where you decrease every row, with no rest rows. I think it will be fine. Here is the first Chinese Gooseberry sock.

Chinese gooseberry start

I have two new sewing patterns. The first is Cashmerette's Upton Dress. It comes with a full bust adjustment already in the pattern for the bodice. Of course I still want to draft a new Princess Seam bodice with a FBA for this year, but I am eager to try one which might already fit. I bought the paper pattern from Sharon at Stitch56 and she could not have been more helpful. I emailed more than once to ask if the pattern had arrived in the country and then when I couldn't work the Cart, I rang up and she processed the transaction for me speedily and happily. The Upton Pattern is beautifully presented and Sharon wrapped it in pink tissue paper and posted it promptly!! Great Service. I plan to buy Colette's Rue Dress from Stitch56 soon. The second pattern is just a quick dress for when the thermometer goes 'way up, though I will probably do away with the ties at the shoulder.

New patterns

One of my social outings last week was catching up with Mrs Madcage. She's just back from a long trip up the east Coast of Australia, and she brought me back a lovely gift: fat quarters from towns along the way!! How kind of her and I love them all!!

Madcage material present

The days are gradually lengthening and this weekend Daylight Saving starts. I hate the whole "Spring Ahead" part of the "Spring Ahead, Fall Back". It takes us quite a while to adjust to the lost hour, but we love the longer evenings. I don't know an Autumn mnemonic to help me remember, so I have to resort to a USA one. Here are The Labradors outside just before their dinner. It is still light after 6pm.

Gilly looks right and well and Hedy too

And now I am half way through the foot of the new sock and I am recording Gruen so I can start watching anon.

Don't Go Cake-ing My Heart

Gilly is doing well. Dr David is very pleased with her progress, and my own GP thinks she is doing well too. She has the correct amount of platelets and her Red Blood Cells are below normal, but not terribly much so.  I didn't realise how well she was responding until we again met The Golden Retriever with the same thing. He has been very unwell, can't eat, has lot 3kg and has a large sore on his back. Gilly is doing very well indeed.

There are no blood tests this week, but we are going to visit The Vet and have some lovely pats and tasty treats so Lorelai Gilmore doesn't think going to The Vet is a not-very-nice thing. Still, there are Liver treats and Gilly thoroughly inspects the room to make sure she has them all.

Gilly at the vet

Gilly is enjoying her walks again and can keep pace, more or less, with Hedy Lamarr if she wants to. This is a terrible picture, but it shows how much Gilly has improved: she trots along, tail wagging, interested in what she can find and see.

Gilly and Hedy as normal

There are a lot of smells to be smelled.

Gilly on the trail of a scent

And her fur is starting to grow back properly at last.

Lorelai's fur growing back

Hedy Lamarr's friend Rafa the Border Collie is not coming for a walk, he's at The Kennels. Hedy loves to play with Rafa and her pretend stick. Rafa pretends to be cross and barks at Hedy, then they swap and he runs with the stick and it is Hedy's turn to be cross.

Hedy, stick. Rafa , bark

While Rafa is away, Hedy is playing with Sandy instead. Sandy has had a sore back, but he is well again.

Sandy and Hedy play with the toy

But Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr especially love walking together. Hedy has learned not to bark incessantly in a shrill manner in the back of the car, and she is trying to learn not to bite Lorelai Gilmore. The little bottle of watered down Apple Cider Vinegar is a good deterrent, and most of the time I just show her the bottle and there is no need to squirt the vinegar. Hedy Lamarr is almost as big as Lorelai Gilmore, and she is 8 months old!!!

Hedy and Gilly happy on the walk

In the afternoon they snuggle up together on one too small cushion that Hedy has begun to eviscerate.

The Labradors on the cushion

I haven't done very much, other than look after Gilly and try to keep things ticking along: badly. I have almost finished the 2ply Loop de Loop. I have finished my BoHo not BooHoo socks,  which I started on 3rd July. They are lovely, and I have another same-but-different ball of green striped Nako Boho too, and a ball of Kiwi fruit inspired Opal too. I see more socks in my future!!

BoHo not BooHoo socks 2016

I should have suspected something when I caught both Gilly and Hedy in the kitchen on Saturday morning. I shooed them out and thought nothing of it. Little did I know they were on a fact finding mission. I baked a delicious chocolate orange fudge cake for MrsDrWho and left it to cool when I went out to dinner on Saturday evening. When I came home at 9pm I realised that I hadn't tied the baby gate shut and that the empty tin just inside the back door meant that they had eaten a whole cake. A cake that had 200g of rich dark chocolate in it. I rang the emergency number for The Vet and Dr Rob was on duty. He said that other than keeping a eagle eye on them, there probably wasn't anything to worry about. If they started vomiting or lost their balance they would need to go straight to The Vet and have a drip. The only drip was me, and now the baby gate into the kitchen is doubly secured with a green occy strap. $2-95 at Woolies, but priceless when it comes to peace of mind.

The reason I baked the cake a day early was because the power was off all day Sunday for power pole replacement. My next-door neighbour had the bright idea of taking the ingredients to MrsDrWho's house and baking it there, and so I did. It is an easy recipe (I didn't bother separating the eggs) and you melt and mix and it bakes in 25 minutes.

The Cake Emergency didn't break any hearts, or bank balances, though I may have just put a new pair of green sandals on lay-by today: new green shoes always cheer me up.

New sandals

And now we will all do what we have been doing an awful lot of: going to bed and sleeping. Lorelai Gilmore is taking fewer blue tablets, so she doesn't need to go outside so many times during the night, but I think the worry just makes me need more sleep. Hedy Lamarr doesn't always want to sleep, so sometimes we have to throw the Squeaky Toy until she's worn out. Hedy is a lovely girl, and we are so lucky to have her. She loves Gilly, and I think Gilly is glad to have a puppy to snuggle up with, but not one that bites her ears, so we are working on that!!



Friday Food: Bacon and Pea Slice

Bacon and pea sliceI really have no recollection why I put most books I request from The Library on Hold.  I can't remember where I saw, or heard about, them. They just appear, as if by magic, on my shelf in The Library. The Mama Bake Book is one such Hold, and it makes me wish I had a passel of children to feed, because it is an excellent meal planner. It is an Australian book, so it uses familiar measurements, ingredients and terms. It is organised into weekly menus to feed a family of four and has step by step preparation charts too. There are Slow Cooker, Vegan, Meat Free, Oven Bakes, I Don't Have Time To Cook , Budget, Pies, Toddlers, High Protein/Low Carb, Homemade Takeaway, Sickness Recovery and even Big Batch meals and sweets: Too many to mention.

MamaBake is "a baking community where mothers get together in their local neighbourhood to cook one big batch meal each and then share the dish with the others, resulting in everyone going home with a week's worth of freshly cooked homemade dinners." (MamaBake page 10) Since this is an ABC book, I think I probably heard about it on the radio.

I have already made a full batch of the Bacon and Zucchini Pea Slice for MrsDrWho to take for her school lunch, and today I made half a batch for me. I replaced the zucchini with peas, but I would also use broccolini, or carrot and celery too. I think it is a good vehicle for whatever vegetable you like, and tomato and pumpkin too, which are fruits. I bought some local bacon and I put it in the oven to crisp while the oven was preheating, so I saved a pan. I used Parmesan cheese and added some finely diced red onion, because I like onion. You can replace the plain flour and baking powder with 1 cup of self-raising flour too.

This slice is just so easy to make, and it keeps for a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer.


Bacon and Zucchini Pea Slice      makes 8 large or 16 small pieces

  • 6 rashers of bacon, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of peas OR 4 zucchini, grated
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 100g tasty cheese, grated
  • 20ml olive oil and a little extra to fry the bacon
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180*C and if you want to save a pan, place the rashers of bacon on some baking paper on a tray while the oven heats up. In about 15 minutes it will be relatively crisp and ready to slice up. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm slice tin ready for baking.

Bacon bakin'

Otherwise, slice the bacon and fry in a little extra olive oil for five minutes until it is crispy and then drain on some paper towel.

Eggvengers assemble

Put the peas (zucchini), grated cheese and olive oil into a medium size bowl. I added the red onion here too. Mix together then add the eggs and finally the bacon, salt and pepper.

Come together, right now

When it is combined, add the flour and baking powder and mix well until the flour disappears.

And bake

Spoon the batter into the lined slice tin and press gently so it is level. Bake for 30-40 minutes. It is ready when the top is golden and mine came away from the sides of the pan.


Allow to cool completely and then cut into 8 or 16 pieces, or any combination you like. Refrigerate for a week or freeze for a month in airtight containers or freezer bags.

Lunchbox substitute

I don't have a lunch box, but if I did it would be green and contain a Granny Smith apple. This is my Twinings Earl Grey Tea tin!!!

Friday Food: Salted Caramel Ice-Cream Bombes

Bombe caramelThere is no baking at all in this recipe from Woolworths' Fresh Magazine 9/2016. And as a bonus for me, I can eat this dessert because I can have all the caramel I like. The ice-cream bombes can be prepared earlier and kept frozen before being whisked out at the last moment and served with a salted caramel sauce: a smear of sauce. I was able to buy the Woolworths' premium Gold brand salted caramel sauce, otherwise I would have made a salted caramel sauce: Nigella has an easy one here that doesn't require a thermometer.

I couldn't buy any toasted coconut flakes, I went to four supermarkets, so I used desiccated coconut. It didn't give the same effect visually, Caramel saucebut it tasted fine. I used Crunchie bars and chopped off the chocolate as there was no plain honeycomb. Of course you can leave the chocolate on if you prefer. I find it increasingly difficult to buy what I consider to be normal supermarket products. They are stocking fewer items and replacing them, sometimes, with their own range, if at all. I also couldn't buy the Salted Caramel Haagen-Dazs ice-cream in the recipe. It is apparently not stocked here, so I settled for their own brand. 

These were so easy to make, and easy to customise: maybe some raspberry ice-cream rolled in crushed Chocolate Ripple biscuits and a raspberry sauce, or Mint Cookies and Cream rolled in chopped up Mints Slice biscuits and a chocolate sauce. I think I could just be inspired by looking in the freezer at the shop!!

The recipe calls for a litre of ice-cream and makes 4 bombes. That's a cup of ice-cream each. I think I could stretch this easily to make 6 serves.



Salted Caramel Ice-cream Bombes      serves 4-6

  • 1 litre of salted caramel ice-cream
  • 1 cup crushed honeycomb - maybe 4 to 5 Crunchie bars (50g)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 300g of salted caramel sauce
  • extra salt flakes for serving if you like


Icecream and tray

Prepare a metal tray, lined with baking paper and put it in the freezer. It will be nice and cold when you need it and help the ice-cream bombes to set more quickly. At the same time take the salted caramel ice-cream out of the freezer and allow it to soften a little. 

Prepare the honeycomb

Prepare the honeycomb if you don't need, or want, the chocolate.

Honeycomb the bombes

Mix the honeycomb with the toasted coconut flakes, if you have them. I chose to coat with the honeycomb first and then let the coconut fill any gaps. I used an ice-cream scoop to make my bombe shape. I dipped it into hot water and then wiped it clean each time before I scooped.

Bombes ready to freeze

Freeze for an hour. I found the bombes needed at least 2 hours to be properly set again. Smear some salted caramel sauce on each serving plate, heat it slightly if it is not runny enough, top with an ice-cream bombe and sprinkle on a little extra salt. I didn't really need the extra salt, but it looked nice!!!

Salted caramel bombe

Simply The Test, Better Than All The Tests.

Today we had some better news about Lorelai Gilmore's health, which was a relief. Her platelets are in the normal range,  but her Red Blood Cell count is now low. Dr David lowered her steroid last week and she has been feeling a lot happier.

Lorelai's fur growing back

She played with her plastic cup this morning and ran up the hill (slowly, but it was a run) on Friday. We go back next week for another blood test and she may have to take an extra quarter of a tablet every evening. Dr David was also very pleased that Lorelai Gilmore wasn't a "butterball" and hadn't put on any weight at all. We are vigilant and diligent and she is slim, but hungry. Her fur is growing back too, which is great.

Hedy and Gilly happy on the walk

Hedy Lamarr has grown, she is almost as tall as Gilly now. Hedy is also growing in wickedness. She sits when you come home, but now she woofs. And she barks crossly if she doesn't get her way, or things are not to her liking. She has to be squirted with the watered down apple cider vinegar squeezy bottle. She totally wrecked the treat pocket and zip of my dog walking zippy-uppy top. The top was over the computer chair, and when I put it on and tried to zip it up this morning, I realised that there was something wrong. I quickly sewed it up, but I shall have to do something about it: either buy a  new zip or a new top.

Gilly can put Hedy in her place, but not very often. I encourage her to bite Hedy back or growl, but she doesn't want to.

Gilly is sometimes boss of Hedy

Hedy is in love with The pretend Stick. She plays with it all the time on her walk, and especially loves to play Chasings with Rafa.

Hedy, stick. Rafa , bark

And when we walk by ourselves it is my turn to throw The Stick and Hedy's turn to be very playful. She waits until you get close then tries to grab The Stick and run away!!

Hedy loves her stick

There has been very little crafting. I have started a Mohair Bias Loop: Loop de Loop, for Auntie Dutch. I am using Naturally Delight 2ply and 6.5mm bamboo needles. I did an invisible provisional cast on and though I missed knitting two stitches, I caught them a few rows up. This is nice and samey, it needs very little thought and I can just count the stitches every few rows and adjust the slant if I need to. I could have worked out the pattern, but I was happy to pay for someone else to do the thinking for me, with everything else going on - and it is also the right thing to do!!

Looping the loop

And a while ago I sewed Tote Bags #89 and #90. I used the last of the Peri Naughty/Gilly material and I found a Doctor Who fat quarter for Uncle Dutch.

Bags 89 and 90

Our local bakery is always right up to date with what is trending: it was first in town with Nutella doughnuts and now: Pokemon biscuits!!!

Pokemon biscuits

The Labradors are asleep, and soon we will all be in bed. Going to The Vet takes a lot of energy and it was especially hot there today. I might even knit a few rows of Loop de Loop. I have until the end of October, but I might finish before then!!