Previous month:
March 2012
Next month:
May 2012

Friday Food: Easiest No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

Yes indeedy, that's the name of the recipe in the June Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It takes about 30 minutes to make and then 2 hours freezing time and it is ready to eat.

Everyone at Sewing said it tasted very yummy!!!

Do not try and make chocolate adornments when you have the hiccoughs/hiccups. It results in very wobbly spoon-like creations. Never mind they still taste very chocolaty.

Chocolate Ripple biscuits are plain chocolate flavoured biscuits, they are not chocolate coated at all.

I didn't have any Frangelico, well no liqueur at all. Instead I added some vanilla extract. If the mixture needs a little more liquid you could add some cold coffee.


The Easiest No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake   serves 6-8

  • 200-250g Chocolate Ripple biscuits
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 200g good dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbspn cocoa powder
  • 60ml hazelnut liqueur
  • 150ml thickened cream 
  • 300g Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 200g dark chocolate extra for decorating
  • extra cocoa for dusting
  • extra whipped cream for serving

Put the biscuits in your food processor, or in a zip lock bag, and make crumbs.

BiscuitsAdd the melted butter and mix well.

Biscuits and butterLine a 20cm springform tin. I usually put the baking paper over the base and then clip it into the tin. It makes it easy to slide the finished cheesecake onto a plate. Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the tin and then refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Tinny tin tinMeanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate in your microwave, or in a bowl over some simmering water. Set it aside for about 15 minutes to cool.

I'm meltingWhip the cream to soft peaks and then fold in the cocoa. Now add a little of the cream to the cooled chocolate and fold gently. Add half the remaining cream and then the rest. Fold gently till it is all combined.

Cream and cocoa
Whip the caster sugar and cream cheese until the sugar is dissolved. I used the same bowl and beaters to save washing up. You can rub a little of the cream cheese between your fingers and it will not feel gritty: then it is ready. As before, fold a little cream cheese mixture into the chocolate and cream, then add more and continue to fold until it is well combined. Spread into the tin and smooth the top. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

Cream cheeseMelt the extra chocolate then pour into a small jug. Line a tray with baking paper and then the recipe says to make long spoon-like shapes. Really, I think any shape would be fine. Mine are hiccough wobbly. Refrigerate till set.

Chocolate spoons
Decorate* the cheesecake with the chocolate shapes.

The cake, the whole cheesecake
Serve with extra cocoa and cream if you so desire.This cheesecake was transported in the car so I chose to forgo the extra cocoa and whipped cream.

 A slice

*Hmm, there was a little giggling at my 'decorations'!!!

The Seven Ear Itch

Thank you for all the kind comments about Lorelai Gilmore. She has been taking her medicine every day and walking on a lead when we go to the dam. Peri ranged far and wide and Gilly yearned to run after her.

Gilly on her lead, walking
She hasn't cried at all and we have been trying really hard to be quiet and calm. Today she was allowed to run off the lead and she has a wonderful time, running with Peri. There were so many smells she had to have a bit of a rest!!

Gilly can run free
Peri was happy to have her running, and rolling in something smelly, mate back.

Peri has great teeth
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... I had my ears pierced an extra time and a half. Ergo I have five holes in my ears all up. Sadly, probably more than seven years ago, I stopped using the extra piercings. They closed up at the back. MrsDrWho gave me nine pairs of cute earrings perfect for the three extra piercings and so for the last three days I have been making my piercings work again. I concentrated on one at a time and every time I walked into the bathroom I'd poke the earring in to see if it would go through. Eventually the back of the hole gave up the ghost and I poked it through. Strangely, I seem to have no real feeling at the back of my ear lobe. And today: success. I am all earringed up!! Here's the three earring ear:

Ear ear
I can see more gray in my hair. It's bite the bullet time. I don't think I could keep up with a colouring regime, so apart from some wodges of colour in late Winter, I am apparently going to just not care!!

That's one job out of the way.

Job Two was pyjamas. I wanted to sew some, but of course The BSODL (tm) only had fluoro green or pale, pale green with white bunny flannelette.  There was a sale at Target, and though there wasn't a matching pair, these will do nicely at 50% off the original price. The top is a bit racy with the back being all lace. It is lovely, soft and stretchy!! The pants have sheep that say, "I only have eyes for ewe".

PyjamasAnd a new striped green top. It is not emerald, it is not bluey green. It has dark blue stripes. It is hard to photograph and it was on sale at Rockmans.

Striped top
There has been, wait for it, knitting!! I found my cardigan carefully put away in a tub of knitting and sewed the fronts to the back. It fits. This is good. So I decided to tackle the sleeves, bearing in mind the pattern is written for 10ply and I am using 8, and I want straight sleeves instead of bell shaped.  The first attempt at a hem was a failure.

Sleeve hem
Then I tried a band like the one on the other pieces with a potential placket and button. This was more successful but I over-estimated my arm size and it was way too big. I want the lace pattern to show up nicely.

Sleeve mark 2

The third time seems to be the charm thus far.

Sleeve attempt three
I am not a huge Heston Blumenthal fan. I know his food can be considered 'art', but I liked it best when he helped the children's hospital or the submariners. SBS is showing How To Cook LIke Heston. I am never going to serve my chilli con carne on a bed of flaming wood-chips or waft about the house trailing liquid nitrogen vapours,  but I might just be tempted by the chicken pie, the rich chocolate truffle cake (without the exploding space lollies in the base) or today: the roast potatoes. They are cooling in the colander waiting for the next process.

I am rather more excited about Sally Wise's self saucing banana pudding. I'm making that tomorrow and served with custard it should be delicious. It's from her new book. I made the Ginger Coconut slice for morning tea and it was so quick to make, cooked in twenty minutes and topped with lemon icing it was delicious. I like A Lot of ginger so I think I will add some finely diced glace ginger next time.

We have been having record April temperatures during the day and overnight so it was lovely to have some proper rain. Not much, but enough to make things green again and to make Peri and Gilly smell like my woollen school blazer did when it was in the rain.

Gilly and Peri in the rain
The Labradors like the rain too, here's hoping we have more, but in moderation.

Friday Food: Tuscan Bean Soup

Every year Delicious Magazine has an Italian issue. I am not sure why they don't have Greek or Chinese or Indian, but there you go.  In spite of the warm and humid day, I decided to cook Italian soup from the May 2012 issue, because this soup can be frozen for up to two months for cooler days. It's low fat, vegetarian (not sure about the butter??) and I think gluten free!!!

I had fresh rosemary left from last week's recipe and I found some fresh thyme in the supermarket, but no Savoy cabbage. The other ingredients are pretty much pantry staples. The recipe calls for everything to be chopped 'roughly', but I erred on the 'nicely' side.

It says to serve with a dollop of good basil pesto and some crusty bread, neither of which I have!!!

So, the novelty of Friday Food actually on Friday and a quick and easy recipe for weekend lunch and the leftovers can be frozen.


Tuscan Bean Soup   serves 4

  • 1 tbspn good olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre good vegetable stock, heated
  • 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 Savoy cabbage- discard outer leaves and core, sliced thinly


Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat and add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes. The vegetables will start to soften.

Celery and onion
Next add the carrots, garlic and chopped herbs and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the carrots start to soften.

Carrots, garlic, herbs
Pour in the tomatoes and heated stock and bring to the boil. Add the beans and cabbage and reduce the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

Cabbage and beans
The soup is very tasty, but you could add some Italian sausage or chicken if you fancy something meatier.

Tuscan bean soup

A Tail Of A Fateful Trip

Lorelia Gilmore was back at the vet yesterday with the same symptoms as before, and we saw Dr Marion. She decided there should be x-rays today and so there were. 

Gilly and Peri riding to the vet

Peri sat in the car and Gilly went not-very-happily round the corner into the corridor, and we drove away.

Peri and I went for a walk,

Peri walks alone
cooked some lemon and blueberry syrup cakes, watched some TV, did some washing, ate some carrots

Peri home alone shares carrot afternoon tea
and an apple and then I went to the vet to collect Gilly.

Peri and her apple home alone
I saw Dr Rob and he showed me her x-rays. She has some small deformations of the ball joint of her hip and slightly bowed tibia, but what she mainly has is the first tail bone almost at right angles with her spine. It should be level with her spine. She has a very mild case of Lumbosacral disease. On a scale of 1 to 10, she's most likely a 1.

The symptoms described fit perfectly:

"Symptoms include progressive sharp lower back pain, hind leg weakness, difficulty urinating or defecating, a shuffling gait, and vocal expressions of pain ranging from whimpers to cries and howls. A dog suffering from this disease may be reluctant to rise and jump. In an attempt to alleviate the pain, the dog sometimes chews at his tail or back legs." (1)

As she gets older the disease will need to be managed closely with pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs, however she has lots of positives on her side: she is very fit, thin, very healthy in every other respect, thin, athletic, thin and brave. She is quite stoic and is able to deal with quite a lot of pain before it affects her, which is typical of the Labradors at our house. They'd given her some pain relief after the general anaesthetic, and Dr Rob said she should have been drowsy and slow, but she was jumping about and happy and full of joy to see me.

He said she should go for walks on her lead as she really should exercise and use up some energy. Although I had a little cry at the vet yesterday and I was worried today, I think I am coping well under the circumstances: there hasn't been any sign of a Georgette Heyer or a Florence Nightingale decline.

I asked if I had done anything , or if Peri jumping on Gilly could have caused it and Dr Rob emphatically said no, that it was something she was born with. It isn't hereditary either, so I can still have a new puppy from the same breeder. It is just bad luck. Poor Gilly, Poor Harki, Poor Tori:  lots of Labrador bad luck. Peri's pancreatitis is held at bay by her awfully strict diet and lots of exercise!!

I think that I am lucky to have such wonderful Labradors and I am glad to look after them in any way necessary, because they are so lovely, and now I am having a little cry because I feel lucky to share their lives.

I'll stop now.

Sleepy baby Gilly
I'm really glad I know what's wrong and that it can be managed successfully. And Gilly won't need to be in pain or sad. She's having a nice sleep now after dinner.

Ages ago I won a fabric softie panel from Saffron Craig. Here, at last, is the cute pink puppy which I have had for ages and finally gave to Toddler Lucy on Saturday: sooooo cute!!

Saffron Craig puppy

(1) Canine-lumbosacral-disease

Friday Food: Maggie Beer's Apple Pudding Cake

Today I cooked Apple Pudding Cake. I saw Maggie Beer making this on TV in an Easter Special from the Australian Women's Weekly, where the recipe appears. She certainly made it look fast and easy. It is not. This cake takes a good hour, at least, to get into the oven and then there's a syrup to make.

I followed the recipe religiously. I managed to find some verjuice and fresh rosemary, but after 40 minutes of cooking, the cake batter was still runny. I chipped a hole in the top and cooked it for another 15 minutes, and then I was worried it would burn so I just decided that was enough time. The cake sank quite a lot and it is not high or perky at all. I don't know what went awry. It tastes so nice, really unusual and fragrant, but there were so many steps and a lot of standing around watching liquid and sugar boil.

I changed the order I made the cake too, I did the apples before the caramel for the topping, as I was worried the caramel would burn before I finished slicing the apples.

Verjuice is the un-fermented juice of semi-ripe grapes and in this recipe I'd substitute a good apple juice and some lemon juice, other substitutes include white wine vinegar and sherry.

The magazine says that preparation and cooking time is 1 hour and 10 minutes, that means I should only have taken 30 minutes to get it all together and I did not. I was working really hard too. The recipe also says to preheat the oven before you begin cooking, but that is a waste of power, do it when you start beating the egg whites, it will be plenty of time!!!

I don't think this was my finest baking hour. You should only attempt this when you are in tip top form and have at least an hour or three to spare.

I am quite worn out now so I may not have edited very carefully. Please excuse any errors.


Maggie Beer's Apple Pudding    serves 10

Apple topping:

  • 3 medium Pink Lady apples (450g)
  • 1 1/2 cups verjuice
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tbspn extra verjuice ( 8 teaspoons)
  • a lemon

Pudding Batter:

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar (1/3 cup with the yolks, 1/3 cup with the whites)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reserved juice from the apple topping


  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup verjuice - only use 1/2 cup in the syrup to start with
  • a sprig of rosemary


Grease and line extra well a 20cm cake tin, I used a springform tin, and bring the baking paper about 3cm above the edge of the tin.

Half fill a bowl with cold water and a decent squeeze of lemon juice. Don't peel the apples, quarter and core them and then cut into 2mm slices (1/12 of an inch??)

Apples in lemon juice
Put them into the bowl of lemony water and it will stop them going brown while you make the caramel.
Caramel starts
Put the verjuice, sugar and rosemary for the apple topping into a pan on medium heat and stir gently till the sugar is dissolved. Then bring to the boil, add the drained apple slices and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes, remove from the pan, along with 1/4 cup of the liquid to use in the cake batter.

Apples and caramel
It didn't say what to do with the rosemary, so I left it in the pan while I brought it back to the boil and reduced it until it was a golden caramel colour.  Have the extra 2 tbspn of verjuice ready and put the apple slices back into the pan and cook gently to add some colour. It's a fine line between adding colour and having the apple slices disintegrate slightly.

Apples in the tin
Remove the rosemary and add the extra verjuice to stop the caramel from going too brown, and then arrange the slices in the base of the tin. I arranged mine by plopping them in and smoothing them out. I didn't have the time or patience to arrange 100 or more thin slices. Set aside and now make the pudding/cake batter.

Eggs and sugar
Separate the eggs, I usually put the whites in a nice clean ziplock bag, and then put 1/3 cup caster sugar with the yolks and beat until they are pale and creamy and the sugar is dissolved. This will take about 5 minutes.

Yolks are pale
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the reserved apple/verjuice from the apple topping. Fold the flour into the egg yolk mixture and then gently add the olive oil and juice. Set aside.

Set aside
Preheat the oven to 200*C or 180* fan-forced.

Using very clean and dry beaters and bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form: when you lift the beaters out a peak forms in the egg whites but the end will flop over. Then add the other 1/3 cup caster sugar gradually as you whip it to make a glossy meringue. This will take at least five minutes before all the sugar is dissolved.

Eggwhites and sugar
Very gently fold heaped spoonfuls of the meringue mixture into the pudding batter. It will be a light and fluffy mixture, and it almost filled the bowl I was using.

Folding gently
Pour the batter over the apple slices, smooth the top and cook for 35-40 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes and I am still not sure it was cooked. The only check Maggie gives is that the top will spring back when pressed. It did that at 40 minutes but I could see the batter underneath was not set.

Not quite right
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then invert onto the serving plate.

If you want to make the syrup, gentle stir the sugar, rosemary sprig and 1/2 cup of verjuice ( keep the rest for a caramel emergency: I had one) over a medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved and then bring to the boil and cook until it is a dark caramel. Remove from the heat add the rest of the verjuice to stop the caramel cooking and take out the rosemary sprig.

Pour the syrup over the cake and serve with thick cream.

Apple Pudding Cake

How Sick Is That Doggy In The Window???

Gilly is so sad and sick
Poor Lorelai Gilmore was very sick yesterday. Just after lunch I noticed she was sitting strangely and then she wouldn't, and couldn't, walk up the steps. I didn't panic, and tried to entice her with a biscuit, but to no avail. So then I did have a little panic and we went straight to the Vet, even if it was their lunch time: Dr Tim saw us immediately. Luckily all her vital signs were good and there was no back or joint pain but she did yelp when she hopped out of the car. Dr Tom said he thought she might have an upset stomach or very bad wind(!!!) or tummy spasms. He gave her two injections, an anti-inflammatory and an opiate and said to ring back later if she wasn't well. We all had a sleep, me with the help of some Rescue Remedy, for three hours and then she woke up and started to whimper and cry all the time and that was it.

Back to the Vet we went, Peri in the car too because she was not being left behind. We saw Dr Liz and she checked Gilly again and concurred with Dr Tim. We went home with some Tramal and in half an hour or so Gilly stopped crying. She ate a little chicken and rice for her dinner and then we all went to bed. Peri was full of jumping and leaping because she had to sit in the car outside at the Vet and was still feeling left out.

This morning Gilly ran up the steps outside and we went for a walk and she ran with Peri and Sandy and seems pretty much back to normal. Not 100%, maybe 90-91%. I am so relieved and need a Bex and a good lie down.

Peri and Gilly all well again
I heard on the radio this afternoon that Bob Brown has resigned as leader of The Greens and will retire from The Senate in June. My earliest memories of politics are of Gough and Bob. Bob Brown changed the world and he formed Australia's first Green Party. I think he has made a difference, and though he can polarise people, I agree with the general philosophy of The Greens: looking after the Earth, her people and fauna and flora. Happy Retirement Bob!!

I have a new cook book by Sally Wise. It has lots of cakes and slices, biscuits and desserts. Some are very old fashioned and some brand new. I shall cook something from it very soon.

New cook book
And I bought some nice Easter biscuit cutters on sale. They make nice 3D impressions on top of the biscuits when you cut them out.

Easter biscuit cutters
So once again it will be Friday Food on Saturday. I'm making Maggie Beer's Apple Cake with verjuice. The woman is obsessed with verjuice and I found some in the supermarket, so it's Kismet!!!

I Name This Day, Fiona!!

I'm sorry you'll read that again, and wonder whatever I am talking about. This afternoon I went to Petrarch's Bookshop and the lovely Fiona McIntosh:

Fiona McIntosh smiling for my photo
signed her new book, The Lavender Keeper, for me. It begins in Vichy France WW2 and tells the story of Luc, a lavender farmer, adopted into a Jewish family. I have only read three chapters, but it has already drawn me in.

Lavender Keeper
Set in France, it is no spoiler to say that the sequel will be partially set in Tasmania. Fiona was inspired by The Bridestowe Lavender Farm and if only I could transmit scent through the internet, you could smell the fragrant French Lavender Perfume she spritzed over the page after she signed. I keep opening the book and smelling the perfume. Scent is a powerful trigger for memories, and I think I will always associate lavender with Fiona now!! I have read all of her books: fantasy, children's and crime, apart from Fields of Gold. I missed that somehow.

Signing her first books for me
She is a lovely person, and listened attentively as I chatted away to her about how much I loved her books, and had read them all. She graciously signed the first three of her books I had brought along and then gave me a hug. It was so exciting to meet her. And after I have finished posting I am off to bed for a little R&R, that's rest and reading!!

Peri and Gilly had an Easter Carrot Hunt. Peri was quite happy to sit for an Easter Carrot picture, but Lorelai Gilmore thought I wanted to take her carrot away and she was off. But off slowly, as she didn't want to be too disobedient and I think she was conflicted!!

Easter Carrot Hunt
The weather has been very Autumnal: long, loud and bright electrical storms and then 1*C icy cold mornings. I knew the weather would be windy and rainy because my white Camellia is in bud, and you can guarantee as soon as it blooms the wind blows and the rain falls to make the delicate flowers brown and bedraggled.

Peri and Gilly love the cold weather and they are extremely happy and full of joy.

Happy Cold Gilly and Peri

The NextDoor Neighbours have a party every Easter and Peri spends the whole day at the fence, joining in vicariously. This year Gilly spent quite a lot of time there too. Sadly for them, the guests know that there are no treats for The Labradors, but they live in hope.

Party 2012
This week is the week when I catch up with all my friends, except MrsDrWho who is still away overseas. I have been dining out with my Knitting friends where we waxed lyrically about the wonders of turning a heel, something we still find miraculous after all these years:

Dining out
I had some yummy veal last week and some Trevalla with a tangy crunch salad yesterday. Tomorrow I am off for Grand Afternoon tea with friends I used to teach with and then again on Friday I am off to The Gorge for lunch with two friends I met when I first moved here to teach. Even though we don't see each other as often as we would like, when we do catch up it is as if we last met yesterday. I don't have a Facebook full of friends, but my friends are the loveliest I could hope for!!

We have been going to bed early as it makes me very fatigued to be social so many days of the week. On Saturday I am going to visit Toddler Lucy and Baby Zoe for afternoon tea to wish them well as they leave soon for The Mainland.

Next week I am planning on sleeping every day I think!!  At long last it's cold enough to knit, so I might spend a couple of hours sorting out the patterns for my two Half Finished Cardigans: You Only Rib Twice and Short Scene. I have two new emerald coloured tops for Winter and I must have a new emerald cardigan to wear with them. I shall have to knit like the wind!!

You Only Rib Twice and Short Scene
The Internet is conspiring against me. I wouldn't let me comment on Wordpress blogs, though I have changed my email address to one I never use and I seem to have out manoeuvred it, and now Typepad won't let some people leave a comment. Ha!! I have turned off the new Word Verification and now comments are moderated. By me. So your comment won't appear immediately.

I am sure it is not just me who finds the new Word Verification thingies terribly hard to interpret. I hope that this has ameliorated the problem. Happy commenting. I am slowly, but surely, answering my comments so I may email you soon.

Now I am tired so please excuse any errors I haven't caught......

Friday Food: Easter Egg Slice

This was very easy to make, the most difficult step was unwrapping all the mini Easter eggs. Oh and feeling very poorly when I succumbed to the call of two caramel filled Easter eggs and then had to have two cups of ginger tea and a rest in bed all afternoon. Damn you, Caramel Easter Eggs.

This is from the Food in a Flash section of Aprils BH&G, though the making might be flashy, it does need a lengthy refrigeration, so it's not something to whip up and eat straight away.

The recipe says to use caramel filled eggs, but I went with the mini solid eggs. The slice is very rich and a small square with a plain egg seems right to me: but what would I know??? It says it makes 12 slices, but that seems a tad too rich, even for Easter.

This particular slice hasn't been refrigerated overnight as yet and so it seems a little soft, but it is meant to set as it rests in the tin. I used a 26 x 18cm slice tin, but you could use a larger tin, in fact next time I will. The chocolate layer will be thinner and I think that will work well.


Easter Egg Slice  makes up to 30 pieces

For the base:

  • 200g shortbread biscuits
  • 90g butter, melted

For the chocolate topping:

  • 400g good dark chocolate, chopped
  • 300ml pouring cream
  • 2 tbspn golden syrup (40ml)
  • 80g pistachio nuts (optional)
  • 25 caramel filled eggs,/30 solid mini eggs

Start with the chocolate topping. Place the chocolate, cream, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over a low heat and melt gently, stirring often. I took the pan off the stove and it finished melting away from the heat. Add the chopped pistachios here if you want to. Leave it to cool for 10 - 15 minutes while you make the base.

Making the chocolate topping
Crush the biscuits in a processor or pop them in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin. Put them in a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the melted butter. Mix well. Grease and line the slice tin and then press the biscuit mixture into the base. I used a fork and then the base of a glass. It will be covered with chocolate anyway. Freeze for 5 minutes.

All these base belong to us
Unwrap all the eggs. Pour the cooled chocolate topping over the base and then arrange the eggs, or just scatter them randomly. I must have mine in nice orderly rows and columns.

Gettin eggy
Refrigerate overnight and then cut with a knife dipped in hot water. I think this really does need to be kept in the fridge.

Easter egg slice

A Bunny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

I saw some Bunnies and the kind blogger at JustAnotherhangUp emailed me the pattern, she will if you ask her too!! I made the Bunnies for Lucy and Zoe. In some rather good news, a bone marrow match has been found so Zoe and her family will be off to The Mainland later in the month for a transplant. We cannot thank the people who donate blood, bone marrow or their organs, enough. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Bunny Bunny
Peri Naughty and Lorelai Gilmore have still not quite come to terms with the demise of Daylight Saving this year. Round about 6pm they have now decided to play rough and rowdy rebel games, play biting each others ears and legs and then jumping on the bed!! I had to shut the hall door and be cross. Well, I cannot be too cross because they are so cute when they play.

At the dam the hut that was vandalised is being rebuilt and now they have reinforcing struts. They may or may not be reinforcing struts, as I know less than nothing about building, but it sounds reasonable, doesn't it??

Peri, Gilly, the hut at the dam
A few days go I spied some inordinately cute biscuits on Toni's blog. I was inspired to have a go at making some myself. I used a double batch of Nigella's Cut-Out Biscuit dough and then just tried to bunnify the 43 oval biscuits. The dough needs to rest for an hour or so in the fridge, so I think that anyone pushed for time could use Milk Arrowroot biscuits as they are the perfect shape. I had a go at outlining with icing and then flooding with a runnier mix and I bought a pen that writes edibly on icing. I feel very cake decoratory!!!


Bunnified Biscuits  makes about  24

  • 90g softened butter
  • 100g caster sugar ( I swapped a little for brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For the decorating:

  • 500g ish of icing sugar mixture (it has cornflour added to help it set)
  • lemon juice
  • water
  • pink food colouring
  • mini pink marshmallows, halved horizontally
  • edible ink writing-on-icing pen

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until it is pale and the sugar is dissolved, add the eggs one at a time, mixing very well.

Making biscuits
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and then add the creamed mixture. I folded it in at first with a spoon, but then it was just easier to use my hands.

Chilling out
When it comes together as a nice smooth dough, put it into a ziplock bag and refrigerate for about an hour.

When the hour is up, preheat the oven to 180*C and grease and line some trays.

Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper until it is about 5mm thick. Cut out egg shapes, my cutter is about 5cm long and leave space between them as they do spread a little.

Bake for 12 minutes or so, turning the trays and swapping shelves half way through. The biscuits are ready when they are golden brown around the edges. Cool on a rack.

Make a small amount of icing with about 100g of sifted icing sugar mixture and a little lemon juice. I made it reasonably stiff, used a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and piped an oval outline around the edge of the biscuits.

Then there is the waiting. There is quite a lot of waiting, for the icing to dry hard.

Make some more icing with about 200-250g of sifted icing sugar and lemon juice and pipe it sparingly into the biscuits, the little edge of icing acts as a dam. The spread the icing out to the edges very gently with a flat knife. Pop a tail onto the 'tail' end of the biscuit, I put the cut end of the marshmallow into the icing.

The there is more waiting. If you try to pipe ears on now they will sink into the white icing. Ask me how I know.....

I took the leftover white icing, added more icing sugar and one drop of pink food colouring and not knowing what I was really doing, piped 'ears' onto the bunnies.

Then I waited . At last I could draw on two little eyes.

Bunny Bunny Bunny

They are not a patch on the gorgeous tiny bunnies,  but I think they are cute and sweet!!!

Sweets Dreams

Daylight Saving is over and we enjoyed the extra hour of sleep, though now Peri and Gilly follow me closely from 5pm onwards (which was 6pm last week) and try to make me feed them early. They think they are being deliberately starved for an extra hour.

Peri and Gilly look at me
Who can resist those big eyes?? I can.

I make them wait until the proper time for dinner!!!

Gilly loves Peri and sometimes, whether she is ready or not, decides to give her a big licky kiss!! Sometimes Peri is not quick enough to avoid the smooch!!!

Kiss me
I spent today properly sorting out and organising my embroidery threads: a job well done. It makes me very happy to see such order. Pity about the rest of the house!!

After and before

Today I made the fudge from the new BH&G magazine It really is as easy as the title suggests. I'm also half way through the Coconut Cherry Eggs from the Nestle site.


Easy Chocolate Fudge   makes 36 pieces

  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 395g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 170g good dark or milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tspn vanilla extract

Grease and line a 17 x 27cm slice tin with baking paper.

Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk in a large glass microwave-proof bowl.

Microwave on Med-Hi or 75% for 7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. I cooked for 4 minutes on 70% and another 4 on 80% as I can't actually do 75%. Be very careful, the bowl and the fudge will be volcanically hot by the end.

Add the chocolate and the vanilla and beat the fudge with a spoon until the chocolate is all melted and the fudge is smooth and glossy. Pour slowly into the tin and level out with a knife. Cool on the bench and then refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cut with a hot, sharp knife and keep in an airtight container. I found this cute material at The BSODL(tm) and I am thinking of using it somehow to decorate the nice crinkly cello bags.

Easy Chocolate Fudge