Saturday, 5 July 2014

Old Fashioned Meringue Recipe


Old Fashioned Meringue Recipe

This recipe makes crisp outers and gooey, chewy insides. They are exactly the type my Mum and Dad bought for me from our local bakery when I was a little girl. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and do.
4 egg whites
1 cup castor sugar (although white sugar will work too)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-9 drops of food colouring
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 teaspoons corn flour
Equipment You Will Need
2 trays
Baking paper
Electric mixer with a  balloon whisk (although standard beaters work as well, but take longer)
Measuring cups and spoons
Large cup, vase or jar
Piping bag
Star nozzle (Pastry sized which I think is 1/4 inch)
1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius (302F). Line two trays with baking paper and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, add your egg whites and beat on a medium speed until they form soft peaks.
3. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar has dissolved into the egg white, and the mixture is smooth, glossy and quite stiff.
4. Add the vanilla, food colouring, vinegar and sifted corn flour. Beat on low until the colour has been evenly mixed through. You might need to use a spatula to combine the ingredients properly.

5.  TIP: Insert the nozzle into the piping bag and put the tip end into the cup or jar. Wrap the end of the piping bag around the mouth of the jar so it's open and easy to fill. Scoop out the meringue mixture and fill the piping bag.
6. On the pre-lined trays, slowly and carefully pipe 5cm (2 inch) base circles and spiral the meringue up, stopping the pressure on the bag to form a neat peak. This method of piping will ensure gooey middles and crispy outsides. Decorate with sprinkles.
7. Once you've done that, place both trays in the oven. Turn the temperature down to 100C (210F). Bake for 2.5 hours, changing the trays around at half time. Leave the door of the oven closed, with the temperature off for another 3 hours. (No one said that this would be a short cooking time, but believe me, it's worth it!)
8. Some care will be needed to remove the meringues from the baking paper. Enjoy! 

Friday, 4 July 2014

DIY Cheap Chicken Feeder

 We've added some new additions to our flock, and we wanted a feeder that took up less space, and that we didn't have to fill so often. When I was at the hardware store, we were looking at the plumbing section and I had a brain wave.

Materials: We bought the materials for two feeders, but this is what you will need for one. 

1 1.5m length of 90mm pipe 
1 45 degree angle fitting 
1 end cap 
1 push in fitting with screw in end 
1 screw cap 
2 wall brackets 


Step One: Measure the length of the pipe to the desired length, and cut. We used the measurement of 120cms (47inches). The pipe is pretty easy to cut. Then cut another length about 5-10cm (2-4 inches). 

Step Two: Fix the 45 degree part onto the base of the pipe. (So easy the kids can do it!) 

Step Three: On the other end, fix the part that allows the cap to be screwed on, and then screw the cap on. 

Step Four: On the end with the angle, attach the smaller piece of pipe, and put on the other (non-screw) cap. 

Finished Product : If you're that way inclined, you can use special plumbing glue and stick it all toghether, but since our feeder is in a shed, we didn't bother.

Note: Will upload a finished product picture very soon!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Dream A Little Dream: Support for parents of premature newborns

Most people will know that my Mum loves to crochet, and recently, she's decided to put her powers to good use, and crochet some donation items for premature babies. Dream A Little Dream sends beautiful care packages to parents of premature babies around Australia. They accept hand made goods, and new items. So, please like them on Facebook and share the love that one woman and her family brings to tiny little bubs.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Tina's Sketty Muffins

My best friend in grade 5 and 6 was Tina... and my Mum still refers to her as "Tina, chops with Dianne gravy" because I insisted upon chops with Dianne gravy because that was Tina's favourite food.

Well, thanks to Facebook, we've kept in contact here and there, we've been able to watch each other grow and become Mums and just generally be awesome.

Well, today, Tina chops with Dianne gravy will be forever known as something else. Tina sketty muffins.

She mentioned that she was making them with her little ones, and I thought they sounded too good not to steal the recipe! They WERE awesome. I made them for afternoon tea for the kids, and we devoured them in one sitting -burp-
Sketty Muffins
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 tin of spaghetti
2 cups shredded cheese
2-3 slices of ham or bacon (optional diced)
1/4 cup SR flour
1) Pre-heat oven to 180C
2) Grease muffin tin well
3) Leaving out half a cup of cheese, mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
4) Spoon out about 1/4 of a cup of mixture and put into the muffin tray. I use an old fashioned icecream scoop, which is what I use for cupcakes too.
5) Bake for about 20-25 mins or until cooked.
6) Leave in the tray to cool for 10 mins before using a blunt knife or spatula to work them out of the tin carefully. Cool on a wire rack (Or just eat warm)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Our Foggy Froggy Day

It was a cold wet day and I was thinking what I could do to entertain the kids with enough creativity that I wouldn't also get bored.

At a birthday party recently, Andy got three little plastic frog toys which he is besotted by, so I thought we'd do some educational and fun activities about the life cycle of frogs.

This is a list of things that we did that were froggy related in case you dont want to read further.

1) Paintings of habitat and food for a frog
2) Playdoh life cycle
3) Making and playing with leap-frogs
4) Tiddalik the Frog story time
5) F is for frog and the life cycle worksheet
6) The Princess and the Frog DVD
7) Frog songs

First, we did a painting of the habitat. This led to discussions of what a habitat is, why certain types of animals live there, and others don't. This lead to discussions about food, and what keeps frogs healthy, which lead to discussions about pollution and what humans can do to help. This was ALL led by a three and four year old. Their knowledge astounds me.

Joey's frog pond with lots of flowers. 

Andy's frog lake with a jumping frog, and the sun making a rainbow. There is also some flies and dragonflies to eat. 

Next we spoke about how frogs are born, and made the life cycle out of home made playdoh onto a sheet of paper. Joey particularly liked making the eggs and kept pulling apart his tadpoles and adult frog to make more eggs. Andy loved retelling the story of the life cycle. 

Getting crafty after lunch, we re-used (another major focus for our family at the moment reduce, reuse, recycle) a couple of soft drink bottles and made some leap frogs. These are really simple. Just chop the bottom off the bottle at about the half way mark and cut four "legs". Bend each one at the end to make a "foot" about 2cms (3/4 inch). When you press their backs, the legs will splay outward, and when released they will leap into the air! We used the hot glue gun to stick on a curly tongue and drew on some eyes with markers. 

Before nap time, we read our copy of Tiddalik The Frog. It's a Dreaming story about a frog who drinks up all the water in Australia, and the animals have to try different things to get the water back out of the frog. I found a pretty cool youtube version here. Sophie and Ryan loved the animal sounds we were all making, and I just wish I could get Ryan's version of a kookaburra on film!

When the twins are asleep, we try to fit in some writing time for Andy. I printed off the F is for frog worksheet and the Life Cycle of a Frog worksheet and we did them together... for a little while. As is the ways of Andy however, his non-perfection got the better of him, and he ripped it up into 15 pieces while throwing a tantrum.

Yay for rest time. We popped on The Princess and the Frog, Disney movie and snuggled up on the couch.

When the twins woke up, we all sat on the mat and sung some froggy songs.

1) Der Glumph Went The Littler Green Frog 
2) Five Little Speckled Frogs
3) Mr Froggy Went a Courting  (this was not very successful with my kids)
4) Mr Frog... I can't seem to find a youtube on this, so I might just have to be creative and make one myself... one day. So, here are the lyrics.

Mr Frog jumped out of the pond one day
And found himself in the rain
Said he, "I'll get wet and I might catch a cold." AAAAAAARCHOOOOO (sneeze loudly)
So he jumped in the pond again.

Just before bath time, I caved and let the kids play froggies in the rain, the day didn't seem complete without being in the rain with the frogs. In the bath we used the little frogs on floating plastic plate lily-pads which was pretty cute and also we spoke about floating and sinking and why this happens.

Can you think of other Froggy activities? If you can, let me know and I will add them!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cheep Cheep Cheep

Welcome to the family Edith and Rozzie, or two ISA Brown 4 day old chicks!

Joey is our little chick whisperer and mother hen. He's usually full of energy, and naughties (it's because he has little teeth, so Mum says) but when he's with the chicks, he's gentle, kind and still!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Product Review: Suncatcher Craft Set

I love Arts and Crafts, it's no secret that I get as much pleasure from doing them as the kids do. So, when I find a set that we can all enjoy for a reasonable price, I buy it.

I was looking at the new craft section in K.Mart the other day, and found Cre8tiv Kidz, Suncatcher set. I made something like these with my Nanny when I was little and it hung in my room for years. For $5, it includes 18 designs, 6 stains, a paint brush and the ribbon to hang (some) of them up.

We all had heaps of fun doing them and on this rainy, Pajama Thursday.

What craft sets have you tried that you love!? Link me!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Kid's Cubby House in an Odd Spot

Recently, we adjusted the toy room, so it was easier to clean, had more play space and donated some toys that they'd grown out of.

There was an odd little spot, between a wall and a bookshelf and the Hubby had one of those ideas, that we just had to try, fail or not.

We (he) set about building a cubby house, that could also be used as a shelf.
We (I) were very impressed how it turned out.

This is the space we started with. Odd, right? The boys are loving playing with all the "new" things that they forgot they had! 

Now, there could have been an easier way to do this, but we were sort of just making it up as we went a long.

They love this space. It's been used for hiding, playing Mums and Dads, reading, quiet times and being the dark cave to explore. It doesn't take much space, and fills the gap nicely. We all love the little cubby!