Wednesday, June 29

Homemade LCM's ready to eat in 20 minutes (or less)!

I might be a lunchbox nazi but I do like to treat my frills every now again with something fun at home.  This is something could make for the lunchbox with sultanas instead of sprinkles and avoid the colourings by using white marshmallows.  If your kids beg you to buy LCM's but you can't justify the $4 a packet - here's your answer because this makes 12 of them for about $3.

And come on, they take less than 10 minutes to make and the kids can help with the mixing  and the sprinkles... these are an easy promise to make!

50g butter
175g packet marshmallows (I used pascal berry swirls, the smell is a bit much whilst it's cooking but it tastes nice as a final result)
4 1/2 cups rice bubbles
sprinkles or mini chocolate chips (optional)

Grease a slice tray with canola oil and fill a bowl with the ricebubbles

In a saucepan over low heat melt the butter and marshmallows together

Mix the marshmallow mix into the ricebubbles, work quickly and spread throughout the rice bubbles.

Pour into the slice tray and sprinkle with your desired topping.  Press down (I did it with piece of baking paper to avoid any colours transferring or sprinkles sticking to my fingers)

Leave to set on the bench for about 10-15 minutes, then slice.
Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Great for parties too!  So do you think you'd make these for you or the kids? (Hubby and I ate our share, we'll just say that!)  Think this is genius? Share with your friends!  

A bit on the side: Potato and ham smash

Oy.  If I were Jewish I'm sure I'd be saying that every second 'oying' word.  Yesterday was a doozy.  Hubby's bruising is coming out after his back surgery a week ago, my girls have end-of-term-itis where everything is a struggle and a pain and I'm just counting down to the holidays... (I love school holidays!)

The dog vomited.  My digital kitchen scales stopped working and then, my washing machine blew up.  It caught fire, it's totally kaput.  I think the universe was telling me something and I so I didn't sew as I had planned to and I steered clear of the shops.    I had a mini-breakdown and then I got a grip.

This is a bad day - but really in the scheme of things - it's not the end of the world.  Things have a way of working themselves out - leave it to fate.

I got pounding steaks (I'll share the recipe for that later, promise) and my frustrations were expelled and my steaks were lovely and tender.   I decided to make smashed potato bake.  Not only easy but you can be a bit savage!

Food saves the day every time!

1.2 kg coliban potatoes, steamed or boiled until soft
200ml  buttermilk
50g shaved champagne ham
50g tasty cheese, finely grated
White pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c
Cut your potatoes in half before or after boiling/steaming and place in a shallow greased dish skin intact.  Smash down the potatoes with a fork, keeping it a bit rough.
Spread it over the baking tray and drizzle over the buttermilk evenly, then place the shaved ham and finally the cheese on top.   You may like to add pepper now or later or your favourite herb - thyme would work beautifully.

Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy on top.

It's so good and not a lot of effort - brilliant for a small family or entertaining a horde, especially in this cold weather.

How do you vent your frustrations?  Chopping wood? Call a friend? Write?

Tuesday, June 28

What Australian Bloggers think: Do and how do Australian bloggers make money??

Us bloggers have these thoughts and sometimes we'll even externalise them into a blog post, a forum post or (even!) a 'real life' discussion.  I decided to bring together a group of bloggers of different genres and experience together to understand what Australian Bloggers think as a community, of themselves and of others, their relationships with brands, PR's, blogger platforms and few other things... stay tuned each fortnight..!

Today's question is : 
If you do make money from your blog, how do you make it? (even if it's an opportunity BECAUSE of your blog, not ON your blog)

 I make a little money from Google Adsense (enough to (mostly) cover hosting etc) but mostly I make money because of my blog - which includes lots of freelance writing (on travel websites/magazines) and running blogging training and consulting.
Amanda, Not a ballerina [travel] [6years blogging]

We earn income from eBook sales, affiliate commissions, some adsense, some adverts but 90% from selling our own products
Frank - Our Hiking Blog,[outdoors/hiking] and Cradle Mountain [tourism] [8 years blogging]                                                                                                           

Advertising - private and nuffnang, sponsored posts,product reviews for an admin fee, blogging for other websites, freelance writing for other websites
Zoey, Good Goog [personal, parenting] [2 years blogging]

I don’t make any money from my blog at this stage. I have received a few products to review though.
Amy, MahliMoo  [craft, parenting] [6 months blogging]

I make money via banner advertising, sponsored posts, sponsorships for events, client bookings, memberships, affiliate sales, social media workshop and speaking engagements.
Nikki, Styling You [Fashion, beauty] [3 years blogging]

I have just recently started to get a number of advertisement requests. I offer various banners on the blog itself and I also have ad slots in my monthly newsletter. For now this is modest income but income none the less.

I also make money through my actual gardening business. Many customers have told me my tips helped them feel confident in taking me on as a gardener. As such my gardening business has benefitted greatly from my blogging.  I’ll also be releasing an ebook in the next few months.
James - Aussie Green Thumb  [gardening] [6 months blogging]

Advertising and Sponsored posts. I also do Mathilda's market a couple of times a year and my blog has helped my craft business.
Corrie - Retro Mummy [craft, family] [5 years blogging]

 I don't make money off Chasing Cait, although because I write Chasing Cait, I have just secured a PAID (woo hoo!) job writing a fashion blog for a shopping centre (as part of me being their new shopping centre stylist, I write 1 fashion blog a week for them).
Caitlin - Chasing Cait [Fashion, Beauty] [9 months blogging] 

My blog earnings have so far been through sponsored posts, side bar advertising and affiliate programs.  I have also had a family trip to Hong Kong Disneyland sponsored and as a Kidspot Top 50 blogger finalist means that I've received a new Ford Territory to drive for a month - the winner receives a Ford Territory for a year, plus $5000, which is such a fabulous prize!
Melissa, One Crafty Mumma  [craft,family] [5 years blogging] 

So are you making money from blogging - either directly from your blog or because of your blog?  Do you want to?  Is a priority or a bonus?

Monday, June 27

Lunchbox Legends: Cornflake cookies - school holiday activity too!

My frills love to cook with Mummy.  Even better if they get to touch, feel and eat them almost straight away..!  A few tips I can share about what makes it work when cooking with multiple children at once:

- Get the ingredients ready in advance
- Let older children do the measuring
- Let younger children do the pouring
- Reserve some mixture so everyone has a spoon or beater
- Give them a chance to all have a turn at something

Eloise got the Woman's Day Easy as 1,2,3 cookbook from her Aunty Becky for her birthday - it's a cute little book full of practical ideas - Eloise who is a big fan of cornflakes for breakfast couldn't go past cornflake cookies.  

Adapted from Woman's Day Easy as 1,2,3 
125g butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups cornflakes

Preheat oven to 190 degrees c

In a mixer cream the butter and the sugar.  Add egg and vanilla extract and beat in the flour, raisins and 1 cup of the cornflakes.

Pour the other 1 1/2 cups of cornflakes into a bowl or tray.   Roll the dough into balls and roll in the remaining cornflakes.

Place onto greased baking tray and slightly pressed down.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.   Allow to cool on trays.

Store in freezer for 2 months or in airtight container for 5 days - they won't last that long!

Sunday, June 26

Sunday baking project - self-saucing sticky date pudding

There are always mysteries in life:
- Why didn't we win lotto? (well it would help if we remembered to buy the ticket)
- How do the kids know to lose their shoe on a day you can't be late to school?
- Why has it taken me two-and-a-half-years to share this recipe?

To be honest, I thought I had.  I cleaned out my pantry last weekend and I had two big packet of dates - and don't get me wrong - the frills eat them, sometimes I need to hide them.  But two big packets, I thought it was begging to be made into a sticky date pudding... and my hubby loves them... and... I'm spoiling him a little at the moment as he's just come home from hospital.  (Back surgery, he's on the mend!)

So I came on to this very blog and I searched.  And I searched again.  Hmm.. surely I have blogged this?  I have definitely made this in the past 2 years, I have it on a scrap of paper from a friend's Mum... hmmm?  No, I had NOT.  I was a little surprised and excited!

So here it is, the absolutely simple, amazing and DELICIOUS sticky date pudding - with built in sauce.. go crazy!

200g dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 tsp bicarb soda
80g margarine
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 3/4 cups self raising flour

In a bowl, mix through the bicarb soda with the dates.  Pour over a cup of boiling water and let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees c
Cream margarine and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar together and then add eggs and cinnamon and flour.

Lastly mix through the dates (with liquid) and mix until well combined. Pour into greased baking dish and scatter with remaining cup of brown sugar.

Mix 1 tb margarine into a cup of boiling water.
 Then pour over the back of a spoon (to avoid breaking the pudding batter) over the pudding batter.
 Place in the oven for 25-35 minutes until top has cake-like appearance and is slightly browned.

Serve with cream or icecream!

So friends, tell me - you going to try this and also, what's world's greatest mystery to YOU?

Friday, June 24

Eloise... you're growing up

Oh boy are you growing up!
All of a sudden you are a pre-teen!  You've only just turned seven and already in the last few months so many things have happened.   You got glasses, you have just lost your first front tooth this week and by mighty you've got an attitude some days!

You are more concerned about how others view and judge you - the phrase 'Mum, that will be EMBARASSING!' is popping up more and more these days.  Some days are just a battle with you believing you know best in each situation and refusal to listen.. it can be totally exasperating and I worry about your teen years - how are we going to get through those?

You can also have such helpful and generous moments too - you have procured some very nice friendships this year at school.  Your glasses have given you back some of the academic confidence you lost in first term.  That is such a relief.

On another positive note you still love to read and EJ12 is your favourite book series at present. You've found a passion in writing - even your school report says how much you love to write and carefully construct sentences and plots and put thought into making interesting compositions.  I must admit I shed a little bit of a tear of pride reading that.

You've also discovered music with your new iPod - Katy Perry rocks your world and I don't think I'm going to forgive Daddy for putting it on there - you sing at the top of your lungs whilst wearing headphones and although I've set the volume to a low volume with password I think you pretend you can't hear us when you're wearing them - cunning little mite you are.

You've had fun with photography since acquiring your iPod Touch and your new digital camera but I think I'm going to have to encourage you how to actually think about what you're taking pics of... so I don't have to spend 2 hours downloading everything (no joke!).

Your cooking passion continues and we're going to make some of the recipes from your first very own cookbook you got for your birthday this weekend - I'm really looking forward to that and I know you are too - I know you are wanting more one-on-one time with me just to 'talk about stuff' which is another indicator of how much you are growing up - but hey! You agreed to stay seven for two years... don't get much bigger OK? Mummy is NOT ready.

The magic of childhood has not left you though - you recounted to me your meeting with the toothfairy this week - her beautiful blue dress and ENORMOUS wings and long blonde hair.  Lucky you.  I love you baby girl! xxx

Thursday, June 23

Garlic and Parmesan or sweet chili cheese twists

Back when we lived in the more 'cosmopolitan lifestyle' - when we used to frequent restaurants at least weekly, movies fortnightly and sleep in til noon - yes we had no children. We also used to enjoy a 'quiet ale' at the pub and on the way home in cooler weather we'd stop by the baker on the way home - and he would be making these twists.  Depending on my mood it would be which one I'd buy - but truth be told the sweet chili was my favourite, garlic and cheese was hubby's.

Last week hubby asked me if I remembered them - the twists - and I laughed because yes, of course I remember them but can understand his perception that perhaps it was SO long ago (three lifetimes in fact) that I might not.  I made a mental note to make them because they aren't that hard  - so glad I did - not only was it a wonderful blast from the past but an easy way to lunchboxes full too.

One word of warning though - they are a bit moorish.

4 cups plain flour
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tb dried herbs
300 ml warm water
2 tb canola oil
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic
40g butter, softened
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

To make dough, mix yeast into warm water and oil, leave to sit for 5 minutes.
Mix into dough and knead until soft and elastic, adding water if it is too dry.
Put into a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to prove for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c

Divide dough into 2 pieces.  Roll out first piece  into a baguette shape over a floured surface.

Roll it our as flat and as square as you can, then spread over sweet chili sauce.

Add mozzarella evenly over the top and then fold the top half of the dough over.  Roll it out flat.

Next cut the dough at 1.5 inch intervals from end to end, then in between each cut make a cut that doesn't extend to the end by the inch, so it makes an almost 'trouser' shape:

Take each slice and take each end and twist them around each other.

Place on greased tray.

When doing the garlic ones, mince garlic and mix with butter, spread over the other half of the dough like the sweet chilli, and sprinkle parmesan cheese in between and on top of twists when you have placed them on the tray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Suitable to freeze for 2 months.

Slowcooker hungarian meatballs

Meatballs is something my kids just can't get enough of - it must be the shape and texture because quite honestly it doesn't matter what type (and I do a few - Italian, GreekSwedish, Moroccan, Spicy tangine, Smoky) they will eat them every.single.time.  I must admit I haven't met a meatball I didn't like either...

These ones are kind of a play on goulash - and easy to prepare ahead - in fact, I would prepare the meatballs and the sauce ahead of time and plop them in the slowcooker before you head off to work or out for the day - if you're going to be home in the morning, you can just prepare them then..

This makes a fair whack, but great for a leftover meal or lunch, cut it by 1/2 if you are feeding a family of 4 or less.

500g pork mince
500g beef mince
100g diced bacon (3 rashers)
2 stalks fresh continental parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 large onion, diced
2 cups beef stock
2 tb tomato paste
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 tb paprika
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c.

Mix the mince, bacon, breadcrumb, eggs, cumin, paprika, chilli powder, parsley and garlic together.

Roll into meatballs and place a greased baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked.

Whilst the meatballs are cooking, in a small saucepan, fry the onions in a little oil until transparent and place into your slowcooker with diced tomatoes.  In a jug or bowl, mix stock, paprika, tomato paste and pour into the slowcooker.

When meatballs are cooked, transfer over to the slowcooker and place lid on and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours - turn off and just before serving, stir through sour cream.

Serve with mash or what I did, swede and parsnip bake.

Enjoy!  Leftovers are not suitable for freezing.


Frills in the Hills Copyright © 2009-2015