Monday, June 28, 2010

20 Sweets in 20 Weeks - #2 Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

Oh dear - as you can see this recipe did not go to plan.

I was so sure that the freezing and refrigerating of the dough would produce perfectly shaped cookies, but sadly I was wrong. I think it has a lot to do with the oven in my new house - methinks I need to get an oven thermometer to see what is going on in there. I think it is far hotter than what the temperature dial says and therefore it totally melted the butter in these cookies before they got a chance to bake properly.

Luckily they still tasted quite good - albeit a bit crispy. But nice and chocolately and not too sweet. Oh and in case you were wondering the cookie up the top is supposed to be a flower and the one below a cow - it looks like the cow is transforming into a bison!

Chocolate Cookies (from Confetti Cakes for Kids by Elisa Strauss)
Makes approximately 12 x 3 inch cookies

11 ounces all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 ounces unsalted butter
8 ounces granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler over medium heat or in the microwave in 15 second increments.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Set the mixer to low speed and add the melted chocolate.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat until the dough just comes together, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a bowl, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Place the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.
  8. Cut out cookies in the desired shapes and place at least 1 inch apart on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper or an ungreased nonstick cookies sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 15 minutes or until they are stiff.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  10. Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 10 minutes.
  11. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating.
And what did Zoe think of these cookies you may ask...

She definitely approves :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Breakfast - French Toast

So now that my mum lives next door to me and she has three lovely chickens it only makes sense that breakfast time should use up some of those lovely fresh eggs. The treat for today - french toast. Could there be a more scrumptious way to start the day?

French Toast (from Survival for the Active Family - Australian Institute of Sport)
Serves 4

2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
pinch nutmeg
oil for cooking
4 slices bread (I used raisin toast)
strawberries, to serve
maple syrup, to serve
  1. Combine eggs, milk, sugar and nutmeg in medium mixing bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Soak bread slices one at a time in egg mixture until saturated.
  4. Cook slices for 2 minutes each side.
  5. Serve with strawberries and strawberries.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Organising the Nursery

Now that I know I have a little girl on the way I think I am going to start organising the nursery. Even though things are up in the air with Mat and I, I hate feeling unorganised and so I will get things ready to ease my stress levels.

As you can see the room is currently a huge dirty mess. I have got a large task ahead of me indeed. So these are my before photos and hopefully over the coming weeks I will be posting the progress shots and the final room.

Unfortunately because I am renting I won't be able to paint the walls so I am stuck with the purple walls. Lucky I am having a girl I guess!

Okay so this is my list of things to do...

  • Scrub the walls
  • Clean the window and window sill
  • Clean the inside of the built-in wardrobe
  • Clean the mirrored doors of the wardrobe
  • Clean over all of baby girl's furniture - bassinet, change table, pram, bouncinet, large play equipment and baby bath
  • Wash the baby clothes
  • Change mat covers
  • Mobile for change table
  • Little table/set of drawers
  • Lamp
  • Monitor
  • Storage organisers for the wardrobe for baby girl's clothes/linen/etc
  • Rug

I am not sure what kind of art work I want to hang on the walls yet. But I might just have to get crafty and make some wall art.

Any other ideas on how to make this little nursery more nice and cosy?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jelly Bean at 21 Weeks

I can't believe that I am 21 weeks pregnant already, the time is seriously just flying by! Before my last scan I was quite nervous and worried because I hadn't felt much movement from the little one and everyone told me that you should feel the second one quicker. Luckily though it just turns out that my placenta is positioned at the front this time, making it far more difficult to feel the little kicks from my baby girl.

It seems that baby girl is going well in there, she is measuring slightly large, has a nice strong heart beat, has 10 fingers, 10 toes and all the bits. She is perfect! And I am over the moon to know that my baby is going so well.

Now the next time I see her will be when she is born - not long to go now! I better start getting the nursery ready.

Oh and if you are wondering this is how I am looking at 21 weeks pregnant - not too big yet, but there is a lot of room to grow...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's a girl!

Hello all, sorry I have been absent for so long. Let us just say that life has been challenging lately and blogging has been the last thing on my mind. Just to keep everyone informed, Mat and I are currently separated and living apart, so Zoe and I are living alone at the moment. It has been a very difficult time but I know it is the best thing for the whole family right now - and hopefully Mat and I can get back together after some time apart.

Okay enough of the heavy stuff, and time to celebrate because yesterday I found out that I am expecting another baby girl! Zoe is going to have a little sister to play with and I am sure they will be the best of friends.

I have also decided that I am going to jump back on the blogging bandwagon - so watch this space as I will be updating regularly again.

Bye for now everyone!