Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My First Attempt at Trifle

Apologies for being absent for a couple of months, I've been playing World of Warcraft! But yesterday I took some time out to have a go at making trifle. I was inspired by my father-in-law who made a trifle for Christmas! But our trifle has to be dairy free due to my husband's lactose intolerance. We also practiced making gluten free sponge cake, as we are hoping to make a trifle next time the family come to visit so it will need to be gluten free because my brother is coeliac. 
this was my first attempt at making trifle

The sponge cake worked out well I think, it was a bit like meringue, we found the recipe on We only did half a batch as we only wanted to make a small trifle, but next time we will put it in a bigger bowl we bought, I think the half batch will fit better in that. We made the jelly separately, with raspberries in it which worked really well. Canned peaches were also very nice, they looked good on top of the squares of jelly facing outwards. Then a layer of custard on top of the peaches, it was a bit thick, maybe 4 cups will be enough for the big bowl. I think we should use lactose free milk instead of soy milk for the custard. Then I decorated the top of the trifle with fresh strawberries and kiwi fruit, the strawberries were especially yummy! I'm wondering if I can make a healthy trifle, we usually serve fruit salad, but I'm thinking trifle would be good instead of that.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Flowering Waratah

I blogged about this Queensland Waratah last year around the same time, and true to form it has flowered again! Its nice to know we'll have this pretty display to enjoy each year in our front yard. We haven't done anything to this tree to look after it, we haven't even mulched or fertilised it! It seems to be doing quite ok on its own.
looking up through the Waratah with beautiful blue spring skies
a beautiful red spring bloom
the small tree is covered in red flowers

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Perfect Spring Bloom

To celebrate spring, the rose has come out in bloom! What a perfect specimen! We haven't been doing much to look after this rose, we pruned it June or July and now in October it is flowering!
a perfect spring bloom, a beautiful red rose

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Flowering Sage

Another plant in our herb garden is flowering this spring, the sage we put in a several months ago has taken to bloom. We don't use sage so much in our cooking, we just put the herb in our garden on impulse. The sage isn't the only thing that's flowering, the aloe vera and basil are also in bloom!
flowering sage in the morning light

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Flowering Chives

With the onset of Spring, there's some flowering going on in our garden! Here are some flowering chives, the delicate flowers are hard to capture in a photo, but I took this shot in the morning light so hopefully it does it justice! These chives were looking a bit sad until my husband fertilised them with dynamic lifter and seaweed solution, then they really perked up! They are perfect to add some flavour to these low FODMAP meals we are currently eating, you can't have garlic or onion so chives are a great substitute.
these chives have delicate flowers

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rice and Egg Cakes

We found the recipe for these rice cakes on, we made them without the chicken. We're trialling the low FODMAP diet at the moment to see if that will help with our symptoms, apparently its good but we have to be on it for a few weeks. Already its proving to be very difficult to find things we can eat especially if I'm to go vegetarian, as you can't eat legumes! Hopefully we won't have to be on this diet for very long!
these rice cakes were suitable for a low FODMAP diet
the recipe made 12 tasty rice and egg cakes

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dairy-free Lemon and Coconut Muffins

Based on a simple recipe for muffins, I added my own lemon and coconut flavour. I also skipped the milk so my husband could try these as he has a lactose intolerance, I used lemon juice and coconut milk instead. They turned out well, with a subtle coconut and lemon flavour, you could really smell it as they baked. So to the basic recipe I added 1 tablespoon of lemon rind and 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut, and instead of the cup of milk, I used the juice of one lemon and coconut milk to make up one cup. Yummo!
these lemon and coconut muffins have coconut milk and lemon juice in them instead of milk
they have a lovely subtle flavour

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lemon Polenta Biscuits

These biscuits are dairy free, as well as egg free, and don't require an electric mixer. I found the recipe for passionfruit and lemon polenta biscuits on and they turned out fine. I just used normal plain flour instead of the gluten free flour suggested as that's what I had in my pantry. I baked them for a few extra minutes which maybe I shouldn't have done as the biscuits turned out a bit chewy, but I'm not sure if they're meant to be like that. The passionfruit icing is nice, I never knew you could make passionfruit icing by just adding the fruit to the icing sugar like that! It was easy enough for me to pull off!
these lemon polenta biscuits are dairy and egg free
the passionfruit icing was really easy to make

Friday, August 15, 2014

Old Potted Lime finds a new home

Our old potted lime tree which must be nearly 5 years old by now, has been looking worse for wear lately to say the least. We've had to prune it a bit lately due to bore wasp, or citrus gall wasp, so its looking scrawny, and we also went through a dry spell when the lime tree got forgotten! Its amazing it's survived the treatment it's gotten! We finally re-potted it into a big pot the other day. When we pulled it out of the old pot we were both surprised to find the root ball was smaller than we expected, due to the water reservoir taking up space in the bottom of the pot. The lime tree was very root bound, but we weren't sure how much to tease the roots, as we had found conflicting information on the net, so we just teased the roots a little and didn't really prune the root ball as such. We filled the bottom with a good quality potting mix, it should do well in its new home!
a tired old lime tree gets a bigger pot and a new home

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Veggie Patches Winter 2014

We've finally planted out our new veggie patch, as well as the old one, so now we have two. Although we have a lot of seeds to use, we decided to buy some seedlings from the local Bunnings store and planted out some rosemary, parsley, rhubarb, silverbeet and zucchini. After we planted them out, we threw some lettuce and rocket seeds down as well for good measure.
some new parsley planted out in the old veggie patch
rosemary, zucchini, silverbeet and lettuce seeds planted out into the new veggie patch
parsley, rhubarb and rocket seeds planted out into the old veggie patch
a rhubarb seedling
a zucchini seedling
the new rosemary plant

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dairy-free Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm not sure if these peanut butter cookies are fit for adult consumption, but they might be ok as they're very sweet! There are many recipes for these 3 ingredients cookies, I followed the recipe on There are just 3 simple ingredients, peanut butter, sugar and an egg, so not only are they dairy-free but they're also gluten free. This was easy enough for me to do with my son! He helped mix the batter and roll out some cookies on the tray. This is a great activity to do with a young child! The cookies came out of the oven very soft and they had flattened out a bit, but they hardened when cool. I might do this activity with Thomas again when he feels like baking!
these peanut butter cookies were very easy to make
there are just 3 simple ingredients for these cookies, peanut butter, sugar and an egg

3 year old Thomas helped with the mixing
Thomas also helped roll out a few cookies, here they are before they went in the oven
here are the cookies straight out of the oven, they had flattened out a bit and were very soft but hardened when cool

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Classic Blueberry Muffins

When I put them in the oven, I thought these blueberry muffins would be an epic fail! But they turned out ok! I followed the recipe for classic blueberry muffins on, it was a challenge because I had my 3 year old son at home with me so I had trouble concentrating on getting the ingredient quantities right. I got him to help by mixing the flour, and putting patty pans in the muffin tray, but he quickly lost interest and went off to play. I was sure I had screwed it up when I added the liquid, it was very floury and sticky. I had a lot of trouble spooning the mixture into the patty pans, it was so sticky it wouldn't come off the spoon. But the muffins turned out fine after 20 minutes in the oven, and they were yummy as well!

these blueberry muffins could have been an epic fail but weren't

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Baked Rice Pudding

I found a website that explains the basic rice pudding recipe that you can bake in the oven, along with some suggestions for spicing up the flavour. I had a go at making it myself, it wasn't too hard, with only 4 simple ingredients, plus I added cinnamon for flavour (I used soy milk because of my husband's dairy intolerance). The recipe says to bake it for 2 hours at 300f, which I converted to 150c, but it wasn't ready after 2 hours, so I turned it up to 160c and baked it for an extra 30 minutes then it was ready. I thought it was yummy but my husband didn't like the texture of it which is a shame, otherwise I would make this again. Maybe I will for myself when I'm alone at home with nothing to do but eat some yummy rice pudding!
you mix the ingredients straight into the baking dish, so mess is at a minimum!
4 simple ingredients, sugar, rice, salt and milk, plus cinnamon for optional flavour
rice pudding for one because my husband didn't like it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chicken with Risoni and Eggplant

This is a meal I could cook again, it turned out quite well and was easy enough for me to do on my own. I found the recipe for chicken drumsticks with ratatouille risoni on and I followed it except it needed 3 times more risoni than stated in the recipe. I used a cup of risoni instead of just one third and it turned out how I expected. Yummo! I am well on my way to over coming these silly anxieties I have around cooking!

this was an easy dish to cook and was delicious

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ham and Risoni Salad for one

I had a go at making some yummy lunch for myself on a day when Thomas was at day care. I really have to think hard for things to do when he isn't here otherwise the day goes so very slowly and its quite depressing! Making a yummy lunch gave me something to look forward to and broke up the day. There is only so much cleaning and baking one can do! I had almost all of the ingredients for this ham and risoni salad recipe that I found on, but I didn't have the corn, so I substituted them for sundried tomatoes.

I didn't have corn so I used sundried tomatoes instead for this yummy ham and risoni salad
I am thinking of joining a gym to get me out of the house more. I think it will do wonders for desensitising my anxiety for going out, especially when on my own. So I am hopping on our exercise bike more often, because I'm hoping I will get a little bit more fit before joining the gym! I don't want to waste money on gym membership if I'm not fit enough to do the classes I want to do! Well those are my hopes anyway. It certainly is quite hard to chip away at anxiety, but I will get there!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pear and Cashew Slice

I found the recipe for this pear and cashew slice after searching for things I could make to use up some cashews I have in my pantry. It turned out quite nice, and was easy enough for me to do on my own. No need for an electric mixer, ours is too heavy for me to drag out of the cupboard by myself. I used nuttelex so the slice is dairy free, but I just used normal self-raising flour not the gluten free kind as I don't have any in my pantry. Now this made 12 slices, I hope we get to eat it all before it turns bad! I will have to curb my urge to bake until the left overs in the fridge are gone!

there was a lot of pear in this pear and cashew slice

I made a beautiful mess while baking!
a pear and cashew slice for one

this pear and cashew slice made 12 slices

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Russian Apple Pie

I had a go at making this Russian apple pie, which was easy enough for me. There are just 4 simple ingredients, apples, flour, sugar and eggs. I found the idea for the recipe at My Fridge Food, a site where you can enter the contents of your pantry, and it suggests recipes you can cook with what you have. Its an awesome idea, and it means you can make lots of things without having to buy anything special or waiting for a chance to get to the shops.

Russian apple pie is a simple cake that is dairy free
This pie, which is more a cake than a pie, turned out ok, but I think I cooked mine a bit too high and it came out a bit crunchy instead of soft. And I think the batter should be mixed a little with the apples, as mine didn't fall all the way through to the bottom. I turned it over and only a little bit of the batter came through, so I didn't turn my cake upside as suggested.
there are only 4 simple ingredients, apples, eggs, sugar and plain flour
If I cook this again, I'll mix the batter with the apples a little bit. We shall see if my husband likes it! The good thing about this cake is its dairy free!

Russian apple pie cooking in the oven

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dairy Free Chocolate Muffins

My apologies, but I don't have a recipe link for these dairy free chocolate muffins which I made the other day, I just have it on a piece of paper. I was very nervous to have a go at these on my own, I worry that I will screw it up and waste the ingredients, but they turned out fine! I think I'll make more for my husband's birthday which is coming up. I'd rather make the muffins than a cake because the cake tends to not be cooked in the middle, which can be very disappointing.

some dairy free chocolate muffins I cooked on my own

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coloured Water Activity

I just wanted to share a quick activity I like to do with my son sometimes, when he wants to play outside. He loves to play with water, pouring it in and out of cups and these plastic jars I have for the purpose. 
set up of the colours in plastic jars

I set up some coloured water in the jars, using food dye, one blue, red, yellow, then mixing yellow and red to make orange, red and blue to make purple, and yellow and blue to make green. He likes to pour the different colours into a big glass, and it turns a dark brown colour, it looks like cola! He happily plays with this coloured water for about half an hour, after which time he has usually tipped the water out and if he wants me to, I get him some more water to play with. He loves it.
pouring the coloured water into a large jar

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blueberry Lattice Pie

I don't have a recipe link for this, but wanted to share what is the inspiration for my cooking. I didn't cook this pie, my husband did and I think it looks very impressive! I don't aspire to be as good a cook as he is, but I endeavour to try and do some more cooking from now on. This is a way to desensitise my anxieties of which I have a lot around food and cooking, wish me luck!
a blueberry lattice pie made by my husband

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hairy Legs Club

I heard about the Hairy Legs Club on tumblr via the news a few weeks ago and I love the idea of sharing photos that help challenge accepted social norms. Why Do we shave our legs? What is wrong with hairy legs on women? I think the Hairy Legs Club is really inspiring! So here is a photo of my hairy legs! I've been waxing since 1988 so I have big bald patches, and I only wax in the summer. Why wax my legs in the winter when all I wear is long pants? And its winter here now in Australia. Luckily where I live in Brisbane we have very mild winters, so I can sit outside in the sun and work on my vitamin D deficiency. Here I am sitting outside, I painted my toe nails especially for the occasion!

my submission to the Hairy Legs Club!

Best Name for a Quilen Pet

My apolgies for not posting on my blog for a few months, I've been playing World of Warcraft! A few months ago I got a quilen pet for my hunter, and name it Brezzer! Don't you think that's the best name for a quilen pet? Its because they can resurrect a fallen ally during combat, otherwise known as 'brez'. Let me know what you think of my quilen pet name! But I've since gotten over my temporary WoW addiction and have got some up and coming blogs posts planned, especially with lots of cooking I have in mind, so watch this space!
My hunter Zye on the Timeless Isle, with her aptly named quilen pet, Brezzer

Monday, April 21, 2014

Flowering Aloe Vera

Happy Easter! We've had a very quiet weekend at home this year, enjoying an Easter egg hunt in the garden and a trip to the local water park. In the garden the aloe vera is still flowering, here is a closeup of one of the flowers, with the all-year-round basil in the background. I really should prune the flowers off to prolong the life of the plant but its covered in bees and I feel bad to steal their flowers!
closeup of an aloe vera flower

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Variegated Premmie Hat with white brim

I made another premmie hat yesterday, this time in variegated yarn. I ran out before the end so I did the brim in white. Its so cute, I wonder if it will ever get used? I used the same pattern as my tiny premmie hat pattern I shared earlier this month.
variegated premmie hat with white brim

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dairy Free Apple Pie

My husband is on a dairy free diet as it seems to upset his tummy if he eats dairy, so we tried this recipe for dairy free pastry. We just skipped the raspberries because we didn't have any but it worked out fine. It was a delicious as it looks!
apple pie made with dairy free pastry

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tiny White Scallop Edge Premmie Beanie

I just love making premmie hats at the moment, they are so delicate and cute! Here is another one with a scallop edge, this time in white. I hope to add this to a collection of hats I hope to donate to the ward where my son spent the 1st 2 months of his life.
tiny white scallop edge premmie hat

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tiny Pink Scalloped Edged Premmie Beanie, free pattern

This premmie beanie is the same pattern as the tiny premmie beanie I blogged about recently, except this time it has a pretty scallop edge
a tiny premmie beanie with a scallop edge
Tiny Scalloped Edged Premmie Hat Free Pattern by Teena Sutton Murphy
guage - the 1st 2 rounds measure 4 cm across
use soft 4 ply baby yarn and a 3mm hook, or hook to obtain guage
this is a very small hat for a young premmie

1. ch 3, sl st into 1st ch to form loop, sc into loop ch 2 (counts as 1st st throughout), 11 dc into loop, sl st into 1st dc (12 sts)
2. sc into same as join ch 2, dc into same (2 dc into ea st around to end) sl st into 1st dc (24 sts)
3. sc into same as join ch 2, dc into same, dc into next (2 dc, dc) repeat to end, sl st into 1st dc (36 sts)
4. sc into same as join ch 2, dc into same, dc ea into next 2 sts (2 dc, dc, dc) repeat to end, sl st into 1st dc (48 sts)
5-10. sc into same as join ch 2 (dc into next) repeat to end, sl st into 1st dc (48 sts)
11. (sk 1 st, 5 dc into next, sk 1 st, sl st into next) repeat to end for 12 scallops, fasten off and weave in ends

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tiny Blue Premmie Beanie

I made another premmie beanie following the pattern I posted about yesterday, this time in blue. Again I used a very soft baby yarn my mum gave me and a 3 mm hook. I'm hoping to donate some premmie beanies to the ward where Thomas spent the first 2 months of his life, hopefully they'll be of some use to them!
tiny blue beanie for a premature baby

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