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More Photos of Maleny

Thursday, 5 December 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

Today I thought I would take you on a little drive up to Maleny, we both love Maleny for it's little old fashioned town and lovely community feel. There are quite a few shops that we browsed through, a couple of fabulous antique shops full to the brim of curiosities, furniture and old fashioned kitchen items. I almost bought a very large and practical citrus juicer, I'm actually kicking myself that I didn't buy it, it was such a large and well made juicer, it might still be there next time we go up, you never know!

I tried to take a video of the rolling green hills and the view out to the ocean, it was such beautiful weather but it was a bit hazy looking towards the coast. It's a bit bumpy though!

There are homes in the main street that sit along side shops and businesses, they all have wonderful cottage gardens and this creeper really caught my eye, such striking colours. Does any one know what it is called?

This also caught my eye, isn't nature wonderful?

We had lunch at a little cafe and these water monitors were right at home, thank you very much, they just sit in the sun and catch the warmth.

I had a smoked salmon panini and LH had a really delicious Caesar salad and a mango smoothie 

After lunch we went and did our grocery shop at the local IGA, what a fantastic store, so well set out and it is packed with local produce, a fabulous Deli, every kind of bread you could think of and then there was the cheese, so many varieties of cheese, we chose some lovely local cheese from Maleny and Kenilworth. They also had a wonderful gift section, ready for Christmas, a plant stand out the front, along with buskers. It was such a refreshing change to the normal over crowed, cookie cutter shopping centres. 

Over to you, where do you like to go to unwind and unplug for a little while?

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-Fresh Apple Salsa

Golden Syrup Cake

Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

Today's recipe came about because of another cake recipe I had made. A little while ago I made a Martha Stewart recipe for Maple Syrup Cake, I was so looking forward to tasting it as I just adore maple syrup, but I was truly disappointed as all it tasted like was a butter cake, even with almost a whole bottle of maple syrup in the cake and the icing you couldn't detect it.

So I thought I would give the same recipe a whirl, using golden syrup. Did it work, could you taste the star ingredient? Yes and yes, the toffee like flavour and golden glow of the golden syrup absolutely shine through in both the soft and light cake and creamy icing.

I bought the English brand of golden syrup called Lyle's Golden Syrup at my local Coles in the International Food section. I did this to avoid the plastic bottle and jar of other brands of golden syrup.

I didn't take step by step photos as I usually do, as I'm sure there're lots of very competent cake bakers reading, so today, I'll just give you the recipe.


For the Cake

115 grams of softened butter
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of light sour cream

For the Icing-
1/3 cup of golden syrup
60 grams of softened butter
2 1/2 cups of icing sugar (more if needed to achieve the right consistency)


Preheat oven to 175 C
Grease and line a 22 cm square cake tin
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb soda together and set aside till needed
In a stand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and golden syrup till pale
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
Turn speed down and add the flour in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream
Beat till just combined
Pour and scrape cake mixture into prepared baking tin
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and cooked through
Turn cake out of tin onto a cake rack and let cool


In a stand mixer, add the softened butter and golden syrup, on low speed, add spoonfuls of icing sugar until all incorporated, adding more icing sugar in needed to get a smooth creamy icing
Spread golden syrup icing over cooled cake and let set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Make it today.

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-My Top Five Favourite Things
Two Years Ago-Easy, Chicken Pot Pie
Three Years Ago-Brining Pork Chops

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

Today's tip is a really practical one, as handling hot chillies with you bare hands, to remove the seeds and membrane can often end in tears, unfortunately I know this from experience. So I find the best way to remove the seeds and lethal membrane from chillies is to use a teaspoon to scrape along the inside of the chilli. That way you're not touching the hottest part of the chilli.

Of course I kept these seeds to let dry and plant out when the time is right!

Have you got a hot kitchen tip you want to share? Join in.

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Baked Semolina Gnocchi with Tomato and Oregano Sauce
Two Years Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Three Years Ago-Whipped Herby Ricotta Dip

One Second Everyday, November 2019

Monday, 2 December 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

It's that time again, time for a little video of what we ate for last month. I know I've said it before, but I just love this App, 1SE. I can't wait till the end of the year to see a whole years worth of the food we ate, every night, during the year. It is a tiny snapshot of my day and I love to see the variety as well as the similarity with our meals. Same few sets of plates and cutlery and the similar presentation of food on the plate. Gosh I am so exciting, aren't I?

This month we ate-

18 meat based meals
5 seafood based meals
5 vegetarian based meals
2 nights where we didn't eat dinner due to still being full from lunch

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday/One Second Every Day, November 2018
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Three Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 1 December 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

Today I am grateful for this-

Yesterday morning, LH and I were both brushing our teeth at the same time, this very insignificant, twice a day occurrence, doesn't happen very often, it's just the way our lives are lived. I'm off to work most days earlier than he is and I'm an early bird and he likes to go to bed late. So standing in front of our lovely twin basins yesterday morning I saw LH take the hand towel that hangs on his side and he polished his side of the tap ware with it...not earth shattering, but lovely just the same...he may do this every's not as if I inspect his side of the vanity everyday...but I really loved seeing it! That's respect!

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Three Years Ago-Easy Banana Bread

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 30 November 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

This weeks edition of what we bought, spent and ate this week, is a little different than our normal grocery shop. We still menu planned and shopped only to the list but we shopped somewhere different. Last Friday we decided to drive up the range to Maleny, a beautiful hinterland town known for its rolling green hills and dairy industry.

We have been there a few times before and have loved it so much, the people in town are so friendly with locals all stopping to say hello to one another and often embracing. We had lunch out at a little cafe, the food was wonderful and it was full of locals meeting for lunch. We then went to the local IGA (Independent Grocery Alliance) and did our weekly shop.

Hello local cheeses-Maleny Dairy and Kenilworth Cheeses

While we were in Maleny I also wanted to go to "The Source" bulk food store, it is a very upmarket version of "Simply Good" the reason I wanted to go was I had a $20 voucher that I had been given ages ago when my sister and I went to Bea Johnson's talk about her zero waste lifestyle (it was sponsored by The Source) The owner of the shop wouldn't honour the voucher, which was a shame, but he did offer us 10% discount, which was better than nothing. I did hum and haw over whether to buy anything there at all as the prices were a lot more expensive than our normal bulk place, but lovely hubby encouraged me just to have a look. I did find lovely fine wholemeal bread flour, raw cacao and dish washing powder in bulk and LH found some chocolates he liked, so yes we did end up buying from there. I won't bother again, even though the layout and shop was schmick, the prices are eye watering.

Now on with the food-
What we bought

What we spent

The Source Bulk Store-$35.20
IGA Maleny-$132.65
Coles-Cat food (not pictured)-$8.80
Aldi-Dog mince (not pictured)-$18.90

TOTAl-$195.55-Swings and Roundabouts

What we ate

Friday and Saturday-Asian Inspired Chicken Tray Bake

Sunday-we were both still so full from this lovely grazing lunch, neither of felt like dinner 

Monday-Beef Ragu-Thermomix Style 

Tuesday and Wednesday-My Easy "Lasagna" 

Thursday-Cheesy Artichoke Pasta Bake-Thermomix Style 

Your turn, what did you make for dinners this week?

Have a lovely day,

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 29 November 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

Welcome to another post about how I try and save money each week. As my life is so predictable I find my frugal things to be very much the same week in week out, sorry if I repeat myself too much! In saying that the past few week have been anything but frugal, we decided to have a staycation instead of going away camping (because of the dreadful bushfires) in doing so we also decided to eat out a few time and also had a one night getaway down the Gold Coast which involved lots of lovely eating out.

Swings and roundabouts! All work and no play ect! I think we balance the budget out okay by going back to living a quiet and simply life at home. For instance this past week, this Beef Ragu, which only uses 500 grams of beef mince, fed us for three nights on the run, morphing into this Easy Lasagne on the second night, then there was enough for another nights dinner plus a lunch for lovely hubby. Also I was able to use up a small jar (about 200 grams) of Orecchiette from the pantry for the Easy Lasagna so it was a very budget friendly recipe.

As usual this week 5 frugal things is about food and preventing food waste, what can I say, it is in my DNA. Mum and Dad lived very frugally in all aspects of their lives, ultimately you are what you upbringing was like, that's what I believe anyway.

Now on with the five frugal things-

1. Made good use of my Thermomix by making icing sugar, brown sugar and cashew milk. I now make a quarter quantity of the original Easy Peasy Cashew Milk recipe and for me, it make the perfect amount to put on my muesli all week long without wasting a drop. Lovely Hubby prefers his muesli with the fruit salad and yoghurt on top.

2. I had a quarter of a lovely golden pumpkin that we had bought a while ago, it was still fine but I wanted to prevent any waste, so I roasted, blitzed and froze the pureed pumpkin into one cup portions to use down the track in recipes like this Pumpkin Spice Bread or this Roast Pumpkin Baked Semolina Gnocchi

3. Had a family get together last Sunday for lunch, we decided that it would be less burden on my Sister if everyone bought something to add to a grazing table. Some yummy food was enjoyed and much cheaper than going out for lunch. 

4. On a whim last Saturday I felt like salad wraps for lunch so I popped up to our local Coles and bought some Lebanese bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and a lettuce to go with this egg salad. The Lebanese bread was lovely but soon lost its freshness, so I cut the remaining up and baked some Oven Baked Pita Chips. 

5. Rode my bike to work everyday, even though it was hot and I arrive at work like a hot mess, at least I am getting some exercise. If I do drive I still have to walk a mile as our hospital is in the process of building a high rise car park, so where staff used to be able to park is now a construction zone. 

Over to you, how did you safe money or time this week?

Have a lovely day,

Easy Baked Brie with Garlic and Lemon Thyme

Thursday, 28 November 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

Yesterday I mentioned that I served this wonderful salad with a baked brie, I wondered whether or not to post this "recipe" as it as easy as easy can be, really not a "recipe" at all, just a simple idea to take brie, which is already so delicious, to another level. I also know this is not a new thing, baking gooey cheese has been going on since the 70's and probably before that too.

As usual I wanted to use ingredients already at home and as I have a huge quantity of lemon thyme growing out in the front garden, that's what I used, as well as finely sliced garlic. We just loved these flavours, they worked so well with the delicate brie and of course dipping fresh and warm baguettes into the melting cheese was the best bit.

This was a holiday treat, definitely not something for everyday, but I thought I would post it as the silly season is just about upon us and it would be lovely to take along to a Christmas get together.

Here's how I made it-

You will need-one wheel of brie cheese, a handful of lemon thyme and one clove of garlic, finely sliced

Using a sharp knife, cut six slits in the brie and push in a slice of garlic and a sprig of lemon thyme. Wrap in baking paper and bake for 20 minutes at 180C 

Unwrap, scatter with finely chopped lemon thyme leaves and devour

Sorry, not sorry! 

Have a lovely day,

Fennel and Roasted Asparagus Salad with Olives and Cashews

Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Hello Dear Friends,

I made this salad while I was on holiday last week, after I was gifted two bulbs of gorgeous home grown fennel. I guess fennel could be quite the divisive vegetable as it has a very strong liquorish flavour, which I love, but maybe some people don't. Anyway I wanted a recipe to really let this veggie shine and be the star of the dish.

As usual I googled recipes using fennel, found a few and then combined the best of them. I served this fabulous salad with a divine baked brie and warm baguettes for dipping, it was the most deliciously light dinner.

Ingredients for Fennel and Roasted Asparagus Salad with Olives and Cashews, clockwise from right-
two small or one medium fennel bulb finely sliced on a mandolin plus a few feathery fronds to finish, two big handfuls of rocket, one cup of olives of choice, two bunches of asparagus cut into 3cm lengths and one cup of roasted cashews (not pictured) 

For the dressing
 20 grams of Dijon mustard, 50 grams of olive oil, juice of one large lemon and salt and pepper

Char grill or roast the asparagus until just starting to take on some colour, set aside to cool. 

Add all dressing ingredients to a lidded jar and give it a really good shake, set aside till needed

Combine all salad ingredient into a large serving bowl, pour over some dressing and gently toss. Set the dressing on the table for everyone to help themselves to more if wished. 

This is such a lovely salad, full of delicious and interesting bits, the fennel adds just the right amount of liquorish hum and is balanced nicely by the peppery rocket and charred asparagus. I think it will become my new favourite!

Tell me, what is your go to salad? 

Have a lovely day,

Two Years Ago-What we Bought at Daiso