Sunday, March 17, 2013

Find me at A Tray of Bliss

Hi everyone...
Blogging is hard work sometimes.
To be successful at it, you almost need to treat it like a job.
I have two other blogs, A Tray of Bliss, and Cerebral Palsy Grapevine, and a joint one with my friend Kimmie at From Dimes to Diamonds.
Maintaining four blogs is almost impossible, and content and dedication to all of them suffers.
So I have made a decision to merge the content of all of them with my first blog, A Tray of Bliss.
This content will be imported from here to there over the next few days.
Please join me there if you wish. You'll find the link just to your right.

Thankyou for following here and I hope you'll join me.
.....Mama Guardian...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Delectable Orange Cake...

There is nothing like a home baked cake, straight from the oven, redolent of fruits or spices or loveliness of other kinds, to make the heart swell and feel rich.

I used to adore helping my Nanna cream the butter and sugar, adding the eggs, relishing the different textures in the batter, before sifting in the flour to make what I knew was going to be a mouth watering afternoon tea.

This moist and fragrant Orange Cake is my Nannas recipe...enjoy!

250gm butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
Grated rind of 2 oranges
4 eggs
2 cups Self Raising Flour (gluten free is fine)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a ring tin or two loaf tins generously and dust with flour. Line with baking paper if you prefer.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the orange rind and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.Sift in the flour and combine lightly. Add the coconut and the orange juice and stir, then tip into your prepared tin.

Bake for 30-45 minutes depending upon the tin you're using, testing with a skewer for done-ness. When the cake/s spring back when lightly touched, and a skewer inserted into the very middle, comes out clean, they're done.

Stand the cakes for a few minutes before turning out of the tin.

Dust liberally with icing (confectioners) sugar and serve with a steaming cuppa.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Teen Queen Celebration....

Yes, it's happened.
The Diva, only girl child in a family of five, has become a teenager.
Unfortunately, a sadness surrounded our celebrations as we farewelled a much loved grandparent just a day or two before.
So how do you 'celebrate' when you don't feel like celebrating?
Well, this sublime cake in The Divas' favourite colour, helped. It was on my to-do list to make one myself, as has always been my habit, but this was beyond me in the midst of preparations for sadder occasions.
A local lady who charges little for her beautiful work was sourced, and with just 48 hours notice, she was able to produce this pretty-as-a-picture gluten free Red Velvet cake, to put a smile on any 13 year old girls face.
Orange themed party favours were assembled....
....with more orange themed food such as BBQ flavoured chips, Sunny Boy frozen Orange pyramids (a classic here in Australia), and Fanta ice cream spiders being enjoyed by all.
A disco ball outside on the deck,
...and Thrift Shop (clean radio edit version) on the iPod, and a fun time was had by all.
Life goes on.
We spent little, preferring to show The Diva, that celebrations can be had, without the hysteria surrounding the competitive birthday party culture abounding these days.
She had a ball, and so did her friends. It's the little things that make memories, not the big money.
Until next time...Mama Guardian x

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stars for you if you're still here.
Lord knows, I'm often too busy 'doing' to write about 'doing' here.
This year, I'm really focused.
A trip to a distant shore is in the offing, and substantial savings need to be made in order for said trip to happen.
I'll be sharing new lunch box ideas, yummy meals and ideas for saving on that darned grocery shop, week in, week out.
This year will be about using up every last skerrick of stuff in the pantry before even thinking about shopping. It'll be the year of less 'what's that green hair on the baked beans' and more of 'wow how did you make that little bit feed everyone!'.
It'll be about make do, make more from less and make it up as I go along.
Last night we had a hash brown slice, made from scratch and served with salad. We followed it up with gluten free peach crumble muffins and home made creme anglais.
This was after I looked in the refrigerator at 4pm, bereft of inspiration, certain a trip to the Stoopidmarket was on the cards.
But I stepped away from the car keys, went back to the fridge and had another look.
Yes we had potatoes, yes there was a stray tub of gherkin dip, some eggs, two slices of bacon. Yes there was still a tomato and half a cucumber. And at the bottom of the crisper, some peaches, wrinkled with age.
So there it was. Dinner and dessert. I just had to look harder.
Let's christen this the year of looking harder.
Looking harder at how we spend, how we shop, how we eat and how we allocate our resources.
Join me?