Thursday, 19 May 2011

Making Gnocchi

Someone told me you can never have too much mash potatoes. Only too little gravy!

So that is the trouble. We never usually have gravy with our mash potatoes. And when I do make mash potatoes, I forget they are meant to be a side dish. NOT the main meal. And I end up with a whole heap of leftover mash. My husband loves them! I know... he pretends to transfer the leftovers into a clean glass container, only to lick the spoon and the OTHER bowl clean. He eats them for lunch the next day. Or a pre-dinner snack.

So today, before he got to my leftover mash, I quickly turn them out onto my stone bench. With a pinch of salt, an egg and just enough flour, I knead them into a soft potatoey floury dough.

I made gnocchi. Oh, I meant we. We made gnocchi.

Everytime he sees me working on my bench, he would ask "what's that mummy?" and "can I help?" Before I could even respond to that, he has taken the little foot stool out of the bathroom and climbing up onto the stool so he could reach the dough.

He loves it, he loves getting his hands (and face) dirty. So, I admit. The flour on the face was my doing. One for the camera! He he he! But I didn't even have to. Before I knew it, this little man is covered in flour!

He made Twisties shaped gnocchi. Oh so cute! And that's exactly what he had for lunch today.

Mmmm.... Twisty gnocchi with burnt butter, garlic and sage. Delicious!

Best Blogger Tips

Monday, 2 May 2011

The 'Transformation' of a 5 year old!

Lachlan, for his 5th birthday, requested for 20 or so of his kinder friends, to bring their energy cubes to his Transformers Birthday party. And THAT is a lot of energy packs crammed into the longest 3 hours of my entire life! Phew!

He is one transformers (and voltron) mad kid, thanks to his hand-me-down transformer toys from his daddy's days. He loved them to bits. So for his birthday cake, he wanted you guessed it right, a transformers cake! And gee, that was a little mind boggling for me for days as I was cracking my head, thinking what this cake would be or if it has to "transform" or not.

So 25 kids (including some siblings) or so went hunting for toy soldiers who went missing on a mission to fight the deceptacons (I made that up). Kind of stole the soldier hunt idea from another party we went to earlier in the month. And then, they saved aliens from a frozen ice block. The kids were divided into 3 groups. It was a race to melt the ice with little bowls of warm water that the kids took turns scooping, walking or running to, and pouring over the ice block. The first group who manages to free up the alien wins. I would have made 10 frozen blocks of ice if I knew how entertaining this would be for five year kids. Thank goodness the weather was warm enough for this game. It was so warm that the buttercream icing on the cake was literally sliding off the cake!

Speaking of which, I am so so so in love with this chocolate cake recipe by Nigella Lawson. It is so super moist, so ultra decadent. You can find the recipe here. Click click. The cake was a simple rectangular chocolate cake covered with red buttercream. We make a lasting impression with our parties, and I am sure the kids would be bouncing off walls when they got home that day with all that red food colouring they had with the cake. Not to mention all the lollies from the pinata. Sorry moms and dads! For the autobot logo, I looked for images on the web, printed one out on an A4 page and cut the shapes out. Then I used it as a stencil to cut out the shapes on rolled out fondant icing. And yes, it did "transformed" to nothing, as each piece get cut and eaten off.

So 2 parties down, and 1 more to go........ I hope someone left an energy cube behind, because I will need it muchly. Lucas turns 3 next week!

(Top photo: Lachy pictured with this kinder teachers who were so kind to pop by for the party) Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Birthdays and more to come

Crazy is what I would describe the last couple of weeks. And that is an understatement. There seem to be things popping up to-do everywhere. I hope by the end of next week, things will settle down a wee bit. Another project awaits us... but more of that to come.

I can't believe my little girl is 1 year old. I am a mother of a 5 year old, a soon to be 3 year old and a 1 year old! My precious babies are growing up way too quickly.

Lily's birthday was a huge success. Having 3 kids around your knees doesn't quite go with throwing big parties especially when you're doing all the catering and entertaining by yourselves, but luckily for me my guests were really easy peasy to please. Some even brought along some delicious party food. We had about 50 people, young and young at heart.

I am so pleased to say that I made this cake myself! I'll let you in on a little secret. (It is no secret anyways haha!) I have been eagerly, waiting, wanting, yearning for a girly girl cake. No choo-choo trains, pirate ships, blue or green dyes. Just sugar and spice and all things nice! Uhmm... actually just sugar, lots of it.

It's a two tiered vanilla butter cake with a fondant icing, some farm animals: a chocolate cow, a pink pig, little ducks in a pond, a wooly sheep and since it was Easter, 2 bunny rabbits in crocheted dresses. Oh no, I have not gone mental enough to weave dresses for animals on a cake, I bought those two bunnies from a little shop, they came on a skewer that I thought would be perfect to keep those 2 cakes stacked atop one another. Everything else was hand crafted.

To keep to the easter theme, the little ones went on an easter egg hunt in our garden. We had such a good time, but before the day is over, I was already planning for our next party... be continued. Best Blogger Tips