Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Australia Day!

My friend over at Rhyme Time shared an idea with me for Australia Day that is from the New Idea Magazine. She knows how much I love to make and bake gorgeous food, and felt that I would love these too. Very easy to make, these Koala Cupcakes are sure to be a huge hit with my kids tomorrow. They will love their special Australia Day treat.

I will let you in on a dirty little secret though... I didn't make the cakes from scratch! When I decided to make these little beauties I knew that I would want to send some to my lovely neighbours next door. Their young son has a dairy allergy, so the recipe needed to be adapted to suit him too. I have had the most insane couple of weeks (I'll fill you in at the end of the post about everything that has been going on) and really really didn't feel like baking, but I also really wanted to make these for the kids. So instead, I went to the supermarket and found a packet mix that is gluten free, dairy free, nut free etc etc. Super easy to make once I used the milk and margarine that he can have, and I know that it won't make him sick.

Anyway, once the cakes were made, I whipped up some buttercream frosting and coloured it with black food colouring until it made the most beautiful silvery grey colour. Then dipped them in the coconut, made the ears from pink marshmallows (cut in half, iced and coated in coconut); the eyes are mini choc chips or mini chocolate M&M's; and the nose is a black jelly bean. Add one Australiana prop and you have a True Blue, Dinky Di, Aussie Morning Tea!


On a side note... The reason for the madness and mayhem at my house lately is that I have quit my job at Curves - I am instead embarking on a new career as a Family Day Care provider. Basically this means that I am my own boss, working from home caring for other people's children. This is all very regulated and official and runs through our local council. It has involved lots of work around my house getting it all up to scratch as far as safety issues go (Big thanks to my Dad for all his hard work, as he has been the one making it all happen!). I will also be going back to school, studying for my Certificate III in Children's Services. I'm very excited about all of this and hope that it works out well.

In addition to all this we are madly packing for a holiday. Just before Christmas my SH entered a competition with an online Cruise magazine and he won a trip for two onboard the Celebrity Century cruising from Auckland to Fremantle for 18 nights! We have come to realise just how great my parents are as they have agreed to watch our kids (and our house) while we make the most of this opportunity. What a great start to the year!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pay It Forward 2012

Well folks, I have done it again! I swore that I wouldn't do another PIF project after last year and I have just committed to doing another! It was a great experience last year, but far too involved for what should have been an easy process. Painted projects are time intensive and very personal. I found the whole process very stressful and I constantly worried whether my work would be as appreciated as I would hope. I know that wasn't the point of doing the project, however my heart and soul went into each piece that I worked on, and it felt like giving a little piece of me away each time with no guarantee that the recipient would love it as I did.

So that being the case, I have decided that I won't be painting anything for the project this year. I have other plans in mind! I'm going to make 6 pieces again (it's supposed to be five, but seeing that I couldn't count last year and completed 6, I'm going to do the same again this year) but this time they are all going to be the same item, just different versions thereof. The good thing with this method is that I can work in batches, so I should be able to complete them more readily. Last year I worked on the projects one at a time and began in February, finishing the last one at the end of September! Hopefully I will be able to complete these ones in a more timely fashion.

Who knows, if it all works out, I might do a "Part 2" for the second half of the year! I love giving people things that I have made. Usually it's food, but in this case it's something that they can use. No Spoilers! Nearly gave it away there! You will just have to wait until I have posted them out before I will be posting photos. So... until next then, I'll leave you guessing!