Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Homemade Finger Buns

I was scouring over the recipes on the Thermomix Recipe Community (when I should be writing reports….I know) when I came across something that looks easy, yummy and perfect for work – “Finger Buns”.

I like to try and find ways to make the food we eat more organic and less processed, so thought I would have a go at making these little beauties before I sat down to write reports.

I never thought I would be someone who would go organic in my food choices when I can. I have always thought the whole “organic vs. sprayed” food debate was a bunch of baloney…..but now after researching it myself, I get it. Not everything hubby and I eat is organic – no way! – but we try and substitute when we can.  BUT I definitely steer well away from Genetic Modified Foods…that is just plain freaky!

As you read through this recipe, you will see things got a little runny – mixture and icing – so I just kept adding bits and pieces until it thickened up. That is the way I cook…a bit left-field 🙂

Finger Buns

BunsI had to add more SRF to the mixture as it was too runny. I am told by my taste-testers that this is the BEST dough recipe ever. “Tastes just like damper”.

  • 280g organic self raising flour
  • 30g homemade butter
  • 50g sultanas
  • 30g organic raw sugar
  • 170g raw milk
  • 1 backyard egg

Sweat Topping (Yep, I had to reread too – sweat, not sweet)

Putting the sweat-stuff on the warm buns

  • 2 tbs hot water
  • 2 tbs castor sugar (ground up in TM from organic raw sugar)

Icing Sugar – a bit too runny, so put it in the fridge to set. It was the water content of the strawberries I bet!

The icing hardening in the fridge.

  • 140g icing sugar (made the same way as castor sugar)
  • Some fresh strawberries and a touch of strawberry essence (recipe says a drop of pink colouring instead of both of these)
  • 1 tbs hot water
  • 1 tbs homemade butter

1. Preheat oven to 220C. Line baking tray with baking paper.

2. Add SRF to TM 4 sec/sp 8. Add butter 8 sec/sp6. Add sultana’s & castor sugar & mix REVERSE 10sec/speed 2.5

3. Remove MC & place a tall empty cup ontop of TM lid. Clear the scale. Add milk & egg into cup.

4. Place TM on REVERSE 15 sec/sp5, while adding milk & egg mixture through the lid hole. Do not over-mix.

5. Knead for 30 sec/Interval sp. 6. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Break into 10 even sized pieces & shape into oval finger bun shapes (smaller is better).

7. Place buns close together on baking paper & brush top lightly with milk. Bake for 12-15 mins until very light brown.

Sweat Topping

1. Combine water & castor sugar in a small cup. Brush over hot buns & allow to cool on a wire rack.

Icing

1. Combined icing sugar, water & butter. Either in a small bowl or in TM with the BUTTERFLY 5 sec/sp 4

2. Add the pureed strawberries (or food colouring) & mix for a further 3 sec/sp 4 with BUTTERFLY.

3. Spread mixture on buns & serve with homemade butter

I strangely didn’t take a photo of the finished product because….well….I forgot. They got wrapped up and ready for lunches. You can use your imagination though. They got the big thumbs up from husband!

Clay Cupcakes

For the past two weeks, my class and I have been working on an art project – cupcakes made out of clay!

Here is how we did it –

1. Make a ball of clay.

2. Turn this ball into a pinch pot (which will be the base of your cupcake)

3. Make another ball of clay.

4. Turn this second ball into a pinch pot also (which will be the top of your cupcake)

5. For the top, make a cherry or some twirly icing.

6. Make sure when you attach clay on clay, you rough up the surface so the pieces stick together after they have dried.

7. Leave the cupcakes to dry (make sure base and lid are separate so they don’t dry-stick!)

8. Once dry, paint with acrylics and add glitter if you like.

A Brand New Invention!

I am so proud of my hubby – he has come up with a brand new invention!

While my sister-in-law and I were lying in our hammocks during a recent camping trip to Adel’s Grove, I started to whinge about the sun being hot and getting in my eyes. I whinge about the sun a lot. Anyway, hubby to the rescue with a bit of rope, a towel and some bush pegs (sticks broken into a Y shape). Look what he set up for both of us over our hammocks!

It was so handy when the wind picked up cause it caught all the sticks and berry-thingos. The sun stayed out of my face the whole time I was in the hammock (which was quite some time!).

Disclaimer: The bright light on my face is the flash – not the sun in case you think I am lying.

I came up with a name of the new invention too: ‘Hammock Shader’ but it is lame, so any other suggestions?

Homeworkopoly

I did a post here about my view on homework.

This post is all about what I do to inspire my kids to get their homework done and bring it in to school on time.

Homeworkopoly – which I found on Pinterest is the key to my sanity and has been very effective. I have only just introduced Homeworkopoly this term (Term 3 in Australia), when interest in homework was starting to wane and the students needed a bit of a pick up in their motivation.

The students need to bring their homework in on time and completed. Then they get to roll a dice and move their gorgeous laminated face around the board.

If they land on a Community Lunchbox space, they pick a card from here:

When they land on Chance, they choose from here:

The other places they can land on include:

  • Mystery Prize: Choose a prize from the special box where things such as notepads, smelly pens, rubbers, sharpeners, etc are kept.
  • Game Spot: Choose a quick max.15 min game that the class can play at some stage during the week e.g. bingo, buzz, etc.
  • Free Homework: Choose one item from the homework sheet that you would like to skip this week.
  • On the Bus: Do a job for the teacher to be able to move on e.g. wash paintbrushes or sweep, etc.
  • Brain Binder: using the teacher’s laptop, complete a brain teaser/puzzle online.
  • GO: When students pass ‘GO’ they can choose a sticker.
A whole lotta fun and very quick to set up!

Soggy Bottom Boys!

That is a funny name for a band isn’t it?

If you have watched the movie ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ you know what band I am talking about. The one with George Clooney as the lead singer.

The real voice of singing-George in the movie is Dan Tyminski who says during a concert that when he told his wife that he was going to be George Clooney’s voice-over she asked him what a voice-over was. He told her that she would see George Clooney’s face, but when he sang it would be his voice coming out. His wife said to him, “Oh Dan, that is my fantasy!”.

The real name of this band is called ‘Alison Krauss & Union Station’ and they are awesome. The sound that comes out of Alison is incredible and the band is made up of musicians…the perfect kind of musicians. If you like a bit of mandolin, bass, violin, harmonies, banjo, and the dobro – you will love these guys!

My dad introduced us to this band a while back and we can’t stop listening to them.

Make Love, Not War!

I celebrated my 30th a few months back in hippie style! It was such a blast and I had the best birthday with close friends and family.

When planning this party, there wasn’t much on the internet for inspiration. Mainly the same old stuff with no originality, so I thought I would post some ideas from my hippie party just in case there is someone out there looking for a little idea nudging.

First and foremost…the most important thing when planning a hippie party is to spell it correctly – it is hippie, not hippy 🙂

Invites: It all starts off with the invites – this kicks off the vibe! One way to get your guests, and yourself, super excited is to send out invites that will reflect the scene at your party. You want your guests to open the invite and see that this will be no ordinary party!! I wanted something bright and different! My husband is a whiz on the computer (as we know from here) so he designed them, and we added a little party gift which was a small button badge for each person to wear to the party (we bought them off ebay).

Original Kombi found on the internet

My invite

The doors open to reveal the party details

Details (minus the stalker details)

This is how we made this invite: We found a photo of a red kombi on the internet and changed the red colour to hippie designs that we also found on the internet. Hubby then got a photo of me and put me in the front seat using Photoshop. He added someone’s arm that he also found on the internet, added bangles and a headband. We printed these out on photo paper and I then cut out the doors and the outline of the picture. On a separate piece of white cardboard we printed the van without the doors (in the place of the doors we had the party information). We then stuck the photo onto this cardboard and cut it out. We made sure that we did not stick the doors down, otherwise you can’t open them to see the writing! We stuck a map on the back and a fridge magnet. The hippie badge for our guests to wear were positioned as the door handles. It was a whole lot of fun to make!

The Scene: My party was held at my parents house, which is perfect for parties. They live on 7 acres with no close neighbours, an open plan design, bifold doors that open out to a deck, and a swimming pool area that connects to the deck. My dad is so clever – he built this house!

Most of my guests who had arrived at this stage.

The pool area.

We had a problem with lack of parking up near the house, and because of all the rain it was really muddy. We solved this by asking people to park at the bottom of the driveway. In the letter box they would find a walkie-talkie (and to their surprise a bag of hash – dried spinach – rolling papers and matches:) ). They radioed in their ride which was my dad in his 4WD complete with coloured lights (cellophane over the head lights), spinning disco lights inside the car and groovy az music…arriving to the party in true hippie style. We tried to turn a problem situation with parking into something fun that added to the feel of the night. My dad was very happy to do this as it gave him a chance to meet people on the ride up. When people went home, he took them back down to their car.

When people got out of the car we had glow stick bracelets flung up in the trees with rope lights lining the walkway to the entrance. I had bought some incense to burn in the garden so it smelled hippie-ish too, but when it came to lighting them, I couldn’t find them anywhere! The front door had beads hanging down for guests to walk through, which we picked up at an Op Shop. When our guests walked in they came to a table with all the name tags. Next to their name tag we had a shot of sour apple liquor for a bit of fun. This was a hit and really set the party scene!

Hubby amongst all the decorations

The party had HEAPS of lava lamps scattered around the place, a big fluro coloured swirl on the roof from a projector, a continual clip of old hippie bands playing up on the wall from another projector, bean bags and cushions, candles lit in glass pasta sauce jars that were painted in bright colours, fairy lights, hired lights that came with the karaoke machine, bright balloons and some with peace signs on it (thanks ebay), a slideshow of photos on the TV from my life, rope lights, fluro feathers hanging all over the place. It was colourful eye candy! I spent a bit of time on decorations cause I really wanted the scene to be hippie-fied and something people would remember. It was a lot of fun! I made chains of smiley faces, hearts, peace signs and flowers from colourful paper I bought at Officeworks and then laminated with laminating sheets also from Officeworks.

Dance off under the moving swirl. My husband found this swirl on the internet, changed the colours, and played it through a laptop which was hooked up to a projector. Too clever!

Costumes: Closer to the date we sent out this picture via email and facebook, along with a countdown “15 days, 7 hours, 42 minutes and 22 seconds” (you can work this out on the internet).

The photo we emailed out to guests before the party. Most people didn't realise this was my husband complete with wig and fake chest hair. Hilarious!

This was to give people a bit of an idea on the level of costumes that would be happening at the party, and to get them pumped up about it. It worked, and I had quite a few friends say they ‘upped’ their costume after seeing this photo. They went all out and it really made the night!

Some true hippie-stylers! These boys grew their beards just for the party much to the disgust of their beautiful wives!

Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch - male winner!

We put on the invite that we would be having a ‘Best Dressed’ competition, but at the party I forgot to hold the competition earlier in the evening (having way too much fun singing karaoke), so come people had already left. Oops! But we did have two winners who were voted by those still partying away.

Food: My friend Jodi, my mum, and I got a menu sorted out and decided on foods that were a little retro from the hippie era of the 60’s & 70’s. The day before mum, Jodi and I spent the ENTIRE day making dips, scrolls, cobb loaves, and more and more food. It was amazing!

One of my brother in-laws with some 'Pure Kirk' - hubby's homebrew ginger beer

We had.so.much.food. Loads of beer, white wine, red wine (the wine was in bottles and we had some caskets just in case we ran out…we didn’t), champagne, fruit poppers, soft drink and Pure Kirk (hubby’s homemade alcoholic ginger beer), punch and ‘spiked’ punch with vodka in it. For water, we bought a big contained with a tap on it from Coles. All the drinks were in big bright plastic round tubs filled with ice. I was so worried that the ice wouldn’t keep the drinks cool….but I think it worked out okay.

Activities: Everyone likes a bit of karaoke (even if they don’t like to admit it 🙂 ) from the hippie era so we hired a machine that had speakers, microphone, screen and lights for around the place. I was tossing up about whether to have karaoke or not as I wasn’t sure if people would participate…but I am so glad that I did! It is something a little different and keeps everyone amused 🙂 As the birthday girl, you get asked to join in on a lot of karaoke songs (which I didn’t mind of course) and I did feel like a bit of a karaoke-hog.

Karaoke queens!

Karaoke - Jodi (Foxy Cleopatra) and I belting out some tunes!

Dancing!!!

Karaoke AND limbo! Talent 🙂

We also played Pictionary. On the back of the name tags was either a love heart or a peace sign with a number next to it. This determined what team you were in. I had one small whiteboard and my iPhone as timer. I pulled out a number from a container and whoever had that number (and was from the team who had the next turn), they would come out and have one minute to draw as many things they could from the list. It was a nice way to get everyone mixing as I had friends and family from different groups so most people didn’t know everyone at the party.

Pictionary

Pictionary

Pass the Parcel was fantastic! I started off asking everyone to get into a large circle and in alphabetical order (mainly so people could meet and learn some names). Once we did that, we played pass the parcel. We had two going around and each time the music (from the hippie era of course) stopped the person holding the parcel would open the first layer and get a little prize (peace key ring, freddo, etc) and there they would find a dare. A lot of the dares included other people, e.g. you and the three people on your right have to … blah, blah, blah….. This was because we had so many people there and many didn’t know others. We didn’t want them to make a fool of themselves in front of everyone all alone 🙂 My friend Jodi and I had such fun thinking up these dares! Some were:

  • Sing happy birthday to the birthday girl in fake Japanese
  • With the person on your right, moonwalk backwards around the circle
  • Every time you need to use the toilet throughout the night, you need to ask permission using the microphone
  • Do your best kung-fu ninja move with sound effects
  • Fake laugh as loud as you can
  • Howl at the moon
  • pretend you are a calf and choose your mummy. You have to communicate that you are hungry without speaking
  • For the next hour, at the end of every sentence you must say “Yeah I’m good!!”

    Moonwalking backwards

    Kung-fu moves!

    One of the winners reading out her dare!

Photos: We had a rockin photobooth set up by my husband, where people could go in and hold the camera remote, take a photo themselves and see it appear on the laptop screen in front of them. It all ran by itself, complete with an instant hippie effect. Because it was digital, everyone could take as many photos as they liked….and there were HEAPS! After the party we put all the photos from the night from the PhotoBooth and the roaming photographer (hubby) on a CD and I will be giving it to all our guests to say thanks for making an effort to come along and celebrate my 30th.

The photobooth my husband made cause he is smart. You can see up on the wall in the background our 60's and 70's music clips.

Using the remote to take a piccie!

Cake: I left this to last as it was really incredible. I have written about it before on my blog which you can see here. My friend Jodi is a whizz at making birthday cakes and she is very creative so I asked her if she could make mine for me. I found a piccie on the net of a great rainbow cake that I loved and she made my cake even better than the picture. When it was time for the cake, it came out just plain with white icing. A bit boring. Then after singing happy birthday and cutting the cake it revealed layers of fluro goodness! There was a communal “oooohh” and “ahhhh” from my guests. The cake was too delicious as well, but as Jodi said, “not to be consumed if you have ADHD”, cause of all the food colouring. Ha ha!

Cutting the cake. Check out those bright colours baby!

Cake!

Are you right or left brained?

This is such a clever ad by Mercedes Benz.

Which one are you?

I am the messy one on the right!  What about you?

 

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