Friday, 29 July 2011

Donna Hay... my hero!

Hi Dolls,

I hope everyone has been fabulous. As usual, I have had another chock-a-block full week.

After months of no mobile service, I finally got off my butt and contacted Optus to get out of my contract. Could not believe my luck when I had no problems getting out of it and I didn't have to pay a thing - score! So, we went straight to the Telstra shop last night so they could hook us up with the lot - mobile, internet, t-box and t-hub. I had finally talked my husband into getting the internet and everything else that goes with it, so I was pretty pumped we were finally sorting it all out... until Telstra told me that I couldn't get the internet in my area. Are you serious!? It's not like we live in the country! Their explanation was because all the internet ports in my area are taken and  there isn't any left for us, but I am more than welcome to go on a waiting list for the next available, blah, blah, blah. So I rang this morning to go on a 'waiting list', and guess what... there isn't one! Grrr... my only option apart from a stupid and expensive wireless pack is to just ring up every few months and try my luck. The likelihood of this actually happening is extremely low. Someone basically has to move and then the next person that moves in hopefully doesn't hook up the internet for a really long time and then perhaps I might be able to get it... if I ring before the other billion people also wanting the internet. So annoying... anyway that's my little vent for today... even though I did vent about it last night as well. Deep breath... moving on!

On a much more fun note, Piper rolled! My mother-in-law bought her a little tummy-time mat and she still hates tummy-time but not so much anymore. Anyway, she was wiggling around and rolled. I don't know who was more shocked, but after the initial shock, I yelped for joy and started clapping and she started giggling!
Piper also moved onto the 'big bath' this week. As with most of her things at the moment, she has grown out of her baby bath, bassinet and even her car seat. She loves being able to kick and splash and it's just too cute.
What isn't too cute is her new habit of waking up at 3am every single night. Last night was the first night in so long that she amazingly slept through. I won't hold my breath, but I am secretly hoping that this is the beginning of a wonderful night's sleep. Fingers crossed! She has settled quite nicely into the eat, play, sleep routine. It isn't strict but it helps me understand why she's grumpy, when to put her down for a nap and when to give her a bottle.

I had my Mother's group on Wednesday. There are 5 of us and we are taking it in turns having everyone over at each of our houses. Every sixth week we plan to do something fun outside the house somewhere. These lovely ladies kept making and baking things for afternoon tea and seriously put me to shame. Who has time? Especially when they do a 24 pack of mixed MnM, Snickers and Mars Cookies for $10 at Safeway! My husband is the one who cooks, I'm very lucky he looks after me. He even used to make my lunch for me when we both worked. But, this week was my turn and all the Mum's were coming to my place so I decided to give baking a go! My Mother-in-law got me onto Donna Hay and she is my kind of cooking lady. She declares herself the queen of cheats and if there is a shortcut she will point you in the right direction.

I gave the Chocolate Eclairs and Chocolate Brownie Cake a go. I must say they were delicious. They were also so easy, which is a relief because that's how I roll.

Why don't you give them a go:

Chocolate Eclairs
Serves 12

1 cup (250ml) double (heavy) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
12 sponge finger biscuits, halved length ways
125g dark chocolate, melted
¼ teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Place the cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and whisk gently until thick.
2. Place the bases of the biscuits onto a wire rack.
3. Spoon on the cream mixture and top with the remaining biscuits.
4. Mix together the chocolate and oil.
5. Spread the chocolate mixture over the tops of the biscuits.


Chocolate Brownie
Makes 16 Slices

200g dark chocolate, chopped
250g butter, chopped
1¾ cups (310g) brown sugar
4 Eggs
⅓ Cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
1¼ Cups (185g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
¼ Teaspoon baking powder

1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (325ºF).
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl.
4. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined.
5. Pour into a 20cm square slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
6. Bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer withdraws clean.
7. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before slicing.
8. Serve warm or cold.


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