Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Make your own curly fries at home

We very rarely take the children out for dinner, rather opting for the occasional pizza. It's not that we don't want to but I hate paying exorbitant prices for food that I can cook just as well at home. They do frequent a particular restaurant with the Dad that makes 'curly fries' and they rave about them, especially my fried potato loving daughter who won't eat anything else.

I'm also not in the habit of buying new gadgets or appliances but I did happen to see a 'slinky machine' on a recent shopping trip which had been marked down. My kids love eating the apple once it's been 'slinked', skin and all. I had some long, skinny potatoes so thought I'd try my hand at 'slinking' the potato and they didn't turn out too bad.

I chose to keep the skin on but the gadget does have an in-built peeler. Oh, it was also a good opportunity to get the kids to help prep dinner. They love operating the slinky machine.

Once the machine has done it's job, you're left with what is the 'core' of the potato and they got 'fried' as well. I don't own a deep fryer nor do I like deep frying food so I oven baked these fries and they turned out lovely and crisp.

Sometimes little bits broke off but most of the time I was left with the entire 'curl' from the potato.

Toss them in a bowl with plenty of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Then put on an oven tray in a moderately hot oven until crispy and golden brown.

Everyone loved them. I loved the 'cores' the best as they were light and fluffy inside. Not sure I'd go to the trouble again but for a special occasion, they were a bit of fun and not a single one was left. I'm not sure what you could substitute if you don't have a slinky machine but I know there are heaps of gadgets on the market out there for 'curling' vegetables. I might try carrot next time.

What vegetables would you try?


Monday, August 31, 2015

St Clement's Cakes (Glazed Orange & Lemon Cakes)

In case I haven't mentioned it before, what I have in the pantry or fridge dictates what I'll be baking that day. This particular day I had one orange and one sad looking lemon left in the vegie crisper. I thought about combining the two. It reminded of a childhood rhyme we used to sing when we slid down the slippery slide at primary school. Two kids would be standing at the bottom of the slide, making an arch with their arms. As the person sliding down neared the end of the song, the two standing would drop their arms and chop off their head. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

"Oranges and lemons" say the bells of St. Clement's
"You owe me five farthings" say the bells of St. Martin's
"When will you pay me?" say the bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow rich" say the bells of Shoreditch
"When will that be?" say the bells of Stepney
"I do not know" say the great bells of Bow
"Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head
Chip chop chip chop - the last man's dead."

When I told my girlfriend what I'd baked, which started out as Orange & Lemon Cakes, she suggested calling them "St Clement's Cakes". I googled it and it is actually a cake. There are a few variations around. Some recipes are flourless and some are drenched in a citrus infused syrup but mine was just a standard orange cake recipe with the addition of Greek yoghurt (which also needed using up) and baked in a mini bar tin. I'm finding no one eats too much cake in one sitting in this house so I'm better off freezing them individually for later on.

The orange juice was used inside the cake and the juice of the lemon for the icing glaze. Both the lemon and orange zest was used inside the cake. The contrast between the sweetness from the orange and the tartness from the lemon balanced this cake beautifully.

Spray the mini bar cake tin thoroughly with oil spray.

Add the orange and lemon zest plus the orange juice to the wet ingredients then mix in the yoghurt.

I love the taste of cake batters but I absolutely adore an orange cake batter. I could've eaten this lot as is.

I always use an ice cream scoop to spoon the batter into the pan. You get an even size for each cake.

The cakes didn't rise much but that's okay. Good for small fingers (and big mouths like mine).

Allow to cool on a wire rack before icing with the lemon glaze.

There's something about the addition of Greek yoghurt to the cake. It makes a dense, moist cake which is rich and full of flavour. Hope you enjoy these.

St Clement's Cakes (Glazed Orange & Lemon Cakes)
  • 125gm butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 2 tbs lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 400gm Greek yoghurt
  • 1 3/4 cups Self Raising flour

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbs lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C.
  2. Combine melted butter, sugar, juice and zest and mix well until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add beaten eggs, one at time then add yoghurt.
  4. Gently stir in flour until well combined.
  5. Spoon batter into well greased mini bar cake pan (other cake pans can be used if you'd like one larger cake).
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. To make glaze, combine icing sugar and lemon juice until icing sugar has dissolved.
  9. Spoon over each cake.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Become a "Friend" of Domesblissity

When my blogging journey started over 4 and a half years ago, never in a million years did I think it would go this long or did I think I would make so many friends from all over the world. It started as a place to store all of my recipes and tips for my children when they left home (and trust me, they will be leaving home when the time comes).

Along the way, it's become a sort of 'diary' if you will of life's happenings. There's been a death in the family with my Mother passing back in 2012, separation and subsequent divorce and now marriage again, things you'd only most likely share with friends. But that's what I've found on my blogging journey. Everyone who comes here are like close personal friends of mine. I'm happy to share what's going on in my life and how I live it every single day, whether that's what I cooked for dinner that night, what I've baked for the kid's school lunch boxes, how to save money in the home, how we celebrated one of their birthdays or how to live in domestic 'bliss'.

So you never miss a thing, I'd like to invite you, old and new friends, to sign up via email. Be the first to hear of competitions and special offers, new recipes, new projects and starting on the 1st of September, an occasional newsletter called Domesblissity Digest. A newsletter full of tips for the season and what's grabbing my attention around the interwebs.

I just love it that you've all come on board my journey. I look forward to catching up with you in your Inbox. Use the pop up subscribe prompt or the one below. Either way, it'll be great to keep in touch with you all and I promise I won't bombard you with emails in your Inbox.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thriving on Thursdays - Linky Party # 147


Hi and welcome to another week and the Thriving on Thursdays linky party. A place to share all your recipes, crafts, projects, tips and advice to help us all have a thriving life. You're not going to believe it but I'm on the mend, finally. The last lot of antibiotics my doctor gave me have worked and I can safely say I'm back to operating on all cylinders again. Just in time really with the wedding just over 2 weeks away. I think I'm pretty well set with the planning. Final numbers to the caterers and then the set up a couple days before. I'll be making the canapès the day before and will (hopefully) get my sister to share them around. We're providing soft drinks and most of that has been purchased. Just a matter of buying the ice the morning of the wedding and Damien filling the tubs to keep them cool. He'll have a to do list, that's for sure, because I need to be at the beauty salon at 8am that morning. She needs as much time as possible to get me 'bride worthy'! Now, onto the party. Here's my top 3 food and non food posts from last week.


Grilled Tequila Chicken with Sauteed Peppers & Onions- simplelivingeating.com

Beetroot and Carrot Salad


HK Pinata

5 tips on getting your favorite brand's "look" at the thrift store, and my Anthropologie vs. Thrifted comparisons.


Thank you so much to everyone who linked up. So many great posts. It was great to see some familiar faces link up this week. You sure have been missed. Feel free to grab a 'featured' button from above. Don't forget Sunday week is Father's Day in Australia. My father isn't alive anymore but I better give the kids some money for the Father's Day stall to buy their Dad something. Also, Damien is 'Dad' to our dogs so he'll be getting a treat for sure, which he will no doubt share with me. Here's hoping! Hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to see what you're bring to the party this week.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grilled Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Burger

Week day lunches, while the kids are at school, are usually a non-event. It's either some kind of leftovers from the night before, a salad or crackers with cheese and tomato but if I've got all the makings for a burger, I'll treat myself. On this particular day I had avocados, chicken breast, bacon plus the salad ingredients and hamburger rolls. Avocado on anything tastes good to me so a Grilled Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Burger it was.

Horizontally slice the chicken breast into thin slices and pop in a pan (or on the barbecue) with bacon and a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Toast the bun halves and top with cheese and pop under the grill to melt.

Prepare your salad ingredients. I didn't want to overload the salad ingredients or else I wouldn't be able to get my mouth around the burger (I had enough trouble as it was) so I opted for just lettuce, tomato and avocado.

Top the burger bun half with the grilled chicken and bacon then top with the salad. I spread the top burger bun with a little mayo and smothered the chicken and bacon with barbecue sauce.

These were good and so, so filling. Dinner that night was only very light. It's nice to be able to prepare something like this on the odd occasion, when you've got the time to enjoy it without interruption. It saves you running to the takeaway for a burger which I never do anyway. If I had to make these with the kids around one would have just cheese and the other would probably just have chicken, bacon and cheese. Sometimes I feel my kitchen is like a fast food joint and I'm a short order cook, taking everyone's orders. That's why I save meals like this when they're not around.

Grilled Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Burger

  • chicken breast, sliced thinly horizontally
  • bacon
  • olive oil for frying
  • cheese
  • burger buns
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • mayo
  • barbecue sauce (or sauce of your liking)

  1. Fry chicken breast and bacon in a little olive oil with salt and pepper.
  2. Split burger buns, toast and top one half with cheese and melt.
  3. Assemble burger with bun half which was topped with cheese, then chicken, bacon, sauce, lettuce, tomato and avocado with the top half of the bun spread with mayo.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

12 make ahead canapés for a crowd

I love nothing better then cooking, especially for a crowd. I catered my sister's engagement party and my Mum and Dad's 25th wedding anniversary. I've had many dinner parties over the years for as many as 12 and as little as 2 with 4 and sometimes 6 courses. I did have the hair-brained idea to cater my own wedding and it could quite possibly be done but knowing how much I want everything to be perfect, I decided against it and am having the main course catered and I will do canapés. I'd like to prepare them in advance and have them ready for serving just after the ceremony.

According to this website, the idea number of canapés to serve for an hour before a full meal is 3 to 4 bites per person and for 35 to 60 guests (I'm having 50), 7 to 9 different kinds of canapés is ideal therefore the number of bites desired per person times the number of guests divided by the number of different canapés being served.

3 bites x 50 (number of guests) ÷ 7 = 21 of each canapé

Here are a few ideas I've got in mind.

Italian Style Slow Cooked Meatballs
Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooked Pineapple Meatballs
Mini Cheese Ball Bites ~ easy appetizers featuring dried cranberries, blue cheese, toasted pecans, and pretzel skewers | {Five Heart Home}
Mini Cheese Ball Bites
Antipasto skewers with prosciutto, mozzarella, artichokes
Easy Antipasto Skewers
Watermelon & Feta Skewers
Crudites and Cheese Platters 3
Crudités Platter
Mini Caprese Skewers
Mini Caprese Skewers
Prawn Cocktails
Oyster Shots
The Best Deviled Eggs Image 1
Devilled Eggs
Melon & Prosciutto skewers
Melon & Proscuitto Skewers
Pinwheels with various fillings
Remember, to keep the cost of ingredients down by buying cheaper cuts of meats, plain cream cheese and flavouring with chutneys or herbs, off cuts of salmon (or canned salmon mixed with cream cheese to make mousse), and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Also, remember the season. If the weather is warm, serve plenty of cold canapes. If it's cooler, serve something warm that can be popped into the slow cooker in the morning or reheated at the last minute. Small cups of soup are perfect. There are plenty more ideas on my Canapés Pinterest board.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Business Mamas Diploma of Business - Assessing what NOT to do

It's time for another update on the Business Mamas Diploma of Business course I'm currently undertaking and it's assessment time. As I'm nearing the end of the first unit of the course, "Go Mama", I reflect on the journey so far and how much more organised I've become as a result of the course.

One of the best things this unit has taught me is identifying what NOT to do and what I should be doing instead. For example:
  • focus on one day at a time instead of looking further down the track, wondering how I will get everything done;
  • breaking up larger 'projects' into simple step-by-step tasks, putting them on my to do list and checking them off as I go instead of putting the entire project on the to do list and not accomplishing any of it;
  • if I get sick (which I was for nearly the last 6 weeks), get through the simple, easy to do jobs on the list, check them off and carry forward those tasks which can wait instead of not doing anything;
  • identify my 'peak' times, ie when I do my best work (9am until 2pm and 9pm until 11pm) and save the more demanding tasks for those times instead of trying to focus on these tasks at say after school time when it's most hectic;
  • always, always, always plan meal times, whether that be a weekly meal plan or planning the next night's meal the night before, instead of scurrying around an hour before dinner time wondering what we'll eat;
  • ensure I schedule in 'me' time, as hard as that is, and make it something worthwhile instead of making myself an afterthought;
  • find a system and any online apps that work for me, ie daily work plan and month-at-a-glance calendar, Google Calendar to keep track of tasks to do, appointments, scheduling in 'me' time etc instead of 'winging' it or double booking myself which results in having to work unnecessarily twice as hard; and
  • if you don't get everything on your 'to do' list checked off, it's not the end of the world instead of feeling like a failure and feeling like it's the end of the world, which happened a lot to me in the past.

Based on the daily Work Plan provided by Business Mamas (above), with a few adjustments, I've learnt to complete this plan every night with the next day's tasks, projects and inspiration mapped out for me. There are so many templates, stationery or even using a notebook to write your daily plan. I also found some great online time management and organising apps here. Life is too short to spend all your time worrying about what needs to be done when, with a few simple tools, you can remain on track, keep your head clear of mundane thoughts, remain focused and create the life you really want for yourself.

person, woman, apple, hotel

The Go Mama unit has been a great opportunity for personal reflection at this stage in my life when, say after having children, I lost my sense of self and who I really am as a person and a woman. Since becoming a Mum, that's all I was, a caretaker and nurturer for my children, something that was lacking for me. Doing this course has rekindled a love for all the things that I used to do and the lifestyle I loved to live before having children, for example being organised, sewing, cooking, reading, listening to music, exercising and taking time out to pamper myself.

city, road, street, buildings

I'm nearly finished the assessment and can't wait to submit it and get started on the next unit, Paving the Road to Success and well on the road to creating my own successful business, doing what I love and having it all. Stay tuned for the next update and thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

You can read my previous posts here.

Take the first step to live happy, work happy, be happy! Contact Business Mamas today and the Business Mamas team will be in touch with more information.
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Disclaimer:  In return for monthly blog posts for a 12 month period, Business Mamas have waived all course fees associated with the Diploma of Business. All thoughts, photos and opinions are my own. 

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