Monday, 18 July 2011
A blogging friend of mine recently called herself a very bad blogger. I think I have beaten her in the lack of regularly posting arena by now though.
Monthly trips to Sydney, increased community and family commitments have made my life more crazy than usual and I feel like I just don't have time to stop, otherwise things don't get done. Opportunities to squeeze in some time to indulge in creating seem few and far between, more's the pity.
The children go back to school tomorrow - a few days of relative normality before it all goes pear shaped with yet another trip to Sydney. Since I moved out of Sydney in my 20s, I've never been back there so frequently and I reckon after this year is over I won't be keen to venture forth in that direction for some time.
The first week of the holidays involved a dash to Sydney (see what I mean!), a sleepover upping the normal child tally a bit for a couple of days and a family gathering. I was cooking potato bake and warm vegetable salad for the gathering of 25 people, but had to cook it and get it there warm and ready to eat. I had a slight hiccup or two. The oven decided it was just too full and took forever to cook the vegies. Then I tipped one bowl of the warm vegetable salad over - luckily the foil and tea towel I had covered it with, caught it all and it just looked a little more "tossed" than the other bowl.
The past week however has been blissfully quiet - the girls won't get their heads out of whatever novel they're currently reading so its all quiet there. With the weather so cold, everyone has endeavoured to stay inside near the fire as much as possible but son, at 13, can't help himself and sure enough the delicate household balance goes awry. So there has still been the occasional fight and a definite need to let of steam and energy - followed closely by my declaration to "go outside NOW and run around for at least half an hour"!
I celebrated the end of the holidays today by cooking numerous batches of yummy food. Totally required of course with school due back and a cupboard bare of lunchbox type foods. So I got in and cooked chocolate brownie (above) (I posted the recipe for here it a couple of years ago), a double batch of choc-apricot cookies, a double batch gingernuts (below) and an apple cake. All were made with our own eggs (yay to the chooks finally growing big enough and starting to lay!) and the apple cake was made with Grandma's crisp apples.
In the absence of a piece of jewellery this week, I'm going to share my choc-apricot cookie recipe (pictured at top). I've made these for well over 20 years and they always work out. They were actually tasted by a food editor for an Australian foodie magazine who was visiting my house a few years ago - and she asked for the recipe so they must be good!
1/3 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup coconut - dessicated or shredded
200g chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
Beat butter and sugars in bowl with electric mixer till light and fluffy. Beat in egg til just combined. Stir in flours, choc chips, coconut and apricots and mix to a firm dough. (If using your mixer, change the blade to a dough hook, as its a heavy mix).
Please level tablespoons of mixture about an inch apart on lightly greased oven trays and flatten slightly (or just throw them on the trays - they flatten a bit by themselves!). Bake in a moderate oven 20 minutes or till lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.
Notes: makes about 20-25 biscuits, so make a double batch, otherwise you'll look around and they'll all be gone! Heavenly still warm but watch out for apricot pieces - they retain the heat. The mix is a great basic mix - feel free to swap the choc chips and apricots for something else.
OK, back to the ironing board - I promised myself that I would get it all done these holidays and I've still got a pile to go and only hours left!
Till next :)