Category: Events

Show Weekend Minus One Zadada


show weekend feature

Life has been hectic around these parts of late but I should add GOOD hectic!

When everyone is well and happy (which they are at the moment), I really have no complaints, no major ones anyway.

The weekend just past saw lots happening, here’s a little rundown:

 

Friday

Zadada took a well deserved break away beach camping on the Sunshine Coast with some mates (he had an early 2:30am start). He sent me a picture of the sunrise he woke up to and their camp site. Mother nature at her best!

Zadada's view

The kidlets had grandparents day at school which also entails a visit to our local agricultural show (the show just happens to be in close proximity to school and school just happens to hold Grandparents day the same day the show is on, all very convenient, the kidlets love it, not sure about the grandparents??? Thanks Mum, Dad, Uncle Brad and Aimee for taking them xx)

My brother and his gorgeous girlfriend got engaged!!!!! (very exciting)

The kidelts got taken trick or treating by Kaymac (my sister) Friday night (an extra bonus that was not in the program, I will say spoilt!)

I worked and after a full days worth of excitement  with all the above action we didn’t get home until after 9pm.

If you are a spider lover please skip the next paragraph.

Entering the family room on our arrival home I was quickly made aware (thanks Ella, you’ve invented some good dance moves) of a huntsman spider scaling its way along our ceiling, we haven’t had one visit for yonks (of course he had to choose the weekend I was flying Solo!!). It took drowning him with insect spray, a big whack with my shoe, my heart pounding and 3 kidlets hiding in the bedroom (they hate spiders!!) to get that spider sorted, phewwww ! Just call me Spidermama, it’s amazing what you’re capable of when you don’t have any Zadada’s around!

Then it was bedtime for the kidlets at least! I still had all the stock standard unpacking ahead of me (just another day hey!)

Saturday

More show time!

It’s become a yearly tradition when show weekend rolls around, we go and when I say we, the kidlets usually go for a few hours with Mum and Dad on the Friday (Grandparents Day!), Zadada (who loves our agricultural show) has been known to go to the rodeo on the Friday night (that didn’t happen this year) and then when Saturday rolls around we usually go as a family!…… ‘Show Groupies’ I think we’d be classified as!

This year we were down one Zadada and he was missed (it’s just not the same flying solo!). To be honest I would have been quite happy to give it a miss this year but there was no way our 3 little munchkins were going to let me get away with that notion!

We hit the grounds of the show around 3 and caught the wood chopping final straight up,

Wood chop final

then found the snake show, we got to see a red belly black snake, a death adder and an eastern brown, after 5 minutes I’d had my dose of snakes for the decade, ‘lets move on’ I said.

Snakes

I was so very grateful when an hour after our arrival Mum and Kaymac phoned and said they’d like to join us. Extra sets of hands are always warmly welcomed. We all went and checked out some much more pleasant creatures.

Animal nursery

Alani got to enjoy a lot more of the show this year, especially now that she has fully graduated from the stroller, becoming Miss independent and using that little pair of legs to walk everywhere, speaking of that little pair of legs, Alani had her sights set on the Bungee trampoline (that’s what the big kidlets call it), just check her out, not half proud!

Bungee Tramp

We then had a quick squiz at what the locals had been creating and it wouldn’t have been complete without viewing some baking!

Thinking maybe I should pop an entry in next year!

Display pavilion

Next up was a first time ride on the whizzer for Master Blake. Kaymac was happy to be the attending adult while I got to snap up their fun!

The first time whizzer rider

The rest, well it speaks for itself here you go…… (check out the happy threenager, a day out wouldn’t be complete without a little meltdown, this was the good picture)

A quick mummy snap

 

horse action

clowns

hooking ducks

Of course we finished on a high note……FOOD!!!!

Blake tried his first ever Dagwood dog with no ill side effects! The girls settled for some hot chips and a slice of Grandma’s Pizza!

Dagwood dog experience

I headed straight for some vegetarian food I enjoyed so much last year. When you’re on a good thing…….. and dessert was a must!

Zamama's food experience

We had a lovely afternoon and evening the only thing missing was our Zadada.

I managed to sneak us home before dark though I did have someone in tears because we missed the fireworks, and I did kindly and calmly explain you can’t get what you want all the time! Half way home that little 7 year old in tears was sound asleep.

Stay with me there’s still a bit more…….

Sunday

You don’t think I’d let a weekend pass without creating in the kitchen do you?

We started with an experiment, a ‘Gummy Bear Ice Cream Slice’, Blake was my assistant. This little treasure will be starring on the blog later this week.

Ice cream slice

Then I moved onto my big project for the day a Number 1 birthday cake for a sweet little girl named Lyla. A double quantity  of butter cake later as well as a quadruple batch of butter cream icing and I had operation birthday cake sorted! I use the patterns in the original Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday cake book to shape out my numbers. Love that book, so do the kidlets.

During this little project Zadada arrived home and it was hugs all round! I know it was only 2 nights (actually 2 and 1/2) we just missed him lots and were so glad to have him home safe and sound.

someone special's number 1

And the last creation in the kitchen on Sunday was a round of homemade pizza’s for dinner! This time it was Ella’s turn.

Pizza making

Now to perfectly round a post like this off I thought we’d end things with a little pink tongue!

Betty just loves Locky and Locky has been so patient with Betty, it’s so much fun watching their little friendship unfold.

furry kids

And that my lovelies was our weekend.

How was your weekend? Do you like going to agricultural shows? Create anything in the kitchen? I’d  love to hear!

Until the next time……

Zamamabakes

Life has been hectic around these parts of late but I should add GOOD hectic! When everyone is well and happy (which the...

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Project Pretty Up & A Round Of Bubbles

Project pretty up

I’ve been wanting to do something with our front entry for ages and finally with the help of 3 little kidlets and one Zagrandma my wanting turned into some doing!

The inspiration

I’ve had this bowl (a very special bowl as it was my late Nanna’s Scone mixing bowl) of petunias and pansies growing since about April and they haven’t looked back, maybe just 3 or 4 times when I’ve forgotten to water them every now and then,  but a quick drink soon fixes that, they’ve bounced back every time! I make no claims to being any type of green thumb but I do love fresh flowers and plants growing.  Considering I’ve managed to keep these little treasures plugging along I thought I’d try my luck with a little bit more green thumbing, a ‘Pretty Up’ outside our entry!

The final straw to motivate me was last seeing this post last week here Of Babymac’s, that really got me wanting to do something with some plants and flowers. Gosh that girl can take an awesome shot and write a great post!

With it being school holidays I decided on Monday it would be now or never. I got on the phone to Zagrandma told her we were coming to town to buy some planting supplies and that if she wanted to we would love her to join us. She was up for the challenge.

We popped into a couple of our local shops JH Williams, The reject shop (love that shop so do the kidlets) and our palliative care op shop.

With supplies and kidlets (including a bag of hot chips) all packed into the car and one Zagrandma at the ready we headed for home for  ‘Project Pretty Up!’

I will note at this point that a pack of $2 bubbles was purchased from the reject shop, here’s the events of Monday afternoon.

bubble fun 2

chasing bubbles

Learning the art of bubbles

helper 2 on the trolley

helper 1 supervising helpe

helper 1 planting

a rare pic

project pretty up shaping up

waterer 2

some more treasures

one of my favourite pieces in the garden

One of my favourites

The finished ‘Pretty Up’. Not majorly fancy but better than it was!

I’d just love to find a happy welcome door mat now! Any suggestions?

Project pretty up complete

And I’m still not quite sure who enjoyed the bubbles more?

Thanks for all your help Mum! I’d be lost without you xxxx

Zagrandma chief bubbler

So lovelies any green thumb tips for the little plants would be gratefully taken on board. I’ll try to keep you posted on their progress!

What activities have you been getting up to these school holidays? I’d love to hear.

I’ve got a yummy old fashioned dessert post still to come this week and next week there’ll be a recipe post using m&m’s, fun and yum for the kidlets! So stay tuned…

Until then…….

Zamamabakes

I've been wanting to do something with our front entry for ages and finally with the help of 3 little kidlets and one Za...

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A Husband Friendly Bake – Easy Snickers Brownie Cake

 Snickers cake

So I celebrated my Birthday last weekend! And Zadada made the cake!!

I had a gorgeous day surrounded by the people closest to me, my beautiful family which included my brother, sister, SIL’s, MIL, FIL , my best friend/husband and my 3 precious cherubs, the one’s who love you unconditionally warts and all. Needless to say I feel extremely fortunate to have such a supportive group of people in my life. There were  2 other special people I didn’t get to catch up with……..my parents, who I will forgive 🙂 as they are currently off jet setting, having a well deserved holiday in Canada and I can’t wait to hear all about it when they arrive home next week!

My Birthday was Sunday and on the Friday night before my gorgeous almost SIL Aimee messaged me offering to make a cake for my birthday bless her beautiful heart (she makes awesome cakes)! I messaged back saying how lovely it was of her to offer but I had a sneaking suspicion  Zadada might have been wanting to get his bake on (seriously if he has the time he loves to get creating in the kitchen).

Once we were in the door from work, school and unpacked all the school bags and lunch boxes, Zadada and I got chatting and the topic of my Birthday cake came up, I told him about the gorgeous Aimee’s offering and he did mention he had been thinking of making me a cake (my instincts were right!). I had also been thinking (I do a lot of that!!!) if he did happen to offer to make my cake that I knew just the project for him to make and it was Blog worthy too, Win, Win!!

On Pinterest a few months ago I saw a version of a Browinie Cake, except I forgot to pin it (no ticks for that one Zamama)!!!! When I went back to have a search the closest I could find to what I had seen was this little treasure here. I had visions of caramel and snickers bars being incorporated to the brownies for my cake, can you think of a better combination!

snickers brownie core ingredients

I love making birthday cakes and I’ve probably made that clear here, here and here. The only thing better than making a birthday cake for someone is watching your husband make a birthday cake for you!! Love your work and you Zadada!!! Who would have thought all those years ago in year 7 Agriculture class when we were having our first ever conversation as classmates, standing in a cabbage patch, talking about our baby sisters, that you would be here now making me my 36th birthday cake with 10 years of marriage, 3kidlets, 1 dog, 1 cat, 25 head of cattle and 3 guinea pigs under our belts. Not me in year 7 that’s for sure!! I just love when you can stop and reflect about the good things in life. The gorgeous Babymac (one of my favourite bloggers) got me reflecting on Wednesday with a great post here!

Another good thing in your life is definitely going to be this ‘Easy Snickers Brownie Cake’, it’s so easy, it’s mouth-wateringly tasty and looks fantastic! I swear your husband will be capable of making it! You may need to guide him through the process a little. I thoroughly enjoyed my part as photographer/director/decorator in this cake creating process! A great way to spend some quality time together, it certainly made my birthday a memorable one.

Now let’s get cracking……..

Beat butter and cocoa until combined.

snickers 1

Beat in eggs, sugar and vanilla.

Snickers Brownie 2

Stir through flour. Fold through chopped snickers and spoon into prepared pans.

Snickers Brownie 3

Place dollops of caramel evenly over brownie mixture and swirl through with the tip of a teaspoon.

snickers brownie 4

Bake in a 180C oven for approx 40 mins. Cool in pans. Slice into approx 3cm x 3cm squares. Arrange brownies to form a tower, dust with icing sugar and position flowers evenly over your brownie tower.

snickers brownie 5

Stick some candles in and you’re ready to celebrate!!

snickers brownie cake

A Husband Friendly Bake - Easy Snickers Brownie Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is an easy, tasty little treasure to make. Would make a great centre piece/treat at any celebration you can think of.
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Baking
Cuisine: Cake
Serves: A small crowd
Ingredients
  • 300g butter
  • 1cup cocoa, sifted.
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2cups self raising flour, sifted
  • 430g chopped Snickers Bars (I used 2x 12 Snickers snack size packets)
  • 1 tin NESTLÉ Top'n'Fill Caramel (make sure you give the caramel a good stir with a spoon to even out the consistency).
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 bunch of Mini Roses, cut down for arranging (I grabbed a $10 bunch from Woolworths that worked a treat)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2, 18cm x 28cm lamington apns with baking paper.
  2. Beat butter and cocoa until combined. Beat in eggs, sugar and vanilla then stir in flour.
  3. Fold through Snickers.
  4. Pour and divide mixture evenly into prepared tins.
  5. Spoon Caramel onto brownie mixture's and swirl through,evenly dividing the caramel across the 2 pans.
  6. Bake 40 minutes until cooked. Cool then cut into squares approx 3cm x 3cm.
  7. Arrange some Brownies to form a base on a large cake plate and repeat process by layers a little narrower than the previous one to form a rough little tower.
  8. Dust tower with icing sugar.
  9. Position flowers evenly into the gaps of tower.

A big thank you going out to Zadada for coming on board with this post! I love our kitchen adventures!

You are my rock Zadada and I love you more than you know!

Until the next time…….

Zamamabakes

 

 

 

 

So I celebrated my Birthday last weekend! And Zadada made the cake!! I had a gorgeous day surrounded by the people close...

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Our Fiji Family Adventure

Fiji Header Bula (hello) lovely ones!

Fiji really was a great holiday……….so great that our 7-year-old asked if she could bring Fiji home with us?? If anyone knows a solution for that request please be sure to let me know.

I did promise you a debrief so here we go, babble to a minimum, just a snippet here and there and let the photo’s do the talking.

How it came to be:

Planning and preparations for this little adventure began on Australia day of this year when our gorgeous friends Glenn and Jennifer asked if we would consider a dual family holiday to Fiji?? My eyes lit up with excitement, all I had to do was convince Zadada who was already sounding enthusiastic so it didn’t take much, 7 days and 6 quotes later he was 100% sold. We were booked to Fiji all 10 of us (4 Adults & 6 kidlets to be precise).

If you are considering a holiday to Fiji, DO IT, as Kaymac would say ‘YOLO’, definitely an experience to remember and treasure forever! We stayed at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island. It’s on the Coral Coast of Fiji. We flew from Brisbane to Nadi airport, then had a 1 hour transfer to our accommodation. Hoot Holidays are who we used to book our holiday with (we tried local travel agents but the best price came from Hoot, who provided a service we were more than happy with), Bryan Griffin is the man you want to ask for to make your arrangements, he’s very helpful and happy to answer any questions both before and after you book.

For the record we flew with Fiji Airways.

Now the fun stuff…….Our holiday in colour!!

There was an early morning start. I was up at 4:45am!! I am sooooo not a morning person unless it’s for a good reason. Please note we didn’t have time to stop and take these pics so I do I apologise for the motion, poor light, iPhone snaps. Anyway I think you get the idea, it was early!!!!!

An early morning start for our Fiji adventure! The junior clan, looking ready for their Fiji flight! Our Junior Fiji travellers The flight. A lovely lady at check kindly informed us she had blocked off the 6th seat in our row so we had it all to ourselves, I love it when people are soooo kind and thoughtful!

Someone got given a job during the flight………and lapped up every minute! She was rewarded with the 1kg of lollies she had left in her basket. Behaving on the Fiji flight The Dads sporting their freshly woven palm leaf hats. We attempted to get Zadada’s back through customs but apparently it was too green so I’m thinking next time we’ll just have to stay longer for the sake of the hat! Fiji hands on Dads And yes the Mums sampled a cocktail or 2! Left the beer to the Dads. The hands on cocktail sampling Mum's The kayaks were put to good use almost everyday we were there, I can vouch that one of these double kayaks holds a family of 5 quite successfully we had a ball! Fiji family fun in kayaks The beach is just gorgeous especially on blue skyed sunny days! Fiji's gorgeous beaches A certain 9-year-old has always enjoyed digging, when he wasn’t swimming he spent the best part of his time at the beach as a human excavator!! Digging in the sand in Fiji We also possess a 7-year-old Mermaid. This little poppit was the first one in the water and last one out without fail everyday. It was such a delight to see the kids enjoying good quality outside fun in the sun time. Fiji and our 7-year-old mermid Last and certainly not the least is a certain little threenager, all that holidaying eventually takes its toll! A 3-year-old in Fiji

I have to show you this, you may have noticed in the 2 collages above a picture each of the girls having their hair plaited. Now I can plait but not this quick check it out……… (I believe if you click on link below you’ll see my 20 second video clip).

Fiji plaiting hair

The people of Fiji are just so lovely. I was lucky enough to meet our day maid Mere when I popped back to our room to do some laundry, I shared a tear with her (I tell you since I’ve had the kids I’m a dripping tap if I have a touching moment),  Mere told me how her home had been washed away by floods in Fiji a few years ago, she and her family had to start from scratch and rebuild as well as take care of her 2 little girls who are now aged 5 and 2.  To get to work she has to hitch hike everyday. Not many people own cars and with petrol being $2.65 per Litre I can understand why. It really does make you appreciate the luxuries we have in Australia. I feel it doesn’t matter which walk of life you belong to there’s a special mother to mother connection that happens between women, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels it. Meeting Mere and sharing conversations was a privilege and I feel so very grateful to have been acquainted with her.

We also had some fun doing a school and village tour, there was lots of singing and dancing and Kava but somehow I missed taking a picture of Zadada sampling it.

On our 2nd last night we hired 2 babysitters to mind the 6 kids in one of our rooms while we enjoyed an adults only dinner, it was just lovely.

Fiji's gorgeous people I do love a pretty sunset and Fiji does them well. Spot the igadgets, who needs kids club when you have technology? Dinnertime and sunsets in Fiji A holiday isn’t complete without a few group shots. The kids….well we tried! Fiji emotions And the 10 of us, pretty successful if I do say so. A special thankyou going out to the security guard who kindly took on the role as our photographer for a few minutes. Fiji family group shot

Now to keep things real, I’m going to share with you what I would also want to know, the stuff that happens on holidays that you don’t take pictures of, like:

The night we arrived at the Shangri-La was quite an overwhelming experience to say the least, we had been up since the crack of dawn, travelling for 12 hours with 6 kidlets to a country we had never been to before and it was dark. The resort felt HUGE (which it is, but you do get used to that). We thought we had made arrangements to have our  2 families rooms side by side or at least in the same wing??? Those arrangements must have been mislaid somewhere because our rooms ended up being at completely opposite ends of the resort (we were told to come back in the morning and speak to the person in charge of room allocation ,the short of the long there is that we adjusted to where our rooms were located, had we of wanted to be closer to our friends there wasn’t a room available until the 2nd last day of our stay and I wasn’t packing up a room after 5 nights of kids spreading their you know what all over the place, and I had met Mere by then too).

Our First Dinner experience was worse than being at a Sizzler restaurant in Australia, it was busy, kids seemed to be whinging everywhere (especially ours!!) and the food didn’t look all that appealing, we were sat separately to our friends and all the workers were operating on FIJI TIME (it does exist), nothing happens in a hurry! Not enjoyable at all!

We found our way back to our room via the shuttle bus, virtually fell into bed and slept, well sort of I don’t know about you but I never sleep all that well on my first night anywhere. Morning came around quick and we hit the breakfast buffet scene which had a slightly better feel to it than the previous night’s dining experience. The food was yummy, there was even someone making fresh omelettes, Zadada and I took advantage once we had the kids sorted of course!

We then went to meet up with our friends and do a bit of a tour of the resort. Things were definitely looking up, the resort really is fun, clean and beautiful. The kids were itching to swim so our afternoon ended up beside the pool and beach (they are side by side) a great set up!

Time absolutely flew and before we knew it we were back in our room getting ready for dinner. This was when another little moment was thrown upon us, Blake got one of his random headaches (generally its from not drinking enough water). We tried to sort him out with extra water, panadol and a lay down but unfortunately he needed to sleep. This is where I will mention missing having the use of my mobile phone, generally if you are running late and have made arrangements with friends to meet at a certain time you will throw a quick text their way, that option was not available. I to set off with the 2 girls to meet up with our friends, hopeful that Blake would wake up soon and he and Zadada would join us, that didn’t happen either. Poor Zadada ended up ordering room service which was no way near as nice as the freshly cooked stir-fry I got to enjoy. So our 2nd night in Fiji ended feeling no less overwhelming than our first. I will also add that an overwhelming 2 days wouldn’t be complete without a few pointless lover’s tiffs, we had some 🙂

What I can happily say is that once we got these shitty first 2 days out of the way things progressed onwards and upwards and our Fiji Holiday really was something I will treasure forever, I just wanted to be honest.

Now A few Tips:

Pack lots of snacks, a few bottles of water and a basic little pharmacy. I dedicated a whole suitcase to these items and I would definitely do it again. Prices in Fiji resorts are $$$$. Make sure when you book your holidays that your main meals are incorporated. We did Breakfast and Dinner. Our lunch basically consisted of snacks from the suitcase, when you have such a big brekkie you definitely won’t be starving.

I packed the kids clothes as individual outfits in snap lock bags labelled day or dinner, Pj’s I just left loose, it worked a treat!

Next time we go I would aim for booking a September or October holiday just so it’s a tad warmer. The days were lovely reaching 26ish but the nights were quite cool. The pool was freezing but the beach was a lovely temperature another month or 2 and I things would be perfect.

Do book a babysitter and have an adults only dinner, prices for babysitting are extremely reasonable and the ladies are just lovely.

Book for 10 days which will guarantee you get 7 great ones!

Keep an open mind if it’s your first time, there is lots to adapt to, new scenery, Fiji time and those unexpected moments.   You will have a fantastic time, bringing home lots of great memories.

I Couldn’t resist but to finish with a posed family shot in our room from the last night……..Ready, Set,.. Mr timer!

Fiji family Adventure picture

Fiji you delivered an amazing holiday, Thank you. And a big heartfelt Thankyou being sent to our friends Glenn and Jennifer for asking us along on this Fiji Family Adventure.

I’d love to hear where your favourite destinations for family holidays are or what crazy overwhelming moments you’ve experienced on vacation? Feel free to comment below lovely ones.

Until the next time,

Zamamabakes

Bula (hello) lovely ones! Fiji really was a great holiday..........so great that our 7-year-old asked if she could bring...

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A Little Decade Anniversary Date Night

wedding smile

As most of you are probably aware Zadada and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week, I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. I can still remember our first kiss and where it was 18 years ago, I’ll just say ‘Lions Lookout’ Murwillumbah, (I don’t think I’d be game to go up there at night anymore)! Yes we are high school sweethearts, in fact at our year 12 formal we were presented with the ‘Ma & Pa Kettle’ award (I guess we came across a little old fashioned) and now here we are still a bit ‘Ma & Pa’ ish but I couldn’t be prouder of us.

I make no claims to have the perfect marriage and if anyone is looking for the perfect marriage I think you’ll be looking for quite a while. A marriage is no walk in the park, it takes lots of hard work and good communication between 2 loving adults, call me ‘Ma’ but I believe becoming best friends first is the key to forming a relationship that will go the distance.

So I thought you might like to know what my idea of a 10 year wedding anniversary date night is.

1. Child Free (I love our 3 gorgeous kidlets but it was sooooo nice to have 24 hours of just us…..no interruptions, no ABC soundtracks a real sleep in and just pure quality time together).

Empty back seat

2. A great husband and best friend to spend the quality time with.

3. Revisiting our old dating territory the beautiful Coolangatta.

4. Having pre-dinner drinks at Coolangatta Surf Club, overlooking the beach. Check out the eye catching décor we found on the wall.

Yak

5. Having a second round of pre-dinner drinks at Twin Towns Services Club  and winning money on the chocolate wheel to cover our meals and drinks.

6. Dinner at the ‘Little Malaya’ restaurant we regularly visited pre-children.  The bonus was the fact that the food has not changed in quality one bit, it’s as deeeelicious as it was over 8 years ago! If you go there you must try the Roti Chani and Lantern Prawns.

Roti Chani

7. Ice cream from Cold Rock on our walk back to the hotel, I’m a bit partial to Choc Mint Icecream with Maltesers as the mix in!

8. Oh I forgot to mention Chocolate and Champagne (thanks Zadada).

Choc and Champagne

9. Sleeping in and waking up to this gorgeous sunny day!

Sunshine

10. Enjoying a long breakfast together.

11. The highlight (not really but kind of) doing grocery shopping just the 2 of us! I’m kidding but it was weird being able to hear ourselves think!

12. Reloading the backseat and taking our happy, healthy little family home.

reloading

And that my gorgeous ones is my idea of a heavenly date night to remember.

If you have kidlets like us I do hope you get some quality time to enjoy your partner’s company, I know it takes quite a bit of organisation, and if you don’t have babysitters available it makes it very hard. At a pinch try a date night at home once the kidlets are in bed, turn the technology off and give each other the attention, you won’t regret it. A big thank you going out to our gorgeous babysitters who made this night possible, you all know who you are.

Did I tell you we have gifted ourselves a family Holiday to Fiji next month which is a huge treat for us (using our 10 year wedding anniversary to justify it!) We are heading over with some gorgeous friends who also happen to have 3 kidlets,  10 of us travelling in total, a great adventure ahead I’m sure and yes you will hear about it!

In the meantime here’s to many more decades of wedded bliss for all of us!

us now

Online cheers,

Zamamabakes

 

As most of you are probably aware Zadada and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week, I can't believe how fa...

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3 Days Of Fun & 4 To Come!!!!!….. How Was Your Queen Bee Weekend?

Kingscliff Boardwalk

So nice to have a +1 day!!!

I wish every weekend consisted of 3 days and then a 4 day working week……wishful thinking. You’ve just got to take what you can get! We’ve had a lovely weekend, minus a few mini meltdowns along the way (Zamama’s included!!), I’d think something was wrong if we didn’t have those!

There’s been lots of fun including the launch of my geometric shape giveaway! If you haven’t entered you really should, you can do that here.

Comfortably consumed! We had a family of 5, day out adventure, incorporating the purchase of a new Steam Mop (prioroties!!.. my old one blew up) to balance the retail misery (for 3 kidlets) a park visit and scooter ride at Kingscliff helped (I would have heard about it otherwise!), the fresh air was great for everyone.

Visits from Grandparents and Great Grandparents were warmly welcomed with a DVD game of Family Feud (an oldie but a goodie),  loom band challenges (great work Zanan), shoulder rides (thanks Zapop), and speech practice (Zagrandma volunteered her ears), time was well spent all round.

A good selection of food was enjoyed and experimented with too. An Apple Curry and a Salted Caramel Slice with a twist, you have my word they’ll be coming to the blog very soon. Pop Cracknell’s Date Cake had a look in too for Cup of Tea and Slice of Cake Time.

The 2 household vehicles were cleaned to be recognisable again (it’s been a LOOOONG time between washes and vacuums, I do confess to finding an avocado in my car that resembled the head of a baby reptile, not pretty and for a split second scary!!)

 

Family FeudApple curry prepgood companyloomingphoto experimentingloving lifeMotorbike ridingCuppa timeTime fora chatDay tripScootering at KingscliffPark PlayPelican feastsKingscliff looking prettytaking 5 home funMr Square eyes!Speech practiceGrandma and Pop walksbath timeWho else?Mmmmmm!

So how was your Queen Bee weekend? Maybe it was go, go, go or perhaps you had a nice relaxing couple of days, I’d love to hear about it!!

I’ve got a busy but fun week ahead of me. Zadada and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary (not quite the patch on my Parents 35 years of marriage, but not a bad start!!), we’re planning a date night for Saturday. Thursday I’m looking forward to joining baking forces with the gorgeous Kaileen from Style2484 and her quest of Cakes4Charity, I’ll be making my Nanna Mac’s Moist Chocolate Cake with a side of Salted Caramel Sauce ! Friday night Zagrandma and Kaymac have invited me out to our local ‘Foodie Friday Food Trail’. Certainly not my standard run of the mill week (somewhere in there I’ll be squeezing in Mothering, Wifing, Working and Blogging) but definitely one I’m looking forward too!

Hope you all have a great start to the short working week!

Stay tuned for Zapuppydogs date with Dr Zoo.

Until then…..

Zamamabakes

So nice to have a +1 day!!! I wish every weekend consisted of 3 days and then a 4 day working week......wishful thinking...

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The one job I wouldn’t change for the world!!

Well by now I’m sure most Mums are either tucked up in bed or winding down for the evening. Whatever you are doing, I hope you have had an absolutely gorgeous day!

Mother’s day makes me think about what it means to be a Mum as well as what it means to others or how others may be feeling on this day. If you’re a lovely trying to fall pregnant, a Mum to be, a new Mum, an established Mum, a Grandmother, a Great Grandmother maybe even a Great, Great Grandmother I know you would all have stories to tell from your motherhood journey. There is the precious ‘Birth’ story, all the milestones, the naughty stories, the funny stories, the proud moment stories, and for some the heartbreaking stories but no matter what story it is, as Mothers we keep a very special place in our hearts for all these moments. To all the Dad’s out there I give full credit to you too, knowing you would also have a special place in your heart for your fatherhood stories. But today it’s about the Mum’s!!

It’s not an easy job but being a Mum but it is the one job I wouldn’t change for the world. For me there is nothing like that moment when you see your special little someone for the very first time. After talking with my gorgeous Mum tonight I don’t think it matters how much time passes after that first meeting you just never forget such a priceless moment. I have been fortunate enough to have experienced it 3 times over and I am forever grateful for our 3 precious blessings Blake, Ella and Alani.

Blake

Ella

Alani

I feel like Mothers day becomes more and more special every year as not only do I see my gorgeous little cherubs trying so hard to be extra helpful (plus a few sibling arguments here and there) but I also see my own Mum in a newer light and I have a deeper appreciation for everything she has done for me during the last 35 years. Thanks Mum, Love you.

Here’s a little insight into my Mothers Day.

Starting with some nice cuddles.

cuddles

Followed by a delicious homemade breakfast in bed thanks to Zadada and Zakidlets! I believe Julie Goodwin’s recipe book ‘Our Family Table’ got put to good use (a gift from 2010? Mother’s day). Deeeelicious!

Breakfast

Zagrandma (Mum) gave me this pot of tulips on Friday night, a Pre-Mothers day gift ( soooo thoughtful). I’m loving watching them open and close each day and night. A green thumb I am not but I’m guessing this must be a little act that tulips perform each day, not sure how long it lasts, please feel free to enlighten me.

Tulips

I do love a nice recipe book for Mother’s day. This year I’ve been gifted ‘One Dish Two Ways’ by Jane Kennedy. Can’t wait to test it out!

recipe book

We have recently had a new restaurant open in Murwillumbah it’s called[email protected]. What better excuse did one need to test it out than a Family Mothers day luncheon! We’ll definitely be heading back for more. The food was scrumptious! I had Seared Scallops for entrée, Pork Collar for main and Lemon Myrtle Panna Cotta for dessert. Yum, Yum and Yum. Great place for a special occasion.

Lunch

After lunch it was time for some basking in the sunshine so we headed over to a park along the river. A treasured pic of all Mum’s in our party.

mums

The weather was just gorgeous!

Tree

Sunset

And my most treasured Snapshot of the day. A picture with my 3 little munchkins. I feel so very blessed. Hope you got to take away some treasured memories from your 2014 Mothers day too.

Zakidlets

Thought I’d share my secret baking project I finished off yesterday. It’s the cake you get if your Nickname is Poodle and you barrack for Parramatta Eels. A weekend is not complete without some baking and cake decorating! For the record Zadada created the little footy, love his efforts.

Poodle cake

Let me just say when I had finished the decorating my hands contained some temporary little smurf birthmarks, but it was worth it!

Until the next time……

Zamamabakes

Well by now I’m sure most Mums are either tucked up in bed or winding down for the evening. Whatever you are doing, I ho...

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Haloumi Stuffed Chicken Breast with a side of Stir-Fried Veggies

Mmmmmmmm it was almost 4 years ago now when this great little treasure of a dish crossed paths with me. You see I did a group cooking class with the fantastic caterers Simone and Le Ping Wong from Savoir fare (you really should check them out, they cater for all types of functions and budgets, I love them!!). Haloumi Stuffed Chicken Breast was one of the star dishes they taught us how to make.  It’s a perfect dish to use when entertaining guests or just as a family meal at home. This treasure has become quite the returning guest to our kitchen and for good reason. A mouth watering combination of Chicken, Haloumi Cheese and Prosciutto never wears out its welcome. The beauty of this dish is that you can adapt it to all the seasons, cooler weather serve it with your favourite warm vegetables & for warmer weather use it as the shining star to accompany fresh salads. The icing on the cake for me (excuse the pun) is the fact that you can prep it ahead of time, I’m talking 24 hours in advance (very handy when planning to entertain). You really want to try this dish out, I guarantee you’ll make it again!!!

haloumi chicken

You Will Need:

4 x 200g each chicken breast ( pictured above the chicken breast I used was 400g, it just depends what’s available, cooking time/temp may need to be adjusted)

180g  Haloumi cheese cut into long fingers approx. 45g each ( or as much as you like the look and taste of)

8 slices of Prosciutto – 1mm thickness (depending on the size of your chicken breasts you may only need 1 slice of prosciutto but for the bigger breasts I like to use 2 slices).

Pepper

Haloumi cheese

1. Cut an incision into the breast using a sharp pointy knife. (see picture below)

Incision

2. Slide Haloumi finger into chicken.

haloumi in chicken

3. Wrap prosciutto around middle of chicken (you may need a second slice of prosciutto if your chicken breast is larger than 200g)

Prosciutto

prepped chicken

4. Pepper chicken breast and sear on both sides (sear the joined side of the prosciutto first)

searing join

2nd side seared

5. This is the point where you can set aside to cool a little and place in fridge for up to 24 hours (if you’re prepping in advance) just remember to allow for the cooking time.

OTHERWISE keep going with the following steps.

6. Bake in oven for approx. 45mins at 180 C ( they may take longer if your chicken breasts are on the larger side) as I am not a Chef I usually cut one of the breasts to make sure they are cooked through, another option is using a meat thermometer to check the temp, 74 degrees C is minimum internal temperature recommended for cooked chicken breast see here.

ready for oven

post baking

7. Slice and serve with your choice of vegetables or salads, this time around I used a batch of my easy Stir Fried vegetables which I have incorporated below. I like to pop a drizzle of Caramelised Balsamic dressing over the sliced chicken, it gives a great balance to the flavours.

sliced haloumi chicken

Zamama’s Stir -Fried Veggies

Stir Fried Veg

You will need:

1 clove garlic crushed

1 onion chopped

5 cups chopped/sliced vegetables  (I used a selection of fresh corn cut from the cob, carrots, zucchini, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, capsicum, snow peas, bok choy )

150g natural cashew nuts (optional)

1 heaped Tablespoon powdered beef stock

1 dessert spoon fish sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons oyster sauce

1 Tablespoon honey

Chilli flakes or fresh (optional)

Pepper to season.

raw veggies

additions

1. Add approx. 1 Tablespoon olive oil to a wok or frying pan

2. Add onion (optional chilli) and cook over a medium heat to soften ( approx. 1 min)

3. Add all Garlic and Vegetables except for the snow peas and bok choy (they don’t need as long ). Increase heat to high.

4. Stir/toss to combine with onion.

5. Add all liquids and work through the vegetables, cook a further 4-5 minutes. Taste!!!!! You may need more of the flavouring additions depending on how salty or sweet you like your food. It’s all just a matter of experimenting.

6. Add snow peas, bok choy and optional cashew nuts stir through for 1 minute and turn off heat.

7. Serve with your preference of any meat or just enjoy as is.

plated up with balsamic

Bon Appetit!!!!

The picture free Recipe for Haloumi Stuffed Chicken Breast

You Will Need:

4 x 200g each chicken breast ( pictured above the chicken breast I used was 400g, it just depends what’s available, cooking time/temp may need to be adjusted)

180g  Haloumi cheese cut into long fingers approx. 45g each (but pretty much use as much as you like the look and taste of)

8 slices of Prosciutto – 1mm thickness (depending on the size of your chicken breasts you may only need 1 slice of prosciutto but for the bigger breasts I like to use 2 slices).

Pepper to season

Method

1. Cut an incision into the breast using a sharp pointy knife.

2. Slide Haloumi finger into chicken.

3. Wrap prosciutto around middle of chicken (you may need a second slice of prosciutto if your chicken breast is larger than 200g)

4. Pepper chicken breast and sear on both sides (sear the joined side of the prosciutto first)

5. This is the point where you can set aside to cool a little and place in fridge for up to 24 hours (if you’re prepping in advance) just remember to allow for the cooking time.

OTHERWISE keep going with the following steps.

6. Bake in oven for approx. 45mins at 180 C (it may take longer if  the chicken breasts are on the larger side) as I am not a Chef I usually cut one of the breasts to make sure they are cooked through, another option is using a meat thermometer to check the temp, 74 degrees C is the minimum internal temperature recommended for cooked chicken breast see here.

7. Slice and serve with your choice of vegetables or salads, this time around I used a batch of my easy Stir Fried vegetables and I have shared my recipe below. I like to pop a drizzle of Caramelised Balsamic dressing over the sliced chicken, it gives a great balance to the flavours.

Until next time lovely ones…….

Zamamabakes

Mmmmmmmm it was almost 4 years ago now when this great little treasure of a dish crossed paths with me. You see I did a...

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A Long weekend To Treasure… Thank You Easter

Today has been a day of gentle winding down and catching up around the house after a big weekend of Easter and Birthday celebrations.

Weekends like this really make me stop and reflect how fortunate I am to be the Mummy member of my little family of 5. We have had a gorgeous break catching up with precious family, making new friends, celebrating 9th Birthdays picnicking & fishing (I caught a fish!!!), overindulging in chocolate and just having ‘time’ to appreciate everything that is good in life!

 

bunnnies

food

swimming

feta

Zapuppydog

Hot Cross Bun

Easter Morning

9th Birthday cake

birthday Boy

family

Fishing

beach footy

Paddock

Creek

My little family

arch

I hope the Easter weekend has brought all of you lots of love, hugs and treasured moments.

Until the next time,

Zamamabakes

Today has been a day of gentle winding down and catching up around the house after a big weekend of Easter and Birthday...

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Disney’s Frozen Easy Slab Birthday Cake

Hello gorgeous people and Happy Easter to you all!

I’ve just finished off my second slab Birthday Cake for the month, (April’s a busy, fun time in this house, our youngest and eldest have birthdays 2 weeks apart). Easter and 2 birthday’s in one month, Zakidlets are loving it!

I have always made Zakidlets Birthday cakes, just like my Mum always made mine (with the exception of one very memorable year when my Dad made me a netball girl cake from scratch), I loved their efforts and it’s left very warm memories in my heart, I hope I can do the same for my kidlets. There is just something extra special about creating a birthday cake for the little people in your life, a great sense of accomplishment especially when you see that little set of eyes light up as the cake is placed in sight.

As promised here is my ‘how to post’ on the ‘Frozen’ Birthday cake!  Just use this as a guide, you can adapt your cake theme to whatever suits the occasion and person you are making it for.

This is a great cake to start or continue your birthday cake baking adventures. I make no claims for being a pastry chef, cake decorator or gourmet chef, I’m just a Mummy on a journey, sharing some experiments and experiences for anyone who wants to see and maybe try for themselves.

Finished Frozen Cake

I made this cake for a certain little member of the family who turned 3 on April 6th. She’s a little ‘Frozen’ fan so it wasn’t too hard to work out which direction I should head in.  Usually we rely on the good old Australian Women’s Weekly children’s birthday cake cookbooks to provide us with our Birthday Cake options, but sometimes it’s fun to create outside the square and have an adventure.

I set about some searches on the fantastic Pinterest to see what inspiration/help I could find. I knew I didn’t want anything complicated.

On completing my groundwork I decided I would use 2 rectangular  butter cake slabs, join them with butter cream in the centre, then ice with butter cream all over, use some piped butter cream to fancy the edges up and purchase a few little extras for the finishing touches (a cake topper, sprinkles, Frozen figurines and some homemade bunting).

You will need:

A baking dish 24x36x6cm

4 quantities of butter cake mix. See here for the recipe.

5 quantities of Vienna (butter) cream icing. See here for the recipe.

Family Size Packet of M&m’s

Blue and white sprinkles (I found mine at Woolworths)

Disposable piping bag and nozzle (I purchased a disposable kit at Coles)

Blue food colouring

A Frozen Cake topper (I purchased here online)

Some frozen figurines (I purchased here online) the paint work on the figurines was a little dodgy (Ana had a little moustache, but for the price I paid I wasn’t disappointed).

2 skewers, string, letter stickers, card and ribbon to create the overhead bunting.

Blue and white sprinkles.

How to:

Preheat oven to 150 C

Grease and line the baking tin.

lining baking tin

Mix the 4 quantities of cake mix up. Depending on the size of your bowl/mix master you may need to mix them up individually or as 2 double quantities. you will be halving the complete mixture any way to give you your 2 slabs. I had only one baking tin this size so I had to bake the cakes individually.

mixing the batter

Spread 2 quantities of mixture into prepared tin. Bake in oven approx. 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, remove from oven let stand 5 mins then invert onto to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining 2 quantities of cake batter.

spread cake mixture in tin

I always like to make my cakes early and freeze ahead of time. Makes for less crumb during the icing process and less time consuming on the day of icing and decorating.

To freeze I wrap the cake in foil then wrap again with cling wrap as pictured.

freezing prep

I defrosted the cakes at room temperature the night before icing and decorating.

Decorating Process

Prepare the 5 Quantities of butter cream icing . Set aside 1/2 as plain white icing and tint the remaining 1/2 blue. It may be easier to prepare the mixtures seperatley if your mixing bowl is only small.

Prepare the cake board or plate you are presenting the cake on. I like to place a border of baking paper  like a drop sheet around the edges of the board/plate, helps to keep the visible area around the cake clean and presentable.

prep cake plate

Place the first cake in position and spread a layer of white butter cream approx 3mm thick on cake, evenly sprinkle M&m’s over the icing then spread another thin layer of icing over the M&m’s so you can place the 2nd cake slab on top.

Filling

Spread a thin layer of white icing all over your assembled double slab filling in any gaps at the sides (a bit like puttying up holes in walls).

You should end up with abut 2/3 cup of white butter cream icing remaining, set this aside for piping later. (I sat mine in the fridge as it was a hot day).

undercoated cake

Next take your bowl of blue tinted butter cream and spread all over the cake.

blue icing

To create a little bit of an icy edge I ran the back of a spoon in an upward motion over the icing on the sides. Apologies for the surface of my spoon, I should have polished it up for the pic. Carefully remove the border of baking paper.

spooning the edge

Spoon the remaining white butter cream icing into your piping bag I used the star shaped nozzle. You’ll find some handy tips here for piping. Pipe a border around the top and bottom edges of your cake.

Piping

The style of cake topper I chose to use is sensitive to moisture the manufacturer recommends applying it just a few hours prior to serving. I like to have the cake sorted and pretty much complete the day prior to the big day so I created a makeshift template from baking paper matching the size of the cake topper. This allowed me to do all the other bits of decorating around the area of where the cake topper would be positioned.

Template

Once all the icing was complete I put the cake in the fridge for 45 mins to set, once it was firm I covered it with a cotton tea towel to protect it from having its flavour tainted by other items in the fridge. I left it in the covered fridge overnight. The next morning I added all the bits and pieces required to finish off the cake.

Finished Frozen Cake

When the cake was cut there was the added surprise of the M&m’s in the middle which proved to be a great hit with both young and old.

Surprise M&m's

The result was one very happy little Birthday girl, what more could a Mummy ask for?

Birthday girl

For the record the cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

May this post find you well and happy on this Easter long weekend. Be sure to make every moment count with friends and loved ones, hug them, look them in the eye and tell them how much they mean to you, you can never love and care for someone too much!

Speaking of making moments count Blake is 9 today! He has requested that we go fishing, so we are off on a family picnic with Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and fishing lines as well as a freshly made Slab Motorbike Birthday cake! I’ll  be sure to share some pictures soon.

Have a beautiful day!

Until then my lovelies,

Zamamabakes

Hello gorgeous people and Happy Easter to you all! I've just finished off my second slab Birthday Cake for the month, (A...

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