Wednesday, February 29, 2012


OK, this is not something I would usually do and I know I said I wouldn't...but... I'm going to ask you to vote for me...


Because the prize for the Most Fascinating Blog - Librarian category, is a $200 restaurant voucher and, should I win, I can then pass it on to one of you.

The voucher, from what I understand, is only valid in North America, so I figure instead of sending it to one of my friends in the US, I'll use it as a giveaway here...

What do you think?

There are 93 nominees in all and all you have to do is click on the "Fascinating Blogger" award on the right hand side of this page and it will take you to the section where you can vote.

Just scroll down the page until you find me and then closes on 6th March.

Let's see how we go huh? It'd be pretty funny if a non-librarian blog won the Librarian category.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The fumbles

It really hasn't been my week...

First the brown sugar, then the cream cheese....

Now the's OK, I didn't cry

Monday, February 27, 2012

Seriously good!

I mean it. This plum cake is so good I can't begin to describe how delish it is.

It's another delight from Valli Little in Delicious Magazine

When I started making it I thought it was going to be a little involved and maybe not worth the effort...I. WAS. WRONG!

You need
250gr cream cheese at room temperature
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup (55gr) caster sugar
4 eggs
175gr softened unsalted butter
175gr brown sugar
200gr self-raising flour-sifted
400gr plums, sliced with stones removes
Icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 180 c and grease and line a 24x24 cake pan or 28x18 lamington tray.
In a mixing bowl add cream cheese, caster sugar, vanilla and 1 eggs and beat 2 to 3 minutes until smooth.

Place butter, brown sugar, flour and the other 3 eggs in a clean bowl and beat until creamy.
Spread half the flour mixture in the bottom of the cake pan, then half the cream cheese mix and swirl it around a little so they meld together, then top with half the plums.

Repeat that process with the flour mix, cream cheese mix and plums and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked in the middle.

This is not only a great cake for afternoon tea but also a great dessert cake/slice. Valli included a white chocolate custard with this, but that doesn't do it for me to be honest, a little too sweet, so I went with cream and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

When baking this I put it in for 40 minutes then tested it with a needed the 45 minutes.

I really hope you like this. It's not too sweet, just a little tart with these luscious plums....and I'm sure other fruits could be used if plums are not in season. Berries maybe?...apricots...I guess the options could be endless.

Right, well I'm off to have a piece with my morning coffee.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Not. My. Day.

Despite the heat in Melbourne today, I spent the afternoon in the kitchen trying out a new recipe for a delicious cake. I'll post the recipe tomorrow because, if I say so myself, it is a beauty!!!!

But the day didn't start well...

I had the fumbles and dropsies!.

...and things just kept ending up on the floor.

The cake though. Oh the cake...

It is a plum cake and it is one of the yummiest I've ever made.

The recipe to come tomorrow, after I've cleaned up my mess

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Not sure who or why really...but I got an email today about being nominated for this award

I'm guessing I'm not alone though

So...whoever nominated me. THANKS, but I think you got the wrong girl.

It's an award for blogs that have a lot to do with teachers and libraries. That 'aint me.

They also sent a little jigger so you could vote for me...that won't be going on here....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fig and Raspberry slice

I've posted the recipe for this over here.

It's an old Weight Watchers recipe that's nice and easy and isn't too sweet. It goes nicely with a cuppa in the afternoon, or even a small piece for breakfast with a good coffee, if you are so inclined

Fig and Raspberry Slice. Enjoy

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day?

We don't do Valentines Day at Number 10

MONT refuses to get caught up in the commercialisation of it all, but he's just as likely to come home with a gorgeous bunch of flowers next week...and the week after, so I can't complain

So no pretty pictures of red hearts today...

Or red roses or other so called romantic things

Instead, I give you one of our girls, in all her glory

I don't know what it is about her but she just seems to think sleeping on her back is the way to go.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I've been feeling a bit "sluggish" over the past couple of months. I haven't been exercising as much as usual - read: at all - and I've been eating a bit too much

Then the other night I got motivated. On late night TV, there was a documentary called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". It was a film made by Australian, Joe Cross, who decided it was time he got healthy, so started a trek across America drinking nothing but vegetable and fruit juice. For 60 days. You can read about him here

I was impressed with his determination, not to mention his ability to have nothing but juice for that 2 months. But by the end of the journey he'd not only inspired many others to join him, but had regained his health. His illnesses had disappeared, he was off medication, he had the energy to start exercising again and he'd lost a lot of weight. I thought great idea!

Not for 60 days, but for 5 to start off with. So that's what today is. Day one of my juicing mission.

I've got an old juicer that I've had for about 20 years and it still works fine. I bought some extra fruit and veggies and I started juicing.

My first concoction consisted of: carrot, celery, apple and cucumber . It was a rainbow and it was delicious

There's a lot of the pulp left over...

So that all went to the chooks.

This afternoon I'm adding some orange and cantaloupe to the mix ...and tonight for dinner, I'm making a pumpkin and cauliflower soup. Yes, I'll be cooking that one, pumpkin juice just doesn't do it for me

There's nothing hard about this because the juice is really delicious. We'll see how I go after five days though. Hopefully the spring in my step will be back and I'll be motivated to start exercising again.

This post is my own opinion and is not sponsored

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tomatoes - slow roasted

Remember these from a few days ago?

Well, I turned them into these beauties...

Preheat oven to 100 degrees, cut tomatoes in half, place on a lined baking tray, season with freshly ground pepper and salt, drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for about 2 and a half hours.

That's it


They still turn out very moist and juicy, so if you want them to be a little "drier" then turn up the heat to about 150 degrees, but remember to check on them every hour, just to make sure they're OK.

I've also posted the recipe over here

Monday, February 6, 2012

You want me to do what?

I've become a little puzzled over the past few years about the way some organisations go about raising money

A few years back, the football club MONT follows engaged an organisation to help it raise funds...they had people approach you while walking into the stadium to sell you a raffle ticket....but when I asked what the money was going towards I was told it was the players' end of season football trip! Now I don't mind helping people out...but many of them earn more than 10 times what I do, so that was a NO.

Then a little while back I answered a knock on the door to a really nice girl raising money for Medisan Sans Frontier (Doctors Without Borders) It's a wonderful organisation and so I went to get my purse, but was stopped short and told she couldn't take cash, but that I had to "sign up" and give them my credit card details to have money deducted from my account each month. Ummm that would be a no, thank you

The other day, another person came to the door looking for a similar style of "giving". I had to hand over my credit card details to not just donate, but become a "sponsor"... At the supermarket recently, the Paralympic movement won't take small change donations, they have a system where it's a minimum amount and yes, they'd like you to hand over your card details.

I was telling a work colleague about these incidents and he relayed a similar experience. He was approached, outside a supermarket by people raising funds for Surf Life Savers...again, another great organisation, but when he offered them $5, they said no, it was a $10 minimum!

The other day I took a phone call for MONT while he was driving, it was the football club again...wanting us to help out "our boys". Thanks but no-thanks.

Is it just me or is this the way of the world now? Organisations dictationg how much and how often you "give"

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Apricot Walnut Shortcake Slice

Time for a recipe.....using one of my favourite stone fruits - Apricots.

When I was working, I had apricots with yogurt, every morning at my desk. It was my breakfast ritual....Having them that way at home isn't the same, so this is a good alternative

I haven't made this for ages but thought it was time this weekend.
I first saw the recipe on the back of a can of apricots and gave it a go...and loved it

You need

1 x 410gr can bakers apricot halves (no added sugar)
125gr softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
slurp of vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup walnuts
extra 2 tablespoons sugar

Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line it with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180 deg (fan forced)

Cream the butter and sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the flour, half a cup at a time. The mix will be quite dry. Spoon it into the cake tin and smooth the top. Spoon the apricots on top and then sprinkle with the extra sugar and the walnuts. Unfortunately, I didn't have a full cup of walnuts. Pity because they make it extra delicious....but if you don't like nuts you don't have to use them.

Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 25 minutes.

Let it cool and eat....even for breakfast, which I did this morning with a cup of coffee.

The recipe's also on the back of the can

Easy and delicious

Friday, February 3, 2012


Have you ever seen a critter so comfy and relaxed?

He took exactly 1 minute to get back into the swing of things when I returned home from the beach

She was right behind him...

But he really just kicks back and goes for broke

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

They that go down to the sea in ships

...well, boats in our neck of the woods...

MONT's still away for a few days....and he's not looking forward to coming home.  He loves his annual holiday and the chance to fish.

 We really are close to the beach

You have to be careful though...these guys are always hovering, looking for a feed.

Maybe it's squidding today

I can't think of a better lunch or dinner than freshly caught squid cooked in a little oil with garlic and a squeeze of lemon.