Victoria Sponge Bites

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I adapted a recipe for a large Victoria Sponge to make 24 muffin-sized cakes. Once they cooled down I split them in half to serve them with raspberry jam and cream.

The plate in the picture is one of Nanna J’s. (Notice the chip? She was known for breaking dishes…)

1 Cup caster sugar

200gm butter, softened

4 large eggs

1 1/2 Cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons milk

Raspberry jam and whipped cream

Heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Mix all ingredients using an electric mixer, then drop the batter into paper muffin pans.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The cakes are cooked when they spring back when touched gently on top.

Cool the cakes for a minute, then move to a rack to cool.

Once cooled, cut them in half and serve with jam and cream.

The recipe said these would keep for two days, but ours didn’t last that long!

 

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Fried Beef Noodles

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2 Packets of wholegrain Beef Two Minute Noodles

2 Teaspoons olive oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

200gm beef rump, thinly sliced

1 onion

2 teaspoons garlic

1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin rounds (I cut these into matches when I made the recipe, but found that too time-consuming and wouldn’t do it again).

2 Cups frozen peas

1 Tablespoon Maggi original seasoning sauce

3 spring onions, chopped

Cook the noodles, add the flavour sachet, then drain and set aside.

Heat the oil and cook the egg, remove from heat and slice thinly.

Cook beef, then add the onion, garlic and cook until soft, then add the peas, carrots and seasoning and cook until soft.

Stir in the noodles and egg, serve once heated through.

 

 

Mexican Vegetable Noodles

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Mexican Vegetable Noodles is quick, easy and makes enough for leftovers.

2 packets of chicken wholegrain noodles, cooked and drained.

Packet of chilli con carne seasoning

1 zucchini, diced

1 carrot, grated

1 onion, diced

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 cup grated cheese.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a deep baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all of the ingredients except the cheese together and press into the baking tray. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for twenty minutes or until the cheese is golden.

 

 

Rockabilly Rats, Tatts n’ Pin-ups Corio 2018

 

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It’s spring, which means that it is Hot Rod season again!

Rats, Tatts N’ Pinups 2018 was on recently at the Gateway Hotel in Corio. Thanks again to Kingpin Kustoms for putting on another terrific day.

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The pair of Holden’s (used to be) as Australian as they make them…

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This beautiful coupe recently graced the cover of Cruizin’ magazine.

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Love the old Kingswood.

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It was a beautiful day for those who came on bikes.

Pablo’s Coach Builders.

Flames.

Pinups.

We didn’t see a great deal of the bands, but there was something for everyone with a ZZ Top tribute band, a KISS tribute band and rockabilly favourites, Rosie and the Top Cats.

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For a gold coin donation to charity, Rats, Tatts, ‘N Pinups is a great day out.

 

 

 

Bradmill Factory Yarraville Melbourne

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Miss S is on school holidays and is mad for abandoned places, which meant that He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers needed to come up with an adventure.

He surprised us with a visit to the old Bradmill Denim Factory at Yarraville, which operated from 1927 until 2002.

Melbourne is known for its graffiti, but this place is extraordinary.

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Inside the old saw-toothed buildings there is an art gallery.

Inside the old boiler house is creepy. Pigeons flapping their wings made me jump more than once.

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The graffiti in the boiler house was a different style to that in the saw-tooth buildings, but just as amazing.

The Tintin in the photo below right is a mosaic.

Some of the larger equipment and infrastructure is still in place.

My knees are still shaking from the climb to the top.

Some teenagers who were also wandering around taking photos told me that you could climb up to the top of the boiler house via the old conveyer belt structure, but I didn’t fancy it…

 

img_2682.jpgThe buildings are to be demolished to make way for a housing estate.

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Melbourne in Spring

I walk most lunchtimes. Melbourne is a beautiful city for walkers with loads of parks around the CBD fringes and walking paths along the Yarra River.

The following photos are from a walk I took one lunchtime last week along the Yarra. The weather was typical for Melbourne in spring, around 20 degrees Celsius, with a slight breeze. It rained a little, then the sun came out. The saying is in Melbourne that if you don’t like our weather, just wait a minute!

The photo below is from the Swan Street Bridge looking back towards the CBD.

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I’ve been watching the nesting swan in the photos below for a few weeks. The bridge in the background is the Princes Bridge.

The view in the photo below left is from the Princes Bridge, looking across Federation Square, and the photo below right is looking down the Yarra River to the MCG. The boathouses on the right side of the photo belong to various rowing clubs.

The photo below is looking back at the Princes Bridge from Princes Walk. The Art Centre spire is in the background.

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Further along Princes Walk. The thing in the river is to catch rubbish and debris.

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No one knows what the massive three-legged mosaic sculpture on Birrarung Marr is all about, but we like it. It is called Angel and is by Deborah Halpern. I believe the name Birrarung Marr means ‘beside the river’.

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Flowering gum. My favourite.

 

 

Pear Jam

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I’ve gone mad for Pear Jam lately. A friend recently brought me back a bottle from her travels to Adelaide and I ate it off the spoon until it was gone, then Hunny-Bunny, who lives in Adelaide, brought me some more. As it is an eight or nine hour drive from Melbourne to Adelaide this became unsustainable and so I needed to find a new source of Pear Jam…

I bought some Packham pears and looked up recipes on the internet while the pears ripened. The first time I made Pear Jam, I boiled it too long and the results were more like a toffee than a jam. It was delicious, but unspreadable. I ate it all, spoonful by sticky spoonful, then bought more pears, messed around with the recipe and tried again. Success!

15 pears (approximately 1.75 kg) peeled and chopped.

1.5 kg sugar

juice of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (the top came off my bottle of cinnamon and I think about three teaspoons of cinnamon went in. It tasted good, but I would put less in next time).

Peel and chop the pears. Put them into a bowl of water with some lemon juice while peeling the rest so they don’t go brown. Pears are slippery little buggers to peel and this part took me ages to do.

Dump the pears, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with a couple of centimetres of water into a large pot. Dissolve the sugar then boil until it sets. (I read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens while I stirred the boiling jam).

Once the jam is ready (test small amounts on a plate by pushing it around with a teaspoon to check if it seems likely to set – best bit, you get to do taste tests) then when ready, pour into sterilised jars using a funnel. I got six big jars of jam and a lovey, sticky pot to scrape out.

Hot Cross Buns with Gelato

Happy Easter, everyone!

Messina Hot Cross Buns with Gelato are the most craved food in Melbourne at Easter and I was lucky enough to try one at work this week!

My Hot Cross Bun was chocolate and walnut, with salted caramel gelato. Words cannot express just how good it was…

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Cherry Pie

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Cherry Pie is one of Mum’s recipes and it is one of those terrific things to make when you have nothing nice in the cupboard to eat.

1 Cup plain flour

1/2 sugar

100gm butter

Jam (I used cherry)

Melt butter and mix into the flour and sugar. Press into a small pie dish. Leave a small amount of pastry.

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Spread the jam over the pastry, then sprinkle the leftover crumbs over the top.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

 

 

 

 

 

Snickerdoodles

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Miss S and I went shopping recently and stopped for sustenance at a Mrs Fields Cookie outlet. It is a well known fact that I intensely dislike shopping and go as infrequently as I can get away with, but I don’t complain as much if there is a food treat somewhere during the excursion.

Anyway, we tried a mixture of cookies, including Snickerdoodles. I liked them enough to find a recipe and make them as soon as we got home. Next time I make this recipe though, I will leave out the nutmeg as it was slightly overpowering.

125gm butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 and 1/3 Cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon caster sugar (extra)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the butter, vanilla extract and sugar, then lightly beat the egg into the mixture.

Stir in the flour, bi-carb soda and nutmeg (if you’re using this). Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the extra sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl.

Roll teaspoons of mixture onto a ball, then roll in the cinnamon mixture to completely cover the balls. Spread the balls on an oven tray (don’t forget, baking paper is your best friend when it comes to washing up afterwards) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

Cool the biscuits on the tray.

Mrs Fields Cookies are lovely, but can someone who likes shopping please bring me some back next time they go?