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Posts Tagged ‘housekeeping’

Warning: There is a confession at the end of this post.

I had never made a carrot cake up until recently. I always thought there was a token gesture of carrots in a carrot cake, but was amazed to discover that this cake has five whole carrots in it! That’s no token gesture…that’s dinner. This is the tastiest, most moist, addictively delicious cake I have ever made. It was so good I made a second one a few days later…which turned out just as great.
Here is the recipe, from Donna Hay’s website:

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  •  1¼ cups (220g) brown sugar
  •  ¾ cup (185ml) vegetable oil
  •  3 eggs
  •  1½ cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  •  1½ teaspoons baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  ½ teaspoon ground ginger (see my confession below)
  •  2½ cups grated carrot (about 5 carrots)
  •  ½ cup (60g) chopped pecan nuts (I didn’t include these)
  •  ½ cup (80g) sultanas (I didn’t include these)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  •  250g cream cheese, softened
  •  ⅓ cup (110g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  •  1½ tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

Place the sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2–3 minutes.

Add the eggs gradually and beat well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger over the sugar mixture.

Add the carrot, pecans and sultanas and mix until just combined.

Pour into a greased 22cm-round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 55–60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Cool in tin.

For the cream cheese frosting, process the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth.

Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and process until smooth.

Spread frosting on the cooled cake.

Serves 8.

Confession time

Now…cough…this is the part of the post where I must make a small confession. When I made this cake, I kinda made a little mistake. I used ground coriander instead of ground ginger. Both times. The two jars looked so similar except that a few days later I realised the ground ginger still had its seal on it! Now it may sound crazy…but this was cake was un-freaking-believable with ground coriander. And hopefully there is some foodie out there that can explain to me why these flavours worked so well. So while I can completely vouch for this cake with ground coriander…I have yet to make it with ground ginger.

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At the risk of sounding like a crazy Lego lady, here is another Lego-related post which will appeal to those people that love to organise.

Since the Lego revolution took off at our place we’ve been keeping all our Lego in one big ol’ plastic tub. This was causing my husband and son no end of frustration as it would take them forever to find an elusive piece lurking in the nook of another piece. I googled Lego storage and was amazed by the number of people who were obsessed with finding the perfect sorting and storage system. I was most inspired by Jen over at I Heart Organising. She uses the Ikea Trofast system for sorting and storing their Lego pieces. I decided to use the Trofast storage system, but with different labels aimed at a younger child. I wanted visual, easily-identifiable labels so that my 3-yeard old could be responsible for sorting and packing away his own Lego.

So here goes:

You will need

2 x white Ikea Trofast frames + 12 small Trofast storage drawers with lids.

Cutting board, ruler and stanley knife/scissors.

Small roll of contact paper.

Assorted paint chips from a hardware store in the colour of your Lego pieces.

A colour print-out with 2 x Lego logos and imagery of lego accessories (my printable here).

A small white label with the word Instructions printed on it.

Instructions

1. Assemble Trofast frames and wipe clean the exterior surface of storage drawers with a damp cloth and dry (this will assist with contact paper adhering to the surface.

2. Decide how you would like to categorise your Lego collection. We sorted into Baseplates, Instructions, Minifigures + Accessories, Wheels + Vehicle Windows, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, White, Grey, Black and Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces.

3. Source Lego logo + label imagery and insert onto an A4 sheet for colour printing (or use Lego Organisation Labels). I sized and cropped my Lego logos to approx 9 x 5cms and the drawer panels to approx 10 x 6cms. You will also need a separate written label for the Instructions drawer.

4. Using a cutting board and ruler, cut the logos, colour paint chips and imagery to size.

5. For the drawer with the Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces I cut colour paint chips to size and then divided them into four and stuck a piece from each colour together with tape before placing onto contact paper.

6. Cut pieces of contact paper into rectangular panels slighter larger in size to the colour panel. My contact panels were approximately half a centimetre larger than the colour panel around the diameter.

7. Peel off contact backing and carefully place paper labels onto sticky side, then adhere labels onto the drawers.

8. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!
Oh and it also creates a handy little display for all those wonderful Lego creations.

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Peak Hour [pēk ou-er]

n.

1. The period of the day during which family activity in the home is at its highest, children are at their neediest and parenting stamina is at its lowest.

Peak hour in our house is usually between the hours of 5pm – 7pm. It’s a period of heightened activity when multiple meals are prepared and served, eating is supervised, food messes are cleaned, baths are run, children are washed, teeth are brushed, protesting bodies are dried, pyjamas are sourced, children are dressed, hair is combed, beds are prepared, books are read and endless negotiation over lights out and sleep.

Each day when the clock ticks over to 5:00pm I have a moment of pre-emptive exhaustion. It is incomprehensible that we will survive the next few hours.

To my ongoing amazement, we always do.

Then after that last protest is heard and silence finally descends upon the house, all the things I have been adding to my ‘after the children are asleep’ mental to-do list throughout the day, just dissipate with exhaustion.

Peak hour is hardcore. It’s for people with nerves of steel.

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