Friday, April 30, 2010

A Giveaway!

Harrysdesk has turned 1 yr old and is having a giveaway. To go in the draw to win one of Ally's bags click on the image above to go to her blog and follow her instructions to leave a comment.

My Clever Husband

Have I told you how clever I think my husband is. This morning I went out for a massage, I have had a migraine this week and the doctor suggested a massage to help. When I came back home hubby had made this icon thingy on my sidebar that when I put in a new recipe of the week it will be filed over there and you can click on it to just see my recipes. I'm glad he is around because my technology skills are pretty sparse and not much would happen here if he didn't help.

So click over on the sidebar to find all of my recipes.


Just so you know I am feeling a little better after the massage, my vision has returned to normal which is a huge plus and my head is not pounding. And the bonus is I get to go back in a week for another massage.

Finki Design Challenge

Ally from Harrysdesk pointed out in her post here that..Jay from Finki has set up a Monthly Design Challenge. I am so super excited about this, and since it is the end of April I thought I might sneak in and submit Lily's party skirts for this months theme "Music and Dance".

Now I know that the skirts don't include any reference directly to Music and Dance, but Lily wanted me to make these for dancing at her party to loud music.

Thanks Ally for the tip off!

Drop over to Finki to find out what next months challenge will be!!!! I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lily's 4th Birthday

Yesterday our little girl turned 4!!!

Happy Birthday Lily, we love you so much. Words cannot express how much we love having you in our family.

Here are some pic's from her party and birthday day.The party skirts - Lily is not meant to eat much sugar so I made these instead of lolly bags. The word was that everyone loved them. I really enjoyed making these.

The Birthday Lily's instructions....must be a fairy!

And the birthday girl!

Lily received some awesome presents which I will post about later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Congratulations Jess and Simon - Recipe of the Week

A few weeks ago my brother-in-law Simon announced his engagement to Jess. We are all so excited about their proposed marriage and welcoming Jess into the family. This past weekend we got to celebrate with them.

I wanted to share a recipe this week that I used to make their cake. It is from The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander - which is one of my favorite cookbooks. I have to say I didn't follow her method because it did not work with the bowls etc they way she suggested so I will post my method and let me know if you have a better suggestion.

Marieka's Chocolate Cake

150g bittersweet chocolate grated
150g ground almonds
130g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
7 egg yolks
9 egg whites

Chocolate Ganache
375g bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 cup cream

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Butter a 20 cm cake tin - I used a square but they suggest a round one - and line with baking paper.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, them transfer into a clean bowl and set aside.
  • Cream Butter and sugar till pale in the mix master.
  • Melt chocolate in the microwave for approx. 1 minute, stir every 20 seconds. Stir in the almonds.
  • Add the chocolate mix to the creamed butter and sugar. Combine on a low setting in the mix master.
  • Add egg yolks one at a time until all combined.
  • Fold through egg whites till all combined - my mix master has a folding setting otherwise you may need to do this by hand.

  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-60 mins. Cool in the tin before turning out.
Chocolate Ganache

  • Put the chocolate and cream into a saucepan, over a low heat cook till all melted and combined.
  • Transfer to the mix master and whip till creamy and cool.
  • Pour over cake....
  • Serve either straight away, or wait till ganache is set.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Future Proofing for Mums

Jenny from "No reading at the breakfast table" has written this post "future proofing for mums that struck a chord with me today.

I usually sit down every Sunday night and plan my week out. This includes meals to cook, where and when the kids need to be, how much help I need to ask get the picture. Well being the first week of term and being a bit of an unusual week with non-usual outings and things to do, I should have planned extra hard ... Well I haven't we have had some tense times here in our home this week.

I think my two major bloopers this week include not taking any food to the older two's swimming lesson for our 1 yr old or for the peak hour traffic drive home and not thinking about 6 yr olds news day, yesterday which led to a major major melt down. For the first time ever I sent him to class in tears and terribly worried (yes I was feeling like the worst mother). Luckily everything worked out his teacher is really sweet and attentive and he went off to school today with news in hand.

I also forgot to cook dinner when I knew we weren't going to be home until 6pm one night (we can't buy takeaway from anywhere because of all the allergies), had our 1 yr old have 2 nasty falls one which led to mild concussion, several trips to the super market because I didn't write a shopping note the first time and tried to shop on a Sunday which no one should do (they are all crazy on Sundays) and I think I have left some out but am still recovering...

We are staying home today to recoup, write some lists and plan plan plan

Pop over to Jenny's blog and add any suggestions that you have for staying sane with little ones by your side.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Calling all Gluten-Free Vegetarians

I have spoken about our diet restrictions before, we have to cater for Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, No- seafood and no preservatives / chemicals. If you have something that you cook that you think I might like to try send me an email to laura (at) lilyandme (dot) com (dot) au

I would love to try your dish.

My friend Mandy has sent me this recipe which we will try this week. Thanks for sharing Mandy.

Pumpkin Polenta with spinach and chickpeas
Serves 4

2 cups polenta
4 cups vegetable stock (I use massel)
2 cups chopped pumpkin (1.5 cm squares)
1 cup non-fat buttermilk (or skim milk)
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 sprinkle of pepper
1 sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tin chickpeas
1 packet frozen spinach

Add chopped pumpkin, polenta and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally (watch for spitting). Add buttermilk and the grated cheese. Lower heat and stir continuously for about 5 minutes. Add all spices (except cinnamon) and cook for another 5 mins. Next, add spinach, cinnamon and chickpeas, cooking for a final 5 minutes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hairclip Swap Extended

I am just learning about this whole world of Blogging, how fast some things travel and also how slow some things can be. A few of you have suggested that I extend the time for the Hair clip swap so I have moved the date to a month later:

Enter by Monday 31st May and put your clips in the post by the Friday 4th June, I will send you your swap partners details on the Tuesday of that week.

Happy Creating Everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Giveaway!

Would you like one of these creations from Cubbyhouse. I am starting to think up cycling is contagious. I love the use of the jeans in such a useful and creative way, and the super-cute trimmings. Just pop over to their blog and leave a comment for your chance to win.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lily & Me Hair Clip Swap

This week I stumbled across this blog, Foxs Lane. I went on my merry way filling in my details to take part in her Pincushion Swap, because I was so super excited about the possibility of learning how to make a pincushion and most definitely excited about receiving one that was much better than anything that I could make. I completed all of my details and even sent it to a friend and once I pushed the submit button realised that the swap closed a month earlier. I must note for the future to read all fine print - but in my case all print written in capital letters across the page!

This did get me thinking though, and very excited about holding my own Hair clip swap. So after a little encouragement from my friend (yes the one who I sent the pincushion details to) I want to invite you all to take part in the first Lily & Me Hair clip Swap.

What do you do?

Each participant will make one Hair clip for their swap partner.

The Hair clip can be made any way that you want, the more beautiful and eye catching the better.

If this Hair clip swap appeals to you, please leave me a comment on this post.

After you have left me a comment, please write me an email to laura (at) lilyandme (dot) com (dot) au and let me know;
  1. your postal address.
  2. Your blog address if you have on
Just to make it clear, I need you to comment AND email me. That way I will have all of your details and am less likely to leave you out.

Please enter by Monday night 31st May, and all of your entries should be in the post by the end of that week ending the 4th June. Please note the changed date!!!

I will email everyone with your swap partners details on Tuesday 1st May so you can post away!

I would love to receive a photo of your swaps so I can display them here on my blog. Please note I will not post your email or postal address here on my blog, but please let me know if you have a blog and would like it displayed here.

I look forward to seeing all of your creations..

Boys and Girls

Today we were blessed to have "V" our 6 nearly 7yr old friend come to play. I have posted before about the differences between my boys and girl and wow did that show itself today. We were planting some bean and basil seeds and "V" all of a sudden let out this gigantic scream and ran around the yard as if the sky was falling. I went to check out this outburst and she flicked this caterpillar across the yard. Well my 6 yr old boy ran in excitement and rescued the little caterpillar and proceeded to make a Lego house for it and carried it around for the next few hours. "V" finally came around to the excitement of finding this creature and helped with the caring of it.

I have only seen this reaction from I wrong?maybe...I am seeing some truth in these 'stereotypes'.

Thanks for coming to play today "V" and sharing and caring for our little slice of nature.

Recipe of the Week

The Very Simple not so pretty but always eaten quickly
Llewellyn's Favorite Meatballs

1kg Premium Beef Mince
2 large spoon fulls of rice flour

  1. Put mince and flour into mix master
  2. Mix until all combined
  3. Roll into small balls
  4. Place onto a greased baking tray
  5. Bake for approx 25 mins at 180 degrees
  6. Serve with steamed veggies and mashed potato, or gluten free pasta

Sunday, April 11, 2010


On holidays we stayed in some friends house and my kids pulled out everything from everywhere. Sorry about this... but the bonus was I discovered J's "Frankie" magazines. I might be living in a time warp or something but have never seen these before and loved everything of the copies I read. So off I went last night and got my own latest copy. If you live in a time warp like me and have no idea what this mag includes.. check out their website for more details.

Blackheath Holiday 2010

We have just spent a lovely 5 days holiday away in Blackheath. Here are some pictures of what we have been up to.

This is an amazing lookout, actually a block of land where a house burnt down at the end of a street in Blackheath - we ran into it when we took a wrong turn. The kids had a great time throwing bits and pieces from the burnt house into the bush, and climbing all over it. By the time we left the whole gully was covered in fog.

Govetts Leap in Blackheath

Mt Victoria & District Historical Society Museum. I was surprised how much the kids enjoyed this visit. They really liked looking at all of the old things including a kitchen, tools, bikes, an old school room and a lot more. The entry to this museum is $3 for adults and 50 cents for kids over 5.

Me on the Zig Zag Railway... This was the highlight of our trip!!! It was noisy, smelly, hot and the kids loved it. This was a great opportunity to talk about how people used to travel, and how long it would take to get anywhere.. and I complain about the train to the city. We are still laughing about Jethro's reaction which kept switching between "freaking out" and laughing hysterically about being on the choo choo.

At the bottom of the zig zag the train stops to change the engine's direction so we quickly went to the train fixing shed and found Thomas..

A bonus for this day out was when we ran into some new friends who are studying at Moore College with their 3 kids. We got to sit and hang out after the trip to catch up and let the kids play.

Climbing the rocks at the Three Sisters in Katoomba

Walls Cave Track - Our first family bush walk.This walk is in Blackheath and should take approx. 1 hr and is a medium grade walk. I only walked down about 60 steps with Jethro but Rob took the big two down a little further and they found this huge ants nest. I think they are trying to look like they have been attacked. Pity there were not any ants in sight.

No pics for this but we stopped off and had lunch on the way home with our friends from church who live in the mountains. Thanks for having us L and J.. Your kids looked after ours wonderfully, they can't stop talking about your chickens and the club house!

I think you can tell us Llewellyn's love holidays. And yes we do lots of sleeping and TV watching too.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Generation Recipes

Today I had the pleasure of a visit from my Mum, Grandma, Sister and niece. It was a great time of catching up, kids playing and cooking with my Grandma. A few years ago Grandma showed me how to make toffee. She says that her mum could only cook two things but did them both well and that was toffee and soup. She told me today that she remembers her mum clearly getting upset when other mothers sent burnt or "stick-jaw" toffee along to school fetes. Obviously she had a lot of practice at this.

Toffee is a great thing to be able to make for a few reasons including the price (is very cheap) and although it is a sweet it doesn't have any nasty ingredients added. Before Grandma shared her method with me I had tried numerous times from a cookbook and from my experience can say that this is one recipe that you need to learn from someone with a bit of experience. Unfortunately there is no "scratch and sniff" application on the Internet, but I hope the pictures are helpful.

"Toffee - My Grandma's Mum's Recipe"

Turn the hot plate onto high and add 2 cups sugar - spread this over the bottom of a large soup pot.

Dollop in 2 large desert spoons of golden syrup

Add 2 desert spoons of butter

Add 2 desert spoons of vinegar

Enough water to wet the sugar but not all of the sugar, don't put the pot under the tap, get a cup measure and add gradually - sorry no picture for this.

Let mixture come to the boil and let boil until it smells like butterscotch but not burning. Do not stir the mixture at any time!!!!! And do not go away from the stove at all!!!!Watch like crazy.....

Get ready to move fast now.

To test if mixture is ready have a glass of water and a teaspoon ready. When you think it is right take a small amount from the pot and drop it into the water. When it is ready the toffee will snap when taken out of the water. Test again until ready.

When you think it is ready pour the mixture quickly into two lined slice tins and let cool. When cool tip out of the pan, this may need a bit of persuasion, and break into pieces. ENJOY!

If you did not cook the toffee for long enough toffee will be chewy and if you went too long it will have a burnt flavor. If it didn't work this first time try and try again.

For a bit of variation to this recipe you could add nuts, sprinkle with coconut or hundreds and thousands.

Thank you so much Grandma for sharing this with me..We love you!

If you have any recipes that have been passed down through your family. I would love to hear from you. Send me an email or comment, and pictures are always a plus.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I have been on the look-out for a great way to share what books we are reading here in the Llewellyn house. I have found this widget , which I found at Cath's blog called Shelfari. To add it to your page click on the "Add your own shelf" from my side bar and follow the instructions.