Friday, 29 May 2009

Return of the Dinobics

I got some requests for the dinobic recipe so here it is (it's from the very excellent website). It also works well with non dinosaur shaped cutters. We took some to a (kids) birthday party recently, but instead of dinosaurs we took crocbics. Just add a gazillion drops of green food colouring to the mixture and off you go. This works well as a deterrent to little people who like to steal biscuit dough. Jack wouldn't eat it because he thought it was some sort of weird mushy pea concoction. The heads are still the most popular part. I kept on seeing decapitated crocodiles everywhere that day. Oh the humanity....

Dinobics butter biscuits

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups (260g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (50g) cornflour
  • Decoration

  • Coloured cachou
  • Hundreds and thousands
  • Halved glace cherries
  • Icing
  • Sifted icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Using electric beaters, cream butter, sugar and vanilla on high speed until light and creamy. Beat in egg yolk. Beat in flour and cornflour on low speed until a smooth dough forms. Gently knead on a lightly floured surface. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. Roll out dough between sheets of non-stick baking paper until 5mm thick. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Cut out different shapes from dough using 6-7cm cookie cutters. Re-roll any leftover dough and repeat. Place biscuits on baking trays, leaving about 5cm between each. Bake for 12 minutes or until pale golden. Remove from oven, cool on tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate biscuits with icing or dust with icing sugar.

Star boarders

We have visitors this week. Tom and Tiger have come to stay and apparently they don't eat much. I'm going to keep the gate to the 'garden' shut just in case. That does mean that they won't have access to the rosemary, which is a shame. We think there'd be a big market for rosemary infused lamb.

Jack wasn't sure about our guests even though he has met Tiger before, but when it came to feeding Tom he overcame his fear and held his bottle.For anyone who thinks these photos are cute, have a look at the latest youtube vid. Just click on the video bar on the left (top pic) or go to this address

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Dinobics Grrrr!

Another great find when we were in Sydney were these dinosaur biscuit cutters. We got a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops (my favourite) and a Brontosaurus (if you are old school) or Diplodocus (if you are not). These have been a HUGE hit and Jack and I have made several batches that have turned out really well (and tasty).
Jack likes to put the eyes on (very delicate work) but his favourite part is when he gets to bite the head off.
He also now knows which ones are the triceratops, he calls them tops and they are, and rex but we're still working on the other one.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

tea for two (again)

The lovely thing about our visit was that Jack and Scarlet got to spend some quality time drinking tea together and playing after the play. Very cute and too good a photo opportunity to pass up.

Another mela mosman makeover

A highlight of our visit was a return trip to my mother's favourite shop in Mosman to jazz up my wardrobe (and then some). The amazing Ann once again swooped in with much panache, an armful of clothes and some very definite ideas about how they should be worn. We were joined by another lady in the change rooms from Illabo, which is (of course) just down the road from here. It was kind of crowded but almost like a party as Ann swished towards us, issued her instructions or approval, "Fabulous Darling" or "No, take it off!" and away she went.
The Illabo lady stepped out in her outfit of choice. A lovely stripey jersey top in black and white, black pants, boots and a black sash worn across the hips. She looked great, and yet, part of me wanted to hand her a parrot or at least an eyepatch because something was making my brain go "AHAR me hearties!"
After a few false starts we seemed to be on the right track. Mum stressed that where I came from ('the country') people dressed very casually. Ann looked concerned but only momentarily and then produced several ensembles that she deemed to be suitable. So did my mum and so did I. I think they would definitely fall into the Mosman Casual category, which is a long way from Junee Casual. Here is an example of both - can you tell which is which? But I was very pleased with the clothes and will wear them when I go out. At one stage Ann asked me what my new boots for this season would look like. I paused. There was a long drawn out silence as Ann and my mother looked at me expectantly. How did I tell them the only new boots I would be getting this winter would be Ugg Boots (an early mother's day present from S who resisted the outdoor soles, telling the salesman he didn't want to encourage that sort of Pammy Anderson style fashion statement).
Once we had the clothes sorted then we had to accessorise. Sadly, no beads that were so fabulous you wanted to vomit, but Jo, Kate and Ann let me try on all the dinosaur design bangles (arm confectionery) till I found just the right one (with their help). I found one that was nearly perfect, like a pint of Guinness settling but in black and silver but in the end I went with a really colourful bangle with a lots of colours and some matching orange earrings. Fabulous darlings. I was now suitably attired for Mosman.

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Aunties

When we were up in Sydney, S and I had a chance to go out for a romantical dinner and the Aunties got a chance to spend time with Jack (though as Aunty San pointed out on a number of occasions, not nearly enough time). We had a hankering for Japanese food as there is only one Japanese restaurant near us and we don't go there anymore. The first time I went there I waited for over an hour and my meal didn't turn up. At this time when I asked where it was a waitress told me that I could still receive my meal but I would have to pay for it. No it didn't make sense to me either. I left just after the explosion in the teppanyaki room (no, I didn't do it).
The second time we were in the Teppanyaki room (the window had been replaced and yet we still feared for our safety). We needn't have worried as the chef, who was very slow and not very good had the grill turned way down so he wouldn't burn anything. It was a long night.
So we decided to go to Shimbashi Soba Noodle. They have a noodle master who makes their soba noodles (sometimes when you are there to watch) which is very impressive as it takes quite some time to become one. There is something so good about Japanese noodles and broth particularly from this place but unfortunately they were full. We tried the new Louisiana style place just down the road but it was even smaller and also full. I'd heard rumblings about a place called Japas which is japanese tapas so we had a look at the menu. S actually recoiled, I think it was the wasabi marinated bocconcini that did it. Or Miso infused Jamon.
Luckily there are a gazillion Japanese resturants in Neutral Bay so we just kept going till we found one. The one we went to was very funky. All the staff had little palm pilots and microphones and we sat on poufs (my Dad would hate that). It was pretty buzzy and busy so we assumed that that was a good sign. We eventually decided on a set meal with Miso and sashimi and a main ( I chose sushi and S chose beef teriyaki - who do you think made the risky choice there?) and dessert. The first sign that things were awry was the seafood extender that kept turnng up like a bad penny. My sashimi was good but those funny little orange cylinders were everywhere. And I have to say the Beef teriyaki, though generous, was not good. But we had a giggle, nudged the faux crustaceans to the side of our bowls and enjoyed some of the meal. It did make a nice change to have a meal without the company of Maisy, Peppa or Murray.
Then came dessert. I've never really taken to Japanese desserts and I don't think I can be accused of being hasty. I've tried a myriad of sweet treats, most consisting of either red bean paste or green tea. S chose the green tea ice cream and I gave him a look that basically said, "Are you mad? "
But then my Black Sesame ice cream appeared (accompanied by a piece of what looked like purple wettex) and I wasn't feeling so smug. And the verdict? Nice, different and very unusual.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


My brother and his family are currently laughing in the face of any pork related influenza, and are travelling around California. For anyone interested their blog is for anyone who wants to know what is going on here, I'm not really sure. The blog doesn't explain but it's sure to be something to do with our family's rather suspect sense of humour.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

A cultural outing

The weekend before last we had a little jaunt to Sydney. Jack had tickets to the theatre and we thought we should go too because he can't quite see over the dashboard and reach the pedals too.
The tickets were for a play, Pigs, Bears and Billy Goats Gruff at the Opera House. Originally Jack and I were going with my brother Z, Lou and Scarlett. Then some things came up (Saturday sports for Lou and I think Mum was rearranging her sock drawer) and so S came along too.
We decided to take Jack on his first Ferry ride and made a beeline for Mosman Bay (look there's the wharf! Look there's some little runabouts! Look there's some very reasonable real estate!).
We ordered hot chocolates from the wharf cafe because we thought that being located where they were they would be super quick but I think they were part of the slow food movement (and not in a good way). Sipping our hot chocs (and Jack's babycino) we boarded the ferry and chose a safe little spot inside. Jack had lots of fun counting the boats and pointing at the water and got very excited about the bridge. He also told me that he didn't care for Blues Point Tower (he's so discerning). We got to the Quay and struggled with Jack and the ticket machine and strolled around by the water to the Opera house (I took note of the Guylian chocolate cafe on the way). We arrived at the theatre but were early,which is a truly rare situation for us to find ourselves in. So we walked through the Opera House and over into the Botanic Gardens. Jack did some exploring and after some very picturesque strolling we made our way back to the theatre, just in time to meet up with Scarlett and Z. We entered the theatre and took our seats (front row!) ready for the play.The Play was very good. A little bit odd (at first I was worried) but the actors were great and Jack and Scarlett seemed to enjoy it (so did S after his initial reluctance to go). The Wolf (from the 3 pigs) and the troll (from Billy Goats Gruff) were a bit scary though and Scarlett moved from a seat of her own holding my hand, to my lap, to Z's lap. Jack's favourite bit was not when the wolf fell down the chimney and his bottom got stuck in the pot, but when one of the actors did a huge fake sneeze.
We decided that we required refreshment so we all went to the Guylian cafe for wheatgrass juice with spirulina pikelets with goji berry jam. So delicious. And not a shell shaped chocolate in sight.Z and Scarlett headed off by car and we walked back to the ferry, stopping to get a balloon monkey. Jack was so excited to be going on the ferry again that he wanted to get on any ferry but we managed to stop him heading to Rose Bay, Manly and Parramatta. We caught the ferry back with a very drunk couple who were heading to a wedding. They seemed to be taking bets on how long the marriage would last. We were wondering how long they would last before passing out.
Jack and I sat outside and admired the view and the drunken conversation got too much for S and he joined us outside too. As we arrived at Mosman Bay the drunk woman handed her scrunched pantyhose to her companion who looked mightily confused. So were we. When did she take those off and more importantly, why would she be wearing them with open toed shoes?
We returned once more to the wilds of Mosman where Lou and I headed to the Mosman Markets and made a few purchases (I was doing it to boost the economy) and Jack and Scarlett got up to mischief together.