Monday, July 29, 2013

Apple Crumble Cake

Served with vanilla yogurt

This is my own version of a recipe I have that has the apple mixed into the cake rather than in the three layers.
It is a great desert served warm with any accompaniment as I have suggested.
It can also be a great morning or afternoon treat or a lunch box filler as it has fruit in it.

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
50gr butter
100gr butter
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
3-4 apples

Crumble mixture. 
Soften, but not quiet melt, the butter.
Add the other ingredients and mix well so all are coated with the butter.
Set aside

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in well, the eggs, one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour to help stop curdling of the batter.
Fold in the dry ingredients with the lemon zest and juice.
Pour/drop mixture into a 20 cm round, spring base tin that is well lined with baking paper.
Peel, core and slice apples into quarters and then into four or five slices again.
Place these close together all around the batter, trying to cover all the batter.
(I do this in a circle pattern starting on the outside of the tin and working into the middle, filling any gaps with spare pieces of sliced apple)
Top with the crumble mixture trying to cover all the apples.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 170⁰C preheated oven until a skewer comes out clean.
Rest for 20 minutes then remove from the spring tin.
Serve dusted with icing sugar and/or with cream, custard, yogurt or ice cream.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I was helping look after Jacob after the wonderful arrival of Natalie our fifth grandchild and we decided to make play dough, something I have done for our own children as they grew up.

I didn't have my recipe with me but I knew the ingredients I used, just not quite the quantities. So a web search soon found an assortment of recipes for both uncooked and the cooked version I make.

So after going shopping with Jacob twice for more salt and some cream of tartar - these took quite a while as Jacob loves to do all this himself - I made up the dough; blue as it's his favourite colour.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cooking salt
  • 1 tbs of cooking oil
  • 1 tbs of cream of tartar
  • food colouring

Place all ingredients in a pot and stir over a low heat until the mixture comes away from the sides.
Tip out and kneed, and when cooled enough allow the children to play.

I just find it so therapeutic to kneed the warm dough. When I mentioned it to the young lady at the counter when we were buying the salt, she said "Aw now I want to go home and make play dough!" It had obviously triggered something from her childhood as well.

When I got home and checked my recipe I saw that it only uses 2 tsp of cream of tartar and I know both recipes work so you could choose.

As you can see below Jacob (2 years 4 months) just loves playing with it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Little Boy Blue

Here is my latest completed knitting project.

It is a small boys hooded jacket, knitted in 8 ply wool in a double moss stitch through out. I used Shepherd Very Crafty 8 ply in mid blue.
Sure it looks nice when it is finished but it did take a lot longer to knit than I had thought.
I have made it longer than the pattern as Jacob (our grandchild who it is for) has a longer body size for his age. Another good thing is, the folded up sleeves mean it will last a bit longer as he grows i.e. next winter.
I have also crocheted a row of double crochet around the hood to keep it strong/in shape which the pattern didn't call for.

Its from a collection of patterns I have built up over the years and this one was from an old copy of the English Woman's Weekly.
I have bought this magazine off and on for years as it has a great selection of crafts, recipes and wholesome stories and none of the celebrity gossip that other magazines seem to be fill of.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Feijoa and Sultana Muffins

Because we have two Feijoa trees there is always a need to find recipes to use them in and this is one I have adapted from an old apple muffin recipe from my mother.
I used dark brown sugar in it once which I miss read was in the recipe one time and now used it and it gives the muffin an almost caramel flavour and a rich golden colour once halved.

¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp baking powder
1 ¾ cups four
Pinch of salt
1 cup sultanas
1 cup peeled and chopped Feijoas
100gr melted butter
½ cup milk
1 tsp baking soda

In a bowl combine the sugar, ginger, baking powder, flour, salt and sultanas with a fork.
In a separate bowl/jug/pot melt the butter, and then add the milk, egg and baking soda beating together with a folk until well combined.
Add the chopped Feijoas (about 1 cm cubed size)
Pour over the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Place spoonful’s into 12 greased muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes at 210⁰C until just turning golden but don’t allow to burn.
Stand for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Family Mid-Winter

Each year in the middle of winter when it is cold and the days are short we have a mid-winter feast.
It’s like Christmas without the hype, commercialism and distractions of other commitments and no need for gifts although I try to have a little something special for each person.

This year I made little gift boxes and placed a little key and a matching bible verse in for the adults. There were nine keys and each key had a different word on it and I looked up bible references to match the word. The children got a balloon and a little toy. 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

To the person who pleases him,
God gives wisdom,
knowledge and happiness,
Ecclesiastes 2:26a

He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
Proverbs 2:7

We had the traditional Christmas fare of a roast lamb with all the trimmings but this year we didn’t use the Christmas pudding I had saved from Christmas shopping at Christmas time, as Daniel had made a chocolate cake which was certainly adequate for pudding.

I had made the gift boxes which were placed randomly around the table (except the children’s ones as I had age/gender appropriate gifts in them) and gingerbread houses which were filled with lollies. Flowers, candles and a small Christmas tree were the decorations and the fire was keeping everyone warm.

Daniel, Theresa, Jennifer, Katrina and Sarah
Sean, Evelyn, Ryan, Jacob

This year was specifically special as all five of our children made it home, although not all their partners, and our four Grandchildren at the time (we now have five) were there, so it was truly a happy family time, hopefully one that will be a memory keeper for them all.

I believe that it’s not the money you have or spend, or the gifts you can buy and give but the time spent making memories that will last a life time and on into the next generation after you have gone.

One of my daughters says that she is not keen on the big family dos’ as someone ends up crying over something as it does in a lot of big family times but this time she said no-one did.

Little did she know that indeed there were some tears shed but not from unhappiness.
I certainly will hold this day close as it brought me tears of happiness.

Even though there is still the clean up afterwards and using my best dinner set and silver wear means there is a lot of hand washing to be done, fellowship around the sink and just leaving it for the morning still makes it a blessed day for all.

Don't ask me what the drill was there for on the table but I am sure it was for something good!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gift Boxes

These are a lovely little gift box that can used for any occasion when you  want to give a little gift.
I have made them for Christmas and mid-winter dinners but they could be used for any occasion even as for favours at a wedding.

I used old Christmas cards for these ones and you could use any occasion cards for your theme or craft card of different colours and patterns.

There is no gluing required so it is a bit like origami but there is a little bit of cutting required.
They are best made on a flat service.

You will need scissors, a ruler and pencil along with the cards you are using.

Cut an exact square from your card.
This will be the top/lid of your box. The box will be a third of the size of square you shape. That is, if you cut a 9 cm square your box will be 3 cm square.

Cut another square about 1 cm smaller than the top/lid in white card or the colour of your choice for the bottom/base of you gift box.
If you are using ‘used’ cards check that there is no writing on one side (the outside) of the card as this will be seen when the box is made up. (ie if someone has written a letter and used the back of the card you may have to find other card or make sure the middle of the white card is blank.)

Fig 1

Find the middle of the squares.
Either fold in half creasing very slightly; opening and folding again in the opposite direction. Or draw, on the inside, in pencil from corner to corner diagonally on both directions.

Fig 2
Step 1:
Fold and crease the four corners to the middle of the square being exact so there is no over lapping. (Figs 1 & 2)
Fig 3

Step 2:
Fold the sides in half to the middle, crease, open up and repeat for the other sides.  (Fig 3)

Fig 4

Now open up again and note the pattern of creases you have made. (Fig 4)

Step 3:
Holding the square in a diamond way and using the scissors, cut along the creased lines to the right and left of the point/corner of the diamond, closest to you, to the point that will be the corner of the box.
It will look like you have cut through two 'segments' of the fold pattern.

Fig 5

Rotate the square 180⁰ and repeat the last step making sure you are cutting the opposite corner of the box! (Fig 5)
Fig 6

Fig 6 shows the 'taggy' bits referred to below and a clearer view of the folds.

Fig 7

Fig 8

Step 4:
Now refold the points/corners that have not been cut to the middle (Fig 7) and then fold in half again as at the beginning, (e.g. Fig 3)  allowing the second fold to sort of ‘stand up’. (the side of the box e.g. Fig 8)

Step 5:
Fold the two ‘taggy’ bits (as shown in Fig 6) at the end of these folds, inwards so they line up with the base of the box.

Fig 9

Step 6:
Fold up and over the 'pointy' end that you have cut so the point/corner folds into the base of the box and lines up with the points/corners already in there. (Fig 8)

Fig 10
Turn the box and repeat step 6 on the opposite end. (Fig's 9 & 10)

Repeat steps 1 to 6 with the bottom/base white square.
This box (the base) will end up smaller so that the top/lid can slip over it. (Fig 11 & 12) 

Fig 12

Fig 11

You can see in the fig 12 that the white card I used had some writing on it and it shows so this is the area you need to check when choosing card to make sure it is blank.
As you can see by the red of the card in the lid only one side of the card you use needs to be free of writing etc as it will be the 'outer', as the other side  will be completely hidden.

If you want, you can glue the points to the base (at step 6) so the boxes will be a little more secure (and so people can't see what you have used!!)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Daniel’s Chocolate Cake

This is a cake that my son Daniel makes. He likes to use cream in the icing so it is more of a desert or special occasion cake. He knows I love caramello so uses that chocolate but you could use any flavour you liked.

½ cup cocoa
½ cup boiling water
185 gr butter
1 cup castor sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
135gr block of Cadbury caramello chocolate

Blend cocoa and boiling water to form a paste.
Sift the flour, salt and soda.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each egg.
Add a spoonful of the flour (from what the recipe calls for) with each egg so it doesn’t curdle.
Mix the milk, vanilla essence and cocoa paste together.
Gently fold the remaining flour through the creamed mixture alternatively with the milk mixture.
Stir well but don’t beat.
Pour into a large cake tin (26cm and at least 8 cm deep) and break off all the pieces of caramello chocolate and dot them all over the top of the cake.
Bake at 180°C for 35 to 40 minutes until a skewer (I use a kebab stick) comes out clean when pushed into the centre of the cake.

Stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

When cold ice with the following cream icing:

300ml cream
¼ cup icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa.

Whip all ingredients together and when the chosen consistency spread over the cake. You might like is slightly runny so it drips down the side of the cake or firmer so it is in a spreadable consistency. It will set more if left for an hour or two.

Any uneaten cake needs to be stored covered in the fridge as it has cream icing.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Walk With Jesus

This is a sermon I thought I had posted on here but now see I haven't. I preached it on Sunday March 17, 2013 for the Lent 5.
 The reading I used was from John 12:1-8 which reads...

Jesus Anointed at Bethany 
12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

There is a stark contrast in this story – two hearts demonstrating two opposing reactions.
Imagine the scene, full of tension.
A dinner party with one woman – Martha, working hard, was serving the guests.
All would have seemed quite normal until another woman – Mary literally “let her hair down” (quite an inappropriate action for a woman of that day), and Judas’s reaction.
What he said was true, righteous, and hard to disagree with.
Can you imagine the atmosphere?

Now we have met Mary and Martha before.

Luke 10:38-42
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke describes Martha as busy while Mary sits listening to Jesus (Jesus describes this as “the better way” - Luke 10:42).
Their brother Lazarus was raised to life (John 11).

Mary walked with Jesus, and displayed remarkable faith, hope, and love. She is easy to admire. Of course we know Judas and his famous betrayal –

Matthew 26:14-16
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

... which John reminds us of in case we’re not sure, and goes on to expose Judas’s true motives.

John 12:5-6
“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

Curious the reactions of each heart: one extravagant, humble, expressive, and loving. The other cold, selfish, and mean.
How did their hearts end up this way?
In his book Renovation of the Heart, Chapter 13 – “Spiritual Formation in the Local Congregation” Dallas Willard asks “Why are Christians so mean?” and concludes “Christians are routinely taught by example and word, that it is more important to be right than it is to be Christ-like”.
There is nothing wrong with being righteous, but when it takes you away from being loving or Christ like then it is mean.
Both Judas and Mary walked with Jesus.
They were being continually learning who Jesus was as a man and the Son of God.
He wanted them to believe in who he was and become like Him.
We walk with Jesus.
We learn what He is like by reading the bible, meditating on it and putting our trust in putting into action what we learn.
To step out in faith and be Christ-like.
Am I prepared to give all I have for the sake of Jesus?
He gave His life for me/us, and He is asking me to give my life to Him and so all I have and am.
But there are times when the cost seems too much.
I’ve been down the road of having to change the way I think or what I do to protect myself from things happening in my life that I don’t like. Self kicks in and my faith shrinks.
But stepping out in faith when it means letting go and letting God take control’s literally that ‘stepping out in faith'.

The Old Testament reading for today is from Isaiah 43:Verses 16a,18-19 
16 This is what the Lord says—
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

I have had this scripture often given to me in times of hardship, and it has helped me to hold on and be carried through the hardship.
How is my heart?
Is it growing or shrinking?
At times like those it is strengthened and grows.
How do I react to others and treat them, or talk about them?
Where are we walking to?
Towards Friday. – Good Friday After Sunday when we rejoice in the resurrection, we continue to walk with him - may our hearts grow as we do.

Philippians 3:13b-14 
 ...But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Sermon Fiona Van Lent 17/3/13
 All scripture is taken from New International Version 1984