Chocolate Fruit Sticks

My 8yo loves to get into the kitchen and create.  Today she found my hidden stash of chocolate chips and decided to use them.  She had recently been given a small recipe book of her own.  She flicked through it and found the perfect recipe for the ingredients we had, chocolate and fruit.

I left her to her own devices as she knows how to use the microwave (I was close by in case she needed assistance).

She put the (my) chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl and zapped them in short bursts in the microwave to melt them, stirring after each burst.

When the chocolate was sufficiently melted she had great delight in dipping the strawberries into the chocolate and placing them on a tray. As it was a messy activity she, of course, had to lick her fingers after each dip.

She decided that the raspberries were a bit too fiddly so I suggested we poke them onto straws to help dip them into the chocolate and when they were set she could eat them like a lollypop.

Any leftover chocolate (whoever heard of leftover chocolate) was poured into chocolate moulds.

We all enjoyed a delicious afternoon snack. 


PS - I think the chocolate had time to set before it was devoured.


When life gives you lemons you make the most of them.

Our lemon tree has been giving us an abundance of fruit up to two times a year and I have been busy baking, making and preserving our harvest.

So far I have made lemon cordial, I have frozen lemon juice in ice cube trays for the off season, I have baked lemon cakes, lemon meringue pie and lemon biscuits and I have used lemon slices in my water jug each day.  And still we have plenty of lemons!

Then I decided to try dehydrating lemon slices.  I sliced the lemons into 1/4" rings and placed them on the dehydrator trays.  These were on for about 24 hours at 50°C and I think they turned out beautifully.

I use these in my water jug each day and hopefully (I haven't tried this yet) in casseroles.

I created another use for our lemon tree. It made the perfect hideaway for my daughters fairy garden.

It is the perfect little hidey-hole for her to sit in and imagine the world away.  It has a pond for waterplay, dirt and stones for creating fairy lands and smells delicious when the lemons are fruiting.



50th Birthday

I recently turned 50 and decided I needed to celebrate this milestone with Family and Friends. We planned to celebrate with a good old country 'twiggy' and have the birthday feast catered for with a spit roast and vegie meal.

My Birthday quickly turned into an almost week-long event. My actual birthday was celebrated with just my immediate family. Then visitors arrived on the Friday night and stayed through until Monday night, camping out in our backyard and paddocks. With a bit of planning and preparation the occasion went off without a hitch and without the need for me to do much else but enjoy myself.

During the month before my party I prepared by doing extra baking and putting it in the freezer.  I pre-made meals of pizza, sausage rolls and lasagne to feed the visitors. Each time I did some baking I would make an extra cake, slice or rumballs and freeze them also. I also squeezed orange juice and stored it in the fridge ready for breakfasts.

All it took on the weekend was to take the meal or slice out of the freezer, defrost it and heat and/or eat.

The spit roast meal was catered for by a local company. We enjoyed roast pork (with crackling, Yummo), beef and vegies with gravy.

Birthday cakes were made (by a good friend), twiggy was lit and the party started. The rainy weather we'd had on the Friday night held off and we were kept toasty warm by the bonfire.

Being a quilter I asked friends and family to gift me a fat quarter of fabric (this resulted in a lot of phone calls and strange questions from my non-quilting friends).  I am going to make myself a memory bookcase quilt with all the fabric I received.  I also had the guests sign a piece of calico which I can attach to the back of the quilt.

I am relishing turning 50 and I am looking forward to the next season of my life.



My husband planted a few chilli seeds towards the end of last year and we have been harvesting a bountiful crop since then.

So many that we have had to freeze them until we can find time to make something with them. So far all we have made is sweet chilli sauce.

As the freezer bag is almost full I have decided to dry the chillies we are still harvesting.

I halved and deseeded the chillies and spread them on the dehydrator trays.  These were on 50℃  for about 24 hours (probably didn't need that long but I forgot about them, oops).  Once they had cooled down I mashed them with the mortar and pestle and put them in a container to use in future recipes.

Enjoying a spiced up life


Dryer Balls

Living in the beautiful Mallee with our glorious weather I generally hang my clothes out to dry on the old faithful Hills Hoist.  Occasionally I use the clothes dryer when the weather is bad or I have let the laundry pile grow to the size of Mt Everest.  When I do use the dryer I am always frustrated by the static electricity build up which results in clothes sticking to each other and just being a nuisance. Grrr.

After I bit of research on the internet I found an upcycled natural alternative to dryer sheets. With a bit of tweaking to suit my ingredients I made these dryer balls.

They seemed to be working well after the first use and then disaster struck, aaaargh. Apparently I needed to secure the ends of the wool "securely".

Take two and this time I used the wool needle to darn the ends securely.

What you need:
100% wool

Wrap the end of the yarn around 2 of your fingers about 10 times, remove it and turn it 90° and wrap another 10 times. Keep repeating this until you are able to hold the "ball" and then continue wrapping tightly forming a round shape.  Once your ball is roughly tennis ball size cut the yarn and tuck the ends into the sides (note: see my above error, so make sure this is secure).

Repeat this process until you have 3 or more balls.

Cut one leg off the stockings, place one ball into the bottom of the leg and tie a knot above to secure it, repeat until all balls have been added and secured.

Put in the washer (can be with dirty laundry) and wash on the hottest setting. This allows the yarn to felt. Once washed dry the balls thoroughly in the dryer at the hottest setting.

When they are dry remove from the stockings and they are ready to use.

I added a couple of drops of essential oil (I used lavender), tossed them in the dryer.  The clothes were mostly static free and smelled lightly of lavender.

Re-add the essential oil every few loads.



Back to Top