Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greens Traditonal Lemon Cake (packet/box variety)

From home made cake to a packet cake....what a difference.

This lemon cake wasn't AS bad as some of the others I've tried before. It's your usual dry texture and without the icing I would have thrown it out. And funnily enough it actually tasted better the second day.

Would I buy it again? No. But that's because I didn't even buy it the first time haha! My parents won it in a hamper full of prizes and gave it to me. It's not that bad though so I would eat it again (if it was given to me for free).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Keane!

My precious little boy turned 2 on the weekend and to celebrate I had my family over for dinner. I also baked a buttercake and shaped it into B2 (one of his favourite characters at the moment). It was either Bananas in Pyjamas or Thomas the Tank Engine and my cake skills are not up to the degree the Thomas range requires.

Don't think for a second I actually shaped this cake without a template. I used the "ABC for kids Book of Cakes" which had detailed instructions on how to decorate the cake and provided a cut out template.

I'm quite happy with the results because I didn't cheat and use box cake. I made it from scratch, along with the buttercream icing and even the fondont. The only thing I used pre-made was the liqorice for the eyes and mouth and the hundreds and thousands for the present. Oh and the top of Bananas head I dipped the liqorice into melted chocolate. And I can't take full credit for this cake either because my husband did help out arranging the fondont and liqorice. So thank you for your help Laurence!! We did good ; )

Of course we didn't just have cake for the evening, there was a decent spread. From the top going clockwise we have broccolini with garlic breadcrumbs, potato bake, roast lamb, Amra's delicious tabouli (thanks for making it Amra!), my aunts lovely coleslaw, and in the centre was some juicy corn. Mmmmm I'm hungry again seeing this food.
It was a really enjoyable day and thanks to my family for being there and spoiling him with all those presents. I'm so happy and grateful to be blessed with such a wonderful son. And I know I call him a terror sometimes but he's still the best boy ever. Happy 2nd birthday, Keane!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm home!

I'm back from my trip to China....what an adventure! I've loved every bit of it.

The highlights for me would have to be walking on the Great Wall of China and our rickshaw ride around old Beijing. To think that wall was built so long ago with no machinery...bare hands and relatively simple tools....just absolutely amazing. And to stand there and see it for real and to realise just how long it is. Wow.

Did I try the scorpian? I sure did! Was it nice? No. They put so much herbs and spices on it that it overpowered the possibility of tasting anything else. Not that I think scorpian would have much flavour. It was just crunchie. There were other very interesting items we could eat but I had to stop at the scorpian. My stomach wasn't able for seahorses, lizards, centipedes, locusts...etc

I also had the chance to see Hong Kong again to see my Uncle and Cousin and also Macau to see my other Aunt and Cousins (wonderful people so they are). We stayed in some really interesting hotels. One where the shower and toilet had a clear window to see was just wrong! Even with the blinds down I still felt uncomfortable...and yes I was only staying with my husband and 23 month old little boy, but still.....there are some things you are just not meant to share with ANYONE!

We also went back to visit each of my parents birth places. That was really special. I've visited my dad's place once before but it's totally changed now. They use to have an open sewerage running along outside each house, but that's all blocked up now....they've moved with the times, somewhat.

It was so sad to see the poverty, the beggars on the street, old blind people asking for money, a handicap man sitting there from the afternoon till late at night and some lady carrying a baby around at night waiting for people to just give her a little bit of change, but you can't help them all.

Our tour guide told us they built a wall around old Beijing specifically for the 2008 Olympics because they didn't want the tourists seeing the "dirty" houses and less developed area. But isn't that part of the charm? It shouldn't be shameful.

So yes, I really enjoyed my holiday. Loved every part of it, omitting the part where Keane freaked out for 30mins straight on the flight each time (we flew on four flights), loved every part except that. I've come back happier and more relaxed. I'm feeling so blessed and grateful for everything that I have and all the family and friends in my life. I guess that's what you call a real holiday.