The Loveliness of Slice

I was going to write about my rather bumbling existence of late but I decided that it’s just me complaining and then I over thought it and got all flustered and so I did the only sensible thing and made tan square.

Tan square is a little piece of home, it’s caramel loveliness with chocolate chips and I am going to write a post about it because it’s more agreeable than a post about my child’s toilet training issues.
Here’s the recipe, and here’s the picture of what it is supposed to look like.  I’m not showing you mine. It’s a tad over done because SOMEBODY wanted me to proof something then got all distracted making tea. Sheesh.  I am eating my way through said slice as I type though and it appears a little extra tanning doesn’t hurt in the slice world.
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TAN SQUARE
180g Butter
90g Sugar
1/2 t Vanilla
300g Flour
1 t Baking powder
1/2 C Choccie chips
Caramel
Tin of condensed milk
90g Butter
2 T Golden syrup
Set oven to 180 ⁰C
Cream butter and sugar then add vanilla essence
Stir in flour and baking powder
Press 2/3 of the mixture into a lined slice tin and press down, put in oven while you make the caramel.
Combine all of the caramel ingredients into a pot over a med heat and stir until thick.
Pour over slice and smooth.
Add remaining base by crumbling over top of the caramel
Finish by sprinkling chocolate chips over top
approx 20 min cooking time
Image To be honest this is my ‘go to’  It satisfies all my sugar cravings and is pretty solid for the slice tin if anyone decides to visit.  I have awesomely taken a photo of the butter in a separate bowl to display butter? Very helpful. It is now driving me mad as I abhor unnecessary use of kitchen tools.  The less to clean the better.
I also have a love of my hand whisk.  My old electric beater got to the stage where I broke into a sweat whenever I plugged it in, as I was pretty much guaranteed a nasty shock.  Once I threw that away I avoided another for a year, which is impressive considering the amount of cakes and pies I make.  We now have a fancy new shiny red one but a week after it’s purchase, two of my girls took off with a whisk attachment and the wooden spoon to lick, and they were never to be seen again.  A nice lady at the information centre sent me a free replacement but it was the wrong side and I haven’t the heart to tell her, so I’m back to the whisk.  It’s quite satisfying doing it by hand I find, but pavlova – forget it.
Alright, here is my burnt version, complete with knife showing tell tale signs of a finger swiping for melted chocolate.
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and now I get to sit with my tea and my twelfth piece of slice as I start sorting some of our photo attempts for the new Baobab and Fox & Finch winter clothing … attempts being the operative word.  Image
Does anyone else have an awesome feel-good baked treat they want to share with us?

 

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Party time!

I don’t know about you, but for me, organising a child’s birthday party is a major undertaking.

My daughter turned the big 5 so I guess it’s only fair to have a party for such a momentous occasion!   It’s a right of passage isn’t it?

Her birthday is very early in the year, so difficult when you just start a new school – not quite enough time to make new friends.  Consequently we invited all the girls in her class (as well as a few boys thrown in for luck), and all her old friends from last year at preschool.  Very quickly we had 23 kids.  Arrghh!

Quick, hire the local community hall (yay!) and then I needed to start thinking about how to entertain them for 2 hours!  I could have gone down the hired princess/fairy/musician/animal tamer theory, but left it pretty late, so madly thought I can do this myself!

Craft!  That’s what’s needed.  Quick Google Kids craft idea’s and we’re off.  We ended up with pet rocks, animal masks, brown paper bag faces and multiple options for drawings.  We roped in my almost 8-year-old daughter and sister to do face painting (they were all lining up – always a hit, although some of the requests were a bit abstract – I want to be a fox please – oooookkkay, how do you draw a fox again??)  We also had the usual kids party food, sugary stuff, cupcakes, mini hot dogs and several fruit platters to see if we couldn’t balance out the bad with the good.  Parents got my favourite go to nibbles – mini quiches made a week before and frozen.  Yummy.

We managed to get away with only a couple of games – musical statues, what’s the time Mr Wolf and Duck, Duck, Goose –all the parents out there will know these beauties like the back of you hand.  Then of course the dilemma, whether to open the presents or not.  Hmmm, on one hand kids love to see their gifts being opened – and it does take up a good chunk of time!  On the other, you have no chance of writing down who gave what present so you can do personalised thank you’s.  And worse, you have to watch your perfectly pleasant child turn into a monster as she rips open her stack of presents with reckless abandonment, throwing aside one carefully picked present for the next goodie in the pile.  Fairly horrific.  Might not do that next time….

Anyway, thank goodness that’s over!  Sammy had a wonderful time and was exhausted afterwards, always a sure sign that it went well.

Now for the next one – only a month away – a first birthday party followed two days later by a 8 years olds birthday party (we didn’t time that very well).  Her request?  A slumber party for 8 girls.  Hmmm, not sure what is worse!

Wish me luck.

 

 

To be prepared

I don’t know about you lot but I struggle a little with planning, especiallyif we have been invited somewhere. I find it quite the achievement to herd all 3 cats kids in the car, let alone have them looking presentable with snacks, books and shoes. I run through the house turning off lights, throwing another load on and apply some lippy (I never actually apply lippy, I’m not even sure why I wrote that, I occassionally apply blistex but I don’t think that counts) so it is usually 5 minutes into our journey that I realise I haven’t brought a gift. We are inevitably running late and so we turn up with a tribe of hungry crazed children and not a crumb between us.  It’s not cool.

We have also just returned from a visit to NZ staying with and visiting family and friends.  Each requiring some sort of acknowledgement and only half actually receiving one.

I worry over what to give them, I worry that it’s not perfect and then I realise it’s too late, there’s no time and they have to make do with a packet of Tim Tams from the service station.

The thing is I don’t prepare, I don’t stash away… and it is a serious failing of mine that I plan to rectify.

During our clearance sale I met such lovely women, many of whom are just brilliant shoppers, they buy for next season, they pre-empt the next birthday parties, babies are always being born and they will always put away for Christmas.  It’s clever.  The time and frustration and money spent on last minute shopping needs to become a thing of the past.

So here are some excellent deals from our site and some ideas from around the web that might help you join me on my crusade (if you aren’t already an awesome stasher), they don’t have to be expensive to be winners and in the long run the money and time saved is huge.

For those expecting

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Nibbly Bits Abacus Necklace, fashion and function combined; the sweet little Bird Tee now only $12.50, Bella Buttercup Baby Bundles -just because we are changing bottoms, it shouldn’t mean you can’t do it in style; delicate wee organic cotton romper by Nurtured by Nature, and their beautiful organic cotton Snuggle Suit (in white to be safe) – half price! And finally the gorgeous Sevi Pull along Zebra that will be treasured for many years to come.

Hosts gift

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Samba seasoning from The Spice Peddler, beautiful spices, peppers, chillies and rubs for your friends who love to cook; a big bunch of flowers from the local grocer is always solid, I’m a sucker for Peonies, and a little home made lemon and ginger which I found at Jillee.

Childs 267th birthday party of the year to attend

Obviously ages and sex will vary but here’s a bit of a head start.  You could also try making your own princess/super hero capes (I made my girls out of rather nasty pink velour with white fluffy trim, they love it).   Try this lovely site, I also recommend Atlas’s, because come on, who didn’t love those as a kid. Try this.

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6 in a row Pretty in Pink, Alphabet Soup Off Limits Tee, Little Tyro Magnetic Cuckoo Clock, Sevi Pull Along Cow, Flatout Frankie Little Roar Head, Playon Crayons, Seedling Good things for Busy People, Dan300 Nanas softie and Lindi Kingi Baby pink bracelet.

Congratulations on your new home/renovation!

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For a while there we found ourselves giving lemon trees to everyone we knew for house warming gifts… I suspect it had something to do with gin, there is something nice about a living gift though… Unles of course the renovation included an uber expensive landscape architect.

Gift hampers filled with practical things is always appreciated so stock up on lovely hand soaps other fancy smellies, throw together with herbs/tea towels or perhaps a big box of cakes and pies… cakes and pies mmm.  Finally, as every move is tough work, a beer or cider will inevitably be required and it may as well be handy, so I have included these nifty silver magnetic bottle openers for the fridge. I just quietly want one of these and so much classier than this … No.  Just… No.