Shortbread recipe.

Hi friends,

I hope you are all having a beautiful December.
Today I did a little Christmas baking (Kringle the elf insisted we do it), so shortbread was made!

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This is my shortbread recipe, I posted it over on Bella In Bindyland years & years ago, but I thought it was worth sharing here!

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It’s a simple recipe but always seems to be a winner. I personally don’t eat a lot of shortbread, so it’s not my favourite – but Trent loves it and every time I take a box to a party or get together they always disappear quickly.

Ingredients:

  • 175g or 1 1/2 cups of  plain (all purpose) flour
  • 125g or 3/4 cup of rice flour
  • A pinch of salt.
  • 200g unsalted butter, softentend
  • 4 tablespoons of caster (super fine) sugar
  • Extra caster sugar for sprinkling on the biscuits when they are baked

Directions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees (or 375 degrees F).
  2. Line baking trays with baking paper.
  3. In a separate bowl sift the two kinds of flour together, add a pinch of salt to the bowl.
  4. In your mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy.
  5. Slowly add flour mix to creamed butter & sugar, gently mix until combined.
  6. Roll out dough into a disc and cover with baking paper or cling wrap. Place in fridge to chill for 1/2 hour.
  7. Now with a cookie cutter cut out shapes!! (If you don’t want to do this, you can make it in a slice tray and just pre-cut little squares into the dough every 3cm).
    I just think stars look pretty!
  8. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 150degrees or 300 degrees F & cook for a further 15-20 minute or until shortbread is a light golden colour.
  9. Remove from oven and sprinkle caster sugar over top while still warm.
  10. Cool on rack and then enjoy!

This recipe made about 60 small stars.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you make it please let me know.

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Chocolate Eclairs Recipe.

Hi friends,

The other day I posted this photo…

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And I was instantly flooded with requests for the recipe for these eclairs…
A dear friend of mine (who now lives in Kansas) her Mumma makes these, I have eaten them many times since knowing these wonderful friends….
So I asked Shar if I could share her recipe & and she thankfully said I could share it with you all… So here it is…

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“Shaza’s kiwi chocolate eclairs”

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Whipped cream for filling
  • A block (or 2) of cadbury chocolate for topping

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Place butter and water in saucepan and heat.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil – remove quickly and add flour.
  4. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
  7. Mix until mixture is glossy.
  8. Using 2 spoons distribute mixture onto lined trays. (Or pipe 7cm strips)
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until eclairs are puffy & golden.
  10. Lower heat to 120 degrees C and bake for another 15 minutes until dry.
  11. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  12. Prepare whipped cream to your liking (I add icing sugar & vanilla)
  13. Melt chocolate using your preferred method. I use my thermomix, but microwave or stovetop also works great. I just use regularly cadbury block chocolate, I used one block for my batch but I feel I should’ve used another 1/2 a block.
  14. Using a sharp knife, cut eclairs in half but leaving top attached.
  15. Fill with whipped cream and then dip top into melted chocolate. (Or spoon melted chocolate over the eclairs)
  16. Set aside for chocolate to set.
  17. Eat & enjoy. (store eclairs in the fridge)

I filmed myself making these for the firs time, in my recent “clean with me” video, you can CLICK HERE to watch that. (They are easy to make, a tiny bit fiddly – but you can see in the video how easy it is!)

If you try this recipe I would love to see/hear how they turn out for you, send me a photo on social media!

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Impressive & simple NO BAKE choc ripple cake. {EASTER}

Impressive & simple NO BAKE choc ripple cake. {EASTER}

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Hey friends…

Any holiday for me means baking and making! I love to make/bake sweet treats for my loved ones… It’s almost like my love language.
For easter, my go-to treat to make is an easter choc-ripple cake. It’s a very simple, no bake cake that tends to always impress a crowd – though it can take a little time to assemble. (Last year I sent this cake out to Trent’s work for dessert for his crews monthly bbq and it was a huge hit, all the men really loved it.) 
Now normally I would link to the recipe, but I’ve since discovered the site has shut down, so I give credit to Zamamabakes for this recipe, but here is my version of the choc-ripple easter cake…

Ingredients;

  • choc ripple biscuits
  • cream
  • maltesers
  • caramel sauce (I used salted caramel)
  • ice magic topping
  • your choice of easter treats to decorate cake

Steps;

  1. Decide on the size of cake, I made 2 different sized cakes. 1 larger one for a big party and 1 smaller one for us. (I used 2 600ml bottles of cream for this and I think about 4 packets of biscuits)
  2. Crush maltesers (I pop mine in a ziplock bag and smack them with a rolling pin, throwing them in a food processor or thermomix would work to.)
  3. Whip cream until thick. (I add caster sugar and a dash of vanilla to my cream, this is optional)
  4. Start assembling the cake, smooth on a layer of caramel, cream and then lightly dip in crushed maltesers.
  5. Stack biscuits standing on their sides. (If your first few biscuits are a little unstable, smooth some cream on the plate first and use it like glue)
  6. Continue topping biscuits with caramel, cream and maltesers and stacking on their sides until you have the size of your desired cake.
  7. Cover entire cake with cream.
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  8. Decorate with your choice of topping.
     

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This cake is so wonderful & versatile, you can change up the filling and decorate with whatever toppings you like so really, this cake isn’t just good for easter but for any occasion or holiday!

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I hope you enjoyed this recipe, I would love to know what toppings you would use on this cake!
Please share this recipe with any friends you think would love this too!
If you would like to check out some more easter themed posts please click HERE for easy and lovely crafts to do with yours kids or for easter class & teacher gifts click HERE. 

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Homemade Laundry Powder recipe. {Video}

Hi friends,
One of my most highly requested blog posts & videos is to do a “how I make my washing powder”…
So here it is…washing powder1.jpgThe video can be found HERE. 

The recipe I use is by Sister Mixin and you can find it HERE. (I change the recipe slightly by adding in 1 bar of sard soap…)

The reason I make my own laundry powder is simply because –
A) I can. I have the time & desire to do so, you may not & that is fine.
B) I feel it saves us money. 
C) I also believe it is more gentle & more effective product than standard washing powders.
Laundry powder is so expensive & often full of extra fillers & chemicals, so by making my own I know what is in it and it is very cheap. All these ingredients are easily available at Coles or Woolworths & are very affordable, I always have them in my cupboard, as I use them for other uses as well.
I make mine in my Thermomix – you don’t need one to make this recipe, but I feel it would be easiest… If you don’t have a Thermomix, I would suggest you either grate the soap bars or blitz them in a food processor and then combine all the ingredients in a large clear container (a clear container so you can check that all the products are thoroughly mixed together)

I have been making this recipe for over 2 years now and I find it removes stains very well & all of our clothing is clean & soft. I do use white vinegar as a fabric softener occasionally (always with towels) & if I am washing our bedding I often add in some lavender essential oil (or even eucalyptus if we aren’t feeling well)

As mentioned in the video, I do occasionally buy washing powder. I bought one box of OMO sensitive to wash Tommy’s clothes before he was born, but I  have been washing his clothing with this powder for months and he has never had a reaction to it – none of us have. The other product I occasionally buy is Bosisto’s Laundry Powder – I only buy it maybe once a year, if it is on sale… And it is the product I like to have as my “back up” in case I run out of this mixture or I use it if we are all very sick.

I like making my own cleaning products, I currently make my own basic disinfectant spray, occasionally dish washer powder & stone bench cleaner. I have trialled making a few glass cleaners, but I’m struggling to find one I love – so for now I use the Method glass cleaner & also their timber cleaner/polish, I find both of those products to be really good. But if you have a great recipe for either of those I would love to try it out!
Please let me know in the comments below or on my social media any cleaner recipe recommendations you may have, or if you make your own laundry powder – do you use a similar recipe to this? I would love to have a read of yours!
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Have a great weekend!
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Feeling good, catch up & Choc-chip muffin recipe.

It’s a good week, to have a good week.

Hello friends,

I am so glad it is a new week, last week near killed me! I had the man-flu and I was down & out for a few days but thankfully a dose of antibiotics has me back to feeling alive!

I cannot handle being sick, it just knocks me around so bad… I was worried I was being a bit of a sook, but the doctor assured me it’s just I was hit harder with the dreaded cold/flu  that all 4 of us got. Apparently thanks to my frustrating health issue my body is “weaker”/more susceptible to getting knocked around a bit harder from really basic colds… Great. That’s just what you need as a Mum, because as you know Mumma’s ain’t got time to be sick! But it did explain why everyone else was getting better and I was getting worse!
Thankfully I’m much better and I vow never to take my usually fairly good health for granted again… I honestly told Trent to look up funeral homes, I may get a little dramatic – but I thought I was about to die. (Also I just want to say I am so thankful to Trent, for picking up my slack while I was sick, he took time off work and made sure I got rest!)
But thanks to my returning energy & good health my home is back in a neat & tidy state and life feels good again…

This morning LuLu & I whipped up a batch of choc-chip muffins! Nothing like freshly baked deliciousness to start your week off well…

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If you would like to make these scrumptious muffins this is the recipe I used….
Recipe – choc chip muffins  

It is almost the end of July… I have no clue where this year has gone but I am pretty sure  just last week it was January…
Our little man is now 7 months old!! I am sitting here with a dumbfounded look on my face as I type that, he is closer to 1 than newborn now (I am now almost crying!!)… And LuLu is 4 in October – FOUR! (I am still in melt down mode after celebrating her best little friends 4th birthday the other weekend… FOUR!!!) 

Sorry this blog post has no real rhyme or reason, it’s just a bit of a chat/catch up post… I am aiming lately to have a new blog post up every week on either Monday or Tuesday and a new video up every Friday… So hopefully that pattern continues! Speaking of blogs and videos  – is there anything in particular you would like to see more of or a specific type of post done? Please leave a comment below or contact me on my social media!
Would you prefer our “no tv” update as a blog post or video?
The 2 videos I am currently editing are cleaning & grocery videos…
Any suggestions or questions that you have feel free to let me know!

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I hope you have a wonderful week, I feel like it’s going to be a great one!
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Deliciously Easy Chocolate Cake & the best ever chocolate icing. {Recipe}

Life is too short to say no to cake. 

A few days ago I posted a photo on my social media of a chocolate cake I baked with my daughter. I was instantly hit with comments & messages asking for the recipe.
Now to be honest, I kind of fluked the recipe – I combined a few different recipes from some old cook books.
Anyway, I winged it & it turned out amazingly! I am so in love with this chocolate cake & I think it will be my new go to recipe.
The icing is a chocolate icing I’ve been using for ages, it’s so easy & delicious!

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Now a few things about this recipe – I baked mine in a 9×13 pyrex dish – I don’t recommend using a glass dish if you haven’t done so before (or you don’t have the time to carefully watch it, I checked mine regularly & also ended up covering with foil for the last 10 mins).
I like the idea of using glass as it doubles as the storage tray, but it was very temperamental to bake with. (If you have any tips for baking with glass I would love to hear them!)
Using a rectangular baking tin would be the easiest.

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I, like the rest of the female population, really dislike this word, but it is needed in this post -this cake was super moist – it is incredible!! You have to try it!
My cake was baked on Monday & 2 days later from being on the bench it’s still very soft & delicious. I just stored it on the kitchen bench in the pyrex dish with some tin foil covering it.

I would love to know if you try this recipe out and your thoughts.
If you do any variations or improve it in anyway – please leave a comment below. Or share your cake with me on my social media!

Snap Chat; Bindy_30 
Enjoy your cake!
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Let’s eat cake!

Making hearts with my sweetheart. {Easy D.I.Y Clay Ornaments}

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday…
So this upcoming sweet holiday has been the perfect excuse to do some crafting with my tiny sweetheart! 
This past week we made some little clay ornaments…
She is at the age now where she is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so she really enjoyed helping make them, rolling them out & cutting out the shapes.
They do take a little time to make, but LuLu had a very fun time making them and painting them with her best little friend.
The dough is very soft to work with and not grainy, it dries well and is a beautiful white colour. 


“Not salt dough, clay ornaments” –
Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1 cup bi-carb soda (baking soda)
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • A few drops of lavender (or any essential oil you like) *optional.
  • Food colouring *optional. (if you wish to add colouring, mix with water first then add)
Useful items;
  • Small/medium sized sauce pan.
  • Spatula/wooden spoon.
  • Measuring  cups.
  • Bowl.
  • Wet chux/cloth.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Cookie cutters.
  • Straw.
  • Paint/glitter/embellishments/clear varnish or clear drying glue.
Making the clay;
  1. In a small-medium sized pot add all ingredients. 
  2. Stir over medium heat, it will be very liquidy for a few minutes. 
  3. Then suddenly you will notice the texture start to thicken, keep stirring. 
  4. When it looks like very smooth dough take it off the heat. 

  5. Place the clay dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cool cloth to cool down. (About 1/2 an hour) 

  6. When cool, dust cornflour over a smooth surface and knead the dough.
  7. Start rolling it out flat – you don’t want it to be too thin because that will cause it to crack. Try to not over roll it too many times as that can also cause cracking. (about 1/2 a centimetre thick is good) If you find the clay is starting to dry out or crack a tiny bit as you are rolling it, wet your hands lightly and roll the clay back into a ball. 

  8. Cut out your shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this or stamps (trim around the edges once you’ve made the imprint with a stamp) and you can even make hand prints.
  9. If you plan to hang your ornaments, make a hole in the top with a straw. 
  10. To harden you can either let air dry over night or for a day or pop them in the oven at 80degrees Celsius (175 Fahrenheit)  for an hour, turning them over 1/2 way. *Mine could’ve had a bit longer in the oven, so you could extend the cooking time for an extra half hour or so – but check them regularly, they did finish drying over night. 

  11. Once baked/air dried – decorate however you wish. We used paints & glitter and sealed them with a clear varnish.

This craft was lots of fun for both of us. I also made a few little gift tags to use on gifts. The clay was super easy to make, with the addition of lavender it also smelt nice and the bright white of the clay was very pretty – so if you didn’t want to paint it – you don’t need to. If you didn’t want to involve your child in the making of the dough (because kids in the kitchen can be a bit of a handful sometimes) you could easily whip this up while they were asleep at night and then they are all ready to paint and decorate the next day! This was the perfect activity for a play date, both girls seemed to really enjoy painting the ornaments. 
These love hearts will make very sweet little Valentine gifts for our loved ones! 
I really love doing activities like this with LuLu, it may just seem like a craft or play – but she is learning so much through play.
She was learning;
Maths; Measuring and shapes. (She now tells me every time she see’s a heart)
Science; She saw the mixture change form. From dry ingredients, to liquid and then to a clay. And then from a soft clay to a hard ornament. She also learnt that the clay was hot, but we had to wait for it cool down.
Motor skills; Scooping and tipping ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling, squeezing the clay, cutting, painting, sprinkling glitter, helping thread the twine and hanging the ornaments.
Literacy; Following instructions and older kids would also be learning to read a recipe.
She also learnt patience while the clay was being cooked on the stove & while it was cooling.
So please always remember every single thing we do with our children is a learning experience. They are little sponges and take it all in, they love to learn. You don’t have to sit down and do actual lessons – play based learning is so wonderful for little kids. 
So I encourage you to try this craft, I would love to see your beautiful ornaments.
Make sure you hashtag #MotheringwithHeartandJoy or share it to one of my social media accounts!

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I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. 


To read my previous 2 posts that have been very popular click HERE and HERE.

On the blog today; making hearts with my sweetheart! ❤️❤️This clay ornament recipe is very easy and is handy to…
Posted by Modern Wife Life 31 on Monday, February 8, 2016