Another Day Another Dollar – OR – How to Break Out of the Monotony of Work

So work has been super crazy and super stressful. Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough get going….

to the fridge, where often tasty treats are lurking.

Lets see, yoghurt, peanut butter, cheese, jelly…

hang on. What kind of jelly is that?

Co-workers mug jelly!

Ok so i’ve been watching too much The Office and i’m not particularly original. But that didn’t stop many laughs being had when my co worker arrived on Monday to find his mug encased in a pool of strawberry ¬†jelly. After a particularly stressful week/term/endless haze of stress I felt like something needed to be done to relieve my office of all the pent up pressure that has been accumulating. So, A and I snuck in with…

four packets of jelly, a giant bowl and a mug

We made the jelly according to the instructions on the packet

Immerse the mug

and top it up with more jelly. Leave it to set overnight and BAM!

Workplace prank.

Who said you had to be sensible all the time? Spending so much time around adolescent boys has clearly adversely affected my adult sensibilities. But, at the end of the day it’s always best to be young at heart. So, while this most has little culinary merit, it includes two of the best ingredients for a happy life

Jelly + Fun

And what could be better than that?

So, dear readers, what have you been up to in my absence? Played any pranks lately?

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Did you ever read this book when you were little? It’s fantastic because it tells it like it is. Some days are just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. You know the ones, where you wake up late after sleeping through your alarm, all the hot water is gone and you still need to wash the suds out of your hair then you stub your toe on the vanity while poking yourself in the eye with your mascara wand. Then you get to work and you have an extra class to supervise, its raining and blowing a gale and the kids are all cranky and crazy-like. You forget your laptop and run out of petrol.

So thats not exactly how my day went, but it’s pretty damn close. If you include hitting my head on the car as I got in in the morning. Man, that HURT!

All through the day I was scanning my brain for something warm and gooey to make for a dessert. A little something that I had all the ingredients for and would definitely put a positive end to my day. I had a flashback to the Masterchef Tarte Tatin which would do me a favour by 1. being totally tasty and 2. using up some left over apples and a lonely sheet of puff pastry.

But I forgot, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And unfortunately, the only thing that can end a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is going to bed and waking up the next day. What should have been a fairly quick and simple dessert turned into… well..

this.

Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Burnt sugar, old, weird pastry and general failure.

At least there’s always the promise of tomorrow… and a foolproof cup of hot milo.

So, my lovelies, what do you do to try to turn a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day around? And does it succeed?

Happy Easter To You!

Firstly, before you read any further , I want to wish you happy easter and offer you a cupcake

HAPPY EASTER!

Now, on to business. Ever since I was a little girl i’ve always been a fan of movies that contain singing and dancing. I’m sure it all started with Disney and the Disney Princesses who I have, of course, still watch outgrown. Ok, i’ve never been a good liar, I will happily sit down to a marathon of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast. But what girl wouldn’t?

However, for the sake of my job (in answer to the ever popular question from teenagers “miss, what’s your favourite movie?”) I have had to come up with some more adult sounding favourite movies.

1. Rush Hour

2. Any of the following: Grease, The Wizard of Oz, The Holiday Inn, The Easter Parade, Moulin Rouge, any kind of musical (i’m always living in hope that they will make Wicked the movie)

Thankfully, many musical movies end up being tied to a particular holiday. Exhibit A:

The Easter Parade

After all, what is a holiday without Fred Astaire? The addition of Judy Garland only elevates this movie from amazing to absolutely amazing! And so, every year when Easter rolls around, you will find me humming the tune to the Easter Parade. Humming because the only lines I can ever remember when singing it are

“here’s a hat that is trimmed with lace – happy easter”

and

“happy easter to you”

I clearly have a very short attention span.

Thankfully, one thing that can keep me focussed is baking, while watching The Easter Parade of course! So what did I bake for easter? Well, firstly I made some pretty little Easter Cucpakes

Here they are baking in the oven. Lookin’ pretty cute!

And here they are all iced with chocolate eggs.

The yellow and white ones are vanilla, the pink ones are musk and the blue ones are violet. Who says I can’t diversify?

For the cake and icing I used this Magnolia Bakery recipe which is always a winner. I also added a few drops of flavouring to each icing mixture t make them all different.

But something was still lacking. There had been a little idea for a big easter cake growing in my mind over the past few weeks. The cake version of the easter bunny basket. I used the same recipe as for the cupcakes above and it made two good sized cakes that could be cut in half to make four layers.

So first comes the basket.

This was my first attempt at basket weave and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the results. A little wonky but nothing some more practice wont fix.

Then come the decorations!

And a better shot of the easter bunnies and eggs with better lighting and a better camera!

And the vanilla-y chocolatey innards!

It’s not really wonky, I carved the sides a little so that it would look more slopey like a real basket would. Ho hum.

So, all in all, it was a pretty happy, delicious and relaxing easter. How was your easter my lovelies? Did the easter bunny visit?

Dear Blog, Happy Birthday! Love Katie

Who doesn’t love birthdays? My own love for these annual celebrations has been well documented, as has my fervent belief that all birthdays should be celebrated with cake. Preferably coloured pink. So what did you think I would bake to celebrate the first birthday of this beautiful little blog?

A pink birthday cake of course!

Note to self: be less predictable.

As I pondered the possibilities of decorating this cake, the work of Yayoi Kusama came to mind. Kusama is a famous Japanese artist who has a penchant for spots with a dash of craziness. Of the very psychedelic variety. See exhibit A:

I first stumbled upon her after buying a t shirt in Japan with her face on it. I had no idea who she was, or even if she was a real person, until a Japanese girl in an art gallery asked me if I was a Kusama fan. Smile and nod.

She brought an exhibition to the MCA in Sydney a few years ago which was clever and playful and ticked all the right boxes. So, while not quite as ground breaking as her work, I thought I would break out the polka dots for my blog birthday cake.

First came this chocolate cake and ganache

Apologies for the blurriness.

Then came the spots.

A spot over here and a spot over there and a spot in my ear and a spot in my hair

Well that was just overkill. There were no spots in my hair or ears…

All in all, not a bad effort! Apart from the lumpy ganache, but hey, its not THAT obvious is it? *whistles*

And with a bit of double cream and a cute cake fork, what better way to celebrate a birthday?

So, happy birthday blog, and thank you for keeping me sane over what was one roller coaster of a year! Here’s to many more exciting years together ¬†xoxo

So, my lovelies, what is your favourite kind of birthday food?