Saturday, 27 December 2014

Happy Birthday.... to ME

I am a Christmas baby, yes I was born on Christmas day which it can be an inconvenient day to be born if you love celebrating birthday and as everyone knows one thing I love is celebrating....anything I love birthdays, holidays, baby showers I can pretty much find an excuse to celebrate any occasion.

I usually have some friends over for a drink and some food around November but this year I was Kaput around November life got in the way of my celebrating.
First thing on the agenda was to open Christmas/Birthday presents I must of been good this year as I got some pretty cool things, cooking books dah.. that's no brainer I love cooking books, I got a selfie stick yes I am a sucker for taking selfies I just need to work out how to use it.
After all the presents it was time to hit the beach our destination was Caloundra, it was so hot there were beach goers everywhere celebrating  Christmas Day, when we arrived we had a long swim then it was time to have some lunch and just relax, we found a good spot by the beach there was a huge family celebrating they had the most darling decorations and a mini Christmas tree with presents they were so friendly.
Next to our spot there was a Polynesian Couple they seem so in love he was serenading his lady with his guitar which was good for us as we had background music.
I wanted to keep the day simple and relax I had packed some left over from the day before made some individual triffles and baked myself a small cake which I decorated with the roses from our garden, we spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing I loved how the lanterns and the bunting were dangling about with the wind.
Well and that was my birthday, Just perfection.


Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Day

The day was finally here, Christmas Day, well for us it was Christmas Eve as Farmer Joe and I both grew up celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve so we have decided to keep the tradition.

This year was a pretty small event as my brother Frank is spending Christmas in Iquique, Chile on his one year around South America, with that in mind we had a really lovely stress free lunch just with our small family, the 5 of us.

I loved Christmas as a child I grew up with a very large family with cousins and aunties spending the holiday season together, the aunties would cook up a storm and us children would run amok.

I love that sense of tradition that comes with Christmas celebrations I love the food that is only cooked on that day, the games we play as a family, the fact that the munchkins are on their best behaviour because they know that the next day Santa is coming.

This year was wonderful, the kids understood the meaning of Christmas and I am so proud of our eldest munchkin because this year is the first year that he got to read all the cracker jokes as he can read now, he was so chuffed about himself reading the jokes that he read them to us over and over again and we laughed over and over again.

After enjoying a cup of coffee while the munchkins jump themselves silly on the jumping castle, then it was time to go to church.

And that was Christmas at the Whitecottage very casual but with lots of love and building memories for our little family.

I hope you also had a fantastic day with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Our Christmas Tree

Today Master Munchkin and I spent the day decorating our Christmas Tree, we had the most fun taking all the ornaments out, I love how master munchkin told me a story about each ornament and how he viewed the ornaments as special, very special and not so special, I was told that all the not so special ones could go at the bottom of the tree just in case baby munchkin pulls them off.

I love our Christmas tree the house is not decorated completely until the tree is up, our tree houses all kinds of ornaments from very expensive to all the hand crafted ornaments which are my favourites, we have labelled them at the back with the child's name and year made.

As the years go by we are running out of branches to hang our beautiful ornaments but I guess when it comes to Christmas trees, more is more. Well as I write this the Christmas lights are flashing and I am having one more look at my beautiful nutcrackers which I have missed all year.

I love Christmas.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sage & Rosemary

Today I am talking about two of my staple herbs - Sage & Rosemary I used them on a regular basis, reason being that they taste so delicious, they make the most simple food that more special,
the other reason is that it's always available in my herb garden all year round all I need to do is just come out and pick a bunch and we are ready to start cooking.
You might think that you need loads of space to grow a herb garden but the thing is that anyone can have a successful herb garden in small spaces in fact my herb garden is a combination of pots and large crates, because they do need sun but not our sunny Queensland sun, I have found the perfect spot for my herb garden it is to the side of the Whitecottage where space is limited, the space is not wider than a large balcony. The rosemary is planted in a large pot as it grows quite large and the Sage and other herbs and marigolds are in a large crate.
what do you need for a herb garden - crates or pots, quality soil, and herbs, so there you have it why don't you give it a go in the mean time these are two of my favourite dishes.
Enjoy gardening and cooking. Karla

Roasted potatoes & Rosemary
In a pot par boil by placing the potatoes in a large pot and pour cold water until potatoes are well submerged cook for 20 minutes
(this can be made well ahead of time)
Roast potatoes
pre-heat oven to 180c fan force
place the potatoes in a baking dish  with a fork make little indentations on the potatoes then pour some olive oil, sea salt and a generous amount of rosemary and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown serve with sour cream.

Roasted chicken, sage and carrots
I like using chicken pieces because it halves the baking time.
pre-heat oven to 180c fan force
 in a baking pan place the chicken pieces and carrots drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and a generous amount of fresh sage bake for 30 minutes then turn the pieces and cook a further 15 minutes.
both potatoes and chicken can be baked at the same time just start with the chicken and carrots 15 minutes later place the potatoes in the oven.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Our Annual Children's Christmas Party

It is not a secret that Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year, When we moved to the whitecottage we hosted our first "Annual Children's Christmas Party" 5 years on we continue to host them, each year our friends and us look forward to the children's Christmas party.

Every body brings a plate and a $5 generic present because Santa comes to visit to give gifts to all the children.

Today's party was the first year that both of our boys (believers look away)noticed that Santa was actually papa (farmer Joe), our little friend Hudson came to me and asked me "is Santa really real" and of course I replied "yes" I am thinking he was also suspicious too.

Well our Annual Children's Christmas Party is over, baby munchkin is in bed, both boy munchkins are playing with the playdough that they received from Santa, Farmer Joe and I are enjoying some left overs.

We started on a high and finished on high.

Good night,
from the Whitecottage.

it would not be a Christmas party without a cheese platter

I have been making this little watermelon Christmas trees for 5 years and they never get old

 The country lady made these delicious treats
Salted caramel tarts & her lemon curd tarts they are to die for

Rosa my favourite Italian nona made this amazing orange and chocolate cake in the shape of a church, so decadent

our wonderful friends

The children participating in the colouring in competition

The colouring in entries so hard to find a winner, they were all winners

and Santa makes an entrance

Even the chickens joined in the festivities.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Edition: Raspberry Cake

Today is 1st December and we will be doing all things Christmas for the next 6 weeks.

I made my Raspberry Cake yesterday well in fact I made two one for us and one for Farmer Joe to take to work, This cake is so delicious and easy to make, I will be making loads of them for the next few weeks as Christmas gifts.

After few tweaks here and there I have the right recipe, it's easy, delicious and makes the perfect gift.


2/3(160 mls)milk
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
160g butter
150g frozen raspberries

How to

1. pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
2. grease a 20cm round cake tin
3. beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla with an electric beater until creamy
4. add eggs and beat
5. add self raising flour and milk and beat
6. add 100g of frozen raspberries to the mix and mix well
7. pour the mixture into the baking pan
8. Decorate the top with the remaining 50g frozen raspberries
9. bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (check with a skewer if it comes out clean it is cooked)
10. wait 5-10 minutes and turn cake onto a wire rack to cool then dust with icing sugar.

Additional: To make it more special decorate with fresh raspberries.

You can substitute gluten free self raising flour for normal self raising flour.

* I used a tin with the whole in the middle for this cake but I usually just use a normal cake tin.

and VOILA!!!! enjoy, The cupcake Lady