Quick and easy licorice allsort slice

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Zagrandma loves licorice allsorts, needless to say she also loves this slice. If you know any licorice fans out there then this is a slice for them.
The best thing about this slice is how quick and easy it is to make. You don’t need to use the oven which is great when it comes to summer baking. It’s a great recipe to get the kids involved with, although you may end up a few licorice allsorts short if they are anything like Zakidlets!!!
Zagorgeous Aunty Gail gave me the inspiration for this recipe, she was the one who originally told me about the idea of a licorice allsort slice. After her telling me the basic idea and rough ingredients for the slice this is what I have come up with for the one I make.

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You will need:
250g Scotch Finger Biscuits
40g melted butter
1 Tablespoon golden syrup
1/2 tin Condensed milk
125g licorice allsorts cubed into 1cm pieces (I cube each licorice allsort into 8 pieces)

Topping:
200g Dark chocolate broken up into pieces
50g butter

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Process or crush biscuits to a fine crumb. (if you don’t have a food processor pop the biscuits in a snap lock bag and roll with a rolling-pin)

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Add wet ingredients: Syrup, melted butter and condensed milk and process or mix until you have a very wet, sticky sand like consistency. (If you think mixture is a little dry just add a little extra melted butter until you can see it will easily press into a slice tin).

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Add the licorice allsorts and fold thru with a wooden spoon.

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Line a slice tin 18 x 28cm with baking paper and press mixture into tin.
Cover with foil and place in fridge for 20 minutes.

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Mean while make up your topping. Combine chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water (the gentler heat helps the melting chocolate not to seize up) see how here. Stir until smooth, remove from heat.
Pour mixture over slice and spread out evenly with a knife.

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To pretty up the slice you can peel dark chocolate over the topping like I have above.

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I like a generous sprinkle of chocolate peels.
Place back in fridge for at least another hour before slicing into squares.

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The finished product deeeeelicious!!!!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.

If you are not a fan of licorice allsorts just substitute something else for them instead like: cherry ripe, snickers, jersey caramels, pecan nuts, choc chips or a combination would work great too.
Whatever you do just have fun with it!!!

Don’t miss my Blog Post at the end of the week ‘Zagirlie Tea Party’ an inexpensive bit of home fun for the little people.

Until then my lovelies
Zamamabakes

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A home made fabric baby rattle

If you own a sewing machine but rarely ever use it like me, this little sewing project may well be for you. I am going to apologise in advance for not using the correct sewing jargon, but as I said in my previous post here the extent of my sewing education is year 9 & 10 textiles and design at high school. I finished year 12 in 1996 so that gives you an idea of how long ago my sewing education took place. I had a very talented teacher her name was Mrs Forsyth she was fantastic! I on the other hand take lots of pride in the way I thread a needle and feed a bobin, the rest is a bit hit and miss. I love trying to attempt little sewing projects when I have the time.
This little sewing project ‘The baby horse Rattle’ is something I have now made 4 of (don’t go overboard there Zamama!!), it’s all about pacing yourself and I’m sure you know what I mean. The first rattle I made was for our 3rd little one, Alani and since then I have made 3 as gifts which have been received with much appreciation (there’s something extra special about giving a gift you have made yourself).

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The little rattle above I made just last week to include in a baby shower gift for my lovely friend Sally expecting her first little girl. I made the rattle up in an evening, taking me about 2 hours in total. For an experienced seamstress it would probably only take 1/2 an hour!!! (hehehe) it’s all about having a go.

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You will need:
2 x pieces of cotton fabric 30cm in length and 15cm in width (to be safe)
7 x 11cm lengths of ribbon
2 little craft bells (approx 1.8cm diameter)
pillow filling (I just used a very basic filling I found loose in my sewing bag)
Of course your sewing machine, some pins, baking paper, needle, thread, scissors, a pen and some patience will also come in handy!

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As you can see I traced a very basic outline of a horse onto a piece of baking paper 21cm length x 8.5cm at the widest point. You can pretty much use any shape and size you like and just follow the general instructions as a guide.

Once you have your rattle shape traced and cut now becoming your pattern, pin it to your 2 pieces of fabric right sides touching each other as pictured.
Before you cut your fabric remember to leave an extra 1.5cm for your seam allowance (meaning cut the fabric 1.5cm wider then the pattern as pictured above.

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Separate the 2 pieces of cut fabric and place them right side up, you should end up looking at a mirror image of the shape.
Select one piece of cut fabric (it doesn’t matter which one) and pin your 7 ribbons folded over in thickness, aiming 6 of the ribbons inward down towards the centre of the horse’s head and 1 ribbon inward and down towards his front foot as pictured, also making sure the open ends are facing the outside of the cut shape, (sorry if this sounds confusing ,hopefully the picture above brings it together).

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NOTE: I only used a basic straight stitch for the entire project.

You now need to sew the ribbons in place. You need to sew close to the edge about 3mm in as it is just to hold the ribbons in place for when you sew your 2 pieces together (saves the complications of them moving all around and getting caught up).

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This is what you should end up looking at up the head end.

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Again lay your 2 pieces of fabric right side up as shown.

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Now pin the right sides together again. Trace a rough sewing seam line to guide you where to stitch, I marked mine about 1cm in with a pen lightly.

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Stitch the seam starting on the inside of one leg and finishing on the inside of the other leg, remembering you need to leave an opening big enough for turning the fabric through the right way and also being able to fill the rattle with the pillow filling and bells.

There are quite a few curves with this shape. I found using the needle as a pivot useful for manoeuvring (a little bit of stopping and starting but worth it).

Once the machine stitching is complete you need to trim all your edges, so they are not too bulky when you turn them through.

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Your next challenge is to turn your little horse in the right way. You just have to work with delicate hands. This part does take a little patience and shuffling, you will get there, I found the blunt end of a pencil helped to push the limbs and head right out.

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Carefully press your horse out with an iron (only use a cool setting as you don’t want to scold the ribbons like I did with my first attempts).

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Fill the horse with the pillow stuffing incorporating a bell centrally into the head and 1 centrally into the main body, but make sure the stuffing surrounds them well.

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Again the pencil comes in handy for packing in the filling snugly.

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Once you have a well filled out horse, you need to stitch/bind up the opening with a needle and thread. Just leave a pinch of loose fabric in the crutch area (remove a little filling if need be) so you have a good enough edge to stitch through. This bit is a little tricky, you need to turn the raw edges in on themselves so from the outside they look closed. I doubled back over my first lot of stitching just to be sure the closure is secure and durable.

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The finished product front side and back.
If any of you find or know an easier way to do any of this little craft project please let us all know, I appreciate any constructive critism.

On that note it’s off to shower Zakidlets and get dinner organised.
I am looking forward to sharing a fantastic easy Cheese Ball recipe with you all on Sunday, it’s delicious!!

Until then,
Zamamabakes.

What’s cooking at Zamamabakes house on Christmas Day?

The fact that we are only 4 days out from Christmas, I thought what better way to sign off on 2013 then to give you a little insight into a Christmas hosted by the Zamamabakes household.
This year we are doing things a little simpler (I think??).
Zagrandma (my Mum) always comes to join me in my kitchen on the day of Christmas eve, we play Christmas carols, dance around and do lots of Christmas cooking together. Its busy and lots of work but we love it. We usually manage to fit a festive drink in there somewhere too.

We will have a variety of guests Christmas day including Zagrandma, Zanan’s, Zapop’s, Zaaunt’s, Zauncles, Zachick, Zacousins.
Like most we make Christmas lunch our main meal of the day and for lunch I am expecting 8 adults plus 3 Zakidlets!! 2 Years ago we had 24 for lunch, it was hectic but lots of fun.

Tradition is to have a cold buffet of salads, ham, prawns, chicken and whatever other meats we decide to have sometimes turkey, sometimes pork it just depends on how complicated and time-consuming we want to make things ha ha. All the dining guests usually get delegated a dish or 2 to bring along which works out perfectly giving us a great selection of food to enjoy!

Zakidlets usually start their day with a ‘sometimes breakfast’ of Coco Pop’s, note the SOMETIMES!!!! They love them for a treat. I am also planning to surprise them with some fresh fruit candy canes made with real strawberries and banana’s.

Our guests will start to arrive around Mid-Morning which will hopefully give us enough time to get the house respectable after a morning of Santa Claus Surprises!!

This is our basic line up of food for the day,
Starters:
Cheese platter, including an amazing cheese ball (courtesy of Zagreatunclejim).
A few savoury snacks including a serve of my ‘Nuts and Bolts’ to nibble on.
I am hoping to make a serve of the delicious looking Prosciutto and bocconcini skewers pictured below. I found the idea here at taste.com.

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A glass of bubbles is a must and always goes down a treat in the lead up to lunch.

For Main the plan is:

Fresh cooked prawns
Chicken (this year I am trying a smoked chicken from our local butcher, he does his own smoking). Zagrandma is going to bake up a chicken roll (the ones you get at the supermarket with the stuffing inside)
Maybe a Roast Pork with apples and cider see recipe here, will just depend on whether or not time permits.
Christmas Ham (you can’t do Christmas without ham)

Salads and Sides
Roast Pumpkin Rocket Salad (I have not done a post on this recipe yet, sorry 😦 so stay tuned for it in my early Blog posts in 2014)
Potato salad being made by Zaauntkayla see recipe here
Wombok crunchy noodle salad (you’ll find the recipe on the back of a pack of Chang’s refried noodles) being made by Zabeautiful Aimee.
Cherry tomato, cucumber and green bean salad see recipe here
Beetroot Salad (Baby spinach leaves, tinned baby beets drained, feta crumbled, creamy garlic dressing from the supermarket, topped with chopped walnuts)
Fried Rice (ZaPop’s specialty, he even puts twiggy sticks in it)
Seafood Salad (Zaunclebrad’s favourite, he has this task)

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Dessert (Yum)

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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Tart recipe here.

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Persian Love Cake (delegated to Zabeautiful Aimee) recipe here.

Zagrandma is making a Lemon Meringue Cheesecake (one of my favourites) I’ll post recipe 2014.

A nice fresh fruit platter is always a good option to have on hand.

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Then you just have to have a selection of yummy treats to snack on in case you’re still hungry!!!! Rocky Road, Truffles, White Christmas, Chocolate caramel balls, Christmas Jellies (I get these at the kids Christmas Tableau and freeze til Christmas). Zagrandma always makes a delicious Christmas cake which goes perfectly with a cup of tea.

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I think that is just about everything covered!!! The added benefit of an indulgent Christmas feast is eating the leftovers for a few days after Christmas. I’ll be sure to give you a report of how things go in a few weeks time, NEXT YEAR!!!!

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For now I would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my beautiful reader’s. I wish you all a very safe and enjoyable festive season.

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Zapuppydog sends his best Christmas wishes too!!!

Until 2014

Zamamabakes xxxx

Zamamabakes is going to Market Part 2

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Part 2 begins with this moist, misty morning which provided comfortable conditions in my kitchen for making Chocolate Truffles and Vienna Cream icing. All this is in preparation for the stall I am having at The Handmade Xmas Market this Sunday at Crystal Creek, for more details see here.
I have a list of tasks that I am working through, hopefully by Sunday Morning the list will have been successfully completed and I will be all ready for my planned 8am set up.

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How I wish my kitchen could always look this tidy! The reality is we are family of 5 and the kitchen rarely looks like this, but I love my kitchen and thought I should present it tidy for its online debut!
I snapped this picture after yesterday’s breakfast clean up.

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Just back tracking a little here, this was our Coles Supermarket visit on Wednesday to buy the remaining ingredients required for my ‘Market’ baking projects. We did this after I had finished work and done School pickup but before we collected Alani from day care (3 kidlets in the supermarket I only do when I absolutely have to!!!). I also did my usual weekly fruit shop from the fantastic Tweed Fruit Exchange. Then off home it was to unpack, make dinner, lunches, bath children, I won’t go on with the list, you would all know the things you have to do after a days work. It gives me comfort knowing there are many of us doing the same thing at the same time every school or work day!

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Once Zakidlets were in bed I made up a batch of my Rocky Road for the recipe see here. Then it was off to bed.

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Jumping back to yesterday now.
Morning!(comes around too quickly for my liking). Zadada took the kids to school on his way to work, giving me a full day at home which I greatly appreciate, especially when I work my 3 day week.
One clean Kitchen, washing hung, a general house tidy up and I was ready to start making truffles, the ones you see pictured here are gingerbread truffles which is an adaption of the Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffle Recipe see here.
I used ginger nut biscuits and white chocolate melts as alternate ingredients.

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The little gadget you see me using to dip the truffles is exactly that a truffle dipper (well that’s what I call it) I recently purchased it from my local kitchen shop Mallam House. I love it.

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In between all this creating there is a little person that requires my attention Miss Alani. Needless to say there is a fair bit of stopping and starting that goes on to keep her happy but that’s what parenthood is all about. This was one of those moments, I stopped what I was doing as she had asked me to play ‘Barbie’s with her. Today I met Woody and Jelly, great names for barbie doll’s don’t you think?

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Once Alani was down for her nap I finished off the Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffles I was making and made the Vienna Cream Icing see recipe here, ready for the cupcakes I’m baking on Saturday.
Note: I freeze my Vienna Cream Icing in airtight containers when I need to, it always defrosts perfectly, ready to be put on the cake/s.

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This was the end result after truffles set in the fridge.

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A picture of the kitchen, post cooking clean up.

I wanted to let you all know that any profits I make at the market on Sunday I will be donating to local Christmas charities in the Murwillumbah area. I thought it would be a good little Project to include Zakidlets in. Stay tuned for a Blog post on that later next week.

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I have had many people ask me where I find the time for projects like this and blogging in general. For a project like this (the market) I have the white board you see above, helps me to see where I am heading most of the time!!! I’m slowly learning it’s all about good time management which I am not very good at, but since starting blogging 6 months ago I am gradually starting to establish a bit of a routine. One which incorporates My family as the first priority, paid work as the second and blogging/baking/creating as the 3rd. Zadada and I are very fortunate to have 2 fantastic sets of Grandparents close by as well as a great bunch of Aunts and Uncles.
I am extremely grateful for the amazing, supportive husband I have (that’s why I married him). He is a fantastic hands on Daddy and he is an extremely patient man, tolerating my ‘Mummy lose it moments’, reassuring me things are not as bad as the Mummy moment presents. He is my rock and I love him dearly!

I know it’s a busy time of year but if you do have a spare part of the Day this Sunday come along to the Market, and say ‘hi’. I would love to see you. My stall is inside the Old Church House. It will be pink and pretty!!!

The Details
Date: Sunday 15/12/2013
Location: ‘The Old Church’, 1003 Numinbah Rd, Crystal Creek, NSW
Time: 10am-3pm

Stay tuned for Part 3 of ‘Zamama goes to Market’. Hopefully I’ll get it to you on Monday or Tuesday of next week. Busy times ahead but fun!!!

Until then,
Zamamabakes!!!

Zamamabakes is going to Market Part 1

It’s all happening around this neck of the woods!!! Zamamabakes is getting out and about for her first meet and greet!!
Yes you read it correctly! I will be having a pretty little stall at “The Handmade Christmas Market”, this Sunday the 15th December from 10am-3pm.
Where: The Old Church 1003 Numinbah Rd, Crystal Creek, NSW 2484.
I will have a selection of bite sized yummies to purchase and sample. All recipes are available on my Blog so if you sample something you like you can make it again at home for all your loved one’s. The main idea of me getting out and about is that I would love to meet as many of my gorgeous readers that I can. If you live in the area and you feel like getting out and about come and say hi, It will be a fantastic day!
There will be a great selection of stalls to browse around, we have some very talented crafters around this area.
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As you can see I am in the preparation stages for my stall, lots of pink! (my favourite colour). I paid a visit to the ever so useful Reject shop to pick up some supplies. Coles supermarket has already seen me once this week and I intend to pay them another visit today. Even when I make a list I always manage to still forget something.
Hopefully the pile of bits and pieces all comes together nicely on Sunday! Those of you who can’t make the market stay tuned for my Part 3 Of “Zamamabakes is going to Market”.

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Yesterday morning I wrote up some cute little labels all ready for the market, I got them at the Reject Shop (just quietly that shop is so handy for all your bibs and bobs).

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Just detouring a little for a moment.
No day is complete without a surprise or 3. I unexpectedly had my services required for rounding up cows, even managed it with Alani in tow. Got back to the house and about 2 hours later got my second surprise for the day, a phone call from the kid’s school informing me Ella had left her swimming bag in Zadada’s car. So a 40 minute round car trip later, Alani and I had accomplished our second mission for the day, delivering a set of swimming gear to an ever so grateful Ella (she loves her swimming lessons).
My 3rd surprise for the day was Alani secretly consuming 12 days worth of Advent calendar chocolates while I was distracted reading school notes. She came to me and said ‘I only ate 2 Mummy’. According to Alani there are now only 3 days until Christmas!!! I do feel partly to blame, I should have been paying better attention. As a consequence I had to deal with a sugar loaded 2-year-old for a few hours. Zadada got home and commented on her very active behaviour!! Fortunately Alani recovered from her sugar hit and amazingly did not complain of an upset tummy.

Continuing on with the fun stuff.
I did eventually get around to some more jobs I wanted to do for my Market stall. One of those was making a batch of ‘Nuts and bolts’, a savoury mix which comes in very handy at Christmas time. Great for guests that pop in unexpectedly for pre or post-Christmas drinks as it keeps in an airtight container for a good month.

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Here is the recipe to the Nut and Bolts. I found this recipe a few years ago in the recipe book that came with our Panasonic microwave.

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Easy Ingredients

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Combining the butter, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Give it the required buzz in the microwave. (P10 just means high power)

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You end up with a mixture looking like this.

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The end result is this.
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Next job on the list was Zamama’s Rocky Road, you’ll find the recipe here.

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This is my second batch for the festive season. This batch will be coming along with me to the Market. Again this will keep for a good month in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I have a big day of baking planned for Saturday and I have some lovely assistants coming to help me. I look forward to sharing my market adventures in blog posts to come Part 2 and 3. Thursday I plan to be baking some more yummies for the Market. Stay tuned for the blog post Part 2 On Friday.

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In case you are thinking of coming this is the venue you are looking for it’s an old church that has been converted into a house. Even if you just come for the lovely scenic drive you’ll have a great day. Crystal creek is a beautiful place.

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Further details of the market for you all.
Hope to see you there.
Zamamabakes xxxx

Some insight into our Santa visit last week

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I’m sure most of you are well into the craziness of the festive season just like us. I think it’s normal at this time of year to have your head spinning isn’t it??? Regardless of the spinning head I still love Christmas and all the good spirited things that come with it.
Last weekend being the start of Advent we put the Christmas tree up and did the inside house decorating. We actually did it on Saturday, I know it was a day early but I had Sunday scheduled as our ‘Santa photo day’.

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It has become a bit of a tradition to have our Santa photo at Myer, this usually involves queuing for a little bit as you can see in the picture above (look at that enthusiastic pair!!! hahahaha!). While we were queuing, I tried to get a few snapshots of the kids. It’s not everyday they are as neat and tidy looking as this. Someone decided he wasn’t feeling very photogenic, that’s why you see just the girls posing in most of the pictures. I didn’t want to push my luck with Blake as I didn’t want him feeling all smiled out for the official ‘Santa Photo’, a mother has to play the game sometimes!

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Our Turn finally came around to see Santa.
Alani didn’t want to get too close to Santa, so she observed him by peeking from behind my dress.
Blake and Ella happily told Santa there Christmas requests.

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Eventually Alani ventured a little closer to Santa and told him from a far that she would like a bike for Christmas.

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It was then time for the official snapshot and after about 5 attempts this was our result. I am very proud of our little family, great that we could get everyone smiling and looking in the same direction at the same time.

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Considering we had to queue for over an hour (next year I will be taking advantage of the book online in advance option), Zakidlets were extremely well-behaved.
We went and had a bite to eat and finished the day off with a well deserved ice-cream. Yum!!!

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I would love to put together a Christmas Blog post of my reader’s Christmas photos, whether it be a picture of your Christmas tree, a Santa picture, anything that says Christmas I would love you to share it with me so I can include it in the post. If you feel like participating email me your pictures to zamambakes@gmail.com
Let’s have a bit of fun!!

Kaileen’s Advent Calendar

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The Zamamabakes family have been very fortunate to have been gifted a fantastic handmade Advent Calendar. Zagorgeous Kaileen From Style 2484 made this for Zakidlets. Kaileen has been making these treasures since her own boys were young. Vatina, Kaileen’s friend made the first one and now every year it has become a Christmas tradition for Kaileen to make them.
Alani has been eyeing it off ever since I arrived home with it. Today she can finally start the opening process along with her Brother and Sister. Yay, so exciting!!!!!
As you can see Kaileen has tied 24 little surprise bundles with foil Christmas wrap and ribbon to a pretty star with bells.
The beauty of making your own Advent Calendar is that you can tailor it to suit your children’s likes and also make sure you have the correct number of sweets/objects in each bundle so everyone is included.

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It makes for a pretty, eye-catching contribution to the decorations for Christmas.

I love Christmas.

Thankyou Kaileen. You are a very generous, caring, kind-hearted lady. Lovely to have a friend who enjoys sharing the love and the spirit of Christmas.

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Easy Chocolate Balls

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I thought I would continue on with the Christmas theme, after all we are only 1 day out from it being December.
There are always plenty of social events we get invited to at this time of year. If you are like me you never like to arrive empty-handed when you are a guest. This recipe is one that can provide a solution to the question ‘what should I take?’. The beauty of ‘Easy Chocolate Balls’ is that they’ll keep in the fridge for a good month, so if your token gesture of kindness doesn’t get consumed straight away it doesn’t matter.
I made my first batch of ‘Easy Chocolate Balls’ last weekend (Zakidlets had their School Tableau Cake stall) and I’m quite sure they won’t be my last for the season.

You will need:
250g Arrowroot or Marie biscuits crushed
1 teaspoon of vanilla (If you want them to be Rum balls add 2 dessert spoons of rum instead)
395g tin sweetened condensed milk
3 dessert spoons cocoa sifted
1 cup desiccated coconut (reserve 1/2 cup for rolling chocolate balls in)

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Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined (you will need your muscles at this point). Alternatively if you have a food processor that will fit all ingredients just pulse and blend until all ingredients are combined.
Roll mixture into balls to a size you like, I usually use a teaspoon of mixture as a guide for my Chocolate balls.
Roll in reserved coconut and place onto a foil or baking paper lined baking tray. Once all mixture is rolled place tray of chocolate balls into fridge to firm up. I usually leave them like this for at least 4 hours and then transfer them to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 1 month if they last that long at your place!!

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For a gift idea why not make a batch of my ‘Rocky Road’ as well as the ‘Easy Chocolate balls’ and combine them in some little gift boxes. Great for teachers, kids friend’s, work colleagues, everyone loves a bit of something homemade from the heart.

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Zamama’s Rocky Road

Rocky Road making in the Zamamabakes kitchen is a good sign it's getting close to Christmas. I love Christmas and everything it represents including celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ, spending quality time with loved one's, and baking delicious treats!!!

Making Rocky Road at Christmas has become one of my traditions I think this year will be my 20th year for making it!
Zakidlets have their School Tableau this weekend so I thought I would put together some of the treats I love making at Christmas to donate to the famous cake stall.

Rocky Road (RR) is something you can adapt to your own tastes. The Zamama family are not big fans of glace cherries and other dried fruit varieties so I use mix in's that I know everyone in my family will enjoy including jelly snakes or green & red frogs (I sometimes find green frogs hard to find that's when I usually opt for the snakes as a back up), mixed nuts, crunchie bars, the all important marshmallow's and shredded coconut.
You also need to decide whether you want to use Dark, Milk or White chocolate, they will all work perfectly. I usually make a batch of Dark chocolate RR (that's Zadada's favourite) and a batch of Milk chocolate RR (that's Zakidlet's favourite).
It keeps in the fridge for a good 6 weeks if it lasts that long!

You will need:
450g Milk, Dark or White chocolate broken into individual pieces (I use Cadbury Chocolate).
120g mixed roasted nuts chopped
300g diced Allen's Snake's or red and green frogs.
2 x 250g pkts Pascall marshmallows
100g Cadbury Crunchies Chopped
1 Cup shredded coconut

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Line a pan 24cm x 30cm with baking paper.
Place Chocolate in a glass or stainless bowl over a saucepan of not quite simmering water. Stir occasionally with a metal spoon until chocolate has melted completely. Add nuts, snakes, marshmallows and crunchies to melted chocolate and gently fold through.

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Tip chocolate mixture onto prepared tray and gently press into place so tray is filled evenly.

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Sprinkle with shredded coconut, cover with foil and refrigerate 2-3 hours or until set.

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Cut up with a nice sharp knife (this will give you a good work out) into bite size portions. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.
Hope you all enjoy!!!!!

PS- A useful tip, when melting the chocolate don’t let the water in the saucepan underneath touch the bottom of the bowl containing the chocolate, this helps to keep chocolate silky and smooth while its melting.

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Oven baked risotto with chicken and chorizo

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Zacousin Michael supplied me with the goods for this fantastic recipe. Like myself Michael enjoys collecting recipe clippings, but he was unable to remember which magazine this recipe came from. From now on when I tear out a recipe from a magazine or newspaper I am going to write down on the back of it where I found it so I can give the source the credit they deserve. I am guessing this recipe may have come from a New Idea or Woman’s day because they always have fantastic recipe’s in them.
When I served this up on Tuesday night Blake our little boy virtually inhaled it, that is always a good sign, I feel like I blink sometimes and his plate is empty!! Ella enjoyed it too but at a slightly more ladylike pace. Alani the 2-year-old mmmmmm yes well at the moment unless it’s spaghetti bol or fish and chips I can pretty much guarantee her reaction of ‘I don’t want this’,(sigh), a challenge we are trying to deal with at the moment, but that’s a whole other story!!
Now Getting back to this risotto recipe I will give you the basic recipe as I was given and then I will tell you what substitutions I made. It is a very flexible recipe as you will see.

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You will need:
1 litre chicken stock
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3(400g) chorizo sausages, sliced thinly
400g chicken thigh fillets cut into 2 cm pieces
2 Large(400g) brown onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 large(300g) red capsicum, sliced thinly
2 cups(400g) Arborio rice
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

How to:
1 Preheat oven to 180c (160c fan-forced)
2 Bring stock to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan
3 Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a flameproof dish over a high heat. Add chorizo, cook until browned all over. Remove from dish, cover to keep warm. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the dish.
4 Add chicken to same dish, cook stirring until browned all over. Remove from dish.
5 Heat remaining oil in same dish, cook onion and garlic, stirring until soft. Add capsicum, cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add rice and paprika, stir to coat in onion mixture. Add wine, simmer, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated. Add the hot stock and chicken, cover with lid. Cook in oven for about 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir once halfway during cooking. Return chorizo to the dish, stir until heated through.
6 Sprinkle with parsley and serve with parmesan, if desired.

SUITABLE TO FREEZE

NOTE: If you don’t have a flameproof dish with a lid, start the mixture in a frying pan on the stove, then transfer it to an ovenproof dish with lid (or you can just firmly cover dish with foil if you don’t have a lid).

SUBSTITUTIONS I MADE (whenever I can manage it I try to get as many veggies into a dish so I know the kids are getting the most out of a tasty meal).
1 I only used half an onion as I don’t like a lot of onion, but added 3/4 cup mushrooms instead.
2 I didn’t use Capsicum, instead I used 1 small zucchini, and carrot diced finely.
I also added 1 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves mixed through at the same step as the chorizo sausage.

This dish served us for 2 nights running, great for a work night when you can just reheat leftovers. Blake asked me last night if there was anymore of that nice rice left, he was obviously prepared to eat it 3 nights running! I’ll take that as a compliment.

I will be putting this dish on the rotating meal plan hahahaha….I wish I was that organised!!! It’s definitely on the favourites list for a repeat appearance.
Thanks Michael, I love using recipes that are tried and tested!!!