Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ginger date muffins with caramel sauce

from The Australian Women's Weekly Muffins mini book, 2001

1 cup coarsely chopped seeded dates
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon bicarb of soda
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons finely ground orange rind
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup cream
40g butter


* Preheat oven to moderately hot (200 deg C).  Grease 12 hole muffin pan.
* Combine dates and water in medium saucepan, bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add soda; stand for 5 minutes.
* Sift dry ingredients into large bowl; stir in date mixture and remaining ingredients.  Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
* Bake in moderately hot oven for about 20 minutes.  Serve warm with caramel sauce.
* Caramel sauce - Combine ingredients in medium saucepan, stir over heat without boiling, until sugar dissolves.  Simmer without stirring for about 3 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Makes 12
Per serving 18.4g fat, 1929kJ

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some great TED talk links

Living Beyond Limits by Amy Purdy

I would love my Aspie son to watch this one. He thinks his Asperger's is an excuse to not do well rather than embracing his differences as a strength that can take him places that NT(neuro-typicals) can't go.

How to Live before You Die by Steve Jobs

I love this one too, for myself and my friends.

In fact check out the TED site.  There are so many great talks and you can search by topic.

Best wishes

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A photographic update!

untitled-14.jpg by tranquility.zen

untitled-14.jpg, a photo by tranquility.zen on Flickr.
The chook pen built by Chris and some friends over several weeks.

My girls, two of each breed.

My new-to-me car.  Yay for boot space!

Our garden beds and to the right a large rhubarb patch, thanks to a co-worker of DH.

Hope these are all there. I am new to this linking to photos elsewhere on the web.

Best wishes

Friday, December 2, 2011

Productivity update

So this unplugging seems to be really working.  I have been getting a lot more done.  So far this week I have almost caught up on all of November's big chores.  They included washing the curtains all through the house.  I have only 2 rooms to go.  I have also done some "deep" cleaning of the floor and was happy enough to get out the Christmas tree yesterday for decorating.  Of course after all that hard work I couldn't leave all the tinsel bits all over the floor so the vacuum cleaner was whipped out yet again.

I have made a list of the worksheets I will be needing over the next 5 weeks of school (they will run into the new year) and I will be printing, copying and stapling lots tonight and tomorrow.  Right now I am off to dig over my front garden beds and put in seeds.  I miss having flowers to smell.

By the way, a tip I have for those of you who use your computer as a homeschool tool as well.  I have set up my Windows Live Family Safety account with 2 users for me. 

I have one that is unrestricted in where I travel or what I do (except for the usual nasties) but is restricted time-wise to only very early morning and late afternoon during the week and all day on the weekends. 

The other account is called School and I have unrestricted time but restricted programs.  I use Homeschool Tracker and I hate printing off reports so I write myself a list on a laminated sheet then update HST as we do things or do a big check off later in the afternoon on the PC.  I can't access emails or the web except for restricted games for the kids such as Starfall or Reading Eggs.  (Oops, sorry, I do access the banking.)  And I can't play games on the School account, only use Word and Excel. 

I can override the settings as I did set them up myself but they can take some time to update and it is very fiddly so I often find myself writing myself a note on paper and getting back to it later.  My pencil and piece of paper on a clipboard are becoming my new best friends.  They don't distract me but still allow me to catch those fleeting thoughts of things I need to do.

I hope you are having a productive week too.

Best wishes
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