Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Lunchbox #9 - Holiday Special - Lunch Box Treats

Whether in a lunchbox or not, who doesn't love themselves some treats?!  And especially, who doesn't love themselves some vintage treats?  No, no, I'm not talking about treats from 1987 that I happened to find hidden in the back of the pantry ('cause, ewww) but treats based on vintage recipes that whoosh you straight back to your childhood.

When I was small, I used to go up north to stay with my grandparents every year during at least one set of school holidays.  They lived on a sugarcane farm and the things I remember the most about those holidays were things like the sound of green tree frogs croaking during summer showers, the smell of oil in the gravel near the huge shadowy shed that housed the tractors and harvester, the humid breeze in my face as it blew down from the nearby mountains and rustled through the cane, the roar and blaze of the cane fires and the pitch black of the night with a trillion stars overhead because there was not a town with it's blinding night-lights in sight.

There were freezing cold dips in the local mountain creek and piggy-back walks down the cane tracks with cousins and hide and seek games in the fruit tree groves and the farm dogs who'd follow you anywhere.  There were afternoon teas with homemade sponge and  caramel slice topped sky-high with marshmallow.  After every night time meal there was what my Nanna called "pudding" consisting of canned fruit salad, jelly and ice cream.  Every night!  You've no idea how awesome I thought that was, considering I came from a household where dessert was always fruit, fruit and more fruit and would you like some fruit with that?  The only icecream I ever had was the one we'd get as a treat at the end of the day on our annual beach trip (Bubble O' Bill incidently) so to have it every night with jelly and canned fruit was completely amazing.

And as an absolute constant there were my Nanna's biscuit barrels which were always, without fail, chock full of two sorts of biscuits, just right for hungry city kids, when the need struck, to bolt in from outdoors, grab two or three generous biccies and bolt straight back out again.  The barrels were huge, repurposed Nescafe bottles (so thrifty of you, Nanna!) - giant, clear glass, cylindrical numbers with wide mouths and plastic screw top lids - one yellow and one brown (or maybe it was orange, I'm a little hazy there).

Anyway, I hadn't really thought much about those barrels 'til I was browsing through my Mum's recipe book shelf and came across this...

And you guessed it, inside are Nanna's biscuit recipes.  Specifically, Coconut Biscuits.  YUM!  Not only are these a perfect lunchbox (or anytime!) treat, they go pretty nicely with a hot cup of tea for grown ups too.

See?  I feel all satisfied and cosy just looking at that.  So without further ado, here's the recipe - do try it!

Coconut Biscuits

115 grams unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
Pinch of salt

Beat butter and sugar to a cream.
Add egg and beat in.
Add sifted flour, salt and coconut.
Measure and roll tablespoons of mixture. Flatten with fork on baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake at about 150-160 degrees until light brown.

In the tradition of my Nanna, I made a double batch.  They fill up my biscuit barrel perfectly too.

Thanks, Nanna.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This week I am...

Looking forward to this...


Reading this...

And you can too with the Meet Me At Mikes bookclub

Watching this... (Anne is so pretty and Gilbert is so dashing!)

Waiting to buy this...
Poppies For Grace

Wishing I could afford these too...

Also at Poppies For Grace

And thinking about making some of these...


What are you up to?  Do tell!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Lunchbox #8

Today's Lunchbox...

Morning Tea - Carrot sticks, cheddar cheese cubes, mini egg tomatoes, pumpkin scone with butter.
Lunch - Mini hot dog containing barbequed beef sausage (preservative free), grated cheddar cheese and organic tomato sauce.  Fruit salad of strawberries and Pink Lady apple pieces (dressed in lemon juice)
Drink - Water

I cannot take credit for the mini hot dog idea - this was Miss Five's request.  I used the stromboli bread base recipe from  Friday Lunchbox #1 to make some mini rolls - you can make 8 rolls with that amount of dough (I have frozen the rest for future lunches).

Also, the pumpkin scones are a big favourite in our household.  I got the recipe from my mum who believes she possibly got it years ago from The Australian Women's Weekly magazine - it's Lady Flo's recipe - for those who don't know, she was the wife of one of Australia's premiers - she was famous for her pumpkin scones!  If you'd like to try pumpkin scones at your place, here's the recipe -

Lady Flo's Pumpkin Scones


1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin (MUST be cold)
2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius
Beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to a cream then add egg until mixed.
Beat pumpkin through briefly.
Sift flour and baking powder and then fold these into the mixture.
Use a 1/4 cup scoop to drop heaps of mixture fairly close together on baking tray and bake in oven until they begin to brown approx 15-20 minutes (my oven takes 12 minutes, if they come out dry try baking for a little less time as they should be cooked through but still moist) 

These are also completely delicious warmed through with jam and cream and a good cup of tea - you can't get more aussie than that.

School will be on spring break for the next two weeks (yaaaaaay, holidays!) so instead of a full lunchbox I will be doing a special "lunchbox treats" for the coming two Fridays.  Are you on holidays too?  We plan to have some fun!  What will you be doing?  Let me know if you decide to try the scones - I hope they turn out for you!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Week At Lillabilly...

Harvest time!  Got any good green bean recipes?  We've picked 3.1 kilos of beans so far and there's still more coming!!

Filling up the cookie jar...five different sorts of jam drop are definately evidence that there is waaaay too much jam in my fridge.

Don't you love plants that take care of themselves?  Our king orchid (Dendrobium Tarberi) minds it's own business hanging out in our bottlebrush tree, then rewards us our neglect with this...

As well, I've been having a good Spring clean.  There are so many vacuum bags of Miss Five's outgrown clothes that I could start building a whole new house with them.  Or maybe just a cubby.
Also, from the looks of this photo I possibly need to spring clean my shoes as well.

What's happening at your place this week?  I hope you are having a nice one!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thrift Store Score

Here are the latest vintage linen finds...


And these last three are all part of the same piece...

So pretty!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Lunchbox #7

Today's lunchbox...

Morning Tea:  Orange pieces with sultanas, plain and seaweed rice crackers
Lunch:  Cold chicken tenders, wholemeal sandwich with Philidelphia Cream Cheese, Mini egg tomatoes, cheddar cheese cubes, green peas.  Strawberries.
Drink: Water

We had the chicken tenders as part of our dinner last night.  I made them by slicing fresh chicken breast, coating with egg and rolling in a mix of breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, cracked black pepper, salt, fresh thyme leaves and lemon thyme leaves.  Delish!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bedtime Stories

While we love ourselves some good picture books and visit the library on a regular basis, I began getting really bored with the same old same old for our bedtime stories.  Miss Five loves any sort of reading or stories so I thought I'd try her out on chapter books - one chapter each night.  We started with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and it was a great success - she couldn't wait to hear what would happen next and didn't really seem to mind that the pictures (by Quentin Blake) where not colour or on every page like her picture books.  Since then we've read a raft of chapter books, some more successful than others.

Just lately Miss Five discovered the big pile of books at her grandparent's house that used to belong to me and begged to bring some home for bedtime stories.  I chose a few of the ones I hoped would be more at her level and here is what we are reading at the moment...we only have two chapters left to go!

Really old books are just the best.  This one is made even more special by having a number of colour plates in it.
Here are two - arn't they lovely?

I remember adoring this book when I was younger and I'm pleased to say that Miss Five quite likes it too.  She even told me that she and her frinds now play "Katy" at school!

 I will be sure to show you what we are reading next when we get to it.  Did you have any favourite chapter books when you were younger (or even now!?)  I had heaps!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Lunchbox #6

Morning Tea - Canned peach pieces in vanilla yoghurt.  Two mini-pikelets (buttered).
Lunch - Salad of tri-coloured pasta bows, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, english spinach leaves, feta cheese and kalamata olives dressed in drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper.  Fresh watermelon pieces.
Drink - Water

It's the first time I've given Miss Five a salad like this for school.  She eats and likes all the ingredients seperately and liked the idea of having them all together so we'll see how we go!  Do your kids like salads?  Perhaps they can't stand them?  Did you like them as a kid?  (I did!)  What 's in yours (or your kid's) lunchbox today?  Do tell!!