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Chocolate crackle ice-cream pie – no copha

8 Nov

chocolate-crackle-ice-cream-pie

November is birthday season in the Hungry House. Yesterday, Miss 8 became Miss 9 and in less than a fortnight, Miss 10 will morph into Miss 11. Between these two birthdays we will be hosting a double birthday party. What is the collective noun for a large group of little girls? A squawk? A shriek? A giggle? Whatever it is, I feel the need to warn the neighbours before 25 under 11s descend upon my house. Continue reading

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Sydney school holiday activities for kids

14 Apr

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There are so many things to do in Sydney these April school holidays that we are spoiled for choice.

Even though we are born and bred Sydneysiders we love playing tourist and head into town most weekends to get a dose of colour, culture, food and fun.

Here’s some of the activities the Hungry Family have been up to lately. Some are just on during the school holidays while others are on year-round.

Elizabeth Bay House

elizabethBay1

Many moons ago I used to live in Elizabeth Bay, a posh harbourside village in Sydney and used to pass Elizabeth Bay House frequently. Just seeing this stunning mansion, with its multi-million dollar view of the harbour, is enough to take your breath away.

In 1835 the colonial secretary Alexander Macleay was determined to build an iconic splendid home. That he did but there is more to this mansion than just another Sydney-real-estate-is-crazy-expensive story.

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On our recent visit we were extremely lucky to be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the place by a guide. She even took us up the ‘servants stairs’ into the attic where staff used to sleep – an area that is usually off limits.

As part of school holidays activities there was a free craft table with a butterfly focus for kids to get creative – score!

ElizabethButterflies

http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/elizabeth-bay-house

MCA

MCALift

The Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay has free entry, with the exception of special exhibits. We visited a few days ago, stopping first on level four to eat at the wonderful MCA Cafe. With a view over to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House it is a great pace to sit and soak up the environs on Sydney Harbour. Find a table – you can sit indoors or outside – then line up to order. Service is relaxed and friendly and you can order a glass of wine or coffee, too.

MCA-silver

After we were satiated – I highly recommend the avocado and tomato cottage loaf – we headed downstairs to the children’s art trail. The gals were given a clipboard, worksheet and pencil and told which art woks to look at it. After they had finished their assignments they were grated access to an amazing room where they made collages. This room had a jaw-dropping view over the harbour, but the little people were so occupied with cutting, gluing and creating that I doubt they noticed.

MCACraftTable

www.mca.com.au

The Australian Museum

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This place has long held a special place in our hearts and we have been so many times to ‘the dinosaur museum’ (as Miss8 has dubbed it) that it feels like a second home.

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The recently opened Trailblazers exhibit is a round up of some of Australia’s best and bravest pioneers. The feats these people have undertaken is nothing short of inspirational – in fact, you find yourself wondering what you’re doing with your time when you see what these amazing people have achieved.

Trailblazers

This is a hands-on exhibit that even includes a mini rock-climbing wall. My gals LOVE rock climbing so they were thrilled to have a go – and The Hungry Dad joined them 🙂

musRock

Kids have free entry into Trailblazers on weekends. See http://australianmuseum.net.au/trailblazers-australias-50-greatest-explorers

Other activities:

The Sydney Opera House always has a free creative play event in The Western Foyer during school holidays. The activity changes each hols and some are more engaging than others. We always check it out, even if we aren’t headed there to see a show. www.sydneyoperahouse.com

Opera

We visited the Sydney Harbour Icons Lego exhibition late last year and had a blast, though I have no idea what happened to the many photos I took! I suggest booking online and reserving an early morning spot. Get inspired by the Opera House and Luna Park models, then have a go making your own creation with the umpteen Lego bricks.

http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/exhibitions/sydney-harbour-with-lego-bricks

Speaking of… Luna Park has been thrilling youngsters for generations. It is free to walk through the gates but you will need to buy a pass to go on rides. To be honest, a couple of hours is enough here. I suggest either taking your own food – there are picnic tables on the harbour foreshore – or heading into Kirribilli to eat. Food here is expensive, carnival clichéd, and options are limited. Your best bet is to walk under the Harbour Bridge to the other side of Kirribilli for food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple chocolate cornflake biscuits / cookies (Afghan biscuits)

2 Jan

Easy chocolate cornflake cookies - The HUngry Mum

Baking and reading are two of my favourite hobbies so you can imagine how happy I am when perusing the cookbook section of my local library. I love meandering through, taking my time to flick through the baking books to find the right ones to borrow. Continue reading

Easy Rudolph mini chocolate cupcakes

22 Dec

rudolph mini chocolate cupcakes

Everyone loves a cute cupcake and Christmas is the best time to get all ‘squee’ with your baking.

I have been baking for friends, family and neighbours as long as I can remember and these mini Rudolph mini cupcakes are always a hit.

This year Misses 8 and 10 took over baking and decorating duties for the neighbours as I attended to last minute Christmas duties. They were gratefully received by everyone, and after delivering them the gals came home clutching a giant box of chocolates

And aren’t the tins adorable? My friend from work, Stephen, frequents op shops and always stocks up tins for me. I use them to package up baked goods.

These cakes best made on the day of serving, or you can bake then freeze the uniced cakes. Bring to room temperature before decorating.

GATHER:

1 cup self-raising flour

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup marsala

125g melted, cooled butter

2 heaped tablespoons sifted cocoa

2 eggs

red M&Ms

choc bits

coloured M&Ms or choc drops for eyes

pretzels, broken in half, for antlers

reindeer cupcakes - the hungry mum

LET’S DO IT:

Line 2 mini muffin tins with mini muffin wrappers, pre-heat oven to 175C.

Add all ingredients into bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for three minutes.

Spoon into wrappers, bake for 15-ish minutes/until a skewer instead comes out clean.

Place on wire rack. When totally cool ice with ganache {RECIPE BELOW}.

 CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

In a small saucepan over low heat melt 125g dark chocolate [broken into chunks] with 1/2 cup cream. Stir until melted, thick and glossy. Allow to stand 15 minutes until thick. Use knife to spread over cakes. Decorate the cupcakes to resemble reindeers.

rudolph cupcakes.

Sydney school holiday idea for kids: Australian National Maritime Museum

7 Apr

maritime1 School holidays in my opinion are a delicate line between ‘yay, a chance to spend some time with the kids without stress’ to ‘what on earth are we going to do all day every day?’ Continue reading