Author Archives: Beth Ennis

About Beth Ennis

Thirty something mother of 6 children and in desperate search for my sanity - and handling it all one chocolate at a time.

Monday’s Music Moves Me – Australian Christmas Favourites!

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I love Christmas time. I love it even more as my children get older and want to get in on the fun… what I don’t love is the rampant consumerism or the fact that both Naomi and Leia’s birthdays are that very same week… yes… poor planning on my part there!! This is a spending time of the year for us! Anyways, since we’ve been listening to Christmas music on the radio since Veteran’s Day around here, I found choosing the music for todays meme to be quite easy!

Since the entire next month is about Christmas songs, I am going to share Australian Christmas song today!

First off, one I bet hardly anyone who lives out my wonderful home country has heard….

Six White Boomers!

Next a personal favourite of mine – since as the write up says, there’s no point in singing about snow and mistletoe is Australia… well unless you are in Tasmania, but that’s a completely different story for another day.

The Three Drovers

I love this one… it’s so pretty and delicate!! (If you can call a song delicate!)

Silver Stars

Now… enough of the serious. As a culture, Australian love to tease about thing, we all have a great sense of humour and rarely take things seriously… sooo in that vein… I bring you a collection of very silly Australian Christmas songs! Enjoy!

Christmas in Australia

Australian Jingle Bells

Australian 12 Days of Christmas (Sorry about the crappy video and audio on this one!)

Merry Christmas!!

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In my awesomeness…

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I forgot to post yesterday, sooo here I am at 5am on Tuesday morning, doing my Monday Music moves me. The theme was thankfulness… I found it hard to think of a song with that in the title, so instead I choose to a song about something that I am thankful to have and be a part of… besides the fact that one certain member who will remain nameless *coughGabriellecough* has had me up since 4am.

All we need, all we need, all need . . .
Spread the love around.
Yeah.

Sometimes when I am sitting by myself,
Those quiet moments when not with no one else,
I’m mesmerized by all the many good things in my life.
I think about the time when I was younger,
And the older that I get, the more that I feel wiser.
With the love of friends and family,
Get stronger, and it carries me on through.

So, I say lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely
lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely,
lovely, lovely, love my family.
So, I say lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely,
lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely,
lovely, lovely, love my family.

Sometimes when I am waiting for the bus,
The sun shines bright, and I feel peace like nowhere else.
I know I’m big and healthy, life keeps going, I keep moving, I’m alright.
I go to school and educate my mind, and the way the world is spinning
makes me want to turn around and start all over, hit the reset, and go back in time

Oh, baby, love me.
Oh, spread the love around.
Yeah.

So, I say lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely
lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely,
lovely, lovely, love my family.
So, I say lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely,
lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely,
lovely, lovely, love my family.

What are you thankful for?

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Sunday Snapshot

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This week for Snap shot Sunday I am sharing some fun pictures that I got lucky enough to catch this week on the camera. It’s really moments like this that make parenting so much fun.  So enjoy!!

Hannah would spend all her life hanging upside down… she LOVES it!

Monkey hat!!

 

Skills are rife in this family 😉

Poking her tongue out at me

 

 

Food Fight Friday – I’m all about the bread baby!

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For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been making my own bread. Why? Well for one thing, with the amount of people that are in this family, I am finding it more and more necessary and for the most part, in my opinion of course, most store bought bread blows… hard. Too big of a price, for too less of a product, and I’m sorry, too many chemicals and preservatives. I wish I could find the picture I took of a loaf of bread my husband took to feed the seagulls a couple of months ago… three weeks later it was still semi soft and mold free when I found it stashed in the back of his car. Yuck!

Anyways, I’ve played around a lot with my bread recipe. I started off with one from Allrecipes.com called Amish Bread. It was awesome, don’t get me wrong, but sooooo sweet! Even when I halved the amount of sugar. And then quartered it. Just not what I was looking for… I need something I can spread with vegemite and enjoy! Not something that is cake masquerading as bread. About two months ago I stumbled upon another recipe, which is to die for. It’s no sweet and so so easy! So, for today’s FFF, I am loading the different steps I took to making the bread that is already half scarfed on my kitchen counter!

First things first… 4 cups of bread flour goes into the mixer along with 3 cups on warm water, 1/2 cup of sugar, three tablespoons of yeast, 4 tablespoons on oil (I use olive oil) and 3 teaspoons on salt. Mix it all together!

 It looks like an odd kind of slurry when you are done. Since it’s getting so cool now, I microwave a cup of water for a couple of minutes, and then stich the rising slurry into the now warm, moist microwave to let it rise for 3o minutes. When it’s doubled in size, it comes out and I slowly add in four more cups of bread flour… I eventually have to hold the entire mixer head up because my mixer is just a little too small for this recipe 😉

I let the mixer beat (knead) it around for a good 10 minutes, before hand kneading it for an additional 5 myself. Then I dump it into a well oiled bowl and it goes back into the warm, moist microwave for another 30 minutes (or there abouts) to double in size again.

Punch down the dough (very cathartic btw), form into three loaves and let them rise for a third time… 45 minutes later, put all three into a 350C oven for about 20 minutes… then this deliciousness! The smell of cooking bread is divine!!

 

Here is the the link to recipe I’ve been using: Grandma VanDoren’s White Bread

Happy eating everyone!! 🙂

Monday Music Moves Me and Snapshot Sunday all in one!

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Because I win with remembering and completing tasks sometimes!!

First up is Snapshot Sunday, a little weekly thing I run with Kirsten from Gone Bananas. This week, my snapshot is of…. Kirsten! And Kirsten’s hat.

Kirsten from Gone Bananas and her new sock monkey hat!

Just as a few other mentions, this week I’ve also made:

A Very Hungry Caterpillar newborn hat

Toddler hat - themed on Happy Feet 2

I feel very accomplished! I’ve also nearly finished a sock monkey hat for my youngest… it needs ear tassels for her to nom on, eyes, ears and a mouth… so I am hoping a post for that cuteness later this afternoon.

And now! *drumroll!* I was made one of the spotlight dancers over on XmasDolly’s blog! WOOT! *danceflailskipmoonwalk* So if you’ve come visiting from over there, welcome, welcome… yes, I am insane (who wouldn’t be with 6 children… or to have 6 children?), but I am heavily medicated with lots of awesome chocolate and baked goods!

Spotlight Dancers

For my music selections today I have chosen to go with the colours, and I didn’t really have a prom (not an Australian custom). So here we go!

You can’t do a colour post without this one I think! Purple People Eater

This was also frequently played when I was growing up by my parents: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

and finally…. Somewhere Over the Rainbow… it encompasses ALL colours and I think is one of my all time favourite songs… this version in particular!

Happy Monday all!!

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Food Fight Friday – Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

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If memory serves me correctly, my Mum has been making this sweet treat every year for Christmas for as long as I’ve been alive – probably longer. It me, it means it’s Christmas time (or close to it) and is as important to Christmas lunch as the ham, turkey and pavlova. I tried once, in the long distant past (probably about 20 years ago now!!!) to make this and failed miserably. But I finally decided to try it again yesterday and taste test it out on my local guinea pig, Kirsten from Gone Bananas.

Anyways, for the most part, I’d call it a success. It tasted like my Mum’s, which is awesome, but I was not completely happy with the base, so I’ll start tinkering with it now. Maybe some vanilla… I dunno. Anyways, here are a plethora of pictures, of each step in the process and I’ll add the actual recipe at the end. On to the nomminess!!

1. Using the magic bullet to turn regular sugar into castor or ultra fine sugar. 2. Mixing the sugar, butter and flour together.
3. Pressing it out into the baking dish. 4. Baked until golden in a moderate oven (350F). 5. Making the caramel. 6. Poured onto the completely cooled shortbread base.

(Bottom pictures first) 1. Successfully melt the chocolate (Yay! First time for me!) 2. Spread over the top and cool in the fridge forever 😛 3. Slice and enjoy!! 🙂

Taste testing 😉

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Base
4 oz butter 1 cup plain flour 1/4 cup castor sugar

Caramel
4 oz butter 1/2 cup castor sugar 3 tablespoons golden syrup 400g tin condensed milk

Chocolate icing
3 oz dark chocolate 1 oz butter

Base: Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift flour, gradually add to the creamed mixture
making a firm dough. Press into a greased 11″ x 7″ lamington tin. Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown.
Cool in the tin.

Caramel: Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan with heavy base, stir over low heat until butter is
melted and sugar dissolved; continue stirring, increase heat, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer, stirring
constantly for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. (I prefer to cook in the microwave, a minute at a time and
stir to check until the right consistency. Much easier to clean and it does not get burnt! Pour caramel over cooled base.

Chocolate icing: Melt chocolate in basin over saucepan of hot water add butter, stir well. Spread chocolate
icing over cool fudge; when set cut into squares. Enjoy!

Monday’s Music Moves Me – Owls are the cutest!

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I’m combining posts today. I was bitten by the crochet bug again yesterday after seeing one of my daughter’s friends winter hat. I immediately jumped on ravelry and found this owl patterned hat – because anyone who knows me well, will know that I am am all but obsessed with them. Hannah bears the brunt of my obsession recently – she now has an owl backpack and all her bedding is owl themed. Gabrielle didn’t escape either… I got her owl pajamas 😉 I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate more owls… I wanted to decorate the girl’s bathroom with owls – they have a gorgeous set available at Target, but my Hubby has started a fish/ocean theme and I just don’t have the heart (or the money) to change it up on him. Soooo… when I saw this hat, I had to make it. And since I finished it today, I decided that owls would be my musical theme this week. I will state that I am not so excellent at crochet… but all that matters is that Leia loves the hat (despite it’s one eye being off, and it being a little large). So don’t hate on my crochet skills 😉

Leia modeling her, albeit bit big, owl ear flap hat!

And now… onto the music!

This one has been a favourite of mine, all my life. The animation in this is very cute too!

I discovered this one this morning when I was scouring youtube for owl song… I love it… will have to watch the movie now!

Happy Monday everyone!! 🙂