the girl makes christmas cookie mix

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It’s that time of year again: the heat is scorching, the beach is packed, the lychees are in season and carols are sung. Christmas is just over a week away.

If you’re sick of negotiating the Westfield car park and the shoppers who need a little more of the festive spirit, how about you try making your own Christmas gift? This cookie jar mix is the perfect alternative.

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Ingredients

NB: The quantities may change slightly depending on the size of your bottle!

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 pinch of baking soda
  • 1.5 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Lots of Christmas coloured M&Ms

How to make the bottle:

  1. Make sure your glass bottle is completely dry.
  2. Pour each ingredient into the bottle in the following order: flour, oats, brown sugar, white sugar then M&Ms.

How to make the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Poor the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add two eggs and some butter.
  4. Place cookie mix in small balls on a tray and cook until golden brown.

 

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Merry Christmas!

the girl goes to chester street bakery

After watching the Chester Street Bakery’s instagram feed adoringly all semester, I finally managed to go and explore the little cafe for myself. It certainly lived up to my expectations.

This rainbow coloured cake was just one of the delicious desserts to choose from.
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I felt a little guilty enjoying all this scrumptious food for myself, so I decided to bring home a Snickers cheesecake for Mum. It was rich and filling but so worth it!

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If you want to check out this quaint and cool New Farm cafe for yourself, all the details are at http://www.chesterstreet.com.au . You will not regret it!

Follow the girl in the white house for more food related adventures!

the olive tree’s secret

It was the morning of my hardest exam for the semester. It was supposed to start at 8:30am and I was sick to my stomach with nerves. I kept having one of those I’m-going-to-miss-my-exam or forget-my-notes or my-pen-isn’t-going-to-work dreams, so in the end I just forced myself to get out to bed and face the day.

The morning unfolded as usual. Coffee. Egg on toast. The morning news presenter talking in the background. I was hardly paying attention to anything. My mind was preoccupied with the three certainties needed to create a trust and the powers and duties of a trustee.

When I opened the front door to leave, there was the sound of a flurry of wings coming from the olive tree that grew next to our porch.

Note: If you live in my area at this time of year, chances are you will become paranoid that any movement out of the corner of your eye is a vicious, territorial magpie coming to get you. Needless to say, I panicked.

After a brief moment of terror, I realised that it had been a greyish brown bird that had flown from the tree (not a terrifying black and white one). My fear subsided.

Curiously, I peered into the part of the tree from which she had bolted. There was a nest, with three little eggs. It made my day! We are going to have chicks!

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When I arrived home after my exam – ecstatic that it was over and not unhappy with how it went – I checked inside the olive tree. The bird was sitting in her nest, staring back at me. She didn’t move a muscle.

Now, every time I leave or arrive home, I look into the olive tree to find my little bird and her nest. I, and many of my neighbours, are eagerly awaiting the hatching of the eggs.

It just goes to show that it is the little things in life, like a bird choosing your house to make her home, that can bring some light into your days.

Pretty in Purple

For many university students in Australia, the end of October means exams are fast approaching. This is marked by the jacaranda trees that bloom, turning our parks, streets and city purple.

They look stunning against a blue sky.

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They brighten the gloomiest of grey skies.

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I have heard rumours that these beautiful flowers are a bad omen for any unlucky student upon which they fall…. But I am not convinced. How could something this naturally beautiful be unlucky?

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They way I see it, being covered in purple snow could only mean that you have been showered in good luck.

Best of luck to everyone who is studying for exams. When you need a break, go for a walk outside. Life’s less stressful when you look up and see the jacarandas!

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the girl’s custard pie (galaktobouriko)

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A chef once said, “Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance.” The warmth and comfort that comes from a slice of a well-made galaktobouriko is akin to a feel-good song. My family love it so it doesn’t last long in our house!

Cooking this dessert occurs in three stages. First, you make the custard. Then, you bake it in the pastry and just before you are ready to serve, you pour a sugar syrup over the tray.  The custard is delicious by itself, so you don’t necessarily have to proceed to the final two steps to make a yummy dessert.

Ingredients

For the custard pie

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of semolina
  • 7 cups of milk
  • 125g of butter (+ a little bit more for greasing the tray)
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 box of filo pastry

For the syrup

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water

Method

To make the custard pie:

  1. Place sugar, semolina, milk and butter in a pot and heat. (Ensure that you continually stir the ingredients to avoid lumps in the custard and burning on the bottom of the pot.)
  2. Once the ingredients have combined and thickened into a creme, add the  vanilla essence.
  3. Take the pot off the heat.
  4. Line the tray in which you are going to bake the pie with butter.
  5. Place four layers of filo pastry on the base of the tray.
  6. Pour the custard into the tray.
  7. Place four layers of filo pastry on top and curl at the edges so that the custard is completely enclosed.
  8. Melt a tablespoon of butter and wipe it across the surface of the pastry. (This will ensure you get a beautiful golden glow on top!)
  9. Cut the first layer or two of pastry into diamonds.
  10. Bake until golden brown.

To make the sugar syrup:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a small pot and heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour over the pie.

You can serve this dish hot or cold, with or without syrup. If you are serving it hot, I would recommend adding a scoop of ice cream on the side, whereas if you plan to serve it cold, I think it is best to add the syrup early and let it soak into the pie before you serve.

I hope you like this recipe as much as my family does.

Follow the girl in the white house for more delicious recipes!