Monday, May 30, 2011


Helping to mix the biscotti batter
In our house these twice-baked biscuits, otherwise known as 'biscotti', are a real hit. I've been meaning to get this recipe to a friend FOREVER and thought I'd send it to her via a post. Sorry for the delay Em but here it is.

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe years back and I've enjoyed baking them ever since.  When we lived on the island, I loved watching her make bucket-loads of biscotti (and I mean BUCKET-LOADS!) to be consumed at the restaurant and family home and now I make them for my own family, though in slightly smaller quantities! The restaurant is no longer there but the food is living on in my kitchen, though it's certainly not as tasty as that created by D's Mum. That might sound like a 'crawling' daughter-in-law thing to say but I can assure you it's true.

And note to self - next time use ouzo and not D's moonshine from Burma! Thankfully the biscotti turned out well just the same.

Twice-Baked Biscuits (originally 'Cookies' of course!)
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
4 tablespoons aniseed
4 tablespoons anisette or other anise-flavoured liqueur (ouzo works best)
3 tablespoons whiskey (or 2 tablespoons vanilla essence (the real stuff) and 2 tablespoons of water)
2 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
6 eggs
5 1/2 cups plain flour (unsifted)
1 tablespoon baking powder

Mix sugar with butter, anise seed, liqueur, whisky and nuts, Beat in eggs, Mix flour with baking powder and stir into the sugar mixture. Blend well, cover and chill for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours (I've been known to leave it over night). Shape dough to form flat loaves about 1/2 an inch thick and 2 inches wide and as long as your baking sheet. Generally, it's best to place no more than 2 loaves on the baking tray as the biscotti expands. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until you can touch (and not get burnt!) then cut into diagonal slices about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Lay slices on their sides, close together on baking sheet and return to the oven (180 degrees again) for 15 minutes or until toasted.

You can make all kinds of subsitutes to create a biscotti of your choice. My favourites have been hazlenut and chocolate, cranberry, plain (minus the aniseed flavourings) and pistacchio. Yummo. It also freezes well which is great if you're inclined to make BUCKET-LOADS of biscotti like my mother-in-law! She also introduced me to the concept of a 'biscotti breakfast'. You see, as a product of slicing the biscotti after that initial bake, you'll have crumbs containing lots of crunchy goodness which are very tasty with yogurt in the morning. Perhaps not the healthiest of breakfast accompaniments but scrumptious all the same.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Now that we're all fully recovered from our colds, I have a few posts to make, which may take a few days because I have my sister staying from northern New South Wales and we're busy, busy, busy exploring, sipping on tea and cooking, and talking of course!

Around here we celebrate the 'firsts' of everything (and the seconds, thirds etc etc!). Anyway, we had another last week - Rafael's first haircut! Now minus the little curl at the back of his head which was beginning to look more like a 'rats-tail' than a curl and looking even more like a little boy, he's oblivious to this latest change but his Mama notices every move towards boyhood and reminds herself that he is only eighteen months old (and I'm cherishing every moment - well, most!).

Peter of Tumble Hair gently cut away while Raf sat quietly interested

Later baking bread at home

Big Boy Haircut

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Birds of Paradise from the garden, picked by Dada for the sniffling ones
We've had a week of it and copious amounts of ginger tea, Mama soup, oil-burning, cough elixer (this one by Weleda), a few lavender baths and 'Eucalyptus Hankies' (a little splash on a handkerchief stored close by for sniffing - remember that from childhood?) and oh so many books and hugs and 'homeness'. Antibiotics were required for me but the others escaped them. I am ever so grateful that we have antibiotics as an option, when needed, but it's also great to  know they've had success at fighting this bug on their own - this time at least (I'm sure they'll be a few more bugs about this winter).
Back to the books, our current favourite books include Dr. De Soto, Autumn and anything Shirley Hughes or Elsa Beskow (the latter two authors are ALWAYS a big hit around here).
Drawing by Elsa Beskow
Drawing by Shirley Hughes
Gnocchi seeks refuge under the book-box but Rafael was intent on a conversation
Making her own pretend herbal remedy
Making vegie stock, chicken stock and chicken soup - so very needed this past week
Time with her 'puppy', a remedy of its very own
A little hail storm to remind us that we're not missing anything out of doors

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


May, already?
An obvious one
There was so much BLUE in April!

Her longest bike-ride yet; into the village

The body of a Tea Leaves complete! Sleeves yet to come

So many sleepy cuddles

Moulding with her....

Ducks from here (sleeping apparently)

Pumpkin scones all-round

And soooo much pizza

Monday, May 9, 2011


This mummy/mama/mum/ma enjoyed the loveliest of times on Mothers Day...a big breakfast and muffins provided by Dada and Elsa (with Raf helping I hear), lovely drawings and a card made by Elsa (with some squiggles by Raf), a niece's soccer match (some serious cheering by this excitable aunt), some sewing time with my sister (a top for me...not quite finished), a shared baked-dinner made by D and my brother-in-law with a scrumptious custard tart for dessert (made by my 11 year old niece - clever chook) and then there were all the hugs and kisses and the...well, love. It was a great day. Oh, and the soundtrack to the day? This CD, a gift from la familia. Any CD that starts with a Paul Kelly track has to be good. And it is.

I hope you had a lovely day too, whether it was your Mothers Day or that of someone close to you.

Watching the parents watching the game was almost as good as the match itself! (though that was pretty good)

"Dada, when can I start playing soccer?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The whales return each winter and we hope to make it back this calving season but, this little holiday was all about sharing a work trip with Dada. Despite having to work, he was 'home' nice and early each day minus tales of traffic congestion and crazy drivers, though the views did distract him at times, which must have been just horrible! :)
Enjoying Logans Beach also known as the Southern Right Whale nursery
A visit to the Whale Nursery left us wondering how a whale can tell if her waters have broken? Ha!
At our own holiday 'nursery' enjoying a different kind of water!
Fun at Lake Pertobe