Friday, August 24, 2012

A Surprise in the Making

Graeme and I are in the process of creating what we are going to get/create for our loved ones for Christmas. This little display of love is part of some of their surprise and truly just a shout out to Graeme and his incredible skills in the kitchen. 

This is a celebrated chocolate cake within Graeme's family called Dana's Chocolate Cake. The recipe itself is pretty simple, yet ever so good! If you want to make it yourself you will have to translate its measurement as they are all in the metric system! Enjoy!

1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups trim milk
100 g butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

100 g butter
250 icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
milk to mix
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I translated that portion for you :)). 

Grease loose bottom cake tin and line the base with a greaseproof paper. Mix all the main ingredients together and pour into prepared tin. Bake for at least 50 minutes. The cake will rise a lot and when cooked the center should spring back when gently pressed. 

To make the filing/icing, mix butter and dry ingredients together, adding a dash of milk and mixing together again, adding tiny amounts of milk until you achieve a thickish, soft, spreadable icing. Once finished add vanilla to the mix. 

Once cake has cooled spread filling/icing to your hearts content. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

4th Of July Pinterest Project

Summer isn't over just yet, so I thought I would finally blog about our 4th of July creations!

I saw these a couple of months back on Pinterest and I knew I wanted to make it my goal to make these for the 4th of July party we were going to and thought they would be the easiest thing to create and take!

Creating them really wasn't all that hard, I had found this ideal recipe (again on Pinterest) for the rice krispie treats and putting the fruit on skewers wasn't hard, just a little time consuming, but that was expected; it all came down to the transporting them that made it a bit rocky. I had purchased green planters foam for them to stick into inside the cute red tin I had found, but because the rice krispie treats were just a tad too heavy some of them started to "fall" off the sticks.

Overall they were a huge hit, super yummy, and no one really minded eating "fallen stars". If you want to try this fun little creation yourself even just for a random day no where close to the 4th of July look no farther than here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Our Big C

No one is really prepared when you hear the word cancer in relation to those that we love.

Cancer sadly is a part of a lot of people's daily lives, I know, but nothing could have prepared me for that day in April when I got the call that someone I love very much was going to have to fight in a way they never had before. My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer on April 27, 2012; and yes, it is one of the most treatable kinds of cancer, but to me all I could hear were the words, "it's cancer Heidi".

The days and weeks to follow were a couple trips back and forth to the central coast, crying, lots of phone calls, crying, research, writing, more crying, and prayer. Over the months I really became numb to the whole situation and really just started to operate in cruise control mode, until a choice was made to which route he would fight.

July would be the month of his surgery, they would open him up, remove the cancer, and call it a day.

July has come and gone and that early Thursday morning seemed to drag on like no other day, but it all went well and they got it all! Some of the best news one could hear, but it was the days following that really showed me what I was made of and capable of. I learned how to be a "nurse in a pinch", communicate effectively in stressful situations, and learn to love my parents in a whole new way. I made a couple of new friends and I realized I just can't control or take care of everything no matter how hard I tried.

One of my new favorite friends is Piper. She was my Dad's main nurse and truly such a thoughtful, caring, attentive individual. Come to find out her life had been impacted by cancer as well. Just a couple of years ago her husband lost his battle with cancer and because of the interactions with his nurses and the lack of interaction, she thought she could do a better job and went back to school for her nursing degree. It broke my heart to hear her share this story, but I was so thankful for her story too, that she chose not to roll over and die herself after losing the person she loved. She chose to make a difference in those who were fighting the same fight she and her husband had. I loved getting to know Piper, seeing her put up with my Dad and his stubborn side, along with dealing with my somewhat overbearing Mum. She's an incredible person and if it were only for this reason for my family to meet Piper and get to know her, it would make sense in a strange sort of way.

Cancer has been around my life, but now it has been a part of my life, and will continue to be as Dad gets his regular check ups and tests, but like so many other things in this life it doesn't define me or him. It just changes you and impacts you in a way I think most of us are never prepared for.

On a lighter happier note...this is Max. Since he couldn't come to the hospital with us, he wanted to make sure to send Dad a get well and come home soon bouquet...