June 28, 2010

A&W Cream Soda

WOW.....I've just made a drink that is exactly like A&W Cream Soda (here in Australia we'd call it Creaming Soda).

A&W Cream Soda

1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup very hot water
1 cup corn syrup (Glucose)
1/2 tsp PLUS 1/4 tsp vanilla
10 cups cold soda water
1/8 tsp Lemonade Kool-Aid powder (unsweetened kind) Don't worry my non-US friends I'm working on a substitute recipe for this.

Dissolve the sugar and Kool-aid in the hot water.

Add the corn syrup and vanilla. Stir well.

Cover and chill syrup until cold. When the syrup is cold, pour 1/4 cup syrup into a glass and add 1 cup cold soda water. Stir gently, add ice, and serve.

Corn Syrup/Glucose over here costs $5 for about the size of two cups so it wasn't really economical so I found a recipe for a corn syrup substitute that I have just tried and it really WORKS.


  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Dash of salt
Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often. Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Makes almost 2 cups.

I made this recipe then before it cooled too much I poured it straight into the cream soda mix I made and it worked just fine. If I allowed it to cool much more it would have been too sticky and a lot of the mixture would stick to the sides of the saucepan. If you double the cream soda recipe then the corn syrup recipe is the perfect amount.

June 23, 2010

Family Home Evening a.k.a. FHE

Last night for our monthly Relief Society activity we went over Family Home Evening helps. We first spoke about all the helps available for FHE lessons. I love searching the internet for FHE lesson that have everything you need. Here are a number of lessons that I have found helpful over the years. I am very thankful for the clever people who are good enough to share their talents with us.

This link has Ten lessons that are based on Gordon B. Hinckley's book "Standing for something". They include topics such as 'Love', 'Gratitude', 'Civility' and more.

This site has 14 lessons you can download that go along with the Gospel Principles book.

This is a link to LDS Living which has many, MANY wonderful pdf files to download.

After the lesson we love playing games. One of our family favourites is 'Don't Eat Pete'. Just go here and print off a coloured or black and white version of the game, buy a bag of M&M's or smarties and play. (instructions are included on the game)

Here's another version of the game for the older kids...it has more boxes.

Other fun games:

Hawaiian Charades

This is one of those humorous and ridiculously fun family games that can get a little out of control in the right circumstances. Each person, with his/her back to the crowd, without talking and using only their rear end, must spell a word for the rest of the group to guess.

1...2...3 WHACK

This games involves three players...a wrapped lolly/candy and a rolled up newspaper (you can decide the thickness). One person holds the newspaper. Another one holds the candy behind their back and chooses which hand to hold/hide it in. Then they bring both hands in front of them for the third person to choose which hand is hiding the candy. The person chooses which hand they think the lolly is in simply by touching the hand. If they guess correctly they get to keep the candy and someone else gets to play the game. If they choose incorrectly the person with the newspaper WHACKS them. It's all good fun...I promise.


One of the most important things with FHE is that there is ALWAYS a treat afterwards. Sometimes we've jumped in the car and headed to McDonalds for a .50 cent ice cream. Other times I've been more prepared and actually made something for the evening. Here are some recipes that are quick and easy.

One gal last night brought along something she called 'Lolly cake'. Apparently its a real treat in New Zealand. I found a website that gives the 'history' and includes a recipe of this yummy (and oh so colourful) treat.

A treat that has always been a hit in our house...and with the kids in the neighbourhood, is Sherbet (a.k.a. Pixie Sticks). It's a powdered candy that is usually used with licorice sticks or lollypops/suckers.

Fizzing Sherbet Powder (Candy Powder)

1 1/2 cups icing' sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1 teaspoon bi-carb (baking soda)
1 - 2 teaspoons citric or tartaric acid
1 - 2 packets of jelly (jello) crystals OR 2 tablespoons any flavor powdered drink mix (kool-aid, tang, etc.)

Sift all ingredients into a container. Then you can add small amounts (maybe 1/8 cup) to a sandwich bag or even a cup. Give them a lollypop and ENJOY.

Another treat that was shared was homemade chocolate. I grew up on this and really enjoy it.

250g copha (My American friends will find something called Palmin. Probably at a health food store)
1 cup pure icing sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup

Sift icing sugar, cocoa, powdered milk. Melt copha over gentle heat, add to dry ingredients. Mix until smooth and thick. Pour onto a cookie sheet covered with baking paper.

I like to add coconut that I've roasted or raisins or even rice bubbles for some variety.

I'd love to hear about your FHE treats and games so please share.

June 22, 2010

Lemon Slice

I found this recipe on www.kidspot.com.au and thought it sounded yummy enough (and easy enough) to share with everyone.


Too easy lemon slice

Makes 48 squares
Egg-free, nut-free (check your biscuits)
  • 2 x 200g packets shortbread biscuits (I used Paradise Butterscotch Shortbread)
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 400g can skim condensed milk
  • 125g butter, melted
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped


  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
Grease a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with butter. Smash the biscuits. Place crushed biscuits, coconut, lemon rind and condensed milk in a large bowl. Melt butter and add to other ingredients, mix well. Firmly press mixture into tray.

To make icing, sift icing sugar into bowl and stir in butter. Add lemon juice one tablespoon at a time until icing is a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread slice with icing, sprinkle with coconut, refrigerate until firm and then slice into squares or triangles. Store in the fridge.

June 18, 2010

My Bucket List

After a comment I made on my Facebook page the other day, I was asked about my 'bucket list'. I don't know that I've ever really thought of certain things being on such a list but here's things I have wanted to do and would like to do before I die. They are in no particular order.

  • Try Sushi.....CHECK (Tried it but didn't like it the first few times. Still not a big fan but I don't screw my nose up at it anymore)
  • Make fresh pasta......CHECK (I am now the proud owner of a pasta roller machine and plan on making it in different flavours even)
  • Make a quilt....CHECK (It was only a baby quilt and all I did was hand stitch around the pattern on the fabric BUT it was still quilting)
  • Be asked to speak at a Women's Conference....CHECK
  • Publish a book
  • Own matching furniture and not just furniture that will do the job and can be bought off eBay or from yard sales
  • Fly in First Class or Business class
  • Make a difference in someone's life
  • Watch Queensland Maroons make history by winning FIVE series of Origin in a row...CHECK
  • Shave my head
  • Find a bra that actually FITS and 'lifts and separates' (was that a bit too much info??)
  • Get my teeth whitened and prettified
  • Get a star on the Hollywood walk of fame (Ok....I'm not serious about that one)
  • See the snow...CHECK
  • Ski.....CHECK (Hated it!!!!)
  • Make homemade bread.....CHECK
  • See Mt Rushmore and the statue of Liberty.... 1/2 CHECK (I got to see the Statue of Liberty last year on a trip to NYC...and I did cry)
That ought to do it for now. This list can be added to at anytime.

June 12, 2010


I've been given a lot of rice that needs to be used in a timely manner. So I've been looking up recipes online to see what I can 'create' with it. For me to try a recipe it has to meet a certain criteria. It has to sound yummy, it has to use normal ingredients...not ones you have to find at a specialty store and use only for that particular recipe, and it has to be easy. With that in mind I am including on my blog, the recipes I have found that I plan on trying over the next couple of weeks.

I have looked through HUNDREDS of recipes but only found a few that meet all my requirements. So many of them use ingredients I can't even pronounce let alone know where to buy. Oh well. So here are the few recipes I've found so far. I will continue searching because now it's a challenge to find more than just these few.

Sticky Rice

Soak the rice in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Place in a steamer lined with muslin or greaseproof paper and steam for 40 minutes or until soft, swollen and sticky.

Reserve 2 teaspoonfuls of the coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can. In a large bowl, mix remaining coconut milk with salt and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add the rice, stirring well, then cover and leave for 30 mins to absorb the milk.

To serve

Serve at room temperature. Place a large spoonful of rice on each plate. Cut the bananas into chunks on an extreme diagonal and arrange next to the rice. Spoon the reserved coconut cream over the top and scatter with sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

Arroz con huevo frito(rice and fried eggs)

This is a Cuban dish.

1 cup of white rice
2 cups of water
1 pinch of salt
4 garlic cloves

Stir all ingredients together, cook for 20 minutes or till ready.

In a pan put 1/4 cup of olive oil. Cook eggs...count on two eggs per person. When eggs are cooked put them on top of the rice. Salt to taste.

Rice Dish for Po' Folk

1 c. kidney beans
2 c. cooked rice
1 c. stewed tomatoes seasoned with chopped onions
Salt and pepper

Optional: Green pepper, oregano, parsley.