Not much

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Haven't been doing too much.  Had a very quiet weekend.  The sweetie was doing uni reading all weekend.  I organised and sorted and played UT2004.  Made potato bake for dinner Saturday night and turkey and roast veggies Sunday night.  And I made (well attempted to make) a lemon meringue pie.  It needs a bit of refinement though.  Still, it tasted good.

Today I was dreading having to deal with vendor support but in the end I just didn't "go there" for all but one of my open tickets and just got some other bits and pieces done.

Yeah not much else.

Ingredients

Method

Biscuit Base:

¼ cup rolled oats, processed til fine

1/3 cup SR flour

¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

60g butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 180C

Line base and sides of 20cm x 20cm baking tray with baking paper

Mix oats, flour, sugar, coconut and cocoa powder

Mix in melted butter

Bake for 10 minutes

Caramel Filling:

395g can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup golden syrup

30g butter, cubed

 

In a saucepan, mix condensed milk, golden syrup and butter

Bring to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened

Pour over biscuit base

Bake for 15 minutes, then cool

Chocolate Topping:

180g block white chocolate

2 tbsp oil

Melt chocolate and oil together

Pour on top of caramel mix

Refrigerate for an hour, then slice

Options and Notes

Adapted from Women's Weekly Squares & Slices

 Cocoa in the biscuit base is optional, doesn't really make any difference

 

 

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Ingredients in stock

Butter

 

 

 

 

 

395g can sweetened condensed milk

180g block white chocolate

Rolled oats

SR flour

Brown sugar

Desiccated coconut

Cocoa powder

Golden syrup

Oil

So that's my official recipe, which I now have printed out.  I adapted this to fit nicely into my square baking tray which is 20cm x 20cm. 

And here's the pictorial story .. :)

Everything laid out
White chocolate caramel slice

Mostly measured out
White chocolate caramel slice

The dry ingredients and the butter for the biscuit base.  I use a food processor to blitz the rolled oats and coconut until fine.  You could achieve a similar effect with a packet of biscuits, but I think this has less salt so would rather do it this way.
White chocolate caramel slice

The caramel filling is simple - just sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup and butter
White chocolate caramel slice

The base pressed into my baking tray.  Cook that up for ten minutes
White chocolate caramel slice

Mix in all the filling ingredients
White chocolate caramel slice

Simmer for a few minutes til it thickens a bit
White chocolate caramel slice

Pour over the cooked biscuit base, then bake this for fifteen minutes
White chocolate caramel slice

After baking, allow to cool.
White chocolate caramel slice

This is with the chocolate topping.  The oil helps keep the chocolate soft and not super brittle.  I think I overdid the red/green colour correction here.
White chocolate caramel slice

And underdid the red/green colour correction here.  It takes probably at least an hour for the chocolate to set, depending on how much you let the filling cool before topping it.
White chocolate caramel slice

I really should make more effort at my food photography.  Like made this nicely squared off... 
White chocolate caramel slice

Oh well.  It still tastes pretty awesome :)

ok well I wasn't really.  But I did realise I'd never blogged that we went to a SMWS tasting evening on June 30.  Five different whiskies to try, as well as food (sort of) matched with it.  Lovely evening.

Lake Burley Griffin, moon

National Library

SMWS tasting

This jigsaw I started at the club a *long* time ago, but never did it because I really only had the space in the shed.  But there was always little kids around in the shed, so I never got it out.  Then there were a few times where they weren't around, so managed to finish it.  It was very very slow going to start with, but then I did most of the whole second half of it in a couple of hours.

Smarties jigsaw

Smarties jigsaw

Done in two nights

Arc de Triomphe jigsaw

Done on our last trip down the coast

Silly jigsaw

Done while David was staying with us a while back.  Red Rock Crossing, Sedona.  We drove through Sedona in 1983 and saw some of the stuff in the town, but not this.  Had Dad known about it I'm sure we would have gone there (btw, happy birthday dad ..)

Red Rock Crossing, Sedona jigsaw

And another one we did while David was here.  Just the other day I scanned a photo of us standing on that rock in 1984.

Kalbarri jigsaw

Chicken Kiev

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The other week I had a hankering to cook Chicken Kiev - from scratch.  I'd never done it before.  So I researched lots of recipes, and averaged them together into something I thought would work.  I did this for four chicken breasts - I could easily halve that for two. 

So starting with the garlic butter.  I've got here half a pack (125g) butter, a quarter of a bunch of Coles parsely, and four cloves of garlic.

Chicken Kiev

Chop up the parsely, mince the garlic, and soften the butter.

Chicken Kiev

Mix it all up

Chicken Kiev

Garlicky, buttery goodness!

Chicken Kiev

Lay it out on some baking paper

Chicken Kiev

And roll into a sausage

Chicken Kiev

I stuck this in the freezer for a couple of hours - and it had pretty much frozen.  Didn't stop it all leaking everywhere during the cooking process though!

Chicken Kiev

So now onto the chicken.

We have four chicken breasts, some flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.

Chicken Kiev

Here's the chicken after stuffing with the garlic butter.  This was just a matter of cutting a small hole with a knife and expanding it a bit with my fingers.  Next time I'd sew the hole shut with a toothpick, as they leaked.

Chicken Kiev

Pictured here is 50g flour (seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper), three beaten eggs and 50g breadcrumbs - but I used at least double the flour and breadcrumbs, and you'd probably want even more for a nice thick coating, and probably another egg or two too.  Next time I'd also do the flour and breadcrumbs on a plate, as the chinese containers were a little small.

Chicken Kiev

So the coated chicken.  My fingers got very sticky and I kept pulling bits of crumb off.  Next time I'll definitely do a full two coats of crumbs.

Chicken Kiev

So then fry them for a few minutes each side on a reasonably hot frying pan and a goodly amount of oil to get them golden.

Chicken Kiev

And bake for about twenty minutes.

Served here with asparagus caesar and herbed potatoes.

Chicken Kiev

Definitely a winner of a dish, and I'd like to get a bit more practise at it!

Recipes referred to:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/666649/chicken-kievs
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4748/modernday-chicken-kiev
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/wild-garlic-chicken-kiev
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/jun/07/how-cook-perfect-chicken-kiev
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/chicken-kiev/#xDvrhzbwy01Xu8ez.97
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/29207/classic+chicken+kiev

Monday morning last week I moved desks.  I moved into the team I've joined, but I'm still doing the work we brought over with us, but now I'm separated from Neil so I felt even more alone.  Not being able to see the sky and being in the dark certainly doesn't help.

Tuesday morning the pool had started to freeze over.  So there were small (and huge) snowflakes growing all over the surface!

Ice flakes

Ice flakes

Ice flakes

Ice flakes

Tuesday and Wednesday nights I made good progress on the "winter hobby room" - sticking plastic sheeting on the bookshelves to protect all my models from dust, vacuuming, organising, purging, tidying.

Stationery desk

Thursday night was whisky night at work.  My favourite was the Glenmorangie.  Such a lovely sweet smell, and very smooth.

2015 whiskies

Whiskey

Then we picked up C and all went back to their place for a nice dinner of fish and green stuff - real food I called it.

Fish dinner

Driving home Thursday night was super beautiful because of all the fog.

Night fog

Friday night we were back at EffanC's for another nice dinner, and then we watched Life of Pi in 3D.  Such a beautifully filmed movie, and probably the first 3D movie where I've actually appreciated the 3D.

Beef roll

Saturday morning we did a shopping run to pick up a Christmas in July feast - which we prepared at the club for Saturday night.  We cooked four kilos of pork, two kilos of turkey, there was a ham that someone else brought, and we did potato bake, potato, sweet potato, parsnips, brussel sprouts, jerusalem artichokes, eggplant, minted peas and honeyed carrots.  And there was almost no leftovers.  Pretty amazing.

Christmas in July

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

Christmas in July feast

And there were real live lambs!  Two and three week old lambs rescued from the abbatoir.  Apparently some dodgy farmers will sell pregnant ewes which is illegal.  These lambs were at full term and actually born there and now they're being raised by a couple of members of the club.  They were so adorable.  And happy to be picked up and cuddled.  I even had one start to fall asleep in my arms, until he became to heavy to hold heh.

Lamb

Sunday we came home and had a pretty quiet day.  Went and saw Annie and Stu's new car.  Made pepperoni pizzas for dinner and watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Last Week

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Last week wasn't quite as bad as the week before.  And then Neil came back which helped.  BBQ at @CLBradley's on Thursday.  

Huge steaks

Friday night Chris and Zac came down.  We had wine and pizza and chatted which was nice.

Saturday morning we hung out at home in the morning.  I made a tomato bake for breakfast.

Tomato bake

Went into Civic and got some lunch at the Curry festival (meat on a stick!), then ice skating at Skate in the City.  It was fun but it was super crowded and the ice was all lumpy and rough.  But towards the end a lot of the little kids got tired and left, and the people that were left were getting better at it, so it was a lot better.

Zac in Canberra

Meat on a stick

Skate in the city

Zac skating

Chris skating

Skate snow

Came home and cooked up a lamb roast for dinner, and Chris made a lemon meringue dessert thingie which was delicious.

Wine and cheese

Chris' Lemon Meringue

Sunday not much in the morning, then tried to get organised in the afternoon.  Went over to EffanC's for some delicious soup and boeuf bourguignon and watched Force Majeure which was somewhat cringeworthy.  And the footage of completely empty ski slopes irritated us hehe.

Books

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Two books I read together earlier this year.  Until the first one ran out because it was a lot shorter than the other.

First was Conqueror of Darkness by Phyllis Garlick - the story of Helen Keller.  This book was given to me for my birthday in 1980 by mum and dad.  I read it when I was quite young, but hadn't read it since.  It'd been at mum's and so I brought it home during the house cleanout last year.  It's told for children to read, and quite an amazing story.  The patience her tutor/friend Anne must have had was incredible.  

Second was Letters to Karen by Charlie W. Shedd.  This is another book that was given to me by mum and dad when I was in my teens.  I'd read it then, but again, not since.  Some of the ideas in this book are a little dated - I mean how many wives get to stay at home all day these days? (I wish!!!)  But a lot of the principles are still relevant.

Then there was Pollyanna by Elanor H. Porter.  I borrowed this off mum last time I was in Sydney.  This book was given to *her* mother in 1932!!  (by Manly Congregational Sunday School).  I've seen the movie a few times so thought it would be nice to read the book.  It's a bit episodic to start with.  Each chapter is a small story with not much overarching plot.  But it improves a little towards the end.  The silly thing is, the two things I remember most about the movie - the "glad" Bible passages and the accident were completely different in the book.  Weird.  I'd have to watch the movie again now to see what else was different.  I try to play the "glad game" sometimes (when I think of it), but it's fricken hard a lot of the time for me.  Too much grumpiness hardwired in my brain ...

The I in Team

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So this week I was literally the only one in our team to do our work.  Although Dave5 did help me out which was very much appreciated.  Being the only one to do the work would be fine, as one person could probably do it.  But.  Not when everything happens at once.  Like I'd be looking at one problem when four others came in all at once.  Or the stupid.  I couldn't deal with the stupid.  The first three nights this week I came home completely stressed out with work.  And then depressed.  Thursday I was so depressed I didn't even go to drinks. 

*gasp*

Had a beer with Aquila on Friday night which was nice though, and Saturday, on account of not having to go to work, I felt much better.  My body responded to the drop in cortisol (maybe) by giving me a cold sore.  Yeah thanks body.  And in a place I haven't had one in probably thirty years.  So it's either something new I picked up, or my immune system was really shot to hell this week.

So we had a pretty quiet weekend.  I spent the better part of Saturday cleaning and tidying the house while listening to movie soundtracks.  We watched Babe while eating duck (there's gotta be some irony in that) and then The Rock (the soundtracks of which I'd listened to that day).  Today was nothing much other than food shopping.  I made chicken kievs from scratch which turned out pretty well, and we watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Frozen.

So I think the mission for tomorrow is to stay depressed.  At least that's better for the blood pressure than stress.

Junee

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Friday night we had dinner at home then headed down to Junee.

Played Cards Against Humanity for a while (it was dead even the whole game, and we had a couple of tiebreaker rounds before Stu finally won) before going to bed.

Playing Cards Against Humanity

Saturday morning we started a jigsaw.  Had some Aldi lasagna for breakfast.

Went into town (hacking portals).  Saw the Explorer arrive, then went and had lunch in the Railway Cafe.  Saw the XPT leave.  Jigsaw most of the afternoon.

Junee swan

Railway cafe tasting plate

Railway cafe lasagna

Junee XPT

Then we thought we'd celebrate Independence Day by watching Independence Day.  That was a lot of fun.

Independence Day

D cooked us up some curried lamb for dinner, and we did a Naked Gun marathon (I've never actually seen any of them).

This morning we finished the jigsaw, then packed it up to leave.  Silly really.

Bran Castle

Stopped for some lunch at the Scottish Restaurant in Gundagai, and dropped in to visit Annie and co on the way home.

Countryside

Gundagai bridge

The house was 7C when we got home.  There was still ice on the pool.  The heater has been running since we got home this afternoon and now at 8pm it's only finally 19C.  Craziness.

Freezing house

Cooked a thoroughly evil cauliflower bake for dinner.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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