Opportunity Knocks

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This week I’m grateful for opportunities. I got a knock on the door (actually, a Facebook message, but same-same) inviting me to write for an incredible blog, We Heart Life. They are relaunching on Monday and I’ve accepted the gig as a member of the new team. I even have a super cute members badge!

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An inspiring bunch of writers will be hanging at We Heart Life, doing what they do so well. Pop over for a cuppa sometime (um, BYO tea). Thank you to the gorgeous Carly for the invitation. I’m looking forward to this new writing adventure.

I’m playing along with Gratefuls hosted by Maxabella and Kidspot, and Flog Yo Blog Friday, hosted by With Some Grace. Why not give them some love too?

What do YOU believe is the source of happiness?

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Today I’m grateful for blog love. I recently won not one, but two bloggy awards!

liebster-blogversatile blogger award

Thank you so much to The Tech Foodie and I Have Kids, When Did That Happen? for thinking of Octavia and Vicky, you guys rock! Now I’m passing the awards on to these interesting, funny, inspiring new blogs that I found just recently. Click to on each one below to pay them a visit.

*drumroll please*

The Liebster Award goes to:

http://greatbalancingact-blog.blogspot.com.au/http://thejadeleaf.blogspot.com/

Domestic Bliss

Happy Ian

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The Versatile Blogger Award goes to:

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Don’t forget to visit the host of Grateful, Maxabella, and all her grateful mates.

What’s your favourite blog right now?

Portuguese Custard Tarts (Sugar Free)

Wait! Don’t go! Just because this post is all “sugar free” doesn’t mean that it won’t be sweet. I promise. Just look at these pretty tarts!

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Let me start at the beginning. In January this year I was feeling like crapola. I was in a holiday food coma and I needed to find a way out of it. That’s when I stumbled across two books, Sweet Poision by David Gillespie, and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson*. Then I watched this. And I decided to give this sugar free gig a try.

I didn’t follow any program exclusively, but mashed them together to create a version of sugar free that worked for me. I treated it as an experiment, one that I could stop anytime if I didn’t feel like it was working for me (wise advice from Sarah Wilson).

That was 85 days ago.

And I haven’t looked back.

I quit sugar to kick my “addiction” to the sweet stuff. To say goodbye to the constant cravings and the NEED to eat something sweet. I was sick of being a slave to it. There are many good reasons not to eat sugar, but I’ll leave the explanations to the experts. I can say that it’s worked for me. I don’t crave sugar any more. It’s one less demon that I need to worry about.

However. I like food and friends, and having food with friends. I like feeding my friends. So I have sought out some recipes to help when I need a sweet treat on the table.

Over Easter I modified a recipe for Portuguese Custard Tarts to make it sugar free. And it worked! These are slightly citrusy from the lemon zest, and just sweet enough to hit the spot.

Sugar Free Portuguese Custard Tarts
(go ahead and ignore the blue text if you are toddler free)

makes 12

prep + cook time 55 minutes

2/3 cup (170ml) rice syrup (available in most supermarkets and health food shops)
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups (300ml) pouring cream
1/3 cup (80m) water
3cm strip lemon rind
1 sheet ready-rolled butter puff pastry
1 toddler
patience and persistence

1. Make a chair prison for your toddler and set them up with some patty pans, a muffin tray, and some seeds or lentils to keep them busy “helping” you.

2. Preheat oven to 220C. Grease 12-hole muffin pan. NOTE: I used a tart pan for one batch and a muffin pan for the second batch. I preferred the muffin pan.

3. Whisk syrup, cornflour, egg yolks, cream and water until smooth. Add lemon rind and stir over a medium heat until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat, discard rind. Stir extract into custard.

4. Give the toddler her dummy, even though she’s probably too old for it and it’s not sleep time (but she’s still in her pyjamas, so close enough).

5. Cut pastry sheet in half. Place halves on top of each other. Roll pastry tightly (like a swiss roll) from one short side; cut roll into twelve equal rounds.

6. Give the toddler a cuddle and a promise of play in just “one more minute”. Liar.

7. Place pastry rounds, cut sides up, on lightly floured surface. Roll each into a 10cm round. Push rounds into pan holes; spoon in custard.

5. Bake custard tarts about 20 minutes. Stand 5 minutes before lifting onto wire rack to cool.

6. Go and play with the poor kid.

So, what am I grateful for?

~ high backed kitchen chairs that prevent a toddler from falling when she’s standing on said chairs and “helping” me cook.

~ rice syrup, for making my sugar free life sweet.

~ patty pans and their never ending ability to divert the attention of a toddler.

What are you grateful for? Join in with Maxabella and Kidspot.

*Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post.

Grateful: Holidays

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Easter is here, which means a four day break for most people – everybody say YEAH! More than that, for me and lots of other teachers and parents it means school holidays! I’m SO grateful for school holidays. At the end of each term I’m shattered and the children are exhausted and we’re all starting to go loopy-loo. We need the break.

My big plans for the holidays are …. doing some big jobs around the house that seem a little impossible when work is on; playing and playing and playing with Pebble because I have a little less work to do; taking a step back from teaching and getting some big picture planning done with my co-teacher; playing with this here little bloggity blog; seeing friends, family, maybe a day trip or two to the city, or the beach… and that’ll about do it for two weeks, ya think?

What are you grateful for this week? Share it with Maxabella or share it with a comment. I’m always grateful for those too. Nom nom, comments, mmmmmm.

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