Sunday, April 26, 2009

ANZAC Biscuits

Yesterday's post on ANZAC Day made me think about ANZAC biscuits. In Australia, cookies are called biscuits. They are my husband's favorite. My Mum made the best ANZACs ever! They were huge, flat and chewy. No matter what I do, since living in the USA, I haven't been able to get my ANZACs to bake to the consistency I like. But, I keep on trying!!

Here is a bit of background on my favorite bickie.
(Aussie slang for biscuit).

ANZAC biscuits are most certainly the national biscuit of Australia. The heritage of ANZAC biscuits date back to the First World War, where on the 25th of April 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed at Gallipoli. ANZAC biscuits (or Soldier’s Biscuits as they were originally known) were sent by women back in Australia who were concerned about the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men by the army. The ingredients for ANZAC biscuits were originally rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water.
ANZAC Biscuits now are still as popular as ever and around ANZAC Day, ANZAC biscuits are also often used by veterans’ organisations to raise funds for the care and welfare of aged war veterans. The original ANZAC Biscuits recipe pairs perfectly with Australian wattle seed, by offering hazelnut and chocolate flavours to the traditional Anzac biscuits.

And here is how to make them!

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal) uncooked
1 cup desiccated coconut 1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
Combine the flour (sifted), oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
Melt the butter and Golden Syrup in a saucepan over a low heat..
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter and Golden Syrup.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spoon dollops of mixture, about the size of a walnut shell, onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving as much space again between dollops to allow for spreading.
Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15-20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers.

The American tablespoon is a little smaller than the British tablespoon, so be generous with your Golden Syrup and Water.

I find Golden Syrup at the local supermarket here in Tampa - Sweet Bay Supermarket - in the British section. If you are really desperate and can't find any, honey would probably work, different taste though.

If you have any thoughts of keeping the biscuits for any length of time, I suggest you keep them in a padlocked container!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

What is ANZAC Day?
ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

Why is this day special to Australians?
When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 14 years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking Turkey out of the war, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the "ANZAC legend" became an important part of the national identity of both nations. This shaped the ways they viewed both their past and future.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Yum, Yum!!

I love to cook and I love to collect cookbooks. In fact, I now have so many cookbooks, I have to be a little bit more selective in my purchases! I was thinking about what to blog today and I realized that for someone who loves to cook and for someone who has soooooo many cookbooks, I haven't posted many recipes. In fact, I have only posted one measly recipe! Well, this needs to change! I need to share my vast recipe collection! So, here we go!!

Today......I think I will share something with chocolate.


1/2 cup
unsalted butter, melted
1 cup
3/4 cup
walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
1 (8 ounce) package
cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup
powdered sugar
1 (12 ounce) container
Cool Whip
2 small boxes
instant chocolate pudding mix (any favorite flavor may be used)
3 cups of milk
1. Mix butter and flour together then add the ground nuts ( save a few for the topping). Pat into a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Bake 20 minutes at 350:.
3. Cool.
4. In a mixing bowl mix cream cheese and powdered sugar together, stir in 1/2 of the cool whip.
5. Spread this mixture over cooled crust.
Beat the pudding with milk and spread over the cream cheese. Top with the rest of the cool whip, sprinkle with the reserved nuts.
6. Refrigerate until serving time. Sometimes I drizzle melted chocolate or chocolate ice cream topping over the top, makes it look even more rich.

Grab a large spoon, dig in, lick your lips, enjoy!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

How softly you tiptoed into our world,
so silently,
only a moment you stayed,
but what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane - Emma

It's Wednesday, and time to go for another walk down memory lane.
If you would like to know more, click on the link above, join in, or just read other's contributions.

Well, my week of good intentions of keeping my blog updated has once again fallen by the wayside. Sick kids, hubby and oldest son travelling and the usual things of life have once again kept me from the computer! But, there is always a fresh new day to renew my goals and to achieve them! This past week as my 3-year-old has dramatically flung himself from one end of the house to the other, throwing temper tantrums with a ferocity never seen before, I kept hearing my mother's voice in my head. No, not the one that said, "I hope you have one just like you!" I chose to hear the voice that said, "If you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!"
I have debated long and hard with myself about what to share this week in Wednesday's Walk. I don't think it was really much of a debate because I think I have known all along what I was going to talk about today. It is just so hard to talk about at times, especially this week. Sometimes it is hard to even think about.
Tomorrow, 23rd April, our little girl Emma would have been 5-years-old if she had lived.
Emma was a big surprise. We had been trying for 12 years to have another baby. I had finally resolved in my heart that we were only going to have two children. A friend of mine had just found out she was pregnant, and for the first time in recent memory, I didn't get that little twinge in my heart when she announced her pregnancy. The first few weeks were a little rough. Through and ultra-sound we discovered that I was pregnant with not one, but three babies. Unfortunately, a heartbeat was never found on two of the babies and they just gradually faded away each week until they no longer showed on the ultra-sound. Emma continued to grow and thrive. I was a high risk pregnancy - forty-one, diabetic, high blood pressure and overweight. Every week I went to the doctor, tried to do everything they instructed me to the letter. Everything went along great. We chose not to have any of the testing done for birth defects, etc. At 8 1/2 months I went to have a amnio done at the hospital. Emma was measuring over 9lbs, so the doctors thought it might be wise to induce. The amnio was to check her lung development. The day before I had been at the doctors for my usual weekly appointment. I had a non-stress test which was normal. I also had an ultra-sound because Emma had been breech and if she still was, they would schedule me for a C Section the next day. During the non-stress test however, Emma had turned around and was head down.
The next day I woke up feeling extremely nauseated, but thought it was just nerves because I absolutely hate needles. We went to the hospital and there we received the most devastating news of our lives. Our excitement and joy gave way to pain and grief. In a room where the walls were covered with pictures of "miracle" babies - babies that had been operated on while still inside their mother's womb - we were given the news that our little girl had died in the night.
When I was in labor with Emma, it was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced, and it was probably made worse by the emotional grief and pain I was going through as well. I prayed so hard for a miracle, that the doctors were wrong. But, when the doctor placed her in my arms, I knew that my prayers had not been answered and I had not received my miracle. I thought that I had failed to protect my child and wondered how Heavenly father could give me such a wonderful gift after 12 years of trying to have another baby only to snatch her away at the last minute.
The following months were a bit of a blur, I did the things that were required of me, that I had to do, but there was not any joy, just depression. Finally, when I didn't think I could sink any lower, when I didn't think I could bear the pain any longer, I finally prayed to Heavenly Father and asked for the peace that I so desperately needed.
Every night I had been having the same dream over and over. I was sitting on the bed playing with Emma. There was a loud noise, I looked up and when I looked back down, she was gone. I could hear her crying and crying but couldn't find her. Every night it was the same and during the dream i would be saying to myself, "Don't look away, don't look away!" But I always did. One night, shortly after my talk with Heavenly Father, I had a different dream. Our family was walking along a cow path on a hillside. Coming towards us was a man, as he came closer I could see that it was the Savior. As He came closer still, I could see that He was carrying something in his arms. The closer He came, I could see that he was carrying our little girl. Finally our paths met. The Savior placed Emma in my arms. My arms stopped aching, my heart stopped hurting. I have never felt such joy and peace. In one brief moment the Savior’s hand and mine brushed. I had read many times in the scriptures about the women who knew that if she just touched the hem of the Savior’s clothing, she would be healed. That is how I felt. I knew, and know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love me. I felt that love. I knew in that instant that I was not being punished. I also knew that I had been wrong. I had received a miracle. That miracle was the Savior’s atonement. He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane for me. He suffered pain so great that he bled from His pores. He died on the cross for me. I knew in that instant that I would once again hold my little girl, that I would get to raise her and we would all be an eternal family.
I still miss her and cry for her. I still visit her grave and place pink roses there. But the promise of having my little girl with me again makes the pain bearable and gives hope.
We have this picture hanging in our living room. Jim bought it for me the week after Emma died. It is by Greg Olsen and is called, "Forever and Ever."
Our family calls it "Emma's picture."
A friend wrote us a poem shortly after Emma died.
After so many years of waiting patiently,
There was to be a new member of your family.
Though the thought of having her was at first a big surprise,
Over time you imagined her, ten fingers, ten toes, two beautiful eyes.
The perfect little baby, the final finishing touch,
To be a part of this family that had waited long enough.
The things you gathered for her were selected with love and care,
The crib, the bedding, her clothes, and the bows for her hair.
Yet, through a simple twist of fate and touch of the Master's hand,
Sometimes the gifts He has for us are not what we have planned.
You see now the roles have been reversed, she's gone back to Him above,
To look down and watch over you, with her eternal love.
R. Eaton

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane - Happy Birthday!

It's Wednesday, and time to go for another walk down memory lane.If you would like to know more, click on the link below, join in, or just read other's contributions.

Well, I am extremely late with this post, so it is going to be my "Walk Down Memory Lane" today!!

The 21st March, 1992 was a very eventful day for our family. It is when Jessica was born - all 9lbs 8.8ozs of her!

This is one of my favorite photos - Jessica and her Dad.

The above photo, however, is my absolute favorite! Jessica was 2 and in her Easter dress.

Jessica is very talented musically. Here she is playing the violin in her middle school orchestra in 2005. They are performing at Epcot.

Jessica also plays the harp. She has been playing since 6th grade.

One of Jessica's favorite things to do is sleep - very normal for a teenager, I know! But I put this picture in to show off her favorite color - RED!! Her room is no longer red, we painted it last year and it is now blue and decorated with a Celtic theme. As part of her birthday present, Jessica and her brother (Joshua) went to see Celtic Women.

Jessica absolutely loves our trampoline. She doesn't always bounce, sometimes she just sits and reflects of life. Well, I'm not sure if she is reflecting on life, but she is sitting!

This photo was taken at one of the harp concerts that Jessica performed in. Jessica has very long and graceful fingers. She plays the violin, harp and piano beautifully. Jessica also played in a steel drum band at her elementary school for several years.

For Jessica's birthday this year we went to "Sweet Tomatoes" for dinner. Jessica also requested a day at the beach, so that is what we did!

All three kiddos out in the water.

The birthday girl.
Sam the Man

Joshua and Sam


Jessica working very hard on a castle - battling against the tide.

Still working on it........

Meanwhile, the boys are playing a very interesting game of badminton.

Sam having fun in the water.

Joshua has been enlisted to battle the ever creeping tide!!

Samuel trying to decide whether to assist the big kids or to help the tide along in its destructive course. What do you think Samuel decided to do???

Our family loves spending time at the beach!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Wacky Belgians

I love the Sound of Music, so when I watched this a little while ago, I had to share.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I wanted to post something profound and meaningful for Easter. I haven't succeeded in coming up with anything all that spectacular, but here we go!

I have been thinking back to the Easters of my childhood. We would have Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday off from school. Our school would participate in Easter programs at the local churches in the days leading up to Easter break. Yes, we would still have the chocolate bunnies and eggs, but it seemed that more importance was placed on the true meaning of Easter.......why we had Easter.

As a side note. Every year I would get a chocolate bunny and a huge chocolate egg sitting in a plastic mug. On top of the egg was glued a tiny fuzzy chicken. At the time I thought nothing of it. But now I realize my parents warped sense of humor - tiny little chicken, huge big egg. This is a tradition I try to carry on with my children. However, while it is easy to find huge, big chocolate rabbits, it is not so easy to find huge, big chocolate eggs. This year was the most difficult of all, so we are settling for smallish eggs with the tiniest chickens I could find! My Mum would make Hot Cross Buns for breakfast Sunday morning. She would make separate ones for me because I didn't like the peel in the ones she made for everyone else. I love them with sultanas (golden raisins). Mum always let me put the glaze on the buns and fill the crosses on the top with icing.

Anyway, I digress! As you can see, nothing profound by me written in this post, but I found the video on the link below and thought it was perfect for this Easter.
Happy Easter


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane - boomerang memories

I have been extremely lax in keeping my blog updated these past weeks. No excuses, no real reason, except maybe the need to split myself in two on occasion to keep up with things. The main reason is, however, I am a great procrastinator! Anyway, I'm turning over a new leaf and starting off my new found resolve with posting on "Wednesday's Walk."

It's Wednesday, and time to go for another walk down memory lane.
If you would like to know more, click on the above link, join in, or just read other's contributions.

On April 1st, Jim and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary! Yes, we are aware that our anniversary falls on April Fool's Day. No, we didn't plan it that way, it just happened to be the day that worked out for everyone!

My husband is from Rapid City, South Dakota, United States of America. I'm from Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. We met while serving a mission for our church in Perth, Western Australia. I could write a epic mini-series on the months leading up to our wedding, but today I am going to tell you about how Jim proposed to me.

Jim didn't give me flowers, candy or a ring. The "big question" wasn't written on a banner or in the sky by a skywriting airplane. There wasn't a big, elaborate set-up with a cast of thousands. It was much, much more romantic and thoughtful than all those things combined! Jim's marriage proposal was original, unique, one of a kind, and just for me.

Jim gave me a........


You may think this is a rather odd item to give someone that you hope will marry you. Maybe it is, but for us it was and is perfect. My boomerang has my initials engraved into the front of it. Not my maiden name initials, but married name initials.

Why a boomerang??So I will always come back to him.