Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The one where Pip Lincolne guest posts & we celebrate my Blog birthday & do a GIVEAWAY!

Two years ago I hit publish for the very first time.
I had no idea what was ahead for this space.
Let's face it I had NO idea about blogging.
I had no idea that people would actually read it.
I certainly had no idea that people would keep coming back.

And that in just two years I would be recognised by being nominated in the Sydney Writers Best Australian Blogs two years running and this year in the Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers!
I mean WOW!!!
I look back at my clunky posts from the beginning and see that I hadn't yet found my voice.
I hadn't worked out what I wanted to share or how I wanted to share it.
I had started this space as a request to a couple of friends who really wanted me to share my cooking expertise and suggested that a blog would be a great way to do so.

Over two years I have met some wonderful people IRL (blog speak for 'in real life' don'tcha know?!)
Some of those people have become VERY dear friends.
My guest blogger included.

This space has become such a great place for me to be.
I love coming here and reading your comments.
I love the interactions I have on Twitter with a bunch of my readers too.
On my Facebook page & also now on Instagram (you can look on the pooter now over here - my Instagram name is gourmetgirlfriend)

And OH MY....I have had people stopping me in the street, at the airport & in the supermarket to tell me how much they love my blog or how dinnertime with their kids has been transformed from a place of stress to a happy place or how much they like a dish they cooked.
What a great community of fab people.

And now some VERY exciting opportunities are popping up for me- all because of this space.

SO...... as a special thankyou I am holding my VERY first giveaway.
Hardie Grants books have kindly offered TWO yes TWO books to giveaway.
What a perfect way to celebrate my Blog's 2nd birthday!!!!

How lucky are you guys?!!
Well actually How Lucky AM I?!!!!!
You guys are the BESTEST!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me WHAT your favourite thing to cook is and WHY.
(PLEASE NOTE: Competition is only open to Australian residents & I need to be able email the winner!)

Thanks for everything & GOOD LUCK!

The Best Ever Birthday
Make Hey while the suns shines

Now over to my VERY SPECIAL GUEST:

Happy Birthday Gourmet Girlfriend!  I am so excited to be able to sneak a turn on your blog today!  Thanks for saving me a seat!

So, I thought we would talk about girlfriends, given that we are on the Gourmet Girlfriend blog!  How does that sound?

Do YOU have a girlfriend, GG readers? I have quite a LOT of girlfriends. I put it about in the girlfriend department, ya know? People marvel at my bounty.  It's not that I'm fickle or skanky or easy. 
I'm really none of those things. The reason I put out a lot in the girlfriend department is because there are so many great ladies out there!

I have a greedy approach to pals.  I know that some people prefer just to have a single bestie, and I do admire that.

But for me a bestie would mean creating a bit of an exclusive lady club with only ONE other lady… and I would never be able to choose between the ladies I like!  That would break my heart!

My lady friends are varied.

Some have been there since we were teenagers, some are friends met through my shop, books or blogging. Some are friends of friends who kindly shared their friend with me.  If that makes sense.  Some are people who have sought me out and made me their bud.  Some are people I've accidentally met and liked from the get go and kind of FORCED into friendship. Some are people I weren't sure about but fell in love with. That sounds like a some lot, doesn't it?  I guess it is.

Some of the some I see a lot. Others I see a teensy little. But all are linked by the heartfelt, heart-bursting feeling of admiration I feel for them, their turn of phrase, their cute faces, their skills, their humour, their all-round great girl ways.

The outstandingly good thing about having many friends

 in the lady department is that they are reliably reliable in their radness.  They can be trusted to be there on the other end of the phone, Facebook, email, couch, park bench. They can be relied upon to be interesting, smart,  kind, funny, delightful… or all of the above.  They are there to lend an ear, a cup of sugar, a swipe of lippy, a clog or two.  They are solid. Solid as a rock.

 Are your girlfriends like that?

Happy Birthday to one of my favourite girlfriends : Gourmet Girlfriend

xx Pip

Comments are now closed as we have a WINNER!!!!
The lucky winner was drawn via Random.org 

I am looking fair and square at you Veggie Mama!!!!!!
Thank you to everyone who came to visit!
I hope you keep coming back.


  1. Happy Bloggy Birthday!! LOVE that selection of music. Oh, two gorgeous girls in one post.

    My favourite thing to cook is chocolate self-saucing pudding - it's rich, sweet, caramely, delicious and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. The best thing is it makes everyone who eats it smile and I LOVE that xx

  2. Happy Blog Birthday Ruth! I can boast that I have been one of those readers since the beginning and watched your blog become such a great place to visit everyday!! :) You are an amazing writer and so happy that you are getting so many doors for you open for just you being you! I knew it from the start! (Muahaha *cackle*)

    For my favourite to cook, it has to be back to the classics with a carbonara. There is nothing like taking a lazy day to make your own fettucine, slowly reardown pancetta, fresh parsley and a couple of Green Eggs. YUM! I have just made my mouth water....xox

  3. Scooze me birthday girl! xx

  4. Happy 2nd Blog Birthday!!!!!
    My favourite thing to cook would have to be traditional Greek Easter biscuits called koulourakia. My husband comes from a Greek background and the recipe is his grandmothers recipe (she has sadly passed away). I love making them with our three young daughters; it's very special and lovely to keep the tradition going. Thankyou for the opportunity to win. (email is kookla123@yahoo.com)

  5. Happy Birthday! I love to cook cupcakes with my kids, watch their faces light up with amazement when they come out of the oven all risen and baked, then they get to ice and decorate them and in no time they are all gone!

  6. Happy Blog Bday!!! Well done on such an awesome Milestone!

    My favourite thing to cook is Chicken & Bacon Bosciola.. My family say it's like being at a restaurant which is a huge compliment and it only takes 15 mins to cook! It's a win win all round!! :-D

  7. Happy bloggy birthday!
    My favourite thing to cook would have to be boiled chocolate cake. It's the recipe that my Grandma used to bake for my brothers' and my birthdays when we were kids. She always used to scrape a fork over the icing in a certain way that made it look all pretty. It's so easy to make and always turns out moist and delicious! (email: angelalouiseosborn@gmail.com)

  8. Ooh we share birthdays, me and your blog!
    Congrats, your food and philosophies are an inspiration and a great daily read.
    Mmm, my fave things to cook are really simple like a pumpkin, goats cheese and pesto pizza or my slow cooked Beverley Sutherland Smith chicken curry circa 1980s.
    PS Pip's music taste is doing it for me this morning!

  9. My favourite thing to cook is breakfast! How great is it to start the day slowly and leisurely, pottering around the kitchen listening to your tummy telling you what will be just right this particular day?

  10. Happy 2nd Birthday! I have two favorites that come to mind today, but there are always new favs and old! I love cooking short bread at Christmas time. It is my great grandmothers recipe and she used to make it every year. Now when I make it for the family, I know she comes to visit, and make sure I am doing it right ( all by hand, no electric machines allowed), and it always works out amazingly. My other favorite is lasagne. It takes so long, so much love, and always tastes better the next day. Also was the first thing I cooked for my now husband, winner every time.
    Congratulations on a wonderful blog, beautiful style. I love hearing your parenting philosophy as we all know parenting can be a challenge, and its wonderful to hear other positively challenging ideas!

  11. Lovely post Ruth and Pip! Loving the music, Happy Birthday! I always love your blog and it continues to inspire me to be a better parent and person. My favourite thing to cook is sourdough bread. It frustrated me at first but after a few years of practise I actually get excited about creating beautiful bread with the simple ingredients of flour, water and salt. I learn a little more every time I bake it and my family love it, happy days!

  12. Happy birthday! Lovely post from two cool ladies. Favourite thing to cook? You ask the hard questions! Perhaps tea cake - my Mum made tea cakes, usually for Sunday afternoon tea. We loved standing at the bench, watching her, waiting for the beaters. And when it was cooked, back there at the bench watching as the butter melted over the hot cake and the cinnamon sugar was sprinkled on top. But like all bi families (5 kids, plus some foster kids at different stages, numerous friends), fights would ensue over who had the biggest slice or the most slices. My brother Tony always got the most, ask any of the children... So I do love cooking tea cake as it reminds me of my mum, our home and the noisy carry-on over the slices. My sister just moved back from Hong Kong and my niece returned from London so I made them a tea cake. And yes, we laughed about the tea cake fights.

  13. And that should have read 'big' families, not 'bi' families... Although that's OK too!

  14. Happy Bloggy Birthday!! How exciting! I love your blog so so much.
    I'm one of those people whose mealtimes are less of a stress thanks to your blog. And I appreciate that so much.

    My favourite thing to make is bread. There's nothing like the feeling of the dough as you knead it, the sound of the crust as you tap it to check it's cooked, that smell that fills the house and of course the taste... the natural, organic taste of homemade bread is like nothing else. It's a treat for all your senses!!
    There's so much satisfaction is producing your own loaf of bread.
    And now my mouth is salivating and I know what I'll be doing this afternoon.

  15. happy bday GG. champion effort. i am going to make the meat balls....xxxxk

  16. Well this is easy for me GG - my favourite recipe to cook is your Ricotta Gnocchi, and this is why...

    I'm a forty year old lad that learnt to cook the basics when I was a wee thing, because mum and dad were firmly of the opinion that their three boys should have a degree of self sufficiency in this world (I wonder if mum knew I'd end up living the single life back then???). It's why I grin every time I see a certain someone posting a pic of their five boys cooking.

    When I left home, an exercise book of tried and trusted recipes went with me. In my twenties I loved cooking, but somewhere along the way I got lazy. When you get lazy you tend to stop eating real food and before I knew it I was a short lad with an overly round body. I woke up in April last year and decided I didn't want to be round anymore. I didn't have money for a gym membership and I don't believe in diets, so I went with my gut feeling (no pun intended) and decided that the way to good health was to move more and to start cooking real food again.

    Somewhere along the way I started to see cooking as something good in my life, not just a chore. Music on, stripy red apron on, fresh ingredients, a glass of red at hand - how bloody relaxing is that combo? Somewhere else along the way I stumbled across your blog and it sang to me. A real life story with every post. Honesty in every story, the good and the bad (feck I love honesty when I see it). Recipes that are a mix of ones that are still too advanced for me to try (but I love looking at), and others that I see your boys cooking and think 'Well if they can do that then I have no excuses', plus a nice dose of music to bop along to while I'm in the kitchen.

    There's something about the lack of pretention in your writing and your recipes that encouraged me to have a go. Ricotta Gnocchi epitomises all of these things that I've mentioned above - it's real ingredients, it looks a little bit schpicko when you get it right, and even though it's simple I feel like I've made something that's a little bit more special than the stock standards in my old exercise book. I'm nowhere near being a great cook, but I think we all want to feel like we've achieved something new and a tad challenging from time to time.

    Happy bloggy birthday my friend, love your work x

  17. Happy Birthday lovely lady! My favourite thing to cook is your awesome outlook on life, family and food. I like to let it all simmer away in my head and heart. Keep up your AWESOME bloggy work. xxx Me PS: Please don't enter me into your giveaway. I am more than happy to give away my entry to your fab followers. See you at sparrows tomo : )

  18. YOU GUYS ARE THE COOLEST EVER! I will steal you both and force you into a friendship.

    It is my two year blog birthday this month too. It is also my 32 year actual birthday today. So this is even way funner than usual!

    I love to cook risotto. Properly, the old-fashioned way. Drinking wine and stirring and chatting to my husband and flicking rice at my kid because it makes her laugh. Plus it's the very best thing to eat ever.

    Happy birthday GourgeousGirlfriend. Hope you made a cake!

  19. Happy Birthday - hope you are having dinner cooked for YOU tonight!
    My favourite thing to cook is homemade pizza. I love making the base and the kids love checking on it over the afternoon watching the dough rising. The kids all get involved in rolling out the bases and then we experiment with toppings. Some of the favourites round here are roast pumpkin, marinated feta, asparagus and pine nut but sometimes you can't go past a simple margarita with buffalo mozzarello and a little basil! What I love most about it is ALL the kids eat it, all three boys even the smallest!
    Fantastic giveaway ... I have my fingers and toes crossed!

    karen dot mcneil at optusnet dot com dot au

  20. Happy blog birthday Ruth! I am glad that we are IRL. xxx

  21. Happy Birthday GG!!! I've only found you recently but man am I happy I did!! I'm one if those readers that once I love ya I love ya wholeheartedly- I'll follow you everywhere... Thanks for the great reads & recipes & all the super pictures on Instagram xx

  22. Umm both of those books make me so overjoyed i want to squeal! As does this blog. My favourite thing to cook is Chocolate Brownie (with lots of organic dark chocolate). Mainly because its my husbys favourite and he loves loves loves when i cook it. Cooking is such joy when it gives love and joy to special people.. thats what i rekon x

  23. I la la la LOVE your blog. It's my awesomely happy place that I love to visit. I love cooking, especially for my family, so it thrilled me to find a blog that celebrates cooking, family and music is the most fantabulous fashion. Happy, happy day x

  24. Ladies, a little saddened to see that Hall & Oates did not make the mix.

    HAPPY BLOGGY BIRTHDAY GOURMET GIRLFRIEND, or should I say...Mum? What a joyful place this is - full of amazing stories, one of the most beautiful families you will ever come across, ridiculously good food and most of all so much love and style oozing out of every single post. It's a pleasure to visit and the fact that I can call you a real life mate now? Well, it makes me as happy as a pig in mud.

    Which leads me to my favourite thing to cook. The glorious pig, in any shape or form. Some bacon, a cutlet on the fire pit, a roast in the oven or a fancy piece of pork belly. It brings me joy and so that spills into my cooking. All hail the pig!

    Well done beautiful lady x

  25. Happy 2nd Bloggie Birthday! Yay for you, do you have balloons!?!?
    My fav thing to cook (of all time) is.. (drum roll please).... TOAST!! Yes, erk I hear you say, but come on, what is better than fresh white bread toasted with a smudge of butter & a drizzle of honey?? NOTHING!! Even my hubby can't stuff that up! And oooh, have you ever flipped your toaster on it's side, lightly buttered & vegemited a piece of bread & toasted it? DIVINE!! (but I'm not allowed to do this anymore as hubby doesn't like the smell - yes, he's a poo-head!!)

  26. Aw! Ruth! Your BabyMac visited! CUTE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GG!!! (I do to want to WIN!!)

  27. Happy b'day GG, I love your blog and have picked up many recipes from it! I'm drawn in by your instagram pics of all the delicacies!

    My fav thing to cook would have to be my mum's old ox tail curry recipe, with freshly ground spices and curry leaves from the garden, you cook for 4/5 hours and then it just falls apart in your mouth like it's just melted on your tongue.....hmmmm was the question my fav to cook or was it to eat! either way it's divine :)
    Congrats on 2 years!

  28. Hip Pip Hooray!!!!
    Happiest Bloggy Birthday to you, o deliciously gourmet one!
    Thank you for your deliciousness,your sweetness, your soulness, your hipness and for putting
    L.O.V.E back into cooking. And let's not forget your absolutely swwonworthy taste in music.
    My absolutely favourite thing to cook would be my Yiayia's greek-style chicken soup.
    I love it because my girls love it. They would eat it every day if they could. When they say "thank you mummy,
    that was delicious mummy, you're the best cook-er mummy, i love you mummy" that makes slaving away in the
    kitchen worthwhile.
    Three cheers for girlfriends! xxx

  29. Happy birthday GG! Well deserved accolades and the "comment love" is wonderful...

    Yes...I agree. You are one of my favourite bloggers. The way you have mixed food, philosophy, music and family into one big beautiful crockpot is gorgeous. Love it.

    My favourite meal to cook? Don't really have one. I love trying new recipes, so that's probably my most favourite thing....that, and sitting around the table with those I love, eating and drinking and talking about whatever. Nothing beats it.

    Wishing you continued success and happiness.


  30. Happy 2nd Blogi - versary. (I'm fast sneaking up on my first one and thinking about what i should do to clebrate it!).

    My favourite thing to cook varies from week to week. I love a good curry 'cos the whole house smells so good for so long whilst its cooking. I love to make handmade schnitzels with really chunky slow cooked tomato sauce and real cheese 9the best homemade parmas in the world). And nothing beats the nostalgia of my mums Dutch old fashioned favourites, sauerkraut and rookworst or croquettes like my Oma used to make.

    (P.S. I love that one of the Blogs you follow is Mish Lilley's as she's sort of somehow slightly related to me in a round about way. I love how the blogosphere is both so big and so small at the same time.)

  31. Happy Birthday!!

    I love your blog, the recipes are wonderful but mostly I love reading the love you have for your family. It comes through in every post you write and I warms my heart.

    I love to cook Moussaka, I love to cook a huge amount and feed my grownup family, you can hear them almost humming as they eat. It's a wonderful to prepare a meal and then have it sooo appreciated.

    Keep up the wonderful work my facebook/twitter/blogger/instagram friend xx

  32. Happy bloggy birthday Ruth! I had just popped over to visit you to double check I'd remembered the wonton noodle soup recipe (and I had!). Tonight will be our third time eating our version of your yummy soup - thank you so much for the recipes, the inspiration and the wisdom you share here xo

  33. ok wow. Sweetness! I've not been here before and it's super-lovely! Especially as you're besties with Ms Pip... lucky you!
    So, as I've only JUST discovered this resource of awesomeness, I'll have to tell you what I cooked last night, about which my 4 year old said this morning over brekky: "Wasn't that Italian meal we had yummy?!"
    Take one (or two if you're hungry) chicken breast, stick it in a baking dish with as many cherry tomatoes as you can fit, a dozen or so olives, some garlic cloves, a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, and some herbs, and bake for about half an hour at about 180˚C. Serve with whatever - spaghetti is good - and a sprinkle of parmesan. YUM. Easy peasy.
    And happy birthday!

  34. Happy Blogaversay to one of my besties. May you have many more blog years of sharing your wisdom, delicious recipes and Marimekko clog stylee. And those super cute boys.

    Wish I was there to celebrate with you.

    I do not have a one favourite thing to cook, but I love to cook anything if it's to share with the people I love


  35. Happy Birthday Gourmet Girlfriend. You have become a regular 'go to' for my favourite recipes and I have shared them with my closest girlfriends too. Ohh my!!! the love in these comments is a testament to your awesomness!!! Hip hip hooray for you. My favourite recipes of all times involve soba noodle recipes with miso soup passed seperately : tokyo style. I love the earthiness and nurturing quality of Japanese recipes and they are so easy to adapt. Love to you. Auntygerrysnest

  36. I love cooking anything that you have made,... why? Because you make everything with so much love! SO MUCH LOVE that I hope rubs off a little on me! I adore you,..I adore your divine family,.and I adore your STORY! You are amazing Ruthie. much love and HUGE HUGS!! XXXXX

  37. Happy birthday Gourmet Girlfriend! My favourite thing to cook is LASAGNE! Thinking about it makes me drool. It's been a favourite of mine since childhood, and when I cooked it the first time, it was so much easier than I had originally thought! Win!

  38. I LOVE to cook Japanese dumplings!!!
    Because they're so great to share with family and friends and everybody LOVES them!
    I put a post on my blog with a recipe and how to images! check it out if you like :) http://allaboutpomegranate.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/diy-japanese-dumplings_30.html


  39. Congrats to a fabulous and gorgeous blogger on the 2nd birthday of a constantly evolving and wonderful blog
    Must say, I feel a little sense of pride in having been along for the ride since day one!
    Yay to us and to finding fabulous IRL friends on the the amazing interwebesphere.

  40. Congratulations on your bloggy birthday. Ask me anytime of the day what my favourite thing to cook is and it will change according to the day, the ingredients in my fridge, the market I have visited, the blog I have been inspired by (and it is so often yours - my god the first time I made your ricotta gnocchi we all almost died with joy). Today my favourite thing to cook is lamb shanks because they have been simmering away all day in the oven warming the house on a day the temp didn't get higher than the temp it reached at 8am. Overnight the pot will go into the fridge to be ready for friends, laughter, red wine and music for a late lunch tomorrow afternoon.

    Bless you and your lovely blog, insights into family and recipes which have never failed me.


  41. I'm so thrilled to know you and those gorgeous gourmet boyfriends IRL.
    And I love cooking with whatever is in season, fresh from the garden.
    Picking it and cooking it straight away never fails to thrill me.
    Today it's hearty soup and the last of the apples into a cake.
    Happy blog birthday GG. x

  42. Happy 2nd Birthday! I only discovered you yesterday via intagram and I can't wait to go back through you posts and try some of your recipes out on my hubby and 2 daughters! I love to cook and find it hard to pick a favourite thing to cook, but the best feeling is seeing empty plates after tea time!

  43. Happy 2nd Birthday! I have lots of favourites, but at the moment soup (too many favourites to choose one in particular) and cinnamon anzac biscuits. Yummmm!

  44. Wonderful lady - happy bloggy birthday! You are a bright light, a bounty of happiness, laughs and an abundance of love. Hope you had a special day. x

  45. Ive been with you throughout the journey and you bring sanity and inspiration into my life (together with a more than healthy dose of reminders to be nicer and more in awe of my family). Congrats ms girlfriend. I feel pretty chuffed to know you
    In terms of cooking, you put me to same but my weakness is a good old traditional carbonara. It has always made me joyous and thankfully it has the same effect on my kids.

  46. Fancy you being a whole 2 years old, GG! and you're almost as gorgeous a 2 year old as you were IRL - as I've heard they say. In fact there are a lot of resemblances - feisty, funny, smart, got a real way with words, love to dance and sing,full of imagination, unafraid to state your ideas and to try new things. Most of all though there is exactly the same extraordinary capacity to invite people to share with you and to join with them wholeheartedly in exploring what you enjoy. And of course there were always clogs! So proud of you.xx

  47. Even if I can't be in the giveaway, and even if we aren't IRL, and even if I don't eat meat (or a whole list of other things), I just want to say, Thank Goodness For Gourmet Girlfriend. Your blog is an inspiration, YOU are an inspiration. And I can't believe GG is only two! You are far too amazingly together and pro at this to only be a toddler. You are officially Blog Royalty. SO glad I met you, my friend. And I know someday I will Meet you!

    As for cooking? Pulses are my thing. How to bring the humble bean or lentil into the realm of The Gourmet, that's my agenda. :-)

    Pip, wonderful post. Yes one can never have too many girlfriends. They are what holds us up and holds us together. I'm with you on that!
    C xx

  48. Happy Bloggy Birthday!
    I am relatively new here too, and love the way you share your meals and cooking adventures! My fave thing to cook (even tho we are in humid Queensland)is Yorkshire Puddings - the kids know the recipe and help - and LOVE them too!XX

  49. Happy Bloggy Birthday Ruth, and congratulations on all the exciting things coming your way. My favourite food to cook is our Lebanese feast. I know the recipes well, it feels comfortable, but the fresh flavours get me every time! Have you been to Abla's in Carlton?

  50. Happy Birthday, I've only just found you thanks to kidspot and I'm loving it so far! I love to cook biscuits with my two year old. It is amazing how much fun just pouring in flour or cracking an egg can be at that age! And then to watch her practise on her playdough with her play kitchen is amazing. Playdough cookies ready in the oven for daddy to come home every night.

  51. happy blog birthday & thanks for sharing xx
    one of my favourite things to cook is vegetable lasagne. there's the roasting of the veg, the making of the lasagne pasta, the sauce, the putting together, layer upon layer, the smell while cooking and the EATING! it takes all day in bits and bobs to put together and i love doing it.

  52. Happy birthday lovely lady! I'm having a little tear up reading all of the special things people are writing about you and your blog. Personally, I like to save up your posts for the after school/kinder morning hullabaloo, till my coffee is freshly ground, till a sense of peace has been restored....then i sit down, log on, pure bliss...sometimes I might even save you for special wine times....in response to what is my favourite thing to cook - to me its not about a single recipe (too hard - whats my favourite song? also too hard) for me its what cooking does for me - not only does it soothe my soul (which is sometimes very un-zen with a house full of boys - you know that tsunami ride), but its filling bellies, providing for my family, my friends, sometimes even strangers, that blows my hair back. I feed people, I feel complete. Cooking for me nourishes not only the empty bellies in my house, but it helps nourish me. Fill the bowl, fill the soul. Happy days wished to you and yours xoxo

  53. Happy bloggy birthday Ruth!

    I too find it hard to choose just one favourite thing I like to cook, for me its probably cooking new recipes, like your ricotta gnocchi I made last night, it was so fun to make something new, its like an adventure, making a new discovery. And I like that.

    Thank you Ruth for all your inspiration and amazing recipes!

    xx j

  54. Hi there, I love to cook bread, it is my favourite thing in the whole world to make. I have recently made my own starter, freecycled my breadmaker, and now I make my own sourdough bread each day from scratch. It is really very very easy, and the time is in the resting, but it tastes how real bread should, not the stuff that is sold in the supermarkets. I have five children too, and it is all about priorities, and baking bread smells just lovely too!!!!

  55. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, although I have only recently found your blog, I have loved it!!! My favourite things to cook is three things. There is a breakfast that we had down the coast and I love copying this and adding our own touches. It is in little pots with beans, tomato, chorizo and eggs on top with herbs, served with sour dough grilled toast and the family always enjoys this. Secondly is the cake, my mum used to cook date loaf, I love doing this as it instantly transports me back to her kitchen and when I was young getting the bowl when she was finished, It was a beautiful glass bowl and so special. My dad always used to cut the cake too soon when it was still hot and oh so good. The smells remind me of them. Last one is making a simple golden syrup pudding with my girl. Cooking has not been her strong suit (eating is though lol) and to see her working so hard to get this right and watching us all enjoy it makes her smile even more.

  56. Happy blog birthday! So exciting! And I'm loving seeing your name pop up on various sites and online mags with your wonderful work - I'm a big fan.

    Great guest post from Pip :)

    My favourite thing to cook is, well, anything sweet. I just can't go past licking that bowl (or giving it to my little girl to lick) and smelling the sweet aromas fill the house. Yum!

  57. Oh, happy birthday. What an achievement and it sounds like you've had a wonderfully positive journey along the way too. I think it's great that you found your voice, but more importantly your voice was something people wanted to listen to. Well done

    My daughter and I have My Grandma's Kitchen and we just love it (the pikelets are fun, easy and yummy to make). I spotted their latest cook book a few weeks ago and it is on my 'to buy' list.

    Amongst my family and friends I am well known for making very naughty, decadent desserts. I actually don't have one favourite but here is my top 6:

    Chocolate Ricotta Cake
    Chocolate Mousse and Hazelnut Tart
    Rocky Road
    Raspberry and Malteaser Ice cream
    Banana and Caramel Meringue Torte
    Chai Cheesecake

  58. Happy blog birthday! My favorite thing to cook is whatever I am trying to make at the moment. So right now I am practicing making pasta from scratch (super delicious). At other times.it has been home made cheese, yeast cakes, jam, ice cream and all sorts of other home made delicacies...I guess I just love learning how to cook things from scratch.

  59. Happy Birthday! It has been wonderful reading your blog and following you along. I hope it continues for many more years to come.

    My favourite thing to cook at the moment is cinnamon scrolls. The recipe is from an Amish cook book and makes delicious sticky scrolls. The first time I had them was at Christmas a few years ago and my partners sister made them for brunch. Sooo yummy warmed with butter. I like to make them with a pecan toffee and cranberries yum yum : )

  60. Happy Bloggy Birthday! Keep up the good work.

    My favorite thing to cook is spinach pie. I love it from the moment I pick a big bunch of spinach from the markets and carry it home like a bunch of flowers! The greens make me feel less guilty about adding fairly large quantities of cheese and fetta and best of all everyone in the family loves it!

  61. Happy blogversary #2
    Loving your instagram and your blog.

    There's lots of things I love to cook but my favourite must be the kids birthday cakes...the anticipation, the ridiculous amount of food colouring and the sheer joy that they are greeted with makes it all worthwhile

  62. Hi spunky mama....I love to cook lots of things, too many to narrow down to one. I love to cook the vegies i have grown. I love it when nearly everything on the table is from the garden. I love to cook Indian food - especially curries as they are delicious and i can cook them through the day before the chaos of the evening, I love to cook lebanese - felafels, homous, tabouli. I love to cook granola, anzac biscuits, hot chocolate self saucing puddings, apple crumbe...i love food, i like to be healthy too and so i love to cook. Thanks for all your very varied recipes and interesting anecdotes about family life. I usually relate to all you say....i really do look forward to your every post. Have fun, keep dancing....