Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hummingbird Slice

I can't remember where this recipe comes from, but it's become a fave in our house the past couple of years. I've made it so many times now I can almost do it without looking at the recipe card. It's a great recipe if you have a couple of ripe bananas that need to be used. In fact I think that's why I first tried baking it - I was getting a bit sick of banana bread. Never thought I'd be sick of banana bread! Actually, I'm not sure if I've posted my recipe for banana bread here. I will check the archives and add it if I haven't already :)

Anyway, onto Hummingbird Slice!

1 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup plain flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
450g can crushed pineapple (unsweetened), drained
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp finely grated orange zest (substitute for lemon, lime or a combination if you prefer)

125g cream cheese
1 - 1.5 cups icing sugar mixture
1 tsp finely grated orange zest (substitute for lemon or lime as above)
2 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice (or lemon, or lime)

Preheat oven to 180 degC/160 C with fan.
Grease and line a 26x 16cm slice pan.
Sift flours and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in sugar and coconut then drained pineapple, banana and combined eggs, oil and zest.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Spread icing on cooled slice and cut into approx 20 pieces.
Optional - sprinkle some extra dessicated coconut (or shredded as I have used) over the iced slice.


Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Adjust sugar, juice and zest quantities to taste.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

I always love the start of a new year - an opportunity to start over and make some changes. I suppose there's no reason you can't do that at anytime of the year. But there's something about having a fresh new calendar & diary - like a clean slate.

I don't do resolutions, simply because I'm lucky if I make to the end of January with them. I have set some goals for myself this year though - hopefully they are achievable and turn into lifelong habits, I think they are/will.

My main goals are to be organised, do more fun things with my children, and do something creative every single day - even if it is just one granny square for the blanket I started last year. Oh that's another goal - I want to FINISH that blanket so I can start some different ones :)

The first thing on my list is to be more organised. A few years ago after looking around the web at some "organisation" sites I came up with a cleaning routine that really worked for me. It involved writing each housework task on 3 x 5" cards. You can make them as simple (or complicated) as you like. First I sat down and made a list of jobs room by room. I categorised each task into daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal. To some people it might sound over the top, but like I said, this worked for me. I then labelled the dividers "daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal as well as each day of the week". I know this is sounding complicated, but stick with me :)

On the front of each card I wrote the category at the top (eg daily, weekly etc), as well as the room and task. On the back of the card I wrote a brief description of the job, including which cleaning products to use - which is really helpful when delegating jobs to other family members :)

I also had dividers labelled "week 1, 2, 3 & 4". On the first of the month I'd sort the monthly cards across these 4 weeks, so the monthly tasks would be spread across the month.

At the start of each week I would sort each of the weekly jobs into the daily sections (including any monthly ones in that week's section). Confused? It makes sense when you do it :) So each day I'd have my set of cards that needed to be done and as I completed each task, I'd file the relavant card back in it's original section - daily cards into the next day, weekly back in the weekly section etc etc.

It took a little while, but I did end up getting on top of the housework by using this system. I'd tried other methods in the past, but this one worked the best. I love the flexibility of it - eg if you have a busy day planned you don't put too many jobs in that day's section. There's also a sense of accomplishment as your daily section empties - often very quickly, leaving the rest of the day (apart from the after dinner jobs)  for more important (FUN) stuff! It also means that none of those annoying little jobs are overlooked. As long as you keep on top of your daily tasks, you never seem to have to have a massive spring clean - which is what I'm in the middle of doing right now - UGH!

It may not work for everyone. But I hope it might be a starting point for someone (or a few someones :) ) Change it to suit yourself. For some people it might be overwhelming to have the weekly & monthly jobs written down - so just start with a few daily ones and then add to your cards as you feel ready.

Since moving halfway across the country a couple of years ago I haven't used this card system - I haven't been able to find them either. So this week I'll be spending some time writing up a new set of cards.

I'd love to hear organisation tips from others - either yours or helpful links you've come across. I'm always looking for new tips to make life easier and function better :)