Tuesday, June 7, 2016

chewy chocolate brownies

It's been a very long time between posts as things have been anything but quiet around these parts.

But I am back today to share with you a super easy and super tasty chocolate brownie recipe.

It is an absolute hit in this house and never lasts very long at all, as I am sure you can see by the pieces left on the cake stand!! So I am very glad that it is a very easy recipe to knock out.

And what I love about this recipe the most is all it takes dishes wise that is…is one saucepan and one bowl !!! That is a win in my book.


Classic chewy brownie

To prep
To cook

  • Ingredients





  • Step 1
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Grease a 20cm (base measurement) square cake pan and line with baking paper.
  2. Step 2
    Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Stir with a metal spoon until melted. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in egg, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Set aside to cool completely.

    Recipe courtesy of taste.com.au

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lemon Yogurt yumminess

One of the things I really enjoy doing as often as I can, is BAKE!!!

So today I thought that I would share with you one of my all time favourite cakes....the lemon yogurt cake, ooh yummy!!

And it's super easy to make, which is always a bonus is my book.

Now this is one that I have had in my repertoire since my uni days, and it is always a hit, particularly with the adults. It's not always a favourite with the little ones…unless you have a citrus lover on your hands that is.

And please forgive my photos, they leave a lot to be desired.

Now in the above photos, I have made the mix into cupcakes with a lemon cream cheese icing. Which is more appealing to kids, but in my humble opinion, this cake usually tastes best when made in a ring tin and then topped with a warm lemon syrup to let it soak in...mmm...yum.

So in the recipe below you will see that the lemon syrup is included...trust me...it's worth it


  • 1 lemon
  • 100g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 160g natural yogurt
  • 175g self raising flour
  • Set your oven to 180 degrees celcius
  • grease and line a ring pan (if you don't have a ring pan, you can use a 20cm round pan, but just check it is cooked in the middle before removing it form the oven, as this is quite a moist cake)
  • finely grate lemon rind and juice the fruit
  • measure and reserve 2tbs of lemon juice, save for syrup
  • use beaters to beat butter and 100g of the caster sugar until pale and creamy (save 50g for the syrup)
  • add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition
  • add yogurt and reserved rind and beat until combined, gently fold in sifted flour until combined
  • pour into prepared cake tin and bake for approx. 25mins
  • remove from oven and cool on rack
  • place the reserved 50g of caster sugar and 2 tbs of lemon juice into small saucepan
  • stir over medium head until sugar dissolves
  • bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 mins, or until thickened
  • prick the cake (you can do this with a fork, skewer or toothpick)
  • pour hot syrup over warm cake, then cool the cake in the pan

Serve with double cream for extra naughtiness.

So lovelies...what are your favourite tried and true recipes you trot out when given the chance?


x Manda

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend round-up 1

Well there we go, another weekend has passed us by, and what a miserably wet weekend it was!

Hubby organised a skip to be delivered first thing on Saturday morning..and first thing it was...around 7am I think. For those of you that are early risers, that seems reasonable, right? But here in this little cottage, we aren't fans of the 'early to bed, early to rise' theory.

So, the kids had stayed over at my parents house the night before. As they, the grandparents that is...felt like they hadn't seen the kids 'for ages'. So we packed their over night bags, along with the obligatory cuddly toys and the odd bit of Lego and dolly, and headed to Nanny and Nonnos for dinner.
And really let's face it, no one quite cooks like your mum, don't you agree?

Then as Saturday rolled around, the kids and grandparents went on a little adventure to the Australian Museum. Hubby worked hard filling the skip bin, and I pottered about the house, tidying and getting as much of the dreaded washing done as I possibly could in all this wet weather we have been having here in Sydney.

The kids returned home late Saturday afternoon and normal transmission was resumed.

Dinner...showers...bed time (for the kids)...and a well earned glass of red for hubby and I.
So all was right in the world.

Sunday morning...Father's Day here in Australia...and I had already prepped the kids to remind them that daddy isn't an 'up and at 'em' kind of guy, and that being his special day, he would probably appreciate a sleep in. So some time after 8am the kids rolled into our room and hugs and present and card giving ensued.

Don't you just love the cards the kids make? Their drawings they always add are always my favourite.

And as usual, I made one for hubby too.

So how do you celebrate Father's Day?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Makin' whoopie...

...pies that is.

Should I be in the studio sewing?... Probably
Should I be doing the washing?... Probably, but it will be there tomorrow, plus a bit more
Do the windows need cleaning?...Absolutely!

Do I feel the need....the need to bake?....YES!

So...today I attempted my very first batch of whoopie pies. And I was quite surprised at how easy they really are!
So out came the Kenwood and we did a mix-a, mix-a, mix! Any other mums out there remember that Tro-tro episode? Anyhoo...

Now I can't take credit for this recipe. I found it on one of my favourite recipe websites taste.com.au
When looking for recipe ideas, I always tend to head over there, and I must say, I have never been disappointed with the results.

After perusing all the whoopie pie recipes I decided to go with the Spiced Golden Syrup ones.

Don't know how long they will last in this house though. Besides living very close to school, which means I always have lots of kids traipsing through here, (and usually at the end of the day when they come along with hungry tummies) my hubby has a sweet tooth and regards himself as head taste tester :)

So if you have ever wanted to have a go at making whoopie....pies, have a go. And don't forget to share with me your results.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend

x manda

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today I thought I would share with you some new goodies that I have recently listed on my MadeIt store.
There are some great little notebook covers, perfect to keep in your handbag for those occasion when you need paper and pen.
And also pencil wallets, which are available in many different choices of fabrics.

And also the popular 'tea party' skirt and top set, complete with a cute ruffle on both top and skirt and a gorgeous big bow on the skirt which can be tied either at the front or at the back, let your little one choose how she wants to wear it. They are available in sizes 1-6.

x manda

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spring Swap

When I read that one of my favourite blogs, Sewing In No Mans Land was holding a Spring Swap I just had to join in!

It was also open to international participants...so that suited me perfectly!
We were asked to "get creative!" A spring gift for a new friend.

I definitely wanted to swap with someone from overseas. I thought why not? What is more fun than finding a package in your letterbox all the way from across the waves? (insert excited silly clapping dance here)

And to give our swap partner a head start, we were asked to provide 3 words which would describe our perfect swap gift...

The 3 words I provided my partner with were...green, vintage and spots.
And the 3 words that my swap partner provided me with were...vintage, beachy and crisp.

So this is what I came up with. And I must say I had SO much fun doing it.

  • vintage I went to my local charity shop and found a gorgeous vintage handmade doily. Which after a little soak in some bleach and water, looked as good as new. (And I really hope my swap partner loves it as much as I do)
  • beachy Well I must say this one sung to me. Beachy tones in the use of natural linen and some shells that I found at my favourite beach, strung up on some twine, which could be used as a room decoration just hanging from a nail or strung onto the end of a curtain rod
  • crisp to me natural linen evokes the feel of crispness. So I teamed the natural linen with some lovely crisp cotton fabric which was sunny yellow with white spots. I used this as the lining to the little satchel I made which contains a little notepad and fun pen from one of my favourite stationary stores kikki-k. And then used a vintage button and natural cotton to make a closure.I also made two linen coasters for my swap partner. I am not really a coaster user, but always use one in the studio, so I thought my partner may want one in hers too. And then I added a little Nanny Kate storm cloud brooch...well why not? ;)

I will keep you posted on what arrives in the post for me...and no, I haven't forgotten to update you on the progress of the new studio.
It is up and running now, but am still sorting where everything goes. When I have finished, I will take some photos and post them up here for you, they have to be pretty of course ;)

x manda

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Almost there

About 6 weeks ago, my lovely hubby announced that he had seen me pinning away on Pinterest some 'dream' studio spaces. And that he felt that I needed more space for the Nanny Kate empire, and how would I feel about him converting part of the garage into a studio space for me?

Well, no brainer there, "yes please", followed by "I love you so much, you are the world's best ever husband!", and a BIG hug. (I love my man!)

So he has been hard at work over the last 6 weekends or so, with a bit of help thrown in one day by two of my lovely brothers-in-law, and yesterday my dad joined in the fun, helping with the patching and painting.

Now, my hubby is not a tradie. But since we bought our first apartment 10 years ago, my hubby tried his hand at some diy, along with some help from both his dad and mine. And then when we fell in love with our current house, a between the wars timber cottage, which was VERY run down and hadn't seen anything much done to it for nearly 80 years, he had a HUGE project on his hands. So once again both my dad and his came to the rescue, and helped with all their knowledge of building, and combined with my hubby's determination to do it himself with best way he could, which meant many hours surfing the net and reading books, finding ways to do various building projects that needed to make our little cottage habitable.

So needless to say, I knew he could tackle this project no worries at all. It is almost there. I put a little bit of colour on two walls today, my husbands response was, 'holy crap'...but I want this studio to be a place of inspiration and creativity, full of colour and fun.

Now we need to lay the lino on the floor, fit the skirting boards and dad will come in and do the gloss on the windows and french doors. And I can move in...yippee!!!!

xx manda
P.S- I will take more photos when the floor is in and  I move all my 'stuff' in...stay tuned

So here are some photos of the project in progress.
building the frame
insulation in
the workhorse
 aka- 'the beast'
 aka 'the ute'

hubby and dad in action, putting on the first coat

one wall (excuse the photo quality)
the opposite wall
(the other two walls will remain white)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The other half...of FatMumSlim

Well I can no longer deny it, March has arrived. I always feel somewhat ripped off by February, I always wish I had the other two or three days that the other months of the year endow us with. I have officially decided that February is my most hated month, it isn't really even a month, it just masquerades as one! Well enough of my ranting and hatred for February. The one plus that came out of this February for me, is the beginning of the new Nanny Kate studio (very excited!), and of course taking part in FatMumSlim's Febphotoaday.
My previous blog post showed you all what I had been clicking away at in the first half of February, well here is the other half for you. 
And for those of you who want to take part in the Marchphotoaday, just pop on over to see the gorgeous Chantelle over at FatMumSlim, and click on the Join the photo a day button on the left hand side of this fabby blog and play away. Leave me a message here if you are joining in, so I can have a little window into your world too. 

xx manda

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Half way with FatMumSlim

Things have been rather quiet here on the Nanny Kate blog, but not so at the Nanny Kate house.

I have been very busy creating new things for you to all enjoy and have had fun making new friends over at my facebook page. (if you haven't already, come over and join in the fun)

But on the other hand, this month has seen me participate in a fun and fabby photo challenge, over at the wonderful blog Fat Mum Slim
Beginning on February 1st, the very gorgeous, and "real" Chantelle encouraged her readers to participate in the February Photo a Day Challenge.
So far, (as a fellow blogger of mine said), life got in the way, which meant that I have missed a few days of the challenge. So I need to play catch-up and thought I would share them with you here.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you are playing along with FatMumSlim too, I would love to see you photos!

x manda

Here is the challenge list
1. my view today ( a cuppa with my baby girl)
2. words (my little one's handwriting, makes me go squishy)

3. hands (my little one's hands)

4. a stranger (didn't have the courage to whip out the phone at the cafe,
 so here is a drawing my big one did)

5. 10am (the backyard at 10am)

6. dinner (well, what my little one selected for her dinner)

7. button (the Nanny Kate dolly with her button clippy)
8. sun 

9. front door (the entrance to Nanny Kate HQ)

10. self portrait (me)

11. makes you happy (my two monkeys xx)
12. inside your closet (a mess of beads, bangles and scarves)

13. blue (I absolutely ADORE this top by Gingham & Heels, must get myself one of these)

14. heart (this is what I gave to my monkeys on Valentines Day)