I hope you had a fantastic Christmas day and celebrated a wonderful New Years.

My Christmas was enjoyed with family and eating lots of yummy food. Our New Years Day was spent at home watching a movie then catching some of the fireworks that were showing on the tv.

I am still in the school holidays and enjoying them immensely. We have a couple of movies to go see at the cinemas and maybe head down to the beach when the weather fines up.

I just wanted to pop in and say hi. With the kids still at home, I won’t be around here much but I will step in from time to time. I have a post to share with you today about some yummy muesli, and it includes a great giveaway!


(Image from Death to the Stock Photo)

What did you get up to on Christmas day? And how was your New Years celebrations?





Product reviews

dish’d – A yummy review with a giveaway

This product talk review is brought to you by Nuffnang and dish’d.

When I had the opportunity to try out a gourmet range of frozen foods from the recently launched dish’d, I couldn’t believe my luck. It had come at just the right moment as this time of year for our family is so busy. There are school Christmas activities, Christmas shopping and the ever important writing of the Santa lists! Amongst all of this and more, I struggle a bit with organising our meals for during the week and would quite happily have eggs on toast for three nights running. The kids however would be like ” Muuum, this again. Can’t you cook something else, pleeaassee”.dish’d had come to my rescue!

If you haven’t heard of dish’d before well I will tell you a little bit about it. dish’d is a provider of high quality frozen meal solutions, available to experience online. Thoughtfully created by reputable chefs from around the world and at dish’d, they believe it starts with sourcing the best ingredients and respecting them to curate the most delicious meal solutions for the busy you.

Their website is easy to use, and there is a whole range of delicious meals. I was a bit unsure of what the meals would be like, but they aren’t your average supermarket frozen meals. The range of dish’d meals over delivers on taste by tapping into reputable chefs one of them being Jacques Reymond. They also source the best ingredients. dish’d are high quality meals and desserts, yes desserts! All meals are frozen to retain their nutritional and taste credentials, waiting to be enjoyed… when you are.

Last week came upon us, and it was one of those weeks. I think we all have those weeks, don’t we? I hadn’t organised anything for dinner, so I thought this was the perfect time to order some dish’d meals. I jumped on to their website and started to look at all the yummy choices. It was so hard to decide what to order. I was probably looking for at least half an hour before I decided on what I could add to the basket. I ended up planning our dinner menu for four nights which was fantastic. I felt some relief already knowing that our meals were done for most of the week. I placed my order in the afternoon on a Tuesday. I received an email saying the order had been confirmed. I then received a text message on Wednesday morning saying that my order is on board for delivery today. My order was delivered just before lunch. It was fantastic that I ordered it all online, and it was delivered to my door the next day.


Your order comes in a cool box with dry ice, so it stays frozen. If you are not home to unpack it, it will stay frozen until you get home. The website has instructions on how to handle the dry ice. You can find the delivery information here.


On Tuesday night, I made Teriyaki stir fry using dish’d Lamb fillets and dish’d Oriental stir fry vegetables. From my supplies: home made teriyaki sauce and white rice.




On Wednesday night, I made Meatballs, and pasta using dish’d Meatballs and dish’d Penne Pepperonata. From my supplies: Parmesan cheese and Salad.




On Thursday night, I made Meatloaf with potatoes and vegetables using dish’d Beef mince, dish’d Potato Dauphinios and dish’d Green beans, romanesco, cauliflower and broccoli. From my supplies: Carrots and ingredients to make my Meatloaf.





On Friday night, we had Italian night using dish’d Mozzarella and pesto pizza, dish’d Spinach and mascarpone pizza and dish’d Five cheese pizza. And for a special treat, desserts from dish’d: a selection of Gelato!








The whole family thoroughly enjoyed each and every meal for the four nights. The instructions were easy to follow on the packets and everything was easy to prepare. The Lamb fillets were delicious, and the Beef mince contained only a small amount of fat. There was probably just over half a tablespoon of liquid in the bottom of the meat loaf pan after cooking it. We were very happy with the quality of all the dish’d meal products and the range that they provided. At the end of each day, I felt relaxed knowing that I had a meal in the freezer ready to go and all I needed to do was heat it up and maybe add a few extra things. The stress level for me at dinner time was down to zero.

dish’d is a new & exciting way to experience delicious food from around the world in the comfort of your home.

Only currently delivering to metro VIC and NSW.

dish’d has an Introductory offer, if you spend $50 on your first order you receive $30 free plus free delivery. There are also Value for money bundle offers for as little as $30, so go and check it out. See what dish’d has on their menu.

Now with Christmas just around the corner, and for some of us mums it just keeps on getting busier, I have a $50 dish’d voucher for a lucky Basil and Chook reader to giveaway! All you need to do is tell me ‘What would you spend your $50 dish’d voucher on?’ Leave your answer in the comment section below.

This competition has now closed.

Terms and Conditions apply: Only open to NSW and VIC metro residents only. Giveaway ends Thursday 18th December at 9.00pm AEST. Winner will be notified by email.

Good luck!


Baking, Celebrations, Christmas, Recipes

Rice Bubble Christmas Slice


Hi there!

I have been a bit quiet around this place lately. Christmas is a busy time of year at our house, and there isn’t much time for anything else. I did get a chance yesterday to head into the kitchen though and make a lovely Rice Bubble Christmas Slice.

If you have noticed in the shops, they are selling Christmas m&m’s in a bucket. An abundance of red and green m&m’s. I grabbed two buckets the other day and after nearly eating all of one bucket (with the help of my kids of course) I decided I should use them for some baking as well.

So I came up with a cheerful Christmassy Rice Bubble Christmas Slice.


Combine in a large bowl, 4 cups of Rice Bubbles, 1 cup of icing sugar and 1 cup of quick oats


Melt in a small saucepan, 250 gms copha and 2 teaspoons of honey


Add the melted copha and honey into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.


Add 1 cup of red and green m&m’s and gently stir into the mix.


Once combined, pour into a baking paper lined baking dish and gently press down until level.

Place in the fridge to set.


Rice Bubble Christmas Slice
Prep time
Total time
A cheerful and yummy Christmas Slice
Recipe type: Slice
Serves: 15
  • 4 cups of Rice Bubbles
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • 250 gms copha
  • 2 tsps of honey
  • 1 cup of red and green m&m's
  1. Line a baking dish with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Combine in a large bowl Rice bubbles, icing sugar and quick oats.
  3. Melt in a small saucepan the copha and honey until completely melted.
  4. Once copha and honey have melted, add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Add the red and green m&m's and gently mix.
  6. Then pour the mixture into the baking dish and gently press down until level.
  7. Place in the fridge until set.
  8. Once set, take a large knife and carefully cut into squares.
  9. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  10. Enjoy!




This slice is easy to make and a great treat to have sitting in the fridge. My kids love it and are a taking a square in their lunchbox to school each day. Hubby loves it too so its happy tummies all around. Now the only problem for me with storing the slice in the fridge is that every time I go to the fridge it’s there looking at me and I just want to keep eating it.

Is there anything sitting in your fridge that you can’t stop eating?

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy baking!


garden, In The Garden, Veggie garden

In The Garden… Zucchinis Anyone?


Hello! Would you like some zucchinis? I currently have three in my fridge ready to eat. Do you need more? Well, there is five more growing as we speak!

Say hi to my first zucchini harvest. What do you think? I am pretty pleased with my zucchini. After trying to grow zucchini before and to end up with just failures, I think this is a great first success!

2014-11-06_4614 2014-11-06_4617

Everything in the veggie garden has something growing. The plants are either flowering or starting to grow their edible goodies.

My beans are getting to be a good length for harvesting.


I have started to cover the young fruits on the apricot and peach trees with net bags. Even though the fruit is still green, the possums would come and eat it. One year the possums had destroyed nearly all of the fruit. I can tell you that I was very peeved that year!


I have finally replanted my strawberry plants into their new home.


And my blackberry and loganberry bushes are beginning to produce bunches of yummy goodness.


How is your veggie garden going? Do you have anything that is starting to produce some yummy goodness?

I would love to see or hear about what you have in the garden. All you need to do is just have a chat in the comment section below or add your garden post link, and we can pop on over and have a look.

You can also join in with me via Instagram. You can just share your garden photos and tag using #_inthegarden_

Happy gardening and enjoy your weekend x


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Capturing life, Photography

Five Day Black And White Photo Challenge

Last week on Instagram I was nominated by the gorgeous Dee @wildaboutmelbourne to take part in the Five Day Black and White Photo Challenge. I excitedly accepted!

Here are my five photos for the Five Day Black and White Challenge:

Day One ~ I took this when we were at The Motorclassica 2014 at the Royal Exhibition Building.


Day Two ~ Healesville Train Station. Imaging what these tracks would have carried so many years ago.


Day Three ~ My daughter loves her Converse shoes.


Day Four ~ An old driveway between two buildings in Maldon. A beautiful place to visit.


Day Five ~ Enjoying the inside charm of the H&M store in Melbourne.


On the fifth day, you then get to nominate someone else for the Five Day Black and White Photo Challenge. I nominated Sarah @chantillefleur. She takes amazing photos and captures the wonderful things that happen around her farm.

It was a fun Instagram challenge to join. I love seeing photos in black and white. It sometimes changes the way you see that photo.

Do you have any photos captured in black and white?

Happy snapping!


Baking, Cakes

Magic Cake

Magic Cake (1)

I have always wanted to try this cake. When I look through Pinterest, I would sometimes see this Magic Cake recipe pop up from time to time. So I pinned it to my big cake board. I wanted to give this recipe a go as I was wondering how it would turn out. It has been called a Magic Cake for a reason, so I needed to find out why.

Here is the recipe that I used to find out what the magic was!

Magic Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 10
  • 4 eggs (separate yolks from whites)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 125 g butter, melted
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • 2 cups lukewarm milk
  • icing sugar for dusting cake
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan forced. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the egg white and set the egg yolks aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla essence and continue beating mixing. Then you can add the flour and mix until all combined.
  5. Slowly add in the milk and gently beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Check the cake after 40 mins as every ovens cooking time is different.
  7. Once the cake is ready take out of the oven to cool.
  8. When ready to serve sprinkle some icing sugar over the top.
  9. Enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from Jo Cooks


After an hour of baking, I pulled the cake out of the oven and set it aside to cool. I was waiting with anticipation to see what had formed while cooking. Afternoon tea came around, and it was time to cut this cake up. I cut a few slices, and it looked pretty good. There we found what the magic cake did. While the cake is baking, a base and a custard filling form finished off with a moist cake on top. That is the magic!


The verdict: my hubby and I loved it. It was lovely eating it with our coffee. The three layers were nice especially the custard. The kids however didn’t like it as much. Their words were: “We like the cake top bit, but the custard tastes like scrambled egg”. I have to say that the custard layer does have a strong egg taste, and I think that is because you are using four eggs. It still tastes lovely though.

I found the cake easy to make, and I will be making this again, much to the kid’s delight. I also would like to try these different variations, Lemon Magic Cake and Chocolate Magic Cake. I might win the kids over with the Chocolate version! The Chocolate Magic Cake recipe coming soon…

Have you ever tried making a Magic Cake?

Happy baking!



Christmas, Holidays

Christmas Already?

Yes, it’s Christmas already! I love Christmas; I do. But sometimes I’m not so sure when we start seeing the Christmas decorations galore in October. Why do they need to be in the shops in the month of October?? I remember when I was little and not seeing anything Christmasy until the first week of December. That’s right December!! The year goes fast enough. I don’t want Christmas in October. I want Christmas in December. It belongs in December.

I have found that keeping myself from enjoying the Christmas goodies until December; there is nothing good left to buy. I have tried to hold back and wait, but it’s no good. I needed to buy tinsel a couple of years ago to decorate the outside table. It was two weeks into December. I headed off to the shops and started searching. Well, there was nothing left. I love the big thick tinsel. I wanted red and green, the traditional colours. Did I find any? No. I had to use the thin falling apart tinsel that I had at home in the just in case decorations box.

So after that bad Christmas decoration experience, I have had to succumb to buying my decorations early. If you want the good stuff, you need to get in quick. Sometimes you get lucky, and the shops start their sales on the Christmas goodies in November and you can get some good bargains. But at times I don’t wait for the sales and buy early. If I see something good and I can afford it, I just buy it.

We received the Kmart catalogue the other day, and it was full of Christmas goodies. I have put together a little board to show you eight pretty Christmas things. I might just have to go and check it out. Yes, I am going to buy my decorations early!!

kmart xmas

Christmas Wreath with Berries 45 cm   $10.00 (aus)

Christmas Print Cushion – Robin   $10.00 (aus)

Ceramic Reindeer Lantern   $8.00 (aus)

Silver Tinsel Tree 90 cm   $5.00 (aus)

Snow Scene in Jar – Deer in Christmas Forrest   $6.00 (aus)

Stackable Christmas Doll Set   $8.00 (aus)

Woven Christmas Star   $8.00 (aus)

Glass Drink Jar with Straw   $2.00 each (aus)

I think there is quite some good stuff there and priced reasonably well. Just remember if you want to purchase any of it, get in early!

How do you feel about Christmas? Do you think the Christmas decorations are in the shops too early?

Happy Early Christmas shopping!





P.S This isn’t a sponsored post. I just wanted to share with you a little Christmas goodness. And maybe I might just be buying some of these myself xx