Friday, June 24, 2011

Get Your Sugar On and Dream

Hi Gals
What with my little mini break in the country last weekend, which you can read about here and here if you like. Then back home to an overnight stay in hospital with my two year old and constant visits back and forth to the doctor to check bloods and urine samples this week, we just needed some normality at the Beach House last night. 
Beach House Brat number one has been decidedly neglected this week and he always feels it keenly, as he was an only child for 6 years. He has been fantastic about our new addition to the family, but there's only so much neglect you can take.  He is a very sweet and gentle boy.  Thankfully, much more like Mr Beach House than me I think. 

I am still an only child and I remember thinking when I was about 7...gee I hope mum and dad don't have anymore kids, as I like things just the way they are.  Of course I would love to have a sibling now and that was my childish brain thinking there, but you don't really miss what you never had.

Anyway, we all love to cook in this house so I put on a comfort food dinner for the kids. The only catch was
they had to cook it themselves. It wasn't the healthiest of meals but fish and home made chips followed by chocolate brownies was a real crowd pleaser and a cinch to do.
So the recipes for both are at the bottom of the post.  Trust me, these  brownies are sooooooooo moist  and they won't last long.
But before we get there I want to tell you about a decision I have made this week.  Firstly, I heard a great saying from a criminal lawyer the other day.  He said we are all one bad decision away from a jail term.  And I just loved that reasoning because it is so true.  But I have turned it around and made a really important decision based on the fact that we are only one good decision away from making a dream come true. 
I have always wanted to move to France for a year, put the kids in school and swan around enjoying the culture, lifestyle and beauty that France has to offer.  To say Mr Beach House has the same idea would be over stating it somewhat.  I reason why should my dream never be realised just because I am married with two kids. So over breakfast the other morning I told him what I plan to do.

I am going to save up for two years and then no matter what, the kids and I are going to France. It may not be for a year, but at least for the Summer. My son will then be approaching high school and my daughter is so far behind him that I fear we will never get there. So I told him we'd love him to come, but with or without him this is going to happen. He knows how determined I am, so he actually said OK. He has a great boatbuliding business which sustains us, but he is decidedly older than me and it is just our time. I told him to start putting arrangements in place so we can do this and he agreed......

Yippee... I have an achievable goal and it's surprising how happy that makes me feel.  Before babies I used to set lots of goals and I achieved them all.... pretty well.  Then when the Beach House Brats arrived, which by the way was another joyful goal fulfilled, I just got caught up in baby land and the boredom of house hold chores and a kind of numbness.  I often catch myself standing under the washing line hanging out yet another load of washing saying to myself  this is so dot dot boring, it's just got to get better.

And of course it always does get better and I remind myself I have a great family and we are so lucky.  But I just really want to feel like I am flying again.  Not stuck in this constant hum drum that is that thankless task known as house work.  To be honest even the child rearing is relentless sometimes.  I am constantly of service to others but now I know I am taking something for myself and I can tell you it feels great.  All be it 2 years away, but with an achievable goal I feel so much better.

Now if ya got this far thanks for hangin' in there.  Scroll down for the will not regret it.

Crumbed Fish and Oven Baked Chips
Cut strips of peeled sweet potato and regular potatoes with the skin on.
Drizzle with peanut oil and salt.  Mix well with your hands.
Spread the chips evenly on a baking tray and bake in a  pre heated moderate oven for 30 minutes.
Dip the required amount of Flathead fillets in 1 well beaten egg and then breadcrumbs.
When the chips have been cooking for about 20 minutes fry the fish in lots of vegetable oil until golden.
Serve with lemon wedges in bowls lined with baking paper.

Chocolate Brownies with Nuts
200g of good quality cooking chocolate
250g butter
4 eggs
1 and 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
200g of nuts.  Here I have used walnuts but you could use macadamia or hazelnuts too.
Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F
Place chocolate and butter in a saucpan over a low heat and stir until smooth.  I use a bain marie but you don't have to.
Place eggs, flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder and the chocolate mixture in a bowl to combine.
Stir through the nuts.
Pour mixture into a 23cm (9 inch) square cake tin, lined with baking paper.  Bake for 35-40 minutes
You must cool almost to room temp in the tin as it is so moist, it will be runny if you cut it into squares when it is too hot.
Most of all enjoy it whilst you dream!!!!
Would you believe I am off to hang out a load of towels, but I'm going to dream as I do it!!!!

Best Carolyn
Today I am linked up with
<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>PhotobucketChic on a Shoestring Decorating


  1. You're making me hungry! Love the photos.

  2. Good on you Carolyn. Two years goes really fast, especially with a goal like that in sight. How exciting. I'm going to try out your recipes too. Looks delicious! Have a great weekend. Leahx

  3. Wow. What a goal. Good luck and God bless with that. I've got a hubby that would fly to the moon than live in France for a year. I'm serious. Adding up the costs to live in France he'd say, "I think I'd have just enough to take one of those flights into space". You had me LOL again. I'm into the recipes.

  4. love the look of the brownies! one of my favourites.
    cheryl x

  5. Such an inspiring post for me today Carolyn.. I do admire your attitude, I only live a Eurostar away and still keep putting off going to France every year. I have decided I'm going to make your brownies and instead of dreaming of going to France actually make a date :) x

  6. Love your goal! And cheers to Mr. Beach House for saying yes! What a good man!!! He seems to recognize your need to fulfill this goal. It would be a wonderful opportunity/learning experience for your children, too.
    You have inspired me...

  7. Viva la France Carolyn is coming!! Woo hoo!! And I get to live it vicariously through your blog I hope!
    xo Cathy

  8. YUMMMM!! I think we may just have to make this tonight! My mouth is watering!! :) Thanks for linking up to Sassy Sites! XOXO!


  9. I think it's a great idea to set a goal and work to achieve it. And from the little that I know of you, I'm certain you will realise that goal.Good on you!
    Beth x

  10. That is what call Yummy, yummy, yummy. Wow, you did quite a bit. Love it!I have to try it out. I am your new follower from Food Friday Blog Hop. You can visit me at

  11. Great project you have here Carolyn, and I love the way you mix your dream with pictures of heat delicious looking brownie - a yummy post.

  12. Donna Hay eat your heart out! I'm off to get this delicious looking meal ready for the kids for dinner tonight.


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