Cocktail Hour: Easter Bunny Shake

I mentioned earlier in the week that we served a couple cocktails at our recent Easter lunch. My favourite was definitely the Espresso Martini – although that’s not all that unusual as I am not a big milk drinker.

There were, however, a few guests that I knew would not like a coffee-laden martini. They were fans of both milk and baileys though – and so our other cocktail – an Easter Bunny Shake – came to be.

Rather akin to an alcoholic milkshake, it was laced with Baileys, butterscotch schnapps and chocolate – a perfect combination for Easter, really.

And given there were multiple requests for extra glasses throughout the day – I think we hit a winner with this cocktail too!

Print Recipe
Easter Bunny Shake
  1. Pour the Baileys, Schnapps and milk into a blender with a few ice cubes and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Blend to combine.
  2. Drizzle some extra sauce down the side of the cocktail glass, pour in the cocktail and enjoy!
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Easter Weekend 2018

Our Easter, this year, was filled with family, food and fun. A perfect combination of time spent with our nearest and dearest, long lazy food-filled days and games for young and old. Yes it ended up being quite celebratory weekend indeed.

 My family arrived from Melbourne the day before good Friday, and our house was immediately transformed into the wonderful chaos that having 6 adults, 3 kids and 2 babies under one roof would inevitably bring. The kids, in particular, wasted no time in re-acquainting themselves, spending hours on end jumping on the trampoline and playing ‘cooks’ with our toy kitchen. Our real kitchen, too, got a decent workout – catering for no less than 11 people over the weekend.

Celebrations ‘officially’ began on Good Friday, with our annual seafood lunch at my in-laws. All the usual suspects were on offer – prawns, oysters, calamari and the like. Served alongside a roasted sweet potato salad, and finished with a platter of sweet treats. Canberra turned on beautiful weather for the day (actually for the whole weekend), so we lazed outside in between courses, watching the kids make Easter bonnets and play on the tennis court.

Easter Saturday was spent at Questacon with most of the Canberra population who had not fled to the coast for the weekend, it seems. Then it was back home for the afternoon to enjoy the sunshine outside.  More trampolining, water-play, a picnic dinner for the kids, with a little quiet time thrown in too (to recharge the batteries).

Easter Sunday turned out to be quite a day! The kids were up early (like “it’s still well and truly dark outside early”) and patiently waited for the sun to rise before heading outside and exploring the garden to discover what the Easter Bunny had (generously) left.  A breakfast comprising  mainly chocolate for the kids ensued, along with hot cross buns and several coffees for the adults.

Then it was on to the main celebration of the day. We held an inaugural “Easter Olympics” at our place – consisting of two teams (the chicks and the rabbits – lead  by the team captains – C & J ) and 6 games. Everyone got into the spirit of the games, and a lot of laughs were had. The rabbits came out victorious in the end – and enjoyed receiving their medals and the hamper prize.

After the games, we sat down to a late lunch (linner) – feasting on slow-cooked balsamic beef, roasted carrots, maple sweet potato, roasted potatoes and a broccoli and chickpea salad. Served with cocktails and a local Pankhurst Pinot Noir.  Dessert was a selection of chocolate mousse, lemon meringue tarts and, of course, Easter chocolates!

As the day turned into evening, we made our way to bed with full bellies and fond memories of the day. By Tuesday all our house guests had made their way home, and I must say the house felt eerily quiet (or as quiet as it can feel with 3 kids at home).

And so another wonderful Easter weekend came to pass. Just like in previous years, a lot of fun and frivolity was had!


Easter 2016

IMG_4327I feel as if Easter snuck up on us this year, even though the chocolate eggs have been on the  shelves since early January…

But despite the surprise arrival of the 4-day weekend – we managed to fill the time quite easily. Actually, in all honesty, it was rather nice to not have a lot planned. Rather, the lack of  firm plans meant we could lounge in our PJs while deciding what to do, and head off for little adventures when motivation arrived.


Good Friday was, as normal, spent with Mr BBB’s family – indulging in all things seafood! A relaxed afternoon grazing on various dishes – including prawns,  tuna and salmon sashimi, calamari and more prawns. Washed down with some fruit-filled wine and entertained with a game of Pictionary.





Our contribution this year was a rather impressive side of ocean trout – that we picked up from the local fish shop. Cooked by Mr BBB on the BBQ then dressed with a garlic, parsley and chilli dressing.


We followed this recipe – and the fish turned out beautifully (although we did reduce the cooking time a little to save it from being overcooked).


And as for the rest of the weekend?  We pottered around – crossing a few things off our “to-do” list along the way.  We coloured, we went on an Easter egg hunt, we played and we organised. We got some exercise in too with a bike ride one day, and a family mountain climb the next!

Oh and did I mention that thanks  to family and the Easter Bunny –  our chocolate supplies have gone from ‘modest’ to ‘plentiful’?!






Overall – it was a rather lovely weekend – with a nice balance of ‘activity’  and ‘downtime’.  Here’s to another short week too!

What about you? What did you get up to this Easter weekend?

Dark and white chocolate cardamom swirl tart

IMG_3454This year, it took me quite a while to decide what to make for dessert for the family’s Good Friday lunch.  I trawled through many cookbooks and websites, as I normally do, but my mind keep wandering back to a recipe I had printed off early in my search. IMG_3427 And, while I usually lean towards a lighter dessert at Easter (owing to the expected richness of the other menu items), this this dark and white chocolate cardamom swirl tart captured my imagination. Or perhaps it captured my ‘newborn-induced-sugar-cravings’?? IMG_3428 Either way, I decided that it would be the contributed dessert this year. And luckily for me – I had my trusty sidekick on hand to help put the tart together… IMG_3446 (Brushing one’s hair is discretionary in our kitchen lol) The tart base was made with crushed chocolate coated digestive biscuits, mixed with melted butter then pressed into a pan and cooked for 10 minutes. IMG_3436 IMG_3441 While the tart filling was little more than two rich chocolate ganaches (one white, one dark), poured atop the cooled base, and swirled for effect. IMG_3442IMG_3447IMG_3452 When I say that this tart is rich, I mean RICH! But then again, with ingredients such as double cream, 90% cocoa, lindt white chocolate, egg yolks and sugar ….well there is no surprise that a small slice was more than enough to send our sugar senses into overdrive. IMG_3453 Served with berries to try and cut through some of the sweetness – and overall a tasty end to a lovely lunch with family. IMG_3510 You can find the recipe here. What about you? Bake anything fun over Easter?

Easter 2015

This past Easter long weekend was rather wonderful. Sure there was a slight hiccup in the middle (namely a random 30 hour stomach bug that arrived out of nowhere), but for the most part our weekend was filled with family, food and frolics. A favourite trio of mine! IMG_3455 Good Friday was, as is tradition, spent with Mr BBB’s family for their annual seafood feast (see past years: 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014).  The celebration kicked off late morning, and continued for most of the day, with everyone spending time in the kitchen working on their various dishes and seafood contributions. IMG_3469 And, while the menu follows a similar pattern each year – think prawns, calamari, oysters etc – it is always a great opportunity to try out some new dishes too. easter This year, for example, we contributed some slipper lobster (ie bugs) to the seafood line-up – served with a lovely sherry / cream sauce. IMG_3472 And – for dessert – we made a chocolate cardamom tart – that was oh-so rich and indulgent. Because there is never too much chocolate at Easter right?! IMG_3453 Food aside, the Good Friday lunch is always a perfect opportunity to reflect on just how much our little family has changed in years past… PicMonkey Collage For here we are, 3 years later, with another little girl in our midst, and that sleepy bunny from 2012 is now a chocolate-loving-energetic- pre-schooler! coll2 And as for the rest of the weekend – well it involved more food, a steam-train ride, cooking, running and an Easter egg hunt. IMG_0156  IMG_0166IMG_0161IMG_1770IMG_3445IMG_3532 I think we almost need a holiday from our holiday! What about you? What did you get up to this Easter?

Good Friday 2014

Happy (Easter) Monday lovely people! I feel as if I have so much to share with you coming out of this last weekend. We weren’t organised enough in advance to head away – but managed a weekend at home that was a nice balance of productivity and play instead. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Good Friday. A day that traditionally brings Mr BBB’s family together – for an annual seafood brunch. That runs into lunch. And sees us return home generally in the early hours of the evening ruing the fact that we did not wear our stretchy pants. IMG_8774 For food and good company are never in short supply – and this year was no different. So much deliciousness  and so many laughs with my Canberra family – as we munched and tasted our way through the day. easter There were the yearly favourites – including my mother in law’s calamari and garlic prawns.. IMG_8778IMG_8781 And my father in law’s oysters Kilpatrick.   IMG_8785 IMG_8800IMG_8801 But this year we had a few new dishes as well. My niece and her husband made a big batch of prawn dumplings – that were delicious (and my favourite of the day!). IMG_8772 While Mr BBB and I created a batch of little crab cakes – served with mango chutney, coriander and cucumber. IMG_8802 (I did the preparation, and left the cooking to the expert Winking smile ) IMG_8808 And then there was dessert. IMG_8765 Or should I say – desserts. For why have one dessert when you can have three!!!! IMG_8878 A delightful trio of lemon meringue pie, nutella brownies – and my favourite – carrot cupcakes. As always, however, the day was not just about the food. It was lovely to just sit, and chat, and catch up each other’s happenings. A much needed moment for everyone to breathe, and relax. And there was certainly one little girl who loved having her family all in one room – and the endless supply of cuddles and ‘play’ buddies! IMG_8869 IMG_8852 She wolfed down the prawns, a discovered the chocolate eggs pretty quickly – and generally just had a ball! IMG_8843 Although I was constantly fighting feelings of sentimentality when I realised that two years ago she was this little sleeping bunny… IMG_5908 And one year ago she was this little crawler… IMG_9404 Where did the time go?! Parental sentimentality aside – I truly hope you all have had a magical and restful Easter break. IMG_8839 From my little family to yours. What about you? Do you have any family traditions over Easter?

Good Friday 2013

IMG_9366 It seems like weeks ago now (a whirlwind weekend trip to Melbourne will do that to you), but we had the most lovely Good Friday. IMG_9482 And, as is tradition, it was filled with all things seafood, family and a sweet treat to finish. Much like in previous years…

Although, last year’s sleepy Easter bunny… IMG_5908 was this year a crawling, eating toddler instead! IMG_9392 *sigh* where did the last year go?! As always, our Good Friday lunch was more of a ‘progressive meal’, with seafood being prepared and cooked for most of the day. We ate scallops, prawns, oysters, calamari, smoked trout, and the kitchen was generally alive with energy and aromas, as the various ‘chefs’ put together their seafood dishes. IMG_9467IMG_9471IMG_9541IMG_9474IMG_9478IMG_9542IMG_9564IMG_9529IMG_9509 Our contribution this year? A big bowl of tiger prawns with not  one, not two, but three dipping sauces. IMG_9372 Garlic aioli, mango and a sweet chilli. IMG_9374 But no good lunch would be complete without a sweet treat to finish, and I used the opportunity to work on my pastry making skills. On the menu this year… IMG_9363 A baked rhubarb and vanilla custard tart……and a little batch of rosewater meringues (as I attempted to use up the egg whites we had leftover after making the yolk-heavy vanilla custard). IMG_9377 The day was spent chatting and eating, and laughing at the antics of little Miss C as she danced with her bunny, discovered chocolate and generally got up to mischief. IMG_9404IMG_9443IMG_9454IMG_9560IMG_9464 Oh and discovered that although she is not a fan of chocolate, she is a fan of scallops (expensive tastes that one!) IMG_9571 But most of all, it was a perfect day to sit back, relax, and enjoy the company of our family after what has been a rather hectic few months. IMG_9525 Finished by unbuttoning our pants, and falling into seafood induced comas by the end of the day! IMG_9536 Just bliss! What about you? What did you get up to this Easter?

Pineapple and carrot spelt cupcakes

IMG_5849 Wanting to contribute dessert to our recent Good Friday lunch, but also being mindful of the chocolate overload that inevitably occurs over the Easter weekend (well for me anyway), I went in search of a non-chocolate baked treat. And with a newborn taking up most of my spare time, the dessert also needed to be relatively quick and easy to prepare. Enter….cupcakes. Pineapple and carrot spelt cupcakes to be precise. Just mix… IMG_5835 Spoon… IMG_5836 And bake. IMG_5838 IMG_5839 But we all know that cupcakes are really about the icing. I had initially planned to top the cupcakes with a lemon cream cheese icing, however as I was making them quite a few hours in advance, I wasn’t convinced that the icing would hold its shape when travelling to our lunch destination. I knew that vanilla buttercream, on the other hand, was a good stable icing that would travel well. IMG_5841 So buttercream icing it was. Coloured with a splash of pink food dye, piped onto the cupcakes, then topped with a pre-made fondant flower for no other reason than they looked pretty. IMG_5845 And who doesn’t love pretty?? IMG_5846 I really quite enjoyed the addition of the crushed pineapple, which added both a hit of pineapple flavour but also kept the cakes moist. IMG_5850 And, although the cakes themselves were not overly sweet, the icing certainly was – and provided the requisite afternoon sugar rush. IMG_5848 Good Friday dessert….success! Pineapple and carrot spelt cupcakes (makes 12)

  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 350g grated carrot
  • 180g drained crushed pineapple
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbs vanilla essence
  • Few drops food colouring
  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Combine eggs and oil. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, carrot and pineapple, and stir until just combined. Divide among cases.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely.
  4. To make the icing – beat the butter until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla, food colouring and the icing sugar (half a cup at a time) – and continue to beat until smooth. Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes.

Good Friday 2012

A family tradition continued yesterday, with my in laws’ annual Good Friday seafood lunch.

Although, this year, there was a new addition to the yearly event. IMG_5908 One who loved all the attention… IMG_5929 And lapped up all the cuddles on offer! IMG_5883 IMG_5926 (first cuddles with her Uncle!) Rather than a sit down lunch, our Good Friday meal is a relatively casual affair. With plate after plate of seafood served up throughout the afternoon, and quickly gobbled by the family. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. IMG_5916 IMG_5898 IMG_5921 IMG_5911 IMG_5910 IMG_5909 I think the phrase ‘dig in or miss out’ would be an appropriate mantra of the day! I even squeezed in a little glass of this lovely red wine (in between well timed baby feeds, that is)… IMG_5919 Oh sweet nectar, how I have missed thee. IMG_5920 It has been 10 months since we last met….not that I have been counting or anythingWinking smile But back to the food. While my mother in law is the undisputed seafood champion of the day, Mr BBB and I wanted to contribute a seafood dish of our own to the feast. Deciding on scallops  our seafood of choice – we cooked them two ways: Lime and tarragon. IMG_5858 Chilli jam. IMG_5918 Such gorgeously tender scallops, picked up at the fish markets yesterday. While the lime and tarragon version were quite tasty, my favourite was the chilli jam version, that had just the right amount of sweetness and spiciness.  Oh and did I mention that we also contributed dessert? IMG_5845 For what ‘feast’ is complete without a little sugar hit at the end? IMG_5850 And taken in the form of pineapple and carrot cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing. Sugar-coma. IMG_5944 T’was a wonderful day -  filled with family, food and laughter. And one that saw us heading home for a much-needed food-induced nap! IMG_5906 Although some of us got a head start on the nap!

To market they did go

Charlotte and I have had quite the busy day. We started by trading in our sleep-in for activity, hitting the road shortly after 7am.  Our destination? IMG_0270 The fish markets! IMG_0269 Why? To buy some goodies to contribute to the family seafood Good Friday lunch that we have each year. Although Mr BBB’s mum does most of the preparation, we wanted to contribute a seafood dish to the mix, and a dessert, both of which I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow. Returning home from the markets and a coffee date with my mother-in-law, we had lunch then headed straight back out for a walk to the shops to get a few extra ingredients. IMG_0271 Any ideas what we might be making? IMG_5773 - Copy I’ll give you a few hints… IMG_5810IMG_5813IMG_5814 - Copy And a couple more… IMG_5809 IMG_5816 - Copy All to be revealed tomorrow! But for now – its time for a few more of these cuddles before dinner. IMG_0266 I think we are both exhausted after our early start and the day’s adventures! What about you? Do you have any plans for the Easter weekend? My little brother arrives from Melbourne tomorrow – to visit his niece for the first time!