Here is an idea to vamp up Easter and give a new look treat to friends and family that you are able to put your own twist on!
You will need:
Ice cream cones or waffle cones
Chocolate Easter ornaments
Lollies of your choosing
Mini chocolate eggs
Step 1. Fill your cone ¾ of the way full with your lollies.
Step 2. Put your chocolate on top of the lollies (you can put more lollies around it to help stabilize it).
Step 3. Next you take your mini eggs and fill the cone the rest of the way.
Step 4. Wrap your cones in cellophane and tie with curling ribbon so they look like a “carrot”.
Note: You may need help with making these so you can use an ice cream cone holder or another person to hold them for you.
All of this will cost you around $1.10 - $1.20 per cone.
From the Special Occasions: Easter Tip Store
This Irish soda bread is just perfect for a hearty morning tea or an after-school snack for hungry kids. It is best eaten fresh, but leftovers (if you have any) are delicious thinly sliced, lightly toasted and topped with honey.
4 cups plain flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
500ml sour cream
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup currants (in a pinch I've used sultanas, but currants are best)
1 tsp caraway seeds - traditional, but optional (I never add them, I don't use them for anything else)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease two 20cm x 10cm loaf tins and line the bases with baking paper. Mix the flour, sugar, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, currants and caraway seeds. Mix until just combined. This will be a very thick, very lumpy batter. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans. Bake loaves for 1 hour or until nicely browned. Do not over bake. Best served immediately with butter.
2.5kg corned beef
1 large onion, studded with 6 cloves
6 peeled and sliced carrots
8 new potatoes, peeled and cubed
Some dried thyme
A bunch of parsley
2 heads of cabbage, quartered
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
Boil the beef, onion, carrots, potatoes, thyme and parsley in a large pot of water. Simmer and cook for 3 hours.
Remove sediment and the thyme, parsley and onion. Add the cabbage and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked. Remove the meat and divide into pieces. Remove and season the cabbage heavily with black pepper.
On a large plate surround the beef with the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Prepare the horseradish sauce by whipping the cream and adding to the horseradish.
From the Beef, Lamb Pork Recipe File
It would be nice to spend indiscriminately, especially on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. But not everyone has the necessary financial situation to go on a spending spree. The good news is: you can have a great Valentine’s Day without spending a lot of money! Retailers want you to spend your money, but there’s no reason to buy into their hype. Love can’t be bought.
Try these inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas:
1. Eat dinner at home, but go out for drinks and dessert. Forget the reservations and the high cost of a meal on the town. Cook a delicious, romantic meal at home. Head over to a nice coffee shop for dessert.
2. Find a flower option besides roses. Roses cost a small fortune on Valentine’s Day. Find another flower your significant other loves. Many women don’t like roses, ask about her favourite flower.
3. Go through the DVDs or look for a few romantic movies on Netflix or Stan and stay on the couch. It’s easy to find a list of romantic movies. You don’t even have to get dressed up. The popcorn is less expensive at home, too. You can even talk during the movie without getting the evil eye.
4. Go to a hotel in lieu of a trip. Save on traveling expenses and visit a local hotel for the night. Consider finding one with a tub for two.
5. Have an indoor picnic. Clear out a space on the lounge room floor and have your picnic inside. Anything is possible.
6. Look for free or inexpensive entertainment. You can find quality entertainment on the cheap. Museums, local theatre companies, art galleries and food and wine tastings can all be both entertaining and inexpensive.
7. Use a coupon. A coupon might not go over well on a first or second date but if you’ve been together for a while, that awkwardness no longer exists. Both parties realise the saved money could be spent on something else to enjoy together.
8. Deliver your own flowers. The florist is more expensive than the supermarket or the green grocer. Deliver them yourself and enjoy the smile you receive - it's much more romantic than having a stranger dump a bouquet and leave.
9. Choose a different date. Valentine’s Day might officially fall on February 14th, but why not consider celebrating the following day. Restaurants, flowers,and cards are all significantly less expensive. You can avoid the crowds, too.
10. Write a love letter. Everyone has a sheet of paper and a pen. Take a few minutes and put your romantic thoughts down on paper. It’s free, and you’ll score big points.
11. Give each other a massage. Pick the music and the massage oils. Light a few candles and turn on some music. Let your fingers do the talking.
12. Make your own card. There’s no law that states you have to support Hallmark by purchasing a card that costs $8.99. They usually end up in the recycling anyway. Make a card this year, it will be remembered forever.
13. Go out for breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and the least expensive. Why not go out for breakfast instead of dinner this year? Lunch is another option.
14. Make a gift. Make a scrapbook. Create a CD of his or her favourite songs. It’s the thought that counts.
15. Set a budget and brainstorm. Sit down together and determine how much you’re willing to spend. See how many ideas you can list that stay within the budget constraint.
A fun and memorable Valentine’s Day can be enjoyed on a budget. Make a list of inexpensive ideas that will thrill your significant other. Avoid letting financial challenges ruin your holiday.
Love doesn’t require money.
This Valentines Day say I Love You with some extra special homemade biscuits, decorated especially for Valentines Day.
Use our Bargain Bikkies recipe, you'll get around 100 decent sized biscuits from this recipe for approximately $4.00.
7 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Mix vanilla essence with eggs and add to butter/sugar, mixing well. Add the flour. The mixture becomes quite stiff at this stage but make sure all the flour is thoroughly mixed in.
Now comes the fun part – creating different varieties of bikkies.
Divide the dough into portions – 4 is a manageable number – and flavour each portion.
Cornflake: Take spoonfuls (tea- or dessert- depending on how big you want them) of dough, roll into balls and then roll in crushed cornflakes. I have also used the Weetbix crumbs from the bottom of the box too.
Choc Chip: Mix ½ cup choc chips through the dough. Then either roll into balls and freeze or bake, or into a log.
Thumb Prints: Roll into balls, flatten out and then poke a dent in the middle of each bikkie with your thumb. Add a dollop of red jam.
Sultana: Mix through a handful of sultanas
Sugar Cookies: Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little milk or beaten egg white and sprinkle generously with coloured sugar. To make the coloured sugar just put some sugar in a plastic bag and add food colouring, a drop at a time, massaging well into the sugar until the desired colour is reached.
Apricot & Almond: Chop a few dried apricots and add with ¼ cup chopped almonds.
Cherryripe: Add a packet of glace cherries, 1/4 cup choc bits and 2 tbsp coconut.
Coconut & Cranberry: Add 1/2 cup dessicated coconut and 1/2 cup Craisins to the mix. Roll into logs or shape into balls and flatten.
Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Watch with the choc chip variety that they don’t burn on the bottom – the chocolate melts and may catch on the tray.
Heart shaped cookie cutters will turn these biscuits into creations of love. Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick and use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut the biscuits. Kids don’t only like hearts. Let them experiment with other shapes in the cookie cutter arsenal if they want to. They can even design shapes of their own with the dough pieces that are too small to cut.
This mixture freezes really well. You can simply flash freeze the individual bikkies and then bag them, ready to bake. Or you can roll the mixture into logs and freeze. Then simply thaw a log, slice and bake.