Australia Day 2014!!!

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Aussie-Aussie-Aussie-

OY OY OY!

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… Kind of been ingrained into us Aussies since before we started kindergarten, so please forgive the outburst.

Though honestly, there is nothing to forgive, because, well, it is Australia Day, and I am pretty damn proud to be able to show my patriotic nature😀

Whenever I think of Australia, I feel so so sooooo lucky, because there are a lot of things to love about it!

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Sure, we always mutter about the government, about the taxes and about the fact that we had to sit in 43 degree Celsius heat waves to watch the Australian Open (because, obviously, the players can handle it :P), but if you look at the bigger picture, there is a lot to appreciate and enjoy:)

So here are a few reasons why I am proud to call Australia home:

  1. It may be crazy but I have gotten used to the fact that our weather is slightly insane – it is a cloudy Spring-temp day today, a far cry from the heatwave all over the international news, but tomorrow – BAM – it hits 40 again!
    After travelling so much, I have realised that other places seem to have the same weather all the time according to their season and honestly… it is a little monotonous😛
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  2. Australia is currently so super multicultural, it is pretty awesome! Sure, we have small hubs specific races scattered around but when you go into the big city, it seems like such natural integration between them – hopefully, the government can continue to allow the welcoming of new immigrants… though I am not going to get political here!
  3. Moving on from the heavy stuff, we have some fantastic entertainers born and bred down under – off the top of my head, there is
    – Icehouse (great southern land, dun DUN dun)
    – Hugh Jackman (to every woman alive, you are welcome!)
    – Steve Irwin (everyone got a kick out of his strong accent!)
    – Jennifer Hawkins (to every guy alive, again, you are welcome!)
    And that is just so few.:)
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  4. We have excellent sporting reputation – so good that a girl like me, who has no interest in cricket, knows that Australia gave England a real ass-whooping in the Ashes and continued to in following matches😉 – sorry for the crude language but I could not be any milder, that is how good we beat ’em!
  5. Fireworks. Australia has fireworks for everything. And they seem to get more and more fantastic each year, especially for big events (*ahem*TODAY!) No matter which culture, which festival, it always seems like somewhere, there are fireworks, and often I can hear the terrific bangs from my window:)
  6. Oh. My. God. I have not even mentioned the food. So Italy has its pizza. So London has its fish ‘n’ chips. Does anybody else have lamingtons? Or exotic meats like crocodile and emu?
    Or… Tim Tams?

Yeah, I saw your eyes open wide on the last one, don’t pretend😛

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Truth is, I do want to travel and live abroad one day, and hopefully, I will, but I have a taste for culture and to experience new places. Doesn’t mean they will ever take the place of Australia, my first home:)

Happy Australia Day everyone! If you are sizzling away at your barbies, or if you are just sitting and chilling with family and friends, I think you are having a pretty darn good one😀

Here’s toasting some Tooheys to you all, and if you are underage, some old fashioned lemonade too!

Oh, and of course, if you are interested, you could also be toasting with some of this delicious Australia Day slice as well. I made a simple slice, bursting of peanut buttery flavour and full of a soft, chewy-yet-crumbly texture, but the real reason it was such a winner was because of the little surprises littered throughout it.

And obviously on top (in as much of a creative flag shape as I could make it in limited space – don’t go judging!)😉

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These little surprises were from a packet of True Blue Mini Jelly Beans mix, which I was lucky enough to receive from the wonderful online lolly shop, BigLolly. An Australian family owned company, they specialise in all sorts of candy, chocolate and lollies, but they especially recently released an Australia Day range, to add an extra special patriotic touch to the various celebrations, all over the nation!

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Green and gold, blues and reds and whites, you ask for it, they have it, and it is sure to induce a delicious sugar high for anyone!
With great price range, easy shipping and access, I definitely am loving this company!

If I was to rate the taste and texture of these jellybeans, they would definitely be a solid 9/10. The texture was chewy, though not overly so, and each jellybean had an explosion of flavour according to its colour.

  • Red – Bold, exciting and sassy, a burst of cherry flavour without any artificial, medicinal nonsense taste. Win and probably my favourite in the packet😀
  • White – Demure, pure, but with a wicked coconut flavour seeping through, it almost had the coconut creaminess, it was definitely not all jelly:)
  • Blue – Flouncy, haywire and a little weird, it tasted like bubblegum, though a touch too artificial – still addictive, never the less!

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How do I rate putting these babies into a blondie as little pockets of flavour explosion?

10/10😀

Enjoy and hope you had a gorgeous day, and will continue to have a fantastic night!😀

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True Blue Peanut Butter Blondies
Adapted from: Crepes Of Wrath

PRINTABLE RECIPE!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I used all caster because I had no brown sugar left :P)
  • 230g butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, chunky
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup mini True Blue jelly beans, dusted in plain flour
  • 1 cup extra jellybeans, to make the very dodgy flag (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 9×13 inch baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Melt butter in a large glass bowl
  3. Immediately add in the peanut butter, and stir till smooth and melted in (and chunks will be the mini peanut pieces in the chunky pb)
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  4. Beat in the sugar and stir till combined into the mixture
  5. Let cool for five minutes, then beat in both eggs, one at a time, as well as the vanilla
  6. Using a large spoon, stir the flour into the egg-butter mixture till a few streaks remain
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  7. Add in 1 cup of dusted jellybeans and stir through till well combined
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  8. Spread the batter into the pan using a spoon and set to bake for 28-30 minutes – mine was done by then, but if it is not done, put aluminium foil loosely over the top to avoid over-browning the top and let bake for another 5-10 minutes (to check if it is done, a skewer inserted should come out with sticky crumbs, but no gooey batter)
  9. Take out of oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into pieces and devouring:)

Note:

  • If you are making the actual flag design on top of the blondie, work fast and make sure it is still hot so you can comfortably press the jellybeans into the top (My Aussie flag is far from a success, as you can see, but I am going to blame the lack of jellybeans and space :P)

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Disclaimer: Go Bake Yourself received this mix of jellybeans as a promotional sample from BigLolly.com but all the opinions written here are my own.

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78 Comments

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  5. Jessie says:

    I love the little jellybean flag! Glad you had a great Australia day:) I wanted to visit anyway, but your list of reasons Australia is great solidified it. If you ever find yourself stateside, come to LA!

  6. You smiling face makes me feel happy too. Brilliant photo for your blog!! Uru, Australia sounds lovely and the food super. Your flag is great actually….your creativity knows no bounds. Your poor Mom and Dad….you want to leave Australia? I can talk…I’ve lived in 3 countries for extended periods of time. Each time we actually emigrated. I prefer the warmer weather for sure over the pretty, but cold snow!

  7. laurasmess says:

    What a lovely post Uru! Very true blue Aussie indeed! Love the idea of the giant blondie spattered with coloured beans… every kid’s dream I think! Happy belated Aussie day xx

  8. Susan says:

    Sorry, I’ve been so MIA, CCU! I’ve finally added your new website URL to my blog list so, hopefully, I will get your updates from now on.

    Happy Australia Day! What a delicious way to celebrate:)

  9. wooo Happy Australia Day!😀
    so true with all those awesome things about Australia that you listed:)
    and what a way to celebrate then with those delicious looking blondies.. yum😀

    and quick question, how did you get your blog self hosted and redesigned?

    thanks Uru!
    and Happy holidays!😀

    Daisy and the Fox

    • Thanks so much! Hope you had an awesome Australia Day too:)

      I used zesty blog consultancy – they are a bit pricey, but saved up and they were really worth it because now, my blog looks exactly how I imagined – good luck if you go down the path to self hosting😀

      Cheers
      CCU

  10. You win with the Tim Tams, lol! And yes, God bless Australia for giving us Hugh Jackman. Not only is he totally FINE but he’s a broadway star (swoon) as well as an actor and apparently he is one of the nicest guys around (I read a LOT of hollywood gossip websites). Happy Australia Day, Uru! I love the peanut butter blondie you made – what a fun touch with the jelly beans!

  11. Terra says:

    Hi my friend! Sorry for my delay chatting with you, I tried to comment on you blog on my ipad and iphone, and the comment section was not letting me put my name and info. So now I am on my home computer and here I am finally!!! Your peanut butter blondies look like a perfect way to celebrate Australia Day!!! Hugs, Terra

  12. Happy Auzzie Day mate! Good on you for sharing such a great post on all of the favorite Auzzie past times. However, you forgot to mention my favorite, using Auzzie slang. Honestly I think learning Auzzie slang is about as hard as learning Chinese. Trust me I have done both and it is a tie breaker! All kidding set aside, I am not getting your post by e-mail anymore. I will sign up again and see how it goes. Do you see me on your list? Take Care, BAM

    • Haha of course Aussie slang! I guess to anyone not born and bred here, it would sound like a foreign language😛
      Hmm, that is a bit weird, I will look into it – I am sorry there are so many teething problems with my new blog! Did you confirm your subscription?

      Cheers
      CCU

  13. Debra says:

    This is a really fun cake! I love it. I will make it and think of you and all the lovely reasons that make Australia a wonderful country. I love your list of “why” it is so special to you. I can certainly agree with you about Hugh Jackman.:-)

  14. Happy Belated Aussie Day. The colors of the beans are pretty over the cake. Well, the one thing I learned from traveling is not to compare because end of the day, everywhere live evens up but in difference ways.

  15. Louise says:

    Oh I’m so upset with myself, Uru, I missed Australia Day! Happy Australia Day to you! I usually do a post to celebrate but, not this year, darn!

    Thank goodness you shared those jelly beans and those Peanut Butter Blondies. They look so yummy!

    I loved learning those tidbits about Australia too. Someday, I wish to travel there, {sigh} some day:)

    Thanks for sharing, Uru…

    • Aw don’t be upset my friend, it could happen to anyone! Thank you😀
      Happy Australia Day right back!

      I hope you do come to travel soon my friend, I could show you all the sights! And I am glad you enjoyed the blondes!

      Cheers
      CCU

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