Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Ages ago, I came across a 1970’s magazine for youth/young adults. One article was about a fun outdoor activity with lots of games and fun. Since I was looking for ideas for games we could do at an upcoming outdoor event, there was a game in the article that caught my attention. It involved chocolate pudding, being fed by one blindfolded person to another also blindfolded person.

The first time we did the game, I had to buy a few cups of chocolate pudding from the supermarket. The game turned out to be a hit – lots of laughter from the players and spectators as well!

A couple of years later, we decided to do the game again at another event. This time, due to tight funds, I wondered if I could get a hold of a chocolate pudding recipe and if it would be the less inexpensive option. I did and it was, so I kept the recipe. Here it is:

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CHOCOLATE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS
6 Tablespoons cornflour
½ Cup sugar
¼ Cup cocoa powder
4 Cups milk
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Egg, well beaten
1 Teaspoon vanilla

PROCEDURE
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan. Gradually add a little milk and stir to a smooth paste; stirring constantly add remainder of milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Do not boil.

Pour a bit of the hot mixture into well beaten egg, beating while pouring. Add egg mixture into pan with remaining hot mixture. Stir until well blended.

Return to heat and cook until pudding consistency. Remove from heat. Pour into individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Optional: Add crushed Oreo cookies on top. You can also serve it with whipped cream instead.


Party tips:

This yummy snack/dessert is also perfect for garden themed parties or construction themed parties, if you are after foods that go well with the themes.

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For a construction themed party, you can pretend it is earth or top soil.

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For a garden themed party, you can ‘plant’ a piece of edible herb on top and add a popsicle stick with a name of a veggie or herb. Then you can pretend they are seedlings!

Construction Theme Party Ideas

For every kid who wants to be an engineer, architect, builder, construction manager, etc. when he/she grows up, here are some of the coolest ideas for a construction themed party.

FOOD IDEAS:

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CAKE IDEAS:

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DECOR IDEAS:

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Know Your Ingredient – Cardamom

cardamom

Description

Cardamom is native to the evergreen rain forest of southern Indian Kerala state and grown in only a few tropical countries. The spice features three-sided pods with a thin, yet tough papery outer cover. Inside, tiny, deep-brown to black, aromatic seeds are arranged in vertical rows with each grain unsheathed again inside a very thin membrane. There are two types of cardamom pods: the green cardamom pod and the black cardamom pod. Generally, the plant can grow up to four meters in length.

Nutrients 

Cardamom is a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It is also an excellent source of iron and manganese. In addition to that, it is rich in many vital vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health. It as well contains many essential volatile oils that include pinene, sabinene, myrcene, phellandrene, limonene, 1, 8-cineole, terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-oil, a-terpineol, a-terpineol acetate, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, methyl eugenol, and trans-nerolidol.

Health Benefits/ Medical Use

Cardamom has antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic properties. It also helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It is a good source of manganese which is a very powerful free-radical scavenger. It helps in red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism.

Culinary Use

Cardamom is being used as flavoring agent in both soups, foods, and revitalizing drinks. Many sweet dishes in Asian countries use cardamom.

Anniversary Dinner at Masons of Bendigo

Last year, we spent a few days touring Ballarat. Then, a kangaroo wrecked my car, we moved house and needed to purchase a lot of stuff for our new home, went to Melbourne a couple of times, went to Sydney to process some very important documents, and went to Wodonga (unplanned) to attend a friend’s wedding. All that left us with not enough extra cash to spend for another out-of-town anniversary celebration holiday.  Therefore, we decided to stay home and just go out for a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Might be a little pricey compared to the usual everyday meal, but not as expensive as an out-of-town holiday.

I recently had a conversation with someone about wedding anniversaries. During that conversation, my mind processed a million thoughts and I concluded that wedding anniversaries deserve much better celebrations/pampering compared to birthdays. With most people I know, they often spend a fortune celebrating birthdays or pampering birthday celebrants, but spend their wedding anniversaries with a simple night out or, worse, a simple exchange of greeting cards.

 But the thing is, given it’s God’s will that you don’t die yet, you can spend the whole year being lazy and selfish, or making everyone hate you passionately… and still turn a year older.  With wedding anniversaries, however, there’s a lot more effort required (including the bazillion times that you have to be patient and forgiving with all the super-annoying things your spouse does, intentionally or unintentionally) during the year to be able to make it to the next anniversary date.  With all that hard work that the two of you put into your marriage, don’t you think every wedding anniversary is totally worth celebrating as a reward to you two? I think so.

 There’s this lovely restaurant in the heart of the city called Masons of Bendigo. It’s not your ordinary restaurant in this city. If you go to TripAdvisor, you’ll find it ranked 1st among the best places to eat in Bendigo. I was quite intrigued about it, so I suggested it to hubby and he agreed to dine there for our anniversary.

 From what I learned, on the very spot where this restaurant is located, there used to be a glass shop ran by the Masons family (not related to the owners of the restaurant). By this, I mean a shop that sells glass for windows, etc. The shop was there for a very, very long time, so it was well known in Bendigo. Then, for some reason, they decided to close down the glass store. Because they had been there for a long time, as a sort of a tribute to them, I guess, when a new restaurant was established in its place, the owners of the new business called their restaurant “Masons of Bendigo”.

 On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the Masons of Bendigo website and made a reservation for the next evening around 6:30pm. Then, I did my homework and tried to decide which dishes to order. Because I had no idea how the various dishes looked like and how much would be enough for us two, I Googled images of their dishes until I was able to pick a few ones that I found interesting.

 The next day, I received a call from Masons during which I was informed that they didn’t have a table for two at 6:30. I was given two options, (A) be reserved a couple of seats at a long table (shared with others) at 6:30, or (B) get a table for two at 8 pm.  I asked if they have a table for 2 available on Saturday instead, but was told that Saturday was fully booked. (I learned later that if you want to eat in there on weekends, you’ll have to reserve waaaaayy beforehand.) Now, if it was an ordinary meal that we’re having, I wouldn’t mind sharing a table with strangers. But this is a wedding anniversary dinner, so we NEED a table that’s only for two.  I picked the second option to come it at 8pm.

 We came in a little bit before 8pm and were ushered to our table. The paper place mats  on the table had the restaurant’s menu on the other side. Hubby and I decided to order a number of small dishes, as opposed to ordering 1 main dish for each of us, because I saw that others (online) have done that to be able to taste as many of their dishes as possible at one visit. I was unsure how much would be enough for us, so I told the waitress about my little predicament and asked for her suggestion. She was nice and friendly and helped us out with our questions, making the experience quite lovely.

 While waiting for our orders, we were given complimentary bread to munch on, as we also enjoyed the view of waiters, cooks and chef, who were busy as bees in preparing and serving dishes. These are some of the dishes we had for the evening:

  Tempura Fried Morton Bay Bug Tails

George’s Fried Cauliflower Cheese Zucchini Flowers

 Satay Chicken Pot Sticker Dumplings

 Crispy Fried Soft Shell Mud Crab

 Hervey Bay Scallops

Passion Fruit and Lychee Brulee

We were very happy with our experience dining at Masons of Bendigo. The staff members were very lovely and made us feel quite comfortable even though it was our first time to dine there. The food was divine. Each spelled perfection in my book. The whole experience was totally worth the price tag. We’d definitely be back and highly recommend this place.

Spongebob Squarepants Themed Birthday Party

A few days to go and the new SpongeBob Squarepants movie will be out in the cinemas! Hurray!

Speaking of SpongeBob (which is one of my nephews’ most favorite shows), I’d like to share one of my nephews’ birthday celebration last year. Because they were so into SpongeBob at that time, I suggested a SpongeBob themed celebration. Boy, we were so excited to try to create a Krabby Patty!

Using The Quirky Briars’ SpongeBob Squarepants Birthday Bunting printable, I made this banner with an assortment of skinny ribbons which colors seemed to coordinate with the panels’ colors.

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The white net (it’s really a net for protecting fruit trees from birds) added that under-the-sea/beach effect to the presentation.

In the weeks prior to the birthday, I did some research as to the names of foods that were served at one time or another in Krusty Krabb – the ever famous restaurant where SpongeBob works. Then I had to get my imagination to work and come up as to what can play as what kind of food.  Here’s what I had come up with so far….

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And finally….Krabby Patties!!! (with fresh greens from the backyard garden)

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…and some more!

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I had stuck a piece of paper on the door at the last minute. Here’s that piece of paper, as captured by my phone’s camera:

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Well, yup, the little kiddos loved the theme and the celebration. Wish I could recreate this in celebration of the new SpongeBob movie. 🙂

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