Tag Archives: Tim Tams

Coffee By the Sea

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share chez moi. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a tail in your face or a dog on your lap, especially if you’re joining me for Tim Tams. The doggies can’t seem to read “Not suitable for dogs” on the side of the packet. Don’t worry. I don’t feed my dogs chocolate, although there have been times when their thieving paws have helped themselves. “Go to jail. Go directly to jail puppy dogs!”

While it might seem like I’ve had a busy week, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been a bit of a Homer Simpson glued to my armchair as the alternating heat, rain and chill took its toll. Need to muster up some energy to finish off my son’s room. I emptied out more cupboards while he’s off at my parents’ place and lost my mojo somewhere along the way. Wasn’t such a good idea after all!

Jonathon shark Umina Beach

Monday afternoon, some sort of crane must’ve plucked my son and I out of our respective chairs and plonked us down at the beach with the dogs. Almost straight away, I spotted a fisherman doing battle with a mighty fish and was spellbound. I’ve since realised that the ocean is one of the last unknowns on this planet. After all, Google Earth must have documented nearly each square inch of land. Hidden cameras seem to capture our each and every move. However, who knows what’s on the end of that fishing rod? Who knows what’s swimming around your feet while you’re hanging out at the beach? Yes, the ocean is one of the world’s last mysteries… the last frontier.

I manage to inject a fair amount of suspense into The Boy & the Shark .

For better or worse, I found out we had sharks at our beach. They were baby sharks but who’s to say the rest of the family wasn’t out there as well?


Captain! oh my Captain!

Tuesday, we went sailing with my Dad at Palm Beach. We motored down to Newport and then sailed passed Scotland Island and then motored back. Although I barely know port from starboard and am more likely to get hit in the head by the boom, I do make good ballast and I did have a go steering. Overall, I found the whole sailing experience very liberating and almost an out-of-body experience. There was such freedom out there and so much space.  Just a vast expanse of water, sky and the sunlight sparkling over the water like a diamond carpet.

Shark Smile

Not sure whether it was Wednesday or Thursday my time but I participated in Trent’s Weekly Smile Share. I must admit that I was a little cheeky because I posted a shark smile. While my son was poking and prodding the gasping shark on the beach, I noticed that the underside of the shark’s mouth either resembles a frown or a smile depending on the angle. It was at this point, too, I must admit, that I also realised just how much blogging has taken over my life. I’m an addict.

Although the rest of the week has been fairly quiet, I have participated in 1000 Voices for Compassion’s monthly blogshare. This month’s theme was forgiveness. I decided to write about the difficulties of forgiving Dermatomyositis, the severe auto-immune disease which remains a formidable foe.

Forgiveness turned out to be an incredible theme. Most of us live with something we’d love to exterminate, delete, replay and it is a real struggle to know quite how to deal with all that angst without imploding. I read some incredible stories where writers have ripped open their hearts, souls and minds and let me in. Shared those very painful moments in slow motion frame-by-frame. Sharing such intimate details, naturally brings closeness, intimacy, trust. After all, if you don’t truly know someone, how can you call them friend?

I really recommend you read as many of these posts as you can.

The rest of the week has been a blur.

All I know is that I only have 5 sleeps until the new school year begins. I am hoping that all my preparations haven’t been in vain but we could well see the birth of Frankenstein. Both kids are starting at new schools so we’ve been organising uniforms right down to checking the colour of their socks. Of course, this is all been a conscious process which is such a contrast to arriving back from holidays the night before and stepping right back into familiar shoes. Hey, even the car knew the way! I tell myself I can do it and Geoff will still be on holidays and yet I still feel like I’m about to walk the plank and did I mention something previously about SHARKS??

Deep breath Ro! Stop catastrophizing!

Does anyone else argue with themselves like this?

By the way, sign up starts for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge on Monday 25th January. I strongly recommend taking up the challenge. I participated for the first time last year and loved it but will be doing things differently this year. Last year, I wrote my posts every day and didn’t really have a tight theme. It was something loosely based on my world. While it was fun, trying to write and read so many posts really took over and the whole thing became quite intense. This year, I’m aiming to have all my posts written well ahead of time. Of course, for most of us, there are letters where you have too many options and there are a couple letters which cause such angst but I’m on my way.

Are you planning to sign up? You can sign up here.

Finally, it’s Sunday and we’ve finally returned from picking up the kids from my parents’. Had a great afternoon there where I inevitably ended up in the pool. I can’t believe how quickly I’ve turned into an old lady and all that’s missing is the swimmers with the skirt. Indeed, that would be more flattering. It was after dinner by the time I finally got into the pool and when it came to getting wet and even dipping my lower half in the water, it was painful and took forever.


Not getting my face wet!

Eventually, finally…I did a lap of breaststroke which must have looked more like dog paddle as I obstinately stuck my head out of the water like a little kid. “Don’t like getting my face wet!!” I tell you. Sometimes, I wonder about this other half. She is such a chicken while the other side throws caution to the wind.


Swimming with the kids was really good for me because the water enabled me to be much more physical than I am on land.I was even able to give both kids piggybacks because the water takes their weight. I can’t tell you what this meant to me and to them to be able to play together. For Mummy to be awake. Involved. Not having a nap. Not too unstable on her feet to have a go. Mum could be Mum.


Firing the canon…Photo taken by Geoff (well done!)

Tomorrow, Mum is off to the hairdresser’s at long last. I won’t know myself! Yippee!

By the way, Tuesday 26th January is Australia Day, known by at least some Aboriginal people as Invasion Day. It celebrates or commiserates the landing of the First Fleet at Botany Bay in 1788. That’s 228 years ago. Mind you, this 228 years is just the tip of Australia’s history. It is an ancient land.

We’re not going to be that patriotic this Australia Day. We’re planning to finally see Star Wars 7 and we’re dreading another night consoling a dribbling, shaking mutt as the fireworks go off. However, you can read about the Bicentenary here

Speaking about the dogs, a bit of forgiveness has been required in Bilbo’s court over the last couple of days. Miss has been away for 2 weeks and Mister a week and he’d had enough. He’s been getting quite stressed. Fortunately, they’re back so hope he settles down. By the way, they were both very exuberant when they arrived home today and greeted them with much tail-wagging and paws…no cold shoulders this time!

Chocolicious Chocolate!

Throw out your copy of: How to Win Friends & Influence People. If you want to be popular, the answer is chocolate. Not just any ordinary, garden-variety chocolate but the good stuff. The stuff that is so good, that it’s literally evil.

After all, as my husband explained:

“Life is too short to waste it eating mediocre chocolate.”

While definitions of such superlative chocolicious indulgences can be quite subjective, I’m yet to find someone who doesn’t fall head-over-heels in love with Australia’s Tim Tam Biscuit. All rules of social restraint and decorum go out the window where Tim Tams are concerned. Even the most disciplined health nuts have confessed to inhaling an entire packet of Tim Tams and it’s pretty much a given that  once you open the packet, they’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye. Tim Tams are so good that there was even an advertising campaign showing why a Tim Tam is better than a man.

Simply Irresistible Tim Tams

Simply Irresistible Tim Tams

The Tim Tam is so popular that a sacred ritual has evolved: “The Tim Tam Explosion” or “The Tim Tam Slam” although when I was at university, it was known as “The Tim Tam Suck”. These all describe the same scrumptious and daring ritual where you bite off opposite corners of a Tim Tam and dunk one corner in a hot cup of tea or coffee and suck it like a straw. The drink fills the biscuit and it metamorphoses into a sloppy, delicious mass, which you can hopefully get into your mouth before it disintegrates and falls in your drink. Of course, the chocolate coating melts all over your fingers so this is definitely not the done thing around “polite society”. It’s probably, not recommended on a first date, either!!

However, when it comes to chocolate, there are those special occasions when Lindt is in order and Lindt Balls have a special place in our hearts. Geoff and I took them bushwalking for our first Valentine’s Day together. Being a scorchingly hot, Sydney Summer’s Day, the Lindt Balls were liquid and have been known ever since as “Lindt Smears”. Therefore, indulging in Lindt Smears is rather hazardous during a Summer and you’re lucky if you can get the wrapper off before it disintegrates and implodes. I must admit that I do enjoy a gooey Lindt Ball but there’s a fine line. You can get a lot of heartbreaking wastage as the chocolate merges with the wrapper.

Who can argue with Snoopy?

Who can argue with Snoopy?

Another favourite chocolate indulgence, is a Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. I first discovered these when I was backpacking through Europe back in 1992 and ordered a Heiss Schockolade mit Sahne in Koln (Cologne). Wow!! Since then, I have found what I believe to be the world’s very best Hot Chocolate located at the Perisher resort where we go skiing. Their Toblerone Hot Chocolate comes with snowman with three marshmallows on a stick which you dunk into the hot, creamy hot chocolate. There’s also a stick of Toblerone and a cigar biscuit. Just amazing.

Sumptuous Chocolate Soup

Sumptuous Chocolate Soup

Recently, I found a scrumptious chocolate cake which was almost drowning in chocolate soup. That reminded me of the wonders of chocolate sauce. You can read about it here:


Being a keen baker, I have also made quite a few chocolate treats and I encourage you to have a go. In our household, we had a tension between the kids who prefer milk chocolate and the adults who prefer dark and so now I tend to make half of each to keep everybody happy.

Here are some indulgent chocolate recipes for you to try:

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes.

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes.

Easy-Peasy Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache:


White Chocolate Rocky Road:


Flourless Nutella Cake:


Two-Faced Chocolate Caramel Slice (milk and dark chocolate):


Chocolate Hazelnut Indulgence Cake:


After writing about all that yummy, scrumptious chocolate, my mouth is watering and I’m seriously considering breaking into our stash of Easter eggs. Something tells me, resistance is futile and as any true chocoholic will confess, when you eat your eggs quickly you can always poach the slow poke’s bulging stash.

However, if you are more more virtuous than I and can get through the entire Easter season without even a nibble of chocolate, perhaps you like to read about it instead and should get hold of: Chocolat by Joanne Harris…or even the movie http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/books/chocolat/.

A great Easter read and also a fabulous movie, which will leave you craving for artisan chocolate and a trip to France.

A great Easter read and also a fabulous movie, which will leave you craving for artisan chocolate and a trip to France.

Easter always seems to bring rain on Australia’s East Coast, at least, and so it’s a great time to curl up with a book, a movie and eat chocolate:

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.”
― Sandra Boynton

If you are participating in the A-Z Challenge, what was your C and feel free to provide a link and share your topic.

Love & chocolate moustaches,


The Greatest Discipline Challenge

Is it fair to punish your children for committing the very same crimes you committed as a child? Wouldn’t that make you the very worst of sinners…a hypocrite? Or, as a parent and the ultimate role model, guide and police person for your child, do you simply keep your secrets secret and apply the strong arm of the law regardless? Hard liners would also argue that if your child shares your weakness, then you really need to be firm and stamp out that undesirable behavior to help them overcome their genetic heritage.

I confess that I’m a bit stumped and am not really sure how to proceed.

You see, my child is guilty of stealing. Not from the local shop or anything sinister like that. My son has been sneaking chocolate biscuits out of the pantry. Actually, his sister has too. That means both my children are thieves and if I followed the letter of the law, they would both be condemned… sentenced to time out for the term of their natural lives. Convicts were sent to Australia for far lesser crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread. My kids are eating my Tim Tams and that should be a capital offense… if only I wasn’t going to be heading to the gallows with them!!

Although it is my house and I paid for the Tim Tams, I shouldn’t be eating them either. The Tim Tams with all their layers of chocolate temptation might be masquerading as my very best friends understanding my deepest and most crushing emotional needs, but I know better. They are not friends at all. They are the serpent in the Garden of Eden looking ever so good but are trying to lead me astray.

That said, I’m not saying that I can’t eat Tim Tams all. Moderation is fine.  They are a sometimes food and if I can only be strong and keep that sometimes sometimes, I can have my Tim Tam and eat it too. That’s one Tim Tam…not two, three or even the entire packet. Tim Tams are very, very hard to resist especially when they get a little warm in summer and the chocolate gets  a bit melty and they just squish in your mouth. Hmm!

For the initiated, there is also the Tim Tam explosion where you dip your Tim Tam in your coffee and use it as a straw and the whole thing becomes so gooey, chocolatey and irresistible just before it drops into your mug.

Anyway, I’ve deviated again. I was supposed to be talking about my antics as a child although I guess you can see that maturity hasn’t cured my chocolate tooth.

When I was growing up and particularly when I was in high school at an age when I really did know better, I used to “find” my mother’s chocolate stash and eat whatever I’d found. These weren’t just a few squares of Cadbury Dairy Milk either. Mum used to buy these special hazelnut clusters from the cafe made from special, dark chocolate. There were also Ferrero Rochers. I also remember sneaking Nutella by the spoonful out of the fridge. I was a bad, bad girl and as you can see, I’m still not sorry!

As a teenager, I never considered my mother’s feelings at all!! I’d found the chocolates, they were mine. All mine! I didn’t consider that maybe she’d felt like a chocolate with her cup of tea before she went to bed. It never crossed my mind that she might need an emotional pick-me-up at the end of her day? Oh no! Mum and I were waging a war. She wanted me to lose weight and I only had eyes for chocolate. This was more than a game of cat and mouse. It was a battle. In her efforts to outmaneuver me, Mum found new places or hidey holes to hide her stash. However, she often forgot where she’d put it and I found it first. You see, I had great perseverance!


I must tell you that all this writing about chocolate hasn’t been good for my resolve. I’ve just indulged in a Ferrero Rocher. They are just magic!

So if I am a chocolate thief from way back, am I in a position to punish my children for the very same crime? I don’t want my kids to believe they can get away with stealing but I find it difficult to punish them.

I have considered not having any chocolate or lollies in the house. This is one approach to the problem but that isn’t teaching them restraint or manners. I would let them have the occasional Tim Tam but not every day and not before school. I also believe that it’s important for the kids to understand boundaries and that other members of the family, even their mother, have needs too that need to be respected. Letting them get away with stealing the chocolate isn’t teaching them that.

That said, what is getting away with it? I’ve told them off but I couldn’t think about what to put in time out and I doubt the kids would have gone into time out. They usually don’t do what I say. I have also been really tired lately. My prednisone dosage dropped down to 15mg this week, which is great news but my artificial energy source has gone and after being so pumped up, I am feeling particularly flat. It is hard to follow through with the kids when I just feel like going to sleep.

The Giving Tree

I have a very good book called The Giving Tree by Shel Silberstein and I read that to them the other night and at least our daughter got it. The little boy keeps taking from the tree until there is nothing left. This is a story with no happy ending. The tree dies.  I explained to the kids that they can’t take and take and take until Mummy and Daddy have nothing left. It applies to Tim Tams but it also applies to love. As parents, we need to feel loved and a bit spoilt by our kids just like they need to be loved and feel loved by us. When we are giving them so much, it is so easy to feel drained and our love tanks need to be topped up too. We can’t run on empty.

It is up to us as parents to put some boundaries in place so that we actually have something left for ourselves but as our kids get older, they also need to put other members of the family first at times and be considerate, decent human beings who will be valued, considerate members of our community.

For better or worse, that begins at home  although I’m still not really sure how to tackle the chocolate. Any ideas?

xx Rowena