Wednesday 28 October 2015

Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce

This is my Sticky Date Pudding recipe, I usually make it when I have all the family together as everybody loves it, and also make it if asked to take a desert for a party or function.  It never fails to impress and have never had a problem making it. Served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, I also made it once with some praline and sprinkled it over he top when I was tying to be a bit fancy.

The amount in this recipe will make a baking dish approx. 33cm x 22cm  and will serve around 20 depending how big your portions are. If you wish to make a smaller amount just halve the recipe.


500g chopped pitted dates
3 cups water
2 tsp bi- carb soda
250g softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups self raising flour


Pre Heat oven 160c

Put dates and water in saucepan and bring to boil, remove from heat then quickly add and stir in Bi-carb soda this will froth and bubble and double in size, put aside to cool.

In a blow beat butter brown sugar until pale then add one egg at a time and also vanilla.  When date mixture has cooled add to butter and sugar mixture and stir in well. When combined add S/R flour  fold in until combined just use wooden spoon for this process don't worry if their are some little lumps of flour. The less you work it the lighter the pudding.

I spray my baking dish with canola oil and line the bottom with baking paper, pour your mixture into dish ad cook in moderate oven for approx. 40 min just do the skewer test,  you might have to put foil over the so it doesn't burn and sometime I have to turn the oven down. My oven is a hot oven so I always have to keep an eye on things.

Caramel Sauce

600 mls Thickened Cream
2 cups Brown Sugar
250g butter chopped
2 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil stirring with wooden spoon simmer for approx. 7 to 10 min after all melted. Serve hot over your pudding.  This pudding and sauce keeps well in the fridge, just heat in microwave when required so is great if you wanting to make something before hand.

Hope you get the chance to make this it a family favourite in our house.

Maz xx

Saturday 17 October 2015

Choclate Lava Cake

I have never made a cake or desert in my slow cooker, but have always wanted too.  Found this recipe for Choc Lava Cake which is really like a self saucing pudding was so easy to make.  I like this one because a lot of the recipes use a packet cake mix for the batter part which I didn't like I wanted to make mine from scratch. Also next time I make it and I defiantly will I might add 1/2 tsp chill powder to bring the choc flavour out or you could add some espresso.
So here it is I hope you enjoy it as much as we did great for large crowds, I also doubled the recipe because my slow cooker is a large one.


2 cups SR flour
1 cup sugar
12 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
4 tsp baking powder
1  tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 Tbls oil
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 packed brown sugar
3 cups hot water.


1.  Spray slow cooker with oil, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and 6 tablespoon's of

2.  Add the milk, oil, and vanilla and mix with electric mixer for 2 mins until combined.

3.  Place batter into slow cooker and spread evenly.

4.  In a bowl combine brown sugar and the remaining 3 Tbls of cocoa in bowl then stir in hot water
     until dissolved.

5.  Pour over the batter mixture (DO NOT STIR)!!!! cover and cook on high for 2 hours.

6.  Turn off and remove lid  let cake stand for 30 min. Pour the lava from the bottom of
      the pot over the top of  the cake and serve with ice cream.

Spray with oil and add batter
This is what it looked like after I cooked it
the sauce is on the bottom let sit for 30 min
before serving.

Serving suggestions sorry the ice cream melted before
I got the shot.

 I hope you get the chance to make it and becomes a family favourite.

Enjoy Maz  xx

Saturday 10 October 2015

Sticky, Spicy Beef Ribs.

I have made ribs before but these are out of the park.  I followed basic recipe and added a few extra things.  I hope you enjoy them I think the secret to the success was that I kept them covered the whole time.  Only taking foil off to turn every hour. Don't be tempted to take the foil off to brown the top they will burn very quickly as I found out.

Cooking time 3- 4 hours depending how many you are cooking,  just keep any eye on them you will be able to tell when they are ready as the meat will start to come off the bone.

Coat meat with marinade.

1.5kg Beef ribs
1/2 cup tomato sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup brown or malt vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp yellow mustard powder(keens)
2 tsp black pepper
Place in fridge for 1 hour
or longer if you have time.
little salt not much as the soy sauce is salty


Place all of the ingredients into bowl and mix together, place the meat in and coat, then put into baking dish making sure they fit snuggly. Place in fridge for about an hour longer if you can I didn't and they were very flavoursome.  Take out of fridge cover with foil tightly and place in pre-heated oven at 120 to 140 C my oven is fan-forced, you want it low and slow.

After an hour take out and turn the ribs spoon sauce over them cover again put back in for another hour, then do the same again. in an hour should take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours don't be tempted to take the foil off they will burn very quickly, keeping the foil on keeps the moisture in. When they are ready serve with mashed potatoes and coleslaw.

 Next time I make them ( and I will defiantly be making them again), I will slicing up some onions and peppers and put a layer on the bottom of the dish, they would be make a delicious topping to go over the ribs when serving.

Also if I was making them again for my  family I  would need about 2.5 to 3kg of ribs as they shrink quite a bit, and there is a large bone attached to the meat you would need to double the recipe and it would be the perfect amount for a family of 6 you would also have to adjust the cooking time maybe an extra 1/2 to 1 hour

For the BBQ sauce I used " McCormicks Tennessee style Brown Sugar Bourbon",  you can use whatever you have, we are big BBQ sauce fans in our house and have a huge selection. Also you can eliminate the chilli sauce if you don't like them spicy or add more for a bit of extra heat.

I hope you get the chance to make them, and share them with friends and family I cant wait to make them again.

Enjoy Maz xx

This was the BBQ sauce I used.

Don't be tempted to take the foil off I did only for about 10 mins hence the colour but still moist

Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Coleslaw delish

Friday 2 October 2015

My Little Slice of Paradise.

Our family has been coming to the Gold Coast for over 20 years, first holidaying when the kids were little and then when older they attended boarding school here. Back in the late 90's we purchased a unit at the Hibiscus on the Beach in main beach, a small boutique building only twenty two units in the whole complex, two per floor. The units aren't huge but what it lacks in size it makes up in position, right on the beach, you could literally throw a stone into the ocean from your balcony (but I wouldn't recommend it). It doesn't have a lot of  the amenities that your large resorts do (eg, tennis court, gym), but you can jump out of the pool or spa open the front gate to a patrolled beach go for a dip in the ocean who could ask for more. I noticed on my last visit that two families had booked both units on one floor which we have done over the years as the family's can go between both units and you have the whole floor to yourself. We later sold that unit which was at the back, and purchased at the front over looking the beach on the second floor, I could literally call out to the kids when they were on the beach and tell them lunch was ready (but not in a bogan way). We've had a lot of great memories over the years, such a laid back spot and now with the light rail just down the road you can go anywhere on the coast without a car. But sadly we sold it when we moved back to the country though we still stay here as it is such a great spot and I never tire of the view.

It is in the suburb of Main Beach just above the hub of the Gold Coast, a fantastic little spot five minutes from Sea World, just across the bridge you are at Australia Fair Shopping Centre and really quite central to most things. It has a great vibe everyone makes you feel like a local, it has great restaurants that cater for any budget and a fantastic surf club with a view to die for, you have a great restaurant across the road  which serves the best coffee, breakfasts and lunches while you sit and watch the world go by, and next to that what everyone needs on holidays 711. Then you have your newsagents/supermarket, bottle shop, lots of dress and shoes shops also catering for most budget's, I have picked up a few bargain's. You might also rub shoulders with the odd celebrity, as the Palazzo Versace Hotel is just down the road, I have seen a few over the years and just recently Johnny Depp whilst he was making Pirates of the Caribbean!

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you are considering a trip to the Gold Coast with your family and want to stay somewhere that is relaxing laid back and self contained and on the beach, then have a look at their website or ring them direct.

I would also like to add I have not received anything for writing this post, I just love sharing information that may be helpful to people.

Blessings Maz xxx

The view from the pool and spa
Hibiscuc on the Beach
view from 10th floor

Bbq Area and Gazebo

Tedder ave Main Beach
Its position on the Gold Coast
That's how close it is to Marina and SeaWorld.

10th floor front main bedroom
10th Floor 2nd bedroom

10th floor living room

10th Floor kitchen dinning

Thursday 1 October 2015

Choc Chip Anzac Biscuits


Pre-heat oven to 160c
Makes 33


2 cups plain flour
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
250g unsalted butter chopped
4 Tbs golden syrup
1 teaspoon bi carb soda
250g dark choc chips
5 tablespoons water


dry ingredients
Place all dry ingredients into large bowl and give a stir to break up any lumps of brown sugar and combine all together ( makes it easier when wet ingredients are added). In a saucepan melt butter and golden syrup, when melted and take off heat and quickly stir in bi carb with wooden spoon,  this will froth up quickly and triple in size add this directly to your bowl of dry ingredients and mix all together with wooden spoon.  I use my hand to combine and feel the texture of the ingredients as you do this add the choc chips if you do this before the chips have the tendency to melt, combine the mixture as you do this sprinkle the 5 tablespoons of water one at a time, the mixture should not be dry but not wet and when you can roll a ball and it holds its shape then its right.

Roll in to ball this size
All ingredients combined

Press tops down as shown

Roll into balls you can make any size you like mine are the size of large walnut place on lined baking tray and place in oven.  Bake for approx. 5-6 minutes or until they start to brown slightly and rise, take out of oven and press the top down with spatula, not to flatten just push to top down slightly, put back in oven for a further 6-7 mins keep an eye on the as the cooking time might depend on your oven mine is fan forced so cooks hotter.  When they are golden brown  take them out and give them another press as they would have risen slightly again, you don't have to do this you can leave them puffy it all about how you like them (my family like them soft and chewy) leave them to cool on the tray for about 10 mins. (and if your like me you cant resist to do a taste test before anyone else does).

Hope you enjoy this recipe I have been making these biscuits for years and they never disappoint,  there great to take anywhere and make regular appearances at most community functions. Blessings Maz xx


Wednesday 26 August 2015

First Impressions's

love the stripes makes such a statement
I love hallways and foyers, we have a side entry that everyone uses and we rarely use the "Official" front door.   They give you a chance  to set the style and mood of your home when people enter. I would say my home has a relaxed country feel with a dash of a Hampton' s  I was a bit of a Shabby Chic fan years ago but am over all the fussy floral but still love my white furniture.  My colour palate is mainly neutrals and my favourite colour is blue, but I am loving a lot of the grey schemes that are around and I have painted a few pieces of furniture black. I love a good  bargain and their is nothing more fulfilling  to me than buying something at an auction or clearing sale or second-hand store and then taking it home renovating it and finding a place for it in your home. 

What a transformation
  I also change things regularly much to my husbands disgust, I have now learnt to do it when he is not around, and this is hard as he never leaves the farm much.   When I want to move something that's too heavy for me and only have a small window of opportunity I call my neighbour and she pops over, (thanks Jude she gets me now.)
I remember years ago when my husband worked for a Cotton Merchant and was regularly away on business, I wanted to change our bedroom to a " Traditional English Manor" I sewed the curtains and bedspread weeks in advance, red toile print with co-ordinated stipes put away in the cupboard and hid tins of red  paint in the shed.  So when he left my friend came over and we started to paint the bedroom fire engine red with a white picture rail. (Ok this was when changing rooms first aired on TV back in the early 90's )OMG no one told me I need to undercoat it took five coats had to race down and buy more paint and took forever to dry.  He was away for two days and just finished it 1/2 before he came home we couldn't sleep in it for two days as the paint fumes where so strong.

How to create a Hallway
 Ok  back to hallways  I'm addicted to pinterest it is the best place to get inspiration or find out how to do something. I have a board just for Hallways and entry's, even if you don't have a hallway you can create one by positioning your furniture, e.g.  place your lounge inline with your front door then on the opposing wall add a mirror hall table and couple of chairs either side "ta ta"  there you have it hallway. I also love stripes and love the horizontal ones at the moment, they make such a statement, I painted a hallway and staircase at a house we owned at the Gold Coast huge job but OMG loved it.  But as I have got older have come to the realisation that living with four children  7 dogs and 3 cats and  a husband that never put things away and living in an environment that is always dusty I have de-cluttered a lot, I find this hard as I am used to styling my furniture, I think this comes  from having my business, slow and steady can't rush this process. 

Love this mudroom

 I love multi- function entries like the one on the left how cool a place for everything and would be relatively easy to put together. No excuses for kids not to put their things away when they walk inside.

I am not a trained interior stylist I just know what I like and love nothing more than looking though magazines or other forms of media to get ideas, also after 14 years of boarding school fees and now university I am always sourcing thing at the cheapest possible price, sorry some might not agree with me but if I can get a copper vase at the $1 shop that looks exactly like the $190 one from some other place will buy the $1 shop, also who would have thought two years ago copper would be the next big thing?

But it was a sad day when I realised that I had enough furniture, I literally couldn't fit another piece in and that was a hard pill to swallow but I still cant go past a bargain or a really nice piece that needs a home, I have started putting it away for my children.  I tend to buy or make accessories now for the style or look that I am trying to create.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and it has given you some inspiration on what you can do, I think I might be going to mask off some horizontal lines in my hallway will keep you posted.

P.S.  I would also like to add I did this post all by myself no IT support (family who are sick of me asking how do I do this) its not very fancy but hopefully over time will be able to get the hang of this.
                                                            Bye for now Maz xx

How cool is this for a farm house mudroom

I think I feel some stripes coming on

This is my Hallway at the moment, I brought an old bedroom suite at garage sale $100
separated the mirror from the dressing table painted it black, used the bedhead in sons room
the side tables in my bedroom, love a bargain.
I can feel some inspiration coming on will keep you posted on the outcome.

Images from this post have been collated from Pinterest and my own personal images. If you would like to find their origins  you can find them in my Pinterest folder Maz Lifestyle

Friday 14 August 2015

Why I Love Where I Live

 I really  do love where I live and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, (except maybe an island like Richard Branson’s).  Like many small communities in the bush, they are unique and filled with wonderful, hard working, salt of the earth people, who would help anyone at the " drop of a hat”. Who love their town and would do anything for it, then add in a couple of local characters,  an extensive calendar of events and there you have it.

 My family and I live near a small remote town called Carinda in far west NSW, Australia.  It has a population of about 30 in the town itself, but in the wider region there would be about 180. It has a sort of "Walkabout Creek" vibe like in the movie Crocodile Dundee, a real diamond in the rough, though without the crocodiles. Its mainly a farming area made up of sheep, cattle, cotton and cropping and quite isolated, and with summer temps reaching 45 and winter -1, I will be honest its not for everybody. There is no Starbucks, no grocery store, the nearest town is 80kms away, but for the people that call it home they would say they are extremely lucky.  Everybody knows everybody and its very hard to keep a secret, and you've heard of the “Bush Telegraph” its not just a saying, it truly exists. Generally by the time a rumour or conversation has been overheard, it usually gets back to the person concerned stretched, pulled, added and embellished quite a lot and sounding nothing like the original version.
The Carinda Hotel

 It may look like a quiet sleepy town and you would most probably drive through and not give a second glance, a town that had fallen on hard times, and with years of drought  certain industries closed down and jobs lost. Though blow the dust off  and you would find a small town with a band of hardworking community  minded people who love where they live and have immense pride for their town and community. They love to share and promote all the great things that make us unique.  You will notice in the Anzac pictures, we are a very patriotic bunch and on Anzac day the  whole district gathers to pay tribute to our fallen. We then cross the road to the pub, people catch up, stories are swapped, an old carpet square( used only on Anzac Day) is position in the centre of the pub floor and "Two Up "is played.

Anzac Service 2015 record numbers turned-out
Main Street bustling  with Rally Competitors.
We hold many community events and fund raise for many charities over the year, our annual races swells the town to 800 people, this year marking a 100 years of racing in Carinda, so god only knows how many will turn up this year. Numerous car Rally's come through Carinda and we have quite a reputation in regards to hospitality and  our culinary delights that we provide (we have some amazing cooks that would rival any  Master Chief contestant). Wool days, Golf days, Camp Drafts, then toss in an odd Black Tie Ball and you might have just scraped the surface of this diverse little place, and the people which make it GREAT. (I would just like to add everybody volunteers their time for all the events, so you can imagine the hours that  people provide, and they do it with a smile on there face.)
How hot was he back then.

One of Carinda’s big claim to fame was that David Bowie filmed his “Lets Dance” music video in our little pub, yes thats right “David Bowie” came to Carinda ( god I wish I lived here then). I remember a couple of years ago a BBC TV crew came to town do a documentary about the 30 year anniversary of the filming of the video. They went to the pub and asked if any of the original people that were featured in the video were still around in the town. “Oh yeah” said a local sitting at the bar “there all still around” he said, “just go down the road take the first turn to the left they are all down there”. So off they went, they returned to the pub about 1/2 an hour later looking a bit flustered, “we followed your directions, but it took us to the cemetery”, ” yep that's right there all their" (only in Carinda). I have added a link to the documentary if you would like to see first hand our little town. Also Eccels who is featured in it has since passed.
David Bowie in the Carinda Hotel.

Now I don't want to make this sound like a history lesson but there are a few quirky things, well a lot but I won't bore you with too many. Now Eccel's house withstood a mini tornado, quite a few roofs were lost around the area and one house was lifted off its footings, the consensus was that Eccel's house had so many gaps in it the wind went straight through. The storm also took out  all the towns power and in the wider area. The service station had a generator so they ran an extension cord from the Servo across the road to the pub (I will add this was after locals and SES tarped, tied and assessed all the damage). Our  Police station has a bit of a funny story too, you see there is a town quite bigger than ours called Quirindi and is pronounced “Carindi" and our town is pronounced "Carinda" close right? Well the plans for the Quirindi police station came to us by mistake, so now we have a double story flash as "Michael Jackson" Police Station, it even has a court room which in used by our bush nurse for weekly medical clinics (only in Carinda would you get your blood pressure checked in a Court Room).

The Police station
Eccels House
You will notice I say "Only in Carinda" quite a bit through my blog  I say this because, its such a wonderful, quirky place and funny things happen that make me smile and laugh quite a lot, and that I feel extremely blessed to live in this great little spot and call it home.

So what is it about where you live that you love?  Is  it the people and the community, a sense of belonging to something special like me, or is it the climate? Do you live by the sea and love the lifestyle it offers? or  do you live in the city and love all the things that are available to you.  Wherever you live please embrace it and be part of it, get to know your community, it will truly enrich your life for the better.  Also whilst next on your travels if you happen to be passing through a small town, stop, take the time to look around maybe  buy a coffee or some fuel or even a beer, just stop and say “G'day."
The Hardworking Canteen Ladies at the Races (Love these Guys)
The Carinda Races

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Welcome to Maz Lifestyle

Hi I’m Maz, and I am so excited that you have taken the time to read my blog.
I am new to the blogging world, (I only learnt how to copy and paste the other day). I’m 52, a mum of 3 girls and a boy aged between 18 to 26 and have been happily married for 30 years and always on a diet, I live on a farm in outback Australia and have always loved fashion, interior styling and DIY.
Many years ago our family had a sea change to the Gold Coast. Coming from the country and always being busy I felt completely lost, and my husband suggested "just do what you love ", so I opened up my own interior design business “Maz Interiors” at the Gold Coast, what a ride! I took the lease on a showroom with a workshop at the back.  It was one of the happiest times of my life, people that were clients became friends, I would jump out of bed to go to work because of projects or things that were happening within the business. We also added shopping tours and workshops for sourcing and restoring furniture. Though after 6 years we realised that the fast pace of the Gold Coast was not for us, so I sold the business and we returned to the country.
“Ok so the purpose behind this blog” I’m at a crossroads since turning 50 the kids are growing up, living on a farm in an isolated community I am generally dressed in work cloths jeans T boots work shirt, (not very glamorous), being on call at a moments notice to help the hubby on the farm, you never know what you are doing from one day to the next, also the restrictions of where I live 5 kms to the nearest town with a population of 30 on a good day, with a pub and service station, with maybe 1  or 2 caravans passing through a day, and three hours to the nearest regional town make it impractical to open up another business,  but in saying all this I absolutely love where I live and wouldn’t live anywhere else.
So I though why not write a blog? I have got plenty of experience 40 years of getting it wrong and right, working  from home doing something I love, fashion, talking and taking photos, (my family would vouch for that). I’m a curvy woman and try to dress for my shape, and would say my style is classic with a dash of current trends, and I love layering, but don’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb. Included in my posts I will be giving you an insight into all the wonderful fashionable, creative people  and business that are in my region of the outback (as only a local can). There will be posts on interior styling, cooking, living in a remote community, health and beauty, and DIY.  I would just like to mention whilst researching for this Blog I found a vast number of wonderful talented women, wearing and writing about fashion and lifestyle that look amazing.
Also a big thank you to my children for all your support and “keeping it real”…sometimes too real, and telling me honestly what you think. To my wonderful husband Peter, thank you for supporting me in this new chapter of my life, believing in me and never saying that my dreams are too big (and just go for it). And finally to my dearest mum Peggy, for making me the person I am today.
So please sit back and enjoy my posts I hope I can give you some inspiration and wonderful stories on this personal journey. I also hope overtime that my words flow a little easier, and the self doubt diminishes and that I am not second guessing every sentence.