Lately…

So much to do, so little time. Sorry for lack of blog posts! Here is my peace offering…  an update of sorts on life.

Lately I’ve been…

READING
blogs. I don’t have time for books these days, something I really miss. I used to read books a lot. I really want to read Hippies In The City. But for now I do most of my reading online. Current fave blogs are BabyMac and First Time Fancy.

COOKING
lentil patties. I’m trying to perfect my own version. They include coriander and tamari but that’s all I can say for now. I need to keep working on them before I share them here!

But I added some haloumi to my lentil pattie burger tonight and OH MY GOD….!

MAKING
this tray. It’s packaging from a toy of O’s that I sanded, primed, painted and am now using washi tap (!) to make a base for it. Pretty? It’s still not finished but very close.

DRINKING
appletiser. I drank bottles upon bottles of this when I was pregnant. Must be the warmer weather because I’m reaaaally craving that fizz. Bonus: no added sugar.

WANTING
sleep. O is waking for the day before 5AM lately. I think she knows daylight savings begins in one week! And thank fuck for that.

ENJOYING
music. It’s been years since I’ve really listened to music. I’m rediscovering Jack Johnson and loving some reggae, something I’ve never listened to before.

WAITING FOR
my veggie garden. I’ve planted some seeds and some seedlings. I’m not the most patient person, I really shouldn’t of planted seeds!

LIKING
the iphone update. Yep, I’m a fan. And the Instagram update is sleek too, no such thing as too much white if you ask me!

HOPING
for nice weather. It is soon O’s first birthday party. We have lots of people coming to celebrate at our (very small) home and minimal outdoor uncover area. I need sunshine! And seriously, one already?!

MARVELING
my daughter. Everything she does is amazing. I could give a million examples. Yesterday I marveled at her awareness – we were outside and she was playing with the letterbox flap, opening and closing it (seriously, non stop for 10 minutes!) and suddenly she stopped and I could see she was really listening. It took me a minute to realize she was listening to the birds that had started singing. I heard them too but they were in the background and I paid no attention. I marveled at how sharp her attention and hearing was. She knows the word “bird” and anytime she hears one she stops, listens and says “oooh” and looks up in the trees. She is so amazing ❤

NEEDING
a holiday. We last went away in September 2011 on a road trip/camping. 2 years ago! It’s hard when your baby still feeds to sleep and is probably safest on a mattress on the floor. Imagine making the reservation “hi yes is there space in that room to put the mattress on the floor? I don’t want my baby to fall off.” She’ll sleep in her cot one day, surely.

WEARING
my new-ish necklace. I bought it for my birthday with some gift money and I just love it. It’s actually very dainty and tiny. It’s from this shop at Etsy.

THINKING
pfft. Who has time for thinking? I’m tired. I’m busy. No thinking.

WONDERING
about memory. Do we not remember life as infants because it sucks? Teething has been bloody horrible lately and I’m sure a tooth coming through the gum isn’t a memory any of us want?

WISHING
that said-tooth would just burst through! I’m really over it. I need my happy baby back.

LOVING
life. Feeling really happy and grateful lately. Things aren’t perfect, but it could be worse.

FEELING
bloody blessed. The end.

Raw Cheesecake Recipe

I hate cheesecake. I always have. But raw cheesecake… well I could eat that every day! It’s soooo good. And whats better is it’s actually good for you! And so easy to make even though it doesn’t look like it. I wanted to share this post now, because with the weather warming up (at least here in Oz!) it’s a great dessert to take to a backyard BBQ or to have stashed in your own freezer as a sneaky dessert at night.

There’s lots of raw cheesecake recipes floating around lately. I’ve adapted this one from here. Because who doesn’t love berries? You can easily leave the berries out if you want though.
Raw Cheesecake
For the base:
  • 3 cups macadamia nuts or peacans (I’ve tried both with happy results)
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
In a springform pan lightly spray some coconut oil on the base and then sprinkle a layer of desiccated coconut over it. This will prevent the crust from sticking.
In your food processor, combine the base ingredients well. You may need to add an extra date or two. 
Press the mixture down firmly into your tin and then pop it in the freezer.
For the filling:
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours in filtered water
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup raw honey or agave
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Combine all the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust to taste (I often put some more lemon juice in). Pour half or 3/4 of the mixture over the top of your base and tap the pan on the bench to remove air bubbles. 
Place some frozen raspberries in the mixture… just gently press them in with your finger.
Add a handful of frozen berries to the remaining filling in your food processor and blend until the berries are combined. Pour this over the top of the plain filling and then place the cheesecake into your freezer carefully.
Leave it in your freezer until it’s firm… at least 4 hours. You can remove it from the pan once it’s frozen and slice it. I keep mine in the freezer and take a piece out onto the bench top 30 minutes before eating it. If you had this for a party, I’d recommend taking it from the freezer to your fridge about 3 hours before you want to eat it!
You could also make a raspberry sauce up to drizzle over it before serving by blending some dates and berries together. I usually just top it with some berries and maybe a drizzle of agave. Options for this cake are endless!

It’s not the cheapest of cakes to make but it does last quite a while, as it’s kept frozen, and it’s large!
I want to take this cake to someones house and see if they notice that it’s not a “real” cheesecake… that would be fun 😉

Raw Apricot Bliss Balls




One day I really felt like apricots. But in a delicious snack form, preferably with coconut. I put my thinking cap on and this recipe came about. Hubby has declared them the best ever bliss balls I’ve made (and I’ve got quite a few in my recipe folder!).
 
You will need:
  • 1 cup of almonds (I’ve also used macadamias with success)
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond essence
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) of dried apricots
Then do this:
Process the nuts and coconut in your food processor until reasonably fine but still a little crumbly.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the last ingredient. Process until a dough forms. Start with 10 dates but add more if the consistency isn’t doughy enough.
Add the apricots and pulse until combined. If you over-process it you won’t have chunks of apricot in your bliss balls and it’s just not the same 😉
Roll into balls with your hands. I get about 20-30 balls but it depends on the size you make them. 
I then roll them through desiccated coconut. Crushed nuts would be nice instead. This step is entirely optional though.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours before consuming, and keep stored in the fridge in an air tight container.
Yum!

Babble Box – A Review

I came across Babble Box on Instagram at first, and followed them up on their website. I fell in love with the idea behind it – once a month your child received a box full of goodies, suitable for him or her and they look forward every month to opening it and the contents are a surprise every month! They can do boxes from 0-4 years and you can choose to have it as a month-to-month set up or a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.
And the best part about Babble Box? For every box sent each month, they give back by making a donation to a charity such as Bravehearts and Barnardos. Isn’t that lovely?

I think it’d make a great gift especially.  Imagine if you were far away from a little one, perhaps a niece or nephew, or a godchild or even a grandchild. How beautiful would it for them to receive a box every month from you? And you don’t have to worry about it every month, it’s sent out for you. Or perhaps you could order a box in advance as a birthday gift. Heck, it could be your own child that you spend 24 hours a day with and it’s still a cool idea.
So what was in the September box I received? 
Well let’s start with the packaging. Oh my! Pretty darn cute if I do say so. Not to mention it was addressed to O, not to me. I’m sure for kids who can recognize their name, this would be a thrill! O was more into the cute bear logo on the box.
After unwrapping it all and then rescuing the paper from O’s tightly clenched fists that were shoveling it into her mouth (kids are really like puppies sometimes) I found the following items inside my Babble Box. Sorry, O’s Babble Box!
Also included was the tray pictured at the top of this post, along with a toy for O:
She moves way too fast these days to capture a decent
quality pic, sorry!
I thought I’d escaped this toy for awhile… surely 11 months is too young to know how to blow into a toy trumpet? Wrong. Fucksticks. Thankfully, at 11 months her attention span is very short and therefore she only has a couple of blows into it before throwing it over her shoulder and moving on to chewing a DVD (or the lounge, or her bib, or the glass coffee table…).
My favourite item in the box was probably the pig tray. Just because it’s really cute and made from bamboo. O’s favourite item was the trumpet. She goes from being enthralled with it to being petrified of it!
Check out Babble Box and surprise a child in your life.

Jack & Jill Competition Winner!

The competition has ended for the Jack And Jill prize pack. With 12 entries, and extra points for sharing the Instagram photo, a winner was chosen today…

Becc V.
I’ve emailed the winner, and hopefully you enjoy your pack of natural toothpaste and brushes for your little one! 
Thank you for entering the competition, and thank you to Jack And Jill for the giveaway. Check out the full Jack & Jill range on their website.

Raw Caramel Slice

This slice is to die for! I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of requests for the recipe so I just had to share. It’s so easy to make, and is actually healthy for you, even though you feel a little bit naughty when eating it. I was pleasantly surprised by how fudgey and, well.. caramel-y the caramel layer was. It turned out perfectly! The best thing is the tiniest piece is so rich and sweet (but not an over-whelming type sweet) that you really don’t need much and it lasts forever!




Raw Caramel Slice

For the base:

  • 2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp water
Put all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until combined. It will take a few minutes to come together, don’t despair! Start with 10 dates and add a couple extra if needed. I ended up using 12 and a half this time, as 10 wasn’t enough to make the mixture sticky.
Once combined well, press firmly into a slice tin lined with baking paper. I used a 7″ x 7″ pan. One of my favourite tricks is to use another piece of baking paper to press the mixture down. That way it won’t stick to your hands or be lifted by a spatula/spoon.
Pop the tray into your freezer.
For the caramel:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup tightly packed medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp water
Pulse the macadamias briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Be patient – it WILL become smooth! Remove the base from the freezer and spread it evenly on top. You can use a spatula, your fingers or another piece of baking paper to get an even coverage. Put it back in the freezer.
For the chocolate:
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (maple syrup, rice malt syrup and agave should work fine too)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, not melted
  • 2 tbs raw cacao powder
Place all ingredients in your processor and whizz it until it’s smooth. Pour evenly over the top of your caramel layer and again put it back in your freezer. After an hour or so, it should be set enough to slice up.
You can keep this in the fridge or freezer but I leave mine in the freezer and take a piece out a couple minutes before eating – the consistency is just right! 
You could use cocoa instead of cacao but remember cacao is so much better for you! You could even add a tablespoon of it to the base if you like things chocolaty. Using a liquid sweetener such as agave instead of honey will make this dessert vegan. 
Leave me a comment if you give this recipe a go, I’d love to hear your feedback!

I’m Back!

The local fire along a ridge at night time. Photo by Michael Bros.

Blogging rule #304 –
Don’t ever leave your blog for almost 10 days. With not even one word of an update. With no sign of life!

I do apologize! I was halfway through writing new posts – recipes in fact – when a fire came through our local town. It was very very close to taking many houses out. It turned cars and boats to mere shells, and flames were 15 meters above tree tops. My little town has less than 1000 people in it. The fire jumped the road and the northerly winds were gusting at almost 100km/h – straight towards us! So we left. It’s best to be safe when there is only one road in and out of our tiny town (that road being on a ridge top, surrounded by gullys of bush!). The police told us to leave, so we did, but we came back that night to sleep. The fire lasted for almost a week and now it’s raining so I’m assuming it’s pretty safe now. 

And then after all that hype and scare died down, my internet isn’t working properly. In fact, it doesn’t work at all on my PC and works whenever it feels like it on my laptop. I have no idea what it’s problem is, but all my “blog stuff” is on my desktop!

Let me make it up by promising you I will announce the winner from our Jack and Jill competition tomorrow in a brand spanking new blog post. If you haven’t entered yet, now is your last chance!
The fire approaching my house, before we evacuated.