{Recipe} TWP Caramel & Macadamia Raw Cheesecake

Image from The Whole Pantry app.

“Healing_Belle” was one of the first “clean foodie” accounts I found on Instagram. She is a wonderful woman based in Melbourne who has brain cancer. Instead of conventional treatment (chemo etc) she decided to use food and a healthy lifestyle. Fermented, raw, super foods… she did her research and her passion for this field really shows, especially in her app The Whole Pantry (TWP). One of her recipes listed in the app is this raw Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake. I decided to make it for the first time this week and took it to my family’s Christmas lunch today.

I was pretty disappointed. I mean, Macadamias aren’t cheap!

Mum’s comments: “It’s boring, there’s no flavour.”
My comments: “All I taste is coconut!”
Hubby’s comments: “I like this. Yum.”

It didn’t even look the same. Mine was white. Surely I left something out… *re-read singredients* Nope. It’s all there. Even the caramel sauce was thick and pasty, not like a sauce/topping, and certainly not resembling the beautiful recipe photo above.

Usually her recipes are ah-mazing. The quinoa “meat balls” are really nice, and the biscuit recipe is one of the Hubby’s fave. I’m confused!

I’m sure she doesn’t want me to give out all the recipes on the app but this one I want to share because I don’t know where I went wrong. Make it, show me your pics, tell me I’m not just a shit cook?!
150g sunflower seeds
115g shredded coconut
60ml rice malt syrup or honey
1 tbs melted coconut oil

240ml coconut cream
225g macadamia nuts
120ml melted coconut oil
60ml rice malt syrup
2 tsp vanilla bean extract
1 lemon, juiced

18 pitted medjool dates
120ml coconut cream

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Grind the sunflower seeds and coconut in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process for a further 30-60 seconds until mixture is coated and comes together. Flatten mixture out into an even base of a 20cm spring-form tin. store in the fridge while making the filling.

In a blender or food processor add the ingredients and blend for 1-2 minutes until creamy texture is achieved. Pour filling on top of crust, place in fridge whilst making the topping.

For the caramel topping blend the dates until a paste is formed, scraping down the sides when needed. Add coconut and whizz for 30 seconds. You can serve it with the sauce drizzled over it, or make it as another layer to freeze.

And that’s it.

Now look at mine… WHITE!

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The smallest things can brighten up my day. Today it was seeing 3 flowers on a plant in the backyard that was pretty burnt from the bush fire (I thought it was well and truly dead). Earlier this week it was receiving this thank you card. Regardless of the message of the card, how are those colours and cute illustrations not going to make you smile? And why is the art of sending thank you cards pretty much dead? Or sending any cards. Or sending snail mail in general..? Maybe you have someone to thank… send them a thank you card!

Parenting kindly isn’t always easy. The other day I found myself having a moment of clarity. A moment where afterwards I said “fuck I’m proud of myself”. Long story short, the babes was over-tired but struggling to
“let go” (my term) and slip into sweet baby dreams. She was fussing in my arms, biting my nipple and generally being hard to handle, despite me knowing she really needed sleep. She ended up almost hysterical, screaming and crying and flailing around, hitting me (probably not on purpose ;)).
I wanted to yell and shout back at her and cry my own tears. I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and scream “What the fuck do you want?!” But I took a breath, crouched down to her level and asked myself what kind of parent do you want to be right now? I reminded myself the quote I’ve used a lot in my 14 months of parenting: she isn’t giving you a hard time, she is having a hard time. She needed me. She walked into my open arms for a cuddle and the sniffles and tears dried up and not long later she did drift off to sleep, with sweet warm mumma milk going into her little belly. It reminded me that she picks up on my mood and my state of mind so much. As soon as I took a second to breathe and talk to myself, she responded too. How do parents just let them cry it out…? 😦
I’ve been feeling so over whelmed lately with the generosity of the community and organizations, helping those affected by the bush fires. We’ve received help from St Vinnies and the Salvos and now we have a group of strangers trying to find items for us to replace what we lost in the fire. They asked for pictures and
Yet I still feel unworthy of help and guilty almost. I sit here wanting to help those who lost their homes around me. I feel like they are the victims, not me. And then I remember that shit, yes, we did lost possessions too in the fire. 
It’s made me grateful for where I live. This community is like no other. It’s a shame a disaster like this has had to happen to bring us all together, but it’s the silver lining, in my eyes. The community has a sense of pride about it… no one is coming forward for help or handouts. Amazing yet ridiculous. 
There’s now a Christmas party being thrown by us local residents for us local residents. And then word got out about it and suddenly it was decided that no one down here (house still standing or not) should have to think about Christmas and all the drama that goes with party planning, presents, budgeting etc. So now people from all over the state are donating to our party. We’ve got the girl guide hall sorted as the venue and people are sending gifts for kids, teenagers, adults and the elderly. Everything from food, a DJ, tables, and Santa Claus is being donated to our party! It’s insane and again, over whelming. 
Big corporations (like Foodbank for example) are doing their bit for us and it’s just bloody amazing.
Before the fire, there were not even 1000 people in my town, and with only 4 or 5 streets in the suburb, we’re pretty exclusive down here… so it’s going to be a beautiful party and a good chance for us all to mingle and have some FUN after such a horrible and hard time.
Have you seen these Fairy Doors? They are fucking adorable. I wish Olivia was older, sometimes. I would buy these even if I didn’t have a child. I love the magical mystical idea of them… the tiny golden key is only able to be used by the tiny fairies for their tiny door. You can buy accessories and even themed doors for Christmas. They come in an assortment of colours and did I mention they are teeny tiny?! I’m selling them over at my homewares/gift store here. I think I’ll get one for Olivia and keep it for next Christmas… she’ll be 2 then and hopefully understand the idea!
Everything seems so out of whack lately, myself included. I’ve lost my momentum. Daily routine is gone… you’re lucky if I remember to cook the babe some lunch! I seem to be in a daze every day. I find Olivia looking bored. A 13 month old bored??? Energy levels are at an all time low.
My neck and back are giving me serious grief. Hubby is forcing me to see a chiro or masseuse or whoever will help me. He must be sick of my whinging, hah!
This year has been a shitty one. Truly. And the past 3 months in particular seem to have been the worst of it. One thing after another keeps happening or going wrong. I’m starting to feel traumatized! 
It seems like a lot of folks are copping the shake from the universe. It doesn’t just seem to be me. I read a bit about this Saturn Returning thing which apparently doesn’t apply to me because I’m only 25. Right. So I don’t know what I can blame my life being upside down on, but gosh I’m ready for some normality again. Maybe it’s because I have not one, not two, but THREE mirrors opposite my front door. I just found out this is a big no-no in Feng Shui! So um, I think they’ll look good in the hallway, hah! Onto it.

The Best Time Of Year

I can’t believe it’s already November. And halfway through it, at that. Crazy.
Yesterday we put the Christmas Tree up. Usually we wait til the first Saturday in December, a tradition from when I was a kid. But 3-4 weeks of Christmas just isn’t enough for me. I want to enjoy my decorations and the spirit of the season. So hubby dragged the tree down from the roof and while Olivia ate pasta in her high chair I got to assembling the tree.
This year we’ve put less decorations on. Last year you could hardly make out the tree under the amount of baubles we had so this year it seems a bit bare but it’s also kind of nice and simple. We got Olivia to put the tree topper on, with her Dad’s help of course.
The best part of putting the Christmas Tree up has been teaching Olivia not to touch it. That was sarcasm by the way. We had a barrier/cage around it at the start but she is too clever for those contraptions now. She just pulls it away or reaches through the bars. So… a good old “ah ah ah AH!” or “Olivia, NO!” when the tree starts to topple has been working for us. The poor thing just want a candy cane I think!
Smelling the tree – the only thing she is allowed to do with it.
I’ve got a fair few decorations around the house. There’s little bits of Christmas all around my house but I didn’t photograph them all. It’s been fun buying all the decorations designed for kids! I’ve even got a “Santa Stop Here” sign for the garden in the front yard. 
I was stoked to find an “Outback Shack” gingerbread house kit in Coles last week. Completely unhealthy and full of shit but it’s once a year… and “outback shack”?! How Aussie can you get! And it’s totally me (my passion and past lies with farm life). I was excited to start decorating it the other day, while Olivia was asleep. It was going okay at the start.. I even manage to add some colourful balls. Yay! And then I wanted nothing more than to chuck the fucking thing in the bin. It wasn’t working. The awning wouldn’t stay up and the whole thing collapsed into a pile.
So I left it like that and put it in a container and we’ve been eating it all weekend. Hello sugar headaches!
Do you love or loathe Christmas?

FMS Gift Exchange – I Love Christmas!

There’s no time of year like Christmas, if you ask me. It’s just a happy time of year and I swear there’s even a smell to it! It’s the only holiday I celebrate and make a fuss over. Especially now I have a kid, I’ve got to get into it for her, right? I like to decorate and do colour themes, buy gifts and get involved in everything “christmassy” I can. Including online. Which brings me to the point of this post…
Fat Mum Slim (you know, the Photo A Day phenomenon) is doing a Gift Exchange again this year. It’s basically Secret Santa/Kris Kringle. I’ve done a few of these before, both in person and online. Sometimes it fails – last year my online KK didn’t send me a gift… or it got lost in the mail. Either way I was left without that present under my tree, but it was okay in the end because the real gift is GIVING. Have I made you snort yet? I even make myself sick sometimes 😉 It’s true though, there are many studies that have proven how awesome giving makes you feel. It’s good for your health!
This year, I’m playing elf and helping Chantelle out with the admin side. There’s going to be over 300 people playing along from all over the world so it’s only sane for her to enlist some help. Today is the cut off for signing up to play. You need to be active (and public!) on Instagram and preferably have a blog as well. 
Read the details and sign up here. Come on and play with us, weather you’ve been naughty or nice!