Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to Count Sheep

If the title of this post sounds obscure to you, please stop reading now. 

Kept reading? Are you sure you should be? Maybe you have the ability to turn your brain off on command. Perhaps you find airline seats comfortable, and slumber for most of your 18hr flight to Europe. Your dreams are uninterrupted by garbage trucks, the sound of glass breaking in the kitchen, a dog barking from under your bed, flying foxes screeching outside your window, and toddlers - well, doing just about anything. 

If so, this really isn't for you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Baby Shower Biscotti

Last weekend we had a celebration of my friend A., of the mother she'll become in just a few short weeks, of the happiness she inspires in all of us.

A. knows her world will soon change forever. 

Does she also know that it will change in unimaginable and indescribable ways? In ways that will unfurl emotions she never even knew she had? That sometimes her heart will feel on the verge of bursting, and on others the verge of breaking?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Applesauce for Lazy People

Ok, this is more a post about why you need a food mill than how you make applesauce. Why you should be scoping every. single. thrift shop. for this very device. Because, once you have it - in all its 3-insert, stainless steel glory - you will use it all the time.

What's a food mill?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Emergency Brekky Pastry


I wanted the bakery this morning. Baaaaad. I wanted rich, flaky pastry, and hot black coffee. Wan-ted-it.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chewy Vegan Anzac Biscuits

vegan Anzac biscuits

Maybe you're driving back from Grammy's house, up the coast. Maybe it's a day where you're soaking up the sun coming through the car window, like a tree. Or a pineapple. Which sounds random, but actually you're driving past plantation after plantation of prickly pineapple plants ... so it's not.

And you've got Pink blasting on the radio, because your 3 1/2 year old loves her music. And actually - you do, too. Besides, there's nothing like listening to your baby girl belt out her version of decidedly mature lyrics from the backseat.

Raise your glass, if you like cookies.

One hand rests on hubby's knee, bridging gearshift and parking brake. The other hand? Free to move cookies from tin ... to ... mouth ...

Chewy (Vegan) Anzac Biscuits
makes ~16-20

The time
10-15 min prep + 25 min baking

The ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dessicated, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup unbleached plain flour
1/2 - 7/8 cup raw or rapadura sugar, depending on how sweet you like them
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup coconut oil
2 Tbs golden syrup (substitute honey if you must)
2 Tbs water [see update, below]

The process
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (325F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Then add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and mix thoroughly.

3. Drop 1 Tbs amounts of cookie dough on the sheet, about 5cm (2") apart. Smoosh down the tops with a fork. Bake about 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, until they're golden and you're able to move them without them sliding apart. [see update below]

4. Transfer your cookies to a rack to cool, then store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

The cost
Less than $6 per organic batch. Leaving you with change for coffee. If you feel like leaving the comfy confines of your sunbathed capsule ...

I haven't made these in awhile, and felt the need to revisit them. I made a couple of changes, which I think improved them. #1 - I forgot the water. That was accidental, but it really wasn't needed. Maybe it was just different flour, or levels of humidity ... whatever it was, the lack of water didn't matter a bit. So use your best judgement - see how dry the dough looks before adding it.

Another thing I did this time was use rapadura sugar. To my taste, rapadura is sweeter and imparts a beautiful caramel flavour during cooking. To compensate for the sweetness, I recommend reducing the sugar in the recipe to closer to 1/2 cup. Actually, now that I think of it, maybe that's why I didn't need the water ...

Who knows. Or cares. These cookies taste amazing.

Last change - I promise. Instead of dropping tablespoons of cookies onto the sheet, I rolled them into balls in my hands, smooshing them so they held together quite nicely. (If they don't, you might need to add that water). Then I fork-flattened them on the cookie sheet before baking them.

Then, I pulled them out of the oven and ate 2 straight off the tray. I might even be having one now ...
Amanda xx

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Three years ago today.

I sank low in a hot bath, hoping to wash away the longest day of my life. Holding my breath ... anticipating the phone call that would change everything.

Cancer, she said. (me? me) Cancer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Your Everyday Pumpkin Soup - Only Better. And Vegan.

I was going to lament about the fact that dear Blogger lost the most recent post I wrote. But then I figured - hey - maybe they're actually providing a free lesson in Zen philosophy. You know, letting go of the past / the future / ideas / emotions.

{if you love something, set it free} and all that ...

So while I'm re-writing my post, why don't you work on letting go of something that's been cluttering up your mind. Over a bowl of soup.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

3 Excellent Reasons to Make Your Own Red Wine* Vinegar

*or white, if you prefer. I'm not vinegar-ist. (or am I?) I am definitely wine-ist. And I do prefer the taste of red grapes over white ones ... oh dear ...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Oh, What a Salad.

My perfect salad? It's based on farm-fresh ingredients. It has crispy greeny things. Something sweet. Something nutty. Something cheesy. And a tangy vinaigrette.

Is that too much to ask?

I think not.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bad Mummy Does Good

I know I'm a good mummy. I know I'd tick lots of 'good mummy' boxes, were you to survey me. My child is healthy, and happy, and as we speak is getting out of bed and calling down the stairs because ... well ... surely because she loves me so much, and can't stand to be apart from me. 

So why oh why am I nearly-constantly wracked with guilt?