Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

I'm not a flower person... I have a few flowers I enjoy seeing or smelling, but I'm not into flower shows or growing them... The pictures from the Tesselaar Tulip Festival sold me on it, it just looked so magical... On reading about the school holiday activities they have, I was completely in...

We arrived on opening, there was a queue but it moved super fast! And once in, the crowd dispersed, the grounds are huge! Our plan was to find face painting immediately so we wouldn't have to wait in line foreverrrrr... We asked a staff member and headed over, it was $10 per face which I thought was a bit much, but the promise was made and whilst there was a kid in each chair, there was no queue! About 30 seconds after we got there, a group of 8 kids joined, so glad we weren't behind them! The job itself was really good, worth the money...

Straight to the tulips, they were magical and beautiful... It honestly felt so special to be there... The kids loved walking through them, I just loved the feeling of them on my eyeballs!

At 10.30 The mikmaks were on, a mediocre kids music group... The kids got a free balloon made (a dinosaur and a fairy sword), we ate, checked out the fairy garden which was just beautiful... The children loved the fairy garden, and around a corner we saw Fairy Monica up a tree, Marley's mind was blown! A bit more strolling around and we were done... 

A thoroughly enjoyable day... Already looking forward to going back next year!

There was also a reptile zoo, craft, art, sand work, tractor rides, we simply ran out of time as mace was exhausted!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rolling Stone presents Golden Era FUNKOARS Briggs Vents and K21 workers club Melbourne

I was so keen to get to this show, we got our tickets the minute they went on sale... 200 people in a room that was reminiscent of a garage...

The minute we walked in, the heat radiated... We missed K21, aimed to get there for Vents... Vents performing is like guerilla rap, tight and raw... A good start to the night...

Briggs up next, if you don't have his new album, you need it, it is phenomenal... Makes you think, hopefully changes the world a little bit... Man has charisma for days, so his set did not disappoint... Track after track he rocked that little room, by this time we were front row, so it felt good to be in the thick of it... Purgatory was my highlight, I found it hard to keep it together, I have no idea how Briggs does... 

Last up the FUNKOARS, these three together know what they are doing on a stage...  That they are so aware of each other to be able to fit on that tiny stage and by no means we're they still! The set itself was full of bangers, the boys delivering with their unique style... The crowd got more and more hectic building to the end, it was pretty crazy in there...

I am sure that I appreciate it more because I don't get out much, but this show was special, it felt magical... I was so pleased to be there to witness it...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Royal Melbourne Show...

Today we went to the Royal Melbourne Show... You either love it or hate it... I love it, the kids love it, 3 out of 4 ain't bad!
The problem is the money suckage, I recommend arriving early, with healthy snacks and taking advantage of the free entertainment... W find that having a show bag and ride budget/limit keeps everyone in check, you know I love boundaries!

We arrived at 9.30, headed up to the kidz zone and then the fresh food pavilion, these both fill up quickly and become a nightmare... The kidz zone is full of junk, until you get to the cats and dogs at the end, the kids loved patting them!

Then 10.30 we headed to 'my backyard' to see the mr and mrs potato head show, straight to the Mickey and Minnie Mouse show at 11.30... Outside to the Frozen karaoke marquee (highlight) for the kids to do some Frozen karaoke, got some food and back to the Sam Powers Master Illusionist show... You should have seen Marley's face when he sawed a woman in half!

Cruising around looking at animals etc, getting show bags and a pony ride on the way out... The longest we have ever stayed there, and I'm sure next year will be even longer...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Meatspace - Nikesh Shukla

Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla

This book was important, I really didn't want to be reading it in 2 minute sections between parenting, so I read it in two halves on weekends when we weren't full of commitments... 

To start, if you are a social media user, especially if you are a social media fiend, this is for you! It's like a parallel universe to my own, all of this going down now, in a city I love with characters and events that are hilarious... So I'm coasting along feeling the hilarity and the dark twisty aspect, and next thing you know you are filled with emotion, and these could be your friends... By the time it ends it's been so funny and so emotional, and you don't really want to say goodbye...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exxopolis Luminarium

We finally got to Exxopolis Luminarium at the Jam Factory car park today... Went with a 3yo and a 10 month old and we all had a blast! Seriously considering taking Marley on Friday... If you are about, children or child free, this was an awesome experience...

Address: 500 Chapel St, South Yarra 
Daily: 12pm – 9pm 
$15 (+ Transaction Fee)

Children 5 years of age and under FREE  

As places are limited a ticket is still required – these can only be reserved through our Box Office Line please call 03 8290 7000.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nas - Time is Illmatic - Melbourne International Film Festival

Yes it is about the making of Illmatic, there is a recap of each track and how it happened... For me, this was about so much more... About how growing up in queensbridge projects shaped Nas as a youngster... How his mother supported him, his father gave him music, his friends were the true victims of crack arriving on the scene... And the most telling if all, where his friends are now... 

I don't want to say too much, but of you are a hip hop fan, especially if you are a Nas fan, you must see this!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Veronica Mars the thousand dollar tan line...

I finally got to read this in Hawaii... It was devoured in a couple of days, it was just sooooo nice to catch up with these characters again!

Written in true Veronica Mars fashion, witty, clever, and with an ending that you wouldn't have guessed... 

What is beautiful about the books that the franchise will release is that IF there is another film, it will continue from where the books leave off! And it definitely leaves you wanting more...

The crappy thing was that you couldn't get the book on the Australian kindle site, so I had to import a copy...

Monday, July 28, 2014


FAMILY DAY PARADE (GOD’S OHANA DAY PARADE)  July 5, 2014  It will start at Kalakaua Ave/Fort DeRussy/Saratoga Rd., To Kalakaua Ave., to end at Queen Kapiolani Park.  9-11am.

We saw the signs posted up and thought we would take the kids to the parade... We didn't twig that it was a Christian parade, a lot of God going down, we stayed for the whole thing though as the kids really enjoyed themselves... They loved the music and dancing, and the candy! So much candy!!!

Moiliili Summer Fest

University Ave & Coyne St Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 Email info@moiliilisummerfest.com Website http://www.moiliilisummerfest.com About Join us at the Moiliili Summer Fest - July 5, 2014 from 5:00-10:30pm. It's a free community event! 

We planned on going to the Moiliili Summer fest and it was great to notice that it was basically across the road from Step N Up Hawaii where I wanted to get my daughter some new dance stuff...

There was a kids area, some great face painting, delicious food trucks and dancing... What I loved about it, and Eat the Street, was doing things in the community... I like getting a feel for what people get up to on their home cities...

Building Lego Portraits...

My friend Nick made this, and if you are a bit of a Lego fan, you NEED to see it! Basically it let's you upload a photo and then gives you the plans and list required to build it! Go, go, go!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lights On | Lights Off pop up art installations Melbourne...

Lights On | Lights Off

Friday, July 11 at 4:00pm - Thursday, July 31 at 12:00pm in UTC+10 at 220 Spencer St

A great pop up gallery with installations of modern art... Some great pieces to check, a good varied selections of mediums... If you are in  the area, check it out!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kuhio Beach Torch lighting ceremony and hula...

Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting & Hula Ceremony

Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, Honolulu, Oahu, HI


Held Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) at 6pm November through January and 6:30pm February through October, this hour-long tradition includes a conch shell blowing, Hawaiian music and hula performances by Hawaii’s finest hula halau (troupes) at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound near the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. The show varies each night, so it’s worth checking out every evening that’s convenient.

We checked this out one Tuesday night, we arrived about 15 minutes before and found a spot on the side... Most of the best spots were taken, but we could see just fine on the side... The shell blowing, music and dancing were awesome, and managed to keep our 3 and 5 year olds entertained the whole hour! A free event, it's a nice way to spend an evening...

Waikiki Gun Club Hawaii

Waikiki Indoor Range
2142 Kalakaua Ave. 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Tel: (808) 922-6442
Email: waikikigunclub@yahoo.com
Business Hours:
Mon - Sat: 10am - 11:30pm
Sun: 12pm - 11:30pm

Waikiki gun club

Now you might remember my first shooting experience in Vegas last year... It's the absolute delusion of power, and I loved it! I disagree with the NRA, the gun laws etc, but as an experience, I can totally see why people love their guns... Which enforces why I disagree with the gun laws!

You can print off a coupon for a 20-30% off discount, which we did, and considering that they only sell packages (I would have been happy shooting a CX-4 Storm and trying an AK47, but got roped into the high power course), it's worth printing it out just in case... It's a small indoor range with no queues, great professional and friendly staff, and of course the gun I had been wanting to shoot for the past year...

Overall a great experience!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Gruffalo National Theatre

The Gruffalo 

Where:National Theatre 
Cnr Barkly & Carlisle Streets
St Kilda, VIC 3182

This morning we went to see The Gruffalo with 3yo Mace... He LOVES the story, so when my aunt offered to buy tickets, he was in!

The theatre is old and unheated, so even in our jackets, we were still cold, 4 degrees outside, maybe 6 inside!!! We got front row seats, which is usually awesome, however in this theatre, the stage starts where your feet stop, so we were literally under the lights and very close to the actors... Unfortunately being small, mace had to get on his knees to catch some parts... I recommend row C and higher... 

The production itself was quite sparse... The actors were great, costumes and set mediocre... Mace found it quite scary, which I find funny because he loves the story, but didn't seem to like the predatory nature of the fox especially! Certainly not one if the better productions we have seen...

Ala Moana Mall Oahu Hawaii

Ala moana

An open roof mall, it's quite massive... Aside from all of the usual stores, there a a few awesome niche stores... It's a $10/12 cab from outrigger reef... You can also get the trolley for $2 each way...

Their  Macys is 100% better then the one in Waikiki, it's massive and has a great kids section... Don't forget to get your travellers discount, near the cosmetics!

We were there for the opening of the Disney store in the morning... They do put a lot if effort in, with singing and looking for a magical key to open the door, my daughter loved it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Eat the street Hawaii...

Eat The Street Hawaii is Honolulu's premiere food truck rally, happening on the last Friday of every month in Kakaako. 555 south street from 4-9pm Honolulu, Hi · eatthestreethawaii.com

I had been wanting to go to this for months, following them on Instagram, getting excited to see what would be the theme this month... It was Luau, it was awesome... Just being somewhere with locals, eating local food, checking it out, people watching... The food was good, we ate from 5 trucks in total, ribs, Swiss mushroom bacon burger, veggie pad Thai, pop poppin doughnuts and an all natural fruit icy pole... Not one bad item, reasonably priced... The only downside was having to leave so soon, could have easily spent another hour there! 

It's about a $20 cab from outrigger reef, and afterwards if you go left at south street and cross the road to the waterfront plaza, there's a phone to call a cab there...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Outrigger Reef on the beach

Outrigger Reef on the beach
We stayed for 16 nights in the one bedroom suite... When booking we used our racv card to get a discount of $50 per night... We stayed in room 1133, 11th floor...

We arrived early and our room wasn't ready, we were given a room to freshen up in which was awesome... By midday we were in our room having a group nap!  We had heard about a refreshment room and preps led a couple of backpacks at the top of our luggage with summer clothes and suncream etc for the day...

All staff we encountered, check in, cleaning, pool, cultural activities, bell, concierge, were all unbelievably friendly... On top of a beautiful lobby that opens to the pool, and on to the beach, rooms that feel Hawaiian, and a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the centre... The chilled location was great for kids...

The suite was huge, absolutely big enough for the four of us for the whole stay... The only downside was the fold out bed definitely better on floor, and still not great!

The biggest drawback is that the pool has no shallow end, or it does, but it starts deep and gets really really deep!  They have floaties, etc at the store for reasonable prices if the kids need them...

The beach here had some massive palms for shade which is perfect for kids, we didn't use the lounges, but had we not had the kids, we would have! The water gets deep and rocky quickly... A short walk to better beach...

We participated in cultural activities:
Ti leaf bracelet
Renew vows
Kukui Nut bracelet
Hula lesson
The lei making was the only one that got full and was the only day we weren't ten minutes early so we missed out!

The laundry is in the basement 1.25 for powder, $3 a wash, they have change machines so you can being your dollar bills!

All in all a wonderful stay, we will be back!


I have been gone with that wretched chest infection, then off to Hawaii for 2.5 weeks (end of June until mid July)...

We went to Waikiki, Oahu, and it was beautiful... Great weather, I took a cardigan and long shorts and wore neither!!! The highlight really was the people... Everyone was kind, no grumpy people, pushy people, people in a rush, it's like the Aloha is infectious... The best infection I ever had!

There were 4 of us, we are in our mid 30's and our kids are 3 and 5, we met my in laws over there for some of our stay... We stayed at Outrigger Reef on the beach, they stayed at Outrigger Waikiki on the beach... 

Going to do seperate posts for each element of our stay...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Unicorn Poop Cookies!

Have you got a little girl in your life that would looooooove to eat a unicorn poop cookie? I do, so I won't be showing her until I have the time to make them... They look amaaaazing!


Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s) Sugar $
  • 1/2 cup(s) Butter - Softened
  • 1/2 cup(s) Shortening
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon(s) Cream Cheese - Softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Salt $
  • 1 whole(s) Egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Almond Extract
  • 2 cup(s) All Purpose Flour
  • Food Coloring (As many different colors as you want the cookies to be!)
  • Decorations
  • Silver Candy Balls (If Desired)
  • Food Sprinkles (If Desired)
  • Sparkle Gel
  • Edible Glitter


Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Cooling: 45 Minutes 
Tinting The Dough: 30 Minutes 

  1. ------------
  2. Cookies
  3. ------------
  4. 1. Combine butter, shortening and cream cheese in a large bowl, beat together until smooth. Add sugar and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined and gradually add the flour beating until combined.

  5. 2. Form dough into a ball with your hands and then into a log shape, divide the log shape into six portions (or how ever many colors you want).

  6. 3. Place each portion of dough into individual wraps of plastic and tint the dough different colors (See Below for instructions on how to tint the dough)

  7. 4. Chill tinted dough in the refrigerator 1 hour or freezer 15-20 minutes.

  8. 5. Divide each tinted chilled dough ball into 8 equal pieces.

  9. 6. Take one piece of each colored dough (leaving the rest in the fridge while you work) and roll out like a rope or snake on your counter-top. If you use a piece of waxed paper on the counter, you shouldn't have to add any flour.

  10. 7. Roll the rope shape to about 6 inches long. Continue rolling all the colors and stacking them into a pile. Gently press the ropes together and roll the large multicolored "rope" on the counter to round and smooth it and if desired to lengthen it to 10 to 12".

  11. 8. Cut the multicolored "rope" into two pieces, using both hands, roll with your palms in different directions on both end of the rope pieces to twist it gently.

  12. 9. Coil the rope into a poop shape, using your imagination as to what you think unicorn poop should look like

  13. 10. Press in some silver candy balls (dragee) into the dough pieces to decorate if desired. Place dough on greased cookie sheet (or one covered with parchment or silicone mat) and bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes until cookies are set and bottoms are light brown, they will not spread very much.

  14. 11. Cool on wire rack.

  15. 12. Coat with sparkle gel and/or edible glitter to give them some sparkle and add some sprinkles to the still wet gel for more texture. Let cookies dry completely before stacking.

  16. -----------------------------
  17. Dough Coloring Tint
  18. -----------------------------
  19. Do this prior to chilling the dough, so that you don't undo the chilling process with your body heat.

  20. 1. Get a large piece of plastic wrap (to protect your hands and table from the dye), place a ball of cookie dough in the middle.

  21. 2. Poke a well in the center with your thumb.

  22. 3. Add the food coloring to the well and then fold the dough over the coloring.

  23. 4. Wrap it in the plastic wrap, and begin kneading the food coloring into your dough.

  24. This may take a while and you may find that you need more food coloring (Hint: Colored Cookie Dough bakes lighter than what you see when you first tint the dough, once you've gotten the right color tint, add more).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not a fan of peanut butter but my family is... So finding a recipe for a  delicious looking cookie that is easy to make lactose free (husbands allergies), is a dream!

And I found it here 
They have some amazing recipes over there!
I used vegan dark chocolate to make it lactose free, it's a really easy recipe!!!


Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!


  • ⅔ cups Rolled Oats (gluten-free If Desired)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Old-fashioned Peanut Butter (I Used Skippy Creamy)
  • ⅔ cups Dark Brown Sugar
  •  Large Eggs
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ⅔ cups Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In small bowl, mix together the oats and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, then gently fold in chocolate chips.

Roll cookies into 2-inch dough balls and place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart, then barely flatten the top of the cookie with your hand. The dough should be pretty sticky so if you find this method annoying, simply use a cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. The cookies may not be as round in shape and perhaps a bit thicker, but that’s okay, they will still be delicious.

Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown. The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Makes 16-20 cookies.

1. You can use less sugar or less chocolate chips to save calories—I have tried using 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and they turned out great!
2. Feel free to substitute almond butter or another nut butter in replace of peanut butter.
3. These cookies disappear quickly so I recommend doubling the recipe!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mothers Day Classic 2014

Mothers Day Classic

We do this every year…  The Mothers Day Classic is a walk/run to raise funds and awareness for a cure for breast cancer… Marley has been a few times, Mace has even been once, but this year I took Marley along to do the walk with us, as an equal (as equal as a 5yo can get) and she did very well…  When she needed a rest she got a piggy back…  It was a good start on explaining about fund raising and participating in the community, we touched on cancer too…  She had a fabulous day, we all did!  I can’t wait to take her with me again next year!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Zingo, kids bingo!

One of my girlfriends bought my kids zingo, and it is awesome... I was blessed that she bought the picture version AND the sight word version, so both kids really get something out of it... We can play this for aaaages, and because it's bingo, it's an even playing field for both kids... I highly recommend this for pure educational joy!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Utopia the film...

I must admit that this has been sitting on my ipad since just after I watched Black Fish, I was so traumatized by that, I needed to wait until I was normal again to watch Utopia…  I think that it is important that all Australians know about some of the atrocities committed against our first Australians, past and present…

I couldn’t watch it in one sitting…  The first time I stopped it was at 2.18, I just didn’t know if I could go on…  I know white Australia has continually messed up, been monsters and committed the worst crimes against our first people, but seeing it just made my general state of white shame and guilt rise to the surface…  I struggle with these things, how can we all live these great lives while our first Australians continue to die before us from treatable and preventable medical issues, that our first people live in the worst conditions and greatest poverty, fearing for their childrens wellbeing when DHS comes around looking to take their children into care, rather then hooking up more services to help these impoverished families…  Aaaaagh…

Eventually I got through it…  I hope that all Australians find themselves watching this at some point in their lives…  I hope that the government finds themselves better able to do more in their communities to close the gap, and improve our first Australians quality of life…  In Australia in 2014 no one should have to live in fear or poverty…

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Divergent The Movie!

I'm sure you all know that I am a Divergent fan, so I was understandably concerned about the adaption of the story... I'm not going to spoil any of it, what I will say is, it was awesome! Lots of it was exactly like I imagined... They stayed as true to the story as I imagine that they could... And the casting! I was so concerned about this, but they properly nailed it! If you have read the books, you should watch and even if you haven't, I still think it's worth checking... Unlike the Hunger Games, it really tells te story as intended!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Maple Cinnamon Apple and Pear Baked Oatmeal...

I don't like to straight jack a recipe from a book... So I will say this, you should buy this book, it's awesome, it's whole foods, it says what the recipe falls into (grain free, gluten free, sugar free, etc), and I love it! It's called 'The Oh She Glows Cookbook' by Angela Liddon... She also has a website worth checking www.ohsheglows.com

I never make breakfast food, have always been a cup of chai tea for breakfast kind of woman... Recently I have felt more hungry, lifting more weight at gym, and am bored by breakfast foods and preferring to not eat too much wheat, this seemed almost dessertish, too good to be true! Especially while I was making it,  it smells so good! And then when it cools enough to eat, it tastes beautiful... I have found my winter breakfast staple!!!

Melbourne museum...

I can never get over the value of the museum... It's $10 per adult and kids are free, and with a crazy amount to do, there is no reason not to spend a rainy day looking around, with or without kids!

The dinosaurs are a massive hit... Market was creeped out by the stuffed animals this time, but we used to spend aaaages at that exhibit! Creepy sea creatures, crystals, most importantly, the kids section... That's probably worth the money in itself! The outdoor part of the kids section... The indoor/outdoor rainforest we didn't even get to this time because we only had 1.5 hours... The first people exhibit was my highlight, but was serious in the lighting, noise, darkness, the kids were not feeling it at all! I would quite like to get back there without them to have a proper good look at it...

If you are in or visiting Melbourne, this is definitely worth checking out... Again and again!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Salted caramel snickerdoodles... Mmmm...

I needed to bake some non allergy specific goodies for this weekend, I have friends and family helping on all fronts this Easter weekend so that I can participate in one of my best friends weddings on Saturday...

I didn't read the recipe properly before baking, or I probably wouldn't have ever got around to doing it! There is a half hour dough freezing, and then wrapping each cookie around a piece of caramel... If you have the time, it is absolutely worth it!

Check out the blog I got it from, they have amazing recipes!


Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Brown butter snickerdoodles with a caramel surprise inside!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 cup caramel squares, cut into 1/4's

For Rolling the Cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sea salt, for sprinkling on top of cookies


1. In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

2. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

4. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight.

5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough.

6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt.

7. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gluten free, vegan peppermint chocolate cookies

Gluten free, vegan peppermint chocolate  cookies

I originally saw a gluten free recipe for mint chocolate cookies, but really wanted to make them for Mark, so I overhauled the recipe to suit my needs... The original recipe can be found on glutenfreeonashoestring.com

These are actually quite good, could do with no sugar I think... Next time...

  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 100g vegan chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • ¾ cup (105g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • ½ cup (40g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar (take or leave)
  • 200g vegan chocolate, chopped
  • pure peppermint extract, to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Line tins with baking paper, and set them aside.
  2. In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, place the coconut oil  and all of the chocolate except for 3 to 4 1½-inch-size chunks. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Add the reserved chunks of chocolate, and stir until the chocolate has begun to thicken a bit and the chunks have melted. Add the vanilla extract and peppermint extract, and stir to combine. Set the chocolate aside.
  3. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chocolate mixture, and mix until the dough comes together and is well-integrated. 
  4. Put teaspoon sized blobs on the baking powder, tablespoon if you want a bigger cookie
  5. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, for 7 - 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.
  6. Once the cookies are cool, make the glaze. Place all of the dark chocolate except for 3 to 4 1½-inch-size chunks in a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Add the reserved chunks of chocolate and the peppermint extract, and stir until the chocolate has begun to thicken a bit and the chunks have melted.
  7. Place the cookies, one at a time, in the glaze. Carefully place it on a clean sheet of baking paper. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature (chocolate was setting fast so I basically iced the cookies)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Raw vegan snickers bars...

My girl is on a raw vegan tip, she made these amazing bars and I absolutely needed them to help my clean eating!  

There was lots of leftover chocolate so I put then in dinosaur moulds for the kids...

Recipe from

raw snicker bars: makes about 10 bars

Nougat layer:
1/2 cup raw flour (such as oat, coconut, buckwheat, almond, etc.)
1/3 cup raw agave/maple syrup
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 pine nuts (optional) 

Caramel layer:
1 cup dates and enough water to cover them
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Raw chocolate coating:
Just use your fave recipe or my own 

To make the nougat: pulse the flour, pine nuts (if using) and sweetener together in your food processor until smooth. Add the almonds by hand. Shape into small logs on parchment paper and put in the freezer. 

To make the caramel: blend all ingredients together in your blender until creamy and thick, adding the least amount of water you can. spread a little on to the tops of each nougat log and put back in the freezer. 

When they are frozen enough, cover each one in chocolate and let harden in the freezer or fridge.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Lego Movie

We had all sorts of plans for today, and on Friday, when they all fell through, I immediately remembered the Village Cinena email that offered $10 tickets to an advanced screening to see the Lego Movie... They pushed back the release of this film in Australia to coincide with school holidays, despite it being out for up to a month in other countries... We ordered tickets and away we went!

At Village cinema, there were a few Lego related activities for the kids, had this been better publicised we would have arrived earlier... In any case, we were given plenty of take away colouring in sheets etc... They also have a Lego family combo, which includes 4 small popcorn and 4 small drinks AND 4 sealed packets of Lego for $35... With a Robot police man and his little ship, and the Piece of Resistance pack with Emmet and a wreckage scene where he found the piece of resistance, they are already selling on eBay between $10-20!

The film itself was awesome! I don't like posting spoilers, what I will say is this: I didn't look at my watch, which is the best possible sign... It had something for everyone, we all found very different things funny and ALL laughed loudly throughout... We are 36, 34, 5 and 3... We will definitely be buying it once it is out, Marley asked if we could the minute the credits rolled!