I have been loving the last few weeks of school holidays and Archie, Rissie, and I have developed a lazy daily routine. I still manage to get my work done, but it feels like we are on holidays. We have spent a lot of time in our cottage, in our own little world with the dogs, the chooks, and everything else in between.
Something that we have achieved over the last few weeks is a bit of a spring clean in the cottage. We have gotten rid of two spare beds in their playroom and, as a result, made it a lot roomier. Their table from their bedroom has now gone into that room so their bedroom has also magically acquired more space.
Once upon a time I would have gone and scoured a junk shop for a couple of benches to fill up the newly acquired space in their playroom, but instead we moved two old church pews from the hallway and my office area into their room so they have a new place to put their Lego and precious possessions. One of the spare beds went out to their cubby house and another spare bed went to the chook house – I think Bossy I, Bossy II and the flock might like a new climbing frame.
The whole little exercise has resulted in more space in the hallway and my office area. The extra space is lovely. We have all that we need at the moment and I don’t want any more ‘things’, so to reutilise a few things and give them a new purpose was just lovely. I didn’t want to buy anything extra and the spring clean was completely cathartic.
One thing I found under Larissa’s bed during this exercise were a few of my old dummy cakes from past shows and photo shoots. I had thrown out the dummies two months back as they were a bit battered and very dusty and had definitely gone past their used by date. When I found them, she immediately burst into tears and said that she didn’t want to throw them away as she loved them too much, but she knew she had to because they smelled really bad. It is amazing how kids and their little quirky ways can almost bring you undone.
The thought of her going through the wheelie bin, retrieving them, getting them into the house and hiding them under her bed made me almost want to burst into tears as well. You forget sometimes how much kids notice and absorb. That they admire you and that they think the things that you do are special. My little girl was proud of me and wanted to keep something of mine. That rocked my world.
It made me realise how lucky I am. It also made me realise that I had not noticed that there were several rotting cakes under my daughter’s bed for a few months and perhaps I should vacuum more often.
Day 18 of the My Notes from England challenge for myself and I have been craving something sweet. The challenge was that there was to be no added sugar. I had mangoes in the freezer and I have wanted to perfect a vegan style cheesecake, not that I will allow myself to call it a cheesecake, as without cream cheese it simply cannot be feasibly called such a thing. The pineapples at the moment are super sweet and I thought the addition of pineapple juice would do the trick. This was lovely. I still have not attained the creaminess that I am after, but as a frozen dessert, it was delicious. I am still searching for a vegan equivalent to a cheesecake – I will continue searching for the Holy Grail. The base was divine. If you don’t recognise it, it is simply my date, macadamia nuts, & chocolate bliss ball recipe.
The sweetness was just right. And to top it off Archie and Rissie loved it. They had a slice each and I thought they were just being super polite when they said they liked it. So I sliced it up and put it in the freezer as a treat for me. You could have knocked me over with one of Bossy’s feathers when Miss fussy Rissie asked for more. They had 2 more large slices each – so lunch was sorted and I was delighted.
Frozen Mango & Mixed Berry Layered Parfait Cake
Line an 8 inch round spring form pan
- 150 gram raw macadamia nuts
- 250 gram chopped dried dates
- 1 ½ tablespoon Cacao Powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon Almond Meal
Put the macadamias in the kitchen whizz and process until crumbly. Add the chopped dates, cacao powder and almond meal and process is well combined and resembles a thick paste. It should easily stay together when pressed.
Press into the bottom of the pan and chill.
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts soaked in water for an hour and drained
- 600 gram mango flesh
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 cup freshly juiced apple and pineapple juice
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
Vitamise the cashew nuts, mango flesh, almond milk & lime juice until super smooth. Add olive oil and blend.
Heat juice and agar-agar in a small pan until mixture just comes to the boil. Vigorously whisk for two minutes and then combine with the mango mixture in the vitamiser.
Pour the filling over the base. Set in freezer.
- ½ cup freshly juice apple and pineapple juice
- ¼ teaspoon agar agar powder
- 1 cup Mixed Berries
- ½ cup water
Vitamise the Mixed Berries and water until smooth. Heat juice and agar-agar in a small pan until mixture just comes to the boil. Vigorously whisk for two minutes and then combine with the berry mixture. Pour over the setting mango base in the freezer.
Allow to set overnight. Before serving, allow to thaw for 2 hours at room temperature.