Monthly Archives: October 2013

Apricot Oaties – Lunchbox Cookies

Wholesome fruity and oat goodness make these perfect for the lunchbox!

Wholesome fruity and oat goodness make these perfect for the lunchbox!

Looking for a perfect lunchbox biscuit or a quick mid-morning snack for yourself? These biscuits are easy to cook, freeze well and taste lovely, the oats and dried apricot make a wonderful combination. Give them a go! (The kids will request these again and so will you!)

Apricot Oaties

Ingredients:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup of dried apricots (chopped up)
125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi carb soda

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180*C

2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, including dried apricots.

Apricots, oats, sugar and flour

Apricots, oats, sugar and flour

3. In a saucepan heat the butter, golden syrup and bi-carb soda over a gentle heat until the butter has melted.

Heat butter, golden syrup and bi-carb soda

Heat butter, golden syrup and bi-carb soda

4. Pour in the butter mixture and stir well until all ingredients are combined.

Mix it all together!

Mix it all together!

5. Roll tablespoon sized scoops onto a paper lined tray. Make sure you leave room for these to spread!

Use your measuring scoop to make perfect sized cookies!

Use your measuring scoop to make perfect sized cookies!

6. Bake for 15 – 18 mins. (15 mins for a soft and chewy biscuit or 18 mins or longer for a crunchier biscuit! They will come out soft but will harden as they cool)

Makes about 25 biscuits. These biscuits will freeze well. Place them in a ziplock bag and into the freezer.

Perfect with a cup of tea!

Perfect with a cup of tea!

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Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Perfect for the lunchbox!

Perfect for the lunchbox!

Are these a cupcake or a muffin? I don’t know! I do know my recipe is lower in sugar but still deliciously sweet, the raspberries add a lovely surprise in each bite! They are perfect for the lunchbox or afternoon tea! Happy Baking!

Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:
125g soft butter or margarine
1/2 cup caster sugar (brown sugar will give you a sweeter, slightly chewy cake!)
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
2/3 cup milk
1 and 1/4 cup of self raising flour (wholemeal flour works very well and kids really won’t notice it! You could do a mix of white and wholemeal flour too!)
1 cup frozen raspberries (Smashed up or whole!)

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees first

2. In a mixer (or use hand held beaters) cream the butter and sugar

Beat the butter and sugar

Beat the butter and sugar

3. Beat in the eggs

Beat in eggs

Beat in eggs

4. Gently mix in flour, cocoa and milk until all combined

Add in the flour, cocoa and milk

Add in the flour, cocoa and milk

5. Use a spoon or spatula to lightly fold in the raspberries

Add in the frozen raspberries! (Crushed up or whole!)

Add in the frozen raspberries! (Crushed up or whole!)

6. Divide the mixture among 18 muffin/cupcake pans (approximately…sometimes I get more…sometimes less!) and bake for 20 – 25 mins or until cooked!
(sometimes I make these into 30 patty cakes. Bake for 18 mins or so. You could also bake 12 extra large muffins!)

The smell from these is amazing…your neighbours will be unexpectedly popping in to see what you are making!

These are perfect by themselves, no need for icing. They freeze beautifully so make a batch and have them handy for lunch boxes or unexpected guests! Yummy! (My kids think these are ‘red velvet cakes’…I’m happy to go with that!)

If you want to make these a bit naughty or for a special occasion, add in half cup of choc bits or chopped up chocolate!

Go hug your mama

On this day four years ago, I said goodbye to my beautiful mother. She was a happy-go-lucky woman who spoke her mind, she was incredibly generous and laughed every single day. Our world was a great place with her in it. And now she is gone.

Even though four years have passed, I still remember her passing like it was yesterday. She was a brave woman and she fought it well, but in the end that beast, otherwise know as cancer, got her. For four years she lived like she had outsmarted it; she travelled, she discovered new foods and she went out everyday. No one even knew she was sick and that is how she wanted it to be, so she decided to tell no one! (I found out accidentally and she hated that I knew.)

For four years my mother lived life to the fullest. Then one day she didn’t feel like going out. Then she stayed in bed. Then she stopped eating. Then she was in pain, the kind of pain you wouldn’t wish on your greatest enemy. My mother wanted to die at home, but on that last day her pain was so great I felt like I had no choice but to take her to hospital. I still regret that decision. That night she gained her wings and life hasn’t been the same since.

I am writing this post as way of allowing myself to grieve. It only occurred to me today that I have never really allowed myself to cry. At the time of her passing, I had a toddler and a baby. I was frantically looking after my kids, then my mother and when she passed I then had my dad to look after. He was so sad. So very sad and still is. They were true soul mates. I was worried my father would die from a broken heart; so everyday I spent with him, teaching him to cope without her.

As time has passed a new kind of busy has taken over. We moved my dad into a retirement village which required a lot of support but is now a fabulous place for him. My family then moved 900km away. That was a gut wrenching decision. I still remember the sadness in his eyes when we told him. The next year was busy settling my family into a new life.

And here I am, four years later. As I write this I cry real tears, tears that I am allowing to flow freely and it feels good to finally release my sadness. I know tomorrow will be a new day, I will still be sad. I won’t have anyone to ring up and have an honest chat about motherhood; how frustrating and exhausting it can be. No one else can ground me like my mother used to; to wake me up from my selfish thoughts but also praise me when I needed it most.

I hate that she is gone. I have so many regrets, so many words I wish I could have spoken and I have a baby who will never know her grandmother.

So, if you have a mother; ring her up and tell her you love her, just because! Even better, visit her and hug her, just because you can!

And…if you are are a mother, take care of yourself. Visit the doctor and get all your woman checks. They may save your life and let you live to cuddle your grand babies!

And…take photos with your kids! I have no photos of my mother and I, not one photo. That saddens me but then I realise I have just a few photos of my kids and I! (Mostly the newborn in hospital pics!)

And…if you too are a motherless mama, you will be okay. The sun will keep shining and we can take some comfort knowing we have a special angel to watch over our kids.

When was the last time you hugged your mama?