mash or slice? scrunch or fold?

Do you mash or slice your banana on toast? I mash, which is quite confounding because mashed banana generally makes me cringe. I can’t cope with mashed banana squished in little hands or rubbed onto little faces. There was a party once where we played games (ouch) and one involved someone kneeling behind a seated person and providing the arms in a race to peel and eat a banana. I didn’t like it.

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marshmallow slice

Home made marshmallow is a truly wonderful thing and I was so excited when I found this recipe on a friends bookshelf recently. Mum used to make this when I was a kid and my favourite “job” was licking the beater after she’d pounded the sugary gelatin mixture into a fluffy ball of marshmallow.

BJ and I had a great time creating this, and I almost kept the beater for myself. But hey … he scrunched weetbix and stirred, pressed and waiting patiently while the Kitchenaid did the beating. He deserved it, really.


for the base:
1 cup self raising flour
1 desert spoon  cocoa powder
3 weetbix, crushed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, melted

for the marshmallow:
1 cup white sugar
1 desert spoon of gelatin
3/4 cup of water
food colouring (if you want to)


silicon bakeware slice pan
como advanced 2 litre saucepan

the how

Preheat your oven to 180.

Sift the flour and cocoa and stir in crushed weetbix, sugar and coconut. Add melted butter and combine, then press your mix into the base of your silicon slice pan.  (If you don’t have silicon, then make sure you grease and line your slice pan with baking paper that comes up high on two edges so you can lift your slice clear, or you’ll have a job getting it out without mashing your marshmallow). Bake for 12-15 mins.

Combine the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan and boil for 3 mins to make sure all the sugar and gelatin is dissolved. Allow to cool then add food colouring (if using) and beat until very tick. Spread over slice and leave to set.

Use a hot knife to cut into delicious, cloudy fingers once set.

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chocolate sour cream delicious muffins

chocolate sour cream muffins

Little BJ and I hit the jackpot this morning with these amazing chocolate and chocolate and sour cream muffins. Poor little man is now over-sugared and over it.

He, who is almost three, had lots of jobs to do. He had to sample the white chocolate buttons, mix the eggs, beat in the sour cream, the oil and then fold in the dry ingredients. And once the batter was in transferred to the muffin tins and then to the oven, he had a great big bowl to lick along with a couple of spoons.

Little wonder then that, after sampling just one of these delicious treats, he’s climbing the walls and using his baby brother as a stepping stone.  Really there’s not “that” much sugar – perhaps it’s just the excitement of making something so fabulous.


225g plain flour
55g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
115g brown sugar
150g white chocolate, roughly chopped
2 eggs
200ml sour cream
approx 50-100ml milk (enough to make a thick batter)
6 tbsp oil

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt then mix through brown sugar and roughly chopped white chocolate.  Lightly beat eggs and add sour cream, 50ml of milk and oil. Mix to combine. Gently fold into the dry ingredients and add more milk to make thick batter. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake 20 mins. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

The best big is picking the bits of caramelised white chocolate off the muffin tins once you turn out the muffins. It’s hot, so that’s definitely a job for mummy. 🙂

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alex miller on writing …

… in his novel Lovesong, he says the thing:

A writer can’t arbitrarily decide what to write. We can only do what is offered to us. What comes our way. I like to call it a conversation with the unconscious. Following the prompts of the imagination. But these prompts must offer themselves freely. They won’t be forced. That’s the nature of the gift It’s what we mean when we say some people are gifted. They receive the prompts, and they follow them. Not everyone is so prompted, and not everyone who is prompted follows them. It can be an arduous journey. But contrary to the common belief, writing is not a solitary pursuit; it is always a conversation.

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nigella’s banana bread

I had another baby in January and have only just surfaced from the newborn fog to find a couple of dozen photos on my camera of things I’ve been cooking but haven’t got around to blogging. I’m feeling enthused today after some frantic and inspiring twittering to start getting some of them up here … let’s see how long my boys sleep for.

Now that I have two beautiful boys to interrupt long blissful nights of sleep, I often gaze wistfully at the booze shelf wondering what it would be like to get rollicking drunk again.

It’s been almost four years now, what with pregnancy, breastfeeding and a general fear of the hangover. So any recipe with booze in it is an instant winner and, lucky for me, as my toddler and I flicked through Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess seeking inspiration, he clapped his eyes on her banana bread, complete with rum soaked sultanas.

Isn’t he just the perfect child?


100g sultanas
75ml rum (or bourbon)
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter
150g sugar
2 large eggs
300g ish of very ripe bananas (which was 2 big ones for me), mashed
60g chopped nuts (Nigella says walnuts, but I’ve got a big jar of mixed raw nuts in the fridge so my 60g was a mix of cashews, almonds, macadamias and walnuts.)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Nigella’s method is a little different from mine, so if you’re a purist you’ll have to refer to her book.

Put the sultanas, rum and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted and the sultanas start to swell up. Take off the heat and leave to cool while the sultanas suck up more of the sexy rummy butter. Taste one of those fat little sultana because they are delicious, but try not to eat them all.

In a large bowl mash together the bananas and sugar. Not sure what the chemical reaction is here (anyone?), but for some reason when you mix bananas and sugar together the bananas go really mushy mushy, which is especially good if you’re making do with not-quite very ripe ones.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract and the cooled sultana/butter/rum mixture. (Nigella melts her butter separately and drains off any excess rum, which seems very unlike her.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together and then pour into the wet mix, mixing well. Add the roughly chopped nuts and stir through, then scrape it all into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for around an hour at 170 celsius.

Anyone got any other innocent-but-boozey recipes?

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