Easy chocolate chip cookies

23 September 2016

So I have gotten back into full swing with my baking and I am LOVING every minute.  I recently bought a book as a treat by Lisa Clark called "The Cookie Jar" and it says on the blurb at the back: "The Cookie Jar will take you back to the days when baking was therapeutic and an important part of life."

And this just hits the nail on the head for me.  I hadn't baked in nearly 6 months and it really effected me.  Baking is my therapy.  And eating the products are a bonus of course - they get me through the day.  But creating something and photographing it and sharing it with you all really makes me happy.  I love the process.  I love the outcome and I love to share it with my friends.  

Which prompted me to make an extra batch of these cookies today, wrap them up and pop them in a few postboxes of my mom friends down the road.  Because who doesn't need a little delicious chocolate chip cookie to devour and get you through the afternoon when you have two little kiddies to contend with.

So onto the reason for this post - these delicious, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies.  They are like little pillows of heaven.  I have made them twice now in two days and I have decided that more chocolate needs to be added to these - for me I like the chocolate hit, so in future I may add milk and dark chocolate chunks.  I will update this recipe when I do!

The main reason I love this recipe is that it's simple and you can easily make this dough by hand.  No mixer required.  
And there is no chilling needed either.  
So literally from measuring, mixing, rolling and taking them out the oven to devour takes less than 30 minutes. 
And for me if I can bake something that quick I am winning in life.

You will need:
120g butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1.5 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
130g chocolate chunks (As above, feel free to add another 100g of chocolate!)

All you need to do is...
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  I put mine on 140 as it gets really hot.
* Melt the butter in the microwave until just melted.
* Beat the butter and sugars until creamy, add the egg and vanilla mix until just combined.
* Add the flour, baking powder and salt until a dough starts to form.
* Pop those chocolate chunks in and use your hands now to roll the dough into little balls.
* Put them onto a greased baking tray and bake for around 10 minutes.
* Do not let them overcook or go too brown otherwise you will lose the soft and chewy texture.

You're welcome!

Harry: 11 months old

22 September 2016

Harry my nunu, you are now 11 months old.  

And you are a strong, independent and awesome little dude that knows what you want in life.

Your personality is really beginning to shine through.  You are going to be a little mischievous character, I can just tell.  You love to follow Jack around and immediately light up when we pick him up from school.  You love to watch TV (no shame here on my part), you still love to bath, you enjoy using your walker now and crash into everything with it.

You love to play with a ball and try throwing it everywhere.  You still love the ergo (thank goodness) and we often pop you in there if we head out on a walk or if I pop to the shop and you are wanting to be held.  But you love the trolley too which is fun.  You sit in there with your one leg up, holding your biscuit and look like the coolest baby on earth.

You aren't really into your food at the moment.  You could take it or leave it most days.  Boob is your best friend, which is OK - it won't last forever.  Your favourite things to eat are cheerios, apple, toast, grapes and blueberries.  Oh and you love baby carrots.  And the look of concentration when I put some peas and sweetcorn on your highchair is the cutest.  You pincer grip is adorable - some vegetables actually even make it to your mouth!  It seems like most of your food ends up on the floor and I spend half my life cleaning it up!

I won't lie Harry - it has been a tough 11 months.  And at times, I have been unsure as to if I can cope.  But my boy when you smile, or cuddle me and fall asleep in my arms it makes the frustration and tiredness just disappear.  You are worth every tear, every heartache and every sleepless night.  Please know that we love you to the moon and back.  Always and forever.

6 years and 1 day

20 September 2016

So today, me and Mani realised that our 6th Wedding Anniversary....was yesterday.  We have never missed an anniversary and as soon as he mentioned it to me this evening I remember just as I was falling asleep last night I thought "the 19th was today, why does that date seem so familiar to me....oh yes our wedding anniversary"....and then I think I fell asleep.  I woke up this morning and I totally forgot I had had that thought.  Haha, quite hilarious actually.

We aren't and never really have been the whole card, flowers, gifts type of couple.  It just doesn't bother us.  We would prefer to go away for the weekend or out for lunch or a treat.  So we are not bothered at all.  But wow, 6 years has flown.  I have said this before and I will say it again and again.  Time seems to speed up the older you get. 

We are in the thick of parenthood at the moment.  We are lacking sleep, any type of alone time and almost feel like we are just scraping by.  Taking each day as it comes and fighting through it in survival mode.

But we are beginning to see a tiny, teeny little light - we are slowly trudging through the baby phase and what I like to call "the shit show" - the show where you have two kids and don't know what day it is really or what you are doing.  You are just parenting, trying to do the right thing, trying to bring up decent kids.  In amongst the tantrums, bath times, bottles, snacks, outings, parties, routines, meal times you have moments together - steal kisses, hold hands, smile knowingly.  But they are fleeting.  You know that each other are there but your marriage is a side show - the shit show is the one in the lime light at the moment but that's OK.  
It has gotta end some time and for us, I think that will be in the next 6 months.

We often - well, when we can, chat about life before kids.  
We reminisce about the things we miss.  
Lazy weekends, watching TV, just popping to the shops, watching a movie with no interruptions, enjoying cups of tea and just leading a peaceful life.

But guys, in all honesty.  We wouldn't change one thing.  This is a phase of our life that will not last forever.  It is the chaotic phase where you don't have a life.  Yes, we miss our freedom, the peace, being able to lie in bed past 7am.  
But this is life, it is what it is when you have small kids.  
And our marriage is slowly getting back to normal.  It definitely takes a side seat though and I think it is just about making sure you keep on communicating.  You listen, you care, you notice each other.  
Give those hugs, make those cups of tea.  Enjoy the quiet moments together and really be with each other.  
Be compassionate.  It is the little things that make the most impact for us.  Like with anything in life I suppose.

So happy 6 years to my darling, wonderful husband.  
Thank you for being my rock.  
Thank you for being an awesome, doting and FUN father to our boys.  
Thank you for making me tea.  
Thank you for supporting me in all my dreams, hopes and wishes.  
Thank you for always being relaxed and easy going and nudging me to do the same.  

You are my life, my love, my everything.  
And I wouldn't change one thing.

Healthy Chocolate Rice Puff Squares

15 September 2016

So I eat a lot of cake and biscuits. I think that is a known fact if you have been reading my blog for a even short period of time.  
It is how I survive the sometimes long days of motherhood.  Plus anyway - even those who don't have kids - we all love a treat right? 

But I have been becoming more aware of how much of this stuff I am eating so I thought I would try some healthier treats - still with some chocolate in it but maybe just a bit better for me.

 These little squares do not disappoint and because of the dark chocolate you don't need a lot to satisfy your sweet craving.  
They are super easy to put together, pop in the fridge and a few hours later you cut them up and enjoy with a cup of tea.  
I have kept mine in the fridge and won't deny that I have maybe eaten a fair few since making them but hey - they are healthy, right?!.  

I have adapted this from a recipe I found in The Real Meal Revolution's Raising Superheros cookbook.

You will need:

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
1/4 cup cocoa
100g chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup ground almonds

All you do is:

* Line your baking tray with some grease proof paper.
* In a pan melt the honey, butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract - bring it to the boil and then take off the heat.
* Stir in the cocoa and chocolate until all mixed together.
* Mix the remaining ingredients into the chocolate mixture, stir well until combined.
* Using your hands (as this normally works the best) press the mixture firmly into the lined baking tray.
* Pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set and then cut into squares.


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