#2022 The box cake

Hubbie had a great family idea for us to do today.

I got the supplies accordingly at the supermarket yesterday, but to be honest I didn’t need a lot.

And after lunch today, we all got together to make…

A CAKE.

But… it was one of those super easy, boxed ones. 😉

He thought it would be a good thing to do, minus the 17 steps I usually take when I get motivated and creative to do something out of a Jamie or Nigella book, or as is the case recently, Marion’s socials.

And had we gone that path, I know my OCD would have kicked in majorly, and I would have been bossing them about and then ordering them out of the kitchen like nobody’s business.

But I let go, and let them decide. This was literally 3 steps.

We all took turns adding the bare basics ingredients to a bowl… mixing them with electric beaters… then pouring it all into the pan to bake.

That’s it!

Less than an hour later it came out of the oven, icing was provided, and baby girl went on a frenzy applying sprinkles.

The end result:

TA-DA!

I thought it might be heavy and sickly sweet, but surprisingly it wasn’t, and tasted quite good.

The only problem now is we have all this cake, and no one to share it with!

Anyone wanna move in next door? We can trade food over the fence. 🤣🍰

#2000 Woo hoo!

I’ve made it to 2000 posts!

I considered some time ago throwing in the towel for this gratitude blog, just because I felt I had done what I set out to do.

That is, I now know how to practice gratitude daily in novel ways.

But a part of me feels like I’m not done in this area, not yet anyway.

So for now, I’ll keep going. 💪

How did I celebrate my blog milestone today? Well after not being sick all winter, my body went ‘stuff this’ and threw in its own towel today. 🙄

Enter panadol and tea.

But in true gratitude, glass half-full fashion, I made chicken soup, and Marion’s hoisen beef noodles, and I’m happy that I made some food for my body (and soul) that’ll hopefully get me back into tip-top shape.

There’s always worse out there to put your own woes in perspective, and remember, there’s always better waiting for you. ❤❤

#1999 Lots of little things

It’s lots of little things combined that made me smile today.

It was watching an Australian decathlete in the Tokyo Olympics urge his teammate to cross the finish line to win bronze.

It was making a delish new dish, Marion Grasby’s spicy garlic butter linguini.

It was picking up a book that was a hold at the library, knowing I could really get into it and do some research over this next lockdown week.

It was seeing the fruits of my workout labour, finally start to eventuate.

It was a tickle fight with baby girl after finishing work.

It was funny memes on social media.

It was being alright, even though it was day 1 of lockdown 6.

All of these things. 💖💖

#1979 Saturday night feast

Lockdown = baking. 😋❤

Omg, nom nom nom.

During the day I made this delectable new recipe, recently seen on Marion Grasby’s social media, the ‘bounty brownie.’

Basically she uses the bounty chocolate bar, along with a whole lotta coconut and other good stuff, to make this incredible version of the brownie.

This is oozy, gooey, soft, and just OMG. My heart. ❤ I originally made it with Hubbie in mind because he loves coconut with chocolate, but gee, I think it’s an all-round winner.

But that wasn’t ALL. Hubbie got a selection of yummy meats and prawns, mixed grill style, and we got them sizzling on the stove… accompanied with salad stuff and home-made oven chips, let’s just say I was feeling really content.

Happy Saturday night 🥰🥰

#1930 Lockdown food

Lockdown ain’t much different than a Winter’s night.

I don’t know. It just felt like, same-same to me today.

And though it isn’t Winter yet, we’ve gotten PLENTY of previews lately. We were planning on staying in tonight anyway, so when lockdown was announced, we just upped our Saturday cook-at-home plans, and put on the heater.

I made some vanilla muffins during the day from the Rachael Finch program…

I pimp these up with bits of chocolate, because make these healthy treats a little more ‘family-friendly’ that’s why, and also we have enough chocolate from Easter to last us ’til Santa comes around again.

And at night, I made a recipe I had bookmarked, perhaps last lockdown? LOL.

Marion Grasby’s Hoisin Beef Noodles

Now this, OMG. Droooool.

That is all.

The longer we are in iso, the longer I’ll just make more recipes, read and write more, and clean the house more in a mad frenzy (OK that one not so much, but a little more 🤣🤣)

#1638 Day 140 of getting there: Making room for roses and bread

Today I was an axe-wielding rose pruning machine!

Most people who passed me in my front yard, either walking their dog or running past for their daily hourly exercise, smiled at me or said hi.

Then there was that one woman that looked alightly alarmed…

Of course, I was holding an AXE.

It’s what I do come very Winter. It was rose pruning time, and I know from past years that no matter how much I prune, I always get amazing roses come through in Spring and the months that follow.

Oh I love this time of year. It’s starting to happen.

I totally diminished the size of the rose bush. I needed to get rid of as much thick or turning to brittle branches as possible.

Simple pruning scissors couldn’t do the job, all the time. So that’s when I took out the AXE.

I was amused at myself as much as anyone waking past today was amused by me.

But in the end, my deep prune has now allowed room for fresh, new growth.

I can’t wait.

But wait, there’s more! I can’t end on that, (as beautiful as that image is with a cameo from baby girl)… not when I made, bread.

Focaccia bread.

I found this recipe on Marion Grasby’s social media some time ago, and have been gearing myself up to make it for weeks.

It is soooo simple. You need to let the dough rise overnight, but even that in itself is easy. There is a fair bit of patience, but the steps to get there are really really really really simple.

It’s actually the perfect recipe to make while you’re at home over 2 days…

And let’s face it, I have been at home over 140 days (going by my ‘getting there’ posts during corona ⬆⬆⬆).

Before…

And after.

(Check out my insta profile for that insane ‘CRUNCH’ knife action! To die for!)

It was delish! I am so happy!

Making way for new roses, and making way for new recipes!

Food for the tummy… and food for the soul.

It was a great day, overall. Isolation and ALL.

#1538 Day 40 of getting there: Egg drop soup

Something inside me twigged when I saw the above recipe video, and I didn’t quite understand why.

After some thought, I remembered that growing up, my Mum would sometimes make this egg-type soup as a breakfast meal!

It might seem weird, but if you think about it, eggs are a primarily breakfast meal, and this just happened to come in a comforting and seasoned broth that made for nice cold mornings.

I’ve been loving Marion Grasby’s videos on facebook. I really find the meals the former MasterChef contestant makes on her channel, fascinating, easy and seemingly delicious.

I was keen to put the latter to the test today, as I’ve been slowly planning my attempt at her incredible egg-drop soup.

I was soooo excited. (I always get excited making something new!) The only thing I didn’t have was the dried shrimp to add to the broth, but oh man the amazing scent of ginger, spring onion, pan fried chicken filling the kitchen tonight… mmm!

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It was so delicious. I am in love. Another great soup to add to my repertoire of soups. 😉

Follow her on facebook or insta, it will be worth your while. ♥

#1531 Day 33 of getting there: homemade sweet potato gnocchi

I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.

The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.

It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’t going out.

And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.

It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.

Nom nom nom.

You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.

I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.

So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.

It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.

So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.

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How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!

The instructions were all there.

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My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.

But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!

And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.

(All hail the dishwasher).

It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.

I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!

Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.

Ain’t technology just the best. 🙂