Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Toffee Apple and Orange Cake

Toffee Apple and Orange Cake

for the toppings:
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1 oz butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp thick double cream
a pinch of salt

for the cake:
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup ground almond
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 oz butter
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
zest from 1 orange
1/2 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 160C
Butter and line a 10-inch pan with parchment paper.

Make the toffee apple:
Melt butter and sugar.
Add in cream and cook until mixture  starts to bubble.
Add the apples and stir gently; cook until apples are tender and toffee thickens.
Remove apples and spread evenly in the baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, cream sugar and butter until pale and creamy.
Beat in eggs one and a time and orange zest.
Blend in the dry ingredients and the orange juice.
Pour the batter over the apple in the cake pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes.
Once the cake is cool, run the knife around the edge of the cake
and carefully invert the cake onto a serving dish.

Monday, 24 April 2017


I wanted something special for our anniversary ~
not a fabulous holiday destination
or a designer handbag
not even a pair of shoes with the signature red soles
or jewellery....

I wanted a tree
three trees, actually
one for every decade we've been married
three, to symbolise our family
and just so you know, three is also my favourite number

But it can't be just any tree...
It has to be a special tree
one that I've so admire for the longest time
It has to be the Himalayan Birch
with its pure white bark

So I got my wish
and I'm as happy as Larry

They are beautiful in their peace, 
they are wise in their silence. 
They will stand after we are dust. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Three Decades and Counting...

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, 
today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
- Bil Keane

With all due respect to Bil, at this juncture in my life; 
I do tend to reflect upon all of my yesterdays even though they are history.
In particular the yesterday of the 18th of April 1987.
It was a Saturday and Google tells me that Ronald Reagan was President,
 'Withnail & I' was the most viewed movies released in 1987 (not seen it yet); 
and the hit song in the US people listened to (perhaps coincidentally enough) 
was 'I Knew You Were Waiting For Me' by Aretha Franklin. 

However on that day, all those things were not on my mind.
All I was concerned about was how I'm going to get through the day without looking silly 
and not having to recite the marriage vows more then 5 times.
After nervously reciting the vows to myself to ensure I got it right, 
I waited for the time to go over to your house to begin our life together. 
I don't remember the details much as it was pretty much a blur. 
But I do remember that there was a lot of relatives (yours and mine) and friends (yours and mine), 
that was there to help celebrate the day.
As I sat in the centre of your living room, all eyes on me, 
with the Qadi and your Father in front of me; 
I look around at my Father and and my Uncles, took a deep breath and recite the vows. 
I thought it was pitch perfect but I think they just wanted to make me do it again, 
and this time I did falter but the third time was the charm and I finally manage to do it.
At this point, it struck me that we have now made a commitment to each other.
A commitment to love and take care of each other.

As I stood to walk over to where you sat with your Grandmother; 
I held out my hands to you and you embraced it 
and I was as happy as a man could be and I hope you felt the same.

So as I reflect the Yesterday 30 years ago; I realised I am indeed blessed;
And all my Todays will indeed be a Present with you by my side;
And if Tomorrow is a mystery; 
then let it be a remarkable and exciting journey we will take together...

Yours forever,

Monday, 10 April 2017

Muesli Cookies

Muesli Cookies
recipe adapted from thekitchn
1/2 cup organic peanut butter 
1/3 cup organic agave syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup muesli
1/2 cup self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180C
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone bakingmat

In a pot, melt together peanut butter and agave syrup 
Remove from heat and add in salt and vanilla extract
Once the mixture has cooled, mix in the beaten egg
Add muesli and flour into the mixture.
Stir til combined

Using a small ice cream scooper, place the dough onto the baking sheet
Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017