Roasted baby carrots with cumin for Easter

Upon smelling a new perfume I was given for my birthday, Kid 1 made the following comment.

Kid 1: It smells like melted Easter eggs.

I am not sure whether to be displeased or not. I envisage myself swanning around attracting small chocolate-loving children and perhaps even the E.B. (Easter Bunny) himself. Not sure if that’s what the perfumier was aiming for when creating this parfum. ‘Eau de Chocolate Easter Egg.’ Give it a whirl, it’s all the rage in the Easter circles.

If you are looking for side dishes to accompany your Easter feast this coming weekend, please consider this wee recipe idea. Calling anything ‘baby’ that you are about to devour and consume has always creeped me out a bit. However, there is no escaping the fact that young veggies are usually the most tender and sweet. Let alone, super cute. Just like a real life human baby! Rest assured, only vegetable babies were harmed in the making of this dish. (That’s OK, right? Told you the whole thing is just, well, odd.)

These carrots were sweet with lovely undertones of the earthy cumin. Tender and juicy, I am positive that all, including the Easter Bunny, will love them.


1 bunch baby carrots
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbl butter, unsalted
2 tbl white wine

Preheat oven to 180C.
Scrub or lightly peel the carrots.
Place in a foil package, add the cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Dob the butter over the carrots, add the wine and close the foil package.
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
Try it with or or

A Cheergerm Creation

Pinata Rage and Coconut Macaroons

It was the longest piñata hit in history. This gaily coloured Mexican bombonierre was seemingly made of cast iron. Possibly forged in the smelters of dwarven folk from the Kingdom under the Lonely Mountain (a Tolkien reference to all you non Hobbit loving peeps).

Child after strong armed child faced this monster. Bashing it with the supressed rage of youngsters against the iron fists of their parental controllers. Sadly, it was to no avail.

Finally, deliverance came in the guise of the smallest and youngest child (an angelic blonde haired 4 year old). It is difficult to explain the collective surprise at witnessing this beautiful young person flying into, what will henceforth be known as, ‘piñata rage’.

There was violent and assured bashing, followed by targeted smashing. The paper mâché split open and Mexican manna fell from the heavens. All was once again right with the world.

Kid 1 came up to me afterwards, proclaiming ‘The bowl of holiness has been split!’ His hands overflowing with sweet loot, some whole and some crushed. Not caring that they were in a less than perfect state, he snarfled them all in record time.

These coconuts macaroons may not have been a piñata full of sweet and lollylike goodness but they were still a huge hit with Kid 1. Being gluten free, the Yak was also a fan.

Some folk may say the macaroon is the poor, tenement living cousin to the more difficult to make and penthouse living macaron. I tell all those people to rack off. Yes, the macaroon has only 4 ingredients and yes, they are quick and yes, you don’t have to cure the egg whites for 2 days. So, yes, maybe after careful consideration ‘those people’ have a point. But as that overused cooking TV show catchphrase goes, ‘I made them with love’. (I don’t often cook with hate in my heart, although sometimes, I have been know to give a misbehaving cake batter a stern glance or two).

Floral vanilla and chewy coconut, reminiscent of a Polynesian wonderland. Close your eyes as you bite into their crispy exterior and you could be lying on a beach in Tahiti. They may easy peasey lemon squeezy but they are bloody delicious.


2 egg whites
Pinch salt
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
125g desiccated coconut (or shredded)
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla essence)

Preheat the oven to 150C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Place the egg whites and salt in a medium sized bowl and beat them until they are stiff.
Gradually beat in the sugar and fold in the remaining ingredients.
Drop the mixture in teaspoonfuls about 5cm apart on the trays (as I did) or use a piping bag with a 1cm tip.
Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. When the macaroons are dry and cooked, they will be a pale, pinky-gold.
Cool on wire racks and store airtight, Makes about 20.

Recipe from Ladies, A Plate by Alexa Johnston.

A quick shout out to the lovely chicks from I Need a Feed and Vegas Hungry Girl for nominating me for some blogger awards lately. Not sure when I will get to that but in the meantime, just wanted to give you the links to their delightful blogs.

Why is there a bicycle pump in our bedroom and Louise Cake

Living with small children means that you may find particular accoutrements of childhood in your bedroom.

Definition of a grown up bedroom : The place where the so called ‘magic happens’. (Yeah right.) A serene escape from the world, lush with soft furnishings in soothing contemporary prints. Flickering soy candles abound and the room is resplendent with enough Europeans pillows to well, make a European happy. (Not a husband as they will defiantly and often state ‘I hate all these cushions, they have no effin point anyway.’)

In our boudouir today I found:

A bicycle pump, a small soccer whistle, a paint with water book, a pretend plastic childrens winner medal, one grotty little boys sock and a teeny tiny plastic toilet.

The magic that happens in our bedroom is ‘how the hell did this crap get here and why?’

The other magic that happens in our household is how quickly tasty treats can be gobbled up by said small children. Especially Kid 1 who eats as if he is part of a family of ten and is afraid of missing out on his fair share.

This slice is one of those goodies, an old school New Zealand classic comprising of a thin layer of biscuity cake (or is that a cakety biscuit?), a sandwich layer of tart jam, topped off with another thin layer of coconut meringue. I have no idea who Louise was but man, that chick had it going on in the ideas department.

My memory could be playing tricks but a hazy recollection of this slice oozing with homemade apricot jam in the middle, is knocking around the old brainbox. The original recipe has been slightly cheergermed by using wholemeal spelt flour, raw sugar and knocking back the sugar quantity a tad.

Unfortunately, the cupboard was bare of home made jam, hence, store purchased jam was used. Some of Mums homemade stuff would have been like, totally ace. (Mum??)


70g butter, room temperature
55g sugar (panela, raw caster sugar, rapadura)
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
150g wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp raspberry or tart red jam
2 egg whites
80g sugar (I used organic panela, an unrefined sweetener made from evaporated sugar cane juice)
55g desiccated coconut
Extra coconut for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 170 and line a shallow 30 x 21 cm or 12 x 8 inch tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light then beat in the egg yolks and mix thoroughly.
Add the lemon juice, then sift in the flour and baking powder and mix to a firm dough.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared tin and spread over the jam. You don’t need a thick layer.
Beat the egg whites until stiff then gently fold in the caster sugar and the coconut using a metal spoon. Spread carefully over the jam, trying to keep an even thickness. Sprinkle with a little more coconut.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the coconut is just turning a golden brown. (As I used raw sugar, it does get a bit browner.)
Remove from the oven and cut into squares whilst still warm.
Store in an airtight container, makes 12 squares.

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘Ladies: a Plate.’ By Alexa Johnston

Hard knock life spelt pizza

Kid 1 has a hard life. He thinks he has it tougher than little orphan Annie ever did. The following conversation we had recently, highlights this.

Kid 1: I think Kid 2 should start learning his timetables.
Me: But you just started learning them recently yourself, and you are almost 10. He only just turned 7!
Kid 1: Yes mum, but I want him to have a better life than me. Can’t you see I’m going nowhere fast?

Yes, we can see why he has lost all hope at the ripe old age he is. ‘How about we have homemade pizza for dinner?’ I ask. ‘Yeah!’ he cries. It’s a surefire way to cheer up a hard knock life child like Kid 1.

This pizza uses a mix of wholemeal spelt flour and a strong, high protein flour that is used for bread or pizza. It’s a great workout for the arms. The crust has a moreish nutty flavour but is still light from the pizza flour. I am a bit of a minimalist topping kind of chick but you can use whatever toppings float your boat. We are big fans of mushrooms. If you have never made your own pizza, go for it. Get your kidlets to help, if you can.

Pizza dough
220g strong flour
200g wholemeal spelt flour (if you don’t have spelt, use plain wholemeal flour)
2tsps (7g) dried yeast
1 1/2 tsps salt
320 ml lukewarm water
2 tbl olive oil

Pizza sauce
1 tbl garlic oil
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 onion finely diced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
Splash of caramelised balsamic vinegar or 1/2 tsp brown sugar

400g mushrooms, finely sliced
250g shredded/grated mozarella
Fresh basil leaves to garnish (I had run out)

2 large pizza pans (mine are 40 and 30cm). I prefer the ones with holes as they work better in a home oven, letting hot air onto the bottom of the pan and making the base crispier.

Sieve the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Dissolve the yeast in a little of the lukewarm water, then stir in the remaining water and add the oil.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixtures, pour the liquid into the well and gradually work the flour in from the sides.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a board that is sprinkled with flour.
Knead (use those muscles!) for about 5 minutes. (You may need to add more of the pizza flour if it’s too wet.)
Put the dough into a clean and slightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth.
Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

The Sauce:
Whilst your dough is proving (rising), make the sauce. Sauté the onions in the oils for a few minutes until translucent.
Add the tin of tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar or sugar.
Cook on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes until it has reduced and thickened to a spreadable consistency.

Now you are ready to assemble the pizza!
Once you are ready, knock back the dough ( basically squash it), divide in half and roll out thinly on a well floured board. Place on your 2 pizza pans and add your toppings.
Cook 20 to 30 min until cooked. (I always check the bottom of the pizza to make sure it is cooked.)

(The dough quantity makes 2 large pizza bases.)

A cheergerm recipe

Why spelt? Why not? Seriously, this ancient grain contains 50% more protein than wheat flour. It also contains quite a lot of different vitamins and minerals. This cheergerm believes it is beneficial to eat from a wide variety of food sources. Please note, it is NOT gluten free.