Chocolate chip cookie goal achieved

I have been trying for a long time to perfect the chocolate chip cookie, yeah I know, lofty goals. Anyway I am happy to admit that I may have indeed got there, that’s the thing with creating achievable goals, you can actually celebrate getting there.

There’s something that feels very nurturing and loving  (other things I aspire to) about making your own baked goods. I like to think that my son will eat them, put on some weight and absorb the love that has gone into them. In reality he takes them to school and gives them to his friends.

Anyway I found a recipe that works well for me (and Teenage Pencil’s friends).  It comes from Matt Preston’s book The Simple Secrets To Cooking Everything Better and, like everything in this book that I’ve cooked (a lot), the recipe is easy to follow and magnificent to eat.

His is actually for choc chip cookie dough (which he says his son wanted as a birthday cake) but I baked mine because my son‘s friends  doesn’t like dough.

Here’s what to use:

125grams unsalted butter

3/4cup soft brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2cups self raising flour

150grams white chocolate bits

150grams mile chocolate bits

Here’s what to do:

Combine the butter and sugar and whisk until pale, light and fluffy.

Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract, when evenly combined stir in the flour and chocolate bits with a wooden spoon.

Now this is the most important part I learned from the clever people on my Facebook page – I took the dough and rolled it up in baking paper and refrigerated it for hours. In fact I made two rolls and froze one for use at a later date.

Working with a log of hardened dough it was easy to cut into discs that were nice and thick and, best of all, kept their shape in the oven.  That’s a big part of the trick I was missing before and making biscuits that totally lost their shape in the oven, and were also paper thin. This log method allowed me nice shape and thickness.

The other night I served them to my son with a wodge of ice-cream in the middle. I took the photo (while it was already melting) and then he broke it up into pieces and stirred it around a bit. He may have tasted a bite. Have I mentioned he’s not a big eater?


The ice cream sandwich (sliding apart)


Not sure what that little bit on the side of the top biscuit is – but I am going with taste and very general shape.

The 8 types of recipe trolls

Quite by chance I have come across a well of unexpected angst in a corner of the web I thought was reserved for foodies or hungry people. This angst, often manifested as anger, It’s literally bubbling away in online recipes. Yes, simple solutions for dinner are the new heartland of irate commenters.

This shouldn’t have been such a big surprise for me, after all I was hated for daring to mention I didn’t love the Thermomix, but I naively thought the anger was coming from the obsessive cult of the kitchen gadget not from everyday cooks. However, in my continued search for dinner inspiration I have begun to look at the comments on online recipes to see if the recipe is going to be as easy to follow as I was lead to believe and that’s where I have found the hangry (when hunger meets anger) commenters.

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Cinnamon Sugar brioche. Thank you The Cook and Baker

The best thing about having a blog with no niche or genre is that I can write about whatever I like – this serves me well because I have the attention span of a small gnat on speed. Jumping from anxiety on the weekend, through cuddling your kids yesterday to a recipe today is no big leap for me. And when you make these cinnamon brioches you’ll be happy I am so flighty.

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The sky is falling in. Otherwise known as “bacon causes cancer”

If you’ve been on any social media platform today you’ve probably heard people ranting about bacon. Not in the traditional “I love bacon” kind of way but in the more frenzied “help the sky is falling in” kind of way. Processed meats are the new food to hate. The New York Times reports

“An international panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization concluded Monday that eating processed meat like hot dogs, ham and bacon raises the risk of colon cancer and that consuming other red meats “probably” raises the risk as well. But the increase in risk is so slight that experts said most people should not be overly worried about it.

The panel did not offer specific guidelines on red meat consumption. But its conclusions add support to recommendations made by other scientific groups like the federal government’s dietary guidelines advisory committee, which has long discouraged the consumption of red and processed meat.”

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The meal that was two weeks in the making

Today I entered a level of cooking prep that I hadn’t gone to before. Understanding that I regularly cook for big groups of people (thanks extended family) and I cook daily for a fussy vegetarian (myself) , a carb–avoiding man (my husband) and a growing teenager (my son) , I am well versed with cooking prep.

But today was different. I was cooking for a family who have had some difficult times lately. Someone at Little Pencil’s school has put a roster together for people who want to help to prepare a meal to ensure there is one thing less to worry about for a while.

The roster was a very well organised, online schedule where you could choose the date that suited you best and then insert the meal you would be providing with your name next to that date.

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My truth about giving up sugar

I am not new to giving up sugar, I gave it up once before and wrote about it here. At the time of writing I had given up for 10 days and I ended my post with the words “I am discovering a new way of eating, not feeling fantastic YET but at least my focus is expanding (and hopefully my waist isn’t)”.  I think I ate some nutella soon after that. The no sugar thing didn’t last. Maybe I didn’t give it long enough back then.

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Why I make lunch for my son (and your new favourite bread recipe)

bread recipe 1

Let them eat bread

It’s been a while since my parenting has been brought into question by anyone other than my son. Or maybe I just haven’t cared for a while. That’s one of the best things about getting older you stop worrying what everyone thinks about your parenting. Or about you in general. And, to be honest, as your children grow up you begin to realise that it doesn’t really matter what the books or the playgroups or anyone else says – you’ve lost enough sleep and established enough love to know that it’s going to work out okay if you go with your gut, remember to feed them and show a lot of love.
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My Sepia dreams of being a food blogger

They (whoever they are) say that you can be whatever you want to be and some days I think I want to be a food blogger . It makes sense because I love food and I have a blog.

I often try my own hand at creating edible stuff and sometimes it works really well and sometimes it fails miserably. It is clear that there is more to food blogging than trying, sometimes succeeding and often failing to cook. So I decided to go a step further – I would eat gorgeous food made by other people and photograph it for my blog.

Only problem is that I am not a crash hot photographer, I know Nothing (with an intentional capital N) about editing images, exposure and lens stuff, added to which I am almost criminally lazy when it comes to doing anything with photos other than loading them on to the computer.

But that didn’t stop me from taking photos of almost everything when we went for the fanciest dinner at Sepia last night.

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It was an incredibly awesome meal marred only by the fact that I felt ridiculously guilty eating such expensive food especially when I saw a homeless man outside the restaurant.

The divide between rich and poor, the haves and have nots is way worse than my food photography could ever be.

The (real) reason I am not a “proper” food blogger

People say that social media is responsible for creating an imbalance in the lives we see portrayed on line, that people who use social media are responsible for showing the “feature reel”, only the good, glossy and perfect bits of our lives. I don’t agree with that, I see an awful lot of the gritty bits of life in my feeds, the unhappy people, the strung out parents, the heartbroken, the grief-struck, the lonely, the annoyed, the angry and the frustrated.

But sometimes I actively seek out a bit of the glossy, because who doesn’t want to get away from the gritty every once in a while? And so it was last Friday I was looking through Facebook when I saw this post on the page of the wonderful Katie 180

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My Thermomix confession

I’m almost scared to write this post. I feel like I am talking out against the cult. I worry that I’ll be ostracized like a leper from a community that prays before the Thermomix, but I’m taking the chance.

I just don’t love the Thermomix.

Of course I’ve used it. I had to after I spent $2000 on it *bows head in shame*. I was even momentarily taken in on the night I ground and dry roasted my own spices. But I can’t serve roasted spices or even curries every night of the week.

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