29 October 2010


So lately I've been thinking about what I'm doing in the next stage of my life now that my treatment is coming to an end.

Next Wednesday is my last day of radiation (YIPPPEEE!) and boy that has come around fast. The radiation hasn't been too bad compared to what I had imagined it would be like. My skin is red and slightly swollen but it hasn't broken and I imagine will heal quite nicely (with maybe a wicked tan line). Despite the fact I'm happy to see the end of daily trips to the hospital and regular blood tests I will still have to see Auckland Hospital every 3 weeks until May next year to receive my infusion of Herceptin. But that is easy - and there are no side effects from that.
So I guess I'll be free to go off and live my life. This is exciting, as well as nerve wracking. This is the end of treatment and whatever happens from here on is really just up to my body. Lots of people keep asking me if I've been given the all clear, or when do I get the all clear? Well, the answer is, I don't. My oncologist was pretty sure that with surgery the cancer was taken out, but of course he can't see microscopic cells - this is why I had chemotherapy and radiation. We hope that any microscopic cancer cells were destroyed during this treatment but there is no way he can guarantee that some haven't. I suppose that's a scary thought if dwelt on for too long. But what is the point in dwelling on that? I'm of the thought that any problems get dealt to when and if they happen - not before then, else I'd go mad. This is really a philosophy that got me through the first few weeks after my diagnosis. Cross the bridge when we to it. If we get to it.

The other adjustment is getting the household back to where it was before my diagnosis. To being a functioning mum and housewife again. To Owen not having to be the caregiver. For the kids to have me back doing the normal things. Getting the balance back scares me a little - seeing as I've been so used to the luxury of having the washing done and folded for me, the meals cooked and the delightfulness of not having to be up at the crack of dawn to whip the kids into shape for school. HOW AM I GOING TO COPE?! is my first reaction. But although I must admit I'm inclined to be lazy, on the days when I don't feel like it I'm going to remember how it felt lying in my bed, hearing my children crying for me and needing me but I was in too much pain or just focusing on getting better that I wasn't able to be there for them. Maybe remember that life and all its mundane boringness or excruciating early mornings is where you can find the simple joys in life. When that is taken away from you, its then you realise how important it is to you.

(although I'm still not going to do any ironing)

Delissilinks - The Cute Stuff

Today's Delissilinks is all about cute food. Maaaan this stuff is so cute I want to squeal!

Fairy wings by Bubble and Sweet. Waaay gorgeous.

Loch Ness Cupcakes. I LOVE this idea. So simple too.

Mini cute!!!

This is Babybel cheese...are you enjoying the cuteness of this? Click on this link to see more creations, like the hungry caterpillar! Amazing, cute AND healthy too!

Thyme meringues with strawberry sorbet. So cute and yum! Perfect for summer.

This awesome cake from Bobby Robin. Cuteness in an underwater theme.

And lastly I wish I could make something this cute.

26 October 2010

Labour Weekend

This weekend truly felt like summer is just around the corner. A weekend of sun, bbq, friends, family, food, laughter, music, jandal shopping, birthday celebrations, sea, sand, chips on the mountain, sauce, sausage on a stick, donuts, tired sweaty little bodies, the smell of sunblock, beach walks, still evenings, orange blossoms in the warm spring air, reading in the garden, cider in the sun.
Life IS good.

25 October 2010

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Gluten Free Base

I was on a mission this weekend to make a cheesecake - I've never actually made one before and it seems like such a great time of year. Labour Weekend to me has always signaled the start of summer and the better weather. So in anticipation of some top class BBQ weather I made this to share with some super friends.

The cheesecake itself was super easy and the ingredients list pretty simple. The base was a bit more convoluted however but I loved making it and its well worth it. I'll include both the cheesecake and the gluten free biscuits recipe below. I wasn't entirely happy with the look of this one as I was expecting more height but it tasted amazing.

I'm now a huge fan of making (and OF COURSE eating) cheesecake - I think there will be a few more featured here before the summer is out. And I can only hope I'll get better and better at them.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake


1 1/2 cups gluten free biscuit crumbs
115g butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds

3/4 cup (210g) crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup cream
250g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar

Hot Chocolate Sauce:
200g dark eating chocolate
20g butter
1/2 cup cream

For the base, melt butter, sugar and cocoa together. When combined and warm take off heat and add egg, stirring to thicken. Stir in crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press firmly into 24cm round loose-based flan tin. Freeze for 30 minutes.

To make the filling combine cream and peanut butter in small saucepan and stir over a low heat until smooth. Cool. Beat cream cheese and sugar in mixer until smooth. Stir in peanut butter mixture. Spread over base, cover with foil and freeze for 3 hours or overnight.

Make the hot chocolate sauce and serve with the cheesecake.

(The toppings are made with cheesecake mixture and the base rolled together - cheesecake bites! I popped them in the fridge to set and then dipped them in the chocolate sauce before serving. Also some cream fraiche on the top. Suffice to say this recipe ain't for the dieter!)

Gluten Free Honey Biscuits:

1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tspn baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
100g unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla

Put flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.
In a separate bowl combine milk, honey and vanilla and add to flour mix. It will be very soft and sticky but wrap in glad wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. When chilled you will need to use a fair bit of flour when rolling it out as its a sticky mixture still. Roll out and cut into shapes and bake for 25 mins or until browned at 180 deg C.

This recipe made me more than enough for the base and some for leftovers to freeze, and even some to give away to my gluten free friends Ash and Cinz so you get plenty out of it.

20 October 2010


I came across this blog Fight Like a Girl by a young mum who is going through breast cancer. Some of her writings are so wonderful and honest but this story she had just gave me such a good laugh. Check it out.

And what about these delights for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some people will do a cake for any reason (me included) but these wrecks are just crazy. Thanks to Cake Wrecks for finding these.

And talking about Breast Cancer seeing as its the month, check out what my husband did with his dirty work boots. He says its because his black laces broke and these were lying around the house after the Dove Pink Star Walk...and of course he also knows his work mates aren't going to hassle him about it!

Gotta love a man who's comfortable wearing pink...

16 October 2010

Green Tea and Kiwifruit Cupcakes

Zingy, sweet and with that unmistakable green tea flavour which is a surprising but very nice combination. Filled and lightly iced with vanilla buttercream.

14 October 2010

Orange Cupcakes

Orange and vanilla cupcake with chocolate orange buttercream. The topping is my homemade marmalade...

10 October 2010

Spring Planting

Am feeling invigorated after a day of planting and getting the garden looking good for summer. Owen's done the hard work and I did a really good job of standing around telling him where to put things. Oh and I got to do the fun part of planting the seedlings.

This is the garden a week ago...

This is it by the end of today. Obviously there's still a bit more to do but I've got my seat in the corner. Yay!

Bring on the good weather!

09 October 2010

Angel Food Cake

I made this for dad's birthday as well as the macarons. Mostly because it went so easy for me last time I made it and I wanted to know what it tasted like and since then I've bought myself my own angel food tin. Also because it's supposed to be low in calories and feeds lots of people.
Admittedly it is a huge cake and most people's reaction at having a large piece looming towards them was apprehension (except me cos I love cake!), but angel food cake is so light and almost pavlova like it almost melts in the mouth. It is quite sweet, and I suspect raspberries would go much better than strawberries but I couldn't resist the first batch of the season.
We even had our first BBQ of the season too.

If you are interested in the recipe click here for my previous post on this. The cake above I added 2 tablespoons cocoa to the flour mixture to get the darker colour and a chocolately taste.

07 October 2010

Lemon Meringue Macarons

 These little beauties are simply divine - tangy curd filling with beautiful gooey macaron and crunchy nutty flavours as well. The little topping is an experiment with lemon jelly crystals - and it ended up reminding me of that little browned and chewy bit on the peaks of a lemon meringue pie. 
These are hard to keep myself away from and not eat as I'm saving them for my dad as its his birthday tomorrow.

Hopefully for his sake I won't do a Nigella and eat them before the party...



03 October 2010

Dove Pink Star Walk

Last night myself, Madeline, my parents and some of my incredible girlfriends, including my sister in law took to the Domain and strode around with thousands of other people - all dressed in pink. This was an event to raise money for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and it was so much fun!
A great event, which is really well organised. Its a great way to support the cause, afterall October is breast cancer awareness month, and never before has this been more important to me.

Thank you to my lovely mates and family for coming and making this a special night (especially my dad who was reluctant to wear any pink. Lucky for him he didn't stand out). I love you all to bits!

Everyone getting ready

Ruth and her gorgeous wings
A lady with a cool wig and an interesting crochet dress...
Start line
We're off!