11 February 2014

Summer Lovin'

Life’s a little tricky right now. 
Oh let’s be honest when isn't it tricky?

Sometimes nothing is more satisfying than grabbing my camera and the little folk and heading outside to the orchard for a ramble in the evening light. Watching them interact like friends, fight like bitter enemies and laugh like conspirators all in the space of 5 minutes.

These are the simple pleasures that I grasp onto when life becomes hard, complicated and somewhat scary. I'm in my 30’s and I still hate having to make serious adult decisions. Lately I've been doing too much of that and getting lost inside my own head. I've had enough of making life complicated…wasn't that why we moved away from Auckland?

I can’t explain more here, and to be honest I've been through worse, but somehow it’s easy to forget that and be consumed with the NOW of everything isn't it?

In the meantime, these crazy, noisy and precious little people fill the joy that life sometimes tries to steal.

And chocolate helps too.

16 January 2014

Summer Plum Cake

The recipe I got this cake from called it a kuchen, however to my knowledge a kuchen is a cake made with yeast as its rising agent and although, like this cake it is made with fruit, this cake is not made with yeast. So its a cake.

Its a lovely, easy and light cake and a great way to use up those beautiful summer plums though...

Summer Plum Cake (recipe credit Cake Bible)

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
100g softened butter
2/3 cup castor sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
1/2 cup sour cream
5 large plums or 8 small/med plums, cut into quarters 
1/4 cup castor sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 175 deg Celsius and line a 20cm baking tin with paper. 
In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, and using an electric beater cream the butter and first measure of sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until combined then add the vanilla and almond.
Add the sour cream alternately with the dry mix and beat until smooth.
Spoon the batter into the baking tin and place the plums on top (in any pattern you choose).
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top and then brush with the oil.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until firm and springy to the touch.
Cool for 30 minutes before cutting. 

This would be beautiful with a vanilla custard or a lightly whipped cream.

11 January 2014

Long time, no blog....

So I'll start by saying I'm ashamed I've not only been absent from my own blog since my last post on the 17th October, but I've not even read anyone else's either. I've been so caught up with the cafe and all the Christmas functions we held and between juggling family and keeping my house tidy (ha!) I've not even picked up my camera until last week.

I'm on a break this week - the kids headed to Auckland with my parents (thank you!!) and I'm spending some time with myself so now is the perfect opportunity to post...if anyone out there is still checking my poor neglected blog!

We had a lovely Christmas, with my brother and his girlfriend and their friends making a trek from Melbourne to spend Christmas with us. We had a really special time together with lots of laughs - as I always do when one of my brothers is around.

I was hoping to find time to put up a recipe or two this week, but it turned out that instead I enjoyed some sun, sleep, beach and time off with Owen as well as Skyping my big brother in Chile and meeting my brand new niece.
It's been a crazy three months and I finally hit a wall enough to just look after myself a little.

I'll be back again soon, I promise!