my favourite things this week

At seven pm tonight I was at work after a particularly stressful week in the office for our team. After missing my favourite Friday night yoga class, with a headache, and feeling a bit grumpy and angry at the world, I wasn’t in a good way to start any kind of Friday night fun. What I needed was to let it all go so I could start the weekend in a good frame of mind. I needed to be a bit positive about my week – there were lots of good things in there along with the tough work. Here they are:

  • A short week – yet again. I found out that our fellow Americans don’t get any extra time off over Easter so that made me extra appreciative.
  • Seeing All New People. Ok, I did only go because Zach Braff was in it (you know the funny guy from scrubs) but it was actually so clever. He wrote it too – that guy is talented.
  • My new shoes – I have only worn them once this week but just knowing that they are there, sitting in their box, fills me with joy.
  • Emails from my sister – I love getting emails from my sister (this week’s was about birthdays – hers – and clothes – the best kind). She has two little boys so emails only arrive in the middle of the night or during a rare moment that we call spare time.
  • Trying a new recipe. This week, I tried Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan Lamb Burgers. Twice! They took a little under seven minutes to prepare and will totally impress at summer BBQs. Just substitute the burger bun with pita bread.
  • Taylor St Baristas for the best coffee (Australian of course) and LAMINGTONS. For the non-Australians, they look funny I know but you just have to try them.
  • Pay day – today – I love feeling rich for a day.
  • Reading The Hunger Games. Best. Book. Ever.
Happy weekend everyone. Now for a glass of wine.

Caz x

cocoa and butter, butter and cocoa

It all started with Cocoa Butter Body Butter and it all ended with Brownies. Butter and Cocoa, cocoa and butter, cocoa butter became my theme for the week.

I shopped. I picked up some Cocoa Butter Body Butter and the Cocoa Butter Body Scrub (with a pretty aqua exfoliator) from The Body Shop, some Cocoa Butter Vaseline for lips at Boots and raided the cupboard and supermarkets for anything Cocoa and Butter related – dark chocolate, Banoffee hot cocoa and ingredients for Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Brownies.

I think I must have spent the whole week smelling like Chocolate – being surrounded by it and covered in it – so it’s lucky for me that the smell and taste of chocolate makes you feel happy. All those endorphins boosting your mood, helping you feel less sad and a lot more relaxed.

I think that totally justifies having a left over brownie for breakfast. Just to end off a tough challenge and a hard, hard week.

Caz x

not Cupcakes just Whoopie Pies please

I love making Whoopie Pies. I like it so much that we currently have a Whoopie Pie Baking Ban enforced in my house. Yes, there was a stage when I was making them a little too often and we all got a little too full on Whoopie Pie.

But for those of you out there that want to try them – yes, they are absolutely the new cupcake – try this recipe for the best Chocolate Whoopie Pies.

If you need a taste tester you know where to find me.

Ingredients

  • 125g/4½oz butter
  • 150g/5½oz chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids, plus extra for melting (optional)
  • 225g/8oz sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g/8¾oz flour
  • 30g/1¼oz cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 18 marshmallows

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350G/Gas 3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
  3. Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl then fold in the chocolate mixture.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together, then fold into the chocolate and egg mixture.
  5. Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray (the mixture should make 36 biscuits) and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and set aside half of the biscuits on a cooling rack. Turn the remaining biscuits over and place a marshmallow on top of each. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the marshmallows have softened.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack to cool slightly. Press the cooled biscuits on top.
  8. Optional: Melt 100g/3½oz extra chocolate and pour this over the cookies, then set aside to cool.

Caz x