Lest We Forget

25th April 2015

4:00 a.m. – Hanbels’ alarm goes off.
4:20 a.m. – She is rugged up, half-awake and riding her bike to meet up with Andrew’s Aunty
5:00 a.m – They both meet up with 80,000 other Perthians at Kings Park for the 100 Year Commemorative Dawn Service, for ANZAC Day
IMG_49305:30 a.m. – After a decent ride in, they both find their bodies attempting to cool down. However, given that the sun still hasn’t risen this is absolute torture. They chatter their teeth, shake uncontrollably and pile on extra layers before realizing that is isn’t even half of what the Australian soldiers had to endure.

5:50 a.m. – The service begins, and has a profound effect on everyone in attendance. Near-silence is maintained for almost an hour (who can blame the littlies for their outbursts!) as the sun rises and “The Last Post” echoes over the crowd. Something stirs inside of them, feeling so moved by hearing the bugle playing those familiar notes.

6:50 a.m. – Feeling elated, grateful and humbled (but still FREEZING) they take in the breathtaking views and slowly make their way back to their bikes.

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7:00 a.m. – To un-thaw, they ride as quick as lightning (no exaggeration) on a hunt for coffee and stumble upon City Farm Café. The coffee was hot, the sun had begun shining and the conversation had ventured to travel and all the countries left to visit!


8:00 a.m. – Hanbel returns home, and attempts to nap but instead gets busy baking ANZAC biscuits.

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With her house smelling of baked goods for the rest of the day, she is left with a smile on her face.
Not only because the biscuits turned out pretty well, but because she realises just how lucky she is that people her age went through hell 100 years ago so that she could lead this lovely, free life.

Lest We Forget.

An Easter Post That Has Nothing to do with Easter.


Instead, this one is about PEANUT BUTTER.
I spent my Easter long weekend doing a lot of non-Easter related things. I worked through Andrew’s family Good Friday Picnic.
I felt so rude, glued to my phone, looking up every now and then to interject with my opinions and steal some prawns. Damn work!

Saturday was spent on the couch nursing a headache (what is up with my body lately?!) and Easter Sunday I cleaned the house, baked cookies and watched the Nanny.

Kicking it back to Sunday morning, I was sitting in a very clean house wondering to myself and Andrew “whaddamigonnadoooooo with my afternoon?”.
To which he very selflessly suggested I do some baking.

Hence, peanut butter cookies! (Because I already had all the ingredients).
I used this recipe, but swapping out almond extract for vanilla. Simply because that’s what was on hand.

This is the best peanut butter, IF you eat it by the tonne and can’t justify full -fat Kraft anymore.

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This recipe could not be any easier, just the above ingredients ^

It also calls for salt, but as the chocolate I used is “Sea Salt” flavour, I didn’t add any. Kinda wish I had though, but I’m a major sucker for that sweet/salty combo.

I didn’t use all the chocolate, more for later this week!
I just LOVE seeing freshly baked cookies cooling in their trays.
And there you have it, a super easy recipe if ever you need cookies pronto. They aren’t the prettiest cookies in the world, but they taste pretty damn good.
They’re also relatively healthy, and you can substitute the syrup for better quality maple syrup or honey to make it a little nicer for your body.

Happy Tuesday kiddos, I hope you all had a lovely and safe break.

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Although I’m not sure if I would trust any of us with an open fire.
I’m fairly sure that would end badly, and slightly dampen the Christmas spirit.

But, we were allowed to bake in a safe, monitored environment, with limited use of the stove.

One of my work gals suggested going to a Christmas baking course at The Cooking Professor.
Which of course, I said no to, because I hate Christmas.
And baking.

HA! I could not contain my excitment.
Especially since my mate said we would all have to wear Christmas hats and that she was packing Christmas tunes and Irish Cream to take along with her.

IMG_4426The sight of ingredients all laid out, perfectly measured and ready to be turned into something delicious. I cannot explain how much I love seeing this.
Baking, for me, is such a calming exercise. I love that it all begins as simple ingredients, but when you use the correct amounts and combine them in the right way, something magical happens.
And that magic is cake.


This is one of my special work gals. We were paired up to make “Magic Pastry” filled with fruit mince, and mini friands.
The rest of the room also worked in pairs (like little elves) to create Christmas cake, stain-glass window cookies, mini gingerbread cakes, lemon trifles, and snowball cookies.

I cannot recommend The Cooking Professor enough! We had so much fun, and especially after the disappointing wreath making class (which I didn’t blog, because it wasn’t Christmass-y at all. We basically just made centre pieces with apricots on them) this class exceeded our festive expectations!
Our teacher was Tirtza Pisk, and although she lead with the disclaimer that she is from Israel and doesn’t celebrate Christmas, she was incredible!
She gave us clear instructions, and the right amout of support to ensure our treats came out perfectly – while letting us do the work so we could take credit.


These friands were SOOOOO easy and so delectable! The key was all in the butter. I never cook mine further than just melting it, but if you let it bubble up it turns this beautiful nutty brown colour and has the most amazing caramel taste to it. That buttery goodness made all the difference.


What a magnificent sugar filled feast. We all tucked in, sharing plates and asking questions – like a family. (Too cheesy? Did I lose you?)
It was really nice though, sitting back and having a look at the hard work we’d put in, and then being able to share our goodies with the rest of the class.
We were given take -away containers (thank god!) and bundled up our treats and recipes to show off to people at home.

The gingerbread cakes are incredible! The top is gorgeously crunchy drizzled with a citrus icing. This is one I will definitely be making over the holidays, and if anyone would like any of the recipes let me know!

Merry baking to all!


You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry

He’s coming. That old mate Santa Claus. He’s coming to town!

We are well and truely in the midst of the Christmas countdown. Today is the 25th of November, marking one month to make the most of the merriment.
I have said this to a lot of people over the years, and I stick by it now – I love the build up to Christmas Day much more than the day itself.

I’m a sucker for all things sparkly and magical so when those Christmas lights and trees start going up, I can’t contain my excitement.
I just feel that this season waves this mist over everything and everyone. We all have a little break to look forward to, we’re encouraged to think of our loved ones and what makes them happy, and we are given a little distraction from the day-to-day routine.

In Perth, there are a few events happening all over town to assist in the magic.

Over the weekend I went to the Christmas Markets held in Forrest Place, in the city. They were a little underwhelming, having used the same vendors from Angove Street Festival, Beaufort Street Art Market and the Beaufort Street Festival. As amazing as it is that they are showcasing local talent, I felt like I had seen it all before and was hoping for more of a Christmas theme.
Regardless, I still picked up a little present and am happy I went.

Bring on the next events!


Via Twigged by Tali Facebook

Tonight, I am accompanying some work friends to the Twigged by Tali wreath making course, held at Rochelle Adonis – with high tea to follow!
I am sooooooo excited, I have already bought a wreath hanger from Target ($5!!) and praying that my wreath making skills are somewhat decent.


The Leederville Carnival is happening on the 7th of December. It will include all the usual suspects – food stalls, art markets, crafts, live music, flowing drinks, people everywhere.
If you stick around until 8pm, they turn on the Christmas lights – which is always such a nice moment!




Via Experience Perth

There are so many events and daily christmas activities happening in Perth this year, most of which can be found here.
Everyday, at 11:45am and 1:15pm London Court in the city will put on a “snow show”, giving us a little taste of a winter wonderland. In the middle of summer…

One to take the kiddies along to is the Channel 7 and West Australian Christmas Pageant on the 6th of December along St George’s Terrace, also in the city.

Another event that is probably for the kiddies, but I have no shame in attending is held in the Northbridge Piazza throughout December. Festive Flicks, including The Polar Express, Elf and The Grinch will be shown on the big screen FOR FREE. Winning.


Via News.com.au

There are about a million Carols by Candlelight events in perth, the search for the best has begun here.
We never went when I was a kid (don’t ask me why!), so I’ll have to take your advice on which is the best.


I am also heading off to another exciting class – Christmas Baking at the Cooking Professor. Gingerbread skills come at me!

This is not even half at what is going on in Perth, so I would suggest you keep an eye out in your area for anything else fun to do! Enjoy the season with your family and friends, it is the best way to make the most of your time off.

What events do you go to every year?