Sugarfree peanut butter cookies

What to do when the kids want to bake but they really, REALLY don’t need anymore sugary treats? Google sugar-free cookies of course. But most required ingredients I’d either never heard of, or packed full of artifical sweetners,ew gross!

So after trawling a number of recipes, with the boys breathing down my neck, I decided to just throw stuff in a bowl and hope for the best.

With my two little helpers we cranked out a batch and they semi-passed the taste test. Master 4 and I liked them but fussy Master 5 did not.

We used:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup dissicated coconut
1 egg
Mix together. Form into balls, gently press down with fork
Oven 180deg C for about 10min



Coconut snowballs

So I stumbled across this recipe & new I had to try it. You know the drill, I’ll link directly to it when I’m back online on my desktop. Extremely easy & oh so yummy


This recipe is directly from her blog. Makes 12 small balls at roughly 50cal each

1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor along with the coconut oil. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides periodically, until it reaches a paste-like consistency. (It does not have to be completely smooth like butter; some coconut texture is good.)Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and process until well combined. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut and pulse until just combined.Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and coat with the remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before eating

Now I did sub in normal milk instead of the coconut milk & didnt use the extra coconut to roll them in but they still worked out great. Quite sticky to roll but that was just an excuse to lick my fingers after they were all done! Her photo does them way more justice than my rushed attempt!




Our first passionfruit of the season fall off the tree a little early. When I say “fall” I mean it probably had the help of one 2 year old cutie! It was purple but only just so I threw it into a smoothie with coconut water & frozen banana…I only got a couple of sips & Master 2 guzzled the rest! It was yum, just a hint of tartness, which we didn’t mind one bit.

Glorious carrots-vegan carrot bites

After reading this idea over at Arohanui Vegan Love I knew I had to try it. Now, I’m not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I’m always up to trying new things. I love carrots, especially when combined with dessert, so this was a no-brainer.

I followed the link over to The Sweet Life & found the recipe to be very simple. A quick trip to the supermarket to replenish my stock of dates (the ones I had were pet rocks so I’m assuming they have been there awile!oops) and I got to work.

I must mention that I neglected to soak the cashews overnight as numpty here forgot, so I got them going first thing this morning. A quick look on google to check out the reason for soaking them (more nutritious & to soften) and to check what the recommended minimum time is. Apparently 7hrs should do it…turns out 6hrs works fine. Now if only I hadn’t over whizzed the mixture…a little too pureed!But still tastes like carrot cake, a really moist carrot cake that is. I was a bit sceptical about the cashew nut icing but oh my, it’s yummy! Granted, I was just a little impatient & didn’t wait the full 2hrs for it to freeze but who can wait that long?!

It needs to stay in the freezer or it goes squishy & I found that a pizza slicer thingy worked best to cut through the not yet frozen “cake”.




Just ‘coz I know you’re dying to know how my strawberry patch is going what with the painted stones & all. Well, it seems to be mildly successful. Only about half a dozen have been lost to pesky birds, compared to last year when we lost at least half of all the ripe ones every day. Still early days yet so fingers crossed….

We have been enjoying them. By we I mean Master 2 & I, this is Master 3’s reaction…tongue out, “yuck mum”

Banana, strawberry, yogurt & spirulina smoothie

Cauliflower aversion…

Yip, I avoid cauliflower like the plague…even the itty bitty pieces in stews etc etc I just can’t get past the texture. My philosophy has always been if I want to chomp on trees I’ll head outside & gnaw on the closest branch! Broccoli I tolerate because I know it’s good for me & can usually be disguised or hidden totally in a meal. But the same can’t be said for the dreaded cauli, it even looks like a disease! Hubby loves the stuff & will even eat it raw! The boys will attempt small pieces as long as I tell them its from the trees outside & that’s where birds play. For whatever reason it satisfies them & they eat away…whatever works right??

And then I saw this on pinterest…

Buffalo wing cauliflower! I headed to  to read the recipe & thought I might try it out (I’m not sure what quite came over me at this point to be honest!) And then I remembered seeing it on a friends vegan blog awhile back. It was a sign…I had to try it!(minus the old-feet cheese sauce of course!) And while I was there I grabbed her edamame bean dip recipe as I had most of the ingredients already. I did leave out the miso as I didn’t have any & probably wouldn’t use it much again anyways. Surprise surprise it was delish!!!

Back to the cauliflower…I made my own buttermilk (1 cup milk, 1 tbls white vinegar, leave to sit for 5min), added the flour, tossed the cauli through to coat well & cooked. Then came the peri peri sauce with butter (eeeeek) & a few more minutes of cooking & voila!! Wait for it people…it was yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shit you not. The hot sauce was perfect for it, I would probably cook it a little bit longer just to make it a tiny bit softer. And it was even a hit with Hubby(boys weren’t too keen but it was quite spicy so I don’t blame them really) The dip not so much….more for me I say!

I entered the ingredients on sparkpeople for both recipes to get nutritional info. The cauliflower recipes made 4 servings at 241cal per serve but upwards of 1000mg of salt PER SERVE! Maybe a lower sodium sauce next time & possibly without the butter, still not sure what it’s purpose was. And the dip also makes 4 serves, at 205cal per serve. 1 serve each & a couple of rice cakes was a great light dinner (for me. Hubby & the boys had lamb too)

Definitely something I would repeat, especially the cauliflower one! Bet you didn’t see THAT coming after reading the first paragraph!



What better way to kick off the week than with a run, right?Oh, I can think of soooooo many more things I would chose to do instead! Mostly involving shopping/caffeine/chilling on the couch (I could go on!) but I have decided that I am going to at least try & get fitter this summer. I was inspired by my brother’s new blog when he started it a few weeks ago but have had every excuse NOT to get started…. time,kids,sickness,the weather(again, I could go on!) Oh, & don’t mention it to my brother…we wouldn’t want him to get a big head now! Jokes aside, head over & have a read…he knows his stuff.

And then yesterday, I was with a friend drinking coffee & eating biscuits, & her daughter headed out for a 17km run…AND came back less than 2 hours later looking like she’d just had a stroll in the park!People, there were hills involved!!!Contemplating what I planned to do (while chomping on the new caramel Aero if I’m going to be honest)I decided the easiest thing would be to run. No equipment needed, no money to be spent & more importantly, no excuses! I did actually look into buying a treadmill a few weeks ago but, as we have next to no spare floor space in our little matchbox of a house, it just wouldn’t be practical. I would end up stashing it behind/under something & then it would become a hassle to get it out every other day. Then to join a gym costs money & I would only be able to go a maximum of 2-3 times a week due to us living 20km from the nearest one & having the kids all day. There is only one gym in town that has a daycare type facility for the boys & it’s price reflects that!

With that in mind I put my exercise clothes on under my normal attire, dropped the boys at Kindy, back home to drop off the car & ‘normal attire’ & headed straight out for my run walk/jog. That way there was no chance to change my mind! The house was a tip, the washing not done & dishes sat congealing in the sink but I turned a blind eye…which wasn’t difficult to be fair! Now, I haven’t jogged in over a year & a half so I planned on taking it easy. There’s nothing worse than overdoing it on the first day & then not being able to move for days (been there, done that!).

4.5km, give or take a few meters, was the route I took. As we live on a BUSY main road, just getting to the quieter back road is sometimes workout enough!Trucks fly by on the narrow road with hardly any shoulder & can catch you unawares…especially the ones who refuse to move an inch! So I ended up walking in the drainage ditch until I got to the quieter farm road. The only drawback of a road bordered by farms?The cow shit smell! Nothing like breathing deeply (huffing & puffing in my case) & the “fresh” air is tinged with that smell! And the drainage ditches here are filled with stagnant water….can you say midges!?Breathe through your mouth too often & in fly a cluster of them…hmmm, extra protein I guess. And then there are the flies…thankfully only when it gets really hot & the cows are right by the road. Other than that it’s a fairly pleasant route *grin*

I actually managed to jog just over 3km without stopping! Those of you posting on Facebook about your 30min(slight exaggeration??) 10km ‘jogs’ can shove it up your derriere , that’s just bragging & no one likes a bragger *I am, of course, only joking, lest some of you take offence* I haven’t stopped moving since I finished(in 38min I’ll have you know…the bragging comment doesn’t apply to me of course) ‘coz I don’t want that lactic acid to have any excuse to pool! You know how it goes…straight after exercise all you want to do is sit & recuperate, but try & get up again & EVERY part of your body aches! Even sitting here typing I am jiggling my legs.

I won’t bore you with the elaborate details but I must admit I’m feeling great…I even followed my shower with the burning face mask (with lemon this time,a little more of a  burning sensation than the lime but nothing major, in case you were wondering) & a spirulina smoothie. What with the boys being at Kindy this morning & now in bed napping, I’m having a great day *grin*

Although I have now probably just jinxed myself…moving on. Don’t worry, this won’t turn into one of those blogs where I brag about every bit of exercise I do & how much weight fall off(I can dream!) or how many cm’s have miraculously melted away. I thought I’d briefly jot it down so I hold myself accountable, and by default you do too! I know you now expect me to run a marathon or something silly like that *again, don’t get offended, I really am only joking* but you will find yourself disappointed *grin*

Chocolate Fudge Pie…with Tofu!

I can just picture a few of you wondering who I am & what have I done with the real me after reading that title! But the pic I saw here pushed me over to the dark side. I knew I had to try it. Anything that makes eating chocolate healthier has to be winner, right?With all that protein I could have chocolate for lunch without feeling guilty,right?



Now the only hurdle was the thought of tofu. My one, & only, experience with it was in the States a number of years ago(ok, 12 years ago to be exact…oh, I feel so old now!). It was on a salad bar, cut into cubes,disguising itself as Feta cheese! I was duped! Needless to say there was nothing classy or lady-like about what happened next! To ask me what it tasted like I can’t honestly remember, I just know I was expecting the awesomeness of Feta cheese & got one hell of a nasty surprise! I can say it tastes nothing like Feta cheese!!!So I’ve steered clear ever since…& ALWAYS check to make sure it is indeed Feta cheese on my plate!

I argued back & forth with myself for about 2 days before I actually got down & just made it…albeit having forgotten to buy the chocolate!!!! I did actually do a forehead slap on myself for that blunder! As it needed a cup & a third of melted chocolate it wasn’t something I could just leave out, so I raided Hubby’s mini-choc bar stash he has for work lunches & came up with about half a cups worth when they were melted down. Another rummage in the fridge & I unearthed a bar of fruit & nut that Hubby had hidden behind some jars (he claims it must have “fallen” behind the jars, but I know better!Granted, I would probably hide it from me too!) I was still a third of a cup short so in went chocolate hail (the sprinkles that look like grains of choc rice), some peanut butter, a little more cocoa powder & a drizzle of coconut oil. Oh, & some more honey after I had the initial taste test.

I still wasn’t sold on it completely(so added more cocoa powder!) but I soldiered on, made a “pie crust” using mixed nuts,coconut & dates and put it in the fridge to set. After about an hour I just couldn’t take the suspense any longer & cut a tiny sliver. I was mildly surprised! Almost cheese-cake like in texture, chocolaty & rich…with only a slight aftertaste I’m assuming is from the tofu. Not unpleasant, just different. In 3 days I’ve eaten half!(and the aftertaste is gone! Taste buds are obviously accustomed to it now, although I am not ready to try tofu all on it’s own just yet.)


Or not! I had been planning on writing a post about how some parents are in the habit of always competing against others with stories about how wonderful & advanced their own kids are blah blah blah I just couldn’t do it, it just annoys me so much that I couldn’t even write about it without throwing up in my mouth! (Tmi?hmmm maybe, but it does give you a graphic visual of my annoyance, does it not?*wink*)

So instead I’m posting about my latest love…Spirulina smoothies. No, that isn’t sarcasm, I actually do love love love them! Having taken it in tablet form years ago while swimming competitively, I have been wanting to get back on it as there are so many benefits. But to be honest, that smell when you open the pill container still haunts me! Needless to say I had been procrastinating. Until I was inspired reading my “cousin’s” blog (the family connection is convoluted & through marriage so lets just say we are cousins to make it simple).

She made this yummy sounding smoothie I knew I had to try. Off to buy Spirulina powder the very next day & it was on special…almost half price! It was obviously just meant to be! I made it with rice milk instead as I find it slightly sweeter than almond milk. And I added 1 cup instead of half a cup as I wanted it thinner in consistency. I also added 1 tbls of Greek yogurt.

Before I added the Spirulina I removed a little for Master 3 as I knew he wouldn’t entertain the idea if it looked too different (ie GREEN) to what he deems normal. Admittedly it did look like milk so I thought I’d get away with it…he gamely took a sip without batting an eye & then almost had heart failure! Scraping it off his tongue & declaring it “sies milk” (yuck milk). Master 1 was all go with the green stuff! Surprisingly he has got less enthused about it over time. From half a cup full the first time to only a few sips to only having his lips touch the liquid twice this morning! I make it exactly the same every time, maybe it’s time to add another fruit!


Go ahead & try it! Consider that a challenge, & let me know what you think. (it is on special at Chartwell, the health place upstairs by the food court. But I’m sure loads of places would have it too)

I’m working on a sewing project I know you are dying  to hear about, but you will need to wait a little while longer for that debacle  adventure!