Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recipe: Choc Brownies with Chipotle Ganache

 For those who don't know, I've been on a health kick - minimal carbs, less sugars and more greens have been the go and so far things are looking good. Unfortunately for me, cravings for the odd chocolate-dipped-anythings aren't fading so I went searching in the one direction I knew would serve up the goods minus the guilt - raw food recipes! I've always been intrigued by a raw food diet but was always a little afraid of letting go of the cooked stuff. I know I won't ever be a complete raw-convertee but I sure can see my cooking repertoire expanding thanks to discovering this site. First to be trialed will be the craving-crusher, butter-and-gluten-free, totally raw Chocolate Brownies drenched in Chipotle Ganache. Yep, I did say butter and gluten free!

 Choc Brownies with Chipotle Ganache

2 cups walnut pieces
1 cup cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
Pinch of coarse salt
2 cups Medjool dates, pitted (do not substitute these for the drier, smaller ones)
1/2 cup dried figs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp Agave nectar (or honey)

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup plus a bit more, chopped dark chocolate
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1 tbsp Agave nectar (or honey)
In a food processor, add the walnuts and process until fine. Add the cocoa, and process more (scrape the sides down). Add chipotle, cinnamon and salt; process until combined. Add the dates and figs, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping after each addition. Add the vanilla and agave. Add a touch more agave if still dry. Press into a 8x8 inch square pan. Set aside while you make the ganache.
Ganache preps: combine chocolate, chipotle and agave. In a saucepan, heat cream until it starts to simmer. Pour over the chopped chocolate mixture and stir very well. When it is smooth, pour ganache over the brownies, smooth the top and refrigerate for 50-60 minutes until set. Cut into squares and there you have it!Butter-free, gluten free glory. Recipe from

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Finds

Working behind a corporate desk on a part time basis has its benefits. The main pro being that Friday is no longer a work day! The itch for the weekend doesn't fade, though so here's a few links to see us all scoot through to 5pm a little easier.

1. Ever wondered what dough would look like as art....when plonked on someones head? Check this out, not just because it's my write up!
2. You're probably all aware that I face an ongoing battle with a caffeine addiction I can't quite shake. Main reason being, tea doesn't feel like it has the guts of a good strong latte. Untilnow. These shark infusers are ready to change things.
3. It's always easier to get a chuckle from someone else's woes. It's also the inspiration behind this blog where photos of miserable people pointing at dog turds and trees in their gardens shine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A date for one.

Yesterday's day trip wasn't the only interstate-er I've embarked on solo but it was the only one out of many that I've taken a moment to break the cycle I deem essential - of keeping up with busy thoughts and lists to be done.

I spent the little time I had wandering (at a rare snails pace) the streets and kicking back over brewed tea leaves. I met with a friend or two, we chatted over our happenings, laughed over nothings and delved into the deeper of life's details. Until the time came for one - me. Amongst the coffee machine clangs and surrounding chats, I sat alone with a whirl of my emotions stirring, ready for the taking. When I look beyond my mind's quick response to distraction, I can reach them. I overcame that self-imposed awkwardness solo-tea-drinking can be paired with and slipped away into the sweetest moments of some kind of relative alertness. I was miles away from thoughts of tomorrow's commitments. I focused on the sunlight dancing through the trees, I opened a book, even took pen to paper and jotted thought. These are the little things that if I take time for, guide me to a simple quiet within me.

I rested in this moment for the little while I spent on my date-for-one. I reminisced on my days spent pursuing life in another city, solo; a memory now flooding its gorgeously bright light in every direction I set my dreams towards.

I figured there must be a light bulb moment in everyone's days. Mine was then; only at that time, completely alone, was it possible to ponder my dreams and directions to shape an unshakable bond with every ounce of who I am.

source to come.
I read a contributor's brilliant few words from the mag (Kinfolk) I held in my company - "solitude fortifies me. It cultivates me, someone worth sharing." Yestarday, spent in my own simple quiet, I couldn't have put it any better. I restored an energy of possibility into my being, refined my thinking and nurtured someone I too find worth sharing. It’s something I promise myself to take part in, if only for a moment. Daily.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Finds


Friday's links-to-the-rescue couldn't come sooner, huh?


1. If you have less plans and more time on your hands this weekend, Check out how to update the old wicker basket into something pretty DIY fabulous.
2. Thank goodness for this collection of vintage vogue covers!

3. So I don't have any bambinos of my own, but I do have enough rugrats from family and friends crawling around the place to know a good outfit when I see one. For the littlies that is. Oeuf's new range is all over the cuteness thing with and extra quirky-something. Check it out..

See you on the other side of the weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Road tripping

You might remember that road trip I carried on about? Well the trip is well and truly over and we've managed to settle (just) back into our day-to-days.

I was giddy like a bambino for the 10 days the boy and I would spend driving around Tasmania. That first photo is a dead giveaway - as I carried on in song and dance, excited as ever, the boy took charge of map and road driving us from sandy beaches to cliff-skimming paths, out of bogged rainforest roads and back on track through the most picturesque land I've seen. Here's how we spent our days...

via Wursthaus Hobart
Finding civilization after that minor 'slip', let alone discovering Hobarts famous gourmet Deli, was well worth the wait.

And if you don't get your tush to Hobarts famous bakery you'll be committing crime#1. Just saying.

Our drive took us up and around the mountains and witnessed us sneak a peek above the cloud tops. Yup, we were perched pretty high. Perfect time to introduce you to my "happy song!" At times when my passenger door lined up neatly with the edge of the tallest mountain edges, I was quick to flick on a sweet little track that went like this...saved my day and the driver's patience I'd say!

...we even saw our boots dig a few feet deep in snow. Thankfully we took the road back to ground level before our car tyres snuck their way under too!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Body balance

Just wondering how everyone else in winter-drenched towns is coping with all the second-serves of hearty meals, red wine and cheese platters these months call for? Personally, I'm feeling ready to exit hibernation and would like to tell my jeans where to shove their subtle "hint" of strain. So the time has come. A little detox for 2012 is in store! You might remember my post about this a while back? Well, it's on again. Over the next two weeks I'll be focusing on what Mr Duigan (trainer to Ms Macpherson herself) prescribes; less sugar, more greens and upping the cardio burn. Here goes.

Join in if you want. I'd love to see how someone else goes with the ups and downs of cleansing and detoxifying! I'll keep you posted on my progress anyway...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's finds

I'm back and can't wait to share the unbelievable week away that the boy and I have wrapped tightly in our memories. After spending our days driving along Tasmania's coastlines, sitting behind a corporate desk is seeing me fidget and pen-click my way through to the 5pm hurdle. Maybe these few finds will see the seconds tick a little faster for us all?
1. If, like me, you crave anything chevron too, you should check out this DIY. Till now I've had less than a glowing success rate with creating a perfectly aligned chevron. Look out house...chabby-chic-chevron-love is coming your way!

2. If you're affraid of your unintelligable expressions like "!!!!!!!" being lost in translation by people who have not a clue what you're on about, send them to for a helping hand.

3. There's a chilly weekend ahead in my neck of the woods and I've now decided the stovetop will be steaming away with this "from scratch" Tom Yum soup.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back in 10

In between the whirl of our cluttered day-to-days, the boy and I have been counting down the seconds to a much needed getaway. Destination? Tasmania. Most people around my neck of the woods are choosing to escape these wintry chills, but not us. Nope. We've decided there would be nothing better than a road trip whacked right in the thick of some bitterly cold days.

Bonus is, the boy is known to me as all things 'pro' when it comes to the outdoors. Goes without saying he'll take charge in the driver's seat (I'm more accustomed to lying on the beach) and guide us up and around what I'm told to be some of the most picturesque roads I'll see. I, on the other hand, have the all important task of booking tables for two in what I've heard to be a seriously booming foodie scene. Stay tuned.

So, with no time to spare, we're set and ready to load these next few days with all the good stuff - nibbles and sips of some of the best produce on show, road-trip singalongs (unfortunately I can't sing to save myself) and the chance to simply switch off from our minute by minute to-do's. Heavenly. See you in 10 days!

I'd love to hear of your latest or soon approaching getaway! How'd it go?


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