Peanut butter brownies and procrastinating

flowersI’ve had a crazy few weeks. Work has been busy, I’ve been baking with renewed gusto (and trying to get the recipes posted, rather than just consume the finished product) AND trying to have a social life.

It’s like I can only have two out of three – I can either work and socialise, and leave my beloved blog to gather dust, or I can socialise and blog, and get fired from a job that I love. Neither of these options are ideal!

I need to plan my life.

The best hot chocolate in the world

aboveWant the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day? Chocolate.

That is all you need. (Well, that’s all I need!)

It’s no secret that I love chocolate. When it comes to food, the more chocolate something has in it, the better. That is why I skip cocoa and go straight for a block when I make hot chocolate. Your loved one/s will love you for this, trust me.

Valentine’s pretzels and home-made gifts

I am the anti-Valentine. I’ve written about this before.  I question the need for lavish gifts, I’m awkward and clumsy when dining at nice restaurants, I don’t really like champagne (unless it’s champagne icing!) and, given the choice, red roses are the last flowers I would choose for myself.

pair

I’d also choose kitchen/dachshund or tea-related items over a stuffed teddy.

Ginger spice cake and excitement

above sliceThe closer it gets to Christmas, the more excited I get. The more excited I get, the more I crave clichéd Christmas foods – give me pudding and rich spiced cakes, mince pies and roasts. It’s funny that Australians indulge in Christmas foods inspired by their northern hemisphere counterparts. Even though Christmas day can be stinking hot, we still want to have delicious cooking smells filling the house.

Christmas day is supposed to be humid and rainy this year, but that’s not going to stop me.

Choc cinnamon Christmas cake and delight

half cakeThis cake is delightful. It’s festive and delicious – what more could you ask for over Christmas?

For those of you who aren’t big on fruit cakes (my mother being one of those people) it’s handy to have an alternative. If you forgot to start soaking your dried fruit weeks ago, or you’re just not that keen on hanging a pudding in your garage for months on end, this is the cake for you.

It can be made the day before, or even Christmas day and it is just as festive as my dad’s Christmas pudding or caramel-filled cinnamon men.

daisy close upI have no better segue to introduce Miss Daisy than to compare her to this cake – she is also delightful. She is deliciously cheeky, excitable, and so tiny that she makes the handsome Norman look rather imposing (hah!)

Choc coconut tray bake and winning friends

slicesYou may or may not know that recently I started a new job. Everybody in the office knows that I bake, because Baking with Gab is on my CV…I think that the prospect of cake is part of what got me the job (and I’m totally okay with that!)

But this meant that there were expectations. Expectations that I would bring cake into the office. Delicious cake.

So much pressure!

Roast peaches and Summer flavours

closePeaches and ice cream scream summer treat to me. This simple little recipe is just a slight twist on that summer classic.

I realise that in summer the last thing you want to do is have the oven on. But believe me, this little treat is so worth it. The pain of having the oven on is short-lived, and the results are delightful.

Fruit bruschetta and Christmas recipes

platesI love Christmas. I can’t even wait until December to start posting recipes, I cannot contain myself!! A few weeks ago I was sent some bunting by Louise at Illume Designs, and I have been wriggling with excitement about Christmas ever since! I’ll use anything as an excuse to put up bunting, but metallic chevron bunting just seems so festive and Christmas appropriate!

So I’ve spent the past few weeks brainstorming Christmas recipes. And Pinterest has not been short of inspiration.

Halloween recipes and squeamishness

Blood spattered meringues

I don’t rate horror movies. I’m a massive wimp. I startle easily and I make involuntary “eeps” when frightened. I don’t like doors slamming themslevs, and I’m awful at being home alone.

Choc chip pumpkin bundt
So Halloween is not really my thing. I don’t delight in gore. In fact, I’m almost the complete opposite of everything Halloween-y.

Vanilla caramel crisp cupcakes and unlikely combinations

packetHalloween is all about the creepy and unusual. These babies are in no way creepy (they’re mostly delicious) but they are unusual. I’m bucking the Halloween trend of faux blood and ghouls and doing my own bright and airy, Australian Halloween. Check out my non-spooky pumpkin bundt and choc-pumpkin cupcakes.

So, before you judge the combinations of flavours, have a think about the salted caramel craze. It’s huge. Salted caramel milkshakes, salted caramel sauces, salted caramel fudge, it’s everywhere. The beautiful mixture of salty and sweet just works.