1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake and Lessons from a Little Blue Fish

I never thought I would be reminded of some important life lessons from an animated movie about a little blue fish.

As I sat watching Finding Dory with the family, I found myself fighting back tears.

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Dory, with her short-term memory loss, really struggled to survive in the ocean and needed a buddy with her most of the time to help guide where she was going.

She had lost her family and she was afraid.

She was different to the other sea creatures and lacked the skills the other fish had to survive.

The creatures that end up helping her find her family had their own difficulties too, such as the Whale shark with bad eye sight and the Octopus, with relationship and commitment issues. Nemo and his dad Marlin, knew what it was like to lose someone they love, but despite their fears of it happening again, agreed to help Dory find her way home.

 Just Keep Swimming.

And when Dory finally made it home, her parents had not given up either.

They had been faithfully waiting for her to make her way home, laying out paths that might help her eventually remember and find them.

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You’re in another hard season.

Just Keep Swimming.

You thought maybe the battles were slowing down, or it was your turn for a break from the hard stuff.

But life doesn’t work that way and you find yourself weary and discouraged.

Just Keep Swimming.

Despite the fear and the pain and the difficulty.

Just Keep Swimming.

And don’t swim alone. Gather your crew around you, your imperfect, motley crew of people who love you unconditionally, and get them to pull you along when you don’t think you can go any further.

Do the next thing. Take the one next step.

Don’t look too far ahead, but for today, just don’t give up my friend.

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1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake
Serves 1
Lemon and Coconut Cake, mixed and cooked in a mug in 1 minute in the microwave.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons self raising flour
  2. 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  3. 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or normal milk)
  5. 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 tablespoons store-bought lemon curd
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, coconut and sugar in a 11/2 cup capacity mug or cup.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add milk, olive oil and egg.
  4. Mix till thoroughly combined.
  5. Gently stir through lemon curd, do not mix in completely.
  6. Cook in the microwave for 50-60 seconds.
  7. It will puff up and rise to the top. If the cake batter is not fully cooked, put in for another 10 seconds or so.
  8. Enjoy immediately with extra curd and cream if desired.
Adapted from Tasty Express
Adapted from Tasty Express
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Apple and Almond Cake (gluten free, dairy free)

These school holidays came and went in a whirlwind of park visits, skateboarding, basketball, soccer, play dates, bush walks, camp fires and bike rides.

It is my pleasure and joy to be raising three gorgeous humans who need enormous amounts of physical activity each day. It’s like constantly moving is their oxygen and absolutely essential for their survival. 

I am a slow learner, however, and always start off school holidays in the exact same, girly way.

“Boys, lets stay in today. Let’s have a PJ day, watch movies, play with toys, sip hot drinks and catch up on how each other is going. It’s been such a busy term, let’s just go slow today.”

This works NEVER.

And I am declaring it publicly so that you will remind me before the next holidays roll around NOT TO DO THIS AGAIN.

By 9.30am on Day 1 of holidays, I have ordered all cushions back on lounges instead of being used as weapons, I have yelled things like “please get off your brothers head/please take the ball outside/please stop yelling at each other/the house is not a gymnasium/get that skateboard outside/no, you cannot have WIFI yet/you can’t shoot water guns inside/stop swinging on the chair/I asked you to get off your brothers head.”

And then, we all get promptly dressed, pack the car with bikes, skateboards, RC cars, basketballs and soccer balls and head to the park. 

Peace at last. 

After a couple of days we did get into our holiday rhythm and enjoyed time with extended family and friends amongst many activities.

As exhausted as I am at trying to keep up with them during holiday time, I realise these years with our boys are precious as we make memories and experience stuff together. I know I will look back on them with fondness, remembering the time spent together more than how tired I felt. I hope so anyway.

One of our favourite days was spent with friends picking apples at an orchard. I felt like a real country bumpkin in my cowgirl boots, carrying my red bag and filling it with all types of apples, while recipe ideas swam through my head. Meanwhile the boys ran, climbed the trees to get the best apples, jumped on tractors, ran some more and picked as many apples as they could.

11 kilos in total.

Yes folks, this is the first of a few recipes coming your way with apples as the star ingredient. 

I think Apple Picking may indeed become an Autumn school holiday tradition in our house. 

This very simple, one bowl cake from the Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter, has minimal ingredients and is a moist, almost friand-like cake. It’s beautiful warm, and if you can have dairy, served with cream or custard.

As school went back today, I thoroughly enjoyed making it, eating it slowly, still warm from the oven and then opening my computer and writing about it. And I did all of that without uttering one word. 

I feel better already. 

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Apple and Almond Cake (dairy free and gluten free)
Serves 8
An apple and almond, friand-like cake, with a hint of orange and honey.
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups (200 grams) almond meal, (or hazelnut meal)
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder, gluten free
  3. 1/4 cup light olive oil
  4. 1/4 cup honey
  5. zest of 1 orange
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  8. 1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
  9. flaked almonds to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Line a 16cm or 20cm round baking tin with baking paper, on the bottom and sides.
  3. Combine almond meal, baking powder, oil, honey, eggs, zest and vanilla in a mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. Fold in the apple.
  5. Press into the tin and scatter with a handful of flaked almonds.
  6. Bake for approx 50 minutes, or until golden and the middle springs back when pressed lightly.
  7. Let stand in the tin for 30 mins to cool.
  8. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from The Healthy Chef
Adapted from The Healthy Chef
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Strawberry & Yoghurt Cake (egg free)

It’s a sign that your children are getting older, when they no longer request birthday cakes from the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake cookbook, and instead choose a cake like this one.

My Soccer, V8, Formula 1, BMX, Rugby and Go-Kart loving son, who typically doesn’t like anything sweet and usually chooses chips over cake, requested this cake for his birthday this year.

The only way to describe this cake is simply lovely.

Originally a Neil Perry recipe, I have lowered the sugar a little, and found no difference with the way it cooked and tasted, and changed the way he serves it to suit my family.

For those not use to cooking with polenta, it gives a little ‘sandy’ texture to the cake, which adds to this cakes personality.

The cooked strawberries go a little ‘jammy’ and when eaten warm, you feel like you are eating a beautiful cake with pocketfuls of jammy goodness.

And to top it all off, it’s exceptionally simple to make. One bowl, a whisk and a spoon…..even my 4 year old helped to make this one.

Strawberry & Yoghurt Cake (egg free)

  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 1h
  • Total Time: 1h 20m

Ingredients

  • 200 grams polenta
  • 200 grams self-raising flour
  • 200 grams castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 300 grams natural yoghurt
  • 110 grams butter, melted
  • 200 milliliters warm water
  • 300 grams strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
  • extra strawberries kept whole to decorate
  • icing sugar to dust

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  2. Grease and line with baking paper a 20cm springform tin.
  3. Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk with a hand whisk to combine.
  4. Make a well in the centre, add yoghurt, butter and warm water and mix with a spoon until well combined.
  5. Stir through the strawberries gently.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. This may be different for different ovens. If not cooked after 1 hr, keep checking it every 15 minutes after.
  7. Leave to cool in tin on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove from tin to cool completely.
  8. Dust with icing sugar and top with remaining strawberries to serve.
  9. This cake will keep for 2-3 days covered in the refrigerator.