Chocolate Banana Pancakes with Whipped Black Cherry Cream

Hello Dear Reader,

I go to the hairdresser once a month for a hair cut and every second month for a cut and colour. I have very short hair, which I just love, but it does grow very quickly. I have been going to my hairdresser for many years, she is just a really great hair stylist and is a very wise, sensible and funny woman. There is no small talk on latest fashion or trends, it is always about food! She and her husband are very much foodies, my kind of people and we are always talking about the latest recipe we have tried or thinking of trying.

She doesn't have glossy fashion magazines, she is far too practical for those, but she does have the "Thats Life" magazines, not high end but very "real" and down to earth. I have found so many great recipes over the years, just by flipping through these mags while having my hair coloured (it takes a while to lighten my naturally, quite dark brown, hair) and this is where I found todays recipe.

When I read the recipe, I thought, genius, why haven't I thought of that one! Chocolate and Banana make great friends and I teamed it with some whipped cream with Black Cherry jam stirred through it. Think all the flavours of a Black Forest Cake in the form of a pancake! Simple and delicious.

Ingredients for Chocolate Banana Pancakes, clockwise from top right-1 cup SR flour, 2 teaspoons oil (I use Rice Bran oil for everything) 1 teaspoons baking powder, 1 egg, at room temperature, 1 mushy banana, mashed really well, 2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa, 1 cup of milk of choice and 1/4 cup caster sugar

Sift/sieve the flour, cacao/cocoa and baking powder into a medium bowl

And then whisk to combine

In a large jug, add the milk, egg and mashed banana

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix to incorporate 

Cook in the usual way- I cook them on a medium heat in a non stick, heavy based frypan, brushed with a splash of oil and a little butter, spooning large dollops and then waiting for the bubbles to appear on the surface of the first side.

Then flip and cook for another minute 

I served ours with Whipped Black Cherry Cream

For the Whipped Black Cherry Cream, simply whip 250 ml of cream till soft peaks form then stir in about 1/4 cup of Black Cherry jam or any jam of choice.

There you go, thanks to my hairdresser and "Thats Life' magazine, todays recipe is a corker!

Have a lovely day,

Problems with Comments

Hello Dear Reader,

I've just discover that I have a problem with posting my comments on the blog. I have been responding to most comments that readers share, but mine aren't showing up. I have had a bit of a fiddle this morning but to no avail. Cheryl, I responded to your comment this morning and it hasn't posted! Also a new Reader, Wendy, left a beautiful comment this morning, I responded but it hasn’t posted. Please know that I value your comments and haven't purposely been ignoring you😕 I will email Blogger this morning and find out what is happening, thanks for staying with me.

Have a lovely day

Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheese and Chorizo

Hello Dear Reader,

This great little recipe came about because I had picked up some more marked down, field mushroom from Woolworths. I had made some stuffed mushrooms recently using this recipe and we loved them so much, I thought I would make them again. However I had a pack of chorizo left over from the previous week and I imagined that chorizo and mushrooms would be great friends, and they were. So I came up with this recipe and it is a corker. The cream cheese plus the grated vintage cheese are a wonderful carrier of flavour for the pan fried chorizo and the zesty lemon cuts the richness of the cheese beautifully. 

This amount was perfect for eight large field mushrooms, but you could easily halve the recipe. 

Ingredients for Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheese and Chorizo, clockwise from top right-8 large field mushrooms, stalks removed and roughly chopped, zest of one lemon plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 cup of grated cheese of choice, halved, 1 spring onion, finely chopped, reserving the dark green ends, a good handful of parsley, finely chopped, 1 block of cream cheese (I use the Aldi brand) and 2 Chorizo sausages, cut into quarters, lengthways and then finely chopped

In a non stick, heavy based fry pan, add a little oil and on medium heat, sauté the chorizo, white/light green part of spring onion and roughly chopped stalks of mushrooms. Sauté till golden and set aside to cool 

To a bowl, add the cream cheese, lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, finely chopped dark green part of spring onion, finely chopped parsley and 1/2 of the grated cheese, mix well 

Now add cooled chorizo mixture

And mix thoroughly 

Spoon and press into mushroom cavity and top with a little grated cheese

Bake in a 180C oven for 10 minutes or so until golden brown and the mushrooms have started to soften

Such a lovely dinner, easy and delicious. I served ours with wilted spinach.

Just a reminder I have a page on this blog called "Did you make it, show us" so if you happen to make this or any of the recipes on my blog you can send in a photo of it and I will post it on this page. 

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Here and Now 6

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Hello Dear Reader,

Kent Pumpkin seedling

Today I am grateful for the spectacular rain we have been having over the last few day. In this last "rain event" we have scored almost three inches of rain, with more showers expected today (it is raining right now) I only hope our farmers, who really need some drought breaking rain, have received some.

Zucchini seedlings

Our newly planted seedlings are jumping out of the ground, now all we need is for it to stop raining and sun to pop it's head out to warm the soil, then the seedlings will go gang busters.

Bellino Tomatoes that I have struck from saved seeds

A row of Spring Onion Seedlings
What are you grateful for today?

Happy Sunday People,

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Hello Dear Reader,

We are still getting used to being "empty nesters" especially on the food front, there is oodles of food for just the two of us, I think we will have to change our mind set on the quantity of food we buy. Don't get me wrong, I won't let anything go to waste, I just think it wise to cut down on the amount we are buying.

Our little black cat, Ninja had a canine extracted last Friday, the canine was chipped and the vet advised us to have it removed or a root canal done on it, as it could be problematic down the track. We chose to have it extracted for $600 rather than the $1200 root canal, obviously, we do love her but $1200 was pretty steep.

Well, after we got her home on Friday she promptly went under the lounge and refused to budge. We rang the vet on Saturday morning, who advised us that if she still hadn't had anything to eat or drink by Sunday to take her to the Pet Emergency on Sunday (why, oh why do these things always happen when the regular vet is closed!) We gently dragged her out on Saturday evening and offered her some food and water which she refused, so we put her on our bed for the night. I woke a couple of times to check on her but she hadn't moved a muscle. I really thought she wasn't going to survive. Early Sunday morning we rang the Pet Emergency at North Lakes and they said to bring her in. Well $150 later and with some pain relief ampules, we bought her home again. Finally on Sunday night she had a small amount to eat and went to bed again.

She has been super fussy, food wise and we finally bought some "kitten" type wet food for her and she loved it, so the week went pretty smoothly until yesterday when she had to go back to the vet for a check up and to have the stitches removed. There was so much food trapped in the stitches and they also discovered she has developed a dry socket!

After another $160, she is home with more medication, an antibiotic and a pain reliever and we need to take her back in another 2 weeks. Maybe the more expensive option of the root canal would have been better! This morning I have tried to give her a little food with the medication stirred into it, but she's on to me and after just a few licks of food she refused to have any more...what a saga.

Now on with what happened on the food front this week-

What we bought

Shopping from Northside Discount Fruit Barn

Shopping from Aldi and Coles

Markdowns from Woolworths

What we spent 
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$25.18

What we ate

Friday and Saturday-Pumpkin, Chickpea and Coconut Curry with steamed Basmati rice and papadums

Sunday-We had a lovely afternoon tea, next door, with our son, partner and her parents, we were both so full still at dinner time we had smashed avocado on toast

Monday-Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheese and Chorizo and wilted spinach (recipe coming soon)

Tuesday-Zucchini Slice Wraps with Garlic Yoghurt sauce. I used Julie Goodwin's recipe for the Zucchini Slice

Wednesday and Thursday-Prawn Stir fry

That's a wrap, what has been on your family table this week? And what option would you have chosen for your cat/dog, extraction or root canal?

Have a lovely day,

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Hello Dear Reader,

We have had some wonderful rain this past week, such a great start for my new raised garden beds. We have also noticed a lot of water sitting in the drain outside our home, which means the drainage that lovely hubby incorporated in the bottom of the garden is working, thank heavens. We have a clag-y clay base that is not great for drainage, we did improve it as much as we could with aeration and gypsum, here's hoping it was enough.

Here's what I've been up to on the frugal front-

1. I saved some seeds from some really sweet little tomatoes we bought from Aldi, these seeds were left on the board after I had sliced some tomatoes for lunch, I rinsed them and let them dry on a piece of silicon paper, then popped them into this little bowl to continue drying. The variety is called Bellino and we buy these instead of the big ones as I find these ones so sweet and taste like old fashioned tomatoes.

2. Use one lonely daggy banana to make some fabulous Chocolate Banana Pancakes to take to work for a treat. They were so good I will post the recipe soon.

3. Popped into Woolworths on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and picked up some marked down produce. 

The slow cooker beef will be made into a Beef Ragu with Pappardelle, the chicken drumsticks into Lemon Myrtle Chicken and the cream was used yesterday to make the whipped cream (and black cherry jam)  to go with the Chocolate Banana Pancakes

I am thinking of a Pork Ball Laksa for the pork mince and maybe my Easy Lasagna with the beef mince. And I needed new work socks and these 3 pack of comfy ankle socks were reduced to $4

4. Line dried the washing between showers of rain. The storms have been coming through late in the afternoon so I've had time to get the clothes dry. Although yesterday the rain started at lunch time and was still going when I left work at 4pm, lucky I didn't have any washing on the line.

5. Took loose peppermint tea to work each day, I have a little plunger that I bought from Kmart years ago and it is the perfect, 1 cup size. I have two cups of tea while at work, if I bought a cup of herbal tea everyday it would cost me about $960.00 a year. On average, based on herbal tea that goes for $4 a cup and a 5 day working week, minus 4 weeks holiday. Doesn't that add up!

What have you been up to on the frugal front?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-What's Normal Anyway

Here and Now 11

Hello Dear Reader,

Hot on the heels of yesterdays brain dump, today I bring you this months "Here and Now" which ironically I mentioned in yesterdays post. This morning when I checked "Say Little Hen" lo and behold it was time for this months mindfulness post. Better get a wriggle on.

Loving-That we have had plenty of rain lately, everything is so green and my little seedlings are loving it.

Eating-Last night we cooked this epic Prawn Stir Fry, stir fry is a labour of love, so much preparation but really quick to cook and a delight to eat. The Prawns were caught by Lovely Hubby last season.They are still fresh as the day they were caught as he vacuum seals them so they stay in great shape while in the freezer.

Drinking-Some magnificent Decaf from our local coffee roaster, Neli Coffee, they used to stock a "Swiss Water" but now they stock this Columbia Manizales with notes of caramel and dried fruit.

Feeling-Still tired but relieved all my tests have come back negative

Making-Progress on sorting old family photos. I have made a start on sorting out photos left behind from our darling Gran (Lovely Hubby's Grandmother) oh wow the photos I have found, they make me laugh and cry in turns

Thinking-That holy cow it can't be October! How did that happen!

Dreaming-Of the end of this year when I intend to have everything ticked off my epic to-do list

After I post this I will be adding it to lovely Sarah's "Here and Now" link up, I am sure she would love you have a look at the other link up's on her blog this morning.

Have a lovely day,

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