The weekend + PB protein squares

My weekend was separated into two sections.

1. cake
2. everything else

The cake was an order from a former work colleague of dad’s whose son was turning 4. Last year my sister and I made him a HUGE castle cake. This year it was a dinosaur. Naturally my sister and I were crazy excited. IMG_2473Before cake sustenance was necessary… pesto-feta scramble with mushrooms and bacon. BOOM. Incredible.

Cake time. Two 11″ rainbow marble numbers, into the oven. There was a minor meltdown moment when I realised that the cake tins were leaking. Thankfully the BF was here to talk me down from the proverbial cliff. It all turned out ok…IMG_2481Two cakes cut and arranged. Lookin’ like a dinosaur yet?IMG_2474How about now? I particularly like the orange smash balls on his tail. The birthday boy said in a revered whisper, “I like it.” When he saw it. Success!

So, once the cake was delivered I was able to move onto other things. IMG_2482Weekly meal prep time. I find meal preparing so very satisfying. I suppose I am an organisation nerd… Here we have breakfast; protein pancakes, the green hue is thanks to a hefty handful of spinach. IMG_2475These aren’t too attractive, but they tasted far better than they looked. Vegetable fritters, zucchini, broccoli, mushroom, kale and haloumi. Nothing with haloumi can be bad. IMG_2476And these I think were the shining glory of my productive afternoon. Peanut butter protein squares. I was inspired after seeing a protein bar posted on instagram, it was a Tone It Up recipe. I found it and tweaked it.

Peanut butter protein squares

Ingredients:
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
3 tbsp chia seeds
3-4 tbsp mix of sesame seeds and pepitas
3 scoops vanilla protein powder

Method:
1. First up warm your peanut butter, rice malt syrup and coconut oil in a small saucepan, until pretty runny.
2. Mix all of your other bits- except protein powder- in a bowl.
3. Pour peanut butter mixture over your dry ingredients and stir it up.
4. Once it’s well mixed add your protein powder, mix, mix, mix
5. Spread the gooey deliciousness into a tray lined with baking paper (mine was about 8″ or 9″ square).
6. Let it set in the freezer for an hour or so. Once it’s set hard cut into squares, or bars, whatever takes your fancy.
I wrapped mine into 2 square servings. Wrapping immediately was necessary because I easily could have eaten the whole pan in one go. That good. Pop your wrapped squares into the freezer and grab whenever you need a satisfying peanut butter treat.

After all of that meal planning the BF took over in the kitchen to create AMAZING pulled pork tacos. There isn’t much I can say to explain how freakin’ good these were. I’ll just show you…IMG_2477No words needed, right?

Finally, I saw this (on instagram, again) and really liked it.IMG_2478

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ANZAC Day

It’s ANZAC Day here is Australia, which aside from remembering our past, and acknowledging our present men and women making sacrifices for our country, means we get a day off. In my opinion a mid week day off is almost better than a Friday or a Monday. It breaks up the monotonous 5 day week and makes it a wee bit more palatable. IMG_2291

As most days do this one started with breakfast. There was no chai tea, so I settled for an English Breakfast. The only problem with English Breakfast is that it makes me want to add sugar. IMG_2292

Rancheros. It’s been a while, but they were incredible as always. IMG_2293

See. (almost) Clean plate.

Next up I had a cake to finish. A vanilla-rainbow-marble number covered in luxurious chocolate buttercream. I had intended to put a little 6 on top, seeing as the recipient is turning 6, however it didn’t turn out…IMG_2295

Sprinkles all over instead.

After picking at both the left over cake and icing (damn sugar and it’s silky sweet lure, sometimes I just give in), it was time for a workout. IMG_2296

As part of the Tone It Up Bikini Series the Sunkissed Abs workout was on the agenda. I added the Love Your Booty routine too. I followed it all with a refreshing green smoothie (similar to this one, but not exactly the same, they rarely turn out exactly the same, it’s so easy to tweak!)

And right now I should be doing homework… but instead I am sitting on the couch watching Sherlock Holmes (the first Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law movie).

I’m not sure what the rest of the day will hold, what I do know is that the BF is going to create an amazing salmon dinner. I’ve not actually had fresh salmon before, I’m not much of a fishy-fish fan but I am very much looking forward to what he comes up with.

Happy ANZAC day!

Blue ombre cake

From time to time my sister and I get asked to bake a cake for someone. This one is for one of our parents good friends, we’ve known him forever, there is a photo of me as a baby sitting on his knee, he’s wearing a pink jumper.

But I digress… the inspiration for this cake came from the amazingly talented Steph over at Raspberri Cupcakes. Everything she bakes makes me want to step into the kitchen and never leave. Her blog is definitely worth a visit.

IMG_1880Start with a list, naturally.

IMG_1892Is there anything better than watching eggs slide smoothly into creamed butter and sugar? I think not. This cake was going to require three batches of the Magnolia traditional vanilla birthday cake. Once everything is mixed you’ve got to get the colour in your layers right. The moment we opened the purple colour we realised that there was not going to be enough… blue it is! IMG_1896Four of our six layers. The two missing are darkest and lightest. IMG_1891IMG_1898Layers, baked and trimmed. Now between the layers we decided to jazz it up a little with white chocolate ganache and blackcurrant jam. IMG_1893 IMG_1894 IMG_1895White chocolate ganache is super easy. Break chocolate. Heat cream. Pour cream over chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted. Done. So that it is easier to spread I let it cool and thicken. Then we were ready to assemble. Layer upon layer went on until…

IMG_1905We had this beast. Six layers of cake-jammy-ganachey goodness.

IMG_1906Crumb coat time. It took more than I expected to fill the gaps in the sides, but everyone loves icing, right?

IMG_1907Before the dress coat of icing could happen the crumb coat needed to set. I had some snacks, while staring at the cake, and let it be as long as I could bear. Then it was time to scallop. I’ve seen scalloping many a time on Pinterest and I love the way it looks, however until now I have far too intimidated to actually attempt it. Yes, I probably should have at least given it a try beforehand, but I didn’t. So when I took the piping bag in hand it was the moment of truth. I was terrified but once I started I was on a roll- as a result there are no scallop progress photos.

IMG_1911Just the finished product. It’s not peeeeerfect, but for a first attempted I am exceedingly pleased.

IMG_1909And a swirly top.