Cherry Ripe Power Balls

Growing up, our family had a regular Sunday night ritual. After dinner, Dad would present four chocolates of different varieties to the family, with instructions that we could each choose one. We’d then sit down to some TV time as a family, and noting the era, we probably watched an episode of The Wonder Years, Xena Warrior Princess or, perhaps, Home Improvement.

Generally Dad presented a mars bar, a crunchie bar, a picnic and a cherry ripe. Or, if he was feeling particularly creative, maybe a curly wurly or a kit kat.  And generally there were no arguments when it came time to choose, with each family member having their preferred variety of sugar hit.

Dad would take the picnic bar, Mum would take the cherry ripe, and my brother and I would negotiate over whatever was left.

Although, if we were to have that ritual these days, I would almost certainly opt for the cherry ripe.

For dark chocolate + cherries = yes please!

These tasty little cherry ripe power balls use dates, dried cherries, coconut and cocoa to create a flavour combination that is not all that dissimilar to the ol’ cherry ripe bar.  They are rich, but not overly sweet.

They are, however, a lot healthier and definitely lunchbox friendly – as well as a tasty snack to reach for throughout the day.

What about you? What is your favourite chocolate bar?

Print Recipe
Cherry Ripe Power Balls
Course Baking
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Baking
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor, and process until well combined.
  2. Shape and roll into balls, and place on a paper-lined plate. Store in the fridge.
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Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce

IMG_3076 If I was being logical, I would probably present the details of our recent Christmas in July meal in course-order. But it is early, and I’m still suffering the lingering effects of a cold, so let’s just skip to the fun stuff ok? And by fun stuff I mean dessert. Of course. Which on this particular occasion was one of my all time favourites – sticky date pudding, with butterscotch sauce, double cream and almond biscotti. IMG_3063 And while I cheated and purchased the biscotti from my local grocer, the rest was made from scratch over the course of the afternoon. Then set aside, and reheated when the main course dishes had been cleared from the table. IMG_3064 One thing I noticed about this version, was that the ‘pudding’ itself was not overly sweet. Filled with those beautiful dates, yes, but not too sickly sweet as some puddings can be. IMG_3070 The butterscotch sauce, on the other hand, was a sweet syrupy overload, so only a little was needed. Though, the double cream also cut through some of the sweetness just perfectly. IMG_3074 I followed this recipe here, and used muffin tins to create the individual puddings. As to the cooking time, I shortened the initial baking time by 5 minutes, knowing that I would be reheating them later on, and they didn’t dry out in the process. Another tip – the recipe makes a lot of butterscotch sauce – and given how rich it is – a little goes a long way. So you are likely to have some leftover. What about you? Are you a fan of sticky date pudding?

Banana and honey spelt loaf

I think I have found my new favourite baked loaf. So much so, that thanks to some overripe bananas in our fruit bowl, and this recipe I found online… IMG_7774 It has made an appearance in our household not once but twice in the past week. IMG_7777 I was drawn to the recipe when I saw that it also featured two other favourites of mine… IMG_7771 Walnuts and dates. And the overall result was rather tasty indeed. IMG_7854 A moist, tasty loaf, with just the right amount of sweetness from the dates and honey. IMG_7855 And with a little crunch from the walnuts, scattered throughout. IMG_7856 Sliced and served with a little butter. IMG_7872 And I was one happy girl! I recommend that you try this for yourself. I know I will – well as soon as I leave some bananas in our fruit bowl too long again… What about you? Are you a fan of banana bread?

Sticky date lamb and carrot stew

IMG_6086 After my run the other day, it is safe to say that my legs are feeling it. In the good ‘post workout’ way, that is. Tomorrow I hope to get back on the bike for a short ride, and if all goes to plan, I will be one happy gal. But as I have learned in the last 5 weeks, not everything goes to plan when you have a newborn. Rather, sometimes you need to just go with the flow, or think a little in advance. Preferably both if you can. Last night’s dinner was the product of the latter. Thinking in advance. While Charlotte is pretty good in the middle of the day, she can be rather unsettled in the early evenings – right on dinner time usually. Let’s just say there have been many dinners eaten with one hand,  late, and quite often cold. Then I had a light-bulb moment. Why not use the ‘quiet’ time in the middle of the day to get dinner on the stove for later that evening? Something that could be slow cooked, reheated, and didn’t matter whether it was eaten “now” or “later”. Duh. Simple solution right?! So this dinner went on the stove not long after lunch. I’d write out a recipe for you, but it was really just a matter of throwing various ingredients into a pot, and letting them cook gently until tender. Diced lamb, dusted in GF flour, browned… IMG_6024 Simmered with a bunch of other ingredients. IMG_6021 (including vegetable stock – not pictured) IMG_6025 Covered and cooked for a couple hours, really slowly. IMG_6027 Resulting in a thick, sticky stew. IMG_6083 (haha is that not the ugliest photo!!?!). Then, when Miss Charlotte’s evening persona appeared later that night, we could both take the time to bath, cuddle and settle her, as dinner was already taken care of. Once she was asleep, it was just a matter of “reheat and eat”. IMG_6081 Starting with quinoa (that I had also cooked earlier, and just reheated in the microwave for a few minutes). IMG_6085 Topped with the rich, belly-warming stew and fresh parsley. IMG_6086 I don’t know whether the lack of fuss had anything to do with it, but I really enjoyed this meal. Rich in flavour, sweet from the dates, it was rather tasty indeed. IMG_6087 I am also 100% sold on the idea of ‘think ahead’ dinners at the moment. And, with the cooler weather fast approaching (yes we most certainly have our heater on already), slow cooked stews and casseroles seem to be the most logical choice anyway. IMG_6088 So be prepared to see quite a few more making an appearance over the next few months! What about you? Do you have a favourite stew / casserole that I could try?

Rise & Shine Granola (espresso, cocoa and date)

IMG_6645 Normally when I make granola I keep the favours quite simple. Just standard nuts and seeds, or perhaps a mixture like cranberry / coconut. This time, however, I wanted to try something new. Something with a little extra ‘kick’ for those mornings when you have had to drag yourself out of bed. Enter: Rise and Shine Granola. With the added kick of freshly ground coffee! First – the dry ingredients… IMG_6551 And then the wet… IMG_6552 Warmed and poured over the dry mix.   IMG_6555 Stirred to combine, then baked for 40 minutes. IMG_6564     Before adding the final ingredients, chopped dates and flaked almonds. IMG_6612 A new take on a old favourite. IMG_6627 I really like this granola. The coffee and cocoa were subtle, but present…  IMG_6653 And actually made the milk I poured over the granola taste almost like a mocha milkshake! IMG_6641IMG_6644 While the almonds and walnuts provide that much-needed granola crunch.  IMG_6632 IMG_6624 And, being a sucker for dates, I would probably add even more next time!  IMG_6649  oooh and before you store it all away, don’t forget to sample the batch… IMG_6659 You know….for quality assurance 😉  IMG_6608 Rise & Shine Granola

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup rolled spelt*
  • 1 cup puffed rice*
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (made from 1tsp concentrate mixed with1/2 cup water)*
  • 1 tbs freshly ground coffee
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs macadamia oil
  • 2tbs agave nectar
  • 100g dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Combine the oats, puffed rice, pepitas, sunflower seeds and walnuts in a large bowl.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the apple juice, coffee, cocoa powder, brown sugar, oil and agave necatr. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm and the sugar has melted.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir well to combine.
  5. Spread onto a lined baking tray, then bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool, then stir through the dates and flaked almonds.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

What about you? Do you have a favourite granola variety? Happy Baking:)