Caramel + Brownie Bites.

IMG_0430

What a weekend! We headed down to Husky early friday afternoon to spend a weekend with friends, competing in triathlons and generally just have fun! Oh, and to celebrate Loz’s dirty thirty birthday!

Friday afternoon: 1km ocean swim.

1909141_10151992489311378_1602713063_o

I looked at the buoys and honestly wondered WHY I do this to myself… open water swimming scares the absolute crap out of me and looking at those buoys I honestly questioned whether or not I could make it!

Turns out I could – and took 3 minutes off my time from Callala which is a HUGE improvement as the conditions in Husky were worse… it was super choppy and I swallowed a ridiculous amount of sea water! I came in 9th for my age group which I was super stoked about!

Nate and Brooke absolutely SMASHED it and it was a great way to loosen up before the sprint on Saturday! I went to bed feeling a lot more confident and managed to get some sleep this time!

Saturday: Sprint Tri (750m swim, 20km ride, 5km run)

The best cheer squad ever!
The best cheer squad ever!

I woke up on Saturday feeling pretty tired but SUPER excited! My game plan was again to survive the swim, go hard on the bike and use whatever I had left for the run.

The swim was SO much harder than the 1km the day before despite the ocean being a lot calmer, there were people going everywhere and I definitely found it hard to find a rhythm.

Coming out to T1 I heard the cheers of The Meaties – seriously the best cheer squad EVER!

How could you not smile with that cheer squad?!
How could you not smile with that cheer squad?!

Onto the bike I wanted to push as hard as I could to see what my leggies had in them – I overtook HEAPS of girls this time, which again was an improvement on Callala!

Coming into T2 I heard The Meat Trays cheers again… I had not prepared very well for transition though, forgetting to untie my shoelaces BEFORE the race is something I will never forget to do again!

The first half of the run was harder than expected, I definitely don’t feel as quick as I was last season and I was pretty disappointed in my time (24:28) but I guess it just means I have a goal to improve on! I picked it up on the way back to come home in a total time of 1:26:26 my goal had been to get under 90minutes so I succeeded there! I am still getting my head around pacing and having faith in my fitness to know I can push harder…

1796717_10151992492751378_967618827_o

Then it was time to cheer on the rest of The Meaties and enjoy some beers celebrating Lauren’s 30th and engagement(!!)…

Sporting Stars?!
Sporting Stars?!
Best cheer squad going round!
Best cheer squad going round!

This week Nate and I have made a more structured training schedule to include more speed work before Wollongong next weekend… my aim is to have my ‘A’ race come together for Port Stephens in May… I will need to get my hands on a wetsuit by then too!

First tri together!
First tri together!

These little energy bites are the PERFECT snack for on the bike… or when you are craving something sweet = me ALL the time!

IMG_0433

The bits and pieces

1 C almonds

1 Tbsp cinnamon

3 fresh dates, pitted

3 Tbsp raisins

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1/3 C shredded coconut

sesame seeds, for rolling

In a food processor, process almonds until they are roughly chopped. Add dates, cinnamon and raisins until they start getting sticky and coming together.

Remover half the mixture and roll into small balls then roll in sesame seeds.

Add cocoa and coconut to food processor and process for about 2 minutes until well combined.

Remove and roll into balls – store these guys in an airtight container in the fridge.

Delicious and super dooper easy!

Enjoy!

Brickie xxBalls!

Thumbprint Cookies.

Noms - I do love bikkies! :)
Noms – I do love bikkies! :)

Hooray for holidays! More time for baking and blogging!

image_3

It’s no secret I am a huge fan of chickpeas – but lately I have taken the relationship to a whole new level. Sneaking them into as many baked goods as a I can. Initially, I experimented with throwing a can into some banana bread for an extra protein punch. Then I tried to make some cookies, which to my delight worked first go! Hoorah!

After a weekend back in Mudgee, eating terribly and no training I have no doubt I am trying to trick myself into thinking I am having something naughty while still eating healthy. Nate and I took Alexander + Archer back for my 3rd nephews christening.

Cuties :)
Cuties :)

Wowsers. It was SO much fun and was pretty cool knowing that the boys were relying on us to take care of them for 48 hours. It was also full on! They never stop, but I think we did a pretty good job, with the help of Nanny Kate and Lausy we made it through the weekend without any dramas and I hope my sister and her husband will let us do it again soon…

Parenting is easy, you just let them do whatever they want...
Parenting is easy, you just let them do whatever they want…
Parenting is easy, you just let them do whatever they want...
Parenting is easy, you just let them do whatever they want…

Huskisson Sprint Triathlon is calling my name this Saturday… in addition to this I am completing the 1km ocean swim on Friday. The swim is scheduled to start at 5:30pm and I am looking forward to the twilight swim, I have no doubt I will be super nervous before the start but I think it’ll be a good way to get the nerves over with before the sprint tri on Saturday. Eeeek!

image_2

The bits and pieces

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 C shredded coconut

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 overripe banana

1/3 C maple syrup

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

jam, for the drops

Soooo gooey!
Soooo gooey!

Pre heat oven to 175ºC and lightly grease a baking tray.

In a food processor, process chickpeas until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla and banana and process again until well combined. Add peanut butter and baking powder and process again.

Separate mixture into two bowls. In one bowl, mix in cocoa and coconut until well combined.

Spoon mixture onto baking tray and make a well in the centre of each biscuit. The mix will be quite sticky so this might be a bit tricky!

Add a dollop of jam into each well and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Check at about 15 minutes and if the biscuits are browning too quickly turn the oven down.

image_4

Enjoy!

Brickie xx

Coconut Milk Scones with Homemade Plum Jam and Whipped Coconut Cream.

IMG_0327

Wow – I have been MIA for just over 2 months!

Life has been flying by and unfortunately I have had to neglect the blog, again! But don’t despair – I have a whole BUNCH of recipes up my sleeve for the coming weeks.

Where to begin?!

I completed my first tri in December at the beautiful Callala Beach… after an amazing night dancing away and celebrating the wedding of Katie + Nath I jumped in the car (on 3 hours sleep) and headed off for my first race.

Needless to say by the time I arrived I was absolutely packing it. There were tears…

BUT – I got through it with the help of my trusty sidekick/biggest fan!

Finally acing a high five!
Finally acing a high five!

Cartwheels!

I ended up coming 3rd in my age group which I was pretty stoked about!

My time lately has been filled with training, hanging out, working and studying. I feel like I literally get home, get changed and head out the door for the next activity!

I have just finished uni exams and get a WHOLE 2 WEEKS off. It doesn’t sound like much, but to me it is awesome.

The next tri coming up is down at the gorgeous Huskisson – not too far from Callala in fact! I will be racing in the sprint which is a bit shorter than the one in Callala… which just means you’re expected to smash it out at a higher intensity. Eeek!

I am heading down with some of The Meat Trays who, after meeting them at the end of last year have fully embraced me and I love it! These guys are all about having the maximum amount of fun – with a side of sport thrown in for good measure. I have never met a group like them, the encouragement and pure ridiculousness is one of the greatest things I have had the pleasure of being involved in!

1,2,3 MEAT!
1,2,3 MEAT!

I have two goals for Husky…

1. sleep the night before!

2. improve on my swim leg

…And then let the celebrations begin!!!

Along with training, I have been trying to clean up my diet a bit again. And mainly failing… it seems the downhill slide into Christmas and overindulging quickly progressed into the New Year….

I feel this recipe is an appropriate re-entry into the blogosphere – it is super easy, healthy and such an awesome treat! Please accept this as my apology for neglecting the blog of late. I am SO proud of this recipe – I made it all up from scratch, apart from seeing some recipes for coconut whipped cream on the Internet this has come directly from the brain of Brick!

This jam, is definitely not on the naughty list! I managed to get my hands on some of the most AMAZING plums which were just starting to become a little too ripe. IDEAL for a jam!

This is the perfect topping on fresh, crusty bread or even better, scones!! I made mine quite tart but if you like it sweeter, just add some more maple/rice malt syrup.

IMG_0329
Demolishing these – all in the name of quality control…

The bits and pieces

IMG_0315

For the scones:

4 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bi-carb soda

2 cups coconut milk (use full fat)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp rice milk, for brushing

Pre-heat oven to 150ºC and lightly grease a baking tray.

In a large mixing bowl add dry ingredients and mix together well. Add coconut milk and maple syrup and using hands knead into a soft dough.

IMG_0308

Divide dough into 8 even discs and place on tray, make sure sides of scones are touching. Drizzle rice milk over scones in place of an egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until scones are lightly golden.

Remove from oven and let cool.

IMG_0323

For the jam:

IMG_0311

6-7 over ripe plums

1/2 c water

1 Tbsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp rice malt syrup/maple syrup

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

1 tsp agar agar

In a medium sauce pan, add plums, cinnamon and vanilla and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, add rice malt syrup and agar agar powder. Stir constantly.

Drop heat down to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes until jam starts to thicken.

Remove from heat and and let cool before pouring into sterilised jars*. It will continue to set while it is cooling.

For the coconut whipped cream:

IMG_0317

2 cups coconut milk, straight from the fridge and HAS TO BE FULL FAT

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

In a blender, blend on high speed for around two minutes until coconut whipped cream is formed… seriously, that easy. Store in the fridge!

IMG_0324

Enjoy

xx

*To sterilise jars, wash jars thoroughly and place in an oven  heated at 100ºC for 5-10 minutes or until jars are dry. Remove from oven carefully and let cool before filling with jam!