Vegan Chocolate Cake with Tahini Cacao Icing. 

  
Mmmmm cake. 

My diet has been less than perfect lately, but when you’re running on broken sleep and now have a fiancé with a broken wing – you deserve cake. 

Can I just say, massive respect to single parents. 

Nate has a suspected broken scaphoid bone in his wrist that apparently doesn’t show up until about a week later so he’s in a cast until further X-rays confirm what’s going on. 

Matilda has decided that this is the perfect time to be a pork chop at night times. The first night after Nates accident at soccer she woke up every 2 hours and screamed and had to be rocked back to sleep. 

While I know how bad Nate feels and I know it was an accident – I’ve warned him at night time I’m probably going to want to kill him until he gets the all clear. 

So Nate can’t even pick her up and it’s really hard! But if I put it into perspective, he’s still managing to help out even with one arm. He’s still there to bring me nappies, water, coffee and just listen to me whinge! I can’t even begin to imagine how much harder it would be if he wasn’t around. 

Single parents, I salute you! 

This recipe was adapted from a recipe shared in my colic support group for all the mummas going dairy free. 

I read that this called the depression cake back in the day as the recipe came out in the depression era when butter, eggs and milk were hard to come by! 

The bits and pieces 

1 1/2 C wholemeal SR flour

3 Tbsp cocoa powder 

1 C raw sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp white vinegar 

7 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 C water

Tahini Cacao Icing

3 Tbsp hulled tahini

2 Tbsp maple syrup 

2 Tbsp cacao powder

1-2 Tbsp boiling water 
Preheat oven to 180 C. 

Grease a round cake tin. 

In a bowl add dry ingredients. Mix well. 

Make 3 wells in the mixture. In the first well, add the vanilla. 

In the second, add the oil. 

In the third, add the vinegar. 

Pour water over mixture and stir to combine. 

Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. 

For the icing, combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. 

Once cake is cooked, ice and add some raspberries or strawberries. 

Enjoy!

Brickie

Xx

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An ode to Nate Dawg.

As I write this, there is currently 15 days and 22 hours and 37 minutes until I  begin my journey to complete my first Half Ironman.

To say I am excited is an understatement, to say I am nervous doesn’t do it justice!

Looking at our wave start times and bib numbers fills me with fear and butterflies! EEEK!

Nate’s number is 322 and my number is 347 for anyone keen on tracking our progress throughout the day using the Ironman Athlete Tracker http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/athlete-tracker.aspx?race=&y=-1#axzz3F1cvLnHC

Last week I was beginning to question if I was going to be ready to take on the race. I think this is a normal part of any preparation, there are going to be times when you question yourself “Have I done enough?”. It didn’t help that I was struck down by a strange illness last week and my glands ballooned! Luckily, I have made a full and speedy recovery and the time off training was probably just what my body (and mind) needed.

While resting, I got stuck into Chrissie Wellington’s book “A life without limits” which I highly recommend, for both triathletes and non-triathletes a like. She is one tough and amazing woman! I have been trying to channel some of her mental toughness in my training this week.

An interetsing and inspiring read.
An interetsing and inspiring read.

I had my first experience of the Magpie swooping season last weekend when I rode to Jamberoo and back and got swooped 4 times! It surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I had expected (due to the feeling of being somewhat protected by my helmet!), however I definitely provided passing drivers with some entertainment as I was riding and flailing my arms in an effort to shoo these Magpies off my back!

All smiles halfway through my solo Jamberoo loop!
All smiles halfway through my solo Jamberoo loop!

This was my longest solo ride to date and as much as I would have loved to share it with Nate, I came back feeling a strong sense of accomplishment having completed it on my own.

Nate didn’t accompany me on this ride because my little sister (below) was staying with us and he offered to stay and be there when Clare woke up and bring her down to the beach to meet when I was done so I could still get training in.

Clare with her first "Mocktail" (we told  her mum it was a cocktail)
Clare with her first “Mocktail” (we told her mum it was a cocktail)

Yep, he is most definitely a keeper!

Throughout this whole journey Nate has encouraged me, supported me, put up with my grumpiness and ridiculous amount of stressing over the logistics of fitting in training and I am so thankful for him.

I found this “Prayer” that I thought was amusing it sums it up nicely.

First, Endurance Gods: Thank you for the fine specimen I call my partner.

He is nice to look at.
And thank you for making him faster than me,
so that I may have a constant view of his firm rear end.

But you have led us to a 2013 schedule
with a combined total of six half-Ironmans, two Leadmans, and four Ironman races.
I beseech you for divine intervention.

Keep us safe when swimming, riding and running, Endurance Gods.
Guide us, protect us and let us not anger the motorists with their big SUVs,
so that we may return home in one piece every day.

Let him remember to wear his ID, for I am sure
he is sick of hearing me nag him about that.

May we remember to stay on top of the chores during peak training periods.
When we fail (and we will fail),
may the neighbors not call the city to complain about the overgrowth in our front yard.

Bless us with a bountiful harvest of gels and nutrition drinks.
And when he finishes the peanut butter,
grant him the wisdom to not put the empty jar back in the pantry for me to find after a 100-mile bike ride,
For I will not tolerate that. I will not.

Lead us away from hanger, but deliver us some pizza.

Should I choose to skip a 4 a.m. workout in favor of sleeping in,
break all the light switches in the house,
so that I may continue my slumber without the interruption of
his profanity-laced search for socks and iPods.

And should he decide to sleep in, too,
let me be aware of this rare event,
for I will cuddle the stuffing out of that man.

On race day,
when things start to get tough,
let him lap me when I need it most,
for a pat on the butt and a “good job, babe” is the best thing in the world.

That, and watching the view as he runs off ahead of me.
Mm-hmm, yes.

Amen to that.

You can find the original here: http://triathlon.competitor.com/2012/11/features/triathlete-love-a-prayer-for-the-two-triathlete-household_66932

 

Indeed – AMEN to that!

 

Brickie xx

Bircher Muesli Smoothie.

I scored a Vitamix off Nate last week as a super amazing anniversary present. So naturally, I have been shoving everything I possibly can into it!

After riding for 5 hours full of hills I got home starving ready to make a huge smoothie when Nate surprised me with the Vitamix – perfect timing.

As the training has really upped lately it’s hard to maintain motivation for every training session. Nate had a great idea to mix things up by theming weeks starting with “Everything different week” to help us keep the motivation up.

Everything different week involved eating different things throughout the day as it’s easy to get into the habit of eating the same stuff weekly For dinner it got us looking at new recipes which was awesome.

The week also involved mixing up training sessions and changing up exercises in the gym.

It was a really refreshing approach and actually quite challenging!

One of the gems that came out of the “different foods” was this Bircher Mueseli Smoothie. Now the credit for this recipe has to go to Nate – he suggested we make a bircher smoothie – best idea!

This recipe serves 2.

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The bits and pieces

1 C oats

1 green apple, chopped (skin on)

1 orange, peeled and chopped

5 dried apricots

3 tbsp almonds

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tbsp honey/maple syrup or sultanas

1 tsp cinnamon

lots of ice

 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. You may need to add a small amount of milk to get it mixing.

Serve and garnish with almonds.

Simple!

 

Enjoy xx Brickie