Gluten Free • Paleo • Sugar Free • Dairy Free
Gluten Free • Paleo • Sugar Free • Dairy Free
Today is the last day of school holidays. To many mums it’s the happiest day of the holidays but not for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were many moments (days!) when I wished that it was school time but on the whole I have loved the simplicity of these holidays.
School holidays mean that I don’t have to be organised. No lunch boxes to be made, no bags to be packed, no need to have a shower before noon…
But with the sound of the alarm tomorrow morning all that changes.
In an effort to make the mornings less stressful I have spent the past day being super organised. I’ve made savoury and sweet muffins, bagged them and put them in the freezer for future school lunches. I’ve made cookie dough for the freezer (all ready for an emergency after school pick me up treat) and tonight I’ll make enough quiche waffles to feed the hungry savages for the rest of the week. Today I’m the Martha freakin’ Stewart of lunch boxes!
The start of school is yet another reminder that time is passing all too quickly. This year H starts grade 2 and S starts kindergarten and I know that before too long they’ll no longer be happy to just hang out with their daggy mum.
With 2017 making a quick break for it, these holidays have been a good chance to reflect upon 2016.
2016 was my year of No Goals; a very unusual thing for me. This didn’t mean no drive or ambition, it meant I was free to flounder or flourish without the heavy weight of my own expectations. Some days were simply about survival; others were meticulously planned (the execution wasn’t always perfect). Just making it through to bedtime with 3 kids, little sleep and a baking obsession was the aim most days.
Looking back on 2016 I am hard pressed to find a single big event that shaped the year (unlike the enormity of 2015). Instead it was a year that passed by without triumph, change or tragedy; by that measure it was a comfortable year but, in reality, it felt like a lot of hard work. I dropped the ball on many occasions; I let the time between blog posts get longer, I forgot to pay my car rego, I neglected to return so many emails and text messages (but in my mind I replied to more than half of those; I just forgot to actually do it!) and I went for way longer than a normal person should go without shaving their legs.
I had some wins as well. I completed my Spartan Trifecta in a weekend, I finally worked out how to use chia seeds and I watched all 12 seasons of Grays Anatomy back to back.
One of the highlights of 2016 was the introduction of International Night dinners. Every Sunday night we would take it in turn of choosing a country and dinner that night would be from the chosen country. We would get the globe out, find their flag and learn a bit about their history and culture. Todays recipe comes to you from Denmark; the Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake).
The Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake) is traditionally made as a birthday cake. It is made from layers of sponge, cream, sometimes jams or fruits. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks to make. It’s beauty from comes the simplicity of the Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake). Just think of it as a traditional sponge cake, with another sponge cake on top.
I have made my Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake) as a 4 layer 6 inch cake but the same recipe could be made as a 3 layer 8 inch cake (bake 3 separate 8 inch cakes using the same recipe). The only trick to this Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake) is the timing. Both the Berry Cream Filling and the Cream Frosting are made with Coconut Cream (making it a dairy free dessert) and this needs to thicken in the fridge (whilst still in the opened can) overnight to separate the thickened cream and the water. Even once the creams have been whipped they may need another 2-4 hours in the fridge to thicken further to help them hold their shape on the cake. The trick is to only use the thickened cream, so have an extra couple of cans in the fridge just in case (I find that my cans are not yielding as much thickened cream in summer as they do in winter. Some days I’m lucky to get ¾ Cup from 1 can when other times I can get 1 ½ Cups). Get the creams sorted before you bake the cakes.
I tried my hand at fancy pants cake decorating using berries and some stinky flowers from the garden. I think it looks rather regal…maybe like a Birthday cake for Princess Mary of Denmark!!
So… 2017. You seem to be moving ahead at a greater speed than I was prepared for.
For 2017 I have set some goals, in the form of running events. They’re long, way out of my comfort zone and require disciplined and regular training. I have discovered I love to run long; it’s my quiet time away from my normal daily routine, mum responsibilities and lets me ‘just be’. Yes, it hurts like hell and I’m buggered but it gives me a huge sense of achievement, something I don’t always feel in my daily life. I’m not fast, my form is more elephant than gazelle and my thighs wobble and chaff but I’m out there trying.
Bring on 2017. The year of Lycra, sweat and many pairs of runners!! And cake… there’s always cake!