Saturday, October 30, 2010


October has been full of change. I feel like the rug was ripped out beneath my feet and I spent the rest of the month struggling to find a place to stand. Tomorrow is November and it's going to be a very special and exciting month. I'm going to spend November weaving my own, personal, magic carpet. I don't want to spoil my blog with excitement of where I might be heading. I'll wait until it's all booked. This weekend I decided I'd ditch the suitcase for a backpack; for a real adventure.

This is the first time in my entire life I've not had a room. It is the scariest feeling in the world. I don't have anywhere to hide my treasures. I'm very fortunate to have some obliging friends. I don't have a room. I don't have a bed. I don't have him. I feel so nervous. This is by far the biggest leap of faith I've ever taken, and honestly I am terrified. The craziest bit is how sudden this has all been, a month ago I would have had no idea. But that's life, and I'm living it right now.

Last year I made a similar leap of faith, but it was a lot easier. It wasn't something I'd done alone. I'm struggling with the details. I'm trying to sort my life into four piles; what to take; what to chuck; what to keep; what to donate. It's hard being cut throat with your possessions. I believe that often the hardest things are the most rewarding : - )

three days of work
five days until christchurch
eight days until sydney

See those question marks? They're mysterious! I don't know that bit yet, but I think it's my favourite of all.

ps. today i dug my toes into the sand and i loved it : P

Monday, October 18, 2010

I did it all for the cookie...

I love to bake. There's something very special about crafting something from scratch. It's relaxing taking numerous unappealing ingredients and making something that your favourite people scoff down. I like dark chocolate and I love cookies, so naturally afghans are a favourite.

Here is my personal and very special recipe. It's a bit hard to share it because it always changes as I feel. I can tell when I need to add a few more cornflakes or a touch more flour.

Izy's DARK chocolate afghans:

200g of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 & 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups of corn flakes
a drop of vanilla extract
1 block of dark chocolate ~ 60%


Make sure that the butter is at room temperature. Do not put it in the microwave to soften it a little bit. It will make everything difficult. You can use white sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste, but I think the rougher taste of brown sugar compliments the dark chocolate more.

My preferred consistency for afghans is to be pretty densely filled with cornflakes. While the above is what I start off my recipe with, I'd say sometimes I easily add another half cup in depending on how much I've crushed them up in the mix.

As for chocolate, assuming you don't have access to a fresh supply of Belgian chocolate, I'd say Whittakers is your best bet. They do a sixty-something-percent and a seventy-something-percent. I LOVE dark chocolate so I'm happy to use either for personal baking, but I think the sixty percent one is probably the best bet for a first go.


Mix butter (at room temperature!) with the brown sugar until it's creamy. Add in the cocoa powder until it's well mixed. Grate a line of chocolate and mix it all in. This step is optional but I feel it gives them a special kick. Add in the drop of vanilla extract. Taste the mixture; it is very delicious. I have been known to eat half the 'cookies' before all the ingredients have been added. Add in the flour, mixing firmly with a wooden spoon. Make sure everything is properly combined before adding the corn flakes. Crush them as much as you like, but if you crush them a lot add in up to a half cup more.

The consistency of the mixture at this stage is important. They should be easily made into the shape of balls and then pressed flat on the tray. If it's nice and toasty in your kitchen you may have to add a little bit more flour and/or cornflakes in order to compact it better together. I like to make smaller afghans as I do feel they are quite rich. I scoop a tablespoon's worth of mixture into a ball and press flat onto a lined baking tray. I bake the cookies for around 12 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. They should brown a tiny bit and fill your entire kitchen with a decadent chocolate smell before they are allowed to be removed from the oven. Let them cool on the tray for around five minutes before ensuring that they have set enough to be placed somewhere else.

I like to decorate my afghans with chocolate. Some people prefer to drizzle them with icing made from cocoa powder and icing sugar, but I prefer the fuller taste of dark chocolate. Melt as much chocolate as you think you'll need - generally at least half a block for a batch - and spoon it on to your cooled cookies. Grate up some more chocolate if you've run out and sprinkle it on top. Easy peasy and very delicious. Bon appetit!

I must confess I have been known to get up a bit earlier than usual just to eat these little bad boys for breakfast.

Izy x