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It’s Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Sticky Ginger Honey Cake

I love ginger, especially fresh ginger. I love the taste, I love to use it for cooking, I love to use it as a medicine.

When I have a cold I usually make a ‘ginger tea’. I chop an inch of a fresh ginger root, pour boiling water over it, add some ground red pepper and lemon juice and honey to taste. It really boosts the immune system, helps to sweat it out and soothes a sore throat.

When I was at the beginning of my pregnancy with ‘Timan’ and felt queasy once in a while, I was chewing on some candied ginger or sucked on a small chunk of fresh ginger. It’s also a good remedy to make you feel better in case you get easily seasick.

Usually we have a lot of fresh ginger at home, like everybody here in paradise. But the locals ‘only’ use it for the ‘cuisine creole’ and maybe for some medicinal purposes.

The Hubs and ‘Timan’ love it too. Just imagine how surprised I was when I found out my little tot was going for ginger cookies at the young age of 14 month. Since then no ginger nut is safe anymore in our house.

But the following cake has too much ‘gingery’ taste for him. And this is perfect, because there will be more to eat for Mommy and Daddy. 🙂

However, it doesn’t stop ‘Timan’ from helping.

Sticky Ginger Honey Cake with fresh Ginger

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup (180gr) flour – 1/2 whole meal, 1/2 all purpose

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2  cup (100gr) brown sugar – loose

1/2 cup (125ml) honey

1 egg

1/2 cup (100gr) finely minced (grated) fresh ginger (no typo, I know, it’s a lot)

1 stick (115gr) unsalted butter

1/2 cup (125ml) water

Method

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3-4

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and black pepper.

In another bowl beat egg, add sugar, beat again and combine with honey, add ginger and whisk.

In saucepan melt butter and combine with water. Mix into ginger/honey mix.

Stir in flour mix and combine until smooth. The batter will be runny.

Bake in a greased square 8″ (20cm) tin for about 40-45 minutes or until an inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes, knife around the edge before taking out of the tin and let completely cool on a rack. Wrap it in plastic foil and refrigerate it for a couple of hours.

The cake is smooth, very moist and ginger-lovers will be in heaven, because it tastes of … ginger and honey, of course. But I don’t think small children will like it, it is a little bit ‘hot’ for them, sorry tots. It’s perfect eaten right out of the fridge. Top it with some whipped cream or a cube of vanilla ice cream if you like.

Enjoy.

My tip: Store your fresh ginger roots in the freezer. They stay perfect for many month and are much easier to peel, cut, grate or otherwise work with when they are frozen. To make the ‘Sticky Ginger Honey Cake with fresh Ginger’ you simply grate the amount you need from the root and put the rest of the root back in the freezer.

Are you using fresh ginger for baking? What is your favorite ginger recipe?

It’s Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Wholemeal Eggplant Honey Bread

The other day, the Hubs came home with a bunch of fruit and vegetables. Enough Mangoes to feed my little monkey for the rest of the year (I guess it’s time for my super yummy Healthy Mango Cake before they all go bad), lots of lettuce and other greens for me (I love to eat salads) and some Aubergines. Ok, not some, but a lot of Aubergines.

Many people in paradise like to cook with oil, and again, not only with some, but with a lot of oil. And the preferred way of eating eggplant is to grate it and fry it in oil with some spices. For me it’s ok to eat this once every couple of month, at my MIL for example. But all these eggplants the Hubs brought home would go bad in my house with our still picky and moody eater called ‘Timan’ and the Hubs who wrinkles his nose on my pasta ‘con salsa di melanzane’ or potato-tomato-eggplant-gratin. So what do I do with the rest of them? A cake is in order.

Because whatever it is, if you put enough sugar and cinnamon in it, everything will taste like a cake. 😉 I’m serious.

I remembered the Zucchini cake a friend of mine used to bake and thought, well, eggplants are not exactly the same but they will do the trick.

‘Timan’ was my little helper, and put his full effort in, as usual.

To stay at least a little bit on the healthy side I used some whole grain flour and brown sugar and honey to sweeten it. And of course Aubergines or Eggplants instead of Zucchini.

Wholemeal Eggplant (Aubergine) Honey Bread

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/3 cup (80ml) Honey

1/3 cup (80gr) brown sugar – packed

1/6 cup (50ml) oil

1/3 tsp Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup (85gr) whole-wheat flour

1 1/3 cup (165gr) all purpose flour

2/3 tbsp ground cinnamon

2/3 tsp baking powder

2/3 tsp baking soda

2/3 tsp salt

1 1/3 cup (250gr) grated Eggplant (Aubergine)

Method

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3-4

Whisk together eggs, honey, brown sugar, oil and vanilla extract.

In another bowl sift all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda, add whole-wheat flour, cinnamon and salt, stir to combine.

Gradually fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until all is combined and moist.

Gently fold in aubergine until evenly distributed.

Bake in a greased 4″ x 8″ (10cmx20cm) loaf tin for about 50-60 minutes or until the inserted steel knife comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before taking out of the tin and let completely cool on a rack.

Store it wrapped in plastic foil in the fridge for several days.

Enjoy. The cake is very moist and not too sweet, has a nutty flavor and tastes slightly of roses (weird, I know, I’ve never tried to eat a rose before, but the cake really tastes like the smell of a rose). I believe you have to let it rest in the fridge for a while to get the full aroma.

My Hubs surprised me one more time. He ate a piece, asked me what kind of cake it was and when I told him, he looked at me with big eyes and asked for another piece. So I take this as a sign of approval and a complement. 🙂

If you want to check out more ‘good and tasty’ recipes or want to share one, head over to ‘Stay At Home Babe‘ and link up for the

.

Wordless Wednesday – Mommy failure across the board …

… when ‘Timan’ wanted to satisfy his ‘addiction’.

Mangoes in the kitchen

result in

result in

result in

and end with

No major damage but the lesson was learned (by both of us 😉 )

(as part of Wordless Wednesdays and linked up with live and love … out loud, project alicia, parenting BY dummies, Dagmar’s Momsense, Seven Clown Circus, Tara’s view of the world, Crazy About My Baybah, Supermom Alysha, 5 Minutes for Mom, Angry Julie Monday and more )

What a team we are: ‘white lies’ and eating with eyes and ears

I have to admit, I am not a domestic goddess, I’m actually far from it. I try to keep our place reasonable clean, what is difficult enough when you have a little kid, but the main reason I cook at home is because we have to eat when we are hungry, and ‘Timan’ is supposed to learn about the different tastes. Cooking is not a real pleasure for me anymore. Yes, there were times in my life when it was ok, sometimes I even liked to do it. But that was long time ago. Before we had ‘Timan’, even before I landed in Paradise. Now it’s different. I like to say the main reason is because I can never do it in peace, the little monkey is always pulling at my legs. But maybe this is just an excuse. It’s definitely because I have my wonderful Hubs, who likes to cook creole dishes I can only dream of putting together myself.

Anyhow, ‘Timan’ is always hungry, but he’s not eating everything I put on his plate. He’s a bit picky, the little one. I think after all he’s behaviour is quite normal for a kid his age. Or maybe it’s because of my cooking abilities? I’d rather not answer this question.

Unfortunately we don’t have ‘healthy’ take-aways in paradise, actually we don’t have any take-aways in our neighbourhood. And therefore I have no other choice, but biting the bullet, put on an apron and swing the cooking spatula. There are several menus he really likes, and I swap them around and switch items. At the same time I try to stay as healthy as possible and offer snacks containing whole grain or cereals with lots of fibers and a variety of fruits.

For example he likes pasta, I use whole grain pasta. He likes potatoes, I use sweet potatoes. He has a liking for ‘sauce’ (that’s his own name), I cook a vegetable stew with always changing ingredients. He goes for sausages, he’s getting some, but I also cook chicken, cut in rounds and tell him these are sausages because the ones he likes ‘na pa’ (don’t have). He likes bread, I give him whole grain bread as the first choice. Often there is only pre-sliced box bread available anyway 😦 . I figured using ‘white lies’ once in a while is a mommy’s prerogative, isn’t it?.

And my little one is not only eating with his eyes, he’s also eating with his ears. If it has the right name, it’s going down without a hitch. ‘Sausage’ sounds so much better than ‘chicken’, doesn’t it? And there are some colors he prefers, e.g. he likes white things and orange or yellow ones, but does not eat anything that is red or brown. So sometimes I try to arrange the food assorted to his color preference that particular day.

And he loves cheese, I’ve written before about the cheesy issue. Unfortunately there is a major shortage of cheese here in Paradise. The only cheese we can buy at this time is processed Cheddar cheese or processed sliced cheese for burgers. And that’s nothing, I mean really nothing, for ultimate cheese lover like ‘Timan’ and I.

If there would only be something like this available:

Image by http://www.wineandleasure.com

If I could find real cheese somewhere, anywhere here in Paradise, I would … jump around in squares, … do … a lot, … you name it. Ok, not everything, I got kind of used to the life without real cheese platters, with no nice crusty bread and the good wine spoiled because you need to drink it out of the fridge 😉 .

Is there something you are craving for? And what is the reason you are not eating it? Please tell me about it, I don’t want to be so alone with this.

Curious little fingers

Like any other kid his age our little monkey likes to work and train his little fingers, a craftsmanship always worthy to improve. And on this improvement he’s working every day, every hour, almost every minute of the day, he’s probably dreaming at night of doing it, putting his curious little fingers into everything that he’s not supposed to put them into.

I keep telling him “please don’t touch”, over and over again. And usually his reply goes like: “this one is don’t touch?” and by saying this he’s already playing with it. Sometimes I feel like he’s morphing back to the stage when he was barely one year old.

I was already talking about his love for gadgets, but everything I am working on or playing with needs to be examined by ‘Timan’ as well, and it needs to be pulled apart by those curious little fingers of his.

This being said, you have to know, cooking isn’t my thing. But it comes that once in a while I am standing in the kitchen, chopping my veggies. ‘Timan’ is dancing around my legs as usual. So I send him on a mission to pick up something in the bedroom, if he doesn’t come back, I think “ok, whatever he’s doing, it won’t be that bad and it’s buying me some time to finish the dish”. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I see something moving, I turn around and I see this:

The fridge attracts ‘Timan’ as the light attracts the moths . The little one is opening it a gazillion times a day. Sometimes just to stand in front of it. Ok, I understand, we are living in the tropics, it’s hot outside and there is some cool air coming out. But we do have fans in our house, we really do. And very often he pulls out something. This could be anything. Not necessarily to eat it, no, just to show it to me and to put it somewhere else in the house, to leave it on the sofa, or to shove it into a drawer for example, maybe for bad days to come?

So back to our situation, I’m chopping the vegetables, removing ‘Timan’ from the fridge, and while I’m turning back to my chopping I see this:

Of course he wants to ‘find out’ what I’m chopping, and pulls one piece off the cutting board. My words about the danger of this meet closed ears, I ‘m talking to the wall, my best friend these days anyway. He puts it in his mouth (that is ok if it’s eatable) and spits it out. Proudly I’m tapping myself on the shoulder because I was able to teach him to spit it into the trash bin after days and days of spitting it on the floor right in front of him (or me).

Something else he’s having an enormous pleasure with, is playing with the stove. No, don’t worry, ‘Timan’ is one of those clever ones. He was touching the hot parts once, maybe 1 1/2 years ago and it really must have made a lasting impression on him. He’s enjoying fiddling around with the knobs to adjust the heat. And he’s really careful not to touch any hot part with his cunning little fingers.

But nevertheless, it’s very annoying, and very bad for whatever meal is cooking on or inside the stove. “I’m helping mommy” that’s his usual explanation. Sigh.

‘We’ manage the meal preparation, have dinner and after our shower routine we move on to watch our daily 8pm news and sometimes I like to enjoy a glass of wine while watching.  Anyway, Hubs is still at work, ‘Timan’ and I are sitting on the couch, watching TV. And my wine glass is empty. What is my little lady-killer doing?

He darts off to the fridge, pulls out the bottle, and brings it over to the living room. And his answer to my careful questioning why he was doing this, is: “When the Mommy wine glass is empty, the Mommy has to fill it up*” with a big smile on his face. 😉

How are you able to control your little tot’s curious pudgy fingers? I’m running out of space up high on our cabinets or wardrobes.

(*the original version in Swiss-German: “Isch de Mami Wyglas leer, muess dae Mami uffuellae”)

This post is liked with Adventures In Mommyhood Sunday Funday.

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