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Make: Pancakes (with your kids)

Well dear friends the irony of writing a blog promoting life balance is that at times one needs to practice what they preach. But, it is with joy that I return after a longer than anticipated hiatus from GT&T and I’m going to stay really calm about the fact that it was actually Pancake Day yesterday….

Investing time hauling out ingredients, measuring cups and spoons before breakfast has generally seemed like too much work in the morning and definitely not to be contemplated on a school day.

However my lovely sister-in-law-once-removed passed on a game changer pancake recipe a few years ago and since then I’ve never looked back.

The recipe in question came from the delightful Nigella Lawson and simply shifts the bulk of the effort to another time with the preparation of the dry mix in advance. So, come the chosen morning all that’s needed is pancake mix, milk, an egg,  and a little butter if we can be bothered melting it, and voila – pancakes ready to go.

Miss 11 has become an expert flipper and has more recently taken over the whole task of pancake preparation. Somewhat of a milestone for our family as it’s quite a task to elbow me out from in front of the cooker. And Master 8, ever the mathematician does a dam good job in preparing the bulk mix whenever we run out. He is also the scribe for the much used recipe post-it-note that lives in our jar. 

I’m all for recipes that  foster kitchen independence in kids. My own first independent ‘dish’ was spaghetti bolognaise (made with beef mince and tomato soup – seventies style). What was your signature starter dish, or that of your kids? And if they’re not there yet perhaps this recipe might help mark a milestone for your family too…


Miss 11 in the kitchen

Cooking up a pancake storm



 Instant pancake mix

Recipe from Nigella Lawson

  • 600g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 3tbsp baking powder
  • 2tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 40g castor sugar
  1. Measure all ingredients into a large bowl and using a whisk combine the ingredients together.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight jar or container.
bulk recipe

Bespoke recipe card by Master 8


Pancake batter

Makes 6 pancakes 15cm in diameter

  • 1 cup dry pancake mix (see above)
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 grated apple, skin on (optional)*
  1. Preheat a low oven (100C)
  2. Whisk all ingredients in a large jug or bowl with spout
  3. Pour desired amount of mix into a hot greased pan and when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, flip it over.  Cook till golden.
  4. Keep warm on a plate in the oven.


*grated apple in pancakes is something my mum always did. A whole apple, skin and all disappears into a cooked pancake never to be seen again but can only ever add to the goodness value of a pancake.

pancake stack


Everyone loves a good pancake so if you are keen for more of an adventure have a look at some of the offerings here…

Flourless banana pancakes by Heidi

Barbecue pancakes with fresh peach compote by Mandy

Milk chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes by  Joy

Oatmeal pancakes by Sean

Karen xxxmaking pancakes

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Enjoy: A Giving back Christmas

With less than a week till the jolly fellow arrives, if you haven’t made headway on the Christmas list you, like me, will need to panic get creative and fast.  

And to help you (and me) out,  I’ve done some homework on a few last minute, meaningful gifts that show thought, if not necessarily planning….

 One for One

A purchase of  a pair of TOMS Shoes also buys a pair for a child in need. This simple pair of shoes brings them the benefits of health, education and self esteem. The TOMS website has also become a platform for other social entrepreneurs so take a look around while you’re there. And while it may be too late for the real thing to arrive you could try an E-Gift Card so your loved ones can make their own selection?

 Oxfam Unwrapped

Because you can never have too many goats, Oxfam Unwrapped truly is a great gift option. What’s more they make it easy for last minute shoppers like you and me with the option of an E-card or print one from home.

 Thoughtful paws

For the conservationist in your life the adoption of an endangered species with the WWF comes with more than just a piece of paper. Your adoption pack includes a soft toy of your adoptive animal, a fact sheet and a year’s subscription to WWF’s official Mag Living Planet. Not sure it will all arrive before Christmas but hey, it’s the thought that counts!

 Every Body

The Body Shop is a longtime supporter of ethical and natural beauty products. Take a stand on animal testing, human rights, self esteem, fair trade and the planet in general by taking a look at their Christmas gift guide and heading in to your nearest store to make a purchase.

 One for later

If finding the right gift and saving the world is beyond you this season why not book mark nomorepastrami for the next purchase or gift you need to make. Julie has done an amazing job of pulling together on trend products for the socially conscious shopper.

All the best with your gift giving endeavours, have a great Christmas, and hope to see you hanging around the blog in 2014.

Karen xx

One for One TOMS shoes

One for One TOMS Shoes



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Enjoy: Timeout

I never played a team sport as a child but the opportunity came to me a few years ago and I must say I am a little sad it took me this long.

And if I try to define what it is that I most love about it, it would (unfortunately) have very little to do with fitness and skill, and everything to do with having a laugh. It’s fun with serve of fitness on the side.

And as with all good teams we do a dam fine end of season weekend away. One filled with an excess of great food and wine, conversations uninterrupted by children, nana naps, sleep ins and the chance to pick up a book and read more than a page at a time.

Our most recent jaunt took us to the scenic beauty of Kangaroo Valley and Morton National Park NSW where down a long dusty dirt track in what seemed like the middle of no-where we found ourselves in an oasis of bliss known as Lake David, Noggarah.

Purpose built as a residential retreat by owner Chris Treuen I have to say I think he nailed it. Enormous entertaining kitchen road tested to ensure every gadget you might need could be found, never ending dining table perfect for dancing feasting the night away, elegant and eclectic French provincial style décor sourced from local Kangaroo Valley businesses, artists and garage sales and plenty of bedrooms with comfortable beds and crisp sheets and gleaming bathrooms with big fluffy towels. Bliss.

Enjoy time out pizza

Pizza’s were easy in the entertainers kitchen


time out

Gorgeous décor sourced from local businesses

Enjoy timeout outdoors


Enjoy timeout books

There was even time to read


 Distant as we were from civilization we weren’t lacking in things to do. Set on a sprawling 40 acres of land on Lake Yarunga, an extension of the Kangaroo River, the property keeps plenty of kayaks, has a tennis court and the real winner, a pool and spa…..

Enjoy timeout poolside

Pimms by the pool anyone?


Enjoy timeout lake david

Bush fire sunset 


Enjoy timeout vista

Picture postcard vistas


 You may wonder as did I, as to the name. Lake David. But that’s a lovely personal story for Chris to share with you if you ever visit.

Our end of season weekends away have, in the past been closer to wineries or locations for great retail therapy. But, I know I’m not alone in feeling that a weekend spent literally away-from-it-all has been the best one yet.

Time out comes in many guises. Walks, runs, paddles, movies with friends, date nights or a lie in bed on a Sunday morning with a good book or the weekend newspaper (personal favourites). But if you can get it, real time away from it all can’t be beat. How do you do time out? 


I stayed at Lake David at my own expense and have only chosen to write about it because some things are just too good not to share.

Karen xx

 Most of the images in this post have been taken by myself and team mate Julie from Don’t forget the camera. The above image is from the Lake David website.

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