Banana and Coconut Flapjacks + Help Me Win!

 

Living life as a creative is a funny thing. I can’t speak for all creatives, but there is this dance I do with my own mind. Most days I am springing out of bed in the morning all smiles knowing I will be doing what I love for the day. Work doesn’t actually feel like ‘work’, it feels more like creative fun. And even the usually laborious business aspects of freelancing don’t actually feel so tedious, as they come hand-in-hand with snapping and editing photos. There really is no downside to finding what you love doing and doing it. 

There is however a downside to being an artist. I am without a doubt my own worst critic. Now before I launch into a woe-is-me story about how I struggle with self-doubt, I will save you the agony of having to read that but rather tell you how things look sometimes behind the scenes. I don’t love every photograph I take. I watched a video once of a famous food photographer who walked in, styled some food, snapped it, and off she went. I was amazed. Maybe I will be like that some day, that confident and fabulous at photographing food that I could do it perfectly first go. Maybe? I doubt that. You see my mind works a million miles an hour, and usually what I have in my mind never pans out quite the same in the flesh. Most of the time what materialises is actually better than what I initially planned or thought. But never exactly the same. Perhaps that kind of vision that works first go is what divides those that have to work hard at it and those that are born with it. Who knows.

Truth is, if I didn’t have that agonising ongoing thought process happening, I think photography would be like a desk job to me. Boring. I think it’s the constant ticking over of ideas that keeps this little creative soul happy. However with that comes a desire to do bigger and better, and I think my little blog has suffered because of that mentality. Sometimes I cook or bake something and now find myself wondering if it is special enough to share here. Then today it hit me how silly that thought is. I often go trawling the web for simple dishes purely for the fact I love to keep it simple in the kitchen, so why can’t I share the simple stuff here with you too? I mean, if you prefer a towering four layer cake, I share them sometimes too, but some days simple really is best. 

The other day I decided to take a day off from editing and spent it in the kitchen instead. I made Gourmet Girlfriend’s bluddy fantastic Xiajiang Lamb. Seriously guys, amazingly good. And to go with that I made some sweet sticky tempeh, both of which I will share here later this week. Aside from that however, I have been whipping up easy (and boring) dishes that really aren’t worthy of this space (eggs on toast, stir fry, eggs on toast), but then there is this. Do you remember those delightful flapjacks I made from Lunchlady’s recipe? Well I had a bright idea to make some more. But this time I added some old bananas. And then thought you know what will go nicely with banana? Coconut of course! So threw some of that in too.  

Ingredients // makes about 16 pieces

80g brown sugar

150g butter

3 tablespoons golden syrup

250g rolled oats

2 overly ripe bananas, mashed

50g shredded coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C.

Line a 20cm square or rectangular tin with parchment paper. 

Melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan.

Once melted, add oats, bananas, coconut and cinnamon, combine well.

Place the mixture into your lined tin and press down with a spoon until the base of the tin is covered and mixture is level. 

Sprinkle the top with a small handful of coconut and pop into oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting into about 16 bars.

Oh and by the way, cake crumbs & beach sand made the People’s Choice award round for the annual Australian Writers’ Centre competition. I would be eternally grateful if you had a moment to vote. I am not great at asking for votes, so here I am laying my heart on the line (not really, but sounds dramatic). If you have a moment and would like to vote, head here. Thanks in advance.

April 16, 2014 - 8:01 pm

Your One and Only Loving Mother - Votings done! Good luck to you Pegs even though I don’t like coconut. xxoo

April 16, 2014 - 9:30 pm

scrimpchimp - Hi Peggy, put my vote in, it was a given. Hope you win, Cindy

White Chocolate & Mascarpone Cheesecake with Mint Topping

My neighbours are either going to seriously love or hate me after this. They are the recipients of many of my kitchen concoctions, and especially the sweet stuff that I just can’t keep in the house beyond my ‘in moderation’ sampling. I suspect they’ll love me upon sight of me standing at the front door with this cake in hand, unless of course they are on a health kick in which case I think my lawn mower borrowing days are over.

This cheesecake is dreamy beyond words. Dreamy. I am not a fan of white chocolate and I don’t know what ever possessed me to even give it a go, but white chocolate combined with mascarpone and cream cheese is quite simply superb. I have made this same white chocolate cheesecake before, and even then I wondered what sweet food Gods were watching over me on that day, because the taste is sublime.

Do you think I love the taste of this cheesecake a little?

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April 6, 2014 - 5:06 pm

Your One and Only Loving Mother - The cake looks so yummy and you did not keep me any !

Love the photo and love that stand.

April 7, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Michelle - Oh my gosh that looks like heaven to me! The mint sounds delicious, a perfect companion with white chocolate.

April 10, 2014 - 8:21 am

Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy - What beautiful pictures. I will definitely be making this!

Food Photography & Styling Workshop // Accento Home Claremont

You may already know that aside from taking photos of food on my dining table to share here, I am also a freelance photographer. And last year a clever little cookie by the name of Megan (you may know her as the creative genius behind Littlesweet Baking) asked me if I would ever be interested in holding a photography workshop. I hadn’t thought about it until then, but once that seed was planted it of course had to grow. A few months later I held my first workshop at Accent Home in Claremont. The kind folks at Accento let us occupy their space while we talk about food styling and all things food photography. Sounds good doesn’t it? It is!

So far I have held three workshops with more coming up. If you are interested or would like more information you can email me and I will provide you with more details. You can also let me know your preference for days ie weekdays or weekends, as I am fairly flexible. Created for the photography beginner, we cover things such as camera settings (I’ll get you from shooting on auto to manual), lighting, composition, how to use colour and texture to highlight your subject, background, props and framing, white balance and the ever-popular depth of field. 

By the way, if you are considering renovating your kitchen, you really should check out Accento Home.

Meet the Sponsor // The Ladder Cafe & Deli

My goodness, I have not stopped long enough to post a recipe lately! But don’t worry, I have an accumulation of them up my sleeve waiting for some attention. Meanwhile I did take some time to stop at The Ladder Cafe & Deli in Mt Hawthorn to say hello. I intended on having coffee, but one glance at the menu and I decided breakfast was in order.

The Ladder Cafe & Deli used to be the Cultural Tastes Cafe, July of last year saw the new owners rebrand the cafe and put their own spin on the space. Upon my arrival I met with owner Mareena, and she showed me around while we talked about the food scene in Perth.

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March 30, 2014 - 9:10 pm

Your One and Only Loving Mother - That’s what I miss not living in Perth. Would be nice to go and sit for a nice lunch on Sunday afternoon or late brunch. Maybe one day I’ll be back in Perth and you can take me there, you’ll pay.

April 5, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Peggy Saas - Definitely. I’ll pay and I’ll even throw in a cup of coffee! I look forward to it. x

Leaps and Bounds

There has been SO MUCH going on lately, I don’t think I have ever been this busy (good busy, not crazy ass busy). I was just thinking today how when I worked full time I just never had, or made, time for certain things. I was always chasing my own tail, I didn’t bother with to-do lists (I actually hate them so that’s the real reason) as they made me feel inundated with tasks. I was just plain busy in a not-so-fun kinda way. 

But these days it’s a different kind of busy. You may or may not know that I am a freelance photographer. I started off focusing mostly on food photography, as you can see in this very space. However recently I have started to dabble in portraiture. And I am liking it. I have had a couple of requests to photograph weddings, and recent portrait sessions have led to other requests and so on. You can see my photography website here, it’s still very much a working progress. The photography business has evolved quite rapidly after deciding that on January 1st this year that I was going to really start working on it. And I do, every single day. It’s no longer just a hobby. I spend a lot of time at shoots and preparing for shoots and editing, but I spend equal amounts of time working on the business end. And I am really loving it. It’s a kind of busy I thoroughly enjoy.

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March 20, 2014 - 9:46 pm

Reannon - It is so lovely watching you chase your dreams & live the life you want Peggy :)

March 24, 2014 - 1:30 am

Christina - WOW Peggy, you are so amazing! Really inspiration.

I really want to interview you as one of my next “Spotlight” feature.

Please say yes and say you are free.. we should go for cake and coffee!!

Also can totally give me pointers! :P

BTW if the boy ever proposes you should definitely do my engagement photos xx

March 30, 2014 - 2:41 pm

Peggy Saas - Thank you so much Reannon. I love that I have you quietly cheering me on from my little corner. Thanks for the support and encouragement. :)

March 30, 2014 - 2:42 pm

Peggy Saas - Hi Christina, absolutely, I would love to be involved in your Spotlight feature! Coffee and a chat sounds lovely, I will email you. Always open for pointers, whatever I can help you with.

And yes, I am definitely keen to do your engagement photos. Let me know when the lucky day arrives! xo

March 31, 2014 - 6:49 pm

Sarah | The Sugar Hit - Hi Peggy,

I just discovered your blog through the Pink Lady photography comp. It’s great to see another Aussie being such a creative entrepreneur. Love your work!

xx Sarah.

April 5, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Peggy Saas - Hi Sarah, thanks so much for popping by and saying hello. I just LOVE your blog, so thank you for introducing yourself.
I’ll be seeing you around, can’t wait to check out more of your work. xo