the way to a man's heart...

One thing that's been pleasing me a lot lately is gardening. Yes, everyone step back in horror, I'm suddenly enjoying this little new hobby. I'm actually taking time to learn a lot about it, and it's teaching me a lot of patience. And the beauty of watching leaves unfurl, buds blossom and the miracle of growth, is incredibly joyful! Previously black thumbed me hasn't gone away, I'm still learning a lot everyday, but I can say confidently it's getting better. But this post isn't about gardening. Pfft. People, it is entitled "the way to a man's heart", and I can assure you that if I come home with ANY MORE NEW PLANTS, S may just disown me. Or have a hissy fit. Whichever is easier in the moment. This post is about his tummy, because as we all know how to old adage goes... Well, let's just say I'm a lucky girl, because S is a simple man to please.

Last week I planted some herbs. I've never ever had success with growing anything, but the difference in these in just a week of care has been astounding! The basil has grown, the tomatoes have sprouted 3 cute little buds, and the oregano and parsley are just going wild. Incredible.

freshly potted herbs

Last night I took some cuttings of basil, oregano and parsley, and made a little paste to marinade lamb chops in with some olive oil and lemon juice. Oh my. I've cooked with fresh herbs before, but nothing prepared me for this.

herbs and tomatos in pots

The moment I snipped/plucked them off the plant, their fresh fragrance released, and my nose was inundated with zesty fresh promises of what the food was going to taste like. When I gave the little pile of leaves a chop and a pulse in the food processor, the kitchen was filled with aroma.

fresh herbs from the garden

The lamb chops turned out DELICIOUS. S actually got upset that he didn't get to have 6 chops to himself (greedy!). He actually stared at my plate, dejected that I hadn't given him more of them. Fresh herbs. Home grown. Wow, I'm converted.

In addition to being a total green thumbs long full skirt talking to my plants kinda girl last night, I also baked S a Banana Mars Bar cake, using a recipe from taste.com.au. He's been hounding me to try baking a banana cake for him for months, apparently he loves it. It turned out VERY good, and is SUPER easy to make. Melting bits of chocolate and caramel interspersed with a moist banana laden cake? SUPER WIN.

The original recipe had a caramel icing that I didn't bother with (it was sweet enough). It also said it served 12, but that's a lie. 12 toddlers, maybe. S ate almost 1/3 of it by himself last night, but then again, he's my gentle giant. I think it would serve 6-8 normal people (not giants), easily. I didn't photograph it. I'm not that good a baker where my things turn out looking like Martha Stewart visited and baked for us. Plus, who wants a picture of a cake sitting atop piles of spilt sugar and flour (oh clumsy me...)!

Ingredients:
150g butter
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
3 x 60g Mars Bars, chopped
1/2 cup (125ml) milk

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 7 x 11 x 21cm loaf pan with non-stick baking paper. Beat butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs and mashed bananas.

Combine flour and Mars Bars. Fold into the butter mixture with milk. Spoon into pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Highly recommended serving style

Eat whilst warm or zap in microwave, and add icecream! Serve all of the food goodness up and wait for compliments and displays of love. Feel like a goddess.