What the heck is living under our deck!

Over the last few weeks we have two dogs who won’t stop digging, and digging and digging…. two dogs at the age of 8 and 12 years old who have never before really dug many holes in their life and now every time I turn around, another hole…. I can not decide whether it is a plot to kill Robert the raspberry plant or whether perhaps we have something living under our deck!

I will for now assume it is the latter, only because I know Missy the doberman loves her fruit, especially raspberries, so the thought of fresh raspberries growing should be quite appealing to her as well as myself… so I will assume that they do want Robert to survive, although if they both keep digging so close to Robert I am not sure he will.

I got a photo and message from Tim while at work the other day explaining he had gone outside to find another hole near Robert leading under the deck and a very sheepish looking Snikkers the labrador with dirt and sand on her nose, Tim decided himself and Snikkers were not on talking terms…. though knowing the absolute big softy he is, I knew it wouldn’t be long until Snikkers looked at him with those big brown puppy eyes and they’d be best friends again. We are now on a mission though to work out what may be living under the deck as both puppies are quite adamant to try and dig their way under, unless of course they are trying to dig their way to somewhere else? but I could not imagine with the creature comforts of bean bags, home made beds, blankets and getting to sit on our bed some nights that they should want to leave home….. pretty spoilt I know.

digging
Today’s evidence of digging.

I went to check the garden earlier and am so excited to finally see the start of some broccoli, whoever knew I would be so excited about broccoli! My younger self certainly wouldn’t have been and I am not sure my younger self approves of this excitement over vegetables…. but none the less I am excited and took some pictures. We also seem to have an over abundance of snow peas, they have just gone crazy, so to any of our friends you are welcome to come and help yourselves at any time, otherwise I am not sure Tim will be to happy when I start serving him snow peas at breakfast lunch and dinner…

It is great to see the vegetables growing so well, and exciting to see the winter veggies all showing up as sometimes you feel like you are waiting forever for them to actually grow.

It has been so cold lately winter has well and truly started here, the winter pi’s have been out, winter sheets on the bed and missy has even started wearing her coat during the day and some nights to keep her warm. Along with the cold I now have a cold and have been feeling ordinary especially first thing at morning and night, it has reminded me that I really need to get to making a master tonic on the weekend… this is something I tasted and learnt to make during a fermentation course and is full of natural goodness and good bacteria to help keep you healthy, so I will be picking some chilli from the garden and hope to get some garlic and other ingredients from the farmers market tomorrow to whip this up and start taking. Along with a restful weekend, so important to take the time out to rest when you are under the weather otherwise I know I will just end up worse and I am off to the snowy mountains for work next week!! EEEEK it will be colder there.

It has been a little while since I have had to be away for work and I must admit I am a little scared at what I might come back to leaving the three amigos alone. Normally I would speak to Snikkers and let her know she is in charge as she is the responsible one, but with her digging lately I’m not sure she’s up to that…… I will have to cook up some healthy meals to leave to otherwise when I am away Tim has man meals of steak and chips or steak and eggs, or just steak steak and more steak! Might explain that belly!! The other explanation might be the one or two beers that could accompany the steak followed by the biscuits for dessert (insert shocked look here). Although really I can’t be to hard on him, he is an amazing cook and he is pretty good most of the time, we all deserve some treats in life, I will just leave him some snow peas (Yes Tim I am laughing and poking my tongue out at you right now). 😛

We had a new experience the other week with a friend dropping off some fresh macadamia nuts and limes straight from their trees, oh gosh the limes smelt so good and the nuts mmmmm mmmm. Our only problem was we don’t have a nut cracker that did not stop us, with Tim and I setting up a production line outdoors to crack them out of the shell so I could make some delicious paleo Macadamia, lime and coconut tea cakes. Missy eagerly watched the production line as she does when there is any food around in the hope she may be able to have some, not in this case though no nuts for puppy dogs, she was very disappointed at this and once we were finished chose to ignore me for some time.

Tim hammer in hand timber block set up cracked the nuts then I used a butter knife to open and scoop them out, not the safest of options I know but we worked with the tools we had.

You’ll notice by my jacket and Missy that we were both feeling the cold, Snikkers on the other hand with her extra fur and Tim in his shorts mustn’t have been…. Maybe it’s that extra padding on his belly hehehe!!

I experimented with the recipe for the muffins making it up as I went and they turned out amazing, I will post some photos along with the recipe below.

With this cold weather and looking like a weekend of rain coming up Tim and I are going to use that time to work on some exciting plans we have, they could take a few months to get up off the ground… but we have some great ideas so will put pen to paper and research and see where this leads. We will also be looking at and booking some more of our overseas trip we are taking later in the year!! I can not wait…. it is going to be so good… We are planning Hawaii then the US and Canada, when in the US we will hire a camper van and drive around the country side, it is going to be so much fun.

Below is my recipe for my Macadamia lime and coconut cakes.

Cup cakes:

3 cups almond meal

4 eggs at room temperature 

1tsp vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1/2tsp sea salt (I use himilayan salt)

1/2 cup coconut oil melted

Zest from two limes 

1/3 cup of honey

1 cup of macadamia nuts chopped finely in to small pieces

Icing 

1 1/2 cups coconut oil (solid not melted)

3/4 cup maple syrup

1tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 180, 150 if you have a fan forced oven like I do.

Combine the dry ingredients (almond meal, salt, baking powder, desiccated coconut and nuts) and give this a whisk with a fork.

Then in another bowl combine all the other ingredients making sure the melted coconut oil is not to hot as you do not want to cook the eggs, whisk ingredients together and then stir in to the dry ingredients. Divide batter evenly between patty pans, this mixture won’t rise a great deal so you can fill them 3/4 full.

Bake for approx 30 minutes could need longer, if you find the tops are browning to much you can add foil over the top towards the end of cooking, test by inserting a wooden skewer when this comes out clean and cakes feel firm they are ready to place on to a cooling rack. 

Icing:

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy in appearance add to cupcakes once cooled, this icing can be quite rich so you only need a small amount. I added some extra lime zest and macadamia pieces on top of the icing.

Well I best be signing off for the day and hanging out the pj’s in the wash, we have fresh sheets on the bed fresh towels and there’ll be warm winter pi’s tonight, along with a Friday night comfort meal of almond and garlic encrusted chicken schnitzel, a home made mushroom sauce, home made sweet potato and rosemary fries and of course some snow peas on the side… I don’t always have a friday off to do these things, plus just got a message from Tim about being shot in the legs with a paint gun so no doubt someone will need some extra TLC tonight… I’m just glad it’s not man flu I am dealing with, I mean I have heard that can be deadly 😉

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