My Mum’s Vanilla Biscuits

Vanilla Biscuits 2

Today I would like to share with you a recipe from my Mum – I am quite sure she did not invent the recipe but in my mind it may as well be hers! These cookies were a constant when I was growing up – the go to cookie recipe for any occasion and they are so so tasty. They are crispy, buttery, sugary and great with either sultanas or chocolate chips. A really basic recipe that takes no time to whip up.


125g Butter
250g Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Egg
250g Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup of Sultanas or Chocolate Chips


Preheat Oven to 175C.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until smooth and creamy. Add egg and mix well. Combine dry ingredients including sultanas or chocolate chips and blend until all mixed through.

Roll a tablespoon sized amount of mixture together in damp hands and pop on a cold greased or lined tray. Press slightly with a damp fork.

Bake for approx. 13 – 16 minutes until slightly golden in colour.

Remove from the oven and after a few minutes remove onto a wire rack or newspaper to cool completely. They will be soft when removed from oven but will crisp up on standing.

Vanilla Biscuits 1

Easy as that! Store in an airtight container and they last well – if you don’t eat them all that is!

I hope you enjoy this quick tasty biscuit recipe from my family to yours.

While you are here check out my other recipes and pop your email address into the field on the left to get an email when I post a new recipe – or also follow me on Facebook & Twitter.

Have a wonderful day, thanks for stopping by 🙂

vanilla biscuits 3


Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

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I was given this recipe for Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding by my lovely Aunty Marilyn when I was a young girl and have made no other version since! The ingredients are everyday basics you have in the pantry so this makes a perfect go to dessert when you are wanting something sweet and decadent. You are left with a lovely chocolate cake like pudding and a thick chocolatey gooey sauce, perfect on its own or divine with ice cream, cream or yoghurt.

You can easily whisk it up while dinner is cooking – pop it in the oven and by the time you have finished eating dinner its ready to go for dessert! Perfect for a cold winters evening, or really any time of the year as lets face it when is chocolate dessert not a good idea!


1 Cup flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 TBSP Cocoa
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 TBSP Butter (melted)
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Cocoa
1  1/2 to 2 Cups Boiling Water
1 TBSP Coconut (Optional)


Heat oven to 150C

For the base combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking powder and mix well.

Add to this the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Combine ingrdients until smooth and creamy. Pour into a casserole dish or a large ring mould.

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding 1

For the sauce, combine the brown sugar, cocoa and coconut – combine well and sprinkle over the base mixture until well covered and even. Pour over boiling water and cover with a sheet of waxed paper or lid.

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding 2

Bake for 30-40 minutes – knife will come out of cake clean once done.

Serve straight away or set aside in fridge to heat later in the day with whipped cream or ice cream. The one photographed today does not include coconut, but it is just as tasty with or without!

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding 3

I hope you enjoy this lovely recipe my family have been enjoying for years. Feel free to check out the other easy yummy recipes here on my blog and fun kids activities also.

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Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Lolly Cake

Lolly Cake 3

Lolly Cake is a bit of a kiwi tradition, available in most cafes and very popular with the kids. I am not sure if there is an equivalent around the world so let me know in the comments below if you have something similar where you are from and how you make it 🙂

There are only a few ingredients and the lolly’s are called Fruit Puffs, you can get them at some supermarkets but they are also available at Bin Inn.


250 g malt biscuits (one packet)
120 g butter
200 g sweetened condensed milk
180 g of Fruit Puffs (you can easily substitute for other soft sweets)
100 g desiccated coconut

Lolly Cake 1


Melt the butter in either the microwave or stove top and add condensed milk, mix together well.

Crush the biscuits in a food processor – they do not need to be a fine crumb – a few bigger bits adds to the texture and pour into a large bowl.

Cut the fruit puffs in half or quarters if you wanted smaller bits.

Lolly cake 2

Pour the butter mixture into the biscuits and mix well, add the fruit puffs and stir well.

Pour the mixture into a dish or onto the bench and using your hands mould it into a log like shape – you need to man handle it all pretty firmly as the fruit puffs tend to want to escape! (Alternatively you can press it into a slice pan and sprinkle with coconut, or even roll them into balls)

Once you have a log shape, roll in the coconut and using your hands cover the entire log with a light dusting of coconut.

Lolly Cake 4

Set back into a slice pan and refrigerate until set. Slice into 1.5cm pieces and you can either store in the fridge or in an airtight container. It will last up to 3 days at least.

Lolly Cake 7

I hope you enjoy this quick easy recipe that is a hit with kids and adults alike.

Feel free to have a good look around the blog for more recipes & fun kids activities and you can follow me by registering your email above, or check me out on Facebook & Twitter to get my latest recipes as I post them.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Ultimate Blog Party 2014 – All About Just a Mum

Ultimate Blog party 2

I am excited to be taking part in my first ever Ultimate Blog Party! My blog is now the grand old age of 2 1/2 months young. So I am a newbie and still learning so very much. I am astounded every day when people read my blog, check out my recipes, comment & like!

Over 16,000 views so far, it has been a steep learning curve. And all because I wanted to set up a place to share my recipes & fun kids activities for my own children to be able to find in time to come, and a place to direct people to when they ask for a copy of a recipe of mine they like!


I am from Taupo in New Zealand, one of the most beautiful places on earth in my humble opinion 🙂 I have 3 lovely children, a son 9, two daughters aged 6 & 3. I am a stay at home mum (hence being Just a Mum!) and my husband is an Area Manager for his company so travels around a bit each week leaving me plenty of time to blog, try out new recipes and do fun stuff with the kids.

Sweet Treats Collage

I also have a Facebook Page and am on Twitter too. All this despite me still having no idea how to use twitter, that will come in time I am sure! I really do enjoy my Facebook page however, great way to interact with like minded people.

The unexpected bonus if starting this blogging adventure is that instead of simply seeing kids activities or recipes and thinking I must try that – I am actually doing it! So the kids are loving it, my friends and family are enjoying all the baking and I am enjoying getting to know lots of lovely new people all over the world connecting via our love of kids, food & life!

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Thank you for stopping by during the Ultimate Blog Party 2014, I look forward to checking out new blogs, learning more about blogging and meeting lots of new people 🙂

Have a wonderful week 🙂

Not Your Ordinary Marshmallow Slice

Marshmallow Slice 8

So as you can see this is not the usual Marshmallow Slice with a lovely fluffy topping on a shortcrust base that you would expect to find. This is yummy chocolately, biscuity, marshmallowy goodness with a good dollop of butter & sugar for added tastiness – you sure don’t come here for diet advice!

I am so keen to get this one out that the slice has not yet set – hence the slice looks a little soft – I will update tomorrow! 🙂

This one is delicious, easy and a great treat to take as a plate – or lets face it – to eat when the kids are in bed! I had it once at a friends birthday party and the lovely Sarah was kind enough to share this recipe her Mother had given her.

One tip I have is that I freeze my marshmallows – I pop them in the freezer a day or two before I need them. You can of course not freeze them at all and it potentially has no effect on the outcome but my hope is that the marshmallows hold their shape longer. How about you make two batches and test it out!


2 Pkts Super Wine Biscuits (500g total)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 TBSP Cocoa
1 tin Condensed Milk
250g Butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 pkt Marshmallows (I use Pascall 180g bag)

Marshmallow Slice 1


Crush the biscuits, leaving some pieces a little chunkier sized crumb.

Marshmallow slice 2

In a large pot add the sugar, cocoa, condensed milk, butter, vanilla essence and over a low heat melt until completely combined, stirring occasionally.

Marshmallow Slice 3

While the above ingredients are melting slice the marshmallows – for these ones I cut off a third, then cut the rest in half – so cut it into 3. You can choose to just to halves, or even whole if you like chunkier bits.

Marshmallow Slice 5

Once the ingredients fully combined & melted, pour in the crushed biscuits and the marshmallows – quickly combine all the ingredients.

Marshmallow Slice 4


Spoon mixture into a lined slice tin. Firmly press down with the back of a spoon.

Marshmallo Slice 7

Put the tin in the fridge and refrigerate until set – ideally over night.

Cut into squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you are ready to serve.


Marshmallow Slice 8

Mostly I bake for other people, for special occasions or for the kids – but this is one that my husband and I definitely keep a few pieces for ourselves! Someone recently described it as adult lolly cake – I guess it could be, but boy it is good and so simple to make. Clearly there are no redeeming health features here, it is pure and simple indulgence.


You can follow my blog above left by registering your email address or also on Facebook or Twitter, I add a new recipe a few times a week. And while you are here have a look around, see what else you might like!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Delicious Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Oatmeal Cookies 10

This is such a lovely recipe, I found it here years ago at Journey to Crunchville and wow – I went from someone who thought oatmeal cookies were a sort of punishment for people who really wanted Chocolate Chip to being a complete convert!

They are just so tasty and the secret is in pre-soaking the raisins in an egg & vanilla mixture for a few hours prior to baking – I mix up the egg & vanilla according to the recipe and then pop it in the fridge for a few hours. The house fills with the most wonderful fragrance when these cook and they are a big hit – even with those who normally do not like oatmeal cookies!


1 cup butter (225g), room temp
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 TBSP (yes tablespoon) vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp ginger (optional, I don’t use this)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned, not instant)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

To prep: The key is to soak the raisins. This makes all the difference in the world. Beat eggs and vanilla together and then add the raisins, stir. Soak for an hour or two. I pop mine in the fridge – some leave it on the bench – just be mindful of the temperature of the room for safety on the egg yolk – stir from time to time.

Oatmeal Cookies 2


Preheat to 350 F – 175 C

Cream butter and sugars in a food mixer.

Oatmeal Cookies 4

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients until well blended.

Oatmeal Cookies 3

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix well.

Now add in the egg & raisin mixture and gently combine

Oatmeal Cookies 5

Then add oatmeal (and chocolate chips/nuts if using) and combine gently until all mixed together.

Oatmeal Cookies 7

Form into balls on a baking tray prepared with baking paper or well greased, gently press dough down with damp fingers.

Oatmeal Cookie 8


Bake for 10 – 13 minutes. Let cool on tray for 2-5 minutes or until firm enough to transfer to wire rack.

Oatmeal Cookies 9

It will make approx. 30 large cookies or 3-4 dozen small ones.

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Store in an airtight container.

You can also easily freeze this batter – I usually make up double and freeze a large portion in an airtight container and thaw out when required.

Oatmeal Cookies 11

I hope you have enjoyed this lovely recipe, you can find many more great recipes here on my blog, so register your email address to get the new ones straight away or LIKE me on Facebook or Twitter to keep posted.

Thanks for stopping by – have a lovely day 🙂

Grandma’s Recipe – Banana Cake

Banana Cake 7
I was blessed to know my wonderful Grandma into my early 20’s until she passed from Cancer. She was a Wife to a Sheep Farmer, a Mother to seven, a Grandma to 21 and by now would be a Great Grandma to lots & lots of Great Grandchildren!

She was very special to me and some of the fondest memories I have of her are baking and preparing meals for her family & grandchildren and I am delighted to have many of her recipes, passed on by my Mum who was her eldest daughter.

This is one of the first recipes I made as an adult and continue to make often to this day always with her in my heart. Whenever bananas go past their best I pop them in the freezer – you can then get the bananas out a few hours before you need them, or you can even thaw them in the microwave if you are pressed for time – they don’t look great but they taste amazing in baking!

Banana Cake 6

It is such a simple recipe and can be made into a cake or muffins, its lovely, light and moist and freezes well.

Grandma’s Banana Cake


4 oz butter (112g)
6 oz sugar (168g)
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
2 Tbsp hot milk
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz flour (224g)
1 tsp baking powder

Banana Cake 1


Cream the butter  & sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and mashed banana and beat well.

Banana Cake 2

Heat the milk in the microwave for 10-13 seconds until hot – then add 1 tsp baking soda and mix until frothy and add this to the mixture and blend well.

Banana Cake 3

Add the flour and baking powder and mix well.

Banana cake 5

Put batter into a greased cake tin & cook – my memories are always of this being done in a round ring tin so that is what I always use, but any baking tin will do and I spray it with cooking spray to prepare it. Cook for 25-30 minutes at 200C (390F) Cake is done once a skewer or knife comes out clean.

Banana Cake 4

Ice cake once cooled – store in airtight container. You can freeze the un-iced cake for up to 3 months.

Ice with any icing you desire – chocolate or vanilla is nice. I usually do my basic vanilla icing for this cake.

Banana Cake 7

Basic Vanilla Icing

2 Cups Icing Sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp melted butter
Small amount water

Combine the icing sugar, vanilla & butter into a bowl and mix well. (Sift icing sugar if not smooth, or whisk to remove lumps) Carefully add a teaspoon of water at a time to the mixture until you get the desired consistency.

Banana Cake 6

I hope you enjoy this simple but tasty recipe and it becomes a family favourite for you too. 🙂

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Have a wonderful day 🙂