Tag: baking

Baking Me Happy

MRI, One Handed BakerI’m SOOooo glad it’s the weekend! I hope everyone’s had a good week, for me it’s been (another) week of medical appointments, x-rays and MRI’s. I started up One Handed Baker in the months leading up to spine surgery when I could no longer work or walk very well, but have some other stuff going on (from minor things like broken bones, to a rare bone disease, and a serious condition that hasn’t yet managed to kill me off!).

For me, baking is something I’ve always LOVED to do, and can manage in between flare- ups and ill-health. Who isn’t happy baking cupcakes?! ? (I have a frozen shoulder at the moment so won’t be kneading dough anytime soon, but that won’t stop me baking cookies and cakes for my family!). I know scientists have found baking to have therapeutic value which eases stress and anxiety. Does anyone else find baking helps them? Apparently any activity which takes your attention – like weighing and measuring – can have a calming, meditative quality. (And personally I’d rather bake a lemon drizzle loaf then do yoga!!! ?).

Sending love out there to everyone who lives with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression, serious conditions, or anything that makes life extra hard. Have a lovely weekend  xxx

Gizmos and Gadget

Watching ‘Sweet Week’ on Masterchef Australia this week has got me drooling. Caramels, chocolate, berries – what’s not to love! In particular the gelato episode got me thinking. My kids eat a lot of ice cream and it seems to be a constant feature on our shopping list.

I’ve often watched contestants on cooking shows use ice cream makers, and while I don’t use a lot of gadgets I thought this could be a useful addition at home. What could be better – delicious, home-made ice cream, with no preservatives or unknown ingredients? Plus, my son and daughter could even help make their own flavours. So, I jump online to check out options – and find a Kenwood Chef ice cream maker is $899.99. What the…?! $900! I can’t afford that! That’s roughly the cost of 180 two litre tubs of ice cream (plus the cost of ingredients of course). Or a two litre tub every week for 6 months!

So, unless we win Lotto (doubtful considering I don’t even buy a ticket…), or Briscoes have a 90% off sale, I think that’s a firm ‘no’ on the ice cream maker front.

I guess I’m a little old-fashioned in the kitchen. My two most-used items are a wooden spoon, and a good ol’ regular hand mixer. That’s it! I did own a food processor but the last time I rescued it from a dusty top shelf in my kitchen I discovered it had stopped working. Possibly from neglect. Whenever I spot a gorgeous stand mixer in a friend’s house though I’m always secretly envious. Actually – not even secretly – I’m openly jealous!

Growing up I remember my mum used a hand cranked meat grinder for her baking. Yes, meat grinder. Screw it to the side of the benchtop, choose your disc, and crank the handle round. I often used to help crush up biscuit crumbs for cheesecakes this way. In fact, she still uses it to this day! It was pretty funny when I took my parents to a local historical village once and we saw the exact model displayed behind glass in the ‘olden days’ section…

So while I may daydream of an ice cream maker, or a beautiful Smeg stand mixer (so pretty!) right now I’m doing it old skool style with a wooden spoon and bowl. Either way, my recipes will always be simple and delicious.


Here we go!

It’s funny a first blog post. You feel it should be pretty damn significant in some way – so much so, it’s taken me a week of procrastinating to get to this point! But really, I’m all about keeping things simple so that’s how this will be.

To begin with then, a little about me. I’m a New Zealand mum living in Auckland with my husband, two kids, rescue dog, rescue cat, and rescue rabbit. (My son is keen to rescue a turtle too – but after learning they live for 40 years that isn’t happening!). Oh, and I LOVE to bake!

Like many mums, I’m constantly juggling work – housework – playing with the kids – social life (huh?). The nickname One Handed Baker came about after I pretty much baked a cake with one hand while helping with homework with the other.

I love creating new recipes and playing with old favourites. Baking in the kitchen really is my happy place. I’ve suffered a range of serious health problems for many years, and was having difficulty doing my ‘proper’ job. I underwent major spine surgery in June 2018 (more on that another time) and knew I’d face months unable to work. I’m not very good at keeping still and relaxing and knew I’d need something to keep me focused and busy during the long recovery. So I decided to film lots of recipe videos beforehand which I could then edit from bed.

I had no idea whether anyone would like my recipes or watch the videos – so was pretty chuffed when they did! After 12 months I’d reached 11,000 followers on social media, which continues to grow.

The One Handed theme continued as every recipe is made with one hand, while filming with my iPhone in the other. No tripods, no fancy equipment, no helpers. That’s why all my recipes are simple!