Everyday Small Things

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Face ya Food: Chocolate peanut butter cupcake bites with peanut butter frosting

These cupcakes are based on the cake recipe that started me off on bean baking (baking with legumous beans as a gluten free, high protein alternative)– I’ve played it straight, messed with quantities, gone Black Forest, chillified it, red-velvet-and-cream-cheesed it, made it as muffins… it’s never failed me and it’s spectacularly easy.

Today being Independence Day, peanut butter cups seemed appropriate. Packed with fibre, protein and good fats, and super-cute to boot. Love.

peanut butter cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake bites with peanut butter frosting

Makes: 40-50 cupcake bites

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20-40 minutes  – oven or cupcake maker

Dietary: Gluten and dairy free, contain eggs.

Before you start: These cupcakes are super-easy if you have a food processor, a bit harder if you’re using a blender, and can’t be done with a stick blender (or no blender at all). I adapted them, over several stages, from a cake recipe on another blog; I’ve made the cake several times as a layer cake and also as muffins and it’s always amazing. I’ve halved the quantities for these mini-mini cupcakes but just ask if you want the muffin/cake recipe.

These really are bite-size – the mini cupcake cases I got were so small I think they probably held half the capacity of my (brand-new-had-to-use-immediately) mini-cupcake maker’s pockets – if you find bigger mini-muffin cases they’ll easily be twice the size (though still dinky) and of course make half the quantity. For the sake of your sanity, do, do use cases.


Cupcake mix

  • 1 cup cooked OR ¾ can black bean, drained and rinsed very well
  • 3 small eggs
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsps coconut oil
  • ¼ + 1/8 cup maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
  • 4 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsps natural peanut butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ Tbsp water

Peanut butter frosting

  • 80gm natural peanut butter
  • 80gm coconut oil
  • 100gm unrefined cane powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Tiny pinch sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp liquid – soy milk and/or lemon juice (I like a bit of lemon juice to make it a bit tangy)



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C OR turn your mini cupcake maker on. Line mini cupcake trays or lay out cases beside cupcake maker.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine all cupcake ingredients.
  • Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.  The batter may seem thin, but that’s okay. Taste-test it before pouring:  add a bit more cocoa or a bit of extra black beans to your taste.
  • Use a teaspoon to carefully fill cupcake cases two thirds full and:
    • Oven: bake for 7-10 minutes on the middle rack until the tops are springy. Check them at 5 minutes in case your oven cooks fast. (Note: If your oven has a top element, place a tray or sheet of baking paper on the rack above them after 4 minutes to stop the tops from overcooking). Remove the cupcakes from the oven, cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely before decorating.
    • Cupcake maker: carefully but quickly place a filled cupcake case in each pocket; close lid and cook for seven minutes, until tender and springy. Remove quickly with a silicone spoon and leave to cool, fill up the machine again and repeat until you run out of cupcakes.


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Beat with an electric beater for five minutes then leave in the fridge until cupcakes are cool. Whip again quickly with a spoon to soften before frosting.
  • Decorate each cupcake with a small blob of frosting (blob, scoop, swirl or pipe it on!) – you don’t need much as the frosting is very sweet and not entirely necessary – they’re pretty tasty plain. If you prefer, just dust with a bit of icing sugar before service. Store in the fridge overnight. Note: you can also frost just before serving.

Please try these out and let us know if you think they are as fabulous as we do!


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Face ya Food (New Foodelicous Feature): Introducing Francis


I would like to introduce an incredible friend of mine who is going to do a regular recipe feature on EverydaySmallThings.  She has so much energy and I find her whole approach to holistic health really inspiring.  Try out her recipes and give us feedback – we’d love to hear if you love them as much as we do.  I could go on, but I think she can introduce herself…bio pic

I’m Frances, a lover of many conflicting things – food and fitness, eating thrifty but eating well, shopping local but eating around the world, and of course all baked things but not the muffin-top that goes with them…

Thanks to a terrifyingly wholesome upbringing, a chronic incapacity for sitting still for longer than an episode of Arrested Development and a strong stingy streak, I got into cooking. And thanks to the best purchase of my life – my first London bike – I got into fitness. The gym came next, and, inevitably, reviewing and revising my diet.

I’m lucky (and I know it!) because aside from not really liking milk,  I have no real diet issues – I’ll eat pretty much anything, but while I don’t adhere to any particular eating plan, I usually choose to cook healthy. And with friends who run the range of allergies and food preferences, I’ve also learned a fair bit about cooking (and baking!) around people’s diets.

Basically, it’s a challenge, and it’s fun. Face your food. Try to make it better. Bake with beans. Experiment with egg substitutes. Pack protein into a breakfast muffin and bring a spare to work for a friend who didn’t have time for breakfast. Eat treats that will actually do you good. Happy days.

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Everyday Small Things: Fresh Orange Juice

Orange juice 4 Orange juice 3 orange juice 1

Our friends in Bristol last weekend came home with a whole box of juicing oranges which meant that we of course came back home with an esky (that’s an ice box for you non-Aussies out there) full of oranges!!!

In Bristol we had gotten all the kids around the table and juiced by hand what felt like hundreds of oranges and had freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast!  We were all covered from head to toe in orange juice stickiness – hilarious!  The oranges were super sweet with just a tiny tangy hint so the juice was just divine.  D.I.V.I.N.E.  The juice tasted so much better after labouring through the sweat of juicing them all!

So what was I going to do with our box load of oranges?  Well I could make them into some sort of dessert or make preserves… there were plenty of options.  But I am starting an elimination diet today (I will fill you all in in another post shortly), so these were the last things I wanted in my house.  So I thought I’d also make juice and use them all up in one flash move!

Another positive was that the tennis match of the year was on TV – Andy Murray vs Fernando Verdasco – it was the final fifth set and I had run out of ‘jobs’ to do in front of the TV.  So I thought I’d bring the juicing to the match.  I got the bath mat (actually freshly washed) in  front of the TV and set myself all up.  Perfect!

I managed not to drink (too much) juice before dinner so it was a really special treat to share with the BF!!!  I love getting your hands dirty making something as you enjoy it so much more afterwards!  My mother always said “the dirtier you come home, the more fun you’ve had” and this is so true! (You can read all about why I think Mum’s are special here).

Orange juice 2My little set up in front the of tennis!  Life is good to me too often!


Foodelicous: Chicken & Mango Salad

Paleo Mango Salad 3Paleo mango salad 1Paleo cashew nut Paleo mango salad 2

This is a variation of a salad I found in the recipe book from this Paleo blog.  It’s delicious, so thought I’d share it with you.


  • Chicken breast – poach in water for 20 mins.  Let it rest before pulling apart.
  • Handful of salad leaves (I love rocket, watercress & spinach)
  • Fresh herbs x lots.  I’ve used flat leaf parsely and coriander
  • Cashew nuts – small handful.  Toast in a frying pan if you like until they just go golden brown.
  • Mangetout (snowpeas)
  • Avocado x half
  • Mango x half

Dressing – Play around with this but I used:

  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 1 tspn Walnut oil
  • 1 tspn Sesame oil
  • Good squeeze of lemon or lime or better both
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Chop it all up.  Eat it all up!  Yum yum yummy!!!!  Let me know what you think! xo

P.S. Do you love my awesome retro brown kitchen bench!  Oh yeah hot dig!

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Happy, Healthy, Strong – Foodelicious

Cafe culture – great tasting grub!

Melbourne CoffeeMelbourne Coffee really is superb folks – it has bought my Coffee Diva back out.

Melbourne is known for being full of coffee (and sometimes food) snobs.  But geez the food really is good!  Don’t get me wrong, in the UK you can get great food, but it can be harder to come by.  And just because it has the word ‘organic’ on it doesn’t seem to ensure the food is actually of a quality as it does in Melbourne.  I actually saw on the news here a report about Aussies who’ve set up a cafe in Paris, making Australian-style coffee which is really taking off.  I’m off to Paris in a few weeks for the French Open (gee I know life is tough), so I might go check it out.  I’m generally a caffeine-free-zone (again related to headaches/migraines), but couldn’t help myself recently.  My first Melbourne coffee stopped me in my tracks walking across the busy Flinders Street in Central Melbourne.  Aargh the Coffee Diva was back!

There is a few new cafes here in Brunswick that I’ve visited.  One is called Milkwood and one is Eastern Elevation.

One of my key goals in terms of getting Happy, Healthy & Strong is improving my relationship with food.  It has become my Foodemy (that did seem to work better in my head when I combined food and enemy.. maybe that’s just me?!)  I’m in a food rut.  Sick of cooking it.  Sick of buying it.  Sick of sharing it.  Why is that I wonder?  [Possibly something to do with the window that won’t shut and the long winter we’ve had?…).

Eggs & smash

Poached Eggs on Broadbean and Mint Smash at new cafe Milkwood – so good I went back today for lunch!

Anyway, it has been really nice to share some meals out that feel really nutritious and nurturing rather than heavy and greasy!

I’ve also been thinking about having a crack at Paleo when I get home.  I already know that I’m really not a carbs girl (well I love bread.. but I need a 30 minute nap after eating it).  So when I’ve been out for a meal here I’ve been a little nervous because sometimes all there is on offer is a meal based around carbs that I know will send me to sleep – not what I want to be happening at the end of my meal when I want to catch up with my friend who I haven’t seen in years.  So I’ve been really greatful that many meals offered have been based more around pulses, protein & freshness which suits me much better.

What’s the nicest thing about food where you live?