Last week we got back from a wonderful three-week family holiday in Hawaii. The trip was something we had planned and looked forward to for many months. Anyone who lives in a climate where it is winter almost seven months of the year can appreciate this, I'm sure.

Looking back I'm reminded of so many wonderful things; the impressive marine life during our snorkelling adventures, the rhythms of the drums beating at the Polynesian Cultural Centre, the waves crashing against rocky lava beaches, the huge variety of fresh fish and fruits available we enjoyed every night, the fistfuls of sand we dug out of a curious toddler's mouth, the smoke billowing out of a volcanic crater. It was a trip of serious memory-making opportunities.

Of course there were some not so perfect moments too, like my first ever encounter with a cockroach (unfortunately not my last), a ten day cold with plugged ears and then a nice round of gastroenteritis to finish things off - nobody was spared.

But despite all of that my absolute favourite part of the whole trip was the opportunity to spend some serious, un-interrupted quality family time with my boys and my parents. Like most people, I find myself rushing through most regular days trying to accomplish 'abc..' on my to-do list and then all of a sudden the month is over and where did that time go? Luckily household chores and work commitments can't be brought over in a suitcase so the regular distractions of home didn't interfere. 

It was paradise!

Cannot wait to return some day soon!


Ginger Pear Cake

While I was strolling down the aisles gathering the week's groceries I noticed that Bartlett pears were on sale. I happen to love pears and I happen to love cake so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe that I found a few weeks ago. I can appreciate that these ingredients aren't exactly seasonal in nature, but who cares? Any time can be cake time, right?

Well as it goes, all the pears were eaten before said cake could be baked. But I couldn't get that recipe out of my mind. So the following week I purchased another bag of beautiful, sweet, juicy pears. There may even had been a conversation along the lines of "Dude, step away, those are my cake pears" when someone's hand was about to grab one from the bowl. I meant business.

This recipe was very simple and took very little time to make. My only regret was how short lived it was. Ah, who am I kidding, I loved every last bite...


1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c sugar
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp fresh ginger - peeled and grated
4 Bartlett pears - cored & sliced lengthwise (I didn't peel mine)
* icing sugar
* semi sweet chocolate chips

- Preheat oven to 350'C
- Grease 8in springform pan (I used a 9in cake pan and a 6in cake pan)
- Mix eggs, milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl
- Add flour, baking powder and ginger. Stir well
- Gently fold in pears
- Spoon batter into pan and *top with chocolate chips (optional)
- Bake for 1hr, or until cooked through
- Cool completely and *sprinkle with icing sugar (optional)