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Let them eat (carrot) cake…

Tuesday night I made carrot cake — it’s the second time around with this recipe from KidsSpot ( and I changed it a little.


  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon — I increased this to 1.5 or a very heaped teaspoon.
  • Half tsp of ginger because I love ginger in carrotcake — not on recipe.
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar — didn’t have brown sugar so used castor sugar and upped it to nearly one full cup — last time it didn’t quite seem sweet enough.
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g butter — I softened this with a one-minute blast in the microwave.
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup walnuts — didn’t have walnuts so used raisins.


Preheat oven to 180°C… note I’m using a toaster oven on this. Gave it ten minutes to preheat.

Sift flour, cinnamon and baking powder into medium mixing bowl. I didn’t sift… I’m from the ‘lump it in the bowl’ school of cooking.

Add  sugar, carrot, walnuts, eggs and milk, mix until well combined. I used a mixer.

Lastly, add melted butter.

Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.

I mixed the flour and soft butter first until it was creamy smooth, then sugar and eggs and mixed until completely smooth, then added milk and carrots and everything else until it all looked and smelled good. Then I put the mixture in a square metal baking tray (mine, I think, is 30 x 30 cm and maybe 5 cm deep). Then I loaded in the raisins in with a spoon… did I say ‘loaded’? I meant overloaded.

Do clean skewer test to check it’s done. I use a spoon, stick it in the cake ’till I hit the bottom of the tin — big CLANK sound because I’m usually excited at this point and if it comes away with nothing stuck to it, the cake is DONE.

First slices were served hot (fresh out da oven) to Sophie and Athina with a dollop of vanilla icecream on top and Judging by mfff, oofff, mmmmmfffff, mmmnnnn noises, this recipe was a success.


  • Try to use sweet carrots in this Carrot walnut loaf recipe as it makes the resulting loaf extra sweet. I have no idea where to get ‘sweet carrots’ in Bali — anyone know?
  • This is a great lunch box filler – though if your kids go to a no-nuts school, you may have to leave out the walnuts. I have never heard of a no-nuts school but in the England of my youth, coming from a no-nuts school would have provoked much merriment if not a few fights.
  • This recipe is super-quick and easy to make and freezes really well too. Perfect!
  • This recipe was created by Melissa Klemke for Kidspot, Australia’s best recipe finder.

The link to the original recipe at KidSpot:

Hope you enjoyed.

Sean (Sophie’s Dad)

Vtech Kidizoom Camera

The Vtech Kidzoom Camera as Owned by Sophie HynesSophie loves cameras. That’s the bottom line.

Athina and I are a little lazy about lugging cameras around (apologies as always for alliterating) but, like most people we know, we love photographs — especially photos that feature Sophie (and don’t feature me).

We also both agree that taking photos is a skill. It’s creative. It’s active and it’s interactive… not interactive in the computer / digital / dumb sense but interactive in that it helps you participate in stuff. We also both see photography as a craft and an art. In other words, when Sophie says she wants to take photos, we don’t hang around complaining about the negative impact on her IQ.

So, when we found a few cameras in a UK department stores, I tried a few out before picking one to take home.

I have no way of warning you off the other cameras but I can walk you through the good and bad of this Vtech KidiZoom.

The Good

  • It’s got an LCD screen for lining up shots and viewfinders but, get this, the view finder is binocular and that’s AWESOME because Sophie can’t wink (seriously, how cool is that?).
  • Pictures and Videos.
  • Games.
  • Connects to TV (tv out cable in the box).
  • Connects to Computer via mini-USB cable — very easily.
  • Has games.
  • Has 2 buttons for taking photos — one is on top where you’d expect the button on  a grown-up’s camera; the second is on the back — a big button marked ok. The cool thing is that little hands don’t cope so well with the top button but Sophie can hold the camera and reach the OK button with her thumb.
  • It’s tough / sturdy.
  • It’s purple (neutral color so would be ok for boys or girls).
  • Takes 4 x AA batteries that last for ages. I don’t remember if we got any in the box but it’s the type of battery that, as parents, we always have lying around. The battery compartments are screwed in and that’s something I look for in all of Sophie’s battery operated stuff.
  • Has an SD card but internal memory also so if you forget your card, you can still take pictures… my freakin’ G9 doesn’t have that.

The Bad

  • Really difficult to get a good photo out of it — my old Nokia takes better pics but worlds apart better than the cameras of my childhood.
  • I think they goofed with the editing buttons and all the other stuff — if vtech had saved that for the computer, they could have simplified the controls on the camera and Sophie wouldn’t be walking around wondering why it didn’t click when she pushed the button.
  • It’s a little big and heavy for little hands.
  • Silly name… it doesn’t zoom (not properly)


A little pricey for a toy — we paid around 45 sterling but I’m sure Sophie will get years out of it (assuming it survives).

I wish the camera itself was a little better… I bought it knowing that it would be still ‘good enough’ for Sophie and if and when she complains that it’s not good enough (meaning Sophie’s expectations and standards have exceeded the camera), it’s done its job anyway but… I wish the camera itself were better.

End of the day though… very good … 4.5 ducks out of 5

[easyreview cat1title=”BaliBunda Rating” cat1detail=”Worth Buying.” cat1rating=”4.5″]

For more reviews, see these websites: