Just lately… (the coffee and cake edition)

Being on extended leave means that I’ve been happily spending more time at home. Winter is always a favourite time of year for me, so it’s been extra nice to enjoy the best of the season without also having to deal with daily commutes, office politics and day job blues.

Each day begins (of course) with a steaming hot cup of coffee. While I know purists would say that coffee shouldn’t be served at too high a temperature, to that I say ‘rubbish’. I like my coffee to be hot – REAL hot. Imagine how hot you think would be too hot, take that thought and then double it … you’d then end up pretty close to my temperature preference. I like to linger with my cup for a while, so if the coffee is too cool I have to hurry to drink it. There’s something so disappointing about having to rush through a cup of coffee.


While most winter days in Brisbane are really quite mild, our house is particularly cold. So I layer up with warm clothes, enjoy the company of a regular parade of hot drinks, and keep my hunger at bay with a good measure of comforting food.Β My current treat of choice is a healthy banana bread that I’ve now made a few times. It has very quickly become a favourite – it’s heavy on the banana, has a dense yet soft texture, and is filled with all sorts of good things. I top my version with a blend of crushed walnuts and a heavy-handed sprinkle of cinnamon. Bliss!

Homemade banana bread

I’ve taken to warming thick-cut slices under the grill for a few minutes, and then serving it with a generous dollop of ricotta and a serious drizzle of honey. It’s the kind of food that keeps me going for at least a few hours. While I normally pair it with a huge cup of tea, some days another coffee just feels more appropriate. But thenΒ again everything is better with coffee, right?


  1. Teresa

    Your banana bread looks delicious! Hmmmm… now I want banana bread for breakfast! It’s lovely to have time during the day to bake, isn’t it?! πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Teresa – I think banana bread makes a perfect breakfast every day. And yes, it’s so very wonderful being able to bake whenever the urge strikes … πŸ™‚

  2. Kylie

    Yum, now I’m craving banana bread! Your mornings sound delicious and divine. Glad you are enjoying some time at home! x

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kylie – Haha, I hope you gave in to your bana bread craving by making some for yourself. I’m really enjoying my time at home, it gives me a new appreciation for simple things. πŸ™‚

  3. katiecrackernuts

    I think I’ll have to try your banana bread trick. A little baking is coming on, me thinks.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Katie – Baking helps me out in so many ways … especially a delicious banana bread with a toasty top. I’m thinking I’ll make some more this weekend. πŸ™‚

  4. Debby

    Your breakfast looks perfect Tracey. It would be hard not to have a good day after a start like that…Do you have a recipe to share?

    Must go my tummy’s rumbling haven’t had breakfast yet and this post is just making it worse….

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Debby – I’m glad you like my breakfast treats … it’s the perfect way to start the day! πŸ™‚

      The recipe I used is based on this one Gluten Free Banana Bread – it’s delicious!

      Oh I hate seeing tasty treats online before you’ve had a chance to eat … sorry about that! πŸ˜‰

  5. Monica

    oooh, looks delish, i would so join you. but probably polish off the cake.

    now, about that coffee thing, lol….
    you make it (stir coffee and sugar right down) with a teeny bit of tepid water, until it turns caramel-like. then add a little more to disperse the granules, THEN add boiling hot hot water, and heated milk if you take it. this way you get your hot coffee but not ‘burn’ the granules, and the caramelizing thing is the way it’s drunk in my south american homeland. πŸ˜‰

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Monica – Haha, well I would gladly share a slice (or two, or three) of cake with you. πŸ™‚

      Oh I love the way you describe the best way to make coffee … I’m really enjoying the sounds of a caramelisation process.

      I think trying different coffees from all different parts of the world would be a pretty great way to see the world (and have an excuse to drink lots of coffee). My first stop clearly has to be South America. xx

  6. Michelle

    Sounds blissful and a great combo for the banana bread. Love ricotta.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Michelle – Oh my. I’ve always enjoyed ricotta (it goes perfectly with both sweet and savoury things) … but I think having it on banana bread is my favourite way to eat it! πŸ™‚

  7. nikki

    everything is better with coffee indeed. my coffee and tea intake always gets a little crazy during this time of year… well actually it’s always quite a bit above average..
    also that banana bread looks all kinds of amazing! and ricotta! everything is better with cheese too πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Nikki – Oh, you are a woman after my own coffee-loving heart. Haha, like you my coffee and tea intake increases in the cooler months … but then again perhaps I always indulge a little more than most too. πŸ˜‰

      Oh YES! Everything IS definitely better with cheese … coffee and cheese – surely two of the most essential luxuries of life? πŸ™‚

  8. Camila Faria

    Oh, Tracey, now I have to stop everything and have cup of coffee! I wish I had some banana bread to make this perfect combo.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Camila – Oh dear … I never can resist a cup of coffee whenever the idea is suggested. I hope you enjoyed a lovely brew!

      You’ll have to come to Australia one day and share some banana bread with me. xx

  9. krystal/village

    fall and winter are still my favorite times of year…this sounds perfect for that πŸ˜‰

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Krystal – Oh definitely … they’re my favourite seasons too. I’d love to get more of a winter season than I currently do, but the temperature tends to stay pretty mild around here.

  10. bobbi

    Maybe I have missed something…why are you on extended leave? Are you okay?

    Banana bread are all over the web but I have never tried it. It is not something we eat in Italy, but banana happens to be one of my favorite fruits so I’ll give it a try, sooner or later.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Bobbi – Oh don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything … I’m completely fine. I’ve just taken long service leave from my day job so that I could have the time to focus on my writing. I’m hoping it will eventually allow me to transition into work that brings me much more joy. πŸ™‚

      It’s interesting that banana bread isn’t something that Italians eat … I’d love you to give it a try one day and let me know what you think. It’s a favourite of mine. Come for a visit to Australia and you can try mine! xx

  11. Selma

    Now that sounds like my kind of brekkie. Totally yummo. I like my coffee really hot too. Mmmmm.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Selma – I love banana bread! (it’s one of my all-time favourite breakfast treats) … and coffee is an essential for sure. πŸ™‚

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