Change is in the air

It’s new beginnings for me in 2015 as I embark on my most exciting, but scary, project since Master Four came along.

I have enrolled to do the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery at Weltec here in Wellington. The plan is to have a City & Guilds qualification as a chef before the end of the year.

I’m terrified! A geriatric mother of a pre-schooler sharing bench space with bright young stars who are the future of cooking in New Zealand. What am I thinking?! For starters, I could be their (very young) grandmother.

I look forward to sharing my adventures with you during the year. If nothing else, I’ll be able to show you how to chop an onion properly (hopefully!). Did I mention how nervous I am right now?

Another new thing for me this year has been helping my sister set up a facebook page for her food business (yes, we all love food). This was somewhat less frightening than the thought of giving up paid employment and venturing back to text books.

Ana (that’s the sister) runs a lovely little lunch bar and catering business south of Auckland. It’s always a highlight when she lets me help out in store. Really, I love it. Her food (my payment) is brilliant and the community clientele such fun to be around. She says they make the 4.30am alarm worth while!


One of Ana’s most loved recipes is her banana choc loaf. Luckily for you, she has shared it with me. Here’s my take on it (above photo is using white chocolate).

What you’ll need

160g butter, softened

100g (just over 1/2 C) brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 ripe bananas, roughly mashed

150g flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

60g (about 1/2 C) rolled oats

50-100g chocolate – chips or chopped, dark, light or white – use as much or little chocolate as you like!

How to make it

Heat oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.


Beat the butter and sugar until lovely and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.


Fold in the banana, sifted dry ingredients and oats. I sometimes do this by hand, other times in Kenny.


Fold in the chocolate.


Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.


Cool for about 10 minutes in the tin, before turning out on to a rack.


When completely cold, store in an airtight container. Although, I’ve always found that it goes before I have a chance to store it.

If you are ever in the Drury area Monday-Friday, check out Firth St Kitchen – you’ll be guaranteed great food and coffee.

Righto, it’s off text book and knife shopping I go…. By the way, did I mention how terrified I am?

9 thoughts on “Change is in the air

  1. Good luck! I guess you won’t have time to teach any cooking classes at Wellington High School? (The Tastes of the Med class was on my radar) I am interested to follow your journey this year, as this is also my list of to-do’s in my life… one day!


    • Hi Sarah, I’ll still be teaching at WHS so definitely come along to class. It’ll be great to see you again. I have heard good things about the course, so hopefully can back that up to motivate you to do it when you are ready. See you soon.


  2. The banana choc loaf looks delish. So excited for you Marija. You’ll be the star of the class (just like the wine appreciation course – oh hang on, that would have been Ross). xo


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