Friday, 27 January 2012

Daring Bakers Make Scones!!

 Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

Scones are something my Grandma is famous for, she used to bake them all the time for us which we'd enjoy warm with jam & cream :) Yummy!  I decided to go a bit experimental and try a white chocolate, cranberry and maple scone instead of the traditional plain scone. They smelt amazing cooking in the oven & tasted amazing fresh out of the oven!(Unfortunately they dont look quite so amazing haha). They were nice and puffed and moist which i was very happy with for my first attempt at scones :) Thanks Audax!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Birthday cheesecake :D

While my birthday was over 2 months ago, i just recently came across pictures of this delicious treat of a cheesecake and decided it would be fitting to share due to the name of this blog!

Cheesecake cutting requires a lot of concentration ;)

I am constantly making baked cheesecakes and experimenting with different flavours, throwing a bit of this n that in, never really following a recipe. So for my birthday i decided to create a cheesecake which incorporated some of my other favourites - pumpkin pie & pecan pie!

creamy in-ards

Whilst i can't remember exact method or ingredients(Sorry guys, i promise i will make again & document!) I know it consisted of  a Arnotts buttersnap biscuit base, layer of scattered pecans, pumpkin cheesecake layer and topped with a rum caramel glaze & chopped pecans. Delish!

Stuffed Mushies!

I found myself one evening looking for a quick, delicious & healthy recipe for two which i could use up some leftovers in - enter stuffed mushrooms!

Take two large flat mushrooms, stalks removed & chuck it in the oven for 10 minutes, 180degreesC.

Meanwhile combine chopped stalk, 1/2 chopped onion & 1tsp crushed garlic over medium heat until softened. Add this to a large bowl containing:

*leftover pumpkin mash
*1/2 cup leftover pearl barley,
*leftover prosciutto, chopped
*1 grated zucchini
*diced tomato
*salt n pepper
and mix, mix, mix!

Remove mushrooms from the oven & pile high with the mix. Pop back in the oven for 10 or so minutes, remove & sprinke some grated parmasan cheese on top and return to the oven til the cheese has melted & browned.

Serve with a garden salad on the side & your in for a tasty treat!

*You can interchange any ingredient, & if you left out the prosciutto it would make a perfect vegetarian meal :)

USA: 2009-2010 - first stop Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Early December 2009, my best friend Alex, sister Lisa and i embarked on adventure of a lifetime to the land of all things peanut butter! We boarded our flight with V Australia, Sydney to Los Angeles very excited girlies - even if it was 9pm at night.

Ready for take-off!

So we strapped in for a 13hr flight across the pacific, where we would have a 5hr layover at LAX before heading on to Washington DC. I made good use of my personal screen, watching many movies and tv shows due to my plane insomnia :(   

 So upon arriving in LA we checked our luggage and decided to hop in a cab to do some exploring of Santa Monica. $50 later(not including tip) we had arrived at Santa Monica Pier. It was uncharacteristically cold for LA winter, especially after leaving Australia on a 40 degree day, and at just before 6pm it was almost pitch black. Freezing cold, we wandered up and down the pier in a sleep depraved haze, until we finally managed to establish we were ravenous and were in desperate need of a feed. There we found Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., the answer to rumblings of our bellies.


Bubba Gumps is a must for any Forrest Gump lovers, with many references to the movie throughout the decor and menu. Our waitress introduced us to their system to get their attention, a "run, forrest run" sign to signal that everything was sweet at the table, and the "stop, forrest stop" to alert staff that you require assistance. We thought that was pretty neat :P

Add caption

For drinks, Alex & Lisa ordered the Peppermint Christmas special(which was practically a candycane milkshake) which came in a special flashing glass, a favourite for both. I ordered a mixed berry smoothie which was quite refreshing after plane food!

We decided to share 2 big bowls of fries for food-age which came in cute little baskets lined with newpaper. They were shovelled down like they were going out of fashion as you can probably tell by the few remaining in the photograph ;)

For our first dining experience in the US, and in our zombie-esque states, we all agreed Bubba's went down pretty-darn good!

Funfetti cupcakes!

I found myself one lazy saturday scrolling across some wonderful food blogs(as i often do) and stumbled upon this fantastic looking recipe of Jessica's for homemade Funfetti cupcakes. Whilst im no American, i have travelled there many times due to family in Virginia & have eaten funfetti cake mix many a time, so seeing this recipe made me quite nostalgic and i knew that i had to make them!

Jessica's recipe:

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
*1/2 cup butter
*1 cup sugar
*2 whole eggs
*1 Tbsp vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups flour
*1 tsp baking powder
*1/3 cup milk
*1/3 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles + more for top of frosting
Preheat oven to 180C.
Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in assorted sprinkles.
Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool, then frost.

Vanilla Buttercream
1cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp of milk, if needed
Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until completely smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly. Gradually increase mixer speed and add vanilla, then beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. If frosting is too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached If it’s too thin, add sugar gradually until it thickens. Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

Now dig in & have a bite!

breakfast of champions!

This week has been full of the most delicious breakfasts, so much so that i can't put off eating them long enough to photograph! But today i used constraint and made sure to capture this blog-worthy brekky before shoveling it down(minus one sneaky mouthful).

 In the mix today was:
*1/2 cup oats
*1/2 cup water
*1/2 cup soy milk
*pinch of salt
Bubble away together til the oats have absorbed most of the liquid, then adding
*majority of a frozen banana
*1Tbsp chia
*dash of vanilla bean paste
Stir away til the banana is incorporated and the chia does its magic(may need to add more liquid). Take off heat & top w
*small amount coco pops chex
*remaining banana
*& the money maker- spoonful of nutella ;)

Served along a nice cuppa coffee, we have a winning brekky.
Definitely the best bowl of oats i've had in a while! Just don't do what i did & eat directly before undertaking a decent workout at the gym, he he.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Cooking with tea!

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I made a chicken stir-fry using a lemongrass & ginger tea as part of the marinade for the chicken and for the sauce to coat the stir-fry. I added carrots, red capsicum, broccoli, mushrooms and green beans and combined the tea with some soy sauce, chilli, garlic, ginger and shallots.
The flavour combinations worked quite nicely and made a perfect mid-week dinner for this warmer weather we've been experiencing lately. Thanks Sarah :)