Whenever I get home from work I always crave a snack. I get home between 8:30-10pm so I’m not after a full meal, just something to keep me satisfied until bedtime. I’m trying hard not to have sugar until the INBA competition in September (it’s a once-in-a-lifetime goal of mine so I just have to suck it up) and someone suggested I eat my yoghurt with LSA mix and ground cinnamon. I’ve never tried LSA mix before and I’m so glad that I did. It just adds that bit of “something”.
Hello friends! I’m so sorry I’ve been too busy to write a post. I can’t believe a whole month has flown by. Uni, work and training has been keeping me busy and sometimes all I want to do is sleep but I shall try my hardest to keep this blog going.
Big Spoon’s sister is now officially Mrs Watkins. She had her bridal shower a few weeks back and she got married a week ago. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! I drank a lot, laughed a lot, met a lot of people and had an amazing time. Big Spoon was the MC for the night and he did an excellent job, I was so proud of him. And in case you were wondering how tall he is, I think he’s 6 foot? I’m 5″2 so I look stumpy next to him no matter how skinny I am. Haha.
I didn’t take many photos but of course I had to take one of the cake!
And now it’s Easter! Happy times. Big Spoon’s best mate hosted a BBQ last night. Of course I just had to bake something. I also made a really nice salad but I forgot to take a photo, it will have to be a post for next time.
I go back to uni next monday so I’m hoping to fit in a baking session or two before then. I hope you all had a fun Easter.
Since uni is a bit full-on this semester I decided to take Thursday nights off work. On Thursdays I’m pretty much on my feet all day so having the night free to just chill and relax is such a godsend.
My little brother celebrated his 22nd birthday this week so I decided to invite him and my older sister over last night for a small family gathering. My mum and her partner live quite far away so they couldn’t join us but it was really nice to catch up with my siblings.
On the menu was Chicken and Chorizo Chilli which is Big Spoon’s favourite meal. I usually make it on rainy/cold days as it’s nice and warm and fills you up, especially with garlic bread on the side.
Big Spoon pretty much took over the cooking (his chef skills come out from time to time) and it tasted delicious as always. For dessert I really wanted to try to make an Apple Pie Recipe that landed in my inbox and it did not disappoint.
Hello everyone! I am officially back at uni, learning Histopathology and Chemical Pathology this semester. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Haha. I’m going to be pretty busy with uni but hopefully I can keep posting once a week to keep you guys updated.
I had a fantastic time on the weekend and made lots of yummy goodies for Big Spoon’s sister. She’s getting married on the 23rd of March and hosted her bridal high tea on Saturday afternoon.
I thought I was going to be super organised and start making stuff early but that plan didn’t happen. I started baking from 11pm Friday evening until 4:30am Saturday morning. I also promised my mate I would help him out at his café at 10am Saturday morning so I was pretty much on 3hrs sleep or less. I didn’t mind staying up though because I really love baking.
I started the day off with a café latte at Plantation Coffee Roasters before helping out for an hour or so. My mate opened up his new café at the trendy suburb of West End and it’s only a week and a half old.
The café wasn’t too busy so I headed out to the bridal high tea and got there with plenty of time to get ready and set up.
It was the first time I made the mini Oreo cheesecakes and they were the first things to disappear. Hehe. I also only wanted a dozen serves of the mini Banoffee Pies so I made them into Banoffee Pie Pots instead. If you want the Hummingbird Cupcake recipe I will make them again soon and do a separate post for those as I got the recipe from a magazine.
Tip and hints:
♥ Banoffee Pie Pots: chop the bananas and mix with the caramel. Place in a small plastic/glass cup in the following layers: banana and caramel, crushed buttersnap biscuits, whipped cream, crumbled Cadbury Flake chocolate bar. The banana and caramel should be at the bottom and the crumbled chocolate on top. This makes it so much easier to eat with a spoon.
♥ I placed the Oreo cheesecakes in the freezer for an hour and then placed them in the fridge. They should be ready-to-eat after an hour in the fridge.
Valentine’s Day isn’t really a big deal for me. Big Spoon and I used to work each Valentine’s Day when we worked together at a restaurant so we never really got into the spirit of it. Now that we both work outside of the hospitality industry, we still don’t celebrate it. I just really wanted a bouquet of maple bacon roses which I didn’t receive but that’s all ok cos like I said, we don’t celebrate V-Day.
I did want to bring a sweet treat of some kind to work and one of the blogs I follow had a recipe for Homemade Turkish Delight. All made in the microwave. Without gelatine. And without using a candy thermometer. Yes I was excited too when it landed in my inbox.
I was pretty happy with how my Turkish Delight turned out. I used rosewater instead of the lemon flavouring that was stated in the recipe and I used pink colouring to keep with the Valentine’s Day vibe. I sprinkled ground pistachios on top too but I forgot to take a photo. It got mixed reviews from my co-workers because not everyone was a fan of Turkish Delight, but to those who love it they enjoyed my homemade version.
One of my friends shared this photo on Facebook and I couldn’t wait to make them. I wasn’t sure who the original maker of this was but Puddle Jumpers Incorporated was mentioned as the ‘sharer’ of this delicious recipe.
Oreo and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes
Makes 12 servings
- 1 box brownie mix, 8×8 inch size
- 24 Oreo Cookies
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F / 180°C degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions.
- For each cupcake cup spread peanut butter over 2 Oreo cookies (2 tsp per Oreo) and stack them on top of each other. Place Oreo stacks into the cupcake lined muffin cups.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of brownie batter over each Oreo stack and let it run down the sides of the cookies. If you have left over brownie batter, bake separately in a separate cake or muffin tin.
- Bake cookies and brownies for 18 to 20 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely then serve.
I was so excited that they turned out like the photo. Maybe not as photo perfect, but they were delicious! As you can see I used chocolate Oreo cookies instead of the normal cream ones. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate together was so good. You guys should definitely try this out at home.
Australia Day falls on the 26th of January and this year we had a long weekend to celebrate it. Unfortunately around this time of the year the weather is usually less than accommodating. Big Spoon and I, together with his best mate Brice and his fiancé Katie, had planned to go camping. I knew it was going to rain (severe weather warnings were forecast) but we don’t really get to spend time with Brice and Katie because of our work schedules so we made the decision to go.
You know when you can foresee the worst happening but you go ahead and do it anyway? Well the worst happened. It continually rained, we got flooded in at the camp grounds, the showers stopped working and the toilets got blocked, our tent had holes which let water in so we had to sleep in the car for two nights in a row (which was comfortable for me because I’m so short) and we pretty much ate all the food we’d brought.
Even though it was not the best experience I am still really glad we went. We will definitely be better prepared next time though.
There were two creek crossings that filled up pretty quick with all the rain. There was no way we would have been able to cross them with all our stuff. Flood waters are dangerous with the strong current and the unknown depth of the water.
All the rain brought out a nice surprise in the evening. Green frogs made their appearance at our camp. They were really cute but made a helluva racket. For some reason they really liked Katie’s camp chair and at one point they were climbing up her arm.
There were a lot of people worried about us but we got home safe and sound. I’m hoping the next time we go camping it will be a much nicer outing. Do you guys have any tips and advice when going camping for a weekend?
I love reading books. I am not a fan of e-readers because I love feeling paper under my fingertips and smelling the musty scent of times gone by. I am also a sucker for cover book designs. I will usually pick a book based on the jacket cover and read the first few lines of the first chapter to see if I like it or not. I only ever buy cookbooks and usually head to my local library for some fiction.
I love fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy and chick lit. I do read a few other genres as well but those are the ones I gravitate towards in any bookstore. I wanted to share with you which books I’m currently reading so that if you’re after something different or interesting you can look up some of the books.
I won’t be doing any book reviews as I think every person takes away something different when they read a story and everyone has different perspectives.
We had dinner with Big Spoon’s parents last night and since I wanted to cook something quick and easy I thought a Thai Beef salad was a great idea. We didn’t have some of the ingredients and had to make do hence why it’s called Thai Inspired (no Thai basil available). I also didn’t read through the recipe properly and messed it up a little but the result was still delicious (I wasn’t concentrating properly due to Brisbane’s soaring temperatures). Sometimes serving salad on a plate just looks really messy. Here’s a quick lesson for you guys when serving up noodles/pasta.
How to serve a salad with noodles and meat (or a pasta dish)
Step 1. Make a noodle nest.
Step 2. Pile the salad on top of the noodle nest.
Step 3. Place the meat around the plate and pop a few slices on top.
THAI INSPIRED BEEF SALAD (recipe adapted from 500 Salads by Susannah Blake)
For the salad
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, washed with the leaves picked
- 1 bunch fresh mint, washed with the leaves picked
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, grated
- 4 tomatoes, deseeded and sliced
- 500g beef (rump cut)
- 3 tbps roasted cashews, roughly chopped
- 200g rice noodles, prepared using packet instructions
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp canola oil (or sunflower oil)
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
1. Make the dressing in a bowl with the garlic and set aside.
2. Sear the meat on all sides and cook until it’s medium rare. Set aside to cool and then slice thinly.
3. Place the coriander, mint, carrots, tomatoes and cashews in a bowl and gently toss. Pour dressing over the salad and gently toss once more.
4. Serve your salad (see above).
Tips and hints:
♥ You can add the following to the recipe: 2 chillies (finely chopped) and 2 spring onions (chopped).
♥ You can use Thai basil instead of coriander.
♥ You can use peanuts instead of cashews.
♥ You can use fried onion from Asian grocers as a garnish.
One of the guys I work with is leaving the company and it’s his last shift today. As a thank you for giving me lifts home from work I decided to make him homemade pesto. Super easy to make and great for pasta, toast, sandwiches, etc. I had to tweak the recipe I had and this came up trumps (attempt #1 was a fail as I put too much cheese in it).
- 1 bunch of fresh Basil (I bought mine from Woolworths) or equivalent to 1 cup
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated or cut into cubes
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- chilli powder or flakes (optional)
1. Place the basil leaves, oil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in a food processor (I used my stick mixer, so handy for so many recipes).
2. Process until everything is chopped and mixed in. Add salt and pepper. Process again and check the taste. Add chilli powder/flakes if you like your pesto to have a bit of bite.
3. Process until it’s pureed or of spreadable consistency. You can leave it chunky if you prefer your pesto that way.
Enjoy your homemade pesto!
Unfortunately because I had to chuck out my first attempt I only had enough to give to Seb. No leftovers for me. Serves me right for being a cheese fiend. I was originally going to bake him scones cos he’s English but Brisbane is having a heatwave at the moment so no way was I going to bake. Hopefully hitting the beach tomorrow to cool down. I hope you guys have a great weekend!