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Char Siu style Pork Ribs

Recipes January 25, 2016

Everyone loves Char Siu – or Chinese BBQ pork as it’s probably more well known around Australia. Seen hanging from hooks in Chinese takeaway shops glass displays, dripping with sweet, sticky maltose, char siu truly is an iconic Cantonese dish. Char siu is so beloved, it’s easy to see how Char Siu Bao (fluffy white steamed Chinese barbecue pork buns) is one of the most popular items to be ordered at yum cha around the world today.

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Pastillas de leche in 5 minutes

Recipes November 4, 2015

Simply empty 1 x 395 gram can of (full fat) condensed milk into a large bowl and sift over 2.5-3 cups of milk powder (until you reach a nice dough consistency). If you add too much milk powder by accident, add water 1 tsp at a time until you get back to the consistency that you want. You’re looking for a play-dough type feel. Roll into balls and dip into white sugar and you’re done! If you want to get even more fancy, add a few drops of flavouring/colouring to the condensed milk prior to adding the powder and mix thoroughly to combine.

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Berry Banana Froyo & Strawberry Lassi plus a giveaway!

Competitions, Recipes October 14, 2013

It’s been a while between recipe posts folks! So what better reason to kick back in the kitchen and start creating some cooling down treats other than this intense heat Sydney has been having lately. And what better time to make a bunch of pink recipes other in October for Breast Cancer Awareness? This month, I’ve teamed up with SKI to make these two pink recipes and also have a great giveaway for my readers!

Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia? It is also the second most common cancer to cause death in women after lung cancer (source: Cancer Council Australia). Breast cancer is so common in Australia it is difficult to escape having a close relative or knowing of a friend who has a close relative who has suffered from this awful disease. As ladies it’s definitely something we all need to watch out for ourselves by doing regular checks at home as well as regular check-ups at the doctor’s. For info about checking yourself out at home, visit this link here.

So, knowing all that, I think that breast cancer research and support of breast cancer patients is definitely a cause that I want to support! The people at SKI Yoghurt are currently pledging to ‘build a nurse from yoghurt’ by donating $350,000 to fund a McGrath Breast Care Nurse in the local community and, to show their support for raising Breast Cancer awareness, have tinted their yoghurt packs pink for October!

SKI Yoghurt have also sponsored today’s giveaway, where one lucky reader can win a set of pink silicone Scullery kitchen utensils (pack valued at $47.73). The pack includes a spoon, grater, whisk brush, spatula, slotted turner and tongs. The stylish Colori silicone range of utensils are highly heat resistant, feature ergonomic handles and are designed to be used on non-stick surfaces. The Colori range features food grade silicone which is soft to touch, easy to grip and fingerprint resistant.

You can enter by simply leaving a comment below about your favourite way to enjoy yoghurt and you can also earn bonus entries (see below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You know me and I love simple, so what’s more simple than recipes with only two ingredients that are a snap to put together? All you need is a blender/food processor, some yoghurt, bananas, milk and you’re set to make both of these cool-down treats.


Start out with some ripe, spotty bananas.


Peel and chop.


Pop into ziplock bags and seal. Freeze overnight.


This is what you’re after.


Place bananas (about two cups frozen banana chunks) into food processor.


Whizz until creamy and soft serve-like (by the way, if you haven’t tried making this at home before, you are missing out! It’s the perfect vegan one-step ice-cream — super creamy and totally versatile!)


Measure out one cup of strawberry yoghurt (or more if you want a more intense flavour) and spoon into food processor. Whizz for another 20 seconds or until fully combined. I added a few drops of pink food colouring to intensify the pink colour, but you can leave this out if you wish – it’s a more natural colour that way.)


Straight from the food processor, it has the thick, creamy consistency of soft serve. It was a rather hot day that I made this on so it was even a tiny bit softer than this, so I decided to pop it into the freezer to harden up a bit (but of course it’s still enjoyable at this stage!)


And here you go, post freezer!

Two-Ingredient Berry Banana Froyo

Author: CookingCrusade.com
Makes: 3-4 servings of frozen yoghurt
Time to prepare: Bananas need to be frozen overnight, but this takes about 10 minutes to put together. Easy!

Berry Banana Froyo

  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup strawberry yoghurt (I used SKI Strawberry Yoghurt)
  • optional: a few drops of rose pink food colouring to make it extra pink! or three hulled strawberries if you have them would work well too!

Equipment needed: freezer, food processor

Steps

  1. Peel, chop and freeze bananas in ziplock bags overnight.
  2. Remove bananas from the freezer and place in processor bowl. Process until creamy.
  3. Add 1 cup of strawberry yoghurt and pulse for 20 seconds until well combined. Serve as soft serve creamy consistency or pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 6 hours to harden to scoopable consistency. Serve with sprinkles! πŸ˜‰

Sprinkles optional!

Two-Ingredient Strawberry Lassi

Author: CookingCrusade.com
Makes: 1 serving (doubles or triples nicely for extra servings if needed.)
Time to prepare: 1 minute

Strawberry Lassi

  • 1.5 cups strawberry yoghurt (I used SKII)
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (I used soy, but feel free to use cow’s, rice, almond etc.)
  • optional: a few drops of rose pink food colouring to make it extra pink! or three hulled strawberries if you have them would work well too!

Equipment needed: blender

Steps

  1. Pour yoghurt and milk into blender and pulse for about 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and serve.

Enjoy these summery treats and I hope you have a fabulous week! It’s my last week as a single lady and I will be enjoying it πŸ™‚

xo
C

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Sweet Potato Tuna Patties

Recipes July 25, 2013

I just wanted to start this post with a bit of an apology to all the lovely bloggers who read my blog – I am so sorry its taking me so long to get back and read everyone else’s at the moment. Some of you may know I’m tying the knot in approximately 88 or so days and I’ve had heart attacks and disasters all over the place with last minute makeup artist cancellations and insurance issues with my caterers. Additionally I was sick all last week from work with an awful cold and am only just getting better now but I promise I’ll get back into reading all your lovely blogs again soon! Thank you so much to each and every one of my readers – I really appreciate each and every one of you lovelies!!

Now on to the recipe!

This is one of those great, budget-friendly recipes that’s easy to throw together from cheap ingredients that I often have in the fridge/pantry. You could also try throwing in extra herbs or veggies you have on-hand to mix things up a little – peas, corn, grated zucchini, a finely diced onion. Coriander or parsley would also be great additions to the mix. Whatever you have on hand, the most basic version of this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy.

I created this recipe in an attempt to make a simple, low-fat lunch recipe on weekends, so that I’m ready to go for the week. These patties go great with homemade roasted tomato sauce, sweet chilli or even a garlicky cucumber-yoghurt sauce. I usually serve them with a side salad or a side of steamed or roasted veggies.

These are pretty much pretty impossible to stuff up. Microwave the sweet potato, mash, add tuna, eggs and seasoning. Shape into patties and bake until set and you’re all done!


Only three main ingredients – sweet potato, tuna and eggs.


Cubed sweet potato.


Microwave until fork tender, drain and set aside to cool.


Mash sweet potato, add tuna. Beat eggs and add seasoning and garlic flakes, herbs, peas/corn or any additional ingredients you’re using. Pour egg mixture into sweet potato and mix thoroughly.


Shape into patties and bake.

Sweet Potato Tuna Patties

Author: CookingCrusade.com
Makes: 12 patties.
Time to prepare: 1 hour

Sweet Potato Tuna Patties

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (or 4 cups cubed sweet potato)
  • 425 gram can of tuna in brine, drained
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional) 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic flakes, or 1-2 garlic cloves, minced, half cup of peas/corn, half an onion diced, chopped herbs (coriander, parsley, chives)

Equipment needed: 1 microwave-safe bowl, 1 measuring jug, wooden spoon, a lined baking tray

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the cubed sweet potato in a large mixing bowl and cover with boiling (or hot from the tap) water.
  3. Microwave for 10-15 minutes on high, or until fork tender enough to mash.
  4. Remove from the microwave, drain and allow to cool. Mash with a potato masher/fork and add tuna. Mix well.
  5. Crack three eggs into a jug and season with seasoning and add garlic flakes or mince.
  6. Pour egg mixture into sweet potato and tuna mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Using wet hands, shape sweet potato mixture into patties (use about enough mixture to fit in the palm of your hand per patty to make 12, or you could make smaller ones if you prefer, just bake them for a bit less.)
  8. Bake patties in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until well browned and completely cooked through.

These patties are great served with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce, and I bet they would be great with a raita or tzaziki dipping sauce as well. You could also try adding a minced onion, extra herbs or shallots for a bit of extra flavour.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Fudge

Recipes July 15, 2013

I recently took part in the Sweet Swap, a fun idea for bloggers to raise money and share delicious treats by two clever cookies, Sara from BellyRumbles and Amanda from ChewTown. The basic idea is that you sign up for $6 (which goes to a good cause) and then get sent three other blogger’s names to send homemade sweets to. You sent your treats out in the mail and then wait patiently for three boxes of deliciousness to come your way.

It was tough coming up with what to make. I had lots and lots of ideas and also wanted to make something the bloggers I would be sending it to would enjoy! Finally I settled on this Peanut Butter fudge and thought I’d add a cup of chocolate chips, because hey who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate?

I found this great simple recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker and then I was ready to go!

The bloggers I was assigned to send treats to were: Chanel from Cats Love Cooking, Amanda from ChewTown and Amy from Melbourne Food Snob.


About to start packaging up!

Peanut Butter Fudge

From: Brown Eyed Baker recipe here. note: my version is slightly adapted.
Makes: 64 pieces of fudge
Time to prepare: 10 minutes to make and 1 hour to set

Peanut Butter Fudge

  • 1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • optional: 1 cup of chocolate chips

Equipment needed: medium size brownie tin (lined with foil) large microwave safe bowl, wooden spoon, cake or hand mixer (optional)

Steps

  1. Add peanut butter and butter to microwave safe bowl and microwave on high in 20 second bursts until the mixture is melted and smooth.
  2. Add vanilla essence and sift in the powdered sugar gradually. Mixture is thick, so you may like to use a stand mixer or hand mixer to help things along.
  3. Add chocolate chips if using and pour fudge mixture into your lined brownie tin and press down. Pop into the fridge to set for at least one hour.
  4. Take fudge out of fridge, flip onto a plate and peel off foil. Slice into bite size pieces and serve!

I also really enjoyed receiving packages in the mail. I love getting fun mail!


I loved this cute little pic of Fry by Alana Bread!


Alana Bread’s super delicious winter fudge and a jar of dulce de leche. YUMmmmm. I loved the packaging as well! You can check out her recipes for these lovely treats here.


I really loved these gorgeous little gluten free raspberry and almond chocolates from Chomp Chomp as well (recipe here!)

Unfortunately my third treat didn’t travel so well in the mail. The post office seemed to have forgotten to send me a ‘pick up your package’ slip and I only received a ‘pick up urgently!’ slip quite some time after the treat arrived in the mail so I think it was sitting in the heat in the post office and so sadly I wasn’t able to sample it. But I would really like to thank the blogger who made it for me – you know who you are!!!

It was so fun getting to send out cute little packages in the mail and so exciting to receive ones back! It was also great seeing everyone making their treats on Instagram and wondering who was sending you what mystery sweet. Its definitely something I’d like to do again! I’m already thinking about new treats to make! One little troubleshooting issue is that I think my fudge was a tiiiny bit too soft and next time I think I’d send them the same way AlanaBanana her fudge to me, wrapped in paper. If you’re not shipping this fudge out, it is a great consistency when stored in the fridge.

Wanna keep in touch? Why not like me on Facebook by clicking here, or follow me on Twitter by clicking here πŸ™‚

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Macadamia Granola and Macadamia and Artichoke Soup

Recipes July 7, 2013


Eamon Sullivan (left) and Colin Fassnidge. (Photo on the left from Australian Macadamias.)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while as this event happened just over a month ago, but I really wanted to share these great recipes with you, so better late than never right??

I was very honoured to be invited along to a fun cooking competition by Australian Macadamias where I and a bunch of fun-loving food bloggers challenged our cooking skills alongside celebrity chefs Colin Fassnidge and Eamon Sullivan. Colin and Eamon demonstrated two of their fabulous macadamia recipes and then us bloggers hit the kitchen in pairs to cook their recipes to be judged by their makers! My partner and I didn’t win but props to Shez from OneBiteMore and Jeremy from Taste Explorer for taking the prize!


Getting some help from Eamon and Colin on the cooking front!
(Photo by Lee Nutter/Tilt Vision from the Aus Macadamia Facebook page.)


Eamon and Colin were very lovely, dropping by everyone’s cooking stations to help stir soups, mix granola or give tips all evening.


Blending up Colin’s soup.


Me and my cooking partner, Cyndie from Ms Slimalicious.

You wanna know something weird? I’d never eaten granola before. I think it was because as a kid, I (for no real reason) threw raw oats into a bowl, milk and yoghurt and did not enjoy the concoction. Since then I kind of avoided most oaty breakfast things (aside from porridge of course) like bircher muesli or granola while eating out for breakfasts.

One taste of Eamon’s granola and I was hooked! There were plenty of leftovers from the blogger cook-off, so I shamelessly took home several boxes, which didn’t take me long to finish off! (Insert evil cackling). I tried it with a variety of different yoghurts: berry, greek and mango. I think my favourite combo was with mango yoghurt and the segments from an orange (I removed the segments of orange over the granola bowl so all the delicious fresh excess orange juice went into the granola and yoghurt, yum!). While I absolutely loved this recipe, keep in mind that it is very high in sugar and fat, so while it’s chock full of good things like nuts, seeds and oats, I probably wouldn’t classify it as everyday healthy breakfast food. More like a weekend breakfast treat, but a very enjoyable one!

Macadamia Granola

Author: Eamon Sullivan
Serves: 3

Eamon Sullivan’s Macadamia Granola

  • 300g demerara sugar
  • 188ml honey
  • 112ml golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla essence
  • 165g butter
  • 270g dessicated coconut
  • 150g pecans
  • 300g macadamias (mix of whole and cut)
  • 150g pumpkin seeds
  • 375g rolled oats
  • 127ml sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 zest of one orange

Equipment needed: Small saucepan, large bowl, baking sheet.

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Melt sugar, honey and golden syrup.
  3. Add butter to sugar syrup.
  4. Mix all nuts, oil and zest in a large bowl and pour over butter/sugar syrup and mix through thoroughly.
  5. Bake on a lined tray in the oven for twenty minutes, turning 4-8 times to make sure the mixture browns evenly and goes crunchy (turn less times for bigger chunks).
  6. Serve with yoghurt and/or milk.

To turn this granola into a muesli bar, turn once or twice in the oven then slice while hot.

I’d never actually seen Jerusalem artichokes before the cooking competition either. I actually even asked Colin where the Jerusalem artichokes WERE because I mistook the ones in my fridge as ginger (how embarrassing!!). Turns out they make a gorgeously flavoursome soup that I can’t wait to replicate at home! I also love Colin’s idea of using macadamias to thicken soup — a method I’ve heard some vegan chefs use (although not usually with cream, heh). This recipe was a snap to put together and one I’m sure you’ll be able to make at home. If you’re vegetarian or don’t eat shellfish (like me), feel free to omit the crab in the garnish.

Macadamia and Artichoke Soup

Author: Colin Fassnidge
Serves: 3

Colin Fassnidge’s Macadamia and Artichoke Soup

  • 1 1/2 white onion
  • 4 1/2 garlic cloves
  • 450g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 225g cracked macadamia nuts
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 75ml white wine
  • 300ml cream
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Garnish

  • 30g sliced macadamia nuts
  • 75g picked crab
  • 3 julienne sorrel leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil to garnish
  • Lemon juice to taste, roughly half a lemon

Equipment needed: Chopping board, knife, large pot, hand blender

Steps

  1. Sweat onions and garlic.
  2. Add peeled artichokes and cracked nuts.
  3. Add white wine and boil.
  4. Add stock and cream and cook until soft and then pass or blend.
  5. Season with salt, pepper and add lemon juice to taste.
  6. Garnish with crab, sliced nuts and sorrel leaves.

Tip from Colin Fassnidge: To stop the artichokes from going brown, peel them and put them in lemon water first.


(Photo by Lee Nutter/Tilt Vision from the Aus Macadamia Facebook page.)
A lovely bunch of bloggers to cook with!


Thanks for a fun night of cooking guys!

I hope you guys enjoy these great recipes!

Special thanks to Australian Macadamias for inviting me to this event.

Wanna keep in touch? Why not like me on Facebook by clicking here, or follow me on Twitter by clicking here πŸ™‚

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Basic Baked Doughnuts (dairy-free friendly)

Recipes June 23, 2013

I absolutely love doughnuts. I mean, who doesn’t? As a child, they were never something that my parents indulged in frequently but on the rare occasion, my mum would buy the cinnamon ones from Coles where I developed the unsurprising power to make a good handful disappear in not much time at all.

Nowadays, I have a love-hate relationship with doughnuts. I love how they taste but their high calorie count makes me (slightly) more hesitant to scoff quite so many as I did in my childhood. On a day-to-day basis, I generally stare lovingly at doughnuts behind the glass counters at Gloria Jeans, or even the slightly sad looking Krispy Kremes sold at my closest 7/11 whenever I go to fill up on petrol. Some days I find it extremely tempting to buy a deep fryer (homemade fried chicken! homemade doughnuts!?!?! homemade fries!!!) but I know I probably wouldn’t have enough self control to not deep-fry myself straight to the hospital. So you can probably imagine how happy I was to discover a six-ring doughnut pan at Peter’s of Kensington last Friday for only $15. Baked doughnuts definitely seem ‘healthier’ than their fried counterparts and, hey, I can put whatever I like in them!

Okay, full disclosure. I may or may not have made these doughnuts three times in one weekend. They are incredibly moreish but, more to the point, they’re so easy to make. 1 cup of self raising flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of milk and one egg, some oil and basic spices – I mean these are super cheap ingredients that most people are pretty much guaranteed to have on hand almost all the time. Plus, the batter is a snap to put together and they bake in about 15 minutes or less. That’s right, you could have piping hot fresh doughnuts in only 20 minutes! The only thing I will mention is that these aren’t as doughy and soft like fried doughnuts – they have more of a cakelike texture but, covered in glaze, they are still pretty easy to put away!

I am super excited to try out new doughnut variations armed with this doughnut pan – gluten free, sugar free, vegan, and of course there will be a couple of decadent versions to try as well.. I”m thinking: dulce du leche doughnuts, coconut doughnuts, white chocolate macadamia doughnuts, maybe choc orange doughnuts? Mmmm, possibilities!


Mix wet ingredients with dry to form the batter.


Spoon doughnut batter into tin and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.


And now for the fun part, coating them in sugary goodness!


You can try coating them in a simple glaze (Krispy Kreme style).


Or try the classic cinnamon doughnut (toss them in a mixture of caster sugar with a few dashes of ground cinnamon).

Basic Doughnuts

Dairy free, nut free
Author: CookingCrusade.com

Makes: 6 doughnuts
Time to prepare: 5 minutes to make batter, 15 minutes to bake

Basic Doughnuts

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 a cup milk (I used soy milk but feel free to use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (to sour your milk to turn it into buttermilk. I’ve only successfully used this with cow and soy milk, so unsure of results on almond, rice, etc. If you just have those on hand, I would recommend skipping the vinegar step.) If you have buttermilk on hand, you could of course use this in place of the milk/vinegar mixture.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon oil (or melted butter or vegan butter such as Nutellex. I used macadamia oil, but you could use another mild flavoured oil such as soy bean or rice bran)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Simple glaze

  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted (I used Nutellex)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon of milk of choice, or water

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a thin icing. If you prefer a thicker consistency, add more sifted icing sugar. For a thinner consistency, add more milk/water. Dip (or double dip!) doughnuts into glaze and place on a plate and allow the icing to set.

Cinnamon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted (I used Nutellex)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Brush cooled doughnuts with melted butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and dip in doughnuts. Serve.

Equipment needed: one bowl, one wooden spoon and one doughnut pan (I used a six doughnut pan by Wilton)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease doughnut pan so it is ready for the batter (I used oil, you could use melted butter/non dairy spread.)
  2. Sift flour into your bowl and add sugar, salt and nutmeg if using.
  3. In a small jug, add your milk of choice, then vinegar and allow to stand for about 20-30 seconds. Crack egg in and beat into milk mixture. Add oil/melted butter to milk mixture.
  4. Pour in your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until completely mixed together.
  5. Spoon doughnut batter into tin and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden and the doughnut springs back to touch.
  6. Allow doughnuts to cool before adorning with frosting, dipping into glazes or rolling in cinnamon sugar. Enjoy!

This recipe doubles or triples nicely, but I only made enough batter to fill my doughnut pan once.

These doughnuts are incredibly versatile. You could sift in a few tablespoons of cocoa powder into the dry ingredients to make chocolate doughnuts, or you could add chopped nuts, or chocolate chips to the batter as well. Why not try adding a couple spoonfuls of grated zest from lemons, limes, or oranges to the batter to give it a bit of zing? You can also go nuts with the toppings – try dipping your doughnuts in chocolate ganache, then in crushed nuts? Or dip them into salted caramel or a cream cheese frosting? The possibilities are endless!

I attempted to make chocolate peanut butter fudge to sell at the Cake Sale vs Bake Stall, but it didn’t set, so I melted it down and dipped the doughnuts in the melted fudge to frost them in and they turned out not too bad! I will definitely try to adapt an easier version of this recipe to make again soon (instead of making fudge to melt!).

Wanna keep in touch? Why not like me on Facebook by clicking here, or follow me on Twitter by clicking here πŸ™‚

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