Monday, 22 August 2011

※ Lemon, Honey & Ginger Cordial

A natural and delicious hot beverage, a wonderful pick me if you have a cold or 'flu.  
Drink this with mineral or soda water for a ginger beer style drink which is thirst-quenching and refreshing.

Ingredients: Organic honey, lemons, root ginger 

pictured here served with San Pellegrino mineral water.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 strip lime or lemon rind
1 large ginger root, chopped
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp honey
1 cup lemon or lime juice

Boil the water, sugar, ginger, honey, rind and cream of tartar for 5 minutes. Add the lemon or lime juice. Bring to the boil again.

Take off the heat, strain and pour into a sterilized bottle.

Use like ordinary cordial, either with iced water for a cooling drink, or hot water for a warming drink on a winter's night.

(Note: this cordial should last for several weeks in the fridge. However, if it bubbles or looks odd, throw it out.)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

※ Cupcake Day RSPCA (3)

Please excuse iPhone picture.

White chocolate and raspberry muffins


  • 2 cups (300g) self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (130g) white chocolate bits
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) raspberries or mixed berries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
Preheat oven 180 (160 fan forced) line 6 hole 'Texas' muffin or 12 muffin pan with paper cases. 

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then chop about half of the raspberries and mix both the whole and chopped berries with dry ingredients (reserve some of the whole raspberries and place in bottom of paper cases)
Make a well in the centre of the bowl.
Whisk eggs, oil and milk together and pour onto the dry ingredients. 

Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. (too much mixing may result in tough muffins) 

Spoon the mixture among the paper cases and bake for 15 minutes approx for the 12 muffins or 20-25 minutes for the Texas size or until golden on top and springy to touch. Turn out of the muffin pan and serve warm. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

※ Cupcake Day RSPCA (2)

Please excuse iPhone picture.
Today's recipe:

MUFFINS: Coconut and apricot with a cinnamon crust.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12

Melted butter, to grease
3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 1/2 brown sugar (for main mixture)
200g butter, melted
1/2 cup) milk
4 eggs, lightly whisked
4 1/2 tbs apricot conserve
2 tbs demarara sugar (to sprinkle on top)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Ground cinnamon, extra, to dust
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush six 200ml-capacity muffin pans with melted butter to lightly grease.

Place the flour and caster sugar, coconut in a large bowl. Add the butter, milk and egg, and stir until well combined.

Spoon two-thirds of the mixture evenly among the prepared pans. Spoon 3 teaspoons of conserve into the centre of each pan. Top with the remaining muffin mixture and smooth the surface. Combine the demarara sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the mixture. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Set aside in the pans for 15 minutes to cool slightly.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

※ Cupcake Day RSPCA (1)

Making different cakes all week to support the RSPCA  
I am making a different type of cupcake / muffin every morning.
Today's: triple chocolate cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache.
My office smells ridiculously sweet and like a chocolate factory!


Today's recipe:


100g dark chocolate
1 cup (250ml) water
125g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (255g) brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (75) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon good quality vanilla extract

Chocolate sour cream ganache
300g dark chocolate
300g sour cream


Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 18 x 1/3-cup (80ml) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.

Combine the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until just combined. Add the flours and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Spoon evenly among the lined muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the chocolate sour cream ganache, place the chocolate and sour cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and glossy. Spread over each cake and set aside to set.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

※ White Balsamic Vinegar

Over the past year I have been using this delicious ingredient quite a bit. If you haven't tried it I suggest you do.

Use white balsamic vinegar for salads, pale coloured sauces, dips and with seafood to give a sweet and delicate flavour, whilst preserving the presentation of the dish.

Try using white balsamic vinegar to deglaze a roasting pan and pour over the meat.

Product Features
  • A version of Balsamic vinegar that is made with white wine vinegar and grape must
  • Used when the color of white sauces or foods will be adversely affected by the dark brown color of traditional balsamic vinegar
  • Is milder and less sweet than regular Balsamic vinegar

Thursday, 11 August 2011

※ Part of the Prize Pack

Making the top 55 in the " Lurpak cooking Challenge" 

I won: A spot prize (see photo)
The Lurpak Gift Pack contains 1 x Lurpak Tea Towel, 1 x Lurpak Apron and 1 x Lurpak bamboo butter knife.

An e-mail from the competition holders:
As soon as the official announcement of the winners is on the website and Facebook page on Friday, 12 August, we will be in contact with the finalists.

You can expect someone to contact you regarding the Woolworths voucher in the next couple of weeks. (prize is $100 WISH Gift Card)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

※ I love Eating Tacos T-shirt

Decided to make up some t-shirts after a joke that was made a few weeks ago.

Available here for those that LOVE (eating) TACOS!

Monday, 8 August 2011

※ Smoked Paprika & Garlic Butter

Served with a porterhouse; red wine reduction, garlic potatoes & steamed broccoli. 

  • 60gsm butter. (I used Lescure Salted) **
  • 2 Large sized garlic cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme roughly chopped
  • Cracked black pepper to taste.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil (if needing to caramelize the garlic)  
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika. 

Roast and caramelize the garlic. (I keep some in the fridge as I usually roast a whole head a least once a week or so)

If you need to make some:


  • 1 Garlic head; unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut off top quarter inch of garlic head. Drizzle oil over head. Wrap head in tin foil. Bake until golden, about one hour.
Wait until garlic has cooled, add all of above ingredients to a blender.
Pulverize for 30 seconds. 
Serve in small ceramic dishes. 
Refrigerate if necessary. 

  ** Description:
Lescure butters have a well-earned reputation that extends well beyond their home region. They belong to the Charentes-Poitou family of butters, for which the AOC label (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) has been superseded by European Protected Designation of Origin (Appellation d'Origine Protégée - AOP) status. The milk, sourced exclusively from the Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne and Vendée departments, is infused with the area's character, natural richness and traditions.

The subtle blend of soil and climate (the so-called terroir) gives this butter its identity, personality, authentic delicate flavour and fine creamy texture.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

※ Blood Orange & Lime

  • Juice of 1 blood orange
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup Campari**
  • 1 sprig of mint to serve

Juice orange & lime, straining the pulp from the juice if necessary.
Add Campari, Serve with a sprig of mint.

** (you may also use soda water / vodka / or lemonade if you like it sweet)

Campari, a bright red bitter aperitif is comprised of a still top secret recipe and the taste is nearly impossible to describe. It's distinctively not sweet, though not particularly savory either and surprisingly refreshing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

※ Fresh Sriracha

Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster')

inspiration: (thanks j.b)

Serves 1 1/2 cups


  • 250gsm red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika

Place all the ingredients except the sugar & paprika in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers.

Place the mixture and sugar in small saucepan with paprika & sugar Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so, until is very syrupy & thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer and smush out as much juice as possible.
Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as the 'Rooster', but less salty and a whole lot fresher tasting!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

※ Hot Sauce Whore

My love of chilli can be seen in the picture above. (click for larger)
I made my own Rooster sauce over the weekend, I plan on posting the photos / recipe later this week.

※ Thai Beef Salad

Served with garlic roti - recipe here


  • 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped palm sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons of finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 600g of eye fillet steak
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • chillies to taste
  • 1 onion, red or regular
  • Thai basil, coriander, Vietnamese Mint, cucumber, shredded kafir lime leaves, rocket or baby spinach(to taste)


Whisk together fresh lime juice, finely chopped palm sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, fresh ginger, coconut vinegar, crushed garlic clove.

Marinate the meat in half the dressing covered by plastic wrap in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Grill the beef & onions, cut beef into strips.

Add to a salad of tomatoes, chillies, red onion, Thai basil, coriander, cucumber and shredded kafir lime leaves.

Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

※ Oven Roasted Chicken (bag)

Found this old photo & recipe of mine from 2007.
It is interesting to see how ones cooking evolves and tastes refine through the years 

This method is still one of my favorite ways to roast a bird.

Great fresh food doesn’t need a lot of fuss to taste brilliant. 
This chicken  dish is incredibly simple but will satisfy every taste bud.

Corn fed free range organic chicken roasted in a bag.

I rubbed the outside with:
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • A little Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
Brush butter over chicken skin and season with salt and pepper.
    Stuffed with :
    • Phillipa's crumbs
    • Sage
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Salt & Pepper.
    • Chopped Shallots x 3
    • A little melted butter & water to bind stuffing (all depends on size of bird) 
    Then I tossed in the bag:

    Place remaining lemon slices,  thyme, and garlic in oven bag. 
    • 2 Shallots
    • Some cloves of garlic (whole)
    • 1/2 a lemon  sliced
    • a few sprigs of thyme

    Cook for 1 hour 200 degrees.

    ※ Snacks of the Great Scribblers

    Monday, 1 August 2011

    ※ Pistachio ice cream

    Baked banana tart: w/ pistachio ice cream

    Serves : 8

    375ml full cream milk
    125ml single cream
    Seeds from 8 green cardamom pods, cracked
    ½ vanilla bean
    4 egg yolks
    100g castor sugar
    150g roasted and shelled fresh pistachios
    100g dark palm sugar

    In a saucepan bring to a boil the milk, cream, cardamom seeds and vanilla beans and remove from the heat.

    Whisk together yolks and sugar, and add strained milk mixture until combined and place in double boiler over low heat. Continue to stir until it coats the back of a wooden spoon

    Remove from heat and continue to stir over ice until cool.

    In food processor or pestle and mortar pound together nuts and palm sugar and add chilled ice cream base to ice cream machine and churn until firm.

    source for recipe