Wednesday, 15 February 2012

※ Dark Chocolate Brownies


  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1¾ cups (310g) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1¼ cups (185g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 160°C (325ºF). Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. 

Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined. 
Pour into a 20cm-square slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer withdraws clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before slicing. 
Serve warm or cold. Makes 16 slices.

Monday, 13 February 2012

※ Froot Loops Then & Now

Then & now. 
Discussing this with a friend on Flickr this morning, thought a comparison photo would be interesting.

Froot loops (Australia) have changed a lot in the past few years. Maybe ow as they don't use Artificial colours or artificial flavours that's why they look and taste so different?

Generally cereals are made healthier here (with less trans fat, controversial ingredients and bad food dyes).

I don't consider it a breakfast food with all that sugar, more of a dessert food.

Friday, 10 February 2012

※ Animal’s Bacon Upside-Down Corn Bread

Muppet Picnic Cookbook

Jim Henson's Muppet Picnic Cookbook is a 14 page stapled booklet published by Hallmark and sold in Hallmark stores in 1981. It includes recipes by Kermit,Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef and Animal.

Today's scan "
Animal’s Bacon upside-down corn bread"

  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil or butter melted
  • 6-8 slices of bacon
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in mixing bowl.  combine soda and buttermilk and add to dry ingredients.  add eggs and oil or butter. stir until mixture is thoroughly moistened.
Fry bacon until cooked partially (still limp). Drain on a paper towel. Line bottom of a greased 9-in square pan with waxed paper.  Arrange bacon on waxed paper and pour batter into pan.  Bake 400 for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool a few minutes.  Turn bread out upside down onto a board or plate.  Remove waxed paper. Cut into squares.  serves 8-10

Click for larger scan 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

※ Passion Fruit Butter Cream

To prepare enough butter cream to frost a two layer 9-in. round cake (or a three layer 8-in. round cake), you'll need:

  • one pound (450 g) unsalted butter, 
  • four large eggs, 
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, 
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) table salt, and 
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract. 
  • I used 2 whole passion fruits, I love the seeds you may prefer to strain them out. 

Start by cracking all four eggs into the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to the bowl.

Whisk until the eggs, sugar, salt, and extract are evenly combined.

Find a pot that the mixing bowl can sit on without touching the bottom of the pan. Pour about 1/2-in. (about 1 cm) water into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the mixing bowl over the water pot to form a double boiler. This will allow us to heat the eggs slowly, minimizing the chances that the egg proteins will tighten up (forming scrambled eggs). Whisk continuously over the steaming water until the eggs reach 160°F  /
71.1 Degrees Celcuis, as measured by an instant read thermometer.

Once the mixture reaches 160°F / 71.1 Degrees Celcuis, take it off the heat and beat on medium-high with the flat beater attachment for five minutes. The egg mixture will turn light yellow and fluffy. The mixture should have cooled by this time. Touch the side of the mixing bowl to check the temperature. If the mixture is too warm, it will melt the butter while you add it and the buttercream might not come together.

Reduce the mixer's speed to low and begin cutting pieces of butter into the mixer, waiting for ten to fifteen seconds before adding the next piece. One pound of butter should be cut into about 16 to 20 pieces (about 2 Tbs. per piece). During this process, the mixture will become lumpy, but don't worry about it, continue to cut pieces of butter into the mix until all the butter has been incorporated. At this stage I stirred in the pulp and juice of two passion fruits.

Monday, 6 February 2012

※ Garlic & Herb Butter (for steaks)

This butter recipe is wonderful served with any grilled meat. As it melts into the hot steak, the aroma is irresistible!

1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tsp. chili flakes
1 Tsp. dehydrated onion flakes
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 Tbsp. butter, softened (NOT margarine)

Salt and pepper to taste

In food processor or blender, combine all ingredients .Process or blend till mixture is even. Cover the blended butter and chill this mixture and then form it into a roll 1" in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and chill until firm, up to 24 hours. For longer storage, freeze the butter. I served mine in tiny butter plates this time as was quick and easy.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

※ Loam

We were dying to try this place & were not at all disappointed.  
There was a long waiting list to get in (we waited 2 months) 
There's no menu, just a list of ingredients in season and the imprimatur to give a list of likes and dislikes to the kitchen. 
(Below is a scan of my choices from the list)

Loam Restaurant is located on the Bellarine, Victoria Australia. They like to forage, fish and hunt to deliver a unique dining experience using modern techniques in a rural setting.
The blog is here: Loam
ADDRESS: 650 Andersons Road  Drysdale VIC 3222 / (03) 5251 1101
Owners: Aaron and Astrid Turner
Chef: Aaron Turner

My Menu

Charred Leek, sesame, watercress, pear, lettuce heart

Yolk, cauliflower, asparagus, sherry vinegar, oatmeal.
Garden peas, rice starch, wild rice, sea palm.

Salted rabbit, green strawberry, sunrose, quinoa
Beef rump, avocado, veal tongue, salt-bush, grass

Mauri taleggio, fermented cabbage, raw honey, pollen

Berries, rhubarb, pine yoghurt, wild fennel, candied milk

Saturday, 4 February 2012

※ Kermit's Swamp Salad

Muppet Picnic Cookbook

Jim Henson's Muppet Picnic Cookbook is a 14 page stapled booklet published by Hallmark and sold in Hallmark stores in 1981. It includes recipes by Kermit,Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef and Animal.

Today's scan "Kermit's Swamp Salad"

Click for 1.3mb file
Kermit's Swamp Salad 
1 head each - bib, romaine, and leaf lettuce
Fresh spinach
6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
Wash greens, drain well, and refrigerate until chilled and crisp.  Prepare dressing and refrigerate.
Kermit's Dressing
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. milk (to thin)
Salt and pepper
When ready to serve, add dress and toss.  Top with 1 cup bread crumbs toasted in oven or skillet with 3 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 head cauliflower, grated.  Serves 40 to 50 frogs (10-14 large servings for adult humans). 

Friday, 3 February 2012

※ Gyoza-Pot Stickers-만두-Dumplings

Photo by Jake - from his instagram 

It's said that gyoza originated in China and was introduced to Japan. Gyoza wrappers are slightly thicker than wonton wrappers. Gyoza is cooked in various ways, such as steamed, pan-fried, and so on. Also, there are a number of variations in the filling. Different kinds of vegetables and meat can be used for the filling. This is a recipe to make the most common pan-fried gyoza.


  • 20 gyoza wrappers 
  • 1/3 cup chopped and boiled cabbage or hakusai (Chinese cabbage), excess water removed 
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onion 
  • 1/2 lb ground pork or chicken 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • 1 tbs chopped coriander 
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt 
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 
  • vegetable oil for frying (I use sesame) 

Dipping Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons light soy 
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced 

Combine all ingredients and seasonings for filling in a bowl and mix well by hands. Place a spoonful of the filling in a gyoza wrapper and put water along the edge of the wrapper by fingers.

Make a semicircle, gathering the front side of the wrapper and sealing the top.

I watched this helpful youtube video, showed me exactly how it's done : How-To Fold Gyoza-Pot Stickers-만두-Dumplings

Heat about 1 Tbsp of oil in a frying pan.

Put gyoza in the pan and fry on high heat until the bottoms become brown.

Turn down the heat to low. Add about 1/4 cup of water in the pan. Cover the pan and steam the gyoza on low heat until the water is gone and cooked through.

Serve gyoza with dipping sauce on the side.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

※ Muppet Picnic Cookbook

I'm always on the on the lookout for vintage cookbooks. This caught my eye and I had to buy it. It actually has some great basic recipes! I will scan pages over time and post them here. 

Jim Henson's Muppet Picnic Cookbook is a 14 page stapled booklet published by Hallmark and sold in Hallmark stores in 1981. It includes recipes by Kermit,Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef and Animal.

Recipes include the following:
  • Kermit's Swamp Salad
  • Miss Piggy's Precious Pink Punch
  • Fozzie's Barbecued Corn on the Cob
  • Gonzo's Barbecued Ice Cream
  • Muppet Labs Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Swedish Chef's Barbecued Filet of Sole
  • Animal's Zesty Baked Beans
The final layout shows the Muppets eating the picnic, and the back cover shows Beauregard cleaning up after they finish.

Among the items seen in the background are "Animal's Crude Oil," "Gonzo's Half-Baked Beans," "Sweetums'Honey," "Bunson's Charcoal Briquets" and "Statler and Waldorf's Salad Vinegar." Gonzo's recipe for Barbecued Ice Cream fails in the book, and The Swedish Chef's Barbecued Filet of Sole calls for two sneakers, but the reader can substitute 2 broiler-fryer chickens.

Today's scan is: Miss Piggy's Precious Pink Punch & Watermelon Dream Boat. 

Click image for 1.3mb file 
Miss Piggy's Precious Pink Punch
"Au naturel - that's French for no sugar.  Merci"
4 C. cranberry juice
2 C. pineapple juice
1 C. fresh or frozen lemon juice
7 C. ginger ale
Lemon slices and mint
Chill all ingredients. Just before serving have one of your servants combine ingredients and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with lemon slices and mint.  Makes 14 scrumptious (8 oz.) servings.