Friday, 27 July 2012

※ Smoked Hock & Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower & ham hock soup added pug is optional!

I love this meal as it is prep time of no more than 5 minutes and only using 1 pot so no dishes! Great lazy winters day food.

  • small ham hock
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 potato
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 600ml of stock (I used vegetable this time)
  • 400ml Water

Chop all of the vegetables roughly

Add stock hock, rice & water

Simmer on low heat for 3 hours in a heavy bottomed pan (alternately 8 hours in a slow cooker on low)

Remove hock and pick apart meat from bone

Use a vegetable masher to roughly break apart vegetables (you can put in blender but is nicer chunky)

Friday, 20 July 2012

※ Mixed Berry Jam; Strawberry, Raspberry & Blueberry

  • 3.2 kg berries, small and firm if possible, stems removed, unwashed
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2.7 kg raw unprocessed sugar


Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes

Put the berries and lemon juice in a preserving pan or large, heavy-based stainless steel saucepan.
Heat gently until the juices start to run, then use a potato masher to mash into the required texture, keeping some of the strawberries whole if you like. Continue cooking and stirring often until the mixture is reduced to a thick slush.

Add the sugar to the saucepan and stir continuously over a low heat until completely dissolved.

Bring the mixture to the boil and boil steadily for 15–20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the setting point is reached (105°C on a sugar thermometer).

Ladle the jam into warm, sterilised jars, then cover and seal. When cold, label, then store in a cool dark place.

Use within 1 year of making.

Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 month.

Friday, 13 July 2012

※ Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 24


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 tsp. plus 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 4 Tbsp. (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 180° (or 350° for you Americans). Line 24 mini muffin pan with cupcake liners, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, food coloring, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, vinegar and egg. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until well combined.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups; bake until cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Set aside and cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute more.

Garnish with sprinkles or fresh raspberries.


A snippet of the nursery with one of his designs I had already purchased. The new wraps match perfectly!

I won the competition June Giveaway - Baby Wrap Set Not only that but Ty Symonds the blogs creator (and a very talented Australian designer btw you seriously should check out his blog.) Sent me a bonus item part of something he calls Catch a smile

The idea is that you can pass on this gift to any person of your choosing to simply bring them a smile. What a lovely sentiment. So beautiful wrapped, I wonder whats inside?

Friday, 6 July 2012

※ Hiatus


Hello everybody,

Will be taking a hiatus for a little while (as of today) so I have done some scheduled posts on the blog. 

They will automatically post 11am each Friday.

Visit to see them as they wont cross post here. (Facebook)

Also please be advised the store will be completely closed until further notice but will come back totally stocked and ready to go in the near future.

Friday 13th July: ※ Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes
Friday 13th July: ※ Thank you SABATO e DOMENICA
Friday 20th July: ※ Mixed Berry Jam; Strawberry, Raspberry & Blueberry
Friday 27th July: ※ Smoked Hock & Cauliflower Soup
Friday 3rd August: ※ Olive Bread
Friday 10th August: ※ Memories of Japan May 2010
Friday 17th August: ※ Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagna

Thanks everybody for your support & I look forward to returning soon

Happy cooking.


※ Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu

Lamb shoulder is considered to be the most flavorful and is a great choice when stewing or slow-cooking.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

  • 600 gm boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and sinew, cut into 2.5cm dice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves black garlic roughly chopped **
  • 1/2 tsp of dried chili flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 1 x 400gm can of whole plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum), thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper (capsicum), thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh or packet pasta for 4
  • 1/3 cup of freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

 ** You can leave this out, if I have some on hand I always add it for sweetness.


Combine lamb with ½ tsp of sea salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper in a non-reactive bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add garlic, chili flakes, chopped onion and bay leaves, cook while stirring for 1 minute. Turn the heat to high and add lamb, stirring occasionally until brown for 3-4 minutes each side.

Add white white and cook until it's almost evaporated, or for about 8-10 minutes.

Add chopped plum tomatoes and juices, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, black garlic and finely sliced peppers (capsicum). Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours. Stir ragu occasionally and add a little extra water if the liquid dries out.

About half way through cooking, taste the ragu and add a little salt if necessary. After two hours of cooking, remove the saucepan from the stove and allow the ragu to cool slightly. 

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb chunks from the saucepan onto a clean chopping board. Use two forks to shred the tender meat then place it back into the saucepan. Add chopped parsley and stir well. 

Set aside while you cook the pasta.

Bring salted (1 Tbsp of salt) water to the boil in a large saucepan. Cook pasta accoring to packet

Toss pasta with lamb ragu and serve immediately with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. **

** I also added some tasty cheese and freshly chopped parsley for serving.