Sunday, 30 September 2012

※ Coming in October - Lip Balms!

Anybody who knows me well knows I'm obsessed with lip balms and glosses so I'd thought I'd try my hand at making some. They were / are amazing a few people have expressed an interest in buying some. So I purchased the ingredients and packaging in bulk and waiting for it all to arrive so I can make some more batches. It's looking like mid October they will be available.
I'm pretty excited!

Lip Balms:

Made with Organic Coconut oil, Golden Yellow Bees Wax, & a few other
delicious ingredients.

Friday, 28 September 2012

※ Interview A Foodie (Charlotte C)

1. What's your worst food memory

So in preschool it's not really expected that the food will be great, but mine really took the spice cake. Every two weeks or so we would be served "beef and rice" which, as I remember it, consisted of of rice and beef of equally grey and mushy consistency. I could barely choke it down with my small cup of milk and was once told I was hurting the cook's feelings by not finishing my portion of the stuff. Beef and rice will forever symbolize the gastronomical and emotional trauma of early childhood.

2. Best food memory

Hmm, a more difficult question. Like my worst food experience, by best ones are tied up with emotions. I remember my first dinner out with just my dad to a steakhouse in Denver, CO while we were away for a soccer tournament. He bet I couldn't finish my t-bone steak so I attacked it like a starving wolf and remembered it as the best steak ever when I actually finished it (and no doubt had indigestion in the hotel room later that night). Another favorite is my grandmother's french toast, smothered in gooey peaches and powdered sugar when we spent our first Christmas away from the home I grew up in.

3. My signature dish is.

Aside from soba noodles in dashi broth that I eat almost every night with whatever vegetables I have around, I recently made my own tomato sauce from farmers' market heirloom and roma tomatoes. I combined it with basil, maitake mushrooms, and spicy Italian sausage over Barilla pasta. It was amazing (totally surprised myself) and ate it for lunch at work almost two weeks in a row. I'm actually clearing my schedule for tomorrow so I can make even more sauce and enjoy it throughout the winter!

4. One of my favourite food photographs. 

Of someone else .. pretty much everything Laura Letinsky has ever done. I was so happy to see her speak a few years ago. This is one of the first photographs of her's I fell in love with immediately:

5. Ingredient I'm currently obsessed with is

Tomatoes! I'd always picked them off my sandwiches and burgers when I was younger but now I love choosing them at the farmers' markets for both photographing and making sauces.

6. Worst kitchen injury

I was chopping lettuce for taco night with a brand new knife when it went right into the base of my left thumbnail. I didn't need stitches but it was a major damper on an otherwise fun evening. 

7. Cake I ask for on my birthday

I actually don't care for cake or other baked goods, but if I had to pick it would be chocolate ice cream or French silk pie. When it comes to sweets I really prefer sour gummies and Apple-O's.

8. Favourite Chef
Sharon Ardiana of Ragazza in San Francisco. I love that she opened this restaurant as an homage to the lady cooks in her family. I also love that she has the most incredible dough for her pizza … and i've had a LOT of pizza.

9. Share with us one of your favourite recipes

Buckwheat Noodles in Hot Peanut Sauce (adapted from Wok Every Day) - Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I typically use vegetable broth. water, or even mirin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chile-garlic paste (Sambal)
  • 4 green onions, white part only, minced (I use the green parts, too, with the cilantro for garnish)
  • 1/4 chunky peanut butter (creamy is okay)
  • 8 ounces thin buckwheat noodles (also known as soba)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cups shredded Chinese (napa) cabbage
  • 1 cup grate carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

* This is where I deviate from the recipe because cabbage gives me gas, so I'll use maybe a cup of it along with the carrots, and add in a cup of cubed tofu and shiitake mushrooms. You can really add whatever you want to this dish (even chicken or pork) as long as you prepare it in thin slices to minimize cooking time in the wok before you add the noodles and sauce.

To make the sauce: in a saucepan or a small woke over medium heat, combine the soy sauce, brother, semsae oil, chile-farlic paste, green onions, and peanut butter. heat, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, oruntil the peanut butter melts and the ingredients are well combined Remove from the heat and set aside. 

- The book says to cook your soba noodles in the wok … you can, but if you have a small pot, use that and save yourself the trouble of draining and drying your wok before stir-frying - 

Cook noodles according to directions. Drain.

Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds, or until fragrant. If using meat, sauté until cooked through. Then, add the cabbage and carrots (or other vegetables, tofu, etc.) and stir-fry about 3 minutes, or until the cabbage softens. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Add the sauce and mix well. 

Divide noodles among bowls, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve immediately. * I deviate here too and eat about 1/2 of it, saving the rest for lunch the next day. 

10. Favourite kitchen appliance and what I make with it most often

Living in San Francisco means I have a tiny kitchen, so I don't have too many major appliances beyond my refrigerator and stove. I love my stainless steel cookware my mom bought me as a graduation present, as well as the CutCo knives I received for Christmas from my sister. I make do with the basics, really. I did however recently come to own a hand-me-down deep-fryer that I've used a couple times and am eager to use more often, especially as it gets colder and I crave fried chicken and French fries. 

11. If you were on death row, what would your final meal request be.

Oh no, not this question! So hard. Part of me wants a New York City cheese pizza, part of me wants a dozen oysters and champagne, and another part wants a perfectly grilled grass-fed steak from my home state of Montana. But I'm dying, so I can get all three, right?

12. What did you learn from you mother/grandmother that you use often in the kitchen.

Both my mother and grandmother taught me that recipes aren't perfect. As someone who both loves and hates authority, this was a thrillingly difficult concept to understand. But, over time, I've learned to trust my instincts in the kitchen, and I believe that they are nearly always right. 

13. What the name and address of your blog

Charlotte Ann - (Fun fact: this was the name I would be called if my mother was upset with me).

14. What are five things you can’t live without? (don't have to be food related)

  • The mountains
  • Salt/soy sauce
  • My camera
  • Bordeaux wine
  • Ramen

15. What are your favorite cookbooks that you would recommend every home cook own and why?

How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman - great and basic reference for pretty much everything (because sometimes I just need to be reminded how to roast vegetables or how to make a simple béarnaise sauce)

Everyday Harumi by Harumi Kurihara - beautiful book with relatively easy and delicious and healthy Japanese recipes. The photography is also gorgeous.

Wok Every Day by Barbara Grunes & Virginia Ban Vynckt - I picked this one up when I got my wok from The Wok Shop in San Francisco's Chinatown and cooked several of the recipes immediately. I don't use it much anymore (save for answer #9) but it has plenty of great advice about woks and the best type for your kitchen and style of cooking. It covers a global assortments of cuisines you can make with your wok, organized by method (steaming, braising, stir frying, deep frying, smoking, and grilling). 

Monday, 24 September 2012

※ Homemade Freckles

So I saw this morning my friend Liz had made homemade freckles and I just had to do it. 

Took 5 minutes and looks great and tastes delicious. 

What a great idea, thanks.

Friday, 21 September 2012

※ Interview A Foodie (Taiss Q)

1. What's your worst food memory
This is a tough one to answer, right off the bat too! It's a toss up between three events ... but I guess the most colourful one would have to be in the late eighties. 

It was the first time I was invited to dinner outside of the extended family and it was to the home of  ... I wish this could be put more delicately ... a culturally clueless and more than slightly bogan Anglo-Saxon family.  They made a special effort, they told me, to make something that I would appreciate seeing that I was from an "eye-tie" background. They had made "spag" for dinner. This, apparently, was served in the traditional way: spaghetti from a can, served over toasted white bread that had been "buttered" with margarine, coated in White Crow tomato sauce and topped with a Kraft Cheese slice.

I felt like, what I can only imagine, a vegetarian Muslim being served pork would have felt. I was shocked, horrified, culturally mortified - but I was confused over which part of me was feeling these things.

2. Best food memory
1985. Italy. Fresh crusty bread coming out of the wood fire oven and served with the home made preserved olives, pancetta, goats milk curd and a banquet of other goodies all of which had not just been made by my grandparents, but grown by them on their land in Calabria. The combination of food that was truly fresh and so full of flavour was incredible, and was probably the catalyst for my becoming a foodie.

3. My signature dish is.
For a long time, the southern Italian style ruled my cooking and home made pasta - with creations like vegetable Lasagna and ragù alla bolognese - as well as on over the top Drunken Tiramisu would have been presented. Later, a fusion of asiatic and native flavours dominated my cooking so truffle-porcini pasta ravioli encasing a crocodile and macadamia nut filling and topped with a saffron cream and caviar sauce became my dish ...

Right now, though, I'm in the throws of re-inventing my cooking (yet again!) and that involves a lot of exploring and experimenting ... so right now, I don't have a signature dish. I'm still interpreting, experimenting and creating

In all honesty, I hope that I never have one dish to sign my culinary name, but a whole raft of dishes that say "try it at least once, twice if you're unsure, and thrice if it's nice!"

4. One of my favourite food photographs:

This triptych is symbolic of my feelings around food and the images almost awaken the different senses with the tactile changes and scents of the tomatoes at each stage - the firm, solid fruit that is accompanied by the fresh just picked smell of the vine; the wet and slippery feel as you scoop out the the seeds with the sharp and slightly acidic smell they emit; and the soft cases with their deep enticing roasted nose of the third ...

5. Ingredient I'm currently obsessed with is
What day is it? Oh right! This week, raw cacao has me in a tissy. The properties espoused include antioxidants, cancer fighter and delicious in a 'not chocolate but more coffee' kind of way. I've already used it to make a braised ox cheek, trying a 'conejo en mole' interpretation because of it and from there will see what else I can conjure up!

6. Worst kitchen injury
According to my partner, the most dangerous thing in the kitchen is me. Apparently, I would be classified as an OH&S risk to myself if I was ever to enter a commercial kitchen ... I suppose she gets this idea because i am constantly cutting myself (and have lost the top of a fingertip or two). Scalds and burns are practically an everyday occurrence for someone who forgets his skin isn't made of silicon ... but I guess the worst was second and third degree burns I got back in 1999 due to picking up the cast iron casserole dish out of the oven with loose oven mitts, causing it to slip out of them and onto the inner forearms ... where my brain then decided I could bear the pain and make it to the counter top rather than allow dropping it on the floor and waste a days cooking efforts ...

7. Cake I ask for on my birthday
I'm not much of a sweet tooth. I am, however, in love with the complexities of the sensory immersion that flavours, textures and scents can create ... so, for my birthday, I don't ask for a cake - I ask to be taken out for a degustation dinner instead. 

Push come to shove though, my two favourite cakes are a vanilla bean tea cake and a New York baked cheesecake.

8. Favourite Chef
Funnily enough, is not actually a chef, per se, but a physical chemist who is the man who coined the term of scientific observation of "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy" - Monsieur Hervé This. 

Whilst there are others who can be called practitioners and artisans of the culinary arm ("molecular gastronomy") his work spawned, Hervé worked to understand the mechanisms occurring during culinary transformations. Reading his books and blog has led to basic understandings that have helped me re-work the way I think about cooking. From understanding that boiling an egg at 65*C will ensure a perfectly boiled egg that has a solid white with a running yolk; that fats in dairy will carry a flavour; that cold water added to egg white will cause it to create more foam; or the effect of collagen degredation has in meat tenderness and how to take advantage of it with a brining solution. 

9. Share with us one of your favourite recipes 
Porterhouse with wild mushrooms, red wine jus and heritage vegetables
    • Porterhouse steak
    • Wild mushroom mix (from the farmers market or a gourmet mix of forest mushrooms from the local green grocer)
    • Heritage carrots
    • Roma tomatoes
    • Tuscan onions
    • Shiraz
    • Dijon mustard
    • Raw sugar
    • Canola oil
    • Fresh ground black pepper
    • Salt
      1. Generously salt each side of the porterhouse and allow meat to warm to room temperature
      2. Peel the Carrots and cut into wedges
      3. Slice tomatoes in half, salt the cut surface and drizzle a little oil over them
      4. Peel and cut the Tuscan onion in half lengthwise, lightly sprinkle with raw sugar
      5. Peel and roughly chop the mushrooms
      6. Place a knob of butter in a mall pan and gently sauté the mushrooms
      7. Brush off excess salt from the meat and coat each side with oil
      8. Meanwhile, place a large fry pan on stove and heat until a drop of water dropped on the surface will do the "sizzle dance"
      9. Place the meat onto the pan and sear for a few minutes before turning
      10. In a small bowl mix two parts Shiraz to one part dijon mustard and cracked pepper to taste
      11. Turn the meat over and add the carrots, onion and tomatoes to the periphery of the pan
      12. Pour the mushrooms over the meat followed by the Shiraz
      13. Place the loaded pan into the oven for 15 minutes
      14. Remove the meat and set aside to rest
      15. Return the pan to the oven for an additional ten minutes to finish and glaze vegetables
      16. Remove the pan from the oven and return to stove
      17. Remove vegetables from the pan and reduce the remaining liquid until thick and syrup like.
      18. Place the mushroom topped meat on plate surrounded by the reds and purples of the vegetables and pour the jus around the edge of the plate.
      Try and slow down and savour each bite - it's difficult, but it can be done.

10. Favourite kitchen appliance and what I make with it most often
I recently destroyed my fancy little porcelain mortar and pestle, which was by far and away my favourite thing to pound and mix herbs and spices. Before I was gifted an old stone bowl to replace it, I discovered that my little coffee bean grinder has become my favourite tool to blend ingredients, so much so that i have even begun preparing huge batches of mixes on the weekends to keep aside for easy 'ready to use' convenience during the week. 

11. If you were on death row, what would your final meal request be.
I was thinking about this for some time, and in the end, the thing I decided upon was not some extravagant multiday preparatory meal to extend the stay of execution ... I'd honestly would like an antipasto come ploughman's lunch mix. Just good, fresh, quality foods. Oh, and a bottle of Grappa.

12. What did you learn from you mother/grandmother that you use often in the kitchen.
Nothing beats good old fashioned elbow grease ... Except elbow grease with extra swearing! 

I've had a number of kitchen appliances that I've either purchased or been given as gifts that are meant to simplify or enhance the preperatory process, and with few exceptions, I have found that doing it by hand is far often superior to doing so by appliance.  

13. What the name and address of your blog
I'm no master chef ... 

14. What are five things you can’t live without? (don't have to be food related)
  1. Good friends and company : My constant penchant for taking on far more projects than i have time to complete is often the very reason why I don't make use of this as often as I could/should, but I would still not cope if it wasn't there.
  2. A spirit of exploration and adventure: people often mistake this as a need to travel, but I believe that fundamentally its about the willingness to expand ones mind, to explore and cross the borders in all aspects of our lives and to strive to keep learning new things every day.
  3. Access to fresh quality produce : we have some of the best farm produce in the world here, and with even a little effort, it is not difficult to source practically all manners of wonderful ingredients which without, it is practically impossible to make great meals. Support your farmers people!
  4. The internets : seriously, if I could have my brain jacked in permanently I very well might!
  5. A working kitchen. Enough said.

15. What are your favorite cookbooks that you would recommend every home cook own and why?
With a massive collection acquired over the last twenty years, its hard to narrow down the choices, but considering the last edict of the question, I would have to recommend not cookbooks but culinary reference manuals: 
  1. Larousse Gastronomique : The one encyclopedia every cook should have - covering everything from cooking techniques to ingredients, and recipes to equipment, food histories, and culinary biographies - worth it's hefty weight in spices.
  2. The Flavour Thesaurus and/or The Flavor Bible : Both books tackle the concepts of "what goes with what?" Each explores the concepts from different directions and whilst I have a certain bias towards the first, the latter is also a worthy addition to the shelf.
  3. Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking & Building a Meal both by Hervé This : To get an understanding of how certain processes alter the very molecules of foods to transform them and even an insight into the very properties that tickle our senses and stimulate our appetites.
But for those seeking recipe compilations and perhaps something a little different, let me suggest two that may not have made it onto many shelves:
  1. Wild Weed Pie - A Lifetime of Recipes by Janni Kyritsis : while it is out of print now, if you see it in a second hand store or down at Books for Cooks (in Fitzroy) snatch a copy! When a Greek migrant electrician came to Australia and found it severely lacking in the flavours, customs and joy of Mediterranean cooking, he had to teach a local cook how to make something because he wanted to see it on the menu. From there, he became one of the catalysts who changed the food scene of Australia in the early eighties. His recipes are wonderful with a mix of restuarant creations and peasant food which has put on its best Sunday garnishes.
  2. Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking by Fergus Henderson : Once upon a time, the brittish chefs were actually renowned for their cooking - the now almost derogatory call of the British as "roast beef" by the French was once high praise for their skills in roasting and grilling skills that were sought and taught in courts across Europe. From his research into this once glorious gastronomic past, Fergus has created a collection of recipes, celebrating, as the title implies, the almost forgotten high sophistication with peasant roughness of this old style thrifty rural British tradition of making a delicious virtue out of using every part of the animal. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

※ Some Great Apple Recipes

Scanned an old page of apple recipes that was loose in a cookbook I purchased.  I want to give the Apple Brown Betty a try.

Monday, 17 September 2012

※ Milk Chocolate Cookies With Ganache Filling

Serves: 25

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 450g plain flour
  • pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 350g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g chopped milk chocolate 
  • Nuts chopped (I like macadamias) 

  • 115 gsm milk chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

Put the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil; pour over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the crème fraîche. Refrigerate the ganache, stirring occasionally, until thick and spreadable, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl, stir together the icing sugar, cocoa, flour, bi-carb and salt until well blended. Cut or rub in the butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until a stiff dough forms. It may take a minute to come together.

Add chopped chocolate or nuts or both.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ½ cm thickness and cut into desired shapes using biscuit cutters. If the dough is too sticky, chill for a little bit. Place biscuits 5cm apart onto an ungreased baking tray.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the surface appears dry. Allow biscuits to cool for a couple minutes on the baking tray before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Sandwich the cookies with the ganache and serve.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

※ Interview A Foodie (Melissa F)

1. What's your worst food memory

A toss up between my mum's overcooked steak or her lamb stew with kidney. *shudder*

2. Best food memory

Lunch at Eleven Maddison Park in New York City. Definitely the most amazing meal of my life.

3. My signature dish is.

Oh that's hard... might need to ponder that for a bit. I'll ask the taller half and get back to you... although my recent rabbit ragout was a winner. I also make a mean snapper pie.

4. One of my favourite food photographs. (please see below)

5. Ingredient I'm currently obsessed with is
Congo potatoes. The flavour and texture is so beefy in a potatoey kind of way.

6. Worst kitchen injury
I stuck my hand through a fridge fan working after school in a kitchen in my teens. Mangled a few fingers. Not seriously thank goodness.

7. Cake I ask for on my birthday

Bourke Street Bakery's flour-less sour cherry chocolate cake. Heaven/

8. Favourite Chef

A toss up between Heston and Maggie Beer. Both self taught and both have such an invigorating approach to food.

9. Share with us one of your favourite recipes

Throw some capers, anchovies, olives, garlic and parsley in a mortar and pestle and mash. Add some lemon juice and olive oil then coat your favourite cut of lamb, pop in the oven on about 180oC for the required time to cook as-you-like-it. Result = eatable gold

10. Favourite kitchen appliance and what I make with it most often

My good knife. I'm not a kitchen gadget person. I leave that to my taller half. Give me a knife, some fresh produce and a vessel to cook in and I'm happy.

11. If you were on death row, what would your final meal request be.

Seafood. Of every kind. It's kind of cheating but worth asking. Must include oysters and mud crab... and some great sashimi, some fried whiting fillets, whitebait, ocean trout, vongole... yep, definitely cheating!

12. What did you learn from you mother/grandmother that you use often in the kitchen.

My mum's chicken stuffing recipe. I find it hard to make a roast chook without it. And to measure properly when you bake. I should bake more.

13. What the name and address of your blog

My blog's name is crispy and citrus and the address is

14. What are five things you can’t live without? (don't have to be food related)

  • My ever able taller half
  • My stoic parents
  • My amazing friends
  • Sunshine
  • Rain

15. What are your favorite cookbooks that you would recommend every home cook own and why?

Stephanie Alexander's cooking bible. It just covers everything. Plain and simple.

Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Because it covers all things home made and has introduced the incredible goodness of home made bacon and duck prosciutto to our household. If you want to have a go at curing meat or making cheese, amongst other things, this really gives you the lowdown.

Crazy Water Pickled Lemons by Claudia Roden. Because it covers some of the most amazing cuisines that I adore. Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African. And it shows you how to use all those exotic ingredients you always wanted to find a use for. It's expanded my knowledge of cooking and food enormously.

Testsuya by Tetsuya Wakuda. Because it's a stunning piece of print material. No expense spared on extra plates and fancy metallic spot colours. It has the added ability to challenge you. His dishes are complex. It's no easy ride recreating his food so ultimately you learn.

Ethnodelicious by Dorinda Hafner and William and Dorothy Hall. It's a delightful book that spans the globe and feeds your brain as well as your tummy by helping you to recognise some of the traditions in different cultures as well as their food.

I also rely heavily on the wondrous resource of the internet for inspiration all the time. Sneaking bits and pieces from here and there helps you learn and makes it exciting and fun.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

※ Free Printable - RECIPE CARDS

A little something I was working on for a personal project & I thought I may as well share the file. 
So here you go:

Click image for higher resolution

Monday, 10 September 2012

※ Making Bread

Having one of those days where it is easier to make bread at home than to leave and buy some. (Between tending to junior, doing laundry and tidying up!)

I tossed all of the ingredients into the bread maker to make dough, added all the seasonings and flavourings then I'll bake it just before dinner tonight.

Olive and dukkah - perfect accompaniment for felafel with tahini and salad for dinner.

※ Choc chip Banana Muffins with Maple Sugar & Cinnamon Crust

Those who know me well know I'm obsessed with trying new ingredients. I found maple sugar online and had to buy it. 
I've used it on pancakes before but thought it would be better in and on baking.

Maple sugar is a type of sugar that is prepared with the sap from a maple tree. 

To produce it, the sap is boiled until almost all of the water has been removed from it and the remaining product has crystallized. The sugar can be sold in large blocks, molded into small shapes or simply ground into a granulated version that can be used like regular sugar. It has a strong maple flavor and aroma to it, just like maple syrup.Maple sugar can be used in recipes in the same way as cane sugar is used.
It can be used to sweeten drinks, top oatmeal or incorporated into a flavorful rub for meats. 
When using maple sugar in baking, it acts just like regular granulated sugar and can be creamed with butter for cookies and cakes. It is almost twice as sweet as regular sugar, so when using it in a recipe that calls for regular sugar, you will want to reduce the amount of sugar slightly so that your finished product isn’t too sweet.
You can reduce it by as much as half, but since you want the maple flavor to remain pronounced, it can be a good idea to use slightly more than half and adjust as you go.

INGREDIENTS (serves 12)

  • 60g butter
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup (200g) choc bits
  • Tablespoon of maple sugar
  • Tablespoon of cinnamon and sugar mixed together


  • Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  • Line a medium muffin tray (12 sections) with paper cases. 
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan or heat-proof bowl in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  • Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.
  • Using a whisk, lightly beat milk, eggs and butter in a jug. 
  • Add to dry ingredients, along with mashed banana. 
  • Using a wooden spoon, gently mix ingredients until just combined. 
  • Stir in choc bits. Don't beat the mixture or the muffins will be tough. 
  •  Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases, then dust with Maple sugar & then cinnamon sugar. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until firm on top when lightly touched. 
  • Leave in the tray for 3 minutes. 
  • Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

Friday, 7 September 2012

※ Corned Beef - Silverside


  • Piece of corned beef- silverside (rinsed well in cold water.)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed with a knife
  • 1 lemon, cut in half (including rind)
  • 4 fresh bay leaves (well worth the effort of maintaining your own tree) crumpled
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves


Into a large, heavy based casserole/steamer, place sufficient water to cover the beef

Add all of above ingredients

Bring the pot to a quick boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for approximately one hour to one and a half hours - depending on size of joint.

Generally, when the beef is fully cooked it will start to 'float' towards the surface.

Turn off the heat and leave to cool off in liquid for a while before serving.

Once cold place into an airtight container, or cover with aluminum foil.

Try not to boil the blazes out of the meat and allow it it come to room temperature in the cooking liquid.

※ White Chocolate / Passion Fruit / Vanilla Cake.

It was my mother in laws birthday yesterday. So I made her a white chocolate / passion fruit / vanilla cake. 

This was done over two days as many of you know I have my hands full at the moment. 
I'll post the recipe on the blog next week. Quick and easy decorations were chocolate.

Excuse camera phone picture DSLR pics to come.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

※ Easy Roast Chicken

Tonight I'm going to make this for dinner.

Easiest way to roast a chicken. I throw all the vegetables in the baking tray with a whole head of garlic, olive oil and rosemary.

Place the chicken (which I stuff with breadcrumbs, chopped shal
lots, water, a little melted butter, oregano, lemon zest, dried garlic, & fresh thyme) on the rack above and roast on 180 for an hour and a 1/2.

No need to turn chicken & the juices / dripping cook through the vegetables & they taste divine.

Bonus - only 1 pan to clean!
A good free range chicken needs little too no seasoning, I just rub in a dash of olive oil and a little freshly cracked salt and pepper.