Honey King Prawns

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Honey King Prawns

Honey King Prawns – Click here for recipe

Chinese food is a weakness of mine. Hubby and I use to love ordering massive amounts of food from my favourite Chinese restaurant up the road and then spend the night gorging ourselves – Honey king prawns, Mongolian lamb, Peking duck, Beef in black bean sauce, mixed entrees and rice. It certainly wasn’t all eaten in one sitting but also enjoyed over the next couple of days. Chinese food, for me, has always meant that you would sit yourself down in front of a banquet of food and enjoy the slow procession of tasting each and every dish, just one of the reasons why I love Yum Cha so much. As ‘street’ as Yum Cha is, it still has a decadence that’s very appealing.

Yesterday though, I suddenly realised that I should try making some of these dishes myself. I chose Honey king Prawns and Mongolian Lamb to be my first dishes. Both turned out to be so much better than my favourite restaurant’s equivalents that I will forever now be making them myself. The Mongolian Lamb was outstanding but was all eaten so I don’t have a photo to put up yet, will blog about it shortly. The Honey King Prawns were perfect. Lightly battered and a simple honey sauce drizzled over the top.

Honey King Prawns

Chinese food is very quick, so quick in fact that you really can produce your own banquet of food without feeling exhausted at the end of it.

Happy Year Of The Monkey!

Blondie  :)

Tim Tam & Milo Coconut Balls

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Aust Day Tim Tam Balls 1

Click here for recipe

Woohoo! My first post for 2016! Yikes, where does the time go to these days? It seems that one day I am packing for an exciting overseas Christmas holiday and the next I am getting ready to celebrate Australia Day.

“I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

Dorothy Mackellar

Happy Australia Day for tomorrow everyone! A day of celebrating and paying respect to our rich and diverse culture and heritage. A day of cranking up the barbie and feasting on lamb, meat pies, sausage rolls, lamingtons, and pavlovas whilst listening to a bit of Triple J’s Hottest 100 and partaking in a game of backyard cricket. For those like me who have no backyard, it is a case of watching it on the television.

Aust Day Tim Tam Balls 2

If you are one of many hosting an Aussie day BBQ tomorrow and have left the dessert off the list, or just plainly forgotten about it, then these Tim Tam, Milo and Coconut balls are too easy to make.

IMG_8411 copy

We celebrated Aussie Day lunch last year at Blondie’s place and from memory it was one of those typical hot and humid days. I had volunteered to make dessert and wanted to make something with an Australiana  theme, other than lamingtons and something that didnt need to be baked. IGA was selling Tim Tams for half the price so the ball idea began.

No cooking, no mess no fuss but yummy!

Bella :)

Aust Day Beach

Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries

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Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries

A Christmas tradition that we no doubt all do is sit around the Christmas table, make a toast and then pop a Christmas cracker with our nearest and dearest.

I love these traditions and we have actually got some really great knick knacks as a gift from the crackers. The one most used is a set of mini screwdrivers (it’s amazing how many things need a really small screwdriver!) But I absolutely hate the flimsy paper crowns that we all feel obliged to wear in celebration of this yearly event.

Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries

Modeling this Christmas wreath is Bella’s beautiful daughter, Imogen.

So for all the people out there (females and males) who are completely over those awful things on our heads, that do nothing to enhance us in photos, and just act as blotting papers for our foreheads in our hot Aussie summers, I have decided to start a new tradition within our family Christmas and design floral head wreaths.

Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries

Although I have no time this year to make my preferred fresh leaf wreath (every minute from this point on is allocated, absolutely every minute) I insist on doing it. So I gathered four sprigs of plastic, snow covered branches and another four little cranberry springs from the $2 shop, a packet of floral wire (would have used floral tape also to neaten the final look but couldn’t find it in time) and this is it. My five 2015 Floral Berry Head Wreaths. Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries

A very berry Christmas! Blondie

Sardine Dip with Christmas Bread Dippers

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Sardine Dip with Christmas Dippers

Sardine Dip with Christmas Dippers recipe

Sardine Dip with Christmas Bread Dippers is a tasty alternative to the creamy dips that often accompany the chips at party tables. There is the deliciously fishy hit of the sardines with bursts of capers and pickles to cut through it. Serve with some Christmas star dippers (or any other shape that takes your fancy) and you have a ridiculously quick entertainer.

Dip away! Blondie

How To Make Your Own Ginger Beer

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How To Make Homemade Ginger Beer

Click for Ginger Beer recipe

How To Make Your Own Ginger Beer. This is an incredibly easy skill to master and will from this point on be a recipe you will make often.

To start with you will bring to life your very own ginger bug, not unlike a sourdough starter that lives and breaths. You give it water, food, warmth and air and the wild yeasts in the air make it their own.

The health benefits of ginger is widely know and although a tiny amount of alcohol is produced during the process it’s certainly not enough to counteract the benefits of the ginger elixir.

How To Make A Ginger Bug

Click for the Ginger Bug recipe

Merry drinking! Blondie

Chilli, Lemon & Smoked Paprika Flavoured Salt

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FinSkis_Flavoured Salt_Bauble1

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Spice up your Christmas with this chili, lemon and smoked paprika salt rub.

I always buy store rubs and spice mixes but it never occurred to me until very recently that I could make my own. I was at our local fair in October and it was there that I came across the most divine smoked sea salt rub!

Our family eats quite a fair bit of chicken so I am forever looking at new ways of adding flavour to the Sunday roast.

I had a packet of sea salt flakes sitting in the cupboard so when the weekend came I got inventive. This rub has a beautiful smoky paprika aroma and I guarantee it will make a roast chicken taste amazing!

Bella

Christmas Brandy Cherries

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FinSkis_brandy cherries main shot1

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Like Blondie I too love Christmas. I love the lights, the songs, the decorations and the FOOD!

Growing up, like most kids, Christmas for me was all about the presents. Which kid in their right mind would say that it’s about anything else but that? Miss H starts making making her Santa wish list as soon as Halloween is done and dusted.

Christmas for me as an adult is all about the food and plenty of it, and maybe the odd occasional glass of wine or champagne…OK a lot actually! The present side of things frustrates me. Everyone seems to get flustered about the perfect. You hear so many stories of gifts being re-packaged or shoved in the bottom of the draw, never to see daylight again. I too have been guilty of this!

Last year I decided to experiment a little and have a go at making my own edible gifts!

Kicking off gift No. 1 idea are these Brandy Cherries.

The cherry season is in full swing and depending on where you shop you can pick them up for about $15 per kilo.

Just in time for summer desserts and Christmas cocktails!

Bella

Crispy Skin Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken

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Crispy Skin Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken

Crispy Skin Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken

Roast chickens are one of the most delicious and easy to make meals there are. I will generally make one on a Friday or Saturday so the family has cold chicken meat to eat with sandwiches if I’m out on a job on that weekend.

This recipe is called Crispy Skin Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken for a reason so don’t be scared by the amount of salt in this recipe as the end result is not salty. What you will be left with is crispy skin brimming with flavour and juice that can be used on it’s own, drizzled over the sliced chicken or made into a gravy.

In regards to style of cooking, this is not a ‘leave and forget’ recipe, this is a hands on, cook while your preparing the vegetables or salad for your dinner type recipe. You will be turning it over several times during it’s cooking process so in essence it’s a rotisserie style but in your oven.

Lip smacking goodness – Blondie :)

Blondie’s American Trip

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Blondie’s American Trip – After getting back from our big, but all too short American adventure just over a month ago, I can now sit down share all the wonderful and exciting things we got up to. Blondie's American Trip

Blondie's American Trip - New York

Las Vegas at night

To begin with, I’m a bit of a research freak so having this amazing holiday land in our laps (I will explain shortly) with a relatively short turn around was a bit all consuming. From the, “ok, this is actually going to happen” to getting on the plane, left me with just over 1 month to organise. This may sound like a long time for some but when you are planning a holiday with a set budget (hubby refuses to use credit) and three people all liking different things, getting as much prep work done at home is your saving grace.

These are the basics of our American holiday…

Where: Los Angeles then on to Las Vegas (road trip!) and then to New York.

People: We started with friends in LA then parted ways, they went off to Canada and Master 10, hubby and myself took on las Vegas and New York.

How long: 2 weeks from go to whoa.

Budget: Excluding the return flights from Sydney to LA we went a smidgen over $11,000 AUD. Blondie's American Trip - Vegas road trip Blondie's American Trip - route 66

New York has been on my personal dream list for as long as I can remember and my son has been wanting to go to F.A.O Schwarz Toy Store ever since seeing the movie, Big (darn it! missed it by only two months) but apart from those isolated dreams it has always been a holiday to Finland while using my brother-in-law’s London house as a base (he owes us BIG TIME accommodation wise) that has been on the family holiday agenda. Holidaying for my husband and I has always been the getting to the destination, not just waiting around for planes at an airport to get to your chosen point on earth. One of the main reasons that America was never on our immediate radar was there are just no stops from Australia to America, it’s all air travel… long, looong air travel.

But life throws you in directions you would never expect, and this is exactly one of those situations.

A dear friend of ours, Ali, who we have known since school, died a year ago, November 2014 from Motor Neuron Disease or ALS. It was a devastating loss and one of the worst, most heinous diseases you will ever come across. Before he passed he requested for us to join his wife and their two kids on a trip to Disneyland, to fulfill a dream holiday they had been wanting to do together, but the disease prevented this from happening. Melissa has been one of my closest friends since we met at the age of 13 in high school, Ali and my husband have been friends since 15 or so… a lifetime for all of us really.

So this is it, with Ali’s wish a Disneyland holiday was born; three adults and three kids, the perfect combo for such an expedition. Mel was looking at fulfilling all the girly stuff with 6 year old Bailey  – and I do mean all of it, while husband Nick and I were fully prepared to be dragged around by Mel’s son Bodie (11) and our son Sebastian (10). This was purely the kid’s holiday, they ruled the agenda, where they wanted to go was where we were going to go. We were there to feed and water them and do every single ride available.

Blondie's American Trip - Disneyland

So now the planning… Disneyland is supposedly at it’s quietest time when our school holidays start in late September early October so that worked perfectly, (especially for Nicko, who loathes, absolutely despises crowds and waiting in queues – more of that story coming up – haha) plus the weather is getting milder so we won’t be melting under the Californian sun (more of that untruth coming up as well!). Next, what to do while we are there? While Mel and the kids had decided right off the bat to do a week or so in Canada after Disneyland (a train into the Rockies, staying at Whistler then a seaplane back to Vancouver) Nick and I were tossing up ideas about leaving it as just a quick jaunt; Disneyland and then back home to Sydney. Then driving to San Fransisco over a few days was thrown in, eventually coming up with quite possibly the most quintessential America trip we could do in our two weeks… Los Angeles to Las Vegas to New York! WOW, this was going to be a big one!

Los Angeles. Las Vegas. New York. Each city is a visual library of everything you have seen your entire life. They have each been written about, sung about, stories made into stage shows and movies. If you think about America chances are that it will most likely evoke pictures from one of these three cities.

Blondie's American Trip

Click for reviews

If you have ever wanted to do such a trip but were worried about the length of time required or how much of a budget you need, then here is our breakdown to help you set up your own budget and itinerary plus reviews, tips and helpful advice.

Blondie's American Trip

Blondie's American Trip

Kids Christmas Trifle – the cheats version

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Kids Christmas Trifle - the cheats version

Kids Christmas Trifle – the cheats version

Kids Christmas Trifle – the cheats version … Sometimes you just need to have something on the table, especially when you’ve forgotten or have no time to think. This is where this great looking but super easy dessert comes in… I was in need of a kid’s dessert for Christmas and I had run out of time to really sit down and plan something.

You can certainly make your own jam/jelly rolls and custard. Even take the time to make a true fruit jelly but if the last thing you have is time then this is it, just perfect for the kids christmas table.

This is a feel as you go type recipe as everyone will have a different size vessel, just buy a little more than you expect.

Tips:

If you don’t have a large, clear trifle bowl (and who does really) then pop into your local St.Vincents de Paul or Salvos or any op shop and buy a glass vase for next to nothing, which is what I did… At least you can use it for flowers afterwards.

Assign your kids to making it as they will love the sculpting and designing of such a centre piece.

To hasten the setting time of the jelly be sure to use a shallow tray (roasting tray if need be) rather than a deep bowl.

 

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets

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Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets recipe

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets – It’s party time! Birthday parties, Christmas parties, end of work parties… parties everywhere!

FinSkis

So, what do you make to feed to the masses? These Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets are a must for six very good reasons…

  1. You can make lots of them very easily – plan on 2 to 3 per person.
  2. A great stomach filler – ideal for when drinking. Plus, it’s always such a disappointment when food doesn’t sustain you when at a party, especially when the party is around lunch time or dinner time.
  3. They can easily be eaten with one hand – very important as bubbles will be permanently occupying the other.
  4. Mess free – you want the bling to be from champagne and diamonds not drips of oil.
  5. These can be made ahead of time and then frozen, if necessary.
  6. You can serve them hot or cold – Great for parties at a park, think Glamour Picnic Parties… just don’t forget your heel protectors!
Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets

Click here for Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets recipe

Happy party season!  Blondie & Bella

Beef Stroganoff w/ Spinach & Herbs

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Beef Stroganoff w/ Spinach & Herbs

Click here for Beef Stroganoff w/ Spinach & Herbs recipe

Beef Stroganoff w/ Spinach & Herbs is a favourite among most families for it’s flavourful, meaty, mushroomy goodness.

This recipe is easy to add more or less meat and mushrooms according to mouths being fed as there is plenty of sauce. If you have lots of sauce left over then use it in another pasta dish, just add some more veggies and maybe some bacon or bake some potatoes (skin on) smash them, Jamie Oliver style, and then pour the sauce over them, throw in some steamed vegetables and you have a very easy and tasty dinner with minimal effort.

A little taste of Bali – Base Genep a.k.a awesome Indonesian spice mix

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Base Genep Main

Click on image for instructions

Have you ever suffered from holiday envy? No? Then consider yourself lucky!

For me, it seems that EVERYONE I know has either just come back from holidays, is on holidays or is about to take off for their holiday. In the last two months I have had people taking off for trips across the USA, Disneyland, Atlantic QM2 crossing, Hawaii, Europe, a Bali diving getaway, going to the Rugby World Cup quarter finals to see the Wallabies take on Scotland! (this one annoyed me the most!) Even my own Mini Me had her own two week get away over the school holidays.

October and November are difficult months for me. Characteristically they are hectic & crazy office days with me running around like a chook with no head on. It’s like the world knows that I am desperate for my own holiday and keeps on throwing other peoples holidays my way.

With my own getaway in sight I went through my holiday happy snaps, Europe, Thai Land, Queensland, NZ, and Bali.

Bali is our families go-to-place to get away and really relax without feeling the need to have to do something everyday, mainly because we have been there a few times.

Going through my travel photos I came across ones of my favourite restaurant in Ubud called Indus, owned by ex-pat Australian Janet De Neefe, creator of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. Janet was born and bred in Melbourne but after falling for a Balinese man in 1984 she moved to Ubud and I guess as they say, the rest is history. She now runs Indus and Casa Luna. The cooking school at Casa luna is world renowned, being listed as one of the best cooking school in the world by ‘The Australian’ newspaper.

Indus is a short 5 minute drive from the center of town and is set overlooking awe inspiring, lush rolling green hills. I still remember my very first visit, it was October 2002, my first trip to Bali, hubby had lost count with his. We had booked three nights in Ubud and Indus was not very far from our hotel. The restaurant was recommended to us by our dear friend and tour guide extraordinaire Made Dampol.

Our experience was amazing. The atmosphere, the service and the food was fantastic. Indus overlooks the Tjampuhan river however walking into the restaurant you have absolutely no idea what beauty awaits you towards the end of the their courtyard. I highly recommend visiting around the 5pm mark to feast on their divine menu, Balinese with a modern twist whilst watching the sun cast long shadows over the lush green hills.

Indus View

View from our table!

Indus View 2

Back in 2010 my daughter and her friend taking in the view of the rolling hills

Like all good things our holiday came to an end but when I came across Janet De Neffe’s book ‘BALI’ in the store I was like a child in a candy shop! I ran home with the book in hand and studied it from page to page, drooling over which recipe I would make first, a little difficult considering they all look good!

Bali by Janet De Neefe Cover

Bali by Janet De Neefe

I settled on Base Genep. A traditional spice paste that the Balinese use to flavour many of their dishes with. It translates to the complete spice mix.

Ingredient list in hand I was off and running…until I hit a brick wall called kencur root! Yep! Absolutely no one sells it within a 30 km radius of me! I went into all sorts of Asian shops and most of the people looked at me as if I was speaking another language. Luckily Janet states that if you can’t find kencur not to worry about it.

I have to agree with Janet that “the ingredients list was a bit daunting” BUT me being the student and her being the teacher I followed her instructions to the nth degree, which included grabbing a glass of wine (a large glass) and working through everything in your mortar.

I soon found myself working up a horrible sweat pounding all the ingredients together. I did think of throwing everything into the electric mixer…but that would defeat the purpose. If my food was going to taste great I had to work at it!

About 20 minutes into it I had the most amazing, aromatic and HOT smelling paste! Be warned…it’s definitely not for the faint hearted…but it tastes awesome in a variety of recipes and forms the most amazing base.

You can keep the paste in the fridge for a week and it can be used in a variety of different dishes.

Bella :)

Eggs w/ Spinach, Mushrooms – Brunchtime Recipe

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Eggs w/ Spinach, Mushrooms – Brunchtime Recipe

Eggs w/ Spinach, Mushrooms – Brunchtime Recipe

Eggs w/ Spinach, Mushrooms – Brunchtime Recipe is a deliciously simple meal to make that can be enjoyed at any time of the day really.

I know alot of people find it difficult to cook a perfect fried egg so my tip for making perfectly cooked eggs, that is, a nice firm egg white and a runny yolk, is to cook on a low flame and cover with a lid. You can peek inside every now and then to check on the eggs but be sure not to let out too much heat while you do so. You also don’t need oil if your pan is well seasoned or non stick, the oil in this recipe is really for the mustard seeds and mushrooms.

Such yummy goodness – Blondie  :)

Book Review – A Table in the Orchard, My Delicious Life + a yummy biscuit recipe!

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A Table in the Orchard My Delicious Life Cover

Click here for Chocolate Wheaty Biscuits Recipe

A Table in the Orchard, My Delicious Life by Michelle Crawford

It’s funny how getting married and having your own family can change you completely.

I have been a city girl for most of my adult life, loving the fast paced mood that our beautiful coastal city, Sydney has to offer however since meeting the Hubby and having Mini Me my outlook on living in the city and future aspirations have changed considerably.

For a number of years I have been longing for a life in the country. A warm and cosy farmhouse overlooking expansive mountain ranges. A place where I can sit on my wooden deck sipping my favourite Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand Marlborough region of course!) whilst I ogle over the latest cook book with Blondie. Yep, her family will be on the farm next door!

So it’s no wonder that when I stumbled upon Michelle Crawford’s memoir,  A Table in the Orchard, My Delicious Life I instantly knew that the book had to come home with me!

“I dreamed of a rambling old farmhouse where I could grow my own food, learn how to bake cakes and make jam. I wanted to wear gumboots. Every day”.

Michelle Crawford

That’s me! The little voice inside me said instantly. I echo those exact thoughts and I also happen to wear gumboots!

A table in the Orchard My Delicious Life - Michelle Crawford

A Table in the Orchard My Delicious Life by Michelle Crawford – page 5

Michelle’s book is beautifully written with each chapter taking you on a very special journey into her sea change.

After leaving her job with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra where she was kept busy organising fundraising events, Michelle and her family settle in Tasmania’s Huon Valley where she gives the readers an insight into her new life, a life in the country away from the hustle and bustle.

Whether it be it be setting up house and looking for a Rayburn oven, the roys royce of ovens which is now on my own wish list, to stories about apples, potatoes, lemon trees dying and being reborn, long hot summer days spent by the river, or foraging for dinner when the kitchen is a little bare, Michelle makes you feel very much apart of her journey.

Of course no country farmhouse would be complete without a few chickens that lay some farm fresh eggs and trust me Michelle get’s a little more than she bargains for with these ones!

My favourite chapter would have to be ‘Autumn’, which also happens to be my favourite time of the year.

“The leaves are turning gold, there is a distinct dampness in the air and fog has started to settle in the valley. I love this time of the year; cosy log fires and favourite woollen cardigans pulled from hibernation”.

Michelle Crawford

The book is gorgeously illustrated with picturesque images of a place that boasts beautiful local produce. It will evoke your sense of adventure and inspire the foodie within you.

A Table in the Orchard My Delicious Life - Michelle Crawford1

A Table in the Orchard – My Delicious Life by Michelle Crawford

There are 34 lovely recipes to road test from salted apple caramels, campfire roast chicken, overnight baked beans and this one for chocolate wheaty biscuits which my own Mini Me just loves. They are quick and easy and hit the spot with a warm cup of milk or hot chocolate.

Chocolate Wheaty Biscuits FinSki's 20150810

Click here to full recipe

A special shout out to Michelle Crawford for allowing me to use her images from her book for this post and for the encouragement to make my own sea change. If you are ever back in Sydney over autumn, come wild mushroom foraging with us!

Book details:

ISBN: 9780857983626
Published: 01/05/2015
Imprint: Ebury Australia
Extent: 320 pages
 
Available from all good book stores and very highly recommended!
 
Bella Hyde :)

Healthy Coco Pops

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Healthy Coco Pops

Click for Healthy Coco Pops Recipe

Healthy Coco Pops, Yes, believe it! A healthy version of your favourite sneaky snack. It’s crunchy and chocolatey and oh so good.

I came across this recipe yesterday from Whole foods Simply (so many wonderful recipes) and was intrigued by the simplicity of it.

The thought of making Coco Pops had never entered my mind so I was really excited by it. This recipe opens up a pandoras box of ideas to use this with; mix with crushed nuts and flattened rice for a light snack, use it as a crunchy topping for cakes and ice creams, add some coconut and dried fruit for a tropical hit or just straight up in a bowl with cold milk … so many delicious ideas.

Snap, crackle and pop to your hearts content – Blondie :)

Healthy Coco Pops

Nut Free Chia & Sunflower Seed Bliss Balls

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Nut Free Chia & Sunflower Seed Bliss Balls

Click for Nut Free Chia & Sunflower Seed Bliss Balls recipe

Nut Free Chia & Sunflower Seed Bliss Balls … Naturally sweet with a gorgeous ‘pop’ from the chia seeds, these are a great snack to have on hand for a quick boost of energy or naughty indulgence without too much of the guilt.

Diary of today… so far:  Get out of bed, with my cold, lovingly given to me by my darling husband. Make lunches. Throw on jeans (leave pyjama top on as will hide under a jacket). Drop Master S off at school. Come back home to get cleaned up as just been reminded by Master S that I need to actually GO INTO the school for some event. Go to event. Come home and wait for hard drive delivery (long story). Receive delivery and take to data recovery place. Get nails done … 11:00am Coffee time!

… and here we are, it’s always amazing how time flies by, and it’s exactly this type of day where extra energy is desperately needed. These are super fast to make as it’s just a matter of throwing everything into the food processor then rolling into balls.

This volume makes about 16 20g Bliss Balls and can easily be doubled or tripled as they freeze really well. To freeze them, place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave overnight. Once completely frozen you can place them in a ziplock bag. This technique works well for school or office lunches as they will remain firm without the need of a ice-pac in the lunch bag … they will naturally defrost by lunchtime.

Power up!… Blondie :)

Nut Free Chia & Sunflower Seed Bliss Balls

Bread & Butter Pudding w/ Banana Bread

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Bread & Butter Pudding w/ Banana Bread

Bread & Butter Pudding w/ Banana Bread is a delicious way to use up leftover, stale banana bread… Upcycling food in a sense. This is the recipe that my son told me last night that I should use as my entry recipe to get onto Masterchef, so it must be good.

We all get to the point were we’ve had the bread out for days and it’s getting stale, it’s now too late to freeze as it will forever be stale banana bread that will need to be toasted (although that’s not too bad if you have the freezer space). So making it into a pudding will extend the life of the bread for a few more days – if it lasts that long.

There are no hard and fast rules to this fabulous recipe other than the egg and milk ratio for the custard, but even then you can add a bit more cream or add and egg yolk for extra richness. I prefer a firm custard to a wet one for these puddings.

The size of your pudding will be determined by the amount of banana bread you use. I had just under half a loaf left and it was perfect for a 22x15x6cm baking dish.

It’s delicious served warm with ice cream or a dollop of cream and if you were feeling so inclined to be decadent, a light drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce will top it off nicely.

Enjoy with family… Blondie :)

Bread & Butter Pudding w/ Banana Bread

Nutella Puff Pastry Rolls

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FinSki's Nutella Pastry Roll 1

Click on image for recipe

Good coma! That is the only way that I can describe how I felt last night so making nutella puff pastry rolls was the last thing on my mind.

My day started yesterday with a lovely cup of my favourite Roobios and Vanilla bean tea which was enjoyed with a chocolate croissant. I really should have stopped there but three hours later it was out for lunch with work for our annual team birthday lunch at Jagos on Miller. Instead of celebrating a birthday a month, or in some cases a few birthdays in a week we take ourselves out once a year and celebrate everyone’s birthdays at the same time.

Jagos on Miller is a lovely little cafe/restaurant which does good basic meals. Their menu doesn’t really change much but why fix something when it’s not broken right? The service is quick and friendly, perfect for a work lunch, especially when you have to go back to the office. I had fish cakes with asian herb salad and sweet chilli sauce. A very substantial dish composed of two fish patties. I was adamant that it would end there but nope, the whole team was having desserts and as much as my tummy was saying no the left side of the brain took over. As soon as the waitress asked me to take my order I blurted out…yes please I will have the chocolate mousse tart which I have to say was pretty ahhhmazing!

I don’t have a photo to show you because it literally lasted only a few seconds on my plate!

Walking home at aerobic pace so that I could work off the brick in my tummy I promised myself that I would stay away from all food until the morning. I found myself however making these nutella puff pastry rolls for the teams morning tea! Sugar over load right!

I love nutella. We always keep a jar of it in the cupboard however as silly as it sounds it never occurred to me to make a dessert with nutella until a few months back when I came across these very delish but very filling nutella scrolls at our local coffee shop, Cafe Andiamo in North Sydney. They are so filling that when we get one at work, we share it amongst 4 staff members and two of them are blokes!

FinSki's Nutella

My nutella puff pastry rolls are what I call the lighter alternative, if there is such a thing with puff pastry and nutella! Quick and easy to make with literally only two ingredients needed. Three if you decide to count the icing sugar!

FinSki's Nutella Pastry Roll 2

So as you can see, it definitely was a chocolate/sugar indulgent day, but as Blondie said to whilst I sipped my glass of wine…we are allowed to splurge now and again.

Bella :-) 

 

Chicken & Mushroom Wonton Soup

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Chicken & Mushroom Wonton Soup

Chicken & Mushroom Wonton Soup

Chicken & Mushroom Wonton Soup can be either a deliciously light starter to a meal or a hearty meal itself, it will come down to the size of your bowl and the amount of wontons you eat.

Wonton soup meals are deliciously luxurious with their silky sheets of egg wontons swimming in a hot bath of tasty, soothing broth. Throw in any vegetables and greens you like as once the stock is at simmer you can cook anything in it.

Happy slurping!  Blondie :)

Chicken & Mushroom Wonton Soup