Monthly Archives: April 2014

Wagon wheels!

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The inspiration for making my own wagon wheels came to me when I was on holiday and ate a very forgettable commercially-manufactured bar inspired by honey joys. It made me think about my childhood tastes, including the great pleasure of a wagon wheel. My memory of these delicious jam and marshmallow-filled biscuit sandwiches coated in chocolate was that they were so much better than a biscuit treat, because apart from being coated in chocolate they were not one, but two biscuits!

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Roasted pulled pork

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There’s nothing like the smell of roasting pork. Add a heap of spicy flavours like paprika and fennel seeds and it takes you away to another place. With winter banging on our doors, the need for easy, slow cooking comfort food is high. I love how this meal fills the house with a warm spicy aroma.

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Mini triple-choc cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream icing

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I am pretty sure my ten year old son will forgive me one day for serving these at his birthday party, but my inner girl came out and I had way too much fun decorating these with the buttercream icing, candy flowers and sugar sprinkles. Luckily the boys were too distracted with their Nintendo games to notice they were chomping down on pink flowers and sparkles.  Continue reading

Cherry frangipane tart

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What’s the difference between a pie and a tart? This is something I often get confused about.

Well, in my mind, a tart is a pie with no top! A tart can stand alone held up only by it’s pasty, whereas pies can be in a bowl with pastry on top. Get what I’m saying?

Also, I usually associate tarts with sweet shortcrust filled with something sweet, like fruit – I don’t often associate tarts with savoury fillings, I call those quiches!

Which brings me round to this wonderful summery dessert pie, no, tart! It’s definitely a tart, or it should be, with this super buttery melt-in-the-mouth pastry and sweet cherry frangipane. I would call this recipe moderate to easy, except I find the pastry a challenge to deal with (especially in the Australian summer).

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French lentil and bacon salad

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lentils

Lentils are a hard sell, aren’t they?

bacon

Bacon, on the other hand, is not.

I try to eat healthy meals (apart from the cakes, of course!!) and eat a couple of meat-free meals a week. I’m building up a few vegetarian favourites and they often have lovely and punchy herbs or spices. But if I’m being really honest, my ideal non-‘meat’ meal has to have a bit of bacon. This lovely supper combines the healthiness of lentils with the delicious tastiness of bacon.

Not as pretty as their red or yellow relatives, French lentils are ideal for this recipe because of their robust, slightly peppery taste and that they hold so well together after cooking. And we all know, bacon makes everything better.

 

Warm French lentil, sweet potato, beetroot, feta and bacon salad

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup French (Puy) lentils, uncooked
  • ½ teaspoon garlic oil
  • 100 g thick bacon, roughly chopped
  • 150 g sweet potato, cut into 2 cm chunks
  • 1 medium beetroot, roasted and roughly chopped
  • 100 g rocket leaves
  • fresh mint and coriander
  • 100 g feta
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Cook lentils according to packet instructions (add ½ cup water, bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer with lid off for 20-25 minutes until tender – adding a little more water if needed), drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Combine the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk lightly to make a dressing.
  • While still warm, toss the lentils in the dressing and leave to rest for ten minutes to absorb the flavour.
  • Fry bacon and sweet potato in garlic oil over a medium heat for about five minutes until the bacon is crisp and the sweet potato is tender, then drain on paper towel.
  • Mix bacon, sweet potato, beetroot, rocket, mint and coriander in a serving bowl.
  • Remove lentils from their marinade with a slotted spoon and gently toss through the salad mix in the serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle over crumbed feta and serve.

Roasted beetroot

I always have roasted beetroot in my fridge. It is so much nicer than tinned beetroot and goes well in many cold and warm salads.

To roast a medium beetroot:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  • Wash beetroot and trim leaves.
  • Wrap loosely in foil with a tiny spray of olive oil
  • Roast for 45 to 60 minutes (check if cooked by inserting a skewer to see if it is soft).
  • Allow to cool somewhat before removing the skin – it should just come away in your fingers.
  • Store in fridge for up to a week

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Salted caramel Tim Tam tart

Salted caramel Tim Tam tart

Salted caramel Tim Tam tart

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Salted caramel Tim Tams – limited edition!

This recipe for a salted caramel Tim Tam tart is inspired by the inspirational limited edition salted caramel Tim Tam.

This recipe calls for 6 salted caramel Tim Tams. They come in mini packs of 5 biscuits, so you will need two packets to make this recipe… (you’re welcome).  Continue reading

Adriano Zumbo Tim Tams – review

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I’m a sucker for a Tim Tam. I just don’t suck Tim Tams.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the marketing of the Australian Tim Tam biscuit. It was inspired by the UK ‘Penguin’ biscuit. When I lived in the UK, I went out of my way to find Tim Tams, but never Penguin biscuits. The same was true for vegemite – I guess it comes down to what you grew up with.

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