Mother’s Day Feast

Today was Mother’s Day, and to treat Mum I decided to prepare a lovely Sunday lunch that she enjoyed.

As usual, it took way longer to prepare than I expected. I woke up at 9am and immediately started baking, and was going flat out until 1pm when lunch was served.

For the meal I decided to do wine-braised chicken (with white wine, carrots, red onion, rosemary, red grapes and pine nuts), and an asparagus & grilled halloumi salad.

For the recipe, I stuck to Jamie Olivers recipes from his cookbook. If you follow his recipes well they do come out at restaurant quality.

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Wine-braised Chicken

For dessert, I went all out with Mum’s favourite cake – a white chocolate mud cake. I always use the Taste recipe when I make the cake, but I halve the mixture because the amount they prescribe actually makes 2 regular sized cakes (you could definitely stick with the actual quantities and pile the 2 cakes on top of each other with creamy ganache in the middle).

It was a lovely day, and I treated Mum to a mani-pedi voucher at our local salon, to top the day off.

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What do you usually do for mum on Mother’s Day?

xx

Carrot Cake Tea Party for Easter

This Easter long weekend I decided to have an Easter Tea Party to celebrate. It was the perfect morning tea to begin the day with family.

I’ve always loved carrot cake, but I thought Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect bite size to still enjoy the carroty-cinnamony flavour.

It’s a well-known wives tale that carrots improve eyesight. Whilst incorporating carrots into your diet won’t give you 20/20 vision, they do have vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants which improve eye health. Cinnamon is a fantastic spice for flavour, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties which boost immune!

I iced these cupcakes with Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing (because it reminds me of my childhood), but they are also delicious with cream cheese icing ← my go-to recipe.

I decorated the cupcakes with edible mini wafer flowers and served them with warmed hot cross buns, chocolate mini easter eggs and French Earl Grey Tea. Delicious!

Recipe (makes 6)

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar (or maple syrup for a less processed sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 grated large carrot or 1 grated medium carrot
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C, line a cupcake baking tin with patty pans.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and stir.
  3. Slowly mix in carrot and oil
  4. Beat egg in a separate bowl and then mix in with all ingredients
  5. Pour mixture in patty pans (about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake for 18 minutes
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Then enjoy!! Happy Easter!

xx

The Ultimate Homemade Freakshake

Okay find your stretchy pants and prepare yourself for the treat of the year.

I love am obsessed with chocolate, and recently I’ve been wanting to devise the perfect dessert that will satisfy my cravings. For this dessert, I’m diverging from my usual healthy desserts and going all out. However, it still has a couple of substitutions from a traditional Freakshake for some extra nutrition benefits!

Credit to Pinterest for helping me discover the original Freakshake.

You will need:

  • 3 of your favourite chocolate bars – I chose Kit Kat, Twix Bar and Mini Toblerone
  • Plain regular donuts – try Noshu Donuts (they are 97% sugar free, low carb, high fibre and gluten free).
  • 3 scoops of Halo Top (DF options) or FroPro icecream
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 2 drops MyProtein Chocolate FlavDrops
  • You could even add a spoon of peanut butter to the shake if you are craving some nuttiness

Method:

  1. Pop three generous scoops of ice cream, coconut cream, the milk, peanut butter and the cocoa powder into a blender, and whip together. You can add bits more of different ingredients to get the best flavour for you!
  2. Pour the shake mixture into the milkshake glass.
  3. Decorate away! Go crazy poking the choccies into the creamy shake.
  4. Slide the donuts onto the straws and pop in (make sure to do this before the straws are in the shake, or as you fiddle, it may overflow).
  5. Enjoy!

And it’s as easy as that. Your perfect dessert for a cheeky treat.

xx

Attempting to make Raw Vegan ‘Cheese’ Cakes

I’m not a vegan, and definitely not a raw vegan, but I’ve recently wanted to educate myself on the diet by trying out some recipes.

Yes that’s no animal products, by-products, and nothing can be cooked. Check out YouTuber Kate Flower’s who follows the raw vegan diet, and provides lots of insight into the lifestyle.

I decided to challenge myself to create a raw vegan ‘cheese’ cake recipe. I took inspiration from Choosing Chia‘s recipe and The Loopy Whisk’s post, to guide me and make sure they weren’t a complete flop.

What’s important in this recipe is the fruit! Add more berries to the topping for more flavour.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup white quinoa
  • Slice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 6 heaped teaspoons coconut yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Half tablespoon maple syrup
  • blueberries for topping
  • raspberries for topping

Method
Base

  1. Soak dates in boiling water for 15 minutes
  2. Line cupcake tray with casings
  3. Drain dates
  4. Put dates and cashews in blender and blend until a paste forms.
  5. Press paste into bottom of cupcake casings and put in fridge

‘Cheese’ Cake

  1. Blend white quinoa, juice of the lemon, coconut oil, yogurt, coconut milk until smooth and creamy
  2. Empty mix into a bowl
  3. Mix in vanilla extract (more can be added depending on desired taste)
  4. Pour mixture into cupcake casings on top of base.
  5. Place raspberries and blueberries on top of cakes
  6. Place in freezer for 4 hours
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Calories don’t Count on Christmas! Mince Pies and Mulled Wine for Breakfast.

Merry Christmas!

After stuffing myself silly with turkey, ham, pumpkin, potato, feta salad, veggies, custard, mince pies and truffles, on Christmas Eve, I woke up this morning to a tree full of presents and a slightly-less eager family who just wanted to sleep in. 

Luckily I managed to get them out of bed by 9 am – motivating them mainly with warm, fruit-mince tarts that I freshly baked. 

Earlier in the morning I was inspired by a recipe in my Mum’s old Donna Hay cookbook. 

First I prepared the filling, by combining the following in a bowl and set it aside in the fridge: 

  • 1 cup Granny Smith Apples, finely chopped
  • Pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Dash of Brandy
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 3 tsp lemon rind
  • 50g butter melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Whilst waiting for that to chill, I used cookie cutters to cut little circles in shortcrust pastry and place them into greased cupcake baking trays. Then I prepared my star toppings using a smaller star cookie cutter. 

After the hour was up I took the filling out the fridge and distributed it into the moulds. I placed the little star cutouts on top of each one and brushed them all with melted butter. 

Then, I popped them into the oven (160C/320F) for 25-30 minutes. 

Everyone enjoyed fruit mince pies, gourmet chocolate truffles (from Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates – a boutique chocolate shop in Sydney’s Inner West), and mulled wine whilst opening presents.

I got very spoilt this Christmas, and got a Mimco Supernatural Medium Pouch, some cute Kikki K stationary and the Antler Aire Large Suitcase

Clearly I was spoilt by family and friends – hope you had a wonderful Christmas and got everything you wished for!

xx