4 ingredient Vegan Choc-Peanut Cookies… that actually taste good (V, DF)

Helllooooo and happy hump day!

Today I thought I’d share with you my favourite 4-ingredient cookie recipe. It’s perfect for whipping up on a Sunday night, so you have healthy treats/snacks to snack on through out the week.

Now that we’re all getting cold in Sydney (and by cold I mean the weather has changed to 22C/71F, and Sydney-siders are wimps), it’s lovely to have some comfort food options that aren’t going to make the anticipation of bikini season super stressful.

For these I use 2 ripe bananas, 1/4 cup creamy organic crunchy peanut butter, 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips.

Mix these ingredients all together in a bowl and place in small balls on a lined baking tray to cook.

Cook for 10 minutes at 200C/390F.

ENJOY!

What are you favourite, simple treat recipes? Comment below! I’d love to know.

My XMAS Salted Caramel & Choc Chip Cookies

These did come out looking more like Patrick Star than Xmas creations, but they tasted better than you can imagine.

Okay so yes I used a store bought packet mix (Betty Crocker wins every time) as the base, but, there was a twist. For a sprinkle of Christmassy festivity, I added a hint of smooth choccy flavour by adding chocolate chips to the dough, and created star designs with specific cookie cutters.

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Read on if you’re interested in my simple, yet divinely tasty XMAS cookies, or better, create them yourself in 20 minutes.

Gather the following:

  • Betty Crocker Salted Carmel Packet Cookie Mix
    • Note: This is limited edition packet mix – hence why I grabbed it in Woolworths. If you aren’t able to get your hands on it, try adding Hershey’s caramel choc chips to a plain cookie recipe.
  • Cadbury choc chip cookies
  • Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • Star cookie cutter

Okay, so the method:

Mix all the ingredients together, until you form a cookie dough.

Use a rolling pin to knead the dough out on top of an acrylic/plastic/stone surface.

Here’s where it got a little more complicated. I’m currently experiencing an Australian summer, so naturally the sun was beating down at 30˚C, which made all my cookie dough melt and stick to my hands. So, I wrapped it in cling wrap and popped it in the freezer for 5 mins to make it think it was in the northern hemisphere. Note: this might be a good idea if you are in a hot climate.

Cut little star shapes out with the cookie cutter.

As the cookie cutter will make the raw cookies a lot thinner and smaller than Betty Crocker recommends for cookie sizing, you only have to place them in the oven for 8 minutes at 180˚C (350˚F), so they don’t burn.

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Once cooked, place them on a plate and awkwardly place a rogue Christmas decoration next to them for aesthetic purposes (I’m kidding). 

The perfect Christmas snack.

 

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Caramel brown

xx

 

 

Banana and Almond Muffins? Yes pleaaassee | Recipe

You know when you have that sudden craving to bake? Well I experienced this at about 11pm last night and I just had to go with it.

I usually head straight for the cacao and medjool dates to make something super chocolatey-infused, gooey and sweet, but for some reason today my eye caught the two overripe bananas that were sitting on the kitchen ledge.

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So, I preheated the oven to 180˚C and gathered together what I could find in the pantry for my filling banana and almond muffins. These can be made vegan and are gluten free.

I found:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Sprinkle of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (use an egg replacer for the vegan option)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or any milk of your choosing)

I just popped the dry ingredients into a blender, whisked them together (make sure the oats are ground into a fine powder) and poured them into a bowl. Then I blended the wet ingredients together to form a runny mixture, which I combined in the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Next I mixed all the ingredients together in the bowl, and placed about 2 heaped spoonfuls of mixture into 8 lined cupcake tins. All they needed was around 30 minutes in the oven (check with a skewer – no mixture residue should be on it when you poke it through the middle of a muffin), and they were done. Voila!

xx

Nutritional Breakdown (per serve):

  • 137 calories/572 kilojoules
  • 5.0g Protein
  • 8.5g Fat (0.8g Saturated)
  • 9.0g Carbs
  • 43mg Sodium

A Home Cooked Meal for Fathers Day

When I realised Father’s Day was fast approaching, I had the usual annual freak out… What am I going to buy Dad? Is there anything he’s mentioned he wants? Is there anything I know he’ll like? 

The freak out is due to Dad never wanting anything material, as he always says he would much prefer a hug (odd, I know). Since I’m not going to just wake up on the big day, give him a hug, and consider my job done, I decided this year I’d cook a big lunch with all his favourite meals.

I kept it super simple. Dad’s favourites are the simple dishes; lasagne, sausages, chops, lamb shanks, vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate… you get it.

So, I decided to do lasagne, with a twist.

Cheesy Eggplant Lasagne. Think gooey cheese, creamy chickpeas and aromatic tomato arranged together to create a steaming Italian comfort food.

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The eggplant soaks up all the delicious creamy tomato sauces and becomes a soft mess that tastes divine with the chickpea/almond meal base and cheese oozing through out. This went perfectly with a simple side salad.

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For dessert, we enjoyed my favourite Healthy Apple Crumble recipe with Connoisseur white chocolate/raspberry ice cream (hands down our favourite store bought ice cream).

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I finished the lunch by giving Dad a letter I had written with Lindt’s creme brulee milk chocolate – a Lindt flavour I haven’t seen before but I hope they keep stocking the shelves with it because it was the perfect mix of crispy caramel notes and creamy milk chocolate.

Even though we kept it simple, it was nice to enjoy a home cooked meal, instead of the usual big fancy thing we do at a restaurant.

xx

 

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Cascade Blue for Father’s Day

 

 

 

Fairytale Breakfast Destination

Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen combines fairytale and farmers market in Alexandria’s very own Foodie Warehouse. The cafe was just a 15 minute stroll from Erskineville station.

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Photo courtesy of http://breadandcircus.com.au/

This cafe gives a new meaning to flexitarian, with great brekkie and lunch options that let you unleash your inner vegetarian (with some cheats).

For breakfast, you can choose to indulge in biodynamic eggs flavoured with parmesan, herbs and truffle oil, or treat yourself to their must-have cardamom spiced banana bread. Each meal is around $20, but if you don’t want to break the budget you can get fluffy biodynamic essene bread with avo for $10.

For lunch you can discover roasted beetroot topped with warm goats cheese or keep an eye out for their ‘sandwich boxes’ with preservative free ham or grass-fed sustainable beef. The menu changes daily, so you’ll want to go back again (and again) for more.

Get your coffee fix with their blends that use beans from Columbia and Guatemala. Tea junkies are spoilt with an array of black and herbal delights, my favourite was the Himalayan Earl Grey.

The canteen has a dreamlike feel with its light wood benches and pastel pink walls, which are bountifully decorated with fresh fruits and veggies.

I went with a close friend, and it was the perfect cafe for brunch to catch up, so definitely make a date and enjoy this hidden gem.

xx

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Pastel pink to go with the theme of this sweet spot

Christmassy Gingerbread Truffles

These are one of the easiest Christmas treats to make, and easily one of the tastiest.

All I used was one packet of gingersnaps, half a tub of cream cheese, chocolate sprinkles, icing sugar and cream.

After blending the gingersnaps into a fine powder using my NutriBullet, I added a dollop of cream cheese and kneaded the mixture with my fingers to create a cookie dough texture.

Then, still using my hands I created the round little truffle balls and laid them out on a plate. Placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes, I waited for them to cool whilst whisking up a spoon of cream cheese, plain cream and half a spoon of icing sugar into an icing paste. After taking them out the fridge I spread the icing on top and decorated the truffles with the chocolate sprinkles.

This recipe is so easy to whip up quickly for friends, or if you are just craving a christmassy themed treat. It has really settled me into the spirit of the Christmas season. Plus, their small size means you won’t over-indulge when treating yourself to one.

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Happy festivities

xx

Girl’s Day Out

It was mum’s birthday last Friday and I wanted to make it super special this year, because over the past few years I have been really busy and stressed around this time and I felt I hadn’t really treated her properly for her birthday in a long time.

To make the day memorable, I planned it out well in advance. The morning began with a massage with a local masseuse which I booked a couple of days prior.

Mum really love experiences over more ‘stuff’ so I made sure I organised things that would be special memories.

After her massage I picked her up and we went to lunch at a French Restaurant (which has a string of great reviews and recommendations) called Le Bouchon.

The lunch was even better than I had anticipated, the restaurant is in a cosy hole in the wall setting, but has elegance and style with its walnut coloured wooden tables and gold plated decor. The authenticity of the French cuisine was enhanced as all the waiters were French and went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant dining experience. I ordered a Crispy Pork Belly in a crushed apple sauce, and Mum decided to be a bit more adventurous and got Sauteed Calves Liver with parsnip chips, which to my surprise was actually really tasty. We shared a glass of white House Wine as Mum isn’t a big drinker and enjoyed chatting for a couple of hours.

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After lunch, we set off to the shopping mall and I bought her a pair of black leather boots as she has been saying lately that her current pair are a bit worn down. Then we went to a nail salon and we got shellac manicures done together.

***

For dinner I wanted to surprise Mum with a home-cooked meal.

I consulted a traditional English cookbook for recipes that are perfect for the drab and windy weather we have been having recently. For the entree I made corn scones with an avocado and soft cheese topping, garnished with capers and diced bacon.

For the main meal we had a chicken and leek hotpot with a chickpea and feta salad. Finally for dessert I challenged myself to make an apple pie.

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The whole meal actually went really well and Mum loved all of it, which surprised me because something always seems to go awry when I work in a kitchen with lots of things boiling and bubbling and timers constantly going off.

What would a birthday be without presents, as I mentioned earlier Mum isn’t a massive fan of ‘things’ and doesn’t like candles, homewares, perfumes or make up.

So, I opted in for a $50 gift card for Dymocks and I spent $100 on a voucher for a high tea for two at the Queen Victoria Building Tea Room.

Overall it was a very successful day and I had so much fun treating Mum!

xx