Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sparkle Cupcakery Vanilla Cupcakes

There's nothing better than getting a few girls together on a Saturday afternoon for a catch up, and there's no better way to try out a new cupcake recipe from my new Sparkle Cupcakery cookbook. I wanted to be adventurous and try one of the more exotic recipes but as time was tight during week I just went with the plain vanilla cupcake and vanilla frosting. The difference with this recipe is all the ingredients (and I mean all of the ingredients) are measured with a scale. I did find this a little tedious, especially with the eggs and eggwhite but it was worth it for the end result, especially the frosting. If you want a frosting that you can manipulate into different shapes this is the one for you. I kept it really simple this time but I can't wait to experiment with the other recipes and frostings in this cookbook in the future.  

What you will need for the Cupcakes:  
220g Butter
230g Caster Sugar
205g Eggs
330g Flour, sifted
12g Baking Powder
90ml Milk
10g Vanilla Bean Paste
Ingredients
Preheat oven to 145°C. Cream the butter and sugar on high until smooth and off white in colour (between 5 – 20 minutes, depending on how soft your butter is).
Creamed butter
Add the eggs, one at a time, combining each thoroughly between additions. Do no overmix.
Adding egg to butter and sugar
Sift flour and baking powder together (or do what I do here). In a separate bowl, combine the milk and vanilla bean paste. Add half the flour and half the milk mixture to the butter mix. Mix well.
Half way there batter
Add the remaining flour and remaining milk mixture and mix until just combined. Using an icecream scopp (or a soup spoon), spoon mixture into cupcake cases.

Batter in cups (I cook mine in paper cups in a muffin tray to keep their shape)
 Bake for about 30 minutes, turning the tray around in the oven after the first 15 minutes. 
Cooked cupcakes (sorry about the dark photo)

What you will need for the Vanilla Frosting:
115g Butter
310g Pure Icing Sugar
25g Egg White
½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice
10g Vanilla Bean Extract


Ingredients
For the frosting, whip the butter until slightly pale and creamy.
Cream Butter
Add the icing sugar and cream on high speed for about 5 – 10 minutes.
Add Icing Sugar

Creamed Butter & Icing Sugar
Add eggwhites, lemon juice and vanilla bean extract.
Add wet ingredients
Cream for 3 minutes.
Vanilla Frosting
Spread over the cooled cupcakes. 
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
I served mine at a girly afternoon (lucky I made two batches that day) and they went down a treat. They're a delicious and simple cupcake when you just need something to indulge your guests  own sweet tooth.

My afternoon tea table
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday & Roast Chook with Verjuice

This week I thought I would bring something savoury to Foodie Friends Friday - my first attempt at Roast Chook. I love roast chicken, it's one of my favourite meals but I can't always rely on other people to make it for me so I so made the decision to try it myself and there was no-one better to test it on than my Mum and Dad (and niece and nephew). Take a look here for all the details.

The winners from last week's party are:

the most votes...
#1
Jams and Pans with Apple Walnut and Coconut Cake with Baileys Fudge frosting
#2
Spatulas on Parade with Hodge Podge Salad
#3
Baked in the South with Margarita Cupcakes

My favourite from last week is definitely the Margarita Cupcakes. Check it out for a naughty little treat.

most clicked are...
#1 Flour Me With Love with Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls
#2
Family Food Finds with Hawaiian Style Chicken Katsu
#3
Diddles and Dumplings with Crockpot Mexican Pork


Be sure to check out all of this week's hosts:
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Robyn at Robyn's View
Angie at A lil Country Sugar  
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink  
Michelle at From Calculus to Cupcakes  
Marlys at This and That  
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds  
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings  
Keira at Luscious Delights

Step 1:  Make sure that anything you link up is:
  • A Recipe...and is made and photographed by you
  • Not part of a sponsership/sales/giveaway or other promotions/linky parties
  • Linked to a specific page of your recipe, not your homepage
  • Please limit your link-ups to 3 per party
Step 2:
* for example:  This recipe is featured on "Host Blog Link" and  http://www.foodiefriendsfriday.com/  Linky Party)
If you want to be the very best Foodie Friend Ever...
  • Grab our button at http://foodiefriendsfriday.com/ and put it on your page and share Foodie Friends Friday!
  • Take some time and check out other submitted links and the blogs of all of our gracious hosts
  • Come on over and "like" us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest
***Please note that by linking up you are transferring rights to Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications to use photos/links/recipes for any reprint, republishing and distribution without monetary compensation to you.  If photos/recipes are used, proper credit/ linkbacks will be published with them.  We just want to share your amazing recipes and spread some foodie <3 !

Have Fun and Thank You for Visiting!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pasta Carbonara - The Pioneer Woman Cooks recipe

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some of my favourite bloggers here and among them was The Pioneer Woman CooksIf you haven't checked out this blog by Ree Drummond, you have to. She is sensational in the kitchen and with a camera. When I saw this recipe for Pasta Carbonara here I had to try it. It took me a little while to finally get the opportunity to make it and when I did, it was just as I thought it would be - sensational. It took me about half an hour from start to finish and made the perfect rainy Saturday lunch. 


What you will need: 
Any variety of Pasta, enough to serve between 2 and 4 people
400g Bacon, chopped into chunky pieces
½ a Medium Onion, diced 
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 whole Eggs
¾ Cup Finely Grated Parmesan
¾ Cup Thickened Cream
½ Cup Peas
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ingredients
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water. Tip - add the pasta in batches so the water stays at a boil. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon until crispy (as crispy as you like it). 
Bacon 
Once the bacon is cooked to your desire, remove it from the pan but try not to drain out too much of the pan juices (and flavour). 

While the bacon is cooking, combine the eggs, Parmesan cheese, cream, and salt and pepper until smooth. 
Sauce combined

Imagine a picture here of garlic and onions cooking (I forgot to take one). 


Cook the onions and garlic in the same pan on a medium heat until golden brown. Set aside with the bacon. 
Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta in a bowl and while still hot, stir in the egg/cream/cheese mixture and stir constantly. 
Add sauce to pasta
The sauce will get thick and coat the pasta. If it's too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water, little at a time until you get the right consistency. I didn't need to do this but it's how you prefer you pasta sauce. Stir in the bacon, peas, onion mix and combine.
Put all the ingredients into the bowl with the pasta
Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 2 - 4.
Pasta Carbonara 
I'm so glad I cooked this meal. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be. I could have just stared at it in the bowl instead of eating it. 


For more photos and updates visit and like my Facebook Page here 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Breakfast Post: Simple Scrambled Eggs with Bacon

My husband is a shift worker so there are some nights I make him breakfast ready for the next day. One of the most simple things he can have is bacon and eggs. They're not hard to make, and probably not an overly interesting blog topic but sometimes the simplest meals are the best (and my husband seemed to liked my eggs a lot).

When I was at uni I worked part time at a local cafe (where I used to frequent as a customer every week before that)! Part of my duties became cooking and come Sunday, everyone wanted bacon and eggs. I've never met someone that doesn't like bacon and eggs.

What you will need:
4 - 6 Rashers organic Bacon, rind removed, cut in half
3 eggs
¼ Cup Milk
1 tespoon Butter
Salt and Pepper
Ingredients

Cook the bacon first because it will take the longest. Heat a large frypan over medium heat. You won't need any sort of oil because the oil from the bacon fat will be plenty (trust me).
Bacon
Place the bacon strips in the frypan. The bacon will start to spit as the fat melts into the pan, and you may want to turn the heat down to low. make sure children are out of the kitchen because you don't want them getting spat on my bacon. 

Bacon frying
I turn my bacon over a few times in the bacon to get the desired crispness, especially with those big round pieces because as they cook they start to bubble up (see bacon top left below).
Frying bacon
Place cooked bacon on a plate lined with towelling paper so the excess fat drips off. The bacon will still keeping cooking on the plate until the fat has drained off. 
Draining bacon
Now on to the eggs. You can cook the eggs towards the end of the bacon being cooked.

Lightly whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together (just enough to give it a little flavour, don't forget the bacon can be very salty). 
Whisked eggs
Heat a small frypan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan and put the eggs in. Don't start spooning the eggs around until they start to bubble, similar to an omelette.
Bubbling eggs
Gently chop a spatula through the eggs, and give them a mix around the frypan.
Half cooked eggs
The eggs will cook very quickly and dependign on how runny you like them, you may want to turn the heat off and continue cooking them.
Eggs are completed
Serve bacon and eggs with toast (not pictured) 

Simple Scrambled Eggs with Bacon
Traditionally, my Dad and I always eat our scrambled eggs with lashings of paprika. It's gives the eggs another flavour entirely and is simply delicious. Do you have a favourite scrambled egg accompaniment?

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday & Revisiting a June recipe

It's that time of the week again: Foodie Friends Friday!

This week I'm bring my cinammon buns (or sticky buns) to the party because I have a big sweet tooth and these were super delicious. For all the details click here

Cinammon Buns

Check out all the other great foodies involved in Foodie Friends Friday here:
Robyn at Robyn's View  
Angie at
A lil Country Sugar  
Wayne at
Passione Per Cucina 
Sarah at
Everything in the Kitchen Sink  
Tracy at
Busy Vegetarian Mom  
Michelle at From
Calculus to Cupcakes  
Marlys at 
This and That  
Lois at 
Walking on Sunshine
Erika at
Chef Picky Kid and Me  
Lindsey at
Family Food Finds  
Cindy at
Cindys Recipes and Writings  
Skye at
A Virtual Essence 
Sheri at
Homemade Served Here
Keira at
Luscious Delights
Amber at
Mama's Blissful Bites 

Rhiannon at Baked In The South
Brianne at For the Love of Food (and Eating!)
Pooja at Saffron N Appetite

Photo courtest of Foodie Friends Friday



Step 1:  Make sure that anything you link up is:
  • A Recipe...and is made and photographed by you
  • Not part of a sponsership/sales/giveaway or other promotions/linky parties
  • Linked to a specific page of your recipe, not your homepage
  • Please limit your link-ups to 3 per party
Step 2:
* for example:  This recipe is featured on "Host Blog Link" and  http://www.foodiefriendsfriday.com/  Linky Party)
If you want to be the very best Foodie Friend Ever...
  • Grab our button at http://foodiefriendsfriday.com/ and put it on your page and share Foodie Friends Friday!
  • Take some time and check out other submitted links and the blogs of all of our gracious hosts
  • Come on over and "like" us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest
***Please note that by linking up you are transferring rights to Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications to use photos/links/recipes for any reprint, republishing and distribution without monetary compensation to you.  If photos/recipes are used, proper credit/ linkbacks will be published with them.  We just want to share your amazing recipes and spread some foodie <3 !

Have Fun and Thank You for Visiting!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste = Beef Vindaloo

Recently the husband was sick with the flu and wanted something super spicy to eat. Being a little lazy, I pulled out a jar of Patak's Vindaloo curry paste and told him this is what we would be having. He had no objections. I know it's the cheats way but when you have a sick husband at home, the last thing you want to do is cook a meal that will take a LONG time. 

In 2007 Patak's celebrated its 50th anniversary. The company originated in London where the Patak's family migrated to in the late 1950s. Here's a little info that Patak's provides about their Vindaloo Curry paste:
"It's the hottest and the spiciest one that we have got. Originally bought to the Goa region of India by the Portuguese, it is now famed in Indian restaurants in the UK for its heat and spice. Our Vindaloo paste blends chillies with turmeric, cumin, coriander and authentic spices–a heady mix that is truly delicious – but only for those who like it hot."

Check out the Patak's website for more info on their products and recipes here.

What you will need: 
2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive OIl
1 medium onion, diced
70g Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste
250g Blade Steak, cubed
300g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
100ml Water
Ingredients
Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan, throw in the onions and cook, with the lid on, for about 10 minutes. 
Onions
Stir in the paste, give it stir around the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes. 
Add paste
Add beef and cook until sealed. 
Add beef
Beef chunks close to this writing are sealed, when you can see pink in the meat, not sealed
Pour in the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced. Add the water
Tomatoes added, add water
Stir well and cook, covered, for 40 minutes, until the beef is cooked and the sauce has thickened. I stirred mine about every 10 minutes to ensure there was no burning or sticking. 
Ready to go
Serve with steamed rice. Serves 2. You can also cook this with chicken if you prefer. 
Beef Vindaloo 
This dish, for my delicate palette, was very hot. Almost verging on uncomfortable, but I suffered (culinary-speaking) so my husband could have a little bit of reprieve from his sickness. 


For more photos and updates like my Facebook page here







Saturday, July 14, 2012

Disaster Kitchen Week:# 2 Salt & Pepper Squid

This past week has been about kitchen disasters. They will be common in most households and I’m sure even in some top chefs home and restaurants (remember the last time you heard an Executive Chef yelling at his staff in the kitchen – that was probably over a kitchen disaster!). My kitchen disasters always happen for two reasons:

1. I don’t read the recipe properly

2. I rush

Whenever I rush or fail reo read that a pastry needs resting for 2 hours, or the protein needs marinating for 5 hours, my dishes fail. It’s a shame, you’d think I’ll learn from these mistakes but some days, they still happen.

This past week I tried to cook four things in one morning. Silly, I know! One disaster (the others have been blogged here) was my lunch. I just wanted to something simple and easy and thought to myself, as I walked around the supermarket, I’ve never made salt and pepper squid before. I bought all the ingredients, and made my own salt/pepper/spice mix made up of rock salt, ground pepper and allspice which I crushed together in my little mortar and pestle. Looked good enough so I stirred the flour in, still looked good, and then I coated my squid and it still looked good.
"Battered" squid
Everything was going so well until I dropped my pieces of coated squid into the vegetable oil. My “batter” started falling off the squid so I was left with deep fried and not very appetising squid.
The vegetable oil cooking the batter and squid separately
Of course, it only occurred to me afterwards that my batter had no binding agency like eggs. So it’s back to the recipe books for a recipe I can actually follow next time!
What it looked like in the end
Have your good intentions ever been dashed by a kitchen disaster?

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday: Herb Gnocchi with Courgettes (Zucchini), Peas, Broad Beans & Tomatoes

This week I was lucky enough to be welcomed in to a foodie group called Foodie Friends Friday. Like me, they are fellow foodies who have a passion for cooking and food in general. The aim of the game is to highlight one of my favourite recipes, or a recipe I like from one of the fellow Foodie Friends Friday members, and link it to Foodie Friends Friday for all to see.
This week, for my first Foodie Friends Friday, I chose to feature a fellow foodie, Passione Per Cucina, for a number of reasons: I love Italian food, I love Italy, and this week on Masterchef Australia its been all about Italy with a week full of Italian challenges. As I watched the episodes with my the husband we were able to point out all the places we’d been on our honeymoon and lament over the places we missed.

So with Italy and Italian food on the brain, I was instabtly attracted to Passione Per Cucina blog and his Herb Gnocchi with Courgettes  (or Zucchini as we call is here in Australia), Peas, Broad Beans and Tomatoes here The recipe is super simple and you can use store bought or homemade gnocchi. I can't wait to try this recipe for myself.  

Photo Courtesy of Passione Per Cucina

Check out all the other great foodies involved in Foodie Friends Friday here:
Robyn at Robyn's View  
Angie at A lil Country Sugar  
Wayne at Passione Per Cucina 
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink  
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom  
Michelle at From Calculus to Cupcakes  
Marlys at This and That  
Brianne at Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Erika at Chef Picky Kid and Me  
Lindsey at Family Food Finds  
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings  
Dawn at DJ's Sugar Shack  
Skye at A Virtual Essence 
Sheri at Homemade Served Here
Keira at Luscious Delights
Amber at Mama's Blissful Bites 

Photo courtest of Foodie Friends Friday

Step 1:  Make sure that anything you link up is:
    • A Recipe...and is made and photographed by you
    • Not part of a sponsership/sales/giveaway or other promotions/linky parties
    • Linked to a specific page of your recipe, not your homepage
Step 2:
* for example:  This recipe is featured on "Host Blog Link" and  http://www.foodiefriendsfriday.com  Linky Party)
If you want to be the very best Foodie Friend Ever...
    • Grab our button at http://foodiefriendsfriday.com and put it on your page and share Foodie Friends Friday!
    • Take some time and check out other submitted links and the blogs of all of our gracious hosts
    • Come on over and "like" us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest
***Please note that by linking up you are giving permission to use photos/links on Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications.  If photos/recipes are used, proper credit/ linkbacks will be published with them.  We just want to share your amazing recipes and spread some foodie <3 !

    • Have Fun and Thank You for Visiting!!