Monday, April 29, 2013

Road Trippin....

Mr B and I have just returned from a glorious three day camping trip to the opposite end of the state. We had a fabulous time - whilst the southern end of the state (where we live) was battered with wind and generally rather cold the northern end of the state (where we were camping) was slightly breezy, but lovely and warm.

On our first day we stopped at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre as it has been on Mr B's list of must see places for quite some time. I really couldn't recommend it enough, we ended up spending the better part of 3 hours exploring and pushing buttons and pulling levers and learning about the history of not only the mine but the whole area.


Over 40 of the displays were interactive and you could even have a go at panning for gold!

We ended up arriving at our final destination, Port Sorell, quite late in the evening so we set up camp, cooked some burgers on the camp stove and made ourselves cosy.

The following morning we were up reasonably early and seeing as it was a beautiful sunny day we sat out in the sun and enjoyed our breakfast.

We then put in a very relaxing day fishing in some of the local hot spots.

This one was just up the road from where we were staying at Hawley Beach.

And this one was roughly 2 minutes walk from our camp site.

The pontoon you can see in this photo would have been a whole 30 seconds walk from where we were camping and we returned there later that night to partake in some night fishing!

The water was really rough and the wind was definitely stronger out there so the fishing was a bit tough, but it's all about the experience and getting out in the fresh air and relaxing anyway!

We put in a few hours that evening playing cards - Mr B thought it would be a great idea to teach me the game that him and the boys play on their lunch breaks, what he didn't know was that I'm a closet card shark and proceeded to squeal 'I WIN' every single time I won.....lucky he was a good sport about it and actually found my winning streak hilarious (if not slightly bewildering!)


That night we took some pre-cooked potatoes, sliced them horizontally 4-5 times roughly 3/4 way through and stuffed them with cheese and bacon. Then we wrapped them up in foil and put them in the fry pan on the camp stove for about 25-30 mins, flipping halfway through. Enter a spectacular baked potato filled with bacon and melted cheese.....oh my god, camping food heaven.

The next morning we had a bit of a sleep in before Mr B cooked us eggs and bacon for breakfast. After breakfast we enjoyed a coffee on the beach before beginning the drive home. Obviously we were in no hurry so we took our time travelling roads we had never been on before and in the process saw some amazing scenery.

Just after lunch we pulled into a town called Ross for a much needed cuppa and a biscuit. I love our little camp stove!

This is the thing I love about just packing the ute up and going camping for the weekend, you can just see a magic spot like this near a river, pull up, make a cuppa and soak it all in.

Lesson for the weekend - make sure Mr B has swallowed his biscuit before you take that romantic photo....

Mrs B xx

Saturday, April 27, 2013

12 Months Ago Today....

It's hard to believe that this time 12 months ago Mr B and I were heading off on our honeymoon, our big adventure.

Sometimes it seems like a dream, I can't believe we did it, I can't believe the things we saw and the places we went but every now and then I'll be doing something and all these memories will come flooding back to me and I remember it like it was yesterday.

This weekend I really want to sit down and go through our photos from the trip because just looking at these few brings back so many memories!

At the moment, Mr B and I are away camping, which is not quite as international as our honeymoon, but it is going to be cold and we will probably get lost so I'm sure it will bring back memories of our first two weeks touring Ireland in a camper van! Ireland was without a doubt our favourite place from the whole trip and Mr B and I would dearly love to go back one day.

This photo was taken on the second day of our Honeymoon not long after our arrival in Galway.

We arrived in Dublin at 3pm the previous day only to be greeted by a terrible muck up with our campervan that saw us drive to Belfast and back to Dublin and then we got horribly horribly lost trying to find our hotel, finally checking in at 1am. The next morning we were up early and ready to make the drive to Galway. This photo is roughly 24 hours after we arrived in Dublin, the previous nights drama forgotten, the excitement well and truly kicked in.

This photo of Mr B and I on Juliet's balcony in Verona reminds me of so many things. That evening we went out for dinner and because I only felt like a 'light' dinner I ordered 2 slices of pizza off the menu....they ended up being so big that each one came out on it's own dinner plate. Later that night we were awoken by an earthquake shaking our hotel and seriously considered spending the rest of the night in the park down the road.

Driving past the Colosseum on our way from the airport to the hotel on our first day in Rome was incredible.

One minute it was ridiculous highways and crowded streets, the next minute it was just there in front of us, it was early evening and the whole thing was lit up - the only word I can think of to describe it is majestic. Two days later we went on a tour through the ruins and were completely blown away.


Paris was.....Paris. Beautiful, elegant and fast-paced. I could have easily spent the whole 4 days we were there right here in the grounds at the base of the Eiffel Tower.

And this....our last night in Florence....a roof top picnic of Duff Beer and baguettes filled with fresh mozarella and tomato brought at the local deli....a cheap dinner but a view (and dinner partner) that was priceless.

Mrs B xx

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chickpea Burgers with Sweet Potato Chips and Garlic Maple Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

At this particular point in time I'm sitting on my couch, with Mr B's dressing gown draped around my shoulders, heat pump blaring and listening to the wind and rain howling outside.....oh and I'm getting organised to go on a camping trip.

Yep - Mr B and I thought that considering today is ANZAC Day and we have tomorrow off we would make the most of the 4 day weekend by heading off to the North of the State on a great camping adventure. To be honest we planned this trip about 6 weeks ago and didn't take into account the weather whatsoever. Nevermind, I'm actually still really looking forward to it - although I'll be packing every thermal, beanie, scarf and jumper I own!

This week I've been looking at lots of camping friendly foods so burgers have kind of been at the forefront of my thinking and I have been hanging out to make this recipe for Chickpea Burgers for a long time! Unlike alot of vegetarian burgers I've tried, these ones were packed full of flavour (and texture - there is nothing worse than a veggie burger that is gluggy and sticks to the roof of your mouth!). Plus chickpea hating Mr B didn't complain once!

Chickpea Burgers - Serves 4

1 onion, finely diced
2 tspns crushed garlic
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbspns lemon oil (or 1/4 cup lemon juice)
1-2 tspns crushed wet thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup plain flour
4 bread rolls to serve
Cheese, Beetroot and Avocado to serve

In a frypan over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil for 5-7 mins or until onion is cooked.

Place all ingredients, except flour, in a food processor and process until just combined. You still want some texture in there so don't over process it.

Shape the mixture into 4 patties and dust with flour. Allow to rest in the fridge for 30 mins.

Heat a small amount of oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook the burgers for 4-5 mins on each side or until golden.

Serve in rolls with cheese, beetroot and avocado.

I found this recipe for Garlic Maple Yoghurt Dipping Sauce a few weeks ago and Mr B and I tried it on some sweet potato burgers. Personally I could have eaten the whole bowl of sauce on it's own, it was so more-ish I just loved it. I thought the subtle flavours of the maple and garlic got a bit lost when we had it with the burgers, but I had no doubt it was perfect for dunking some sweet potato chips in!

Sweet Potato Chips with Garlic Maple Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chips
200g greek yoghurt
2 tspns maple syrup
1/2 tspn crushed garlic (possibly 1 tspn depending on your preference)
Salt and Pepper to season

Pre-heat oven to 160C. Place the sweet potato in a single layer on a baking tray and cook for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, combine the yoghurt, maple syrup and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the fridge until your ready to use. Play with the maple and garlic flavours abit to suit your preference but generally you should get a hint of garlic and a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup.

Remove the sweet potato chips from the oven and lightly spray with oil. Place back in the oven for a further 20-30 mins or until they are cooked.

Serve with Garlic Maple Yoghurt Dipping Sauce.


Mrs B xx

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lemon Meringue Sundaes

We are entering Week 3 of Dessert Wars......after last week's Trifling Trifle, Mr B and I had big shoes (or bowls) to fill this week, but never fear, I had a plan!

A few months ago, whilst I was having a particularly bad day, Mum came to the rescue with one thing guaranteed to cheer me cookbooks! One of the books in question was the Women's Weekly 50 Fast Desserts book - it has so many fabulous ideas in it but I couldn't go passed this Lemon Meringue Sundae!

Mum hit the nail on the head last night when she said there is just something about a lemon dessert that is refreshing....and Dad hit the nail on the head when he was too busy cleaning his glass to say anything at all!

Lemon Meringue Sundaes - Serves 4

Vanilla Icecream
4 x Meringue Nests (recipe follows if you want to make your own or you can use store brought ones)
Lemon Creme (recipe follows)
Limoncello (optional)
4 x nice glasses for serving.

To make the Meringues you will need:
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 150C / 130C fan-forced and line two trays with baking paper. I suggest spraying them with cooking spray too. 

Beat the egg whites with your electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat until sugar has dissolved and stiff peaks form. The mixture will have a thick marshmallow consistency.

Now you can either spread the meringue mixture onto your trays so that you have 2 large rectangles or spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe little nests. Note that you only need 4 meringue nests for the sundaes but this recipe will make roughly 12.

Bake the meringues for roughly 45 minutes or until they are dry to touch. Turn off the oven and allow them to cool with the door ajar for around an hour.

To make the Lemon Creme you will need:
500ml thickened cream
1 cup lemon curd

Combine the thickened cream and lemon curd in a microwave safe bowl.

Heat for 60-90 seconds. Stir to combine. Allow to cool and place in the fridge to set.

To assemble your sundaes
Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the base of your glass. Crumble half a meringue nest over your ice cream. Spoon over a good dollop of the lemon creme. Repeat layers and finish with a drizzle of Limoncello.


Mrs B xx

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finding the Middle Ground....

Sometimes in life you just have to find the middle ground.

Like when there's only one Tim Tam left in the packet so you and your partner have to go halves, but he takes 3/4 of it in one bite....

Or like when you planned a romantic day out, but there happens to be a big Car Show your husband wants to go to on the same day so you end up spending the day looking under car bonnets, but together nonetheless.....

Yes it involves a little give and take, but sometimes that's half the fun!

You see Mum knows that a steak smothered in mushroom sauce is high on Mr B's list of favourite meals.

And Mr B knows that the chances of a steak being cooked in Mum and Dad's home are slim to none.

So they met in the middle and Mum did the next best thing which was to make an amazing Mushroom Sauce and serve it with a Quorn Vegetarian Cheese and Spinach Schnitzel (with a side of Mr B's favourite potato bake!)

The sauce was delicious, packed full of mushrooms and bursting with flavour from the mustard, plus it was the perfect match for the Cheese and Spinach Schnitzels.

Mum's Mushroom Sauce

375g button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tbspn butter
1 tbspn wholegrain mustard
300ml thickened cream

Melt butter in a fry pan over medium heat.

Add mushrooms and onion and cook for 5-7 mins, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden and soft.

Add the mustard and cream and stir well to combine.

Allow the mixture to simmer for 5-7 mins until thickened slightly.

Serve over vegetarian schnitzels.....or if you prefer, beef, lamb, pork or chicken.

And then there was dessert.....

Do you remember last week when I said Dad and Mr B had entered into this all out dessert war?

Mr B and I thought we had delivered the first attack pretty well, but as it turns out, Mum and Dad had a plan.

A sneaky plan that involved their super awesome Trifle.

Nothing says temporary defeat like an empty serving bowl, four full to the point of overflowing dessert bowls and the conversation around the table revolving around childhood memories of Dad and I making this ready for when Mum got home from work.....

As I'm getting older, sentimental value is more important to me then ever before. When it comes to food it's not about how fancy the meal looks or how expensive the ingredients were, it's about the memories it generates and this Trifle is one of those dishes that is incredible, both taste wise and warm and fuzzy memory wise. Now I have another happy trifle memory to add to my repertoire!

Trifling Trifle....

1x 250g jam sponge roll, sliced 2cm thick
1 x pkt of prepared port wine jelly
400g tin of fruit salad, drained with the juice reserved
2 cups of custard (banana if you can find it, but vanilla will also work)
300ml thickened cream, whipped
2 x 30g Cadbury Flake Bars, crushed

Prepare the jelly as per packet directions and allow to set in the fridge overnight. Before assembling your trifle, remove the jelly from the fridge and roughly chop.

To assemble your trifle start by placing the jam roll slices over the base and up the sides of a glass serving bowl.

Pour the reserved juice from the fruit salad over the sponge roll and top with the jelly.

Top with the fruit salad.

Pour over the custard and top with whipped cream. Finish off your trifle by sprinkling with the crushed Flake bars.

Place the trifle back in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Mrs B xx

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bread Maker English Muffins

Whilst I was doing my usual baking on the weekend, it occurred to me that Mr B and I were planning on having English Muffins for lunch....and that I may have had the last one for breakfast....

So there I was madly trying to figure out how I was going to finish the cupcakes I was making and get to the supermarket before lunch time when it crossed my mind that maybe I should just make the muffins myself.

After about 1/2 an hour of procrastinating that involved several conversations with myself about how hard it would be, not to mention rising times and all sorts of flour related cleaning issues, I actually stopped to read a recipe and as it turns out, they were neither difficult, nor complicated and could be done using the trusty bread maker. Before I knew it I had all the ingredients piled into the bread maker and it was happening.

These were much easier to make then I thought and just as good (if not better) then the ones you buy from the supermarket. I can't wait to try these again with some cinnamon, nutmeg and sultanas added into the dough cycle!

Bread Maker English Muffins - Makes 15
You will need:
1.75 cups milk
45g butter (salted)
2 tbspns sugar
1 egg
2.5 cups plain flour
2 cups wholemeal flour (If you're not keen on wholemeal flour, you can replace it with an additional 2 cups of plain flour.)
2 tspns yeast

Place everything in the bowl of your breadmaker and set it to the dough cycle.

Once the cycle is completed. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work bench and roll out to a large rectangle. Use a large circle cutter or even the top of a large clean empty can to cut the dough into 15 discs. Place the discs on a baking tray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest and rise for 20 mins.

Spray a large cast iron pan with cooking spray. I used a bench top fry pan but you could use a regular fry pan as well. Cook the muffins on low to medium low heat for about 10-15 mins on each side or until they are golden brown. Flip over and repeat on the other side. You don't want your pan to hot or the outside will cook before the inside does.

Serve toasted with butter and jam or butter and tomato and cheese!


Mrs B xx

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Limoncello Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Raspberry Buttercream

Well here we are at the end of another weekend and you know, as far as weekends go, it's been a pretty good one.

Mr B and I had 3 days off so we made the most of the beautiful sunny weather on Friday, got out of bed early (an achievement on it's own!), packed ourselves lunch and went fishing. Being a Friday it meant the jettys were not packed full of people and we could just sit down and relax in the sun for most of the day which was exactly what the Dr ordered. And as an added bonus we even caught a few fish, most of them were under-size and had to be thrown back, but we did manage to come home with a lovely little Salmon which we had for dinner and it was delicious!

Saturdays are fast becoming my baking / housework day and Mr B's day to potter around outside doing odd jobs. This works out really well because it means we have all day Sunday to spend together and today was no exception. When we finally managed to drag ourselves out of bed this morning we trundled on up to the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival which is held on the beautiful banks of the Derwent River at the beginning of Autumn each year and is just jam packed full of stuff to see and do. Every year it gets bigger and bigger and for a free event, the quality of the stalls is fantastic and you could pretty much spend all day there doing a few laps, listening to the different bands, watching the black smith at work and eating your way around the different food on offer.

So anyway, back to Saturday and the baking.....

A few days ago when I asked Mr B what sort of cupcakes he would like in his lunches this week he came up with this flavour combination and I think he nailed it - although I think he is getting a bit technical in what he asks for, he used to just say vanilla!

Limoncello Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Raspberry Buttercream

For the Limoncello Cupcakes you will need:

1.5 cups plain flour
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
60g butter, at room temperature
60g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tbspns limoncello
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 - 1 cup lemon curd

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat until fluffy and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Add the limoncello and beat until combined.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Beat on low until everything is just combined.

Divide the batter between 15 lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a teaspoon or melon baller to remove a small section from the centre. Fill with a teaspoon of lemon curd.

To make the Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting you will need

200g cream cheese
150g butter
2.5 cups icing sugar
Handful of fresh raspberries

Heat the raspberries in a microwave safe jug for 60 seconds and set aside to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until pale and creamy.

Add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the raspberries and beat well. You may need to add a little more icing sugar to get a nice stiff consistency, but as my raspberries were still hot when I added them to the mixture, I just placed mine in the fridge for about 30 mins and it was soon ready to pipe onto the cupcakes.

Only thing left to do now is sit down, relax, forget about the bowls and beaters and pans piling up in the sink, eat a cupcake (or two) and enjoy it!


Mrs B xx

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dessert Wars with Pastry Cream Filled Pies

Today I write to you from the bunkers, you see I'm at war. I'm not sure who declared war on was either Mr B or my Dad, but either way one of them did (without discussing it with Mum or I first mind you!) and now we are in the middle of all out tactical war....dessert style.

I happen to be particularly anti-war, mainly because I don't like conflict, but I figure if there has to be a war and you have to be involved in it, it should be a dessert war or a shoe war or you know something like that.

Our side landed the first hit in the form of these Pastry Cream Filled Pies. 

These pies are a  Mr B original and I must admit when he told me how he made them, I didn't believe him and made him do it again so I could see it with my own eyes.

For those of you who have a pie maker out there, you will know that you put a piece of shortcrust pastry in the bottom, top it with your filling, finish it off with a piece of puff pastry, close the lid and minutes later you have yourself a pie. Well, Mr B put one piece of puff pastry into the pie maker, closed the lid and minutes later he had a hollow pie, perfect for filling. I have no idea how that one piece of puff pastry managed to separate and create a perfectly formed pie, albeit hollow, but I am sure glad it did (and glad I have an inquisitive husband who experiments with these things!).

When Mr B told me about his little hollow pies and his idea for filling them with something delicious for dessert, we had lots of ideas like chocolate mousse and strawberry cheesecake, but we decided to bring out the big guns and go with a beautiful pastry cream which I whipped up the night before.

When we were ready for dessert, Mr B made a small hole in the top of each hollow pie and piped the pastry cream in until they were full to bursting point. A few strawberries, some icing sugar and you have yourself a winner.

Here is the recipe we used for the Pastry Cream which we may or may not have eaten (sucked) straight from the piping bag.....

2 cups full cream milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tspn vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornflour

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt. Heat until the mixture begins to simmer.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, egg yolks and cornflour.

Add the hot milk mixture, half a cup at a time, whisking until combined after each addition.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. It should have the consistency of thick custard.

Remove from the heat and transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.

Place in the fridge to cool. When you are ready to use your pastry cream, remove from the fridge and whisk first just to make sure it is nice and silky smooth. The pastry cream will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Mrs B xx

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bread Maker Pizza Scrolls

Pizza Scrolls are unfortunately one of the foods Mr B loves in his lunch boxes.

I say unfortunately because I hate making them.

My Dad always said to me that hate is a strong word so let me re-phrase that.... I 'strongly dislike' making them.

Whenever I make them my kitchen somehow ends up covered floor to ceiling in tomato paste and cheese and sticky dough and flour....oh my goodness the flour - it just gets everywhere!

So I tend to just pretend they don't exist for as long as humanly possible, but eventually Mr B will request them and I can't put it off any longer.

After the success of making our Hot Cross Buns in the bread maker this year, I thought I would try making the dough for the scrolls in there and it was a massive win for the home team. The dough resulted in a light, fluffy scroll and only 10% of the kitchen is covered in flour compared to the usual 95%, plus Mr B tells me they are much nicer than the ones I usually make....I chose to just take that as a compliment.

Bread Maker Pizza Scrolls

For the dough you will need:
3 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tspns dried yeast
1 tspn salt
1.5 cups lukewarm water

For the topping you will need:
2 tbspns tomato paste
1 tbspn Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
1 tbspn crushed garlic
80g shaved ham
1/2-3/4 cup grated cheese
1 sml tin of pineapple pieces drained
*This is just the toppings that I use, you can use whatever you like, 1/2 cup diced capsicum, salami etc.....

To make the dough, place the water, yeast, salt and flour in the bowl of your breadmaker in that order. Select the 'dough' cycle and let it do it's thing. Mine took about 90 mins.

Once the cycle is finished, punch the dough down to knock the air out of it. Place the dough on a lightly floured clean surface and roll it out to a large rectangle - roughly 30cm x 40cm.

Leaving a 1cm gap from the edges on your horizontal sides, spread the tomato paste over the dough. Top with the garlic and herbs. Scatter the ham and pineapple over the base and top with cheese.

Starting from the horizontal edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough up into a scroll shape. Use a sharp knife to cut into roughly 16 pieces. Place each piece, cut-side up, onto a lined baking tray leaving about 1cm inbetween.

Set aside to rise in a warm place for 30 mins. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 200C.

Place the scrolls in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

These make great lunch box treats, but you should definitely try one fresh from the oven too!

I would like to take a second here to say how gorgeous is the little plate in this picture?? Mum and Dad have been having a massive clean out at their place and a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to have a look through the boxes of goodies destined for the market. Needless to say Mr B and I came home with a car load of treasures including an antique lantern, an old cutlery box for our kitchen bench and a STACK of beautiful antique plates. This one and the one I used in the Leftover Easter Egg Blondies post are my absolute favourite.

It makes me feel kind of nostalgic having these items in my home that I remember being in Mum and Dad's home when I grew up. It also makes me feel very grown up all of a sudden. Antiques were one thing I always swore black and blue would never be in my house. How things change....

Mrs B xx

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Leftover Easter Egg Blondies

I know....I can practically hear you all saying 'You crazy lady, ain't nobody got leftover easter eggs!' 

But in our house we had a big basket of mini eggs sitting on the kitchen bench over the Easter and now that Easter has been and gone, Mr B is no longer eating them. Which just leaves them (the eggs) and me (the weak choc-oholic with no self control). 

The eggs are obviously aware of my inability to resist them because they call my name every time I walk past. 

So the way I see it, I had two them all myself OR cook something for Mr B's lunches with them so even though he says he is 'over easter eggs' and refusing to eat them anymore, little does he know, I have smuggled them into his lunch box. 

Cue evil laugh......

Obviously this plan backfired a little when I had to physically leave the room to stop eating these blondies fresh out of the pan, but that's a minor detail. These are gooey and chewy and studded with chocolate chip, creme egg goodness which as far as blondies goes makes them good, like REALLY good. 

Leftover Easter Egg Blondies 

170g butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tspns vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
2 x 135g pkts of mini Cadbury Creme Eggs
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 160C and grease and line a slice tin with baking paper.

Place the butter in a microwave safe jug and heat for 60 seconds on Medium High.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat well.

Add the flour and beat until combined.

Unwrap the mini eggs. I placed mine on a chopping board and gave them a hit with a meat mallet so they were still whole but kinda flattened. It doesn't matter if they fall apart abit though, you just don't want to completely pulverise them or they creamy filling will disappear into your blondie mix.

Stir the chocolate chips and crushed eggs through your blondie batter.

Spoon the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula or spoon. Now the recipe I used for these suggested baking them for no longer than 25 mins but I had to bake mine for 40 mins so I would say check them at 25 mins and if a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top is set, then they are done, if not, check them at 35 and then 40 mins.

Once you remove your blondies from the oven allow them to cool on the bench for 30 mins. At this stage you can dive right in like I did and pick off all the edges because they are amazing....or you could show some restraint and put them in the fridge for a further 30 mins before you slice them. I definitely recommend this as these blondies are super gooey and chewy and are much easier to slice once you remove them from the fridge...but I also recommend having a sneaky taste before you put them in the fridge too!


Mrs B xx

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tropical Fruit Salad Butter Cake

This recipe has been in the back of my mind for awhile now and a few weeks ago I finally had the opportunity to bring it back to life. I was so pleased when it tasted exactly how I remembered it because my Mum and I used to make this cake all the time when I was younger. Even though I haven't made it or eaten it in well over 10 years, it's amazing how one bite can bring a world of memories flooding back and I knew I had to make it again so that my Mum and Dad and Mr B could experience it as well.

This is a really simple cake, but it is so moist and light and bursting with fruit that you can serve it hot or cold, for dessert or afternoon tea, but always with a generous dollop of cream.

Tropical Fruit Salad Butter Cake

You will need:

1 pkt of Butter Cake Mix
425g tin of super well drained tropical fruit salad mix (the one I use is a mix of pineapple, peach, banana and passionfruit, but I pick the seeds out!)

Pre-heat oven to 180C and grease your desired size cake tin. If I'm making it for dessert I make it in one large round cake tin or if I'm making it for afternoon tea I make it as two cakes so I can sandwich them together with whipped cream.

Prepare the butter cake mix as per the packet directions.

Stir through the drained fruit salad.

Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for 40-50 mins for one large cake or 30-40 mins for 2 smaller ones. The cake is done when golden in colour and bounces back when touched.


Mrs B xx

Monday, April 1, 2013

Zucchini Chips and Home Made Mozzarella

Continuing on with our love affair with cheese making, Mr B and I spent a rainy afternoon last weekend making mozzarella.

It was actually really easy to make and the best part is it's ready to eat straight away - hello creamy mozzarella!

To make the mozzarella, we followed THIS video on YouTube. We use a Mad Millie Cheese Making Kit and not only are the instructions in the kit great, but most of the recipes are backed up by YouTube videos as well which I find really useful.

So as you can imagine, Mr B and I had a week filled with mozzarella goodness!

First of all we ate it in fresh rolls with juicy tomatoes.

Secondly we stuffed it inside some chicken breasts with basil and then coated them in panko breadcrumbs before baking  them in the oven.

And thirdly we tried it in a good old caprese salad with tomatoes and basil.

This was definitely my favourite. You can't beat the combination for flavour plus it took me right back to Sorrento where we ate this every night on our honeymoon.

And in the background of this photo, next to the stuffed capsicum....which is topped with melted mozzarella... you can see some zucchini chips that we made. To quote Mr B, these were the bomb-diggity which I have come to realise means they were pretty damn good.

To make them for yourself you will need:

2 x zucchini cut into sticks
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbspn parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 150C

Combine the panko breadcrumbs with the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Dip the zucchini sticks into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. You might need to press the breadcrumbs down to ensure they stick.

Place on a lightly greased oven tray and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

These were so tasty - I could have eaten a whole bowl of them!


Mrs B xx


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