Finding healthy savoury snacks has been something of a holy grail for me. My snack of choice: a pack of Kettle’s chilli chips (or really just about any chips!) is probably not something to be included in your daily intake, and with my wedding coming up, I’ve really been trying to clean up my diet. I stumbled upon David Lebovitz’s recipe for pistachio and chorizo cake which looked amazing, but as I was without a loaf tin, I decided to tweak the recipe and re-create it in muffin form.
We usually go out for dinner on the weekend, so I tend not to do much cooking on Saturday or Sunday. However, this particular Saturday night, my fiancé was invited to a corporate event at the footy, which meant that I had a rare night at home. I decided to use this chance to cook up something new; and flicking through the pages of a Christmas present – Donna Hay’s Simple Dinners – I found a recipe for one-pot chorizo and cous cous. Continuing my healthy eating attempts, I substituted quinoa for cous cous and added in mushrooms for extra nutrients – but don’t worry, it still tastes delicious!
As I mentioned in my last post detailing my clean eating attempts, I love ice cream, especially the Ben & Jerry’s varieties packed with chunks and swirls. So much so that earlier this year, during the Sydney summer, I experimented with making my own ice cream, but without an ice cream maker (with that many gadgets already in the kitchen, an ice cream maker seemed an unnecessary addition!). Most of the recipes I found either required an ice cream machine or else lots of ingredients and hand-mixing at regular intervals, so I was super excited to find a basic ice cream recipe that only required 3 ingredients and next to no work!
With my wedding coming up later in the year, I have been attempting to make some healthier choices in my daily diet. One of my many vices is ice cream. My fiancé and I both enjoy the childhood favourite of simply vanilla ice cream with lashings of Ice Magic (which, incidentally, now comes in a chocolate peanut butter version!); while Ben & Jerry’s opening up business in Australia was bad not only for my waistline, but also my wallet (my favourites are Clusterfluff and Couch Potato). So after hearing so much about chia seed puddings and not only how good chia is for you, but also how easy it is to make, I figured I should at least try it as an ice cream substitute!
When my brother requested Sans Rival for his birthday this year, we thought he was joking. While Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert, its name means ‘without rival’ in French and I can tell you that there are not many desserts that can rival the richness of this cake. Layers of meringue and buttercream are slathered with even more buttercream and chopped cashews to make an incredibly indulgent dessert. Having eaten Sans Rival frequently in the Philippines, my sister and I were unsure of whether we could faithfully recreate it in all its glory, however we did find this relatively simple recipe and decided to give it a go.
Happy father’s day to all the dads out there! For our dad, my sister and I cleaned out our pantry to make these fudgy chocolate biscuits with a pumpkin twist.
One of my family’s birthday traditions is for my sister and I to bake any cake requested by the birthday boy/girl. For my mum’s birthday over the weekend, she asked for carrot cake and just about every person I told instantly questioned whether I would be adding walnuts. Another friend insisted that the Donna Hay carrot cake recipe came out perfectly every time. Not a huge carrot cake fan myself, I bowed to the advice of these enthusiasts and attempted the Donna Hay recipe and made sure we had plenty of walnuts at home.
I have a confession to make: I don’t really like pancakes. They’ve always seemed to me to be rather plain and not particularly appetising unless you trick them up with extra embellishments. This weekend, we experimented with Nigella Lawson’s recipe for American breakfast pancakes, which she describes as thick, spongy and perfect with maple syrup and streaky bacon. While I didn’t go so far as to have bacon with mine, I did throw in chocolate chips, banana slices, blueberries and maple syrup.
When I was a child, I would regularly ask my parents for chicken vol au vents for dinner. I can’t explain why I was such a fan, but there must have been some reason behind it! Anyway, I eventually moved on to other dinner requests, but even now, when I very occasionally see it on a menu it always brings back strong memories. So when I had a Saturday night at home, and my mum had thoughtfully bought vol au vent shells and chicken fillets, my sister and I decided to have a go at recreating my childhood favourite.