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Feijoa cake with lemon icing

Feijoa cake with lemon icing

Feijoa cake tends to go down alright, and when it’s that time of year, I’m always looking for something different to make with the excess of feijoas. This cake is pretty easy, and tastes delicious!

Collect

  • 125 g butter
  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 c mashed feijoa pulp
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 T hot milk
  • 2 c plain flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3/4 c icing sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 T hot water

Create

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fanbake.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add mashed feijoas and mix lightly, ideally retaining some of the texture.
  5. In another bowl, stir baking soda into hot milk, and then add it to the feijoa mixture.
  6. Sift in four and baking powder, and fold until combined.
  7. Pour into a greased cake-tin. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
  8. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before putting on a cooling rack.
  9. Once cool, make the icing. To do so, mix the icing sugar, lemon juice, second measure of butter and hot water into a bowl. Add extra lemon if you want it more tangy. Spread over the cake.

 

Afghans

Afghans

Afghans are SUCH an understated biscuit. I think the reason for this is probably because the spectrum of afghans is pretty wide, that is, the store-bought ones can taste very different to the ones your grandma makes at home. Homemade afghans are seriously the best, although I do have to admit I am a pretty big fan of the Cookie Time afghans too (a little bit biased perhaps?!). But anything else I can always resist. This recipe is super easy: it also has minimal ingredients so is usually quite easy to whip up at the last minute.

Collect

  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1.25 c flour
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 2 c cornflakes
  • 1.5 c icing sugar
  • 1 T cocoa
  • 50 g butter, softened
  • 2 T hot water
  • 16 walnuts

Create

  1. 180°C bake. Grease or line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Sift the flour and cocoa into the creamed mixture. Add the cornflakes, half a cup at a time.
  3. Spoon balls of mixture onto the tray, flatten slightly.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until set (if you take them out too early they may not hold together).
  5. Let the afghans cool for 20 minutes.
  6. Once cool, make the chocolate icing. Combine the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add softened butter and pour some of the hot water over. Mix together, adding more water as necessary to achieve a smooth consistency (don’t add too much water at once because a little water goes a very long way).
  7. Spread over the afghans and top with a walnut.
Sticky pork ribs

Sticky pork ribs

Growing up, my favourite restaurant was Lonestar. Every single time we went I ordered the same thing – along with my mum and brother; we always ordered the ribs. The waitress would bring a bowl of hot water (for washing your fingers in) which would always get my excited that my meal was about to come, but the water always cooled down significantly by time our meals actually arrived. The meal was always massive, with chunky crunchy potatoes, a delicious coleslaw and sticky pork ribs. Definitely enough for the next day!

I thought it was time to give this delicious meal a go myself, and while I don’t promise that they are as good as Lonestar’s, they are still pretty darn good! They are a pretty cheap cut of meat, and actually quite a quick meal to prepare – so they go a treat at dinner parties and the like; just make sure there is a water bowl of some kind on hand.

  

Collect

  • pork ribs
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 c beef stock
  • 1 c pineapple juice
  • 1 T butter
  • dash of lemon juice
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 2 T brownsugar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T vinegar (preferably malt)
  • 3 t smoked paprika
  • 2 t mustard power
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of chilli

Create

  1. 160°C bake.
  2. Sear the ribs in a hot pan with oil before transferring them to an oven tray.
  3. Make the sauce by cooking the onion and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
  4. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Cover the ribs with aluminium foil and put in the oven for 90 minutes.
  5. Separate the ribs from the sauce. Reduce the sauce in a hot pan until it becomes thick and sticky. This might take 20 minutes.
  6. Pour over the ribs and put back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Pumpkin & Coconut Soup

Pumpkin & Coconut Soup

Winter is definitely a season that can get you down. But one thing that always picks me is some good ol’ homemade soup. It’s hard to go past pumpkin soup, which is so filling, warming and just plain delicious. It’s also so cheap to make – so long as you have a pumpkin on hand, I find that you can basically throw in any of the previous weeks vegetables into the pot and it just adds to the substance and nutritional value.

Collect

  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 T turmeric
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 kumara / potato
  • any other vegetable you want, but you may need to add more stock if the liquid looks a little low
  • 5 c chicken stock
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • coriander, garnish

Create

  1. In a large pot, add the onion, garlic and spices and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the diced pumpkin and other vegetables into the pot.
  3. Add the chicken stock and once boiling put a lid on the pot and simmer.
  4. Once all of the vegetables are soft, leave the pot to cool.
  5. Once cool, whizz with a stick until smooth.
  6. Reheat and add the coconut milk and extra seasoning.
  7. Serve with cheesy toast and garnish with coriander.

Triple Chocolate Brownie

Triple Chocolate Brownie

This recipe is an absolute winner. I kid you  not, every time it goes down a treat. It is super important to not overcook it; in fact, if you were planning on serving it as a dessert with icecream, I would actually under cook it slightly so that it stays gooey and runny on the inside. Definitely let it cool before you slice it, otherwise it will ooze everywhere and be hard to pick up later on.

Collect

  • 100 g butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 100 g white chocolate
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • icing sugar to dust (optional)

Create

  1. 180°C fan bake, grease a baking tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the sugar.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the mixture, add the white and dark chocolate.
  6. Mix until combined – but be gentle.
  7. Pour into tin.
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes; there should be a tiny amount of mixture still left on the skewer.

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

One  of the things I love most is waking up to the smell of freshly cooked muffins; now that I no longer live at home, if I want that smell I have to bake them myself. Which I don’t have a problem with, because it means I get to choose the flavour! Banana and chocolate chip is a firm favourite of mine; it’s an excuse to buy too many bananas at the farmers market each week. Sometimes when I’m feeling healthier I will opt for walnuts instead of chocolate, but most of the time, the chocolate ones are exactly what I’m after!

Collect

  • 3 bananas, ripe and mashed
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T milk
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1.5 c chocolate chunks

Create

  1. 180°C bake, grease the muffin tin (12 should be perfect).
  2. In a bowl, add the banana, sugar, butter, egg and milk – stir.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda – just, to combine.
  4. Add chocolate.
  5. Cook for about twenty minutes, or until golden on top.

Peanut Brownies

Peanut Brownies

Peanut Brownies were my absolute favourite biscuit as a kid. On Sundays, Mum used to bake with my brother and I, and we would take turns at choosing the recipe. Peanut brownies were certainly my go-to; I always had to be persuaded to try something different (gingerbread men every now and then!). This is the recipe that Mum always used to make with us; and it is the very same recipe that I would always use today. Don’t eat them all at once; and try to make sure it gets past the cookie dough stage.

Collect

  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • punch of salt
  • 2 T cocoa
  • 1 c roasted unsalted peanuts

Create

  1. 180°C fan bake.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa together and add to the creamed mixture.
  4. Add peanuts and mix.
  5. Flatten tablespoonfuls onto a greased tray, and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Tokyo Tina

Tokyo Tina

Tokyo Tina (66a Chapel Street, Windsor)

Wow. This was a dining experience like nothing else I had in Melbourne; it was hands and shoulders above the rest. Hats off the chef, George Proudfoot, who absolutely blew my family away with some of the intricacies that he served us. From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty and essentially had our choice of seating. Another one of those restaurants that doesn’t take bookings unless you have at least six people, we opted to get there early to ensure we wouldn’t have to wait. It paid off, and we picked a cute little table in the window front.

First things first, cocktails. The cocktail menu was very quirky, but also quite expensive. We all picked different drinks so that we could have a wee taste of a few; they were all very exotic – mostly classic cocktail mixes, with some crazy modern twists. After drinks came food. Here we ran into trouble, for a few reasons. There were so many options, each sounding better than the last. But, we had a vegetarian on board, as well as me – who couldn’t eat beef. We ended up mostly taking what the chef served to us; which resulted in a mixture of beef, non-beef, vegetarian and non-veg dishes. We took our waitor’s recommendation a lot too; he was great at knowing how much food we should get, and which dishes would go well with others. Lastly, dessert was a real treat. We were all so stuffed that we very nearly couldn’t eat it. But, everyone who knows me well knows that I can never say no to lemon meringue pie, and who was I to say no to yuzu meringue pie!? I had heard of this exotic Japanese citrus fruit only on Masterchef, so was keen to give it a try. And it was so yummy; we ended up polishing off every last mouthful.

Tokyo Tina has sister restaurants in Saigon Sally and Hanoi Hannah; both of which also sound delicious, but unfortunately we ran out of time to get there too. It was such an enjoyable dining experience. I would definitely recommend sharing the food there, but keep in mind it can be kind of pricey.

 

 

Poneke

Poneke

Poneke (1 Clyde Quay Wharf)

With a menu designed by renowned chef, Martin Bosley, Poneke has a delicious menu for both brunch and evening. Being Mojo coffee, I always know exactly what to expect when I order my coffee, and the sparkling water that Mojo offers never goes amiss either.

The slow cooked mince is true and tried one of the best items on the entire menu – even converting a sweet tooth to order this dish when I get the chance. If the sweet tooth remains at the end of the meal though, there is a delectable cabinet of patisseries and other goodies by the till.

I have been to an engagement party at Poneke and the facilities were great. It was a good size for a function like that, and the food on offer was delicious.

It has a cool location (right down there on the waterfront) but I think it sometimes gets forgotten about as it is on the other side of the Chaffers Dock Apartments, meaning it is quite well hidden.

Pikelets

Pikelets

Home cooked pikelets are such an easy way to amp a weekend breakfast, and they can be made with ingredients that are usually found in the cupboard. As children we used to make them allllllllllll the time, and we had even reached the point where we would be adding chocolate chips and/or food colouring to make them more exciting. Another fun idea is to pour the mixture into cookie cutters, so that you can make perfectly cool shapes when you serve them. As I have grown up, I have tended away from eating pikelets every single weekend, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy them any less. Now though, my tastes have advanced – and instead of adding food colouring, I’d much rather eat them alongside some delicious lemon curd, or fruit, bacon and maple syrup. Check out the recipe below:

Collect

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c milk

Create

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg and sugar with a whisk until pale and thick.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Cook. Flip when the bubbles appear.