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I need your vote!

Hello world,

So this little blog has been selected as a finalist in the ‘Food’ category for Pedestrian.TV’s Blogster Awards! Exciting!

In order to be in the running to be crowned winner in this category, I need your vote! You can vote by clicking ‘like’ here > http://www.pedestrian.tv/ultrabook-pedestrian-blogster-awards/blog?id=955 

For your votes and general feel-good support…I shall leave you with the harmonies of Boyz 2 Men. They pretty much sum up my gratitude (and love for 90s threads!)

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Sh!t nonnas say

Good to know that all Nonna’s are all the same. So so funny!!!

Tea-cake is never a mis-take.

I will save you the apologies for not blogging enough, as it seems as though every post begins with an excuse anyway!
The last couple of weekends I have made the decision to stay at home and indulge in the simple things, partly because I have come to the realisation that I am a shop-a-holic and partly because the typical Brisbane summer is upon us –  it’s either you witness your lungs filling with air that feels like it’s just come out of a hairdryer or the electrical storms outside mean you are housebound with the air-con on so high you are wearing last season’s cardigan.

Needless to say, baking is something that you can do in either situation and it’s cheap, yummy and truly rewarding for both the baker and the eatee. Staying at home and saving your pennies does not have to be boring when you have a bunch of ingredients at hand, in your face Global Financial Crisis-what-what!

Apple tea-cake with Butterscotch sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Apple Sauce
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 packets of Green’s vanilla cake mix (ingredients as per instructions on box)

Butterscotch sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 50g butter (unsalted)

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees or as per packet instructions.

Grease a round, spring-form cake pan with a little bit of butter.  Prepare apples by thinly slicing 2 Granny Smith apples and place sliced apples in a separate bowl – we will use them a bit later.  Peel and core the remaining two apples and cut into small little cubes – also place into a separate bowl.

In a large mixing bowl prepare the vanilla cake mix as per instructions, when at the beating stage be sure to really get air in the mix, if not the cake will come out too dense.

Once batter is ready, stir in apple sauce and cubed apples in the mixing bowl then pour mix into greased cake pan.  Place in oven for about 10 minutes or until top of the cake becomes slightly cooked.  Take cake out of the oven and placed sliced apples on top in a decorative manner. Cover cake with aluminium foil, and place in the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a skewer placed in the middle comes out clean.  During the last five minutes of baking time, remove aluminium foil and allow the apples on top to become a slight golden colour.

Remove cake from oven for about 10 minutes before placing on cooling rack.

** Note, the reason for this method is to allow the apples on the top not to sink into the batter and also to prevent the middle of the cake from undercooking.

Butterscotch sauce

Heat butter on medium to high heat in a heavy based small saucepan, once all the butter is truly melted an a slight foam appears add brown sugar. Slowly add sour cream and cook on high heat until a syrupy texture is formed.  Allow syrup to create bubbles then turn heat to low setting and allow to simmer. Keep stirring consistently to prevent lumps and once syrup starts to coat the back of the spoon and become more of a ‘sauce’ texture, take saucepan completely off the heat. If sauce is too ‘gluggy’ place back on low-med heat and add some milk or cream until desired texture.

Pour sauce over the cake once the exterior of the cake has cooled down completely. Serve warm with ice cream and of course, your favourite tea!

Juju vs Fast food

When I was a kid, I was fortunate enough to never eat anything out of a bag, tin can or instant sachet.  In fact, back in Italy I remember not even having a microwave. Everything was fresh, locally grown, homemade and delicious!

When mamma used to ask me what I wanted to have as a dinner treat on my birthday, I would always say the same thing every year – homemade gnocchi with smoked salmon and cream. And every year, mamma would deliver the deliciousness!
It really really saddens me how these days a ‘treat’ is considered something so processed, dripping in goodness knows what and able to have the ability to survive a nuclear war.
Sigh.
Being a 9-5er and the only one in the marriage possessing the ultimate survival skill of cooking something longer for than 2 minutes, I understand that sometimes you just couldn’t be bothered.  But truth is, you can really have tasty quick meals with minimum effort.

So this week my challenge is to cook some fast food favourites, Juju style.

First up, we have the undeniably popular pizza. (Don’t even get me started at how much it’s been bastardized – that’s a whole other story!) Traditionally pizza should have no more than four ingredients and yes that is including the cheese! These babies only took ten minutes to make and if you are like me and are trying to get your beach body on, you can play around with toppings to make it a little bit more healthy.

Chicken, spinach and fetta pizza (healthy option!)

Ingredients
Tortillas
Tomato passata or pasta sauce** pick one without any added herbs, you can add fresh ones instead 
Fresh baby spinach
Danish fetta
Grilled chicken pieces (you can use leftover BBQ chicken breast too)
Fresh parsley
Spread about a tablespoon of passata on your tortilla, add toppings making sure to crumble some extra Danish fetta on top.  Place in the oven at 200 degrees for about 5-10minutes.  Yum!
BBQ Chicken lovers pizza (Husband’s fave)

Ingredients

Tortillas
Tomato passata or pasta sauce
Grilled chicken
BBQ sauce
Cherry tomatoes
Oregano
Mozzarella
Spread about a tablespoon of passata on your tortilla, add all toppings except for mozzarella cheese.  Par bake pizza for about 5-7 minutes on 200 degrees, then take out and spread a generous amount of mozzarella cheese.  Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Another option with this is adding red Spanish onion if you have any in your fridge!
Stay tuned! x


Spring fever @ Sourced

Happy spring errbody.

While going for a walk through my neighbourhood I stumbled across Sourced Grocer, a beautiful grocer slash cafe.  All the staff are absolutely lovely and it just has this great foodie community atmosphere.  In addition, any place that makes me wake up at 7am on a Saturday morning is worth writing about!!!

The name, Sourced Grocer. The place, Florence St Teneriffe. The goods, fresh and local – that’s how we do.

I bought a whole heap of veges and some gourmet mushies for under $20.

Check their soon to be launched website here > http://www.sourcedgrocer.com.au/

The highlight for me was the amazing mushrooms, so so tasty! I made a chicken fettucine dish (although it would have tasted so much better with fresh pasta but Nonna was too busy having a social life! Lucky her!)

Sourced Grocer on Urbanspoon

It ain’t easy being green, when you are so damn delicious!

This weekend we shared a little food love with some of our hero friends, Becky and Aaron at the Casa de Mawande.  I wanted to make a classic roast chicken with a twist, after flicking through some recipes I came across Sir Jamie Oliver’s (he totally should be knighted by now) Salsa Verde which is Italian for Green Sauce.  I told my mamma that I was making it from Sir Oliver’s recipe and she laughed at me, I guess it would be the equivalent of looking up how to make Vegemite toast from a Donna Hay book.  But whatever…it tasted delish! The beauty of this sauce is that it goes AH-MAH-ZING with ANY roast meat, and if you have any leftovers the next day it makes for a mean gourmet breakfast for someone you want to share a bit of food lovin with. 

Salsa Verde

• 1 small handful of capers
• 1 small handful of gherkins pickled in sweet vinegar
• 1½–2 cloves of garlic, peeled
• 2 large handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
• 1 bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
• 1 handful of fresh mint, leaves picked
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 8 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely chop (or chuck in a mixer)the garlic, capers, gherkins, and herbs and put them into a bowl. Add the mustard and vinegar, then slowly stir in the olive oil until you achieve the right consistency. Balance the flavours with freshly ground black pepper, a bit of salt and maybe a little more vinegar.

 
Sunday Breakfast to impress
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Mushrooms
  • Salsa Verde (leftover)
  • Balsamic-roasted vine tomatoes

In an oven proof dish, place tomatoes (with vine still attached) with olive oil and a good pinch of salt in the oven at about 180 degrees, monitor them until skin bursts (that’s when you know they are cooked through). Take them out of the oven and while still hot, splash a bit of balsamic vinegar – be careful not to drown them, just a good splash will do. Cook your eggs to your liking, for poached eggs make sure you use white vinegar in your boiling water (and egg rings to keep them in a neat shape!). Drain and put to the side covering with a paper towel, cook bacon and mushrooms in same pan (if the mushrooms are looking dismal and dry add a wee bit of olive oil). Plate up with salsa verde, add cracked pepper to eggs and mushrooms and a slice of grainy toast. Good mornin’!

For all you cheesy lovers….(a week late I know…)

It’s been a week since Valentine’s day and I’m still full. I didn’t have any plans for Vday, but of course my lovely husband did…we had wonderful 6 course meal (no joke, six) at the AMAZING Fellini restaurant on the Gold Coast (check them out here) and to this day it was by far the best meal of my life. Which says a lot.

 This is why I am posting about it a week later, and also I’ve been super lazy…possibly due to the self-induced food coma I endured after eating Fellini’s homemade pasta and stuffed chicken breasts with imported prosciutto. I can still hear the sweet sound of my arteries blocking, by golly it was worth every bite.  Which brings me to my point…I’ll be posting up my version of stuffed chicken breasts this week, along with a few salad ideas.

Stay tuned lovers… x

Hola muchachita!

There are two types of people in this world, those who bake cupcakes and those who eat cupcakes. I unfortunately fall in the latter category.  However those who are blessed with a frosted thumb, bake themselves silly into a cupcake trance. Fortunately the lovely Kiara falls under this category, and it’s not everyday that you meet someone with talent enough to invent recipes based on nostalgic flavour combos like ‘Peaches and Cream’….check out her goodies on her website and be sure that more info on her wonderful work will be out soon!

http://pandevidablog.wordpress.com/la-tienda/

It’s just that kind of day…

No matter how much I can’t stand the fact that this is an advert, I still love listening to this song and watching the greatness of this concept.

It’s just that kind of day. Enjoy!