Category Archives: Food

Crafting the Perfect Cupcake

A couple of years ago I was a woman obsessed, when it came to cupcakes. I enjoyed baking them, trying new recipes, and generally sharing them with my work-mates.
For the most part, they all tasted pretty good.
The hard part was making them look good.
No matter how hard I tried, the icing never looked right, and any attempts at creating delicate swirls or fluffy tops fell pretty flat.

So, as part of my 30 Things to do Before 30 Challenge, I wanted to attend a cupcake decorating lesson.

Cupcake4I was pretty stoked when my partner bought me a voucher for my birthday so I could attend said lesson.
I booked myself in for May 10th, and was pleased that I would finally be able to cross this off my list.

Continue reading Crafting the Perfect Cupcake

Advertisements

Thing 30

Folks, I bet you thought this day would never come.
Yet here we are.
The final thing in my list of ’30 Things to do Before 30′.
Sure, I’ve hardly done any of the things on my list.
And yup, this one is no exception.
Today is the last day for me to take action.
But I’m sure you all know by now that it’s not going to happen.

Thing 30: Pick One Recipe Book and Cook all the Cupcakes in it

Well I did pick a recipe book at least.
I believe it was called ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’.
At least, I think it was this book, because I did bring it to Melbourne with me.
It has a total of 15 cupcake recipes inside.
I cooked a total of 2.
Winning/Not Winning.

Red Velvet, because...duh
Red Velvet, because…duh
Hazelnut & Chocolate, because...why not?
Hazelnut & Chocolate, because…why not?

I can’t believe I have now posted 30 days in a row.
Also – I’m sorry.
If you’ve come and visited every day during this journey, then I both thank and applaud you.
You’ve done better than I.

Look, I know I’ve only managed to successfully cross off about half of my list.
In three years, I think that’s okay.
I still have plenty of life to live, and as much as I complain about it, starting a new decade isn’t all that bad, right?

My 30’s are going to be full of new experiences and life challenges.
I know this.
I’m not setting myself a new list of crap to do before I hit 40, so you can all breathe a sigh of relief on that note.
I will keep this list in the back of my mind though, and I do hope to cross off a few more items.
Getting a bigger place to live would certainly help here, just saying.

So for now, it’s a fond ‘so long’ to my 20’s – it’s been real.

Thing 19

Thing 19: Host a Dinner Party

This would have been so easy in Christchurch.
We lived in an actual house.
With an actual kitchen.
And although we didn’t own a dining table, we had a huge couch that could comfortably sit 6 people.

But now?
We live in a poxy apartment with a kitchen the length of my arm.

I was looking for a photo to prove this, when I stumbled across this pic taken by my Mum last year:

Cooking up a Storm!
Cooking up a Storm!

I had completely forgotten that they had come around for dinner while they were here on holiday.

My step-dad Bruce and I took over the “kitchen” (this photograph captures it in its entirety) and made a yummy dinner.

I even had drinks and snacks for everyone to enjoy beforehand.

They say three people makes a party, and there were five of us!

I think I can cross this one off, but would like to host a proper dinner one day.

Thing 3

Thing 3: Attend a Cupcake Decorating Lesson

Ah yes, my 26/27-year-old self was obsessed with cupcakes! I used to make them quite often and loved experimenting with different flavours.

But let’s be real – making the cupcakes is the easy part.

Decorating them? Not so much.

My icing was always too thick or too runny. It never looked as good as the ones in the shops, and I was determined to perfect the art of the icing flower.

Alas! This is another thing I am yet to achieve.

Since moving to Melbourne our kitchen has quartered in size, meaning that anything requiring bench-space is off-limits.

I was very close to signing up for a cupcake decorating lesson last year with some colleagues, but we just never got around to it. I am still totes going to do this one day though.

The folk from 'De Proeverie Tea-Room' in Brugge know how to ice a cupcake!
The folk from ‘De Proeverie Tea-Room’ in Brugge know how to ice a cupcake!

Sidenote: I promise I have actually managed to cross some ‘Things’ off my list!!

I think.

Review: Harvest Box

A couple weeks ago I was scouring the interwebs for an interesting subscription box. I basically wanted to receive new products on the reg without having to do any of the legwork. Then I stumbled across the Harvest Box website and pretty much signed up right away. Harvest Box is a delivery service in Australia where each box consists of four different types of nut mixes. You choose how often these boxes arrive, delivery is free, and you get to rate the mixes you receive (No Thanks, Try Me, Like it and Yes Please!)- effectively ensuring you frequently get ones you love and never again get ones you’re not fond of.

The mixes are healthy and all ingredients are listed on the website, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Now, I like most nuts and most dried fruits; but there are some that I really don’t like, so it was a bit of a risk for me to sign up. However, I figured if I didn’t like anything I can always let them know and I’ll never get them again. You can view the full range online before you register, and they are continuously adding to their range. There is no minimum order and you can cancel any time. Also – the first box is half price, so what did I have to lose?!

I decided to get a weekly box, delivered to my work every Monday. So far I have received three boxes and for once, I actually have something to look forward to on the hardest day of the week! *Winning*

I’m really pleased with the service so far and wanted to share with you guys – because until November 8th, if any of you sign up using this code – 85122BRXXIG – you’ll get your first two boxes for half price!

Continue reading Review: Harvest Box

Clean Eating Chicken Tacos

Since finishing my juice cleanse I have continued my clean eating health kick – cutting out processed foods, white products (such as rice, bread and pasta), and sugar. I have largely been eating lots of fruit and veggies, hard-boiled eggs, greek yoghurt, raw nuts and lean meat. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, as it is relatively easy to replace those “unclean” foods (there has to be a better word for this!) with clean alternatives. Strangely enough, I’m also not really craving the pre-packaged foods I would normally eat; and I’ve found my energy levels are lasting much longer – no more 2.30pm slump for me!

I had great success last night converting one of our favourite dinners (Crispy Chicken Tacos with Sour Cream and Chilli Sauce) into a clean meal, and boy was it delicious! I had two tacos, which although were rather light, filled me up no problem. My partner wasn’t so keen on this version so I made our regular tacos for him – which is why my chicken quantity below is a bit random! I’m not exactly sure how much chicken that is, but I tend to cut it into 2cm cubes when cooking.

IMG_3553

Clean Eating Chicken Tacos (makes two tacos)

  • 10x small cubes of skinless lean chicken breast
  • 1t coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of ‘Herbes de Provence’ (which is made up of rosemary, thyme, tarragon, orange peel, mint, lavender and raspberry leaf)
  • 2 large lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 red capsicum, cubed
  • 1/2t natural greek yoghurt

Heat coconut oil over medium heat; add chicken, salt, pepper and herbs; fry until cooked through – around 5-10minutes, depending on your appliance/taste. Remove from heat.
Place chicken in your lettuce leaf and top with carrot, tomato, capsicum and any other vegetables you like. Top with a few small dollops of yoghurt.
Enjoy!

The chicken is delicious cooked in these flavours – the coconut oil provides a natural almost buttery taste – and while the herbs were subtle, the flavour really worked here. I’ve never used greek yoghurt as a substitute for sour cream before, but after this meal, I definitely will again.

What other ‘clean eating’ meals should I try? Anyone else like using lettuce instead of taco shells?

Eating my way around Europe

Iā€™m no foodie, but I do love my food; and during our recent trip to Europe, this was no exception. Although I never did get to try escargot or frogs legs, we did sample food from all the local areas we visited, and I wanted to share some of my favourites with you. Granted, most of these are of the sweet variety, but what else would you expect from me?!

Trdelnik ā€“ Prague, Czech Republic

1. Trdelnik
When I first saw Trdelnik I was confused ā€“ first of all, how the heck to you pronounce it?! And secondly, what the heck is it?! Basically, Trdelnik is a bread-like pastry, baked around circular pipes suspended over hot coals ā€“ sounds technical, but boy are they delicious! Once cooked, they are covered in a topping of your choice; and if you want to be extra fancy, you can also get chocolate or jam spread inside. So. Good.

Continue reading Eating my way around Europe