Baking a GIANT Anzac Cookie | Anzac Long Weekend

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Okay so I know a lot of my past posts have been super food related – and I will diverge from this trend soon, but I couldn’t resist blogging about my GIANT Anzac cookie!

For those non-Australians (or unaware Australians) reading, Anzac Day is a Public holiday held in commemoration of the first military action initiated by Australian and New Zealand forces in the first world war. Hence, ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Traditionally, we bake Anzac cookies (a sweet biscuit made of rolled oats and syrup) on the day, in memory of the soldier’s staple food which was a hardtack biscuit (no sugar involved) which wouldn’t go mouldy. Obviously, the soldiers didn’t get the yummy, gooey goodness of the Anzac biscuits we bake today, but nevertheless it’s a tradition that goes on. If you are interested in more of the history click here.

Because I love doing things in excess, instead of baking lots of little biscuits, I decided to whip up one giant cookie. If you want to make it yourself, just preheat your oven to 170˚C and mix 150g melted butter, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 1.25 cups of self-raising flour, a dribble of water, 1 cup rolled oats and 1/2 cup caster sugar together. Then use your hands to spread it into a giant cookie and bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown.

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I had a slice of cookie with some hot cocoa in my favourite ‘Life is Beautiful’ Mug. As simple as it is, I love having a funny/inspirational message on my mugs to start the day and this one has to be my favourite.

If you want an fun mug to cheer you up at the start of the day, I recently found these awesome animal ‘life is beautiful’ mugs. You have to admit they are absolutely adorable… if you’re a sucker for cute things like me. They would make a great gift as well!

Here are some more awesome mug designs:

Enjoy!! Have you made ANZAC cookies before? Comment below and we can chat 🙂

xx

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Poppy Red, in commemoration of the ANZAC soldiers

Easter Carrot Cake Cupcakes | Perfect Tea Party

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This easter long weekend I decided to have an Easter Tea Party to celebrate. It was the perfect morning tea to begin the day with close friends and family.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect size to enjoy the carrot-cinnamon flavour, without feeling ill off a massive piece of cake. I do my Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing (because it really is the tastiest), but they are also delicious with cream cheese icing ← I’ll link my go-to recipe.

I decorated the cupcakes with edible mini wafer flowers (which you can buy at most supermarkets) and complemented the cupcakes with warmed hot cross buns, choccy eggs and Earl Grey Tea. Delicious!

Recipe (makes 6)

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 grated large carrot or 1 grated medium carrot
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C, line a cupcake baking tin with patty pans.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and stir.
  3. Slowly mix in carrot and oil
  4. Beat egg in separate bowl and then mix in with all ingredients
  5. Pour mixture in patty pans (about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake for 18 minutes

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Then enjoy!! Happy Easter everybody, hope you have a lovely weekend whether you celebrate it or not 🙂

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Baby Pink – the perfect soft, Easter colour

Do you have something special you do on Easter? Leave a comment – I’d love to chat 🙂

xx

Healthy Flourless Banana Pancake Recipe

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Every now and again I have a sudden craving for pancakes, however, with all the usual flour and cane sugar I feel a little guilty eating them too often.

So, I devised a simple and healthier alternative recipe: Banana Pancakes. These use banana as a sweetener to avoid spoonfuls of cane sugar.

You only need 3 ingredients for the batter and this recipe makes around 3 medium sized pancakes. Each pancake is very filling, which saves you from snacking for the rest of the day.

You will need:

  •  1/2 a very ripe banana
  •  1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal

Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse together until smooth and runny. Add a dribble of milk (I use almond) if mixture is too dry.

Then pour into a hot pan, greased with coconut oil, and fry until golden brown.

Lots of toppings are delicious with this recipe, but I usually go for a tablespoon of vanilla yogurt and garnish with chopped blueberries or strawberries.

This is a perfect fix for a nice breakfast in bed, and is a much healthier and more filling alternative to conventional flour-based pancakes.

Enjoy!

xx

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Violet red for a delicious breakfast

 

 

 

Christmassy Gingerbread Truffles

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These are one of the easiest Christmas treats to make, and easily one of the tastiest. All I used was one packet of gingersnaps, half a tub of cream cheese, chocolate sprinkles, icing sugar and cream.

After blending the gingersnaps into a fine powder using my Nutribullet, I added a dollop of cream cheese and kneaded the mixture with my fingers to create a cookie dough texture. Then, still using my hands I created the round little truffle balls and laid them out on a plate. Placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes, I waited for them to cool whilst whisking up a spoon of cream cheese, plain cream and half a spoon of icing sugar into an icing paste. After taking them out the fridge I spread the icing on top and decorated the truffles with the chocolate sprinkles.

This recipe is so easy to whip up quickly for guests, or if you are just craving a christmassy themed treat. It has really settled me into the spirit of the Christmas season. Plus, their small size means you won’t over-indulge when treating yourself to one.

Happy festivities

xx

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Indian red, in anticipation of the XMAS season

 

The Perfect Low Calorie High Satiety Breakfast

Hey guys!

I have been working on this recipe for a while, trying out all different styles of breakfasts (muesli, toast, bacon & eggs, avo on toast, pancakes) to try and find a yummy, low calorie breakfast which is also very filling.

So here it is, the perfect breakfast to fill you up and keep you looking and feeling good:

  • 2 poached eggs cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 piece of multi-grain toast
  • Black tea with almond/soy/cows milk (or herbal tea e.g. peppermint)

This meal has healthy carbohydrate in the bread, good fat in the avocado, protein in the eggs, part of your daily dairy requirement in the tea and a touch of flavour with the tomatoes.

Don’t feel guilty about the eggs (if you’ve ever heard anything negative about them), they are one of the healthiest and filling foods you can eat.

To avoid getting tired of having the SAME meal every day (don’t worry it happens to the best of us), mix the meal up by replacing the egg with 50g of fish, such as tuna, trout or cooked salmon. Or, you can try different breads such as wholemeal, rye or sourdough. Or, if you are feeling like a bit more flavour you can add some mushrooms or a small piece of grilled haloumi or tasty cheese. It’s up to you!

The feature image is one I captured this morning when I went out with a friend (Burnt Orange cafe Mosman). I ate about half and then asked for the rest take-away to savour for lunch.

xx

 

Girls Day Out

It was mum’s 54th birthday last Friday and I wanted to make it super special this year, because over the past few years I have been really busy and stressed around this time and I felt I hadn’t really treated her properly for her birthday in a long time.

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A dash of cyan for a successful day

To make the day memorable, I planned it out well in advance. The morning began with a massage with a local masseuse which I booked a couple of days prior. Mum really values experiences over ‘things’ so I made sure a lot of what I organised gave her a memory rather than something material. After her massage I picked her up and we went to lunch at a French Restaurant (which has a string of great reviews and recommendations) called Le Bouchon. The lunch was even better than I had anticipated, the restaurant is in a cosy hole in the wall setting, but has elegance and style with its walnut coloured wooden tables and gold plated decor. The authenticity of the French cuisine was enhanced as all the waiters were French and went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant dining experience. I ordered a Crispy Pork Belly with lentils in a crushed apple sauce, and Mum decided to be a bit more adventurous and got Sauteed Calves Liver with parsnip chips, which to my surprise was actually really tasty. We shared a glass of white House Wine as Mum isn’t a big drinker and enjoyed chatting for a couple of hours.

After lunch, we set off to the shopping mall and I bought her a pair of black leather boots as she has been saying lately that her current pair are a bit worn down. Then we went to a nail salon and I got shellac nails in a light plum colour and mum got a pedicure with a burnt orange polish and a complimentary foot massage. After, Mum headed home and I popped into the grocery store and went shopping for dinner.

For dinner I wanted to go all out and surprise Mum with a multiple course meal, as I’m not a big savoury cook and usually just whip up easy desserts and smoothies. I consulted a traditional English cookbook for recipes that are perfect for the drab and windy weather we have been having recently. For the entree I made corn scones with an avocado and soft cheese topping, garnished with capers and diced bacon. For the main meal we savoured a chicken and leek hotpot with a chickpea and feta salad. Finally for dessert I challenged myself to make an apple and walnut pie with ice-cream. The whole meal actually went really well and Mum loved all of it, which surprised me because something always seems to go awry when I work in a kitchen with lots of things boiling and bubbling and timers constantly going off.

What would a birthday be without presents, as I mentioned earlier Mum isn’t a massive fan of ‘things’ and doesn’t like candles, homewares, perfumes or make up. So, I opted in for a $50 gift card for Dymocks and I spent $100 on a voucher for a high tea for two at the Queen Victoria Building Tea Room (a very elegant and extravagant high tea experience). Overall it was a very successful day and I had so much fun treating Mum and putting effort in to make the day special for her.

xx

 

Superfood Green Tea Berry Smoothie

Summer or winter I love a good smoothie.

After lots of trial and error, I have created the perfect smoothie with ingredients that have different benefits for clean eating.

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  1. 1/3 Cup brewed green tea
    Green tea is nature’s power drink, packed with anti-oxidants whilst carrying 0 calories. The low doses of caffeine keep you stimulated and awake without the negative effects that excessive amounts of coffee can bring. Green tea has also been shown to increase fat burning when drunk before exercise and prevents chances of cancer, infections, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Incorporating it into your diet is very recommended, but as I can’t stomach the taste of pure green tea, I like to add it to my smoothies.
  2. 1/4 cup Jalna pot set natural vanilla yoghurt
    I love to add a small amount of creamy Jalna yoghurt to give my smoothie the taste boost that makes me love it. Don’t be fooled by half-fat yoghurts, advertising the benefits of a lower fat diet, remember that less fat means more sugar and the lack of satiety provided will make you want more.
  3. Handful of frozen blueberries
    Blueberries are little bursts of nutrients, full of fiber and important vitamins. They help prevent cancer and cholesterol problems and have also been shown to prevent heart disease. Adding a couple of handfuls to your diet each week is essential to clean eating.
  4. 1/2 a banana
    Banana’s are wonderful for a low-calorie snack which still fills you up. They are associated with numerous health benefits, but perhaps the most poignant is that they have been shown to preserve memory. The brain is arguably the most important part of the human body, so including foods which boost its power is fundamental.
  5. Heaped teaspoon of chia powder
    Chia seeds have dominated the ‘clean eating’ industry since it began, with almost every superfood recipe including them. Their popularity is due to their anti-ageing properties, their help with digestion (keeps you feeling fuller longer and reducing sugar cravings), bone strength and how they help with building muscle and losing weight. This last feature of the seeds is because of their ability to absorb 10x their own weight in water, meaning they prolong hydration and improve nutrient absorption of electrolytes.
  6. 1 teaspoon of acai powder
    Needless to say, acai powder is a recently discovered (by the health industry) superfood. If you haven’t seen acai powder on almost every health food restaurant menu, it’s basically a powder made from acai berries found in South America. Having all of the properties (and more) listed above for chia seeds, they are mostly associated with weight loss as they oxidise cholerestrol preventing it from clinging to arteries.
  7. 1 cup of almond milk
    I love almond milk! A lot of my friends have told me its an acquired taste, and although it may be, after about a year of drinking it I think it tastes like a chocolately, nutty brew. Using unsweetened almond milk is a reduction of 40% of your calorie intake, over drinking cows milk. Although you don’t want to stick solely to almond milk (builds up lactose intolerance), incorporating it into your diet where you can is important.

xx

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Pot Colour: Plum, for a fresh, superfood smoothie