White choc cookies

I mean, honestly do these even need an explanation. They are so delicious and barely last a couple of days in our house. You can add nuts like macadamias or walnuts but I find these are perfect just as they are. Nom nom nom….

IMG_0860

What you will need

3 cups plain flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

175 grams butter softened

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

350 grams white chocolate chips

1 large bowl

1 medium bowl

wooden spoon

metal spoon

2 large baking trays

non stick baking paper

wire rack

spatula

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees fan forced
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the soft butter and eggs until smooth. It might look like it is not combining 100% but thats fine, just get the butter and eggs broken up enough that they will mix easily with the sugar
  3. Add the white sugar and brown sugar and mix until well combined
  4. Add vanilla and combine
  5. In a separate medium sized bowl measure out flour and add salt and baking soda, mix briefly to combine
  6. Add flour to wet mixture a bit at a time until all combined
  7. Add the white chocolate chips. I used large buttons so I chopped them up before adding them to the mix
  8. With a metal spoon, measure out balls and place on baking tray. I squash them a little with my finger so they spread a little more evenly when baked.
  9. Bake for between 7-10 min, although judge by your oven. Mine is very hot so doesn’t take long, more towards the 7-8 min. It might take up to 13 min in a different oven so just be patient and look for a slight golden colour. Also I look for the centre of the cookie to look cooked, sometimes you can tell the if middle isn’t quite done, if so, return to oven for another 1-2 min.
  10. When done, use thin spatula to move them from baking tray to a wire rack. They will harden within 5-10 min and then you can move them onto a plate or into a container. If you like them soft you can put a lid on container but if you like them crunchy then leave them to cool completely before putting them away. The steam from being hot will soften them if there is a lid on.

IMG_0854

IMG_0857

IMG_0858

Advertisements

Meatloaf

This is kind of a make it up as you go along recipe. The basic principle is having minced meat as the foundation, egg and breadcrumb to bind and pretty much any kind of vegetable or flavouring you like. I usually check out what’s in the fridge as it is a great opportunity to use up things that are on their way out. Carrot, zucchini and peas are always nice in meatloaf, but be creative! I always have beef mince in the freezer as it is a go-to meat when you are on a tight budget. It can be spread out over a lot of different meals. If you pop it into a pasta sauce it can last you up to around 10 serves depending on how saucy you like your pasta. This time I used 1kg of mince and it will make 9 serves of meatloaf, which is pretty good if you ask me. Have a go at this recipe, it’s super yummy!

IMG_0846

What you will need

1 kg beef mince

2 eggs

2 carrots grated

1 large onion diced

3 bacon rashers diced

3 tablespoons relish or chutney

1 tablespoon garlic minced

1 sachet of burrito or taco spice mix (40g)

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons of tomato sauce

Salt to taste

Ground pepper to taste

1 large bowl

1 basting brush

1 baking dish

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan forced
  2. In a large bowl combine mince, bacon, carrot, onion, garlic, relish, eggs, breadcrumbs, burrito/taco seasoning, salt/pepper
  3. Mix well with your hands or with a wooden spoon. I find it much easier using your hands to get all the ingredients combined.
  4. Drizzle the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil and empty meat mix into dish, smoothing down with wooden spoon or hands. You want to make sure you press the meat firmly into the dish as you do not want it to crumble too much when you go to serve it.IMG_0841
  5. Cover the dish with foil and pop it into the oven for 30 min. I always set a timer as I usually walk away and forget it!
  6. After 30 min, remove foil from the dish and baste the meatloaf with tomato sauce. I use a basting brush but you could use the back of a spoon. Also, you only want a thin layer of the sauce so that it will caramelise nicely on the top.
  7. Put dish back in the oven uncovered for another 30 min or until the top looks nicely coloured. You could leave it in longer but I like the meat to be quite tender and moist so I try not to over cook it.
  8. You can serve this however you like. I made rolls for lunch when it was fresh out of the oven, but we will be having the leftovers for dinner with steamed veggies. You could also have it with salad, or even on its own if meat is your kind of thing.

IMG_0845

Pumpkin Soup

It’s getting cold here in Melbourne and one of my go-to winter meals is pumpkin soup. Everyone has their own recipe but this one is so yummy I just have to share it with the world. Quantities of pumpkin can change depending on how ‘pumpkinny’ you like it. It’s pretty hard to stuff this up. My only advice would be to add a little salt at a time because the stock can be enough depending on your taste.

IMG_0467

What you will need

2 large brown onions diced

1/2 bunch celery diced

1 medium Kent pumpkin cubed

2 tablespoons minced garlic

100g butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 litres chicken stock

80-100ml cream to taste

Salt to taste

Ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon sour cream or Greek yoghurt to garnish per person

Chopped parsley optional

1 large pot with lid

1 stick blender

  1. In a large pot place onions, celery, garlic, oil and 50g butter
  2. Sweat down with lid on for 5 min, stirring every minute
  3. Add pumpkin and continue to cook for another 5 min, stirring occasionally
  4. Add chicken stock to cover all veggies. You can add more or use less and this will change the thickness of the soup at the end. For a thinner soup add more liquid. I use chicken stock powder and boiling water but you could use fresh or home made stock if you prefer
  5. Place lid on and simmer on low-medium heat for 15-20 min or until the pumpkin begins to fall apart when poked with wooden spoon
  6. Turn off heat and blend with a stick blender for approx 10 min or until there is no lumps left and soup is very smooth
  7. Add remaining 50g butter, cream, salt and pepper to taste
  8. Blend for 1 min or until butter and cream are fully mixed.
  9. Serve while hot and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yoghurt, fresh ground pepper, and parsley
  10. Crusty bread and butter optional

Anzac cookies

Deliciously chewy ANZAC biscuits.

Perfect treat for the lunchbox or to have with a cup of tea. (Or midnight snack)

11168569_10153275678618669_1857537632847543426_n

What you will need:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup plain flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 desiccated coconut

125g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced.

2. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.

3. Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl. (Large bowl)

4. Place butter, syrup and 2 tablespoons cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir for 2 minutes or until butter has melted. Stir in bicarbonate of soda.

When you put the bicarb soda in and stir, it will expand a lot into a frothy foam, don’t be afraid of it. You’re doing it right!

5. Stir butter mixture into oat mixture.

6. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on trays, 5cm apart. Flatten slightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden in colour.

7. Let them cool on the tray for 5-10 min and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

These should last a few days in airtight container, although in our house they barely last that long! Really yummy.

Christmas cake pop puddings

I started making these a couple of years ago, before the cake pop thing blew up.

They are so fun to make, but the rolling of the dough is a little messy, i think they would be fun to make with kids.

Here is recipe for these Christmas themed ones below.

 What you will need:

1 box chocolate cake mix (try and find one that has a sachet of icing mix included)

1 250g block of white chocolate

Red and Green small chocolates for decoration (you can find in baking section of your supermarket)

Instructions:

1. Follow instructions on back of cake mix to bake the cake as normal.

2. Let cake cool completely.

3. Crumble cake until it resembles breadcrumbs. (You will need a large bowl for this)

4. Make up icing as per instructions on packet mix.

Or if the cake mix didn’t come with icing, then you can buy pre-made frosting or icing.

5. Add icing into crumb mixture and mix until it comes together into a dough. (I recommend adding the icing a bit at a time so the mixture isn’t too wet.)

6. Take a small amount, about the size of a chestnut, and roll into a ball and place on a tray. (The size can vary depending on how many you need to make.)

7. Once all dough is used up, place all balls in fridge to set. Approx. 1 hour.

You can pre-make these balls the night before if you like, just keep in airtight container.

8. Chop white chocolate into small pieces and put in a DRY glass bowl.

9. Melt in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring to combine.

10. Spoon the white choc over the cold balls and let it drip slightly over the sides.

11. Decorate with coloured chocolates to make them look like little christmas puddings. Put back in fridge for 1 hour to set chocolate.

These should last about a week in the fridge in an airtight container, take them out of the fridge about an hour before you serve to your guests!

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Let me tell you a secret.

This recipe is just. There is no words. So good.

And so so easy if you have a slow cooker.

pulled pork

Hubby and I love pulled pork. There is something about its sticky, tender, sweet, smokiness that we can’t resist.

So here is our favourite recipe:

 IMG_3426

1 ¾ cup ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup red wine vinegar (I love vinegar so i probably put a bit more in maybe 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons Worcetershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup bourbon

1 capful of liquid smoke (DO NOT PUT ANY MORE)

½ teaspoon salt

pepper

4 lbs boneless pork roast

Instructions

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, add pork, turning to coat. Cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook an addition 7 hours. (Or until meat falls apart super easily, this takes between 5-6 sometimes depending on the size of the meat).

IMG_3427

Remove pork from cooker gently. Discard the skin and any visible pieces of fat, then shred the pork with two forks. This is what is should look like when you take it out to shred. (Before adding it back to slow cooker)

TIP: Don’t shred the pork super fine. Just pull it apart gently. If you shred it too much it becomes really stringy and kind of dry. Leaving it in chucks keeps moisture in.

pork

Return shredded pork to slow cooker and cook an additional hour. The extra hour at the end helps the meat soak up all the amazing sauce. You can serve it with homemade coleslaw, which is our favourite way, or you can have it with salads or in a burger bun.

Trust me, when the smell of it fills your house you will find it hard not to pick it straight from the slow cooker.

If you end up making this, post a picture so I can see!

PS: It freezes just fine!