Victoria’s 7th Birthday

IMG_4165

On the 16th we celebrated my eldest daughter Victoria’s 7th birthday!!!  I know I always say this, but I really cannot believe how fast time flies.  Victoria is turning into a beautiful and thoughtful little girl and I am trying to enjoy these years as much as I can, as I know she will soon be a little woman all ready to leave the nest.  But no matter how old she is, to me she’ll always be my baby with big brown eyes and chubby cheeks!  We love you so much princess and we are all very proud of you!! <3 Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Baking, Birthday, Bread, Cakes, Cookies, Desserts, Drinks, Events, Finger food, Italian, Sandwiches, Scandinavian, Snack, Special Occasions, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple, Coconut and Pecan Bundt Cake

Apple, Coconut and Pecan Bundt Cake

It is time again for the “Secret recipe club” reveal!  I am sure you all know what the club is about, but for the few of you who still don’t know about it, here goes a brief explanation.  It is a great concept… each month you are assigned a participating food blogger to make a recipe from and in turn someone else will be assigned your blog.  All you have to do is choose a recipe, make it and blog about it on the specified date.  The only rule is to keep it a secret!  If you are interested in learning more, or want to join the club, please visit the Secret recipe club website.
This month I was assigned Veronica’s Cornucopia, written by the very talented Veronica.  Veronica lives in Wichita, Kansas and her site is full of delicious recipes.  If you like desserts, make sure to pay her a visit and you will be spoilt for choice!  I made her Fresh Apple Bundt Cake because she describes it as her “most requested recipe and the only one I’ve ever purposely not blogged.  It has always been raved over to such a degree that I felt it was the best weapon in my dessert arsenal…” So, it HAS to be good, right??  And it was.  Besides, it is apple season down here!  This is a cake that tastes better with time, so make it at least one day in advance so that all the flavours develop nicely.
Thank you so much for this amazing recipe Veronica!  Please, make sure you drop by Veronica at Veronica’s Cornucopia and check out her beautiful site! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in American, Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Tea Time, The Secret Recipe Club | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Yakitori

Yakitori

Lately I have been on a  bit of a Japanese food bender.  I am discovering more and more dishes, and the more I discover, the more I love Japanese cuisine!  There’s so much more than sushi (which I love too!).  I had heard a lot about Yakitori – 焼き鳥, but I had never eaten them before.  Yakitori are chicken skewers cooked on charcoal and flavoured with a touch of salt or with a Yakitori sauce called Tare, made with sake, mirin and soy sauce.  They are amazingly delicious!  There are many kinds of Yakitori, some are made with chicken offal, others are made with chicken tenders, others with thighs…  My favourite are Negima – ねぎま, made with boneless chicken thighs and spring onions.  The meat is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth!  The sauce is salty and sweet at the same time and the whole dish comes together in a matter of minutes.  This recipe is perfect for grilling season, but I broiled my Yakitori in the oven and they were plain delicious!  Just give them a go! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Appetisers, Baking, Finger food, Japanese, Mains, Meat, Sauces, Snack, Street Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Caramel Apple Bars

Caramel Apple Bars

Winter, I love it.  I know I may be among the few people out there who prefer winter and cold weather to summer… but I have always loved it.  I love short days, cozy evenings reading on the couch covered with an old woollen blanket while sipping a cup of hot tea.  Even better if it’s raining or snowing outside.  But alas, I moved to a warm place and I don’t think I will ever get to see snow here in Sydney!  However, we do get some cold days and I am trying to make the most of it, as I know it won’t last long.  Baking is something I have always enjoyed doing in winter and what better seasonal ingredient to use than apples?  Apples and caramel are one of my favourite combinations, just my kind of comfort food.  I came up with these bars while going through my pantry… I had a couple of things I wanted to finish off, and I think the caramel bits work amazingly well in this recipe.  They add a little crunch to the soft filling and, obviously, a great caramel flavour.  These bars are delicious on their own, but they reach a complete different level when paired with Salted Caramel Gelato.  The slight bitterness and saltiness of the ice cream is just an amazing addition to the sweetness of the bars.  An absolute must try!  Enjoy! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Finger food, Fruits, Pastries, Snack, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bibimbap

Bibimbap

The July Daring Cooks‘ Challenge took us to Korea, where Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado taught us to make bibimbap. This colorful rice dish can be customized to meet any taste, and is as much fun to eat as it is to say!
Bibimbap (비빔밥), which literally means “mixed rice”, is one of Korea’s most famous dishes and it is made up of steamed rice topped with stir fried vegetables, meat and a fried (or raw) egg and everything gets mixed together just before eating.  It is traditionally served in individual sized bowls and the way the toppings are arranged in a chromatic circle make for a spectacular view.  The trick behind a beautifully composed bibimbap is to arrange similar coloured ingredients opposite to each other, so as to create an immediate visual impact.  An easy dish that looks like a masterpiece!  I like the sound (and taste!) of that!
Bibimbap is usually a spicy dish as it is served with a sauce made with a Korean red pepper/capsicum paste called Gochujang (고추장). You can definitely adjust the spice level to your liking.
A variation of the classic bibimbap is Dolsot Bibimbap.  In this case, the dish is assembled in individual sized stone pots coated with a bit of sesame oil. After that, the pot is heated on the stove top until it sizzles and makes a thin layer of crunchy rice at the bottom.
I had never eaten bibimbap before this challenge, but I live in a suburb with a huge Korean community, in fact, my next door neighbours are Korean!  So, I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity for me to try and cook some Korean food!  I also knew that, for once, finding the right ingredients would be easy, as I am surrounded by amazing Korean shops!  Even though I did not find a dolsot (stone pot), I did find a beautiful ttukbaegi pot that worked perfectly well for this dish.  And, as I had thought, I easily managed to find all the ingredients I needed, also thanks to my friend Victoria who gave me the names in Korean. :-)  I will leave you to it… Bibimbap! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Daring Cooks, Eggs, Mains, Meat, Rice, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Salada de Bacalhau e Grão

Salada de Bacalhau e Grão

Today’s recipe comes straight from Portugal.  If you follow this blog more or less regularly, you will know I adore Portugal.  I have been there only once, many moons ago, but I was never able to take it out of my head and heart.  So, every now and then, I cook Portuguese food in an attempt to quench my saudade, my nostalgia.  I first ate this Salada de Bacalhau e Grão in a tiny restaurant in Evora.  Evora is a beautiful little town in the region of Alentejo, which is my favourite area in Portugal.  The countryside is so beautiful, scattered with cork oaks and hills, and Evora is a little gem, that deserves to be discovered.  It is enclosed within medieval walls and the centre is filled with beautiful ancient buildings, churches, little streets and squares.  It even boasts its own little Roman temple, no wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!  But the sight that is forever etched in my mind is a fountain that has the shape of a globe surrounded by water, a clear reference to the Age of Discovery.  So beautiful!  But back to today’s recipe.  The salad itself is very simple and uses typical Portuguese ingredients: bacalhau (aka salted cod) and chickpeas.  I guess its simplicity is one of the reasons for which this is one of my favourite salads (salted cod is another reason): you clearly get to taste all its ingredients and they all go very well together.  Enjoy with a glass of Portuguese wine!  Bom Apetite! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Appetisers, Fish, Mains, Portuguese, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

A couple of months ago, I shared with you the recipe for some amazing Coconut Cookies.  I had got that recipe as part of my monthly Secret Recipe Club assignment.  While deciding on what recipe to make, I had also bookmarked today’s recipe and as I just could not get it out of my head, I had to make it!  Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, I mean… how decadent does that sound?  As my girls have been home for their winter holidays, I thought this was the best time to try these cookies out.  They were a hit.  They are very big, so my girls have been sharing them… you are advised.  Also, beware that they are very hard to resist!  Enjoy! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in American, Baking, Breakfast, Cookies, Desserts, Snack, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicken Involtini with Prosciutto and Fontina

Chicken Involtini with Prosciutto and Fontina

Chicken is definitely the kind of meat we eat the most.  My children like it more than any other meat and even though I have always preferred beef, I now enjoy it too.  Being that we eat chicken often, I am always looking for different ways to serve it, so it doesn’t get too boring.  Let’s face it, chicken can be boring… and sometimes even tasteless.  But if you cook it in the right way and add some good and tasty ingredients, it can become the star of your dinner table, which is exactly what happened to these rolls the other day.  They are very easy to make and taste so good!  The filling is delicious and bold in flavour, which contrasts very well with the mild sweetness of the sauce.  A true winning combination!  Serve the involtini warm with a glass of cold white wine and… enjoy! Continue reading

Pin It
Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Italian, Mains, Meat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment