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Here is a perfect recipe for when you’re cooking for people you don’t like or just have a thing for carcinogenic food. In just 4 easy steps you too can ruin countless recipes.

Ingredients (necessary to have all the below within a 7 day period):

  • Start a new job
  • Return from an interstate holiday the day before starting said job
  • Purchase a second hand car
  • Commit to baking at least two batches of muffins and some muesli bars for a food swap
  • 1 broken timer
  • 1 faulty smoke alarm (though, to be fair, I’m quite glad the smoke alarm hasn’t being going off every second day)

Step 1: Upon returning from an interstate holiday (the day before starting a new job) commit to baking most evenings. Insist you are invincible and, most probably, Wonder Woman. Watch. Me. Go.

It helps it you can get cocky and start challenging yourself to mixing entire batches of muffins in the space of two songs. Which, for the record I totally can do. I didn’t say anything about the cooking process. Continue Reading »


Made with two cups of berries, kept good and moist with a cup of stewed apples, will fill you up thanks to some bran and no added butter? Yea, these are a keeper.

I was going start this with ‘full of taste and low in fat’ before I realised I sounded like a bad marketing slogan for milk. Low fat or low sugar food is so often disappointing. Low fat muffins are either crumbly or half the size of normal ones. And that makes me mad; when there are so many good butter/oil substitutes like yoghurt or stewed fruit, why compromise? Continue Reading »

Through extensive research over the past 25 years it is apparent that everyone loves melting moments. The buttery goodness, with or without icing, is always a favourite.

Here’s the proof:

Case 1: as a young’n’ my Grandma used to make them to take to the oldies home that she volunteered at. And those oldies used to play seriously competitive bingo to win a parcel of them.

Case 2: as a young’n’ I used to go to the oldies home with my Gran and my brother and I would play seriously competitive bingo to try and win a parcel… even if afterwards my Gran made me give them back to the oldies.

Case 3: A semi-young’n’ I used to make them for my dad to take to work in exchange for a bit of pocket money, and the guys in the factory love them on smoko (for non Australians, smoko = morning tea break).

Yep, this is a biscuit for the oldies, young’n’s and the everyday man. Word.

I think there is something in that for all of us.

It should be noted that my Gran’s melting moments had a cocoa based chocolate icing in between them. My Dutch Grandfather had to have chocolate with everything. Not a bad thing. And then my Mum’s melting moments had a melted-chocolate based chocolate icing.

And now I bring you passionfruit.

Ingredients
250 grams butter
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup custard powder
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 ½ tablespoons of water

Icing
2 passionfruit
Tablespoon of butter
Approx 2 cups of icing sugar – have more on hand.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, line cookie trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars together.
  3. Add custard powder, flour, vanilla essence and water, mix well. The dough will be hold-it’s-own-shape thick.
  4. Take a teaspoon of mixture and roll into a ball. Get them round, you’ll need them a uniform shape for icing. Place on cookie trays and then squish down hard with fork.
  5. Bake for 8 – 10 mins until just golden on the bottom (check by lifting one up with a spatula).
  6. Cool on rack.
  7. To make icing: scoop passionfruit insides into a bowl, add a tablespoon of margarine. Add enough icing sugar so it’s as hold-it’s-own-shape as the dough was. This will be a lot.
  8. To ice, you should be able to put some icing on one biscuit, then roll in between two biscuits to make the icing round, then squish it. This will give it a nice shape.

Note: I did end up with a bit of left over icing, which suits me fine as it freezes well. It’s hard to the quantities just right. If you do, let me know and I’ll update the above.

Quantity: Makes 42 individual biscuits, so 21 sandwiched with passionfruit icing.

Healthy? *snort* maybe in opposites land. One of the biscuits is 86 calories. For the whole thing with icing it is about 223 (depending on your icing quantity).

Storage: No eggs, so they will last. Store in airtight container.

This soup is fun. Chicken soup is a wonderful, staple food. But whoever thought of mixing it up a bit, adding a whole lot of tomato, cumin, coriander and then topping it with tortilla chips is a genius.

There is something really cheeky about having a bowl full of vegies and chicken and then dipping tortillas in it. It’s like when you were little and used to dip the McDonalds fries in your ice cream. If you haven’t done that, I’m not an advocate of McDonalds, but you should go do it. Now.

I didn’t make this. I came home from work one day to find the apartment smelling fabulous – my boyfriend had been cooking. This is not unusual, he is a regular dinner maker in our house. But we both agreed this soup was especially good. So I got him to photograph it for me straight away so I could put it up.

Nowadays when I’m looking for recipes I do it via google images, or the search feature on TasteSpotting. That way it brings up results from fellow bloggers, who I know have tried and tested the recipe. And then you can be inspired by the pictures. I recommend it. This is how he found this soup, it came from Taste Food Blog. Thanks!

I’ve Australian-ified the recipe, so if you want to talk in ounces and cilantro, instead of grams and coriander try the original recipe. But I have tried to put common translations in brackets. The recipe has only been altered slightly from the original (more spices, and some vegies that were in season).

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 red capsicum (pepper), diced
1 green capsicum (pepper), diced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small zucchini (courgette), cut in 1/4 inch dice
4 cups chicken stock
1 400 grams can Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 teaspoons ground cumin (I added more because I really like spice, original recipe has 2)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 chicken thighs – roasted them with a bit of salt, pepper and olive oil, then shredded
1 ear of corn, slice kernels off (about 1 cup)
1 cup cooked black beans (I used a tin of red kidney beans, as had it on hand)
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
Tortilla chips, broken up, to serve.

Method

  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and celery and sauté until softened.
  3. Add the capsicums and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in zucchini and sauté briefly, 1 minute,
  5. Add the chicken stock, tin of tomatoes with juice, tomato paste and spices.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in corn, beans and chicken and simmer until heated through. Cook for as long as you like on a low heat, we had the luxury of a couple of hours which really let the flavours come out.
  7. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.
  8. Garnish with coriander and tortilla chips.

Cooks’ notes: Next time I make this dish I’ll make it with chicken thigh, as the chicken breast was a little dry.

Healthy? It’s 457 calories before you start adding tortilla chips. At which point it’s up to you how unhealthy it becomes. If, like me, you cover your soup in them, and then continue to add more as you eat, it becomes about 580 calories.

Gluten free? If you have gluten free tortilla chips, and gluten free stock, then you’re good to go.

Storage: Freezes well. We had this over two nights and it kept fine until the next day. As it’s chicken, I wouldn’t be tempting fate by keeping it longer then one day in the fridge, and re-heat well.


This soft, melt-in-your-mouth double chocolate chip cookie was one of the first things I learnt to make. I guess I was about nine and what I really like is the directions I wrote to myself as I made mistakes. My recipe reads, in wonky handwriting:

“Don’t overcook them or they’ll turn into rocks, they’re better soft”
“Make sure there (sic) completely cooled down before putting in tin”


Thanks nine-year old Aimee. Noted.

Waiting to be cooked

I actually remember the time that I made a double batch and put them into the tin before they’d cooled. I was so excited about the prospect of 48 double chocolate chip cookies I started piling them into a tin just so I could see the chocolatey goodness en masse.

Yeah. Don’t do that. Wait till they’re cooled. Even nine year olds know that.


These are soft and just a little crunchy on the outside. Highly recommended.

Ingredients
125 grams butter, softened
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 large egg
1 cup plain flour
4 tablespoons cocoa (or flour if you want to make them plain)
½ teaspoon baking powder
125 grams of dark and/or light chocolate chips, I like to do ½ and ½

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two cookie trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat butter and both sugars together until consistent and creamy looking (note: as a child I know that I didn’t used to beat them together, I just melted the butter and mixed it all together. It worked fine. Not sure why as a, erm, grown up I am going for the more traditional method).
  3. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat together.
  4. Put flour, cocoa and baking powder in your bowl and mix together. Fold in chocolate.
  5. Take a teaspoon of mixture and roll into a bowl, then flatten slightly with a floured fork (again, as a child I just squished it with my hand, no harm done)
  6. Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning half way. 8 minutes is usually plenty, have the guts to pull them out when you think they might be underdone. It’s better that way.
  7. Transfer to wire rack to cool (I didn’t even know what a cooling rack was when I was a kid, so whatever).

Makes 24 fabulous cookies.

Healthy: 125 calories a cookie

Gluten free: Nooo.

Storage: Wait till cool, then in an airtight container. Lasts a week or so, if you can.