live life, celebrate food, share both with those you love

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

1, 2, 3... Scones!

Winter has well and truly hit in soggy ole Melbourne! What better way to warm up then with a lovely cup of tea and some hot from the oven scones, mmmmmm! With jam and cream of course :)
Hot tea and scones! Perfect winter fare :D
My mother in law makes fabulous scones and she's always happy to whip them up when requested. She even brought them to me in the hospital when I gave birth to my daughter. What most people don't know is... it's my recipe! Want to know my secret to fluffy, hot, delectable scones? It's easy! 1, 2, 3...

1 c lemonade
2 c pouring cream (light cream works just as well)
3 c self raising flour

How to...
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
- Clean your kitchen bench, you'll need to knead the dough in a moment.
- Grab a cookie tray and dust with a little plain flour, this will keep the scones from sticking. Also dust the bench with a little flour.
- In a bowl mix the flour, lemonade and cream to form a sticky dough. Note - if your flour is a little old, add 1 tsp of baking powder to help the scones stay fluffy. (definitely do this if you don't remember when you bought the flour... you know who you are!)
- Tip the sticky dough onto your floured bench, then flour your hands.
- Give the dough a quick knead for about a minute. This means that you fold the dough over and gently squash it back together, you can't get this wrong, don't worry.
- Shape the dough into a rectangular shape and cut it into 12 even pieces with a blunt knife.
- Place the pieces onto the cookie sheet and space about 2cms (1 inch) apart, they will spread but it's traditional to let them invade each others space so you can pull them apart. (see pic)
- Bake for 20 mins until golden brown.
- Serve with strawberry jam or lemon butter and thick or whipped cream!
- Makes 12 scones but you can easily halve or double the quantity if you like.
Easy recipe to halve!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Mexiday! Orange and chipotle chicken tacos

Believe it or not, we have tacos for dinner once a week. Boring, right? WRONG! I guarantee we never eat the same tacos twice! This is mostly due to the way I cook as I like to throw together a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But that's not how most people cook, so I'll try to document some of my more popular concoctions.

These orange and chipotle chicken tacos are especially quick and easy and popular with little tummies too. If you can't find Chipotle, you could use smoked paprika instead.

500gr chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 c orange juice
1 tsp chipotle powder or 1 whole chipotle chilli (or more or less to taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp honey

- Mix together the juice, chipotle, coriander and honey together. If you are using a whole chilli, blend the ingredients together to make up the marinade.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
- While the chicken is marinating, get your fillings organized - our favorites for these tacos is my Tomato and Corn Pico de Gallo and Greek style yoghurt. Don't forget to get your tortillas or taco shells ready too.
- Heat a frypan on medium flame.
- Drain the chicken from the marinade and cook in batches until cooked through. (if you try to cook all the chicken in one go, it will stew and get tough)
- Once the chicken is cooked, pop it all back in the hot pan to warm through.
- Finally, take it to the table with your warm tortillas (or taco shells) and your favorite fillings so everyone can make their own. Mmmmm!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Cupcake wars!

OMG, how awesome are cupcakes?! If you think cupcakes aren't the most delicious, little morsels of pure bliss, it's because you've only had BAD cupcakes! The cupcake wars of the last few years has churned out so many cheap, baked offsite, franchises causing most people to feel that it's normal to pay $4 for something that's dry and chewy.  No Melbourne, no! We deserve better... and I've found it!

Let me first bore you with a quick story to prove my self imposed cupcake judging ability. On a sunny day in April 2011, my hubby and I were holidaying in LA (as you do) with our wonderful cousins. Whilst we were venturing down Rodeo Drive in Bev Hills - that's what the locals call it, don't you know - we stumbled across Sprinkles... my tastebuds have never been so spoiled! Sprinkles is the first, that's right the first, cupcake bakery that started the crazy cupcake revolution of the late naughties. Their maxi cupcakes are so light, so fluffy, so rich that our taste buds couldn't determine where the frosting ended and the cake started! As blissful as the moment was, I was also crushed as I knew I would never find such a delicious cupcake back home in Melbourne... that is until I found Cupcakes by Paolo! :D

Cupcakes by Paolo is located in West Footscray on the outskirts of Melbourne and believe you me, it's worth the trip! All cupcakes are baked daily, on the premises and are truly as close to Sprinkles as I've found so far... I hope they never franchise out!! If Sprinkles are 15/10 then Cupcakes by Paolo would be at least 12/10! The vanilla and fruity flavored cakes are so light, so fluffy, I've polished off 3 in one go... I was pregnant at the time! Whereas the chocolate cakes are the perfect balance of dense, rich and fluffiness in one perfectly frosted cake. Speaking of frosting, it's neither too sweet nor too buttery and it gorgeously adorned with pretty little gem.

You really can "Taste the LOVE"!!!

Flavors in the photo are: Pavlova Passion, Could Nine, Classic Vanilla, Very Berry Raspberry, Orange Jaffa and Oh So Velvet.