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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chow Mein

We had a yummy, warm and satisfying meal last night, the nights are getting cold here and a salad just won't do. Serve this Chow Mein with lots of white rice - basmati or short grain.

2 teas olive oil
1 onion, chopped or grated
4 cloves garlic, chopped
500g minced beef
1 x 45g packet of chicken noodle soup
2 tab curry powder
2 tab soya sauce
3/4 cup frozen fresh peas
3/4 cup frozen or fresh string beans, cut into 5cm pieces
3/4 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 small carrots, chopped into small pieces
1/2 small cabbage or 1/4 large cabbage, sliced thinly
2 cups boiling water

In a large pot add oil and when heated add onion, stir until slightly brown then add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the mince and using a fork break up and cook with the onion and garlic until brown. Add the chicken noodle soup and stir. Add the curry powder and soya sauce and stir. Add 1 cup of water followed by peas, beans, corn and carrots, lastly add the sliced cabbage and the other 1 cup of water. Put the lid on and cook until cabbage wilts and softens. You might like to add more more for a more saucy dish. Serve with fluffy rice.

Monday, April 26, 2010

ANZAC Biscuits

What appropriate biscuits to make on ANZAC Day ! Yesterday was ANZAC day in Austalia (read below for definition). And Anthony was hanging out to make them - they taste so yummy - he's so clever and has a passion for baking. Make according to this recipe and they will be crunchie to bite or bake at 18OoC for 10 minutes for a chewy biscuit. You're all welcome to come by for a cuppa and enjoy with us.

* ANZAC Day commemorated and honours Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. ANZAC Day was first marked in 1916. The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand solders on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915.

** Recipe inspired by Belinda Jeffery "Mix and Bake" Anzac Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
2 tab golden syrup
2 tab boiling water
1 1/2 teas bicarbonate of soda
1 teas vanilla essence

Preheat oven 16OoC (15OoC fan forced)and line baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together oats, coconut, flour and caster sugar. In a small saucepan melt over medium heat butter, golden syrup. Remove from heat and add boiling water and bicarbonate of soda. This will cause the mixture to froth so be careful not to allow it to overflow in the saucepan. Stir and pour directly over the oat mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Roll int balls (20g) and place on baking paper 5cm apart to allow room to spread. Flatten slightly with a fork and baking in the oven at 16OoC (15OoC fan forced) for 16 minutes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amira's Stir Fry Beef with Noodles and Vegies

Hi everyone, sorry for not posting lately, my computer has been down for over a week now, got hold of another computer, so here goes. Have lots of recipes to post and photos to show off but for today I'm sharing "Stir Fry Beef", which we had for dinner tonight ! It was so yummy and we didn't think we'd get through it all but we did. Enjoy and let me know what you think. A chef's hint: the hot water mixed with the bicarb soda and added to the meat is a Chinese secret to tenderise the meat. It works, you gotta try it!

500g Beef rump steak
3 tab hot water
1/2 teas bicarb soda
2 spring onions, chopped thinly
splash of soya sauce

2 teas olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 small red chilli, sliced thinly (mild or hot)
2 splashes of fish sauce

2 teas olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 green capscium, sliced thinly

1 large handful string beans, chopped into 5cm lengths
6 branches broccholini, chopped into 5cm lengths
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into rings

440g Hokkien shelf fresh noodles "Kan Tong"

1/2 cup water
1 tab cornflour
1 teas sugar
2 tab soya sauce, extra
1 tab oyster sauce
1 tab plum sauce

1 hour before starting this recipe, slice the beef into thin strips and place in a bowl, add chopped spring onions. In a small bowl mix together hot water and bicarb soda. Add this mixture to the sliced beef, mix to combine and then add a splash of soya sauce. Cover with clingfilm and allow the meat to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Before you begin cooking this dish, in a small bowl, mix together: water, cornflour, sugar, soya sauce, oyster sauce and plum sauce and set this bowl aside. In a wok, over high heat add about 1/2 cup water and allow to come to the boil, throw in your beans, broccholini and carrots and cook over high heat stirring all the time until crisp and cooked to your liking. Remove the vegies on a plate. Then add another 1/2cup water and add your noodles and stir to allow the noodles to soften and warm through. Remove and add to the plate of vegies. At this stage you might like to divide up the 1/2 of the noodles into each 4 serving bowls and place the other half aside with the other vegies.

In the same wok, over high heat, add the oil and allow to heat up, then add onions and capscium, stirring to fry and allow to go golden and crisp. Remove to the vegie plate once cooked.

In the same wok again, add oil and allow to heat up, then add 1/2 the sliced garlic and 1/2 sliced chilli, stirring quickly for 5 secs, then add 1/2 the meat, stir quickly and add a splash of fish sauce, once meat is cooked, remove to a plate. Repeat this with the rest of the garlic, chilli, meat and fish sauce but do not remove once cooked but add all the vegies, noodles and the other half of meat, mix all together over high heat. Lastely add the water/soya sauce mixture. Allow the whole dish to coat completely with the sauce and thicken and serve into deep bowls.

Serves 4

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Almond Bread (updated 29/11/12)

What a fabulous sweet to have with coffee or tea. No need to worry about the fat intake as there is no oil or butter in these biscuits. So quick and easy and a great way to use those egg whites after you've made custard (see profiteroles recipe below). You can also use pistachio nuts instead of the almonds or half of each. You won't be able to stop at one ! ENJOY...

3 egg whites
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
1 cup Plain Flour
125g whole unblanched Almonds (or more as preferred)

Preheat oven at 180oC (170oC fan-forced). Grease and bottom line 8cm x 26cm bar pan. Have egg whites preferably at room temperature and beat with cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until dissolved at each addition. Fold in flour and nuts. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until mixture slightly shrinks from the side of the pan. Allow to sit on the bench for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Allow tio cool on a wire rack before placing in a plastic bag to rest overnight. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut bread into 2 mm slices. Place slices in a single layer on oven trays, bake at 150oC fan-forced for 10 minutes then switch off oven and leave in oven until completely cool.  Store in sealed container...if they last that long.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Profiterols and Chocolate Eclairs

Enjoy these for after dinner dessert or with friends over a cuppa. They are not too sweet but still so yummy. Profiteroles are the round pastries with chocolate sauce and the Chocolate Eclairs are the long pastries with hard chocolate topping. The filling can either be custard or whipped cream. I made these for my brother as dessert after dinner, he loved them ! brought back memories when he made them himself at school, and I think I inspired him to make them himself, those that know him will properly say "yeah right..." Just come back for dinner again bro and I'll make them again for you.

Makes 42 Profiterols (approx)

** Choux Pastry recipe inspired by “the Margaret Fulton Cookbook” by Margaret Fulton
** Chocolate Sauce recipe inspired Australian Women’s Weekly “Dinner Party Cookbook No. 2”

Choux Pastry

1 cup plain flour
1 cup water
125g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Sift flour into a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add water, butter, sugar and salt. Stir to combine until melted and bring to a boil for ½ minute. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate until mixture forms a ball and leaves the side of the pan. Remove from heat and place mixture into a food processor with blade attachment. Allow to cool to lukewarm. Add eggs, one at a time, and process until mixed through well. The mixture should be shiny and smooth.

Preheat oven to 200oC (190oC fan forced). Line baking trays with baking paper.

For Profiteroles - Fill piping bag with 14mm nozzle and pipe 3 cm rounds, 5cm apart onto baking trays. For Chocolate Eclairs - Fill piping bag with 14mm nozzle and pipe 8 cm long strips, 5cm apart onto baking trays. Bake immediately for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 190oC (180oC fan forced) and continue baking pastry rounds for 10 minutes. Remove trays from oven and with the tip of a knife make a small slit on the side of each pastry round. Return the pastry rounds to the oven and switch oven OFF. Leave the pastry rounds to cool in oven before filling with whipped cream or custard (recipe below) and topping with chocolate sauce (recipe below).


6 egg yolks
6 tab sugar
4 tab plain flour
1 teas vanilla essence
3 cups milk (full cream)

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat up milk until hot. Switch off Heat.

In a medium bowl, add egg yolks, sugar, flour and vanilla essence. Stir to combine using a balloon whisk. Add ½ of the milk into egg mixture and stir slowly to incorporate. Add the rest of the milk and continue stirring. Return egg/milk mixture back to saucepan and stir with balloon whisk until custard thickens, this should take around 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour custard into a clean glass bowl. Cover the surface of custard with cling film and allow to cool to lukewarm. Then place in the fridge until required.

Chocolate Sauce (smooth & creamy)

60g unsalted butter
125g dark chocolate
½ cup icing sugar
1 cup sour cream

Place butter and chocolate in saucepan, stir over moderate heat until melted. Add sifted icing sugar, mix well. Remove from heat, add sour cream and stir until smooth and glossy. Serve warm. Can be reheated when required.

or for Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolate Topping (sets hard)

150g dark or milk chocolate
20g copha

In a small bowl put chocolate and copha and melt in microwave at 10 second intervals, stirring at each 10 seconds until smooth and melted. Dip tops of each Eclairs with chocolate and leave at room temperate to set hard or place Eclairs in fridge until ready to serve.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lime Cheesecake

This lime cheesecake is so creamy and smooth - when you serve this cake you will find people coming back for seconds. I also made this for Easter Sunday along with the Flourless Chocolate Cake a great combination to serve the two together as chocolate and lime go so well together. A girlfriend of mine made this as the dessert after a wonderful meal and I was inspired - she was inspired by My Kitchen Rules - hence the recipe (as follows). Enjoy! And if you make it, let me know what you think...I think it's better than any other baked cheesecake I've made before (although my many friends would say nothing beats the Jamie Oliver cheesecake, which I'll post soon)...anyway you be the judge!

**Inspired by TV Show “My Kitchen Rules” Melbourne 2010)

3 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
220g caster sugar
¼ teas vanilla extract (or ½ teas vanilla essence)
Zest and juice of 2 limes
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
125ml pouring cream
Fresh lime wedges and double cream, to serve

Then for the cheesecake base:
1 x 250g packet nice or granita biscuits (I used granita)
2 tab brown sugar, firmly packed
125g unsalted butter, melted

1. To prepare the cheesecake base, process biscuits and sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add butter and process until combined. Line 22cm non-stick spring-form tin with baking paper. Spray vegetable oil all over the sides of the pan. Press mixture over the base of the tin. Use a palette knife to smooth the base. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or until hardened.

2. Preheat oven to 220oC (200oC fan-forced).

3. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lime zest and juice in a bowl until just smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined. Add egg yolk and beat until just combined. Stir in cream. Pour mixture into tin over crumb base.

4. Bake on the lowest shelf for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160oC (150oC fan forced) and bake a further 30 minutes or until mixture is almost set.

5. Cool cheesecake in oven with door slightly ajar. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

1. Use the base of a drinking glass to help press the crumbs over base of tin.

2. For a glamorous garnish, grate dark chocolate over top of cheesecake before serving – it has a natural affinity with lime.

3. Be careful to only remove the thin coloured part of the peel when zesting citrus fruit as the white pith underneath is very bitter.

4. Most cheesecakes are better made a day in advance. It gives the flavours time to develop and allows the texture to firm. Baked cheesecakes are best eaten at room temperature.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Here is a gluten free recipe that uses almond meal instead of flour (wheat). I made this cake for Easter Sunday, so dense and moist and very popular, a thin slice just hits the spot. Serve with a dollop of cream to complete this delicious "eye-closing as you take a bite" chocolate cake.

** Adapted from “The Perfect Cookbook” by David Herbett

250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2/3 cup caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon strong black coffee
125g ground almonds or hazelnuts
5 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 23 cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate, sugar, butter, brandy and coffee in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the ground nuts. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form medium-firm peaks. Stir a third of the whites into the chocolate mixture to slacken it, then gently fold through the remaining whites with a large metal spoon or spatula.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch but still a little soft in the centre.

Allow to cool completely in the tin. The cake will sink a little as it cools. Carefully remove from the tin and serve lightly dusted with icing sugar.

Yummy Yum !!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Churros (Spanish Donuts)

We have just had a 8.30pm snack ! CHURROS (Spanish Donuts) - they were so yummy, crisp and fresh off the hot oil and showered with sugar. Wish all my family and friends lived near by so we could enjoy together. Here's the recipe if you dare to make them cause you won't stop eating them.

** Recipe Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens (TV Show Melbourne 2009)


100 ml milk
100 ml water
80 g butter, cubed
1 ½ tab caster sugar
Pinch salt
120 g plain flour
3 eggs
Vegetable oil for frying
Sugar, extra, for coating


In a medium saucepan, place milk, water, butter, caster sugar and salt and stir over medium flame until butter melts. Bring to boil for 1 minute, while still on the boil put the flour in all at once and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until it all the mixture comes together and forms a ball, keep stirring for about 1 minute. Place the whole mixture into a food processor and let cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing after each addition until mixed through. Heat oil over medium flame and test is oil is ready by dropping a small round piece of mixture into the oil. If it goes brown on one side within 30 seconds, it is ready. Place mixture into piping bag with small star nozzle and pipe long shapes straight into the hot oil. Turn the churros as they cook and remove from oil. Put churros on absorbent paper to soak up excess oil. Place sugar in brown paper bag and as they come off the heat pop each one individually in the bag to shake around and coat with sugar. Remove from bag and place on plate ready to eat. These are so so yummy you won’t want to stop at 10 !
(it will help if you had another helper with this recipe, one to cook and the other to coat)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Cupcakes by Georgette

ENJOY these photos - my sister Georgette baked and decorated them !

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

Here is a treat for breakfast with a cuppa or morning tea to share with friends. I made these on Good Friday morning for my family, they were so yummy straight from the oven, the blueberries were soft and just like jam. Hope you enjoy them.

*Inspired by "Good Taste Magazine" October 1997


300g (2 cups) plain flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
150g brown sugar
300g frozen or fresh blueberries
125g butter or margarine, melted, cooled
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Line your muffin pan with non-stick paper pans.

2. Sift the plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and blueberries.

3. Whisk together the butter or margarine, eggs and yogurt until well combined.

4. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

5. Spoon the mixture evenly into muffin pans.

6. Bake the muffins in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. When cooked remove from oven and stand for 2 – 3minutes before turning onto a wire rack.