Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Hello Everyone! I’ve got another french toast recipe with a twist for you again today, but this time there will be no added milo to it. Instead we’re gonna crust our classic french toast with some cornflakes to give it that extra added crunch to an already soggy bread. I came across this idea a couple of months ago back in July when Symmetry Breakfast went viral. They posted a photo of some cornflake-crusted french toast and when I planned for Breakfast/Brunch Month for October, I knew I had to tackle a recipe for that!

I absolutely love their work! If you have been following my Instagram during that month, you would’ve seen that Jialing and I (and Edison) hopped on the #symmetrybreakfast bandwagon for the last remaining week that I was in Sydney. Actually, I might just share the photographs here since I don’t know if I will be posting them on the blog anytime other than now I guess (click on the individual images to view a larger version of them):

Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider
Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails

L-R: Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider | French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail | Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails

I know, they’re not quite as symmetrical as the guys from Symmetry Breakfast (we tried to be creative with our symmetry/asymmetry lines), but it still gained a lot of views, likes (especially from Symmetry Breakfast), and new followers! Anyway, yes I realise that I have gone on a bit of a tangent, but I’m pretty sure you enjoyed those photographs (for those who have not seen them that is). So let’s get down to business shall we and get a move on to today’s recipe:

Cornflake-crusted French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cups of cornflakes, crushed
  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Optional:

  • Green Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla yoghurt

METHOD

  1. Whisk the eggs together with the milk, sugar, spices, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  2. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long. The dip the soaked sliced bread into the cornflake crumbs and coat.
  3. Place the bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  5. Top with your favourite toppings, and/or serve with your choice of fruits for a fresh salad on the side. Enjoy!

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Milo French Toast

Milo French Toast

Hello Everyone! Anyway, so it’s week 4 of Breakfast/Brunch month and this week I will be sharing with you my now-favourite french toast recipes. I say ‘now-favourite’ because this is the very first time I’ve attempted these recipes. I’ve had and made french toast before, but the recipes I’ll be sharing with you this week are beyond than that of the classic french toast – they got a certain twist to them that will make you fall in love with french toast all over again.

Today’s recipe is one that I came across on Facebook as I was scrolling through my newsfeed. BuzzFeed Australia posted a video recipe for Milo French Toast. If you love milo and fancy some french toast to go with that, then this recipe was made for you, only that, you get to combine milo together with your french toast – how cool is that? You can top them off simply with some butter and syrup, or you can make it a bit more interesting by topping them off with some of your favourite fruits – I topped mine with some strawberries, crushed pistachios, honey, and a bit of powdered sugar.

I remember growing up, even up until now, my mom would make a classic french toast for breakfast at least once a week. When I came across this recipe and talked to her about it, we decided to try it out. It was a great success in my opinion and I loved it, so did my Mom and sister Angela. Original video recipe can be found on BuzzFeed Australia‘s Facebook page.

Milo French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milo
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional:

  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled then halved
  • Handful of pistachios, shelled and lightly crushed
  • Honey
  • Powered sugar

METHOD

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium.
  2. Combine the milo, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long.
  4. Place the soaked bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  6. Serve up this Aussie twist on a French favourite with some honey and butter if you like, or with some fresh fruits and crushed nuts and enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already October! Where did September go?! So I’m sure all of you are aware that a new month calls for a new theme on the blog for the month of October! Those of you who know me, I am a breakfast/brunch person. I mean, I sometimes skip breakfast when the mornings just get a little too hectic for me; that was during my first few years at uni, but towards the end, I made it a habit to pack my breakfast to uni and/or work and eat it there.

I remember my internship days at Hello Social where I’d always be rushing out in the mornings to catch my bus, which therefore meant that I didn’t have time to sit down and enjoy my breakfast. That was where Muffin Making Mondays with Jialing came in, and when I had run out of muffins to take to work (because we only bake fortnightly), I would pack some fruits and even sometimes a small tupperware of cinnamon toast cereal with one of those small drink cartons of milk. When I’d get to the office, I’d pour the milk over my cereal and enjoy breakfast at my table. There was a time where one of the managers asked me what I was having for breakfast and the thought of me bringing a small carton of milk made her laugh so hard. I told her it was practical 😛 Another time when I was also having cereal, my other manager asked if what I was having was shareable; to his dismay, cereal ain’t shareable! He asked what kind of cereal I brought in and I said cinnamon toast. The other manager said that that was so American of me.

Anyway, I mean, if you didn’t already gather what this month’s theme is from my little story, yes it’s breakfast and brunch month on the blog! For the month of October I will be sharing with you some of my favourite breakfast/brunch recipes! I’ll be kicking off tonight’s post with a dish that I threw together when I was still living in Sydney. I was inspired by a post that I saw on Instagram by Raw Pawpaw Café in Brisbane. I was inspired by their plating of one of their dishes, and decided to plate it up with a few of my favourite ingredients for breakfast. I think most of the preparation of the ingredients in this dish is pretty straight forward, and you can get creative yourself by mixing up the ingredients a bit by adding your own favourite breakfast ingredients!

Breakfast Plate Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-22 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 slices of soy & linseed bread, toasted
  • 2 bacon rashers
  • 2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 chorizo sausage, thick slices
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Bunch of grape vine tomatoes
  • Butter, for spreading
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Handful of cup mushrooms, sliced
  • Handful of loose baby spinach leaves
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, marinate the avocado chunks with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and toss the grape vine tomatoes in a little bit of olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven fro about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes have gone soft. Turn the temperature down to about 80-90C just to keep them warm before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large grill pan over medium high and cook the bacon rashers and chorizo slices, about 3 minutes per side. Once done, transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
  4. Add your sliced mushrooms to the same grill pan and cook until browned and softened, about 4-5 minutes altogether. Turn the heat off and transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
  5. Place the eggs in a small saucepan, covering the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and once boiling, reduce the heat down to medium. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer to the egg carton.
  6. Plate up accordingly and enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate

Just a little side note here before I end tonight’s post – I wanted to choose an egg carton that wasn’t grey just so that it doesn’t look dull. I must say it was hard choosing eggs based on the colour carton they come in because most of the non-grey ones were caged eggs (yes, I don’t buy caged eggs). Good thing these eggs that came in the blue carton were free range, and the blue really suited the plating and contrasted the food colours nicely.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! Before I begin, I hope you’ve been enjoying the recipes produced by my guest bloggers, my one true love, Jialing Mew, and of course my new friend Brendon D’Souza, for the past two weeks. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with them and cooking with them in the kitchen before I left to come back home to Brunei. Stay tuned for the next two weeks, I’ve got another friend who will be guest blogging, and a special someone whom without her, this blog may not even exist!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

So anyway, for those who have been following my blog for a while now, or those who just know me personally, will know that The Ground of Alexandria is a place I keep going back to for the food and just the overall vibe of the place… oh and for the cute waiters at the Potting Shed as well *cheeky grin* If I did not already mention this in my previous review on the Potting Shed, there is another café/restaurant as well as various food stalls in and around the Grounds. I’ve been to and had food at the Garden Bar three times now and the food never fails to impress my tastebuds and fill my tummy up with delight. The first time I was here, I went alone for the Christmas Markets back in 2014, shopping for gifts for my friends, eating food, and meeting Santa Claus! Would you believe that that was the very FIRST time I ever got to meet Santa and sort of sit on his lap? Yeah, what a childhood I’ve had right? Anyway, Santa said to me “it must be my lucky day!” referring to the fact that he’s had a couple of women taking photos with him before me.

The Grounds of Alexandria

The second time I came back to the Ground and had food at the Garden Bar was with my family when they came to visit for a holiday and my graduation ceremony in early May of this year. I decided to take them to the Garden Bar and enjoy the eats of the various food stalls. There were a lot of people, as usual, and it was difficult to snag a seat for four, but luckily we were able to find one under the lovely winter sun within 15 minutes of arriving. My Mom and my sisters fell completely in love with the food, as well as the atmosphere and overall vibe of the place – just like me. The third time I came back and had food from the Garden Bar was during a catch up session with Vidhya – well, I had been stalking the Instagram page of the Grounds and found out they were selling waffles that weekend so I HAD to go (and drag Vidhya along of course since we planned to hang out that day). Vidhya, if you’re reading this, correct me if I am wrong, I think I made you fall in love with the Grounds as well!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria


Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR BREKKY: BRUNCH BURGER
THE GARDEN BAR BREKKY: BRUNCH BURGER
with halloumi, caramelised onions, and rocket on a brioche bun ($10.00)
add chorizo (+$3.00)

I ordered this burger before when I went to the Grounds by myself during the Christmas festivities. I ordered it with the chorizo, but then completely forgot to add on that as an extra when I ordered it for the family to share. So instead it was a vegetarian burger with extra garlic sauce; nonetheless, it tasted great without, but still would’ve been even better with the chorizo! I think I’ve mentioned this before in many blog posts, and many of my friends know this – I’m not a huge fan of burgers, and even though this tasted pretty good, I am still not a fan of them.

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: JUMBO SALT & PEPPER PRAWNS
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: JUMBO SALT & PEPPER PRAWNS
crumbed and dressed with garlic, lime, coriander or chilli ($15.00)

THIS. That’s all I pretty much need to say about these prawns really; cooked, crumbed, and seasoned perfectly. The prawns melted in your mouth at every bite and tasted so well with the extra chimichurri sauce I drizzled on top! The prawns were by far my favourite dish from the Garden Bar – was sad to find out that they weren’t on the menu when I returned with Vidhya for round 2! (Side note: extra sauce comes at no price! They’re at the collection counter in massive bottles waiting to be drizzled onto your food!)

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: CHICKEN WINGS (feast for one, 8 wings)
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: CHICKEN WINGS (feast for one, 8 wings)
crumbed and accompanied with fiery chilli or BBQ basting sauce ($12.00)

Another one of my favourites from the Garden Bar; we ordered the fiery chilli wings and though it wasn’t the fiery that we’re used to, it was still deliciously good, juicy and tender! If you’re tastebuds don’t fancy some spicy wings, I’m sure that the BBQ won’t disappoint. There’s also another option if you want more wings, which is 20 wings for $20.00!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: BBQ CHICKEN ROLL
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: BBQ CHICKEN ROLL
spit roasted over ironbark & charcoal, served with salsa and your choice of sauce ($12.00)

This Vidhya had when I took her to the Grounds; you have the choice between chicken, beef, or lamb as your meat, and you can either have it as a roll or a salad. Vidhya of course, only eats chicken, thus the chicken roll. I can’t remember if I had a little taste of the roll or not – I’m guessing I didn’t since I can’t remember, but anyway, I’m sure the roll tasted really good since pretty much everything on their menu had been spot on for me. Vidhya seemed to enjoy it 🙂

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: SMASHED AVOCADO
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: SMASHED AVOCADO
with tomato, feta, dried chilli flakes, and fresh mint from the garden ($9.50)

I’m usually not a fan of ordering smashed avocado when it comes to eating out. The reason being is that it’s basically just a piece of toast with smeared with smashed avocado and topped with feta, tomatoes, etc. Something that I can easily whip up myself at home to be honest. But alas, I knew that going out with Vidhya for “brunch” would turn into late lunch – and surprise surprise! We ended up getting to the Ground at 1pm when we decided to meet up at 11:30am. Anyway, yes so my instincts were right to have something to eat before meeting up with Vidhya to eat again 😛 So since I wasn’t overly starving, smashed avocado was the only light thing on the menu besides the roll/salad, or burger. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the smashed avocado – I mean, you can’t really stuff that up I guess.

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - SIDES: SWEET POTATO FRIES
SIDES: SWEET POTATO FRIES ($8.00)

When you see sweet potato fries on the menu, how can you ignore it?! Drizzled with extra garlic aïoli sauce ❤

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - ORGANIC JUICES: TROPICAL FLAIRORGANIC JUICES: TROPICAL FLAIR
watermelon, pineapple, apple, lime ($8.00)

Refreshingly good!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - GARDEN SMOOTHIES: MANGOGARDEN SMOOTHIES: MANGO
fresh ripe mango, dried mango, and natural low-fat yoghurt with the goodness of chia and flax seeds ($8.50)

Though it wasn’t mango season the time I ordered the drink, it tasted heavenly!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - CHOCOLATE AND RED VELVET WAFFLES
CHOCOLATE AND RED VELVET WAFFLES ($9.00)

THIS IS THE REAL DEAL HERE; basically the main reason why I keep going back to the Grounds. I cannot stress out how many times I’ve been to the Grounds for the waffle stall that left me disappointed on so many occasions. I say disappointed because no matter when, and every time I find myself at the Grounds, the waffle stall was ALWAYS closed. There was one time I even waited around at the Grounds for 2 hours for the stall to open and kept pestering the lady at the dessert stall, asking when the waffle stall would open. I got tired of waiting, and eventually just had food from the Garden Bar and then left. When the Grounds posted a picture of their Chocolate and Red Velvet Waffles on Instagram, I knew I had to make a trip over for them; I was overly happy! Even though I was already so full from all the food I had that day prior to waffle eating, I finished all three waffles (with the help of Vidhya who took one or two small bites because she too was already full). Definitely worth my 9 bucks!

The Grounds of Alexandria

Once again, the Grounds of Alexandria never fail to disappoint me every time I visit. Each time I visit is a different experience; also because I’m with different people whenever I pay a visit to explore the gardens, the markets, indulge in the food. and of course say hi to the various farm animals such as Kevin Bacon the resident pig. The atmosphere and overall vibe of the place is a sure 10 out of 10 for me – it can get very crowded during sunny weekends, but nevertheless, it’s all part of the experience really; I mean, it’s crowded for a reason! Food I’d give a 9 out of 10 (only because I feel I’d be too biased if I gave them a 10 out of 10 for food even though they really deserve the 10). Seating can be a bit of a hassle to find especially when the Grounds is packed with people and kids. Vidhya and I ended up sitting on the ledge of one of the garden beds along with other people, but if you’re okay with that, I see no problem here. The Garden Bar has a good value for money, definitely much cheaper than the Potting Shed for reasons that are apparent anyway in terms of the quality of the food served and the ambience of the Potting Shed in comparison to the gardens. If you haven’t seen my review for the Potting Shed, or want to recap on the dishes from there (the menu might be different from my review and now since seasons have past), click here.

The Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds
Building 7A
No. 2 Huntley Street
Alexandria, New South Wales
Australia, 2015

– Ally xx

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Hello Everyone! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Bare with me as I get back on track with my posting schedule, but I must warn you once again that I may or may not be travelling back to the Philippines, and as you already know, Internet connection will once again be disrupted, but hopefully for only a week or so. I am aware that it is a Sunday, and on amcarmenskitchen it should in fact be a Review Sunday! But not today for I have a special post for you guys tonight as it is Easter Sunday! I will sort out my reviews from various places that I visited during my month-long trip to the Philippines and get working on them to have one up for next week.

I remember how every bakery in Sydney, be in along the streets, inside a shopping centre, or supermarket, smelled of freshly baked hot cross buns. I definitely miss those chocolate chip flavoured ones from Baker’s Delight! A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in most parts of Europe, the United States, and Australia/New Zealand. Apparently, hot cross buns may go on sale in Australia and New Zealand as early as New Year’s Day or even right after Christmas.

Easter Hot Cross Buns

To be honest, I was quite reluctant on whether or not I should post this up because a few things went wrong even though I followed the recipe from Taste very carefully. My buns did not at all look like the photograph and I think it because I under baked the buns (even though I followed the recipe). Okay, I technically didn’t quite follow it because the dough was very wet and quite sticky so I added probably the equivalent of about 1/2 or 3/4 more cups of flour. Maybe this is where it went wrong? I don’t know. Half of the buns deflated when I removed them from the oven (this is why I mentioned that I may have quite possibly under baked them), and they were still pretty pale when they had an extra 15 minutes in the oven. The crosses ended up appearing the same in terms of colour as the bun and didn’t look as evident. Oh the many mishaps; and now you see why I was hesitant to show my fail buns. Anyway, I deserve an A for effort as this is my first time making bread ever! And even still I am showing you my result!

When I reheated the buns again our small electric oven for about 6-8 minutes (for our afternoon snack), the tops browned nicely; and it was only then did I decide that maybe I should post it on my blog even if they don’t look that appetising. However, by this time, having been in the oven for quite some time since the initial baking, the bottoms and even the outside became quite crusty, however, the inside remained soft and dense. The 6 that are missing from the photograph were the deflated ones that we ate, and so I only managed to photograph the remaining 6. I will definitely give this recipe another go some other time.

Easter Hot Cross Buns Ingredients

PREP TIME 2 HOURS 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | MAKES 12 BUNS

INGREDIENTS

For the dough

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of raisins (or currents/sultanas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 sachets (7g each) dried yeast
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp mixed spices (I used cinnamon, cloves, & nutmeg)
  • Pinch of salt

For the flour paste

  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3 tbsp water

For the glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Butter to serve

METHOD

  1. Bread Dough: Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spices, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add in the milk. Heat for about a minute, or until the mixture is lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Then, using a flat-bladed knife, mix until the dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Punch the dough down to its original size and add the raisins to the dough. Knead with the raisins for about a minute on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto a large tray lined with baking paper, about 1cm apart, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C.
  5. Flour Paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
  7. Glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and let it boil for about 3-4 minutes. Then, brush the warm glaze over the hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter Hot Cross Buns

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Vegemite & Tasty Cheese Damper Scrolls

Vegemite & Tasty Cheese Damper Scrolls

Hello Everyone! Sorry for not uploading a post on Tuesday; I did say that I would be in the Outback over the weekend! It was such an amazing trip, one I will never ever forget! The highlight for me was probably climbing Kings Canyon which was altogether probably a 3-4 hour climb/hike/walk with breaks in between. I am quite surprised that I am not aching everywhere after much climbing over the 3 days, but I do feel exhausted. The 4am wake ups were at first unbearable, but rewarded with the sight of the Milkyway covering the early morning sky. It was mesmerising. I even saw shooting stars for the very first time… While sitting on the toilet that faced out into the bush, no doors whatsoever, just sheets of tin that made three walls and a roof. Definitely an experience that no one else can say they’ve had while seeing shooting stars (unless of course my other fellow campers saw what I saw that morning as well)! I have many more stories to tell, but I will probably keep it for some other time and actually for those that do want to know more about my trip to the Red Centre.

Today’s recipe is something quite different, nothing I’ve made before and probably not something I would even attempt; because of a certain ingredient. It actually one of the things I had while camping, and that I actually helped make on our second night in the Outback. Our tour guide Dan from Wayoutback Australia (look them up if you are planning on an outback trip), briefly taught me how to make Vegemite(!) & Tasty Cheese Damper Scrolls. Ah yes, the infamous vegemite that you all either love or hate; I am probably on the latter. For those of you who don’t know, vegemite is like the Australian version of marmite, a popular spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets, crackers, and as well as a filling for various pastries. It is salty, slightly bitter, and apparently is similar to beef bouillon.

I was honestly a bit reluctant on trying one of these, but for some reason the vegemite taste didn’t quite come through, and maybe it’s because of the lack of vegemite spread or the tasty cheese? Whichever it was, I actually quite enjoyed these damper scrolls – they were a bit rock hard though and I’m not sure why. I didn’t cook them, our tour guide Dan did over the campfire, so I’m not sure if it was the making or cooking process that made it hard. I did a bit of research and looked up a recipe for damper and it says to use butter – could it be the fact that we didn’t use butter in our damper? Dan if you see this (long shot), maybe give this recipe a go!

Damper, for those of you who don’t know is traditionally a simple Australian unleavened bread baked in an iron pot and buried in the hot coals of a campfire. During colonial times it was a staple food in the bush because the dry ingredients could be easily carried and they only needed to add water to make the damper. If you want to know more about damper, and for the original recipe, check it out at All Down Under.

Ps: I apologise for the poor quality of the photographs, they were taken using my phone as I had left my DSLR in the tent that night. I know, I could’ve gone and get it, but my hands were already dirty from making the damper.

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | MAKES 12 SCROLLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cups water or milk
  • 80g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegemite

METHOD

  1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl. Then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Slowly add in the water (or milk) and mix together to form a soft dough. If your mixture is a bit too dry, add a little more liquid.
  2. Turn the dough over onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth then roll out the dough into a thin rectangular shape. Spread the vegemite all over the dough and top with the tasty cheese.
  3. Roll up the pastry tightly and cut into equal portions (I cut mine up into 16 scrolls, just enough for one each for every camper), and place them cut-side up into a greased iron pot. Make sure to leave some space between the scrolls to allow room for spreading. Place in your campfire, cover with hot ashes and coals and bake for about 30 minutes or until damper is golden and the cheese has melted. Serve.

If you don’t have a campfire handy right now, you may also bake your scrolls in the oven. Just place them on a tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 190C. I will probably give this recipe another go (not sure about the vegemite part) but just to see what if we had more vegemite and if the damper was a bit lighter and softer.

Vegemite & Tasty Cheese Damper Scrolls

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Baked Eggs with Chorizo & Red Capsicum

Baked Eggs with Chorizo & Red Capsicum

Hello Everyone! So I actually cooked up these bad boys over the weekend for a lovely Sunday brunch. I honestly did not intentionally make it look like a face – it just so happened that when I pulled them out of the oven and was taking photos of the outcome did I realise it was smiling back at me. A happy Sunday indeed (even though it’s like Thursday already). Also, don’t forget to check out the original recipe on SBS.

Baked Eggs with Chorizo & Red Capsicum Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 250ml tomato passata
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, cut into slices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Ground sea salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. In a small frypan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and gently sweat the onions and garlic. Add the sliced capsicum and cook for another 4–5 minutes to soften them a bit.
  3. Add the chorizo slices to pan with the vegetables and stir to cook until the capsicum and onions are really soft. Add the bay leaf, passata, and a splash of water. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the sauce to 4 individual shallow ramekins and crack an egg in each. Bake for about 5–10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Serve immediately with a side of soldiers.

Baked Eggs with Chorizo & Red Capsicum

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

Good afternoon everyone! Maybe still morning for others, even maybe early morning or late evening. Today’s post is very simple, no method needed really. I made this a while back and was inspired by an Instagram photo that my sister tagged me in. A creative fix to shake away the Monday Blues! That’s really all I have to say today 🙂

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 slices of Wholemeal Omega-3 Chia Bread, from Baker’s Delight
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Honey & maple syrup blend, to drizzle

I just realised when writing the ingredient list out, how stupid it looked when I first wrote “9 slices of bananas” and “9 blueberries” 😛

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx
myTaste.com

Big Breakfast for One

Big Breakfast for One

The most wonderful thing about life when it comes to food is breakfast. I always look forward to breakfast, but I think 90% of the time I actually go without having a proper breakfast, or no breakfast at all – which does sadden me a bit. This is either because I get up too late for breakfast and just skip to brunch, or when I do get up early, I’m rushing off to Uni and usually grab a banana or whatever fruit I have lying around on my way out (which also rarely happens so I just end up waiting until class is over and then packed left-over lunch it is).

What makes me happy though is that I can have Breakfast for Lunch or Breakfast for Dinner. Breakfast all day everyday (please excuse my apparent over-excitement over breakfast). Today, I had my breakfast for lunch, and man it was so good. Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs for lunch?

Big Breakfast for One

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 slice of wholemeal bread, toasted, buttered & cut diagonally in half
  • 2 slices of gourmet tomatoes, grilled
  • 2 fresh free range eggs at room temperature, poached
  • 3 slices of rindless bacon, grilled
  • Handful of loose leaf baby spinach, wilted
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Poaching the eggs:

  1. Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir.
  2. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!

I honestly think that the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Big Breakfast for One

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

Coles Magazine: Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

Every month Coles releases a magazine that makes the most of fresh seasonal produce, as well as featuring tasty everyday recipes that are quick, easy and something that whole family will love. Coles Magazine is like my Bible for food. I NEED to get a copy for myself every month, and the best thing about it is that it’s free! Pictured above is the March 2014 issue of Coles Magazine. I looked back to last month for today’s recipe: Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs.

I followed the recipe and changed minor things for various reasons, firstly instead of dill, I used chives only because I didn’t want to buy a whole packet of dill (I barely use this herb), and secondly, I didn’t add green peas as the recipe stated only because I didn’t have any to use. Nonetheless, the recipe turned out really well and it’s definitely a keeper. Cheap, simple dish that serves 4 – the only thing that was relatively expensive was the smoked salmon.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 12-15 MINS SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp chopped chives, plus extra to serve
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 100g smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • Slices of Pane di Casa bread from Bakers Delight, toasted and buttered
  • 1 bunch baby asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • Olive oil
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease four ramekins (or in this case I used my mini cocotte pots) and place on a baking tray.
  2. Combine the sour cream and chives in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the chopped onion evenly in each cocotte. Divide the salmon and half of the sour cream mixture among the cocottes and crack an egg into each. Top with the remaining sour cream mixture.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until eggs are just set. Meanwhile, grill the asparagus on a grill pan over high heat for about a minute per side or until tender. Turn the heat off and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the asparagus still in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving plate.
  4. Set aside for a minute to settle. Top with extra chives, and (optional) a little bit of paprika.

Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com