Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend and are all pumped for another week ahead! I may have been a little unmotivated today though seeing as it is a Monday after a long weekend. Friday was the first day of Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr) here in Brunei and we got that Friday and Saturday off from work. To my surprise, the long weekend has been quite uneventful and quiet for Hari Raya.

On the eve of Raya, my mom, sister, and I went to watch the premier of The Incredibles 2! My inner 12-year-old was screaming for joy as the long wait for a sequel finally came into fruition. I remember when I was at the snacks counter, they had these character cups for the drinks. I was asked by the guy at the counter which character would I like, and with probably too much amusement for a 26-year-old in my tone, I squealed, Jack Jack! Thank God the guy did not ask me who Jack Jack was, I would’ve shamed him *shame shame shame* After I got the popcorn and drinks, I stood aside to wait for my hotdog (don’t judge, we were watching the film during our normal dinner time), and the next lady came up to the counter. I wasn’t even listening to the exchange of words between her and the snacks counter guy, but I was in such disbelief when I heard her utter the words “I want the baby.” My eyes widened and in my head I said, how dare you, you uncultured swine. You don’t deserve to watch the movie if you don’t even know the character’s name! Anyway, the film was WORTH THE WAIT. I was laughing non-stop throughout the film, and the people seated beside us were probably thinking, what is this girl on – LET ME HAVE MY MOMENT. My favourite line from the movie? “Num Num Cookie!”

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Anyway, that aside for some more side-tracking – if you want to skip ahead to the recipe, just continuing scrolling. I basically spent the rest of my long weekend at home sorting out stuff that I want to get rid of – we’re having a garage sale at home this coming Sunday – and spent the remaining of the long weekend in the kitchen cooking up a storm both good and bad *cheeky grin* I had a bit a failed attempt at a recipe I was so eager to tackle, which made me feel a little deflated after, but I did also have a successful cook the following day for a different recipe though, so all is well. I also went over to a friend’s, had lots of food, dirty talks that involved Urban Dictionary, and of course insanely MASSIVE laughs that turned into silent and out of breath laughs with tears involved for a good 5 minutes. Those are the best kind of laughters, especially between people who get the joke, or get what it is that needs to be laughed at without having to explain further.

Okay, I guess with the long-winded introduction to this post, my long weekend doesn’t seem to be THAT uneventful at all. But moving on, the adventures of Muffin Making Monday continues for its third week and I’ve got, let’s see… Blue Cheese? AND Mushies?! YAAASSS! These delightfully savoury blue cheese and mushroom muffins are delicious for ANY time of day with a hot bevvy (no, not alcohol). I know, I know, some are not very fond of the pungent taste and smell of blue cheese, but trust me when I say that these muffins smell nothing but amazing when freshly baked and the taste and the taste of the blue cheese only just subtly shines through. Check out the original recipe over on All Recipes.

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom Ingredients

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 16 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 punnet (125g) brown mushrooms, roughly chopped*
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme**
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*Reserved a few mushies to slice thinly, to decorate on top of the muffins (optional).
**Or you may use 2 tsp of herbes de Provence if available which is basically a combination of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line one 12 hole and one 6 hole muffin pan with paper cases. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool down a bit.
  3. Melt a knob of butter in a medium-size pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until half done, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from the pan. Add the roughly chopped mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with the herbs and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, and then stir in the melted butter.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the egg mixture until well combined.
  6. Add the sautéd mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese into the flour mixture and gently mix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and no more than up to 3/4 full (this allows room for the muffins to rise). Top each muffin with a sliced mushie.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a nice cup of coffee. Enjoy!

You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Heat them back up in a steamer before serving.

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Before I wrap things up here, I just thought I’d share this weird little fascination of mine with these muffins. While I was having them for an afternoon snack, I was fascinated by the speckles of mold present in the muffins in such a way that I really sat there and observed the muffin for a good five minutes before biting into it. I even raised it up to my Mom saying, “look at all the mold in these muffins!” with an obvious hint of excitement in my tone. To which my Mom replied, “if I didn’t know you bought blue cheese for this recipe, I would’ve thrown it out because I thought it went bad since it was moldy and smelled like feet!” *cheeky grin*

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Hello Everyone! Week 3 of Cooking with Alcohol is here and I’ve got a recipe that is sure to knock your socks off! Beef Ribs are without a doubt a favourite of mine – especially is they are Bourbon and Coke braised! I first had a similar dish back when I was still studying in Australia at a Café, or maybe it was a Restaurant – I honestly cannot remember, and I think the place was called New Orleans… Something. Wow, I cannot believe I actually forgot the name of the place! It was actually one of my favourite fix of Southern American food whenever I craved it! I guess the reason why I forgot the name was because I had only been there a couple of times when I lived in the Lower North shore for about a year and a half. My then housemate and I would always walk over to Crows Nest from Cammeray to grab a plate of spicy Buffalo Wings, or this delicious Bourbon & Coke braised Beef Ribs for dins. When I moved out of the Lower North Shore area and to the Eastern Suburbs, I almost never visited Crows Nest after that. Then one day, after a kayaking trip that started in the Lower North Shore. all the way down to the Harbour, and then back up, I wanted to take my friends to that Restaurant and then later found out that it had closed down and another café took over! I was really sad at that time because I was really looking forward to visiting an old favourite. Oh well… Life goes on.

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Wow, I didn’t realise my introduction was going to be that long – and I am going to apologise now because I’m about to take a short tangent before moving on to tonight’s recipe. Now that I think about it, it may not be as short as I think it will be. Oops! Anyway, I was reading through old posts from about a year ago, and I remember mentioning in some that I had been going through a lot of stress, but I could not say the reason why. I don’t know if I officially told everyone what the reason was behind that when it was all clear to actually say it on social media, and on my blog for that matter. If I haven’t, then I’m definitely going to say it tonight as today marked my 1-year worksary! Haha, yes, worksary as my colleagues would say it. On this day last year I started my unofficial first day of work at D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd, Brunei’s leading advertising agency. I say unofficial because at that time, I was under my 3-month probation, and didn’t get my official permit to legally work at D’Sunlit until just a few months ago when I arrived back from the Philippines in August. Don’t get me wrong, I passed my 3-month probation – it was just that the company was excruciatingly sluggish in getting all the paperwork done so I could be official and legal. Anyway, the past is the past! My colleagues tries to surprise me with a worksary cupcake… I mean… I wouldn’t say that they failed miserably – only just a little bit. Let’s just say when something doesn’t seem right, I get a bit nosy haha! So I kinda figured out that they were up to something before they could surprise me because of a few tiny hints. But thank you anyway to Laurence, Wendy, and Tifah for trying *cheeky grin*

One Year Worksary at D'Sunlit Sdn Bhd

Again, I apologise for the short (but long) tangent, so let’s not waste anymore characters and let’s head on to tonight’s recipe! The original recipe can be found over on The Hopeless Housewife. Just a little note: these ribs were packed with intense and bold flavours that really made my family and I go whoa. Pairing it with a smooth cauliflower purée really helped cut the intensity back a bit. Okay, another small (I promise) tangent – my Mom would always see contestants on Masterchef Australia make a cauliflower purée to add to their overall dish; and every time that they did, she would always ask me, “what does it taste like” to which I would always respond, “I don’t know” because I sincerely don’t! I’ve never made it before – not until today that was. When I was thinking of what to pair the ribs with I thought of trying out a cauliflower purée as I recalled this memory.

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs Ingredients

Cauliflower Purée with Thyme Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 3-4 HOURS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the bourbon and Coke ribs

  • 3 kg beef ribs
  • 3 & 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 & 3/4 cups bourbon (or a little more if you’d like!)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Coke
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt

For the cauliflower purée (original recipe from Once Upon a Chef)

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (don’t worry about keeping florets intact) 
  • 40g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 140C (275F or gas mark 1). Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. In a heavy oven-proof dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high and sear each side of the ribs until they’ve turned to a nice caramelised brown colour, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside.
  2. In the same dutch oven (do not clean out), add the garlic, sautéing until lightly golden and fragrant. Follow with the onions, carrots, and celery, cooking over medium heat until tender, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4-5 minutes in total.
  3. Add the bourbon to deglaze the pan, making sure to incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Follow with the Coke, bay leaves, and beef stock, stirring well, cooking until it starts to bubble.
  4. Lay the seared short ribs on top of the vegetables and cover the dutch oven. Place in the oven and cook for about 3-4 hours, until the short ribs are very tender and fall off the bone. If there is a lot of fat on top, use a baster to remove the excess fats. If there is too much liquid, place on range over medium-medium high to reduce the liquid. When it’s reduced, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, when the ribs are nearly almost done (give it about half an hour to go), bring the chicken broth and salt in a large pot to a boil over high medium-high heat. Add in the cauliflower and bring back to a boil.
  6. Cover, and reduce the heat to low and steam for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a food processor.
  7. Add 3 tablespoons of chicken broth from the pot, along with the unsalted butter. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add thyme and process until just combined.
  8. Serve the beef ribs on a bed of smooth cauliflower purée with blanched green beans. Enjoy!

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

ps: just before I end things (yes, I saved this for last because the introduction was getting a tad bit too long than usual – I mean, sorry if my life got a little bit more interesting this week hehe), I wanted to say that on Sunday our beloved President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited the Sultanate for 3 days, and his first stop when he landed was to meet the Filipino Community in Brunei. The event, which was held at the National Indoor Stadium housed more than 6,500 Filipinos, out of the 23,000 residing in the Sultanate, greeted President Duterte that night. My Mom, my sister, and myself we’re among the 6,500:

President Rodrigo Roa Détente visits Brunei Darussalam

myTaste.com

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Hope everyone had a good weekend! I’m finally feeling better than I did last week, but my voice is still a bit husky. I can’t hit the high notes to a song whenever I’m performing in the shower, so I know I’ve still got a bit more of getting better to do. Other than that, things have been pretty chill at work – but I know it’s going to be hectic soon! There are two event coming up within the next 3 months, so I pray that I will have enough strength to persevere through! Over the weekend, my very first Uni friend from COFA (or now known as UNSWAD) visited me here in Brunei! It was so surreal as I never thought that we would meet… in Brunei! He is currently working on a project in KL and he had a free weekend to spare to come over for a visit! We toured him around a few places in Brunei, and we also caught up on work life, love life, and just anything else in general. I cannot believe that it had been exactly a year since we last saw each other in Sydney! It was definitely a great weekend.

Anyway! It’s week 3 of healthy eating month and I’ve got another quinoa recipe to share with you guys. As you already know, or not if you haven’t been following my blog on a week to week basis, quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah) is very beneficial to our health. It is incredibly nutritious as its fibre content is much higher than most grains. It is also very high in protein, containing the essential amino acids that we need . Quinoa contains a great amount of minerals – minerals that we other do not get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you would like to read up more on the health benefits of quinoa, click here. Pair it with some heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid avocados, grapefruit and orange segments, and you’ve got yourself a salad that is packed with minerals and vitamins such as: calcium, copper, fibre, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins A, B5,B6, C, E, and K, and the list goes on.

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 5-6

*Plus 4-5 hours waiting time to marinate the chicken.

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad

  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • 1 packet (250g) rocket leaves

For the lemon & thyme roast whole chicken legs

  • 500g whole chicken legs, washed and cleaned
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 springs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon

*You can make you own stock by boiling chicken carcasses for about half an hour, together with whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Or you can use the store bought ones, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

METHOD

  1. Combine all the roast whole chicken leg ingredients in a large baking dish. Leave to marinate for about 4-5 hours. Preheat oven to 190C. Sprinkle the chicken legs with paprika and place the baking dish in the oven and roast chicken for about 40 minutes or until done.
  2. Bring the quinoa and chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat down to low, cover, and then simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the sliced avocado, feta cheese together with the herbed olive oil, grapefruit, orange, and rocket leaves into the large mixing bowl together with the quinoa. Give it a good toss until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish together with a piece of lemon and thyme roast chicken leg.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! As mentioned at the end of my last recipe post on Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken, I made a Caesar Salad to go with the roast. A quick and healthy dish (excluding the mayonnaise), to easily pack and take to work with you, which is exactly what I did last week.

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

I have a funny, but quite saddening story on my part about this. So as usual, I always pre-pack my lunches the day I make them, which is usually on Monday afternoon, and I made the decision to add the caesar dressing in the morning before going to work because I didn’t want the lettuce leaves to soak in the dressing overnight. Tuesday was fine, but I completely forgot to add the dressing on the salad for Wednesday. I specifically remembered to do it when I woke up in the morning, and even had it running in my mind throughout my morning shower. But for some mystical reason, it slipped my mind and it only hit my that I completely forgot to add the dressing was when I was halfway through the journey to work by bus. I was so devastated when I came to that realisation. I was too devastated that I didn’t even look forward to having my lunch that day. I now know what it’s like to eat rabbit food. Rabbits must have such a hard life to have to go through this every single meal of every single day.

All that aside, even though I had bottled caesar dressing sitting in the fridge, I decided to make my own (sort of) caesar dressing. I say ‘sort of’ because I used bottled mayonnaise; if you really want to go all out, then be my guest and whip up your own healthier version of mayo! Anyway, I wanted to give making my own caesar dressing a go since I had all the ingredients to make it possible already in the pantry. Maybe my next challenge will be to make my own mayo too! Also, I accidentally left the croutons in the oven for a little bit too long that they were overly tanned, but thankfully not burnt. Oops! I made the mistake of not setting a timer to remind me that they were in the oven; I think at that time I was busy carving the chicken. (I picked the least tanned ones for the photographs)!

Caesar Salad Ingredients

Croutons Ingredients

Caesar Salad Dressing Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • Baby cos lettuce, washed and sliced
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • Mini stone-baked pane di casa, cut into small chunks
  • Roast chicken slices

For the caesar dressing

  • 1/3 cup free range egg mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed then minced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Handful of grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Spread the small chunks of bread over a large baking tray lined with parchment paper and sprinkle the garlic infused olive oil over them. Rub the oil into the bread and season with a little salt if you like. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so they brown evenly on all sides. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the caesar dressing into and small bowl and whisk together to combine.
  3. Plate up the baby cos lettuce and the roast chicken. Drizzle a generous amount of the dressing, and top with the croutons, shaved parmesan, and a bit of cracked black pepper.

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

You can skip the chicken if you wish for a great light salad for lunch, and for those who want to bulk it up so that it’s not just leaves, have it with the chicken of course! For this salad, I carved up the breast parts from the whole roast chicken that I posted the recipe to last week. Check it out here on the blog for those of you who missed it!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is pretty much what the title says, a classic whole roast chicken. I know some of you guys out there, myself included, would’ve probably rubbed some herds onto the skin and then pop it in the oven to roast away. I kid you not, I have had my fair share of roast chicken, homemade or from the grocers and almost every time the chicken is quite dry, especially the breast parts (which is why I hated eating chicken breast while growing up as a kid). It wasn’t only until recently I learnt about a cooking technique known as brining (submerging in salted water at the very basic) when we roasted a whole turkey for last year’s Noche Buena. It feels weird saying last year when it was technically less than a month ago. Anyway, the turkey was super moist and flavoursome! So I decided to try out brining again with a whole chicken.

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Keeping your bird juicy isn’t that hard – all you need is the right seasoning, and a little bit of patience and motivation to add that extra step before having your lunch or dinner. It does pay off though! Brining chicken not only adds moisture to the chicken, making it nice and plump, it also helps prevent it from drying out when you cook it. The result is a delicious, moist, and juicy chicken. In addition, not only does it affect the texture and juiciness of your chicken, it also affects the taste. A few hours, or even better if overnight, in brine will let the salt penetrate deep into the chicken meat, enhancing its natural flavour. Of course, there is one disadvantage. All the extra water that ends up in the chicken can make it harder to get a crispy skin. Luckily, that’s easy to fix. If you’re going for crispy skin, just let the chicken air dry in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Yes, it does take the extra effort, but it’s so easy to do!

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Brine

So what actually happens during the brining process? A little bit of high school science for you!

  • Diffusion: This occurs when particles move from a region of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. So, as we have established above, the brine has a lot more salt in it than the chicken. Therefore, to balance things out, the salt gets absorbed by the chicken – not just on the surface, but all through the meat.
  • Osmosis: This is when water (or another liquid) moves through a membrane from one region that has more water to another region that has less water. This is exactly what happens when you brine chicken. The brine has a lot more water than the chicken, so the water moves through the chicken cells, from the brine to the chicken.

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Brining Process

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Brining Process

Salt is the most important ingredient when brining chicken. It actually doesn’t make the chicken salty in the end, but as explained above, really enhances the chicken’ natural flavour. You can also add some other seasonings to your chicken brine, and they’ll work the same way and diffuse into the chicken. If you’re planning on using extra seasonings in your chicken brine, you’re going to need to boil it. Otherwise, the flavors just won’t penetrate the chicken. Think of it as if you were making tea – if you try making it with cold water, nothing happens. You need the heat to leech the flavour out of your seasonings. But remember to cool your brine down first before submerging your chicken into it. Not only does it end up cooking the chicken just a little bit, it also creates a bacteria farm that could potentially make you sick.

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

*This includes the brining process.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg whole free range chicken, washed and cleaned
  • 3L water
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 medium-sized spanish onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Handful of whole black peppercorns
  • 50g butter, chilled

The basic ratio of salt to water for a brine is 4 tablespoons of salt per litre of water.

METHOD

  1. Start by clearing out a space big enough to fit a bowl large enough to hold your chicken in the fridge. Line two plastic bags over your bowl, or if you don’t have one large enough, a cooking pot will do. Place your chicken into the bag, and set aside.
  2. Combine half of the water and all the ingredients, except the butter, chicken, and wine, in a large cooking pot and bring to a slight boil to allow all the flavours and seasoning to incorporate into the liquid. Once boiling, let it boil for a further 5 minutes before removing from the heat.
  3. Add the remaining water and the wine. Set aside to cool down completely. There are other ways of cooling down the brine faster if you are short on time, or a little bit impatient. You can submerge the pot in cold water, or even add ice to the brine.
  4. Once the brine has cooled down completely, slowly and carefully pour it over the prepared bowl/pot of chicken. If there is too much liquid, do not panic! Simply lift the plastic bags up and then pour the remaining brine in.
  5. Tie the bags ups nice and tightly and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight. If you’re going for crispy skin, just let the chicken air dry in the refrigerator for an hour or so before roasting in the oven.
  6. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a deep baking tray with foil and place a wire rack above it.
  7. Using cooking twine, tie the drumsticks together as well as the wings to hold them in place while roasting. I don’t actually know how to tie the wings properly, so that’s how I tied mine! I don’t even know if tying it the way I did is how it’s done either!
  8. In a small bowl, combine the butter with a few thyme leave, mashing it together just by using your fingertips, and then rubbing it all over the chicken.
  9. Add the garlic and onions from the brining liquid to the drop tray, as well as a little bit of the brine. This will later add flavour to the gravy that you can make combined with the drippings from the chicken. Just combine the pan drippings into a small sauce pan and add flour to thicken it up.
  10. Place the chicken on the wire rack, and into the oven for about 2 hours.
  11. Once done, remove from the oven and tent it for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve with steamed rice or mashed potatoes and veggies. Alternatively, you can serve with is a nice Caesar Salad which is what I did – stay tuned for the recipe on Tuesday!

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Eggciting Herb Garden

Eggciting Herb Garden

“I was wondering why you have a carton of eggs on the ground!” said a fellow housemate while I was out back in the yard with a camera around my neck ready to photograph the above. I shall explain in detail below:

Hello everyone! Today I want to share with you a project (or part of a project I might say) that I have been working on as part of my Introduction to Ceramics course at uni. I said ‘part of a project’ only because it is actually one of the processes that my tutor demonstrated and talked about in one of our tutorials – and that process is called Slipcasting.

Slipcasting is basically a mass-production technique used in pottery especially for shapes that are not easily made on the wheel. Liquid clay (known as slip) is poured into a plaster mould and then removed one the clay is set solid. For a hollow piece, the liquid is poured out of the mould once the plaster has absorbed most of the liquid from the outer layer of the clay.

Our tutor also showed us how we can dip porous objects into slip. She demonstrated by dipping a sponge into the slip, had it fired and the result was just amazing. Basically what happens is that when the slipped object goes into the kiln at mid-fire glaze, the object burns out from the high temperatures and leaves the outer shell of the object. So you can imagine how a sponge turned out, it was so fragile and aesthetically beautiful as well.

So that’s what I did here, I completely submerged an egg carton in slip and let it to dry. I then did another coat of slip because the first layer started to crack while it was drying. I had the carton fired and it came out looking really great! I then applied layers and layers of oxide glazes (cobalt, chrome and china blue) and dipped the whole carton in a clear glaze. It was then fired again and this was the result:

Eggciting Herb Garden

I got the initial idea of slipcasting an egg carton through images I saw online while searching for inspiration for the first project for my ceramics course (which is ‘botanica’, basically nature-inspired). I saw images of egg cartons being used as planters, as well as pot holders for eggshell pots. So decided, why not make a permanent egg carton holder?

Eggciting Herb Garden

As you can see from the image above, the eggs don’t quite nicely sit in the hole. This is because when objects get fired in the kiln they tend to shrink a bit (and I’m guessing the two layers of slip ate a bit of space too). So my extra large eggs that I originally had saved could not fit at all, I had to buy new eggs that were smaller in size just so they could kind-of fit.

Eggciting Herb Garden

Hope you enjoyed reading and viewing this post. Please stayed tuned as well for when I actually finish making what I am supposed to make for my Botanica project. I will be making a set of plates inspired by water lilies and lily pads! The second project for this course is to make a vessel and I was thinking of stemming from project 1 and creating a centrepiece to tie the whole project together. So yes, look out for that in the next month and a half!

– Ally xx

Mushroom and Avocado Toastie

Mushroom and Avocado Toastie

I remember when I was living in the suburbs of Cammeray in the Lower North Shore, my previous flatmate and myself would every month visit the farmers market and get our fresh produce from there. We got what we wanted from the same stalls each month and eventually made friends with the many farmers, one of which was Margin Mushrooms. They are very friendly and would always throw in an extra mushroom or two. I even got fresh curry leaves from them one time when I was in search for some that week – not to mention for free! Their mushrooms are the best indeed! I don’t live in the Lower North Shore anymore and the closet market that they participate in that’s relatively close to me is Bondi, but have have not been since!

I also remember that they gave out mini books by Power of Mushrooms, and I came across today’s featured recipe for this blog: Mushroom and Avocado Toastie. I whipped this up for breakfast one morning and it made me such a happy person! It’s an easy and quick fix to start your day off with a bang! I didn’t change anything from the recipe in particular as it was good as it was, the only thing I probably changed was the bread that I used and portion sizes. So please do check out the original recipe on their website.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-18 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 slices of Pane di Casa from Bakers Delight
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and extra for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 250g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 large ripe avocado, roughly mashed
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Drizzle both sides of the bread slices with oil and place on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 5-8 minutes or until lightly toasted and golden. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat a large frying over high heat. Add the oil, ginger and mushrooms and cook, tossing often, for 5 minutes until mushrooms are light golden and tender. Remove from the heat and squeeze over the lime juice, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Spoon and spread the mashed avocado onto the toasted pane di casa bread slices and top with a spoonful of mushrooms. Garnish with thyme leaves.

Mushroom and Avocado Toastie

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com