Monday, April 20, 2015

Fresh Parpadelle with Mushroom and Thyme Sauce


I read a book the other day, the author made a comment about completing tasks, and how the results are always better when you give the task love and attention.  She used food as an example, saying that every time she cooked a meal she wasn't excited about it didn't taste very nice.  I thought about that, about some meals I have cooked for my family where I knew even before I put it into my mouth that I was not going to like it. These meals all had something in common, I wasn't in love with what I was cooking, I didn't give it any attention and just slopped whatever I had available into a pan and didn't care about it.

There are other nights, where I may be cooking something as simple as spag bol. But with a bit of care,and love. That spag bol can sometimes taste better than a four course meal at a restaurant. It is so cliche and something that must be heard regularly on food blogs around the world but when cooked with love, food can be outstanding.

I started maternity leave recently, and before our little Miss Mila arrived I had alot of time on my hands so whipped out the pasta machine and got cracking on making some simple parpadelle. Using a recipe from The Great New Zealand Cookbook and adapting it slightly. It was simple, delicious and made with love. The pasta was silky and complimented the woody mushrooms and fresh thyme, with a zest of lemon it would have been delicious on it own. To please the caveman in our household, I added a grilled chicken thigh fillet, seasoned with salt.

Simple, delicious and made with love, these are the meals that we should strive everyday to cook our family.

Ingredients:

One portion of fresh Pasta 
300g Portobello Mushrooms
50g butter
zest of half a lemon
6 sprigs of thyme
Chicken thigh fillet per person if you do not want vegetarian
Salt
Pepper

Method:

  1. Roll out your pasta sheets and cut into strips about 1-2cms wide. 
  2. Flour and set aside.
  3. Boil a large pot of salted water.
  4. If adding chicken, season thigh fillets and heat frypan to a high heat, brown both sides of chicken and turn down the temp, to medium and cook chicken through.
  5. Heat a large saucepan, and add butter. 
  6. Once melted and bubbling add mushrooms, zest and thyme, and then season to taste. 
  7. Cook pasta for 2 mins until aldente.
  8. Toss through the sauce.
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Friday, April 3, 2015

GUEST BLOG: Felicity Rissetto from Little And Rawsome

I am lucky enough to have met the amazing Felicity while at university in Dunedin. She recently opened an amazing instagram account @littleandrawsome. which features all the healthy foods she and her family get to eat every day!

Anyway I will leave it to her to explain her passion, check out her insta, get following, it is definitely worth it!

And the Bread And Sniff It Crew hope you all have a happy and safe Easter.

My health journey!





I felt like I had always been pretty healthy, apart from a hiatus while at uni in Dunedin!  I had always been into smoothies, and played a lot of sports so had a healthy appetite, and needed the energy!  A farmers daughter from the ‘Naki originally, meat and three veg were common in our house, and were the basis for most of the meals we had.

My journey into wholefoods and superfoods came really when pregnant with my first child.  I suddenly became more aware about ingredients, and chemicals in food than ever before.  I wasn’t blessed with a baby that slept well – understatement - he was a nightmare!  I needed food to be an effective form of fuel for breastfeeding (trickier than it sounds when your baby is sensitive to foods that I ate), and a reliable source of energy to get me through those long days and even longer nights.  Any first time Mum will know that sleep dep is a big shock to the system, and it’s pretty hard to not become reliant on caffeine to get you through the day!  So, following the advice of a good buddy who is a nutritionist to ensure I was getting what I needed, I made some changes to make sure I was getting enough energy from my food.

I think having a kid is incredibly eye-opening.  All of a sudden you feel a sense of responsibility to be giving them the best nutrition to aid their little bodies in the mind blowing amount of development that’s going on.  You question things and wonder, if they can’t eat this, why should I?

It was from here that things went nek level.  I started replacing conventional products that I always thought were healthy, with healthier, less refined, more nutritious options.  It has led me on such an incredible journey of discovery – I eat all the things I loved before, but just have healthier versions.  A common breakfast in our house is banana pancakes with chocolate sauce, yoghurt and berries.  Sound good?  Ooooh yeah it does.  This is a pretty common breakfast in our house!  And it’s nutritious – as well as sugar free, dairy free, wheat free.

Holistic Health is my thing, I guess my philosophy is Eat Well and Exercise, it’s up to EWE!  Actually that’s my Dad’s bumper sticker idea but it’s catchy, and is a great recipe for living with vitality!  Because who doesn’t want to feel energised and healthy?  So anyway – my husband was getting sick of me talking about health food and my latest discoveries all the time so I started an instagram account @littleandrawsome.  Focused on healthy food for kids, babies and of course us big kids too.  Now I can share all of my tips, favourite foods, recipes and latest discoveries with anyone who’s willing to listen!  I love it.  So hit me up anytime for a chat :P

Banana pancakes:


1 ripe banana, mashed
4 eggs
1 cup of milk (I usually use nut milk or coconut milk to make it dairy free but any milk will do)
½ tsp vanilla extract

Mix wet ingredients together

Dry ingredients

½ c white spelt flour
½ millet flour
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

Mix dry ingredients together then stir in the wet ingredients.  Add more milk if you feel it’s a bit thick (depending on what flours you end up using it can affect the consistency).

Heat coconut oil in a fry pan, once melted, turn element down slightly and add one ladle of mixture at a time to the pan.  Flip when you’re seeing lots of bubbles come to the surface.

Serve with pure organic maple syrup and fresh fruit and coconut yoghurt.

My personal fave is pancakes with coconut yoghurt, chocolate sauce, and raspberries.  Mmmmm mmmmm.

De-lish!

Choc sauce – ½ c macadamia  oil, ½ t vanilla extract, 1 c maple syrup, 1 c cacao powder, pinch of salt – BLEND!

I usually half the mixture and this is enough for a few breakys.
read more "GUEST BLOG: Felicity Rissetto from Little And Rawsome"

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fabric Pom Pom Mobile

For those of you that don't know, we have another Bread And Sniff It baby on the way! Our little family is getting big with another addition and so we decided that in the spirit of the new baby we would like to add a few lifestyle posts to our regular food posts.  Hopefully you enjoy these posts as we start to do some DIY around our houses and decorating the new arrival's room.


Our first lifestyle post is for Fabric Pompoms, that I will be using to decorate Miss WJ's room.  You can make these fabric pompoms in a wide range of colours and sizes.  I have used mine to create a mobile for the babies room, while a girlfriend of mine has created large versions that she will hang directly from the ceiling. The world is your oyster, you can style them as you please, and as the colour choices are limited only by what you have at your local fabric store, you can create something that will match your nursery perfectly.

This instruction is adapted from Twist Me Pretty.

So what is a fabric pompom? 

Essentially it is a pom pom that is made with fabric instead of wool, or tissue paper.

The large versions can also be made and hung directly from the ceiling like this beautiful image from twistmepretty.com





What I needed to make my mobile:

6 x Styrofoam balls
1m of fabric for each colour

Scissors
2 x packets of Dressmaker pins
Something to use as a circle template
pen or pencil
1 x steel ring (or wooden) whatever frame you would like for your mobile
50cm of ribbon, matching each of the colours you have chosen
Bead string
Nylon String
Hook to hang from ceiling
Hot Glue Gun (optional)

Instructions to make pom poms:
  1. Create your circle template, the size you use will depend on the size of your pompom. My styrofoam balls were 7cm in diameter, the template used was the lid of a metal jar which was approximately 4cm in diameter. You can also create a circle template by using cardboard. It will need to be stiff enough to trace around. 
  2. Take your material and fold together until you have approximately 12 pieces of material sitting in layers. Trace as many circle shapes onto your material as you can.  Then cut out all of the pieces and put aside. 
  3. take a single cut out circle. Fold in half, then fold in half again.
  4. Place a dress makers pin into the corner of the circle of fabric and press firmly into the ball. 
  5. Repeat until your entire styrofoam ball is covered.

    Tips
  • I started in lines, following the lines around the full circumference of the circle, then broke into half, and then quarters and filled in the gaps. This made it easy to keep a consistency across the whole ball
  • The closer you place the circles of fabric together, the tighter the fabric pompom is. I placed each round almost a 6-8mm apart as I preferred the look to be looser, and it also meant less work for me. 


Creating the mobile

I used bead string to attach my pompoms to the metal frame instead of nylon string as I was having trouble tying the nylon string.  However to hang the entire mobile from the ceiling I would definitely recommend using the nylon string to carry the weight of the mobile.


  1. Wind the bead string around your fabric pompom, by gently "threading" through your petals of fabric until it is around the entire circumference and then knot multiple times until it feels secure.
  2. Trim the loose end.  Decide how long you want your pompom to hang and then secure the other end to the metal frame.
  3. Continue with the remaining pompoms in colour order, ensuring they are distributed evenly around the frame.
  4. Once they are in the correct position, I hot glue gunned the knots to the metal frame so that they would not move, but you do not need to do this if you do not want to. 
  5.  Take the ribbon, and tie across the metal frame so that it lines up with the two pompoms of the same colour.
  6. Find the centre of the ribbons, so that the weight is evenly distributed and mobile hangs straight and tie the nylon string around the centre.
  7. Secure hook into ceiling
  8. Tie other end of nylon string to hook.







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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing



When you have kids, all the cakes you make, seem to be shaped into the latest television character, or covered in lollies and copious amounts of fondant. It's not very often that you make a cake for adults.

Last weekend it was one of my best friend's birthday and so I set about to make a cake for adults. Something a bit more mature, with not a stick of chocolate in sight.

Lemon cake is my favourite, this one is dense, more like a tea cake, and moist by adding sour cream to the mixture. With a cream cheese icing, a vanilla cream filling and topped with almonds and pistachio, it's perfect for adults, but kids will still love it as well.


Ingredients

I made two of the below cakes so that I could have layers.  But you can only make one if you want.

Cake:
150g butter, softened
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
zest lemon and 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain flour
60g self raising flour
100g sour cream

Vanilla cream:
200mls thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup icing sugar

Cream Cheese Icing:
2 cups icing sugar
250g cream cheese


Method:

Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add lemon zest and beat in eggs one at a time, making sure that each one is fully combined before adding the next one
  4. Add lemon juice
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients and fold into creamed mixture with the sour cream.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, test with a skewer.
Vanilla Cream:
  1. Whisk ingredients together until stiff peaks form
  2. Once cakes have cooled add a thick layer in between cakes.
Cream Cheese Icing:
  1. Use a handmixer to whisk ingredients together.
  2. Spread on top of cooled cakes and top with flakes of almond and chopped pistachio



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Monday, March 9, 2015

Spicy Prawn Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce




Pasta, pasta, pasta.

When Leo was in my belly, all I wanted to eat was cake. In fact I at a piece of cake every day for about 4 months. It seems neither of my children want to help my waist line when I am pregnant and this one is all about the carbs. Pasta has become a regular feature in our house lately and this one was a winner for all of us, including Leo (he had 3 serves and ate everyone's left overs)

This is another great weekday meal, that's ready in a flash and will be sure to impress.

Ingredients

300g prawns
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp smokey paprika
1 brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely diced
1 can tomatoes
150ml thickened cream 
250 bowtie or penne pasta

Method:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil.
  2. When boiling put pasta into hot water
  3. Heat a large saucepan to a medium heat, fry the prawns, chilli flakes and paprika for 2 mins. 
  4. Remove from pan
  5. Add some more oil to the pan and fry onions until soft, add garlic, oregano, cook until fragrant and then add tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. 
  6. Let the tomatoes reduce and by this time your pasta should be cooked.
  7. Drain pasta. Add cream and prawns to the tomato sauce, cook for a further 2-3 mins. 
  8. Stir through fresh basil and pasta and serve. 
read more "Spicy Prawn Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce"

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Honey Salmon in Foil


My step-sister is a pescetarian  which can be quite painful for ultimate meat eaters like us trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

She recently came to stay for the last time, before she leaves on a year long trip around South America and our other sister came up as well for the weekend. So I wanted to serve something delicious but easy for everyone after a hard day at work.


Into my Pinterest folder I went. I've been hoping to make this super easy salmon recipe from Damn Delicious for a while now. We actually had it for Christmas, made by the glorious Lizzie, with a beautiful fresh half side of salmon.

This is a super quick and fuss free recipe that everyone at home can enjoy.  We served it with Baked Parmesan Zucchini and a green salad. Both the sides and the salmon took 20 mins to prep and 20 to cook which meant we had dinner on the table asap and could spend the rest of the evening, chatting and catching up. Exactly what having family or friends over for dinner should be about.

Ingredients
1 x 150g portion of salmon per person

Honey dressing
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp thyme
1/4 cup Honey
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
  1. Place Salmon onto foil and create a pocket that totally covers and seals the salmon
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together
  3. Spoon over salmon
  4. Place in a 180 degree celcius over and cook for 20mins. This time will vary depending on how much salmon you are cooking.
  5. Check the salmon regularly after the 10min mark if you aren't sure so that you can remove the salmon when just cooked.
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Upside Down Peach Cake – Oh So Retro

 
 
It’s time to dust off that can of peaches that’s been sitting in the back of the pantry for months (maybe longer...?) and put them to good use!  Having realised that I haven’t eaten nor seen an upside down cake in many years I decided to give this one a go again.  The results:  A WIN.  This easy-to-make cake is best served warm for dessert with lashings of whipped cream or ice cream.  I'll admit though, it was made whilst watching the NRL Auckland Nines, namely the Warriors, and in haste and distraction I completely forgot to put the sugar into the cake mix!!! ALAS, I thought my dessert for a dinner date that night was ruined.  However we were pleasantly surprised that the sugar mix and peaches provided the perfect amount of sweetness for this dessert and in fact it made me start to think that maybe cakes and desserts could do with a little less sugar…but then again dessert is dessert and it’s an indulgence.  So why do it by halves!  I urge you to make this simple recipe.  It’s delicious and looks beautiful too!

INGREDIANTS
1 can sliced peaches in juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ tspn cinnamon
1 tspn nutmeg
1 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar (this can be left out…I still tastes great without it!)
¾ tspn baking powder
¼ tspn baking soda
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla extract

METHOD
1.       Drain peaches, keeping juice.
2.       In a bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 tbspn butter and 3 tbspn peaches juice.
3.       Spread mix into bottom of a greased cake tin (20cm).  Cut peaches in half lengthways and arrange in single layer over mixture.  Be sure to spread them out how you want them to look as it will be the top of the cake once turned out.
4.       In a large bowl sift flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. 
5.       In another bowl mix milk, egg and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients and mix lightly till combined.
6.       Pour cake mix on top of sugar/peach mix and bake on 175 degrees for 25 minutes or until cooked.
Its never going to be as good as your Mum used to make but ENJOY!
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cous Cous with Seared Beef, Feta and Orange Salad

 

Summer eats in two words:  BBQ and Salads.  Through the glorious months when the sun shines longer and the weather is warm I crave salads, warm or cold, and fresh food that can be made quickly, meaning more time for relaxing and beach going. 
I've said it before but creativity rules in the kitchen.  Often telling the BF to make a salad "with anything you can find" from the fridge and garden, couscous is a food that has turned many a meal from ordinary to extraordinary if you use a bit of imagination.
Couscous; the food so nice you say it twice, is a pasta of North African origin and is a finely ground semolina.  A must-have for busy people as it takes minutes to cook by steaming in boiled water before its ready to serve.  In the winter its the perfect accompaniment to curries and pasta, and is great for warm and cold salads.  Its an all-rounder that if you haven't cooked before you should try.

This is a throw together meal with only Beef to work with initially.  It came up trumps and the man-o-house thinks its one of the best meals I've made so far.  Like everything, you can make changes to suit your needs and that's the beauty of cooking.  Enjoy this light summery dish!

Ingredients (serves two)

1 cup uncooked Couscous
1 spring onion
Juice of 1 lemons
1/2 cup of chopped herbs (either basil, parsley or chives)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups Rocket

1 fillet of meat (can use chicken or fish)
1 juicy orange segmented
1/4 block of feta crumbled

Dressing
1/2 cup natural yoghurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 clove garlic crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbspns of olive oil
Salt/Pepper

Method
  1. Fill jug and boil.  Pour Couscous into a flat glass dish and pour over boiling water until the couscous is only just covered.  Cover with glad wrap to trap in the steam.  In 3 minutes fluff with a fork and re-cover.  Your couscous is now cooked and ready! So easy...
  2. Prepare your orange by carefully cutting away the skin and cutting out the segments as best possible.  Last time I made this I had a chef over, he put my previous efforts to shame, so do the best you can!  Practice makes perfect.  Once cut put back into the fridge to keep cold
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients, shake well and leave out
  4. Season your couscous with thinly sliced spring onion, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, rocket salt and pepper and leave out
  5. Season and cook meat.  If using beef med rare to rare is best.  Alternatively fish is great as with chicken.  Once cooked thinly slice and set aside to rest for 5 minutes
  6. Assemble by piling couscous salad, beef slices, then orange segments and feta and pour the dressing being careful not to use too much as the orange and feta will give mini flavour bombs
The combo is sensational and a summer must!






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Monday, January 12, 2015

Choux Pastry - I have finally beaten you.



One of my cooking goals for 2015 was to finally tackle Choux Pastry and win.  I don't know if you remember my first attempt at trying to make it, here, but the sad deflated flat soggy pillows totally ruined my baking confidence.

After watching countless Croquembouche challenges on Masterchef, I felt like maybe, this year I might be ready to do this properly for myself.

Then fate seemed to align as my mother-in-law was coming to stay for two weeks and is well known for her chocolate eclairs.

She gave me this recipe, and showed me how to do it. I don't know why, but something that started off so incredibly complicated is actually easy peasy. Try it out today! For this recipe we used an easy chocolate icing and cream centre but you could fancy it up with chocolate ganache and creme patissiere.

Enjoy

Ingredients

50g butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour
a pinch of salt
2 eggs

Method


  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees (this is for a non fan bake oven).
  2. Add salt to the flour.
  3. Place Butter and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as all of the butter has melted remove from heat.
  4. Add flour and whip with a wooden spoon.
  5. Once it has come together and away from the sides of the saucepan add one egg
  6. Continue to whip until fully combined
  7. Add the second egg and stir until the batter becomes smooth and slightly shiny.
  8. Leave to cool completely. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.  I have seen bakers etc whip with a mixer until it has gone cold. But if you have time just leave it.
  9.  Once cool, spoon onto a baking tray, this made 8 large eclairs, you could also pipe them if you wanted more smaller, profiterole style pastries.
  10. Place into the oven and turn down to 200 degrees celcius. This is the part that is tricky. My oven is very different to my mother in laws. So we started off at 200 degrees and then dropped to 180.  This wasn't high enough. Each oven is different so if it is the first time you are cooking these then monitor your profiteroles closely.
  11. Once they puff up and go brown on the outside, this took about 20 - 30 mins. Turn off oven and leave to cool, inside the oven.
  12. Cut eclairs in half keeping one part together, ice with chocolate icing and in the fridge.
  13. Once the icing has set, fill with cream and serve.

read more "Choux Pastry - I have finally beaten you."

Monday, December 22, 2014

BSKT Cafe - Nobby Beach, Queensland


Going on holiday always shows my obsessiveness when it comes to food. Before we leave I will spend hours trawling the internet, reading reviews, looking at pictures and basically dissecting top restaurants in an area, so I can make my holiday food plan.


I recently asked Nick what he wanted to do on our recent trip to the Gold Coast and he advised, "Just whatever you have sorted". He knows me well enough to know that we had a strict schedule with a list of restaurants or cafes that I wanted to try.


Unfortunately due to a very sick child and thunderstorms on the "sunny" Gold coast I only got to one of the restaurants that I wanted to try out and that was BSKT café.



On a great spot just behind the nobby beach surf club, this place is extremely busy on a Sunday morning. Be warned and book ahead. We were lucky to get a table as someone had just left, but most people who came in after us had reservations, something I would never have contemplated before.


The décor has the cool beach relaxed vibe and they have a great play area out the back for the kids.  The café focuses on healthy living and eating, and takes your everyday breakfast favourites and twists them to nutrient filled alternative. They serve breakfast lunch and dinner and I only wish I could have stayed longer and sampled some of their main meals that constantly flood their instagram.


BSKT café state "Our mission is to make you healthier every time you visit BSKT café through cutting-edge foods that use the highest quality, nutrient-rich, organic ingredients"


So let's get started on this review. As you know, out of Zen and I, I am not the healthy eater, and so I wanted to step a little out of my comfort zone and try something different and you know what I was pleasantly surprised.



We both started with coffees, Nick a latte, which was the perfect temperature and delicious bean roast, not bitter at all. While I had beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger juice, that was served up of course in a mason jar, and an espresso to jumpstart the heart. The drinks were great, I had never actually had a cold pressed vegetable juice before and I loved it, however not being my usual it definitely tasted better when accompanied with my food.



For the food I ordered a smoked, salmon, spinach and goats cheese omelette, the star being the salmon, which was beautiful and not that overly slimy cold smoked salmon found in most restaurants. The eggs still remaining the hero of the dish and served with a delicious super seed bread (reminded me of vogels YUM YUM YUM).


The hubby had a big breakfast, which actually had a steak on it (is that healthy, who cares!) He enjoyed it, but got a weirded out by the quinoa and pumpkin croquette (which little Leo loved and demolished instead)


The whole meal leaving us feeling great, grabbing some takeaway coffees and heading down to the beach to walk it off. I only wish I could get there more to sample their delightful fare.  I definitely recommend that you try it. it's worth it. Next time I might even venture to try their Kale version of hollandaise.




BSKT Cafe
4 Lavarack Road, Gold Coast QLD 4218
(07) 5526 6565
http://www.bskt.com.au/


BSKT Cafe on Urbanspoon
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