Sunday, 8 September 2013

GUEST SPOT: 5THANDJANE

It's that time of year again. Although I'm happy to see Fashion Week roll around, I can't help but ask myself, where has the year gone? I've been living in NYC for a year now (review of the year to come) and have been lucky enough to be a guest blogger for 5thandJane again.

Enjoy the shows!




Thursday, 15 August 2013

Chicken Yakitori with Blue Apron

OK...So lets be honest, the worst part about cooking, isn't the cooking. It's the shopping and schlepping. The third S in the equation is SOLUTION. And I've found it! Blue Apron. Shopping done, schlepping done & all neatly packaged up ready for me to get my cooking-hands on.

I think I spent more time getting my Instagram video right, than chopping the veggies for dinner.

On the menu, Chicken Yakitori.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ Cup Brown Rice
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1-Inch Piece Ginger
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 7 to 8 Ounces Long Beans
  • 3 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 8 Ounces Ground Chicken
  • ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 8 Skewers
  • 2 Birdseye Chilis
  • 1 Lemon 
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. In a small pot, combine the rice, 1½ cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Heat to boiling on high. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and all the water is absorbed.
  3. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Thinly slice the scallions. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Finely chop the cilantro. Cut the long beans into 6-inch lengths.
  4. Make the glaze & chicken mixture:
  5. In a small bowl, make the glaze by combining half the hoisin sauce and half the soy sauce; stir until smooth. In a separate large bowl, combine the ground chicken, panko, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, half the scallion, half the cilantro, and the remaining hoisin and soy sauces.
  6. Using your hands, mix everything just until combined. 
  7. Divide the mixture into 4 equal pieces, and shape them into flat, oval-shaped patties. Place the patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet, and place 2 skewers in each patty. 
  8. Roast the yakitori in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned, then carefully flip them over and cook 6 to 8 minutes minutes longer, or until browned on the top and cooked through in the center.
  9. To make the beans: heat some oil in a large pan on high until hot. Add the long beans and birdseye chilis and cook about 30 seconds, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Add about ¼ cup of water and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until the water evaporates and the long beans are crisp-tender. 
  10. Remove from the heat and squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the long beans. Stir in the remaining cilantro.
  11. To plate: Divide the rice and long beans between 2 plates. Place the yakitori on top of the rice. Spoon some glaze over the yakitori and some over the long beans, if you like. Garnish each with the remaining scallions and lemon wedges. 
Click on the image, to view the Instagram video.
Try Blue Apron for yourselves (if you're in the USA that is)! 


Monday, 29 July 2013

Roast Vegetable and Pomegranate Salad.

I don't know about you...but I LOVE to add pomegranate to salads. Not to sound like Jamie Oliver or Nigella and her sensual descriptions of food, BUT, they are little miracles when it comes to salad. They add a burst of colour and flavour. And thanks to Whole Foods, they come de-shelled in these neat packets. No muss, no fuss.

It might seem tricky at first, but trust yourself and you'll be fine.

Ingredients:
Half head cauliflower, cut into florets
Half head broccoli, cut into florets
10-15 Brusselsprouts, cut in half or quarters (depending on the size)
3 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs whole-grain mustard
4 tbs olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper/smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to season
3 tbs Balsamic glaze
1/2 block goats Feta, crumbled
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius (400 Fahrenheit).
Line two baking trays with baking/parchment paper.
On one tray: place the broccoli and cauliflower florets (NB to save some cooking time, you can par-cook them in the microwave with a little bit of water for 5 minutes). Drizzle 2 tbs of olive oil. Sprinkle turmeric and cayenne over the vegetables.
In a small bowl, mix remaining olive oil, maple syrup, whole grain mustard.
On the second tray: scatter the Brussels. Pour the maple mix over. Shake to ensure that all have been covered.
Put the vegetables into the oven to cook for 40mins - keep an eye on them.
Once the veggies have cooled, pile into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle over the Feta and pomegranates.
Drizzle with the Balsamic glaze.

Hungry now?



Friday, 31 May 2013

QUINOA & GREEN SALAD

There's nothing like a filling salad with lots of greens to make anyone feel better about the food on their plate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 green capsicum (pepper), sliced into stripes 
  • 1 telegram cucumber, cut into lengths (same size as capsicum) 
  • 5-10 green pitted olives, chopped into rings

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 
  • 3 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper
Method:

  1. Cook quinoa as per packet, set aside to cool.
  2. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a jar, place lid on and shake. Taste first, to see the balance of the vinegar and sugar. 
  3. Boil full kettle of water, pour over beans in heat proof bowl. Blanch for 2 -3 minutes, drain then put beans into iced water to stop cooking process. 
  4. Combine, quinoa, beans and remaining ingredients into a salad bowl. 

quinoa and green salad





Friday, 24 May 2013

ROAST BEETROOT FATTOUSH SALAD

Today's salad recipe is brought to you by the vegetable: Beetroot (Beets).

As the weather warms up, and the heavy jackets come off...looking in the mirror. It's time for SALAD. Shoozlife is bringing you a series of salads that will keep you satisfied and looking good for the Summer months. 

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 4 (large) beetroots, peeled and chopped into chunks 
  • 2 olive oil 
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 4 sticks celery, sliced 
  • 1 piece Lebanese bread (flat bread)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, quartered
  • 2 cups, rocket (arugula) 
  • 1/2 small block Feta or soft goats cheese
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tbs olive oil 
  • 4 tbs Balsamic glaze 
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees (400 Fahrenheit).
  2. Place the beetroot in an aluminium foil tray, drizzle over the olive oil and shake to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 mins, turning occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. While the beets are cooking, place the Lebanese bread in the oven for 5-10mins, until crispy. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Break up into pieces. 
  4. Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl, leave the cheese and beets for the top. 
  5. For the dressing, combine the ingredients and shake. Pour over the salad. 

roast beet fattoush salad








Monday, 13 May 2013

DINNER FOR ONE


What to eat when the hubby is working late with a fridge full(ish) of veggies and eggs…baked eggs of course. Usually at around 4pm I start to think, what do I have in the fridge and what will I create with these random ingredients. Most days I’m not lazy and will venture after work to my happy place, wholefoods, but then there are days where I just don’t want to shop at all. Baked-eggs-for-dinner-tonight was one of those nights. Excited nonetheless, I started to plan…how hard could it be!

Yes I know I love to cook, and have no fear when it comes to the kitchen, but really this is easy, and you can make your own variation depending on what you have in the fridge too! It’s flexible…so relax and enjoy.

I had in the fridge, kale, capsicum/peppers, cherry tomatoes and feta. But feel free to use other veggies that you like. For example, spinach, zucchini, asparagus…if you can’t live without pumpkin, add in the extra step roasting them first, before starting the baked eggs!

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ capsicum/pepper, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (if they are large you can cut up)
  • Half bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1 tbs Parmesan optional
  • Feta, crumbled (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to season



Method:
  1. Grease a small ovenproof dish. I added some olive oil and made sure all the sides were greased and discarded the extra.
  2. Add feta to the beaten eggs (if using).
  3. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius.
  4. In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil, add the onion and cook for 3-5mins, until the onions look translucent.
  5. Once the onions are cooked, add the kale and capsicum/pepper for another 3-5mins, allow the kale to reduce.
  6. Add the kale mixture, tomatoes (and other veggies of your liking) to the ovenproof dish, mix around.
  7. Pour the egg mixture over and grate Parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Cook in the oven for 15-20mins (note, keep an eye on it, all ovens are different).
  9. To give the top a crunch, change to a high-grill for 2-3mins, once the baked eggs are cooked through. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

SUPER-CRISPY SWEET POTATO CHIPS

It's happened again, another amazing recipe to make me fall more in love with sweet potatoes. Who would have thought I could have loved sweet potatoes even more?

I found a delicious looking picture of sweet potato chips. I admit I nearly licked the screen...Why lick the screen when I could just make them myself!

Yes I have attempted sweet potato chips, but this recipe takes it to the next level, these ones are SUPER crispy.

Ingredients:
  • 2 – 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 tbs polenta
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (more to taste, if desired) 


Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes well under running water. Slice them into long sticks 1cm thick . Place them in a bowl of water, swish around a few times, then drain (this step helps remove some of the starch from the potato). 
  3. Place potatoes on a clean tea towel and dry thoroughly. Let them air dry while you prepare everything else.
  4. Place cut potatoes in a plastic bag, pour in oil, seal and shake bag vigorously to coat. Add polenta and salt to the bag and toss well to coat.
  5. Place fries on a lined baking sheet, making sure that they are not overlapping. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and crisp (in my experience, there was no need to flip them halfway through cooking).
Served with baked chicken breast & shredded brusselssprouts.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

HEALTHY NIGHT IN

It's a Tuesday night. No husband. Bravo TV line up is tonight's date. What to eat?

BE HEALTHY - BE HEALTHY. It's the new mantra that's getting me through NYC. Too many good restaurants can be dangerous.

So I thought it's time to get colourful. The more colourful, the healthier it has to be.

Ingredients:
  • 1 x sweet potato, cut into chips
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 x capsicum, diced (use a variety of colours)
  • 2 x tomatoes, diced 
  • 2 tbs sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbs pumpkin seeds
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic glaze
  • 10 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 tbs maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tsp chili flakes, optional
Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250C (410F).
  2. Add the cut sweet potato to a plastic bag, add two tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper and shake. 
  3. Line the chips on a lined baking tray (you may need two trays).  Cook for roughly 45-50mins. Keep an eye on them.
  4. Season the chips again when they're cooked. Add chili flakes if you like.
  5. Place the Brussels on a lined baking tray. 
  6. Mix maple syrup, two tablespoons of oil, whole grain mustard in a bowl. Pour over the Brussels.
  7. Cook the sprouts in the oven for 40mins.
  8. Mix kale, capsicum, tomato, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Dress with olive oil and balsamic glaze. 
To be enjoyed in separate bowls, or combined on a plate.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

MEXICAN MADDNESS

After indulging ourselves in Mexican cuisine - while visiting Monterrey, for only 3 days - to mark the 1 month off Mexican food (coincidentally on Valentine's Day), it was time to celebrate.

I really wanted to make a 'pollo con mole' that's mole chicken. So I asked my friend Lalo for some advice, he said "If you want to make it you can, but just so you know, most people in Mexico use mole from a jar." Normally I don't like to do this, but looking at a recipe I realised that, the jar is the way to go.

If you want to attempt - go for it, and please tell me how you go - here's a great mole recipe to follow, but it's not the easiest! 

Don't get scared, I'm giving you the FULL dinner run down. Sides, salads and all!

Mole Chicken (serves 4)

Ingredients: 
Chicken
  • 4 x chicken breasts 
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs crushed garlic
  • 1 tbs Mexican spices
  • 1/2 dried habanero chili 
  • Juice of one lime  
  • 4 tbs mole sauce

Sweet potato chips
  • 1 x sweet potato, chopped into chip
  • 2 tbs oil 
  • Salt and pepper

Salsa
  • 1 can of corn
  • 3 x tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup coriander (cilantro), chopped 
  • 2 x shallots, chopped 

Sides
  • 2 x zucchinis, shaved 
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Guacamole
  • Ricotta Salata, garnish  
Method: 
  1. Follow instructions to make mole sauce. 
  2. Pre-heat oven to 250C (410F). 
  3. Mix the chicken marinade together, pour over chicken breasts - either use a bag to coat the chicken, or dip into a bowl. 
  4. Place the chicken on a lined baking tray and put in to oven for 40-50mins (depends on your oven). 
  5. Add the cut sweet potato to a plastic bag, add the oil, salt and pepper and shake. 
  6. Line the chips on a lined baking tray (you may need two trays).  Cook for roughly 45-50mins. Keep an eye on them. 
  7. To make the salsa, combine all ingredients into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 
  8. For the zucchini, shave with a vegetable grater. Only grate until the middle spongy part of the vegetable. 
Assembling: 
  1. Place the chicken on a plate. Pour mole over the center of the chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds. 
  2. Grate ricotta salata over the black beans.
  3. Put the salsa in a bowl. 
  4. Season the chips again and put in a bowl.
  5. Add the grated zucchini to a large bowl. 
  6. Put the lettuce leaves in a bowl. 
  7. Serve with Mexican salsas and guacamole.  
NB: I've been trying to stay on the healthy side so no tortilla wraps or chips (hence the lettuce and zucchini), but don't let me stop you! Enjoy it.

Monday, 11 February 2013

GUEST SPOT: 5THANDJANE

The snow must go on...no wait that's SHOW! Fashion Week doesn't stop for anything! Not even Nemo. Saturday morning, a blanket of white covered New York City, except Lincoln Center. It was full steam on the runway, and thanks to 5thandJane I was able to attend, Mara Hoffman Fall/Winter 2013. Read below...








Wednesday, 6 February 2013

FAIRY BREAD CAKE!

That's right, CAKE!

It was Mr. S birthday this week, being away from home I wanted to make something extra special for him. He loves his kids-birthday-party-food, you know, chocolate crackles and fairy bread. Don't judge, you know you love it too!

But I didn't want to have a plate of fairy bread, I wanted to make a cake. A tower of fairy bread that was completely coated in 100s & 1000s (for the Americans out there, that's sprinkles!). 

Off I went to my resource, Google images, to find some inspiration...no inspiration!

OK, time to put my brain into gear and think for myself...I've got it!

And now, you've got it...Enjoy reliving your childhood!

Ingredients:
1 x loaf of white bread
NB: keep the ends of the loaf 
1 x pkt 100s & 1000s (sprinkles)
1 x stick butter, softened
2 tbs jam

Method:
  1. Cut the crusts off the loaf, leaving a square shape of white bread. Use one end of the loaf (cut into square) as the base. 
  2. Place 100s & 1000s into a deep plate (wide enough for the entire stack to be dipped).
  3. Butter the base of the loaf and dip into the 100s & 1000s bowl and place on whatever plate you're using to display. 
  4. Continue to butter and dip the rest of the loaf.
  5. Every 4 slices, add a slice of bread with jam, just to keep it stable. 
  6. Once you have the whole stack ready, butter the sides of the stack.
    HINT: to make it easier to spread across, work the butter on a chopping board - spreading it over and over again.
     
  7. Place the end piece of the loaf on top of the stack, tilt and hold the bottom of the loaf, press together, and dip into the 100s & 1000s. On all four sides.
  8. Put the stack back onto the display plate, and disregard the end piece of the loaf (not the base). 
  9. If there are any missing parts, just sprinkle 100s & 1000s over it a lightly press down. 

If you need any assistance - please leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.


Monday, 4 February 2013

GUEST SPOT: 5THANDJANE

Ahead of a busy week in New York, better known as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, 5thandJane kindly offered me a guest spot on their blog. Here's to a week of amazing fashion shows and parties! Cheers...


Saturday, 2 February 2013

BAKED OATMEAL (PORRIDGE)

Oatmeal or porridge, whatever you want to call it, this IS the breakfast of champions. Great for a winter's day...eating it is like snuggling in a warm fluffy bed.

I was introduced to baked oatmeal, on one of my many visits to Blue Bird, on an especially cold morning in New York. It looked like a muffin, but it wasn't, they said it was oatmeal but it didn't look like it. I knew it would be delicious, everything at Blue Bird is. I was intrigued when they said it is served with steamed milk. After finishing it, I was hooked, but I knew I had to attempt it on my own, to control the sugar intake.

My version, for you to enjoy! 

BAKED (ADDICTIVE) OATMEAL (for 2 x 18oz ovenproof dishes)

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup roughly chopped nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts)
1 cup milk  (I used Goat's milk)
1 small egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 banana, sliced
1/3 cup of blueberries (or blackberries)
Butter, for greasing

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C).
  2. Grease two small oven proof dishes (18oz = 2 1/2 cups).
  3. Mix the DRY ingredients in a bowl (oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon).
  4. Whisk WET ingredients in another bowl (milk, maple syrup, vanilla, egg).
  5. Arrange the banana slices to the base of the oven proof dishes.
  6. Divide the dry ingredients between the two dishes.
  7. Top the two oats with the milk mixture, again divide equally. 
  8. Sprinkle top with the blueberries. 
  9. Tap lightly on the bench to make sure the milk mixture settles. 
  10. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes (check at 30 minutes as each oven is different). 
Optional: you can rehydrate with warmed milk after it's baked.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

WELCOME TO MIAMI

Question: When the temperature drops below zero in NYC, where do you go?

Answer: Miami baby!

A white Christmas sounds good, but as an Aussie girl, I was desperate to thaw out from the sub-zero temps. With endless choices of where to go...there was one place we couldn't pass on, Miami. Three hours on a plane, and hello summer.

Mr. S has been once before, but for me, this was a whole-new-world. With only a week to research and book everything, it was time to put my game face on. It was all about the food and the sun. So I'm going to share my tips & hot spots to check out.

What we ate (and drank):

Dessert at Michael's Genuine Food

Breakfast of champions; fried chicken with biscuits

A cocktail with it's own lip-balm, SLS
Bazaar at SLS hotel: Dragon fruit ceviche, compete with foam
News cafe breakfast plate, did I mention this is for ONE!
La Sandwicherie, the salad was smaller, than the sandwich
Amazing tacos from Ola

Where (we wished &) we stayed:

SLS (poolside)
W Hotel
We stayed at Surf Comber


Restaurant recommendations:
- Michael's Genuine Food & Wine, the food is delicious with an ever changing menu - try go at lunch and enjoy the design district.
- Ola, rated the number one Mexican restaurant in South Beach, it's not traditional but worth a visit.
- Barton G, get your instragram shots ready, the most inventive ways of serving food you may ever see, Pop Tarts (made to order) served in a toaster.
- Juvia, South Beach is known for its architectural-carparks, and this restaurant sits up top, great views, go at sunset.  
- Yardbird Southern Table, we came for brunch & dinner on the same day. Nothing further needs to be said, just go eat there.
- Pinocchio, you'll feel like you've stepped out of Miami and into Italy. Great coffee for the Aussies who miss home.
- Scarpetta, you can't argue with a restaurant that serves, good meat, fish, pasta, sides, and makes it's own bread.   
- News Cafe, a great people watching experience as well as a very filling breakfast.
- The Dutch, we enjoyed several breakfasts here. There's great variety for a delicious breakfast, and has a great indoor-outdoor feel.
- La Sandwicherie, if you don't mind waiting, or eating on the run, you have to have a sandwich or salad here. they're big but delicious.
- Lantao, Surfcomber Hotel, if you feel like, Thai, you can't go past Lantao. 
- Casa Tua, the outside is so inviting you can't help but step in for an Italian meal.
- The 660, recommended for breakfast, and go hungry.
- Jerry's Famous Deli, there's nothing like a good Matzo ball soup in Miami, and there's no better place to get it than Jerry's.


Hotel recommendations:
- Fontainebleu
- SLS
- Surfcomber
- Delano
- Shelborne
- Dream Hotel
- W Hotel  

Monday, 7 January 2013

SWEETEST-SWEET POTATOES


I've unlocked the key to the perfect sweet potato dish! Mr. S is a HUGE fan of sweet potatoes, not regular potatoes, just sweet. Therefore, I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to cook them. On a Pinterest search I found it! Without much hint of a recipe, it was time to experiment.

So it was going to be just hubby and me for dinner, so it was time to put the picture to the test. I've now tested this a few times, and with a variety of guests, it was a hit, and I promise, not too complicated.

NB: When experimenting with a new/untested recipe, don't attempt to try it before six guests are walking through the front door, it's just less hassle to test it out a week before and then try the big reveal!

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 x large sweet potatoes, washed, with skin on
1/4 cup coconut flakes (you can use shredded if you have that)
1/4 coriander (cilantro), chopped
2 x shallots, chopped
1/4 pomegranate seeds
Salt and Pepper 
Alternative to pomegranate:
1/4 cup hazel nuts (and/or) almonds, roughly chopped
1 tsp maple syrup

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (405F). 
  2. Cut bot ends off the potato.
  3. Using a regular fork, poke holes in sweet potato (approx 20) around the whole potato.
  4. Place the two potatoes on a lined baking tray and place in the oven for 45mins - 1hour (depending on your oven). The best way to tell if they're ready is use a skewer and feel how easy it is to go through - they should be soft but not mushy. 
  5. While the potatoes are in the oven combine the coconut, coriander, shallots in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 
  6. When the potatoes are ready, cut an oval opening (use the side that was facing down), scrap off any of the sweet potato flesh into a bowl.
  7. Using tongs, scoop out most of the sweet potato flesh (from both) into the bowl and mash with a fork. 
  8. Gently place the mash back into the two whole-baked potatoes. 
  9. Sprinkle over the coriander mix and pomegranate seeds. 

Alternative to pomegranates:
  1. In a bowl mix nuts with the maple syrup. 
  2. Spread the mix on a lined baking tray, and cook in the oven for 5 mins. 
  3. Keep an eye on the nuts so they don't burn. 
  4. Once cooled, add to the coriander mix.

Complete meal suggestion (comment below if you would like the recipe to any of these):
Grilled chicken breast
Green salad with feta cheese
Oven roasted Brusselsprouts