Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

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Winter is heeeeeeere! I know it’s a faux pas to talk about the weather too much but as a chronic warm-body winter is the only time of year I can stand having more than one layer on. It also means we can bust out Coco’s extensive collection of dog jumpers and now she’s too old to put up a fight (15, yo).

The only problem with winter is that my breakfast smoothies become slightly less appealing due to the can’t-feel-my-fingers-any-more factor. These cookies are an awesome make-ahead option that you can chuck in your bag to munch on before work/school/ sitting at home watching Glee etc. (DON’T JUDGE ME!).

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If you go with frozen blueberries use them straight from the freezer, don’t let them sit around at room temperature for too long. This will make them more likely to leak colour and make your cookies grey, but it won’t affect their flavour.

Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Only slightly adapted from Blueberry Breakfast Cookies over at How Sweet It Is.

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

115g dark choc chips

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 large egg

2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp milk

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and choc chips.

In a medium bowl whisk together the banana, egg, butter, coconut oil, milk and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.

Add the blueberries and barely mix them in (otherwise the colour of the blueberries will make your cookies go grey).

Drop 2 tbsp of mixture at a time onto the baking tray (I use my mini ice cream scoop) leaving at least 2 cm to allow for spreading.

Bake for 12-15 minutes then allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray.

Repeat until all of the mixture is used.

Cookies can be stored for up to 5 days.

Tropical Smoothie

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This week we’ll be eating:

Spicy Beans + Cornbread

General Tso’s Chicken

Beijing Fried Sauce Noodles

Crispy Sassage Stir Fry

Satay Chicken

I’m especially keen for the Spicy Beans, any recipe from The Pioneer Woman is going to be hearty and delicious. I couldn’t find pinto beans so I’ll be using black-eyed beans instead.  I missed the menu for this week because the Boyfriend and I were galavanting around the coast visiting his parents. By galavanting of course I mean I didn’t leave the house and watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta for two days straight. We both got the Monday off which turned it into a luxurious three day weekend and considering I haven’t even had a two day weekend for a while it was even more welcome.

I don’t have a good segue for getting into this smoothie, it’s just delicious, refreshing and tastes like a holiday. Coconut extract is an easy way to get flavour in there but you could use coconut milk instead of water if you prefer. Adjust the amount of liquid to make the consistency thicker or thinner, I go for a thinner smoothie because I chug it quickly before leaving for work

Tropical Smoothie

2 cups chopped mango, frozen

1 banana, peeled and frozen

1 cup chopped pineapple

1 orange, peeled and de-seeded

1/2 – 1 tsp coconut extract

1/4 cup oats

Place all of the ingredients with a blender, fill with water half-way up the fruit and puree until smooth.

Taste add more coconut extract if desired, mix briefly if adding anything.

Serve immediately.

 

 

Mango Passionfruit Smoothie

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The internet is back! We would have had it sooner but our set up was timed perfectly with a nation-wide problem setting up cable internet for Telstra. Moving house went well, despite jettisoning half our worldly goods due to lack of storage space. A bit of perspective helped, looking at an object that has sat in your garage for four years unused, you have to be realistic about the exact same thing happening in the new house. My kitchen stayed mostly intact, I have all of my essentials and it’s lucky that the kitchen has the only cupboards to be found in the house. My sister and her boyf purchased an amazing kitchen island from Ikea that is the new home for my kitchen appliances, with space for two stools on the opposite side. I’m still adjusting to the COMPLETELY NORMAL OVEN that doesn’t burn the base of everything. The first time I put something in to bake without two trays protecting it I broke out in a sweat (or was that just the charming Queensland weather?). The blender once again has a permanent place on the counter for my daily breakfast smoothie and this is the recipe that I will be making for as long as I can get my paws mangoes.

5 passionfruits might seem a little excessive but what’s the point of putting them in if you can’t taste them? I add the lemon juice because I like everything to be sour but leave it out if you like your mango beverages sweet.

Mango Passionfruit Smoothie

pulp of 5 passionfruits

1 orange, skin and pith removed

juice of 1/2 lemon

flesh of 2 mangoes, frozen

big handful of kale

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp psyllium husk

3 tbsp rolled oats

Combine all ingredients in a blender and add enough cold water to just cover everything.

Blend until completely smooth and serve immediately (this does make a lot, sometimes I keep a cup of it for breakfast the next day and it keeps quite well).

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream + Places to Visit in Perth

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I’m back from Perth! It was a whirlwind of brunches and family parties, with sooo much good food. We made repeat appearances at Ootong and Lincoln and I drank the tastiest Iced Coffee of my life at Typika, not to mention their insane Pulled Pork Quesadillas with Salsa (hopefully I will have a copy cat recipe up at some point).

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We had Tomato and Chilli Mussels at Little Creatures and ate Arepa’s and freshly fried Donuts at the Freo Markets. I tried the Hashbrown with Poached Eggs at the Little Stove Cafe and at The Roasting Warehouse I absolutely monstered the Cornbread with Maple Bacon, Poached Eggs and Salsa (this one would be super easy at home).

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This ice cream recipe is un-related to my trip to Perth (I didn’t get any photos of my food over there). It’s crazy easy and delicious, make it for the person in your life who can never get enough cheesecake.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Cheesecake Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop.

Strawberry Swirl:

2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries

1 cup caster sugar

Combine the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil for 5-8 minutes (until it reaches 105 C).

Allow to cool slightly then push through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

Cover with cling film (press the cling film on to the surface of the syrup to prevent condensation) and chill completely in the fridge before using.

Ice Cream:

250g cream cheese

1 lemon

1 cup greek yoghurt or sour cream

1/4 cup thickened cream

1/4 cup milk

2/3 cup sugar

big pinch of salt

Cut the cream cheese into small pieces then place in a blender.

Zest the lemon directly into the blender then add all of the other ingredients and puree until completely smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with cling film (pressing it onto the surface of the mixture) then chill thoroughly in the fridge.

Churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions, then transfer to a 1L container in alternating layers with the Strawberry Swirl.

Chill for at least 4 hours before eating.

If you have any extra Strawberry Swirl then add it to the ice cream as you eat it.

Creamy Lime Bars

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A pattern might emerge if you were to browse over my recipes and it would look a little somethin’ like this. Limes. Sweetened condensed milk. More limes. More sweetened condensed milk. What can I say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’ve also used lemons for this recipe and they’re just as tasty. The original recipe calls for 4 egg yolks in the filling but the thought of accumulating 4 egg whites every time I baked this would keep me up at night. I did a bit of interwebbing and it looked like a pretty safe bet to swap the egg yolks for 2 whole eggs and hooray, it worked! (Ainsley doesn’t deal well with failure, people). The lime isn’t shy in this recipe but the sweetened condensed milk provides the perfect balance. I’ve been using my ‘special’ oven for so long now that I’ve forgotten how normal ovens function, mine gets a bit overzealous and burns the bottom of stuff before the top is cooked so I protect everything I put in there with 2 baking pans, I even had to go up to 4 for the second bake in this recipe. If your oven is normal then you probably just need to slip one baking tray under your slice tin for the second bake.

Creamy Lime Bars

Adapted from Creamy Lemon Squares over at Martha Stewart.

Base:

115g butter, room temperature

1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup plain flour

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a 8 X 8 slice tin with baking paper.

Beat the butter, sugar and salt together with an electric beater until light and fluffy.

Add the flour and mix on low until just combined.

Press the dough evenly into the slice tin and press it up the sides around 1/2 inch, prick all over with a fork.

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.

Filling:

2 large eggs

1 tin (395g) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup fresh lime juice (around 3-4 limes)

2 tsp vanilla essence

Whisk together all of the ingredients then pour onto the hot crust and bake for a further 25 minutes (I place extra baking trays underneath the pan to prevent the base from burning underneath).

Allow to cool completely in the tin then refrigerate until chilled, take out of the pan and cut into 16 pieces (or smaller if you would like).

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Crumble Topping

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Do you feel like something is missing for your life? Is there a hole in your heart that you can’t fill? Chances are you’ve been waiting your whole life for this crumble topping and you didn’t even know it. It crisps up in the oven and tastes like donuts (on account of the cinnamon), team that up with juicy berries and banana, it’s kind of a big deal. I don’t even like banana but when it gets cosy with crumble topping and blueberries I can start to see its better qualities. This is basically the same as the Blueberry Muffins that I posted a while back with the small addition of bananas and the not so small addition of the crumble topping (I can’t stress enough how good the topping is, I’m never making muffins again without it). The only problem is that the topping goes a bit soft after the first day, so eat them up up as fast as possible.

This is the first chance since getting back from Melbourne to share all the places that we ended up going to. First there was Half Moon and Rumi, the best Middle Eastern food that has ever found it’s way into my mouth. Saturday I hung with a pal who was a local and she took me to The Grub Food Van and Valhalla Social Cinema for a screening of the sci-fi classic Rollerball (just one movie of a 10 hour marathon but we didn’t have the stamina for more than one movie) then we met up with The Boyfriend and a friend of his for a Korean feast at Oriental Spoon. Sunday was breakfast at a little cafe on Lygon St (I can’t remember its name!), lunch was ramen and gyoza at Hakata Gensuke Ramen, we tried the God Fire, level 2 and it was the perfect level of heat. Of course we made the trip to Haigh’s and loaded up with truffles, peppermint frogs and chocolate coated hazelnuts, then we needed a sit-down so we took all of our chocolate to the movies and saw Guardians of the Galaxy, if you haven’t seen it yet I can highly recommend it (think Andy from Parks and Recreation getting up to hijinks in space to an amazing soundtrack). Sunday dinner was at Spice Temple and it was some of the most inspiring Chinese food I’ve ever eaten (lettuce hearts and Chinese ham stir-fried in XO sauce!). Monday breakfast we took a group of 9 people to The Hardware Societe and somehow managed to get a table (this place is so popular it was a small miracle) and we ate what was basically a charcuterie platter with eggs to make it breakfast acceptable, a stroke of genius. Lunch was ramen again because IT IS THAT GOOD. Then home again after the best long weekend of my life, I swear we ate so much that I wasn’t properly hungry the whole time we were there.

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Crumble Topping

Adapted from Banana Walnut Muffins over at Rachel Schultz and Blueberry Crumb Cake over at Smitten Kitchen.

Crumble Topping:

1/3 cup plain flour

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

55g butter, room temperature

Place all of the ingredients together in a bowl then rub the butter into the mixture until it is completely combined and resembles wet sand.

Muffins:

2 cups plain flour

1 cup caster sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

4 tbsp butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 1/4 cups frozen or fresh blueberries (more if you’re a berry fiend)

Preheat oven to 175 C.

Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan combine milk and butter, warm over a low heat until the butter is just melted.

Add vegetable oil, vanilla essence, eggs and bananas to the milk mixture and whisk well.

Add wet mixture into the dry and mix until just combined, then fold in the blueberries gently to avoid turning your batter grey.

Divide the batter between the 12 liners and sprinkle each one with 2 tbsp of the crumble topping.

Bake for 25-30 mins, until muffins are light brown.

Strawberry Ice Cream (No Churn!)

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Here is an easy one for you to try this weekend, no ice cream machine required. What am I doing this weekend? I’m going to Melbourne, woop woop! 4 days of eating out for every meal and no cooking, how will I cope?! (No really, I go a bit crazy when I can’t cook). The Boyfriend and I weren’t content with winging it foodwise, although the food scene in Melbourne is so good that you can just walk into a random restaurant and it’s likely to be awesome. We planned and booked all the places that we’ve seen on cooking and travel shows that made us dribble a little. There’s Rumi, Half Moon, Lucy Liu and Spice Temple to name a few. If there is radio silence over the weekend it’s because I’ll be in a constant food coma and unable to use technology properly.

Strawberry Ice Cream (No Churn!)

Adapted from The World’s Easiest Homemade Ice Cream Recipe over at Redfly Creations.

1 cup strawberry puree

1 cup plain yoghurt (I used Greek)

1 tin (395g) sweetened condensed milk

pinch of salt

lemon juice to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together, starting off with 1 tsp of lemon juice, tasting and adding more for preference.

Transfer to a 750ml capacity container and freeze overnight.