Delicious Chocolate Macarons

By Tuesday, November 18, 2014 0 , , Permalink 0

Macarons11

My Son’s school had a Twilight Market on last Friday night. A letter went out to all the parents asking for baked goods to be donated for the Home Produce Stall. I decided to make Macarons, you know because they are just so damn easy to make!!! Pffft. I started baking the shells the day before the market & finished them later that same evening.

Macarons10
 I like to try and match up the shells prior to piping the ganache so they are similar in size.

Chocolate Macaron Shell

Ok, I have made them before and they do take a bit of time to make but I love Macarons & sometimes they work brilliantly and sometimes I have a whole mother load of macarons that I can eat because they just didn’t work. I have tried making the packaged versions. Once they worked and were awesome, although not enough of them. The second packaged batch I made was a different brand and absolute failure…I threw a tantrum. I bought the pack again and tried again and they failed again. No more packet mixes for me, they are full of shite that I would never put in my macarons anyway.

Chocolate Macaron ganache

So I took a risk and decided to try a new recipe. They worked really well and tasted delicious, of course I had to sample a few – just to be sure!!

chocolate macaron ganache

Chocolate macaron

Cellophane packaged macarons

I made up 45 in total (I think there were more but they weren’t pretty so ended up as ‘testers’!.) and put 5 to a cellophane bag with a cute ribbon & ingredients list. All 8 bags sold and I may…ok…I bought a bag of my own macarons and I am pleased to say they were the very last bag of my macarons! HIT!! yay!!

Cheers

Alex

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

By Monday, October 20, 2014 0 , , , Permalink 0

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

It’s October and that means we get to celebrate another Birthday! My Son celebrated his 6th Birthday this year and he requested an Angry Birds themed party.

We held his party at a playcentre – where the food & drinks were provided. I just needed to bring the cake. An Angry Birds cake.

I started baking on the Tuesday before the party and made 2 chocolate mud cakes. Wednesday sandwiched the 2 cakes together with a chocolate ganache centre and then I covered the cake in chocolate ganache. I was really wrapped with how the cake turned out at this stage…a very recent trip to the Cake, Bake & Sweets Show in Melbourne had me learning a few new tricks and taa daaa.

ChocolateMudCake

Thursday was covering the cake with fondant first with the white fondant and then secondly with the red & finally the face of ‘Red’. Sadly I didn’t take pictures of the inbetween stages…way to focussed on my goal to stop.

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Lastly I did all the fondant figures on Friday night. I also had my Husband print out Oliver’s name with the Angry Birds font and I cut that and over layed it onto fondant and used a knife to cut the lettering. It’s not the most neatest up close but from a distance it looked awesome and Oliver was really excited to see his name in “Angry Birds writing”.

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Angry Birds Cake

Now I will credit Pinterest for the ideas for the cake – that app / website is a gold mine of inspiration. I use it all the time to get ideas or just zone out.

Angry Birds Cake

It did take time to create but staggering the work over several days makes it so much easier and I always did any work on the cake at nights, only because I have kids that want to help. Ahhh yeah…lol.

If I were to change anything it would be the actual cake. It was a perfect Mud Cake but maybe using dark chocolate made it too bitter for the kids? I liked it and there is nothing worse than a cake that is sickly sweet, having said that you still need a glass of water after eating this cake.

Cheers

Alex

My trip to Mauritius

By Thursday, September 11, 2014 0 , , , Permalink 0

 

Mauritius

This is a huge post with heaps of pics of a recent trip that I took with my children. We went to the absolutely stunning island of Mauritius for a 3 week holiday. My Grandmother lives there & was about to celebrate her 80th Birthday so I thought it would be the perfect time to visit.

The flight was great, I actually was freaking out that my youngest would misbehave on the flight but she was a delight to travel with. They were both quiet on the flight and while sitting on the tarmac prior to take-off she asked “are we there yet” and “have we left earth” and “are we flying now”.

Flying Virgin to Perth

My daughter watching Tangled.

Air Mauritius

Our first flight left Melbourne & headed over to Perth roughly a 4hr flight. Then we transferred through to the international terminal to wait for our next flight from Perth to Mauritius which is about 8hrs. We left Melbourne at 7.30am and arrived in Mauritius at 7pm (ish) which I believe was about 1am Melbourne time. A very long day but we got to end it with some amazing Mauritian food.

Mauritian Food

Dhall Puri – My Number 1 favourite food of all time. Best bought on the street with all the yummy fillings.

Mauritian food

The 3 weeks was taken up spending time visiting family and driving around Mauritius to visit various beaches, the Botanical Gardens In Pamplemousses, waterfalls and even a tea plantation. Oh and we did the markets in Port Louis which was a bit unnerving to begin but a great experience.

The house we stayed out was 3 stories high with a pool & great views!

Flic en Flac

I saw this flower and was all…ohhh it’s beautiful & the colour is so rich.

Mauritius

Then saw the stem and was all…OMG…OMFG…thorn overkill.

Mauritius

We stayed in a private house in Flic en Flac that we booked for our whole family and despite being Winter the weather was amazing so the kids actually got to have a swim in the pool. My Brother insisted on buying fireworks so we were all treated to our very own fireworks show for a few nights in a row. A fantastic experience for my kids.

This small beach is up near the north of Mauritius.

Mauritius

I was wrapped that I was in one of my Summer dress in the middle of Winter. Amazing weather.

Mauritius

Inside the markets at Rose Hill.

Mauritius Rose Hill

Inside a fabric store at Rose Hill. I bought 6 metres of fabric for $300 rupees – About $10.00 AUS.

Mauritius Rose Hill

We also visited Chamarel which is where the 7 Coloured Sands is located. We walked around and took some pics of the coloured sand. Years and years ago you used to be able to walk on the sands (in the 80’s) and people would get bottles and jars and collect the sand to take home. Obviously now they don’t allow you to do that so that the area is preserved for future generations but it did get me wondering what all those people did with their 1 litre coke bottles full of sand. They sell test tubes filled with the coloured sand but I believe it’s not actually ‘THE’ coloured sands from Charmarel but instead it’s normal sand with coloured chalk. There were also some very big/old Tortoises that live at the 7 Sands and the kids were fascinated in them.

Waterfall at Chamarel. Moments before this pic was taken Arielle had a huge spew – car sickness.

Mauritius Chamarel

Mauritius Chamarel

Miss A was also taken to the Dr that morning because she had an ear infection – the antibiotics were just starting to kick in.

Mauritius 7 Sands

My wind swept hair.

Mauritius 7 Sands

There was a small kiosk selling food, it was too early for lunch so I got the kids cupcakes.
As I was ordering them I found out they were Pina Colada flavoured & came with tiny umbrellas on them! I doubt they were alcoholic.

Mauritius

The kids checking out the Tortoises.

Mauritius Tortoise

Across the road from the entrance to the 7 Sands is a new tourist destination ‘The Curious Corner of Chamarel which was a bit of fun for the kids –  we got some great pics. Over the sound system they were playing  Diana Ross ‘Upside Down’ & Lionel Ritchie ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’.

Mauritius Curious Corner

 

Mauritius Curious Corner

 

Mauritius Curious Corner

This was fun, posing for pics in a dodgy elevator!

Mauritius Curious Corner

My brother who is over 6ft tall is in this picture with my Son.

Mauritius Curious Corner

Miss A is bigger than Sir O.

Mauritius Curious Corner

One of the nights we went for dinner at The Beach Shack in Flic en Flac. We arrived with 15mins to spare before the end of Happy Hour. They didn’t give us menus or serve us until at least 20mins after sitting. Hmmm.

Mauritius Flic en Flac

Ok…so I ordered my cocktail.  I chose the ‘Wiki Waki Woo’. It’s their signature drink. I was keen to try it and I took a pic of what I got and tasted it but umm yeah. Until about half way through the drink my future Sister in Law comments that her drink doesn’t taste right. YUP…they have given her my drink & me her drink. I wasn’t impressed and they were so slack with service that I never actually got a chance to order it again and actually find out if it was any good. Meh.

Mauritius Flic en Flac My most favourite beach in the whole world Flic en Flac. It’s becoming too commercialised now so I think the beach I loved from my previous visits to Mauritius is soon to be gone.

Mauritius Flic en Flac

The kids on Flic en Flac.

Mauritius Flic en Flac

A family selfie on Flic en Flac.

Flic en Flac

A trip to Le Caudan Waterfront & they had this cute display of umbrellas.

Mauritius Le Caudan

We had lunch at the Sunset Cafe. They had a great little kids menu that came with a burger, chips, drink & ice cream. My Daughter ordered an apple juice. Let me tell you I was so freakin excited that it was a real life freshly squeezed apple juice. The real deal and she was drinking it & kept saying it was yummy. No over processed crappy sugar water but REAL apple juice.

Sunset Cafe Mauritius

Then I got super excited…I ordered a cocktail ‘Le Pirate’ and guess what REAL FREAKIN JUICE. It totally took this drink to a whole other level. It was amazing and I should have ordered another but with heaps of shopping to do & the heat…yeah. Brilliant cocktail.

Sunset Cafe Mauritius

Heading towards the markets in Port Louis.

Mauritius Port Louis

We went to visit the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens and again the weather was perfect. I would have loved to have walked around all the interior of this lovely colonial building.

Mauritius Botanical Garden

The giant water lillies. They were still opening up, so didn’t look so giant.

Mauritius

How amazing is this tree. It reminds me of Medusa or dreadlocks on a Rastafarian.

Mauritius

Walking along the path with the shade from the amazingly tall palms.

Mauritius

My babies!

Mauritius

My brother playing with fireworks. This is one of those things we do when we go to Mauritius. Usually it’s at Christmas time so every store is selling fireworks. I am sure eventually this will be something that will become regulated.

Mauritius

We had huge fireworks to play with. I must have grown up since I was last in Mauritius because I stayed far away from them. I used to be the ring leader, with the most amount of crackers and lighting them at stupid times.

Mauritius

Trou aux Cerf is located in Curepipe – it’s an extinct volcano. My kids heard we were going to a volcano & my Son asked where was the lava. Ahhh…

Mauritius

Swimming…in Winter…in Mauritius…because it’s too warm!!

Mauritius

We had tea at the Bois Cheri Tea Factory. We also had amazing crepes with banana & caramel. yum!

Mauritius

Selfie with the view from Bois Cheri Tea Factory.

Mauritius Bois Cheri

I still can’t get over this tea pot. If it seriously is from 1645 then I am just stoked that it was just sitting there in the museum at Bois Cheri, inside a protective little glass box. I want!!

Mauritius

We visited Alexandra Falls and this was the view (My Uncle taking it all in!).

Mauritius

Quick stop for coffee and I had to get some Napolitaines. I LOVE these biscuits. RS12.00 is about $0.45 AUS.

Mauritius

The most amazing tree at St Felix beach.

Mauritius

More of St Felix.

Mauritius

The beach has heaps of these really sharp bits of coral.

Mauritius

On a clear day this beach would be amazing.

Mauritius

I took this picture as we were heading home in the car. Looking North towards Le Morne (I think!).

Mauritius

Setting sun over Flic en Flac & the sugar cane fields (that sadly are disappearing to make room for apartments).

Mauritius

My two were wrecked from all that travelling & sight seeing.

Mauritius

I celebrated my Birthday while we were in Mauritius. We took another trip to the markets in Rose Hill. I picked up more fabric & got these rip off Ray Bans for the kids. They were happy.

Mauritius

We had Nandos for lunch and I got this non-alcholic cocktail. It was pomegranate syrup & lemonade and was actually quite nice.

Mauritius

The day before  we left my Aunt & Uncle took us to a place somewhere between Rose Hill & Quatre Bournes to have “boulette” or dumplings or if you are my 3 yr old “dumperlings”. Of course once we got there she didn’t want “dumperlings” she wanted noodles.

Mauritius

Farewell lovely Mauritius. Our last day in paradise and still the weather was amazing.

Mauritius

The view towards Flic en Flac from my Aunt’s apartment in Phoenix.

Mauritius

Of course a trip to Mauritius isn’t complete without a bowl of fish soup. This was amazing. I had two bowls and over ate and then felt uncomfortable for the rest of the evening…which meant our flight home. Still…it was worth it.

Mauritius

Coming home was hard, our flight didn’t leave Mauritius until 10.55pm and I woke up earlier that day at 6.30am so a full day awake and then we boarded our flight which landed in Perth local time 9.30am – about 4am Mauritius time and I had about 1 maybe 2 hours of sleep on the flight and then had to stay awake ALL day until we arrived in Melbourne at 7.30pm (1pm Mauritius time) so I was a little bit cookoo by the end of the flight. I think I might have crashed out for 30 mins on the Perth-Melb flight – I also may have high fived the guys at the domestic terminal that check your hand luggage just before the area where the gates are.

Anyway…that’s it for international holidays for this year and possibly for the foreseeable future. I am desperate to get my kitchen / laundry / bathroom updated so it’s time to start saving for that!!

Cheers

Alex

 

It’s another Frozen cake

By Monday, July 28, 2014 1 , , , Permalink 0

In April it was my Daughter’s 3rd Birthday. Yes she is crazy about Frozen and yes she asked for a Frozen cake and YES I made one.

My cake making mojo decided that it was the perfect time to bugger off and so what would normally take me a few days to bake & decorate took almost 1 week. I made about 6 cakes and they were all crap. I even weighed butter for one of the cakes but didn’t realise that the scales were resting up against my blender and it was adding 300gms more…so that cake had a shite load of butter.

Fondant snowflakes (I used a plunger cookie cutter) in white

fondant snowflakesAnd in blue.

blue fondant snowflakes

I had pinned heaps of frozen themed cakes and parties on Pinterest and also in this world void of anything Frozen related managed to find a whole set of Frozen cake toppers on Ebay that had Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Olaf, Kristoph, Prince whats-his-face and the Deer one (having watching Frozen over eleventy billion times I am surprised that both those two characters names aren’t FROZEN into my brain!).

The top layer of the cake is all covered.

Disney Frozen cakeFondant in hand I covered my cakes and also found this awesome recipe online for making a sugar version of ‘Breaking Bad’ blue meth – not the real stuff the fake stuff that they would use on the show. So I figured if I could make that and and break it into shards and stick it around the cake and on top then it has that icy thing going on.

Awesome, so I got all the bits together and the night before her party was up until 1am putting all the finishing touches to her cake.

Disney Frozen cakeUnfortunately the pics aren’t the best quality..but you get the idea.

Disney Frozen cakeIn the morning my Husband wakes me to tell me my cake is broken. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Yes!

Disney Frozen cake

 

Disney Frozen cakeThe crystal shards at the top of the cake had bent over and then stuck to the fondant icing at the top. He didn’t want to touch it and left it for me to handle.

Sigh!

I tried to fix it and it made everything worse.

Disney Frozen cakeLucky for me I had a piping bag full of royal icing and so I made another quick batch of blue sugar ice crystals and cracked some new shards to add to the cake. They melted again but by that stage the party was in full swing and no one actually realised that there was a ‘cake issue’. One of my friends said she thought it was supposed to be that way.

Anyway…here is the finished cake in all it’s glory. My daughter didn’t see the cake with the characters on it until about 1hr before her party. The look on her face and her saying over and over that “this is the best party I have ever had” made my day. She is happy…and I was happy!

Disney Frozen cakeThe cake toppers are her ‘friends’ now. She plays with them and only this morning we almost lost Olaf at school drop off. YIKES!

 

Cheers

Alex

Luna 1878 Melbourne’s winter night markets

By Sunday, August 11, 2013 1 , , , Permalink 0

I found a post on my facebook feed stating that Melbourne was having a night market called Luna 1878. A NIGHT MARKET IN MELBOURNE IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER. Ahhh ok.

So I dug around (click links really…no digging as if I would dig in this stupid cold weather!!) and found out that Winter markets were being held in Melbourne on Wednesday nights for the month of August.

Ok, so why not check it out. Brilliant idea!

It was a nice day so I figured I would pick my son from kinder and then we could make our way into the city, maybe go visit my Husband at his office so the kids to see the view of Melbourne from way up high and then we would go to the Queen Victoria Markets where the markets are being held.

It rained.

It rained a lot.

It poured with rain and the traffic was shocking.

It took over an hour to get to Collins street from our home and we sat on Hoddle Street for a lifetime after driving on the Eastern Freeway in the pouring rain with one fabulous driver that figured lots of rain meant they could drive 60kms on the freeway that most people are doing 100/90kms (the rain was falling but visibility was still ok). An accident just waiting to happen.

Vent over. We get to the city and it’s raining. Still.

Melbourne Australia

We took the kids up to level 45 so they could see the view and by this stage it’s dark so all the lights were on way down below and it was great. They loved it. They could see the trains pulling into Flinders Street Station and cars on all the various roads.

Melbourne Australia

Soon enough we pulled the kids from the windows and headed back to the car & on our way to QVM. We found parking and headed towards the markets and it was great. Despite the crappy weather (well…what do you expect in the middle of winter) it was well protected so I didn’t feel the cold.

They had big open fire pits for people to sit around and get warm.

Luna 1878 Melbourne

The smells of food was amazing, there were so many amazing choices and I would pick something and go…”yep, eating that” only to change my mind about 10 seconds later.

The Soup Factory.
Luna 1878 Melbourne

How yum do these stacks of cob loaves look @The Soup Factory.

Luna 1878 MelbourneSeñor BBQ – was going to get this…

Luna 1878 Melbourne

Ok, changed my mind…having a Philly Cheesesteak instead…

Luna 1878 Melbourne

Oh hang on…Filipino BBQ

Luna 1878 MelbourneMy Son wanted a burger so we got him a slider with a meatball from The Meatball Company and I got one as well.

Luna 1878 MelbourneThe Meatball Company – check out those pans & all those meatballs

Luna 1878 Melbourne

While we were waiting Miss A & I took a selfie.

Nightmarkets11These are the meatball sliders with fries that we settled on.

Luna 1878 Melbourne

Luna 1878 Melbourne

We had to get dessert of course – can’t remember the name of the guy doing the pancakes & I didn’t take any pics but these pancakes were delicious & fluffy and moreish. Covered with chocolate custard & ricotta it was perfect to eat & share with each other.

Luna 1878 Melbourne

Then the fighting started. My Son would have a drink then my Daughter wanted a drink and backwards and forwards it went before we called it a night and decided on another quick lap before leaving.

They had these pallet type tables set up to eat on as well as tables & bench seats.

Luna 1878 MelbourneNice Moroccan style lamps that were scattered throughout the markets & would change colours.

Luna 1878 Melbourne

Vintage Garage were there – why didn’t I see this when we arrived. Meltdowns are in progress, you can stop them once they start at this hour so I didn’t get a chance to browse their goodies.

Luna 1878 Melbourne

What’s this….COCKTAILS!!!!!!!!

Luna 1878 Melbourne

My super vision kicked in and the writing was on the wall (so to speak!!).

Luna 1878 Melbourne

Oh well, just have to grab one to taste and it was ok. Heaps of ice and on a cold rainy night it just didn’t work. I still drank it. While my daughter screamed because she wanted some and I didn’t give her any.

Green Apple Mojito

Luna 1878 Melbourne

So we had to hunt down a non-alcoholic drink. We bought one and wowser…$5.00.

Nightmarkets14

More fighting & screaming & crying. She thought it was all for her, he wanted some, she didn’t want to share. Sigh.

Luna 1878 Melbourne

We went home.

Oh did I mention the silent disco….yeah…ahhh…I think you get headphones and then you can dance, without bothering the neighbours.

Nightmarkets16

Excuse me while I silently giggle.

Overall it was fun – something to do in the middle of Winter on a school night. I am a Summer girl so the Suzuki Summer Markets are my first choice – it’s hot, icy drinks rock, there is still light at 9pm. I could go on but will save it for Summer time.

Night night my beautiful boy <3.

Nightmarkets17

 

Cheers

Alex

Birthday dinner

My Husband recently celebrated his birthday and chose to go out for dinner to our vey favourite Japanese Restaurant The New Yamagata Restaurant in Doncaster East.

We have a pre-schooler & toddler so we arrived early – 6pm so we could order, feed the ferrets & get out before they become over tired (sigh…how I long for the nights when you could eat dinner at 9pm!!).

I always order a Japanese Slipper when we eat here and I studied this version, especially after my stuffed up Japanese Slipper last week. This version is much sweeter than mine and I think….huge think…it’s sweetened with lemonade and not lemon juice. Although there are no bubbles on the inside of the glass, you get that distinct tingle on your tongue? Who knows either way it’s nice and sweet and a little too easy to drink.

Japanese Slipper cocktail

The second way too easy to drink cocktail I had was the Strawberry Margarita. Ahhh another very sweet cocktail with chunks of real strawberry in it and a bit of crushed ice. It was delicious and both of these cocktails were only $10.00.

Strawberry Margarita Cocktail

Finally with my dinner I stopped with the cocktails and went traditional and had the house Sake – served warm. My parents were with us and Mum tried some sake and pulled the ‘yukky’ face. She sipped it rather than throw it back (scull it – whatever you call it).

Japanese Sake Warm

We ordered the Yamagata special – sushi boat. Who doesn’t love a sushi boat, unfortunately we half devoured it before I got a chance to take some pics. Yum. The kids were keen to get stuck into all that sushi & sashimi.

Japanese Sushi Boat

Oh and it’s incredibly immature of me but I…snigger snigger I can’t help myself I look for mistakes on menus. Stupid things like misspelled words…ahhh typos. So, yeah…I know it’s stupid and childish but it kept me laughing.

Finally, something for the Vagetarians of the world. tee hee.

Menu typo

My Husband gots some bits & pieces for his camera so I jumped at the chance to have some pics of the outfit I wore. My Hell Bunny Vixen ‘Melanie’ bolero dress. I bought this on sale (can’t remember where from) a while ago and a combination of Winter & limited places to wear it out means this is the very first time I wore it out.

Also took my very cute vintage beaded purse out for the first time.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero Dress

I teamed it with a cropped cardi that I bought before Winter from Target and one of my op shop finds, the snowdrop brooch.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressI was watching the cat when this pic was taken.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressThe Hell Bunny Vixen ‘Melanie’ Bolero dress without my cardi.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressGetting tired and the giggles start.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressI was talking to the cat, he yawned at me.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero Dress

Oh and because it is cold I took The Alpaca out again. I can’t stop going on about how much I love this coat. The only reason I have for liking Winter is this coat…ahhh The Alpaca!!!

Collar down on The Alpaca.

Swing Coat AlpacaCollar up and this coat really is the best!

Swing Coat Alpaca

Cheers
Alex

Dinner at San Telmo

We had member of my family come to Melbourne from interstate this week and decided that another dinner was on the cards. We chose San Telmo for dinner and oh…what’s this…they serve cocktails…nooooo. What a surprise!!

I have eaten at Sal Telmo before & really enjoyed it. I love empanadas and love alfajores so as long as I get a serve of both then I am happy.

What to have…what to have!!!

San Telmo cocktails

When we arrived I checked out their cocktail menu and ordered the Malvinas Island Ice Tea. I really enjoyed this cocktail, you see on my way into the city it just so happened that Liverpool FC were in Melbourne. So the city was packed (the MCG had 95,000 people watching the friendly game between Liverpool FC and Melbourne Victory) so I had to park the car in a carpark on Little Collins Street, walk to Collins Street then walk to Lonsdale Street and then to Meyers Place which is kinda near Little Collins Street. My point is with all that walking (in heels!!!!) I was tired and hot so my Malvinas Island Ice Tea was the perfect drink to start with.

Malvinas Island Ice Tea (see my cute vintage glass beaded purse!!)

San Telmo cocktails

I drank it a little too quickly. To top things off I had a visit to the Dentist earlier in the day so was in pain & absolutely had to take a panadeine for pain relief, so adding a cheeky cocktail or three helped totally knock out that pain.

Once we were seated at our table I ordered a La Cumparsita. This cocktail blew my mind. Amazing. I had a sip and wished it was served in this glass to the brim. WOW. It was all coffee and caramel and ohhhhhh. So easy to drink and I would have ordered another but I planned on going to sleep later.

La Cumparsita – AHHHmazing cocktail.

San Telmo cocktails

I decided on a final cocktail. Pisco Sour, again another classic cocktail that I can tick off my list of ‘cocktails to try’. This was so nice and a drink that would great in the warmer months.

Pisco Sour – another very tasty cocktail

San Telmo cocktails

Overall I loved all the cocktails that I tried tonight, they are pricey but most cocktails are these days. I can appreciate the effort that goes into making them but I just wish I could have that La Cumparsita cocktail filled in a huge glass!!!

Mmmm Alfajore. Ohh Dulce de leche

San Telmo dessertsMousse de Chocolate

San Telmo dessertsTarta de queso (Cheesecake with poached seasonal fruit & honeycomb)

San Telmo desserts

 

Cheers

Alex

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had one of those ‘need something chocolately to eat’ cravings so I decided to make some cookies. I usually make these really yummy choc-chip & cranberry cookies but I was silly enough to mention it to my 4yr old son who was quick to ask that no cranberries be added because he “doesn’t like sultanas”. Ha ha. He then proceeded to harass me for the next hour asking where the cookies were. I know for next time – keep it a secret until they are made or being made.

So I made them without “sultanas” and yeah…they were ok but not as good at the version with cranberries. I have listed the recipe below and if you want to add cranberries the replace one of the cups of oatmeal with cranberries that have been roughly chopped.

I am a big fan of chewy cookies & they seem to disappear in this house…I swear it’s not me!

The butter, brown sugar & caster sugar all ready to be mixed

ChocChip01My KitchenAid mixing it up

ChocChip02

It’s mesmerising watching the paddle go around and around

ChocChip03

About to add the egg – I was smart enough (ha) to not take any pics of the egg & vanilla going in.

ChocChip04

So because there is no pic of the egg & vanilla I give you a pic of it combined & you can see the difference in colour – it’s much lighter & creamy

ChocChip05

Sift your flour & baking powder over the egg & butter mixture

ChocChip06

Add your oatmeal & chocolate chips

ChocChip07

Oooh cookie dough…omm nom nom

ChocChip08

All ready for the oven

ChocChip09

Oooh so yummy especially when they are fresh out of the oven (let them cool a little!)

ChocChip10

 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (I got this recipe online somewhere, I just have no idea where so if you read this and go OMG MY RECIPE IS ON SOMEONE ELSES INTERWEBS, then thank you for a great recipe & my apologies – I didn’t credit you with this amazing recipe.)

Makes – heaps…depends on whether you measure these or just roughly guess.

INGREDIENTS

150gms Unsalted butter @ room temperature
80gms (1/2 cup) brown sugar lightly packed
100gm (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 egg @ room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
150gm (1 cup) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
180gm (2 cups) rolled oats
150gm choc chips

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius & line baking trays with non stick paper.

Use electric beaters to beat the butter & combined sugars until pale & creamy.

Add egg & vanilla and beat until well combined.

Sift flour & baking powder over the butter & egg mixture. Add oats & choc chips and stir until combined.

Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on lined trays. Flatten lightly.

Bake for 12-15mins or until golden.

 

If you want to add cranberries to these cookies replace 1 cup of the oatmeal with dried cranberries.

 

Enjoy

Alex

Gin Martini

Yay! My first cocktail post.

 

It’s Friday!!

I don’t drink during the week and save myself for 1 or 2 drinks on a Friday evening with dinner.
Tonight I decided it’s only fitting that I should make my very first cocktail post be a Gin Martini.
I don’t drink them as often as I used to but I still really enjoy slowly sipping on a martini. In particular I really love a dirty martini with 3 olives. A friend of mine introduced me to the dirty martini many years ago. 3 olives are important because it’s kinda like having a meal with your drink. Ha ha!
So, I have listed the recipe I have used below and to make it dirty just add a teaspoon or two (to taste, I guess) of the brine that the olives are sitting in.
I prefer to have something to snack on (other than the olives!) while I drink so tonight I made cheats nachos with guacamole & sour cream.
I have ice & my martini ingredients inside my cocktail shaker.
martini3
Gin Martini Recipe
45ml gin
15ml vermouth
5ml olive brine/olive juice (the stuff the olives were soaking in before you yanked them out of the jar!!!)
Method
Pop some ice in your martini glass if you haven’t chilled it in the fridge already, once you have made up your martini the ice gets the toss and your glass should be nice & cool.
Over ice (more ice) in a cocktail shaker pour all your ingredients. **DON’T SHAKE!** This will break up the ice and water down your martini. Just a gentle stir and then strain it into your ice less martini glass.
martini1
Pop your olives onto a toothpick, toothpick with olives goes into the martini glass and enjoy…responsibly. You have to get up tomorrow and too many of these bad boys will mean a very sore head tomorrow.
See the 3 cheeky olives!!!
martini2
Now for my cheats nachos. This is not a gourmet recipe, this is a slap it together quick meal with extremely stupidly high calorie count and is to be shared with friends or family.
Cheats Nachos
1 bag of your choice of corn chips – I used Doritos
1 jar of salsa – I used the Doritos brand
Jalapeños – The pickled version (you can find them near the olive section in the supermarket)
Cheeeeeese – I had pizza cheese in the fridge so I used that.
Method
Heat the oven, I give it a good 200 degrees Celsius to heat up and then when the nachos are ready to be put in the oven I drop it down to 180/160.
In a heat proof dish, add the corn chips, then add the jar of salsa using a spoon to distribute the salsa evenly.
nachos1
Add the Jalapeños (I cut them to smaller pieces) and then smother with cheese.
nachos2
Stick it in the oven for about 5-10mins – keep your eye on it because the corn chips will burn. If you have a grill option in your oven you may want to turn that on to brown/melt the cheese, but please don’t leave it unattended.
I added homemade guacamole to the nachos when they were out of the oven (mash together avocado+salt+pepper+lime juice+tabasco sauce+chopped coriander) and some sour cream.
nachos3
It’s hot so don’t start scoffing it yet, please let it cool down a little.
Cheers
Alex