Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Picnic’ Category

Sushi seems to be my go-to cheap lunch for work days. Orrr non-work days really. hehehe.

Truth is, I used to hate sushi. I actually had a gag reflex whenever I tried it. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THAT! 

Now, somehow, I love it, am possibly obsessed with it and spend too much money on it. Thus, came my desire to make my own! 😀

I watched lotsa youtube movies and read many recipes to come up with my own. It really is super easy and the options of fillings are endless. I opted for easy cucumber, avocado, capsicum this time; but tempura pumpkin is my favourite! Check out this blog post for sweet ideas!

Here goes:

500mL sushi rice* (2 cups)

600mL water

75mL rice vinegar

10mL sugar

5mL salt

nori sheets

vegies for the filling, thinly sliced

wasabi

soy sauce

sushi mat
sushi buddy
THE RICE: 

Rinse rice in a colander for a good five minutes until the water running off is entirely clear. Leave to drain for 1 hour.

In a heavy saucepan, place measured water and rice and bring to a boil.

Once boiled, turn down to lowest setting, place the lid on top and set the timer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat but DO NOT OPEN THE LID! Let the rice steam for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together your vinegar, sugar and salt and microwave for 30 seconds until all dissolved.

Now grab a big bowl (wooded is best, but I used glass), dump the rice in and spread it out with a wooden spoon/sushi paddle and get your sushi buddy ready with a fan (we used a placemat)! Carefully spoon the vinegar mixture all over the rice as your sushi buddy fans and you cut and move the rice around – being careful not to break up the grains or damage any of your hard work!

Continue to fan/move rice until it reaches room temperature – about 5 minutes (depending on how good your sushi-buddy’s fanning skills are).

LETS ROLL:

(mmm don’t use this much filling)

et voila!

Roughly divide your rice into four parts – this will make 4 large sushi rolls.


Get your nori sheet and lay it shiny side down on your sushi mat. Using wet hands place 1/4 of the rice on your sheet and spread it out evenly, pressing it down hard and leaving 5cms at the top for rolling/sealing.

Rub a tiny squeeze of wasabi across the middle of the rice for extra joy. Layer your vegies in the centre of the rice.

Wet the opposite end of the nori a little to help it to stick to the roll. Using the sushi mat, roll the nori over the filling and pull back to form a tight circle. Proceed to roll the nori all the way to the end and squeeze to seal.

Make sense?!

NOW:

Invite all of your friends over for a sushi party and as you place your sushi platter on the table scream

“I MADE THIS, GUYS, I MADE THIS!” ; )


Tipstips:

*The only thing I would change for next time would be to buy real Japanese brand sushi rice, as mine was expensive for how much I actually got in the end.

Also, mine tasted more like authentic sushi after a few hours in the fridge – the nori was still quite dry and crispy before that allowed time.

Read Full Post »

 

 

It was my birthday a little while ago and all I asked of Muffin was to bake me the greatest cake in the world.
THAT’S IT!

Now.. he is a trained chef, so it wasn’t too much to ask, but this was quite seriously the first cake he had EVER baked at home..  (Which I personally find hilarious!) He even photographed the whole process so I could blog about it! Naww! This one’s a keeper.

So, did he fulfil his task? …. well you take a look and judge for yourself!
(ps, the answer is hell yeah)

 

 

Muffins cake-a-makin space.

Rainbows coming into action.

Holy colour – fresh outta the oven. (blue caused him issues!)

He chose to do a tiered cake because he is a maniac and likes a challenge. He also chose to individually flavour most layers, red was berry, orange was orange (duh!), yellow was lemon and green was lime.
THEY WERE DELICIOUS
and each layer worked well on it’s own and with the others!

 

WHAT WHAT! a girl cant slip in a photo of the picnic sammidge she made?! hahahaha.

ooohhhhh – ahhhhh.

to be honest, the bread I chose wasn’t crusty enough and this went soggy.
Soggy-town = not ok in my books.
Cake = quite ok in my books.

 

Cake decorating time and the anticipation was killin me!

My family came together to create the best picnic ever for me 😀
On the menu was mah picnic sammidge, pasta salad, roast vegetables, cheeses, dips, sour dough bread, coleslaw, stuffed mushrooms, inari, honey joys, chocolate crackles, muffins and sooo much mooorreee! Actually amazing.

MAH CAKE! JUST YOU WAIT…

I love this photo. That’s my Muffin and me! ❤

Lookie here! everyone literally gasped when I cut into it and my young, tiny relative yelled “HOW’D YOU GET A RAINBOW IN THERE?!” awwwww.

Filled with love and more love (and a rainbow).

I was clearly a little excited!

 

The end to a lovely picnic, a lovely birthday and a lovely cake.

Peace out alfalfa sprouts!

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

my goodness, I’ve been gone a while.

 

 

FEAR NOT YOUNG BLOGGERS (also slightly older) – I HAVE RETURNED!

 

 

new years resolution: keep my posts short sharp and shiny! More pictures, less words yo.

 

Where have I been you ask? You’ve missed me so much? you cried a little when you realised just how long it’s been?

 

I’ve been off gallivanting in Sydney, Melbourne and the Great Ocean Rd with my Muffin’s Canadian famjam for the past ever!

 

Did I get spoilt and receive a freaking MACBOOK for christmas? WELL YES I DID.

 

My carb-free livin was going relatively well… until.. well.. here’s some little tidbits of my recent times and recent foods:

 

before holiday… note healthiness?!

 

lapping up the sun at Manly Beach.

 

lookie what I found!

 

I fell entirely in love with Grigons & Orr in Melbourne.

 



how could I not?! I was like a kid in a candy store.

 

Glee!

 

Sydney was a bit hit and miss with good food. THIS was the best gnocchi of my life. And I love gnocchi. It was at The Rocks Cafe.

 

note the healthiness beginning? Best chips in Victor Harbor!

 

attempting to create a veggie main meal in posh places..

 

essentially the greatest picnic set ever.

I’ve heard on the grapevine that I throw at EXCELLENT PICNIC!

 

seasonal garden pasta dyed pink with beets!

 

nachos in a cake tin ala bug.

 

christmas lunch #1.

 

christmas lunch #2 (different day – different house…. stop judging me).

 

BEST. BEST. BEST. another tea infuser. and BEST new tea cup! Perfection.

 

the kind of meal that makes you drool when you think about it 2 weeks later. Vegie lasagna with fresh salad and dressing.

 

ahhhhh maaaan I could eat about 76 more of these bowls.

 

making a few new friends.

 

The most Australian dessert ever. Lamingtons, fruchocs and tim tams. Heart Attack.

 

Delicous breakfast field mushroom noms at ETC.

 

and what a way to end. We woke up to this guy standing this close to our room along the Great Ocean Road.

 

I squeeled with delight.

 

Who doesn’t love a llama?!

 

 

love and blueberries to ye all!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

What do you do when you wake up looking like the elephant woman? (For serious, I woke up with a lip the size of my nose!)

Well you obviously go to the doctor first and get a magical cream to fix your disfigured hideous face … AND THEN when you can’t go to work (for obvious reasons, such as scaring customers off of their food), you stay home and make about a billion salads. When you realise a billion is probably a little much to fit in your fridge, you settle on six. Just six. . . of the best salads of your life.

These are:

  • soy soba noodle salad
  • rosemary lemon potato salad
  • pesto pasta salad
  • balsamic bean salad
  • chargrilled vegetable salad
  • meditteranean cous cous salad

soy soba noodle salad:


this could easily be made super spicy, but I like to taste and enjoy the flavours of the noodles themselves. Also, hold back on over saucing the noodles as they will get sloppy < this is not good.

2 rounds soba noodles

2 T soy sauce

1 T sweet soy sauce

1 T vinegar

1 t sriracha

1 t sesame oil

1 t fresh ginger, grated

1 T toasted sesame seeds

Capsicum, 1/4 cup thinly sliced

Cabbage, 1/2 cup thinly slices

Cook soba noodles for a couple of minutes in boiling water, remove and dunk into cold water to give them their chewy slurpy texture and stop the cooking process.

Mix together all other ingredients to form the sauce. Toss noodles in sauce and leave the flavours to infuse for at least half an hour.

rosemary lemon potato salad:


this one would be delicious with something green like spring onions, but alas I had none. I feel like the extra roasting of potatoes at the end gives them a better texture than usual mooshy potato salad, which I dislike.

10 baby potatoes, cut into bite size pieces, par boiled

2 T olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 brown onion, thinly sliced

1 T fresh rosemary, finely diced

1 T lemon juice

1 t salt

1 t pepper

Par boil the potatoes until almost cooked through.

In a big frying pan add oil, garlic, onion and rosemary. Cook until onions are translucent. Add in potatoes, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a 180C oven for about 15 mins or until slightly golden. Remove. Cool in fridge. EAT!

pesto pasta salad:


I mean honestly, is anything bad with pesto? When basil is not in season you can use rocket and save on money – and probably the taste of bad out of season herbs!

2 cups mix of rocket, basil and spinach

2 garlic cloves

1/2 red chilli

1/2 cup cashews

good glug of olive oil

squeeze lemon juice

salt

Blitz!

1 tomato, finely diced

1 avocado, finely diced

Cook 2 cups spiral pasta until al dente. Drain and while still hot add about 2 Tablespoons of the pesto, extra salt and pepper. When slightly cooled add the tomato and avocado and mix through. Serve cool.

    balsamic bean salad:

    This salad will bring you great joy and make you as strong as Popeye! Even though there is no spinach in it… It’s simple and full of things that you can just throw in from your pantry. Excellent!

    1 tin mixed beans

    1 T olive oil

    1 T balsamic vinegar

    1 garlic clove, finely minced

    1/2 t horseradish

    salt

    pepper

    5 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

    cucumber, 1/4 cup finely diced

    Add oil, balsamic, garlic, horseradish, salt and pepper in a bowl. Rinse beans and mix through, add in artichoke and cucumber. Let flavours combine for at least half an hour.

    chargrilled vegetable salad:


    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SALADS EVER. Fo real. It sounds really strange with the sweet marinade, but it brings out the earthy flavours in the mushroom and eggplant. The Asian flavours don’t come through in a strong way in the end, just the flavour of ohmagoodnessdeliciousness.

    10 swiss mushrooms, small and roughly the same size

    eggplant, 1 cup, diced roughly the same size as mushrooms

    pumpkin, 2 cups, diced roughly the same size as mushrooms and eggplant! (see a theme?)

    1 T sweet soy sauce

    1 T sweet chilli sauce

    1/2 t sriracha

    1 t water

    7 marinated green and black olives

    1 cup rocket, chopped

    Roast mushrooms and eggplant at 180C on a tray for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked and soft.

    Roast pumpkin on a separate tray at 180C for about half an hour or until cooked and browned.

    In a bowl whisk together sweet soy, sweet chilli, sriracha and water. When mushrooms and eggplant are still hot, add to this mix and coat well. Leave them soaking in this until the pumpkin is out of the oven. In a big bowl add the rocket, olives, pumpkin, mushroom and eggplant mix. (there was some sauce left over in mine and i opted to save it to dress the salad later if it needed it.)

    meditteranean cous cous salad:


    Yum yum yum! The flavours in this dish are delightfully balanced and Moroccan. I love me some Moroccan flavours. You can use any dried fruit, but I tested a couple and found apricots to be the best. It really does round off the flavours nicely, and therefore I banish you from removing it!

    1 cup cous cous

    1 cup water

    glug olive oil

    1 t smoked paprika

    1/2 t za’atar

    1 t ground cumin

    1/2 t ground coriander

    1 t dried chilli flakes

    1 t salt

    1/2 cup grated carrot

    1 handful roasted, unsalted mixed nuts

    5 olives, quartered

    1 T dried apricots, very finely diced

    Oil for extra body

    In a saucepan bring 1 cup of water, olive oil, smoked paprika, za’atar, cumin, coriander, chilli flakes and salt to a boil. Add in cous cous, stir quickly with a fork, cover and leave for 5 minutes until cooked. Pour into a big bowl and fluff with a fork. Add in carrot, nuts, olives, apricots and extra oil if the consistency is too dry.
    ———–

    This seems like a crazy amount of salad (it does make a LOT), alas, it only took me about an hour and a half to create. Stick some funky tunes on and get chopping. The crazy thing about all of these flavours is that they all work together! Nothing really overpowers anything else and it is a nice harmonious mix in the belly 😀

    * T = Tablespoon
    t = teaspoon.
    Just incase…

    Read Full Post »

    You know what’s good? Sandwiches.

    You know what else is good? Spring. And it begins tomorrow! I am getting in early and practising picnic food, I tell you what – this baby is a sure fire winner.
    One of my many missions in life is to create the perfect sandwich, or, sammidge as I prefer to call it. Also, the perfect cupcake + icing flavour combo. This sammidge is pretty dang close to perfect. It has everything I love in it and it’s a joy to make. Set aside a day, or a morning and make this – because your efforts will reward you with a delicious sammidge! I made this for a family picnic once and it was all devoured quite rapidly. It’s the perfect picnic sandwich because you can make it ahead of time … like… the night before!

    When attempting to find the correct name for this type o’ sammidge I came across about a billion. More like 8347239 billion. Apparently every nation has their own version of a pressed sammidge. So it’s a cross between a Mediterranean picnic sandwich, a Cuban sandwich, a Schiacciata al Mattone (which google tells me translates to ‘the crushed brick’ whaaa?) or just a plain ol’ brick sandwich!

    Prepare for many photo’s as this thing was like my baby!



    Vegetables
    1 large eggplant, cut into length way slices, about 1cm thick
    2 zucchini’s, cut into length way slices, about 1cm thick
    10 whole garlic cloves
    10 mushrooms, sliced thickly
    2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely sliced
    1 large red capsicum
    Olive oil
    Salt
    Pepper
    1 handful basil leaves
    1 handful baby spinach
    1 big crusty loaf of bread, preferably Italian (crusty is important, otherwise it will go soggy!)
    Roast eggplant, zucchini and whole garlic cloves on baking trays with olive oil and salt and pepper for 30 mins at 180C, or until soft and slightly browned.
    Squeeze out roast garlic deliciousness from cloves and set aside to spread on sandwich.
    Fry mushrooms and rosemary in olive oil until brown and soft. Set aside.
    Blacken capsicum over a flame, set aside and cover with cling wrap to sweat for about 10 minutes. Peel away skin, deseed and slice.

    Rocket, basil, spinach pesto
    2 cups mix of rocket, basil and spinach
    2 garlic cloves
    1/2 red chilli
    1/2 cup cashews
    good glug of olive oil
    squeeze lemon juice
    salt
    BLITZ!

    Olive tapenade
    150 grams black pitted olives
    1 teaspoon capers
    1/2 red chilli
    1 clove garlic
    squeeze lemon juice
    glug olive oil
    BLITZ!

    Caramelized onions
    Take 2 red onions, finely slice them and fry them in olive oil on a low heat until they are super soft. Deglaze with a little white wine, splash of red wine vinegar, add a teaspoon of sugar and stir. Crank up the heat a little and watch til they caramelize and are delicious! Set aside.

    To assemble
    Slice loaf in half but leave it connected on one side. Scoop out bread on top and bottom, so there is a valley of space (ooh poetic!).
    Spread pesto on the bottom and the tapenade, roasted garlic and caramelized onions on top.
    Layer eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, capsicum, baby spinach and fresh basil. Top with fresh cracked black pepper.
    Wrap sandwich in cling wrap. Tie it tightly with string at 4 intervals so the filling doesn’t come out of the sides when you press it.

    Wrap in tin foil.

    Place bricks on top evenly across – how ever many you feel is necessary. I used four.. and then thought that was a little extreme so then took away 2!

    Leave from anywhere between 3 hours to over night. Depending on how much oil/liquid is in your vegies and how crusty your bread is will depend on whether your bread goes soggy! (it shouldn’t) 😀

    Slice with a serated knife, stare at the beauty of your perfectly layered sandwich and eat!

    also, lookie here:

    cuuuuuute!

    Read Full Post »