Super Fudgy Almond and Pecan Brownies

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

I have always been a big believer that warm brownie + vanilla ice cream = the only way to eat brownies. I am not the biggest chocolate fan, so I've always felt that the chocolate-y-ness of the brownie needs the ice cream to cut through it. Plus nuts, of course. 

I've always eaten my brownies that way and I probably wouldn't elect to eat a brownie just by itself. Because I'd be missing the ice cream.

Until one day, I was trying to use up some leftover ingredients and trying to make do without the essentials (it's always flour and butter in this house, there's never enough so I always have to substitute (in this case: cornflour and almond meal for flour; a random mix of nuts; half butter and half coconut oil for the tiniest bit of butter left in the fridge) which usually leads to something either magical or horrible...) and came up with these brownies.

And they are magical.

I cut a small slice when it was fresh out of the oven just to try (I was hesitant about the cornstarch usage and minimal butter) and it. was. delicious.

Super fudgy. Not too chocolatey. Not too sweet. 

No ice cream needed.

I could not believe it. 

I accidentally ate way too much of the pan before I remembered that I hadn't photographed, so I had to make another batch and tweaked the recipe a little bit - but here it is.

I promise that it is delicious, I'm not sure how everything works together and what magical thing happens without the flour situation and butter.. But it does. And I didn't need ice cream with it at all. 

BONUS. These brownies are (accidentally) gluten free! So go nuts ;)

Super Fudgey Almond and Pecan Brownies
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter and coconut oil in a microwave in 10 second bursts in the microwaves. They should be liquid, but not bubbling. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix well and make small well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
  4. Crack the eggs and vanilla into the well and whisk until combined.
  5. Add in the butter and coconut oil mixture and mix well.
  6. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
  7. Cut into squares and serve.

Let me know if you try it and what you think!
xx gee

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Triple Chocolate Layered Cheesecake

Thursday, 7 April 2016

I don't know if I prefer baked cheesecake or unbaked cheesecake! I am very indecisive, generally, as a human being, but in this case, both are delicious. This is a baked recipe, because I wanted a tall, thin, tiny cake, and my tiny silicone cake pans ($2.80 from Daiso!) are very shallow, and I wasn't sure how to go about stacking and assembling unbaked cheesecakes without a tall pan for structure. But! If I had a tall, thin, springform pan I would have gone a no-bake version just because I'm lazy.

Using a silicone pan for these is very convenient as it pops out easily so get some if you can! Otherwise - grease/line/foil outsides of your regular springform pan of choice. This recipe is for a mini serving, so double or triple recipe for larger pans.

Of course, you can use any cookie or biscuit or chocolate for the filling or even fruit or jam. Or mix a bunch of different ones up! My layers were: white chocolate cheesecake, Tim Tam cheesecake, and a fudgey brownie cake base.

What I really like about this cake is that it is so small but tall, so you can have a tall, thin piece and not get too full from eating it. The cheesecake is not too sweet or rich, so the ganache frosting is perfect for it.

Triple Chocolate Layered Cheesecake
For the cheesecake layers
  • 250 g cream cheese 
  • 150 ml condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tim Tams, crushed
  • 1 tsp cacao/cocoa powder 
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare 2 x 10 cm cake pans by greasing/lining with baking paper. 
  2. Beat the cream cheese until thick and creamy. 
  3. Add in the condensed milk, vanilla, chocolate, and eggs, and beat until combined.
  4. Divide mixture into half. 
  5. Stir the Tim Tams and cocoa powder into one half of the mix, making sure they are fully incorporated. 
  6. Pour each half of the mix into pans and bake for 20 minutes until set into the centre. 
  7. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before loosening, turning over. Cool completely, then chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

For the brownie layer

  • 50 g butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cacao/cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda 

  1. Prepare a 10 cm cake pan by greasing and lining with baking paper. 
  2. Combine buffer, sugar and cacao in a bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir to mix and microwave again for another 15 seconds.
  3. Add salt, vanilla, flour, and baking soda and whisk until combined. Continue whisking so mixture cools down.
  4. Add the egg once cool and whisk well until thoroughly incorporated. 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. 

For the dark chocolate ganache 

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream

  1. Put chocolate chips into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Heat up cream in a saucepan or in a microwave (in 15 second increments). 
  3. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is fully melted. 
  4. Cool completely in fridge until solid.
  5. Once cooled, whisk until fluffy. 
For the dark chocolate drizzle 

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or any other neutral tasting oil)

  1. Microwave chocolate and oil in a bowl in 30 second increments, stirring between, until melted.
  2. Continue to stir to cool slightly, before drizzling onto cake. Don't let the drizzle sit for too long, or it will harden, so make it right before you need to use it.
To assemble:

  1. Put a small dollop of ganache onto a cake board/plate/whatever you are assembling the cake on, to attach the cake. Stick on the brownie layer and centre it. 
  2. Spread chocolate ganache on top of the brownie later. Place the Tim Tam cheesecake layer on top, making sure it is centered. Spread more ganache and then top with the white chocolate cheesecake layer. Spread a crumb coat all over the cake. Chill for 20 minutes to set and then ice with the remaining ganache, spreading evenly and smoothing out.
  3. Drizzle with chocolate drizzle and top with whatever toppings you desire. I used Tim Tams, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate Flake crumbs.
Enjoy! xx 

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Five No Bake Desserts to Try

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The summer season is approaching quickly and none of us want to even go near anything that is hot. Trying to cook will ultimately make us end up in a pool of sweat and we really do not want that. Since we need to cool down desperately, here are 5 dessert ideas which don’t require you to even go remotely close to an owen. A refrigerator, however, will be your best friend.


You can also make use of Aucouponcodes in order to make these quick recipes by spending as less as you can on their ingredients. 


1. Lime Pie: This easy dessert is not only requires no baking but is also prepared with under a total of 5 ingredients. All you need to do is beat condensed milk, limeade concentrate and heavy cream in a bowl. Pour it all in the pie crust and refrigerate it overnight. Sprinkle lime zest over it when it’s set and ready to be eaten. 


2. Berry Bites: This dessert is not only a quick fix to your dessert craving but is also pretty healthy for just about everyone. All you need to do is take all sorts of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and slice them up. Mix them with required sugar and refrigerate them for about 4 hours. Beat some heavy cream with sugar and pour it over the frozen berries. It’s definitely going to take you to cloud 9. 


3. Coconut Snowballs: It’s nearly impossible to believe it but this dessert is just a two-ingredient recipe. Amazed, aren’t you? Well, all you need to do is get yourself your favorite ice-cream, split it into equal sized scoops and roll them up in shredded coconut and freeze. This recipe puts your imagination to work as it’s not necessary to just use coconut for the covering. You can use anything that goes well with the ice-cream that you are using. 


4. Strawberry Orange Milkshakes: What’s a better way to beat the heat than downing a cold milkshake? This 5 minute recipe will change the way you look at desserts. Simply blend vanilla ice cream, strawberries, orange liqueur and some milk together to get your chunky and instant milkshake. 


5. Nutella Truffles: Who doesn’t like nutella? Everyone does! This recipe is quick and will satisfy your sweet tooth greatly. All you have to do is blend oats, nutella and a pinch of salt in a mixture, make small cookie balls out of it and roll them into cocoa. Finally put them into the refrigeratorand enjoy. It’s that quick. 


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Celebrity Chef Restaurants at Sea

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

When you think about food on cruise ships, you might imagine standard buffet fare with the occasional fine-dining restaurant thrown in. But did you know that most Australian cruise lines also have restaurants from world-famous celebrity chefs?

That’s right – taking a cruise holiday doesn’t mean foregoing amazing first-class food! In fact, it can be the perfect way to experience celebrity chef dining. From Jamie Oliver to our very own Curtis Stone, there’s a whole host of amazing celeb chef offerings on Australian cruise ships.

If you’re having a hard time choosing which voyage to take, perhaps talk to some experts at a cruise specialist like CruiseAgency – they’ll know just which foodie cruise is best for you. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the who’s who of cruise celebrity chefs.

Jamie Oliver

Everybody knows Jamie, but have you had the chance to eat at his world-famous restaurant, Jamie’s Italian? If not, a Royal Caribbean cruise could be the next holiday for you. RC’s newest ship, Ovation of the Seas, sails into Sydney in December this year – and it features the British foodie’s take on rustic, hearty Italian fare. Bellissimo.

Curtis Stone

Australian celeb chef Curtis Stone has recently partnered with Princess Cruises to offer a unique dining experience on-board. SHARE by Curtis Stone is a brand-new restaurant specially designed to bring friends and family together for a memorable meal. Share plates are its particular focus, served family-style at long, communal tables to encourage engagement and conversation between diners. SHARE is available on RubyEmerald and Sun Princess ships.

Luke Mangan

Leading Aussie chef and restauranteur, Luke Mangan, lent his magic touch to P&O Cruises in the form of the exclusive Salt Grill. Found on all five of P&O’s Australian ships, Salt offers a high-seas dining experience with all the deliciousness of Mangan’s land-based Salt grills. Think fresh seafood, fancy high teas, and signature dishes like Luke’s famous liquorice parfait with lime syrup.

Guy Fieri

With a Food Network TV series and six restaurants in California, Guy Fieri is the definition of celebrity chef. You can get a taste of his signature American BBQ food at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse and Guy’s Burger Joint, both found on Carnival Australia cruise ships. Smoked meats and Southern sides are the name of the game at Pig & Anchor, while juicy burgers and hand-cut fries steal the show at the Burger Joint.

Are your foodie senses tingling and your mouth watering yet? Keep a cruise in mind for your next getaway – it might turn out to be a holiday dining experience you’ll never forget.

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Mocha Cholate Chip Hot Cross Buns

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter!

My best friend said the other day that she was really excited because it was almost time to make sticky date pudding. We were a little confused, and she explained that sticky date pudding is a winter dessert. I had never thought that it was, and always order it whenever it's on the menu because it's my favorite dessert.

But it's interesting how some things are considered seasonal, when you can really make it anytime you want. 


For me, it's gingerbread, pavlova, this special vegetarian dish that we only eat at Chinese New Year (actually, there are a bunch of dishes that we only have at Chinese New Year), and hot cross buns.

Did you know that you can get mocha hot cross buns at Baker's Delight? I had no idea until a girl at work told me last year. I was very disbelieving as I had never seen them before and thought maybe it was a Melbourne thing (she was from Melbourne and moved to Sydney) - but then, on her lunch break she went to buy me one (okay maybe she bought a six pack and maybe we ate them all) and came back to work, heated it up in the microwave for 15 seconds and put Nutella on it (?!?!) and I have never spent so much time during the rest of the year craving mocha hot cross buns.


I now realize that I could have been making these all year round. So I'll definitely be doing that from now on. They are a little time consuming in that you have to let the dough rise, but apart from that they come together quite easily, and are so fluffy and delicious.

Mocha Hot Cross Buns
Makes 24 small buns
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee 
  • 3 tsp active yeast
  • 4 + 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pink salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tbsp coffee powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 
  • 1 egg white 
  • 1 tsp milk 
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3-4 tbsp water 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat half the milk and the coffee, sugar and oil until sugar is dissolved - it should not be boiling. Turn off the heat and then add the remaining milk and stir to combine and cool for 10-15 minutes. 
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir to combine before adding 4 cups of flour. Mix well and then cover with a tea towel and set aside for 1.5 hours. 
  3. Mix together the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, coffee, and spices, mixing well.
  5. On a flour dusted surface, remove the dough and press down so it is slightly flattened.
  6. Sprinkle the sugar mixture all over and a third of the chocolate chips, then fold the dough in half and flatten again. Continue until all the sugar and chocolate chips are used up, and then flatten the dough into a symmetrical, circular shape.
  7. Cut the dough into even squares. I made tall, thin hot cross buns so mine were small squares, but feel free to make your buns as large or small as you like. Quickly roll each square into a ball and place on a greased baking tray with the seam side down. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for about an hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 180C.
  9. Prepare the glaze by beating the egg white and milk, and brush over the risen buns.
  10. Prepare the cross mixture by whisking the flour, cinnamon and water together. Start by adding 1 tbsp of water to the flour mixture at a time, to make sure your crosses are the right consistency. It should not be too runny, but thin enough to pipe. 
  11. Pipe the crosses onto the buns.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the buns are golden brown, and then let sit in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes.
  13. Eat the hot cross buns warm, or with butter or Nutella.* Enjoy! 
* in the future I am going to incorporate Nutella into my hot cross buns.

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Sweet Potato and Ricotta Gnocchi with Lamb Ragu

Friday, 18 March 2016

Making any kind of pasta from scratch is always daunting, because of all the equipment and ingredients and kneading and time and effort involved. You have to have the correct 00 pasta flour and lots of eggs and lots of kneading room and hands are sticky and you need a hanging surface area. I love it, but as you all know, I'm lazy.

Enter this sweet potato and ricotta gnocchi. Which comes together with a fork, in one (big) bowl, and requires minimal sticky hands. Minimal! 

We just had leftover baked sweet potato from dinner, which is what I used for this. If you don't have sweet potatoes handy, not all is lost. To stick with the one bowl-ness, though, simply peel and roughly chop up two sweet potatoes, and microwave with 2 tablespoons of water in a large bowl in 5 minute bursts until fork tender. Let cool, and then add in all the other ingredients. Alternatively, you can boil them like a normal, non-lazy human. Your call.

The ragu is even simpler: I used lamb, chilli and rosemary sausages from the deli, squeezed out of the casing. All flavour and seasoning included. Simmered with some garlic, bay leaves, more rosemary and tomato paste, and that's it!

Sweet Potato and Ricotta Gnocchi with Lamb Ragu
Serves 4

For the Gnocchi

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked, mashed, and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup ricotta, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup plain flour, plus 1/2 cup for extra/dusting
  • pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped up very finely (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, mash together the potatoes and egg with a fork. Slowly sift 1/4 cup flour into the bowl, using a fork or spatula to fold the mixture over and over on itself. Add in 1/4 cup of ricotta and continue folding the mixture over. Add in the pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and rosemary, if using.  Repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and ricotta, making sure everything is fully incorporated. It should be light and fluffy and not sticky. If the mixture is too wet, keep adding in tablespoonfuls of flour until it comes together, away from the sides of the bowl. Gather the dough together and shape a soft, pillow ball. 
  2. Dust a clean bench, or a large chopping board with flour. and turn the dough pillow out onto it. Cut the pillow into equal quarters, and then roll each quarter into logs. Leave to rest for a few minutes.
  3. Cut each log into one inch segments, dusting with more flour if it is too sticky. When all the dough has been used up, use a fork dusted in flour to press lines into the gnocchi.
  4. To cook, add the gnocchi into a large pot of salted, boiling water. Don't overcrowd the pan, or the gnocchi may stick together. Drain and serve. I put the drained gnocchi into a large non stick pan just to give them some crunch - completely optional, but it gives it an added texture.
For the Ragu
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 6 lamb sausages (or sausages of your choice, I used lamb, chilli and rosemary)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (alternatively, 1 tin of diced tomatoes, and omit the tomato paste)
  • 250g tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup red wine

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the garlic and onions, stirfrying until fragrant. Cut one end off from a sausage, and squeeze out the filling into the frying pan. Keep stirring. The sausage meat can be in chunks or broken up into tiny bits like mince, whichever you prefer. Repeat with remaining sausages.
  2. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, rosemary, and bay leaves, stirring to combine. Deglaze with the wine, and let simmer for about 15 minutes on a very low heat.
  3. Serve with gnocchi, top with parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pancakes with Apple Chia Compote

Monday, 29 February 2016

Confession: I had some pancake disasters before coming up with these. I just wanted some pancakes for breakfast, like any normal person. I also wanted to use up some healthy ingredients that we have that I can't seem to use up (coconut flour - the packet is so small but seems limitless? And cacao nibs?), so I started to make these banana quinoa pancakes (by this I mean I just started taking out the ingredients), but then realised I didn't have bananas (sorry for super long run on sentence).

Anyway, I'm not sure what happened next but I then had the clever idea to start with a chia pudding base and somehow that would turn into pancakes (because I remember reading somewhere that chia pudding can be substituted as eggs? I didn't research it or anything... why, you ask?... I have no idea) and I just started adding things to it... It did not turn out well.

So then I was started getting super a bit frustrated, and then remembered that I had some pancake shake mix leftover from a camping trip! Why didn't I just use this in the beginning? One, I forgot about it, and two, I just wanted to do something fun and new and creative and interesting (which is also why I didn't just use my standard base pancake recipe). Yes, sometimes I struggle.

ANYWAY, I really don't know what happened this time but it was an epic fail. I think it is because I started filling up the jug with water, then remembered that I was supposed to shake the mix before doing that to loosen the mix, but I had already started filling it up, so I screwed the lid back on, shook it, then continued filling it up to the line. Maybe that meant I added too much water? Because it was a very runny mess, and then I almost cried while throwing it all out. And then had toast for breakfast instead.

But never fear, because apparently I just don't know when to give up and attempted round three. Finally, success! These were dinner pancakes. Cream cheese because we had it in the fridge (I originally wanted ricotta pancakes). Very easy, very quick, comes together in a food processor. And very delicious! Yay!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pancakes with Apple Chia Compote
Serves 2 

For the Pancakes

  • 125 g cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor/blender. 
  2. Whiz until combined, and let sit for a few minutes to settle.
  3. Cook 1/4 cup at a time on a non-stick (or buttered non-non-stick) frying pan. (I use this cute little mini egg frying pan)
For the Apple Chia Compote
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp currants
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp honey
  1. Add all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer until apples are soft and liquid has thickened.
  2. Pour on top of pancakes.
Bonus: Whipped Cinnamon Cream Cheesse
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whip until light and fluffy.
  2. Dollop on top of pancake/compote + serve.

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Cauliflower Mac + Cheese

Friday, 19 February 2016

In spite of all the bad rep that the blue Kraft Easy Mac mac + cheese boxes with the orange flavouring get, I actually really liked them in my youth. In fact, if someone served me some today I would probably happily eat it. ("Dude, macaroni + cheese is food of the gods" - Haley James Scott) It has a very nostalgic/early high school vibe to it which is very comforting. Even if it isn't the healthiest meal (:

I remember when we first moved into our current house, we were unpacking boxes and one of my friends was over to hang out and help. We didn't have a microwave yet. My friend and I decided to make it on the stove (thinking 'how hard can it be?') and it was very disastrous. I'm not even sure what went wrong but it was just terrible - I don't think it got burnt, but anyway, I think that was the last time I had it.

Anyway, I would still eat some today, but I would eat this cauliflower mac + cheese every day! The cauliflower addition is not just a way to make this healthy (it isn't really, because there's still a bunch of cheese in it, because, cheese) but it makes it more delicious and filling. 

I think you could probably add in any other vegetable (carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, anything!) and it would be equally as delicious but I'm a big fan of cauliflower and so we always have heaps at home. The cauliflower is roasted with salt, pepper and rosemary and then pureed and added in in place of the roux that's normally in mac + cheese. 

Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, in small pieces
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, torn into pieces
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 cups macaroni (any kind), cooked
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 3 tbsp cheddar
  • 3 tbsp pecorino 
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs**
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then scatter cauliflower, onion, garlic, and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil, salt + pepper to taste, and bake for 20 minutes until browned.
  2. While waiting, you can prepare your mac + cheese pan by spray-oiling it. I used this lil cutie roasting pan. 
  3. Once cauliflower + friends are done, allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the wooden rosemary bits if you have any, before transferring to blender. Add in milk and blend to desired consistency. I left mine quite chunky because I was impatient like the texture. Add cheddar, pecorino, cottage cheese to cauliflower puree. Reserve some pecorino for later.
  4. Mix breadcrumbs, and assorted herbs, and reserved pecorino together.
  5. Add the corn to the macaroni, stirring to combine. Pour cauliflower + cheese mixture in and stir to combine. Transfer into mac + cheese pan. (If you are lazy like me, you can just do the mixing all in the pan) Sprinkle herbalicious breadcrumb mixture over, and put tray back into oven for 15 minutes or until it is a bubbling pan of deliciousness with golden breadcrumb crust. 
  6. Serve happily.

* I am slightly lactose intolerant (will eat dairy if it is delicious enough to override queasy stomach feelings - cheese and ice creams are my exceptions to my lactose rule), so we don't have milk at home. I used almond and it was perfectly fine, so please feel free to sub milk of your choice.
** I would ideally have used Panko, but we didn't have any, so instead I tore up one slice of rye + quinoa bread (any kind will do), and pulsed in the food processor.

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Review: Schkinny Maninny Juice Detox Program

Monday, 21 December 2015

The team at Schkinny Maninny kindly sent me some (adorable) eskies of fresh juices to try out their detox program. Every day, a cute mini esky gets delivered to your doorstep with six bottles of fresh juices (and soups or even salads, depending on what program you choose) and for either 3 or 5 days, you do a cleanse with just juices.

As some of you know, when I was in Nepal doing yoga, I did a 'cleanse' as well. It was basically - apples for three days (6 apples on day 1, then 3, then 1), then a day of no foods, and then a day of 'cleansing' via a salt-water flush. It's an ancient yogic intestinal cleansing process called Shankaprakshalana, and I really do think it's super helpful, but would probably not do it at home. (Read more about the whole process here and here)

Anyway - compared to that, I thought this juice detox would be way easier, so I happily agreed to do it. There are a bunch of different programs you can pick from and all you do is decide what you want to have, order it, and it gets delivered to your doorstep (or your workplace, wherever you want). I leave for work quite early in the morning, and was worried that my juices would get delivered too late (there's a 5-10 am delivery window), so I let them know and my mini esky was at my front door before 6 am every day.

I did the Active Juice and Soup Cleanse, and was super excited when my mini esky arrived on Monday morning. I loved most of the juices and soups, which come in 500ml bottles and a sticker which tells you what order to drink them in. As a person who drinks a lot of water, I thought that 500ml of juice would be really easy to consume, but they were surprisingly really filling. Most of the time I couldn't finish my juices, so kindly donated the rest to my family, but I also never had 6 bottles in a day, because I was so full.

On day 1, the juices came with a little gift pack with a welcome card, and some detox tea bags, foot bath salts.

While I did miss the actual sensation of chewing/eating (although you do get a tiny container of seeds to chew on if you need it!) and also cooking food, it was really nice to know that my day's meals were sorted and ready to go. Each day, the esky comes with a little card which debriefs you, and outlines how you might be feeling or side effects. I had a strong headache on the second/third days which was really strange for me, but the info card let me know that it was a common side effect. I also got support emails ['Day 1 - it has begun!', 'Did you sleep okay last night?'] which were really cute to read.

In terms of the juice flavors, I wasn't a huge fan of some of the juices, like the ones with sesame seeds and brazil nuts (so the breakfast and night time juices). The spinach soup was good for a bit was too lemony so I could only eat a bit of those. Apart from those, however, everything was really delicious. My favorites were probably the Pine Root (beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger, and pineapple) and the Rocky Orange Show (orange, rockmelon, mint, apple, cucumber). The soups were also really good. I heated half up in a bowl and then poured the remaining cold juice over, so it was kind of gazpacho tasting with lots of herbs and spices for flavour.

At the end of the cleanse I felt really fresh and energetic. I found that the third day was the most difficult, not because I was actually hungry but I just wanted to eat something. All in all, it was a really good way to detox, especially when the juices were so good. Check them out on Schkinny Maninny and get your own mini esky :) 

Here's a sample of the menu!

Schkinny Banana Smoothie - banana, almonds, sesame seeds, oats, almond milk
Schkinny Leap Frog - cucumber, kiwi, spinach, parsley, apple
Schkinny Carrot and Cashew Soup - carrot, pear, cashew nuts, ground coriander seeds, ginger
Schkinny Beet Froot Tingle - beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger
Schkinny Rockin Tomato Soup - tomato, chickpeas, rocket, celery, tuscan spices
Schkinny Sleep Well - almonds, brazil nuts, water, cinnamon, Medjool date

Schkinny Banana Smoothie - banana, almonds, sesame seeds, oats, almond milk
Schkinny Water Frog - watermelon, orange, spinach, kiwi, parsley
Schkinny Lentil Luncheon - tomato, carrot, lentils, Moroccan spices
Schkinny Rocky Orange Show - orange, rockmelon, mint, apple, cucumber
Schkinny Colly, Meg and Lee Soup - cauliflower, butter beans, celery, parsley, nutmeg
Schkinny Sleep Well - almonds, brazil nuts, water, cinnamon, Medjool date

Schkinny Banana Smoothie - banana, almonds, sesame seeds, oats, almond milk
Schkinny Leap Frog - cucumber, kiwi, spinach, parsley, apple
Schkinny Spinach Soup - cashews nuts, spinach, celery, lemon, leek, almond milk
Schkinny Pine Root - beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger, pineapple
Schkinny Vego con Carne - tomato, kidney beans, parsley, celery, Mexican chilli
Schkinny Sleep Well - almonds, brazil nuts, water, cinnamon, Medjool date 

Schkinny Banana Smoothie - banana, almonds, sesame seeds, oats, almond milk
Schkinny Leap Frog - cucumber, kiwi, spinach, parsley, apple
Schkinny Lentil Luncheon - tomato, carrot, lentils, Moroccan spices
Schkinny Beet Froot Tingle - Beetroot, apple, carrot, ginger
Schkinny ButterSeed Soup - pumpkin, butterbeans, parsley, cumin, coriander, onion
Schkinny Sleep Well - almonds, brazil nuts, water, cinnamon, Medjool date 

Schkinny Banana Smoothie - banana, almonds, sesame seeds, oats, almond milk
Schkinny Pine Ginger Splice - pineapple, apple, ginger, spinach, parsley, kiwi
Schkinny Carrot and Cashew Soup - carrot, pear, cashew nuts, ground coriander seeds, ginger
Schkinny Cage Fighter - carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, ginger
Schkinny Rockin Tomato Soup - tomato, chickpeas, rocket, celery, tuscan spices 
Schkinny Sleep Well - almonds, brazil nuts, water, cinnamon, Medjool date

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