Archive for March 2013

Easter Bunny Bites

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Good Friday everyone!
I made these easy bunny pastries for the Easter picnic we are having later today. They are so easy to do, and so, so cute.

Bunny Bites
- 1 sheet ready-rolled, frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Poppy seeds (for the eyes)
- Pink sprinkles (for the nose)
- Bunny shaped cookie cutter

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Cut out bunny shapes in the pastry.
3. Brush with milk and sugar.
4. Decorate with 2 poppy seeds for the eyes, and a pink sprinkle for the nose.
5. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and turned a pale, golden colour.
6. Admire the cuteness, and eat!

xx gee


Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Walnuts and Pecans

On Fridays I have classes at uni from 9am - 5pm with no breaks in between. I get very hungry, so this week I decided that I would bring breakfast, lunch, snacks and treats with me. There were a few zucchinis in the fridge that I was going to make chicken and zucchini soup with, but then I decided to make a zucchini slice. Except it became more of a vegetable slice, because I decided to put carrots, potatoes, corn, peas and capsicum in it, and there was too much of a zucchini-to-other-vegetable ratio so I couldn't put it all in. But I had already grated all the zucchini up, and there was a pretty big bowl leftover. So I decided to make zucchini brownies. And I am so glad I did.

The thing about these brownies is, people will naturally feel disinclined to eat them. So when I brought them to classes with me the next day, I didn't tell anyone anything, I just said I'd made brownies. (In fact, when I was baking them, my mom wandered by and asked what the lumpy stuff in my batter was. I had to whisper what it was so that Galvy wouldn't overhear. She seemed impressed by my sneaking healthy things into desserts.) 

As an aside, I think I am against healthy food masquerading as sweets. Or sweets pretending to be healthy. I think that everyone should know that treats are treats - that's why they're called treats - and I feel a bit sad when I hear about treats that have things substituted all out of them, and you end up with... I don't know, a stevia/agave nectar/almond milk/rice flour/toffuti concoction, and not an actual treat. I feel that when you have treats, it's a treat, and you can be naughty, for once, as a treat! Sorry for the overuse of the word 'treat'. It's one of my favorite words, I like it more than 'cellar door'. But anyway, I would definitely not call these brownies healthy, because it's a treat, and it's not meant to be. 

Moving on! Meanwhile, back at Macquarie University, in the middle of a family law lecture, people were munching on zucchini brownies, commenting on how good they were. And they are really, really good. Trust me, I might even go so far as to say that they are the best brownie I've ever had, because they are so moist and fudgy, I don't know what the zucchini does but it is good. And the walnuts and pecans and the white chocolate melts just make it all the more delicious. 

So, please try making these. And don't tell anyone that they have a secret, special ingredient. Until after they've eaten. When I revealed the secret, people mostly pretended that they suspected - "I thought it tasted different, there was something funny about it!" - but five seconds before they were raving completely about it. I never told Galvy, and he is still happily munching away.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Walnuts and Pecans
Makes 16 brownies
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped roughly 
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate melts, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a brownie or slice pan and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking soda. Add the zucchini, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. 
  3. Whisk together the oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated, and then stir in the white chocolate and nuts.
  5. Pour into your brownie pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a test skewer comes out clean. 
  6. Serve, hot or cold, with or without ice cream. Don't tell anyone it has zucchini with it until after so they can't pretend to not like it.


The Liebster Award (:

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Hello everyone!
I'm so excited because I've been nominated for my first award! I'm a new blogger and love reading and looking at everyone else's beautiful creations! Thank you so much to Grace of Perpetual Nomming for nominating me! Please check out her blog which is filled with such beautiful pictures!

Here are the rules that each nominee should follow: 
  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions made by the person who nominated you
  3. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
  4. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to pass the award to and mention them in your post.
  5. Go to their blogs and let them know that they have been nominated
  6. No tag backs.

So first, here are 11 random facts about me:
  1. I love my cat, way too much. 
  2. Sometimes I try to eat healthily, but then I remember how much I love food that is bad for me.
  3. It took me so long to come up with my blog name, and I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with it. 
  4. I'm 22 but I get asked for my ID at MA15+ movies. 
  5. I love Harry Potter, and magic. 
  6. I'm supposed to be listening to my International Law lecture now, but I'm doing this instead. 
  7. I make lists. A lot. 
  8. The best food I've ever eaten has been in Hoi An, Vietnam. It's probably one of my favorite places in the world. 
  9. I buy way too much online - clothes and cooking equipment, mostly. 
  10. I wear leggings as pants to work, and I love it. 
  11. Another thing I should be doing right now is tidying my room. Whoops. 

11 questions for Stephanie wanted me to answer:
  1. What's your favorite childhood food, and why?Wonton noodles - not the soup. It's still one of my favorite foods now, I guess because I can't have it as often as I would like! I can't find it anywhere in Sydney, with the perfect, dark brown noodles and the green chillies and delicious pork and prawn stuffed wontons. AAAND I'm hungry now.
  2. What makes and breaks your day?A cuddle from my kitty is the best thing ever. The worst is mean customers.
  3. Name the top three best places you've been to.
    Hoi An, Vietnam. The food is SO GOOD. And it's beautiful.
    Santa Monica Pier, California. It makes me feel like I'm in a movie, especially at twilight.
    Angkor Wat, Cambodia. It's like I've gone back in time.
  4. What's your guilty pleasure?
  5. Favorite go-to comfort food?
    Miso soup. I eat it when I'm hungry, sad, stressed, frustrated, or sick. I even keep a little tin of instant miso at work.
  6. What made you happy this week?
    Eating homemade Hainanese chicken rice with my family for dinner on Sunday night.
  7. Favorite holiday, and why?
    Hoi An with Milo last year. (It was part of a bigger holiday, but it's definitely my favorite snippet!) It's my favorite place in the world. The food is amazing, it's beautiful, tailors sew up outfits for you in hours, need I say more?
  8. Goal in life?
    To be able to cook and bake as much as I like, and to write a book.
  9. Is there anything you need/eat everyday to keep you sane?
    My diary, water and Lucas' Papaw Ointment.
  10. Did your college degree help with your job?
    I haven't finished my degree yet (Bachelor of Law and Media), but at the end of next year I will have. And hopefully it will!
  11. Taken from Stephanie: What's your most amazing thing, day memory of your life?
    Scuba diving in Nha Trang and seeing a shadow pass over me, and looking up to see a giant stingray float peacefully past.
Now, here are the questions that I want the nominated bloggers to answer:
  1. If you could only eat one cuisine or dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. Three staples you need every day.
  3. All time favorite blog?
  4. If you could relive a day, what would it be?
  5. Why did you start blogging?
  6. Your dream job?
  7. Favorite food?
  8. Where would you live, if you could be anywhere in the world?
  9. Something about you that you don't share very often?
  10. Favorite book/movie?
  11. Taken from Grace: Goal in life?
 And now drum roll please! Here are the nominees:
  1. Squib
  2. Have Apron.. Will Bake 
  3. A Swoonful of Sugar
  4. Sweetness and Bite
  5. K's Love of Food and Crafting
  6. Little Cake Tin
  7. Bake the Heat
  8. Good Eats to Style
  9. Making Little Adventures
  10. Busy Lizzy Bakes
  11. Petite Promises
This was the hardest thing to do. There are so many new bloggers out there like myself, so go check their blogs out!

Nominees-- once you've reposted this, come back and comment so I can read your answers!
Thanks again to Grace for nominating me! (: 



High Tea!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

It was Laura's 21st last Saturday :) We celebrated with a beautiful high tea, bunting, pretty dresses, and lots and lots of treats.

The night before we were up until morning slowly crept up upon us, baking red velvet cupcakes, donuts, mini meringues, and scones. The morning of the party was a little bit hectic, as we rushed around to set up the tables, set up the dessert table, sew bunting, ice the donuts, make last minute cake stands, whip cream...
And I think it all turned out wonderfully.

This is the long table where people could sit and have their treats of choice. We had assortments of teacups, pots and plates borrowed from a neighbor, dug out from both our cupboards, and a whole stack of saucers with no partners T2 had kindly donated to me. We had beautiful pink and white flowers in clear, glass bowls that lined the table, and tiers of treats as well.

There were melting moments (strawberry and passionfruit icing), white chocolate and raspberry cookies, chocolate chip peanut butter cookies, donuts, and of course, scones. We made mini scones because we thought they would be cuter. And also because we wanted to make more, but there ended up being so much leftover. Laura made raspberry jam and we had little sundae bowls of whipped cream all around.

We had these little chalkboard signs so people knew what the treats were.

The teacups and saucers:

This is the dessert table:

There were three kinds of cupcakes- my signature red velvet (or pink velvet in this case) with white chocolate cream cheese icing, and Brooke, another friend of ours, made dark chocolate and raspberry cupcakes and vanilla with green cookie dough icing. I wish I had better pictures but in the rush of everything I completely forgot. Sash made Mars bar slice, and B made caramel slice. We also had Laura's brownies, which she cleverly made ahead of time and froze.

Mini meringues filled with whipped cream and strawberries:

Mini baked cinnamon donuts:

The cake and backup cake. Yes, I made a back up cake in case anything happened - plate dropping on cake, cake frosting melting off, cake frosting changing colour, someone eating cake, Baxter (Lau's dog) eating the cake, cake missing.... etc.

It was a polka dot - rose frosting cake!

The polka dots were pink, green and a coral (which turned out orange) colour. But unfortunately we didn't cut into the green spots yet! But how pretty is it! Recipe and tutorial to follow :)

(they were catered - there was chicken and bacon, egg, ham and cheese and I can't remember what else! But they were good!)

The drinks table:

Pimms and scones with jam and cream:

The bunting:

People sat on rugs with cushions in the garden:

The beautiful birthday girl! She was so picky with her dress that she bought four, returned them all, and then ended up sewing this number with her grandma five days before the party... I was still sewing on the middle lace band at 11am that morning. But I think it couldn't have turned out more perfectly.

Here's the back.

Anyway, I will be posting the recipes soon in separate posts so check back if you want to know how to specifics for anything in particular. Il'l include the links in this post.

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone had a lovely week (:

xx gee