Ok, here’s a super quick and easy way to put together Pavlova Nests. Not so much a recipe but an idea if you need to whip up a quick and easy dessert. Continue reading article
Jenny and I were so excited! We made our very first tiramisu and although it wasn’t that hard there was a bit of pride in our work. But that pride and joy did not last long.
Let me share the story…
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Cookie Monster Cupcakes will be the hit of your party. They look cool and everyone wants to take photos of them. Next time I’ll try and make Oscar the Grouch and Elmo cupcakes!!!
It’s so easy to make these. Just make any flavour cupcake then time to decorate.
1. Cut a slit for the mouth
2. Spread on some blue icing (use food colouring with cream cheese icing)
3. sprinkle on some long blue sprinkles on top of the icing – make sure to cover most of the icing because I think it looks better (blue sprinkles found at your local cake shop)
4. Use some fondant icing for the eyes (found at your local cake shop)
5. And for the final touch use some chocolate chip cookies to place it in the slit you cut in the cupcake for Cookie Monster’s mouth.
That’s it! But make sure you leave plenty of time to put these together as it takes time to make the eyes, you need to let the cupcakes cool before icing them and then presentation is always good when you take your time.
The first thing the Schweppes guys asked me when I walked into Stokehouse for the Nuffnang Foodathon was did you want a ‘mocktail‘ or a ‘cocktail‘. If you know me, you don’t have to ask. Pile in the aaaa-alcohol!!! I’m not that bad but when I have a few I’m known to do a few silly things. I’m very responsible with my alcohol, so I made sure I didn’t drive.
Everyone having a great time by the beach, cocktail in hand followed by some awesome desserts matched with the Schweppes cocktails. The weather was nice that day but started to turn pear shape as the sun set but that didn’t stop the Cocktails coming.
Let the cocktails roll in. There were a number of pre-drinks which I took advantage of such as gin and tonic, mojito’s but here’s a few of the drinks and desserts that we tried.
This cocktail looks like The Rose Revolution with gin, watermelon, coriander leaves, a few drops of rose water and Schweppes lemonade but apparently it’s a Creole Crush, anyways to match them Stokehouse provided some Watermelon Sorbet…sooo good!!!
Next we had some Blood Orange Cosmopolitan mixed with vodka, cointreau, lime juice, cranberry juice, a few drops of bitters and Schweepes Blood Orange. I like this one and probably guzzled down 2 or 3.
By this point I would of had a few too many cocktails so I’m guessing this was the Mojito mixed with rum, mint leaves, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and Schweppes Soda Water. This went down real easy as you can tell with the ingredients and to follow it came matched with some mango, mint sorbet and chilli (that’s right chilli). Was a bit hesitant to try it and didn’t know if it would work well but surprisingly it was my favourite dessert of the night.
There was still more to come and by this point I was high on mixed drinks and good tasty desserts. Here’s more of the dishes that followed:
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The sun was about to set, the clouds were intimidating the beach goers and we were all full and in high spirits. What a way to top off the evening after a hard days work.
A BIG Thank You to the Nuffnang gang and and to Shelli @Codenamemax for organising the event and not to forget Stokehouse & Schweppes for hosting the awesome lineup of cocktails and desserts!
And here’s a little something before I go, LOL:
Do you know of the Churro Truck permanently parked at the Victoria Market Peel St end? Of course you do because it’s the best churros and freshest churros around. Hordes of people stand there like zombies waiting for the churros to be freshly cooked because we all know churros are best when they’re warm.
The guys let me hop inside the truck and take some photos to see the churro cooking in action and so I could get some nice photos. When the churros are done they’re hung for a minute to let it cool slightly and then chopped into churro pieces and served fresh with a dusting of icing sugar and an optional choice of warm milk chocolate sauce.
The churro truck is open everyday except the days when Vic Market are closed which is Monday & Wednesday (see more info here) I like my churros plain with some icing sugar and passing the churro truck when I’m in the area I just have to get some. Say hello to the guys in the truck, they won’t bite.
Location: Peel Street, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne 3000
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If you’re hanging for some breakfast or lunch in the area why not try La Cantina? See my post here La Cantina – Vic Market – Burrito’s, BOOM!
* 2 cups plain flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup powdered milk
* 125g butter
* 1 large tbs peanut butter (add more if desired)
1. Sift the flour and place into a large pot on medium heat (no oil or butter required) and stir constantly for 10-15 minutes or until the flour starts to turn light brown.
2. Transfer flour into a large bowl and add the milk powder and sugar and combine together
3. Melt the butter and mix with peanut butter
4. Add butter mixture into to the flour mixture and combine until it forms a light damp sand texture
5. Using a polvoron molder tool (ask your filipino friends mum where to get one) scoop the mixture and then rub against the side of the bowl until nice and firm.
6. Pop the polvoron out from the molder tool onto some square pieces of tissue paper (Japanese paper) and wrap it like a candy or pop it straight into your mouth (you don’t have to wrap it up but it’s always a treat to open it up like a candy)
Here’s a few pictures that follow the method above.
Things I learnt:
* If the mixture falls apart easily in the molded form or when wrapping, add more butter until it becomes more firm
* If the flour isn’t turning light brown, be patient, you’ll get there.
* Although it’s a very easy dessert/treat to make, it’s a tedious task of molding the polvoron and wrapping it up
* I love polvoron, so I doubled the ingredients and made plenty to share!
OMG, chocolate covered churros!!! That’s right with the help of Ashley from Food Pampering Yourself and Spanish Doughnuts I got to taste them all, well most of them! That’s why I’m all churro-ed out! So many different chocolate coverings and stuffing to make anyone go into a Churro Food Coma.
Here’s what I tried and a few more! They have milk chocolate churro, dark chocolate, white chocolate, tripple chocolate, caramel stuffed churro, custard stuffed churro, peanut butter stuffed churro, jam stuffed churros, plain churros and much more!
But my favourite type of churro is the plain type. I like em soft, crunchy, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with a side of milk, dark or white chocolate.I went to the store on Elizabeth St close to Flinders St, don’t expect a massive store where you can chomp away on churros because it’s a small express Churro outlet with a few tables outside but I guess it’s more for on the go cravings! If you love churro’s I dare you to try them all!
Spanish Doughnuts CHURRO EATING COMPETITION!
OKAY! If you’re a churro junkie and you think you can eat all the churro’s above and more then Spanish Doughnuts are holding their very first CHURRO EATING COMPETITION!!! Where you can win $1000 for eating the most churros in 2 minutes. That’s right, one thousand dollars! From me posting this you don’t have much time to register because registration closes just before 11am on the 13th of August 2011 where they’ll be randomly selecting 10 lucky contestants to partake in the Churro Eating Competition! They’ll announce this at their Westfield Doncaster store. Don’t worry you don’t have to be there, they’ll notify you by email. The actual competition will be held onSaturday the 20th of August, noon at Federation Square, Melbourne. So you better Register Now!
Don’t worry if you don’t make the cut, they’ll be giving out a whole lot of free Churros on the day and you’ll get to see 10 very eager churro eaters chomping on a whole lot of churro.
To sum up it up…
Registration: Closes at around 10:30am Saturday 13th August 2011. Click here to register!
Churro Eating Competition:
@ Federation Square
Saturday 20th August 2011
Anyways, got a churro craving or want a churro with a twist? Try out Spanish Doughnuts. They have a stall down at Flinders St Station as well so when you get off the train or while waiting for your train, maybe try each flavour and share it here.
If you haven’t had enough churro from this post, check out these posts from a few other bloggers:
Have you ever been driving down the Maroondah Hwy through Coldstream on the way to Healesville and seen the Spanish style, beautiful orange roof buildings amongst acres and hills of grape vines and trees? Well, that place is Tokar Estate Winery. Having been to Healsville several times and eaten at Bella Vedere, I wanted to checkout Tokar Estate Winery solely because of its picturesque views of the valley and skyline.Obviously this shows that harvest is finished, winter has kicked in, the air crisp and cold but the views still take your breath away. Tokar Estate is not all about the wines, they also have a beautiful family owned restaurant with inside and alfresco dining open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is run by Leon and Rita Tokar who are very lovely hosts and gave their time to talk to myself and my partner and answered all the questions we threw at them.We arrived for lunch took some beautiful pictures outside and made our way into the restaurant. We built ourselves a little bit of an appetite and didn’t waste any time to order. We learnt that the menu changes every 2 weeks or so depending on some of the produce from the local markets and the vegetables and herbs they grow in the garden. We also learnt from Leon that there’s no beef farmers in the Yarra Valley so it’s obviously sourced elsewhere but there is a game meat supplier in the area which they source venison and rabbit from (yummm!). Unfortunately they weren’t on the menu that day. To wet our taste pallets we ordered a tasting plate of liver parfait, bruchetta, cheese and other nibblies.The tasting plate definitely got the ball rolling and my favourite was the liver parfait with crackers and a bit of this pickled radish type side. Also tried some mushroom soup which was creamy and delish.For mains we had a Salmon with potato kipflers dressed in honey mustard sauce and a beef steak served with a layered potato slice and vegetables.To complement our dishes our waiter suggested the Chardonnay for our entrees and Tokar’s signature wine the Tempranillo for our mains. Good choice waiter! The Tempranillo went very well with the steak. Next time we serve up some steak for dinner I’m going get the family to try this out.Now to my favourite course, dessert. My partner and I were keen to get one dessert to share but then our wandering and greedy eyes got us ordering the assiette of desserts (served on one large late) which landed us three very nice and super good tasting desserts.Here we have a dark chocolate ganache tart served with homemade vanilla ice-cream. To get the full enjoyment out of it you had to eat each component combined with the vanilla ice-cream.Above we have the chocolate moose served with a berry side. This was my partners favourite and I coukdn’t agree more. The moose and tart it was in cased in was beautiful and together with the berry, it was a match made in heaven.The cheesecake looked amazing and instead of a biscuit base there’s macadamia nuts which go really well with the cheesecake and don’t forget to have it with the vanilla consummate.I waited until the restaurant cleared a little so I could take this wonderful picture of the view from inside the restaurant. If you’re seated near the window or sitting out on the alfresco dining area you can enjoy the beautiful food, fresh air and picturesque scenery of the valley. Perfect for a romantic day or night out and make sure to book on the weekends as they can get quite busy.Tokar Estate Winery and Restaurant has been ticked off on my Yarra Valley to do list and can be put onto my to visit again in spring or summer list. The tasting plate and desserts were the highlights for me and I enjoyed the Tempranilla wine which I will be trying again. Good food, good wine and great scenery makes Tokar Estate a must do on the Yarra Valley list.
A big thank you to Yarra Valley Secrets for organising a table for me at Tokar Estate on a very last minute notice and thank you to Leon and Rita Tokar for their very warm hospitality.
Location: 6 Maddens Lane, Coldstream, VIC 3770
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Phone: (03) 5964 9585
Sorry Hoyts, move over choc-top, say HELLO to BEN & JERRY’S!!! That’s right, went to the free ice-cream night at Ben & Jerry’s newly opened store at Highpoint Shopping Centre. Went early and there were people already lining up and the wait wasn’t long at all, should of gone back for seconds.I’ve only tried their Strawberry Cheesecake ice-cream before which was awesome and now I’ve tried Chunky Monkey with its walnuts, chunky chocolate bits and banana. Massive thumbs up for Chunky Monkey!So many flavours, more excuses to watch more movies at Hoyts. I hope they let you take Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream into the cinema.I hope Ben & Jerry’s is here to stay because we’ve seen the likes of Streets Ice-Cream and other sweet stores disappear from that area.
Gotta love Ben & Jerry’s
“Tomato, cheese, mushroom, grilled chicken tenders & fresh avocado” 15.9
My good friends at FOOD-Pampering-Yourself gave me and several other bloggers an opportunity to be apart of their very first food trail which landed us a special feast at Universal Italian Restaurant. I was also delighted to meet Alfie the proud owner of Universal Italian Restaurant, given a tour of the upstairs function area, was able to meet several other awesome food bloggers and to top it off had a full and very satisfied stomach.
Right in the heart of Lygon St, Universal Italian Restaurant is a personal favourite on mine and the good news is, they’re expanding. They’ve acquired the space next door and will be opening up the place to integrate as one. They’ve also converted upstairs to a very nice function & bar area, including an open balcony for some fresh air and drinks.
We were presented with a massive line-up of food, from the starters, entrée, main, pizza, pasta and home made dessert menu. I felt spoilt and was absolutely content. The food looked amazing and now looking back at the menu and prices, they were all under $20 so I have to say that’s good value for some great food. But let the photos do the talking.
“Homemade pesto, fresh tomatoes & feta cooked on a pizza base” 8.5
“Cheese & garlic pizza” 7.5
“Baked oysters with bacon & Worcestershire sauce”
“Marinated & grilled BBQ chicken wings” 8.5
I Am Angus
“Tomato, cheese, Grilled beef strips, roasted red capsicum,onion, jalapeños & a drizzle of garlic mayo” 14.9
“Certified Australian Angus, 150 day grain fed – 270g” 18.9
Slow Roasted Pork Ribs
“Slow roasted tender marinated pork ribsserved with roasted butternut pumpkin & corn on the cob” 19.9
“Tuscan marinated chicken breast fillet grilled &served with wild mushroom risotto” 15.5
“Creamy risotto with pan seared tiger prawns, mussels, spinach & roasted capsicum, with a touch of spicy olio & napolitana sauce” 18.5
“Grilled fresh Atlantic salmon filletserved with vegetable ratatouille & roasted garlic aoli” 19.9
Gelato Tasting Plate for Two
“A variety of Italian gelato & premium ice cream” 7.5
“Coffee & liqueur soaked savoiardi biscuits, smothered inmascarpone cream & chocolate shavings” 8.5
“Vanilla bean & honey flavored panna cotta,with wild berry soup, caramel toffee shard & Persian fairy floss” 8.5
“New York cheesecake mixed with fresh blueberries on a biscuit crust” 8.5
Chocolate Mud Pudding
“A dense & moist mud pudding served with chocolate fudge,corinthian wafer & macadamia nut ice cream” 8.5
What a satisfying array of food from the Universal menu. I can’t wait to go back when they’ve fully renovated the restaurant and possibly put a few new items on the menu.
Checkout their website http:/www.universalrestaurant.com.au for more information on their function facilities and options and also checkout their online menu which makes my life easier :)
Contemplating a visit to Lygon St or just happen to drop by? Why not give Universal Italian Restaurant a go. I recommend trying the Buffalo Wings, Porter House Steak, I am Angus pizza, the Tuscan Chicken with Mushroom Risotto and my favourite dessert was the Chocolate Mud Pudding…drooool!!!
Location: 139-141 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, (03) 9347-4393
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