Super Easy Pavlova Nests – need to whip up a quick dessert?

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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.

NOTE: Before you begin, make sure to not to make the nests until you’re ready to serve them. Once you’re ready to serve them, slap it all together and serve them right away.

Ingredients:

  • Pavlova Nests (pack of 10)
  • Thickened Cream (600ml)
  • Fruits (i used peaches and blueberries)

First of all, we’re not going to make the pavlova nests, we’re going to use pre-made nests from your local super market and they’re only around $5 for a pack of 10 or you could buy the meringue nests which are pretty much the same thing. This way, you’re guaranteed perfect pavlova nests that taste and will hold its form. But also be wary that the nests can break in the packaging or already be broken so if you’re expecting a lot of company, buy an extra packet.

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The next thing you’ll need is some thickened cream (300-600ml depending on how many you make). Just whip it up, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a tablespoon of sugar. The cream doesn’t need to be sweet because the pavlova or meringue nest is already sweet. Put some glad wrap over it and place it in the fridge if you’re going to be serving these later on. Otherwise, whip up the cream just before you serve them.

Choose your fruit or fruits. I recommend sticking with 2 or 3 because the nests aren’t that big to fit more than that and plus 2 or 3 fruits look and taste better. For these pavlova nests we chose peaches and blueberries. You can buy canned fruit like we did for the peaches and bought the blueberries because they’re in season.
Ok, now you have your 3 main ingredients, lets build these treats:

  1. carefully layout your pavlova nests on a tray or plate
  2. If you haven’t whipped the cream yet, do so with the method above. Then slap on the whipped cream. The cream doesn’t need to be neatly piped on, I recommend to just slap it onto the nests but still be careful as they’re quite fragile and you do want people to be able to pick them up and eat them.
  3. place your fruit on top and you’re done. They’re ready to be served.

I told you it was easy. We made these 10-15 minutes before the Melbourne Cup race was about to start. I don’t think some of the people were impressed because we whipped the cream with an old mixer and caused static on the TV. Oh well but I have to say, they tasted the bomb!

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 Photos, taken with iPhone 5

Basil Pesto Dip

Amee on Instagram requested a recipe for my Basil Pesto Dip pictured above, so this post is just for you 🙂

This is how I make pesto, it’s so easy to remember that you can whip it up in 5 minutes for a quick healthy snack with crackers or add it to some pasta.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
– 1 bunch of Basil leaves
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (up to you on how much you want)
– Pine nuts (or cashews)
– 1 tbls Parmesan Cheese
– 1 tsp Salt

Method:
– Clean the basil leaves and place into a StickMaster/MixMaster or do it old school and use a mortar and pestle to break down the leaves into small pieces.
– Now the rest is easy, throw the garlic cloves, nuts, parmesan and salt into the StickMaster, pour in the Olive Oil and then mix away. Up to you on how fine you want to blend it down to, but I like to blend it until the basil leaves have fully been chopped into tiny pieces, especially when i use it for dips.

This is the same method I use when making pesto for pasta, all you do is mix is together with your cooked pasta and you have a quick easy healthy dish. I like to also add a few pieces of chicken, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese to make it a little more exciting.

You can use different leave/greens to make pesto but I’ve only tried this method with spinach and basil, so let me know what else you’ve used to make pesto.

Cookie Monster Cupcakes so easy to make

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.

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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls – Prawn & Pork

Rice paper rolls for dinner. It’s always best to make your own rice paper roll rather than pre-making rice paper rolls.

It gives the family or company time to bond and of course you can make your roll as big or small as you want.

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Now how easy is it to prepare and put together? This easy!

So, what are the main ingredients and I’ve added a few tips to putting it together.

I’m going to list this in the order I put my rice paper roll together.

Rice Paper Rolls – best to get them from an Asian grocer rather than your local supermarket like Coles or Woolworths. Have a bowl of hot water to put the rice paper roll in to soften it up ready for rolling.

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Lettuce – usually it’s prepared in big pieces but you can also chop em up into smaller pieces.

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Mint Leaves & Greens – I like it with mint leaves but there’s other types of leaves you can use to mix it up.

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Rice Virmicelli – thin rice noodles you can get from any supermarket or Asian grocer. I don’t like to put alot but some people like to pile this onto their roll.

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Cucumber – not necessary but gives the crunch in the roll

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Prawns – just boil and peel them. If you’re using larger prawns I like to cut them in half

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Pork – boil some pork belly and then cut them into slices

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Hoisin Sauce – get this from your local Asian grocer. Start with a bit of oil in a pot on medium heat, add some chopped up garlic, then add the hoisin sauce mixture, add a pinch of salt, a spoonful of peanut butter (yup peanut butter) and then add some boiling water. Make sure to stir constantly.

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That’s it. Not hard at all and the best thing about it is that it’s quite healthy minus the sauce.