Malaysian Dinner

Malaysian Satay Dish

This tasty Malaysian Satay dinner was cooked by my husband ringing me for instructions whilst I was on the bus on my way home. The intiative is amazing. I finished cooking it when I finally arrived home.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
1tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 kg diced meat
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup of coconut cream
2 cups of chopped mixed vegetables
1 tsp coriander

Method:
Brown the onion in the olive oil and fish sauce in a pan. Put the diced meat in the pan with the onions until cooked. Mix the peanut butter until all meat is evenly covered. Add the vegetables and coriander until half cook. Add the coconut milk then simmer.

Prawn Carbonara

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My older daughter requested Prawn Carbonara for dinner tonight. Luckily, we have all the ingredients that we need. Bon appetit!

IIngredients::
400 g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
I cup chopped mixed vegetables
1 chopped onion
2 cups peeled prawns
100 ml thickened cream
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup milk

Method:
1, Cook pasta according to the packet instruction. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
2, Brown the onion in olive oil and fish sauce. Add the prawns and mix until cooked. Add the cup of vegetables, rosemary and thyme. Mix all ingredients until the vegetables are just cooked. Add thickened cream then mix until wam then add milk. Mix until the sauce is about to boil. Don’t let the sauce boil. Keep mixing to stop the sauce from boiling.
3. Serve pasta on a plate and add the carbonara sauce on top. Add Parmesan cheese if preferred.

Mexican Dinner

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Tacos for dinner. Tacos is a traditional Mexican dish with corn tortilla (can be hard or soft) wrapped around an eclectic mix of fillings. The fillings can include any type of meat from beef to seafood and any kind of vegetables. Most importantly, the garnishes such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream and grated cheese. It is best eaten with hands. It is fun to prepare and fun to it.

Mushrooms on Toast

Mushrooms on Toasted Black Rye Bread

Mushrooms on Toasted Black Rye Bread

Where: Home
Moment: Breakfast time
Verdict: The sliced mushrooms were cooked in butter and I just added a couple of cherry tomatoes. Easy, simple and nutritious. Love it.

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Mushroom Health Benefits: (sourced from Vegetarian-Nutrition.Info website)

  • Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water, and are very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz). They have very little sodium and fat, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber. Hence, they are an ideal food for persons following a weight management program or a diet for hypertensives.
  • Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties.
  • Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Male health professionals who consumed twice the recommended daily intake of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65 percent. In the Baltimore study on Aging, men with the lowest blood selenium levels were 4 to 5 times more likely to have prostate cancer compared to those with the highest selenium levels.

Homemade Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Who doesn’t like a classic comfort food that your Mum makes? I think every Mum who cooks has cooked this for their kids. This homemade spaghetti bolognese has an Asian twist flavour which my family loves. I cooked the onions and garlic in fish sauce and cooked the minced beef with oyster sauce which is generally the base for most Asian dishes so the sauce has a bit of sweet flavour to it. I included my own recipe below:

Recipe for the Bolognese Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 700g jar Italian tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

Method:

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and fish sauce. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mince. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until almost brown. Add oyster sauce, cook until minced beef is cooked.
2. Add pasta sauce, stock, sugar and basil. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Homemade Supreme Pizza

Now, we have an easy recipe for making pizza base, we will be making pizza more often. So I bid my farewell to Pizza Home Deliveries and ready-made pizza bases. Here’s one homemade pizza with ‘all things we could find in our fridge‘ toppings and the recipe (below) for a pizza base.

Homemade Supreme Pizza

Pizza Base (sourced from Best Recipes Website)
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes or less

Ingredients:
1¾ cups self-raising flour
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup boiling water

Method:
1. Place flour and cheese in a bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add oil and
boiling water.
2. Stir with a fork to combine. Knead just to combine and cover in plastic wrap and set aside
somewhere warm while pizza toppings are prepared.
3. Roll out the pizza dough to suit the size of tray. Top with choice of toppings.

 

Beef Tacos

Beef Tacos

It’s almost homemade and tacos have always been popular with my kids. All that is required was mostly my chopping skills. We bought The Old Del Paso Taco KIt which includes the taco seasoning, taco sauce and taco shells with easy instructions of Cook, Heat and Serve.

Additionally, the instructions said “All you need is…:”

  • 1 small onion chopped (we used Spanish onions)
  • 600g lean mince beef
  • mixed lettuce (we used  iceberg lettuce)
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes chopped (we used normal tomatoes chopped)
  • 1 medium avocado chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated tasty cheese. (we used grated mozzarella)

We always make more for our hungry kids. I know I could easily make the taco seasoning and the taco sauce but maybe I’d do that on weekends. Working Mums during the week have time constraints.

Homemade Chorizo and Prawn Spaghetti

I think my husband is starting to enjoy my blogging exercise. He gets to eat a variety of gourmet meals at home as opposed to going out. I said to him that I need to continiously search for new materials to post. It is great for me too that I get to experiment and learn to cook a whole variety of cuisines and I have willing guinea pigs. I can certainly claim that all my products are not tested on animals. :D

Here’s the orginal recipe sourced from RecipeBook.Me website (after the pictures). I didn’t have rocket and didn’t have the time to get some from the supermarket so I replaced it with red capsicum. I also doubled the amount of everything because I know that my family loves chorizo and prawns. I also served garlic bread cut in triangles (triangle-shaped breads are heaps more enticing for kids I guess).

Cooking Chorizo and Prawns in the Skillet

Chorizo and Prawn Spaghetti

Dinner is Served

Ingredients
400g spaghetti
2 (or 1 large) chorizo sausages. I used uncooked and it releases a really nice spicy red oil.
300-400g peeled prawns. I used cooked prawns but you can use uncooked.
1-2 red chillies.
Small glass of white wine.
2 heaped tablespoons of sun-dried tomato paste or 6 sun-dried tomatoes chopped finely.
Juice of 1 lemon.
2 large handfuls of rocket.
Olive oil.

Method
1. Cook your spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water.
2. Heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a large frying pan. If you are using uncooked chorizo you could use less as the chorizo will produce a lot of oil.
3. Add the chorizo, garlic and chilli and cook until the chorizo is cooked.
4. Add the prawns.
5. Add the tomato puree and white wine and simmer for a couple of minutes.
6. When the pasta is ready, transfer it into the frying pan bringing a small amount of cooking water with it.
7. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce, add the lemon juice and most of the rocket.
8. Leave to cook for a further minute before serving with the remaining rocket on top and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

Salted Caramel Macarons

My father-in-law is visiting from Queensland for the weekend. I thought I’d make a new impression that I am now more experienced in the baking arena. I thought it’s about time to replace the embarrassing memory of when my sister-in-law asked me to help with baking a cake, I mixed the icing mix and baking flour together. Please don’t asked me why I didn’t read the instructions. It was only a packet mix after all.

Given that I have been learning how to make macarons in the last two weeks, I thought I’d do just that. Well, I don’t really have time to make something from scratch so I thought I’d cheat (shortcut maybe a better word) and kill two birds with one stone. I have been wanting to try Adriano Zumbo’s salted caramel macarons packet mix, so, I thought give it a go and would be able to make some macarons for my father-in-law at the same time. I just hope that he won’t ask for the recipe so he could give it to my mother-in;law.

Salted Caramel Macarons

Salted Caramel Macarons from Packet Mix

Little Hands at Work

My 4 1/2 year old daughter loves helping out in the kitchen. I encourage her and I thought it’s a great way to start her in the kitchen at young age. It’s keeping her amused whilst having fun and it’s certainly an enjoyable learning process for her too.

So here are some pictures of little hands at work helping out with baking Rainbow Cookies. Apologies that I don’t have a recipe as this was only baked from a packet mix.

Little hands at work

Mini M&M’s

Pressing in M&M’s

Ready to go into the oven

Too Close for Comfort

Homemade Meat Lovers Pizza

My teenage daughter came home from school and requested if we could have pizza for dinner. She asked if we could go to the supermarket and buy small pizza bases. I suggested to her that we could actually make the pizza bases ourselves if she would help me. She agreed. So I went to google (as you do) and looked for a pizza base recipe that doesn’t require yeast given that we don’t have any yeast at home.  We made the small pizza bases from scratch using the recipe below. For our toppings; we have salami, diced bacon, shreded ham and hotdog in the fridge so we used them all with red capsicum, baby rocket, onions and lot and lots of mozarella. We mixed pesto tomato, tomato sauce and basil herbs pasta sauce for our tomato base. So here’s what we made tonight for dinner:

Kneading the dough

Six small pizza bases

Smorgasbord Toppings before Cooking

Dinner is Served

Pizza Base (sourced from Best Recipes Website)
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes or less

Ingredients:
1¾ cups self-raising flour
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup boiling water

Method:
1. Place flour and cheese in a bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add oil and
boiling water.
2. Stir with a fork to combine. Knead just to combine and cover in plastic wrap and set aside
somewhere warm while pizza toppings are prepared.
3. Roll out the pizza dough to suit the size of tray. Top with choice of toppings.
Recipe notes
I cook my pizzas in an oven at 210C. A common suggestion from the reviews has been to
precook the pizza base (before you add the topping) for 5 or so minutes. I have done this and
achieved great crispy results.

Toppings:
Whatever meat and vegies you have at home.

Where Does Orange Juice Come From?

Where does orange juice come from? It’s a pretty basic question and we all know the answer to that. But for a 4 1/2 year old girl, it is a mystery.

Rather than going through a technical process of explaining to my daughter the science behind juice-making, I thought I’d show her the basic. I got some oranges and cut them in halves, pulled out the traditional electric orange juicer from the cupboard and showed her how to do it whilst she helped me with the orange-squeezing process. After we squeezed all the oranges, I poured the orange juice from the juicer jug into a drinking glass and I said to her, ” Now, you know where orange juice come from.” She seemed completely satisfied with my demonstration. Then she replied “Where does milk come from?” Hmmmm, now where do I find a dairy cow?

Oranges

Oranges ready for squeezing

Freshly-squeezed orange juice

Health Benefits from drinking freshly-squeezed orange juice:

  • A glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice provides the body the recommended daily dosage of Vitamin C.
  • Freshly-squeezed orange juice has enough flavonoids that can help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
  • Freshly-squeezed orange juice is high in antioxidants which can reduce how much damage free radicals are doing to the cellular structure of your body.
  • The various phyto-nutrients and flavonoids to be found in freshly squeezed orange juice can help to protect you against various degenerative diseases.
  • Freshly-squeezed orange juice contains large amounts of dietary fibre, folates and thiamine.
  • Studies carried out have shown that it can protect you against cancer and heart disease and improve the way your immune system responds to attacks.

Third Time Lucky – Tiffany Macarons

My husband said I am stubborn! I say I am tenacious. When I want to do something, some inexplicable force from Darth Vader possesses me and it becomes a mission. I will not give up until I am completely satisfied with the result. Always in a good way though (that’s my version). This character trait hasn’t got me in any trouble so far so it’s here to stay…

My first attempt of macaron-making was not a total disaster (depending on who’s telling the story). The taste was good (although I slightly suspect that my willing ‘guinea pigs’ were being nice in providing their feedbacks) however, the shells were although colourful, they magically ended up in different odd shapes and sizes.

The second attempt was an Adriano Zumbo packet mix. Again, the taste was delicious but I think I beat the life out of the meringue mix and the mix became a little runny and it wouldn’t stay within the small round shaped pattern on the baking sheet. Consequently after baking,  shells were looking emaciated and unhealthy as if they belong to a Giorgio Armani fashion show runway.

The third attempt was almost perfect and I am absolutely ecstatic. The mission is almost accomplished. The macarons look perfect and the imperfection is hidden behind the scene. (I can almost pretend that all went well). I was only able to use 90% of the shells because whilst baking, some shells cracked due to the air from hollow piping. I have decided to make it a Tiffany-blue colour using the same recipe as my first attempt but I have included the lessons learned from the previous first and second attempts.

Here are the pictures of my third time lucky:

Meringue Mix – Perfect Texture

The Shells

Delicious

Almost Perfect

Tiffany Macaron (and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg)

Here’s the recipe I used (again):

Ingredients:
175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
3 large free-range egg whites
75g caster sugar

For the filling:
150g butter, softened
100g icing sugar
2 tbsp of fine dessicated coconut (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Whizz the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor to a very fine mixture, then sift into a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar until thick and glossy. (At this point you can stir in flavour extract, such as peppermint or lemon, and corresponding colouring such as blue or yellow, to your meringue mixture, depending on what kind of macaroons you want – see chef’s tip. Or divide the meringue among different bowls if you want to make more than one colour.)
3. Fold half the almond and icing sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well. Add the remaining half, making sure you use a spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it is shiny and has a thick, ribbon-like consistency as it falls from the spatula. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Pipe small rounds of the macaroon mixture, about 3cm across, onto the baking sheets. Give the baking sheets a sharp tap on the work surface to ensure a good ‘foot’. Leave to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to form a slight skin. This is important – you should be able to touch them lightly without any mixture sticking to your finger. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
5. Meanwhile, make the filling/s (unless making chocolate macaroons – see chef’s tip). In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar. (You can now add flavouring or nuts, and colour.) Use to sandwich pairs of macaroons together.

Judging Passionfruit Macarons

Today is the ‘Judgement Day’  for the passionfruit macarons packet mix that Adriano Zumbo released recently. I was ecstatic when I saw it in the supermarket given that his macarons is one of my favourites. It is indeed a happy thought having a little packet of Zumbarons hiding in my cupboard at my beck and call. I was wanting to see whether the ‘do-it-yourself’ macarons are equally delicious as the ‘wait-for-15-minutes-in-the-queue-over-the-patisserie-counter’ macarons.

The packet includes the meringue mix, almond meal, the passionfruit filling, the tracing circle and two piping bags. What’s not included in the pack is the common sense to not over-beat the merangue mix and the delicate and experienced hands for the piping exercise to carefully put in the right amount of meringue mix into the circle on the baking sheet for a perfectly fat and round shells.

The verdict is they are as delicious as the ones you can get from the Patisserie but the ones we made didn’t look scrumptious like the ones in the picture. Okay, if truth be told, its 10% less delicious but I factored in the extra hard work in that verdict.

The Packet Mix

Tracing circles onto the baking sheet

Mixing the meringue

Piping out the meringue mix into the circles

It looks similar to a macaron

It’s the taste that counts – they are delicious but not as pretty

Emergency Pasta Meal

I am a working Mum raising two kids. I work at work, I work at home then I work out at the Fitness Studio. Not necessarily in that order. So an emergency meal is always my cup of tea. Anything that I have to prepare and cook for more than 30 minutes, I don’t want to know. So. here’s an emergency meal to cook at home when everything went wrong at work half an hour before 5:00pm and your apathetic and slave driver Boss made you stay at work whilst your kids are all hungry waiting at home for you to cook. Honestly, even your husband who is incompetent in boiling an egg can cook this. (Please don’t tell him I said that.)

Prawn Pesto Pasta


Ingredients:
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 green capsicum and/or red capsicum
1 cup of carrots and/or mushroom
1 cup of peeled prawns
2 x 190g of Basil Pesto
300g of spaghetti

Method:
1. Cut up the vegetables (Slice or Dice).
2. Cook the vegetables in a frying pan with one teaspoon of olive oil and 190g of basil pesto in less than 10 minutes.
3. Cook pasta spaghetti separately. When spaghetti is cooked, strain the water.
4. Mix spaghetti with the vegetables and add another jar of 150g basil pesto. Cook all together in the frying pan for another 5 minutes.
5. Serve and get your awesome smartphone, take a picture, then post it in your Facebook! Lol!

Notes:
You don’t have to have all the vegetables in the list of ingredients or substitute vegetables with whatever you have in the fridge.
Prawns can be substituted with chorizo.
Spaghetti can be substituted with any pasta available at home.

Twirl spaghetti on the spoon or on the bottom of your plate?

Banana Bread Warmth

If you are looking for a snack that is somewhat healthy and offers warmth as good your grandmother’s hug, then have a banana bread. You can get them from almost all the cafes around Sydney. The reason I think is banana bread is comfort food at its very best. The best one you could get is the one baked at home. It’s the easiest thing to bake (I have a simple recipe for you too) and it lasts long if kept in an airtight container. You can have them for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Is it bread? Is it cake? Whatever it is – it’s yummy!

Ingredients:
3 bananas
1 teaspoon almond meal
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or honey)
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup self-raising flour
pinch of salt

Method:
1. Heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced)
2. Grease and line the base of a loaf pan.
3. In a medium bowl, mash bananas then add golden syryp. Add sugar and stir in.
4. Add egg, sifted flour, almond meal and salt then slowly mix until combined.
5. Pour into loaf pan and cook for 30 minutes or until a skewer is inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool.

Mashed Bananas & Basic Ingredients & Tools

Yummy Moist Banana Bread

Cool Kids Bake

How many times have you felt wanting to disappear off the face of Earth when the kids are all at home and bouncing off the wall on a rainy Sunday morning whilst you’re not that type of parents who would happily see them sit in front of an idiot box, xbox or any gadget that Apple has created.

So here’s an idea. When a boring rainy Sunday gets tough perhaps teach your kids how to bake with kids easy-peasy-japanesey recipes. Not only It’s fun for the kids to learn how to bake, they sure are won’t get hungry.

Chocolate Cupcakes using a Junior Masterchef Recipe

Banana Cupcakes Recipe with Colourful Icing

Chocolate Cupcakes with Glitters & Sparkes Icing Decor

Chocolate Fondue

You can experience the delight of dipping your favourite fruits in a scrumptious warm chocolate fondue from a number of popular Chocolatiers – that in this day and age, where there’s a good degree of focus on keeping fit and eating healthy, there’s a number of them peppered around Sydney. These places offer an irresistible good selection of anything chocolate, hence, they are widely more popular than an ordinary cafe. Here are the popular chains in my order of preference; Lindt, San Churro, Guylian and Max Brenner.

I have decided to try and do it at home. Not only I can make a big platter of fruits and a big size of chocolate fondue, I will have more than enough to eat to my heart’s content and to share with the whole family and probably with our phantom neighbours as well (as opposed to the teeny-weeny sizes you get served in those places mentioned above).

Here’s what you need:
1 good fondue set
1 bar of Lindt cooking milk chocolate (or dark chocolate)
1 small jar of thickened cream
1 rock melon
5 bananas
5 punnets of strawberries
Any other fruits you fancy or 1 small packet of marshmallows

Method:
1. Cut up the fruits into small pieces (a tad bigger than when making a fruit salad)
2. Cut up the cooking chocolate into small pieces
3. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan whilst stirring it continuously over the lowest stove heat setting. Don’t let it boil.
4. Once melted, add thickened cream little by little to your taste of chocolate strength and mix well.
5. Serve in the fondue set.

Enjoy! Feel good! Then exercise to burn the calories. Then feel good again.

Lindt Cooking Chocolate

Mixing Melted Chocolate with Cream

Dessert is Served

Banana Dipped in Chocolate Fondue

All Finished…

Macarons Making Attempt

Bring me macarons and you can do me no wrong. It’s one my favourite little pleasures in life. It is pretty! It is yummy! It is French! What’s not to like? Can I just please say that the only reason why I want to go back to Paris is to go to Laduree and gorge myself with their macarons.

Do you know how much macarons are in Sydney? (Not that they are cheaper in Paris). You can get them for $2.50 to $3.50 each. It will only take me a couple of seconds to scoff one down my throat and the taste would have just slightly touched my taste buds. They are not cheap. Given that, I thought I’d better learn how to make them myself. So I made it my mission. I googled the easiest but yummiest macaron recipe there is in the world and have decided to make a grand attempt. I found one from a UK website called DeliciousMagazine.co.uk .

Generally, when someone shows a Before and After shots whether it’s a Makeover or a Weight Loss, the after shots are always better. Well, I dare to differ. I will only show you the “before they were baked” shots. After baking, the macarons were in dire need of a cosmetic surgery given they didn’t look particularly appetizing. The blue ones shrunk, the pink ones were all in odd sizes and the yellow ones weren’t so yellow.  “Don’t judge the book by its cover!” I said. And no, I didn’t have to twist my husband’s arms so he would be my guinea pig and taste what appeared to be macarons. The verdict? I was told that it was pretty delicious for a first attempt. I just need to practice to make them look pretty.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Ingredients:
175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
3 large free-range egg whites
75g caster sugar
For the filling
150g butter, softened
75g icing sugar

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Whizz the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor to a very fine mixture, then sift into a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar until thick and glossy. (At this point you can stir in flavour extract, such as peppermint or lemon, and corresponding colouring such as blue or yellow, to your meringue mixture, depending on what kind of macaroons you want – see chef’s tip. Or divide the meringue among different bowls if you want to make more than one colour.)
3. Fold half the almond and icing sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well. Add the remaining half, making sure you use a spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it is shiny and has a thick, ribbon-like consistency as it falls from the spatula. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Pipe small rounds of the macaroon mixture, about 3cm across, onto the baking sheets. Give the baking sheets a sharp tap on the work surface to ensure a good ‘foot’. Leave to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to form a slight skin. This is important – you should be able to touch them lightly without any mixture sticking to your finger. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
5. Meanwhile, make the filling/s (unless making chocolate macaroons – see chef’s tip). In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar. (You can now add flavouring or nuts, and colour – see chef’s tip.) Use to sandwich pairs of macaroons together.

Banana Cupcakes

Life is too short. So I don’t buy green bananas. There’s also a bit of Goldilocks in me so I only want bananas that are just right. But during Summer, my just right ripe bananas go off pretty quickly due to heat. And I won’t be visiting a fruit shop to buy one banana a day. So, I guess making banana cupcakes the quick and easy way is a better alternative than throwing out over ripe bananas. Here’s how…

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients:
3 bananas
2 tablespoons golden syrup
¾ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup self-raising flour
pinch of salt

Method:
1. Heat oven 160°C fan forced.
2. Mash bananas in a bowl.
3. Add golden syrup then stir in and add caster sugar then stir in.
4. Add egg, sifted flour and salt and lightly mix until combined.
5. Pour mix into cupcakes mould and bake for 20 minutes or until skewer is inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then put the icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:
30g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, softened
2 cups icing sugar

Method:
1. Mix all ingredients and beat until fluffy.
2. Put the icing on the cupcakes when cupcakes have cooled down.

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing: