Crispy skinned salmon with balsamic galze

So crispy skinned salmon is one of my all time favourite meals. It is easy, quick and tastes fantastic. I don’t like a thick marinade but I have found a brand at my local grocery store that makes one that is the consistency of soy sauce. I try to have it on hand each week as I know Salmon will be part of my weekly food plan. I tried an Asian spices flavour in the same range however and was definitely not a fan. Slightly suprising as their teriyaki one is delicious. The salmon takes no time at all to cook and can be marinated for as little as 15 minutes before cooking. I use a wee bit of olive oil in the pan, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 4 minutes either side. I find the fish works well with rice and greens and on this occasion, I had left over coconut rice so I was able to heat that up and dinner took no time at all. I don’t enjoy having the same meal every night – does anyone! So this is a good go to when work is busy, exercise is on the agenda or other post work activities and you want a healthy meal that is not prepared in the microwave (although that works every now and then, no one wants frozen meals every night!!). If Crispy skinned salmon is not part of your meal planning or current cooking repertoire I hope that this post inspires you to give it a go ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Posted in Dinner, Easy meals, Food photography, Home cooking | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Tri-coloured buttercream cupcakes

So this last weekend was wet in Brisvegas, like do not leave home, do not drive a vehicle, stay in, enact wet weather plan and do stuff that you normally don’t get time to do. One of the things I … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

I feel like I have been playing the game of pac man recently where the dots are my time and the dot munchers are everything except things which really allow me to relax and recharge away from the Monday – … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Enmore’s Great Aunty Three

Ok so finally today I got to try food from a place I have literally been drooling over for months – Great Aunty Three in Enmore, Sydney and omg I can rest assured that the food lived up to my expectations, nice one guys high 5.๐Ÿ‘Š I’m not fussy when it comes to food (except cooked prawns, I have always disliked those for some unknown but for very valid reason, they are cold, chewy, have a line of poo still in them and no matter how hard I tried I always seemed to get a little bit of shell till stuck to mine. Otherwise, I will pretty much eat anything anywhere. Prefer to cook than get take out but like to try different places every now and then. I’m so happy I made the time to adventure here today, especially as my local fav on Inala burnt down recently ๐Ÿ˜“. So if you are in Sydney for the weekend, make sure you put this place on your ‘to eat’ list, you surely won’t be disappointed. Yummo, thanks guys ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ–’๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ

Only questions I had after the meal were how did I know it was going to be SO good and when can I come back ๐Ÿ˜Š

Some pics of my adventures along the way!


Follow them on insta if you don’t already – it is like an amazing and delightful feast for your eyes every day!
โคโคโค #eatsaround #nsw #enmore #surrryhills #sydney #foodie #yum #delicious #tasty #food #vietnamese #eaaaaats #sydneyeats #vietnamesefood #greatauntythree โคโคโค

Posted in Eats around, Weekend | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I had been wanting to find a new receipe for a carrot cake that I could master and have with me ongoing and I was delighted to realised I had achieved that with this winning combination. I feel that carrot cakes can be a bit hit and miss and over the years with the ones I have tried I have been happy enough but never consistently so. Either the cake was too dry or didnโ€™t have any walnuts or had pineapple or was too store made tasting so I kept searching. I have used receipes from many different websites and tried packet mixes when time didnโ€™t permit and this one is a modified version of one I came across on the back of the cream cheese block from Aldi (favourite shop of all time!)

The cake is delicious, definitely not dry, has enough carrot and walnuts to satisfy any critic and no pineapple! (Although I think the receipe did suggest to add it, however, I wisely chose not to). I whipped this up in a few hrs on Wednesday night just gone post yoga, but there are minor changes that could be made with more time (eg putting the cake in the fridge after adding the frosting to the centre of the 2 cakes to have it set a little before frosting the rest of the cake). However, those things are much of a muchness so if you were super pressed for time, it is still achievable in a short period. I had bought a new turntable recently from the cake store at Darra and this enabled me to try it out but spinning it around when I was icing the cake, albeit at a slower pace when the cake was on top as opposed to cakeless as a colleague and I giggled about this week!

I was surprised at 1st when I read this recipe as it has a lot of sugar and I was skeptical as it is caster sugar not brown sugar which I knew had traditionally been used in carrot cakes, however, my mind was made up when I tried the cake and didnโ€™t experience an overly sugary mouth full nor did I think brown sugar would have tasted better in the end!

So I made this for work and we had it for morning tea and I think the general consensus was that it tasted delicious so I am a happy cook!!

Serves 8-10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Decorating time: 15 minutes

Carrot cake ingredients (x2 for 2 cakes)

200 grams plain flour
295 grams caster sugar
1 ยผ tsp bicarb soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
ยฝ packet walnuts, coarsely chopped
167ml vegetable oil
2 eggs, free range
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium sized carrots, grated

Cake method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and 2 x 8 inch cake tins with butter and baking paper
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, bicarb, cinnamon and vanilla, stir to combine
  3. In a glass measuring cup add oil and eggs and prick with a fork and combine
  4. Pour liquid mix into dry mix and use hand held beaters to mix
  5. Add carrot and walnuts and stir till thoroughly combined
  6. Cook for 55 mins until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean
  7. Toast coconut chips towards end of cooking time for 10 mins unless lightly browned

For the frosting I modified a version I found on as I knew with the 2 cakes and filling, I would need more frosting than my normal go to 60 gram standard receipe.

Cream cheese frosting ingredients

600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250 gram block of cream cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cream cheese frosting method

  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar with a handheld beater
  2. Add cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla essence and mix in well till frosting is light and fluffy

Decorating method

  1. Cut the top โ€˜roundโ€™ part off both cakes and discard
  2. Place one cake on a cake board and top with 1 cm frosting across the top
  3. Turn 2nd cake upside down and place on top (put in fridge for 30 mins if time permits)
  4. Use a flat spatula to spread remaining cream cheese on top of cakes and down all sides
  5. Top with toasted coconut chips




Enjoy!! xx


Posted in Baking, Cooking, DIY, Down time, food, Food photography, Home cooking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yum Cha Cuisine

We started our day at the crack of dawn today! Literally a 5.45am start in the freezing cold to Volunteer at the Springfield Duathlon. Whilst it was a touch painful to have to skip the Sunday morning sleep in that I only fully indulge in during the cooler months, it was a fantastic day! The vibe and atmosphere at the Event was amazing and the mood of all of the competitors bright and cheery. ย One poor guy came back after the bike leg only to find that his running shoes had gone walkabout and not being able to run in his bike shoes lamented whilst searching painstakingly in the rows to try and located them. His shoes were never found but another charitable competitor helped him out by donating his so that he could finish the run part of the race โ€“ what a champ that guy was, literally giving him the shoes off his own feet.

After we finished up we went across to the shops and whilst we had a brief interlude into the new sushi restaurant we settled on yum cha as our feast for the day. ย Ironically we have talked about going to this place for ages now โ€“ possibly a year, or however long it has been since we 1st saw the sign for it before the restaurant was all kitted out and I am SO glad we finally made it there today. There are a variety of seating areas โ€“ including big round tables that seat at least 6 people and cosy 2 seater tables in the people watching zone where we chose to take up lodging for our meal.

I am clearly a little bit uneducated in the โ€˜yum chaโ€™ fashion scene for when the waiter 1st came around with the tray of steamed baskets and showed us the dim sims, I responded with โ€˜we didnโ€™t order thatโ€™ (nicely, not in a you’re an idiot kindof way), but lucky my friend kindly explained to me the ins and outs of the place and that was the nature of the game (thank-you Kayla for setting me straight! I feel less ignorant now for sure!).

So we settled on a few dishes which were delightful and very filling and despite walking in there and thinking I would order about 10 plates as we were famished, we still stuck within a fairly conservative lunch portion for our selections.

I was impressed about the quality of the food and how quickly it came out to the table. The pork buns were delish and I think have a greater quantity of filling to my normal go to ones from the street square in Inala. They were hot and the serving of 3 for the plate was enough to make you feel like you had satisfied that particular craving. My friend then ordered the fried bean curd, which could have used a bit more salt, but was nice especially when paired with the dipping sauces which did not accompany the dish but were provided when requested. Next up was Kaylaโ€™s rice paper rolls, a great size plate which was fantastic value for money, the food looked fresh and tasty. I was then torn between the โ€˜gyozaโ€™ which were actually the Chinese pan fried dumpling variety and a plate of noodles and I was not disappointed to order the dumplings as they were lovely and after that I knew there was no more physical room even though on a metaphorical level I could have sat for hours. The tea we shared was nice too, such a good partnership for our meals. Served in a beautiful tea pot with quaint little cups, felt like we had gone to china town for a meal.

I thought the prices for the meals were good, the cost was around $30 for the 2 of us. If it was a dinner time meal, I think we both might have eaten a bit more, however, there is always 3 meals in a day and its never necessary to eat so much in one sitting that you are so full you miss out on the next one (plus got to save some room for beers of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

If Inala was closer to where we were at the time, we most likely would have gone there in the sense that we both really appreciate good Vietnamese or other Asian foods, but I think todayโ€™s choice ticked a lot of boxes for both of us.

I wouldnโ€™t hesitate to recommend this place to anyone in the area, it is a great local option for this type of cuisine and I am already thinking about what I will have the next time we go there! Cheers everyone and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!! Weekend still in sight for the next little while ๐Ÿ™‚



Where you will find it:

Name: Yum Cha Cusine
Located in:ย Orion Springfield Central (outside Coles and the new Butcher, near Robins kitchen, at the Schnitzel End).
Address:ย 1 Main St, Springfield Central QLD 4300



Posted in Eats around, food, Weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pork Belly

Recently a friend and I went to a new Thai restaurant at Springfield Lakes. We had 2 dishes and some coconut rice to share as well as a beer each. One of the meals we ordered was a Crispy Skinned Pork Belly and it was AMAZING!!! I had the leftovers for lunch at work the next day and I was still super satisfied by the dish as it was not something I had made or tried before.

Up for the challenge, I decided to recreate the dish in my own way and took to the internet to get some recipe inspiration. Whilst I did get some ideas and encouragement from there, I decided to come up with my own combination of ingredients as I knew what flavours I was after and away I went.

The pork does take a long time to cook. Well, it does if you want the skin to be crispy. You could slice that off, cook it on a separate rack in the oven and possibly speed up the process however, I wanted my pork pieces to have both the meat and the crackling, so I painstakingly sat in front of the oven and then moved the tray around a few times watching the process evolve (over hrs!!)

When the meat is cooked, you need to take it out of the oven, put it on the bench and rest if for about 10 minutes before cutting it. You might find that it is quite tricky to not hover over the tray inhaling the aromas as if your nose was blocked and the steam was the vicks vapor remedy.

I canโ€™t believe how delicious the pork is, or that it took me so long to get to making this dish, the meat is tender but the skin is hard and because it sat in the marinade for long enough before cooking, the sweet flavours of the sugar and chilli are infused through every tasty bite.

It is very challenging to not eat a piece of the meat when you are cutting it, but I think a โ€˜taste testโ€™ is always necessary for the home cook ;P.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours 20 mins

Marinade Ingredients

1 ยฝ tablespoons minced garlic
3 fresh red chillis
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger powder
juice of one lime
4 cloves garlic, peeled
salt (to season)
pepper (to season)
zest of one lime


Marinade method

  1. Add garlic to medium sized mixing bowl
  2. Chop chillis and transfer to the bowl
  3. Add brown sugar, vinegar’s, lime juice and soy sauce
  4. Stir, leave to sit for 5 minutes
  5. Take pork out of the fridge and remove from wrapping
  6. Line a baking tray with alfoil and spray oil, add garlic gloves and pour marinade into pan
  7. Use a sharp knife to score the skin in both diagonal directions, season well with salt and pepper
  8. Rub olive oil into surface of skin, add the zest of one lime, cover with glad-wrap and refrigerate for one hour

Roasting the pork

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Place baking tray into centre of oven ยผ of way from top rack and bake for 2 hrs
  3. Turn the heat up to 220 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes to crisp up the skin
  4. After 2 hrs 20 mins, turn off oven and take out, leave to rest for 10 minutes

Stir fry method

  1. Add a splash of oi to a fry pan and pour the remaining liquid from the baking pan into the saucepan, add the broccoli, put the lid on and cook for 2 minutes
  2. Add the red capsicum, stir, cover with lid for another 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and do the same
  3. Cut the pork belly into smaller pieces skin side down on a board with a sharp knife
  4. Add the meat to the saucepan, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes

Coconut rice

  1. Cook 2 cups of jasmine rice, in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and a can of coconut milk
  2. Turn off stove, when liquid has fully been absorbed into rice



The meal is ready to be cooked – after marinading in the refrigerator for an hour (or overnight)


Veggies are all prepped and ready to be stir fried (leafy Asian greens also work well if Broccoli is not an option).


The long cooking time will be worth it, pour a glass of wine whilst you wait ๐Ÿ™‚


Make sure you drizzle some of the sauce from the pan into the bowls when you are ready to serve!


Ready to eat, yum, this combination is a delicious treat.


Enjoy!! xx


Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food photography, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Breakfast muffins

A long time ago now, I made some spinach, feta and sun-dried tomato muffins. They were good, but the recipe was complicated and recommended frozen spinach instead of fresh (I much prefer fresh as find frozen to be dry and lifeless) and buttermilk which meant I would use a small amount and then have the rest in the fridge which I would no doubt throw out at some point as I didnโ€™t have anything else in mind to use up the remainder of the liquid. Fast forward a few years and I have used many different recipes to make a similar version of the same, albeit usually changing or modifying things ever so slightly as I didnโ€™t feel I had perfected the recipe yet. After much internet research over time (usually procrastinating from the task at hand), I came across a Julie Goodwin recipe for Cheesy Lunch muffins which I made and I was very satisfied with the results, I felt she had hit the nail on the head when it came to making delicious savoury muffins. Despite her recipe being simple and very tasty, I still wanted to modify it slightly to suit my grocery preferences ie never having cowโ€™s milk at home (I found I wasted to much of it as it went off faster than I used it) these days and using almond milk in its place. I also wanted to season the ingredients well prior to cooking and use gluten free flour for a change (I am not gluten intolerant, but I think this receipe works best with gf flour). So in the end, the recipe below is the one I have come to rely on the most for savoury muffins and they are absolutely delicious.

In the years back ones, I used feta cheese which I enjoyed, however, I donโ€™t have it in the fridge as often as I do grated cheese and have to put it on my shopping list and therefore be quite prepared in advance if I want to make these muffins. However, with the Julie Goodwin version of the same recommending grated cheese, I found that I can usually whip up a batch of these without having to get any extra ingredients to the ones I already have in my fridge and pantry.

That is a winner in my book as it means that it can be a last minute option or an option when you feel like doing a bit of cooking, but donโ€™t want to have to pop out to the shop to get the missing ingredients.

One of my colleagues and I were talking about food this week and throughout the course of a couple of hours, it was her idea from our conversations to think about a caramelised onionย relish. It didnโ€™t take long for my mouth to start watering as I was thinking about how well that would go with the muffins I had in mind as I looked at the tomato relish in the jar on the computer screen in front of me, I knew I would definitely prefer to make my own than to buy store bought relish. Plus I had very recently made caramelised onions and the ingredients and process was at the forefront of my mind so I knew it wouldnโ€™t take long. I didnโ€™t however, want to use just a batch of caramelised onions as the sauce and pondered for a bit to come up with a relish idea โ€“ adding fresh minced chilli was my brainwave and I was definitely pleased this morning to try it out and knew I had made the right choice.

I wanted to make โ€˜texasโ€™ muffins for a change so instead of using a normal muffin tin, I made 6 large ones instead and one muffin was definitely enough for a meal (although I might have snuck in a bit more later as I wanted to revisit the flavours (they are that good!). This recipe is super easy, you stir it together so not too much washing up from beaters etc and I challenge you to not sit on the ground in front of the oven watching the muffins cook as I always find myself doing whenever I have something in the oven.

Do give these a whirl, you wonโ€™t be disappointed and you wonโ€™t likely ever order one out again as it wonโ€™t compare to the deliciousness of this recipe!

Serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Breakfast muffin ingredients

2 cups gluten free self raising flour
1 ยฝ cups grated cheese
3 eggs
ยฝ cup almond milk
60 grams butter, melted
1 can corn kernels, rinsed
150 grams spinach
100 grams sun-dried tomatoes
salt (to season)
pepper (to season)

Muffin method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a texas muffin pan with 6 baking paper inserts
  2. Combine flour and cheese in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper
  3. In a small bowl add eggs, whisk to pierce yolks, pour in milk and melted butter
  4. Using a food processor finely chop the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and add them and the corn to the miking bowl
  5. Pour in the liquid ingredients, stir till the mix is thoroughly mixed together and portion out into muffin cups

Caramelised onion relish ingredients

2 large red onions
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
ยผ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon red chilli, minced

Caramelised onion relish method

  1. Put a splash of olive oil into a saucepan, add garlic, onions, salt & pepper, fry for 3 mins
  1. Add sugar and vinegar to pan, stir and simmer for 5 mins until onions are vibrant in colour
  2. Add chilli and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  3. Turn stove off, pour ingredients into bowl, chill in fridge to cool, add to food processor and blend to combine.


1498870344800ย The bowl is one of the few things you have to wash up after cooking (thank god for dishwashers!)


You can easily make the muffin wraps with baking paper, then put a jar or tin in each cup so they paper sits in place firmly when you are scooping the mix into the pan.


Fresh from the oven and the house smells amazing, eating them when hot is best!


Shown here with the relish, the chilli gives a nice balance but the sugar in the mix means the relish is sweeter rather than spicy – yum!!

Enjoy!! xx


Posted in Baking, breakfast, Cooking, Down time, Easy meals, food, Food photography, Home cooking, receipes, Vegetables, Weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart

My friends, Emily and Tim had given me a Bill Granger cookbook (Best of Bill The Ultimate Collection of Bill Granger’s recipes) for a present a few years back and I have been drooling over this tart recipe ever since. I finally got around to making it this week and I am so glad that I did as the combination worked a treat and it was full of flavour! I modified the recipe from the original as I wanted to use rocket plus I also wanted the feta to be slightly melted as opposed to the version in the book, where you top the tart with feta after taking it out of the oven.

I know that the option of ‘Meatless Monday’ is popular these days and I try to stick to that as a plan each week by having a vegetarian or vegan option to start the nights of the working week off. This was a perfect choice for that.

I was surprised how filling the tart is as it doesn’t have a lot of bulk to it, but it was very satisfying.

Brisvegas is doing this thing where it is a little bit cold then warms up, then gets cool again, it is hard to keep up. A tart seems like the perfect cold, but not freezing comfort food. ย The best thing is the sun is usually always shining, thank goodness!

So I haven’t started doing soups to soothe the winter blues yet, but I think that is on the cards in the next few days, stay tunes and have a great weekend!

Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart Ingredients
Serves 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
3 large red onions, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
125g greek feta, cut into cubes
handful fresh rocket leaves
sprinkle grated parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Put a splash of olive oil into a saucepan, add garlic, onions, salt and pepper, fry for 3 mins
  3. Add sugar and vinegar to pan, stir and simmer for 5 mins until onions are vibrant in colour
  4. Lay pastry onto baking paper on a flat tray and roll edges of pastry in to form a crust, then pierce with a fork all over
  5. Top pastry with onions, use a pastry brush to coat crust with olive oil
  6. Take out of oven and spread rocket and feta on top of onions, sprinkle parmesan on top and bake for another 10 minutes until pastry is a light golden in colour

ย ย 

Caramelising the onions in the saucepan

Adding the toppings to the pastry

Fresh from the oven!

Listen for the crunch when you cut into the pastry!

Enjoy xx


Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Home cooking | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thai green curry chicken meatballs with mushrooms and spinach

I am going to keep this post short and sweet as it is all about the flavours today. This is a Thai Green Curry that I made withย chicken meatballs, mushrooms and spinach. In my early cooking days I used to think that I had to put every vegetable in every dish, but as I have had more experience in the kitchen, I have become more selective about which veggies I cook with which flavours. For this curry, I used a huge amount of sliced mushrooms (my if I could only eat one vegetable for the rest of my life choice) and handfuls of fresh vibrant spinach. The trick with the greens is to add them as the very last step in the dish and turn the stove off as you are doing it, so they get a few minutes of cooking from the heat in the pan but you donโ€™t overcook them and they stay a lovely bright green colour.

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Chicken meatball Ingredients

500 grams chicken mince
1 large free range egg
1 ยฝ tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt (to season)
pepper (to season)

Meatball method

  1. Add mince, garlic, spices and egg to mixing bowl and stir to combine
  2. Roll into meatballs, place on lined baking tray
  3. Add splash of oil to fry pan, cook meatballs, turning once for approx. 5 minutes
  4. Rest on plate with paper towel for 3 minutes after cooking

Curry ingredients

jar green curry paste
2 x 400ml cans coconut cream
400g button mushrooms, sliced
200g baby spinach leaves


I always add lots of spices and season the mince well for optimum flavour. For chicken mince, ginger and cumin are my go to spices and the garlic and chilli flakes are my use almost every dish flavour. I also add freshly cracked himalayan pink salt and cracked pepper.


When making chicken meatballs, I tend to use an egg as I find the mince a bit drier than red meats and the egg helps the mixture stick together well and ensures the meatballs won’t fall apart when they are cooked.


You could cook the meatballs in the curry sauce, but I prefer to fry them off 1st, so that they are a bit crisp on the outside.


Mmmmmmmmm mushrooms! One of my all time favourite vegetables!


Final touches – adding the spinach and doing a quick stir to ensure it wilts and is covered in the curry sauce.


Ready to eat! I served this with basmati rice as I like the texture and that it doesn’t absorb the sauce too much. Another option is coconut rice.


Curry method

  1. Put a splash of oil olive in the fry pan, add the curry paste and fry off for 3 minutes
  2. Add the coconut cream and stir to combine
  3. Add the meatballs, mushrooms and spinach, put lid on and simmer for 3 minutes
  4. Serve with rice

ย Enjoy xx


Posted in food, Home cooking, receipes, Vegetables, Weekend | 2 Comments