Trio of Dips

When I was 20 years old I contracted glandular fever and was bedridden for 3 months. For the first few weeks I basically couldn’t eat any solid food, and when I finally recovered enough to start on solids again, anything remotely unhealthy would make me feel 100 times worse. I found that fresh vegetables were pretty much the only thing I could stomach, so that’s pretty much all I ate. Celery, carrot and tatziki and hummus dips. You would think that it would have tainted dips for me, but it was really just the start of a beautiful friendship.Store bought dips are great (I for one, know all the ‘best’ brands), but nothing beats a homemade dip. Now that summer is here and my winter cravings for hot food 24 hours day have finally subsided, I find myself wanting some fresh (and moderately healthy) snack foods for lazy afternoons.The best thing about making dip yourself is how easy it is. Most dips only really require the ingredients to be whizzed a blender or food processor and your done! in I whipped up all three batches in under an hour and will keep in the fridge for around a week (if they last that long!)READ MORE

Red Velvet Cupcakes

When I said I was going to make these, my housemate asked me to describe what flavour is ‘red velvet’. I’ve gotta admit, I was stumped! I mean, are they chocolate? Are they vanilla? The best I  could come up with was “uhh…. red…velvet… flavour?” I mean, I know they’re delicious, does that help? I assured him that there is nothing better in this world than Red Velvet cupcakes and proceeded to get way too excited about my impending baking adventure. Sometimes when I set out to make a recipe, I’m all “Oh my god, this is going to be  so fun!” And then I actually start and it really isn’t… This was the case when I decided to make Red Velvet Cupcakes for my birthday.Now, don’t get me wrong. These babies were tasty. I ate most of the batch all by myself! But it was a series of unfortunate events that brought them into existence.

First I though I didn’t have the right patty pans. Then I didn’t fill them high enough and they didn’t rise, so I had a batch of half size cupcakes. Then I had forgotten an ingredient for the icing and the supermarket was closed. Then the recipe for the icing was waaaaayyy too runny, so I ended up adding so much extra icing sugar that I had enough to ice 100 cupcakes. Then I made myself sick eating said icing. Then I realised I hadn’t gotten any good photos of them once they were finished and I had run out of light (and patience!) Needless to say, it was an eventful afternoon of baking.

Regardless, I’ll still vouch for the deliciousness of Red Velvet cupcakes until the day I die. Even if I’m still not sure how to describe the flavour…

(Based on Cupcake No. 4 recipe found here
What You Need:
3/4 cup of Sugar
1 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of butter milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon of red food colouring
1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla2 1/2 cups of icing sugar

1/4 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of butter

What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray with patty pans/cupcake liners.
2. Stir the flour, sugar,baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together until mixed thoroughly.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, buttermilk, egg, vinegar, vanilla and food colouring.
4. With an electric mixer/beaters on medium speed, mix the wet ingredients, gradually adding the dry mixture until just combined.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared liners, filling to almost the top. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove from the tray and allow to cool on a wire rack.
7. While the cakes are cooling, beat the butter in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
8. Add the sugar, milk and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth and at a spreadable consistency.
9. Once the cakes have cooled you can ice and then store in the refrigerator to set.

Homemade Iced VoVo’s

Perhaps this is a little unfair to my international readers, as to my knowledge, Iced VoVo’s are largely an Australian thing. Essentially, Iced VoVo’s are sweet, iced cookies. When I was a kid I would go crazy for the things! My mum would get so angry at me because whenever she bought them I would scoff down half the packet in a day. Hell, I still could eat a whole pack in one sitting if I let myself… and I so often do…Okay, but seriously, VoVo’s are my all time favourite biscuit! There’s something about the soft cookie topped with sweet icing, jam and a sprinkling of coconut; it’s a brilliant combination! If you haven’t had the chance to try them out, give this recipe a whirl. I promise you wont be disappointed!

I came across this recipe on the wonderful blog Fig & Cherry. I made a few adjustments, but you can find the original recipe here.

These biscuits are actually super delicious on their own. I may or may not have eaten a whole bunch while I was attempting to ice these. Oh, and while I mention icing, I should warn you: while these are very easy to ice, it did take a bit of patience as it is fiddly work. It was more than worth my time, but there was a few minutes there where I was eyeing off the pile of un-iced cookies wondering if it was really that bad if I didn’t ice all of them… I’m glad I followed through in the end.

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Lets be honest, you know how to put together a pizza. I’m not going to pretend this is a super exciting recipe. What I will tell you, is this is probably my favourite use for the coriander pesto I made earlier in the week.I’ve had these mini pizza’s for lunch 4 out of 5 days this week. I topped them with some thin slices of tomato, strips of BBQ chicken and crumbled goats cheese. Using the pesto instead of sauce means that the pizza is light and moist and so delicious! I’m going to use pesto in place of tomato sauce all the time!

Coriander Pesto

You guys… I know Tuesday are supposed to be for DIY, but I’m too excited. Did you know that you can make pesto with anything? Don’t have basil? Or pine nuts? Don’t worry - you can still have some delicious pesto! All you really need is a bunch of herbs, some oil, a handful of nuts and some Parmesan.
Now this may not be news to you, but making pesto out of anything other than basil never occurred to me. I feel like I’ve been missing out all these years by overlooking such an obvious piece of knowledge! All the delicious pesto flavours I could have been sampling all this time! It’s enough to bring a tear to your eye…
What You Need:
2 - 3 cups of Coriander, roughly chopped
1/4 cup nuts pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I used roughly 2-3 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

What You Do:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée until blended to your preferred consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it. (Can you say easiest recipe ever?)  The pesto should keep in the fridge for a week or two. To prevent the top from going brown, pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top before you put it in the refrigerator (and drain it off when using the pesto).
I’ve been pretty much eating pesto with every meal since I made this on Sunday, it’s so good! What’s your favourite herb? Try some herb/nut combinations to see what you like best!

Strawberry and White Chocolate Cookies

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared my Strawberry Butter recipe? Well, as promised, I thought I’d share another recipe in which you can use the delicious butter. Last week it was Fairy Bread, this week it is Strawberry and White Chocolate Cookies!
Let me start off by saying these cookies are not SUPER strawberry flavoured. Unlike Strawberry loaf I did not put any actual strawberries in the dough. If you would like them to have a stronger fruity flavour you can either make your butter stronger or add in chopped up strawberries. As it stands, using the strawberry butter in your cookie mixture will give you a lovely subtle but sweet flavour.These cookies are based on my Choc Chip Cookie recipe, however instead of simply making choc chip cookies, you can try Choc Dipped, Choc Drizzles or Choc Sprinkle variations!


Strawberry Fairy Bread

So last week I shared my recipe for Strawberry Butter, but I hear you saying “This is fine and dandy, but now that I’ve made this butter - what do I do with it?”
You remember Fairy Bread? Basically buttered bread with sprinkles? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about! It’s pretty much the best thing from childhood. It has always been one of my favourite sugary snacks to make. I never really out grew the stuff.When I was in my early twenties, I went to a friends 21st birthday. There would have been about 100 people my age or older milling around at this party; drinking and being young adults (as you do). At some point, the birthday boy’s mother started bringing out food when she appeared with this GIANT tray of fairy bread, muttering under her breath about how making it was a waste of time. She was SWARMED by 20-something-year-olds, ravenous for those colourful little treats! It was literally devoured in under 5 minutes. I’ll never forget the parents who were attending the party, standing by in amazement that we would still love something so childish, SO much!
The truth is; Fairy bread is the best! It’s sugary and sweet and requires little to no cooking skills what-so-ever. Strawberry butter is the perfect way to jazz up this old favourite. You can taste the strawberry coming through subtly, making it just that little bit more flavorsome and delicious! Try it out yourself, you’ll see…

Strawberry Butter Recipe

Strawberry Butter | www.highwallsblog.comStrawberries and chocolate. I’m pretty sure I could live off those two ingredients until the day I die… granted my life span would probably be significantly shorter as a result of this extra special diet, but I think I’d be okay with it.Okay, so this is my second strawberry related recipe in a row, but c’mon… strawberry butter? Uh…. delicious! This stuff smells so amazing! I never realized that flavoured butter was so easy to make! I’ll definitely be experimenting with different styles and flavours from now on!READ MORE

Strawberry Loaf

You might think I’m weird, but I don’t actually like fruit all that much. I just don’t think it’s exciting. I eat it, but not because I really want too. It’s just not my thing. And don’t even get me started on fruit loaf! Yuck! I can’t imagine anything worse than some kind of icky rasin-fruit-type-toast. Blagh!  So with that out in the open now, I guess you’re wondering why I made strawberry loaf?
First things first: strawberries are not just any ol boring fruit - they are probably one of the most delicious thing on the planet! It is one of the few exceptions to my dislike for fruit in general, and boy is it the complete opposite for me! I would eat strawberries in everything, EVERY day if I could!
I’m going to be honest, I have made this loaf twice already this week. My housemates have been demanding more (there was nearly a riot when I took one loaf to share with my workmates!) This loaf is so ridiculously delicious I can’t stop eating it! Let me share it with you, so that you can also have a house that smells of strawberry and cinnamon for the next week! READ MORE

Apple Crisps Recipe

Tasty healthy snacks can be hard to find - at least for me. I don’t really like nuts all that much and I only really truly enjoy a limited few fruits. So every day at work, when 3pm comes around and I find myself edging towards the chocolate fundraiser box in my office. It’s not the best of habits.I’ve been trying to find a substitute snack for a while now, and I think I’ve finally found one I like. Dried fruit is not something I find overly satisfying, so I was skeptical the first time I made this recipe. However I found that these crisps are actually quite light and tasty - but still sweet enough to subside my afternoon cravings.Before I go any further I have one serious warning: cooking these crisps will make your whole house smell like apple pie - and as they take a couple of hours to make; you will be constantly hungry during this time due to the delicious smell. You have been warned….