Food experienced by a girl who loves chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, cups of tea and all things carbs.

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Roasted Pumpkin, caramelised onion, marinated feta, toasted almond and baby spinach salad

So basically all of the ingredients are listed in the title. Sorry forgot to take a photo of this one.

Kent pumpkin (skin on). Cut into chunks. Coat with olive oil. Roasted on 200 degrees c for about an hour. Until outside changes to a dark caramel color.

Cut a red onion into fine slices. Put in a pan with a little olive oil, a couple of teaspoons of sugar and some water. Cook until lovely and caramel.

For the marinated feta you can make your own, or cheat like me. I buy Yarra Valley Feta marinated in olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Lovely. Use as much as you like, there is no dressing to this salad so this will form a lot of the flavour so make sure to include some of the oil to coat the salad.

Toast some almonds (whole or slivered) in a pan until brown.

Put baby spinach leaves in a salad bowl and add all the other ingredients. Toss together. It's a real crowd pleaser.

Monday, 19 May 2014


I'm currently reviewing all the previous posts and updating the blog, therefore the previous posts are not currently visible. Check back later!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

My version of Thai Beef Salad

I've always wanted to try and make this, but I'm not Thai and I hate not doing other cultures dishes justice. I think I did pretty well with this one.

100g-200g (depending of how much meat you want) lean rump steak chargrilled  medium rare brushed with olive oil - Don't over cook! Leave to rest on a chopping board for about 5 minutes prior to thinly slicing.

Ginger finely chopped (about a teaspoon)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 small red chilli chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Mix together, and that's the dressing done!
Coriander leaves  1 small bunch
Baby spinach leaves a few handfuls
Basil handful from a fresh bunch
1 carrot finely julianned
1 red onion sliced thinly
1 Lebanese cucumber cut small
1 tomato chopped

Toss the salad, add the beef and add the dressing. Done!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Martha Stewart's Salted Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

I made this cake for my Mum and Sister for their joint birthday celebration. I thought, how hard could it be to make a fancy cake that is exactly what I want? Well, it wasn't hard, time-consuming...sure, but worth it? HELLS YES!

This cake is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted in my life. No joke. Martha you are amazing. Not only was I so impressed by its moist delicious goodness, everyone that has tried it agrees.
Now, first up let me say, this is an American recipe, so understandably some of the ingredients are hard to find (but not impossible!), and obviously I had to convert everything into metric, which isn't hard thanks to Google. I had to substitute a few things, but they were so close I can't imagine that even if I had the true ingredients listed that this cake could get any better!

I'm not going to post the recipe on my blog, but here is the link:

I decided to make a 4 layer cake instead of 6, so I used 2/3rds of the ingredients listed in the recipe for the cake, but made the listed caramel and frosting as I couldn't be bothered working out the proportions for those.

If you live in Melbourne you can find Corn Syrup at CakeDeco in the CBD. It's about $11 for a bottle.
For help with substitutions or Australian Equivalents:

Safflower oil - Vegetable oil (substitution)
Semisweet chocolate - I've used both Cadbury Dark Block 45% Cooking Chocolate or Nestle Plaistowe Premium Dark Cooking Chocolate, both work great.
Dutch cocoa powder - you can find this at Woolworths in the baking aisle. I found the Nestle brand.

Granulated sugar - Normal White sugar
All-purpose flour - Plain flour
Baking soda - bicarb soda
Coarse salt - I made my own with a salt grinder set to the coarse setting.
Heavy Cream - Pure Cream
Confectioner's sugar - Icing sugar

Maldon sea salt flakes - These can be found a Woolworths with other types of Salt. The second time I made this cake I used this more liberally for the top of the cake, it tastes so good with the crunchiness and saltiness with the sweetness of the chocolate.

With the Salted-Caramel, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. The first batch I made I burnt so I had to throw out. If you aren't sure, take it off the heat sooner rather than later! It should not taste bitter! Use a thermometer if you have one. The extra salted caramel can be kept in little glass jars in the fridge or given as a gift. So yummy! Great for Icecream, cupcakes etc.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Wholemeal Pancakes with Raspberry Compote

I'm trying to use more wholemeal flour.

These pancakes are simple and tasty.

1 cup of whole meal self-raising flour
2 eggs
low fat milk (about 1/4-1/2 cup) - enough to get to the right consistency (not too runny but not too thick)
raw sugar (to taste - I use a couple of tablespoons)
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (again to your own taste)

Simple whisk all together and cook individual pancakes in a pan on low-medium heat as you would usually make pancakes.

For the raspberry compote I used frozen raspberries and some sugar, heated and mixed together to serve on top of the pancakes.

My Guacamole with toasted pita triangles

I've always wanted to make Guacamole, I hate the store bought stuff.  My recipe is simple, delicious and a real crowd pleaser.

Depending on the quantity and the number of people depends on how much ingredients you will need. I make enough for a small bowl for nibbles when I have friends over or to put in wraps.


2 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 large lime
salt and pepper to taste
chilli flakes (just a pinch)
1-2 tablespoons of finely diced red onion (depending on how much onion you like)
If you like your guacamole a little creamy you can add a few teaspoons of sour cream. I personally prefer mine fresh and a bit chunky so I don't add sour cream to mine.

It's really as simple as mashing the avocado with a fork in a bowl, squeezing on the lime juice, adding in the onion and seasoning. Mix together and eat.

I like to serve mine with toasted pita chips. I use wholemeal pita bread. I got the idea from a friends birthday party.
Take a flat pita bread, coat lightly with olive oil. Season with whatever you like. I use just salt sometimes if I have a really tasty dip. You can also use chili flakes, cumin seeds, pepper, mixed herbs, really whatever you like. Slice the bread into triangles and bake in the oven for about 5 mins on 200 degrees celcius or until just starting to brown. You want them crispy but not too brown and crunchy otherwise they taste burnt.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Slow cooked Oxtail with risotto

To say my boyfriend loves oxtail is an understatement. Truthfully I had never eaten it until I met him. It's popular in Botswana where he is from. He usually makes it with a mixture of things, slow cooked until it falls of the bone and eats it with either bread or potato. I decided I wanted to try making my own version of this Botswana-inspired dish and thought a risotto would go nicely. I got some really good oxtail from the Prahran market, but you can find it at most markets in winter (however it sells out very quickly!).

Now these are the quantities if you are making it for a family (the first time I made it I only made enough for 2 and the portions were much better and a lot less fat from the meat).

Ingredients (my usual rough estimations)
2L beef stock liquid
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons garlic butter
1 kg ox tail
olive oil
2 small brown onions
steak and chops seasoning
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups risotto

Season the meat with olive oil and steak and chops seasoning (if you can find it, otherwise salt and pepper will do).

Brown the onions and add the meat to gently brown. Add in 1L stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Leave on a low heat to simmer for roughly 3 hours (or until reduced enough).

 Once the oxtail looks like it is reduced enough, spoon of most of the oil layer at the top and discard (alternatively if you make the oxtail the night before you can leave it in the fridge and spoon the hardened top layer of fat off, then reheat on the stove).

 In a large frying pan with some olive oil, gently coat and heat the risotto grains for about 1 minute, add the garlic butter and cup by cup add in 1L beef stock. Also spoon in the liquid from the pot with oxtail in it. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked.

Once done, serve the risotto with meat on top with some sourdough. YUM!