Spoonful
  • Indulgence
  • May13th

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    I believe it was Mary Poppins who first sung of the healing powers of a Spoonful of sugar, and who are we to argue? This delicious treat my friends is certainly no exception. Growing up with two working parents I’m amazed that my Mum ever had time to make sweets for us but without fail there was always Weet-Bix slice, a chocolate cake or my favourite, Jam Slice, waiting for us on the kitchen bench when we came home from school. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of being in the kitchen and of course licking the spoon dripping with the glorious cake batter – YUM!

    Over the years I have managed to pry some of my favourite recipes from Mum and I’ve decided to share this one, not only because its my favourite but because it is simple, inexpensive and quick to make.  I have added my own little twist with vanilla and oats for extra texture and flavour so don’t be shy to play with the recipe and put your own stamp on it.  If you’re worried about eating treats with too much sugar then this probably isn’t for you, however, where is it written that we can’t indulge ourselves every once in a while?

    Prep Time: 15 minutes          Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 120g of softened butter
    • 1 ½ cup white sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 ½ cup self raising flour, sifted
    • 1 ½  cup desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup of oats
    • 1 cup raspberry jam, seedless if preferred

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan forced). Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with baking paper.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and ½ cup of sugar. Add 1 egg and mix. Add the sifted flour and vanilla and mix well. Tip this mixture into your tin and with the palm of your hand press into all corners. Don’t worry too much if you can get it perfectly flat and even across the tin, who ever complains of extra biscuit?

    Once the mixture is flattened in the tin, warm the jam in a microwave (30 seconds) and spread over the biscuit base.

    Beat together the remaining eggs and sugar until combined then add in the coconut and oats and allow to mix until a sticky crumb forms. Allow the crumb to move loosely in your hand as you sprinkle it over the jam, pressing lightly as you cover any gaps.

    Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy! X

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  • March2nd

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    avochocmousse

    There are so many “healthy version” recipes on the internet that its hard to know which ones will taste almost like the real deal and which ones end up tasting like a dead foot. I have fallen victim many times thinking I’ll be eating a healthy and delicious dessert only to tip it down the sink and reach for the tub of Rocky Road ice cream anyway.

    So why did I give this one a try? Well, I love chocolate mousse. Of all the desserts you can buy at a restaurant I will always pick the chocolate mousse even when its wearing some fancy pants and they’re charging me $18 for it. It’s creamy and fluffy and almost every buffet serves it.

    So you’re wondering if I’m about to tell you that this is the bee’s knees of chocolate mousse recipes, I’m not. But I will tell you that its good for you, because you need healthy fats to keep your body going so why not at dessert time? This recipe is a rich, smooth, chocolate lover’s heaven on a spoon so if you’re wanting a healthy alternative or have always wanted to give this dessert a chance then I urge you to try my recipe because it is so good my friends and takes only a few moments to prepare!

    Ingredients

    • 2 avocados (skin and seeds removed)
    • 50g cacao powder
    • 10mls vanilla essence*
    • 50mls honey
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Method

    1. Place the avocado into a food processor and blend until completely smooth.

    2. Place the remaining ingredients into the food processor and blitz for 1 – 2 minutes.

    3. Spoon mixture into glasses and chill for at least 3 hours before devouring to ensure you get that gooey mousse texture.

     If you’re looking to impress friends, why not top the glasses with cocao nibs, chopped nuts or coconut flakes – all delicious and won’t ruin the integrity of your dessert!

     * If you prefer you can substitute the vanilla for mint but wait until the ingredients are combined and then add a few drops as a time making sure to blend and taste after each addition. Mint can quickly overpower the rest of the flavours.

    Enjoy Spoon-fillers, let me know if you give it a go or if you have a variation that you think our readers will love!

    Steph x

    Image Credit
  • May27th

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    Here in Melbourne, winter is already upon us.  A walk through our city streets is proof enough with café signs announcing today’s soup special, the leaves on most trees turning a bright gold and storefront windows adorned with scarves and winter woollies.  When I think of indulgence in winter I surprisingly think less about food (shocking I know) and more of the creature comforts that we desire like being wrapped up under a fort of blankets, adding extra layers to our clothing and lighting rooms with candles for the ambient glow that just whispers “welcome home”.  This month is all about the indulgence of the season, I’m sure most of you have something that you associate with particulars times of the year, but I wanted to give you a list of my favourite winter essentials to kick start your hibernation.  haven’t you always wanted a snood? Fun to say right?  Snuggle up Spoonful readers; it is going to be a very long winter.

    Winter Warriors

    1. Escape our cold reality and into the world of The Bees.
    2. Need a new favourite pair of boots this season?
    3. Every woman deserves one of these amazing coats (I have it in blue!)
    4. Make your tummy nice and happy too with comforting caramel popcorn.
    5. Snuggle up in bed and listen to your favourite beats or Ebook, aren’t these fabulous?
    6. My drink of the season is chai tea with cinnamon sugar, even better in a mug sprinkled with gold!
    7. The aforementioned snood!
    8. I love every design Happy Socks come up with, perfect for warm toes.
    9. Sarah McNeil has your hands covered this season.
    10. A perfect addition to any blanket haven.
  • April22nd

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    Rocky Road

    By now you will have all had your fill of chocolates. Easter is always a double edged sword – sure you get a mountain of chocolate, but what you also can get is a mountain of guilt!  If you are looking for an easy way to get rid of the chocolate eggs I have the perfect recipe for you.  This one is another tradition created by yours truly.  I started making this for my Dad for Father’s Day and then also for Easter, Christmas and any day ending in Y.  It has been coveted by my partner and his friends and family so now I am going to share it with you.  Rocky Road doesn’t have a great reputation for being a “pretty” treat, but I can almost guarantee that once your guests, friends and work colleagues bite into it, all will be forgiven.

    I wanted to give you some variations on this classic as well, so don’t be afraid to experiment if you have a favourite flavour or lolly item you would like to add!  The method is the same for both and added at the bottom – would love to see what you create!

    Traditional Rocky Road

    400g of milk chocolate broken into small pieces

    200g of hazelnut chocolate (yes with nuts!) broken into small pieces

    1 x bag of marshmallows (minus 6 white mallows, trust me!) cut into halves

    160g of chocolate covered Turkish delight cut into small pieces

    Roughly 15 raspberry lollies cut into halves

    ¼ cup of desiccated coconut

    ¼ cup of unsalted peanuts chopped into small pieces

    ¼ cup of cashews chopped into small pieces

    Indulgent Rocky Road

    600g of dark chocolate broken into small pieces

    1 x bag of marshmallows cut into halves

    160g of cherry ripe cut into small pieces

    Roughly 15 raspberry lollies cut into halves

    ¼ cup of shredded coconut

    ¼ cup of almonds chopped to small pieces

    ¼ cup pistachios chopped to small pieces

    Method:

    1. Place all dry chopped ingredients into a large plastic bowl and line a large glass baking dish with baking paper.
    2. On the stove, place a heat proof bowl over boiling water and add the chocolate.  If left on a medium-low heat, the chocolate should continue to melt without burning quite steadily but please remember to stir it every so often.
    3. Once the chocolate is melted, remove carefully from the stove and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Pour the chocolate into the bowl and mix well with a metal spoon until all ingredients are combined.  It can take a little while to incorporate the coconut but just keep mixing!
    4. Pour into the glass baking dish and level out the mixture with the back of a metal spoon.  Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours to set.   When you are ready to slice it up, allow it to sit out of the fridge for 10-20mins to allow cutting easier. Never use a wet knife!

    Best of Luck!

    X Steph

  • March27th

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    Zucchini Frittata

    Chances are if you were growing up or had children during the 80’s, you were a lover of the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine and recipes.  I can still remember shopping days with my Mum, list in hand ticking off every item and when we finally arrived at the checkout – in went this week’s edition with next week’s dinner inside.

    Even now when I visit, I still find magazines at the side of her favourite chair, dog eared or written on and i’m not sure the women of today are too far removed from our 80’s Mums.  We might search for our recipes online or learn them from our favourite Masterchef contestant, but aren’t we all searching for the same thing? Food that is big on flavour, ticks all the nutrition boxes and uses very little of our precious time.

    This recipe has been a permanent fixture in the Crew family for as long as I can remember, I can almost guarantee you will make it part of yours too.

    Zucchini Frittata

    (originally Zucchini Quiche but everyone keeps telling me “it’s not a quiche without pastry!”)

    First things first, preheat your oven to 180 °c (356F) and lightly grease a pie/slice dish. Now, let’s talk meat.  Typically we add bacon to this but you can substitute with chicken or any cured meat.  My partner and I add spicy chorizo sausage for an extra kick.

    Hand slice

    6 slices of middle bacon (just the large round piece) and 1 chorizo sausage

    Into a food processor (or you can grate by hand if you prefer)

    2 x medium zucchini, 2 x medium carrots, 1 leek, 3 large mushrooms, handful of spinach

    Into your mixer

    6 eggs, ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 cup of self-raising flour, 2 tsp of Dijon mustard.  You can also add salt and pepper now or allow others to season to their own liking.

    Once all of your vegetables are chopped, add them to your mixer and switch on slow speed, (2 – 3mins).  Pour into your dish and cook for 45mins.  It is best to let the frittata to cool completely (and reheat later) otherwise removing it from the dish straight away can leave you with a slightly soggy bottom.

    This meal takes less than half an hour to prepare, it is perfect for nights when you need something light and quick.  We also love it for lunches through the week at work or even as a twist on the normal eggs & bacon breakfast – your possibilities are endless!

    (well, almost) S x

  • February16th

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    For some it’s the most romantic day of the year, a time to spoil their significant other and send declarations of love (no matter how cheesy) in big ways. Then there are those of you who believe that it was a holiday invented by the florists, the card companies, chocolate stores and alike to make billions of dollars off the “poor shmucks” who feel guilted into spending hard earned money on stuffed teddies and the above mentioned symbols of, well, love. On the lead up to the big day I have encountered people for both of these groups, some wishing, dreaming and planning away and then the others who scoff at them. Thankfully, I am in neither category. Valentine’s Day to me is about showing your special someone how much you care, there are no rules or tick boxes that must be filled. It could be that you make them a simple card or a nice meal at home, you can write them a love letter or buy a vintage film they loved when they were young (or in my partner’s case game, Dungeons and Dragons anyone?). It’s a simple gesture of appreciation that says – you matter most to me. But I am a lover of love and a hopeless believer in happy endings, sadly as it seems for many of my friends this doesn’t always happen.

    So, this one is for the ladies who were without a Valentine, were disappointed by one or who wish to be their own this year. Indulgence for February comes in the form of loving yourself because if you can’t have a dinner date with Ryan Gosling surrounded by a sea of red roses and softly lit candles then dammit, buy yourself some pretty shoes!

    be my valentine

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  • January15th

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    Happy 2014

    Okay here it is: I’m a quitter.  Most of you will have someone in your life be it a friend, relative or even your partner who is one.  A friend of mine used the term “hobbiest” when talking about her husband but all the signs were there. Has an idea for a project, researches self into an expert then tries once and quits.  I am an old hat at this game and I have had many a great new idea but the most reoccurring would have to be my diets.  We have now entered 2014 and if your only judge of time was your Pinterest account then January would be pages of inspirational quotes, girls admiring their trim derrière and tips on how to make energising juice.

    Are we all victims of the New Year = New Diet fad? I know I am. Right around Christmas when things start to warm up and you are wearing less clothes, attending more parties and essentially eating and drinking your way into self-loathing and an irrational fear of swimsuits the ideas strike! We all make plans to exercise more, eat better and take care of our minds but do any of us actually follow through? I am going to give it my better than best shot this year but because there are always two sides of a coin, for those of you looking for a healthy alternative to a breakfast favourite I have a delicious guilt free granola that is simple to make, tastes incredible and is low in calories:

    Guilt Free Granola

    GUILT FREE GRANOLA*

     Makes 5 – 6 cups

    • 5 tablespoons coconut oil – melted
    • 3 cups coconut flakes
    • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
    • 1 cup of oats
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 cups of almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pepitas – chopped roughly (combined measurement not each)
    • 3 tablespoons rice malt syrup (this is to sweeten, if you prefer your granola unsweetened you can leave it out without altering the results of your mix).

    Preheat oven to 120°C.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl then spread evenly on baking paper on a tray and bake for about 10 minutes before turning the mixture and returning to the oven for a further 10 minutes until lightly golden then remove and allow to cool completely.  If you like your granola extra crunchy, leave in the oven for a few extra minutes – the darker the colour the crunchier the mix! Store in an air tight container and it will keep longer than it takes you to eat it!

    And for those of you who are throwing caution to the wind and care not for counting calories and watching waistlines, I have for you an indulgent take on granola recipes from Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess (chocolate.. for breakfast?) oh curse you resolutions!

    ABMGranola

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! x

    * this recipe was adapted from Sarah Wilson.  It has been tried, tested and altered to suit. The image of ABM Granola bars remains the property of ABM.

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