Monday, January 31, 2011

Satay Chicken

The weather at the moment is crazy. It was like 40 degrees today in Canberra. So glad that we have air con at home, cause I think I would die without it. I love the heat, but as long as there is somewhere cool to retreat to.

Let me just say that I love Peanut Butter. Anything with peanut butter in it I adore. When I make a satay chicken the recipe must contain peanut butter, otherwise I don't bother making it.

Satay chicken to me is like a green curry, good easy comfort food that I could eat and eat. I am not a big fan of the chinese satay flavoured dishes. I much rather a creamy malaysian style any day. These types of dishes are always good to pair with some steamed greens, which makes you feel better about eating something that contains a bit of fat.

I got this recipe from which is a great website for easy tasty recipes. This is a very good satay chicken recipe and one I will make again when I am craving for it.

Mixing the stock, peanut butter and coconut milk. Not the most appetising picture I know...

All the spices ready to go

Onion and garlic

First fry the onion and garlic

Then add the spices and fry until fragrant

Then add the peanut mixture until it starts bubbling

Then the chicken. This makes a lot of sauce so it's perfect to add more meat and then you can freeze half and use for another meal.

Once the chicken is cooked, serve with some rice and some steamed greens.

We had enough for lunch the next day and then I froze the rest and used it for a meal the next week

I just got some puff pastry, put the thawed chicken mixture in and wrapped it all up and baked at 180 degrees until the pastry was brown.

Satay chicken insides!

Creamy Satay Chicken


* 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
* 270ml can coconut milk
* 2 tblsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
* 1/2 cup chicken stock
* 8 chicken thigh fillets (around 1kg)
* 2 tblsps peanut oil
* 1 onion, thinly sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp ground coriander
* 1 tsp ground turmeric
* 1 tsp ground ginger
* 1/2 tsp chilli powder
* Chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
* Steamed rice, green beans and snow peas, to serve


1 Combine peanut butter, coconut milk, kecap manis and chicken stock in a bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
2 Cut fillets into bit size pieces
3 Heat a non-stick wok over a medium to high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until tender. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
5 Add peanut mixture. Bring to boil, then add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
6 Garnish with coriander. Serve with steamed rice, green beans and snow peas.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookie Cake

I have such a long list of recipes that I have found and bookmarked while looking at food sites on the web, and then I just seem to forget about them and never bother to try them out. Well this year I am going to try and change this habit and try out these recipes that I have seen and thought sounded really yummy!

This is one of those. I found this a while ago here and thought the flavours sounded wonderful, I mean who doesn't like Peanut butter and chocolate (well I guess people allergic wouldn't..) and then instead of having to make individual cookies with the batter, which can take a bit of time, you just put the whole thing in a cake pan and bake it. One massive cookie!

In the original recipe that I saw she made it in a round cake tin, but I decided to make it in a square tin, so I could cut it into little squares.

The result? Delicious! Definitely something I will make over and over as I never get tired of this combination. Frankie said, just as I had made it, that he had a morning tea on the next day and if he could take it to work for his morning tea.... he said it was very popular and it was gone in a flash, so that was good! I made sure I didn't give it all to him though...

All the ingredients for the massive cookie! As you can see there aren't many which is always good!

Putting the flour and baking powder in a bowl

Cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter

Creamy goodness

Mix in the egg

Add the dry ingredients and chocolate. Lots of chocolate I might add!

Put in a lined baking pan and straight into the oven

Choc Chip baked deliciousness!

Good eaten hot or cold!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

85g butter
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips (I used dark, cause I like dark)
1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter, light brown sugar, and vanilla extracts on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 15 seconds.

4. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg.Blend on medium speed for 30 seconds.

5. Add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed until just a few dry streaks remain.

6. Add the chocolate chips and mix for a few seconds until combined.

7. Scrape the batter into a greased and lined 10-inch round cake tin.

8. Press the batter into a smooth and even layer in the pan. Bake until lightly golden and puffy around the edges (the center should still feel quite soft), 18 – 22 minutes. (Doesn't take long either!!)

9. Cool for 10 minutes and then run a paring knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vietnamese Pork Chop

This is such a simple and flavoursome dish to use with a pork chop. I have made this a few times before and every time I just love it. This time I didn't have shallots though and used green onions instead. I much prefer the shallot version and will definitely make sure I used them next time.

I like to serve this with some rice, fried egg and an asian type coleslaw. All of these components work really well together I think.

Frying the green onion and garlic

Add in the sauces

Put in the pork chops and add water

After 10 minutes turn the pork chops over

Carrot grated for the salad

Cabbage and Herbs Added

Dressing all mixed together

Everything on the plate ready to eat!

Vietnamese Pork Chop

For 2 Pork chops you will need
2 Shallots finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Kecap Manis
1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1. Heat up a pan and add in some oil and the shallots and garlic

2. Once soft add in the sauces and pepper

3. Add in the pork chops and about 1/2 cup of water

4. After 10 minutes turn over and cook for another 10 minutes and then it's done!

Asian Coleslaw

1 Small Napa Cabbage Chopped
1 1/2 cups of Grated Carrot
4 Spring Onions Sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped Coriander

3 Tbs Rice vinegar
2 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1 Tbs Canola Oil
1 Tbs Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp Lime Zest
1 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
1 Birds Eye Chilli Diced (There were none in the shop when I went to buy one, so I used a squirt of Sriracha instead)

1. Mix all ingredients for dressing together

2. Put cabbage, carrot, Green onions and coriander in a bowl

3. Pour over dressing and mix together.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Garden Update

If you remember a few months ago I was given these fundraising herbs from my mum, where you were to open the packet, sow the seeds, water and then wait for the herbs to grow. Well this never really happened! I think the basil started to grow a bit and then just stopped and then we had heaps of rain and they got flooded, so I chucked them out!

So anyway I had this garden bed in my garden that I had been meaning to turn into a vegetable patch ever since we moved in. Although 8 months later and it was still laying there untouched. I have never planted vegetables before, so I had no idea what to do. Then Mum came over one day and took me to Magnet Mart and we got all the supplies to start my new garden!

So this is what it looked like below when we had planted and watered everything:

Here are the cucumber and zucchini plants

In the front is corn and at the back are some tomato plants

There are some capsicum plants and carrot plants there too

And this is what it looks like now! We did have some heavy rain about a month ago and also when I put the snail pellets on the garden (pet friendly of course), our dog decided that these were very tasty and decided to eat all of them and trample on a few things. The next door neighbours also have a massive plum tree and one of the branches broke and plums went everywhere. They are attracting a lot of bugs and flies as well which isn't nice.

So as a result of both of these things, I lost the carrot plants (but planted lettuce instead) and the colourful flowers died. The capsicum isn't doing as well as the other plants either, so not sure what's going on there.

The zucchini and cucumber are going strong

The start of a new cucumber. Hopefully it will grow bigger and we can eat it!

The lettuce is growing very well and have picked some and it is lovely.

The corn has shot up as well. Mum has corn in her garden and it's a lot taller than mine, so I still think I have a while to go before it produces anything

The tomato plant is producing lots of little tomatoes as well. I can't wait for them to turn red and I get to taste my first home grown tomato!

So hopefully in a few more weeks I will have something edible to show you. Any recommendations on what are good things to plant now which grow pretty well would be great!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We were in Sydney again (I feel like I eat out more in Sydney than I do in Canberra!) in mid December for a friend's birthday. We were staying around the Camperdown area, so I wanted to book somewhere for lunch that was close to there. I knew Camperdown didn't have too much to offer, but Newtown was close by, but we always go there, so decided to check out Annandale instead.

There seemed to be a couple of nice restaurants in the area including Vicini. It looked nice and simple and relaxing, just what we needed for a lunch meal. It's on the corner of the main drag of shops and we got a lovely seat looking out onto the street. The downstairs area is quite small with only a few tables. Not sure if they open the upstairs dining to the public for lunch, or if it's just reserved for functions

We drove from Canberra straight to the restaurant and got there about 1:30. They were having a christmas function upstairs so they mentioned there might be a long wait for food. That was ok as we weren't in any rush.

We decided to get some Bruschetta to share as a starter, as we thought there would be a long wait for mains.

Bruschetta - $7

The bruschetta was delicious! Perfectly seasoned. There is nothing worse that getting under seasoned bruschetta. It's such a simple dish that I always vow to make at home after having it at a restaurant, but never seem to do.

Frankie sitting on the bench of pillows.

The lunch menu is not very big. I was feeling like a pasta, but they only had a choice of either spaghetti, gnocchi or risotto. I would have liked a choice of a fettuccine or penne or something. So I chose Lasagna instead.

Lasagna - $20 (I think)

I love a good lasagna and this one was very good. It was piping hot though so I had to wait a bit for it to cool down. I definitely couldn't finish all of it either and gave a third to Frankie, who thought it was delicious as well.

Fish of the day - $27

I can't remember what type of fish this was as it was so long ago, plus I am not really a fish expert. I can tell you if it's Salmon or Tuna, but that's about it. I did have a taste and remember it being very nicely cooked. The asparagus was cooked perfectly too. A nice light lunch, as apposed to my heavy pasta!

I was pretty full from my main meal, but the functions upstairs were all having dessert as we were having our mains, so we could see all the desserts going up there which tempted us to share something.

The waiter came over and told us they had sold out of a few things which I was disappointed in, as there were only a couple of options. Although once he went through everything it seemed they had only sold out of the pannacotta. We were tossing up between that or the Tiramisu, so we went for the latter.

Tiramisu - not sure of price

Well this is one of the best tiramisu's I have had. It was sitting on top a berry coulis, which really counteracted the richness of the dessert. The macerated strawberries on top were so sweet and delicious as well. I was definitely able to eat my half of this dessert with ease!

I would like to come back here for dinner as there seems to be a larger menu and you can get pizza as well. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a great place for a meal.

37 Booth Street

Ph: 9660 6600

Vicini on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spanish Chorizo Rice

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! I decided to have a bit of a break from blogging over the Christmas/new year period and just relax and enjoy the time off work. I have enjoyed reading everyone else's Christmas stories and getting envious over the feasts the all of you enjoyed.

I had a lovely Christmas in Melbourne and then came back to Canberra for NYE. We had a degustation at a restaurant called Sabayon in the city, watched the fireworks and then went home. It was the first time in a long time that I spent it with my parents and sister, so it was very nice to do that.

Now I have to catch up on some backlog from last year and then get into the photo taking spirit again!

I saw this recipe on this website a while ago, and since I cooked it for the first time, it has been one of the meals that I cook over and over again. It's easy, delicious and in one pot, which are the 3 things that classify a keeper for me.

The recipe is here. I urge you to try this with some good chorizo. It makes all the difference. Also every time I cook it it takes about double the time to cook than the recipe states, so don't get worried if yours is taking longer than outlined. I like to serve mine with sour cream as well, as I think it makes everything better!

All the ingredients ready to go

Frying off the onion, garlic and oil.

Then add in the chorizo to fry up and release it's juices

Add in tomato, water, paprika and rice and some seasonings.

Cook until the consistancy is thick and the rice is cooked. I needed to add a little extra water to mine. Once ready mix through the capsicum and season to taste.

Ready to eat. I know that dollop of sour cream looks huge and that's because it is!

It also makes great leftovers for lunches too!