Bánh mì – Vietnamese Rolls

After a weekend of trying to keep my foot up after I hurt it when I managed to fall over on Friday night, I’ve done a fair bit of walking today. This is because I flew to Sydney. I’ve been looking forward to heading down here to visit all my family and a couple of friends. Normally I catch up with them when I come down for Sydney Supanova but as that trip was cancelled this year due to my health I made the effort to come down to see everyone.

I love coming to Sydney and my Grandparents houses are as much home to me as my own house.

This week I’d like to share with you my recipe for a super easy meal – Bánh mì or Vietnamese rolls.

We keep most of the stuff for this pre chopped in ziplock bags in the fridge as we use them quite often but it doesn’t take to long to chop the stuff up if needed.

Bánh Mì

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Ingredients:

Vietnamese Rolls (4-6 depending on size)

Pork (300g)

Carrot (1/2)

Chinese Cabbage (1/2)

Cucumber (1/3)

Coriander (a handful)

Aioli (2 tsp per roll)

Soy sauce (aprox 1 tsp per roll)

Cilli paste (to taste)

How To:

To start with I cut my pork into strips (or you could buy stir fry strips) and marinade it in a honey soy marinade for 30mins or more. I am lazy and just use a shop bought marinade but you can use your own.

While the meat is marinading I prep my veggies and put them in ziplock bags for easy storage. I Slice the Cabbage into strips. I finely slice the carrot (I use my Slicer to make life easier). I cut the cucumber into long wedges (usually 1/6s or 1/8s).

When the meat is ready  stir fry until cooked. when this is done you should be ready to start constructing your roll/s.

Cut your roll in half lengthways and scoop out some of the bread on one side to create a bit of extra room.

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spread your aioli and chill paste (if desired) on the flat side and sprinkle soy sauce on the dug out side.

Layer in your cucumber, cabbage, carrot and pork then top with coriander. Enjoy!

Sweet Mini Tarts

I had a very busy week doing bits and pieces. Mostly getting ready for one of the biggest events on the rover calendar for the year, Saint Georges Ball. Every year we get together and dress up in our fanciest clothes and have a nice meal and hand out some awards. Its always a great night and this years was no exception. Even better this year B and I were crowned King and Queen of the ball which was an amazing surprise. We also got to hang out with some of our amazing rover friends. I ended the evening with very sore ankles from walking and dancing but it was worth it for the great night out with great friends.

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This week I have made three super simple mini tarts. The advantage of these is that I could prep. most of it while sitting down as my ankles are giving me trouble.

I made the cases out of puff pastry. The same as in my recipe for cheese and onion jam tarts.

The first lot I made were Caramel apple

I put 1/2 a tsp of tin caramel in each case then sliced up an apple and put a slice on each. You can also sprinkle salt on the caramel if you prefer salted caramel. If you can’t find tin caramel you can easily make some by placing a tin of condensed milk in a pot of water and boiling for 2.5 hours. Make sure to keep the tin covered with water at all times.

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The second lot I made were Nutella S’more

I put 1/2 a tsp of Nutella in each case the topped it with half a marshmallow. You can serve as is or if you want to “toast” the marshmallow you can put them under the grill for a few moments until the outside browns.

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The third lot I made were Strawberry Kiwi

I placed 1/2 tsp strawberry Jam in each case. I then put a slice of kiwi fruit on each. You could also add a dollop of cream if you wish.

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Lemon Curd & Melbourne

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Ok Melbourne, you’re pretty cool.

This weekend I visited Melbourne for the first time. I haven’t seen much of it yet as I’ve been busy having fun at Supanova but what I have seen I’ve liked.

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For starters the coffee shop across from my hotel was open at 6 on Saturday morning. If I’m up at that time I definitely want coffee. Woolworths was also open, which was a great help for acquiring snacks for the day, but even better it was still open at 9pm when I was returning to my hotel and wanted to grab something I could take to my hotel room to eat. I’ve meet a bunch of people who have been happy to point me in the right direction when i’ve been a little lost.

I must say I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city today with a couple of friends before I fly home. I’m definitely looking forward to finding some cool food. I’m also sure I will be back some time to explore even further.

Today I am sharing my lemon curd recipe. I love lemon curd and you just can’t beat the home made stuff. the recipe makes around 3 cups of curd.

Lemon Curd

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250g Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 cup Lemon Juice

1-2 tbs lemon zest

4 egg yolks

In a double boil melt together butter and sugar.

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add in lemon juice and zest.

gently mix in yolks then remove from the heat.

Using a bar mix or electric mixer beat until mixture becomes thick about 5-10 mins.

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pour into jars and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Meringue Eggs

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Happy Easter!!

What are you up to this long weekend?

I am camping with a bunch of other Rover scouts from my state, hopefully the weather stays nice for us.

I made these meringue eggs for morning tea at work and they went down a treat. I Hope you enjoy them and are having a fantastic Easter weekend like me!

Meringue Eggs

4 egg whites

200g sugar

1 cup lemon curd

50-100g White Chocolate

50g Milk Chocolate (optional)

Beat egg whites to soft peaks the add sugar.

Beat for 8-10 mins or until stiff peaks have formed and whites are no longer grainy.

To form the egg shapes use two table spoons to “roll” scoops of the mixture between the two spoons. Scoop the mixture from one spoon to the other until it is egg shaped the drop each scoop onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

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Bake the meringue eggs for 45-60 mins. Meringues should be slightly crisp on the outside and still soft/chewy in the middle.

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Once Meringues have cooled poke a hole in each meringue.

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melt white chocolate and place in a piping or zip lock bag. Place lemon curd in a piping bag

Pipe lemon curd into each “egg” then pipe white chocolate over the hole to stop the lemon curd from leaking out.

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Optionnal drizzle more white or milk chocolate over the top.

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Dried Fruit & Almond Fritters

Finally we have internet!

It took 3 week but we survived. just.

So what did I do on our first weekend with internet?

I went on a bushwalking course. Yer, out in the bush, without internet.

And to top it off it rained most of the weekend.

Despite the rain I was a really great and informative weekend.

I brushed up on my navigation and light weight camping skills and met some cool people who’ve done (and do) some amazing stuff.

Todays recipe is Dried fruit and nut fritters.

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1 1/2 Cups Self Raising flour

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Powdered Milk

40g Sultanas*

30g Almonds & Dried Cranberries*

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Ground Cardamon

1 Egg

1 cup Water

* I use the small pre-packed snack boxes of sultanas and almonds & cranberries for convenience.

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Put all dry ingredients in a bowl then add wet ingredients.

Mix together with a whisk until smooth.

Place a frypan over a medium heat and spray with oil.

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Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture into the fry pan and allow to cook for 2-3 mins. bubbles should be appearing and popping on the top and the bottom should be easy ti lift with a spatular.

Flip over and cook other side for 1-2 mind or until browned.

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Repeat spraying the pan between each one, until you’ve used the mixture or you have enough fritters.

Excess mix can fe kept in the fridge for 1 day.

Serve with butter and/or honey.

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Meringue Kisses

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There is something wonderful about early mornings.

 Don’t get me wrong, I like getting out of bed as much as the next person but once I’m up and awake  I really enjoy the quiet and still of the early morning.

 I got up early this morning as I had to drop B off at the airport. He’s off to Melbourne for a few days while I stay home and pack. We’re moving house next weekend.

 I hate packing but I like getting to move to a new place and re organise everything. I’m especially looking forward to having a bigger kitchen.

 I have a massive sweet tooth and pavlova has been one of my favourite deserts as long as I can remember. It is because of this the Meringue became my procrastibaking go to during high school. Many a weekend I have spent attempting to form the perfect peaks in my egg whites, waiting for the slow baking process to work its magic, smelling the sweet sent of caramelising sugar wafting through the house and artfully arranging cream, chocolate, fruit and/or nut atop my creations.

And its just so worth it.

To me eating Meringue is akin to floating on a cloud.

So today I am sharing one of my recipes for this delightful sweet.

Meringue kisses are just small peaks of meringue sandwich together with something sweet. I’ve used caramel and lemon curd in todays recipe but you can use ganache, jam, curd, whipped cream, or whatever else takes your fancy.

My general rule for all meringue is 50g castor sugar to 1 egg white.

For these you will need 2 egg whites and 100g castor sugar.

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In a clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites on medium with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.

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Add in sugar 1 tbs at a time. Once all the sugar has been added turn the mixer up to high and whisk for 10-15 mins or until the meringue is smooth and not grainy. to test this rub some of the meringue between your fingers.

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Once your meringue is ready use a spatular to move the meringue into a piping bag or large zip lock bag with the corner cut off.

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 pipe small peaks (1-2cms in diameter)of meringue onto a baking paper lined baking sheet.

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Place in a 100-130 C  oven and allow to bake of at least an hour.

The outside should be crisp.

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Turn off the oven and allow to cool.

Once they have cooled you can store them in an airtight container until you are ready to serve them.

 To serve match up evenly sized meringues. Sandwich together with half a teaspoon of caramel or lemon.

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Super Simple – Chocolate Covered Ginger

Darrell Lea’s Dark chocolate covered ginger was the stock standard gift for Dad on every occasion until it started getting to hard to get a hold of. So what were we to do? Trying to find gifts for Dad is hard enough without losing our standard gift. Showing the usual Gammie spirit I thought ‘I can make that.’ and so I did.  You can use dark or milk chocolate for this its up to you but our favourite is dark chocolate. 
Ingredients 
1 Bag (200g) uncrystallised or “natural” Ginger 
100g Melting Chocolate 
place chocolate in a small metal or glass bowl, place over a bowl of boiling water. stir occasionally until entirely melted.  
Place ginger pieces (a few at a time) in bowl of chocolate. use chopsticks or a fork to roll the ginger pieces around until covered with chocolate.  
  
 
once covered place on  sheet of baking paper to dry.  
 
  
 
 
repeat until you have run out of ginger.  
allow to dry for 15-30 mins or until chocolate hardens. 
 
 

My Favourite Basic Brownies

Many years ago I found an article that explained the different effects of the various ingredients in brownies on the end texture of them. Using this article as a guideline, I set about putting together my own recipe. After a couple of tests I got it just to my liking. And I used that recipe for quite a while but then life and work got in the way and I forgot the recipe and reverted to using boxed mixes.
One day my parents were over for afternoon tea and I had made some brownies (from a box) filled with marshmallows. They were lovely and chewy (because of the marshmallows) and Dad raved about them. I had to admit then that I’d just tweaked a box recipe.  Later that night Ben suggested I make my own recipe.
So I started looking up recipes and reading them reminded me of my old recipe. So the next time I made some brownies I used my old recipe and I haven’t looked back.I Hope you enjoy them
Lil

Base Brownie Mix
200g Cooking Chocolate
125g Butter
1 cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Plain Flour
2 Tbs Cocoa
Place butter and chocolate in a large glass or metal bowl and place over medium saucepan 1/3 filled with boiling water (alternatively use a double boiler).
Stir occasionally until all melted and combined.
Stir in sugar then remove bowl from the heat (caution the bowl will be quite hot.)
Once off the heat add eggs and vanilla and stir until combined and smooth.
Sift flour and cocoa over the chocolate mix then gently fold in until just combined.
Line a square baking tin (22 cm sides) with baking paper,  fold in corners if needed to make it sit nicely.
Pour mixture into lined tin and let it spread out to the edges.
 Place in oven on the top rack.
Bake until the middle dosen’t wobble when you shake the tin (around 45 mins).
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then move to a cooling rack.