Archive for Food & Health


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Cinnamon Scrolls (with reduced sugar)

21 August 2018

Cinnamon Scrolls

This recipe is based on a combination of this recipe and this one.

I reduced the sugar, used half the butter, half the egg, and it still tasted aaaamazing!

I also reduced the steps to save on washing up haha.

Cinnamon Scrolls (with reduced sugar)

Dough Recipe
60g butter
1 cup milk
2 teaspoon of dried yeast
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 cups plain flour

20g of butter, softened
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

30g of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of milk

1) Melt the butter in a large heatproof bowl (I just pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds). Add the milk and heat again. Add yeast, stir and set aside for 2 minutes.

2) Throw the rest of the ingredients (egg, sugar, salt and flour) into the yeast mixture. Stir well for a good 5 minutes. I don’t use a mixer, I just use a big spoon and my hands, for easy washing up. Cover with cling wrap, set in a warm spot for 1 hour for the dough to double in size. I put it on my bench top in the morning sun.

3) Make Filling: Mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. OR you could skip this step and save on the washing up!

4) Make Glaze: Melt butter in microwave. Mix in icing sugar and milk. Set aside.

5) Lightly flour your surface. Give your dough a really good knead. Roll it into a log shape, about 40cm long. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out into a rectangle about 40 x 25cm.

6) Spread the butter, sugar and cinnamon filling evenly over your dough.

7) Start with the longest side, roll up the edge, and tightly roll into a scroll / log. Cut into 12 even pieces (I did 16 pieces). Place them side by side on a greased pan. Set aside for 30 minutes.

8) Preheat oven to 180C. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle over the glaze. Eat while hot! It can keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.



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My Favourite Cauliflower Rice Recipe

30 April 2018

I loooooove cauliflower, especially big chunks of roasted cauliflower.

I don’t usually make cauliflower RICE, because I can’t be bothered to use and wash my food processor.

But I made it recently and I really enjoyed the texture and flavour. And now I’ve been making it once a week for myself, and eat it instead of rice.

Super easy to make! Not soggy or mushy!

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

My Favourite Cauliflower Rice Recipe

1) Cut and wash a head of cauliflower. Process it in batches.

2) Add these ingredients:

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon of salt
small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

3) Toss, spread over a pan. Put into 180C over for 40 minutes, take it out midway to stir.

Notes – I sometimes bake it at 200C for 30 minutes. I like it with a bit of raw/not over-cooked crunch.

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

It’s so yummy!

The only problems is: if I eat it on it’s own, it doesn’t fill me up, so I end up having 3 (maybe 4) heaped bowls of it – oh well.

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Rainbow Cake for Sean

20 March 2018

My middle boys turns 13 this year!

In a fit of madness – and let’s be honest, mummy-guilt mixed with a bit of creative boredom – I decided to embark on a bit of birthday cake craziness.

We were hosting 30 people for dinner the following day and I just couldn’t bear to make yet another chocolate cake. So boring!

I thought it’d be cool to make a 5 layer lake, in different colours! I asked my son’s permission, “Hey can I make a rainbow cake for you? Like the ones you see on Instagram?”

He said, “That’d be dope.”

I took that for a YES and ran with it. I researched different kinds of cakes, as I’ve only made chocolate cakes, and I decided on this recipe for a White Chocolate Mud Cake and I reduced the sugar.

I needed to make 2 cake mixtures from this recipe and divide the batches into 5 portions.

My cake tins were 18cm in diameter.

Rainbow Cake 2018

I started at 8:30pm!

Apologies for the crappy photos, I wasn’t planning to share my kitchen counter clutter, but it looked too funny not to share.

I tried to use as little food colouring as possible. Just enough so people could get recognise what colour it was supposed to be.

My coloured bowls are a bit distracting, because really the cake mix turned out very pale.

I baked 2 cakes at a time, and 1 cake by itself. I took the last cake out of the oven at 12 midnight. I let them cool for 30 minutes, wrapped them up and put them in the fridge.

The cakes turned out to be fantastic. They were dense, solid, yet moist. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Rainbow Cake 2018

Did I mention I was cooking for 30 people too?

The next day, after I did all the cooking, it was time to ice the cake.

I made a cream cheese icing that found on another site – I don’t recommend it. It was sticky, glossy, hard to work with and tasted too sweet.

Rainbow Cake 2018

My layers!

(After speaking to a pro cake maker, I was told that I was supposed to crumb the cake layers with a ganache icing, to seal the layers and stop them from moving and leaning over. But I didn’t know how to make a quick ganache icing and I ran out of time.)

Rainbow Cake 2018

Hence my cake leaned over slightly!

I got my 13 year old to decorate the cake, so he could feel like he had some connection to the whole process?

Rainbow Cake 2018

Ta da – my first rainbow cake!

It was so cute. Like I said, the only reason it turned out so well was because of the cake recipe.

It was lovely, dense, moist and not overbearingly sweet. It was easy to cut, it held together and it didn’t fall to bits.

Rainbow Cake 2018

It presented very nicely too!

Because the cake was so tall, I cut the slices into 1cm – 2cm thickness, like I said, it held together really well.

My only criticism was that it had a very plain taste. The sweetness was just right, but it just tasted like a sweet milky cake. So I would put flavouring in there some how. Maybe passionfruit?

Here’s the recipe! Original amount of sugar was 165g but I reduced it to 130g.

White Chocolate Mud Cake (for 5 Layer Rainbow Cake)

300 g white chocolate
200 g butter (salted)
240 ml milk
130 g caster sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
240 g all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder

(I made 2 separate cake batches and divided into 5 portions.)


Preheat oven to 160C. Grease an 18cm round pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Weigh your bowls and take note.

Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Add vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

Place flour in a large bowl, add one cup of chocolate mixture and stir until a smooth paste forms.

I made 2 separate cake batches and divided into 5 portions. Add food colouring.

Pour mixture into prepared pans.

Bake for 30 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*Sorry I don’t have a good recipe for icing the cakes!

Good luck!

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Fika on Brix, Beckenham

28 January 2018

Fika on Brix 2018

This is not really a foodie review! It’s more a way for me to collect pretty photos of food, so I can be inspired to recreate them at home haha!

I recently caught up with some girlfriends (and our swarm of kids) and went to Fika on Brix, Beckenham.

It’s a bit out of the way, but it is right next to Mills Park Centre, a huge reserve, nature play space, playground, piazza and skate park, soccer, footy oval, and tennis courts (you have to pay to hire the courts though).

It’s a perfect place to take primary school aged kids and teenagers, as you can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee and the kids and run off and play. It’s probably not a great cafe to take toddlers, as you’ll be chasing after them the whole time (it’s huge playground!), unless you like drinking your coffee while standing, or maybe your kid actually sits still while in a cafe?!

Fika on Brix 2018

We had coffees and milkshakes all around.

My girlfriends ordered Trio Garlic Mushrooms, Vietnamese Coconut Poached Chicken Salad , Shoestring Fries and Curly Wedges.

I pretty much wanted to eat everything on the menu. I wanted to try the Smashed Avocado, Eggs Benedict, Chicken Katsu Bao, Waygu Burger… but in the end I ordered this:

Fika on Brix 2018

Brioche French Toast, two slices of brioche French toast, black sesame custard, lemon curd, homemade granola nut crumble.

It was really yummy! I found the custard a bit sweet for my tastebuds, but my kids loved it. I really liked the granola and lemon curd too. It was all good.

It was a lovely spot and I can’t wait to go back to try more food!

Fika on Brix
Mills Park Centre
86 Brixton St

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Shortcut Liège Waffles

17 January 2018

Belgium (Liege) Waffle

A few months ago, I went to check out a waffle cafe in Perth, which specialised in authentic Liege waffles. They were so delicious that I was desperate to make them for myself!

I found a recipe online and since then, I’ve made them 3 times, using this Liège Waffle Recipe by Smitten Kitchen and this Liège Waffle Recipe.

I’ve modified it a bit, because honestly, I’m not patient enough to wait for the dough to rise properly.

So this is a shortcut version! I’m sure waffle fans will poo poo this idea, but hey, I just don’t have the time throughout the day to tend to my rising dough.

My version is not super soft and fluffy. My final waffles are more like a dense, buttery bread, with a crispy, toffee-like shell. It’s ok… but no where near the good stuff from the cafe.

Shortcut Liège Waffles

Makes 16 thick waffles. Takes about 4-5 hours of prep.

1/2 cup (120 ml) warm, whole milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
1 packet (7 grams or 2 1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 and 2/3 cups (460 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons raw sugar or brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coarse salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 (300g) cups of pearl sugar (I just use chopped up sugar cubes, and I decrease it to 200g)

Make Dough:

Mix warm milk, warm water and yeast in a large bowl.

Stir in eggs and 2 and 2/3 cups of flour (leave 1 cup out) and mix well to combine. Sprinkle over the remaining flour, but don’t stir it in. Cover with cling wrap and leave it for 10 minutes.

I like to clean up the kitchen and pack away the ingredients during this time.

Add sugar, salt, vanilla. Using a dough hook on a mixer, beat the dough for 5 minutes.

Then mix in all the butter, a spoonful at a time. This should take about 5-7 minutes. (I like to knead it with my hands sometimes. Makes a buttery mess, but it’s fun and feels so nice!)

Rise Dough:

Cover the bowl with some cling wrap and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

After that, stir the dough with a spoon to deflate it, re-wrap the bowl and put it into the fridge overnight. Or if you’re like me, leave it in the fridge for 1-2 hours! (But of course, the waffles won’t be very fluffy)

One time I completely skipped the fridge bit and it still turned out ok.

Roll Sugar into Dough:

When you are almost ready to cook your waffles, take the dough out of the fridge and knead all the pearl sugar (or in my case, chopped up sugar cubes) into the dough.

Make 16 portions. Roll them into semi-flattened balls, arrange them on a plate/tray, cover them with cling wrap and let them rest for 1 hour.

Cook Waffles:

Heat up your waffle iron, I like to add extra butter. Cook the waffle until they are a lovely golden colour.

Be careful, as they are full of molten sugar, so they will be really hot.

As they cool, they will harden, so you just have to warm them up to make them soft again.

The waffles should be kept and eaten warm!

Serve with fruit or ice cream :)


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Pitcher and Iron Cafe: Authentic Liege Waffles Arrives in Perth

23 November 2017

Pitcher and Iron - Authentic Liege Waffles, Subiaco Perth

The other day, I took one of my boys to check out the brand new waffle cafe in Subiaco called, Pitcher and Iron.

They were giving away free waffles to the first 50 customers as their opening special event, so we had to try haha!

Plus one of the owners is a long-time friend of mine, so I wanted to support him too :)

Pitcher and Iron - Authentic Liege Waffles, Subiaco Perth

They specialise in Liege Waffles (Belgium style waffles) which are made from yeast-raised dough, instead of regular waffle batter.

The result makes them very similar to a sweet, buttery, stretchy brioche bread. Or a soft croissant or doughnut.

They use pearl sugar, which has a higher melting point (and I was told, it has to be specially imported from Belgium) so texture of the waffle crust is crispy, with a kind of caramelised chewiness.

Pitcher and Iron - Authentic Liege Waffles, Subiaco Perth

This was my son’s pick: The Duchess Waffle with strawberry compote, lychees, pavlova ice cream and Persian fairy floss.

Pitcher and Iron - Authentic Liege Waffles, Subiaco Perth

I chose the The Jean Claude, which had beer icecream, maple bacon, honeycomb pieces and Speculoos (spiced biscuit).

They were both so yummy, decadent and definitely for people who love their desserts.

They serve brunch waffles from 8am – 2pm, such as Puller Pork + Eggs Benedict Waffles, Crunchy chicken bites waffles. And they serve dessert waffles from 3 – 10pm.

I can’t wait to come back to try the brunch waffles.

And… I’m also very keen to find a recipe to try making these myself!

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Quick Chocolate Granola

12 October 2017

Chocolate Granola

Hi everyone, after so many requests I’m sharing my chocolate granola recipe – again!

The recipe is slightly different, I just use smaller portions, so it makes 4 cups of granola.

This way, it fits on two baking trays, takes 10 minutes to make, 10 minutes to bake and 1.5 hours to cool.

And I can store it in an easy-to-manage 1L glass jar (stays crunchy for longer).

(My other recipe took up 4 baking trays, I had to bake it in 2 batches and it took me HOURS to get it all baked and crunchy! Who’s got time for that?! I also bake this batch hotter and for less time.)

Quick Chocolate Granola 

2 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of walnuts (or pecans), roughly chopped
1 cup of mixed seeds (pepitas, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds)

1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of maple syrup (or have zero sugar)
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence

(Makes about 4 cups of granola.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 150C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

2. Put coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla essence in a small saucepan and stir slowly over low heat until smooth.

3. Mix the oats, almonds and walnuts in large bowl. Pour in the chocolate mixture in and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated.

4. Divide the mixture up onto the 2 baking trays. Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the granola in the hot oven for another 30 minutes.

6. Take the pans out of the oven, let it cool completely in the pan (about 1 hour). It will harden and crisp up as it cools.

7. Store in a large, air tight container and enjoy for breakfast, snacks or dessert (served with ice cream!)

* Note you might want to check on your granola as it bakes, as some ovens run hotter or cooler, so you don’t want to burn all your expensive nuts/seeds!


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Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies (With No Extra Sugar)

28 August 2017

Gluten-Free (With No Extra Sugar) Chocolate Brownies

Hi everyone!

I’m not sure what to call these, as they are a slight variation of my Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe, which I have featured on my blog many times before!

I made this recipe, because I needed something NOT TOO SWEET to throw into lunch boxes, and for quick on-the-run snacks.

My boys also need extra protein for growth/muscles, and this brownie is pretty much made from almonds (protein), egg (protein), butter (protein) and chocolate (bit of protein)!

Yup, they are perfect for my boy’s school lunch boxes.

They are soft and moist like cake, but they hold together really well, like a fudge brownie.

Their taste and texture are similar to that of a light, chocolate cake.

They are SO yummy and easy to eat, as they are not super-sickly sweet.

They don’t taste weird, bitter, overly nutty and “healthy”.

So easy to make, only uses 4 ingredients!

I use 140g of cooking chocolate — half milk chocolate (70g) and half dark chocolate (70g) in order to reduce the sugar. Too much milk chocolate is too sweet, and too little milk chocolate makes it a bit bitter. Maybe you’d like to play around with the ratio to suit your own tastes, but I found my perfect ratio is 70g milk : 70g dark.

I tested this recipe about 12 times now haha!

Gluten-Free (With No Extra Sugar) Chocolate Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies (With No Extra Sugar)

100g butter, salted
70g cooking milk chocolate
70g cooking dark chocolate
3 eggs
140g of almond meal

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

2. Slowly melt chocolate, butter on VERY LOW heat, and keep stirring until JUST smooth. Then let it cool for 10 minutes.

3. Whisk the eggs lightly in a separate bowl. Sift in the almond meal, or just stir out all lumps.

4. Stir egg + almond meal mixture into the chocolate mixture, until well combined.

5. Pour into the cake tin. Give the tin a thump to get rid of air bubbles.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for another 10 minutes. Slice it up and eat!

Super easy! Enjoy!

Gluten-Free (With No Extra Sugar) Chocolate Brownies

So moist and yummy to eat!

Gluten-Free (With No Extra Sugar) Chocolate Brownies

They are easy to freeze and store too!

As some of you might know, I used to make a lot of protein balls – which is basically a mixture of almonds, oil, dates/sugar – but omg I hate rolling those balls, because they are messy and I’m lazy.

For me, these are much easier for me to make!

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A mid-week brunch at Pixel Coffee

27 July 2017

Pixel Coffee

My husband and I snuck off for a cheeky coffee and mid-week brunch to celebrate being home after our 4 week road trip.

A mid-week brunch! What a treat. We almost never have brunch!

But we were happy to splurge, especially at one of my favourite coffee spots in Leederville: Pixel Coffee.

I had the Butterbean Mushrooms ($21.90), field mushrooms on Mary Street Bakery sourdough with poached eggs, butterbean spread, chimichurri, dehydrated enoki, truffle oil and walnut herb salad.
Pixel Coffee, Leederville

My husband had the Avocado Smash ($17.90) with Mary Street Bakery sourdough, poached eggs, avocado, Persian feta, seed salad and lemon oil.

It was so good to sit down, debrief, lay out some plans and reset our goals so we can head into the last half of the year!

And after being home just a few days, we are already starting to plan our next holiday adventure!

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Homemade Laksa (Kind of)

10 July 2017

Homemade Laksa (Kind of)

When the weather is cold and stormy outside, all I want to eat is hot noodle soup!

But since I don’t want to leave my house and drive to get it, I have been making my own soups and noodle meals at home. (Saves money too.)

This laksa has been my favourite lately.

The laksa sauce is from a bottle, so I just heat it up with light coconut milk.

Add some fresh noodles, roast chicken (which I freeze in packs), add a whole lot of sliced vegetables, boiled egg, lime from my tree and mint from my garden.

Sometimes I have a vegetarian version, with tofu, egg and mushroom.

Not very authentic. But it’s so good and it hits the spot!

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The Teenaged Pranks Begin

22 April 2017

After Easter Platter

I don’t know about you, but my pantry is still full of Easter Eggs. And since we’re off to another morning tea with family, the eggs make a nice decorative centre-piece.

Or maybe they are grapes wrapped up in Eater Egg wrappers….?

Welcome to my life of teenage pranks.

I heard it gets much worse.

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Eating Colourful Salads Every Day

26 February 2017

Summer Salad Back in Oz

Yay, I love eating colourful salads!

This is a salad I made for dinner the other evening. I usually make it about 3 times a week, using whatever vegetables I have in the fridge. It’s about 6 cups of chopped vegetables.

I usually eat 2 cups, my husband and my 3 boys will eat 1 cup each.

We might eat it with steak, baked salmon, grilled chicken and some carbohydrate like roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, garlic bread, brown rice or quinoa (my kids hate quinoa! but they’ll reluctantly eat it).

Lately I’ve been skipping or reducing my carb portion and eating more salad (hence the 2 cups) or eating more protein… and I’m pretty full by the end of dinner.

We don’t use salad dressing, mainly because I don’t like salad dressing. So my kids have grown up eating plain salads, and when we are served salad with dressing, they refuse to eat it, which is a bit annoying.

Ok the truth is… we have some kind of fresh salad everyday. Maybe not such a huge serving. I always offer a variety.

Big tip for eating salads everyday: Fill your fridge with lots of colourful vegetables! Yeah it’s kind of obvious.

I always have cos lettuce, carrots, celery, tomatoes, a capsicum and a red cabbage in my fridge, to use as my salad base, because I find they last a long time. Then every 3-4 days, I buy a rotation of snow peas, sprouts, zucchini, cucumbers or spinach.

If my base vegetables start to look old, I’ll throw them into a vegetable curry.

Big tip for easy salad prep: Buy a julienne peeler. Or a spiraliser. Or some kind of grater.

Happy eating!

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My Basic Chia Pudding

1 December 2016

Chia Pudding and Fruit

Hello hello! I want to share my BASIC Chia Pudding Recipe today.

There are heaps of recipes on the internet, but I’ve tweaked this recipe to how I like it best.

Why I love this recipe :

* It has vanilla essence in it, so it tastes like creamy vanilla ice cream.

* It doesn’t have blended banana, so it lasts for much longer in the fridge (won’t turn in a gross brown slop!).

* Other recipes use too much coconut milk, which is just too intense for me.

* I can add instant coffee to it, or cocoa powder, or matcha powder. It’s amazing!

* I can stir in peaches, or berries or mangoes too.

* I eat it like yoghurt, but it’s much better for my tummy because it’s dairy free.

* It does have a bit of maple syrup added to it, because I think it tastes a bit too weird without a hint of sweetness.

* This portion size and proportion is perfect for me. I eat it over 3 days and it doesn’t go off.

Plus, chia seeds are SEEDS – so they are high in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and fibre.

My Chia Pudding Recipe

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1 cup of almond milk

4 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 teaspoon of maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Just stir everything together. Put in a bowl, keep covered (with cling wrap) in the fridge.

Wait an hour, then scoop out a portion into a separate bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa / matcha / coffee and stir well.


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Who needs frosting, when you have fruit!

24 November 2016

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

It’s a little embarrassing how often I make this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.

But it’s one of my favourite dishes to make when visiting friends and everyone loves it!

For this cake, I embedded it with raspberries, as I did in this recipe, and I served it with ice cream.

However the little kids were more excited about the blueberries and strawberries that they picked off all the fruit and left the chocolate cake for the adults haha.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends! xxx

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Meal Prepping: Roast Vegetable and Quinoa

20 November 2016

Meal Planning

I’ve been trying to get my weekly eating patterns in order… so I made up a huge batch of Roast Vegetable and Quinoa Salad for myself and my husband.

It sounds a bit fancy, but I just cubed 1 large sweet potato, 4 potatoes, 1 aubergine, 1 head of cauliflower and seasoned it all with garlic, salt, pepper and herbs.

I set the oven at 180C and roasted the vegetables for 1 hour.

Then I cooked 2 cups of quinoa.

Tossed everything together with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning.

Threw in some fresh salad and fresh herbs (I had some leftover coriander and chives).

Split it all up into portions – about 10 containers!

Then threw into the freezer.

Quite easy!

Meal Planning

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My Chocolate Granola

9 November 2016

My Chocolate Granola

I’ve been making big batches of chocolate granola lately!

My latest batch was slightly different to my usual Chocolate Coconut Granola recipe, as I didn’t use any coconut.

Here’s the recipe again! Without coconut!

Chocolate Granola

4 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of mixed seeds (pepitas, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds)
1 cup of almonds, roughly chopped in a food processor
1 cup of walnuts (or cashews), roughly chopped in a food processor

2/3 cup of coconut oil
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence

(Makes about 8 cups of granola.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 130C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.

2. Put coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla essence in a small saucepan and stir slowly over low heat until smooth.

3. Mix the oats, coconut, seeds, almonds and walnuts in large bowl. Pour in the chocolate mixture in and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated.

4. Divide the mixture up onto the 3 baking trays. And bake for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the granola in the hot oven for another 30 minutes.

6. Take the pans out of the oven and without stirring the granola, let it cool completely in the pan. It will harden and crisp up as it cools.

7. Store in a large, air tight container and enjoy for breakfast, snacks and dessert (served with ice cream YEAH!)



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The Berry Smoothie Rule

20 October 2016

Berry Smoothie

I have to admit that I don’t use a recipe when I make my smoothies!

I just use whatever I happen to find in my fridge or freezer. I buy lots of fruit every week, and often, we don’t eat it all before it goes bad. So before it expires, I cut it up and throw it into a freezer bag… and I slowly use it up in my smoothies.

I might have 1/2 an orange, a few pieces of pineapple, leftover apple slices, a few tired looking strawberries, grapes in one bag!

Anyway, I tend to follow these general rules:

1 banana OR 1/2 cup of pineapple pieces / oranges / mango (I don’t like to mix bananas and citrus fruits)
1/2 apple or pear
1 cup of frozen raspberries, or strawberries, or blueberries or mango or whatever I have in my freezer
1/2 cup of yoghurt
1 cup of coconut water or almond milk

Whiz it up and enjoy!


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Tiisch Cafe, Perth

18 October 2016

Tiisch, Perth

The other day, I caught up with a few blogger friends at Tiisch Cafe.

I was completely smitten by the high, heritage ceilings, the gorgeous floorboards, the white walls and ALL THE PLANTS.

I’m a closet gardener and I love indoor plants!

Over the years, I’ve owned pretty much all the plants I saw in the cafe (I couldn’t tell you what they are all called though) and seeing them dangling happily in the cafe, made me feel like I was visiting old friends.

Some of my plants were ugly as heck and I had to constantly clean their leaves and talk to them (yes!)… but they all had a lovely charm about them and I adored them.

I loved that there were so much space in the cafe. There were lots of tables and lots of seating. It was roomy and comfortable. I really liked the fresh, modern feel of the cafe, yet it had a warm, quirky atmosphere.

Tiisch, Perth

I have been drooling over Tiisch’s Instagram feed and I wanted to try everything!

In the end – because it was only breakfast – I chose the, Matcha Pancakes with strawberry, roasted rhubarb, mascarpone, honey & chamomile syrup. My friends chose the same.

The pancakes were so lovely, soft and moist. The combinations of sweetness and textures were just fantastic. I wasn’t that keen on the rhubarb though, as I don’t like rhubarb. Nonetheless, it had a roasted, tangy burst to it which complimented each mouthful of sweetness really well.

It was a really lovely breakfast for me. And such a treat!

Next time I’m hoping to come for lunch and try their new Spring menu.

938 Hay St, Perth WA
(corner of Milligan and Hay Street)

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Roast Cauliflower for Lunch

8 October 2016

Cauliflower Roast

The other day I accidentally found myself with 2 heads of cauliflowers in my fridge – I bought one and forgot I already had one from the previous week!

So I decided to slow roast one with garlic and turn it into lunch packs for me to freeze for the week.

It also turned out that my yoga teacher passed me a whole bag of fresh thyme, and so I had too much thyme on my hands…

(Ha, I actually said it! Not sorry!)


Roast Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, trimmed into pieces

4 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly

2 springs of fresh thyme

20g butter, melted

Toss everything together and throw it into a 200°C/400°F oven for 35-40 minutes, until nice and golden brown.

(Sometimes I like to use 20g butter, 4 garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds instead.)


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Styling banana cake with a bit of love

24 August 2016

Banana Cake Styling

I have been clashing with one of my boys these last few weeks. Lots of fighting, shouting, negativity. It’s been pretty bad, worse than usual.

I won’t go into an detail (because he reads my blog now and again, and my heart is a bit fragile) but basically, we’ve been having an awful time. I suspect that 20 years from now, when he looks back at his childhood, all he’ll be able to remember of his mother is me being this angry, frustrated, shouty, crazy person.

Anyway, to heal this mother-son relationship, I figure that since I’m the adult, I should do something to change the situation and bring about some positivity.

I’ve discovered he’s quite interested in my work. Photographing things, styling, visual branding, social media strategies, creating a branding voice, graphic design and Photoshopping; Not so much the fashion stuff for my blog, but my commercial/contract/freelance work.

So I talk to him about it… and to my complete surprise, he actually had some really clever ideas and feedback. And would you believe I like to bounce my ideas at him and get him involved with some of my styling.

The other day, I made a banana cake and cut up a whole lot of fruit for my kids to eat after school. I thought it was a nice opportunity for a pretty photo, BUT I was trying to prepare dinner at the same time, so I asked HIM to style up the banana cake.

I showed him a few photos of cake + fruit + flower styling as inspiration, by Floral & Fauna Cafe in Northbrdige. I did tell him to give it his own personal twist, but in the end, it did look quite similar to their styling.

Nonetheless, I was so so proud of his work!

But I think I was glowing more from the little bonding moment we had that afternoon and how it healed a little bit of my heart.

Banana Cake Styling

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Almond Chocolate Crackle Balls

6 August 2016

Almond Ball Recipe

My kids play run and play SO MUCH SPORT that I have been on a mission to fuel them up with protein for muscle repair and growth.

At first I bought supermarket protein bars for them… but my kids didn’t like the taste of them, and the bars were pretty expensive at $3-$5 each.

So I developed my own almond / protein ball things, based on what my kids like. Hint: my kids hate dates.

I really don’t know what to call them, Protein Balls? Almond Balls? Bliss Balls?

Whatever they are called – THEY TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE CRACKLES!

Almond Chocolate Crackle Balls

1 cup of almonds
1/3 cup of desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon of cocoa
2 scoops of protein powder (I use Sustagen Sport, Chocolate)
2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup / maple syrup
4 tablespoons (60g) of coconut oil
1 egg white

Throw all the dry ingredients (almonds, coconut, cocoa, protein powder) into a food processor to chop it all up and mix well.

Then add the wet ingredients (syrup, coconut oil, egg white) and process again.

Use a tablespoon to scoop up mixture and roll into balls. Place the ball into a cupcake case (the coconut oil melts and it can get a bit messy), line it up onto a tray.

Bake in 160C oven for 15 minutes.

Makes about 24.

I put 3 of them in my kid’s lunchbox, everyday and they hold together really nicely!

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Six Willows Cafe, Willetton

17 June 2016

Six Willows Cafe

I caught up with a friend for a simple brunch at this cute little cafe way out in suburbia, called Six Willows Cafe.

We ordered a Breakfast Burger ($12) with sous vide beef, egg, bacon strips, beetroot relish, lettuce, hollandaise sauce on a toasted brioche bun. It was really, really yummy. The beef was fantastic, the bun was lovely. I couldn’t believe how affordable it was.

We also had a Carrot Cake (which was a bit dry) and a Blueberry Muffin (which was really good!) for my friend’s 3 year old.

My Green Matcha Soy Latte ($5.60) was pretty good and my friend’s Skinny Flat White ($3.8) was excellent.

I liked really liked the relaxed vibe of the place. I liked that it wasn’t trying to be too hipster, cool, fussy or posh.

It was a lovely, quiet setting for us to have a good chat.

They sell little homewares and have regular little crafty workshops too (very kid friendly).

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Six Willows Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Frisch and Barc Cafe, Como

9 June 2016

Frisch and Barc Cafe, Como

I met up with some girlfriends for brunch at a new cafe in Como called, Frisch and Barc.

Named after a Nobel prize winning scientist, Karl Ritter von Frisch, who studied the social and communicative interactions of honeybees, he discovered that bees were intelligent creatures who communicated through intricate and complex ways in order to create their home, the barc (wild beehive).

I think the take home word here is community.

The interior was cool and modern, with big glass windows lighting up the cafe with natural light, lots of tables and chairs, a wooden staircase to an upstairs section, and a big arty mural to remind everyone how hip and urban the place is.

The menu looked pretty good. Inspired by American, modern Australian and Asian flavours, there was also lots of tea options, but I’m a soy flat white kind of girl.

Frisch and Barc Cafe, Como

We ordered the Singapore Chilli Crab Omelette ($23.90) with grilled shimeji mushroom, Asian herb salad and ciabatta toast.

The omelette was lovely and fluffy. The bread was drenched in the chilli crab sauce. I couldn’t really taste where the crab ended and the sauce started, because the crab meat was so soft. It was all very tasty and flavoursome, perhaps a bit too salty and overpowering though. The chilli sauce wasn’t very hot; it was mild, which suited me just fine. I liked the fresh salad.

It was a bit weird for my palate. As I ate it, I realised that I haven’t had authentic Singapore chilli crab since… maybe 5-6 years ago, so I had nothing to compare it to.

I couldn’t get over the cost of it. Then again, it was a dish with crab, so I guess it was understandable.

Overall, it was a unique way to eat eggs on toast. It had an element of fun and a cheeky nod to my Singaporean roots.

Frisch and Barc Cafe, Como

Brioche French Toast ($17.90) with coconut and pandan custard, berry with apple compote and crushed pistachio.

Again another nod to South East Asian flavours. The brioche was yummy, soft and buttery.

When I have brunch, I usually order pancakes or cakes as my sweet option… I haven’t had French toast in ages. It was lovely, sweet, fruity, creamy. It was a bit expensive.

We also ordered the Pulled Pork Toastie with Apple Slaw ($15.90) which was the winner in my opinion. The pork was absolutely delicious and full of infused flavours. When eaten with the fresh, tart apple slices with the creamy dressing, it was heaven in my mouth. I would definitely come back to eat it again!

Frisch and Barc
297 Canning Highway
Como, 6152 WA

(You can find their latest menu on their Facebook page)

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My Kid’s Favourite Banana Smoothie

11 May 2016

Banana Smoothie

I don’t really like banana smoothies, but I often make them because my kids love them.

It’s also good way to use up bananas, either fresh or frozen. Plus it’s a great way for the kids to get some extra calcium and protein in their diets.

Truth is, I’m writing the recipe here because my kids can now make smoothies for themselves.

So this way I can just tell them to look up the recipe on my blog and I don’t have to shout out the recipe from another room, haha!

I’ve found that the simplest recipe is always the best.

Simple Banana Smoothie (Makes about 2 cups)

1 large banana
1 cup milk
1 cup crushed ice
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (or vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling naughty)


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Meal Prepping with Vegetables

14 April 2016

Veggie Meal Prep

Because I like a bit of order and efficiency in my life, I’ve been trying to prepare my daytime meals.

Yes it’s a great way to maintain my weight and a healthy eating regime. Yes it really helps me NOT eat crappy food.

But it’s not easy to stick to.

It comes and goes. I’ll do it for 4 days, then skip 2 days, then back at it for 5-6 days, then stop for 7 days, then back for 5 days… etc.

LIFE HAPPENS and it’s OK really.

Sometimes I go out for lunch. Sometimes I have delicious dinner leftovers in my fridge (hello beef rendang!).

Sometimes I eat such a large breakfast that I skip lunch, then find myself impossibly hungry at the end of the afternoon, and I eat everything in sight!

The truth is, I like food and I get bored eating the same thing every day.

So typical meal prepping doesn’t really work for me.

However these last few weeks… I have found a nice compromise.

I spend Sunday making FIVE simple salads, as shown above. After I took the photo above, I actually added a large handful of spinach to the containers. So there was a bit more to my salad than pictured. It’s not pretty. I just shove as much as I can into a 250ml container.

Then: Every day I eat something proteiny with my salad… like grilled chicken, a slice of fish, can of tuna, two boiled eggs, a scoop of leftover beef rendang, steamed tofu, or a slice of sourdough bread that I made the day before, or soba noodles.

That way, I know I fill up on a nice yummy salad for most days of the week.

The variety makes it much easier to stick to!

(Having said that, I have been known to have a piece of KFC chicken with my salad haha!)

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Butter Cream

13 April 2016

Chocolate Cupcakes

I recently invited a few girlfriends over for an afternoon tea and catch up. And since it was after Easter, I used up the last of my chocolate eggs as cute cupcake decorations. They looked so pretty!

I used a recipe based on Donna Hay’s Chocolate Cupcake recipe, but I just used less sugar.

It’s a pretty good basic chocolate cupcake recipe. I would have liked it to be a bit more moist, but it has a nice chocolatey taste.

Donna Hay’s Chocolate Cupcake
(Makes about 16)

125g butter, softened
½ cup milk
¾ cup caster sugar (I used ½ cup)
100g dark chocolate, melted
2 eggs
1¼ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
12 small chunks of dark chocolate, extra

Chocolate Butter Cream Icing
250g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar mixture, sifted
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat until combined. Fold through the milk and stir in the melted chocolate.

Place a piece of the extra chocolate in the base of each cupcake case. Spoon the cupcake mixture into the cases and bake for 20–25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool.

To make the chocolate butter cream icing, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar mixture, cocoa powder and milk and beat for a further 6 minutes or until light and creamy. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using a star-shaped nozzle, decorate and serve. Makes 16.


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Flora and Fauna Cafe, Northbridge

6 April 2016

Flora and Fauna Cafe, Northbridge

I have been stalking Flora and Fauna Cafe on Instagram for months now.

Their food creations and floral decorations are such a delight to look at – that my heart goes into an excited flutter every time I see one of their photos pop up onto my feed!

Anyway, I finally popped in with a girlfriend to try it out and it was just lovely. They specialise in super healthy, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free breakfast/brunch/lunch dishes.

Flora and Fauna Cafe, Northbridge

We ordered two dishes to share, plus a coffee for me and a juice for my friend.

First dish was a Green Tea Granola ($20), which they make themselves.

The serving was huge, topped with a variety of fresh fruit, flowers and served with your choice of milk (I chose almond).

It was delicious, crunchy, and fresh. I could taste the green tea, and all the glorious seeds and nuts. But there was a strong flavour of almond essence or organic syrup (I’m not sure!) it was just a touch over-powering because I don’t usually like almond essence.

Nonetheless I happily gobbled up my share. The fruits were so yummy!

Flora and Fauna Cafe, Northbridge

Our second dish was the Heirloom Bruschetta ($19) featuring 3 kinds of tomatoes, gluten free bread, avocado, greens and a sprinkle of feta.

The tomatoes were just lovely, sweet and mellow (not too sour, not too tangy or acidic).

I was absolutely blown away by how delicious this dish was. It was truly bursting with flavour!

I would order this again. In fact, I would take someone special (like my husband) to this cafe and order this for him.

I’ll definitely be back :)

Great: Amazing food, styling, gorgeous cafe decoration, great coffee.

Not-so-great: Price (this cost us $50 exactly), limited seating, no bookings, most of the tables were outside.


Flora & Fauna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Nachos for Dinner

21 March 2016


This is what we do with our left over spaghetti bolognese sauce!

We eat it with corn chips and salad.

Easiest dinner ever :)

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Marumo Japanese Fine Dining, Nedlands

2 March 2016

Marumo Japanese Restaurant

A few weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of eating at the elusive Marumo in Nedlands.

According to all the online and offline chatter, Marumo seems to be one of Perth’s most sought after and best value restaurants for Japanese fine dining.

Apparently they are fully booked out for several months in advanced; and to manage the overwhelming demand, they now release a month’s worth of online reservations (two months out) on a first come first serve basis. I’ve also heard those bookings sell out so quickly (minutes!) that slow mouse-clickers are often disappointed.

For me, I was invited to join someone else’s dinner booking, a friend of a friend, who couldn’t make it at the last minute.

Anyway despite all the fanfare, I arrived and there was absolutely no sense of a pretentious, pompous, self congratulating “We are SO highly sought after, therefore YOU should be SO lucky to dine here” vibe.

The atmosphere was humble, simple, minimal and modern.

Marumo Japanese Fine Dining

Marumo offers a 7-course Omakase menu, which means you leave everything up to the chef and he carefully selects and showcases his loving creations in a set menu, based on the freshest seasonal produce.

You turn up at 7pm and the whole sitting takes about 3 hours.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE that idea. I have no special dietary requirements, only that I want to eat really good food. I like to try a bit of everything and most times I don’t know what to choose… so I am absolutely happy to trust the chef and eat whatever he creates.

For $60 per person and BYO alcohol, I’ve never heard of a place that does anything similar.

First up was a Pickled Squid Salad thing (that’s right, I’m not a pro food critic, so I am completely happy to call dishes a “salad thing”).

It was light, tangy, salty and bursting with flavour. It was a great start to the evening and I wanted to eat more!

Marumo Japanese Restaurant

Chilled Edamame Soup

At first, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of a cream soup to start. I don’t usually like heavy, creamy soups. I have a slight intolerance to milk and cream, which leaves me feeling a bit full and bloated. I probably should have mentioned this to the chef?

But it was actually lovely. The flavours were fresh and light, the consistency was smooth, but not TOO smooth. The surprise sat at the bottom of the soup, I think it was a small pile of crab flesh or prawn? I forgot to ask. Its mellow, salty seafood flavour, complimented the soup so well. It was heavenly to eat.

I’d say this was one of my favourite dishes of the night!

A real surprise for me!

Marumo Japanese Fine Dining

Beef, Mushroom and Bamboo Shoot

When the next dish arrived, I rubbed my hands together… YES this was exactly what I was craving! Bring on the Japanese seared meats!

The beef was soft, tender, gorgeously succulent, perfectly seared and drenched with the clear sauce, which was not too salty or overpowering. It was a tasty dish and really well done.

Marumo Japanese Restaurant

Soft Shell Crab and Watermelon

This was my lucky day. I’m also a huge fan of soft shell crab. The textural contrast of crunchy and soft, borders on the rapturous pleasure of crispy fried chicken. I’ve never eaten it with watermelon before though.

I adore watermelon and grilled halloumi, so I’m no stranger to an interesting mix of sweet and salty flavours. But this dish didn’t quite have the WOW factor for me, as the last three dishes did.

Having said that, the crab was indeed crispy, crunchy on the outside and full of flavour and juicy on the inside; and the watermelon was a refreshing contrast for my palate. I ate them separately, but very happily.

Marumo Japanese Restaurant

Chef’s Selection of Sashimi

I was so so pleased with the sashimi.

It had lovely flavour and perfect texture, it was beautifully cut, faultlessly fresh and sitting on a sheet of ice.

I think I could eat this everyday for lunch for the rest of my life thanks.

Marumo Japanese Restaurant

Tasmanian Salmon Belly Sushi

This was my second favourite dish for the night!

I’m usually very bored with sushi, because (please forgive me) I buy quick-and-easy, “chicken teriyaki” sushi from takeaway shops all the time, so I try not to choose it at restaurants.

However, when I took my first bite of this sushi, I think my eyes rolled to the back of my head… hello foodgasm, it was amazing!

The seared, fatty salmon belly combined with the salty bursts of salmon roe was absolutely delicious. Then mixed with the soft rice and the super crispy outer shell of the tempura prawn, it all just filled my mouth with the most ecstatic combination of creamy, crunchy, popping, salty, seaweedy textures and flavours.

The lovely staff told me that I was supposed to put the WHOLE thing in my mouth to enjoy ALL the flavours at once. It sounded good in theory.

But alas, I’m a dainty eater and I struggled with fitting each piece in my mouth… so I made a bit of a mess on my first two attempts, ha!

Marumo Japanese Fine Dining

Duck, Apricot and Parsnip

The duck arrived and it was a handsome and impressive looking dish. The duck meat was tender, with warming flavours that were delicate, mellow and sweet. The puree brought it all together nicely.

I was quite full at this point and struggled to finish it, but that in no way reflected how it tasted.

Marumo Japanese Restaurant

Dark Chocolate, Peach and Yuzu

Thankfully the dessert arrived, signalling the last of the courses. I was so full, but I always have room for dessert!

It was gorgeous. Sweet, subtle and simple. I wished that I could make such amazing chocolates.

It was such a delightful and satisfying meal.

My girlfriend told me about Chef Moe’s humble beginnings; how he arrived in Australia with almost no money; how he worked hard as a kitchen hand, doing odd jobs; his 13 years of cooking experience preparing Japanese cuisine; how Marumo first started as a tiny shop in the Southern suburbs of Perth, serving fish and chip by day and Japanese fine dining by night; the growth of his business and reputation solely through word of mouth; his dedication to quality and his passion for creating traditional Japanese cuisine with a modern twist.

It seems like all the hard work is paying off for Chef Moe and his wife, Marie. I wish them all the best!

Yep, I would go back in a snap and and would love to share the experience with my friends and family.

Who knows, hopefully I’ll be successful with the online reservations and cross my fingers that I’ll nab a booking four months from now for my birthday!

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Watermelon Crush for Summer

12 February 2016

Watermelon Drinks

This is one of the juices/smoothies that I love to make for my kids after school.

Sometimes I’ll use lemonade (instead of coconut water) if I have some leftover from a dinner party, otherwise there’s more than enough sweetness in the fruit.

It’s their favourite flavour and such a hit in summer!

Watermelon Crush

2 cups of watermelon (no seeds)
1 slice of pineapple
1 tablespoon of frozen raspberries or strawberries
4 cubes of ice
250mL of coconut water
1 leaf of mint

Throw everything into a high powered blender, whizz up, then serve in pretty glasses :)