Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Quick Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yoghurt.

A couple weeks ago Jai & I cooked salmon tikka with cucumber yogurt from Jamie's Ministry of Food cook book.

We rarely eat fish so it was great to have some for a change and has encouraged us to try more recipes using fish.

This is what Jamie says about the recipe "I love this dish. If you’re a fan of chicken tikka masala, give this one a go. You might think it odd to use robust spice pastes on fish, but it’s very common in southern India. When buying your fish, ask the fishmonger to scale it for you. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these cook."


I'll put the recipe below :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes.

The same weekend I went to my sisters, we had a big baking session which is always loads of fun. We first made a lemon and poppyseed cake then after the cake we made the most amazing strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. The strawberry cheesecake cupcakes would have to be one of my favorite recipes ever and are from the Hummingbird Bakery cook book.

The recipe is under the cut.

Jamie Oliver's Italian in Canary Wharf.

Jamie's Italian, Canary Wharf
Unit 17, 2 Churchill Place
Canary Wharf, London, E14 5RB
Tel: 020 3002 5252 020 3002 5252

On a bank holiday I went down to London to see my lovely sister Melissa. I met her at the train station then we headed to Canary Wharf to go to Jamie's Italian. My sister had read a couple bad reviews, but I would say it was one of my favorite restaurant experiences I have had.

The staff were very welcoming and we got a seat table straight away. They were more than helpful with explaining the menu to us and giving us recommendations. Although they didn't have a cocktail list, the waitress told me they would be happy to make anything up for me so I asked for something fruity with vodka and that's what I got, it was delicious.

We started off with the antipasto plank. Then some pasta for mains.

Switzerland: St. Gallen & Luzern.

After Zurich, our second stop was St. Gallen where we had an amazing dinner on the night we got in. We got in to our hotel quite late and had a look around in the small hotel restaurant. We weren't expecting much as the tiny restaurant was completely empty. We got our menu's and Jai decided to get the veal schnitzel with chips and I got a herby chicken breast with chips in an amazing mushroom type sauce.
Both meals also came with a small bowl of cooked carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

We headed to bed and anxiously awaited our breakfast in the morning. If theres one meal of the day we've never been completely satisfied with when we go on holidays its breakfast. We usually go without after walking around the city for half an hour trying to find something to eat, or if the hotel comes with breakfast we usually end up with a bowl of cereal or some fruit which is fine.

Switzerland: Zurich.

Back In February my boyfriend Jai and I took a week long trip to Switzerland. It was the best holiday we have both ever had. We had such an amazing time and the food was lovely too.
Our first stop in Zurich was to Sprüngli to try the Luxemburgerli which taste and look very similar to a macaron. It was almost hard to tell the difference between the two, as macarons vary alot from place to place but its said that the Luxemburgerli is lighter and more airy in consistancy.

From right to left: Caramel, bourbon vanilla, raspberry, chocolate, lemon & the green ones in the back are pistachio.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Meeting The Hairy Bikers!

On the 21st of January I was lucky enough to meet The Hairy Bikers at Waterstones in Liverpool. I was absolutley so excited that I turned up an hour or two early and there was no line. So off I went to do some shopping with Jai, came back later & the line was all the way up the street!
So I ended up waiting for an hour in the line outside until I finally got inside to meet them. The Hairy Bikers were so lovely, as were all the Waterstones staff who happily took a photo of them & I for me on my camera.
I got them to sign a book for me and also for my sister of their newest book 'Mums Know Best'.
We had a little chat & I told them how much I love their show and Si asked where I was from & seemed quite interested in Melbourne.
I asked if they would ever do a show around Australia and they said they would love to, if only the BBC would fund it.
Si was really nice and said how great Australian food is, especially all the food places in Melbourne which was nice as I told them I didn't really think there were many great Australian foods 'except lamingtons and pavlova!'.

Liverpool Christmas Market.

Back in December we had a whole load of Christmas events that took over the city here in Liverpool. And one of my favorites being the Christmas Market. It was quite similar to some of the 'World Markets' we get here some times as they had all the kangaroo burgers and european sausages and such at all the stalls.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Christmas Dinner.

At Christmas Jai and I went down to Egham to see my lovely sister Melissa and my brother in law Jason. We had the most lovely Christmas dinner and it was my first time in trying a few different things. Im used to having a pork roast for Christmas in Melbourne, so this was the first time that I could ever remember that I had a whole roasted turkey for Christmas.
We had loads more yummy things too. It was a FEAST!

Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche and chives (recipe below), and
Pear, Parmesan and Rocket wrapped in Prosciutto. (recipe below)

Jason's Prawn Salad.

Roast Turkey stuffed with Orange and Herbs,
Roast Potatoes with Polenta, cooked in Goose Fat,
Stuffing Balls,
Pigs in Blankets,
Mel's Winter Coleslaw,
Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Onion,
Brussel Sprouts,
And last but not least, gravy!

Desert: Christmas Pudding.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Mini Raspberry Melting Moments.

Makes 15. 125g unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
2 tbs custard powder
pure icing sugar, to serve

Raspberry filling
60g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
6 small frozen raspberries, thawed

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Easy Sunday Lunch.

On the menu is:
-Pimms or sparkling wine.
- Dips and an asortment of crackers.

- Rosemary roast potatoes,
- Chicken, fish parcels or burgers on the bbq, &
- Pick n Mix platter.

- Start off by making sure all your Pimms ingredients are chilling in the fridge so you can prepare it just before your guests arrive so it is still lovely, cold and refreshing.

- I started my potatoes which my sweet boyfriend Jai has named 'Baby Aimee Potatoes' well beforehand so I wasn't rushing to get them cooked when everyone arrived.

For the potatoes you will need:
- 1kg of baby potatoes (adjust this according to how many guests you have, or how many potatoes you'd like to end up with!)
- Rosemary flavoured sea salt to season,
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped,
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, OR
- 3 tsp of mixed dry herbs,
- 1tsp of oil,
- 4- 5 tsp butter, or enough to coat your potatoes.

1. Wash potatoes and chip any bigger ones in half.
2. Par- boil potatoes until soft.
3. Transfer potatoes to baking dish and put in oil, butter, chopped garlic, fresh rosemary or dried herbs.
4. Sprinkle over enough sea salt (preferably rosemary flavoured) to coat potatoes.
5. Put into a preheated oven at 225degrees and cook until golden and crispy which should be anywhere inbetween 45- 60 minutes.
6. Make sure to turn potatoes to coat in butter and herb mixture every 10- 15 minutes to avoid burning.

Food Review: Mandarin Oriental.

For my 18th birthday in July 2009 my sister had gone above and beyond to make it a special time for me! On Saturday she handed me an invitation she had made up to invite me to a fancy afternoon tea at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in The Park Terrace.
We caught the train into the city & went and checked out Harrods department store. I cant even explain how it looks, it was just really fancy with all types of food in the food court, from sushi trains where they cooked the food in front of you, to home made uncooked pasta and every lolly or chocolate you can think of.

After that we went to the Mandarin Oriental where they greated us & we sat down to a glass of sparkling wine. After that we got our pots of english tea, and our sandwhiches and cakes.

There were five different types of sandwhiches. We had chicken & sweetcorn, crabmeat, tuna, salmon & soured cream with cucumber. We had lots of different types of cakes aswell. We got our scones half way through as the cakes were getting a little rich & we really wanted to try the scones. We had them with butter, strawberry jam & rose petal jam which was suprsingly so amazing!

"Always a destination for Festive Afternoon Tea for those in the know, tea at The Park remains a ‘must-do’ with the arrival of Head Pastry Chef, Graham Hornigold, voted ‘Pastry Chef of the Year’ by the Craft Guild of Chefs – the Oscars of the world of cakes and pastries."

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Food Review: Ladurée.

Ladurée at Harrods
87/135 Brompton Road
London SW1X 7XL
Phone: (0) 203 155 0111

One Weekend when my cousin Renee came to visit London, we decided to visit Harrod's department store. My sister had already taken me to go look in it but we didn't go to the pet store and I also wanted to go taste the macarons at Ladurée which I had heard had some of the best macarons in the world.

The decor inside Ladurée is amazing. It was beautifully decorated and I instantly knew I would end up loving this place.

Individual macarons are £3.50 and flavours include coffee, chocolate, vanilla, pistachio and lemon.
Although we decided to try out the mini macarons which looked gorgeous. Mini macarons are £1.65 and the flavours include rose, liquorice, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, lemon, red berries, caramel with superfine salt, raspberry, orange blossom, blackcurrant & violet, bergamot, coconut and mint.

Monday, 19 April 2010

World food: Berlin.

In June of 2009 my boyfriend Jai and I decided to visit Berlin in Germany.

We ended up going for a week and it was well worth it. I've never done so much walking in my entire life as we just walked all over the city seeing various sites and we ended up going on a number of different walking tours which were also well worth the money.

The food overall was quite nice. I am sure if we had have searched around more we could have found some really amazing places to eat at but alot of the time we just stopped at the first food place that had an english menu.

I thought the food would be very rich, heart and big and I guess it kind of was in a way. I would have liked to have tried some more traditonal dishes but I went with one goal and that was to eat a potato kartoffelpuffer in Germany, and Jai's was to find a plate sized giant schnitzel. While I happily ate my kartoffelpuffer, Jai did FIND a giant schnitzel but it was unfortunate we both got colds and never ended up going back to the restaurant to try the schnitzel.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Food Review: Time Out.

Time Out Cafe.
Corner Swanston St and Flinders St,
Federation Square.
Book on: +61 3 9671 3855
Phone: +61 3 9671 3866

Time Out will always be mine and Jai's restaurant in Melbourne. It's a place we've enjoyed going back to again and again, simply because the food is simple yet tasty, and we have fond memories of our very first dinner out together.

I still remember everything about that night. I ordered a pizza and was mortified to see it was covered in lots of chopped up fresh herbs and Jai ordered the chicken parmagiana.
Anyway, so we went back there quite a few times after that night over the next couple years and reminisced about our first night out there and looked back on how far we had come since then!

The photos from this post was the last time we went back which was for our two year anniversary!
Jai ordered a pizza with leg ham, bacon, cheese and pineapple. And I ordered one with olives, tomato, cheese, ham, mushrooms, garlic and oregano.
We got a couple drinks, one of which was my Super Lucky Lady cocktail which is definitely in the top three cocktails i've ever tasted. It was tangy but so refreshing at the same time.
On the menu it is described as "All things tropical in a fortunate combination of 42 Below passionfruit vodka, passionfruit pulp & lime, alongside pineapple juice."

The waiters and waitresses have always been really pleasant to us there and we always got our food relatively quickly, although time does fly when you're having fun so I didn't actually keep track of how long it took!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Food Review: Madame Brussels.

Madame Brussels
Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne,
(03) 9662 2775

I had heard about this interesting cafe on the internet when researching things to do in Melbourne so I'd been dying to go there. Finally I went with my best friend Tegan & it definitely lived up to its expectations!

It took us a while to find as neither of us are good with directions, but also because the building itself was not the easiest to find.
We found the lift that led up to Madame Brussels & caught it to the third floor. We walked out on to the most interesting and pretty place I've ever seen.
We walked out on to a path surrounded by fake grass, comfy couches and garden chairs & tables.

When we went we were the only people there so it was really quiet and there was not much atmosphere but we enjoyed it all the same.

The food was simply, but really, really tasty and the cocktail list was quite good as well.


Thursday, 8 April 2010

Food Review: Cold Rock Ice Creamery.

Various locations across Australia.

After my sisters wedding in Hamilton Island, my boyfriend & I headed down to the Gold Coast for a short holiday.
One afternoon wandering through the streets we found Cold Rock Icecream! I'd heard about it & so wanted to try it.
As they say you basically 'Choose it, Mix it, Smash it, Try it' which means you get to choose out of many flavours of ice cream, choose what you want to mix in with it, then they smash it all up for you & pop it in a little cup.

Jai was really good and picked the mango sorbet mixed with fresh raspberrys. Where as I..... went all out. I thought seeing as though im here i'll pick the richest, sickliest thing I could pick!
So I picked cookies & cream mixed with cookie dough, malteasers, oreos and chocolate fudge!
It was so rich, but so, so, SO good! One little pot set me back almost AU $11. It was about $1 for every little 'mixer' that you added to your icecream.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Food Review: L' Anima.

Wood Fired Pizzeria Ristorante
548 Mitcham Road,
Mitcham 3132,
Victoria, Australia
Tel: (03) 9873 0099

Last year my lovely mum Alison & I were desperate to try out the wood fired pizzas just down the road from our house at a new take away restaurant that opened up called L' Anima.
There were not loads of great quality pizza restaurants near us so we thought it would be great to try out, espeically as we knew who opened the shop.

I ordered the large Hawaiana with tomato, mozzarella cheese, ham and pineapple which was AU $15 and my mum ordered a large pizza with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, prawns & spinach. I think they may have taken the last one off the menu though as I can't see it on their current menu.

The pizzas were very rustic and I love how they wern't in a perfect circle shape. The flavours were really lovely & it was so worth spending the little bit of extra money to eat such a great tasting pizza.

The owner of the restaurant is also really friendly, helpful and very passionate about the food he creates!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Jai & Aimee's Aromatic Basa.

This is a recipe my lovely boyfriend found on the Liverpool website. It is mostly based off Steven Gerrard's 'Aromatic Seabream' recipe, but we used Basa instead.

You will need:
2 basa fillets
3tbsp olive oil
1 juiced lemon
40g breadcrumbs
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 sprig chopped flat leaf parsley
1 sprig chopped thyme

Cooking time: 20 mins

Preparation time: 12 mins
Serves: 2
1. Heat the oven to 180C. Chop the garlic and mix with rosemary, parsley and thyme or whatever herbs you have on you at the time.

2. Place the herbs between fillets and place the basa fillets in an ovenproof dish.

3. Season and sprinkle the basa with the breadcrumbs.

4. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, two tbsp of water and one garlic clove together in a small bowl then pour over the fish and bake for twenty minutes.

Teddy Bear Biscuit Cars.

My cousin Renee came up with the idea to make these for her birthday when my mum & I went up to Queensland to celebrate with her. I thought they were really cute, so here they are.

You will need:
13 party sized MarsBars
13 Teddy Bear Biscuits
5 or six squares of chocolate
52 M&M's

Makes 13

1. Stick each Teddy Bear Biscuit in to the end of the mini sized Mars Bars facing inwards.

2. Melt the chocolate, either in a saucepan or microwave.

3. Coat one size of each M&M in the melted chocolate and fix on to the side of the Mars Bars to make wheels and you're done!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Food Review: Balsamic Lounge.

Balsamic Lounge.
Shop E1, L3, Eastland Shopping Centre,
Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood,
Vic 3134, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9870 4888

I have been out to Balsamic 3 or 4 times. The very first time I went I didn't have a good experience as my sister, sister in- law & I all ordered some form of noodles and they just wern't any decent at all.
I went again with my lovely mother, then my boyfriend & then the photos from this post are from when I went with my friend Stacey.

After realising the noodles wern't any good at all, I stuck with pizza the next 3 times I went and had no problems!
Although the pizza is quite plain they are still quite tasty & a decent sized portion.

Food Review: David & Camy Noodle Restaurant.

Well, I just think it's necessary to let everyone know where the greatest dumplings are!

David & Camy Noodle Restaurant.
590 Station Street,
Boxhill 3128,
Melbourne, Australia
Tel: (03) 9898 8398

They have a wide variety of soups, rice’s and noodles but are best known for their famous dumplings!
They have chicken and prawn dumplings, but the pork dumplings win hands down- for taste and value!
It's pretty cheap, 15 fried or steamed pork dumplings for AU $7.50, and much to my boyfriends delight they don't stink like most other dumplings.

The photo above was taken by Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) and you can see her excellent David & Camy review here.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Jai & Aimee's Cheesy Chicken Parma.

This Chicken Parma is one of the very first dishes I made with my lovely boyfriend Jai.
It's really simple and real comfort food and doesn't take too much time to whip up :)

You will need:
2 chicken breast fillets
1 egg (beaten)
2 tbs Dolmio tomato sauce
4 slices of wafer thin smoked ham
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Krummies (enough to crumb fillets)
Kellogs Cornflake Crumbs (enough to crumb fillets)
Plain flour (enough to coat)

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