Beef and Broccoli Stirfry

It’s nice to every now and then to dial back the fancy, and make something super simple and super yummy to keep your family fed.  This one is a long time favourite of mine, where the focus is on good quality ingredients, loaded with classical flavours.

This is a bulk recipe, but keeps and reheats fantastically well, so perfect for hungry mouths for work lunches, or a snack to keep the kids happy after school.


Beef and Broccoli Stirfry

1.2kg Rump or Topside steak, thinly sliced
2 large onions, peeled, cut into wedges
2tbsp cornflour
1/4c vegetable oil
1kg broccoli, chopped into florets
2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
500g water chestnut slices
3 cloves garlic
4tsp crushed ginger
300g snow peas, topped and tailed and chopped in half lengthways
1/4c kecap manis
1/4c honey soy marinade
1/4c sweet chilli sauce
6 spring onions, chopped into 4cm battons
500g Udon noodles

  1. Combine your cornflour with a light seasoning of salt and pepper.  Place in a ziplock bag with beef strips and shake to coat thoroughly.
  2. Prepare and cook udon noodles as per packet directions, whilst cooking, prepare stirfry as follows;
  3. Heat 1tsp oil in hot wok and swirl to coat, cook beef in 4-5 batches, for 2-3 minutes until just browned, before transferring to a heat proof bowl. Add another teaspoon of oil and reheat between each batch.
  4. Heat remaining oil, add onion, garlic, ginger and broccoli to the wok, stirfry for 2 minutes.  Then add capsicum, snow peas and water chestnuts.
  5. Return beef to pan with spring onions, sauces and any resting juices from beef bowl.  Toss to coat, and warm through.
  6. Add cooked and drained udon noodles.  Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh thinly sliced chilli.

Happy Cooking! ~LC

Nutella Bomb Cupcakes

The name says it all. Rich, chocolaty cupcake, topped with fluffy Nutella buttercream. Whats not to like?? Another spin on a Taste favourite!

Prep time – 15 minutes Cooking Time – 25 minutes
Plus cooling and decorating time!

Nutella Bomb Cupcakes

2/3c Brown Sugar, firmly packed
100g butter, room temperature, chopped
75g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2c water
2 eggs
1c Self Raising Flour
1/3c Plain Flour
2tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/2c Nutella
12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Nutella Buttercream (this will make a little more than needed)
125g butter at room temperature
1/2c Nutella
pinch salt
2c Icing Sugar
1tbsp Thickened Cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Line 12 hole 1/3c muffin pans with large paper liners.
  2. Place the sugar, butter, chopped chocolate and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted, combined and smooth. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add eggs to the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift in flours and cocoa and gently fold together.
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, then drop a small teaspoon of Nutella into the centre of each cupcake.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just firm on top or a skewer into the edge comes out clean (centre is Nutella filled!)
  6. Frost with Nutella buttercream (below) and top with a Ferrero or as desired.

Nutella Buttercream

  1. Beat the butter until smooth before adding Nutella and salt and combining.
  2. Add icing sugar in batches until thoroughly combined before adding thickened cream and beat until fluffy.

Happy Baking!! ~LC

Five Spice Caramel Pork Ramen

When it comes to super yummy weeknight dinners, this Caramel Pork Ramen is a standout. Packed with delicious flavour, and easy to make, even the inexperienced campaigner can create fully bellies, clean plates and happy faces (yes, we even tested our theory on this one!)

The original recipe was inspired by a recipe from Hello Fresh, with a few changes for an extra kick of flavour!

If you’re looking for high quality, Australian made organic Japanese noodles for any recipes, not just this one, we highly recommend Hakubaku Noodles

Five Spice Caramel Pork Ramen

Olive Oil
600g Pork loin fillet cut into 1.5cm cubes
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 large carrots unpeeled, cut into 5cm matchsticks
4 tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp ginger (fresh grated, or from tube)
250g sugar snap or snow peas, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
4 spring onion, finely sliced
1 long red chilli (optional), seeds removed and finely sliced
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2c warm water
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce (for caramel)
270g pack Ramen Noodles
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4c soy sauce, extra (for noodles)
black sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Bring large saucepan of water to the boil
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add pork cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes until just brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat a little more olive oil in the same pan, add red onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften, then add five spice powder and stir, cooking for another minute.  Reduce heat to low
  4. Add the brown sugar, water, fish sauce and soy sauce for caramel to the pan with the onion.  Season with a pinch of pepper and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat until the caramel has reduced and started to thicken slightly.  Add the pork cubes back to the caramel and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside in pan.
  5. While caramel is reducing, place the ramen noodles into boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes ONLY, before draining and rinsing with cold water in colander.
  6. Heat drizzle of olive oil in wok, add the carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes until just softened.  Add garlic, ginger, sugar snap peas and chilli (if using) cooking for 3 minutes.
  7. Add noodles, sesame oil and extra soy sauce to the pan and toss together.  Add spring onion, pork and caramel to wok with noodles and veg. Combine well and stir until noodles are warm (should only take a minute or so)
  8. Serve with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds if desired.

Tim Tam Baileys and Iced Vovo Truffles

These little guys were inspired from a recipe in the Christmas Taste magazine – one of my most recommended coffee table additions for any self respecting foodie!  

They make a welcome addition to any Christmas spread, be it at home, or to share at work. If you’re making these for work, be careful not to get too heavy handed with the alcohol!

My personal favourite  are the White Tim Tam variety, but they’re all wickedly good.

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Tim Tam Baileys and Iced Vovo Truffles

290g white chocolate melts**, melted

290g milk chocolate melts**, melted

290g dark chocolate melts**, melted

Pink food gel

**Being a bit of a baking snob, I prefer to use Nestle Baking melts for this, as they give a much smoother, shiny finish to your truffles, but any quality baking chocolate is fine**

Tim Tam Truffles (3 individual flavours)

1 packet Tim Tam White Biscuits (chilled)

1 packet Tim Tam Gelato Messina Iced Coffee Biscuits (chilled)

1 packet Tim Tam Original Biscuits (chilled)

1/2c Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4c Baileys Original Liqueur (allow a little more if you’re heavy handed like me)

Iced Vovo Truffles

1 packet Arnott’s Iced Vovo Biscuits

1 tbsp Raspberry Jam

2 tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tbsp White Coconut Rum (eg. Malibu) – again allow extra!

Tim Tam Truffles

  1. To make the Tim Tam truffles, process a single packet of Tim Tams in food processor until finely crushed
  2. Add 2 tablespoons condensed milk, and 1 tablespoon Baileys and process until mixture comes together.
  3. Line baking tray with baking paper and roll 1.5 teaspoon portions of mixture into balls and place on the lined tray.  Refrigerate until set.
  4. Repeat the above steps with the remaining Tim Tam flavours.

Iced Vovo Truffles

  1. To make Iced Vovo Truffles, process the Iced Vovo biscuits in a clean food processor until finely crushed.
  2. Add jam, condensed milk and rum and process until the mixture comes together.
  3. Line baking tray with baking paper and roll 1.5 teaspoon portions of mixture into balls and place on the lined tray.  Refrigerate until set.

Coating Truffles

  1. Line two baking trays with baking paper
  2. Divide white chocolate into two portions, colouring one with pink food gel.
  3. Place milk and dark chocolates into separate bowls
  4. Dip Tim Tam truffles alternately into plain white, milk or dark chocolate, shaking off the excess before placing onto lined trays.
  5. Dip Iced Vovo truffles into pink tinted white chocolate, shaking off excess before placing onto lined trays.
  6. Using the remaining melted chocolates, place into piping bags and drizzle over the coated truffles (using contrasting chocolate to the colour of the truffle)
  7. Set aside to set.  Truffles can be stored up to 3 weeks in an air tight container, however they usually wont last that long!

Salted Caramel Banoffee Tart

An age old classic, gooey caramel, sweet fresh banana, whipped cream and the crunch of a biscuit shell.  Banoffee is hard to beat normally, add a sneaky sprinkle of salt flakes and it goes from yummy, to amazing!

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Salted Caramel Banoffee Tart

250g Digestive Biscuits

125g Butter, melted

380g can Nestlé Top’n’fill Caramel

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes

3 large ripe Bananas

600ml Thickened Cream

3tbsp Icing Sugar

1 Flake chocolate, crumbled

1. Place biscuits into food processor, and blend until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and process until well combined. Press into 23cm loose base tart tin. Chill for 1 hour.

2. Remove tart shell from tin, and place onto serving plate. Spread caramel into shell. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Layer sliced banana over top of caramel.

3. Place cream in bowl with icing sugar and whip until thick and soft peaks form.

4. Top banana with whipped cream, and spread, sprinkle with crumbled Flake.

5. Serve chilled and enjoy.

If you’re not a fan of salted caramel, leave out the salt, it’s still yummy regardless

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Happy eating,

~LC

Pumpkin & Bacon Pasta

Forgive me, its been a little while since I’ve managed to get a post up – but never fear, I *have* still been creating yummy dishes to share with you all.  A change of jobs has kept me crazy busy.  But this pasta was so quick, simple and YUM I couldn’t wait to share it.

Prep time – 5 mins, cook time – 20 minutes, serves 4.

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Pumpkin & Bacon Pasta

375g dried spaghetti (or 500g fresh)

350g Butternut Pumkpin, peeled and thinly shaved (I suggest using a good veg peeler)

1/3c Olive Oil

6 rashers bacon, streaky part only, sliced into thin battons

1 1/2c coarse breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

1 tsp dried oregano

1 long red chilli, finely sliced

1/4c grated parmesan

1 tbsp baby capers, roughly chopped

1/2c spring onions, thinly sliced

  1. Cook pasta as to packet directions, and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Cover and keep warm.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan and add bacon, cooking for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp, remove from pan and drain on paper towel.  Then add pumpkin to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender before removing to a bowl, cover and keep warm.
  3. Add another 2 tbsp oil to pan, add breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano and chilli and cook for 4-5 minutes until crumbs are golden and crispy, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove to bowl, keep warm.
  4. Add pasta, reserved water, parmesan, capers, spring onions, bacon, pumpkin and half the breadcrumbs back to the pan and toss to combine and warm through
  5. Serve immediately topped with more garlic chilli crumb, and a sprinkle of parmesan.

This is a very customisable recipe – if you like lots of bacon (I mean, who doesn’t) – add more bacon, or if you like a good solid kick, more chilli.  I haven’t tried it yet, but would see sweet potato being suitable in place of pumpkin, or add some shredded chicken.

Happy eating ~LC

Ginger Earthquake Cookies

What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than whipping up a batch of these yummy, gingery, creative looking cookies.  The “earthquake” look comes from rolling the balls of chilled dough in icing sugar before baking them.  The crucial part comes with making sure that dough is super cold before you roll the cookies, or you end up with ginger earthquake pancakes!

These cookies are so more-ish, you better make sure you bake a few, once your friends catch on to these, they’ll be begging for more!

Prep Time ~ 2 hours (including chilling time) Cooking time ~ 15 mins a tray

Makes approx 100 cookies (you can very easily halve this recipe if you don’t want as many!)

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Ginger Earthquake Cookies

200g butter

2/3c Golden Syrup

3c Plain Flour

1 1/2c Brown Sugar

2 eggs, lightly whisked

4 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

1/2c icing sugar

  1. Combine the butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is well combined. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Add the flour, brown sugar, egg, ginger, mixed spice, cloves and bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 80 minutes or until cool and firm.

  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Line oven trays with baking paper. Sift the icing sugar onto a small plate. Roll half teaspoons of mixture into balls (think cherry sized) and roll in icing sugar. Place on the lined trays, 6cm apart, allowing room for spreading.

  4. Bake in preheated oven, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside on trays to cool completely.

If you’re finding these cookies are spreading too quickly when they’re baking, chill your dough even further, when you’re rolling them, the dough should be quite firm, and not be sticky.

My only other warning, is that if you’re anything like I am, where quality control is crucial, that taste testing this batter raw is not a great idea! Try if you like, but you’ve been warned 🙂

Happy Baking ~ LC