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I’m Ba-ack…(with a bang)!

Did you miss me? I certainly missed you!

My earlier prediction that my blog would likely take a back seat as I became busier with work and study unfortunately came true. I don’t like to make excuses, but over the last couple of months, both have done a monumental job of sapping my time and energy (my creative energy, in particular) and regrettably it meant my blog went untouched…from my end anyway!

I especially want to express my heartfelt apologies to the amazing bloggers who continued to contribute to the I Made It! Monday” event in my absence – I will soon follow up with a round up of their fantastic achievements.

I can’t promise you (or myself) that it won’t happen again, but now that uni’s over for the semester, I have some extra time on my hands…for the time being, at least! I’ve also recently resolved to stop letting work get the better of me – it’s…Just. Not. Worth. It! On a brighter note, during my time away, I have still been doing plenty of ‘food touristing‘ – I even managed to squeeze in a visit to my old hometown of Adelaide, which involved a lot of good food and wine – so I have stacks of tasty anecdotes to share with you.

Already as I’m typing this, I feel so much better – I really, really missed this. And I missed scouring through all my favourite blogs (I haven’t had the opportunity to do much of that either)…I have so much to catch up on!

After all of that, you’re probably wondering what this ‘bang’ I referred to in the title is supposed to be…surely this (a mere whimper thus far, if you will) can’t be it?

Well, it had a lot to do with this morning’s breakfast. Not only did it wake me up in a physical sense, but it provided that ‘kick’ I needed to get my blog-jo back.

I’ve always wanted to try making Shakshouka or Huevos Rancheros, because they always look so delicious and relatively easy to prepare, especially considering the ingredients include items that are pretty stock standard in most pantries and fridges. I skimmed the internet to get some general ideas and ended up formulating my own version from a few different recipes based on what I had on hand:

Spicy Baked Eggs with Chorizo

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs (the larger the better)
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1 small or half a large onion*, sliced
  • 1 small or half a large red capsicum, sliced
  • 2 tsp paprika (I used 1 tsp smoked, 1 tsp sweet)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (strictly optional – I can’t stress that enough! My eggs didn’t just provide a kick, there were some punches thrown in as well!)
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • Fresh herbs (parsley or coriander), chopped

* I only had brown onion on hand, which worked fine, but I think red (Spanish) onion would be perfect for this dish.

Method:

Note: this served two of us. You don’t have to be strict with the measuring either – feel free to mix it up to your personal tastes. I’m sure next time I make this I’ll rework it a bit (almost certainly omitting the dried chilli flakes…phwoar!)

*Sigh* – it’s good to be back! 🙂

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Freshly Baked: Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding

With many thanks (and kudos) to KitchenSpells for this deliciously inspiring way to use up the last of our Hot Cross Buns…it was the perfect dessert for a cool, wet Autumn evening.

Refer to the KitchenSpells blog for the full recipe and more delectable images.

Needless to say, my Other Half will be on a red-hot lookout for leftover Hot Cross Buns in the next couple of weeks (I’m not sure if I have the heart to tell him he won’t have much luck). 😉

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Fresh flavours: Prawn Laksa

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Fresh.”

Call it strange, call it convenient, but this week’s “Fresh” Photo Challenge happened to coincide with the very weekend I was considering preparing a Prawn Laksa for dinner.

There is just so much to love about classic South-East Asian flavours such as lime, chilli, fish sauce and coconut – the perfect fusion of sour, hot, salty and sweet. I’ll admit I took a shortcut and used a store-bought paste, but the results were still tastebud-tingling terrific (even if I do say so myself)!

I don’t cook fresh seafood all that often, so in case I don’t do so again for a while, this will also be…

My pick for OhMyGlai!’s Flavour of Month for April: Prawn/Shrimp

“I Made It! Monday” Easter Extension

I hope you’ll forgive me, but I have decided to extend the first week of my new event, mainly because it has only just “made it” to The Daily Post’s Events listing (see what I did there?) Don’t worry, though – I will still share the details of something else I made in the last seven days…

Taking advantage of the extra time off from work many of us are fortunate to get over the Easter long weekend, I decided to do some baking. While I was waiting for the Other Half to come home with some extra supplies I needed to give KitchenSpells’ Chocolate and Marshmallow Cupcakes a go (more about that in a future post), I was flicking through some of my many recipe books to see if there was something relatively quick I could whip up in the meantime.

It wasn’t long before I stumbled upon a deliciously indulgent recipe for which I miraculously had all the ingredients on hand…

Triple Chocolate Mocha Brownies

Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 125g unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbs instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups golden brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped (or other nut of choice, if you wish)
  • 90g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 90g white chocolate, chopped
Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a 20cm x 20cm x 5cm baking pan with aluminium foil, allowing the foil to overhang the sides. Grease the foil. (In hindsight, I would also add a layer of baking paper on top of the foil at the base of the pan to prevent sticking.)

Mmm…chocolate and coffee – another match made in heaven!

What did you make last week? Find out more about “I Made It! Monday” on the main event page.

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Dessert in a flash!

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ephemeral.”

Affogato (Italian translation: “drowned”)

An indulgent combination of rich, creamy icecream drowned in hot espresso and – should you be so inclined – a sweet drop of your favourite liqueur (traditionally amaretto, but I’m personally very partial to Frangelico for a lovely hint of hazelnut).

For it to work, however, it must be prepared in the most fleeting of moments…

Dessert, coffee and a nightcap all in one…what more can one ask for?