Creamy Chicken & Corn Soup Recipe

It’s well and truly winter here in Australia. I live in the cold capital of Canberra so I know a thing or two about cold winter days! There’s also an icy wind on top of having most nights sub zero… just thinking about it makes me shiver!

Winter always calls for comfort foods that warm your body and help the soul deal with the shorter and colder days. When the temperatures dip like this, it’s always a great idea to sip on soup in winter.

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How to Make a Moustache Cake

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I love baking cakes for people’s birthdays. It’s a fabulous present to give someone and you can easily make is personable. This was my thinking for my friends 30th recently – I could make a personalised cake and it would be a great birthday present for him!

I went onto Pinterest to gather some ideas. After some browsing I couldn’t find exactly what I was after – I wanted something funky for this milestone birthday. Then it hit me – I could make a red moustache cake, just like my friends own big red mo!

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

 

I used to love eating tabbouleh. It is fresh and a perfect side dish for summer. The only problem is that since becoming gluten intolerant, I can’t eat cous cous, which is one of the main ingredients in tabbouleh. For years I have had to say no to the delicious mix of tomato, onion and parsley. But a while ago I saw the idea of using quinoa as a substitute… Whilst I always have quinoa in my kitchen, I never tried this recipe… Until recently.

My street has a regular Christmas street party BBQ and we all bring along some meat and a side dish. I wanted to bring along a dish of something that was different, but fresh and delicious summer dish. Quinoa tabbouleh seemed like the perfect dish to bring!

It is a little time consuming to make, but I thought it was well worth the preparation.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 tomatoes (I used 3 large Roma tomatoes and one medium sized Truss tomato)
  • 1/2 Spanish onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: lemon wedges and parsley leaves to garnish

Method

1. Rinse quinoa under cool water before cooking. Cook in boiling water until quinoa is light and fluffy. Rinse and set aside to cool. Stir quinoa with fork to keep fluffy and speed up cooling process.

2. Dice onion. Place onion into a small bowl. Cover onion with water and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. This will soften the onion and make it more pleasant to eat.

3. Dice tomatoes and place in large bowl. Mince garlic clove and finely chop parsley, and place in bowl. Once quinoa is cooled, add to bowl as well. Drain onion from water and also add to large bowl.

4. In another small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Add oil and lemon mixture to large bowl with all other ingredients and stir thoroughly. 

5. Allow tabbouleh mixture to sit for a hour or two in the fridge. There may be some excess moisture from the oil and lemon juice – this will eventually be soaked up by the mixture.

6. After an hour or so, season with salt and pepper. Stir again before serving and garnish with lemon wedges and parsley leaves. Serve as a side for barbecued meat. This tabbouleh mixture will keep for a few days in the fridge.

You can also add a tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves to this mixture to give it an extra freshness kick! I didn’t have any mint so I decided not to use it and I think it turned out great without the mint, but other people may find that the mint gives it the little extra something it needs.

What do you think of my Quinoa Tabbouleh? Do you have a similar recipe or a recipe for Tabbouleh? Share your thoughts and links in the comments section!

Bye for now,

Vintage Barbie xoxo

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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Aussie Health Products

Pear, Cinnamon and Almond Muffins

I love this recipe because it’s a great way to use fruit before it goes off and needs to go into the bin. It makes for great afternoon tea, and there is no electric mixer needed. The mixture becomes quite thick and chunky with the end result being a rustic looking muffin with that traditional baking smell.

The fact that they are rustic means they don’t need to be perfect. I love cooking perfectly imperfect treats as it means that the mistakes can easily be disguised!

When slicing and dicing the pears, there is no need for precision. Just chop into small pieces that will work well in the muffins.

This recipe is an adapted version of a similar recipe on My Little Lunch Box – click here for original recipe. I changed it to use some almond meal as well as gluten free flour. I also decided not to use vanilla bean paste because, well I just didn’t have any in my pantry! I substituted for vanilla essence, and it seems that this did the trick.

This seems to be a winner with both kids and grown ups alike. I took these to work for afternoon tea recently and it seemed like everyone enjoyed these delicious treats.

They tend to last a few days, but they are best fresh or eatedn the day after cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 & 1/2 cups diced pears (approx one large pear or two small pears)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Flaked almonds
  • Extra sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place muffin papers in the tin.

2. Roughly slice and dice the pears into small “cubes”.

3. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add the almond meal, cinnamon and sugar and stir in. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

4. Combine the Greek yoghurt, oil, eggs and vanilla essence in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together for a few moments until all items are completely combined.

5. Pour wet mixture into the well in the dry ingredients bowl. Softly mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined.

6. Add diced pear to mixture. Carefully fold diced pear in with a wooden spoon.

7. Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases. Spoon a tablespoon full of mixture into each muffin case. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top.

8. Bake for 25 minutes. Check that muffins are cooked by poking a wooden skewer into the middle of one. If it comes out clean, they are ready to be pulled out of the oven. If it comes out with raw mixture, keep in for another 5 minutes.

9. Once muffins are cooked, pull out of oven. Sprinkle a small amount of extra sugar over the top of each muffin. Allow muffins to cool.

10. Enjoy with a cup of tea or pack them in the kids lunchboxes for a delicious school day treat!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you try out this recipe, let me know and share your comments!

Chunky White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies

As a female, I love chocolate. I have always had a sweet tooth for it. As a teenager I could eat a whole block of chocolate in one sitting… Now that I’m older I’m less likely to binge on a whole block… It might still happen, but it’s not as frequent anymore. Regardless of age, I’ll probably always still have that sweet tooth for chocolate!

One type of chocolate I really enjoy is white chocolate. It’s almost the forgotten chocolate: we always see desserts containing milk chocolate or dark chocolate, and less desserts with white chocolate. Because it’s rarer, it always feels like a special treat to eat it.

That’s why I love making cookies with white chocolate. It’s a little treat to myself and anyone who eats them! The best pairing in cookies with white chocolate has to be macadamia’s. They give the cookies a bit of texture and perfectly compliment the white chocolate.

It’s even better when the cookies have a goey centre. Maybe that’s why the cookies from Subway always tasted so good?

Now that I’m gluten intolerant, I can’t enjoy most white chocolate and macadmia cookies. That’s why I enjoy baking them at home – I can easily whip up these bad boys at home and not miss out on the chocolatey-gooey-centre-sweet-goodness.

Ingredients

  • 125g softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 150g unsalted macadamia nuts
  • Extra butter
Recipe
1. Roughly chop block of white chocolate and macadamia nuts until in small, rough pieces. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees for a fan forced oven. Lightly grease a baking tray with extra butter.
3. Beat butter and brown sugar in bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat until combined.
4. Sift the flours over the bowl. Fold in the flour until well combined. Mix in the chocolate and nuts.

5. Take spoonfuls of mixture and roll in your hands into small balls of dough. Place the dough on the tray and flatten slightly with a fork or spatula.

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden brown. Take out if oven and set aside to cool slightly. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

7. Store in airtight container. Serve with tea or coffee or have as a light afternoon snack!

 

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

It feels like summer has finally hit us here down under! The last few weeks have had cool mornings and average days. There’s been rain and storms almost every afternoon for the past 3 weeks, making a trip to the pool or river the last thing on everyone’s mind.

One thing that doesn’t depend on the whether is having delicious smoothies. There’s some that would remind you of summer. Most people would say mango is one of these summer flavours. Unfortunately in am one of very few people who really dislikes mango.

You’re probably thinking “how can someone not like mango?” Well, I don’t like the smell and the texture gives me chills – the bad kind! Plus the taste just grosses me out. So you will see that there will never be mangoes in any of my recipes!

One fruit that is a definite summer fruit for me is pineapple. It’s so refreshing and can be used in a variety of ways. I’ve used it for all kinds of meals and I continue to find new recipes to use pineapple in. One of the quickest, easiest and one of my most commonly used ways to use pineapple is in a smoothie!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced frozen pineapple
  • 1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
  • 200ml coconut milk (about half a can)
  • 1 cup soy milk

Method

1. Chop up pineapple and banana. If you are going to make this recipe latr, then freeze fruit in a ziplock bag.

2. Add fruit to blender. Add milks. If using fresh fruit, add a few cubes of ice.

3. Blend to your desired consistency. Fill a glass with smoothie. Add a slice of pineapple to the edge of the glass, put in a straw, then sit back and enjoy!

This recipe serves either a late smoothie for one, or two medium smoothies to share.

Cute Cookies for Kids of all Sizes: Gingerbread Men

For the past four years, I’ve been making gingerbread men at Christmas. It’s become a new tradition of mine as I love sharing them to friends and family.

2014 was no different. I decided to make them for my work colleagues and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the soft gingerbread goodness.

The recipe below is my regular gingerbread recipe. It can be used with either regular flour or gluten free flour – and they still taste really good when you make the gluten free version!

Gingerbread men are really easy to make. The ingredients are also easy to come by and most people already have them in their cupboard. This is a fun recipe to make either by yourself, with friends or even with kids. Just make sure that the kids don’t eat all the cookie dough… Ok, I have to admit that I might also nibble on the dough when rolling out my gingerbread men!

Gingerbread men also make great gifts. You can bundle some up together and wrap them up in cellophane to give friends, family or even work colleagues a cute little Christmas gift.

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, room temperature. Margarine can also be used as a substitute.
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • Extra plain flour for dusting
  • Extra butter for greasing
  • Icing decorations and lollies such as Smarties
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease two baking trays with butter and set aside.
2. Use and electric mixer to beat brown sugar and butter in bowl until it turns light and creamy. Add in the egg yolk and golden syrup on a medium speed. Fold in sifted flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. You will need to start to use your hands to ensure mixture is fully mixed.

3. Lightly dust a clean and dry bench surface with flour. Transfer mixture to bench and knead until smooth. Knead into a round ball and begin to roll out with a rolling pin. Roll until it is about 5mm thick.

4. Use gingerbread men cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. Place on baking tray about 2cm apart. Roll up excess dough, roll out with rolling pin and cut out more shapes. Continue until all dough is used.

5. Bake in oven for about 10 mins until they are slightly brown. If you prefer harder cookies, then bake for at least another 5 more minutes. My recipe is for softer cookies because they are the kind I like 😉

6. Once cooked, carefully remove gingerbread men from baking tray and place on wire rack to cool.

7. Once completely cooled, the decoration time begins! You can be as creative as you like! I like to use icing decorator pens and smarties for my decorations, but there are plenty of different lollies and candy it’s that you can use to bring your gingerbread men to life.

Here’s my most recent designs:

For more Christmas DIY projects, check out my post on my DIY Bauble Christmas Wreath

Typical Aussie Meal: Sausage Rolls

 

Homemade sausage rolls were always a favourite growing up. They were delicious and flakey and always filled me up.

Now that I’m older they serve a different purpose: Sausage rolls are perfect for entertaining. I made some for my housewarming party and I got many great reviews on them!

You can half cook these sausage rolls and put them in the freezer to fully cook for parties or for a quick and easy dinner.

Ingredients

  • 500g sausage mince
  • 4 sheets of puff pastry*
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs*
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame seeds

*gouten free versions of these items can be used to make a gluten free version.

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees for conventional ovens and 180 for fan forced. Take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer and defrost.

2. Dice the onion. Grate the carrot and zucchini.

3. In a large bowl, combine the mince, vegetables, herbs, breadcrumbs and tomato paste. Mix together with hands until everything is fully combined.

4. Whisk the egg in a small bowl.

5. Cut the puff pastry sheets in half. Place a log of mince and place this in the middle of one half of the sheet of pastry. Ensure there is at least 1cm space between the sides of the pastry and the end of the mince. Roll the pastry around the mince.

6. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg. Fold edges of pastry and brush the top of the roll with egg. Cut into 5 pieces. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top and place on a lightly greased baking tray.

7. Bake for 20 mins until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with tomato sauce.