Rainy Day Blueberry Pancakes

August is supposed to be the hottest part of summer here, but I think the weather is trying to remind me of back home in Oz, because it’s been cold and rainy and really Melbourne-ish weather here for the last week or so. Bad weather makes me hungry, so on Sunday morning I decided that gorging on pancakes was the way to go.

on a plate with condiments behind

grey sky

Summer?

We’d been to a little farmer roadside fruit and veg stand the day before, hoping to find fresh strawberries, but they were out. And we got caught in a sudden freezing downpour. But on the upside, we got half a kilo of fresh delicious blueberries. And so of course they had to be incorporated into breakfast on Sunday!

all fruity

Basic pancake mix is: 

1 egg

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup milk

pinch salt

That’s it! But I embellished on this mix and added:

about half a cup of blueberries

1 tablespoon icing sugar (or castor sugar, I just used what  had)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix ingredients (minus berries) thoroughly, adding milk if it’s too thick and making sure to get out any big lumps. Once mixed, add the blueberries and stir through.

Add a little butter to a medium-hot pan. Ladle some batter mix onto the pan and tilt the pan back and forth a little, until you get a fairly even spread of mix. Cook for a couple of minutes, then flip. I keep my pancakes on a plate in a 50 degree oven until all are done, so they stay warm.

To serve, my absolute favourite topping is maple syrup with whipped cream, and adding any leftover blueberries (or any fruit, we had some raspberries in the fridge so they go in on the pancake love too). A squeeze of lemon juice and a little sugar sprinkled over is pretty yum-o as well. Here’s a gratuitous condiment shot:

kinda arty

So enjoy, I know I did!

Sorry for not posting last week by the way. Never fear, I’m not going anywhere. Scheduling is back to normal 🙂

Cheers,

Luci

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Coriander-Mint Quinoa Salad Deliciousness

It’s full-on summer here now, and so hot I had to go emergency bikini shopping last week (my one from last season had died on me, I think I need back-up swimwear supplies…). That also means it’s too hot to spend much time in front of a hot stove, or to turn the oven on. That’s how this recipe was born.

Ready to eat

This is a fairly simple recipe, but so yummy I just had to share. Dom liked it too, he ate three full bowls (always a good sign)!

Ingredients:

About 1.5 cups uncooked Quinoa

1 ripe avocado

1 red onion

1 cucumber

1 pack cherry tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

A good handful each of fresh mint and fresh coriander

juice from 1 lime

Salt and pepper and chilli flakes, to taste

Olive oil

Method:

Rinse uncooked quinoa thoroughly, then cook according to packet directions, leave to cool.

While quinoa cooks, finely dice onion, avocado and tomatoes. Add to a large bowl. Add drained chickpeas.

Finely chop coriander and mint, add to bowl. Add lime juice and cooled quinoa, season with salt and pepper and a little chilli, if you’re into that sort of thing. Mix thoroughly and serve with a light drizzle of olive oil.

That’s it! It’s a mixture of crunchy and creamy and tangy and refreshing, and perfect for these hot evenings.

Rinsing

Rinsed

Ingredients on board

Ingredients in bowl

Herbs

 

ready blurry

An added plus – it makes for a great take-to-work lunch (yes, these finished-product photos are all in my lunch box, I was too hungry to remember to take photos of it all plated up nice so let’s just assume the presentation was amazing, OK?).

And just because the sunsets have been incredible recently, here’s a pic from at the lake last week:

Sunset

Until next time, Cheers!

– Luci

What’s your favourite hot-weather dinner? 

 

 

 

Addictive Chocolate Fudge Brownies.

fudge

Hi there! It’s been months since my last post so this is just a short-ish one to try to get me back in the habit of writing. My plan is to try for weekly posts so bear with me, and as a thanks for those who do, here’s the most delicious, addictive (seems that way anyway!), easy chocolate fudge recipe that I know.

Ingredients:

500g dark cooking chocolate
75g butter
400mL sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
pinch of each cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Method:
In a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, melt butter, chocolate and condensed milk.
When melted, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and spices. Pour into a lined baking tray, and put in the fridge to cool.
Cut into squares (it’s extremely rich so small squares will be best!) and serve.

It’s really that easy. Enjoy!

I’m really hoping to get back to creating and blogging again and I hope you’ll join me 🙂

Cheers,

Luci

Living in Germany, schnitzel is often on the menu. My fiancée would happily eat it with boiled potatoes every time, but I am more fussy and need to change things up a little, occasionally. I can’t take the spuds completely out of the equation, of course. I decided to do a cauliflower potato blend as I’ve been hearing good things about cauliflower mash – it’s high in vitamin c too, which sick old me needs at the moment! Mix with a little salt and pepper, milk, butter, and sour cream – guys, it was tasty stuff! The man of the house approved, too.

Image

That’s it, not too much to this one but I’m definitely satisfied. What’s your favourite mash veg combination?

cheers,

Luci

Hoisin Sauce.

This is just a quick one and it wasn’t my idea. I found it here, although I adapted it a little. It was one of the first things to get me started on this homemade trip, and it’s delicious! This is the recipe I ended up using:

4 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs peanut butter (I used my homemade stuff)
1.5 Tbs honey
1 Tbs rice vinegar
3 clove of garlic, finely minced. You could use garlic powder too.
1 Tbs chilli sauce – I used Sriracha
1 tsp dark sesame oil (the light stuff is useless for Asian recipes, it just tastes like canola)
fresh ground pepper

So I added more garlic and more chilli than the original calls for. The recipe also says just whisk and you’re done. Not true. I had to put the jar I was mixing in into a bowl half-filled with hot water, so that the honey and peanut butter would melt enough to mix. Depending on the particular honey and peanut butter you use this may be different.

No pics with this one sorry! I’ll update with some pics next time I make it. It’s seriously yummy though and really easy. The first time I made it the only thing I didn’t already have in my kitchen was the rice vinegar, and you could probably try it without that anyway, or maybe with a tiny bit of white vinegar instead.

Oh here’s a picture of one of my favourite foods, san choi bau. You could absolutely make that with this hoisin sauce. Just fry up some onion, garlic, and chicken or pork mince (or tempeh for my vegetarian readers, a few asian veggies and some hoisin. Serve in iceberg lettuce cups and yum it up!

Image

Cheers,

Luci

 

UPDATE: I made this again last night and paired it with prawns and veggies in a stir fry. Yum-O. So here’s a pic:

 

 

From above

 

Cheers, L 🙂

Banana-Oat Bread.

Wel I survived my first day at work, and I’ve still got the energy to blog! I’m sure I’ll fall asleep straight after dinner though so while that cooks, I’ll tell you about my banana-oat bread.

It’s yummy.

I’ve made banana bread a bunch of times, whenever I end up with bananas that need cooking (read: look brown and sad and are attracting fruit flies). If you’ve got overripe bananas by the way and you can’t be bothered to cook them up right then, chuck them in the fridge or freezer until you get the energy.

I decided to add oats this time as I accidentally bought way more than I need. Like, there were already two packs in the cupboard when I put the new one away. So I found this recipe that looked yummy and do-able. I switched out the brown sugar for raw as that’s what I had, used two whole eggs instead, and ignored the bit where it said fat-free before the word ‘milk’ because fat-free isn’t how i do things. Use your own discretion as far as those kind of decisions go.

This was my finished product:

Image

Image

I topped a slice of it with my homemade butter (which is running low already, gotta make more tomorrow I reckon). This isn’t too sweet a cake/bread/whatever and with the saltiness of the butter it makes for absolute yumminess.

Okay that’s all for now, let me know what you think! And big thanks for all the support, both in work and in blog and in life. You guys rock.

Cheers,

Luci

Honey.

I’m back from the wedding and it went really well. We had the best weather in weeks, and there was much eating, drinking, and being merry. In the aftermath of all that romance, I want to focus on something sweet.

Image

I guess this is more of a tip than a DIY, but I wanted to share a couple of uses I have for good ol’ honey.

Face cleanser

After hearing a lot of negative press surrounding sulphates in beauty products, I’m trying to use more natural options if I can find them. I had read somewhere that honey can be used as a gentle cleanser and gave it a go. My skin has never been better! I just keep a bottle in the shower and use it each morning. Following it with pure coconut oil as a moisturiser has been great for my skin. Weirdly, I think the combination has actually reduced some of my eye-wrinkles, but maybe they just weren’t quite as bad as I remembered. Anyway it smells amazing.

Sore throat remedy

Anyone who knows me would have had this pushed upon them suggested for a sore throat remedy. Mix equal parts honey and apple cider vinegar in a jar, shake until blended. Put a centimetre or two of this mix (maybe 20-30 ml?) in a glass of water and drink. This is actually a remedy my parents have used for us kids all my life and so the taste for me is comforting, familiar, and delicious. Some people aren’t into the idea of drinking vinegar but it’s honestly worth a try. Trust me…

Shaving Cream

I’d also read somewhere that honey can be used to combat post-shaving dry skin. I’ve always had dry skin and I thought that it was simply a race to get moisturiser on my legs before the skin starts to itch. But after using honey for leg and underarm shaving, my skin has been much better behaved. My shower-honey is pretty cheap stuff in a squeeze bottle but if you buy it just check that it’s actually only honey – some really cheap brands will dilute the honey with sugar syrup.

Possible Allergy Treatment

This one seemed to make sense at first but after thinking about it and reading a bit more I’m doubtful. The idea is, if you eat local honey it may contain some of the pollen you’re allergic to, and you can build up a resistance to it through eating a little honey each day. That made sense to me so I started adding a little to my morning porridge. Then I found an article saying that this has minimal effect as the flowers that use bees to pollinate them aren’t much of an allergen – it’s the flowers that rely on the wind to send the pollen that we react to usually. So the morning honey was a bit useless in that respect. I still eat it though, as it’s yummy. Apparently it has plenty of nutritional goodness too, though obviously it’s still primarily a sugar source.

I think to cover my own bum I have to say that I’m not medically or beauty-ly trained and these tips are only what has worked for me. Follow at your own risk.

Do you have any tips for use with honey or other natural products? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers,

Luci