Christmas Shortbread (that holds it’s shape!).

shortbreadThe start of this shortbread journey began with a failure. I had an old recipe for a shortbread that I found in my recipe book. I couldn’t recall the last time I had made the recipe so I thought I would test it out. The recipe had a bad combination of ingredients, the dough was too wet, the cookies spread in the oven and it was a disaster zone. Determined to figure out how to fix this recipe, I started again and modified some ingredients and steps. I also decided to list down my top tips for the shortbread to hold it’s shape (based on my method for other cookies). These tips are:

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Homemade Basil Pesto.

pesto.jpgDo you have a herb garden at home? When I first started my herb garden I chose basil, thyme and chives. In sunny Central Queensland, the basil grew extremely well and I began to have a surplus. A thought crossed my mind, what could I bake with fresh basil? At first I tried homemade pizza with tomato, basil and different cheeses however, these recipes didn’t use up all the basil I had growing. Then I realised I was using bottled pesto in my pasta dishes and thought I would give homemade pesto a try. After a few batches, I’ve tweaked the ratios to create my favourite pesto recipe – plus, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh basil pesto!

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November 28th – Childhood Chocolate Cake.

img_9197.jpg2007. I was fourteen, teaching myself to French braid and fishtail braid, still listening to Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway album, and my favourite TV show was Cold Case. While my taste in music might have changed in the last ten years (thankfully), my favourite chocolate cake recipe has not. This one-bowl chocolate cake is not only easy to make (i.e. for the 14-year old baker in 2007), it also can be modified in one hundred different ways to make it suit your personal baking style. My favourite? 2 tiers with fresh cream and strawberries in the middle of the tiers, and on the top tier (with some chocolate icing, of course!).

For this featured cake, I decided I wanted to work on my icing and decorating skills. Scrolling through Instagram each day I get inspired by so many amazing cake decorators, so I’ve decided to give it a try. What did you think of the end result? Keep reading for the best chocolate cake recipe!

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November 27th – Mindful Monday.

“Happiness is Homemade” – Unknown.  

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At a busy time of year, making tonight’s dinner became surprisingly therapeutic. I had some beetroot and pumpkin in the fridge and decided to try a few new twists on the average salad.  I found that cooking took my mind off distractions and I was enjoying creating food to feed others. This recipe was a winner and, once the groundwork was done, was easy to prepare (not to mention delicious!) Keep reading for my debut Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Pine Nut Salad. 

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November 26th – Tasty TOBLERONE Cheesecake

Does anyone else pick up the free recipe cards in grocery stores? A couple of years ago I picked up a Woolworths & Philadelphia recipe card for a “TOBLERONE Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake”. I’ve had a few bad experiences with free recipe cards in the past but a few minor tweaks and this cheesecake has become one of my go-to’s. Have you had an interesting experience with a free recipe card? Tell us about it in the comment section 🙂

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November 26th – The Plentiful Pavlova.

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What do you think of when you hear “pavlova”? For me, it brings memories to my mind of baking the Christmas pavlova with my Grandma in her kitchen when I was younger. The pavlova is still a staple Christmas dessert at our house, and this is the recipe I use each year (pictured). Why not kick off the 2017 festive season by giving this pavlova a try? Guarantee you’ll have your friends and family impressed!

The recipe below is for a large (8 egg) pav. If you’re looking to make a smaller pav, opt for 4 eggs (halving the recipe) or 6 eggs (3/4 of measurements below). Happy baking!!

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November 25th – This is all new.

It’s a perfect Saturday here in Queensland – sunny, a cool breeze with a slight hint of ambition in the air. Those that know me are aware that I can be quite impatient when I’ve got a new idea – and this blog is no exception. As the year draws to an end I decided to create a couple of goals for 2018. Those that know me will also realise that my goals are usually orientated around fitness and while they are quite easy to track, I always seem to lose motivation after a few months. So, what about 2018? I decided that as I enter into my 25th year of existence (is this a quarter-life crisis?) that I would like to focus on improving a current skill. Long story short – I decided on my favourite hobby of baking, trying one new culinary skill or recipe each month. I want to share my experiences with you. And in my impatience, I want to start sharing these right away 🙂

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