Friday, March 15, 2013

The Cookie Crusade

I don't know about you, but I think cookies are pretty great. Easy to bake, easy to eat and most importantly they are delicious.

However the one thing that has been perplexing me about cookies is how to stop them spreading so much! See my recent (still delicious) disaster. Certainly more pleasing to the palate then the eye.

I now present to you my most recent batch of cookies in all their glory

So what have I learnt is the secret to making these gorgeous puffy cookies, as opposed to their ugly-spread-together predecessors.

  1. Chill your cookies before you bake them! This made such a big difference in the level of spread for my cookies. I popped mine in the freezer for approx. 10 minutes after I had already dropped them on the cookie sheet. The logic behind it is that it allows the fat to become more solid which means it isn't melting (and therefore spreading) as soon as it hits the oven. 
  2. Less butter. I know, I was horrified when I read this tip. When has less butter ever improved anything?! Just trust me on this. My first recipe had 175g to 2 cups flour, the second 125g to the same amount of flour. 
  3. Giving them breathing space! Lesson learnt, 9 is far too many cookies for my baking sheet. I have settled on 6, I may have been able to fit a few more on this tray, but it is less of a headache to just spread them out to begin with.

So there you have it! What is your favourite type of cookie? 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snickers Peanut Butter Cheesecake

When I asked my mum this year what cake she would like for her birthday, she gave me her standard indecisive response. This year I was prepared with a suggestion I was sure she would love (and bonus, I couldn't wait to try). It was this Snickers No-Bake Cheesecake featured on Not Quite Nigella's blog.

As I set about making it I had her hovering around me in the kitchen licking any bowl I had finished with and stealing bits of Snickers I had chopped. She was so excited, and it turns out her excitement was founded as it was delicious. 

It has a chocolate cookie crumb base, which is topped with Caramel (I used Top n Fill but you could use homemade dulce de leche) then covered with a layer of chopped of snickers. Visual because I think that is the best bit

This is then covered by a mixture of whipped cream, cream cheese and peanut butter.

It is then all topped off with chocolate ganache and some extra peanuts and snickers to make it look pretty and you have yourself something that looks like this

This last picture is my boyfriends piece which he came after work to claim as he couldn't be there at dinner. He wasn't happy with waiting to eat it while I took pictures, but I think all was forgiven as the first words out of his mouth after he had a bite were "So for my Birthday..."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Prettying up my makeup storage solution.

My most recent recipe binder project inspired me with other uses for the cute scrapbook paper I had purchased.

I had been thinking for a while that my plastic storage cart I use for my makeup storage seriously needed some sort of face lift. It looked drab and industrial.

So I simply measured and trimmed the scrapbook paper to size and sticky taped it to the inside of the transparent drawers. It took about 30 minutes start to finish and it really brightened it up. 

I am still plotting and scheming what I will attack with scrapbook paper next.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Custom Made Recipe Binder

For a while now I have been needing a solution for my favourite recipes that I have printed online or recieved from others. My current solution just isn't working, shoving them all in a drawer, being unable find it a month later and having to go searching for and reprint.

After browsing Pinterest and various other crafty organisational blogs I settled on a custom recipe binder using scrapbook paper and manila folders to create my dividers.

In a nutshell I cut my manila folders to fit into the binder, then cut out eight 1.5 inch tabs. Not being a very crafty person, this turned out much harder then I anticipated. While I am happy with my result, it could certainly be a lot neater.

I then stuck scrapbook paper on the front of each manila folder to make it a bit cuter.

I love the bright colours, but if I did it again I think I would purchase dividers and stick scrapbook paper on the front. It would have been a lot easier and cut out a lot of the work.

What craft projects have you undertaken lately? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Risotto you don't have to stir for 30 minutes!

Usually, I am someone who gets a real kick out of cooking from scratch and doing things myself, however I do not enjoy standing over a hot stove constantly stirring. I always assumed that meant risotto would not be something on my regular rotation.. Until I discovered how good oven baked risotto is! This recipe is so simple and the great thing is, most of these ingredients I have on hand at any given time. 


  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 120 g butter
  • 700 g diced pumpkin
  • 3-5 bacon rashers, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200 g mushrooms, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Melt butter and fry onion, bacon and mushroom until onion is transparent and bacon is almost crisp. I usually add some garlic at this point, because garlic improves everything! 
  3. Spread pumpkin onto baking sheet ready to bake! (The recipe originally just put this into the casserole, but I like it baked and it isn't anymore work to roast it while it is cooking and stir it through at the end, I find it takes a very similar amount of time to cook) 
  4. Put all remaining ingredients in a casserole dish. Mix well.
  5. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until rice is tender

Now I realise this dish doesn't lend itself to presentation perfectly, but it does taste delicious. I have never tried it but I am sure you could substitute the pumpkin, mushrooms and bacon for other things. I am envisioning it with chorizo and sweet potato. 

I hope you enjoy -if you try any other flavour combinations I would love to hear about them! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Welcome! Again..


I started this blog back in 2010, and it lasted a whole of 7 posts before I abandoned it and forgot about it. Promising intro right?

I certainly can't guarantee I will be any better this time, but what is the harm in giving it a crack?

Expect to see posts that mainly revolve around beauty, cooking and organisation.. with some random things thrown in for good measure.

Until next time,