Sunday, 12 July 2015

360 views and a night to remember

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On a recent trip to Sydney, I left Mr Steph in charge of organising a nice dinner out. I was delighted to find out he booked dinner at 360 Bar and Dining in Sydney Tower.

I have to admit, this was the fanciest dinner I have ever eaten. It was like eating a Masterchef dish - micro-herbs and all! It was so relaxing sitting and looking over the city, slowly moving around 360 degrees until you could see all corners. We were also lucky enough to see fire works going off in the harbour as it was 4th July.

The presentation of the dishes were a work of art; pieces placed in delicate order on the plate to create the chef's masterpiece. Luckily, it wasn't just the presentation that was amazing. The food was absolutely beautiful, and we enjoyed every mouthful.

I had a lovely winter duck dish, with purple carrots, sauted mushrooms, walnuts and sweet potato balls. There was this beautiful sauce with it that I still can't quite work out. Mr Steph had the best steak he's ever had, with an amazing rich and velvet red wine jus.

Dessert was another Masterchef moment. A dark chocolate tart, with buttery, short pastry, caramel popcorn icecream and homemade honeycombe. My deconstructed rhubarb crumble was equally amazing, with rhubarb icecream, rhubarb jelly, stewed rhubarb, and a buttery crumble.

It was a great night out, however definitely something for a special occasion. The two courses we had were $85 per person, and it's this price regardless of if you choose a entree and main or main and dessert. You can still enjoy the views for a $20 ticket or spending $20 in the 360 Bar - which is easy with most cocktails around the $19 mark.

Overall, a great night out and one I will always remember. Just not one I can afford every week!

Steph xo

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Dinner sausage rolls

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Dinner sized sausage rolls - Steph's Kitchen

No matter how old you are, sausage rolls are always enjoyable. Well, good ones anyway! What makes a good sausage roll is the filling. These sausage rolls are made with your everyday beef mince, not fatty sausage meat, and uses lots of yummy additions to add great flavour. 

My favourite addition is fruit chutney. I use a great homemade mango chutney my Mum makes, but I use a good quality store bought chutney when I'm out - which works just as well. 

I serve these large sausage rolls for dinner, with the normal sides of mash and vege or salad. This makes them a great recipe to have up your sleeve when you have beef mince to use up. 

Dinner sausage rolls

Makes 4 large sausage rolls / 6 medium sausage rolls

500g beef mince
1 egg, whisked
2 Tbsp your choice of fruit chutney (my favourite is mango)
1/2 brown onion, grated
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated (using the small grater side of your cheese grater)
1 tsp/1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to season

2 sheets frozen puff pastry

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grab your puff pastry sheets out of the freezer and leave on the bench to defrost. If you live in a warm climate, be careful not too leave your pastry out too long or it will be hard to use. If it's a really hot day it may be better to grab it out after you've done your filling. 

2. Add all filling ingredients into a large bowl. Using your hands or a large spoon, mix until well combined and the mince no longer looks grainy but more like sausage mince (usually a couple of minutes). The more combined the mince is the better your sausage rolls will taste.

3. Divide the filling into two and add into the middle of each pastry sheet, shaping into a long log shape  about the width of your thumb.

4. Fold one side of the pastry over the filling, brush with a little bit of water and then fold over the other side. Flip over the large sausage rolls so the "fold" is on the bottom. Cut into two or three large sausage rolls, depending how big you'd like your sausage rolls to be. You can also cut them into six if you'd like to use them for nibbles.

5. Add sausage rolls to a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Brush each sausage roll with water and bake in the oven for 35 - 45 mins until golden brown.

Steph xo

Thursday, 21 May 2015

How to cook "wood-fired" pizza at home using your every day oven

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 I don't know about you, but I LOVE pizza. It's not the cheese or the toppings that gets me hooked. I love the combination of them with a great pizza base. Without a good pizza base, the pizza is really average (let's be honest).

Wood-fired pizzas is one of my favourite things to eat out. It's that crusty, thin but soft base that gets me every time.

Well, guess what? I have finally worked out a way to get this wood-fired type of base at home, using my everyday, run-of-the-mill, oven! 

Tandoori pizza

5 simple steps to make a "wood-fired" pizza at home

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and place your empty pizza tray in the oven to heat up.

Step 2: Roll out a large rectangle of non-stick baking paper, big enough for your pizza with at least a 3 cm hang on each long side. Roll out your pizza dough onto the baking paper, creating a thin base.

Step 3: Top the base with your pizza sauce, sprinkle a little cheese on the bottom followed by your toppings. The secret here is DON'T GO OVERBOARD! The less you put on of each topping the better. Then top with a little more cheese.  

Step 4: Remove your pizza tray from the oven. Carefully lift your pizza base using the over-hang of the baking paper onto the tray. Bake in the oven for 10 mins, until your cheese is melted but not yet brown.

Step 5: Pull out the pizza and remove the baking paper, sliding the pizza straight onto the pizza tray. Cook for a further 10 mins until the cheese is golden and the edges of your pizza has some colour.


Steph xo
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