Tag Archives: cooking

Recipe inspiration

1 Apr



A friend of mine who reads my blog recently asked me where I get a lot of my inspiration from when it comes to my recipes. I will admit that a lot of my recipes come from combining together what is left in the pantry or fridge and hoping it turns out ok. On a student budget I can’t always afford to be buying fancy ingredients for recipes, especially when I am unsure if I will even like the results. Having said this on occasion (usually on payday!) I will fork out for what it costs to make that recipe I have been dying to try.

Like most self defined “foodies” I draw a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest as well as other food blogs. However, my primary source of inspiration and kitchen decor for that matter is cookbooks. I just love the way they look and display but perhaps most of all I like how they allow me to peruse a variety of recipes in the one place. Below are a few of my favourites;

Michelle Cranston for Marie Claire

Marie Claire Cookbooks

When it comes to budget friendly ($10 a book from Kmart!) and pretty this series is the way to go. The recipes are simple and fresh and are full of flavour, despite only containing a few ingredients. I recommend these cookbooks to anyone looking for budget friendly, healthy and easy to make recipes. (Note: the Baked Chai Custard from Fresh + Easy is Amazing!)

Mastering the Art of Baking by Anneka Manning

Masterign the art of baking

This is the book that taught me how to bake. It’s like a one stop guide to becoming an excellent baker. It starts off with the basics; utensils, ingredient types and techniques and progresses into recipes. Even if you already know how to bake the recipes alone are well worth the purchase and it’s a great reference guide when it comes to measurements, techniques and substitutions.

Cooking with Soy by Yoshiko Takeuchi

Cooking with SoyThis is the book I bought when looking to expand my culinary horizons and start creating more unique vegetarian food. The recipes are interesting and completely vegan. Although I haven’t made many of the dishes featured in this book what I have made have all been very tasty. This book has taught me how to shape gyozas and deep fry tofu to crispy perfection in any easy to read and follow manner. The only downfall with the recipes featured is that some of the ingredients aren’t available in supermarkets and will require a the Asian grocer. But I assure you the trip is well worth if you are looking at trying something new.

Jelly Shot Test Kitchen by Michelle Palm


This is the book I bring out of hiding before every party or gathering I host. The book is jam packed with cute and creative alcoholic and non-alcohohlic jelly shots, which are sure to impress even the fussiest of guests. My favourite recipes include Pomegranate Martini, Blue Hawaii and White Chocolate Martini jelly shots. In the book the shots are made using cute little moulds, but due to my lack of patience (and time) I usually just use shot plastic glasses and they still turn out great. For recipes not featured in the book you can visit the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen Blog.

So there you have it a few of the many books I draw inspiration from when it comes to my recipes. What are your favourite cookbooks? Feel free to comment below I am always on the lookout for something new! Becky xo

Vegetarian Shepard Pie

20 Aug


What you will need:
800g potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup cream
1 cup grated cheese
1 onion finely diced
400g mushrooms, sliced
300g baby spinach leaves
400 grams ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon garlic
2 sheets puff pastry

What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to moderate and grease your pie dish
Place the diced potatoes into a large pot of boiling water and boil until soft
Now start on making your filling.
Fry the diced onions in the oil and garlic in a large frypan.
Add the baby spinach and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the spinach is wilted.
Remove pan from heat.
Stir in the ricotta cheese.
Once the potatoes are cooked, strain, add in the cream and mash/puree until light and fluffy.
Line the pie dish with the sheets of pastry.
Pierce the pasrty in a few spots using a fork and spoon in the ricotta mixture.
Cover with the mashed potato and sprinkle with the grated cheese. (I also like to add some powdered parmesan cheese)
Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the cheese has melted.
Serves about 6.

Chewy Chocolate Fudge & Almond Brownies

5 Aug


What you will need…
150g butter
1/2 cup dark cooking chocolate
1/2 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup white chocolate
1/2 cup dark chocolate
2/3 cup cream

What to do…
Preheat oven to moderate and grease and line a slice tray
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Reduce the heat and add the dark chocolate.
Stir constantly until melted. Move from heat. Do not overcook.
Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Fold in the chocolate and butter mixture.
Pour mixture into the tray and cook until just firm. You want the center gooey.
When done allow to cool and start to make the topping.
In a saucepan melt the chocolate on a low heat. When just melted remove the saucepan from the heat and fold in 1/2 cup of the cream.
Repeat this for the white chocolate.
Pour the milk chocolate and cream mix over the cooled brownies.
Gently swirl in the white chocolate mix. Garnish with almonds if desired.
Refridgerate until the topping has set.


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