Tag Archives: Australia

these bagels. they are everything…

HEY! hi. I’m still here.

What’s happening? How are yas?

Yeah, I’m good. Thanks.

So, the last couple weeks have been super fun! Super Duper! We’ve been sippin’ wine, and dressing like fools, and camping! CAMPING! More on that to come. 🙂 Oh also, if you are interested… I launched a website. A photography one. How ’bout that? I am based in Sydney, as you may know, and am taking bookings for portraits & events. Take a gander. 😉 Baby/toddler portraits are my specialty! www.chicksphotography.com

This weekend though… this weekend my jazzy lady friend, Sam, & I made Bagels.

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DSC_8765Get. Excited. Lord knows I was.

I have never made anything that brought me so much joy when it worked out. Oh my good god this was exciting.

DSC_8775These were Montreal Style bagels, boiled in honey sweetened water and baked to perfection. And I do mean that. They were perfect.

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Montreal Style Bagels

Ingredients
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. extra flour for kneading

For boiling:
1 tbsp baking soda
1/3 cup honey

Toppings:
What ever you like, I usedCaraway seeds, garlic flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds & salt for my everything bagels.
I also made some with just poppy seeds.

In a large bowl, stir together the warm water and the packet of yeast. Cover and allow to sit for about 5 minutes while the yeast activates. Add the sugar, salt, & oil into the yeast mixture and whisk until combined.

Now add 1 c. of flour into the mixture and stir until combined. Slowly add the reamining cups of flour and mix until mostly combined. The mixture might not be holding together too well, but that is a-ok.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading for 10 minutes. The dough should feel start to feel elastic and smooth. Allow the dough to rise for thiry minutes, covered.

NOW! Slice the dough into 16-18 equal parts and roll each to create lengths of about 6-8 inches. Form each length into a cirle and squeeze the dough together to secure. Set each circle aside and allow them to rise for another 20 minutes. While they are rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil and dissolve your honey and baking soda. After the mixture is boiling, reduce it to a simmer. You should probably preheat the oven at this time to 475*F.

Add the bagels to the water two at a time and let them cook for 1 minute per side. Now, you can drop each bagel in your bowl of toppings and coat one side. Place each coated bagel on a baking sheet.

Once you have boiled each bagel, bake them at 475*F for 10 minutes and then flip them and bake for 5 more minutes. The colour should be very rich and golden. Careful not to let the seeds burn.

No need to let them cool (much). Eat them warm… they are amazing.DSC_8782If I was home right now in Canada, I would probably make these for Father’s Day. Since my Dad is so Rad.

It rhymes and therefore it is true.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DADDIO!

Now here are some pics of when my parents were in Australia. This first one just makes me laugh cause it’s a selfie which I think is awesome. And I mean… how many of us have taken the accidentally zoomed in selfie? Everyone, don’t lie. Priceless.

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This second one is us havin a fam-din at Jamie’s Italian! aka the best place to eat EVA.

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And this gem is of me and my dad! 🙂

IMG_1398Have a lovely day all you Dads.

Much love to my Grandpa too.

Can’t forget Watson.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Breakfast

winter

Let’s keep the words to a minimum and just focus on some beach-side pictures. This is Australia. In the winter.
Eww. Just… Ewwwww. Amiright?

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These tiny little holes in the rocks FASCINATE me. It’s like who-ville in there. A whole nother world.

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Also: Highlight of the weekend: I went to look for whales… and i saw DOLPHINS!!! (Whales woulda been cool… since I can speak whale and all… but I will see them next week… when I go WHALLLLE WATCHINNNNNNGGGG) (said in an Oprah voice)

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eeeeeeeeeeee!

xxx

 

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Filed under Adventures in Australia

two-year cheesecake

Two years!

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It is the anniversary of two things! April 30th marks two years since my first post on …but can she bake. Granted, there were a couple half hearted posts before it. However they were few and far between. I started posting regularly two years ago because that is when I moved to Australia to live with my most incredible boy(man)friend. And so, this is also the anniversary of my move to Sydney!

I began writing to document my days/weeks/life in Australia and so that my biggest fans (my mom, dad and grandparents) could track my every move. I love baking and I love taking pictures, so this little ditty was born.

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Now, here I am, 730 days later posting a recipe that I have been eyeing for at least… well longer than that. I have been coveting these cheesecake recipes since I became a vegan. Why I never made one, I am not sure. Skeptical? Yes. I was. That and I didn’t own a proper blender (vitamix) and even though I still don’t… I thought I’d give it a whirl. For the sake of two years. Ya know what I mean?

Man ALIVE! I am glad I did. This vegan cheesecake is delicious! It’s cashew filled, but you wouldn’t really guess it. I would even go so far as to say that if I had a higher tech blender, this version would be just as silky and smooth as a regular cheesecake. So basically, Dad: if you are still thinking about buying a vita mix, please do and we can make this when I come home. 🙂 (Along with about a billion other vegan recipes that require a vitamix.)

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The lemon is what makes it sour like a cream cheese based cake and the vanilla, honey and raspberries make it delightfully sweet.

Try this bad boy on for size. It’s a keeper. Even my man-friend thinks so.

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The process isn’t even that labour intensive, you just need to soak some cashews the night before. It’s even no-bake! In fact, it’s RAW TOO! Amazing.

You can tell from my pictures that my mixture wasn’t really even close to silky smooth, but I swear it was still so delicious. Just try it out.
Vegan Cheesecake
adapted from here and here

crust
1/2 c. Medjool dates
1/2 c. walnuts
pinch of  salt

filling
2 c. cashews (soaked overnight)
juice of 2 medium lemons
1 vanilla bean
1 c. raspberries/strawberries/blueberries or whatever berry you are feeling
1/3 c. maple syrup (use honey to make it raw)
1/3 c. coconut oil

Soak the cashews overnight. (at least 5 hours)

Throw all the crust ingredients in the food processor and blend/chop until the bind together on their own. You can test this until you are satisfied. Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Use one 6 inch pan or two 3 inch pans. (mini cheesecakes are awesome!)

Next warm up the coconut oil however you choose (microwave, stove) and mix with the maple syrup. Put the cashews, lemon juice and vanilla into the food processor with the honey/oil mixture and blend until as smooth as possible. This may take many minutes of blending. I used about half of this mixture to pour into the two pans and then saved the other half to add the raspberries to. After evening out the mixture in the pan(s) I put them in the freezer to lightly set for about 30 minutes. You can omit this step, but I thought it would help separate the layers.

Next add the raspberries to the cashew mixture and blend until fully combined. Pour this mixture on the top of the plain cashew mixture and even it out. Place the cake(s) back in the freezer until solid.
Remove about 10-15 minutes before you want to slice it, orrrrr just hack into it with a knife and fork… like me.
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xxx

pssst! check out what I posted one-year ago.

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cake, Pies

Anzac Biscuits

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So. Tomorrow is Anzac Day; a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. We honour and remember all the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps. A.N.Z.A.C.

There is a dawn service and I will be attending. At dawn. AKA: Really early in the morning on a Public Holiday.

I’m not complaining… I’m just sayin’ these cookies might help with the early morning wake up. And they will be a welcome addition to the morning coffee. You see, on ANZAC day in stead of putting milk in your coffee… you put rum. Or maybe both. I’m not sure what that’s all about but it’s what they do here, and who am I to question tradition? They also play a game called Two Up at 2pm that is (and get this…) ONLY legal on Anzac Day. The game consists of heavy betting over the results of two coins being tossed at one time.

What a country.

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As an honourary Australian, I have taken it upon myself to bake the cookie that has taken the ANZAC name. Apparently these Anzac Biscuits were often sent to soldiers abroad by their wives. The cookies keep very well and didn’t spoil during transportation overseas.

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I made a couple batches of these. I’m not sure if I’ve got them exactly right yet either. Some people like the really crunchy, some like them chewy. It is a national debate of sorts. These are more on the soft and chewy side. But with a bit longer baking time, they had a crisp exterior.

You should bake them! And Remember some ANZACS. 🙂

Traditional (Vegan) Anzac Biscuits

1 1/4 c. flour1 c. oats
1/2 c. raw caster sugar
3/4 c. cup shredded or desicated coconut
2 tbsp golden syrup
150g nutlex (or other butter substitute – earth balance etc)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp. boiling water

Preheat your oven to 170*C. Mix all the dry ingredients first, flour, oats, coconut & sugar.

Heat up the golden syrup and butter on medium in a small saucepan until fully melted and combined. Now mix the baking soda and 1 1/2 tbsp of boiling water in a separate small bowl. Combine the two mixtures (be careful as it will foam up quite a bit). Make sure you have removed the butter mixture from the heat when you do this.

No add the wet to the dry and combine well. Place tablespoons of the mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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x

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cookies

hot hot heat

Last Friday I experienced some of the hottest temperatures that I have ever felt on my fair Canadian skin. Sydney peaked at a sunny 45 degrees celcius.

forty. five.

Granted, that is only five degrees hotter than the bikram yoga room… however, Bikram yoga is practiced at that heat to make you SWEAT, and sweat A LOT, but I usually don’t go about my daily routine in the hot room. And furthermore, I wear signicantly more clothing when I am outside a Bikram class. So… five degrees is like, ridiculous.

I don’t even know how to explain it. Really hot is pretty much it.

Anyway, Sean and I decided that an after work swim was in order… so at around 7pm we drove to the Eastern Beaches. When we got in the car the temperature had already dropped to 35 and by the time we reached the beach ten minutes later it was 24. YOU GUYS! What… the WHAT?

We took a dip anyway as the sun was setting and I was actually shivering. It’s a strange country I live in these days.

Let’s talk about summer food! Summer salads… BBQs… light… fresh!

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I got this recipe from my boyfriend’s mom. I swapped a couple of ingredients and kablammy! A delicious summer salad/salsa thing that is delish.

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Corn & Avocado Salad

4 stalks of spring onion

1 cob of corn (bbqed & chopped of the cob)

2 tomatoes (seeded and chopped)

1 avocado (chopped)

1/4 c. parsley (chopped)

1/2 red capsicum

juice of one lime

salt & pepper to taste

This salad is pretty straight forward.

First cook the corn. I BBQd mine cause I prefer that taste, but you can boil it also. Set it aside to cool.

Quarter the tomatoes. De-seed them and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. I find that this helps them to dry out a tiny bit so the salad doesn’t get watery. Chop the spring onions, red capsicum, and avocado. Chop the tomatoes quite small and cut the corn off the cob. Finely chop the parsley and toss everything in a bowl with the juice of one lime. Season to taste.

SO yummy.

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x

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Filed under Salads, Uncategorized

blueberry muffin segue

How does someone make the transition from a solid month of total regression back into being a teenager (waking up after ten, staying in pyjamas all day and doing nothing, eating other people’s groceries) to re-entering the real world. A world which is literally (and figuratively) one entire globe away from teenager regression. A world that involves work and buying groceries, doing laundry and checking flour for moths.

Where is the instruction booklet for that transition? Because I am having a bit of trouble with it.

I think I read somewhere that you should start by making muffins. Well, no. Actually, that is a lie. But it would have make a great segue into this muffin recipe I’m about to post.

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Muffins help somewhere along the way. I’m sure of that.

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from this beautiful blog I just discovered.

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. all purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c. raw sugar

1 c. oat milk (or any non-dairy)

3 tbsp mushed banana

1 lemon, zested

1 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12 inch muffin pan with liners. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Create a well and add the milk 1/2 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Mix in lemon zest, vanilla and banana and stir until fully combined. Gently fold in blueberries, try not to over mix muffin batter.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 22 – 25 minutes until fully baked.

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Eat. Feel better.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Muffins

it’s the JAM PLAN. and the queen loves it!

Did you know that I’m British?

Yeah, I’m just being real with you.


Me and the queen, we’re buds. Kate and I, (Middleton of course) we go way back. Sometimes she comes over for tea and scones and we discuss British things… like scones. and… the queen. And her excess of hats!

Are those the only British things I know? hmmm…


I’m not actually English at all, but I didn’t have a Scottish Flag tea towel on hand. Sooo…


I save my fine china for the Royals, obviously. And I’m also speaking to them about adopting a vegan diet. I think this is what British people do. We bake scones and clean our houses in case the queen comes for tea.

And when she does come,  (because she will) we serve her homemade scones, with homemade jam and whipped coconut cream. Totally vegan. and the queen is PUMPED about it.

Pip pip. Cheerio.

You know my scone recipe already. So just sub the cranberries for raspberries! It’s your call!

Jam though… JAM is a new addition.

It’s the Jam Plan!

20 minute JAM PLAN!

Strawberry/Raspberry Jam
(Adapted from OhSheGlows)

3 c. of strawberries and raspberries (I used a combo of fresh and frozen)

1.5 tbsp. chia seeds

2 tbsp. maple syrup

boiling

Bring the maple syrup and fruit to a boil in a saucepan. Stir frequently because the fruit will burn/stick to the pan. Allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes and then add the chia seeds. Allow mixture to simmer and firm up for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring!

Put the jam in your finest china bowls and wait for the queen.

If you make the jam and scones, she will come.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast