Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge Two Ways

Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge
Here in the southern hemisphere, we are deep into winter weather now. One thing I do love about winter in Sydney is that we still get beautiful sunny days and I love spending the morning in the garden. It’s fantastic to get some much needed Vitamin D and catch up on my emails, but the early mornings and evenings are dark and super chilly.

For me that means perpetually cold hands – an excuse to wrap them around a warm mug of tea – and most of all I want comfort food. The slow cooker gets a good workout (stay tuned for a delicious slow cooked recipe up next week) and I find myself craving warm dishes for every meal. But winter comfort food seems to be so intrinsically tied with carbs, so I have been trying to find healthier alternatives that still warm me up from the inside out and don’t feel like I am depriving myself.

Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge
Soups, roasted vegetable salads and lighter pasta dishes made with cauliflower or zucchini noodles are all on the menu this week. When the mornings are so cold, porridge used to be one of my go-to breakfast options. This chocolate chia porridge is an absolutely fantastic breakfast that ticks all the boxes for health and has the same amount of comfort food charm as a warm bowl of porridge.

Chia seeds are a great little super food that I have been including in my diet for about 2 years. They are incredibly high in fibre – great for your digestion – and a great plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which makes this a nice filling breakfast.

The cacao powder makes it feel like you’re eating chocolate for breakfast, which suits me fine! Cacao is a fantastic source of polyphenols which have strong antioxidant properties, help to balance your hormones and lower your blood pressure.

Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge
I’ve made this quite a few different ways over the last few weeks, but these two have been my favourites. I love adding peanut or almond butter and coconut flakes for some extra healthy fat on top and whatever fruit I have on hand. I would happily eat the Peanut Butter and Banana version for dessert. The Raspberry and Pomegranate version reminds me of a cherry ripe. This recipe is a blank canvas to add any of your favourite healthy toppings. Many great flavours go so well with chocolate, so make it your own.

Another great thing about this recipe is that I tested it two ways. Making the chia pudding the night before and heating it in the microwave for a breakfast that takes about 1 minute flat on a busy morning. You can also make it in a saucepan on the stove in about 5 mintues.

Either way, the result is quick, healthy and delicious. I will also quickly add that I as I write this, I am eating a warm version of my Coconut & Blueberry Chia Pudding complete with homemade chia jam and that is absolutely delicious too.

Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge

Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge

This is the base recipe for both kinds. Makes 2 servings.

  • 1 cup Coconut & Almond Milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder, sifted
  • A few drops Stevia or 1-2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Banana & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Porridge

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon mixed seeds of your choice
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

Raspberry & Pomegranate Chocolate Chia Porridge

  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate arils
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Handful of coconut flakes

To make the Chocolate Chia Pudding the night before, combine the Almond & Coconut Milk together with the chia seeds, cacao powder, sweetener of your choice and vanilla in a glass jar with a lid. Cover and shake well, set aside for 15 minutes. Give it another good shake then refrigerate 5-6 hours or overnight. In the morning, place into 2 bowls and microwave for 1 minute. Add your desired toppings.

To make the Chocolate Chia Pudding in the morning, combine the Almond & Coconut Milk together with the chia seeds, cacao powder, sweetener of your choice and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring for about 5-8 minutes until mixture is warmed and thickened. Place into 2 bowls and add your desired toppings.

Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge

Healthy Homemade Snacks – Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls

Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls
Whenever I get super busy, without fail, this blog is the first thing to fall by the way-side. Which is terrible, because after almost ten years of blogging, I still love coming here to share my current favourite recipes and brand new discoveries with you.

Unfortunately, the second thing to suffer is my healthy eating habits. If I have a deadline and don’t have time to walk to the supermarket, it’s pasta for dinner again. If I don’t have a healthy snack with me while I’m running between meetings and photo shoots, I eat something full of sugar and then spend the next few days craving other naughty things.

I’m sure I’m not alone in making bad decisions when I’m hangry.

Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls
I’ve made Bliss Balls a couple of times since I first posted about them, with different combinations of nuts and flavours each time, but this version is a winner. I’ve been using the new-to-me ingredient Maca in my smoothies lately because it has a tremendous amount of health benefits and a nutty toffee taste. It pairs particularly well with bananas, cinnamon and most kinds of nuts.

What the heck is Maca? Yes, it’s another so-called super food, but it is definitely a nutrition powerhouse. It comes from a root vegetable and is part of a family called Adaptogens, which help your body to deal with external stressors and to balance hormones in both males and females (especially for women suffering from PCOS).

I was most interested in claims that this amazing ingredient also improve your mood, helps memory and energy and especially to ease stress and anxiety. A year ago I had never even heard of it, but it’s now widely available at most health food shops.

Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls
Also on my radar are healthy fats, which I have been trying to eat more of lately. Coconut oil, of course, and cashews are an amazing source of unsaturated fatty acids and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin E, magnesium, copper and other important minerals. As much as I love cashews, these bliss balls would work with almost any kind of nut, so use your favourite.

Bliss balls seriously could not be simpler to make. Just dump everything into a food processor until combined and then roll into balls. The Medjool dates and fructose-free rice malt syrup help to bind the sweet nutty mixture together. In less than five minutes, you’ve made a week of healthy and delicious snacks that can be eaten on the go – it doesn’t get better than that!

Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls

Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls

Makes about 9

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews (or your favourite nut, or a mixture)
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • Pinch of sea salt

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until the mixture comes together is well combined. Roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Cashew and Maca Bliss Balls

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce
Hot Cross Buns have been in the shops since Boxing Day – literally – but I haven’t had a single one yet. I’ll admit to a little prickle of indignation every time I saw them before Easter season began. I think they’re much more special when enjoyed for a week or two, and then put away until the next year. Hot Cross Buns are a recipe I haven’t quite perfected a homemade version of yet. My attempts have been quite delicious, but just a little dense and heavy for my liking. But I make a damn good cinnamon roll.

Maybe it’s the change of season from summer into autumn, but this time of year seems to bring out a craving for cozy times in the kitchen. I love waking up early to bake, kneading dough and smelling warm spices. It puts me in such a good mood and reminds me of the early years of blogging when I would do this almost every weekend in my old kitchen. I can hardly believe that Spicyicecream is 10 years old in July!

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce
This time I decided to change up my usual recipe to make Sticky Date Rolls, with delicious consqeuences. I’ve included some delicious tea-steeped dates in the spiced filling. Medjool dates are also one of my favourite snacks these days with an amazing earthy caramel taste. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may know that Sticky Date Pudding is one of my favourite desserts in the world, and it seems to be a yearly tradition to experiment with it.

Another small change I made this time was to use about 1/3 rye flour in the mixture, which I think turned out really well but I have noted it as optional in the recipe below. I have been loving experimenting with alternate flours and sugars in recent times and can’t wait to share more of these recipes with you here on the blog.

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce
The obvious accompaniment is a delicious caramel sauce, which I felt would suit these little rolls better than a liberal dusting of icing sugar or a super sweet glaze. I drizzled it over the top while the rolls were still warm, and then served them with a little extra for good measure. These sticky date rolls are best served fresh on the day they are made, but can also be frozen and reheated in the oven for a decadent Easter morning breakfast.

Related Post: Sticky Date Doughnuts

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 16


  • 1 cup milk
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil spray


  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 2 earl grey teabags
  • Boiling water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 55g unsalted butter, room temperature

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 30g salted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the dough, combine milk and butter in a microwave safe cup or bowl. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, until butter melts and mixture is warm. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add rye flour, sugar, egg, yeast and salt. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add remaining 2 ½ cups flour and beat on low speed until flour is absorbed. If dough is very sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, adding more flour if sticky, for about 8 minutes. Form into a ball. Lightly oil a bowl with non-stick spray. Transfer dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then a tea towel. Let dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

In the meantime, roughly chop the dates and place them into a bowl with the tea bags and a little boiling water. Allow to steep and cool for at least an hour. Strain the date mixture, removing the tea bags and pressing down on the dates to remove as much liquid as possible.

To make the filling, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a medium sized bowl. Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured work surface. Roll out a 30x40cm rectangle. Spread butter over the dough, leaving 1.5cm border. Sprinkle the spiced sugar evenly over the butter. Spread the date mixture over the spice mixture. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a log. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 16 equal slices.

Spray a large rectangular baking dish with non-stick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging with cut side up. Cover with a tea towel and let dough rise for 40-45 minutes, until almost doubled in volume.

Preheat to 190°C (375°F). Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn rolls right side up.

To make the salted caramel sauce, place the brown sugar, butter and cream into another small saucepan and stir until combined and the butter has melted. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir through salt and allow to cool to room temperature. Drizzle over the warm sticky date rolls and serve extra on the side.

Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
There’s nothing better than farmers market Saturdays. But for me, this time of year – late summer, early autumn here in Australia – is my absolute favourite. You can find everything from stone fruit to berries, to the first apples and pears of the season, to eggplants, herbs and tomatoes of all shapes and colours. I love wandering around with my basket, picking up anything that looks exciting, nibbling on a sample of something tasty and taking an Instagram of the pretty flowers.

I find it all super inspiring and always come home with a bag full of beautiful produce and lots of great ideas of what to make. This time of year is also perfect to preserve the best of summer’s bounty. Last weekend it was the tomatoes that really spoke to me. I decided to try something I’ve never made before – a tangy, sweet and spicy homemade tomato and chilli jam.

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
A lot of people that I’ve talked to are resistant to the idea of making jam from scratch for many reasons. I know that it did take me a while to face my fear of sterilising jars, but after almost seven years of homemade jam, I’ve never looked back.

You don’t need a surplus of homegrown fruit.
You don’t need to spend an entire weekend making jam for the whole neighbourhood.
You don’t need to add a ton of sugar.
You can sterilise jars quickly, safely and easily.
You don’t have to buy poor quality overly sweet store bought jam.
You don’t have to buy expensive artisan jam. Well you can, but it’s more fun to make it yourself!

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
Until now, I have only made jam with traditional jam-making fruits like berries, rhubarb and figs. Even though I’ve been purchasing store-bought tomato relish for years, I had never made a savoury jam with tomatoes, ginger, vinegar and garlic. But the process is very similar – fruit (tomato is a fruit!), flavourings, sugar and acid simmer together to thicken up and produce a delicious result. This recipe makes about 3 jars of jam (which I think will last us about 3 months) but feel free to halve it or scale it down if you want to make a smaller batch.

Well, this tomato and chilli jam is super delicious! At first I thought it was a little bit sweet on its own but once I tried it with other foods I thought it was perfectly balanced. I think a savoury jam like this is so versatile! It would be perfect on almost any kind of burger, with bacon and eggs or on a steak sandwich or the best ham and cheese toastie of your life. I love that it’s a little bit spicy, a little bit tangy and a little bit sweet.

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
Next time I make this (because there will definitely be a next time) I want to experiment with roasting the tomatoes first to see if that gives the jam a more intense and concentrated tomato flavour. Feel free to experiment with making it more or less spicy to suit your own personal taste. I absolutely love that you can preserve the best of summer’s produce in just over an hour to give you endless opportunities for deliciousness.

Related Post: Homemade Jam with Free Printable Labels

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam

Makes about 3 cups
Adapted from Women’s Weekly ‘Made From Scratch’

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small ones)
  • 5 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

This recipe is best using the ripest tomatoes you can find. Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat, stir without boiling until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 90 minutes or until jam is thick. Cool for 15 minutes. You can blend this jam for a smooth consistency, but I left it as is with a great relish texture.

To sterilise the jars, wash the jars and lids with hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly. Place into a 120°C (250°F) oven for 30 minutes or until they are hot and dry. Remove from the oven carefully and pour the hot jam into the jars and seal immediately. If you make jam regularly, it’s always a good idea to label and date your jars so you can keep track of when to use them. Store in a cool, dark place and refrigerate when opened. Jam will keep for about 3 months.

Homemade Tomato Chilli Jam

Thursday Tipples 16 / Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch

Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch
I have a little confession to make. I haven’t been drinking much lately, like almost at all. It’s not like I was ever an excessive drinker, but I used to love winding down after work with a glass of red wine. I’ve never been keen on doing Feb Fast or Dry July. And if I want a drink, like a chilled glass of Rosé on a warm night, I’ll surely have one. But I haven’t wanted one. Pinot Noir used to be my favourite, but I can tell you the last time I had a glass was in 2015.

At first I thought it was weird – I was the boozy desserts girl after all – but then I realised this is just a season in my life, and it’s completely fine. But I do still love creating cocktails because I love experimenting with flavours. I’ll just share it with my housemate afterwards!

Today I want to share one of my favourite things to make when I have guests – this super pretty Party Iced Tea Punch. It is a total crowd pleaser. I first made this for a Christmas lunch with my girl friends, where one was a new Mum and the rest were driving. So I was looking for a drink that we could share that wasn’t Pimm’s or Sangria (our usuals). And this iced tea punch was born.

Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch
I love that this ‘recipe’ is super versatile. You can make it with booze or without (it’s good both ways, I promise) and use different kinds of tea depending on your taste, and whatever berries and fruit you like. I’ve made it in a pitcher to serve 2 or 3 and also in my big trifle bowl for a bigger crowd. It’s a winner. Promise.

The secret weapon in this punch is the lychee berry ice cubes. I’ve talked before about flavoured ice cubes as a revelation to keep your drink cold but not diluted. In fact because the ice cubes are made with lychee juice, the drink gets even more and more delicious as they begin to melt. They make your drink look so pretty and are the easiest thing in the world to make the night before you are having guests.

Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch
Now lets talk about tea. This post is not sponsored but I have to say that T2 has been making some of the most delicious and interesting teas in Australia for the last few years. I’ve made this punch with both Ayurvedic Passion (the best smelling tea ever) and Green Rose (the second best) – both delicious. You can use whatever you like, but I’d definitely recommend a green tea base over black tea so your delicate fruit flavours can shine through. Bonus points if your tea has some delicious flower or fruit profiles in it too.

In the punch I also used extra berries (frozen are totally fine here!) as well as lychees, apple slices, mint leaves and topped up with soda or lemonade for a little extra sweetness. And, if you’re looking for a boozy version, Hendricks gin has notes of rose and cucumber and works really well here. Every time I have made this Iced Tea Punch it has been a total crowd pleaser, so I hope you try it the next time your girl friends come over.

Related Post: The Garden Party Cocktail

Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch

Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch

Serves 2-3 but can be scaled up

Lychee Ice Cubes

  • 1 can lychees in juice
  • Fresh or frozen raspberries
  • Mint leaves

Iced Tea

  • 3-4 tablespoons loose leaf green tea of your choice
  • 60ml gin (optional)
  • Fresh of frozen raspberries
  • Mint leaves
  • 1/2 green apple, sliced with a mandoline
  • Lemonade or soda, to top up

To make the lychee ice cubes, I used a large six square cube ice cube tray. Place 1 lychee and a few raspberries and mint leaves into each ice cube and top up with lychee juice. Place in the freezer overnight.

To make the iced tea, brew your green tea with boiled water at least 2 hours in advance. I also like to do this the night before because I love my tea strong.

When your guests arrive, fill your pitcher halfway with cooled green tea. Add the gin if using, extra raspberries, mint leaves, green apples, and ice cubes. Top up with lemonade or soda and give it a stir with the end of a wooden spoon to evenly disperse the fruit. Serve immediately.

Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl
I love green smoothies. I totally credit them with starting my day off right with a big serving of fruit, vegetables and healthy fats, and helping my immune system out. And I haven’t caught a cold in ages! Most days I drink them on the go, but on those (rare) lazy mornings when I have the time, I love to make a smoothie bowl. It just makes me happy to eat a breakfast that looks so pretty! I also love the opportunity to add even more colour, crunch and texture on top like fresh fruit, coconut, granola, chia seeds, nuts or anything else you like.

Today’s recipe, a Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl definitely tastes as good as it looks! I think this may be the first time ever that I haven’t used greens as the base for my smoothie – which feels a little bit indulgent – but as you’ll see below, the ingredients I’ve used still have a heap of amazing health benefits to get you feeling good first thing in the morning.

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl
I’d happily eat this for either breakfast or dessert! Instead of kale, our base today is raspberries and bananas, both frozen. There are a couple of reasons I’ve opted for frozen fruit here. It’s summer in the southern hemisphere right now and we’ve been having some very hot days recently, so a cool refreshing breakfast is definitely a good thing. While this smoothie is celebrating lots of seasonal summer produce, frozen raspberries are available affordably all year round and have all the same nutritional benefits as fresh.

Raspberries are so amazingly good for you, high in fibre and vitamins and low in sugar compared to many other fruits. They help to make the smoothie nice and filling. And the most important reason is that frozen fruit – especially bananas – help to thicken the smoothie. which is necessary when you’re enjoying it in a bowl so it’s scoopable and your toppings don’t sink to the bottom!

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl
I’ve also used some other beautiful seasonal fruits both in the smoothie and on top – white peach for a little sweetness, a fig for its fibre and minerals and I decided to try tropical dragonfruit for the first time. I liked it’s subtle taste and it looks super pretty as a topping, but I also learned that it’s also high in antioxidants, Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory benefits and more! As well as the fruit, I’ve added a little cacao which goes beautifully with raspberry for extra indulgence and chia seeds for protein and to help thicken it.

No two smoothies I make are ever the same, based on what is in season, and more importantly – what I currently have in the fridge! So please feel free to use this base recipe as a starting point and experiment with other ingredients and toppings that you love. This recipe makes one really large smoothie bowl that should definitely keep you full until lunchtime, or you can share it with your sweetie for a beautiful Valentine’s Day breakfast.

Related Post: My Favourite Green Smoothie

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1 or 2

For the smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 small bananas (preferably frozen)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Coconut & Almond milk
  • 1/2 white peach
  • 1 fig
  • 2 slices dragonfruit, skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon cacao
  • 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

For the toppings

  • Fresh coconut flakes
  • Extra raspberies, fresh or frozen
  • 2 slices dragonfruit, cut into heart shapes (optional)
  • 2 slices white peach
  • Edible flowers, optional

To make the smoothie, place the frozen raspberries and bananas and 1/2 cup Coconut & Almond milk into your blender or NutriBullet. Blend until they have broken down. Add the peach, fig, dragonfruit, cacao and chia seeds and blend again for 1 minute or until smooth. Check the consistency and add the extra almond milk if it’s too thick, but remember we are going for a nice scoopable consistency.

To serve the smoothie bowl, pour into a large bowl, or two if you’re sharing. Top in your own creative way with coconut, extra raspberries, dragonfruit, peach slices and edible flowers or your favourite things! Enjoy straight away.

Raspberry and Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Simple Dinners 19 / Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles

Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles
Today I’d love to share a Simple Dinner recipe that my housemate and I cook a lot – Spicy Pork and Tahini noodles. K first made it for me a couple of years ago, recreating it from memory from an old Chinese cookery book. After one bite, I was sold. This dish has become a firm part of our weeknight cooking repertoire, which comes together easily and quickly, but is always deeply satisfying to your soul. We love it so much that we try to have the main ingredients on hand at all times. Which reminds me, I’m out of fish sauce.

As I’m writing this, I realised that we often make our favourite dish together in our cozy kitchen while we have a glass of wine and chat about our day. I might be chopping spring onions while she grates the ginger. I’ll juice the limes while she browns the pork. These are really special moments and I’m sure that in the future even if we aren’t still living together, I’ll always think of her when I make this dish.

It always tastes a little different depending on which herbs are in the crisper or the garden. Sometimes we may try a different kind of noodle, or substitute green peppercorns for Szechuan pepper. Occasionally we throw a big handful of spinach leaves or Asian greens in at the last minute to wilt down. It can be more spicy or mild depending on our mood at the time.

Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles
We never measure anything, which made finally writing down this recipe for the first time a little bit interesting. This recipe is a jumping off point for you to play with and although it looks like there are quite a lot of ingredients listed, I’m definitely not saying to go and buy things you’ll never use again! It’s always a matter of tasting and tweaking, adding a little more acidity here or a little more spice there.

There are loads of great flavours in this dish. Garlic, ginger and chilli lay a good foundation. The tahini – a thick paste made from roasted sesame seeds – gives a beautiful richness and nuttiness. I haven’t tried it, but peanut or sesame seed butter may work as a substitution here. If anyone tries it, please let me know in the comments below!

Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles
The flavours are balanced out by the acidity of the fish sauce and lime juice and of course there are spring onions and loads of herbs to give it freshness. A handful of chopped peanuts or toasted sesame seeds might be nice sprinkled on top for some crunch.

I started this blog almost 10 years ago to share all the new things I was learning in the kitchen, and of course I love making new recipes, experimenting with different techniques – there are some interesting sauerkraut experiments in my fridge right now that I hope to share soon. But I especially love when I can share my very favourite things; the recipes that are a big part of my life that we make over and over. It’s like inviting you over for dinner and a chat. And there’s nothing better than that.

Related Post: One Pot Moroccan Chicken

Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles

Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles

Serves 4

  • 1-2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 red chilli, finely chopped (or more if you like)
  • 500g quality pork mince
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tahini
  • Chicken stock (or sometimes we use cooled green tea)
  • Rice noodles
  • 1 cucumber, grated

First, toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a small skillet for 2-3 minutes. Crush roughly in a mortar and pestle and set aside.

In a large wok or frypan, heat olive oil and sesame oil. Add garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until softened and fragrant. Then add the pork mince, cumin and coriander and cook, stirring often until browned and cooked.

Add the kaffir lime leaves and HALF of the spring onion and fresh herbs, stirring until combined. Then add the juice of 1 lime, rice wine, fish sauce, black vinegar, soy sauce and Szechuan peppercorns and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tahini and stir to incorporate. The mixture will become very dry when the tahini is added so add enough stock or tea to loosen it up again. Cook for 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the noodles according to instructions on the packet. Taste and adjust the acidity and spice level of the pork mixture to your liking, usually I will add the juice of half or a whole lime.

When the noodles are cooked, you can either serve them on a plate with the pork mixture on top or toss them all together in your pan. Serve Pork and Tahini noodles with grated cucumber and the remaining spring onion and herbs on top, plus a wedge of lime and fresh chilli if you like.

White Chocolate and Passionfruit Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust (No Churn!)

White Chocolate Passionfruit Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust (No Churn!)
When celebrating Australia Day in years past, I have gone a little over the top making all kinds of variations on classics like the lamington or the pavlova. It is one of my favourite occasions to dream up dessert ideas for. However, this year I’m keeping it nice, simple and summery.

Just in case you couldn’t tell, I really love ice cream. For a change, I decided to make an Ice Cream Pie because I felt like it was a great dessert to top off a nice casual gathering with friends. I hope you’re enjoying plenty of those this summer season!

White Chocolate Passionfruit Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust (No Churn!)
I really wanted to use the amazing Aussie grown passionfruits that I bought at the markets in this recipe. Chocolate and passionfruit together are one of my all time favourite flavour combinations. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness and works equally well with white, milk or dark chocolate.

In this recipe I’ve used my super easy no churn ice cream recipe that I know you’ll love. The waffle cone crust is like the crumb crust you’d get with crushed biscuits but way more delicious in my opinion! And of course you know it’s going to taste good with ice cream.

White Chocolate Passionfruit Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust (No Churn!)
The no churn ice cream is fantastic because you don’t have to make a custard, or deal with leftover egg whites. The base recipe is literally two ingredients, which allows you to get super creative with the flavours you use. I’ve made so many variations on it, that I decided to put them all together in a free ebook that you can download instantly below.

[convertkit form=4905601]

White Chocolate Passionfruit Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust (No Churn!)
Of course it has to be made ahead of time to give the ice cream a chance to freeze. So all you need to do when it’s time to serve is take it out of the freezer and scatter some coconut flakes and passionfruit pulp over the top. If you like, you could also make this in cute individual servings, in small pie tins or even glass jars. Super easy and definitely delicious!

Related Post: Pavlova Ice Cream Smash

White Chocolate Passionfruit Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust (No Churn!)

White Chocolate and Passionfruit No Churn Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust

Waffle Cone Crust

  • 7 waffle cones, roughly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

White Chocolate and Passionfruit Ice Cream

  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g white chocolate, melted
  • Pulp of 3 passionfruit
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • Topping: Pulp of 1-2 passionfruit and toasted coconut flakes

To make the Waffle Cone Crust, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the crushed waffle cones and brown sugar together in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Add the melted butter and pulse again to combine. Press crumbs evenly into the base and sides of a 20cm pie or cake tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then allow to cool completely.

To make the White Chocolate and Passionfruit Ice Cream, place the condensed milk into a large bowl. Whisk in the melted white chocolate until combined, and then whisk in the passionfruit pulp. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to form soft peaks. Fold the cream into the condensed milk with a spatula until incorporated. Spoon into the waffle cone crust and freeze until firm, preferably overnight.

To serve, spoon extra passionfruit pulp and toasted coconut flakes.

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
If you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram in the last few months, chances are you’ve heard of golden milk – a warm healing drink with lots of turmeric. I became a convert when I had a horrible cold last winter and nothing was helping. I started making golden milk to drink before going to bed and within a day or two I felt so much better.

Turmeric is a super spice has a whole host of incredible benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune boosting properties. One thing to note about turmeric is that it’s benefits are massively increased when consumed with healthy fat and black pepper, of which this recipe has both. While this recipe may look like a dessert, it’s actually super healthy!

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
I came up with the idea for this Golden Milk Panna Cotta several months ago, but I knew I wanted to pair it with some roasted apricots. I surprised myself that I was so adamant about waiting until apricots were in season, as I don’t really cook with them very often. With a few pomegranate arils strewn on top for contrast in colour and texture, I can’t think of a more delicious combination. I better start coming up with a few more apricot recipes, because they are absolutely perfect right now!

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
The golden milk panna cotta is a blend of coconut cream and regular cream, although if you want something dairy free you can use all coconut or a mix of your favourite alternative milk. It uses rice malt syrup for sweetness instead of sugar. Gelatine is great for your gut health. And then you have the amazing spices – turmeric, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and a dash of vanilla extract.

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
I think this recipe is perhaps an acquired taste because the taste of the spices does come through strongly. But if you are a fan of golden milk, you’ll definitely love it. And if not, then do make the delicious roasted apricots to have with a scoop of ice cream! I think it’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner, without any guilt.

Related Post: Anti-Hayfever Smoothie

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots

Makes 4

Golden Turmeric Paste

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 heaped tablespoons turmeric
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Panna Cotta

  • 400ml can coconut cream
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • Rice malt syrup or honey, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Roasted Apricots

  • 4 apricots, halved and stone removed
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 25g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar, to sprinkle

To make the golden turmeric paste, place ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and continue to whisk until slightly thickened.

To make the panna cotta, place the coconut cream, thickened cream, rice malt syrup and vanilla into a saucepan over low heat and bring to the boil. Whisk in the golden turmeric paste, 1 tablespoon at a time until you are happy with the taste. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling water into a heatproof jug. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top and whisk to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly, and then add to the panna cotta mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for 6 hours or until set.

To make the roasted apricots, place halved fruit into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with raw sugar, vanilla seeds and bean and place a cube of butter in the hollow of each fruit. Roast in the oven at 160°C (320°F) for about 1 hour or until fruit is cooked through.

To serve, remove panna cotta from the fridge and serve with roasted apricots, pomegranate and edible flowers, if you like.

Thursday Tipples 15 / Watermelon & Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule
We constantly think about the seasons of the year, the effects they have over what we wear, and especially over what we eat. I think I’m guilty of looking forward to summer more than actually enjoying it in the moment. This time of late spring has always been the most inspiring to me. I could talk all day  about the produce I’m going to cook with and the picnics and assorted summertime adventures I’m going to take.

But I usually have a pang of guilt when March rolls around and I haven’t done all the things I wanted to do. Time just flies these days. In November it feels like summer will last forever. I’ve learned that it’s super important to make a conscious effort to enjoy the moment, rather than just thinking about what’s coming next. With summer just around the corner now – yay! – it is the season of delicious (and cheap) watermelon. It makes a delicious snack at any time of day, but if you don’t feel like eating it plain, it also makes a damn good cocktail.

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule
A Moscow Mule is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime that has been popular since the 1940s. While the ingredients may be simple, the combination is a classic for a reason and has proven to be the basis for dozens of variations over the last few decades. There are endless options for fruity flavourings – anything from berries to stone fruit to citrus, or watermelon like I’ve done in this recipe.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous you could even try adding herbs to compliment your fruit like rosemary, thyme or kaffir lime. You can also change up the spirit used, to create variations like the Mexican Mule that uses tequila instead of vodka, or the London Mule with gin, which sounds great to me! Ginger and lime go with almost anything, clearly.

Trust me, these flavours are especially good with watermelon and pomegranate! If you are hoarding watermelon like me lately, this drink is easy to fix for yourself on a warm afternoon. I really like the sweetness and freshness of the watermelon with the kick from the ginger. The pomegranate flavour didn’t come through so much for me, so feel free to use a little more or just enjoy the pretty garnish. You could of course also scale up the recipe below since you’ll have extra watermelon juice anyway, and serve it in a pitcher for a party.

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I have a thing for ginger beer. I’ve even used it in cakes and scones! I never drink soft drinks these days but I will make the very occasional exception for ginger beer. I do want to try making it from scratch one day soon, except I’m still a little scared of exploding bottles. In the past I have made my own ginger syrup to use in cocktails, and I’ll link that just below. You’re definitely welcome to try that – perhaps minus the chilli for this Watermelon Moscow Mule – if you can’t find ginger beer where you live, or if you prefer something homemade.

I think my favourite thing about the Moscow Mule is the chance to drink out of a fancy copper mug. They are served this way because copper will keep the drink colder for much longer than a regular glass. Even more so if you freeze your copper mugs before happy hour. Enjoy!

Related Post: Spiced Ginger Syrup for Cocktails

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Watermelon & Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Makes 1

  • 1/4 watermelon, skin removed and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pomegranate, arils removed, plus extra for garnish
  • 45ml vodka (your favourite brand)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Ginger beer (or ginger syrup and soda)
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: Extra watermelon slices, pomegranate and a sprig of mint

If you like, you can chill your copper mug or glass for 15-30 minutes before serving. Then place the watermelon and pomegranate into a blender and pulse until liquid. Strain into a small jug and set aside.

To make the Moscow Mule, pour vodka, lime juice and 60ml of watermelon pomegranate juice into a copper mug or chilled glass. Add ice and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with extra pomegranate arils, a slice of watermelon and a sprig of mint.