Archive for month: November, 2011

Giveaways Galore – Food Blogger Giveaway Round Up!

30 Nov
November 30, 2011

I am sitting at home and I am as sick as a dog (where that saying originates from, or why, I have no idea) while I compose this.  My throat is red raw, my nose has become a life form of its own and even Sally is staying clear of me.  Maybe she doesn’t want to be sick as a dog?

To give myself a little happy boost I thought I would share some pre Christmas cheer with you guys.   There are a few great giveaways happening in food blogger land at the moment, why not share the love.

Australian Readers

Of course there is my fantastic Philadelphia giveaway, which I encourage you all to enter.  Entries close Tuesday 6th December.

Mademoiselle Délicieuse is giving away a Cuisinart ice-cream maker from Kitchenware Direct!  , entries close Friday 9th December.

A Table for Two has some Jacobs Creek Cool Harvest up for grabs.  Be quick, entries close and are drawn this Friday 2nd December.

Deliciuex has a fantastic Blendtec HP3A Homeblender  Giveaway, entries close 7th December.

The sweet Sugarpuffi has a DVD giveaway, The Trip.  Be quick with this one too as entries close today at 11.59pm.

You may remember my review of The Salt Book, Passionate Mae is giving away two copies, entries close 4th December.

When the World Stops Spinning is giving away Animal People by author Charlotte Wood, entries close 10th December.

Not Quite Nigella is giving away a signed copy of Adriano Zumbo’s new cook book, Zumbo, entries close 10th December.

USA Readers

For my USA readers, Rasa Malaysia is having a few amazing giveaways.  KitchenAid 7-Quart Mixer Giveaway.  Entries close 11th December.  Calphalon Contemporary 10-pc Cookware Set Giveaway, entries close 18th December.   Edgeware Mandoline Slicer Giveaway, entries close 3rd December.  Chicago Metalic Christmas Tree Pan Giveaway, entries close 4th December.

Also for USA readers Gourmand Recipes is giving away  Mavea Elemaris Pitchers Giveaway, entries close 4th December.

And if you aren’t successful in any of the above, check out Cook Republic for their Christmas Gift Guide for the Foodie #1.

If I have missed any fantastic food blog giveaways that are happening at the moment, please let everyone know in the comments section.  Share the love!

Good luck guys, you may win yourselves something nice to place under the tree.

Sara xxx


Chocolate Cherry Roulade Recipe & Giveaway {Closed}

28 Nov
November 28, 2011

Belly Rumbles is having a giveaway, first one, how exciting!  Okay, it’s exciting for me and I hope for you as well, but we will get to the details a little later.

You may remember a little post a while back where I had afternoon tea with Suzanne Gibbs and Margaret Fulton.  Suzanne made a gorgeous roulade, light as air flourless cake filled with cream and seasonal berries.  From the moment I tasted Suzanne’s I knew I was going to make the roulade at home but I wanted to add my own twist.

As cherries are in season, I thought why not a chocolate cream and brandied cherry filling. 

Chocolate Cherry Roulade

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½c caster sugar
  • 2T sifted cocoa
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 250g Philadelphia Cream for Desserts (a double cream alternative)
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 350g pitted cherries
  • 1/3c caster sugar
  • ¼c brandy
  • 1t cornflour
  • grated chocolate to decorate (optional)
  1. Set oven temperature at 180?C (non fan forced).  Line a 30cm x 25cm swiss roll pan with baking paper.  Beat egg yolks with a whisk or electric beaters until thick and creamy.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Fold cocoa and vanilla in to the egg yolk mix.
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold in cocoa mixture.  Pour at once into a prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, until cake has drawn away from sides and springs back when gently touched in the middle.
  3. Had a clean tea towel ready which has been liberally sprinkled with caster sugar.  Turn cake out onto towel, carefully peel away paper and while still warm roll up, including towel, and leave on a wire rack to cool.
  4. While cake is cooling, in a medium pot place cherries, sugar and brandy.  Stir until sugar has dissolved and bring to a simmer.  Gently simmer for a couple of minutes.  Remove pot from heat and in a small bowl add a couple of tablespoons of the cherry liquid to the cornflour.  Mix until combined and then add cornflour mixture to the cherry mixture.  Return pot to heat.  Simmer gently until liquid thickens.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. Melt chocolate in a medium sized glass bowl in the microwave.  Allow to cool slightly.  Using electric beaters mix the Philadelphia Cream for Desserts into the melted chocolate.
  6. When the cake is completely cold, very gently unroll and spread with the chocolate cream.  Then top with strained cherries.  You can use the excess cherry liquid as a sauce if you wish.  Roll up cake and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Just before serving top with grated chocolate, cut into slices and serve.

Notes:  I used a knife to assist peeling the paper off.  It will stick slightly so don’t panic.  I didn’t use the whole chocolate cream mixture or all the cherries.  You will need to judge it so you don’t overfill your roulade.  If you overfill it won’t roll up.

Sadly my roulade didn’t look as spectacular as Suzanne’s creation.  I can vouch for the taste, rich but ever so yummy and the tribe absolutely loved it.   Also 50% less fat than if I had used traditional cream!

The lovely people at Philadelphia have offered prize packs to five lucky Belly Rumbles readers.  The prize pack includes a copy of the newly released Simply Heaven vol 2 cookbook and two Woolworths or Coles gift cards, total value $42.

All you have to do to for a chance to receive one of these gift packs is leave a comment below and let me know what your favourite dish is using any of the wonderful Philadelphia products.

Entries close Tuesday 6th December. The lucky winners will be announced on Wednesday 7th December.

Sara xxx


IKEA Tempe: Swedish Melty Meaty Balls (Köttbullar)

24 Nov
November 24, 2011

IKEA Tempe opened with a bang a couple of weeks ago, floods of visitors, free meatballs and traffic jams. 

I decided to drop in mid afternoon this week with the hope that everyone was back in the office from lunch or picking up the kids from school.  My plan was a winner.  I avoided the masses of people and parked right near the front door.

As much as IKEA wanted to bestow it’s flat pack love on me, that wasn’t why I was visiting.  Yes I did pick up some lovely blue, aqua and green drinking glasses, a couple of packs of much needed coat hangers and this funky circle creation to hold my scarves in the wardrobe (all not flat pack).  I was here to check out IKEA’s food.

IKEA Swedish meatballs (Köttbullar), 1kg pack $9.99

I bought all sorts of goodies, biscuits, chocolate torte, mustard, horseradish, frozen cinnamon buns (more than one type) and the much talked about Swedish meatballs.  Of course I picked up a packed of Graddsås creamy sauce mix as well to accompany the meatballs.

IKEA  Graddås sauce mix, serves 4 $1.79

I have heard quite a few praises for the IKEA meatballs and wanted to check them out for myself.  I mean really how good can a frozen prepared meatball be?

Tonight we found out.  I really didn’t feel like cooking this evening so dragged the meatballs from the freeze for dinner.  Cooking was easy, 180?C for 20 minutes in the oven, bingo meatballs cooked.

Frozen meatballs ready for the oven

Meatballs after 20 minutes cooking

I decided to make some carb heavy, hip unfriendly fried noodles to go with them.  I was very much feeling like comfort food this evening, if you couldn’t tell.

The Graddsås was extremely easy to prepare.  Boil water, add some fresh cream, add the powdered sauce mix and whisk over heat.  Thickened quickly and was on the meatballs in no time.

Now for the most important thing, what were they like?

Surprisingly pretty good.  The meat of the balls is a very fine texture and the meatballs have a lovely flavour to them.  They would be great heated up for quick and easy finger food.  The Graddsås  which I thought would have a chemical unnatural taste to it, didn’t.  Was very much like a creamy gravy.

Important question.  Would I buy them again?  Yes I would.  It was a cheap, quick and tasty meal.

Do tell Belly Rumbles readers, do you have a quick and easy frozen meal hidden in your freeze that you whip out when you don’t feel like cooking and are a little on the sooky side?

Sara xxx

The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

23 Nov
November 23, 2011

The Boathouse is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney for various reasons.  The gorgeous location on top of a converted boathouse that juts in to Blackwattle Bay.  The fully glassed in space that gives you views, no matter where you look or are seated, Anzac Bridge, Sydney skyline or the Sydney Fish Markets.  Then there of course is the pride they take in the produce they source for their patrons.

Which brings us to their oysters.  An incredible variety and all freshly shucked.  The majority of the oysters are Sydney Rock varieties from both the North and South coasts of NSW, but there are also a couple of Angasi and Coffin Bay varieties on the menu too.  Regular Belly Rumbles readers will know of my love affair with oysters.The Boathouse was established by Tony Papas and Robert Smallbone in 1997.  Does the name Tony Papas ring a bell?  Well it should.  Tony was Executive Chef and partner of The Bayswater Brasserie (now closed).  The Boathouse was the second restaurant to be opened by the Brasserie Group.  By the way, Tony is also responsible for bringing us Brasserie Bread along with Michael Klausen.  Did I just ring that bell for you? Read more →

Jackie M Malaysian Restaurant

22 Nov
November 22, 2011

Jackie M has been on my visit list for quite a while.  She has a nice little reputation of offering pretty damn good Malaysian hawker style food.  I have tried her food at various places like the Crave SIFF Malaysian BBQ Madness I recently attended, but I have never eaten at her establishment.

I actually feel a little bad about not paying Jackie a visit before now.  Why?  Well we “tweet” each other on Twitter.  It was a little tweetathon last Friday night that spurred me to make an impromptu reservation.  Jackie and I had not met in person before my visit last and I wanted to be sneaky and pop in without her expecting me.

Sadly no surprising was on the cards, she knew I and tribe were coming.  During busy service if you ring the phone will go to answering machine.  Don’t let that put you off, follow instructions to make a reservation and Jackie will get back to you and confirm. 

Why has it taken me so long to visit?  Pure logistics to be honest. We live a good solid hour away from Concord.  I have no aversion to traveling for good food, but it is so easy to be lazy and stay in your comfort travel areas. Read more →

Butterfinger Blondies Recipe

21 Nov
November 21, 2011

I love American candy, Butterfingers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Reeses Pieces, Baby Ruth, Almond Joy, and list just keeps on going.  Luckily most are available in Australia, saves pleading with Miss Iowa to send me mercy packages.

I was originally going to make some Butterfinger biscuits, using my choc chip biscuit recipe and substituting the Butterfingers.  When I went on a little reconnaissance mission on the net, I found that Butterfinger Blondies recipes were popping up everywhere. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Oysters Three Ways

18 Nov
November 18, 2011

Oh yes, the first Christmas entertaining recipe for the season.  I am being proactive this year and will be sharing a few Christmas recipes with you.  Unlike the last couple of years where I have been unorganised and lazy.

I love oysters and I especially adore Sydney Rock Oysters.  What better way to celebrate Christmas than with some oysters and a glass of your favourite bubbly?  Oysters are perfect for pre-Christmas cocktail parties, and no I haven’t got a gig with an oyster association, I just love them! Read more →

Vegemite Smith’s Chips

17 Nov
November 17, 2011

Australians all have strong views on Vegemite.  Even though according to the rest of the world we are all meant to love the stuff, fact is we either love it or we loathe it.

So it is no surprise that Smiths have decided to play with the Vegemite flavour in a chip (crisp).  The packet says they are for a limited time, but if they prove popular, maybe they will keep them on?

Until recently I fell in to the “loathe it” category.  Vegemite was always in the fridge while I was growing  up, but I it seemed that I didn’t inherit the Vegemite gene from my parents.  I hated the stuff, with a vengeance.

Saying that, I have never stopped giving it a go on odd occasions, wondering if one day my taste buds would become more “Aussie”.

Well low and behold something magical happened a couple of weekends ago.  I was having breakfast at a cafe and decided to pinch some vegemite from the person sitting next to me.  Guess what, I have worked out how I like my Vegemite.

Firstly it must be stolen from somebody else’s plate……. just kidding!  Actually I my preference is on a semi cold piece of toast, lavishly covered with a heart stopping, cholesterol creating, layer of butter.  Then you put a smidge, tiny tiny smidge of the stuff on top.  Salty buttery goodness.  Oh yes, this just proves why chefs around the world use copious amounts of butter, it does make everything better!

Fast forward to yesterday evening. I was walking through Coles grabbing post work dinner supplies and saw a pile of the Smiths Vegemite chips on sale for $1.  Still in Vegemite adventure mode I decided to pick up a packet to try.

Guess what, they actually are not too foul.  I am going to have to say that I actually like them.  They are salty with a slight vegemite taste, not overpowering at all.  I did think they would taste pretty terrible, but nope, big surprise.  May not be my favourite chip flavour, but wouldn’t knock them back if offered.

I always get excited when a new chip flavour gets released, even though there are many flavours on the market, sometimes I stand there not satisfied with choice.

If you could create a chip flavour, what would be your ultimate one?

Sara xxx

Chinese Tea Eggs – Daring Kitchen’s November Daring Cooks’ Challenge

15 Nov
November 15, 2011

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I have attempted cooking with tea before.  Grand ideas of tea smoked duck’s egg.  Let’s just say that was a bit of a disaster as stupid here forgot to line her wok with aluminium foil.  Oh yes, tea mixture went straight in and burnt itself solid to the base of my wok.  Poor wok was only fit for the bin after that. Read more →

Dan Hong’s El Loco Mexican Cantina

15 Nov
November 15, 2011

I really do think that everything Dan Hong touches turns to gold.  You could say he has the Midas touch when it comes to restaurants and food.  I really enjoy Lotus, not yet visited Ms G’s, but it is on my “to do soon” list.

I have been to El Loco now quite a few times.  I like it so much I even became a member.  Well, that was a bit of an accident actually.  I subscribed to their newsletter and when they opened doors I received an invitation to become one.  Nothing special anyone can, and it entitles you to a groovy key ring that you flash to purchase the member’s only Dang Hong special burger and half price margaritas on a Thursday. Read more →