Archive for month: December, 2012

Christmas Recipe: 5 Easy Uses for Fruit Mince

24 Dec
December 24, 2012

Firstly it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the Wonderful Pistachio Giveaway.  Congratulations Brad Iverson.  I will be in contact with you shortly.

One more sleep and Christmas will be here.  Time has flown and I can’t believe how quickly it has crept up on us.  Did it creep up on you too?  Here are five festive ways to use fruit mince.  All very quick and easy.  You can use your own fruit mince, I did make some earlier this month.  Alternatively grab a jar from the supermarket, either way, quick and easy festivity at your finger tips.  Perfect for that last minute baking. Read more →


Christmas Recipe: Spekulatius Torte

21 Dec
December 21, 2012

I experiment in the kitchen all the time, I can’t help myself.  I’m always tweaking recipes, adding this, taking away that, using different flavours.  One of my favourite recipes is one that was handed down to me by my mother, Biscotten Torte.  She does not claim fame to its invention, and we aren’t sure where the recipe was originally sourced.  All I know is that when I make it the boys go bonkers, they love it.

I have never played around with this recipe.  I have thought on the odd occasion of how I could make it more ‘Christmassy’, but never went any further than that.  That is, until I was seeking out Spekulatius cookies for Christmas.  Having Spekulatius in the pantry at Christmas time is a tradition in our household.  Come to think of it, they are always bought, never made.  May have to change that next year.

As I picked up the packet of Spekulatius to purchase, a giant light bulb appeared on top of my head, bells went off, an idea was born.  Why not use Spekulatius in my Biscotten Torte?  With that thought I picked up another packet and added it to my shopping basket.

Spekulatius were an obvious substitution in the original recipe.  The cookies are rich in spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom.  The filling of the torte is almond, and I feel a perfect match with those flavours.

I was right, the Spekulatius worked perfectly.  I did add an extra layer of filling to the torte, to  give a denser texture than the original.  The filling is slightly different, but all the key ingredients are there. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Fruit Mince (Peel Free)

18 Dec
December 18, 2012

Why is the mixture inhabiting within a mince pie called fruit mince?  The ingredients that make up fruit mince don’t include minced meat.  The fruit itself is finely chopped,  not put through a mincer.  Why is it not called mixed spiced fruit or similar?

Our modern day fruit mince may not include meat, but traditionally it did.  Mince pies, as we know them in Australia, are British in origins.  They can be traced back to the 13th Century when European crusaders returned from the Holy Land and brought back with them middle Eastern cooking methods.  Originally mince pies had a mixture of minced meat, suet, various dried fruits and spices.  The use of mutton was common, but also veal, goose or even beef tongue. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Gingerbread Biscuits

17 Dec
December 17, 2012

When my home fills with the smell of baking gingerbread cookies, I know Christmas has arrived.  Of course in my household the cookies disappear as quickly as they are baked.  Therefore I tend to put off baking until a few days before Christmas.  The ones in these pictures have been greedily devoured already and we still have a week to go until Christmas.  Looks like I will be busily baking more.

I like to use treacle as well as golden syrup to give more depth to the flavour of the biscuits.  The addition of allspice brings a little more ‘Christmas’ to their taste.  Use your favourite cookie cutters and decorate as you desire. Read more →

Wonderful Pistachio Giveaway {Closed}

16 Dec
December 16, 2012

It has been giveaway central at Belly Rumbles leading up to Christmas.  This is our third and final for the year, but before I tell you about this one, a bit of housekeeping on the last few competitions.

Appletiser PeepToe Voucher Giveaway:  The $200 voucher was won by Dilhara.
Gloria Jean’s & Caffitaly Giveaway:  The two major prize winners were Michele T & Rachel R , the runner up prize goes to Kaya.
Congratulations to all the winners.  I have been in contact via the email address you provided.

I always have a stash of roasted salted pistachios at home.  You could say I am a little addicted to this particular nut.  I recently found out that pistachios are naturally cholesterol free, are one of the nuts lowest in kilojoules, lowest in fat and highest in fibre, as well as on e of the most nutritious nuts you can buy.

Who knew I was making the right decision all these years over other nuts!

I did spy the Wonderful Pistachio range when I was doing my weekly shopping, but declined on buying any of their flavoured nuts, instead I stayed true to what I like and purchased the Roasted & Salted variety.  By coincidence a week later Wonderful Pistachio contacted me.  Having enjoyed their Roasted & Salted nuts, I was quite happy for them to send their flavoured ones to me to sample.

Beside the Roasted & Salted, Wonderful Pistachio is also available in Sweet Chilli and Salt & Pepper flavours.

Read more →

Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Slice & Bake Cookie Recipe

12 Dec
December 12, 2012

I hadn’t heard of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (GFBCS) until it was bought to my attention via a tweet from Julie of Gourmet Getaways.  I must admit, I didn’t immediately jump at getting involved.  Mainly due to the time of the year, right when you are running around like a goose for Christmas.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I signed up.

This was the second year for GFBCS.  A USA based event, which includes a few countries, like Australia.  There is a US$4.00 charge to participate and that money is donated to charity.  The charitable cause is Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  Money well spent as far as I am concerned.

So how does it work?  You sign up on the GFBCS website.  Once you confirm your participation you are instructed to make a US$4.00 taxable donation (if in the USA) directly to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  100% of your donation goes to the cause.

Once the deadline for signing up has passed you will receive the names and addresses of three other participants who you will send your cookies too.  It is all hush hush, they have no idea you are their cookie provider, and you have no idea who you will be receiving cookies from. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Baked Stuffed Onions with Parmesan Cream

11 Dec
December 11, 2012

I cut this recipe out of the paper years ago.  It looks like it came from the Sydney Morning Herald, but not 100% sure on that, and I have no idea of who the chef of the original recipe is.

These onions have become a family favourite and have been made at Christmas time over the past few years.  A big thank you to whomever the original chef was, as this recipe is a winner.

There onions are rich and hearty.  They go perfectly with a roasted Christmas dinner.  As they are stuffed, they are just that little more special as well.  We also indulge on these in winter with a roast as Christmas is only once a year, and these onions deserve to be eaten more than once. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Festive Sausage Rolls

09 Dec
December 9, 2012

Amongst the sophisticated hors d’oeuvres that may grace your Christmas table, it is always nice to have something for the kids.  The only thing that really makes these sausage rolls festive is the use of cranberry sauce in the filling.  I feel it is enough of a ‘Christmas’ ingredient to slide these in to my Christmas recipes, just.

As easy as this recipe is, the sage and cranberry sauce does take the humble sausage roll to a new level.   The beauty of this recipe is the sausage rolls can be made in advance and frozen once they have been assembled.  If not used for Christmas day, they really are great to have on hand in the freezer to pop in the oven when unexpected guests pay a visit.  Trust me, big kids will devour these just as quickly as the little ones. Read more →

ipot, Sydney

08 Dec
December 8, 2012

I believe most have experienced, or if not, have heard of a Chinese hot pot.  An affair where raw ingredients are placed in a communal steaming pot of soup base.  Each to pick and choose their desired ingredients to be added.  Then the process of diving your chopsticks into the bubbling cauldron in the centre of the table, and chance upon your desired ingredient.  Or fight over that last prawn/scallop/piece of beef.  Communal dining at its best, and lot of fun.

ipot offers Chinese hot pot with a twist.  No need to share as everyone has their own individual pot.  No arguing on the soup base or ingredients, yet maintaining the communal eating/cooking experience.  Definitely a unique hot pot dining experience in Sydney.

Dining at ipot is a fun and entertaining experience.  Firstly choose from one of seven soup bases; Canton, Chinese Herbal, Hot & Spicy, Seafood, Mushroom, Ox Tail & Tomato or Japanese Miso.  Then select from a vast range of the freshest local produce and high quality imported ingredients; meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles, rice, tofu and much more.  If undecided on what to order just ask the helpful staff, they’re more than happy to offer suggestions. Read more →

Gloria Jean’s Coffee Capsule & Caffitaly Coffee Machine Giveaway {Closed}

07 Dec
December 7, 2012

Christmas has definitely arrived here at Belly Rumbles.  Have you guys entered the wonderful Appeltiser competition yet?  We are giving away a $200 voucher for you to spend at PeepToe any way your little heart desires.  If you haven’t entered then be quick as entries close Monday 10th December at 5pm.

The lovely people at Gloria Jean’s are giving away prizes to three lucky Belly Rumbles readers, in order to celebrate the launch of their new high quality coffee capsules.  There are two major prizes and one runner up prize to giveaway.

Gloria Jean’s new coffee capsules are 100% ground Arabica coffee.  The freshness of the roasted ground coffee is locked in to deliver a fresh espresso shot with delicate aromas.  Each capsule contains 8 grams of coffee, many other brands only contain 4 or 5 grams.  This means you a  full bodied espresso from every Gloria Jean’s capsule.  The capsules can be used in any Caffitaly machine or the very popular Aldi Expressi machine. Read more →