Let’s Bake! (Petri Dish Jellies Edition)

So this isn’t technically baking, but I like keeping the title of the series. This was one of the easier creations from Nerdy Nummies, so last weekend, I decided to give it a go.

I ordered Petri dishes from Amazon, as that was the one part I didn’t have. The concept seemed easy enough, fill the dishes with jelly and get creative with the lollies on top to make it look like ‘bacteria’.

petri dishes 01

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Jelly in different flavours (strawberry, blueberry, lemon, orange and lime) – with mine though, I only used blueberry and lemon, otherwise you get too much jelly. I used food colouring to get the different colours.
  • Lollies
  • Petri Dishes

petri dishes 02

That’s pretty much it!

Pour the jelly crystals into a heatproof bowl. Add one cup hot water and mix. Add one cup cold water and mix again. I poured some into separate bowls and made different colours. Then, I added them to the petri dishes!

petri dishes 03

I filled them up around two-thirds of the way and put them in the fridge. Let them set for an hour, before taking them back out to put in the lollies.

petri dishes 04

I just had fun with setting up the lollies. I tried to pick lollies that I thought would look more like ‘bacteria’. It was so much fun placing them all in the jelly. Once I was done, I put them back in the fridge to set even more.

petri dishes 05

That’s it! Another hour later, we were able to dig into them! I made 20, so there was quite a lot of jelly in the fridge. In the end I only used two boxes of jelly, so we still have three for a later date. I do recommend using food colouring instead of making five boxes of jelly. Cause then you have waaay too much! That all being said, I love how these came out! They’re so colourful and cute, and a little creepy!

petri dishes 06

petri dishes 07

I’d say they would be perfect for a kids birthday party! It’s nice to come home and have a little treat waiting in the fridge too 😀

petri dishes 08

When’s the last time you had jelly?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Let’s Bake! (Chocolate Heart Cupcakes Edition) – A Collab with Anni

It seemed fitting to do a baking post in honour of Valentine’s Day. Plus, I just love baking, and trying new recipes from my Nerdy Nummies book. I also wanted to do a collab with the lovely Anni from Glücksgeist! A fellow Ro and baking fan, as well as another proud owner of the Nerdy Nummies book. So we decided to collab and both bake some chocolate cupcakes!

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need to make 12 of these chocolate cupcakes (The original recipe makes 24 cupcakes, which is why the measurements below will be all over the place):

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp +2 tsp flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp + 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

heart cookies 01

Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, brown and white sugar), and set aside.

heart cookies 02

Mix together the eggs, water and vanilla. Add in the sour cream and oil, then whisk together.

heart cookies 03

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the sour cream mixture. Stir until combined, but be careful not to overmix.

heart cookies 04

Now add the muffin liners into your prepared tins. I also saw an idea on Pinterest of adding marbles to the tin to get your cupcakes to take on a heart shape. Seemed fitting for a Valentine’s themed creation, so I gave it a shot. I will say it was a little fiddly, but I managed to do it pretty well. I filled in the liners up to 2/3 with the batter. Then I baked it at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

heart cookies 05

The heart shape wasn’t as pronounced as I hoped it would be, but it definitely gave them a more unique look compared to the previous cupcakes I’ve made!

heart cookies 06

Once they were fully cooled, I made some Royal Icing, and added some pink food colouring.

heart cookies 07

I piped the icing on the cupcakes in a heart shape (as best as I could), and then added some pink sprinkles on top. I mixed it up, as I had quite a few sprinkles, and the cupcakes came together.

heart cookies 08

They’re not perfect by any means, but they are pretty adorable! A perfect Valentine’s Day sweet treat.

heart cookies 09

I will also say, I loved the chocolate recipe I used from Nerdy Nummies. It’s a bit like a sponge texture, it was really light and airy. I definitely plan to make this recipe again at another time!

heart cookies 10

Be sure to check out Anni’s post as well and see how she made her chocolate cupcakes!

Out of interest, what’s your favourite type of cupcake?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Let’s Bake! (Star Constellation Cookies Edition)

As you guys may know, Rory got me the Nerdy Nummies recipes book for my birthday. I decided to try the Star Constellation Cookies first, as a way to celebrate New Years! It also didn’t look too intimidating which is good.

Basically, to make the cookies, I made her basic recipe of Lemon Sugar Cookies first, then cut them into star shapes, and ice them and add some sparkles.

recipe

Here’s the ingredients that you’ll need.

For the cookies (this recipe makes 24 cookies, I’ve halved the original recipe):

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (at room temp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tbsp lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • White pearl dust

ingredients

First, we make the lemon sugar cookies dough.

Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl then set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter until it’s softened. Add the sugar and beat until it’s light and fluffy.

Add the egg in and mix.

Beat in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla. Gently add the flour mixture and mix together until well combined.

dough

Roll the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using the star cookie cutter.

cut out stars

Place them on the lined baking trays.

stars

Bake them at 180 C for 10-13 minutes. You want them to be firm to the touch but not brown at the edges (Ro’s words). You’ve got to keep a close eye on them as they’re very small so they can easily burn. Once they’re out, let them cool completely.

This next part was tricky for me. I made Ro’s royal icing recipe and filled it in a bag, with the smallest decorating tip I had. I outline the stars with icing, then fill in the center. Ro suggests using a toothpick to help spread it evenly.

icing

I can’t even tell you how many cookies I had from this batch. I know it was over at least seventy. Anyway, the last step is to add the white pearl dust. Mix equal parts water and pearl dust, then use a small paintbrush to add the final decoration to the cookies.  Now you’re done!

cookies

So many star cookies!!

cookies 2

These are star constellation cookies after all. So I arranged them to look like some constellations. From left to right, I made Little Dipper, Libra and Sagittarius.

I was having so much fun with all of these, but in the end, we just wanted to eat the cookies. I really recommend this recipe, even if you just use the lemon sugar cookies recipe. They’re so yummy!

star constellation cookies

As an extra reason for celebration, it seems I’ve reached 2300 followers! I know I mention each hundred that passes by, but I’m just so happy and thankful that my blog continues to reach new people! I do my best to keep up with everyone, so please do stop by and say hi in the comments!

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Christmas Food!

I’m a fan of food in general. Holiday food is even better, so I wanted to share with you guys, some of my favourite foods that we eat during the festive season!

It took me some hunting through my photos to find one of a typical Christmas meal. Growing up, we would alternate with having Christmas at home with just the immediate family, then with our extended family in the South Island. The picture below is one we had with just immediate family a few years back.

christmas lunch

The main part is always ham. We always have a big ham, which lasts for literally weeks. Then we have lots of side dishes, pasta, salads etc. But the ham always returns. One year, we did do turkey, but for the most part, we always have ham!

In terms of dessert, a kiwi classic is the pavlova. It’s made from a meringue base, with lots of whipped cream and fresh fruit on top. For example, kiwifruit, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or any other summer fruits really. The picture below is one from a few years back as well. I really had to hunt through my photo collection to find these photos!

pavlova

For other desserts, I’m gonna share a photo of our dessert table from a few years back again.

christmas dessert

In terms of drinks, we normally just have soda and sparkling apple and grape juice. My family isn’t too big on the alcoholic drinks. I’ve just never been fond of the taste personally. For the dessert, we have a few staples. The classic Christmas cake, and normally a trifle of some kind. Always so yummy! If you look to the left in the blue pot, I believe that’s a traditional Filipino dessert called Ginataan.

Mum (and previously Grandmum) are the ones who do the bulk of the cooking for our Christmas feast. Even though it’s summer, we still do the big meal. There’s often lots of leftovers which means snacks for days! My sister Jo and her husband Tibor often dive in to help during recent years, adding some European and Hungarian dishes to the mix of Kiwi and Filipino dishes we already have. It’s always awesome to see what feast appears each year. As for me, I do help occasionally, but I tend to follow orders before just drifting off and playing games with my brother. Then coming back when they need another hand ?

That’s what typical Christmas food to me looks like! What’s a typical Christmas meal for you guys?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Let’s Bake! (Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles Edition)

What a mouthful of a title. Anyway, this is a variation of one of my favourite types of cookies, the snickerdoodle! I got the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which I found through Tialla’s latest What’s Up Wednesday post. The cookies sounded amazing, so I knew I had to give the recipe a go.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or you can use 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice)
  • 1/2 cup (90g) white chocolate chips or chunks

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

cookies 01

It’s a lot of stuff, so I made a list before grocery shopping to make sure I would have everything. The only thing we didn’t have is pumpkin puree. I think it comes in cans over in the US, but we couldn’t find it anywhere here. So instead we bought a pumpkin that was already chopped and just pureed it ourselves. Then we ate the rest of it cause pumpkin is yummy.

Let’s get into it!

Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar together.  Then whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin and set aside.

cookies 02

In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and the spices).

cookies 03

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

cookies 04

Fold through the white chocolate chips.

cookies 05

After this, the original recipe really recommends chilling it for at least 30 minutes! Once that’s done, take it out, prepare the baking trays and preheat the oven to 175C.

Mix your sugar and cinnamon topping together in a bowl.

cookies 06

Roll your dough into little circles and dip them generously in the mixture.

cookies 07

You can flatten them a little here, you should come up with around 18 cookies. The recipe suggests baking them for 8-10 minutes. They should be really soft, but for me they were too soft. So I would bake them a little longer next time. Just a personal preference.

cookies 08

That being said, the cookies came out really nice! You can definitely taste the pumpkin which gives it a nice spin on the original snickerdoodles I know! They look really cute too which is always a bonus.

cookies 09

cookies 10

Have you guys ever made snickerdoodles before? What variations have you tried?

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Angela.

Let’s Bake! (Lolly Cake Edition)

I was in the mood for some sweets, specifically a lolly cake. I didn’t realize it was mostly just a big sweet in New Zealand. Have you guys heard of it before?

lolly cake

Anyway, I wanted it, and turns out it’s pretty easy to make. There’s not even any baking involved. It is also in no way good for you, but we won’t let that stop us.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 packet Eskimo lollies (190g)
  • 1 packet Malt biscuits (250g)
  • 120g butter
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut

lolly cake 01

Another question, do you guys have these lollies called Eskimos? They taste super soft when you bite into them, almost like a hard marshmallow.

lolly cake 02

Anyway, you break them all into little pieces.

lolly cake 03

Next, get your packet of malt biscuits.

lolly cake 04

Now smash them all into smithereens. I used a blender as it was faster.

lolly cake 05

Add the butter and condensed milk into a sauce pan and melt them over a low heat.

lolly cake 06

Now you need to combine all these ingredients into a big bowl. It gets pretty sticky at this point, but you need to roll your dough into a big roll. I made mine more of a loaf.

lolly cake 07

Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Before it gets too hard, slice it up, and that’s it! You have lolly cake.

lolly cake 08

lolly cake 09

It tastes just like the slices from the bakery. It’s sooo good, and also soo bad cause it’s super unhealthy. But once it’s a while, treat your self!

lolly cake 10

What’s your favourite treat from the bakery?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Let’s Bake! (Apple Cinnamon Muffins Edition)

I blame all my American and European blogging friends for this, you guys with all your talk of fall..and apples…and cinnamon.

I really wanted to make muffins with those two ingredients, and I found this promising recipe from Robyn at Add a Pinch, which is incredible and amazing! Go have a looksie.

Okay, let’s get into it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

muffin ingredients

For the Muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 2 teaspoons for coating apples)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (+ ½ teaspoon for coating apples)
  • 2 cups diced apples
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
For the Topping:
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon

You need a few bowls for this. First, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

muffins 03

In another bowl, throw the diced apples and 2tsp of flour together to coat them.

muffins 04

In one more bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Make sure the butter is really soft, cause this part got annoying for me as it took ages to cream. Add in the egg, one at a time. Then mix in the vanilla.

muffins 02

Fold in the flour mixture into your cream bowl, alternating it with the milk. Mix it a little, until it’s just combined.

muffins 05

Now fold in the coated diced apples.

muffins 06

Get your tins and spray them, so the muffins don’t stick. Scoop the batter in. You want them to be almost full but not really. Bake them for around 25 minutes at 180 C. Keep a close eye on them, you want the toothpick to come out clean.

muffins 08

For the topping, melt the butter in one bowl. In another bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

muffins 07

Once the muffins have mostly cooled, dip the tops in the butter, then the topping. This part was a lot of fun.

muffins 09
Without the topping
muffins 10
With the topping

Now you got some muffins! They are so good!! I ate a few (as did Rory), and the next day we ate some more for breakfast.

muffins 11

What kind of muffins do you guys like?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Let’s Bake! (Pancakes Edition)

**Hey guys! I’m reposting this in celebration of National Pancake Day, which is probably not celebrated in New Zealand, but it sounds amazing and I’m gonna go have some pancakes now!**

I have a habit of baking pancakes every Sunday now though. So I thought I’d share my recipe I use with you! It’s written in my notebook, and I don’t remember where it originally came from. It’s foolproof though!

Let’s make sure you have all the ingredients!

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp oil

Optional

  • 1 banana (or whatever you want to add to the pancakes)

20170723_081652

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

20170723_08262920170723_082806

Make a well in the centre.

20170723_082827

Pour in the milk.

20170723_082905

Throw in the egg.

20170723_082930

Pour in the oil.

20170723_083028

Mix it all together until it’s all smooth.

20170723_083140

Now you can add the extra optional stuff. So for this one, let’s mash a banana.

20170723_083148

Throw it in with the rest.

20170723_083235

Let’s mix it all up again.

20170723_083316

Now the batter is ready, time to set up the pan. Make sure to add some oil so it doesn’t get sticky.

20170723_083438

I use around 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake.

20170723_083952

Now it’s pretty self explanatory. Pour it onto the pan. I like to move the pan around so the pancake gets bigger.

20170723_084109

The general rule of thumb of when to flip is it to look and see if there’s lots of bubbles. That’s what I do anyway.

20170723_084303

Now flip it over nicely. Or try to anyway.

20170723_084338

But hey if your rip it, just shove it back together and keep cooking it.

20170723_084512

Now keep cooking the rest.

20170723_085656

20170723_090757

I forgot to take photos of the rest. But this recipe normally makes around six pancakes.

20170723_091037

Now add whatever toppings you want. We only have syrup, so I added lots.

20170723_091235

That’s all for this Let’s Bake! Be sure to check out the other ones for more food pictures 😛

Angela.

 

What I Eat

Hey guys, for this post I wanted to do something different. I wanted to share what I eat in a typical work week. This was inspired after seeing Anni’s What I Ate posts 😀

My breakfasts are always the same for the most part. I either grab cereal or toast and have my morning coffee. Lunch is provided by my work. Dinner is whatever Rory and I feel like. So last week, I made notes of what I ate for every meal, and took pictures when I could (or remembered!).

Here we go!

Monday

Breakfast – Cereal (Light’n’Fruity), Coffee

Lunch – Chicken Fried Couscous

20170821_123948

Dinner – Chilli con Carne

20170821_180825

Tuesday

Breakfast – Cereal and Coffee

Lunch – Pumpkin Soup with Rolls

20170822_124324

Dinner – Sweet and Sour

20170816_182249

Wednesday

Breakfast – Cereal and Coffee

Lunch – Lamb Curry and Rice

20170823_121658

Dinner – Chilli Con Carne

20170821_180825

Thursday

Breakfast – Toast and Coffee

Lunch – Mac and Cheese

20170824_123419

Dinner – Mediterranean Style Mince and Pasta

20170824_184214

Friday

Breakfast – Toast and coffee

Lunch – Burgers

20170825_113349

Dinner – Leftover Mince and Pasta

When it comes to the weekend, I normally put more effort into what I eat, but when it’s a regular work week, I’m not as fussed!

What do you guys eat in a typical Monday-Friday work/school week?

Angela.