Follow me on my wonderful adventures, sourcing the best produce, using the best ingredients to make the most marvelous of dishes with a pinch of fun and travel on the side. I am passionate about using my combination steam oven so you will find loads of recipes you can use in a combination steam oven.
There is nothing quiet as fulfilling as a plate of fresh homemade pasta. How does homemade pasta differ to store bought pasta? Homemade pasta is made from flour, eggs, oil and salt, crafted to the shape and thickness to match the sauce. Whereas store bought pasta is flour and water pushed through moulds. However, dried egg pasta can now be purchased for selected delicatessens.
Fresh pasta cooks in just a few minutes, store bought pasta takes longer to cook.
When you serve a plate of fresh pasta, the focal point of the dish is the fresh pasta, and you will be the envy of all your guests.
You can get really creative with fresh pasta, by adding different herbs for a variety of flavours and colours.
Why use ‘00’ flour? 00 flour is milled to be finer, resulting in a more delicate end product and a little higher in gluten. If you do not have any ‘00’ flour you can use ordinary plain flour.
Fresh pasta can be made in a food processor if you have a dough attachment or in your stand mixer using the dough hook attachment.
Rolling pasta maybe a challenge on your own if you are using a manual or electric pasta machine, working with the kids or friends is easier and much more fun. Machines are available for a relatively low cost in most homeware/department stores.
255gm bakers ‘00’ flour
2 large eggs
15mls olive oil
15gms finely chopped mixed fresh herbs.
50gm pureed raw spinach (drained)
- Wash and dry hands.
- Organize workspace, get equipment ready.
- Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the middle, and add the eggs and the olive oil.
- Mix the flour with the egg mixture and work into a dough. Knead well until very smooth and elastic.
Or Get your food processor/mixer ready with a dough hook, place the flour, salt, eggs, olive oil, pulse until the dough becomes a smooth ball.
Note: if it is too dry, add drops of water a few at a time to moisten the dough and help it come together.
*If spinach is chosen add 100gm or more of flour to the dough.
- Set up your pasta machine, dust it with a little flour. Cut pasta dough into 4 pieces; flatten gently with your hand. Place the pasta machine onto the widest hole, each machine will have a different numbering/measuring system.
- Turn the handle and feed the pasta through, each piece of pasta dough should be passed through each number 3 times so you get a nice and smooth pasta. If the pasta becomes a little sticky, just sprinkle with a little more flour.
- After you have passed the dough through the thinnest number 3 times, attach the fettuccini or spaghetti cutter and pass the pasta through once. If you could like shorter noodles cut the sheets of pasta to desired length prior to passing through cutter.
- Boil a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt, cook pasta of 3 minutes or until ‘al dente’ strain and serve with your favourite sauce.
Balmain is a delightful suburb just a few kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. Darling Street is a Hub of activities, with weekend markets, florists, cafés and eateries.
Kafiene is a pumping café on Darling Street. With a cool and funky décor, a front window drenched in sunshine, serving Campos coffee. Kafiene was the place to be.
Sitting at the bay window at the front, staff couldn’t see us past the crowd waiting for take away coffee.
Our coffees arrived swiftly, they were on point! The milk nice and hot, well textured until velvety smooth. With nice woody tones, no acidic after taste, I would recommend coffee lovers give Kafiene a try.
The black rice porridge was a generous portion of black rice served with your milk of choice and a medley of fruits. The dish is not what I would have expected, cold strawberry with the warm stewed fruit and poached pear was not the balance I was looking for. The milk was served cold, on a chilly winters day the porridge did not stay warm for long. I would have liked a richer rice cooked with the milk, cinnamon, spices so it was nice and aromatic served hot.
The omelette had loads of great flavours. I would liked to have seen the flavours cooked with the eggs so that every bite had some of the gorgeous caramelised onion and chorizio.
Kafiene has an eclectic menu, with a broad variety to meet your dietary needs, serving scrumptious coffee.
Located on Woolwich Point, Ironwood café has a great view of Clarke’s Point Reserve and some magnificent harbour and CBD views.
As you walk into the café, the array of coffee beans and tea is vast. You’ll have to make it past the cake and sweet counter to grab a table.
Ironwood has an extensive breakfast menu, with a Mediterranean influence. I really enjoyed the dukkah eggs, two eggs served on a generous portion of bacon, stacked on toasted sourdough, topped off with crumbled fetta, dukkah, honey and some mint. This was the waiter’s suggestion, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I was pleasantly surprised with how complimentary the sweet element was to this dish. The mint really added some freshness. I would have liked it thinly sliced so I could have had a little mint in each mouthful.
The haloumi BLT, was a huge portion and super scrumptious. The Turkish roll was fresh, soft, fluffy and smeared with Aoli. The haloumi BLT came with a generous amount of bacon, haloumi, and salad. It was well seasoned and scrumptious.
The greek baked eggs were divine. Packed full of flavour, great herb, garlic and tomato undertones. The house roasted tomatoes are delicious.
The desserts. For once I’m actually a little speechless. The desserts are house made. The fruit tart was excellent, the short crust pastry shell was light and crunchy, a generous amount of custard and had loads of fresh berries on top. The Nutella croquembouche was rich and indulgent.
I cannot wait to go back to Ironwood to grab a coffee, try the dinner menu and sample a couple more desserts.
Pu’er on Danks is an Asian fusion restaurant and tea house. The decor is quaint and oriental inspired with porcelain tables and wooden stools. Service is impeccable; staff are happy to share their favorites and explain the variety of teas and menu items.
What comes to mind when someone says, ‘let’s grab Chinese for dinner’? Basic takeaway, fried food and some fried rice? No, not at Puer.
The menu is modern Asian fusion, which means the flavors connect to traditional Chinese cooking and incorporate modern influences i.e. street food!
The tea steamed dumplings are scrumptious, the scallop dumplings are magnificent. The gyoza were perfectly cooked with a nice crunchy skin.
It is a toss up between the street food and dessert for my favorite component of the meal. Hong Kong mini burgers comprised of a panko crusted piece of pork on a sweet golden bun. Wagu’s taco’s were totally amazing the wagu melted in my mouth and the taco bun was deliciously light and fluffy.
The green beans with pork was divine and a huge portion. Three cup drunken duck was so tender and the meat fell off the bone, the photo does not do the drunken duck justice.
All the meals were delicious and seasoned to perfection. I have to warn you SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT.
The desserts were divine. I loved the coconut sorbet and black sticky rice with the gorgeous coconut syrup to drizzle on top! The red bean donuts were light and fluffy and totally Moorish!
The teas are perfectly matched to your taste and desire. The tea light candle creates a great ambiance on your table and keeps the tea warm.
Puer is a great local Chinese restaurant that I would go back to as the food was enjoyable. The street food was so easy to share. The food is unique and a touch more expensive than traditional Chinese.
The full menu is available online
20a Danks Street Waterloo
NSW Australia 2017
P: 02 8399 1331
Thank you Pu’er for inviting me to dine at your establishment as a guest, all opinions in this post are my own.
This apple pie is a delectable, warm and quick twist on a classic dessert. The aroma from the spices will appeal to your senses and permeate your kitchen with a gorgeous woody earthy smell.
Using store bought shortcrust pastry makes this a super quick recipe.
Placing some frangipane mixture beneath the apples, prevents the pastry from becoming soggy.
I think peeling apples is optional, keeping the skin on adds some flavour, texture and loads of nutrients as loads of vitamins are in the apple skins.
4Tb almond meal
2 egg yolks (save the whites)
1Tb brown sugar
2Tb Milk (I use coconut for a nice nutty flavour)
5 pink lady apples (you could use granny smith apples if you liked a more tart apple pie)
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp lemon juice
4Tb brown sugar
2Tb dried blueberries (optional)
2 pieces store bought short crust pastry
2 eggs whites (from the frangipane mixture)
- Pre- heat oven to 180C quarter steam and heat/25% steam*. Cut apples in half, core, cut each piece into thirds.
- Add sugar, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon and 2Tb water (optional add blueberries), stir to combine. Place onto a medium heat, and cook for 10minutes, stirring regularly. Make sure that the liquid does not run out and apples stick to the bottom or burn, if required add 1 extra tablespoon of water at a time.
- Cut corner from the pastry, creating a curve shape.
- Mix together all ingredients for frangipane mixture.
- Divide frangipane mixture into 2.
- Line a baking tray with paper, depending on the size of your tray you may need to use 2.
- In the centre of the piece of pastry, place half of the frangipane mixture and spread out, leaving a 4 cm edge around the pastry. Repeat with the second piece of pastry.
- Place apples on top of frangipane mixture, fold pastry into a parcel, pressing the corners in firmly.
- Brush with egg white mixture. Bake for 15minutes on quarter steam and heat.
- Serve wedges of pie with a dollop of ice cream, cream or custard.
*if you do not have a combination steam oven, you can use a fan forced oven at 180C. The difference you may see in the final product is that using a combination steam oven, will be the lightness and fluffiness in the pastry.
Pork Sausages alla Pizzaiola
This is a fabulous, flavorsome recipe that can be cooked within 25minutes. This recipe is a hearty winter meal. Best of all this dish is super versatile, it can be cooked on the BBQ or stove top.
1x440grm peeled tomatoes finely crushed (you can use a stab mixer or mouli)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt to taste
1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of fine cracked black pepper.
3 tbls Olive Oil
Place olive oil in a frypan, place onto a medium heat, when oil is hot add the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes until the garlic is golden.
Add the peeled tomatoes and stir until it comes to the boil.
Add all other ingredients, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes
2 portions of pizzaiola sauce
1 400grms Cannellini beans, drained
1 kg pork/pork and fennel sausages
Into the pizzaiola sauce add the beans and let simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Heat a BBQ grill plate to high (you could also dry fry, steam, or grill the sausages for about 10 minutes (or until cooked this will depend on the thickness of the sausage). If grilling or dry frying make sure than you turn the sausages after a couple of minutes for even colouring.
Serve a couple of sausages on a bed of beans.
Set in the heart of Chiswick, Amoretti’s serves some hearty and authentic Italian food.
Nonna’s breakfast plate is a delicious and generous portion. The food was well seasoned, loads of depth in the flavors.
The Napolitana sauce had eggplant, capsicum and olives, add the eggs, sausages, provolone cheese and the meal is HUGE ! Served with a side of Amoretti’s organic bread. The meal is scrumptious, not for the faint hearted and could even be shared !
The BIG BREAKFAST, is exactly that, BIG !!! eggs, bacon, potatoes, Italian sausages, mushroom, tomatoes and organic bread. The staff are willing to modify the menu for people with dietary requirements, and the Big Breakfast pictured has no bread or potatoes, with added sauteed baby spinach.
The coffee was not as strong as I would have hoped for such a big cappuccino.
The pizza is delicious, with a generous amount of topping and great flavors. The fresh basil and fresh cherry tomatoes made this pizza a party for my mouth.
Amoretti’s is a family run business, they aim to please in all that they do, very happy to modify the menu to suit dietary needs/requirements.
Parking is available, they have a great online ordering and delivery service.
Amoretti’s is open for breakfast 9-3 on Saturday and Sunday
Hiding at the water end of Blackwall Point Rd is a gorgeous and quaint café, with water and city views. The Blackwall Point Café is a great spot to enjoy all the gorgeous and glorious things about Sydney, GREAT views and GREAT coffee!
Staff are super friendly and keen as to make your experience enjoyable.
The coffee is superb, All Press Coffee is used. Well crafted by the barista, nice and smooth, no acidic undertones.
The food is delicious, portions are generous and well priced. Dishes were seasoned to perfection. The trout house smoked trout is totally divine.
Blackwall Café has loads of parking, close to the ferry and right at the bus stop so getting there is super easy ! This cafe is an InnerWest delight and well worth the trip.
It would be formidable for me not to mention the salt water fish tank, if the ocean and city views are enough you enjoy the gorgeous tropical fish tank filled with coral and loads of fish ‘nemo’ while you enjoy your time at the Blackwall Café.
Open 6:30-4pm everyday expect for Tuesday.
45 Blackwall Point Rd Chiskwick
Scrumptious apple and blueberry crumble
As the temperature begins to drop, there is a need for some scrumptious warm winter desserts. This crumble is amazing. I have separated the crumble mixture from the apple mixture, as you could easily add this delicious crumble to the top of other fruits such as apricots, pears or prunes. If you could imagine a very ‘adult’ version of a crumble, imagine baked apricots, prunes with some muscat and a crumble topping!! TOTALLY DIVINE !
¼ cup water
2Tb brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1Tb dried blueberries
2Tb white chocolate bits
½ cup plain flour
¼ cup brown sugar
50grams butter (at room temperature)
¼ cup quick oats
- Pre-heat oven to fan grill, place a tray on a lower shelf in the oven.
- Chop apples into quarters, remove core, chop each piece into thirds.
- Place into a large saucepan with water, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, cook over a medium heat until soft, 10-15minutes.
- Prepare crumble mixture, by placing all ingredients into a bowl, rub the butter between your thumb and index finger until the mixture is a uniform consistency.
- Into 4 individual or 1 large soufflé dish or any other oven proof dish, place the apples, scatter the white chocolate bits and blueberries. Scatter the crumble mixture over the top.
- Place crumble onto an oven tray, pop into the oven and allow crumble topping to become nice and golden.
7. Serve with a dollop of ice cream or cream.
This mixture can use pie apples, you will need to make sure they are warmed through.
This dish is suitable to freeze.
Quinoa Porridge with Steamed Pears
Steaming pears in a combination steam oven produces a nicely steamed pear that holds its shape and colour.
This protein packed breakfast is full of colour, flavour and nutrients. It is really versatile, play around with flavours with different types of milks or fruits.
½ cup quinoa (any colour of your choice)
1 cup of coconut milk (or any other milk)
1Tb dried cranberries
½ tsp cinnamon
Extra honey to serve
- Pre-heat combination steam oven to full steam.
- Cut pear in half, remove core. Cut each half into quarters. Place onto a tray sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey.
- Place into steam oven and steam for 15minutes.
- While pears are steaming, rinse quinoa under warm water.
- Place rinsed quinoa and 1cup of water into a small saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15minutes.
- Add coconut milk and cook for a further 5minutes until creamy.
- Spoon into serving bowls, top with wedges of pear, sprinkle with pistachios and cranberries, drizzle with honey.