Japanese Gyoza dumplings Hey bernice recipe cooking healthy cabbage pork dinner savoury entree
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Best Gyoza ever… and the kids love them!

Hey Bernice
I’ve been really struggling to get my kids to willingly eat vegies lately. They might look like little angels, but come mealtime and they grow devil horns.
We will often have Japanese, and they LOVE gyoza. So I figured if I could stuff different kinds of vegies into a Gyoza, they would never know! Gyoza mealtime is so blissful, they ask for more and I never have to ask (over and over again) to have “one more mouthful”. The funny thing about this is Gyoza have a greater proportion of vegies than most of meals they eat – a mum’s dream.

What you’ll need…
4 cups of finely chopped minced cabbage
1 zuchini finely chopped
4-6 mushrooms (depending o the size) finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g minced pork
2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion (green part only)
3 teaspoons of red/dark miso paste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
60 dumpling wrappers (not Wonton wrappers)

For cooking the gyoza:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup waterDipping Sauce:
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
A few drops of sesame oil

Making the Gyoza:

  1. Toss the chopped cabbage, zuchini, and mushrooms with the salt in a large bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Using both hands, squeeze the vegetables to drain the excess water, this will stop your dumplings from becoming soggy.
  2. Put these vegetables and the carrot in a large bowl.
  3. Add the pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, miso, sesame oil, and sugar.
  4. Mix everything together with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly mixed together. Really squeeze the mixture together in your hands to mix the flavours through.
  5. With a small bowl of cold water handy, take a dumpling wrapper and place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture in the middle.
  6. With a fingertip moistened with water, run a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to cover the filling, and pinch the wrapper in the middle to seal the edges together at the top. Make small folds and pinch the top of the wrapper from the middle out.
  7. Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the pleated-wrapper edge up, I place them on baking paper to minimise sticking later. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture, or run out of wrappers.

Japanese Gyoza dumplings Hey bernice recipe cooking healthy cabbage pork dinner savoury entree

Cooking the Gyoza:Japanese Gyoza dumplings Hey bernice recipe cooking healthy cabbage pork dinner savoury entree

  1. In a large non stick frypan with a lid, heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Place as many of the gyoza in the pan that can fit without touching, with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Cook the dumplings for 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom. Check the progress by lifting 1 or 2 dumplings and taking a look underneath.
  3. When the bottoms are browned, use the frypan lid to shield yourself and carefully pour in 1/2 cup of the water. Place the lid on the pan to trap in the moisture (which will steam the dumplings) and then lower the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.
  4. Check the dumplings after a few minutes. When the wrappers appear slightly translucent and the meat feels firm when pressed lightly with a spoon (and all the water has evaporated and only the oil remains) they should be ready.
  5. Remove the dumplings from the pan, serve them hot accompanied by the dipping sauce.

PS. If you want to make more of a traditional gyoza, don’t add the zuchini, carrot and mushroom – that is my version to get the vegies into the kids!

I usually double the recipe and end up making close to 100+ dumplings. the great news is that they freeze really well. As long as you separate the layers with baking paper, and minimise the dumplings touching each other.

Welcome to drama-free mealtimes – I love Gyoza night!

Bernice

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Salted Caramel and chocolate fudge slice dessert sweet recips hey Bernice Paleo Gluten Free Dairy free refined sugar free healthy kids
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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fudge Slice (Gluten Free, Dairy free, Refined Sugar Free and Paleo)

Salted Caramel and chocolate fudge slice dessert sweet recips hey Bernice Paleo Gluten Free Dairy free refined sugar free healthy kids
One of the things I believe in is playing around with recipes.
Taking someone else’s amazing creation and tweaking it a little, or combining it with another part of a different recipe.

That’s exactly what I’ve done here!

I’ve fallen in love with The Merry Maker Sister’s salted caramel, from their Salted Caramel Tart recipe.

Salted Caramel tart paleo gluten free sugar free dairy free healthy kids dessert sweet recipe

So I’ve taken the caramel from the tarts above, and combined it with my own concoction of a chocolate cashew cream that is like a fudge!
Believe me when I say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing around with the chocolate fudge recipe to get it just right (and so have my family and friends!).

So here goes…

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fudge Slice

Chocolate Fudge
2 cups of soaked cashews (soak for 3-6 hours in water, in the fridge)
2/3 cup of medjool dates (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)
1 tspn vanilla extract (I use a good quality organic one)
1 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use organic raw powder)
1/4 cup maple syrup

Place the soaked cashews and dates in a food processor and blend until a fine and smooth paste is achieved.
Add all the other ingredients and continue to mix until you have a achieved a fine consistency.
Poor the chocolate fudge into a lined slice tin, or into silicon cupcake moulds, if you want to make individual serves. Place in the freezer until set (at least 30 minutes).

Salted Caramel
200g pitted Medjool dates (soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes)
1 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp soft or melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
1 tsp sea salt or himalayan pink salt

Drain the water from the soaked dates (don’t try to use regular dates for this – it simply doesn’t work as well – trust me I tried!). In the food processor, whiz the dates, coconut oil and vanilla until they form a thick, smooth paste. Add the coconut cream or milk and salt, whiz again until really smooth (about a minute, scrapping the sides as you go).

Spread the caramel mixture over the the top of the chocolate fudge (that is setting in the freezer) and place in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. When the caramel has set you can cut the slice into your preferred shapes, or turn out of the silicon moulds.You can sprinkle some raw cocoa nibs over the top to garnish or leave plan as I have I the photo below.

This is best served from the freezer, after sitting for 5-10 minutes to thaw slightly.

NOTE: This dessert needs to be kept in the freezer, or at the very least in the fridge. With the coconut oil in the recipe it has a very low melting point.

Salted Caramel and chocolate fudge slice dessert sweet recips hey Bernice Paleo Gluten Free Dairy free refined sugar free healthy kids

 

This is a great guilt-free alternative when you are trying to eat clean, and stop yourself from eating other ‘naughty’ sweet options!

Enjoy, I know you will.

Bernice

Paleo Banana bread healthy recipe cooking baking recipe almonds snack breaky breakfast clean eating
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Paleo banana bread for breaky, a snack… anytime really!

I’m guiding my Paleo eating with two bibles at the moment…

Your personal Paleo diet Chris Kresser book     Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.12.44 pm

Chris Kresser’s ‘Your Personal Paleo Diet’ (which is guiding me through his particular Paleo regime), and ‘The Paleo Effect’ by Meghan Little and Angle Ayala Torres which is my daily food inspiration.

The first recipe I cooked from The Paleo Effect was their Banana Bread. It is now a weekly item that I bake, slice and freeze for my breakfast, a snack… and for the kids (they love it!).

(Banana Bread recipe)

Paleo Banana bread healthy recipe cooking baking recipe almonds snack breaky breakfast clean eating

This is really easy to make, and freezes brilliantly. In fact, it will last much longer if it is frozen, it’s not as easy to ‘grab’ a piece quickly when you’re a bit peckish!

So go on, get baking, you will love this banana bread alternative.

Cheers,

Bernice

Raspberry Chia seed pudding healthy clean eating paleo raw food recipe cooking breaky breakfast sweet fruit berry berries
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My Paleo exploration… Raspberry Chia pudding

raspberry chia pudding paleo clean eating healthy breakfast raw food recipe cooking

I’m coming to end of week three on a very strict 30 day Paleo regime. Firstly, I’m loving it, and starting to feel the benefits of eating such clean food. But finding your favourite meal options can be a little challenging at first.

I struggled a little with breakfast alternatives, until I discovered Chia pudding. This version has been my favourite (and saviour) so far. It’s easy-as to make, provides breaky for 2 days, and tastes ridiculously good.

I wasn’t sure about the addition of lemon, but without a doubt it’s what makes it. Provides a fresh zing that wakes you up first thing!

Raspberry Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup almond mylk… (or  soy, cows or coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp honey (or I used maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use a good quality organic vanilla paste)
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds

What to do…

  1. In your food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients (except chia seeds) and process until smooth. Add the chia seeds and mix together.
  2. Pour mixture into one large bowl, two bowls or jars.
  3. Cover or put the lid on and let it rest for about 1 hour, shake/stir again and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.

I tried getting away with not sharing this with my kids, but the striking pink colour had them asking for a taste first time! Who am I to complain if they want to eat chia pudding, as long as they leave enough for me!

You can try this recipe with any other fruit, I chose berries as they are preferred on a Paleo diet.

Enjoy!

Bernice

 

raw cocoa balls hey bernice cooking recipe healthy clean eating snack chocolate
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Raw cocoa balls, clean eating at its best

I can’t help myself. I always seem to make food when I have a massive to-do list (when everything on that list doesn’t involve entering the kitchen!). Clearly it’s a procrastination technique. My favourite raw cocoa balls were part of my procrastination frenzy today.

My to-do list is massive because both my girls were struck down with a flu-like virus this week. They were hit with temps around 40C for 7 days… and many nights without sleep for me (monitoring them all night!). My youngest wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on my chest for days – which rules out doing any paid work, let alone housework!
My days looked like this…

Girls sick in bed Hey bernice

So, on the top of my list should’ve been catching up on lost Z’s, but that never happened.

Instead I made the cocoa balls as well as some dairy, gluten and sugar free blueberry muffins. The blueberry muffins won’t make it to Hey Bernice, they tasted like they were free from all those things, as well as the enjoyment factor!

The raw cocoa balls have made it, and should’ve made it here about a year ago (which is when I took this photo below) they are a winner…
raw cocoa balls hey bernice cooking recipe clean food healthy snack chocolate

Probably the simplest of snacks you could make that send those sugar cravings packing, whilst being a really healthy snack.

Raw Cocoa Balls
45g Raw Cocoa
130g walnuts
235g  Dates
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or Thermomix and chop until really fine. Add a splash of water to make the mixture a little sticky, which will make it easier to roll the mixture into balls.

To keep the size of the balls consistent I spoon the mixture into an ice-tray. Press the mixture down with the back of a teaspoon. Then use a fork to extract each ball from the ice-tray, and roll it into a ball in your hand.

The balls above have been rolled in cocoa powder which makes them look a little darker.
They are best kept in the fridge, and will last 7-10 days (if you allow them to, wink wink).

The reason I was making these today was for a workshop I’m running this week. I’m providing individual packages for each attendee with two balls in each. It’ll be their survival kit for the afternoon sugar cravings.
Raw Cocoa balls hey bernice healthy clean eating chocolate workshop snack walnuts

raw cocoa balls chocolate finger food workshop catering styling food recipe raw clean eating

Let’s hope my attendees like chocolate snacks!

Cheers,

Bernice

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Hot cross buns and Easter eggs…

Hot cross buns

What would you say if asked what Easter smelled like? I would say hot cross buns

I’ll have to confess our house has been smelling like Easter a lot lately (but more about that later).

If asked this same question when I was younger I would have said rosemary (not the distinct perfume of a distant elderly relative, but the fragrant herb!). I guess you want to know why rosemary, don’t you?

When we were kids (under 10 years old) we, my sister and I, would usually go to our grandparents house in a small seaside town called Point Lonsdale for Easter Sunday lunch. Our Aunt and Uncle, and two cousins would usually be there too. We loved going, but the trip was made especially sweeter at Easter due to the annual chocolate egg hunt.
Our Grandparents Gideon and Judy (Gran and Grandpa to us) would buy the hallow, egg sized chocolate eggs (and lots of them) and hide them all around their beautifully manicured garden. (Yes, I am getting to the rosemary bit)… Around their house was a neatly trimmed hedge of rosemary which seemed to be the hiding place of choice for these eggs. In our mad rush to collect the most eggs we would be diving our hands, arms and heads into this rosemary hedge to secure those Easter eggs. Resulting in a very vivid memory of Easter being associated with the smell of rosemary.
On a side note (perhaps you could even call this a confession)…my sister and I were particularly good at the Easter egg hunt. Completely motivated by greed, but nonetheless we always triumphed.

However, every year we had to face the inevitable. Regardless of how many eggs we collected in that hunt we were directed by Gideon our grandfather to combine all the eggs and divide them evenly with our two cousins.  I hated that part, and felt it grossly unfair that we did all the work, and then had to hand over ‘our’ eggs to our cousins. The strange thing about that… we went back every year with the same drive and enthusiasm to find the most eggs, knowing what the outcome would be. Perhaps our motivation wasn’t greed after all, simply the thrill of taking part in an Easter egg hunt?

Let’s move on from my childhood egg hunt issues, cause I would like to share with you the recipe responsible for the hot cross bun smell in our house. I’ve made these twice now, and they worked both times. Based on that alone, I am branding this a good recipe. But when you also add that they taste great, and are really easy to make – you’re onto a winner! I made these in the Thermomix, but I have included a non TM recipe option too.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients

20g mixed peel
250 g warm milk
500 g bakers flour
70 g butter
45 g sugar (or I use honey)
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
15 g dried yeast (or 20g fresh yeast)
100 g sultana
70g currants

Method:
TM = Thermomix instructions

Finely chop the mixed peel.
TM: Place the mixed peel into the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 10, then set aside.

Warm milk and place in a large bowl
TM: Place milk in TM Bowl and mix 1 minute, 90 degrees, speed 1

Place all remaining ingredients in the bowl with the milk and mix together.
TM: Place remaining ingredients, including the mixed peel (except sultanas and currants) in TM Bowl and mix for 6 seconds, speed 7

Turn mixture out onto a clean bench and knead for 10-15 minutes. The hot cross bun dough is very sticky, especially at the start.  To aid the kneading process, sieving a thin layer of additional plain flour onto the bench and over the top of the dough. Having slightly wet hands also helps. You can feel if the dough is ready. It’s not sticking anymore and it springs back and is smooth. All the sultanas are sticking out and you have to poke them back in.
TM:
Set to closed lid position and Knead for 3 minutes, interval speed  (should be soft in texture). Add sultanas and currants and Knead a further 1 minute, interval speed. Turn dough onto floured bread mat and hand knead for a few seconds

The remaining instructions are for both techniques…

Place in a greased bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 60-90 mins, or until double in size.

Pre heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius

Cut and shape into dinner roll size buns and place together on a greased/lined baking tray. Cover and prove in a warm place a further 15-20mins
Pipe with crosses and bake in oven for 15-20mins or until golden. Brush with hot sugar syrup while warm.

Piping mixture:
80g plain flour                      1tsp oil
pinch salt                               80g cold water

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until it forms a thin paste.Pour mixture into piping bag (or sandwich bag with a very small corner cut off). Pipe crosses onto buns

IMG_6322

Sugar Syrup:
2tbsp boiling water                            2tbsp sugar
Place ingredients in small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.


Eggs and other Easter activities…

I’ve been collating lots of Easter ideas on my Easter Pinterest Board, so please take a look if you are searching for baking and crafty Easter inspiration. Some of my favourites I have included below…

A no-dye option is the polka dot glitter eggs by Better Homes & Gardens (US)…

Polka Dot Glitter Eggs

Another great resource is the 60 egg activities for kids from Tinkerlab for some creative Easter egg inspiration. My favourite of their long list of links being the ice eggs from A little learning for Twowith the warm weather we have been having lately these would be ideal for Easter.

Or as the blog eighteen25 suggests you could prepare some bunny tails…

Or some absolutely scrumptious looking bunny cupcakes as Betty Crocker

Bunny Cupcakes

Easter can be great fun, with so many activities centered around the occasion, especially in the weeks leading up to Easter. So get into the spirit and bake or create something for Easter this year.

Happy Easter.

Cheers,

Bernice

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An Australian Christmas menu…

We recently hosted 17 adults and 9 babies for a Christmas lunch, the perfect way to road-test a new house (especially the kitchen!).  The secret to it running smoothly… good preparation (and a kitchen with plenty of bench space and a big oven!).

My husband and I usually host a Christmas BBQ & drinks every year for all our friends. Having recently moved 1.5 hours drive away from our friends, we decided we would keep it local and invite my amazing mothers group, their partners and babies over for a Christmas lunch.

It was also a dress-rehersal for us – we are hosting Christmas Day lunch this year. We needed to get into the festive spirit, so we ventured to the nursery the day before and bought a potted Christmas tree, and decorated that:

I then focussed my attention to the table, I wanted to creat a beach Christmas theme. I collected weathered branches from the Torquay foreshore, bought Star fish, filled hurricane lamps with sand and candles, and finally found a use for the shells I had collect over the years (this post is for all those people who have asked me over the years “What are you going to do with all the shells you’ve collected?”) 

All my Christmas decoration inspiration can be viewed on my Pinterest Christmas board  

We kept the menu very Australian and simple, using the BBQ to cook the meat, and having cold (frozen actually!) plum pudding…

Starters
Dips, nibbles & baked eggplant chips

Main Course
Slow cooked & smoked:
Pork with a 4-3-2-1 BBQ rub, and

Beef with a mustard crust

served with
Hollandaise sauce, apple sauce, mustards and chutney

Spinach salad with roasted baby tomatoes, houlumi, crispy prosciutto and a basil and lime vinaigrette

Asparagus with toasted pine nuts and balsamic reduction

Smashed Potatoes (or we call them “hit by a bus potatoes”)

Dessert
Ice Cream plum pudding

Pavlova


Chocolate ripple cake (kindly made by one of our guests)

Drinks
Non-alcoholic punch (with a bottle of vodka sitting next to it, for those that wanted to spice things up a bit).

 

 

We did have dessert wine and cheese to serve as well, but no one had the room for it (but it did come in handy later that evening when there were still a few of us still ‘chatting’).

Here are the recipes…
Where there isn’t a link to the recipe above (because it has already been a feature in a previous post) you will find the recipe below:

Baked Eggplant chips

2 eggplants (aubergines) medium – large
Tandaco Southern Fried Chicken seasoning (or any other fish or chicken seasoning/coating)
Salt
Spray oil

– Slice eggplants into 1.5 cm slices lengthwise.
– Sprinkle with Salt and let stand for 10-20 mins (or until you can see little drops of liquid sitting on the flesh) 
– Rinse off salt and cut into desired lengths (If you cut them too thin they will dry out too much in the oven, try to keep them about 1.5cm think)
– Generously spray a baking tray with oil
– Whilst wet, toss the eggplant chips in the seasoning mix (the skin doesn’t usually coat very well, so don’t worry too much about that) 
– Arrange on the tray evenly spaced
– Spray the top of the eggplant pieces with oil
– Cook for 15-20 mins at 180C, turn each piece and continue cooking for another 15+ minutes.
– If they have not browned, turn the oven to 200C and cook until they look ready to eat.  If you’re not sure if they are ready… just try one!
– Serve with an aoili. Alternatively light sour cream (for a healthier option) seasoned with cumin and garlic.

Slow cooked, smoked pork coated in 4-3-2-1 BBQ rub

BBQ Rub
Combine the following…
4 tablespoons of sweet paprika
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic granules/powder
1 tablespoon black pepper

3 kg pork scotch roast (with the rind on)
hickory chips (for smoking)

Make sure you’ve soaked your Hickory chips in water for an hour before using them. Cut the rind off the meat. generously coat a 3kg of pork completely in the rub. Place the Hickory chips in a disposable cooking tray, or another small container that won’t melt of burn. Light the chips so that they start smoking, then place the bowl in the BBQ. Cook on the BBQ set up as an oven – it will require some moving around of BBQ plates etc (best to check your instruction book to know what to do) with the meat resting directly on a BBQ rack with a drip try beneath it to catch the meat juices. Slow cook with the lid closed, for 3.5 hours at 110C. take the meat off the BBQ and let it rest for 10- 15 minutes before carving.

Slow cooked, smoked beef with a mustard crust

3kg porterhouse roast
Seeded mustard
Hickory chips (for smoking)

Make sure you’ve soaked your Hickory chips in water for an hour before using them.

generously coat the top of the beef with the seeded mustard.

Place the Hickory chips in a disposable cooking tray, or another small container that won’t melt of burn. Light the chips so that they start smoking, then place the bowl in the BBQ.

Cook on the BBQ (set up as an oven – it will require some moving around of BBQ plates etc (best to check your instruction book to know what to do) with the meat resting directly on a BBQ rack with a drip try beneath it to catch the meat juices. Slow cook for 3.5 hours at 110C. take the meat off the BBQ and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving

Hollandaise sauce
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper.
Mix all the ingredients at high-speed in a blender.

Melt but do not brown 1/2 cup of butter, and blend into the above ingredients at high-speed. Serve immediately or stand container in warm water until required (placing cling wrap so it rests on the liquid to stop a film forming on the surface). You can freeze this sauce and reconstitute it over warm water.

Spinach salad with roasted baby tomatoes, houlumi, crispy prosciutto and a basil and lime vinaigrette

Baby spinach leaves
Shaved prosciutto slices
Houlumi
Baby/cherry tomatoes
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
Ground garlic
Olive oil
(all the quantities will depend on how many people you are catering for)

Pre heat over to 180C.

Cut all the stems off each of the spinach leaves (you don’t have to do this, but it makes it easier for your guests to eat!), wash and place in the serving bowl.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut each of the tomatoes in half and place on the tray with the cut part facing up. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over each of the tomatoes. Also sprinkle with ground garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper.

Lay the prosciutto slices out individually on baking paper on a tray. Place in the oven and dry out until very crispy. remove from the oven, when cool break up into small bite size pieces.

At the same time bake the tomatoes in the oven until they are starting to brown, and shrivel slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool on the tray.

Cut the houlumi in half  width-wise to make the square thinner. Pan fry with some olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Whilst still warm cut into small cubes. Ideally it is best to serve the salad while the houlumi is still warm, but I let it cool and served it later.

Here is the recipe for the basil and lime vinaigrette.

Sprinkle the tomatoes, prosciutto and houlumi over the top of the spinach leaves, pour the dressing over the top, and toss the salad before serving.

Asparagus with Balsamic reduction

Asparagus
pine nuts
Balsamic vinegar
(quantities will depend on the number of guests)

Snap the base off the end of each asparagus spear (I recently learned this trick from mum – I love tat she’s still teaching me things! By snapping and not cutting you don’t get any tough bits, that should all break off).
Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, bring to the boil, then let simmer to reduce it down and make it thicker. You want it to be thick enough to stick to the asparagus when you pour it over.

Using a non-stick frypan on medium heat (no oil), tip the pine nuts in and continue to stir until golden brown. Remove from the pan the minute they are done, otherwise they will continue to brown in the hot pan.

Bring water to the boil, and cook the asparagus so there is still some crunch when you bite it – best to keep testing (could be anywhere from 5 mins depending on how thick the spears are).

Arrange the asparagus on a serving plate, pour the balsamic reduction over the top, then sprinkle with pine nuts. You can serve this hot or cold.

Smashed Potatoes

Potatoes (generally one potato per person)
Olive oil
Seas salt
Fresh Rosemary

– Wash the potatoes and boil until cooked through.
– Allow them to cool slightly to make handling a little easier (you don’t want to burn your fingers!)
– Heat your oven to 180C
– Place the potatoes on a large baking tray coated generously with olive oil.
– With a knife cut a cross into each potato (each line of the cross stretching from one side to the other of the potato), cutting almost all the way through to the tray.
– Take your potato masher, press down hard on each potato, with the aim to squash and open it up.
– If the potato ends up really  flat, mess it up a bit so that there is some potato flesh and skin exposed to go crispy when you bake them again.
– Drizzle each potato with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and chopped rosemary.
– Place in the oven  and bake until golden brown and with crispy bits. If they are not browning turn the oven up to 200C (but keep an eye on them!)
– Remove from the oven and serve (Yummo!)

Pavlova

6 egg whites 
440 g (15 oz) caster sugar,
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cornflour
1.5 tsp white vinegar

250ml whipping cream (full fat)
Silver cake decorating balls

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a tray with baking paper.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add caster sugar, one third at a time, allowing each third to be well incorporated so you end up with a thick, glossy meringue. Fold through the vanilla, cornflour, white vinegar.

Spoon into a greased and lined 23cm springform cake tin or spread in a high circle on a sheet of baking paper on a tray. Place int e oven, lower the temp to 120C and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the oven off, leaving the pavlova to cool inside the oven overnight preferably.
Place cool pavlova on a serving tray and cover with whipped cream and you decorating of choice (fresh fruit, silver balls etc).

So there you have it… a really simple Christmas menu, allowing you to prepare a lot of things beforehand, and not having to do any last minute cooking while your guests are there – the perfect scenario!

Merry christmas!

Cheers,

Bernice

 

Paleo Chocolate Brownie also dairy free and gluten free and Refined Sugar free Healthy for the kids and great for dessert or a snack
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Chocolate brownie for the Paleo, gluten free and dairy free of this world (who love to indulge!)

Paleo Chocolate Brownie also dairy free and gluten free and Refined Sugar free Healthy for the kids and great for dessert or a snack
This brownie is amazing. If you don’t tell people, kids and adults, it’s paleo (Gluten Free, Dairy free and refined sugar free) they would NEVER know, and will be asking for seconds.
Last week I made the mistake of mentioning at a BBQ that it had almond butter in it – instantly one of the guys there said he will pass. Best they don’t know what’s in there or they will assume it won’t taste good. It did mean more for everyone else, so we didn’t insist he try it!
It was raspberry season, so we included fresh raspberries we’d picked the day before, the girls were so excited to eat berries they had actually picked!
Raspberry picking for paleo chocolate brownie Hey Bernice
I served this with Nutmeg and Vanillla Coyo icecream – to die for!
Ingredients

1 cup almond spread/butter (I made my own following this recipe)
1/3 cup maple syrup or rice bran syrup or agave
1 tsp vanilla (good quality paste is great!)
1 egg
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

What you need to do…
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the almond spread/butter, maple syrup, egg, melted coconut oil, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
  4. Line a 9 inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Spread half the raspberries across the bottom of the tin. (I have recently acquired a silicon slice mould – in LOVE!)
  5. Pour (I say pour, but really you are spooning, as it can be quite think!) the batter into the tin, then press the remaining raspberries into the batter so they can still be seen.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, (depending on your oven) until the brownie is done, but still soft in the middle.

Paleo Chocolate Brownie also dairy free and gluten free and Refined Sugar free Healthy for the kids and great for dessert or a snack

NOTE: Always cook it for less than you think you need to… my best result, with the best gooiset centre was when I thought it was really undercooked.

More soon,
Bernice 
Basil kale cashew and walnut pesto Hey Bernice paleo gluten free dairy free and sugar free pasta dip recipe
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Pesto – Basil, Kale and toasted Cashews and Walnuts (Paleo, Gluten Free and Dairy free)

I had heaps of basil (cause I planted heaps in my new veggie patch and can’t keep up with the major over-supply!).  I also think the worm poo syrup I’ve been feeding it from my worm farm has also worked it’s magic.

With a bag full of kale, and plenty of nuts to choose from I set about experimenting with different quantities of each to come up with this great Paleo, gluten free and dairy free pesto recipe.

It’s awesome tossed through zuchini noodles with some sliced chicken breast and roasted cherry tomatoes. I put a big dollop on top of a paleo crumbed chicken breast the other day – magnifico!! I put some in my bolognese to add extra flavour.
It’s even great as a dip with nibbles. Perfect for entertaining and celebrations. No one would ever know there is no parmesan in it.

Basil kale cashew and walnut pesto Hey Bernice paleo gluten free dairy free and sugar free pasta dip recipeBasil, Kale, Cashew and Walnut pesto: 
2 cups of packed torn kale leaves (with the stems removed)
1 cup of packed basil leaves
1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup toasted raw cashews
(I toast the nuts together in a dry frypan until brown)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend together until you reach your desired consistency. If you would like a runnier pesto, just add some more oil. Perfect for freezing.

More soon,

Bernice

Joco reusuable glass cups christmas coffee tea
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My favourite online Christmas present shopping options..

I’m going to keep this short and to-the-point… I’m in LOVE with all of the sites and products, and think that you should be too this Christmas!

Think yourself lucky that I’m willing to share my little secrets with you.

What’s more, these amazingly awesome online shopping options are either local to my region (Geelong & Torquay) or Melbourne. I’ll be giving these presents this Christmas. If you want to as well simply place your order right now online, and have it arrive on your doorstep – could it get any easier?

1. Joco Cups

www.jococups.com

From AU$ 22.95 (plus postage). They can ship from within America too now…

Joco reusable glass coffee cup Christmas tea juice

Brilliant colours, they’re glass and they come in 8oz and 12oz sizes. You can use them for your take away tea or coffee (or even juice!)… or remove the lids and use them in the home.

Joco reusuable glass cups christmas coffee tea

They also sell accessories and carry trays…

Joco cup accessories lid carry tray

2. Project Ten Bags

www.projectten.com.au 

The Oversize Tote. AU$19.95 (plus postage).

Project Ten colourful bags turquoise orange pattern

 

Project Ten bag green blue pattern gift christmas

Need a HUGE bag to cart everything for your family to the beach, on holiday, to your friends of family for the afternoon… look no further. This bag was my saviour when I realised going to the beach with kids required A-LOT of stuff to go along with you.

Their new insulated shopping bag is great too at $24.95 (plus postage)…

Project Ten colourful bags green blue shopping insulated

And the smaller Totes from AU$16.95…

Project Ten Bags tote stripe red white light blue

And the new satchel size, perfect as a nappy bag, suncream/hat holder, document carrier…. endless uses! We actually use these for our #ContentKin workshops to hold all our notebooks!

Project Ten Bag Bags Satchel black and White chevron

Both these present are ideal for secret Santa (or Kris Kringle… whatever you wish to call it).

And, they are perfect for that person that has everything – male or female.

In fact I keep some in my present drawer (yes, I am becoming more and more like my mum every day!) in case I’m caught off guard for a birthday, or thank-you gift.

3. Lodie – The Pop Up Shop for your Pocket

Lodie pop up shop buy online app retail designers homewaresLodie pop up shop buy online app retail designers homewares 

I had the pleasure of spending the day with Gab (one of the founders of Lodie) earlier in the year. What a wonderful and inspiring chick she is!

She has created an amazing concept via an App only. She curates designers, makers and amazing products via pop up shops you can peruse and purchase from via the Lodie App.

Right now you will find all these stores on the app:

Keep it Kool (Stylish Stubby Holders),
Ernest and Joe Jewellery,
Rhicreative (Cards Prints and Calendars),
Paper Elephant (Stationary, Cards and Diaries),
Tinker (Textiles Boutique),
OrbitKey (Accessories)
Martha Jean (Jewellery + Accessories)
Squeak (Homewares & Accessories)
Mi Goals (Stationary)
Jacqueline Evans (Skin Care)
Cushionopoly (Homewares)
Constance Roe (Accessories)
Colour & Skulls (Prints/ Art)
White November (Jewellery)

It’s a very dangerous app, be warned I’ve just bought four items from the app while I was compiling the list above!

Happy shopping…

Cheers,

Bernice