Baking with Mrs Bouw: Anzac Biscuits!

Sunday, July 26, 2015



I know there are so many variations of this classic Aussie recipe but I thought I'd share mine... because these babies are pretty darn delicious! Some prefer their Anzac biccies to be thin and crunchy but to me the perfect Anzac biscuit it slightly crunchy around the edge but soft and nummy (that's a word right?! hee hee) in the middle. The great part is you can achieve 'your' perfect Anzac biscuit simply by flattening a little more before baking if you like them nice and crunchy or leaving them a little more rounded if you like them the way I do. I love that the recipe uses ingredients that I almost always have in the pantry and fridge as it makes the perfect 'whip me up' treat if you are expecting guests or like us, are heading to a friends place for a playdate in the morning. There is nothing quite like some homemade biscuits to say 'thanks for having us' and put a smile on everyones face! :)

Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter
1 1/2 tbs golden syrup (for those of you living in countries where it's hard to find golden syrup, you can substitute with half corn syrup and half honey)
1 tsp bicarbonate/baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

- Preheat oven to 150c and grease/line baking trays.

- Place oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and mix until combined.

-  In a small saucepan over low heat, stir butter and syrup until butter is melted. Combine soda and boiling water and then add to the butter mixture.

- Whilst the butter mixture is still warm, stir into dry ingredients.

- Using your hands, roll mixture into balls approximately the size of a heaped teaspoon and place onto trays about 4-5cm apart. Flatten slightly either using the palm of your hand or the back of a large spoon.

- Bake uncovered for approximately 15- 20 minutes or until lightly golden and brown.

- Transfer to wire racks to cool.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Basic Scones!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015



Last week the girls and I whipped up a batch of fresh scones (yum!) and it dawned on me that whilst scones are LOVED by many, there may be some of you out there who have never attempted to make them yourself or have tried but haven't gotten it quite right. So, here is the fool proof recipe I use to make basic scones! Served warm with butter and jam (and fresh cream if that's your thing... although I'm not a big fan of cream) it's hard to beat homemade scones and hard to stop at just one! ;)

Basic Scones

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups of self raising flour, sifted
1 tbs caster sugar
30 grams butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water, approximately
2 tsp extra milk

Method

- Preheat the oven to 240c (220c if fan forced)
- Line a baking tray with baking paper (or you can grease with butter)
- Combine sifted flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter using your finger tips.
- Stir in the milk and enough water to make a soft, sticky dough.
- Dust your workspace with a little extra flour, turn out dough and kneed quickly and lightly until smooth.
- Using your hands, press dough out evenly until around 2cm in thickness and then using a 5cm round cutter (I use a small glass, dusted slightly with flour) cut into rounds.
- Place rounds onto tray and brush the tops with extra milk (this gives them a nice glaze).
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
- Turn on to wire rack to cool slightly (or if you are like me, cut one open immediately and spread with butter... yum!).
- Serve with Jam, cream, marmalade or what ever takes your fancy.
- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Vermicelli Chicken Salad!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015



Be it for lunch or dinner, I just love this dish! It really does tick all of the boxes... it's healthy, quick and easy, super tasty, fresh and adaptable! You can add or subtract ingredients as you please (adding cashews, peanuts or fried asian shallots for some crunch or chilli for some heat) and choose to have it cold which is how I prefer or warm like Mr B :) Always a winner in our house!

* Please note, this recipe is to serve one person, simple multiply as required.

Vermicelli Chicken Salad

Ingredients

100 grams of cooked chicken
1 cup vermicelli noodles
1/3 cup chopped, fresh tomato
1/3 cup chopped, fresh cucumber
1/3 cup chopped/shredded, raw carrot
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh coriander

Dressing

1 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Method

- Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl (or small jar if you have one) and mix/shake until well combined. Set aside so that the flavours have a chance to infuse

- Cover the vermicelli noodles in boiling water and soak for a few minutes than drain and rinse under cold water (this stops the noodles from sticking together and cooking further).

- Combine noodles, chicken and remaining salad ingredients in a bowl.

- Just prior to serving, drizzle with dressing and toss all ingredients together to ensure the dressing is distributed throughout.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Homemade Cheesymite Scrolls!

Friday, July 3, 2015



Who doesn't love a Cheesymite scroll right?! Ok, so maybe it is an Aussie thing hee hee :) Whilst we don't eat truckloads of bread in our household, the girls have been missing Australia's Bakers Delight Cheese and Bacon Rolls and Cheesymite Scrolls as they don't really sell an equivalent here... so why not make our own :) These are a bit of a cheats version as they use puff pastry as opposed to a dough BUT the upside is they are much lighter than bread, take no time to make, are perfect for the kiddies lunch boxes AND use just three ingredients, yes THREE... that has winner written all over it if you ask me!!!



Homemade Cheesymite Scrolls

Ingredients

Puff pastry, thawed
Vegemite
Grated cheese (tasty or cheddar)

Method

- Preheat oven to 220c.

- Spread your thawed pastry sheet with Vegemite (just like on your toast, I find the amount you use to be a personal choice).

- Sprinkle cheese over the top of the Vegemite (again, its up to you how generous you are) and then carefully roll into a log.

- Slice into 1-2cm pieces and place on a lined baking tray.

- Cook in the oven for 12- 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

- Allow to cool before eating.

- Enjoy!

* These are great for school lunch boxes and can be frozen, however, I recommend freezing in an airtight container shortly after you have baked (and once they have cooled of course).
 

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Basic Risotto!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015



This morning when I did a quick grocery run to pick up some fresh produce, I had a real hankering to make risotto... pregnancy craving or not, all I know is that I wanted needed it! It has been a while since I have either made it myself or ordered it in a restaurant as many of you might agree, risotto is one of those dishes that is usually amazing or really disappointing... I don't find there is an in-between. If I do order it when I am dining out, I will only ever order it as an entree as I find most risottos can be quite over powering and a little 'too much' if you know what I mean. That's why I love this recipe... it is a basic but delicious dish that isn't overcomplicated with too many rich ingredients and one for the whole family to enjoy. Having said that, it is also the perfect risotto recipe to act as a base if you do want to build on it by adding extra ingredient such as roasted pumpkin, mushrooms, chicken, seafood etc. So, for those of you who have always been a little hesitant to attempt making a risotto (there is a bit of a stigma attached that it is difficult to make a good one), please do give this one a go as it really isn't difficult at all! It does however require a little love and attention so make sure you have the half hour to dedicate to the process without interrruptions... I simply propped up the iPad whist I was stirring and ladeling caught up on some trashy TV ;)

Mrs Bouw's Basic Risotto

Ingredients

1.2 litres chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 tbs olive oil
60 grams butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 large sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 cups Aborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
Sea salt
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Extra chopped spring onions to garnish

Method

- Heat the stock in a small saucepan.

- In a separate pan (I use a large, deep fry pan), heat the olive oil and half the butter (30g)

- Add the garlic, onions and celery and fry on a very low heat for 10 minutes ensuring the ingredients don't brown.

- Once the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

- Keep stirring as the rice begins to fry lightly. After a minute or so the rice will begin to look translucent, this is when you should add your wine.

- Once the wine has been absorbed into the rice, add some salt and start ladling in the hot stock (I use my 1 cup measuring scoop).

- Turn down the heat to a simmer and keep adding the stock, a ladelful at a time, stirring slowly but continuously ensuring each ladelful is absorbed before adding the next.

- Stir and ladle until the rice is al dente (soft but still with a bite), this should take 15-20 minutes.

- Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter (30g) and parmesan stirring into the rice until both are melted.

- Spoon the risotto into dishes, season with a little bit of cracked salt (and pepper if you please) and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped spring onions and pinch of freshly grated parmesan.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Homemade Chicken Chilli Con Carne

Thursday, May 28, 2015



I have been meaning to get this recipe down in writing for a long time now so here she is... my version of Chicken Chilli Con Carne. A delicious winter warmer, this recipe has been a favourite of mine for over ten years now and I am happy to say that with a few tweaks here and there, I am now totally happy with it so thought it was time to share! Like most of my recipes, this one is foolproof and a fantastic one to make ahead of time AND the leftovers (if there are any) are sooooo good especially if you throw inside and old school jaffle... yum!!! Oh and for those of you who don't like chilli food, despite the name of this dish, this recipe is not chilli at all... my little Narnie (2.5 years old) just loves it!

Mrs Bouw's Homemade Chicken Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

2 tbs olive oil
600 grams of chicken mince (or beef, turkey etc.) *Note if you have a little more or a little less don't stress, it won't impact the overall recipe.
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 400g can of kidney beans
2 400g cans of crushed tomato
1 cup water
1 tbs brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs sour cream (the rest is used for serving)
Jasmine rice and fresh coriander to serve

Method

- Heat half the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add mince and using a wooden spoon, break up the mince and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is slightly brown. Transfer to a bowl.

- Heat the remaining oil in the same large pot and add onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until softened and then add garlic. Stir for another minute before returning mince to pot.

- Add cumin and chilli powder and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute until fragrant.

- Add tomato, kidney beans, water and brown sugar.

- Bring to the boil and the reduce heat to low and simmer, with lid on, for 30-40 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for another 10-15 minus or until sauce has thickened.

- Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. I usually let mine sit for a little while as the flavours really come to life.

- Served with steamed jasmine rice, topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

- Enjoy! :)

Skincare and Cosmetic Must Haves!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I have always been pretty loyal when it comes to my cosmetics and skin care and had been using some of the same products for years. This was mostly due to the fact that I did, at one point, love what I was using... but since becoming a Mumma (and one who has never even had a facial... is that normal?), it was more a case of not having the time to explore new products. But then one day late last year, I looked in the mirror and was just not happy with what I saw. My skin was looking (and feeling) tired, I had dark circles under my eyes (heck, I didn't even own concealer at that point) and the makeup I had been using for years was just not leaving my skin looking how it used to. This, combined with regular breakouts, forced me to take some 'me time' to look at switching up my staple beauty products. So one morning after I had dropped the girls off at school, instead of doing housework or running errands I headed to my local Sephora on a mission!

When I walked in I'm sure they thought I was shoplifting because I looked so awkward (almost guilty haha) and was clutching onto my bag for dear life... I was so overwhelmed! Yes I wear make up every day but like I said I had been wearing the same products for years so usually just head to the counters I am after, quickly purchase and then leave. After a few minutes I decided to ask for HELP! I explained what I was after (new foundation, new bronzer, some under eye concealer and a crash course in contouring (which scared the crap out of me and seemed like such hard work!) and after narrowing it down to a few products I was good to go. I was then given a quick 15 minute 'how to' on using the contouring kit I had just purchased and I was so surprised at how easy it actually is!

So, after a number of inquiries as to what skincare and cosmetic products I use, I thought I would give a quick run down of what my must have items are right now! I have been using both the Shiseido 'Benefiance' day and night moisturising creams (above) for a year or so now and continue to absolutely love them both! Growing up, my Mum used to use Shiseido so I always associated it with 'older ladies' (sorry Mum haha) so I find it so funny that I am now using it all these years later... does that make me old? Ha! :) I guess there is a reason it has been around for years! But the product that sealed the deal for me is their 'Ultimune' Power Infusing Concentrate... it is absolute heaven! You only need the tiniest amount and it is the first thing I put on my face after washing it in the morning and at night. I then follow with either the day or night moisturiser. Now onto my makeup routine. Once I have applied my Shiseido goodies, I move straight onto my under eye concealer and foundation base. I used to use a primer but don't find that I need it these days. The Givenchy 'Photo Perfexion' foundation is the best I have ever used (I use the colour 'Perfect Gold'). It just glides onto your skin and you only need one small pump to cover your whole face. Next is the fun part, using my Laura Mercier contour kit... yes, I'm slightly obsessed! All the colours are beautiful and creamy which makes blending them in with a contour brush super easy and believe it or not, it's actually pretty hard to stuff it up! It also comes with a hidden booklet that fits into the compact with tips on how to achieve the best contour look for the shape of your face. I love that you can achieve a light, soft look for during the day time and a heavier look of a night time. I have also found that since using the contour kit, I don't wear anywhere near as much bronzer or blush because you simply don't need to! Once I'm done with the contouring, I add a smidgen of blush (my fave at the moment is 'Peaches' by MAC) and then give a very light dusting with my Laura Mercier 'Loose Setting Powder'. This powder is magic! It is practically invisible but sets your foundation and contouring beautifully so nothings moves... and it will keep it that way all day! Last but not least I finsh with a dusting of bronzer. I switch between Bare Minerals 'Faux Tan' and MAC's 'Golden Bronzer'.

I'll save the eye's and lips for another post shall I? ;)

Scroll down for direct links to all the above mentioned products!



Skincare:

Shiseido 'Ultimune' Power Infusing Concentrate here
Shiseido 'Benefinace' Day Cream here
Shiseido 'Benefiance' Night Cream here

Cosmetics:

Givenchy 'Photo Perfexion' here
Laura Mercier 'High Coverage Concealer for under eyes' here
Laura Mercier 'Flawless Contouring Palette' here
'Peaches' blush by MAC Cosmetics here
Laura Mercier 'Loose Setting Powder' here
Bare Minerals 'Faux Tan' bronzer here

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