Thursday, November 24, 2011

Comfort Food Recipe: Quick Stove top Rice Pudding


Cold, dreary weather always leaves me wanting warm food to warm me from the inside out. 
Rice pudding is one of these foods that leave you feeling all cozy and snug,
however, the baked version can leave you waiting for hours!

Lately, Sydney has been having unseasonably cold, wet and dreary days.
This called for a steaming hot batch of rice pudding to warm up my family.
Plus, it gave me an excuse to stand close to the hot stove and warm up.

This recipe is super easy and is perfect for any time. 
It uses ingredients that you most likely have lying around your kitchen, so it's fantastic for a last minute dessert or a lazy day. 

Stove top Rice Pudding
Serves 4

100g long grain rice 
2C milk (you can use whole/light/skim/whatever)
1-2 tbsp sugar (depending on tastes)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (or more/less/different spices - depending on tastes)
1C milk 
Optional: a touch of cream

In a medium saucepan, add the rice, 2 cups of milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract and bring to the boil. 
Cover and reduce to a low heat, leaving the rice to simmer for 15 minutes - stirring every now and again. 
Add in the 1 cup of milk and bring the heat up to high. 
Stir the rice constantly for around 7 minutes, until your desired consistency is reached - let the milk absorb fully for a thicker pudding or leave some milk for a creamier pudding. 
If using, stir in the cream . Transfer the pudding to bowls or a serving dish and leave to cool slightly before serving.

Tell me, 
What's your comfort food of choice?
or go-to cold weather dish? 
 Pin It

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jazz it up! Gluten free goodies

 The weather is definitely warming up! 
The skies might be gray, but you can definitely tell summer is here. 

In my last post I shared a bunch of goodies from realgoodfood and I'm back with more!
You may already be aware that I've recently eliminated gluten from my diet in an effort to sort out some health issues.
Because of this, I've definitely been on the look out for delicious GF products and recipes
and I was lucky enough that realgoodfood sent me a bunch of gluten free things along with the wheat free products you saw in my last post!

I was also able to eat the wheat free products too, don't worry! 
Some people who can't tolerate gluten are fine with oats, while others will still have a reaction - it really depends on the individual! 

realgoodfood's Organic Gluten Free Bircher Muesli may just be my staple breakfast for summer!
 It's a mix of brown rice flakes, sultanas, almonds, sunflower kernels and apple. 
Just mix it up the night before (or a little bit before you want to eat it) with some milk or yogurt and leave it to sit and soften.
Top it with some fresh fruit and you have a perfect summer breakfast!   

The High Protein Mix is also a perfect topper for the bircher muesli or any other breakfast!
It's also perfect for mixing into smoothies or using in baked goods!
It's a mix of almonds, sunflower kernels, sesame seeds and linseeds which give your breakfast a protein punch!


Realgoodfood also have a line of baby cereals, including this Organic Apple Baby Rice Cereal.
It's a smooth blend of brown and white rice and dried apple and is 100% biodynamic, organic and gluten free.
It's not just good for babies though! It makes a super creamy porridge that can be mixed with other grains or eaten by itself and it also works really good in baked goods!

The Organic Lemon Polenta Porridge is another creamy breakfast.
It's a gluten free mix of  polenta, wholegrain rice, sultanas, almonds, dried apple and lemon. 
This energy filled breakfast has a delicious tang from the lemon and is delicious!


Salads are made for summer, but they can get a little boring!
This Toasted Seed Mix in Tamari is a perfect salad topper, making a simple salad SO much more appetizing!
It's a gluten free mix of sunflower kernels, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and organic tamari.

All of the products I was sent from realgoodfood were fantastic and they have so many more!
You can pick up their products from one of their many stockists across the country and internationally!

So tell me, 
Do you have a favourite gluten free product? (even if you're not GF!)
and what's your favourite way to jazz up a salad?

I love to add things to my salads to make them more of a meal. 
Great things to add are different cheeses, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, avocado and my absolute favourite? roasted pumpkin!

Kristy received these products courtesy of www.realgoodfood.com.au
If you'd like a review of your products, send an email to ksayerphotography@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Granola Breakfast Muffins and a bunch of breakfast goodies!

Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day.
I can't understand how people can say they just don't like breakfast.
If I started without it, I'd probably be a zombie for the rest of the day.

So, as you could imagine, I was super excited to receive the package from realgoodfood,
filled with breakfast goodies as well as a whole bunch of other fantastic products. 
So many products, in fact, they won't fit into the one post!
Plus, I also have a delicious recipe for you at the end of the post!



The Organic Oat Porridge is a Wheat Free Mix of Biodynamic and organic rolled oats, sultanas, apple and cinnamon.
It has no added oil, sugar or salt and is GMO free!


It can be made hot on the stove (or in the microwave) as a porridge, 
but now as the weather is warming up, I love to use it as a base for overnight oats!
Just mix up the oat porridge with milk or yogurt (or a combination of both) and leave it to soften in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, all you have to do is pull your breakfast out of the fridge, add any extra toppings you might like and eat up!
Fast, easy and delicious :)

The Choc Berry Street Mix is a fantastic snack to keep around and it's also Gluten Free!
This organic snack mix is filled with sultanas, almonds, cranberries, blueberries, goji berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and delicious dark chocolate pieces.
The mix also makes a fantastic topping for oatmeal or overnight oats!



The Organic Street Mix is also gluten free 
 and filled with organic sultanas, almonds, sunflower kernels and pumpkin seeds.
It's a perfect on the go snack for when the hunger monster attacks!

The Organic Bircher Muesli is a wheat free mix of organic & biodynamic rolled oats, sultanas, dried apple, almonds and sunflower kernels.
Bircher muesli is a lot like overnight oats, some people like to soak theirs in fruit juices or water and top with milk or yogurt the next day, while others prefer to use milk or other combinations.
Ultimately, the decision is yours! Play around with different combinations until you find what you like!

You can get realgoodfood products from a variety of stockists across the country!



 Now, the recipe I promised!
As soon as I opened the Organic Toasted Muesli I was hit with the delicious aroma of honey and new it'd be perfect in baked goods!
It's a mix of organic & biodynamic rolled oats, sultanas, honey, sunflower kernels, almonds, barley malt, pear juice and orange.
It's delicious eaten as a cereal, but I decided I wanted to make a way for busy breakfast-haters to enjoy it too!

Thus, the breakfast muffin was born!
It's a perfect on the go breakfast that's fuss free and delicious!
The recipe is also completely adaptable, so it's easy to whip up with whatever you have at hand.


Muesli Breakfast Muffins 
makes 12 muffins or 6 extra large muffins


2 1/2C Flour (you can use white/whole wheat/GF/spelt)
2/3C Sugar (choose whatever sugar you prefer - white/brown/raw etc)
1C toasted muesli/granola + extra for topping
1 egg
1C fruit* 
1/4C vegetable oil 
1 1/4C milk 

Preheat oven to 180*C. Grease/spray muffin tins with oil or line with paper cases.
Combine flour, sugar and muesli in a bowl. 
Mix together egg, vegetable oil and milk and pour into dry ingredients. 
Stir in fruit and mix until just combined. 
Pour muffin batter into muffin tins and top with a sprinkle of extra muesli. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.


*For the fruit, I used a cup of leftover pie apple from a pie I had made earlier - just cooked apples mixed with a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon 
You can use any fruit you like canned, fresh or frozen apple/pear/peaches/pineapple/blueberries etc.




So tell me, 
Are you a breakfast lover?
What's your go-to breakfast of choice?

Stay tuned for the other half of my review! It's packed full of delicious gluten free goodies :)

Kristy received these products courtesy of www.realgoodfood.com.au
If you'd like a review of your products, send an email to ksayerphotography@gmail.com 
Pin It
 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Looking for a last minute Halloween treat?: Swirled Bundt Cake

Halloween is this coming Monday - are you ready?!
In recent years, Halloween has become more popular in Australia, with carving pumpkins stacked in big crates at the supermarket and costumes selling like hot cakes.

I decided to make a Halloween themed Bundt cake to kick off the holiday early.
This cake is perfect for Halloween parties and is super simple!
I mean, really, eating brains just isn't my thing - nor is spending the entire weekend slaving away in the kitchen over halloween themed treats.
Plus if you get an invitation last minute, this cake is your best friend!


Vanilla Bundt Cake Recipe
makes 1 large bundt cake

250g butter, softened
1 3/4C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs 
3C plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1C buttermilk*  

Preheat oven to 180*C (350*F)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in vanilla and eggs one at a time until combined.
Add in flour and milk alternatively, with mixer on a low speed, until just combined.
Separate half of mixture into a clean mixing bowl.
Colour one batter bowl with purple food dye (or a combination of blue and red dyes) and the other with orange dye (or yellow and red) - the colours should be really bright as they will fade during cooking.
Pour in 3/4 of the purple batter into the bundt tin, being sure to cover the entire base.
Gently pour the orange batter on top of the purple batter, towards the center, leaving about 1 cm of the purple batter on the edge.
Pour in the remaining purple batter, trying to cover as much of the orange as possible.
Place the filled bundt tin into the oven and bake for ~ 1 hour, until the tip of a knife or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
Leave cake to cool before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

*If you don't have buttermilk, you can use milk soured with 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice

Drippy Milk Chocolate Glaze
200g Milk Chocolate 
2-3 tsp Vegetable Oil 
(the oil will depend on the chocolate, add as much as needed to get a slightly runny consistency)

Melt chocolate and oil on a low heat until completely melted.
You can do this on the stove (bain marie technique) or in the microwave - just be sure not to burn the chocolate!
Place the cooling rack with the cooled cake ontop of a lined cookie sheet and pour the chocolate glaze on the top of the bundt cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. 
Leave cake to set at room temperature or in the fridge (if you're impatient!) 

and there you have it! easy as easier than pie! 


So tell me! 
Do you celebrate Halloween?! 
What are your plans this year?
Pin It

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunshine and Super foods


I'm actually wary of posting about sunshine because it seems every time I do, it disappears.
But let's keep our fingers crossed it stays around!

As I first mentioned in this post, I'm still not eating gluten, so lately I've been trying lots and lots of new fun foods to make sure I still have plenty of variety.
I love trying new foods - especially ones other people mightn't have ever heard of or tried themselves.

So, naturally, I was super excited to receive a package from Power Superfoods

Golden Berries, also known as Incan Berries or Cape Gooseberries, are native to South America
and were one of the first non-native fruits available to early Australian settlers. 
Global explorers would carry Goldenberry seeds on their travels to ensure a rapid growing and nutrient rich fresh fruit source upon finding land. 

The fresh berries are yellow in colour and encased in a papery latern-like husk. 
The dried berries have the texture of a raisin and a sweet flavour with a citrussy tang.
Goldenberries are an excellent source of vitamins C, A and P and are also an excellent source of anti-oxidants, calcium, phosphorus, fibre, B vitamins and protein (yes, you read that right!)

The berries are delicious on their own and mixed into cereal, baked goods or trail mixes. 
They taste especially good with chocolate! 


Now, speaking of chocolate, Cacao Crunch is a blend of crushed chocolate beans coated in a paste of roasted chocolate liquefied nibs and rolled in panela. 
It tastes very much like dark chocolate with a delicious smokey and slightly bitter flavour - it even tastes somewhat nutty. 

Cacao Crunch is perfect for adding to baked goods, sprinkling on top of desserts or yogurt and they're a fantastic source of anti oxidants. 
It's perfect for any chocolate lover and an amazing addition to granola,
It's definitely one of my new favourite products! 

You can get your hands on some Power Superfoods products by checking out their stockists, buying online 
or heading to your closest Go Vita store!

But tell me, 
Do you like trying new foods?
What's your latest food find?!

Kristy received Power Superfoods products courtesy of www.powersuperfoods.com.au
If you'd like a  review of your products, send an email to ksayerphotography@gmail.com  




Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recipe: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes


When your Mum comes home from a trip to your Grandmother's house with a big bag of fresh limes,
What do you do?
You switch on your brain and start figuring out what you're going to bake with them, of course!

While I may have given up gluten for now, you don't think I'd stop baking - did you? 

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the limes was key lime pie,
but lately I've made quite a few pies so I felt like making something different.
I remembered I hadn't made cupcakes for a while and then the idea hit me...
Why not take a Key Lime Pie and turn it into cupcakes?

Then I set off to create Key Lime Pie Cupcakes or Lime Meringue Pie Cupcakes - whichever name you fancy.
I took my favourite, tried and tested Vanila Cupcake recipe,
made a simple lime filling and topped it off with a soft meringue.

For something that looks a little fancier than your average cupcake and will wow your guests,
it's delightfully simple - just how I like it!


Key Lime Pie Cupcakes 
recipe by ksayerphotography
Makes 12 cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes:
125g Butter, softened 
2/3C + 2 tbsp Sugar
2 Eggs 
1/2C Milk 
1/2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/3C Plain Flour 
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 160*C (320*F).
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add in eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each egg. 
In a bowl combine milk and vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. 
With a mixer on low speed, alternatively add the flour and milk mixtures until all is combined. 
Beat for a further 3 minutes on high.

Divide into lined cupcake pans and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Using  piping nozzle, skewer or small knife make a hole in the top of the cupcakes for the filling.
Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks.
Key Lime Filling:
100g Condensed Milk
1.5-2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice  
(this depends on your taste preference and the strength of your limes)
Mix condensed milk and lime juice together until combined and desired flavour is reached. 
Fill/pipe filling into cooled cupcakes.

Meringue Topping:
2 Egg Whites
50g Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt

Preheat oven to 230*C (450*F)
Beat the eggs and salt until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks. 
The mix should be thick and glossy and the sugar should be completely dissolved.
Pipe onto cooled and filled cupcakes and bake for 5 minutes until meringue is golden.
...

And there you have it! 
It seems a bit more complicated than it actually is, but trust me, it's as easy as... well, pie!

Tips:
- Add the lime juice gradually and taste as you go so you don't add too much!
- It's easier to cook the meringue topping if you place the cupcakes back into the cleaned cupcake tins
- This recipe can be easily adapted! Switch the lime juice for lemon, fill them with chocolate or caramel instead - the possibilities are endless!

So tell me -
Do you have any favourite recipes using lime?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hello? Are you out there?



Springgggggggggg?
You appear briefly, tease us with your warmth and bright blue skies and wham you disappear!
Sydney is back to cold weather and dreary skies, for now.

So what do you do when you're craving Spring sunshine but mother nature isn't giving you any?
You bring out the spring-ish food and pretend the weather is how it's supposed to be.

For me, warmer weather means hot bowls of oatmeal disappear in favour of cool cereal bowls,
lunches become more snack like and salads and fresh produce are always on the menu.



Granola is one of my favourite summer breakfasts and since eliminating gluten I've fallen in love with all things buckwheat, so this Buckwheat Granola from Nushie's Natural was something I was itching to try as soon as I opened the box!

This Granola is; 
-Gluten Free
- Vegan
- All Natural (no icky preservatives!)
- Sucrose Free
- High in Fibre

It's also packed full of flavour,  containing apples, dates, almonds, sunflower seeds, currants, coconut, cinnamon, orange rind and maple syrup. 
It has a strong toasted coconut flavour, making it feel even more summery! 
The best thing for me about this granola was the chunks and the crunch! Even after sitting in milk for a while it was still crunchy and delicious. 
If you're not a fan of chunks, they're easily broken apart into smaller pieces - but who doesn't love granola chunks?


Speaking of crunch, Nushie didn't disappoint with these chia crackers!
These crackers are dehydrated to maintain all the natural nutrients of the ingredients, while still giving you a super crunchy cracker with a hint of lemon.

They're; 
- Gluten Free
- Omega 3 Rich 
- Vegan
- All Natural
- Sucrose Free

They're a healthy snack on they're own or topped with whatever you fancy! 
They're a tasty and unique cracker option and perfect for sharing with friends at a summer BBQ. 


Nushie's Flaxseed Crackers are just as crunchy as the chia ones. 
They are full of flavour, thanks to the addition of tamari soy and maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper.

These crackers are also;
- Gluten Free
- Omega 3 Rich 
- Vegan
- All Natural
- Sucrose Free 

and you get the full benefit of the Flaxseeds as they're rolled, allowing them to be easily digested.

Nushie's crackers are available from a number of stockists across Australia,
check out their site to find the closest to you!  

So tell me, 
Does your menu change with the change of seasons?
What's your ultimate warm weather breakfast? 

I can't go past a cold bowl of cereal topped with fresh fruit, nut butter and shredded coconut - yum!




Kristy received Nushie's natural products courtesy of www.nushiesnatural.com.au
If you'd like a review of your products, send an email to ksayerphotography@gmail.com





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spring has Sprung.


If you're in Australia, that is.
The sun is shining and the sky is (mostly) blue!

For me, warmer weather always brightens my mood
and my wardrobe!


I received a package from The Brittle Co and as soon as I opened the box, their bright vibrant packaging made me instantly think of Spring!

The Brittle Co's Brittle is:
- 100% Australian owned
- Made from the highest quality ingredients
- Gluten and wheat free 
- Soy free 
- Made without any artificial additives or preservatives

The brittle is made from a recipe based on a style of sweet made by convent nuns in the mountains of the Phillippines - homeland of The Brittle Co's owner, Justine.

So now I bet you're wondering.. Did the nuns get it right?


Oh yes they did.
 The Cashew Brittle is rich and buttery with generous chunks of raw cashews 
and the Almond Brittle balances out the sweetness with diced natural almonds.

The brittle is wafer thin so you still get the crunch without having to make an appointment with your dentist!
It literally melts in your mouth and tastes just like old fashioned homemade brittle.


The Peanut Brittle was my favourite with the tonne of peanuts scattered through the rich caramel base
and the Macadamia Brittle was a hit with macadamia fans with its generous chunks of raw Queensland Macadamias.

The Brittles would be a perfect Christmas gift 
and they're delicious as an anytime treat or crumbled over ice cream and added to desserts.

The Brittle Co brittle is available at a number of local Supermarkets, Delis and other stockists as well as on their website.
If you want to find your closest stockist, send an email to: crunchy@thebrittleco.com

So tell me,
What's your go-to present when you haven't a clue what to buy someone?Chocolate? Flowers? Something funny?

Kristy received Brittle Co brittle courtesy of www.thebrittleco.com
If you'd like a review of your products, send an email to ksayerphotography@gmail.com
 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In the Raw


Since I've eliminated gluten for a while, 
I've been on a hunt to find the tastiest gluten free options. 
This means avoiding gluten free bread dish sponges like the plague (unless it's homemade!)
stocking up on GF Puffins, rice crackers, Food for Health GF muesli, buckwheat groats, rice flakes, dried fruits and nuts and anything else that taste's like real food :P
Oh - and drowning anything in nut butter.

I was super excited when I received a package from Kitz Living Foods,
their products are raw and all natural - with all ingredients being organic where possible. 
They're free of artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and thickeners and high in Omega 3 and 6, fibre, antioxidants, lignans and nutritionally loaded! 


I received two flavours of their chunks -
The chunks are a fantastic on the go snack and have the right amount of chew and crunch thanks to the mix of dried fruit and nuts. 

The Fig and Macadamia Chunks are perfect for fig lovers.  
The chewy figs and crunchy macadamia nuts are combined with organic sultanas, sunflower seeds, organic cinnamon and vanilla bean powder.
 
Of course, being the banana, date and walnut fan, the Banana Date and Walnut chunks had to be my favourite.
They're a mix of orgranic bananas, dates, insecticide free sunflower seeds, walnuts, organic cinnamon and vanilla powder. 
All of the flavours worked really well together and I was surprised to find the flavour of the sunflower seeds still managed to come through.
If you pop them into the fridge (or freezer, if you just can't wait) for a while, they're 100x better as the dates make the chunks super chewy.


Kitz products are available for sale on their website
where they also have a number of other great products like raw granola, crackers, flavoured nuts and buckwheat crispies.
All of their products are:
  • Free from artificial additives
  • Wheat and Gluten free
  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • 100% Vegan
  • Raw
 So tell me, 
Are you a dried fruit fan? - what's your favourite?!
and do you have a favourite GF product?

Kristy received Kitz chunks courtesy of www.kitzlivingfoods.com.au 
If you'd like a review of your products, send an email to ksayerphotography@gmail.com 

Monday, August 29, 2011

An update of sorts!


Hey! Is anyone still there?!
I thought I'd write a quick post, updating you on everything that's been going on. 

For a while I wasn't posting much at all as there was alot going on,
but alas - I am back! 

....

Lately I've cut gluten from my diet in an effort to solve some health issues so I've been experimenting with new Gluten Free foods. 
Soon I'm hoping to reintroduce gluten, with the exception of wheat, so I can widen my options a little more. 
But some of my gluten free discoveries will definitely be sticking around! (see below :P)

I-herb has become my latest love as it means I can have so much more choice when it comes to gluten free foods. 

I am so glad I stumbled across I-herb while googling because not only do they have great products, their prices are incredibly reasonable - and that includes shipping!
Let me give you an idea... I was going to buy 3 GF cereals from an Australian online store (which was the cheapest I could find) but then when I looked at i-herb, I could get SIX items (including those cereals) for the exact same price including shipping!

 puppy puffin love

My latest purchase include something spectacular.... PUFFINS!  
and because I think everyone needs Puffins in their life, I want to share an iherb coupon for $5 off your first purchase! 
When you've chosen all that you want, just type in OTO868 at the checkout
and $5 will be taken off your total! :)  
That gives you more money to spend on other fun things, right?!

.....

I've got some pretty exciting news, too! 
A while ago I did a shoot for Pepe's Pastizzi for their new packaging
and it's about to hit Woolworths shelves nationwide!


 As you can probably guess, I'm quite excited. 
It's not everyday you get to see your photos on a real package in a real store, right?
So you can be sure I've been keeping an eagle eye on the freezer section of every Woolworths store I walk into!

But I want to know about YOU!
What's the best thing that happened to you in August?  

and by the way,
I wasn't asked to review I-herb, or puffins.. I'm just a serious fan :P 
and I had to share!