Showing posts with label Xmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Xmas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Choc Cherry Cheesecake

Choc cherry cheesecake

Summer is upon us and there are an abundance of cherries everywhere you go. I bought some from the local cherryman on the way back from work last week. He was parked next to the servo and I knew I just had to stop. All I could think of when I saw the cherries was, "Should I make a choc cherry galette or a choc cherry cheesecake ?"

Choc cheesecake

The cheesecake won, when I bought some Philly cream cheese blocks, which were on specials during my xmas grocery shopping.

This recipe is from
  • 250g biscuits crumbs (I am using my baked Gingerbread men cookies for crumbs for the Xmas theme)
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 300g sour cream
  • 300g cherries, pitted, halved
  • cherries and icing sugar, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease a 5.5cm-deep, 24cm (base) springform pan. Process biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter. Process to combine. Press mixture over base ofprepared pan. Cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to combine. Beat in cocoa and sour cream until just combined. Fold in cherries. Spread over biscuit mixture.

3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until centre is just firm. Turn off oven. Cool in oven for 3 hours with door slightly ajar. Refrigerate overnight. Top with cherries. Dust with icing sugar and serve. If you are feeling creative, you can make chocolate curls and laced the top with it for cherries to sit on. I was too lazy, even to break open a pack of Chocolate Flakes. Just trying to keep in simple and fast.

Note: I put mine in a water bath to bake in the oven, to prevent cracking in the middle. Just a tip I picked up from the net. A water bath is when you cover the bottom of cake pan and then sit the cake pan on hot water while baking. See my last photo below. As it turned out , my cheesecake only had a small crack in the middle. Almost perfect!

The making of choc cherry cheesecake

The making of choc cherry cheesecake

The making of choc cherry cheesecake

Friday, December 12, 2014

Huon Hill Dining

It's that silly season again when we all gather at one spot to celebrate the end of the working year and this year, it was our turn to travel down south to the borders, to Huon Hill Dining at Wodonga for our Christmas work lunch.

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

Just like every other time before our function, I would google and read about the place and checked out their menu. Unfortunately, their dining menu has not been uploaded when we visit. So it took me a lot longer than usual to decide on what I want to eat.

Work Xmas Lunch

I was very glad to decide on the Huon Duck Salad, with the Asian dressing. It did not disappoint. The plate itself was huge. I was a bit concerned that I may not be able to finish it but I did, it was scrumptious! The dressing was light and tangy and very refreshing, With Summer upon us, I tend to avoid heavy meals and go light. The Duck salad had tender slices of duck breast, tossed with baby spinach, mint, beansprouts, coriander and vermicelli cold noodles.

See, isn't it huge? I was thinking to myself, "just pace yourself girl, you can do it. It's only salad, nothing to it :)" It was very nice with my glass of pink moscato. I also tried the Blumers Cider on tap. The cider was nice and cold. It was not sweet unlike most of the other sickly sweet ciders available on the market.

I love that the Dining room is very spacious and clean and symetrical. There is a lot of light coming thru the glass window and doors. It is pleasing to the eye. The natural light is great for snapping food photos in here. The glass doors opens out to the patio, similiar to a beer garden. On the other side of the Dining room, there is a Cafe, where you can sit down and have some hot brew and cakes.

My work colleagues had these meals below and they look fantastic. I can't vouch for their meals but my duck salad was second to none! I am ever so grateful that these guys let me snap photos of their food before eating.

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

Most of my colleagues had the steak and fries, with veges or salad and different sauces. I didn't feel like taking ten photos of steaks, so here is the one above.

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

This was my dessert, it is called the Coffee Central, it's a coffee and chocolate tiramisu served with a scoop of choc icecream and biscotti fingers. I love the chocolate crackle with the coffee beans.

Work Xmas Lunch

So even though, I was thoroughly enjoying my tiramisu, I can't help but be envious of my colleague's Vintage Sundae. Food brings back memories of home to me and who could resist that classic old sundaes, you know, like the ones you grew up with! That corner milk bar, those fast food joints you used to hang out at after school?

Work Xmas Lunch

And that is all folks, it was a pretty awesome lunch. Hmmmm, even though I cannot move  now on the account that I am full.... I can't help but think about, where is our next venue? A foodie's work is never done! 

Huon Hill on Urbanspoon

An update:

On the 6th March 2015, we went back for another farewell lunch for another co-worker and found that the menu has been upated. I see that they have kept the Huon Duck Salad, that is my fav! I'd be happy with the Duck Salad everyday.

We loved the new menu as well. The service was impeccable. Wait staff was attentive without being intrusive and we didn't have to wait too long for our meals despite being a large group. The bread of day was the bomb. We loved it, I didn't take a photo, I forgot and gobbled it up too quick. It has seeded mustard, herbs, tomato paste, bacon and cheese and it was so good!!

I did wish that my co workers would be more adventurous and order different types of dish each so that I can keep snapping away but alas, it's not about me :) Heheh. I am grateful that they let me snapped their meal. And to be honest, Chicken Parmagiana is an old time favourite.

I didn't stay for desserts this time, as I was rushed for time, to drive back to Wagga. No doubt, it would have been incredible as that last visit.

Here are the more photos of food spotted and eaten that day. I must add that Anthony gave the thumbs up for the flathead fish and chips. Being ex Navy and fellow hobby fisherman, he said it was the most underrated fish an yet, the most delicious of all fishes! On that note, I must try it myself, next time! I have missed my fish and chips after New Zealand! It's just not the same here.

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

That's all folks, till next time.... keep up the good work!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas Cookies

Hi all, apologies for long absence. I haven't really had much to blog about, hence the dead silence. This weekend, despite the crazy heat, I am back in my kitchen baking some yummy Christmas cookies because I wanted to gift them to some very special friends that will be moving away next month. Friends comes and go, it is sad when the best ones leave you. This is just a small token of appreciation. Nothing fancy.

I found out that there are so many blog posts out there on Christmas cookies. If you google Christmas cookies recipes, there are no shortage of them on the Internet search engine.

I am loving the Martha Stewart website, for not only her baking and cooking, there are so many crafty ideas as well. I think I spend too much time looking at her home ideas and decorations instead of recipes :)

Isn't Pistachio the most beautiful nut, ever created? I just love the vivid colours on them and they taste so good too. I really do feel sorry for those people that are allergic to nuts. I could finish eating a whole bag all by myself, quite easily too but I must control myself.

There are cookies to be baked needing those such as the pistachio shortbreads.

Plus, I want to make some chewy nutty chocolate fudge with pistachio in it as well. So decadent and rich. How can anyone not like Christmas? So many treats to try.

The photo below shows the nutty fudge. And while that is cooling off on the rack, I will start on a batch of gingerbread family. Sorry, I forgot the link to the choc fudge, will add later if I find it. I didn't bookmarked it.

This is Gingerbread dough mix in the mixer.  I will have to post some photos later, once I have decorated my gingerbread family. I have to warn you, the Father is disabled as I accidentally broke his arm! Drats!

Oh and there's another batch of sugar cookies dough to go into the oven yet. It is commiserating in the fridge at the moment.

I am just taking a short break and thought I'd blog a bit before heading back to the kitchen.

What do you think? Looks pretty good so far. It's pretty yummy too, I have been stuffing my face with warm buttery pistachio shortbreads straight out of oven... mmmmm

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Vic Hotel, Wagga

This is not a paid advertorial, the blogger dined at The Victoria Hotel at her bosses's expense...hehehe;)

So this week, we finally had our Xmas party lunch. It kinda became our "Xmas/Easter" breakup lunch get together. Our Xmas party got "postponed" because of work commitments and deadline last year.

For this function, the Bandi guys travelled up to Wagga and we chose The Victoria Hotel because it is affordable, value for money, has the room for us and is pretty consistent with its menu and service. We've been there before several times and loved it. You can't fault the steak here.

I didn't feel like a big lunch this time as I am still on my so called diet which is going pretty well, except for days when I craved carbs and then I hate myself when I feel bloated! Hahahaha. I need to lose some inches before Bangkok so that I don't get squashed in the cattle class on my flight. Argh!! Hate economy.. when am I going to ever travel J class???

So I ordered the Thai Beef Salad, it was a good portion, well balanced, lots of different types of greens in the salad. It does have an interesting dressing though! I do not believed that, this is Thai Salad as the dressing was all wrong, it was too sweet, someone had gone berko with the "kicap manis" ( dark sweet soy sauce) and there was no spice at all. It was not tangy nor spicy. A total let down. I think that if one wants to do an Asian dish, you should at least do it right. Don't bastardised a dish and called it what it is. The presentation was good, plate was neat and tidy. Being from a hospitality background, I look at the plating for marks and thumbprints, smears or drip of sauces. Nothing I hate more, than a dirty plate.

Thai Beef Salad

Here are what my workmates ordered. As you can see, beautiful plating, right? No one was allowed to start eating till I had taken a snapshot. You can't take me anywhere. As you can see, nothing wrong with the typical western pub meals. You can't do wrong in this category. The service was excellent, we didn't have to wait long for our meal. The plates were also cleared as soon as lunch was finished, the friendly waitress cleared as many glasses and plates as fast as she could.

Salt and Pepper Calamari
Salt and Pepper Calamari
Chicken Parmagiana
Chicken Parmagiana
Chicken Snitzel
Chicken Schnitzel
Steak Sandwich
Steak Sandwich
Rump Steak
Rump Steak with mushroom sauce
Beer Battered Chips
Beer Battered Chips
Lemon Pie
Lemon Tart

I was too full to have desserts. I took a photo of the Lemon tart because I thought that it look lovely. The chocolate cake that my other colleague had looked dry. I commented to my friend that it should be rich and moist, not dry and hard... served with lots of cream and icecream. The sticky date pudding looked so good. I really wished that I was not on a diet! Sigh! Must be strong and think of Thailand holidays!

And that concludes my "Chreaster" lunch and this old gal had to have a lie down in the arvo after two ciders.


Victoria Hotel
55 Baylis St Wagga Wagga
Telephone (02) 6921 5233

The Victoria Hotel on Urbanspoon


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brandied Cranberry Cookies

My Leaning Tower of Cookies
Another baking day this weekend, I am having a lot of fun getting back in the kitchen, just baking cookies for Xmas. I love the smell of baked cookies in the house. Freshly baked warm buttery cookies for arfternoon tea, what could be better? I found this recipe by chance when visiting sitemeter, Simply Recipes was featured on the site and I gotta say, love this website. It has so many recipes of cookies to choose from. Love it!

Recipe from

  • 1 cup of brandy (to soak the cranberries in, then saving 1 1/4 teaspoons of it for later)
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (two sticks) of butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
Two sticks is equal to 226gram

cranberry cookies
  • Put the cranberries in a wide and shallow bowl, pour in brandy. Enough so they're are drowning. Just keep swimming my babies!!! Cover and place in the fridge for an hour or more. Afterwards, place a colander over a bowl and pour the cranberries and brandy through, putting the cranberries and the brandy they soaked in aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat the crap out of the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until light, fluffy and well incorporated.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and add 1 1/4 teaspoons of the brandy that the cranberries soaked in (as for the rest, I suggest popping it in a glass and topping it off a bit for yourself). Beat well until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl midway through to ensure even mixing.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the mixture a bit at a time, beating until just mixed. Fold in the brandy soaked cranberries and white chocolate chips. Let them chill out for 15 minutes in the fridge to commiserate their fate. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (a baker's best friend) and place rounded spoonfuls down on the sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

SAM_0964 (1024x553)

My kitchen smells lovely and I am slightly tipsy, it's all good! Gotta love this recipe :) Happy Holidays folks. Just keep on baking!! Errr, okay I nearly forgot to mention that I threw in some pistachio in the dough... heeehehe. That's also good for ya, puts hair on ya chest!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gingerbread Men and Xmas cookies

Gingerbread Xmas tree

Gingerbread men and cookies

Gingerbread Men and Xmas cookies

  • 150g Western Star unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup - I used molasses instead of golden syrup!
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Writing fudge and rainbow chocolate chips, to decorate
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line two large oven trays.
  • Place butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Add bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking powder over butter mixture. Add the egg and stir until combined. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Divide dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  • Roll one portion between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick.
  • Using 6-7cm pastry cutters, cut shapes from dough, re-rolling scraps. Place on the lined trays, 3cm apart to allow for spreading. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake in the oven, 1 tray at a time, until just firm to touch.
  • Remove and set aside for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Decorate using writing fudge and chocolate chips.

Gingerbread Xmas Tree
This one is sitting on my mantlepiece ;) Hands off Santa!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Who's Dreaming of White Christmas?


White Xmas

Recipe from Woolworths Supermarket catalogue


  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • ½ cup red glace cherries, halved
  • ½ cup blanched almonds, roasted, chopped coarsely
  • 395g can NESTLE Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 100g Copha white vegetable shortening, chopped coarsely
  • 100g Nestle White Melts plus ½ cup extra drizzle later.

Fruit Mixes



  • Grease and line an 18cm * 28cm lamington pan. Combine crispy rice cereal, coconut, sultanas, cherries and almonds in a large bowl.
  • In a small saucepan combined Nestle Sweetened Condensed Milk, Copha and Nestle White melts, stir over low heat until mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in dry ingredients. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until set.
  • Place extra Nestle White Melts in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on Medium for 1 minute. Stir. Repeat process in 30 second interval until method. Drizzle Nestle White over slice. Cut in square to serve, Store covered in refrigerator.

White choc mix

White Xmas Mix

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...