PHOODIE WISHES YOU A ‘MINT SLICE’ CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2

December 21, 2014

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Can I start by saying THANK YOU!

THANK YOU for your readership this year.

For cooking my recipes.

For sharing your families’ food stories with me.

For taking pictures when you cook PHOODIE treats and emailing them to me. For posting them to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For your words of encouragement.

For following me on SM.

For sharing your passion for food with me.

For inspiring me.

THANK YOU.

2014 has been an intense year for me (and for many others) on a personal and a professional level. I’m  not complaining (well maybe I am a little!) but it’s been FULL ON. And to be honest, I am super ‘mashed potatoes’ duper looking forward to having a little Chrissy break. I’m going to tryyyyyyy and stay off the ‘putes but you probably will catch me every now and then on Instagram (@phoodiegram) #AddictedToInsta

Moving on… I knew I wanted to close out the year with a bang… with a blog post that would make people smile… with something that was unique but that screamed “PHOODIE” to anyone who knows me and my style. I also knew I wanted to incorporate AN AMAZING GIVEAWAY with my final post for the year!

Loyal and long term PHOODIE readers will of course remember the engagement cake that I made for my brother and his wife. Two of the world’s biggest Tim Tam lovers. If you are a new reader and didn’t see that cake you will find it by CLICKING HERE. That cake went viral worldwide, which was AWESOME as it brought so many like-minded crazy food lovers to PHOODIE and helped our community to grow, both here on the blog and even more so, on Social Media.

That cake plus my Candy Cane / Mint-anything obsession at this time of year, was the inspiration for this MINT SLICE CHRISTMAS TREE! Arnott’s Mint Slice are (without question) on my list of TOP FIVE ALL TIME FAVOURITE BIKKIES (Bikkies = Cookies for all my American readers that might not know! :) ) So with their minty-ness and with them being one of my true loves, they were DEFINITELY the most appropriate biscuit to use for this venture.

I had a chat with my old pals at Arnott’s and told them vaguely of my plans and they were kind and wonderful and provided me with an insane number of gorgeous chocolatey, minty treats to make all of my Christmases come at once, as the saying goes! I really hope you like what I have made!

“So, what did you do with it PHOODIE, after you took the snaps?”

Well, The ‘Tree’ was enjoyed by many people from all walks of life. The hard-working and extremely dedicated teachers at my little girl’s school got a thousand or so, a thousand or so more were delivered to the awesome Matthew Talbot Hostel in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo, and many others who are lucky enough to work in the same organisations as all of my different family members  enjoyed some with their morning cuppas! I also still have a fridge full!

And now to the GIVEAWAY….. These lovely folks at Arnott’s have not yet finished in terms of making all of someone else’s Christmases come at once! ONE LUCKY PHOODIE READER is about to WIN A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF MINT SLICE BISCUITS TO ENJOY WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

Like all of my awesome giveaways, entering is super EASY and will take about 3 seconds!

Simply TAG (either on Facebook or Instagram) the PERSON / PEOPLE that you believe to be THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MINT SLICE LOVER/S! It could be your Nana? Your Cousin? A workmate?! Your mother-in-law? Your BFF! It may even be YOU! Whoever it is, TAG ‘em and you could WIN!

REMEMBER – you can enter AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU LIKE just tag a different person per entry!

If you don’t use Facebook or Insta, you can enter via the blog by leaving the name of THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MINT SLICE LOVER/S in the comments section below this post.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND HAVE A MERRY AND SAFE CHRISTMAS / HOLIDAY PERIOD AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you in 2015!

Competition Open to All Australian Residents. Competition Closes Midnight Wednesday 24th December 2014 with a winner selected at Random and announced on Facebook (or Emailed via the Blog) Thursday 25th December 2014.

PHOODIE’S MINT SLICE CHRISTMAS TREE

More than 3000 Arnott’s Mint Slice biscuits were harmed in the making of this ‘tree.’

The Biskuits were ‘glued’ together by more than 5 kilos of melted chocolate which was painted on to them with a pastry brush.

The ‘tree’ was six tiers tall and adorned with red, gold and pearl Christmas decorations and also fresh leaves from Mum’s gardenia bushes – sorry Mum!

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And for anyone needing a reminder of the Mint Slice Christmas Tree’s Cousin looks like - CLICK HERE TO SEE MY ORIGINAL TIM TAM ENGAGEMENT CAKE!

Posted in: DESSERTS, KIDS PARTIES / NOVELTY, POPULAR, REVIEWS 2 Comments

PHOODIE’S ‘Lotsa’ Vegetable and Goats Cheese SPRING ROLLS 0

December 17, 2014

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THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY BESTRECIPES.COM.AU

Ding dong! Ding dong!

You’re on the couch in your PJ’s watching re-runs of Vanderpump Rules (or maybe I am the only human that watches that!?) and all of a sudden the door bell rings. You look at your husband / girlfriend / Kids / Dog / Pet Guinea pig with confusion? Were we expecting someone? I didn’t think we were expecting anyone? If you are talking to a human, they respond. If you are talking to an animal, they may or may not…..

Point is, sometimes people turn up to your home without an invite. And whether you like it or not the right thing to do is to offer them a drink and (depending on the time, or no matter what the time if you’re Greek!!!) something to eat!

These Spring Rolls are life savers. They’re simple to make, they freeze really well and they’re bloody delicious.

Summer Entertaining food at it’s finest!

INGREDIENTS

(Makes about 40)

4 carrots – diced

8 medium sized mushrooms – diced

1 eggplant – diced

1 leek – chopped finely

1/2 cauliflower – chopped into small pieces

1/2 pumpkin – chopped into small pieces

1 brown onion  - diced

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 packet filo pastry

320g goats cheese (I use Meredith Dairy in EVOO blend, garlic and thyme)

METHOD

1) Dice all vegetables.

2) Place everything (except brown onion, leek and garlic) in a food processor and blitz to a pulp.

3) In a pan on medium heat fry off the leek, onion and garlic until translucent.

4) Add the vegetables to the translucent onion mix and cook until all vegetables soft (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and strain over a sink to get rid of water.

5) In a bowl, add goats cheese to the mix and stir until well combined. I use 3/4 of the oil from the Meredith Dairy container as part of the mix as it is so, so flavoursome. If you don’t buy this goats cheese make sure to add a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some herbs to your mix.

6) OK – NOW PAY ATTENTION – I AM GOING TO TELL YOU TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT (Compared to my snaps below!) WHEN IT COMES TO ROLLING THEM! If you look at my photos below you will see how I rolled the mixture in the filo pastry. I think that if you do it this way that you end up with too much pastry in your final spring rolls and it doesn’t cook right through. So I would advise you to make TWO spring rolls per one sheet of filo as opposed to one spring roll per sheet. Does that make sense?! Cut the film sheet in half length ways and roll one sprain roll down one side and another on the other side. Please email me or leave a comment below if you want me to “walk” you through it! If you don’t use the whole packet of filo, fear not as it lasts in the fridge for quite some time (check dates on the packet!)

7) Place spring rolls onto baking paper lined tray and brush with EVOO.

8) Cook in a pre-heated 180 deg cel. oven until  golden and crispy – approx 15/20 minutes.

Delicious with drinks before a BBQ! ENJOY!

Note: To freeze, separate rows of spring rolls with a sheet of baking paper and place into tupperware container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Can go straight from freezer to oven.

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This month’s theme for BESTRECIPES.COM.AU’s “Home Cook Hero” is SUMMER ENTERTAINING – How perfect are these Spring Rolls as an entry?! For more information on the campaign, read below:

Do you love cooking and sharing new recipes? At Best Recipes we love to share Australia’s best recipe creations and so we’re looking for Best Recipes Home Cook Hero. Each month we’ll be setting a new recipe theme to find the best home cooks and all you have to do is share your favourite original recipe with us. You’ll have the chance to win great prizes and be announced as Australia’s Home Cook Hero!

This month, we’re looking for the Home Cook Hero with the best Summer Entertaining recipe! To be in the running to be the Home Cook Hero for December, SUBMIT your best original Christmas gift RECIPE. Enter between December 1 – 31, 2014 to WIN $1,000 and have your recipe published in Super Food Ideas magazine. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Posted in: STARTERS 0 Comments

MAILLE + PHOODIE GIVEAWAY! 4

December 9, 2014

BLOG

The first La Maison Maille Shop in Shop Boutique in the Southern Hemisphere opened its doors earlier this year, offering the world’s most exclusive mustard to customers in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The Australian La Maison Maille Shop in Shop Boutique joined a line-up of the world’s most famous food destinations including Paris, London and Dijon. Shortly afterwards, the second La Maison Maille Shop in Shop Boutique opened in Sydney’s Mosman.

[Read more →]

Posted in: REVIEWS 4 Comments

PHOODIE’S MIDDLE EASTERN SUMMER SALAD 2

December 7, 2014

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PHOODIE’S Middle Eastern Summer Salad featuring AGDA 2015 Award Winning Barambah Organics Labna with Fennel and Sea Salt – This post is sponsored by Dairy Australia.

We eat with our eyes.

I know people have been stating that for a billion years but it’s SO true.

I’m not saying only attractive things taste good (think ‘Curry’!) but when it comes to “giving something new a try,” ugly things tend to require a little more convincing!

Luckily for this Middle Eastern Salad, it’s as pretty as a picture. With it’s jewel-like pomegranate seeds, bright, crisp, white labna and it’s finely shaved pastel-green fennel, visually, it appeals to all, young and old! The perfect accompaniment to a piece of grilled fish, chicken, or steak or delicious on it’s own, it’s a winner in our house all Summer long!

INGREDIENTS

3 medium fennel bulbs

8 medium/large sized radishes

seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

1 cup roasted walnuts

2 Lemons – juice only

1 clove Garlic – crushed

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

200g Barambah Organics Labna with Fennel and Sea Salt

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac

A handful of fresh mint leaves

Salt and Pepper to Taste

METHOD

1) Using a mandolin, finely slice the fennel and radish. Gently toss together in a serving dish.

2) Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and scatter half over the fennel and radish. Set the rest aside. Note: there are many ways to extract the seeds. I find the method demonstrated in this youtube video to be the easiest. Click HERE to see the video.

3) Roughly chop the roasted walnuts (you can either buy them roasted or simply place them into a 200 degree celcius oven on a baking paper lined tray for approximately 10 minutes or until golden on top.) Scatter half the chopped walnuts over the salad. Set the rest aside.

4) Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and crushed garlic in a clean glass jar and shake thoroughly. Taste it and add salt and pepper to suit your palate. Dress the salad with this mixture. You can decide how much or how little dressing you wish to use. You don’t have to use it all.

5) Generously dollop the Barambah Organics Labna over the top of the salad. 

6) Sprinkle the sumac over the salad, making sure that some goes on top of the Labna, just so that you can see it!

7) Scatter the remaining pomegranate seeds and walnuts over the salad to garnish.

8) Gently place the mint leaves around the top of the salad.

ENJOY!

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More Information on the Australian Grand Dairy Awards (AGDA) and Barambah Organics Labna with Fennel and Sea Salt

The Australian Grand Dairy Awards recognise and reward excellence and quality in Australian dairy produce, paying tribute to the achievements of the highly-skilled specialists who develop and make these products. Created in 1999, the Australian Grand Dairy Awards are Australia’s most prestigious national dairy awards and the highest accolade for Australian dairy producers.

This year’s Australian Grand Dairy Awards saw almost 400 products across 20 different classes put through their paces in a rigorous and highly technical judging process by a team of expert judges. Each product was tasted, tested and assessed for flavour, aroma, body, texture, colour and appearance to identify the highest scoring products.

Oxley has earned itself a seat at the table of Australia’s finest foods, thanks to locally produced Barambah Organics Labna with Fennel and Sea Salt taking home the title of Australia’s best Flavoured Cheese in the prestigious 2015 Australian Grand Dairy Awards, announced in Melbourne on 24th November.

A full list of all 2015 Australian Grand Dairy awards winner can be found by clicking HERE.

 

 

Posted in: MAINS, QUICK + EASY, SALADS 2 Comments

WILLIE’S CACAO + PHOODIE GIVEAWAY! 6

December 2, 2014

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Chocolate lovers gather round.

There’s a new kid in town and TRUST ME, you want to meet him…. or at least meet his Chocolate!

Willie’s Cacao is what REAL chocolate tastes like. While most comparable chocolate relies heavily on additives for it’s appeal, all the flavour in Willie’s chocolate comes from the cacao itself. It is very pure so nothing gets in the way of the flavour of the bean. The dark chocolate range each contain only three ingredients – cacao, natural cacao butter and raw cane sugar – this allows the individual flavours of the best cacaos from around the world, including Venezuela, Indonesia, Peru, Madagascar, and Cuba, to be showcased.

[Read more →]

Posted in: REVIEWS 6 Comments

WOOLWORTHS CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY + GIFTGUIDE! 10

November 30, 2014

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THIS AWESOME CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY AND GIFT GUIDE IS SPONSORED BY WOOLWORTHS

We all have that one person  in our lives who is IMPOSSIBLE to buy gifs for.

For me it’s Dad.

He wants for nothing.

He never asks or hints for anything.

And he’s kinda fussy, so I’m never certain that he’s going to love whatever it is that I end up grabbing for him in a last minute panic anyway!

My answer to this problem (and to most problems in life) is FOOD, or FOOD-RELATED.

[Read more →]

Posted in: REVIEWS 10 Comments

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CRACKLE COOKIES! 6

November 24, 2014

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BERYU

CARA

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There pretty much are NO WORDS for these. THAT’S how heavenly they are!

Well….  I guess there are SOME words, otherwise this would be a silent blog post… or a wordless one rather…

In any case, let’s keep this simple….

These Donna Hay Bikkies are….

AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS

Soft AND Crunchy.

Rich and Chocolately.

EASY to make.

LOVED BY ANYONE AND EVERYONE.

The perfect Christmas (or anytime!) gift!

I first came across these biscuits / cookies (which you can find by clicking on this sentence!!) when my friend K made them for me last December, She packed them tight into the most stunning jar and decorated it with holly and a gorgeous sticker ‘card.’ I felt very special being on the receiving end of such a thoughtful home-made gift but I felt even MORE special as I bit into my first one and realised how insanely good they were!

I will link to the recipe again HERE (CLICK ON THE WORD HERE OR ON THIS SENTENCE AND the link will take you to a blog that lists the method and ingredients!) I didn’t use the food dye when I made them, so mine weren’t red, but do as you please! It doesn’t affect the end result! Also, another tip, be GENEROUS with the icing sugar that you roll the balls in just before baking. If you want that real white vs dark contrast on your final cookies, you need to pack that stuff on – see my pics below!

ENJOY!

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Posted in: BAKED GOODS, POPULAR 6 Comments

PHOODIE’S CANDY CANE TRUFFLES 5

November 17, 2014

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THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY BESTRECIPES.COM.AU

If you ask me, food is the best gift that you can give.

Flowers or food?

FOOD.

Booze or food?

FOOD.

Jewellery or food?

FOOD.

It’s a no brainer from where I stand. Food wins every time.

Ever since I was a wee lass, Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. And I love nothing more than spending a day in the kitchen with the ones I love baking, cooking, smashing up a storm.

These Candy Cane truffles scream Christmas from the rooftops and with the mint chocolate combo they are hard to say no to!

ENJOY!

Other Christmas edibles include this DELICIOUS gingerbread, these gorgeous and simple tarts and the INFAMOUS PHOODIE’S Rocky Road Wreath!

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INGREDIENTS

900 grams good quality dark chocolate

270 ml thickened cream

Candy Canes, crushed – for rolling the truffles in (you can also use cocoa, desiccated coconut, peanuts, the list goes on!)

METHOD

1) Place the cream and the chocolate in a medium sized pan and cook on the stove over a low heat. Stir continuously until chocolate has melted and ingredients have combined.

2) Remove from heat and whisk to ensure no lumps then transfer to a baking paper lined tin (mine was 26cm x 20 cm, but it doesn’t really matter, any small baking tin will do.) Place in fridge to set (approximately 2 or so hours or until firm.)

3) Place Candy Canes in a food processor and blitz under desired consistency is reached. I like it to be similar to sand but some people prefer larger pieces. Transfer Candy Cane crumbs to a bowl. (Note: they tend to stick together a bit so keep a small spoon close by to break them apart as necessary.)

4) Remove the set chocolate mixture from the fridge and place a heaped teaspoon (I actually use about two teaspoons worth because I prefer mine larger) of chocolate mixture at a time into the palm of your hand. Roll it into a ball and then coat it with candy cane crumbs. Set aside on a baking paper lined tray. Repeat until all chocolate mixture is used up. Store in a tupperware container in the fridge for up to 8 days.)

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This month’s theme for BESTRECIPES.COM.AU’s “Home Cook Hero” is CHRISTMAS GIFTS – How perfect are these Candy Cane Truffles as an entry?! For more information on the campaign, read below:

Do you love cooking and sharing new recipes? At Best Recipes we love to share Australia’s best recipe creations and so we’re looking for Best Recipes Home Cook Hero. Each month we’ll be setting a new recipe theme to find the best home cooks and all you have to do is share your favourite original recipe with us. You’ll have the chance to win great prizes and be announced as Australia’s Home Cook Hero!

This month, we’re looking for the Home Cook Hero with the best Christmas gift recipe! To be in the running to be the Home Cook Hero for November, SUBMIT your best original Christmas gift RECIPE. Enter between November 1 – 30, 2014 to WIN $1,000 and have your recipe published in Super Food Ideas magazine. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

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Posted in: QUICK + EASY 5 Comments

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