Monday, November 24, 2014

Is it watermelon or is it bread..?

Saw this super cute tutorial on Youtube awhile back by Carol ( on making this super cute watermelon bread. 

I thought it'd be super cute for sandwiches as it's so deceiving. You expect it to taste sweet like a dessert but instead it tastes just like normal white bread. I used dried blueberries instead of raisins because that's all I had in the pantry. 


320g bread flour (or plain flour)
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon of dry yeast
50g of butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
20 g of sugar
2/3 cup of milk
3/4 cup of dried blueberries

extra milk for brushing
red food colouring
green food colouring 


1) Put all the ingredients excluding the dried blueberries and food colouring into your bowl and using a mixer with a dough hook attachment, beat the mixture till the dough becomes smooth. 
2) Divide the dough into 3 oiled bowls in the following portions, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/4.
3) Add a few drops of red food colouring into the 1/2 portion of dough and knead well until combined (as you can see from my photo, I didn't knead it long enough). You want the colour of the dough to be watermelon pink and not too red. Add the dried blueberries to this and knead until evenly distributed. Let it rest in the bowl and cover with cling wrap.
4) Add a few drops of green food colouring to one of the 1/4 portions of dough and knead until combined. Cover in cling wrap. Cover the remaining 1/4 of uncoloured dough in cling wrap and let these bowls rest in a warm place until they have doubled in size (approx 1 hour)
5) Once the doughs have doubled in size, roll the red dough on a lightly floured surface into the shape of a log roughly the size of your loaf pan. 
6) Roll out the uncoloured ball of dough into a rectangular shape large enough to completely cover the red dough. 
7) Brush milk all over one side of the dough and place the red dough on top and pinch the uncoloured dough around it to seal.
8) Roll the green dough out enough to cover the other two doughs and brush with milk then pinch the edges firmly together to seal everything in. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it proof until doubled in size (approx 60minutes)
9) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes till cooked. 
10) Once cooked, remove the bread from the loaf tin and let it cool on a wire rack. 

Have fun! 
It looks like a complicated recipe with lots of steps but it's actually quite simple and straightforward and everyone will be intrigued by it!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bonkers for bananas!

This is my all time favourite go to banana bread recipe because it's sugar free, uses olive oil instead of butter and comes out super moist and soft. This is definitely more a banana 'bread' than banana 'cake' but feel free to use 1/2 of brown sugar instead of honey if you prefer a sweeter banana bread. If I'm making this to share with friends then I'll usually use sugar instead of honey. 

I find this banana "bread" (we all know it's cake) recipe to be the easiest thing to whip up and there's minimal washing up.

- 1 3/4 self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup or 1/2 cup of brown sugar if you prefer it sweeter
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil 
- 2 mashed bananas
- 2 peaches (diced). Optional

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients. 
- In a seperate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix well with a spatula and pour into a lined loaf tin.
- Bake for 50 - 55 minutes until cooked.
- Allow to cool before slicing.
- Easy :D

There's a cake cooker function on my rice cooker and I've always wanted to try it out so I made my first rice cooker cake a few days ago. It turned out fine but I left the cake in the rice cooker so the cake deflated ALOT. Next time, I'll be taking the cake out of the rice cooker immediately after it's cooker so the cake wont deflate. The cake took 70 minutes to cook in the rice cooker under the cake function. 

What's the difference between a baked banana bread and a rice cooker banana bread?
The rice cooker version is much easier to wash up :p
However, I prefer the baked version as the crust is harder whereas the rice cooker version is quite soft and chewy. 

Happy baking!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Down the rabbit hole!

31 weeks preggers today!!
I always thought I'd be one of those women who would have extremely weird cravings in pregnancy but as always, it's always what you don't expect as I havent been craving much this pregnancy (lucky for hubby)
One thing that I have been craving for the past few days has been rabbit, believe it or not so that's what I made for dinner last night. Picked up a whole frozen rabbit from the butcher yesterday for $22 (and it was a tad skinnier than what I expected :p ).

- 1 rabbit (cut into 6 - 8 pieces)
- plain flour
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 onion (diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 3 stalks of celery (sliced)
- large handful of cauliflower
- small handful of sprouted chickpeas
- 250ml of white wine
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 800g canned tomatoes
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- bunch of parsley
- olive oil
- salt and pepper

- Heat pan on medium high and add olive oil. Dust rabbit in plain flour. Fry rabbit on both sides till brown and remove from pan.

- Add another tablespoon of oil to hot pan and cook the fennel seeds, onion and garlic till softened. Then add the carrots, celery and cauliflower and cook for 2-3 minutes.

- Pour in the white wine and vinegar and simmer till it begins to reduce. Add in the rosemary leaves and the tinned tomatoes and stir.

- Add the pieces of rabbit back to the pan and cover and leave to simmer for at least 1 1/2 - 2 hours till the rabbit is tender.

I served this with bread or you can also serve it with some fresh pasta or polenta. As with most recipes, feel free to use up some extra vegies you have lying around in the fridge such as an extra onion, carrot etc. I added a handful of cauliflower I had leftover in the fridge as well as a small handful of sprouted chickpeas which I've been making weekly.

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Honey, where's the sugar?

I love to bake but since there's only two of us at home, most of my cakes find their way to the parents and in-laws. With all of them becoming increasingly health conscious, I've begun experimenting with healthier alternatives. They're so healthy, even Sugar gets an occasional sweet treat!

One of my favourite cakes which I have been baking weekly is a sugar and gluten free almond teacake. 

-1 1/2cups of almond meal
-4 eggs (seperated) 
- 1/2 cups of honey (can be substituted with maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- honey to drizzle on top

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. 
- Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer till they're foamy.
- In a seperate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together on low.
- Gently fold half the egg whites to the other ingredients till incorporated then fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Pour into a round and lined cake tin.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes till cooked.
- Once cooked, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake and drizzle over the honey whilst still warm so it soaks into the cake. Leave to cool completely before cutting. 

I've also made versions where I added goji berries, inca berries or shredded coconut to the mixture prior to baking. You can adjust the amount of honey depending on how sweet you like your cakes. I prefer them less sweet because I don't feel as guilty eating more :p 

Happy baking!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Health kick

I've always been a fan of new foods and healthy eating. Hubby and I recently went on a yoga retreat to Billabong Yoga retreat, up in the Blue Mountains and I highly recommend it for those who want to relax and chill without having to travel too far (provided you're currently living in Sydney of course). Our daily schedule revolved around yoga, meditation, massages and healthy, organic, delicious vegetarian fare. 

It's given both of us the motivation to change our diets and be more conscious of what we're putting into our bodies. Hubby has now cut meat down to once a day only for either lunch or dinner and is quite happy eating vegies and other forms of protein as a replacement and I've been experimenting alot with baking healthier desserts (recipes to come in the next post). Below are some photos from our retreat which was so calming and blissful.

The cabins we stayed in during our retreat. 

One of the billabongs and massage rooms.

~ Julia

Beautiful people

Helloooo beautiful people!!!
I have way too many food photos on both my laptop and phone so I've decided to try and update more often. Just so you know, I'm the queen of "there's always tomorrow".

So much has happened so in a few words I've since:
- Moved to Sydney permanently
- Gotten married
- Currently 29 weeks pregnant :D

We also have another new addition to the family and that's Sugar! The sweetest and most adorable Corgi ever (in my eyes of course)!!!

Isn't she cute!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Alaysa - Brunswick, Middle Eastern/ Bakery.
Loved the freshly baked bread and dips~!
 Homemade parppadelle and salad for dinner
 Breakfast Omelette
 Made some homemade kale chips in salted plain and chilli flavours
 More lebanese food from my recent trip to Sydney