Okonomiyaki


Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, healthy, low calorie, mains, vegetarian, sides, appetizer
Serves: 4-6 large pancakes | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per pancake

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I LOVE okonomiyaki. I can’t remember when I had my first one, but my latest trip to Japan a few years ago reignited my love for them. They’re widely available in Japan but my favourite one was in Osaka at a little hidden place called Dan recommended by our Airbnb host. There are many variations of okonomiyaki around different regions of Japan but the basic recipe is typically similar.

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake made of mainly shredded cabbage and a flour batter then topped with a variety of sauces and toppings such as kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, and bonito flakes. The pancake is cooked on a flat top and covered with a lid to steam and soften the cabbage. The result is a beautiful golden brown pancake with a slightly crunchy texture. It’s filling and satisfying as a main dish or quick snack.

You can experiment and add different toppings into your batter such as corn, ham, shrimp…etc. Just be careful not to add too many toppings and change the texture of your pancake.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

Okonomiyaki flour, bonito flakes and seaweed flakes/seasoning
  • 200g okonomiyaki flour
  • 300ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 cups cabbage (~1 small cabbage), sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Toppings:
    • Okonomiyaki sauce
    • Kewpie mayo
    • Seaweed flakes
    • Bonito flakes

Directions:

In a large bowl mix the okonomiyaki flour with water until you get a smooth paste. Then add in beaten eggs, cabbage and onion. Mix until everything is combined.

(See photo above for the consistency of what your batter should be. There should be enough batter mixture to cover all the cabbage pieces. It may differ depending on how thin you sliced your cabbage. Add more batter mixture if it doesn’t look like there’s enough.)

Heat a flat pan/skillet on MED and add a drizzle of oil. Ladle your batter onto the heated pan to size of your liking. You want it roughly 2.5cm thick. Flatten slightly with your spatula and push in the sides so you have a circle. Cook for 5 mins on each side covered with a lid. It should be golden brown on both sides.

Serve drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and seaweed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Okonomiyaki

Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, healthy, low calorie, mains, vegetarian, sides, appetizer
Serves: 4-6 large pancakes | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per pancake

Ingredients:

  • 200g okonomiyaki flour
  • 300ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 cups cabbage (~1 small cabbage), sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Toppings:
    • Okonomiyaki sauce
    • Kewpie mayo
    • Seaweed flakes
    • Bonito flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix the okonomiyaki flour with water until you get a smooth paste. Then add in beaten eggs, cabbage and onion. Mix until everything is combined. (See photo above on what your batter should look like.)
  2. Heat a flat pan/skillet on MED and add a drizzle of oil. Ladle your batter onto the heated pan to size of your liking. You want it roughly 2.5cm thick. Flatten slightly with your spatula and push in the sides so you have a circle. Cook for 5 mins on each side covered with a lid. It should be golden brown on both sides.
  3. Serve drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and seaweed. Enjoy!

Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Dressing


Date Published: May 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: May 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salad, sides, healthy, low calorie, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

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In an attempt to eat healthier, Toby and I have been cutting dairy out of our diets and as much saturated fats as possible. We’ve been on this new diet for about 3 weeks and I must say it has been much easier than expected, however the temptations in our new clinic have been a challenge. This new clinic is the most well-stocked clinic we’ve ever been to in terms of food. There are snacks and junk food in pretty much every drawer and cupboard in the lunch room and even a chocolates/Tim Tams drawer in the fridge! There have also been 2 catered meetings and one was KFC and the other was pizza 😭. Although eating healthy isn’t hard, but the temptations everywhere have been quite the challenge. Happy to report we’re still staying strong though!

One of the key things to eating healthy or staying on track is to plan your meals ahead of time. It’s so easy to just grab fast food on the way home or open up a bag of chips at the end of a busy work day when you’re too lazy to cook, but if your meals are planned ahead of time and you already have your groceries done, it’s easier to stay focused. It also gives you an extra push to use up the veg in your fridge to make sure it doesn’t goes off 😜. I’ve been researching lots of recipes that are low in saturated fats and calories and so far this is one of my favourite side dishes and it’s so easy to make. The original recipe is from BudgetBytes with a few adaptations.

This mediterranean-inspired dish is made of delicious roasted cauliflower in a blend of spices with chickpeas, red onions, and fresh parsley, drizzled with a tangy garlicky lemon tahini dressing. To make this a full meal, toss it over a bed of kale. This dish is packed with flavour and the fibre and will keep you full all day.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 can (420g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (skip if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 3 Tbsps + 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Half bunch (~5 cups) curly leaf kale (optional – for a full salad)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Lemon Tahini Dressing:
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F).

Roast the cauliflower: In a large bowl combine: paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, pinch of salt and pepper, and 3 Tbsps of olive oil (or more if it seems a little dry). Add in cauliflower, red onion, and chickpeas and mix everything around and spread it onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and browned on the edges.

(Tip: You can also put this through an air fryer for about 10-15mins, just remove the chickpeas first and put it in the air fryer in the last 5 mins, otherwise when the chickpeas cook too much they start to pop!).

Optional: Prepare the kale: While the cauliflower roasts, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner and discard the stems. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.

Make the dressing: Add all the ingredients of the dressing together in a bowl and mix until combined and smooth: tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt and sugar.

Assemble the salad: Once the cauliflower finishes, add it to the prepared kale along with chopped parsley and drizzle the tahini dressing over top to finish. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Date Published: May 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: May 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salad, sides, healthy, low calorie, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 can (420g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsps + 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Half bunch (~5 cups) curly leaf kale (optional – for a full salad)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Lemon Tahini Dressing:
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F).
  2. Roast the cauliflower: In a large bowl combine: paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, pinch of salt and pepper, and 3 Tbsps of olive oil (or more if it seems a little dry). Add in cauliflower, red onion, and chickpeas and mix everything around and spread it onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and browned on the edges.
    • (Tip: You can also put this through an air fryer for about 10-15mins, just remove the chickpeas first and put it in the air fryer in the last 5 mins, otherwise when the chickpeas cook too much they start to pop!).
  3. Optional: Prepare the kale: While the cauliflower roasts, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner and discard the stems. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.
  4. Make the dressing: Add all the ingredients of the dressing together in a bowl and mix until combined and smooth: tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt and sugar.
  5. Assemble the salad: Once the cauliflower finishes, add it to the prepared kale along with chopped parsley and drizzle the tahini dressing over top to finish. Enjoy!

Mini Banoffee Pies


Date Published: April 12th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 12th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: desserts
Serves: 16 pies | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 hours

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Banoffee = banana + toffee. If you love bananas, caramel, and cream, then you’ll love banoffee pie. I don’t remember where or when I first had it, but I do remember it was love at first bite. The first time I heard of this pie was actually in an episode of Little Britain when Marjorie from Fat Fighters shamed Tania for bringing banoffee pie for the group and puts it in her own handbag instead 😂.

This recipe uses dulce de leche as the “toffee” which is essentially caramel but made with both milk and sugar instead of just sugar. I’ve used Arnott’s Granita biscuits as the pie base but it’s also commonly made with a graham cracker base (it’s just nearly impossible to find graham crackers in Australia). Feel free to use pre-made whipped cream for the topping but I find fresh whipped cream nicer and easier to control the sweetness (and it’s also super satisfying turning a liquid to a whipped “solid”).

This recipe is SUPER easy BUT it does take time to make so plan ahead if you’re making this for a party. Most of the time that goes into this recipe is just waiting for the condensed milk to caramelize into dulce de leche in the oven. Grab a book or put on a movie while the oven does most of the work for you! The rest of the recipe is basic. Just blend up the biscuits with some butter and honey, bake for a few minutes, then top with the dulce de leche, chopped bananas and cream. Done!

A banoffee pie is usually served as an actual regular-sized pie, but since it’s usually just Toby and I on the road and we never have the space to store a whole pie (nor be able to eat it all on our own), so when I bake I like to bake for the entire hospital staff. I always find whole pies and cakes difficult to serve to a big busy team on the go when you have to fuss with plates, forks, knives, storage and the dishes afterwards so I’ve developed a smaller two-bite version with not cutlery required. Feel free to make this into a full-sized pie. Just follow the instructions as-is, but press the base into a pie dish instead of cupcake liners.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Dulce de leche:
    • 1 can (397g) condensed milk
  • Biscuit Base:
    • 1 package (250g) Arnott’s Granita biscuits
    • 125g unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 Tbsps honey
  • 2 bananas
  • Whipped Cream Topping:
    • 2 cups (500ml) thickened cream
    • 5 Tbsps granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional – but it helps the cream set better and last longer)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F).

Make the biscuit base: Place the Granita biscuits in a food processor and pulse until completely crumbled. Then add in the melted unsalted butter and honey and continue to pulse until all combined.

Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners (or tart shells if you’ve got them) and place a large heaping tablespoon of the biscuit mixture into each cupcake liner. Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the pan. You can use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to help you press it down.

Bake in the oven at 180˚C for 8-10 mins until golden brown. Remove gently and let it cool completely.

Make the dulce de leche: Pour the entire contents of the condensed milk into a glass* pie dish or a heavy tray and cover with aluminum foil. Place it in a larger tray and pour boiling water in the outer tray until the inner tray is half submerged in water. Bake for 90 mins (still at 180˚C) until the condensed milk is a caramel brown colour. Mix it around and smooth out any large lumps.

* This will still work with a metal pan (as pictured above), but the metal pan won’t be heavy enough to submerge in the water and will float on top of the water instead. A glass dish will be heavy enough to submerge in the hot water. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a glass dish and your pan floats. The flavour will be similar but the dulce de leche will be thicker and not as smooth. Flavour will still be similar – you can just cover any lumps with extra bananas or cream :).

Make the whipped cream topping: While the dulce de leche is cooking, make the cream by adding together the thickened/heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract and cream of tartar (optional) in a mixing bowl. Whip until you get stiff peaks (be careful not to over whip). Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Once the bases are cooled and the dulce de leche is ready, assemble the pie: Granita base + spoonful of dulce de leche + banana slices + whipped cream. Remove the cupcake liners before serving. Done!

Tip: If the dulce de leche is difficult to spread out, you can warm it up a little by re-submerging your tray in a warm water bath, or dip a spoon in a little oil and smooth it out in the pie.

Summarized Recipe:

Mini Banoffee Pies

Date Published: April 12th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 12th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: desserts
Serves: 16 pies | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • Dulce de leche:
    • 1 can (397g) condensed milk
  • Biscuit Base:
    • 1 package (250g) Arnott’s Granita biscuits
    • 125g unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 Tbsps honey
  • 2 bananas
  • Whipped Cream Topping:
    • 2 cups (500ml) thickened cream
    • 5 Tbsps granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional – but it helps the cream set better and last longer)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F).
  2. Make the biscuit base: Place the Granita biscuits in a food processor and pulse until completely crumbled. Then add in the melted unsalted butter and honey and continue to pulse until all combined.
  3. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners (or tart shells if you’ve got them) and place a large heaping tablespoon of the biscuit mixture into each cupcake liner. Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the pan. You can use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to help you press it down. Bake in the oven at 180˚C for 8-10 mins until golden brown. Remove gently and let it cool completely.
  4. Make the dulce de leche: Pour the entire contents of the condensed milk into a glass* pie dish or a heavy tray and cover with aluminum foil. Place it in a larger tray and pour boiling water in the outer tray until the inner tray is half submerged in water. Bake for 90 mins (still at 180˚C) until the condensed milk is a caramel brown colour. Mix it around and smooth out any large lumps.
    • *See notes above under the photos if you don’t have a glass dish
  5. Make the whipped cream topping: While the dulce de leche is cooking, make the cream by adding together the thickened/heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract and cream of tartar (optional) in a mixing bowl. Whip until you get stiff peaks (be careful not to over whip). Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  6. Assemble the pies: Once the bases are cooled and the dulce de leche is ready, assemble the pie: Granita base + spoonful of dulce de leche + banana slices + whipped cream. Remove the cupcake liners before serving. Done!
    • Tip: If the dulce de leche is difficult to spread out, you can warm it up a little by re-submerging your tray in a warm water bath, or dip a spoon in a little oil and smooth it out in the pie.

Chewy Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies


Date Published: April 4th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 4th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: desserts, easy
Serves: 22 cookies | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 8 mins

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This recipe is straight right off of the bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips. The first time my housemate made them I was ADDICTED. She happened to make a big batch because the PB chips were on sale (which never happens). These cookies are soft, light, and packs a punch of peanut butter chips. You can also easily substitute out the PB chips for regular chocolate chips. I decided to add the recipe to this website as a reference for myself so I don’t always have to read off the wrinkled bag and also so I can use substitutions when I don’t have the bag around. I’ve added a few notes from myself to help guide the process and also added in metric units for food scales (which makes life so much easier and less messy in my opinion!).

Btw, these cookies are soft enough to use to make ice cream sandwiches. Just skip the PB chips in the recipe, bake the cookies as normal, and when they’ve fully cooled, add a scoop of ice cream between two cookies. Yum!

This recipe is SO easy and cooks up quickly, perfect for last-minute baking for an event.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (35g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (180g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups (280g/10oz package) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 175˚C (350°F).

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, Beat together the butter and sugar until combined, then add in the egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until everything is incorporated.

Gradually add in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, allowing everything to be combined before adding the next 1/3. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet (roughly golfball-sized). Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes. Do not over bake.

The cookies will puff up slightly when baking then deflate into flat cookies when cooling.

Tip: If you want perfectly round cookies, form them into round balls with your hands before baking them instead of dropping them by the spoonful.

Tip: If you want less soft and more chewy cookies, flatten them slightly before baking.

The cookies will be very soft and fragile when they come out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking tray first until they firm up before letting them cool on a wire rack completely. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Chewy Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Date Published: April 4th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 4th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: desserts, easy
Serves: 22 cookies | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 8 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (35g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup (150g) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup (180g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups (280g/10oz package) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175˚C (350°F).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, Beat together the butter and sugar until combined, then add in the egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until everything is incorporated.
  4. Gradually add in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, allowing everything to be combined before adding the next 1/3. Stir in the peanut butter chips.
  5. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet (roughly golfball-sized). Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes. Do not over bake.
    • The cookies will puff up slightly when baking then deflate into flat cookies when cooling.
    • Tip: If you want perfectly round cookies, form them into round balls with your hands before baking them instead of dropping them by the spoonful.
    • Tip: If you want less soft and more chewy cookies, flatten them slightly before baking.
  6. The cookies will be very soft and fragile when they come out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking tray first until they firm up before letting them cool on a wire rack completely. Enjoy!

Currywurst (A Curry Ketchup Recipe)


Date Published: April 4th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 4th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sauces
Serves: ~1 cup sauce | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

I’ve only been to Europe once in my life and that was back in 2014 where a few of my friends and I spent a 3 week adventure in Belgium, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. It was such a fantastic trip filled with fantastic company, plenty of beers and great food. Apart from the amazing tapas in Barcelona, I was obsessed with the Currywurst in Berlin. We went to a few locations but I think Curry61 was my all time favourite. Currywurst is a street food dish originating from Berlin that is essentially just sausages served with curry ketchup. Sounds simple enough, but the curry ketchup is much more than just adding curry powder to ketchup. It’s got a much richer flavour and I just couldn’t get enough of it! I’ve been told you can buy curry ketchup by the bottle in Europe, but its nearly impossible to find in Australia so I’ve experimented to making my own. I’ve follow the recipe from CraftBeering.com and added a few minor adjustments.

This recipe is really just a recipe for the sauce because you can serve it over whatever you like. Once the sauce is made, feel free to fire up the grill and cook up a few sausages or add it to a burger or french fries.

Once this pandemic is over, Toby and I have plans to visit again and he can try it for the first time and tell me how close my recipe is. 😜

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion (1.5 cups), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder + more for dusting 
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard)

Directions:

Heat a small pan on MED heat and sauté the diced onion with the vegetable oil until the onion softens and turns translucent (~ 5 mins).

Add in the garlic and curry powder and continue to sauté for another minute to toast the curry powder.

Turn the heat down to LOW and add in the ketchup and continue to cook for a few minutes until heated through.

In a small bowl, add and mix together the rest of the ingredients: vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, mustard powder. When the ketchup has heated through, add this mixture to the pan and continue stirring for another few minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is heated through.

Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a blender or use a stick blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. If you want your sauce runnier, add in a tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.

Serve with crispy grilled sausages, french fries…etc. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Currywurst (A Curry Ketchup Recipe)

Date Published: April 4th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 4th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sauces
Serves: ~1 cup sauce | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion (1.5 cups), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder + more for dusting 
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard)

Directions:

  1. Heat a small pan on MED heat and sauté the diced onion with the vegetable oil until the onion softens and turns translucent (~ 5 mins).
  2. Add in the garlic and curry powder and continue to sauté for another minute to toast the curry powder.
  3. Turn the heat down to LOW and add in the ketchup and continue to cook for a few minutes until heated through.
  4. In a small bowl, add and mix together the rest of the ingredients: vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, mustard powder. When the ketchup has heated through, add this mixture to the pan and continue stirring for another few minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is heated through.
  5. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a blender or use a stick blender and blend until the mixture is smooth.
    • If you want your sauce runnier, add in a tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.
  6. Serve with crispy grilled sausages, french fries…etc. Enjoy!

Chicken Marsala


Date Published: April 4th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 4th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Jump to recipe |

Back in my uni days when I first started discovering how to cook on my own, my friend Mehdi would occasionally come over and we’d experiment with some recipes. One night we decided to try making chicken MASALA, the Indian dish, but accidentally made chicken MARSALA, the Italian dish. It still makes me laugh to think that I never even questioned that the recipe was not what I was looking for – even when there were no spices or curries involved. 😂 I kept thinking things weren’t right while we were making it, but trusted that the recipe would somehow all come together in the end – it had a bunch of positive reviews after all. 😅 This goes to show you how noob I was at the time at cooking and couldn’t realize that there was no way my list of ingredients would make an Indian dish (it even used Italian wine for gods sake! 😅😅😅). Obviously at the end of the cook, the dish didn’t magically turn into Indian chicken masala but the chicken came out so tender and the creamy mushroom wine sauce was damn addicting. It was the best mistake I made in kitchen that day. It was so delicious that I’ve made it at least half a dozen times since. Over the years I’ve experimented with a few different recipes and have settled on this version. You’ll probably find that this recipe yields too much sauce, but I’ve done it on purpose because the sauce is THAT good. I like to serve it with some bread to soak up the extra sauce or drizzle it over mashed potatoes. Mmmmm. It’s also really good served over pasta shells and dice up the chicken instead of serving it as a cutlet.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps (30g) + 1 Tbsp (15g) butter
  • 250g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy/thickened cream
  • 3/4 tsp dry thyme (or 2 tsp fresh thyme)
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a wide bowl, mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, and oregano.

Butterfly the chicken breasts (see tutorial here) and pound down until they’re roughly 1.5cm thick then coat each chicken breast in the flour mixture until fully covered. Shake off any excess flour. Set aside.

(If you’ve got a smaller pan you can also cut them into 4 cutlets instead of 2 large ones.)

In a skillet or wide pan on MED-HIGH heat, add the 2 Tbsps of olive oil and 2 Tbsps of butter and mix together until melted. Add in the chicken breasts (you can do one at a time if your pan is too small) and brown each side until lightly golden brown (3-4 mins on each side). You do not want to cook the chicken all the way through, just brown the outside. Remove the chicken from the pan onto a plate and set aside.

In the same pan with the remaining butter/olive oil, add in 1 Tbsp of butter and sauté the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until browned. Then add in the garlic and onion. Cook for another few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the Marsala wine, chicken broth, cream, and thyme. Stir and bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to MED until you get a light simmer. Continue simmering the sauce until it has reduced in half and slightly thickened. The sauce will turn a darker colour. You will get a thin cream sauce at this stage (~15-20mins).

If you’re planning to serve this over pasta, rice or a side dish, now is a good time to make it while you wait for the sauce to simmer.

Once the sauce has reduced, add back in the chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is fully warmed, cooked and the sauce has thickened a bit more (or to your liking). The flour coating on the chicken will help thicken the sauce further. Done! Sprinkle some parsley on top for garnish.

Tip: If your chicken is already cooked but your sauce isn’t thick enough, you can remove the chicken and continue boiling down the sauce on its own or alternatively mix in a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken it (do not add the flour directly to the sauce or it will clump – add it in a small bowl and mix a small amount of sauce with the flour until you get a smooth paste, then add it to the pan and continue to mix).

Summarized Recipe:

Chicken Marsala

Date Published: April 4th, 2021 | Last Updated: April 4th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps (30g) + 1 Tbsp (15g) butter
  • 250g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy/thickened cream
  • 3/4 tsp dry thyme (or 2 tsp fresh thyme)
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a wide bowl, mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, and oregano.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breasts (see tutorial here) and pound down until they’re roughly 1.5cm thick then coat each chicken breast in the flour mixture until fully covered. Shake off any excess flour. Set aside.
    • (If you’ve got a smaller pan you can also cut them into 4 cutlets instead of 2 large ones.)
  3. In a skillet or wide pan on MED-HIGH heat, add the 2 Tbsps of olive oil and 2 Tbsps of butter and mix together until melted. Add in the chicken breasts (you can do one at a time if your pan is too small) and brown each side until lightly golden brown (3-4 mins on each side). You do not want to cook the chicken all the way through, just brown the outside. Remove the chicken from the pan onto a plate and set aside.
  4. In the same pan with the remaining butter/olive oil, add in 1 Tbsp of butter and sauté the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until browned. Then add in the garlic and onion. Cook for another few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent then add in the Marsala wine, chicken broth, cream, and thyme. Stir and bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to MED until you get a light simmer. Continue simmering the sauce until it has reduced in half and slightly thickened. The sauce will turn a darker colour. You will get a thin cream sauce at this stage (~15-20mins).
    • If you’re planning to serve this over pasta, rice or a side dish, now is a good time to make it while you wait for the sauce to simmer.
  5. Once the sauce has reduced, add back in the chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is fully warmed, cooked and the sauce has thickened a bit more (or to your liking). The flour coating on the chicken will help thicken the sauce further. Done! Sprinkle some parsley on top for garnish.
    • Tip: If your chicken is already cooked but your sauce isn’t thick enough, you can remove the chicken and continue boiling down the sauce on its own or alternatively mix in a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken it (do not add the flour directly to the sauce or it will clump – add it in a small bowl and mix a small amount of sauce with the flour until you get a smooth paste, then add it to the pan and continue to mix).

Mushroom Sausage Risotto


Date Published: April 3rd, 2021 | Last Updated: April 3rd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour

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Warning: This recipe is slow, painful, and requires constant attention, but the end result is a beautiful creamy risotto, made the traditional way. It’s not difficult but it is time-consuming. If you’ve got a spare couple of hours on a lazy day off, this recipe may be for you. So why is making risotto so slow and painful? Believe it or not, the creaminess of a risotto is from the starch of the rice that is released slowly by constantly stirring the rice in a small amount of liquid. As you agitate the rice grains, the released starch creates a creamy texture with the broth without any need of cream or butter. This process must be done slowly on a low-medium heat or else the starches won’t release properly and your risotto won’t be as creamy. Although it’s a mind-numbing process to wait for the liquids to absorb each time, the constant stirring of the risotto can actually be kind of therapeutic if you’ve had a long day and just need to zone out.

I’m a fan of versatile recipes and this recipe fits right into that category. I’ve written it as a ‘mushroom and sausage risotto’, but you can add in whatever meat or veg you want. Just keep the methods of making the rice the same and at the end just stir in whatever cooked meat or veg you like. You can even stir in a few tablespoons of pesto! To make this vegetarian, simply omit the sausage and use vegetable broth instead.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 sausages
  • 250g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Warm up the broth either in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Set aside.

In a pan on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and cook the sausages until the outside is crispy then remove them from heat and set aside. Wait for them to cool a little then slice them into bite-sized pieces.

In the same pan with the leftover oil, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they’re golden brown. Remove the mushrooms and any liquids and set aside.

In the same pan on MED heat, add another couple tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic and onion until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add in the rice and sauté for a couple minutes until the rice absorbs some of the oil. Then add in the 1 cup of white wine and sauté until all the wine is absorbed by the rice.

Once the wine is absorbed, add 1/2 cup broth to the rice and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Once the last of the broth has been absorbed, stir in the cooked sausages and mushrooms (with any of their liquids) and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Then turn off the heat, add the parmesan and stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Tip: To make it indulgent, stir in 50g of butter at the end before serving.

Summarized Recipe:

Mushroom Sausage Risotto

Date Published: April 3rd, 2021 | Last Updated: April 3rd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 sausages
  • 500g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Warm up the broth either in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Set aside.
  2. In a pan on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and cook the sausages until the outside is crispy then remove them from heat and set aside. Wait for them to cool a little then slice them into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In the same pan with the leftover oil, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they’re golden brown. Remove the mushrooms and any liquids and set aside.
  4. In the same pan on MED heat, add another couple tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic and onion until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add in the rice and sauté for a couple minutes until the rice absorbs some of the oil. Then add in the 1 cup of white wine and sauté until all the wine is absorbed by the rice.
  5. Once the wine is absorbed, add 1/2 cup broth to the rice and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  6. Once the last of the broth has been absorbed, stir in the cooked sausages and mushrooms (with any of their liquids) and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Then turn off the heat, add the parmesan and stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
  • Tip: To make it indulgent, stir in 50g of butter at the end before serving.

Babička’s Svíčková (Beef with Vegetable Cream Sauce)


Date Published: March 29th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 29th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 3 hours

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This is Toby’s babička’s (grandmother’s) version of a svíčkova. It’s Toby’s all time favourite Czech dish that he learned from his babička when we first started cooking together so he could show me what authentic Czech cuisine is. There are many different ways to make this dish but this is the version Toby has grown up knowing and will forever be his favourite version. He has made this for me a handful of times over the years and its so damn delicious every time that we just had to add it to this website collection of recipes.

I’ve never been to Czech Republic nor do I know much about the cuisine, but according to wikipedia, Svíčkova is one of Czech’s most popular dishes – I can see why! In its simplest terms, svíčkova is a steak dish served with knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) and smothered in the most addicting creamy vegetable sauce made of parsnip, celeriac, carrots and onion. There’s a slight lemon-y tang to the sauce that balances out the heaviness of the cream. The knedlíky is my favourite part of this dish because the fluffy bread just soaks up all the delicious sauce. The sauce is meant to be on the runny side, rather than a thick gravy – I’m always super tempted to just drink the sauce as a soup every time.

Although this dish is pretty straight forward, there are a few steps to it and it takes time for the flavours to slowly simmer out – allow about 3.5 hours total.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsps (50g) + 1 Tbsp (25g) + 25g lard
  • 2 medium onions (~3 cups), diced
  • 1 whole celeriac (~3 cups), peeled and grated
    • Celeriac can come in a wide variety of sizes. The one we got was roughly bigger than a baseball: 370g before peeling and 300g after peeling which came up to about 3 cups once grated.
  • 2 medium sized parsnips (~3 cups), grated
  • 3 large carrots (~3 cups), grated
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 10 whole dried allspice berries (or 1/2 tsp ground allspice)
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 600-700g good quality steak (ie scotch fillet, eye fillet, rump steak – the less tendon, the better)
  • 200ml thickened/heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Serve with knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) and wedges of lemon

Directions

(If you haven’t already, you can make the knedlíky dough first and while it proofs for an hour you can start making the svíčková.)

In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt 50g of lard and add in the diced onions. Sauté the onions until lightly browned and translucent.

Turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the grated celeriac, parsnip and carrots. Add in another 25g of lard into the vegetables and mix it around (the extra lard prevents them from burning). Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (392˚F).

Once the vegetables begin to soften, add in the beef stock, black peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Make sure you COUNT the number of peppercorns and allspice berries you add in because you’ll have to take them out later. Bring the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer for 2.5 hours with the lid on.

In a pan or skillet on HIGH heat, melt another 25g of lard and sear the beef on all sides. Put the seared beef in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove it and add it to the pot of vegetables along with any juices and continue to let it simmer for the rest of the 2.5 hours with the lid on.

(You can take this time to cook the knedlíky if you haven’t already.)

Once the veg and meat have simmered for 2.5 hours, remove the meat, peppercorns, allspice berries and bay leaves. Set aside the meat and discard the spices. Use a stick blender and blend the veg/stock mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard any fibrous material.

Place the strained mixture back into the pot, add the thickened cream and lemon juice and mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Then add the beef back into the pot and heat until warmed. Remove the beef and slice.

Serve by placing a couple slices of beef with a few slices of knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) on a plate and a generous portion of the sauce overtop. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Babíčka’s Svíčková (Beef with Vegetable Cream Sauce)

Date Published: March 29th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 29th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps (50g) + 1 Tbsp (25g) + 25g lard
  • 2 medium onions (~3 cups), diced
  • 1 whole celeriac (~3 cups), peeled and grated
    • Celeriac can come in a wide variety of sizes. The one we got was roughly bigger than a baseball: 370g before peeling and 300g after peeling which came up to about 3 cups once grated.
  • 2 medium sized parsnips (~3 cups), grated
  • 3 large carrots (~3 cups), grated
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 10 whole dried allspice berries (or 1/2 tsp ground allspice)
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 500-600g good quality steak (ie scotch fillet, eye fillet, rump steak – the less tendon, the better)
  • 200ml thickened/heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Serve with knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) and wedges of lemon

Directions:

  1. (If you haven’t already, you can make the knedlíky dough first and while it proofs for an hour you can start making the svíčková.)
  2. In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt 50g of lard and add in the diced onions. Sauté the onions until lightly browned and translucent.
  3. Turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the grated celeriac, parsnip and carrots. Add in another 25g of lard into the vegetables and mix it around (the extra lard prevents them from burning). Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (392˚F).
  5. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add in the beef stock, black peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Make sure you COUNT the number of peppercorns and allspice berries you add in because you’ll have to take them out later. Bring the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer for 2.5 hours with the lid on.
  6. In a pan or skillet on HIGH heat, melt another 25g of lard and sear the beef on all sides. Put the seared beef in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove it and add it to the pot of vegetables along with any juices and continue to let it simmer for the rest of the 2.5 hours with the lid on.
  7. (You can take this time to cook the knedlíky if you haven’t already.)
  8. Once the veg and meat have simmered for 2.5 hours, remove the meat, peppercorns, allspice berries and bay leaves. Set aside the meat and discard the spices. Use a stick blender and blend the veg/stock mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard any fibrous material.
  9. Place the strained mixture back into the pot, add the thickened cream and lemon juice and mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Then add the beef back into the pot and heat until warmed. Remove the beef and slice.
  10. Serve by placing a couple slices of beef with a few slices of knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) on a plate and a generous portion of the sauce overtop. Enjoy!

Knedlíky (Czech Bread Dumplings)


Date Published: March 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, breads, sides
Serves: 4 small loaves (6-8 serves)| Prep time: 1.5 hours | Cook time: 20 mins (per loaf)

Jump to recipe |

As an Asian person, the term “dumpling” has always been known to me as pockets of meat wrapped in a thin dough so it confused me greatly when I learned that the European definition of “dumpling” is generally an overarching term for a dough without any filling. European dumplings can vary greatly in ingredients and textures and can be vastly different between different regions and countries. I was actually low-key disappointed when Toby first told me he was going to make Czech dumplings and it ended up being a bread dough 😂. Nevertheless, these dumplings came out super fluffy and was fantastic at absorbing all the delicious sauce on the plate.

Knedlíky is a traditional Czech bread dumpling that is commonly served in many traditional Czech foods, especially in those dishes that have a lot of sauce or a soup/stew to soak up the delicious flavour. The texture of knedlíky are very similar to Asian-style steamed buns or baos – in fact, they’re so similar that I’m thinking of trying to make bao zi with this recipe by stuffing some mince pork in them 😜. They’re fluffy and ever so slightly sweet. Although they’re like bread, you don’t bake or steam them – you boil them! I never knew you could get such a fluffy texture by boiling dough, it completely blew my mind when I first saw Toby’s mom make them.

These dumplings are traditionally made with ‘sharp flour’ or ‘continental flour’ which is a coarser flour made from hard wheat that is common in Europe, but actually super difficult to find in Australia in regular grocery stores. I followed this recipe initially to make these dumplings and used all-purpose flour instead but they came out too dense. I’ve since tweaked the ratios of the yeast and they came out perfectly the second time! This recipe uses all-purpose flour, but if you can get your hands on some sharp flour, feel free to follow the original recipe and see if you can notice a difference.

These dumplings are pretty easy to make, but please allow enough time to cook them all. If you don’t have a really big pot, you may have to cook them one at a time (which is what I always end up doing) and it takes 20 mins each time (allow 1 hour to cook all 4). Don’t crowd them in a pot – they will expand quite a bit while you cook them, but will shrink down a little once removed from the pot and cools down. Knedlíky also freezes really well wrapped up in cling wrap or aluminum foil – just steam or microwave them when ready to use.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups (325ml) milk
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp instant active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 4.75 cups (635 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Microwave the milk until warm to the touch. Mix in the sugar and yeast and set aside for ~10 mins until frothy. Once the milk/yeast mixture is frothy, beat in one egg to the mixture.

  • Tip: Test the temperature of the milk by dipping your finger into the milk. If it’s too hot, let it cool down or else you’ll end up cooking the yeast. If it’s too cold, then the yeast won’t activate.
  • If your mixture doesn’t froth, then you’ll likely need fresh yeast.

In a large stand mixer bowl, add in the flour and salt and mix it around. Turn on the stand mixer on medium speed and gradually pour in the milk/yeast/egg mixture to the flour. Let it knead until you get a smooth elastic dough. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. (You can also knead this dough by hand.)

Cover the tough with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (~1 hr).

  • Don’t have a reliable warm place? See my method on how to proof your dough in the oven here.

Once your dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl, knead it a couple of times on a lightly floured surface to release any excess air bubbles and divide it into 4 even portions (you can use a kitchen scale for this or just eyeball it). Shape them into fat logs that are no longer than the diameter of your pot. Set them aside covered with a tea towel and let it rest for another 15 mins.

In a large pot, boil half a pot of water with 1 Tbsp of salt and drop in 1 to 2 dough logs at a time (do not crowd them. If you don’t have a large pot, you may have to cook one at a time). Boil for 10 mins, flip the dough and boil for another 10mins (20 mins total). Remove the dough log from the water and use a toothpick or chopstick to poke lots of holes into the cooked dumpling to let the steam out. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

Let the cooked dough cool then slice. Ready to eat!

Tip: If you’re not using it right away, they freeze really well covered with some cling wrap. Steaming would be best when ready to use or microwave.

Summarized Recipe:

Knedlíky (Czech Bread Dumplings)

Date Published: March 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, breads, sides
Serves: 4 small loaves (6-8 serves)| Prep time: 1.5 hours | Cook time: 20 mins (per loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups (325ml) milk
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp instant active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 4.75 cups (635 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Microwave the milk until warm to the touch. Mix in the sugar and yeast and set aside for ~10 mins until frothy. Once the milk/yeast mixture is frothy, beat in one egg to the mixture.
    • Tip: Test the temperature of the milk by dipping your finger into the milk. If it’s too hot, let it cool down or else you’ll end up cooking the yeast. If it’s too cold, then the yeast won’t activate.
    • If your mixture doesn’t froth, then you’ll likely need fresh yeast.
  2. In a large stand mixer bowl, add in the flour and salt and mix it around. Turn on the stand mixer on medium speed and gradually pour in the milk/yeast/egg mixture to the flour. Let it knead until you get a smooth elastic dough. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. (You can also knead this dough by hand.)
  3. Cover the tough with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (~1 hr).
    • Don’t have a reliable warm place? See my method on how to proof your dough in the oven here.
  4. Once your dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl, knead it a couple of times on a lightly floured surface to release any excess air bubbles and divide it into 4 even portions (you can use a kitchen scale for this or just eyeball it). Shape them into fat logs that are no longer than the diameter of your pot. Set them aside covered with a tea towel and let it rest for another 15 mins.
  5. In a large pot, boil half a pot of water with 1 Tbsp of salt and drop in 1 to 2 dough logs at a time (do not crowd them. If you don’t have a large pot, you may have to cook one at a time). Boil for 10 mins, flip the dough and boil for another 10mins (20 mins total). Remove the dough log from the water and use a toothpick or chopstick to poke lots of holes into the cooked dumpling to let the steam out. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
  6. Let the cooked dough cool then slice. Ready to eat!

Tip: If you’re not using it right away, they freeze really well covered with some cling wrap. Steaming would be best when ready to use or microwave.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup


Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, sides, mains
Serves: 1 big pot (6-8) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Toby and I have been relief veterinarians travelling around Australia for the past 6 months. We’ve spent the last two months in Grafton, NSW and we have quite enjoyed our time here with the great team we’ve been working with. Sadly it’s time for us to move on in a couple of weeks and once again we have to start the process of using up all the things in the fridge. I’ve had a few recipes lined up for the week to destock the fridge, most of them repeats of old dishes, but today I decided to make something new. I’ve had this ‘Hungarian Mushroom Soup’ recipe saved from Allrecipes.com for over a year and for whatever reason never got around to making it until today. It was the perfect recipe to get rid of leftover parsley and celery – which I always end up buying too much of because every recipe only ever needs a little bit (and I refuse to buy half bunches of celery for $3 when I can get a whole bunch for $3.50 even if I don’t need it – it’s the principle!) I’ve never been to Hungary (it’s on the bucket list) nor have I had authentic Hungarian soup so I have no idea how close this recipe is to the real thing but Toby confirms that the ingredients and the flavours of this soup is very Eastern European, so how far off could I be? 😜

I LOVE mushrooms and any kind of creamy rich soup so you can see why I was especially excited to try out this dish. This isn’t any ordinary creamy mushroom soup – in fact, there isn’t any heavy cream at all. The creaminess comes from a flour/milk mixture that thickens the soup and the addition of sour cream makes it even richer. Paprika adds a smokiness to the soup that pairs well with the fragrance of dill which are the two dominant flavours of the dish along with the tang of the sour cream. If you want to make this soup low calorie, you can substitute the butter with olive oil and skip the sour cream altogether and serve it on the side as a dollop. This soup can be served on its own as an appetizer or a side dish, or you can bulk it up with some diced potatoes or add in nokedli (Hungarian dumplings) for a full meal.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4 Tbsps (50g) butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (~4 cups)
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced (~3 cups) (optional)
  • 500g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped (or 1.25 Tbsp dried dill)
  • 2 Tbsps paprika (sweet Hungarian or smokey – or 1 Tbsp of each)
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250g) sour cream – to make this soup lower in calories, you can add in dollops of sour cream at the end instead of mixing it in
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 portions of Nokedli (optional)

Directions:

In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter then add the diced onion and celery. Sauté the veg for a few minutes then put the pot lid on and let it continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the celery softens and is easily broken with a wooden spoon.

Once the celery softens, add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add in the chicken broth, dill, paprika and soy sauce. Mix it all together, turn the heat up until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer with the lid on for 15 mins.

Mix the milk with the flour and pour it into the soup. Turn the heat up again until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer again for another 15 mins. Your soup should be thicker and creamy.

(If using: while the soup simmers, you can make the nokedli (optional) and drain it until ready to use.)

Add the lemon juice, parsley, sour cream*, salt and black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and turn off the heat when the soup heats through. Do not let it come to a boil. Enjoy! Serve the soup on its own or poured over fresh nokedli.

*Tip: If you prefer to use less sour cream, you can skip it in the soup altogether and just serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream on the side instead.

Summarized Recipe:

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, sides, mains
Serves: 1 big pot (6-8) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsps (50g) butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (~4 cups)
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced (~3 cups) (optional)
  • 500g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (or 1.5 Tbsp dried dill)
  • 2 Tbsps paprika
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup (250g) sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 portions of Nokedli (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter then add the diced onion and celery. Sauté the veg for a few minutes then put the pot lid on and let it continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the celery softens and is easily broken with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once the celery softens, add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add in the chicken broth, dill, paprika and soy sauce. Mix it all together, turn the heat up until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer with the lid on for 15 mins.
  3. Mix the milk with the flour and pour it into the soup. Turn the heat up again until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer again for another 15 mins. Your soup should be thicker and creamy.
  4. (If using: while the soup simmers, you can make the nokedli (optional) and drain it until ready to use.)
  5. Add the lemon juice, parsley, sour cream*, salt and black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and turn off the heat when the soup heats through. Do not let it come to a boil. Enjoy! Serve the soup on its own or poured over fresh nokedli.

*Tip: If you prefer to use less sour cream, you can skip it in the soup altogether and just serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream on the side instead.