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1 February 2013 / Karen A

Pizza mia

An easy recipe to make your own pizza .. no more take-away, no more excuses!

I made it for my parents and my mum was so impressed that I could ‘whip up’ this delicious meal so quickly.

Serve with a nice, healthy salad, to avoid the ‘carb’ guilt ….




1½ mugs of self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tablespoon of extra vegin olive oil

a pinch of salt

1/3 mug of water at room temperature


Tomato sauce (a thin layer) – you can use the one in the bottle or make it fresh with cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. Sauce must be room temperature.

Add your own to taste, such as sliced mushrooms, mozzarella cheese (buffalo for extra flavour), anchovies, olives, herbs, zucchin, thinly sliced potatoes etc..

Remember, that authentic pizza has minimal toppings and ingredients …. so keep it simple!

(makes 2 medium sized pizzas)


Pre-heat the over to 220 degrees celsius.

Mix the flour, oil and salt for the pizza, then slowly add water and mix with your hands until a ball forms – then separate into 2. Keep a little bit of flour. A trick I use to avoid the dough sticking, is placing a large sheet of baking paper on a flat surface (table or kitchen bench), dusting it with flour, then placing the ball of dough onto it, followed by another light dusting of flour and another sheet of baking paper. I then roll the dough in between these sheets.

Once the dough is in the shape of a pizza, place a dusting of flour onto a pizza base, followed by the pizza. Cover the pizza with your toppings (tomato sauce first and I usually end with the mozzarella). A gentle sprinkle of olive oil all over the pizza and in the oven it goes!

Cooking time is approximately 10-12 minutes, but keep watching it until it is clearly golden and cooked.

28 January 2013 / Karen A

Easy Peasy Lemon Pound Cake

I found this one on Australia’s Favourite Recipes cookbook. Removed the sultanas and on occasions, added some lemon glaze. It’s really easy to make, light, deliciously moist and perfect for afternoon tea.

lemon cake


2  cups self-raising flour (sifted)

small pinch of salt

3/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tspn vanilla extract

juice of 1 lemon

For the lemon glaze I just combine lemon juice and icing sugar


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a 22cm cake tin (I use the one with the removable bottom to make it easier) with baking paper.

Add all ingredients one by one and mix with eletric beater until it turns into a creamy mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes (keep checking until skewer comes out clean). Cool on a wire rack. If you like, add the lemon glaze at this point.

And that’s all!

28 January 2013 / Karen A

Flied Lice ;-P

Flied lice, anyone???? Sorry for the un-PC name, but it makes me giggle … This one’s a recipe I owe to my Nicholas. I am usually ‘the helper’, as I am a good prepper, pea-popper and omelette-maker.

fried rice
Time to prepare/cook: 30-35 minutes
Quantities: makes approx 4 portions
4 rashers of bacon
8 chicken tenderloins
4 eggs
500gr jasmine rice , pre-boiled
1-2 shallots
600gr of fresh peas in their pods
3 tablespoons of extra vergin olive oil
salt and pepper
sprinkle of chilli (if you like a bit of heat)
3 tablespoons of soy sauce (I use salt reduced)
Sweet chilli sauce to taste, if you like
Prep the following and set aside:
  • A large or a few small omelettes and slice into strips
  • Cook the bacon, cool and cut into strips
  • In the bacon’s fat (or in fresh oil if you are health conscious), cook the chicken tenderloins, then cut into strips
  • Pop the peas out of their pods
  • Chop the shallots into slices
Now add oil into a wok and place pre-boiled rice. Add all other ingredients, keep stiring and season to taste.
Plate and add a touch of sweet chili sauce or cold olive oil, as you prefer.
Eat and be merry!!!
28 October 2012 / Karen A

Guess whose recipe was published!!??!!

Yes, that’s right! My tiramisu’ recipe was published in the recently launched book – Australia’s favourite recipes. Check it out, I’m mentioned at the bottom of this page (or go directly to my recipe ).

1 April 2012 / Karen A


This recipe is the real deal. It was handed down to me by my Italian auntie, who ‘borrowed’ the recipe from a well known Roman cafe’.

Simple, but delicious …. so creamy, you can feel it going straight for your hips!!! ;-P


4 eggs (whites and yolks separated)

4 tbps caster sugar

500gr mascarpone (good quality Italian please!)

Bitter cocoa powder (I use Van Heuten)

500gr pack of savoiardi biscuits

approx 8 espresso coffee cups (can be decaf if you prefer)

Coffee liquor or Bayley’s (optional)


Brush the bottom of a disposable foil tin (rectangular A4 size) with coffee and dust thoroughly with cacao powder. Combine the rest of the coffee with the alcohol and place into a deep platter with a a flat bottom, large enough to fit individual savoiardi.

Beat egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy, fold in the mascarpone. Beat egg whiles and add to the mixture, folding gently.

Dip the savoiardi one by one in the coffee mixture (ensuring the liquid soaks in well), then form a layer in the tin. Dust with cocoa, then add a layer of egg mixture. Dust with cocoa again, then form another layer of savoiardi (dunked in coffee). Cover with a layer of cacao, another layer of egg mixture – and finally cover with a generous dusting of cacao.

Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight, before enjoying this delicious treat.

26 January 2012 / Karen A

Australia Day Lamingtons

Freshly baked lamingtons to celebrate a (rainy) Australia day in Sydney …. an easy-peasy recipe for soft, chocolaty morsels !


Sponge cake

30gr melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour

1 tspn baking powder


2 tbsp bitter cocoa powder (I use Van Heuten)

2 tbsp drinking chocolate powder (eg. Nestle Alpen blend)

1 tbsp icing sugar

1/2 cup boiling water

1 1/2 – 2 cups desiccated coconut (fine)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).

Line a 18-20cm cake tin (I use the one with the removable bottom to make it easier) with baking paper.

Mix the melted butter with sugar until it’s desolved. Then add the eggs and beat until light and creamy (approx 5 minutes). Add flour and baking powder and keep beating the mixture. Pou into the cake tin and bake for 25 minutes (the cake should have a golden surface; also insert a skewer and make sure it comes out dry and clean). Once that’s done, remove the cake from the tin and place onto cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.

Whilst that’s resting, in a bowl mix cocoa, chocolate powder, sugar and keep adding boiling water until you get a syrupy consistency. On another flat plate place the coconut.

Cut the cake into rectangles (I prefer them smallish – say 5cm x 2cm max – so they absorb more chocolate!!). Make sure you remove the harder surfaces (top and sides) so that the chocolate mixture is well absorbed.

Simply dip the rectangles into the chocolate mixture, then roll into the coconut (use toothpicks to help roll them in the coconut evenly). Rest onto a tray lined with baking paper for 10 minutes.

And .. done! Ready to bite into …

2 January 2012 / Karen A

My almond cookies (gluten, but not guilt-free)

Yes, I am a health nut when it comes to what I eat … but I also reward myself with a little treat every day, so I don’t feel too ‘neglected’.

My favourite treat is an almond gem … soft, sweet, with a little crispy topping. Perfect with my morning coffee or with afternoon tea ..  in fact, perfect any time!

And with no gluten,  nor butter, the smallish amount of sugar makes them ‘a little bit naughty, but nice’ ;-P


2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tspn vanilla essence

2 egg whites

1 tspn cinnamon

50 gr flaked almonds

icing sugar

(makes approx 16 cookies)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).

Line a baking tray (45 x 20cm) with baking paper.

Whisk the egg whites until frothy but not stiff. Add in the almond meal, caster sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon … then mix until well combined.

With a spoon, use the mixture to make small balls, place onto the tray and squash to a 50 cents piece (and 1/2 cm high). Sprinkle with almond flakes and press down to make them stick.

Bake in the oven for 15-16 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from heat and place to cool onto a wire rack. When completely cool, add a light dusting of icing sugar.

And that’s it! The only ‘challenging element’ of this recipe, is limiting yourself to eating only 1 a day …  ;-P

2 January 2012 / Karen A

Kind of … a Nicoise Salad

I had guests for dinner last week … on a warm summer evening, I thought that a ‘fancy fresh salad’ would follow a plate of pasta very nicely.

A trip to the Sydney Fish Markets inspired an adaptation of the classic Nicoise (pronounced nee-swahs) salad – swapping tuna for a beautiful piece of salmon.


1 butter or iceberg lettuce.

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

6 cocktail potatoes – boiled

2 eggs – hard boiled

1 avocado

12 olives

corn kernels – cooked (I just use the ‘lazy frozen ones’ and zap them in the microwave …)

400gr salmon fillet

dill and chives chopped finely

Dressing: olive oil and lemon (or balsamic vinegar if you prefer. Some people like to add mustard, but I just kept it clean and simple), salt and pepper.

(Makes 4 good portions.)


Pre-heat the over to 180 degrees celsius.

Sprinkle the skin of the salmon with salt. Place the salmon fillet onto baking paper and cook in the oven for approx 10 minutes (depending on the size), turning it over only once. The fillet should be medium rare, cooked but still juicy. For crispy skin, before removing the fish from the oven, I turn the fillet skin side up and the oven to grill for 1-2 minutes. Remove the salmon from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Cut up the salad, potatoes and eggs into quarters – as neatly as you can.

Lay 4 plates and place ingredients (separately) one at a time. Place the salmon at the end over the lettuce, sprinkle with herbs and lastly add the dressing. Serve …

It’s a simple, quick and deliction meal – and best of all, really guilt-free!! 🙂

1 January 2012 / Karen A

Smashed Fruity Pavlova

Fresh and fruity, this is a perfect summer dessert. I tend to make a large portion to ‘fatten’ my skinny boyfriend, but would be lovely in a smaller and daintier cup …

Of course, you can substitute any of the fruit to your liking, for example adding kiwi, mango and paw paw for a more tropical version.


Meringue: 4 egg whites, 1 cup caster sugar, 2 tbspns cornflour and 2 tspns white vinegar

Strawberry Coulis: 1/2 punnet of ripe strawberries, 3 tbspn caster sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and 2 tbsn water.

Fruit: Strawberries, Passionfruit, Banana

Whipping cream


Pre-heat the over to 150 degrees celsius.

In an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until almost stiff, then slowly add sugar. When the mixture is thick and shiny, whisk in vinegar and cornflour.

Layer the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper to approx 20cm x 15cm in size. Just before placing the mixture in the oven, lower the temperature to 120 degrees. Bake for 1hr 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and let cool for at least 1 hour. The meringue should be crunchy outside and soft/spungy inside.

During this time, wash and cut up your 1/2 punnet of strawberries finely – blend with other coulis ingredients until it has a syrupy consistency.

When ready to serve, wip the cream and cut up the rest of the fruit.

Now to the easy part …. simply arrange all ingredients in a bowl or cup, alternating cubes of meringue, pieces of fruit, cream and coulis. It should look summery, fun and colourful – and is simply delicious!

27 December 2011 / Karen A

Summer (Mixed Berry) Pudding

‘Reasonably healthy’ dessert, really easy and lovely all year-round!  I made this for my parents’ wedding anniversary dinner and it was a hit. Actually, I ended up having 3 portions ….
A word of warning … beware if you are wearing white/light clothes. This thing stains!!!!
Time to prepare/cook: 30 minutes + overnight resting time in the fridge
Quantities: caters for 4 people
Half a loaf of brioche bread, cut into slices
500gr of frozen mixed berries (or 3 punnets of fresh berries)
2-3 tbspns of caster sugar
Butter (or margarine) to line a round or oval bowl or container (best if transparent/glass)
Vanilla ice cream or thick cream to serve
Lightly line the container with margarine to avoid anything sticking.
Place berries in a pot with sugar and 3 tablespoons of water (more if using fresh berries). Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat to ensure that the berries are defrosted, warmed up, soft and syrupy – but not falling apart. Ensure there is still enough syrup to soak the brioche. Remove from heat and allow to cool down.
Line the container completely with a single layer of brioche slices.
When berries are cool, place almost all the amount and the syrup in the container and onto the broche, ensuring it’s completely wet and a lovely purple colour. Lastly add a layer of brioche on the top and then the remaining syrup. Cover with glad wrap, then place a heav-ish, even weight over it (eg. pie weights).  Leave overnight.
You can chose to serve as is, in slices. Alternatively, you could carefully reverse the pudding and slide it out, then serve whole. Delicious served with a scoop of vanilla icecream or thick cream.