Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dulce de Leche Croissant Pudding

This is a post developed for Bakers Delight who has provided and paid for the ingredients used in this recipe.

Dulce de Leche Croissant pudding anyone?
Can I just say how excited I am about this recipe? Yeah like so excited I am jumping up and down as I type this and even a variance in my forecast is not really affecting me. I would not say that I am good at developing my own recipes so I am quite excited that I even thought of this. This was inspired from Nigella's caramel croissant pudding from Nigella's Express. I started to have an obsession with dulce de leche as I wanted to use the ice cream maker to make them. It also seems to be everywhere when I look, it's on Twitter.. oh look I made Dulce de leche. I also have a few South American colleagues and one who is Argentinian gave us some when her parents came to visit. Now this is a 2 step process so when you have some free time while watching Revenge you prep the Dulce first.I will share how I made it which is different from the boil the can method.

Dulce Prep
I did the oven baking method. Open the tin of condensed milk and pause to praise the existence of this amazing ingredient. Everyone join in ... Condensed milk is the most amazing thing ever canned. Pour into a pie plate like one I have above and sprinkle with some sea salt, cover with foil tightly. Put this pie plate into another oven roasting pan that it fits into. Fill roasting pan (NOT YOUR CONDENSED MILK PLATE!) with boiling water up to half the level of the pie plate. Bake at 180 degrees for about an hour. Check periodically and top with boiling water. Repeat after me: Do not do make this on one of those freaky 10 days over 30 degrees heatwaves. 


The top should be brown like my pictures above. Wait for the yumminess to cool and mix it up with a metal spoon. I might have cooked it for slightly too long (i forgot to set the timer) and the middle was a little hard, the texture had small rough crystals in it while the sides were nice and smooth. Honestly, it did not affect the taste. But I would check it at 45mins and then 10 minutes after next time I do it. Store this away and try not to eat it all. If you recall I do not eat much sweet things but my goodness I had to stop myself from grabbing a spoonful each time I walked past. Both Mick and I were like oh... just keep this away from me. This stores in the fridge for 2 weeks and the texture straight from the fridge is spreadable and not hard.

Pudding Prep
Now the pudding part and this is also not difficult, I made this up quite quickly. I used stale croissants, cut into half and spread generously with dulce de leche. Tear croissants up and all you need is the custard sauce base for the stale croissants to soak up. The possibilities here are endless. I could have added chocolate (yum) or I could also have sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the top. But I went with the basic this time. 

Soak up the goodness
For the custard, I heated the milk, cream and sugar until the sugar has melted. Turn heat off, add the eggs and whisk quickly. Pour over the croissants and let it soak up the yumminess. Bake for 15-20 mins until top is golden brown.


Dulce de Leche 
1 tin of condensed milk 
Sea salt 
Add: Some patience to wait it out 

2 Bakers Delight Croissants leave it overnight as you want them stale
Dulce de Leche you have prepared
1/2 cup milk (125ml)
1/2 cup cream (125ml)
1/2 cup sugar 
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, beaten 

Cut croissants into half, spread generously with Dulce de Leche goodness. Tear into pieces in an oven proof bowl. 
Prepare custard by warming milk and cream with sugar until it was melted. I did not wait for this to boil. You just want the sugar to be melted into the custard base. Turn the heat off and add your beaten eggs and whisk together with your cream mixture quickly. Pour over prepared croissants and prepare to be hit with yummy caramel smells.
Bake for 15-20mins in 180degree oven until golden brown. 

Resist urge to eat all of it in one go. Let me know what you think of my recipe! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stalk my Weekend: Meatballs and Heatwave

Don't we all loved the limited edition Speedys?
I bet that everyone's Melbourne blog has this in their first line. What is up with this heatwave? So what is up with this heat?! Poor Mick had to go on site at 6am on Saturday and Monday to get his work done before it got too hot. On Friday night I was reading an old magazine that I borrowed from the library. I think it was Dec 2012 issue of Instyle. Check out the old LV Speedys. I had no idea that graffiti LV was THAT OLD. REALLY!

Mumma needs sleep
Because Mick had left to work at 6am... this is my attempt at a sleep in. Hand the iToys over and hope for the best. D got up at 7am and kept running around asking where was Daddy. He made me call him and said that he missed him and asked if he will come home with Rice Bubbles. So he did come home with Rice Bubbles. The story behind Rice bubbles is that we do not buy it, it is a at daycare food that they get to encourage them to get to daycare in time.

On Saturday we went to Meatball and Wine Bar in the CBD to meet wtmontana who had arranged to meet me since last year when she was planning her trip to Melbourne. It was such a great place to catch up. Casual yet attentive staff and they made a chocolate milk for the boys. 

Cool sign there
Sliders Oh yummy
Missing one ball.. we eated it
We had beef meatballs with pesto salsa verde and beef ball sliders. Wtmontana had ordered an amazing Beef with red sauce and potato smash. SOOO Want some more smash!!! The beef sliders had pickles or gherkin in the brioche buns and I don't normally like gherkins but lord they just tasted so good together. 

Pickles being a ball too and putting his head on the table
For dessert, the boys had whoopie mac and ice cream. It was a lemon macaron with chocolate ice cream sandwich. They had been pointing to it the entire time so we had to get it for them. Again, I could not get a really good picture of it. So here's one of Pickles being a ball on the table. Look at that face!

Mick said we have halos
This is wtmontana and I with halos at the back of our heads. Mick thought it was tres artistic. LOL Ok.... the lighting in the place was not the best so we didn't manage to get more yummy food pics. But I guarantee you that the food is great!

Jade Kingdom Sago Pudding
It was social Saturday as we also took the boys out for dinner at our local Chinese/Malaysian place with Vita! This is what we had for dessert. I call it frog eggs to scare the boys. It was a sago pudding in gula melaka and coconut milk. Gosh it was good but look at how weird it looks.

Flowers from the garden
Social Saturday continued into Sunday! Where I had work Skincare BFF over for a BBQ. Helloooo porterhouse steaks on the BBQ and salad. Is there anything better than that? Nope! Sometimes you just want steak. These were the flowers from our front garden in a Bison vase that someone gave me years ago. How good is Bison Homewares?

Hope you had a big social weekend too! What did you get up to?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes

Excuse that stray bit of pancake in the syrup
Nothing says long weekend - or weekend full stop - like Pancakes.

I usually use Nigella's recipe from Nigella's Express. But I had buttermilk in the fridge from an Aldi shopping trip. And you know what! I forgot that I had this until I read a tweet about Buttermilk pancakes!

I used good old Martha Stewart for this. Recipe link here. But I adapted it slightly well, no choice as I only had a 600ml carton of buttermilk.

2 cups plan flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups buttermilk (I only had a 600ml carton which is less than 3 cups and I used that entirely)
4 tbsp melted butter

Zomg big bowl of batter
Method: Shift flour and mix in sugar and salt. Add in your wet ingredients. Whisk if you can find a hand whisk. I honestly don't know where mine is... last time it was sighted on Pickles who ran off with it. We have looked everywhere and I think he might have thrown it out in the bin or something. I had to improvise with a powered beater whisk! Mental note yet again to buy new whisk.

First of all, let me say that this makes A LOT of pancakes. Look at all that batter! I think that I will be eating pancakes later today and tomorrow as well.

When I cook the pancakes I do not usually add oil to the pan as I use a non-stick frying pan. I leave it at sort of medium heat. With buttermilk pancakes they do not usually bubble as it is quite a thick batter. So check that it is cooked and then flip it. These are so yummy and Martha has got it goin' on! Also please be using maple syrup. I get mine from Costco in a one litre bottle - do not judge - and I have 2 in storage ready to go. LOL!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion

I was kindly sent this Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturing Lotion to review recently. What I liked about the product brief was what they called the Triple Oat Complex - Oat Oil, Oat Essence and Oatmeal Flour. Personally I love oat porridge, slathered in condensed milk..mmmm Oats. Ok back to body lotion.

I have been using this over the crazy hot days we had in Melbourne. Where is the cool change? Where is the mandantory 20-something degree day in the week where everyone complains that they hate Melbourne Summer? I also had a gross heat rash that I needed to see a doctor for! So I have been using this actively the last 2 weeks. 

Mandatory Swatch Shot
Mandatory Smear Shot LOL
I am a body lotion fiend. I used body lotion everyday even when I was pole dancing. Girlfriend here had grip of steel as I never used to "cheat" with gripping lotions or anything. I cannot skip body lotion! But the one thing that I require is that my body lotion does not have that white goopy mess that takes a long time to rub in. This is a light yet it feels like I have worn something if you  know what I mean. It is also fragrance free and would not interfere with your normal perfume. It does deliver on protecting against dryness from the heat and air conditioning. 

My thoughts on Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion:

Price: $12.99 for 354ml. I do think this is on the pricier side for supermarket brands. Chemist Warehouse is selling them for $10.95, compared to say Johnson's 24hr Body Rich Lotion $6.99 for 400ml at Priceline. It is slightly more than the usual brands. This is probably going to influence my Buy again factor. 

Purpose: Delivers as a moisturising lotion. It is a light easy to apply lotion and has no fragrances if you hate strong smelling body lotions. I did like the feel of it and I found that it was 'heavier' than the usual body lotions like Nivea in terms of staying power. My itchiness issue was a heat rash and I had to take steroid medication for it! I joke with Mick that I will start talking in a deep voice and be all manly soon. 

I have to make special mention for the smart design of the bottle. I am not sure if I am just a noob or something but I liked that you can twist the top and close the pump top. So this means no mess if you are travelling with the bottle.

Let me know what you think of Aveeno. This is the first Aveeno product that I have tried and the boys are also using the baby range which I hope to talk about soon! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shelter for Decking

The boys went to Bunnings on Saturday with intend to get things to build a wooden truck. Yes a truck. I am no Bunnings fan so I said to drop me off at the homemaker centre and I will cruise around Plush and the other furniture stores. In case anyone is wondering, Mad Men has a lot to answer for with regards to furniture as well. The 60s are back by the way!

I went into a shop called The Outdoor Furniture. I was really looking at lounge deck chairs and wanted to sit around and take selfies LOL. Then I saw this!

Oh hai big brolly
It even has lights under the shade. Don't ask why it has lights.. But anyway, I have a small umbrella at the moment that we bought on Christmas Eve 2011. The reason for running out to get that umbrella was because we were expecting guests on Boxing Day 2011. What happened? It pelted down with hail like crazy on Christmas and it was too cold to sit outside anyway. The umbrella serves it's purpose but I feel that it is too small. So I got Vista to come out and measure a quote for foldable awnings. You can so see me lounging under this right...?

Do WANT Image: Vista Blinds
She measured out the length and width. Yeapp all good.. until we got the price quote. Yeah not good. It cost more than the actual decking itself. LOL!

When the boys came to get me at Plush, I told Mick to start saving up for that umbrella. He asked for dimensions. I said I don't know, it was big. He continues to try to probe.. did you get measurements? My face went into a blank. I did get the price though!! The other solution is shade cloth but I am not sure about them.

I need help... what can I do with shade requirements? Short of building another structure. Lord this is hard!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stalk my Weekend: Bundoora Market Smoked Salmon Cakes

What an action packed weekend. Mick has fully recovered and has mended very well with no thanks to me because I was my usual unsympathetic horrible wife. This is where people think I am exaggerating but I am not. If Mick would would guest blog, you will find out just how mean I am LOL. It was Saturday and strangely we had no visitors and nothing planned (WHAT!). Mick said to find a market to go to as we seemed to have dropped off the market circuit. There were not one but TWO on Saturday. Westerfolds and Bundoora was running last Saturday. So we headed to the Bundoora market as memory serves me well, they have a killer pie shop there. You would think I would remember the name of it. I can only remember Gum something so I will have to get back to you on this.

How exciting!

Home Made Peanut Butter WIN
We walked in and saw some chickens in a cage. The lady was trying to get them out of hiding as D and L were trying to take a peek at them. One escaped and I pretty much freaked out. Do not ask why I have an irrational fear of things in feathers. I think it started with the movie Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. I just cannot deal with them. I freak and I run. Watch me scream like a crazy woman - well more crazy than I normally am. Had to usher the boys along quickly so I spotted Home Made Peanut Butter. Oh yes!! Hellooooo, they basically ran to get some to taste. This is the first market that I have seen peanut butter in. Yes.. Winning.
Mexican inspired Icy Poles
Bundoora Market always has good food stalls. This time we found an indian Dosa store that sold Masala Dosa. You can also have it plain, with mashed egg or with Chicken. The pictures did not do it justice so I will spare you. Seriously ... try it! Another new store I found was the Mexican inspired Icy Poles. We bought strawberry and orange flavour. I wished I could tell you more about it but the boys ate it and I had about 2 licks. They cater to parties as well and is called Paletas Hand Crafted Ice Pops. Mental note for next birthday party!! 
Giant Punnet of Strawberries
I think strawberries are going out of season. This batch was a little sour but they are perfect for what we wanted to make with them.. yummy strawberry ice cream. Salivates. This giant punnet of strawberries and a bag of apples were $10. I love concepts where you can mix strawberries, pears and apples and pay a reduced price if you buy 2.

Cinch's Chicken Run
This is Cinch Personal Training's chicken run which is outside their Personal Training circuit and gym. I had to get the boys to leave the market by promising that we would go see the chickens near us. This is Pickles waving Hi to one of them. We had to explain that they did not like the heat and is probably hiding, but they kept complaining that there were no chooks. This is probably as close as I will get to any live feathered animal. The fence is keeping me safe from beak attacks. LOL!

Mash it Good

Panko crumbed goodness

Deep Fried Goodness
In my attempt to use up a giant packet of smoked salmon from Costco. I asked Twitter what I should make. Home Empress said to make salmon cakes. OHHHH YESSSS... I used this recipe and skipped the herb creme fraiche. We are totally unsophisticated with fried foods. Just shove them in my mouth, no sauce required here. Far out, this is a keeper. I think I would probably add herbs into the pattie next time. But it was not hard to make these. The annoying thing about crumbing is I mess up the one hand wet, one hand dry system. I always end up with crumbed egg fingers on both hands. Panko is definitely a winner and lord knows why breadcrumbs still exist for fried foods. Gimme panko on everything. 

This way is home
This is D showing Pickles which way is home. I told them to hold hands and head home as I parked infront of the neighbour's house. I was doing the sneaky snake park my car under the shade of their tree thing. How adorable! Melts. 

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