{Spencer Cooks} Hainanese Chicken Rice

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One thing I truly miss is the food from back home. So when I got hold of the recipe of Hainanese Chicken Rice from the Taste of Asia Thermomix cookbook, I HAD TO try making it. Of course, I also had to make the dipping sauces, or else it wouldn’t be complete.

Prior to having Spencer, I have made chicken rice before, and it turned out great. But the multilayer cooking does make it a lot easier, and I have to say, the taste definitely doesn’t lose out to cooking it in the traditional way! Plus it was a huge hit with the two boys! hehe HOORAY!

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One thing I cannot do without when having chicken rice is the dipping sauces. Especially this ginger dipping sauce! I usually buy them off the shelf at an asain supermarket, but I love that I am able to make it from scratch and also to get it on the table in about 5 mins!

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Of course, the chilli dipping sauce too!

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This is definitely is and will continue to be the staple in our house. Succulent chicken pieces with flavourful rice, I cannot think of anything that is more comforting for dinner.

I was asked by a customer at a Varoma cooking class recently to post about how I cooked my chicken rice. Sorry it took so long, but here it is! Step-by-step! I hope you all will enjoy it as much as we do!

Hainanese Chicken Rice (Adapted from Taste of Asia)

Ginger Dipping Sauce

120g young ginger, peeled

50g eschalots, peeled

100g vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

Steps:

  1. Place ginger and eschalots into the bowl and chop for 5 secs/ Speed 7. Scrape the side of the bowl.dscf5285-1
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend for 20 secs/ Speed 8.dscf5286-1
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cook for 5 mins/100 deg C/ Speed 2. Pour into bowl or mini thermoserver, and set aside to have with Hainanese chicken rice.

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Note : Can be kept in a jar for 1 week or frozen for 3 months.

Chilli Dipping Sauce

100g big red chillies, cut into 3 pieces

20g ginger, peeled

50g garlic, peeled

80g white vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tbs sugar

Steps:

  1. Place chilli, ginger and garlic into the bowl and chop for 5 secs/ Speed 8. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and repeat process for 2 more times.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend for 1 minute / Speed 6.
  3. Add salt and sugar. Pour into a serving bowl or mini thermoserver and set aside.

Hainanese Chicken Rice (Serves 4-6)

2 tsp chinese wine

2 tsp light soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 whole chicken (about 1.7kg)

4 cloves of garlic

2 spring onion, cut into half

8 slices of ginger, peeled

4 eschalots, peeled

1 tbs olive oil

300g jasmine rice, rinsed

1.5L chicken stock

2 pandan leaves

A packet of bean sprouts

Fried shallots & thinly sliced spring onion, to garnish

Steps :

  1. Mix the chinese wine, soy and sesame oil in a small bowl and rub it all over the chicken as well as inside the cavity.dscf5297-1
  2. Stuff two cloves of garlic, spring onion, and 4 slices of ginger into the cavity and place into the Varoma dish. Make sure the chicken doesn’t cover all the holes to ensure the steam can be circulated. Set aside. dscf5301-1
  3. Place the remaining garlic, ginger and eschalots and oil into the bowl and sauté for 2 mins/ Varoma temperature/ Reverse, Speed 2. Add the rice and sauté for 2 mins/ 100 deg C/ Reverse, Speed 2. Pour mixture into the steaming basket and place pandan leave in the middle and set aside.dscf5309-1dscf5312-1
  4. Place 1 L of chicken stock into the bowl. Place the steaming basket of sautéed rice into the bowl as well and set the Varoma into position. Steam for 20 mins/ Varoma temperature/ Speed 4. Remove the steaming basket from the bowl, and place the rice into the Thermoserver to keep warm while the chicken continues steaming. dscf5303-1
  5. Top up the bowl with another 500ml of chicken stock. Replace the Varoma back into position and continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes/ Varoma temperature/ Speed 4, depending on the size of your chicken. In the last 10 minutes of steaming, add the bean sprouts around the chicken to steam. dscf5313-1
  6. Mix 3 tsp light soy sauce, 2 tbs of hot water, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/4 tsp of sugar in a bowl. Chop up the chicken and pour this sauce over the chicken before serving.

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Garnish with fried shallots and thinly sliced spring onions. Serve with the two dipping sauces prepared and a thick black soy sauce.

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Tuck in and enjoy!

Would love to hear what you think after you’ve tried this! Email me photos of your creation as I would love to see them!

Follow me on Thermolove to get more inspiration!

Remember to always cook and bake with love!  

{Spencer Cooks} Claypot Rice

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Sine I had Spencer, I’ve been trying to convert my favourite recipes into one which I could use the Thermomix to cook in. Why you ask? There is less to wash (just the bowl) and it cooks quicker, without me needing to worry about burning anything!

This is a family favourite and I’ve cooked it in a few different ways. One of the most convenient way is to cook it in the rice cooker. That is before I tried making it using Spencer. hehe Of course, the main reason why people love having claypot rice is because they love the crispy bits at the bottom of the claypot. And yes, using the Thermomix won’t give you that result, but you can easily transfer everything into a claypot after it’s cooked and cook it over the stove for another 5 mins on high heat.

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The flavour though is still as delicious and with all my other dishes, it’s just full of wholesome ingredients. Every mouthful has a bit of chicken, chinese sausage, rice, shiitake mushrooms, fried shallots and spring onion. What’s not to love?

So here’s the steps to cooking it in a Thermomix if you have one, if not just click on the link about to make it in your rice cooker (:

Ingredients:

350g chicken thigh, cut into small chunks

200g jasmine rice

2 chinese sausages (lup cheong), sliced thinly

2 chinese liver sausages (optional), slice thinly

8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic

1 small onion (60-80g)

2 inch ginger, peeled and cut into coins

20g olive oil

900g water

For the marinade:

20g sesame oil

10g tamari/soy sauce

20g oyster sauce

20g dark sauce

10g black vinegar

10g shaoxing wine

pinch of ground white pepper

2 spring onions, finely sliced

fried shallots, to serve

thick dark sauce, to serve

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Steps :

  1. In your Thermomix bowl, place the garlic, onion & ginger and chop for 5 secs/sp 5/MC on. Scrape sides and add olive oil. Saute for 3 mins/100 degrees/reverse/sp 1/MC on.

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2. Add the chinese sausage and liver sausage, if using, and sauté for 2 mins/100 degrees/reverse/sp1/MC off. Then add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for a further 3 mins/100degrees/reverse/sp 1.

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3. Add the chicken thigh pieces as well as the marinade and stir fry for 5 mins/100 degrees/reverse/spoon.

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4. Insert steaming basket into the bowl and weigh out 200g of jasmine rice. Rinse the rice under running water then toss it into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Fry the mixture for 1 1/2 mins/100 degrees/reverse/spoon. Place the steaming basket on a bowl, then carefully pour the rice & meat mixture into the steaming basket.

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5. Without rinsing the bowl, place the steaming basket into the bowl and pour the sauce back into the bowl, as well as 900g of water. Cook the rice for 25 mins/Varoma/sp4/MC on, stopped at 15 mins to give it a stir using your spatula.

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6. Once it’s done, you can pour it into your thermoserver, and top it with the sliced spring onion and fried shallots and a swirl of thick dark sauce. If you prefer the crispy bits, place the cooked rice into a claypot and cook it over high heat for 5-10 mins, keeping a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn. Then top it with spring onion, fried shallots and thick dark sauce when serving.

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ENJOY!

Ramen Bankara

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I have to admit. I am quite a ramen lover. A bowl of hot soup that is bursting with flavour and springy noodles, who wouldn’t like that? But a good bowl of ramen is hard to find and because I haven’t had a bowl of ramen from Japan, I have nothing really to compare to. But I know a good broth and a yummy bowl of noodles when I have one!

When Thanh (I Eat Therefore I Am) asked me if I wanted to stuff my face with ramen at Ramen Bankara and other deliciousness on a cold night, there was no way I would turn that down! Thankfully, the Mr took Lochlan into the gym with him that night, and I could head to the tasting event without a worry!

Ramen Bankara

Shop G047, 619 Doncaster Road

Doncaster Westfield Shopping Centre

Menu for the night

It’s been more than a year since the last blogger event I attended, so I was really quite excited. I also got to catch up with some friends which I haven’t met for quite some time! I also got a chance to meet some new ones, which is always a plus!

Agedashi toufu

We started off the evening with some entrees! The Agedashi tofu has always been a dish I love to have when dining at a Japanese restaurant. These deep fried tofu were crispy on the outside and silky smooth on the inside, sitting in a bowl of hot dashi broth and topped with bonito flakes! I love how the bonito flakes always look like they come alive when they are on a dish. Definitely mad some people squirm! hehe Ok back to the tofu, these were definitely a great start to the night!

Gyoza

We also had some gyoza (panfried dumplings) and tori karaage (crispy fried chicken)!

tori karaage

Oh boy were these fried chicken good! Really well seasoned, crispy on the outside and it was really juicy & tender too! Couldn’t stop at one but had to save tummy for the bowls of ramen to come!

Tonkotsu ramen

First up – my favourite for the night – Tonkotsu ramen! This rich and creamy pork bone broth that was slow cooked for 12 hours! This is the premium bowl which comes with the works  – kanuni (braised pork belly), black fungus, pork cha shu, ajitsuki tamago (seasoned boiled egg, which was served on a side for this bowl), bamboo shoots & seaweed! I seriously wanted another bowl of this broth, not to mention the springy Hakata style noodles!

Ramen Bankara

This was the signature Ramen Bankara – The pork broth is infused with the shoyu (soy sauce) and has a hint of sweetness. A great balance of salty and sweet.

Chuka soba

This was something new to me – Chuka soba. The broth is a unique blend of seafood and pork which made it really rich in flavour. There is also a spicy version of this dish for those who enjoy an extra kick! Also, aren’t those tamagos just gorgeous?

Tamgo

They were perfectly cooked, with a molten yolk centre and seasoned really well! We were lucky to have one whole egg to ourselves that night!

Tsukemen

The Tsukemen definitely left a good impression on my tongue and belly that night! It was really different from the usual bowl of ramen I’ve had. Instead the springy noodles were served cold in this dish with a bowl of piping hot broth that is rich and peppery!Tsukemen noodles

So the idea is like having a bowl of cha soba! You dip the cold noodles into the hot broth and slurp away! This would be a perfect dish for the hotter months to come. Definitely heading back for these soon!

Lemon sorbet

After all the savouries I had for the night, and not to mention how full I was, we were served with a couple of desserts. First up was this tangy lemon sorbet that was seriously addictive! I found myself digging my spoon in for more and it kinda cleansed my palette a little!

Trio of ice-cream

Last but not the least, ice cream! A trio of ice-cream – green tea, black sesame and vanilla. The black sesame was a crowd pleaser and the green tea was a perfect balance of the bitterness of the matcha and the sweetness of the ice-cream. A perfect way to end the night!

Thank you to Thanh again and Ramen Bankara for having us and serving us all the delicious dishes for the night! It was an absolute ball and I haven’t laughed so much for a long time! So if you’re looking for a good bowl of ramen, do head to Ramen Bankara and definitely give that bowl of Tonkatsu a go! You won’t regret it!

I was invited to Ramen Bankara by Thanh of I Eat Therefore I Am. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience at the time of the visit. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience and opportunity!

Ramen Bankara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Toddler Eats : Cheesy Chicken & Veggies Meatballs

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Now that Lochlan has turned one (where did time go??), I’m trying to wean him from purees and introduce chunkier food, to encourage him to chew. Don’t get me wrong, he knows how to chew. But just prefers the purees cause he could finish it much quicker. haha So this marks the start to my new series of Toddler Eats! Hopefully it will be helpful to mummies out there who also want to try different foods and make them from their kitchen when time permits!

I decided to try making something I thought he might like! I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good meatball? Especially with the addition of cheeeeese! These are quick and easy and you could have it on its own or mix it with pasta and some homemade tomato sauce and viola! Meatball pasta!

Meatball pasta

Lochlan’s Verdict : 2 1/2 meatballs (together with other food for dinner and strawberries for dessert hehe). I think thats a not too bad start!

 With the addition of cheese, you don’t even need to add salt to it. So it’s perfect even for babies from 10 months! Especially if you wanna do Baby-Led-Weaning. hehe Perfect finger food! These are not just for your little ones at home, the mr and I enjoyed it too!

So here’s the recipe, do give it a shot and let me know what u or your kiddos think!

Cheesy Chicken & Veggies Meatballs (A Food Made With Love Original Recipe)

Ingredients : Makes 24-26 meatballs

250g mince chicken (or meat of your choice)

2 stalks of spring onions, finely sliced

1 small carrot, grated

1/4 apple, grated

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 zucchini, grated

2-3 florets of broccoli, finely chopped

50g cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

Ground black pepper, to season

Ingredients

(I’ve got a double yolk! Lucky me! hehe)

Steps :

1) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Spray/Oil a baking tray/ casserole dish and set it one side.

2) Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl until well combined.

Mixed till well combined

3) Using a tablespoon, roll the mixture into balls. Do note that the mixture will be a bit wet and sticky. Wetting your hands might help in the rolling process.

Rolled out

4) Place the meatballs onto the baking dish, and bake for 12-15 mins, until the meatballs are cooked through and/or slightly browned.

All baked

5) Serve as is or you could cook it in a homemade tomato sauce and toss it through some cooked pasta for a variety!

Enjoy!

P.S : You don’t have to grate the vegetables if you’re cooking for yourself or older kids and want more texture. Just finely diced them and it would be as delicious! Also you could always change the types of vegetables in the meatballs, find a combination that wins the most votes in your house! (:

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx !

Chicken Tagine – MealDish

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Good evening dear readers! So sorry for the hiatus! It’s been a busy few months with Baby Ho’s grandparents (both paternal and maternal) and uncle & aunty coming to visit him consecutively! So I haven’t had the chance to sit down and churn posts out! But I will be doing it whenever I can, I promise!

So a few months back, I was introduced to MealDish. A website that aims to help people eat healthier, eat fresh, whilst minimising food waste and saving them time and money. This was absolutely perfect for me, especially since I can only get down to cooking with Baby Ho is asleep!

So off I went to the website and it’s so simple to use and follow!

MealDish 1

You just have to choose what you like, the number of recipes you want and then click the number of people you’re cooking for and get a meal plan! As easy as that!

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If you have any particular cuisine you would like to try, or specific ingredients to exclude or you have intolerances, there are options for you to tick too! So it’s really for everyone. I did different options and there are heaps of recipes to choose from. They even suggests side dishes that would go perfectly with the recipe you decide to cook that day. Sounds good, no?

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So I decided to just go with the quick option and choose the type of protein I wanted to cook with – Chicken! These were the 5 options I was given, and straight away I was drawn to the chicken tagine recipe, especially cause my beautiful tagine has been sitting on the shelf ever since I made my Moroccan meatballs one and half year ago! haha So it was time to get it on the stove again.

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If you’re a person who loves order and likes to get everything ready before you cook, Mealdish is definitely for you. The recipe comes with ‘Preparation Steps’ so that you have everything ready to go when you start cooking, missing nothing out! This cuts your cooking time and dinner will be on the table, pipping hot, in no time!

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Of course, there’s ‘Cooking Steps’ which are clear and easy to follow. What’s best about this website is that they have a ‘Shopping List’ tailored to the number of people you are cooking for. So there’s no waste and you just buy what is needed!

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Chicken Tagine

The results were as good as I thought it would be! The Mr loved it and even though I made enough for 4 people, we only had a serve left! What’s best is, this recipe had both protein and vegetables rolled into one! So we only needed that one dish for dinner. Paired with toasted Turkish bread – Dinner was ready within an hour!

So if you are looking for inspirations to cook your family or even just yourself something delicious, and want something quick and easy, hop onto the MealDish website and you will definitely find something you fancy!

Here’s the ingredients used for this dish. The steps are as described in the ‘Cooking Steps’ above! Or you could always just head to the website and search for the recipe to get the ingredient amounts tailored to the number of people you are cooking for!

Ingredients :

(For 4 people)

3/4 Onion whole

4 Garlic cloves

1 1/4 Celery stick

3/4 can tinned tomato

200g Pumpkin

2 tsp Coriander

3/4 tsp Ground Ginger

3/4 Cinnamon Stick

1/4 Lemon

1/4 cup apricot (I used raisins)

3/4 cup Chicken stock

8 Chicken drumstick

3/4 cup couscous

2 tbs fresh coriander

Chicken Tagine

Have a great rest of the day and hope you all will have an awesome hot dinner tonight since it’s freezing here in Melbourne!

Till the next post, remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

BBQ Made Easy with Heat Beads® Chimney Booster

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I love BBQs. It’s just something that could bring everyone together, around the fire, and enjoy the love for food. To me, BBQs are perfect all year round. In the Summer, with a beer or cider in one hand, and a pair of tongs on the other. In Winter, it will act as a heater or a camp fire, keeping us warm and toasty! hehe

Setting up a BBQ can be tricky and time consuming, depending on the weather conditions. So when KeepLeft PR contacted me and asked if I would like to try the the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster for a quick and easy BBQ experience, I couldn’t say no! I couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity of Heat Beads® as they didn’t only give me the Heat Beads® briquettes, firelighters, the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster, they gave me my dream BBQ as well – The Weber! I was over the moon when the packages arrived!

The Weber BBQ

Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster

Instead of the usual hour or more taken to get the briquettes ready for some action, with the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster, you can get your briquettes hot enough for the BBQ in 12 minutes (with a few minutes more if it’s cold and windy)! How amazing is that?? And it’s so easy to use as well! I was a little worried at first, as the Mr is in the USA doing a seminar tour. So I had no help, plus he’s always usually the one setting it up!

Setting up the BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster

But trust me, it could all be done in a few quick steps!

Put the Heat Beads® briquettes in the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney, place the Heat Beads® firelighters on the firelighter plate of the Heat Beads® Chimney Booster, light the firelighters using a match or gas lighter, place your Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney on top of the Chimney Booster and turn on the switch!

Lighting the firelighters on the firelighter plate

Now all you gotta do is wait for 12 minutes! I decided to put the Booster to the test, and BBQed on a super windy and cold night. It took 14 minutes for the briquettes to be hot enough to be placed in the BBQ. 14 minutes! AMAZING!

Using the BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster

By the 12th minute, the briquettes were close to being ready. And how do you know when their ready? The briquettes become ash over, turning a light grey colour. That’s when it’s ready to be popped into your BBQ!

14 minutes, Briquettes were ashed over and ready to go!

With the setting up time reduced to a mere 12-14 minutes, I’ve got more time to cook my meats now! I decided to do a comparison of cooking methods: low & slow vs quick & fast. Heat Beads® is perfect for both! The low & slow would be perfect for days when you have a little more time to spare. The quick & fast would be perfect for busy bees who are working, or have little time to get food time on the table. Trust me, cause now with bubba, all I have is under an hour to get our meals prepared and cooked! So what did I decide to cook? Smoked BBQ baby back ribs (low & slow) and Jamaican Jerk Smoked chicken wings (quick & fast)! Salivating yet? hehe I definitely was, smelling the aromas coming out of the Weber!

Ribs & Wings

All done within 1 1/2 hours, inclusive of prep time! I thought it was pretty impressive, don’t you? You must be thinking, how can it be? Well, I used the 14 minutes taken for the briquettes to be ready to season my meats! A win-win situation if you asked me!

Smoked Bbq Baby Back Ribs

Smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs (Recipe from Weber’s Time to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance)

Dry Rub :

1 tbs sea salt

2 tsp granulated garlic

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 racks of baby back ribs, about 1kg

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Handful of Hickory Wood Chips

Steps : 

1) Soak your wood chips in water for at least 30 mins and drain. Set aside.

2) In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dry rub together. Remove the membrane of the ribs and cut them into half to create two smaller racks.

Dry rub - Ribs

3) Season each rack evenly with the dry rub and place the ribs on a piece of foil, wrapping them up well. Double wrap them, making sure there are no holes.

Seasoned and ready to go

4) Place the packet of ribs on the clean grill and cook for 1 hour, with the lid closed, and turning the packets occasionally, making sure not to pierce the foil. At this point, you could go do other things! Go hang the laundry and just put your feet up and have a cuppa (:

Ribs on the bbq

5) Remove the packets from the grill and let rest for about 10 mins. Carefully open the packets, remove the ribs and discard the rendered fat and oil.

6) Place the wood chips onto the charcoal and a a tray of water under the grill. Close the lid and when the wood chips start to smoke, return the ribs onto the grill (above the water) bone side down. Grill and smoke, the the lid closed, for about 10-12 minutes, basting with the bbq sauce, until they are sizzling and lightly charred. Remove from grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving with the remaining bbq sauce.

Jamaican Jerk Smoked Chicken Wings

2 tsp Jamaican Jerk Rub (For a quick marinade, I used the one from The Spice Mill)

2 tsp sea salt flakes

10-12 chicken wings

Steps : 

1) Marinade the chicken wings with the Jamaican Jerk spice rub and sea salt and allow it to marinade while the ribs are cooking on the grill.

Seasoning the chicken wings

2) When the ribs are 10 minutes from getting done, I put the chicken wings on the grill and turned it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.

3) When the ribs are smoking, leave the chicken wings on the grill to be smoked as well (for the same 10-12 minutes). It brings the chicken wings to a whole new level of deliciousness! Golden brown and lightly charred. PERFECT!

Grilling the chicken wings

Jamaican Jerk Smoked chicken wings

Have them with some baked sweet potatoes (you can throw them on the grill when you start cooking your ribs) and a side of salad! Dinner is served! (:

Smoked BBQ Baby back ribs

My parents and I were really impressed by how delicious the ribs and wings were! I had so much fun trying out the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney booster and couldn’t be happier with how the meats turned out. I’m sure by now you’re wondering where to get the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster from? Or you want to read more about the Heat Beads® products? Do pop over to Heat Beads® to find out more!

Have a great weekend ahead and always remember to cook and bake with love!

Disclaimer : Lianne@Food Made With Love received the Weber BBQ & Heat Beads® products as a gift from Heat Beads® & KeepLeft PR. Thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity! 

{Travels} My Guide Around Surry Hills, Sydney

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About 3 weeks back, the Mr and I decided to surprise my sister-in-law and brought her to Sydney for the weekend as her birthday present! Needless to say, the smile on her face when she opened the envelop containing her printed air ticket was priceless! It has been a long time since we went to Sydney as well, so I was super excited to go!

We were so lucky to be able to stay at Cambridge Hotel that is located at the heart of Surrey Hills. Everything was just a stone-throw away! In this post, I will be sharing with you the different places we dined at that were all located in Surrey Hills, and a walkable distance from the comfort of our hotel!

First stop : Devon Cafe

Devon Cafe

Of course, to maximise our stay, we took one of the earliest flight out and arrived early in the morning! haha As we were too early to check in to our hotel, we decided to stop by one of the cafes that has been on my list for the longest time for breakfast! Plus it was close to the hotel too! (:  We were greeted by the most enthusiastic and friendly staff which instantly brightened up our morning!

Muffins, pastries & burgers

If you wanted something light or quick, they had a good range of savoury and sweet on display! Croissants, muffins, brioche and tarts! Especially if you wanted something to pair with your coffee-on-the-go! hehe

Our usual cuppas

We started our breakfast with our usual hot cuppas! Chai soy latte for me, latte for the mr and hot chocolate for Melissa!

Chai soy latte

I absolutely loved the pot used to serve my chai latte! hehe It was so japanese inspired and wanted to smuggle it back! haha Of course I didn’t, I still wanted to head back to Devon Cafe when I am traveling in Sydney again. hehe

Chick n Chips

There were so many things on the menu that we were drawn to. Everything just sounded so delicious! Melissa was tossing between sweet or savoury, but decided on the Chick n Chips! When it arrived, the smell was AMAZING! I was salivating just inhaling the smells. haha It had a chicken sausage, crispy confit wing smoked potato, fried egg, jus gras, chicken skin and chips! Yes, crispy chicken skin! DELISH!

green eggs and ham

The Mr ordered the special of the day, and I could totally understand why! It’s a play on the typical green eggs and ham but definitely elevated to a whole new (and better) level and everything the Mr loves! Thick cut bacon, Jerusalem artichoke puree, 63 degree eggs with wild mushroom, parsley & garlic cream and topped with crispy Jerusalem artichokes! Absolutely delicious! The plate was close to being licked clean!

Devon's granola

I wanted to start the trip with something healthy, as I knew how indulgent I will be for the rest of the day! haha So I decided to order Devon’s granola! How pretty is it? hehe It has house made granola, vanilla yoghurt, poached pear and freeze dried raspberries!  Loved all the different colours and how the freeze dried raspberries just pop!

Devon's granola

Seeing how pretty it is is making me itch to make my own granola and have it for breakie!! Think I just might! (: So after a filling and satisfying breakfast, we decided to head over to Cambridge Hotel to check in!

Front Desk of Cambridge Hotel

(Photo credits : http://www.cambridgehotel.com.au/)

When you enter the hotel lobby, you’re greeted by the smiles on all the faces of the staff! It took less than 10 minutes to get us all checked in and headed up to our room!

our room

How inviting are the rooms? Really spacious for the 3 of us too! This was the premium twin double room and our room had stunning views too!

Welcome chocolates

And how thoughtful are the staff at Cambridge Hotel? A box of handmade chocolates to warmly welcome us to our room and Sydney! Isn’t it the little things that really count and make an impact to your holidays? Love it!

Second Stop : Bourke Street Bakery

Address : 633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills

Opening hours : 7am – 6pm (Mondays to Fridays)

7am – 5pm (Weekends)

Bourke Street Bakery

After taking a short break (aka taking a power nap haha) we decided to walk to Bourke Street Bakery! I was so happy when I realised how close it was! Just a 15 mins slow walk brought us to this amazing bakery! It’s always pretty packed and there is always a queue, but it moves pretty quickly and trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Pork and fennel sausage rolls

Before going on to the sweets, we decided to have their sausage rolls! So glad we did though cause it was so so so so good! The pastry was flakey and buttery and the pork and fennel filling was absolutely delish! We shared as we wanted to have space for the sweets which we already aimed or while we were ordering the sausage rolls! hehe

Sweet pastries

The mr really wanted a croissant, but they only had the plain ones left! It was still really good though! No regrets getting it! hehe We couldn’t resist ordering the famous ginger creme brûlée tart, especially since the mr loves creme brûlée! And just when we were about to pay, a tray of freshly baked rhubarb frangipane tarts came out of the oven, so I had to get one! Trust me, nothing is better than a piping hot tart, fresh out of the oven!

Ginger creme brûlée tart

The ginger creme brûlée tart was nothing short of amazing! The short crust pastry was buttery and absolutely love how creamy and luscious the filling was! There was also a good hit of ginger, which the Mr absolutely adored! We may or may not have bought 2 more to bring back to our hotel. haha

Third stop : RoboCog Cafe

Address : 249 Riley Street, Surry Hills

Robo Cog

I absolutely love how the hotel is surrounded by small cafes, and all of them have something that would draw you in! Just down the road was a cute little cafe called Robocog which I had a cuppa with the gorgeous Heather (:

The inside of robocog

The interior was really warm, cosy and inviting. Their menu was in a shape of a robot (but I didn’t get to snap a shot of it, oops!) They had quite a spread food wise, but we were just there for coffee and to catch up!

Decaf cappuccino

I ordered the decaf cappuccino which had quite bold flavours but was smooth to taste! It’s been a while since I had coffee but still enjoyed it! I really love meeting up with people after only communicating over emails/instagram/twitter! Was an absolute pleasure!

Forth Stop : Chat Thai

Address : 20 Campbell Street, Haymarket

 Chat Thai

I know this isn’t exactly located in Surry Hills, but it’s a short 5 minutes drive or a 20 minutes brisk walk from the hotel! Chat Thai has been on everyone’s lips when they do head to Sydney and we didn’t want to miss having it! So off we went, in the cold, and walked there for dinner one night!

Cute lights

Although we went around 615pm (which I thought was quite early), we still had heaps of people infront of us and we waited for a good 40 minutes for our table! Fortunately there were a few thai supermarkets which we could pop in to have a walk or when we felt too cold to wait outside! When it got colder, the staff brought out the gas heater, which definitely made the waiting less painful!

papaya salad

We started our meal with a bang! A huge chilli hit! The papaya salad (som dtum) was so spicy I could only have one portion! Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but just too spicy for me. I think we could have let them know the level of spice, but we didn’t and we were given the maximum one! haha

Grilled pork neck

This was my favourite dish of the night. Grilled pork neck (khor mhu yaang) with smoked chilli and tamarind relish! The pork neck was so tender and the sweet & sourish relish complimented each other really well. A must order dish if you ask me! (:

Thai green chicken curry

When we have thai, it’s a must to order a bowl of green curry as well! This was the thai green chicken curry with apple egg plants, kaffir lime leaves and basil! So fragrant and just the right amount of heat! Could easily finish a bowl of rice just with the curry gravy! Mmmm!

dtom yum goong with king prawns

The dtom yum goong with king prawns had the most intense and amazing flavours! Every sip tasted like prawns! SO GOOD! We couldn’t stop saying WOW. haha In fact, we were still talking about it the next day!

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The last savoury dish we ordered was the crispy fried whole snapper with a roasted chilli and garlic sauce. When it arrived, we all thought we were in for another spicy journey haha But it actually was a good balance of sweet & spicy! The fish was also cooked perfectly. NOMS!

Durian sticky rice

We were so stuffed by the time we polished off the savouries, but the Mr couldn’t resist ordering the durian sticky rice! We did want the mango sticky rice, but mangoes weren’t in season. So durian it is! Many might not like this King of the Fruits, but we absolutely adore it! Creamy and sweet, we finished it too quickly! hehe

Fifth Stop : Bills

Address : 359 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Bills

Last and definitely not the least, Bills. I remember the first time I came to Sydney, the only place I wanted to try then was Bills. This time was no different. Bills was still on my to-go list and one thing I wanted to have was the fluffy ricotta hotcakes! We went around 1030am and had to wait for a good 45 minutes. But is it worth the wait?

Ricotto hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter

ABSOLUTELY! Look at how fluffy the hotcakes are??? Piping hot with bananas and a honeycomb butter and a drizzle (or a heap haha) of maple syrup! YUMMO! I just couldn’t stop eating!

Ricotta hotcakes

Oh my gosh. I’m having some serious hotcakes pregnancy cravings this instant! hehe They are seriously amazing. You definitely have to make a trip there when you are in Sydney or around Surry Hills! Head there early if you want to reduce the queueing time!

Bills

The place was constantly crowded but the staff still wore smiles on their faces! Love it!

Hot chocolate

I was so excited about the hotcakes I forgot to talk about the drinks we had! Melissa ordered the hot chocolate and boy was it good! It was made by coating the bottom and sides of the glass with chocolate buttons and pouring hot milk in! Ooh lala! She was definitely one happy girl! hehe

Beet root juice

I decided to go for something healthy and refreshing – Beet root, carrot, fennel & apple!

I really hope you enjoyed my eating journey around Surry Hills! Our bellies were definitely happy through the 3 days we had in Sydney. Just want to thank the Mr for planning the trip, Heather for helping with the accommodation and Cambridge Hotel for the comfortable stay we had for the 2 nights!

Have a great week ahead everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx