Food For Families Campaign

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The Wesley Mission Victoria is holding it’s 24th annual flagship appeal to help Melbourne families that are in crisis. They help by providing nutritional food and household essentials during Christmas and throughout the year!

I’m happy to be part of this meaningful campaign and we should all try to do a little bit for those in need. Pay It Forward if you will! So what can you do? There are a few ways which you can go about helping out in this campaign!

  • You can register to receive a donation box for your workplace, school or community group. Your participant pack, including box/es is delivered and collected by a Wesley volunteer before Christmas. 
  •  Items that are most popular with families that visit the Wesley pantry include ready to eat meals, pasta/noodles and sauces, cereal, baby food and UHT milk. A full list of items is available on our website.
  •  If you are unable to contribute to a collection, you can also help by making a donation. Visit wesley.org.au.
  • Monetary donations are used to purchase fresh and frozen foods, including fruit and vegetables, to supplement the donated non-perishable food supplies.

If you want to know more please don’t hesitate to jump onto wesley.org.au for more information about the appeal and the different ways you can get involved!

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As a new mum, it is always a joy to see the little man enjoy his food, and I wish that every mum/parent could do the same!

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With your donations (be it food or money), you will ensure that families experiencing tough times can put food on the table this Christmas and throughout 2016!

The Wesley Mission Victoria is aiming to collect 30 tonnes of non-perishable goods to distribute to the crisis centres nation-wide! And you will be surprised to know that you can cook nourishing meals from non-perishable food items alone!

I was lucky to receive the recipe from the ambassador of Wesley Mission Australia and ex-Masterchef 2015 contestant, Sara Oteri! Of course, I’m going to share with you one of them that I am going to try it for myself! Sounds too yummy to give it a miss, plus it’s always been something I want to try and make for breakfast!

Overnight Oats (Soaked Muesli) (Recipe by Sara Oteri)

Ingredients:

OATS

2 cups Oats

2 cups Soy milk or long life milk

2-4 tbsp honey

¼ cup passionfruit pulp

5- 10 prunes roughly chopped

Mixed seeds

TOPPING

Desiccated coconut

Tinned peaches (or any tinned fruit of your choice)

MuesliING

Steps :

  1. Put all the ingredients to make the muesli into a bowl, mix well, then leave covered in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning you should wake to a beautiful soaked muesli with just the right amount of moisture. If for whatever reason it’s too dry for your liking, simply incorporate a touch more milk.
  3. Finish with coconut flakes and some tinned peaches or any fresh fruit/frozen berries you have lying around.

Muesli2

Easy, simple and nutritional! Best way to start your morning. So hop onto the website and help in any way you can! This would ensure that everyone can start their morning right and bright!

P.S. Thank you for this opportunity Wesley Mission Victoria, to help those people in need. This is something, indeed, really close to my heart and a campaign I really believe in.

Photo credits – Wesley Mission Victoria 

Savoury Oats with a Twist!

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I’ve got a new obsession. Savoury oats! All along, I’ve been having my oats with honey, fruits and even with the addition of Milo (OMG it’s super good haha) but I’ve been trying to see if there are other ways to cook oats and make the little man like it as well!

So i found the recipe from Martha Stewart and I just had to try it out. It had the ingredients that Lochlan loved – cheese & egg – so it must be a winner, right? RIGHT! hehe He absolutely loved it and could finish it all. Of course, his egg was cooked through and I kept mine runny, cause it adds a sauce to the oats, and it’s just absolutely delicious!

Savoury oats

So using Martha Stewart’s recipe as the base, I did added more savoury ingredients that I thought would pump it up! And this morning, I made a winner. With the addition of crispy bacon bits! I mean, how can I not? Bacon makes everything yummier right? ABSOLUTELY! hehe

So here’s the recipe for my favourite version of the savoury oats. You can pretty much add your favourite ingredients and it would taste yummy! hehe

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Savoury Oats with Sunnyside Up, Bacon & Cheese (Adapted from Martha Stewart, Recipe for 2 adults, 1 toddler)

1 cup quick oats (I used Macro Quick Oats)

3-4 large eggs (depends on how many eggs each person eats)

3-4 tbs shredded cheddar cheese

1-2 slices of bacon, chopped finely

1-2 tbs chopped chives

1-2 tbs fried scallions

Maggi seasoning (Optional, for adults)

Tamari (Optional, for toddlers)

Steps :

1) In a medium size pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quick oats and simmer till oats are tender, about 5 minutes.

2) While thats cooking, heat a frying pan and fry the bacon bits till crispy. Pour onto a kitchen towel to absorb the oil. Then using the same pan, fry the eggs on a low heat, till all the egg whites are cooked, leaving the yolk runny. For toddlers, flip the egg and cook the yolk through.

3) To serve : Pour the oats into 3 bowls, top with the shredded cheese, then sprinkle some bacon. Top with the sunny side up egg and season with a few drops of maggi seasoning/ tamari. Then sprinkle a bit more bacon, chopped chives and fried scallions. ENJOY!

Savoury oats with runny yolk egg

Let me know what your favourite combinations are! Would definitely like to give them a go (:

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

Toddler Eats : Sugarless Carrot Banana Mini Loaves

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I’ve always wanted to bake something that Lochlan can enjoy for morning tea and I came across this recipe that was perfect. No sugar, and just the natural sweetness from the wholesome ingredients of the loaves!

Enjoying the loaf

I have to admit, I was a little nervous before giving the loaf to the little munchkin, cause I wasn’t sure if he would like it. But thankfully he quite enjoyed it and ate half go the loaf! (:

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I was really happy with the texture of the loaves too! It was fluffy and light but still moist! Just the way a good loaf should be. Perfect with a cup of hot tea, or a cup of warm milk (for the bub!) Of course if you had extra time and some cream cheese sitting in your fridge, you could always whip some cream cheese frosting for yourself and indulge! hehe

So here’s the recipe for these deliciousness! Hope you and your kiddos would enjoy it as much as we did!

Sugarless Carrot Banana Mini Loaves (Closely adapted to Easy Toddler Meals)

Ingredients :

1 large carrot, finely grated

2 large bananas (or 3 medium bananas), mashed

1 egg

3 tbs coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/4 cup greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Steps :

1) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Spray some coconut oil/ olive oil into the mini loaf tin, to make sure it’s well coated. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, mix the grated carrot, mashed banana, greek yogurt, coconut oil, egg and vanilla bean paste till well combined.

3) In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

4) Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir till well combined. Scoop the mixture into the prepared mini loaf tin and bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.

Loaves all baked and ready!

5) Allow it to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove.

Lochlan analysing the loaf

Enjoy it with your kiddos!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

Ratatouille & A Good Food and Wine Tickets Giveaway!

Ratatouille

I’ve always wanted to give this a try. Ever since I watched the little rat who could cook this dish perfectly in Ratatouille! The vibrant colours just catches my eye instantly, and I think it’s such a celebratory dish – A celebration of colours!

Also, it was my brother’s birthday and I just wanted to cook him something special! Of course, I didn’t only cook him one dish, I made 4! haha This dish pairs perfectly with seafood, so I made some white wine and cream mussels, homemade garlic bread and mushroom risotto! Mmmm!

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mushroom risotto

Don’t you love just cooking for people you love? It’s seriously something I love to do. And seeing their reaction when they take the first bite, it’s worth all the time and effort!

Ratatouille

Making the ratatouille was so much fun! One reason was that I got to play with the mandolin. Slicing those vegetables into the same thickness couldn’t be any easier! Fastest prep ever! haha So if you would like to impress your guest the next time u cook for them, I highly recommend making them ratatouille! My family loved how it looked, and enjoyed every single bite!

Ratatouille

Ratatouille (Adapted from The Walsh Cookbook)

Ingredients : 

1 medium green zucchini

1 medium yellow zucchini

1 eggplant (preferably the thin ones)

1 red capsicum

1 yellow/green capsicum

3 tomatoes

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 can of tomato puree

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 tsp italian herbs/ mixed herbs

1 tsp salt

2 tbs olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Try to get the vegetables around the same size, so that they would look neater in your dish! Slice all the vegetables using a mandolin and set aside.

2) Heat a cast iron pot (or any pot that can be used in an oven) over a medium-high flame. Add the olive oil, garlic and onion and sauté till fragrant, careful not to burn them, as they will have a bitter after taste. Add in the tomato puree, salt, herbs & chilli flakes, and allow it to simmer for 5 mins.

3) Carefully arrange the vegetables, alternating the slices of zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and tomato. Continue laying them till you fill your dish and cover with a baking paper to allow it to steam and cook, keeping all the juices in. Bake for 45 mins.

Covered with baking paper

4) Remove the baking paper and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and serve!

How easy is that? And I can promise you that everyone will definitely enjoy this! So definitely give it a try when you can!

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Okie. So now… time for the GIVEAWAY!

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So everyone knows the one event I look forward to every year is no doubt the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show. Endless food & wine, beautiful produce and you get to meet your favourite chefs!

Good Food Theatre

This year, I am lucky enough to be given 2 double passes to giveaway to my readers! Whoopeedoo! What’s more exciting is that this year, Ainsley Harriott will be there for all 4 days of the show (5-8 June), along with Miguel Maestre & Alastair McLeod! So you definitely don’t want to miss the show this year! I can still remember when the Mr bought me tickets to a Private Dining session with Manu Feildel 3 years ago! Definitely a dream come true and an experience I will never forget!

How do you win those tickets? Easy!

  • Leave a comment and share with me the favourite dish you love to cook for your loved ones for a special occasion!
  • This giveaway is only open to Australian residents! (Sorry international readers!)
  • Please join me on my journey! Follow me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter! Let me know once you have followed me!
  • You may re-enter daily! One entry a day! (Oh yeah!)
  • Winners will be announced on the 29th of April, 10pm.
  • Winners will be picked via random.org and notified on this blog post and via email.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s go!

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WINNERS!

Congratulations to Good Food Good Karma and Ross! Here’s what they said :


Comment Number 8 Winner 1 - Number 8

Comment number 6 Winner 2 - Number 6

Salmon and roast! Two delicious things I too would cook for loved ones at a special occasion! Congrats again and I will be in contact with you soon, through email! Thanks everyone for participating!

Disclaimer : The tickets were given in compliments of Red Agency and I wasn’t paid to run this giveaway. 

Famish’d : Salads and More !

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Due to work, it’s almost impossible to have lunch anywhere besides the staff room haha. Thankfully it was the holidays when the newly opened Famish’d celebrated their opening! I couldn’t wait to head down for lunch as I’ve always wanted to try their salads! Their first store was just behind the Mr’s work place, so I used to meet him for coffees and cakes when I get to head down to the city.  So I was super excited when I received the invite!

Famish'd interior

Beautiful interior, neon signs that pop, warm and friendly staffs. Everything that you would love and look forward to for your mid day delight! And although they specialise in salads (a huge range!), they do hearty soups as well as spuds (both potatoes and sweet potato for a healthier option).

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There is definitely something for everyone! I know many of you would be thinking – how can a bowl of salad be filling? Trust me, their salads are HUGE and you definitely will be filled by the time you finish.

St Ali's coffee beans

Of course, you can’t skip having a cup of St Ali’s coffee as well while you’re there! Beautiful, robust flavours, definitely a pick-me-up when you need one!

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And still my favourite part of their coffee – the chocolate chip meringue!

chocolate chip meringue

It’s really quite magical. Every bite feels like you’re eating a teaspoon full of chocolate chips! Comes with every coffee, dining in or taking it away!

Salad bar

So let’s begin our salad adventure shall we? Since Daisy was there too, we decided to divide and conquer : I was going to choose the salad and she was going to choose the sweet potato spud !  You are allowed to choose the base of either a selection of fresh salad leaves, or their famish’d favourite salads that changes everyday! They also have a huge selection of ingredients to mix into your salad and you are allowed to choose up to 5 different ones!

Explaining how to design our own salads

Don’t worry if it’s your first time at Famish’d cause you would be well taken care of! Everyone working at Famish’d is friendly and is more than happy to explain to you how to design your own salads and spuds! Every one in the Famish’d family works together so well, it’s just amazing! They don’t have specific jobs, they just do anything that is presented infront of them! Like one big happy and loving family! Love it!

Making my salad

When it was my turn to design my own salad, I have to admit, I was like a kid in a lolly store. haha So many fresh and vibrant ingredients to choose from, I almost wanted more than 5!

my salad

My colourful salad! After selecting what you want, you can choose from an extensive range of home-made dressing! All the dressing is made by the owner, Georgia, herself! AMAZING!

All tossed and ready to be enjoyed

My salad had pumpkin, chickpeas, corn, artichokes and roasted capsicum! I asked what dressing is recommended and mine has a mix of dijon balsamic and mayo! They do have other dressings for the more adventurous ! I am actually regretting not trying them! Have to head back to try! hehe

My salad and Daisy's sweet potato spud

The portion was huge and I had to take away half of mine home! A slice of bread is also given to mop up any of the delicious dressing left!

Daisy's sweet potato spud

Daisy did equally well with her choices for her sweet potato spud! She had cheese (of course, a must with spuds!), mushrooms, corn, bacon, spring onion and salsa! It was so amazing! I’m definitely gonna have this in my next visit!

Sweet potato spud

Hidden under all the delicious ingredients is a roasted sweet potato spud! So tender and super sweet! Not sure about you, but I prefer sweet potatoes to potatoes anytime! hehe Somehow, it feels healthier! hehe

Sweets by Sweet By Nature

Next to the salad bar sits a beautiful array of cakes and slices! It’s supplied by Sweet By Nature and how good does everything look? After being good and having a healthy lunch, it’s surely okay to have something naughty (and delicious) for dessert right? hehe DEFINITELY! Miss D will agree with me for sure! And of course, we got to try one of each they have!

Sweets

When this board arrived infront of us, wide smiles appeared on our faces almost naturally. haha How good does that look? Don’t you just want to dive into it and just take a bite of everything? We did. haha

Dessert

The orange poppyseed cake is still my favourite! And the rocky road was really rich and decadent! Only needed a small bite to make you feel happy and contented!

By no means am I a healthy eater, but I do enjoy having a healthy meal once in a while. This is definitely a place to come to if you are on a health fix too! You can create your own salads and spuds to your liking and I can vouch that you will love every mouthful of it! So if you’re around the city or you work in the city, head down to Famish’d for lunch and I’m sure you won’t regret it! Have a sweet (or two) while you’re there too! hehe

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Disclaimer : I was invited by Famish’d as guests to have lunch. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience at the time of the visit. 

Gingery & Coconutty Granola

Gingery & coconutty granola

You and I both know I absolutely love brunch. But during the week, it’s impossible to have brunch due to work and more often than not, I end up having a slice of toast with either peanut butter or vegemite and out of the door I went! But I really wanted to have something healthy and good in the morning to keep me full for most of the morning before lunch so I decided to make my own granola to go with yogurt! Mmmm (:

Granola with greek yogurt

I also wanted to try using something I’ve never used before, but has been on my mind for a while now – Molasses. A dark and viscous by-product of the refining of sugar cane. The health benefit of molasses is its high mineral content. It’s wheat, dairy, lactose, gluten and yeast free! It smells and tastes quite similar to gula melaka hehe I like it!

Molasses

It’s not as sweet as honey, but still makes the granola yummy! (: Had to take that risk, but so glad I did. hehe I tried baking a cake with it, but I think I probably used too much and the taste over took the whole cake, so I’m sticking to sugar for my cakes. haha Or honey! But for granola, it was perfect! hehe

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The best thing about this recipe? You could pretty much add what you love and it will still work! hehe I ransacked my whole pantry and took out everything I wanted and tossed it in the mix!  There were a few things I really wanted in my granola this time : toasted coconut and crystalised ginger! It was a combination I came across at the awesome Borough Market in London during my recent trip! hehe So here we go! (:

Gingery & Coconutty Granola (A Food Made With Love original recipe)

1 cup shredded coconut (toasted till brown, set aside)

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 pistachios, roughly chopped

1/2 cup unsalted cashews, roughly chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbs olive oil

3 tbs molasses

1 cup raisins

1 cup goji berries

shredded coconut (before toasting)

Toasted shredded coconut

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. In a large bowl, place the rolled oats, mixed nuts and cinnamon. Give it a good toss to so that they are well combined.

2) In a small pot, heat the olive oil and molasses on low heat till smooth. Drizzle over the oats mixture and mix till well combined.

3) Pour the mixture on a line tray and bake for about 35-40 mins, stirring every 10 minutes.

4) Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Pour it back into the large bowl, and mix in the raisins and goji berries. Once the mixture is completely cooled, stir in the toasted coconut.

Gingery & coconutty granola

Enjoy on its own (it makes a great snack!) or with your favourite yogurt! (:

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PS: Did you notice the new logo for Food Made With Love? hehe Hope you guys like it and I just want to thank you for your continuous support and love for my posts! I won’t be here if not for you all, so thank you heaps! x

Have a great week ahead! Till the next post, remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Eggless & Vegan Banana Bread

Eggless and Vegan Banana Bread

Banana cake. Who doesn’t love a thick slice of warm banana goodness?? I could have it for breakfast, tea or dessert! Actually, I could have it at any time of the day. I have done my fair share of baking different kinds of banana bread. Looking back on what I’ve shared, I’ve done a walnut, chocolate and maple banana bread and a sour cream maple banana cake. One that I never thought I would try is a vegan version of banana cake!

Eggless & vegan banana bread

To be honest, I never thought of making a cake without eggs before! But after I saw the post on OvenHaven (super duper talented, check her blog out! hehe) I knew I had to give it a try! What more when it’s actually really healthy? hehe This would be perfect for your kids and children with or without allergies! hehe The cake came out so moist, soft and light! It was just filled with banana with every single bite! Absolutely divine!  Especially when it’s warm! I had mine with some butter and also I had it for dessert with a scoop of my homemade salted caramel ice cream! Yummi-li-cious!!! So give it a try if you’ve never made anything eggless or vegan like me, and be delightfully surprised! hehe

Eggless and vegan Banana Bread (Adapted from Veg Recipes of India)

4 ripe large bananas

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2/3 cups olive oil

1/2 cup fine brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease a bread/loaf tin with some olive oil.

2) Mash the bananas and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, vanilla bean paste and sugar  and blend till well combine.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add it into the mixing bowl, 1/2 cup at a time. Slowly mix them till well combined.

4) Pour the mixture into the prepared bread/loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the middle of the bread comes out clean.

5) Allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the bread/loaf tin before you turn it out onto a cooling rack. Slice and serve warm with butter or a scoop of ice cream. ENJOY! (: Cling wrap the rest of the bread and keep it in a tupperware in the fridge.

eggless and vegan banana bread with salted caramel ice cream

The next time I make these, I’m gonna put some walnuts, sunflower seeds and maybe some chocolate chips! hehe There’s nothing better than the combination of banana and chocolate! Do give this a try! I am very sure you will love it! Have a great and blessed Sunday! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love!