Kitchen Therapy


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Australia Day Classic: Pavlova

What is more Australian than a BBQ and Pavlova?

I’ve made many (oh so many!) different pavlova recipes from a variety of books and magazines but have found the following works best.

Firstly, my recipe has 12 egg whites, it makes a decent sized pavlova. I wouldn’t even bother making a smaller size!

Once I’ve added all the caster sugar to the egg whites I let the Kitchen Aid mixer run for a good 10-15 mins, beating the mixture until it’s fairly glossy and firm.

Once it’s baked, I turn the oven off and open the door slightly and then leave it until it gets cold in the oven.

Most of the time I bake the shell the day or night before and decorate it with cream and fruit the next morning.

Ingredients:

12 Egg Whites

1 2/3 cups Caster Sugar

300g Thickened Cream

2 Tbsp soft icing sugar

1 Punnet Strawberries sliced

4 Kiwi Fruit diced

4 Passion Fruit

 

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.

2. Whip egg whites until firm.

3. Add caster sugar a spoonful at a time until it has all been incorporated.

4. Set the Kitchen Aid at a speed of 6 (medium) and leave it! I walk away and check on how it’s going every few minutes. You want the mixture to be thick and glossy. (I’ve walked away and forgotten the mixture many times and have returned each time scared of over-beating, but it has never happened).

5. Pile the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

6. Place into oven and after about 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 120 degrees and cook for about 75-90 minutes.

7. I turn oven off after this time and open the oven door a fraction. I leave the pavlova in there until it goes cold (a few hours or overnight).

8. Once cold, I whip the thickened cream until stiff peaks form then add icing sugar.

9. Spread the whipped cream over the pavlova.

10. Scatter strawberries and kiwis on top then spoon passion fruit over pavlova.

ENJOY!


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Australia Day 2011: Dee Why Beach

We get up early and head down to Dee Why beach along with thousands of others.

It’s tradition.

Bacon and egg rolls, sausage sandwiches, swimming, cricket on the beach, BBQ’s and beer!

January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, commandeered 11 convict ships from Great Britain into Sydney Cove.

Today, we celebrate everything Australia stands for.

The outdoors, our beaches, our families, friends and community.

So, with the local band belting out AC/DC.

BBQ sauce dripping down our wrists.

And a killer rip dragging us like rag dolls into the surf so huge waves can spit us back out into the sand, we celebrate another Australia Day!




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Golden Cheesy Bread Rolls (Kiflice)

“Until you know that life is interesting – and find it so – you haven’t found your soul.” – Geoffrey Fisher

Why does baking feel so incredibly satisfying and nourishing to the mind and the soul?

Or is that just me?

I get excited finding and planning my next cooking project, buying the ingredients and then carving out the time to play!

I wrote about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his studies about being in what he calls “flow”. Being engrossed in an activity that causes time to disappear, our problems and worries to melt away and we are no longer aware of our surrounding other than as they related to what we are doing. Being engaged in an activity that both challenges us and rewards us, an activity that gives us a sense of accomplishment and improvement, this is his definition of happiness.

Given this definition, then baking, cooking, creating something from scratch, is so wonderfully important to me because it makes me happy!

It’s as simple as that!

Could there be any better reason?!

Making these kiflice, which are Serbian bread rolls, brought back so many childhood memories, they made me feel closer to my Serbian dad who is in rehabilitation after suffering a heart attack and a stroke and they helped me feel closer to my heritage and my family!

Amazing that these little golden bread rolls could do so much!

I saw them when they were featured on FoodPress by Things We Make and followed their link to Maja from Cooks and Bakes who posted her recipe in Serbian and English!
They wouldn’t leave my thoughts and I knew I had my next baking project!

I made them with feta and they turned out magnificent! These little cheese rolls brought happiness not just to me but also my dad!
I’m already planning my next batch with fried leeks and goat’s cheese feta!

As the quote from Geoffrey Rush says, I hope you find that special something which makes your life interesting and in turn find your soul!