bookmark_borderSmokey Corned Beef Brisket with White Barbecue Sauce

Pastrami and slow smoked beef brisket are both delicious, but most people (myself included) don’t have a smoker, or the time. This recipe has an ingenious shortcut that will leave you with the next best thing. By starting with corned beef, the brisket is already brined and thus the cooking time is a lot less. It has a dry rub of smokey paprika and other spices, which results in a deliciously savory brisket that goes great with white barbecue sauce. Have it on a sandwich or with potatoes and a green salad.

Unfamiliar with white barbecue sauce? It’s served in the American Deep South, and is a white creamy, vinegary sauce with horseradish and mustard. It’s typically served with smoked chicken but goes amazingly well with this pastrami-esque smokey beef brisket.

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bookmark_borderGarlic Ginger Chicken

One of my favorite things about cooking is how I can get inspired by a few recipes, and then come up with something and make it my own. There are lots of teriyaki chicken recipes out there, and variants thereof. This is one that I adapted from various sources and it’s delicious, if I must say so myself. It has a delicate flavor with caramelization that will leave you licking your fingers afterwards. And of course, it’s highly adaptable!

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bookmark_borderEasy Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

Here’s an easy recipe for fluffy dinner rolls you can make in your bread machine. I’d been looking all over for a bread recipe that yielded light, fluffy rolls. If you’re a fan of crusty bread, this is not for you! These are slightly sweet, light as air, and make a great addition to the dinner table.

Bread Rolls

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bookmark_borderChicken, Cream Cheese and Chive Parcels

There are various recipes floating around the internet for this, but my version is a bit healthier and just as easy. These freeze very well and make for great weekday lunches, and, as usual, they’re very adaptable to suit your tastes. Want to throw in some different spices? Go for it. But this recipe is the version I always end up with, and it’s always been a hit.

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bookmark_borderOrange Chocolate Chip Biscotti

These twice-baked cookies are a staple at many cafes and are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I made these using orange and vanilla extracts, but naturally other extracts will yield a great result. If I had chocolate chips on hand I would have added them, but they’re fine without. They’re light and crispy and are always a hit at brunches or dinner parties. They are even better the next day after they’re baked, and they also freeze quite well.

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bookmark_borderFor Fitness and Frugality: Make Your Own Spice Mixes

I’ll admit it – when I lived in the US, it was all too easy to resort to spice mixes for making chili, marinades, etc. That was until I realized just how many preservatives, dyes, and sugars are in many of those mixes. Price wasn’t a factor until I moved to Australia and the prices of those same (imported) spice mixes started making them all the more unappealing. If you’re willing to spend a short amount of time, you can make a lot of the most popular spice mixes out there from scratch – thus saving you money and the hassle of reading all those tiny labels.

This site has shortcuts to recipes for many of the most popular mixes out there. In this case I’m happy because Old Bay Seasoning isn’t even available in Australia, and now I can make it myself.

Save Money on Seasonings – MYOM (Make Your Own Mix)

bookmark_borderAmerican vs Australian Tablespoons

I learned something new the other week – and hope I haven’t mislead too many of you in the process. I realized that Australian tablespoons are different than American tablespoons in terms of measurement. Teaspoons are the same, but it’s just tablespoons that are different. All of my recipes thus far have used American tablespoons, which are 15ml. Australian tablespoons are larger, 20ml. Why did it take me over a year of living here to notice this, you may ask? Well it doesn’t help that both types of tablespoons are sold here. The first measuring spoon set I got when I moved here was with American measurements, just out of pure coincidence.

From now on I’m putting the ml amounts next to tablespoons just to ease any confusion. If you’re in the US, just use your tablespoons normally. If you’re in Australia, you may have to scale it down a bit. It wasn’t until someone gave me some feedback on a recipe that I realized they were using Australian tablespoons instead of what I assumed was the standard. Like I said, teaspoons are the same in both places, so it hasn’t been that big of a deal in my recipes anyway. It certainly makes cooking interesting when I have to make sure the recipe came from Australia or someplace else before deciding which tablespoon to use.


What is a snickerdoodle, you may ask? Just picture cinnamon toast in cookie form. It’s a type of light, fluffy sugar cookie coated in sugar and cinnamon, and I grew up loving them. Naturally kids would like a cookie with a name like that! Now, as a grownup, I love them with a cup of tea. (Also, though it isn’t the season, these also make great Christmas cookies, if you choose to use colored sugar.)

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bookmark_borderChocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

I’ve heard people say that these cookies will, at some point, replace currency. That’s how good they are. They are crunchy, smooth, buttery, and not mind-blowingly sweet. They’re a hit at parties and are decadent in their simplicity.

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