Guys, I spend a bit of time cooking, but I spend even more of it eating. That’s why from time to time, I like to try me some delicious takeaway food. On this particular occasion, my boyfriend and I decided it was about that time of day where we should sit on the couch and do nothing, but we needed some lunch to go with it. So we went a-looking and found this place with only the coolest name in the whole wide world:
HIGH TECH BURRITO!
Has anyone been? It’s on Glenferrie Rd in Hawthorn (Victoria, Australia) and if the name doesn’t get you there, then the definitely food should. Ahhhhhh so good. I had a Chicken Fajita and the boyf had something weird with black beans. He liked it, but probably not as much as I liked mine, which I understand because I don’t like black beans. I ate them once and my mouth turned blue. Has anyone else had that? Yeah…
But basically, really yummy food. Mine had lots of chicken and red capsicum and onions all fried up together in lots of spices. And then to make it even more awesome they throw in that Mexican rice that you always find in good burritos, with cheese and salsa and mmmm. Makes it pretty filling though, they were huuuuuuge, and would have made a really good dinner but probably a bit too much for lunch. Same goes for the prices really; $14 for a takeaway lunch is getting pretty steep but I would have considered it a bargain dinner.
The guy who owns they place was also really nice and helpful, made sure you picked things that you were going to like. He even gave us a first time customer discount. Totes awesome. Actually, even more awesome than that was how the packaging came with instructions! Super cute! Check it out:
All in all, I’d definitely recommend it. I’d give it like 7.5 om’s out of a full om nom nom. Yep, that’s a ranking system, you got a problem with that?
So go and get yourself burritoed and then chillax on a couch and watch Community. All afternoon. Like me.
Pasta has got to be one of the best things in the world. I love pasta. I also love making pasta. When I started getting some serious pocket money from my parents, the very first thing that I bought with it was a pasta machine. I was 12. Not even joking. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.
This recipe is something new that I was just making up as I went along and I think it turned out pretty well. Sorry to my parents though who had to deal with me getting a little stressed when I forgot to flour the bench, but I think they forgave me because they got a good meal out of it :D
(Serves 2 people and one very hungry father)
200g Plain Flour
1 Brown Onion (diced, so so diced)
2 cloves of garlic (chop it up all small like)
1 tsp ground sage
400g Pumpkin (chopped into little itty bitty pieces)
1 Leek (cut off the green bit and chuck it in the bin, chop up the white stuff and use it)
2 tbsp Butter
Big Handful of Fresh Sage Leaves
1. Let’s get our pasta dough going. Mix your flour and semolina together. You can do it in a bowl if you like, but I’m HARDCORE and I do it straight onto the bench. Now make a little well/hole/dint in your mix and crack in your first egg. Pretty important that you only do the eggs one at a time. You incorporate the egg slowly into the dry ingredients by mixing with a fork. Do this with each egg.
2. Now get your hands into it. Mix it all up and knead it until it looks like a pretty ball of dough. If it feels a bit dry, you can add some water. Alternatively, if it’s a bit too wet, add some flour. Basically, you want it to feel soft, but not sticky. Wrap it up in some cling film and leave in the fridge for about an hour.
3. While the dough is resting and getting yummy, let’s get going on our filling! I sorta made this up based on what I had around the house, so you can definitely afford to use different ingredients or quantities if you do so desire.
4. Yep Step 3 was just me chatting. Ok, let’s start by getting a frypan on low-medium heat with a nice glug of oil. Add your onion, garlic and leek and cook for about 15 minutes (niiiiiice and slowly now) until soft but not brown. This is called a sofrito! (How fancy of me).
5. Once softened, add the ground sage and the pumpkin. Let this cook up until soft, keep stirring it lots and lots.
6. Awesome, it’s all cooked (see how I’m giving you the thumbs up? It’s because it’s cooked. Nice work you). Now we want to make it smooth. I used a hand held electric blender type device and it worked, if you don’t have one, you might need to transfer it to a blender, or otherwise just try and mash it up with your spoon if you don’t mind it being a bit lumpy.
7. Now we add the crumbled feta, stir it through. Now we have nice little chunks of feta in our pumpkin :) Leave the pumpkin mixture to cool.
8. Let’s get our dough out of the fridge! You wanna separate it into a few smaller balls (I usually split in into the number of pieces that is the same as the number of eggs I used, so four). This just makes it easier to handle.
9. Flour your dough and start feeding it through your pasta machine on the widest setting. Run it through this setting at least six times, flouring and folding as you go. This is essentially kneading your dough for you and making it super duper lovely! Continue to feed your dough through the machine, reducing the width each time you put it through, until you reach desired thickness (I put it through to the second thinnest setting on my machine).
10. Now take your lovely long rectangle of rolled out dough and lay it on a FLOURED bench somewhere. Fold it in half and press lightly over the crease to make a small line. Fold it back out. Now go and get your yummy pumpkin and start spooning teaspoons of mixture a couple of cms apart, making even lines of pumpkin on your pasta of line. Only do this on one half of your pasta sheet though, and make sure you leave space around the edges of the pasta for later.
11. Fold your pasta back over and press down around the little pumpkin balls. You’ll notice that your top dough sheet is now smaller than the bottom (this is why we needed to leave the spaces!). Try to get as much air out as possible because this means that they’re gonna cook nicely :) Then cut them out into little squares with a knife or a pizza rolling knife thingo or an axe or whatever suits you. Repeat with rest of dough and filling.
12. When you’ve cut out your little ravioli, chuck em (gently) onto a floured tray and let them roll in floury blissfulness.
13. Now we cook our pasta (yay!) in a big pot of boiling salted water. Big pots are good, we don’t like to crowd the ravioli (they get claustrophobic). And this shouldn’t take more than about five minutes. Just cook til the pasta is tender and al dente (more fancy words).
14. Oooo. Now let’s make yummy sauce. Just get a little frypan, melt your butter, let it fry fry fry a bit and then chuck those sage leaves in and poof! Sage and burnt butter! Well, after it goes a bit brown, that’s when it’s done.
15. Now you serve it all up and you eat and you tell me how good it is :D
Helloooooo everyone! How’s it going? Oh me? Fine thanks. Actually no, not so fine. I’m sick. Stuck in bed kind of sick. Although at this time of year it’s stuck-in-bed-with-a-pile-of-textbooks in preparation for exams. Eughhhhh. Advanced corporate finance anyone? No? Oh but it’s so fun. And I love the examples in the textbooks. Seriously “Loki Industries wants to takeover Thor Industries. How many shares does Loki need to take Thor down?” Good thing some awesome friends made me watch The Avengers or else I would have failed finance.
But like I said, I’m sick, ad if sick calls for anything, it’s soup and I have been going through soup like nothing else. Today, after exhausting all of the home-made soup stores yesterday, I found myself with the above. Laksa cup-a-soup. Awesome? How cool that space age made it onto Earth a few decades back and now anyone can make a meal out of a handful of powder. I dunno…I’m not convinced.
Basically, my tastebuds have been relatively non-existent anyway, but I’m gonna give it above a 5.5/10. Milkiness wasn’t fun for starters, personal preference, and also I was put off by those tincy little bit of colour they call vegetables. But hey, nice box design. I want the red mug. Send it to me and I could bump it up to 6.
I’m really just putting this photo in here to brag. I WENT TO ITALY OVER THE SUMMER EVERYONE. I came back, um, how long ago was it now….goodness gracious FIVE MONTHS AGO. Now that is sad.
The reason I took this photo though was because this was the very first pizza that I ate in Italy!! I ate it in Rome down a little cobblestone alley right next to the Spanish Steps. It was without a doubt the most incredible pizza I have ever eaten, but I’m kinda hoping that you can guess that just from looking at it. The proscuitto was incredible and the cheese…. but the most amazing thing was the base, slightly chewy but oh so generally awesome in a way that I just won’t even try to describe.
However despite all of my love for the pizza, this is a HORRIBLE thing because now pizza is ruined for me FOREVER!!! Eugh, here in Melbourne we think we know Italian. THIS PIZZA WAS SO GOOD. So so good. I would have run away and married this pizza. On a beach. Or a mountain. Or wherever the pizza wanted to go because I’d be up for it. But then I ate it. Not a great way to start a long and happy marriage…
I had a pretty decent sandwich for lunch today, all chicken and avocado deliciousness, but I gotta admit, kinda wishing I’d eaten these instead. Don’t judge me, you know you would do it too. Sandwiches are awesome, but could there be anything in the world that makes a person feel like I do when I see these?? Just look at them!! Where do you come from, oh strange creation? What kind of happiness are you?? Please let me find you so that I CAN EAT YOU UNTIL MY SKIN IS GLOWING WITH RAINBOW JOY.
Look, some things need to be said, I’ve just got the guts to say them.
I always get strong urges to cook when I should be studying. What is your favourite thing to cook when you feel like procrastinating?
Hahaha, that sounds like my every day. Well, if it’s stressful study then I’d say risotto. Mmmmmm so so good and relaxing. I pour a glass of wine for the rice and then a glass of wine for me! And since when has wine not been good for studying…
I don’t know about you, but I am extremely talented at remembering useless things. I remember how many buses I passed in my car today (an impressive four), I remember how I did my hair on the first day of school (pig tails, and actually my mum did it) and I remember exclaiming in Grade 5 that I knew the lyrics to The Ketchup Song (“I said a hey, a hop, a hey, a heavy, to the heavy, you say you don’t like my hobby and a boogie and a wiggle the beat”).
But unfortunately, not everything seems to stick in there, so in posting this picture of this tart, I am not even going to try to pretend that I remember how I made it. And I’m sorry about this, I really am. Because it was freaking delicious.
Fortunately, I do remember one thing, and that is the pastry. For this recipe I used sweet shortcrust pastry, and I’ve tried a few different recipes, but this is the one that I’ve known the longest and it’s a neverfail. Like the water company.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
350 g (2 cups + 1/3 cup) plain flour
150g butter (Some people prefer to use unsalted and then salt their own. I just can’t be screwed.)
100g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) icing sugar (We know how I feel about icing sugar)
1. Sift flour into a bowl or, if you feel classy like me, onto your bench. Make a well (why do they even call it that? It’s really just a hole) in the centre and add the butter and the sugar to your ‘well’ and kinda pinch it with your fingers so it softens a little.
2. Start to incorporate the flour by gently flicking and pinching it (be a real big gentle bully with it) until you get what roughly resembles dough. Knead it a few time until it’s smooth.
3. Roll the dough up in gladwrap (no advertisement intended, but if they want to pay me I’ll GLADly accept) and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.
4. Yay! Take it out of the fridge! Flour your bench and your rolling pin and then roll the dough out. DON’T FORGET THE FLOUR. SOMETIMES I DO AND THEN MY BENCH AND THE DOUGH MEET AND BECOME ONE. Which isn’t romantic when we’re talking about dough.
5.This is the best part!! When you’re done rolling, you get to roll the dough up over your rolling pin and then roll it down over the tin!!! Kinda imagine one of those things you blow at little kid parties rolling up and then rolling out again. So yeah, do that.
6. Think about how awesome step 5 was.
7. Let it rest in the tin for at least ten minutes before baking anything in it. Or don’t if you like to live on the wild side. But just this once I’d recommend refraining from succumbing to the wild side.
And there you have it, traditional pastry making.
Alternatively, chuck it in the food processor and let it flick, pinch, punch or give wedgies to your dough for you. School yard politics these days…. But I can’t really judge, that’s usually the way I do it.
Has anyone ever really sat down and thought about bagels? I mean seriously, just run with me here for a minute. Bagels, what even are you? Is there anything else like you? I actually don’t think so. You are both bread-ish but you also have this nice unidentifiable quality that makes you just a little bit more awesome than bread. Oh oh oh, and you have a crust, but it’s not like the crust you get on a baguette or something that’s all crunchy, oh no, your crust is all chewy and shiny and it only makes me love you more.
Personally, I eat bagels pretty often. I like blueberry ones and I toast them and eat them with cream cheese and I am pretty convinced that it’s delicious at any time of day. You midnight snack with chips you say? Well I midnight snack a bagel. With a cup of tea. Don’t forget the tea.
(…or if you feel like being boring we can call them Lemon Cupcakes)
So as I said in my last post, I love to bake, and this was what I baked when I came up with this whole blog idea so they shall from here on in doth be named INSPIRATION CAKES.
Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhh, you know you want some inspiration cakes, get your creativeness happening with some of these:
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp caster sugar
Grated zest of a small lemon
2 eggs (room temperature please and thank you)
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup icing sugar (feel free to make your own choices in your lives, here at 180degrees we give you the liberty to do that, but for crying out loud don’t use pure icing sugar unless you want to stand over a bowl sifting for three quarters of an hour)
2 heaped tbsp butter
2 heaped tbsp cream cheese
Grated zest of half a lemon
1. Preheat your oven to 180degrees (HAHAHAHA IT’S THE NAME OF THE BLOG! NOT INTENTIONAL AT ALL! Yeah it was pretty intentional actually…) or 160 if you are using fan forces (which I recommend actually).
2. Get out a 12-hole muffin try and fill it with cupcake cases. I used yellow. Because it’s lemon. And lemons are yellow. Inspiration is yellow too.
3. Now add your butter (room temperature please), caster sugar and lemon zest to a nice bowl and use an electric hand mixer to whip it all up for three minutes. Look at it now and see how fluffy it is!! Now taste.
4. Add your eggs one by one and mix for a minute after each. Now taste. Mmmm.
5. Sift your flour and baking powder into the bowl and stir it by hand until combined. Now taste. Yum yum yum for you and me.
6. Now add your milk! Wizz it around in your hand mixer for like 30 seconds-ish. Now taste, reserve some mixture for your cupcake pans though…. maybe we’ll just make six cup cakes instead.
7. Scoop the mixture into the cupcake pans (yay!), and chuck it in the oven (yay!) for ten minutes. After the first ten minutes, do a little check and then either a) turn your oven down to 160 if you had it on 180 before or b) turn the fan off if possible… or turn it down to 140 if your oven doesn’t let you turn the fan off.
8. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until juuuuuust golden. Not too golden. That means they’re burnt.
9. Take them out of the muffin tray as quickly as possible and leave to cool. Or, taste!
For the icing:
1. Mix icing sugar, butter and zest together for about two minutes with electric hand mixer. Now taste.
2. Add the cream cheese and mix it through for another minute. Now eat, I mean taste.
3. Adjust as necessary for how thick you like your icing. I kinda just like to spread it, but if you want to pipe it then you should probably get some more icing sugar.
And yay!! You should have something that looks like this! I would have posted some more pictures but I just ate them too darn quickly. And then felt some inspiration to do a whole lot of stuff.