Recipe from Mary Tregellas: Notes from the Jam Cupboard
Makes 1 x 340g jar 
Keeps for 12 months

900 g ripe tomatoes
112 g shallots, chopped
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp allspice berries
3 peppercorns
112 g granulated sugar
212 ml distilled malt vinegar

1) Cut a shallow cross at the base of each tomato and place into a medium sized heat-proof bowl. Cover in boiling water and let sit for 2-3 minutes before removing the skins and chopping roughly. Place chopped tomatoes in a large pan along with the chopped onions and salt. 

2) In a piece of muslin cloth, tie the spices and add to the pan. Cook ingredients over a low heat, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp. 

3) Add the sugar and vinegar and stir until the sugar granules are dissolved (you'll feel the graininess disappear at the bottom of the pan). Bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally, until you feel it thicken slightly. 

4) Remove the spices and pour the chutney into the sterilized jars. 

Jars need to be sterilized to prevent bacteria growth. 
I sterilized the jars by cleaning and rinsing thoroughly, using soap. I then place them into a clean bowl and cover them with boiling water, letting them sit for a few minutes before drying them well with a clean paper. 
So, Hannah's ditched me for a while. 
But there's no stopping either of us. We're officially on Summer break and it feels so good having so much down-time! Here's a recipe I found today at this website. 

This is kind of like a cross between a scone, scroll and loaf, with a little baklava twist in terms of flavouring. It turned out really well! Not only in form but taste, too. It's great with coffee or tea, and probably even better with a scoop of ice-cream. We had none in the freezer :(
It's best eaten on the day. As with scones, it'll dry out overnight and won't be as good the next day.  


- 3 cups plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 80g butter, softened and cubed
- 1 - 1 1/4 cups milk

- 1 egg, lightly beaten, for bushing

- 2/3 cup mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp cardamom powder


1) Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C, or Fan-forced at 160˚C. Line a 6.5 cm deep loaf tin with baking paper.

2) Place the mixed nuts in a food processor and process until finely chopped. In a small bowl, sieve together the sugar and cinnamon and then add the nuts. Set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, place the flour and baking powder. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Then, make a well in the mixture and pour in 1 cup of milk. Combine with a flat bladed knife. (If the mixture is too dry and won't hold together, add some more milk). Turn the dough out onto a flat, lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. (Don't overwork the dough, though, or it will be tough.)

4) Roll the dough out on a sheet of baking until it's a 21cm X 36 cm rectangle. Then, brush over the surface with egg and sprinkle the filling over the top, keeping 2 tbsp aside for later. From the short end, roll the mixture tightly into a log, like pictured, and then place, seal down, into the lined loaf tin. 

5) Place in oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 

IN the meantime: syrup

6) In a small saucepan, heat the ingredients for the syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Mix it well. Then, bring the mixture to boil and, without mixing, let it boil for a further 5 minutes. Take it off the heat, and set aside. 

5) Once the loaf is cooked, pull it out of the oven and poke a few holes through the top. Then, drizzle half the syrup mixture over hot loaf and sprinkle the remaining filling over the top. Before serving, heat the syrup in the microwave and drizzle over the top of individual slices. 

Yay! Happy summer everyone! My friends were having a going away party today I decided that I needed to bake something (hopefully) amazing for the event. I spent most if my morning scrolling through Pinterest and food gawker trying to find an out of this world cupcake.And THIS is what my stumbling led me to create!!

I didn't want to make a typical cupcake for this event. I wanted something special that would catch the eyes of the guests and make everyone's mouth water. Originally I was going to make Oreo cupcakes---vanilla cupcakes with bits of Oreo inside. However, I thought I needed to take that design one step further. Instead I came up with a chocolate cupcake stuffed with a cream cheese Oreo filling and topped with whipped cream cheese frosting, oreo "powder" and a mini Oreo.

Although not super challenging, the process for creating these magical little things took a few hours. Technically I cheated during the process. I didn't have a lot of time so instead of making homemade chocolate cupcakes I bought the box mix of devils food cake. GASP! Next time I will be sure to make them all by hand I promise!

It's important to let the filling ingredients come to room temperature (the butter and cream cheese) and to have the cupcakes fully cooled before stuffing them. I didn't really keep track of time while making these but I think it is safe to say they took me a good hour and a half to two hours to fully complete them.

Step 1: make the chocolate cupcakes!

I used the a box mix to create the chocolate cupcakes. You can use any flavor that you would like but I thought chocolate would go well with the Oreos!

Step 2: load those babies up!

To make the filling I used 1 block of cream cheese and 1 stick of butter (half a cup). Make sure these ate BOTH at room temperature before you start. I allowed 2 hours for the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature. Using a stand mixer I combined the butter, cream cheese, 1tsp vanilla, and 2 cups of confectioners sugar until it was smooth and creamy. If needed you can add heavy whipping cream to get it to your preferred texture. Then I added 3 snack packs of Oreos and mixed well.. *make sure to crush them up before adding them into the mixture!

Next, using a knife or a cookie cutter, remove the center of each cupcake and fill with the desired amount of cream cheese filling. Then place the removed section back on top and press down.

Step 3: make them Pretty!

Add a layer of frosting on top to make them pretty! I used whipped cream cheese frosting from Betty Crocker. (Next time I will make my own, I promise!).

To add a little flare to these cupcakes. Place 1-2 bags of snack pack Oreos into a food processor and pulse until you get a really fine crumb. Then sprinkle them over the cupcakes! I added another Oreo on top because I had extra but you can do whatever you like! ENJOY AND BE CREATIVE!

Caera here! 

I find that in the summer, hot food becomes less appealing and salads, fruit and icy drinks bring about the most relief from the heat and humidity. Last night was one of these occasions and this salad was the perfect cure. 
I've had this dish before, and sometimes the first time you try a type of dish, it's the best tasting one you'll have. This time, it was the other way around. Maybe that's because it's the exact thing I've been craving.

This salad "thais" together all the fresh ingredients you'd expect to find in thai cuisine.  It's just a healthy, tasty, fresh salad, and honestly, it could never be more simple to prepare. The mix of chilli, coriander and mint, along with the sesame, soy, and peanuts, brought together with the tender meat, is so mouth-watering. It smelt great in the kitchen. But, I recommend that you buy the best steak you can, because it can ultimately make all the difference! 

Serves 4


3 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs fish sauce
3 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed


- 200g grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 japanese cucumber, or half an english, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 6 scallions (bulb and 3/4 green), chopped
- 1-2 fresh red chilies: halved, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, large torn
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, picked
- 500g Beef Rump steak
- 55g peanuts, toasted and chopped
- 3 handfuls bean sprouts
- sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, optional


1) Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Place your beef steak on a plate and brush the few spoonfuls of the dressing over the meat. Set aside. 

2) Prep all salad ingredients, the first 7 listed, and combine in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2) In a heated pan drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil, place your beef and cook for about 3 minutes on either side, adding a sprinkle of salt to either side, too. The meat is best when medium-rare, but it is entirely up to your liking. 

3) When meat is cooked, wrap in foil and let rest for at least half the cooking time, so around 3 minutes. A well rested piece of meat allows it to hold onto its juices, however the juice thats left over can be added to your dressing. 

4) Place your mixed salad into a bowl. Slice the meat thinly and across the grain, and then place on top of the salad. Drizzle over your dressing, and then sprinkle over the peanuts, sesame seeds and bean sprouts.

Dive in. :)