Three Traditional Australian Dishes

Australians typically enjoy a cosmopolitan cuisine as a result of immigration and influence from Europe and Asia. Major cities are awash with French, Italian, Thai, Indian and Chinese restaurants, and most locals are adept at preparing their own pasta or stir fry dishes. However, traditional Aussie ‘tucker’ remains a much-loved staple of many diets. It is simple though hearty fare that hearkens back to Colonial days, when a hot and filling meal would be prepared over a camp fire or in a bush oven. Australia has long been blessed with an abundance of fresh produce all year round, and this is reflected in traditional cooking: lamb or beef stews and casseroles served with jumbuck dumplings; kangaroo steaks with red wine sauce; balmain bugs (flat crustaceans with a mild, white flesh) served in a mango sauce; plus poultry, fish, breads and cheeses, finished off with a fine Australian table wine. Some foods are more than belly fillers, however. They are so […]

Banana Bread

If you buy bananas on a regular basis, then you have probably had more than a few get brown and soft before you had a chance to eat them.  Don’t throw them away!  Those bananas are now perfect for making banana bread.  You can even save them for later use by throwing them in the freezer.  Then, when you are ready to use them, you can thaw them out, cut off the top and squeeze out the banana puree within.  That’s the perfect consistency for banana bread! Banana bread is not hard to make.  It does not require special equipment or mixers or even special ingredients.  I bet you have everything you need in your kitchen right now.  All you need is a large bowl, a spoon, measuring cups and spoons, and that loaf pan that came with the baking set your aunt bought you when you moved into your first apartment.    Do you have the equipment ready?  Now it’s […]

Egg Substitutes for Cake Recipes

Whether you are eliminating eggs due to allergies or other health reasons or you are simply enjoying the Vegan diet, there are several natural ingredients that you can use instead of eggs when baking cakes. Eggs serve different purposes for different types of bakery products. In cookies and muffins, eggs add moisture to the batter and can often be replaced simply by increasing the amount of liquid in the recipe. In cakes, the egg serves as a leavening agent. In other words, eggs are what make the cake light and fluffy. The less eggs in a recipe, the easier it is to substitute an ingredient for the eggs. The following ingredients can be used as substitutes for one egg in cake recipes:a banana a cup applesauce, pumpkin, squash, or pureed prunes One important thing to remember is that any of the above ingredients will add a touch of their flavor to the cake. These substitutes will tend to make the cake […]

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Candy Making 101

Let’s face it; unless you have been making candy for years, you are going to want to use a candy thermometer. Even though your grandmother and countless generations of cooks before her never had access to one and still managed to prepare batches of sweet delights, that doesn’t mean that you want to go down that road.   However, there are reasons why you might need to. Maybe you don’t own a candy thermometer or maybe yours just broke and you don’t have time to replace it. Whatever the reason, once you understand what the hard/soft ball stage is you will be able to produce many sweet treats without having to resort to your mercury helper. Cooking sugar When you are cooking sugar, it goes through several stages. When a small amount of the mixture is dropped into a cup of cold water it hardens up. How hard it gets determines which stage it is at. If it flattens out […]

Cookie Exchange

It has been a long established tradition in many families to celebrate the holiday season with copious displays of holiday cookies.  In past generations cookie baking was a family tradition where generations of women would gather in the kitchen on late autumn afternoons or evenings, pull out the old family favorite recipes and make batch after delicious batch of peanut butter, chocolate chip, vanilla drops and many other highly prized cookies.  Many of these recipes only saw the light of day during the holidays or, perhaps, for a special occasion throughout the year.  Moms were quite good at packaging cookies for the freezer or in airtight containers to last during the holiday season.  If they did run out unexpectedly, most moms were more than willing to whip up another batch or two. Recent generations have found that mom is less likely to be in the kitchen throughout the day.  More often than not, when she returns from the a long […]

Dr Seuss Cake Decorating Tips

What can make a party even more fun?  A Dr. Seuss-themed cake will do the trick!  There are tons of fabulous, cake decorating ideas within the pages of Dr. Seuss’s children’s books.  Your party will be a huge success when a zany, Dr. Seuss cake is served.  As Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it, “If you never did you should.  These things are fun and fun is good.” 1~  Hat from ‘The Cat in the Hat” Cake: This is an especially, magical cake to see at a party.  It’s really easy to make too.  The end result is a very tall cake that looks just like the cat’s hat in the book ‘The Cat in the Hat’.  All you have to do is to bake 5 round cakes.  Then you will want to let them cool and place them all on top of each other.  You should frost cakes 1, 3 and 5 with red frosting and cakes 2 and 4 […]

Learn to Cook

A lot of people nowadays don’t know how to cook. Especially if they are single. The number of people who never learn to cook is rising because parents who can’t cook, often raise children who can’t cook. Even people who have a parent who is an excellent cook, regardless of gender, are making it to adulthood and moving away from home without taking the time to learn to cook for themselves. A lot of people also use the excuse that cooking for one is depressing or wasteful because there is always so much left over food and that it is not cost effective to waste food. If packaged properly those are not leftovers, they are convenience meals for times when you don’t want to cook or lunches to take with you to work if there is a microwave there. The fact of the matter is that you will save a lot of money cooking at home, you will more than […]

Dr Seuss Birthday Cake

The cake is often the center of attention at parties when a cake is present. Attractive cake decoration can have a lasting impression on guests. In addition, it can reflect your own personal investment in the party you are throwing. There are many sources for not only cake decoration ideas, but also many baking websites as well as sites dedicated specifically to cake decoration and do-it-yourself demonstration videos on website like YouTube. Here are some good sources whether you want to attempt to do it yourself or just use the services of a professional. has some general demonstration videos and instruction that can be applied to any cake decorating theme that you choose. With over 50 Dr. Seuss books and hundreds of characters, there are many options to choose from when selecting a character or theme. A complete listing of characters and books can be found by clicking on the following link, or copy and paste it into your […]

Tips to Make Spicy Food even Children can Eat

The global world is fast becoming a global kitchen. More than ever before, people are able to partake in an incredible variety of foods from every country. Within the last ten years exotic restaurants and specialty food stores have popped up with menu offerings from countries we’d be lucky to visit in our entire lifetimes. Suddenly people are very familiar with Japanese sashimi and Vietnamese pho soup. It’s a good idea to have children experience different ethnic food early to broaden their food experience, and have a greater knowledge of the peoples of the globe. But when it comes to Mexican, Thai, etc- how can we make these spicy foods that even children can eat ? A safe time to start The American Dietetic Association has agreed that around the 24-month mark is a good place to start with mild spices. But the case has been made that moms have probably been introducing spicy food to their babies, wittingly or not, […]

Spicy Food that is Suitable for Children

Cooking with spices should not be a problem when serving food to children. It is possible to make spicy food that children will want to eat, and adults can also enjoy. Starters, main courses, desserts and party food can all be made with a little extra spice. There are a few precautions to observe when preparing spicy food for children. Babies and infants have delicate digestive systems, and may have a bad reaction to spicy food. Infants under the age of one should never be given spicy food. Children between the ages of one and two can be gradually introduced to mildly spiced food, but should not be given any hot spices that act as stimulants. Hot spices create a strong burning sensation within the mouth, and children do not want to eat any food that causes pain. Older children can become more adventurous in their food choices once they are accustomed to eating food that is just a little bit spicy.  Here are a few tips and ideas for making spicy food […]