Top 10 Baking Essentials

Top 10 Baking Essentials

I know it’s been a while since I last posted on the blog, and I’m sorry about that. I haven’t been in a good place lately (another blog post for another time), but I’m back and ready to post again! Today I’m going to be sharing my Top 10 Baking Essentials with you guys, so let’s get started.

  1. Mixing Bowls

Mixing Bowls

I couldn’t live without my set of plastic mixing bowls. They are so versatile and have a great non-slip base. Every home baker needs at least 2 mixing bowls of different sizes.

2. Rubber Spatula

Spatula

These spatulas are so useful for mixing batter, folding in egg whites and anything else that requires a delicate touch.

3. Measuring Cup & Spoons

Measuring Spoons Measuring jug

These 2 are an absolute must have. I would be lost without my Oxo Good Grips measuring jug and my set of measuring spoons. They are equally as useful for cooking as they are for baking.

4. Sieve 

Sifter Sieve

I use an old-school mesh sieve for all of my baking. It’s perfect for sifting flour and icing sugar. Saying that, I’m planning on buying a hand flour sifter because they are a lot less messy than my old-school sieve 🙂

5. Egg Separator 

Egg Separator

I use an egg separator almost every time I bake. It’s a must have for making marshmallow fluff or delicate cake batters. It’s so much easier and less messy than separating the egg in your hand!

6. Hand Mixer

Hand Mixer

I love my hand mixer, it’s incredibly versatile and perfect when you need to mix something quickly. I use it for egg whites, marshmallow fluff and whipped cream!

7. Stand Mixer

Stand Mixer

I was lucky enough to get my Kenwood Patissier Mixer for my 21st birthday. This thing is an absolute life saver when you have to make double batches of cake batter and of course my beloved marshmallow fluff. It’s definitely worth investing in a good quality stand mixer because you’ll end up having it for the rest of your life!

8. Cupcake Pan, Spring-Form Cake Pan & Baking Sheet

Cupcake Pan

Springform Cake Pan

Baking Sheet

These 3 are absolutely essential to any home baker. Having these 3 means you can bake just about anything, from the obvious cupcakes, cakes & cookies, to bread, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls and tarts.

9. Heat Resistant Glass Bowl

Heat Resistant Glass Bowl

I love my Pyrex glass bowl. It’s perfect to use as a bain marie when you need to temper chocolate and make meringue!

10. Small Saucepan

Small Saucepan

The last thing in my Top 10 Baking Essentials is a small saucepan. I use my Scanpan Impact saucepan to make cake batter, sauces, lemon curd and of course I use it as a bain marie.

I hope this small list of baking essentials can help you out in your day to day baking! Thanks for reading my little blog post and have a great day 🙂

P.S. You can get post of the items on my list from Yuppiechef Online.

Comfort Food at Home

Comfort Food at Home

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! After pigging out on WAY too many Easter eggs, I’ve decided to skip baking this week (for the sake of my waistline), so unfortunately there won’t be any new recipes this week. Fear not, I will be back with a new cookie recipe next week!

I thought I’d do a post about my favorite comfort food meals that I make for my family. Dinner is definitely the most important meal for me. I’m not a big breakfast eater (mainly just cereal or coffee & biscotti) and I’m not really that fussed about lunch, unless I’m eating out at a nice restaurant. So dinner is the biggest meal of the day in my house. I am trying to lose weight, but I can’t bring myself to eat salad or veggies every night, so I do indulge a bit in my midweek comfort food (midweek, weekend, whenever really!).

One of my absolute favorite meals is the humble burger. I love making fresh beef patties or spicing a perfectly succulent chicken breast and topping it with cheese, tomatoes, pickles, onions and homemade burger sauce. This is definitely my ultimate comfort food! To make it complete I usually add some oven baked fries or homemade onion rings.

img_0305-3

IMG_20160318_183209

Another firm favorite is Italian food. Mainly pizza and pasta. I make homemade pizza every second Friday night and I usually end up making pasta once a week. I love simple pizzas and pastas. My go-to topping for pizza is Parma ham and I love any pasta in a creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese!

img_0346

img_0299

We’ve also become rather big fish eaters. If you had told my teenage self that I would be indulging in seafood as an adult, I would have fallen on the floor laughing. I used to hate the stuff. Now, there’s nothing better than some good old fish & chips (with tartar sauce of course)!

IMG_20160308_184409

And last, but not least, is our love of Asian food. We get major cravings for chow mein, sweet & sour or a good Thai meal. When it comes to Asian food, the simpler the better. I love simple Asian flavors made with only a few ingredients. One of my go-to midweek Asian comfort meals is a cheat’s version of a Korean beef bowl (made with ground beef, soy sauce, sugar, spices, spring onion and rice). It’s SO simple and extremely yummy!

IMG_20160229_183546

Obviously, there are many, many more comfort meals that I absolutely love, but these are definitely in my top 10! I’d love to hear what your favorite comfort meals are, so please get in touch with me!

My Week in Dinners

My Week in Dinners

DSC_0156

Easy mushroom and bacon Alfredo sauce. It’s such a simple and delicious sauce to make for any pasta (I used penne). Cream cheese and a bit of cream make up the base of this yummy sauce.

IMG_20160223_184903

Angelfish fish fingers with oven fries and a side salad. I love Angelfish because it’s a very meaty fish and is cheaper than Hake (in SA). I just sliced the Angelfish up and coated it in cornflake crumbs, then shallow fried it and finished it in the oven for about 10 min. I also made a quick tartar sauce (mayo, dijon mustard, diced onion & gherkin, pepper, lemon juice and gherkin juice).

IMG_20160224_183542

I love my chicken pot pie. It’s creamy and comforting. I use diced chicken breast because it cooks quicker and is a bit leaner. The gravy is just made up of white wine, chicken stock, whole grain mustard, thyme and some cream. Delicious!

IMG_20160225_184334

Quick and easy chicken and guacamole tacos. I do cheat a bit and use Old El Paso crunchy taco shells and their taco seasoning. It’s a quick dinner that requires minimal cooking and time (only have to grill the chicken strips). It’s satisfying and budget friendly.

IMG_20160226_213409

Every 2nd Friday night is burger night in our house. I usually alternate between chicken and beef. This week we had a cheeseburger topped with awesome onion rings. The onion rings turned out great (I could have eaten a whole bowl of them). I just soaked the onions in buttermilk and dredged them in seasoned flour, then shallow fried them (I don’t want to buy a deep fryer because I’m scared I might try to deep fry everything!). The burger was scrumptious.

Simple Supper – Bacon and Pea Pasta

Simple Supper – Bacon and Pea Pasta

This is the first short post in a weekly “Simple Supper” recipe segment that I’ll be doing. All the recipes will be easy to make and budget friendly (Bonus!).

img_0299

This bacon & pea pasta recipe is so simple and delicious that it’s become a firm family favorite in my home. It only takes about 30 min to make and you end up with a light pasta dish that’s comforting & filling! Check out the recipe below 🙂

Simple Bacon and Pea Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

img_0299

Ingredients:

  • 350 – 400g pasta (I used Penne)
  • 200g streaky bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper & paprika, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water, until al dente, about 15 mins.
  2. Drain pasta and reserve 4 tbsp of the pasta water.
  3. Cook bacon until crispy (I cook it in the microwave, on high, 4-5 pieces at a time for about 30 sec – 1 min per piece, but you can cook it anyway you like).
  4. While your bacon is cooking, melt butter in a large frying pan, over medium heat.
  5. Add peas, onion and garlic to butter and cook for 5 mins.
  6. Add wine and saute for an additional 5 mins.
  7. Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
  8. Season your sauce with salt, pepper and paprika, to taste.
  9. Add your reserved pasta water and pasta to your sauce and toss until coated.
  10. Serve, topped with grated Parmesan.

My Week in Dinners

My Week in Dinners

This has been quite a hectic week preparing for our trip to Kimberley, so I did end up taking the easy way out by buying some ready meals from Woolworths. Anyway, have a look at some the meals I did actually cook this week 🙂

  
Budget meal for 2 days: Classic cottage pie. Comforting and yummy!

  
Tried to have at least 1 healthy meal this week. Beef strips, roasted butternut and crispy roasted chickpeas, tossed with baby butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions and feta. Finished it off with a few dollops of sweet chili Sriracha mayo.

  
Friday was burger night. I made a fully loaded chicken burger. Lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, grilled chicken breast, grilled pineapple, fresh sliced onion and homemade burger sauce, all sitting on a fresh sesame seed bun!