August 5, 2012

Sparkle Casserole

Winter + casserole = happy Lisa :)

This little Sunday night dinner treat is sure to win the hearts of your fabulous significant other, friends and kids.

It's a Lisa Sparkle creation coming straight to you....from my brain.

Cook, eat, thank me later x

Sparkle Casserole


Pre spiced 'chicken roasting pieces' from Aldi. Approx $7 on a tray.
1 onion
3 sticks of celery
1 red capsicum
1 sprig each of dried thyme and rosemary
3 cloves garlic
1-2 cups red wine
3 cups water
2 cans tinned tomato


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and put the oven shelves on the very bottom rung.

With oil, cook off chicken pieces 4 or 5 at a time in a big heavy based pot that is suitable for the oven. Put chicken aside once browned, not fully cooked through.

Chop up onion, capsicum and celery roughly into chunks. Take shells off garlic and put veg, garlic and herbs into pot with oil and cook until onion is translucent. Do not burn, cook on low heat.

Once veg is cooked pop chicken back in the pot and pour over the wine, water and tinned tomatoes.

Stir the shit out of it.

Pop the lid on and stick your awesome casserole in the oven for 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Chicken should fall off the bone and juices reduced. (that's fun to say)

During the 3hrs, pass the time like I do, watch the kardashians or gossip girl :)

Once 3 hrs has passed and the chicken looks sufficiently cooked and f-ing awesome, cook some rice and serve that shit up.

Love me x

June 2, 2012

Rustic Bread

Hi all!

Tonight my sister-in-law and brother-in-law came over for dinner with my fabulous niece Miss Leah. Being childless myself, being around kids can be quite a challenge for me. I do however, LOVE Miss Leah. Her horse impressions tonight were fabulous and highly entertaining. Being an almost 2 year old seems like a lot of fun, I wish people would clap for me when I make animal noises.

It was a miserable day in Canberra, a perfect day to make soup and bread. Mmm.

Marc had the pumpkin soup under control so I had my first crack at making bread.

I've been quite afraid of bread making but in reality it's not that hard at all. You just need a great recipe. Lucky for you, and me, I was able to find an idiot proof recipe.

I'm not even going to bother to type it out, I'm simply going to guide you to a wonderful blog/website with amazing recipes.

I made the adapted sourdough bread because I hadn't made the sourdough starter, a fairly gross alive weird culture that's added to bread. I have however, begun my starter this arvo, I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, this bread was very simple to make and the recipe was extremely easy to follow.

When dinner time came, the soup and bread disappeared, which means it mustn't have sucked :)

Just make the damn bread, don't be scared.

April 27, 2012

Kate and Jimi's Wedding Dessert Buffet

Hello Friends!

Long time no blog you say, well yes. I am very sorry to have not blogged for a long time. Let me just say that in the past I had considerable time to blog about wonderful cakes and biscuits. Fortunately for my brain but unfortunately for my readers, I am currently in a job where my time is spent doing other things…like….work.

So, I’m sorry.

However amongst the lack of blog, excellent things have happened! The first (and most important) event that springs to mind is Miss Kate and Mr Jimi’s delightfully delicious wedding! You should remember Kate from “Kates 30th Birthday Cupcake Extravaganza” post and other posts regarding food….wait they are all about food, anyway she stars in a few J.

I must first say (before I get all worked up about the food, decorations and that god awful dance they did at the end…..just kidding I cried like a nut job), Kate and Jimi were the most stunning bride and groom I have ever seen. The love that surrounds them and the love their friends and family have for them was felt by all. They are truly a beautiful couple and I was so bloody honored to be one of Kate’s bridesmaids.

Kate and Jimi’s wedding was perfect. It had everything Kate had envisaged and glued to her wedding inspiration board. There where flowers EVERYWHERE! They were magnificent and straight from the garden, no florist required. I’m still dreaming of the hydrangeas……

It goes without saying that Kate looked absolutely stunning…..see picture below….not that I needed to put a picture to prove it but just because you simply must see how beautiful she was (and still is!). Rachel Bridesmaid and I scrubbed up pretty darn good too I think J

Harry the dog (ring bearer) stole the show with his waist coat and pocket watch ring carrier. He was the envy of all male dogs and the heart throb of all female dogs across the southern highlands, if not the entire world.

But the food you scream….tell me about the food!!!

The food was ridiculous. It was absolutely amazing. I remember quite distinctly how good the fish and potatoes were and the Thai oysters were so good I couldn’t stop eating them, and I don’t really care for oysters that much. I also remember the lovely Pimms which we sipped out on the lawn while watching guests play croquet and ring toss before the reception. In saying that I do recall spilling that Pimms (or was it another alcoholic beverage) on my lap, in a not to classy moment. From that moment forward I ceased drinking Pimms……and moved onto wine.

After dinner, came the dessert buffet.

Yes I just typed BUFFET! This buffet was one of 2 pinnacles (is two pinnacles possible? Whatever) of the evening. The first pinnacle was the buffet, which I will get to in a minute. The second pinnacle was Kate and Jimis first dance, or should I say Swing Dance, as a married couple.

The time, effort and bruises that went into the preparation of their swing dance was substantial. There were many many lessons and many impromptu rehearsals in the living room and around Lake Burley Griffin at ungodly hours of the morning. The dance bought me to tears. I could see all the effort that had been put in by those two to make the extremely hard and high energy dance look effortless. Those lifts and high kicks put all other wedding dances before them to shame. SHAME! I have never been more proud of my friend than in that moment. I’m slightly crying at my desk right now as I’m writing this. I’m still so effected by the awesomeness.

The Dessert Buffet.

Kate asked all her very talented friends and family to bake their little hearts out and bring all their wares to the wedding for everyone to consume at dessert time.

If you weren’t there then you don’t know how awesome these cakes and things were!  

Which is a shame really…..

However…….here are some of the recipes.

Macadamia and Ginger Shortbread by Kate Florez

  • 100 g Macadamias
  • 250 g Butter, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Caster sugar
  • 2 Cups Plain flour
  • 1/2 Cup Rice flour
  • 125 g Buderim ginger glace ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Caster sugar, to sprinkle
  • Icing sugar, to dust

  1. Preheat oven to 150C. Spread the nuts on a baking tray and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool and chop.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the sifted fours and use a butter knife to mix together. Add the ginger and nuts and mix in.
  3. Gather the dough together and turn out onto a sheet of baking paper. Press the dough out into a 25cm round. Lift the paper and dough onto a baking tray.
  4. Pinch the edges with your fingers to create a fluted edge. Score the dough into 16 wedges and prick with a fork. You can also press it into a dish of any shape. Sprinkle with the extra sugar.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until firm and pale golden. Allow to cool on the tray. Dust with icing sugar and cut into wedges (or fingers).
Gluten –free Persian Orange and Almond Cake by Kathie Mackay

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 2 oranges
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (315g) caster sugar
  • 3 cups (300g) almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Mascarpone, to serve

Orange blossom syrup

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water


1.      Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm round springform pan and line the base with baking paper.
2.      Place oranges in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain. Return to pan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil. Cook for a further 15 minutes. Drain and repeat once more or until very tender. Drain. Coarsely chop and discard any pips.
3.      Place orange in a food processor; process until smooth. Use an electric mixer to whisk eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Add orange, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom; gently fold until just combined. Spoon into prepared pan; smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Set aside in pan to cool completely.
4.      To make syrup, use a zester to remove rind from orange. Juice orange. Place the juice, sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Add orange blossom water and zest. Set aside to cool.
5.      Drizzle the cake with syrup. Cut into wedges and serve with mascarpone.

Pecan Caramel Tart by Rachel Clarke (Rachel Bridesmaid)


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 125g cold butter, chopped
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2-3 cups cold water


  • 3 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, cubed
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream

Pastry Directions

  1. Sift flour and add butter. Shop through with a knife or rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar.
  2. Add egg yolks, vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons water. Lightly bring together until it forms a dough, adding extra water if needed. Roll into a ball an dpop in the fridge for about 20 mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll out the dough to fit a tart tin, reserving any scraps of dough there should be some.
  4. Blind back for about 15mins, then remove rice or baking beads and back another 5 mins or until lightly golden. Remove and allow to cool

Filling Directions

  1. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 mins or until lightly toasted. Cool on a wire rack for 15 mins or until completely cool.
  2. Bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in toasted pecans and spoon hot filling into prepared crust.
  3. If you have any scraps of pastry left over, cut some decorative shapes to stick on the top of the filling.
  4. Bake at 180 for 20-25 mins or until golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack for 30 mins or until completely cool.

Dust with icing sugar and devour!

Hilary Schofield provided an amazing cheese platter and things J