The surest way to go to hell …

… is to try these sinfully gooey fudgy-licious brownies!

Dark orange chocolate hazelnut brownies
Dark orange chocolate hazelnut brownies

If there is something I enjoy baking over and over again, it’s brownies. It is so easy to do. No need to knead. Over-mixing is a no, no. Just fold wet and dry ingredients together, put them in the oven for 20 minutes and you’re done. After eating one brownie you can go to hell! I mean, they are so delicious because of all the sinful ingredients. Take sugar, for example. Two cups of sugar make 16 pieces of brownies. That’s 2 tablespoons of sugar per brownie! Add to that a cup of butter and 4 eggs. I also added half a cup of hazelnut chocolate spread. And a block of dark chocolate. Did I mention 2 cups of sugar?

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“Clean-out-the-fridge” challenge

Creamy squash soup, leeks and broccoli pie
Creamy squash soup, leeks and broccoli pie

A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, I challenged Seana from Cottage Grove House and Sandra from Please Pass The Recipe to come up with a recipe based on left-overs and anything we could find in the fridge that need to be thrown out soon. We called this “Clean-out-the-fridge challenge”. I like to avoid the term “cook off challenge” because it would make it a competition which it is not. This is mainly a fun way to share recipes based on a theme. I picked up a lot of tips from Sandra’s blog because she’s a master in the kitchen and Seana always uses the freshest ingredients that makes me jealous! Well, this time we used almost stale ingredients so check out their blogs to see what they have come up with.

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Can’t get enough mushrooms

Baked portobello mushrooms topped with feta, walnuts, sour cream, pesto, tomatoes, mint leaves
Baked portobello mushrooms topped with feta, walnuts, sour cream, pesto, tomatoes, mint leaves

MUSHROOMS AGAIN? I know! I just posted a mushroom recipe two weeks ago. This is the same recipe. Except that it got fancier with the added walnuts and mint leaves and more pesto. The nuts made a lot of difference. Walnuts and mushrooms are like husband and wife. They are meant to be together.

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Baked portobello mushrooms with herbed tomatoes, sour cream, feta and parmesan

Baked mushrooms with herbed tomatoes and sour cream
Baked mushrooms with herbed tomatoes and sour cream

IT’S ONE OF THOSE DAYS when an inspiration struck and you knew you just have to do it. Ahem, actually I was just cleaning out my fridge before stuff go beyond their expiration date.

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Minted pea custard with kawakawa

Pea custard with Kawakawa
Pea custard with Kawakawa

KAWAKAWA is my new best friend in the kitchen. After the discovery of this super plant in my garden, I have been experimenting with kawakawa. I mix it with anything I cook, bake or drink. I also challenged a fellow food blogger from the opposite side of the world (Seattle WA), lovely Seana of CottageGroveHouse.com, to a ‘cook-off’. Well, it’s not really a cook-off since we’re not competing at all. We wanted to present two dishes using the same main ingredient – PEAS, where she would use mint while I would use kawakawa.

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Chicken and herbs sausage rolls

Chicken sausage rolls
Chicken sausage rolls

SAUSAGE ROLLS, an all-time Kiwi favourite. They serve it in the office on occasions where snacks* are provided. [*They call it morning tea or afternoon tea.] Never had one. Because the sausage rolls they serve are either beef or pork. I don’t eat meat from four-legged animals.

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Sir Poppy’s Apple Pie

Sir Poppy's Apple Pie
Sir Poppy’s Apple Pie

BAKING is a tricky business. I have so much respect for people who bake. But I stay away from baking for many reasons. One is because it’s too fussy. It’s like a science. You mix, add or substract too much or too little then the balance of nature is disrupted. Two is because of the amount of sugar and fats in the ingredients. I rather not know what’s in my dessert and just enjoy it. Another reason is I’m not sweet-toothed. I don’t crave sweets but there were rare occasions when I would miss something someone baked and I just had to have it again.

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