Sunday, 5 July 2015

Just add yoghurt sundae stand

On Saturday (4 July 2015) Mr Bball and I had our engagement party. Over 100 people attended and we wanted to host a party that reflected us.

While having an engagement party at a bar, pub or restaurant would have made life easier (no set up, cooking or predicting alcohol consumption), we wanted something a little more unique. So we held the party in a Greek Hall, with pillars that looked like the Acropolis and all!

We set it up with pictures of those who have impacted our lives, fairy lights, flowers and tea lights. However what really made it us was a DIY taco stand and yoghurt sundae stand. Mr Bball loves tacos and I of course love yoghurt.

Funnily enough the taco stand was my idea and the yoghurt stand was Mr Bball - we obviously know each other really well! My Bball even surprised me with a 'Just add yoghurt' sign, a tribute to this blog.

This is a unique post but I wanted to share our yoghurt sundae stand experience.

What you need:

Food items:
- 5kg of sweet vanilla yoghurt
- 750g M&M's
- 500g Maltesers
- 500g strawberries
- 500g blueberries
- 500g jelly beans
- 500g marshmellows

Display and utensils:
- 100 paper cups
- 100 dessert spoons
- Ladle
- 4 lolly jars
- 2 medium sized bowls for the fruit
- 1 large bowl for the yoghurt.

This is such a simple and neater alternative to an ice-cream sundae bar (no concerns over the ice-cream melting) and suitable for hot and cold months. You can use any fruit, chocolate or lollies. Be as creative as you want.

If you are looking for a fun and unique alternative to the standard dessert or lolly bar, this yoghurt sundae bar is a perfect option. My Dad, who doubted our approach for the party from day one, even loved it! It's also great for gluten free guests.

If you give this a go would love to hear how you set it up so please share your stories.

Farewell fun yoghurt fact 'All yoghurts are made from fermented milk by two lactic starters: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.'


Monday, 29 June 2015

Yoghurt - the original superfood and cream substitute

Between the ages of 8 – 12 creamy pastas were my favourite. Alla Panna, Alfredo, Carbonara - all of them were commonly found on my dinner plate.

However every time I ate a creamy pasta it would give me a horrible stomach ache because it was just too heavy for my little kid stomach (actually I had a huge stomach – after all I did eat a lot of creamy pasta dishes). Then one day in high school Home Ec class, we made a simple creamy pasta and the recipe gave a healthier alternative to cream – yoghurt.

An overweight teenager eager to lose weight, I had to try it. It was this moment that my infatuation with yoghurt started. Now I’m slowly converting my friends to adding a dollop of yoghurt to their pasta dishes.

So why is yoghurt a healthier alternative to cream, sour cream, ice-cream or a sneaky custard?
  • Yoghurt has a lot of good bacteria, often referred to as probiotics, which can help your digestive tract, adjusts the microflora (natural balance of organisms) in your intestines and can support your immune system
  • Yoghurt converts lactose in milk products into lactic acid, which helps you digest lactose and helps maximise calcium absorption
  • “yoghurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin B12, and a valuable source of folate, niacin, magnesium and zinc”
  • "one pot of yoghurt would provide a 5-year-old with 41% of their daily calcium requirements and an adult or teenage girl with about a quarter of their daily calcium needs” – high milk intake can strengthen bones.
  • "Preliminary research from in vitro animal and human studies suggests that consumption of milk and dairy products may help to encourage weight, and fat, loss as part of a calorie-controlled diet.”

So next time you go to add sour cream to chili con carne, cream to a pasta or ice-cream to pancakes, try substituting it with yoghurt. Two little recipes:

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt with around 1 ½ tablespoons of coriander and a squeeze of lemon to taste for a perfect Mexican accompaniment.
  • Mix 4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt with ½ clove of very finely diced garlic and 1 teaspoon of Kasundi can add a creamy texture to a couscous salad.


Tip – according to Web MD, those yoghurts which contain probiotics say “live and active cultures” on the label.

Would love to hear any of your “substituting cream with yoghurt stories”, so please share them.

My farewell fun yoghurt fact – ancient Indian records calls yoghurt and honey the “food of the gods”.4


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Yoghurt and ricotta pancakes with bacon, basil eggs and roasted tomatoes

I was one of those strange kids growing up – I didn’t really like pancakes. They never excited me. 

This disinterest in pancakes stayed with me throughout university. However when eating breakfast with a friend at Billy Baxter I decided to try their savoury ham and cheese pancake. Its cheesy and meaty goodness transformed my opinion of the humble pancake. Then when joining Mr Bball at an annual Christmas eve pancake breakfast with his friends I was officially hooked.

So when friends were coming over for breakfast, I thought I would make a savoury pancake in honour of my Billy Baxter pancake experience.  

Yoghurt and ricotta pancakes
  • ¾ cup wholemeal plan flour
  • ¾ teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 2/3 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil roughly chopped
  • 70g ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk

  • Sift flour and bi-carb soda
  • Add the Greek yoghurt, salt, pepper, basil, ricotta cheese and egg and beat on low until mixed
  • Beat in the milk until it has a runny consistency
  • Heat a non-stick pan and spray with olive oil spray
  • Put 2 ½ tablespoon of mixture for each pancake (for small pancakes)
  • Cook until brown on each side (around 2 minutes on each side depending on how hot your pan is). 

Oven roasted tomatoes:
  • 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees fan-forced
  • Mix cherry tomatoes with oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes depending on how large the cherry tomatoes are. They should be soft to the touch and the skin will just start to split.

Scrambled basil eggs:
  • 9 eggs
  • 150mls milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil finely chopped (add more if you love basil)

  • Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper and basil with a folk until well combined
  • Heat pan to medium (not too high as the eggs with overcook) and spray with olive oil spray
  • Add egg mixture to the pan and slowly move the folds of cooked eggs from the outside in until just cooked through.
  • Turn off when still a bit runny as it will keep cooking.

Putting it together:
  • Put two pancakes on each plate
  • Add 2 pieces of cooked bacon
  • Add scrambled eggs
  • Add 4-5 cherry tomato halves
  • Top with fresh basil.
You can serve it with a tomato chutney if you like, or even a little hollandaise however we ate it just like that and it was light and yummy.

This is a nice alternative to standard bacon and eggs on toast. It will impress at a breakfast party and looks harder than what it is.

My farewell fun yoghurt fact… “Both Greek and regular yogurt make convenient and healthy snacks. However, Greek yogurt packs an extra punch with nearly two times the protein compared to more traditional varieties.”*