Showing posts from 2016

Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wot)

This Ethiopian stew is commonly served after periods of fasting like Christmas and Easter. Its hearty nature makes it the perfect dish to break a fast and enjoy family time. Christmas according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Ethiopian calendar is 7 January, not 25December.
Spicy, tasty and warming, this dish is far from the typical Australian BBQ but would be delicious on a cold Christmas night.
Traditionally cooked with butter, I opted for oil and a little yoghurt instead – lighter yet still a little creamy with the yoghurt.

Ingredients: 3 tablespoon vegetable oil1 tablespoon of minced ginger1 onion finely chopped3 garlic cloves2 tablespoons of Ethiopian spice mix (berbere)1 tomato, chopped8 chicken drumsticks2 cups water2 cups chicken stock4 hard boiled eggs3 tablespoon Greek yoghurtSalt and pepper
Method: Cook onion in oil until it starts to softenAdd garlic and ginger until soft and fragrantAdd 2 tablespoons berbere and toast until fragrantAdd chicken, tomato, water, stock and sa…

Risalamande – Danish rice dessert with cream and almonds

After a Google search and a few interesting Christmas traditions later (for example in Japan, KFC is the traditional Christmas Eve feast - the lines go out the door!), I came across this interesting Danish Christmas tradition. Risalamande is a rice pudding with almonds and cream, served with cherry sauce. Riz a l’amande translates to rice and almonds.
Having grown up on rizogalo, a Greek rice pudding with cinnamon, I was curious so had to give this one a go…with a yoghurt twist of course.
Traditionally this dish is served mixed with cream however to lighten it a little I opted for ¾ cream and ¼ yoghurt. I think the result was good.

Ingredients: ½ cup white rice2.1 cups of milk¼ cup water½ teaspoon of vanilla essence2 tablespoons of sugar200g pitted cherries in syrup2 tablespoons of the cherry syrup2 tablespoons of icing sugar1 tablespoon of sugar2 tablespoons of ground almonds¾ cup of cream½ teaspoon vanilla¼ cup of Greek yoghurt
Method: Put rice and water in a saucepan and let cook until…

Greek almond shortbread (Kourabiethes) with yoghurt and honey custard

When I think about Christmas growing up I think about waking up early, opening presents, rushing to church and then coming home to a stomach-stretching lunch shared with family, whereby every belt buckle and pants button would fly open as soon as that final bite was taken. That is why I wear dresses on Christmas day.
Our lunch table was a mix of traditional Australian-Christmas BBQ and prawns and Greek-Christmas inspired Pastitsio (like Greek lasagne), tiropita, Greek salad and roasted vegetables.
For dessert icing-sugar coated Greek almond shortbread, kourabiethes, would almost always make an appearance. You won’t find many Greek houses not serving kourabiethes at Christmas time.
Truth be told, I never liked them because they are lathered in icing-sugar and could often be really dry. However when combined with a semi-sweet yoghurt and honey custard and only lightly dusted with icing-sugar, I’m all over them!

Yoghurt and honey custard ingredients:
Ingredients: ½ cup milk½ cup yoghurt1 e…

Tuna and zucchini fritters - Italian Christmas tradition

As Christmas draws near I wanted to use my next few blog post recipes to explore what other culture’s Christmas table looks like. In Australia, prawns, ham, BBQ and the humble Pavlova commonly fill people’s Christmas table. However for other countries, traditions differ. The Japanese celebrate Christmas with KFC and the Dutch make a biscuit called banketletter (meaning letter cake), which is made from marzipan or pastry and made in the shape of the first letter of people’s name that attend a family’s Christmas party.
I was intrigued by the Italian tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve. Drawing on the Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence, which in this case refers to not eating meat or milk products, the Italian-American community took this tradition one step further with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. 
This feast involves families coming together and sharing seven fish and seafood based dishes.

The first course is often something snack-like, since there are six more dishes to fol…

Beef koftas with yoghurt garlic sauce

As the weather gets warmer and days longer, beef koftas with salad is one of my favourite dishes to make. With the yoghurt garlic sauce, these koftas are packed with aromatic spice and flavour.
You can also cook these koftas on a stick, one of the most basic, ancient forms of cooking. It also makes it a lot of fun to eat and the kids will love it.
Ingredients: 1 kg mince beef2 tablespoons parsley, chopped finely¼ cup bread crumbs1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin2 tablespoon yoghurt (heaped)Juice of ½ lemon1 onion, minced2 garlic cloves, minced1 tablespoon saltPepper to taste
Yoghurt sauce: 4 tablespoons yoghurt1 small cloves of garlic1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon lemon

Method: Mix all the kofta ingredients togetherShape into short sausage shapesHeat a non-stick pan until hotPlace the koftas on the pan and turn the heat to mediumCook until brown on all sides – approximately 3 minutes on each side

Don’t overcook – cut one open to see whether they are cooked and still moist.
Serve with salad, p…

Salted caramel cookies

This salted caramel cookie has been inspired by a Land O Lakes recipe. The cookie is short, the caramel sweet and creamy and the salt brings a nice balance. Plus Mr Bball loves salted caramel so he loved them!  
Cookie: 2/3 cups unsalted butter½ cup sugar2 egg yolks1 teaspoon vanilla1 ½ cups all purpose flour
Caramel filling: 125g sweeten condensed milk2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurtSalt to taste
Cookie: Mix butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla with an electric beater until creamyAdd flour and mix in thoroughlyRefrigerate for 1 hourMeanwhile, heat oven to 200 degrees fan forcedShape cookies into small bowls – the cookie dough is very crumbly. Don’t worry – handle with care thoughOnce all the cookies are rolled out place your thumb (or the bottom of an egg) in the middle of each cookie to make a well – the cookie may crack.Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes or until brownLet the cookies cool.
Caramel filling Heat the sweeten condensed milk until it thickens and starts to dar…

Best yoghurt Europe had to offer...

Hypothesis: Not all yoghurts are made equal.
While I didn’t fly to Europe to prove this hypothesis, I sure did use our 4.5 week European honeymoon as a chance to test it.
Across 14 European cities, in nine different countries, I tasted 17 different yoghurt varieties. All varied in flavour and texture. It all started in Amsterdam, where on a rainy day I tried Zuivelhoeve Boer’N Yoghurt, while sitting on a wet bench pining for the summer I was cruelly promised but so far denied.
The tart creamy yoghurt was balanced perfectly with the sweet strawberry compote and just enough granola muesli to provide a textually pleasing crunch. All in all, my first yoghurt was a winner.

The second yoghurt in Amsterdam wasn’t as successful because it wasn’t a traditional yoghurt. Thick, incredibly sweet, with no tartness in site, I was somewhat confused by this Danone Danio Vanilla yoghurt. That was until a lovely Dutch Instagram follower kindly informed me that the photo I had posted was not traditional …

European food adventure – krokets, cheese, pizza and yiros

A different kind of post because it’s not about yoghurt! Mr Bball and I recently went to Europe and I wanted to share three of my favourite meals. So let the story begin….
On 31 July 2016 my now husband and I packed our bags, ate all the food in our fridge (yes I almost ate an entire tub of yoghurt because I didn’t want to waste it) and started our honeymoon adventure.
With a list of ‘things to do’ in all fourteen cities we were visiting, each list topped with what local food and drink to indulge in, we jumped on our Emirates flight with relief. The last few months had been hectic with the wedding, a quick trip to America for Mr Bball’s work 6am after the wedding and a lot of work to wrap up, so getting on that plane filled me with this calmness I hadn’t felt for a long time.
A 13 hour, followed by 7 hour flight, we finally made it to our first city Amsterdam. Greeted with a free glass of bubbles to celebrate our honeymoon, we ventured out to experience the canals, the smells (yes…the …

Danish meatballs

Mr Bball and recently completed an A-Z country challenge, cooking recipes from a range of countries including Zambia, Yemen, Brazil and Denmark. This Danish recipe was one of the most interesting. I enjoyed it but Mr Bball wasn’t a fan. It is a perfect winter dish – delicious moist meatballs with a curry gravy served with rice, mashed potato or crusty bread to soak up every last bit. Best consumed under a blanket on the couch watching a movie on a rainy day.
The interesting thing about this recipe is that you boil the meatballs – this cooking approach kept them moist.

Meatballs: 300g pork250g beef½ cup milk1 large onion, finely diced5 tablespoons flour½ teaspoon pepper1 tablespoon salt1 egg
Curry sauce: 1 tablespoon olive oil1 large onion finely diced35g butter3 tablespoons flour2 tablespoons curry powder2.5 cups water from boiling the meatballs3 tablespoons yoghurt1 teaspoon saltSqueeze lemon
To make the meatballs: Cook the onions until translucent – allow to cookM…

Greek open meatball sandwich

Beer brewing is a hobby of ours but to be honest, our beer brewing efforts are a little infrequent. Nevertheless we had my brother and sister-in-law over for a brew day and when thinking about what to serve for lunch, a Greek style open meatball sandwich instantly came to mind. What better to accompany our vigorous beer brewing efforts?
This meatball recipe is moist and tasty and together with a yoghurt sauce, wholemeal roll and salad, not too bad for your waistline! I don’t fry my meatballs, I cook them on a non-stick pan with oil spray.

Ingredients: 1 onion3 cloves garlic (2 for the meatball and 1 for the sauce)2 small chilies5 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (2 for the meatball and 3 for the sauce)500g mince beef2 tablespoons chopped parsley1 teaspoon saltSqueeze lemon1 teaspoon chopped mintWholemeal bread (or your choice of bread or roll)LettuceTomatoCucumberChili sauce (optional).
Method: Mince the onion in a food processorCut 2 cloves of garlic and chilies finelyAdd the minced onion, ga…

Green Mountain Farms Greek - cream cheese and Greek yoghurt

On 11 June Mr Bball and I got married. It was an amazing day – thank you to our bridal party and family for making it happen. The sun made an appearance through the dark winter clouds, the ceremony was beautiful, Mr Bball looked amazing, the food fabulous at Sunnybrae Estate and all in all, it was a really fun day.
6am after the wedding Mr Bball and I were off to San Francisco for a mini-honeymoon and a quick work trip for my new husband.
A highlight of the trip was on our second to last day, only six days after our wedding, when on my 30th birthday Mr Bball and I went to Walmart in Napa Valley. Looking for the typical American breakfast bagels, the cream cheese aisle delivered something I’d never seen before! Greek yoghurt and cream cheese together as one – marriage made in heaven in my opinion.

Made by Green Mountain Farms, this lighter cream cheese alternative has four times the protein and half the fat. The taste is creamy and the yoghurt gives a little bit of tang that complements…

My yoghurt hens day

I’m getting married next week! It still hasn’t sunk in. I’m constantly asking people…when does it set in? When does it feel real? The answers vary but the common theme is…. “When you get dressed”. While it doesn’t yet feel real, I am so excited to marry Mr Bball and as a bonus I had the most amazing hens day that I just had to share with you.
Two very special girls organised a hens day perfect for me – one filled with good food, drinks, company and of course yoghurt.
Let me set the scene – I arrive and am greeted with a glass of sparkling. This is followed by an announcement of the day’s plans (which was a surprise for me) and a lovely piece of attire I had to wear the entire day. The attire was…a crown with a yoghurt label on there saying ‘The ultimate natural yoghurt hens’. Haha is my love of yoghurt that obvious?
The day then progressed to a yoghurt breakfast bar (with yoghurt provided by MOO – thank you MOO). With a range of fruit and muesli on offer I had to have seconds.
This was f…

Yoghurt vegetable slice

I’m fussy when it comes to vegetables. I don’t eat enough of them, I don’t eat them by choice and growing up I would refuse to eat them. A small, round Greek girl running away from zucchini, eggplant and tomato – that was unheard of! As an adult I know I have to eat them so I am always looking at ways to ‘hide’ them. This vegetable slice is a perfect example. Excellent for children or children-like-adults such as me!
Ingredients 1 zucchini - grated2 small potatoes - grated1 carrot - grated1 onion – cut finely100g corn150g Ricotta1.5 teaspoon of mixed herbs1 garlic clove – cut finely½ cup S/R flour3 eggs1/3 cup yoghurtSalt and pepper
Method: Pre-heat oven at 200 degree fan-forcedGrease a tray approximately 20cm x 15cmGrate zucchini, small potatoes, carrot and onion in a food processorAdd corn, ricotta, herbs and garlic to the grated vegetablesSift in flour and mix wellMix eggs in a separate bowl and add to the vegetable mixture. Stir until combinedMix in Greek yoghurtAdd salt and pepper …

Chicken yoghurt schnitzels

When I think of schnitzels, I think of Verandah Bar on Martin Place, and its $10 schnitzels on Tuesday nights back when I lived in Sydney in 2009. I always looked forward to those schnitzels but now I try and find a healthier alternative to fulfill my craving.
Ingredients: ½ cup yoghurt2 chicken breast¾ cup breadcrumbs½ cup flourSalt and pepperDried oreganoLemon to serve
Method: Cut chicken thinly and use a mallet to ensure they are even pieces so it cooks through evenlyPut flour in one bowl with salt and pepperPut yoghurt in a second bowlPut breadcrumbs with dried oregano in a third bowlPut one piece of chicken in the flour, shake to remove excess flour, place in the yoghurt, hold up to drain excess yoghurt and place in breadcrumbs until well covered.Repeat with all pieces of chickenHeat frying pan and fill with oil around 0.5cm highOnce oil is hot cook the chicken until brown and crispyPut on paper towel to drain excess oilServe with lemon and vegetables or salad. I served it with chi…

Yoghurt Mexican beans

Mexican is a staple in our household. It is quick, fresh and tasty. Growing up, I wasn’t a big fan of Mexican food. However after a hiatus my love of Mexican was rekindled at my favourite Mexican Restaurant in Sydney – Baja Cantina in Glebe. The spice, slow cooked, tender pork and chicken blew my mind. Ever since I’ve tried to cook Mexican at every chance I get.
These yoghurt Mexican beans with minced beef is a quick, perfect after dinner dish. 
Ingredients: 1 onion2 cloves garlic1.5 teaspoons of cumin1 teaspoon of dried coriander1 teaspoon of smoked paprika½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional – can add more if you like it hot)250 grams minced beef1 x 400g can of kidney beans1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes2/3 cup of beef stock1 carrot, finely grated1/3 cup Greek yoghurt1 tablespoon olive oilSalt and pepper.
Method: Cut onion and garlic finelyHeat oil in a panAdd onion and cook until starting to brownAdd garlic and cook until fragrantAdd the cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne pepp…

Peanut chocolate fudge bliss balls

I love chocolate and peanut butter individually but when combined they make my tastebuds work in overdrive. If I could, I’d eat peanut butter chocolate ice-cream every night. But I think my waistline (and wedding dress) would hate me.
So these peanut chocolate fudge bliss balls are an excellent alternative. They are nutty, moist and a perfect 3.30itis snack. I don’t know about you but every time it hits 3.30pm at work I need my afternoon tea and snack to get through the last part of the day.
Ingredients: ½ cup almonds1/3 cup oats8 dates1 teaspoon cocoa1 tablespoon natural 100% peanut butter2 tablespoon natural Greek yoghurt1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey – add a little more if you like it extra sweet).Method:
Put the almonds and oats in the food processor until finely crushedAdd the dates and process until fineAdd the cocoa until well incorporatedAdd the Greek yoghurt, peanut butter and maple syrup and process until the entire mixture comes together like a doughRoll out the mixture i…