Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Aunt Bee's Three Meat Chili

I recently saw a post Aunt Bee's Recipes put together for Rocket City Mom: Tailgating Recipes with Aunt Bee. This is a fantastic collection of football season foods, and definitely worth a read. Everything she included looked fantastic, but the thing that immediately caught my eye was Three Meat Chili. Even just the name sounds amazing.

I clicked through to Aunt Bee's blog straight away and checked out the recipe. It seemed straightforward to make, and had a great combination of ingredients. So with a few minor alterations (based on the ingredients I had) I got right to making this chili.

It was amazing. I think this is THE most delicious chili recipe I have ever tried. I was so happy when the recipe made way more food that just myself and my honey could get though. Aunt Bee is 100 % correct in saying that it tastes even better the next day.

I just chucked all the ingredients in a slow cooker, and left it to do it's thing on low for 8 hours. Nice and easy.

Aunt Bee's Three Meat Chili

Serves 4- 6

Adapted from Aunt Bee's Recipes

60 g (2 oz) Bacon, chopped
500 g (18 oz) ground beef
250 g (9 oz) chicken sausages, casing removed and crumbled
1 (15 oz) can mild chili beans
1 (15 oz) can spicy chili beans
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
2 Cups low sodium beef stock
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp white sugar

1. In a fry pan, fry chopped bacon until crispy (or grill in the oven).

2. Place everything in a slow cooker or crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve in nice big bowls.

If you like this, you'll LOVE Aunt Bee's Recipes so be sure to follow her on social media:

Monday, 15 September 2014

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I'm just going to start off by saying that I think this might actually be the most delicious thing that I have created so far. Probably quite bias coming from the this chocoholic, but my honey said the same thing!

This cheesecake has not one but THREE types of chocolate, layered into one no-bake cheesecake. What more could we ask for in a dessert?

Today marks the one year anniversary of my blog. It amazes me to see how far I have come in recipe development and (especially) photography in just one short year. 

I wanted to create something extra delicious to mark one year of PicNic, and since I have become known for cheesecakes it seemed like a logical thing to do. I am so delighted with the outcome. I think that this is the most delicious cheesecake that I have created so far! Each layer of this cheesecake by itself was fantastic, and in combination even better. I loved the way each layer had its own slightly different texture. Since this is a no-bake dessert it also takes next to no time to whip up. 

Since I am so thrilled to have been doing this whole foodie thing for one year, I have also gone back and re-photographed my very first recipe: Lemon and Coconut Brownies. Go take a look, this is one of my favorite fruity baked treats!

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Serves 8-10

350 g (12 oz) chocolate cookies
100 g (3.5 oz) butter, melted
500 g (18 oz) cream cheese
1/3 Cup caster (super fine) sugar
100 g 70 % dark chocolate
100 g milk chocolate
100 g white chocolate
1 Cup cream, whipped plus 3 Tbsp liquid cream

1. Process the cookies to a fine crumb in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until well combined. Grease a (approx) 25 cm springform cake pan. Whatever size you have will do just fine. Press the cookie mix into the base and up the sides. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.

2. Combine the cream cheese and sugar. Mix until there are no lumps of cream cheese. Separate among three bowls.

3. Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

4. Break the dark chocolate into chunks and place in the bowl along with 1 Tbsp liquid cream. Melt the chocolate while stirring so that it doesn't burn. Pour into one of the bowls of cream cheese and mix well to combine. Fold in one third of the whipped cream. Pour over the chilled base and return to the refrigerator.

5. Repeat step 4 with the milk chocolate, and then the white chocolate. Allow the cheesecake to chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.

6. Serve topped with dark, milk, and white chocolate shavings.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Peri Peri Chicken and Quinoa Wraps

Quinoa makes a great base for such a range of recipes and I love trying it in new ways - These peri peri chicken and quinoa wraps were so simple to make (taking around half an hour total time) and they tasted fantastic!

The filling also reheated really well, as I discovered having the left overs for lunch the next day. The peri peri coating the chicken gives the wraps a perfect little hint of heat. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount you use to suit your tastes. 

Peri Peri Chicken and Quinoa Wraps

Serves 4

400 g Chicken breast, cut into thick slices
4 Tbsp Peri Peri Sauce
1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
2 Cups Chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 Cup spinach leaves
1 Cup grated cheese
4 wholemeal tortillas/wraps

1. Place the peri peri in a bowl and toss through the chicken to coat well. Set aside to marinade for a while.

2. Prepare the quinoa by bringing a sauce pan containing the quinoa, stock, cumin, and paprika to a simmer, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the of the stock is absorbed.

3. Heat a cast iron skillet over a high heat. Grill the chicken for about 3 minutes each side, or until cooked through. Cut into smaller slices.

4. Place 1/4 of the quinoa, chicken, spinach, and cheese in each wrap and place until the grill for a couple of minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Blackberry Slice

Every weekend before we do our weekly grocery shopping, I ask my honey "what kind of thing would you like me to make you for breakfast this week?" This time, the answer was "something with blackberries."

Here's my something with blackberries: A simple blackberry slice.

As well as being easy to make, this slice makes a fantastic snack (especially to go with a cup of tea!) and a easy, on the go breakfast. It contains fruit as a main ingredient, so I say we can call it breakfast. This would also make a lovely dessert, served warm with cream or ice cream.

The ingredients used in this slice are mostly common ingredients likely to either already be in your cupboard or part of your normal shopping list and are also inexpensive, making this great for anyone sticking to a budget.

With these features in mind, I am using this post as the second in the three part #gradstudentblogger series. This week, our theme is "On-the-go: Grad/Undergrad Student Portable Snacks." This slice fits that theme nicely.

Show our #gradstudentbloggers and #undergradstudentbloggers your support! Check out the whole list of featured Starving Student recipes now:

Choc Chip Caramel Popcorn Bars via Daisy and the Fox
Easy Lemon Bars via Go Bake Yourself
Omelette Sandwich via Bacon Egg Cheese(cake)

Want to join, or know a university food blogger who would? We would love to have you: email Ala at to sign up!

The #gradstudentblogger and #undergradstudentblogger series showcases the lives and talent of insanely busy food bloggers from across all stages of their higher education pathway. Thank you for joining us, and we hope to see you again in two weeks!

Blackberry Slice

Makes about 18 pieces

150 g (5.3 oz) Butter, softened
2/3 Cup caster (super fine) sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 Cups plain flour
1/4 Cup self-raising flour
3/4 Cup light Greek yogurt (or plain unsweetened yogurt)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 400 g (5 oz) cans blackberries, drained (fresh or frozen is great too, about 1 1/2 cups in that case)

Crumble topping:

1/4 Cup plain flour
1/4 Cup brown sugar
50 g (1.8 oz) cold butter, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20 cm x 30 cm (8 inch x 12 inch) pan with baking paper.

2. Make the base by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

3. Fold in the flours, yogurt, and lemon juice. Spread the mixture into the base of the pan. Make sure it's a nice, even layer. Spread the blackberries over the top.

4. Make the crumble topping by combining the flour and sugar in a bowl and rubbing through the butter to create a coarse crumb. Spread over the top of the slice.

5. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares or slices and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Hazelnut Tartlets

We were looking around a home ware store the other weekend and they had mini tart cases on sale at 60% off - I brought them (of course). I also HAD to use them straight away and these cute little hazelnut tartlets are the result.

I adored these tarts. The pastry was deliciously short and reminded me of the pastry in the tarts from a specialist bakery (I was pretty impressed with myself actually!!)  and the simple, no bake filling was light and bursting with delicious flavor. This tarts make a fantastic, simple dessert. They also keep very well in the fridge for about 3 days.

Hazelnut Tartlets

Makes 6


2 1/4 Cups plain flour
1/4 Cup sugar
1 tsp salt
175 g (6 oz) butter, chilled and chopped
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp chilled water


500 g (18 oz) mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 Cup Nutella (or other hazelnut spread)
a handful of crushed hazelnuts to garnish

1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until it resembles a fine crumb. With the processor still running, add the egg yolks and water. Continue to process until the dough comes together.

2. Turn out onto a clean surface and bring the dough together into a ball. Shape into a thick disk, wrap in cling film, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

3.  Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and grease 6 mini tart cases (or 1 large tart case). divide the dough into equal portions and roll out each portion to about 1/2 cm thick (0.2 inch), Line the pastry in the tins and return to the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Blind bake the pastry cases with baking beads for 15 minutes, remove beads and baking paper and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from the tins.

4. Make the filling by mixing the mascarpone, vanilla, and Nutella together in a bowl. Divide the filling equally between the pastry cases, sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts, and serve.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Beef Meatball Noodle Soup

Asian-inspired cuisine is one of my favorite things to make. An afternoon a while back I had a craving for some sort of beef and noodle soup. Here's the result.

This Asian-style beef noodle soup was so simple to make, with simple ingredients and it tasted amazing. I absolutely loved the combination of the subtle ginger in the meatballs with the slightly spicy beef broth. And just to make it even better - it reheated so well! 

Beef Meatball Noodle Soup

Sevres 4


500 g (18 oz) ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cm piece of ginger, grated
1/2 red chili, finely diced
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 egg
1/4 Cup wholemeal breadcrumbs


6 Cups salt reduced beef stock
1 Tbsp sriracha
1/2 red chili, finely diced
1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
100 g Asian mushrooms (any sort that you like! I used Shiitake)
200 g dried egg noodles
2 scallions (spring onions), sliced

1. Make the meatballs by combining all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into small meatballs.

2. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and heat a dash of oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides, remove from the pan and set aside. Keep the saucepan on the heat.

3. Add the stock, sriracha, and chili to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and noddles, return to a boil, and simmer for a further 5 minutes (until the meatballs and noodles are cooked).

4. Divide among four bowls and top with scallions.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes

In my opinion, nothing beats a big breakfast of pancakes on a Sunday morning. Since I want to make pancakes all the time, I also always want to try out new ways of making them. This time it was lemon and ricotta with raspberries. My new favorite.

These pancakes had the perfect balance between the sweetness of the pancake and the sour lemon. They were light and fluffy, and I just wish I had more!

Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes

Serves 4

1 Cup plain flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup ricotta
2 eggs
1/2 Cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Fold this into the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix.

3. Heat a fry pan over a medium heat. Spray with oil and use butter. Add 1/3 cup of batter per pancake, cooking each pancake for about two minutes on each side.

3. Serve topped with berries and strawberry sauce, lemon curd, or maple syrup.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Butter Chicken

Every time we get Indian takeout I always order butter chicken, no matter how good my intention on getting something different. I always just assumed that it would be difficult to reproduce the delicious, creamy flavors of an Indian restaurant butter chicken. I have now reconsidered my previous assumptions. This butter chicken is quick, easy, and ridiculously tasty!

Of course you can't have an Indian curry without a beautiful garlic naan bread, and thankfully these are really easy to make from scratch at home too!

Butter Chicken

Serves 4

650 g (23 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Cup plain unsweetened yogurt
2 tsp paprika
1 Onion, diced
2 Tbsp canola oil
50 g (1.7 oz) butter
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 small red chili, diced
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Cup tomato paste
1/2 Cup chicken stock
1/2 Cup cream

1. Marinade the chicken in lemon juice, paprika, and half the yogurt for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

2. Heat the oil in a large fry pan over a high heat. Brown the chicken and set aside. Return the pan to the heat, reduce to medium and fry the onion, garlic, and chili in the butter for about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala, cardamon, cinnamon, and cumin and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring constantly until fragrant.

3. Return the chicken to the pan, add the tomato paste and chicken stock. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and the chicken cooked through.

4. Add the cream and the rest of the yogurt. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

5. Serve with basmati, naan bread, and poppadoms.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Chicken and Jalapeno Quesadillas

I'm all for super quick dinners during the week when, let's face it, no one really wants to come home only to have to cook a long and complicated meal. We all still want to have a meal that is packed full of fresh, tasty ingredients and quesadillas really fit this bill nicely.

This entire meal, from quesadilla to rice, took around 30 minutes to get on the table. I paired my chicken and jalapeno quesadilla with Jalapeno Rice from Kecias Flavor Breakthrough. Kecia is the master at all things rice and this dish was simple, took very little hands on time, and was the perfect complement to the quesadilla.

Since this recipe is quick and easy to make as well as being super cheap to throw together, I am recycling it as Part One of a Grad Student Blogger Series. Part One is all about "The Starving Grad/Undergrad Student" (low-budget/cost-saving recipes)

Show our #gradstudentbloggers and #undergradstudentbloggers your support! Check out the whole list of featured Starving Student recipes now:

Candy Explosion Cookies via Go Bake Yourself
Brussel Sprouts and Sausage Pizza via Bacon Egg Cheese(cake)
Strawberry Greens Salad via Go Bake Yourself
Chocolate Sea Salt Date "Caramel" Bars (GF, V, Raw) via Wallflour Girl
Homemade Spaghetti with Garlic, Chili, and Herbs via Daisy and the Fox
Orange Zucchini Bread via Blahnik Baker

SAY WHAT? As a fun bonus to this roundup, we asked today's student bloggers some fun, wacky questions about their (im)balanced school/blogger lives: read their answers now on our hostess's blog, Wallflour Girl!

Want to join, or know a university food blogger who would?
We would love to have you: email Ala at to sign up! 

The #gradstudentblogger and #undergradstudentblogger series showcases the lives and talent of insanely busy food bloggers from across all stages of their higher education pathway. Thank you for joining us, and we hope to see you again in two weeks!

Chicken Quesadillas

Serves 4

500 g Chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeds removed (if desired) and finely chopped
1/2 Onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp sriracha
1/2 Cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
4 jumbo tortillas
1 Cup grated cheese
Sour cream to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Heat a dash of oil in a fry pan. Fry onion, jalapeno, and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, sriracha, and chicken stock. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

2. Spread 1/4 of the chicken mixture over one half of each tortilla. Top with a generous amount of cheese and fold the other half of the tortilla over.

3. Place quesadillas onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the tortillas are golden and the cheese is melted.

4. Cut each quesadilla into thirds and serve hot with jalapeno rice and sour cream.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Chocolate Overload Cake

A while ago my good friend Michaela from An Affair From The Heart created a fantastic Chocolate Espresso Cake which I instantly loved. My honey had his birthday coming up, of course I had to make him a cake, and of course Michaelas cake was the first thing that came to mind. Here is my adaptation - Chocolate Overload Cake.

I adored this cake. It was easy to make (only one bowl!), and easy to decorate. The cake itself was perfectly chocolaty and deliciously moist. I think this is the kind of cake best described visually, so here are a whole load of photos!

Just one more picture until the recipe! I have to show you the inside too!

Chocolate Overload Cake

Serves 15

3 Cups self raising flour
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
200 g butter, softened
3/4 Cup cocoa powder
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup plain unsweetened yogurt
1/2 Cup boiling hot coffee
3 large eggs

Chocolate Ganache

1 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup cream

To Decorate

2 x 170 g blocks kit kat
1 packet pebbles/smarties/M&Ms
1 packet chocolate buttons

1. Place all of the ingredients for the cake in large bowl, mixer, or food processor. Mix until all ingredients are combined and the butter is incorporated.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) and grease a 30 cm springform cake tin. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for one hour, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

3. Cool the cake completely in the tin. Prepare the ganache by melting the chocolate chips into the cream. Spread over the entire cake (including the sides).

4. Place pieces of kit kat around the the edges of the cake. Pour the pebbles and chocolate buttons into the center. Tie a ribbon around the outside.