One of the challenges in raising children is getting them to eat the right things. Continue reading
Did you know that popcorn has been around since 4700 BCE? Popcorn sure has a long history, with the knowledge of it having spread north from Guatemala to the Native Americans, who then taught the practice of making popcorn to the English in the 16th century. Continue reading
I hope everyone had a scary (and safe) Halloween this year! Halloween isn’t very popular in Australia (although more and more Aussies seem to be celebrating in recent years), but that doesn’t mean you won’t see Halloween stuff in the shops Continue reading
Pikelets are just one of the many things I’ve been introduced to since moving to Australia. Pikelets don’t exist in the US, as far as I know, but are popular in Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Europe. While similar to American pancakes, pikelets do have subtle differences. For instance, pikelets are generally smaller and heavier than pancakes. They’re usually served cold with a bit of butter or jam (or other spread), whereas pancakes are always served warm and usually with maple syrup. The marketing for pikelets, at least in Australia, seems to be geared towards children, but as we all know, pancakes are for everyone, no matter how young or old they are! There are also differences in the batter – self-raising flour is common in pikelets and plain flour is usually used in pancakes, but you’ll still find milk, eggs and sugar in both recipes. Pikelet batter needs to be completely smooth and rested for 15-30 minutes before cooking. On the other hand, a good pancake batter should be a little lumpy and doesn’t need resting. All this said, though, there are still differences between pikelet recipes throughout the world.
I’ve found that pikelet recipes are an excellent way to get children into the kitchen. They can help with all aspects of the recipe (except perhaps with the actual cooking bit), and they always love to gobble the pikelets up when they’ve cooled! Pikelets make a great after-school snack, as well, when served alongside a helping of fresh fruit. If you’re a stay-at-home mum like I am, it’s simple to whip up a batch before heading out to pick up the kids from school; by the time you all get home, the pikelets will be cool and ready to be demolished.
You can easily put your own spin on any pikelet recipe by adding in some chocolate chips, blueberries, mashed bananas, apples, or whatever you’re in the mood for. For chocolate pikelets, just swap out a couple tablespoons of flour for cocoa powder, or use coconut milk instead of plain milk for coconut pikelets. You could probably add in a bit of peanut butter or Biscoff! The possibilities are nearly endless.
For this post, I’ve made chocolate chip pikelets, which are based on a plain pikelet recipe by Valli Little. The kids are in love with these. This particular version wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Nestle Australia releasing their brand new mini chocolate chips; mini chocolate chips didn’t exist in Australia before this (or at least if they did, I never found them!). The normal size chocolate chips would have been too big, but the mini ones were just right.
Since we’ve started making our own pikelets, my kids have told me to never buy store-bought ones again!
Chocolate Chip Pikelets
Adapted from taste.com.au and Valli Little
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
3/4 cup (185ml) milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Melted butter, to brush
Sift flour, sugar and salt together into a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk, egg and vanilla together, then add to dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Set aside and let batter rest for 15-30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick frypan over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Drop level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and immediately sprinkle over a few chocolate chips. Cook for half a minute or until bubbles appear on the surface.
Flip over and cook other side for 30 seconds, or until golden.
Allow to cool and serve plain, or with butter, jam, or peanut butter (whatever you’re in the mood for, really!).
Almond butter is one of those things I’ve been meaning to try for ages but just never got around to. I did make my own peanut butter once, when I first got my Breville food processor, but I wasn’t very happy with it at the time. Continue reading
Hello strangers! Long time no post! You might be happy to know that we are now living in our new house and things are slowly returning to normal. Continue reading
When was the first time you heard of Nutella and tasted it for yourself? For me, it was 1995. My foreign language class was planning a “field trip” to Spain and France for spring break of that year. I was one of the lucky few whose parents allowed me to go. A friend of mine told me that I just had to buy some Nutella while I was overseas. I had to ask her what it was and she explained it was a sort of sandwich spread that was made with chocolate and hazelnuts. I told her it sounded great and I would buy some.
While in France I did find some, and purchased it to bring home. The funny thing is, after I tasted it, I didn’t like it! I also thought it was strange to put chocolate on bread. So I don’t think I even finished the small jar of it that I had brought home.
Years later, and I do mean years later, after I moved to Australia, I noticed that Nutella was plentiful in all the grocery stores. I decided to try it again, because it sure did look nice, so maybe my tastes had changed over the years. Luckily for my tastebuds, I loved it! Unlucky for my waistline, however! Nutella has nearly been a staple in our household since then.
It’s a fried Nutella and banana sandwich with a cinnamon-sugar crust. This has already had mixed reactions. Some love the idea, some hate the idea and think it’s disgusting. Someone even suggested that instead of frying the bread, to toast it in the toaster.
If I’m going to eat a banana with Nutella, I usually just spread a layer of Nutella on a naked banana, slice it into rounds, then eat it. I’ve even eaten a plain un-fried Nutella and banana sandwich. But, as I thought with the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, the extra step of frying it brings a new depth to the taste.
Now, I wouldn’t go and make one of these sandwiches every day, but it does make a nice treat once in a while!
The recipe is below, but please note that I just estimated the amounts of what I used. This is a recipe where you can use however much (or less) of anything that you like!
Nutella & Banana Sandwich With Cinnamon-Sugar Crust
2 slices wholemeal bread, or bread of your choice
Approximately 1/2 teaspoon butter
Cinnamon-sugar, you can buy this at the store or make it yourself
1 ripe banana
Approximately 1 tablespoon Nutella, or similar
Heat a skillet over low-medium heat. Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon-sugar on the buttered side of each slice.
Slice the banana into enough rounds so that you can layer the unbuttered side of one slice of bread with the rounds. Spread Nutella on the unbuttered side of the other slice of bread.
Carefully place the bread with the bananas, buttered side down, into the skillet. Immediately place the other slice of bread, Nutella side down, right on top of the bananas.
Fry until golden brown, then flip the sandwich over and fry until golden brown. Keep your eye on it, it can burn easily!
Let cool, slice diagonally if you like, and enjoy!
So what are you waiting for? Go celebrate World Nutella Day!