The wind is blowing. The sun is shining amidst white puffy clouds, some with gray bottoms. In the background is the sound of Playschool and my toddler talking to himself, as well as the low hum of the washing machine. I’m peeking over my laptop screen at the palm trees and ferns swaying in the breeze outside. I know I’ll have to hang the washing outside soon. I know the floor needs vacuuming. But I’m sitting here, my hands perched over the keys of the laptop, and I’m trying to think of a way to start this post….
When Nespresso sent me a parcel full of gourmet ingredients last month to celebrate the launch of Cubania, I didn’t think I’d have any trouble dreaming up recipes to use them in. I presented you with the rum and espresso cloud cake, but after that, life got in the way and the blog went on a tiny hiatus. Possible recipes kept floating around in the back of my mind for the past month, only I just couldn’t find the time to make them a reality. Well, in all honesty, I did prepare one other recipe – which was tonka bean ice cream with a coffee-caramel swirl – but it did not work out. The ice cream was okay, but the caramel wasn’t thick enough (although it was really delicious) so it would have been impossible to swirl into the ice cream. I never got around to making another batch of the caramel.
Hello! Yes, it’s been over one whole month since my last post, but I have been busy concocting delicious things. Nespresso has once again sent me a lovely parcel full of the most gorgeous ingredients to inspire new recipes. We are celebrating Nespresso’s limited edition Cubania, which boasts the highest intensity level Grand Cru yet….
This post is an entry into the Nuffnang ‘Fresh Recipe’ Network Competition, thanks to BRITA. Check out betterwithbrita.com for inspiration and exclusive recipes by Gary Mehigan.
Update – my entry won 1st place in the competition! Hooray!
We all have a memory of a food disaster from some point in our lives. When a recipe ends in failure, especially one that you were really excited to try and put in a lot of your precious time, effort and love to make it turn out perfectly, it’s very disheartening. You realize that, instead of the homemade meal or dessert you wanted to serve, you’re just going to have go out and buy takeaway for dinner, or a cake from the bakery. Luckily, in time, you’ll be able to look back and have a good laugh, though….
There’s no doubt it’s winter, Sydney. The weather is dry and so cold, and yesterday was the worst. Not only was it cold and windy in the afternoon, but it also just had to rain. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain and prefer it over sunshine, but my goodness, it was so cold. We were all soaking wet, having to move the kids’ tennis lesson under some shelter to simply do some ball bouncing on their tennis rackets while the rain pelted down. It was the kind of rain where the drops are all close together and the drops are big; a full-on soaking rain….
So what’s been happening at Sweetest Kitchen HQ lately? Well, to make a long story very short, my daughter turned 9 and she received a cat for her birthday. This was a decision I was against from the beginning, as soon as my husband mentioned that it might happen. I have nothing against pets, nothing at all – I love animals – , but I knew who would be taking care of it. And I have enough to take care of already….
We’ve just spent the past two weeks on school holidays. It’s one of the first holidays that I haven’t stressed about keeping the kids busy. It was nice and relaxing and for once, the holidays seemed to go a little slower than they usually do. The kids played a lot of tennis and spent a lot of time at the park, and they had their fair share of Minecraft sessions as well. I spent a lot of time not caring about making lunches or getting to school on time and got obsessed with The Sims FreePlay app! Don’t even ask!…
Many people ask me if, as an American, I like living in Australia. Do I like it better than the US? Do I miss home? The answer is always an emphatic “Yes!”! Yes, I do like living in Australia more than I liked living in the US. And yes, I do miss living in the US! I’m contradicting myself a bit there, but I’ll just start with why I like Australia. Australia seems pretty unique to me and I love the little Aussie quirks and slang. I haven’t gotten used to the different spellings (favorite vs. favourite, etc.), but I do catch myself saying something Australian every so often (“arvo” instead of “afternoon”, or “foothpath” instead of “sidewalk”, or “afternoon tea” instead of just “snack”). Most people ask me if I’m either Canadian, or, very oddly, if I’m Irish! Irish!? I must have some weird mix of Australian and Hoosier accents that, when combined, sound neither Australian or American. Bizarre.
There’s a great multicultural community here, which means I can great a wide range of ingredients for cooking. I couldn’t do this in Indiana. I haven’t used many of the ingredients I’ve came across, but if I ever need them, I know exactly where to find them. I love the Asian supermarkets, for example. I could spend hours in those shops!
Speaking of shops, one of the things I don’t like about living here is that most shops close at 5pm. And you’re lucky if they’re open on the weekend, with the exception of the big shopping centers. However, there is one designated night that the shops stay open until 9pm. It’s called Late Night Shopping, and this special, exclusive event only happens on Thursdays. I think this is just so weird, coming from a place where the shops are always open until 9pm!
On the plus side, there is always something to do here. Always something happening, always somewhere to go, always something to see or experience. I didn’t get that in Indiana. In Indiana, you have to have a car to go absolutely anywhere, unless you’re just walking to your mailbox to get the mail, and you have to drive for ages to get anywhere (if you don’t live near a major city, that is). Well, in Sydney, you still have to drive for ages to get anywhere because the traffic is horrible, and the roads are in horrible condition, but there is always public transportation. Train, bus, ferry, you can usually get to where you want to go without relying on a car. In fact, there are people here that do not even own a car!
Australia is a really gorgeous country, full of many unique landscapes and landmarks (and people!). The weather, at least in Sydney, leaves a little to be desired, but I really like it here and can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live.
But yes, I still miss the US. My entire family is there, my home is there. I really feel it during holidays, like Christmas, or Thanksgiving, but most of my family uses Facebook and I can call my parents easily any day. I also miss the US because of all the things! The US has everything and most things you can’t get here in Australia. Or if those things are able to be shipped overseas, the price of shipping will be about the cost of your house. No, really.
One of things you still can’t get in Australia is Biscoff spread. It just hasn’t made its way Down Under yet. If you’re lucky enough to have a Coles that stocks Biscoff biscuits near you, however, you won’t feel too left out. Seriously, Coles does stock these biscuits now – you’ll have to look extra carefully because the package is small and tucked in between other bigger packages of biscuits. They’re not called Biscoff, just Lotus, which is the company that makes Biscoff. They are one and the same biscuit. Lotus makes the products, but the products are called different things in different countries.
Biscoff spread, though. Good luck finding that. Well, okay. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You can get Biscoff spread in Australia. But you have to be proactive by checking for new stock and purchasing as soon as – AS SOON AS – new stock arrives, because it sells out quicker than you can even blink your eyes. Check out this post I wrote a while back, you’ll find links to four online shops in Australia that stock Biscoff/Speculoos spread. Again, this is not called Biscoff, it’s called Speculoos. But it’s the exact same. If you want it, get in super quick. It can take up to 5 weeks for the shops to get new stock in.
So today I’m going to share with you a little something special you can make if you’re lucky enough to find Biscoff biscuits and spread. Can you guess where I’m going with this?
Biscoff spread, Biscoff biscuits, chocolate, marshmallows. Sounds a little bit like…
S’mores! Only with a Biscoff twist. Seriously, why did I never think of this before? I got inspiration from Biscoff’s Facebook page when they posted a photo of s’mores, only using Biscoff biscuits instead of graham crackers. The rest just kind of happened.
I don’t have access to a campfire, so I had to improvise and use a bit of my recipe from when I posted about how to make s’mores if you live in Australia (where graham crackers are sort of like a fairy tale). These Biscoff s’mores are made in the oven and pretty quick to assemble and bake.
You can’t tell me you that you haven’t just developed a huge craving for Biscoff just now.
Can you easily get Biscoff where you live? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it?
- 8 Biscoff biscuits
- 1-2 tablespoons Biscoff spread (I use creamy)
- 4 squares dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
- 4 marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 160C (if you're not sitting at a campfire, that is!). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Spread 4 of the biscuits with a little bit of Biscoff spread and place them on the baking tray. Break the chocolate into four smaller squares (as you see in the photos above) and arrange them close together on top of the spread. Cut the marshmallows in half and place two, sticky side up, on top of the chocolate of each biscuit. Lie the remaining 4 biscuits on top of the marshmallows and push down gently.
- Carefully put the tray in the oven so the s'mores won't topple over, then bake for 4-6 minutes. Keep your eye on them constantly as when the marshmallows start melting, they'll melt really quickly. Take them out when you see the chocolate has melted and the marshmallows have melted only a little bit. They'll continue to melt as they sit.
- They'll be messy to eat, but so delicious! Enjoy!
I sometimes wonder if my posts aren’t personal enough. They’re just all about food, right? But what about me? Do you ever wonder who I am? Or do you just simply come here for recipes? I thought I’d try to post something about myself in, at least, the next few posts, just for you to realize there’s an actual person with interests other than food behind this blog. Let’s start at the very beginning……
I don’t know about you, but I am so happy that, here in Sydney, the weather is turning cooler. I love wearing jumpers, big warm coats and cozy clothes. But best of all?…