Lemon Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan)

Lemon Cupcakes

From the ever-wonderful Cara Reed, author of “Decadent Gluten-free and Vegan Baking” and creator of Fork and Beans. These cupcakes are ridiculously moist and delicious, and also super-easy!



• 2 ½ cups / 200g gluten-free flour mix (make sure you get one with guar gum)
• 1 cup / 200g granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoon / 7.5g baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt


• 1 ½ cups / 398ml canned coconut milk
• 6 tablespoons / 90g applesauce
• ¼ cup / 60ml hot water
• 1 tablespoon / 15ml lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
• 1 tablespoon / 13g lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


• 1 cup / 24g vegan butter, softened (I used Olivani)
• 3 cup / 360g powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoon / 10ml lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
• 3 teaspoons / 9.5g lemon zest


• Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the wet until well mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
• Pour into a muffin pan and bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. As you wait, make the frosting.
• With an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add in the powered sugar and then beat in the lemon juice, vanilla and zest until light and fluffy.
• Pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.

Sticky Ginger Pork

Sticky Ginger Pork

From Gourmet Garden’s Asian volume of its ‘Taste the World’ series.


• 750g pork fillet, trimmed of all sinew and thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
• ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 4 star anise
• 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• Coriander
• ¼ wombok cabbage, finely sliced
• 2 cups long grain rice


• To prepare the marinade, mix together soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and oyster sauce in a bowl. Add pork and star anise and marinate for a few minutes.
• Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok. Brush off excess liquid from pork and cook in two batches over high heat until well-browned.
• Add coriander and any remaining marinade and cook until pork is tender, about 1 minute.
• Serve over shredded raw or lightly steamed cabbage, with steamed rice on the side.



A master-post for my favourite buttercream frosting recipes.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 ½ cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cream

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream


Vegan Vanilla Buttercream

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 3 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup plain non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, soy, etc)

Vegan Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup / 24g vegan butter, softened (I used Olivani)
  • 3 cup / 360g powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon / 10ml lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 teaspoons / 9.5g lemon zest

Instant Noodles

Instant Noodles

These home-made two-minute noodles in a jar are incredible, and there are so many ways you could spin them. Pictured is my take on chicken and dill with rice noodles.

The inspiration for them came from Serious Eats. The author, J. Kenji López-Alt, does a great job of breaking down the basic formula, offers four delicious combination ideas, and elaborates on great substitutions and alternatives you can try. There’s also tonnes of photos, so rather than re-post the recipe I reckon you’re best off reading the original article: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/diy-instant-noodle-cups-food-lab.html

Asparagus rolls

Asparagus Rolls

These are super cheap and easy to whip up, and make for great summer fingerfood. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for five minutes to soften them, and drain well. Cut the crusts off half a loaf of bread. You can either have large rolls, or quarter the bread slices and cut the asparagus into smaller stalks for mini-rolls. Apply your favourite base spread – butter, margarine, cream cheese, etc.; place an asparagus stalk diagonally across the slice of bread, and roll it up. Pinch the roll to keep to intact.

Lemon Ginger Honey Sides

Lemon Honey Ginger Sides

This “recipe” was born of some veggies that needed using up, and the desire to have a change from boiled or steamed. I marinated slices of carrot, capsicum and red onion in Shott’s lemon-honey-ginger flavouring for five minutes (mixing together some lemon, honey and ginger would do the trick too). I kept the carrots in one bowl and the capsicum and red onion in another. I then made cradles out of tin foil, giving a wall a centimetre or two high (just to protect the oven tray – baked honey is tough to get out!).

I gave the carrots a head starting, putting them into one “cradle” with the Shott juices, placing it on a roasting dish, and roasting them for about ten minutes. I then added the capsicums and red onions in their own cradle and roasted for another ten minutes. Voilà!