How to keep cool in the kitchen this summer with my summer stunners…

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I have to admit that I really did enjoy winter in Brisbane this year.  Can we call that a winter?  Not sure if we even went below 15 degrees to tell you the truth!

Spring is giving way to summer and with that comes all the pleasure of the summer cues like mangos, ceiling fans, swimming pool splashes, grapes, melons, citrus and afternoon storms.

I don’t know about you but unless you have air-conditioning it’s getting really hot in the kitchen.  I’ve come up with some quick and easy recipes, and I mean quick, so that you don’t have to slave away in a hot kitchen!

I’ve also been threatening to do a BBQ and camping cook book with amazing and easy recipes that would get you a round of applause at your next beach BBQ, picnic or camping trip…who wants to nag me along so that I actually get working on it!  Isn’t Australia just beautiful to explore, with all this fantastic fresh produce it’s so easy to create show stopping meals that are simple, fast and fresh.

It’s a bit naughty to start off with a dessert but this recent photo off my Facebook got THAT much attention that I had to set the record straight on how easy this was to make.  I had EVERY single student in that class begged me for the recipe so here goes. Also, I must warn you that once you read the recipe, and in fact make this, you will realise that it’s terribly easy to make and in fact i made 6 different flavours with my kids over the last school holiday.  Flavours included salted caramel, strawberry cheesecake, loaded cookie dough, death by chocolate and lemon meringue!  Heaven!

I MUST mention that this amazing creation costs $4.80 to make and will serve at least 6-8 (that is a side plate so that you can imagine the size)

Even though this is a terribly easy recipe I got at least 5 gasps of amazement and about three ‘ooh’s’ so like I always say cheap and cheerful CAN get you a round of applause if you add some culinary bling!


Delicious Double Vanilla Ice cream with spun sugar and petal bling..Costs $4.80

Double Vanilla Ice Cream with spun sugar and petals

(I’ll give you the recipe for the spun sugar but I’ll also do a quick youtube video on this recipe so you can see how it’s done)

600ml cream, beaten until thick

1 tin condensed milk

30ml vanilla bean paste


Once the cream is beaten fold in the whisk in the condensed milk and vanilla and then place in an airtight freezer proof bucket (I used a 1 litre tub) and then freeze for about 3-4 hours until set.

I told you it was too easy…it’s all in the bling!

Spun Sugar

Half a cup of white sugar and quarter cup of hot water.  Place in a small saucepan and boil hot and fast until the sugar starts going golden.  Shake the golden colour through and stay close, waiting for a darker caramel to form.  Once the sugar smells and looks like caramel it IS READY, remove from heat and shake to cool.  Place on heat proof surface and then get two forks.  put the forks in the tacky sugar caramel and then put them together back to back so that the sugar ‘meets’. Pull apart and then touch them to each other again and then thin strands will form, harvest the strands but be careful they might still be hot, keep going until the sugar gets too hard and then you can load up with more hot tacky caramel. Continue until the sugar is no longer in the mood and then you can admire your gorgeous and very expensive looking spun sugar.  Twist to form a nest and then place on top of the ice cream!  You can do this in advance and keep the sugar nests in the freezer in a large ziplock bag!

More recipes to follow!  Would you like other flavours to try with this super easy recipe, let me know and I’ll get typing!


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