Posts Tagged ‘tips’

What To Keep In Your Pantry

Thursday, March 27th, 2014


The best way to make sure you have everything you need to make the perfect family meal, is to keep your pantry perfectly stocked. You’ll never be stumped for dinner meal ideas again with our ‘What To Keep In Your Pantry’ list.



  • Tin Tomatoes
  • Tin Kidney Beans
  • Tin Cannellini Beans
  • Coconut Cream/Milk
  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Tomato Sauce
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Hot Sauce
  • Liquid Stock/Stock Cubes
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Flour
  • Cornflour
  • Cereal
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey


Top Tips! Remember to always rotate your products in the pantry, keeping older products to the front and the longer dates towards the back. Keep an eye on what the use-by and best-before items. Sort products by groups and shelves for ease when writing your shopping list. Items you use a lot of, try to place at eye height. You can bulk up on products over time which means you can stock up when big specials are on to save money.

These are just a few of our basic must-have staples for ‘what to keep in your pantry‘. There is alot more that we always have on hand and you will too, but they are on preference of what you like to regularly cook. For example; tin tuna, couscous, maple syrup, pinenuts, vanilla essence and not to mention an endless supply of dried herbs and spices.

General Cooking Tips and Hints

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Do you ever find yourself, ripping out recipes from magazines, to then not cook any as you’re afraid you ‘don’t have the time’ or ‘surely will muck it up’? There are a few general cooking tips and hints which can get you started to cooking more recipes and build your confidence in the kitchen.

Menu Planning. It’s beginning of the week, you’ve had a big day and you are already tempted to call your local take-away. This can happen to the best of people but with a meal menu plan for the week ahead, it can get most of us on track and organised for the nights ahead.

Don’t aim to high. Great quality produce speaks for itself so during the week, keep it simple. Don’t try a recipe you’ve never cooked before. Save those for a Sunday lunch or dinner when you’re relaxed and will enjoy the process.

Prepare before you begin. It sounds so simple but alot of us simply miss this step and then get ourselves worked up during cooking. Preparing your ingredients by having them on the bench, pre-cutting your vegetables and preheating the oven, are all simple things that even the most qualified chefs do.

Clean as you go. Yes it may feel like a drag, tidying up after every step that you take in a recipe but it’s a far lot better than being midway recipe, looking around at your kitchen thinking, ‘a bomb has just gone off and I don’t know what to do now’. Plus, take it from us, the more you do this simple step, it becomes a habit you won’t even realise you’re doing!

Make Errors. Yes, we said it! Make some mistakes and errors because we doubt anyone has perfected that recipe first go. What we need to do is learn from those mistakes and you’ll become a better cook!

Enjoy it! Do you prefer to cook on your own or with your partner? Does including the kids make you feel more confident in the kitchen? Or perhaps listening to your favourite music will have you enjoy the cooking process more? Think of these things. Cooking is a great and fun process. It can be your let-your-hair-down after the day routine.


Top Foods To Boost Your Brain

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Good nutrition and exercise is the key to well being yet as we get older, our bodies and our minds may not be as sharp as they once were. We go over our top foods to boost your brain and development.

Our first top tip is to Drink Water. Feeling dehydrated can lead to lack of effort, concentration as well as increase the feeling of being tired. That shouldn’t be the only reason to drink the recommended eight cups a day though, it also helps with boosting your immune system, improve skin complexion and is a natural headache remedy.

Our brain requires essential fatty acids to be able to function and help the structure of the brain. Omega 3 Fats are found in oily fish and our favourite is salmon. Not only does Salmon enhance your memory and is high in iron, zinc and folic acid, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Other omega 3 fatty foods are walnuts, avocado and tuna.

Eggs are a great source of protein and can help aid good cholesterol, but they also contain choline which can improve memory function. Lean meat is also a great option.

We have all heard the wonders of Antioxidants. They can help with ageing, boost your energy and enhance motor skills. We love Blueberries for this! Eating a handful for afternoon tea, add some to a morning smoothie or to your next muffin batch. Ps. Don’t forget your dark, green leafy vegetables as they are also a great source of antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin b and can also help with the nervous system.





How to Store Herbs

Thursday, June 21st, 2012


Fresh herbs can usually be kept for about a week plus if stored properly. Here are three ways on how to store herbs and to prolong the life of your herbs:




#1 Refrigerate herbs as-is
Rinse herbs and wrap loosely in a paper towel. Place in a zip lock bag and place in crisper section of the fridge.

#2 Place herbs in a jar of water
Place fresh, parsley, coriander or basil upright in a jar of water. Cover the leaves with a small plastic bag and secure with a rubber band or twisty wire. Place in refrigerator.

#3 Blanch, mince and freeze.
Plunge herbs in boiling water for a few seconds, remove and place in ice water. Blanching will keep your herbs looking green. Once blanched, place herbs in food processor or chop finely. Then, place in ice cube trays to about ¾ full, fill with water and freeze. Note that herbs will lose the intensity of their flavours through the blanching and freezing process.

How to cook perfect boiled eggs

Friday, November 25th, 2011

 Simon’s guide on how to cook perfect boiled eggs

Following up from last week’s how-to eggs series, this week we’re back in the kitchen with Chef Luis from Kylie’s Kitchen at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery in Chapel Hill. Chef Luis makes all the delicious café meals and Take Home Meals at Simon’s. This week, he’ll show us how to cook perfect boiled eggs.


Steps to cooking the perfect boiled egg:

Bring a pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling rapidly, add fresh organic eggs (eggs must be at room temperature, and not straight out of the fridge —  otherwise the eggs will crack instantly). When cooking at Simon’s, Chef Luis only uses organic eggs because their yolks are noticeably more yellow, firmer, and taste better than the yolks in caged eggs.

Add room temperature eggs to rapid boiling water

It’s all about timing! Time from the moment you add the eggs into the boiling water. If you like boiled eggs with soft yolks, boil the eggs for exactly 9 minutes. But if you like firm yolks, boil the eggs for exactly 11 minutes. Boiling the eggs for 15 minutes or more will make it difficult to peel off the eggs shells.

11* minutes for hard boiled eggs

9* minutes for soft boiled eggs

Remove eggs from the pot and peel the eggs straight away. Delaying this process will make it difficult to peel the eggs once they have cooled down to room temperature. But if you’re planning to eat the eggs later, cold shock the unpeeled eggs by placing them in iced water to make them easier to de-shell later on.

// *Please note that cooking times may vary depending on the type of cooking utensils and environment