Wednesday 28 October 2015

Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce

This is my Sticky Date Pudding recipe, I usually make it when I have all the family together as everybody loves it, and also make it if asked to take a desert for a party or function.  It never fails to impress and have never had a problem making it. Served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, I also made it once with some praline and sprinkled it over he top when I was tying to be a bit fancy.

The amount in this recipe will make a baking dish approx. 33cm x 22cm  and will serve around 20 depending how big your portions are. If you wish to make a smaller amount just halve the recipe.


500g chopped pitted dates
3 cups water
2 tsp bi- carb soda
250g softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups self raising flour


Pre Heat oven 160c

Put dates and water in saucepan and bring to boil, remove from heat then quickly add and stir in Bi-carb soda this will froth and bubble and double in size, put aside to cool.

In a blow beat butter brown sugar until pale then add one egg at a time and also vanilla.  When date mixture has cooled add to butter and sugar mixture and stir in well. When combined add S/R flour  fold in until combined just use wooden spoon for this process don't worry if their are some little lumps of flour. The less you work it the lighter the pudding.

I spray my baking dish with canola oil and line the bottom with baking paper, pour your mixture into dish ad cook in moderate oven for approx. 40 min just do the skewer test,  you might have to put foil over the so it doesn't burn and sometime I have to turn the oven down. My oven is a hot oven so I always have to keep an eye on things.

Caramel Sauce

600 mls Thickened Cream
2 cups Brown Sugar
250g butter chopped
2 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil stirring with wooden spoon simmer for approx. 7 to 10 min after all melted. Serve hot over your pudding.  This pudding and sauce keeps well in the fridge, just heat in microwave when required so is great if you wanting to make something before hand.

Hope you get the chance to make this it a family favourite in our house.

Maz xx

Saturday 17 October 2015

Choclate Lava Cake

I have never made a cake or desert in my slow cooker, but have always wanted too.  Found this recipe for Choc Lava Cake which is really like a self saucing pudding was so easy to make.  I like this one because a lot of the recipes use a packet cake mix for the batter part which I didn't like I wanted to make mine from scratch. Also next time I make it and I defiantly will I might add 1/2 tsp chill powder to bring the choc flavour out or you could add some espresso.
So here it is I hope you enjoy it as much as we did great for large crowds, I also doubled the recipe because my slow cooker is a large one.


2 cups SR flour
1 cup sugar
12 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
4 tsp baking powder
1  tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 Tbls oil
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 packed brown sugar
3 cups hot water.


1.  Spray slow cooker with oil, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and 6 tablespoon's of

2.  Add the milk, oil, and vanilla and mix with electric mixer for 2 mins until combined.

3.  Place batter into slow cooker and spread evenly.

4.  In a bowl combine brown sugar and the remaining 3 Tbls of cocoa in bowl then stir in hot water
     until dissolved.

5.  Pour over the batter mixture (DO NOT STIR)!!!! cover and cook on high for 2 hours.

6.  Turn off and remove lid  let cake stand for 30 min. Pour the lava from the bottom of
      the pot over the top of  the cake and serve with ice cream.

Spray with oil and add batter
This is what it looked like after I cooked it
the sauce is on the bottom let sit for 30 min
before serving.

Serving suggestions sorry the ice cream melted before
I got the shot.

 I hope you get the chance to make it and becomes a family favourite.

Enjoy Maz  xx

Saturday 10 October 2015

Sticky, Spicy Beef Ribs.

I have made ribs before but these are out of the park.  I followed basic recipe and added a few extra things.  I hope you enjoy them I think the secret to the success was that I kept them covered the whole time.  Only taking foil off to turn every hour. Don't be tempted to take the foil off to brown the top they will burn very quickly as I found out.

Cooking time 3- 4 hours depending how many you are cooking,  just keep any eye on them you will be able to tell when they are ready as the meat will start to come off the bone.

Coat meat with marinade.

1.5kg Beef ribs
1/2 cup tomato sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup brown or malt vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp yellow mustard powder(keens)
2 tsp black pepper
Place in fridge for 1 hour
or longer if you have time.
little salt not much as the soy sauce is salty


Place all of the ingredients into bowl and mix together, place the meat in and coat, then put into baking dish making sure they fit snuggly. Place in fridge for about an hour longer if you can I didn't and they were very flavoursome.  Take out of fridge cover with foil tightly and place in pre-heated oven at 120 to 140 C my oven is fan-forced, you want it low and slow.

After an hour take out and turn the ribs spoon sauce over them cover again put back in for another hour, then do the same again. in an hour should take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours don't be tempted to take the foil off they will burn very quickly, keeping the foil on keeps the moisture in. When they are ready serve with mashed potatoes and coleslaw.

 Next time I make them ( and I will defiantly be making them again), I will slicing up some onions and peppers and put a layer on the bottom of the dish, they would be make a delicious topping to go over the ribs when serving.

Also if I was making them again for my  family I  would need about 2.5 to 3kg of ribs as they shrink quite a bit, and there is a large bone attached to the meat you would need to double the recipe and it would be the perfect amount for a family of 6 you would also have to adjust the cooking time maybe an extra 1/2 to 1 hour

For the BBQ sauce I used " McCormicks Tennessee style Brown Sugar Bourbon",  you can use whatever you have, we are big BBQ sauce fans in our house and have a huge selection. Also you can eliminate the chilli sauce if you don't like them spicy or add more for a bit of extra heat.

I hope you get the chance to make them, and share them with friends and family I cant wait to make them again.

Enjoy Maz xx

This was the BBQ sauce I used.

Don't be tempted to take the foil off I did only for about 10 mins hence the colour but still moist

Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Coleslaw delish

Friday 2 October 2015

My Little Slice of Paradise.

Our family has been coming to the Gold Coast for over 20 years, first holidaying when the kids were little and then when older they attended boarding school here. Back in the late 90's we purchased a unit at the Hibiscus on the Beach in main beach, a small boutique building only twenty two units in the whole complex, two per floor. The units aren't huge but what it lacks in size it makes up in position, right on the beach, you could literally throw a stone into the ocean from your balcony (but I wouldn't recommend it). It doesn't have a lot of  the amenities that your large resorts do (eg, tennis court, gym), but you can jump out of the pool or spa open the front gate to a patrolled beach go for a dip in the ocean who could ask for more. I noticed on my last visit that two families had booked both units on one floor which we have done over the years as the family's can go between both units and you have the whole floor to yourself. We later sold that unit which was at the back, and purchased at the front over looking the beach on the second floor, I could literally call out to the kids when they were on the beach and tell them lunch was ready (but not in a bogan way). We've had a lot of great memories over the years, such a laid back spot and now with the light rail just down the road you can go anywhere on the coast without a car. But sadly we sold it when we moved back to the country though we still stay here as it is such a great spot and I never tire of the view.

It is in the suburb of Main Beach just above the hub of the Gold Coast, a fantastic little spot five minutes from Sea World, just across the bridge you are at Australia Fair Shopping Centre and really quite central to most things. It has a great vibe everyone makes you feel like a local, it has great restaurants that cater for any budget and a fantastic surf club with a view to die for, you have a great restaurant across the road  which serves the best coffee, breakfasts and lunches while you sit and watch the world go by, and next to that what everyone needs on holidays 711. Then you have your newsagents/supermarket, bottle shop, lots of dress and shoes shops also catering for most budget's, I have picked up a few bargain's. You might also rub shoulders with the odd celebrity, as the Palazzo Versace Hotel is just down the road, I have seen a few over the years and just recently Johnny Depp whilst he was making Pirates of the Caribbean!

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you are considering a trip to the Gold Coast with your family and want to stay somewhere that is relaxing laid back and self contained and on the beach, then have a look at their website or ring them direct.

I would also like to add I have not received anything for writing this post, I just love sharing information that may be helpful to people.

Blessings Maz xxx

The view from the pool and spa
Hibiscuc on the Beach
view from 10th floor

Bbq Area and Gazebo

Tedder ave Main Beach
Its position on the Gold Coast
That's how close it is to Marina and SeaWorld.

10th floor front main bedroom
10th Floor 2nd bedroom

10th floor living room

10th Floor kitchen dinning

Thursday 1 October 2015

Choc Chip Anzac Biscuits


Pre-heat oven to 160c
Makes 33


2 cups plain flour
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
250g unsalted butter chopped
4 Tbs golden syrup
1 teaspoon bi carb soda
250g dark choc chips
5 tablespoons water


dry ingredients
Place all dry ingredients into large bowl and give a stir to break up any lumps of brown sugar and combine all together ( makes it easier when wet ingredients are added). In a saucepan melt butter and golden syrup, when melted and take off heat and quickly stir in bi carb with wooden spoon,  this will froth up quickly and triple in size add this directly to your bowl of dry ingredients and mix all together with wooden spoon.  I use my hand to combine and feel the texture of the ingredients as you do this add the choc chips if you do this before the chips have the tendency to melt, combine the mixture as you do this sprinkle the 5 tablespoons of water one at a time, the mixture should not be dry but not wet and when you can roll a ball and it holds its shape then its right.

Roll in to ball this size
All ingredients combined

Press tops down as shown

Roll into balls you can make any size you like mine are the size of large walnut place on lined baking tray and place in oven.  Bake for approx. 5-6 minutes or until they start to brown slightly and rise, take out of oven and press the top down with spatula, not to flatten just push to top down slightly, put back in oven for a further 6-7 mins keep an eye on the as the cooking time might depend on your oven mine is fan forced so cooks hotter.  When they are golden brown  take them out and give them another press as they would have risen slightly again, you don't have to do this you can leave them puffy it all about how you like them (my family like them soft and chewy) leave them to cool on the tray for about 10 mins. (and if your like me you cant resist to do a taste test before anyone else does).

Hope you enjoy this recipe I have been making these biscuits for years and they never disappoint,  there great to take anywhere and make regular appearances at most community functions. Blessings Maz xx