Monthly Archives: May 2012

Roasted Vegetables Plate with Haloumi

A plate of vegetables doesn’t really sound enticing especially on a menu.


If you add the word “roasted” in front and ending with haloumi…that will be a whole different story.

And if you add a small dollop of garlicky mayo and basil pesto (homemade is ideal for this dish) on the side, a plate of vegetables or the bistro way of naming, vegetables plate couldn’t be any fancier. I’ve order a vegetables plate from my favourite bistro in Bathurst – The Hub not too long ago and I have been craving for this dish ever since. Purely driven by my desire to taste this again, I have decided to take things into my own hand and recreated this in my kitchen.

Roasted Vegetables Plate with Haloumi

(Inspired by a dish I’ve ordered from The Hub, Bathurst NSW)

What you need (for two people as mains):-

  • A bunch of 8 Dutch carrots, peeled and trim the stalks
  • One half of a small butternut pumpkin, cut into one inched cubes
  • About 8 button mushrooms
  • 2 French shallots, halved
  • A handful of rocket leaves (aka arugula)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp store-bought mayo
  • A small clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsps homemade or store-bought basil pesto
  • 2 slices of haloumi, pan-fried

Let’s get started:

(1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 356 degrees F.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil on the parchment paper. Arrange pumpkin, mushrooms, French shallots and carrots on the tray and drizzle more olive oil all over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tenders. (2) Meanwhile, rinse and dry the rocket leaves. Set aside. (3) If you are making your own basil pesto, now will be a good time to whisk’em up while waiting for the vegetables to be cooked. Set aside. (5) Pour some mayo (I used Heinz whole egg mayo) and add grated garlic and mix well – this is my garlic ‘aioli’. (6) When the vegetables are almost done, pan fry some sliced haloumi. (7) To plate – scatter rocket leaves on a flat plate, followed by the roasted vegetables and top with a slice (or slices) haloumi. Add dollop of garlic mayo and basil pesto on the side of the plate. Bon appetit!

Tara Jeane, Parkes NSW

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new cafe/florist shop in Parkes – Tara Jeane which also the name behind the brainchild of this cafe. I happen to love flowers and coffee and having my two favourite things in one space …it just feels right.

Besides the quality of coffee and friendliness of staff, I love an aesthetic pleasing interior. In this instance, pleasing is an understatement. I have a major crush on this artistic, quirky, rustic and inspiring space which make me wish that I can teleport myself to this cafe every morning. (FYI – it is a good 1.5 hours drive from Orange to Parkes.)

I can see myself blogging on my laptop in this cafe. Oh so chic and cool right? ;) Somehow I get a rush of ideas for blog content when I’m there. Perhaps is the  the pretty little things that I was surrounded by?

Since this place is also serves as a florist shop, you can see various flower arrangements dotted around the tables and benchtop. No detail is too small to overlook in this place. Even the table number is carefully thought out. I’m impressed.


232 Clarinda Street Parkes NSW 2870

Telephone Number:-

02) 6862 2331

Trading hours:-

Mon-Fri 7:30-5:30pm
Sat 8:00 -2:00pm

Please show some love & support to her on her facebook page. I can’t have enough of her beautifully curated flower arrangements photos on her page. Enjoy!

Baked Tim Tam Doughnut (Donut)

Besides the Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin, one of the many things you should know about Australia is it is a home for the chocolate coated biscuits (with chocolate cream filling) called Tim Tams.

Just ask any Australian about Tim Tams, and you’ll soon realise how obessessed the nation is with these chocolate coated biscuits. It’s hard to imagine how a humble chocolate coated biscuit can have such a strong hold on the nation’s  sweet tooth right? Well, if you asked yourself this question, you really have to try this biscuit to see for yourself. We will be here waiting to welcome you to  the Tim Tam fan club. ;)

With our passion blazing all around Australia, Tim Tam got the hint (an understatement) and launched a “Truly, Madly, Tim Tam”campaign to showcase Australia’s love for Tim Tams through a series of short ads on The Arnott’s Australia Youtube Channel.

Hold on a sec, before you ditch me for Tim Tam or to check out the videos, I’d like to show you how I incorporated my favourite biscuits into my baked doughnuts.  You see, the idea is to give you an excuse to get an extra packet to try the recipe below. It only requires 3 Tim Tam biscuits and you can have the rest for yourself. No one has to know. ;)

Sounds like a good plan?

Baked Tim Tam Doughnut (Donut)

(recipe tweaked from Baking Bites which I’ve discovered through CaffeIna)

Makes 12 doughnuts if you are using a doughnut pan or 10 muffins with a muffin pan

What you need:-

  • 1oog (3.5 oz or 3/4 cup) caster sugar (fine sugar)
  • 3 Tim Tam biscuits (I used Double Choc Caramel)
  • 1 large egg
  • 190g (6.75 oz or 1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 10 g (2 tsp) baking power
  • 1 pinch (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 1 pinch (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz or 1/4 cup) #flavourless oil + extra for greasing the pan
  • 180 ml (6 fl oz or 3/4 cup) milk
  • 5 gr (1 tsp) vanilla extract

For dusting:-

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar

#flavourless oil i.e. vegetable oil, canola etc.

Let’s get started:-

(1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350F. L ightly grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray or flavourless oil.  (2) Roughly chop Tim Tam biscuits until resembles rubbles. (3) In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color. (4) In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. (5) Add flour mixture into egg mixture and stir to combine. Then, pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract. (6) Add Tim Tam and stir to combine. (7) Divide batter evenly into the doughnut pan, filling each about 1/2 full. (8) Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. When the doughnuts are done, dust with caster sugar while they are hot.

{A screenshot of my name appeared at the end of the video. Cool huh? I love how the Tim Tam people have created a personalised video by having my name featured on the video. FYI- only my name appeared on the personalised ad, not the person. :) Click here to watch the full video. Spoiler alert – if you pray hard enough, chocolate biscuits do grow on trees. :P}


Please note that this is a RocketFuel sponsored post.