Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Mexican Layer Dip

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mexicanlayerdip2You may or may not have heard about Singapore’s haze situation in the past week. The pollution levels were at record levels, as a result of burning forests in Indonesia. Everyone was urged to stay indoors, there was constant talk about the “PSI” level and face masks became de rigueur. After the fourth day of stifling pollution, cabin fever well and truly set in (especially with the school holiday period at the moment). Yesterday we luckily had a day of respite. That meant only one thing…BBQ time!

 

We hosted a BBQ at our place, with a pretty big spread but one of the favourites was the classic Mexican Layer Dip. It was the first time I made it, with a rough recipe given to me by a friend of a friend. As usual, I put my own twist on things. Here’s the recipe…enjoy! 

Mexican Layer Dip
Serves 14
A tasty dip, great for BBQs and always a crowd pleaser.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 350g mince beef or 450g can refried beans (vegetarian option)
  2. 35g packet 'Old El Paso' taco season mix
  3. 100 ml sour cream
  4. 100g cream cheese
  5. 1 avocado diced
  6. 1/2 small lemon or lime
  7. 1 tomato, diced
  8. 1/2 diced red onion
  9. 1 clove garlic
  10. 1 small green pepper, diced
  11. 3/4 cup salsa dip (store bought or homemade - see link below)
  12. 1/4 cup grated tasty cheese
  13. 1/4 cup grated Red Leicester cheese
  14. 1/2 cup sliced jalepenos, optional
  15. 1/2 cup fresh chopped coriander
  16. 1/2 bunch green onions sliced
  17. 1 cup shredded lettuce
  18. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  19. 1 packet plain tortilla chips to serve
Instructions
  1. 1. In a non-stick pan, cook the onion for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then brown the mince meat or heat the up the refried beans (vegetarian version) with the packet of taco seasoning. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. 2. Beat the sour cream and cream cheese until well combined. Spread onto the bottom of a glass dish or bowl.
  3. 3. Spread the meat or refried beans on top of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture
  4. 4. Top the layers with salsa
  5. 5. Place a layer of tomato, green pepper, green onions, coriander and avocado over the top
  6. 6. Squeeze lemon juice over the layers
  7. 7. Sprinkle lettuce, jalepenos (optional) and cheese on top
  8. 8. Chill until ready to serve with corn chips
Notes
  1. For a delicious homemade salsa, try this recipe form the Pioneer Woman: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/01/restaurant-style-salsa
  2. For a low fat version, replace the sour cream, cream cheese and grated cheeses with 'light' varieties.
Red Carousel Blog http://redcarouselblog.com/
I love the idea of individual servings of this dish, for parties. How delicious do these look…

individual serve mexican layer dip

{Images from The Party Dress and She Knows}

 

Recipe: Homemade ‘Ice Magic’ Chocolate Shell Sauce

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Most Australians would be familiar with the chocolate sauce called ‘Ice Magic’, available in supermarkets. Thinking about it brings back a lot of fun childhood memories for me. It’s a sauce that quickly hardens into a crispy shell when poured onto a cold surface such as ice cream.  A similar product would be Magic Shell. 

 

It’s a super fun treat for kids parties! I’ve included a homemade recipe here, which is delicious and healthier than the store bought versions. This recipe uses coconut oil, an oil touted for its nutritional qualities (everything in moderation of course).

Homemade 'Ice Magic' Chocolate Shell Sauce (for thermomix and stovetop)
A delicious chocolate shell sauce, works perfectly with ice cream.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup coconut oil
  2. 200g block of dark chocolate, broken into cubes
  3. Pinch salt, optional
Thermomix method
  1. Pour the coconut oil into the thermomix jug. Heat at 50 degrees for 1 minute, speed 1. Add the chocolate pieces and stir at 50 degrees for 4-5 mins speed 1, or until all melted. Add a pinch of salt if desired.
Stovetop method
  1. Pour the coconut oil into a small saucepan. Heat on very low for 1 minute, stirring occassionally. Add the chocolate pieces and stir for 4-5 mins until all melted. Add a pinch of salt if desired.
Notes
  1. Dark chocolate can be replaced with milk or white chocolate. Try adding flavouring such as mint, banana, caramel etc.
  2. Chocolate shell sauce should be stored in a jar or squeeze bottle, in the cupboard. In cold weather, the sauce may harden. To bring back the sauce to a liquid consistency, reheat in microwave.
Red Carousel Blog http://redcarouselblog.com/
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This sauce would make an awesome homemade gift, especially in an ice cream decorating kit like I have put together below. I’ve packaged some Kit Kat wafers, Smarties and toasted almonds in plastic bottles from the Red Carousel shop. To complete the kit, I’ve added some Candy CupsWooden Ice cream Spoons, a gift tag and twine – all available from our online shop

 

Yum, I know what we’re having for dessert tonight! 

giftideaicemagic

Fondant Covered Vanilla Cookies Recipe

cookie8I’m going to start moving over my favourite recipes from the old Ivy Designs blog to this one. I’m loving the easy to use recipe cards below. First up, my go-to cookie recipe for parties. I love this recipe because it’s pretty easy (a beginner could do it), it’s yummy and it’s so versatile – suited to a variety of cutters to match your party theme. I’ve had a lot of people contact me to say they made these cookies with much success, which is music to my ears!

 

These are the things you will need for the vanilla cookie.

ingredients

Fondant Covered Vanilla Cookies
Serves 16
Easy recipe for fun cookie decorating
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g unsalted butter
  2. 250g caster sugar
  3. 2 medium eggs, whisked gently
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 500g plain (all-purpose) flour
Icing
  1. Small amount of rolled fondant, approx. 300grams
  2. Food dye (if you wish to tint the fondant) or you can purchase fondant pre coloured
  3. 250g of shortening to grease (or corn flour)
  4. 1/2 cup of corn syrup (or apricot jam) for use as glue
Utensils
  1. Electric mixer, hand beater, thermomix or similar
  2. Cling-wrap
  3. Rolling pin
  4. Silicon mat or hard surface to roll on
  5. Cookie cutters
  6. Baking tray
  7. Baking greaseproof paper
  8. Small paintbrush
  9. Spatula or small knife
Instructions
  1. 1. Using an electric mixer/beater or thermomix (with the butterfly insert) beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy - approx 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides to combine.
  2. 2. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and sifted flour and mix until all ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix.
  3. 3. Remove the dough and place on cling-wrap. Press down firmly.
  4. 4. Cover with cling-wrap and refrigerate or freeze for 15-30 minutes.
  5. 5. Place dough in between baking paper and roll out the dough to about 5 mm thick. You can do this in portions. If the dough starts to become too soft and difficult to work with, return to fridge/freezer.
  6. 6. Separate the dough from the baking paper to make it easier to remove after cutting shapes out with cutter. Cut shapes out with cutter.
  7. 7. Place shapes on baking trays lined with baking paper and refrigerate/freeze again for 15-30 mins. This is important, as it rests the dough and keeps the shapes from distorting and expanding. Bake cookies in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 10 minutes. They are done when the edges begin to turn golden in color. Leave to cool completely before icing.
  8. 8. Knead some fondant in your hands to make it softer and more pliable. Spread a little shortening onto your clean surface. Roll out the fondant to about 4mm with a rolling pin.
  9. 9. If you wish, use an impression mat to create prints in the fondant.
  10. 10. You can also use an wheel cutter or embosser to create different patterns.
  11. 11. Using a cutter, cut out the fondant shape.
  12. 12. Paint a little corn syrup on the cookie. Not much is needed.
  13. 13. Lift the fondant from your surface carefully with a spatula or knife. Place the fondant on top of the cookie and press lightly into place.
  14. 14. You may like to you use silicone moulds to create cute shapes such as animals or bows etc. Make sure you put a little shortening or corn flour in the mould to make removal easier. Attach fondant pieces together with a little water.
Tips
  1. * Decorate cookies with sugar flowers or pearls that you can buy from cake supply shops. Attach these with royal icing. You can also further enhance the cookies with glitter or shimmer dust.
  2. * Package the cookies up in clear bags and a ribbon for gift giving.
  3. * Cookies can be stored for about 1-2 weeks in an air tight container.
  4. * Cookie dough can be kept in the freezer for about 2 - 3 weeks.
Red Carousel Blog http://redcarouselblog.com/
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