Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cafe Trreat - Dulwich Hill

Having grown up in Dulwich Hill, it always feels like I'm returning home when I visit. 


I love it. 

Watching the suburb evolve over the years has been really interesting and fun to watch. 

Pete and I recently dined at Cafe Trreat, located on Marrickville road, Dulwich Hill.  

As the name suggests this cafe has carved out a niche in the area specialising in sweet treats - think freak shakes, brownies, ice cream desserts and more.

Because we visited at breakfast time we chose the less sweet options. To start we both had coffee and can I just say it was pretty good. Also impressive was the coffee art which greeted us.

One of the things that appealed about this place was that they offer a great range of gluten free options and at no extra cost. 

For breakfast I chose the Rolling Cheesy : A bacon and egg roll with camembert cheese, caramelised onion and bbq aoili. Pete chose the Breakfast Nachos.

Rolling Cheesy $13

Breakfast Nachos $15.50

The flavours were good on my bacon and egg roll, the roll was rather dry but I did choose the gluten free bun option which can be a gamble. Pete was rather disappointed in the breakfast nachos - he said the avocado was overripe the combination of flavours was underwhelming.

To finish we shared the Watermelon Crushie - a refreshing blend of crushed watermelon, frozen raspberries and apple juice and topped with lots of fresh fruit. It was the perfect drink to get us through this crazy heatwave we are having at the moment. 

Watermelon Crushie

Cafe Trreat
516 Marrickville Road, 
Dulwich Hill

Overrall: 7/10

Service: Friendly and attentive.
Food: All Day breakfast, Lunch and Gluten Free options ( no charge)
Must Try: The coffee, Watermelon Crushie and other sweet treats - the brownies looked great.

The Food Mentalist and Pete dined at Cafe Trreat as guests.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Razzo by Fornetto - Trial & Review

The new Razzo by Fornetto is an all-in-one, multi-purpose outdoor smoker, which allows you to cook delicious food using the low and slow method using either wood or charcoal, for that authentic smokey flavour.

You can smoke, roast, steam and barbecue meat, fish, seafood, or vegetables til your heart's content. And thats exactly what we have been doing for the past few weeks.

Experimenting with different heat sources and flavours

It features a grill, two oven chambers and two stainless steel internal stackable baskets. Each section is removable so you can cook for as many or as few as you like. The unit itself is very portable so you can take it camping, to a party or even the park for a picnic. You can literally shrink it right down to make it more portable - by simply removing one or two of the sections.

Image Source: Fornetto online

The Razzo is made using the highest quality enamelled steel and stainless steel to help retain heat and withstand high temperatures.  Easy grip silicone door handles provide protection while sturdy aluminium tripod legs provide stability.  A temperature gauge enables you to monitor food while it cooks whilst two oven doors allow you to top up with water or fuel as required.   

The Razzo is very stylish too and looks great in our backyard. Our son refers to it as the red Robot that lives in our backyard.

Brisket, corn, slaw and all the trimmings

So far we have tried ribs, pulled pork, short ribs, chicken wings, sausages,roast lamb and our favourite - Beef Brisket.

Short Rib

Homemade Pickles - because these are the ultimate side when smoking meats.

Beef Brisket

If you are interested in cooking brisket we have included this great demo by Aaron Franklin from BBQ with Franklin. We have found that we get the best results by following the tips in this clip below.

We have really enjoyed testing out the new Razzo smoker - it definitely delivers. It produces great tasting food, its easy to use, doesn't take up too much room and it looks pretty funky too.

The Razzo 18” comes in a choice of black or red - RRP $549. The 22” comes in black only and RRP $749.  

The Food Mentalist trialled The Razzo compliments of Fornetto.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Grain Master - A Review

I've been associated with the Philips brand now for a number of years and I really like what they do. You may remember my previous reviews of the Philips Saeco Exprelia Coffee machine and the fabulous Philips Airfryer

So it's only fitting that I introduce the new Philips Grain Master. Using a unique cooking method Philips have coined 'Fuzzy logic technology' the master uses a 6 step cooking process which results in the perfect ready-to-eat grain. 

So far we have made lots of rice - Jasmine, long-grain and medium grain white rice, black sticky rice and quinoa. All have turned out perfectly. 

Jasmine rice with gluten free salt & pepper squid. 

The first thing I noticed about the actual unit is that it is super light to move around it also looks great and when operating it is as quiet as a mouse. I really like that there is an express 'Quick cook' function for rice too which cooks plain rice in just 25 minutes.

Here is a little more on it's key features:

I absolutely love that it cooks perfect rice ( even Mr was impressed) as well as quinoa and tapioca pudding.The free recipe book included has some great recipes including paella, risotto, salads and puddings.

You can also pre-set the master so that your chosen grain is ready when you need it. The pre-set function is available from 1 hour up to 24 hours. I can't wait to use the pre-set function in Winter and wake to perfectly cooked oats.

If you are looking for the perfect kitchen appliance this Christmas then make sure you check out the The Philips Grain Master. It retails for $159 but check online and in-store for specials leading up to Christmas. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Spooky Halloween Goodies

Here are some fun ways to get cooking with Halloween.

Try my Halloween Witch Finger Cookies - You can find the recipe here.

Get creative with fondant by decorating some cupcakes. There are so many tutorials and ideas on the web. I had great fun making these one year for Halloween. 

Make some healthy gut friendly gummies for the kids...

I use this recipe by the IQS team. For these ones I substituted frozen mango for the kiwi fruit.I found the pumpkin silicon molds at my local Coles for $2 each. Whilst they came out a bit wonky I thought they still fit in perfectly with the Halloween theme. 

Finally, try a slice of my Halloween Pumpkin Pie.

If you prefer something a little more alcoholic the team at Carnival Cruises have some great Halloween cocktail ideas here.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Fun

I am super excited as I am about to spend my first Halloween in the U.S.A. Its going to be ghastly and ghoulish and so much fun.

To help get me into the spirit I have been decorating at home. Here are a few fun ideas that you too can create at home. It's especially fun for the kids.

The team at Carnival Cruises have come up with a fantastic array of Halloween decorations ' to die for'. My favourite is this table centre piece - its super easy to replicate by simply cutting spooky shapes and critters out of black cardboard. You can pick up some up at your local newsagent or Officeworks. 

And who doesn't love a lolly snake or two?!

Image source: Carnival Cruises

If you are like me and think carving pumpkins looks too hard (and dangerous) why not try this great Halloween inspired idea instead...

Image source: HGTV
Paint the pumpkin black, add cardboard ears which you can secure with blu-tack, some white & black paint for the eyes and pipe cleaners  or similar for the cat's whiskers. 

Image Source: Better Homes & Gardens

My local $2 shop has bags and bags of Halloween cobweb. Add some to an old upside-down umbrella, twist around furniture or place around objects on your dining table for that spooky web look. Add a few plastic spiders and critters for some extra spooky fun.

Have a great Halloween everyone. Stay in touch via Instagram for my latest Halloween adventures.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pumpkin Pie for Halloween

There are just two weeks left until Halloween and you only need to stroll down to your local supermarket to realise Halloween in Australia is getting bigger and more exciting each year as more of us embrace this largely American tradition.

I'm working with Carnival Cruises in the lead up to this year's Halloween to bring you a series of spooky Halloween recipes. They too have some great Halloween treat ideas.

On to the pie! 

I have made this pumpkin pie a number of times now and it's delicious. I have tweaked it a number of times with regard to the spices I use and I like this combo the best.It is super easy to make and great if you need whip up something to take for dessert. Being able to buy the store made pastry shells makes it all the more appealing when I am strapped for time. 

( Adapted from Curtis Stone's Pumpkin Pie Recipe)

Makes 2 x standard size pies (store bought shells) or 1 x large deep dish pie.

butter for greasing
2 x large store bought sweet pastry pie shells ( approx 20-25cm diameter) 
1 x 1.1- to 1.4-kg butternut or similar sweet pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs 
1/2 cup brown sugar ( substitute for coconut sugar if you are avoiding refined sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans

to serve
Whipped or dollop cream 

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. 

Toss pumpkin in oil, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and arrange the mixture in an even layer on a baking tray that has been sprayed with a little cooking oil.

Bake for approx 1 hour or until soft and golden brown. 

Once cooked, blend the hot pumpkin in a food processor until a smooth puree forms. You can add a little of the cream if you need to to help the pumpkin blend. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs and then add the brown sugar and salt.

Add the cooled pumpkin puree and whisk to blend well. 

Whisk in the ( remaining) cream, and pour pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust(s).

Carefully place the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until the filling is just set and the crust is pale golden brown. The center will still look wet and a knife inserted about 1 inch/2.5 cm from the sides of the pan will come out almost clean.

Transfer the delicious pie to a rack and cool completely. 

to prepare praline topping
Heat a heavy large pan over medium heat until it is hot.

Sprinkle sugar evenly over the base of the pan and cook until it melts. Add the nuts and coat with the sugar syrup,tossing until the syrup turns golden brown and the nuts start to clump together. 

Transfer nuts to a sheet of parchment paper and allow to cool.

Once cool, break up the nuts into chunks and place in an airtight container until you are ready to serve the pie.

to serve
Top each slice of pie with a dollop of cream and a few candied nuts.