Monday, October 21, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month w/ SKI Yoghurt

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and SKI and The Food Mentalist want to offer you a chance to help show your support and in the process win a selection of stylish Scullery Colori silicon range of kitchen utensils - In Pink of course!

Summer Berry Pannacotta w/ SKI ( Recipe Below)

In store now, 1kg tubs of SKI® D’lite, Divine and Soleil have been given a pretty pink makeover to raise awareness during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and with 3.5 million SKI® yoghurts expected to be sold this month alone, Australians will be doing their just desserts to get their bowl full!

As part of its three-year commitment to McGrath Foundation, SKI® has pledged to ‘build a nurse from yoghurt’ by donating $350,000 to fund a McGrath Breast Care Nurse in the local community.

McGrath Foundation CEO, Kylea Tink, is proud of the Foundation’s new friendship with SKI®, particularly given the Foundation’s commitment to people experiencing breast cancer in rural and regional Australia.

“It’s a beautiful synergy – farming communities helping to provide SKI® to supermarkets and consumers giving back to the communities that need it most if ever they require the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse,” said Kylea.

Here's a little about the yoghurt:

  • Packed with protein and rich in calcium, SKI® D’lite is a low fat yoghurt which helps keep you going and going. Available in many delicious fruit flavours, the yoghurts are 99% fat free.
  • Available in six indulgent flavours, SKI® Divine is made with deliciously thick whole milk. I personally love the Ski Divine Vanilla Creme - it's delicious and creamy. I simply serve a dollop of it on fresh fruit for a healthy dessert or snack. I also used it in my breakfast smoothies - see recipe below.
  • Endorsed by Weight Watchers, the thick and creamy SKI® Soleil range comes with everything you could want from an irresistible snack but without the fat and less than 1% sugar.

SKI® D’lite, Divine and Soleil 1kg yoghurts are available from Woolworths, Coles and IGA, RRP $5.69.

Mixed Summer Berry Pannacotta w/ Yoghurt

Preparation time: 15 minutes 
plus 2 hours to set 
Serves: 4 x 250ml 

2 Leaf gelatine sheets (14g) 
150g Summer berries, fresh or frozen 
125g Fresh raspberries 
350ml Ski D’lite Smashed Berry yoghurt 
(99% fat free) 
400ml Reduced fat milk 
30g Caster sugar 
100g Ski Divine Vanilla Creme yoghurt 

1. In a bowl add some cold water and the leaf gelatine; the leaf gelatine 
should be covered with the water. 
2. In a saucepan add the sugar and the milk, place on stove and heat up, 
stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the milk mixture just to the boil and take 
off the heat. 
3. In a food processor blend the summer berries to a puree. 
4. Remove the gelatine sheets from the cold water, they should be soft and 
pliable, add them to the hot milk mixture and stir through until dissolved. 
5. Add the summer berry puree and the berry yoghurt to the hot milk mixture 
and stir through. 
6. Pour the finished hot milk mixture into serving glasses and place in the 
refrigerator to set (minimum time 2 hours). 

to serve 
Using a table spoon scoop a spoon full of vanilla yoghurt on top of the panna 

Arrange fresh raspberries on top of the vanilla yoghurt and serve. 

Wild Summer Berry Yoghurt Smoothie

1 Medium ripe banana 
150g Summer berries, fresh or frozen 
25g Honey 
250ml Ski Soleil Mixed Berry yoghurt (fat 
free) or Ski Divine Vanilla Creme
400ml Reduced fat milk 
40g Toasted muesli (optional) 

1. Peel a ripe banana and place in your blender with all other ingredients. 
Blend for 30 seconds. 
2. Pour into serving glasses and drink, or cover and place in the fridge for 
up to 3 days, making sure to stir before drinking. 

The addition of muesli is optional but adds a nice crunch and creates an 
ideal breakfast smoothie. 
You can alternate the fruit and the yoghurt according to the season and 
your taste preference. 
Golden or maple syrup can be used instead of honey. 


The Colori silicone range of utensils are highly heat resistant, feature ergonomic handles and are designed to be used on non-stick surfaces. Featuring food grade silicon, the utensils are soft to touch, easy to grip and fingerprint resistant.

One lucky winner will receive a selection of Scullery Colori silicon kitchen utensils including a spoon, grater, whisk brush, spatula, slotted turner and tongs. ( not all pictures shown below).

To enter, simply leave you name and email address in a comment below and tell us which yoghurt from the SKI range is your favourite and why.

Entries close Friday 1 November at midnight EST. Entries are open to all Australian residents.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cider Sunday - 2013 Cider Awards

I can't believe it's been a year since I attended the Australian Cider Awards.  Had I not been pregnant this year I would have been there again with bells on. I can't wait to attend the 2014 awards. 

A huge congratulations to Steve Dorman and the team at The Hills Cider Company who won the top prize ' Champion of Show', beating more than 160 other ciders  including entries from Europe and the UK.

Photo: The Food Mentalist
Photo: The Food Mentalist

In addition, they also took out the 'Champion Australian Perry' award. 

"I greatly appreciate the opportunity to accept this award on behalf of the Hills team, and thank them for all their hard work in achieving such great success. It is an exciting time for cider in Australia with many opportunities ahead of us" said Steve Dorman.
James Kendell, President of the Cider Australia Association, said that the 'Champion of Show' trophy was chosen by the judging panel for its pure fruit characters and aromas, interesting complexity and a clean finish.

``It was a fitting winner among a record field of quality entries in the annual event. Cider has seen unprecedented growth over the last few years and now we are starting to see the industry mature.  It is really rewarding to see the improvement in quality of Australian ciders and this was reflected by the significant increase in the number of medals awarded to Australian cider producers this year.’’ said Kendell.
Another of the shows judges, US cider expert Gary Awdey, was impressed with the quality on display. ``I was most impressed with the quality of the ciders entered and saw some strong correlations to where the US cider scene was only a few years ago.  There is every reason to expect that the gap will narrow quickly.  The best Australian ciders compare favourably with the best American ciders. I look forward to a future of friendly rivalry on the world stage’’ Mr Awdey said.

 Finalists for the top awards included:

Class 1 - Weidmann & Groh - Champagnarennette 2011 (Germany).

Class 1 - Red Sails - Dry Cider (Tasmania).

Class 2 - Weidmann & Groh - Trierer Weinapfel 2011 (Germany).

Class 3 - Artisanal de Normandie la Pommeraie - Cidre Doux (France).

Class 4 - Small Acres Cyder - The Cat's Pyjamas 2011 (New South Wales).

Class 4 - Cornouaille Manoir Kinkiz - Cidre (France).

Class 6 - The Hills Cider Company - Pear (South Australia).

Class 8 - St Ronan's - Pear Cider (Victoria).

Check out my review of The Hills Cider Company - Pear Cider here and my Pear Cider Muffin recipe using The Hills Cider Company's Pear Cider  here
The Australian Cider Festival, continues today at the Hotel Steyne in Manly from 1pm – 6pm, with 25 producers on display.
Hotel Steyne - Manly, Sydney

Address: 75 The Corso Manly, NSW 2095

Information source: Cider Australia

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Oven Express - Service Review

Having lived in our home for nearly five years now I am ashamed to admit that we have only cleaned our oven once. I am very anti-chemical so when I say we, I actually mean Pete.  My recollection of it was that it involved a can of very harsh strong smelling foamy chemical, took a long time, involved a lot of 'elbow' grease and I remember the astringent odour we had to endure for several weeks after it was done. 

Hence, once in five years.

You can therefore imagine how happy I was to hear from the Sydney team at Oven Express who believe in healthy 'green' living and offer eco-friendly, non-toxic and fume free cleaning services. I was equally happy to hear that the products used are safe for people who suffer allergies like asthma and are safe for children, pregnant women and the elderly. 

The Technical - What we had done:

Oven Detailing Service - Cost $160

  • Removal and cleaning of oven door, racks and side holders using premium quality, eco-friendly and non-toxic oven cleaner agents;
  • Complete cleaning of the control knobs, door and side panelling - prime areas where fat, oil and other leftovers have accumulated;
  • Deep cleaning in the Oven Express van of oven racks, base and steel rack holders.

BEFORE ( *Cringe* - Insert embarrassed expression here )


What we thought:

  • Service technician arrived on time and was very professional and friendly;
  • Didn't notice any noise and the service didn't take hours;
  • Oven was left spotless looking like new;
  • LOVED the fact that no harsh chemicals were used;
  • No strong smells or residue;
  • Liked that steam is used to sanitise all parts after cleaning; and
  • We were able to use the oven that same night.

As you can see there is a significant improvement !

Oven Express operate across the Sydney region and offer a range of cleaning solutions for ovens, range hoods, bbq's, cooktops and microwaves.

Oven Express
Tel: 1800 325 773

Tell me, how long has it been since you cleaned your oven?

The Food Mentalist's oven was detailed compliments of Oven Express

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cider Sunday - Macro Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts & Competition

Welcome back to Cider Sunday everyone. It's been a few weeks since I posted Cider Sunday - A week in review or an actual cider review for that matter. Being pregnant makes it hard to review cider. However, the countdown has begun and Cider Sunday will return before December. I have a few exciting new ciders lined up to sample. 

In the meantime, this recipe came about because the lovely people at Woolworths asked me to sample some of their Macro Gluten Free products. You may remember a few weeks back I posted some photos via social media of me testing the Macro Gluten Free Banana Bread. 

I also tried the Macro Gluten Free Cafe Style Muesli and its now one of my favourite breakfasts -  I serve it with fresh fruit and a dollop of yogurt.

Woolworths Macro Gluten Free range offers more than 30 products from snacks to cooking essentials and cereals and is Australia’s leading brand for people living with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance as well those who choose to eat gluten free for other health and wellbeing reasons.

Woolworths Nutritionist, Maria Andonopoulos, said, “Coeliac disease affects more than 1 in 100 Australians and we’re increasingly seeing more people adopt a gluten-free approach to eating. We’re proud to offer our customers, suffering from gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, an excellent selection of choices in the Macro Gluten Free range. We’re helping these customers and their families enjoy the foods they love without compromising on taste or their health.” 

I came across this recipe on the blog Gluten Free on a Shoestring and thought it warranted some attention. A perfect choice for trying out the Macro range gluten free flour.

Apple Cider Donuts
Adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring


1 1/2 cups (210 g) gluten-free cake flour (172 g high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour + 38 g cornstarch)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 extra-large eggs (120 g) at room temperature, beaten

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz.) apple cider ( I used Bilpin Apple Cider)

Cinnamon-sugar mixture, to taste, for rolling the doughnuts. (I use caster sugar)


Preheat your oven to 160'C. Grease a 12 x mini doughnut pan. ( I only have a 6 donut capacity tin as that is the only one I could find). 

In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, salt, cream of tartar, nutmeg and 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, eggs and cider, and mix to combine well. Continue to mix until it begins to thicken.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag * fitted with a small plain tip or a squeeze bottle. If using a piping bag, be careful not to let the batter come out of the tip where you don’t intend it to. Squeeze the batter into the prepared doughnut wells until they are each about 2/3 of the way full. Shake the pan back and forth horizontally until the batter is in an even layer in each well.

* Alternatively, carefully spoon mixture into pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the tops of the doughnuts spring back when pressed (about 8 minutes). The underside will be browned, but the tops will still be relatively pale. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the doughnuts to cool for about 3 minutes, or until they are no longer too hot to touch.

While the doughnuts cool slightly, place the cinnamon sugar mixture in a shallow pan or bowl. Gently remove the slightly cooled (but still warm) doughnuts from the doughnut pan with your fingertips and turn them around in the cinnamon sugar until they are well-coated on all sides. Place the finished doughnuts on a clean sheet of parchment paper. Repeat the above steps for the rest of the doughnut batter and resulting doughnuts.

Serve immediately, or at least within a day or two stored uncovered at room temperature. Freeze any remaining leftovers in a sealed, freezer-safe container.

Macro Gluten Free Plain Flour  RRP $4.29 (750g)

Enter to Win a $100 Woolworths Gift Card

To sample the new Macro Range of products, Woolworths and The Food Mentalist are giving readers the chance to win a $100 Woolworths Gift Card. Simply leave a comment below telling us which Macro Gluten Free product you can't wait to try and why. Entries are open to all Australian residents and close at midnight on 25 October 2013. Please make sure you include a current email address with your answer so we can contact the lucky winner.