the girl’s Greek Easter

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This year Greek Easter occurred a week later than Aussie Easter which meant that I celebrated with my family twice. The first Easter Sunday brought an abundance of chocolate eggs, while the second was filled with red eggs and tsoureki.

It is a Greek Easter tradition to make red eggs. While each Greek family probably has a slightly different way of doing this, it basically involves boiling normal eggs in red dye.

On Easter Sunday, you take these eggs to your family gathering and everyone chooses the one they think is the strongest. Then in pairs you try to crack each other’s egg. Everyone does this until only one person has an un-cracked egg. That egg is said to give its owner luck for the year… So here is a little luck for all of you!

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Happy Easter everyone!

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the girl’s fruity ice tea

DSC_0437With a new year of uni about to begin it is essential that we find ways to fill up the time that we should be putting to good use. This fruity ice tea is perfect for procrastinating. Better still, it will keep you hydrated when you come to the conclusion that you must actually begin to  study.

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Your favourite fruity tea
  • Fresh or frozen fruit that you may like to add

Method

  1. Boil the water in a kettle.
  2. Make a tea as you would normally.
  3. Put the tea in the fridge and allow to cool.
  4. Once it has cooled, add the fruit and ice.
  5. Enjoy!

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the girl goes to the Melbourne Zoo

It had been a few years since the last time I went to the Melbourne Zoo. So, while I was in Melbourne recently, I jumped at the opportunity to go with my younger cousins, grandfather, aunt and uncle. Not only did we all learn something about the animals we saw, but all three generations enjoyed strolling through the beautiful greenery and spending time together. The Melbourne Zoo is the perfect destination for a family outing.

Here are just a few of the beautiful and interesting animals you will see during a day at the Melbourne Zoo!

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The Melbourne Zoo also prides itself on being an educational destination where you can learn about these magnificent, often endangered, animals and what you can do to help save them.

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DSC_0012DSC_0851You can also watch the monkeys behaving like little kids:

DSC_0705     Or parents in need of a rest:

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You can even walk through the lemur enclosure.

DSC_0664    DSC_0648The butterfly sanctuary is always a lot of fun. If you are wearing bright clothes, one may even come and sit on you for a little while!

DSC_0766There are also plenty of reptiles to see.

DSC_0680And this stingray might pop up to say hello to you.

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After meeting the gorgeous animals, you can buy a mini-version to take home with you. Money raised in the gift shop supports the Zoo in looking after and conserving these wonderful animals.

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the girl’s lovely chocolate mousse

Who needs a boyfriend if you have mousse?

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Whether you know the 14th of February as Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness (and Appreciation) Day or just another day to tick off your calendar, I hope this recipe will make you smile!

Ingredients

  • 220g of milk chocolate
  • 220g of dark chocolate
  • 60g of unsalted butter
  • 500mL of cream
  • 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • Strawberries to top

Method

  1. Separate the egg whites and yolks.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until peaks form.
  3. Add the caster sugar to the egg whites and continue whisking.
  4. In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate and butter over the stove.
  5. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture.
  6. Fold the chocolate mixture slowly through the egg whites and sugar.
  7. Add the cocoa powder and cream to that bowl and stir.
  8. Pour the mousse mixture into serving glasses.
  9. Place the glasses in the fridge until it sets and becomes firm.
  10. Serve with fresh strawberries.
  11. Enjoy!

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the girl’s simply scrumptious sweet stack

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I love this dessert. Not only does it combine some of my favourite things but I think that the layers make it look quite interesting. With the sweetness of marshmallows, Nutella and fresh berries it is impossible for this dessert to taste anything but delicious. This makes putting it together stress-free because no matter how it looks, you KNOW that it is going to taste good.

The last time I made this my friends and I sat in the backyard playing guitars, ukuleles and eating this sweet stack by candlelight. The evening was an unforgettable one and the dessert was a big hit!

I hope you enjoy this scrumptious dessert as much as I did.

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of marshmallows
  • 375g of Nutella
  • 1 packet of milk arrowroot biscuits
  • 2 punnets of fresh strawberries (cut into pieces).
  • 1 punnet of fresh blue berries
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Method

  1. Crush the milk arrowroot biscuits into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and add it to the biscuits. Mix until combined.
  3. Place the biscuit mixture in a thick layer at the bottom of each glass.
  4. In a microwavable container, heat the Nutella for about 30 seconds or until it becomes thinner than usual. (This makes it easier to pour into the glasses.)
  5. Pour a layer of Nutella into each glass. (NB: Do not use all the Nutella at this stage. You will need to keep some for the second layer.)
  6. Separate the white and pink marshmallows.
  7. Put all the white marshmallows in another microwaveable container and microwave them for 30 seconds or as long as it takes for them to look like a giant pillow. (Be careful though, if you leave them in the microwave for much longer they will burn).
  8. Quickly – because the marshmallows will become very sticky and difficult to manoeuvre once they cool down – add a layer of white marshmallow to each cup.
  9. Place a few chopped strawberries on top. (Try and get a few to line the cup so that you can see them from the outside. As you can see in the picture above, I struggled with this. The strawberries seemed to fall into the marshmallow so I could not get a full layer of strawberries in the middle of the cup.)
  10. Pour the remaining warm Nutella into each cup.
  11. Microwave the pink marshmallows and then put some in each cup.
  12. Add a layer of strawberries to each cup.
  13. Place a handful of blueberries on top.

You can serve this dessert immediately but you don’t have to. However, if you are not serving these cups immediately, cover them but do not put them in the fridge. If you put them in the fridge the contents of the cups with solidify which makes it more difficult to eat.

Also, when cleaning the marshmallows off the bowls, cups and spoons use hot water. It will save you a lot of trouble!

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the girl’s first attempt at wontons

DSC_0233I am sure there are more impressive ways of making wontons but I thought I would put together this super simple recipe for those you who, like me, have never tried making them before. Best of luck! I am sure you will nail this very simple recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of (finely chopped) mushrooms
  • 1 cup of mixed frozen vegetables (corn, carrot, peas)
  • 1 packet of wonton wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (plus more to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli sauce (plus more to serve)
  • Oil to grease the pan

Method

  1. In a pan fry the mushrooms in oil.
  2. Once the mushrooms have been slightly cooked, add frozen vegetables.
  3. When the vegetables have defrosted, add soy and chilli sauce.
  4. Take the pan off the heat.
  5. Wrap one teaspoon of vegetables into each wonton wrapper and twist the top. (Be careful not to put too much because if you do you may have trouble closing it!)
  6. Once all wontons are wrapped, steam them for 10 minutes or until you can see the contents through the wrapper.
  7. Serve with soy and chilli sauce.

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the girl goes to the Victoria Night Markets

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I mentioned in a previous post, I recently went to Melbourne. I could not leave the city without visiting the Queen Victoria Markets. I was lucky enough to venture down to the markets on a Wednesday night. While smaller than the markets held on other days, the Night Markets have a very special ambience.

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The Vic Markets, as they are affectionately called, have been operating in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD for the last 130 years. Now, they offer a wide variety of cooked meals, fresh produce, arts, crafts, clothing, cosmetics, homewares, music and other entertainment.

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As someone who eats a lot of market food, I can say that these markets had some of the best I have ever tasted. Plus, you get to see it cooking right in front of you!

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When we first arrived we didn’t have to line up to buy anything, but as the night continued we did. While the lines move fairly quickly, I would definitely recommend getting there early because it does get busy.

DSC_0431 DSC_0479The Vic Markets also offer an opportunity to support local artists, fashion designers and cooks.

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If you do find yourself in Melbourne, I would definitely recommend going down to the Vic Markets for a great night (or day).

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