Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

This week I made an old favourite that I think you might enjoy: Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice. I really like this recipe because it’s quick and easy (but you were expecting that!).  It also cuts nice and cleanly and looks really special with the swirls running through it. This slice travels well too (with a cold pack).

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

If you are one of those people who love the filling of a baked cheesecake, but not the base, then this recipe is for you! Actually the mixture is part cheesecake and part brownie.  You really can’t go wrong!

Here is the recipe:

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

Ingredients

  • 185g butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup caster cugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar, extra
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg, extra

Instructions

  1. Melt butter with cocoa.
  2. Remove from heat, add sugar, whisk in eggs.
  3. Stir in flour, beat until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into greased laminton pan.
  5. Beat cream cheese, extra sugar and vanilla together, add extra egg, beat until smooth.
  6. Pour over chocolate mixture, swirl through with a knife for a marbled effect.
  7. Bake in a 180 degree C oven for about 35 minutes.
  8. Once set (cracks will appear on top) and a skewer comes out clean, remove from oven and cool in pan.
  9. Slice when cold.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/marbled-chocolate-cheesecake-slice/

Store this Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice in an airtight containter in the fridge. Serve it for morning tea, afternoon tea or dessert (or breakfast!). Because it cuts so nicely, you can cut the pieces quite small.  This slice is ideal as finger food for a function or as a yummy dessert at your next dinner party.

Reader's Recipes book - Miranda

Where did I get this recipe from you might wonder?  Well, it’s in this old recipe book (“Miranda’s Taste of Country Life”) that I have with the spunky front cover. There are quite a few recipes that I make from this book.  I might share some more of them with you. They are all pretty easy and have ingredients that I usually have in my pantry. The recipes have been contributed by Weekly Times readers and compiled into this book.  I really like to try recipes that people recommend so this book is a little gem on my bookshelf, full of other people’s favourites waiting for me to discover.

I hope you try this Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice recipe and share it with your friends and family. They will want the recipe – share it around! This one is too good to keep to ourselves.

Trina xx

 

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Oppo mobile phone review

Back in July last year I upgraded to a new phone.  After much research, I settled on the Oppo R9S.  Because I’ve had it for over six months now, I thought I would give you my Oppo mobile phone review.

I am a bit of an Android girl, I must admit.  Never really bought into the whole Apple thing.  There are a few reasons for this, but I’m not here to bag Apple today, I’m here to tell you what I think about my Oppo R9S phone.

Here is the unboxing!

Oppo R9S mobile phone review

Unboxing the new Oppo R9S mobile phone

When I did my mobile phone research, I had to think about what is important to me when selecting a phone.  Apart from being Android, the next most important criteria for me is the camera.  We were preparing for our Europe trip at the time and I wanted to take my photos on my new phone and not take a separate camera. (You can see our Europe adventures here: long haul flight survival, London, Dublin, Paris, Rome.)

Here are the Oppo R9S features that appealed to me:

  • 16MP Front Camera
  • VOOC Flash Charge Five Minutes Charging, Two Hours Talking Time
  • Fast, Accurate and Responsive with Upgraded Touch Access
  • Internal memory 64GB
  • Expandable memory up to 256GB (micro SD card) – NOTE: Apple phones don’t do this!
  • Rear camera MP 16Mp
  • Front camera MP 16MP

Of course the Opps R9S has many other features, but these are the ones that appealed to me.  The price for all these features was very reasonable compared to the equivalent Apple or even Samsung phones.  If you are considering purchasing a new Android phone and the features above are important to you, then I suggest you consider an Oppo phone.  There are other models of Oppo phones too.  If you want something more expensive but an even better phone, then the Oppo R11 is worth a look (its front and rear cameras are both 20Mp).

I bought a flip phone case with some slots for my cards.

Oppo R9S in flip phone case

The photos from our Europe trip turned out so clearly. Out of all the photos we took (the other members of my family had Apple phones), the Oppo R9S took the sharpest shots.

The display and layout of the phone itself is very similar to how an Apple phone looks. It responds fast, charges fast and holds its charge for days at a time. It has fingerprint recognition too.

Since July last year, all my blog post photos have been taken with my Oppo R9S and I take it everywhere! I hope my Oppo mobile phone review is helpful for you.

Trina xx

Note: This blog post is not sponsored.

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Chocolate Fudge

I have been making this Chocolate Fudge recipe for many years now.  It’s another one of my go-to recipes that I think you should have! One of my good friends gave me this recipe when our children were young and I’m still making it. It can be easily varied which is something great about this simple Chocolate Fudge recipe.

Last night, after I had put my pyjamas on, I decided to make this fudge. It didn’t take me long to whip up and I left it to cool on the kitchen bench while I watched TV for a while.  Before I went to bed I popped it in the fridge.  This fudge is so quick to make and you can do it in your pyjamas! It’s fantastic!

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 400g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 200g dark choc bits (or chocolate melts)

Instructions

  1. Grease loaf tin (or bar tin) with butter and line with baking paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt butter, condensed milk, brown sugar and golden syrup over a low heat. Stir until boiling.
  3. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and fudge mixture is smooth.
  6. Pour into prepared tin.
  7. Allow to cool on bench, then chill.
  8. When set cut into small squares.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/chocolate-fudge/

Variations

This time I made my fudge extra special by adding in soft jelly lollies just before pouring it into the tin. You can also add in chopped nuts, marshmallows, cherries, dried fruit, etc.  Whatever your favourite lolly is – add it in!  Jelly babies work well.

Last night I was feeling extra hungry so I doubled the recipe, but the normal recipe makes plenty!  This made a full large loaf tin of fudge (I got the tin from IKEA.) This tin is a bit longer than your standard loaf tin.  Otherwise you could just use a square tin if you double the recipe – or use two loaf tins.

Chocolate fudge

To make this Chocolate Fudge as gifts (it’s brilliant for Christmas or Easter) you can cut it into 4cm x 10cm bars and wrap in greaseproof paper.  Tie the ends with string and it looks beautiful.

I hope you like this easy Chocolate Fudge recipe. I’m not pretending that it’s healthy.  It’s definitely “sometimes” food but I am a firm believer in a balanced diet!

Trina xx

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“The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult

One of my lovely friends gave me “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult for my birthday this year.  She knows I love to read a good “sink your teeth in” book and this one hit the spot!  I have read Jodi Picoult before and I love the way she tackles tricky subjects and throws me into an “oh, I don’t know what I would do!” spin.

I loved this book!!  “The Storyteller” kept me wanting more and was such a great read I just have to share it with you.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult Photo credit: the inkpotblogger (https://thepenandinkpot.blogspot.com.au)

It’s about 25 year old Sage Singer who is a baker.  She likes her job because she works permanent night-shift.  Who would want to have that kind of life?  Sage does.  She gets lost in her world of pastries and breads while the world is sleeping. It’s the perfect escape for her. She has a scar running down one side of her face and she is extremely self-conscious about it and it has caused her to become a recluse. The scar on the outside of her body is mirrored by a bigger scar on the inside of her.  She got her scars in a car accident.  She was driving.  Her mother was killed in the accident and Sage feels responsible. Her physical scar serves as a constant reminder of this tragedy.

Sage regularly attends a grief support group (I felt this was a bit out of character for her…but anyway….) and befriends an old man called Josef Weber.  After Josef and Sage become close, he tells her a secret about his past; he was a Nazi commander in the Holocaust at Auschwitz concentration camp. Sage comes from a Jewish background although she is adamant that she personally is an atheist. He tells Sage that he committed horrific crimes and killed many Jews. He asks Sage for an extraordinary favour; to forgive him and help him commit suicide because of how guilty he feels about what he has done.  Wow.  That is huge! What is she going to do with this? If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well.

Sage contacts the authorities about what Josef has told her and into her life comes Leo!  Leo investigates Holocaust victims and the potential prosecution of former Nazi officers. Leo likes Sage!  (and I like Leo for liking Sage!) There is a potential for romance here that spices things up a bit!

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult spine

In addition to this situation, is the story of Sage’s grandmother Minka (and her best friend Darija), who was a survivor of the Holocaust and was a prisoner at Auschwitz. Minka’s story is the actual horror that Josef himself claims he was partly responsible for. This section of the book was difficult to stomach at times mainly because I knew that it was based on truth. Jodi Picoult describes life at Auschwitz so well, I feel like I’ve been there myself. Minka’s information could help Sage and Leo ensure that justice is served to Josef Weber.

Another part of the plot is the story that Minka wrote during her turbulent life. She is The Storyteller. Writing was her way of escaping the atrocities that she faced every day of her young life.  Her writings are very fictional but you can see how she was influenced by what was happening around her at the time of writing.

I don’t want to give too much away here because there is a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming (I had to read the ending twice to make sure that I had read correctly!).

The Verdict

This book stayed with me in my head during the day when I wasn’t reading it and even though some parts are difficult to accept, I had to keep reading to find out what Sage would ultimately do.  Would she help Josef die?

Photo credit : the inkpotblogger ( https:// thepenandinkpot.blogspot.com.au )

Check your local library or book shop for “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult. I recommend it!

 

Trina xx

 

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Chickpea Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

This one is a bit of a mouthful to say and a delicious mouthful to eat. The chickpea sweet potato coconut curry recipe below was a winner at our house for this week’s Meatless Monday dinner. It is full of flavour.

Chickpea sweet potato coconut curry

Even though it’s still school holidays here in Melbourne, we had a busy day on Monday with friends over here and I didn’t want to have to worry about starting a complicated Meatless Monday meal once they had gone home.  I started the preparation for the chickpea sweet potato coconut curry earlier in the day and you can do that too.  It really did make the cooking of this meal very quick and simple.

If you are a vegan, then this recipe will suit you too.

Chickpea Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

Yield: 4+

Chickpea Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of carrots (about 2 medium size), chopped
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 small sweet potatoes)
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry paste
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk (either light or full fat)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup spinach or silverbeet, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the onion and saute for around 3 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add garlic and curry paste and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the carrots and tomatoes, stir to combine. Cover and cook for around 5 minutes or until carrots begin to soften.
  5. Add the sweet potato and chickpeas. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk and water (use the water to rinse the coconut milk tin) and mix well.
  7. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are fully tender.
  8. Add spinach and stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
  9. Serve over rice, quinoa or couscous and add a squeeze of lemon over each serving.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/chickpea-sweet-potato-coconut-curry/

Do ahead of time:

To make my day enjoyable, I did some preparation earlier in the day (and it didn’t take long).  I chopped the onion and carrot.  I also boiled and mashed the sweet potato, storing it all in the fridge until dinner preparation time.  Doing this sort of prep always makes me feel like I have my own cooking show and I can pretend to be Justine Schofield or Nigella Lawson, just popping in the ingredients as though we all cook that way! Just a little fantasy I have….

I can’t stress how important the lemon wedge is.

A spritz of lemon over the chickpea sweet potato coconut curry gives it a beautiful fresh zing. If you don’t have a lemon (or a lime would work well too), do what I did and pick one from the lemon tree next door (shh!).

Give this recipe a go at your house.  I know we’ll be adding it to our list of permanent rotation recipes. Tell me what you think in the comments below and feel free to forward the recipe to your friends if they like vegetarian/vegan food. (There are other Meatless Monday recipes on this blog too)

Trina xx

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