2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

These Oriental Chicken Rice Paper Rolls are so fresh, healthy and colourful. Great for a nutritious lunch or delicious snack. With all the colours and flavours, you can’t taste the healthiness! Next time, I think I would add rice noodles to the filling. I love making rice paper rolls, as there are so many flavour options. You could easily adjust the filling and dipping sauce to suit your taste: tofu or seafood in place of chicken, celery or beetroot, serve with a peanut satay sauce instead of soy, or even make a fruity rice paper roll with berry and banana filling. You could also deep fry the rolls to make spring rolls. The possibilities are almost endless! Don’t worry if you don’t like them, apparently you have to try something 8 times before you begin to like it.


Don’t eat them after the day they’re made, they don’t taste as fresh and end to go soggy. Make sure to slice the vegetables thinly and don’t overfill the wrappers because the rice wrapper easily rips and is difficult to roll up neatly. Tie them in plastic wrap for easy transportation. Go ahead and alter the ingredients, but this is my own recipe. Or add some chopped peanuts or cashews. This is probably the longest list of ingredients ever in history of k-e, but it’s worth it!


Yields: 16 rolls

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 10 min



350g chicken breast, chopped into stir-fry sized pieces

½ green chilli, cut finely

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 spring onions, sliced

1 teaspoon mint, roughly torn

1 teaspoon coriander, roughly torn

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice blend

1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine

Dipping Sauce:

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

½ green chilli, cut finely

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon roughly torn coriander

2 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce


16 rice paper roll wrappers

1/2 continental cucumber, cut into thin strips

½ red capsicum, cut into thin strips

½ green capsicum, in thin strips

1 carrot, chopped

¾ cup snow pea shoots

Cooked chicken pieces (from above)


  1. Chicken: Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add strips of chicken. Cover for 30 min to allow flavours to infuse.
  2. Cook in a fry pan over high heat for 10 min, adding 2 tablespoons of water to the fry pan. Set aside while you prepare everything else.
  3. Dipping sauce: Add all ingredients and mix, until sugar dissolves.
  4. Rolls: Fold the bottom up, then right in, then top down, then left in. Like a nappy, a delicious vegetarian nappy. Be sure to only use a small amount of filling, or the rolls wont turn out properly. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!




Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls

If you liked this Oriental Chicken Rice Paper Rolls recipe, you might also like:


Vegetable Salad Rolls The Fit Housewife



Rice Paper Rolls With Shrimp and Avocado The Little Things



Fruit Filled Spring Rolls Veg Web

Hot apple cider

Nothing beats a mug full of steaming hot apple cider on a cold Winter’s day, as a healthier alternative to hot chocolate or coffee. I think I’m a bit late for that, as yesterday as the first day of Spring! Also, this is Kitchen Essence’s first drinkable recipe!


I loved cooking this, the aroma filled up the whole house.

An iced version could easily be prepared — cool liquid in fridge, pour into glasses and top with ice.

Hot apple cider is also called mulled cider, according to Wikipedia.

I didn’t have time, but you could always squeeze your own apple juice. You could also reheat the mixture in a saucepan, but it wont be as bubbly.

I need some synonyms for yummy and delicious, I use them too often to describe foods on our blog. I definitely want to make it again!

Next time, I think I would add some freshly grated nutmeg or star anise, but this still tasted nice.


Variation: try replacing the apple juice with cranberry juice to make a hot cranberry cider.


Yields: 6 Servings




Preparation time: 5 min

Cooking time: 16 min


6 cups apple juice

1 orange, peeled with a knife into long pieces (only rind)

3 cinnamon sticks

9 whole cloves

1 cup plus a splash of unflavoured mineral water



  1. Combine apple juice, orange strips, cinnamon, cloves and 1 cup mineral water in a medium saucepan, bringing to the boil at medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat once bubbles start appearing to medium low, and cover, simmering for 15 min.
  3. The mixture should smell aromatic and fragrant. Strain through a sieve to discard the solids.
  4. Add the ‘splash’ of mineral water (amount to your liking) and pour into mugs, ready to serve.


Adapted from "School Day Lunches".

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:


Apple Cider Doughnuts from desserts for breakfast



Apple Butter from teacher-chef



Caramel Apple cider cookies from gimme some oven.


Parmesan Crisps

Who is excited about the 2012 London Olympic games? We are! Go Australia! (and Sweden.) This would be a great snack to eat while watching the Games. We have been practically glued to the television. My favourite event is the gymnastics (sisters 1 and 2 do gym on the weekend) Even if you aren’t having an Olympics party, Parmesan crisps are still great!


This recipe is among one of the simplest methods ever! Serve as a garnish, canape, with soup or as I did, with sweet chilli sauce. Here, I used a pinch of sweet paprika and dried tarragon, but you could use anything — for example pine nuts, sesame seeds, garlic granules, oregano or even cinnamon! Dried herbs work better than fresh. Just experiment and use your imagination.



Yields: 18 crisps

Preparation Time: 6 min

Cooking Time: 5 min



100g grated Parmesan

Spices/seeds/nuts (optional)




  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a large baking tray and line with baking paper.
  2. Fill a small egg cup with about 2 tsp of the Parmesan. Quickly tip onto a baking sheet sprayed with oil and repeat.
  3. Sprinkle your crisps with seasoning and bake for 5 minutes. The edges should be golden brown while the interior should be just a little chewy.

    Note: When you take the cheese crisps off the tray, use a spatula/pancake flipper and do so carefully, as they will be soft and melty, but will harden once cooled.



You might also like:



Parmesan munchy mix from circle b kitchen



Paciencias from the winter guest



Semolina Cookie from kitchen experiments

I think my title perfectly matches the taste of this confection. Try it, you’ll want more. The only problem is it definitely isn’t healthy, think fat and sugar….

Anyway, it would look lovely tied in a cellophane bag for a gift. I think Oreo is my new favourite fudge flavour!

Feel free to double (or triple) the recipe, we did! The Oreos soften a bit once nestled in the fudge, but that doesn’t affect the taste.

“Cupcake” (that’s me) had to provide some treats for her school ‘cake and jelly day’ and these sold out! They were so nice we made them again… and again.

I found the recipe here: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/26116/cookies+and+cream+fudge and I definitely recommend you taste it.

Lastly, I dedicate this recipe to one of my best friends, Alice.


Yields: 15 pieces fudge

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Irresistable fudge

Oreo fudge


Cooking time: 20 minutes



395g can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp glucose syrup

125g slightly salted butter, sliced into cubes

200g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

½ 150g packet Oreos, broken in a ziploc bag



Grease a 4cm deep, 20cm square pan and line with baking paper, overlapping a bt over the sides for easy removal later.

Place milk, sugar, syrup and butter in a saucepan over low heat, cooking and stirring without boiling for 10 min and the mixture should thicken.

Increase to medium-low heat and cook for 6-10 min. The mixture should come away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and Oreos. C

Cover with plastic wrap and set on the bench for ½ an hour, then place in the refrigerator until firm.

Cut and serve.



-Fudge sets quickly, so move fast when pouring into the pan

-Store fudge for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container once cut


Other worthy recipes online

http://drgateau.com/?p=2518 from The Island Of Dr Gateau

http://www.recipegirl.com/2008/08/28/cinnamon-fudge from Recipe Girl

http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2010/12/oreo-truffles from Chocolate and Carrots