For those who don’t have an oven in their place or if you just hate using the oven, have no fear.. mug cakes are here! Now let me tell you, making a mug cake is as easy as brushing your teeth. All you have to do is either buy cake mix (which is what I did) or make the cake mix from scratch.
Follow the steps on the box and then make sure you whisk all the ingredients together so that there are no lumps in your cake mix. Once you have done that get out a large mug and pour about 1/2 of the mix into the cup. Make sure you don’t pour too much of the cake mix in because while in the microwave the cake rises quite a bit. You then put the mug into the microwave for a minute and 30 seconds the then the cake should be ready. Take it out test it with a toothpick or fork and if it still needs some time put it back in for 10-15 seconds. There you have it, a fast and yummy treat that doesn’t involve the oven.
Carly Jensen xo
Market Lane Coffee was my choice this morning for a relaxing start to the day. Sipping my strong cappuccino I indulged in my latest book by Eckhart Tolle, New Earth. I have only just started but it already has me intrigued and wanting to learn more. He speaks on how to let go of your ego and the need to constantly identify yourself with the things you own. The ego is your mind telling you who you are and what your suppose to do. Eckhart explains that we must learn to observe our thoughts and realise that we are not what goes on in our mind all day. You are not what your mind tells you.
The chapter I am currently on speaks about how constant complaining is your ego believing the story inside your head. For the next week try and catch yourself complaining or thinking negative thoughts; which is the first step in becoming a more concious person. For those who find themselves attached to material items, try and think about what they actually do for you. If you didn’t have them would you be any less of a person?
I am going to leave you there with some food for thought… Carly Jensen xo
Royal Croquet Club sets up in Melbourne for 2 weeks of delicious foods, live entertainment, Pimm’s Cups and of course croquet games. The Croquet club was more than your typical festival. It was a full on lifestyle event that catered to the hearts of many. If you are into trendy foods like myself then you would have been in heaven. The festival had every type of food you could imagine and the best of all was Gelato Messina with their Campbell’s soup inspired gelato. Their were four different flavours of gelato all with funky names and packaged in a different colour “soup can”. From a marketing and public relations stand point, Gelato Messina absolutely killed it with their branding. If you attended the Croquet Club, there is a guarantee you have a picture with their cool soup can. If you haven’t seen the craze yet, search the hashtag #royalcroquetclub or #gelatomessina on Instagram for tons of pictures from the festival.
To go along with the great food, the decorations, the lights and the music were very on point. It totally made you feel like you were transported to an old school festival with a modern twist. Pimm’s was also one of the main sponsors which made the cocktail lovers jump for joy as they got to have a perfect summer drink in hand. Festivals like these are so important as I believe because it takes you out of your everyday routine and shakes it up with imagination. It made me feel like I was 6 years old eating ice cream at a fair. The best part about things like the Croquet Club is that you are never too old to go out and enjoy yourself.
If you haven’t checked it out yet you still have today and tomorrow to go enjoy some Pimm’s and Gelato Messina!
Carly Jensen xo
Nestled away at the end of Clarendon Street is the newest Mexican hombre to join the Melbourne family. El Habanero is a fun modern and most importantly authentic Mexican joint that opened up about 4 months ago. Luckily for me I live right by it and get to experience their delicious tacos whenever I feel like it.
My two favourite things we ordered was the simple yet delicious chicken tacos. As well the suprisingly mouth watering deliciousness of the fish taco. Now normally I wouldn’t be open to eating fish but these tacos had some sort of chipotle cream drizzled over the top. Inside the taco you were presented with a cool cucumber salad, red cabbage, marinated meat all on top of a true corn tortilla.
To drink we had lime margaritas that had enough tequila in them to make me go loco. The best part about the meal was it was reasonably priced which obviously left us feeling content and not broke. For those looking for a new restaurant to try, why not check out El Habanero. Believe me, the hot sauce is hot so take at your own risk.
Carly Jensen xo
Looking for something new to do with your friends on the weekend? I got just the thing for you whether it is a special event or even just a Friday night catch up, dinner parties are your new go to. After the numerous bar nights one can tend to get a bit bored of their usual weekend routine with friends. This past New Year’s we tried something different and had a fabulous time. By having a fun dinner party at your house you get to enjoy everything from the food, company, decor and on top of that spend a lot less money then heading out to the club.
What we did was each couple had to come up with their own idea for a meal. Luckily we had 3 couples which meant one couple was assigned to appetisers, the next was the main meal and then last but not least someone had to tackle the dessert. For our dinner party we had bruschetta for an appetiser, halloumi (special type of cheese you fry), barbecue sweet chilli chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and lastly we topped it off with apple crumble, chocolate mouse and vanilla ice cream. The best part about the night was that we didn’t have to go to a restaurant to get top quality food. Everything tasted great and we had many laughs through out the night. Add some Moet and strawberries to your evening as well as pink roses for the table and then you are set to have a fun dinner party your guests will love!
Carly Jensen xo
My love for coffee is extreme and what more could a girl ask for then to receive a Nespresso machine for Christmas. Now this coffee machine isn’t your typical Keurig or Tassimo. This one produces delicious varieties of espresso which you can then create either a latte or cappuccino. Obsessed might be an understatement when I am talking about how much I love this machine.
It is quite simple to use, you start by filling up the back with water and making sure you do a system clean before having your coffee. You then add milk to the canister on the right and fill it up to the correct line. If you want a latte you will fill it up to the higher line and if you want a cappuccino you stop the milk at the first line. As well, you must take the spiral piece off inside the milk canister if you are wanting to have a latte because then it won’t give you the foam. You then select which capsule you would like to use and there are many different varieties and intensities to choose from. My top favourites are Roma, Livanto, Fortissio Lungo and Vanilio. You then lift up the silver handle on top and put the capsule in and close the top of the Nespresso. Then you select either the left side for a shorter coffee or the right side button for a larger one and wait for the coffee to come out.
I should mention you would obviously want to make sure you have a cup under and ready to go at this point. Press the milk button on the canister and let it heat up and it shouldn’t take more than a minute. Once the Nespresso capsule is emptied into your cup add your hot milk and then top it off with the foam. If you are having a cappuccino add some chocolate powder to the top.
The best thing about the Nespresso is that the coffee is always nice and hot and tastes like something out of a real cafe. I can now sit on my couch at home and enjoy cafe quality coffee.
Carly Jensen xo
Calling all spice lovers! I have a chilli for you that will literally knock your socks off. If spice is your thing then this chilli and you will get along great. It is a pretty easy recipe it just takes time to strengthen the flavour. The best part about this chilli is that you will have leftovers for days and the taste gets better as the days go on.
1) Ground Beef (500 g)
2) 1 Large Onion
3) 1 Red Capsicum (Pepper)
4) 1 Green Capsicum (Pepper)
5) Kidney Beans (3 Cans)
6) Mixed Beans (1 Can)
7) Crushed Tomatoes (2 Cans)
8) Corn (1 Can)
9) 1 Carrot
10) 1 Celery
11) Chilli Powder (2 Tablespoons)
12) Cayenne Pepper (Half a Teaspoon)
13) Cumin (1 Tablespoon)
14) Grated Cheddar Cheese
15) Sour Cream
16) Salt n Pepper
17) Sourdough Bread
Start by cooking the ground beef and chopped up onion together in a large saucepan. Cook the meat thoroughly so it is completely brown (10-15 minutes). Cut all your vegetables into bite sized pieces then add all ingredients into pot except the celery, corn, sour cream and cheese. Cooking on medium heat, stir all the vegetables and spices together. Leave this to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Add the celery and corn into the pot during the last 10 minutes. Final steps are to dish the chilli into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream then serve with your heated up sourdough bread and butter. You are now officially ready to enjoy your delicious spicy chilli!
Carly Jensen xo
Food Credit: Nick Thompson
If you are ready to be transported straight to Italy then make your way down to Etto in South Melbourne. Grab a table outside and twirl some delicious pasta on your fork in any shape or size you want. Whether you are into Bolognese, Napoli, Pesto or Alfredo there is something for everyone here. With a laid back atmosphere and quick wait times, the food will be in front of you in a matter of minutes. Wherever you are in Melbourne, there is no excuse not to get yourself to Etto and indulge in carbs galore. I love all types of pasta but I would recommend trying the Wagyu meatballs with a nice Napoli sauce over your choice of pasta.
Hope to see you there,
Carly Jensen xo
Photo Credit: marketingmag.com.au, richyvong.com, urbanspoon.com
Now if you guys are like me then you will agree there is absolutely no better dessert than red velvet. Whether it is cake or cupcakes there is just something about that cream cheese icing I just can’t get enough of. I recently stumbled upon a cute cafe that served red velvet muffins so I thought I would find a recipe that will let us all be able to enjoy these delicious treats.
Red Velvet Muffins:
75g butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1½ cups flour
¼ cup BOURNVILLE Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon no taste red food colour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
250g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 cup full cream milk powder
2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
CREAM the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and combined buttermilk and food colour and beat just to combine.
COMBINE the vinegar and bicarbonate soda and then stir through the cake mixture.
SPOON into 12 x 1/3 cup capacity patty paper lined muffin pans. Bake in a moderate oven 180oC for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely.
BEAT together the remaining ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled muffins and serve immediately.
Carly Jensen xo
Recipe from cadburykitchen.com.au
Healthy food and drinks can be quite daunting to people when they have grown up on Kraft Dinner, chicken nuggets and cupcakes but for all those worried they won’t like a healthy organic smoothie let me reassure you, if I can drink one and enjoy it, so could you. Now let me first start by saying, yes there are a lot of crazy ingredients you will probably roll your eyes at but once everything is blended together it is quite a delicious and healthy alternative from your regular milkshake. Smoothies are good to have for breakfast, snacks, and they are packed with nutrients and they taste great! I have recently discovered a delicious little place called Combi that understands exactly what people want when looking for a smoothie. Not only do they look good, they are so healthy you wouldn’t believe it and everything they use is organic. I am always in search of cute places to eat and so for someone like myself Combi is the perfect place. For all those who are not lazy and could make these delicious smoothies themselves here is the recipe for my favourite smoothie called “Liquid Passion.”
Passion fruit, berries, mango, coconut
flesh, raw fermented protein powder,
house made nut mylk
Hope you enjoy,
Carly Jensen xo
Photo taken off Google – broadsheet.com.au