A photographic food adventure

Hey guys,

This recipe is a bit of a cheat, I bought a jar of Tikka Masala sauce and added a couple of my own things but it was yum, simple, cheap and easy, which is the point of this blog so it definitely counts. Although, I’m sure Nurul can do better and I challenge her to do that! Although in hindsight it would have actually been cheaper to try and make it myself but I have NO idea how to make a curry from scratch so spending up to $5 on a jar of curry sauce was a good choice and $5 is still cheap.

As a vegetarian, lentils are a very healthy high source of protein and a great meat alternative. I don’t eat a lot of lentils but I should start eating more.

1 jar of tikka masala sauce (could also use butter chicken sauce or any other sauce of your choice)
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped and crushed
1 tin of lentils
Extra chilli if needed
1/4 cup of rice (That’s enough for me, you can make more if you like rice or are cooking for more than one person)
Naan bread from the supermarket or from your local Indian restaurant/take-away shop


First, boil salted water for rice.

While you’re waiting for your water to boil, open your tin of lentils. Tinned lentils are usually kept in brine, which is a gross brown liquid that I think smells like catfood. To avoid the brine, I always wash my lentils well so put your lentils in a colander and run cold water over them for a couple of minutes.

Add rice to the boiling water and cook til soft.

Chop and crush your garlic. (I really just wanted to show off my new knife, which I got from Countdown supermarket by saving stickers they give you after every $20 purchase). You could probably add diced onion too but I didn’t have one at the time. Like Nurul, every dish I make has a garlic or onion/garlic base, it’s called FLAVOUR. Although, I’m pretty sure, as a meat eater I never used garlic but now I’m unsure where I’d be without it. I use so much I can’t even taste it any more!

Fry the garlic in olive oil but not til it goes brown. Like Nurul, I start everything on high and turn it down when it starts to get hot. Garlic is best cooked on medium heat, it is gross as soon as it goes brown so it’s best to saute it on a low heat to get all the flavour  out.

Add lentils and fry on medium heat for 2-5 minutes. The lentils are already pre-cooked so you just need to heat them up.

Add your sauce, while on high heat then when it starts to boil, turn it to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While your sauce is simmering, take your rice off the heat and drain it (if you cooked it using heaps of water like I did).

Also while my sauce was simmering, I went to my local Indian restaurant and got a couple of pieces of garlic naan to go with the curry, naan is always my favourite part of a curry and although my local Indian restaurant (2 minutes walk from my house) makes terrible curry, it makes good naan so that was perfect for this situation.

Plate everything and enjoy!



Hello hello! This recipe is exactly what it is, kinda like chinese black pepper steak but for the people who have random items in their pantry [and who doesn’t have pepper. I LOVE PEPPER]

As you know I love stirfry, its just so easy, especially on nights like tonight when I was rushing around trying to have dinner before a meeting. I was so speedy that I managed to cook, eat, have dessert AND do all the dishes within an hour [and ten minutes] BE IMPRESSED.

So here we go.

1 small piece of beef steak [the stir fry kind I guess? schnitzel could do also, but there is not a lot i know about meat to make that kind of judgement.]
half an onion
1 tsp crushed ginger paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
pepper to taste [depends on how much you like pepper. i put PLENTY in]
soy sauce

Slice the onion thinly, slice the beef into strips or chunks. [ignore the things in that picture that don’t belong…like the coffee. all mine. muahahaha]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (14)

Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil first [as you probably noticed, i start all my dishes like this.. and I am not even kidding, its how the dish tastes so good. Onion and garlic and ginger as a base make things ridiculously deeeeelish!!]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (2)

Turn down the heat [had a discussion about this with the flatmates the other day, i tend to start off cooking things on high and then lower the heat before they burn. Not quite sure why, but it works for me!]
Add the beef strips and brown [if they are thinner than what i had then you may need to cook them for a little longer]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (3)

Add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add a tiny amount of water if it is too dry. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (4)

Add the soy sauce [and maybe more pepper] and continue frying until the beef is cooked through [or how you like it]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (12)

Serve on rice or noodles [and more pepper in my case] and enjoy!

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (1)

Note: If i had any red capsicum, or any capsicum for that matter, i would totally add that in there. Feel free to add any vegetables you like into the stirfry, or on the side. I didnt actually bother with veggies today. Bad omnivore, Nurul!]


Winter Vegetable Soup

Hey guys,

Winter’s coming, last week we had a “weatherbomb” with wind and rain and general coldness so I felt it was the perfect time to make soup.

This soup is very easy but you may want to freeze some of it coz it makes a LOT of soup, unless you want to eat soup for like 2 weeks straight. I’m not sure if it’s possible to make a smaller batch.


1 packet King traditional soup mix
9 cups water
Vegetables of your choice, diced into similar sizes (I used 3 potatoes, a quarter of a pumpkin, half an onion, 3 big cloves of garlic, 2 carrots and 4 sticks of celery)
A tin of tomatoes
A few tablespoons of tomato paste
Stock cubes (If you taste the soup after an hour or two and it tastes bland)


As I said earlier, this recipe is VERY easy, it’s basically just throwing everything into a pot and boiling it for 2 and a half hours, or until your vegetables are cooked and the soup tastes like all the flavours have been incorporated into the soup.

The first step is to chop your vegetables (I don’t have a picture of this, I was too hungry and desperate to make soup fast!). Dice them into bite-sized pieces but all similar sizes so they cook evenly but you boil them for so long they’ll all cook eventually anyway but it’s best to cook them at a size to make them easy to eat in a mouthful with other vegies and liquid (the rest of the soup).

Put the soup mix into a large, large pot.

Add water and bring to the boil on high heat.

Using medium heat, add hard diced vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, kumara etc, things that take longer to cook than other vegetables. I also added my garlic at this point to start adding flavour to the soup.

Cook those vegetables for 30 minutes before adding softer vegetables like leek, celery, onion, whatever else as well as your tin of tomatoes and tomato paste and salt and pepper.

Stir in the soft vegetables and cover soup for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste occasionally also, if the flavour doesn’t start to develop, add a stock cube or 4 to add flavour.

Using a fork, try one of the hard vegetables to make sure they’re cooked (it would be completely stupid if they weren’t by this point). Try some of the soup liquid also. Add more salt and pepper if it doesn’t taste flavoursome.

Spoon into bowls using a ladle, cut some nice crusty bread and enjoy!



Hey guys,

I finally got a new computer so I’ll be posting regularly again and by the looks of it, Nurul is all settled in as well and will also be posting regularly so The Young and Hungry is back!

I have a beautiful recipe for you today, it is never fail, which is such an important quality when baking. Baking is a lot more difficult than cooking, so much can go wrong so usually it’s important to follow the recipe EXACTLY.

The recipe is actually for vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting but this time I’ve taken the liberty of adjusting the recipe for chocolate, either way it is successful so worth a shot. It’s from the New Zealand Red Cross cookbook.

125g softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoons (or more) vanilla essence
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup self raising flour (If you don’t have self raising flour, use plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder)
1/4 cup cocoa (if you’re not using cocoa, add a whole cup of self raising flour instead and omit the cocoa)
3 tablespoons warm milk (warmed for 10 seconds in the microwave)

125g softened butter
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk, warmed for 15-20 seconds in the microwave
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
(The amounts in the frosting recipe can be halved or quartered, depending on how much frosting you need/want, it is also more open to interpretation, meaning you can taste it as you go and add more of anything if you feel it needs it).

Cupcake Method:

Preheat oven to 180C, line a 12-hold muffin pan with paper cases.

Place butter, sugar, vanilla essence and eggs into a food processor. Process for 10 seconds.

Add flour and cocoa, process again til combined.

Scrape down the edges of the food processor. Add warmed milk. Process again til combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared paper pans.

Bake for 17 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

(My cupcakes always look like little volcanoes, for some reason they always rise in the middle instead of staying flat like cupcakes should but don’t worry about this, it will be covered with frosting later on.) 

Frosting Method:

To make the frosting, cream the butter with an electric beater until very pale, which should take 2-4 minutes.

Using a low speed, mix in the icing sugar and cocoa alternately with the milk and vanilla.

Continue to beat until light and fluffy.

Pipe or swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. (I have bought plastic piping bags from the supermarket to decorate cupcakes, they’re pretty cheap in boxes of 4 or 5, which includes little nozzles to put on the end of the bags to make different patterns with the frosting but if you don’t want to do that, you can just use a spoon to put a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake.  If you’re using piping bags, put all the frosting into the bag (trying not to get too much air in the bag) and then snip the end of the bag with scissors).





Yaaaay I think this may be our first dessert recipe! Except Tory has one that she can’t upload due to her lack of computerness 😦 so I shall dub this our second dessert recipe!

My flatmate Emily and I made some apple pie to take to a friend’s house in exchange for some good, non-budget, coffee-machine coffee. YUMMM. Except after stewing the apples, we now have 3 cups of sugary apple-cinnamon flavoured syrup that we dont know what to do with… [so if anyone has any ideas… holla please!]

I got this recipe from here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/maryhenrysproperappl_67463
but kinda changed it a little bit to suit us, as we usually do. I used to be so fussy with recipes, but now that I can’t afford to follow the recipe as is, I have developed a creative streak. Woohoo!


2 1/2 cups plain flour
half a teaspoon salt
280g butter or margarine [im just guessing its 280, but in all honesty we just estimated…]
some cold water

5 small red apples or 3 large red apples [we used Eve apples]
sugar to taste [we used brown sugar…and LOTS OF IT… because it goes well with apples]
2 teaspoons cinnamon [again an estimation. i put quite a bit in though]
a teaspoon of vanilla essence [we actually forgot to put this in. oops. try it and let me know]

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Dice the apples and place in a medium sized pot. Cover with water. Add sugar/brown sugar, and cinnamon. Heat at medium, bring to boil, then simmer until the apples are soft. When they are cooked, turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Apple Pie (13) Apple Pie (14)

While the apples are heating, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt together.

Apple Pie (7)

Using your fingers, rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Apple Pie (12)

Add the water slowly, using a knife to stir, then use your hands to bring it together so it becomes a ball of firm dough that is still a good rolling consistency. Divide this in half [we did kinda 60-40 because we were using a Corningware dish instead of the round one they recommended, so the “pie lid” has to be smaller than the base.]

Apple Pie (16)

Roll out each half so it fits the dish that you are using, and remember to make the “pie lid” slightly smaller. Oil the dish [just in case] and line the base with the larger piece of pastry. Put this in the oven for a few minutes to begin the cooking process. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Apple Pie (2) Apple Pie (17)

Drain the apples well [so the pastry doesnt go soggy] and add a splash of vanilla essence. transfer the apples to the dish and cover with the second piece of pastry.

Apple Pie (3) Apple Pie (4)

Wet the edges of the pastry so it sticks together, and seal with  fork. [the fork also makes a cool design.] Peel of any excess pastry. With the excess, you can roll it into long thin pieces and make patterns on top of the pie, then using your fork, prick the pie surface lightly and transfer to the oven.

Apple Pie (5) Apple Pie (6)

Bake for about half an hour [apparently the pie is supposed to move when its shaken, but we didn’t check], then serve!

Apple Pie (18)

I did get a photo of a piece of the pie, but apparently when I am in the presence of delicious desserts my hands shake far too much. Sorry!! 😦 It was yum though! 😀 Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


OK I lied, its not THAT legit. It’s more of a cross between packet mee goreng, and real mee goreng
But before I continue, I’M SO SORRY about my unplanned gigantic hiatus… moving was more hectic than I expected, and for the first couple of weeks of Dunedin I lived off takeaways and two minute noodles [like one of those stereotypical poor students. It really does happen, guys.] So anyway, I was hoping to get a baking recipe in when I got back, but that kinda failed. Hopefully I’ll be in a sweet routine once uni starts up again and I can gift you with lots of delish treats 🙂 But in the meantime, hope you like this simple one!

PS: Photos might be a bit strange because I thought I would experiment with my phone this time 😀

half an onion, diced
3-5 cloves of garlic [this time I used garlic paste.. about a tablespoon]
2 cups frozen vegetables [my fav is the asian mix because it has capsicum in it!]
Flavouring sauce, stock, or some kind of chilli-based stir fry paste… [that sounds a bit confusing, but this recipe is so versatile that you can really use anything you want to flavour it. I used a packet Nasi Goreng paste, which is actually used for Fried Rice, but I thought i’d try it with noodles just for funsies.]
Packet noodles of any kind [most supermarkets stock packets of noodles that you can just chuck in boiling water for a bit and use]
Salt and pepper to taste

MeeGoreng (1) MeeGoreng (3)


Fry onion and garlic in a little oil until fragrant.

MeeGoreng (2)

Add paste or chosen flavouring and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the frozen vegetables.

MeeGoreng (4) MeeGoreng (5)

Stir the mixture until vegetables have been defrosted.

MeeGoreng (6)

Cook the noodles separately according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and add to the mixture.

MeeGoreng (7)

Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

MeeGoreng (8) MeeGoreng (9)

You can also meat to this recipe if you like, as long as its pre-cooked. As I said, very versatile. And I will probably show you fried rice sometime, but its basically the same method, but swapping the noodles for cooked rice. We will take pictures of that sometime 🙂


Hi guys,

Pesto is an amazing, versatile sauce for any meal. With this batch of pesto, I made pesto pasta (this recipe), pesto mashed potato and pesto on toast with cheese.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to buy pesto, it’s extremely easy to make and today, I’m going to teach you how from this Jamie Oliver recipe.

Garlic (Jamie suggests half a clove but as you’ll see, I used three haha but then it was a bit too overpowering so stick to just one clove)
Pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Lemon juice



Put garlic into a food processor.

Blend. Add basil and salt.

Blend. Lightly toast pine nuts in a pan.

Add pine nuts to blender. Blend.

Side note: This is where my camera went out of focus for a few pictures so a few steps are missing photographically but it’s not hard, just throw everything into the blender.

Add some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Blend. Add parmesan.

Add more olive oil until the consistency is correct. How do you know when the consistency is correct? You can’t see individual bits like you can in the above picture but it’s also not very runny. Also, keep tasting. If it needs more of anything to make it taste the way you like pesto, add more oil or lemon or even basil.

Chop tomatoes. Put them on a baking tray and into the oven at 200 degrees until roasted.

Boil pasta in salted water til cooked.

Toss a few teaspoons of pesto through the pasta. You don’t need much, it’s strong stuff. Add the roasted tomatoes on top.