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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Well Lookey Here...

So, I bet you see this picture and you think...Good God, she's taken a photo of an elephant turd.


What this is is the marvellous result of your mother being an obsessive compulsive grocery shopper!

You see, my mother, like a lot of other mother's it seems, has a disorder. It seems, even when we are in abundance of food and all things that can be ingested, she goes to the grocery store in a huff claiming that "Oh there's nothing for me to cook! Oh there's nothing for the boys to eat! Oh I've run out of dried chickpeas I have to go buy more strawberry jam!"

You catch my drift?

Hence why we have nearly double of everything. Two peanut butter containers. Two packets of chicken crimpy shapes. Two packets of pizza shapes. Two bottles of honey. Two bottles of soy sauce. Two bottles of sweet chilli sauce. Four packets of dried chickpeas...(?)

Back to the elephant turd. Look! Nuts! -->

I was rummaging through my pantry as I had the day off uni and found a sudden urgency to let my tastebuds be encapsulated by a dried fruit flavour. Needless to say, my mother's mental illness proved surprisingly helpful when I discovered a 1kg bag of almonds and around six packets of dried apricots. (Sweet Jesus.)

So I thought about it a bit and came up with a little recipe for Apricot Loaf. Kinda like Date Loaf...with APRICOTS!

Here's the recipe.

Ella's Apricot Loaf

125g butter
1/4 cup full cream milk
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
3/4 cup sugar (NOT BROWN)
Couple of tablespoons of honey
Half a cup of almonds (Cut up into itty bitty nutty bitties)
Cup of dried apricots (roughly chopped into pieces)
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of Chinese Five Spice
Dash of Nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.
2 eggs

Alright now the recipe could NOT be more simple.

Melt your butter and milk over a low heat in a saucepan.

 Add the eggs to this mixture and give it a whisk.

Add all of your ingredients, both wet and dry into a big mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Chuck it in any pan you want, it's better to have a loaf shaped pan as this sort of thing you slice up and have with a bit of butter and jam. Cook for an hour and fifteen or until your skewer test gives you a nice clean skewer.

Then eat warm with butter, honey or jam. (Or all three)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Probably the Best Two Moments of Cookie Jar Career to Date...

I thought I'd show you the result before I gave the recipe, just to show you how well this little baking adventure turned out. :) I've never been one for attempting to veil my vanity.

Sue me.

As anyone who bakes should know, it is probably one of the better human emotions that is suddenly awakened when what we bake/cook is met with huge amounts of praise and enthusiasm from the consumer.  

In my case, the consumer was my boyfriends sister, one of the people I am forever trying to impress with my culinary skills.

She approached me to make some cupcakes for a party she was going to. She had loved a batch of passionfruit cupcakes that I had made forever and a day ago and wanted these to be little replicas to impress her friends. In other words they had to be lick-my-lips-alicious.

Needless to say, I accepted. I was too keen to impress and though there was an insurmountable amount of pressure, I felt that this, this was my time to shine.  

We decided on vanilla cupcakes; simple and a classic. They were to be topped with a vanilla buttercream and a chocolate buttercream. Seriously, she couldn't of asked for a more simple batch. If I screwed it up then I could be classed as retarded.

The baking process went well, the cupcakes went in the oven and came out perfectly, evenly brown. They smelt just like the cookies from Subway actually.

My boyfriend ate all of the leftover mixture in the bowl as well, another good sign.

However, disaster was to strike. Due to Brisbane's ridiculously humid climate the buttercream we made would not hold its shape and proceeded to melt and ooze and pus all over the place. I felt the need to cry.

But I was too eager to fix this dilemma and thus the creative cooking demon within me was spawned and an idea of sheer genius dawned upon me. (I love how spawned and dawned rhyme...)

So with a quick few little niggles and adjustments, the result was BUTTERFLY CUPCAKES. :)

And the recipe.

These went down an absolute treat at the party and I'm told everyone thought they were from Shingle Inn. Jackpot!

Strawberries and Cream Butterfly Cupcakes


for the cupcakes...
225 grams unsalted butter
225 grams caster sugar
225 grams self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 
 for the filling...
as much thickened cream as you so desire
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
3 tablespoons of caster sugar
strawberries, cut into slices.
icing sugar for dusting


 Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Place 18 baking paper cases in muffin tins.
Combine all dry cupcake ingredients in a bowl, stir so everything is evenly distributed.
Cream the butter and the sugar together then gradually add in beaten eggs and vanilla one at a time.
When this wet mix is nice and creamy stir together both the wet and dry with a wooden spoon. Don't overmix.

Spoon the batter into your little case dudes.

Bake for 20 minutes or until they're lovely and golden brown. They'll smell fantastic.

Let them cool for five minutes when they're done, then remove the cupcakes from the tin and cool them further on a wire rack.

Now for the filling.
Prepare by putting all filling ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl.
Grab a whisk (or electric beater, I prefer man power though, yields better consistency.)
and whisk until the cream has been whipped into thickened submission.

When the cupcakes are cooled, cut a small oval little hole into the top of your cupcake. KEEP THE LITTLE THING YOU CUT OUT!!!!!

Spoon the cream into the little holes then cut the oval shaped thing you cut out of the cupcake in half. Place this in the cream to make it look like little butterfly wings. (See the picture if you don't understand...)

Do the same with your slices of strawberries, next to the cupcake wings and dust the bunch with icing sugar.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Yum Yum in Ma Tum

Sooooooo I was suffering from a case of insomnia and decided that deliriously baking would entertain me and hopefully soothe my savage non-sleeping beast.

I needed something satisfying; what was I to bake?

It was all too tempting to cook something that smelt and tasted warm, homey and simply fufilling so I decided on banana muffins.

But! I had a dilemma!

No recipes I had found previously had proved effective in delivering an epic banana muffin. Nothing is more disappointing than a failed muffin.

They so easily let you down when they're dodgy; isn't that feeling of dry muffin sticking to the roof of your mouth enough to make you gag? I believe there is a phobia of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. "Arachibutyrophobia".

I hereby rename it to "Arachimuffinophobia" (Arachi - sounds like an important prefix...)

So I sourced a recipe for apple and cinnamon muffins that had proved me well in the past and adapted it to make my own brand spanking new recipe for banana and coconut muffins. Thar she blows.

Banana and Coconut Muffins


3 cups self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
2 and a half mushy, ripe-ripe-ripe bananas (If you want to plan for the perfect banana muffin, put your bananas in the fridge for a couple of days to make them go all mushy and awesome.)
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 half cup apple and guava juice (or the juice of your choice)
Vanilla Essence
Flaked Almonds (for topping)


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Combine your dry ingredients together then gradually add all of your wet ingredients to the massive dry mix. Don't overmix so you get this mixture that's so smooth it looks like a massive banana diarrohea; lumps are okay in this muffin recipe. :)
Grease your muffin tins with lots of butter or non-stick cooking spray and divide the mix evenly. Sprinkle your flaked almonds on top of each one. 
Bake them for 30 minutes or until the skewer test shows they're cooked the whole way through!
Eat them warm with a bit of butter melted into them. Nothing is better.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Scallops and Calamari

So, Saturday night started off pretty shabby. Forced to remain at home and babysit my sibling the night looked to be a fair downer until I was assigned the role of cooking dinner.

No one in the house to criticize the amount of oil I use, the amount of mess I make or the amount of time I take, I proceeded to create two awesome little mouthwatering entrees myself, my brother and my boyfriend proceeded to devour.

S&P Calamari :)

Crisp and tender deep fried calamari are a sure fire hit in any joint. When we were in Bali, our personal chef taught us that rice flour allows for much crunchier calamari, so take heed. Also, it's gf which is good news for the startling amount of coeliacs (most are faking I'm sure of it).

450g squid (cleaned)
Juice of two limes
70g rice flour (or however much you need)
Sunflower Oil (for deep frying)
Lime wedges, sweet chilli sauce, tartare, soy sauce for serving.

Pull the head and tentacles from the squidy bodies. Discard the plastic like quills running down inside the body sacs and slice into rings. Squeeze the lime juice over, toss to combine, then marinate in the lime juice in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine as much salt and as much pepper and the rice flour on a plate. Drain your marinated squid dry then toss the rings in the flour mixture till they're all nice and coated.

Pour oil into a pan and fill it by two third and heat unitl the oil is near bubbling.

Working in batches, deep fry the squid until they're crunchy and brown (takes about a minute or so)

Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately!!!

Marinated Seared Scallops

Scallops are awesome!

12 large scallops
1 fresh red chilli
Soy sauce (I always say as much as you want)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp chopped mint
2 tsp chopped coriander
Olive Oil
1 tsp finely chopped ginger (Ginger puree is way better though if you have it :) )

Put the scallops in a bowl. Whisk together all your ingredients and pour over the scallops, making sure they all get a bit of everything on them.

Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the scalops and their dressing and cook each scallop, turning them occasionally, until when you poke them with your tongs or whatever the flesh feels slightly firm and springs back into shape.

Serve! So damn easy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where to eat.

Yo so last night I went to the "Euro" for dinner.

You may have heard of it, it's one of Brisbane's most notable restuarant's "Urbane" extension restaurants residing next door. The interior and what I can see of the bar as I am ushered into a deceptive little hole in the wall tells me that the joint is doing a pretty successful trade despite being fairly new.

It's pretty dim lighting but this creates an intimate vibe; you feel pretty at ease as the waiter shows you to your table.

Wine List = Awesome! I'm only new to the wine scene but they have such an extensive selection. It's mostly Australian despite the restaurants name. I had a red; I wish I could remember which...

Menu = HUGE. Like literally you're given an A3 sheet of cardboard and told to pick. Pretty dandy how they have a selection of cheeses and meats you can have to share in a massive group and choices that cater for the couples dining.

Yummy rye and wholemeal bread was offered to us at the start. I love this, little bits of rye crust in olive oil are just a fab way to start a meal.

I chose an entree of scallops which were cooked to absolute perfection. The flavours in that small bite verged on epic; I tasted tomato relish, aubergine, leek and mouthwatering traces of butter. They were on a little bed of puree which tread a fine line between snot texture and mashed potato, making it divine to hold in your mouth.

For my main I ordered the spelt tagliatelle with wagyu bolognaise. Pretty much fancy spaghetti. The meal tasted as though it was rushed; my pasta was very very al dente but overall it was a pretty sweet bowl of spag bol. Wouldn't order this again though.

Overall the "Euro" is a great restaurant, but it needs a bit of work. Especially in regards to service (we waited a good hour and a half for our main).

I'd give it a six out of ten, take your lover there, though be prepared for an honest fork out.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Sorry all for not posting yesterday; I literally have not had the time to fart in the last 48 hours due to work, play and study :)

Yesterday The Cookie Jar baked some absolutely beautiful butterfly wing cupcakes with strawberries and cream and I'll attach an easy to follow recipe and some photos when I have them all uploaded.

In the meantime I'd love to plug artist Mishy Lane (see she's a fabulous photographer and graphic designer and we are currently following her blog :)

You'll see more of her in our "Cookie" magazine which hits the net in April 2010. Yaaaaaaaaaay.

Now just to fill some space I have a lovely little cookie recipe that was sent to me by a fabulous baker-ette who I would trust with my sould to induce some tastebud related pleasure any day of the week. These cookies are a twist on the much loved Afghan cookie.


"Muhammads"14 oz butter

6 oz caster sugar

3 oz cocoa

12 oz plain flour

30z cornflakes

500gm pkt dark chocolate (The "Old Gold" brand works best :) )

Cream butter and sugar and then add flour, cocoa and corn flakes I do all this in the mixmaster! If you don't have a mixmaster then using a wooden spoon is very very okay.
Use your hands or an icecream scoop to make the cookies and place them on a tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 15 mins at 180 degrees.

Melt your choccy in the microwave in a little microwave-able bowl for 1 and a half minutes. (You can also use the double boiler method; however you like to melt chocolate) 
Stir and pour the chocolate over your cookies once they are baked and cooled. Then allow the chocolate to set.
Then eat.
What the hell else do you do with them? Throw them at your cat?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

we have the cure...

Well ladies, as you are all well and truly aware, we are subject to the media's influence. We see this everyday when we flick through the  tv channels, meander through flashy boutiques or turn through trashy magazines. Confronted with harmful imagery such as young girls dressed in designer outfits, dangerously thin models sucking back on durries and my favourite, twelve-year old girls sipping lattes. Specifically I'm talking about the media's influence on our thoughts on fashion and on body image, and the way it is at the moment really, it has to change.

All I'm saying is that never should you listen to those voices out there that are telling you "you can't eat this with this on it or you'll get heart disease", "you must have protein with every meal or you'll turn into a giant marshmellow" or "if you wear that coat walking will consume seventy-seven extra calories due to the weight of the buttons".

Things are incredibly convoluted in regards to body image and fashion due to the uprise in technology and the massive amounts of exposure we are now faced with in regards to confronting imagery. Every left right and centre websites are adorned with images and facts that make us feel uncomfrotable in our skins But what we must remember is that the people who are telling you all these facts are often as insecure and unsure about themselves as you are.

Embrace what you have on your butt, what you possess in your wardrobe and how you carry yourself on a day to day basis.

Nuff of that, more of this.

How great are these?!?!

The brand "Wildfox Couture" is a fantastic new find that celebrities such as LiLo, Eva Mendes and Paris Hilton have all been seen out and about showcasing. They're known for their tee's, but they do a whole bunch of other stuff that is covered with cute logos and graphics inspired by the 60's and 70's.  

They showcase items like this and a trillion million more on u.k. online shopping site

We're in love with those skeleton leggings; bloody brilliant fashion by the Brits. 

Peace out, email us at please and thankyou. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the question is...

It's the moment you've been waiting for. What you've been dying to know. It has been nagging at the back of your brain stem for quite some time now, but rest easy little cookie monsters, I have the brother pucking answer.

The best banana smoothie in Brisbane resides at Quench in James Street.

It's called "Bananaramamlamablahblahbal" something like that.

The first sip was tantalizing; I knew I wanted another. Even after a full lunch I knew this smoothie was not going to induce guilt, but rather take me on a tastebud journey that ravished me and left me wanting more and more.

I was not wrong. Perfect ratio of honey to fresh natural yoghurt to milk. Yummmmmmm.

You will not regret ONE second of it.

Coming in at a close second place is QUT's "Boys" cafe at the Kelvin Grove Campus which features a banana smoothie that is thick and luscious on the palette. Extra kudos due to the fact you can add blueberries or chai to the original smoothie.

Though, they could ease up on the honey.

Third place on the banana smoothie scale will require you to hit up Spoon Cafe. More specifically, the Spoon Cafe residing in James Street also. It's just opposite Quench, so it depends how you're feeling that day. The banana smoothie at Spoon is definately heavier and features more foam and also has a crapload of honey in it, making it super sweet.

Bonus about Spoon is you can get a fab lunch while you're there; I recommend the smoked salmon bagel or the calamari.

If you have a place that features an epic banana smoothie I freaking want to know about it. Email me at or comment me.


Monday, March 1, 2010

What we're tossing cookies over...

I feel and fear that I may have misled you little sheepies reading my streams of announcements regarding contributions.

We are not just a food magazine; we are fashion, we are lifestyle and we are music.

We are also people's say, and we like to have an opinion on everything, so if you're into that, drop us a line at :)

Nuff of that. More of this!

How gorgeous are these babies? New kid on the block Tristan Blair is certainly making us toss our cookies over these fan-fucking-tastic little booties he's spitting out this season. Link to his site at to froth over some more heavenly ankle huggers you will have no hesitation over buying. :)

Also, as a part of this post, we're giving you our favourite recipe for the figure conscious. That's right, we know we know. We can't keep giving you cookie and cakes and fashion at the same time, it just seems cruel.


What you need:
120mL brown rice
55mL wild rice (you can source this in your local organic store or speciality supermarket; though Coles is fancy nowadayz....)
25g dried cranberries
1 dessertspoon flavourless oil (such as sunflower)
25g walnuts
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 small red apple
2 spring onions
salt/pepper :)

You can send this salad out naked, but if you like your salad with substance....

1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder (you can also use your fave mustard such as dijon...mmm dijon...)
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
black pepper


***Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. This is for toasting the walnuts later in the method.***

1. Heat oil and add wild rice. Pour 120mL boiling water over this and add salt. Stir, cover and cook gently for as long as she takes baby.
2. Repeat this process with the brown rice except add 240mL of boiling water.
3. Stir and mash all your dressing ingredients together and then chuck in the fridge until you need it.
4. Toast the walnuts by putting them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush lightly with oil. Leave them in for around 8 minutes.
5. Chop up the rest of your salad ingredients and mix all the components together.
6. Add your dressing and it is showtime!