Food For Four

Baked Panko Coconut Prawns

Posted on | June 3, 2015 | Appetiser, Asian Recipes, Quick Meal, Recipes | No Comments

baked coconut shrimp

How scrumptiously irresistible are these crispy panko crusted coconut prawns?

I’m seriously obsessed with anything coated with crunchy panko breadcrumbs. This Japanese-style breadcrumbs really add more texture and crunch to your dishes than the traditional breadcrumbs. Panko crumbs are made from specially made crustless bread and are bigger and drier than normal breadcrumbs. This breadcrumbs made popular from the Japanese dish Tonkatsu. But you can use panko to crumb your schnitzels, fish, seafood, vegetables, arancini as well as a crunchy top on oven baked pasta, casseroles… See why I’m obsessed with panko?

coconut prawns

This panko coconut prawns are a popular combination of flavours, and make a great appetiser. For the more health conscious this version is baked. To give the panko crumbs and coconut extra golden colour, I’ve pan roasted them separately first. The end result is a golden, crunchy and flaky prawns. I didn’t have time to make my own dipping sauce and used bottled sweet chilli sauce, or you can also dip them with Japanese mayo. These prawns are just delicious with an amazing contrasting textures of juicy sweet prawns on the inside and really crunchy crumbs on the outside. Enjoy!

baked coconut prawns

Baked Coconut Prawn Recipe

25 pieces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup panko
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup flour
2 eggs
ground black pepper
sweet chilli sauce
coriander as garnish (optional)
wedges of lime (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Lined a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine the panko crumbs and shredded coconut in a large bowl, and give the mixture a mix. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Toast the panko and coconut mixture for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Continuously stirring and DO NOT step away. Once the crumbs are golden brown, remove from heat. Spread onto a plate dish to cool down.

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the prawns ensuring to do both sides.

Whisk eggs into a small bowl.

For each prawn, coat with flour and pat off excess flour. Then dip into the egg mixture then coat with the toasted panko and coconut mixture. Press the panko/coconut mixture onto the prawns. Place coated prawns onto the baking tray.

Bake the prawns until the coconut is golden and turn the prawns over. Continue to bake prawns until cooked through and remember to only turn once.

Garnish the prawns with some chopped coriander. Serve the coconut crumbed prawns with sweet chilli sauce.

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Watkins Family Farm Pick Your Own Mandarin and Mushrooms

Posted on | June 1, 2015 | Family Fun, Fruit Picking | No Comments

watkins farm pick your own

The mandarin orchards in Wisemans Ferry opened their farm gates over the weekend for the start of the pick your own mandarin season. On Sunday we set out for a fun day of mandarin picking, even with a bit of light rain did not deter me. During the drive to the orchard the rain got heavier and my husband tried very hard to convince me to turn back home, insisting that we are the only family crazy enough to go fruit picking in the rain.  As it turn out we were not the only crazy family as there were lots of enthusiastic fruit pickers braving the weather at the orchard. I’m sure it would been even busier for not the wet weather.

Pick your own orchards are gaining popularity over the years as it provide a fun family activity and it’s a wonderful way to show children where their food comes from. Since discovering these pick your own orchards, we have made fruit picking as part of our family tradition. We try to make the most of the pick picking season and head out to the orchard several times during the fruit season. It really is a fantastic fun family activity as the kids can run free among the rows of mandarin trees and breathe in that fresh country air. Best of all you get the freshest and juiciest mandarins straight from the trees.

There are three orchards on Singleton Road in Wisemans Ferry and two of them is owned by the Watkins family. We’ve been to two of the orchards (Watkins Orchard and Ford’s Farm) previous years and this year we’ve decided to visit the other Watkins farm for the first time. This is the much bigger orchard of the two Watkins farms with 2100 trees on the property. They usually have mushrooms to pick as well but unfortunately this year they don’t have any. You pay $10 for a bucket and take a wander through the orchard to fill up with mandarins. You can leave a $5 deposit for clippers which are much easier to cut the mandarins from the stalk. The farm also have a large undercover picnic area with tables and chairs for you to use. Love that the farm also have sheep, goats and chickens for the kids to pet and feed. My children were delighted that the sheep and goats ate mandarins!

mandarin farms wisemans ferry

pick your own mandarins watkins farm

watkins farm wisemans ferry

pik your own fruit near sydney

mandarin picking near sydney

pick your own fruit sydney

mandarin orchards sydney

fruit picking hawsbury

mandarin picking watkins farm

pick your own mandarins hawksbury

mandarins pick your own

There are three mandarin orchards in Wisemans Ferry.

Watkins Orchard
1125 Singleton Road, Laughtondale (via Wisemans Ferry), NSW, 2775
Weekends 10am-4pm until August, mandarins $10 per bucket
Phone: (02) 4566 3107

Watkins Family Farm
1006 Singleton Road, Laughtondale (via Wisemans Ferry), NSW, 2775
Weekends 10am-4pm until September, mandarins $10 per bucket
Phone: 0418 233 466

Fords Farm
1275 Singleton Road, Laughtondale (via Wisemans Ferry), NSW, 2775
Weekends 10am-4pm until July, $2 per car, mandarins, limes, lemons and oranges $2/kg, cumquats $10/kg
Phone: (02) 4566 3127

Other pick your own mandarins and oranges orchards in Hawksbury area

Anderson Farm
968 Sackville Ferry Rd, Sackville North, NSW, 2576
Mandarins and oranges available
Phone: 02 4579 1120 or 0414 503 955
Call first before coming

Schofields Orchard
42 Yarramundi Lane, Richmond NSW 2753
Sundays 10am-4pm May until October/ November
Phone: 0411 119 701

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Korean Sweet Potato Noodles (Japchae)

Posted on | May 25, 2015 | Asian Recipes, Korean, Recipes, Vegetarian | No Comments

Korean sweet potato noodles japchae

I love eating Korean food but when it comes to cooking it my skills are quite limited. Jachae is one of my favourite Korean dish to make as it’s so easy and very tasty. I love the slippery chewy texture of the glass noodles made from sweet potato starch. This dish is so deliciously vibrant with many different vegetables. I prefer the vegetable only version but you can add marinated beef to the noodles as well. To maintain the best texture of the vegetables I like to stir fry them individually. This dish makes a perfect light snack or side dish. Love the taste and fragrant of the sesame oil and toasted sesame seed in this dish. Enjoy!

Japchae Korean Sweet potato noodles

Korean Sweet Potato Noodles

Serves 4


250 grams sweet potato noodles
1 bunch English spinach (approx. 200 grams)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water, stem removed and sliced
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 5cm lengths
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 heaping teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2½ tablespoons sugar


Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add the noodles into the boiling water. Stir the noodles so they don’t stick together. Cook for about 5 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy. Drain the noodles. Cut the noodles with a pair of scissors a few times. Place the noodles into a large mixing bowl. Add about 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil to the noodles and give it a stir so they don’t stick together.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the spinach until they are wilted (about 1 minute). Drain the spinach under cold water to stop it from further cooking. Squeeze the water from the spinach with your hands. Cut the spinach roughly several times. Place the spinach on the side next to the noodles in the mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, add the sugar, soya sauce and sesame oil. Stir until the sugar dissolved and set aside.

Heat up oil in a small fry pan. Add garlic, mushrooms and carrot. Cook until slightly soft then add capsicum. Cook until carrot and capsicum are soft then transfer to the noodles.

Cook the onions until slightly soft add the spring onion and cook for another minute. Transfer the onion and spring onion into the noodle bowl.

Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl together. Pour the soy sauce and sugar mixture into the noodles and give it a good mix. Taste the noodles and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

To serve, transfer to a large serving plate. Garnish with sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

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Breakfast Oat, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie

Posted on | May 22, 2015 | Breakfast, Healthy, Smoothies | No Comments

blueberry banana almond chia breakfast smoothie

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but it’s the most neglected meal of my day. When it comes to breakfast we make it a priority for our children to have a nutritious meal to have a good start to their day. But for my husband and I it’s not a priority as we’re too busy rushing around in the morning trying to get everything ready. Plus we are very sleep deprived parents so we rather have that extra couple of minutes of sleep than waking up early for breakfast. Most days I’m lucky if I’m out the door with a piece of toast hanging out of my mouth. For years the husband prefer the convenience of a Up & Go. I honestly don’t know how he drinks that thing almost every day of the week for years.

I recently bought a Nutri Ninja as it was on sale and I’m loving it. I know I’m very late to the smoothie bandwagon but having a smoothie for breakfast is the answer for a quick, convenient and nutritious breakfast. I love the beautiful flavours of this smoothie and better still it’s very nutritious for you. Love the combination of oats, blueberry, banana, yoghurt, milk, raw almonds and throw in some superfood like chia or flaxseeds for extra goodness. I also love that it’s so quick to just throw all these ingredients together and just blend and you’ll have something that tastes good and is good for you to start the day out great. Smoothies are such a great way to get add extra nutrients to your day. This smoothie is by far our family’s favourite. I’m still experimenting with the green smoothie but it’s not something I’ll drink for breakfast.

breakfast blueberry and banana smoothie

Breakfast Blueberry, Banana and Oat Smoothie

Serves 1 (makes 500ml)


3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon chia seeds or flax seeds
10 raw almonds
3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 cup soy/almond/low fat milk


Add all the ingredients in to the cup of your blender. I always put the hard (almonds) ingredients closest to the blade. So depending on the type of blender you have you may add the hard ingredients as first or last.

Blend all the ingredients until become smooth consistency. Pour into glass and serve.

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Dahlias at Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Posted on | May 4, 2015 | Flowers, Garden | No Comments

Thought I’d share some images of these gorgeous dahlias to help brighten up this grey and gloomy Monday. These dahlias were in full bloom when I visited the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden during Easter. I love their vibrant colours and the interesting formations of the petals, especially the dahlias which were shaped like a ball. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah is a great garden to visit and it’s one of our favourite garden to explore. Have a great Monday!

ball dahlia

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

Blue Mountain Botanic Garden

Dahlia Blue Mountain Botanic Garden


dahlia ball

Mount Tomah Botanic Garden Dahlia

Dahlias at Blue Montain Garden

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