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Cross continental, Subcontinental Burger

This burger recipe took inspiration from my father and grandmother, who always made the most succulent, tasty hamburger patties and rissoles I had ever known when I was growing up.

The point of difference is the concept of what a hamburger should be. burgers are more than just meat!

If you walk into Mcdonalds, or most other fast food venue that serves American style hamburgers and cheeseburgers, with or without the lot, and various other delicious additions, the meat pattie is just that, MEAT, meat, and more meat. It’s bland, unseasoned, and invariably, not that appetising.. especially if you have known and had better.

The meat pattie that goes into an american hamburger should contain more than just minced and formed meat, with possibly a few disturbing additives, only known by their number codes, to hold the pattie together.

Greek restaurants seem to have the right idea- their rissoles contain onions, spices, vegetables, sauces and herbs… and they do it well. I could never really remember the exact classic taste to replicate it, so i decided to make my own personal version.


  • 2 large brown onions
  • 150gms Short cut bacon
  • one tablespoon cumin seeds.
  • One large carrot
  • 1/2 zuchinni (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 500gms quality lean mince
  • 4 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup strong Japanese Sake Rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce (optional, can cause blackening during frying process due to sugar content)
  • 4 Heaped tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 heaped tablespoons Strong Sri Lankan Hot curry powder (leela brand is good)
  • One tablespoon mixed Italian herbs
  • One tablespoon Oregano.
  • 3 eggs
  • One cup breadcrumbs (variable)
  • Rice bran oil for frying and cooking as necessary


Finely dice the onion and bacon, and garlic, Peel, and finely grate the carrot, mix well in a large mixing bowl to make the initial

Lightly fry well mixed ingredients in rice bran oil on high, then medium heat till reduced and caramelized, then lay out flat on a cold plate or ceramic dish to cool.

Put mince in a large mixing bowl, and stir in Balsamic vinegar, Rice wine, sesame oil and Sesame seeds, then three whole eggs, Italian herbs, oregano and curry powder.

Stir thoroughly, then introduce the cool pre-fried herbed onion and bacon mixture tot he mix and combine well.

Add breadcrumbs until mixture becomes “pasty” and smoother in texture, denoted by the firm, but not crumbly peaks and smooth surface the mince will form when the back of a metal spoon is run firmly though the mix.

The consistency of the mix is very important for burger making- the mince, bacon and vegetables must be well bound together by the egg and breadcrumbs for the burger pattie to hold together, and “squash” nicely, without cracking or getting misshapen when cooking.

Form balls of mixture around 3/4 of the size of a tennis ball, and place in a hot, heavy based frying pan with around 4mm of rice bran oil, and press down with a slotted flat ladle or other suitable implement to create the classic flat, round burger pattie. Cook each side till dark brown, and place on absorbant paper to drain and cool.

Serving suggestion:


  • Large Burger roll
  • Hot yellow English mustard
  • Thousand Island cocktail sauce
  • Pickled Jalipenoes
  • Polish Gherkins
  • Cheddar cheese

Burgers are best served hot, with hot, yellow english mustard spread thinly over the inside of the burger roll like butter, with cheese, pickles and jalapenos wither side of the pattie, then heated till the cheese melts- a microwave does the job best.


Artisan Home baked Fruit banana bread of Ballarat

This bread is a bit special because it uses a special yeast starter culture derived from brewing- the sediment and liquids from a ginger beer plant, and a long, slow fermentation process, and its super easy to make, even for novice bread maker like myself.

I like eating this for breakfast, and it makes a great start to your day.



400gm Flour

250 brewed ginger beer plant and sediment slurry

Handful of dried raisins or Sultanas

Dates (optional)

4 overripe bananas, mashed

Tablespoon Cinnamon.

50 grams whole-seed and ancient grain protein breakfast topper mix (i.e. 24/7 brand)

4 Tablespoons sugar

100ml + milk


  1. Combine flour, sugar and ginger beer plant slurry in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in sultanas, cinnamon and other fruit including bananas.
  3. Mix in seeds and protein breakfast topper mix sparingly- clumps, and surface seeds are great in this bread.
  4. Add milk if necessary to fully combine into a sticky dough consistency that is not too dry.
  5. Let stand, covered with a tea-towel for at least 2 hours, but preferably 12-24 hours for the yeast to consume the sugars and ferment.
  6. Shape mixture into a cobb loaf form (round) on a flat baking tray.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven.

This bread is quite heavy and rich, slice thinly, and toast in the toaster, server with a glass of milk or hot earl grey tea, and is great for breakfast.

The bread will keep at room temprature and refrigerated for a number of days, but is nicest on the first day of course.




Cheapest and easiest cheesecake with solid biscuit base

Cheesecakes are among the easiest cakes to make at home, and produce very impressive professional Berry_cheesecake_home_madelooking results.

A common recipe is to use crushed shop bought biscuits for a crumbly, loose base at the bottom of the pan.

That looks like too much work to me!

I’m quite a fan of shortbread, and incidentally, it makes an incredibly good base for a cheesecake-

Instead of crushing up packets and packets of  fairly ordinary tasting biscuits, par baking some awesome shortbread tartshells for your cheesecake yourself can produce a much more impressive result.

Adjusting the amount of sugar in the recipe will result in a harder, or softer, more crumbly base effect: more sugar= harder, less = crumbly and buttery.

Makes up to 2 large 30cm tart pan cheesecakes.



225 gms Butter

110 gms Rice flour

125 gms Raw, or caster sugar (raw is cheaper)WP_20160818_17_10_21_Pro

260 gms sifted plain flour.


  1. Soften butter in the microwave for 30 seconds or so in a large mixing bowl.shortbread_cheesecake_base_big_flan_tart
  2. Introduce sugar, creaming the butter with the sugar
  3. Tip in rice flour, combining well
  4. Gradually add in flour, mixing well.
  5. The mixture should be slightly dry, crumbly, and certainly  not doughy in appearance; and the crumbles should not have a greasy sheen.
  6. Spread crumbly mixture into tart trays, pressing shortbread_cheesecake_base_small_tartdown firmly to create a smooth surface that is around 5-7mm thick.
  7. Lay extra crumbles around the edges of the pan, pressing firmly against the edge, form a crust of 3-6mm thick.
  8. Bake at 180 degrees for ~25 minutes, till golden brown.shortbread_cheesecake_base_finished_product_big_smallshortbread_cheesecake_base_method_part2






Ricotta cheese, available at most supermarket deli counters, at $7-$9/Kg is cheaper and produces a better result, but packaged mascarpone or phillidelphia can also be used


700gms ricotta cheese

100gms sugar

3 large eggs

400gms berries, cherries or chopped fruit

Maple_pear_cheesecakeAlternate fillings can be oranges, pears, apples and cinnamon, drissled with maple syrup


  1. Crack 3 eggs into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Break egg yolks with a fork, and scramble.
  3. Add in sugar and cheese.chilli_maple_syrup_ricotta_cheesecake
  4. Mix thoroughly, consistency of egg/cheese should be liquidy and sloppy, like thick Greek yoghurt.
  5. pour cheese mix into par baked shortbread tartshells, whose tart pans have not been removed.
  6. Sprinkle fruit over surface of cheese filling liberally, patting down where necessary.
  7. Bake filled shells for 35-45 minutes at 180 degrees, or until exposed fruit looks jammy and sticky.

Let cool on racks, and pop tarts out of the pans when warm, but not hot.berrry_maple_syrup_pear_chilli_cheesecake_ricotta






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