By Ashley Pianca I am a huge believer in the saying: ‘the fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach’. Food is a marvellous way to bring people together, so what better way to start the year than by making these recipes! Whether you are returning to UNE and catching up with old friends, or you are fresher trying to make new friends, these creations are an excellent addition to a long awaited reunion or even introductions. A brand new year brings with it a sparkling beginning and a multitude of opportunities to be grasped and exploited. I wish you all the courage to rise to the challenges you will be faced with and an insatiable appetite for love, laughter and—of course—food!
If you have any recipes you want Ashley to make, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peanut Caramel Popcorn
1 packet microwave popcorn 100g granulated peanuts 125g butter ¾ cup brown sugar 2 TBS honey
1 - Pop the popcorn as per the instructions on the packet and empty the contents into a large mixing bowl. Remove the corns that didn’t pop before sprinkling the peanuts over the popcorn. 2 - Place all remaining ingredients in a large microwave-safe jug. 3 - Heat in the microwave in 1 minute intervals, stirring between each, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened. This should take approximately 10–12 minutes. To test whether the caramel is ready, drop a small amount into cold water to see if it hardens. 4 - Once the caramel has finished cooking, quickly pour it over the popcorn and stir till the popcorn is well coated. 5 - Empty popcorn onto baking paper and spread out to allow the caramel to set. This should only take about 20 minutes.
Tip: Be incredibly careful when handling the caramel. Sugar has a very high boiling point so it will be extremely hot.
Chocolate Coconut Balls
1 packet of plain biscuits (I used Nice) 1 tin condensed milk ¼ cup cocoa 1 cup of coconut, plus extra for rolling
1 - Crush biscuits finely before placing them in a bowl with the cocoa and coconut. Stir these ingredients together before adding the condensed milk. Continue stirring until the mixture comes together into a bit of a dough. 2 - Roll the mixture into small balls before coating them in the extra coconut. 3 - These can be eaten right away, but are best left in the fridge to set for about an hour.
250g packet of marshmallows 200g packet of lollies (I used Snakes Alive) 100g granulated peanuts 200g silvered almonds 350g chocolate (I used dairy milk)
1 - Cut marshmallows in half and slice your lollies into small pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl along with the nuts. Roughly mix. 2 - Break or cut chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Be careful when melting it in the microwave remembering to only leave it in there for 10–20 seconds at a time. 3 - When chocolate is melted and smooth, pour over lollies and nuts and quickly stir until everything is coated. 4 - Tip mixture into a tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge to set. This should only take about 10 minutes.