Category: Snacks

Turning Japanese – 1989 Japanese Snack Plate

Konichiwa dear people o’ the Internet. 

Today we are exploring the first part of a two-part series taken from the pages of Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989 with a gorgeous Japanese snack plate.


On the plate today we have Japanese Fried Chicken, Prawn Canapé’s, Radish Canapés, edamame beans, wasabi and mayo!  This is so pretty, perfect for a Spring brunch! 

The magazine comes from a time when ingenious recipes and inventive ideas may have involved giving your guests a bowl of roses to munch on.  Yummy!


Roses aside,  we are putting some Spring flavours in full bloom on today’s Japanese snack plate. Just as an aside though, guess which day the J key on my laptop decided to break, meaning  it had to be hit about four times harder than all the other keys.  The sound track for the writing of this post was tap, tap, tap THUMP tap, tap, tap THUMP.

Minor typing difficulties aside, lets turn our attention to some hors d’œuvres for our Japanese snack plate.

Japanese Stuffed Radishes

Could not be simpler and the crunchy peppery radish is delicious with the salty punch of the caviar. Simply slice your radish down the middle of the stem, then scoop out a small hollow in your radish and fill with caviar.  I think nowadays if you were making this you would use tobiko instead of normal caviar but maybe that was readily available in 1989.  Come to think of it, I have no idea if it is readily available now!

japanese-snack-plate2Stuffed Prawns

Pardon me for having two things stuffed with caviar in this post but seeing as I had to buy it specially, I wanted to get some bang for my buck.  Also, if it was good enough for Vogue Entertaining in 1989 its good enough for me!

japanese-snack-plate3This is also very tasty with this time a contrast between the sweet prawn meat and the salty caviar.  Add a dob of pungent wasabi and some creamy mayo and you have perfection!  The original recipe had the prawn heads left on.  I took mine off.  I just think it is easier to eat with head and shells gone.

It is important to skewer the prawns so they stay straight.

japanese-snack-plate4To make these you will need:

  • 12 medium green king prawns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 25g black caviar

Place a satay stick through the body of each prawn to keep it straight.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop the prawns in and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the water and leave to cool. 

Remove the satay sticks and remove the heads and shells, leaving the tail.  Split the prawns down the back with a sharp knife and remove the digestive tracts.  Fill the tract cavity with a little caviar.  Repeat.

Soy and Ginger Edamame (loosely adapted from A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder)

These are not from Vogue Entertaining Oct /November 1989 but make a tasty and colourful addition to the snack plate. 

  • 200g edamame in pods
  • 1/2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • pinch of sugar

Cook the edamame in boiling water  for 2 minutes.  Drain and refresh under cold water.  Pop the beans from their pods.  Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.  Pour over the edamame and sit for at least an hour to let the flavours absorb.  Strain and add to the plate.


Japanese Fried Chicken

I did not make this for the snack plate.  We had it for dinner the night before but I made extra so we could have it on the plate.  This is so good.  Huh…it’s fried chicken, like it was ever going to be bad!  This was great hot from the fryer in the evening and also super eaten cold  the next day – it was not too greasy like a lot of fried chicken as leftovers and still quite crispy, although it is not a thick southern style coating.

japanese-snack-plate6Here’s the recipe!


Japanese Fried Chicken
A delicious Japanese take on fried chicken
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  1. 500g chicken breast meat, skin on
  2. 3 tsp freshly grated ginger
  3. 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  4. 1 spring onion chopped finely
  5. 2 tsp sesame oil
  6. 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  7. 1 tbsp mirin
  8. 1 tsp wasabi paste
  9. 1 small dried chilli, chopped
  10. pinch of black pepper
  11. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  12. 2/3 cup cornflour
  13. vegetable oil for deep frying
  14. Mayonnaise, wasabi to serve
  1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  2. Make a marinade of the ginger, garlic, spring onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, pepper and chilli.
  3. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Mix eggwhite and cornflour well.
  5. Add the chicken and marinate.
  6. Heat the oil.
  7. Deep-fry spoonfuls of the chicken mixture until golden brown.
  8. Drain onto crushed kitchen paper and keep hot whilst the rest of the mixture is cooked.
  9. To serve, spread on platter with dobs of mayo and wasabi
Adapted from slightly from Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989
Adapted from slightly from Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989
Retro Food For Modern Times
 That’s it from me, have a great week! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2













Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes

Okay November I know you’re here.  But I also need you to be really quiet for a couple more posts because I have two more things I made celebrating Old Bay October.  So, for now, we’re just going to pretend this is still October so I can talk about these Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes.Old Bay Horseradish TomatoesI am very fond of a Bloody Mary and wanted to do something with Yinzerella’s Old Bay and Horseradish Bloody Mary which is a totally awesome BM in itself.  But I also wanted to put my own twist on it. 

My first thought was to make Bloody Mary Jello Shooters and serve them in tomatoes.  I had some leftover horseradish mascarpone from a braised beef dish I had made and my plan was to make the Bloody Mary Mix, add some gelatine and pour it into halves of Black Russian tomatoes. Then when nearly set to add a teeny dollop of the horseradish cream, right in the centre

In my mind, it looked beautiful, kind of like a target with the dark blackish green of the Black Russians, creating a rim around the bright red jelly which in turn surrounded a perfect circle of horseradish mascarpone. 

That we are not  talking about Old Bay Bloody Mary Jello Shots should give you some idea of how that idea turned out. 

Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes2

Let’s’ just agree to never speak of them again. 

So there I was.  I hadn’t yet found what will now be the final Old Bay recipe so this was going to be my final post for Old Bay October and it was TERRIBLE.  I had run out of the Old Bay Yinzerella has sent me so I had even made some Old Bay specially for it.  (There are about a thousand recipes for Old Bay on the interwebs – I chose the one from Leite’s Culinaria.) I used my last bit of real Old Bay for a side by side taste test and it was pretty damn close so this will now be my go to recipe. 

Home Made Old BayHowever, I was now without a grand finale! 

But I had that horseradish mascarpone.  And some cherry tomatoes.  And I could make another Bloody Mary…..I thought at the very least I could make an unusual garnish for the Bloody Mary. 

Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes3So I did.  And it was really nice – creamy, spicy and with a good kick of horseradish.  So I made some more. 

Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes4They soon went from being a garnish to being a snack to munch on whilst sipping the Bloody Mary.   They worked really well with it but would be super as a tapas or amuse-bouche or a plain old snack  without a Bloody Mary. 

There are two tricky bits to make these.  The first is scooping the innards out of the cherry tomatoes which is fiddly and BOOOOOORING.  And you have to pay attention because they can split quite easily.  Some good background music is a must!

The second is that it is quite tempting to pop one (or two) into your mouth as you make them.  Just make sure that some make it to the serving plate!

Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes5Have a great week  Next up, the Old Bay recipe the fussiest eater in the world declared “the best chicken ever”.  It’s quite a thing!  See you then!

Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes

Old Bay Horseradish Tomatoes


  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 115g Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tbsp horseradish (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Old Bay (or more to taste), plus a bit more to sprinkle
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut the top off the cherry tomatoes and scoop out the insides. I used the very smallest setting on my melon baller to do this. Turn them upside down to drain any juice and/or wipe the inside with some paper towel. You need them quite dry.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the other ingredients and mix well.
  • Pipe or spoon into the tomato shells.
  • Sprinkle with additional Old Bay.
  • Serve with your favourite Bloody Mary or on their own.
  • Enjoy!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Cheese and Date Night

If we are at home on a Friday, we don’t usually eat a big meal, just usually have a couple of snacky things here and there. 

Friday Night Snack Plate 1Tonight’s snack plate had a distinctly retro feel so I thought I would share it with you!

Cheese and Date Bread

First up, we have some Cheese and Date Bread, courtesy of The A-Z of Cooking.  We have jumped somewhat forward here in that this recipe appears under G – Good Health, when technically we are only up to D – Drinks and Dips. And whilst Drinks and Dips are usually  good Friday fare, tonight it was something different.

Cheese and Date BreadI was intrigued by the idea of Cheese and Date Bread.  I really wasn’t sure how the sweetness of the dates would go with the rest of the ingredients.  These fears were completely unfounded.  And my bread looked just like real proper bread!

Cheese and Date Bread2
Cheese and Date Bread2

 If somewhat lopsided…

Cheese and Date Bread3
Cheese and Date Bread3

The bread is pretty good plain but if you want to take it to a whole new level?  Toast it up. 

Cheese and Date Bread4
Cheese and Date Bread4

 Cheese and Date Balls

Like I said, initially I was hesitant to make the Cheese and Date Bread.  What changed my mind was finding this  recipe for Cheese and Date Balls:

Epicurious – Cheese and Date Balls

Of course I made mini balls – because that’s how I roll. Also, I swapped out the lemon in the recipe above for a teeny splash of vermouth. 

Cheese and Date BallsMmmmm…blue cheese, walnuts and dates spread on toasted Date and Cheese Bread.  Life is good!

Cheese and Date Balls2
Cheese and Date Balls2

 But wait…there’s more. 

But first a little bit of disclosure.  I am actually trying something new tonight which is to cook (ok, assemble, I had actually cooked everything beforehand), photo, write, review and post all in the one night.  Normally this process can take WEEKS. I am also doing it whilst drinking a rather large martini which we will get to in due course.  So, if the end of this devolves into absolute gibberish, you know why and apologies in advance. 

Those olives you see on the plate?  Aren’t just any olives.  They are:

Martini Drenched Olives

Normally, you put your olive into a martini.  In this recipe, you put some martini into your olives!  This is so simple and really adds a new and different flavour to some otherwise ordinary olives. 

Martini Drenched Olives
Usually, you put a olive in your martini. This recipe adds a little martini into your olives!
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  1. 2 cups green olives (I used stuffed olives because I had them)
  2. 3 tbsp vodka
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp dry vermouth
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp shredded lemon zest
  6. 8-10 cracked peppercorns
  1. Rinse the olives under cold water and drain.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients.
  3. Place the olives in a bowl.
  4. Pour the other ingredients over.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (I kept mine in the fridge for nearly a week).
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Donna Hay
Retro Food For Modern Times
 But you know what?  If your going to have some martini drenched olives, why not make also make a Drenched Dirty Martini.  It is Friday after all!

Drenched Dirty Martini2
Drenched Dirty Martini2

 The Drenched Dirty Martini is a dirty martini made with Drenched Martini Olives. 

Drenched Dirty Martini
A dirty martini with a twist!
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  1. Splash dry vermouth
  2. 90ml vodka
  3. 1 tbsp liquid from Martini Drenched Olives
  4. 2 Martini Drenched Olives
  5. Ice cubes
  6. Martini Glass
  1. Swirl the vermouth in the glass and discard.
  2. Add the ice cubes.
  3. Combine the vodka and olive liquid. Add to glass.
  4. Add the Martini Drenched Olives
  5. Enjoy!
Retro Food For Modern Times
Drenched Dirty Martini
Drenched Dirty Martini

 Have a great weekend!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2      PS – Love to hear your thoughts on the quick and dirty post.  I live in awe of the bloggers who manage to do something daily and would love to be able to increase my output.  Your feedback on me just banging something out like tonight v agonising over every comma is most appreciated! Thanks as always. xx

After School Snacks – Date Crunchies

Part Two of A in The A-Z of Cooking concerns itself with one of the best meals of the day, the after school snack.

I chose to make the Date Crunchies purely on the basis that I had every single ingredient already in my pantry.

That never happens! 

Date Crunchies2
Date Crunchies2

But first, two intros to After School Snacks.  The original from The A-Z of Cooking

 “Welcome home your hungry young scholars with something nourishing to tide them over until suppertime”

May have pleased mothers but set children all over the world weeping. They didn’t want something nourishing, they wanted something chockful of sugar with maybe a bit of artificial colouring thrown in. 

Not so my After School Snacks Haiku:

Hungry After School?

Dates and Oats Make Good Crunchies

Yummy for your tum.

Did I miss a career in marketing or what?

And…we’re done with the poetry.  Trust me.  There will be no sonnets to breakfast food, no odes to the buffet.  Unless you really like them.  In which case get ready for a whole heap of limericks and haikus because that’s about my limit. 

Date Crunchies1

Date Crunchies – The Good

  • These are kinda sorta almost healthy with the sweetness coming from dates and honey instead of sugar, and the use of oats and wholemeal flour. 
  • Dates, honey and cinnamon are a combination that works amazingly well together. And the little bit of lemon made the it even better!
  • I think I probably like them more now than I would have as a child when I would have wanted something sweeter. 
  • Apparently they worked well with a glass of milk.  This is on hearsay only.  I have never liked milk and even the thought of drinking a full glass of it makes me want to gag.
  • Working the dough was the best arm workout I have had in a long time.  I’m pretty sure I’ve staved off bingo wings for at least another year just by that alone. 
Date Crunchies 4
Date Crunchies 4

 Date Crunchies – The Bad

  • The the quantities in the recipe seemed wrong. I needed a lot more water to soften the dates and a pinch of cinnamon is no good to anyone.  You need at least 1/4 teaspoon. 
  • More than this though that pasty was way too short.  I was lovely and light but you just had to look at it the wrong way and it crumbled. It needed an egg or something else to bind it together a bit more.
Date Crunchie
Date Crunchie

 Date Crunchies – The Ugly

 Let’s also address the other elephant in the room when in comes to this recipe. In some places in Australia, “date” is a colloquial expression for one’s…well…anus.  So a date crunchie is probably not something that should be even remotely appetizing.   As for these?  They were better than that.  Just not by much

In all honesty, they were perfectly acceptable.  They were average.  There was nothing fundamentally hideous about them.  Truth be told, it’s taken me ages to write this post simply because I find it really hard to describe food that’s just….meh….

 WouId I have wanted these as an afternoon snack when I was a child? 

Hell no. 

But  I was a weird  only child with a working mother.  She didn’t have time to bake and I had an idea that anything homemade was bound to be inferior to something that could be bought from a shop.  I was far happier with a perfectly formed store-bought Tim Tam than anything homemade and vaguely hippyish.   

Now?  That date filling was rather nice…but you know what?  I think I’d still prefer a TimTam.  I may make the Date Crunchie dough again just so I never have to do another tricep dip in my life. 

Date Crunchies – not an epic fail, not even a fail, just not much of a pass… And with that, we’re done with the A’s.

Next time we venture into The A-Z of Cooking we’re heading to Canada for B..B..Breakfast. 

Have a great week!  Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2  




Rebel With A Cause – Smoked Trout Empanadas

Have you ever read a recipe where the ingredients seem right….but the execution just seems horribly wrong? 

Smoked Trout Empandas8
Smoked Trout Empandas8

The other day I was looking for something in…you know THAT room?  Otherwise known as the room where we dumped all the crap we didn’t have a specific home for when we first moved in.  Nearly a year later?  It’s all still there.  Thank the Lord for whoever invented doors.  It makes it so much easier to metaphorically close the door and walk away from the room when you can literally close the door and walk away from the room.

I didn’t find what I was looking for in the room, because most things that go in there don’t come out.  What I did find was a manilla folder full of old recipe clippings which included one for something called for Trout and Mascarpone Triangles. 

Before we get to the point does anyone else have problems spelling mascarpone?  For some reason in my mind it’s marscapone. I also can’t say the word “Preliminary” – that one just ends up a hot mess of r’s and l’s where they shouldn’t be. 

But anyway, immediately in my head, (yeah the same one that can’t spell ma-scar-pone or pronounce pre-lim-in-ary) I had a vision of what these would be.  They would look like exactly like these:

 Smoked Trout EmpanadasHmm…except….maybe a little more triangular. 

So, I was bitterly disappointed when I actually read the recipe and found it was nothing like that. 

Trout & Mascarpone TrianglesIn fact, that whole recipe annoyed the hell out of me.  In most cooking circles when you call something an X & Y triangle it’s pretty much a given that the X and Y are IN the triangle. Take these delicious looking cheese and spinach triangles from    Spinach and Cheese both EXACTLY where they should be i.e. inside the pastry triangle. 


That is what I wanted from my trout and mascarpone triangles! Golden puff pastry filled with chunks of gorgeous pink smoked trout, creamy mascarpone, fresh herbs, a touch of chilli….that was what my mind told me a Trout and Mascarpone Triangle could, and should, be. 

At best the original recipe is for trout and mascarpone ON triangles.  And who the hell wants that?  No one that’s who.  I’m calling shenanigans on that recipe. 

In some circles they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  In my circle I say if you think their recipe is a crock, make it like you think it should have been.  And while we’re in the spirit of rebellion –  the fancy pants Italian cheese I can’t be bothered writing the name of (because I would only have to re-write it to spell it correctly) can go fuck itself too. I’m using good old Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Which I forgot to take a photo of.  The rest of the stuff is here:

Smoked Trout Empanadas3
Smoked Trout Empanadas3

I used a smoked trout, you could sub in smoked salmon if you prefer or cook a fillet of fish as per the original recipe.  Or even used canned salmon or tuna to make these.  Up to you.  And I had an empanada maker thing but you could make triangles as per the original recipe.  Or embrace the spririt of doing it your way and make them any shape you want!

If you are going to use an empanada maker, here’s how you do it from an expert,Connie Veneracion.  Shame I didn’t read this until after I had made mine and hence some of mine were a little…shall we call them rustic?     😉

How To Use An Empanada Maker


Smoked Trout Empanadas7
Smoked Trout Empanadas7

And here is the revised, and in my not so humble opinion, vastly improved recipe!


Smoked Trout Empanadas

Smoked Trout Empanadas


  • 400 smoked trout or cooked fish of choice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 100g cream cheese, chopped into a small cubes
  • 1 canned chipotle chilli and approx 1 tbsp of the adobo sauce it came in
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • poppy seeds and chilli flakes to garnish (optional)


  • If using a smoked trout, remove the skin and flake the flesh from the bones. Place this in a bowl with the cream cheese, red onion, lemon juice, chilli, dill and parsley. Mix lightly to combine.
  • Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cut four circles out of each of your pastry sheets, using your empanada maker or tracing around a small plate or cup.
  • Place 1 tbsp of the trout mixture in the middle of each circle then fold the pastry over to seal in the filling.
  • Crimp the edges to seal.
  • Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg.
  • Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and chilli flakes if using.
  • Cook for 15 minutes or until puffed up and golden.

Lesson of the week – if you don’t like it, change it.

Have a fabulous week and fight the power!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Hayman Island Chicken Salad


  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 avocado, flesh cut into cubes
  • 2 oranges, segmented (the original recipe called for tinned mandarin segments)
  • 1 can pineapple pieces
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper


  • Combine the chicken, celery, spring onions, capers and lemon juice.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • Mix lemon zest, tabasco if using, and mayonnaise. Chill.
  • At serving time, add the pineapple, avocado and oranges to the chicken mix.
  • Gently add the mayonnaise and carefully mix through.
  • Season to taste
  • Top with almonds and serve.


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