Recipes for a Spice Girls-themed party

Twenty years ago, the greatest girl group of all time were at the peak of their fame. Victoria Adams, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown and Geraldine Halliwell were taking the entire world by storm, and given I was a tween, I fell right into Girl Power-mania. My collection of Spice Girl photos and posters was unrivaled amongst my peers.

My love for the Spice Girls has never dwindled, and even now I would happily shell out $500 for a ticket to a reunion concert…presuming of course, that all five original members would be involved!

In the absence of a true worldwide reunion tour, holding a Spice Girls-themed party complete with a screening of movie classic Spice World and themed snacks is my only consolation. The rest of this entry gives an overview of the different dishes I chose to serve up at my party, and offers a few other ideas of what you might serve at your own Spice Girls-themed Spice World screening party!

Baby Jellies

I served up a bowl of The Natural Confectionery Company’s Jelly Babies to represent Baby Spice. This was an easy zero-effort option, given that I knew I’d be spending some time in the kitchen making other dishes. Plus, who doesn’t like a bowl full of jelly babies?

You might also like to serve: Baked mushy bananas with cream, cake pops, fresh cut baby vegetables with hummus.

Scary Mummy Brie

For Scary Spice, I served up a Scary Mummy Brie. You might also like to serve: Any ‘scary’ Halloween-inspired recipe – severed finger cocktail sausages, candied poisoned apples, chocolate mice.

Scary Mummy Brie

Ingredients: Wheel of brie cheese, one sheet of defrosted puff pastry (Pampas), two almonds

Method: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Cut the puff pastry into thin strips and wrap it around the brie, leaving slight gaps here and there so that it resembles an Egyptian mummy head. Place the wrapped brie into the oven on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake until the inside of the brie is gooey – normally no more than twenty minutes.

Take the brie out, and poke the almonds, pointy end first, into where ‘eyes’ should be located. Serve with crackers on the side.

Posh Cucumber Sandwiches

You can’t get much posher than Cucumber Sandwiches, fit for a high tea or even for Posh Spice herself. You might also like to serve: any variety of hors d’oeuvres (e.g. salmon, dill and cream cheese vol au vents), prawn cocktails or a bottle of bubbly.

Cucumber Sandwiches

Ingredients: The softest white bread, proper spreadable butter, cucumber, salt, white pepper

Method: Peel the cucumber and slice it very thinly, placing the slices into a colander. Sprinkle salt lightly on the cucumber and leave it for 45 minutes, to encourage it to drain. After 45 minutes, pat each slice dry with a paper towel. Spread the bread with butter, making sure you don’t get finger or knife marks into the bread.

Layer the cucumber onto the bread, and sprinkle a dash of white pepper on top. Make your sandwich, then cut off the crusts, and then cut the sandwich into fingers (or triangles). Serve either upright on a tiered platter a la high tea, or stack them however you wish onto a plate.

Sporty Protein Balls

Sporty Spice herself would be proud of these Sporty Protein Balls – or more accurately, let’s just call them Sporty Energy Balls as they’re not THAT full of protein. You might also like to serve: green smoothie shots, healthy fruit kebabs, banana protein muffins.

Sporty Protein Balls

Ingredients: Oats, raisins, sesame seeds, peanut butter, honey (I made up quantities as I went along – sorry!)

Method: Mix a cup of rolled oats with a quarter cup of raisins and a generous handful of sesame seeds. Add about two tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of peanut butter, and mix it all up. If not all the oats have combined into the mixture, add in more peanut butter and keep mixing. Keep adding peanut butter or honey until everything combines into a fairly solid ball.

Take a small tablespoon of the dough, and roll it in your hands until it forms a smooth ball. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or ideally overnight for maximum structural integrity.

Ginger and Lime Cordial

I’ve never forgiven Geri Halliwell for leaving the group and triggering the break-up of the group. Still, despite my unforgiving nature, I can’t leave out Ginger Spice and so I pay tribute to her with this easy Ginger and Lime Cordial. You may also like to serve: ginger kisses, apple and ginger slice, steamed oysters with soy, ginger and shallots.

Ginger and Lime Cordial

Ingredients: Buderim ginger refresher cordial, soda water, two limes

Method: Mix one part Buderim ginger refresher cordial with four parts soda water. Wash then slice up two limes to add to the mix. Chill in the fridge, then serve either in a punch bowl or a jug. Hint – have a bottle of vodka nearby for those who want to spike their cups with a bit of something, but leave the main cordial mix alcohol-free.

‘Spice Girl’ Cookies

Don’t forget to put the proverbial cherry on top by baking some ‘Spice Girl’ cookies for everyone to decorate as they like! Make sure you have plenty of cookie decorating supplies (icing etc) in different colours for people’s creativity to run wild. I made some slight modifications to this recipe on Taste.com.au to make these cookies – e.g. using more cinnamon and nutmeg, slightly less sugar and more golden syrup, etc.

Go forth, nostalgic readers, and Spice Up Your Life.

Recipe: Pancakes Three More Ways

Check out my first lot of pancakes three ways!

Ricotta pancakes with apple cinnamon golden syrup

(two large serves)

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Pancake Ingredients: 1 cup milk, 0.5 cup ricotta, 1 egg, 1 cup self-raising flour, 0.15 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar.
Syrup Ingredients: 50gm butter, 50gm brown sugar, one tablespoon golden syrup, two large peeled and diced apples, cinnamon sugar.

Method:

  1. Whisk milk, ricotta and egg in a bowl.
  2. Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the well, and whisk to combine.
  4. Heat stove to low, spray oil in a non-stick pan.
  5. Ladle batter into the pan. Cook till bubbles form on top, then flip.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
  7. While the pancakes are cooking, start working on your syrup. Melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan on low heat.
  8. Add diced apples and cinnamon sugar, mix thoroughly, and keep cooking on a low heat until the apples are soft.
  9. Pour your apple syrup over your pancake stack.
  10. Enjoy!

Pear and sour cream pancakes with fig maple syrup

(two large serves)

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Pancake Ingredients: 1 cup milk, 0.5 cup sour cream, 1 egg, 1 cup self-raising flour, 0.15 cup sugar, 1 mashed pear.
Syrup Ingredients: 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 large tablespoon of fig jam

Method:

  1. Whisk milk,sour cream and egg in a bowl. 
  2. Mix flour and sugar in a separate bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the well, and whisk to combine. Fold in the mashed pear.
  4. Heat stove to low, spray oil in a non-stick pan.
  5. Ladle batter into the pan. Cook till bubbles form on top, then flip.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
  7. To make a simple syrup – melt your fig jam in the microwave, and mix in with the maple syrup. You can water it down slightly with hot water if you don’t want it too sweet as the combined jam and maple syrup may be too overwhelming.
  8. Pour your fig and maple syrup over your pancake stack. Enjoy!

Milo pancakes with condensed milk*

(two large serves)

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Ingredients: 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 cup self-raising flour, 0.15 cup sugar, 0.5 cup Milo, condensed milk

Method:

  1. Whisk milk and egg in a bowl. 
  2. Mix flour, Milo and sugar in a separate bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the well, and whisk to combine.
  4. Heat stove to low, spray oil in a non-stick pan.
  5. Ladle batter into the pan. Cook till bubbles form on top, then flip.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
  7. Drizzle condensed milk (room temperature!) over your pancake stack. Enjoy!

*I thought that Milo and condensed milk might make a nice combination for pancakes, as that’s how I make my hot Milo for a treat – two teaspoons of Milo, one teaspoon of condensed milk, and then hot water to dissolve. No need to add extra milk or sugar!

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Shanks

I made a large range of dishes for K’s 30th birthday dinner – one of them being Scotch Eggs which I featured on this blog not too long ago. Another dish I made was Moroccan-style Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks. I recently replicated this meal while I was in Melbourne for my father, and he loved it even though he doesn’t normally enjoy eating lamb. It’s super duper easy, and while it does need to cook for a few hours, the time you actually have to spend in the kitchen prepping and cooking is minimal.

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Recipe: Moroccan Style Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Ingredients

  • Six lamb shanks*
  • Two red onions
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Moroccan spice mix
  • 2 birdseye chillies
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 300gm of baby spinach leaves

*The fresher the lamb, the more tender it will be when you cook it. I suggest buying your lamb directly from a reputable butcher, rather than via a supermarket.

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Quickly brown your lamb shanks in an oiled pan. Once browned, place them in a large oven-proof dish with a lid.
  3. Dice up your onions, garlic and chillis. Fry them up in the oiled pan until soft, then add the spice mix and the crushed tomatoes and beef stock.
  4. Once the mix is hot and bubbling, pour it over the lamb into the dish, cover it with the lid and place it into the pre-heated oven for approximately an hour and three quarters.
  5. Rinse the chickpeas and add them to the dish, stirring it in so that it’s covered by the tomato sauce mix. Replace the lid and leave it in the oven to cook until the lamb is tender and almost falling off the bone.
  6. Once the lamb is cooked, remove the dish from the oven and stir through the baby spinach, adding it in gradually as the residual heat wilts and cooks the leaves.
  7. Season with salt and pepper as necessary, then serve with some pumpkin and cous cous, and enjoy!

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