July 22, 2014

Apple Rose Tart with Maple Custard and Walnut Crust (Gluten Free)

I just thought this tart was SO super pretty, I couldn't resist posting it for my lovely readers to admire. Since it's winter here in Australia, a delicious apple tart is the perfect way to end a family dinner in stylish comfort. A bonus, this tart is gluten-free and pretty low in sugar. If you need help in how to shape the apples into roses, check out this You Tube how-to.

Author: Allie, Baking A Moment

Serves: 10


For the Walnut Crust:
2½ cups walnut pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg white
pinch of salt

For the Custard:
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream or coconut cream
½ cup milk of your choice
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs

2 apples (I used Macoun), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (keep in lemon water until ready to use)
juice of a lemon
¼ cup apricot jam/sugar-free jam, warmed (optional)


Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a food processor or chopper, pulse the walnuts until the are finely chopped, and the pieces are about the size of breadcrumbs.
Place the chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing together with a fork.
Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Make the Custard:
In a medium pot, whisk the cornstarch and salt together.
Slowly pour in the cream, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, whisking, to avoid lumps.
Place the pot over medium heat, and bring to a bare simmer. Turn the heat down to low.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and ladle about a half cup of the hot cream mixture over the eggs, whisking to combine. Repeat with more hot cream, until the eggs are warmed.
Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the remaining cream mixture, whisking vigorously.
Continue to cook, whisking, until the mixture is hot and thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon).
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, into a heat-safe vessel, and press cling wrap over the surface so that a skin will not form. Refrigerate until cooled.

Assemble the Tart:
Spread the maple custard in the walnut tart shell.
Warm the apple slices in the microwave until pliable.
Roll a slice of apple into a tight spiral and stand it up vertically in the custard. Continue to arrange apple slices in a concentric pattern, around the first one, building a rose pattern.
Warm the apricot jam, and thin it with lemon juice. Brush this glaze over the apples, for shine and to prevent browning (optional).

July 21, 2014

My Interview with Stefanie Moir - What is means to be a High Carb Low Fat Vegan and the world of 80/10/10

Hi my lovely readers, today I wanted to share with you an interview I was fortunate enough to do with my Instagram friend and mega vegan babe Stefanie Moir.

After seeing raw food and veganism pop up across all my news feeds on social media, I became curious about the lifestyle and wanted to know more. I did a little research and came across stories of raw food converts speaking of the benefits of eating vegan, meaning they had cut out all animal products in their diet (see FreeleeBananaGirl). Of course with any newly publicised diet regime, I also came across skeptics and experiences of former vegans who fell out of love with the lifestyle after encountering weight gain or nutritional deficiencies (see The Balanced Blonde).

I thought Stefanie would be the perfect person to give us the run down on what being a vegan is all about and share with us her journey into the lifestyle. After being vegan for over a year, Stefanie has recently transition to the 80/10/10 diet. It's our treat that Stefanie has come to answer my vegan questions and share with us her experience.

As a little side note, I am staying away from veganism personally for now. After battling with restriction issues in my past, I am going to work on a balanced diet for now before I start any new program. A little bit of everything is what is working for me at the moment. I am fascinated with 80/10/10 though and am impressed with Stefanie's story and she certainly looks absolutely amazing! With the right information, you can create a lifestyle that works for you :)

Now let's get into it…

July 15, 2014

Learn Make Up Secrets: My Top Five Favourite Beauty Bloggers

Lauren Curtis

She's one of the most popular beauty bloggers on You Tube, Lauren Curtis is an Aussie girl who has captured over one million subscribers who avidly watch her videos on make up techniques, looks and product reviews. Lauren was one of the first beauty vloggers I started watching and taught me how to contour using bronzer and highlighters. She's also responsible for helping me to realise what I was doing wrong (watch her Make Up Do's and Don'ts). Her bubbly personality and self-confidence have me returning to her channel every week.

Shannon Harris aka Shaaanxo

Shaaanxo is a New Zealand beauty vlogger who loyally posts videos for her one million subscribers every week. Shannon has taught me tonnes of amazing make up tricks like how to make your lips look plumper and she always has the best suggestions for affordable make up products. Her work ethic is obvious in her well edited videos, constant video updates and thorough product reviews. Having a true love for makeup means Shaaanxo creates heaps of different looks for you to try and has created her own line of false lashes entitles XO Beauty to help you get her look.

Karissa Pukas aka SatnightsAlrite

She's a Canadian girl living in Australia with her boyfriend and super cute Chihuahua Lola. Karissa does a mix of videos that goes beyond beauty including outfits of the day, hair tutorials and general chit chat. She's fun to watch and helped me figure out how to curl my hair to get big bouncy waves and not tight little ringlets! Hop over to her channel if you like some chattiness to your tutes.

Make Up by Gio

Gio (a New Zealand vlogger) is my absolute fave you tuber for flawless make up looks that have me gasping every time she posts a video. I am obsessed with her recreations of J Lo and Kardashian looks with chiseled contours and smokey eyes. Stunning make up recreations will have you losing a few hours once you jump onto her channel.

Chloe Morello

Another Aussie beauty, Chloe has posted one of my favourite videos ever on a Victoria's Secret glamourous glowing look that I think every girl should know how to recreate. She's a super talented winged eyeliner applier and knows all the tricks in enhancing your features. If you like high end make up, Chloe is a big collector and will give you the heads up on the best new products out there.

July 08, 2014

The Scam: Garcinia Cambogia Extract Diet Pills

Article taken from Women's Health 

Tons of people are buzzing about garcinia cambogia extract diet pills—thanks in part to an Internet scam that illegally used the Women's Health brand likeness and copyrighted materials (and the likeness and materials of other respected health brands) to promote the pills. We wrote about the scam at length here, in addition to how to identify if you've been scammed.

But here's something else super troubling about all this: All backstory about scammers aside, this particular diet pill can be dangerous to your health.

Garcinia cambogia, which on its own is pretty darn delicious and healthy, is a tropical fruit grown in Indonesia. (It also goes by the name tamarind fruit.) According to Purdue University, it's rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. All good things, right?

Well, here's where things get tricky: Its rind contains a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which proponents claim decreases appetite and prevents your body from storing food as fat. However, since garcinia cambogia extract diet pills are supplements, not drugs, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate their use or review their effectiveness or safety unless, as was the case with OxyElite Pro, their use becomes linked to multiple hospitalizations, says medical weight-loss expert Sue Decotiis, M.D. That means that it's up to manufacturers to decide how much garcinia cambogia their pills pack, as well as what other health-impacting ingredients are added to the mix.

"Most brands of garcinia cambogia extract diet pills, including big names, have failed independent laboratory quality and quantity testing," says Decottis. "Also, there have been no large-scale trials comparing garcinia to placeboes or other supplements. There probably will never be any objective data on garcinia."

What's more, a 2005 study in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that high doses of garcinia cambogia extract caused testicular atrophy and toxicity in mice. Even if you don't have testicles, that's sure to make you cringe.

July 06, 2014

DIY Frank Coffee Body Scrub *Cellulite Busting and Skin Renewing*

Regulars on Instagram have probably seen a few perfect derrières cited as being buffed by Frank. Frank is a body scrub containing ground coffee which can boost circulation and help to eliminate cellulite. Coffee is also a natural exfoliant, and when added with coconut oil for hydration and orange oil for an invigorating aroma, you get a scrub that will have you cancelling plans to stay home and have a pampering session.

You can make a body scrub from the most simple household items, just be remembering the ration of one part oil and one part exfoliant. A course salt or sugar acts as a great skin scrubber, especially when added with ground coffee. I like to use coconut oil as the moisture component, but any other pantry oil will work. For perfume, pop in whatever essential oils you like but I find orange or vanilla work best with the coffee. Store in a jar and indulge yourself on the regular.

DIY Frank Coffee Body Scrub

  • 1/2 cup of ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup of raw sugar 
  • 1 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of orange essence 

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a jar or airtight pouch.

July 02, 2014

Fitness Model Eating Plan Samples

I have listed a few eating plan sample for those of you wanting to focus on TONING and losing FAT. It is important to feed your body clean fuel to build muscle and aid in fat loss while you are training hard in the gym.

Skinny Sweets and Treats

 Here are THREE meal plans you can try. 

Please remember, these are just my ideas and what has worked for me. Make sure you are staying on top of your nutrition and eating enough for your body's energy needs. Clean and healthy food can not make you fat!

If you are eating out, remember you have to live a little and balance is key. If you want to have bread as a started, skip dessert. If you have a glass of wine, don't have the potato with your meal. Choose steamed or grilled lean meat options rather than anything fried, and load up on vegetables or salad.

Meal Plan Sample One (cardio session and weight training)

Breakfast: 1 piece of gluten-free toast with 1 poached egg, 1 grilled tomato and a cup of wilted spinach + Green tea

Pre-workout before training

Snack: Protein shake after training made with water (small amount fruit)

Lunch: Steamed vegetables with one lean grilled chicken or turkey breast

Snack: handful raw almonds

Dinner: Half a cup of brown rice or quinoa with grilled salmon and large green salad with lemon juice

Dessert: 2 pieces of dark chocolate

Meal Plan Sample Two (weight training)

Breakfast: Half an avocado, one large grilled field mushroom and 1 scrambled egg + Green tea

Pre-workout before training

Snack: 1 low-calorie protein bar (under 150 calories)

Lunch: Large green salad with one tin of light tuna and one handful of sunflower seeds

Snack: 1 rice cracker with 1 tablespoon of almond butter

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with one teaspoon of olive oil served with steamed vegetables and 1 small roasted sweet potato

Dessert: One dandelion tea and 1 small protein brownie (recipe here)

Meal Plan Sample Three (rest day or 30 minute brisk walk)

Breakfast: Half a cup of oats cooked in light almond milk with 1 teaspoon of stevia and cinnamon, 1 small chopped banana, and one small handful of walnuts OR protein pancakes (recipe here)

Snack: One dandelion tea with one rice cracker topped with low-fat cream cheese and sliced berries

Lunch: One cup of steamed vegetables served with diced chicken breast and fresh chopped parsley

Snack: 1 apple and 10 raw almonds

Dinner: Steamed fish parcel (to make, wrap one white fish fillet in foil with sliced tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and a small serve of chopped olives, place in oven for 15 minutes until steamed through) served with steamed greens and half a cup of brown rice

Dessert: One dandelion tea topped with almond milk and a teaspoon of stevia

For more information on fitness model exercise plans, read my other post here.

July 01, 2014

Sugarfree Lemon Delicious Pudding

Citrus lovers will appreciate this tangy and light dessert that's perfect to finish off a winter feast. Whisking the egg whites separately before folding into the mixture really makes the difference in creating a fluffy sponge. Not only is this dessert sugar free but I made mine gluten and dairy free too.

Sugarfree Lemon Delicious Pudding


  • 50 grams of organic butter, melted
  • the zest of one lemon
  • half a cup of Natvia stevia sweetener + 3 tablespoons 
  • 2 tablespoons of gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • the juice of one small lemon or half a large lemon
  • one cup of almond milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  1. Whisk together the melted butter, lemon zest and Natvia in a large mixing bowl until pale and creamy. 
  2. In a separate bowl, add the egg whites and put the egg yolks into the sugar and butter mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and glossy. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks into the sugar and butter until pale.
  3. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and almond milk into the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine. Sift over the flour and baking powder and stir those through too. Add the egg whites in batches, folding in gently to combine. You don't want to lose the air from the egg whites by mixing the ingredients too vigorously. Take your time to gently mix everything together.
  4. Grease a 1-litre capacity dish with butter. Pour in the mixture and place in the oven to bake at 160 degrees (moderately low temperature) for 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. The top of the pudding should be golden brown and the cake will be have some spring to it. 
  6. Serve the a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of fresh berries.