Chicken Wrapped in Bacon with Butter Herbed Breadcrumb Stuffing

4 chicken thigh fillets
8 slices middle bacon
50g softened butter
Half of a large brown onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumb
Toothpicks for assembly

Whenever I have these ingredients lying around the house, this is my most favorite way of cooking chicken. This could easily be my ultimate favorite food. I mean, how can you go wrong with chicken and bacon. It is SO tasty I kid you not. I rarely boast about food I cook, but to be honest this is an easy recipe anyone can make and will not be disappointed! This is a Kimba's Kitchen guarantee. If you like chicken and bacon and stuffing, you will not be disappointed.

Preparing this dish is really simple. Preheat oven at 180 degrees. Mix butter, onion, garlic, parsley and breadcrumb together to form a dough of stuffing. Grab a generous handful of stuffing and press them onto the middle of a chicken thigh fillet. Roll the chicken fillet over the stuffing and wrap the chicken roll with 2 slices of middle bacon. (FYI photo shown above is a "mini" version using a small piece of chicken fillet and only 1 slice of bacon) Repeat this process to make more.

Cook them in the oven for approx. 25 minutes or until bacon is browning. Serve with anything you like e.g. roast / mashed potatoes with veggies, or salad and chips, or if you're like me, you can just eat them on its own and not feel guilty about it because of its deliciousness it's so worth it, haha!

The Courthouse Restaurant, Berwick

Never underestimate the South East suburbs of Melbourne. I love living in Berwick. There are so many amazing restaurants around Berwick that are just as good if not better than some restaurants in the city. I love that I can drive just a few minutes from home and dine at a restaurant that serves quality food and provides excellent service.

Last night, hubby and I went out on our first Date Night ever since Micah was born. It only took us 15 weeks to finally go on this date, lol. This date was also to make up for the dinner reservation back in December, it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary and my birthday, but we had to cancel it... all because I had to go into labour and give birth to our son :-)

Being the first time away from Micah, we are so lucky to have great choices when it comes to where to go out to dinner that is closeby (in case our babysitter freaks out and we had to rush home) and yet special enough to commemorate the occasion. It wasn't hard to decide that we wanted to return to The Courthouse. Hubby and I have only been there once before with some friends, and he had "the best steak he's ever had" last time we were there so I decided we should go back. I wasn't a food blogger back then I don't think, so I never posted a review nor did I take photos!

Scallops with Chorizo, Cauliflower Puree, Sauteed Mushrooms & Truffle Oil
We were not disappointed. The staff were friendly and prompt, and the food was absolutely amazing. Oh wait, I am jumping ahead of myself here.

We arrived and I ordered a "Fruit Tingle" cocktail whilst hubby ordered one of the International Beers from New Zealand - Monteith's. Coincidentally hubby and I have visited this brewery in Auckland so he was very happy with the beer and ordered the same beer throughout the night. The Courthouse restaurant offers a wide selection of International Beers (two whole pages on the menu!) so if you are a beer fan, you really should check it out!

Hubby ordered the Scallops with Chorizo for entree. It was served over cauliflower puree and sauteed mushrooms, dressed with truffle oil. It was mouthwateringly delicious! Yes, hubby and I share meals so I got to taste everything in this review okay? The scallops were melt in your mouth and the combination of the scallops with the sliced chorizo, mushrooms, and everything else was just divine!

Crispy Pork Belly served with Tangy Soy Dressing and Asian Coleslaw
I couldn't overlook the Crispy Pork Belly on the menu. It is my ultimate favorite and must have dish at a restaurant! Again, we were not disappointed. The pork crackling was crispy as it can be, and the dressing complimented the pork perfectly. Even the seemingly plain Asian Coleslaw seemed to have worked in this combo. It was just pure heaven. I was just sad it was only Entree sized, I could've eaten so much more of the pork belly, hehe. I want more! Plus because I was sharing with hubby I only had one. They should serve Crispy Pork Belly as a Main dish *hint hint*

Black Angus Porterhouse Steak with Garlic Cream Sauce
Then it was time for our Mains. Of course hubby ordered his steak. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as the last time he had it! It was still a decent steak - but some of the fatty chewy bits of the steak were not trimmed so he had to spit them out because they were way too chewy. It was still a really good steak though, and I suppose "Best Steak He Ever Had" was a huge expectation to live up to.

Fillet Mignon served on a bed of buttery mash, French beans and garlic cream sauce
I went and ordered a "blokey" dish too - the Chef's Specialty - Fillet Mignon! It is basically a fillet steak wrapped in bacon... mmmmm bacon. So much meat! I actually finished the whole thing myself, but felt like I couldn't eat red meat for the rest of the week! My favorite part of this dish was actually the French beans. They had this wonderful sweet taste that is so much different compared to regular green beans. It was so delicious! Funny that my biggest compliment in a meat dish goes to the greens, haha!

Peach Crumble served with Homemade Peach Ice Cream
Time for dessert and hubby went for the Peach Crumble and it was delightful! Can't go wrong with warm peach crumble and the ice cream was so yummy! By the time we tucked in for dessert though, we were both getting pretty full so we really struggled to finish our desserts, lol. They were not small desserts either!

Sticky Date Pudding with English Toffee Ice Cream
I ordered my favorite dessert, the Sticky Date Pudding and boy was I melting when I took my first bite. The pudding was warm and gooey, the sauce was so sweet and delicious, the ICE CREAM was even sweeter and delicious! You need to have a real sweet tooth to really enjoy this. My mum would probably complain that it is too sweet.. but I didn't care. The sweeter the better! It was the perfect finish to our meal and it was really good for us to be out and have a proper conversation without being distracted by a 3 month old baby.

In fact, we did really well! They say the first time away from your baby is always the hardest. Meh, we were relaxed and didn't worry at all. We knew Micah would just sleep and our babysitter would be fine. We just took our time and enjoyed each other's company, something we haven't done for months! Thank you Courthouse for a wonderful night :-)

1884 Courthouse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Cardinia Park Hotel, Beaconsfield

Australians can have a very "pub-ish" culture when it comes to eating out. When you're not really looking for anything too fancy, but fancy enough to dress better than just a T-shirt and shorts, not too expensive, but more pricey than your average takeaway, and the most important element... if you are HUNGRY and looking for a hearty meal with reasonably large portions, eating out at a pub is the way to go. A lot of decent restaurants these days started off as a pub. Then they slowly develop into a more classy "bistro" and eventually the meals tend to get more and more creative than your average Chicken Parma and then they start calling themselves a restaurant.

The Cardinia Park Hotel aka "The Cardi" is one of those pubs I would frequently drive past but never actually stopped to try them out. Thankfully over the weekend, we did! After our Alpha Weekend Away camp in Emerald on Sunday, we stopped at The Cardi for lunch.

To my pleasant surprise, The Cardi has quite a wide selection of meals! Even an Asian Laksa was listed as one of the mains in the "Daily Specials" menu. We've decided to go for some entrees - Nachos and Garlic Bread (sorry not pictured, I forgot!) and I had some Salt and Pepper Calamari. The calamari had more salt than pepper so the balance in taste wasn't quite there. Texture wise though, it was delicious and I LOVED the salad that came with it. Sun dried tomatoes in salads are awesome!

Mr J had the Chicken Satay skewers which looked absolutely amazing. I love how generous they were with the chicken as well as the satay sauce. I might order this the next time I go there!

I ordered the Kangaroo fillet with Red Wine Jus and Chips and Salad. The trick with kangaroo meat is that you MUST NOT overcook nor undercook the meat, or else it will be too tough or too chewy. If you can cook it perfectly, the kangaroo meat can be the tastiest most divine meat you have ever tasted. It is also a very healthy meat because there's barely any fat in it. Unfortunately, The Cardi seems to have overcooked my kangaroo and I think it is mostly because they've decided to use small fillets instead of one big chunk which made it too easy to overcook. Oh well, the sauce was amazing though!

Hubby ordered the Seafood Basket - generous portion much? Came with battered fish, scallops, mussels, salt and pepper calamari, king prawn and oyster served with chips and salad. The salad was nothing special, the chips were good quality crispy salty pub chips but again, I found the seafood was just that little bit overcooked. The batter got too brown in my opinion and as a result most of the seafood tasted pretty dry.

And then there were a few other meals that weren't ours so I can't comment on what it tasted like. Hopefully these photos below would help you decide on what you would maybe like to order if you are ever visiting The Cardi. My personal favorite is the "Chicken Mignon" it LOOKS delicious.. you know how you can just tell by its looks that it would TASTE delicious? The Chicken Mignon looks amazing.. how can you go wrong with chicken wrapped in bacon poured with garlic cream sauce with mushrooms?? Don't know how I overlooked that on the menu!

Classic Chicken Parma with Chips and Veggies
Super HUGE Chicken Kiev with Chips and Veggies
AMAZING looking Chicken Mignon.. I am salivating just looking at it!
So there you have it, just some examples of classic pub meals you can probably find in any decent pubs in Australia. I love Aussie pubs and its pub meals. Don't go out often enough to have these meals (hubby does, he goes out once a week and has a pub meal with the boys before poker on Wednesdays!) but when we do, we always walk away full and satisfied :)

Cardinia Park Hotel on Urbanspoon

Emerald Village Bakery and Cafe

Delicious bruschetta from Emerald Village Bakery and Cafe
To those of you who may not be aware, Emerald is a beautiful little town located in the scenic Dandenong Ranges in Victoria between Belgrave and Cockatoo. It is also the home of the popular Puffing Billy railway station, Australia's favorite steam train, therefore attracts quite a number of visitors. This weekend, hubby and I have just returned from a church camp at Wombat Corner, Emerald just 100m away from Emerald Lake Park and minutes drive from Emerald Village.

(Click here to read all about our weekend away at camp on Kimba's Pride)

During the camp, we had a couple of hours free time on Saturday afternoon so we decided to check out the famous Emerald Village Bakery and Cafe. It is supposedly famous because A LOT of people go there, it has a huge variety of sweet and savoury food from pies to bruschettas to slices to cakes and a decent place to have a decent coffee.

Strategically located in the town centre and within walking distance from the Puffing Billy railway station, the bakery was rather busy when we arrived. They were not as many tables as we would expect, but enough for our group to settle comfortably at the back. It definitely had a big selection of food to choose from, and the cooked breakfast menu looked amazing, but of course we weren't there for breakfast so I can't comment further hehe.

I also had to take a "sneaky photo" when no one was really watching and for some reason, I must've taken this photo when it became rather quiet! Because a few minutes later people started walking in again and the place got busy again. There is a whole front section with MORE food on display and the sweets section had beautiful cakes, etc but I didn't manage to take a photo. Oops!

I ordered a Steak and Potato Shepherd's Pie for hubby and the top picture of the Bruschetta. The bruschetta was absolutely amazing! The pie had way too much potato so hubby ended up only eating half of it and giving it back to me, so I de-constructed the pie and only ate the meat filling, hehe. Why waste stomach space on heavy potatoes!

My friend Leah ordered this Cream Jam Donut thing but I just called it the "Cream Dog" because it looked like a Hot Dog only with a cream filling. Doesn't it look sinfully delicious?!

They were also cute little tarts for those who are watching their weight but wanting a little afternoon treat to go with their coffee. This tart was soooo little and so cute! Gone in a single mouthful...

Even though I didn't get to taste a wide selection of food, from what I can see this bakery deserves its popular status. I can easily come here every weekend for Sunday brunch if I lived closer. The variety of different things to try meant that there will be something new to eat every week here. The next time I come past Emerald I will be sure to come back and maybe try some of the beautiful sweet cakes on display.. again, sorry I didn't take photos of the beautiful sweet cakes!!

Emerald Village Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Unleash the Magic with Ice Magic

Disclaimer: This blog post is Sponsored By Nuffnang but the opinions are entirely mine!

Growing up, I have always LOVED an ice cream sundae with a hard chocolate coating. That is why Ice Magic has always been my favorite ice cream topping because it sets and hardens so quickly and it is so yummy and it comes in different flavours! That is why when Nuffnang approached me with this idea of a Sponsored Post I didn't even need to think twice. It always helps when I can write about a product I have tried myself and genuinely love :)

A lot of people probably take those little bottles of Ice Magic for granted. Many don't realise just how much FUN you can have with them! For example, why not fill a silicone baking tray with softened vanilla ice cream (so you can flatten the surface), refreeze for a few hours, and then use Ice Magic (Chocolate) and Ice Magic (Caramel Gold) to create your own Ice Cream Cake Decoration!

I'm no artist, but this piece of artwork was a lot of fun to create just using 2 bottles of Ice Magic!
This can also be a very fun (and cheap) activity for kids in the kitchen! 

I have to admit this little idea of mine was actually inspired by the folks at Ice Magic themselves. Check out this amazing Giant Ice Magic Art Project video - artwork created by Prizm, a local Melbourne artist using 100 bottles of Ice Magic and a canvas made out of 150 litres of ice cream! The filming took place in a cold room in Dandenong. Isn't it amazing?!

Ice Magic are currently running a competition* on their Facebook Page. All you need to do is submit a photo of your Ice Magic Art and you could win a ski trip for two to New Zealand! Check out details of the competition here. Don't forget to also Like their Facebook Page so we can all share thoughts, pictures and our mutual love for Ice Magic!

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 Ice Magic Prize Packs to give away to 2 random winners*. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post and tell us what would you create using Ice Magic. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you though, e.g. your Twitter name, Facebook, link to your blog OR an email address so I know how to contact you if you win! Entries will close on the 23rd of March 2012.

*Ice Magic Art Competition and Giveaway is open to Australian Residents only.

Let the magic begin!