Hello, my name is Karen and I am a Melbourne girl living in Dubai. I am the creative mind, photographer and the sneaky chef behind the Secret Squirrel. This site is a collection of my recipes that celebrates the pleasures of eating simple, real, natural and wholesome food.
I was very lucky to attend the 2018 Pasta World Championship hosted by Barilla in Milan. It was 2 days of absolute fun! 18 young professional chefs from all around the world flew in to participate in the competition. Each chef shared their passion and creativity for pasta. The event was centred around the importance of healthy food, paying respects to quality ingredients and sustainability. It’s all about joyful and balanced eating.
The contestants competed in pairs and the winners were decided by a jury. The second day focused on wellbeing, with each contestant creating a healthy and nutritious pasta recipe. So many beautiful dishes were presented and Barilla really prides itself on using the best ingredients.
After days of cooking, the two finalists, Toby Wang from China and Carolina Diaz from USA competed in the final round of the competition. The rules of the final was to create a classic dish with pasta and tomato sauce. Carolina Diaz won the competition with her winning dish, Spaghetti Al Pomodoro, where she focused on using the whole tomato including the stem. This post is sponsored by Barilla and for more information regarding the Pasta World Championship –> click here
Loacker wafers, date caramel sauce, vanilla greek yoghurt and bananas make this creamy, delicious breakfast jar irresistible. Yummmmm dessert for breakfast?! Yes please! This Banoffee Parfait is like eating a sweet, decadent banana and toffee pie that’s absolutely delicious!
The date caramel sauce is everything you wished for! Sweet, sticky, gooey and all things yum!
The Loacker wafers add a delicious chocolatey crunch to the parfait. So light and crispy with a rich chocolate hazelnut flavour. It’s a dream come true!
45g Loacker Napolitaner Wafer biscuits
80g pitted dates
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
250g greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 banana sliced
Extra Loacker Napolitaner Wafer biscuits for topping
1. Blend the pitted dates with boiling water, coconut oil and vanilla until it creates a thick smooth caramel. Set aside to cool.
2. Crush the Loacker Napolitaner Wafer biscuits into small pieces.
3. Mix greek yoghurt with vanilla bean paste.
4. Start layering the parfait by adding a heaped tablespoon of the crumbled Loacker Napolitaner into the bottoms of each jar, add a tablespoon of the caramel, layer of banana slices and a generous dollop of yoghurt. Repeat to create the next layer.
5. Top with a few banana slices, caramel sauce and Loacker Napolitaner Wafer biscuits.
6. Serve immediately.