Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar-crusted Macadamia Nuts

Well hasn't it been the longest time since I posted here ... no excuses ... This Christmas we are travelling north, and my contribution to christmas day lunch, will be nibbles and the old christmas favourites with a few twists.  We will start with nuts ... macadamia nuts ... these are so delicious I had to keep some out of the package for Chrismtas Lunch so we could nibble and not break into the goodies for the 25th :) ...

Enjoy !


Monday, August 2, 2010

Lemon Melting Moments

This recipe is taken from the Masterchef magazine. We have enjoyed going through the magazines picking all the things we want to cook :) ... some have been monumental mistakes others, like these yummy biscuits were a huge hit ... enjoy !

Lemon Melting Moments

200g (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
100g (2/3 cups) cornflour
225g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
80g (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, to dust
3 lemons zested
1 tsp vanilla extract

Passionfruit filling
4 passionfruit, pulp removed
200g (1 1/4 cups) icing sugar, sifted
1 tbs liquid glucose
80g unsalted butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 170c. Sift flours with 1/4 tsp salt into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add zest and vanilla then gradually beat in combined flours until mixture just comes together.

2. Roll 2 teaspoonsful of dough into balls, placing them on 2 oven trays lined with baking paper. Using a floured fork, mark biscuits with tines. Bake for 12 mintues, swapping trays halfway, or until biscuits are light golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 40.

3. Meanwhile, to make filling, press pulp through a fine sieve, reserving seeds. Place 2 tbs juice, 3 tsp reserved seeds and remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric beater. Beat of high speed until fluffy. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Spread filling on 20 biscuits, then sandwich with remaining biscuits. Dust with extra icing sugar to serve.

Recipe from Masterchef Issue 3 July 2010

Lemon Melting Moments


Friday, July 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Slice

The Masterchef series in Australia has been a phenomenal success, we religously watched it every night at 7.30pm, cheering on our favourites and enjoying looking at all the great food. One of the things to come out of the show has been the increase in the kids interest in food and cooking. In the holidays they all had turns at picking something we could cook together ... not surprisingly they picked sweet things :) ... So here is the slice Mr 12 and I cooked. Since Miss 10 has become free of most nut allergies we were excited to cook with almond meal, it really made such wonderful difference to the slice..Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Slice

150g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
250g Nestle Choc Bits dark
110g pkt almond meal
75g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
1tbs milk
80g white cooking chocolate, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 160 c. Brush a 16cm x 26cm (base measurement) slice pan with melted butter. Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.

2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Stir in the choc bits, almond meal, combined flour and milk.

3. Spread the mixture over the base of the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water ( make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water ). Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts and is smooth.

5. Use a fork to drizzle the melted white chocolate over the slice. Set aside to set. Cut into pieces.

Recipe from Good Taste baking booklet

Chocolate Chip Slice


Friday, July 16, 2010

Bacon and Tomato Soup with garlic croutons

A long time between posts :) ... yes we still have been eating, but now its winter its dark when we have dinner. Natural light is so much nicer. Anyway, on the up side of winter is all the yummy slow cooked meals and soups we have. This soup is so easy to make and very quick to whip up at the end of the day. The best part according to the kids is the garlic croutons, and of course being the parmesan loving family that we are, we added some parmesan over the top just before eating. Enjoy !

Bacon and Tomato Soup with garlic croutons

2 tsp Olive oil
75g short cut bacon, finely chopped
1 large red onion
3 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 x 400g cans no added salt tomatoes
500ml water
2 tsp garlic, extra, crushed
2 tsp olive oil, extra
2 slices of your favourite seeded bread
Fresh basil to serve

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon, onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and chilli and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.

2. Add the tomato and water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 c. Combine extra garlic and oil in a bowl. Brush both sides of bread with the mixture. Break into pieces. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp.

4. Place half the soup in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with the remaining soup. Stir over low heat until heated through. Ladle soup amoung serving bowls. Top with garlic croutons and basil.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Ideas Number 1

About time I suppose :) ..... after promising some menu ideas I go away and forget.  Well here are some ideas, some recipes are already on the blog, some are not but should be relatively easy.  You don't have to stick to these recipes,it really is just to give you some ideas, if meatballs are on my list, you could do Spaghetti Bolognaise or Lasagne.  I hope this helps and gives you some ideas to answer the question "Whats for dinner mum?"  Which thankfully I don't hear any more, the list goes up each week and they know to look on the board and not ask that annoying question :) ....




To download the Menu Ideas One please click Here

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lemon,Honey and Chilli Prawns with Zucchini and Tomato Pasta ...

A fabulous combination, taken from the most recent Donna Hay Magazine (Summer). I did cheat a bit though .. instead of fresh green prawns I bought frozen green prawns that were peeled all but the tail. I know fresh would better, but sometimes I just don't have the time.... another popular meal, even Mr 12 who is not a huge fan of prawns ate the lot .. ENJOY !

Zucchini and Tomato Pasta

2 tbsp olive oil
2 sliced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp chillit flakes
2 tsp lemon zest
250g cherry tomatoes
2 thinly sliced zucchini
lemon juice
grated parmesan cheese

Add oil, garlic, chilli flakes and lemon zest and cook for a minute. Add 250 halved cherry tomatoes and zucchini and cook for another minute. Add cooked warm spaghetti, lemon juice, basil and grated parmesan, salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Lemon, Honey and Chilli Prawns

500g peeled and deveined green prawns
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 chopped red chilli (I left this out because of the kids)
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes. Thread prawns onto skewers and cook on a low char-grill or BBQ for 2 minutes each side, serve with lime wedges coriander.

Because of time contraints I didn't thread them on to skewers I just cooked them and added the prawns to the top of the pasta.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lamb and Rosemary Pies

I thought this recipe was going to be too fussy with two different types of pastry and getting them out of a muffin tin, I expected a messy disaster .... but not to be, they were easy to make ... and keep together :) .... Kids thought they were great, although a little big for Miss 5. Try them, they are worth it .. ENJOY !

Watch out for the next blog post..... after I put of the menu planner, there were a few questions about when I was going to fill it in, lol .... so this week I am going to list our menu for the week, just to give you some ideas .. :)

Lamb and Rosemary Pies

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tsp fresh rosemary,chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper
350g Lamb Mince
1/2 cup beef stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup frozen peas
2 large sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

1. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in frying pan. Fry onion, rosemary, coriander and pinch of salt and pepper for 5 minutes. Add mince and fry for 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomatoes, and tomato paste.

2. Bring mixture to boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas and leave to completely cool.

3. Preheat oven to 200 c. Grease a 6 hole Texas muffin tray. These are the really big hole muffin trays.

4. For pie bases, cut shortcrust pastry sheets in 4 and press down well into muffin cups. Trim. For pie lids, make 6 x 12cm diameter puff pastry circles.

5. Spoon mince into pastry cups, then brush rims with a little water. Top each pie with lid, pressing edges together to seal. Using fork, crimp edges and pierce a small hole in centres. ( I must admit, I didn't get to fussy hear with cripming extra .. i just pushed down the puff pastry onto the cups and they sealed ok)

6. Brush pie tops with egg. Bake for 20 minutes, let pies cool for 5 minutes.

Recipe from Real living magazine.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Salmon ....

Salmon is a treat at our place, given there are 5 of us, it turns out an expensive meal. Lucky this recipe turned out so yummy that everyone ate it. I have all these types of spices in my pantry, if you don't they are available in small packages, so if you don't use these things very often then you won't have much left over. So here is salmon poached in a spiced soy broth... ENJOY !

Salmon poached in spiced soy broth

250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
250ml (1 cup) dry sherry (or I use Shao Hsing chinese rice wine)
125ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce
85 g (1/3 cup) coarsely chopped palm sugar (in other recipes they have
substitued brown sugar, just not tightly packed)
2 strips orange rind, white pith removed
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick (if unavailable use a large pinch on cinnamon)
1 tsp fennel seeds
4cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
4 skinless slmon fillets, halved
Steamed rice and chinese Broccoli to serve

1. Preheat oven to 180 c. Stir the stock, sherry,soy sauce,sugar,orange rind,star anise,cinnamon stick,fennel seeds and ginger in a saucepan over a medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium. Bring to a simmer.

2. Place the salmon, in a single layer, in a large roasting dish. Pour over the stock mixture. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside, covered for 5 mintues for medium, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.

3. Transfer the salmon to a plate. Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve into a jug and reserve. Serve salmon with steamed rice, drizzle over a little reserved poaching liquid.

Recipe from Good Taste magazine Feb 10.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beetroot Tzatziki

Who would have thought making a dip was so easy ... lol ... i have always bought dip thinking they were too hard to make. Well i was wrong. Last night for dinner we had Lamb and Feta Kofta with Beetroot Tzatziki, and we all loved it. I don't imagine that this is the authentic recipe given that it uses canned beetroot, but it turns out so yummy I am sure we can gloss over that part .. ENJOY !

Beetroot Tzatziki

225g can sliced beetroot, drained
90g (1/3cup) Greek style natural yoghurt
2tbs chopped fresh mint
1 small french shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove

Process the beetroot, yoghurt, mint, shallot and garlic in the food processor until smooth.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Easy Basil Pesto

As we have nut allergies in our house, its almost impossible to buy Basil Pesto over the counter because of the nut content ... so for the first time I have made it myself. It was so easy :) ... Even though this recipe has nuts in it, I have just omitted them. I am sure it won't taste like traditional Pesto should, but everyone loved it ... We had the pesto with Fish and roasted cherry tomatoes and red onions ... ENJOY !

Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Ramano cheese
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. ( If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Next time I think i will grate the cheese a little finer, the photo shows I put in a little more parmesan than the recipe said :)

Recipe from www.simplyrecipes.com


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