Monday, September 04, 2006

Carrot, Pineapple, Coconut and Walnut Cake

Is it cheating just to link here? Then cheat I must, for I cannot type it all again!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Catch-up Day 76 - Jelly cakes

These come from Australian chef Kylie Kwong. The boys love them and they are great to make with their help. But come to think of it, I love them. Make them in those shallow cupcake trays (a bit like Madeliene tins in depth, but just round in shape) and don't overfill - you want little cakes you can just pop in your mouth. Go crazy with different coloured jellies.

125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

- Preheat oven to 180C
- Cream butter with sugar
- Add egg
- Fold in flour, milk and vanilla
- Spoon into greased patty-pan tins
- Bake for 10 minutes

1 cup boiling water
1 packet jelly crystals
3/4 cup cold water
2 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
- Make jelly and chill for 2-2 1/2 hours

- When cakes are cooled and jelly is sort of half set, roll cakes in the jelly, then in the coconut.
- Gobble gobble gobble!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Catch-up Day 78: Mint yoghurt dressing

I'm not a big fan of cooking fish, even though it is quick, easy and highly nutritious, and the kids love it. Having just written that I realise just how stupid it sounds that we don't eat fish at least three times a week. I guess it's having to buy it fresh all the time and adding that step to the process - as opposed to just staring into the pantry - puts it in the too hard basket. Slack I know.

Anyway, when I do cook a lovely bream, snapper or flathead fillet, the following is a lovely accompaniment. It is also great with some grilled chicken or even just brown rice if you're having one of those nights.

1 cup yoghurt
2 tblsp lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce
4 tblsp finely chopped fresh mint.

That's it.
You can also season it with salt and pepper if you wish. Go on, knock yourself out.

Catch-up Day 77: the best sticky ribs ever.

This comes from Nigella. I love Nigella. I won't hear a bad word about her. Although once she made a dish with squid ink noodles, prawns and chilli and it just looked wrong wrong wrong. But I love her. I covet her waist, her skin and her ability to triumph over adversity to marry again into some serious shit money of a stratosphere I can only imagine.

Anyway, this is her ribs recipe and my GOODNESS it is good.

4 tblsp vinegar
3 tblsp soy
dash sesame oil
2 tblsp honey
cinnamon stick, crumbled
star anise - a few
lots and lots of ginger cut into sticks
4 spring onions
3 fat red chillies
Pork ribs - on the bone

Combine the marinade with the ribs
Cook in a covered baking dish at 200C for an hour
Uncover, raise the heat to 230C
Add another good slug of honey and 2 tsp five spice
Cook for another 30 minutes.

They'll be charred in places and sticky all over.

Seriously, these are so very very good.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Catch-up Day 65: Artichoke Dip #2

This is really called artichoke and white bean puree, which is nice if you're trying to be fancy.

400g can of artichoke hearts, drained (I use marinated ones for more flavour)
400g can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans.
1 1/2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp coarsley chopped marjoram

Process until smooth.
Serve with lavash or raw veggies.

Catch-up Day 64: Artichoke dip

This is another recipe from my American friend Lynda. I love these US recipes that basically see how many forms of saturated fat they can get into one dish.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 410g can of artichokes, drained and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

- Preheat oven to 180C
- Combine the mayonnaise, parmesan, artichokes and garlic
- Pour into shallow ceramic dish
- Sprinkle over paprika
- Cook until golden and bubbly.
- Serve with selection of raw vegetables and lavash crackers.

I can eat this until I have to undo my jeans and my head falls off, and not necessarily in that order.

Catch-up Day 63: Basic tomato sauce

Again, this is from my heroes - Curtis and Campion in the Kitchen. It seems ludicrous to follow a recipe for a basic tomato sauce for pasta, but you know, some people need hand holding from the very beginning, and if it means they are in the kitchen having fun and success, then that is what it takes.

Olive oil - a few good lugs
garlic - several cloves, smooshed with the side of your chef's knife, then chopped/minced with a good pinch of sea salt
410g tin chopped roma tomatoes
good handful basil or flat leaf parsley

Heat the oil
Saute off the garlic until golden, not brown
Add the tomatoes and basil and simmer

It's that easy folks.
Go crazy and throw some olives in with the tomatoes.
Lose your head and add some anchovies or rinsed salted capers with the garlic.
The options are limitless.

I use this, then after browning off the meatballs add them in and simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Catch-up Day 62: Spaghetti w/ meatballs

I made these for the first time a few weeks back on Felix's request. He has a food-memory association with them from a time Chef cooked them and they played Xbox together for the first time. What a treasured childhood time. Anyway, I didn't like Chef's. No real reason, they just didn't do it for me. So I found a recipe from my favouritist cookbook in the world - Campion & Curtis in the Kitchen - and made them. Then Felix uttered a phrase I never thought I'd hear, "Mum, this is better than spaghetti bolognese". And I agree.

I make a big batch and then freeze portions for during the week or quick dinner options.

500g pork mince
500g beef mince
2 eggs
a good 2 handfuls or so of breadcrumbs
a good handful or 2 of parmesan
a good handful of chopped basil and parsley
1-2 onions, finely chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, smooshed

- Cook off onion and garlic
- Mix minces together
- Add everything else. If too wet add more breadcrumbs
- Roll into small balls. (Don't do them too big, I don't like them)

Heat some olive oil in a fry pan, brown them, then add to the basic tomato sauce that you've got simmering and cook for as long as you have.

Catch-up Day 61: Baby baked custard w/ stewed apple

This comes from Robin Barker, the doyenne of all things baby in Australia. I made double this the other day and Jasper didn't even get any. The boys scoffed the lot.

1 cup apple puree
1 cup milk
1 tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Mix the apple with the milk, sugar and vanilla
- Beat the egg and stir through the mix
- Pour into a greased ovenproof dish
- Bake for 20 minutes or until set.
- Eat hot or cold.

(You can apparently substitute banana for the apple, but I hate bananas, so don't look to me to see how that would work.)

Catch-up Day 60: Baby tapioca

You have to indulge me here. You see, the New Recruit is in that land between just eating pureed vegies and stewed apple and not quite being up for me mashing up whatever it is we're eating for dinner.

We love tapioca in this house - I'll post our favourite dessert here soon - and this is a great first introduction to the food we affectionately call frogs eggs.

1 tblsp tapioca
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tblps stewed apple, pureed

- Put the tapioca and juice in a small saucepan.
- Stir over low heat until the juice is mostly absorbed.
- Add the apple.
- Cool and serve.

You can freeze this. It makes about 2 serves, depending on the age of the baby.

Catch-up Day 59: Quick and easy spinach pie

This is actually based on a recipe in a baby and toddler cookbook I own. I'm not kidding. I've made it more fancy with the addition of pine nuts, fresh mint and breadcrumbs on top to go crispy and yum.

But yeah, I'm posting baby food.

250g packet frozen spinach - thawed and all the water squeezed out
1 cup cooked rice
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup fetta, diced
1 tblsp butter, melted
handful chopped fresh mint
handful pinenuts
fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 200C
Combine everything
Press into a 23cm pie dish
scatter with pinenuts and breadcrumbs
Bake for 25 minutes or until set.

I'm serious, it is SO good.

Catch-up Day 58: Chicken rissoles

It is quite bizarre how much chicken (organic mind you) we eat, considering when I was preggers with Jasper I couldn't come at it in any way shape or form.

I whipped these up the other week, even making a mega-batch so there were some in the freezer for dinners when Mum was on duty.

500g chicken mince
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large field mushroom, finely diced
fresh breadcrumbs - a good couple of handfuls
a egg
a good dollop of dijon mustard
fresh herbs - tarragon or thyme works well.

saute off the onion and garlic, add the mushroom
cool - if you have time.
Combine everything in a bowl.
If too wet add more breadcrumbs.
Shape into patties
Coat in more fresh breadcrumbs
Pan fry
Serve w/ salad and bread rolls.

How easy is that!?!

Catch-up Day 57: Super quick and easy chocolate sauce

I can't believe I'm actually going to list this as an actual recipe.
On the rare occasions I crave ice cream, I often crave a chocolate sauce to go with it. After a weird obsession with Ice Magic soon after having Jasper, I now need something a little bit better quality.

Take 250g choc chips and 300ml pouring cream.

Combine in a dish
Microwave for about 30 seconds
Then keep microwaving in 10 second bursts until the chocolate is melted and it all combines into a chocolate sauce.

I have no idea how long it would keep in a fridge, the longest it's lasted in our house is two nights.

Catch-up Day 56: Five-spice beef stir-fried w/ noodles

I'm nutty for noodles. Egg noodles, vermicelli, hokkien noodles, you name it. In fact, the last trimester of my pregnancy with Jasper was largely fuelled by Singapore noodles from the food court at Grosvenor Tower. With extra chilli sauce on the side.

The chilli factor is tricky in our house as Oscar classifies ginger as spicy. Felix has inherited a palate from Chef's side of the family and was known to tuck into a Thai green curry sauce from around the age of 4.

The following - with the wondrous aromatic flavours of Chinese Five Spice, is a happy medium.

one large piece of rump - coated in a good dose of Chinese Five Spice and freshly ground pepper. Sear on each side, rest, then slice thinly.
(Alternatively, take a semi-frozen piece of rump, slice thinly, toss in five spice and pepper then wok fry)

mix up a sauce of
4 tblsp soy
4 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tsp - a dash - sesame oil
pinch of sugar

Heat some oil in a wok. Stir fry a selection of vegies. In our house it's normally onion, broccoli, carrot. If they're in the cupboard, water chestnuts and baby corn get tossed in as well. If we're cashed up there are snow peas and shallots and maybe even (gasp) cashews.
If I can be bothered I'll add some cloves of garlic, finely chopped and some grated ginger.

Add the Hokkien noodles
Toss through the sauce
Add the meat and fresh coriander.

Delicious, nutritious and fast.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day Whatever - Anzac Biscuits

Bec requested a one bowl biscuit a few weeks ago and I've been drawing blanks except for the mighty Anzac. But Bec said she hates Anzacs. She obviously hasn't tried mine.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar ( I normally use brown, but Chef had used it all making his caramel wannabe milkshakes, so I used caster, and I think they are better)
3/4 dessicated coconut
125g butter
2 tblsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 tblsp boiling water

- mix dry ingredients together
- melt butter with golden syrup
- mix bicarb with boiling water, add to butter mix
- mix wet with dry - it will be quite dry
- form rounds in your hand, about half way between the size of a twenty cent and fifty cent
- bake in a slow (150C) oven for 20 minutes.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 74 - Good Friday - Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday is my idea of bliss. A day off work, no need for gifts. Just a day to h.a.n.g. o.u.t. And bake. Behold, Hot Cross Buns. . .

2 tblsp dry yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk
4 cups plain flour
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
85g butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups sultanas (or 1 cup sultanas, 1/2 cup raisins and/or currants)
1/3 cup candied peel (or finely grated rind of an orange and a lemon)

- Combine the yeast, sugar and milk until bubbles form
- Add everything else
- Mix with a palate knife to combine, then knead for 5-10 minutes
- Place dough in an oiled boil and set aside for 30 mins

- Knock back, divide into 12 (or 24 to make mini-buns), place in a greased 23cm square tin (or place close together on a baking tray for freer form), cover and let rise until doubled.

- Top with cross paste

- Cook in 200C oven for 20 mins
- Brush over glaze.

1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup water
- mix together into a paste
- put into a bag of some description (I use a snaplock bag, then cut off one corner)
- draw crosses over the top

2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp gelatine
2 tblsp water
- combine over heat and cook until the gelatine dissolves
- brush over warm buns


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Day 71 - Roast Lamb with coffee

Terry Durack and Jill Dupleix are an Australian cooking couple that used to have a stranglehold on all forms of food media in Australia. It would have been more annoying, had their recipes and love of food not been so accesible, understandable and delicious.

This is a unique way of cooking lamb that adds a depth of flavour to a family favourite. Not to mention a sense of oohlala.

salt and pepper
1 tblsp fresh rosemary sprigs
1 boned and tied leg of lamb - about 1.2kg
1 tblsp mustard
1/2 cup strong coffee
1 tblsp cream
1 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp brandy
1/2 cup chicken stock

- Preheat oven to 190C
- Rub salt, pepper, rosemary into the lamb
- Spread mustard over lamb
- Combine coffee, cream, sugar and brandy in a pot, stir over gentle heat until sugar is dissolved
- Place lamb in lightly oiled baking dish and pour over coffee mixture
- Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 160C for 15 mins
- Rest for 15 mins before carving
- Add chicken stock to juice and heat until bubbling.

Day 70 - dinner and an Italian coffee custard

Dinner was honey soy chicken wings, rice, vegies - which were delicious and perfect after a long day at work and a hard night the night before spent trying to sleep in Felix's bed because he had requisitioned mine.

While I was looking for the pecan pie recipe I found this. I've only made it once but think of it often.

Piedmontese Coffee Custard
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 cup freshly brewed espresso coffee
1 cup caster sugar
8 eggs, lightly beaten
100ml dark rum (although I've made it with Cointreau, which was fabulous)
100g amaretti biscuits - finely chopped

- Combine milk, cream, coffee and sugar in saucepan and heat for 5 minutes
- Stir in combined eggs and alcohol
- Mix in chopped biscuits
- Pour into ramekins or one large dish, then into a baking dish in the oven. Fill baking dish with water until half way up side of ramekins
- Cook at 160C for 45-50 mins
- Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

They're sweet, but not too much. The coffee is strong but not overbearing. The biscuits form this crunchy sort of top. It is really lovely.

Day 69 - Pecan Pie and Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce

This is Chef's favourite. I have only made it three times in 15 years. Twice in the last 6 months. What's the saying? Treat 'em mean...

This is actually Martha Stewart's Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
1 cup sugar
4 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 cup (+2 tblsp) dark corn syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tblsp bourbon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecan halves - chop half into smallish bits

Whisk together the sugar, butter, eggs, corn syrup and maple syrup, bourbon and vanilla.
Add the chopped pecans.
Pour into a chilled pie shell (in a 9 inch pie plate), arrange remaining pecans over the top
Bake for an hour.

Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce - this is DIVINE
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean - split and scraped
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tblsp unsalted butter
1 tblsp bourbon

Combine sugar with 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat
Cook until dark amber (takes about 20 mins)
Reduce heat, slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon
Scrap in vanilla seeds and add pod
Add lemon juice, butter and bourbon
Stir to combine
Will last up to a week if you don't - on your own- eat it in one sitting over icecream, off the spoon, with the pie, straight out of the jar...

BTW - Chef had today off - his first in over three weeks. It returned to Monday night, pizza night. Nice.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day 68 - Apple Pie

Take some pastry from the freezer that you'd prepared earlier (like, for fruit mince tarts at Christmas) .

Peel 6 granny smith apples. Cut into quarters, remove core and seeds. Cut each quarter into thirds lengthwise.

In a saucepan melt a little nob of butter.
Add apples and a dash of lemon juice, cook for about 5 minutes.

Add a cup of berries (tonight I used frozen cranberries - about 125g)
Add a handful or two of sugar, to your liking
Cook for a further 5 minutes

Sprinkle through 1-2 tblsp plain flour.

Pour into pastry case.
Put pastry over the top. Cut slits in pastry, brush with mix of egg yold and milk, sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake at 200C for 1 hour (cover if pastry starts browning too quickly).
Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

Eat with lashings of ice cream, cream, custard or all or whatever you have or prefer. Divine.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Days 56 through 66: merely proof that I am correct never to start a craft project

because quite frankly, it's obvious I am incapable of sustaining anything for an extended period of time. G'ah, it's remarkable I haven't sold the children after tiring of them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Day 55 - Kitchen Sink Cookies

You all know I don't really need an excuse to bake, but really, if I did, being broken into would probably rank as a good one. These cookies are big, fat, juicy chunks of comfort, only improved by being consumed with a big, hot cup of properly brewed tea.

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups choc chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts (optional)

- Preheat oven to 160C
- Cream buter and sugar
- Add eggs and vanilla
- Add dry ingredients
- Drop tablespoons of mix onto lined baking tray
- Cook for 15 to 18 minutes
- Cool slightly and eat eat EAT.