Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My favourite Green Pea and Lettuce Soup

Sounds weird. Tastes delicious. Plenty of black pepper and lemon juice are essential ingredients.

1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 medium sliced potatoes
2 medium brown onions, sliced
1 iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
750mL of good strong chicken stock
1 bunch chives, chopped, plus extra to serve
300mL cream
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Salt and pepper

Place all ingredients up to and including the chives in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins or until the potato is tender.

Puree with a stick blender until smooth. Add the cream off the heat. Season very well and carefully with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Taste continually until extra lemony and delicious.

Sprinkle with chopped chives and extra pepper to serve.

Nigella's Snow Flecked Chocolate Brownies

Writing up this recipe is making me want to eat more of them. They are great. Do not overcook them. This makes a deliciously huge batch of brownies - note the large tin size!

375g dark chocolate
375g butter
6 eggs
350g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
250g white choc chips

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line with baking paper a 33x23cm tin.

Melt together the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Leave to cool until room temperature.

Beat together the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract. Add to the chocolate. Fold in the flour and white choc chips.

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 mins or until just set. They will continue cooking after removed from the oven.

Dust liberally with icing sugar to serve.

Healthy? Banana Bread

After Angela and David came to stay at Mum and Dad's place there were some scammy bananas left over. On the continual hunt for a fantastic banana bread recipe I decided to combine a couple of recipes plus add my own touches. Delicious result.

1 1/2 cups Wholemeal SR flour (or substitute wm plain plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup wheatgerm
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
zest of half an orange
1/2 cup brown sugar
250g (1 1/2 cups) chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
125g melted butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (2- 3 large bananas)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease two 10x20cm loaf tins and line the base with baking paper.

Mix together the flour, wheatgerm, spices, orange zest, sugar, dates, walnuts. In another bowl mix together the butter, milk, eggs and banana. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients. Pour evenly between the two loaf tins.

Bake for 30-40 mins or until just cooked. They are cooked when a skewer comes out clean. Do not overcook them.

Great served with a generous layer of butter

Playing on the Train Tracks

Probably not the best idea. Good distraction from the running that I am supposed to be doing. Why not play on the train tracks. I can see a good 1km in both directions. Was hoping a train could come so I could take a photo with the train. I guess I can go back each day and wait and hope!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

No-Bake Coconut Lemon Slice

This quick and easy no-bake slice has a moist, coconutty base and a soft, sweet lemon icing. It is finished with a sprinkling of coconut. You'll need two lemons for this recipe.

80g butter

250g (3/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk

250g packet Milk Arrowroot biscuits

85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut

Zest of one lemon

1 tablespoon (20ml) fresh lemon juice

Lemon Icing

250g (1 3/4 cups) icing sugar

2 tablespoons (40ml) fresh lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, for sprinkling on top of slice

Grease an 20x20cm slice pan or baking dish and line with baking paper.

Place butter and condensed milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when butter has melted and mixture is smooth. Be careful that the bottom doesn't stick.

Crush biscuits using a rolling pin. I like them to be a bit chunky still. Stir crushed biscuits, lemon zest and coconut together in a large bowl until well combined.

Stir lemon juice into condensed milk mixture.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The mixture will appear quite wet at this stage.

Press mixture into the prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing icing (see instructions below).

Spread lemon icing over slice and sprinkle with extra coconut.

Refrigerate slice until cold and firm then remove from the pan and cut into pieces. Store slice in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Lemon Icing

Combine icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.

Corn and bacon dip in a cob loaf

I haven't had one of these for years. When we decided to have a party this weekend I remembered this delicious dip. Everyone loved it. It makes quite a substantial amount of dip. It is fantastic - try it.

1 round crusty cobb loaf

4 rashers of bacon, chopped

1 onion

4 spring onions, chopped

2 teaspoons of light olive oil

1 x 400g can creamed corn

2 x 400g cans corn kernels

300mL sour cream

1 cup grated tasty and parmesan cheese

cracked black pepper

cayenne pepper

French stick warmed and cut into pieces, or crackers as extra dippers

Optional - extra fried bacon for garnish

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Fry chopped bacon until crispy. Add onion and spring onions with olive oil and fry until soft.

In the meantime slice the top off the cob loaf - this will be the lid to your 'bowl'. Pull out the soft bread from inside the loaf and pull apart into dipping sized chunks.

In a large bowl mix onion and bacon with all remaining ingredients. Season well with pepper.

Add dip mixture to the cobb loaf 'bowl', put on oven tray along with the 'lid' and chunks of bread. Bake in a moderate-to-hot oven for approximately 30 minutes or until dip is hot and bread is crunchy.

Garnish the top with some additional fried and drained bacon and chopped shallots.

Suggestions - this might be nice with some coriander stirred into it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is it possible to make Canneloni look nice?

This may not look neat and 'restaurant-y' but it was really good! I found the recipe while at BEGA (Aboriginal medical service) this morning waiting for the doctor. Thanks better homes and gardens! I had to (I think it is a compulsion of mine) change the recipe - changing their cream sauce to a can of tomatoes - much nicer and lighter for a week-night meal. I made some mint pesto the other night so chucked some of that in to give extra flavour. I think if I didn't have this I would add instead a good handful of chopped mint leaves, toasted pine nuts - a handful, and about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

1 butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes (they can be pretty rough)
250g salami, cut into pieces
250g tub of ricotta
1 egg
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg - please go out and buy whole nutmegs and grate them yourself! the flavour is far superior to pre-grated nutmeg, it is one of my favourites
Large handful of chopped soft herbs including mint and basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 cans chopped tomatoes, or a large bottle of tomato passata
Fresh lasagna sheets
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

While you chop the pumpkin preheat the oven to 180C. Put the pumpkin on a baking tray in one layer, then mix with enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Add the salami to the pan and return to the oven for a further 5-10 mins or until the salami is crisp. Remove from the oven. Leave the oven on while you make the canneloni.

In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, egg, herbs, pine nuts, first lot of parmesan cheese and pumpkin and salami. All pumpkins are different sizes so use your judgement. I didn't use my whole pumpkin - I have saved some for a salad tomorrow. Mix well. Season generously with pepper and a bit of salt - keep in mind there is cheese in it which is salty.

Find a large casserole dish. Pour enough tomatoes on the bottom to cover in a thin layer of sauce. Cut the lasagna sheet in half. Place a generous spoon of mixture at one end of the sheet and roll up. Place in the baking dish. Continue until you have used up all the filling. Layer with the rest of the tomatoes. Then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Semolina Syrup Cake

This is a delicious, moist orange-y cake from Bill Granger's "Every Day".

125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup thick greek (natural) yoghurt
3 eggs, separated
zest of one orange, finely grated
1 cup plain flour
1 cup fine semolina
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup milk
blanched almonds, to decorate

1 cup caster sugar
Juice of one orange
1 tsp orange blossom water or rose water

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 22cm square cake tin. Let the paper hang over the edges to help you get the cake out later.

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the yoghurt, eggs and orange zest. Add the flour, semolina, baking powder, almonds and milk and mix gently to combine.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the flour/butter mixture. Then very gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour into the tin. Decorate with almonds. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean. Do not overcook.

In the meantime make the syrup. Make the orange juice up to 1 cup of fluid with water. Put the orange juice mixture, sugar and orange blossom water in a small saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Pour a cold syrup over the hot cake. Leave the cake to cool in the tin completely.

This cake would be great served with natural yoghurt or sour cream.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Instead of a TTD list I have a TTC list.
Things To Cook.
It is expanding.
The supply is greater than the demand.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Non ST-Elevated MI

Im glad this isn't me - or you either for that matter. Having a heart attack in Kalgoorlie is not my idea of fun.
ST depression in Lead III, AVF, V2, V3, V5.... oh dear. He is still alive and going to Perth via RFDS for angiogram and probably stenting or actually most likely CABG.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding on a whim

I felt like chocolate pudding. I found a recipe - it took 45 minutes to cook. No go. How about microwave chocolate pudding in 5 minutes! It was really great. I had it with natural yoghurt - that's all I had. Would be great with ice cream.

This is the photo of it after Eliza and I attacked it.

2 tsp butter
1 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp coconut
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Find a microwave dish at least 1.5L in volume. Put the butter in the bottom then buzz in the microwave for 10-20 seconds or until melted. Add the remaining batter ingredients then mix well.

Sprinkle over the dry sauce ingredients. Gently pour over the boiling water.

Cover with a sheet of wax paper and cook in the microwave on high for 5-7 minutes. Check frequently and adjust the time to suit your microwave.


Monday, September 7, 2009

South African Bobotie

South Africa's national dish. Beef mince with a savoury custard topping. Thanks to Neil's Mum Carol for introducing me to this! I love it.

2 thick slices of stale white bread, crusts removed
1 cup milk
Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 - 1 tbsp curry powder - depending on strength and preference
1 tsp turmeric
1 kg beef mince
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp good fruit chutney
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

Custard Topping
3 large eggs
Bay or lemon leaves
Lemon slices
Large handful of slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 180C

Place the bread in the bowl and pour over the milk. Leave to stand for 3 minutes, then gently squeeze out the milk. Reserve the milk and the bread in separate bowls.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fry until soft. Remove the onion to a plate. Put the pan over high heat and fry the mince until brown. Add the onion back to the pan, along with the curry powder and turmeric. Mix well and fry for a minute or two or until fragrant. Add the bread, raisins, almonds, apricot jam, chutney and about 1/2 - 1 cup of hot water. Lower the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Place the meat mixture in a large casserole dish and pack down firmly. Whisk the milk with the eggs and a pinch of salt. Pour the egg mix over the flattened meat. Decorate with the bay leaves, lemon slices and a good handful of slivered almonds.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the egg is just set - do not overcook. Serve with yellow rice and banana with coconut.

Banana with Coconut
Stir sliced banana with desicated coconut. Serve immediately. Two bananas is enough for 3-4 people depending on your appetite.

Yellow Rice
Add a teaspoon of ground turmeric to the rice before you cook it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Banana Cake with Walnut Topping

125g softened butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup buttermilk, or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice and left to sit for 5 minutes

3 tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g softened butter
3 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter and flour a 22cm cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, banana and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk. Pour into the tin.

Combine all ingredients for the topping. Scatter over the top of the uncooked cake.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin on a wire rack for a few minutes before turning out.

Add chopped dates to the cake mixture
Add chopped walnuts to the cake mixture

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ocotpus Salad

I must have the octopus salad in Angela's Masterplan Blog
One day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bye Bye Honeys

Honey is off to a new home in Sydney. I will miss her - she is the most darling little dog. Unfortunately she doesn't get along with Leo. She is too bossy for him and makes him depressed. Hopefully she is happy in her new home and isn't too traumatised by the move.

Mini Apple Pies with Bry

Perfect bite sized Apple Pies!

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

115g butter

100g icing sugar

pinch salt

zest of half a lemon

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp cold milk or water

Extra cream/milk and caster sugar for basting


3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces

1 vanilla pod split and scraped

1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

2 tsp brown sugar

Squeeze lemon juice

dash water

The pastry can be made in a food processor or by hand. Cream the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a food processor. Add the flour, mix until combined then add the egg yolks. When it looks like coarse breadcrumbs add the milk or water. Keep processing until it comes together in a ball. Wrap in gladwrap, place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Press the pastry into twelve small cupcake sized pans that have been sprayed with oil. Rest in the freezer for about twenty minutes. Blind bake at 180C for about 15 minutes or until pale golden. If they have puffed up press them down gently with a tea-towel whilst still warm.

For the filling combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat with a lid on until soft but not mushy, shaking occasionally to prevent burning at the bottom. Remove vanilla pods, cinnamon and the clove. Ideally the filling should be cooled before going into the shells.

Heap the cases full of pastry then cover with a remaining piece of pastry. Brush with cream and dust with sugar then put two small slits in the lid with a knife. Bake at 180C until the top is golden and the filling is warmed through.