Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
And the end of last year, while flipping through the Canberra Times Food and Wine I saw a picture that gave me an idea for Christmas - a ginger bread tree. It looked beautiful! Golden biscuits, silver cashous and dusting of icing sugar 'snow'.
So, while getting ready to make my 'Christmas Tree' at home at Williworld on Christmas Eve, I saw the speculaas mold and decided to make the biscuits using speculaas dough.
In a bowl mix:
200 g flour
100 g brown sugar
100 g butter
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp baking powder, and
4 tsp speculaas spice (dutch cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamon and pepper)
Mix well until well combined and rest for half to one hour.
I then rolled it out and punched out a few sets of five different star sizes.
Bake at a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until golden.
Allow to cool and decorate the tops with snow white royal icing (egg white and icing sugar) and a silver cashous on each star point.
When the icing is dry, stack the stars, slightly turning them on themselves to create a tree.
I made these biscuits again yesterday for a farewell afternoon tea for a colleague going on maternity and expecting a baby boy. However, instead of white icing, I got 'creative and narrow-mindedly sexist', and used bright blue icing!
So, I've still not used the beautiful mold but I have learnt to make the dough... and thats a start.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tofu, Chinese Noodle Salad, Turkish Bread and Kristel's Mixed Dahal (mine isn't as good as hers so wait for it from her!).
Mum made an adaptation of Sandi May's great tofu.
Mum added an antipasto mix (with chickpeas and sundried tomatoes in it) then fried it rather than cooking it in the oven.
Mum, Dad, Vicki & I sat outside in the sunshine at a small cosy table, "very alfresco" said Dad! We had a very nice lunch.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Since then, it has become a true favourite. Light, fresh and super tasty.
Using 3 cups of chicken stock, add
20g fresh galangal,
4 kaffir lime leaves,
1 stick of lemon grass
2 Tbs coriander roots and stems
This is best left to soak overnight or for a few hours, but if you dont have time... Boil for at least 10 minutes before straining out the leaves etc.
Using the strained broth, add
500g chopped chicken
200g straw mushrooms
1 tsp raw or brown sugar
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs lime juice
1 kaffir lime leaf finely shredded
1 tin coconut milk
Simmer gently until chicken is cooked
Add 1/4 cup fresh coriander, a fresh red chilli and some fresh spring onions.
Serve on a bed of steamed rice in a pretty little bowl; or own its own as an entree.
Mmmmmm delicious wonderful soup...
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I'm not sure I have ever enjoyed another choc chip cookies as much as I enjoy these. Try them and see if you feel the same...
You will need:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
320g choc chips
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 Tbs milk
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
Mix the butter and sugar until light and creamy then add the eggs and vanilla and combine well.
Add the chocolate, nuts and seeds, then the flour, milk and baking powder.
Once well combined, spoon onto a lightly greased tray and bake at 180C until golden (about 10-15 minutes).
Sunday, May 22, 2011
So, off to the kitchen went Sarah and I...
We used Stephanie Alexander's short crust pastry recipe, except used wholemeal flour and lemon juice instead of water, and made lemon custard for the filling (which we rightly presumed would curdle as we used milk instead of cream). It didn't matter though. They were still delicious and became curd tarts, instead of just lemon tarts.
In a saucepan mix 6 egg yolks with a 1/2 cup of sugar, mix well to combine.
Add a splash of vanilla, zest of 2 large lemons, a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and 300mls of milk or cream.
Slowly cook custard on a low heat, gently stirring so it doesn't stick, for about 10 minutes or until thick.
Pour custard into blind baked shells (we used a standard 12 hole muffin tray) and bake at 180'C for around 15 minutes.
Allow to cool before gently removing from tray.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I love it due to the flavour, the freshness of all the salad, the number of toppings you can add, the combination of food groups etc. etc.
Gently fry onion, add garlic, tomato paste, sweet paprika, a few ground cloves and plenty of ground cumin.
Add massel beef stock powder, cooked borlotti and or kidney beans, a large tin of crushed tomatoes, a chilli, fresh oregano, a bit of salt and pepper and a square or two of plain dark chocolate (yes, chocolate).
For a nice thick sauce you may also like to add a tin of refried beans, otherwise you can mash some of your cooked beans.
Its great if you can leave it on a very low heat for a while to let the flavours really meld together.
We eat this with corn chips, cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sour cream, guacamole and some tabasco sauce or jalapeno peppers.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Stellie obligingly cooked up a storm and made pumpkin soup.
No real ground breaking recipe here, just fried onion and garlic, lots of cumin and turmeric add pumpkin and stock and water.
Boil for ages.
Add leftover filling for Pumpkin & Fetta pies from the freezer (you may not have this ingredient readily to hand)
Serve with fresh green stuff, we used coriander in this regard. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary or Thyme would be equally pastoral.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Get creative with themed cakes...These were my easter themed cupcakes:
Monday, May 16, 2011
This is a creation I made after a discussion over coffee with Debbie, a friend and true foodie, who was thinking of ideas for her column in the Canberra Times Food and Wine magazine.
Debbie's recipe is a little different, using fondant rather than marzipan, and at least 70% cocoa chocolate rather than normal dark chocolate.
You will need:
Large fresh cherries with no marks and stalks attached
Wash and dry cherries
Cover each cherry with a thin to medium layer of marzipan - you may need to experiment on the best way of doing this, either rolling it out or pressing little pancakes with damp (clean) fingers
Once covered, allow to dry while you melt chocolate in a double boiler
Carefully dip cherries into melted chocolate, making sure to cover the base of the stalk
Rest on a clean sheet of baking paper until chocolate is set
Dip cherries a second time ensuring the whole cherry is covered (I did this the over complicated way and hung them by the stalk with pegs to create a pretty tear shape - but as I said, over complicated)
Once the chocolate is completely set, place cherries in an air tight container in the fridge for 1 - 2 weeks
1 week gives a beautifully combined flavour; 2 weeks allows for the natural fermentation of the fruit with sugar creating a delicious cherry fizz...
Perfect with an espresso or glass of pyjama vino
Sunday, May 15, 2011
What to do with a Sunday afternoon? What better than to slow cook something until it crumbles at the touch of your fork?
Saturday, May 14, 2011
taste.com (i think) had a recipe for osso bucco but my iPhone was out of range so I only got half the recipe before the reception dropped out completely
Ingredients purchased for osso bucco
Celery I stick
Can of tomatoes
Some beef stock cubes (about an empty tomato can's worth)
4 small cloves garlic
Squirt of tomato paste
Lemon thyme for garnish
1 case of White Wine for me (I mean the stock)
Fry onions and garlic in a generous glug of oil
Brown osso bucco
Deglase with the wine
Pop all ingredients in the birdy boiler for four hours
The potatoes are cooked and ready for mashing
Add some butter and olive oil but don't let either of them know (one at a time)
Also add some truffle oil should you have some "lying around"
When the slow cooked meat is done (if you have any mash left at this point)
Put them together in the logical order and enjoy!