Monday, December 15, 2008

Baked Sausages

I'm not a huge fan of sausages, but they're an easy weeknight meal. Especially in a one-dish dinner like this one.
Baked Sausages
2 tomatoes
1/2 capsicum
1 red onion
1 small zucchini
3 small carrots
5 sausages (we had some lovely lamb, mint and leek ones)

Chop all the vegetables quite small and arrange in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously. Bake at 200 C for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, rest the sausages on top of the veggies, and cook for another 20 minutes. The time may vary based on the sort of sausages, and how thick they are. Turn the sausages after 10 minutes if they're looking very brown on top.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nasi Goreng

Ryan doesn't particularly like cabbage. But if I make the Asian coleslaw recipe I like, I have lots of cabbage left over. I've been experimenting with Nasi Goreng as a way to use it up. Nasi Goreng is a spicy fried rice dish from Indonesia, traditionally topped with a fried egg. I had a favourite version in a restaurant in Perth, and I haven't quite matched it - but I'm still trying!
Nasi Goreng
2 tbs peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 red chilli, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, diced
2 Cups shredded cabbage
200g beef or pork mince
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbs tomato sauce (ketchup)
2 tbs kecap manis
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
4 eggs
1/2 cup diagonally sliced shallots
2 tbs chopped fresh coriander, plus extra coriander leaves to serve

Heat the peanut oil and the sesame oil in a wok. Add the chilli, onion and carrot and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until just softened but not coloured. Add the beef and cabbage and cook until the meat has browned. Add the bean sprouts, chilli, tomato and soy sauce and the rice and cook for a further minute, stirring to ensure everything is well combined. Turn off heat and cover the wok partially with a lid while you cook the eggs.

Fry the eggs in another pan.

Stir the shallots and coriander into the rice, then spoon into serving bowls. Top with an egg and extra coriander and serve with extra chilli and soy sauce.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - December 1

Happy Monday! And happy December. I'm hoping this will be a good month for me. It's certainly a good food month - I have half a kilo of cherries in the fridge right now, plus lots of yummy salad stuff from the farmers market.
Hence the list:
Poached eggs and salad
Fish and salad
Satay meat balls, rice and (you guessed it) Asian coleslaw

Welcome to summer!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Asian Coleslaw Recipe

I'm not sure this even counts as a recipe, it's so easy. It's a chunky, filling, nutrient-packed alternative to a green salad, or a traditional creamy coleslaw. We eat it with spicy marinated lamb chops or chicken, and sometimes just with a fried egg on top. It will last a few days in the fridge, so when I'm trying to be healthy I'll make a big bowl and take it to lunch every day. I hope you like it too.
Asian Coleslaw
1/4 red cabbage or wombok, shredded
2 cups bean sprouts
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 Lebanese cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
1 small red chilli, diced finely
3 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbs sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
Toss together all the ingredients. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over the salad. Add fresh coriander if you have some. Enjoy with a clear conscience!

Monday, November 24, 2008

When you really don't feel like cooking...

Our schedule has been all over the place since we came back from New Zealand. The menu plans have gone out the window as we have unexpected guests, or unexpected nights out. Right this moment I have two guys grunting and carrying on in the living room - Ryan has started a new exercise regime with a mate! So dinner will be a bit delayed.
We are going to have Nasi Goreng tonight. I've been trying to recreate a version I had back in Perth - nothing's lived up to it since. I've also cooked a big batch of chili con carne - that can turn into at least six different meals later this week, when I'm too busy to cook.
So here's the menu plan:
Nasi Goreng
Chili con carne on baked potatoes
Chunky bean salad
Fish with salad and green beans.

Happy Monday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - November 17

I seem to have added an extra two kilograms to my already generous weight. I'm not sure where they came from. I'm not going to name these two, because I don't want them to stick around, but it's in their honour that we are having mostly salads this week. Enjoy:
Lamb chops with Asian coleslaw
Poached eggs and salad
Chicken curry and brown rice
Grilled Fish, salad and green beans
Broad bean risotto (this one was inspired the Kitchen Playground)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cheap Eats in Canberra

We've been away visiting family in New Zealand, so I haven't been cooking or blogging. There's been a LOT of eating though. Coming home to an empty, spidery kitchen was not exactly inspiring, so we've eaten out a lot since we got home as well.
My work clothes are getting tight.
But that's not the point. The point is that there's lots of yummy, cheapish places to eat in Canberra, if you know where to look. Here's a few of the places we've eaten lately. Let me know if you've got any favourites to add!

Turkish Delight, Belconnen. I found this place through my bellydance teacher. Every few months they do a $30 banquet plus a bellydance show. And the dinner is wonderful.

Dickson Noodle House, Dickson. There are a few contenders for best laksa in Canberra, and this seems to be a popular choice. More soup and noodles than you can slurp for less than $20.

Griffith Vietnamese, Griffith. One of our friends eats here at least once a week, and it always seems to be crazy busy. We like the tofu-sticks as an entry.

Cafe Essen, Civic. I still don't know how this place functions with such a tiny kitchen. All the breakfasts are great value by virtue of their enormous size. Ryan loves their chai, too.

PJ O'Reilly's, Civic. Simple, no-frills pub grub. Cheap steak, a choice of three sorts of fish and chips.

Bon Apetite : )

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Daily Bread: Experiments in baking

It's a bit scary. I'm afraid of yeast. I've only ever cooked Hot Cross Buns successfully, and even they were tough and stale by the next morning.
Baking bread is also scary because it feels like a huge investment in time. Weighing, mixing, rising, kneading. Especially kneading.
So I've been working up to a real loaf of bread. I started with tortillas, but that was mostly accident. Do you have a mental inventory of your freezer? You know, a rough idea of what's in there behind the frozen peas...
I thought there was flat bread in the freezer, but there wasn't! And it was 6.30 on Monday night and I really wanted burritos for dinner. How hard could tortillas be?
I used a recipe from Hillbilly Housewife, and it was dead easy. The only issue was cross-cultural - would polenta do instead of cornmeal? I don't know how authentic the result was, but it certainly tasted great.
Exhibit One:My courage bolstered, it was time to find a yeast recipe. Jules at Domestic Goddess in Training posted this recipe for perfect pita, and it was just the thing. There was yeast involved, but no rising time. If I'd pulled them out of the oven two minutes earlier, they may have been perfect. As it was, they were a bit crispy on the bottom. But watching them puff in the oven was awesome!
Exhibit Two:The next week, I saw these awesome Garlic Cheese Twists by Peabody. Garlic, cheese, yeast and a romantic back story, all in one. How could I resist? Ryan came home while I was busy twisting. He asked what we were having for dinner, and I didn't have an answer. But there would be garlic cheese twists!
Exhibit Three:
Oh, hang on, I forgot to take a picture of these. You'll just have to believe that they looked as good as the original.
So now I am on the look out for a simple loaf recipe. I'm happy to knead, but I need to work the rising time around work and dance classes and stuff. Any suggestions gratefully recieved!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My daily bread: Blog Action Day

I am learning how to bake my own bread. For me it is an exercise in gratitude. When I am baking, I am thankful for my kitchen, for the time and the ability to bake from scratch, for the leeway to buy more if I mess up. I know there's millions of people in this world who have none of these luxuries.

If money is tight, being able to cook can stretch your dollar much, much further. Hillbilly Housewife knows this. I made her corn tortillas for less than half of what it costs to buy a packet. She has an emergency menu and a lot of advice for feeding a family in hard times. Sophie Gray, the Destitute Gourmet, also knows this - her cookbooks are beautiful exercises in frugal, healthful abundance.

But still, there are people who won't have the resources to feed themselves this evening. I'm sure we've all seen pictures of fights over bags of rice in refugee camps, in far flung corners of the world. I think for today, Blog Action Day, we should look closer to home.

Do you know of a soup kitchen in your area? How about a food bank, or somewhere that hands out food parcels?
I challenge you to find a charity in your area that helps feed people. I'm sure there will be more than one. Find one that aligns with your values, or that you believe does good work, and see if you can help. Donations are always great, but why not volunteer? You are reading this blog, so I know you are already interested in food. Why not help share it? We could change the world, starting with our own neighbours.

Here's some of the groups here in Canberra that provide food to those who need it:

I am proud to be part of Blog Action Day. If you're helping share food and fight poverty in Canberra, please let us know in the comments.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - October 13

Happy Birthday only brother! I can't imagine what it was growing up with three big sisters, but you seem to have come through it in one piece.
This weeks' menus are brought to you by the thunder outside my door. My to-do list for this afternoon went like this:
- bring in laundry from the washing line
- go for a really long walk
- wash dishes
- blog
- make dinner
The weather has put a stop to the first two items! So here's the week's menus. Nothing very exciting:
Chicken and white bean salad
Home made pizza
Moroccan Chickpea Cous Cous Salad
Lamb chops, green beans and mashed potatoes
Jacket potatoes with more beans.
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Menu Plan Tuesday... hmmm

I seem to be channeling the culinary energy of Brazen at the moment. I couldn't find the inspiration to post my menu plan yesterday, and it's very loose, even today.
Chicken Laksa
Toad in the Hole
Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
Lamb Chops, Sweet Potato Mash and Green Beans
Thai Beef Salad

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - September 15

I am incredibly proud of myself. I just made beef enchiladas, including the tortillas! I've made tortillas before, but it usually isn't very successful. These ones turned out exactly right. So I'm sitting here very full, and very chuffed.
For the rest of the week:
Fijian Lentil Soup
Curry Night with pita bread (I figure I should keep going on the bread making while it's working)
Fish Laksa
Sausages with green beans and chickpeas

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fish Pie again

I posted about Fish Pie a while ago, but I was being lazy and didn't post pictures or a proper recipe. Last week I made it again, slightly differently, and I managed to take pictures AND pay attention. It's a lovely recipe, because the quantities are entirely dependent on what is hanging around in my fridge.
I thought it would be a nice addition to the Savoury Pies event hosted by Ivy.
Individual Fish Pies
2 fillets of King George Whiting (or any firm white fish), chopped
1 Cup Frozen peas, defrosted
1 Cup broccoli shoots, finely chopped
1/2 Cup spinach, chopped
1 tsp dried dill
juice of half a lemon
2 Tbs softened butter
2 Tbs plain flour
1 1/2 Cups milk
1 sheet frozen pastry
Leave the pastry out to soften. Divide the fish, vegetables, dill and lemon juice between four individual ramekins. Doesn't it look healthy already?
Season with pepper. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When its bubbling, add the flour and stir until it starts to brown. Then gradually add the milk and whisk over a low heat until you have a thickened white sauce (slightly more thickened than just-coats-the-edge-of-a-spoon). Pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables. Top each pie with pastry, trimming the edges and poking with a knife to make some air holes.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius, or until the pastry is browned and puffed.

Try to take a picture before your husband eats the lot!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - September 8

I got so excited about the pancakes, I nearly forgot the menu plan! This week is pretty busy, so I'm using a lot of leftovers, and the crockpot:
Baked eggs with hollandaise sauce
Carolina Crockpot Barbecue (I promise to explain this later in the week)
Baked Potatoes with Chili con carne
Fish parcels with celeriac mash
Dinner out with Angela.

Happy Monday!

Hay Hay it's Apple Pancakes

I love breakfast food. I would happily subsist on Bircher Muesli, eggs and hash browns, and I can't imagine life without pancakes and maple syrup. I always knew I could top them with interesting things, but it wasn't until I went away on holiday that I realised you could actually add fruit to the batter. I fell in love with banana pancakes.
For HHDD #22, I wanted to try something a little different. This morning I made apple pancakes for the first time. I was really impressed! Wholemeal Apple Pancakes
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
3 Tbsp caster sugar
1 eggs
1 cup (375 ml) milk
75 g butter, melted
pinch of salt
One apple, cored and grated.
Mix together the dry ingredients, add the rest, add the milk, eggs and butter and whisk until smooth. You may have to add more milk to get a pouring consistency. Stir in the grated apple. Melt some butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour 1/2 cups of the mixture into the pan, flipping when bubbles rise to the surface. Serve with maple syrup.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chorizo Broccoli Quiche

Our friend Chaz is a chef. Each week he has to invent a new flavour of quiche for the restaurant where he works.. I give him a lot of suggestions, and mostly he laughs.Chorizo Broccoli Quiche
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli, finely chopped
4 eggs
3/4 Cup of milk
1/2 Cup grated cheese
Preheat the oven to 180. Leave the puff pastry on the bench to defrost. When it's soft, use the pastry to line a pie dish (or a shallow casserole dish). Put the broccoli in the dish, with the chorizo on top. Sprinkle the cheese over everything. Whisk together the eggs and milk, season to taste (you don't need much salt with the chorizo), then pour into the dish. You may need to press down the filling so it all gets covered. Cook in the oven until set and slightly browned on top.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Soup, glorious soup

I like soup. I've realised that if I take soup for lunch, it's a good thing for my weight. It fills me up, is chock full of vegetables, and generally low in fats and simple carbs. Cheap, tasty, healthy, filling. So I made a big batch of vegetable stock from my new Women's Weekly cookbook.
6 Litres is a lot of stock.
I froze a lot. Some got turned into beetroot risotto (Steve at work said 'who did you kill to make that?'). Some got turned into Carrot and Coriander soup. The last bit got made into Spicy Spinach and Chickpea soup. Steve said, 'Oh yuck! You've blended kermit!'
So just in case you want to pack your freezer with nutritious lunches (or gross-out your workmates) I'm posting my recipe for spinach soup. Yummy, healthy and entertaining.
Spicy Spinach Chickpea Soup
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 chopped green onions
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp chilli flakes
2 Cups vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Cups packed chopped fresh spinach
Fry onions, garlic and coriander in a saucepan, until the onion is translucent. Add the tumeric, cumin and chilli, then half the veggie stock to deglaze the pan. Add the rest of the stock and the spinach, and cook until just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and use a stick blender to puree the soup. Gently reheat (to much heat will cause it to lose that kermit colour!). Add the chickpeas and stir until heated through.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Menuplan Monday - September 1

Good grief, it's September already. And Father's day on Sunday! I did a lot of cooking yesterday so this week would go a bit smoother. There is one big batch of chili in the fridge, and quiche ready for future nibbling. Here's the list:
Fish Pie
Chili wraps
Chorizo and Broccoli Quiche
Fresh tomato pasta
Roast chicken

Happy Monday! Happy September!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Omnivore's 100

Wow, I've seen this everywhere lately! If you try it for yourself, make sure to comment on Andrew's blog. He deserves snaps for this : )

Here are the instructions:
1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4. Optional extra: Post a comment here linking to your results.
The Very Good Taste Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (seriously?)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more 46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (absinthe, yes, louche? don't know...)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (possibly the only thing on the list I would have reservations about)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (Ryan hardly orders anything else when we're out to breakfast)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

That was fun! Lots of American food I'll never be able to try in Australia, unless I make it. I think I got an even 50, but lots of things I want to try...
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lemon Cordial

I made cordial! It never really occurred to me to try before. I didn't have a proper recipe, just some basic instructions:
Take equal parts lemon juice and sugar, combine in a pot and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Thats it : )
You only need a small amount, added to cold water, to make a really refreshing drink. It's delicious, and even better with tonic water.

After I had juiced all my lemons, I threw out the skins - not realising they were all I needed to make my own preserved lemons. Oh well. Next time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - August 25

We have been conducting a grocery experiment. I made an enormous list, and did an enormous shop, in the hopes that I could avoid going to Coles for a whole month. It nearly worked! I still go to the Fyshwick Markets and the Farmers' Markets and the butcher, but I mostly stayed out of supermarkets for 4 weeks. So tomorrow I'll go again. This time I'll get more bread and milk, and some picnicking supplies for weekend climbing expeditions. But it's definitely been a worthwhile experiment.
Here's what we're eating this week:
Beetroot Risotto
Beef in Red Wine with Dumplings
Pan Fried Fish with couscous salad
Chilli con carne.

Happy Monday!

Taste & Create: Carrot and Coriander Soup

I found a great new food blogging even called Taste & Create. When you register you get a partner blog, and the plan is to cook a recipe featured on their site. I got Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity - a blog that was new to me.
Chronicles is a great blog with awesome pictures, but my first thought was 'oh no, she bakes!' Anyone who's read this blog for a while knows that Ryan makes the bakery stuff. I'm, well, bakingly challenged. Dolores' Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream looked much more my speed. But then, I put on 4 kilo's last week, so I thought I'd steer clear of dessert. Finally, I saw a great post about Carrot & Cilantro Soup. This, I could make.
I modified the soup a little (left out the cream and used veggie stock instead of turkey) but I really liked the final result. As Delores mentioned, it makes a great lunch.Carrot and Coriander Soup
1/2 onion chopped
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 Tbs ground coriander
1 Tbs ground cumin
5 enormous carrots
1 bunch of coriander – leaves coarsely chopped and stems tied with string
1L Vegetable Stock
Saute the onion and garlic until translucent in a big pot. Add spices and stir until fragrant, then add the carrots. Stir until coated. Add the stock and the coriander stems. Bring to the boil and simmer, cover, until carrots are tender. Blenderise, add coriander leaves and season to taste.

Friday, August 22, 2008

CLICK: Citrus

There's something a bit old fashioned about lemons. We always had a lemon tree in our backyard, when I was small. And now I have an abundance of lemons from a friend. First I made lemon curd, which I'd never done before. Then Ryan made a lot of lemon slice. We've had lemon with fish, and in Gin and Tonic. And finally, last night, I made all the survivors into Lemon Cordial.
I wanted a picture that conjured memory. I think this comes close. So I've entered it in Click.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - August 18

Yay for Mondays. A fresh start. A chance to get in before my boss. A chance to think of a whole new list of things to cook...
Lamb Roast! Ryan is cooking that tonight. He promised. With gravy.
Spicy Spinach Soup. This is a new one for me, but sounded good.
Chicken Salad. Maybe with chickpeas and couscous.
Lemon Fish with Spicy Rice.

Happy Monday! Hope you don't get hailed on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - on Tuesday

I am sick. I had high hopes of posting every day this month - I have a backlog! But right now I don't feel like doing anything but grumping. When I get a cold, I just can't sleep properly - lying down is too uncomfortable. So I've been frowsing around, making Ryan miserable. You'd think two days off work would allow for much blogging, but everything I write comes out as an evil rant.
Oh dear, I think I just did it again.
Anyway, the focus this week is healthful invalid food. Starting with Chicken Soup.

Chicken soup, with tinned peaches and custard for dessert.
Fish parcels with sesame carrots and green beans.
Chickpea and Roast Pumpkin Salad
Pizza Night! I have friends coming over on Thursday - hopefully I'm better by then.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Canberra Food Bloggers

I've discovered there are many more food bloggers in Canberra than I knew! I thought I'd put a list out of the ones I've found, but if I missed any, please let me know:

Brazen's Culinary Adventures - this is one prolific lady! With a thermomix. I'm not entirely sure what that is, but I'm beginning to think I want one.
Food History - not just a prolific poster, Gillian also knows everything there is to know about food history. I loved her recent posts about food for invalids.
The Canberra Cook - Another regular poster. If Ryan would ever let me make Corned Beef, I'd love to try her recipe.
Progressive Dinner Party - seems to have many friends that help out with posts. And my favourite recent post was her riff about the farmer's markets here in Canberra. Thought provoking.
Then there's Faux Cuisine, Eat Australia, Flagrant Food Fawning and Gnashings Capital. None of them have posted much lately, but I'm hopeful!
For other more general Canberra fun, there's Riot-Act and Culturazi (good coffee reviews).
Sadly The Canberra Blog Community seems to be a bit of a ghost town.

Two more discovered as a result of this post: eat at dixie belle's - love the tiara - and Mouthfuls of Heaven - oh my, they share my Nigella fetish!

hmmm... maybe I should have just posted my feed reader...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - August 4

I am trying to get organized and post more regularly - especially after yesterday's shamozzle!  I'm getting more organized in other areas - last Tuesday we did a big shop at Coles that will hopefully last a whole month.  We'll still go to Fyshwick and the Farmer's Market for fresh stuff, but not back to the supermarket.  I'll keep you posted...

- Chorizo Quiche
- Spicy Sausage Stew (or something to that effect)
- Fish Parcels with Salad
- Chicken Curry with pumpkin and chickpea curry
- Pizza
- Lamb and Vegetable Winter soup

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hay Hay it's Tiramisu!

This post could be an ode to disorganization. The first mistake was left over caramel sauce and cream - don't worry, I thought, this will be great in a Tiramisu for Hay Hay it's Donna Day.
The next mistake was not noting the quantities of sponge biscuits, marscapone and cream I needed before I went shopping. I ended up with the right amount of marscapone, but not enough biscuits or cream. Or the right sort of cream. Oh well, I thought, I'll just improvise.
Third mistake, not organizing a dinner party. Who was going to eat ALL SEVEN SERVINGS?? I managed to find some volunteers.
But the biggest mistake of all?
I missed the deadline for Hay Hay it's Donna Day by almost a week.
I suck.
Luckily the tiramisu was awesome, so I'm going to post it anyway. And you can go check out the round up to see everybody else's more timely desserts.Caramel Tiramisu
1/2 Cup strong espresso coffee
1/2 Cup coffee liqueur
14 sponge finger biscuits
cocoa for dusting
375g Marscapone cheese
3/4 Cup caramel sauce
1/2 Cup thickened cream
Find 7 small bowls or 7 large glasses. Combine the coffee and liqueur. Cut half the biscuits into quarters, dip them in the coffee mixture and make llayer in the bottom of each bowl.
Whip together the filling ingredients, until a thick custardy consistency is reached. Top the biscuits with half the mixture. Cut and dip the remaining biscuits and place on top of the cream. Spoon over the remaining filling, and dust with cocoa.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Frugal Fridays: Osso Bucco with Soup Pack Mash

Do you ever buy marked-down meat? Do you think it's a health hazard? I buy it all the time, and send it straight to the freezer. That's how we ended up with a pack of beef osso bucco, four pieces for $5. And it's the basis of my Frugal Friday entry for this week.
I bought the beef ($5), a vegetable soup-pack from coles ($2.95) and everything else was in the cupboard already. There may have been half a bottle of wine around as well, but that could just be a rumour. In the end (maybe because of the wine?) the soup veggies didn't get mashed, just eaten as steamed veggies. They were really, really good with the sauce.
Osso Bucco with Soup Pack Mash
4 pieces of beef osso bucco
1 veggie soup pack from Coles (1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 parsnip, 2 potatoes, 1 stick of celery and a lump that looked like half a swede) all chopped.
80g butter
2 Tbsp plain flour
5 Tbsp red wine
175 mL beef stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then cook half the chopped onion over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Dust the beef with the flour, add to the pan and cook over a high heat until browned all over. Season with salt and pepper, pour in the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the stock, 1 chopped carrot and 1 chopped celery stick. Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
At around 15 minutes, steam or boil the rest of the vegetables. Set aside when they are tender.
Mix the tomato paste and a tablespoon of hot water, and add to the osso bucco. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mash the vegetables together with as much milk and butter as you like.
Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Birthday stash

Guess what I got for my birthday? Cookbooks! I feel so spoilt - they are the sort of books I always flick through greedily in the book shop, but can never quite justify bringing home.
I got The Silver Spoon and The Australian Women's Weekly Kitchen.
Joelen is hosting a Blogging adventure of Cookbook and Tool shots, so I couldn't resist joining in. It's going to take me a long, long time to get through these two, and I'm starting tomorrow with Osso Bucco. My mum also gave me the neat cookbook stand. I think I'm getting my kitchen mojo back.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bacon, bacon, bacon...

I have lost my cooking mojo. Everything comes out over cooked, under cooked, or I find I'm missing key ingredients at critical times. Last Wednesday I realised that my roast bacon-wrapped pumpkin would take over an hour to cook, so I put it in the fridge and made something else. Then on Thursday, I realised we'd be eating bacon-wrapped pumpkin with bacon-wrapped meat loaf...
Anyway, the recipe. I'm not sharing the meatloaf one, because it was a bit bland and I want to tweak it. But the bacon-wrapped pumpkin was as awesome as it sounds. I probably could have eaten it by itself.
Bacon-wrapped Pumpkin from Donna Hay
1/2 Japanese pumpkin in thick slices (Donna used a quartered butternut)
12 bacon slices
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Toss the pumpkin with the oil, salt and pepper. Wrap each piece of pumpkin in bacon (secure with toothpicks if necessary). Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, at 160 degrees, until tender.
I love Donna.

Got some pumpkin left over? Try pumpkin soup, chicken and pumpkin risotto, pumpkin and feta pasta or pumpkin curry.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - July 28

OK, I have officially lost my cooking mojo and my blogging inspiration right along with it. I have a plan to get them back but it's a secret, at least for another couple of days. Meanwhile, here's what we're going to eat this week:
veggie lentil soup
osso bucco
chicken and white bean salad
spicy pumpkin and chickpea curry
not-thai fish cakes

Happy Monday!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Now we are 3 .... (0)

Guess what? I share my birthday with National Icecream Day in the US! Nik is celebrating over here, so go check out all the yummy desserts.
I will not be indulging. It has been a weekend of much excitement, and way too much food. I woke up in the middle of last night with a tummy ache.
So now we are back to our regularly scheduled program of healthful, mindful, frugal food. The menu follows:
Osso bucco with couscous and veggies
Veggie Laksa
Chicken pasta
Chicken salad ...

hmmm... you know when people say they can't even bear the thought of more food? I think I just got there. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

3 Minute Chocolate Cake in a Cup!

I am having a birthday! A big one. This will be a week of much cake. But to kick off the celebrations, we have a simple, quick solution to dessert.
Here goes:
Find your biggest coffee cup, and add 4 Tbsp flour, 4 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa.
Add 3 Tablespoons of milk, 3 Tablespoons of oil and an egg, and mix well.Add some chocolate chips, if you have some : )
Then microwave for 3 minutes on high...And create the swamp creature!
Let the cake set, then eat with coffee.Yum!
It's a bit dry, but it still tastes like cake : )
Edited to say: I didn't know where to credit this recipe - the photos are mine, but the recipe came in an email. Then I found this, and a couple other blogs that linked there. If deedee is not the original source, please let me know - I'd love to give credit where it's due!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - July 14

We are being carnivorous this week! I got a new Donna Hay magazine with a recipe for slow-roasted pork belly, and things just went downhill from there. Ryan couldn't find pork belly at the shops, so it's just a rolled shoulder roast. And there was a recipe for roast pumpkin wrapped in bacon, so if we bought bacon we'd have to make quiche, and ... anyway. Here's the list:
Slow-roasted pork with sweet potato mash
Spicy Carrot soup with coconut cream
Roast chicken with bacon-wrapped pumpkin (the picture looked amazing!!)
Quiche Lorraine
Baby Meatloafs (also wrapped in bacon)
Beef in Red Wine in the slow cooker.

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Frugal Friday: Vegetarian Curry Night

We love curries. At this time of year, we'll usually cook a curry once a week. Warm, fast, frugal and easy to freeze, they make the great lunches too. I try to cook at least two curries at the same time, because it feels decadent - and when you add raita, poppadums and chutney, it becomes a real feast.
This is my first entry for Frugal Fridays. According to the rules, a frugal friday entry should make a whole meal for at least 4 people, and cost around about $10. I costed this on Woolworths online, it came to fourteen dollars (AUD), and the mushrooms were disturbingly expensive. I buy my canned stuff on special (half the price) and my vegetables at the farmers market or Fyshwick wholesale markets - it really cost me around ten. So I'm hoping they'll let me stay. : )
(If somebody is feeling enthusiastic, do you want to price this out for me in the US? I'm just curious now...)
On to the recipes
Spinach Dhal
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
6 small potatoes, quartered
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Cups water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 400g can of brown lentils, drained
80g baby spinach
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and potato and cook, stirring until onion is soft. Add spices and stir until fragrant.
Add water and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes (or until the sauce is reduced by half). Add the lentils, stirring until heated through. Add the spinach and stir until its all wilted.
The other dishes were just plain rice and Mushroom Korma (from Domestic Goddess in Training). We also had shop bought poppadums - it makes me giggle when I put them in the microwave and watch them puff!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - July 7

We were away all weekend, so this is a clean-out-the-cupboard week. I only did a very basic shop.
Chili con carne with veggies and rice
White bean and veggie soup
Spinach Dhal and Mushroom Korma (inspired by this)
Jacket Potatoes
Baked Chicken and veggies
Sausages with cannellini bean mash
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lemon Delicious Ice Cream

I should have title this 'Heaven on a spoon'. It's really that good. If you like Lemon Meringue Pie, or any citrus-y desserts, I think you'll like this a lot. It's a recipe in two parts really:
vanilla ice cream + lemon curd = lemon delicious ice cream
You could buy both from the shop, but I'll include my recipes. You'll have to figure out what to do with eleven egg whites by yourself.
This is my entry for Nik's Ice Cream, You Scream event. I hope you like it.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 1/2 Cups milk
1 1/2 Cups pouring cream
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2/3 Cup caster sugar
8 large egg yolks
Put everything in a large saucepan except the egg yolks, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the milk is about to boil.
Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk in 1/4 Cup of the milk mixture until it's smooth. Whisk in the rest, then pour into a cleans saucepan and stir over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Stop when the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil. Refrigerate until cold.
Start to freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions. At around half way (sorry, I don't have any way to be exact) pour in the lemon curd, then continue churning. When the ice cream maker is finished, the ice cream will still be quite soft - you can put it back in the freezer for a while to harden further.
Lemon Curd
3 egg yolks (I warned you!)
1/2 Cup caster sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1/3 Cup butter, chopped
Beat egg yolks and sugar, and put in a heatproof bowl. Add lemon zest, juice and butter and sit the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn't touching the water. Stir over low heat for 8-10 minutes, until it can coat the back of a spoon. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator before adding to the ice cream.
This recipe is modified from the excellent one in Iced 180 very cool concoctions.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - June 30

Happy Monday! That must mean I know what we're eating....

Sausages, salad and potato bake
Lamb shanks, green beans and more potato bake
Spicy tomato prawn soup (yay for Donna Hay)
Warm Chicken salad (I am really liking it at the moment)
Dinner at Craig's

I think that will do.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Free prawns from Coles

We went grocery shopping this morning, and bought some frozen prawns from Coles. Did you know that if an item scans incorrectly at Coles, they will give it to you for free? The shelf sticker for the prawns said $12.10, but they scanned at $14.29.
Ryan checked the docket, and got the money back. Free prawns! So this is just a reminder to always check your supermarket docket. You never know what you could get for free : )

We took our extra $14 to High Country Meats and bought Irish sausages, mince and some lamb shanks.

I thought I'd share two blogs I've been reading lately:
Cheap Healthy Good
$40 Gourmet
Full of healthy goodness!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Warm Chicken and White Bean salad

I've been eating lots of beans and lentils lately. Beans are lovely in winter comfort food - but I've discovered they are pretty good in salads too. This is loosely inspired by a recipe on Taste, but by the time we ate, it was pretty different.Warm Chicken and White Bean salad
300g chicken thigh fillet
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 ripe tomatoes, cut in thick slices (maybe three slices each)
2 good handfuls of lettuce leaves
1/2 red capsicum, sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
Season the chicken, then marinade in the garlic, mustard and vinegar for at least 20 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on high, then sear the chicken for one minute on each side. Turn the heat down to low, and cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Meanwhile, grill the tomatoes until cooked to your liking. Combine all ingredients and serve with the lemon wedges.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Love Food Hate Waste: Pumpkin and Feta Risotto

A Slice of Cherry Pie recently alerted us to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. It's a scary thought, that a third of all food bought is thrown away. I am big on left-overs. Not the same meal three nights over, but one night's dinner becoming a ingredient for the next. This week, pumpkin soup became pumpkin and feta risotto with pine nuts.
The recipe is fairly inexact. Chop an onion finely, and saute with 2 cloves of garlic. Add 2 cups of arborio rice, stirring until translucent. Then add leftover pumpkin soup, thinned with veggie stock and a little water. Keep stirring over a low heat, until the liquid is absorbed by the rice, and the rice feels completely cooked. Top with crumbled feta and pine nuts to serve.
Yum : )
I cook risotto quite a lot. If you're inspired, check out my Beetroot Risotto, or my Chicken and Pumpkin Risotto recipe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My sister cooks too!

When we were in France, I abdicated from my cooking throne. Both sisters were staying, and a friend, so I thought they could each cook one night - and then we could go home!
My sisters are great cooks - even in a strange kitchen, and buying ingredients in a foreign language. When it was her turn, Jo cooked this casserole, which is absolutely brilliant. It's flavoury, and has a good range of textures. And the sauce is the best thing for mopping up with French bread. So here you go, Sausage and Bean Casserole, courtesy of Jo and the BBC.

Menu Plan Monday - June 23

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. This week's grocery bill was pretty big, as we stocked up on all the things we used up before we left. After spending big on peanut butter, tomato sauce and powder for the dishwasher, there wasn't all that much left for actual food. Despite that, I'm trying a couple of new recipes which I'm looking forward to:

Pumpkin risotto with feta and pine nuts (made with leftover pumpkin soup)
Balsamic Chicken and White Bean salad
Spicy Coconut soup (a la Donna Hay)
Roast chicken and veggies
Home made pizza

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My favourite vegetarian lasagne recipe

There are some meals I make that haven't yet ended up on the blog. Some are too boring, some are completely un-photogenic, and some are too fiddly. Then there are a couple that are healthy, cheap, yummy, beautiful - but just take a lot of effort to make. This is one of those very long recipes. It comes from Australian Women's Weekly 'Food We Love'. It takes longer to make than nearly every other recipe I've posted, but it's definitely worth it. I've added my variations at the end. I hope you like it.
Vegetarian Lasagne
2 medium eggplants (600g)
2 Tbsp coarse cooking salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium red capsicums (400g)
1 1/2 cups (390g) bottled tomato pasta sauce
250g instant lasagne sheets
3/4 cup (75g) grated mozzarella
1/2 cup (130g) pesto
1/2 (40g) finely grated parmesan
1. Oil 2-litre (8 cup) rectangular baking dish.
2. Cut eggplants into 1cm slices. Place in colander, sprinkle with salt; stand 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to moderately hot (200C/180C fan-forced)
4. Rinse eggplant under cold water; pat dry with absorbent paper. Brush eggplant with oil; place, in single layer, on oven trays. Roast about 40 minutes or until tender.
5. Meanwhile, quarter capsicums, remove seeds and membranes. Roast under grill, skin-side up, until skin blisters and blackens. Cover capsicum pieces with plastic or paper for 5 minutes; peel away skin, cut capsicums into thick strips.
6. Make white sauce.
7. Reduce oven temperature to moderate (180C/160C fan-forced).
8. Spread one-third pasta sauce into baking dish. Top with one third lasagne sheets, another third of sauce, half the eggplant and mozzarella; repeat layering using another third of the lasagne sheets, remaining sauce, all the capsicum, remaining mozzarella, lasagne and eggplant. Spread pesto over eggplant; top with white sauce.
9. Bake, covered, 30 minutes; uncover, sprinkle lasagne with parmesan, bake further 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven; stand, uncovered, about 5 minutes before serving.
white sauce Melt 60g butter in small saucepan; add flour, stif over heat until bubbling and grainy. Remove pan from heat, gradually stir in milk; return to heat, stir until mixture boils and thickens. Remove pan from heat; stir in cheese.
Ryan doesn't like eggplant, so I have substituted sliced roast pumpkin, steamed spinach, and sauted mushrooms and onion. They all work - you could use any vegetables - but you have to cook them first. Because I don't usually buy bottled pasta sauce, I sometimes blend up tinned tomatoes and basil instead. The one in the picture used roast beetroot.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - June 16

I survived my first day back at work. I thought I'd sneak in early and keep my head down, but everybody kept coming to ask me about my trip. Not that I minded - it's always fun talking about holidays! But I didn't even manage to find my coffee cup until 10.30. So now we are getting back into the routine of things, starting with meals. Here's the plan for this week:
sausage sandwiches
fish pie
pumpkin soup
veggie curry
butter chicken soup

Apple Pie from Red Dirt Mummy

It's definitely soup weather. Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

There and back again...

Well, we've made it home in one piece. All our luggage made it too. Now we just have a few hundred photographs to sort and a heap of new foods to try to cook. I may have brought home some extra kilos, too.
We are both incredibly tired. But I'm glad to be back in my own kitchen, and our own bed.
I hope this Sunday night finds you warm and comfortable as we are.
Stay tuned for many more posts in the near future!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Still around...

We are off to Berlin today. Now that I have access to a working keyboard, I've been mentally listing all the posts I'd like to write. About how to eat well (and cheap) in London, and about eating and travelling in general. It's also fun to compare supermarkets - UK vs Australian, but also the difference between Waitrose and Tescoes (they had vacuum packed, fresh, peeled beetroot in the veggie section. odd)
I'm not missing any food related things from home, except maybe the presence of fresh vegetables. The supermarkets here seem to think we are all to busy to prepare vegetables ourselves. And all the veggies in our restaurant meals have been cooked within an inch of their lives. Not that the food has been bad... we've had curries in Leicester and pork pie in Richmond. And last night we ate a restaurant called "Fish in a Tie"!
So stay tuned for more photo's and more adventures. We're off to the land of beer and sausage!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pictures from Borough Markets

I'd love to tell you all about our adventures so far, but the spacebar has fallen off this keyboard, and it's drivingmenuts. Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, May 09, 2008

No-egg Chocolate Cracked Cookies

With our holiday fast approaching and K concerns about her blog falling asleep I thought I would cast my hat into the ring also to give her a hand. As the male of the house I am usually the mysterious figure in the background in this blog so it’s nice to make a guest ‘in person’ for in this instance.

As K has alluded to previously I have a small (ok . . . large) sweet tooth. So when the regular work morning tea came around again I felt obliged to find another variation of a gooey chocolate delight to share. There were so many choices but I have always been fascinated by the look of the white ‘cracked’ biscuits. They always remind me of been a child and making Christmas decorations with my mum by spray painting pine cones etc to decoration the house or for the wreath on the front door.

The tricky part for the morning tea was that K decreed that I must make enough for her to take some also to work. The only very ‘easy’ limit she placed on my choice of recipe was that it must not have egg in it. Grrr, so rather than throwing out my plan (and everyone knows that with me being a Taurus I am bloody stubborn) I pulled out the no-egg replacer powder and continued un-phased. I was pleasantly surprise that the cookies turned out perfect and would thoroughly recommend them.

There were numerous recipes online for this type of cookie, but many just seemed more fiddly than I wanted for 10pm at night or had nuts (which would also not work due to other work colleagues). In the end the one below was the one I went with; available from .au at

It so easy and quick. The best part it looks cool and is nice and gooey soft.




50g butter, chopped

100g good-quality dark chocolate

1 egg, at room temperature (obviously, I used egg replacer here)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup plain flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2/3 cup pure icing sugar


1. Place butter and 50g chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg and brown sugar in a small bowl on high speed until thick. Stir in chocolate mixture.

3. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa over chocolate mixture. Mix well.

4. Chop remaining chocolate into small pieces. Stir into dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.

5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll in icing sugar to coat. Place biscuits on trays, allowing room to spread.

6. Bake biscuits for 12 minutes or until firm. Stand on trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Serve.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Clearing out the fridge

One more sleep until we hop on a plane. The garbage is out, the bills are paid, someone is checking the mail. We have passports and toothbrushes, reading material and insurance.

We know where our towels are.
I'm so excited I think I gave myself a tummy ache. So Ryan roasted all the veggies in the fridge for dinner. And I ate it and felt better.

To all the Aussies out there, enjoy your autumn - we are off to a second summer!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - April 29

Oops! It's Tuesday already. Never mind. This week was always going to be odd. It's now officially cold in Canberra - my hands were stinging on the way home from work yesterday. So we are properly into the winter warming food:
Chicken burritos
Pan fried fish with veggies
Baked jerusalem artichokes with chicken
Tuna casserole
Clean-out-the-fridge leftovers

Have a great week!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mushroom Miso Soup

Is miso an acquired taste? I remember not liking it the first time I had it - I think I was twelve. But these days it's something I really look forward to if we get Japanese. I made this miso soup for a friend last week, and she didn't like it. She'd never had miso before, and it just didn't appeal. Both Ryan and I enjoyed it, and we managed to finish the lot.
I first saw the recipe on, but I couldn't find any enoki mushrooms, and didn't want to use bok choi. So I made it with swiss brown and bean sprouts instead. It was a good, quick beginning to our meal.Mushroom Miso Soup
3 sachets of instant shiro miso soup (why did the packet have 3 sachets, I wonder?)
2 big handfuls of mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
100g swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Arrange all the veggies between three small soup bowls. Add the packet miso. Top each bowl with a cup of boiling water, and allow to sit for two minutes. Season with soy sauce.
Serves 3.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Share a recipe with me!

Ryan and I are going on a VERY BIG TRIP. We will be away for 6 whole weeks, and I'm worried that my blog will wither and die without me here to feed it all the time. A clever blogger would have stockpiled lots of great food pictures, with awesome recipes, to fill it up while I'm away. But I'm not that clever...
So here's your chance to get your name up in lights, or at least score some linky love for your blog. Send me a recipe, with or without pictures, at kazari dot recipe at gmail dot com
Send it before May 1.
Include a link to your blog (or another site you like).
Sometime during May or June it will appear on this blog.
If you don't have a blog, you can still play(Mum?), and instead of linking I will say nice things about you.
Hopefully, with your help, my blog will not be totally anaemic by the time we return. I'm going to post about our travels, especially about food shopping in strange counties, but I don't think we'll be doing much cooking.
Thanks in advance!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Menuplan Monday - April 21

Today was never going to be a good day. I left work with a security pass that wouldn't let me into the building, a lunchbox with no lunch, and a contract in a language can't understand. So of course, when I got home, I went to blog for an event that finished yesterday.
Bah Humbug.
I shall save my mushroom miso recipe for another day.
Anyway, I somehow managed to cook dinner without any further drama. I hope your week has started well, and your dinner is yummy. Here's what we're having this week:
Fish Pie
Veggie Stirfry
Baked eggs and veggies
Kangaroo steaks and veggies
Pumpkin soup
Happy Monday!
(or not)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A taste of yellow: Oven-Baked Frittata

A taste of yellow is a food blog event to publicise LiveStrong Day and Lance Armstrong's Foundation. Last year there were 149 entries, including mine. This year I've been inspired by the eggs we've been getting from the farmers market - they've got the most yellow yolks I've ever seen.
It's a simple mid-week dinner for us, one we were lucky to share with a friend this week. I hope you like it.
Oven Baked Frittata with bacon and vegetables
2 rashers of middle bacon, chopped fine
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 green capsicum, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
8 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup finely grated cheese (any sort will do, the stronger the flavour the better.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 4cm deep slab pan. Heat a small frying pan and saute the bacon and vegetables (except the tomato) until the vegetables are tender. Spread the vegetable mix on the bottom of the pan. Whisk the eggs with the milk and cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetable mix. Arrange the tomato slices on top, and push down gently to make sure everything is submerged.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the egg is set. Let it sit for another 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - April 14

The leaves have turned. This morning our street is a dusty, dull red, with shocks of yellow and orange. I can't decide if autumn has taken it's time this year, or it just seems later because of Easter was so early. Anyway, we are starting to pull out the comfort food recipes...
Beef stew
Oven-baked frittata
Meatballs and couscous
Prawn Stirfry
Fish Pie

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spicy Mixed Dhal

Over at Limes and Lycopene, Kathryn's been discussing the benefits of having dhal in your freezer. I can completely relate to that. Our dhal recipe goes in the slow cooker, and we make it a lot. I haven't posted it before, because it's a bit more complicated than most of my other recipes. It came out of the manual that came with our slow cooker, and it's never failed yet. We make a double batch probably once a month, not least because Ryan loves taking it to work for lunch. We eat it with rice, or on flat bread, or serve with another curry. It reheats really well.
Spicy Mixed Dhal
1/2 Cup yellow split peas
1/2 Cup red lentils
1/2 Cup brown lentils
2 Cups vegetable stock
20g ghee
3 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 small red chillies, chopped
400g canned tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/3 cup cream
2 Tbs fresh coriander, finely chopped
1. Place peas and lentils and stock in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for an hour, or until just tender.
2. Melt ghee in a BIG pan. Cook mustard seeds until they start to pop, then add onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until onion is starting to brown.
3. Stir in spices. Add tomatoes, puree and pepper, and cook until heated through.4. Pour tomato mixture over lentils in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for around 3 hours (the book says 4-5, but it never takes that long).
5. Half an hour before required, stir in cream. Replace cover and continue cooking. Serve topped with coriander.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - April 7

This week is going to be crazy-busy. Ryan is celebrating some great work news, we are having a curry night, and I did a lead-climbing course tonight. So food is going to be of utmost importance:

Tonight: Spuds with chili con carne (from the freezer)
Tuesday: Chops and veggies
Wednesday: Curry night!
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Hamburgers

Happy Monday!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Hot Cross Bun Pudding

If you scroll down a bit, you might see some lovely, fresh, freshly glazed Hot Cross Buns. Aren't they beautiful? I'm not bragging, because Ryan made the buns AND took the picture. I just ate one. And was terribly supportive, of course. I was making the yoghurt cake.

Anyway, there's only so many sticky buns you can eat, before they start getting stale. I contemplated my options for a while, thinking about french toast, and bread and butter pudding. But in the end, PossumChops beat me too it. She blogged her pudding recipe here, without a photo.

I have followed her recipe, and it was good, but next time I need more buns or less custard. But I'm offering up a picture.

Menu Plan Monday - March 31

I can't believe it's nearly April. We've been really, really busy lately. And you're probably beginning to think we only eat cake. As evidence for the defence, I hearby list this week's menu plan:
Chilli con carne, on brown rice with salad (and left over yoghurt sauce)
Lamb chops, with carrots and beans
Veggie Lasagne
Eggs Florentine
Chicken Soup
Curry Puffs with Creamed Indian Spinach

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter Cake Bake: Greek Yoghurt Cake

For me, Easter is a time for traditional cakes. Cakes where you can taste the eggs and butter - all the things that we once would have gone without for Lent. Not that I'm particularly religious, I just like tradition. This is an Australian take on a traditional Greek yoghurt cake, brought you to by the lovely ladies at the Women's Weekly Test Kitchen. You can find the recipe in the 'Foods we love' book. It came out all golden and fluffy, but it's very moist too. I thought about icing it, remembering all the extravagant cakes from last year's Easter Cake Bake. But I decided simple suited me (and this cake) best. We ate it with home-made hot cross buns, on Easter Sunday, with friends. It's my entry to this year's Easter Cake Bake.
Greek Yoghurt Cake
125g butter, softened
1 Cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 Cups Self Raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 Cup finely chopped bloanched almonds
1 Cup yoghurt
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease 20cm x 30cm lamington pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, beat well.
Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in sifted flour and soda in two batches, then nuts and yoghurt.
Beat egg whites in small bwol with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into yoghurt mixture in two batches. Spread mixture into pan. Bake about 35 minutes. Turn cake onto wire rack to cool; dust with icing sugar if desired.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Waiter, there's something in my fritters!

I love chickpeas. I put them in couscous and curries, I roast them by themselves, I turn them into burgers, I even put them in eggs. So when the theme for this months' "Waiter, there's something in my..." was Pulses, I decided I had to join in.
It was hard to decide what to blog. I haven't blogged my chickpea burgers, or my dhal recipe yet. But in the end I was rushed, and the answer presented itself - chickpea fritters. I hope you enjoy them! Spicy Chickpea Fritters with yoghurt sauce
1/2 Cup Self Raising flour
1 eggs
10g butter, melted
1/3 Cup milk
1 tsp mild paprika
1 tsp carraway seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and roughly mashed
5 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 a bunch of coriander, finely chopped
Wisk the first four ingredients to make a batter - it should be the consistency of pancake batter. Add the rest of the ingredients. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, turning after 2 minutes, or when that side is golden. Keep warm while cooking the rest. Serve with yoghurt sauce.
Yoghurt Sauce
1 Cup plain yoghurt
1/2 Bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons (or so) Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Thanks to Cook Sister for hosting this!