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.