Friday, December 21, 2007

Pineapple Cake

Made this the other day and everyone loved it! Soooo easy!!

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 large can crushed or chunk pineapple with juice(do not drain)sweetened or not.
2 cups nuts

Mix first 5 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir very well with a spoon. Do not use a mixer! Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees in oven for 35-40 mins. Let cool in pan 10-15 mins. Remove from pan if desired. Frost when cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg Cream Cheese
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg powdered sugar

Let cream cheese and butter soften at room temp. Add vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. (Don't think I used a whole pkg.) Add enough milk for desired consistency (usually 1 to 2 TBS). Frost cooled cake.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pecan Tassies

½ pound butter (2 sticks)
1 large pkg cream cheese
2 cups sifted flour

Soften butter and cheese to room temperature. Mix well. And flour and mix with hands. Shape into balls the size of a small walnut. Press dough into muffin tins.

3 eggs slightly beaten
2 cups light brown sugar
Dash of salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups chopped pecans

Put pecans into bottom of shells. Mix first five ingredients well. Spoon mixture into shells. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from tins while still warm. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Chili Beer

Spent the weekend in Wellington and while dining at a Cajun restaurant called Sweet Mother's (I'd give it 7 shrimps out of ten as the red beans 'n rice was to die for but the jambalaya was seriously lacking), we decided to try Chili Beer, which surprisingly, is from Arizona. It was so hot that I couldn't finish it:( Had I had more time, I would have, but it was precious last moments before having to head to the airport, so I had to leave it for the hubs, who had spent the better part of the meal trying to figure out how to get the chili out of his;)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Recipe blog links!

I've added a few recipe blog links to blog (if anyone whose blog I have listed finds their way here and wants theirs taken off, please let me know). Who knew there were so many fantabulous recipe blogs out there! I can't wait to get back to Adelaide and a proper kitchen:)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Healthy or Not

Butter vs. Margarine/Spreads
Olive oil vs. other oils
Lean mince vs. regular mince
Whole grain bread vs. white
Skim milk vs. Whole milk

I head for the former; hubs heads for the latter. Which do you use and why?

Chocolate Bar Brownies

These are usually made with Hershey bars, but I'd like to try them with Cadbury. Mmmmm....

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs
1 lb. can (16 ozs.) Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 cup nuts (walnuts, for example)

Cream sugar and butter. Add and beat remaining ingredients. Lightly grease and flour cake pan. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

6 Hershey bars
Place on top of cake after you take it out of the oven. As bars melt, spread evenly with a knife.

White Chocolate Chip Cookies w/Dried Cherries

Hopefully my mom won't mind me sharing this one. She does some amazing cookies at the holidays and this one is worth sharing. I haven't ever made them, but I've eaten plenty!

2 1/2 cups uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 tsp each: baking soda, baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 cup each: granulated sugar, packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg (12 oz) white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Heat oven to 375F. Process oats in food processor to fine powder. Combine oatmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt in medium bowl; set aside. Beat together butter and sugars in bowl on medium until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients, about 1/4 cup at a time. Stir in choc chips, walnuts and dried cherries. Drop by tablespoons on greased baking sheets. Bake in batches until golden, about 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blue Cheese and Broccoli Soup

6 ozs. potatoes
2 TBS butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
12 ozs. broccoli
salt and pepper freshly ground
4 ozs. blue cheese
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 TBS sunflowers oil
1 TBS butter
1 garlic close finely chopped

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occassionally, 5 minutes or until soft. Add stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 mins. Cut broccoli into flowerets and add to pan. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile make croutons. Cut bread into small squares. Heat oil, butter, and garlic in a skillet and fry bread on both sides until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Puree soup in a blender or food processor. Returned to rinsed-out pan, add salt and pepper, then crumble in cheese. Reheat gently without boiling, until cheese has melted. Garnish with croutons and serve.

I need a breadmaker and a food processor/blender

Any suggestions for either? Also, recipes for bread?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nachos (or Taco Pie)

I was going to make this into a taco pie, but ended up being lazy about making the pastry (see a theme going?), so just turned it into nachos.

500g mince or ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cans spicy chili beans
2 cans diced tomatoes w/chillis
1 small can tomato paste
red or cayenne pepper to taste
nacho chips
sour cream

Brown the onion and mince. Mix in the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and chillis and cook for 30 minutes or so. Spoon onto nachos then top with cheese, avocados, jalapenos and sour cream.

Hot potato, avocado & crab salad

This can be a main or a side, and you can vary the dressing (I was lazy this last time and just used a store bought creamy avocado & garlic dressing).

6 large potatoes, cooked and cut up in small chunks
1 -2 cans crab meat, or seafood sticks/fresh crab meat
1-2 avocados

wholegrain mustard
red wine vinegar

Mix it up and serve while the potatoes are still warm, or as a cold dish.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Crispy Kale

I saw a recipe once somewhere for kale that you bake in the oven and sort of make a kale (potato) chip like thing. Anyone heard of such a thing or was I just dreaming?


I couldn't for the life of me remember my password so I had to create a new one... Here are a couple risotto recipes y'all might like:

Mushroom Risotto

Servings: 2
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

40g unsalted Butter
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 litre hot chicken stock
125g Carnaroli rice
5 tbsp Red wine, (preferably Italian)
175g mixed fresh Mushrooms, such portobello, closed-cup and porcini, sliced
50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Heat a knob of the butter and the olive oil in a shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and gently fry until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile put the stock in a separate pan, and bring to the boil. Keep it simmering while you make the risotto. Add the rice to the onions and cook for a couple of minutes until glossy, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Add the wine and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Add a ladleful of the hot chicken stock and the soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms to the rice mixture, and continue to cook over a medium heat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, stirring all the time. Continue to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding the next ladleful, until the rice is tender but still retains a bite (this will take 15-20 minutes). Use as much of the stock as necessary to cook the risotto. Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter in a separate frying pan over a medium heat, add the fresh mushrooms and fry for a few minutes, stirring, until lightly cooked. Stir the fried mushrooms into the risotto along with the parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Risotto

2tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
5 cups stock (increase if needed)
1/2 butternut squash, roasted and cubed
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and saute until fragrant. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until rice is slightly translucent. Reduce heat to medium/low and stir in wine and stir until wine is absorbed. Begin adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly with each addition, until the rice is half tender but still surrounded by stock. Stir in the squash, sage and butter. Continue cooking over low heat until the stock is mostly absorbed, but rice has a bit of a bite (if you need to add more stock to get the rice to the right consistency, then do so. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Corn Chowder

This soup recipe is quick and easy, and to spice it up or make it a more rounded meal, add diced ham or smoked chicken.

4-6 medium potatoes
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped (optional)
1 cup carrot sliced (optional)
2 cans broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups frozen corn (use white as it's sweeter and more flavorful)
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
2 TBS butter
2 cups milk
1 TBS or more of flour
salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes, celery, and onion in broth until tender. Add corn, eggs, and butter, simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Add flour to milk, mix or shake in a sealed container, add to soup. Season, bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes. Serve.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bean Soup with Kale

1 Tbs olive or canola oil
6 to 8 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cups chopped raw kale or spinach (or 10 oz frozen)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans white beans, undrained (about 3 cups)
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning. ( or 1 tsp each dried thyme and rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onions, saute until soft. Add kale and saute, stirring until wilted. Add 3 cups broth, 2 cups of beans, all of tomato, herbs and salt, and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. In a blender or food processor, mix remaining beans and broth until smooth. Stir into soup to thicken. Simmer 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls, stir in parsley.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Split Pea Soup

Quite simple and very satisfying.

1 pound (2 1/4 cups) green split peas
1 meaty ham bone (1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots

Cover peas with 2 quarts cold water and simmer gently 2 minutes; remove from heat; cover and let stand one hour. Add bone, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and marjoram. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer (don't boil) 1 1/2 hours. Stir occassionally. Remove bone; cut off meat and dice. Return meat to soup; add vegetables. Cook slowly uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just had these for the first time today...amazing!

½ c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
½ c. (1 stick) butter, softened
½ c. peanut butter (preferably chunky)
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 pkg (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. Beat sugars, butter, peanut butter, vanilla & egg in medium bowl with wooden spoon until creamy and well blended. Mix in flour, oats, baking soda & salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Rice & Fruit

Smells fantastic cooking!

1/4 c. unsalted butter
small yellow onion, minced
1 1/2 c. basmati rice
3 1/4 c. water
3/4 tsp. salr
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. pecans, toasted & coarsely chopped

In saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions & saute until soft (about 10 mins). Add rice, water, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, raisins, cranberries and apricots. Bring to boil. Reduce to low, then cover & cook without stirring for about 20 minutes. Add pecans, stir & serve.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Moroccan style lamb chops

6 3/4-in. thick lamb rib chops
2 1/2 in. thick slices crustless French bread (or plain bread crumbs)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 500F. Grind bread in processor to fine crumbs. Add garlic, orange peel, cumin & cayenne pepper. Drizzle in olive oil & blend until crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer crumb mix to plate. Sprinkle lamb chops w/salt. Dip both sides of lamb chops into crumb mix, pressing all crumbs onto lamb. Arrange lamb chops on small baking sheet & bake until crumb coating is golden and lamb is cooked to desired doneness, about 12 min. for medium-rare.

Madeira Biscuits

These are basically butter cookies with raisins. Hysterical when kids mistake the raisins for choc chips;)

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. raisins

Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar & salt in large bowl until creamy. Mix in vanilla. Add flour & raisins; mix until smooth dough forms. Divide dough in half. Shape each dough half into 1 1/2 in. diameter log. Wrap log in plastic and refridgerate until firm; about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Butter 2 large baking sheets. Cut each dough log into 1/4 in. thick slices. Place slices on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until cookies are golden (approx. 10 mins). Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.