Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Crockpot Gingerbread Latte

Well, since I have to be the designated driver tonight and I'll be up later than my usual time, I thought it would be a good time to try the Gingerbread Latte recipe I've kept bookmarked from A Year of Crockpotting. As the Wassail turned out so yummy on Christmas Eve, I think it's worth giving another of her drink recipes a go. Even more exciting as the local Starbucks shut down and I couldn't get any warm liquid holiday cheer the usual way.

4 c milk (2% or lower is best to not worry about curdling)
1/2 c white sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup strong black coffee, or a freshly-brewed shot of espresso (per drink)

Put milk into crockpot, and whisk in the dried spices. Don't add the coffee. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, or high for 1-2. The milk should be quite hot, but don't let it boil. Pour over hot coffee or espresso.

Optional: top with whipped cream
Note: Can cause serious sugar/caffeine high!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tofu and Vegetable Green Curry

2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup (75g) green curry paste
4 spring onions, finely chopped (optional)
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 sm-med pepper/capsicum
1 sm eggplant
400ml can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp coriander, or to taste
100g green beans, cut into 3cm lengths
300g firm silken tofu, drained, cut into thick strips
2-3 basil leaves or a dash ground basil leaves
steamed rice, to serve

Heat the oil in a large deep frypan or wok over medium heat, then add the paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the spring onion, fish sauce, sugar, broccoli, red pepper, green beans, coconut milk, basil leaves, coriander and 1 cup (250ml) boiling water. Stir to combine and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, then gently stir in tofu. Serve over rice.
*Variations on veg are always acceptable in a curry. I'm skipping the green beans and using plum tomatoes, as they were on sale today;) My only warning would be don't overload on the veg or you won't have enough 'sauce'
Pssst, if anyone has a favourite suggestion for green curry paste please recommend!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Review of Christmas at Our House

As the original post was long enough already, thought I'd begin a new one to let you know how things worked, out since I was trying a few different things. The first thing I made was Mary's rum cake and it was fantastic. My fears about the vanilla yogurt being a poor substitute for instant vanilla pudding (which I couldn't find here in Oz) were unfounded. Two tips: make sure not to over-bake or it will dry out and use all of the glaze. Primo! A Year of Crockpotting is going to be my new source for beverage recipes, especially as Starbucks in Adelaide has shut down. I think Gingerbread Latte will be next. The wassail was excellent, even though I used regular apple juice instead of cider (didn't pay enough attention and I think it may be difficult to find anyway). Steve and I drank the entire crock pot of it that night! The lamb rogan josh was good, and I may need to try some more Indian recipes, as it was much easier than I thought. I found paneer cheese at the grocery store here so something with that will be next:) Oysters have the consistency of post-nasal drip...yuck! Perhaps you simply need to cook them longer. The ribs were excellent with KC Masterpiece bbq sauce and the cole slaw was really nice, although next time I think I may shred the slaw in the food processor. Now on to New Year! Will be testing out some Thai style curries;)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fruit & Yogurt Smoothies

I've been experimenting with smoothies lately. Have made strawberry-banana, mango and mango-strawberry so far. It's a great way to get some fruit and yogurt in and a quick brekkie.

Plain yogurt
Honey (optional)

Just put all in blender. Play around with amounts to get the consistency and flavour to taste.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Basic Vegetarian Curry

This curry does not include a particular curry paste or curry powder, but spices instead. I was worried it might be a bit bland but it was really tasty. Serving over rice is optional, especially if you are warming it up for leftovers, as all the juice will cook off 2nd time around. You can also leave out the chickpeas and simply add a couple more potatoes. Another option is to take a bit out and pop it in the blender if you like a creamier curry.

1 package frozen vegetables of your choice
1 can chickpeas
2-3 small potatoes, chopped into small pieces & cooked
2/3 c vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger or powder
1 finely sliced clove of fresh garlic
1 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp chili powder (or more, to taste)
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil

Heat oil in a non-stick fry pan and fry the onions, garlic, cumin and coriander for five minutes. Add potato, frozen veg, chick peas, ginger, turmeric and chili powders, vegetable stock, salt & pepper. Cook on medium heat for fifteen or twenty minutes. Serve over rice.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lamb & Mushroom Kofta

I grabbed this one from Boozy Susie and modified it just very slightly. I lurve my food processor today. Actually, I always love it but I used it twice today and it just made this recipe soooo easy.

1 cup mushrooms
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
parsley, to taste (I used dried, although fresh would probably be nicer)
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
500g lamb mince
salt & pepper, to taste
olive oil

Melt butter in large frying pan over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook whilst stiring for 5 min or until tender. Set aside. Combine parsley, onion, garlic and spices in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add mushrooms and mince and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Use hands to mould mixture into meatball sized balls. Place on a plate or tray and pop in fridge for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in pan and fry until cooked through, or place on metal skewers and bbq or grill.

*Served with homemade hummus and store bought tabouli;)

**I also think these would make great burgers, perhaps with a tzatziki sauce mmmm.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tofu & Vegetable Red Curry

1/4 cup water
1 medium onion, sliced up
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp bottled red-curry paste
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 (1-lb) package frozen mixed vegetables (or fresh to your preference)
1 (14- to 16-oz) block firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
rice, to serve

Cook onion in oil in a wok. Reduce heat, then add garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, salt, and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in vegetables and return to a boil. Cover pot, then reduce heat and cook at a brisk simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Gently stir in tofu and simmer curry, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in fish sauce and salt to taste. Serve curry with rice.
*Usual modifications: I skipped the tofu and used broccoli, plum tomatoes and a can of chinese veggies

Eggplant with Tofu & Red Pepper

You can either use tofu or just throw in a package of frozen veg if you're not keen on tofu.

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
10 oz tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
chili powder, to taste
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
rice, to serve

In a bowl, mix oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil; set aside. Heat tbsp olive oil in a large pan or nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Sauté tofu about 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to low and add remaining tbsp olive oil, and garlic; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and eggplant. Raise heat to medium. Stir-fry 10 minutes, flipping eggplant after 5 minutes to cook on each side. Add oyster sauce mixture and stir well. Add tofu to pan and mix. Serve over rice.
*You can also use fresh chiles instead of chili powder
**I also used plum tomatoes as I had them

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas at Our House

I'm stealing other people's recipes for Christmas eve and Boxing Day, and eating at the in-laws on the day, aside from brekkie.

Christmas Eve
Wassail in the Crockpot, from A Year of CrockPotting
Lamb Rogan Josh, from Boozy Susie

Mary's Rum Cake:
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts
glace cherries (my optional addition to the recipe)
1 18 1/2 oz. pkg yellow cake mix (or make your own!)
1 3 3/4 oz. pkg Jell-o vanilla instant pudding/pie filling
4 eggs
1/2 c cold water
1/2 c oil
1/2 c dark rum

1/4 lb. butter
1/4 c water
1 c sugar
1/2 c dark rum

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease & flour 10" tube or Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts & glace cherries over bottom of pan. Mix all cake ingredients together. Bake 1 hour. Invert on serving plate after cooling on wire rack. For glaze, melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Prick top of inverted cake with toothpicks and drizzle and smooth glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until glaze is used up.

Christmas Day
Shrimp & Blue Cheese Oysters for brekkie, the latter from Intercourses, an Aphrodisiac Cookbook

Blue Cheese Oysters:
1/2 c cumbled blue cheese
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 c seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp butter, softened
8 shucked oysters, on the half shell

Mix blue cheese, garlic, breadcrumbs and butter. Arrange oysters on a baking tray and top with mix. Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes.

Boxing Day
A cheese, pate and olive platter
Paula's Ribs
Homemade Cole Slaw, from Closet Cooking

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sweety Pies

Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pie is my cookbook recommendation for the year. Of all the cookbooks on my shelf, this one is my favourite by far. Over the past couple of months, I've made a lot of pies. Not all of them have come out of this book, but the ones that have, have been amazing. I'll shortly be doing a repeat of both the Old-Time Chocolate Meringue Pie (which I'd describe as a chocolate pudding pie) and Frankie's Coconut Pie. At the moment, there are about 6 more recipes tagged for trying over the next few months. I love making pies (although I have to admit, I haven't yet made my own crust, shhhh). They're easy and beautiful.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Another recipe from Baking Bites that I've been keeping bookmarked.

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth. Pour filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices. Store in the fridge.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pineapple Buttermilk Meringue Pie

I've been eyeing this recipe for a while.

9-in pie crust, prebaked
20-oz can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup pineapple juice (reserved from canned pineapple)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (or make your own with milk & vinegar)
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Drain can of crushed pineapple and reserve 1/2 cup of pineapple juice. In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in pineapple, reserved pineapple juice, buttermilk, egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir well, then turn on the stove to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture just comes to a boil and thickens. Be careful not to burn. It will have a lemon curd type of consistency with slow bubbles when it is done. Cover pan and cool to room temperature.

While filling cools, prepare the meringue. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in vanilla extract.

Pour cooled pie filling into baked pie shell. Top with meringue, spreading it to the edges of the pie crust to cover the filling completely. Smooth top with a spatula. Bake pie at 375F for 10-12 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned. Cool, then refrigerate before serving.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Apricot Pie

Our fruit tree has ripened, so the only thing to do was...

6 cups apricot halves
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice, preferably fresh

Mix lemon juice with apricot halves. Whisk dry ingredients together, then gently mix into apricots. Fill pre-baked pie crust. Top with bits of butter. Add 2nd crust to top and cut slits. Bake at 200 for about 30-40 minutes until golden and apricot filling just beginning to bubble through the slits. Sprinkle top of crust with small amount of sugar immediately after taking out of oven. Let cool enough to gobble;)

Spanish Rice

Veggie meal #1 for 101 of 1001

We're having Pork Chili Verde and Black Bean burritos from Chili Mojo (watch the video) for dinner tonight, so I was just going to make some rice and refried beans as a side, but decided to try some Spanish rice instead. I've never been a huge fan of it but that's most likely due to the fact that it's typically not cooked that well at restaurants. I combined suggestions from a few different recipes, including The Homesick Texan's recipe.

1 cup of rice
2 cups of chicken broth (or veggie stock)
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
ground pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes (with chillies, if you can find them) -or- 1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can kidney beans (optional)
lime juice and cilantro to taste (optional)
avocado and sour cream to top (optional)

Add rice, chicken broth and butter to pot. Bring to a boil on high, stir once and cover. Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, then remove from heat and keep covered for 5 to 10 minutes longer. In the meantime, cook onions in oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, pepper and cumin and cook for approx one minute. Mix in cooked rice, lime juice and cilantro. Serve!

P.S. You could also add some capsicum/pepper to the onion mix, and use as a burrito filler along with some cheese and lettuce (and meat optional if you are a carnivore)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anzac Biscuits

A Kiwi workmate brought me a couple of these last year and they were so good---nothing better than oats and coconut.

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup oats
75g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup or corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Mix flour, sugar, coconut and oats. Melt butter and syrup. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to butter and syrup. Stir butter mix into dry ingredients. Place level tablespoons of mix onto greased baking trays, then press out with fork. Bake at 180C for about 12-15 minutes or until golden. Makes 15.

*Mine turned out slightly flat because I added a bit too much water but damn they were good anyway!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Simple Mafe

This is a West African lamb stew. The recipe was obtained from The World is a Kitchen. The next time I make it I may add some garlic, diced tomatoes and use chunky peanut butter instead. I substituted macadamia oil instead of peanut oil, as I couldn't find the latter, and used dried thyme. It seemed to work out fine although I may search out the peanut oil next time just to try the difference. I also cut the recipe in half and found it to make 4 serves; below is the full recipe.

2 tbsp peanut or macadamia oil
1 large onion, minced
2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cups hot water
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 springs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in heavy saucepan, add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add meat and lightly brown. In small bowl, mix peanut butter with cold water and pour it over the meat. Dilute tomato paste with hot water, pour liquid over the stew, and stir to mix well. Add remaining ingredients, lower heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Remove thyme springs and bay leave. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dawn's Potato Pancakes

Have a handwritten recipe for potato pancakes tucked into my recipe book and as I'm at home jobless at the moment thought I'd spend an hour and a half cooking them up last night to have something special with dinner. I forgot that I could have literally shaved off 1/2 an hour by using my food processor instead of the grater for the onions and potatoes, and when we redo the kitchen I will definitely have two burners that I can place a large rectangular griddle over to cook more at a time.

6 small to medium potatoes
1 medium onion
1/2 c swiss or tasty cheese
2 eggs
3-4 tbsp flour

Grate potatoes, onion and cheese, and mix in eggs and flour to bind. Heat oil or shortening in non-stick pan and drop spoonfuls of mixture on to pan, then flatten with spatula. Heat until brown and crispy on each side. Serve immediately, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and with sour cream and applesauce on the side.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coconut Pie

I got this recipe out of a book titled Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, With Pie. It's a book of pie recipes (obviously) from women in the South of the US. I modified this one slightly by using low fat milk instead of whole and lowering the amount used (recipe called for 2 cups whole milk...but I buy low fat and didn't want to use more than I needed to of the weekly milk supply as I hadn't planned my grocery shopping to suit the recipe). I also used less butter (it called for an entire [US] stick but I used about half, which was actually an accident as I wasn't paying close attention). It was fantastic, warm and cold. The coconut rises to the top and forms a slightly crispy top and beneath is a custard consistency. Lovely!

P.S. Just realised it didn't call for a crust and although I used one, I wonder if you could do without.

3 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c low fat milk
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Mix eggs, then add sugar, milk, melted butter and flour, and mix until well blended. Add vanilla and coconut, mix well. Pour into pie plate (after pre-baking the crust) and bake until centre feels firm, about 50-55 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aussie Fish Burritos

We had Barrumundi last night and there was so much of it, I only cooked half, so tonight I'm going to make fish burritos, as I have quite a few of the fixings. They won't be like traditional fish tacos, but they'll still be good.

Refried Beans
Shredded Lettuce
Carrots, shaved
Sesame Oil
Salt & Pepper

Heat oil in pan. Dust fish with seasonings. Fry on both sides until cooked through, then break apart into small pieces and squeeze lime over fish. Warm tortillas and refried beans. Spread beans on tortillas, top with fish, shredded lettuce, carrots and cheese. Wrap up and feast on!

Banana Bread

Being in between jobs, I finally have some time to cook decently, and I've even started using my digital camera, so here are some pics finally (and yes that is my very '70s orange kitchen counter...a remodel is a few years in the future). Found this recipe on and as I had some over-ripe bananas sitting around, thought I might give it a go.

265g (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 eggs, whisked
50g butter, melted, cooled
2 overripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease an 11 x 21cm (base measurement) loaf pan. Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang a bit.

Sift the combined flours and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Place the milk, eggs, melted butter and banana in a medium bowl, and stir until well combined. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Food Blog Wanderings Part 6

I have been such an absolute slacker on this blog. Here I thought I would move to Oz and not only have more time to cook but even time to take pics of my creations...NOT. Life has been oh so busy the last 6 months; read all about it on my other blog. In the meantime, here are a few more recipes I add to the list of things I'd like to cook (and eat!) someday.

Oatmeal Pancakes (with mashed bananas!)
Huevos Rancheros (because nothing beats Mexican, even for brekkie)
Shrimp and Blueberry Salad
Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad
Rosemary-Lemon White Bean dip
Strawberry Lemonade bars

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Breakfast today was coffee with cinnamon and roasted garlic hummus on toast. I used my food processor for the 1st time this weekend, to make roasted garlic hummus. I've been wanting to make homemade hummus for a long time, and found a good recipe here. I used more chickpeas (a 13 oz. can rather than 1/2 a 19oz. can), and next time I would leave out the raw garlic, as it was just slightly too garlic-y. Watch out tomorrow workmates;)

1 can chickpeas
1 head roasted garlic
1/2 of a large, juicy lemon (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend to proper consistency. Serve with toast wedges.

Next time I'm going to try with either olives or sun-dried tomatoes, instead of garlic.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blueberry & Oatmeal Muffins

These are sooooo good; it's the 2nd time I've made them. Another recipe from the Wanderings, found here. I've been using froxen blueberries, but since these are so cheap to make and I have plenty of all ingredients, I may try again with a mixed berry blend.

1 cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup oats
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 egg
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup oil
1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Set aside. Combine the milk and the vinegar and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Put the oats and the milk mixture into the bowl of a food processor and let sit for a few minutes.
3. Process the mix a few times. Add the egg, sugar and oil. Process for 10 seconds.
4. Combine wet and dry without over mixing. Add the blueberries and stir to combine.
5. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for about 18 minutes.

The 1st time I made these I didn't use the food processor, as I didn't yet have one;) And the 2nd time, I forgot to add the egg, sugar & oil before I mixed the milk & oats mixture into the dry ingredients, so I ended up over-mixing when I put the egg, sugar & oil in with everything else. Both times they ended up great, just a different consistency. Hubs liked them the 2nd time around better, so it simply depends on what you like. Next time I may try adding some bran in with the mix, to make it a bit more healthy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Killer Potato Salad

I've managed to combine a few recipes to create a really tasty potato salad. All you need are:

Potatoes, cooked and chopped up of course
(Thick) Sour Cream
Wholegrain Mustard
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Bacon, again cooked and chopped up of course
Scallions or Green Onions, chopped
Gherkins, chopped
Dill, to taste

Mix it up as you like and chill, then serve!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Italian Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches

This is a basic recipe and I normally don't like it very much but I've found that I much prefer the style of Italian sausages at the Aussie butcher than back home..less fat and just a better consistency. You'll need:

Italian Sausages
Red Pepper/Capsicum, sliced up
Onions, sliced up
Seasoning (for Aussies, bolognese seasoning will do, for Yanks I'd suggest oregano, rosemary, thyme)
Mustard (yes, as blasphemous as using ketchup on hot dogs, but it adds something)

Saute pepper and onions until very soft. Add in seasonings at end. In the meantime, place sausages under the broiler until nice and crispy. Toast buns and made yr sandwich;)

Monday, June 09, 2008

BBQ sauce

What's your favourite sauce? I bought a few at USA Foods Myer 'shop' the other week and really like the Open Pit Brown Sugar version. It was sooooooo much better than anything Australia has to offer that I'm going to have to spend the extra money to buy some once in a while, as the ribs I made with it were kick 'arse'. Nothing like combining the Aussie butcher with proper American BBQ sauce.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why I Love Baking Bites

This blog is so great! I don't have much time to do another Wanderings post, nor have I had time to make many of the recipes I have bookmarked, but I think this one deserves any entire post:)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chicken Pesto Pasta

I can't claim the credit for this one; it came from a fantastic book called Hoax Cooking.

1 pre-cooked whole chicken from the supermarket
1 jar kalamata olives
1/2 jar sun-dried tomatoes
1 jar basil pesto
penne pasta, cooked (duh right)

Basically, take apart the chicken - get rid of the skin and bones. Mix together chicken and all other ingredients. Serve! Very easy and impressive:)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Salmon with Orange Honey Glaze

3/4 c Orange juice
1 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
Ginger, sliced (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Cooking Spray

Mix first 5 ingredients together, boil, then stir for about 8 mins or until syrupy. In meantime, coat salmon in flour, salt & pepper, then fry in non-stick pan until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Place on baking tray lightly sprayed with cooking oil and spoon or brush glaze over, then cook for about 4 minutes on 200C.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lime Custard & Blueberry Pie

Today was a cooking day – Lime Custard and Blueberry Pie, Kangaroo Chili, and Blueberry and Oatmeal Muffins. (Follow the links to see recipes for the muffins.) I needed a day off from house stuff! The pie was pretty simple and really yum. I modified a recipe from Women's Weekly slightly and simply replaced buttermilk with regular milk, as well as used less lime zest than they suggested and a bit more lime juice and pulpy bits.

Shortbread Pie Pastry for crust
3 eggs
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup milk
Juice from 1 lime
Zest from 2 limes
2 tablespoons custard powder (vanilla)
1-2 cups blueberries
Icing sugar, to dust

Line pie plate with pastry and bake on 200C/400F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180 and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Beat eggs and caster sugar in bowl until thick and pale, then add milk, lime juice and zest, and custard powder. Mix until combined, then pour into pastry shell. Bake for 15 minutes on 180C, then reduce heat to 160C and bake another 20-25 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool, then top with blueberries and icing sugar. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chicken Soup

Seems the secret to a good chicken soup is lime and curry powder. My hubs is sick so thought I would cook some up for him as we had some chicken stock. ezpz!

Chicken Stock
Carrots & Celery, diced
Onions & Garlic, chopped
1 tsp Curry Powder
Dash of Parsley
1 Lime, squeezed
3 Whole Cloves

Mix it all together, minus the noodles. Throw the lime halves in for about the 1st 10 minutes. After about 25 minutes, put the noodles in. Serve with noodles cooked.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Perfect Gin & Tonic

When you go to a bar in Chicago and ask for a gin & tonic with olives, the bartender knows what you mean. When you go to a pub in England and ask for the same, you get 2 olives on a napkin, next to your gin & tonic, which still has a lime wedge in it. In Australia or New Zealand, you just get an odd look when you ask for a gin & tonic with olives. Anyway, for a perfect gin & tonic, get a jar of green olives, preferably with pits still in, spoon out about 2 tsp of the olive juice into your glass, add 5-6 olives, then your gin, and some tonic water.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gourmet Mac 'n 3 Cheese

50g butter
1/4 c all purpose flour
2 1/2 c milk
1/2 c double cream
1/2 c dry white wine
1/4 c swiss/emmenthal cheese
1/4 c fontina cheese
1/4 c blue cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook Macaroni. Melt butter in pan. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add milk a bit at a time, whisking vigourously after each additon, then stir in cream, then white wine. Cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Add cheese (only 1/3 cup of parmesan) and stir well to mix, then add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in macaroni and pt mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over and bake for 25-30mins on 180C.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Slow Cookers

I need one. Any recommendations (from Australia)? Recipes also welcome;)

Food Blog Wanderings Part 3

Breakfast Foods
Breakfast Casserole w/Asparagus & Mushrooms
Tomato Soup (with extra veg)
Spicy Cauliflower Soup
Potato Leek Soup
Carrot and Cashew Soup ( a way to get your nuts in)
Cream of Spinach Soup
Reuben (the King of sandwiches!)
Pirogie Sandwiches (for the slightly lazy or just impatient)
Chili Verde (because any chili is worth an attempt)
Lemon Pasta
Reuben Casserole (no such thing as too much corned beef)
Crockpot Beef Stew w/Olives & Capers
Roasted Garlic Hummus (made my 1st batch of roasted garlic yesterday)
Roasted Garlic, Pepper & White Bean dip
Mixed Bean & Goat Cheese dip
Dijon Potato Salad
Chickpea & Broccoli Salad
Pinto Bean Salad w/Avocado, Tomato & Red Onion
Cadbury Creme Egg Muffins (just in time for Easter)
Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
Banana & Custard Tart

Heavy on the soups this time around, but we are soon to go back to a house in Australia with no heat in the winter, plus it fits in with my 1-2x per week veggie meals.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kangaroo Salad with Fig, Apple & Feta

Kangaroo fillets
BBQ Sauce
Fresh fig, cut into slices
Apple, cut into slices
Baby spinach

Marinate kangaroo in BBQ Sauce. (Do yourself a favour and purchase some American BBQ Sauce from USA Foods. The Australian stuff is not worth injesting.) Mix other ingredients for salad. Add kangaroo, sliced (after you cook it of course, which I would suggest be done by grilling). Mix oil with some BBQ sauce, and use as dressing.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Grandma's Sunshine Cake

I don't actually remember my Grandma making this, but I know she'd love the internet, so I'm going to post a few of her recipes in remembrance. She got a word processor in her 80s and would have had a computer mastered if she was still living. Anyway, Grandma's recipes were fairly basic, and I remember her buying toaster strudel for me everytime I went to visit, but what she did cook was good.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can madarin oranges w/juice
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 can crushed pineapple
1 container Cool Whip (If anyone knows where I can get this in Australia please advise!)
1 package instant vanilla pudding

Beat all together cake ingredients together until light and fluffy. Bake at 350/180 in 13x9x2in pan for 25 minutes or until brown. Cool before icing. Mix icing ingredients together until well mixed. Ice cake and keep in fridge, especially during the Adelaide heat waves!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eggplant Stacks

A bit nicer than just mozzarella, tomato and basil salad;)

2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2in thick slices
olive oil
cottage cheese
mozzarella, thinly sliced
tomatoes, thickly sliced
prosciutto slices (optional)
fresh basil leaves
salt & fresh ground pepper

Brush eggplant slices with oil and grill 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Lightly oil large baking dish, then place half eggplant slices in dish. Season cottage cheese with salt & pepper, then top eggplant slices with cottage cheese and place another layer of eggplant on top of cottage cheese. Top with a mozzarella slice, a slice of prosciutto and a tomato slice. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 200C for approx 20 minutes, until golden brown & heated through. Garnish with fresh basil and serve either warm or cold.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

Although the Australian need to roast pumpkin waaay too often is killing my like of pumpkin, this soup is still a winner. It's also very simple.

1 large pumpkin, cut in chunks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
1 can coconut milk or cream (depending on how heart healthy you're feeling, and of course how thick you want your soup)
coriander leaves to taste, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pumpkin chunks in boiling water until soft. Drain and reserve cooking water. Process chilli, garlic, half the coriander, salt & pepper in blender. Put pumpkin in blender with chilli mix and blend. Put mixture back in saucepan, add coconut milk or cream and simmer. If too thick, add some of reserved water. Serve with remaining coriander for garnish.
*Optional: Serve with crusty bread

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chocolate Coconut Meringue Tart

200g shortbread biscuits (can use my Madeira Biscuits recipe minus the raisins)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
50g coconut shavings
50g butter, melted/soft
400g dark cooking chocolate, melted
1 cup single cream
1 tsp vanilla
Meringue Top
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar

Place biscuits, cocoa powder, coconut and butter in food processor and process until fine. Press mixture into tart tin and chill in fridge for approx 15 minutes. For filling, mix chocolate and cream in saucepan over low heat until chocolate melted. Stir in vanilla. Pour mix over biscuit base and chill in fridge for 30 minutes/until set. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add sugar and beat again until thick. Spoon over pie and bake on 200C for about 10 minutes or until peak golden and meringue is set. Chill before serving.
*Can also make without the meringue topping

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuna and Sweet Corn Tortilla Wraps

Great for work lunches or appetisers if cut up into bite sized pieces.

Tuna, canned
Sweet corn
Avocado, cut up and 'squashed'
Baby spinach
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix tuna, corn & mayo. Spread avocado on tortilla wraps, salt & pepper, and cover with baby spinach. Spread tuna mix over. Wrap up and enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eggplant & Olive Dip

1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
12 pitted black olives
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Bake eggplant whole at 190C for approx 45 minutes, or until soft. Remove skin when cool and chop, then put in food processor until smooth. Add garlic, lemon juice, olives, and process until mixed. Pour in olive oil, pepper & parsley while still processing. Serve with pita triangles.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Food Blog Wanderings Part 2

Grasshopper Pie (it just sounds interesting)
Banana Coconut Bread Pudding (need I say more)
Anzac Biscuits (something very Austral-Kiwi)
Sweet Potato Cheesecake (because any cheesecake is good!)
Real Chocolate Moose (from a fellow 'Yank' down under)
Duck Laksa (Duck and spicy soup, yum)
Spicy Eggplant Pea Yogurt thingie (for my once a week veggie meal)
Sea Bass Poached in Creamy Curry Sauce
Thai Style Mince Pork & Pineapple Noodle Salad
Dead Good Carbonara (looks like a simple but gorgeous version)
Ginger Sweet Potato Fries (could also be a main)
Ken Hom's Cold Cucumber with Garlic
Orange Yogurt Bread
Watermelon Honeydew Juice (this site has so many fabulous healthy drinkie recipes)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Duncan's Special Sausages

Well, Clare will have to correct me if I get this one wrong, but it came to mind when having a look back at another good bbq-type recipe, Windsong's ribs.

Very easy...slice some 'snags' (preferably beef) down the middle, stuff with fig or dates, and wrap in bacon...then bbq! Gorgeous...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Coconut Lemon Curd Bars

This is a recipe that is worth a second mention. Basically it's the same as my Coconut Lime Curd Bar recipe, except you substitute limes for lemons. I'm thinking about using oranges next time and putting cocoa powder in the base instead of coconut...'Jaffa Cake' curd bars;)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Breakfast Sausage

This is a recipe from another blog. It really was a treat, as you just can't get proper breakfast sausages down under, and you definitely can't get patties. The only thing I did differently was use golden syrup instead of brown sugar. I did so because it was what I had, but it also turned out well, and next time I might also add a bit of cinnamon. Best served with pikelets and "cheesy eggs";)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

I usually just modify my normal chili recipe, but decided to have a google this time and see what extras I could come up with. Look what I found!

But what I suggest for a good veggie chili is:
cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and cinnamon, to taste
3 cans of beans (for example, 1 pinto or black, 1 white, and 1 spicy kidney)
1 can corn
1-2 cans diced tomatoes
1 eggplant, chopped
1 capsicum/bell pepper, chopped (red, orange or yellow)
1 sweet potato, diced and slightly cooked
1 bottle of beer (1/2 for the chili and 1/2 for the cook! Use any beer you prefer.)
1 tsp or so of olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and cook until veggies are tender, either on the stove or in a crock pot.

*Sour cream and cheese to top of course!

**Other optional ingredients to heat up or spice up Chili are Worcester Sauce, Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce. Other spices I've seen used in recipes but not tried yet are Paprika and Mustard.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Coconut Curry

My very first curry attempt! Made this with some fish fillets last night, although you can use prawns or scallops, or a mix.

Fish (such as cod fillets), cut up into 2 inch pieces
1 c chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic (recipe called for 4, and I only used 1 but would use more next time)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp diced red chili
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced (or 1 can)
1 can coconut cream
4 fresh bay leaves, chopped
1 capsicum/bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
chili powder and curry powder to taste

Spices I didn't have which can be added:
1 tsp tumeric
pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
2 tbsp frsh coriander leaves

Saute onion and garlic in oil for about 4-5 minutes. Add spices, capsicum, ginger and saute a couple of minutes more. Add tomatoes and coconut cream; mix well. Add fish and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice. (I might also add pineapple next time around.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pay it Forward

Came across this on another foodie blog:

“I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, which is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.”

The one condition I'm going to put on this is that you must be in Australia, as this will be done (my part of it anyway) after I return to my own kitchen, and shipping fresh items overseas is sometimes impractical due to cost and customs restrictions. So, comment away and make sure to leave a link to your blog as well as some method of contacting you.

Modified to add: Bumping this up in case anyone else in Adelaide wants to participate. I should be back soon;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Food Blog Wanderings

I'm quite often bookmarking recipes from other blogs. Have a huge list now of things I'd like to try, so thought I'd share:
Breadchick's Chocolate and Michigan Cherry Quick Bread (because anything with chocolate & cherries has to be good)
Carrot Apple & Honey Muffins, from Baking Bites (so many great recipes on this blog I have a separate list)
Lime and Raspberry Bread, from Baking Bites
Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie
Cherry Ripe Cheesecake, from Women's Day (not a blog, and not sure I should share this one!)
Chocolate Banana Cake, from Food and Thoughts
Coconut Rice Pudding, from Kitchen Addiction (I lurve any rice pudding!)
Coconut Cream Pie, from Baking Bites
Beanie Wienies for Grown Ups, from The Homesick Texan (fancy pork & beans)
Pastas, from Who's Cooking Tonight (they all have me drooling)
Chickpea, Ginger & Coriander Soup, from Pinch My Salt
Stuffed Mushrooms, from Dharm (loads of mushroom recipes, although I like the one at the bottom best)
Tomatillo Salsa, from What We're Eating
Yummy Broccoli, from SpiceTart

Yes, there is an overabundance of dessert recipes, but I do like baking best.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm in need of a good, or a few good, Laksa recipes, and if they aren't too terribly difficult, that's even better;) Trying to do at least two vegetarian or one vege and one seafood dish per week. My hubs is anti-tofu but I think if I may something he likes with it, I may be able to convert him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Homemade Cherry Ripe Slices

Ok so this recipe doesn't taste like Cherry Ripes at all, but it came out pretty great anyway. Anything with coconut and chocolate is good! I wanted to make my DH something similar to Cherry Ripes for Valentine's Day and it wasn't quite what I expected, but it's worth a repeat.
1/3 c sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
100g butter, melted
3/4 c flour
100 g crushed morning or "Marie" biscuits
1 1/2 c shredded coconut
1 can condensed milk
Chopped glace/maraschino cherries
30g copha (coconut oil)
100 g dark cooking chocolate
1. Mix base ingredients together, spread in bottom of pryex and press down. Cook on 180 for 15 minutes.
2. Mix filling ingredients together, spread over cooked base, and put back in oven to bake for a further 20 minutes.
3. Melt topping mixes together in pan. Spread over cooled dessert, then let set and/or chill before eating.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Corned Silverside

For those of you in the US, this is corned beef. I've never made it before so thought it would be worth giving a go. Hint: next time I'd put more of the seasonings in.

1 corned silverside (mine was 1.5 kg and I cut it in half to fit in the pot and simmered it for an hour and a half)
1 large onion, sliced
6 whole cloves
1 tbsp raw sugar
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp peppercorns

Rinse meat. Cover with cold water, bring to boil, then pour out water and add fresh water to cover again. Add all other ingredients to pot and bring to boil, then simmer 1 hour per kilo or until tender. Serve with boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Wholegrain mustard is also nice on the side.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Apple, Pear & Peach crumble

2 apples
2 peaches
2 pears
1 & 3/4 brown sugar
2 c. oats
1 c. flour
2 tbsp butter

Thinly slice fruit and layer in medium rectangular pyrex slightly greased with butter. Sprinkle 3/4 c. brown sugar, cinnamon to taste & about 1/3 cup water over fruit. In separate bowl, mix flour, oats, rest of brown sugar and butter. Spread oat mix over fruit and press down. Cook in 180/350 degree oven for approx 45 minutes.

*Can be served with custard or vanilla ice cream

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Scallop & goat cheese salad

Red onion
Goats cheese
Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

Saute onion and scallops in olive oil, pepper to taste & fresh squeezed lemon juice until cooked through. Place on top of lettuce and add cheese, then pour oil mix on top.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chicken Livers (in red wine) salad

Chicken livers
Olive oil plus juice of 1/2 lemon (or lemon flavoured oil)
Red wine
1 clove chopped garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil, then add garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add chicken livers, wine, and salt & pepper and saute about 5 minutes or until cooked through, turning chicken livers. Place over lettuce and pour remaining juice on top.

*Polenta is a nice side

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cabbage and Sweet Potato Soup

Chopped cabbage
Diced ham
Garlic, diced
Fresh ground pepper
Beef stock
Diced sweet potatoes

Cook sweet potatoes in beef stock. Separately, saute garlic and ham in butter, then add cabbage and water as necessary until cabbage is cooked. Season with pepper. Add cabbage mix to beef stock and serve with buttered, toasted rye bread.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Non-stick pans

I need to get a couple of nice non-stick pans when we get back to Adelaide. Any suggestions? I want something that won't wear out in a couple of years;)