Saturday, 4 July 2015

Delicious - June 2015 - Beetroot & Pumpkin Curry

My last post said that I found this issue unread on my dining table. Well, apparently it just looked unread as when I started looking for this recipe it turned out to be in the June issue.

Doesn't the cake on the cover look amazing? I would love to make that but, well you know, I can't bake too much. There is only so much that I can (should) eat. I do get a bit of a chance to bake now that I am in Toastmasters as I get to provide supper for the meetings. So perhaps I will make the Almond cake with poached pears and caramel praline. Sounds awesome doesn't it? Although it might be a be much for one of our meetings. Plus those pears would mean that it wouldn't be "finger food". There are plates there that we can use but, well, then there is just more washing up. lol

The Beetroot & Pumpkin Curry recipe jumped out at me when I was flicking through the magazine. I love both beetroot & pumpkin. I have had pumpkin in curries before but never beetroot. It had me a bit curious. Beetroot are plentiful and pumpkins are in season so it was a really good seasonal meal to make. Like all beetroot dishes the colour is glorious. The earthy flavour of the beetroot combined nicely with the spice. I am not a huge curry fan but I did really enjoy this one. The recipe called for it to be served with flat bread however I didn't feel like making any so I just cooked up some rice. I just used white rice but I think that the nuttiness & chew of brown rice would be much better with this dish. I did really like it but given I am not a huge curry lover and freezing didn't go well I doubt I would make it again.

Beetroot & Pumpkin Curry
by Jill Dupleix
Delicious magazine June 2015 pg 58

800 g baby beetroot, stalks trimmed & scrubbed (I used 3 or 4 regular beetroot)
400 g butternut pumpkin, peeled & cut into 2 cm pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder (I would add a bit more)
50 g baby spinach (I used finely slice silverbeet)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp raw unsalted cashews,
Natural yoghurt & fried curry leaves to serve (I didn't have curry leaves)

Boil beetroot until tender. Drain saving 2 cup cooking liquid.
Cook onion until soft & then add garlic, chilli, tumeric, cumin & chilli powder and cook until fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Add beetroot "stock" and pumpkin. Simmer until tender (approx 15 min)
Peel beetroot, chop & process 150 g to a puree. Chop remaining beetroot. Add both to the pumpkin mixture. Cook until heated through. Add spinach and stir in to wilt.
Serve with rice, yoghurt & cashews.

Pumpkin & beetroot curry

Monday, 29 June 2015

Snickers Cupcakes

Well, hello there. It has certainly been a while. However, here I am writing again. I haven't really got the cooking mojo thing happening again however I do have the urge to write again. I do have a massive back catalogue of stuff that I have cooked in the last year when I just didn't feel like writing. So I may get on to posting some of those. Might be a bit of a stretch to remember some of them though. Photos are great but they cannot always revive the tastes and smells of something in the distant past. I will try though.

I can't say if it was delicious magazine that lost me or if I was just so ambivalent about cooking etc that I glazed over a lot of very good recipes. I will go back and have a look at the last few months. I found last month's issue buried on my table yesterday with not even a page turned. The new issue came out today. I have dutifully bought it although that has more to do with the absolutely stunning cake on the front cover, oh and the fact that it is the 150th issue, than duty. Although there is a bit of duty to given that I have a standing order for it from my local newsagent and, well, I just haven't gotten around to cancelling it. They put a sticker with my name on it and everything so I just can't say no to that, lol. I do have one thing that I made from the April issue (I think) that I will get posted up next.

My first post in ages is inspired by my desire to share these cupcakes far and wide. It was my birthday last week. I'm not saying how old because, well, I don't want to be this old. Unfortunately, I didn't really have a choice. Let's just say it was one of those 0 birthdays... sigh. I did have a nice day. My boss & his wife took me to lunch, my grandparents came along too. I received some lovely flowers, a few lovely text messages, fabulous forum messages and facebook posts. Since there wasn't much of a celebration I decided that I would make myself some cupcakes as a "happy birthday me".

I loooooove snickers bars. I mean really. I don't buy them because if I do I inhale them. My doctor tells me it is okay to buy them occasionally and suggests eating them "mindfully". Ha ha ha ha. No, they get inhaled. I can plan the whole mindful thing up to the point where I open it and, well, the next thing I know it is gone. I've seen all sorts of recipes over the years for snickers cupcakes and they usually involve the use of the actual snickers bar in them at some point. But, yeah, that just isn't going to happen here. They would be inhaled before going any where near being chopped up or melted down for use in cupcakes. So I decided that I would use all the elements and see what came out. So what did I do. I made chocolate cupcakes, cut a hole in the centre and filled with dulce de leche, iced with peanut butter buttercream and then sprinkled with chopped nuts and grated dark chocolate. **drool**

I wasn't sure on a chocolate cupcake recipe. I sometimes use my regular cake recipe but it makes such a big mix. Anyway I googled and the top result was a recipe from an old Notebook magazine issue (I miss that magazine). They were really easy and quite tasty. Possibly not quite as chocolatey as I would have liked but they were a nice texture, slightly dense which was perfect for my purposes. I also liked that they weren't overly sweet since there was plenty of sweetness to come. I would definitely make these again, oh actually I already have.

Notebook: - April 2009 , Page 155
Recipe by


Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 18 x 1/3-cup (80ml) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.

Combine the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until just combined. Add the flours and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Spoon evenly among the lined muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Next was the dulce de leche. I had this in the fridge, I have had it in the fridge forever. I made it in my thermomix, ages and ages and ages ago. I was kind of surprised that it was still okay. There was a bit of crystalised sugar on top but not bad and it still tasted great. Plus, not dead so it was fine, lol. I cannibalised a few recipes online for this one. Good thing I scribbled it down as I went, I don't always do that.

Dulce de Leche

1 litre milk
100 g sugar
150 g brown sugar
300 g cream
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

Place all in the bowl, 45 - 50 minutes; Varoma; Sp 5.
Use the basket on lid for evaporation without splatter.

**Will keep forever**
(Oooh, I just looked at my flickr feed. The photo I took of the finished product was taken on 29/6/2013, so yeah 2 years. Um, how on earth did a pot of caramel last in my fridge for 2 years? It wasn't like I didn't know it was there. **startled face**)

Now, for snickers, you obviously need nuts and what better way to get that in than peanut butter buttercream. This turned out nice and creamy, not too sweet.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

165 g butter
3/4 c peanut butter
500g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk

Cream butter & peanut butter until smooth. Add icing sugar slowly. Add milk to get consistency desired.


Use a knife to cut a cone shape into the cupcake. Fill that with dulce de leche, pipe buttercream on and then top with grated chocolate & chopped nuts.

Snickers cupcake

Snickers cupcake

Snickers cupcake

Saturday, 31 January 2015

January 2015 - Heirloom tomato & haloumi salad

Just squeaking in here with my January recipe. Goodness it was a long hard road to get here. 

My cruise around New Zealand was amazing. The food was just incredible. So much variety and so good. I will post some of the photos I have in another post. I was incredibly good on the cruise though and didn't just pig out on the food. I came home without having put on any weight! Even though I tried a lot of food I ate small amounts of it. 

Unfortunately I came home and discovered that food didn't just appear in a buffet in front of me. The well cooked, tasty and mainly healthy food just wasn't appearing. I have actually put on weight since coming home and I have kind of fallen into a can't be bothered hole. A lot of people have said to me that if they lived on their own they wouldn't bother cooking. I have always said that I love to cook and, well, you have to eat decent meals. However, this past month the food hasn't been great. I have been eating breakfast most days. I do try to have a good lunch every day, even if it has involve buying it every week day. It is bloody expensive but it is better than nothing at all or just snacking.

I really need to get my mojo back. I need to get back into a routine. What I am eating is off a bit, I am not exercising as much and my sleep, while I am getting more it still isn't that restful.

Eat, sleep, exercise

They are the three main things that underpin all things in our lives. If there isn't some kind of balance there then a bunch of other things will sprout from it. 

The food has been random. 

My exercise has been less frequent. My main form of exercise is swimming and I got a new tattoo 2 weeks ago so have not been allowed to swim. They said give it two weeks but it isn't completely healed yet so will need another week. There are plenty of other forms of exercise though. So I really need to get off my butt and get out there doing them. 

Sleep is, well, I am not sure how to describe it. I bought myself a vivofit a few weeks ago. My doctor had suggested it as a way of keeping track of my sleep. It is really very interesting. I have been sleeping for a longer time than I had previously thought but I am very restless and don't hit a deep sleep for any length of time. 

When looking for another recipe to make out of this double issue this was one that caught my eye. Easy, quick and fresh. Even though it is a really easy recipe I still took a couple of short cuts but hey it got a good meal on my table. Do whatever you need to so that you can get back into it. I'm just going to write this as I did it.

Heirloom tomato & haloumi salad 
(serves 1)

1 tbsp garlic olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 slice sourdough bread, torn
haloumi slices
Mixed heirloom tomatoes (I got the cherry tomato mix)
1/2 lebanese cucumber, deseeded & sliced
handful salad leaves
your favourite vinaigrette dressing, I used Paul Newman's Classic 

Heat oil & garlic over a medium heat. Toss in bread & cook until golden. Set aside. 
Fry haloumi in the same pan until soft & melty (I cooked mine too long). 
Combine all ingredients. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

December 2014 - Bloody Mary Beans

You're not getting much this time as tomorrow I head off on my adventure. Cruising around New Zealand. Well, I don't actually get on ship tomorrow but I am on my way and I still have things to do tonight. 

This was really yum. I will post the recipe at a later date when I have some extra time but I just wanted to get the post up. However I will say that while they were called Bloody Mary Beans they didn't have vodka in them. I mean really? I rectified that. A slug of vodka went in the pot. Hmm, now that I think about it perhaps the slug of vodka should have gone in me instead of the pot. lol

Saturday, 29 November 2014

November 2014 - Baked Ocean Trout with smashed cucumber salad

I planned to make this early in the month but I just didn't get to it. For the past two weeks I have been basically kitchenless as I have been renovating. It is so very exciting and photos will be forthcoming. I am actually away this weekend so I decided to make it here. It was a pretty simple dish although I didn't have anything to smash the cucumbers with, or any bags to put them in, so it is just chopped. I would definitely make the fish again but the cucumber was a bit meh. I used salmon instead of trout as that is what I could get. I forgot to bring ginger with me so I put some of the pickled ginger in the marinade along with some green onions.

Baked Ocean Trout with Smashed Cucumber Salad
Serves 6-8

2/3 cup (160ml) soy sauce
150ml maple syrup
3cm piece ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg skinless ocean trout, pin boned (I used a salmon fillet)

Cucumber Salad:
2 telegraph cucumbers
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup drained, finely shredded pickled ginger
Micro herbs (I used rocket)


1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place soy, maple syrup, ginger and garlic in a small bowl and stir to combine.
2. Place trout on the baking tray. Pour over marinade , then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, for the cucumber salad, peel and halve the cucumbers lengthways, scoop out seeds and discard. Transfer cucumber to a large ziplock bag, seal, then bash with a rolling pin. Using your hands, break into chunks.
4. Add garlic and 2 tsp salt to the bag and shake to combine, then seal, removing as much air as possible. Chill for 15 mins.
5. Preheat the oven to 140 deg and cook the trout uncovered fir 15 mins or until just cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, drain cucumber mixture, discarding liquid, then todd with ginger in a bowl. Serve trout with cucumber salad, top with herbs