Saturday 30 January 2010

January 2010

If I had actually paid better attention when I was going through the magazines I never would have made the Coconut cream tartlets from the January 2005 magazine as there were so many other great things to make for dessert in later magazines. I had not, of course, made a firm decision when I first went through choosing recipes that I would only make one dessert a month. It had crossed my mind but it wasn't until after I made those tartlets that I decided that I definitely had to put limits on the desserts.

Now all this lamenting about not doing a dessert this time around is for two reasons. Firstly just look at the picture of Valli Little's Mangomisu on the front cover of issue 89, how could any one not want to make that? The second reason is that what I ended up making was a bit of a disaster.... I actually made this on 26th January, Australia Day. It was a public holiday and I had the day off work so I decided it would be nice to make a little bit of an effort and make a special breakfast. The first recipe that I had marked as a possible to make in this issue was Jamie Oliver's Homemade Cinnamon & Lemon Crumpets with Raspberries and Honey. I love crumpets, they are wonderful for breakfast drizzled with honey or smeared with jam. This recipe had them topped with ricotta mixed with raspberries and honey...yum. I had attempted to make crumpets before using a Delia Smith recipe and it was a bit of a disaster. I had hoped that Jamie wouldn't let me down, unfortunately it was a disaster too.

I am not really sure what happened. I couldn't find my egg rings, I moved 7 months ago and there is still a bit of kitchen stuff in boxes but there is also a lot of stuff shoved in random places. I am sure they are around somewhere but they would not come out of hiding on Tuesday morning. The lack of the rings was the reason for for the dreadful shape of them. Although in reality that doesn't really worry me too much. The main problem was that they didn't cook properly. I am not sure if I made them too thick or if it was a problem with not having the correct temperature. Very few holes formed on top and they didn't cook through. I did eat two but they were a bit doughy and quite yeasty. Not very enjoyable at all. Since it was so disappointing I will not be typing out the long recipe. I will however give the ricotta topping as that was very nice. I used the rest of it on some toasted fruit loaf.
  • 250 g fresh ricotta
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp honey, plus extra to drizzle
  • 3 large handfuls fresh raspberries (I used some frozen mixed berries)
  • In a small bowl mix the ricotta, zest and honey.
  • In another small bowl mash half the raspberries.
  • Gently fold the mashed raspberries through the ricotta being careful not to over mix as you want a rippled effect.
  • Sprinkle with the remain raspberries when serving.

Crumpets with berry ricotta

January 2009 - Chorizo-stuffed Chicken with Couscous

So onto the penultimate magazine for January. I have so enjoyed not only the discovery of some great new recipes that I had previously overlooked but reading through the magazines. I have read a lot of articles that I have either forgotten or just didn't get around to reading the first time. Once you really sit down with delicious. there is a lot of reading in it.

Issue 78 again presented a large number of choices although in reality there was really no option but to make Tobie Puttock's Chorizo-stuffed Chicken with couscous. I don't often do a roast for just me as most of the time I find that small roasting pieces are not as nice as larger roasting pieces. I also find that smaller chickens can be a bit dry. At least this has been my experience, perhaps though I have a tendency to over-cook, sometimes it is hard to remember that while it is a roast it is smaller and will take less time to cook. I believe that the slices of chorizo help to keep the breast (my favoured part) from drying out and impart a subtle flavour into the meat. I didn't have the best quality chorizo unfortunately but it was still a decent one. I would recommend using the best that you can get though as I think that it would impart more flavour. I ended up making some gravy from the pan drippings. The chorizo flavour in that was magnificent.

Chorizo-stuffed Chicken with Couscous

Serves 2

  • Small (1.2 kg) free-range chicken (mine was 1.3 kg)
  • 1 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Creme fraiche, to serve (optional) (I didn't use it)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) couscous
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (185 ml) boiling chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp sultanas (I didn't use)
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Gently work your fingers between chicken skin and breast, being careful not to tear. Carefully stuff chorizo under skin in 1 layer (you may not need all the chorizo). Place onion, garlic, lemon and thyme in cavity. Tie legs with string, rub with oil and season.
  • Place on a rack in a roasting plan. Roast 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally, until cooked through - juices will run clear when thigh is pierced. (Cover with foil if over-browning.)
  • Remove string and carefully turn bird upside-down on a board (to keep breast from drying out). Rest 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix couscous and oil in a bowl with hot stock. Cover and stand for 5 minutes, then fluff grains with a fork, stir in remaining ingredients and season. (I am not keen on raw onion and garlic so cooked them before adding.)
  • Carve chicken, drizzle with pan juices and creme fraiche if using, garnish with extra parsley and serve with couscous.

Chorizo stuffed chicken with couscous

Tuesday 26 January 2010

January 2008 - The Best Baked Pumpkin

The picture on the cover of issue #67 caught my eye, Cranberry & Cinnamon Semifreddo, it even sounds fabulous. Again, though it is a dessert and I have already fulfilled by quota especially when I realise that I started out with the muffins. I did give most of them away though. However I have plenty of jelly cakes that still need to be eaten.

There were a few more things inside that caught my eye. I know that I said before that I don't really like seafood, one exception is salmon, especially a lovely salmon fillet. In this issue Valli Little's recipe for Wasabi-coated salmon with cucumber salad looked wonderful. It uses 150 g of ground wasabi peas (among other things) to coat the salmon fillet. I adore wasabi peas to snack on and normally have a supply in the cupboard but when I went to check the cupboard was bare. Apparently I had forgotten to stock up again and so did the supermarket...grrr. I will make this one day soon though, I hope.

With my first choice defeated by lack of ingredients I went with my second choice. Jamie Oliver's The Best Baked Pumpkin. My hopes for this dish were pretty high as I have made Jamie's Hamilton Squash a number of times. I love it and it is a popular dish when entertaining too. The Best Baked Pumpkin was supposed to be done in a whole Jap (or Kent as they are called here now) pumpkin. I was unable to find a smallish one. Then I thought that I could make individual ones in golden nugget pumpkins but I couldn't get any of those either. So I decided that since the hamilton squash recipe works well in a butternut I would use one for this recipe too. It worked quite well except for the fact that there was a bit too much stuffing and liquid. To be honest while this was an enjoyable meal, served with a simple salad, I don't think it is the best and much prefer the hamilton squash.

The Best Baked Pumpkin
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

  • 1 pumpkin (about 1 kg)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • a small handful of black olives, stoned and chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 dried chilli
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 50g shelled pistachio nuts (I used pecans)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 200ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • Preheat the oven to 230 C
  • Cut the lid off the pumpkin and reserve it. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and keep them to one side. Make the hollow where the seeds were a little bigger by scooping out some more pumpkin flesh. Finely chop this pumpkin flesh and one of the garlic cloves.
  • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Pour in a splash of olive oil, then add the chopped pumpkin, chopped garlic, onion, olives, and half the rosemary. Cook gently for 10 minutes or so until the pumpkin has softened.
  • Meanwhile, place the whole garlic clove and the remaining rosemary in a pestle and mortar. Crumble in the dried chilli, add a good pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon and bash until you have a paste. Add a little olive oil to loosen up the mixture and then rub the inside of the pumpkin with it.
  • Season the cooked pumpkin mixture and stir in the rice, cranberries, pistachios and tangerine zest with a pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly then add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes (no longer or the rice will end up overcooked later).
  • Tear off a sheet of tin foil that’s large enough to wrap the pumpkin in a double layer and lay on top of a baking tray. Place the pumpkin on top and spoon the rice mixture into it, then place its lid back on. Rub the skin with a little olive oil, wrap it up in the foil and bake in the oven for about an hour.
  • The pumpkin is ready when you can easily push a knife into it. Bring it to the table and open it up in front of everyone. Cut it into thick wedges and tuck in, leaving the skin.

The best baked pumpkin

January 2007 - Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiches

I was really spoilt for choice in issue #56. Jamie Oliver's Lychee Martini was very hard to pass up, in fact the only reason I did was because vermouth was just a bit pricey for me at the moment. I considered Valli Little's Labne with mangoes and honey, but I had already done my sweet dish for the month and there was also the jelly cakes so something sweet was not to be. I almost chose to make Valli's Stuffing Burgers. The recipe used the meat from turkey sausages which I knew that I wouldn't be able to source here but I can normally procure turkey mince. Unfortunately there wasn't any available when I went shopping. That left me with my fourth eye-catching recipe; Jill Dupleix's Crustless Ham & Spinach Quiches.

I will admit up front that I adore Jill's recipes I have a number of her books and cook from them regularly. Her recipes are normally easy, tasty, fresh and healthy and this one definitely fit the bill. Another appeal of this recipe was that it would be something that could be eaten hot on the day of cooking but also cold on subsequent days and would be perfect for lunches. I tend to come home from work for lunch but since I am normally late getting away and then stop at the post office to collect mail I usually don't have a lot of time to be pfaffing around in the kitchen so I like to have something in the fridge that I can just throw on a plate (or straight from a container) to eat.

Stuffing around with the squares of baking paper to line the muffin pan was a pain and I think that in future I either wouldn't bother or I would use the Multix Muffin Cafe Collection Wraps that are used here. I have never used them myself but it has to be easier to just pull them out of the box and but them in the tin instead of squishing and folding and re-folding...argh!

Crustless ham and spinach quiches

Makes 8 (I only got 6)

  • 1 bunch English spinach, leaves picked (I used baby spinach)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 100 ml milk or pure (thin) cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan or gruyere
  • Melted unsalted butter, to brush
  • 2 thick slices (about 80 g) ham, roughly chopped
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Cut eight 14 cm squares of baking paper and press in to line eight 1/3-cup (80 ml) muffin holes.
  • Blanch the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute or until wilted. (I steamed mine) Drain and refresh in cold water, squeeze dry and roughly chop.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, chives or parsley and cheese Season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush the baking paper with a little melted butter. Scatter spinach and ham in each hole, fill with egg mix and top with tomato halves, cut side up.
  • Bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minuted until just set. Set aside to cool in the muffin pan.
I served mine with a Watermelon, cucumber, feta and olive salad a lovely refreshing lunch.

Crustless spinach & ham quiches & watermelon salad

Sunday 24 January 2010


Right from the start of this blog I knew that there was going to be the occasional "off-script" posts. That is, posts that have nothing to do with delicious. magazine (at least not with the next issue in line). The discovery of the blog Delicious Delicious Delicious and the Re-inventing the Lamington challenge was actually the second push to starting a blog of my own. The chance to win a cookie cutter in the shape of the Welsh dragon was just too much to resist and I just had to post a contribution.

The challenge was to come up with a variation of the quintessentially Australian lamington. The little squarish blocks of sponge cake coated in chocolate icing and then rolled in dessicated coconut. I love a good lamington but they can be hard to come by. Most of the time ones that are bought in shops are dry and/or tasteless as the cake has been made from some sort of packet mix or they have been sitting on the shelves so long that the cake is stale. You will have better luck purchasing at markets, fetes and stalls as they are usually homemade with fresh ingredients. There is also the lamington drive, in which lamingtons are sold (usually in half-dozen packs) for fundraising. This is normally done by primary schools, girl guides and scouts with the lamingtons being homemade, at least in the country areas.

I am sure there are plenty of variations that could be done however Australians already have their own popular variation, the Jelly Cake. A jelly cake is a basically a lamington except instead of being coated in chocolate icing the cake is dipped in partially set jelly prior to rolling in coconut. Normally a red (raspberry, strawberry or cherry) jelly is used which adds a lovely pink tinge to the coconut.

I decided to go with jelly cakes for my entry. However since the prize is a cookie cutter I decided that instead of the usual squarish blocks of cake I would cut the cake with my Australian cookie cutters.

I made the cake last night with some lovely free-range eggs that were just a gorgeous rich yellow colour that frothed up beautifully and produced a lovely sponge perfect for turning into my Aussie shaped jelly cakes.

This morning I made up the raspberry jelly and while it was chilling in the fridge until it was starting to jell, I put the cake in the freezer to firm up a bit to make it easier to use the cookie cutters on. I took the cake out after 30 minutes but I think that it would have been better if I had left it a bit longer. I didn't have too much trouble cutting the shapes out but some of the cake didn't lift off the baking paper properly. A bit of caster sugar on the paper before turning out would have helped with this I think.

When the jelly was ready I poured some shredded coconut (I prefer it to dessicated) into a bowl ready to go and got started. I hadn't counted on how much the jelly would soften things like the legs and tails of the animal shapes and they didn't hold up as well as I had hoped but the Australia shaped ones worked beautifully. Once they were coated in jelly and coconut I left them for the jelly to dry out a bit before attempt to move them again.

The recipe I used came from the Australian Women's Weekly Kitchen cookbook.


  • 6 eggs
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 50 g self-raising flour

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm x 30 cm lamington pan , line with baking paper, extending paper 5 cm over long sides.
  • Beat eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer about 10 minutes or until thick and creamy; gradually beat in sugar, dissolving between additions. Fold in triple-sifted flour.
  • Spread mixture into pan; bake about 35 minutes. Turn cake immediately onto a baking paper-covered wire rack to cool.
Just perfect for Australia Day.

Friday 22 January 2010

January 2006 - Lamb Cutlets with Bean, Strawberry and Feta Salad

After an unsuccessful choice last time I was hoping that this time around would be better. Again there were large amounts of seafood recipes. There are also a lot of recipes for using up left over Christmas ham and turkey. Since I did not host anyone for Christmas this year I have no left over ham or turkey. I do have a turkey breast roll in the freezer but I do not want to cook that right now.

There was one recipe in particular that caught my eye. It is another Valli Little recipe, I never realised before how many recipes of hers are in delicious. and how wonderful most of them look. I promise though there are some recipes by different chefs coming up. In this month's magazine there is a full page picture of Lamb Cutlets with Bean, Strawberry and Feta Salad. It instantly caught my eye with the different colours and I just knew that the flavours would be wonderful. I will admit that I am not normally a fan of green beans as a vegetable. I always remember them being soggy, bland and overcooked. However this salad looked too good to let my apathy toward one of the ingredients stop me. I am so glad that I made this. The beans that I purchased were not as young and thin as I would have liked but they were okay. The sweetness of the strawberries combined beautifully with the sweetness of the lamb. All the sweet was cut by the salty and creamy feta. I used the raspberry vinegar in the dressing, however mine is very sweet so I think that I could have left the sugar out but it wasn't too bad. It was a really easy dish to pull together and easy to make after work for a week night meal.

Lamb Cutlets with Bean, Strawberry and Feta Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 12 french-trimmed lamb cutlets (I didn't get french-trimmed, I like the extra meat)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
  • 2 lemons, very thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves picked
  • 2 tbs raspberry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 500g French or thin green beans, blanched
  • 400g small strawberries, sliced
  • 400g feta, crumbled

  1. Place lamb in a shallow dish and drizzle with 100ml oil. Add the lemon slices, half the mint, and season. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Whisk remaining oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss together beans, berries, feta and remaining mint.
  3. Heat a barbecue or chargrill to high and cook lamb, in batches if necessary, 2-3 minutes each side. Cook lemon slices for 1 minute. Toss salad with dressing and serve with lamb and lemon.

Thursday 21 January 2010

January 2005 - Coconut Cream Tartlets with Glazed Strawberries

There are times when a dessert is just required and I had decided that at least one of my recipes this month, in fact each month, would have to be a dessert. I do not want to over do it with the desserts as it would be easy to just look through the magazines and pick out the best looking dessert in each. However that wouldn't be all that adventurous and would also result in plenty of extra kilos applied to my already generous frame. So once a month it will have to be, unless something really special comes up...ha ha.

It was quite easy to choose a dessert in this issue, as it would be in most of the December/January issues as there are a lot of lovely Christmas dessert recipes. The problem with most dessert recipes is that they make so much and often it is more difficult to halve or quarter a dessert recipe as frequently they contain an odd number of eggs. I have in the past procured some small eggs which allows me to use one regular egg and one small one in half of a recipe containing 3 eggs but sometimes I just cannot be bothered messing around with it. I ended up choosing Coconut Cream Tartlets with Glazed Strawberries. The picture in the magazine looked great, it was easy to make a smaller quantity and left over ingredients can be used in other things. Unfortunately, while it was very easy to make it wasn't all that good. I didn't have strawberries so substituted blueberries. Perhaps their flavour is a bit to subtle for this. The worst problem was the lemon zest in the filling. It over powered everything. I could not distinguish the coconut cream or the blueberries. All there was a creamy lemon and I didn't even put in as much as the recipe said to. If I were to try this again I think that I would omit the lemon altogether. Lime might be a better option but to be honest I think the mascarpone, coconut cream and berries would be enough flavours. I hope that next month's dessert is more successful.

Coconut cream tartlets with glazed strawberries

Ingredients (serves 8)
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 50ml coconut cream
  • 2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 350g small strawberries
  • 8 pre-cooked 8cm sweet tart shells (mine were smaller)
  1. Whisk together the mascarpone, coconut cream, lemon rind and 30g sugar. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Place remaining sugar in a saucepan with 1/2 cup (125ml) water and vanilla pod and seeds. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes until reduced by half. Allow to cool completely, then pour over strawberries.
  3. To serve, fill the tart shells with the coconut cream mixture, top with a few glazed strawberries and drizzle with a little of the syrup.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

January 2004 - Beef Fillet with Spicy Potatoes and Horseradish and Herb Cream

I am pleased with the progress that I am making so far. I have all my recipes for the rest of January and February picked out, although there are several different options in some magazines. Now I just have to make the food. I don't see that this is going to be a problem as I just love to cook and since I live on my own there is no one else there to do it if I don't. I also have been reasonably careful about choosing recipes that are easy to make for one person, or two portions so that I have some leftovers.

In the January 2004 magazine there were a number of options to choose from - Bill Granger's Chicken Noodle Salad but I have eaten a lot of chicken lately and I needed something different. Kingsley Sullivan's Baked Eggs recipe almost won out and I will make it one day but I wanted something for dinner not breakfast. I finally decided on another Valli Little recipe - Beef Fillet with Spicy Potatoes and Horseradish & Herb Cream. This had to be one of the best meals that I have made in a long time. It was full of a huge variety of flavours and they blended well to produce a very enjoyable meal. I did, unfortunately, over cook the beef fillet so it was no longer pink inside but the meat was not dry to tough thankfully. My favourite part though would have to be the horseradish & herb cream. The smooth, creaminess of the creme fraiche was enhanced by the horseradish and chives to produce a glorious sauce that had me going back for seconds when finishing up the potatoes. I look forward to using the rest of it soon.

Beef Fillet with Spicy Potatoes and Horseradish and Herb Cream

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 5 tbs (100ml) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbs finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 650g beef fillet, trimmed of fat and sinew
  • 2 red capsicum
  • 750g potatoes (pontiac, desiree), peeled, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 tbs sweet smoked paprika
  • 150ml creme fraiche
  • 2 tbs horseradish sauce
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 100g baby rocket (I used baby spinach)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, the garlic and half the thyme, then rub into the beef. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill the capsicum until the skin is blackened and charred. Place in a plastic bag and leave until cool, then remove skin and seeds.
  4. Slice capsicum into thin strips and set aside.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled large frypan over high heat, add beef and cook on all sides to brown. Transfer to a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 10 minutes (it will still be quite rare, so cook a little longer if preferred). Cool.
  6. Place potatoes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the paprika and remaining thyme. Spread potatoes on a large lined baking tray, and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and crisp.
  7. Place creme fraiche, horseradish and chives in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. To serve, combine remaining olive oil and vinegar, season, toss with capsicum strips and rocket. Slice beef into 0.5cm slices. Place potatoes on plates, top with salad, then beef. Drizzle with horseradish cream.

Sunday 17 January 2010

January 2003 - Chicken and Mango Salad

Having found a premise for starting a blog I need to get through the January magazines in a only 15 days so I decided to keep on looking and picked up issue 12, December 2002/January 2003.

As well as quite a lot of seafood recipes there was the, expected, Christmas recipes. I did, however find a few recipes that I could make with stuff that I already had on hand. Making something that made me sick on Friday night I was in the mood for something light and refreshing. There were some mangoes in the fridge that needed using up so I decided to go with Valli Little's Chicken & Mango Salad on pg 218.

Chicken and Mango Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 (about 120g each) chicken breasts, fat and sinew trimmed
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) rice vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded, sliced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled
  • 200ml light olive oil
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, very thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 cups snow pea shoots
  • 75g fresh coriander leaves
  • 6 shallots (spring onions), finely sliced


  1. Season the chicken breasts, then place them in a steamer for 7-8 minutes. (Check they are ready by inserting a skewer into the thickest part; the juices should run clear.)
  2. Shred chicken and place in a bowl.
  3. Place the ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, lime juice, sugar, kaffir lime leaves and chilli in a bowl, add the chicken and stir to coat. Set aside for one hour to marinate.
  4. Place the flesh from one of the mangoes in a food processor and puree, then add the oil and process until smooth. Thinly slice flesh from the remaining mango and set aside. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and return to the bowl with cucumber, snow pea shoots, mango slices, coriander and shallots.
  5. Stir mango puree into the reserved marinade and drizzle over the salad.
This was a wonderful combination of flavours, although I think that the dressing would have been better made with macadamia oil or grape seed oil.

January 2002 - Fruit Mince Muffins

As I said in my first post delicious. magazine launched in November 2001 and since I am using each month's previous magazines I will have to start with issue 2 which was for Jan/Feb 2002.

After having a through look through the magazine there seemed to be an extraordinary amount of seafood recipes in it. I am not a huge fan of seafood. I think part of it is because my mother did not like seafood at all and the other part is that since I live in a inland rural area it is difficult to get good fresh seafood that is not outrageously priced. I did manage to find a few recipes that piqued my interest along with one that I had made before but had forgotten about.

Valli Little's Fruit Mince Muffins on page 53 are a great way to use up the last of the fruit mince from Christmas. It is a great recipe that produces a soft, moist muffin which is great for breakfast. I decided to go with this recipe as I made my own fruit mince in October last year but I never got around to making any fruit mince tarts for Christmas so I have a very large jar of it in the fridge to use up. I think I will definitely be making several batches of these muffins.

Fruit Mince Muffins


  • 300g plain flour
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 250g fruit mince
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • 75ml milk
  • 4 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • Icing sugar, to dust


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease or line the muffin pans.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Add the cinnamon, pecans and fruit mince and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate jug, mix together the buttermilk, milk, oil and egg. Fold into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Fill the greased muffin pans with the mixture and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
The recipes says that it makes 6 however they must be huge as I made 19 and they are wonderful. If you find yourself with some leftover fruit mince I would definitely recommend giving them a try.

Saturday 16 January 2010

Starting out

I have been trying to think of a topic for blog for a while now. I loved the idea of starting a cooking blog but needed some motivation to start doing it. Last year, with 3 well time bids on ebay, I managed to purchase the 3 missing back issues from my delicious. magazine collection. During the week I was tidying my bookshelf and realised that I very rarely use the back issues and if I am going to continue to keep storing 8 years (and counting) worth of magazines I need to start using them again. So I have decided that each month this year I will be making at least one recipe from each of the back issues.

delicious. magazine initially launched in November 2001 with the November/December issue. It was a very popular addition in many kitchens around Australia. Due to its popularity it quickly moved from being published every 2 months to monthly. Over the years a lot of very well known chefs have contributed their recipes, tips, tricks and knowledge.

I am very excited to go through all the back issues and discover some wonderful recipes.