Thursday 24 November 2011


I am not feeling very well at the moment and not up to blogging much. So have a look at some pretty birdies from my back yard until I feel up to blogging something tasty. :-)



Blue-faced Honeyeater:

Sunday 20 November 2011

Pumpkin Pie with Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream

I have spoken of my love of pies before. I know that this all stems from my gramma. She was the best pie maker ever. Plus she grew all of her own fruit so in the summer time it was one glorious pie after another with fresh just of the tree (or bush) fruit. My gramma would also preserve or freeze her fruit as well so that we could have her glorious pies (and other desserts) all year round. 

This pie however, I remember more from Mum. It is Mum's recipe that I have. I always remember begging Mum as a kid to make pumpkin pie but it didn't very often get made so I like to make it a couple of times a year now just to savour it. If you don't tell people that there is pumpkin in it then they would never realise. It is just such a fabulous recipe, lovely and spiced with just the right amount of sweetness. This time around instead of one big pie I made some individual sized tarts so now I have a bunch of those in the freezer for any time I am feeling like it and I didn't have to eat a whole pie myself. LOL.

This time I also made a vegan pumpkin ice cream to serve with it which I found over on Tasty Yummies. I was intrigued by a vegan ice cream and was very impressed with it. I couldn't find almond milk so used oat milk and I used brown sugar as that was all I had. I really liked it a lot and it went perfectly with the pumpkin pie. It has also piqued my interest in exploring more vegan ice cream recipes. 

Pumpkin Pie

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 c cooked mashed pumpkin, well drained (roasted and then mashed is best)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger & salt. 
  • Add eggs, pumpkin & cream and mix well. 
  • Pour into an uncooked pastry shell. 
  • Bake at 210 C for 15 minutes. 
  • Reduce heat to 180 C for 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.

For my pastry I use my Gramma's recipe it is the best pastry in the world:

Gramma's Pastry
(for one single crust pie)

  • 1 1/2 c plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter (gramma used lard)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar 
  • 1 small egg 
  • water
  • Combine flour and salt. 
  • Cut in butter using a pastry blender.
  • Place egg in a 1 cup measure and lightly beat, add vinegar and top up with water to 1/2 cup. 
  • Add to flour mixture and little at a time until you have a soft pastry (you probably will not need all the liquid). 

Saturday 19 November 2011

November 2011 - Happy Birthday Delicious magazine

Happy birthday to delicious. magazine. Imagine 10 years old now. It is almost hard to believe that it has been going for that long however as I sit here and look over at the shelf in my bookshelf full of magazine is a clear indication that it is true. It is a truly amazing collection of recipes and articles on a wonderful wide range of cuisines and topics. 

What else but a fabulous dessert could be made from this issue? There was some lovely looking savoury recipes like Bill Granger's Coriander & Maple Syrup Lamb Racks, Rick Stein's BBQ butterflied lamb with olive oil chips and tomato, eschalot & basil salad or John Wilson's Chicken Kiev Burgers. While all of these sounded very good, especially Bill's recipe. I really wanted to make a sweet recipe. 
Something else that was necessary, whatever recipe I made it had to be one of Valli Little's recipes. So much of what I have made out of delicious. magazine has come from Valli Little. Almost all of her recipes have been a success for me. I can't think of any off the top of my head that I would call a failure only things that I would tweak for my own tastes. It just seemed right that whatever I made from this birthday issue would be something of Valli's. 

Having said that, I did for a very short amount of time consider making Christopher The's amazing Mango Meringue Birthday Cake on the front cover. I really would love to make it one day. The recipe is long and involved and I would need to buy another two 20cm round springform pans, although I suppose I could halve the recipe. It is certainly not something that you can just whip up in a few hours. One day I will make it, although I have been saying that about Adriano Zumbo's V8 cake for two years now too. 

I had my grandparents and great-uncle & his partner coming up for dinner at slightly short notice and needed a dessert for the meal. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make something from this issue. I decided on Valli's Strawberry & Rhubarb Galette. It was very easy and quite quick to make but it gave a stunning result. Everyone was very impressed with it. My grandmother particularly loved the pastry. I only made one change from the recipe  and that was to use yoghurt in the pastry instead of sour cream. The yoghurt reduces the richness of the pastry a bit. The rose cream that was served with it was very good too, although I reduced the amount of rose water worried that it would be overpowering but I really shouldn't have full strength would have been better I think. It was such a wonderful dessert with really good flavour. I would definitely make this one again. 

Saturday 12 November 2011

Creamed Eggs on Toast

I made this ages ago and plan on making it again for breakfast tomorrow. I love a cooked breakfast especially anything involving eggs. Before I made this I had made myself some boiled eggs for breakfast one morning. While I was boiling eggs I decided to do some extra so that I could made egg sandwiches for lunches. I didn't end up getting around to making the sandwiches so I decided that I would use up the hard boiled eggs some way for breakfast. This is a really simple but very tasty dish. I think when I make it again I might pep it up a bit with a little bit of cayenne pepper or perhaps some curry powder instead of the mustard. 

Creamed Eggs

3 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 green onion, very finely sliced (I cut into quarters and then sliced it)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 c milk ( or as much as necessary)
1 tbsp mustard (or to taste)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Melt butter in small sauce pan over a medium heat. Add green onion and cook for a minute. Add flour and cook stirring for a further minute. Add milk slowly while stirring. Cook until it boils and thickens. If it is too thick add a bit more milk. Stir through mustard and salt & pepper. Remove from the heat and gently fold in chopped eggs and allow to warm through. Serve with toast and chopped parsley.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemon

It has been a long week. It is lateish but I am in the middle of doing the washing. I volunteered to be a venue and cook for a family dinner tomorrow night. Now I am wondering why since I have been extremely lazy about the housework for the past couple of weeks. Oops. So I figured if I got the washing done tonight I could focus on the rest tomorrow morning. I am sure that it will be an enjoyable evening though.

To be honest I am really just filling up some space. This recipe looked nice. Photographed really well but didn't taste very nice at all. It was so disappointing. The stock was bland and really when the only things in it are a chicken, a few slices of ginger, 2 spring onions and black peppercorns how could it be anything but bland. The addition of carrot, onion, more ginger, perhaps some coriander roots might have helped things along. Since the stock was sub-par the soup made from said stock wasn't really anything to write about. I will not be making it again and after searching the 'net hoping to find someone that had already made this or the recipe on some other site I couldn't find it and since I really didn't like it I am not going to post the recipe. I would suggest finding yourself another chicken noodle soup recipe and add a bit of lemon to it and see what you think. 

Chocolate Mousse

Sorry, sorry, sorry I have been absent for so long. I was sick for a while and then was in Sydney for an appointment a visiting friends. Since I came home things have been difficult, depression has been nipping around my heels. Sapping my energy and making me lose interest in doing anything. I have so many things to blog about I hope that I can catch up. 

I doubt that I am going to get through all of the remaining recipes in Sydney Food this year and to be honest I am not really all that worried about it now. I am getting to a point where I have made the majority of the recipes that I really want to and easily can. There are a few things that I just don't want to make, a couple of the seafood dishes. I have already said on numerous occasions that I am not keen on seafood and while I thought it would be good to make myself explore some new things I am now wondering if it is worth spending a bunch of money (seafood is expensive out here) on dishes that I am probably not going to enjoy. There is also one dish in the breakfast chapter that I have no desire to make, the jam doughnuts. I am not keen on doughnuts, I normally find them too fatty for me. I am not keen on the idea of deep frying. So I think I will leave that one as well. 

Now onto this recipe, the chocolate mousse. It was like pretty much any other chocolate mousse. Standard ingredients chocolate, cream, eggs. It was way, way too rich for me and gave me an upset stomach. In the October 2003 issue of Delicious magazine there was a recipe for a lower fat chocolate mousse. I have been making chocolate mousse using that recipe ever since. It is the recipe that I will post here as it is one I would definitely recommend trying as it is easy with a great taste but without all the fat. 

Low-fat Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6 - 8

  • 200 g dark chocolate (I use Lindt 70%) 
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatine 
  • 50 ml boiling water
  • 100 g low-fat ricotta 
  • 300 ml low-fat custard 
  • 2 tbsp brandy (I prefer 1 tbsp Kahlua)
  • 3 egg whites 
  • Melt chocolate over simmering water (or in microwave if preferred) 
  • Add gelatine to boiling water and whisk until it has melted. Leave to cool slightly.
  • Combine ricotta & custard in a processor then add gelatine mixture. 
  • Slowly stir in the melted chocolate and the Kahlua. 
  • Beat egg whites to soft peaks and fold through chocolate mixture. 
  • Divide between serving dishes and refrigerate until required. 
 Low-fat mousse: 

Bill's Chocolate Mousse: