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

Thursday 30 October 2014

October 2014 - Coconut-crumbed pork with pineapple salad

This was okay. I probably wouldn't make it again.

Coconut-crumbed Pork with Pineapple Salad

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 c plain flour
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 x 400 g pork fillets (I used pork scotch fillets)

1/2 pineapple, thinly sliced
1/2 daikon, peeled, cut into matchsticks (I used regular radishes)
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked (I used mint)
1 tbsp each fish sauce & soy sauce
2 tbsp oil 
Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lime
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (didn't use)

Pre-heat oven to 180 C
Mix breadcrumbs & coconut. Crumb fillets with flour then egg and then crumbs. If you have enough dip in egg & crumb a second time.
Heat about 2 cm oil in pan, brown pork on all sides and then place on a baking tray and roast in oven for about 20 minutes
Combine pineapple, daikon and coriander. Separately combine remaining ingredients  and pour over pineapple. Serve with the pork.

Sunday 28 September 2014

September 2014 - Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce

Blah to cooking this month. No there has been some done but mostly rather plain stuff or stuff that shouldn't be spoken about, like the Pasta & Sauce sachet that I bought, made and devoured...blergh. 

There were various things in this issue that did look okay but I just could not seem to get interested in making any of it. Coming towards the end of the month and I realised that something had to be done. So I went for something quick and easy. Valli Little's Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce. It was good. I mean it was spaghetti with a tomato sauce not much can go wrong with that. I didn't have pancetta so I had to leave that out. The resulting meal was very good. 

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce 
by Valli Little 
Delicious September 2014 pg 48

1 onion, chopped
125 g pancetta, rind removed, chopped
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picke
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp evoo
3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained & chopped
400 g can chopped tomatoes 
400 g can cherry tomatoes 
400 g spaghetti
2 cups  basil leaves ( I didn't have any, added dried mixed herbs & baby spinach for green)
80 g grated parmesan

Wizz, onion, pancetta, rosemary and garlic in a processor until finally chopped.
Cook onion mixture over medium heat for 2 -3 minutes. Add anchovy and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook 5 - 6 min until slightly reduced. 
Cook pasta as per directions, drain, toss to combine with sauce. 

Saturday 30 August 2014

August 2014 - Orange & Ginger Jellies

I actually made these last weekend but didn't get around to finishing them off until tonight. I'm not really that fussed about them. I think they could have used a bit more gelatine. The sugar really didn't last long on them. They were too wet. I used blood oranges. The ginger was a bit strong. 

Urgh, I just didn't really like them. 

Orange & Ginger Jellies

250 ml Orange juice
125 ml Lemon juice
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1/3 c (75g) caster sugar + extra to dust
4 gold-strength gelatine leaves

Oil base 10 x 18 tray. 

Bring orange & lemon juices, sugar & ginger to a boil over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 min or until sugar dissolved. 
Soak gelatine in cold water until soft. Squeeze out and whisk into hot juice until dissolved. 
Pour in tin, chill until set. 
Cut into squares, roll in caster sugar.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Cake Decorating

I don't think I will be able to catch up on posts with all the different cakes, so one post with all of them up to now.

I wish I could have found a more rounded glass for the top.

This was supposed to be sprayed with lustre spray, well it was but it splattered out instead of a fine mist. No one else knew it wasn't supposed to be like that. I was annoyed though.

This was a decorated fruit cake that was ordered.

Friday 22 August 2014

Maple Pecan Bundt Cake

I am designated supper maker for our Toastmasters meetings. I have made a variety of different sweets and taken a few savoury things along. I wasn't sure what to make for the meeting before last. I went through all of my magazines but nothing grabbed me so I turned to my cook books. It really is terrible, I have so many cook books but don't seem to use them any more. It is about time that I started cooking. I don't think I had ever made anything from Kitchen by Nigella. I found this wonderful looking cake. I got so many compliments for it. In fact I was told that it was the best thing I had ever made for them. I also got two orders for the cake, so it must have been good. 

I was going to wait until I made it again and was able to cut it and show the inside but I really don't have any idea on when that is going to happen so here it is now. You will just have to make it to see what the inside is like, and it is definitely worth it. 

from Nigella Kitchen

Pecan filling

75g plain flour
30g soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g pecans (or walnuts), roughly chopped
125ml maple syrup


300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g soft unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
250ml crème fraîche or sour cream
1–2 teaspoons icing sugar, for decoration
Flavourless oil, for greasing
1 x 23cm bundt tin


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using flavourless oil (or a squirt of cooking spray) grease your bundt tin, and leave upside down on newspaper for the excess oil to drain out.

Make the filling for the cake by mixing together the 75g flour and 30g butter with a fork, till you end up with the sort of mixture you’d expect when making crumble topping. Then, still using the fork, mix in the cinnamon, chopped pecans (or walnuts) and maple syrup, to form a sticky, bumpy paste. Set aside for a moment.

For the cake, measure the 300g flour, the baking powder and bicarb into a bowl.

Now, cream the butter and sugar (i.e. beat well together until light in texture and pale in colour), then beat in 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture, then 1 egg, then another tablespoonful of flour mixture followed by the second egg.

Add the rest of the flour mixture beating as you go, and then finally the crème fraîche or sour cream. You should expect to end up with a fairly firm cake batter.

Spoon just more than half the cake batter into the oiled bundt tin. Spread the mixture up the sides a little and around the funnel of the tin to create a rim. You don’t want the sticky filling to leak out to the sides of the tin.

Dollop the maple filling carefully into the dent in the cake batter, then cover the filling with the remaining batter. Smooth the top and put the tin into the oven for 40 minutes, though it’s best to check with a cake tester after 30 minutes.

Once cooked, and the cake tester comes out clean where it hits the sponge (obviously, any gooey filling will stick to the tester), let the cake cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes in its tin, then loosen the edges with a small spatula, including around the middle funnel bit, and turn the cake out onto the rack.

When the cake is cold, dust with icing sugar by pushing a teaspoonful or so through a tea strainer.

Maple pecan bundt cake

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Feast - Heather Honey Chicken

It has been a long, long time since I have been compelled to blog about a recipe immediately after having finished it but I just had to tonight.

I don't often buy Feast magazine anymore. I find that so many of the recipes have stuff in them that I just cannot access. I was looking through the magazines last night when I was shopping and flicked through this issue. I noticed a few things that I would like to make and have access to all the ingredients. This is the first of those recipes.

So this dish was amazing. There is so much flavour and the meat just melted. I would use a bit less oil next time, and there will be a next time. I just loved this. The name refers to honey from heather flowers. They said in the magazine that it has a very limited availability here and to substitute manuka honey. Well, I didn't have that but I had recently bought 1 kg of local honey so, of course, used that. I think a leatherwood honey would been good. I didn't have any dijon mustard either. I had two choices a hot mustard or wholegrain. I went with the wholegrain. Although maybe a mix of the two would have been better. Oh it doesn't really matter, it was wonderful just the way it was.

Heather Honey chicken
Feast magazine - September 2014 - page 60

1.7 kg whole chicken
2 onions, cut into wedges
6 sprigs rosemary (apparently my plant is dead, I used dried)
100 ml olive oil
90 g (1/4c) manuka honey
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp curry powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Preheat oven - 180 C
Put onion & rosemary in casserole dish with a lid. Add half the oil.
Mix remaining oil, honey, mustard, curry powder & garlic. Place chicken in casserole dish & pour over honey mix.
Roast, covered, 30 minutes. Remove lid & bake further 1 hour or until cooked basting as necessary.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Heather Honey chicken

Wednesday 30 July 2014

July 2014 - Beetroot Chocolate Fudge cake

DeliciousJuly14Wasn't much I wanted to make. I have started doing the supper for our Toastmasters meetings so decided that making one of the sweet items from the issue would be good. I decided on this cake. I have always seen chocolate cakes with beetroot and have been tempted to make them. It turned out really well. 
Valli also had a recipe for a parsnip cake with coffee icing. I would have liked to have made that but just wasn't sure how it would turn out. I hate parsnips. Although I assume that, like carrot cake, you wouldn't be able to taste it. Parsnip is a strong flavour those so decided not to do it.

Beetroot Chocolate Fudge Cake 

250 g dark chocolate
3 medium free-range eggs
250 g light muscovado sugar
tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp clear honey
1/3 c (50g) self-raising flour
1/3 c (50g) plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 c (25g) cocoa powder
1/2 c (50g) almond meal 
 250 g beetroot, peeled and finely grated
100 ml strong espresso, cooled
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil 

Pre heat oven - 160 C. Grease & line 20cm square tin (I did actually line it I don't normally bother but thought it was probably necessary and yes I think it was)
Melt chocolate over water, cool slightly. 
Beat eggs, sugar, syrup &a honey - 5 min or until thick. 
Add flours, bicarb & cocoa mix. Fold in almond meal. 
Drain grated beetroot (I didn't really have anything to drain maybe because I chopped in tmx instead of grating)
Stir in beetroot, chocolate & oil. 
Bake 1 hr 15 min or until skewer comes out clean. (I think mine took longer but I forgot to set the timer initially so not sure) 
Cool and top with whipped cream to serve. 


Monday 30 June 2014

June 2014 - Palace Eggs with Caramelised Onion

Okay, so leaving things to the last minute doesn't always work out. Although, strictly, I am actually making this post in time. It is just not exactly what I was planning but it is a recipe from the June delicious magazine so it does comply with my overarching theme. 

I had plans to make the Braised beef short ribs with silverbeet and haloumi crumbs. I mean how good does that sound? Pretty awesome if you ask me. I kept putting it off and putting it off. Busy with other stuff on this day or that day. So finally on Thursday I decided that I couldn't put it off any longer as end of month was fast approaching. On Friday after work I would grab the short ribs from the butcher and some silverbeet from the supermarket, I have everything else in the house. If I had gotten myself organised I would have had silverbeet in the garden but I didn't so I don't. However, not every thing went to plan. Instead of going to the supermarket and the butcher on Friday afternoon I had a trip to the hospital in an ambulance. What did I do you ask? Well, I somehow managed to fall down 2 stairs at work and wrench my ankle into a position it shouldn't have been in. My co-worker called the ambulance and they came, gave me morphine (yay for morphine!!) and off we went. Thankfully it isn't broken but I have been rather hobbled on a set of crutches, oh and my rolling office chair. That chair by the way is pretty awesome. It means that I don't have to use the crutches to go to the kitchen. Lol. Needless to say the dish did not happen. 

I was kind of resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to get anything made. I didn't feel much like eating. Plus I have been pretty fuzzy from the painkillers. There are other things in this issue that certainly did look promising. The Moroccan spiced lamb chops with moghrabieh and roasted beetroot sounds excellent. I don't have moghrabieh but do have some of the pearl couscous which could easily be substituted. However, the lamb is in the chest freezer which is tucked away in the corner of the laundry. I also know that the lamb is toward the bottom of the freezer since I had to clean out my fridge/freezer in a hurry a few weeks ago and everything just got dumped in there. I didn't fancy balancing on one leg digging around in the freezer for some lamb chops. 

Another dish that I am keen to try is another slow cooked meal, Pork cheek with celeriac puree. Beef cheek seems to have become the in thing to use I guess that pork cheek is probably going to be next on the hit list. I am pretty sure that my butcher wouldn't have any on hand so it is a meal that will involve a little planning. As I said, planning hasn't really been my forte lately. I will also have to buy a bottle of Pedro Ximenez for the recipe. I have a pretty good idea that isn't all that cheap. Although I do have a few other dishes that use it so I am sure that it wouldn't sit in the cupboard long. One day.

This morning I decided that I will not succumb. I will not let a month go by without a delicious magazine recipe. Okay, so I have also cut back the painkillers. Anyway I was looking through the issue for something that would be easy and I came across this recipe. It is really easy. Basically 2 kg of onions caramelised and then some allspice and cinnamon added. The onion is then placed in a dish and four eggs cracked into it and then cooked until the whites are firm. 

I cheated. I made a heap of caramelised onion a few weeks ago so I grabbed a packet of that out of the freezer and heated it up. I put them in a little pan that I found in a kitchenware store a while ago, cracked in the egg and I baked it in the oven at 160 C for 9 minutes. It was probably a minute too long as the yolk wasn't really runny anymore. I tend to forget that they continue to cook once out of the oven. It wasn't the best thing I have ever eaten but it was nice  and a bit unusual. It is supposed to be a breakfast meal but I had it for lunch. I think that it would be really good on a piece of toasted turkish bread (since it is a Turkish recipe). I won't be rushing to make it again but when I do cook up another lot of caramelised onions I might give it another shot. 

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Herb & Spice crumbed pork chops

I have heaps of things waiting to be blogged. This is one of them. Problem is some of them I don't remember that much about them now. I do remember this was really good. I am pretty sure that I reduced the amount of fennel. It can be quite a strong flavour when freshly ground. I know that I didn't do the sweet potato with it instead serving it with a quick little salad. A great meal. I might have to make it again just to confirm it was as good as I remember...

Recipe: Herb & Spice Crumbed Pork Chops

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Review: Jamie Oliver's Chilli, Garlic & Rosemary Smashin' chicken fillets

So, Jamie Oliver now has an association with one of the major supermarket chains here in Australia. I have seen the various pasta sauces, pesto, relish and similar items scattered through the supermarket. I don't often buy meat at the supermarket preferring to support my local butcher. However one night it was late and I wanted something to eat so I did a spin through the meat section. To my surprise I found a number of different meat products with the Jamie Oliver name attached. I do love his recipes and I don't normally buy pre-marinated meat but they were a reduced in price due to being close to the use by date so I thought I would give them a try. I am so pleased that I did and they will be something that I will buy again. 

There is an amazing amount of flavour. The combination goes together perfectly and has a real kick from the chilli. If you don't like spicy food definitely avoid these. There was 4 pieces of chicken in the packet, two breast fillets that have been sliced in half horizontally and covered with the spice paste. I think that a family would want more than one packet which given the full price of the product would probably make an expensive meal. It was more than enough for me. I used the leftovers shredded on wraps for lunch and it was just as good cold as it was hot. The ingredients list doesn't include any additional colours or other additives which is certainly something that I am quite keen to keep to a minimum these days. 

I would highly recommend these. There are a number of different Jamie Oliver meat products available and I will definitely be trying some of the others. Given how good these are, and how much I enjoy Jamie's recipes, I can only hope that the rest of them will be just as good. 

Monday 2 June 2014

Lemon Love Notes

I have shared this recipe around a bit lately. I posted it over on the Taste forums before they went down for maintenance. I number of the members over there tell me how much they loved them and that the recipe was very popular. I, myself, had not made it in a long time though.

This is my mum's recipe and I remember asking her to make it all the time. It wasn't something that she did make a lot however it made it more special when she did make it. There is another recipe that I used to beg her to make all the time I haven't made it in years either, I will have to dig that one out as well. She always used to let me help her make it. It is such an easy recipe that it really is one that the kids can help with making. I remember pressing the base into the pan and mixing up the ingredient for the topping. Mum would, of course, take it in and out of the oven and would pour the filling over the base. Even when I was older it was still something that we always made together. I made it this past weekend to take along to my Toastmasters meeting tonight and it was enjoyed by all.

Mum has some notes next to a few things. I am also not sure why the recipe specifies an ungreased pan. I both grease and line the pan. Also I have used my slice pan to make it rather than a 20 cm square. Finally the one I made on the weekend I made the base as it but made 1 1/2 times the topping recipe, I this it was better. I then cooked it for 28 minutes and it seemed perfectly cooked.

Lemon Love Notes

125g butter, melted
1 c flour
1/4 c icing sugar

Combine all ingredient and press into an ungreased 20cm square pan. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 8 minutes (I usually bake for 12 - 15 min) or until golden brown. Cool slightly.

2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar (Mum says 3/4 c)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest (Mum just says more! I usually use 1 tbsp)

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder. Add eggs, juice & zest and mix well. Pour over base and bake at 350 F for 25 min. Top puffs up in baking but falls when cooled. Cool in pan and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve. 

Tuesday 27 May 2014

May 2014 - Slow-cooked beef with ras el hanout

You would think that in "The Baking Issue" I would find heaps of things I wanted to make but no. I really struggled to find something to make. Although I am not sure if it is because of the recipes or if it because I am lacking a bit of cooking mojo at the moment. In the end I decided on two recipes.

One of  those was Jamie Oliver's Wine-braised chicken with roasted grapes. I have made a savoury with sautéed grapes before and it was really good. I have all the ingredients to make it but I decided to make the other one as it is a slow-cooked dish and since it was the weekend it would be better to make that one. The chicken dish takes a lot less time and could easily be a week day meal. 

So I decided on the Slow-cooked beef with ras el hanout. To be honest, it wasn't my thing. I am not sure what the problem was. There was plenty of flavour and a nice bite to it with the chilli but I just didn't enjoy it. I haven't tried the leftovers, perhaps the flavours have developed more since. I will give it a try tomorrow night and see if it is any better. I hope so. I did only make half the recipe so at least I don't have a huge amount of leftovers. 

 Slow-cooked beef with ras el hanout

1 kg chuck steak, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
2 small onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ras el hanout
2 small red chillis, deseeded & finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt & pepper
4 tomatoes, deseeded and flesh grated
1 1/2 preserved lemon quarters, rinsed, defleshed and finely chopped
2 tsp honey
handful of chopped coriander 
handful of chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 140C
Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish. Cover and cook for 3 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. 
Once cooked serve with some extra chopped herbs. 

Thursday 22 May 2014


I know that I have said this before but I am going to start blogging more, although I am struggling to find something to make out of this month's delicious magazine. I have had a lot of ups and downs over the past year or so but things are improving and I want to start doing more things. Blogging is something that I have enjoyed in the past and I definitely think that it will help me going forward. So I hope that you will be on the look out for new posts over the next week and going forward.

Finally, I managed to get a "silver" award for the following photo in the novice section of a photography challenge site. I was so surprised and very happy.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Cooks Club - April 2014

So it is a little late to be encouraging you head on to participate since it closed about 30 minutes ago. However there is a much loved Taste recipe in that so hopefully we will get some additional pics from those who this is a regular meal in their house.

For the April I decided to take on the the Chicken Satay burgers they are raved about by the people on the forum so I decided that i just needed to join in the fun, They were incredibly easy to make. I didn't realise the sauce needed to cool so. It got put off a day.

I was really pleased with the result. the satay is fabulous and i am sure that it could be used in any number of dishes.

I infact used the leftover chick meat and fashioned them into meatballs, thinned the sauce down with some stock, added vegetable and I had another dinner and lunch meals. I was really impressed with how well this worked.  

Sunday 27 April 2014

April 2014 - Carrot Cake

Okay, so this was really a bit of a cheat. I had recipes marked to try but it just never seemed to happen and it was coming up to the end of the month so I just had to get something done. I wanted something sweet so I decided on the carrot cake. I wanted more of a slice type thing so I cooked it in my slab tin and it was just perfect. I didn't make the candied carrot to go with it nor did I make the carrot and pecan recipe that was also there. I topped it with cream cheese frosting. I really did cheat on this one because I went to buy some cream cheese and there was a tub of ready made cream cheese frosting with a hint of lemon that is put out by Philly. I figured that I would try it out and it is really quite nice. I was surprised actually. I really like the cake, not too sweet and not too oily. Nice and light and moist. I also loved the fact that the carrots were finely grated. When the carrot is coarsely grated it doesn't blend in as nicely. The fine grate blended through perfectly and produced such a lovely crumb. I will always fine grate from now on in fact this will be the go to carrot cake. 

Before I post the recipe I will just say that I want, really really want, to make the Kangaroo kofta with warrigal greens, beetroot and feta. The only reason I didn't is the recipe has "dried native pepperberry" in it and I don't have that. I will get it though and make them. I can't get the warrigal greens either but the recipe gives the substitute as spinach. Once I find the pepperberry I will definitely make it. 

Carrot Cake 
by Valli Little - delicious magazine April 2014

 3 eggs
175 ml sunflower oil (I used rice bran)
180 g brown sugar
3 carrots (finely grated), mine were small so I used 4
180 g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c walnuts, chopped (I didn't add)

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease & line 23 cm pan.
Mix eggs, oil & brown sugar. Add carrots & stir to combine.
Mix dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Add walnuts if using.
Pour into cake pan and bake 35 - 40 min.
(My slab pan was done in 20 min)

Thursday 27 March 2014

March 2014 - Mint & yoghurt ice cream

Okay, so I said that I was going to blog about Jamie Oliver's rhubarb sorbet. I don't know what happened. I did everything just as the recipe but Jamie's was a perfect pink colour and was almost translucent. Even allowing for photo retouching it looked awesome. Well, mine turned into a hideous purple/grey/dark red mass. It was so thick that it didn't really churn and it didn't really taste all that good. I mean if something tastes good, like really good, you can forgive the aesthetics of it but when the taste isn't there well, yes it is just a mass. I have no idea what went wrong. I am rather unhappy about the whole thing as rhubarb is expensive and there are so many other things I could have done with it that I would have loved. 

Anyway, at the same time that I was mixing up the rhubarb sorbet I also did the mix for Debbie Major's Mint & yoghurt ice cream and it was awesome. I basically did the whole thing in the thermomix, which yay me for using it more. I couldn't wait to serve it up so it is still rather soft. I used my cookie scoop to dish it up. It was so refreshing. I had never really thought of using either fresh mint or yoghurt in an ice cream but it was really very good. I have found that after further freezer it that it seems to be a little crumbly it doesn't want to scoop nicely. However, it still tastes wonderful so I am forgive the crumbliness. It still has a lovely mouth feel so I am happy. 

Saturday 22 March 2014

Bake Club - Brownies

This month over on Taste.com.au Bake Club Challenge one of the recipe options is brownies. I was going to a friends place for a bbq one evening so I decided that I would whip up the brownies to take with me. Due to the number of people I made a double batch. It worked really well although too quite a while to cook and wasn't as done as I would have liked in the middle but still pretty good. Everyone at the bbq thought that they were pretty good. I did have some leftover but slowly ate them without taking a photo so, unfortunately, I just had to make them again. lol 

The second time I made them I used my individual brownie pan which is awesome as you get that lovely brownie edge the whole way around. These are wonderful dense, rich and fudgy brownies and destined to be my new favourite brownie recipe. As long as you use a good quality chocolate they are just perfect. I served them with some frozen raspberries that I had thawed and mashed with a little caster sugar and some double cream. 

Wednesday 19 March 2014

March 2014 - Lamb & Mint meatball tagine with chermoula

The last couple of issues I have struggled to find something that I have really wanted to make from the issues. Initially I wondered if it was because of changes with delicious magazine however I realised it was more about my apathy for cooking. I have mainly been doing sustenance cooking, mainly pretty boring food that keeps me going. There has also been quite a bit of snackish meals and take away. All in all I had lost my desire to cook. Not surprisingly it has happened at a time when I am quite anxious and stressed in life. The stress and anxiety are still hanging around but I decided that I need to start doing the good things that will make it all easier, eat/sleep/exercise. So, I have been swimming again over the past week. I finally cooked a good meal tonight. Sleep...well... it is usually my downfall but I am trying. 

When looking at this delicious magazine I decided to focus exactly on what was in it. To focus on stuff that is full of flavour and colour or something a bit different. A number of recipes really caught my eye. The first is Jamie Oliver's Rhurbarb sorbet with pistachio brittle. It is just such an unusual combination. I have the mix for the sorbet chilling in the fridge to be churned tomorrow. I am not going to make the brittle. I really hate making toffee things I always burn myself with the bloody stuff. Plus pistachios are insanely expensive. 

I am also really keen on making the Pork belly with caramelised pears and pickled kohlrabi. Now when I first saw this recipe I thought that it would be awesome to make but didn't think that I had any chance of getting kohlrabi here so had pretty much decided that I wouldn't get to make that one. However I walked into the supermarket the other day and there was some kohlrabi and I grabbed on and will make this one on the weekend. 

I decided to start with making the Lamb & mint meatball tagine with chermoula. It was very easy and so very good. It was such a complex meld of flavours but it was just balanced perfectly. I did manage to cook the meatballs a bit long as I didn't get the rice on soon enough but there was enough sauce that it didn't matter. My lamb mince was very lean so I think that they may have been a little dry from that as well. I used my thermomix to make the chermoula. I really haven't been using it very much. Perhaps getting back into cooking can also mean starting to use my thermomix more. I am finding myself forgetting just how easily it can do things and that it is easy to clean. So time to start doing more with it. 

Friday 28 February 2014

February 2014 - Salmon Escalopes with Dill & Avocado Salad

Eeek, I just realised that I haven't posted this month. There has been a distinct lack of cooking in my house for most of the month. It has been a bit of a food disaster actually and, to be honest, I feel pretty lousy for it. I thought that since it is the last day of the month and I cannot sleep I better get this post done. Although please don't expect too much as it is 2 am....

I ended up making this recipe because it was easy, healthy and from all appearance of the recipe tasty and it was all three.

Salmon Escalopes with Dill & Avocado Salad 

1/4 c olive oil
Zest 1 lemon, (I used limes as the cost of lemons is daylight robbery and they are imported)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
4 x 200 g skinless salmon fillets 
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar


2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved, sliced 
1 avocado, halved, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1/2 bunch dill, fronds picked 

Combine olive oil, zest and garlic, season. Slice salmon on 45 degree angle into 1 cm thick slices. Coat in marinade and leave for 15 min. 

Pre-heat bbq to high, combine evoo, vinegar & lemon juice. Season well & set aside. 

Combine all ingredients for salad. 

Brush bbq with olive oil and cook salmon for 30 sec each side (I did about 1 minute each side as I prefer it cooked through). 

Toss salad with dressing and serve with salmon. 

*Don't use all the dressing, it makes a ridiculous amount. 

Thursday 30 January 2014

January 2014 - Turkey & avocado salad with cranberry dressing

Well not doing so well on the posting more resolution this month am I? Then again I haven't really been doing much creative cooking-wise either. I have been cooking a bit but quite a bit of it has been pre-prepared or pre-marinated stuff. I discovered that the marinated split chickens from Woolworths are very good done on the weber bbq. 

I made this salad a couple of nights ago. It was easy and tasty. I used some leftover chicken in place of the turkey. It was supposed to have sourdough croutons but I didn't have any bread so I didn't worry about it. I think it was filling enough without them. 

Turkey & avocado salad with cranberry dressing

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp cranberry sauce
2 celery stalks, shaved
120g mixed baby salad leaves (I used cos lettuce and alfalfa spouts)
400 g cooked turkey meat, shredded 
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted (I didn't have any so used some pepitas) 
1 avocado, sliced

Whisk oil, vinegar and cranberry sauce together. 
Mix all other ingredients together and drizzle dressing over. 

Monday 20 January 2014

Cooks Club - Spicy Mushroom & Tomato salad

Another entry for the taste.com.au Cooks Club. I really loved this salad. It was perfectly filling with just some scotch fillet steak. 

I had some tomatoes that are in between cherry & regular size and they have such a rich tomato flavour. I put them on the bbq to char them up a bit. It gave such fabulous flavour. I didn't have any fresh chilli but I do have a chilli infused olive oil so I used some of that in the dressing. The other half of the oil I used a garlic infused olive oil mainly because I am not keen on the flavour of raw garlic in things. It gave a lovely garlic flavour with a bit of a kick at the end. I think that it would have also been good if the mushrooms had been grilled but it was still really good with the fresh mushrooms. I would definitely make this again. 

Thursday 16 January 2014

Bake Club - Young Coconut & Berry Slushies

I mentioned in my previous post about the challenges over on taste.com.au. The Bake Club challenge for this month is to make anything from the coconut desserts recipe collection. It is really hot and really dry here at the moment. Not as hot as it is in Melbourne though, where the Australian Open  tennis is on, I can't imagine how people are playing tennis in the heat down there. 

I decided it would be nice to make something that didn't involve turning the oven on. I remember looking the Young Coconut & Berry Slushies recipe several times in the issue of delicious magazine and since it is part of this collection I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. It has just the right amount of tart and sweet. I didn't wait for it to be too slushie and I just ate it with a spoon. It was so lovely and cooling. I will definitely make it again. 

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Cooks Club - Watermelon, rockmelon and feta salad

Cooks Club has started up again over on taste.com.au. This month's recipe collection is salad recipes which is just perfect for this time of year. It has been so hot and dry lately that I have been having a lot of salads. 

I had put some chicken drumsticks in a honey soy garlic and ginger marinade but needed something to go with it. I searched through the collection and came across this recipe which I had most things or could substitute. I purchased a large rockmelon and half a watermelon recently so I thought that this would be a good recipe to use a little bit of it up. I really enjoyed it. I used some feta since that is what I had and I don't really like goat's cheese that much anyway. I didn't have mint either but have grown some lemon basil this year, it isn't very prolific but I put a few leaves around. It has such a lovely lemony taste to it. Nest time I think I would put in some olives and cherry tomatoes.