Friday, 29 June 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Happy Birthday Rhonda

A rainbow fish made out of cupcakes using this tutorial.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Burnt butter caramel slice

Thanks to this recipe from Cook Republic.

Biscuit base
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted
Mix together, pour into lined lamington tin and bake until golden. 
Caramel topping
1/3 cup golden syrup
125g butter, melted
1 400g can sweetened condensed milk
Stir together over low heat for about 5-7 minutes (caramel will be smooth and thickened).
Pour caramel over biscuit based and put in oven for 25 mins at 180 degrees - or until caramel is browning in spots (my oven was at least 25 minutes).  Cool for a couple of hours before serving.  Attempt not to eat all at once. 

As you can see, it's a simple recipe, so it just calls out for modifications - what about adding nuts?  I am going to try one batch with salted peanuts and another with unsalted macadamias, will report back.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Zucchini slice

A cheap and cheerful dinner - zucchini, a little pancetta and half a tomato + a few pantry basics.

4 grated zucchini
3 rashers of bacon/slices of pancetta
1 chopped onion
1 cup SR flour
5 eggs
1 cup grated cheese
1/4 vegetable oil
Tomato slices

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Line loaf tin
Mix all ingredients together, except tomatoes
Pour into loaf tin and top with sliced tomato.

It looks pretty black when it is cooked, 1 hour later, but it is super moist and delicious - with crispy edges!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Mini german pancakes

Somewhere between a poffertje and a yorkshire pudding - a mini german pancake using this recipe.

straight out of the oven, you can see they are just beginning to collapse

only a couple of minutes later, and they have collapsed entirely

stuffed full of apple, strawberries and greek yoghurt

I made a half batch, 3 per person, which seemed to be a good amount:

1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius
In food processor, mix all ingredients EXCLUDING butter
Slowly add butter in, keep blitzing
Distribute in muffin tin and bake for 15 mins, or until done (as per top picture)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Broccoli and sweet potato soup

Do you ever a craving for some fresh, rather plain vegetables?  Sometimes I get so caught up in trying interesting sauces or blending flavours that the individual ingredients can't stand out.

This soup is the remedy - a soup that really tastes of fresh vegetables and not much more.

Served with some of the world's best garlic bread, breadstick, homemade garlic butter and some parmesan.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sticky Fingers Bakery

G and I recently tasted cupcakes from Sticky Fingers Bakery, the Americana and the Lemon.

Americana - jam and peanut butter - basically, a dribble of jam that escaped out the bottom of the cupcake, a boring vanilla cupcake and some delicious peanut butter icing.  Topped with glitter (important) and popcorn that had been on the cake so long it was soggy.  I think "so long" is probably only a minute or two, given the amount of liquid in the icing.

Disappointing that the jam did not stay in the cake. AT ALL. 

Very atttractively iced - lemon at the front, americana at the back. 

Lemon curd was lucky to avoid the jam's fate.  Not enough lemon curd.  Not lemony enough. 

But both were oh so pretty.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Baked potato soup

Yes, I did just receive 3 or 4 new issues of Jamie magazine from my mum - no idea where she finds them because they are "old" but because I am in the southern hemisphere they are perfectly in season!

This week I made the baked potato soup - which is basically liquefied baked potatoes topped with "standard" baked potato toppings.  In my case, we used sour cream, cheddar and spicy pancetta.  Maybe a bit of green would have made this dish look better, but it tasted absolutely amazing.  I wonder if the trick is the parmesan rind that is in the pot while the soup cooks?

Recipe to serve 4
4 cold baked potatoes - I cooked these on Sunday, made the soup on Tuesday
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1.25 litres stock
optional - parmesan rind

Sweat an onion until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Throw in the chopped up baked potatoes (skin and all) and the parmesan rind and let that saute for a few minutes.

Pour in stock and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 25-30 minutes.

Remove parmesan rind and "blitz" (food processor, stick mixer - your choice) the soup.

Return to the pan and season with salt and pepper as needed, and add extra stock to thin the soup if required.

A dollop of sour cream
Some crumbled cheddar
Some spicy pancetta that I fried to make it crispy

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A simple summer tuna pasta

A Maggie special from the recipe books that came free with the Herald Sun earlier this year, and yes, I know it is winter, but I like to pretend that the weather is still pleasant (even when I am wrapped up in a fleece jacket at home!)
the finished dish

1. Cook some spaghetti
2. Slice fresh tuna into small pieces
3. Put olive oil and capers and cooked pasta into frying pan
4. Turn heat off and stir through tuna, parsley and squeeze on some lemon.  Done!

step 4

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Homemade peppermint patties

Apparently, my recipe posts have been a bit lacking of late - thanks The Shy Lion! I don't think this recipe will really be up his alley, but it is a recipe and it was delicious!

This is ostensibly the recipe for peppermint patties, but it seems quite similar to the top of a mint slice biscuit too.

This is a very strange recipe, I mean, it's mostly dry ingredients that miraculously (by way of chemical interaction of the ingredients?) turn into peppermint patties.  But I love Sweetapolita, and the amazing website, so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was worth a try.


4 cups icing sugar
45 grams unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon  peppermint oil
3/4 tsp  pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons evaporated milk

Using your mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment*, combine the butter, icing sugar, peppermint oil, vanilla, and evaporated milk and mix on low speed until it starts to come together. Then turn your mixer up!  Probably to about 6/10 and mix for 2 more minutes.  

Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and then roll out the mixture into small balls and press flat, into a patty shape.  Cover and chill again - for about an hour. 

I just used melted dark chocolate, but Sweetapolita's pastel shades are just adorable!  Your choice.

*I don't know how well the recipe would work using normal beaters (ie a whisk), if you try it let me know!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Weird but good

Brussels sprouts, parmesan, onion, garlic and pasta - surprisingly delicious!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Anzac Cake

Many years ago I happened to watch the cooking portion of an episode of Better Homes & Gardens just prior to Anzac Day, and Fast Ed was cooking Anzac Day Cake (rather than biscuits).  Feeling inspired, I scribbled down the recipe, which is lucky as I haven't been able to track down a recipe on the BH&G website. 

melted butter for greasing
caster sugar for dusting
125g unsalted butter
250g golden syrup
6 eggs
120g self raising flour
120g rolled oats
150g dessicated coconut
80g icing sugar

Preheat oven to 170c,line and grease a 23cm round cake tin,dust with caster sugar.

Melt butter and golden syrup in small pan over a low heat.Set aside to cool slightly,then beat in eggs.

Combine flour,oats,coconut and icing sugar in a bowl,stir in butter mixture.Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

It being Anzac Day today, I decided to whip one up!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

(Friday Night Dinner) Tom Turtle

Time for dessert - ice cream cubes, a novelty, though you don't end up with much ice cream!

Flavours - peanut butter & jelly, creme brulee, pear & caramel and sweet corn.

(Friday Night Dinner) Trippy Tacos

Well, it was actually on Saturday...but it was delicious regardless of the day (check it out here).

Happy Birthday Uncle Rob!

2 layers of plain vanilla cake (from Cookery the Australian Way), covered in Duncan Hines vanilla frosting (after a swiss meringue buttercream epic fail) and crushed nuts.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Lamb Shanks

Before I let G launch into his guest post, just wanted to give a shout out (and thanks) to my friend The Shy Lion who was kind enough to award me (and 14 other bloggers) the Versatile Blogger award!

G here, guesting on this venerable blog after a long absence  I am doing such because I am rather chuffed with myself after cooking some lamb shanks that were delicious.

Used a Jamie recipe, he's a big fave on this blog is old James. We had some lamb shanks in the freezer which we had bought a while ago, when spring lamb was at it's best and cheapest.  It's pretty simple too, as most of Jamie's stuff is.

Make some herby butter with rosemary, sage and thyme, salt and pepper.  Make a little pocket next to the bone to stuff the butter down into the heart of the meat.  Messy and yum.all at once.
Chop up some leek, carrot, onion and whole garlic cloves.  On a fairly large sheet of foil, place the vegies and a bit of the butter in a mound in the middle.  Place some oiled up shank on top, the handle straight up, and tightly gather up the foil around the shank.  As you seal it up, pour some white wine in to the packet of awesomeness for braising liquid and extra flavour

Cook on 180 for about 2 to 2.5 hours and serve in the parcels.  I served it up with some oven chips which had cooked with dried rosemary and salt on top.  Use the chips to soak up some of the liquid and to smoosh into the garlic cloves

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Monday, 2 April 2012

Lunch at Red Spice Road

Towards the end of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, G and I went to Red Spice Road for a restaurant express lunch - that is, 2 courses, a glass of (Victorian) wine and a coffee.

At Red Spice Road, we had a banquet - turmeric chicken, wagyu salad and pork belly with black vinegar sauce followed by a passion fruit creme and coconut sorbet, all truly delicious!

Friday, 9 March 2012

(Friday night dinner) Sushi Burger J Cafe

I love a good hamburger, and I love Japanese food. By their powers combined an awesome dinner is served!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Crawl & Bite

G and I are certainly enjoying the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival - we enjoyed Crawl & Bite on Monday night in the city. The aim is to try 3 nice places in Melbourne where you are offered a drink and a "small plate"

G and I went to:
  • Comme - delicious tomato and olive oil consomme, fancy fish and chips, wagyu skewer and a chocolate covered marshmallow. The consomme was the best, acidic and full-flavoured
  • Saint Peter's Trattoria - brushcetta with bacalla (salted cod), calimari stuffed with prawn, wagyu cannelloni - bruschetta was the best, but nothing was super inspiring
  • Longrain - seared tuna, pork hock and something very spicy (so spicy that I am not sure what was in it except for chilli!)

Food Truck Fiesta

As part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, G and I headed down to the Riverside Opening Weekend, and partook in what I call "Food Truck Fiesta" (it was officially called Food Trucks Unite).

G and I enjoyed a taste from several of the trucks:
  • chicken taco and potato taco from Taco Truck - delicious and amazing
  • mushroom burger from Beatbox - overpriced, nothing spectacular
  • mustard and pickles hot dog - toppings were amazing, sausage was nothing special

Monday, 5 March 2012

Happy Birthday G!

A little while ago G turned 29, so I had to make some cupcakes to celebrate, with green icing (as requested).

The green icing was actually swiss meringue buttercream, using this recipe from Sweetapolita.

Absolutely delicious.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Oh yum, a french vanilla slice from Just Fine Foods

Just Fine Foods in Sorrento is admittedly a long way to go for a vanilla slice.  But the vanilla slice wasn't the ONLY reason for the trip down the coast.

A layer of creamy filling (some magical combination of cream and custard), with a little jam, is sandwiched between 2 layers of crisp pastry.  On top is a serious dusting of icing sugar - which is definitely a hazard when it comes to eating these slices.

$7.50 each to take away, and I understand that it may be more expensive to eat in.  I have also heard negative reviews about the service, so have not risked it given that the beach/pier is very close and is a lovely location - eat a vanilla slice and enjoy the beach sounds, sights and smells!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

(Friday night dinner) Claypot King

A sneaky little dumpling dinner on Swanston St. Super cheap and very tasty, although the claypots were probably better than the dumplings.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Mushroom and pancetta muffins

Another pork recipe for the girl who doesn't really eat pork - whoops!  These ones are made with yoghurt, so they are a nice and moist muffin.

200g flour + 2tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
50 g parmesan
25g toasted pine nuts
2 eggs
250g greek yoghurt
200g mushroom
4 slices of pancetta (we used spicy)

Cook the mushrooms and pancetta in olive oil.  Mix all the dry ingredients together then stir in the wet ingredients, followed by the cooked ingredients.

Bake at 200 degrees for 15 mins.