Thursday, 4 December 2008

Christmas is Coming!

Well in honour of Christmas coming I decided to redo my Blogger Header with a picture of my son and Mother-in-Law helping out with the traditional Cup Day weekend Christmas Pudding baking day. Every year we get together on this day and make our pudding which then have to boil for 6 hours and hang for six weeks. I love this photo it shows how cooking can help to keep together family traditions. Since my Nana got too old to make the pudding i have taken over and my Mother-in-Law joined me about five years ago, now my son is coming on board as well. I am grooming him so that he is domesticated and a handy cook! If you want the recipe it is in this blog under Christmas but I have to tell you if you are reading this then you are too late as it is not enough hanging time so you will have to go for the good old steamed pudding not quite as good but an acceptable alternative! Just get in gear for next year!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ok, so this one covers a few people, sugar free, low carb and gluten free!

250g Dark Chocolate
100g Unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 cup strong black coffee
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
6 Eggs, separated
1/2 cup Equal
200g Ground Almonds
1 tbsp Equal, extra

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and brush a 20cm round pan with butter and line bottom and sides.

Place chocolate, butter,coffee and vanilla into a saucepan and stir over low heat until smooth, cool until lukewarm

Place egg yolks and equal in a small bowl and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the chocolate mixture until just combined, transfer to a large bowl.

Add almond Meal and mix well.

Place egg whites in a large bowl and beat until soft peaks. Add the extra Equal and beat another minute. Add egg whites to the mixture stirring through using a metal spoon. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake

This one is Divine whether you are on low carb or not if you love a cheesecake this is it!

Ingredients

2 x 250gm Cream Cheese Blocks
½ cup equal
3 eggs
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
200gm Blueberries


Method

Beat cream cheese and equal until soft, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and beat until well mixed.

Pour into a 20cm square tin that has been greased and lined

Place blueberries evenly over the top of the mixture

Bake in 180C oven for 30-40 minutes or until set and turning slightly brown.

Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

Cut into 9 even portions, can be served hot or cold

Chocolate Mousse

This is another for those on low-carb diets

100g Cadbury Lite Chocolate
2 Eggs, separated
300ml Cream
1 tbsp Equal
1 tbsp Cocoa, sifted

Melt chocolate in a double saucepan.
Add egg yolks and stir until well combined
Whip cream until soft peaks form, stir in cocoa, add to the chocolate mixture
Whip egg whites until soft peaks form, add equal and beat a further minute. Fold gently into chocolate mixture with a metal spoon. Pour into serving dish and chill.

Serves 4

Strawberry Ice Cream

This is one for those on the no-carb or low-carb diets!

250g Strawberries
200g Ricotta Cheese
100ml Thickened Cream
1 tbsp Artificial Sweetener

Blend all ingredients together and freeze for 4-5 hours.

Yummy!!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Tiramisu Torte

This is a favourite for Russell's Birthday, I hate coffee but he loves it and deserves a treat on his birthday. Very decadent I am told! It comes from the Woman's Weekly Wicked Book.

Ingredients

6 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup cornflour
1/4 cup instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup Marsala
1/4 cup coffee flavoured liqueur
300ml thickened cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
750gm Mascarpone cheese
500gm Vienna almonds, chopped coarsely

Method
  • Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius
  • Grease 2 22cm round cake pans and line bases with baking paper
  • Beat eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer about 10 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add caster sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the sugar is dissolved between the additions. Gently fold the triple-sifted flours into the egg mixture. Divide cake mixture evenly between prepared pans; bake in moderate oven about 25 minutes. Turn cakes, top side up onto wire racks to cool
  • Meanwhile, dissolve coffee powder in the water in a a small heat-proof bowl. Stir in Marsala and liqueur; cool
  • Beat cream and icing sugar in a small bowl with electric beaters until soft peaks form; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in mascarpone and 1/2 cup of the coffee mixture.
  • Split the cooled cakes in half. Centre half of one of the cakes on a serving plate; brush with a quarter of the remaining coffee mixture then spread with about 1 cup of the mascarpone cream. Repeat layering until last half cake is covered with mascarpone cream. Spread remaining mascarpone cream around the side of the cake; press almonds into side and top of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I do find that there is too much coffee mixture so be careful otherwise it tends to make everything too soggy and it can collapse!! Not what you want!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

My Chicken Biryani Recipe

This is another one I made up some time ago but it is a favourite.

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice
2 tsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup Korma curry paste
400g chicken fillets diced
415g can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Method

Wash the rice until the water runs clear
Place the oil, onion and garlic in a large saucepan and cook until soft
Add the curry paste and cook a further minute
Add the chicken and cook until coated
Add the rice, tomatoes (including juice) and stock and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes stirring occassionally.
Stir in peas, cashews, apricots and coriander and cook a further 5 minutes.
Serve with papadums and indian pickles

Low-Fat Chicken Strips with Sweet Chilli Yoghurt

Really nice low-fat take on chicken strips.

Ingredients

1 cup stale breadcrumbs
1/3 cup polenta
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tbsp grated parmesan
12 chicken tenderloins
2/3 cup natural yogurt
1/2 cup natural yoghurt extra
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Combine breadcrumbs, polenta, parsley, garlic salt and parmesan in a bowl. Place yoghurt in a seperate bowl.
Dip each tenderloin in the yoghurt and then the crumb mixture. Place on the trays and spray with oil.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Put extra yoghurt, sweet chilli sauce, garlic and coriander in a bowl mix well and serve with the chicken.

Eggplant Parmigiana

Really nice vegetarian option and a yummy dish.

Ingredients

7 medium eggplants
1 cup plain flour
1 cup olive oil
3 cups Tomamto Pasata
500g Bocconcini, sliced thinly
1/2 cup basil leaves
salt and pepper
2 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Cut the eggplant lengthways into 4mm slices, toss in the flour and shake off the excess
Heat a little of the oil ina large non-stick frypan; fry the eggplant in batches until well browned on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper. Repeat until all eggplant is fried.
Spread 1/2 of the Pasata over the base of a 10 cup capacity overproof, greased dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant over the top and then a layer of bocconcini, a few basil leaves, salt pepper and a little parmesan.
Repeat the layering until all ingredients are used finishing with the cheese. Bake in a moderate oven, uncovered for 35 minutes.

Honeyed Lamb and Pumpkin Casserole

This one is from Good Taste magazine but is really nice so worth a try!

Ingredients

1 tbsp Butter
1 red onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
1kg diced trim lamb
900g pumpkin peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
2 tbsp honey
salt and pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Melt butter in a 10 cup flameproof and ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat until foaming.
Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the onion softens. Add the vinegar and cinnamon and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add the lamb stirring to coat in the vinegar. Cover with the lid and cook in a preheated oven, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
Scatter the pumpkin over the top and drizzle with the honey. Bake uncovered for a further hour until both the lamb and pumpkin are tender. Season to tatse. Discard the cinnamon sticks before serving.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Ras-al-Hanout Dip

This one came from a friend who has a husband who is gluten free. It is really yummy! The spice mix can be found in an Asian grocery store.

Ingredients

5 onions drizzled with oil and sprinkled with ras-as-hanout and roasted until soft.
1 cup macadamias nuts
1 tbsp Honey

Method

After roasting onions and cooling them place everything into a food processor and process until dip consistancy is formed. Add more honey if a sweeter taste is desired.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

So you can see, I LOVE cheesecake and I think I have every Philly recipe ever, here is another one!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups shortbread biscuits crushed
75g butter, melted
2 x 250g block Philly Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp gelatine, dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water
200g white Toblerone, melted
1 cup cream, lightly whipped
1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method

Combine the biscuit crumbs and butter and press into the base of a greased 22cm springform pan, chill.
Beat the Philly, sugar and lemon rind until smooth, stir in the gelatine mixture and fold in the melted Toblerone, cream and berries
Pour into prepared base and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

Here is another fabulous Philly Recipe. So just in case you missed it on the packet, here it is!

Ingredients

Base;
350g Oreo Original Cookies
80g Butter

Filling;
375g Philly Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 cup Thickened Cream
3 tsp Gelatine, dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water
220g White Chocolate

Method

Place 250g of the Oreo cookies in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Combine with the butter then press into the base of a lined 20cm springform tin, chill.
Beat the Philly, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cream and beat until smooth. Stir in the gelatine mixture and chocolate.
Roughly chop the remaining cookies and stir through the Philly mixture. Pour over the prepared base and chill until set.

Chickpea and Vege Couscous

Ingredients

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped finely
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Moroccan Spice
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp ground Tumeric
2 Finger Eggplants, sliced thickly
2 large Zucchini, chopped
400g small Button Mushrooms
400g can crushed Tomatoes
2 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
300g can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tbsp Olive Oil, extra
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add onion, cook stirring over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and spices, cook stirring about 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, undrained tomatoes and 1 cup of stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until vegies are just tender.
Stir in chickpeas, simmer again for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, bring remaining stock to the boil in a small pan. Pour stock over couscous in a large heatproof bowl, stad for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork then stir in extra oil and coriander.
Serve chickpea mixture over the couscous.

Trying Something New!

On a recent visit to my sister-in-law I saw that she had the Bill Grainger - Everyday cook book and decided to have a look-see at what recipes were inside. She pointed out the ones she had tried and I saw many other ones worth trying so I tracked down a copy for myself (why is it that all shops seem to run out of the exact book you want when you want it?) There are kid friendly ones and some really yummy sounding ones so this week we are simply eating from "Everyday" and possibly the week after until I have tried all the new recipes I want to and can advise of my favourite ones.

Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

This is one I made up (apparently! I can't remember doing it but my friends assure me the recipe came from me and that I made it up) so here you go apprently it s really yummy will have to remake it and eat it to know!

Ingredients

1pkt Choc Ripple biscuits
125gm butter
½ cup crushed cashew, almond or any nut of your choice
250gm Philly cream cheese
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup lemon juice
125g White chocolate melted
3 tspn gelatine dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
¾ punnet strawberries pureed
Strawberries to decorate

Method

Finely crush biscuits and mix in melted butter and nuts. Press into base of spring form tin and chill
Cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon juice and condensed milk
Beat until thick and creamy
Continue beating while mixing in melted chocolate
Continue beating while mixing in dissolved gelatine
Beat in pureed strawberries
Pour over the base and chill until set

Baked Minestrone Risotto

I found this one in New Idea but have slightly altered it to make it a bit healthier! I know not like me really but we are trying to eat a bit better! None the less it is really yummy even my husband had grand praise for it!

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 1/2 cups Aborio Rice
4 cups Chicken Stock
420g can Minestrone Soup
300ml Light Sour Cream
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
250g Light Cheese, grated
250g Pkt Frozen spinach



Method

Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius

Grease a 22cm x 29cm ovenproof dish

Heat oil in a large saucepan add onion and rice. Cook stirring for 2 minutes

Then stir in stock and soup, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in Sour Cream, Eggs, spinach and half the cheese.

Spoon into prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cook for 35 minutes or until set and golden on top. Stand for 5 minutes before cutting.


Freezes well but tastes better just cooked!

Fruit Bites

I saw this recipe on television but it was never printed on their website so I had to improvise and make it up myself from what I could remember. This is a healthy treat option for kids and adults alike. I just made them today and my two year old immensely enjoyed himself rolling them in coconut!

They are really easy to make as well!

Ingredients

1/2 cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup diced almonds

1/2 cup sultanas

1 cup desicated coconut

Method

Place all ingredients except coconut into a food processor and process until sticky and combined enough to roll into balls. Roll the balls into the coconut and place aside to set.


Thursday, 3 January 2008

Christmas Cooking

SO for Christmas this year I found quite a few really good recipes having purchased most of the food magazines around November and December. I start my cooking early even doing things like making gingerbread and freezing it a few weeks ahead and making various kinds of shortbread dough and freezing that and then slicing up what I need from the freezer and cooking it at a later date, and of course every cup day my MIL and I make the Christmas Pudding so that it can hang for at least six weeks before Christmas. I just love Christmas time and cooking all the grand festive things like Christmas Cake, Shortbread, Chocolate Fruit Mince Slice, biscotti and many other things.
So over the next few days I will attempt to get them on the blog and share with you the really good ones I found so that next year you can try them, or you could have a Christmas in July and try them sooner!

Jamie Oliver's Lamb Kebabs

I was watching Jamie Oliver at Home tonight and saw his incredible recipe for Lamb Kebabs. I will be trying them out tomorrow night but they just looked absolutely fabulous! SO here is the recipe;

Ingredients

500gm diced Lamb
2 tsp Rosemary (dried)
1 tsp Chili
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sumac
salt and pepper
2 tbsp Pistachio Nuts

Method

Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until lamb is minced but not pureed
Squeeze lamb around six metal skewers.
Refrigerate for 2 hours
Drizzle with olive oil and cook on a grill or BBQ.
Serve with warm flat bread, mint salad, parsley, onion and yoghurt