Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Pistachio Cranberry Flakes

These are a really nice Christmas gift and to have as nibbles on your Christmas table. Really simple to make even the kids could make a batch for their teacher for Christmas.

Ingredients
1/4 cup diced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup sultanas
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
375g white chocolate

Method
  • Line a 38cm X 25cm baking tray with foil
  • Place melts in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, 2minutes, stirring every minute.
  • Add almonds and sultanas to chocolate and stir t combine.
  • Spread evenly over the tray.
  • Sprinkle with the pistachios and cranberries, gently push them into the chocolate
  • Refrigerate until set, then break into shards.

Cheese Balls

These were a real favourite when I was working and making morning teas. And the best thing is you can make a large batch and only cook what you need and freeze the rest. They are not diet friendly but just one is a good treat!

Ingredients
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
200g Parmesan cheese, grated coarsely
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (you can't use the dry ones)
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
olive oil for shallow frying

Method
  • Combine egg, egg white, cheese breadcrumbs, herbs, paprika and sweet chili sauce in a bowl.
  • Shape into level tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls.
  • Refrigerate until ready to fry or freeze if more than 24 hours.
  • Shallow fry in the olive oil in small batches and drain on absorbent paper.

Warm Double Sauced and Spiced Ginger Cake

This one I pulled out of a magazine for my Father-in-law who loves ginger but I must admit it is quite fiddly and you must really like ginger to go to the trouble. But it is fabulously rich and warm!

Ingredients

Ginger Fruit Sauce (Make this first)
100g dried apricots, chopped
3 tbsp Buderim Ginger Refresher
3 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 lge Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
200g crystallised ginger, chopped
1 tbsp rum (optional)

The Cake
100g Butter
125g Brown Sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger, chopped
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups Self Raising Flour
1/3 cup Wholemeal Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Mixed Spice
2ooml Milk
3/4 cup of the Ginger Sauce (the one you just made!)

Method

Sauce
  • Soak apricots,ginger refresher and water in a saucepan for 30 minutes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat. Add cinnamon, apple and gently cook until soft. Add crystallised ginger and rum. Cool to room temperature, remove cinnamon and set aside.
Cake
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, beat in egg yolks and grated ginger.
  • Sift dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture with milk and fruit sauce. Stir well.
  • Whip the egg whites and then fold in the cake mixture gently.
  • Spoon into a well greased 23cm ring pan, cover with foil and then place in a baking dish half filled with boiling water. Bake in a moderate oven (180) for 35-40 minutes.
  • Stand the cake for 10 minutes and then remove the foil and invert onto a plate.
  • Warm the remaining sauce and serve the cake with a generous serve of the sauce.
You can also put the mixture in to 8 ramekins and place in the water bath and cook for a little less time for individual puddings.

Sausage Casserole

Ok here is an oldie but a goody, my Mum used to make this for us all the time as kids and I must admit my son really likes it as well. If you get low fat sausages it is kind to the waist line but if you want some real flavour add some spicy ones or nice country beef ones.

Ingredients

500gm Sausages
2 Onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp beef stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 dsp flour
salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Lightly fry the sausages, cut into pieces and place in a large casserole dish. Then fry the onions in a little olive oil until tender, spread over the sausages and then add the diced tomatoes. If you don't have any fresh tomatoes then you can use a can, just cut back the water a little.
Combine the remaining ingredients and pour into the casserole dish. Cover and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and vegetables.