Sunday, October 5, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and their contribution to the blogging community.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
We had a couple of days of milder weather last week which made me feel that spring was on the way but then the wind changed direction and we're back to the cold. So, cue more soup!
I had a cauliflower in the fridge and some cheese which was said to me 'Cauliflower cheese soup'. This was garnished with some crispy bacon croutons and mopped up with some home made crusty bread. Inner central heating if ever there was any!
I made the soup as I went along so there's no ingredient list but it's as easy as anything to make and is open to all sorts of variations. let your imagination run riot!
Gently fry up a chopped onion and a celery stick in a little butter or oil. Try not to let it colour too much. Add a cauliflower broken up into florets (this depends on the size of your cauli or how much soup you want to make!) and cover with vegetable stock. Home made is great if you have any but a good quality stock cube will do the job too. Simmer until the veggies are soft then remove from the heat and add a good chunk of grated cheese. I used Australian Tasty cheddar but any blue cheese would work. Blend until smooth and adjust seasoning to taste.
If you like a thicker soup then add a peeled and diced potato when you add the cauliflower or thicken with any spare mashed potato in your fridge!
Fry or grill a couple of bacon rashers and dice before sprinkling on top of the bowl of soup.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I then sliced the tops off to give me a flat surface and smoothed buttercream icing to act as glue because the piece de resistance was then applied. I'd ordered a set of 12 edible cake decorations with a jolly photo of Little One and 'Thanks for coming' printed on. These were put on the cupcakes and the join was iced over with mauve butter icing rosettes.
I had a bit of an upset as I'd wanted to wrap them in cellophane but there would have been too much wrapping swamping the cakes so after a quick dash out to the $2 shop I put them in cellophane nests in little carrier bags spruced up with a bit of shiny ribbon.
Now the cake is done and the party bags ready...bring on the party!!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I've just finished washing up after a 5 hour marathon cake decorating session. Let me show you the Little One's birthday cake! She had the whole of Debbie Brown's 50 Easy Party Cakes to choose from and this was the one that got the vote.
The party is on Sunday at the local circus school. I'm trying hard not to imagine 12 young girls on stilts, unicycles or the trapeeze. Will the fruit juice and crisps (SO healthy!!) stay down? Will they want to eat the cake?
The baking isn't finished yet as there's still 30 chocolate cookies to make for the class on THE day (Monday) and tomorrow I'm making the 'party bags'. Well, they're not really party bags but my updated version of the slice of birthday cake wrapped in a napkin. I'll post a picture when they're done, not before as they might be rubbish!!!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sweet and Simple Bakes is a great blog run by Rosie and Maria. It's designed for people who just love baking no matter how competant they feel and there is a challenge issued each month for all who would like to join in!
This is the second month that I've joined in and I love it as I'm being introduced to new recipes rather than just re-creating my own usual fare.
Last month was the double choc chip cookies which have gone down a storm.(Little One has asked me to make a batch for her to take to school on her birthday!) This month it's been Banana and choc chip muffins.
These, like the muffins have disappeared rather quickly in school lunch boxes and as pre sports practice snacks. I'm not a fan of cooked banana so can't vouch for their tastiness but the empty cake tin can! They were really easy to make and I loved the very generous amount of chocolate chips that went in them.
If you would like the recipe or to join in the fun with August's challenge then please click on the Sweet and Simple Bakes logo on the right.
My thanks go to the lovely Sal from Vi's pantry and http://pinkbytes.blogspot.com/ for the great mug and cute tray which showed off the muffin to it's absolute best!!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Brown Lamb and add onions in a large pot Stir around and add leeks leave a few mins and add about 1/2 pint water and 1 stock cube herbs and Worcester sauce. Leave to simmer until lamb is tender. Add more water as desired. In another pot boil up potatoes carrot and parsnip in stock. Leave in stock until lamb is cooked. When lamb is tender add cooked potatoes etc, with stock Stir all around and keep heat low. The potatoes should be a bit mushy now Taste and add more stock as desired. Season to taste Turn heat off and leave to absorb flavour
Brown Soda/Wheaten bread
Friday, July 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
1Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2Share six random and/or weird things about yourself.
3Tag six random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Having worked out who to tag I then had the knotty problem of deciding which random things about me I wanted the world to know but here goes!
1 I love playing the drums. I came upon this skill when I was at school and decided that music would be a good thing to do especially as I wanted to make a career of teaching primary school children. To do music, I had to play an instrument so picked on the drums. My first performance as a percussionist was 8 weeks later in the local boy's school production of My Fair Lady.
2 I met my husband through the local youth orchestra, he played clarinet and I was on the timpani.
3 Whilst playing in a concert, the conductor realised that I would make a good stunt double for the principal player in a film that his friend was making. So somewhere there is a film that has me fighting an opera singer!
4 I love to scuba dive but I hate getting my face wet. My dive buddies need to know that I don't open my eyes until I am well below the water level.
5 I love messing about in the kitchen and find any sort of cooking a great way to de-stress. (I'm not sure if this is random enough for foodie blogs!)
6 I love watching rugby and still think that Rob Andrews' drop kick in the final seconds of the game against the Wallabies at Twickers was one of the greatest moments.(Sorry,Johnny!)
Anyway, after having revealed all that here are the people that I wish to tag!
Gayle at http://theovenison.blogspot.com/
Laura at http://hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/
Amelita at http://squishyness14.blogspot.com/
Vonsashen at http://vonsachsen.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies!
The recipe can be found at http://sweetsimplebakesrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/06/ultimate-double-chocolate-cookies.html
The recipe was so easy to do and I actually made 21 so that the cook could have a little perk too! The cookies are really lovely and chocolatey with some crunch around the edge but a chewy centre and robust enough to stay whole in a school lunchbox! If you're new to baking do try them as I'm sure you'll not be disappointed!
Monday, June 2, 2008
Yesterdays offering was thanks to George, a fellow foodie on Vi's Pantry and creator of the wattleseed cookies in an earlier post. She's writing her own cook book and I'm lucky enough to try out some of her recipes. I chose her Autumn Soup as it's autumn here (Well, we've just slipped into winter now!), it contains ras el hannout which I've had in the cupboard but not used yet, it needs pumpkin and I have my own mini store in the garage as my veggie shop was selling them 3 for $2 and the kids had declaired their love of spinich.(I must have missed that earlier!!)
Well, this soup has the lot and was so simple to make!
Serves 6 generously
2 sweet potato
1 white onion
1 red onion
250g red lentils
4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ras el hannout
1 ltr water
250 ml sour cream
1 tsp harrisa paste
1. Preheat the oven to 180′c or the equivalent.
2. Cut the vegetables into 2cm dice and put in a roasting tray with the garlic, cumin and olive oil. Roast for 45 min or until soft and slightly caramelised.
3. Puree the vegetables and place into a large pan or casserole dish, add the water and bring to the boil.
4. Add the lentils, ras el hannout and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour until the lentils are soft.
5. While the soup is simmering make the spiced sour cream. Whisk the harrisa into 100 ml of the sour cream and reserve until ready.
6. When the soup is ready add the remaining 150ml sour cream and spinach, heat gently until warmed through.
7. Serve the soup with a spoon of spiced sour cream and soup almonds scattered over.
George also recommends serving this with a variety of flatbreads spread with the harissa paste but I just used crusty granary bread rolls.
The smell as the veggies were roasting was heavenly and I had to stop myself diving into the oven with my fork in hand. I needed to add more water when I put the lentils in but that was no hardship as it meant more soup for us, and we love our soup here. As I tasted the soup I was a bit worried that it might be a bit bland and had to stop myself from twidling with the seasoning and am I glad I did as the soup came alive with the spiced sour cream...do not miss that out!!!!
The aroma that wafts from the pan gives a hint of Eastern promise and of warmer weather to come. This is one we'll be repeating through the winter too!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Free range chickens were on offer so I snapped one up and had it marinading in buttermilk, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil with some ground black peppercorns and rosemary a la Nigella, in no time at all. It was then into a hot oven, after a suitable time in the fridge, along with some par boiled potatoes for roasties and some cranberry and orange stuffing. The whole thing was simply served with steamed courgettes and carrots along with a gravy made with the pan juices.
The wine was an unoaked chardonnay from McLaren Vale, SA. Served well chilled it hit the mark with us!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The concert went well and the soloist played beautifully. I was particularly proud that the plate of cookies was demolished with relish. In fact they disappeared so fast that no one in my family managed to get one. Luckily I've made some for home and they've been demolished with great gusto. A great triumph George!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The recipe I used was from The Book of Wok and Stir-Fry Dishes, a book which my husband bought with him when he moved here.
Beef in Oyster Sauce.
11/2 tablespoons soy sauce
11/2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
450g rump steak, cut crosswise into thin strips
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 red pepper (capsicum) sliced
115g mushrooms, sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
115ml chicken stock or water
In a bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the cornflour with the soy sauce and the rice wine or dry sherry. Add beef strips and toss to coat well. Allow to stand for 25 mins. heat the wok until very hot. Add oil and swirl to coat wok. add beef strips and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until browned. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add ginger and garlic to remaining oil in wok and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the celery, pepper(capsicum), mushrooms and spring onion and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
Stir in oyster sauce and combine remaining cornflour with the stock or water, then stir into the wok and bring to the boil. Add reserved beef strips and toss beef and vegetables for 1 minute until sauce thickens and the beef is heated through. Serve with rice and wild rice.
I left out the mushrooms as the Little One doesn't like them. I served it with boiled rice flavoured with 5 spice powder and vegetable stock and steamed bok choy and was gratified to have all plates returned empty!
The wine was a 2005 Cabernet Merlot from Gramps in the Barossa which went down very well and a little too quickly!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Chocolate Malteser Cake from Feast by Nigella Lawson
For the cake
150g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Horlicks
175g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the icing and decoration
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa
125g soft unsalted butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 x 37g packets Maltesers
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/170C. Butter and line two 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich cake tins with baking parchment.
Whisk together the sugars and eggs until light and frothy. Heat the milk, butter and Horlicks powder in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Beat the milk mixture into the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients thoroughly. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, by which time the cakes should have risen and will spring back when pressed gently. Let them cool on a rack for about 5-10 minutes and then turn them out of their tins.
Once the cakes are cold, you can get on with the icing. I use a processor just because it makes life easier: you don't need to sieve the icing sugar. So: put the icing sugar, cocoa and Horlicks in the processor and blitz to remove all lumps. Add the butter and process again. Stop, scrape down, and start again, pouring the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running until you have a smooth buttercream.
Sandwich the cold sponges with half of the buttercream, and then ice the top with what is left, creating a swirly pattern rather than a smooth surface. Stud the outside edge, about 1cm in, with a ring of Maltesers or use them to decorate the top in which-ever way pleases you.
Makes 8-10 slices.
So Happy Birthday Teenboy and Happy Birthday blog!!!