Thursday, April 23, 2009


So, yes, haven't published in a few days - no real excuses, haven't been too much in front of my laptop. I have been furiously cooking though! Tonight I made a berry trifle (above) when I got home, and afterwards had a Taco feast (regretting that slightly - ate too many tacos! They were way yummy though..). More news on the trifle tomorrow -I think you're supposed to let them set for a day or so. I wish I had a proper trifle dish, but it does sort of go against my minimalist principles.

I did up a Chicken and Chorizo Paella this week and Managed to keep the portions under control (I'm seeing a wonderful dietician at the moment and am learning to keep my food portions under control). For this recipe I pretty much added far more vegetable matter, far less meat. Thats my portion right there - minus the side salad. Quite filling as well. Nice with a glass of Syrah Dolcetto. On that note - does anyone know whether you are supposed to serve Syrah Dolcetto chilled?

Upcoming segment ideas....

So, I have the following ideas about segments for this blog:

  • Mrs Beeton cooking (She was the original Nigella). I am interested in most of these recipes (probably not so much the catching of the hare business, though!)
  • Recipes using native Australian ingredients (I don't see a lot of recipes around, so I'm interested in trying some out). This was a great suggestion of Helens (thanks!)
  • Packet mix review. Occasionally I'll make something out of a packet mix - sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. On monday night I made some gluten free vanilla cupcakes - they turned out alright, according to Food Critic Andrew. I have made trifle with the now stale cupcakes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rockin' the hedgehog...

So here is the yumminess....

I think I'll add more chocolate or cocoa next time, they look awfully biscuit-ey. FCA tells me they are wonderful though, though perhaps he was swayed by my graffiti (at top!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I can't believe that I've never ever heard of this: Hedgehog slice

So Food Critic Andrew has requested that I try Hedgehog slice. I've never heard of this - so duly looked up my favourite recipe sites and found this. It looks delicious, and get this - uses Girl Guide cookies! It's weird, I grew up with GG cookies all over the place (my Mum was a brownie leader - her brownie name was Jippy, and I was forced to go through Brownies and then Guides). So here they are. Maybe I've blocked them from my memory for some traumatic reason (ate too many perhaps?) But then, am actually sure My mum would not have made them, as she was more of a cake maker than a slice or biscuit person. And my Mum and Dad didn't like chocolate too much, so perhaps that was the reason? Anyway, they look great so I'm definitely going to have to try it out...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Udon noodle soup - a favourite

Food Critic Andrew doesn't like mushrooms so here it is - sans mushroom garnish

So this is a dish I often make, especially as the weather cools down here in the southern hemisphere. It's also a nice "Spring" type soup, because it is so light. For a lighter meal, use 1 chicken stock cube and water instead of the homemade stuff. It's also a wonderful way to use up leftover roast chicken. If we don't have any roast chicken to use up, I'll buy half a roast chicken from the supermarket for the two of us (measure about 100g of shredded cooked chicken per person).

Here it is (for 2 people):

  • 2 packets of 18g instant miso soup paste
  • 1 chicken stock cube (or 250ml homemade stock if you want the soup heartier)
  • approx 200g leftover roast chicken
  • 3.5 cups (ish) water
  • 180g udon noodles (the ready to cook ones)
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick
  • shallots to garnish
  • mushroom to garnish
  • Lime juice (I use about half a cup)
  1. Boil the water in a medium saucepan
  2. add miso paste and stock cube
  3. add udon noodles
  4. thinly dice carrots and celery and add. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. add chicken and ensure that the mix boils.
  6. Turn off heat and add lime juice to taste.
  7. Pour into bowls, ensuring ingedients are evenly spread around.
  8. Garnish with shallots and mushroom.
  9. Serve. Add chilli flakes for a bit of a lift if you like - yum!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My other love! Coffee

So I participated in my first Green Bean Bay this month - and bought some amazing Peru Ceja de Selva Estate beans for later roasting. I received them yesterday in the post and was impressed by the packaging - usually the others I received are packaged in plastic so this is a nice change. I usually order my beans from Withams - but these guys seem to be cheaper (for green beans, Withams charges half the price).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted as to how they go.

Upcoming post....

By Food Critic Andrew: the perfect boiled egg. yum.

Bell Peppers (capsicum) and Beef

Oh -so this was rather excellent. I followed this recipe with the following changes:

  1. I used flour instead of cornstartch
  2. 2 spoons of garlic more than the recipe (this was Food Critic Andrew's addition)
  3. Added plenty of pepper as well
  4. Only added beef at the very end.
  5. Served with chilli paste
The above photo is the second serving! So its a bit messy, but all the best food is slightly messy.

Verdict? Not repertoire - but maybe occasionally, to use up some left over beef.

New website discovered!

looks exciting... more to come and a few good looking recipes as well...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What to do with stale leftover hot cross buns?

So I made a bread and butter pudding out of the hot cross buns - yum! Its not a pretty dish so I won't take a photo!


  • cut up and butter your hotcross buns
  • layer them into a casserole dish
  • sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar over, and repeat layers.
  • when you have reached 1cm (half and inch) below the top of dish stop.
  • sprinkle any remaining crumbs over the casserole dish
  • In a separate bowl, mix 3 eggs, 300 ml milk and 300 ml thickened cream and a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon if you like.
  • Whisk, then pour over the layered buns, ensuring you've covered everything.
  • Put on the casserole lid, and leave to settle for about 20 mins (or whilst you have dinner)
  • Heat your oven to about 180-200 degrees (medium oven)
  • Put in the pudding, lid on for about 20 minutes. Then take the lid off, and brown the top of the pudding for another 20 minutes or so. Basically until the egg and liquid looks set.
  • Leave to cool. Serve hot with some thickened cream over the top - yum!

Menu Monday! (On a tuesday today...)

So its usually on a Monday that I give some thought to what I'm planning on cooking during the week. I don't know whether it's a form of procrastination I am especially good at whilst I'm at work. However, I'm on a week's leave (cue cheers!) and was still thinking about it, so that blows that theory out of the water.

Here's what I'm planning on cooking this week:

  • Tonight - grilled lamb chops with danish fetta sprinkled on top (I skip the fetta though now - sigh)
  • Tomorrow - Martha Stewart's chicken tenders with honey mustard sipping sauce
  • Food critic Andrew would like Mexican Chicken. This is a repertoire meal, though this time we will try wth some rice.
  • Bell Peppers and Beef - in honour of a Cowboy Bebop episode I enjoyed last night. Probably cooked in a black bean sauce, with sizchuan pepper and perhaps some rice noodles? Of course, we call them capsicums here in Australia!
  • There will definately be crumpets for breakfast this week (they were on special! and Food Critic Andrew loves them served with butter and salt and pepper)

  • I will also be making Chocolate truffles out of my Ninjas (no ginger- gingerbread men - more on these later this week!)

Any other suggestions?

Friday, April 10, 2009

The buns aren't quite in the oven.....

I've just shaped them and set them to rise again...

Andrew thinks they're quite cute being all lumpy and all I countered that I was concerned with quality, not aesthetics (quick thinking!). Actually, I was worried about over kneading them.

The candied peel is so strong smelling though - not sure if I ever want to work with that stuff again! I had just enough (thanks Helen!).

Oh - and as you can see, I obviously ended up using the full recipe. I think they will turn into a bread and butter pudding in a few days, when they become stale. Another excuse for some cooking, methinks!


They turned out OK, but were a bit more like scones (the british type) than I'd like to admit. I've made a bread and butter pudding out of it...yum!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter baking


So I'm planning on doing up some hot cross buns tomorrow first thing after my morning jog - can't wait to see if they work.I've picked up all the ingredients - and a colleague (thanks!) bought by some unused candied peel. I do have a back-up - if they fail utterly, - my local Bakers Delight franchise will definitely by open. Here's the recipe I'm planning on trying, though I suspect if I'm feeling brave I may actually half the recipe (there's only 2 of us, and I can't eat 8 fruit buns myself!). Fingers crossed.

Oh, the chocolate ripple cake!

Yum, yum, yum yum. I've been a wee bit obsessed with sweet things lately -ever since seeing this dietician (shes amazing, I've lost 7 kg so far) and have had to cut down on treats, all I can think about is what I'm going to bake next.

So on Monday night, when Andrew was off doing work stuff, I made the amazing Chocolate ripple cake.

So here's Arnott's take on it (fair enough, they make the Chocolate Ripple biscuits!), though I made the following changes: 1) 300 ml cream wasn't enough, so I whipped up a bit more (mabye 3 tablespoons?) to cover the top nicely... and 2) I covered the thing in flaked almonds.

The verdict - well the entire cake is now one lonely portion in the fridge and I don't expect that will last too long. I definitely think that the almond make an interesting flavour addition. My favourite critic Andrew also tells me that the almond made for an interesting texture on the tongue.

Upcoming guest editor Shirley also suggests a bit of chocolate on top if you're making this for Christmas.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Run Rabbit Run

So I wanted to do up the yummy rabbit leg that I saw on the Cuisine site today - it looks absolutely divine. So I started thinking about this early...rung my local butcher, confirmed that indeed that they do stock rabbit (yay!) and then finally rocked up this afternoon to pick up yummy thick lamb chops and pick up the rabbit - they said they sell them frozen so thought I would be a bit organised. And then - it was awfully expensive. The whole rabbit - they don't sell them in parts - was going to be $50! So scrapped that idea totally.

Was thinking to might do the thing with chicken soon. Andrew tells me that Rabbit "tastes just like chicken". In Australia, Rabbit is vermin, and my Dad grew up hunting them for pet food. Yes yes, they're cute, but growing up in a rabbit free state I never thought much of them. I've tried it once, I think when I was very small. Not paying $50 for a rabbit. It would have been probably cheaper to buy one from the pet store.

Repertoire - welcome

Its cause I think about food all day - not eating it - cooking it, baking it, what I'm going to cook for dinner