Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Little vanilla cupcakes...

Because sometimes, you just need something plain and simple. This recipe is from 500 Cupcakes, by Fergal Connolly. I made a half batch (which I've transcribed below). My darling sister has finally sent me her recipe for the lemon yoghurt ring, so I am excited to be baking that. Not baking too much this weekend though! Food Critic Andrew and I are going to the South Coast for the long weekend. I will miss my oven!


112gm room temperature butter
112gm caster sugar
112gm SR flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tspn vanilla essence


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees
2. Beat all ingredients until smooth and pale (5-6 minutes)
3. Spoon mixture into pattie cases (about 9)
4. Bake for 20 mins
5. Remove from oven and cool for 5 mins.
6. Remove from tin and cool on a rack.
7. Top however you like - I am preferential to whipped cream and strawberries....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rediscovery - Morrocan chicken

Sometimes you haven't looked at a recipe book in a long time, and when you finally do, you rediscover many old dishes that have just been well, forgotten. And, they usually have faded. It's a good sign if it has food stains though - to me it usually means it's been tried and tried again. I try to add notes to recipes when I'm making stuff where possible. That way I don't have to rethink the whole thing, or try to remember what made it so good!

Last night I made this dish I haven't made in so long - a Moroccan chicken type dish that was my first savoury cooking using cinnamon. I think I found the recipe in an issue of Women's Health magazine. Of course, it was quite bland for my tastes at least so I chilli'd it somewhat, and I recall Food Critic Andrew and I having this quite regularly at our old place. I don't know why it fell off the radar. Well, it is quite carb heavy, (I used to mix cooked rice with it, THEN serve with crusty bread! Unheard of, nowadays with the new-ish healthy eating business.) Of course, if you wanted to make it carb-light - serve the rice separately, save the bread for your loved ones and add more vegetables, as I should have done last night.

Ahh, the weekend has gone far too quickly! I made a kick-ass Key lime pie and vanilla cupcakes though. Recipes to follow in the next few days, dear readers.

Moroccan Chicken Stew:


500gm Chicken (I used breast, but thighs are fine)
1 large onion, cubed
1 large zucchini, cubed
1 stalk celery, cubed
200gm canned chickpeas
olive oil
salt and pepper
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 chicken stock cubes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Baby spinach leaves
1 cup cooked rice (optional)
Fresh Coriander/cilantro, chopped
Crusty bread rolls


1. Heat oil in a large pan
2. Add chicken, salt and pepper, onion, zucchini and celery
3. When vegetables have browned, add chickpeas, tomatoes, stock cubes and spices. add more spices to taste
4. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes until chickpeas are cooked through.
5. Mix rice through (optional step!) as well as baby spinach.
6. Garnish with coriander/cilantro and serve with crusty bread.

Coming soon: Key lime pie! Here's a photo I just took....It is amazingly good.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Herbed french toast with smoked salmon

Hi there. It's such a glorious Saturday morning here in Sydney, so I thought that I would make Herbed French toast with smoked salmon for breakfast this morning. This is a recipe from the Woman's Day website . Although - I already had some sour cream in the fridge so I used that instead of the creme fraiche they suggest. This served 2 - I had one slice of toast, Food Critic Andrew had a manly serve of 2 slices.


120 gm smoked salmon
3 slices bread (of your choice - I used sliced wholemeal, because that's what I have right now)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp chopped shallot
1 tbsp chopped continental parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill, as well as some for garnish
3 tsp sour cream


1. Mix eggs, milk and herbs together.
2. dip bread in mix
3. Cook bread on both sides on a med-low greased pan (and then keep warm in a slow oven if you like.)
4. When all pieces are cooked, lay out the salmon on the toast, and top with sour cream - approximately 1 tsp per slice. Garnish with chopped shallot or other herbs to your liking. Yum! Serve immediately.

The best part about this is that there are no leftovers....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ow ow ow ow!

My feet hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt. Had an important meeting today so I made sure that I wore my suit (though, belatedly realised the pants are too big and need taking in) and some pretty looking heels. And of course, now I have blisters all over my feet! Ow. But some pastry with cream and strawberries made it all better! I always seem to have leftover pastry. And I just hate waste. so I cooked up these little beauties. They look postively gorgeous, and I enjoyed one very much. I got the idea from some canapes I did a little while ago (though they were savoury, and involved camembert and Branston pickle..more about those another time.

Anyway - if you have some leftover puff pastry and don't know what to do, try this:

Whipped cream
Leftover Puff pastry
cookie cutter

1. Cut the pastry with the cookie cutter into small circles.
2. Bake at 220 degrees until browned and puffed.
3. Cool
4. After cooling, grab a knife and cut carefully along the middle.
5. Add a dollop of cream
6. Add half a washed, hulled strawberry.
7. Yum! Eat up; serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cherry tarts!

The joy of Honey joys

I know, I know, I've been a bit lax with the posting lately. Entirely far too busy at work. I've been doing lots of cooking though - I find it very therapeutic. I've also joined twitter, and will soon figure out how to use it. I've just finished making a chocolate ripple cake (oh, yum!) and I haven't told Food Critic Andrew just yet - He'll find it tomorrow no doubt! It's a little surprise for him. Another big favourite of his is Honey Joys. These are so more-ish; I can never have any, because I just cannot stop at one.

Now, credit where credit is due - this recipe is from from Kellogs: I have halved the quantities though.


45g butter or margarine

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon honey

2 cups Kellogg's® Corn Flakes


Preheat oven to 150°C.

Line 12 hole patty pan with paper cases.

Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy.

Add Kellogg's® Corn Flakes and mix well.

Working quickly spoon into paper patty cases.

Bake in a slow oven 150°C for 10-15 minutes.