Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Experimental portuguese custard tarts

So at the last minute today I decided to make sausage rolls for dinner -and "lo and behold"! leftover puff pastry. So I have some experimental Portuguese custard tarts in the oven right now - they are just browning! They look pretty good and hopefully taste nice as well (though - how can one stuff up custard and pastry? I don't think you can...)


So they're done! I think the oven was a little hot and the custard puffed up a bit(maybe the oven was too hot?). And I burnt my finger getting them out of the oven (boo!). Ugly little things too, but quite lovely in taste. Easy, too!


1 sheet thawed puff pastry
2 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp vanilla essence
250 ml milk
1 tbsp sugar
8 patty pans


1. Cut the puff pastry in half and sprinkle sugar over one half.
2. Pat the un-sugared half over the sugared half and press down
3. Roll up from the short end, and cut pastry into 1cm (approx) rounds
4. roll out rounds into 10cm (approx) rounds
5. press into patty pans in a patty tin, or straight into a greased tin
6. Spoon custard (made as per custard powder instructions, except you use half the liquid to get a really thick custard)
7. Sprinkle with cinnamon
6. Cook in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius) for about 30 min.s.

Not bad, but I'm going to play around with the flavour a bit and report back. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Around the interwebs: Gosh! You can buy all sorts of stuff on ebay...

So I'm not a huge "e-Bayer" - (though I have had my account for about 8 years now, I've only made about 15 transactions) - but somehow in my early Sunday Internet wandering I came across this site which further informed me that I can in fact buy all sorts of sweets on eBay. Huzzah! I guess it is sort of on my mind - we are moving very shortly (I have a new job! more on that after I actually start it) to a country town but I am slightly worried about sourcing the "exotic" ingredients I really rely on. I will also miss the beautiful view! But really, I can't wait to be living down at Merimbula - it's so nice and relaxing there, and when we went down recently to check it out, I felt so much calmer than usual. Anyway, back to the ingredients. I am so glad for the Internet - it has opened up a whole new world for you if you're away from the conveniences of city living. Assuming of course, you have Internet access. You just have to find the right sites.....

Anyway, there are all sorts of different Kit-Kats available on eBay - for example - all the Japanese versions as seen on the nestle site. This fact alone makes me want to go to Japan. Right now! I thought dark Kit-Kats were exotic but above is shown "Fruit Parfait" and "Green Tea" flavours. I love Meiji dark chocolate - I think I am going to go on an expedition to China town just to see if I can find these. Then - if no luck there - off to Japan. Just have to convince Food Critic Andrew now....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Super healthy baked apples

I didn't go for a run this morning - up far too late playing computer games last night, so slept through my alarm this morning. Woops! Oh well. No dessert for me this evening. However, for your delectation, I have the following super healthy treat: Baked apples. I usually buy Granny Smith Apples for Food Critic Andrew, and then after a while I turn the leftover apples into a healthy dessert. I often enjoy fruit based desserts - another favourite is fried bananas - a speciality of Food Critic Andrews...


1 apple per serve
1 tsp sultanas or raisins per serve
1 tspn brown sugar per serve
1 tspn lemon juice per serve
Nuts such as walnuts, pecans, macadamias or almonds to sprinkle on top.


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
2. Cut apples in half and core before putting apples white side up on a baking tray
3. Sprinkle lemon juice, sultanas, brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon over apples
4. Bake for approximately half an hour until soft.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cupboard love eating - salmon patties

Sometimes you just have a few ingredients and dinner time is fast approaching. I always have a tin of pink salmon in the cupboard
- Salmon patties are a great Sunday night easy dinner. It's been such a lovely weekend here in Sydney - I wish it would realise it was spring and heat up a bit though! Still, more time for soups. Unfortunately, salmon patties are not the most photogenic little creatures! Quite delectable though...


400gm tin pink salmon
1 cup of breadcrumbs (or mashed potatoes or cooked rice) 2 or 3 beaten eggs 1 onion, finely sliced
Salt, pepper, garlic, chopped herbs such as parsley, dill, chives Optional: rinsed capers

1/2 cup best mayonnaise
lemon juice


1. Drain and mash tin pink salmon into a large bowl.
2. Add your breadcrumbs/rice/mashed potato
3. Add beaten eggs (to bind it together when cooking).

4. mix with a fork (and slightly mash to rice if you have added that)
5. Add salt, pepper, garlic, finely diced onion, dill, whatever you have around for taste. You can vary this part! I tend to use this dish as the "cupboard love" dish - using up

Shape a small handful into a ball, and roll in breadcrumbs.
On med/high heat, add patties to heated olive oil. Press down with a spatula to make then a bit flatter. You now cook them on each side until they are brown. Essentially, you are wanting the egg to cook through. Don't overcook - they can dry out.
8.Put on a plate with paper towel to drain off any oil. If you are doing them in batches, put the cooked ones into a warm oven
My recipe last night made 9 patties - I had 2 which was plenty (46g salmon in each one I calculated!), Andrew ate 3 with a serve of chips. Serve with salad, or chips, or potato, or whatever you like! With aioli on the side, and some lemon wedges if you are so inclined.

Monday, October 5, 2009

you must buy this!

This is possibly the coolest thing I've seen all day....I want one!

Merimbula Grapevine Pizza - Best pizza on the south coast!

Food Critic Andrew and I just returned yesterday from a trip down the south coast - a little further than we've ever been before. We had a few days to look around, and see what we thought of the place. Now, of course one of the things that are important if you're auditioning a potential area to live in is of course the local pizza place. So with that in mind we visited Merimbula Grapevine Pizza, which is right in the middle of Merimbula on the boardwalk. And we certainly weren't disappointed. They have a gourmet menu, with toppings like "Hut River Roo" - kangaroo, onion, fetta, roasted pine nuts on baby spinach, with cheese and fruit relish. However, we decided to stick with the classics, and ordered a small garlic and cheese pizza bread, Food Critic Andrew ordered a Napoletana, and I ordered the Mexicana. Helpfully - the lady making the pizzas actually checked how hot we'd like it - 7 out of 10, please! it didn't disappoint.

The garlic and cheese pizza was garlicky and cheesy, the Napoletana was covered in a generous sprinkling of anchovies and olives, and the Mexicana was just right. Also, I had a really great chocolate milkshake - and was impressed when one of the staff members came and checked whether I'd prefer that with my food or served immediately. The staff were friendly, and the place has people in constantly picking up their pizzas - which is a great sign in my books. Family friendly too - people were coming in to pick up their pizzas with pyjama clad kids in tow. Just what you want from a local pizza joint. Anyway, one thing that also impressed me was that they offer pizza bases that are gluten free - not something you find in Sydney all to often. Thumbs up! Anything I'd change? Well, since Food Critic Andrew and I are such huge garlic fiends, I'll definitely ask for extra garlic on the next one. But I suspect I have a much higher garlic tolerance than anyone really should....

Thanks, Tim and Staff! Hope to see you again, soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I have had the best site traffic so far in September! Thanks everyone. I hope I can keep writing things you enjoy...Enjoy the view