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Compote

When you have too many apples, compote is great. On yoghurt, ice cream, in a pie, under a crumble, or just with a spoon.

2kg Granny Smith apples. Peeled. Cored. Chunked

Zest of on lemon. Remove from the lemon with a peeler to create ribbons of zest that can easily be removed after cooking

3 cinnamon sticks

1cm. Chunk of fresh ginger. Peeled. Cut in large discs that can easily be removed after cooking

A pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated if you have it, otherwise powdered

1/2 cup of sultanas

10 prunes. Halved

700g plums in juice – reserve juice. Halve plums and discard the pit

1 vanilla bean. Halved

3 cups of water

Method :

Throw everything into the pot, water, plum juice – except the plums

Bring to the boil, reduce to the lowest possible temperature

Simmer for 2 hours, no lid

Turn off the heat. Stir. Add more water if you desire.

Add the plums.

Leave to sit for at least an hour or ideally overnight.

It’s wonderfully versatile. I hope you enjoy it.

Here it is with some rustic latticing, bubbling away.

Breakfast muffins

Tasty. Pretty healthy. A fist full of breakfast

You will need:

4 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 cup milk

2 overripe bananas. Mashed

50g melted butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup of Greek yoghurt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup of low GI raw sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups oat bran

Berries to top the muffins – fresh or frozen

Method:

Preheat a fan forced oven to 175 degrees

Line a muffin tray with patty pans

Warm half a cup of milk in the microwave. Add 4 tablespoons of chia seeds, stir, leave to swell for 10 mins

Whisk together the wet ingredients

Add the chia mixture

Add the baking powder and stir through well

Add the oat bran

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly fill the muffin tray

Top with berries

Bake for 20-25 mins until golden on top and cooked through

Cool for minimum 1 hour

Enjoy

Health(ier) muffins

Trying to be more mindful of my health… they taste a bit like a porridge scone – in a good way

Ingredients: makes about 10

75g melted butger

300ml sour cream / Greek yogurt

1/3 cup low GI sugar

3 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Zest of one small lemon or 1/2 a large lemon

1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour

Frozen berries of your choice – I used blackberries – couple per muffin

Optional – raw sugar for sprinkling

Method

Preheat a fan forced oven to 175 degrees Celsius

Line a muffin tin with muffin patty pans

In a large bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together

Add the lemon zest

Then the sugar

Then fold through the flour with a silicone spatula

Use an ice cream scoop disperse the mixture evenly

Push a few frozen berries into the top of each muffin

* optional – sprinkle with a pinch of raw sugar

Bake for 18-22 mins (depends on your oven)

Allow to cool for about an hour.

Enjoy

Coconut and apple loaf

It’s dense and tasty, a nice thick slice makes a reasonably healthy morning/afternoon tea.


1/3 cup of coconut oil. Melted
Zest of one small lemon
1/3 cup raw sugar (I used low GI)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs (whisked)
1 cup full cream Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
1/4 cup coconut – I used coconut chips, but any kind will do

2 apples. Peeled. Cored. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of mixed spice and a teaspoon of honey and 3 tablespoons of water – cook in the microwave for 15 mins

Preheat oven to 160 degrees can forced

Line a loaf tin with baking paper. You could easily do this with mini or mega muffins

In a small bowl mix wet ingredients, set aside (except coconut oil)

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients and whisk well to make sure everything in incorporated

Fold through the wet ingredients, including the apple and all the liquid from cooking.

Heat coconut oil so that it’s melted, mix through quickly.

It makes a very thick batter because the oil starts to set.

Transfer to your tin and bake for approximately 45 mins. Mini muffins 14 mins or mega muffins 25 mins.

Turn the oven off and leave for 10 minutes with the oven door closed. Then remove from the oven and cool for an hour on a wire rack.

Enjoy

So, I needed to make GF biscuits and the only flour I had in my pantry was coconut flour.

I found this recipe – https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/coconut-flour-cookies/ and changed it a little

I totally forgot to take a photo. Damn it! They looked a bit like this (photo from the web)

You will need:

1 cup coconut flour

1 pinch of salt flakes

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

2 heaped tablespoons of toasted coconut – I used sweetened toasted coconut chips – https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/817144/woolworths-sweetened-toasted-coconut-chip

1/4 cup caster sugar

2 eggs. Beaten

1/2 cup coconut oil. Melted.

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

* optional dulce de leche (home made or store bought is fine)

Method:

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 degrees celcius

Line a baking tray with baking paper

Add coconut flour, salt, sugar, coconut chips, and baking soda until mixture is combined. I use a whisk. It may seem a little loose at first but the dough will begin to thicken as the coconut flour soaks up the liquid when you add it

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – Stir together coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix through quickly

Use a tablespoon to every scoop the dough, roll into a ball using your palms, then flatten with your thumb on to the baking tray

*make a bit flatter if you’re going to sandwich two together with dulce de leche or thick if you’re just going to top single biscuits or leave unadorned

Cook for 13-15 mins until golden

Remove from the oven and cool for an hour before consuming

Enjoy.

This was a generous serve for 3-4

Seafood stew

200g marinara mix per person

200g diced tomatoes per person (tinned is fine)

1 large garlic clove per person

1/3 cup white wine per person

1 tablespoon of butter per person

Continental parsley. Separate leaves and stalks. Finely chopped

Lemon zest. Salt and pepper. To taste

Method

Heat a pan

Quickly melt the butter and then throw in the marinara mix and garlic and sauté for a min or two.

Add the wine.

Add the parsley stalks and tomato.

Pop a lid on and simmer for 5 mins.

Garnish with lemon zest, parsley leaves, salt and pepper.

Enjoy

So I had a 1kg bag of blood oranges… what to do…

First – blood orange curd

Second – blood orange cake

Third – blood orange marmalade

I found this recipe – make it in a blender! Sold!

I started with this recipe – https://www.christinascucina.com/sicilian-orange-cake-using-entire-orange-peel-juice-pulp/ – and of course vaguely (not really) followed it.

3 blood oranges – cut into eighths and remove all seeds

125g melted unsalted butter

1/2 cup full cream Greek yoghurt

1 cup caster sugar

4 eggs

2 cups self raising flour

Icing drizzle – optional

Zest of a blood orange

2 tablespoons of blood orange juice

1.5 cups of icing sugar

Glaze – optional

Juice of a blood orange

100g caster sugar

Method:

Preheat your oven to 170 degree Celsius fan forced

Line your cake tin with baking paper or muffin tin with patty pans. Makes about 18 muffins or one large cake.

In a blender combine all ingredients except the flour.

Blend on the highest setting for a full 2 minutes.

Pour in to a bowl. Fold through the flour with a spatula until all the lumps are gone.

Transfer to tin / cake pan

Muffins bake for 20 minutes

Large cake bake for 45-55 mins until the knife comes out clean

Cool for at least 1 hr before icing

But if you’re using the glaze, it needs to go on while the cake is hot, straight out of the oven!

Bring the orange juice to a simmer

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved

Simmer until syrupy

Brush over cake/s as soon as they come out of the oven

Yummy!

So, this starts with the usual – see a recipe ( https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/cauliflower-cheese-and-bacon-pasta-20200824-h1q7t1) be inspired, kind of follow it, but also not really…

Ingredients:

500g bag rigatoni – cooked for 2 mins under suggested cooking time on the packet as it will be baked

500g bag of cauliflower florets. Thawed. Cut into small chunks

25g butter

200g bacon

The white part of 1 leek. Halved. Finely sliced.

2 crushed cloves of garlic

100g butter

2 tablespoons of plain flour

1.5 cups full cream milk

300ml cream

100ml sour cream

1.5 cups shredded tasty cheese

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Method:

Chop up the thawed cauliflower and place it at the bottom of a large colander

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water – 2 mins under suggested time

Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water

Drain over cauliflower in the colander

Leave there while you do the sauce –

Heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven.

Melt 25g butter and crisp up the bacon.

Then add the leeks, cook until softened.

Add the garlic and stir through.

Add the flour and stir thoroughly.

Add the milk and stir through until smooth.

Add the cream, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

When thick and smooth, remove from the heat.

In a massive pot or bowl, combine the pasta, cauliflower, and sauce. Stir thoroughly.

Season to taste.

Place in baking dish (2 small or 1 large)

Top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Bake for approx 30-40 mins until bubbling at the edges and golden on top.

Enjoy!

Rich. Wintery. Full of flavour.

It’s been so cold here, I had a craving for a hearty beef stew. It took much longer to prepare than I had anticipated (I did a double batch) but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

This is the original recipe I found – https://www.recipetineats.com/irish-beef-and-guinness-stew/comment-page-16/#comments but I fiddled with it a bit and added some other ingredients

This recipe is pretty easy to double or halve.

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

600g chuck steak (you’ll need to trim off the thick fat and cut in to 1cm cubes – ending up with about 500-550g)

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1.5 teaspoons of garlic – freshly minced

6 purple French shallot onions – peeled, cut in to 1cm chunks

200g finely diced bacon

3 level tablespoons of plain flour

440ml can of Guinness

4 tablespoons tomato paste (salt reduced)

750ml stock – I used beef, but any good stock will do (salt reduced)

3 medium carrots – peeled, halved, cut into 1cm pieces

2 long outer stalks of celery – peeled, halved, cut into 1cm pieces

2 medium zucchini – peeled, halved, cut into 1cm pieces

Optional #1 250g baby potatoes – cut into 1cm chunks *exclude if making into pie

Optional #2 1 cup frozen peas

2 bay leaves

3 thyme sprigs

Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

Ok. This is the bit that takes the longest

In a large pan or the bottom of a large pot, heat the oil and fry off the meat until it caramelises. This can take up to 15 mins. The meat will release loads of water. Just be patient. Keep moving the meat about until the water evaporates and the meat is caramelised.

Remove from the pan/pot and set aside.

Caramelised chuck steak

When the pan is hot again, add the finely chopped bacon and fry until crispy. Then add the French shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Bacon and French shallots

Add the carrots, fry until they begin to soften. Then the celery. Cook for a few minutes more.

Adding the carrots and celery

Add the beef, then sprinkle the flour over the top, stirring thoroughly for a few minutes to cook the flour through for about 1 minute.

Sprinkle the flour over and cook through thoroughly

Add the Guinness. Cook for 2 mins.

Stir through the tomato paste, garlic, stock.

Add the baby potatoes. Omit this step if you are making this stew for a pie.

Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to low for 2 hours. Lid on.

After 2 hours, stir in the zucchini. Bring up to medium heat and cook for another 45-60 mins – until the zucchini is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.

If you are turning this in to a pie, add the peas 25 minutes before the end.

When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, the meat is tender, the veggies are cooked through. Serve and enjoy.

Ready!

Eat on its own, with a generous garnish of freshly chopped parsley. – a good hunk of fresh buttered bread stick would be nice to dip and enjoy.

Serve on rice or mashed potato.

Use a pie machine to turn into pies – short crust on the bottom and puff on the top – frozen pastry works just fine!

Pot pie – fill a casserole dish or individual ramekins, top with puff pastry, brush with egg wash – bake until golden.

Make Beef and Guinness puff pastry triangles. Make sure the sauce is really thick. Leave a steam hole on the top. Egg wash and bake.

Can be made grown up size or toddler fist size

Can be made big or small

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour – I used spelt but any plain flour will do

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey or sugar or over ripe banana mashed if you prefer)

1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt

1 egg, whisked quickly with a fork before incorporating

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup milk (I used full cream milk)

One cup of fresh apple – peeled, cored, chopped, cooked in the microwave for 6 mins or so, blended into paste

A tiny bit of lemon zest. Zest of about 1/4 of a lemon *optional

1 generous cup of frozen blueberries – added at the last second (or any berry you prefer)

Method:

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 degrees celcius

Line a large muffin tin with patty pans or spray a silicone mini muffin tin

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together

In a small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together

Whisk the wet ingredients through the dry ingredients

Add the blueberries at the last second and fold through with a silicone spatula

For large muffins – use a spring loaded ice cream scoop to disperse the batter

For mini muffins – use a teaspoon – approx 2 heaped teaspoons

Bake! Some very interesting shapes.

For large muffins – about 22 mins

For mini muffins – about 15-17 mins

Remove when golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

Allow to cool for about 45 mins

Enjoy warm

Sometimes GF cakes are disappointing. A friend put me on to the Woolworths Brand GF mix and it’s pretty good. Avoid the icing mix it comes with – it’s sickly sweet.

So – lets pimp these cupcakes!

Woolworth Gluten Free vanilla cake mix. If you’re going to make a round Victoria Sponge style – use two boxes, one for each half to sandwich together. DISCARD THE ICING MIXTURE!! Make nice icing from scratch. The icing mix is horribly sweet.

It’s really important that you follow the instructions on the box. If it says mix with electric beaters for 2 minutes. You’ve got to do the full two minutes. Trust me!

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

As per the instructions, I added 60g melted unsalted butter, 150ml full cream milk, 2 large eggs.

I then added the zest of half a large lemon.

Mix well.

I lined a muffin tin with patty pans and used a spring loaded ice cream scoop to ensure there was the same amount of batter for each cupcake.

At the last minute I grabbed some frozen blackberries from the freezer and pushed 2 or 3 into each cupcake.

**If I was using blueberries or raspberries, I would have folded them through at the very last minute so that they don’t melt and bleed through the mixture.

Bake until cooked through and golden – this was approx 18-20 mins for my oven.

While they were cooking, I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese icing –

125g softened cream cheese at room temp

3/4 cup icing sugar

65ml cream

A tiny dot of vanilla bean paste

Mix well with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

When the cupcakes are cool, you can ice them. I put the icing in a zip lock bag. Squeeze into one corner of the bag. Snip the little tip off, and when you’re happy with the width, pipe away to your hearts content. I also added a few white chocolate drops to make the flowers pretty.

Here’s the recipe for my lemon curd if you want to cut them in half and fill (or if you’re making a big cake and you’re sandwiching two halves together) https://enjoyeatwatch.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/lemon-curd-lemon-butter/

Enjoy!

I made this with SPELT flour to be FODMAP friendly. Works just as well with normal flour

1/2 the mixture. Loaf cake
1/2 the mixture. 12 cupcakes.

I wanted a moist carrot cake recipe, so I used this for inspiration – https://www.inspiredtaste.net/25753/carrot-cake-recipe/

Of course, I did it my own way and they were delicious.

Batter makes – 2 x round/square cakes for doing a sandwiched cake, 1 loaf and 12 muffins, or 22/24 cupcake/muffins

Ingredients

1kg bag of carrots. Peeled. Top and tailed. Grated (I used a food processor grating attachment. Easy)

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup pecans. Toasted. Place a few whole aside for decorating and chop the rest

1/2 cup currants or sultanas

5 eggs

2 1/4 cups plain flour (I used spelt and coconut flour)

2 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

Fluffy icing

250g softened cream cheese at room temp

1 1/4 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Whole pecans for decoration

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan forced.

This is my way of getting maximum flavour

In a large bowl combine – carrot, sugar, molasses, spices, oil, currants. Stir. Sit for one hour at room temperature.

Pre whisk the eggs and then add them.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda over the wet mixture. Add the chopped pecans.

Fold together with a spatula.

Spray/line your baking tins.

I did one loaf and 12 cupcakes. You could do two rounds and then use icing to sandwich.

Loaf – bake 35 mins

Cupcakes – bake 18 mins

Whole baking. Mix the icing ing refits together with an electric hand beater until smooth.

When a skewer comes out clean, they are ready.

Remove from oven and allow at least 45 mins to cool.

Transfer icing to a piping bag or zip lock bag if you want to create a design. Otherwise smooth over thickly with a knife or silicone spatula.

Decorate with whole pecans.

Enjoy.

So I stumbled across a recipe on another great food blog – https://smittenkitchen.com/2020/03/chicken-leek-and-rice-soup/

Of course, it didn’t go to plan. I accidentally added double the rice. Then had an unexpected phone call for two hours and when I came back it was no longer soup – it was practically risotto! Well, it would have been a no stir risotto if I’d used Arborio rice. So, you’ve got two options. Soup or no-stir-risotto. It’s up to you! I’ll gone too the directions for both.

Soup
No stir risotto. This is jasmine rice. Next time I’d use Arborio if I wanted no-stir-risotto.

Ingredients:

3 leeks. Halved. Rinsed. Finely chopped

2 large celery stalks. Finely chopped.

1 medium peeled carrot. Finely diced.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

6 cups of stock. Fresh is better. Powdered is absolutely fine. (I used 500ml stock. 1L water and veggie stock powder) because that’s what was in the cupboard.

5-6 large chicken thighs. Skinless. (Approx 550g)

Soup – 3/4 cup jasmine rice

No-stir-risotto – 1 cup Arborio rice (and an extra cup of boiling water)

3/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley – stalks and all

1/4 cup finely chopped dill – stalks and all

Salt to taste – depends on the salt content of the stock

Pepper – I used a heaped tablespoon of Aleppo Pepper. It’s magical. But if you can’t source it, freshly ground black pepper will be fine. Just less magical!

1 lemon – zest and juice

Method:

Heat olive oil medium-high heat in a large pot.

Add leeks, celery, and carrot salt. Stir for about 5 mins until leek is soft and carrots are softening.

Add the butter and the garlic and stir for another 5 minutes.

Add stock, water, and chicken. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, simmering for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is very tender and cooked through.

Remove chicken with tongs and set on a cutting board.

Soup: Add jasmine rice and return the heat to a low simmer, cover with lid, and cook for 20minutes, until rice is tender.

No-stir-risotto: add the Arborio rice and the extra cup of boiling water. Bring to the boil. Put the lid on. Turn off the heat completely and leave to sit for 30 minutes.

Roughly chop the chicken. Return the chicken and chopped herbs to the rice. Stir though. Add the Aleppo pepper, lemon zest and juice. Stir through thoroughly. Taste for seasoning, add salt if required.

Enjoy!

Soft and fluffy muffins. Sticky tangy lemon curd top.

Ingredients:

75g melted butter. Cooled to room temp

Zest of one small lemon

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 large egg

3/4 cup whole milk Greek yoghurt

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

About 1/2 to 1 cup of lemon curd – my recipe can be found here https://enjoyeatwatch.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/lemon-curd-lemon-butter/

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced

Line a muffin tray with paper muffin liners

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, zest, lemon, yoghurt.

Then whisk through the melted butter.

Then the flour.

It’s quite a thick batter.

Use a spring trigger ice cream scoop to evenly fill the muffin cups.

Press a teaspoon down half way through the batter to make a well and fill with a teaspoon of curd – right in the centre

Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 mins

Remove from the oven and leave in the tray to cool for an hour.

Then enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

I was craving blueberry muffins on a cold and rainy winter’s day. I came across this recipe – https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/08/perfect-blueberry-muffins/

Of course… I had to tweak it just a little. So this is what I did –

• 70 grams unsalted butter, melted

• 1/2 cup white sugar

• Finely grated zest from a small lemon or approx half a large lemon

• 3/4 cup plain unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt

• 1/4 cup full cream milk

• 1 large egg

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

• 1/4 teaspoon salt flakes

• 1 1/2 cups self raising flour

• 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

• 3 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling

Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.

Melt butter in the bottom of a large bowl and whisk in sugar, zest, yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, salt, and egg until smooth.

Gently fold in flour and then the blueberries.

Do this gently – so you get a wonderful marbled effect.

Divide between prepared muffin cups using a spring triggered ice cream scoop

Sprinkle each with a pinch of raw sugar.

Find someone to lick the bowl –

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then the rest of the way on a rack for about 50 minutes.

Enjoy!