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This is fabulous – put it on your pancakes with some lovely berries, slather it in scones with lemon curd or jam, or double the recipe to cheat at a cheesecake slice.

Ingredients.

500g light cream cheese

250g regular cream cheese

1/3 cup thickened cream

1 tablespoon custard powder

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

The zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

Method.

Use an electric beater to whip until smooth

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Buttermilk scones

Ingredients.

3 cups self raising flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons icing sugar

60g salted butter (at room temperature)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (chilled)

Preheat oven to 200c

Method.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and icing sugar in a largish bowl.

Using your fingertips rub in the butter until no large bits remain and it has the texture of breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre of the ingredients and add the buttermilk.

Slash through the mixture with a knife until all the ingredients have come together.

Turn the mixture out of the bowl on to a clean bench that has been lightly floured. Knead just until it comes together more will make the scones chewy.

Press the dough out to about 2cm thick. Cut into rounds using a sharp 4cm cutter. Place close together on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Squash the bits that weren’t cut into another 2cm high mound and cut again and repeat until all the dough is used.

Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk.

As soon as you’ve popped them in the oven and closed the door, lower the oven temperature to 175/180c

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10–15 mins or until lightly coloured on the top and bottom.

Makes approximately 18 generous scones.

Serve with lashings of your favourite toppings and a good cup of tea!

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This is my version of a soup a friend made for me from a Donna Hay recipe. It’s hearty and delicious, but even better – it takes less than 20mins for start to serving. It’s tasty and satisfying. We call it ‘Manly Soup’ – because it’s hearty and…. full of balls!

*you could also leave the meatballs out if you wanted a veggie soup, leave the yoghurt out if it’s for vegans

Ingredients.

1 brown onion, finely chopped

3 finely sliced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons of olive oil

2 1/2 stock cubes (I use Massell beef)

5 cups of boiling water

1 cup of red lentils

250g chopped frozen spinach

500g lamb mince

2 tablespoons of harissa paste

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

Thick natural yoghurt, to serve

Method.

Gently soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil.

Add the stock and boiling water.

Add the lentils and stir well.

Cook for 7 minutes

While the lentils are cooking – make the meatballs.

Mix the harissa and paprika through the lamb mince.

Use a heaped teaspoon to measure out the meatball mixture and roll in to uniform sized balls.

Add to the soup and cook for a further 6 minutes until cooked through.

Add the frozen spinach. Stir through. As soon as it returns to the boil, it is time to serve.

Ladle generous servings in to bowls and tip with a tablespoon or two of thick natural yoghurt and fresh black pepper.

Enjoy!

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You can cheat and use a tin of soup, but of course it’s better when you make the soup from fresh ingredients. (Tinned soup is a time saver on weeknights, fresh soup is great on a weekend when you’re pottering around.)

The Soup.

400g tin of diced vine ripened tomatoes

2 cloves of sliced garlic

1 small brown onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon of tomato paste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 Massel stock cubes

1.5L of boiling water

1/4 cup of chopped parsley – stalks and all!

1/4 cup of chopped basil – stalks and all!

Salt and pepper

Method.

Soften onion and garlic in olive oil.

Add the tomato paste, cook for a minute

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and water

Add the parsley, basil, salt and pepper.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Blend the soup until smooth. (You could keep a ladle or two of the soup aside while blending to add texture)

In the mean time…..

The Meatballs.

500g beef or lamb mince

1 small brown onion – grated

2 garlic cloves – crushed

Salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 TINY pinch of cinnamon

1/4 cup of long grain rice

1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley

Method.

Combine mince, onion, rice, garlic and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using 1 tablespoonful mixture at a time, roll mixture into balls.

Add meatballs to boiling soup. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until rice tender and meatballs cooked through.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a garnish of fresh parsley.

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Scones.

I’m certainly not famous for my baking. These came out a little crispy, next time I might cook them at a slightly lower temperature, but have a go!

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 cups self-raising flour

2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture

1/4 teaspoon salt

40g butter, chopped

3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup cream

1 tablespoon milk, extra

METHOD

Step 1
Preheat oven to 200C fan-forced. Line a tray with baking paper. Position the oven rack in the top half of the oven.

Step 2
Sift flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips. Make a well in centre. Pour milk and cream mixture into well. Using a flat-bladed knife, gently stir until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently for 30 seconds or until just smooth.

Step 3
Press dough into a 2cm-thick round. Using a 5cm round cutter, cut out scones. Press leftover dough together. Repeat to make 12 scones. Place scones, just touching, in prepared pan. Brush with extra milk. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. To test if scones are cooked through, tap gently on top. If it makes a hollow sound, the scones are cooked.

I have also mixed in chopped dates and a splash of maple syrup in the past.

I like to serve them with –

Raspberry jam and cream

Whipped cream cheese with vanilla bean and fresh lemon curd

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A super easy dessert that has the ‘WOW FACTOR’ for summer celebrations.

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You will need

Fresh raspberries and pineapple

2 different tubs of sorbet (soften for 30 minutes, not liquid!)

1 bag of meringue nests/pre-made meringues

 

Line a large bowl with gladwrap (I didn’t make sure it was smooth and my dessert came out wrinkly!)

Layer scoops of softened sorbet, then scatter raspberries and pineapple, then crumble a layer of meringue. Continue doing this until the bowl is full. Add a layer of Gladwrap to the top of the bowl, and gently press to squash any air pockets.

Freeze for at least 24 hours, or about 3 weeks.

To serve, take off the layer of Gladwrap, turn the bowl on to your serving dish. Remove the outer layer of Gladwrap that remains. Decorate the top with fresh mint and fresh berries.  The full effect will appear when you cut wedges of the pudding to reveal all the colours inside!

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There were some pears left over after I made the pattern at the bottom of the tin. I diced them and mixed them through the batter before transferring it in to the cake tin. 

180g brown sugar

270g unsalted butter, softened

4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into 2cm-thick slices

300g caster sugar

3 eggs

1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

80g almond meal

1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
METHOD

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160°C  fan-forced

Step 2

Grease and line base of a 26cm cake pan with baking paper. Sprinkle brown sugar over base. Melt 100g butter and pour over brown sugar. Top with overlapping pear slices. Place remaining butter and caster sugar in bowl of electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Step 3

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder and spices, fold into egg mixture with almond meal. Stir in buttermilk, then mix to form a smooth batter. Carefully spread over pears.

Step 4

Place pan on a baking tray, cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Step 5

Cover loosely with foil if cake begins to brown too quickly. Remove and cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around sides of pan and carefully invert onto a plate.

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1 cup self raising flour

2 tablespoons corn flour 

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

Zest of 1 lemon

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

Lemon curd for drizzle 
Method:

Preheat oven to 180c fan forced 

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until the mixture turns much lighter in color and very fluffy. Scrape down sides of the bowl to bring the mixture together again and beat in the egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined, at least 30 seconds. 
Add half of the buttermilk and stir to combine. Add half the flour and stir to combine. Repeat with the remaining buttermilk and flour  and corn flour and lemon zest until everything is in the bowl making a lovely smooth, if quite thick, batter.

Scrape the batter into an 8- by 8-inch baking pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar for a prettier crust. Drizzle lemon curd in blobs around the top of the cake (avoiding the sides). Bake until golden and a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Let cool on a cooling rack until the cake pulls away from the edges of the pan, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut pieces or slices and serve warm or at room temperature.

*Alternatively, use plain, unsweetened yogurt for a yummy yogurt cake. It will be a tad heavier, but just as delicious.

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1 onion – diced 

2 x 1tbsp rice bran oil

500g beef – diced

200g brown mushrooms – diced or sliced

200g shiitake mushrooms – diced or sliced 

1tsp of garlic – minced

2tsp corn flour

1tsp Dijon mustard 

1 heaped tbsp sweet or smoked paprika

1/4 cup tomato sauce

1/2 beef stock cube / 1/2 tsp of beef stock powder

1 cup boiling water 

1/3 cup sour cream
Method

In a pan heat 1tbsp oil, sautée the onions. When soft and golden, add the beef and sear. 

Remove from the heat and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with corn flour and paprika. 

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil (1tbsp), sautée the mushrooms and garlic until cooked, return the beef/onion mixture to the pan. 

Combine all the remaining ingredients except the sour cream. 

Simmer on the lowest heat for at least 30mins and the beef is soft.  

Stir through the sour cream, bring to a simmer. 

Serve with rice or pasta, and a garnish of parsley and chives. 

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This is my adaptation of the Monday Morning Cooking Club recipe for Shavuot. 

http://mondaymorningcookingclub.com.au/recipe/festival-shavuot-cheesecake-time/

The first time I made it, I forgot the cornflour – this made it much lighter and like a soufflé 

Serves 6


Ingredients:

95g caster sugar

4 large eggs

500g fresh ricotta 

125g sour cream

1tsp vanilla extract 

2tbsp custard powder

1/2tsp baking powder

10g melted salted butter

Zest of 1 lemon 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 16cm springform cake tin or a 12cm square cake tin.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cheese and beat until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.

Pour into the prepared tin. Place in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 160C and bake for 1 hour, or until golden and puffy. The cake will rise during baking, then fall once cooled.

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Trying to cut the calories and keep the protein up – the answer is aqua fava!

The liquid the beans and chickpeas come in their tin with.

It made way more than I needed, so you might want to halve the recipe. Or not!

This makes around 1.5L of hummus. So when I say “it’s a big batch” I really mean it!


Do not Drain! Reserve the aqua fava (I used around 1/2 to 3/4 cup)

420g tin of chick peas

400g tin of fagioli or butter or cannolini beans
Add to a food processor
with:

4 heaped dessert spoons of pure tahini

1 cup of strained fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon of paprika

2 tablespoons of freshly minced garlic

1 tablespoon of salt
Turn on the food processor.

Slowly drizzle in the aqua fava.

Add 4 teaspoons of pure olive oil (for flavour)
Blend until smooth and luxurious. I usually do this for a good 5 minutes to make sure the hummus is super smooth.
Serve at room temperature or warm

Ideal with pita.

I like to serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of dukka or zaatar.


You can also serve it Israeli style – warm, a couple of tablespoons of whole chickpeas, a big heap of tabbouleh – and some pita or falafel too!

Mmmmm… delicious.
Make Hummus. Not war!

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Zoodle Salad

This recipe was made by our amazing ladies in the school canteen… well, this is my attempt to recreate it.

salad

(serves 1)

1 small or 1/2 large zucchini – made in to zoodles

1/4 broccoli

1/4 cauliflower

1/4 tin of Chickpeas

1/2 cup Baby spinach leaves

1 teaspoon/drizzle Pomegranate molasses

1/2 teaspoon Ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

Olive Oil – drizzle to bake, drizzle to dress

1 teaspoon Sesame seeds

 

Roast the broccoli and cauliflower – place in a tray, sprinkle with cumin and coriander and olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together. In a smaller bowl make the dressing of pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and olive oil. Drizzle over 10 minutes before serving.

Simple. Easy. Delicious!

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You will need

1 head of cauliflower 

Stock (cubes or powder of your choice)

1 teaspoon of butter

1/2 cup of finely sliced leek

4 heaped teaspoons of sour cream

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Spring onion to garnish
Sautée the leeks in butter

Add the cauliflower

Cover with stock

Summer till soft

Remove from the heat

Add the sour cream

Use food processor/blender/stick blender until smooth

Serve with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and garnish with finely sliced spring onion
Enjoy!

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A twist on my classic recipe…

The berries are a nice way to cut though the rich, chocolately flavour. 

1.5 blocks of cooking chocolate (I use Lindt 70%)

175g salted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar 

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 bag milk chocolate chips

1/2 bag dark chocolate chips

1 cup frozen berries

 

Preheat oven 150degrees

Melt chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl over a simmering pot of water until smooth and glossy.

Remove from heat and stir in sugar.

 

It is very important you let this cool for 1hr.

 

Stir in eggs and vanilla.

Fold in flour with a wooden spoon.

Then add the chocolate chips.

Gently fold in the berries so that they remain whole. 

scoop into brownie pan – approx 20cm x 30cm – lined with baking paper.

 

Bake for 1hr.

Cool for at least 1hr so that the chocolate can solidify.

Cut into 3cm cubes after the brownies have cooled.

Makes approx 18-24

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A yummy dinner – though it isn’t very pretty…

1/2 cup of cooked Brown rice

2 Scrambled eggs

50g Danish feta, crumbled 

1 Fresh tomato, chopped

1 tsp Basil, shredded

1 tsp Coriander, shredded 

A few drops of sesame oil

A tablespoon of soy sauce 

A splash of Tabasco 

Method: mix in a bowl and eat. It’s that easy. It is not an elegant dish, but it was rather tasty. 

* Next time I’d probably add 1/4 cup of peas and some steamed broccoli to up the veggie content…

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