31 August 2011

chorizo and sundried tomato gnocchi

I've never cooked with chorizo, however every recipe that has chorizo in it always manages to be amazing. It must be the bright orange colour and speckled fat through the sausage that draws me in. 



Ingredients

2 chorizo
250g mushrooms sliced
1 bag spinach
1/2 cup sun dried tomato 
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup chicken stock
gnocchi


Cook gnocchi and set aside.
Brown chorizo in a frying pan. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Stir through sun dried tomato and spinach, stock and puree. Simmer until spinach wilts and sauce thickens. Mmmmm Hmmm this sauce is amazing. Nice little creation if i do say so myself, would also be great on pasta!


homemade gnocchi

I discovered gnocchi when I found a Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Gnocchi recipe in an old Women's Weekly cookbook. I wanted to post this tasty gnocchi recipe but I didn't think that it was fair to give you the recipe without making gnocchi from scratch myself.

recipe from Donna Hay website

Ingredients
4 x 200g sebago potatoes
½ cup finely grated parmesan
    ⅔ cups plain flour
    salt and cracked black pepper
    2 egg yolks


    Bake potatoes in a 180c oven for one hour or until cooked through, soft and fluffy in the middle, crispy on the outside. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop the flesh out of the centre into a large bowl. Mix in flour, parmesan, salt and pepper until combined. 


    Then add the yolks and mix until the mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. 


    Divide the dough into two pieces and roll out into the width of thin sausages, cut into 2cm lengths. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add gnocchi in batches and cook for 3-4 mins or until they float to the surface. 



    Serve topped with your desired sauce.






    27 August 2011

    doughnut muffins

    It rained cats and dogs today out at the field and Kenmore lost, but I blame it on the weather. Now for those doughnuts I said I was making.


    recipe from Banking on Baking  and Evil Chef Mom


    Ingredients
    23/4 cups plain flour
    21/2 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp bicarb soda
    3/4 cup milk
    250g butter
    3/4 cup caster sugar
    2 eggs
    cinnamon sugar coating
    1 cup sugar
    1 tbsp cinnamon
    50g butter melted



    Preheat oven to 180c, grease and flour a 12 hole muffin tin. 
    Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, nutmeg in a medium bowl. In an electric mixer cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and cream until just combined. 
    Turn the speed of the mixer down to low and slowly at the flour mixture and milk until all the ingredients have just come together. Do not over mix, the batter will be heavy. 


    Divide the batter between the molds and bake for 20-25mins or until brown and cooked through. Let cool in tin for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire wrack. 
    While the muffins are still warm dip the base of them into the cinnamon sugar. Brush the tops of the muffins with butter and dip them in the sugar again to coat. Eat while still warm.
    I was surprised that they really do taste like doughnuts. I would recommend making mini muffins in a 24 hole tray as the crispy cinnamon outside is the best part. 


    Oh yeah these satisfied my sweet cravings today!

    sleepy rainy saturdays

    When you are following so many food blogs what actually makes you cook what they cooked? I think its a combination of the mood that you're in, what the weather is like and what flavours you are craving. Banking on Baking never disappoints me. She has cooked so many foods that I would like to try, and probably will for that matter. Recipes such as her Salted Caramels or Salted Caramel Ice Cream make my mouth water. She also loves Joy the Baker's Baking, ahh but who wouldn't. 

    image from Banking on Baking

    So when the weather is cold and rainy and I'm craving something tasty her Doughnut Muffins just did it for me. Oh yeah, I will be baking these either this afternoon after sitting out at Raceview in the rain watching Josh play one of his semi final games, or tomorrow, when it will still be raining. Geez you can tell spring is just around the corner!
      

    I invested in a carton of Rekorderlig Winter Cider to say goodbye to winter. I'm also going to try it HOT. I need to clarify if this means actually warming up the cider or not....


    I bought some lovely daffodils yesterday to brighten up my kitchen and I think they are doing the trick.


    I'm also really excited that the leaves are starting to sprout on the tree that provides a screen for my veranda.


    26 August 2011

    date cake with butterscotch sauce

    There are not many days of winter left and this is a recipe that I was wanting to make while the weather was still cool. I invited Lauren and Kris over for some pudding post the 90mins that I spent out on a freezing soccer field watching Joshy play, so I was well ready for some warm gooey pudding goodness. They won the minor premier so yay for Kenmore! 
    It was mildly entertaining as the conversation revolved around sticky date jokes and Lauren's consumption of half a chocolate tart. So the word is she decided to try my choc tart recipe, and was left home alone with it in the fridge. WARNING do not be left alone with this tart because as Lauren soon found out it was so moreish that she demolished the whole thing, much to Noodle and Kris's disgust and disappointment. Needless to say Josh enjoy's making humorous reference to this every time we see poor Lauren dearest, which did not exclude tonight.


    Ingredients
    250g dates chopped
    11/2 cup boiling water
    1tsp bicarb soda
    1 cup brown sugar
    125g butter
    2 eggs
    11/2 cup SR flour
    Sauce
    60g butter
    1/2 cup cream
    1 cup brown sugar


    Soak the dates in boiling water for 20mins and mix with the bicarb soda. Cream the brown sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Add each egg one at a time making sure that they are completely combined in the mixture before adding the next one. Fold through the flour before adding the date mixture. Stir until combined. Cook for 45mins in a 180c oven.


    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and boil for two minutes. Use skewers to poke holes in the cake so the sauce can soak in. Pour half of the sauce over the cake. 


    Serve the cake with icecream and extra butterscotch sauce poured over the top.


    24 August 2011

    banana, raspberry & ricotta pancakes

    Trying to be good and cut back on what you're eating (not me but anyway). Wishing you could have some pancakes for breakfast but worried about the sugar/butter etc. Well worry no more I've found a delicious pancake recipe thats not only delicious but healthy too. 
    I used bananas in this recipe but as they are ridiculously over priced you can substitute banana for other assorted fruits in season.



    Ingredients
    2 cups self raising flour
    1 tsp cinamon
    1 1/4 cups reduced fat/soy milk
    3 eggs (or alternatively 5 egg whites)
    2 tbsp honey, plus extra to drizzle
    1 ripe banana, mashed
    1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
    125g reduced fat ricotta
    extra banana and berries for the top!

    Sift flour and cinamon into a medium bowl. Whisk the milk, eggs and honey in a jug and pour into the dry ingredients. Add the banana and stir until combined. 


    Carefully fold through raspberries and ricotta leaving the ricotta in lumps. 
    For each pancake pour 1/3 cup of the batter into a pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. 
    Flip and cook until golden and cooked through . Line a plate with a tea towl and transfer to plate. 


    Top with a teatowl to keep warm. Serve topped with raspberries, banana and maple syrup. 


    If you're being good you can substitute the maple syrup with honey.

    20 August 2011

    homemade lemonade

    So while making lemon tart I went a bit overboard with the lemons. I bought about 2 kg worth of lemons when one or two would have sufficed. So I made this lemonade. 


    It's just like the homemade stuff that they make in front of you at the farmers markets minus the professional set up and juicing machine. It took me a total of 10mins to whip up and will definitely be remade this coming summer.


    Ingredients
    1 cup lemon juice
    1 cup sugar
    3 cups cold water/soda water
    1 cup boiling water
    tray of ice cubes
    fresh mint to serve


    Combine the boiling water and sugar in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. This will make a sugar syrup. Stir the lemon juice into the sugar syrup and mix to combine. 


    In a large jug, dilute the lemon mixture with 3 cups of cold water (more or less depending on how strong you like your lemonade). You can also use soda water instead of plain water for that bubbly twist. 


    Tear some fresh mint into the jug and add the tray of ice cubes. Stir through ice then serve. 


    Would be perfect on a hot summers day with a fancy picnic.

    lemon tart

    I don't have enough money to spend on groceries, new work shoes, new joggers, workout gear, fuel for my car, electricity bills, licence renewal or credit for my phone until next pay day. 
    However I can justify spending $80 on a new tart tin, serving plate, lemon juicer and ingredients for a lemon tart. All the while Josh is complaining that there is no chocolate on the ingredients list. 
    I thought that a Donna Hay packet mix would be a little more affordable however Josh put the idea down while pointing out a lady who had decided to buy a packet saying "Look at her, I bet she doesn't even know how to bake, why don't you just cook a recipe from her cook book." So that's what I'm doing, cooking a lemon tart recipe out of the latest Donna Hay magazine, which I'm hooked on and subscribing to despite my lack of funds. 


    Behold my fabulous new lemon juicer!


    Recipe from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 58

    Ingredients
    11/2 cups plain flour
    125g chilled butter cut in cubes
    1.2 cup icing sugar, plus more to dust
    3 egg yolks
     1tbsp iced water
    Lemon Filling
    1 cup cream
    2 eggs
    3 egg yolks
    1/2 cup caster sugar
    1/2 cup lemon juice


    Add butter, flour and icing sugar to food processor and process until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. While the processor is still running add the egg yolks and water, continue to process until the mixture comes together into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface shape into a disk, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.



    Roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of baking paper and line a rectangular tart tin. Prick the base with a fork and return to the fridge for another 30mins. Preheat oven to 180C. 



    Blind bake the pastry in the oven for 15mins. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 10mins or until the pastry is golden. Decrease oven temperature to 140c. 
    Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture through a sieve then pour into the tart case. Bake for 30-35mins or until set. Cool completely in the fridge before sprinkling with icing sugar and serving.



    This tart is a delicious combination of sweet and tart in flavour. The pastry is crumbly and sweet. Despite the complaining and the fact that it didn't have chocolate or coconut in it, Josh really enjoyed this tart.


    16 August 2011

    nanni's caramel slice

    This is my Nanni's caramel slice recipe. 
    Miss Lauren Carney came over to help me cook and photograph this delicious slice. 
    It made me want a fancy camera like hers. It also got me excited for my blog revamp as she will be drawing a header and caricature for my page. 
    Her artwork is super cute and I've always been amazed by her creativity for the commissions that she does. I have an assorted collection of her prints, postcards, bags, book covers, t-shirts etc that can be bought here
     It was also  thoroughly amusing to be cooking with someone photographing everything I did, it was so much fun.


    Ingredients 

    Base
    1 cup SR flour
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup coconut
    125g butter melted

    Filling
    1 tin condensed milk
    1 tbps butter
    2 tbps golden syrup

    Topping 
    150g chocolate
    20g copha


    Base - combine all ingredients and mix well. Press into grease slice tin. Bake for 10mins in a 180c oven.


    Filling - Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir over a moderate heat until boiling for 5 mins. Spread over base. Return to oven and cook for a further 10 mins. Cool.


    Topping - Combine chocolate and copha in a double boiler and stir until melted. Pour evenly over filling and refrigerate until set. Cut into pieces and enjoy. The base of this slice is very moreish and can be used in other basic slices.









    13 August 2011

    courgette slice

    Hmmm yes I thought I'd name this slice courgette slice as it's a little bit fancy. In all seriousness this zucchini slice isn't really that fancy, though it is really nice. Its a delicious combination between a slice and a quiche. 


    It was the first savoury dish that I mastered by myself as a child. 
    My Mum used to take this to morning teas or luncheons with her girlfriends and would come home telling me that her friends wanted the recipe. I'm not sure if this was because the slice was amazing or that she was trying to get out of cooking a dish to take along, if it was the latter it worked because I continued to make this quite often. Love you Mum x. 


    Ingredients

    2 large zucchinis, grated
    2 medium carrots, grated
    1 tin of corn, drained and rinsed
    1 cup of diced bacon
    1 onion finely diced
    1 cup of plain flour
    5 large eggs
    1 large handful of grated cheese
    a drizzle of olive or vegetable oil


    Preheat oven to 180c. Grease a flan or baking dish.
    Add zucchinis, carrot, corn, bacon, and onion to a large bowl. Stir through the eggs. Add the flour and mix until it is completely combined. Mix through the cheese and oil. 


    Spread mixture into the flan dish. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is lightly browned. 
    This can be enjoyed straight out of the oven or cold. 

    9 August 2011

    choc chip cookies

    Finding it hard to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I've found it. It is in the Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2, which is the dessert book of a two pack of Donna Hay recipe books that I recommend you go out and purchase right now.
    These cookies are probably the most cooked sweet dish that has been made in my house since I've found the recipe around two years ago. They are so simple and a no fail and end up the same every time! 


    I haven't cooked anything sweet for about a week and Josh has been asking me when my next baking session would be so he was extra excited today when I told him I was making these old faithfuls.



    Ingredients

    125g softened butter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 cups plain flour, sifted
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 cup desiccated coconut
    1 250g packet of chocolate chips


    Preheat oven to 180c. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until creamy. 
    Add each egg one at a time and beat until fluffy. Stir in flour, coconut, baking powder and chocolate chips until well combined. 


    Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper allowing room for the cookies to spread. Bake 10-15mins or until lightly browned. 
    Eat while hot and the choc chips are melted. 


    Today this recipe made around 40 but it depends on how big you like your cookies. These cookies can be stored for up to two weeks in an air tight container, although they won't last that long.