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Waiting for baby 2: Christmas pudding

25 Oct
Pudding

It's not like I have a whole lot else to do at the moment! I used this recipe (http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/christmas_pudding.htm) last year and it was great- here's hoping it works again!

Easter baking

18 Apr
Hot cross muffins

Hot Cross Muffins from Delicious Magazine

Last year I made these for Easter and they were a resounding success. You can see the recipe here.

Using online recipes to make weeknight dinners easier

7 Apr

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I want to hear from you!

I have a LOT of cookbooks but I find myself searching online for recipe ideas more and more. It just seems easier (although I still love my books and find reading them very relaxing…just not in the “just got home from work and really need to eat soon” window).

So, here are a few dinner recipes that I’ve used recently with great success. If you have any you’d like to share, please leave a comment!

30 minute roast chicken

Tandoori Lamb Cutlets with Bombay Potatoes

Springtime Pasta

Citrus Risotto with Garlic Chilli Prawns (this one I actually have in a Bill Granger book but here it is anyway)

Sausages with Apple and Leek Gravy

Tomato and Chorizo Risotto

Sticky Hoisin Pork with steamed greens (I also have this one in a book but here’s an online version)

Recipe of the week: Paella

13 Oct

This is from Karen Martini’s book, “Cooking at Home”. It’s really tasty and a great meal to have when friends are over. It might look a bit complicated but it’s really not and it’s well worth a try. It makes about 6-8 servings depending on how many people go back for seconds!

Ingredients:

100 ml olive oil

2 chicken thigh fillets, skin removed, cut into 2 cm pieces

6-10 green (raw) prawns, peeled and deveined, with heads and tails intact

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

100 ml fino sherry

200 g chorizo sausage, sliced

3 green chillies, seeded and chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 large red onions, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 red capsicums (peppers), roasted in a 200°C oven for 25 minutes, then peeled and chopped

350 g calasparra or arborio rice

1.5 litres hot chicken stock

1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted

Handful of coriander and mint leaves

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius then roast capsicums whilst preparing everything else.

Heat half the olive oil in a large deep frying pan or a 5o cm paella pan over high heat, add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes. Add the prawns, half the paprika and half the chilli powder and stir for 1 minute. Add the sherry, stir well, then transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo for 2 minutes, then add the chilli, garlic and onion and cook for 6 minutes. Stir in the remaining paprika and chilli powder and season with salt and pepper. Add the roasted capsicum and rice and stir for 3 minutes, then add the stock and stir well. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, then return the chicken mixture to the pan and add the peas. Continue to simmer until the dish is less soupy (about 5-10minutes).  Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Scatter with coriander and mint leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe of the week: Chinese Chicken Pies

5 Oct
Chinese chicken pies

These are delicious

Ingredients:

2-3 button mushrooms, sliced thinly

1/2 barbecued chicken meat, finely shredded

2tbs vegetable oil

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

1tbs plain flour

1/2 cup chicken stock

1tbs soy sauce

1tbs oyster sauce

1tbs hoisin (or plum) sauce

2tbs coriander leaves

4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed and each sheet cut into 4 equal squares

1 egg yolk beaten and mixed with 1tbs milk

English spinach salad to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Gently cook the spring onions until soft. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add the chicken stock, then mushrooms and sauces and simmer for 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Stir in the chicken and coriander and allow to cool slightly.

Line two baking trays with baking paper. Place 4 pastry squares on each tray. Divide the chicken mixture among the pastry squares on the baking trays and brush the edges with the egg wash. Top with the remaining pastry squares and press down around the filling with fingertips to seal. Place a Chinese bowl or 10cm pastry cutter over the top of each pie and trim around it. Brush the tops of the pies with the remaining egg wash. Cut 1-2 small slashes in the top of each pie.

Bake for about 15minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve with a simple leaf salad sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.

Recipe of the week: Lamington Cake

12 Sep

Does anyone else think Lamingtons are just way too fiddly to bother with? Make this cake! It’s so much easier!

Lamington Cake recipe

This version made 20 pieces. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made so it’s good for a picnic/BBQ with friends.

Recipe of the week: Fruit, honey and oat bars

3 Sep

I think this slice may be my greatest weakness. Even more than lollies. At a quick glance it may appear healthy but, well…

From the Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices cookbook. It will easily keep for at least a week.

You need:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup rice bubbles

4 Weetbix, crushed

1 cup coconut

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup chopped dried apple

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

125g butter

Line a 19cm x 29cm lamington pan with baking paper.

Combine oats, rice bubbles, Weetbix, coconut and dried fruit in a large bowl.

Combine sugar, honey, peanut butter, and butter in a saucepan. Stir constantly over heat without boiling until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer and stir constantly for 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.

Stir honey mixture into dry ingredients, press evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until set. You may need to leave it out of the fridge for an hour or so until it’s soft enough to cut.

If it’s warm weather, store in the fridge. If not-so-warm, you can keep it in a container on the bench.