Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tomato & Bocconcini Salad

Tomato and Bocconcini salad is for those days when you are frazzled and can't think straight!

I am defiantly having one of those days today!!

1. Late for my Pilates class.

2. Late for dentist appointment....maybe not a bad thing.

3. Forgot to lock the house....woops!

4. Lost my memory card to my camera!

What the!!!

I probably need to walk it off.

Slow down and take a chill pill.

Start on planning my new kitchen or maybe not!

I would prefer to chat on the phone to my Mum or cuddle my cat. 

Ok take it easy..... food is a great healer. 

Tomato & Bocconcini Salad

6 bocconcini sliced
Egg tomatoes cut in halves
4 tablespoons of basil leaves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Cracked pepper

Place the tomatoes and bocconcini onto a serving plater
Sprinkle the basil over the top followed by the oil and vinegar
Add cracked pepper to taste.  

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Blueberry & Banana Loaf

Rain ran in go away come again another day!!

We have solid rain all this week, it is kind of scary considering it was only a year ago we had the big Brisbane floods! The water had managed to creep it way to the back door, lucky it did not make its way in.

I tell you what though, it has been perfect cooking weather!

This week has been very industrious, I had made a lot of goodies starting with this amazing, moist Blueberry & Banana Loaf. It is the perfect fruit combination and full of antioxidants! See that is why we are friends for life!

This is not a fancy pants desert....... it is simple which is why I call it a loaf. It doesn't need dressing up for!

This will become a favourite and will become that recipe you make time and time again....For real!!

Blueberry & Banana Bread
140g butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 almond meal
1/2 cup milk
2 banana's mashed
1 cup of blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180º line a loaf tin
In a large bowl sift the plain four and baking powder
Combine the alone meal into the mixture
Add the sugar and melted butter and stir in well
Add the eggs and milk and stir till well combined
Stir in the mashed banana and blueberries
Pour into the lined loaf tin and place in the middle of preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
When cooked leave to cool for 15 minutes and turn onto a wide rack to cool.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Neapolitan Pasta

What is your idea of a perfect Saturday night?

You are all going to roll over and scream with laughter! But mine is a night at home with my husband watching some ridiculous TV series (True Blood).

Ok, I know it's sad but if I had to choose I choose home every time.

Home is where my favourite hoodie is.

Home is where my comfy slippers are.

Home is where my feather pillow is.

Home is where my couch calls me.

Home is the place of trial and error in the kitchen.

This trial has definitely been a success.

While spending a week in the beautiful Byron Bay we came across this amazing Italian restaurant. The pasta was so good, the simplicity of ingredients just worked so well.

Saturday night is a perfect excuse to put my taste memory to the test!

So here we go my version of Neapolitan Pasta!

Neapolitan Pasta
4 tablespoons of grape seed oil
1/2 large red chilli seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
1/2 pun-net of cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
1 tablespoons of fresh basil chopped
750ml jar of traditional pasta sauce
2 cups of baby spinach
salt and peper
egg fettuccine for 4

Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, add garlic, chilli and onion until golden brown.
Meanwhile cook pasta until al denti
Once onion is cooked add tomatoes and pasta sauce cook for 3-4 minutes
Add basil and baby spinach for 1 minute and turn off the heat
Add salt and pepper 
Serve with fresh pasta.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Summer Trifle

Well 2012, I can't believe it! Happy New Year to everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic break, with lots and lots of delicious food.

I have just got back from 2 weeks of sun and surf, we have beached hopped from gorgeous Byron Bay to beautiful Noosa! We had the most amazing time, with a tan to prove it. Eaten way too much and had way too much sun!!

The highlight of my trip was breakfast at Harvest Cafe,  Newrybar which is set in a historic 1900's cottage. Everyone had an amazing meal and all the food is made from local organic produce. We had a look at the bakehouse which has been running for 99 years and still going strong. Oh and I had my first Dandelion coffee is was so good!

Holiday's are over and what a bummer! Its time to take the cards down and pull the Christmas tree feels so empty without all the pretty decorations. But we have to face reality we can't be on holidays forever....... but I wish we were! 

Every summer holidays it is a tradition to make a summer trifle. This year was made with  beautiful fruits I bought from the Eumundi  Markets. They had the most gorgeous mangoes and cherries. Please be adventurous and use any fruit you like.

Summer Trifle

2x 85g packet of strawberry jelly crystals
250g Madeira cake, cut into slices
1/4 cup of sweet sherry
600ml home made custard
4 mangoes seeded and chopped
2 cups of cherries chopped
300ml dollop cream
2 tablespoons of flaked almonds

Make jelly according to directions and pour into a shallow container refrigerate for 20min or until almost set
Arrange cake around the sides and base of a 3L bowl, sprinkle over sherry
Make custard and allow to cool in the fridge
Pour jelly over cake, refrigerate for 20min. Top with cherries and mangoes
Pour custard on top of the fruit
spread the cream over the custard and sprinkle with nuts
Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. 

Friday, 23 December 2011

Sweet Goodies

This week it is all about treats! Yes Christmas is only 2 days away and there is so much to do before then........that has been put on hold for a good reason, I have been helping a friend who has amazing good will and participates in a lot of charity functions. This was a fund raiser for a sick little boy Oscar, he has cancer and this event was not only to help him but to bring awareness. 

I have offered to bake some lovely treats for a cake store, kind of like the stores you have at fates. My kitchen was in full work mode, I had stuff everywhere.......even my husband got involved and was in charged of slicing the coconut ice and tying the toffee apples.

It was such a fantastic feeling, to actually bake for a cause. They had a great turn out and everything went super!

Polka Dot Cookies
250g butter,softened
3/4 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 180º
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy
Add vanilla and egg yolk and beat until well combined
Add flour and beat until a smooth dough forms
Roll 1 tablespoon of the dough one at a time into balls place on baking trays lined with baking paper
flatten slightly allowing room to spread
Press smarties into each cookie
Back for 10-15 minutes 
Cool on wire racks.

Toffee Apples
8 wooden sticks
8 small red apples
1 3/4 cups of white sugar
3/4 cup of water
red food colouring

Insert wooden stick into the centre of each apple
Place sugar and water a large saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved
Increase the heat to high and boil, without stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until the syrup is golden
Add a few drops of food colouring to the mixture and stir until combined
Dip the apples into the toffee syrup, one at a time
Place on a tray lined with baking paper
Set aside for 5 minutes or until set
Wrap in thick plastic and store in a dark place for up to 2 days
Do not refrigerate.

Coconut Ice
8 cups of icing sugar
6 cups of desiccated coconut
625ml of condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pink food colouring

Place the sugar, coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well to combine
Knead gently or place into the mixer using a dough hook attachment
Divide mixture into two portions
Press potion 1 onto a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with baking paper
Knead a few drops of food colouring in remaining mixture until pink
Place on top of 1st portion and gently press into the tin
Cover and refrigerate over night to set
Cut into squares to serve.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins
2 cups of plain flour sifted
1 tablespoon of baking powder, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup of roughly chopped white chocolate
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180º 
Place flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, oil, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and stir until combined
Fold through the raspberries and chocolate
Spoon mixture into a 12 x 1/2 cup-capacity muffin tin lined with cupcake wrappers
Cook for 20-25min or until cooked
Cool on a wire rack, dust with icing sugar.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Raspberry Teacakes

It's time to get organised and write my Christmas cards......woops!

It's time to organise my Tupperware draw!

It's time to wrap my last few Christmas presents!

It's time to do Words With Friends!

It's time to watch The Bold and the Beautiful!

It's time to paint my nails!

It's time to cook dinner!

It's time to take a break, sit down and relax!

It' time to make a cup of tea!

Raspberry Teacakes
65g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of self raising flour
1/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of raspberry jam
Dollop cream
Fresh raspberries
Raspberry compote 
Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°/160° fan forced
Grease and flour 10 holes of a 12 hole cupcake pan. Line the bottom with baking paper
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla for 2 minutes or until combined
Stir in flour, then half the milk.Repeat with remaining flour and milk
Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and firm to touch
Stand cakes in pan for 5 minutes 
Transfer to a wire rack to cool
Using a small knife, cut a 1cm-deep circle from the top of each cake
Spoon jam in holes and a a good dollop of cream.Place the cake circle on top 
Sift icing sugar on top, decorate the plate with raspberry compote and fresh raspberries.

It's time to eat!!!!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Coriander Spiced Chicken Mince Wontons

I must say the weather here at the moment is so erratic, one minute it is boiling hot, next it is dark gloomy and cool, defiantly not like typical Brisbane weather.

Being a gloomy day I am taking the opportunity to wrap all the Christmas presents...... eek! I am hopeless at wrapping presents, mine are always so messy. My Mum is helping me today, she has worked in cosmetics all her working life and is a pro at wrapping gifts, as you can imagine.

Not sure on my theme as yet I am tossing up wether to do navy & silver or go more crafty and use brown paper with colourful ribbons.......any thoughts?

Now this is a different type of present, one that is edible and results in you wanting more.......wontons! They are a bundle of bursting flavours with lots of chewy yummy bits!!

Coriander Spiced Chicken Mince Wontons
100g water chestnuts, finely chopped
4 green shallots
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 coriander roots, cleaned
1/2 cup coriander leaves 500g chicken mince
1 tablespoon of fish sauce or soya sauce
ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 packet of wonton or gee gee wrappers
Extra coriander leaves for garnish

Process shallots, garlic, coriander roots and coriander in food processor until finely chopped
Add mince, fish sauce, pepper and sugar and process until combined
Transfer to bowl and mix in water chestnuts
Place a walnut size round of mixture in centre of each wonton wrapper
Bring pastry together and pinch using wet hands
Place dumpling in a large steamer basket, cover and steam on high for 10-15min
Serve with soya and lime sauce.

You can use any mince meat for this dish.

Serve on platter toped with garnish.