Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nigella's DELICIOUS lamb chop, lemon and potatoes

OMG I saw this and started salivating..... its was a simple after work dinner to prepare.... something new for the family, and definately using a NEW cookbook!!!! you can tell Mark about this!!!

Now I adapted the recipe to suit my family size and what was in my pantry.....

so this is my version.....

4 lamb leg chops bone in.....
a really big lug of garlic oil ( nigella says 3 x 15 ml )
4 potatoes suitable for baking cut into large chunks
2 tsp dried mint
1tsp dried chilli flakes
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 2 lemons
good grounding of sea salt
sprinkle of fresh flat leaf Parsley

Preheat oven to 200,  cut the chops into 3 even sized chunks, potatoes into chunks added the herbs into a  cast iron pot, mixed together with herbs, lemon zest give it a good toss then put into the oven for at least an hour.....11/2 if the chops are large...

now I put mine in for 1 hour and 15 minutes..... the smell was amazing from about 15 minutes into cooking.... I found this to be an absolutely easy after  work dinner!!!! When I pulled it out of the oven I panicked becaue it look over cooked and a little dry, but boy was I wrong!!!! It was a delicious dinner, eaten with gutso by everyone!!!!! we all loved it, it was one of those lick the plate kind of dinners!!!! Nigella recommends crusty bread... hmmmmm I definately won't leave that out next time!


I served it with a very sad greek salad......hmmmmm must shop!!!!! This honestly was sooo tasty.... if you like rare Lamb I would cook the potatoes for 30 mins then add lamb and that would be divine... you will have to play with it obviously!!!

happy cooking xx

Monday, March 26, 2012

the never fail Frittata.....

now this is NOT rocket science, this recipe is for my less that adventurous family and  friends, you know who you are!!!!

Now the frttata is simply a backed egg pie, well I think so anyway.... its easy and tends to use up all those left overs.... flavours can be what ever you like, seriously its that simple....the list of what can be used is endless and only limited by your pantrym fridge and imagination.... a frittat makes the perfect low fat, filly food to take to work, in our house its the perfect sunday night dinner after a bust weekend served with warm, crusty sour dough! Now I have  non-egg eater in my house, he does NOT like egg, but LOVES frittata - go figure... (now if you have met this said person you will know exactly who I am talking about.... seriously the apple did not fall far from the tree!!!)

now I suppose I should get started on the how to business of this recipe.....

6 eggs
1 tub of philly cheese cooking cream now i use the 60% less fat....
1/2 cup of grated cheese ( I tend to use a mixture of cheeses, parmesan, tasty cheddar, red Leicester or anything you have on hand..... seriously left over Brie would be fantastic but there is never any left over if I am around!)
cracked pepper.....

now for the flavourings, this particular frittata I used
diced pancetta
 grated zucchini
chopped flat leaf parsely
red onion

heat  anon stick frypan drizzled with a little oil,
fry pancetta, onion until soft
while that is frying, wisk your eggs and cream until they are smooth
add all other ingredients to fypan and fry for around 4-5 minutes....
once ingredients are softened add egg mixture, allow egg to cook for around 5 minutes until you can see it setting around the edges.
place under a hot grill and cook until egg is set usually another 5 minutes is all that is needed.

once egg is set turn out onto plate board etc... now this can be a little tricky I simply give my pan a little shake and help with an egg flip and loosen the bottom and slide onto serving plate, alternatively you can invert the frittata onto a plate....

looks yummy hey! its tasted good too..... now served with a salad this is a great lunch, some toast and its a great sunday night dinner, served on its own great work lunch......
have a play with it and see what tastes you like.... I just use the egg cheese and cream ratio as the rule of thumb and go from there....
happy cooking!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Leonie's brownies!!!!

Now I promise you that with this recipe you will NEVER and I say again NEVER make packet brownies again... not that there is anything wrong with packet brownies these are just too easy and the possibilities are endless. Now this recipe stems from Donna Hay, these are her standby brownies from my most used and loved cook book, Fast Fresh and Simple.... I am sure I have cooked 70-80% of these recipes and not one fails on flavour, ease to cook and make pretty...
I am not a chocolate lover, I am not a sweet lover but I have made so many of these and versions of these that I can now make them in my sleep!!!! I made them at my old job a LOT!!! I would try all sorts of things to add and use my collegues as my test dummies!!! but NO ONE complained ever, or turned away.....I would not know a good brownie from a bad brownie as I just don't eat them but I LOVE to bake them!!! The house smells fantastic I feel like mother of the year for 5 minutes and those I share with always give great positive love back!

Now onto the cooking: I will give you Donna's recipe then at the end give you my versions....

150g butter
1 1/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 Cocoa (I use Calbury's bournville for all cooking)
1 TSP vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain flour
3 eggs

In a sauce pan melt butter, chocolate and sugar.
It will appear a bit dodgy while melting but trust me it will come together... just stir and smell the aroma.

Pour into bowl, add eggs and mix, add flour and vanilla mix until smooth and glossy
Pour mixture into a well greased and well lined slice tin, bake at 180 for 25 minutes. Honetly this will smell divine I just wished I like chocolate!!!!!

seriously deliciousness!!!

Now for the Leonie part of the cooking, I have experimented and played with this recipe a LOT!!!
I have made cherry ripe brownies, choc jelly brownies (turkish delight is the secret!) triple choc, macadamia brownies... the possibilities are endles and only limited by your imagination and pantry!

today I have had a request from my students at school for Oreo brownies.....

well I will deliver Monday morning for staff and students!!! here they are!!!

I placed the oreos in a zip lock bag and bashed them with my rolling pin, I did not want little pieces as I still want some crunch when you bite the gooey crunchy brownie!!!
place the oreos into the pan then top with brownie mix
now I did try this and I have to say YUM!!!!!! oh so happy with this brownie!!!!!

now I just hope the kids love it!!!

A Positively Delicious Caramel and Brown sugar sponge - Donna Hay

I realise I have no original recipes on the blog well that is beacuse I love RECIPE BOOKS!!!! you could say there needs to be an intervention.... If you tell Mark I will get you!!!

I have definately got my favourites and then I have adapted them to suit my tastes and my families needs. I will always post my version but will ALWAYS be honest of the source... If you were to look up the recipes some vary a lot and others a little....... The purpose of the blog is for me to collate my favourites and also force me to cook something new each month..... so one weekend a month I will have  a new meal to share....

now onto the best cake I have ever cooked and you cannot get it wrong!!!!! I swear even my sister could do it!!!!

2/3 cup plain flour - sifted 3 times
1/2 teaspoon baking powder - sifted 3 times
4 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
50g melted butter
caramel icing
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup single pouring cream

To make the caramel icing place the sugar and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is disolved, continue stirring at all times. Increase the heat to high and cook for 8 minutes or until caramel thickens. This would have to be the coolest bit, I love it I felt like a pro making caramel!!! Its pretty much the same feeling I got making ganache for the first time.... they all sound scary but just attempting it to start with is the hardest part.... so get in there and have a go!!!

how cool does that look!!!! tastes great too!
Now onto the cake:
preheat the oven to 180. Place flour and baking powder in a bowl. (now I am amazed at the small amount of flour.... not sure why I am amazed but just am!!)
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.... now I do have to share and brag, I have the very beautiful and lovely Ruby Red Kitchen aide... and YES she has a name.... she was a much wanted member of my family.... I have not looked back since she came to live with me, I love her!!!
ok sorry will get back to the cake now!!!!
placing the eggs and sugar in the mixer, this needs to be beated for 8-10 minutes until it thick, pale and trippled in size... (by magic this happens and looks DIVINE!!)
sift half the flour mixture into egg mixture and gently fold through, then repeat with the remaining flour mix. Add the butter and fold through.
this mixture is so light and fluffy you cannot help but fall in love!!! seriously love for a cake...hmmmm I may need a therapist!!!
Pour into a well greased and well lined 20cm round cake tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until springy to the touch and coming away from the sides of the tin. cool on a wire rack.
seriously how perfect is this cake!!!!! I am always amazed because I have to be honest my cakes rearely come out of the oven this even... you know I have the normal rising issues, well at least I think they are normal, that I have a nack of covering up..... but this one is PERFECTION!!!
Now the last thing to do is spread the completely cooled caramel over the completely cooled cake.
 now sit back and enjoy a little piece of heaven with friends and family....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leonie's easy muffins originally stolen from Donna Hay!!!

ingredients: 2 cups plain four
1 tbs baking powder
2 eggs
1cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
2 tespoons vanila extract
2 cups frozen rasberries
1 cup white chocolate

preheat oven to 180. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, milk and vanilla extract in bowl and mix until just combined.  once just combined add rasberries and chocolate. mix together

Now for my cupcake secret. to get close to perfect cakes (I don't think anyone ever gets them all perfect!!!!!) I use an old fashioned ice-cream scoop (cheap one from woolies about $3) Now this is not an original idea I did get it off a friend  - thanks Katherine if you're reading!!!

I always use patty pans as I find the white chocolate can tend to get a little sticky and I hate washing up!!! oh and my washer-uper-er (Mark!!) refuses to do sticky cake from pans anymore!!!!. I have just started using multimix muffin liners and they are AWESOME!!! and they look cool too!!!
bake these babies in an oven at 180 for 20-25 minutes, let cool and enjoy. They are GREAT a little warm as the chocolate is gooey!!! I always manage to make 12 to eat and 6 to go into the freezer. I am known to make these before school/work when I am stressed, feeling overwhelmed with life or simply feel like baking something fresh will alleviate mummy guilt.....,I even sometimes surprise my work collegues... there are always some in my freezer for the boys lunches.

NOTE... I use this basic recipe all of the time I change the filling to suit requests from kids or hubby, or what is is in the fridge or freezer.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nigella's sushi and salmon with sweet and sour sauce.....

OMG this is delicious!!!!

It was one of those I feel like something tasty so I will search until something appeals to my taste buds.... Now I have to confess that I am a huge foody and am outnumbered by the men in my life... they love to eat bangers in a roll is exciting to them!!!! while they are fantastic and eat all that I cook, they have simple needs!

So on a saturday, after an afternoon completing the first half of my Auswim, (training required for my job and to teach students to swim) I decided to flick through my new cookbook, 'Kitchen'..... by Nigella, its FANTASTIC!!!!! the food is simple, tasty and looks fabulous!

I stumbled onto this recipe and it ticked all of the 'yum' requirements of the day.....
Hot, Sweet, Sour Salmon & Sushi Rice

2 cups (500 mL) sushi rice
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
600 g (21-oz) piece skinless salmon
1/4 cup (60 mL) Asian fish sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) each: sake (Japanese rice wine), mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), water
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced, peeled ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 small Thai red chilies or 1 large red finger chili, minced with seeds
Juice of 2 limes
Cook rice in rice cooker according to manufacturer’s instructions, or in large saucepan according to package instructions.
Heat oil in large, non-stick skillet over medium high. Add salmon. Cook 5 minutes; flip. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until salmon is opaque and barely cooked to centre, about 2 to 4 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness. Transfer to cutting board; cut into 6 portions.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together fish sauce, sake, mirin, water, ginger, garlic, chilies and lime juice. (Makes about 3/4 cup/185 mL.)
To serve, divide rice among 6 bowls. Top each with 1 portion salmon. Spoon sauce evenly over portions or as desired. Flake salmon with fork as you eat.
Makes 6 servings.

Sidenote: now I was lazy and pushed for time, I WAS STARVING!!!! so I purchased a precooked piece of smoked salmon fillet it worked great!!!!!

All the boys young and old in my house wanted a taste and LOVED it!!!!

cheesy chilli - another Nigella!!!!

Now while this is not hot by any means it hits the spot for young and old! My boys they like a little bite with their chilli while the hubby not so much..... me on the other hand a like more than a  little........

Nigella's cheesy chilli is great, there is a great balance of flavour for all, and the cheesy tortilla chips make it even better for the youngies.....

110g chorizo, cut into fat coins and halved
500g beef mince
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 x 15ml tablespoon tomato paste
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
125ml water, swilled from empty tomato can
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 X 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 X 125g fresh mozzarella cheese balls
handful chopped fresh coriander, to serve I made a quick advocado and coriander guacamole  and added some sour  cream too

Cheesy Tortilla chips

I used Mission white tortilla chips sprinkled with grated cheese and bake at 180 for about 10 minutes until cheese has melted and started to colour.

1) Put a cast-iron casserole or heavy-based pan (needs to have a lid) on the stove and heat over medium high, add the chorizo and cook it until an orange oil is released.
2) Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the meat begins to lose its raw colour, sprinkle with cocoa and oregano, dollop in the puree and give a good stir before adding the canned tomatoes. Swill the empty can with 125ml water, and empty that into the pan, followed by the Worcestershire sauce and kidney beans, then let it come to the boil.
3) Turn the heat down, put the lid on, and simmer for 20 minutes.
4) Remove the lid, and let it come to the boil again, then turn off the heat and stir in the mozzarella (I added cheese to individual plates as I made a double batch). Stir and serve immediately.

What I loved: The chilli was simple to make, and took roughly thirty five minutes from beginning to end, which is great on a week night.

What I didn't love: The chilli wasn't that spicy, it was flavourful, but I would expect more spice from a chilli. Maybe it was the quality of chorizo, next time I would add a little dried chilli when frying chorizo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the first one...

wow I have spent years reading blogs... saying one day...... well today I bit the bullet and its TODAY! Here is cheers to the start of my next chapter... what will hopefully become my very own cook book.