Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Dish Dinners!

Hands up if you are happy with the new October Everyday Food. I am!! The Spicy Coconut Chicken Casserole looks fantastic, and I'm going to do that next Monday, and the Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna also looks good. Martha doesn't have these recipes on-line, so I'll put them up when I've made them next week. There is also a nice section on slow cooker meals. I absolutely have to get a slow cooker and try some of these, which also look good for freezing.

I will be posting a menu plan for next week!!

Chicken, Asparagus Puree and Potato Rosti

As promised,I made my first dish from Donna Hay Modern Classics 1 on Sunday. It was actually a side dish, and simple, but it's a start!I made it to go with a chicken and asparagus dish that I found on the Sydney Morning Herald Cuisine Section. They have a lot of fabulous recipes, but you do have to do conversions from metric.

The recipe is chicken with pureed asparagus. The puree was absolutely delicious, and I used water in my recipe instead of chicken stock, so I can only imagine how much better it would be with chicken stock. I pan fried the chicken in a small amount of olive oil, and steamed the asparagus spears.

1lb green asparagus, woody ends snapped off
1 tblspn butter
1 medium brown onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
ground white pepper
3/4 cup water or stock
4 chicken breasts, trimmed and skin removed


Cut 4 cm long spears from asparagus top and reserve. Finely chop remaining stems. Melt butter in a small saucepan then add onion, 2 garlic cloves, season and cook gently until soft, about 15 minutes. Add asparagus stems and stock then simmer until asparagus is soft, about 10-15 minutes. Blend to a smooth puree with a stick or bar blender, keep warm.

Serves 4

Potato Rosti

4 roasting potatoes.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves
kosher salt and cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, but the potato into long, thin strips. Toss the potato strips with the oil, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper. Place the mixture in six piles on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

I also threw in some carrot for good measure. I think it turned out well, and I'll definitely be making this whole meal again!

Blogging Funk

I think I'm over my blogging funk. It's been such a whirlwind lately, I haven't done any menu planning, or made anything even slightly interesting at all, until this weekend.

Last weekend I had another birthday - my daughter turned six, I made the fairy cupcakes and decorated them with pale "fairy pink" icing and some lovely multi-coloured Cachous that my mother brought me from Australia.

I made 72 cupcakes one night, because I had to have enough for the party and then enough for her whole class the next day and some left-overs for us.

Fairy Cakes - makes 12 (obviously I made lots of batches!)

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
7 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup self-rising flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to make them very vanilla) 2-3 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 400F

Put all ingredients except milk in the food processor, and process until smooth. Pulse while adding milk down the funnel, to make a soft dropping consistency.

Spoon mixture into cupcake papers and try to fill each cup equally.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the fairy cakes are cooked and golden on top.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

For the icing I just used powdered sugar and water. I used about 2 cups powdered sugar and then added water gradually until I got the right consistency to ice with. I coloured it with a tiny dot of the pink concentrated colour

Monday, September 8, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers

Sadly, I'm going to be dropping out of the Barefoot Bloggers because twice a month is too much for me, especially when I'm not all that motivated to cook the selection. It just comes around too quickly. I liked doing it and I think it's a great idea, but I've decided it's just not for me.

Anyway, in it's place I've decided to work my way through Donna Hay's Modern Classics,and I'll be putting up something from Donna this week!

Wii Anyone?

My son turned eight last week, and he's obsessed with playing the Wii and he requested a birthday cake in the shape of a Wii, and we finally settled on a cake like a Wii Remote.

I just made a simple chocolate rolled cake (here is the recipe) and then I used a Wilton Buttercream Frosting mixture because I wanted a really good consistency to work with on the rolled cake. The icing was actually delicious, I wasn't expecting it to be at all. And then I coloured some icing blue and used that for the accents.

He loved it and I think it is actually recognisable as a Wii Remote

School Has Started!!

Yay - I put their smiling faces on the bus at 7:40 in the morning and they go off to a fulfilling day of learning!! So I'm finally getting the chance to update this blog of mine.

First of all, we had a great time in Vancouver. We did A LOT of eating, and there was tons to choose from. Lots of Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Crepe restaurants and coffee.

We had lunch one date at Hons Wun Tun House which was really good, and lunch another day at a Crepe Cafe, and I had a delicious Spinach and Feta Crepe. The kids had sugar and butter crepes and thought they were great!

As well as eating we did some sightseeing, we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge,and walked around Stanley Park, and even went swimming at the public pool there, although it was way to cold for me. It was only 76 outside with a brisk breeze and the water was FREEZING, but the kids went in.

And in Seattle on the way home we had dinner at Ivar's Acres of Clams. The service was great and so was the food, although the weather and the traffic are totally miserable in Seattle.