Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grasmere Gingerbread

EASE: 5/5.
Prep time: 8mins.
Chopping ginger is the most time consuming. Everything is mixed in one bowl. I used a lamington tray and filled it halfway.Cooking time: 15mins. They recommend 25 which is much too long in my oven - watch carefully.TOTAL: 23mins. Mine came out like a buttery shortbread in texture.
TASTE: 4.5/5.
These were wolfed down by everybody - very strong ginger taste and as said above it was like a shortbread in texture which little chewy chunks of glace ginger in each bite.
Would I make it again: Yes.
I've already made it again - would double the quantity the next time as it doesn't make much.
Grasmere gingerbread

Friday, August 29, 2008

Parmesan-crumbed chicken schnitzel with crisp potatoes

EASE: 3.5/5.
Prep time:
15mins. Crumbing the chicken is the most time consuming. I kept the skins on my potatoes so they took no time at all to prep. Thanks to Doris for helping crumb the chicken :).
Cooking time: 20mins. Boiling and then frying potatoes takes around 20mins. The chicken only takes around 6mins to cook.
TOTAL: 35mins.

TASTE: 3/5.
Not bad, I didn't follow the recipe to the letter though - I did not use flour or thyme, and I added garlic, parsley and more parmesan. I would copy the recipe the next time around to test it. The 3/5 is more for the potatoes, which were not as tasty as when they are oven roasted.

Would I make it again: Yes.
I would stick to the recipe for the chicken the next time around.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lamb kefte with soft egg and feta

EASE: 4.5/5.
Prep time:
12mins. Making the lamb balls is the most time consuming.
Cooking time:15mins. All ingredients cook in the same pot - little hands on cooking.
TOTAL: 27mins.

TASTE: 5/5.
Ryan loved it - full of flavour and he said it looked nice too. I halved the recipe and served it with pita bread. As I couldn't find dried mint (which is bizarre as I have bought it from the supermarket in the past) I substituted dried oregano. I also forgot to add the garlic - so the next time around it should be even tastier than this time.

Would I make it again: YES
. Super easy and quick - looks great and was a hit.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Rigatoni with cabbage and Taleggio

EASE: 3.5/5.
Prep time: 10mins.
Cooking time: 20mins. I ended up with a little too much liquid - so I scooped out 1/2cup before putting into bowls and under grill.
TOTAL: 30mins.

TASTE: 3/5.
Ok, but not great. The flavours competed a little and the cabbage and onion made it taste a little sweet. I used double brie instead of taleggio.

Would I make it again: No.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cinnamon Pear Porridge

EASE: 5/5. Not many ingredients and everything goes in the one pot.
Prep time: 2mins. To chop pears, prepare sugar and chuck everything in the pot.
Cooking time: 10mins. Be careful as mine started to burn on the bottom.
TOTAL: 12mins.

TASTE: 4.5/5.
Better than normal for porridge. It was creamier and the cinnamon sugar with the pears was lovely. I did sprinkle 4 tsp of the sugar over each bowl though and I also used 6 pear halves. Makes big bowls for two.

Would I make it again: Yes.
Yummy and Ryan cleaned his bowl and mine too.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dad's Pumpkin Soup

Dad brought over a pumpkin soup he made, and although I was skeptical, it was really yummy - nice and creamy and not overpowering. Good job Daddy.
He has also brought over a couple of his Tiramisu desserts - also very delish. I shall take a pic the next time around.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cheesy Oregano Chicken Rolls

200g cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 tbs chopped oregano leaves
1/4 cup grated fontina
1/4 cup grated cheddar
2 tbs whole egg mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 ciabatta rolls, halved

Place the chicken, oregano, fontina, cheddar, mayonnaise and sour cream in a bowl and mix well. spoon onto one half of each of the rolls and top with remaining halves. Press in sandwich press or place on heated frying pan and weigh down with a plate and can placed on top. Cook until browned and cheese has melted. Serves 2.

EASE: 5/5.
Prep time: 5mins.
Shredding chicken is the most time consuming.
Cooking time: 3mins. In a flat sandwich press.
TOTAL: 8mins.

TASTE: 4/5.
I used 1/2 a roasted chicken and doubled the mayonnaise and cheeses; I used Gouda as a substitute to Fontina. I also used a combination of dried and fresh oregano. I used mini ciabatta rolls - 2 for each person.

Would I make it again: Yes.
Very quick and easy - fairly filling also.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Warm Banana Muffins

EASE: 4.5/5.
Prep time: 8mins.
Mashing bananas is the most time consuming.
Cooking time: 20mins.
TOTAL: 28mins.

TASTE: 4/5.
My favourite banana muffin recipe so far. I do however add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon as well.

Would I make it again: Yes.
I have made these whenever I have two black bananas. I don't eat them with custard.


Lamb Racks with Rosemary & Garlic Borlotti beans

2x200g lamb racks, trimmed
olive oil, for brushing
sea salt & cracked black pepper
50g butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbs rosemary leaves
400g can borlotti beans, rinsed & drained

Preheat oven to 180. Heat large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Brush lamb with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 2mins per side or until browned.
Transfer to baking tray and cook in oven for 12mins for medium-rare. Set aside, cover and keep warm.
Heat butter in fryingpn over medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add beans and cook until warmed through.
Slice lamb and serve with beans. Serves 2.

EASE: 5/5. Super quick, minimal prep time.
Prep time: 5mins. To season lamb and prepare ingredients.
Cooking time: 25mins. 5mins to brown lamb. 20mins in oven for medium. 5mins for beans.
TOTAL: 30mins. Awesome.

TASTE: 4.5/5.
According to Ryan. The beans were really tasty - I however did double the butter, garlic and rosemary - would use less butter next time but the same amount of rosemary and garlic.

Would I make it again: Yes.
Too quick and easy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Herby Mustard Chicken with Olive Oil Mash

1 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoons hot English mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs white wine vinegar
sea salt & cracked black pepper
8 x 120g chicken thighs

Olive oil mash
1.2kg sebago potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Boil potatoes for 20mins. Drain and return to pan. Add garlic, oil and salt and mash until smooth.

Combine parsley, mustard, garlic, rosemary, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add chicken and marinate for at least 15mins.
Heat large non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 8mins per side or until cooked through.
Spoon over pan juices and serve with the mash. Serves 4.

EASE: 4/5. Not much hands on prep or work.
Prep time: 25mins. 5mins to prep potatoes and put in pot. 5mins to put chicken in marinade. 15mins minimum for chicken to marinate.
Cooking time: 35mins. 15mins to cook chicken. 20mins to cook and mash potatoes.
TOTAL:1 hour. For best flavour chicken should be left to marinate overnight..

TASTE: 3.5/5.
Potatoes were a little dry, probably could have done with more oil, but the subtle garlic and oil flavour was a nice change. The chicken marinade only flavoured the top layer of meat so the layers underneath, whilst moist, were a little bland. The combination of flavours was really nice though.

Would I make it again? Yes.
I would let the chicken marinate over night next time and probably add a little more oil to the mash.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tomato & Crispy Garlic Fettucine

200g fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
400g can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
sea salt & cracked black pepper
4 leaves silver beet (Swiss chard), trimmed and chopped
finely grated Parmesan, to serve

Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 12mins til al dente. Drain and keep warm.
Heat large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add oil, garlic and breadcrumbs and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add tomato, stock salt and pepper to the pan and cook for 3-5mins until thickened. Add pasta and silverbeet to pan and cook for 2mins or until silverbeet is wilted and pasta warmed through. Top with crispy crumbs and Parmesan. Serves 2.

Ease: 4/5. Few ingredients and ready fairly quickly.
Prep time: 20mins. 20mins to cook pasta. 15mins to make breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and to prep ingredients.
Cooking time: 2mins. To toss cooked pasta and silverbeet through prepared sauce.
TOTAL: 22mins. Really quick - but most pastas are

Taste: 3/5.
I kinda liked this, the silverbeet was quite bitter and a little more leathery than spinach. Ryan hated this as he hates silverbeet (which I now know). I would use spinach though rather than silverbeet. I was a little heavy handed with the garlic also, otherwise for a tomato pasta it's nice.

Would I make again: No.
Ryan didn't like it enough.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Grilled Lamb & Goat's Cheese Salad

1x 200g lamb back strap
olive oil
1 pita bread
sea salt & cracked black pepper
200g goat's cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
green onion dressing
1 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Green Onion Dressing:
Mix green onion, garlic, oil and vinegar. Set aside.
Heat a chargrill pan over high heat. Brush the lamb with oil and cook for 3-4mins wash side for medium rare. Set aside.
Brush pita with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. chargill for 1-2mins each side or until golden and crisp. Break into pieces. Slice the lamb, place in bowl with pita, goat's cheese, mint and cucumber and toss to combine. Drizzle with the dressing to serve. Serves 2.

EASE: 4.5/5.
Prep time: 5mins.
To get dressing ready and prep other ingredients.
Cooking time: 15mins. To cook lamb (make sure you let it rest as well), pita and then to assemble.
TOTAL: 20mins. Very quick and easy - looks nice too.

TASTE: 3.5/5.
Boys thought it was nice - would have been nicer if I hadn't mistakenly used what I thought was mint from my garden (it was the most bitter of bitter crap ever).

Would I make again: Yes.
Really quick and boys liked it despite the changes and mistakes.

Honey-baked pear breakfast crumble

Saturday morning breakfast time! (Well 11pm would make it more a brunch thing). Although I usually reserve the big brekky's for Sunday I thought I'd make it today instead. I got ready to make it and realised I did not have the mandarin juice - so I substituted by adding extra lemon juice, which may have changed the taste of the recipe.

EASE: 3/5. Middle of the road - crumble was fairly easy, but the pears were a little bit of a pain in the ass.
Prep time: 12mins. Preparing the pears and getting all the ingredients ready is time consuming.
Cooking time: 40mins. The pear syrup takes around 25mins - mine didn't work as written, I was a little too cautious so I kept the heat low and ended up with a liquid rather than a syrup. The crumble only takes around 6mins to nuke the butter and brown the bread before tossing together (which is done while the syrup is on). And it took around 15mins to brown and crisp in the oven.
TOTAL: 52mins. Almost an hour - and you have to let it cool a bit before eating.

TASTE: 4/5.
Very sweet, I imagine it would be sweeter with mandarin juice rather than lemon. Mine was more soupy rather than syrupy, but it still tasted great. I used organic Australian Rainforest honey - I originally wanted to use orange blossom honey as I thought it would compliment the pear better (but I accidentally dropped it). The crumble is not as crunchy and hard as most crumbles. I doubted the use of bread and therefore used only 40grams and increased the oats to 70g. The bread however was quite nice. I used an organic wholemeal sourdough. If you like a more generous coating of crumble double the amounts as it is quite a sparse covering. It is nicer served with yoghurt as you need something to cut through the sweetness.

Would I make again: No.
A little too sweet for me and I do prefer apples to pears when used in a crumble. But I would recommend it. Perhaps more as a dessert than a breakfast.


Cauliflower Fritters with Parmesan

As the new place is taking up a lot of my time, for now I am going to cut out the 'Some Facts About' part. I will just purely rate the recipe and put pics of my outcome.

EASE:3/5. Cooking twice.
Prep time: 18mins. To boil cauliflower and mix with other prepared ingredients.
Cooking time: 8mins. I cooked each side about 1min til they were browned.
TOTAL: 26mins. I 1/4 the recipe so I only made 4 fritters - total time would probably be closer to an 45mins if you followed recipe as is.

TASTE: 2.5/5.
Not much flavour. I found mine were a little under cooked and bland. Definitely needed the cheese on top and more seasoning.

Would I make again: No.
Not tasty enough for me. Ryan did eat his though. I served these with a chicken marinated in lemon, oil and salt and pepper.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

It has been a looooong time since I have cooked anything - even toast. So for my first cook in the new house I thought I'd de-virginise my new Kitchen Aid Artisan KSM150 (in Majestic Yellow...I'm in love with machinery). As my cupboards and fridge are depressingly bare I tried to find a recipe that basically just uses flour and eggs (without having to make pancakes). These Donut-y muffins fit the bill.

Some Facts About CINNAMON:
  • Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity, and it was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and other great potentates.
  • Cinnamon is harvested by growing the tree for two years and then coppicing it. The next year, about a dozen shoots will form from the roots. These shoots are then stripped of their bark, which is left to dry.
  • Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity.
EASE: 4/5. A little more time consuming than pancakes but otherwise pretty easy.
Prep time: 12mins. To get ingredients ready, melt butter and combine everything. 2 mins to dip in butter and sugar. However it is better if you let your eggs come to room temperature before using them.
Cooking time: 13mins. I checked mine at 12 but they were still a little uncooked - however 2 mins later they were overdone.
TOTAL: 23mins.

TASTE: 3.5/5.
They were a little dry and without the sugar they wouldn't be very tasty.

Would I make again: No.
Not moist enough for a muffin - and not donut-y enough for a donut.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Banana Pancakes with Golden Syrup

We needed a big breakfast this morning to start the renovations on our new place. But something pretty quick as we had an early start.

Some Facts About MACADAMIA:
  • The macadamia nut is the only plant food native to Australia that is produced and exported in any significant quantity.
  • They have the highest amount of beneficial monosaturated fats of any nut.
  • Macadamia nuts are often used by law enforcement to simulate crack cocaine in drug stings. When chopped, the nuts resemble crack cocaine in color.

EASE: 3/5. A little more complicated for a pancake recipe - involves beating eggwhites.
Prep time: 15mins. To slice bananas, get ingredients, prepare dry mixture, wet mixture and beat eggwhites.
Cooking time: 10mins. To cook 5 pancakes. Recipe makes 5 normal size pancakes.
TOTAL: 25mins. It should really be 45mins as you are supposed to rest the batter for 30mins.

TASTE: 4/5.
I enjoyed these, Ryan did not like the macadamias on the top. I found that in some of the pancakes the batter surrounding the banana slices didn't cook. The pancakes were fluffier than the ones I normally make.

Would I make again: Yes/No.
I would make the banana pancakes but not the macadamia topping.