Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Top 5

As we reflect back on the year that has passed, I thought it would be sweet to cap off the year with my pick of the Top 5 recipes of 2011. Have a great new year everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pork with strawberry balsamic sauce

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Christmas is almost upon us; it is at this time of year that I am scurrying around trying to ensure everything is organised for the big day, well two days for us (with both of our parents divorced we celebrate twice over the eve and on the day with the parents separated). As my tiny cherub is not too fond of long car trips we will be hosting both days here, with very, and I stress the word very, casual lunches and suppers. Meals that require little hands on time, such as sweet layered trifles for dessert or roast lamb and potatoes to tuck into, are the picks of the day for me. With two days to spare I have dressed the tree in her finest jewels and tied each of the presents with silken bows. The fridge is stocked and pantry full, with very little else to do.

In the lead up to the big days I am also opting for quick and easy dinners so as to 'save' my energy for the packed weekend. Meals like this are heaven-sent, and when they turn out to be finger-licking good as well, it's just the icing on the cake.

ease: 5/5.
prep time: 15mins.
cooking time: 10mins.
total: 25mins.

taste: 4/5.  Hit with the hubby.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you what it tasted like, as I didn't eat it, but hubby loved it.
I added and extra handful of strawberries.

would I make it again: Yes.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Salivations

Inspired by other blogger's recipe roundups of other blogger's posts I thought it would be grand to join the fun. Starting today I will be linking FIVE tempting creations you may have missed from them, every Sunday. Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sweet potato pancakes with spiced pecans & peach butter

Short and sweet today as my little one is teething and finds solace only within my warm embrace.

ease: 4/5.
prep time: 2hours to overnight.
cooking time: 10mins.
total: 2hours & 10mins.

taste: 4/5.  Razzle dazzle pancakes.

I won't lie, these pancakes take a lot of preparation, but if you are organised enough you can do it all the night before for an easy peasy morning that's worth the work. I was a touch worried these would be too sweet for me but alas they were just the right level of sweetness. The potato makes the pancakes deliciously moist with pizazz from the warming spices. The pecans add crunch and kick with the peach butter bringing a blast of summer tang. I would definitely recommend serving the pancakes with the peach butter as they make the dish.

I halved the amount of butter and subtracted a tablespoon of sugar as I wanted more peach, and I would do the same the next time around.

would I make it again: Yes.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

French nectarine cake

With sunset coloured skin a firm nectarine is a sight to behold.

A peach with a 'Brazilian' (or as some say, shaved or fuzz-free) the nectarine does not get the quantity of poems or songs written about it as the typical peach inspires. I am one of the few who turn their nose up at the furry peach and instead would rather sink their teeth into a nectarine's smooth flesh. I am also one of the even fewer who prefer their nectarines as hard as the stones that lie at their heart. I adore tearing out chunks and crunching audibly beneath the shade of leafy tree, no ambrosia juices flowing down my chin please...

If a nectarine strays too far into the realm of softness I scurry to find other culinary uses and in the past have found few. Thanks to the internet and food bloggers in particular who are always finding ways to salvage fruit whose toes are edging past ripeness I stumbled upon this beauty which instead of burying my stone fruit, redefines it as a baked good triumph. Now I can happily buy more nectarines than my mouth can eat knowing, should they become as soft as my daughter's cheek, they will not go to waste, instead being reborn into something scrumptious.

ease: 4.5/5.
prep time: 15mins.
cooking time: 50mins.
total: 1hour & 5mins.

taste: 4/5. Buttery, bright sweetness.

Nectarines are my favourite fruit so rarely do they last long in my home. With baby however I have been ordering my shopping online which means someone else has been picking my fruit. I prefer my rosy-blushed orbs to be extra crunchy, so when a bag arrived with extremely ripe, juicy nectarines I had to find a recipe to use them up pronto. At first I was dubious about nectarines working in a cake, but let me tell you, they WORKED IT, big time.
The cake itself is a buttery delight and sweet with a gorgeous crumb. The nectarines work their magic by adding fresh tartness and making the cake a perfect sunny afternoon treat.

The original recipe uses 4 small nectarines, I would use 5 or 6 as I wanted more pockets of delectable tanginess. I also used half a lemon zest as my lemon was rather large and I wanted the nectarines to shine.

would I make it again: Yes.