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    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Healthy Fish and Chips - Another Take on a Favourite Meal

    Hash Browns and Pan Fried Fresh Fish
    just a simple, quick, reasonably Lo-Cal option.
    So to start at the beginning...through the Cook Eat Share Website, one of the contributors, John Spottiswood put up a recipe for Potato Pancakes.
    Click here to read the original.
    He made mashed potatoes, turned them into patties and made a sandwich of them with Mushrooms

    I thought they sounded delicious and made them for dinner to have with some filet steak
    Steak Mushrooms and Potatoes...what could be better
    Very simple and very healthy
    For 2 people
    2 large potatoes
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I like Rice Bran)
    4 large mushrooms sliced
    2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    1 tbs dried Oregano
    Sea salt and pepper
    50 mls white wine
    Dash of cream if you have it for that extra flavour

    Peel and cut potatoes into chunks
    Bring to the boil in salted water and simmer till fork tender
    Drain well, in fact I put them back into the pan with the heat on for a minute,
    The place a tea towel on top and let the steam out
    They will be fluffy and dry
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    I then put them through a ricer but you can just mash them well
    Lay out on a parchement lined tray and leave to get cold
    Best leave them for about a couple of hours in the fridge
    In a hot pan
    Add the oil
    Saute the Mushrooms
    to get a good colour and aroma
    Season with sea salt and pepper and oregano
    Add garlic
    Add wine and reduce
    When the wine has been absorbed
    Add the cream if you want that option
    Set aside to cool
    On this occasion I made balls out of the mashed potato
    Squashed them into a patty shape
    Topped half of them with the mushroom mixture
    Put another patty on top
    Push the edges down to seal
    Fry in some vegetable oil till golden
    With a quick frilled piece of eye filet.
    A salad on the side

    So, time to branch out a little.
    Our granddaughter Mia likes Hash browns for breakfast and her Mother is not keen on her eating the bought ones everyday.
    SO... I have turned this Mashed Potato idea into Homemade Hash Browns.
    After they cooled in the fridge
    I just cut them into squares
    Cooked them in oil till golden brown
    Froze them and

    Just heat them in a little oil
    Breakfast for a hungry girl
    Add some eggs, baked beans and or bacon.

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Want An Original Gift for Your Baby - Try SweetP Name Frames

    When a new Baby is Born and you want to acknowledge its birth... instead of the usual Booties, Babygro, Books about  you buy them this Special Gift.
    Something designed, just for that little Angel.
    Try A Sweet P Name Frame.
    All available online.
    Visit their Website at
    All you have to do is go to the Website.
    Pick out the letters for your little Darlings Name...
    They are Gender will receive a banner just like the one above.
    This is not huge by the way.
    About  30 cm (1 foot) wide by 15cms (6 inches) deep.
    They will mail it to you, or direct to the lucky family.
    This is the Name Frame that I bought for little Oscar, who is living in Singapore with his parents.
    It came in an easy-mail cardboard tube.
    They loved it.

    Lovely little rhymes;
    C is for Cycle
    this is a steep trail
    I can fly down the hill
    but climb up like a snail

    A is for Arrow
    Flying straight but not true
    so there's none in the red
    and only one in the blue
    There is also Alphabet Posters available

    This is on my Grand Daughters wall, so not such a great photo but you will get the idea.
    Go Sweet P

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Faggots or Cheats Version...Rissoles – Chocolate Surprise Cup Cakes for Dessert

    Its Thursday and The Kids are coming for Dinner.
    Mia (9 year old) requested Chocolate Muffins, with a chocolate centre.
    I think she meant Fondant puddings, or as the US people call them Lava Cakes.
    There is a problem. Joseph who is 10, has not long come out of an egg allergy.
    When I made Fondant puddings, they were a huge success but he felt funny afterwards and I think maybe that middle gooey bit, is maybe just a bit too much uncooked egg-wise.
    So I put on my Thinking Cap and Google Finger and finally decided I would make Cup cakes and somehow get Ganache in the middle. No egg problem then.
    After quite a bit of research, this is the recipe I came up with.
    Rachel Allen’s Chocolate Cake.
    I used Orange Infused Chocolate, which really enhanced the flavour.
    It made 10 good size not oversized Cup Cakes

    I started with a melon baller, removing some of the bottom and stuffing in Ganache.
    The replacing the lid. But you had to remove the paper casing

    The lovely Nadia who ’does’ for me, thought I should cut off the top and stuff from there.
    Good idea.
    Dust with icing sugar.

     Voila Chocolate Cup Surprise

    Here is Rachel Allen’s Recipe from her “Bake” TV series currently screening on Food TV.
    For the cake

    125 g dark chocolate
    3 tbsp milk
    150 g butter, at room temperature
    150 g caster sugar
    3 eggs
    200 g plain flour
    1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Pinch salt
    Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

    For the Ganache
    300 mls cream
    300 mls chocolate
    Preheat the oven to 180C.
    Prepare muffin tins
    I used bigger than normal paper linings which gave a nice size cake.
    So I got 10 out of the mixture

    For the cake:
    Place the chocolate and the milk in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until the chocolate has melted.
    (Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water.)
    Set aside to cool slightly.

    Beat the butter until very soft then
    Add the caster sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
    Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then
    Fold in the melted chocolate.

    Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, pinch salt and the bicarbonate of soda,
    and fold in gently to mix.
    Divide the mixture between muffin tins and bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes,
    or until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

    Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to sit for five minutes
    before placing them on a wire rack to cool.

    For the Chocolate Ganache
    Heat the cream till it comes to the boil
    Add chocolate, broken into small pieces
    Let sit for about 30 seconds
    Stir till dissolved and set aside

    Once the cakes are cool
    Cut a hole in the top
    Fill with Ganache and push top back in

    Dust with Icing Sugar
    Very popular served with just a bit of whipped cream to cut down the richness

    Now onto the Faggots or Actually Rissoles
    500 gms beef mince
    1 small red onion chopped finely
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon rosemary leaves chopped
    50 gms breadcrumbs
    1 egg
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

    Mix all ingredients well shape into oval shapes and roll in Panko breadcrumbs
    Set aside in the fridge till you are ready
    Then just fry in vegetable oil over med heat
    I used Olivado’s Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil
    for some extra flavour
    When brown all over, let sit for about 5 minutes to rest
    Serve with Crispy Roast potatoes, Gravy if you can be bothered
    And of course Ketchup

    For the healthy part of the deal
    Beautiful Salad

    1/4 cabbage finely sliced
    1 yellow pepper finely sliced
    1/2 head Broccoli very finely sliced
    10 cherry tomatoes. Seeds and juice squeezed out and sliced
    1 stalk celery finely sliced

    I squeezed the tomatoes into a bowl and strained the juice as a base for the dressing
    Just for a little extra tomato flavour.
    Also let the dressing sit for a couple of hours, just to soften the flavour of the onion

    So the strained juice of the tomatoes
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
    2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
    1 shallot or small red onion finely chopped

    6 tablespoon good olive oil
    I used Diana and Dave's home grown beautiful Olive Oil
    Lucky me.

    Mix the 1st group of ingredients with a fork till emulsified
    Slowly drip in the olive oil
    Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to.

    Pour as much dressing as you would like over the vege.
    The kids just loved the dinner
    For example. How about that for an empty plate?

    And to wash it down
    Homemade Lemonade Cordial

    The lemons have been great this year
    So simple, courtesy of my friend Mary
    1 cup fresh lemon juice
    4 cups sugar
    6 cups water
    30 g citric acid

    Bring lemon juice, sugar and water to the boil.
    Stir to dissolve sugar.
    Boil one minute.
    Off heat add citric acid.
    Cool and store in sterilized bottles in fridge.
    She also put strips of rind in or even lemon grass.
    But I didn't do that for the kids

    Slut's Risotto Dressed with Roasted Prawns

    Took the inspiration for tonight's dinner from the Putenesca sauce.
    Stole the name from Nigella. That’s what she calls the Famous Pasta Dish
    Pasta Putenesca is attributed to the Poor Local Working Girls.
    Their need for a quick meal into between jobs.
    Just like this, quick as a flash and you have dinner!
    This is a pantry, fridge and Freezer Dinner.

    I’m also extolling the virtues of some products, that I bought from the Food Show.
    Olivado’s Infused Avocado Oils.
    The Chili Oil has a great kick, I love it
    And the Rosemary, a little more gentle but an excellent aroma and taste.

    Also I bought some 'Gourmet Food Specialties' products
    These Kalamata Olives in Balsamic are as GOldilocks Said "just right".
    The dressing is fabulous, just drizzle over anything really
    I used it in this Risotto for that final taste.
    This is a great dish

    So here we go

    2 tablespoons Olivado Chili Infused Avocado oil
    1 red onion finely chopped
    1 cup Arborio rice
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    3 filets anchovies finely chopped
    1 tablespoon capers chopped
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    100 mls white wine

    1 can cherry tomatoes Whizzed up in blender
    Water enough to make 2 /12 cups tomato stock
    1 teaspoon sugar
    6 olives stoned and sliced
    Prawns roasted in oven in Olivado Rosemary oil (as many as you like)
    Salt and freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper
    Zest of 1 lemon

    Method for Prawns
    Toss prawns on an oven tray in oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Cook at 210C for exactly 6 minutes
    Sprinkle with lemon zest and set aside
    1 tbs balsamic dressing
    1 tbs butter

    Place Chili oil in risotto pan over med heat
    Add red onion and cook till soft
    Add rice and stir till covered in the oil
    Add anchovies, capers, garlic and oregano
    Stir well and let the rice toast a little
    Add white wine and reduce
    Meanwhile heat your tomato stock in a pan
    When wine has reduced, start adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time
    Stir well
    When it has been absorbed add another and keep stirring after each addition
    Keep on adding till the rice has developed an al dente texture

    Add another ladleful of hot stock
    Stir well
    Add  tablespoon of butter 
    Stir well, this gives the finished risotto a nice sheen.
    Taste and add seasoning if you need it.
    It may need a little salt
    And a good grind of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Add Olives, Cooked Prawns and
    Just before serving drizzle over some of the Balsamic dressing
    Absolutely delicious

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Pita Bread Snacks

    Yesterday I did a post on making Lavosh which was really fabulous
    But here is really simple way of making your own crisps.
    I got this idea from the Pita Bread people at Nosh.
    They had a tasting. Great idea.
    Buy the big  thinnish Pita Bread not the stubby fat kind.
    Cut them in half and split
    Brush or spray with vegetable oil
    Sprinkle with either a nice sea salt, maybe some Cajun seasonings. or garlic salt.
    Even, go sweet, with Cinnamon and sugar.
    Pre-heat your oven to 130C
    Bake till golden brown and crispy.
    Could be about 4-7 minutes just keep an eye on it.
    Delicious crisps
    Now how is this for a pie.
    I bought the Supermarket Home Brand Pastry.
    It is very good. Pam's from Four Square is the brand.
    An excellent rise. Will buy that again.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Lavosh - Make your Own, Very Simple

    Lavosh is a thin, crunchy Middle Eastern bread that’s delicious as a picnic snack or served as a pre-dinner nibble with blue cheese and dried fruit.
    Great with soup as well.

    My friend Elpie turned up at our place with some homemade Lavosh
    It was fabulous and I was so impressed.
    Of course I then had try it as well.
    Funnily enough as I was googling for a recipe, Annabel Langbein's TV programme was on in the background. I turned to look and she had just finished making Lavosh. Turned back to look at my computer screen. The second entry was for her recipe.
    So. Meant to be.

    Lucky Juice TV staff got to be my guinea pigs.
    The Lavosh at the back and in front was some little Rhubarb Pies. Their dessert.
    It was a great success.
    It's very simple but I learnt a few things that the recipe didn't tell you.
    So as per normal you learn as you go on.
    I found that the dough worked better after sitting for a while
    Easier to roll out.
    Also, it took quite a bit of flour to roll them out without sticking, but just brush the excess flour off.

    It was quite work intensive but I reckon I could have it better organized.
    In fact I will make this again this morning. (And I did)
    They will keep in an airtight tin.
    In this recipe Annabel flavours the Lavosh with sesame and oregano, but she says you could also use fennel seeds, Parmesan or chillies. “The wholemeal flour adds texture and makes it a healthy oven-baked snack. Cut any shapes you like – as long as the dough is very thin you’ll get a fabulous crisp bread.”

    Prep time 15 mins
    Cook time 15-18 mins
    Makes approx 40

    1 cup plain flour
    1/3 cup wholemeal flour
    2 tbsp each black and white sesame seeds or 4 tbsp just one kind
    1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1/2 cup water

    To finish:
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Flaky sea salt

    Preheat oven to 165˚C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
    In a mixing bowl stir together the flours, sesame seeds, oregano and salt. 
    Mix the oils and water together and add to the dry ingredients, stirring to form a soft, pliable dough.

    Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each out on a floured board as thinly as possible.
    Each piece of dough should yield a circle about 34 x 16cm.

    Cut each circle into strips measuring about 4 x 17cm and roll again.
    They need to be virtually see-through.
    Carefully transfer strips to a baking tray, brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with flaky salt.

    Bake until crisp and pale golden – about 15-18 minutes.
    Allow to cool fully, then store in an airtight container.