Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend Brekky in the Sun

Michael, Chloe & I had a pretty relaxed Grand Final day, no rowdy parties & drinking all day for us so I thought I would start the day with a leisurely breakfast which we ate outside in the sun given the beautiful weather. I made these fantastic Egg & Bacon Pies with an Oat pastry that I saw Maggie whip up on The Cook & The Chef, the recipe can be found here. I didn’t have any spring form tins of that size so just made them in pie dishes which was fine although I couldn’t serve them out of the dish so they might not have looked as pretty. I used Ottway pork free range bacon which I buy from the deli at Barkly square & in my opinion is the best tasting bacon out there & I wouldn’t make my brekky with anything else. Some fresh free range eggs & chives from the garden finished it off & well you can probably see from the photo how delicious they were, mmmm as I type I wish I had another sitting in front of me right now! Luckily Chloe was more interested in going to the park afterwards & hasn’t quite caught onto the magic of bacon & eggs just yet so we got to eat them all to ourselves too.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Welcome Spring & a lunch to celebrate with friends

Hasn’t the weather just been gorgeous lately? I am so happy the sun has been shining, the heater has been turned off & Chloe & I can finally spend a lot more time outdoors, not that the bad weather ever stopped her from wanting to go outside, she would spend every waking moment outdoors, rain or shine if she could.

So the other day in some beautiful sunny & windy (can do without that part) weather Sim & Maya came over for lunch & a catch up. I cooked these delicious vegetarian tarts for lunch & made a batch of these fantastic cookies for the girls to munch on afterwards. Chloe is finally at the age where she sort of lets me cook now, especially anything containing chocolate as I bribe her with promises of spoon licking at the end. The tarts were form a recent mag, sorry cant remember if it was Delicious or Donna Hay. As you can see from the pic of Chloe they were very much appreciated.

Roasted tomato, basil & goats cheese tart

Serves 2

1 red onion, chopped
2 roma tomatoes sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g goats cheese
¼ cup (50g) fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
sea salt & cracked black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 200c. Combine onion, tomato, garlic & oil in a baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes until softened. Combine the cheeses, basil, lemon, salt & pepper & roasted garlic in a bowl. Cut pastry sheet in half & score edges with a knife to make a border. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, spread over cheese mixture, top with tomato mixture, drizzle with oil & bake for 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed & golden.

Oaty Choc Chip Cookies

Makes about 25

125g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
½ cup firmly packed (100g) brown sugar
½ tspn vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ¼ cups (110g) rolled oats
1 cup (150g) plain flour
½ tspn baking powder
½ tspn bicarb of soda
175g good quality dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 170c. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.

Cream butter, sugars & vanilla until pale & thick. Beat in egg until just combined. Fold in oats. Sift over flour, baking powder, soda & ½ teaspoon salt over mixture & fold in. Mix in the chocolate.

Place balls of about 1 heaped tablespoon of dough on trays about 4cm apart. Flatten slightly then bake for approx 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool so biscuits can crisp up.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

More baking – Chocolate Banana Coconut Bread

After my recent dry spell I’ve been doing a lot of baking once again. Last week I made this scrumptious loaf. Kikimiss highly recommended the recipe which can be found here. Firstly it’s incredibly easy to make, you really just stir everything together, no beating, whipping or processing required & then place in the oven for a good hour or so while you watch it rise & smell the delicious aroma of fresh baking fill the house. Secondly its really fabulous, I love banana bread with chocolate thrown in & the added coconut gives it a fantastic texture & added depth of flavour. Being me I had to tuck into it while it was still warm & it was nice but I wouldn’t rave about it, however when it cooled down completely I just adored it. This is strange for me as I usually find these sorts of cakes/breads taste better while warm. Lastly I didn’t bother with the cream cheese as suggested but feel free to give it a go, I don’t think it needed it at all. Bake away & enjoy