Friday, May 29, 2009
Ok so am starting to get a bit tired & slowing down a bit though the kitchen is still managing to produce lots of goodies. Today I made these fantastic Choc brownie cupcakes, recipe by Curtis Stone, featired in delicious magazine, recipe can be found here, just add strawberries on top.
I like brownies however I find they can be a bit boring, these however have all the gooey fudginess of a brownie with the added bonus of a delicious chocolate, cream cheese frosting & to top it off a juicy sweet strawberry on top, yum & none of the kids or mums who came over to eat them today complained too hard either. When they came out of the oven I was a bot worried as they had spread over the top & collapsed a bit. I just plonked the broken pieces on top & covered with the frosting & all was solved.
Also this week I was inspired by Master chef Australia to make a souffle. I have been sort of watching the show & while I dont think its a great cooking competition & is really more of a personality contest, I still enjoy the cooking bits like the master classes where I have actually picked up a tip or 2. Anyway instead of sticking to a simple chocolate souffle I chose a mango/choc souffle from my Green & Black's chocolate cookbook. It was nice but after all of the effort I had to put in, including burning out one pot as I left the room while the syrup was boiling down & forgot about it (that would be the pregnancy absent mindedness kicking in) until I smelt something suspicious & smoky coming from the kitchen, using the kitchen aid, food processor plus several pots & pans not to mention the souffle ramekins, I dont think I will be rushing to make this again. It was fun to allow myself the luxury of making something more complicated & messy for a change though as with Chloe this doesnt happen very often these days.
On the dinner front I have cooked everything from a lovely veal osso bucco, a quick tuna pasta bake and some surprisingly nice chicken, pumpkin & carrot rice balls from a kids book to try & entice Chloe into eating something other than bread, dairy & fruit - it worked so I was impressed.
Dinner tonight will be a simple chicken & spinach soup - food for the soul.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I just remember that I have now been back in my home for a few weeks now & haven’t shown you the photos of the new kitchen. So I thought I would show you not only my beautiful fresh, crisp, sparkly new & very workable white kitchen , but also what I was working with before the extension, my very old, sorta cute, grey & pink very unuser friendly kitchen, so here they are.
The new kitchen has inspired me to invite many people over for lunches, coffee, dinner & you name it as I cant do enough cooking now it seems. This week a few of the girls plus their kiddies came over for lunch. To start with I whipped up Nigella’s smoked trout pate which I have made previously & cant seem to get enough of. This was followed by a very simple yet delicious Onion & Feta Cheese Tart from by new book, Bill Granger’s Open Kitchen, as you can see I still cant seem to get away from tarts for lunch, I have a big thing for pastry at the moment & this was another good one, the hardest part being slicing up 1kg of onions! To top it off a nice autumn Pear & Hazelnut torta from Delicious magazine, I think it was the previous issue, April’s? Just the sort of cake I am loving at the moment, lots of gorgeous ripe fruit & a nut base so not too sickly or cakey.
I still have plans for lots more cooking & entertaining at least until my energy dries up before No 2 comes along in early July, so fingers crossed it doesn’t happen too soon.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
This week started off with Michael’s birthday on Saturday, so what better way to start off a weekend/birthday than with a special breakfast. Michael wanted a nice manly dish so no pancakes or anything sweet & ‘girly’, I’m afraid. So I made these scrumptious Potato & Feta Pancakes from Bill Granger’s Sydney Food. As I have said before I love his breakfast recipes in particular even though if I watch him on the tele I find him a bit off putting & cheesy, which is good as Michael just bought me another one of his books full of new brekky’s to try for my birthday. Anyway I have a thing for hash browns, even (shock horror) the Macca’s fake kind though I need to be hungover or pregnant before I allow myself to indulge in that particular variety. So this recipe was a treat, the addition of feta, which every other mouthful melted through the golden crispy potatoey goodness was sensational. To top off the mans breakfast I had to of course include meat, bacon, ottway free range bacon & no less. Even Chloe loved the pancakes so the celebrations stared off a success.
Lunch at the Fairfield boathouse on a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon followed by a bit of row, row, row your boating & duck feeding was a nice way to relax away the afternoon. Dinner I’m ashamed to say was simply cake – Nigella’s Chcocolate Orange Cake from Feast which contained 2 whole oranges, 6 eggs, almond meal, no flour, was very moist & almost a meal in itself. Some candles and a quick rendition of Happy Birthday was all this needed to be served with.
Sunday we had a day of pottering around the house, getting the vegetable gardens ready for planting out, painting some cupboards, etc & working off all of Saturdays indulgences. I did bake a batch of blueberry & raspberry friends to take to work for my birthday though – I love a friend & as they are made with nut meal (in this case almond) I find they stay fresher longer than say your traditional muffin, if making them advance. Sorry about the blurry photo but for the life of me I cant work out how to take a photo of anything covered in icing sugar that doesn’t blur, any suggestions? They went down a treat even though I couldn’t convince most of the guys that a friend was in fact any different to a muffin & not just a fancy name.
Today it was my birthday & even though a) I had to work & b) I am really a bit over cake by now, I decided I couldn’t let the day go by without making myself a quick cake to celebrate. As I had to whip it up before work I made Nigella’s Retro Cherry cheesecake from Express & no kidding I have made easy cheesecakes before but this was incredible, I almost felt like I hadn’t made it, it was so easy! Very, very delicious too.
Off to dinner at L’osteria on Nicholson st in