Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pink Checkerboard Biscuits - Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink is becoming so recognisable as a symbol for Breast Cancer
I believe its important to come together as a community and help raise awareness and funds to continue our battle against this devastating disease.

So I thought I would share these gorgeous biscuits, the recipe adapted from the cookbook Australian Women's Weekly Cookies.

Firstly you make a simple cookie dough and divide it in two.
To one batch I added beetroot powder, to the other I added 'fairy dust' sprinkles.

They are shaped into logs and refrigerated until firm.
Then cut into lengths and create your checker logs before refrigerating again.

The logs are then sliced and baked.

They are so pretty and fun to make. 
And they tasted delicious.

And to put my money where my mouth is I will donate 20cents for every page view on this post over the next three days!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prosciutto wrapped chicken with sage, rainbow chard and pine nuts

This recipe is just so simple and incredibly delicious. 
It is from Tobie Puttock's Cook like an Italian
And if this is how you cook like an Italian I am one happy girl!

The boneless chicken thigh is rolled in prosciutto with sage in the middle.
You then just pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile warm some garlic and orange zest in olive oil.

Then pop in some rainbow chard or silverbeet and cook for about 5 minutes.

Next pop in your chicken and its cooking juices, orange juice and some pinenuts.
You then just allow this to cook so all the flavours meld together until the chicken is cooked through.

It really is a beautiful dish to eat and one that will frequent the dinner table in the muppy house!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cambodian Spicy Sour Beef with Tamarind Sauce

This is yet another recipe from SBS Feast.
My parents have travelled to Cambodia with Operation Christmas Child, an organisation that delivers gifts for children at christmas, the only gift that most of these children will ever receive.
I bought my mum for her birthday the cambodian recipe book From Spiders to Water Lillies. The book is produced by a restaurant in Phnom Penh that is run by ex-street kids, and it turns out my mum ate there. 

So when I saw Cambodian recipes in the this months magazine I knew I would have to try them.
I couldn't find all the ingredients I needed, so I substituted my vegetables for more readily available ones. And I could not find pickled mudfish at the asian grocer so I used shrimp paste.

The base to this dish was a mix of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and garlic.

Other ingredients included this beautiful piece of steak, turmeric, tamarind, pickled mudfish (I used shrimp paste), fish sauce and palm sugar.

After cooking the lemongrass mix and turmeric you add the fish sauce, tamarind and shrimp paste that have been mixed with water.
Once this is simmering you add the beef and sugar and cook briefly before adding the blanched vegetables.

It was a really interesting dish and quite different to dishes I normally cook. 
The tamarind broth was quite delicious, packed full of flavour. 
Such a simple dish but healthy and tasty.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Layered Rhubarb & Lemon No Bake Cheesecake

This is a delicious dessert that I grew up eating as it is a recipe from my mum. Well her recipe is for lemon passionfruit cheesecake so I did experiment a little!

The base is made by crushing up sweet store bought (or homemade) biscuits and mixing with butter before pressing into a tin with a removable base. I should have used a little extra butter as mine is a little crumbly.

I made this for my lovely sister in law who had a birthday on the weekend.
It is a great cake to make as it is best made a day in advance.

I made the base mix of cream cheese, cottage cheese, vinegar and condensed milk before splitting the mixture in two. I then added lemon juice, rind, gelatine and whipped cream to make my first layer.
For my top layer I added pureed cooked rhubarb, gelatine and whipped cream.
Then you just refrigerate.

It was delicious, still one of my favourite desserts. 
It is so soft and light, very much like a mousse but cheesecakey.

Layered Rhubarb and Lemon No Bake Cheesecake
(adapted from muppys mum)

185g biscuits (I used 'nice')
90g butter

Crush Biscuits and combine with melted butter then press into greased tin (removable base)

250g cottage cheese
250g cream cheese
400g tin condensed milk
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp gelatine dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Pureed cooked rhubarb (I cooked 4 stalks with one tsp sugar)
300ml cream, whipped softly

Beat cheeses until light and creamy. 
Add condensed milk and vinegar and continue to beat until creamy.
Divide the mixture in two.
To the first mixture beat in the lemon juice and rind and half the gelatine.
Fold through half the whipped cream.
Pour into the tin.
To the second mixture beat in the rhubarb and remaining gelatine.
Fold through the remaining whipped cream.
Carefully pour on top of the lemon layer.
Refrigerate, best eaten the next day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kids Crazy Island Tea Party - Crave Sydney

The Kids Crazy Island Tea Party is an exciting adventure for any child. 
This event for Crave Sydney Food Festival was a like a dream come true for the kiddies!
The event is free but tickets were snapped up quickly, we were fortunate enough to be allocated some tickets through Twitter.

Firstly you wait at the spectacular Opera house "Man O'War Steps" wharf to be ferried to historic Goat Island.

From the moment you arrive you are greeted by enthusiastic staff.

The Island is set up with multiple activities.

Our first stop was the enchanted tea party where the kids were able to decorate their own little treasure boxes.

And have their face painted by a fairy!

Then we were off to the Sparkle cupcake factory, complete with a Lindt chocolate fountain.

And of course cupcakes were decorated.

We then headed to the marketplace.

Crazy coconut cakes were decorated.

Who can say no to fairy floss?

Along with flavoured ice, 
and the kids were able to choose their own fruit to be blended into a delicious drink.

Plenty of fun was had decorating Mr Potato head.
The kids were also given a pot to add soil to and choose vegetable seeds to plant and water.

Then off to the Pirates cave where they were able to make and decorate their own pirate hats.

Of course there was dancing and a live show performed by Alice in Wonderland.

And a Lindt Teddy Bears Picnic.

Don't forget the balloon swords.

That was until Evie's popped, one sad very tired little girl!

Lindt gave out cute little teddy bear chocolates and hosted a colouring competition.
They gave prizes for the best ones which was great until they called out Evie 
(9 months) so our Evie (who should know she is not 9 months!) very proudly went to collect her bag....once again we had tears.

The big Lindt teddy still got a big hug on the way home.

Evie gave the day a big thumbs up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saag Paneer on a Pumpkin Rosti with Tamarind Glaze and Coconut Cream

This recipe for Saag Paneer is from one of the contestants, Jackie, off Masterchef UK. 
I really enjoy Masterchef UK version, to me it really is all about cooking, rather then the social experiment Australian Masterchef seems to tend towards.

So if your looking for an interesting vegetarian dish then look no further, this one was really really good.
There are a few elements to prepare but it so worth it.
Firstly the pumpkin rosti is made up from grated pumpkin and potato, chilli and coriander leaves. It is fried in a pan before finishing in the oven.

After blanching the spinach and pureeing it you move on to cooking off the spices, cumin and mustard seeds, and onion, garlic, ginger and chilli.

The spinach and tomatoes are added and allowed to meld together. 
Meanwhile you fry your paneer cubes in some butter.
Then you also need to prepare the tamarind glaze from tamarind puree, water, sugar and red wine vinegar. 
And finally soften some coconut cream with warm water.

It was delicious, the tamarind glaze is put on the plate and topped with the rosti. Then you place your saag on the rosti topping with the paneer. Finish with a drizzle of coconut cream.
It was an amazing dish, every element had its place. 
I will definitely be cooking it again.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Orange Cake

This recipe is from the lovely Ellie at Gourmand Recipes.
I was totally convinced to try the recipe and I was not disappointed.

I love finding an excuse to bake so when we had guests over for dinner this was one recipe close to the top of my list.

The cake came out beautifully.

It is covered with icing tinted with orange juice.

It was delicious, the cake so soft and delicate yet robust!
Perfect for an afternoon tea treat.