Monday, August 29, 2011

Salted and Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

So a quick one but a great one! This recipe I stole from Raspberri Cupcakes and was intrigued from the moment the title popped up on my RSS feed - what an absolute winner! These cookies are rich and deliciously sticky with malty milo goodness. I obviously used Milo instead of regular malt powder so my cookies are much darker than hers but they were awesome and disappeared really quickly.

The combination of Dark and milk choc chips adds a really nice extra dimension (as if these gorgeous creatures needed one more!)

They are dead easy - I hope you have a go!

x S

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spaghetti Pumpkin

So yes, It has been a really long time. I know that if other bloggers go for this long without posting I take them off my RSS feed so I completely understand if you've done the same to me!
I've spent the last year preparing my accreditation paperwork for work - and there's still 40 days to go! so I've been giving priority to that - whenever I open up the laptop I feel compelled to look at research articles or write programmes rather than write about yummy food. But trust me the cooking is still happening. I can justify that as a basic human need :)

This one is more of a review than a recipe. Last year my nanna got 'Spaghetti Pumpkin Seeds' with her Burkes Backyard magazine as as she is getting on a bit and we have a bizarrely flourishing vege patch (apparently neglect is an excellent gardening technique- especially when your house is built where there used to be a cow pasture :) she asked us to grow some so she could see what they looked like - and this is the result!

It looks like an elongated yellow pumpkin and if you cut it while uncooked the flesh is firm and yellow with a few seeds in the centre. The trick is to cook it whole for 1.5hrs in the oven and then slice it open lengthways. In this way the inside steams up and the flesh separates into long strands that look a lot like spaghetti or glass noodles.

Perfect for the gluten free types and a good way to get veges into you, this pumpkin was easy to grow and cook, but what about the flavour? well I wouldn't equate it with spaghetti. In the picture we tried it with a basic tomato sauce and neither of us were particularly fussed. Both of us felt it was more like a noodle than a pasta and so we tried it the next night with a sweet and sour sauce and found it much more appealing.

Interesting and fun to try though, if (through no effort on our part) we happen to get a crop next year then I'll treat it in a more asian style and perhaps even try a vietnamese noodle salad with the cooked strands!

Have a great day everyone - back in 40 days or so :)!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Salt Book

So occasionally since I started this blogging business I get emails from people keen to have me promote their book or product. I have decided that this is a compliment - apparently they believe enough people might want to check out what's going on here to make it worth their while.

I usually say no because I'm not really expecting to make money here and it just seems like another thing to add to my already expansive list of 'Things to Do'.

And then it occurred to me this morning when I got an email about 'The Salt Book' that perhaps if there are any dollars in it I could do something useful with them - like give to one of the charities I support. And so here it is.

If there happens to be any commission come my way on this one I will give it to Bush Church Aid, a great organisation that ministers to remote communities throughout Australia - you can check them out here

You all know that I'm a cookbook junkie and am currently on a cookbook diet - not allowed to buy any more until I cook more from what I already have (this excludes gifts, and massive bargains Husband dear :)

And I haven't actually had my hot little hands on The Salt Book but I have to say it looks interesting, definitely something I'd pick up in a bookstore to inspect further - especially as the Husband has a salt addiction that I suspect will need curbing at some time in the future...

so if learning further about salt would be helpful to you please feel free to inspect it further. The picture is a link to their site.

Have a great day,


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love Treats!

This one is a bit late I'm afraid but it's so good I can't leave it out!

This was a Valentines Day treat for my spectacular husband. A brilliantly easy recipe that I stole from the lovely Chocolate Suze.
You can read it for yourself here.

I've made a slight alteration and made the heart shaped cups dark chocolate rather than white and added raspberries to break up all that richness with something!

How fabulous is a recipe that only has 4 ingredients- even better when those ingredients are chocolate, cream, condensed milk and Nutella. Not for the faint hearted or the calorie counters but it's blissfully easy and very impressive.

I can wholly recommend sitting them in the fridge for a while - and any leftover mousse is divine the next day!

Don't feel like you have to have the chocolate cups either - it would be just as fabulous in a pretty little dish or champagne glasses with some chocolate curls on top!

Have a lovely week everyone

xx S

Friday, April 15, 2011


It's been just one thing after another at the moment and I am busy doing my accreditation for work this year (10 months or so of permanent guilt that I'm not going to get it because I haven't tried hard enough) so the cooking in my home has reverted back to the standards - Spaghetti Bolognaise, Apricot Chicken, throw together roasts, freezer chicken kiev etc etc.

I'm just about dying of food boredom. That's the trouble with developing fancy tastes - you just can't go back.

So when my sister and her boyfriend came for dinner all the way from jolly old England I thought I'd go nuts with a summery Aussie salad to welcome them. Unfortunately it rained all day which kind of takes the joy out of salad so I did salad and roast chicken which worked very nicely.

The salad was great fun to make. I went shopping without a list and picked up all the things I like in salads with no thought about how they go together - fortunately it worked and was a big tough manly meal of a salad (if anything can be manly that has figs in it :)

So here's the list of salad ingredients from a woman who shopped with abandon at finally having the opportunity to make something interesting for a change!

Fresh Figs
Goats Cheese
Macadamia Nuts
Lemon juice
Dijon mustard
Nice Olive Oil

Crisp up the pancetta in a pan, lose any leftover fat and then toast the Macadamias so they get charred and warm with pancetta flavour.

I did the dressing in a jar with equal amounts of oil and lemon juice, a teaspoon of dijon and a drizzle of honey. Shake until combined.

Toss the whole lot together and enjoy. I really enjoyed it and there were no leftovers so I suspect other people did too! I was so happy with the final product (and incidentally - the photo! Love it when you accidentally get a great image with a point and shoot - I'm no photographer!)

Have a lovely week.

PS. I finally got a picture up of the Lemon polenta cake on the previous post for those who wanted to know what it looked like!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lemon/Lime Polenta Bars/Slice/Cake

I have a foodie confession to make.

I have always really disliked Polenta. I can't stand it when a beautifully cooked piece of meat in a restaurant is resting on a gluggy yellow heap of polenta, I don't like polenta chips and have been known to grumble "They are NOT chips" when they show up on my plate.

When Nigella shared that she shakes par boiled potatoes in polenta before she bakes them so that they will be extra crisp I trusted her, overcame my phobia and bought a packet. Husband loved them. I thought they were like potatoes rolled in sand. Clearly my issue was one of texture.

After that disappointing episode i was stuck with a container of polenta and nothing to do with it - I even considered using it to blind bake a tart case once when I was out of rice!

And then one day I was approaching the used by date on a jar of lemon curd and hunting for a recipe to use it in. I was in desperate need of some baking therapy too so when I found the recipe for lemon polenta bars I thought (as usual :) I have all the ingredients for that!

Let me just tell you - Polenta should always be served in this way. The sweet hint of corn with lemon and a slight bite to the moist texture is just divine. It might be my new favourite kind of cake which is kind of amazing considering how much I despise polenta usually!

200g room temperature butter
200g Caster sugar
4 eggs
100g instant polenta
1 cup self raising flour
grated rind of 3 lemons (I used limes)
1/4 cup lemon curd

Preheat oven to 180C, Grease and line a 30x20cm baking pan.

Beat all ingredients except lemon curd together until creamy and smooth with a pinch salt.
Smooth into pan and drizzle the lemon curd all over the top. Bake for 35mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10mins and then turn out.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and the rind and juice of one lemon and drizzle it over the cake while still hot.

I found that this worked in an upside down cake kind of way because the curd sunk through to the bottom but it still worked so don't panic.

It is delicious!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Raspberry lime curd tart

It is either a very brave or a very disorganised woman who makes dessert while her lunch guests are watching. Particularly a dessert that she has never made before, selected out of her scrapbook of recipes 5 mins before without knowing where it originally came from, and just picked it because she had all the ingredients.

I am that woman, unfortunately not the brave kind either :)

I had 6 people coming for lunch and decided 15mins before they were due to arrive that we needed dessert.
(I am prone to these whimsical moments that come back to bite me later)

Unfortunately they were early - even earlier than Husband who'd popped out for some last minute items. So I stood at the kitchen bench serenely gliding about, pretending I knew exactly what I was doing whilst making polite conversation, coffee and a Raspberry Lime Curd Tart.

Fortunately the recipe is brilliant! So simple that it make me appear to be the Stepford Superwoman I aspire to being. The result was very sophisticated and if I may say so myself - delicious.

I used frozen shortcrust but found that one sheet was too small for my loose-bottomed tart tin, so in my hurry ended up layering two pieces over each other diagonally which worked just fine.

I blind baked the shortcrust for10mins at 200C

Meanwhile you just whisk together:

3 egg yolks (separating the eggs was the least serene part of the show)
125g caster sugar
50g melted butter
1 cup light sour cream
2 Tbsp plain flour
rind and juice of one lime

Pour into the tart case and sprinkle with frozen raspberries.

Bake for 40mins until just set.

Trust me, it's a winner, tastes like restaurant food and leaves your Stepford reputation undented.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gingerbread House Fun.

My apologies for the hiatus everyone! Husband and I had a brilliant holiday in the Cook Islands in December and arrived home on the 22nd to a whirlwind of Christmas related catching up. I feel like we did "Christmas Concentrated" with the addition of a decent dose of Jet Lag :)

I had originally intended to have people over for Gingerbread house construction night - I bought the cookie cutter works- all the pieces of the house plus pathways, chimneys and all the fuss, intending to make my first one from scratch and the pieces for all my friends.

Well, that went out the window when the jet lag hit- but I was determined to make at least my house so on Christmas eve eve I hauled myself out from underneath the mountain of holiday washing and cooked up a storm.

The recipe I used made me glad I didn't make one for a stack of friends, for one house it required 5 Cups of flour! So I won't give you the recipe here - Next year I'll go hunting for a better one, there are millions online and I'm sure heaps in my cookbooks too.

I'd just recommend avoiding the Women's Weekly Christmas and Entertaining Magazine one 2009/10 - it's true it cooked up nice and solid, but the pieces swelled out of shape a little and made it a little tricky to assemble. But fun! I love that icing that turns to cement, it makes you feel very talented when it all starts to stand up and look like a house when really it's actually quite simple.

As always the fun part was the decoration - I had a blast playing with mini marshmallows, musk sticks, jelly rings and multi coloured cachous - love it! and the house itself is full of chocolate eclairs and fantales. It's just sad that husband and I are so full of sugary treats we can't manage to crack it open just yet, but I'm sure the day will come soon :P

I hope you all had a wonderful christmas. Happy 2011!