Friday, 29 February 2008

Sticky Orange Chicken



These delicious chicken drumsticks require few ingredients and are quick & easy to prepare. they're great cooked on a BBQ too, perfect for the warmer weather :-)





Ingredients (serves 4)
2/3 cup orange marmalade (see tip)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 chicken drumsticks

olive oil cooking spray


Method
Place marmalade, mustard, stock and garlic in a large ceramic dish. Stir to combine. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, if time permits, turning once.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Spray a wire rack with oil and place over tray (see note).
Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Place drumsticks on rack. Roast, brushing occasionally with marinade, for 25 to 30 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part is pierced with a skewer.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Chocolate French Toast



I can't honestly say that this recipe is quick & easy as I did find it rather fiddly. it is however delicious, so worth it. the recipe comes from my favourite chef Bill Granger & is from his latest book, Holiday!






serves 4

3 eggs

185 ml (6 fl oz or 3/4 ) cup milk

1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar

a pinch of salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

8 slices white bread

100 gr ( 3 1/2 oz) milk or dark chocolate, chopped


to serve icing (confectioners) sugar


whisk together the eggs, milk, caster sugar & salt in a flat dish. heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.


dip 2 slices of bread into the egg mixture, turning them over untill completely coated. put them into the frying pan & sprinkle each one with a 1/4 of the chopped chocolate. soak another 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture and put on top of the chocolate bread in the pan to make sandwiches. press lightly with a spatula to seal the edges.


cook for 3 minutes each side or untill golden brown. remove and serve immediately or keep warm while you make the other 2 sandwiches. serve dusted with icing sugar.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Award

I'm so happy and honoured to have been given an award by the very sweet Ruth from Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. thanks Ruth I'm thrilled it really means a lot :-)

The people I'm passing the E for excellent blog award on to are,

Maria from the Goddess's Kitchen. Maria has a fantastic blog full of tasty treats!

Kevin from Closet Cooking, I've not long discovered his blog but it has become a daily read

Donna from Made in Heaven, her lovely blog is just full of cheer & happiness, as is she

Robin from made with love, a lady whose lovely blog & subtle wit I enjoy

Shanti from My Kitchen Hobbies, her blog is so pretty & has many delicious dishes



Thanks again Ruth, you're a sweetie :-)

I've Been Meme'd

Hello I've been meme'd by Maria from the Goddess's Kitchen, a fabulous blog, please pay a visit soon :-)

What were you doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago I was working in a very stressful job ( a welfare service centre for the disabled) with very unsupportive people. I decided on a whim to walk away, something I have not regretted. I was also re-evaluating my marriage after 14 years. this time I made the choice to work harder at it & on the 2nd of february I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary! (I married two months before my 19th Birthday

What were you doing 1 year ago?

Much the same as I am now. cooking baking & toying with the idea of starting my own food blog. as you can see I've finally given it a go, & I love doing it

Five snacks you enjoy

Vegemite toast
cheese on crackers
chips (crisps)
binka's (Aussie lollies made with natural favourings)
Lollygobbleblissbombs (LOL yes thats all one word) a toffe/caramel kinda popcorn

5 Things I would do if I was a millionaire

1- Travel to Croatia to see where my OH grew up
2- buy a hotel for cats/animals
3- buy a house
4- go on a world wide shopping spree
5- help my family

5 Bad Habits

1- I fidget
2- I talk a lot
3- I am very impatient
4- I leave things untill the last minute
5- like Maria I'm also impatient with people who walk slowly in front of me. tho if feeling especially miffed am likely to say something like, "will the traffic please move to the side" or "make way for the lady with the gigantic pin". I promise not often tho ;-)

5 things you like doing?

Watching star trek Enterprise (as said before i'm a fanatic)
Reading
Cooking and blogging
listening to music
shopping

5 things you would never wear again

1- leggings with stirrups, I mean why punish ones self again
2- puff ball skirts
3- shoulder pads
4- blonde hair (sorry but am so much more suited to brunette) but you never know ;-)
5- a full fringe (bangs) not a good look for me

5 Favourite Toys

sorry but am not really good with gadgets so apart from our new TV, nothing really

Maria thanks for tagging me its been a lot of fun.

the people I'm tagging are Jeena from Jeena's Kitchen, Jennyfer from Jennyfer's Culinary Creations, Robin from Made with love, Sarah from Sarah's Cooking Escapades and Uma from Essence of Andhra.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Buttermilk Lime Cake



this cake might not look too fancy, in fact rather plain. believe me there's nothing plain about the taste, its delicious with the buttermilk & a slight tang from the limes. here's the recipe!






Ingredients (serves 8)
250g butter, softened
2 limes, rind finely grated, juiced
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
210ml buttermilk
Lime icing
1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon milk
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
Method
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20cm (base) round cake pan.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, cream butter, 1 tablespoon lime rind and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in half the flour. Add half the buttermilk and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Stir to combine. Fold in remaining flour and buttermilk and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into batter.
Spread batter into cake pan and smooth surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make lime icing: Combine icing sugar, milk and enough lime juice to form a thick icing.
Spread icing over top of cake. Allow to set before serving.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Roast Beef With Horseradish & Mustard Mayonnaise


I made this simple & delicious roast beef recently. there's really no recipe. just cook your beef roast ( I used a small topside roast) to your liking, bake potatoes alongside the meat if you want. serve the beef sliced on a bed of rocket & drizzle with the horseradish and mustard mayonnaise.




Horseradish & Mustard Mayonnaise

(appox measures)


small cup mayonnaise (homemade or bought)

1 tablespoon (or to taste) horseradish

2 tablespoons (or to taste) grainy mustard


mix together and use to drizzle over the roast beef!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Love Buns











These sweet little buns come from the Valentines chapter of Nigella's Feast cook book. the original recipe calls for a kinda meringue like topping that unfortunately I'm not too keen on either eating or making. thankfully in Feast Nigella gives an alternative topping idea of strawberry jam & whipped cream, which is what I used to decorate my Valentines love buns!!.


the bun recipe is unchanged from the book. for the topping I whipped some cream and then coloured it pink (only had white hearts & they wouldn't show up on white cream) I then spread the tops of each bun with strawberry jam, then the gorgeous pink whipped cream, white hearts & glittery sprinkles. and yes they do taste good!!


here's the original recipe, meringue topping included.


For the Buns:

125g soft butter

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

125g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 T milk

For the Topping:

2 egg whites

4 T golden

syrup

100g caster sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp vanillaheart shaped sprinkles

Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to bring it to room temperature - this makes a huge difference to the lightness of the love buns later - and preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.

Put all of the ingredients for the buns, except the milk, into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel, to make a smmoth dropping consistancy.
Divide the mixture into a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers or heart-patterned cases, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top; you want a little peak if possible.

Let them cool a little in their tin on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.

Now for the topping. Here there is a slight dilemma, as you'll make more than you need for the 12 buns, but if you halve the quantities, you won't have quite enough. If you're making these for you and your one true love, then I presume you won't need all 12 of them, in which case you could freeze most of the buns to be iced and eaten at some later date, and halve the topping ingredients to decorate the few you want today.

This is a topping that has a kind of meringue base, by which you whisk egg whites over heat until they're stiff and gleaming. Think Mr. Whippy. SO make a double-boiler with a bowl that will fit snugly over a saucepan of barely simmering water, and put all of the ingredients for the icing, except for the vanilla and the sprinkles, into the bowl. WHisk everything with an electric beater until the icing becomes thick and holds peaks like a meringue. This will take about 5 minutes, so be patient.

Take the bowl off the saucepan and on to a cool surface and keep whisking while you add the vanilla. Then keep whisking until the mixture cools a little. You want a proper peaked and whipped covering here, so spoon some icing over each bun, and then dollop another spoonful over ina swirly fashion. Immediately shake over your choice of sprinkles, as the icing will set very quickly. Indeed, these look rather like stage prop buns or the fake ones that some bakeries use to keep in their windows, so plasticky and gleaming are they.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Ricotta Hotcakes



From Nigella Lawsons Forever Summer these easy to make ricotta hotcakes are a treat for a special breakfast, or just anytime really. served with strawberries & maple syrup they are a taste sensation!






250g ricotta cheese
125ml semi-skimmed milk
2 large eggs, separated
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 tsp groundnut (or any flavourless) oil

to serve
250g strawberries, chopped, slightly squashed or other berries of your choice Maple or golden syrup if you are so inclined

Put ricotta, milk and egg yolks into a bowl and mix well to combine. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently whisk to make a smooth batter.

Beat the egg whites until they become foamy - this isn't hard work even whisking by hand, which is all that's needed here - and then fold them into the ricotta mixture.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and drop in heaped dessertspoons of batter. Cook the pancakes for about 1 minute until golden and then flip them over and cook for another minute. Keep the cooked pancakes warm, by tenting with foil on a large warmed plate, while you work your way through the batter, and then serve with syrup if you must - and strawberries.
Makes about 25

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Nigella's store cupboard chocolate cake




I love this easy cake from Nigella's book, how to be a domestic goddess!. its so easy & very versatile. as well as the marmalade in the original recipe you can use almost any flavour marmalade or jam you have to hand (just use the same amount as in original recipe). raspberry & cherry jam is delicious, I used plum this time & it was lovely served with cream.


1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces

1 1/3 cups good, thin-cut marmalade

1/2 cup sugarpinch of salt

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup self-rising flour
8 inch springform pann, buttered and floured
Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat to melt. When it's nearly completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment to begin softening, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Now add the marmalade, sugar, salt and eggs. Stir with your wooden spoon and when all is pretty well amalgamated, beat in the flour bit by bit. Put into your prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out.

Rapid Ragu

This quick & easy recipe is from Nigella Express. I've made it with lamb & beef, both delicious & versatile. it can be served as Nigella does with grated cheese on top, or with corn chips, or really as you like. I did caramelize my own onions rather than using pre bought.







Ingredients

2 tbsp garlic oil

125g/4½oz cubed pancetta

500g/1lb 1½oz minced lamb

75g/2¾oz caramelised onions (from a jar)

80ml/2¾fl oz marsala wine

1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

75g/2¾oz red lentils

125ml/4½fl oz water

50g/2oz grated Red Leicester or cheddar, to serve (optional)

Method
1. Heat the oil in a wide saucepan and fry the pancetta until beginning to turn crisp and golden-brown.
2. Add the minced lamb, breaking it up with a fork, and stir until browned.
3. Add the caramelised onions, marsala, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. To serve, divide the rag├╣ between four serving bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese, if using.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Plum Glazed Ham

The photo may not look that good but believe me it tasted fine. no real recipe sorry, I just warmed some plum jam with some grainy mustard, soy sauce & brown sugar & used it to glaze a small piece of boneless ham, while baking it in the oven!