Monday, 27 October 2008

Some Baking & My 100th Post :)














When I first started this blog I had no expectations and was not at all sure where it would take me. one hundred posts later nothing much has changed. most importantly I'm still having fun & for the most part enjoying meeting all the lovely bloggers out there.

over the weekend I did some baking. peanut butter & banana muffins (yum) & apple, walnut & oat quick bread (very nice) these usually don't last long in this house!

Peanut butter & Banana Muffins

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
40g butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanut butter

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease muffin pan. Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  2. with a whisk or fork, whisk butter, egg, milk, cinnamon, peanut butter and bananas together in a jug. Add to flour mixture and fold together until just combined.
Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.


Walnut, Apple & Oat Quick Bread

Ingredients

Melted butter, for greasing
125g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
220g (1 cup) raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
2 apples
225g (1 1/2 cups) self raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch salt
approx 1 cup milk
3/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 small cup oats

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Brush a 9.5 x 19.5cm (base measurement) loaf pan with the melted butter to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Use electric beaters to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a medium mixing bowl, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined.
  3. Peel and dice the apples. Sift together the flour and 1 tsp of the cinnamon with the baking powder and salt into a separate bowl. Use a large metal spoon to fold the flour mixture and milk alternately into the butter mixture. Fold in the diced apple with the walnuts until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Penne Carbonara












I'm sure lots of you have made this pasta dish many times but for me this was the first time I made it. I've wanted to make this for a long time instead of buying it when out or using a packet ;) decided tonight was the night & am glad I did. I'm

sending this to both Ruth for Presto Pasta Nights and Ruth for Bookmarked Recipes.


Ingredients (serves 4)

2 teaspoons olive oil
200g sliced pancetta, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 egg yolks (at room temperature)
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1/2 cup thickened cream
75g parmesan cheese, finely grated


Method

  1. Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until pancetta is crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, eggs, cream and three-quarters of the parmesan together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add egg mixture and pancetta mixture to pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss over low heat until well combined. Serve with remaining parmesan.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sweet & Sour Meatballs















I really haven't been cooking anything new recently so decide to change that tonight and cook something I'd been meaning to try for a while. I found a recipe for sweet & sour meatballs in super food ideas magazine a while ago, I decided it was time I tried them and I'm glad I did as they were really tasty & will be made again. am sending this to Ruth for bookmarked recipe's.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 750g lean beef mince
  • 1 small brown onion, grated
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 440g can pineapple pieces in natural juice
  • red capsicum (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
  • rice to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Combine mince, onion, breadcrumbs and egg in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into small balls. Place on a large plate.
  2. Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add one-third of meatballs. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, gently shaking pan often to brown meatballs evenly. Transfer to an 8-cup capacity, shallow casserole dish. Repeat with remaining two batches of mixture.
  3. Drain pineapple juice into a bowl. Add cornflour. Stir until smooth. Stir in vinegar, sugar, soy, tomato sauce, ginger, pineapple pieces, capsicum and 1/2 cup water. Pour over meatballs.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce has slightly thickened. Arrange rice in serving bowls. Spoon over meatballs and sauce. Serve.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

German Apple Cake

I love cinnamon & I love apples, on their own they are good together they are even better. they combine wonderfully in this delicious German apple cake from all recipe's .com. I added a cinnamon sugar topping just because I like too. am sending this to Joelen for her Oktoberfest event.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups apples - peeled, cored and diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch cake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  3. Combine the flour salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon together in a bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the apples by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Pasta with tomato sauce














I love pasta with just a simple tomato sauce, its so versatile as you can add almost anything to it, making it as simple or as complicated as you wish. now I have to confess to usually when pressed for time just opening up a jar (nothing wrong with that ;) ) this time I decided to make my own, it was really easy, didn't take long at all & I was very pleased with the results. am sending it to Presto Pasta Nights a weekly event started by Ruth and this week hosted by Judith from Think On It.

Ingredients

  • 40ml (2 tbs) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 410g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, herbs and 125ml (1/2 cup) water.
  3. Simmer for 25 minutes until thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Tomato & Bean Salad














This simple salad is so quick & easy to make you could do it with your eyes closed but its not recommended :p its also delicious! there's really no recipe you just blanch some trimmed green beans & refresh in cold water, add some red onion, your choice of beans (either dried & pre soaked & prepared) or a tin of bean mix works great and fresh tomato chopped. put into a bowl add dressing (recipe below) and serve chilled. its delicious served with grilled meats. am sending it to this months Monthly Mingle a fun monthly blog event started by Meeta from Whats For Lunch Honey & this month hosted by Ruth from Ruths Kitchen Experiments

dressing

Ingredients

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of raw sugar
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, garlic and sugar in a small jug until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Honey Soy & Garlic Beef Stir Fry

I often make stir frys as they're quick & easy to whip up after a busy day! you can easily chop & change meats and ingredients to suit what you have on hand. this beef one flavoured with honey, soy & a touch of garlic is especially good.





  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 500g stir-fry beef
  • snow peas (required amount) trimmed
  • 1 large red capsicum, deseeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow/orange capsicum deseeded, thinly siced
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 small carrot thinly sliced
  • honey, soy & garlic stir-fry sauce ( I make my own using approx 1/2 cup honey, dash of soy and crushed garlic)
  • noodles to serve

Method

  1. Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over a high heat. Add the beef. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add carrots, onions, snow peas, yellow/orange and red capsicum. Cook until done stirring constantly.
  3. Add the stir-fry sauce. Stir until heated through. Divide the noodles and beef and vegetables among serving bowls.