Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cauliflower & Prosciutto Pasta

I found this recipe in the Canvas magazine that came the NZ Herald on 2nd June 2012. We had just discovered the wonder of brussel sprouts, so I took the recipe home and tried it. Unfortunately I lost those photos when I lost the hard drive, but I still had the recipe. Today I made it again, and it was just as delicious as I had remembered.

Boil 400g pasta and set aside. Cook 6 slices of prosciutto (we use bacon instead) in a little olive oil, then set aside. Using the same pan, fry 400g of cauliflower and 200g sliced brussel sprouts with 3 cloves of garlic. In a bowl, combine 1 cup cream, 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add the cream mixture to the pan of cauliflower and brussel sprouts. At this point, I add the chopped bacon, although the recipe says to put it on last when serving. Add the pasta to the frypan and stir until the cream sauce thickens. Serve with a little extra parmesan grated on top.

Sooooo good!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Orange & Cardamom Cupcakes, with Orange & Whiskey Icing

Today Caitie and I made Orange and Cardamom Cupcakes, using a recipe from the Wild About Cupcakes book by Rachel Lane, published 2009.
The recipe calls for combining 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup ground almonds, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Separately, beat 90g butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons orange zest and 5 cardamom pods, ground.

Caitie had fun opening the cardamom pods, and then using Steve's mortar and pestle to grind the cardamom.

The beaten mixture didn't seem to be turning creamy, but with perseverance (and a lot of beating), we got it there.

Then we added the dry ingredients to the wet ones, along with 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons orange juice and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt. We actually used sour cream instead of yogurt. They were baked for 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

While the cupcakes were cooling, we made Geoff Scott's Orange & Whiskey Icing - 1 cup icing sugar, 50g butter, 1 teaspoon orange juice, 2 teaspoons whiskey. So yum.

We took the cupcakes around to Sue & Jim's house. Everyone enjoyed one, and Uncle Jon and Steve had two each! I call that a success!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sticky Lemon Chicken

Steve made Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken for dinner tonight. I originally had photos of this from when I made it, ready for the recipe book, but I lost those photos when the hard drive failed. I took photos of Steve's final dish, but because he tweaked the recipe a bit as he made it, it looked darker and thicker, and it had quite a different flavour.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

American Brownie

Steve made American Brownie this morning, using one of his old Eves Pantry recipes.
The original recipe called for:
875g butter
1.3kg chocolate
1.75kg sugar
25g vanilla essence
700g egg
10g baking powder
900g flour
185g cocoa
490g pecans

I think Steve ended up using a quarter measure of everything. It was a bit too rich for me, but Steve and the kids really liked it.

Carrot Cake

I made some carrot cake yesterday, using Jim's recipe. I haven't scrapped the recipe yet, but I needed a cake for my birthday morning tea shout at work that wasn't overly sweet.

It was very moist and quite tasty. I didn't ice it, because it was moist enough that it didn't need it, and the guys at work aren't really into sweet things. It makes two cakes, and I took one into work. The whole thing was eaten! Success! :) We'll use the remaining cake for school lunches, etc this week.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Vanilla Bean Scones

We made Caitie's Vanilla Bean Scones today.

They didn't rise as much as last time, but they were still yummy.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Country Chicken Cottage Pie

Steve decided he was in the mood for chicken pie tonight, and hunted through our recipe books until he found a recipe for Country Chicken Cottage Pie.

It smelled good and tasted even better. Sooooooo yum! Definitely going in the recipe book!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


Steve made a peach frangipani today, using one of his old Eves Pantry recipes.
The original recipe used:
1.8kg butter
1.8kg sugar
1.5kg egg
1.8kg milk
1.8kg flour
1.8kg ground almonds
170g baking powder
So it was a big recipe! Steve made a tenth of it, I think.

It was a variation of almond cake, but quite tasty. I don't think the kids were as keen on it.

Squidgy Chocolate Brownies

We tried to make Caitie's Squidgy Chocolate Brownies. Something went wrong, and I'm not sure what. It didn't rise at all - was hard and flat and not even remotely squidgy. :(


Steve made sultana scones today. He likes scones and barely needs a recipe to make them.

When they were finished, he ate one while it was still warm and with a mouthful of scone said "Mmmm, fresh warm scones always remind me of Gran. Whenever we went to her house, she'd have just whipped up a batch of scones and we'd eat them warm and fresh from the oven." I must remember to add that quote when I scrap the recipe for scones that Gran used.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Tonight Steve made Jenny Schumann's Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding. It was very similar to the one we've always made in the past, but boy did we need some dairy product to go with it!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Lemon Drink

I made some of Mum's lemon drink today.

It made two bottles of concentrate, so I took one round to my mother-in-law's. I prefer mine diluted with water, but my mother-in-law enjoyed it with soda water. To each their own!

Monday, 4 February 2013

An extravaganza of side dishes, a la Nigella!

I invited my parents-in-law over for dinner this evening, with the intention of trying out some more recipes from Nigellissima, the Nigella Lawson recipe book I'd been given for Christmas. I planned a roast beef with 'Italian Roast Potatoes', 'Savoy Cabbage with Potatoes, Fennel Seeds and Taleggio' and 'Garlic Mushrooms with Chilli and Lemon', followed by 'Vanilla Panna Cotta'.

My first problem was that when Steve had done the grocery shopping, he hadn't been able to find any gelatine leaves. Uh oh, I couldn't make the panna cotta without them! I'd better find some, quick! I assumed the most 'upmarket' supermarket would be most likely to have gelatine leaves, so I headed for New World in New Lynn. Not only did I find gelatine leaves (yes!) but also rose water which I've hunted for before and not found, and I was able to stock up on muscovado sugar which Nigella loves to use in her recipes.

By the time I got home with my goodies, Steve had put the beef in the oven to roast and my guests had arrived. Still plenty of time to make everything though...except the panna cotta. It's supposed to refrigerate for a minimum of six hours, and I probably had three...maybe four if I pushed it. And I had to make it yet, a tricky little dessert that I'd never attempted before. Uh oh. Well, never mind. I decided we'd just have that deliciously simple mousse again. No point stressing after all. Better to sit down and enjoy a visit with guests.

The roast potatoes were so easy - potatoes and garlic cloves in the roasting tray, rosemary and olive oil on to the oven. Beautifully simple.

We made the cabbage dish using camembert instead of taleggio at Nigella's suggestion. I confess, I didn't even bother asking Steve to look for taleggio but I will have a look for it myself next time I do the grocery shopping and see if it makes a difference to the dish. I wasn't sure about the wisdom of having potatoes in this dish AS WELL as the Italian potatoes, but actually, there's not much potato in this dish. So it's a matter of frying the potato, spring onion and fennel seeds, then adding cabbage, water and seasonings. Then you just add the cheese after it's all cooked and the liquid has been absorbed. It looked tasty.

Steve made the mushroom dish for me, which was particularly handy since I don't like mushrooms. Basically, you fry the mushrooms in parsley, lemon zest, chilli flakes, minced garlic and salt, then season with lemon juice.

What do you think of our impressive meal?

The roast beef was dry (should have made gravy!) and the potatoes were nothing special (although still yum!) but the cabbage....WOW! So good! And I was told the mushrooms were divine. The cabbage and mushrooms are definitely going in the recipe book and will definitely be made in my house again!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Pasta Risottata with Peas and Pancetta

We had an adult take on the Pesto, Peas and Bacon dish that Caitie added to the recipe book. This one was called 'Pasta Risottata with Peas and Pancetta' and it's from Nigella Lawson's Nigellisima book. We actually used bacon instead of pancetta (shh!) but it was really yummy. Steve particularly enjoyed it.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Simple Chocolate Mousse

I was going to make 'Instant Chocolate and Orange Mousse' from my Nigella Lawson recipe book, but I didn't have all the ingredients. In the end, I simplified it by just whipping cream and stirring melted chocolate through it. Soooo yum and so easy! I think I'll add it to the book!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Kiwi Dip

I made Kiwi Dip tonight. Lynda has given me a photo of the finished dip for the recipe book, and I'll put the recipe in under her name, but since I was making it anyway, I took a photo of the ingredients for use in the book.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fantail Potatoes, Christmas Pudding Liqueur & Dog Biscuits

I had to take Jayden to the doctors this afternoon to get his plaster cast remove and a fibreglass one put on. While we were sitting in the waiting room I picked up an old copy of the Australian Woman's Weekly. It was a Christmas special with all sorts of delicious recipes. I used my phone to take a copy of the recipes for Fantail Potatoes (they look just like the ones Mum used to make, but with bay leaves and stock), Christmas Pudding Liqueur (similar to the drink Sue made for Christmas day - maybe a new flavour for her to try) and Dog Biscuits (why not?). I'll try them out and see how they go. Might be some new additions to the recipe book!