Friday, July 28, 2006

Another eBay purchase

I just had to share a photo of these because I love them so much. Egyptian cannisters found on eBay.

The Sweet Tooth

My non-smoking sweet tooth is alive and well. Muffins this week. Chocolate & Blueberry. I haven't been much of a muffin fan in the past ~ too big and too moist for my taste. These were great though. More like mini-chocolate cakes. Perhaps it was the buttermilk, perhaps it was the 85% Lindt chocolate. They were delicious. And do you love the muffin cups that I bought on eBay?

The Stand Outs this week...

...have been S.O.'s braised celery and shallots in parchment to accompany the lamb, and the colcannon with snags.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

And the weight goes on...

I won't tell you how many kilos. Suffice to say I am no longer a size 12. Ah, well. And I am most appreciative of the encouragement from bloggers and friends alike, especially Paul's suggestion. Check it out.

S.O. had a yen for smoked fish the other night. Mash, Dutch carrots and parsley sauce. (What makes a carrot Dutch, I wonder, anyone know?)

By Friday I needed something a little lighter and had spent the previous evening flicking through the three Bill Granger books we own. Found a lovely grilled sirloin with a herby zingy relishy business accompanied by snow peas and rice.

And for anyone who can get to Fox market (I'm not sure where else to get it) the Nami Japanese dressing is superb. I sprinkled a bit over the rice, but it's fantastic with oysters, shashimi.

It was a bit naughty, but you see the thing about not smoking is breakfast becomes just a wonderful time. And what better way to celebrate it than with Bill Granger's Coconut Bread (toasted) spread with Sopra's Blood Orange marmelade, and a bucket of milky coffee. I felt like I was in Jamaica.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tuna & Beans

Click on the photo and the recipe will be clear as a bell. It was lovely, with fantastically fresh green beans cooked in eggs and parmesan. (from the Silver Spoon)

More Sweet Stuff....Cookies.

I was going to make an apricot pie. I made the pastry, I prepared the apricots (dried, as it's the middle of winter), and then I don't know what happened, but we ended up with Chocolate Shortbread and Brown Sugar Cookies.

After that sort of excess, a healthy soup was in order ~ Borlotti Bean, Pancetta and Cavolo Nero.

It was Bastille Day, so S.O. got in the Francophile spirit of things with his tres chic striped T.

Breast of Lamb Ste Ménéhould ~ such a great name

S.O. had a bit of a cookathon last week. We had bought some very cheap and cheerful cuts of meat at Haberfield, and where else do you turn in those circumstances but to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Meat' Book for his Breast of Lamb Ste Ménéhould . It was delicious, but what a palaver. Took days.

S.O. did as Hugh suggested and made the tartare sauce, and served it with an orange and watercress salad and some mash.

Not to be served to my Jewish friends.

Pork cooked in milk. Yep. I know, sounds terrible, and it's decidedly unkosher, but it's lovely. The milk makes the pork meltingly tender and then it goes all nutty brown bits around it at the end. Yummy.

And a couple of loaves of Mr Oliver's Ciabatta, which seem to be the most successful on the crust stakes.

And another night was the Veal stewing chops with Olives.

Jam Donuts.

I LOVE Jam Donuts. And I've let myself go during the non-smoking period. A Jam Donut a day keeps the doctor away. Isn't that the adage.

It was getting a little out of control though, when I remembered Nigella's recipe for the Jam Donut Muffin:

  • 125ml milk

  • 85ml corn or other vegetable oil

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 200g self-raising flour

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 12 tsp of berry jam (I used Bitton’s Strawberry & Vanilla Jam ~ it’s divine)

With a fork, beat together milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract. Stir this into the flour and caster sugar to combine, the lumps don't matter. Remember not to overbeat or else the muffins will be tough. Spoon the mixture into each mini muffin cups so that it's just under a third full. Add a tsp of jam, then top with more muffin mix so that the cases are just about full.

Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 C.

While still hot roll in melted butter and sugar.

My word, they are SPLENDID!

30 Days Fag Free

Woo hoo. Over four weeks without a cigarette. Not even a nicotine patch. Just sheer bloody mindedness. Three kilos extra, but hey, it'll come off eventually. I am constantly hungry.

We did a trip to Haberfield to stock up on all the Italian goodies and came away with some fresh borlotti beans. They are so beautiful. I cooked them in 'the italian way' as suggested by Jamie and the River Cafe team, and they were truly delicious. Apparently putting tomatos in while you're cooking them helps to soften them.

We had also bought some quail at Haberfield, and S.O. made a gorgeous quail grilled with a salt and sage crust from the River Cafe book.

Also tried some more sourdough, which was looking good, but again the crust. It's lethal. Far, far too hard. I don't know what I"m doing wrong.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

What have we eaten this week?

I think it goes something like this:

Thursday - Fennel Sausages & Polenta
Wednesday - Spinach & Paneer Curry
Tuesday - Deano's Baked Beans
Monday - Risotto again
Sunday - Can't remember

And unfortunately the local bakery's Jam Donuts have featured prominently most days.

It is 18 days without a cigarette after all.

No photos as the camera's been playing up.

Friday, July 07, 2006

And Another Food Parcel

This time from Bron Marshall . More goodies, including my favourite mag ~ Cuisine.

We have hoed into it already. The fudge is gone. Beautiful smooth creamy fudge. Have made a dent in the honey drops, although having Manuka honey in them they could be considered positively good for you.

The Mushroom and Thyme dip was a ripper. Great with the bagel chips. A kind of new better tasting take on the old French Onion and Sour Cream that was around when I was a gal in the '70s.

I will keep you posted on the rest as it hits our mouths.

Thanks Bron.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Antipodean Blogging By Post III

Parcels, parcels.

One from Emma at Laughing Gastronome and another from Paul at eatnz .

Both great. Emma found some fabulous treats. We are now addicted to Pineapple Lumps. In fact, I scoff one as I type. Thankfully my Kiwi physio has alerted me to a local chemist that sells them. Who would have thought. Can't wait to try the herbs, and have plans for the saffron in a sweet saffron bread. I have to fess up though that my evil dog (who, as a result of this episode and the bread dough some weeks ago has had to undergo some serious behaviour therapy) scoffed the Schoc. And it looked and smelled so beautiful.

Paul has provided the 'method' -- a copy of the Edmonds Cookery Book (from what I gather a bit like Cookery the Australian Way) complete with the necessary box of baking powder. Marvellous, no nonsense recipes. I whipped up a batch of Honey Snaps after dinner the night it arrived and they were bloody delicious. (Page 41 for anyone with a copy, which I suspect is any self-respecting Kiwi.)

Thanks to both of you.

Keeping on trying...

Above please find first attempt with Linda's magical sourdough starter. It wasn't bad, but a bit gluey.

And the crust was just a little too crusty.

Will try harder!

Stone Cold Soba Noodles

Actuallly they're not soba noodles, it's linguine, but this is one of those dishes that might qualify for what Nigella calls Temple Food. You can feel it doing you good. Raw tuna, a little bit of chili, rocket and a smidge of oil all tossed through pasta. It's delicious. The heat of the pasta almost cooks the tuna. Heavenly!

The fact the I have not had a cigarette for 14 days (but who's counting) which has also severely limited my alcohol intake prompted the name.

A bit of catching up to do...

Spinach & Paneer Curry, Egg Curry and Parathas

Savoirdi biscuit, icecream, passionfruit and choc sauce

Pork Chop with blood orange marmalade sauce, braised fennel and roasted spuds

Pumpkin and Gympie Goat Cheese risotto