May 4, 2013
I'm a sucker for infographics, as you might have noticed. I came across this 'Pairing Food and Wine' infographic the other day and had to share it with you. It was posted on Fast Co Design, but you can buy the print from Wine Folly here.
I can usually pick a good wine to match certain foods (red with meat, white with fish etc), but this helps clarify some specifics like types of seafood and meats, plus fresh veges vs roasted veges. I'm going to keep this in mind when next cracking open a bottle with dinner. Plus, it would just look so good in the kitchen.
April 29, 2013
I mentioned not long ago that I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, and I am yet to look back. It's such a great place for me to 'pin' ideas that I can refer back to professionally and for fun. On food side of things, there are so many sweets and desserts getting pinned, which is great (not for my ass), but I'm really looking for some clean healthy recipes. You see, you may have noticed, I'm not that big on processed and fatty/sugary ingredients. On this blog you find the obvious sugar and butter, but I have these have little 'rules' about what I cook. They are generally, if a recipe has corn syrup, condensed milk, abnormal amounts of sugar, etc, I avoid making it. I don't do deep fried. I will only cook with olive, grape seed and coconut oil. I don't like ingredients that are considered a 'packet-food' (excluding pasta of course). So things like cheesecake are mostly a no. It might seem a bit silly, but I just can't bring myself to make them.
What do I make, well, you probably already know. But I like fresh ingredients. I like ingredients that have no additives. When I buy tinned tomatoes, I only buy the ones that are 100% tomatoes, no added salt or preservatives. There are some things you can't avoid with this, such as Chinese sauces, like oyster sauce etc. But that's ok. It's life I guess, and as much as I'd love to only use 100% natural ingredients, well, I can't afford it. And I don't have the time to make everything. It's a battle a lot of people go through, but at the end of the day you have to go with what suits you.
Dishes like this lamb and mushroom pasta, they bring out the best in my love for natural ingredients. Fresh ingredients cooked for a long time, that create the most amazing deep and warming flavours.
I'll let you in on a secret - I didn't actually make this - Colin did. I advised him on what to add and the quantities, but he did the rest. So ladies, this is a dish for the boys to cook!
Update - apparently my mention of Colin cooking this dish wasn't enough, and seeing as I'm trying to encourage him to cook more often, I would like to add that he did an amazing job and is actually a pretty good cook. Is that better Colin? :)
SLOW COOKED LAMB AND MUSHROOM PASTA
Recipe adapted from The Living Room
500g lamb shoulder or leg, cut into cubes
1 brown onion, diced
1 leek, white/pale green part diced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 field mushrooms, diced
Handful of porcini mushrooms
Bunch of thyme
500ml beef stock
Fresh chopped parsley
400g pasta (tagliatelle or a thick ribbon pasta works well)
Parmesan, to serve
In a large pot over a medium heat, add a good slug of olive oil, then add the onion, leek and garlic. Cook until translucent and slightly caramelised. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add a bit more oil, then add the lamb in batches until they are a little brown and sealed. Add the onion mix back into the pot, then add the field and porcini mushroom, the thyme and stock, then bring to boil. If the stock doesn't cover all the meat, add a little water. Turn to a simmer then leave to cook for two hours (lid on half the time) or until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is tender. Add a handful or chopped parsley and stir through.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain, then add the sauce and mix well. Serve with grated parmesan, and a nice glass of red (cos they are perfect together).
Fresh pasta would also work amazing with this. Recipe here.
April 25, 2013
Today in Australia it's Anzac Day, a day where we remember those who have served and died in war, in particular, Australians and New Zealanders who fought in Gallipoli during World War 1. It's always been a public holiday I haven't known much about, and I can probably bring that down to two things - pretty poor schooling systems that didn't seem to teach kids too much about history, and the fact I was never interested in history growing up. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't want to know, I hate not knowing world history, I sometimes feel left out. Art history, on the other hand, that I know lots about, and others generally don't. So it comes down to me doing my own research, reading books and such, which for me is a mission seeing I have a low attention span. Currently I've been trying to read graphic design books to learn more, something I love, but even that's proving difficult.
Anyway, I went off track. When I was in school Anzac Day was always about Anzac biscuits. We would make them at the school or bring them to school. I have never known the link between the two - actually, I'm just going to google it...
... so the link is the biscuits were apparently made by the wives and transported to the soldiers because the biscuits could keep for a long time without going off. Well, there you have it.
I love these biscuits because, yes, the do keep for ages, but because they also such a strong chilhood memory. Plus they are delicious!
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate baking soda
Preheat your oven to 160C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Place the flour, oats, coconut and suagr in a large bowl.
Melt the butter, and add the golden syrup and bicarb. Mix well, then pour into the oat mix. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then using a tablespoon, scoop up the mixture and using your hands, mould into a ball. Place on the tray and press slightly with the back of the tablespoon. Continue until you have them all done.
Place the tray into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. The biscuits will harden slightly when cooling.
Makes around 22.
March 24, 2013
It's be a while since I've made a cake or cupcakes (well not entirely true, I whipped up some chocolate cupcakes for my brothers birthday in January). I haven't really had the spare time to cook for 'fun', lately it's been cooking cos a girls gotta eat! I miss those days of having spare time to bake. Ahh baking.. it's so relaxing to bake something simple, and then even better when you get to feed it to the people you love most.
My other excuse was this awesome new set of pipping bags and tips. I've never really been into decorating cakes (I usually bake the simple cakes with fruit on top). But I noticed everyone always made these beautiful looking rose-shaped icing onto of theirs, and well, I wanted to do it too! So don't laugh at my icing attempt - it was my first time! I'm hoping to get a little more practice.
LEMON AND BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES
Recipe slightly altered from Sweetapolita
1 cup + 3 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sour cream (60ml)
3 tablespoons milk (60 ml)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (use fresh if you can)
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of half a lemon
2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
Tiny bit of yellow food colouring (put in a little at a time, can be intense!)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, mix well and set aside.
In another bowl, add the sour cream, milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest, stir and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
Add the sour cream mix and half of the flour mix, and continue beating slowly and gently, adding more of the flour mix as you go. Fold in the blueberries gently, then spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, place all ingredients into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the colouring (if desired) a bit at a time. Place the icing into a pipping bag, and ice away!
Makes 12 cupcakes.
March 18, 2013
In case you hadn't heard yet, Google Reader is saying sayonara. If you follow this blog through Google Reader, and you'd like to continue following it, jump over to Bloglovin' where all my posts are. I'm a big fan of Bloglovin' as pretty much all blogs are on it, and clearly displays new posts. I also like how you can now categorise blogs for your own blog roll. You can also find my recipes on Pinterest. All links are here and on the right.
|A little pic cos I didn't know what to put here.|