Friday, January 17, 2014

Kitchen gardens

I have what can only be called a kitchen garden.
I have carrots (round), capsicums (peppers for those in the US), chilis, tomatoes (4 different heirloom varieties), beetroot, rainbow beets, lettuces, purple beans, onions etc. I also have an apple tree, a nectarine (white fleshed) tree, a decorative plum tree and an apricot tree in the back yard. I believe there's also a peach tree, but the birds and dogs got to it before I really got to see the fruit. Oh, and we have a mulberry tree and a chestnut tree, and in pots, I also have strawberries, marjoram, sage and horseradish. I did have tarragon, but its been so hot and dry out here that it died :( . Add to that, we have chickens (3 ISA browns and 2 leghorns. Interestingly, the leghorns are better layers - we were informed by a friend at the DPI that ISA browns are better layers), so we're always in supply of fresh eggs (though again, in this heat, they're struggling. They're not eating as much, and they're walking around with their wings out, trying to cool down).
I also happen to know the school has a kitchen garden, though I have no idea what happens to the veg that are grown.
I'm very tempted to ask the school if they want a cooking club after school one afternoon a week, so that some of the food can be used.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Spirits of 2013

We (usually) host Christmas dinner. I don't mind. Logistically, its easier for my mother in law, my brother in law and the brother in laws partner to travel out to us than it is for the Infoxicated Man, myself and the three girls to travel in to Sydney for a meal (and the respective faffing around).
Of course, since its the in laws, I require alcohol. It honestly does help to be drunk.
Each year, I search for a new, summer-y cocktail. This year, I found one with watermelon, Cointreau and rose wine (you could also use moscato rosa, a slightly more sparkling wine)
And here it is, and the variation, after the kids scoffed all the watermelon...

  • 3 cubes watermelon, frozen
  • 20mL (just over half a shot) Cointreau
  • rose wine
  • champagne flute

  1. Place watermelon in the champagne flute
  2. pour over the Cointreau
  3. top with rose, and serve

Of course, as I said above, the kids ate all the (frozen) watermelon, so I needed to find something else...
And I did.
I have frozen raspberries from Christmas desserts.
They work really well, though they defrost much too quickly

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sponge Cake

There's something strange about how I test an oven. I can tell how an oven cooks by how it cooks a sponge cake. And its always the same sponge cake recipe.
And since we've just moved house, I was required to test the oven.
So, here's the recipe... (adapted from the Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union Cookbook - a recipe book that my mother got as a teenager at school)

4 eggs
250g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
1 tablespoon (approximately 20mL) boiling water

Preheat oven to 180C
Lightly grease and line a 20cm round cake tin

Separate eggs, retaining yolks in a small bowl.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Slowly add caster sugar and continue beating until dissolved.
Mix in egg yolks, one at a time.
Fold in flour and boiling water until just incorporated.

Pour gently into cake tin, and bake for 45 minutes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chocolate coconut muffins

I've written before about the muffins I make, so I figured I'd explain about how I ended up making chocolate coconut muffins.
See, I was going to make my normal double choc muffins, until I realised that I didn't have enough vegetable oil, and I had no chocolate chips. I did, however, have butter. And coconut. So here it is.

2 cups self raising flour (or plain flour and a tablespoon of bicarbonate soda)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
1 egg.

  1. Combine all dry ingredients
  2. Stir in the melted butter
  3. Combine egg and milk, then stir through the flour mixture
Measure out into muffin cases (I usually use cup cake cases and a cupcake tin) and bake in moderate (180C/350F) oven for 25 minutes until just cooked.
Cool in the tin.

I have no idea how long these are meant to last. I made a batch yesterday, and there are only 5 left tonight.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spaghetti with prawns in a tomato and bacon sauce

Wow. I haven't written anything in a while, but I had to blog tonights dinner.
The Infoxicated Man is at band tonight, Miss K is at school camp, so the only people I had to please were myself, Miss B and Miss M.

So, here goes.

Pasta to serve (I cooked leftovers for Miss B for school tomorrow)
1kg prawns from the freezer
Small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tin tomatoes (whole. Dice them yourself. Tins of diced tend to be more fluid filled, and almost slimy)
2 rashers bacon, rind removed (cook it separately to eat yourself later ;) ) and diced.

Cook of the bacon, onion, garlic and a splash of olive oil in a frying pan.
Add the tin of tomatoes that you chopped in the tin with your knife.
Simmer, then throw in the defrosted prawns until they're warm.
Stir the whole lot through the pasta and serve with garlic bread.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cheesey muffins

So, I'm sure I've found the easiest cheese muffin recipe ever.
It took 40 minutes to make, maybe 45 considering the extras I put in, total.

  • 2 cups SR flour
  • 2 cups full cream milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  • any other flavours you may wish to add (I added 2 cups of diced onions and bacon mix, fried off, and 2 heaped teaspoons mustard powder)

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F fan forced (200C/390F)
  2. Grease and line muffin tins well - this mixture sticks
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (I used a fork)
  4. Spoon into muffin tins
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden on top.
Allow to cool, and enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chocolate porridge

Have I ever mentioned that I love chocolate? I mean, my kids love it more, but chocolate is one of the 5 essential food groups in my house (along with cheese, pasta, sausages and chicken... I can make an unbelievable amount of foods with cheese, pasta, sausages and chicken, with one or two other ingredients). But this. This is a recipe I threw together one morning because Goose (the 9 year old) decided she didn't like porridge. Apparently, the oats have little to no flavour. So here it is.

  • 1 mug instant oats
  • 1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder (as dark as you can get it)
  • 2 mugs milk
  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a large microwave-able jug.
  2. Mix in the milk.
  3. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir.
  4. Microwave for a further minute, stir.
  5. Divide into 4 bowls, serve with cream or milk as preferred.