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.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snickerdoodles - The Infoxicated Version

The girls school has a strict "no nuts" policy, and that pretty much means no muesli bars, too (just in case), so I end up baking almost every weekend, just to make sure I adhere to the policy (well, that and I like to try new recipes, and I like knowing with the kids are eating). I'm always after a new recipe, and this weeks was snickerdoodles. For the non USAnians among my readers, snickerdoodles are a very sweet, chewy, cinnamon coated cookie (biscuit), similar in mouth feel to a very chewy shortbread. Think of a crispy outside, chewy inside, cinnamon donut flavoured cookie, and you've got it. Today, I went looking for a recipe, and it turns out that The Australian Woman's Weekly BAKE! has the recipe in it. I (of course) don't have the book (though I'm told it's very very good), but some kind soul had copied the recipe out for someone and placed it online. I also didn't have all the right ingredients, so I adapted it slightly... Actually, I used a known substitution. I didn't have brown sugar, but I know I can use 1.5 cups caster sugar per cup brown sugar, so I did the maths, and we've ended up using 3/4 cup caster sugar in place of the 1/2 cup brown sugar. Anyway, here's the recipe :

  • 250g softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (this is where I used 3/4 cup caster sugar)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Beat butter, extract and sugars in a large bowl until creamy. Beat eggs in one at a time.
  2. Sift the flours, nutmeg and bicarb soda into a separate bowl, then add slowly to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  3. Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/350F (160C/320F fan forced)
  5. Mix extra sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl
  6. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls
  7. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar and place on ungreased (I lined mine) baking trays, approximately 7cm(2 3/4in) apart
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes
  9. Cool on trays.

I have to admit, I forgot the eggs, and they still turned out wonderfully - more shortbread like in texture. They just weren't as easy to handle when rolling into balls, too "short", to use the bakers term.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Garlic crushed white beans

So for those of you who don't know, I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to lose some weight. This is my alternative to mashed potatoes, and it works!

2 (400g) tins white (butter) beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Drain the tins of beans well, and tip into a small saucepan with the oil.
Heat over a medium heat until warm, and then add the garlic.
Mash well until smooth.

Serve in place of mashed potatoes.

Cheats steak dianne

This one is a favourite - quick, easy and fairly cheap. For all my chef and professional cook friends out there, I know it isn't real steak dianne, but when your kids are after steak, and you need *something* to spark it up, this works well, and its similar enough in taste that they generally don't know the difference.

First off, get your frying pan (I'm using my 30cm cast iron pan again) roaring hot. As hot as it gets without melting is good.
While its heating, salt your meat on one side. This helps with dextrinisation of the steak, an essential part for sauce making.
Place the salted side of the steak down, allowing it to colour well. You want some lovely dark brown bits on it. Salt the side that is up while that's happening.
Please note: Do not pepper your steak until after you have cooked it. Pepper burns and bitters very easily.
Flip your steak over. Brown it again on the other side. Place it on a plate so it can rest while you make the sauce

Get a good measure of butter. I use around 1 tablespoon per steak. Throw it into the same frying pan along with a clove of garlic (minced) per steak. Pour in 5 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce per steak. Allow all the floavours to get to know each other. Place the steak back into the sauce and remove from heat.

When the steak has reheated, plate it up, put in another tablespoon of butter per steak, melt it in the hot sauce and pour over the steak.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Salsa di formaggio blu

So, I'm looking through teh fridge to work out what delight I can invent tonight to go with my bowl of fettucine pasta, and I realise I have blue cheese (It's a Tasmanian Heritage blue. Not sure what type of blue, but it's lovely and creamy, very reminiscent of a gorgonzola).
I was already making an alfredo sauce for the girls ravioli, so I think "Hmmm. I may add some chunks of blue cheese to this, and maybe some chives, and I have a great pasta sauce!"

So, here are the basic recipes. Alfredo sauce and blue cheese sauce (though doesn't it sound so much better in Italian? salsa di formaggio blu )

100 g butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 cup fresh cream

Melt the butter over a low heat.
Add the cream and stir well.
Remove from heat and add garlic. (The residual heat cooks out the garlic)
Stir through parmesan to taste

To turn it into a blue cheese sauce, add a decent amount of blue cheese and a teaspoon of finely chopped chives.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Muffins! Fruit muffins!

I've been looking at ways to get the kids to eat more fruit, so when I found a simple fruit muffin recipe, I figured I'd give it a go.
I found the recipe too dry, so I've ended up adding in an extra 1/2 cup milk, and I really do think they benefit from a spice and/or herb.

  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fruit
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, leaving a well in the middle.
Mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl. 
Combine the wet and dry ingredients until only just mixed.
Fold the fruit in.

Cook in preheated moderate (180C/350F) oven in muffin trays for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

If you want chocolate muffins, use 1/2 cup cocoa in place of 1/2 cup of self raising flour, and the fruit for choc chips.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A light soup

I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of soups, especially in summer. But, today, when the InfoxicatedMan said he wanted chicken for tonights dinner, I cringed. I had to ask a friend, Quentin, what he could suggest. And he suggested something light, with chili and green onions. And from there, I thought "Hmm... I could do with a Thai inspired soup..."
So, here's my take. And please note, the chicken was leftovers from a roast I did, stuffed with 2 lemons and garlic. It doesn't have measurements.

1 chicken (approximately), pre-cooked and still on the bone
Green onions, whole
2 stalks lemon grass (you will need to bash this to help release the flavours)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
2 birds-eye (small red) chilis, seeds removed
3 generous tablespoons fish sauce
water to cover
1 wombok
snow peas

Throw all ingredients into a large saucepan, bring to boil, simmer for at least an hour.
Drain the broth into a large bowl, and strip the chicken off the bone. Place chicken and broth back into the saucepan with 2 cups of good chicken stock.
Add a generous handful of snow peas and some shredded wombok, and stir through well.

And here it is (OMG! A photo!)