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25 June 2008 @ 12:07 pm
I have no idea what an authentic chilli is like, but I do know it is the subect of considerable debate among foodie types. This is my version, not the least bit authentic, but lovely flavours and not too much heat (you could up the chilli powder if you prefer, I have to take a 10 year old into account when I am cooking).

Beef and Black Bean ChilliCollapse )
Well, it's been a while. And now it's time for a multitude of recipes because I have been baking up a storm. The people I work with have been benefiting from it, since I don't like having all that stuff around the house. Just a wee piece for me. Maybe two...

First of all, the best brownies I have ever tasted. Now, brownies are like chilli (for which I also have a recipe and will be posting later) - everyone has their own version and everyone thinks their version is the best. Let me tell you, mine is the best (it's not mine, really - I got it from some magazine). When I took them to work, everyone went insane over them.

Best Brownies EverCollapse )

It was Anzac Day last week. I told Ben that I was making Anzac biscuits and he replied, "That's unusually patriotic of you." It is true that I don't generally give a rat's about "Days", but it's a good excuse to do some baking so what the hell. Lots of people like crunchy Anzac bikkies, but I prefer mine chewy.

Chewy Anzac Biscuits and Anzac SliceCollapse )

Despite the fact that I cook a lot, and I'm pretty brave about trying new recipes, I had never made a sponge before, and I was well scared of them, I can tell you. But Lily wanted one for her birthday, so I bit the bullet and gave it a go. The first step was to find the right recipe, because I find a lot of sponges to be too "eggy". Also, I don't have two round cake tins the same size, so this making-two-and-sandwiching-them-together palaver was out the window. Finally I found just what I was looking for in that Australian cook's bible The Cook's Companion. Since I have not yet managed to convince Ben that spending $700 on a KitchenAid Mixer is a great idea, it was pretty time-consuming standing there doing the egg whites with a little handheld Sunbeam electric beater (probably took me close to 15 minutes), but it was worth it. This cake was lovely. Lil said it was better than her Grandma's (she may have been lying to spare my feelings), and Ben was impressed as well. It's very light and airy, and perfect for when you feel like something sweet but not heavy, or when you're out to impress visitors. The recipe here uses passionfruit filling or something, but I just filled it with jam and whipped cream and topped it with a dusting of sifted icing sugar. Simple but perfect.

(I am posting it verbatim in case I muck up and miss some vital thing.)

Jackie's Mum's Sponge CakeCollapse )
29 November 2007 @ 09:18 pm
I don't know about you, but when the sun starts beating down, it's time to get the barbecue out and start eating things on sticks. What is it about being on a stick that makes things taste better (not everything, though, don't let the health gurus fool you - tofu and pineapple on sticks still just tastes like tofu and pineapple)? And what could be easier? Chop up some kind of meat, soak it in some mixed-up stuff, chuck it on the grill for a few minutes and then scoff. Perfect!

A few of our current favourite things on sticks.Collapse )
20 May 2007 @ 04:36 pm
This is a recipe from delicious magazine. We've been baking a lot lately, both because it's more fun for Lily to learn to cook making things she actually enjoys eating, and she needs lunchbox snacks anyway. These are really yum, though I did have to use almonds because I couldn't find roasted hazelnuts (what kind of nut shop doesn't have hazelnuts?).

Oaty Choc-Chip CookiesCollapse )
18 May 2007 @ 08:37 pm
I saw this on Huey's Cooking Adventures yesterday and I was curious to try it. Apparently it's from Sue Lawrence's Book of Baking. It's very rich, but really good. I cheated a bit and used cheapo Cadbury Bournville Cocoa and normal caster sugar, as my local supermarket didn't have either Dutch cocoa or golden caster sugar and I couldn't be bothered trekking around to find them.

Chocolate Coca-Cola CakeCollapse )
22 April 2007 @ 01:17 pm
This spicy carrot and lentil soup has been on regular rotation in our house since the first time I made it, and everyone else I've made it for has loved it as well. But I have found a new one which is also rather nice. We had this for lunch today with a warmed wholemeal pita bread, and I'll definitely be having it again. Soon. Maybe later this afternoon. Maybe now. It's from David Herbert, who writes a food column in The Age Weekend Magazine.


Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and a knob of butter in a large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add 1 peeled and chopped brown onion and 500g chopped carrots and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes or until softened.

Add 2 cloves of peeled, crushed garlic and cook for an extra minute. Stir in 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon chilli powder and cook for a further minute. Add 125g red lentils.

Pour in 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Cool a little, then puree soup in batches in a blender or with a hand-held liquidizer until smooth.

Return to the pan, season to taste, then add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Gently reheat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander (if you like it) before serving.

Serves 4.
This was a favourite of the Lilster's this weekend, so much so that she asked for it to go into the regular rotation. It has a lovely, tangy dressing, and it's a nice change from the more traditional creamy potato salads. I think it's one of Karen Martini's.

8 desiree potatoes
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced and zested
3 eschalots, peeled and finely sliced
3 tablespoons baby capers, drained
2 sprigs dill, chopped
2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cut unpeeled potatoes into 2cm thick slices. Boil or steam until tender (I have taken to steaming potatoes lately - I find boiled ones can get gluggy). Drain well. Combine oil, mustards, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, and eschalots in a bowl, then stir through potatoes. Add capers, dill and parsley and toss gently to combine. Serve warm.
09 April 2007 @ 03:52 pm
We made these on Friday to warm up for breakfast on Saturday morning. The recipe says to use currants, but I didn't have any so I used sultanas instead. I didn't bother with the crosses or the sticky glaze either. They were delicious even so.

Hot Cross BunsCollapse )
26 December 2006 @ 03:33 pm
So easy, but it's the best garlic bread you'll have in your life. Be warned - as tempting as it is, don't try to scoff too much of it. It's very rich and you'll feel very ill.

It's from a Donna Hay magazine, and all you do is get a nice crusty loaf of bread - a sourdough, panna di casa, ciabatta, etc., and cut it into slices about 1cm thick.

Melt 125g butter in a saucepan with 2 or 3 crushed garlic cloves and season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan and a tablespoon or two of finely chopped fresh basil. The cheese will melt a bit and go gluggy, but that's okay. Paint each slice with the mixture on both sides - don't be stingy! - and form it back into a loaf on a big piece of foil. Wrap it all up tightly in the foil and then bake in a pre-heated hot oven (about 200 degrees) for 25-30 mins. I usually open the foil up for the last 5 minutes to crisp it up a bit.
19 December 2006 @ 08:40 pm
The Lilster decided to make biscuits (that's cookies for you foreigners) to give as gifts to her family this year. It was a lot more expensive and time-consuming than I had anticipated, but she really went all out, with hand-painted containers, little cellophane bags, and a selection of biscuits. I'm sure the oldies will love it.

These two recipes which came from this fab new website were our two favourites, particularly the fudge cookies, which are TO. DIE. FOR. I am considering making some more for when yagyob comes to visit this weekend - I'll have to see if I can summon up the energy. objet_a ate all the others. :-(

Fudge Cookies and Chocolate Crackle-Top BiscuitsCollapse )