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Category Archives: Cooking

  1. Linky-Links

    While I’m taking a little break for sanity’s sake, these are some links to remind myself later. (Most are probably from Not Martha, but I’ve got a dozen tabs open and have lost track now.)

    Open Faces Egg Salad & Watercress Sandwich: even though I’m not a super egg-salad fan, this is making my mouth water.

    Favourite Egg Recipes: as I hope to have fresh eggs soon, if Pepper doesn’t turn out to be a rooster.

    ♥ For the girls, Mon.thly: Keep track of when Aunt Irma is due to visit next. (And if you haven’t seen this episode of The IT Crowd, do yourself a favour.)

    (And yes, I’m aware that I’m now spelling in British English. I’m trying to get into the habit so that it makes the transcripts easier. I still have no idea when to use “-ize” or “-ise” though.)

    Pancetta Cups & Hollandaise, at the cutely named Iron Stef. (Can you tell I’m really into food and cooking lately?)

    Gardening in Containers: my sister-in-law has a thriving herb garden in a tub outside. My MIL just started some tomatoes in a bucket, and I’m thinking I need to be getting in on this growing action. I really want to grow chives as they are so hit or miss at the markets lately.

    Posted in Cooking, Inspired.

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  2. Better Butter

    I made butter on Saturday. I followed the instructions posted recently, and it worked a treat. Next time I’m going to use organic cream from the shop near work, but at least I know it’s something I can do.

    Now the trouble is storage. I’m keeping mine in a glass dish with water like the lady suggested, but I really want a Butter Bell. Love it! The ones at that site are nice, but then there is the Emile Henry one in the gorgeous Figue.

    However, I secretly want a homemade one. Something about having handmade crockery is so charming. (And it really makes sense in my head if it’s homemade butter too.) Do you think I could find a single local potter who makes them? No. Hard enough finding anyone in this country who bothers to put their wares online.

    Etsy has two that I really, truly love. There is something so charming about this one with the tree and the little details and the blue inside, but she doesn’t ship internationally. But then I also love this one with the handles and the feet, and he’ll ship here. But then I’d want to buy half of his other gorgeous items and might end up spending a fortune.

    (I’m linking to those for my reference. Please don’t go and buy them out from underneath me. I will decide soon!) 🙂

    ** Have a look at the other Emile Henry kitchenware at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  3. Food for Thought (& Food)

    I came back to my desk after lunch and found a present on my chair from my very sweet, very naughty husband. It is a sort of book/cookbook called Maggie’s Harvest by Maggie Beer. I had been admiring it a few weeks ago, because the book itself is just beautiful. The fabric cover, the teal and orange embroidery, the overall girth, the heirloom potential… it was so ME. (Make sure you look at this review with its gorgeous photos of the book.)

    One look at the price tag, however, and I had exactly one hundred and twenty-five reasons not to need it anymore. (The cover will just get dirty in a kitchen… who has room for a 736-page book these days… etc.)

    But now it’s mine, and I can’t wait to spend all day tomorrow out on the Adirondack thumbing through it with my baby chicken chirping at me. I’m excited, because she is an Australian cook, even though Australian food isn’t SO different from American food (despite the obvious kangaroo meat, general blandness, and bacon on everything). I’m interested on her take on food, because she writes about the ingredients and the recipes instead of just rattling off recipes.

    I don’t know. I’m into food these days. I even got an “ooo-la-la” in response to my white truffle popcorn we had for the Project Runway Finale Party.

    ** Look for Adirondack chairs and other outdoor furniture at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  4. Post-Its to Myself

    Sites I’m going to need to find back:
    How About Orange. Nice. My bathroom is accented with orange. My signature flower is orange. I like orange too.
    Doughnut Muffins recipe. I’m not really a super doughnut fan, but muffins make my morning. Somehow I can’t wait to try these.

    Posted in Cooking, Inspired.

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  5. Fritterin’ Away Their Noontime, Suppertime, Choretime, Too

    I received a subscription to Donna Hay for my birthday, and I’m realizing how much I love cooking. I also got the Donna Hay 2008 diary which has two recipes at the beginning of each month featuring fruit or vegetables which are in season at that time.

    I’ve meant to post about January’s recipes, both of which were wonderful — raspberry bircher muesli and blueberry muffins. (I know, I used to claim that I didn’t like raspberries. But being 31-year-old, I thought it was time to try them again. Turns out I might just not like raspberry flavoured things.) But anyway I’m just posting now to say that tonight we’re having the corn fritters. I’ve never even made a fritter in my life before, so it will be exciting.

    **Get your own cookbooks by Donna Hay at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  6. Fruit Salad… Yummy Yummy

    My husband has a bit of an aversion to fruit due mostly to childhood experiences involving “overripe” fruit. Let’s just say… his parents are Dutch. You don’t waste food.

    The thing was that I knew we were going to have two weeks at home, and I didn’t want to be snacking on naughty stuff the entire time. I wanted to have some good snacks in the house too.

    So I made my mom’s Fruit Soup, albeit the Aussie/Danielle way — which is to say that this country doesn’t always have the ingredients, and I don’t always measure. But it is so great and so refreshing, and I’m sharing the recipe here.

    Fruit Soup
    3 Tbsp Sago (the real recipe calls for tapioca, but I’ll be darned if I could find that here)
    2 cups water
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 oranges juiced
    2 lemons juiced
    (Bear in mind that the lemons were the size of the average sunkist orange, and the oranges were the size of an average grapefruit, you might want one more of each if they are small. The original recipe calls for frozen orange juice and lemonade concentrate, but we don’t have that here. I liked the fresh juices just as much.)
    1 box frozen strawberries thawed with the juice
    1 container/can diced peaches with the juice
    2 branches seedless grapes (red and/or green) halved… approximate amount, more or less would be equally good

    Put sago, sugar, & water in pan. Boil until sago is translucent. I think I ended up adding more water because of my unfamiliarity with sago, but it was probably fine without.

    Remove from heat and add juices and fruits. Stir well and chill. Stir again before serving. Serve in a pretty dish by itself… but it is divine over ice cream.

    I had intended to add other fresh fruits from the market, but they weren’t very flavoursome. Still it was a hit, and I have even been told that I can make it again. Success!

    Posted in Cooking.

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  7. Peri-Peri Po Peri

    Oh my goodness, I just received the best news. They are building a Nando’s just mere paces from our office. I have only been there three times, I think, but I love it so. It serves as a bit of a Mexican flavour stand-in for me.

    Then last week, we discovered that Coles carries the sauces, so we have been sampling them. The first one we tried was medium heat, and let me tell you, we are not sure we’ll ever be able to try the hot one we bought. The medium one left us sweating and reaching for the milk.

    I saw that they listed USA on the countries for finding the local Nando’s website, but in looking at the American site, it doesn’t look like there are any restaurants anywhere.

    ** Check out the Nando’s sauces available at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  8. Drink Me

    A gourmet deli opened across from the office. It is filled with wonderful delicacies I’ve only ever seen on Iron Chef. Foie gras, whole truffles in individual jars for outrageous prices, persian fairy floss in weird flavours.

    But yesterday, we bought a jar I’ve had my eye on. Wild hibiscus flowers in syrup. Go look at the website; they’re gorgeous. I’m saving them for my birthday, and then we’re going to have Wild Hibiscus Rosés (second-to-last recipe on the cocktails page). I’m excited.

    ** Check out this Iron-Chef-y cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  9. Let Them Eat Cupcakes

    I am not a big cupcake fan, mostly because they are made of cake. And the thing I don’t like about cake is the frosting, and somehow cupcakes tend to get about twice as much as your ordinary slice of cake.

    But I can be persuaded to have one every now and then. I just found Cupcake Project via someone I can’t remember (see note above), and those Eggnog Latte Christmas Cupcakes sure look good enough to eat!

    ** Check out the Giant Cupcake Cake Pan at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  10. Question of the Day

    How in the world am I supposed to bake a pecan pie after work tomorrow when there are no frozen pie crusts in this country? The best I could find is a five-inch flan pastry thing.

    Ugh. I don’t even like pie.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  11. Mmm… Yummy

    baked pumpkin with basil and feta

    1/2 pumpkin, seeded, skin on, cut into 2 cm wedges
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 sliced seeded red capsicum (grilled until slightly blackened)
    2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
    100g feta, crumbled ( one block) smallish
    2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1/4 cup roughly chopped basil, plus extra to serve
    1 clove garlic crushed

    preheat oven to hot 200C or 450F Line a baking tray with baking paper

    arrange pumpkin on prepared tray and brush with oil season to taste

    bake for 15-20 minutes until just tender

    meanwhile in a large bowl, combine capsicum, breadcrumbs, feta, tomatoes, pine nuts, basil and garlic. Mix well and season to taste.

    Spoon an even amount of capsicum mixture onto each wedge of pumpkin. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. Serve as a meal accompaniment scattered with extra basil, or on its own with other vegetables of choice.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  12. Veni Vidi Vino

    Of course, last weekend was our Berry to Bottle Wine Appreciation day at Kooroomba Vineyard down south in the shire of Boonah. (A shire! I know!) It was such a lovely day. We had a tour of the vineyard. Had a gorgeous lunch. We were seated by the afternoon speaker, winemaker Dylan Rhymer, who indulged us by answering all our wine questions in between bites. Then after a walk around the lavender field, we came back to learn about wine tasting. I think we’re officially wine snobs now.

    It was fun. And we had a good time trying to really describe the smells of the wines. I know I used “freshly mowed lawn” and “dry-erase marker” at least once. Okay, so we might not have it down to a science yet.

    I’ll upload some photos soon.

    ** Check out this Wine Enthusiast Complete Wine Tasting and Aroma Kit at Amazon. It has scent bottles just like Luc in French Kiss!

    Posted in Cooking, Exploring.

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