November 22, 2008

Best Ever Choc Chip Cookies - via the Frankie Cookbook

I am lucky. Frankie asked me to be in their cookbook last year. Of course i said Y.E.S. With pretty bells on. Here is my Frankie-Famous recipe.

125g salted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 small eggs
1 or 2 drops of vanilla essence
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
250 grams ! choc chips

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugars until pale.
Beat in the eggs and the vanilla until nicely mixed.
Beat in the sifted flour until mixed through.
Fold through the choc chips.

Grease or line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls and pop onto the tray. Bake for ten to twelve minutes. If you like them chewy don't let them brown. They will crisp up as they cool down. makes about 48.

cookie jar via here

Lemon Squares - Not For Sour Pusses

Did you know... that this is really a lovely slice. A simple cake topped with a fresh lemony sugary syrup. It's really lemon soaked loveliness... in a square!

Make Le Cake...
175g butter
175g caster sugar
175 g self raising flour
2 eggs

Make Le Topping...
juice of two lemons
120g caster sugar

Cream the butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour. Bake in a greased, square pan measuring 25 X 17 cms. The oven should be at 180 degrees. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked.

Meanwhile, mix together the lemon juice and the sugar. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour it over the hot cake. Leave to cool and then cut into squares and serve.

Make some tea.

Play scrabble.

Have fun.

Yellow Tea Bowls from here

Honey Madeleines and Moustaches

My big girl grew up on these. Icing sugar dusted madeleines sent home from Stephanie's for her munching pleasure. She did turn out pretty sweet. Perhaps it was due to these.

100g butter (unsalted)
1/2 tbsp honey (i like leatherwood)
2 eggs
100g caster sugar
a tiny slosh of vanilla essence
pinch of salt
100g plain flour sifted with 1 tsp baking powder

Melt the butter and honey together. in a big mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. fold in the flour. Let rest for an hour or so.

Butter and flour the madeleine tins well (or if you don't have a fluted madeleine tin - use a patty pan tin). Spoon tin 2/3 full of mixture and bake for just under ten minutes in a 180 degree oven. Allow to cool for a minute or two - then bang the tin on your benchtop to dislodge the sticky cakes. Cool on a rack and dust with icing sugar. Eat lots of them.

Mug from here

Nigella Lawson's Cupcake Recipe

put zem on zis....

250g softened unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs
250g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 200 (or 400)

Throw all ingredients into a food processor. Mix until combined. Spoon into cupcake case lined muffin tin - fill them 2/3 full. Cook for about 15 minutes until well risen and golden and springy on the top. Ice with your favourite icing*. Decorate. Share. Gobble them down!

Cake stand with birdys from here

Egg Baskets - From Cooking With Daisy

My kids love these. They are crunchy and eggy soothing at the same time. And cheesy. They are cheesy too. It's a bit of preparation - but it's worth it for the fun factor!

Make some toasty baskets with egg in them....!

4 slices of brown or white bread (2 for each child)

4 eggs
a bit of butter

2 tbsp milk
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 200c or 400f.

Cut the crusts off the bread and spread both sides with butter.

Press each slice into a muffin tray to form a basket.

Bake for 10 minutes until a bit golden and quite crisp.

Whilst they are baking, w
hisk eggs, milk and some salt and pepper
Melt a little butter in a pan and add the egg mix. Scramble until almost cooked through.
Tumble the scrambled egg into the bready basket. Top with grated cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese has melted. Keep watching them to be sure the bread doesn't burn. Serve with a smile!

Felt eggs from here

Coconut Tarts with Raspberry Jam a la Mike....

My nan used to make these.. this is not her recipe.. but it is nearly as nice!

For the pastry
50g butter
100g plain flour
pinch of salt
one tsp caster sugar
one egg yolk and cold water to mix

For the filling
raspberry jam
50g butter
50 g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
50 g dessicated coconut
3 tbsp self raising flour

Preheat oven to 190 degrees (or 375 degrees farenheit) This recipe makes one dozen.

  • For the pastry - rub the butter into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs; stir in the sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg yolk and enough cold water to make a firm dough. Turn onto a floured board and roll out thinly.
  • Cut into rounds large enough to fill a shallow patty pan tin. (We used a glass to to this.. like nan used to).
  • Line each patty pan hollow, and then put a little bit of jam in each one.

Now make the filling:
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  • Add the egg a little at a time. Then fold in the coconut and the flour.
  • Place spoonfuls of this mixture on top of the jammy lined patty pans.
  • It will spread out as you cook it.. so don't be too precise...

Bake for 15 to 20 mins until golden and firm. Cool and eat!

Gorgeous cake stand from here

How I Make Super Fizzy Ginger Beer

This recipe will yield approx 55 cups (a cup is 250ml) of ginger beer.

Week One
Make Your Plant
½ teaspoon dried yeast
1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
1 rounded teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

Put all of the above in a jar that will hold about 4 cups of liquid. Give it a good mix. Cover with an open weave cloth and an elastic band to hold it in place. NOT a lid. It could go BANG! Yeast is rather explosive at times!

EACH DAY - you must add one teaspoon of ginger and one teaspoon of sugar. Do that for ONE WEEK.

While you're 'growing your plant' you need to collect plastic bottles. I'm told smaller bottles result in better fizz - but just your regular 1.5l or 2l milk or water bottles will do the trick as well. You'll need to do the sums. But know that you're making about 14 litres of ginger beer - so collect your bottles accordingly - and maybe an extra one just in case!

Week Two - A bit more fortifying!
You need to add to your plant. It now needs a top up of two cups of warm water - NOT HOT! You will kill the yeast! So add those two cups of warm water, and now each day you need to add TWO Teaspoons of Ginger and Two Teaspoons of Sugar. Stir it up. Do this for one week again. And be sure you have your bottles ready for the end of the week!

Week Three
AT THE END OF THE SECOND WEEK - It's time to bottle it!

You'll need a 20 litre container for mixing it all up, a funnel, some muslin cloth for straining your goopy 'plant' and your bottles (which are lovely and clean).

Mix 48 cups of warm water with 1 cup of strained lemon juice and 8 cups of sugar - and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Now, you need to strain your 'plant' (into a large dish through the muslin). It might be easiest to just stretch the muslin over the top of the 'plant' jar - and then secure it well with the elastic band. Now tip it into the bowl, thus straining. Set the leftover goop aside for your next ginger beer 'plant'.

Add the strained 'plant' (not the goop) to the warm water/sugar/lemon mixture. Stir up well and then pour into bottles with the help of a jug and a funnel. Be sure to leave an inch or so space between the ginger beer level and the lid of the bottle. It's nice for the ginger beer to have breathing space.

SET THE BOTTLES ASIDE FOR ONE WEEK IN A COOL SPOT. Make some cute labels for your bottles in the mean time - you might even want to add the 'ready to drink from THIS DATE' label if you're planning on another batch some time soon.

So... It's a week later - the whole process has taken THREE WEEKS - Say 'Hurrah!' Then open and drink! It should be fizzy now! You might like to add lots of ice or some gin or vodka or lime to your ginger beer. Or you might like it 'beach style' fresh from the bottle with no fancy stuff!

Pretty Glasses from here

Picnic Lemonade - It's Delicious

You definitely need one of those American Style picnic jugs to tote this delicious drink in! You might also want to fortify with a bit of Gin for the grown ups.

via Martha

Makes 10 cups - you might want to make sure your ICE will fit into the top of whatever bottle you are going to carry this in... just a thought.

3 cups lemon or lime juice, about 20 lemons or 25 limes freshly squeezed (perhaps lemons - limes are WAY TOO EXPENSIVE unless you have a lime tree!)
2 cups caster sugar
6 cups cold water
2 cups of ice
2 lemons or limes, thinly sliced for garnish
1/2 cup cranberry juice, optional for pink lemonade

Into a large serving container, strain the citrus juice, mix it with sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 4 cups cold water and cranberry juice, if using, and stir again until well combined. Add ice to fill and a few lemon or lime slices.

bottle cap magnets via here

Tuna Pan Bagna - Perfect Picnic Fodder

Pan Bagna is such a cool, portable concept, huh? You really can customise to suit yourself - with a heap of delicious flavours all mixing it up together. I think this recipe came from Martha Stewart's site... but I can't quite remember! I think chicken, avocado, mayo, red onion, almonds, pesto would be super good in a pan bagna. But you do what YOU like!

1 loaf Italian or country bread with crust that is not too heavy
1 large clove garlic, halved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
medium sized tin of tuna in olive oil
1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
a couple of 'fillets' of roasted red pepper
1 handful of rocket
1/2 lemon
a few basil leaves
2 tbsp mayonnaise
pitted olives

Halve bread horizontally. Pull out the soft interior, to within 1-inch of the crust; discard interior or reserve for another use. Rub the inside of bread all over with garlic, then drizzle with oil and vinegar. Cover the bottom half of the bread with onion and tomato slices. Top with pepper strips. Evenly distribute tuna and basil and rocket and olives. Add plenty of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon too. Spread the top half of bread with mayonnaise and place it mayo-side down over filled bottom half. Wrap in plastic wrap. Place on a large plate, and top with a second plate. Weight with several heavy cans. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Just before serving, cut into 6 to 8 wedges or slices.

Zebra Picnic Print from here

Tea with Delia? Delia Smith's Crumpet Recipe

You really need to take your time cooking these. Otherwise they will be doughy and yuk. And doughy crumpets are for slappers, right? I make the batter and whack it in the fridge for delicious sourdough crumpets the next morning. I'm a bit clever, sometimes. You could get these started early in the day and have them for afternoon tea. That would be clever too. This recipe makes 12.

8 oz (225 g) strong plain flour
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level tablespoon dried yeast
1 level teaspoon caster sugar
½ pint (275 ml) milk

You will also need a thick-based frying pan, some egg rings and a little lard.

Heat the milk and 2 fl oz (55 ml) water together in a small saucepan until they are 'hand hot'. Then pour into a jug, stir in the sugar and dried yeast and leave it in a warm place for 10-15 minutes till there is a good frothy head on itMeanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre then, when the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it all in.

Next use a wooden spoon to work the flour into the liquid gradually and beat well at the end to make a perfectly smooth batter. Cover the basin with a tea-towel and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes - by which time, the batter will have become light and frothy.To cook the crumpets: grease the insides of the egg rings well, and grease the frying pan as well before placing it over a medium heat.

Arrange the rings in the frying pan and, when the pan is hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the crumpet batter into each ring. Let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes: first tiny bubbles will appear on the surface and then, suddenly, they will burst, leaving the traditional holes. Now take a large spoon and fork, lift off the rings and turn the crumpets over.

Cook the crumpets on the second side for about 1 minute only. Re-grease and reheat the rings and pan before cooking the next batch of crumpets. Serve the crumpets while still warm, generously buttered. If you are making crumpets in advance, then reheat them by toasting lightly on both sides before serving.

Slapper Tea-Cup and Plate from here

Rustic Tomato and Onion Tart

Biscuity Dough Base
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup whole milk

Dijon Mustard - or Seeded Mustard is nice too!
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of crushed garlic
6 ripe tomatoes sliced thickly
1 red pepper sliced thinly
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Thyme/parsley... whatever you have on hand

ALSO - you could add capers, anchovies or olives.. whatever you like... even very thinly sliced potato if it's sauteed till tender! You might like to add something meaty or fishy if you are so inclined.

Make the dough - add all ingredients except milk to food processor (or do it by hand) - combine well - until crumby - and then slowly add the milk. Don't handle/process for too long. Roll out (on a well floured surface) to fit a WELL GREASED baking sheet (you should use butter here) - messy is good - rough edges are perfect!

Make the topping - fry the onion in the olive oil until it's caramelising and getting golden - add the garlic and peppers - fry until soft and melding together nicely. Add salt and pepper.

Assemble - Spread the uncooked base with a generous coating of mustard. Then place the tomatoes evenly over the base. Next add the onion and pepper mix (and any other treats you want to put on!) - and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Drizzle with olive oil. Add some more freshly ground pepper and put in a hot oven for about 15 - 20 minutes until the base is crispy and the edges re browning and rustic!

Eat with a nice bottle of wine and a rocket salad!

Tomato Tea-Towel Apron from here

My favourite snack - Potato and Onion Tortilla

I like to cut a cold wedge of this and tuck it into a baguette with mayo and tomatoey sauce of some kind. Definitely a great one to take on a picnic. It's filling and super tasty. There are lots of different versions of this dish - some say you shouldn't add garlic. But I like garlic. So I add it. You should add what you like too.

You need a large, deep frypan and a shallow oven-proof dish for this

600 g of red skinned or yellow fleshed potatoes - cut into smallish cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 roughly diced onions
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Salt and Pepper
2 tsp of sugar
a couple of sprigs of a fresh herb
(mint, thyme, basil, parsley.. whichever you like)
8 eggs

Heat the olive oil in a large deep frypan. Throw in the onions and potatoes and sugar and cook slowly (over a low heat) until golden - this is important as it makes it taste EXTRA good! It might take 15 or 20 minutes to do this bit - but keep stirring and you'll be rewarded! Once they are golden, add the garlic and fry for one minute to combine.

Next, butter your ovenproof dish (or you can use more olive oil). Tumble the potato and onion mixture into the buttered dish. Season VERY well with lots of salt and freshly ground pepper. Beat the eggs just a little bit to loosen them up.

Pour into the dish on top of the spuds. Put into a 400 degree (or 200 degree) oven for about 20 minutes until puffy and golden on the top.

Eat hot or cold. I like it cold!

Dollshouse onions via here

Zucchini Slice via Stephanie's

This recipe was found in Stephanie's 'Travelling and Tasting' book. It's called 'Anna-Maria's Zucchini Slice'. Dur-e used to bring home the small bits that were left over from the restaurant's 'Centre Table' lunches. We warmed it in the oven for a little while and it was just so good. I think the quality of the ingredients makes a huge difference to this dish - but use what you can afford and it'll still be wonderful.

500g grated unpeeled zucchini
1 onion chopped finely
1 cup bacon finely diced
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup self raising flour
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together except for the tomato slices.
Grease your tin thoroughly with olive oil or butter.
Pour into 25cm square tin - (or a bigger rectangular dish for a flatter slice that cuts into more pieces!)
Top with the tomato slices and more salt and pepper (some basil would be nice too).
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until firm.
Sometimes it can take longer.
And if you go for the shallow dish, it will only take half an hour or so.
Serve hot or warm or cold.
With some salad and a glass of crunchy wine.

Zucchini Print via Here

Cosiest Cream of Mushroom Soup

Oh. It's so cool in Melbourne today. I want to make some of this now! You know - if you reduce this down a bit - it makes a delicious toast topping. Just add a heap of cracked black pepper and a very huge cup of tea. Perfect.

500g diced mushrooms
6 golden shallots diced finely - or use one medium onion
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 handful of fresh herbs - sage is nice - chopped
400ml cream1/2 cup plain flour
600ml stock - beef, vegie or chicken
salt and pepper
30 g butter
juice of one lemon

Saute the shallots and garlic until nearly golden, add the mushrooms and saute for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly until softened and sweet smelling and well combined. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the flour and combine well, then add the stock and fresh herbs. Allow to simmer on a gentle heat for 15 minutes, stirring often - it should thicken up a little. Then add the cream and cook gently for another five minutes. Serve with heaps of black pepper and sea salt and more herbs if you like! And bread, heaps of crusty bread!

Serves two hungry or four entree peeps!

Bird and Mushroom Print Via Here

BLT - Guystyle

Tell me what's better then tomatoey goodness melding with mayo-ey deliciousness. Nope. You can't, can you?! These are super quick and super yum. Omit the bacon and add avocado if you are a vegie type.

This is Cam's BLT

Turkish Bread
Nice tasty tomatoes
Iceberg lettuce
Home-made Mayonnaise or Aioli
Sprig of Fresh Herbs
Squeeze of Lemon
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Toast the bread and fry the bacon until crispy. Spread a healthy dob of mayonnaise on the toasted bread. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, add the bacon, lettuce and tomato. Squeeze a teeny bit of lemon juice on top of it all - and season with lots of pepper and a bit of salt.

Eat with much gusto.

BLT necklaces via here

Easy As... Chicken and Vegetable Pie

I miss the days when you could buy a delicious pie from your local corner store. But it's really super easy to make a nice pie yourself - and you SO don't need ALL THAT PASTRY UNDERNEATH. Just make a lovely filling and whack a lid on it! This pie is really easy, really tasty and generally fun for the whole family. Make it. Go on!

500g chicken fillets, chopped roughly
500g pontiac or desiree potatoes diced roughly
200g carrots, diced roughly
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of frozen corn
1 leek
1 onion, diced finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 litre of chicken stock
2 tablespoons of seeded mustard
30g butter
1/2 cup plain flour
1 or 2 sheets of puff pastry

You need an oven proof casserole dish (no lid necessary) for this recipe.

In a large saucepan, bring the potatoes, carrots, peas and corn to the boil in the STOCK. Simmer until all vegetables are tender.

Whilst that's going on, take a fry pan and saute the onion, leek, chicken and garlic in the butter for about 5 minutes. Add the mustard and fry a bit more. Then throw in the flour and mix through - it'll be a gluggy pasty mess - but don't worry.

Now, the vegetables are tender, right?! If they are, throw in the chickeny, oniony, floury mixture and simmer until the mixture thickens nicely. Season with lots of pepper and a wee bit of salt.

Pour into casserole dish and cover with a piece of puff pastry cut to the correct size. Press down the edges with a fork to seal and poke a few forky holes in the pastry to allow the air to escape. Paint with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes in a moderate oven - or until golden! Eat!

tiny hearty pie dish from here

Easy Enough For Duffers - Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup

I am one of those people who cannot get enough of SOUP. I just think you can't beat a warm bowl of deliciousness... especially on a wintery day. Soup makes me feel nurtured, loved and generally looked after. Even if I make it for myself, I feel totally chuffed and lucky. So if YOU made me soup...... WELL.... you should start running, because my gratitude would be a little TOO much to deal with for most people. And, did I mention I'm a good hugger?

1 tbsp mild curry paste
440g can of diced tomatoes
5 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable if you prefer)
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery diced
1 small zucchini diced
1 potato diced
1/2 cup peas - frozen is fine
1/2 cup corn - as above
1 cup red lentils
a handful of chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Fry curry paste in a little oil until fragrant.
Add tomatoes, carrot, celery, potato and zucchini.
Fry for a few minutes until nicely coated and softened a bit. Add stock.
Add lentils. Bring up to the boil.
Then simmer for ten to fifteen minutes over a low heat.
Add peas and corn.
Simmer a further 5 minutes.
Serve with plenty of s&p and the fresh coriander.

soup bowls from here

Make It Golden - Potato Curry

I invented this dish when my eldest was a wee baby. it's particularly delicious with Jasmine Rice and some Gingery Stirfried Beans. I like it on toast for breakfast too. It's really the super goodness! Oh and whack it in a lovely soft sesame roll with some relish and rocket for a totally winning portable lunch!

1 kg of nice potatoes (peeled and cut into rustic cubes)
2 large onions - roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic - smashed up and chopped up
1 inch piece of ginger - grated or chopped finely
1 tbsp curry powder 1 cup of water
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
fresh mint - chopped
200 g frozen peas
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes until almost tender - while they are boiling, in a large frying pan saute the onion the oil until golden - stir often and make sure it doesn't burn. When it's nice and golden and catching a bit on the bottom of the pan - throw in the garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds - then add the almost cooked potatoes - toss or stir to combine all ingredients in the pan.

Next, mix the curry powder, soy sauce and water to form a paste and pour into pan over potatoes - mix and fry well. Add the peas. Keep simmering and tossing until liquid has reduced - it's meant to be a dry-ish curry. Season well with salt and pepper - garnish with mint and serve! With rice or naan or whatever you like!

Saucepan Pendant here