June 13, 2009

Vegies In A Bag

8 baby potatoes - halved
1 small onion - chopped roughly
4 cloves of garlic - chopped roughly
1 cob of corn - cut into 4 pieces
1 tub of cherry tomatoes
a handful of mushrooms, halved
1 bunch of baby carrots washed and trimmed up a bit
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 tsp sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander
a few leaves of fresh herbs - or a tsp of dried herbs
1 large oven bag
1 tbsp flour

Put flour into bag and toss about a bit to coat inside of bag. Toss all other ingredients into bag. Combine well by jiggling and massaging (!) Tie closed with the tie provided. Put a couple of teeny holes in the top of the bag. Pop onto oven tray and cook at 400 degrees (or 200) for 40 minutes. Eat with whichever condiments you like...! Pesto, mayo, chutney. Excellent alongside a nice cut of meat - if you are so inclined. You can use this method to cook lots of different combinations. You could make a curry like this - easy peasy. Or you could add tinned tomatoes and go down the Italian route. So many things you could do!

Quiche Lorraine...

This is super delicious - via the Hairy Bikers..

For the pastry
180g/6¼oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
50g/2oz parmesan, grated
2 tsp thyme, leaves only
1 free-range egg yolk
1 tsp chilled water (more if needed)

For the filling
3 free-range eggs
150g/5¼oz pancetta, cubed
250ml/9fl oz crème fraîche
150g/5¼oz Gruyère
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the pastry, sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, parmesan and thyme and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk and the water and mix to form a firm dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit one large flan tin. Line the tin with the pastry, then place a circle of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for five minutes.
6. For the filling, place all the ingredients (except 50g/2oz of the Gruyère) into a large bowl and mix gently, to avoid filling the mixture with air.
7. Spoon the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle the remaining Gruyère on top.
8. Bake the quiche for 15 minutes, or until the filling is set. Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

Never Fail Chocolate Cake

Okay.. this cake is missing two pieces.. but that's because they've scooted into the lunchboxes of two hungry boys. I got up early to face the week and make soup and cake for the boys and cake for Brown Owls too. Lots of early making makes me happy, I can tell you! I'll show you the cherry cake a bit later on (it's still in the oven.)

Never Fail Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
pinch salt
1 cup of milk
dash of vanilla essence
2 cups of SR Flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating constantly. Add salt and vanilla. Mix cocoa and milk together in a jug. Add this cocoa/milk mix alternately with spoonfuls of the flour until nicely combined. Bake in a moderate oven in a 7"pan for 40 mins or until done!

*adapted from 'Royal Flying Doctor Women's Auxiliary Cookbook'

Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake

2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
100 g butter
1 cup of sugar PLUS 1 extra tablespoon of sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen or fresh pitted cherries
rind of a lemon

Cream the butter and the sugar until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the lemon rind, salt and the vanilla. Beat in the sifted together flour and baking powder, and the milk alternately until just combined. Pour into a well greased 7" tin and dot with the cherries, then sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake for 40 minutes in a medium/moderate oven - or until a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Enjoy! Yum!

* adapted from this recipe

I think I cooked this one a bit long... it was a tiny bit gooey in the centre after 40mins... but I'll just be sure to douse it with lots of cream and I think it'll be fine.... perhaps I might even warm it to serve?!

Pip's Brownies


200g dark cooking chocolate
200g butter
200g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
150g plain flour
100g cocoa
1tsp vanilla

Melt the cooking chocolate with the butter very gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Meanwhile beat the sugar and eggs in a mixer until light and fluffy, add vanilla.
Next mix in the chocolate/butter melted mix.
Now fold in the flour and cocoa.
Pour into a very well greased tin - i use a pastry brush to paint melted butter on every mm of the tin! And I do that twice!
Bake in a moderate oven for about half an hour until the centre is ALMOST cooked (a skewer in the centre should come out a bit chocolaty, but the sides should be pulling away from the tin and the top should be shiny and cracked). YUM!