Monday, 31 December 2007


Look at that! Now this is a really beautiful desert. Oh, do I love Tiramisu. Look at those gorgeous layers, just perfect. The espresso is just soaked in enough to leave that beautiful centre of sponge finger in the middle. This recipe has come from Stephanie Alexander, The cook's companion, with just a little tweaking from me. The recipe states to allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours, but I leave mine in overnight. It just gets better the next day. All those flavours just seem to enhance and meld together for maxium enjoyment. Gotta love it and you just have to try it. Another classic recipe.
  • 6 eggs separated
  • 2 tablespoons of castor sugar (or more if you have a sweet tooth, which I do)
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup of cherry brandy
  • 1 cup of espresso cooled (now this is the recipe, but I find that you need at least 400 ml to get the job done)
  • 24 sponge finger biscuits
  • good quality dark chocolate for grating over the top

Select a 2 litre rectangular dish that is at least 8 cm deep. Beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale, then mix with the mascarpone. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into mascarpone mixture. Combine cherry brandy and espresso and dip sponge fingers into liquid. Layer the biscuits in the dish then the mascarpone mixture, then another layer of dipped biscuits finishing with another layer of mascarpone mixture. I used a deeper dish and made three layers. Grate chocolate over the top using a micro plane. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

That's it, simple.

Enjoy! I do on a regular basis ;)

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Well it is that time of year again. Santa is getting ready to fill his sleigh with all those presents for little children and big children alike.
I am preparing for a gastronomic feast for just Chopper, Peanut and Myself.
With B and M away in Brisvegas with their father and J and A with their mother for Christmas day this year. This will be the first Christmas in a long time I won't have a bunch of people over munching out all day. The pressure is off. It's kinda nice actually. Chopper and I can have quite a lavish little gourmet feast on our own without food for the masses.
Croissants for brekky with bacon and eggs.
I have two lobsters in the freezer ready to be grilled in their shells on the BBQ
and I am making a nice Bearnaise sauce to top them off. Caesar salad to go with, Choppers favourite. Peanut has been munching out on home made rum balls for the past two days.
I have 2 dozen NZ oysters so we can have those done in a classic Kilpatrick.
Plum pudding of course with vanilla custard and thick double cream.
Otherwise some lovely cherries, mangoes and a gorgeous piece of seedless watermelon.
I think that makes for a great Christmas day feast just the two of us, adults. Not completely traditional, but quite satisfying none the less.
We will definately feel the absence of the majority of our blended family this Christmas, but they will be enjoying themselves with the X Husband and the X Wife and I hope they have an amazing day all four of the little midgets. We will have a second Christmas day when they are all home on the 1st of January.
I hope you all have had a wonderful year and have a safe time during this crazy Christmas and New Years period. Thank you all so much for your support with my Food Blog which is a little over a year old now.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Love Squishy

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Blueberry Arancini with Caramelized Balsamic and Vanilla Icecream

As promised. What to do with that leftover Blueberry Risotto. Place in the fridge and allow to go really cold. I would recommend overnight. The risotto will go very firm, so you can shape it into golf ball sized balls. The rest is easy.
All you have to do is flour them, roll them in beaten eggs
and then cover them with bread crumbs.
Allow them to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Then fry to golden perfection in hot canola oil.

Serve immediately with this gorgeous gem Chopper picked up for me at the Del Santos deli in Ayr, caramelized balsamic vinegar and add a really big scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.

Gorgeous just gorgeous, I tell you.

This is another sweet version of an Italian savoury classic people. Yummo!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Blueberry Risotto with Mascarpone

There are heaps of Blueberries out at the moment and what better way to use them as in a risotto for a twist on the norm. Really this is just a posh way to present rice pudding. I love risotto and Chopper loves Blueberries so this covers both of them. It is really simple to make and it worked out. I was a bit nervous to start with and was really thrown with how much milk I had to use, but it is worth it. I saw a chocolate risotto the other day on a TV show and I thought why not use Blueberries for a real difference. The pictures above really don't do justice to the gorgeous purple that this risotto is. Funky colour really. Try it, it is creamy and luscious. The whole Blueberries that you put in at the end just burst in your mouth and makes for a wonderful contrast of texture. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Chopper loved it!!!!!! Serves 4
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
A big knob of Butter
250 grams of Blueberries
6 Cups of Milk
2/3 cup of Castor Sugar
Pinch of Salt Flakes
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
Mascarpone to Serve
Warm milk in a seperate saucepan and but not boiling. Add your knob of butter to the frypan and allow to melt and bubble on a medium heat. Pour in your rice and cook for a minute or so in the butter. Then add half your blueberries into the pan. As with a usual risotto, add your liquid one ladle at a time until each ladle is absorbed, in this case, it's not stock, it's your warm milk. I added the sugar, vanilla bean paste and a pinch of salt about half way through the process. Just continue adding your milk until all six cups are absorbed. Your rice should be aldente at this stage. Then stir through the remainder of the Blueberries. Add a lovely big dollop of Mascarpone to cut through the sweetness upon serving this sweet delight and your done. Enjoy :)
But wait there's more, check out the next post. What to do if it serves 4 and you only eat enough for 2...................................................?

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Marvelous Magical Matt Moran

His Book
Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Butter & Pont Neuf Potatoes
(aka Fat Chips)
Raspberry Tart

Matt Moran, he is just an amazing chef. His restaurant Aria is a place I dream of going to, when next I make the journey all the way down to Sydney. It holds two coveted Chef's Hats awards. I fell in love with him when I watched the television series Heat In The Kitchen on the Lifestyle Food Channel His book clearly shows how talented he is and how passionate he is about great quality food.
The Good Food & Wine Show is always fantastic and this year was no exception. My friend Kym and I spent five and a half hours there. Nibbling and wine tasting our way through the mountains of displays. The best part of the show was the fabulous Matt Moran. He made the steak pictured above as well as that lovely raspberry tart. He is extremely witty, very funny and charming. He also told us of a brand new series he is filming with Catriona Rowntree called The Chopping Block can't wait for that. We watched him cook for his half an hour in the celebrity theatre, then I rushed outside with the copy of his cookbook in hand, so I could be first in line to meet this awesome chef. I was the first in line of course. There was a huge line up behind me. Then he came and sat down for the signing. I was busting at the seems I tell you. Giddy as a school girl. Then this bloody lady just pushed in. Rude woman. Felt like slapping her, I didn't of course. I have met famous people and I have never carried on like a blathering idiot, the only other time was when I met Rick Stein. Can you blame me? It was embarrassing, gushing and smiling like some type of stalker. But oh well, I was excited. Matt didn't seem to mind. I got some fabulous photos with him and shook his hand. Then it was all over. But I will remember it forever.

Marvelous Magical Matt Moran
P.S. Matt, I really am quite normal............. really!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane!

I am off everyone. Getting on a plane this morning for Brisbane. What for you may ask? Well it is Good Food & Wine Show time. I love the Good Food & Wine shows, they are so much fun. Lots of things to nibble and munch on. Lots of gorgeous new things to spend my money on. I would like to say a big Thank You very much to the guys at Lifestyle Food for sending me a couple of free passes because they like my blog. I feel extremely privileged and special. This trip is also an early birthday present for myself as I am turning 34 on Wednesday. So have a great weekend everyone and I will catch up with you all when I get back.
Big Kisses

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Curried Sweet Potato Pasta

I was on the Lifestyle Channel Message forums the other week and another forum commenter had said that she would like to see some recipes that were quick and easy for the working mother. So I thought I would pop a recipe up that is quick, simple and a crowd pleaser. This one is sweet, spicy and not the type of sauce you would expect to have with spaghetti. Trust me it works and it tastes awesome. You can make it as hot or as mild as you wish. If you know me and curry, you know I like it hot, really hot. So go on, give it a whirl and let me know what you think?
Cheers Amelita AKA (Squishy)
  • 2 small to medium Sweet Potatoes, chopped, steamed till soft, then mashed
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of Curry Powder, 2 if you would like it milder
  • 1 sliced Red Onion
  • 2 large Cloves of Garlic, diced finely
  • 1 400 ml of Coconut Cream
  • 500 grams of Spaghetti

Place your spaghetti into a pot of boiling salted water and cook until aldente while you make your sauce. To make your sauce, fry your onions till softened with a good splash of olive oil. Then toss in your garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more. Next add your curry powder and give it a good stir and cook for another minute. Doing this releases more flavour and makes you sneeze ;) Then add your mashed sweet potato and give it a good stir. Lastly add your can of coconut milk. Allow it to come to the boil and then all you have to do is stir in your cooked pasta. Serves 4 nicely. Enjoy :) Told you it was easy and quick.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


What a cookie, oh my goodness these are so delicious. I love my Betty Crocker cookbook that I brought back from the USA and this is now one of my favourite recipes. They are light, crispy, soft in the middle and remind you of a donut with their cinnamony flavour. They are so easy to make, it's ridiculous. I have only adjusted one ingredient in the recipe and that was shortening, as I didn't have any on hand. I used butter instead. I don't know if it made a difference, but I don't care, they are fabulous. I urge you to try this recipe. The Americans sure do know how to make cookies and I love them for it.
  • 1 1/2 cups of Sugar
  • 250grams of Butter
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups of Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Salt
  • extra 1/4 cup of White Sugar
  • extra 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Beat the sugar, butter and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium, till creamed nicely. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape into balls and then roll them in a 1/4 of a cup of sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 Min's. Immediately remove from baking tray and place on a wire rack.

Oh man are these good. I ate 5 off the tray out of the first batch. I just couldn't help myself. You just have to try them, you will be instantly hooked...................:)

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

And they lived happily ever after.................

Well everyone, at 5.00pm on the 15Th of December this gorgeous man is going to become my husband. Yes, the mad bugger actually would like to call me his wife. I am a very lucky girl, because I get to marry my best friend. We have gone through the ups and downs, all the travesties and tragedies that you could imagine. Being a blended family has thrown us definite curve balls, we have caught them and thrown them right back. At the same time we have taken life by the balls and enjoyed it immensely. With five children at our feet we have enjoyed laughter, tears, anger, frustration, happiness and every other emotion you could imagine. We are not the perfect family but I wouldn't want us to be. Life is meant to be a roller coaster of emotions, so you know how to live in it and how to appreciate the good times. There has definitely been more good times than bad. So on the 15Th of December our blended family makes the biggest commitment of all. When I asked my two step children to be, if it was alright to marry their father, A said 'of course you do' and JD said 'it was definitely more than alright'. My two you don't even have to ask, you just know its OK. They love Chopper very much.

I love Chopper with all my heart and I finally feel that I have someone who shares the same goals and dreams as myself. We both have an obsession with food, we both want to travel overseas, we both have a family orientated focus, we both know from previous relationships how important it is to protect and nurture our relationship, we listen to each other, we are best friends. We are each others confidence and support.

I am marrying the most wonderful man in the world. I would like to thank you baby for giving me what I could never have dreamed of.............a home in your heart and an unconditional love that I thought only movies were made of.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Chicken, Bacon & Cream Cheese Volauvents

I know Volauvents are kind of dated and unfashionable now but I can't help but love them. I have made this recipe for years and it has always been a winner. You just have to love all that crispy perfect puff pastry and no again I don't make them myself, I am still afraid of puff pastry and yes I know Duncan from will be disappointed in me for still being a fraidy cat. Sorry Duncan :( The store bought ones are so perfect and lovely, I just can't help myself. I just hand the money over blindly and try not to give myself a good slapping for not making them myself. These are extremely fattening people, just the way I like them. Adds to my squishyness and I am all about the squishyness. Yeah Baby!!!
So here is the recipe.
750 grams of Chicken Thigh Fillets, chopped into little cubes
4 Rashers of Bacon, chopped into little bits
12 medium Volauvent shells
250 grams of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, sliced into pieces
50 grams of Butter
2 tablespoons of Plain Flour
3 cups of Full Cream Milk
100 grams of Pine Nuts
Salt & Pepper
Firstly a splash of olive oil in a fry pan and cook your bacon bits for 2-3Min's, then add your chicken and cook altogether until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Drain the chicken and bacon in a strainer, allow to cool.
Next comes the sauce. In a small saucepan, place your milk and bring to a nice warm temperature, keep on a low heat aside. In a second saucepan melt your butter until it starts to sizzle, then add your flour, whisk it in and cook the paste for a good couple of minutes, this will cook out the flour taste. This is imperative for a good bechamel sauce base. Then whisk in your warm milk on a medium heat, you will find it will thicken quite quickly. Once it is thick, add your slices of Cream Cheese, whisk till smooth and luscious. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Then all you have to do is assemble and bake. Mix your sauce through your cooled, cooked chicken and bacon. Taste again for seasoning as it might need some more salt and pepper at this stage. Fill your Volauvent cases and top with the Pine Nuts. Pop them into a preheated oven on 180 degrees for about 15-20 Min's. You want them nice and golden on top. Then serve with whatever you like. We usually have salad with ours but on this occasion I was making meatballs the same night, and I couldn't be bothered so I felt the need to relive childhood memories and have those disgustingly fattening Pomme Noisette things. I know, I'm a bad girl. Enjoy!
When I'm Good I'm Very Good
But When I'm Bad I'm Better

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Balsamic Strawberry Mini Pavlovas

This is one of those recipes I have had in my head for months. Strawberries and balsamic are a wonderful combination together, why not take that a step further. I have created my own easy balsamic glaze. Made mini pavlovas, filled them with fresh whipped cream, sliced strawberries and topped it all with the Balsamic glaze. It is what it is and that is Gorgeous!

For the Balsamic Glaze:

Take one 250 ml bottle of a standard balsamic vinegar, place in a saucepan, simmer and reduce by half. Then add 2 tablespoons of Glucose Syrup (Corn Syrup) whisk the syrup through and allow to cool. Your done. This is also the perfect glaze for roasts, steak, carrots the list goes on.

For the Mini Pavlovas:

4 egg whites, 1 cup of castor sugar ( superfine sugar), 3 teaspoons of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of white vinegar.

Whisk your egg whites on a high speed until they form stiff peaks. Then still whisking on a high speed, add your castor sugar little by little. The mixture should be stiff, glossy and all the sugar should have dissolved. Then fold in your vinegar and cornflour.

Stick your pavlova mixture into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe your desired amount of circular discs onto a lined oven tray. I then piped little circular tops for them separately. Bake in a low oven for 8-12 Min's. About 140 degrees. Allow to cool.

Now the fun part, the assembly. Fill with whipped cream, sliced strawberries, a drizzle of the balsamic glaze, more whipped cream. Pop your little top on and give it another little drizzle of the balsamic glaze. Your done.

This is my interesting take on a wonderful classic. Pavlova has to be my favourite all time dessert. I hope you enjoy?

Cheers Amelita