Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Pavlova So Easy :)

OK now I have been trying for years and years to make the perfect Pavlova. It has been the one constant battle I have had. To make sure it has all that marshmallowy goodness inside and that lovely crisp meringue on the top. I have stuffed up so many Pavlovas, that it all seemed a lost cause. But then my friend Reno had been making meringues, with the leftovers he decided that he would make a Pavlova and there it was marshmallowy goodness but it didn't have the height I wanted, but still he had achieved it. So I came home and I nutted it out once and for all. What a triumph. All I did was add two extra egg whites and an extra half a cup of castor sugar and holy crap I had done it. I thought to myself this is to good to be true and I must have fluked it. So I made it again and again and again, with the same result every time. How chuffed with myself was I. All this crap about being careful, no loud noises or kids crashing through the kitchen, so it wouldn't fall into a heap onto itself, had disappeared. It was the Pavlova that could and did. So this is how I do it.
  1. 6 large egg whites
  2. 1 and half cups of castor sugar
  3. 3 teaspoons of cornflour
  4. 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  5. 500ml of whipping cream
  6. 1 punnet of the berries of your choice
  7. 2 large passion fruit

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Put your whites into a freestanding mixer and mix on a high speed until the whites are fluffy. Then add your castor sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Whisk on high until sugar is dissolved and mix is stiff and glossy. Should take, all in all, about 10 Min's from start to finish. You want them nice and thick. Fold into the mixture, the cornflour and vinegar, until just combined. Then pile as high as you can onto a lined tray with baking paper. I use a quiche dish. Then place in the oven for about 30 to 40 Min's until lightly golden around the edges and on top. Turn the oven off and allow to cool in the oven. Then place in the fridge to get cool. Once cool, top with whipped cream, passion fruit and berries. The rest is just decadence and sinful. We had this one tonight and there is not a speck left. The important thing I have found in making a Pav, is that, not to care. Just do it. I think worrying actually makes it stuff up. The best ones, are the ones I just make and don't even think about. Serves 6. So Easy :)

Monday, 29 January 2007

Penne with Corn, Bacon, Tomato & Chilli

Photographs by Amelita Wardell

Okay so tonight I had no idea what I was going to cook. I am trying very hard to use up lots of things in the pantry before the big move. So I came up with this little gem tonight. It was a huge success with our family and the kids didn't mind a bit of heat from the chilli. So now we have another family favourite. Cost effective as well. Makes a huge amount and Chopper has leftovers for lunch. Enjoy, we did.

  1. 750 grms Penne Pasta
  2. 6 Rashers of Bacon, rind off and cut in half
  3. 1 Jar of Italian Tomato Puree, 700 grms
  4. 1 cup of water
  5. 1 Large tin of corn kernals drained, 440 grms
  6. 2 Large brown onions sliced
  7. 4 Cloves of garlic finely diced
  8. 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  9. 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  10. 1 small hot red chilli diced inclusive of seeds
  11. 1 cup of thickened cream
  12. Salt & Pepper

To a large pan add a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter, then fry onions on a medium heat with a good pinch of salt flakes. When onions are softened, add garlic and fry for a minute longer. Add corn kernals, chilli, tomato puree and water. I always pour the cup of water into the bottle of tomato puree and give it a good shake, it gets the last of the tomato puree out of the bottle. I don't like wastage. Then add the sugar, worcestershire sauce and a good grind of pepper to taste. Give it a good stir and bring up the heat until the sauce starts to bubble. Then simmer on a medium heat for 20 mins or so, stirring occasionally. While your sauce is simmering it is time for the bacon. I grilled mine for texture and that caramelised flavour. Cook pasta in lots of boiling salted water until aldente and drain.Tear the bacon into smaller pieces and add to the sauce with the cup of cream. Bring back up to a simmer, then mix sauce and pasta together. Serve. So Easy :) Serves 6

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Friday, 26 January 2007

French Toast with Sliced Banana & Butter Lemon Caramel Sauce

As promised and delivered. Breakfast this morning!! Yummy!

French Toast with Sliced Banana & Butter Lemon Caramel Sauce

Thank goodness the price of bananas have come down. Our family love them and tonight I got these for $2.99 a kilo. We are going to have these tomorrow morning sliced on top of french toast made with sour dough bread and a home made butter, lemon and caramel sauce. Yummo!
French toast is so easy. Just whisk a 6 eggs in a bowl with a splash of cream, then dunk the thick slices of sour dough in the mixture. Fry in a fry pan that has a little butter on a medium heat until golden on each side. Place all your french toast onto a baking tray and put in a very low oven to keep warm. To make your sauce is easy. Stick two big tablespoons of butter into a saucepan and allow to melt. Then add two generous tablespoons of brown sugar and simmer lightly until the sugar has dissolved. Throw in a half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and the juice of half a lemon. Allow to simmer for a minute or so. Then take the saucepan off the heat.
Place two pieces of the french toast on a plate and then top with sliced banana. Drizzle as much or as little of the sauce as you would like, and a dollop of creme freche or marscapone. For an adult touch add a little Cointreau to the sauce and sprinkle some toasted flaked almonds on top for crunch. Enjoy. So Easy and so delicious. See next post for photos :)

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Monday, 22 January 2007

Dinner Last Night :) So Easy

I was wandering around the house yesterday thinking, what am I going to make for dinner? We had some nice T-Bone steaks in the freezer so why not steak and veg. I thought to myself potatoes, what to do with them instead of the norm. So sesame garlic potatoes was what I came up with. I was a bit unsure, but had already mentioned it out loud so I thought okay I am going to follow through. Turns out they were fantastic. I was quite chuffed with myself. So here's how I did it.
Steak & Mushroom Sauce
Garlic Sesame Potatoes

Basically I just cut about 6 medium sized washed potatoes into pieces as for a roast. I then steamed them until tender. I chopped up four large cloves of garlic and then melted a good amount of butter with the chopped garlic in a bowl in the microwave. I put the potatoes into a bowl and added the melted butter and garlic, a good sprinkling of salt flakes, a splash of sesame oil and of course sesame seeds, about 3 tablespoons. Then I mixed them all together. I spread them out on a baking tray, covered them with foil and popped them into the fridge to go cold. Ready to go in the oven near dinner time. Then I just baked them on a high heat until golden. Excellent.
Mushroom sauce so easy. 4 cloves of chopped garlic, about 500 grams sliced mushrooms, 500mls of chicken stock, salt and pepper. I used a tablespoon of cornflour in a small amount of cold water to thicken the sauce. Basically just fry your mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil until all the moisture is gone. Then add the chicken stock and allow to reduce by a third or so. Then add the cornflour mixture and simmer for a couple of minutes stirring. Salt and Pepper to taste. Your done. So easy.
I hope you enjoy my little experiment with the potatoes? We did :)

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Bread and Butter Pud - So Easy :)

What better way to enjoy a Panettone, than to make a Bread and Butter Pudding. This time of year is a great time to indulge when you are sad to see the Christmas Cheer and indulgence is over, yet again. This is the time of year I am on the look out. Now this is going to sound cheap and pathetic, but I love Panettone and the price is usually out of my budget for a dessert. To Clear or Reduced stands are my first stop. I bought this one for $5 at Bi Lo. I know pathetic.
Panettone makes great Bread and Butter Pud, French Toast, Normal Toast, Soft with real butter, just yummy and it isn't heavy like a fruit cake is. It is so versatile.
Bread and Butter Pud
  1. 600 mls thickened cream
  2. 1 whole egg & 4 egg yolks
  3. 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
  4. 75g butter, not marg, not a substitute, real butter softened
  5. 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  7. And of course a Panettone
  8. Your favourite jam. I usually use my home made mango, but you are not limited, I have used raspberry, ginger, rosella. All fabulous.
  9. Demerara sugar for sprinkling.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius . Mix cream, eggs, caster sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a jug. I use a mini whisk, until well combined. Now for the panettone. Turn it on it's side. With a bread knife, slice off the round big knobby bit on the top. Then I turn it around and slice the end crust off the bottom. Then slice the panettone into circle slices about 2cm thick. Then you make them into circle butter and jam sandwiches. Cut sandwiches into wedge shapes. Place them into a baking dish with the pointy ends up. Pour over egg and cream mixture and allow to stand for 10 mins or so. Smear more butter over the tips of the bread. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Place in the oven and cook for about 45 mins or until it has set. Just serve simply with thickened cream. Heaven, just Heaven. So Easy :)

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Monday, 15 January 2007

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Coffee Guy :)

Coffee has to be my all time favourite drink, anytime, anywhere, I will be there. I have become totally obsessed with the Coffee Guy across the road. I send the kids over to pick me up a latte quite frequently. His blend of coffee is so............ good. It is smooth and succulent.

Daniel has an excellent range of everything you could need to make your own brilliant brew at home. Or if you are feeling lazy and want a perfect coffee, then drop in and see him. His coffee machine is a masterpiece to look at and Daniel says 'it is the only one of it's type in Australia'. Daniel has such a passion for coffee and he is filled to the brim with all sorts of fabulous information for you at home.

You can order your coffee or anything from him online and in the comfort of your own home. http://www.coffeeguy.com.au/ Or you can check him out in person Shop 2, 85 Kent Road, Wooloowin, Brisbane. Go on, you will not be disappointed. Sacrilicious MMMMMMMMMMMMM!