Monday, 26 March 2007

Oysters Kilpatrick

How could you not love them? But alot of people hate them. Me, I am an addict. I love them. They are just one of those foods that unless you understand them, take in their elegance and respect the beauty within, you can't really appreciate them. They are more than just food they are a true delicacy to me. I am one of those people you see, who could just keep eating them, one after the other. Some people cringe at the thought of eating one, just like I do when you mention foie gras. Yuk, can't imagine eating foie gras. Sorry, I know all the groovy chefs love it and think that it just exudes some kind of status or something. But there is no way in hell I am going to eat it. Weird huh? Anyway back to the Oysters I digressed again. Sorry.
So I know this is one of those classic simple recipes and I know practically every restaurant up here serves them, but there is nothing like doing it yourself. These gorgeous oysters are from Coffin Bay in South Australia and still up here they are so fresh. Beautiful at $12 a dozen, which I think is an excellent price. The recipe is easy. 2 parts tomato sauce or ketchup, 1 part Worcestershire sauce and finely chopped bacon. That's it. Just mix the quantities you like together really. Just basic, then pop them under the grill until they bubble and look like the pictures above and your done. Go on make some, soon :)

Friday, 23 March 2007

Lemon Lattace Cheesecake Slice

These are so yummy. A lady about 8-9 years ago at work brought them in for a morning tea once and everyone just adored them. I can't remember her name. I asked her then, how do you make them? It went in one ear and out the other. All I remember her saying was, it was so easy and that she used one 250 gram butter and one 250 gram Philadelphia cream cheese. I kept thinking, that's alot of butter. Anyway I craved them for months after that morning tea. So I came up with my own recipe and it works really well. Enjoy them, they are so beautiful and perfect with a coffee.
  1. 250 grams of Butter softened
  2. 500 grams of Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
  3. Juice of one large Lemon, or two small Lemons
  4. 1 tablespoon of Gelatin
  5. 3 tablespoon of Boiling Water
  6. 1 cup of Caster Sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
  8. 2 packets of Lattace Biscuits or Similar ( puff pastry biscuit)

Blend butter in a free standing mixer and blend on high until light and creamy. Add cream cheese and blend again on high till all smooth and creamy. Add gelatin to the boiling water and allow to dissolve and cool slightly. While beating on a low speed add the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste and dissolved gelatin. Once combined, turn the speed up to medium and keep beating until light and fluffy. Line a large slice pan or baking tray with grease proof paper. Line one packet of biscuits in the tray. Pour over the cream cheese filling and smooth out flat. Then line the second packet of biscuit on top of the filling. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or until set. Then cut into squares. Which if you place them symmetrically, then each biscuit is it's own little sandwich. These are gorgeous and get eaten very quickly. Very rich and very decadent, but worth every fat molecule in them.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Oh - I miss Brisbane :(

Don't get me wrong I love where I live, but really, I am a city girl at heart. Try as I might not to miss Brisvegas, I can't. My heart yearns for her. I miss my friends so much and I feel so isolated here sometimes. Everyone really is a stranger and the comfort of being able to cuddle a friend I love and trust, is gone. Sure I can pick up the phone, but it's not the same. Everything here seems so foreign and un-lived in for me. It's a beautiful place but there really is nothing like home. Knowing every short cut, knowing the supermarket aisles back to front. The city and her buildings, the river with it's twists and turns. How beautiful is the city with her lights?
I'm not moping and I am not feeling sorry for myself, nothing like that. I am enjoying the adventure that is Townsville. I just can't help but miss her. I miss breakfast at the Red Deli in Clayfield, the Chandler Flea Markets, the Cabbage Patch fruit shop and deli, Zone Fresh at Windsor, the chocolate custard cannolis at Dolci in Clayfield, China town in the Valley, the Confectionery Warehouse at Hendra, Sam's Seafood( yes even Sam's Seafood) in Eaglefarm, lots of things, mostly food related things. Sometimes it feels so backwards in food up here. No offence Townsville, but it really is a place that allot of people don't really have the passion for food I do. We have had people over for dinner twice now and they never finish their meals. Why? They say they like it, but don't finish. This has never happened to me before. They're full before dessert as well. Who doesn't want Dessert, now you tell me? Do they eat less up here? I have been, but I gathered that was because I am getting used to the heat and the humidity up here. Drinking more, rather than eating. The main deli and specialty store up here scares me. It has some amazing things, but holy crap talk about expensive. I seriously think these guys need some kind of layby system. The place feels strange. But I suppose, I will get over it. My friend Clare said it took her a good 12 months before she felt at home after relocating to Bundaberg by herself with her kids I might add. Brave girl. The force is strong in her.
Anyhoo off I go. Time for bed, tomorrow if your really lucky I am making Lattace Lemon Cheesecake Slice. Yum :)

Szechann Pork Salad with Chilli Honey Dressing

This really was one of those days today where I had no brain. Wasn't even thinking properly when I just randomly chose some items at the supermarket. I was on auto pilot. How the hell do you come up with something, that turns out a triumph, when your not thinking and have no plan whatsoever for dinner. I amaze myself. This is absolutely the best salad I have ever come up with. Truly incredible, total 100% triumph if I do say so myself. You have to try it. No really, you have to try it. Don't just pretend your going to make it. Do it, please, for me? Pretty please?
  1. 100 grams of Rocket Leaves
  2. 10 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into little wedges
  3. 1 Red Onion, sliced into half moons
  4. 100 grams of Greek Low Fat Feta, cut into small cubes
  5. 1 Pork Fillet
  6. 2 Tablespoons of Szechann Pepper ground

The Dressing

  1. 2 tablespoons of Hot Chilli Jam
  2. Juice of 1 Lemon
  3. 2 tablespoons of Honey
  4. 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

To start rub your pork fillet in the Szechann Pepper, all over it. Then in a fry pan heat some olive oil. Sear the rubbed fillet on a high heat for about 2-3 Min's on each side. Take off the heat and all to cool to room temperature. It is really important to rest the pork. You want it juicy and rare. Slice the pork into thin strips. For the dressing it's simple. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. In a large salad bowl add the rocket, tomato, red onion, feta and the star of course the sliced pork. Toss the salad with the dressing and your done. You can vary the amount of dressing to suit your taste. This is so fresh and so lovely. I could eat another bowl of it right now. MMMMMMmmmmmm Serves 2 as a main or 4 as an entree or side salad. Enjoy and you really, really, really have to try this one.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Quick & Easy Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup

The simplicity of soup. The comfort of soup. I am such a huge fan of a big bowl of warm, creamy pumpkin & sweet potato soup. Big pieces of bread with really cold butter dipped into soup. Now that is pure and simple comfort. Years ago I was always of the perception that soup was a long slow process and it doesn't have to be. This is quick ,easy and superior in flavour.

  1. 1 litre of Chicken Stock
  2. 1 Butternut Pumpkin, skin off, seeds out, chopped into chunks
  3. 1 large Gold Sweet Potato, peeled, chopped into chunks
  4. 1 large Brown Onion, sliced
  5. 2 large Cloves of garlic, chopped
  6. Salt & Pepper
  7. Thickened Cream

Fry the onions and garlic on a medium heat in a heavy based stock pot or large saucepan with a good knob of butter and a splash of olive oil. When the onions are soft and translucent add the pumpkin, sweet potato, and stock. Allow to simmer with the lid on until all the vegetables are soft and mushy. Takes about 20 Min's, stir occasionally. Once they are soft you can blend to perfection. I blend mine with a hand held blender in the pot, but you can transfer to a normal blender. Once blended add a good pinch of salt flakes, a good grind of pepper and a big splash of cream. Give it a good mix and taste for seasoning. Serve with fresh bread and butter. This is delicious and it only takes 30 Min's. Beats canned soup any day. Serves 4. So Easy :)

Sunday, 18 March 2007

The Other Side Of Our Kitchen - written by CHOPPER!

How's it going! Don't let the picture scare you, it's all show really. You have no idea how good it is to finally get my own post on the Squisyness Blog! This is only the first of a few posts to come, as I have much to say about my gorgeous girl and our wonderful world of food.
Since moving to the tropics we have had so much new and exciting food coming out of the kitchen, and there is plenty more to come! Yes, I am sure there are lots of you out there that are very jealous of me - and rightly so :)
I was never a seafood eater before I met Amelita, but she has converted me into a huge fan. The seafood alone in Townsville is worth the 1400km pilgrimage from Bris Vegas, with the fresh mud crabs, prawns straight off the neighbours trawler, and big Barra just itching to get onto my plate.
But seafood isn't the only thing that is plentiful here. The beef is so tender it melts in your mouth. Just last night Amelita made her signature dish from the BBQ Challenge - Rib eye fillet with ham, banana & hollandaise sauce. One of my favourite dishes. Such a great combination of flavours with every mouthful. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Yes honey, taste the layers of flavour :)
I think the fresh food in Townsville has made a huge difference to our big move. If we didn't have the seafood and all the fresh produce here in Townsville, I think we would take a lot longer to adjust to small town life. Things are a lot slower up here and anything you want done takes 5 times as long to happen, but while the food keeps pumping out of our kitchen at a rate of knots, Chopper and the rest of the crew are very happy campers indeed.
Tonight we had a fishy fry up. Barramundi, prawns and callamari topped with a sqeeze of lemon, and a generous dollop of Hollandaise sauce. Went off without a hitch really - oh except when the stove caught fire! Thats right, all the cooking was done and some of the oil just happened to spill onto the hotplate and away it went! All I could hear coming from the kitchen was Amelita calling out (quite calmly really) "FIRE!! FIRE!! FIRE!!" I raced into the kitchen and franticly looked around the sink for something to put the flames out with, and Amelita, with a trayful of seafood in one hand just grabbed the tea towel and bashed the fire out with no effort at all! How stupid did I feel? Well, besides the fact that there is plenty of water in the taps, I didn't even think to grab the extinguisher from the pantry. Not that I needed it. As Amelita demonstrated, all I needed was a bloody tea towel!
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the next installment of The Other Side Of Our Kitchen. If you liked it let me know, otherwise I might get the arse! See ya!

Beer Battered Seafood

So fresh and smelling like the sea.

Excuse fingers, please.

I am a very lucky girl living up here in North Queensland. It really is cheaper to eat Seafood. I crave Beef, a good once or twice a week and make sure we have our iron injection of good red meat, at least once a week. We are eating less and less chicken as well, to Maddy's dismay, she just loves chicken. We are eating probably 2/3 less fat up here in NQ. I'll swear it's the heat. If it wasn't because I am a total chocoholic, I think I would lose more weight than the slow amounts I am dropping. So tonight, fat injection extravaganza! Oh and it was sooooooooooo goooooooood!
For $37, I got one hell of a piece of Barramundi, gorgeous King Prawns, two large Calamari tubes and that includes the oil and the batter. The potato gems an extra $3. So really $40 to feed 4 people and at the end of it we really had an amount to feed 6. So about $6.60 per person. Hey there Mister fish and chips man, beat that, I think not. I am so bloated. We didn't eat it all of course. Leftover sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. MMMMMMmmmmmmm
And here's the recipe. Ta Da!
  1. A large fillet of Barramundi cut into large cubes
  2. 10 large King Prawns, deveined and butterflied
  3. 2 large calamari tubes cleaned and cut into circles

Beer Batter

  1. 2 Egg Whites
  2. 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  3. Ground Pepper
  4. 1 x 375ml bottle of Beer
  5. 1 1/2 cups of Plain Flour
  6. Extra Flour for dusting Seafood
  7. 2 litres of Canola Oil for frying

When your seafood is all prepared and ready to go, it's time to start heating the oil. Use a large heavy based saucepan or similar. Now for the batter. Whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then add olive oil, pepper and whisk again. Then add your whole bottle of beer. Whisk until just combined. Lastly the flour, add it gradually as the batter is whisking on a medium speed, until well combined. Dust your seafood with the extra flour.

Dip your seafood into the batter and place into the hot oil. I chose not to use the batter for the Calamari and just tossed it in, dusted with the flour. Remember not to overcrowd the pan. Cook in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with your favourite salt. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and your preferred seafood sauce. I have used some leftover Hollandaise from dinner the night before. Good stuff huh? I think so and no complaints here. Enjoy and so easy :)

I have been Tagged!

I have been tagged which means that another food blogger has sent me some questions to answer and I will forward it on to another food blogger and so forth and so forth. Neil from (At My Table) has tagged me in this game. So here are the questions and I hope you enjoy my answers.

1. Is there a vegetable you hated as a child, but came to love as you got older?

I can't really remember hating a certain vegetable as a child as there were not many options other than frozen peas and corn or mashed potato. My mother used to make the absolute worst, just horrible mashed potato. She used to put in grated cheese, bits and pieces of raw onion and the potato was always still raw in bits which made me gag. I still to this day feel sick just thinking about it. A couple of years ago I decided that I was missing out on mash, so I ventured out and started doing it myself, no onion, no cheese, just steamed potatoes, a big knob of butter some cream, salt and pepper. Now I love it. One of my favourites. It's funny you know what you remember as a child. Unfortunately my mother could not cook at all.

2. Most underrated vegetable?

I don't think there is an underrated vegetable anymore is there? Most people are happy to branch out from the standard and use lots of veges. Sorry could not be of more help on that one.

3. Name one favourite summer vegetable dish?

Potato salad. I love making it. I add bacon, slivered toasted almonds, eschallots and of coarse steamed potatoes. The dressing is a combination of lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, thickened cream, garlic, salt and pepper. MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I dress it when it's warm so the potatoes suck in all that lovely dressing.

4. And one for winter?

Has to be my pumpkin and sweet potato soup with roasted garlic. Served with home baked bread and real butter. Pure comfort food on a cold night.

5. What vegetables are in your fridge and freezer right now?

One lonely washed potato, eschallots, tomatoes, peas & corn, not much really. I buy my veg daily and we use it fresh. I only buy what I need for dinner as to avoid wastage. I hate having to chuck veges out.

6. Is there a vegetable you really like, but don't make much yourself?

Not really. I buy and cook what I love. Bugger it, I want to enjoy my food, not go without. LOL

So I hope that has enlightened everyone? Kinda boring answers really. But it's the truth. Eat your veges children or I am coming to get ya! Cheers XoxoxoX

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Chocolate Mint Stick Pistachio Cookies


  1. 250 g Butter
  2. 1 cup of White Sugar
  3. 6 tablespoons of Milk
  4. 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
  5. 3 cups of Self Raising Flour
  6. 1 cup of Custard Powder
  7. 100 g of Pistachio Kernels, roughly chopped or bashed
  8. 150 g of Mint Chocolate Sticks chopped

Beat butter and sugar in a mixer until well blended and pale. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and beat well. Fold in sifted flour with a metal spoon, replace bowl and then beat in pistachios and mint chocolate sticks, until just combined. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and place on a lined baking tray. Bake at 200 c for 12-15 Min's or until golden brown. Cool on tray for a minute and then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 50 cookies.

We really liked them. Dave especially. Lovely with a glass of full cream milk, which is what I am doing right now while I type this. Hope you like my new combination cookie?

Cheers Amelita


Tomorrow - I am going to try a new recipe.

How Beautiful - Bundaberg to Mackay on the Bruce Highway

I have created a recipe today for choc mint stick and pistachio nut cookies.
Wish me luck and you should have the recipe tomorrow.

Cheers and Goodnight everyone.

Definately not food and definately uGLy!

Look at him, he is giving me the evil eye.
I cannot believe how many of them are up here in North Queensland.
Obviously all the Cane Fields, hence the name Cane Toad.

There are masses of them. I walk through the grass in the dark so apprehensively. Every time you put your foot down. One jumps at you from out of nowhere. They give me the willys. Sends shivers up my spine.
This is in my carport next to my garbage bin. Another one of the local attractions here in Townsville. I am telling you they are in plague proportions.
They actually pay kids for each one they catch and put to sleep humanely. In other words stick them in the freezer. I could never stand to even get close to one. Let's just say I have no choice but to get used to the nasty little suckers. But I don't want to get used to them YUK!

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

What happened to those Prawns you say?

Well this is what I did with them. I used this Tom Yum Soup paste and I changed it. Like I do when I am using this type of ingredient. Enhance it, I say. So I added a can of Coconut Cream to the directions on the packet in liue of some of the water, plus a tablespoon of fish sauce, a tablespoon of palm sugar, some snow peas and some dried Chinese mushrooms. Topped with some fresh chopped chilli and walla! There you go. Tasted really good. The prawns were lovely and succulent. My mouth was tingling very nicely from the chilli. I love fresh chilli. It was just refreshing and yummy. I love Asian soups. So there ya go that's what happened to those gorgeous prawns my new fisherman friend gave me.
Cheers Amelita

Monday, 12 March 2007

Magical Magnetic Island

Here she comes FantaSea to carry us across Rowes Bay to Magnetic Island.
Driving onto a boat was a first time experience for us and the Patrol.
I love my Patrol. Look at her on the boat.
This is Jasmine she is an oil tanker we think.
Magnetic Island
Picnic Bay on Magnetic
Just beautiful.
The water is just so blue.
The main street at Horseshoe Bay.

Barefoot the Art Gallery and Restaurant.
This is where we stopped for lunch. Amazing atmosphere. So relaxed and so comfortable.
The artwork was stunning.

We had lunch on the back deck. Very tropical and comfy.

Great Bar.

David and I had the Eye Fillet, Rosella & Redwine Jus and Potato Rosti.
Simply Gorgeous :)
Maddy had the Tempura Battered Fish & Chips
Steve had the Oysters Kilpatrick.
Looked fantastic.

Ben had the Fettuccine Carbonara.
He said it was nowhere as good as mine.
Right answer Benny Boy.

Alex's Chips.
Now these were excellent chips.

Can you see the chip in mid flight?
Maddy's Ice Chocolate
This is the view on the drive back to the harbour. Stunning just stunning.

So comes the conclusion of our journey to Magnetic Island.

How beautiful is the water. See that mountain over there.
That's where we live.
It was a beautiful day, just stinking hot and humid. But you know that's the way it is in the Tropics!