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 http://www.syrupandtang.com/ 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

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Finally !!!

After 3 months of traumatising events with my computer, I am online again. Let us just say never, ever, ever, let your children use those free game sites on the net. I am telling you what a nightmare. Even though I have anti virus software, nothing can prepare you for the devastation that a virus can do to your computer. Also nothing can prepare you for the time it takes for someone to diagnose your computer and fix the problem. Every time I called the reputable computer repair guys it was, sorry I have not had time to look at it yet. We finally just went over and picked it up and went to someone else. HP specialist the first mob were supposed to be. Now taking your computer to a repair person is a scary experience.
  1. You are afraid of how much it is going to cost
  2. You are afraid whether or not they will be able to fix your computer
  3. How long is it going to take
  4. Are they going to be able to save all the beloved info and pics on your computer
  5. Is it going to cost me hundreds of dollars and still am I going to have to buy a new computer anyway

Lets just say I am one of the lucky ones. Yes, I am now all for backing up my work and saving all our photos onto a disc. Thank goodness Chopper pretty much saved all of our photos onto discs. When my computer first died, Yes, I cried like a baby. Blubbered out of control. Besides losing allot of time on my blog, that was about it. I thank my lucky stars. So let this be a lesson to you all. Be afraid, be very afraid of the dreaded