Friday, November 26, 2010

{Pirate Cupcakes}

A little man in our house turned 4 this week, we celebrated on the day by going out for pizza and gelato, then we baked these pirate cupcakes to take to kinder this morning (baked by Jack & me and flags by our resident designer Dad!) and tomorrow we are going to fairy park for a play and a picnic, its been a busy and happy week for our little pirate Captain Jack and today when he was handing out the cupcakes to his mates at Kinder he said to me "this is really great mum" and that makes me so happy too :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

{Tuna & Pesto Spaghetti}

This is a perfect midweek dinner, so super fast, its a no cook pasta sauce I've been making for years and we've never gotten bored with it, maybe that's because of all the different pestos around meaning there are many variations, this particular one is the classic basil pesto version but I've made it with pumpkin pesto and added pieces of pumpkin roasted with thyme instead of the spinach and basil, another favourite is red capsicum pesto and chilli tuna that's good with lime and coriander, I always always always buy tuna in olive oil.

...the pasta
185g tin tuna in olive oil
150g basil pesto
big handful of toasted pinenuts
juice of half a lemon
handful torn basil leaves
2 handfuls of torn baby spinach

Make up the sauce by just combining the tuna and its olive oil with the pesto, toasted pinenuts, lemon juice, basil and spinach, season with s+p and stir to combine.

Cook the spaghetti (enough for a generous serving for 2) then just stir the sauce thru the hot spaghetti, pop the lid on for a minute then stir again and serve with parmesan and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

{Tiny Happy Chocolate Slice}

I found this recipe over at tiny happy and made it as a thank you to our friends who house and kitty sat when we went camping, its a bit like hedgehog and really addictive, dangerous even, so I am happy to be giving most of it away, although what am I going to do with the left over 1/2 tin of condensed milk, I guess I am going to have to make another batch...

...the slice
200g butter
1/2 tin condensed milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet of plain store-bought biscuits
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sultanas
125g dark chocolate

In a large heavy-based saucepan melt the butter, condensed milk, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Remove from the heat and mix in the crushed packet of biscuits, coconut and sultanas.Mix everything together well and then press into a slice tin that has been lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until set and then cover with chocolate icing, or melted dark chocolate which I what I did, yum.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

{Spring Beef Stew}

This little number is comfort food for spring, it cooks all in one pot which rocks and I just love those little baby carrots, so sweet. Just so you are sure its a spring stew you serve it with your favourite green salad and although its really rich and tasty its not as heavy as a winter stew, there is no wine or flour involved so it keeps it light. 

We had it last night and it makes a big batch, so some has gone into the freezer which is always a bonus and its easy, not fast but easy and if you are hanging around the house for an afternoon and are going to end up hungry then why not have this simmering away smelling all delicious.

...the stew
1 kg beef suitable for slowcooking
olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
6-8 button mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 litre beef or chicken stock (I used beef)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bayleaves
1 cinnamon stick
6-8 kipfler potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly
10 baby carrots, peeled & whole
bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Season the beef with s+p then brown in a heavy casserole style pan with a lid (a la le creuset) remove from the pan and set aside. Add another splash of olive oil and pop in the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms and cook till soft and just beginning to caramelise. Tip back in the beef, add in the tomato paste and stir for a couple of minutes then tip in the stock, the bayleaves and the cinnamon stick, bring to a gently simmer and skim if necessary.

Now put on the lid and simmer gently for one to one and a half hours, giving it the occasional stir, once that times up remove the cinnamon and add the carrots and potatoes cook gently for another hour till tender lastly stir thru the chopped parsley and lots of fresh cracked pepper.

{Zucchini, Coriander & Corn Fritters}

I'm back, we went camping at the beach for a week, nice one, we had friends stay and celebrated said friends birthday (with a low fat chocolate cake which will not be featuring on this blog, ick cakes made with vegetable oil are not my thing, not even when I tried to jazz it up with dutch cocoa). 

So things here have been madder than usual, its funny this blog thing because as much as I love it and love sharing (and not underestimating the kick I get out of throwing away the stray recipes on newspaper and magazine clippings all the while knowing the next time I want to make that dish I can just come here) it does add a new layer of guilt to the mother guilt, the environment guilt, the I drink too much vino guilt, which is the guilt of neglecting the blog. So today I am unshowered at 10am (not entirely unusual) the washings on the breakfast dishes are waiting to be done the kettles been boiled about five times to make a cup of tea I've still not got round to but I am going to bash out this one quick recipe.

These little fritters are superfast and good for brunch, lunch or dinner, we had them with some crispy bacon advocado and slow roasted baby toms, they are yummy and full of healthy goodies. Here they are in their absolute simplest form, you could add cumin, fresh chilli, spring onions or any number of things but they are delicious just like this too.

2 zucchini's, grated
1 corn cobb, kernels removed
big handful chopped coriander
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp plain flour
s+p serve
roasted baby tomatoes on a vine
lemon to sqeeze

Combine all the ingredients then dollop tablespoonfuls into a frypan that's been heated up over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil, cook for 3-4 minutes each side till golden and cooked thru then sprinkle with sea salt and serve with your choice of sides.