Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{Coconut & Lime Cupcakes}

Its been a while since I've posted something sweet which is a big shame because sweet is good. Sweet makes me happy and these are also a bit pretty, living in a house full of boys sometimes I need a bit of pretty, I need to do something a bit girly like put on some eyeshadow, paint my nails or bake something lovely. These cupcakes make me want to have a proper afternoon tea with cups and saucers and cucumber sandwiches. They made my day.

...the cupcakes

125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 big juicy lime
juice from half of that lime
3 eggs
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup natural yoghurt

...the buttercream

50g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
juice from the other half of lime
shredded coconut, to decorate

Preheat oven to 180. Pop paper cupcake cases into 12 muffin tin holes.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and lime zest until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add in the coconut, flours, lime juice and yoghurt and stir until just combined.

Spoon mixture evenly into the paper cases. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until very pale. Gradually add icing sugar, beating well between each addition. Lastly add coconut milk and lime juice and beat until white and glossy.

Dollop a spoonful of buttercream onto each cool cupcake and sprinkle with coconut to serve (I also popped a little rosemary flower on mine to pretty them up).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

{Chicken & Cornchip Soup}

If you have a look around my blog you'll notice there's quite a lot of soup here. I really love soup and I'm working up a repertoire to have on hand for when the boys start sports, assuming they do, which they may not, no pressure.

But just in case I'm going to be spending hours standing around in cold paddocks cheering on my young men as they chase balls I want to be sure we all come home to a nice bowl of hot soup with thick buttered slices of sourdough. Also en route to said ball game I'll be picking up a coffee, yup coffee will be essential.

...the soup
1 large onion, diced
2 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1 handful fresh coriander
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red capsicum, diced
500g chicken boobs, diced
3 cups chicken stock
800g tin diced tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
splash of vinegar

...finish it off
diced avocado
grated cheese
sour cream
corn chips
sliced spring onions
fresh coriander

Heat the oil in your preferred soup pot and add the garlic, onion and capsicum cook for about five minutes til softened. Add in the chicken and cumin and seal / brown it.

Next you want to add the stock, the tinned and fresh tomatoes, coriander, vinegar, tabasco and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for an hour till rich and a fabulous deep red colour.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments although I recommend you use them all !!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

{Swedish Meatballs}

Our little man Jack has lost all 4 of his front teeth, he is only 5 and is freaking out, last night as the last front tooth came out he cried big hot tears because he didn't like the way his gums felt now and doesn't want any more to come loose. I snuggled in bed with him and he asked me if I had cried when my teeth fell out, I told him I had but actually can barely remember loosing them at all, it must of happened sometime in the 70's when the tooth fairy was wearing her flares. This morning he woke happier, he has his fairy coins and a plan to visit the music shop tomorrow for a harmonica. He is all gummy smiles.

Speaking of the 1970's swedish meatballs were all the rage then, this groovy little meatball is fast to whip up and makes a fun party nibble or a delicious retro dinner on pasta.

olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
350g minced pork
350g minced beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
Fresh dill, leaves picked to serve

200g sour cream
1 small onion, halved
8 whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup beef stock

To make the sauce, heat sour cream, onion and peppercorns in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes, until simmering. Add the stock, return to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding solids. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly, then combine with the minced meat, egg and breadcrumbs in a bowl, season with s+p. Using damp hands, roll mixture into walnut sized balls.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add some olive oil and fry the meatballs until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Scatter with dill and serve with the warmed sour cream sauce, either as a nibble on sticks or over fresh fettuccine for dinner.