Friday, August 10, 2012

{Chickpea & Tomato Curry}

Don't you hate it when its a sunny morning and you wash a big load of towels, you take them outside into the fresh air, hang them in the wintery sun with the chilly breeze blowing and think tick, that's that sorted, only to turn around half an hour later and its absolutely peeing down and they are completely saturated, way beyond saving. That just happened to me. Bugger it.  

This is really fast and comforting, you pretty much would have everything in your pantry I know I do, its a super handy recipe for last minute sort of dinners like for instance tonight I was going to make a salad but its now an icy 12 degrees and pouring with rain.  Not really feeling the salad right about now.  

We really like it on quinoa, but you can serve it on whatever you've got, cous cous, rice whatev's and its cheap cheap cheap which is good when you don't have bags of cash.

...the curry
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
5cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
chopped fresh coriander or mint
natural yoghurt, to serve

Heat the oil in a large fry pan, add the onion and garlic, and cook gently until softened and just turning golden, then add the spices and stir for a couple of minutes, coating the onion with the fragrant spices (add a bit of oil here if it looks dry).

Next add the drained chickpeas, and stir to coat them in the spices too, then add the tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the grated ginger and stir through, cook off for another minute or so.

Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and those fresh herbs.

Monday, August 6, 2012

{Earl Grey Tea Cakes}

A couple of posts ago I was talking about craving a proper high tea with cucumber sandwiches and cups and saucers and then waa laa what do you know but my girlfriend turns up on my doorstep with a huge wicker basket in hand and within it all the things I'd been dreaming of. We sipped on lady grey whilst nibbling cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and then gobbled up mini cheesecakes as we chatted.  We laughed and we cried and it was ace.

I made these tea cakes for her birthday, combining two of her favourite things, earl grey tea and lemons and as always they were baked with sprinkling of love.

...the tea cakes
250g butter, softened
225g sugar
1 tsp rosewater
zest of 2 lemons
4 eggs
1 tbsp earl grey tea leaves
150g ground almonds
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

...the icing
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp rosewater
A few drops of boiled water

Preheat the oven to 160.  Line 15 muffin / cupcake tins with papers.

Beat sugar and butter until pale and creamy, scrape the sides as you go to ensure all the butter is being creamed.  Add lemon zest and rosewater, beat another minute then add the eggs one at a time beating for a minute after each one.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix, then add into the butter and stir until just incorporated.  Spoon mixture evenly among the cupcake papers and bake for 25 minutes, test with a skewer they should be a light golden brown.

Carefully lift them out of the tin and cool completely on a rack.

For the icing put everything into a bowl and then gradually add drops of the 
boiling water a little at a time to melt butter, keep stirring until smooth and glossy.

Dollop onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with a little lemon zest.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{Pancetta & Vegie Soup}

Billy and I planted some rainbow carrot seeds this week into a miniature greenhouse he got for his birthday, we had so much fun going and choosing the seeds although it took me a while to talk him out of trying to grow apples in it!  We can't wait to see them pop up their little green heads, Billy tells everyone he sees he's making carrots.  Lovely.

This soup you could easily make with home grown vegies, we have grown plenty of different greens and some lovely kipfler potatoes and our carrots are on their way, fingers crossed!  I made this soup for dinner on Monday, then I had it for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and I didn't get bored of it! in fact each day I looked forward to it, that's a good soup my friends, and its good for you too, hooray.

...the soup
150g piece of pancetta, chopped into lardons
1 onion, chop into large dice
6 cups chicken stock
800g tin of diced tomatoes
4 medium potatoes, quartered
3 medium carrots, sliced thickly
1 bunch greens, stems removed and chopped
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika

Warm up your soup pot over a medium heat, add the pancetta and cook until some of the fat has rendered and the pancetta is starting to turn golden brown about 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Next toss in the diced onion and saute for another 5 or so minutes until its translucent.

Add in the stock, the tomatoes, the paprika and the chilli flakes, bring up to the boil.  Reduce the heat and add in the potatoes, cover and simmer for 10 minutes then add the carrots and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Once both the potatoes and carrots are cooked but still firm, add the chopped greens. Stir until just wilted, taste for seasoning and serve.