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Fri
28
Aug '09

Peach Crumble, Peach Crisp

Our local orchard is called Sunny Slope Farms. I’ve been going there since I first came to the US, and Jeff’s been going since he was a wee kid. They make it so easy to eat in season fruit – they sell high quality apples, peaches and nectarines, in huge plastic sacks for between $US5 and $US10 a bag. They make the argument for buying local for me every season.

Since their peaches came in season a month or two ago, we’ve been bringing home a huge bag once a week, once every couple of weeks, and just gorging on peaches. The last bag took longer than usual to ripen, and when it did, et voila, the last dozen all became overripe at the same time. Jeff suggested a crisp, I wanted a crumble, turns out they’re the same thing.

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 cup white sugar.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Your favourite good vanilla icecream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Butter an 8″ square (approx. 6 cup baking dish.)
  2. Place the peaches in the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, white and brown sugars, cinnamon and salt. Cut the butter into cubes, and mix with your fingers (or pastry cutter) until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle the crumb mixture in an even layer over the top of the peaches. For a nicely crisp crumb, this should not be too thick. Don’t be afraid to toss some of the crumb mixture if it doesn’t look proportionate to your fruit mix.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes, or until peaches are bubbling and topping is browned and crisp.
  6. Serve with a hearty scoop of your favourite vanilla icecream. Cream works too – but DO Not use that cream in a can – it’ll add water to your dessert and the crispy bits won’t be.
Fri
26
Dec '08

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, mixing well. (Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks a little curdled at this point, it’ll come right again with the dry ingredients.)

Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.

Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Using a small scoop, place even scoops onto parchment lined cookie sheets/baking trays. Bake for 6 minutes, then press each cookie down with a fork. Bake a further 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.

(the pressing down with the fork makes these cookies crisper. If you like a doughier style cookie, omit the pressing down, and cook for 10-12 minutes.)

Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Sun
9
Nov '08

Eggy Crumpets

I saw this idea on Jamie Oliver’s new (new to the Food Network anyway, it’s from 2007) show Jamie at Home.  On his egg show, he did a recipe that he didn’t name, but I rather thought should be called Eggy Crumpets.  Turns out, so did he.  Here’s my take on it.

Ingredients 

  • 1 small pat of butter
  • 2 large eggs (preferably organic – they taste better!)
  • seasoning of your choice – I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasonings Salute.
  • 2 crumpets (organic if you can get them)
  • good organic tomato sauce (aka ketchup)

 

Method 

  1. Whisk the two eggs in a shallow flat container with the seasonings.
  2. Place the crumpets top side down into the egg mixture to soak up.  Push down to get maximum soakage, then turn over.  Repeat with the other side.
  3. Put the small pat of butter In a non-stick frying pan,  moving it around to coat the whole base of the pan. Heat until it just starts to sizzle.
  4. Place the crumpets into the pan, flat side down.  This is where I also drizzled about half each of the left over egg over the top of each crumpet.  Pan fry for about a minute or two, until the bottom is golden brown.
  5.  Carefully with a spatula/egg flip, flip over onto the other side.   Pan fry until the bottom again is golden brown.
  6. Gently flip into a plate, and serve with a good lashing of your condiment of choice.  Mine is Heinz’s organic Tomato Sauce (US) or Australia’s Rosella’s Tomato Sauce.

 

Sat
8
Nov '08

Butternut Pumpkin Soup

In Australia, we don’t call most of the gourds squash, we call then Pumpkin.  So Butternuts are Pumpkin, not squash.  They’re the same vegetable, so this works just as well on this side of the world too.  Many recipes say to boil the pumpkin, but that means you have to peel it first (hard) and also that the depth of flavour is not there – to me the boiling makes the flesh more watery than I like.

Ingredients 

  • 1 butternut pumpkin, cut into large unpeeled chunks.
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 stick of celery chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • chopped chives and sour cream to serve

 

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F . Place the pumpkin cut side up, peel side down on a baking tray and roast for 30-60 minutes.  The pumpkin should be roasted until cooked through
  2. Whilst the pumpkin is roasting, add butter to a large pot and saute the vegetables (seasoned with salt and pepper) until the onion is soft. Add the cumin and garlic, and saute for about a minute, being careful not to brown/burn the garlic.  Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.   Blend until smooth – we used a stick blender directly into the pot.
  3. Scoop the pumpkin out of the skin, and  Add the pumpkin to the pot, peel the garlic and then add to the pot. Remove the pot from the heat.
  4. In batches puree the mixture until smooth.  Bring to a slow simmer for about 30 minutes
  5.  Serve with yoghurt and chopped chives.

 

Fri
13
Jun '08

Toasted Pastina Pilaf

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon tuscan herbs
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup pastina, uncooked (1 cup=1/2 of a 12oz box)
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen petit peas
  • salt, pepper to taste

 

Method 

  1. Cook and stir herbs, carrot, onion, celery and salt in hot butter until tender but not browned.
  2. Add pasta, cook and stir until lightly browned.
  3. Stir in chicken broth and parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring to boil, stir through peas. 
  5.  Reduce heat, cover and cook 5 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Sat
31
May '08

Turkey and Pasta Soup

Ingredients:

  •  olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 large mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon pot herbs
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 pound turkey breast, diced
  • 16 oz chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups dried pasta
  • 1/2 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 1/2 green capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 16 oz can of whole tomatoes, diced.
  • Pesto

Method:

  1.  Put 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter into soup pot.  Add diced onion, sprinkle with kosher salt.  Saute for a minute or so.  
  2. Add  diced celery, saute.  Add diced carrot, saute.    Add sliced mushrooms, saute.
  3. Add potherbs, red pepper flakes, ground pepper, and garlic, and saute for a minute, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  4. Remove from heat, put all of vege/herb mix into a bowl.  
  5. Put pot back on heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot.  
  6. Heat, and add turkey to brown.  Once browned, return vegetables to the pan.  
  7. Add stock, and 16 oz water (I rinsed the tomato can with water and used that water).    Bring to the boil.  
  8. Stir the dried pasta through the pot, add the red bell peppers, and cook for 10 minutes.   
  9. Add the chopped tomatoes, and bring  to the boil for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve with a dollop of pesto stirred through each bowl.
Sat
26
Apr '08

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Bake

Jeff and I, on our weekly trip to Pathmark, picked up and then discarded a pre-packaged Cheesy and Broccoli Rice.  The massive amounts of salt and the sundry unpronounceable ingredients all took away from the basic idea of the recipe. So we created this recipe.  American cheese, because it’s not very oily, jasmine rice because that’s what I have on hand, Mrs Dash seasoning because they make their seasonings sans salt.  Less than an hour from starting to eating, including cooking time.Ingredients

  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 oz american cheese
  • 1 cup 1% organic milk
  • 1 tblspn Mrs Dash garlic and herb seasoning
  • 1/2 pound frozen broccoli, pulsed until chunky in the food processer
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil, and cook the jasmine rice for 10-15 minutes – until to the tooth.
  3. While the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. 
  4.  In a saucepan, melt the butter.  
  5. Add the flour and stir well until combined into a roux.  Lightly cook the roux until blonde, not browned.  
  6. Add the milk, bit by bit until sauce is thickened, but not lumpy.  
  7. Add the cheese – reserve a small handful for garnish – and stir through until melted.  
  8. Set aside in the saucepan.   
  9. When the rice is cooked, drain and put back into that saucepan.  
  10. Stir through the food processor chopped broccoli.   
  11. Then stir through the sauce mixture until all combined. 
  12. Pour into an oven proof dish (I use a standard pie dish) and smooth until even.   Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbling and the broccoli is done.       

Tue
18
Mar '08

20 minute Pasta for One

INGREDIENTS1 cup farfalle pasta (dry)half a dozen very thin slices of pancetta, diced

1 large  shallot, thinly sliced

5 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved

5 semi-dried tomatoes, diced

10 oil cured olives.

METHOD

 As per the pasta instructions, cook the farfalle in boiling water for 10-12 minutes.  Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.

In the same saucepan, toss the pancetta and shallots for a minute, stirring continuously.  (I didn’t use any oil, as the pancetta has enough for this stage.)

Add the mushrooms, stirring continuously.  Cook for about 30 seconds, and then add the grape tomatoes.

Stir, adding a small amount of the reserved pasta water.  This prevents sticking, and brings up the sauce consistency.  Add the olives and dried tomatoes, stirring through, then add the farfalle.

Stir through to mix, and serve.

 

 

 

Mon
28
Jan '08

Simple Chicken Soup

I created this soup recipe because I’d been craving a simple. home-made chicken soup. All of the flavour comes from sautéing the fresh ingredients prior to the addition of the stock. Sautéing takes away that “boiled” taste some soups have. Next time I make it, I may also sauté the rice, as per risotto, for an additional toasted flavour. Prep Time 15 minutesCooking Time: 30-45 minutesIngredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced.
  • 4 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 carrots,peeled and finely diced
  • 1.5 lbs chicken, medium diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 46 oz (1.3L) chicken stock
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 lb frozen mixed veg (corn, peas, carrots, beans) – I used Pathmark’s organic blend.
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Sauté the onions with the kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper for a couple of minutes on medium heat in olive oil. 
  2. Add celery and sauté for a minute. 
  3. Add carrots and sauté for a minute. 
  4. Add chicken and sauté over high heat, stirring well until all chicken is sealed and starting to brown. 
  5. Add freshly minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds – just enough to release the flavour without browning.
  6. Add stock, and bring to the boil. 
  7. Once at a boil, add rice, stirring well so as not to clump or stick. 
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Add frozen mix veg, bring to a rolling boil. 
  10. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. 
  11. Season to taste and eat.
Sun
22
Apr '07

Sour Cream Banana Bundt Cake

This is what you make with all of those brown bananas in your kitchen!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Oven Temp: 350F/180C

Cake Ingredients
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
OPTIONAL: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Icing Ingredients
250 g 80z Neufchatel (light but not fatfree) cream cheese
juice of one lime (including the pulp juiced out) – NB this works well with lemons, and would possibly work with fresh orange juice, just don’t use the whole orange, and add in some orange zest to keep the tang
1-2 cups icing/confectioners sugar

Method

1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs, one at a time (each egg should be lightly whisked prior to addition), until well blended.
3. Mix vanilla and bananas, then stir into egg/butter/sugar mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
5. Fold gently into the banana mixture alternately with sour cream (can also substitute cream soured with lemon juice, but watch the consistency of the batter.)
(Add optional nuts at this point.)
6. Pour into a greased and floured 10″ bundt pan.
7. Bake in a preheated 350º for 50 minutes or tests done with toothpick.
8. Cool, then ice.

Citrus Icing

Put cream cheese and lime juice into a mixing bowl. With electric beaters, whisk until combined. Gradually add icing sugar until to taste, and until thick. This really is by choice as to how thick or thin you want the icing.