Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken with Calvados & Creme Fraiche

The weather was restless today. Intermittent rain and humid heat, not to mention brief moments of cool breezes - a taste of Melbourne's renowned all-4-seasons-in-a-day.

The erratic weather made it difficult to chose what to make for dinner. I had a few handfuls of shallots I wanted to use up, as well as some chicken pieces, so I thought the following recipe would be perfect, I only needed to grab some calvados.

Four different liquor stores later, still no calvados. At the 5th liqueur shop I gave up and bought St Remy French Brandy - hopefully it will still work out right, just with no hint of apple.

ease: 3/5. Brown chicken and onions, place in ovens, then use cooking juices to make sauce.
prep time: 12mins.
cooking time:
1hour mins. I cooked the chicken for 55mins - it was already a little dry. The sauce took about 3mins.
1hour 12mins.

4/5. The boys liked it; I used 2 chicken breasts and 4 drumsticks which fed 3 well. I served it with mashed potatoes and garlic bread.

would I make it again:
No. They didn't like it enough to warrant over an hour of cooking time, plus there was quite a bit to clean up.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pork in Quince Pastry

Pork you very much...time for another porky dish.

I was the epitome of sloth today...I had to muster up energy just to change clothes this morning. Luckily, tonight's dinner was going to be quick with very little hands on work. Thank God.

1tbs oil
2x 300g pork loin
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 puff pastry sheets
2 tbs quince paste
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Season pork and fry in oil in pan til lightly browned.
Spread 1tbs quince paste on each sheet of puff pastry. Wrap pork in puff pastry, seal edges and brush with egg. Place on baking sheet covered tray and place in oven for 20mins or until pastry is golden brown. Serves 4.

ease: 5/5. Brown the pork, wrap in pastry, bung in the oven - simple.
prep time:
5mins to season and brown pork and spread pastry with quince paste.
cooking time:
20mins in the oven - I took mine out a little earlier as the pastry had already browned - the pork was well done, would take it out even earlier next time so it's still a little pink.
25mins. Only 5mins hands on work though.

3.5/5.It does need more than 1tbs per sheet otherwise it lacks on flavour. The pastry was Ryan's favourite part - I think he'd eat a shoe if I wrapped it in puff pastry. I served mine with steamed green beans and a walnut, goats curd and spinach salad.

would I make it again: Yes.
Ryan loved it, especially the pastry. The other boys didn't care for it much, but they still ate it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Camembert, apple & spinach salad with garlic toasts

I am, for the most part, a Vegetarian; my partner however, is an absolute carnivore. As he cannot cook for himself (and mostly because I do not want him messing up my kitchen) I cook meats for him such as:
  • chicken (not a whole chicken, just breasts or sometimes thighs etc)
  • lamb
  • beef
  • pork
  • fish
I tend to cook more chicken, however this week I have slotted in two pork dishes. Tonight I'm cooking a fennel seed crusted pork loin chop and I wanted a suitable side salad. I found one with apples and Camembert which I thought would go perfectly (obviously I don't eat pork so I am just assuming they go well as pork and apple recipes are abundant).

ease: 3/5. You have to toast, fry and slice.
prep time: 4mins to make dressing and slice ingredients.
cooking time: 7mins to fry apples and toast bread.
11mins. A little time consuming for an average salad.

2.5/5. The cider made it too bitey and the warm apples felt out of place. No one liked the apples in it at all actually.

would I make it again: No. It just didn't 'flow' very well. It was hard to fit everything on one fork as well.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Rosewater shortbread

Raindrops are fallin' on my I run in and out of the house to do my laundry and pick some lavender. The lavender is scheduled to be relocated soon (my partner is allergic to bees so I'm trying to reduce the number of bee attractors in our garden, of which lavender is the biggest) so I thought I would utilise it while I can.

Recently I trawled through some new food blogs (how I spent my entire weekend), and bookmarked some new ones; one of which was the very stylish Milk and Cookies. As I do with every new blog I find, I click on previous entries until I can click no more. A couple of clicks in and by happenstance (my new word for the day) I found a recipe for Lavender shortbread. Gathering my trusty scissors I skipped down to the lavender and snipped away.

Spreading my small bunch across my bench I noticed something small moving in a tiny bud of lavender. And then upon close inspection I saw dozens, no HUNDREDS of tiny, pin head size bugs all throughout my lavender. Needless to say I shrieked, threw the lavender in the bin and disinfected my bench with my trusty, store bought, vanilla alcohol spray(I clean just to smell it).

I popped down to a few of my nearby supermarkets but none of them had any lavender essence :(. A trip down to Leo's may have found me some, but I couldn't be bothered in this weather.
So I swung open my bare pantry (just moved house and have started from scratch) and managed to find some Turkish Rose water. It would have to do.

ease: 3.5/5. You have to chill the dough for 30mins.
prep time: 50mins. 10mins to make dough, 30mins to chill, 10mins to cut and sugar cookies.
cooking time: 10mins at 150C fan forced. I couldn't fit two trays in side by side :( so it took 20mins to bake 18 heart shaped cookies.
total: 1hour. Only 2omins hands on time though.

taste: 4/5. It was more like a lemon rather than a rosewater shortbread. I used 1 1/2tsp of rosewater but I could not taste it at all. Would increase the amount to 2 1/2tsp next time. I rolled mine to .5cm because I prefer them to be a little moist.

would I make it again: Yes. Lovely with tea.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Salmon with fennel and pernod

The weather is suffocating and deceptive; through a window it looks overcast, chilly and ready to rain, step outside and you're slapped in the face with a hot sweaty palm.

The claustrophobic heat was only intensified by a shopping trip to the city. Despite the awkward weather there were shoppers swarming everywhere - not my idea of a good time. About an hour was all I could hack and then it was time to come home, rehydrate, and eat a light meal.

My father brought me back some fleshy salmon fillets from the Vic Markets (thanks Dad) so I settled on a simple dish using fennel and Pernod.

ease: 4.5/5.
prep time:
10mins to toast seeds and prep ingredients.
cooking time:
15mins. 7mins for fennel and 8mins for salmon.
25mins. It is a really quick dish with minimal washing up.

5/5. I would give this a 4.5 as the recipe is, but as my dad and my partner both really loved this as well it deserves a 5.
The flavours were interesting and complimented the salmon without overwhelming it. I cooked the salmon skin side down for the instructed 5mins but found it only needed 3mins when flipped over - I also did not add the water. I increased everything by half to feed 3 people. I could only find two small fennels which were not enough and I diced 1 shallot which made about 2tbs. Next time around I would alter the following:
  • I would increase the amount of fennel seeds by 1/2tsp
  • I would add an extra 2tbs of Pernod - really wanted to taste this a little more
  • decrease the butter by 2tsp - I found the dish was a smidgen greasy
  • add 1/2 a fennel
would I make it again: YES. It was an absolute winner. With a few tweaks here and there this really will become a great dish to serve to guests.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pear & blue cheese fritters

There's something strange about sultry nights; the cool breeze is comforting, almost like a lullaby in that it beckons you to lie down on crisp cool sheets and drift to sleep...well for me it does anyway. Resisting that urge I peeled myself off the couch to make something small and quick for dinner.

Donna Hay, whose cookbooks and magazines I have plenty of, recently added old recipes to their website, so I wasted now time in searching for one suitable to make this evening. After trying to decide between two recipes I chose to make, with the help of my lovely partner, the pear and blue cheese fritters.

ease: 4.5/5. Mix, spoon out and fry.
prep time: 8mins to mix everything together.
cooking time: 6mins to cook 11 fritters.
total: 14mins.

taste: 4/5. Make sure you season these well as the pear and onions tend to make this quite sweet. As they are fried in oil they are a little greasy too, but I didn't mind that much. I was hoping for a more pronounced blue cheese flavour, so next time I think I'll add 100g rather than 60g. I could not get fresh chives last minute so I used the tubes of chive they sell at the supermarkets.

would I make it again: Yes. They would be great with a salad for lunch.


Banana pancake stacks with lime butter syrup

A Summer's day in Spring.
Although the sun was hidden behind a diaphanous cloak of haze, the dry 30C heat was very apparent. Our morning started quite lazily with a banana smoothie for breakfast followed by a nap on the deck next to my pride and joy, our dog Yoshi, who took the opportunity to work on his 'tan' today. Must remember to buy some sunscreen for his little nose...

Every now and again I head down to Leo's in Kew to pick up some not-so-common ingredients. On my last trip, one of my fabulous finds was palm sugar. I'd seen it in recipes before, but as I could not find it at my local supermarket (the only place I would do my shopping back in the day when I didn't know what fennel was) I would put them in my hard-to-find ingredient pile of recipes. When I started to shop at butchers, grocers, farmer's markets etc, I also ventured out to the nearby suburb of Kew to check out Leo's which I had heard great things about concerning their range of local and imported goodies and since then almost no recipe has had to be put in that pile.
During my languid afternoon, my stomach began it's grumbles and moans so I rustled up a little vim and searched for some recipes using palm sugar and found one involving possibly my favourite breakfast food; pancakes. Shedding my lovely pj's, I donned a summery dress and grabbed my bowl and whisk to whip up some Banana pancake stacks with lime butter syrup.

ease: 3.5/5. There is chopping, juicing and zesting involved.
prep time:
cooking time:
15mins to make all 8 pancakes. Only 3mins for the syrup.
25mins. Takes a little while, but it doesn't feel like it does.

4/5. The pancakes themselves were quite humdrum apart from the oozy banana pieces. The lime syrup really made this dish; I did alter this recipe a fair bit though:
  • I used two large bananas
  • I used the juice and zest of one lime (I did not cut thin strips, just grated it, as I didn't think I would like the texture of slices of lime) and added 1tbs of bottled lime juice (one of my limes was unusable and my remaining lime barely gave 1/2tsp worth of juice).
  • and I used 130g of palm sugar (didn't want it overly sweet)
I would definitely add more lime zest and juice next time, as the syrup was sweet but not 'limey' enough for me.

would I make it again: No. The pancakes weren't that crash hot, the lime syrup was lovely though so I may use it again for something else.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poached eggs with dukkah, lemon and feta

ease: 4/5. prep time: 5mins to boil water and get everything ready.
cooking time:
2mins. Once again I overcooked my eggs, this time they were slightly runny at least.
7mins. Ready in no time.

4/5. Would have put more dukkah and feta on as I was a little cautious with the dukkah - used a pre-made hazelnut one so really cut down the prep time. Boys didn't like it as much, they just prefer their eggs scrambled with salt and butter.

would I make it again:
No. Boys didn't like it enough which is a shame because I thought it was a nice change.


Pistachio & lemon-crusted lamb with buttered spinach with pine nuts & sultanas

For lamb:
ease: 4/5. Make topping and put into the oven. It's a cinch.
prep time: 5mins to make topping and press onto lamb.
cooking time:
12mins. I cooked mine accidentally for 15mins and it was well done - would take it out at 10 next time for medium.
17mins. Minimal mess and not that hard to mess up (apart from leaving it too long in the oven).

3/5. The meat was overcooked so the boys didn't like it that much. Tried to get them to separate the meat from the topping to rate the topping but I think the overall feeling was 'nice, but had better'. I used 600g of meat and halved the topping mixture. It fed three boys ok.

would I make it again:
No. Boys liked their meats with spices rather than fresh herbs.


for spinach
ease: 4/5.
prep time:
4 mins to wash spinach and prepare butter mixture to pour over the top.
cooking time:
6mins. 5mins to boil water, 1 min to blanch spinach.
10mins. Boiling the water takes the longest.

4/5. I liked the flavour combinations. Couldn't really taste the Parmesan surprisingly. sultanas were the biggest flavour.

would I make it again:
No. Spinach with garlic is still what I prefer.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mango and coconut cupcakes

ease: 4/5. I used a packet cupcake mix as could not find the classic cupcake recipe.
prep time: 20mins to mix cupcake batter, make icing and puree sliced mangoes.
cooking time: 20mins.

4/5. I used Green's Vanilla cupcake mix. I added one can of pureed mango slices, milk and the coconut (did not toast it). I added 2tbs to the Green's Icing mixture. The cupcakes and icing didn't have much of a mango taste. Would add more mango next time.

would I make it again: No, even though they were really moist cupcakes that everyone seemed to like they are quite pricey cupcakes thanks to the packet mix and mangoes.


Chicken with avocado & pink grapefruit salad

ease: 4/5. Pretty easy but you have to fry and bake chicken.
prep time:
15mins to prepare salad, yoghurt and season chicken.
cooking time:
10mins. 3mins in frypan, 7 mins in oven.

4/5. I liked it. The yoghurt was a little too sour for me so I would use less lemon next time. The salad dressing was really lovely, I added more sugar as I didn't want it too sweet. Chicken was juicy and overall the dish was really fresh and light. I used rocket as I could not get watercress.

would I make it again:
Yes. It had a lot of flavour and it's really healthy.


Banana Cardamom Lassi

1 banana
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 cup yoghurt

Blend all ingredients and pour into glass.

ease: 4.5/5. Blend and go.
prep time: 3mins to put items in blender. I used frozen bananas so I did not need to add ice.
cooking time: 1min to blend.
Total: 4mins.

taste: 3.5/5. I love cardamom but found this a little thick which was probably due to me using frozen bananas so I had to add some soy milk to thin it out.

would I make it again: No. Not enough flavours for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Croque monsieur

ease: 5/5. Make a sandwich and fry in pan.
prep time:
2mins to make sandwich.
cooking time:
2mins to fry in butter.
Total: 4mins.
Takes less time than making a cup of tea.

4.5/5. Dad and Ryan loved it - they asked me, what did you put on the top? Nothing, just fried it in good old butter. It's a little bit of a pricey lunch due to the Gruyere - I bought it in slices as the chunks are cut too thin to grate anyway.

would I make it again:
Yes. If we didn't run out of bread I would have made them another one each as they wanted more.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Smoked trout potato and mint salad

1kg chat potatoes
2x 175g smoked trout fillet, flaked
1 cup fresh dill
2 cups fresh mint
sour cream sauce:
120g sour cream
1 garlic clove minced
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes, drain and cool.
Mix sour cream, garlic, balsamic and salt and pepper together.
Toss potatoes, sour cream sauce, trout, dill and mint together. Serves 4.

ease: 4/5. Only cooking required is boiling the potatoes.
prep time: 5mins to slice potatoes and put into the saucepan and to make sauce ready ingredients.
cooking time: 20mins to cook potatoes.
Total: 25mins.

taste: 3.5/5. It was a nice combination of flavours, probably didn't really need that much mint though. Doesn't make a huge amount, fed two people decently for dinner. Would have liked more trout though.

would I make it again: No. I liked the other smoked trout and potato salad I made before.

Cardamom fruit salad

ease: 4/5. Slice fruit and boil sauce.
prep time:
3mins to slice fruit.
cooking time:
3mins to make sauce.

taste: 2.5/5. Paw paw is absolutely disgusting. Luckily I also cut up pineapple, kiwi and orange. The sauce was OK but nothing special.

would I make it again:
No. I will never have paw paw again. Yuk.


Banana and cinnamon French toast

ease: 3.5/5.
prep time: 5mins to ready egg mixture and soak bread.
cooking time:
3mins for each slice.

3.5/5. I only used 2 eggs as that made enough for 4 medium slices. Next time I would add more cinnamon.

would I make it again: No. It was nice but nothing super special.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken mozzarella burgers

2 chicken breasts, sliced in half
2tbs olive oil
1tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper
225g buffalo mozzarella
whole egg mayonnaise to taste
pesto to taste
shaved parmesan
mixed lettuce leaves
4 burger buns

Marinate chicken in oil, lemon and salt and pepper in a non-metallic bowl for 5mins.
Brush burger buns with oil and grill for 1min until browned. Set aside.
Grill chicken for 2mins, or fry in pan til ready.
Spread mayonnaise on one side of the bun, top with some lettuce and then chicken breasts.
Dollop some pesto and then top with mozzarella, more pesto, more lettuce and shaved parmesan. Serves 4.

ease: 4/5.
You only have to cook chicken and toast bread, the rest is just assembling.
prep time: 5mins to get ingredients out and marinate chicken.
cooking time: 1omins to cook chicken in fry pan.
Total: 15mins. Super quick.
taste: 4/5. These were super tasty, I smothered mine in mayonnaise and pesto. The buffalo mozzarella was really soft (and expensive) but tastier than regular mozzarella.

would I make it again: Yes. They were really easy to make, hard to stuff up. And I was only in the kitchen for 15mins, which means even on days when you can't be arsed, this is an option.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Three berry butter cake

ease: 4/5. If you have a standing mixer, otherwise it'll take longer with a hand held.
prep time: 10mins to get ingredients out and beat batter. Because of my gorgeous yellow KitchenAid, it only took me 7mins to beat the mixture.
cooking time:
1hour 20mins. There were quite a few bungles with this recipe. For starters, I bought organic self-rising cake flour, which it specifically states, not self-rising. Guess I just saw self-rising and cake flour and bought that. Watch out for the word 'not'. I also forgot to thaw my berries so I just chucked em in - and they literally froze my batter. I had to use my hands to scoop it out like clay. And I also used a round cake tin, not a square baking tray. So I'm calling this an experiment, if it still comes out OK then it really is a foolproof recipe.
Total: 1hour 30mins.
Only 10mins active cooking.

4.5/5. I really love this. It is quite dense which I assumed would happen as I used frozen rather than fresh/defrosted berries, but I don't mind it. I used 4 cups of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and red currants - would not recommend more than 5cups as it skews the berry- to-cake ratio, and you may end up with a soggy cake. The cake is slightly sweet in almost a biscuit way, whilst the berries offer bursts of tartness, sourness and sweetness without feeling mushy. I has to put some foil on top of the cake after 50mins as it had already browned, I left it in for another 30mins to compensate for the frozen berries but that was probably around 10mins too long.

would I make it again:
Yes. Really yum and not that hard as I didn't even need to manually stir it.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goat's cheese, spinach & chilli pasta

4/5. You cook spinach separately.
prep time: 2mins to wash spinach and get past in saucepan.
cooking time:
5mins to wilt spinach and stir though pasta.

3.5/5. Needs more garlic and cheese. Ryan didn't like it though.

would I make it again:


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Banana cake with caramel custard top

3.5/5. Two step process and quite a few ingredients - need to beat electrically as well.
prep time: 12mins to make cake batter. 1min to make custard topping.
cooking time: 50mins for cake, 30mins for topping - only 10mins with temperature on
Total: 1hour 30mins.

taste: 3.5/5. The most moist banana cake I have ever had but not actually that tasty. Didn't like the caramel custard topping. Would prefer it with a typical cream cheese frosting.

would I make it again: No. Really nice, but too much of an effort for a banana cake.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Moroccan chickpea salad

I wanted something a little different for lunch today, but also substantial enough for me. I came across this recipe in a Women's Health magazine - it looked healthy and super tasty. I added some shredded chicken for the boys to beef it up a bit.

1x 425g can chickpeas
1 cucumber diced
1 red capsicum diced
1 container of grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tbs capers (if desired)
2 tbs fresh coriander, chopped
1 3/4 tsp cumin

1/4 cup shallots, diced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine salad and dressing in one bowl

Prepare dressing and salad separately by combining all ingredients for each in two large mixing bowls.
Pour dressing over salad mixture. Serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Makes 8 x 1/2 -cup servings.

ease: 5/5.
prep time: 9mins.
cooking time: 1 min to combine.
total: 10mins.

taste: 5/5. Great salad that is full of flavour and substantial. I used white onion rather than red as they are sweeter and milder. I also used cherry tomatoes instead of grape and omitted the coriander. I also used just 1tsp of cumin. Flavours go beautifully together and it is not overspicy.

would I make it again: Yes. I loved it - boys wolfed it down as well, although there were a few chickpeas left.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Banana, raisin, and oatmeal pancakes

3.5/5. Quite a few ingredients.
prep time:
8mins to add all ingredients and mix batter.
cooking time:
3mins for each pancake. These had a tendency to burn but still break apart on turning - fragile batter.

4/5. The banana was the strongest flavour. I couldn't taste the oats or feel the texture, they were like regular thick pancakes. Quite sweet on their own as well. I halved the recipe, but I used less raisins and less yoghurt.

would I make it again:
No. They were nice but a bit too much effort for pancakes. Lots of ingredients.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Barbecue Chicken Meatballs

ease: 4/5. One bowl and one pan.
prep time: 5mins to combine ingredients and make the balls.
cooking time: 10mins to cook chicken and 1min to reduce bbq sauce.
Total: 15mins.

taste: 3/5. These were nice, the flavour really does depend on what BBQ sauce you use. I just used a Masterfoods one, so this may be nicer with a better quality sauce. They are full on though so you could probably only eat a few, more of a side dish than main course.

would I make it again: No - only because Ryan couldn't eat many of them and if I cook meat it has to be for dinner.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Smoked trout, crispy bagel & avocado salad

ease: 4.5/5. Making the dressing is the most complicated - so very easy.
prep time: 5mins to make dressing and get ingredients out.
cooking time:
3mins to place on the place.
Total: 8mins. Ready in no time at all.

4/5. Ryan gave it 4.75 but I would only give it a 4. It was a nice balance of flavours, I did not use the capers though. It's a fresh taste, the red onion was the strongest flavour though, so would use less next time around, and would probably dice it so it is easier to eat. I could not find the bagel crisps (seen them a million times before, but when I need em they aren't there). So I used some deli style bsicuit, they were quite tiny and not very bread-like, the bagel crisps would work much better.

would I make it again: Yes. Great for lunch.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pork with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Ease: 4/5. Few ingredients and really easy.
prep time:
5mins to get strawberries marinating and to season pork.
cooking time: 20mins. 5mins to brown pork in pan, 10mins in the oven and 5mins rest.
Total: 25mins. Pretty quick - very little active cooking.

4/5. Ryan really liked this. I used a raspberry balsamic glaze so I did not add any sugar and I used a lot less. Didn't add the shredded basil on top either. I left the pork in the oven a little too long and it was a little dry - keep an eye on it.

Would I make it again:
Yes. Easy, quick and minimal washing up.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Orecchiette with broad beans, butter & parmesan

Ease: 4/5. If I didn't have to shell the broad beans this would be super easy.prep time: 2mins to slice butter and get ingredients ready.
cooking time:
15mins to cook pasta and toss through butter and parmesan.
17mins. Pretty quick and little hands on work.

Taste: 3.5/5. If I only used broccolini, then 4.5/5. I used shell pasta as I couldn't find orecchiette, and frozen broad beans as I couldn't find fresh at Coles. This turned out to be a nightmare though as the broad beans still had a shell around them and I had to peel them after cooking. As this was taking forever I sauteed some broccolini in butter and garlic and tossed them through. Thank God I did as the broad beans were really bitter and mushy.

Would I make it again:
No. I would use the recipe and substitute with garlic broccolini though.

Cheese & Spinach Quesadillas

Ease: 3.5/5. If you don't get pre-grated cheeses it adds to the prep time.
prep time:
5mins to prepare ingredients and wash baby spinach.
cooking time:
8mins. 5mins to cook cheese and spinach, and 3mins to brown quesadillas.
Total: 13mins.

4/5. I really enjoyed these but Ryan found them too salty (probably the feta and salt sprinkled on the spinach). I would increase the amount of cheese next time as I like mine extra cheesy. Didn't use the taco sauce, or the eggwhites to seal the edges.

Would I make it again:
Yes. Great for lunch.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Raspberry & White Chocolate Mousse

Ease: 3/5. You have to whip the mixture and refrigerate for 30mins.
prep time: 10mins to whip mixture and place in fridge.
cooking time:
1hr - I put mine in the fridge rather than the freezer for 30mins.
1hr 10mins.

3.5/5. The chocolate solidified when I mixed it through as I used eggs and cream straight from the fridge. So the mousse was a little grainy. Ryan and dad really liked it but I found the sweet and tart contrast a little too strong.

Would I make it again:
No. Didn't love it - but went down really well , so maybe it's just me.


Pan Fried Chicken with Goats Cheese Mash

Ease: 4/5. Not much work at all.
prep time:
5mins - to mash beans and season chicken.
cooking time:
15mins to cook beans and chicken.

4/5. I loved the bean mash - I used a french goats cheese. The boys thought the mash worked well with the chicken - otherwise the chicken doesn't have a huge amount of flavour, but they work well together. I served it with a mixed leaf salad with Raspberry Balsamic.

Would I make it again:
Yes - it was really quick and easy to make.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baileys Mocha Frappe

Ease: 4.5/5. Blend everything together and squirt some chocolate on the top.
prep time: 1min to pull everything out of the fridge.
cooking time: 1min to blend everything.
Total: 2mins. Super-duper fast.

Taste: 4.5/5. Really refreshing - but I did alter the quantities. I used 175ml of Baileys as it was just a hint and I wanted more of a Baileys taste. I also used 125ml of milk and 125ml of jarrah latte coffee. I made this twice - I used the chocolate the first time, and I also melted some chocolate and dropped it into the liquid where it cooled and was yummy to eat after you drank it all. I also used less ice - about 1 cup. My amounts made enough for 4 small glasses. I also added 1 frozen banana the first time which thickened it up and gave it another flavour. It would be extra yum with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Would I make it again: Yes - already made it twice.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Warm Coconut & Banana Shake

Ease: 3.5/5. Have to blend first and then simmer on stove.
prep time: 2mins to blend bananas and coconut milk.
cooking time: 3mins to heat up on stove and melt sugar.
Total: 5mins.

Taste: 3.5/5. Surprisingly there wasn't as much of a coconut taste as I would have liked and I used 270ml of coconut milk and just 1.5 bananas. The bananas were also quite grainy so the drink was thick.

Would I make it again: Maybe - in Winter.


Chicken in Basil & Coconut Broth

3 cups coconut cream
3 cups chicken stock
2 tbs shredded ginger
2 red chillies, seeded and chopped
1 tbs fish sauce
3 fresh coriander roots
3 chicken breast fillets, sliced
1 cup shredded basil
100g bean sprouts

Place coconut cream, chicken stock, ginger, chillies, fish sauce and coriander in a large frying pan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Allow broth to simmer for 5mins.
Add the chicken and stir. Cook for 5mins or until chicken is cooked. Stir through basil. Pile bean sprouts into a bowl and top with chicken and broth. Serves 4.

Ease: 4.5/5. Not much hands on cooking. Ready quickly as well.
prep time:
8mins to get ingredients ready and first lot into pan.
cooking time: 10mins. 5 for broth and then 5 for chicken - depending on how thinly you slice.
Total: 18mins. Really quick and not a lot of mess.

3.5/5. I add two small diced potatoes in the beginning and they cook in the 10mins, it bulks up the soup. I also do not include the coriander as I cannot stand it. I halved the recipe this time, but when I have made it before the soup is thicker than pictured, really creamy and tasty.

Would I make it again: Yes. Made it twice already.