Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mozarella Madness!

Ok so can you guess what was on sale when we went to the supermarket this weekend?

In case you hadn't was big huge blocks of gorgeous Mozarella....

So this week we are experiencing a bit of a mozarella menu madness, which to be honest is not a bad thing!

To start with we thought we would try these Potato Patties (did I mention they are stuffed with basil, tomato and mozarella??)

They were mighty good and mighty easy....sandwich a slice of mozarella and some fresh basil leaves between two slices of tomato and envelope the whole thing in mashed potato. Coat in breadcrumbs, fry and serve...

....but to be honest we were not totally sold, the tomato seemed to over power the herbs and the mozarella so the following night we tried them again but on a smaller scale and by omitting the tomato....and you know what? They were let me give you the new and improved recipe!!

Mozarella Stuffed Potato Balls
500g potatoes
1 tbspn butter
1 tspn wet italian herbs
100g mozarella cut into 1-2cm cubes
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
oil for frying

Boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins or until they are cooked. Drain the water and mash the spuds with the butter and herbs. Set aside to cool.

Once the potato is cool, roll tablespoons of it into balls. Push a cube of mozarella into the centre of each ball making sure it is covered back up so it doesn't leak out during the cooking process!

Roll the balls in breadcrumbs.

Heat a fry pan over medium - high heat and add 1 tbspn oil. Cook the lil potato balls for 2-3 mins on each side or until golden.

Mmmmmmmmm gooey cheesy potato goodness!!

And in other exciting news, for the next two weeks we are cat-sitting a 6 month old kitten called Misty while her parents are on holidays, she is just adorable and so full of character....I'm undecided as to wether I should give her back or skip the country with her!!

More Mozarella Madness...and Misty Madness tomorrow!!

Em x

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Easy Chicken Alfredo

You know when you have those nights where you just cannot be bothered cooking?

I mean don't get me wrong, I love coming home from work and de-stressing in the kitchen, but tonight I was just exhausted.

Luckily enough I had a sneaky trick up my sleeve!

Looks impressive hey?

Would you believe it took me all of 10 minutes?

All you need for this dish is

1 x pkt 4 cheese pasta (prepared as directed)
1 x chicken breast (around 260g) (diced)
8-g semi dried tomatoes (drained and diced)
1 x zucchini (diced)
1 x onion (diced)
25g shredded parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta as per packet directions. Try and do this whilst your chicken is cooking so the pasta is still hot when the chicken is done.

In a fry pan over medium heat, add your onion and chicken. Cook for 3-4 mins or until chicken is browned.

Add the zucchini and tomato. Cook for 3-4 mins or until zucchini is softened.

Stir the chicken mix and the parmesan cheese through the pasta. Serve!

How easy was that! And on top of that it is down right tasty too!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!!

Em x

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cookies and Cream Brownies

One second it's 4pm Friday evening and the weekend lays stretched out ahead of you,m full of possibilities....the next second it's Sunday evening and the weekend has disappeared in the blink of an eye. This weekend has gone especially fast and whilst part of me feels I have accomplished very little, part of me knows the only thing on my to do list that I didn't accomplish was getting a hair cut...and honestly that's not the end of the world. The weekend started on Friday night when OH and I went out for dinner to a restaurant called the Salamanca Beef and Seafood Grill. Neither of us had been there before and it on first glance it was a really nice little restaurant. I ordered a dish called Chicken Havarti which was chicken breast stuffed with spinach, semi dried tomato, havarti cheese and dried apricots. The apricots were actually a great addition to the dish, the flavour combination between the sweet apricots and the tart tomatoes was spot on :) Meanwhile OH was in heaven, he ordered a 3-tier Beef and Seafood Grill....which (obviously) was 3 tiers of beef and seafood goodness - the bottom tier was a huge bit of steak served on kumara mash with pepper sauce, the 2nd tier consisted of smoked salmon, smoked prawns, marinated octopus, smoked blue eye and anti pasto vegetables and the top tier was beer battered chips, battered prawns, scallops, calamari rings and blue eye and when they brought it out of the kitchen, the whole restaurant stopped to check it did look very impressive! OH managed to demolish the lot, suitably impressed by everything on the plate...and then proceeded to come home and have a big bowl of ice cream....I'm really not sure where he puts it all!!

The on Saturday morning, OH went to work at 6am so I enjoyed having the bed to myself and slept in for awhile. It wasn't long though before I braved the cold and went to meet Ali and Allie for our wedding make up trials - we don't scrub up too bad hey!!

Seeing as we looked so gorgeous, we took ourselves out for lunch to a cafe called Salt. I had to have my favourite - Crusty sour dough bruschetta topped with pan-fried eggplant, zucchini, spinach, pesto and ricotta....yum yum yum!! Although Ali had pesto scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes on fried pita bread which smelt devine, I might have to try that next time....although I said that last time, but the bruschetta has a hold on me!!

Then today I thought I better do some baking for OH's lunches seeing as we have been producing a phenomenal amount of cupcakes and he hasn't been getting any of them! OH was particularly fond of the cookies and cream frosting I have been making for the cupcakes so I tried to think of a way I could incorporate that into his lunches....and what better way then with a gooey chocolatey brownie! I was just going to top the brownies with the frosting but OH suggested I sandwich it between the brownies to make it more lunch box friendly.

I used my favourite brownie recipe....

For these you need:
125g butter
180g milk chocolate melts
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
Line a slice tin with baking paper.
Place butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl in the microwave and heat in 45 second bursts (stirring in between) until smooth.
Stir in sugar.
Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture until combined.
Add sifted flour and cocoa. Whisk to combine.
Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until top is firm to touch. Set aside to cool.

For the frosting you will need:
125g butter (at room temperature)
2-3 cups of icing sugar
5 oreo biscuits (crushed)

Combine the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium high speed until well combined. You may need to add more icing sugar to get a nice thick consistency.
Stir through the crushed oreos.

When the brownies are nice and cool cut into squares.
Cut each square in half through the middle. Spread one half with the frosting and sandwich together with the other half.

You will hate me for this....they are just so damn good!!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend :)

I am waiting for my vegie burger and home made chips to cook...and I may even get into bed to eat's just too cold!!

Em x

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Week So Far.....

OH and I have been struck down with a bug this week which has left us both exhausted and feeling very sorry for ourselves. Hopefully now we are nearing the end of it as we had planned a night out for dinner tomorrow night (and I know OH has his heart set on a 3 tier seafood and steak extravaganza!) and a nice relaxing and much needed sleep in on Saturday.

Cupcake orders have been coming in thick and fast this week and I am pleased to say that we surpassed the $200 mark today! Yay!! I really am so thankful to everyone that has donated so far, it's such a fantastic effort and we are only two weeks in! But all these donations mean cupcakes galore - today alone I delivered 60! Everyone seems to automatically default to chocolate when I ask them what flavour cupcakes they want, so to make it slightly more exciting, I made some different frostings....the photo below is a selection of the ones that went out today...

L-R - Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Coconut Rough, Choc Mint, Strawberry, Penuche (Brown Sugar Frosting) and Choc Fudge!

In other non-cupcake related news (are we sick of the cupcakes yet!?) my Nan cleared out all her old cookbooks over the weekend and was nice enough to offer them to me. I picked them up today and she had also given me her old round loaf tins, I remember these from when I was little and they always use to fascinate me, I can't wait to test them out! There are so many cookbooks there, but the best part is Nan's handwritten recipe books. At Christmas time, my Mum gave me a book of her handwritten recipes, which I was really excited about, so having my Nan's as well will be very special. I can't wait to have a look through them all - in fact I'm off to make myself a cup of tea and start doing so right now!!

Em x

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lentil Cottage Pie

We are well and truly experiencing winter here. I am not a winter child, I don’t do cold, 30 seconds after I walk in the door at night I have my electric blanket on and I’m changed into my flanny pj’s, dressing gown, ugg boots and in desperate times, my beanie....

I like to be warm and snug and generally I believe there is nothing better then waking up in the morning, all cosy in your bed and looking out the window on a miserable day, it looks horrible and cold out there, but you’re all warm and snug and cosy so you don’t care....but occasionally you do need to get out of bed and get on with life so in the absence of my nice warm bed, I find there is nothing to complete that feeling like a happy belly. And in my experience a happy belly (in winter) is often related to a big bowl of something hot, something not too filling or too rich as to leave you feeling icky, just enough to leave you feeling content.....and this Lentil Cottage Pie checked all those boxes, it was tasty, healthy, vegetarian (OH even quite enjoyed it!), easy and we got 4 huge serves out of it for like 363 calories a serve....Hello new favourite winter dish!!

Lentil Cottage Pie

1 onion diced
1 stick of celery diced
1 red capsicum diced
1 carrot diced
200g button mushrooms sliced
1 cup red lentils (dry)
1 pkt brown onion and garlic gravy mix
2 tbspns tomato paste
1 tspn wet Italian herbs
1 tbspn worcestershire
80g of baby spinach leaves
600g potato peeled and diced into large chunks
100ml light sour cream
1 tbspn light butter

Pre-heat oven to 160C.

In a large frypan over medium-high heat, add your onion and cook for 3-4 mins or until it is almost transparent.

Meanwhile put your potatoes in a pot and cover with water, let them boil whilst you are preparing the pie filling.

Add the celery, capsicum, carrot, mushrooms, lentils and gravy powder. Pour over 3-4 cups of water.

Add the tomato paste, Italian herbs and Worcestershire. Stir everything to combine.

Put the lid on the fry pan and allow the mix to simmer for 10 - 15 mins, stirring occasionally. The mixture should become quite thick.

Stir the spinach leaves through the lentil mixture and take off the heat.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water from them and mash with the sour cream and butter.

Pour the lentil mixture into a casserole dish and top with mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper. You can also scatter with some grated cheese if desired.

Bake for 10-15 mins or until potato is golden.

Enjoy :)

This recipe is a great way to hide lentils and vegies from kids / big kids as it has a very similar texture to mince cottage pie. You could even make it with half mince / half lentils if you really wanted to keep the meat eaters in the house happy!

Hope you are all keeping warm! I have a busy day at work, then I’m going home to do some polefit for the first time in what feels like months (I miss it so much!!) and then I have 40 cupcakes to ice (all chocolate...honestly....are people trying to kill me!) before I plonk myself on the couch with a big bowl of leftover lentil cottage pie and refuse to budge for the rest of the evening....oh except to get up and make some waffles with caramelised pineapple and cream, but more on those later in the week!!

Happy Wednesday!!

Em x

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Howdy :)

It's Monday morning here and it is freezing cold!

Last night my hair straightener wouldn't even work, turns out if it is below 8C then they can go on strike and to be honest I don't blame them!

So what did we do over the weekend?

We slept in....lots

We ate fresh bread straight out of the bread maker at 8am and went back to sleep, woke up at 10am and had a second brekkie....

I had a relaxing lunch and went bridesmaid dress shopping with one of my gorgeous friends........

We made a mixed batch of chocolate mint, chocolate and vanilla, chocolate fudge, coconut rough and double chocolate cupcakes for a lady I work with....

We went bowling and I finally won a game :) ....although the deal was winner buys lunch so I'm not sure I won anything at all bar bragging rights!!

OH got himself a new toy.....

And took me for a riding lesson on the bike, despite my protesting at the cold...

And to top it all off we finally put OH's anniversary present up - it was a wall decal that says 'Forever Love' with lots of swirly things around wasn't easy, but we did it!! Photos to come once we get all the air bubbles out!!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend :)

Em xx

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Us!!

For those of you who don't know, today is Love, Shoes and Cupcakes first birthday, yep one whole year. It doesn't feel like that long hey! Things have certainly changed in that time though...
- My shoe collection has increased ten-fold (and evolved into a love of tights too)
- Both OH and I have started new jobs and made significant changes in our lives
- We were getting married, then two weeks before the big day we decided to postpone which was one of the hardest things we have ever done, but now we are six months out from our wedding date and you know what, this time it just feels right, it's really going to happen and I couldn't be more excited, we even booked our mini-moon last night and we are about to book our honeymoon to Europe!
- As for the cooking, it's grown from a love of cupcakes and basic baking to a love of all things cooking, I've made things I never thought I could and I still love nothing more then an afternoon in the kitchen :)

So in honour of this milestone last night, Mum and Dad came up for dinner and this is how we celebrated...

Roast Tomato and Lentil Soup with Homemade Foccacia....

This foccacia recipe has been haunting me for ages! I have desperately wanted to try it, but just wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but well last night was the night and it was better then I expected. The herbs and sea salt on the top gave it so much flavour and it was crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy in the middle, just perfect :) Wanna try it for yourself? Here's how...


2 cups plain flour
7g dried yeast
2tbspns of olive oil
2 tspns rock salt
2 tbspns parmesan
2 tspns pizza herbs

Grease a 20cm x 30cm slice tin.

Combine the flour, yeast, parmesan and half of the salt in a bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add 1 cup of warm water and oil. Stir until a soft sticky dough forms.

Knead the dough (in the bowl should be fine) for around 5-7 mins or until the dough springs back when pressed.

Press the dough into the prepared pan and cover with cling wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour.

Waiting waiting waiting.....pre-heat your oven to 180C....wait some more...

Remove the plastic wrap from dough. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar or olive oil. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt and herbs.

Bake for 15 mins then reduce temperature to 160C. Bake for a further 10 -15 mins or until top is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

And for dessert, we had the grand finale (I even had a candle!!) The Double Decker Icecream Pudding!!

Now what to make for this occasion has been a point of contention for me for some time, it had to be something special, something celebratory, something different, something I hadn't made before, something easy yet impressive....this long list of criteria led to me sitting on the floor last Friday, surrounded by every recipe book I own....and after much page turning, huffing, puffing, foot stamping and general tantrum throwing, I settled on a combination of several recipes with my own twists thrown in. (I have to give OH a big shout out here for putting up with me during the decision making process!!)

And you know what? It was so easy!!

Double Decker Icecream Pudding

1.25L of light vanilla icecream
1 cup of store brought or homemade vanilla custard (I made some at home)
10-15 mini vanilla meringues (crushed)
16 choc ripple biscuits (leave 8 whole and roughly crush the remaining 8)
Peppermint essence
Green and pink food colouring
250g of fresh strawberries (hulled and diced)
2 tbspns strawberry jam
Ice Magic

Line a large mixing bowl (with steep sides) or a large pudding steamer with cling wrap.

In a large bowl, combine the vanilla icecream with the custard, meringues and crushed biscuits.

Place half of the mixture in a seperate bowl.

Add 2 drops peppermint essence and 2-3 drops green food colouring to one bowl. Combine. Spoon the mixture into your prepared bowl and place in the freezer.

Cook the strawberries and the jam in the microwave or on the stove top for 4-5 mins or until they have cooked down. You want them to be mushy, but you still want some strawberry chunks too!

Stir the strawberries and 2 drops of pink food colouring through the remaining icecream. Place the bowl in the freezer.

After 2-3 hours the mint layer should be set enough to pour your strawberry mixture over the top. Place back in the freezer for an hour.

Layer your remaining chocolate biscuits over the strawberry icecream to form a 'base' for your pudding. Place back in the freezer overnight.

When you are ready to serve the pudding, place a large plate over the bowl and flip upside down. The pudding should come out of the bowl easy enough. Remove the bowl and peel the cling wrap from the pudding.

Pour ice magic over the top and leave for a minute or two to set.

Serve and enjoy!!

I was really happy with the way this came out, it looked fantastic, it tasted great and I couldn't think of a better way to end our first twelve months!

So thank you to OH, Mum and Dad for putting up with my cooking madness and thank you to all of you for sharing the ride - I can't wait to see what the next year has in store!!

Em x

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The cupcakes have returned!!

Yep, it's that time of year again, RSPCA Cupcake Day is fast approaching and this will be my 4th year baking my lil heart out (hold on, don't I do that all the time anyway?!) for those cute lil critters! This year I am doing pretty much the same as last year, every donation of $10 or more receives a batch of cupcakes as thanks and there will be a Cupcake Morning Tea at my work on August 15th as well. I am very excited because it’s only Day 5 and I’ve already raised $85.

If you are interested in donating then you can do so via my fundraising page

This was the first batch to go out this year, some decadent Double Chocolate Cupcakes and some heavenly Sticky Date Cupcakes.

And here is how it's done :)

Sticky Date Cupcakes (This made 18 normal sized cupcakes)

You will need:

250g pitted dates
1 cup water
1 tspn bicarb
60g butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1.5 cups self raising flour

Pre-heat oven to 180C and line your cupcake pans.

Place the water and dates in a deep dish (believe me you will thank me for this later) in the microwave on medium high for around 4-5 mins. They should be nice and mushy by the time you get them out.

Add the bicarb and stir to combine (see aren’t you glad you used the deep dish?!)

Melt the butter and sugar together in the microwave (or on the stove if you prefer) and stir into the mixture. Add eggs and flour. Stir to combine.

Now you may want to sit down and eat the whole bowl of mixture right now....believe me I know...but be strong and spoon it into your cupcake pans and bake for 15-18 mins (for normal size ones) or 12-15 mins (for cute lil mini ones)

For the frosting I used some pre-made vanilla frosting and mixed some maple syrup through it. I was contemplating making some toffee shards or something to go with them as well but I kind of believe that if you get too fancy and start adding too many layers on then it can take away from the cupcake itself. Fair enough if you have a plain vanilla or plain chocolate cake, layer it up with all you like, but when it comes to something like a sticky date cupcake, I think a hint of maple in the frosting is all you need to set the flavours off because a) I think the less is more approach is the way to go when it comes to cupcake decorating and b)there is nothing worse than going to a cupcake shop and they look so delicious but underneath that tower of creamy frosting is a very average cake, it should be about the two coming together to make something spectacular you know?! Ok rant over, moving on!

Chocolate Cupcakes (I got 9 normal size + 14 mini cupcakes out of this recipe so I’d say 15 normal sized?)

This recipe is from a book my Mum gave me and the first time I made it I was very hesitant as the mixture is quite thick, but my god does it make some good cupcakes!!

You will need:

125g butter
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1.25 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup milk
3 tbspns cocoa

Pre-heat oven to 160C and line your cupcake trays.

Melt the butter and sugar together in the microwave.

Using an electric mixer, add eggs, milk and cocoa and beat until well combined.

Add flour and beat for 2-3 mins until everything is mixed in.

The mixture looks a bit like mousse at this stage :) which actually makes it a hell of alot easier to spoon into your cupcake pans! Fill the pans about ¾ and bake for around 15 mins or until cupcakes bounce back when poked.

I frosted these ones with a pre-made chocolate frosting and topped them with a mini oreo just to make them look cute.

And while we are on a cupcake theme, check out my new Cupcake Locket!

And look at all those gorgeous people in it :)

And did I mention I have something very special in the works for you on Thursday?? Stay tuned!!

Happy Baking everyone xx


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Almond Slice

What sort of a weekend would it be around here without a bit of baking?

Well this weekend I decided to make something right out of left something totally crazy...some might even say I had lost my what did I make I hear you say? Marshmallow and Strawberry Toasted Sandwiches? Peanut Butter and Vegemite Cups? Caramel and Tomato Pie!? No....actually it was just an Almond Slice, but seeing as OH is seriously anti-nut I think he thought I was going crazy, but let's be honest, we all probably figured that out a long time ago didn't we?

Anyways, let me tell you about the starts off with a lovely lil brown sugar shortbready type of layer...moves on to a gooey honey layer and is topped off with a gorgeous layer of slivered almonds...doesn't that sound good?

Almond Slice

For the base you will need:

1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter (melted)
1 cup plain flour

Pre-heat oven to 160C.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and press into the bottom of a lined and greased slice tin. Bake for 15 mins.

While that is baking make your topping...

For the topping you will need:

2 tbspns milk
2 tbspns thickened cream (optional)
60g butter
2-3 tbspns honey
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup slivered / flaked almonds

Combine all ingredients, except almonds, in a jug / bowl and microwave for 60 seconds on medium high. Give it a good stir and microwave for a further 60 seconds. Continue doing this until the sugar has all dissolved, but be careful because it will be mega hot!

When the sugar has all dissolved and everything is combined, stir through the almonds and pour over the cooked base.

Put back in the oven for 10-15 mins.

When it is done, let it sit on the counter or in the fridge for a few hours to set properly before you try and slice it :)

I have also made this using a cup of rolled oats instead of almonds and it came out just as nice!

Stick around because I have something spectacular in the works for you all later this week!!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!!

Em x

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spoilt Much?

After my little stint in hospital the other day I was seriously craving vegetables and grains and just real food in general.

God knows how I would survive if I ever fell down a well (highly unlikely I know...) or got lost in the bush (quite possible....) or just generally became too poor to eat well (this one definetly has potential...) because before I had even begun the low residue diet I was planning my 'welcome back' meal! I thought long and hard about it and decided that for my first real meal at home in 4 days, I wanted nothing more then OH's chicken parmy :)

Have I told you about OH's chicken parmy before? No? I'm sorry....some things are just too good to share...but I think it's time you knew that my OH makes a mean chicken parmy, not your ordinary crumbed and fried schnitzel pub version, oh no...he browns the chicken breast in the fry pan, lightly seasons them, then tops them with some tomato paste, fresh cut tomatoes and some cheese and oven bakes them till they are cooked to perfection. He used to make this for me when we first met using a cajun sauce we could buy at Target but unfortunately you can't buy it anymore, but it doesn't matter, they are still delicious! And he even cooked up a potato, mushroom, tomato and onion fry up to go with it!

He does spoil me :)

And I got extra spoilt because when we went to Mum and Dad's for dinner on Wednesday night (Day 2 of normal food) Mum knew I would be craving some vegetables so she cooked up this little feast

We had roast carrot, parsnip and potatoes done in a SchlemmerTopf (which is a glazed clay roasting dish), cauliflower cheese, brussel sprouts with garlic and parmesan and creamy mashed pumpkin :) Mmmmmm vegie goodness

Now more on the SchlemmerTopf. I remember Mum using this when I was little and it makes the best roast spuds!! But you can do meat in it aswell if you are that way inclined :) And as an added bonus it's a healthy way to cook as it doesn't require you to use any fats or oils. The dish retains all the liquids, flavor, taste, nutrients and vitamins allowing the food to cook in their own juices.

Oh and before I go, here is a photo of Mum and Dad....Dad is very excited about the prospect of tea!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend :)

Em x

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nutella Bread and Butter Pudding

Ok I know I said I would show you OH's spectacular chicken parmy today....but you will just have to wait till tomorrow for that because today I want to show you this....believe me you will be glad I did!

Would you believe OH and I have been together for 4 years today? 4 whole years. It seems like we have been together forever but also like no where near long enough all rolled into one :) I have been trying to spoil him a bit over the last week and one of the little treats I had up my sleeve was this Nutella Bread and Butter Pudding

And the best part is it's so easy! All you need is:

2 slices of bread
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tbspn thickened cream
1 tbspn brown sugar
1 tbspn butter
1 tbspn plus 2 tbspn extra of Nutella

Preheat oven to 160C

Spread one slice of bread with butter and one slice with nutella. Sandwich together.

Cut the sandwich into small cubes and place in a small ramekin.

In a bowl whisk the egg, milk, cream and sugar. Pour over bread mixture.

Using the remaining 2 tbpns of nutella, dot it over the top of your pudding (it might be easier if you melt it in the microwave first).

Stand for 10-15 mins.

Bake for 20-25 mins or until the bread is nice and golden and the pudding looks set.

Serve with a nice dollop of cream and enjoy!!

This recipe makes one, but it's a decent serve so grab two spoons and jump into bed with your loved one while you enjoy it!

Happy Anniversary Puddin Pop xx

Em x

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Red Wine and Garlic Lamb Shanks

It has been a long couple of days. I think I mentioned a few posts ago that over the weekend I went on a low residue diet in preperation for some scope tests today. This also meant that yesterday I couldn't have any solid foods...all I could have was jelly, and not even the good red and purple kind, just yellow. So in an effort to provide some variety I had pineapple jelly for breakfast, mango jelly for lunch and passionfruit jelly for dinner....sound like every child's dream?! Well not this little black duck. It was good for the first few bowls but right now I never want to see, let alone eat yellow jelly ever again. But seeing as I was on this whole no solid food thing yesterday, I thought it might be nice to take the opportunity to cook OH a treat and for my OH there is no bigger treat then lamb shanks :)

I had an idea in my head, but when you a) have no recipe to go off and b) can't taste test to see how things are travelling it gets a little tricky.

For these Red Wine and Garlic Lamb Shanks I used:

3 lamb shanks (Did I mention OH loves his shanks?!)
2 tbspns plain flour
1 tbspn oil
2 potatoes cut into quarters
2 carrots cut into chunks
1 onion diced
80g sliced mushrooms
2 celery sticks diced
400g diced tomatoes
150g (roughly half a bottle) of Masterfoods Red Wine and Garlic Marinade

Pre-heat oven to 160C.

Combine the lamb shanks and flour in a freezer bag and give it a good shake.

Heat oil in a heavy based casserole dish over medium high heat. Shake off any excess flour and add the lamb shanks. Cook until the shanks are browned and just sealed. Remove shanks and place on a plate.

Add remaining ingredients to dish and cook for 5-7 mins.

Add shanks back into dish and spoon some of the sauce over them, make sure they are well coated. Place in the oven for 2.5 - 3 hours. Make sure you take them out every hour to turn.

Even for a semi vegetarian the smells coming out of the kitchen were just amazing and the noises coming from OH while he was eating them tell me they tasted just as good. I made a fresh loaf of bread so that OH could have the top piece (the most coveted piece of bread in our house) to mop up all the juices....I strongly suggest you do the same :)

Anyway, since they let me out of hospital today and I could eat solid foods again I have been eating like a horse and not only did OH take me out for a spectacular lunch today, but he also cooked up an out of this world chicken parmigiana for tea tonight which I will tell you all about tomorrow because right now I'm off in search of ice cream!!

Em x

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mushroom Madness

Did you know that 100g of mushies contains just 100 kilojoules? Not only are they low in calories, but they are versatile and delicious too! I have started eating more and more mushrooms in recent months to try and combat my low iron, to add some extra fibre to my diet and because they say mushrooms are the 'other white meat.'

Here are a few other mushroom facts you might not have known:

A 100g serving of mushrooms contain more dietary fibre (2.5g)
than 100g of celery (1.8g) or a slice of wholemeal bread (2.0g)

Mushrooms contain more protein than most vegetables

A medium portabello mushroom contains more potassium than
a banana

Mushrooms contain significant amounts of B-group vitamins,
notably niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin and folate (which
is especially important during the early stages of pregnancy)

Some specialty mushrooms – notably the Asian varieties such as
shiitake – are believed to enhance the human immune system and
may have great use in preventing or treating some serious human
health problems.

So here are a few recipes packed with mushroom goodness that we have tried in the last few weeks.

Individual Mushroom Streudels

1 tbspn butter
2 tspns crushed garlic
1 onion (diced)
700g mushrooms (use a variety like half swiss brown and half button)
1 tbspn thickened cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
8 sheets filo pastry

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook for 5 mins or until onions are softened. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 10-15 mins or until juice evaporates.

Add cream and vinegar. Simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl. Add breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a ramekin with 2 sheets of pastry, leaving plenty of over hang. Spoon 1/4 of the mushroom mixture into the ramekin and fold ends in to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Brush tops with a little milk and bake in the oven for around 20 mins or until pastry is golden. Serve with steamed vegetables :)

You could also add some cherry tomatoes when the mixture is simmering to give it some additional flavour, but I think it was delicious just how it was.

Mushroom Tagine

1 onion diced
1 tbspn moroccan spices
400g mushrooms
750g pumpkin (peeled and diced)
400g diced tomatoes
400g chickpeas
3/4 cup of dry cous cous
200ml European Yoghurt

Add the onion and spices to a fry pan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 mins or until spices are fragrant.

Add the mushrooms and pumpkin and stir to ensure the vegetables are well coated in the spice mixture.

Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for 10-12 mins or until the pumpkin is almost tender.

Meanwhile, pour enough boiling water over the cous cous in a bowl to just cover. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside.

Stir in the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 mins or until the pumpkin is tender.

Fluff the cous cous with a fork and divide amongst 4 bowls. Top cous cous with mushroom mixture and a spoonful of yoghurt.

Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend :)

Em x

Friday, July 1, 2011

Easy Chicken Curry

So it's Friday night, you want something easy for tea, something tasty, something that may even resemble some sort of take away food...well my friends (we're all friends here right?!) have I got the meal for you!

This Butter Chicken is so very easy!

When you get home from work dice up 400g of chicken breast and chuck it in a bowl with 3 tbspns of the curry paste of your choice (I used Rogan Josh) and 200ml of european yoghurt. Mix it all together and throw it back in the fridge. Now go have a relaxing soak in the bath and a glass of wine, maybe paint your nails or something....(this is a very important part of the recipe so make sure you do it!)

Come back 2 hours later and cook the chicken in a fry pan over medium heat until just sealed on the outside. Add one diced capsicum and one diced onion. Stir it all around for a few minutes while you dance to your favourite song (did I mention you should also have the stereo on whilst making this meal?).

Add one 400g tin of whole peeled tomatoes and a 200g tin of drained sliced green beans. Do a bit more dancing, get your favourite DVD lined up, hell, pour yourself another wine.

Once the curry has simmered for 10 mins, stir through a few handfuls of baby spinach and your good to go! Throw a naan or two in the microwave for 20 seconds and you have yourself one awesome meal. So go snuggle up on the couch, watch a movie, enjoy your dinner and just's Friday!

It's not the best photo but honestly some meals are just not photo friendly!

I am off to dinner tonight with some lovely ladies from work and I intend to eat like a King because tomorrow I start a low residue diet in preperation for a colonoscopy / gastroscopy next Tuesday...low residue sounds very boring to me, no grains (not my brown rice and my porridge!!), no more then 300ml of milk a day (including if it's in stuff like ice cream etc) no fruit or vegies with skins and no yoghurt or jams with fruity chunks in them, amongst other things....fiddlesticks.

Anyway I'm off, hope you all have a fantastic weekend :)

Em x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...