Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blueberry Shortcake

As our due date gets closer, conversations at work often turn to baby showers.

Initially I was adamant that a baby shower was not for me, however it soon became apparent that this was a non-negotiable part of being pregnant. Who'd have thought!?

My ideal baby shower is pretty simple really, a relaxing afternoon filled with friends, laughter and a never ending supply of tea....oh and some cake wouldn't go astray either.

This Blueberry Shortcake,which my Mum whipped up for dessert the other night, would be perfect for a girly afternoon tea, high tea, bridal shower, baby shower or anything really! The lemon zest and the blueberries are a match made in heaven and from there you just need a fresh pot of tea, some thick dollop cream, good friends to share it with and you're set!

And the best thing? It's made in the food processor, no melting, no mixing, no multiple bowls, jugs and other random items clogging up your bench (and your sink!) - just the way I like it!

Blueberry Shortcake - Serves 6-8

100g butter, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 lemons, zested
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries
Thickened cream to serve

Pre-heat oven to 150C and grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Use a food processor to combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and creamy. Add the almond meal, flour and baking powder and pulse until combined.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the mixture and process until combined. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and top with the frozen blueberries.

Bake for 30-40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cook slightly before removing from the tin. Serve warm with a dollop of thick cream.


Mrs B xx

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Homemade Pasties

Recently I had a craving for pasties. Not just any pasties but THE pasties I remembered from my childhood. The ones Mum and Dad would dish up with a side of chips and sauce for dinner a couple of times a year.

Yes, they came out of a box.

Yes, they were vegetarian.

And no, I don't know why I remembered them all of a sudden but once I did I had to have them.

And as is usually the case, you can't buy the ones from my childhood any more which left me with no option but to make my own.....and for the sake of Mr B, I added a little bit of mince.

We got a whopping 24 pasties out of this recipe which is great, it means for all of about an hour in the kitchen, I had dinner sorted for that night, plus enough for 3 more dinners to go in the freezer. We have already demolished this batch but I'm thinking these will be great to make right before bub arrives for some easy dinners when we get home from the hospital.

Pasties - Makes 24

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and sliced
350g beef mince
1/2 cup corn
1 tbspn worcestershire suace
1 tbspn thyme
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tspn curry powder
6 x puff pastry sheets
1 egg, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Process the potato, carrot, onion and turnip using a food processor.

In a bowl combine the mince, vegetables, corn, worcestershire, thyme and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut each pastry sheet into 4 x rounds (12 - 15cm).

Place a tbspn of mixture into the centre of each round. Lift the two sides of the circle together over the filling and pinch together to make a frill.

Place on a greased baking tray and brush with beaten egg. Repeat with remaining pastry, filling and egg.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 mins or until golden.

To re-heat frozen pasties, place in the fridge overnight to thaw. Pre-heat oven to 175C and cook for 20 mins or until hot and crispy. For the sake of your crispy pastry do not, I repeat do not, re-heat in the microwave.

And Mr B used some of the pastry scraps to make these little jam filled hearts for dessert - so yummy with cream and ice cream!


Mrs B xx

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

On a cold wintery night Mr B and I love indulging in a big bowl of hot, hearty soup served with fresh home made buttery bread.

We have a few tried and true favourites like Mum's Pumpkin Soup, our Minestrone with Tortellini, our Roasted Tomato and Lentil Soup and Mr B has a weird thing for Pea and Ham Soup (despite being a staunch pea-hater) but I'm yet to jump on the band wagon with that one.

Anyway, recently whilst having my usual struggle with what to cook for dinner, Mr B suggested some sort of soup served in a cob loaf. I don't know about you but to me that just said chowder - which I thought was pretty impressive given I had never eaten, let alone cooked a chowder before.....

After a bit of research, the combination of a number of recipes and a fair amount of 'winging it' we had a huge pot of Cheesy Vegetable Chowder on the stove that is ridiculously easy and delicious not to mention light yet hearty! We have tried this soup both in a cob loaf and in a regular old bowl and I have to say it is pretty spectacular regardless of what you're eating it out of.

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder - Serves 4

2 tbspns butter
1 x onion diced
1 x leek, trimmed and diced
1 x zucchini diced
1 x carrot diced
125g tin of corn kernels
3 sticks of celery diced
1 x head of broccoli diced
1 tbspn crushed garlic
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tbspn plain flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups grated cheese

Melt the butter in a large soup pot.

Add onions, carrots, leek and celery and saute over medium heat until tender.

Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes.

Add stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender.

Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened.

Add milk and broccoli, zucchini and corn and cook until vegetables are just tender and soup is heated through.  Stir in cheese, allow to melt, and serve with (or in!) crusty bread.

To serve this soup in a cob loaf, simply pre-heat oven to 175C. Cut a thin slice from the top of a large round cob loaf and hollow out, reserving the pieces you pull out for all important dipping later on! Place the cob loaf (and lid) on a baking tray and place in the oven for 20-30 mins or until bread is cooked to your liking. Fill with soup and serve surrounded by the reserved bread pieces.


Mrs B xx

Monday, July 14, 2014

Roast Vegetable and Lamb Pasta (or Rice!)

So I had today off work to go and have a Glucose Challenge Test for bub. This meant fasting overnight and getting to pathology bright and early this morning where I rested for 30 mins, had a blood test, had to drink 300ml of glucose water in 5 minutes, wait an hour, have another blood test, wait another hour, have another blood test.....


Chugging down the super sweet drink first thing this morning was just peachy, not to mention the whole 3 blood tests in one morning thing!

Anyway, initially I had thought, cool, get the tests out of the way in the morning, spend the rest of the day a) eating, b) getting through my to-do list of things to buy for bub and trying to make a head start on Fathers Day / Birthday / Christmas shopping for the family while I can and c) sitting down and plodding my way through the massive online application for government paid parental leave.....

Good plan yes? I have no idea where the day went but achievement levels were not high. Well in the end they sort of were, but I seemed to be rushing through everything in the half hour after Mr B got home rather than cruising through them while he was at work.

Not to mention that when Mr B arrived home from work he found me sitting in the dark, a million windows open on the laptop, an empty plate and cup discarded on the couch next to me, that crazed look in my eyes and when he asked if I would like a cup of tea my response was screeching something about 'yes but right now I just have to get things done!!!'

Yep, no crazy pregnant lady here at all.

Days like this I am glad for leftovers and easy meals.

This Roast Vegetable and Lamb dish is such an easy meal to throw together plus once you have made the base mixture you can serve it over pasta, rice or even a jacket potato to mix it up abit!

Roast Vegetable and Lamb Pasta (or Rice) - Serves 4

200g cherry tomatoes
1 x zucchini, thinly sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 x capsicum, thinly sliced
2 x sticks celery, thinly sliced
1 x red onion, diced
2 tbspns olive oil
350g lamb mince
1 tspn Allspice
1 tbspn crushed garlic
Salt and Pepper
Pasta or Rice to serve

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

In an ovenproof dish, combine 1 tbspn of the oil, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, capsicum, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Place in the oven and roast for 20 mins or until tomatoes are blistered.

Meanwhile, in a fry pan over medium-high heat add the remaining oil and mince and cook for 5-7 mins or until mince is browned. Add the allspice and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 2-3 mins.

Add the roasted vegetables to the fry pan and mix well, cooking for 3-5 mins.

Serve over pasta, rice or jacket potatoes.


Mrs B xx

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Malteser and Mars Bar Slice

After a visit to Mr B's Step-Mum last week where she gave us a piece of this slice to have with our cup of tea there were no two ways around it - I HAD to make it this weekend.

For starters Mr B absolutely loved it......

Secondly, our whole family has been on a self induced Maltesers ban since that epic Maltesers Cake we made back in February for my Dad's birthday.....

And thirdly, I have been eyeing this recipe off for awhile now but wasn't sure if Mr B would be a big fan or if we were back on the Malteser bandwagon just that I knew the answer to both of those questions was a big fat yes the gloves were off and the chocolate was coming out!

This slice is certainly not cheap to make but it is an incredibly decadent treat that is easy to throw together. Plus because it's so rich (and more-ish!) I recommend cutting it into small slices which means if you can find some self control, it will last awhile.

Malteser and Mars Bar Slice

1 pack of Chocolate Ripple Biscuits (250g)
280g of Maltesers
4 Mars Bars (4 x 53g bars or 1 x bag of fun size Mars Bars)
1/2 cup Condensed Milk
100g unsalted butter
250g milk chocolate melts
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

Line the base and sides of a square slice tin with baking paper.

Use a food processor to crush the biscuits to a fine crumb.

Use a food processor (or a rolling pin) to roughly crush 1 cup of the Maltesers (you want them to be a little chunky still)

Dice the Mars Bars into small pieces. I used fun size Mars Bars and just cut them into quarters.

In a small saucepan over a low heat melt the butter and condensed milk, stirring until combined.

Meanwhile, combine the Maltesers, Mars Bars and crushed biscuits in a large bowl. Pour over the melted butter and condensed milk and stir well.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten with the back of a metal spoon. Place in the fridge for at least an hour until completely cooled.

Once the slice has cooled, place the milk chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on medium-high in 30 second bursts, stirring in between each one, until smooth. Stir through the oil and pour the melted chocolate over the cooled slice. Decorate with remaining Maltesers.

Put the slice back into the fridge and cut into pieces before it has completely set.

And no that is not the result of too much Malteser and Mars Bar Slice (well OK maybe a little bit of it is...) .....this is 27 weeks of baby belly!

I cannot believe how quick the time is going (and how quick my belly is growing!!), but everything is going really well, I feel great and bub is healthy and happy so we can't ask for any more then that.

Mrs B xx

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

7 years.....

Mr B and I recently celebrated our 7 year anniversary so we decided to make the most of the occasion (and the fact that it might be our last opportunity to take a mini break before bub is born) and head away for a few days.

After consulting our trusty map we found a little piece of the State that we hadn't explored yet - Sisters Beach.

Sisters Beach is in the North West of our State, about 4 hours drive from our place and surrounded by the Rocky Cape National Park which means there is no shortage of spectacular scenery.

When we left home the weather was rainy and miserable so we were super pleased to arrive at our destination that afternoon and be greeted by blue skies and sunshine (and the GIANT chocolate eclair we picked up at ETC Bakery on the way didn't hurt either.....)

 After being in the car for the majority of the day we were quick to dump our bags and head out for a massive walk to stretch our legs. We walked along the rocky beach, explored rock pools, admired the stunning views and just soaked it all in.

The next day we set about exploring the National Park in order to find one of the things that attracted us to the area in the first place - Anniversary Bay!

We spent a good 4 hours walking the various tracks, exploring caves and climbing what seemed like a zillion stairs (just a hint, lugging your 6 month pregnant belly up a zillion stairs is do-able but you will need snacks....lots of snacks.....)

We finally made our way down into Anniversary Bay and celebrated with a well earnt Strawberry Milk whilst we caught our breath and took in the view....

We arrived back at our little house just as the rain arrived which was actually perfectly fine with us - we were so buggered we just curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a plate of toast with strawberry jam and watched the weather roll in across the water.

Later in the afternoon we went for a bit of a drive to explore the nearby town of Wynyard and pick up some supplies for dinner.

When we got back the rain had cleared and the tide was in which could only mean one thing - fishing!!

The following morning we checked out of our little purple palace and started the long drive home.....

Funnily enough we were in no rush to get back so we detoured via Table Cape to visit their lighthouse, called into the Cherry Shed at Latrobe and stopped at Oatlands for a very late but much needed lunch (hello banana crepes with cinnamon sugar and maple syrup!)

As always it was nice to get home and crawl into our own bed, but it was also lovely to get away from the world for awhile and spend a few days with absolutely nothing to do but relax and celebrate the fact that 7 years ago we managed to find each other.

Happy Anniversary Mr B!

Mrs B xx

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nan's American Pudding

You all know by now that we are big dessert eaters.

So it may surprise you to read that on a day when I skipped breakfast, scoffed down a salad roll that was in desperate need of some cheese and inhaled a bowl of tuna curry for dinner, I am sitting in bed, patiently waiting for Mr B to get home so that we can have dessert together. It has crossed my mind several times that h is lucky I love him (and that the bed is warm and I am fully aware the rest of the house is freezing) or he would be coming home to a snoring wife and an empty tub of ice cream on his side of the bed.

Anyway, whilst I wait we may as well fill the time in by doing the next best thing, talking about dessert!

Mum tells me that my Nan used to make this recipe, called 'American Pudding' all the time when she was younger and whilst you can use any stewed fruit you like, the version Mum remembers uses apricots.

This pudding was a big hit when Mum and Dad re-created it for us last week. I just love the simplicity of it and the fact that it is a classic old-fashioned dessert - the best kind in my book!

Nan's American Pudding - Serves 4-6

3 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
5 tbspns self raising flour
115g butter, melted
800g stewed fruit (this particular version used apricots)

Pre-heat oven to 175C and spoon the fruit into the base of an oven proof dish.

Beat eggs and sugar using an electric mixer for 10 minutes.

Add the flour and butter and mix until you have a smooth batter.

 Gently pour the batter over the fruit.

Bake for 20 mins. If the pudding starts to brown abit too much, cover with foil.

Serve with plenty of custard, cream and even a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Mrs B xx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...