Thursday, 3 July 2014

Pumpkin Soup

I am dragging myself around the house, off work for a couple of days with a virus (so the doctor said) and a hacking cough, that keeps me awake half the night.  No medication but Panadol 3 times a day and rest!
Its cold outside and is the perfect Melbourne day for soup, given my condition, its all I feel like making.
I am a little partial to pumpkin and with a couple of kilos in the fridge and because it takes such little effort, it was the obvious choice for lunch.
1 kg of pumpkin (I used Kent pumpkin)
1 large onion
Enough water  to cover vegetables + 1 stock cube or homemade stock (which ever is to hand) at least 500ml
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
For the garnish some chopped fresh herbs of choice, a grind of black pepper, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a retro swirl of cream.

What to do…..
A kilo of pumpkin might sound like a lot but once its peeled, deseeded and chopped up small its the perfect amount for two large hearty bowls.

  • Put the chopped pumpkin in a medium sized pot and cover with a generous amount of water or stock
  • If you are not using stock add a stock cube to the water.
  • Chop onion and add to the pot.
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon and coriander
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until vegetables are soft and easily mashed.
  • With a stick/hand held wizzer, blend the pumpkin to a smooth consistency in the pot, you can pour this into a blender, but that is more washing up!
  • Don't forget to make a little tent with the tea towel over the stick wiz and the pot to stop any splatter, I hate having to clean pumpkin off the walls!

And its done, ready to serve.
Pour into a bowl or large mug and top with chopped herbs (I had mint and parsley from the garden), cracked black pepper, chilli flakes to boost the immune system and a dribble of cream to make it creamy!
Now that has to make you feel better.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

ANZAC Biscuits

Plain ANZAC biscuits ready for the oven

ANZAC Day drew the biggest crowds ever recorded in Melbourne this year.  A sign that "We Will not Forget". It was also the coldest morning for the Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne - Click Here
However, the day unfolded into perfect sunshine for the diggers to march through Melbourne to lay their wreaths and poppies at the Shrine, followed by one of the biggest days in AFL football outside of Grand Final Day, with the traditional game between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG. You could hear a pin drop in the Stadium as the Last Post was played.

Watching the game with family with a bit of knitting between quarters! Love that footy jumper.
I was a bit late making my ANZAC biscuits this year - but better late than never.  I thought I would try a variation and add some homemade fig jam…..but in the end I decided why mess with a perfect recipe and stuck to the traditional ingredients. Crisp on the outside, chewy centre. See here for recipe.

Nan these are for you RIP 25 April 2003
          See also:

ANZAC Biscuits

Joining with Belleau Kitchen for April Random Recipe and Ros at AlphaBakes  "A"

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Daniel's Zesty Easter Coleslaw

Easter Sunday at our house is like a mini Christmas with all the family, old and young, not to mention the excitement of the Easter Egg Hunt in the front garden.  This year not wanting to go for the full blown sit down Sunday lunch we opted for cold roast chicken, hot jacket potatoes and coleslaw buffet lunch, find a seat or stand up, casual affair for about 25!

I began the coleslaw the night before, using my new "Slicer Dicer", and sliced finely a whole cabbage, grated 6 large carrots and a couple of sticks of celery. Sunday I started to mix in the whole egg (shop bought) mayonnaise as people started to arrive.  No. 2 son took over the coleslaw and added a couple of his own ingredients - the zest and juice of 1 very large lemon, together with a heavy handed glug of extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste and a strong arm to mix thoroughly. A fresh grind of pepper and sprigs of celery leaves to dress for the table.  Everyone said how much they loved my coleslaw!

1 large whole cabbage
6 large carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 large or 2 small lemons - zest and juice
Olive oil enough to loosen the volume of cabbage
440g whole egg real mayo (good shop bought)
Salt to taste
Black ground pepper and celery leaves to dress.

What to do. . . .
Mix together vegetables in a large bowl
Add zest, lemon juice and mix
Add mayo and enough olive oil to loosen the vegetables.
Salt to taste
Turn onto a nice serving plate
Grind pepper on top and dress with celery leaves.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Evolution Potato Salad

With each week of this Jamie Ministry of Food course I am attending, there are some lovely recipes to take away and repeat at home.  Some of these methods I would not necessarily have tried on my own especially when they seemed so simple like this Evolution Potato Salad and I have enjoyed the different choice of ingredients.

Its very welcoming when we arrive at the pop up trailer kitchen. Fresh herbs displayed outside and our aprons folded neatly on the boards ready for us to cook.  We go through some OH&S rules and kitchen etiquette, and then its full steam ahead.

Each week we come away with not only left overs but our folders are becoming stuffed with recipes.
The emphasis of this series of lessons is not to overcook the food especially vegetables and potatoes are no exception. It also concentrates on using less salt, sugar and fats.

This serves 4.

750g new potatoes
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
a small bunch of fresh chives chopped
4 tablespoons natural yogurt
zest of 1 lemon

What to do…..
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil
scrub potatoes (leaving the skins on)
Chop large potatoes in half
Add potatoes to the boiling water and bring back to the boil for about 10-15 mins, depending on size.
Test potatoes with the point of a knife to make sure they are cooked through.
When cooked drain well in a colander and put them into a bowl.
Lightly whisk olive oil and lemon in a separate bowl
Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
Toss the hot potatoes in the dressing
Sprinkle over the chives and mix
Add the yogurt  and zest of lemon and combine so all the potatoes are well coated.

 Try this simple potato salad for yourself, you will love it.