All posts tagged: home cooking

Soup Kitchen: Corn & Chicken

Here’s one of those quick light lunches, for you. One that is going to warm you up. Cuddle you… and we all need cuddling! A very tasty Corn & Chicken Soup. Not a soup that I’ve made before, but was teased to try the flavours. I’ve always seen  it on menu’s but have never tried it. It’s funny how the cooler days, we reach for boiling water, stock cubes and vegetables to satisfy our taste buds. Read on for the recipe…

Beeted Chocolate Fudge Cake

The crisp cool mornings have arrived with the changing colours of our trees, and the early evening smoke clouds from chimney tops from warm lit fires. Autumn is here, and with it beautiful Autumn vegetables. Pumpkins, Squash, Parsnips and beautiful, beautiful Beetroot. I bought this beautiful bunch of beetroot from our local Organic Grocer, such wonderful fresh produce, this bunch cost AUS $3.50, and I used it for a couple of dishes. My first idea was to make that gorgeous magenta rich Bosch soup, but I didn’t have too many green flags on that one..so I thought I might be a little sneaky and make a chocolate fudge cake..everyone loves chocolate! I had seen red velvet cupcakes before made with beetroot, lower in calories and beetroot gives the mixture a smoother, moist texture. Scouting through many wonderful new and exciting beetroot dishes, I found this one from the ‘girls’ from the BBC program ‘Cook yourself Thin’, I have adapted it due to the amount of coffee in it, not good for the smaller generation. It …

Amaryllis in Blueberry

Amaryllis in Blueberry ***** (excellent) by Christina Meldrum “In Meldrum’s intoxicating first adult novel (after 2010’s Madapple) a family undertakes West African missionary work only to find its members profoundly transformed. Polish-American pathologist Dick Slepy lives with his bohemian wife, Christina “Seena,” in Danish Landing, Mich. They have four daughters, each following the other by two years. There’s pretty Mary Grace, now 18. Mary Catherine is “always-obedient” and pious, whereas Mary Tessa is a “trouble-maker-in-training,” and the precocious Amaryllis, their youngest at 11, is an “emotional synesthete,” who tastes, smells, and otherwise “consumes” the pain, rage, love, or joy of others, and is suspiciously dark-featured. Fearing that his wife is having an affair, Dick seeks the council of his local priest, Father Amadi, who suggests the Slepys take a mission to West Africa to help his nephew, Mawuli, run an aid organization. They go, but the mission is anything but the salve Dick had hoped for, and one event after another…shove the family into deep crisis. With every chapter, Meldrum jumps viewpoints and shifts time …

Pumpkin and Walnut Damper

Each and every season has its colour palate and Autumn is no exception. Vivacious oranges and reds, yellows and burnt ambers… With all these wonderful warming hues, I couldn’t resist buying some fresh butternut pumpkin and making this recipe of pumpkin and walnut damper. Read on for the recipe…

Potato and Zucchini Moussaka

This recipe is a variant from the normal  Greek style moussaka. The main ingredient used in traditional moussaka is aubergine, or eggplant parmesan here in Italy. This moussaka is light,and a pleasant change, to the normal heavy tomato based moussaka.   Recipe: Potato and Zucchini Moussaka (serves 4 people) Ingredients: 2 potatoes 3 zucchini 2 garlic cloves, grated 200 grams minced ground beef 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 can cherry whole tomatoes 3 tablespoons lemon juice grounded nutmeg 1 tablespoon dried oregano parmesan cheese, grated 90 grams butter 3 tablespoons all purpose flour 500 ml milk Preparation: Preheat oven 200°C. In a frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic, cook until transparent, add ground mince and cook for about 15 minutes until brown. Add cherry tomatoes, oregano and a generous amount of ground nutmeg, simmer until cooked about 30 minutes until liquid has evaporated.Turn off heat. Steam the zucchini for 2 – 3 minutes, slice long ways.Slice also the potato (raw) in thin slices.   Prepare the béchamel sauce. Heat the butter, …

Bruschetta: Figs and Burrata

Ok, so today we’re not counting calories. Burrata is a soft Italian fresh cheese. A mozzarella, white with a  shiny coating outside and a mouthwatering creamy centre. Rich and high in protein it’s made from buffalo milk. It’s hand made like normal mozzarella, except in the centre it’s filled with strips of mozzarella combined with fresh cream. Did I mention we’re not counting calories today.! An indication of the freshness of burrata is from the Asphodel leaves that are wrapped around the cheese preserving it’s pear – like shape.The leaves and the cheese have the same freshness time limit of 3 – 4 days, so if the leaves are dry it’s a good indication that the cheese has passed it’s prime. I however have the opportunity of buying it from our local gourmet cheese shop, where now they wrap it in a paper,with compulsory date limits to it’s freshness. Burrata can be eaten fresh on it’s own with fresh bread or made into a salad, or served with grilled seasonal vegetables. I had a copy of this recipe …

Zucchini Flowers

The gift of a flower has so many emotions attached to it. In gratitude,in happiness, in sorrow, in friendship, in Love. I remember one cold day in Winter, December 28 to be precise, I had spent the day working outside, harvesting radicchio ready for market. As I didn’t have time to get anything for my husband as it’s the day of his birthday, I picked a bunch of  red rosettes of radicchio and set the dinner table. It looked and meant much more to me than ruffled radicchio leaves, this vegetable that survives our cold winter weather, had created a whole new warm atmosphere to my dinner table. Red rosettes of my affection. Passing the vegetable patch earlier this week, my sister in law did the same thing. On her way to give me well wishes for another passing birthday, she picked three zucchini flowers in full bloom. She then added her recipe for stuffed zucchini flowers. Even after putting them in a vase of water, without sunlight they close straight away…so it was obvious …

#2 Yoghurt Cake

#2 Handwritten Recipes  Last weekend while sharing my zucchini cake with a new group of friends. I met a lovely lady who lives in my area close to home. After trying my zucchini cake she was happy to disclose a few recipes to me…hence #2 of handwritten recipes. I thought she would write for me one of those traditional Italian Torte, or biscuit recipes,  instead she gave me this recipe of a yoghurt cake, light, delicate and soft as fairy floss.    The fun part about this cake is that all the measurements are used with the tub of yoghurt. She was so enthusiastic about telling me about this revolutionary measuring method I wish you could have shared the moment with me. As she lived across the road from where we were, she dashed across the road, grabbed the recipe at hand with note-book and pen and wrote down this recipe for me. A great moment, and one to remember. It’s been difficult “fitting” into the local Italian community of traditional ways and customs, and  believe …

Pucker up – Hot Lips

Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil and Peperoncino* Aglio,Olio e Peperoncino Red Hot Peppers, Hot Lips, Hot mouth, sweating brow, flowing nose and crying eyes. Yes, I think I put  in too much peperoncino.  But I adore this  classic and way too easy pasta dish, and yes, the tri-colori * three colour banner is flying all Italian. This is one of those dishes where the temptation to eat another serving, if your flaming lips can  handle it, you just can’t resist. Each mouthful of spaghetti is like a heat bomb of  taste, a fire cracker of heated sparks of peperoncino, a tingling sensation , feeling like  you’ve just had a quick  silicon lip enhancement. Yet another four ingredient recipe, Spaghetti,garlic, oil and peperoncino. Recipe -2 servings 300 g of spaghetti ( dried pasta, good quality) 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic,  grated 1 tablespoon peperoncino-I use dried red chilli flakes (use less for less heat) Preparation Cook spaghetti as instructions on the box. Boil water before adding the salt, try not to over cook the pasta and save a spoonful of this starchy water for …

Can’t live without basil…

I have to admit I’ve grown to love and adore Basil. He’s great to work with flavouring my summer salads, ratatouille, and my pesto sauce for my pasta. He’s always on hand outside my kitchen door or in the veg patch, not much looking after needed, baking up the full sun and a little water. I remember basil growing in my grandmothers herb garden, and from a young age picking fresh basil leaves and watching my grandmother make pesto sauce and tomato sauce with basil.   Basil is associated with love rituals in some cultures. In Italy when a woman placed a pot of basil on her balcony, it meant she would be receptive to her lover. I placed mine outside my kitchen door, so that its only a dash away to add to any dish that I’m making at the time. I’m also not sure about the burning of basil, as noted by Bruce Burnett who is the author of the book – Herbwise:growing cooking wellbeing – a book about the creative use of herbs.   “When …