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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

DIY Golden RoughDo you remember growing up with those chocolate, coconut treats called Golden Roughs? They still sell them at the shop today. If you loved them growing up, then you’ll love this lovely home-made version. It tastes similar but is all natural and without all the nasties. It’s not suitable for lunch boxes as home-made chocolate tends to melt easily, but it makes a nice, guilt-free chocolate fix when you need it.

IngredientsIngredients1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup of almond butter or paste

1/4 cup of honey (or maple syrup)

1/4 cup of cocoa (or cacao powder)

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Pinch of salt

DirectionsInstructions

Melt all the ingredients in a small pan over a low heat.

Pour a small amount of mixture into the bottom of a 12-cup muffin tray.

Freeze for 1-hour until set.

Store in the freezer.

Enjoy with tea.DIY Golden Rough

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Pizza for Picky PeopleIt’s a truth universally acknowledged that once you make your own pizza dough, it’s near impossible to buy a shop-bought base again. Not only is it insanely cheap (the cost of flour and a yeast sachet) but the results are incredibly delicious. It also becomes a family activity when you have the kids on the bench helping out with their own little ball of dough and a small rolling pin.

My trick for the little picky people in my life is to put a bunch of mixed vegetables into a food processor and blitz. The blitzed vegetables can be stirred into some organic tomato paste with a pinch of salt and pasted liberally over the pizza base and topped with grated cheese.

The pizzas look deceptively vegie free but are filled with all the sneaky goodness of kale, capsicum, mushrooms and carrot.

For a quick and easy pizza base recipe, try this one from taste.com.au.

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Gwyneth Paltrow CookiesI’m a little ambivalent about Gwyneth Paltrow, but I’m really starting to love her mum. These gorgeous cookies are a creation of Gwyneth Paltow’s mother and they feature in her cookbook My Father’s Daughter. They’re all the the things you would expect of a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe…sugar free, nutritious and healthy, but what suprised me was that they actually tasted like real cookies! So many sugar free recipes have a strange texture and taste, but these are just lovely.

The recipe is everywhere online if you google Lalo’s Cookies. I quarter the recipe because there’s no need for such a huge quantity of biscuits in my house, and they do start to soften after a day and lose their crunchiness. I am very fortunate to be in supply of lovely homemade jam from an aunty so I use real jam in the recipe which makes them extra special. I think little carob buds would be great also.

Lalo’s Cookies (Recipe Quartered)

Ingredients

1 cup barley flour
3/4 cup raw whole almonds crushed in a food processor (about ten 2-second pulses)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup
Your favourite jam

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Combine all the ingredients except for the jam together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Form into tablespoonful balls and space them evenly on cookie sheets.
  • Using your index finger, make an indent in each cookie. Fill each indent with a small spoonful of jam.
  • Bake until the cookies are evenly browned, about 15 or so minutes.
  • Let cool before eating.

Lalo Collage

 

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Beetroot Cannelloni 1Beetroot Cannelloni 2Beetroot Cannelloni 3Beetroot Dip 3Beetroot Cannelloni 4Beetroot Cannelloni 6Beetroot Cannelloni 7

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Baked Mushroom1

There’s a wonderful quote from food writer Micheal Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. These past few months I have been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my life. I find meat to be quite filling, so the challenge has been finding ‘hearty’ vegetarian options that are not too overloaded with carbohydrates. Mushrooms and cheese seem to fit the bill quite nicely. It’s hard to classify this little number…perhaps because it’s not quite substantial enough for a meal. I like to think of it as a wonderful entree preceding the starring vegetarian main or a moreish snack. I’ve made it a dozen times now and each time I love it more than the next. Recipe adapted from here.

Baked Mushrooms with Blue Cheese

Ingredients

4 large field mushrooms (stems removed)

150g blue cheese

Handful of crumbled/lightly crushed walnuts

1 small chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

A large sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

Baby spinach leaves for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Lightly fry onion in a small saucepan. Add garlic, chilli and rosemary till aromatic. Remove from heat.
  3. Add blue cheese and crumbled walnuts to the onion mixture in the pan and mix together to form a lumpy paste.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom cups and smooth down.
  5. Place mushrooms on a tray with baking paper and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes in the oven.
  6. Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves. This cuts through the richness of the cheese and catches all those wonderful mushroom juices.

Baked Mushroom4

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Five Ways with Lilly PilliesLilly Pilly TreeDown our street and around the corner is a rather majestic Lilly Pilly tree, whose branches hang over a little lane-way.  Many Lilly Pilly trees are native to the East Coast of Australia and carry striking pink edible fruit. This vitamin-C rich fruit formed part of the diet of coastal Aboriginal communities. The fruit is quite acidic and tangy…I would describe it as being similar to a not-yet-ripe green apple with the texture of crisp watermelon. I’m surprised that my children snack on the fruit straight from the tree, undeterred by the sourness. While eating native foods is becoming much more common in Australia, it’s still not very widespread. Given the overabundance of this little native fruit in our lives recently, I’m pleased to present my top five ways with lilly pillies.

1) A native substitute for fresh flowers.Lilly Pillies in a Vase

2) Lilly Pilly Smoothie. Pictured below is two freshly juiced organic apples, a small organic banana and a cup of pitted lilly pillies blitzed in the food processor.

Lilly Pilly Smoothie

3) Table Decor. A sprig of lilly pilly tied with brown twine to a white cloth napkin.Lilly Pilly Table Napkin

4) Lilly Pilly Muffins. I adapted Donna Hay’s recipe for Blueberry Muffins to make the Lilly Pilly Muffins pictured below.DSC03833Lilly Pilly Muffins

5) The way nature intended…from the tree to the mouth.Toddler holding Lilly Pillies

A note on cooking with lilly pillies

If you’re planning to eat and/or cook with Lilly Pillies, please note that there is a hard little seed in the centre of the fruit, pictured here.
Lilly Pilly Seed
It’s easy to remove the seed by squashing the berry between your fingers. The prepped lilly pillies should look something like this.Pitted Lilly Pillies
This image shows diced lilly pillies in muffin batter. Cooking the lilly pillies makes them sweeter and more palatable.Lilly Pilly Muffin Batter
This NAIDOC week embrace some lilly pillies into your life!

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Homemade PastaWe’ve been tinkering around with a pasta maker we were given a few Christmases ago. There’s loads of tutorials on the internet so I don’t really have anything to add here. Except that I’ve learned kneading wholemeal pasta is a bit like learning to drive a manual vehicle before an automatic. Once you can knead wholemeal dough…the white dough’s a piece of cake. I mean, this baby is TOUGH. Prepare yourself for a workout. Wholemeal pasta also tastes better and makes you feel smug. My husband is pictured below kneading white ’00’ flour which is very finely milled…oh what a breeze. Kneading Dough

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