Monday, 26 May 2014

Nailed It!

Hello my gorgeous readers!  How are we feeling on this cold and frosty morning?  I am feeling pretty excited as I have ordered the first batch of cookbooks to be printed!!  I should have them this weekend.  I have only ordered 15 this time, but will definitely order more if the demand is there :)  Can't wait to see how they look!

I have a few new things for you this week, plus a "nailed it!" for you :)  For anyone who hasn't seen these - people post pics of what it should look like (normally a food) and how their version turned out and they are generally quite amusing.  Anyone who is on my FB page (here) will have seen the yummy looking courgette chips -

This is how they should look.

This is how mine turned out. 

"Nailed It!"

Yeah.  I know, they look great huh?!  I think maybe I was meant to use bigger courgettes or not cut as thin as I did, or cook differently altogether!  The ones that didn't burn, were soft and not crisp like a chip.  I did exactly as it said, so not really sure how I got it so wrong!

This weekend I am baking a cake for my daughters birthday, so there may be another "nailed it!" next time - though I'm hoping it will turn out better than this attempt!

Anywho, on to the important stuff!  What else did I make to share with you?  Coffee and Hazelnut slice, peanut butter biscuits, slowcooker pull-apart bread and bacon pancakes.  I know right?  Yum!

Slow cooker pull-apart bread is another FB recipe, you have probably seen it circulating.  I've seen it so many times, and always thought to myself, "that looks easy" but never got around to doing it.  Well this time I did, and even though it also didn't look quite as good as the pic, it tasted great!  And was very filling too.

3 cups of Self Raising flour
100 g butter or marge
1 teaspoon salt
1cup milk
Filling: anything you like, cheese, sundried tomatoes and basil, olives, ham - Use your imagination!

 Add salt to flour Rub butter and flour to resemble bread crumbs Add milk roll into a dough. Roll out put ingredients on top roll and cut. Put in slow cooker for 1.5 hours on high

The top pic is the original, the other two are mine - "Nailed It!"

So I used ham, cheese, cream cheese, pineapple and capsicum.  It was basically like a Hawaiian scone.  I think possibly I was meant to cut my roll a bit smaller to fill the base a bit better and possibly roll the dough out thinner too.  Either way though, it still tasted great.

Bacon Pancakes

This was a pic I saw on one of those "life hacks" posts.  Hubby and son loved it!  I thought it was alright, but I prefer mine separate.  So basically, you make pancake mix (1C flour, 1 egg, 1C milk/water + more to make consistency you like), and you pour that over streaky bacon as it's cooking.  Serve with maple syrup.

I would cook one side of bacon first, then turn it over and pour batter over - you have to do it slowly to try and get it all the way around the bacon.  The first ones I made, didn't look quite as good as these ones!  This was my last batch. 

Coffee and Hazelnut Slice

This is from Foodtown magazine and one that I have been wanting to make for so long!  Finally decided to get the ingredients in the weekend and made it.  Super tasty and super sweet, so you only need small slices.

1tin condensed milk
250g butter
2tsp coffee in 2Tbsp hot water
2 packets of super wine biscuits
70g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2C desiccated coconut

Line a slice tin with baking paper.
Heat condensed milk and butter in saucepan, stirring until butter has melted.  Add coffee and water and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine crushed biscuits, hazelnuts and coconut.  Make a well in centre.
Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix well.  Tip into slice tin and press down firmly.
Refrigerate for 20mins.
Ice - 50g butter, 1tsp coffee in 1Tbsp hot water, 1C icing sugar - mix until combined.  Spread over slice and refrigerate until set.

Peanut Butter Biscuits

125g butter
1/2C sugar
1/3C brown sugar
1 egg
1/2C peanut butter
1 1/2C flour
1tsp baking soda
1/2C dark choc drops

Preheat oven to 180C
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat well.  Mix in the peanut butter.
Sift flour and baking soda, mix together.
Add chocolate and fold to combine.
Roll tablespoons of the mix into balls and flatten with a fork.  Leave room for them to spread a little.
Bake for 10-12 mins or until golden.  Leave them to cool before turning onto a wire rack.

I encourage you to experiment with those courgette chips and if you can get them better than me, post them on my page!  By the way, the recipe was: slice them thin, toss in 1Tbsp Olive Oil, season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of paprika, then bake at 450F (approx. 220C) for 25-30 mins.

Hopefully the rest of those recipes appeal to you :) If you are interested in a cookbook them please PM me on my FB page.   They will be $30 each.

Have a fantastic week guys!  Happy Cooking!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Waiting, waiting, waiting ...

Well it seems the publishers don't want my work (sigh) I have had no contact from them since submission, so now I am looking at prices for me to print myself so all of you wonderful people who have been asking for my book will be able to get one.  At this stage it is looking quite pricey, but I've only just begun looking (holding on to hope that they will contact me!) so it's early days yet.
I will post updates on my Facebook page (here) so "like" my page to keep informed.

Those of you who have joined my page already, thanks heaps for your support!  Remember you are more than welcome to post recipe suggestions on there or ask me any questions.

So, you will have seen the Orange Chicken Stir Fry which was on my page, well I made that one last week.  Not too bad, though not as good as Teriyaki or Satay in my opinion, but nice for a change.  I also made Loaded Vegetables, and a yummy Weetbix slice. 

First up, Orange Chicken Stir Fry

 The sauce

1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
2 large garlic cloves...

1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. minced ginger
a dash of honey

The Stir Fry

1 lb. chicken cut into strips
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 cups chopped fresh mushrooms, celery, carrots, snap peas, and broccoli.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put it all together

Place all sauce ingredients in a blender. Pour into a pan and heat through for 5 minutes, then put it in a separate bowl. Add salt and pepper to chicken and then cover lightly with cornstarch. Boil (or steam) the broccoli for about 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel to drain. Add olive oil to a pan and sauté chicken for approximately 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Add all of the vegetables to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add sauce bit by bit and cook until sauce has cooked down. You can serve this on its own or over rice.
I didn't have Oyster Sauce, so used Fish Sauce, didn't smell that appealing, but didn't affect the taste.  I also didn't use mushrooms or celery - not a fan of these two flavours.  I used broccoli, carrots, Chinese cabbage, and egg noodles in it rather than serving over rice.
I found that cooking the chicken this way made it really tender and juicy.  Once I had cooked the chicken, I added the onion for a few minutes before adding the rest of the veges, as I prefer my onions cooked a little longer.  All in all, pretty good.
Loaded Vegetables.
You will have seen my various trials of "loaded" foods, this is a variation on the cauliflower one.  I think it is better with the other veges added in.
1 head of cauli - a small one is fine
1/2 head of broccoli
1 carrot
Streaky bacon
1/2 tub of sour cream
2 heaped Tbsp Mayo
2C grated cheese
Crisp bacon in frying pan and drain on paper towels. (freeze that fat to use at a later date - great for cooking roast spuds in or making a "hash")
Chop veges into bite size chunks and boil for 2-3 minutes to soften.  Drain and cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayo and 1C cheese.  Add veges and 1/2 the bacon (pulled into small pieces).  Mix around and then tip into a greased casserole dish.
Sprinkle remaining bacon and cheese on top and bake at 200C until golden and bubbling.
This was such a hit that even my son got excited when I said there were still veges left if anyone wanted more :)
And last but by no means least, Weetbix Deluxe Slice.  This recipe is another from my Mum's recipe book.  It's one of those recipes that you forget how good it is until you make it again.  Now it's been so long since I've made it that I can't actually remember if the caramel is supposed to sit on top or seep in.  This time it seeped in and it is awesome!  It may be because I forgot what time I put it in the oven so just decided that it had probably been long enough, and the centre was still a little on the softer side so the caramel seeped through, but you know what?  I'd do it that way again!
Here's the recipe...
3 Weetbix crushed
1C flour
1C coconut
3/4C sugar
1tsp baking powder
125g melted butter
1/2 can condensed milk
1/2 can condensed milk
1 1/2Tbsp golden syrup
1Tbsp butter
Combine all ingredients - adding butter and condensed milk last.  Press into greased and lined slice tin.  Bake for 15 mins at 180C.  It should be golden around the edges.
Stir topping ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat until combined.  Pour over base and return to oven for another 3mins.
While still warm top with chocolate icing.
*I actually dotted chocolate buttons on top when it came out of the oven and then when the had melted a little I swirled them around a bit with a skewer.

Hopefully that will keep you going until next time.  There are a few great sounding recipes on my page that I will endeavour to try soon.  If you have anything you want me to blog about in particular then please post on my page and I will do my best to get to everything.
Have a great week!  Happy Cooking everyone :)