Tuesday, 27 September 2011

banana chocolate chip muffins

I had 2 over ripe bananas on the bench and decided to use them rather than put them in the freezer with the other 6 that are already there.

For this recipe you will need

  • 2 ripe mashed bananas
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 180C and then line or grease a muffin tin.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking  soda, into a bowl.  Melt the butter and add to the mashed banana, yogurt, beaten eggs and vanilla.  Then add the wet mixture to the dry along with chocolate chips and fold in until all combined.
Spoon into the muffin tin and put on the middle rack of the oven.  It took 25mins for mine to cook.
I made 8 muffins but that is because I tend to over fill them.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

chicken soba noodle salad with ginger peanut dressing

I have had a food revelation.  I poached some chicken breast for the first time and was stunned with the results.  So so simple.  I will be experimenting with this further.

Anyway for this recipe you will need  -  serves 4  -

  • 1 poached chicken breast sliced thinly
  • 1 head broccoli divided into flowerets and steamed
  • 1 packet of soba noodles ( I used the green tea variety as that was all that was available)
  • 4 spring onions sliced finely on the diagonally
  • 2-3 tablespoons of nut mix ( tasti nut fusion) or sesame seeds dry fried
  • ginger peanut dressing

Steam your broccoli for about 2  mins.  Take off the heat and leave the lid on for further cooking.  I like it on the firmer side.

Cook your noodles in boiling water and I stress, do not over cook them or they will be horrible.  Remember noodles are as much their texture as their taste.  Once cooked cool them with cold water and strain and then lay out in a flat dish until they are ready to use.  Add sprinkles of water or in my case the stock I used to poached the chicken to keep the noodles from getting sticky.

For the poached chicken, put the breast (minus its' tender loin) in a pot with enough cold chicken stock to cover.  Bring to the boil, turn off the heat, put on the lid and leave in the stock for a futher 30 mins to continue its cooking.  The results are superb and succulently tender.  Put in the fridge after the 30 mins if you are not using it straight away.

To assemble,  add the broccoli, nuts and noodles along with the dressing (as much as you would like) and toss together,  then put in your serving bowl.  Slice the chicken and layer on top with the spring onions.  This noodle salad is intended to be eaten at room temperature or cold.
I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Very healthy and delicious with a naughty dressing.

ginger peanut dressing

I came across this dressing from 'onceuponachef', which sounded delicious and would be good for a lot of things.  I did alter it and doubled the measurements on some ingredients.

For this recipe you will need

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil / vege oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 small clove of garlic
Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake till all combined.
I used this dressing for chicken soba noodle salad.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

BBQ beef feta salad

I have been really slack of late.  Too many other things going on.
I made this salad last week some time.  Not particularly special but tasty and good for you.

I put together what was at hand.

  • piece of thick cut rump bbqed as a whole piece and sliced thinly
  • tomatoes
  • avocado
  • feta cheese
  • sugar snap peas
  • red cabbage sliced very thinly
  • watercress
  • basil
  • lettuce leaves
Toss it all together with some balsamic dressing and lots of black pepper
We had it for lunch with some bread

Monday, 12 September 2011

scampi yum

I was lucky I even got a photo at all.  These beautiful glorious scampi were devoured in minutes.
Thank you so much Amanda for the entree.  She simply grilled them for a very short time with garlic butter.
I cannot believe how exquisite they are.  So much nicer than crayfish or prawns.  The meat is so sweet and so delicate. Yuuuumm.

tuna salad with carrot dressing

I had this tuna salad for my lunch on friday.  I just put together what I had in the fridge.

It has one small 85g can of tuna lite
sliced iceberg lettuce
sliced sugar snap peas
grated carrot
finely sliced red cabbage
chopped nuts - cashews, pumkin seeds, sunflower seeds

Carrot dressing

Using a fine plane grate about 1/2 a small carrot
juice of lemon
teaspoon of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 tsp of fresh ginger
slug of peanut oil ( not much)

Combine all ingredients of the dressing and then add the tuna to that before adding it to the vegetables.
Not very pretty but very tasty.

Friday, 9 September 2011

really quick potato omlette

This was an afternoon school snack for Finn.
Really quick and easy if you have left over roast potatoes.
I used a small 6 inch based cast iron pan.

Start  by putting the pan on medium heat,  then turn on the grill.
Chop up as many potatoes as you want.  I think I used about 3 along with some roasted onions and garlic that were also leftovers.  Use what ever cook vegetables you have.
Add some butter and oil to the pan and gently saute the potatoes, add some salt and pepper.
Beat together 3 eggs and add to the pan.
Let it sit until the edges start to firm up.  At that stage I added a handful of tasty cheese and a little bit of chopped up ham and then bung it under the grill to brown up.
It easily comes out of the pan.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

blueberry and lemon muffins

I am a self confessed non baker, so I was pretty pleased with how these muffins turned out.  I thought it about time that I get some baking practise.  Lily loves lemon blueberry muffins so I thought that was a good place to start.
I adapted a recipe from 'melskitchencafe'

For this recipe you will need

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 and 1/8 cup of sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened natural yogurt
  • 1/2 juice of juicy lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • big pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 180c
I let the blueberries thaw out first.
Sift flour with baking powder in a bowl.
Melt the butter.
In another bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. 
Fold into the flour followed by the butter, oil and yogurt and lastly the blueberries.
Don't overmix, you don't want the mixture to turn out purple.
Spoon into muffin tray.
I just shoved some baking paper sqaures into the muffin trays literally.  They work well as a plate and crumb collector.

Bake in the oven for about 30 mins.  Make sure you check before this time.

Only when I was writing this out now that I realised that I only put 2 cups of flour in.  Still were very good.  I would probably use less blueberries next time too.  A little overloaded for my taste.

I topped off with some sugar and lemon zest.  Caster sugar would have been better.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

pulled pork

This recipe is really easy to prepare.
 Just put the rub ingredients on the pork, add the stock and let it simmer away for about 2-3 hours on the stove top till most of the fluid has absorbed and evaporated.  There is no need in frying off the meat first.  I bought my pork from the pork butcher already chopped for $13.99 kg.
This is a great make ahead and reheat recipe.  We had it with tortillas, yogurt sauce with some grated cucumber added to it, iceberg lettuce and chopped tomatoes.  Put together anyway you want.  We all put it together differently in our household.  This would be great for buns and coleslaw also.

  I adapted this recipe from 'Savorysweetlife'.

For the recipe you will need

  • 1 kilo of pork
  • 3 cups chicken stock
Rub ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of maldon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chile powder  (my chile powder is really hot)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

Combine the rub ingredients to the pork and let sit for about 10mins.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and turn down to simmer for about 2-3 hours.  Make sure you keep an eye on it.  I started with the lid on and then took it off as the liquid was not evaporating.
Using 2 forks or whatever you have,  pull the pork apart.  Allow a little bit of fluid before this stage as once you start flaking the pork the liquid disappears.  You can always add more water to get the desired consistency.
I found the balance of flavours really good.  Will definately make this again.  Jacob loved it and had  the leftovers for breakfast this morning.

Monday, 5 September 2011

think less live more

Farewell 'Happy Feet,' you can track Happy Feets' progress back to Antartica (hopefully) here...

Count down to the Rugby World Cup, 1st game and opening ceremony on this Friday night...Get the match schedule here... unfortunately I have to work...

Thought about buying your meat from somewhere else...how about 'Neat Meat' in 'The Strand', Parnell

We went down to 'North Wharf' yesterday for Jacob's Birthday breakfast.  Unfortunately not a lot open for breakfast.  Should have done my homework.  We went for a wonder around,  and with a lot of waiting we ended up at 'Jack Tars' for lunch.  The 'Wynyard Quarter' was truly packed by this time.  (good to see people out and about).
Seems like the teething problems are still being worked out.  Anyway, we had a reasonable lunch, especially comfortable as we were seated in a large booth with views to the water and the ongoing stream of foot traffic.
Typical gastro pub food.  We had pizzas and burgers.  Lots of it.. nothing special..