Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Credit to the book....
Food with Attitude, Kate Fay & Jeremy Turner (a Hodder Moa book, published 2005, NZ)

Mum made this and loved it. Gave it away as gifts this Christmas.

-Annie Mantell's Panforte-

160g runny hunny
150g castor sugar
125g whole blanched almonds
125g hazel nuts
750g of Lexia raisins or plump fat raisins
1tblsp orange zest
1tblsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
125g plain sifted flour
2tblsp cocoa

Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease and line a 25cm springform cake tin and line with baking paper. Melt honey and sugar gently in the saucepan, and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer mixture until sugar and honey are combined. This should only take a few mins. Set mixture aside, combine the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the honey and sugar mixture and mix well. (best to mix with your hand to ensure the nuts and raisins are well covered) The mixture will look dry. With wet hands, press mixture into the prepared tin, packing it down tightly. Bake for 45 mins. Until top is lightly browned and crunchy. Cool, remove from tin, and cut into 30-40 small pieces. (or cut from block when required to eat and serve.)

Russian Fudge

From Mum's *falling apart* Edmonds Cookbook - 1976 edition, 15th printing deluxe edition (worth keeping just incase it varies slightly in new editions!).

1 1/2 lb sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tin of sweetened condensed milk
4 oz butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp golden syrup

Put sugar and milk into pan and bring to the boil. Add condensed milk, butter salt, and golden syrup. Boil 1/2 an hour stirring frequently. (Note: tends to stick to bottom if heavy based pan is not used.) Beat until thick, about 5 mins. Pour into greased tins, mark and cut when set. Vanilla and nuts may be added if desired.

Brandy Butter

... for Christmas pudding, from Mum

75g unsalted butter
75g castor sugar
75g ground almonds
grated rind of 1/2 an orange
45 ml brandy

Cream butter with wooden spoon. Then beat in the sugar, ground almonds and orange rind. When well mixed, add the brandy and stir till thoroughly incorporated. Pile into a serving dish (jam dish or butter dish) and chill until needed.

This brandy butter freezes well.


Christmas food..... German traditional....

Found on a scrap piece of paper in Mum's pantry. This is the original recipe Mum used to make a few years ago. (She's been using a different one lately - shock horror) Mum said she hasn't made this version in a while cos it makes a fair amount that she gives away. (She said about 4 largish ones.) So here we go. Will have to ask Mum to elaborate on her brief instructions - which also happen to be overwritten in black felt pen with the note 'Rowan's wallet'.... wonder if he left it somewhere? Oh and sorry, it's not in metric - yet.

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages dry yeast (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp lemon peel (fresh grated - or use mixed peel packet if no fresh)
1tsp almond extract
5 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup finely chopped candied orange peel (again, mixed peel packet if desperate)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 packet of almond paste (marsipan) - optional

(topping- a)
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp sugar

(topping - b)
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup icing sugar

Bring milk, butter, sugar to the boil in a pan. When just on the boil, remove from the heat and cool. Sprinkle yeast onto the warm water in a seperate bowl, leave to activate.

Put 3 cups of the flour, salt, lemon peel in a large bowl, add the cold milk mix, yeast mix, and almond extract. Beat well.

Add eggs one at a time. Add fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, slivered almonds and candied orange peel. And 2 cups of the remaining flour. Mix. Turn onto a board, knead till smooth, approx 10 mins. Use some of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour where needed (excuse the pun)

Rise until double. Approx 1 1/2 hours in a warm place.

Beat down. (ie: punch down in bowl with knuckles) Divide into 4. Mould each piece into an oval about 3/4 inch deep. If wanting a filling, use 1/4 of the marsipan (1 for each of the stollen) and roll the marsipan into a small 'sausage' to fit approx length of the oval. Fold the oval in half lengthways so that the bottom layer extends beyond the top layer by about an inch - sealing the filling at one end and not at the other*. (if you have the filling)
*Mum says, the filling often represents the baby Jesus in his swaddling clothes so imagine his head is peeping out - but not his feet.

Brush with egg white mix (see topping - a) Leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 mins.

Bake at 375 deg F (180 deg C) for 25 mins. While still hot, brush with melted butter and dust thickly with icing sugar (see topping - b) Put back into oven for a few minutes.

When cold, wrap in foil and store in a cool, dry place. Can be left for a week before eating, however in NZ it tends to go dry in our summer climate. But it does 'keep' okay for a while. Can even be frozen.

To serve, slice and eat!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sago Plum Pudding

According to Delia, this was copied out of Mum’s mum’s handwritten recipe book - "I had to be careful... pages one through eight have disappeared into the time warp of pantries past..."

3 tablespoons sago
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup milk half cup of sugar
2 ounces butter (melted)
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup sultanas

Soak sago in milk for three hours or overnight.
Mix in other ingredients.
(Mum recommends adding dried fruit or a few spices)
Steam 3 hours.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Creamed Onions and Peas

For Thanksgiving this year I had to write home to Mum to get this recipe as I happened to find what I thought were small onions in the supermarket. They were in fact shallots, but worked at the same...

24 – 28 peeled white onions about 1” in diameter (2,5cm)

2lb (1kg) fresh green peas or 3 packets frozen green peas thoroughly defrosted

2oz butter

4tblsp flour

¾ pint of milk

¼ pint cream

1 teasp salt

pinch white pepper

¼ teasp nutmeg

Place the onions in a 6 pint saucepan with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest point and simmer the onions partially covered fro about 20 minutes, or until they show only a slight resistance when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife. Drain the onions in a sieve placed over a small bowl and set aside. Reserve the cooking water to use in making the sauce.

Cook the fresh peas by dropping them into 10 – 12 pints of rapidly boiling salted water. Boil briskly uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until they are tender. Then drain the peas and immerse in a bowl of cold water for 2 – 3 minutes. This will stop them cooking and help keep their bright green colour. Drain and put the peas aside with the cooked onions. Frozen peas need not be cooked, merely defrosted.

In a heavy 5 pint saucepan, melt the butter over a moderate heat and stir in the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in about ¾ pint of the reserved onion cooking liquid, beating with a wire whisk until the flour butter mixture is partially dissolved. Add the milk and cream, return the pan to the heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Simmer for three to four minutes to remove any taste of uncooked flour, season with the salt, white pepper and nutmeg, then add the cooked onions and the cooked peas. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are heated through.

Taste for seasoning and serve.

The super stuffed turkey

The storm that hit on Thanksgiving Sunday

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Texas Corn Bread

I received a number of corn bread recipes in response to my request. Needless to say, the ingredients were basically the same but the proportions vary enormously. This recipe kindly sent by Beverly makes a nice runny batter and moist corn bread. It goes great with turkey and cranberry leftovers!

1 c yellow cornmeal (I've also used polenta or coarse grind cornmeal)
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 t salt
1 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 T baking powder
1/2 c milk
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 c melted butter

Thoroughly mix the cornmeal, flour, and salt. Then add the buttermilk, egg, baking powder, milk, baking soda, and melted butter. DO NOT MIX!! DO NOT BLEND!! (Yet)

Grease an 8" square cake pan, muffin tins, or cornstick molds and heat them in the oven. Stir the cornmeal mixture until just combined and pour into the hot, prepared pan.

Bake at 450 degrees until done, about 20 minutes. The bread will be light and moist and brown and crusty on the bottom. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

Sweet Short Pastry
Buy it if you must but it is so simple to make:

75g butter
3 tsp water
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg yolk (save white for pie filling)

Beat together in food processor until a blob forms. Don't try to roll into a flat sheet, just take clumps and press into your pie dish. Prick bottom of pie crust with a fork in several places.

I usually make three times the pastry and filling recipe which is plenty for two 20cm pie dishes. Any pastry and filling left over can be used in ramekins to make mini-pumpkin pies like this:

Pumpkin Pie Filling
Use this as a starting point and make up your own variations. Provided there are enough eggs to make a custard, the mixture is very forgiving:

1 cup pumpkin pulp (eg butternut or Jap/Kent)
1 egg (plus whites left over from the pastry)
1 dessert spoon flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg and ginger
2 tablespoons sugar

Blend together in food processor or big bowl until smooth.
Pour into base and cook 40 minutes at 200C (400F).

This makes a golden coloured pie like this:

If you use molasses/treacle instead of golden syrup and use brown sugar, you get a darker pie like this:

Other variations include adding grated fresh ginger and Chinese five spice. And I have it on good authority that cracks and pooling of sugar is the hallmark of a good pumpkin pie...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Classic Masala Curry & Rice Pulao

When I was in Canberra, I had the treat of dining at an Indian restaurant. Here at Copacabana, we do not have such exotic dining options and have to be more self sufficient. This is a versatile Terry Durack recipe from Sydney Morning Herald's Good Weekend magazine back in 2001 :

Basic Curry (serves 4 but can stretch a little)
2 T butter
2 T vegetable oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 T finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 t cayenne powder
2 t garam masala* (see recipe below)
1 t ground cumin
1 t salt
800g canned tomatoes, chopped
150 runny cream (not strictly necessary but yummy)
handful fresh coriander leaves

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based pan, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spices and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes or until the oil comes to the surface. Gradually add the cream, stirring constantly without boiling.

Other variations:
  • Chicken Masala - 450g boneless chicken meat cut into bite sized chunks, seasoned well with salt and pepper and browned and semi-cooked in separate frying pan before adding to curry.
  • Prawns - add peeled cooked or uncooked prawns to curry and warm through/cook just before serving.
  • Lamb - add 450g large diced lamb to curry and slow cook in 150C oven for 45-60 minutes.
The curry can be made in advance and often tastes even better a day or two later:

Garam Masala
Garam Masala is an aromatic essential seasoning in the cuisine of Northern India. You can purchase it at Asian markets or make your own. Here are a couple of different methods:

From ground spices mix:
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 2 t ground cardomom
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground cloves
To grind your own:
Combine the following spices on a baking tray:
  • 2 t whole black peppers
  • 2 t cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 t coriander seeds
  • 1 t fennel seeds
  • 3/4 t whole cloves
  • 1/2 t cardomom seeds (without pods)
  • 1 stick cinnamon (broken)
Roast at 125C for about 20 minutes. Grind in blender or mortar and pestle.

Rice Pulao
Risotto aside, I've never been much good at cooking rice but this works every time (especially if you use a non-stick pot). It's worth the extra effort:

300g basmati rice
2 T vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
1/2 t cumin seeds
1/2 t brown mustard seeds (I've been known to use ones that don't look more golden)
1/2 t salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t tumeric powder
1 bay leaf
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
2 cloves
600 ml water

Wash the rice in cold water and drain well. Heat the oil and fry the onion until soft and brown. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook for one minute. Add the salt, pepper, ground cumin, coriander and tumeric, stirring. Add the drained rice and toss well to coat the spices. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

Add 600 ml boiling water, bring back to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat and cover tightly (wrap the lid with a piece of kitchen foil, scrunching it around the edges). Cook very gently for 15 minutes (don't lift the lid during that time), then loosen the grains with a fork, cover and set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I was horrified on Saturday night when Leona said that she'd had pancakes for brunch on Saturday... I probably would have been ok has she got one of those pancake mixes, but she'd purchased pre-made pancakes. Apparently the look on my face was priceless.

(As opposed to the pancakes which I suspect were a small fortune.)

The following recipe is one I perfected during my summers at Cafe Luna in Hahei... and super easy to make bigger quantities, if you can do your 1 x tables.

1C Flour
1C Milk
1 Egg
1t baking Powder
1T Sugar
1 pinch of salt

Whisk; leave about 1/2 an hour to bind; pour into pan; turn etc

Makes about 6 which is good for two people. Serve with real butter and golden syrup.

You can also add things like vanilla, some plain yoghurt, spices, whatever to give the pancakes different flavours.

L will have to come back and defend herself next weekend once she's tested the recipe.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Salmon & Courgette Kebabs - with Wasabi Dressing

Inspiration for a summer bbq. Perhaps a Christmassy treat! (serves approx 10)


800g boned and skinned salmon fillet, 3cm cubed
5 courgettes (zucchini), peeled into strips
2 lemons (to squeeze juice on when cooked, if desired)


Place cubed salmon alternately on skewers with courgette ribbons. Place on heated oiled barbecue and cook each side for approx 2 mins. The salmon should still be a little pink in the middle. (cook longer if desired)


2 large cloves garlic
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp prepared mustard
wasabi paste to taste
1/2 cup (in total) chopped parsley/chives/mint
1 1/2 cups soya or other vegetable oil (not olive)

Place all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor. Slowly drizzle in the oil. Process until creamy. Serve with pickled ginger- from Asian supply stores or gourmet section of supermarkets (optional)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Soda Bread

Another recipe found while browsing the weekend papers - One I am sure Amy and Brenda will try... Recipe by Peta Mathias

Soda Bread

Peta says - "The Irish are famous for their beautiful bread and is simplicity itself to make. No fussing with esoteric things like yeast, it is based on a combination of bicarbonate of soda and an acid, usually supplied by buttermilk. I have tried making soda bread with milk or yoghurt, but it's just not the same. Buttermilk is usually found in big supermarkets and it is worth the extra effort."

2 cups plain white flour
2 cups whoemeal flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 cups of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 200C. Sift the flour, salt and soda into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the flour into the milk to give a soft but not sticky dough.

Turn onto lightly floured board and knead lightly for one minute until smooth. Smooth and shape to a round about 5cm high. Cut a deep cross from one edge to the other and place on a floured baking tray.

Bake for 30 mins. To test if bread is cooked tap the underside of the bread which should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sunny Salad

I got this recipe from cousin Megan who got it from an issue of Cuisine magazine back in 2002. It tastes of summer and it makes a good wrap filling too.

6 ears sweet corn, husks and silks removed
2 large tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled and stone removed

Cook corn 10-30 minutes (10 minutes if freshly-picked cobs, longer if they have been picked a day or two.)
Drain and cover loosely with kitchen paper (stops wrinkling)
When cool enough to handle, slice of the kernels

Remove cores from tomatoes, cut into quarters and flick out as many seeds as possible (PS: When Megan makes this she just uses entire tomato quartered - hates throwing out good food!) Cut the flesh into dice, put in a sieve and drain 10 minutes

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, shallot and basil in a bowl. Stir in corn, top with tomatoes and diced avocado. Stir and serve immediately. (Megan makes hours before party, seems to work ok.)

Serves 6-8 as a salad. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lamb and kumara salad

Not a family favourite, but one I spotted in the New Zealand Herald. Vic Williams is a food writer and I am always eyeing up the recipes...YUM! I gotta try it, or a variation.

Serves 4

4 lamb steaks, cut from the leg, 2-3cm thick
3-4 medium red kumara (or sweet potato for the overseas people)
1 red capsicum
2 tbsps vegetable oil
2 handfuls mixed salad greens
1 tbsp sesame paste (sometimes called sesame sauce)
3 tbsps peanut oil
2 tsps sesame seeds
2 sprigs coriander

Trim off and discard fat from the lamb steaks. Peel the kumara. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and boil the kumara until just-cooked, but still slightly firm. Put aside to reach room temperature. Meanwhile, remove the stem, white ribs and seeds from the capsicum and discard. Dice the flesh small. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and cook the lamb steaks for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are medium-rare, seasoning as they are turned. Put aside to rest.

Wash and dry the salad greens and pull off and discard any leggy stems. Make a dressing by stirring the sesame paste and two tablespoons of the peanut oil together with a little salt and pepper.

To assemble the dish, toss the greens with the remaining peanut oil, add salt and pepper and place on four plates. Holding a sharp, thin-bladed knife on an angle, slice the lamb steaks across the grain and drape over the top. Cut the kumara into 1/2cm discs and distribute evenly among the plates.

Scatter the diced capsicum, sesame seeds and coriander leaves over everything, with a little more salt and cracked black pepper. Drizzle with the sesame dressing and serve.

Monday, September 04, 2006


  • 3 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 D anise extract or sherry
  • 1 1/2 D vanilla essence
  • 2 D anise seed
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 1 C mixed chopped almonds, apricots, crystallised ginger/zest of 1 orange
  1. Mix sugar, eggs, anise, vanilla and aniseed.
  2. Add 3 C flour and baking soda.
  3. Add oil and dried fruits/nuts
  4. Place parchment paper on cookie tray.
  5. Divide batter in half and spread with hands to make logs 3" wide and 1/2" high.
  6. Bake 350 F for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  7. Remove from oven and cut diagonally.
  8. Put every other biscotti on another tray to dry out in turned off over or at least 2 hours or overnight.
NB: Can be dipped in chocolate at one end.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Picnic Food

With a stonking hot summer upon us picnics are always a good idea.

I thought that I should try making some real picnic food - picnic pie and mini meat loaves.

The picnic pie was a bit of disaster as I didn't put enough eggs in it to hold it all together but it was rather tasty.

Mini Meat Loaves - Inspired by Paella Days

A red onion
Chopped capers, sundried tomatoes and olives
Herbs (fresh, dried, whatever, basil, oregano, parsley etc)
Bread crumbs
Tomato paste
Red wine

Mix lots, and make into little balls (little muffin trays are great), top with pinenuts and cook till done (20mins at 180 at a guess). Super yummy when cold...

The finished Picnic Pie Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Asian Market Soup

I found this recipe in The Times while I was in England. You need tamarind paste which may be tricky to track down but the rest is easy and it comes together FAST:

600g white fish fillets (or substitute chicken)
Sea salt and pepper
100g rice vermicelli
2 lemongrass stalks peeled
1.2 litres chicken stock
3 spring onions finely sliced
1 mild red chilli, sliced
2 T tamarind puree
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 T fish sauce
1 T caster sugar
100g bean sprouts
4 T Asian basil or coriander
1 lime quartered

Chop the fish into bite-sized chunks, season well and set aside. Pour boiling water over the noodles and leave to drain. Finely slice the tender white part of the lemon grass.

Bring the stock, spring onions, chilli, tamarind and lemon grass to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato, fish sauce and sugar stirring. Add the fish and gently simmer for 4 minutes until cooked. Add the bean sprouts and drained noodles and simmer for 1 minute to heat through.

Divide between four bowls and spoon over the hot soup. Scatter with basil and coriander and serve with limes for squeezing.

Friday, June 23, 2006


With the cold weather now well and truely upon us, I am reminded of the times Mum used to make "popovers" as a special treat for breakfast when we were young. I have asked Mum for the recipe and here it is. (Once I get around to making some I will post a pic)

Straight from the Book ...

These beautiful creations are like fragile shells – nothing but crisp golden crusts and air. Lavish them with butter and preserves. You can bake them in your choice of containers: lightweight, shiny metal muffin pans, dark heavy cast iron popover pans or ovenproof glass custard cups.

1 cup all purpose flour (sift before measuring)
¼ teasp salt
1 teasp sugar – optional
1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine or salad oil
1 cup milk
2 large eggs

In a bowl stir together flour salt and sugar (if used) until thoroughly blended. Add butter milk and eggs; beat until; smooth (about 2 ½ minutes) scraping bowl frequently with a rubber spatula (– or just put it all in the Kitchen wiz – and wizzzz!!!

Fill greased ovenproof glass cups about half fill with batter – 12 1/3 cup size, 10 ½ cup size, or 8 or 9 6 ounce size.
(I heat gem irons in the oven, put a dab of butter into hot irons to grease them, and fill to brim with mixture – makes 12 sometimes with a bit to spare)

For a richly browned shell with a fairly moist interior bake on centre rack in a 400 F oven for about 40 minutes or until well browned and firm to touch. For a lighter coloured popover, drier inside, bake in a 375 F oven (about 180 C) for 50 – 55 minutes (Keep oven door closed: popovers may collapse if a draft of air hits them just as they are swelling above the cup – usually about ¾ way through the baking time). Remove from pans and serve hot. Makes 8 – 12 popovers.

If you like the interior of the [popovers to be especially dry, loosen them from the pan but leave sitting at an angle in cups; prick popovers’ sides with a skewer and let stand in th turned off oven, door slightly ajar for 8 – 10 minutes.

(Well it is quite a science - I am finding out a bout all the things to do that I do not do!)

My serving instructions – split and butter, fill with strawberry jam and top with lashings of whipped cream

Note from Brenda: Popovers and the Muppets is an especially good combination.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Southern Pie

Take one medium-small landmass,
Sprinkle with icing sugar,

Here's one I prepared last week:

Monday, June 12, 2006

Apple Crumble

Yeah, I'd have to agree with Chonnie- I guess in the busy-ness and travels of us all food's been a thing someone else has done for us. The flat here has settled into a steady menu of 'sausarole' (sausage casserole), and variations of the
' mea & mash' menu. ('mea' = 'something' in maori).

Anywho- last week I ended up with kilos and kilos of apples, and no idea of what to do with it- so mum sent me her trusty crumble recipe:

"Slice required number of apples into a dish

(Recipe says to add cloves, and/or sprinkle with cinnamon plus - and sugar.
I do not add anything to flavour, and find apples are sweet enough.)

Rub together ¾ cup of flour
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tablespoons of BUTTER (about 30 g)
until crumbly

(If you have a kitchen wiz – just put all ingredients in and wizz. Butter is better chilled and firm – which I guess is no problem in Dunedin in the winter.)

Spread over apples.

Bake in moderate oven until top is brown.

Serve while hot with one or more of the following.

Final step: eat by fire while it snows outside. Yoomy!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Holidays and the Edmonds cookbook

Not a lot of inspiration on the food front at the moment...

But I can report, that while I was in Sydney on holiday, Rowan made chocolate mousse for dessert for a dinner party at his house - recipe from the Edmonds cookbook.

And while in Perth, my friend Julie showed off her new Edmonds cookbook to her Australian mates. Hmm... We never did get around to making afghan biscuits - too much sightseeing to do!

And on Friday in NZ, still on annual leave, I made some Anzac biscuits for the flatmates - recipe from the Edmonds cookbook.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Strawberry Jam

Paul and I were having some guests for dinner last night and I decided that we were to have some strawberries.

Unfortunately some were a little manky so I decided to make jam!

I didn't actually have a jam recipe and had already thrown equal volume of sugar to strawberries in the pot and it was merrily bubbling away before I googled 'strawberry jam'.Turns out that it only needs to cook a couple of minutes!

Anyway - the end result was quite a hit. Shame it only made the one jar.
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What to do with liver sausages

Especially for Brenda…when "buying goose sausages (‘oie’ in French) but alas they were ‘foie’ (liver)."

Sauté garlic and onions. Add sausages, seasoning, pepper, mustard.

Fry until cooked through.
While sausages are cooking make salad. Toss sausages into the bin. Serve salad.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Spicy Lentil Soup

Another "leaving home and fending for yourself" tradition is to own your very own personal edition of the Edmonds Cookbook This is one of my favourites from my 1994 edition, and I have just made it for the first time this winter... I'm spurred on by the cold and rainy weather! It's not too spicy and tastes great even if frozen and saved for another rainy day.

2 teaspoons of butter
2 teaspoons of oil
1 clove or 1 tsp crushed garlic
1 carrot finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1 stalk celery finely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup of brown lentils
250g bacon bones (optional)
400g can tomatoes in juice, chopped
4 cups of beef stock
salt+black pepper
2 tblsp choppped parsley (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, carrot, onion, and celery. Cook until onion is clear. Add in curry powder stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add lentils, bacon bones (optional), tomatoes and juice, and stock. Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours or until lentils are cooked. Remove and discard bacon bones (if used) Season with Salt and pepper. Serve garnished with parsley. Serves 4 - 6

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mum's Feijoa Fantasy

Here is a VERY SIMPLE, but delicious dessert, which the Monday-nighters named 'Feijoa Fantasy’'. Posted by Brenda on behalf of Mum:

Take half a sponge sandwich (made by Mrs New World) and slice in half (I keep these in the freezer for moments such as this and find it easy to slice when frozen)

Stew feijoas until soft but not mushy - cool
Drain and reserve juice.
Roughly chop to make spreadable.
Make meringue from: 2 egg whites beaten until dry stiff; Add 4 tblsp sugar and beat until glossy
Place half sponge on oven tray.
Spread with feijoas and place second half on top .
Prick top and spoon juice over top – how much is guesswork
Spread meringue over top and sides and bake at 180F until browned – about 20 minutes.
Serve when cold.

I served it plain but I guess cream or yoghurt could accompany it. (I see possibilities for other fruit with spices/liquers complementing fruit.)

Crab Mayonnaise in Iceburg Wraps

At last the iceburg escapes the kiwi burger; Paul found Gordan Ramsey’s version of this recipe, but I of course did some tweeking. This entrée is super easy to make and the filling can be prepared in the morning.

150g fresh crabmeat (or a small drained tin)
½ chopped red chilli
A couple of chopped spring onions
Small handful chopped coriander
Small handful chopped parsley
1T wholegrain mustard
3-4 T mayonnaise
Salt & Pepper
A small amount of lemon rind
1T Tomato paste

Mix all of the above and wrap in washed iceburg leaves. If preparing in advance make the crab mix but only put the mix in the lettuce if you are about to serve them. Garnish with curly lettuce leaves and tomatoes.

I also did a vegetarian version replacing the crab with cottage cheese which seemed to work.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Pizza - Chicken and Cranberry

At the flat at Kiwitea Street we are doing our usual Monday night gathering - food and a night of TV. Chef Phil is making us Chicken and Cranberry Pizza fresh from the kitchen of K12, while Maria is making us dessert (not sure what it is yet) The Wong's have come over with the pre dinner nibbles and I got the easy task of drinks(?!). Tomorrow is Anzac Day and we have the day off work. It will be too wet and rainy to go to the dawn service so I think we will watch Anzac specials at home in between DVD's and more food.

  • buy thick or thin plain pizza bases (or make your own)
  • spread on a thin layer of plain Hummus
  • slice some smoked chicken and spread around leaving gaps in between the pieces
  • dollop some cranberry jelly or preserve around (we use the kind that has whole cranberries in it)
  • slice up some brie and spread around
  • sprinkle fresh rosemary and rock salt on the top

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rhubarb Muffins

Most of my flats have had a random Rhubarb plant in the garden... thanks to Mum for this childhood recipe - it's one of the best ways I know of to make rhubarb taste good.

1/4 cup firm brown sugar
1/2 cup plain oil (eg salad+cooking oil)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup diced rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

> combine the following for topping <
1 tablesp melted butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  • combine sugar, oil, egg, vanilla essence, milk. Beat well
  • Stir in rhubarb and nuts
  • in seperate bowl combine dry ingredients
  • stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  • spoon into muffin tins 3/4 full (makes 12 to 20?)
  • spoon on topping
  • bake 400F for 25 mins (200C)
I can't remember ever being that fussed on the muffin itself as a kid, the topping was so great.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Vegetable Bean Puffs

When I took some hot cross buns over to our neighbours at Easter, I returned home with some freshly baked vegetable bean puffs which were very tasty. Apparently these are quite a hit with Len & Marge's vegetarian teenage granddaughters and I reckon they are just the thing for someone to make for Julian and Tracey on moving house day.

1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 T oil
1 carrot grated
1 zucchinni grated or a few peas
1 410gm can of tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube crumbled
1 305gm can of 3-bean mix (rinsed and drained)
2 T fresh chives
4 sheets wholemeal or shortcrust pastry

Spoon mixed ingredients on pastry sheets that have been cut into quarters.
Lightly brush edges with water. Fold over and seal with back of fork.
Place on greased oven trays.
Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with breadcrumbs or parmesan.
Bake in moderate overn (180C) about 35 minutes.


I came back to Dunedin after several days at home, and my flatmate (Tam) described to me the most amazing carrot cake she made. It was a slab. perfect and moist and wow. Then she decided to ice it with real cream cheese icing. No icing sugar. Oh well, she said, I'll just use castor sugar, and proceeded to look for the finest white stuff in the pantry. 1 cup of salt and a pottle of cream cheese later...spread evenly over the top... And then came the fun bit of licking the bowl afterwards... oops.
She almost cried when she told me. I claim partial responsibility- I tidied the pantry a wee wile ago and eveything thing shuffled a bit. I think I'm going to leave the muddle as it is from now on, at least then we'll know where to find stuff.. and Tam's going to return to the taste as you go method of cooking, which will mean that when we make chocolate chip cookies, we're going to have to start off with a double batch.

Something not so sweet…

This is a nice simple thing to throw together and aided in our house by the fact that tesco does a great line in smoked salmon which is now a grocery staple.

Salmon & Ricotta Fettuccini (Mains for 4)
… to be served with a big green salad…

400g Fettuccini
Lemon juice and rind from two lemons
A good splodge of olive oil (about 1-2 T)
½ C Parmesan
250g Ricotta
1 big bunch of parsley chopped (or other green herbs)
200g Smoked salmon (chopped)

1. Cook fettuccini
2. Mix lemon juice, rind, olive oil and parmesan in a bowl
3. Drain pasta and pour liquid mix over then add ricotta, green herbs and salmon
4. Mix well and eat!

And all done in less than 20 mins…

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sticky Date Pudding with a Difference

This version of sticky date pudding includes apple and ginger for a spicy touch.

6 oz (175g) self raising flour
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
3 oz (75g) soft butter
4 oz (110g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon treacle
1 heaped tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 large granny smith apple, cored and chopped small
3/4 cup chopped dates
4 oz warm water


  1. Sift flour, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs, butter, sugar, treacle and freshly grated ginger.
  3. Whisk everything together with a hand whisk gradually adding the water until you have a smooth mixture.(It’s quite runny and sometimes I don't use it all.)
  4. Finally fold in the apple and dates.
  5. Pour mixture into greased individual pudding basins – muffin pans are OK too.
  6. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes or until the puddings are firm and springy to the touch.
  7. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes.Then run a thin knife around the edges of the tins and turn them out.
  8. Allow puddings to get completely cold and then keep them in clingfilm until you need them.
  9. Serve with hot caramel sauce and ice cream.
For the caramel sauce:
Equal proportions of butter, brown sugar and pouring/whipping cream.(Say half a cup of each.) Gently melt together sugar and butter until all granules are dissolved.Add cream and heat through.Can be made in advance and heated up later.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The well travelled ingredients

Paul and I were off to Sardinia with Leona for the Easter weekend and on the assurance that there was an oven I did up a Hot Cross Bun pack with everything pre-measured. There of course was no oven when we arrived (however there was a bells and whistles coffee machine so things could have been worse) which made the whole exercise a little harder.

Back in London, with one more day of long weekend to go I decided to finish the project, albeit with no pipe for the crosses or a pastry brush for the sticky stuff. They still look about right and taste pretty good too.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Hot Cross buns - again

Brenda what a great idea! And may I be the first to say "let the great Apple Muesli debate" begin! I am sure there will be far more variations on that recipe as we have all stayed pretty true to the hot cross buns. I think we have all called home when we have moved away and asked Mum for the recipe so we can cook REAL hot cross buns for our flatmates and friends...

Well it's Easter Eve, and I haven't yet made it to the supermarket for the all important ingredients. I have just had a dig through the box of recipes I have written on scrap pieces of paper, and almost panicked when I couldn't find it at first. But I would have been fine as the recipe is right here. Mine's pretty much word for word, so I will write a handy hint instead.

*handy hint: I've never owned a piping gun or bag, so to draw the crosses I use the flat edge of a butter knife to dribble or dab the flour mix, holding the knife closely to the buns.

**Brenda's handy hint: Another approach to piping the crosses is to use a ziplock bag and cut a small hole across a corner. I didn't do this so I ended up with hot splotch buns!

Hot Cross Buns

1 lb plain flour
2 oz butter
3 oz soft brown sugar
1/2 pint water
1/2 oz dried yeast
3 oz currants
1 oz sultanas
1 oz chopped mixed peel
1 level tsp salt
4 level tsp mixed spice

For the tops: 1oz plain flour, and a little water
Glaze: 1 leve dsp castor sugar, 2 dsp milk

Put dried yeast into a small bowl with one level tsp of the measured soft brown sugar. Heat the water to a comforatble hand temperature then whisk half of it into the yeast and sugar with a fork and leave in a warm place until the the yeast dissolves and froth starts to form.10- 15 mins.

Add salt and the remaining sugar to rest of the water.

Put flour and spices in a bowl and rub in the butter. Make a well and pour the liquids into the well. Mix.

Knead the dough for at least five minutes,adding dried fruit just before setting the dough to rise. Leave for about 30 minutes (or longer if necessary).

Turn dough on to lightly floured board, cut into 18 pieces and form each into a round bun. Lay on greased baking tray and leave to rise.

Mix the flour for tops with a very little water to make a thick batter. Put mixture into a piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun. Cook in hot oven 425F for 15 - 20 mins.

Dissolve sugar in milk, bring to the boil and brush over the buns when they are cooked. Must be eaten with butter - not margarine or any other ersatz spread.

PS: Check out my "hot cross blocks" quilt in progress!

Easter Rituals

It's that time of the year again as we all scratch around for our copy of the Hot Cross Buns recipe! So I thought I would set up a blog so that all the family can post their favourite recipes on it. Note that the privacy settings are such that others can view the blog (make our recipes!) and leave comments. Happy Easter!