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 entrĂ©e 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!