Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lunch at home - Salad Sandwich

We bought some sliced white bread from the bakery, so I just had to make a delicious salad samdwich for my lunch - this one had Baby spinach, onion, grated carot, tomato, beetroot, not bacon and Spring Gully Green Tomato Pickle. YUM!!!


We had a bit of a drama with Shadow, where she had to spend the night at the emergency vet - she's all ok now - but she did her best to look sad in these photos -

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Year Barbeque

We went to my parent's place for a barbeque just after New Years......

There were mystery sausages - in that some were beef and some were not, and no-one knew which was which.  THis did not concern me, as I had my own vegie sausage :-)

Delicious smashed potatoes - with rosemary- these potatoes had such delicious crispy bits, as well as soft fluffy centres!

A Salad with just about anything you could think of - feta, tomato, capsicum, onion, mushrooms, avocado, YUM!!

Some marinated barbeque chicken

Crusty bread - with real butter :-)

And for dessert? Well this was my department, so I made individual pavlovas with fruit salad.  Basically, I piped out meringue into the appropriate shapes (and they actually were not too wobbly looking!!) and baked them.  I made them the day before, so I wanted a crunchy meringue, rather than a chewy meringue which may have gone soggy with the wait in the fridge....  I assembled the pavlovas just before we ate them - I put a little Vanilla Fruche in the bottom and topped each one with a pile of fresh fruit salad - I chopped up all the fruit quite small, so that everyone got a little bit of everything in their little pavlova.

Afternoon Nibbles

Anyone for cheese and crackers? This was a bit of a hodge-podge of things we had in the cupboard and fridge that we had for an afternoon tea. - The last couple of gherkins, some Lavash crackers left over from the Food & Wine show, some cheese that also came from the Food and wine show (a yummy 3-layered Southcape cheese), and some feta. Some tomato would have made this just a touch better, but we didn't have any

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Easy Vegie Lasagne

This is my easy, cheats way of making a vegie lasagne - and it tastes great!  Instead of cooking up anything and assembling the lasagne in the traditional way, I use a jar of bottled pasta sauce, grated raw vegies (usually zuccini, pumpkin & sweet potato), a couple of beaten eggs and a little cheese (all of these factors depend on what food happens to be in the house at the time)

You begin with a little of the bought sauce on the bottom of an oven proof dish, followed by dried, instant lasagne sheets. Next a layer of grated zuccini, over which I pour some of the beaten egg and sprinkle a little cheese (this can be cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, fetta, or ricotta, whatever takes your fancy). Next, another layer of pasta, then a layer of grated pumpkin and some more pasta sauce. Continue like this until the dish is full.  I finish with a layer of pasta, covered with sauce and a spirinkle of mozzarella on the very top.  I then (depending on how "wet" the bottled sauce is) pur a bout 1/4 cup of water into the dish and bake the whole lot in a 180 oven for about 45 minutes, or until the pasta and vegies are nice and tender.

the pictures aren't exactly great, but you get the idea!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Shoes!!

These are my new shoes! They no longer look quite so white and shiny, thanks to Boot Camp! I have been wearing them now for the last 2 weeks, and I have not yet decided if I like them. But I will get used to them, because they certainly cost too much to not!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Red Rooster?

This is what Red Rooster gives you when you order a serve of roast vegetables. That tiny shrivelled up orange thing is supposedly a carrot. Next time Janet wants a Rooster Roll, I am getting my dinner from somewhere else!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas Brownies

And before Christmas is too much of a distant memory..... some Brownies I baked to use up the leftover dried cranberries and white choc chips from the Nigella Cookies......

I simply used my usual stand-by brownie recipe can be found here, and stirred in the cranberries and choc chips.....YUM! (I always like it when I put white choc chips in these brownies, because they stand out and make the brownies look much prettier!! haha - even though I don't particularly love white chocolate!!)

Post-Christmas Lunch!!

Another feast of Christmas Food!!

This was an after Christmas Christmas lunch at Pam & Sid's place

delightfully pink watermelon salad

mmmmmmm fruit!!

meat, meat and more meat!!

this was a delicious mango, capsicum and snow pea salad

d-i-y salad!

this is Janet's plate

and this is my plate

and to finish..... some delicious icecream! - Pam had added dried apricot, chopped up minty chocolate and frozen berries to vanilla icecream and then decorated the top with ice magic!

Out for Work Christmas Lunch - Michaels Oriental, Sunnybank

Just before Christmas, we went out for our work Christmas lunch - to Michael's Oriental at Sunnybank. Its not the first time we have been here for a Christmas lunch, but its the first time I have taken the camera and made everyone wait before they could tuck in!!  As always, the food here was most delicious!

We began with a selection of Entree's - the waitress serves everyone, we had Vegie SPring ROlls, Deep Fried Dim Sims & Steamed Dim Sims.  I did some wheeling and dealing to swap my Dim sims for another spring roll :-)

There were 8 of us at lunch, so here comes a nice variety of main dishes......

Honey King Prawns

Crispy Prawns with Oats

Crispy Seafood (Prawns, Calamari, Fish, Scallops)

Steak & Bacon

Michaels Steak ‘Eye fillet centre cut tenderloin’ mushroom & cucumber sautéed with a blend of spicy barbecue and peanut flavour"

Sweet & Sour Pork

Mixed Vegetables - this is what I ate!! Nice and crunchy vegies, in a garlicy sauce.

Fillet Steak Chinese Style - this was in a barbeque sauce

We also had some Fried Rice, as well as steamed rice (Yum - steamed rice is delicious!!)

And after all that, we still managed to find some room for desert.....

A couple of people had the kids icecream - with strawberry sauce - and sprinkles!!!

I had this one - called "Eagles Nest" its a nice marshmallowy pavlova filled with fruit. It was a mixture of fresh and tinned fruit - which is a little disappointing - I am sure it wouldn't be too hard to make it all fresh fruit!

Michaels Comet - deep fried icecream!!

Sticky Date Pudding

And then we all rolled home :-)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Nigella's Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

I made these cookies as little Christmas gifts - nice easy cookies that reportedly tasted delicious. Obviously you could change the ingredients to make whatever sort of cookies you want - but cranberry & white chocolate sounded nice and christmassy to me! This is the first thing I have made from the "Nigella Christmas" book - I tend to just look through it and dream :-)

to make gift tags, I cut out christmas tree shapes from corrugated cardboard (used a cookie cutter as a template) and glued on "merry christmas" thingies :-)

Unfortunately I didnt plan ahead very well, and only had freezer bags to wrap the cookies in - so not too elegant! Next time, Remember the Cellophane!!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas cooking - Pumpkin, Feta & Leek Tart

This is a very easy recipe - especially since I use frozen pastry. 

First up you have to blind bake your shortcrust pastry - my tart dish is bigger than the pastry sheet, but I can manage to fill in the gaps bu using the corner off-cuts....

While the pastry is cooking, fry 2 leeks in a little butter - cook them gently for about 10 minutes, or until they are really soft and translucent.  Remove the leeks and heat a little olive oil, again, gently fry about 200g's of cubed pumpkin until soft, towards the end of the pumpkin cooking, sprinkle in about half a teaspoon of mustard powder and stir around.

Once your pastry case is ready, spread the cooked leeks over the base of the tart, then evenly distribute the pumpkin over this. Cut up about 100g of feta cheese (roughly the same size as the pumpkin) and sprinkle this through thed pumpkin.

Next, beat together 4 eggs and 250 ml of thickened cream (I use extra light cream), and carefully pour this into the tart.  Bake in a 180C oven for about 25 minutes.

to decorate, I cut stars from some slices of pumpkin and fried them until soft - I put these onto the top of the tart about halfway through the oven baking (in case they sunk  whenb the tart was still liquid)

We atet this cold, but I am sure it wouldbe delicious served warm.