Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pocky Sticks with Popping Candy

Try say that really fast five times! Luckily making these weren't as hard but it did take a long time to roll each one out. I gave up after making about 40. Still, they are really fun to eat and more fun to watch when an unsuspecting victim realises it's popping in their mouth.

I went with this recipe from Frelia as I had all the ingredients in my pantry already and it turned out really well. I like the addition of hazelnut meal as it gives it a more nutty taste. Next time I think I'll cut down the sugar slightly and maybe add some salt just to try balance it out a little more. I think that the slight saltiness of the sticks should go well with the chocolate (as crazy as that sounds!)

Dough (which makes around 60 sticks)

Pinching off little balls and rolling them as thin as I could get it before they'd fall to pieces

Close to being as thin as the real Pocky Sticks

Fresh out of the oven

The chocolate dip mixture

Pocky Sticks with Popping Candy

125g butter
125g icing sugar
1 egg
50g hazelnut meal (if you don't have this Frelia suggests subsituting with flour)
250g flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (because I didn't have hazelnut flavouring)
200g dark chocolate (or milk chocolate, whatever you prefer)
50ml cream
2 x 10g sachets of popping candy (but otherwise you could use nuts, hundreds and thousands, shredded coconut, etc)
1. Combine softened butter, icing sugar and egg in the mixer (I justed used the dough attachment on high speed to save cleaning the beater attachment but this will take a little longer).
2. Add hazelnut meal, flour and the vanilla essence. Mix until it forms a ball of dough.
3. Wrap the dough in cling film and refridgerate for at least an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Take a small ball of dough and roll it out as thin as possible without it breaking apart. Place each one on a flat cookie tin with baking paper on it. These won't expand much so you can keep them quite close together. Bake for 10mins.
5. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and the cream in a double boiler.
6. Cover 3/4 of each stick with the chocolate and allow that to cool slightly before you sprinkle the popping candy on (or any other nuts or candy you prefer).
7. Place it on a sheet of baking paper and allow to cool completely at room temperature.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuna and Avocado Sushi

From a warming hearty winter dish to this summery recipe. It's like one extreme to another. It's not really the weather for making or eating sushi though is it? But that would reflect my mood, I'm so over this cold winter, bring on summer!

Sushi rice
2 cups Sushi rice (short grain)
3 cups of water
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

NB: For every cup of rice you will need 1 1/2 cups of water

Method (rice cooker instructions)
1. Place 2 cups of rice in the rice cooker bowl and rinse it till the water is no longer cloudy.
2. Pour in 3 cups of water in and turn on the rice cooker.
3. Mix vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle over rice, slicing through rice with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps and distribute the vinegar evenly.
4. Cool rice quickly by fanning it for 5mins. Cover with a damp cloth to stop the rice from drying out.

Method (stove top intructions)
1. Place 2 cups of rice in saucepan and rince it till the water is no longer cloudy.
2. Add 3 cups of water and bring it up to the boil. Stirring occasionally.
3. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 12-15mins.
4. Remove from heat and stand covered for 5-10mins.
5. Follow instructions above from step 3 onwards.

I chose Sun Rice this time.
Very happy with this product as the rice turned out perfectly and I love the packaging. It has a re-sealable zip.

I don't have one of those wooden bowl type things that you are suppose to cool it in and I also don't have a wooden spoon, so a plastic one would have to do. Here I've sprinkled the vinegar mix and getitng ready to "cut" the rice

The ingredients I chose to use this time to wrap was:
1 grated carrot
1 avocado
1 large can of tuna with roughly 3-4 tablespoons of mayo mixed in, and some salt and pepper to taste
The tuna and mayo mix

The finished product.
Best served with some Japanese soy sauce and wasabi
A lovely light healthy meal perfect for the warmer weather (when it finally comes around). Well Spring is just around the corner.....hurray!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cottage Pie

Winter means hearty, filling, comfort food. And Cottage Pie is exactly that. It's something I grew up on and never had it often enough. So now I make so much that it usually lasts a few days and I still am not sick of it. Like when I make spaghetti, enough to last at least 3 days. My record eating spag bog was 6 days in a row....almost made it to a week. But it wasn't the same spag bog (I would probably have keeled over with food poisoning if I kept food for that long). So does it count if it was 2 different versions? Eating my one for 4 days and eating my dads one he made for the following 2 days? I digress......

Sorry went off to a bit of a tangent Cottage Pie....yes yes, I love it. When I was little however I would eat it with rice (yes even though it's a meal on it's own and yes it has mash potato on top), nowadays I can do without the rice although secretly I think it needs it hehehe

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves
1kg minced beef
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 cup of frozen vegetables of your choice
salt and pepper

1kg potatos
100g butter
1/2 cup milk (more or less depending on how you like it)
salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in pan then add carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent and other vegies are soft.
2. Add meat and cook for another 10mins making sure you stir and break the mince apart so it's not all in big chunks
3. Add flour and tomato paste and stir well, cooking the flour.
4. Add bay leaf, worcestershire sauce and stock. Cook for 10mins.
5. While the meat is cooking, peel, cut and boil up the potatoes.
6. Add the frozen vegies, salt and pepper and cook for another 10mins giving you time to finish off your mash potato.
7. Pour meat into a big roasting dish, layer the mash potato on top. Decorate the mash by dragging a fork over the top.

Fresh vegies
Cut extra small so hopefully the little lad won't pick it all out

Fresh vegies, meat and liquids added

Frozen vegies added
This time I chose corn, peas and red capsicum

Bottom layer

Top layer

Fresh out of the oven

Cottage Pie