Thursday, December 29, 2011

Caramelised Onion, Asparagus and Feta Salad

There was 2 Christmas lunches this year, one at my bros the week before and another at my house on actual Christmas Day. So it was almost a full week of celebrating (for the kids anyway with all their new toys).

My contribution this time was a caramelised onion salad (recipe here) and a black forest cake.

Butter, onion, brown sugar and red wine vinegar

After cooking for 5mins, it didn't look thick enough yet
Cooked a further 5mins made sure it was thick and caramelly

Next is the asparagus
There was a red capsicum chopped and thrown in there as well. Don't think you can make much out with all that feta I crumbled on top

And the black forest cake
Roast lamb (best roast lamb ever!)
Spinach and cream cheese dip
Fried rice
Cooked prawns with lime dipping sauce

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chicken, Leek and Smoked Bacon Pie

I always keep a frozen package of pies in the freezer. You never know when you get a craving for a pie with peas and mash ;) And I'm just like a kid, a total sucker for the mini pies and sausage rolls....mmmmmm. I'd be one of those adults that hover over the kids food at the birthday party. Think fairy bread, mini pies, mini sausage rolls and baby frankfurts and of course loads and loads of tomato sauce! Do they still make that for kids parties? Not the ones I've been to anyway, I think it was just my era...........

Meat pies are a tick for me, but I detest the frozen chicken and vegetable pies. Even the so called "gourmet" ones. Sargents make a particularly bad one.

So yeah, if I want a chicken and veg pie, I'll have to make my own one.

Found this sweetly hickory smoked bacon at Woolies I wanted to try out. Loved it in the pie. But of course regular bacon will do the job, this was a little more fancy.

Chicken, Leek and Smoked Bacon Pie

1 Tablespoon oil
700g chicken thighs, chopped
6 slices of smoked bacon (shortcut, rindless)
1 carrot, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced (white part)
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon of preferred herbs (I used oregano)
1/2 cup cream
1 cup frozen peas and corn
1-2 sheets puff pastry

1. Heat oil in pan and cook the diced chicken, transfer to a bowl.

2. Now cook the bacon (2mins)

3. Add carrot and leek, stir well

4. Add the mushrooms

5. Throw in the flour and cook for a further 3mins

6. Add the chicken and herbs. Cook for another 5mins or so

7. Pour in the cream

8. Add the frozen veg and stir it through

9. Scoop them out evenly into 4-6 ramekins (depending how big your ramekins are).
You could line the base and edge with shortcrust pastry and blind bake it first, but I didn't.

10. Top it with puff pastry and maybe brush an eggwash over it.

11. Bake at 180 degrees for around 20mins

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Garfield Cake

I already felt old years ago, but the sight of 30 candles on the cake my husband made for me sealed the deal.....

But I guess he is forgiven seen as he stayed up past 12 midnight baking it and then spending another 3 hours decorating it the next day as a surprise for me.

I really was only given a chance to take photos of the baked cake, not the assembly part because I was banned from looking.

Did manage to get this photo (courtesy of my friend Jo)
How he put it together I really don't know.

And after carving (hacking) at the cake, he somehow produced this masterpiece!
I am in awe. I am no longer the cake baker/decorator anymore in this household. Hubby can now take over all of the kids birthday cakes after this one ;)

Thank you so much :* )
You are the best, love you always and forever

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kit Kat Maltesers Cake

Hey chocoholics, I have a cake that you will love ;) It is absolutely loaded and I dare you to eat more than one slice....

What you will need
1 chocolate cake (I used this recipe)
Chocolate ganache (also in the above recipe)
3 packets of the family size kit kat
A large bag of maltesers


Once the cake is baked and cooled, make the chocolate ganache and spread it all over the cake

Break up the kit kat fingers and place them upright around the cake

Tie a nice ribbon around the cake. This is to keep the kit kats from sliding off and it looks pretty

To finish off, dump the bag of maltersers on the top!

How easy was that?

Happy 30th Jo!
Can't believe we've been friends since we were 4 years old, how time flies when we are having fun :)
Love you loads!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ham Congee

Now you've probably never heard of Ham Congee before today and yes it does sound odd because it's not the traditional version like Century Egg or Chicken Congee. This ham congee is one I've grown up eating, usually after Christmas when the leg of ham we have served up for Christmas day doesn't all get eaten. So instead of throwing out the bone, Dad keeps it and boils it up with rice and Bob's your uncle - Ham Congee.

When I was in Woolies doing some grocery shopping there were some leftover leg hams at the deli counter being sold for really cheap. Around $2 each, with loads of meat still attached to them. They weren't going off or anything like that, just the leftover bone after carving slices off to sell. I knew straight away I'd make the ham congee, I wasn't willing to wait till after Christmas again (which is actually a bad time to have congee because it's summer and extremely hot and more the weather for cold cocktails....I digress). Ummm yeah so I figured I might as well attempt dads ham congee for the first time. After making 2 calls to determine how much rice I needed and how much water this is what I ended up with.....

Leftover ham leg bone (1.5-2kg)
1 1/2 cups rice
2 litres water
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Shallots/spring onions to garnish

The leg bone with meat still attached

1. Slice as much meat as you like off the bone and set aside

2. Add the bone to the pot with enough water to cover it.

3. Allow to boil for 5mins to bring up all the impurities
4. Strain the bone and pour out the water.

5. Place the bone, sliced meat, rice, water and oil in the pot

6. Leave it on a gentle simmer for around 2 hours.
I would check it every now and again and stir it once in a while just to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom or getting too thick. Add more water if you find it a little too thick.

Garnish with extra pieces of ham and shallots