May 30, 2014

favourites – May edition


Oh gosh!  I hadn’t intended on posting so sporadically and given that I prepare on average twenty-one (yes you read that right) meals a week, more if we include morning and afternoon tea and the occasional dessert, it’s not like I don’t have recipes to share.  My problem lies in getting a decent photograph.  I’m a complete novice when it comes to using a DSLR and it frustrates me no end.  I am hoping that the photography and food styling workshop that I will be attending next weekend, run by the talented Peggy Saas, will change all that.  Stay tuned folks!

In the mean time, here are a few favourites from this past month…enjoy.

This has been our breakfast the last few mornings….total YUM!

Do yourself a favour and go buy this cookbook pronto!  You won’t regret it…promise.

I NEED these spoons and these pins in my kitchen

And while we’re talking kitchens…LOVE this one

Waste not, want not.  Two great, must read posts.


May 29, 2014

gingered carrot & parsnip latkes

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There are some foods that compliment each other beautifully, like a match made in heaven.  Carrot and parsnip is one such duo for me.  I adore the subtle sweetness of the two combined whether they be simply mashed, roasted till caramelised or added to a hearty stew.

Latkes are another way I enjoy this pair and are a perfect way to use up any type of vegetable that may be lurking at the bottom of the fridge.  I find the addition of fresh ginger and turmeric adds a zing and earthiness that enhances the flavour of carrot and parsnip even more so but they are just as tasty made without depending on your preference.

Gingered carrot and parsnip latkes – serves 2-3

3 cups grated carrot and parsnip
handful chopped parsley
2 eggs
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated turmeric
salt and pepper
coconut oil/ghee for cooking

Place grated carrot and parsnip into a bowl with the ginger, turmeric, eggs and seasoning and mix to combine. Heat a tsp of coconut oil/ghee in a frypan over low/medium heat.  Place 1/4 cup amounts of mixture in the pan and cook approximately 4-5 mins till golden before flipping and cooking the other side.  Keep latkes warm in a low heated oven while cooking the remaining mixture as above.

-Serve latkes topped with a poached egg
-or alongside a simple salad
-or with a dollop of sour cream/greek yoghurt and a good chutney

May 14, 2014

mushroom and kale omelette

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When I was a child my dad had this uncanny ability to pull a meal out of nothing.  I remember one time us arriving home late at night with empty bellies and what appeared to be very little food on offer.  He fluffed around a bit pulling a bag of rice and an onion out of the cupboard and the last of the bacon and a few eggs from the fridge and I thought to myself ‘that’s not gonna fill us’.  The rice was boiled and drained, the onions caramelised and the bacon fried before all being tossed together with the egg which cooked from the heat of the rice.  A few handfuls of chopped fresh herbs from the garden and a bit of seasoning and dinner was ready in twenty minutes flat.  It was very simple in nature but it was so delicious and was a meal that us kids started requesting somewhat regularly.

That is what I love about omelettes, not only are they fast to cook but they are simple and satisfying.  They are also my go-to breakfast when I want something a little more substantial than porridge.  In the time it takes to boil the kettle and steep a pot of tea breakfast is good to go.  Don’t limit yourself to only having omelettes for breakfast or brunch though, they are perfect for lunch or dinner served alongside a salad and some homemade potato wedges.

Mushroom and kale omelette – serves 1 as a main or 2 as a light meal

3 free range eggs
3Tbsp water/milk
2 kale leaves – stalks removed
handful of button mushrooms
chopped herbs
butter/ghee for cooking

Slice the kale and mushrooms.  Add a knob of butter/ghee to a non-stick frypan and heat over medium heat.  Sauté the mushroom and kale for a few minutes till tender.  Place the sautéed vegetables in to a bowl and heat another knob of butter/ghee in the frying pan. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl with the water/milk and a bit of seasoning and once the butter/ghee is just starting to brown pour the egg into the pan, swirling to coat the bottom, and cook for a few minutes until the top is just starting to set.  Spoon the mushrooms and kale over one half of the omelette, sprinkle with chopped herbs and then fold over the opposite half to enclose the filling and place on a plate.

-Be as creative as you like with the filling.  Fried chopped bacon and onion are a wonderful addition as is grated cheese and leftover cooked vegetables make for a heartier filling.

May 08, 2014

nut free chocolate spread

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Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined having chocolate sandwiches as a child.  The fanciest we ever got was sprinkle sandwiches better known as fairy bread.  On the days that I opened my lunch to find sprinkle sandwiches, I thought all my Christmas’s had come at once.  In my book they bet marmite sandwiches hands down!  Our older school-aged children prefer salad wraps or filled rolls over a basic sandwich but thankfully our littlest is still easily pleased in the lunch department and after going through the various spread stages of marmite, jam and peanut butter he now favours chocolate spread. 

I started making nutella a year or so ago using an assortment of nuts as the base but now that our little one is at a kindy with a nut free policy I’ve had to substitute the base yet again to make it allergy friendly.  Enter nut-free chocolate spread.  I’ve used both sunflower butter and tahini to make a nut-free version and both go down a treat. 

This chocolate tahini spread is a cinch to make and is just as delicious as it’s namesake, if not more so, and those tears and tantrums that ensued over not being able to take chocolate sandwiches to ‘school’ are now a thing of the past.  I’m scoring big brownie points here people!

Nut free chocolate spread

1 cup tahini (I use unhulled)
4 Tbsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp hot water
4 Tbsp cocoa
4 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla

Simply mix all ingredients together until well combined and smooth.  Store in the fridge. 

-This recipe is easily adapted to suit your tastes.  It can be sweeter, more or less chocolatey, thicker or runnier depending on how much syrup, cocoa, water and coconut oil you use.  Play around and find your perfect balance. 
-Recipe can be easily halved.
-This spread is perfect for icing a cake with or for using as a dip with fruit.