Sunday, July 16, 2017

Almond & Rum Fruit Cake (gluten free)

~Almond & Rum fruit cake~
adapted from

In a bowl, combine :
2 cups almond meal (can substitute part hazelnut meal)
3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 cups total dried fruit
> we used 1/2 cup dried apricots diced, 1/2 cup prunes diced, 1 cup mixed dried fruit

In a second bowl whisk together with a fork :
3 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
zested rind of 1 orange
1 cap Bundaberg rum
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup

Stir the egg mix through the dry ingredients to combine. Spoon into a baking paper lined loaf tin (8 x 19cm, or thereabouts).

Cover with alfoil and bake at 150 Celcius fan forced for 35 minutes. Take the alfoil off, turn the tin around and bake another 15 minutes. Test with a skewer and if it comes out clean it's cooked.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin 5 minutes or longer.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cherry Ripe Icecream

We almost ran out of fuel near Peachester, returning from a late summer weekend at the beach, so stopped at a fruit shop for some fresh lychees as a pick-me-up. They also made gelati in yummy flavours and we needed that - the boys chose Cherry Ripe. There was a lot of discussion on the ingredients, so over the following weekends D experimented with making our own and this is the latest, closest version of deliciousness.

~Cherry Ripe Icecream~

1. Make the cherry swirl :
1 kg frozen pitted cherries, cut in half
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tab brandy or choice of liqueur
1 teaspoon gelatine
Heat the cherries, sugar, water and brandy until cherries are cooked. strain off the cherries and reduce the liquid by half. Stir through the gelatine to dissolve and set aside to cool in fridge.

2. When the cherry mix is cold, make the icecream.
Beat the following in a mixmaster until smooth and thickened :
600ml cream
1 tin condensed milk
250g cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

3. Fold through the icecream mix :
1 cup dessicated coconut
180g packet Cherry Ripe chocolates, cut into small pieces
168g packet Flake chocolate, crumbled (maybe try grated dark chocolate instead)

4. Swirl the cold cherry mix through the icecream mix.

5. Pour into a container and freeze. Drizzle melted dark chocolate over the top and serve.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thai Beef Salad

500g eye fillet / rump steak, trimmed of all visible fat
1 tbsp peanut oil
200g of rocket or mixed lettuce leaves, washed and drained
2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp mint leaves, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small red chili, seeds removed and chopped finely
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tbsp peanut oil
Mint and coriander leaves, to taste

Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown in peanut oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. Rest the meat for 4-5 minutes.

Slice the meat thinly across the grain and place in a large serving bowl. Add rocket or mixed lettuce leaves, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and mint.

To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Toss the beef and salad with the dressing and serve.

Other salad ingredients to suit taste can be added eg, red onion, shallots etc.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

tribute to Mango Weis bars

something like a Mango Weis bar :

Ingredients :
3 large very ripe bananas
2 large mangos
½ can condensed milk
300ml cream
½ tsp vanilla bean paste

Peel and cube the bananas and mangos into roughly ½ inch cubes; place in a single layer on a baking paper lined tray and freeze.
Place the frozen fruit in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy; you may need 2 batches, and to scrape the sides down a few times.
Line a deep tray or cake tin with baking paper and spread the frozen fruit mix to a depth of about 2 cm; freeze.
Whip the cream, condensed milk and vanilla until firm peaks form; spread in a thin layer over the frozen fruit mix and re-freeze.
Slice into small slices. Lie in a hammock. Eat. Yum.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Autumn Skirlie

This is an adaptation of an old Scottish dish. We've eaten it a lot lately in the cooler evenings, rushing into the house after 6pm five nights a week and juggling homework, vision therapy, showers and sibling rivalry... somewhere there I try to feed us more than vegemite toast and this fits the bill pretty well.

The boys love it, and reheated with scrambled eggs in front of the fire the next morning, it's pretty close to wonderful.

~Autumn Skirlie~
(serves 3 as a main with a bit leftover)

4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (or spring onions, leeks etc)
2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
about 1/3 cup boiling water?
1 cup tinned red salmon, drained and flaked
1 large lemon, zested and juiced (2 if they're small)
2 large handfuls spinach, washed and roughly shredded
(or any other greens - kale, par-cooked broccoli, red lettuce are all good)
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil on low in a non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and cook until transparent.

Add the thyme leaves and oats and stir well. Cook on a lowish heat, tossing every few minutes, until the oats are beginning to colour -  about 5-10 minutes.

Add the lemon zest to the boiling water and pour over, stirring well and cook a couple more minutes - the oats will soften slightly but keep their shape. Add more boiling water if needed.

Stir in the salmon, lemon juice and black pepper, then pile the spinach on top and put the lid on to steam the spinach. When the spinach has cooked down, stir it through and serve - preferrably in front of a fire!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cumquat Cordial

The original recipe for this was in ounces and pints and came from a woman who lived near us; her life was a story of resilience and hard work, intelligence and cheerfulness. As time passes and I learn more about life's challenges, I find her even more inspirational. Mrs O'C gave us recipes and conversation; challenged us to think critically but act pragmatically; loaned us boxes and boxes of books and encouraged us to believe that we could achieve whatever we set our minds toward.

As my boys made their own version of Cumquat cordial recently I thought of Mrs O'C and what a wonderful woman she is. My parents brought an enormous bag of cumquats a week ago so D helped me juice them and we made the real thing - it's tangy and sweet and a hundred times better than any commercial mix.

I've removed the sodium benzoate preservative, which means you need to store it in the fridge/freezer. The best cumquats for this are the round sourer Calomondin variety - they are also best for Cumquat jam.

~Cumquat Cordial~
2 1/2 cups cumquat juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups water
900g white sugar
1 teaspoon citric acid

To juice the cumquats, halve them and squeeze over a seive in a bowl. Reserve the seeds and freeze them for use in setting jam.

Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Dissove the citric acid in a little hot water and stir in.

Stir in the juices while the sugar water is still warm, then bottle in sterilised bottles. Store in the fridge or freeze until needed.

Once makes almost 2 litres of cordial.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quince Paste/ Membrillo

It's a year to the day since last posting; we've had lots of food memories with friends since then but none have made it past my folder into blogland. Running too hard with work, kids and life. But there have been exciting discoveries - sweet potato leaves are a fabulous substitute for spinach or silverbeet. Truly.

Now quince time has come again, and we are making quince paste. This recipe has evolved from combining several others and is made in the microwave - no possibility of burning. Very easy.

~Quince Paste~
white sugar

We make reasonably large amounts, so say 8 quinces and about 600g sugar. Wrap each quince in alfoil, place in a baking paper lined tray, and roast in a medium oven until they are tender. Remove and cool in the alfoil.

Unwrap quinces, peel back off the skin and work out the core and any lumpier granules around the core; discard these. Push the flesh through a seive with your hands and a large spoon, then weigh the seived quince.

Measure out half the weight of sugar, so for 1.2kg seived quince you will need 600g sugar. Stir quince and sugar together in a large microwave proof bowl (twice the volume of the quince+sugar) and cook on Medium for 10 minute bursts, stirring between each. Continue cooking until it is thick enough - when you pull a spoon across the bottom of the bowl it will leave a distinct trail.

When it is ready, spread the quince flat in a baking paper lined tray and place it somewhere to dry. We use the fan oven with the fan turned on and no or very low temperature, but have also tried a dehydrator and under glass in a sunny spot. A solar dehydrator would be perfect, or the back window of your car in the sun.

Test it to see when it is set, then store wrapped in alfoil in an airtight container.

Homemade quince paste is more granular than the commercial product, but the smell is divine and the colour deep ruby red. Perfect for autumn picnics.