Thursday, April 24, 2014


Today we wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate Mici's birthday.  We have been to other Japanese restaurants, but were looking to try something new.

We decided, after doing some research to give this one a try,  Kokoro or Heart in English.  The restaurant is in Gunghalin, about 25 minutes away on the other side of town.

Kokoro is located in the G, a shopping mall.  Access to the restaurant is from a side street outside of the mall.

It is nicely set out, with tables and comfortable chairs.  The walls had an interesting wood feature.   There were few diners as it was nearly 2pm by the time we entered the restaurant.  The service was efficient and unobtrusive.

A banquet for 2 or more was available. I love that you could get a banquet as a couple, there are not many restaurants that do that.  There were 6 courses and dessert.  Two large pots of tea were also ordered.

There was more than enough food, edamame and renkon chips, sashimi and sushi, takoyaki with okonomiyaki, chicken karaage, sweet snapper roll, teriyaki salmon.   Octopus balls (Takoyaki) and lotus root crisps (renkon chips) being the outstanding dishes for us.  The edamame were chewy.  The green tea ice cream was a great finish.

Octopus balls
Takoyaki at Kokoro                     

I have been able to buy both the balls and the lotus root crisps, frozen the asian grocer at the Fyshwick markets, so there will be a future post featuring these dishes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fried egg rings

Here is a fabulous way to cook eggs, definitely going to try this one, next BBQ down by the lake.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pointless Food

Never is food pointless!  However if you looking for low cal recipes, hints and tips - then this site might be worth checking out.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Eclair Cake

Today I found this recipe from Chef In Training,  that I thought was interesting.  Since the early '70's I have loved chocolate eclairs and have made them many times (tho not so much these days as there are too many calories).  I love choux pastry and it is simple to make, but the thought of using biscuits makes this recipe even easier.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Canberra Food and Wine Expo 14-16 February 2014

JR and I decided to go to the Canberra Food and Wine Expo.

Canberra Food & Wine Expo 2014
I got to watch Emma Dean (Masterchef winner 2013) cook a Pan Seared Duck w/ Pickled Pear & Lentils.  I was so excited about it that I went home and made the recipe myself.  First time I have ever cooked duck.  The duck was slightly over cooked, but still delicious, the flavours of the pear and lentils was fantastic.  I have the recipe somewhere, so let me know if you want to try it.

We tried several wines, some cider and other produce and of course came home with wine tasting glasses.

Aunty A.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Canberra's top 20 restaurants 2013

Canberra's top 20 Restaurants 2013 - Good Food Guide

Hmm, top 20 in Canberra, should be interesting.

Let's see, I have eaten at 7 of the 20, so far so good.

It would be useful to know what criteria is used to produce this list.

As you will see if you look at the article, there are some excellent comments made, such as how did Jamie's Italian get in when it was open for about 2 weeks, how did Silo Bakery make it, when it is a licensed cafe at best (lovely food, but not a top 20 restaurant).  The same goes for Mocan and Green Grout.  I would like to know why Pistachio Dining at Torrens or any of the many splendid restaurants at Kingston Foreshore (C-Dine or Morks or Chong Co for instance) did not get a mention.

Aunty A.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Kitchen Cabinet

For those of us interested in buying local, buying in season, reducing our carbon footprint and obtaining pesticide free fruit and vegies, you might want to try the Kitchen Cabinet, located at the back of the Cafe in the House, on the ground floor of Old Parliament House, open daily from 7.30am to 5.30pm daily.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Food Art

Here you can find some wonderful food art

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Alive and Cooking

is Australia’s hottest new cooking show hosted by
celebrity chef James Reeson weekdays at 11.30am on WIN and , and channel 9 Perth and Adelaide,

JR found this one - it is a great resource, thanks Aunty A.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cherry clafoutis

Melted butter, to grease
1 x 400g can pitted whole cherries, drained
40g (1/3 cup) almond meal
70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
185ml (3/4 cup) milk
2 eggs
Pure icing sugar, to dust
Whipped cream, to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 20cm (base measurement) pie dish with butter to grease. Spoon over the cherries.
Combine the almond meal and sugar in a bowl. Whisk together the milk and eggs in jug. Gradually add the milk mixture to the almond mixture, stirring until combined.
Pour the batter over the cherries in the dish. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until just set. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

I have seen another recipe for this, with goats cheese in it - so I will try to make that soon.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Coconut fish curry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole dried red chillies
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
8 fengreek seeds
8-10 curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves
4 tablespoons desiccated coconut soaked in 200ml of hot water for 20 minutes
2 green chillies de-seeded and cut into quarters lengthwise
1 tsp ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds roasted and ground
1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
4 firm white flesh fish steaks about 150-175g each
25g creamed coconut
juice 1/2 lemon
basmati rice to serve

Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Add the dried red chillies, black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. When they begin to crackle and the curry leaves turn from green to a light brown, add the coconut and the water in which it has been soaked. When the liquid starts to boil add the green chillies, ginger, ground turmeric, onion, ground roasted cumin, salt, red chili powder. Add half the coriander leaves and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Immerse the fish into the sauce. Cover and continue cooking for ten minutes. Add the creamed coconut and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Once the fish has cooked through squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle with the remaining coriander. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chunky butternut pumpkin and chick pea soup

From Delicious July 2008 - Jamie Oliver

Serves 4-6
1 butternut pumpkin, peeled, diced, seeds rinsed and reserved
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 dried red chili crumbled
Olive oil
2 celery sticks
3 garlic cloves
a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stalks finely chopped
2 small red onions, finely chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock (GF)
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained
2 tsp each fennel seeds, sesame seeds and poppy seeds

2/3 cup almond flakes
zest of 2 lemons
sprigs of mint, leaves chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the pumpkin, cumin and dried chili on a baking ray. Drizzle with oil, mix together and roast for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Heat a large saucepan over medium low heat and pour in a splash of olive oi. Add the celery, garlic, parsley stalks and two thirds of the onion. Cook gently with a lid on until softened. Drop in the pumpkin and sweat for a few minutes then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile toast the reserved pumpkin seeds with the fennel seeds, sesame and poppy seeds and almonds in the oven on a baking tray for 3-4 minutes or until nicely coloured all over.

Season the soup well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then using a stick blender whiz for a few seconds so it thickens, but there are still some chunky bits. Keep warm while you mix together the zest, parsley and mint leaves. Chop the remaining onion finely then mix it into the zesty herb mixture.

To serve, ladle into the soup bowl and stir once, then sprinkle with toasted nuts and seeds followed by the herby mixture. Finish with a drizzle of some extra virgin olive oil.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chocolate and craisin slice

Spray oil
1 1/2 cups of museli
1 1/2 cups rice bubbles
1 cup shredded coconut
170g craisins
1 can skinny sweetened condensed milk (or full fat)
250g milk chocolate bits

Lightly spray a 27mm x 17 mm container with oil and line with baking paper
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl
Combine the condensed milk and the chocolate in a bowl and rest over slowly boiling water (or put in 900w microwave for 30 seconds. Combine the milk and the chocolate and then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix quickly and put into the container and then refridgerate for 1 hour, then cut into slices and refridgerate for at least another 2 hours.

If you are going to put this slice in a school lunch box, make sure that there are no nuts in the museli mix.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Roasted capsicum, tomato and coriander soup

This soup is delicious and we have made it twice in the past week. The second time we did not have any chilli so I used sambel olek - it worked well and if anything was hotter than just using the chilli.

To check out the recipe and a picture (not mine) click here.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Salmon Patties and Fennel Slaw

Here is what we had for tea the other night! I got so excited about photographing it that I managed to video it instead! The video is all of 1 second long.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Blog site

Hi there, TC put me on to this great food blog The Pioneer Woman

She reminds me a little of the Gluten Free Goddess. She is in an isolated place, enjoys cooking (without the restrictions that the GFG has), and enjoys photography and communicating.

Check it out.

Thanks TC

Aunty A.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Scallops with black bean vinaigrette

Based on a recipe in "The food of Australia"

16 scallops
olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

50 g of lee kum kee (black bean and garlic) sauce
50 g shallots finely chopped
30 g of ginger finely chopped
1/2 clove of garlic finely chopped
100ml of extra virgin olive oil
60 ml of rice wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of mirrin
1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a screw top jar and shake.
Clean and dry the scallop, smear a non stick frying pan with olive oil and heat. Sear the scallops on both sides, taking care not to over cook them.

Put scallops on plate and spoon over a little of the vinaigrette and serve

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rice and Beans

Rice and beans with fish

You may remember I mentioned a local recipe that I found when walking through South America so I thought I would pass it on.

Although I thought it would be tasty, I found it quite bland. Great for kids, although feedback from AJR indicates that he thought the beans tasted like asparagus and he would not eat the beans.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bean and tomato soup

WooHoo I have a camera again - MonashMob for more on that later.

Here is our tea tonight:
1 can tomatoes

1 can cannellini beans
500 ml vegeta vegetable stock
1 garlic finely chopped

1 red onion sliced

1 bunch of fennel leaves finely chopped

Sweat the onions and garlic, add the stock, canned tomatoes, cannellini beans and cook until thickened and reduced. Add the fennel and whiz or blend.

Serve with toast.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rice Salad

120ml olive oil
3 brown onions, halved and sliced
150g currants
2 cups brown rice, boiled, drained and kept warm
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch mint
2 green chillis, sliced (optional)
2 lemons, juiced
120g pine nuts, toasted

1. Place currants in saucepan, cover with red wine
vinegar ( no set amount, just enough to cover). Boil
for 3 minutes, reserve liquid.
2. Caramelise onions in 30ml of the olive oil, for
20-30 min.
3. Combine rice, herbs, chilli, currants with the
reserved red wine vinegar, lemon juice, the remaining
olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add 1/2 the onions and 1/2 the pine nuts.
5. Serve in a bowl or on a platter, topped with
remaining onions and pine nuts. ( Serve warm or cold)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chickpea and spinach curry

The best thing about this recipe is that it is quick and relies on staples that are usually in my cupboard/fridge. The other thing is that it is mild and great for the kids.

splash of olive oil
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic finely sliced
2 teaspoons jar ginger
1 teaspoon of sambal olek
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup water
2 cans of chickpeas, drained
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
500gm cherry tomatoes
250gm frozen chopped spinach (thawed and juice squeezed out)
1 cup corn
1 cup of peas

In a large fry pan heat oil, when hot add the onion, garlic, ginger, sambal olek and salt. Cook until onions are soft. Add the chickpeas, corn, peas, water, cumin, turmeric and pepper and cook until the water evaporates. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir through the spinach.

Serve with plain yogurt.
Serves 4.

  • Reduce the amount of sambal olek if concerned about spiciness
  • Use fresh green chili's (1 or 2) if available
  • Omit corn and peas as they are not a traditional ingredient in this sort of dish (I only added them as they were in the fridge and demanding to be eaten, great excuse to get more vegies accidently into kids)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Broad bean fritters with lemon yoghurt

Tonight we had broad bean fritters. Now I am the first to admit I have never been a fan of broad beans, however this recipe has changed my mind. Would make an excellent entree.

500g frozen broad beans skinned
6 sprigs of coriander plus 6 for the yogurt dressing
sea salt
ground pepper
1 level teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of sambal olek
1 heaped teaspoon of gluten free plain flour (or ordinary plain flour)
zest and juice of one lemon
Vegetable oil for frying
125g natural yogurt
salad leaves

Pinch off skins of broad beans. Whizz the coriander, add salt and pepper, then add the spices, sambal olek, broad beans and lemon zest. Whizz until finely chopped - stopping to scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle in the flour and pulse a few more times.

Shape the mixture into small rounds, approximately 20, and drop into preheated oil. Cook until brown on the outside (1-2 minutes). Drain on kitchen paper and serve on washed salad greens.

To make the lemon yogurt dressing, finely chop another six sprigs of coriander and stir into the yogurt, add the juice of half the lemon and mix well. Dress the salad leaves with any left over lemon juice and a little olive oil.

Use mint instead of coriander in the yogurt.
Use a small fresh chili instead of the sambal olek
Make the fritters larger for more of a main meal option

Other recipes coming this month:
  • Spinach and chickpea curry
  • Ratatouille
  • Thai pork balls
  • Rice salad
  • Asparagus souffle
Aunty A

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Interesting Vegetarian Blog Site

I was searching today for a spinach and chickpea curry (now that the temperature is out of the 30's I have an urge to cook warm food!) for dinner tonight and for a dinner party next week. As I was searching I found this blog site:

It is written by a woman called Rose who grew up in Texas, has lived in Canada and is moving to live in Germany as her husband Derek has a new job there.

I like how she writes and I like the variety of her recipes, check it out sometime. For those, like me, who wonder what Captious actually means, here is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defiinition
"marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections"
which I guess means that Rose is a critical vegetarian!!!

Aunty A

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New year, new you?

If you are thinking about making 2008 a year when there is less of you around! then you might want to check out this link.

Here is to another year of wonderful recipes and cooking ideas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spicy Indian potato and spinach curry

800g potatoes, peeled, cut into 4cm pieces
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large brown onion, halved, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
150g spinach leaves
90 g sour cream
handful of cashews
2 tablespoon of chopped coriander

Cook the potato in the microwave for 12 minutes or until cooked firm
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, garam masala and cumin and cook, stiring for one minute or until aromatic.
Stir in the tomato and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the potato, simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the potato is very tender.
Add the spinach and remove from the heat. Stir for 1-2 mintes or until the spinach just wilts. Season with pepper. Divide among serving bowls. Top with sour cream, cashews and corriander to serve.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

MLR's creation

Here is what MLR put together for her tea the other day.
a new twist on scrambled egss and toast!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rustic Italian Pie

12 slices of wholemeal gluten free bread (can use ordinary bread)
60g butter, melted
250g froxen spinach thwaed, drained and squeezed dry
4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
250g tub smooth ricotta
200g feta crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
5 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped oregano, plus extra sprigs to garnish
salad to serve.

Preheat oven to 180c or 160 fan forced
Lightly grease a 22cm spring form pan. Using a rolling pin, roll the bread flat, brush both sides with melted butter. Press firmly into the base and sides of pan, overlapping slightly. Bake for 15 minutes or until toasted.
Spread spinach in base of crust. Place onion, garlic, ricotta, feta , sour cream, and eggs in a large mixing bowl, season to tasted with salt and black pepper. Mix well. Carefully pour over spinach. Combine Parmesan and oregano, sprinkle over filling.
Bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, loosen spring and remove. Sprinkle with oregano sprigs and serve with salad.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Caramalised Onion Dip

Here is a dip that is best made the day before it is needed.

2 large onions
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
4 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream (room temperature)
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Cut the onions in half and then slice thickly
Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan over a medium high heat.
Add the onions, cayenne salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook for 40 more minutes, stirring occasionally, but not too often, until the onions are browned and caramelized.

Add the Dijon mustard and the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. Allow the onions to cool.

In a whizz or blender combine the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise, blend until smooth, add all of the onions, reserving a tablespoon for garnish, blend again. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve with crackers or chips.

Sorry no photo,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cucumber and crab bites

4 medium Lebanese cucumbers
250g cream cheese
210g can of crab or red or pink salmon
1 tablespoon of sour cream
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of finely chopped coriander
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
dash of pepper

Wash cucumbers and slice 0.5 cm thick
Beat the cream cheese in a small bowl using electric beaters until it thick and creamy
Add the crab (or salmon), sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, herbs and pepper until well combined.
Place a teaspoonful of the cheese mixture on the cucumber rounds, serve.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Salmon and blue cheese quiche

Olive oil
1 onion chopped
100g of Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil
8 large eggs, beaten
250 ml creme fraiche
10 black olives freshly pitted and chopped
100g of salmon sliced (I used the 100g packets of salmon from Woolworths)
100g of blue cheese

Lightly grease a 26cm round ovenproof ceramic dish and preheat the oven to 150c

Drizzle a little olive oil into a frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Tip the onion into a large bowl to cool before adding the Parmesan and basil - stir through

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and the creme fraiche. Pour into the onion mixture, add the olives and mix well before adding the salmon. Stir gently.

Pour the egg mixture into the buttered dish. Sprinkle the blue cheese over the mixture, the cheese should float on top. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature and serve with a green salad.

Serves 4
Remove the salmon to make it really vegetarian.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I found this resource on different types of mushrooms and thought I would share with you.

You could set yourself a goal to try each type of mushroom!

Let me know if you do, some of these mushies I have never heard of!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Spinach Mushroom Salad

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
dash of pepper
250 mushrooms sliced in half or quarters if large
(I used swiss brown, but any firm mushroom will do)
1/2 pkt baby spinach

Combine the first 12 ingredients, mix well. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I left it overnight). Just before serving, toss the spinach and mushroom mixture in a salad bowl.
Serves 6.

Sorry no photo

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Balsamic Chicken

On checking my paper file for this recipe (checked here and under recipes in the word documents) I found this delightfully stained recipe below.

An easier to read version is below:

3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 tspn sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon squeezed
1/4 cup oil
pine nuts or slivered almonds
lettuce (or your favourite greens)
sundried tomatoes

Take first five ingredients and place in a jar and shake.

Cook chicken, add the pine nuts and fry briefly.

Assemble on a platter, and pour over the dressing and serve immediate.

This is one of the first recipes that I begged from Bron (who begged it from Kylie). It is easy and interesting to eat. Again no pictures, sorry.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Creative Gourmet

Finally something I am excited about and want to share.

While mooching along the frozen food aisle in my local Woolies the other day I came across some frozen pancakes!! Wow I thought, I will get those they will be fantastic. I have had them for some days now and today I decided to make a roulade of pancake, ricotta and pesto. Yummy, sorry no pictures.

I was looking at the box and noticed that not only are they good looking, easy to use, they are also GF!!! So watchout CJK.

For some recipes using these crepes check here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Veggie Sausage Rolls

These are yum and easy too!

1 cup (250g) low fat smooth ricotta
3 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup (70g) cashews
1 tbs Kikkoman soy sauce
1/2 cup finely grated carrot (half a large carrot)
1/2 cup (45g) purchased breadcrumbs
1 cup (90g) quick oats
3 (25cm x 25cm) sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Place ricotta cheese, eggs, onion, cashews and soy sauce in a food processor. Process until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add carrot, breadcrumbs and oats. Mix well. Divide into six portions.
Cut each pastry sheet in half. Brush lightly with milk. Shape one portion of mixture into a log 3cm from edge of long side of pastry. Roll up to enclose filling. Place on baking tray. Repeat with remaining pastry and mixture. Brush rolls with milk. Bake 35 minutes or until golden, turning them over half way through the cooking process. Cut. Serve with tomato sauce.
Makes about 36.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Vietnamese spring rolls

1 pkt udon noodles
1/2 capsicum chopped roughly
1 medium carrot peeled and grated
30 gms snow pea sprouts chopped
1 bunch mint roughly chopped
2 tspn ginger
2 tspn garlic
2 tblespn soy sauce
2 tspn fish sauce
7 round rice paper sheets (22 cm round)

Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 2 minutes or until softened.

Drain noodles and use kitchen scissors to cut into small lengths.
Put all ingredients except the rice paper sheets and the chili sauce into a bowl and toss thoroughly.

Using one sheet of rice paper at a time dip into a bowl of hot water and soak for 30 seconds or until pliable. Place on a clean chopping board or tea towel. Top with some of the noodle mixture. Fold in ends and roll up tightly to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets and filling.

Arrange on a serving platter and serve with sweet chili sauce.

Alternatives: add Vietnamese mint or coriander instead of mint. Use rice vermicelli noodles instead of udon. Recipe can easily be doubled.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tofu fritters with sweet chilli sauce

Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes

Ingredients; vegetable oil, for deep-frying
 8 iceberg lettuce leaves
 1 large (180g) carrot, sliced thinly
 1 Lebanese (130g) cucumber, sliced thinly
 2/3 cup (160ml) sweet chilli sauce

Tofu fritters
 250g firm tofu, chopped
 250g cooked rice (I used Basmati as that was what I had) 
1 egg
 2tsp ginger, 
1 1/2 teaspoons sambal oelek (bottled chopped chilli)
 2 cloves garlic, crushed
 2 green onions (green shallots), chopped 
½ cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, 
salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the tofu fritters, process the fritter ingredients until just combined.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok. Shape heaped tablespoons of the fritter mixture in ovals or rounds. Deep-fry them, in batches, in the hot oil until browned lightly. Drain on absorbent paper.

Serve the fritters immediately with whole lettuce leaves, carrot, cucumber and sweet chilli sauce.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dinner in the sky

For those of you looking for an alternative to the local fish and chips or chinese take away, this restaurant might be just what you are looking for!!!

Here is what YouTube had to say about Dinner in the Sky

For a newspaper review check here.

Of course the airfare to Europe might put you off!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stick with Banrock

Today I found McGuigan's Black Label Red in a one litre bottle for $9.90.

unfortunately it is too soft (tastes almost sparkly) and almost sweet for my pallet
price not low enough, back to Banrock for me

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quest for cheap wine (no three day growth)

In the quest for cheap wine (that tastes reasonable, rather than like flavoured tap water) I found my favourite 1 litre bottle of Banrock Station (Chardonay and Shiraz) for a mere $5.50 at Dan Murphy - I had seen it advertised at Jim Murphy's (no relation at all they tell me) for $6.95 and I found it on sale for $8.75 at Woolworths. It really does pay to shop around. So if you are visiting come Christmas time, you will find that you will be plied with some Banrock Station if I am not mistaken. Of course the other reason that you would love to buy this wine is that you are supporting research and preservation of wetlands in Australia.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wedding cake

Check out this most amazing wedding cake - I was flabbergasted

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lemon Butter

2 eggs
250 g white sugar
125 g butter
Juice of 3 lemons
Zest of 2 lemons

Beat the eggs with the sugar in a saucepan (to make a creamy rather than stiff consistency). Add the butter, lemon juice and zest.

Stir over a medium heat until it thickens, like honey.

Cook for another 2-4 minutes, do not boil.

Cool and bottle.
This recipe makes approximately 400g of Lemon Butter.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oven Baked Pumpkin Risotto

2 tspn oil
2 cups cubed pumpkin
2 cups arborio (or other risotto rice)
5 cups boiling water
4 tspn vegeta vegetable stock
2 tblspn marg or butter
310gm can creamed corn
2 cups baby rocket
2 tblspn pine nuts, roasted

Toss oil through cubed pumpkin and place on a roasting pan. Bake in a hot oven 200c (190c fan forced) for 20 minutes or until done.
Combine rice, water, stock powder and margarine into a large ovenproof dish. Cover with a lid.
Bake in a hot oven 200c (180c fan forced) for 40-50 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Stir through the pumpkin, corn and rocket. Sprinkle pine nuts on top and serve by itself or with a green salad.

Serves 6

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Two new things for me!

I succumbed to a rice cooker last week - I used it for the first time last night. I made a butter chicken curry and cooked basmati rice in the cooker and it came out perfectly. Two cups of rice, and three cups of water. The rice cooker was a bargain at $22.00 from the work social club. While putting the curry together I had to chop some garlic that I bought fresh.

The garlic is whole single clove garlic, that is each garlic is one clove and they are huge. They have purple leaves around them. I used half a clove in the curry.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Steak and sweet potato mash

Tonight I made steak and sweet potato mash for tea, with a mushroom sauce.

3 steaks (good quality)
3-400gm flat mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup white wine or stock
desert spoon butter
small amount of milk
400gm sweet potato
300gm baby spinach

Cook the sweet potato until soft and mash with some butter and milk until soft and creamy, then stir in 300gm rocket or baby spinach.

Cook the steaks on a griddle pan or the BBQ until cooked the way you like then (which for me is medium rare).

Cook the mushrooms with the garlic and wine for about 5 minutes.

To serve:

Put a spoonful of mash on each plate, top with the steak and the mushrooms and serve.

For the vegetarian in the family, I cooked a vegetable patty in the griddle pan before I cooked the steak.

Serve with roast tomatoes.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

AJR has an asignment

AJR had to cook a cake for an asignment, with a partner and then hand it in, unfortunately, the school roof is caving in and the kids are being bussed to other local schools, so this was one asignment he did not have to hand in. However he was excited about making a cake and he decided to make one anyway (perhaps he is going to take after Aunty A and get into cooking!). So he found a recipe for a dog cake, and here is a picture of his cake - it tasted alright, although the cooking times were not great, we are still working out the settings on the convection microwave oven thingy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

chick pea, spinach and sweet potato curry

400 gms sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 can chick peas
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tspn ground cumin
2 tspn curry powder
2 bay leaves
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
about 200g baby spinach leaves

Mix the oil, onion, garlic, curry powder and cumin in a non stick fry pan and heat until the onion is soft, then add the rest of the ingredients, except the spinach leaves and cook over a gentle heat for 20-30 minutes, or the sweet potato is soft. Stir through the spinach and serve with rice.
serves 4
This is mild if you prefer a stronger curry add more cumin and curry. Add baby rocket instead of the spinach. Could use pumpkin instead of sweet potato.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New titles in the book list and more

I have added two new books to the list on the right. The crockpot one is great, by two authors whom I have already sampled (see Meals without meat) . If you are interested in what else they have written then the list is here. I will put the chick pea curry that we had last weekend in here later. The fillet book (also new) gave the recipe for the following picture.

It is simply steak cooked as desired, with flat and shitake mushrooms cooked in the meat juices, on polenta with parmesan and baby spinach and baby rocket. Yummy - sorry not very vegetarian!!!!! AJR had the polenta and a vegetarian schnitzel.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pine Nut Butter

If you are thinking of a nice juicy steak or chop or other rich red meat tonight, then you might want pine nut butter on the top. Of course you can also put this on a great pile of bbq vegies or range of baked root vegies. It is just yummy.

¼ cup toasted pinenuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 spring onion, chopped
125gm butter, softened


Use the food processor or blender to finely chop the pine nuts, mint and spring onion. Add butter and freshly ground black pepper – mix until just combined. Place the mixture in the centre of a piece of baking paper, and roll into a log about 3cm in diameter. Place into fridge until firm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vegie Delights

I am a big fan of the Sanitarium website and regularly get their suggestions for great vegie meals and thought that you might enjoy checking out this site. Includes menus and ideas. We have used their frozen schnitzels and burgers!!

Also thought I would let you know that Sara Lee makes great individual vegetable lasagne's. I have not seen the family size (see below), only the single serves, which are readily available in Woolies. They make a great stand by for my vegetarian, when the rest of us want to eat meat. Most days this is what he would prefer to eat.

Of course MLR loves the meat lasagna - really does not matter for her as long as it is meat.

Aunty A