Category Archives: food glorious food

mrs trifle.

i’m absolutely obsessed with eating a fabulous dessert. due to my naughty little habit, more often than not i won’t indulge at home, but only when out for dinner. unfortunately (for my body), we eat out a lot.

this particular dessert was created by the combined forces of myself, my mother and a dear family friend visiting from england, on christmas day.

the cake-y layer becomes a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth sponge full of tasty, bright bites of fruit. the custard is just too good with the macadamias. and i don’t know if i will ever be able to eat cherries without whipped cream again.

it is just divine. just go for a jog the next morning.

mrs trifle

1 sponge cake layer
2 punnets blueberries
2 mangoes, chopped
quarter cup of marsala
600g thick custard
2 handfuls macadamias
600ml whipping cream
cherries

crumble the sponge cake into a big bowl, preferably a clear bowl to show all your layers. throw in your blueberries and chopped mango, top with marsala and mix gently with your hands. press it down firmly, without squishing your blueberries. smooth over the layer once it is packed down. top the layer with custard, you can use as much custard as you wish. i used it all (yummy, custard). refrigerate for a couple of hours, to let your layers set nicely.

when you are ready to serve: chop up your macadamias, fairly rough, leaving nice chunky bits. layer these over your custard. whip your cream and spread over, being careful not to disturb the custard and nuts too much. top with as many fresh cherries as you like.

note: you can make your own custard, we just happened to have some in the fridge at the time of creation.

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detox time.

after far too many indulgence days, i’m back on the ‘summer body’ bandwagon.

today started with a quick yoga workout, warm lemon water, a morning walk, and my super happy green juice.

not too shabby.

but this juice is my saviour. packed full of goodies, and a great alternative to bacon in syrup.

(yes, you heard me, syrup)

super happy green juice

a green apple
2 stalks of celery
a lebanese cucumber
3 ‘bunches’ of english spinach
half a lemon
bit of ginger

juice ’em. drink ’em.

note: when i say ‘bunches’, i mean three portions of the single bunch you buy.

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pesto mushrooms.

[picture unavailable due to super speedy eating]

my gosh, these have to be my absolute favourite part of the festive season. every year these tasty little canapés make an appearance on our christmas lunch table and on share plates at our new year’s day party, then never to be seen again.

(oh, except for our wedding day – where they were the guest of honour)

they are to die for.

pesto mushrooms

two big bunches of basil
a cup and a half of pine nuts
three big garlic cloves, crushed
a cup of good quality parmesan cheese
around a cup of evo oil
salt and pepper
mushroom of choice, small and firm
spray oil

whiz up your basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan until mushy. drizzle in your olive oil, until you get to your desired consistency. salt and pepper to taste. add bits until it ‘tastes nice’. note: this pesto should be not too runny for this recipe.

pull the stalks from your mushrooms. for this recipe we used swiss brown. fill them with spoonfuls of pesto and place on baking paper on baking tray. spray generously with oil and pop them in a hot (220C)oven for ten to fifteen minutes, until bubbling.

serve immediately (with a warning about the heat). trust me, people won’t wait til they are the right temperature.

serve with a cup of ice, perhaps.

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spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola


last sunday we had the pleasure of attending the celebratory [slash] going-away bbq for my husband’s fake cousin. he’s going to nepal. for a month.

none of that is really relevant, i just think it’s pretty cool.

the bbq was hosted by his mother: the most beautiful little italian woman i know. she cooks a lot, she cooks to feed. and she has a hell of a cook book collection.

lucky for me she liked me enough to loan one i’d had my eye on for a while… jamie’s italy.

spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola

half a pack of no.1 spaghetti
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
a dozen or so peeled raw prawns
a small glass of white wine
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
zest and juice of one lemon
2 handfuls of baby rocket
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

get your water on to boil and add a little salt. throw in your pasta and cook for around 13 mins. gently heat three lugs of olive oil in a large pan and toss in finely chopped garlic and chilli. add the prawns when your garlic starts to get a little golden and move around the pan for about a minute. add in your tomato paste and wine, stir through and simmer for a couple of minutes. drain pasta and throw into the pan, along with lemon juice and most of the rocket. serve up with a little lemon zest, fresh rocket and cracked pepper.

and serve with that now opened bottle of white.

(note: this recipe definitely differs from jamie’s. i like to put my own little spin on things.)

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zesty scallopini.

one thing you may have discovered about me is: i love food.

one thing you may not yet know about me is: i really love recipes.

i’m totally obsessed.

i read food blogs like they are going out of fashion (yeah, like that’ll ever happen). i take my mum’s old issues of delicious, donna hay and gourmet traveller just about every time i visit. and… i always ‘steal’ those little recipe cards in coles. (thanks, curtis stone).

without sounding like a jerk face, i do tend to change them up a little. i mean, no offence to mr stone, he is just appealing to the masses. and the masses aren’t usually fans of broccolini. but i am.

zesty scallopini with broccolini & crunchy taters

4 small washed potatoes
fresh or dry rosemary
bunch of broccolini
2-4 scallopini ‘steaks’
2-4 tbsp plain flour
25g (or a big tbsp) unsalted butter
a lemon, thinly sliced ‘wheels’
another lemon, for the juice
a tbsp of chopped parsley
olive oil
salt & pepper

firstly, taters: preheat oven, HOT. around 220C (or 450F). chop them into wedges – i cut them in half, then cut the halves in half. easy enough. rinse them in cold water for a minute or two. pop them in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. cook til soft, but still firmly holding shape. drain and leave to dry for a little while, at least twenty minutes. (i can’t stress how important this is. i learnt this trick from merowyn at blithely unaware and it is killer.) season a baking tray with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary and toss the potatoes in and around until coated. toss and turn once or twice during the 30 odd minutes of baking time.

secondly, broccolini: get your water on to boil – ready for steaming or boiling. i chucked mine on (to boil) for only a couple of minutes, just as the scallopini was almost finished.

thirdly, the scallopini: season with salt and pepper, then dust in a little flour, shaking off the excess. heat a tablespoon of olive oil, very hot, and then throw the scallopini steaks in to cook for around a minute on each side. remove to warm plates and put your butter in the pan to brown off. squeeze your second lemon into the pan and place your first lemon – the wheel slices – in along with it. let them soften just slightly (only takes a minute or two) and throw in your parsley.

serve up your scallopini, dressed with your zesty ‘jus’, and plate up a hefty bunch of broccolini and some crunchy taters alongside.

perfection, for two.

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mmmpizza.

my husband usually likes to keep the pizza-making to ‘his domain’.

tonight, well… i was really hungry, ok?!

he was stuck in a really good book (one i’ve been told i’m to read asap) and so i took on the role of pizza-making-italian-guy tonight and whipped up these two babies. and i have to say, i’m pretty damn proud of my efforts. my faux italian accent wasn’t too bad either.

i’m definitely a lazy pizza maker and i clearly struggled with healthy vs insanely-deliciously-unhealthy. but these pizzas are crazy easy if you don’t have much time, but still want to make something that looks and tastes way impressive.

mmmpizza

2 pizza bases, square looks cooler
pasata
mozzarella

healthy:
a coupl’a mushrooms, sliced
a coupl’a grape tomatoes, halved
a coupl’a pitted olives, halved
garlic clove, super thinly sliced
bocconcini, torn
freshly cracked pepper
sweet basil leaves, for garnish

insanely-deliciously-unhealthy:
pepperoni, thinly sliced
cheddar cheese
parmesan cheese

pretty much: spread some pasata on your pizza base, sprinkle some mozzarella all over (grate some cheddar on to your pepperoni option). arrange your bits n pieces in the most delightful way. “top” with bocconcini/parmesan. bake away for 10-15 minutes in a 180c oven. oh yeah, preheat it. that should be step one. oops.

eat it all up and feel really guilty. or, get married and make sure your husband eats most of it.

best served with a sam adams.

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simply pasta.

one of the things i love about my husband and me is that we often have very different tastes. after some years now, we’ve adapted to our own type of ‘fusion’ so we can coexist without having to cook two meals at mealtime.

i love to eat simply. as a teenager, i called it ‘plain’. but now i have far more respect for food!

my husband likes flavour with flavour on it.

see the problem?

so you could imagine my surprise when my [very attractive] husband not only ate this tasty dish from my bowl one day, but put in a special request for this very dish for dinner tonight. see, this pasta is the simplest pasta i’ve ever created. (yes, created)

simply pasta (for two)

rigatoni
2 garlic cloves
1 large red chilli*
a handful of flat leaf parsley
a handful of parmesan cheese
a big tablespoon of unsalted butter
a lug or two of extra virgin oliver oil

put your pasta on to cook in seasoned water. thinly slice your garlic and chilli, roughly chop your parsley. halfway through the recommended cooking time (pasta), warm your olive oil in a fry pan and add the butter. when the butter starts to bubble, throw in the garlic and chilli and turn the heat down. keep it moving until the garlic is cooked to your liking (i prefer it somewhere between softened and crispy brown). drain your pasta and toss it around in the fry pan til coated. throw in almost all of your parsley and parmesan and toss about. serve immediately and garnish with left over parsley and parmesan.

so easy. so tasty.

Best served with Lisa McGuigan Pinot Gris.**

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*tonight i actually used dried chillies all chopped up, but fresh is so beautiful. visually, and on the palate.
**this wine is brand-spanking-new and freaking incredible. i suggest getting your hands on it and becoming obsessed before the trend catches on and our trendiest cities are all over it. you definitely want to be one of the kids who liked this drop before it was uber cool.

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