Friday, June 30, 2017

Hairy Dieters' Easy Chicken Tray Bake

From my recent posts, you can tell that I have been giving The Hairy Dieters Eat For Life a work out.  There are just so many tasty, tempting recipes in this book, with the added advantage that they are easy on the hips.

Another recent dish that I made from this book was the Easy Chicken Tray Bake.   You can also find the recipe online here. This dish basically cooks itself - chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, red onion, capsicum, zucchini, tomatoes and cheese, tossed into a baking dish and baked until cooked.  Dinner is served!

This is such a colourful dish, and has plenty of veggies to help you get your 5 a day.  Yet another winner from the Hairy Dieters.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

EwE - Kitchen Sink Cookies - Beach Party Snacks

Peggy chose the theme of Beach Party Snacks for this week's Eating with Ellie.  When I think of a beach party, I think of portable food, so that was the inspiration for my recipe choice.

I chose Ellie's Kitchen Sink Cookies, as they are portable and packed with good things to give you energy for a beach party.  They contain apple sauce, dried cherries, dried apricots, walnuts, oatmeal and chocolate.

These cookies are not particularly sweet, but they are quite satisfying, and certainly deserve their "everything but the kitchen sink" moniker. 

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.

This is our last theme for a while to give everyone a chance to regroup.  If you are interested in joining us, leave a message for us in the comments section of the Eating with Ellie  website, or contact Kayte, Margaret, Peggy  or me directly.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TWD - Les Whoopies

Blogging is terrific for broadening your experiences.  Until I began reading blogs, I had never heard of the US treat known as Whoopie pies, but became fascinated with them because of their pretty cool name.  The origin of Whoopie pies is disputed, but are thought to have been the creation of the Pennsylvanian  Amish community.  They are also the state pie of Maine.  A Whoopie pie comprises two cake-like cookies which are sandwiched together with a sweet filling of some kind. 

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Les Whoopies, and it is the first time that I have made Whoopie pies.  There is a café down the road from me that sells great Whoopie pies, so I have tried them before.

I didn't bother getting a Whoopie pie pan - having known about Whoopie pies for around 10 years and never having made them before, I don't think I can justify a Whoopie pie pan.  It is not necessary to have a special pan to make them, and while it would have made  my Whoopie pies slightly more regular in shape, I was quite happy with my results without it.

These Whoopie pies are light, fluffy and chocolatey, and the peanut butter flavoured filling is a perfect match for the chocolate.  I would happily make these again.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hairy Dieters' Beef Stroganoff

I like hearty dishes in cold weather, and the Hairy Dieters' Beef Stroganoff surely hit the spot.  The Hairy Dieters have taken an old favourite and made it calorie friendly, for example, by subbing cream with half fat crème fraiche.

You can find the recipe posted online here, but I highly recommend the book that it comes from, The Hairy Dieters Eat For Life.  What's not to love - beef, mushrooms, onions and of course, sauce!

I served my beef strog with boiled wholegrain rice to soak up all the lovely sauce.  Definitely a winner!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Garden State Hotel, Flinders Lane, Melbourne

In the US, New Jersey is the Garden State, but in Australia, Victoria was previously known as "The Garden State".  (Now I think Victoria is "On the Move".)

In Flinders Lane, there is a hotel named the Garden State Hotel.  One Sunday for lunch, before seeing Viceroy's House at Kino, Tim and I wandered into the Garden State Hotel's Public Bar for lunch: 

Above our table, I loved this print quoting Rumer Godden, author of The Greengage Summer (which I have read and became aware of through the lovely Jane Asher, who starred in a movie adaptation of the book as a child, and who once dated Paul McCartney - hence there is a Beatles connection!):  

They have quite an extensive "Beer Garden" menu.  On the day, Tim ordered the market fish with Kipfler potatoes, caper and peppercorn dressing ($21):

Tim said that this meal was delicious.  I especially liked that the fish was served with potatoes instead of fries, making it slightly unusual and more healthy.

I ordered the Borrowdale pork schnitzel with brussels sprouts and mustard ($22): 

I was initially rather surprised to see the brussels sprouts shredded and covering the top of the schnitzel, but I think that the idea was to make them into a sauce with the mustard.  I enjoyed it, although in the end it was probably a little large for me to handle (not a bad issue).

The atmosphere at Garden State was relaxed and casual, the staff were friendly, and at this Sunday lunchtime, it wasn't overcrowded or noisy. 

We enjoyed our spontaneous lunch at Garden State and would go back again.

Garden State Hotel
101 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph: 03 8396 5777

Thursday, June 22, 2017

EwE - Asian Chicken Wrap - Picnic Day

This week's Eating with Ellie theme is Picnic Day, chosen by moi.  For my recipe, I chose Ellie's Asian Chicken Wrap from So Easy, also online here.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe.  The recipe called for Asian cabbage (wombok) leaves, but my supermarket rarely stocks those, so I used lettuce leaves instead.

I also detest raw capsicum, so I subbed in sliced tomatoes.

Here is the filling before being wrapped: 

I really liked the sauce that Ellie included in the recipe to drizzle over the ingredients.  It lifted the wrap from boring to interesting.

To see what the others made for Picnic Day, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

TWD - My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week's Tuesday with Dorie (Cookies) recipe is My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The recipe made 50 cookies, so I quartered it to avoid drowning in cookies.

These cookies are buttery, chewy and packed with chocolate.  I ate two warm out of the oven and they were delicious. 

When you taste cookies like this, you wonder why anyone with an oven and a baking tray would buy hard, tasteless store-bought versions.  These cookies are quick to prepare, require no special skills (I made them while keeping an eye on Cake Wars, so wasn't even giving them my full attention) and yield a terrific result for little effort. 

To see what cookies the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of them, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower

It is winter here, a season for hearty comfort food, and roasts are high on the agenda.

No good roast is complete without a side of roasted vegetables.  If you don't mind the smell of "stinky" vegetables roasting, and you like brussels sprouts and cauliflower, then you might like this tasty recipe for roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower that appeared in the June 2017 issue of Mindfood.

It really is quite simple - preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Wash, drain and halve 400g brussels sprouts.  Cut a whole cauliflower into florets and wash.  Toss the vegetables with 2 garlic cloves and half a cup of olive oil, season to taste, then roast for 30-40 minutes in the oven. 

Remove from the oven and  allow to cool a little before tossing in a mixture of 1 cup Greek yoghurt, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon ground coriander. 

Garnish with herbs and serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

EwE - Cool off with ... Peach Pie Smoothie

It is summer in the US, so for this week's Eating with Ellie, Margaret has chosen the theme of Cool Off With ...  It has just entered winter here, so cooling off is not an issue for me.  However, I couldn't just submit "winter" as my post, so I flicked through my Ellie books and chose Peach Pie Smoothie from So Easy

This smoothie contains lots of cooling ingredients, like milk, yoghurt and ice.  The original recipe also contained frozen peaches; I have never seen frozen peaches sold here, but I keep my opened canned fruit in the fridge, so I used cold canned peaches.  The sum of all of this is a rather cooling drink.  The "pie" component comes from sprinklings of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and a little added sweetness comes from honey.

I made mine for breakfast one weekend morning, and I rather enjoyed it - it was nicer texturally for me than a banana smoothie I tried earlier in the year.

To see how my Ellie friends are cooling off, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TWD - Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart

I love fruit desserts, and now that it is winter, it is a great excuse to make warm, comforting fruit desserts.

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is one such dessert.  In this case, it is Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart.  Rhubarb is tossed with sugar and lime juice, loaded into a pre-baked tart shell, then covered with custard and streusel.  Not bad, eh?

Here's a peek inside this little beauty:

I obviously tried this tart, and I gave some to Tim.  The rest of it went to work, and someone left this note on the empty plate:


I took Dorie's advice and reserved the juice drained off the rhubarb, and combined it with mineral water to make this lovely pink drink:

To see what Dore recipe everyone else chose this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Plum Glazed Leg of Lamb

It is winter here, and time for hearty, comforting recipes.  Accordingly, I thought it very fitting that this month's Red Tractor recipe is Plum Glazed Lamb. 

How delicious - a small leg of lamb is glazed with a spicy plum jam sauce, and coated with sesame seeds.  I roasted my lamb with potatoes and brussels sprouts, and also served it with boiled beans. 

If you fancy making this recipe, you will need:

470g plum jam
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot English mustard
1.5kg leg of lamb
3 garlic cloves (peeled and halved)
sprigs of rosemary
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon plain flour

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  In a bowl, mix together the sauces and jam til smooth and set aside.

Score the lamb with a knife and insert the garlic pieces into the cuts.  Line the base of a roasting pan with the rosemary, and put the lamb on top of them.

Pour the sauce over the meat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Roast the lamb in the oven for an hour and a half or until cooked to your desired level of doneness.

Remove the lamb and rosemary from the roasting pan.  Add the flour to the sauce in the pan, and stir over the heat until the sauce thickens to make a gravy.

Carve the lamb and serve with the gravy and vegetables of your choice.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Eating with Ellie - Steak with Grainy Mustard Sauce and Parmesan "Fries" - Sauce It Up

For Eating with Ellie this week, Kayte chose the theme of Sauce It Up. 

I decided to make Steak with Grainy Mustard Sauce and Parmesan "Fries" from So Easy.  The mustard sauce was excellent with the steak. and I highly recommend this simple but tasty dish.  The "fries" (oven baked potato chips) were also very good with their cheesy finish.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the EwE website. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TWD - Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars

This week for Dorie's Cookies, I made the Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars.  These comprise a shortbread base topped with custard and berries.

You would be correct in deducing that I didn't just use blueberries - it isn't blueberry season here, so I used frozen mixed berries.

I thought these pie bars were delicious.  They disappeared at work too, so I am counting that as a good sign.

To see what the other bakers made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sticky Port and Fig Chicken Tray Bake

The only food magazine that I still subscribe to is Taste magazine.  I had to stop the magazine subscriptions as I was not making things out of them most of the time, and the magazines are taking over my little apartment.  Taste usually has fairly ordinary dishes that I go "yeah, I'd make that" when I see them, so it has stayed.

In the June 2017 edition, there is a recipe at p38 for Sticky Pork and Fig Tray Bake.  Doesn't that sound delicious? So of course, I made it for dinners last week. 

The sticky port, fig and onion sauce adds a lovely flavour to the chicken.  I also added halved potatoes to the pan so that apart from the beans, it became a "one pot" dish.  The plants draped over the chicken are tarragon stalks.

If you fancy making this dish, you can find the recipe online at the Taste website here.

On a fun note, I went to the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne yesterday with my friends Sandra and Vanda.  We caught up with TV chef Miguel Mastre from The Living Room at the Maestre Family Foods stand, and here is Vanda and I posing with Miguel: 

It was all good fun, and came after we'd watched Miguel cook mushrooms earlier in the day.  We spent over 5 hours at the show, so there was plenty to eat and drink!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Panettone Pudding Tart

Tim is a fan of panetonne, so before Christmas, I bought one and put it away with a view to turning it into something else for him.  Last weekend, I sought inspiration from Google on what to make with the panettone, when I found this recipe for Panettone Pudding Tart, based on a Jamie Oliver recipe.

And here is the end result:

I had a chocolate studded panettone, so instead of adding chocolate chips, I added cranberries.  I also had a smaller panettone than called for by the recipe, so my tart is a little more custardy than the one in the recipe.  But boy, it was good.  I gave Time roughly a half of the tart and kept a half for myself, and had no trouble gobbling it down for dessert over a few nights.

I liked this recipe because the panettone was the star of the show, and the other ingredients were things I normally have in the house (cf recipes for panettone cakes that call for all sorts of exotic and expensive ingredients).

I am yet to hear Tim's verdict on the Panettone Pudding Tart, but it gets a thumbs up from me.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

EwE - Chili Tortilla Chips - Garden Party

Originally, when Peggy suggested Garden Party as our theme for EwE this week, I was going to make sweets.  However, I then turned to the savoury side of things, because you need sweet and savoury at a Garden Party.

I made Ellie's Chili Tortilla Chips - recipe here.  I would use half the chilli powder next time as they were a little too hot for me, but otherwise, these were good.  They'd be excellent with a cooling dip like tzatziki.

To see what everyone else made for our Garden Party, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.