Sunday, November 24, 2013

300/984 - Black-eyed beans with coriander and capers

It is Thanksgiving time of year at the moment, which of course does not mean much to many Australians. We on the other hand, are privileged to be friends with a beautiful Australian-American family who celebrate Thanksgiving each year. No doubt I share this sentiment every November, but the Thanksgiving celebration is by far my favourite holiday. It is an amazing get together filled with food, laughter and games. The lack of presents means that the children are completely focused on having fun and not on what they are going to get from the incoming guests. 

Em puts on the meats (biggest turkey I have ever seen!) and desserts (pumpkin and pecan pies are staples) and each guest brings along a side dish. This year my contribution was this beautiful salad, complete with parsley and coriander from our thriving little herb garden. We served this with natural yoghurt and I am pleased to report that the feedback was unanimously positive. 

It was a wonderful day which was celebrated well into the night. And of course the most fabulous thing to report is that my side dish represented recipe number 300 of this challenge!


Friday, November 22, 2013

299/984 - Double chocolate brownies

My little boys participated in a swimming carnival this week. To congratulate them on a job well done I whipped up these ridiculously simple double chocolate brownies. 

This brownie recipe was quite different to the rum and macadamia brownies found in the original version of the Cook's Companion. It was quite a complicated task combining the recipes from both books and I was pleased to have a second brownie recipe to attempt! My creation of the original version can be found here.

Even the smallest piece of this would satisfy a sweet craving and so I am confident these will last for at least a couple of days. The "double chocolate" refers to the cocoa and also the very large pile of chopped chocolate that was stirred through just prior to baking.

Oh my. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

298/984 - Olive oil crispbread

I made an interesting soup for dinner tonight; pumpkin, bacon and pigs trotter. A bit random I know, but we like a bit of trotter action in our house and what better way to introduce even more piggy flavour into a soup! 

These crispbreads are lovely for dunking and made the soup just that little bit more fun to eat. And it took the boys' minds off the fact that they had to sift through their soup looking for the little porky bones that got missed in the first sift. 

I have also tried these crispbreads with cheese and dip and can confirm that they are fabulous eaten all three ways. I chose fennel seeds as the topping for this batch but am thinking it would be lovely to try them again with rosemary.

Yes, definitely a recipe worth repeating. 

Little raw crispbreads
With pumpkin, bacon and trotter soup

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

297/984 - Mushrooms à la grecque

Hit by a nasty little bug this week, I decided I needed to find a recipe that was ridiculously easy (energy stores are low!) and also vegetable based.

I had every intention of poaching myself an egg to eat with these lovely little mushrooms, but unfortunately my energy did not quite extend that far. Proud of myself for not eating yet another corn thin with peanut butter (that home-made stuff is really addictive!) I found this dish a warm and comforting snack after a third day of being wiped out and confined to the couch. 

I will confess to eating the entire 250g of mushrooms myself, although I did donate the last bit of the sauce to the thermomix chilli con carne being put together for dinner by my lovely little boys. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

296/984 - Waldorf salad

A waldorf salad with orange!

My mum used to make waldorf salad in the seventies and I remember loving the fact that it contained mayonnaise; one of my favourite things to eat! Stephanie's addition of orange segments worked beautifully with the other ingredients and I think I will continue to include it in this salad when I make it in future. 

We had a meat free dinner tonight and the halloumi skewers that Trev put together were lovely as usual. It is a simple recipe that we use, marinating the halloumi in lemon juice and olive oil and sprinkling it with dried basil. We used cherry tomatoes as the gap fillers tonight, but there is usually some zucchini wedged in there too. A quick barbecue dish that is ready in minutes.

Meat-free Tuesday. It doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

295/984 - Buttermilk pizza crust

We promised the kids pizza tonight and so I thought I would try out Stephanie's super quick buttermilk crust.

In the past I have used a simple bread recipe to make my bases, which turns out a little thick but is still very tasty. At the other end of the thickness spectrum, we sometimes use pita or mountain bread as bases when we are looking for a thinner crust and a much quicker meal! 

This base was kneaded in the thermomix and then left to rest for half an hour. There is no yeast in the dough and so it didn't appear to rise, but when it was stretched out and cooked the result was incredibly pizza-like. I didn't have any buttermilk and instead used milk combined with a teaspoon of lemon juice. 

The first pizza I made was Henry's choice; a thin crust margherita, with tomato paste, basil, cheese and olive oil. So simple, but really, really good!

The second pizza with the thicker crust had a more unusual topping; tomato paste, zucchini, apple (yes apple!), cheese, basil, and mushrooms. 

I am actually not sure which one I liked better. They disappeared rather quickly and so I think the family agreed that they were equally good.