Monday, January 27, 2014

309/984 - Sue's meringues

So to round out our Australia Day, I thought I would make a dessert that was in some way related to the pavlova, less the cream.

My meringues turned out a little more tanned than I expected, but most importantly they were still chewy on the inside (hooray)!

The boys were immersed in a Disney movie by the time my meringues had cooked and so decided they would like to eat their meringues straight, sans topping. Of course I was still keen to make mine into a pretty dessert and proceeded to add mango, strawberries, mint and a drizzle of De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon to my bowl.

Crazy simple, healthier than eating piles of cream, deliciously tasty and pretty too. I declare my pavlova alternative a winner!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

308/984 - Warm bean salad with a bacon garnish

Driving back from the shops this Australia Day I noticed sausage sizzles going on outside a couple of venues. Of course this made me yearn for a sausage and I decided to make this salad when we got home to respond to the craving.

Rather than a bean salad with a bacon garnish, this was rather more like a bacon salad with a bean garnish! Not that anybody was complaining, it was absolutely sensational and maybe just a touch decadent. I suspect the reason for the balance reversal was that my rashers were particularly large...and perhaps my beans a little small.

It's a quiet little Australia Day for my family and this was probably the highlight so far. All going well dinner and dessert should also excite the family's taste buds today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

307/984 - Bagna càuda

It was an eventful night when I took this recipe on!

The day had been a hot one, more than 40°C, and I decided to make this once the sun had gone down to keep the house as cool as possible in the hot part of the day. As I was standing by the stove stirring and melting the anchovies, the power went out. I have an electric stovetop and so my first worry was for my bagna càuda, wondering how on earth I was going to finish the recipe without power. Then I realised that my much loved fish (a recent addition to our household!) could soon be without oxygen and mild panic set in. 

The power did not come back on as expected and the next six hours saw me teetering on a stepladder scooping water out of our fish tank with a jug and pouring it back in to aerate the water. We had not prepared ourselves for a power outage and did not have any form of battery powered back up which I was kicking myself about mid-task! Thanks to our valiant rescue effort the fish survived, but sadly the power did not come back on until 4am so the bagna càuda was thrown in the fridge to be completed at a later stage.

Two power cuts later (yes we had battery back up by the second outage!) I dragged my oily little concoction back out of the fridge and threw it in a pan with the butter to finish it off. My mum came to visit and so for lunch we dipped carrot sticks and small pieces of toast in warmed up bagna càuda which was decadent but oh so lovely!

I have also been using this as a lovely salad dressing (see above) and as a topping for steamed vegetables, warmed up each time. Anchovy fans will love this and I am thinking that it would also be lovely drizzled over a vegetable pizza...Mmmm...
A happy survivor of our
power outage.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

306/984 - Elizabeth Schneider's steamed garlic chives with ginger

This crazy weather has been very kind to our herb and vegetable gardens. With loads of rain and sun, we have lovely fresh produce bursting out of our little garden beds. In fact the garlic chives have grown so big I thought it was high time I entered the chive chapter! 

Trev kindly cooked the chicken breasts on the barbecue while I tied the garlic chives into little bundles and put them on to steam. I absolutely love the way these smell and am still aware of the aroma lingering on my hands after grappling with the knots on my little bundles. 

The sauce was lovely and simple, made up of fresh ginger, butter and a dash of soy. Conscious of not consuming too much butter, I divided this recipe by three and found the amount to be fabulous for my family of four. 

Served with steamed vegetables, this meal was light enough for a hot day with just enough sauce to make it feel lovely and decadent.