Showing posts with label Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cooking. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ceylon Curry Powder - home made

When I was in Australia with relatives I took photos of a few recipes from very old books. Back HERE I blogged about the hot chilli oil. Yesterday I made a curry powder that was simply titled Ceylon Curry Powder from a recipe book bought in Darjeeling. It makes a flavorsome and not overly hot curry. So now with two recipes from this book under my belt we are going to have some tasty dishes at our house.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hot Chilli

I have been doing a bit of crafting for Christmas presents which will have to be posted about after Christmas. But one item I've made was meant to be for Aaron for Christmas but the reality is that the whole family will use it, so it's no longer a present.

When I was in Australia Barry gave me some recipes and one of them was for Chilli Oil. It was delicious. So I have come home and made it and it's the most luscious colour and boy does it have kick.

No licking these bowls! This is going to jazz up our plain pasta meals.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Making Hard Candy - Acid Drops

When I was a teenager my mother found a recipe for old fashioned acid drops. This makes a hard boiled lolly (candy) that you have to pull and twist the old fashioned way when cooling them.
Eli and I made them but the Candy syrup is super hot to handle so when it came time to shape them, the rush is on. We all pitched in to get it cooled and rolled as it is easy for it to set and then you break shards off, which is not nice to suck.
We had a day in Christchurch wandering around the botanic gardens and took the opportunity to wander the city as well. We went to the Earthquake memorial, which was very moving. 
Stopping by the cathedral just shows how quickly nature takes over. 6 years on from the earthquake and the paving is gone and trees abound.

A few fun photos later. We recreated some of our wedding photos. Twenty years and a few kilos later does not make the poses very easy!!! In our wedding photo the cathedral spire shows, but the city is a very different place since then.

In town there is a space invaders game that you have to physically wrangle. Great fun. The screen is on the wall of the building and the boys are manipulating the game from this platform. I had a go and won my game too!!!.

Here is the acid drop recipe if you want it. I have no idea where my mother got it from.
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Heat gently until sugar is dissolved then bring to a constant simmer. Do not boil hard. It took about 20 minutes to just start becoming a pale yellow colour. It should be sort of holding together.

Take pan off the heat and add:
3 drops lemon essence
Take great care and pour onto a well oiled slab. I oiled a roasting dish, other times I have used a oiled baking tray or an oiled stainless steel bench top will do. While it is hot it was easy to do it in a large back dish as it could not run away on me.

Keep moving the sticky mess from the outside into the middle, sort of like folding - do it with an ordinary metal eating knife. Sprinkle
2 teaspoons tartaric acid over and it will slowly mix in using this folding technique.

My mother's recipe says to roll it into rolls, cut with a knife and then roll into balls with your hand. But it took quite a while of folding before it was set enough to consider doing anything. Then we found just pulling a chunk off and folding it until it was cool or solid enough to put in balls worked for us. We chucked them onto a dish that was covered with about 1cm icing (confectioners) sugar.

They were yum!!! It might be our home made Christmas present this year.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Oh I love this.
Last night I made Panforte with almonds, roasted hazelnuts and cashews. It is so so delicious. 
I had never really understood the deal with Panforte. When I was recovering from my heart surgery my sister came to help for a week. While she was here Aaron and I took her to a new coffee shop in town - the Mediterranean Food Company in Rangiora . I had to walk lots to recover but time not distance wise. So we would do a short walk, stop for coffee and then a short walk back.

They often had Panforte and one day they had two, a spice one and a chocolate one. We bought one of each to try. Oh, we fell in love with the spiced version. So my sister came home, searched the net for recipes, then made some. It was just as fantastic. This is the first time I made it and I love it.

I have not put the recipe here as I don't know whose she used and I would want to attribute it. But just search the internet and you will find heaps. Annabel Langbein has a pretty good one that uses chocolate instead of butter and more fruit than nuts. Mine uses more nuts than fruit.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pickled onions

Not too sure about these. I love pickled onions and they were a pain to peel.  I decided to use Barry 's pickle for beetroot.  I also cooked them a bit.  They smell great but could end up too soft.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thai chili beef salad

Getting down to the last of the beef. Wanted to do something different. This gorgeous dinner was from all the bits we had hanging around.

Made a salad base with iceburg lettuce, shaved carrot, shaved cucumber, coriander, spring onions then added thinly sliced fast seared beef which had been marinaded in lemongrass, fresh ginger, garlic and fresh ginger.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

a baking holiday

Well these holidays I have been concentrating on keeping the kids in the new routine of them both baking once a week and helping with making an evening meal.
Jakob has made white and milk chocolate cookies
I made meringues - all the time thinking of Kerryn

Eli made tan square

We had old fashioned doughnuts for afternoon tea one day

I have just finished the birthday cake
With the leftover eggs and the
abundance of lemons I made - Lemon curd

I link to these places

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gourmet camping food

Blissful bush camping
We have come back from another gorgeous eight days away. We stayed at Pelorus Bridge DOC camping ground. This was our relax and do nothing holiday. Lazy lazy mornings, Lots of yummy food, heaps of swimming and a bit of walking. I read 2 books and five magazines and did a bit of stitching. It was great.

We always say that with the caravan we are "glamping" and our food this time certainly followed that. Here are some food photos. I even made some English Muffins for brunch one day ( I have the recipe on my blog here). Yes excuse the photo - but I was still in my nighty. (With a very naughty Aaron in the background pulling faces. I told him that if he was not careful I would put the picture on the blog!!)    I link into these places sometimes.
Of course there was wine

Olives, pastrami, blue cheese, cumin gouda, gooseberry jam and brie

Put the egg with the flour

knead the dough
Use the Milk frother to melt the butter into the milk

Let it sit to rise while we all have a shower

Cook!! on the griddle


and eat some more

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Baked cheesecake

Last night at 9pm I started making these miniature baked cheesecakes. I used lime and lemons to flavour it as I find that cuts through the dense fat of the cream cheese. Only I then had to stay up till about 10.30pm waiting for them to finish the cooking part.

I love baked cheesecake and I am going to be with the girls for a quilting session tonight, so this will be our sweet treat. As you can see from other blog posts I often use the baked cheesecake with other flavours - the last few tries were blackcurrants and redcurrants from the garden. Click here to see - I was impressed with them when I made them!

Anyone have any answers on the biscuit base for cheesecakes? I used 50% more butter in my base than the recipe (an Alison Holst recipe I have adapted) but the base still crumbles apart. At least the base is not the rock hard, can't get a spoon near it, kind. Tips anyone?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The ice cream recipe

My cousin Alison has asked for the recipe re the blog about making home made icecream. Note that this makes about 3 to 3.5 litres of ice cream.

500ml cream
8 egg whites
3/4C castor sugar
1 tsp Heilala vanilla - pure vanilla bean paste (bought at raewood fresh)
   (if you do not have this you can use 2tsp of real vanilla essence but the bean paste is way better)

Give the egg whites a beat until stiff and holding together. Slowly add the caster sugar as though you are making a meringue or pavlova.
In a seperate bowl whip the cream. Add the vanilla and beat to mix through. (if you beat the vanilla into the egg white it will affect them)

Mix the two together. Put into containers to freeze. Yes - no churning, no fussing needed and it is delicious even a few weeks later.

If you want to do a flavour just use some homemade jam. Beat 2 T of jam into the cream before putting with the egg whites and then swirl another 6-8 T jam into the finished mixture to leave a pattern and threads of the fruit. (home made raspberry jam works really well)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fresh Strawberries - Mixed Berry Jam

As the weather is so grotty I knew that the rain would start making the Strawberries go to mush. Yes we have fresh strawberries in the garden!!! I have always grown sucessful strawberries and so far we are on our second cropping with more flowers coming on. The only problem is that my third crops never ripen as it gets too cold.
Anyway, I picked about 250g of strawberries and was stuck with what to do with that amount. We had Strawberries and Meringues just last week. So I thought that I would put together a mixed berry jam as the first lot I made in the height of the soft fruit season was all finished. Gosh it was good. I still have a lot of fruit frozen to deal with "some other time", so that time is now.

In a pot goes on low heat
250g frozen blackcurrants
250g frozen redcurrants
250g frozen blackberries
500g frozen raspberries

Put a lid on and let the fruit soften and thaw, the juices should start running. I then added
1/2c water
250g chopped fresh strawberries and brought it all to a simmer.

Into the pot goes 1400g sugar and stir until well dissolved. Let simmer for 5 minutes, add the juice of 1 lemon and let simmer for another 5 minutes (the longer cooking time is for the currants). Take it off the heat and stir for 5 minutes, leave for 5 minutes and stir for another 2-3 minutes. (What this does is ensure that the fruit evenly distributes through the jar when setting - prevents the jams where you get the fruit rising to the top)

Put into clean sterilised jars and put lids on securely.

There was a little left over that I put in the fridge. I then made a batch of raspberry jam using the same utensils - saves me washing. By the time that was done we needed to try it all. A batch of pikelets later with the taste testers declaring it scrummy!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fantastic food while camping - dinner

A posh chicken rice risotto 

We have this on rainy days as it is nice and warming and it doesn't matter if the gas is warming the caravan during the cooking.

Take all the left over veges that you have in your caravan or tent 
Enough rice for the people you are cooking for. ( I used two bags of rice for four people)
Some oil 
A packet of green thai curry paste.
1 tin of coconut cream.
I packet of chicken drums or whatever you managed to pick up last time you went into town.

Method - Put a non stick frypan or large pot onto your cooker. Place the chicken in and brown. As the chicken is browning cut up an onion and put it in too. Once browned add 2 tablespoons oil and the green curry paste. Let the paste cook for a minute. Add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Add the amount of rice you need. Stir well and start adding veges as you chop them up. Once all the veges are in (do lots) then add the tin of coconut cream (or milk) and another cup of water. Let it simmer while you watch a DVD with the kids. Keep cooking until the rice is done and make sure that the chicken is cooked through to the bone. Add more water if needed. Serve in a bowl with rice and vege on the bottom and a drumstick per person on the top.

Vege selection - use anything that is looking like it will not last too much longer as well as what you have fresh
Rice - I keep the boil in the bag only in the caravan as it is tidy in a box and it makes no mess when cooking (which is a big deal when camping - the easier the better)
Oil - I have rice bran oil as it is square and so easy to store in the caravan or your food box and it has a high burn point so will do for everything you need when camping.
Thai green curry paste - I love the Asian Home Gourmet brand as they are very authentic. Also camping they are the right portion size so there is no waste or no bottles etc that you have open that could go off in the summer heat. This is quite spicy for kids. You could use red curry paste which is much milder if you wanted.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Summer is here - Strawberries from the garden

 This is the third picking of strawberries from the garden. The lovely hot weather has them ripening fast. A good bowl full every 2-3 days. This morning I got up at about 8.30am - went outside and picked strawberries - then came inside and made american pancakes. Topped it with Maple syrup and strawberries picked only 1/2 hour ago. What a fantastic fresh tasting breakfast.

American Pancake recipe

Feeds two in our house:
1 C Flour
1/2 t salt
add 2 egg yolks and 1 C milk. Mix well and ensure there are no lumps.

Whip the two egg whites to stiff and fold into the above batter. Heat heavy fry pan or gridle. Put a nob of butter on and a soup ladle of mixture. Wait for bubbles to pop and then turn over. Remove onto serving plate, add a knob of butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup. Top with as many sliced Strawberries as you can pick from the garden.

Eat immediately.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My amazing 5 year old cooked his first proper dinner

I was making Green Thai Curry for dinner and Eli decided he did not want that. He wanted stir fry dinnner with rice and special sauce. His instructions were. Mum you cook the rice.
We picked a pile of gorgeously fresh veges from the garden "Yes I actually managed to grow a brassica. It is a broccoliflower.

Eli chopped all his veges and had to sit around for me to get my dinner ready so he chopped my veges too. I have noticed that if he makes food he eats all the vege!!

Then he put a bit of oil in the pan and the sliced chicken. Cooked it. Added the veges and stirred until cooked. Put the rice in a bowl, then the vege and then the special sauce (soya sauce) and he and Jakob ate the lot. I did not have my dinner finished cooking for another 15 mins!!! Things are definitely looking up in the kitchen to the day when I will be able to roster the cooking. Yipee.

But I am just so proud of him.

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....