Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Apricot Chicken

So much for my big lunch of Apricot chicken and brown rice! 3 drumsticks should have been plenty. Pulled the chicken off one bone and gave it to KP with some rice and sauce, then cleaned off the bone to give to Audrey to gnaw on, then sat down to eat my lunch. KP finished her food before I'd even had 3 mouthfuls, so I gave her another 1/2 a drumstick worth of chicken and a bunch more rice. AJ was eyeing off my spoon and licking her lips, so I gave her a spoonful of rice and she chowed into it and opened her mouth for more. Now KP has finished her second helping of lunch and is saying "More rice pleeeeeeeeeeeeease, more chicken pleeeeeeeeease." So at the end of all this, I end up with about half a drumstick worth of chicken and a half a dozen spoonfuls of rice. That's it! To say this recipe is popular is an understatement. It is so simple, is great with a range of side dishes and so quick to throw together.


Ingredients:
Oil
8 Chicken drumsticks
1 can apricot halves in juice
250mL Apricot nectar
1 sachet dried French onion soup mix (Pack should say "Makes 1L of soup)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. Lightly grease the base of a large, deep baking dish with a little oil.
3. Place the chicken in a single layer in the base of the dish. Place in the oven and bake for 45minutes until browned, turning once during cooking
4. While the chicken cooks, mix soup mix, apricots and nectar in bowl, stir well and stand
5. After 45mins, add apricot mixture to the baking dish, stir and continue to cook for a further 15-20minutes, or until the sauce is thick and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.


Serve with Rice or a jacket potato.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Forgetful me

I made meat loaf tonight. I had all these good intentions of photographing and blogging the recipe... but I forgot. Sorry. I will have to try again another day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

German Potato Pancakes

This is one of those recipes that has evolved from something and something else and sort of just became this beautiful cohesive yummy thing. It is almost a fritter, almost a latke and almost a savoury pancake but really neither. I have tried these with both normal potato and sweet potato with great success. I suppose you could use other grated starchy vegetables like swede, but I've only done potato.


Ingredients:

6 large potatoes, grated
2 eggs
60g butter, melted
1/2 brown onion, finely diced or grated
1/4 cup plain flour*
1/4 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
1 tbs chopped herbs - either parsley, chives or both.
Olive oil and a little butter to cook pancakes in.

Method:

1.Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the eggs, salt and pepper, herbs and butter. Whisk to combine.
3. Sqeeze some of the liquid out of the potato. Set the liquid to one side.
4. Add the potato and onion to the bowl and mix well.
5. In a non-stick fry pan, melt a small amount of butter and a splash of oil.
6. Spoon potato mix into the pan, to form patties**
7. Cook on medium heat until golden brown, flip and cook until golden.

*The amount of flour you end up using is very dependant on how watery your potatoes are. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour. If it looks too dry, add a splash of the reserved potato water.
*You can make the pancakes any size you wish, from little bite sized morsels to bread and butter plate sized whoppers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Square Pizza

It's just me and the girls today. It is freezing cold outside. It is was getting close to lunch time so I started the daily ritual - scouring the fridge, freezer and pantry to find something to eat and to feed the kids. I noticed I have all the toppings for pizzas and proceed to chop everything up, preheat the oven etc. Then, when it comes to assemble..... ah crap! No pizza bases, no flat bread, no pita bread. Ingenuity to the rescue. All I have is day old white sandwich loaf. Not the best pizza bases, but most definitely an acceptable alternative, in a pinch. KP didn't complain, and polished off 2 slices. So square pizzas made it's debut in Kate's kitchen.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tiramisu

Warning: this is a grown up dessert. It has uncooked alcohol and coffee. If you have kids present, I recommend making extra cream/cheese mix. Dunk some of the biscuits in some melted chocolate and sandwich two together with cream, for the kiddies, or making a separate dessert, like these caramel blondies (link to come)


Ingredients
3 cups strong black coffee, cooled. If you are fancier than me, you can use espresso or drip, but I just use instant.
3-4 tablespoons Tia Maria (Kahlua is also nice)
2 eggs, separated
250g mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)
1/4 cup caster sugar
250mL thickened cream
16 Saviardi (sponge finger) biscuits
1 tablespoon drinking chocolate (approx) or grated dark chocolate


Method
1. Mix together coffee and tia maria in a bowl. Set aside.

2. In a  large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale


3. Add the mascarpone and beat well to combine.


4. In a separate bowl, whip cream.

5. Fold cream into cheese mix

6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks.

7. Fold egg whites into cream/cheese mixture


8. Get your chosen serving dish/es. You can use one large dish, individual servings in any dish. Large red wine glasses, coffee cups, latte glasses. You can see some of the options at the end of this post.


9. Dip the biscuits into the coffee mix, and place in a single layer in the base of your serving dish. Don't soak the biscuits, just a quick dunk and straight out. If you leave the biscuits in the coffee for longer than a second or two, they will soak up way too much of the liquid (they are sponge fingers, after all) go soggy and fall apart.


10. Next, add a generous layer (1-2cm) of cream/cheese mixture and spread over evenly.


11. Continue alternating dipped biscuits and cream until you reach the top of your dish.


12. Finish with a layer of cream mixure and a sprinkle of chocolate


13. Refrigerate at least over night before serving.


Here is the finished result. I've used a variety of different vessels so you can see some of your serving options.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Celebration Food

This post is dedicated to food for celebrating. What do you think of when someone says "Party"?
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Chances are, most of you thought of some type of cake. Some of you may have thought of chicken wingets, party pies, mini sausage rolls or mini quiche. Others may have thought of elabourate meals, like the spread that may be laid out on a table at Christmas time, while others still may think of take away food or resturant food, because who needs to think about doing the dishes when you're celebrating?
Birthday cake, christmas cake, all kinds of cake are synonymous with celebrations. Finger foods are also pretty popular and enourmous meals like Christmas dinner also scream "Party time".
However, ANY food can be made appropriate for the right celebration. Take my last Tuesday night, for example. My family and I were celebrating my last university lecture. What did we have? Glazed Meat and Veg loaf with mashed potato and steamed vegetables for mains and lemon bars for dessert. The dense and flavourful loaf, fluffy mash and simple veges was followed wonderfully by the light and zesty lemon slice. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, even AJ scarfed 2 pieces of steamed carrot and a small chunk of meat loaf. And, importantly, if definitely felt celebratory.
My last birthday (26, but gosh, I'm feeling older than that this afternoon), I didn't feel like a traditional birthday cake, so my mum made me her deliciously cakey caramelly Pecan Pie. It was the most amazing birthday pie. My guests thought it was weird, at first, but when they took a bite with a big dollop of King Island Double cream, they understood.
Have you had a weird party food? What did you have? What did the guests think?

Moving on

For the last 4 months, I have been going to university for 2 hours every Tuesday afternoon to attend lectures for my final uni course. During this time, my amazing parents have stepped up to help us out. Tuesdays became rather busy. In the morning, I packed up 3 bags, KP got dropped off at daycare with her little pink backpack, AJ got dropped off at mums with a big black nappy bag and my aunty and I went and did laps at the swimming pool. When it got colder, AJ would get bundled up in her Boba baby carrier, and Aunty Trace and I would walk. Then, we'd go back to mums, pick up mum, go to the butcher, then home, to clean the house, do a load of laundry and get dinner sorted. Leave AJ with mum and head off to uni. Dad finished up work and picked up KP from daycare, I came home from uni and Aiden came home from work and all of us have dinner together.
But that is all over now. My last uni lecture was on this week. I have my last exam next Wednesday. After that, I should be graduating and I'll officially be done with university in October when the graduation ceremony takes place. No more uni, no more Tuesday dinners with my parents. Sigh. It is the end of an era, and I'm not sure whether I am happy with it. Change is inevitable, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.