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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Memory Lapse

I made this over a week ago when I had some asparagus handy, it was very good. I hunted high and low for the recipe so that I could post it and couldn’t locate it anywhere in my data base, it was a mystery… I found it over the weekend, in my kitchen, under a pile of random things, in a corner, in a magazine. Brilliant me had decided to cook it before typing it into my database, give it a go before doing the scut work so to speak, and then I forgot.

When I visit my Nan I get a snapshot of my future. She sits at the table and chats to me about something, then gets up to get it to show to me. It is literally 2 steps to her kitchen where she turns around and says to me ‘why am I here?’ I remind her; she goes to the cupboard (another 2 steps) and says to me ‘what am I looking for?’ This can go on for several minutes until she has what she was looking for. I am not quite so bad yet but I can see it coming, in a few years I will bend down to do up my laces and wonder what I am doing down there. Thank goodness my husband is 6 years younger than me; hopefully he can remind me what I am doing before I pass out from my head hanging down while I try to remember.

Hearty Chicken Casserole

Serves 6

2.2kg chicken pieces
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 Tbls plain flour
1 cup each white wine and chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 bunches asparagus cut into lengths

Heat olive oil in large pan and brown chicken in batches.
Remove from pan and keep warm.
Add onion and garlic to pan and cook until tender, add flour and cook for 1 min.
Stir in wine and bring to the boil, cook for 1 min.
Add stock bay leave and thyme and return chicken to pan with any juices.
Season with pepper and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 mins stirring occasionally.
Add cream and asparagus and cook uncovered for a further 10 mins.
Discard bay leaves and serve with rice or vegetables.

Note* I added more water than the recipe called for, it seemed to gluggy to simmer for
45 mins without sticking and burning.

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Butterscotch Whirls for morning tea

It was my day for morning tea today. I had a fruit twist loaf that I had bought on Sunday morning but my husband decided to make that an after dinner snack last night.
This morning I had to think of something easy that I had ingredients for. As I was scrolling through my recipes I came across this one, it was originally a microwave recipe but I thought it would be nicer done in the oven, I would just have to keep an eye on it for cooking time. As it was essentially a scone type of recipe it was easy enough to guess how long it would need to be cooked.
I was a little nervous of the cooking a scone in a muffin tin scenario but I am glad I did it; they turned out beautifully, like sweet, soft and sugary pastry buns and looked fabulous. And of course they were quick and super easy!

BUTTERSCOTCH WHIRLS

2 cups S.R. flour
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, extra
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Sift flour and salt into a basin, rub in butter with tips of fingers. Add sugar.
Make a well in centre of dry ingredients, add milk and mixture to a soft dough.
Knead scone dough until smooth, roll out into an oblong shape.
Spread extra butter over dough and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Glaze edges with a little extra milk.
Roll up as a Swiss roll, keeping roll firm. Cut into slices 2.5 cm and bake
in a greased muffin pan at 200C for 15mins.

Will make about 8 fabulous buns and a few odd bod and small ones from the ends.
I doubled the recipe and ended up with 20 buns but at least 6 of these were weird little end ones or smallish. The larger ones looked like fat caramel roses, just beautiful. Anyway, small ones are just an excuse to eat more 🙂 I must eat the substandard ones, they are not fit for guests….

*Update: I made these again (and again) and added some cinnamon to make them into a cinnamon roll. Very very good!

 


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Baked Potato Eggs for lunch

I took a moment over lunch today to cook something. Not a regular occurrence lately but I was studying and having a terrible time getting my head around something. I needed a break and coincidentally we needed lunch.

This was thrown together using tasty Italian sausages left over from last nights BBQ dinner and a couple of potatoes that were spectacularly unsuited for the purpose. I will have this again but in future (planning permitted) I will have some baking potatoes on hand…

Regardless, it was tasty and easy. The most time consuming bit being the baking of the potatoes initially.

Baked Potato Eggs

2 baking potatoes (mine were too small and too thin skinned)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 precooked turkey sausages, diced (whatever you have on hand works good too)
2 large eggs

Heat oven to 200C. Scrub the potatoes and pierce each with the tines of a fork.
Bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Carefully cut the top off of each potato lengthways.
Scoop out the insides and stir in the cheese. Fold in the sausages.
Spoon the mixture back into the potato halves, creating a hollow in each centre.
Break 1 egg into each hollow.
Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until set.

The stuffing doesn’t nearly all fit in especially if you are leaving enough room for an egg. I heated the excess through and piled it on the plate to nestle the potato in to serve. It helped stabilize the potato and made a decent lunch indeed.


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Bread & Butter recipes

I have been hitting the books hard these past few weeks and while the rest of my life piles up around me like dirty washing I am getting some serious study time in. I hope to be finished my Diploma by the end of January. Then I might have time to cook again.

Meantime I have been living off of my freezer. There is definitely something to be said for my ‘cook too much and freeze the rest’ theory. It has enabled me to eat for weeks now without cooking anything, except for weekends when I try to take some time off.

Today I found 3 old bread rolls in the freezer and thought that it was time to cook something both fast and comforting. It is supposed to be coming into summer over here but the weather is all over the place and it is still raining on and off.

This is my go to recipe for old bread; I could eat this stuff all day, and frequently have.

Bread & Butter Pudding
Serves: 12 (bulldust, maybe 6)

6 slices old bread with crusts cut off (I used 3 hotdog rolls crusts on, sliced thick)
butter (enough to butter bread slices)
5 eggs
1 litre milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/3 cup sultanas (I used a handful of currants but I have left them out entirely before, still good)

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C .
Lightly grease a large baking dish.
Cut the crustless slices of buttered bread into triangles and lay in dish for the best fit.
In a large mixing bowl beat 5 eggs on a medium speed and add milk gradually.
Add vanilla essence and sugar and continue to mix for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly mixed.
Pour mixture over the bread.
Sprinkle nutmeg on top.
Place in oven and cook for 60 minutes (check every now and again).

Eat hot, cold, with ice-cream, without, my husband likes it with a spoonful of apricot jam…however you like