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Food, general thoughts, food…

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Jelly Crystal Biscuits

I don’t know where this recipe came from but for a kids party they would be a real hit. I have been wanting to try them now for a while but just never quite got around to it. The jelly stained them in a lot brighter hues than I expected but didn’t impart a ton of flavour. They were a nice biscuit though, light, sweet and buttery add to that combination sparkly (from rolling in jelly crystals) and you have the perfect fairy party biscuit.

I was limited to 2 colours by what i had on hand but it wouldn’t be hard to make a rainbow of different ones.

Jelly Crystal Biscuits

Makes 40

1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g butter
1/2 cup cater sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
4x 85g packets of jelly crystals, assorted flavours

Preheat oven to 180C
Line 2 large baking trays.
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
Gradually add flour mixed with baking powder.
Divide dough into 4 portions and place in seperate bowls.
Add 1 Tbls of different jelly crystals to each bowl.
Knead well until jelly is incorporated.
Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in remaining jelly crystals.
Place balls on trays and flatten with a your fingers.
Bake for 10-12 mins or until they move when pushed.
Cool on trays for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.
Store in an airtight container.


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Chocolate Cookie Tart

I saw this in a magazine a few weeks ago and just had to try it. It was as good as the picture looked.

Try it, you will see.

Chocolate Cookie Tart

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup castor sugar
Pinch salt
170g butter, chopped
Milk to bind
180g chocolate melts
1 cup chocolate malt balls

Preheat oven to 160C.
Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor and then add the butter.
If your mix does not readily form a dough, add milk gradually until it does.
Press dough into the base of a flan tin or spring form pan.
Bake for 20-25 mins.
Remove from oven and immediately place chocolate melts on top.
Allow to melt then spread over the surface.
Meanwhile roughly chop the malt balls and scatter over before chocolate cools.
Let cool in pan then remove and slice to serve.

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Slow Cooker Beef Coke Roast

I had a bottle of nearly flat vanilla coke in the refrigerator and a couple of beef roast pieces in the freezer. Having heard about coke roast in the slow cooker I decided to give it a whirl. There are no pictures of this unfortunately as I have hungry houseguests and dishing up and getting everyone fed is turning into a confusing whirlwind of a time in my household at the moment.

I was, like with anything new and unusual in the kitchen, interested and maybe a little trepidatious as to what the result was going to be. As it turns out it was quite delicious. If I have the ingredients lying about again at the same time then it will definitely be an option.

Slow Cooker Beef Coke Roast

3x cups vanilla coke (that is just what I had, most recipes call for the original)
2kg beef roast
I pkt French onion soup

Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot/slow cooker. (the meat was almost submerged in my cooker, probably ¾ covered)
Cook on low for 8 hrs.
Remove meat and slice,
Remove sufficient liquid to a saucepan. Heat and stir through a cornflour and water mix (1/4 cup water and 1 Tbls cornflour) to thicken, add salt to taste.
Serve meat and gravy with rice or vegetables of choice. (we had broccoli, roast potatoes and rice)

The remaining liquid was a little sweet but, surprisingly, not overly so. I reserved the leftovers and put them in the freezer for future gravy bases.

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Bacon Wrapped Pork Fillet

I was fortunate a while back to procure a large amount of pork fillets on special. I stocked the freezer with them and have been cooking them this way and that for the past few months. The recipe (found here at the gourmet garden) gave me the idea for the recipe below which is very similar to the original. The only changes are the use of fresh herbs rather than packaged ones and I never peel my potatoes, also I just stirred the flavourings through the potatoes, I didn’t feel like mash.

It was all fabulous.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Fillet

500 g pork fillet
12 slices bacon
1½ Tbls fresh Parsley minced
½ Tbls Garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Cracked pepper

1 kg starchy potatoes, cut into 2 cm chunks
2 Tbls Basil pesto

Combine parsley, garlic, pepper and mustard in a bowl.
Butterfly the pork fillet.
Stuff with the mustard mixture then wrap pork with bacon one rasher at a time, overlapping the ends.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
Cook each side of the pork slowly until light golden brown.
Pour 100 ml of water into the pan, cover and let it cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
Turn the heat off and let the fillet rest in the pan for 5 minutes before cutting it into 1.5 cm slices.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until tender.
Drain potatoes well and stir through butter, salt and pepper.
Stir in the Basil pesto.

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Oven Baked Mince and Cheese Risotto

I wasn’t convinced that this recipe was going to be so great but I have two kids who would eat mince and pasta every single night if they were given the option. I came across this recipe and it involved much the same sort of flavours albeit with rice in place of the pasta. I like risotto but this seemed like the uncultured cousin and I wasn’t sure it would be a good fit for us. It just goes to show that you need to try it before you say you don’t like it. This was a really tasty meal and the whole dish was gobbled up by the four of us, regardless of the fact that it could have fed 6 people.

I will be adding this to our ‘cook it for the kids’ menu, without a doubt.

Oven Baked Mince and Cheese Risotto
Serves: 4 (in our house anyway, I think you could stretch it to 6 with no trouble)

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
500 g beef mince
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 cups beef stock
2 cups rice
1 cup tasty cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter

Fry the onions and garlic in the hot oil. Add the soy sauce and mince.
Cook until the mince begins to brown and the liquid from the meat has evaporated.
In a saucepan, bring the beef stock to the boil and add the rice.
Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rice is almost cooked.
Mix the meat mixture with the rice and add the cheese.
Oil the inside of a casserole dish and pour in the mixture.
Press down on the surface until it is even then place small pieces of butter on top.
Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes, until a crust forms on top.

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Hedgehog Slice

I was asked by my daughter, immediately upon arrival, to make Hedgehog slice. This is not a request to spend time and cook together it actually translates directly to ‘I would like to eat it, please make it for me’. Good thing I like to cook (not that I really consider Hedgehog slice cooking as such).

I don’t know why they call it Hedgehog slice but hedgehogs are super cute (on the internet anyway, I’ve never met one in person) so any excuse to think about them or, better yet, browse cute pictures on the internet whilst bustling around the kitchen is welcome.

I got my recipe from here.

Hedgehog Slice

1 x 395 g tin sweetened condensed milk
250g butter melted
2 x 250 g packets Marie biscuits, roughly crushed
3 Tbls cocoa
3 Tbls coconut

250g milk cooking chocolate
2 teaspoons cooking oil

Place biscuits crumbs in a large bowl.
Add the cocoa powder and coconut and mix well.
Melt the butter and sweetened condensed milk together.
Add to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.
Place into a slice pan and refrigerate.
Melt icing ingredients altogether and drizzle on top of slice.
Refrigerate to set.

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Chicken Vesuvio

There is a phrase (winner, winner, chicken dinner) that has gained sudden popularity or regained, I imagine, as it seems to have originated in the 70’s or there abouts. I hate it, it is one of those nonsense things that should not bother me but it really does and then I get annoyed at myself for being annoyed, vicious circle….

anyway, while I struggle with my little neurosis it at least brings me to todays meal…

Chicken Vesuvio

8 chicken drumsticks
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 large potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 180C.

Sprinkle chicken pieces evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat
oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add chicken; cook 3
minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Add potatoes to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Return
chicken to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt,
broth, white wine, fresh oregano, and minced garlic; bring to a

Cover and bake at 180C for 40 minutes or until chicken is done and
potatoes are tender.
Makes 4 servings.