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Food, general thoughts, food…

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Fish Bites and Lemon Butter Rice

So, today I googled ‘why are rabbits called bunnies?’ This is an example of the things that cross my mind whilst eating my breakfast. There was no string of thought that led to this curious subject; it just suddenly concerned me deeply from out of nowhere. I know now what the accepted reasons are and I can sleep tonight secure in that knowledge. I will not bore you with details, you may google it yourself if you are interested in the answer.

An excellent combination. Fish and lemon is classic and always works well.
The fish was lightly battered and shallow fried and the lemon rice (surprisingly fast to cook) made the perfect accompaniment.

Fish Bites

White fish fillets, cubed
3 egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Beat egg whites lightly to break up.
Add cornflour and salt and pepper.
Dip fish in batter and shallow fry until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper prior to serving.

Lemon Butter Rice

2 Tbls Butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup white Rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Grated rind of 1 lemon
To make the rice, Melt butter, add onion and cook over moderate heat
for about 2 minutes.
Add rice, toss in butter and cook for 1 minute. Add stock.
Bring to the boil, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add lemon rind, fork lightly and allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.


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Spicy Apple and Currant Yoghurt Cake

Here is another cake from the weekend baking bonanza. This one surprised me, it is such a light yet moist cake, the apple disappears completely and you would never know it was there. The result is a lemon scented buttery cake that is both moist and light with a smattering of currants for extra texture and flavour.

Not a bad way to use up leftover yoghurt. Although I used plain Greek yoghurt in this recipe, I think it could be made with a fruit yoghurt if you had that on hand instead.

The baking time in my oven was more like 35 minutes. I don’t know if my oven was running very hot or if the recipe was not correct. Just keep an eye on it!


Spicy Apple and Currant Yoghurt Cake

125g butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
200g carton plain yoghurt
1/2 x 410g can unsweetened pie apple (I stewed up my own apples)
3/4 cup currants
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons mixed spice

Grease a 23cm square slab pan, line base with paper; grease paper.
Beat butter, rind and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and
fluffy; beat in eggs one at a time, beat mixture until combined, stir in yoghurt,
apple and currants, then sifted dry ingredients.
Spread mixture into prepared pan, bake in moderate oven for about 55 minutes.
Stand 5 minutes before turning on to wire rack to cool.
Dust with sifted icing sugar before serving.

Keeping time: 4 days.

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Scrolling through my recipe file, looking for something tasty for dinner, I can upon this dish. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was ‘the one’ I had to try this recipe, the sooner the better. It did not let me down.

I could eat this every day and not get sick of it. It was light and tasty and the sauce clung to the noodles making every bite a delicious creamy lemon flavoured taste of heaven. Maybe I was just hungry but this dish ticked all of my boxes, simple, tasty, easy and quick to make. I could have eaten a truck load of it (I restrained myself to one bowl, but it took real effort)

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
Serves: 2

280 mL double cream
3 chicken breasts, diced (I used thighs, of course)
Pasta shapes
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
juice of 1 lemon
Grated cheese
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
Olive oil

Heat up a small amount of the oil in the frying pan.
Add chicken and garlic to pan and fry until cooked.
Cook pasta as per packet instructions.
Once chicken has cooked, pour in the cream and add grated cheese.
Add the lemon juice and rind into the chicken mixture.
If the mixture needs thickening, add a small amount of cornflour and stir. (I didn’t do this, it was thick enough)
Drain pasta once cooked and mix through chicken.

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Lemon Meringue Slice

‘My favourite so far’ which is high praise indeed being as we have been together for over 5 years. This was the first thing out of my husband’s mouth once he swallowed the first bite. Although, admittedly I didn’t have much time to bake the first few years we were together, I have been baking at least one biscuit or slice per week for the past 2 years running. This apparently gets the thumbs up as the best of the best, so far and I have to admit, it’s pretty good.

I’ve made lemon meringue pies before (not since I met my husband, too many other things to try) and I have never made one containing condensed milk so this was a surprise to me when I first read the recipe. This is certainly a more mild tasting lemon filling than I am used to but it was lovely despite that. I guess the things to remember are that it is a slice and not a pie and it contains condensed milk so it is bound to be a little different.

If you enjoy something fresh and light but totally decadent at the same time, this recipe is well worth a try, and it looks fairly impressive too.

Lemon Meringue Slice

1½ cups plain flour
½ cups icing sugar
150 g cold butter
1 teaspoon cold water
395 g condensed milk
2 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
½ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20 cm x 30 cm lamington tray.
Process the flour, icing sugar, butter and water until the ingredients cling together.
Ball mixture together with hands and press evenly (using the curved side of a spoon) over base of prepared pan.
Bake at 180°C for 15- 20 minutes or until browned.
Combine egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon rind and juice in a bowl.
Pour over cooked base and bake a further 10 minutes.
Beat egg whites in small bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly add caster sugar, beating until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour meringue over lemon filling.
Bake for an extra 10 minutes or until browned.
Cool in pan.
Cut into medium sized pieces to serve.


Cake for breakfast

What a day for cooking yesterday was! I should have kept on going. It was a true Midas day, everything I touched turned to gold. It started mid-morning, I was hungry, always a good enthusiasm booster. I have been spending the last few days refiling old tax documents, all the way back to 1999, for the company I work for. It has been hot and physical work (yeah filing can be a bitch LOL) lugging boxes full of archived files and transferring them to more secure filing boxes. Anyway, regardless of how it makes my fitness level sound, it was hard work. It made me hungry.

I went scrounging in the fridge and found 3 small, decidedly past their best by date, bananas, just crying out to be made into something delicious. Of course I had just received a wonderful sounding recipe for banana cake with cream cheese icing, what where the odds?

The good thing about cakes is that they don’t take long. They bake for a while but they can do that on their own. The mixing and preparing only took a few minutes and then into the oven. I hardly felt a twinge of guilt for taking a few away from the filing and it gave me another good excuse to wash my hands, I hate touching paper, but that is a subject for another time…

Anyway, needless to say the cake was a success, the icing is dreamy (I love cream cheese icing). Most of the cake is history, just one lonely piece waiting for my daughter to get up this morning and devour it. Who said that cake for breakfast was bad? It has fruit in it….

Banana Cake

2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk  (milk and yogurt in my case)
100 mL extra light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar
1¼ cups self-raising flour
¼ cup flour
Cream cheese icing
200 g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind (did without this)
¾ cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Shredded coconut, to top cake (didn’t have any so, no)

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
Whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla essence in a medium bowl until well combined.
Stir in the banana.
Add the brown sugar and caster sugar and stir until combined.
Sift the combined flours over the egg mixture and stir until well combined.
Pour into greased 11 cm x 21 cm loaf pan. (or a square cake pan)
Bake for 40-45 minutes until skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Set aside and cool, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Icing: Using an electric beater, mix the cream cheese and lemon rind in a bowl until
smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and the lemon juice until well combined.
Spread over the cake and top with the shredded coconut.