Girls Night

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If you’re going to host a girls night you should go all out. Bubbles, treats for dinner, taking silly photos and face masks and Destiny’s Child. And of course, make sure you have great company. This night lead to shennanigans and blasting ‘Say My Name’ so loudly that I’m sure every one of our neighbours could hear all the lyrics.

Here are the basic recipes for what I made that dinner:

Broadbean, Pea and Avocado dip: From Dish magazine issue 34, 2011

In a food processor blend together 2 cups cooked and shelled broadbeans, 1 avocado, 2 cups of cooked frozen peas, the juice and zest of a lime, a big handful of basil, 1/3 cup of thick plain yoghurt, 1 clove crushed garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with something crispy and more-ish.

 

Asian style steak salad: From Dish magazine issue 34, 2011

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In a small saucepan bubble together 1/4 cup rice vinegar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. When syrupy, tip into a bowl and mix with 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce and 1 tbsp rice bran oil. Place steak into a shallow dish, pour over half of prepared marinade, cover and let sit for at least an hour.

Place a pan on a high heat and fry the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Slice the steak thinly and toss with chopped cucumber, baby spinach, thinly sliced carrot, mung beans, sliced spring onions and top with crispy fried shallots. Dress with some of the reserved marinade.

 

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pudding:

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Link here. Seriously, make this pudding it is crazy good.

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Cupcakes!

Woohoo! Banana cupcakes with cream cheese icing and caramel sauce mmmmmm!
Again from Treats from Little and Friday by Kim Evans.

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This is a story of beetroot meets caramel

My next holiday cooking project comes from my new absolute favourite cookbook, Treats from Little and Friday. Little and Friday is a legendary bakery set up by Kim Evans. If the recipes in her book are anything to go by, she is a fairy with mystical culinary powers. The recipes are absolutely mouthwatering and have great step by step instructions. The photographs are divine and the book itself is so pretty i’m scared of bringing it into the kitchen! I was lucky enough to be given this book for my birthday and have been obsessed with it ever since.

Seeing as I had a large amount of time on my hands today, I tried making a caramelised beetroot and blue cheese tart from the above cookbook. I made pastry, caramelised beetroot and put it together in a quiche form.

I need to take a second to talk about caramelized beetroot. Let us all pause with solemn faces.

Now, I love beetroot in any way shape or form and thought caramelized beetroot, yeah, cool.

OH MY LORD CARAMELIZED BEETROOT IS THE BEST THING PERHAPS EVER

Seriously, seriously!! I did not think beetroot could get any better, oh how I was wrong and foolish to think so.

Plus it’s seriously amazing with some creamy blue cheese. Oh what? Yeah, hi it’s Claire’s palate and I have matured. Yeah who would have though I would delight so much in blue cheese? Not me.

It’s cool, I’ll give you the recipe, ain’t no thang… but I plead with you, make this and prepare to be amazed.

 

Caramelized Beetroot Recipe from Treats from Little and Friday by Kim Evans

6 big-ish beetroot

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Give the beetroot a quick scrub, then chop off the tops and bottoms and chop each into 6-8 wedges. Pop them into a large saucepan and cover with water, adding a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 mins.

Drain the beetroot, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water. Place the beetroot in a roasting pan, spread them out and pour the reserved cooking water and balsamic vinegar on top and sprinkle the brown sugar over them.

Pop into the oven and cook for 10 mins. Baste and return to the oven, removing to check and baste every 10 mins (mine took about 40 mins all up). The beetroot are ready when they look gooey and sticky and the liquid is reduced.

I used most of the beetroot in a tart with blue cheese and baby spinach (oh yeah, I made the pastry too, just casually, cos I’m on holiday and I can). What’s more is that I have some leftover which I shall be enjoying with leftover blue cheese mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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Banana flavoured disaster

I AM ON HOLIDAY! Woohoo!

This means that I have time to cook and cook and bake. No more assignments (well for this week at least), no more shifts. The most strenuous thing that I will be doing is kneading some pastry and blowing the dust off my sewing machine. Too good, such a shame it will only be this week.

Spring is also showing its head from time to time, so I’m hoping that this week I can skip through some flower filled fields or something similar. Right now, unfortunately, it is pouring down and the wind is shaking my room. I was particularly unimpressed when it started to bucket down when I was going to the supermarket.

So, I will share what I have made in the past couple of days. Including… last night’s puddle pie!

The recipe was actually supposed to be a banana cream pie, from my beloved Milk Bar cookbook. DISASTER!

Sadly, my crust was too thin, the banana cream did not set and so we ate a textural, luminous yellow puddle

Taste-wise? Incredible. Imagine the flavour of your favourite banana bread combined with a luscious custard and intense dark chocolate biscuit.

Here is a lovely picture, taken before we attempted to set the pie and eventually serve it.

I won’t share a picture of it served up. It ain’t pretty. There are no redeeming features. I threw a wee tantrum… it was late… I’d spent hours making this… then I read some Harry Potter and all was ok.

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Every Girls Night Needs Steak

  A wee while ago now, my littlest sister and I were home alone and we decided to have a girls night complete with eating steak and watching some terrible, rot-your-brain tv. It was great, it was the bestsest. We had trouble deciding whether to have steak sandwiches or something Mexican inspired, so we combined the two. For this you need a nice bit of steak, some great bread and, of course, some perfect avocados, tomatos and a heap of chili. Gucamole A couple of lovely ripe avocados 1/4 of a red onion, finely diced A few dashes of tabasco sauce A handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped 1 tomato, diced 1/2 lime salt and pepper   Place avocados in a bowl and mash them up with a fork. Squeeze the lime over, add the rest of the ingredients and mix together.     Capsicum-jammy-thing

Take the rest of your red onion, slice it thinly and pop it in a pan with some oil and a sliced red capsicum. Cook low and slow for 10-15 minutes, add 1tsp of cumin, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of chili and 1/2 tsp of chili. When it looks all jammy, you are done.

Sandwich!

Season your steak well with salt and pepper and a wee bit of oil. Cook to your liking, let it rest then slice thinly. Toast your bread a wee bit if you fancy then spread it with a bit of good mayo, guacamole and capsicum. Lay your lovely steak and some salad leaves on top and voila!

Mmm steak!

Chorizo!

Here’s what I love right now: Chorizo! I feel like it’s an exclamation, potentially akin to cheers before downing tequila… ahem… Anyway, what I love about it is that it’s got a kick and adds such a depth of flavour to dishes. I particularly love adding it to pasta at the moment, it’s great for warmth in winter and combining it with lots of beautiful colours is much needed on these dark, cold days.

 

Chorizo! Pasta

3 chorizo sausages, roughly chopped

1 large brown onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 red capsicum, cut into strips

200g frozen spinach

2 cans of crushed tomatoes

1 tsp smokey paprika

1/2 tsp chili flakes (or less if you want!)

1 tsp sugar

400g pasta shapes

Heat a small amount of oil in a frypan, when hot, add chorizo and fry until lightly browned and crispy, remove from the pan. Put a large pan of water on high heat and bring to a boil, this is for the pasta. Add onion to the frypan and cook until soft, add the capsicum and garlic and fry for 30 secs. Add tomatoes, chorizo and spinach, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 mins. When your large pan of water comes to the boil, add lots of salt and cook for the amount of time specified on the packet. Add chili flakes, sugar, paprika to tomatoes. When pasta has finished cooking, drain and combine with the sauce. Serve in bowls with a generous helping of grated parmesan

 

And hey! guess what! You can follow me on twitter now- @eachpeachclaire doooo itttt

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