Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Food musings

I like thinking about food. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head and sometimes I have to think harder about a certain ingredient or half a dish I have going on in my head and try and find the match for it.

While I was ohmmmming at the meditation course I had a while to think about food - and definitely got a few good bursts of inspiration there.  

Dinner tonight was parmesan scrambled eggs and baked beans from a can.  It got me thinking about making my own baked beans - which is certainly not a new idea.  Suddenly I visualised the finished meal in my head:  
Chickpeas (cannellini beans? kidney beans?  cannellini and broad beans? - maybe any bean) cooked with tomatoes and herbs (thyme, parsley,basil, lemon juice) with a poached egg and parmesan cream sauce.  Sounds divine. May have to cook it this weekend.

The dishes I created in thought form only while away over New Years are:
  • Tuna Ravioli with a pea sauce
  • Smashed potato, haloumi and quinoa stack, with green beans on the side and a tomatoey sauce.
  • Won ton soup -nothing new here, just would lie to make one. However it will need to be vege now.
  • Mango chicken - probably also a no-go now, but still keen on the coconut rice and salad with walnuts and lime dressing
Ohmmmmm tasty  ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Just had my first fresh corn cob for the summer.  Will be a staple lunch item I think.

Fresh corn
Chop of the stem end and steam in skin for 5 mins. Leave in the skin till you can touch it, then pull off the green outsides and threads. Roll in some lemon juice and salt you've put on a plate. Delicious - and butterless.  

God I love wee healthy gems like this.  Mother earth at its finest.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


One of my favourite meals of the day - especially weekend brunch.  I've had this 'woddles' waffle maker for ages, the waffles come out like little penguins, and hadn't made any yet.
So the other evening I remembered all about it - and that I had some left over cream in the fridge plus some strawberries that would go deliciously.  So I went off to happy dream land with waffles on my mind.

Next morning a delicious breakfast story unfolded in the shape of Oatmeal Waffles

Oatmeal Waffles
1c flour
3t baking powder
4T melted butter
1c rolled oats
1t salt
1c milk
1 egg beaten
1 T sugar
1/2 c raisins -optional I didn't use these, but would have been a rad inclusion

Sift flour, sugar, bp into a bowl.  Add rolled oats, and raisins if using.  Add the egg, melted butter and egg. Mix together lightly - don't over mix.  
Drop into your waffle iron.  Top with whatever you like - my boy likes golden syrup.

Simply magnificent - will make again.


mmm delicious.  Avocados are one of my favourite foods, and right now is avocado season.  Since I've also been rocking the vegetarian tip I've enjoyed this warm salad style dish a few times over the weeks - featuring a soft poached egg to sauce it up.

Grab and avocado and slice it up. I cut mine in half as you do - slice length ways while still in the skin then grab a spoon and scoop out.  Clean and prepare a handful of asparagus, a couple of button mushrooms and some thinly sliced onion.

Get a fry pan hot with some grape-seed oil (well thats what Im using at the moment) and start a small saucepan with water boiling.  Get your onions frying, just soften them up and get them shiny.  Add the mushrooms and fry those down a bit - I'm using a fairly med/low heat now, I don't want the veges to be steaming hot, just cooked.  Then chuck in the asparagus and give that a quick warm through.  At the same time poach your egg in the saucepan - don't forget to add a splash of vinegar to the water. The key with all the ingredients is to keep the freshness, you don't want anything overcooked.

Take the pan off the heat and squeeze over a lemon, plus salt and pepper the vegetable mix.
Plate up some of the avocado, add some of the pan mix, layer up some more avo - you get the idea.  Pour over any juice left in the pan, add a bit more oil if there isn't much there.  Gently place your soft poached egg over the top and enjoy!  

You can also add some toasted walnuts and some parmesan if you wanna be a bit flash here too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scary bbq

You would think 10 days of meditation would be easy. Lolling about thinking happy thoughts and seeing if you can touch your inner self.  Not quite.  10 days of extreme training more like.  Up at 4am with solid meditation all day practically till 9 at night.  Tiring and far too intense for me.  

What did I learn? - well I did meditate for the first time, which is quite an awesome feeling, but one I'd rather do when I am ready and willing to do it.  And...... I have decided to become a vegetarian. All the food there was vegetarian, and delicious.  What? you might think - meat too is delicious, which it is (although I have almost forgotten...) but one of the rules you abide by while you are on the course, and to take away with you into everyday life is - you shouldn't kill anything.  So whilst on the course you must let those freaky spiders and pesky ants roam free, and eat good vegetarian fare.  I guess it struck me the final day, that no, I did not want to kill any other creature who happens to be going about its life on the planet with us.  It too deserves to get on with living much as we try and do.  

And thats the way I see it.  So far I have been eating delicious straight forward food - no freaky ingredients insight.  And Ill see how I go.  Although I am almost fearful of my next bbq....


As Xmas and New Years happened I didn't have much time to play on the blog.
So time to catch up things.

Xmas was great - I shouted myself two older versions of Jamie Oliver cook books - which between them have got some great basics like dressings and stocks, bread making and so on.  Once you have these basics you are set really to experiment and get your own creations happening.

For Xmas food we had our usual sea food bbq, with King Fish steaks this year.  Seared quickly on the barbie they were nom nom.  Also did our crostini on the bbq, which was really efficient and I would recommend you do it like this when ever possible.  On this we had pesto, walnuts and feta - which was quite simply amazing.  Then dessert, being the utter sweet tooth that I am I have always been the dessert maker in the house.  From 12 when I used to make the family fruit cake, a good month or two in advance so it could marinate and age in alcohol, to the moist everyday cakes I would make later on.  Anyway this year I decided to make pavlova, although this absolutely makes my thighs quiver at the thought of all that sugar and cream - I have decided it cant be all that bad for you.  I used the Edmond's cook book recipe and didn't take any photos - what a retard - because it was absolutely magnificent:

Edmond's cook book Pav

4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups of caster sugar
1 t white vinegar
1 t vanilla essence
1 T cornflour (tip here is to add one more teaspoon full for more marshmallow inside chewy outside action)
1/4 t cream of tar tar (my addition as most other recipes have this)

Beat egg whites till stiff.  gradually add the sugar, the mix will become all thick and glossy at this stage -mmm.  Add the other bits and pieces making sure not to over mix.  Draw a 22 cm circle on some baking paper and pile on the mixture.  Place in an oven at 150c and bake for 45 mins.  Then turn the oven off and let the pav cool in there.  Cover in cream and summer fruits.

Was sooo good, even though I did get side tracked and let it cook for 20mins more than suggested!

Ice cream part 2

Well after I returned from meditation, with more than a little trepidation, I got ready to make custard ice cream.  
Sometimes I get nervous before I cook something that seems hard.  I have never made an egg custard before, so this was what was making me feel a bit edgy.
I used the recipe for vanilla ice cream from 'The new penguin cookery book' by Jill Norman.  And adapted it to be vanilla, almond and raspberry flavour.  Delicious flavours.  However as I started making the ice cream a bit late in the day, and our freezer freezes things slowly it was bedtime before it really even got to the first churn stage.  Therefore, although I studiously mixed as often as I could before bed the ice cream did form ice crystals.  Was a bit of a failure really. But I will try it again, and if all else fails - the most delicious cream version that I first made will definitely get the thumbs up from all that taste it.

Right at this moment I have the most delicious blueberry sorbet from Omaha blueberries to console me. If you haven't tried I suggest you do so.