Monday, May 30, 2011

♥ neets amazing bolognese recipe ♥

my husband is a precious gem all by itself, but every now and then he lets a reason to brag out of the bag - like this recipe! he first made this for me after we've only dated for a very short while and today this remains one of my absolute-lick-your-lips-favourites! it's suppose to go on top of macaroni, smothered with cheesy white sauce and extra cheese on top, but i prefer the simple version, served on top of fettucini.

what you'll need...
 ♥250g mushrooms - chopped
 ♥1 onion - chopped
 ♥about 1 kg extra lean mince
 ♥1 packet tomato paste
 ♥1 tin chopped tomato
 ♥1 tbls worcester sauce
 ♥3/5 bottle tomato sauce
 ♥2 tbls sugar
 ♥fresh herbs

what you'll do...
1. fry the mushrooms and onions in a little butter

2. add the mince and cook until its almost done

3. add the packet tomato paste - mix through

4. add the tin chopped tomatos - stir well

5. add the tomato sauce

6. add the worcester sauce

7. add the sugar and herbs and let it cook to perfection!

i'm sure you'll enjoy this as much as we do - time and time again!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

♥ what the bleeeeeep-bleeeeeep ♥

so i've been in love with the australian masterchef and have been pretty much as hooked to that show as a person can be BUT last night my lil obsession reached a skyrocketing high with this increadibly edible candle made by super chef heston blumenthal - i couldn't resist! i just had to go and find the recipe, sure i was in for a lil surprize as soon as i read the "how to", but what the hell, i'm always up for a challenge with such a oh so very yummy ending!

i haven't yet made this baby, but i'm def planning to do so - in the meantime though - i just had to post the recipe. i just kknow it will become one of my fav's, so i might as well blog about it already! teehee :)

the recipe's in ounces, so just incase there's not enough work involved already, go ahead and start converting!

what you'll need and special equipment needed:
32 ounces white chocolate, tempered
powdered food colors
8 ounces cocoa butter, melted
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, tempered
candle molds (each mold has 3 parts - 2 candles pieces and a base)
rubber stamps

what you'll do...

1. Make the candle base and the candle: Use a ladle to fill each mold (2 candle halves and a base) with chocolate. Tap the mold on the counter to encourage the air bubbles to depart. When the mold is full, set it aside and let it harden. You can place the mold in the refrigerator for several minutes to help the chocolate to harden. Repeat with as many molds as you would like.

2. For the homemade transfer sheets: Place the powdered food colors in small bowls. I used orange, green and blue. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa butter to the food color and stir until well combined. Pour a little of the colored cocoa butter onto a clean dishtowel. This will serve as a blotter or ink pad for the color. Place the sheet of acetate on the work surface. Press the rubber stamp into the blotter and then press onto the acetate sheet. Continue using this same process to create as many colors and stamps as you like. Be sure to clean the rubber stamp between colors. If you need to reheat the cocoa butter, use a hair dryer or heat gun.

3. When the stamped transfer sheet has set, use an offset spatula to spread a 1/8-inch thick layer of white chocolate over the acetate sheet. Break the cooled colored chocolate into interesting free-form shapes.

4. Fill a cornet with bittersweet chocolate and use it to write names onto the transfer sheet shapes. This will be the place card for the candle.

5. To stick the candle halves together: Invert a flat baking sheet over a pan of hot water. Press one half of the candle against the warm surface. When the chocolate begins to melt, press the other half of the candle into place. Press the candle bottom onto the warm pan. Center the melted candle bottom on the base. Allow it to set until hardened.

6. Make the flame of the candle: Use an offset spatula to spread some white chocolate candle flames onto a sheet to acetate. The chocolate should be tapered at one end to resemble the flame. Allow it to set, then remove from the acetate. Press the bottom of the flame onto the warm baking sheet. Then adhere it to the top of the candle.

7. Place some powdered red food color in a small bowl. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa butter to the food color and stir until well combined. Use a paintbrush to paint the flame with the color.

8. Place a small amount of white chocolate in a cornet. Pipe white chocolate at the top of the candle until it runs down the side. This resembles the melted wax of a real candle. Place a small amount of bittersweet chocolate in a coronet and use it to make small dots for the candles' eyes.

9. Use more tempered white chocolate to glue the nameplate to the base of the candle.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

♥ a well loved fav in our house ♥

i ran to the shops and got my copy of the woolies taste cookbook pretty much as soon as they unpacked the boxes they arrived in! i love woolies and just knew that the book would (as it did) become one of my fav things.
one of the recipes that i've made quite a few times - like today - is this lil puppy! my family and most of our friends love basil pesto and all things cheesey - it obviously didn't take long before this recipe entered the "best loved" list in our house!

basil pesto loaf
serves 4-6 and takes about 3 hours

what you'll need...
♥15 roma tomatoes
♥olive oil
♥240g flour
♥2tsp baking powder
♥6 free-range eggs
♥1 cup milk
♥250g basil pesto
♥320g parmesan cheese

what you'll do...
1.preheat the oven to 140ºC.

2.halve and season roma tomatoes, then drizzle with olive oil and slow-roast in the oven for 2 hours.

3.remove and allow to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 180ºC.

4.Combine flour and baking powder. In a bowl, beat  eggs then lightly mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

5.Add milk and basil pesto, and stir through. Fold half the tomato into the mixture then stir through grated Parmesan cheese.

6.Spoon into a greased, medium-sized, Teflon-coated loaf pan.

7.Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the pan.

8.Top with the remaining tomato and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Best served with loads of love and eaten on the day! :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

♥ peppermint crisp tart to die for ♥

my mother in law loves this tart, and as a belated mothers day snackie i've decided to make it again. just reading through the recipe got my mouth watering again and have me clock-watching like you wont believe! i can't wait to get home and cracking!

what you'll need...
250ml orley whip, whipped

2 packets of tennis biscuits (although you will probably use less)

375g caramelised condensed milk

20ml caster sugar

3 peppermint crisp bars crushed

3-4 drops of peppermint essence (more, if you like)

what you'll do...
1. whip the orley whip and then add the caramelised condensed milk castor sugar and peppermint essence

2. beat until well mixed and then stir in 2/3 of the crushed peppermint crisp
3. place a layer of whole tennis biscuits in a buttered 29x19x5cm dish

4. spoon 1/3 of the caramel mix over the buscuits and spread evenly. continue in layers, finishing with a layer of filling on top.
5. refrigerate for at least 4 hours. decorate by sprinkling the remainder of crushed peppermint crisp on top. cut into squares and serve.
you can substitute whipping cream for Orley Whip, but the outcome may be even richer than this pudding already is! for caramelised condensed milk, you can use dulce du leche or you can make your own by boiling a tin of normal sweetened condensed milk.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

♥ oh so heavenly-heart-healthy-chix ♥

so the love of my life decided that it's time to shape up a bit - not that i can see any reason why, but that's another thing all on its own! i'm obviously 110% supportive but i will admit that the first time i heard about his new plan the first thing i though about was "what the hell am i going to do with all the yummy recipes that i still want to try out" - obviously all the deep fried, covered in batter, 5 million gram fat recipes went out the window faster than you can say Big Mac - all i could do was to get creative and find some oh so very yummy and healthy recipes, all in one.

so last night i made this puppy - heart healthy and oh so delicious! the pic isn't mine, also not 100% what it looked like, but it should give you some idea what i'm on about...

healthy oven baked barbecued chicken

what you'll need...
♥1.5 kg chicken
♥1/4 cup water
♥1/4 cup vinegar
♥3 tbsp oil
♥1/2 cup tomato sauce
♥3 tbls worcestershire sauce
♥1 tsp mustard - powder or prepared
♥1.5 tsp salt
♥1.5 tsp pepper
♥1 small chopped onion
♥1 tbls brown sugar or 2 pkgs equal

what you'll do...
1. combine all the above ingredients except the chicken and simmer for ahout 10 minutes

2. place the chix in a large baking dish

3. pour sauce over chicken

4. bake, uncovered, at 180 degrees for 1 - 1 hour 15 minutes

5. turn chix every 20 minutes, spoon sauce over chix the last time you turn it.

6. serve with yummy veggies!

im definately making this again in a few days

Sunday, May 1, 2011

♥ ridiculously chocolately chocolate lava cup ♥

the love of my life has been going on about me making him one of his fav sweet desserts - chocolate fondant. so being the good wifey that i am (blush - teehee) i dove into my millions of food mags and found what looked like the perfect one. after reading the recipe, i could feel my veins clogging up from all the sweetness, but we had to mission forth and the perfect chocolate fondant had to be made!

i feel like i should add - if you're on a diet, considering going on a diet or even remotely feel like there might be any weight loss activities in the near future - this might not be the ideal recipe for you BUT should you make this and devour it like all of us did, it will change your life and add a lil more love to your heart.

chocolate lava cup:
makes 12 - takes 30 mins

what you'll need...
400g good quality dark chocolate
400g butter
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
200g sugar
200g cake flour
12 blocks white chocolate

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 200C

2. melt the chocolate and butter together - the original recipe asked for double boiler, i did this in the microwave, much faster! stir constantly and let cool slightly once done

3. beat the eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy

4. gradually add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture - mixing well after each addition

5. slowly add the flour, a tablespoon at a time, stirring until smooth

6. lightly butter 12 medium-sized ramekins - pour mixture into the ramekins up to 3/4 full (i used cook and spray instead of butter and i also used tea cups instead of ramekins, it just adds a little something)

7. bury one block of white chocolate in each pot. bake until crisp on top, but gooey inside - about 12 to 14 minutes and serve immediately (with a scoop of ice cream)

8. prepare bed or couch for when you're done eating - you will need about an hour to just lay down and not move any part of your body!

♥ best pancakes in the world! ♥

what you'll need...

  1. 150g plain flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  4. 35g caster sugar
  5. 2 large free-range eggs
  6. 125ml buttermilk
  7. 25g butter, melted
  8. ♥olive oil, for frying
  9. 8 thick streaky bacon rashers
  10. maple syrup, to serve

  1. what you'll do...
  2. 1. sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. add the sugar, mix and make a well in the centre. in another bowl whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and melted butter. pour this into the well of dry ingredients and gradually whisk in. the batter is ready to use now or it can rest for an hour or so.
  3. 2. heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and oil it lightly. drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the hot pan, leaving spaces between them. cook for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface, then use a fish slice to turn them over and cook on the other side, until golden brown. keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
  4. 3. meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the bacon rashers until crisp. serve the pancakes in stacks with rashers of crispy bacon and maple syrup to pour over.
i obviously had to go a wee lil bit overboard and served it with scrambled eggs, grated cheese, fried mushrooms and even more bacon than the recipe asks for! yummmmmmmy :)

Nutritional info

Per serving (based on 4): 500kcals, 26.9g fat (9.3g saturated), 17g protein, 50.8g carbs, 19.5g sugar, 2.8g salt