Sundays with Joy – Blueberry Orange and Almond Pancakes with Orange Maple Glaze

I make these pancakes every Saturday.  But not today, today as part of the Sundays with Joy facebook group I made what I shall call fancy pancakes.

Some breakfasts call for simple pancakes, some call for fancy pancakes (aka you need to impress somebody, thank somebody, need something from somebody).  These would be the fancy pancakes you make.

I mean just the name of them sounds fancy. You even servie them witha a fancy glaze.  If you served them up for breakfast people would be so chuffed you’d gone to the effort of making something fancy for them.

But you know what made them extra fancy and special besides tasting pretty damn good? They were easy as to make.  A few extra ingrediants than my normnal recipe but pretty much made the same way, combene dry ingrediants, combine wet ingrediants, mix together, cook, enjoy.

Simple

Recipe for super easy suprer fancy pancakes from the Joy the Baker cookbook

Part of the link up hosted by the talented Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Zucchini and Potato Pancakes

I work 2 1/2 days a week. This leaves me with 2 /12 days a week where I’m not at work and my kids are at school. Now some might think I use this non working kid free time to watch trashy tv and drink cocktails in between napping or lunching with friends. I can only wish. I spend these days doing housework, grocery shopping, running errands, attending any appointments, basically doing mundane everyday stuff.

I never really make and effort with lunch on these days, its usually something quick with what I have on hand and sometimes I skip it as I can’t be bothered making anything.

However lunch on one of these days was different. This week the Sundays with Joy Facebook group made Zucchini and Potato Pancakes.

It was essentially a case of mixing all these ingredients together.

I served them with bacon and sour cream, they were amazing.

The whole thing of taking the time to make something delicious for lunch, sitting down in peace and quiet and taking time to enjoy the meal made a refreshing change to lunch. It reminded me that it nice to make the item to do something nice for myself

I made a couple of small amendments to the recipe and used 1 spring onion instead of the onion and self raising flour instead of the flour & baking powder. I also served it with bacon (high recommended),

For the recipe you’ll need the Joy the Baker cookbook

To see how others tackled the pancakes visit the blog link up hosted by Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops

This week the Sundays with Joy Facebook group make Chocolate Raspberry pops.

It was a bit traumatic. Not because I have some super phobia of chocolate (god forbid) or raspberries or ice cream, Not even because I made ice cream in the middle of winter. But because I had to find my ice cream moulds.

I’ve had my ice cream moulds for a few years. They were given to me by my mother in law. I’ve used them to make a variety of ice cream/ice blocks but hadn’t used them for 18 months. This meant they had moved to the deep dark corners of the tupperware cupboard. The only things I can ever find in our tupperware cupboard are the most used items because these are the things that fall out of the cupboard when we open the door because they are the things shoved in cupboard while the door is slammed shut.

I methodically took things out of the cupboard whilst hunting for all the bits to the ice cream moulds, oh okay I randomly pulled things out the cupboard whilst possibly swearing and vowing to organise it one day (note that would not be the day that I had most of the contents of the tupperware cupboard on the floor, because that would be too easy and I relish the challenge and trauma of doing it all again).

In the end tupperware was scattered all over the place and I was missing one stick bit, but feeling scarred and emotional and slightly triumphant I was ready to go.

Its essentially a custard cooled with raspberries and chocolate chunks added, then frozen (note I used frozen raspberries because they are out of season but mainly that’s what I had on hand). They were delicious even more so after a couple of days. Totally will make again, but maybe in summer.

mmm sugar cornflour and cocoa powder

plus milk cream vanilla and butter

= chocolate custard

raspberrires & chocolate mixed in lead to Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops

I only made a half batch because I could tell by other posts that a full batch would be more than my small ice block moulds could handle. I also only mixed raspberries and chocolate chunks into 3 out of the eventual 5 made and left 2 plain for the kids.

They were absolutely perfect for dealing with the trauma of the tupperware cupboard (although gin/vodka/wine would have helped too).

For the delicious recipe you’ll need the Joy the Baker cookbook

And for more delicious versions of the Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops see the delightful blog link up at Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Kale Spinach Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

This week in Sundays with Joy Facebook group we made a green smoothie

As we all know I bake – like a LOT. As much as I would like to live on cake alone, I need to do something to compensate of all the baked goods. One of these things is to have green smoothies for breakfast (well weekday breakfast because weekend breakfasts are for pancakes, bacon, waffles etc.). I got into these after my mother in law and sister in law started raving about them. I like them because they are healthy, like super healthy as kale’s packed with goodness. They are also easy and quick to make and I can sip it whilst running around getting everyone ready for work, school etc, or if I’ve run out of time take it with me.

I usually just blend up a small handful of spinach/kale a frozen banana, and whatever fruit is on hand. But this one is different it has both kale and spinach (although I had no spinach so used silver beet), frozen banana, peanut butter, honey and milk.  The peanut butter and honey I could totally see working in a green smoothie and I’ll probably add to the ones I usually make. But the milk well I was a bit unsure. Joy’s recipe said cow’s or soy or almond milk. I used cashew milk instead.

Overall it tasted like a pretty good green smoothie, prefect for attempting to balance out the butter and sugar in my life.

Recipe available from the Joy the Baker cookbook

Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box week 7

Ok we’ve missed a few boxes due to holidays and life getting in the way but here’s week 7 in our Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box adventure. For more on the whole CSA thing see here.

Its interesting to see the seasons change through the produce in the boxes.  The citrus are now starting to make an appearance and the summer fruits and veg are long gone.

So what was in the box?

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Purple carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Silver beet
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Oranges
  • Mandarins
  • Pears
  • Apples

Cabbage.  This is the first box where we’ve had cabbage, and its red cabbage.  It’s really fresh and crisp so I’m thinking of  using it in some kind of salad.  But I did see  recipe for a cabbage and onion tart which I might try out.

Cauliflower.  Well There’s not quite enough of it to make a soup, so I’m thinking of a good old fashioned cauliflower with cheese sauce to accompany a roast.

Purple carrots.  These are purple on the outside, but orange on the inside.  I’ve been waiting to try out a recipe for carrot pancakes  and this week might be the week.

Potatoes, well I can’t go past baking them, scooping out the insides, mashing with chopped spring onion and grated cheese, popping this back in the potato and baking with cheese sprinkled over the top.

The silver beet (chard) and kale will be used in green smoothies and to accompany meals.  I also really must try making kale chips.

The celery, well there is only 2 sticks of it, so it will be the base for a casserole or used in stir fry.

The oranges are so good, really sweet and I’ll just eat them as they are.

My daughter loves mandarins and will easily eat the lot, as well as the pears, and everyone will eat the fresh crisp apples just as they are.

Part of the In Her Chucks CSA link up party

Panaeng Curry

Been a bit quite on the blog front as we’ve been off enjoying some sunshine in Phuket Thailand.   We rode elephants, visited tropical islands, enjoyed Thai food and did a Thai cooking class.

The cooking class was the one I blogged about here.   I wasn’t too sure about blogging about cooking in Thailand again.  But well one doesn’t go to Thailand everyday and we did cook new dishes.

Instead of describing all the dishes I’ll give you a recipe for a curry we made.  Panaeng Curry (Penang Curry).  We made it all form scratch including the paste.  It’s not hard at all, and while we used a mortar pestle I’m sure you could use a food processor.

It’s not a hot curry, but you can adjust it by adding or reducing the amount of chilli

Panaeng Curry with pork (penang Curry) recipe adapted from Phuket Thai Cookery School serves 2

Panaeng Curry Paste

5 black peppercorns

2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted

1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted

6 dried chilli soaked 15 mins (adjust if you want less spicy)

1 tsp galangal finely chopped (should be able to get this from Asian grocers)

1 tbsp lemongrass finely chopped

1 tsp coriander root, finely chopped

1 tsp kafir lime peel chopped ( I think this one might be hard to source some maybe just use normal lime peel)

pinch salt

1 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 tbsp garlic chopped

1 tbsp shallots chopped

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tsp fresh turmeric (optional & available form Asian grocers)

pound the spices together in mortar and pestle, then add in other ingredients. Pound until a smooth paste is formed (could use a food processor  if you don’t have a mortar and pestle).

The curry

2 tbsp Panaeng Curry paste

1 cup + 2 tbsp coconut cream

3/4 cup pork fillet (or chicken, beef, whatever takes your fancy)

1 tbsp palm sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

[inch salt

4 kafir lime leaves

1 long chili chopped for garnish

Heat 2 tbsp of coconut cream in saucepan with a bit of oil, add in curry paste.  Fry until fragrant.  Add  a little bit more coconut cream, you don’t want it saucy, but not pasty somewhere in between.

Add Pork fry until pork is sealed.

Add rest of coconut cream.

Season with palm sugar, fish sauce and kafir lime leaves.

Serve with rice

Cooking in Thailand

We’re off to Thailand soon so the blog will be pretty quiet whilst we’re off having fun in the sun, so I thought I’d leave you with a Thailand post.

We were lucky enough to go to Thailand last year. We had a fantastic time and one of the highlights was the Thai cooking class we did a the Phuket  Thai cooking school. We had our children with us (aged 4 &6) which could have been a hindrance, but it wasn’t, they were amazingly well behaved and helped us cook 6 amazing Thai Dishes.

           

The class started off with a trip to the markets in Phuket town. Were we saw amazing produce including some new discoveries of ingredients we’d never seen before. We also tasted a lot of food. One of the highlights was the rose apple, kind of a cross between a watermelon and apple. So refreshing in the Thai heat.

Then we headed to the location of our cooking school, a quiet little beach with aqua water lapping at the sand with views to islands, The kids were happy a beach to play on a garden to explore and the staff were so good with them

.

The cooking school was set up with and area where we sat and watched and listened as a dish was prepared, then it was onto a work station to prepare that dish. Off to a table overlooking the beach to eat our amazing dish then repeating the whole process again for the next dish.

We made

Thai herbal soup with local vegetables.

We made a paste, added it to stock then added vegetables and the prawns, all pretty simple.

This dish was a big challenge for me as I don’t eat mushrooms or seafood and it of course had mushrooms in it as well as prawns. But I got over this and ate it and you what for a simple dish it was full of flavour.

Next up was

Spicy minced chicken salad (better known in Thai restaurants as chicken larp)

This was really easy. It’s really just about getting the balance of ingredients right.

After this we tackled

Chicken with cashew nuts. Now I’d seen this at almost all the restaurants we ate at in Thailand and was surprised as I associated this with Chinese food. But this easily has to be the best chicken with cashew nuts I’ve ever made

The chicken was  deep fried in a lightly spiced batter. Vegetables are stir-fried chicken added then you toss in another perfectly balanced sauce (made by my 4 yr old daughter, it’s that easy). I’ve made this a few times since and always get rave reviews.

Then we cooked up

Yellow curry with chicken.

We made the paste from scratch then cooked it off with some coconut milk, threw in diced chicken and some vegetables simmered till the chicken was cooked and adjusting for sweetness and saltiness. This one was really all about getting the curry paste right.

To accompany his we made

Thai fried rice with crab meat.

this was a slight variation on the fried rice I’d made before and it was a bit of challenge with the crab meat and me not eating seafood. But it was pretty good and went really well with the yellow curry.

After all this cooking we just watched a demonstration of sticky rice. There’s soaking and cooking and absorption of sweet coconut milk, so it takes longer than we had. But I’ve cooked it at home and as lover of carbs and all things sweet it’s a winner.

All up the day was fantastic. I cooked (and ate) things I didn’t think I could cook and really now appreciate that Thai cooking is all about the balance of flavours between sweet, slaty and sour.

I also appreciated the chance to explore the food and culture of the country we were visiting

Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box – week 5

Up to week 5 of our Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box (more info on the whole CSA thing here). I totally missed posting about last week’s box as life got in the way. I also almost missed out on a box for this week, cue panic. But all ended well and I got a box.

Anyway, what was in the box

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Onion
  • Spring Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Plums

So how did I use all this amazing produce

The Spinach, well I’ll definitely use it in green smothies, or served as a side dish, as I’m the only one in the house who really fancies it

There were only 2 carrots so I really don’t think I’ll make a meal wound them, but together with the potatoes and parsnip and onion I might do a meal of roasted vegetables, perfect for a winter dinner

The spring onions, well I’ve used them in omelettes, fried rice and maybe just maybe might whip up some cheesy spring onion potatoes

The cauliflower, well I’m roasting some right now with olive oil and cumin seeds. I might do a soup, or make cauliflower with cheese, which really is up there as ultimate winter comfort food.

The pumpkin well, its one of those gorgeous heirloom pumpkins – potimarron. I’m so excited about this as it was amazing last we had it. I’m thinking I’ll make this pumpkin tart and any leftover will go into the roast vegetable party I’ve described above.

There were only 2 sticks of celery and I used one in a fried rice and I’ll snack on the other one.

Apples well, we’ve been chowing down on these as they are so good, but if I can save a couple, I reckon I can see an apple tea cake in our future

Kiwi fruit, daughter loves them, so there are all hers (she’d be most unimpressed if someone else ate them)

Plums well, they were pretty good and have just been eaten by themselves (in fact I ate the last one while typing this post).

For more info on Jupiter Creek Farm see here

 

Part of the In her chucks CSA link up party

Sundays with Joy – Leek & Asparagus Quiche

This week in the Sundays with Joy  Facebook group we made Leek and Asparagus Quiche. Well everyone else did I made Leek and Bacon quiche.

It’s not that I don’t like Asparagus, no far from it, I spend all of spring trying to incorporate it into as many meals as possible. But the thing is it’s not Spring here in Australia so it’s not in season. I mean sure I could buy it, but I don’t quite feel right buying it when it comes from Peru or where ever. For a whole host of reasons I’d rather buy fresh local in season produce.

So I adapted the recipe to use bacon in its place. I mean bacon makes everything good so I figured there wouldn’t be a problem.

I also don’t make quiche too often. It all seems a bit 1980’s. But you know what quiche is pretty good and this one was delicious. We ate it hot, but it would be perfect as picnic food.

Let’s make quiche

There was bacon

Of course Leeks

2 types of cheese

And Eggs, milk and cream action

Leek and Bacon Quiche – recipe adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook  Leek and Asparagus Quiche

3 rashers bacon diced

1 leek thinly sliced

1 sheet frozen puff pastry

1 cup milk

3/4 cup cream

4 eggs

3/4 cup grated cheese ( I used shedder)

1/4 cup of feta cheese

Pr3eheat Oven to 180 degrees C

Defrost puff pastry

Fry bacon until just starting to brown. Add sliced leek. On medium heat cook until leeks are just starting to soften.

Mix together milk, cream, and eggs ad in 1/2 of the grated cheese

Line 25cm pie tin with pastry. Fill with Leek and Bacon mixture. Crumble feta over the top. Then pour over egg mixture, top with remaining grated cheese.

Bake for 1bout 40 mins or until quiche is set and browned on top. Let site for 30 mins.

Serve hot or cold

To see how others from the Sundays with Joy group baked the quiche, checkout the very lovely Bakeaholic Mama

My Minestrone Soup

It’s coming into winter, which equals open fires, red wine, casseroles and of course soups

I make soup at least once in the cooler months. Obviously its tasty, but it’s also cheap and filling and usually easy. This soup we would have at least once a fortnight. It’s a thoroughly unauthentic and probably nothing like a minestrone. I suspect it started of as minestrone and throughout time it’s kind of morphed into what it is, which is delicious.

It’s also really flexible and I always make it with Italian soup mix, potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, but whatever else that goes into it is what I have on hand. Always add the pasta last and don’t overcook it. If you aren’t serving it straight away only par cook the pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.

Let’s make minestrone soup

There is chopped onions & garlic

Potatoes, celery and carrots

Italian soup mix

Zucchini

Kale & spinach

Pasta

Minestrone Soup (makes a lot adjust as required)

1 cup Italian soup mix (the dried Italian bean mix, in where you also find dried lentils)

1 tbsp good olive oil

1 onion chopped (sliced leek also works well)

1 clove of garlic chopped

1/2-1 chilli chopped (depending on how spicing you want it and the quantity your making)

1-2 medium potatoes large diced (depending on how much you want to put in)

2 sticks of Celery sliced

2 carrots sliced

1/2 Zucchini sliced (optional and I only ever put it in if I have some, you could also put in some chopped capsicum in its place or just leave it out)

handful of spinach and or Kale, roughly chopped ( again this is optional I only use it if I have it)

1 810g can of crushed/chopped tomatoes.

1 cup of small pasta (in this case I used small spirals but have used macaroni or spaghetti broken into smaller pieces)

small handful of herbs (Basil/oregano/thyme/parsley whatever I have on hand that is vaguely Italian)

The first thing you need to do it cook your beans. You can do this via soaking them in water overnight and then boil them for about 1 hour. I’m never that organised so I do them in my pressure cooker. For this pop them in pressure cooker cover with water to a depth of about 10cm, pop lid on and bring up to pressure, then simmer 10 mins turn off heat and let it cool down and depressurise (is this a word?). Either way strain beans.

Heat oil in big stock pot or very large saucepan, then add garlic, onion and chilli fry until soft. Then add in potatoes, celery and carrots as well as beans, and tomatoes. Fill can tomatoes came form with water add this to soup. Bring to boil and simmer 15 mins or until carrot and potato are nearly cooked

Add Zucchini and spinach, simmer 5 mins. Add pasta, cook till done if serving straight away, if serving later par cook pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.

Serve hot. I like mine with basil pesto and parmesan I doubt this is at all authentic and nobody else in the family likes it like this, but I like it and think it adds to it in a delicious way.

Garlic bread goes spectacularly well with this