Archive for ‘Recipes’

October 13, 2010

Home Made Pumpkin Bread & Strawberry Jam!!!

Here in Oz we are on a tight budget at the moment. This gave me a chance to look around the web and find ways to reduce my monthly food bill.  I already started a small veggie patch here in our garden and I am happy to say that my zucchini seeds are already little plants soaking the sun. The orange tree is blooming very happily and I already can see the fruits forming so we will have a great crop this year. The poor tree when we got the house was almost dead so I am very pleased by her happy recovery. We have mature almonds at the moment which the black cockatoo’s are munching on, they are beautiful big birds and Luke is delighted to see them in the afternoon. Not bad for a city girl who didn’t know anything about gardens!

Last week Luke and I went to the farmer’s market near our home and  they had strawberries on special, so I bought 1,5 kg for less then 4 dollars. Too much for our house hold so I decided to make jam out of 1kg of strawberries. I used Jamie’s Oliver’s recipe and I am sad to say this but, it didn’t work too well. I used the special jam sugar but it is still was runny even though I left it to boil much longer than in the recipe requested. It is still yummy, don’t get me wrong you can still eat it but it is more like a strawberry sauce than jam. Well I guess next time I will make it with normal white sugar, I think it would set better and also be less acidic.

Grandma bought for me a huge pumpkin so I also had more than a kilo of pumpkin in the fridge which I didn’t know what to do with, so I decided to make pumpkin bread. I used this great recipe from FRESH LOAF. It turned out perfect so I have two small loafs which I will bring one to grandma when Luke wakes up from his nap. She is has the flu so I can am sure she will enjoy the bread. I changed the recipe a bit I added more spices than the recipe and also used a little less flower (just 3 cups), also I added soaked raisins in orange liquor and walnuts. Like Luke says when he smells something nice hmmmmmmmmmmmm!! Enjoy the pictures of the garden and the loafs!

June 21, 2009

Grated Apple &Potato Crepe

Now that Luke is having his afternoon nap I thought it would be a good time to update my blog. I just made these beautiful yummy apple and potato crepes that I thought I’d share the recipe with you. They are not something you can eat everyday because of the calories(610 kcal per 40 g) but they are a wonderful Sunday brunch treat. I love to have them with smoked Tasmanian salmon but my hubby doesn’t eat fish so I buy a good quality smoked ham for him. Its a fairly easy recipe and the results are really impressive, light and with that wonderful sweet and sour hint. It is a great recipe to do when your apples are starting to have a sorry look, here at home we always have apples but they tend to linger too long sometimes. So here it goes:

Ingredients: (this will make about 6 crepes)

1 onion (medium size)

2 potatoes (medium sized)

3 granny smith apples (I think they are the best ones for this recipe but if you don’t have them in the house, any apple will do)

1 egg

2tbsp plain flour


Horseradish cream


Sour Cream or Cream Fresh



Preparation: (45 minutes)

1. Peel 1 onion and grate on a hand-grater. Put it in a bowl. Peel and wash the two potatoes and grate them coarsely on the grater. Wash and peel the three granny smith apples(if you have large ones use only two apples). Grate them coarsely as far as the core and add to the bowl with the grated onion and potatoes.

2. Stir one egg into the mixture and add salt (1tsp), pepper and the flour, mixing well. Add the chopped chives and mix again. The mixture should not be dry, if its too runny add a little more flour.

3. Heat a good quality oil ( I use rice bran oil because of it’s high heat point) in a non-stick frying pan and add a little butter if you like. With a spoon add the batter and press it a little till its flat. The best, so far for me is three crepes at a time, cooking them for about 4 to 5 minutes in each side. Set aside in plate with some paper towel to drain any oil.

4. Put a generous amount of smoked ham (triple smoked is the one I usually use) on top of the crepe. Add 1tsp of sour cream to the top. Sprinkle some chives over the sour cream and serve. For the salmon crepe: Add a nice generous slice of smoked Tasmanian salmon on top of the crepe. Add 1 tsp of sour cream, 1/2 a tsp of horseradish cream on top of the sour cream and sprinkle with fresh Dill. Its ready to serve and devour!!!

January 9, 2009

Brazilian Pudding (Pudim de Leite Condesado)

I have noticed that this particular post is very popular, so welcome to my blog, please feel free to also see other posts and features in my blog. It would be great if you would come back now then and see whats new. Well enjoy!!! For all of you who want a very nice dessert with no fuss, you should try this classic Brazilian pudding. It has a lot of sugar so its not something you should make every week. This dessert can make any occasion special and it will hit all the right places. But please be warned that this dessert is addictive, once you start eating you cant stop! It needs to be cold so take that in consideration when making it. I usually make it on the end of the day and eat it the next day. Like any pudding there are a lot of variations to this traditional recipe out there, I have altered the recipe as well just because I like an extra hint of orange to my pudding but they are all basically the same. The big secret of this recipe is how to make the pudding have the little bubbles in it, don’t worry this recipe guarantees the bubbles in your pudding. The method seems very difficult and complex but when you do start you cant believe how easy it is! I will write this recipe in English and Portuguese so bare with me OK. Lets start….

Ingredients (Ingredientes):

2 cans of condensed milk (2 latas de leite condesado)

2 cans of milk -use the same cans from the condensed milk for mesaurments. (a mesma medida de leite comum)

5 eggs (5 ovos)

1 orange zest (1 raspa de laranja)

Vanila extract (estrato de baunilha)

sauce (calda):

1 cup of castor sugar (1 xicara de acucar)

1/2 cup of water (1/2 xicara de agua)

*You will need a bunt baking pan; the one that is round with the tube in the middle.

Methode (modo de fazer):

1. Start with the sauce. Please be extra careful with this step specially if you have small childeren at home because the caramel can be very hot and make a lot of damage on little or adult fingers. Bring the sugar and the water together in a small sauce pan. Let it boil in medium heat on the stove. You have to keep an eye on this all the time because it can burn and then your pudding will become bitter. When the sauce is becoming a lighter brown keep steering so it wont burn and turn the heat down a little. Let it get a little darker, you will know when its ready when it reaches a medium caramel color. In a bunt baking pan pore the caramel and make circular movements so the caramel covers the sides of the baking pan (be careful with this because the pan becomes hot so use cooking gloves). Set aside to cool completely (this is very important because if you don’t let it cool completely it will make scramble eggs of you pudding). While its cooling get a deep backing pan in which the bunt baking pan will fit inside. Poor warm water in it and stick it in the oven and pre heat your oven 200 Celsius. This will insure that the water will be warm when you put the pudding in the water in the deep baking pan. This is the secret for the little bubbles in your pudding!

Misture o açúcar refinado com a água e leve no fogo sem mexer no comeco e depois quando comecar a escurecer mexa até ficar com cor de guaraná. Coloque em forma de buraco no meio e mexa a forma até caramelizá-la por igual. Espere a calda ficar em temperatura ambiente. Caso contrario a temperatura da calda poderá talhar o pudim.

2. When the caramel is cool you can start making the pudding. Put all the ingredients together the eggs, milk, condensed milk, orange zest and vanilla extract (its up to you how much you want from the vanilla) in a blender. Blend it on high for 5 minutes. Pore the liquid into the bunt baking pan. Put the bunt pan on the water in the deep baking pan, who is already hot in the oven. Let it bake uncovered for about ten minutes or till you see the top becoming a nice golden colour. When this happens just cover the pudding with aluminum foil and let it bake for 1 hour, keep an eye on the water and be sure to top it up, you need the water so it wont burn the pudding.

Bata todos os ingredientes no liquidificador por cinco minutos. Despeje o pudim na forma já caramelizada. Para você conseguir um pudim com bastantes furinhos, leve ao forno em banho-maria com a água já quente. O forno deve estar pre-aquecido 200 graus. Deixe o pudim discoberto ate ele comecar a ter uma cor de caramelo ai voce pode ccobri-lo com papel aluminio. Deixe em fogo alto por uma hora.

3. You should be able to see if the pudding is ready if it has risen like a souffle and if you prick the middle with a tooth pick and no liquid comes out than you can take it out of the oven. Let it cool completely before bringing it to the fridge; please leave the aluminum foil on or your pudding will take the flavour of your fridge and that is yuck.

Voce vai poder saber se o pudim esta pronto quando ele crescer como um souffle. Ele quase dobra de tamanho. So pra ter certeza faca o teste do palitinho. Retire do forno e deixe esfriar completamente antes de coloca-lo na geladeira.

4. The next day you can take it out of the fridge and in the same deep baking pan add hot water and let the pudding sit on it for a while, this insures that the caramel will melt and make it easier for you to turn the pudding on a plate. I leave it in the water till the water cools down.

No dia seguinte ou depois que o puddim esteja bem gelado coloque em banho maria novamente so para a calda degrudar da forma. Voce nao presica colocar ele no forno!!!! Deixe ele de banho maria ate a agua esfriar.

5. Now this is the moment of truth!! With a knife cut the pudding from the side of the baking pan. Put a nice big plate on top of the bunt backing pan and turn it upside-down and leave it for a while. Don’t mess with it, just let the pudding slowly on its own fall down to the plate. If you mess with it it will brake and you will have an ugly pudding. It will fall, trust me and then there it is you beautiful delicious traditional Brazilian pudding. Very very yummy….specially very cold!
Agora e o momento da verdade. Com um faca descole as laterais da panela. Num prato grande coloque-o em cima da panela do pudim e vir-o de cabeca para baixo para desformar. Deixe ele cair sozinho, nao bata na panela pois vc pode quebraro pudim e ai vc tem uma meleca de caramelo. Deixe o pudim cair sozinho. E quando ele cair vc tera um lindo pudim com furrinhos que e uma delicia!
December 8, 2008

Eggplant Lasagna (glutenfree!!!)

Here is my favorite lasagna recipe; even though it takes some time to prepare, it is just worth all the trouble. This recipe is great because it’s full of veggies (you can also make it a vegetarian lasagna just don’t add the minced meat). There is no pasta in it, so for the ones who might be on a diet or have gluten allergies this is a great alternative.Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours

Serves: 4 people
1 good sized eggplant (for a lasagna dish 33 x 22cm. If you have a bigger dish just use two eggplants.)
2 carrots chopped in cubs
1 zucchini chopped in cubs
1 yellow pepper chopped in cubs

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 bottle of tomato puree
1 onion chopped in cubes
3 garlic cloves chopped or minced
400 grams of good quality minced beef (I like to use the one that has the least fat.)
1 big bag of grated cheese (I use mozzarella light but you can use whatever cheese you prefer.) breadcrumbs
Fresh Basil
*You can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge for this recipe; the only must have is the eggplant.
Step 1: Start by cutting the eggplant length wise in thin slices. Don’t worry if slices are not perfect it will work anyway and no one will see because it will be used for layers.
Step 2: Dip the eggplant slices in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Put some butter in a frying pan and fry them still they are golden brown set them aside in a dish. Do this till all the eggplant is fried.

Step 3: Pre-heat the oven to 190 C. In a medium pan add some olive oil and saute the onion and garlic till soft. Then add the minced meat let it cook till all the juices of the meat are gone. Then add the zucchini, yellow peppers, carrots and any other veggies you want. Let it fry for a little while. Add the tomato sauce (leave some sauce in the bottle so you can use this for the bottom of the lasagna dish), vegetable stock, salt, pepper (I like to add some vegetable stock to the sauce but it is not a must but if you do this be more careful with the salt.) Let it simmer till the sauce thickens a bit. At the end add the fresh basil (I love to use a lot of fresh basil but its up to you how much you put in it…if you don’t have fresh basil just use dry oregano.)

Step 4: In the lasagna dish use the left over tomato puree for the bottom (I do this so the eggplant doesn’t burn and it gets the taste of the tomatoes too.) Add a layer of eggplant then a layer of the minced meat sauce then a layer of grated mozzarella cheese. Continue till all the eggplant and sauce is gone. Now be sure to leave some mozzarella cheese for the top, its the best part!

Step 5: Stick it in the pre-heated oven till you see the top become golden and the sauce bubbly. Take out of the oven and serve. There it is, a beautiful healthy dish which will comfort you, your friends and family without breaking the budget. Enjoy!!!

%d bloggers like this: