Watermelon & Honey Slushie

Warmer weather on our mountain top gets us in the mood to party!

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Who doesn’t love a refreshingly cool fruity concoction on a warm day?! This combination of juicy watermelon with the sweetness of honey will definitely give your taste buds a tingle! And I’m sure that the booze hounds among you out there will very quickly work out how to sully this one 😉

It’s another easy 3 ingredient wonder of awesomeness from me to lift up your Summer!

Simply start with 6 crushed ice-cubes, add in some roughly chopped watermelon (about 2 cups worth which is a smaller wedge of the melon) & drizzle in a teaspoon of honey (I always use a local raw honey).

Grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blitz that lot into a fabuliciouzly cool slushie!

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Spiced Pumpkin Scones

Fabuliciouzly light & oh so devourish!

These scones, with a hint of something special, won’t last long enough for the lashings of butter to melt upon them!

Start off this culinary delight by peeling 1/2 a butternut pumpkin & chopping into rough cubes. Bung into a baking dish, sprinkle with cumin & paprika to your taste before drizzling over a wee bit of oil & whacking into a 180c oven to roast for an hour. Drain the excess oil off then mash it up & set aside to go cold.

In a mixing bowl, cream together 30g of softened butter with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been told to use a wooden spoon to do this so that’s what I shall pass onto you too 🙂

Next, throw in 1/2 cup of the mashed spiced pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, 1 beaten egg & 3/4 cup of milk. Give that lot a jolly good mix in.

Into the bowl plop 2 & 1/2 cups of self raising flour & mix together to form a dough then get your hands in there to knead it lightly. The mix will be awfully sticky so just wet your hands to pull bits off & roll into balls. Place the balls onto baking paper lined trays then lightly press down to flatten the tops & sprinkle with a wee bit of grated parmesan cheese.

Pop them straight into a 210c oven for 5 minutes before reducing the heat to 200c for another 5 minutes.

Be mindful of the hungry hoards thrusting their hands at the hot trays as you pull out your luscious scones!

Easy Peasy Crepes

They’re sure to send you salivating at a fancy pants cafe,

but did you know that making ooh la la crepes at home is as easy as

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  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs

Who woulda thunk it?!?!?!

To whip up this fabuliciouz delicacy in your very own home kitchen simply grab a mixing jug & pour in 2 cups of milk before cracking 3 eggs into it & give that lot a jolly good whisk!

Next, bung 1 cup of plain flour into a mixing bowl, add the milk/eggs mix & whisk it altogether until it’s gloriously combined.

Spray a non-stick pan (cause you never can trust those things!) with some spray cooking oil – oh yeah, you’re on a medium heat here guys – then just ladle some batter into the middle of the pan & swirl it about to coat the entire bottom.

Cook it for a couple of minutes to get it lusciously golden before flipping for a minute on the other side.

Whack it on a plate & keep going to use up all the batter!

Once you’ve got your crepes, you can then really get creative with your toppings, rolling, folding etc to make something truly spectacular to serve up to your loved ones at home.

Cheese & Bacon Soufflé

Here’s an easy peasy recipe for the kids, and dads, to make this Sunday to WOW mum with more than just burnt toast.

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First, daddy, get that oven cranking to a stonking hot 220c!

Use spray oil to generously grease some pretty ramekins, hint – do this in the sink so that the wee cherubs don’t mess up the entire kitchen! One gratin dish could be substituted as well.

Then, depending on the age & abilities of the kidlets you can divvy up the steps between daddy & offspring as to whatever way floats your boat.

Heat up a glug of oil in a frypan to cook off some diced bacon before plopping into the bottom of the ramekins.

Next, sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese in there too – YUM!

Grab a mixing bowl to whisk together 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of thickened cream, salt & white pepper until frothy bubbles appear. Hint dads – make sure you have extra eggs as they’re bound to be smashed outside of the bowl 😀

Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekin bowls to just cover the cheese & bacon, they’ll probably be about half full.

Finally, daddy, I shall let you in on the secret trick to get those soufflé’s to rise & shine! Simply run your finger around the edge! Yep, that’s the big technique involved with this show stopper! Wipe your CLEAN finger around the edge of the ramekin from the mixture to the top – this creates a pathway for the soufflé to rise sky high!

Whack that lot in the oven (place them on a baking tray to get them easily in & out) to bake until they’re light & fluffy. Do not open that door! Just keep a watchful wait through the glass – this ain’t perfect on the timing as every dish is different. Plan for about 15 minutes but hey, if they over cook, it’s no drama – simply tell mum you’ve made her quiche & she’ll still be stoked at your culinary prowess.

Fish Bites

The secret to great food is to not do a lot to it!

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We’ve just returned from holidays & had the most amazing time away! We are relaxed, revived & refreshed as only a break at the beach can provide!

Whilst we were there, we were so fortunate to find ourselves alongside some extremely accomplished fishermen. Mini-Me delighted in seeing their catch each day with the incredible variety of different species they hauled in.

One day, they snagged themselves two very impressive Kingfish! Then the most beautifully generous thing happened, they handed us a bag of their freshly caught Kingfish! I mean, WOW, right?!?!?! Unless you’re a fisher person yourself, you just don’t get fish that fresh!

Now something that I’ve always done, no matter what the produce & is my Top Tanz Tip for you all today is  –

Always ask the Farmer/Hunter/Fisherman/Gatherer HOW they cook it!

You will be absolutely blown away with the culinary knowledge that will be so freely given to you.

Our lovely fishermen advised that with this particular fish, the best course of action was to simply season some flour with salt & pepper, toss the fish through it & then pan fry in some hot oil quickly until they’re cooked through.

Seafood is the most convenient of all the foods to cook as they have a built in timer to tell you when they’re ready! When seafood changes colour from see through translucent to a lovely opaque white, It’s Chompin Time!

Sushi Rolls

They’re quick, they’re healthy & they’re fabuliciouz!

Whipping up this Food Court favourite at home is easier than you may think!

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Start with the rice – you’ll need to bung 1 cup of cooked rice into a nice shallow bowl before popping over 3 tablespoons of Sushi Seasoning, you can find this in the Asian section of your local supermarket these days! Use a wooden spoon to gently fold the seasoning through the rice before allowing it to cool to room temperature. This sushi seasoning is the secret ingredient! You know how when you buy these rolls at the shops there’s always that certain special taste that you can’t quite put your finger on???? Well this is it! It also gives the rice that absolutely essential sticky consistency too.

Next, you’ll need a bamboo sushi mat, also readily available in the Asian aisle of supermarkets these days.

Lay your bamboo sushi mat flat on your bench before taking out a sheet of Nori Seaweed (how good is it now that we can get all these wonderfully exotic ingredients so easily?!?!). Lay the Nori sheet with the shiny smooth side down against the matt as this will be your outer presentation side so you want the rough, dull bit on the inside.

Spread the sticky rice in a layer all over the Nori sheet but make sure you leave a 2cm gap at the end furthest from you.

Next comes your fillings! This is where you can let your imagination run wild or simply take inspiration from the menu at your local take out.

In a narrow strip, closest to you, start layering. Just use a couple of ingredients, as the Japanese do, which work really well together. In the picture I have used curried egg & chicken, but also think about avocado, cucumber, tuna, wasabi, ginger, duck – all the classics!

Then you need to use the bamboo mat to lift the fillings end, which is the closest to you, up & over ensuring a nice tight roll. Wet your fingers to moisten the 2cm strip you’ve left at the far end of the nori seaweed & lift up & over again with the mat to seal your roll. Squeeze to ensure a nice tight roll that won’t fall apart.

Remove the roll from the mat by simply opening the bamboo mat up again before transferring the roll onto a cutting board. Finally, because the rice is so sticky, you will need to wet a very sharp knife to slice the roll into bite sized pieces.

It’s Chompin Time!

Fish Balls with Sweet & Sour Sauce

A crunchy exterior gives way to fabuliciouzly smooth fish that’s sure to put a smile on the dial of any seafood lover but dunk it in this well balanced Asian classic sauce & you’re on a WINNER!

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Start by popping 500g worth of fresh fish fillets into a blender & turning into a creamy mince. Bung it into a mixing bowl then add in a well beaten egg, 1 tablespoon of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice & a good pinch of salt. Mix that lot up really well & form into balls. Now the mixture is quite sticky & just a wee bit tricky to work with so they’re not going to be perfect, go for the rustic look 😉

Chill the fish balls in the fridge for half an hour whilst you crack on with the sauce.

Grab a saucepan & whack in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of raw sugar & a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar then you can start to thicken the sauce by blending 2 tablespoons of corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water ( so equal quantities guys) & adding to the sauce. Just keep that reducing down over low heat until you get it to the right thickness for you.

To finish off the fish balls, simply coat them in corn flour & shallow fry them off in hot oil until they’re a lovely golden colour & cooked through.

Frittata Muffins

Honestly, these wee morsels are so simple & so versatile you’ll be whipping up a plethora of your own flavours in no time!

Perfect for picnics, brunch & lunch boxes, there’s no limit to what combo’s you can come up with.

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It’s all about following this easy rule – have 3 cups worth of filling flavours to your 8 eggs to make 12 muffins.

Simply, whisk 8 eggs in a bowl before seasoning with salt & white pepper & bunging in your flavour fillings – in the ones pictured I have 1 cup each of chorizo, red capsicum & swiss brown mushrooms which I’ve diced smallish & fried off.

Then all you need to do is pour the mixture equally into a well greased 12 hole muffin pan & whack in a 180c oven to bake for 20 minutes.

How easy peasy is that?!?!?!

Scones in Sauce

Watching a T.V show the other day about American Southern Comfort Food, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by how they smothered the humble scone in creamy white sauce, so naturally I just had to give this a crack myself!

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Let’s just say that my fam-bam was not disappointed with the results! We reckon they just might be onto something here across the Pacific!

Start by making a simple batch of scones. Grab a large mixing bowl & bung in 2 cups of Self Raising Flour, 300ml of thickened cream & 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. Mix it all up with your hands before turning out onto a lightly floured bench. The trick to a brilliant scone is to NEVER let a rolling pin anywhere near the dough! Simply use your hands to gently bring the dough together before lightly pressing out into a flat round, then either use a scone cutter or just cut into wedges before popping on a baking paper lined tray. Whack those in a 200c oven for 15 minutes.

Then it’s onto the sauce!

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over low heat & then add in a tablespoon of plain flour, whisking furiously until it’s a beautiful golden colour to cook that flour off. Pour in 1 cup of beef stock, 1/2 cup of thickened cream & then for the secret ingredient….a splash of soy sauce! Season generously with salt & white pepper before turning up the heat just a wee bit to thicken the sauce to whatever consistency floats your boat.

Grab a wee frypan & heat a glug of oil to gently fry off some diced bacon & chuck that in the sauce too.

Pop a couple of scones into a bowl before pouring that scrumptious bacon infused creamy sauce all over to smother those things!

It’s Chompin Time!

Gourmet Hotdog

There’s a fabuliciouz trend happening that is turning this oh so humble street snack into a gourmet delight focussing on themed toppings.

I like to call this culinary creation of mine, The Chihuahua, my little Mexican Dog.

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I start this one with a lovely Gluten Free bread roll which I’ve toasted just enough to give an amazing crunch before slapping down in it a juicy pork sausage (I use Cumberland style ones, those Pommies might know a thing or two about snags, eh!) which has been grilled to perfection!

Next, I top with some Mexe-beans which I’ve gently heated in a saucepan, this gives a beautiful warm tingle in the mouth, before bunging over a jolly good sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese to melt slightly with the heat.

Then, I whack on a few generous spoonfuls of mashed avocado & a dollop of sour cream before finally crowning with some diced up jalapeño chillies, just for good measure!

The Gourmet Hotdog trend really excites me as it’s a simple canvas that you can do so very much with! What culinary creations have you come up with for these wee beauties? Please feed me some ideas in the comments below!