Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Mango Blueberry Cake

I baked this for a friend’s birthday. The recipe was pinched from an old school friend,  Angie, whose cooking talent I never knew of when we were in school 20 years ago. I modified the recipe just slightly, and used mango instead of tinned peaches, just because I bought a box of mangoes yesterday.

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g castor sugar
2 eggs
250g self raising flour
100g Greek yoghurt
150g buttermilk
1 mango, sliced
½ cup frozen/fresh blueberries

1.          Preheat oven to 170C.
2.          Cream butter and castor sugar till light and fluffy.
3.          Add eggs, one at a time, beat.
4.          Sift flour into butter cream mixture.
5.          Gently fold the yoghurt and buttermilk in.
6.          Grease and line a round cake tin (20cm/8 inches diameter)
7.          Spread half the batter into the tin.
8.          Place a layer of mango slices on the batter, and sprinkle half the blueberries.
9.          Spread the other half of the cake batter on top of that.
10.       Carefully decorate the top with the mango slices and blueberries.
11.       Bake in 170C oven for 1 hour, taking care not to burn the top (protect it by using a foil tent if required).

Friday, 18 November 2011

Smashed Roast Potato Salad

It is salad season again down here in the Southern Hemispheric summer. I lose my appetite in the heat, a cold and refreshing salad is a welcomed sight on the dinner table. 

Ingredients (serves 4)
8 baby chat potatoes, left unpeeled, washed
1 stalk of spring onion, finely chopped
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 strips of bacon, diced
¼ red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp seeded mustard
2 tbsp of whole egg mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp of olive oil

1.          Toss potatoes lightly in olive oil.
2.          Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20-30 minutes. You can parboil the potatoes to reduce the oven time.
3.          In the last 10 minutes, sprinkle the bacon pieces around the potatoes in the oven.
4.          Smash the potatoes slightly with a potato masher while they’re still hot once out of the oven.
5.          Add everything else in and toss.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Simple Spring Vegetable Stir Fry

I love spring. You get to eat lots of nice spring vegetables and fruits. I love stone fruits and mangoes. Anyone else sick of the boring apples and oranges? I cooked this to show case the fresh asparagus I bought.

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 4 cm lengths
5 leaves of Wombok, cut into 2 cm slices
1 carrot, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
A small handful of dried shrimp (optional)
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp of cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1.          Heat the cooking oil in the wok/saucepan.
2.          Saute the garlic and the dried shrimp.
3.          Add the vegetables in this sequence, carrots, capsicum, wombok, then the asparagus.
4.          Add in the oyster sauce, sesame oil and ¼ cup of water, it only takes less than 10 minutes to cook.
5.          Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Easy One Pot Rice

This meal is dead easy, and only one pot to wash up later on, and it only takes 20-30 minutes especially if you own a rice cooker. I like Chinese mustard green, it does have a bitter taste, my husband said why would anyone want to eat this vege? It is an acquired taste I must admit. You can substitute it with green beans, other greens, diced pumpkin, or omit the vegetables altogether if you’re a bad boy/girl. If you don't have any roast pork on hand, simply substitute it with diced chicken (raw is OK as long as it's cut small or it won't cook completely) or any other leftover meat in the fridge.

2 cups of jasmine rice
2 cups of chicken stock
2 cm of ginger, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 chinese sausages, sliced
200g of readymade roast pork 
4 dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrate in water for 15 minutes, cut into quarters
5 pieces of wood ears (dried black fungus), rehydrate in water, then thinly sliced
50g of dried shrimp, washed
3 bunches of Gai Choy (Chinese mustard greens), roughly chopped
2 tbsp of light soy sauce (substitute with gluten free soy sauce if you need)
1 tsp of sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1.          You’ll need a rice cooker, if you cook it on the stove you run the risk of burning the bottom.
2.          Pretty much dump all the ingredients into the rice cooker, leaving the vegetables last to sit on top of the rice.
3.          Press the cook button and wait for it!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Coming Up in November

Hello dear blog readers! I’ve sort of lost my baking mojo at the moment, and in the past two weeks really weren’t physically up to doing any elaborate cooking. I’m hoping my kitchen will get more usage this month apart from making the easy quick meals to feed the family, you know, like heating up frozen pizzas, mixing up salads to go with Woolies roast chicken, getting the kids to grill readymade chicken skewers and flip burgers. The kids are learning to cook though LOL! They even made burritos and spaghetti bolognaise. School term is almost finished so there might not be a lot of baking this month.

I haven’t introduced the newest member of our family. Here he is with his favourite toy dog.

Messy boy has been eating in bed.

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