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Archive for the ‘Other stuff’ Category

I have discovered a new rule to life. It is: You can never have too much guacamole at a picnic. Think about it, you never get to the end of a group picnic and hear someone say, “Oh my goodness, what on earth are we going to do with all of this excess guacamole?” And if you do know anyone that faces this problem, introduce me to them an they’ll never experience it again. Its the ultimate dip, delicious and chunky and perfect. And the best thing about it is it is so easy to make. So here is a very very easy guacamole recipe that I think could work for 4-6 people.

Ingredients

Two ripe avocadoes
One vine-ripened tomato chopped into small pieced
Half a large red onion chopped into small pieces
Juice from one lime
Salt to taste (chilli salt is best)

Recipe

1.    Cut avocado in half removing seed. Slice each avocado while still in skin without piercing the skin and remove with spoon into medium sized bowl.
2.    Mash avocado with fork slowly mixing in juice of lime. The more juice you add the easier it becomes to mash.
3.    Add the chopped tomato and red onion. Stir through.
4.    Add salt to taste.

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I hate it when I see a good recipe and then realise I need a food processor for it. I don’t have a food processor. I did not grow up in a household with a food processor. I believe that with two arms and  knife I should be able to do the job of a machine that would take up space I can’t afford to give up in this kitchen. That’s why when reading a recent post in Stone Soup (a place where recipes for people like me can always be found) that called for pesto and then gave me the recipe for a pesto I didn’t need a food processor for I was a little more than happy. Bravo for keeping my kitchen gizmo count down.

The other great thing about this recipe is it gave me the opportunity to try some of my new herb garden which has been happily growing on my balcony for the past fortnight. With the help of some worms, hay and labour from a friend I now have a bunch of herbs begging to be made into something delicious. This pesto will be my first chance to enjoy the fruits of my labour (or rather a friend’s labour but what the heck?).

Balcony Basil

Ingredients

Bunch of basil leaves
Handful of pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
Two handfuls of finely grated parmesan cheese

Recipe

Makes one jar

1.    Wash and dry basil leaves then put in a sandwich bag and pound with a meat mallet. This bruises the basil and gets it releasing all its juices.
2.    Put basil, garlic and pine nuts on chopping board. Chop and mix together until it is all in little bits. Put in small mixing bowl.
3.    Slowly add extra virgin olive oil while stirring with a fork until the mixture is a little like a paste (be liberal with the oil).
4.    Add the parmesan cheese and mix through adding more extra virgin olive f needed. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
5.    Store in sterilized jar with oil over top if storing in fridge/freezer.

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Tasty Curry Pasty

My aunty reminded me the other day of what a fussy eater I was as a child. My claim to fussy fame was that despite my mother being from a part of the world that is known for delicious curries and my father being one of the best curry makers around whenever we were served curry at home and would go to the sink and attempt to wash off every last bit of flavouring from the meat. I feel shame just writing that. Making this curry paste is part of my pathway to redemption.

Ingredients

½ cup white vinegar
1/3 cup peanut oil
2 hot red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup ground cumin
1/3 cup ground coriander
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Recipe

Makes one jar.

Combine everything and mix together well! Very easy I know. To store in the freezer after putting into jar pour a little peanut oil on top. When you need to use it. Take it and put it in the fridge the morning before you want to cook with it. Will store for about 4 months.

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Easy Peasy Kiwi Fruit Jam

I don’t like jam. At least this is what I’ve been tellling myself up until today when I had what would have been my sixth spoonful of jam. Seems I was wrong. When I told a friend that I planned on making jam they put an image in my head of me standing for a prolonged period of time over a stove stirring and stirring until I wanted to jam the jam recipe up someone’s behind and be done with the whole thing. Not this recipe. Seems it is a day for contradictions and discovery and what nicer thing to dicover than a love of a really easy to make jam!

Ingredients

About 8 kiwi fruits, peeled and chopped
1 red delicious apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice from two limes
1 cup caster sugar

Recipe

The recipe I had I changed a bit because a) I think it assumed I had some prior knowledge of jam which I really didn’t, and b) I think that the people who write recipes involving microwaves don’t expect that the people making them have really small inexpensive microwaves where the term “high” may mean something completely different.
1.    Combine the kiwi, apple and lime juice in a small microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high from 3 minutes. Remove cover and stir in sugar.
2.    Microwave uncovered on high for three minutes but stopping to stir at every minute. This is to get the sugar to dissolve through.
3.    Microwave in 5 minute intervals uncovered until the jam is “set”. This took me about 20 minutes. To test if the jam is set put a teaspoon of it in the freezer on a saucer for 2 minutes (just to get it to room temperature faster). If when you run your finger through it stays separated it is set! Keeping popping it in the microwave for a minute or two if it hasn’t set yet.
4.    Spoon the hot jam into sterilised jars, and secure lids. Sit the jar upsidedown for 5 minutes then turn right side up and let cool. Should keep for three months in the fridge.

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Delish Relish

Corn is apparently taking over the world. And its using us in its dastardly plans. At least that’s what Michael Pollan is saying and he has a point.

We unnecessarily (I don’t include economic or industrial necessity in this definition) consume vast quantities of corn without even knowing it. Us and the animals we eat ( I have to admit here that prior to my foodie enlightenment when I saw that a chicken was “corn-fed” I thought, “hey isn’t that nice, that chicken gets to eat corn!” – oops).

So rather than take my corn in the form of Coke (yes, lots of corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup in there apparently) I thought I’d just eat corn as close to the knobbly little yellow pearls that grown hidden away in little cocoons as I could. So here is the tomato and corn relish. And its better than Coke.

Three bowls, all delicious

Ingredients

2 spring onions, chopped
Half Spanish onion, chopped
½ tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Two large vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
¼ teaspoon chilli salt (made with celery)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 table spoon caster sugar
Kernels from 2 cobs of corn
Salt to taste

Recipe

Now I like to do this like a scientist, preparing everything first and then dealing with it because with my poor timing if I don’t have everything ready to go the second it needs to go in I’m likely to set something on fire. Though this always means a lot of dishes. So…
1.    Prepare three bowls. In the first, put all the chopped onion and the mustard. In the second, put all the chopped tomato, the white wine vinegar, the sugar and the chilli salt. In the third put the corn kernels (off the cob NOT from a can). Now you can begin.
2.    Heat oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add everything in the onion bowl and stir until tender (about 3 minutes) then add everything in the tomato bowl, keep stirring.
3.    Once it is think and not too sloppy  (about 5 minutes) add the corn and cook until its soft and tasty (about 3 minutes).
4.    Put into a sterilised jar. I think it would be perfect with cheese and crackers or in a sandwich.

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