Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Balsamic Thyme Mushrooms

I have a real weakness for bikkies and cheese, any sort of cheese really, usually far too much of it! Very hard to stop once it's in front of me! These tasty mushrooms were an attempt at damage control, I reckon if I add a few tasty, healthy bits to my cheese plate, I might eat a bit less of the cheese!

All of the Thyme in my garden is looking magnificent at the moment, flowering beautifully, it's still possible to find some bits without flowers which is what I needed for this simple recipe.
I just tossed the mushrooms in Balsamic, Olive oil and chopped up a handful of Thyme and tossed that through too with a pinch of sea salt.
I spread the mushrooms on a baking paper lined oven tray and cooked them in a moderate oven for 30 minutes, set aside to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
These were lovely on a cheese plate with some bitey Cheddar and Quince Paste. I think they would be good served warm as part of a Tapas menu, might try that soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meat-free Almost, Wheat-free Monday in Melbourne.....

I've been spending some time in Melbourne this week and wasn't home to whip up a meat-free, wheat-free feast! I did manage to have an amazing meat-free take-away from The Moroccan Soup Bar at 183 St. Georges Road North Fitzroy while I was there though, almost worth a trip to Melbourne just for that!
If you have an opportunity to go there, eating in or take -away are both great experiences, take your own containers for take-away and just tell the friendly staff how many people you are feeding, for $10 each we got more than we could possibly fit in and it was without a doubt the best take-away I've had ever, 4 different dishes including their fabulous Chickpea Bake as well as rice & couscous.

Going there with a bag full of containers reminds me of when I was a child and we used to go to our local Chinese take-away restaurant with saucepans for them to put the food in, much more fun and eco-friendly than throw away containers.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lime Cordial

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, this way of making Lime (or Lemon) cordial is embarrassingly easy, it doesn't keep for more than about 3 weeks in the fridge but so long as I don't make a huge amount this has never been a problem in my house.

Boil 3 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, allow to cool, add 1 cup of lemon or lime juice or a mixture of both. Bottle and store in the fridge, to use, dilute 1 part cordial to 4 parts water.

Too easy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meat-free Wheat-free Monday, Vegie Curry & Dal

I always get mixed reactions from my family when I announce that we're having a curry for tea, some worry that it's going to be too hot, some that it won't be hot enough! I like it somewhere in the middle, hot enough that you know you're eating a curry but not so hot that you can't really taste all the flavours.

I heated a tablespoon of oil in a frypan, added 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 of cumin seeds, after a couple of minutes I added a chopped onion and about 6 curry leaves,

I chopped up a chunk of fresh ginger, added that, and 2 teaspoons of green curry paste, (from a jar, not homemade, it is Monday after all!) I stirred this for about 3 minutes before adding cauliflower, carrots, beans and a bit of chili powder, turmeric, salt, 2 chopped tomatoes and a handful of frozen peas that were lurking in the freezer. I then added about a cup of vegetable stock and simmered it all for about 30 minutes.

We had a simple red lentil dal , rice and poppadoms with the curry, no-one complained, everyone ate it all, mission accomplished!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pizza Night!

I'm always extra impressed with myself when I have thought ahead and baked homemade pizza bases on the weekend, it makes it so easy to come home from work and whip up something fabulous (and quick!) for dinner.

I usually grab out of the fridge whatever I think might work on a pizza , chop it up, make an assortment, bake them, cut them up and let everyone eat whichever ones they like the look of.

At the moment we have Rocket growing (like a rocket!!) in the garden, I love the way it looks once it's a bit overgrown and flowering, I just keep picking the smaller leaves, they still taste as good as ever, wonderful to throw on top of a pizza, makes it look and taste very gourmet I think!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meat-free Wheat-free Monday

We eat many meals that are meat-free, once a week, however, we have special visitors who come for tea and require meat-free and wheat-free food.
I actually enjoy the challenge of coming up with something that suits my daughter and her partners' food intolerances and also pleases those of us who tolerate a broader range of foods.
Although I generally try to include fresh food from our garden, this week I just had a hankering for a real favorite of mine even though all these vegies are out of season at the moment! I did however make the ricotta from scratch and the parsley was home grown! I'll certainly make this meal often in Summer when we do have warm weather vegies in the garden.
Baked Ricotta and Barbequed Vegies, simple to make and always a winner with everyone!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Food Swap!

One of the first things I did when we moved to this area about 18 months ago was to join the Drysdale Harvest Basket Food swap, the swap occurs on the first Saturday morning of each month.Having a fairly young garden, I don't always have a great deal of produce to swap but I can usually come up with some preserves that I have made, often from produce that has come from a previous food swap! This month I took....

2 jars of Lemon Butter
1 jar of Beetroot & Orange Relish
1 jar of Mixed Citrus Marmalade
1 bunch of Ruby Chard
1 bunch of Crinkly Kale

I brought home...

2 Lemons
10 Limes
3 Celery sticks
1 bunch of Baby Carrots
1 Minature Cabbage
1 Pumpkin
4 Kohl Rabi seedlings
1 Lemon Balm plant

I chatted with a friendly, generous group of people who are all interested in growing fabulous, fresh food, I had a cuppa and watched a demonstration on sowing veggie seedlings, I also brought home 2 peat pots with tomato seedlings, can't wait to watch them grow. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning, I'm already looking forward to next month's Swap., follow this link to see the Havest Basket site and have a look at the blog for tips on growing veggies from seed... Drysdale Harvest Basket

Friday, September 2, 2011

When life gives you lemons......

I'm going to my local food swap tomorrow, it's on once a month and even though I feel like I've been using a lot of lemons, I still have about half a dozen left from a bag that I got at the last food swap. My three beautiful Light Sussex hens are laying well so the obvious thing to make today was Lemon Butter!

I'm trying a new recipe from a book that I've had for a while, Jams & Chutneys by Thane Prince. Combine 5 beaten eggs, 200gms caster sugar, 175mls cream and the finely grated rind and the juice from 3 lemons in a wide pan.

I used my trusty non-stick frying pan.Stir over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until it thickens, if it looks like boiling, turn the heat down a bit.

Pour the thickened mixture into sterilised jars, I used smallish ones as once the jar is opened it needs to be used within a week. Store in the fridge.