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Sia Sandwiches

2011 February 3
by Reemski

Last night I got to see one of my favourite performers live, Sia. Just in case you don’t know who she is, you might recognise this:


 

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Mediterranean Eggplant Salad

2011 January 20

This time of year resolutions fly around like the fireworks exploding in the sky come midnight, but do any of us actually stick to them? I know I try, but often these attempts fizzle out due to a lack of motivation or other distractions. Last year, on this here blog, I resolved to lose weight, eat out less and cook more. I was sort of successful with some of it. I certainly did eat out less and acquired a mortgage. I didn’t lose weight, which was complicated by my knee surgery, and stress at work. However, before the year 2010 drew to a close I took some steps. I joined weight watchers and got back into the gym. Some thought I was mad to start over Christmas and New Year, but I knew I had to do it. So far, so good; with almost 3kgs being lost, I’m pretty stoked. I’m back at the gym and starting with a new outdoor fitness training group this week.

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Cheesymite Scrolls, cause you can

2011 January 3

Afternoon tea, after school snacks. Breakfast of champions and hangover cure. Vegemite has been central to my life.

Having some guests over who include small people made me wonder what could I serve them to keep them happy, the answer of course, Cheesymite Scrolls. The easy to eat combo made portable!

I searched until I found a bread based recipe as opposed to a buttery, scone type recipe and I’m super pleased with the results. It’s actually a dead simple recipe, so if you’re a little afraid of making bread, don’t be. This recipe couldn’t be easier.

* 375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm milk

* 1 tbs (14g/ 2 sachets) dried yeast

* 1 egg, lightly whisked

* 600g (4 cups) plain flour

* 125g grated cheddar

* couple of tablespoons of vegemite

* 2 tbs Boiling hot water

Method

1. Combine the milk, yeast in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until frothy. Add the egg and whisk to combine. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and stir until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan. Line the base with non-stick baking paper, set aside.

3.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 30 x 40cm rectangle.

4. In a small bowl place the tablespoon vegemite and the boiling hot water to melt and thin out the vegemite.

5. Brush  the dough evenly with the vegemite; now you might want to be heavy handed here; I wasn’t, and consequently it wasn’t quite vegemitey enough; and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Fold the short side closest to you over the filling. Fold the opposite side over the top to enclose the filling. Roll out the dough to a 30 x 40cm rectangle. Brush with the remaining vegemite and the remaining cheese. The original recipe calls for you to roll out, veggie and cheese, and fold over once more. Do if you can be bothered.

6. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll up firmly to form a log. Cut crossways into 8 even portions. Arrange each portion, cut-side up, in the prepared pan, brush with any remaining vegemite and sprinkle with any remaining cheese. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 20 minutes or until dough has risen slightly.

7. Bake in oven for 30 -35  minutes or until golden and cooked through. Turn onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au

Stephanie Alexander’s Rhubarb & Cinnamon cake

2010 December 12
by Reemski

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb…tasty delicious, organic, homegrown rhubarb…what a delightful housewarming gift! I was incredibly lucky to be the recipient of about 1.5kgs of this rhubarb homegrown by my dear, dear friend @th3LittleRedHen

Rhubarb is one of my most favourite things in the world, I always try to have a jar of stewed rhubarb in the fridge for spooning over porridge, or to have with yoghurt and Moose General Granola.

With this delicious bounty I had plenty to use in other things apart from my old standby. Stephanie’s rhubarb & cinnamon cake looked great, straightforward and full of yummy rhubarb.

Now, as usual I was missing ingredients and adjusted accordingly.

Stephanie Alexander’s Rhubarb and Cinnamon cake

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 300g Plain flour
  • 380g brown sugar (I ran out of brown sugar and used raw caster sugar instead)
  • 2 eggs
  • few drops of vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • grated zest of 1 lemon (I used lime)
  • 1 cup of crème fraîche or sour cream (I used plain yoghurt)
  • 400g rhubarb cut into 1cm pieces

Topping

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 24cm springform tin
In a food processor, cream the butter with sugar and add eggs and vanilla
Sift the remaining flour, salt, bicarb and cinnamon into a bowl, then add to food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Add lemon zest and crème fraîche/sour cream/yoghurt, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in rhubarb.
Scrape into tin
Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over cake.
Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Bits and Bites

2010 December 7

Things are staring to settle back into a routine, and I’m getting used to my new kitchen. This has been helped immensely by the purchase of an Ikea kitchen trolley on which to store the kitchen electricals such as the toaster etc since there’s only a teeny tiny amount of space next to the only powerpoint in the bloody kitchen! Not to worry, we are working around it, and getting used to it. The oven however is a joy, and so far, so accurate.

There should be a post on the weekend from a cookbook, but in the meantime I wanted to post some pictures of some things I’ve made and things I’ve eaten, and places I’ve been:

How gorgeous is this? This is the Orange cake with Persian fig and quince from Black Star pastry in Newtown.  This is my new Bourke St Bakery, and I have to walk further for it. This is not a bad thing!

Some of you may know that I have a little weekend job working for my mate Tim at UrbanFood Market at the Kings Cross Markets. I love my Saturdays there, getting to know our regular customers and seeing their reactions when they try the bacon or this amazing Thirlmere duck! This duck breast is simply lightly oiled and cooked on our bbq. Succulent, juicy boob.  Come see us, and get some yourself!

One of my new favourite things this year has been #spitbucket organised by my mate Dan and the team at Coast Restaurant. This informal, no bullshit wine tasting event, held once per fortnight is a great way for people like me who are clueless about wine to learn more without feeling like a numpty. This last Christmas Edition also happened to be all about Champagne! Woohoo! Looking forward to this event’s return in the new year.

My new obsession: Oysters! These babies were devoured quick smart recently at a lunch at a friend’s place…along with this mango tart I made:

The host had requested a custard based dessert but I wanted to do something tropical and summery. I found this recipe in Greg Malouf’s book Moorish, and though it was delicious, the pastry recipe was a total disaster, turning to mush; and even though I put in more mango than the recipe called for, once baked it became quite a subtle flavour. I had so much filling I made a second tart the next day and took it to work.  The pastry recipe I ended up using was from Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion.

Thanks to Electrolux I was invited along to a cooking class at Fratelli with Andy Bunn of Cafe Sopra. We got to try out a couple of the menu staples which were delicious. Above is the barramundi with witlof, and the ridiculous Banoffee Pie. What I loved about the recipes we tried is how damn simple they were. It’s true you know, if you use the best ingredients, with the simplest methods, you will have a damn fine meal.

Since being the owner of a brand new mortgage, I have been trying to curb my expensive nights out. Also, the cost of  getting to and from work these days is equal to a beautiful meal out once per month. Something I’m quite unhappy about.

A little while ago I won a competition on Twitter for a restaurant voucher at Catalina.  I was thrilled! I rarely, if ever win anything, [years later I’m still trying to win one of those Boys Town house lotteries!] and also it was for a restaurant I’d always heard of but never been too.  I took the Queen of the Twitterverse and we headed off last night to use the voucher.

Such a beautiful spot, and such a lovely space…

More Oysters!This time with Lime, Chilli and Tobiko (roe)

This entree of house smoked salmon, soft boiled duck egg, truffle mayonnaise and brioche was a feast for the senses..such beautiful buttery textures..we loved the entrees and the dessert tasting plate..shame it got too dark to take pictures! I can see why Catalina is a place to be seen by the Eastern suburbs ladies who lunch..gorgeous spot


Coast Restaurant + Rooftop Bar
The Roof Terrace
Cockle Bay wharf
02 9267 6700
@coastrestaurant
Coast on Urbanspoon

Catalina
Lyne Park
Rose Bay
02 9371 0555
Catalina on Urbanspoon

Fratelli Fresh Cooking Classes
7 Danks Street
Waterloo
1300 552 119

Black Star Pastry
277 Australia Street
Newtown
02 9557 8656
Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

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