Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fasting with Aeroplane Jelly

When I arrived in Australia in 1976 I remember Aeroplane Jelly ads on the TV some of which were still in black and white. They had the ditty and music that went along with the product that all the kids seemed to know - good advertising eh. Over the years I must have made tons of jelly for my own kids growing up, but  I haven't had jelly for years but when I do taste it the memories of childhood floods back - mum would always make fruit and jelly for "afters", or her version of trifle with sponge in the bottom of a glass bowl set in jelly, fruit and cream.  However, I have eaten a fair bit of jelly in the last 24 hours due to the fact of a fasting period in preparation for an unmentionable medical procedure!

I turned to the tried and true Aeroplane jelly for my fasting sessions still with the little plane Bertie on the front of the pack. There is also a little snippet of history on the box too. Bertie the aeroplane is named  after aeroplane lover, Bert Appleroth, who created the delicious Aeroplane Jelly back in 1927.

The little song is printed on the back. ( I have to admit I had a little sing to myself as I boiled the water).

So my lunch, dinner and supper took no time to make with a little boiling water, popped in the fridge and ready for consumption. I have enjoyed it so much I have stocked my cupboard with these little boxes of crystals to pull out and make when the little ones come for a sleep over.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Love that pinny!

We spent some time in my sister's kitchen late last year when we dashed over to the UK.  As when in Rome you do as the Roman's do.  So as we were cooking pasta (a lot) and  to protect the new clothing from getting splashed my sister produced this lovely pinny to protect the cook! It was her favourite! We laughed and laughed - I can't resist a man in a pinny.
Anyway as a little gift we bought her a book by those two greedy Italians called Two Greedy Italians eat ITALY by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo and we really love their show too.

 My sister's girls were very impressed with the gift and decided what the man would cook which gave us girls lots of time to chat. As the girls do not have particularly adventurous palates Pappardelle con Spech e Porcini seemed perfect. Instead of spech we used bacon which worked just as well and button mushrooms.

Ingredients plenty for 4
500g pappardelle pasta
250g parmesan cheese
500g button mushrooms sliced
2 shallots
bunch of thyme
250g bacon chopped
250ml double cream
25g butter
salt and pepper

What to do
In a large pan melt the butter and sauté the shallots
Add the chopped bacon and sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are collapsed into the pan.
Add two thirds of the cheese
Add the cream a little at a time to make a thickish sauce consistency over a medium heat
Add salt, pepper and thyme leaves to taste.
Prepare the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water to al dente.  Add the drained pasta to the pan of sauce,  reserving a little of the water to add to the pasta and sauce if necessary.  Mix so the pasta is well coated by the sauce.  Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese and thyme leaves.

I hope my sister and her girls make this again we all loved it. In fact we were so intent on eating we forgot the camera and all I have to remember the dish is the man in the pinny.

I am linking this with Random Recipes No.24 for January over at Belleau Kitchen - another country -another kitchen.

Monday, 28 January 2013

This cake took the cake on Australia Day!

 For WOW factor you can't go past this amazing mud cake that my friend  brought on Australia Day.  Decorated with the Australian flag, green and gold kangaroos and sharks swimming in the sea it certainly took the cake!

We started the day with little beef pies no less. 

Followed by Lamb Burgers (click here for recipe)

Roast Lamb studded with garlic and rosemary served with a garden and a potato salad came next. 

We had a little rest before we attacked a couple of pavlovas - one berry, one choc mint.  Mark tells me this is a Stephanie Alexander recipe and he has this down to a fine art. (Look at Stephanie's books here).

We made a mess of these pavs. 

 Only thing left was to attack the mud cake.  It seemed too nice to cut, but cut we did! Although we made little in roads on the map.

 Most definitely need that diet now!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Lamb Burgers for Australia Day

As we are preparing for Australia Day once again on 26 January.  I dig out my recipe for Lamb Burgers which were such a hit last year as part of an Aussie themed lunch for friends.

This recipe is from Delicious Magazine which I have kept for this time of the year as there are just so many lovely dishes in this Aussie Issue. These little dinner rolls contain mini burgers with buffalo mozzarella and cucumber salad, that were perfect to juggle in one hand leaving the other hand to hang onto a beer! The thing I like about these burgers is that you can pop them in the oven and walk away for 20mins which means you have a little breathing space to socialise.
The ingredients here are enough for 6 large burgers.  As I made mini burgers mine made 12.

1kg lean lamb mine
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp dried mint
1 cucumber chopped
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbs salted capers, rinsed and drained
1 tsp caster sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sour cream to serve
6 sourdough bread rolls split and toasted (I used 12 dinner sized rolls)
125g buffalo mozzarella although I think any good cheese would suffice.

What to do...
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with foil.
Combine mince, breadcrumbs, egg, mustard and dried mint in a bowl - season.
Mix well, and shape into 6 or 12 patties.  Cover and chill for 10 minutes.
Place cucumber, fresh mint, lime juice, capers, sugar and 1 tbs oil in a bowl and toss to combine - set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tabs oil in a large frypan over medium heat.  Cook patties in batches for 3-4 mins each side until browned.
Transfer patties to the baking tray and bake for 15- 20 mins until just cooked through.
To serve
Lightly toast buns
place cheese on the base topped with burger, dollop sour cream and top with cucumber salad.  Season and replace the top.

I served these as a second course after mini meat pies with homemade tomato sauce,  followed by garlic and rosemary studded  leg of lamb roast and salad, finished off with a pavlova and lamingtons - Very Australian.  Hope your Australia Day is great!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Yummy Dinners

Well it’s taken me a long time to get out of the blocks this year I have had lots of distractions, holidays, a new baby girl to dote on, lots of cooking, and visiting and visitors, resolutions to make or not make, and then before you know it I am back to work it’s all gone far too quickly and not a word has been devoted to blogging!
One of my ideas last year was to commit some of my most favourite dinners to paper and give to my family as Christmas presents.  And so Magnolia Verandah's "Yummy Dinners" was born.
Surprisingly even though I left it so late the lovely people at "Blurb" came through and posted my publication in time to wrap and give to my family as gifts.  I must say I was quite chuffed with it  and it was lovely to see the amazed, quizzical and surprised faces as the recipe book was unwrapped on Christmas Day. 

It's only a small book containing twelve of my favourites from my year of blogging 2012 but it was such a hit it will be the first of many I am sure. Happy New Year!