What I Ate Wednesday (11/4/18)

Today was a real empty the fridge day…

Its started by enjoying an almond milk latte made by my 14 year old…

…then 2 pieces of wholemeal raisin toast ends with vegan butter and a cup of tea and 2 glasses of water…

…lunch was similarly 2 pieces of wholemeal toast ends with peanut butter and the remains of the strawberry rhubarb jam with another almond milk latte and another glass of water.

…for afternoon tea I had another glass of water and 2 plums (I ate 1 before I took the photo)…

Dinner was my mangled piece of meatloaf with some bourbon glazed carrots, buttered peas and mashed potatoes…all kinds of deliciousness. 1 more glass of water!

Dessert was leftover Easter chocolates a final glass of water and a rooibos tea.

Simple Thai Food: Curry Noodles with Chicken

We are in for a month of awesome eating if tonight’s dinner was any indication of what’s to come. During the month of April, Food52 Cookbook Club is going through Leela Punyaratabandhu’s book Simple Thai Food and one flick through the book and I’ve already dog-eared several recipes (on my kindle version).

I knew I wanted to cook from it at least once this week but due to the busyness of the weekend I didn’t properly menu plan and do a grocery list at home, so I came up with making this recipe as we drove to Woolies while I was madly writing what I could remember we needed to buy on a scratch sheet of paper. This meal appealed to me because it said it could be ready in 30 minutes and it has similar ingredients to Pad Thai (and I will definitely be making that recipe this month). When I looked at the long list of ingredients it didn’t seem too daunting…curry pastes, curry powder, coconut milk/cream, fish sauce, brown sugar, chicken stock, tofu, chicken, rice noodles, peanuts, fried shallots (I’m still working through the humongous bag I bought before Thanksgiving), bean sprouts, coriander, limes and eggs. I opted not to buy the preserved radish because I didn’t have the time to go to a specialty store and Woolies didn’t seem to sell it.

We got home from parent teacher interviews and Aaron and I teamed up to knock out dinner in record time (especially for a first go at a recipe). I put the coconut cream, some vegetable oil and the curry paste in our big skillet and once it started smelling nice and was mixed together I chucked in the chicken that Aaron had diced up to stir fry for a few minutes. Then I added the stock, the coconut milk, the brown sugar and the fish sauce and cooked the chicken through.  Lastly I added the tofu (again diced by Aaron) and the curry powder and set it to simmer while Aaron was boiling a couple of eggs and slicing lime wedges and chopping coriander. I blanched the bean sprouts and then boiled the rice noodles for 15 minutes and we were ready to assemble the dish.

Isn’t it beautiful?!! The book says it serves 4 but they were very generous portions and we still had leftovers. I liken the dish to a Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, it is warm and comforting and delicious. Aaron’s already asking when we’re making this dish again and while our littlest two weren’t that keen to eat it they did sample some and loved sucking on the limes. To each their own…

In My Kitchen: April 2018

I was meant to post this on Friday but have been terribly slack. Actually that’s a lie. I was flat out coordinating and running the cake stall at our daughter’s primary school this weekend, so this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down to write this post.

My cactus collection is growing…my sweet nephew bought me this lamp for my birthday because he knows I like cactus. We’re having him for a sleepover sometime in the next couple weeks and I’ve got a special surprise in the works for him.

And my mom came through in a big way when I told her I desperately needed some new hanging hand towels in my kitchen. She found some cactus and some pumpkin tea towels and sewed the tops on herself. Such a great birthday present that will seriously be used all day every day.

Speaking of gifts from my mom – the package she sent also included some new flavors of Oreos…the cinnamon ones are by far my favorite!

Then I spotted these at Woolies and had to buy a couple bags – one for us and one for my mom, I’m sure she’s never seen these before!

See that little red ring on my coffee machine. That is the difference between happiness and chaos. There used to be a little greyish green one like the one behind there but it broke off the other day. Who knew that something so small could mean that we couldn’t make coffee?!! Aaron luckily found the red one on the milk steamer wand that we don’t use very often and repurposed it. We’d been buying coffee for several days (this was over the course of the fete weekend) and it is just soooo much nicer to be able to make it on demand.

This has been adorning the kitchen window above the sink for the last few weeks. Miss 6 has been learning how to draw with the help of YouTube and she’s getting really good at it. Belle is my favorite Disney princess so I’ve happily left her on display.

My cake stall contribution…3 batches of caramel slice…

…3 dozen red velvet cupcakes…and (not pictured) 45 gluten free custard yoyos with roasted strawberry icing. It was a busy couple days in the kitchen.

My library cookbook shelf atm – so many books I had to move the kettle. This is getting out of hand!

 

Thanks to Sherry’s Pickings for hosting the In My Kitchen link up for this month. To learn more, click on the logo to the left.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

When it’s Monday, you’ve been cleaning all day and have to taxi people around and need a quick vegetarian dinner that’s filling and comforting, pancakes are the answer!

Zucchini was on sale yesterday when I grocery shopped so I bought a bunch so that I could make up a big batch of these pancakes for Miss 6’s breakfasts for the week. Well, I didn’t get around to it because I was too exhausted from a big weekend (more on that later) so it became dinner!

The recipe is taken straight from Smitten Kitchen’s website. We went with zucchini today but often we’ll change it up and use carrots or apples (I reckon it could work with banana as well). I love the healthy “icing” that she uses – just some Greek yogurt with a little bit of maple syrup. It feels incredibly indulgent but really is less maple syrup than I’d use if that’s all I was dressing them with.

We have been using this recipe for years now and it definitely a family favorite. And we won’t mention that there’s a stack of veggies hidden inside…

Throwback Thursday: Bacon & Egg Risotto from Simple

This is another throwback from Simple by Diana Henry that fits firmly into that “brinner” category – ie breakfast for dinner. We made this last month when one of our big boys was away on camp as it serves 2 and we simply doubled it so it would feed the remaining 5 of us. It would’ve been tripled had he been here, but given he’s not too fond of eggs I’m not sure he would’ve eaten it.

It’s a basic risotto making process: heat up some stock in a saucepan and in a skillet melt some butter and cook the bacon and onion. Then toast off the arborio rice until it’s translucent and start incorporating the stock a ladle at a time until the liquid absorbs. Season with salt and pepper and add some parsley and parmesan. And serve with poached eggs on top. No wonder it’s in a book called “Simple”. This barely seems like a recipe!

This is a super comforting mid week meal and it’s rather easy to upscale. It is definitely a recipe I’ll return to when we have bacon that needs to be used up!

What I Ate Wednesday (4/4/18)

This week has been absolute chaos and today was no exception. The day started off with a coffee in the car and a glass of water when I got home, and then by 10 I was able to sit down with another coffee, another glass of water and a bowl of whipped banana porridge with a spoonful of peanut butter and some frozen berries. (Our coffee machine was being super weird, so I’m a bit worried that’s my last coffee for a while *sobs*.)

Thank goodness I had the foresight to have a big breakfast because out I went at 11 and didn’t stop until after school pick up when I made myself a cup of tea and sampled the three new types of Oreo cookies that my mom sent. Downed another glass of water too.

Raced back out the door after that to go pick up Aaron from work. His public transport commute has gotten ridiculous so while I’m loathing the car I’m always keen to get him home sooner.

This meant that dinner needed to be quick and simple, so I went for creamy sundried tomato pasta that I can have on the table from start to finish in 20 minutes. Another glass of water!

Some leftover Easter chocolates for dessert while lying in bed with a heat pack on my back…what have I done to cause so much back pain?!!

And my version of a night cap – a cup of vanilla rooibos tea (and one last water, not pictured).

The Fearless Baker: Bourbon-Rosemary Peach Pie

Happy first birthday to Food52 Baking Club! This month, all my Baking Club posts will be throwbacks, and to start us off, I’m finally posting about that amazing peach pie I made for Pi Day several weeks ago now.

The recipe came from last month’s book, The Fearless Baker and I’ll say straight off the bat, the all-buttah pie dough was a knock out. Best pastry ever! I chucked all the ingredients in the food processor (flour, salt, butter, water) and then portioned it in half and refrigerated it as recommended. Then I rolled out the bottom half and popped it in the fridge until it was ready for filling and attempted a fake lattice for the top. I used a simple egg and water and salt egg wash on top and I was just so impressed with the recipe. It’s a bit dark around the edges but I wouldn’t change a thing.

The pie filling on the other hand, I’m not really too sure how to write about. I followed the directions to the letter and it still ended up liquidy. Fabulous tasting, but liquidy all the same. In it was peaches, bourbon, rosemary, brown sugar, butter, salt and cornflour, and the oddest thing is how much bourbon you start out with for what you end up with – you basically cook it down to a syrup, letting it reduce like crazy, but I think it sort of lost the bourbon taste in the process. And I didn’t really get smacked with a rosemary taste either, so overall the pie I wanted, I didn’t really get. I kinda think if I were to make it again I’d just use the amount the recipe wanted to end up with at the end rather than a whole cup of bourbon. And more rosemary, I can’t seem to get enough of it lately.

Of course we served it warm with ice cream – is there any other way to eat peach pie?!!

Throwback Thursday: Golden Brioche Loaves from Baking: From My Home to Yours

It didn’t take me long to return to  Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, the book that we went through in the Food52 Baking Club last month. I searched through our Facebook group for brioche because I wanted to make the Mushrooms on Brioche from Simple and thought I should just make it from scratch. What I quickly found out was that Dorie’s recipe was super popular. And now I can see why!

Dorie describes it as “elegant” and it really is that. And again another example of how bread isn’t hard to make – it just takes time and if you’re lucky, you’ll have a good stand mixer that will do the hard labor for you. First, you mix yeast into some water and milk and then add flour and salt and mix to just moisten the flour before adding eggs and sugar. Then you incorporate butter in small chunks and you beat the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and put it into a greased container at room temperature until it’s nearly doubled. Then you deflate the dough and refrigerate it overnight, deflating again every half hour until it stops rising.

The next day you shape the dough by dividing it in half then each half into four. You shape the smaller portions into 4 logs that you lay crosswise in 2 bread tins and you leave at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans. Here is where I came unstuck. I used the wrong pan size. And so my brioche doesn’t really have much height. Next time I will definitely use smaller tins.

You brush on an egg wash and bake it in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. And the result: golden and deliciously buttery crumb that takes everything up a notch flavour and comfort wise. I cannot wait to make this again!