Saturday, 27 February 2016

Taco Pasta Salad

I am always looking for different and new recipes to feed my boys.  I think Pasta Salad can be very boring even as a side salad.

I was wandering around the Internet one night and well I may be wrong but I think I saw a similar Taco Pasta Salad, however, I cannot be sure as I cannot find it again!  So I thought well how hard can it be?

Hence this salad was made.  I just took all the taco fixings (minus the meat) and put them together with cooked Macaroni and a creamy dressing.  Well it was a hit Scott went back for seconds and told me I needed to make this again!

This can be a meal in itself or a side salad for a gathering or BBQ.

1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup chopped celery 
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped capsicum
1 cup grated cheese
1 shredded baby cos lettuce

In salted boiling water cook your pasta for the specified time.  While this is cooking make your dressing.

Place the mayo, sour cream and taco seasoning in a bowl and mix.

Place your dressing in the fridge.

Take your cooked and drained pasta on a baking sheet in one layer and set aside to cool.  This should take about 15 minutes if you put your pasta in one layer and it will not clump together.

Chop your celery, cucumber, tomato and capsicum into small pieces.

Shred your lettuce.

Place everything but not the lettuce in a bowl along with the grated cheese and mix through 2 large spoons of the dressing.

Mix together until combined.  Only mix through the lettuce when ready to serve or it will wilt with the dressing on it.

Serve either as a meal on its own or a side for your BBQ.  The kids will Inhale it, just watch!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Brownie and Raspberry Mousse Cake


I have finally managed to make a berry mousse that didn't fail!  

I tell you what, we have had some flops.  

Oh my this is a very yummy cake.  I was trawling Google for recipes and came across 2 that looked possible however I didn't like the base they were on.  I kind of had my heart set on a chocolate brownie base, because well why not!

Brownie Base

250 gm dark chocolate
60 gm butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain flour

Raspberry Mousse

5 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
3 leaves of gelatin
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups cream, whipped

1 punnet of fresh raspberries for decoration

Melt chocolate and butter together until smooth.

Stir sugar through chocolate mixture.  Allow to cool.

When cooled mix through the beaten eggs.

Gently fold through the flour until just combined.

How do you line your spring form pans?  I found this handy tip.  If you fold the side piece of paper over about 1 to 1 1/2 cm then cut little tabs up to the fold.  Then slot your base piece over the top and your good to go and if you lightly grease the tin so the paper sticks it works even better.

Pour brownie mix into your prepared tin.

Bake at 180C for 25 to 30 minutes or until set around the edges.  Allow to cool completely.

When the brownie is cooled.  Soak your gelatin in cold water.

Blitz your thawed raspberries to a puree.

Pass through a sieve to strain off the seeds.  You should get a cup of straight raspberry puree.

Place your puree in a pan, heat adding the sugar, stir until dissolved.  Squeeze the water from your gelatin and add to the pot, stir until dissolved.

Place your raspberry mix in a jug and set aside to cool to room temperature.

When your puree is cooled.  Whip your cream and when at stiff peaks fold through the raspberry mixture.

Pour your raspberry mousse over the brownie,  This is why you left the brownie in the pan.  The baking paper up the sides will allow for your mousse to fill the tin if your sides are not high enough.

Allow to set for 4 hours minimum or over night.

Remove from the tin and peel off the baking paper.  Decorate as desired.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Thanks to Lauren over at Create Bake Make for this recipe.  I did break up my Oreo's a little finer than Lauren, there are still chunks as you can see.

Since Scott started to eat again after he finished treatment, his sweet tooth has ground out of this world.  I tend to make cakes, cookies or something sweet each week.  He has dessert every night, which we have never done before.

Since he went back to work full time this year, I needed to find some small treats or snacks he can have throughout the day to keep him going.  He seems to like the cookies and cream chocolate bars and when I saw this recipe I ran to the pantry as I had all the ingredients.  

I have learnt that well this is one recipe you cannot set and forget!   You have to baby this one or you will end up with burnt fudge.

400 gm White chocolate
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
200 gm pack oreo's

Heat your white chocolate and condensed milk over a medium low heat.  You will need to stir this the whole time or at least make sure it doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.

Either with a knife or in your food processor cut your biscuits up into chunks.  I blitzed mine got a mix of small and large chunks.

Heat your chocolate mix for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remember to stir.

Add the oreo's and work quickly.  Stir through.

Pour the mix straight into a lined cake tin.  20 cm x 20 cm works well.  Stick it in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours or preferably over night.

I am a little OCD with some things.  I used a ruler to cut the fudge into 3 cm x 3 cm pieces.

These will last in the fridge for up to a week.  If the family don't inhale them.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Creamy Tomato Soup

Scott loves creamy tomato soup and well, I confess I have had this recipe up my sleeve for a while and just haven't gotten around to making it.  

This is one of the easiest and quickest soups to make!

I had all the ingredients in the kitchen pantry so a great soup to make at short notice.  This is a great soup just to have on it's own or to jazz up a bit with some ham and cheese toasties or some tortellini.

1 large onion, chopped
2 tins tomatoes
1 jar tomato pasata
1/2 to 3/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Saute your onions until translucent.

Add in your tomatoes, pasata, salt and pepper.  Allow to simmer for 20 minutes

Blitz with your barmix (stick blender) until desired consistency.

Turn off the heat and stir through your cream.  Sorry for the blurry picture.

I served with a couple of cooked tortellini and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.  Oh and a couple of ham and cheese toasties!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Breakfast Burrito

Scott and I love to go out and have a Sunday Brunch together.  Since Jonathan has grown up we have taken back our Sunday mornings and not every week, but about once a month we have a sleep in on a Sunday, have a nice relaxing coffee at home then go for a drive into Newcastle and have Brunch at our favourite cafe Snow's 

They came up with this Breakfast Burrito a couple of years ago that Scott LOVES!  Then January last year (2015) they took it off the menu ( wow what a kerfuffle from Scott!)  Well Scott got sick and couldn't eat it so, Oh Well too bad so sad!  In the last couple of months since we have gone back to having our occasional Sunday Brunch Scott kept asking when it was coming back.  

I think he pestered them enough that they made it to shut him up!

Over Christmas they closed for a week.  Scott almost fell apart as he wanted a Burrito for brunch one day.  So I had to work out what was in it and try to replicate it, especially when he went out one Saturday and hunted up a jar of Chilli Jam to top it.  So here is my version of the Snow's Breakfast Burrito...

1 medium potato, cubed and boiled
1/2 piece of Choritzo, cubed
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated tasty cheese
salt and pepper
2 flour tortillas
Chilli Jam and Sour Cream to taste

Cube and boil your potato until cooked.  Better if you use pre cooked left over potato from dinner, just heat in the microwave until hot.

Chop your choritzo and fry it quickly until just browned, set aside.

Assemble everything in one place as the rest goes really quickly.

Beat your eggs with a little milk, salt and pepper.

In your hot frypan over a low flame, place a teaspoon of butter, your egg, potato, choritzo and give it a quick stir to cook.  This is very quick as everything should be hot.

When your egg is just cooked add  the cheese.   Give it a quick stir. Remove from the heat.

Heat your tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute.  Pile your filling into the centre of your tortillas. Fold over the ends and gently roll.

Place on your plate and top with chilli jam and sour cream.