Saturday, 22 July 2017

Barney Banana Icy Poles

I don't know about you, but, I love the old Barney Banana Icy Poles from my childhood.  They were fantastic and unlike others they were made with REAL bananas not flavouring.  These went down a treat with the Crash Test Dummies, they finished this batch and I missed the photo op of the finished product.  * I finally got a picture of the finished product and how appropriate that Stewie looks like he's about to eat it!

They are quick and easy to make and if you do them last thing at night while they kids are asleep and then surprise them the next day with a treat!  Or hide them for yourself 😍

These are my $1.50 yes you read that correctly! Ice Pole moulds I got from Kmart.

2 large bananas, pureed
400 ml cream, lightly whipped
1 tablespoon caster sugar

Puree the bananas with your stick blender.

Lightly whip the cream and sugar with your stick blender you still want it to be pouring consistency.

Mix the cream and banana together.

Pour into your moulds.

Stick in the sticks.  Freeze overnight or for 6 hours.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Homemade Ricotta

I have always wanted to make my own Ricotta and, as you do, thought it was difficult and would be time consuming.  Well I made this and well it only took me 20 minutes, including cleanup.

This is so easy and much cheaper than buying it.  I found I could make this of an evening while cooking dinner, leave it to drain and just before bed put it in the fridge for use the next day!

Much nicer than bought Ricotta which has been sitting there for ages.

You can keep this in the fridge in an airtight plastic container or jar for up to 2 weeks.

2 ltrs whole milk
1/2 cup cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat your milk and cream to a rolling boil, don't let it boil over.

Add the lemon juice and stir until it looks curdled.  Normally you avoid this stage, here you are looking for it.

Line a sieve with muslin (cheese cloth) or paper towel over a bowl.  Gently pour the curdled milk through, you may need to tip some of the whey out of the bowl below if it fills too quickly.  Allow to drain and cool to room temp before placing in a plastic airtight container or jar.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Chocolate Panna Cotta

I love panna cotta it can be made in so many flavours and is a great way of using up things out of the fridge and store cupboard, or, just for a cheeky dessert at the end of the weekend.

This post will give you the recipe for both chocolate and white chocolate panna cotta.  I always serve with fruit or a fruit sauce as panna cotta is very rich.  The chocolate is shown with poached plums and the white chocolate is a simple cherry puree.

500 ml cream
100 ml plain yogurt
2 sheets gelatin or 5 gm gelatin powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped or chips and 1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup white chocolate, chopped or chips (no sugar with the white it has enough)

Heat cream until just slightly bubbling around the edges of the pan.

Add in your chocolate chips and sugar if needed, stir until melted and combined.  Add in the soaked gelatin, stir until melted.

Transfer to a jug for ease of pouring and add the yogurt.  Stir until combined.

Pour into serving glasses or dariole moulds and refrigerate for 6 hours.

When ready if using dariole moulds dip in hot water to loosen the panna cotta, turn onto serving dish and add fruit.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a great starter for a winters meal or a light lunch.  This, even though I have made a lighter version than normal is a very rich soup.  Add a nice toasty, cheesy crouton to the top or in fact two of them!

1 kg onions, I used half red half brown.
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brandy, optional
1 cup white wine,
3 cups chicken stock
3 springs thyme, fresh
2 rashes bacon
salt and pepper to taste

Slice your onions.

In a tablespoon of butter and same of oil gently saute your thyme and onions until softened, after 10 minutes add the garlic, gently cook for another 20 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.

Add the bacon, rinds and all and cook off for 5 minutes.

Add the brandy and if your game, set it alight,  cook for a minute then add the wine.  Simmer for 5 minutes then add the chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for approx 40 minutes.  When ready to serve remove the bacon.  At this stage you can strip the meat off the bacon and chop finely and add back to the soup, or discard.

When ready toast some slices of bread stick and top with tasty cheese of choice, grill until melted and bubbly.

Serve with toasted crouton and enjoy a nice glass of wine and a family chat.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake

I had seen this cake on Pintrest and liked the look of it,  I had a pot of yogurt and some lemons that needed using last weekend so decided to give it a go.  A very easy recipe to put together and make however you are better off using the wet tea towel method to ensure you get a nice flat top.

Very zingy and lemony cake that I will make again.

For the Cake:

200 ml plain or greek yogurt
1 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup canola oil

For the Glaze:

Juice of one lemon
1 cup icing sugar

Beat together the eggs, yogurt and sugar until smooth.

Combine flour, baking powder and lemon zest.

Fantastic grater!

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.  Add the oil and beat until smooth.

Pour batter into a lined spring form tin and bake in 175 C pre heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  If using the wet tea towel method to get a flat top it will be closer to 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove from oven when cooked.

Mix together glaze ingredients and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Pour half over the top of the cake while still hot and in the cake tin.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes in the tin.

On a piece of baking paper turn the cake out and over.  While still warm brush the rest of the glaze over the base until absorbed.

Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Apple and Blackberry Steamed Sponge Pudding

I have always loved the look of a steamed pudding.  I think that it is a dessert that should be bought back, something our families would enjoy.  I saw this on the BBC Food site and wanted to give it a go.  

I looked at pudding bowls and wow they are either cheap or expensive.  I had a look at the Bendigo Pottery site, Mum had some of this when I was growing up and it is well made and reasonably priced and they have a lovely range.

200 gm blackberries
150 gm butter, room temperature
150 gm caster sugar
zest of one lemon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
175 gm self raising flour
300 gm apple, chopped

In the bottom of your pudding bowl place a small circle of baking paper.  On this place your blackberries, frozen is fine.

Lightly beat your eggs and set aside.

In your stand mixer beat your butter, zest and sugar until light and fluffy.

In thirds alternately add your dry ingredients and eggs until just combined.

Peel and chop your apples to cm size pieces.  Fold the apple through the pudding batter.

Fill your pudding bowl,  give it a light tap on the bench to make sure the mix settles.

Lay a piece of foil and baking paper together on your bench and pleat together.

Place your foil, paper over the pudding bowl and tie string around and over to secure the foil.  The string over acts as a handle to lift the bowl in and out of your steamer.

In a large saucepan place boiling water to halfway up the sides of your pudding bowl.  If you have a "pasta" pot with the colander insert the is a good one to use, if not put a saucer upside down in the bottom for the pudding bowl to sit on.  Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, mine took closer to 2 hours.  

Keep an eye on the water level to ensure your pot doesn't boil dry.

To test if cooked, insert a skewer into the top, through the foil, if it comes out clean its cooked.

You can serve hot or warm with custard or ice cream and a warm blackberry sauce.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Slow Cooker Salisbury Meatballs

This is an internet recipe that was a trial for my boys and I did change it up some (as I do) and seems to have gone down well.

It is such an easy recipe to throw together with most things in the cupboard.


1 kg beef or turkey mince (I used turkey)
1 packet french onion soup mix approx 40 gm
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 cloves of garlic crushed

Slowcooker mix.

250 gm mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 package gravy mix approx 29gm
1 cup water

Mix all your meatball ingredients together until combined.  Roll into balls of your choice of size.

Cook on all sides until just browned.

Mix the cream of mushroom soup, gravy mix and water until combined.

In your slow cooker put the diced onion and sliced mushrooms.

Place the browned meatballs on top of the mushrooms and onions.

Pour the gravy mix over the top.  Place on the lid and cook for 4 to 5 hours on low.

I served over rice with greens however it is just as good with mash and veg.