Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apologies!


The issue with having a cooking/food blog, I am discovering, is that you have to actually cook things to make posts. And the past week, in between visits to my parents, has been mainly "whats in the fridge" pasta. So hopefully once I organise myself, what with uni going back this week, I'll be posting regularly.

In the meantime, amuse yourselves with a picture of the latest addition to my teapot collection.



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pastry and conversation

Apologies for the lack of posting. Going to see my parents means I haven't had to cook for a while. However! With the amount of patisseries springing up around the city, Miss Italia and I decided to have a patisserie tour as she is my baking buddy and enjoys food as much as I do. I am surprised I was able to fit in (a very small) dinner this evening, I must say!

First stop was Jean Pierre Sancho for breakfast. We decided to diplomatically share what we got for maximum deliciousness. Aside from the fact that we weren't given knives (making sharing very messy and difficult), the pain au chocolat and almond croissant were excellent. The atmosphere was great, and the staff seemed to know their regular customers quite well which is always nice.

Almond croissant and pan aux chocolat

Lunch was at Fiorentina in North Perth. I've been looking lustfully at the cannoli in their Fremantle store whenever I walk past, so I was really looking forward to eating here. I was a bit disappointed with the vegetarian roll I had for lunch - there was too much mayonnaise for my taste and the bottom half was a bit soggy (the bane of my lunchtime existence, and the reason I like eating out for lunch instead of having home-made soggy sandwiches!), so that somewhat tainted the experience. I was also kind of upset about my tea being a teabag and not loose-leaf, but that's just my snobby tea-drinking pettiness :P

Vegetarian Roll with lettuce, mayonnaise, capsicum, cheese and artichoke hearts

The pastries from Fiorentina, however, were a redeeming feature. Miss Italia chose a mignon fruit tart with pineapple and I had a mignon cornucci (we were both a bit full to have the large sizes! Also, I miss saying the word "mignon" every day). Both of them were delicious, and Miss Italia informs me that the creme patissiere was excellent (which is the filling to less educated people like myself). I was expecting the cornucci to have Italian custard but it seemed to have a hazelnutty filling which I quite enjoyed.

Mignon fruit tart with pineapple, mignon cornucci

Last stop was Choux, renowned for their macarons and general deliciousness. We decided on the opera cake, which was layer upon layer of yum. If I was more well-versed in how they are baked I could give more information, but for now "Oh my GOODNESS, eat it" should suffice. They also were lovely enough to sell us some broken macarons for half price, as well as some proper ones.

The Opera cake, in all its glory

The failcaron, or "how to make yourself feel better about your macaron making skills"

The bags of broken (left) and non-broken (right) macarons:
Chestnut, lime, caramel, lemon and pineapple-avocado

Miss Italia is one of my favourite people to dine with as she has an excellent knowledge of food (particularly of the baking variety) and pulling apart the layers of the Opera cake made me stop eating it so quickly and in fact savour all its delicious layers. Well done, good sir. On top of that she is delightful conversation and a generally awesome person. I am pre-emptively mourning over her imminent exchange for the semester :(

Friday, July 16, 2010

Curried Pineapple Banana Bread

I bookmarked this recipe from Closet Cooking a while ago during my week off uni because I thought the Boyfriend would like it, primarily because it combines three of his favourite things IN BREAD. I made pizzas with Tara and we had a whole bunch of pineapple left over, so Spazzy McGee and I made it into the bread and invited the Boyfriend over for it. It was a-ma-zing, and made a really gosh darn awesome breakfast the next morning. I am going to apologise for the quality of the photos, but it was a midnight snack when he got home from work and I was tired etc etc.



CURRIED PINEAPPLE AND BANANA BREAD

1 1/2 cups of plain flour (the original recipe called for 1 cup plain and 1/2 cup wholewheat but I am not that fancy)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp curry powder
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp lime juice
--------------------
1 cup pineapple
2 tbsp coconut flakes

1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and curry powder) in a bowl

2. Mix wet ingredients (bananas, butter, sugars, egg and lime juice) in another bowl

3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine

4. Mix in pineapple and coconut

5. Pour batter into a baking dish (I don't have a bread pan so I just used a regular one. It is up to you. Whatever floats your boat)

6. Bake for 1 hour(ish). Check with a toothpick/baking skewer/chopstick/fork (can you tell I'm a uni student living out of home?) whether its done - insert your weapon of choice into the centre of the bread and if it comes out clean, its done.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta

This was a quickly put-together lunch by me and Spazzy McGee after we decided that the tapas menu at the cafe we attended didn't look as good as we anticipated. Today was a little upsetting as I slept in (+5!) and then went to the airport to see my Sensei off on his 6 month European/American trip (-20).

I sent him off with my Phantom of the Opera medallion (in lieu of the St Christopher medal that I think is at my parents' house) and a note to keep in his wallet saying "I miss you like fuck", so hopefully that will keep him safe and happy until January!

This pasta was delicious and rather bastardised from a recipe Mama and I found in the newspaper that was essentially cherry tomatoes and basil leaves cooked in olive oil and garlic, tossed through spaghetti. In hindsight, I could have used some basil leaves from the plant I have going on my windowsill, but that is for next time.


MEDITERRANEAN PASTA

50g Pitted Kalamata Olives
25g Stuffed Green Olives
50g Sundried Tomatoes
25g Cherry Tomatoes
1 tsp crushed garlic
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Spaghetti

1. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a pan

2. Halve olive and tomato ingredients and fry in pan with olive oil and garlic. Add basil leaves if you remember and/or wish!

3. Cook the spaghetti while all this is going on. Hopefully you read the whole recipe first so this isn't going to get awkward with the other ingredients cooling before the pasta is done.

4. Toss the spaghetti in the other ingredients (or toss the other ingredients in the spaghetti? I'm not sure how that works. COMBINE THEM) and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pumpkin Pie


I'm slowly working my way through the six kilos of pumpkin in my freezer, and now seemed an apt time to start a blog. I started out with (what TV leads me to believe is an) American classic, pumpkin pie. I had a quick look at the recipe on Closet Cooking (oh my goodness, one of my online bibles) and once I'd read

"A pumpkin pie is pretty simple; at its base it is pumpkin puree along with some eggs to bind it and help it set, some sugar to sweeten it and of course the pumpkin pie spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves."

I closed it and decided to just see how I went. As such, I don't have an actual recipe. Which is making this entire post seem kind of silly. However! I am clearly proving that you don't need to follow recipes to make food etc etc.




DELICIOUS PUMPKIN PIE

Mashed pumpkin (1 cup)
One egg
Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to taste
Sugar
Shortcrust pastry


Line a round baking dish with shortcrust pastry. If you don't have a round baking dish (HELLO, SELF), follow my ingenious lead and use a frypan. Thank me later.

Mix the pumpkin, egg, sugar and spices in a bowl.

Put on top of the pastry.

Cover in sugar.

Cook at 175 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it looks and/or smells delicious.


Simple, non?