Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer Salads

If you're looking for some yummy salad ideas here are a few of my favourites:
Caesar Salad
I think Caesar Salad is probably my favourite salad of all time and this recipe is one of the best I've come across.

Tabbouleh is always a favourite at barbecues and lasts for a few days in the fridge. I use extra dressing if the mixture is looking too dry, and my dad's secret is to use couscous instead of bulghur for a finer texture.

Grilled Turkey Salad
This is a great salad to make with left-over turkey breast.

Greek Pasta Salad
This is a fast and easy recipe for a healthy meal or side-dish.

Tuna Salad
I love eating cold tuna in Summer and this recipe works well as a complete meal. I leave out the basil and rosemary as I find they can be too strong with the other flavours.

Potato Salad
This is my husband's recipe:

5 large boiled potatoes
1 lime
5 boiled eggs
1 cup whole egg mayonnaise
100 grams finely diced bacon
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons horseradish
2 shallots chopped

1. Steam Potatoes for 20 minutes or until cooked but still firm. Rinse Potatoes thoroughly in cold water to stop cooking process. Once rinsed and still cooling splash with Juice of 1 Lime and let lime infuse as potatoes continue to cool
2. Hard boil 5 Eggs. Cut eggs in half and extract solid egg yoke into a small mixing bowl. Using a tablespoon from the mayonnaise mash egg yolks into paste.
3. In a pan fry pan thoroughly cook bacon and then allow to cool in fridge
4. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix remainder of mayonnaise, sour cream, egg yoke paste and horseradish.
5. In another large shallow mixing bowl cut potatoes into large cubes and add quartered boiled eggs (without yolks). Drizzle potato salad dressing over potato and egg mix and gently fold through.
6. Sprinkle shallots and bacon pieces over mix.

Fruit Salad
Chop your favourite fruit into bite sized pieces and mix together in a large bowl. Chill before serving. I like to use apples, bananas, peaches, strawberries, grapes, and mandarins. If you prefer a sweeter recipe, try this one.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crepe Wheel

Crepes are like a really thin pancake that are usually served folded with a sweet or savory filling inside. Here are the instructions on how to make this yummy crepe pinwheel.

2 eggs
150 ml milk
150 ml water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g all-purpose flour

1. Combine the eggs, milk, water and melted butter in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer.

2. Add the salt, then pour in the flour slowly while the mixer is still running.

3. Refrigerate the mixture for 1-2 hours.

4. Heat a fry pan on medium heat and melt about 1 teaspoon of butter in it.

5. Pour in enough mixture to make a large, round shape. Move the pan around slowly to help the mixture run along the sides. (I used an electirc fry pan but a regular one on the stove top is just as good.).

6. Cook one side until bubbles start to form on top then flip it over.
7. Cook the other side until it is golden brown.

8. Remove the crepe from the pan and place it onto a chopping board.

9. Cut the crepe in half and spread your filling across one half. I used ham, cheese and pineapple although in this photo I think I'd only added the cheese.
10. Fold the crepe in half by bringing the side without any filling across the other side, on top of the filling. .
11. Fold the crepe in half again.

12. Lay the crepe on a plate and repeat the process with the other half and with more crepes.

Makes approximately 6 crepes (or 12 pieces for the pin wheel).

Monday, September 14, 2009

A few links

If you, like me, are a fan of the Duggar family then you'll be excited to know that Michelle Duggar now has a blog. Click here to go and read what she has to say.

If you haven't yet discovered The Pioneer Woman then you really need to go and have a look at her fabulous website. She takes the most gorgeous photos and her recipes are soooo good. And she's hilariously funny too.

Also, below is the link to the blog of an American girl who is working in an orphanage in Africa. She shares some very moving and heart-breaking stories.


Monday, September 7, 2009

A Party Dress

I went shopping last weekend to find a dress for Baby Bee to wear to her 1st Birthday Party next month. At the first shop I went to I saw the most adorable dresses - for $45! They were a bit out of my budget so I went to a couple more stores and found the perfect one for $24. It even has matching knickers.

I brought the dress home and one day last week I washed and ironed it. I had it hanging over a rail in her room, ready to hang up, until I saw this.....

Daddy decided that teddy could wear the dress until Baby Bee needed it. Haha!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sugar Cookies and Birthday Parties

There's only one month until my daughter's first birthday party and we're planning a butterfly theme. I'm going to make a butterfly cake and some butterfly cookies like these ones. I'm not the best cookie decorator so I decided to start practising early. I made these sugar cookies to take to playgroup earlier in the week.

I used Peggy Porschen's sugar cookie recipe with royal icing.
Sugar Cookies
200g unsalted soft butter
200g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour, plus more for dusting

1. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until well mixed and creamy.
2. Add the egg and continue beating.
3. Add the flour and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
4. Put the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it briefly. Roll it out to about 5mm thickness.
6. Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes and place them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
7. Put them back in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
9. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes until the edges become golden brown.
10. Let the cookies cool completely before icing them.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
food colouring

1. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
2. Add the cream of tartar and beat a little bit more.
3. Pour in the sifted icing sugar slowly while continuing to beat the mixture.
4. When it's all mixed through test the consistency of the icing by running a spoon across the top. If the icing falls back into shape within 5-10 seconds it's ready to use. If not, start adding a teaspoon of water at a time and mix it through until you get the right consistency.
5. Add the food colouring and stir through.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spring is here!!!

Today is the 1st of September, which marks the first day of Spring in Australia. And what a beautiful day it was. I heard someone say that it was as though God flipped a switch and the weather turned from cold and wet to warm and sunny. The sky was blue, there was a slight breeze blowing and I was able to walk around in a light top with short sleeves. I am so glad that the winter is over and the warmer weather is on its way.

For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.

Song of Solomon 2:11-13 NKJV

Image courtesy of www.art.com