Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quick and Easy Pumpkin and Spinach Pizza

After weeks of a blog drought two in one night!! This is something I whipped up today after making the lasagna. These pizzas are made on pocket bread and take 10mins in an oven heating to about 200 degrees. They can be topped with absolutely anything, my sister likes to keep in simple ham, cheese and pineapple. 

However today I made a pizza with 2 of my favorite vegetables; Spinach and Pumpkin. I topped the pocket bread (which came from the freezer, lucky find) with some left over passata from the lasagna. Next I wilted some spinach again with some garlic and spread it across the pocket bread. 

Next I pre cooked pumpkin which i diced about 1cm cubbed in the microwave, and then fried it off in the pan with a little olive oil along with some red onion.  

 I popped this on the pizza with some ricotta and Parmesan, and it was that simple!!!

After being in the oven for about 10mins I luckily remembered to take a quick photo before sitting down to a very yummy lunch. You could really top these with anything you liked and are great for families as they allow each person to create there own gourmet pizza!

Vegetarian Lasagna

 This is the perfect recipe to use up those last few veges at the end of the week, this is normally a Thursday or Friday night meal at our house. You can use any veges you have on hand, you really just want to use up what you have left.

I made this one during the day today so that it was ready to pop in the oven when we got home from the dry shop. I use gluten free pasta sheets so it takes about 45mins to 1 hour in an oven at 200 degrees.

We had some broccoli, zucchini, spinach (wilted with 2 cloves of garlic), capsicum and pumpkin left today, so I used up that with some ricotta along with some pizza plus and Parmesan cheese. To keep it moist I used about half a jar of Passata. I have in the past also substituted the ricotta for goats cheese.

Cut up all the veges you are going to use, the amount will depend on the size lasagna you are going to make. I choose to microwave them as its convenient but you could also cook them on the stove until tender.

Layer these into the dish making sure you put passata on each side of the lasagna sheeting as this is what will help it cook. I finish mine off with the ricotta and other cheese.

Pop in the oven and cook for 45mins to 1 hour or until the pasta is tender when you poke a knife through it.

I really should have taken a photo of it once it had cooked, but it smelt so yummy we all just dug in!!! (with a side of garlic bread of course)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Long time between posts: Back to NYE

A lot has been going on since my last post. The family have all been on holidays so a lot of family time, study for my exam next week and of course baking. 

With the looming exam for uni the last time I did some major baking was for our Indian themed NYE party. We had biryani, beef curry, butter chicken, Dahl and rice along with naan and chapati. We got our supplies from an amazing Indian wholesale grocer Global Convenience Store. A short drive from home this store has everything we needed, frozen naan and chapati, rice,desserts, curry pastes, pickles and chutneys, Bollywood movies and more. This amazing store is located at 2942 Logan Rd, Underwood, Brisbane, Qld. This store should not be missed by anyone who loves Indian food!

It was an amazing feast that was topped off at the end of the night with a selection of three different cupcakes; Choc Caramel, Coconut Ice and Banana. As well as a chocolate layered cake for a friend's wedding anniversary.

With the rush of the day I forgot to take photos of the cakes being made. All the recipes came from my much loved Women's Weekly Cupcake cookbook, they were easy to make and absolutely delicious. I made NYE flags for each cupcake with the type of cupcake on one side and NYE on the other. For now I will leave it at this and pop up a photo or two. Hopefully after my exam I will be back to baking more often.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reddy's Indian- For the Melbourne Readers

Well Happy Holidays Everyone!!! Hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. My family and I spent the holidays in Melbourne. After waking at 2am Christmas morning to get on the first flight to Melbourne, we walked from our hotel to my uncles house to be treated to what was again a fantastic Christmas lunch. Complete with turkey, ham, veges, plum pudding and of course my favorite brandy cream.

After braving the boxing day sales the next day we were ready for another delicious dinner, after much discussion about the various restaurants we choose Reddy's on Elizabeth St who were having a buffet. We walked in and were hit with the smell of hot curries. We were served at the counter by friendly staff who handed us plastic plates to feel off, but do not judge by the crockery,this was some of the best Indian that I have been treated to... even coming close to my favorite and well loved Kuma's in Brisbane. There was an assortment of curries, including beef and chicken, dhal, vegetable curry, biryani, naan, chapati, and tandoori chicken.

Melbourne readers, this is a fantastic restaurant with fantastic food and staff and must not be ignored.
Reddys Kitchen
South & North Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean Cuisines
380 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 8242
Note: Halal Assured

Monday, December 20, 2010

H4 Hospitality Cooking Lesson- Pasta

This is a little late, but on Tuesday the 14th Mum and myself went to our first ever cooking lesson. We went to H4 Hospitality at Wynnum. We arrived early and went for a walk along the pier and around the beautiful park. After a quick walk we headed over to the cooking school, plenty of parking was provided around the back. We walked in and was greeted by Bernadette who helped us get settled in and get us sorted with aprons. We next met Stephen who was busy setting up for the class.

The class was fantastic, we broke into small groups and worked on our pasta dough. After we have made the dough with help from Stephen. We were taught how to make the most amazing bruschetta I have ever eaten. We then began to roll out our pasta, this was a lot easier then I thought it would be and cant wait to give it a go at home and post some more pics!!! Stephen was so helpful and attentive, whilst giving us the space to learn.

To go with our fresh pasta Stephen made 2 sauces one tomato based with salami and another cream based sauce with chicken. Both dishes were amazing and I was really impressed to be able to see the difference in the fresh pasta not only in the flavor but also in the texture.

Stephen and Bernadette were fantastic hosts who provided not only an evening on fun learning new experiences, but were fantastic company over our freshly cooked meals and a glass of wine.

The cooking classes at H4 are a must do activity. Stephen is has experience not only as a chef, restaurant owner but also as a training provider for chefs around Brisbane. H4 run classes for adults and children using a variety of different skills and ingredients.

Details about H4 Hospitality can be found at their web site

Vege Fritters

I have finally got around to putting up my much loved recipe for Vege Fritters. These are great for every meal, although in this house they have become a much loved favorite for breakfast with a little Parmesan, rockets, tomato relish and for a little treat some sour cream. You could put pretty much any mix of vegetables you have, I started using sweet potato and zucchini and have since tried adding things like squash and corn. This is a fairly simple recipe and is all about the feel.

For this you will need to set you oven to 180 degrees and line 2 trays with grease proof paper. 
For this I used
1 Medium Sweet potato
2 Large Zucchini
2 small tins of corn
1 large button squash
1 large potato
1 egg
Self Raising Flour
Chili Powder

Grate all the vegetables  and mix in as much or as little chili powder as desired and add the egg and about 2tbs of flour to get started. Mix using your hands adding more flour as needed. The mix will still be wet and stick but don't worry, you just want it to hold its form when made into a ball and flattened on the tray. 

Once this is done place them on a tray depending how big you should get about 18 regular sized patties with this mix.
Bake in the oven for about 30-35mins. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Mix Chocolate Cupcakes

I will apologies now for today's entry, I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take photos. This recipe is so easy however that it wont matter if you plan to make these delicious cupcakes.

I had a reason for making these cupcakes, and that was a friends wine and cheese night, not cheese or wine I know but a much loved treat to enjoy at the end of the night. It was a great night and there was some other delicious homemade goodies as well. An amazing Black Forest Cheesecake, a cob loaf which was a favorite and loved by all, perhaps though not my waistline, and a real compliment to the cheese a apricot and red wine paste.

Well I shall get on with this very simple and quick recipe
For the Quick Mix Chocolate Cupcakes you will need:
185g of Butter, Softened
3/4 of a Cup of Caster sugar
3 Eggs
125ml of milk
1 Cup of Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
1/2 a cup of  Plain Flour, Sifted
1/3 of a cup of Cocoa Powder, Sifted

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line muffin trays, these can either be the larger muffins or the mini ones, either will work. I did however prefer the mini ones. This recipe makes 15 larger muffins and will make a lot of mini ones, I ended up with 8 large muffins and 38 mini muffins.

Beat all ingredients in a bowl on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is   fluffy and has lightened in colour.
Place mixture into muffin cases about half way up and bake;
18-20 mins for larger muffins
10-12 mins for mini muffins

Allow muffins to cool in tray for 5 mins and tip out onto cooling rack.

I choose to top these delicious muffins with whipped chocolate ganache. I did start piping the ganache onto the muffins however the head and humidity got the better of them and the swirls fell. I ended up smoothing it over with the back of a spoon and topping with tiny white sprinkles, cachous, and malteasers.

To make the Whipped Ganache you will need;
230ml of Pouring Cream
375g of Chocolate Melts

Bring Cream to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the melts and stir until melted completely and smooth. Place in fridge and set, stiring occasionally until thickened like soft cream cheese. Once it reaches this consistency beat with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Photos for the ganache can be found in the Birthday entry.

Spread or pipe onto cupcakes, and enjoy!