Taste Bud Pleasures

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

These look fun and taste great, there’s even a possibility of sneaking in some extra veggies without the kids knowing 😉

If you’re looking for a healthy snack be sure to give these a go (they are easier to make then they look)!

Inside Out Veggie Rolls

insideoutveggierollPREP: 30 minutes

MAKES: 32

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup Obento mirin seasoning
  • 4 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1/2 small yellow capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 small carrot, peeled, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 medium avocado, thinly sliced

METHOD:

  1. Make sushi rice: Rinse and drain rice 3 times or until water runs clear. Place rice in sieve over a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to drain.
  2. Place rice and 1 cup cold water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 12 minutes or until water has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer rice to a large ceramic dish. Using a spatula, stir rice to break up lumps. Gradually add seasoning, lifting and turning rice, until rice has cooled.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Cook asparagus for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender. Drain. Refresh in a bowl of chilled water. Drain.
  5. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a sushi mat. Using damp fingers, spread 1/4 rice mixture over nori. Sprinkle over 2 teaspoons sesame seeds. Cover rice with plastic wrap. Turn mat over so nori faces up. Slide plastic onto mat, nori-side up.
  6. Spread 1/4 mayonnaise along centre of nori. Arrange 1/4 capsicum, cucumber, carrot, avocado and asparagus over mayonnaise. Using mat, roll up firmly to form a roll. Unroll mat, keeping plastic intact.
  7. Cut roll into 8 slices. Remove and discard plastic. Repeat with remaining nori sheets, rice mixture, sesame seeds, mayonnaise, capsicum, cucumber, carrot and avocado to make 32 pieces. Serve.

TIP:

  • If you have left over seasame seeds, use them to garnish rolls.

ENJOY!

x x x

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What’s In?

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

This time we’re not referring to what’s in season for our wardrobe but instead what’s in season for our fridge!! We’ve welcomed July with open arms and now it’s time to prepare for the month ahead. When you know exactly what is in season for produce, cooking is made easier. So we’ve done our research and know  exactly what storms we can cook up this month!

Cooking In July

Chef-Cooking

       Fruit:

  • Avocados
  • Custard apples
  • Fuji apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mandarins
  • Nashi
  • Navel oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Pink lady apples
  • Pomegranates
  • Quinces
  • Red delicious apples
  • Rhubarb

Vegetables:

  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Brown onions
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chinese greens
  • Dutch carrots
  • English spinach
  • Fennel
  • Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Kumara or sweet potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Olives
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Silverbeet
  • Spinach
  • Witlof

HAPPY COOKING

x x x

Taste Bud Pleasures

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

Whilst some people squirm at the thought of mushrooms we drool with delight 🙂

At the moment we’re obsessed with baking stuffed mushrooms and this is one of our favourite ways to do so:

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

19522_l

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 large field mushrooms, stalks removed
  • olive oil
  • 3 cups (600g) ricotta
  • 60g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup (20g) grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush the mushrooms on both sides with olive oil. Place mushrooms, cavity-side up on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Combine the ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, parmesan, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and egg in a large bowl.
  3. Divide the ricotta mixture between the mushroom cavities, piling the mixture roughly in the centre.
  4. Bake mushrooms for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden and mushrooms are tender. Place on serving plate and sprinkle with extra chopped parsley. Serve with a green salad or toasted bread.

ENJOY!

x x x

Taking The Night Off

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

michelle-williams-couch-reading

Sometimes we just need a night off!

Forget catering to guests,

and there’s no hope of getting off the couch tonight.

Tonight is a night for a good movie in the p.j’s!

But what do you conjure up for dinner when you’re feeling this way?

Something easy-peazy. . . .

Nachos

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum, diced
  • 1 small green capsicum, diced
  • 2 cobs of corn, kernels removed
  • 400g can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 420g can four-bean mix, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 x 220g packet light corn chips
  • 1 cup reduced-fat grated tasty cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled, cored
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Then set the oven to preheat at 200°C. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  2. Add red and green capsicum, corn kernels, tomatoes, beans and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and beans are heated through.
  3. Arrange corn chips on heatproof serving plates. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Spoon over bean mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until corn chips are crisp and cheese is melted.
  4. Place avocado into a bowl. Add lemon juice and mash. Dollop over dish and serve.

nachos

Freshen Up

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

Lime & pepper vietnamese chicken salad

27575

Ingredients

  • 2 (about 200g each) chicken breast fillets, halved lengthways
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime rind
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 200g green round beans, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 2 baby cos lettuces, trimmed, shredded
  • 200g punnet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 110g (2 cups) trimmed bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Olive oil spray

Method

  1.  Place chicken in a glass or ceramic dish. Combine lime juice and rind, chilli, fish sauce, pepper and sugar in a bowl. Add half the mixture to chicken. Turn to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook beans in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes or until bright green and tender-crisp. Refresh under cold running water. Drain. Combine beans, lettuce, tomato, bean sprouts and mint in a large bowl.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan on high. Spray with oil. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked through. Thickly slice.
  4. Drizzle remaining lime juice mixture over salad and toss to combine. Divide salad among plates and top with chicken.

Sweet, Sweet, Toffee!

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

With halloween so close, there’s only one thing we are considering making as a naughty treat. . .

Toffee Apples!

You’ll need 6 pairs of wooden chopsticks or 12 thin round wooden sticks.

Ingredients

  • 2 small red apples, stalks removed
  • 3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup liquid glucose
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food colouring

Method

  1. Wash apples in hot water to remove wax coating. Dry. Push 1 chopstick or stick in top of each apple, being careful not to push all the way through. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place sugar, 3/4 cup warm water, glucose and vinegar in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved (don’t boil).
  3. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 15 to 20 minutes or until toffee reaches hard crack stage, brushing sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to avoid crystallisation.
  4. Remove from heat. Tint red with food colouring. Stand for 30 seconds for bubbles to subside slightly. Working quickly, dip 1 apple into toffee, tilting pan to coat. Turn apple above pan to drain excess toffee. Stand apple on prepared tray. Repeat with remaining apples and toffee. Stand for 20 minutes or until set.

    And you can always get creative, dip them in crushed nuts or 100’s and 1000’s!

    Happy Halloween 😉

Inspire Us Jamie!

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

It’s the dilemma we’re faced with every night:

what to have for dinner?

Well we are taking the bull by the horns and looking to the greats to inspire us.
Jamie Oliver has countless recipes, tv shows and books – and he’s a cutie pie!
How could we go wrong?!

“This dish is fantastic and you can literally have it ready in just over 5 minutes. Use either wild mushrooms that are in season, like girolles, trompettes de la mort and pieds de mouton, or more readily available farmed mushrooms like field, chestnut or oyster, as these are really tasty when cooked properly.” – Jamie

Best lamb cutlets with special basil sauce

Ingredients

• 12 lamb cutlets
• a small handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• extra virgin olive oil
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 400g mushrooms, brushed clean and torn
• a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 lemon
• 2 handfuls of pine nuts
• 2 large handfuls of fresh basil
• 3-5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

These lamb cutlets are best cooked on a hot barbecue with wood or charcoal, to give you a wonderful smoky flavour. Otherwise use a preheated ridged griddle pan. Slap the cutlets with the heel of your hand to flatten them slightly. Then bash up your thyme in a pestle and mortar and add a little olive oil. Mix together, then rub the oil over the cutlets and season both sides of them. Put to one side.

Cook the mushrooms dry on the bars of your hot griddle pan. This is quite an unusual way to do it, but it gives you a nutty flavour that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Just grill them on both sides to mark them and put them into a large bowl. Once the mushrooms are done you can put the lamb on the barbecue or griddle pan. If the cutlets are about 1.5cm thick, just give them 3 or 4 minutes on each side until they’re really golden. This should cook them medium. (To be honest, I’m not really into rare lamb cutlets, but if you prefer them like that then cook for a little less time.)

When cooked, put the lamb cutlets into the bowl with the mushrooms and drizzle with a little olive oil. Tear over the parsley, in quite large pieces, and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Season lightly and toss around. Place to one side to rest, to allow all the lovely juices to get sucked up by the mushrooms.

Meanwhile you can make a really quick sauce. It looks a bit like pesto, but although it contains basil and pine nuts it has no similarity in flavour. In a pestle and mortar pound up the pine nuts until you have a mushy pulp – this will give the sauce a creamy flavour and texture. Remove the mixture to a bowl, then use the pestle and mortar to bash the basil up into a pulp. Add this to the pine nuts and loosen with extra virgin olive oil so that the sauce easily drops off the end of a spoon. Now you need to balance it with quite a lot of balsamic vinegar to give it a good zing, almost like a mint sauce, but add it to taste. Give the lamband mushrooms a final toss. I like to serve this up on a big platter and let everyone help themselves. Have the sauce and a simple watercress salad on the side.

To see more from our fav British Chef check out his website!

x x x

Designer Chef

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

Now, it’s not just the thrill of creating something yummy that drives us but also creating something beautiful!

Using beautiful, sleek kitchen ware can sometimes make the cooking more enjoyable than the eating!

Now THIS would have to be our favourite: the height of novelty and designer cooking!

A Louis Vuitton waffle maker!!

Who’s up for LV waffles!?

x x x

30 Minute Delight

Home, Food & Body, The Dressing Room

No need to spend hours in the kitchen.

You can create a pasta delight in just 30 minutes

 Carbonara

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 150g thickly sliced pancetta, cut into thin matchsticks or cubed
  • 500g tagliatelle
  • 6 free-range egg yolks
  • 100ml thickened cream
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 2/3 cup (50g) grated pecorino
  • 2/3 cup (50g) grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick fry pan over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook for 10 minutes until it starts to crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according. Drain.
  3. Lightly whisk eggs and cream in a bowl.
  4. Add the butter and parsley to pancetta, then add pasta and cheeses and toss well to combine.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly add the cream mixture. Toss gently to combine – the pasta’s heat will cook the egg slightly and form a creamy sauce.
  6. Season, then serve with extra parmesan and parsley.

The Gingerbread Man?!?

Home, Food & Body

“Oh, do you know the Gingerbread Man . .  The Gingerbread Man.. the Gingerbread Man?
Who ran and ran and ran? He said, “Catch me if you can, If you can, if you can.”

It is not truely Christmas without some YUMMY gingerbread treats

Ingredients

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • 150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 8-10 drops red liquid food colouring
  • 8-10 drops green liquid food colouring
  • Smarties, to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  4. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes or alternatively create shapes you desire. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
  5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  6. Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread to decorate. Finish with Smarties.

NOTE: allow 30 minutes resting time