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Some good Ideas for Toast

August 30, 2005

I have just spilt hot coffee in my lap and on my keyboard! The price I pay for wanting to update my blog. Anyhoo, here is a link to some great toast ideas from stephanie alexander

Update: I made the chorizo and beans idea.. Instead of rubbing the toast with garlic I added a finely diced clove when adding the tomatoes, cos I was going to be taking half into work the next day and would not want to rub the toast there.. It was quite good and better the next day, so will make again for lunches one day. I used a whole chorizo not half.

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:54 AM | Comments (1307)

brownies made, vic market visited

August 26, 2005

I went to vic markets bright and early before work this morning and bought

fruit: passionfruit, kiwi fruit, mandarins
veg: cucumber, asparagus
nuts/legumes: 250 mixed nuts, 250g spicy hotel mix, plus some minestrone bean mix
chicken: 4 low fat chicken and veg rissoles, 2 "Italian roll ups" - chicken thighs stuffed with ham and cheese in a napolitan sauce, 300g of organic italian meatballs (these looks so awesome), 500g chicken tenderloins
deli: 200g sliced jarslberg, three dips (spinach and pinenut, tomato and fetta, capsicum and eggplant), a few dolmades and some stuffed minature sweet chillis that look awesome

I have to rejig my meal plans for this week a bit since I walked away with some things that weren't on the list but that were too yummy to pass up!

I also got a few things from the party supplies store including a 50 pack of little plastic containers for putting salad dressing or little bits of sauce in, which I've been hoping to find for ages. Plus a couple of plastic noodle boxes that would be perfect for packaging bikkies or other little gifts, and some curling ribbon.

I carted the whole lot plus my work handbag which included a big batch of brownies I baked last night for Mash's birthday, all the way back down to work which is about 25 minutes. It was heavy and I came back sweaty! and rewarded myself with a nice excessive breakfast of coffee with two sugars and toasted ham, cheese, and tomato sandwhich with butter. YUM! And I have an orange and pineapple juice from the markets for later.

The brownies are from the recipe I mentioned here. I put in about 150g of walnuts and about 100g of choc chips instead of all nuts. They are too rich and sweet for me, but I will see how others like them! (Mental note, adding extra chocolate without reducing the sugar was my mental folly!) If I make it again I will try cutting the sugar down to 400g, and maybe a little more flour. Perhaps 180g instead of 140 (although I didn't trust my measurement yesterday, using an analogue scale that looks different depending what angle you are standing at. I must get a digital scale one day. It would be good to get one for my birthday actually). Also I cooked them for about 65 minutes to get a knife to come out clean where the recipe indicated 40 minutes! So I might need to cook them at a higher temp next time, my oven is probably a little weak. They came out extremely fudgy and extremely sweet, probably a lot of people's wet dream of brownie so I am looking forward to seeing the reactions. I dusted them with icing sugar which I love the look of but rarely do.

Update: these were absolutely adored at work, I think next time I will still cut down the sugar but leave everything else the same. In other news I found a digial kitchen scale for $45 on the weekend and snapped it up.

Anyhoo, going to the market before work is a great idea and I will definitely do it again on weeks that I can delay starting work till 9am. It was great being there without a big crowd as well! They had some nice looking flowers too that I would have picked up if I didn't have so much to carry already :)

Posted by lee_taylor at 10:43 AM | Comments (3516)

Cheesy Muffins/Buns with Soup

August 23, 2005

I used this cheesy bread recipe on sunday night with a few modifications to make some cheese buns to serve with soup.

My modifications:
Use 3/4 of the recipe
Instead of a loaf tin, divide mixture into four rolls and bake at 200 degrees for 25 mins.

Next time I might use the full mix and make 6, baked in a large (6 hole) muffin tin. The muffin tin would be better I think cos the mixture is quite sticky and difficult to shape into rolls.

I also may vary the ingredients in future, but it's a great base recipe to have with soup (in this case tinned minestrone).. It's not the kind of thing I'd eat on it's own though, I'm not really a savoury muffin kinda girl.

Update: I have just made these using the full recipe and adding some finely diced mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and celery, omitting the spring onion and adding a few shakes of dried mixed herbs. I baked for 25 minutes at 200 degrees, using a 6 hole muffin tin. These were quite superb and were good enough to eat on their own, fresh from the oven.

Posted by lee_taylor at 10:11 AM | Comments (412)

This is really a food blog at the moment! Biscotti

August 19, 2005

This weekend I'm making biscotti. I'm going to use one of the recipes from my best recipe cookbook but vary the filling. I'll post the recipe if it's any good. I've done a bit of research, because I want to slice them really thin and have come across this tip:

To avoid crumbling if you want to make very thin biscotti (for the second bake), you can wrap the whole baked dough loaf and freeze it overnight. The next day, a serrated knife will cut thin slices. This technique is especially useful when the biscotti contains whole nuts.

I found heaps more info on this page http://ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/biscotti.html

Update: These were ok but not great. Not recipe-post worthy. And I could only get about half of them into whole slices, even slicing quite thickly, so I won't bother with the overnight freezing next time.

Posted by lee_taylor at 09:52 AM | Comments (131)

Some more recipes.. soup etc

August 15, 2005

hearty vegetable soup with dumplings

italian style lentil and bacon soup

maeve's favourites

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:47 PM | Comments (375)

The Time Traveller's Wife

August 12, 2005

On Wednesday I finished the Adrian Mole Diaries, and decided to ignore the queue and bought a new book to jump straight to - The Time Traveller's Wife. It appeared in a top 50 list from Books Alive 2005, and a top 100 all time list from Angus & Robertson and the description sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. I was a little concerned from the description that it might be long winded -
but nothing could be further from the truth, it's fantastic. I'm only a third of the way through but it is an absolute pleasure to read and I heartily recommend you, dear reader, seek it out.

It has been a fantastic year for books, the last three months or so in particular. I have probably read more than one book a week on average the last three months, there has just been so much fantastic stuff.

Posted by lee_taylor at 09:31 AM | Comments (134)

Food Sites, Mongolian Beef

August 08, 2005

Found a great looking food site:
for healthy mediterranean and asian food.


this site looks really interesting and I want to look at it more when I get a chance (maybe wednesday)

In the meantime, here's something I'll definitely try.

Indonesian peanut sauce

Update: This was truly awful! I had to throw it out. The shrimp paste was definitely the worst aspect of it, but even without it would still have been yuk. The marinade for the satay sticks (not at this link) was very good though, with another peanut sauce.

Later this week I intend to make mongolian beef, at this stage with this recipe for the sauce (taken from www.recipesource.com)

mongolian beef sauce

1 TB Sherry
2 TB Hoisin sauce
2 TB Dark soy sauce
2 TB Chicken stock
1/2 ts Sugar
1 ts Cornstarch
1/2 ts Chili paste -- w/ garlic

Update: I tried this, but it tasted yuk so I didn't risk marinating the beef with it and instead made up my oyster sauce mix which I know to be yummy. However, all concentrated, it tasted gross too so perhaps I need to give this another shot.

Here's another site I want to check out more

and I want to check out this recipe site

and, note to self that I want to make a spicy hokkien noodle salad type thing at some point. Something that can be served cold.

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:36 PM | Comments (1081)

Pita Crisps

Note to self, to make some pita crisps on the weekend for snacking. My trainer has recommended doing this several times and I keep forgetting! Just spray or brush with oil and sprinkle on some herbs then bake in oven and break up afterwards (must confirm that actually).

Would be nice sprinkled with some salt and eaten with tomato salsa methinks.

Update: These were great. I broke them up first, then sprayed with oil and put salt and pepper on top. I will do this again definitely.

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:39 PM | Comments (5894)

Makin' PIzza

August 07, 2005

Using the fabulous instructions from Billy Reisinger : The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Making Your Own Pizza : A Guide for the Pizza Amateur, M and I had a go at making our own this weekend, with pleasing results.

Makin' The Dough

I was a bit nervous about getting the water temp right, but it seemed to work out ok. It needs to be hot enough to give the yeast the warmth it needs to grow but not too hot or you'll kill the yeast.

The sugar and the yeast in the bowl.

Adding the water.

After the yeast and water has been left for about 10 minutes.

After the salt and oil has been added, working in the flour one cup at a time.

Kneading the mix, and beating it for good measure. Adding flour as I go.

I added a bit over half a cup of extra flour all up.

My dough ball.

My dough ball, flattened out (I didn't realise I was supposed to keep it as a ball, but no matter), rubbed with olive oil and covered in glad wrap.

The dough has risen after being left in the sun for an hour. hurrah.

The dough is broken down into portions and refigerated.

Garlic & Herb Pizzas

Since living in Melbourne we often have garlic pizza instead of garlic bread. Our most local (down the street) pizzaria and restaurant make pizza we're not too fond of.. except for their garlic and herb which we often have on the side of our main dishes there. It is flavoursome and has a lovely texture from the course salt flakes, so I've tried to approximate something similar here.

Here I've diced a really large garlic clove (about three normal ones would replicate), added about 1/2 a teaspoon of dried oregano, and some course salt flakes, and left to infuse for a few hours.

The oil mix, spread accross a small piece of dough I'd rolled out. So hard to make it circular!

After ten minutes at 210 degrees C.

This was really delicious. It could have been cooked for another two minutes I'd say - I was worried about burning the garlic but it just browned nicely. The only problem was the course salt was way too salty, so I'll give that a miss next time and just put a wee bit of regular salt on.

So yum, it was, that we made another, with the leftover oil and garlic mix! I forgot to press on the dough with my fingers before topping this one, and it puffed up. But still very yum!

Hawaiian Salsa Pizza

For our main pizza we wanted to replicate something I ate last weekend, a hawaiian pizza with tomato salsa as the base, topped with ham, pineapple, and mozarella. We used old el paso tomato salsa with a medium heat, on reflection mild is probably more suited to this..

Action shot : M throws ham onto the pizza.

Ready to go into the oven..

After about 12 minutes at 210c we took it out. It was still a little soft in the middle.. not sure whether we need to raise the heat, or the cooking time, or roll it out thinner.. I rolled it out as thin as I could, but it was tough! But the taste... delicious! We made another one later with less salsa, more cheese (cheese below and on top of other ingredients) and added olives.

We will definitely be doing this again! And I still have enough dough leftover for two small pizzas, so I am going to pop the dough in the freezer for another time.

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:14 PM | Comments (2362)

Some yummies I'd like to make soon

August 04, 2005

Especially for Mashu-san, these chocolate fudge brownies.

Update: I made these! I added choc chips without reducing the sugar content which was probably a mistake, but will definitely try this recipe again. Read more about it here.

In memory of D's excellent white chocolate and cranberry biscotti she sent us all the way from Perth last christmas, that were gobbled up in hours, these ones from epicurious (just read the reviews!!)

This blog is all food at the moment! That's what happens when you decide to try and lose a bit of weight which I am currently doing.. Oh well.

I have been very slow in making progress on the knitting front recently, hopefully this weekend I'll get some done. Actually this weekend I really should get started on my scarf swap scarf. I have so many different ideas it's hard to come to a final decision!

Posted by lee_taylor at 09:00 AM | Comments (1233)

Pizza and Poor Miss Kitty

August 02, 2005

I am on a bit of a using things in the freezer that I haven't gotten to lately bent, and as I am going to have a go at making pizza dough this weekend, and have a lone chorizo in the freezer, a smaller version of this could be worth checking out. Ole.

On the weekend M & I went out for lunch before seeing the movie The Island (which was ok) and I had a light hawaiian pizza. It was salsa topped with ham and pineapple and sprinkled with lite mozarella and was really tasty, have never had salsa on my pizza before.

I will make the dough on saturday, probably following these instructions which I have linked to recently but only had a good read of on Saturday, so that on Saturday night we can have Spinach Gnudi with Tomato Vodka Sauce with garlic pizza, and then we can have some mixed smaller pizzas on saturday night.

That's a lot of yummies for someone trying to eat very healhtily so I'll have to make the surrounding consumption brings a balance!

Poor Miss Kitty
Tomorrow Miss Kitty has to go to the vet to have some teeth taken out under anaesthetic. Her teeth are very, very bad (it wasn't us, I promise, they were bad when we got her!). She had five removed last december, so I'm going to encourage them to take out anything that looks like it's going to be beyond repair within six months or so along with whatever they absolutely must take out now.. It's around $400 so I don't want to have to be doing it on a regular basis. Though I'd hate for her to end up with no teeth, the vet says it's not uncommon and they (the cats with horribly decayed teeth, who then have them all removed) are usually happier because they're no longer in pain and they have no troubles feeding. And poor me as I will have to wrestle with getting her into the cage and calling a cab to take me the very short distance to the vet, and the same on the way back.. What a bummer for them! It will be a $7 fare or something.. Oh well.

Posted by lee_taylor at 05:25 PM | Comments (2093)

The best choc chip cookies ever

August 01, 2005

I've posted this recipe before, but here it is again, rewritten to reflect what I actually do rather than how I first received the recipe :)

Try this, I promise you won't regret it - they are THE BEST cookies.

The best choc chip cookies ever.. Makes 80 ish


500g butter
1 and a quarter cups castor sugar
400g can nestle sweetened condensed milk
5 cups self-raising flour
375g packet of nestle mini choc chips *


Soften the butter before using - you may need to very gently microwave it just until soft. Cream the butter, condensed milk and sugar using an electric mixer until light and creamy.

Add sifted flour and filling and stir the heck out of it. You may need to use your hands!

Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Press down with a fork (not a lot, just to flatten a bit). Expect to get about 12 cookies to a tray and about 6 trays from the mixture - But you can always freeze some dough to bake later.

Bake in 180 degree oven (170 fan forced) for 14 - 16 minutes till lightly brown. If you like your cookies crispy, bake till golden brown.

Rest for 5 mins on baking tray then move to a cooling rack..


* You can vary the filling a bit, try..

375g of red and green m&ms makes a great batch at christmas time (they put out special packs, but cut out half a cup of the sugar as the shells on the chocolate make things too sweet)


I've used many other things for filling. Last time I used about 400g of cooking chocolate discs in a mix of white, regular and dark which i chopped up roughly. I also pressed in a disc on to the top center of each cookie before baking which came out great.

Other fillings I've used are dessicated coconut, white choc bits and dried apricot, added to taste.

You could also use nuts quite successfully I reckon.

Because there's so much dough, sometimes I'll quarter it before I add the filling, and add different fillings to each batch.

This dough freezes fine.. It's a bit buttery to freeze in individual cookie balls though you can try that if you're game.. If you do that you can put them straight onto the oven tray and just bake an extra minute. Otherwise, just freeze the dough for up to 3 months and defrost overnight in fridge of for a few hours on the bench.. You basically just need the butter to soften to make the dough malleable.

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:13 PM | Comments (3957)