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Pasta Pie


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The Loch Ness Monster often laments over the fact that he can never find a pasta pie in Melbourne.

He last had one 6 years ago in Seaspray and has not stopped talking about it since.

So while he was working on his Sunday project work, I got busy in the kitchen with some leftover pasta.

Served with a caramelised onion relish, LNM was a happy man indeed with this tasty pasta pie.

Adding a pastry base would make this dish absolutely pop, and nobody could resist this served with a side salad.

So next time you have leftover pasta in the fridge, get creative and turn it into a whole new dish.

Enjoy!!

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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Foody

 

Easy caramel tarts


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With some friends coming over to visit the other night I needed to bake something sweet to share.

I was however feeling lazy and was not in the mood to visit the supermaket.

Grabbing 2 sheets of puff pastry, I blind baked 24 shells in a mini-muffin tray using a teaspoon of rice in each shell.

While it was mildly tedious to remove the rice afterwards, it was completely worth it in the long run.

Each shell was then filled with a teaspoon of Nestlé Top ‘n’ Fill, and refrigerated overnight.

The good news was that the pastry stayed crisp and was an instant crowd pleaser.

The recipe could be tweaked in any number of ways, adding a slice of banana on top of the caramel and some whipped cream – instant mini banoffe pies!

Making caramel from scratch (salted caramel anyone?!!) and topping with ganache would leave everyone in a sugary delight.

One of these days I will learn to make pastry from scratch, but until then I will continue to let puff pastry do all the hard work for me.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Foody, wordy

 

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Store Bought VS Homemade


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For my Aunt’s 50th birthday I decided that it was high time to whip up some retro favourites that many would buy from the supermarket.

Homemade dips are my latest passion since I recently discovered how easy it is to make hummus.

So for Sunday lunch at my Aunt’s, in addition to making hummus, I created a spinach dip to accompany it.

All I can say is that I will never be able to eat store bought dip again!

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For a quick and easy main course quiche was the go which resulted in tasty consequences.

Learning a few crowd pleasing dishes that can be quickly thrown together before a family event is a handy thing indeed.
The flavours are better than anything I would ever get from the supermarket, and with store bought quiches costing $10 a piece I have saved a decent amount of coin.

So go out there and figure out what your homemade gem is going to be! You could soon be famous for your homemade sausage rolls, pasties, anything you set your mind on.

Don’t be afraid to have a few mistakes along the way as you master the recipe, it took me 3 batches to perfect my Anzac biscuits.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Foody, wordy

 

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Banana and cinnamon tea cake


With the quirks of my oven figured out, and a new Chicago cake tin to test out, it seemed like a good idea to tranform some overripe bananas into a tasty treat for The Loch Ness Monster.

With all the baking I do being donated to friends and work colleagues, I frequently torture him with appetising scents not intended for his consumption.

If baking is my hobby, then surely LNM’s hobby is eating.

So with this in mind I was more than happy to whip up a cake intended just for him.

Another happy memory in the bag.

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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Foody

 

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Broccolini pie


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Last night the Lochness Monster was happily surprised to come home and find me baking pies.

After buying 2 pie tins from Everten last week I thought it was time to hit the kitchen.

The end result was the broccolini pie of my dreams.

This beautiful, versatile vegetable is highly underrated. Largely I believe this is due to people not knowing how to cook it properly.

Lightly steam these beauties to your desired level of bite, then finish off in the frypan with herbs or garlic.

Once prepared it can be served with rice, pasta or meat. In this case it was used as the main attraction to make a tasty pie.

The only thing that is better than one of these pies? Two of them!

If you have yet to try this magnificent vegetable get out and try some today. You can thank me later.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Foody, wordy

 

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Anzac biscuits


Fresh from the oven and happily added to my recipe collection.

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Foody

 

Baking tips from the experts


Baking tips from the experts.

We have all had them. Baking disasters. My oven has been unkind to me on occasion, and I have definitely used the wrong sugar and burnt a cake.

Too many people give up after a baking disaster when simple tips, like those found in this article, can save all those cakes and biscuits that would otherwise be burnt to a crisp.

After some trial and error baking becomes a skill, but mistakes are bound to happen and should happen so that we can learn to make tasty food.

What would be REALLY awesome is a masterclass from a CWA representative, but in the meantime I’ll keep having both disasters and victories in the kitchen.

Making pancakes this morning for myself and The Loch Ness Monster I was reminded of the first time I tried to make pancakes from scratch as a child.

I was 9 years old, the batter was awful, the pancakes were poorly cooked and I absolutely loved it nonetheless. Today my batter was fool proof, tasty and left smiles on our dials.

So keep cooking, keep trying and your disasters will turn into your favourite recipes in no time.

MY PANCAKE RECIPE
1 Cup self-raising flour
1 Cup milk
2 teaspoons castor sugar
1 egg

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in wordy

 

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