Wednesday, August 24, 2011

handmade - pasta and chocolate - b/day

I was planning on posting a new recipe today but alas I am still tweaking it so hopefully next has been flat out here!

You know the beggining of Glee where they go over what happened in last weeks episode really quickly. well, here goes.

The fox and the spoon is having a sale and everyone loves a bargain! Maria is thinking about Father's day; she bought a sterling silver guitar pick...will it be enough? She also thought yesterday was Monday so she's lost a day and that's why the new recipe isn't ready to post. And no poisons this week but the kids raided the fridge and ate chocolate for breakfast.......and that's what you missed on maria's life!

A couple of months ago Caroline from FoxDrinkWater and her family came over for her birthday lunch - we made Jamie Oliver's Pumpkin, Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo from his Italian cookbook and an incredibly rich chocolate tart, or Torta Nera as it was called in the magazine (Gourmet Traveller - The Italian Cookbook) are the pics.

drool, drool, drool.......


Caroline and her husband made their own pasta and the dish tasted and looked spectacular. The chocolate tart.....was a killer! It was so rich! I'm sure you could feed at least 20 people with tiny slivers (it's all you can eat it is that rich) enjoy it with some delicious whipped cream. And if you do make it - pop it in the fridge and eat it completely cold. After it has settled a bit the flavours don't seem as intense as when the tart is at room temperature.

It was a lot of work but as always, so much fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

High School Lasagne

For me one of the weirdest things about getting older is not the sudden crows feet that appeared after the birth of my first child; not the crazy, sleep deprived look that came with my second child and not even the fact that some things on my body now hang a little lower - no - for me it's saying things like, "I have this lasagne recipe from high's 22 years old! YIKES!". now that completely freaks me out. High school feels like yesterday to me. it's me listening to Eric Clapton, it's me doing drama, it's me thinking a boy a year above me named Adrian Ross is the bees knees and it's crazy 14year old me buying a bottle of wine, getting away with it and then realising I didn't have a cork screw!

In my first year in high school I took Home Science and loved it so much I took it for the next 5 years. From that 1st year I kept 4 recipes, typed by a typewriter no doubt, and have lovingly used them over the years. They are browned, torn and splattered here and there which made me think about how old they are and yes, they are 22 years old. That is so weird!


1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
500g mince
good dash of dried rosemary
good dash of dried oregano
dash of sugar
good dash of salt
2 x 400g tin tomatoes

cheese sauce

25g butter
25g plain flour
1 cup milk
100g mozzarella or tasty cheese
salt, pepper, nutmeg

dried pasta sheets

how to make my high school lasagne

Pre heat your oven to 160C.
Pop your saucepan over a mid to low heat. Add some oil. when hot enough, add the onion and garlic. Sweat it down. When ready turn up the heat and add the mince. Cooked until browned. Add the herbs, salt and sugar to taste. After about 30 seconds add the tinned tomatoes. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a saucepan. Melt gently. Take off the heat and add the plain flour until combined. Put back on the heat and add the milk gradually, incorporating everything as you go. When the milk is all added, keep stirring over a low heat until the mix thickens. The whole process whould take about 10 - 15 minutes depending on your stove. When it is thick, turn off the heat and add your mozzarella. Stir and add your salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.

grab your square, 5cm height dish. Place a little of the meat sauce to cover the base. Add some dried pasta sheets. Cover these with some more meat sauce. Add half the cheese sauce. Layer over some more pasta sheets then again with the reast of the meat and the rest of the cheese sauce.

I love to cook this slowly for about an hour on 160C. I like lasagne really well done (as you can see in the photo) and I don't like a huge amount of cheese sauce in my lasagne. If you do, just double the cheese sauce quantities. I've adapted this recipe over the years. The original had tomato paste which I'm not really a fan of and it also had dried basil but I didn't think this was really necessary. I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

rustic lemon clouds

Whenever I visit a close friend of mine she always gives me a few of her Aunt's lemon bicuits that she has stashed away in the cupboards. You know the kind, lemon flavoured, crunchy, spicy hard icing - DELECTABLE. I even found a store-bought variety when we were living in the inner west. Whenever I'm in that way I always manage to buy a box....or 3!

here is my version of that recipe. They are not as crunchy, these are quite light but still delicious with that hint of lemon. There's no egg or nuts so anyone with allergies can devour these too!.......enjoy!

Pre heat oven to 200C. Line a biscuit tray with baking paper.


150g self raising flour (approx 1 cup)
20g caster sugar (just over 1 tablespoon)
70g unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) lemon zest

1/2 cup icing sugar mixture
1 teaspoons boiling water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

how to make your rustic lemon clouds

Mix flour and sugar together in a large bowl. Make a well and add the butter and sour cream. Incorporate with a dessert spoon. The mix will be quite crumbly. Now you can knead it with your hands in the bowl. When you've brought it toghether in a ball (try not to overwork) break into smallish balls (I usually get about 12 balls) place on your tray and gently push down a little with your thumb. Pop them in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Don't discard your baking paper!!! Place this under a cooling rack and take your biscuits off their tray and cool them on your rack

When cool enough for the icing, mix together and spoon over about a teaspoon over each biscuit. It will drizzle over the sides but the mix should be quite thick too. When the icing has hardened they are ready for popping in a container or devouring. They also taste fine the next day after they have been overnight in the fridge...if of course they last that long!