Sunday, November 28, 2010


It's 10:47pm on Sunday the 28th of November. It has been forever since I posted, sorry! I have been a mixture of too busy and too lazy, but the cooking has never stopped! 

Since the last update I have made gluten free chocolate brownies, readily eaten by my softball team! (we have our final this week - wish us luck!) Also, I made chicken, mushroom and zucchini pasta for lunch on Saturday. 

But the food highlight was most definitely my Korean friend taking me to a local Korean place her friend owns. It sells a mix of Korean/Western food - for $1.50 I got some spicy chicken, a meat parcel and this really tasty thing that was noodles coated in sauce, wrapped in seaweed before being battered and fried. This was probably my favorite thing, though it was all so good, because of the texture combination of the soft noodles and the crispy batter. It is now 11:06pm and I am starving just thinking about it! We had to run in the pouring rain to get it and got totally drenched, but it was so worth it!

So, the Gluten free brownies are a huge favorite with all my friends. The reason I originally made them was for my friends who is gluten intolerant, but they tasted so good that I just kept making them!  they are really easy - chuck ingredient in a bowl, mix, bake and hey presto! I like to add nuts in for a bit of crunch, but what ever floats your boat - they taste fine without.

I woke on Saturday morning feeling industrious, so went to the shop 'round the corner and bought myself six mushrooms, one zucchini and three chicken thighs. An hour later and I had added these things to a tomato sauce, added shallots, garlic and plenty of chili, cooked some pasta and bam! Lunch was served! It turned out better than I expected, I just cooked the zucchini and mushroom before adding them to the sauce at the last minute so they provided a nice texture. An easy lunch for the sporadically industrious among us!

11:13pm and time for some exciting news! Next week is 'integrated studies' at school. This is a themed week where you spend all your time - normally in groups - to complete a project to present to the rest of the grade on Friday. We have one a term, so three in total through out the year, and our final one can be spent doing anything we want, so I am going to cook. (no surprise there!) 
We have limited access to the school kitchens, so I have chosen things that I need no oven for. I am going to do a gingerbread house - I will bake the gingerbread at home and decorate it at school. That will take a day, so for the other four I am going to practice my icing skills and hopefully apply them to a tiered cake (also to be baked at home.) Depending on how much kitchen time I get, I may also make a savory dish to give some variety. Will hopefully receive more details as to what time I get with an oven and stove this week!
But as part of my project, I will be blogging everyday on my progress - so my teachers are to read this blog! So, better go through my older post and check my spelling and grammar ;) But I am really looking forward to a week spent prancing about in my apron and cooking.

Last but not least, I am currently saving to make a 'culinary investment.' This referring to a set of clear mini Pyrex cup and saucers that are just to cute! and practical... If I get them, I want to try and make a coffee mousse topped with whipped cream and flaked chocolate. This would be served as a 'cuppuccino' for dessert. 

11:25pm, time to end my ramblings and get some sleep...
After a little fanfic, of course
Until next time, (which will hopefully include the brownie recipe and pictures!)
Ims x

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fail cake 'n' Onions

Oh yes, you did read it correctly, fail cake.
On Sunday the 7th of September, I attempted to make Battenburg cake as per the recipe I found in a wonderful book called Baking Magic by Kate Shirazi with Susannah Blake. Everything went well up to the stage of icing. My pink cake was slightly taller than the yellow, but did not look to bad. in this book, instead of rolling logs of the cake in Marzipan you use glace icing to coat the whole square. This, for me was the epic fail, and the first few I did were not edible and looked atrocious. In the end, I dunked one side in very runny icing before rolling that side in coconut. This ended up giving quite a nice, if not traditional effect. Next time, I think I will use marzipan (or I am sure sugar paste would give the same effect) But it was tasty, the jam kept it moist and the cake was pleasantly light.

Here we have a perfect display of Fail Cake :P

But all turned out well in the end!
The really interesting thing about this book Baking Magic is that, in most of her cakes, Kate Shirazi uses margarine not butter. Personally, I prefer to use butter. Though I am sure margarine would taste equally as good, I use butter out of habit and 'tradition.' But really, what ever you have in the fridge 9/10 times will be just fine - just don't try to make butter cream icing with anything but butter in its most pure, rich and creamy form! ;) But I really like this book, while the copy I have at the moment is from the library, it is one I would really like to buy!

Speaking of buying...!
For my birthday I got the most awesome apron from Jo and Jac (see the link to Jac's Blog on the side!) So when, on Sunday I walked into one of my favorite stores ever (Your Habitat) you can imagine my delight when I saw that they were selling matching oven mits! After a surprisingly small amount of begging, my dad let me buy one (love you dad!) I have a thing for matching, and this just feeds the fire of my fetish! But it looks just to cute when I use it when wearing my apron. I also got a new reusable icing bag and some more nozzles, which I am sure will produce many pretty edible goodies in the future!

The adorable matching oven mit!
Now, let us sidestep into the onions! I decided to make some French Onion Soup using my dad's recipe (I also stole some of the caramelized onion and made some tarts for my school lunch box - but more on them later!)Which meant I started by chopping about 1.5kg of brown onions. Now, I ca hardly chop one without my eyes watering - so by the end of all of these it was agony! But, once they were frying and the yummy smell of cooking filled the room, it all became well worth it! I also made a lamb stock to put with the onion to create the soup. It took a long time for the onions to be ready but the finished product is delectable. Best served with crunchy croutons, this is a dish for any occasion! The tart I made using the onion, some bacon and lastly cheese were also really good - it seems my friends at school enjoy eating my lunch just as much as I enjoy making it! My friend group always shares lunches, so quite often i will trade food with my friends - sharing is caring ;)

The onions frying
The lamb stock. In it you would find:
 parsley, bay leaves, carrot, celery and, of course, a lamb bone!
So, that is me for now! Got a maths test tomorrow - wish me luck!
Happy cooking
Ims :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello November!

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!
The first day of November has been painful like every Monday; drag my self out of bed, get to school and start the day with a hearty dose of grammar. Not much school or even the year left now, how time flies when you are having fun!
Speaking of fun, take a walk through my front door, down the hallways and enter my kitchen!
Lets see, since I have last posted the main things I have cooked... first would be Rhubarb Tarts, Mum had stewed some Rhubarb so I thawed out some frozen pastry in a whirl of inspiration and ended up with four mini tarts. I put a bit of brown sugar on top and it caramelized nicely. They were that nice balance between sweet and that bit of sour! 
Tasty Rhubarb Tarts!

Next up was Thai Green Curry, which was this weeks recipe for the "Saturday afternoon cook" when my friend comes over before she heads to church and we cook dinner together. I really enjoy those afternoons and the curry was really nice as well. While the recipe I used says you don't need to cook the chicken first, I did to avoid that slight tang of raw meat in the finished dish. I also dislike fresh coriander, so did not add that in - but those in my family who do like it added it in to thier own and assure me it gave a wonderful flavour. I'll take your word for it guys!

Finally we have Sweet Pumpkin Pie! I am Australian and it sure ain't Thanksgiving but I felt like making a pie and we had a pumpkin that needed using. I used a Kent pumpkin even though the recipe specified butternut but it still tasted good. A nice easy and relaxing dish to make, I will certainly make this one again! The pastry I used was a packet mix (yes - I feel ashamed just admitting it!) but turned out being quite nice, I only used it because I was short on time - when I repeat this recipe I will make it from scratch myself. 
Sweet Pumpkin Pie - I apologize for the blur!
So, that is all from me for now. I will try and post the recipe and pictures of the curry tomorrow.
Until then!
Ims x