RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spring produce

Spring has finally arrived in Sydney, and this week we have had some very warm days already [ 35° Celsius / 95° Fahrenheit]  …perhaps it is a sample of the hot Summer ahead??!

It’s time that I start rethinking what lovely produce will be harvested during the Spring season and what meals I’ll be able to create over the coming months…… so many choices and such little time to cook!

 

September

Artichokes

Asian Greens

Asparagus

Bananas

Broad beans

Beetroot

Broccolini

Chat Potatoes

Chillies

Corn

Cumquats

Dragon Fruit

Eggs

Grapefruit

Herbs

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Lemons

Lettuce

Honeydew Melon

Mulberries

Oranges

Papaya

Peas

Pineapples

Pomelos

Silverbeet

Spinach

Tangelos

 

——————————–

October

Artichokes

Asian Greens

Asparagus

Avocados

Bananas

Beetroot

Broad Beans

Cauliflower

Chat Potatoes

Chillies

Corn

Cumquats

Dragon Fruit

Grapefruit

Leeks

Lettuce

Loquats

Mangoes

Honeydew Melon

Mulberries

Oranges

Papaya

Passionfruit

Peas

Pineapples

Pomelos

Rockmelon

Silverbeet

Spinach

Watercress

Zucchini

 

————————————

November

Apricots

Artichokes

Asian Greens

Asparagus

Avocados

Beans

Blueberries

Broad Beans

Capsicums

Carambola (Star fruit)

Cauliflower

Cherries

Chillies

Corn

Dragon Fruit

Garlic

Grapefruit

Lettuce

Loquats

Mangoes

Oranges

Passionfruit

Peas

Pineapples

Potatoes

Raspberries

Silverbeet

Spinach

Strawberries

Sweetcorn

Tomatoes

Watercress

Zucchini Flowers

* Listing courtesy of Harris Farm Market

Advertisements

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy and consists of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

There are many varied options available  including; toppings of roasted vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese. …although the most popular version world-wide seems to  involve torn basil leaves, fresh tomato, garlic and olive oil.

Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer, but I prefer is as an lunch option on the weekend to eat sitting in the sunshine with a tall glass of something refreshing alongside.

Here are a few of my current favourite toppings for toasted sourdough.

My modern take on Bruschetta…

  • Blue Costello cheese, apple slices, roasted walnuts and drizzles of honey and optional rocket leaves
  • Grilled zucchini, feta, fresh mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon [substitute broad beans for zucchini when in season]
  • Goat’s cheese, prosciutto, thyme leaves and fresh figs
  • and last but definitely not least, my favourite brunch option… ricotta, cinnamon and honey

 

…….What are some of your favourite Bruschetta  options?

Peanut Butter & Chocolate slice

I like to bake and occasionally I will ‘share the love’ and take something to work. Hopefully the item travels easily on public transport, looks appealing, feeds a crowd and is cost effective  ……that is not toooooo tall an order or expectation for a baking item surely?

I have always loved the peanut butter/chocolate combination, which I will place blame squarely on Peet for introducing me to Reece Peanut Butter Cups, this slice is the perfect foil for that craving and with a few salt flakes scattered on the slice when it comes hot from the oven it is even better still….

Peanut Butter & Chocolate slice 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup SR flour
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 90g butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • ¾ cup milk choc chips

Preparation method

1.    Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C . Lightly grease and line an 18 x 28cm slice pan, extending paper 2cm above the edge on the two long sides.

2.     In a large bowl mix together flours, oats, coconut and sugar.

3.    In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter and honey. Stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes, until melted and combined.

4.    Make a well in centre of flour mixture and stir through peanut butter mixture and egg. Fold ½ cup choc chips through until well combined.

5.    Press mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining choc chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into small rectangles. Store in an airtight container.

High-tea

I love the concept of High-Tea celebrations…. an afternoon with my girlfriends attired in our favourite dresses, sipping away at endless cups of tea served in fragile porcelain whilst sampling a wide array of sweet and savoury bite size morsels.

It’s a great excuse to use all my vintage hand-embroidered table cloths, porcelain cups and saucers, bake and fill my array of porcelain platters and antique cake stands and also scent the house with a multitude of pretty, scented posies of flowers.

 ……what is not to love?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Cake

I recently saw a delicious photo of an apple cake in the weekend paper, some research online later and hey presto I now have had the joy of baking this simple but rustic looking apple cake/flan!

It will be a delicious contribution to a friend’s long lunch that I’ll be attending later today. Many thanks Tessa Kiros for the inspiration, I’m sure that it will taste as delicious as it looks!

 

Filomena’s Apple Cake, recipe courtesy of Tessa Kiros

Makes a 24 cm  cake

Ingredients:

150 g butter, softened
150 g  sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
250 g plain flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
3 Granny Smith apples
Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170°C

Butter and flour a round 24 cm springform cake tin.

Using electric beaters, whip the butter and sugar in a wide bowl until creamy. Add the vanilla, then add the egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking well after each.

Whisk in the flour, almond meal and baking powder, adding the milk as the mixture thickens to make it come together in a very thick batter. Scrape the mixture off the beaters into the bowl, then wash and dry them. Use the clean beaters to whip the egg whites to snowy peaks.

Using a metal spoon, fold a scoop of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly dispersed, then gently fold in the rest of the whites. If they are difficult to incorporate, give a quick whisk with the electric beaters to mix it all together. Scrape into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Peel, core and halve the apples. Cut across the halves into slices of 4–5 mm. Starting at the centre of the cake, arrange the slices slightly obliquely, pushed about halfway into the batter. Pack them tightly together, working your way outwards like the petals of a rose. It may seem like there is too much apple, but fill in any spaces as it will look lovely later.Scatter the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the top.

Bake until the apples begin to get golden and some of the edges are dark, about 45 minutes, then cover with foil and continue baking for a further 15–20 minutes or until the cake is ready. (The middle should look ever-so-faintly gooey.)

It is important that the cake is not overcooked as the edges and bottom will dry out. Remove the foil and cool before removing from the tin. Serve dusted lightly with icing sugar.

Much-loved author Tessa Kiros celebrates the heritage of Italy, the country she has chosen to call home, in the recently released Limoncello and Linen Water Cookbook. Tessa’s whimsically feminine book is a tribute to the women in our lives – mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers – and the important lessons we learn from them. With accessible, delicious recipes ranging from robust family dishes to quirky cakes and old-fashioned preserves, this book is a precious heirloom to treasure.