The Roadhouse

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We've got quite a list going of Cheese and Burger Society Burgers that we've tried now. There's The Boss, The Camelot, The Farmer John, The Firehouse (that we don't have a photo of), The Havana, The Aunt Millie, and of course, The Lumberjack. We've enjoyed all of them. Loved a couple of them and now ... with the Roadhouse, we've found our new favorite !

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Man, this is good ! Just looking at the photos makes me want to go make one ! (and it is only 7am! )

Here's what's on the burger ... (and the links to those recipes )

Beef Patty
Gruyere Cheese
Caramelized Onions
Bacon
Onion rings
Garlic Mayo
Toasted Onion Roll ... we couldn't find those, so we used Soft Whole Wheat Bread Rolls.

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Summer Squash Sauté

I recently threw together this delicious, quick, and simple lunch using some lovely, fresh, yellow crookneck squash.

I used:
1 tablespoon each extra virgin olive oil and butter
1/2 a yellow onion sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small yellow crookneck squash, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
salt & pepper, to taste

Topping:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 of a small lemon









Here's what I did:
Sauté sliced yellow onion, in olive oil and butter.
After the onion is soft add chopped garlic.
Next add sliced yellow crookneck squash and zucchini.
Continue to sauté until squash is crisp-tender. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Plate squash and add another tablespoon of olive oil to pan.
Quickly fry about 2 tablespoons of seasoned bread crumbs.
Sprinkle over squash and squeeze 1/4 of a lemon over top.
This makes enough for two as a side dish, but since it was my lunch, it was my complete meal.
Next time I may add a pinch of cheyenne pepper. Mmmm... :)

Buttermilk Ranch

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We love Ranch. Unfortunatly, the store bought one is laced with preservatives ... and who knows what else !? So ... I have been on the lookout for one to make at home. I found a Ranch Dressing recipe in a Donna Hay cookbook ... it was a bit runny as a dip ... yet tasty ... so I modified it to make it more dippish ...

Here's what I did ...

3 Tablespoons Buttermilk
1/2 cup (or more if not thick enough) of sour cream
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
A handful of chopped chives and parsley
Salt and Pepper

I think all add some garlic and possible a bit of onion powder to it next time ...

Mix all ingredients and dip raw veggies into it. We love cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, carrot and yellow capsicum (bell pepper) !

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Pancit Guisado ( Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

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(Photo is Bonnie's attempt to make Nanette's Pancit Guisado !)

Pancit Bihon Guisado is a Filipino noodle dish and is a staple second to rice. This was brought by the chinese immigrants and was localized since then.

INGREDIENTS:
1 lbs pancit bihon noodles ( rice noodles)
1 chicken breast, boiled and cooked, and shredded
1/2 lbs pork, cut into small thin slices
1 cup small shrimp (fresh or cooked will do), peeled
1 dried chinese sausage or chorizo thinly sliced (optional)
1/8 lbs peapods or snow pea
1 cup carrot julienned
1/2 small cabbage, sliced or chopped will do
1 cup celery leaves, chopped finely
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 to 4 cups chicken broth ( I used the chicken broth from the chicken breast that I boiled or if it is not enough I add chicken broth )
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cooking oil
4 small limes, to serve

Cooking procedure:

1. In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the ginger, garlic and onion.
2. Add the pork and cook until the outer part turns light brown.
3. Add the chicken, chorizo, shrimp and chicken broth let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Put in the carrots, snow pea, celery, cabbage, salt and pepper let it simmer for few minutes.
5. Remove all the ingredients in the pot except for the liquid and set them aside.
6. In the pot with the liquid in, add the soy sauce add oyster sauce and mix well.
7. Add the pansit bihon and mix well. Cook until the noodles absorb all the liquid in the pot.
8. Mix in the vegetables and meat that were previously cooked. Mix it well and let it simmer for a minute or two.
9. Squeeze lime, serve hot, share and enjoy!




Lumpiang Shanghai or Spring Rolls

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(Photo of Bonnie's attempt at making Nanette's Lumpiang Shanghai !)

It is of Chinese origin (originally called lunpia) and was brought to the Philippines by Chinese immigrants from the Fujian province. In the Philippines , lumpia is a commom menu during celebrations and feast. Here's the recipe.

2 lbs ground pork
1/2 cup green onions (finely chopped)
1 cup carrots (finely chopped)
1 cup onion (finely chopped)
2 tsp soy souce
1 raw egg
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
Lumpia wrapper (spring roll skin) you can buy this in any asian store. I used Menlo that's the brand name.
cooking oil for frying
Hot and sweet tomato chili sauce (for dipping)

COOKING PROCEDURE:
1. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients pork, onion, carrots, green onions, salt, soy sauce, ground pepper and raw egg.
2. wrap the mixture with the lumpia wrapper.
it is the same in how to wrap a burrito.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat until hot, then turn it to low heat. Fry the rolls in batches until browned, adding for oil ass needed. Serve hot with sweet and sour sauce or hot and sweet tomato chili sauce.



Roast Vegetable Non-Frittata


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I attempted to make a frittata the other night. You are supposed to cook it in the fry pan and then put it under the grill but our grill doesn't work so I thought I'd just flip it like a tortilla. So didn't work ! Check it out ...

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I may try this again one day. I may not. I started with a Donna Hay recipe but changed it a fair bit. Here's what I did.

Preheat oven to 180C

In a big baking tray :
1 zucchini ~ quartered and then halved (does that make sense ? just cut it how you like !)
1 big carrot ~ same at the zucchini
1 potato ~ chopped
a bit of kent pumpkin ~ I cut up a mini one and it was a pain in the bahookie.
yellow and red capsicum (bell pepper) ~ cut into strips
garlic ~ slivers ~ however many you like !
drizzle of olive oil and a bit of rock salt

I threw all that into the oven for 40 ish minutes. Til they were a bit soft ... don't burn them though !

Mix :
6 eggs
One cup cream
3/4 cup fetta
salt and pepper
a handful of greek basil leaves
pepper

SO ... next time, I will add the veggies to the mixture above, pour into a quiche dish and bake til done. But if you want to do it the Donna Hay way you should cook in a frying pan over low heat for 8 - 10 minutes ... til the frittata begins to set. At this point, do not and I repeat DO NOT try and flip it like a tortilla ! Instead, put the pan under the hot grill (broiler) for a few minutes til golden.

In the end, I just made mine into scrambled eggs ... still tasted good. Just looked like a dogs breakfast !



The Most Amazing Beef Curry

My husband loooooves curry ! I could take it or leave it. This one though ... I'd definitely take. It was delicious ! I found the recipe here. I made it exactly as the recipe said and am just cutting and pasting the recipe here. All the credit goes to them ....





For the Beef :
1 tablespoon Homemade Curry Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

Toasted spices:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
3 whole cloves
1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
2 dried hot red chiles
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 cups vertically sliced onion
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 cups low-salt beef broth
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro stems
1/2 cup tomato puree

Preparation

To prepare beef, combine first 3 ingredients; rub evenly over beef. Cover and chill 2 hours, tossing occasionally.

To prepare toasted spices, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add coriander and next 6 ingredients (coriander through bay leaves); cook 1 minute or until fragrant, shaking pan constantly. Place coriander mixture, sugar, cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a spice or coffee grinder, and process until finely ground.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sauté 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and beef mixture; remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and ginger to pan; cook 6 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the toasted spice mixture, garlic, and paprika; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beef, yogurt, and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the beef is tender.

Jamie and Julia ~ Steak and Mash

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When Jamie Oliver was on Masterchef the other night, he talked about dressing the board. Basically, you just put a bunch of herbs and oil and some sort of acid and a bunch of garlic onto your cutting board. Once you've cooked your steak, we did our on the Weber, put it on the board and just massage the flavors into it a bit. I am not a big steak person ... I had seconds of this !!
I didn't write down what I used but just go with flavors you like ! I know I did olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, parsley, greek basil and garlic. I may have used other things pero no recuerdo !!
I also tried Julia Childs' Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I didn't, at the time, but I do now, have a potato ricer so don't know if it would have made a difference. And maybe I'll try these again just to see. But, to me, they weren't worth the absolute mountain of effort they took to make.
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Menu Plan Monday!


This week's menu is fairly basic. We've got a lot going on, and I just wanted some easy, yummy, fresh meals. My other goal was to eat a lot of veggies! Summer=fresh veg. Plus, I went shopping for clothes last week, and every time I do that, I renew my committment to eat healthier...
Monday:
Steak fajitas
I got some beautiful bell peppers and a ripe avocado
Tuesday:
We're going to watch my cousin throw out the first pitch
at a Rockies' game! Let's hope heckling burns enough calories to
offset the dearth o' veggies and surplus of nacho cheese.
Wednesday:
Shrimp Stir Fry
Back to the healthy! I went a little nuts at the farmer's market
and got a ton of yummies like baby bok choy, snow peas,
peppers, zuchinnis...WOOT! I can't wait!
Thursday:
Vegetarian Curry
Bex thinks she doesn't like cauliflower, but she is wrong.
At least, I hope she will reconsider her position in light of this
lovely curry.
Friday:
Shabbat!
Saturday:
Pasta Alioli
Dilled cucumbers
Sliced Tomatoes

Pastina in Brodo

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This is a favorite from my childhood.
I hated soup as a child.
I loved this soup.

I don't know if I made it the way my Mom made it but I loved this.
Alia requested it for her night ...

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I started with a 2L box of salt reduced chicken stock. Added to that 4 cups of water (next time I think I'll add about 6 or 8 cups ) and 3 tsp of chicken stock powder (you could use boullion/stock cubes too). Threw in a carrot, 3 big cloves of garlic and a quartered red onion. Salt and Pepper too. Brought that to the boil and then let it simmer til I had finished the other parts of dinner ... 30 minutes ? an hour ? I then removed the veggies, added the pastina (tiny star shaped pasta that I've found in whole wheat !) and boiled til the pastina was cooked. Served in bowls, topped with parmesan cheese.


Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 26 July 2010

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Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie


I threw together a quick menu this morning. Shopped this afternoon and am pretty happy with the plans ...

Monday
I made an amazing chicken taco salad !
Recipe coming soon !

Tuesday
Zucchini and Ricotta Galette with Salad

Wednesday
Spanikopita Meatballs
Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brocciflower

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Thursday
Homemade Pasta
Winter Vegetable Tomato Sauce

Friday
Not planned yet.
It's Jono's night and he wants
to browse the Masterchef website to
make his dinner making decision this week !

Saturday
Rory and Jono are going to the footy.
Alia and I are going to have a girls night out !!

Martha's New York Crumb Cake

I made this cake ages ago and never posted the recipe. It's a Martha Stewart recipe. I don't know that I'll ever be able to modify it to meet our unprocessed needs for this year. It might have to be one that I make for one of our birthdays !!

I am cutting and pasting from Martha's site ... all credit for this recipe goes to her !

Makes one 9-by-12 1/2-inch cake.

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

1.Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

2.Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

3.Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

4.Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Fruit Salad a la Alia

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The other night Alia (6) made this fruit salad for dessert. I helped her take the skin off the kiwifruit and I segmented the orange. She did EVERYTHING else on her own ! I was so impressed. I bought the neatest little gadget last time we went strawberry picking that helped her with slicing the strawberries ! I'll do a post on that little beauty soon ... but beware, you are all going to want one !

This fruit salad contains one punnet of strawberries, one orange, two kiwifruits and one banana. There are also red and green apples on the side so we could add whichever one we have a preference for ! Isn't she thoughtful ?? :)

Fresh Strawberries {& Shortcake}

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We went strawberry picking the other day.
Fresh strawberries are so beautiful !
We ate them plain ... with frothed
milk "coffee" for the kids ...

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As a topping for pancakes ...

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And as a whole wheat strawberry shortcake ...
I found this recipe over at Heavenly Homemakers


1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Mix together flour and baking powder. Add in eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and milk. Stir well. Pour into a lined meatloaf pan. Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes.

Cool. Top with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Maple Walnut and Oats on Fruity Yoghurt

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I read on delish.com that you should eat Blueberries and Walnuts together. Apparently eating them together boosts memory, reduces oxidative stress and inflamation.
In an effort to eat these two things together, I came up with this little recipe.
I put a small scoop of oats in a bowl, add a handful of walnuts and some pure maple syrup.
Set aside.
Add a scoop or two of greek yoghurt to a small bowl, add some frozen blueberries and banana slices.
Set aside.
I leave both of these things for a little bit because I like the blueberries to thaw a bit ... and for the walnut to 'candy' a bit. When ready to eat, add oats & walnuts to yoghurt & fruit.
Mix & eat.

The Lumberjack

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Cheese and Buger Society ~ #10 ~ The Lumberjack

This burger is HUMONGOUS ... but so worth eating. I couldn't finish mine but I loved every bite I got in !!

Here's what's on it ...
Three pieces of white bread ... buttered and pressed in sandwich press
Iceberg lettuce
2 beef patties
1 piece swiss (we used jarlsburg) cheese
1 piece cheddar cheese
dill pickle slices
ketchup, mustard and mayo
diced onion

Just watch out ... you have to hold onto it with two hands ... otherwise this happens ...

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Bex and Liz Eat Stuff - a Menu Plan


Sunday
Tacos at a friend's house

Monday
Bonnie's Garlic Chicken Pasta

Tuesday
Tomato and Mozzarella Tart
Some kind of light salad

Wednesday
Deviled eggs
Cucumbers
Tater tots
(don't judge me...)

Thursday
Creamy herbed chicken and rice
Seasoned green beans

Friday
Good Shabbos everyone!

Rosemary Chicken Pizza

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I found this recipe and just had to try it ! It was delicious ! Alia had requested pizza for her night of helping me cook ... she made this and also funky lime pizza.

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You'll need Lemon Grilled Chicken for the pizza and it needs to marinate. Like this ...

2 chicken breasts
juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano

Marinate chicken overnight or for several hours. Grill.

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Make your favorite pizza dough ... see how Alia rolls it out !


1 large lemon grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (for 1 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

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Toss all ingredients together with 1 1/2 cup cheese.
Spread mixture over dough and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

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Bake on 200C for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 19 July 2010

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Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Monday
We're going to try Jill's
Thai Coconut Soup w/Cilantro Lime Rice

Tuesday
We're doing a course at church and dinner is provided this week.
Hip Hip Hooray ! Tuesday's are always crazy and not
having to cook in a mad rush is such a nice treat !!

Wednesday
C.R. Chicken Tagine
This is a recipe a friend made up.

I'm cooking from this text message ... bit of chicken ... some rosemary ... a splash of lemon juice ... a round of honey ... w/a sprinkle of garam masala ... a good dose of turmeric ... a spoon of tomato paste ... what i hadn't drunk of my wine ... slowly stewed in some chicken stock. He did his in his tagine on the stove but my tagine is an oven one so I'm going to try it that way. Will see how it turns out !!

Thursday
I'm going to try this Masterchef recipe ... I was salivating as they made this the other night.
Prawn Kalamaki w/Tzatiziki and Herb Salad
This will totally be a starter ...
Dinner will be Spinach, Orzo and Chicken Soup

Friday
Jono wants to make pizza

Saturday
Alia is making sushi

Sunday
Rory is making another Cheese and Burger society burger !!

AND

We've been feeling a need for more "snack food" for lunches too. I'm going to try these
Peanut Butter Cookies this week.


Garlic Chicken Pasta

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So ... this recipe starts out as a crock pot recipe. The original recipe that I found called for Lawry's Mesquite Marinade with Lime Juice. I can't get that so I made my own marinade.

My marinade ~ mix in a bowl :
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/8 cup red wine
garlic ~ to taste
lime juice and rind ~ one or two limes
honey
salt and pepper
paprika
liquid smoke
onion powder

I have no idea how much of each thing I used. When I make it again, I'll let you know exact measurements ...

Add to crock pot :
3 or 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Marinade from above

Cook on low for 6 hours.

Other ingredients :
Whole wheat spirals pasta
1 cup thickened (heavy) whipping cream
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup butter
500g bacon, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Shred chicken, and set aside. When ready to prepare dinner, cook pasta. In large fry pan, cook bacon. Add butter and melt. Ad garlic, cream, pepper and parmesan cheese. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add cooked pasta and shredded chicken. Stir. Top with extra parmesan.

LaZy FriEs

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Well, I didn't take any pictures, so I'm opting for the long-winded thousand word approach instead!

The Problem:
Oven fries are clearly superior to their french relatives in the not making-my-bottom-expand-beyond-the-realm-of-my-pants-in-an-alarmingly-rapid-fashion category. However, the advantage of deep frying potatoes, as opposed to baking them, is that they need never be turned. I HATE trying to turn over a hundred strips of potatoes so I can get a nice even crisp. It takes forever as I slowly melt in the ferocious heat of my oven.

Question:
How does one make oven fries that are uniformly crispy and golden on the outside and soft on the inside, without an unwanted pile of effort?

Solution:
Lazy Fries.

I thought to myself, what if I made potato slabs instead of continuing to cut them into fries? Would they be too big to adequately dispatch my need for fries? The answer, of course, was no - they were fantastic! And waaaaaaay easier than traditional oven fries.

Here's what I did:

3 Large or 7 Small Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise
4 T vegetable oil*
Salt
Pepper

*it's important to use vegetable oil because olive oil can overwhelm the potato-y flavor, which is an essential part of wonderful fries.

Soak the potatoes in hot tap water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a heavy bottomed cookie sheet with 3 T of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dry potatoes thoroughly and place in pan (be very careful not to overcrowd!).

Cover pan tightly with foil and bake at 475 degrees F for 5 minutes. Take off the foil and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Flip potatoes over once they are browned on the pan side. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the other side is similarly done.

Season with additional salt, as desired. Serve hot.



So there you go! Lazy Fries. And it only took me 330 words to get there!

Homeade Vanilla Extract

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I've seen a few blogs with instructions on how to make your own vanilla extract but I can't for the life of me remember where I found those blogs. This was so simple ... so so simple. All you do is get a little bottle, add a vanilla pod and filled the bottle with vodka. Leave for six weeks and come back to find beautiful vanilla extract !! I love it !!

My little bottle at the front was cute but the alcohol evaporated ! So .... from now on I'll use the little bottles from store bought vanilla extract ... I've bought a few of them so that I can making new ones as I finish the previous ones ...

Tortilla Espanola

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Here's how I made this ...

Slice a chorizo sausage, a potato, an onion and a few cloves of garlic. Throw them in a frying pan with olive oil. I usually let the potato cook a bit before I add the onion and garlic. You don't want the potato to get too brown so do this on a lowish heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat 4, 5 6, eggs ... however many you want ... and a bit of salt. When the potato is cooked to your desired tenderness, pour it into the eggs. Then pour that mixture back into your frying pan. Don't add more oil ... you just use what's already there. Let it cook 'til it's pretty much cooked through ~ but don't burn the bottom ! I throw some garlic chives in at this stage too ! Put a dinner plate on top of the frying pan. Pick up the frying pan and turn it over so now the tortilla is on the plate. Now, push the tortilla from the plate, back into the frying pan. IS THIS MAKING ANY SENSE !?! I found a tutorial for you ... I've linked those two steps so you can see photos !! Anyway ... Once the bottom is cooked, tip the whole thing out onto a plate and you're done !

While that is cooking you can grab out your stick blender and make some alioli ...


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I served this the other night with a salad ...

Spinach & Rocket, Roma Tomato, Red Onion, Black Olives, Avocado, Julienned Carrot & Cucumber.
Topped with Feta Cheese ...

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We find we don't really need a dressing when we've got avocado and feta !

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Warm Apple Cinnamon Maple Oats

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A quick and easy breakfast for a cool morning.
I throw all of this stuff together and cook it at work sometimes !

All you need is ...
Rolled oats
An apple, finely diced. I like granny smiths.
Raisins (sultanas)
A sprinkle of cinnamon, ground
Pure Maple Syrup

Put the oats, apple and cinnamon in a bowl, cover (just) with water. Cook in microwave for a minute or two. Just til the apple has softened and the oats have cooked to your desired 'cookedness'. Throw in the raisins and top with a small drizzle of maple syrup. Mmmmm.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels w/ Cheese Sauce

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When I found this recipe for whole wheat soft pretzels, I was pretty excited ! I love soft pretzels. These are pretty good. For sure they are much heavier than normal soft pretzels but that is to be expected with the whole wheat flour. They are best eaten straight away but Jono was also happy to eat them in his lunch the next day ...

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I didn't change anything so I'll just copy and paste from Delicious Wisdom to whom all credit for this recipe is given !

Prep Time: About 2 Hours (mostly inactive)

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Yield: About 12 Pretzels


Ingredients:

1 Cup Warm Water

2 tsp of Dry Active Yeast

1 ½ Cups + 1 ¼ Cups Whole Wheat Flour

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

3/4 Tsp Sea Salt

3 Cups Water

2 Tbsp Baking Soda

Course Sea Salt

In a large bowl, stir yeast into warm water and set aside to dissolve for ten minutes. Stir in olive oil, sea salt and 1 ½ cups of flour. Once well combined, add remaining flour and knead for about 5 minutes. Place into a dry bowl, lightly cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions and roll into balls. Roll each ball into a long snake-y piece and form into pretzel shapes. (see below) Let them rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring water and baking soda to a simmer in a deep pan. Simmer pretzels in simmering water for about one minute, flipping halfway through. Place pretzels on a lightly greased baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, (you’re almost done now) and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Eat many of them warm because that's when they taste the best.

She serves her with mustard. I made cheese sauce ...

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Cheese sauce is so easy to make ... You just make a white sauce and add cheese. Don't know how to make white sauce ? For one cup of white sauce ~ start with 2 TBLS butter. Melt. Slowly add 2 TBLS flour (I use whole wheat). Mix. Very slowly add 1 cup of milk. Mix til desired consistency. (you want it to thicken) Add salt and pepper. Mix. Add cheese. I used Havarti for this one. Probably 1/2 cup to 1 cup. Mix til cheese is melted. VOILA !

Thai Coconut Soup


This recipe was adapted out of my fabulous new cookbook, The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook! I'm am loving this book!!! I am also loving exploring the fabulous world of cilantro! It turns out that I love it, and so does Bex, so we've been using it a LOT.
Plus, this soup is delicious. You won't be able to believe how tender this chicken is.

1 T vegetable oil
1 T grated ginger
3 T Thai red curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 T fish sauce
1/2 T brown sugar
1 14oz can coconut milk
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast,
trimmed and sliced thin into 1" strips
1/4 lb mushrooms,
in big chunks so your roommate can pick them out
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
Salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Heat oil until simmering. Stir in the ginger and curry paste (more or less curry, depending on your taste, keeping in mind that some brands are more intense than others) and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of broth and stir until curry past dissolves. Stir in the remaining broth, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook partially covered for 15 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, chicken and mushrooms. Simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt. Serve hot broth over cilantro lime rice, garnish with more cilantro.

Note.
This soup cannot be frozen due to the coconut milk, but it can be made ahead, several days in advance. Just be careful not to let it boil when you reheat it.

Jono Makes Chimichangas

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I am so loving cooking with each of my children once a week ! I think they are loving it too. As soon as one week is finished, they are already telling me what they'd like to make the following week ! Too cute ! And they are good little cooks. Really getting to know their way around the kitchen ! I love that !

So, Jono chose chicken chimichangas ... we changed the recipe a bit to get rid of the jar of salsa. I couldn't tell a difference. We didn't make the tortillas this time. We'll try that next time though !

Jono did so well. I cooked the chicken but he did pretty much everything else !

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Here's how we did the changas ...
2 or 3 chicken breasts, cooked and thinly diced
400g tin of diced tomatoes
small jar of diced green chilies
1 tsp ground cumin
a few sprigs of fresh oregano, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 chopped green onions (spring onions)
6 eight inch flour tortillas ~ we use more than this !
Olive Oil

Mix tomatoes, green chilies, cumin, oregano, chicken, cheese and onions. Place a couple spoonfuls of chicken mixture in center of each tortilla. Roll tortillas and place seam side down in a greased casserole dish. (I don't grease anything ... I use baking paper) Brush liberally with olive oil. Bake at 400F degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. (watch them the first time you make them ... mine don't ever take that long to cook) Sprinkle with additional cheese. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Speaking of guacamole ... I made some to go with the changas ...

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Here's how ...

2 avocados, one mashed, one chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
red onion, diced
garlic - to taste, I use about 4 or 5 cloves - crushed
splash of lemon juice
fresh cilantro ( coriander )

Mix all those things together. EASY DONE ! Very Tasty !!
Do ahead if possible because it's yummiest after the flavors all infuse !!

The most amazing {caesar} salad

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We saw this amazing Donna Hay Caesar Salad on Masterchef the other night.
We've had it three times since ! It is amazing !! You will never taste bacon so good !

It is simple to make too ... if you want to watch the video of Donna on Masterchef, click on the link above, go to the Masterclass section and search Donna Hay. You'll find it. She's got some good tips.

Here's how I did ours ... only a tiny bit different.

Bacon ~ enough for each salad to have 2 pieces ~ coat with pure maple syrup ~ throw into pre- heated oven on 160C for 15 - 20 minutes
Soft boiled eggs ~ one for each salad
1/2 a BABY cos lettuce per salad
Garlic bagel crisps ~ in place of croutons
Block of parmesan cheese

For the dressing ~ put the following into the container you use your stick blender in :
1 room temperature egg
2 teaspoons capers
1/2 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup canola oil
salt/pepper

Mix with stick blender til mayo consistency.
Add water a teaspoon or so at a time and stir to make the dressing a buttermilk consistency ...

To assemble ... cos lettuce on plate, top with dressing, add bagel crisps, bacon, egg to plate. Grate parmesan cheese over whole salad. Sooooooooo yum.

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We served this with Rory's carbonara ... using homemade pasta.

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Rory also made up this tangy mushroom pasta !.
I'm sure he doesn't remember the recipe ... he never does.