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Topics - JulieO

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I used Granny Smiths for the apples.  A simple recipe to follow, the worse thing about is was peeling 1.2kg of apples but so worth it  ;D

Everything went to plan except after baking and then cutting into the 8 pieces successfully it was impossible to remove a piece from the pie dish without breaking the shortcake into many pieces, no matter how gently I tried. 

If serving to visitors it would be a fail (for me anyway) if I wanted to serve like a slice of apple pie. I wasn't so it didnít matter to us at all but thought I would mention it.  Iíve got to say though that it tasted wonderful.  The apples were cooked perfectly and it had the right amount of sweetness, I couldnít fault it at all.

Iím thinking of having another go in the next 2 weeks because I like to try and get things right.  I want to try making it as a sort of a crumble/cobbler type of dessert.   I wonít put the shortcake on the base just the top and will use the baking dish that you bake the apples in initially. Once the apples are done, I could just put the dough on top and put back in the oven to bake.  This would also cut down on preparation time too.

I think it would be easier cutting the shortcake into sections and lifting off so you could scoop out the apples from underneath into serving bowls and placing a piece of the shortcake on top.

It was lovely served with a scoop of home made vanilla bean ice cream.

I had enough of the shortcake dough left over to roll into 2 balls a bit smaller than golf balls.  I pressed an indent into them and put a tsp of home made strawberry jam in each one and baked in the oven at the same time.  They spread into perfect round, crunchy  biscuits that were lovely with a cuppa. 
I would love to make maybe a half batch of the shortcake dough just to make into these sort of biscuits.  Will report back if and when I do.
Definitely a recipe worth playing with, another keeper from this book.  :D

Linked JD

In the last week I made this recipe to use up some condiments in my fridge, namely home made aioli which I used instead of normal mayo plus some reduced fat sour cream.  For the chicken I used the flesh from a bbq chicken.

I got 4 serves for DH from this (work meals).  One was served with steamed brown rice, one with zucchini noodles and the other 2 with pasta.  He really enjoyed the flavours and it was a good way to use up some things that needed using up.

Linked JD

Made these gorgeous triangular scones for morning tea.  So quick and easy and I added the optional raisins as I love a bit of fruit in scones.

My only little changes were to mill my own sugar and I did that at first for 2 secs/speed 9.  Left the sugar in and continued on with the recipe instead of adding the sugar a little later and I only added a grind of sea salt, not the full amount stated.

I also needed to knead the mix for an extra 10 secs after the initail kneading and the dough was then perfect.  Cooked in the specified time, the insides were lovely and soft and the outside had a little bit of crunch which I like.

Today I served warm buttered, but I can imagine smeared with home made jam and a blob of cream would be just as good.  ;D

Linked JD

This cake was easy to make with clear instructions that worked well.  The cake is lovely.  Not a rich, heavy chocolate cake at all but we both really enjoyed it with a coffee.

The top was lovely and crispy and it cut like a dream.  The pears really make it and as I used a bit bigger pan than stated, I could have easily added just a few more slices to the middle.
I can't remember ever using yeast in a cake like this before but I guess there must be a reason for it. 

I only had double cream in my fridge so added a dollop of that to serve, but I think just a little pouring cream would be perfect.

Not sure how it will keep as it's not an overly moist cake, so I will make sure that I wrap it up when fully cool.  :D

Desserts / Lemon & lime cheesecakes
« on: March 14, 2016, 03:59:52 am »
Here is a very easy and lovely dessert from the book "Salads in a Jar" by Courtney Roulston. 

The recipe serves 4 and I made it to the instructions, but personally I think the sizes are too big and would therefore make as 8 servings, maybe in little mustard jars or the like.  Would be perfect to have in the freezer to have now and then when you feel like something sweet to finish off dinner, but don't want to have anything too filling.

Anyway, I've left it as 4 servings, but please divide into the number of serves you like, maybe a happy medium would be 6.  ;D

125g Granita bisc, broken in pieces as you drop them in the bowl
1 tsp ground mixed spice + small grind sea salt
40g softened butter, in chunks

Place all ingredients into TM bowl.  Pulse Turbo 2-3 times until chopped fine and butter is incorporated.  Divide mixture between 4 serving jars (or glasses if you prefer) and gently tap down so it is evenly spread out.  Donít pack it down too hard though or you wonít get your spoon through it.  Clean bowl.

250g cream cheese, softened and in chunks
395g can sweetened cond milk
80ml lemon juice (about 1 Ĺ lemons)
juice and fine zest 1 lime
2 fresh passionfruit to serve (or could use fruit of choice)

Place all ingredients except passionfruit into a clean TM bowl. 
Blend 10 secs/speed 4 until smooth and combined.  Divide mix between the jars/glasses. 
Refrigerate for 2 hours to set.

Top with passionfruit (or fruit of choice) to serve.

Chit Chat / Pancakes vs Pikelets
« on: March 12, 2016, 01:03:52 am »
After receiving TinEats food email this morning and looking at her lovely ricotta 'pancakes', I had to do a google search on the difference between these 2 things. 
The pancakes in her photo, I would call pikelets as they are smaller and thicker.  Pancakes to me are bigger and thinner (but not as thin as a crepe).

I know it doesn't matter at all but it got me wondering what people on our forum think when they hear 'pancake' and 'pikelet'.  ;D

This is what I found on line.

Here is the recipe:

So simple to make and the recipe makes quite a lot. 

I ended up rolling into 3 logs, 2 of which are in the freezer to take out and slice when needed.  I must say it was really hard not to go and keep taking one because they were that good.  I usually only have one when I make biscuits but these kept calling me and I ended up having 3 over the afternoon.  Very rustic looking but I guess that's half of the appeal.  I recommend you try them.  ;D

Made this today for DH and followed the recipe as stated. 

Turned out lovely and very flavoursome and it made 6 good serves.  DH thought it was delicious and I could have quite easily got stuck into a bowl myself. :)

Will make again for sure.

Linked JD

I made a half batch of these as I thought 30 would be too many even for the freezer.  I got 11 from the half batch.

The mixture was a bit different from the usual scone dough, and it didnít rise much (unless my baking powder needs renewing), but they tasted wonderful, both straight from the oven and once allowed to cool.

I only buttered mine (no jam or cream in this instance) and for the fruit I used, sultanas, craisins and 2 chopped Medjool dates.
I brushed the tops with melted butter instead of using an egg just for that.

I reduced the mixing times slightly for the half load and didnít need to scrape down and re-knead for added time as stated.

Not the most attractive scones I've made, but like I said I really enjoyed how they tasted, worth a try.   :)

Linked JD

Recipe Book Recipe Reviews / Peanut Chicken Noodles - Quick Dinners AA
« on: December 22, 2015, 07:05:57 am »
This recipe was a free one from AAís website.  DH loved it said the flavours were really good; delicious!  I have some observations of the recipe.

I made my own Udon noodles, and made the 2 cup lot in my machine which when made came to about 640g (uncooked weight).  As the suggested amount was 700g I thought this would be okay.

I followed the recipe precisely but found there was too much food to cook in the Varoma in one go.  Maybe my chicken fillets were too big, but with the chicken and all the pasta thereís no way I could get it to all cook properly even moving it around with tongs, so I ended up removing the pasta and finishing off the cooking on the stove top which only takes a few mins anyway, and it left more room in the Varoma for the chicken.

I think I prefer to leave my fillets whole (or at least cut into 3 pieces) and steam them, then slice thinly once cooked Ė just a personal preference.  Again this would leave more room in the Varoma and easier for the steam to get through.

The peanut sauce/paste was really lovely and I used light & creamy coconut evap milk in place of coconut cream.  I also added a smidge of the pasta cooking water to it to loosen it up a little for easier mixing through the pasta etc.

I didnít end up using all the pasta so next time I will only make the 1 cup amount and see how that goes.  I will still cook the pasta separately and not slice the chicken until after cooking as above.

I made this for DH to have for the next 2 nights, plus for the freezer, it made 6 good serves.

Recipe Book Recipe Reviews / Lamington balls - Recipes from Cooking School
« on: December 14, 2015, 06:31:59 am »
I'm presuming these are the same ones as in the book as the recipe was a free one in an email from Alyce Alexandra.

One of the ingredients called for Coconut Paste.  Couldn't source that locally and on-line it would have been too much to send for with postage, so I used Google to see if I could find a recipe to make my own.  I found this one and used it to make the paste in the TM.  So easy and I now have quite a few cubes in my freezer for other things.  I weighed out 20g and found that filled my ice cube tray slots perfectly so have frozen in tbs amounts.

The little balls themselves do taste like lamingtons.  I got 20 out of my mix.  Lovely.  :D

Cakes / Spices of the Orient teacake
« on: December 10, 2015, 12:24:53 am »
I made this lovely little cake this morning after converting the recipe from a Women's Weekly Food magazine.  Turned out really good and so quick and easy I thought I'd share it.
I especially loved the spicy nuts on top and could see me using this combo and method again in other things.


110g raw sugar
60g cubed butter, quite soft
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
150g SR flour
80ml milk
20g extra butter, melted

Preheat oven 180/160C fan.  Grease a 20cm round cake tin.

Place sugar into TM bowl.  Mill 2 secs/speed 9.  Leave in bowl.
Place butterfly into bowl.
Add rest of cake ingredients to the bowl except the melted butter.
Mix 10 secs/speed 4.  Scrape down bowl and mix again,  5 secs/speed 4.
Pour/scrape into tin.  Any batter you canít readily get out of the bowl will be easier to scrape out if you return it to the machine and quickly turn up to speed 8 and back down again.  The batter will flick off the blades which you can now remove and scrape the remaining batter from the bowl.

Bake about 25 mins.  My cake was starting to turn golden around the edges and pull away from the sides of the tin.
Meanwhile while cake is baking make the spiced nuts.

Spiced nuts
40g icing sugar
Ĺ tsp each: ground allspice, ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp each: pistachios,  blanched almonds; both chopped finely with a knife
2 tbsp pine nuts

Place icing sugar and spices into a small bowl and combine.
Place nuts in a strainer, rinse under cold water.
Add the wet nuts to the spice mixture and combine well.  Spread onto a lined oven tray and roast for about 10 mins or so until nuts are dry (will crispen up as they cool).

To finish
Remove cake from the oven and sit for 5 mins before removing to a serving plate top side up.

Brush the top and sides of the cake with the melted butter then sprinkle the spiced nuts over the top.

Serve warm with a dollop of cream (I think custard would go nicely with this also).

Desserts / Chookie's Apple Cake Tart
« on: May 20, 2015, 01:30:04 am »
Converted from a recipe by Jo Weeks and using 'Quicker than a cake mix' TM recipe for the cake.

85g plain flour
100g brown sugar (I used dark muscovado)
grind sea salt
115g butter, cubed

Preheat oven 175C.  Grease a 33 x 22cm pan.  (line with baking paper, coming up over 2 sides for easy removal).

Firstly make caster sugar for the cake mix:  Add raw sugar to TM bowl.  Mill 3 secs/speed 9.  Remove from the bowl and set aside until needed.

If your brown sugar for the topping has lumps, place into TM bowl along with the flour and mill for a 2-3 seconds, turning the dial up to 10.  Not for too long, just to get rid of lumps.
Add rest of topping ingredients into TM bowl.  Combine 6 secs/speed 4.  Remove to a bowl.  No need to clean out bowl.

3 eggs
120g cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g S.R flour
160g caster sugar

Put all cake ingredients in TM and mix for 20 secs/speed 5.    Scrape down bowl.
Mix 10 secs/speed 5.  Pour into prepared pan.

Apple mixture
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (used pink lady)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp lemon juice

Toss together the apple mixture ingredients and spread over the cake batter.
Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples evenly.  Bake 35-60mins (mine took 35), until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool completely before serving.  Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Soups / Roasted Tomato Soup
« on: May 07, 2015, 08:16:13 am »
I couldn't be bothered making what I was planned for dinner tonight but wanted something quick and tasty.  I found a recipe in my files, I think it was from 4 Ingredients that was for roasted tomato soup.  I had all the ingredients (lol), so I made that.  I halved it as I only had 8 roma toms but it's made enough for 2 nice sized bowls with a little left over.
So simple but it tastes really nice, here is the recipe if anyone is interested.

8 roma toms, halved lengthways
3 tsp garlic oil (used home made - Tenina's)
grind sea salt and black pepper
leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme, or a good pinch of dried (used dried)
2 cups veg stock
ĺ tsp raw sugar (used coconut sugar today)

Place the toms, cut side up in a baking dish.  Drizzle with the oil and grind the salt & pepper over the top, along with the thyme.
Place into a preheated 180C oven (used 175 on Turbo), for about 30-35 mins, or until they start to collapse but you don't want them to dry out.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.
When cool enough to handle, pull away the skin and drop the flesh into TM bowl. 
Scrape any of the lovely oil and seasonings from the baking dish into the TM bowl too.
Add the veg stock and sugar and puree 30 secs/speed 9.
Cook 15 mins/100C/speed 2.

That's it.  Do a taste test and see if it needs to be any sweeter for your tastes.  I always add up to 1 tsp to any fresh tomato dishes but it depends on how sweet/ripe the toms are as to how much you need to add.

It's not a thick soup, but I think adding any thickener would spoil it (my opinion).

I halved this recipe to make 2 serves for me over 2 days.

Instead of using half of a 400g can of chickpeas, I bought a 300g can and used all of that and will do so again, worked out good. 

Really loved the fresh flavours and the crunch of the toasted almonds and the sweetness of the currants. 

For the meat part, today I used a small fillet steak (90g) that I had in the freezer and tomorrow will cook a small kangaroo steak that I also had in the freezer to have with the other serve.

Really enjoyed this and I found it ticked all the boxes for me; flavour, healthy and has made me feel full and satisfied.  ;D

Linked JD

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