Friday, December 27, 2013

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Brownies are such a loved dessert and are sometimes overlooked for being quite common.  Well you can take the humble brownie and tart it up just enough to make some must-have yumminess!  Today we'll look at Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies.

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies


2/3 cup plain sweet biscuit crumbs
1/3 cup very finely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons sugar

Cheese Topping
280g cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon plain flour

Chocolate Filling
185g cooking chocolate
60g cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup of sugar

Combine crumbs, almonds, 2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter; mix well.  Press evenly into foil lined 23cm square baking tin.  Bake in moderate oven for 8 minutes.  Col Completely.

Beat together 280g cheese, 30g butter, 1/2 up sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and cream.  Add 2 eggs milk and 1 tablespoon flour; beat until light and smooth. Set aside.

2/3 cup plain sweet biscuit crumbs
1/3 cup very finely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons sugar

Cheese Topping
280g cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon plain flour

Chocolate Filling
185g cooking chocolate
60g cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup of sugar

Combine crumbs, almonds, 2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter; mix well.  Press evenly into foil lined 23cm square baking tin.  Bake in moderate oven for 8 minutes.  Col Completely.

Beat together 280g cheese, 30g butter, 1/2 up sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and cream.  Add 2 eggs milk and 1 tablespoon flour; beat until light and smooth. Set aside.

Melt chocolate in basin over simmering water, cool.  eat together 60g of cheese and 2 tablespoons butter until smooth.  Gradually beat in 2/3 cup of sugar until well blended.  Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla, salt and cooled chocolate.  Fold in 1/2 cup sifted flour.

Spread filling over cooled crust.  Pour cheese topping slowly over all, spreading evenly.  Bake in moderate oven until top is dry, centre remains slightly soft and edges begin to pull away from tin, about 50 minutes.

Cool completely.  Cover; chill for 8 hours or more before cutting into slices with long, thin bladed knife (wiper knife with damp cloth after each cut to to keep edges smooth).  Drizzle with extra chocolate.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Corn Bread

I love just dipping my corn bread in a good avocado oil or olive oil warm from the oven, or slicing fresh with a plateful of scrambled eggs and some jalapeños.  However you like your corn bread - enjoy!

Corn Bread


  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup stone ground maize meal or polenta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Pre-heat oven to hot (180 degrees celsius).

Grease a 20cm x 20cm cake tin or oven proof dish with butter.   When corn bread mixture is ready to bake, place greased tin in oven for a minute or two so it is very hot when the mixture is added.

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, stir in maize meal.  In a separate bowl beat egg then beat in melted butter and milk.  Pour liquid into dry ingredients.  Mix with a few rapid strokes.  Over beating will prevent proper rising and spoil the texture of the corn bread.

Place mixture in pre-heated tin and bake in hot oven for 25 minutes.  Serve hot cut into squares or fingers.  Corn bread is best eaten when freshly baked, but it may be reheated by quickly frying in butter to crisp the outside crust.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tibetan Momos or Dumplings

Tibetan Momos are a style of dumpling.  Usually vegetarian I have added a meaty twist to this recipe!  Although it takes a little effort - it is very well worth it!

Tibetan Momos



  • 1kg plain white flour
  • 625ml water

Put the flour into a bowl and mix with hands to form a pliable dough.  Turn on to a floured bench and knead until smooth (about 10 minutes).

Break off bits of dough and roll each piece to about 10cm wide and 3mm thick.  Keep centre thicker than edges to prevent the filling from leaking.


  • 1 kg topside steak with some fat
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, snipped
  • 20ml oil
  • salt to taste

Chop meat with fat very finely with cleaver, or ask the butcher to mince it for you.  With hands, mix in the remaining ingredients.

Put 1tsp the meat mixture in centre of momo wrapper, pulling  the sides up around the filling and pinching closed.  Repeat with remaining filling.

Put the moms in lightly oiled steamer 2.5cm apart and steam for 20 minutes.  Serve with chilli sauce.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Stuffed Veal Roast

Veal gets a really hard time...but there are may delicious recipes which have at it's centre this lovely meat... so hurrah for the humble veal!  Give it a try if it's not a regular treat, you may be surprised!

Stuffed Veal Roast


  • 1.5kg of veal silverside, butterflied
  • 2 onions finely chopped 
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 250g pancetta or bacon

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Pound the veal into an even oblong shape.   Sauté the onions and celery in butter for five minutes.  Stir in the parsley, thyme and garlic.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the mixture evenly over the cut surface of the veal and roll up, starting at the short side.  Tie with a string at 5cm intervals.  Lightly pepper the veal and overlap pancetta slices on top of its surface.

Roast for 1.5 hours.

Is your mouth watering yet - yum!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rosemary Potatoes

Now, this may seem so simple it's ridiculous to even post about...but it befuddles me how many people don't serve a simple little dish of Rosemary Potatoes with rich roasts and as a lovely little stand alone side dish!  So today I am posting an little ode to the humble rosemary potato!

Rosemary Potatoes


  • 750g potatoes
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon of dried)
  • Olive oil

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, rinse in cold water then peel.  Pat dry with paper towelling and cut into 5mm thick slices.

Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, add the potato slices, salt, pepper and rosemary, cook gently until lightly tinted and tender, carefully turning once.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Parmesan Potatoes

Good ol' potatoes can have a little pizzaz thrown on them.  This lovely recipe adds a lovely flavour and texture to the classic baked potato.

Parmesan Potatoes


  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 60g grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

Slice potatoes not quite through to bottom at 3mm intervals.  Melt butter in a baking dish.  Roll potatoes in butter and place in dish in single layer, cut sides up.  Sprinkle potatoes with salt and paprika.  Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees celsius) basting often, 45 minutes; continue baking without basting for an additional 20 minutes.  Combine cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over potatoes, bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sesame Chicken Coriander Kebabs

I don't have time!  A very common cry when trying to cook delicious meals after a long day at work or studying... Trust me- these little gems are easy to make and worth the trouble, you can even pre-prepare on the weekend and have them ready to go!

Sesame Chicken Coriander Kebabs

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 750g boneless chicken breasts, skin removed
  • Sesame seeds
  • Short bamboo satay sticks

Combine oils, lemon juice, coriander seeds and garlic.  Cut chicken in to bite sized cubes and add pieces to the marinade.  Cover well and chill overnight.

Thread 3 or 4 cubes on each stick.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Grill until cooked through.

Serve with your favourite salads and sauces!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sandwich Special: Super Sandwich

We finish our sandwich series with the Super Sandwich!  'Nuff said!

Super Sandwich


  • Wholemeal or wholegrain bread (You can use whatever bread you prefer)
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Tasty cheese (sliced)
  • Capsicum slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Hungarian salami
  • Avocado (sliced)
  • Mignonette lettuce
  • Mustard pickles
  • Polish salami
  • Tomato slices
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Cos Lettuce

Simply stack your ingredients on the sliced bread!  I suggest you star with the cheese, then tomato, place the meats separately and finish with the cheese and then alfalfa on top!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sandwich Special: Tomato-Basil Roulade

Sandwiches don't just come in two pieces of bread anf filling...try rolling it up in savoury, souffle like swiss roll.  Serve chilled or at cool room temperature.  Best served the day it is made.

Tomato-Basil Roulade

  • 1 cup soft fine breadcrumbs
  • 185g gruyere cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 150ml cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • Grated parmesan cheese for dusting
  • 250g low fat cottage or ricotta cheese (sieved)
  • 8 spring onions or shallots (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips

Combine breadcrumbs and gruyere cheese.  Stir in egg yolks, cream and seasoning to taste.  Add water and mix to a soft consistency.  Beat egg whites stiffly and fold into mixture until thoroughly combined.

Spread into greased, grease proof paper lined swiss roll tin (rectangular shallow baking tray).  Bake at 200 degrees celsius until set, about 15 minutes.

Dust a sheet of paper with parmesan.  Invert roulade on paper.  Carefully peel off lining paper, then rll up roulade in fresh paper.  Allow to cool.

For filling beat together sieved cheese, onions, basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Spread over unrolled roulade. Top with tomatoes and carefully re-roll.  Wrap the roulade with cling film and chill until quite firm.  Slice and serve with a fork.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sandwich Special: Scandinavian Beef Sandwiches

Oh yeah...this is a sandwich!  A side of crisps and a yummy fresh juice and you're set for a delicious meal.

Scandinavian Beef Sandwiches


  • 3 slices firm rye or pumpernickel bread 
  • Softened butter
  • 3 lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 pound roast beef, sliced thin
  • 3 whole sweet cucumber pickles
  • Boiled egg (sliced)
  • Few cocktail onions
  • Parsley sprigs

Spread the bread thinly with butter.  Top each slice with lettuce leaf, then a third of beef.  Cut pickles lengthwise nit quite to the end.  Spread to form fans and arrange on beef.

Garnish the plate with egg slices, onions and parsley.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sandwich Special: Pan Bagna

Continuing our love the humble sandwich, today we introduce the delicious baguette 'Pan Bagna'.  Now that's a lunchbox filler!

Pan Bagna

  • Baguette
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Celery slices
  • Black and green olives stoned (sliced in halves)
  • Capers
  • Gherkins
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar

Split a baguette in half lengthwise and sprinkle the surface with good olive oil and a little red wine vinegar.

Cover one half with  tomato slices, anchovy fillets, pieces of marinated artichoke hearts, celery slices, olives, capers and gherkins.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the other half on top, wrap in plastic wrap until ready to eat.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sandwich Special: Cheddar-Fruit Round

The humble sandwich is often squished into a lunchbox, stashed inside a purse and regaled as the poor cousin to a weekly treat in the food court or at the tuckshop... No more I say!

Today I'm starting a little Sandwich Special.  Sandwiches were always such a specialty when I was growing up and there was no sadness about finding one of my mums sandwiches in my lunchbox.

Hurrah the sandwich I say!

Cheddar-Fruit Round

(makes 4 sandwiches)

  • 185g cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 12 slices of date bread
  • 1 medium apple, cored and cut into rings
  • 4 canned sliced pineapple rings, drained
  • 1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrots

In a mixer bowl, beat together cream cheese, cheddar cheese and milk until smooth.

To assemble the sandwiches spread one side of 8 of the bread slices (see the recipe for date bread if you'd like to make fresh bread!) with some of the cheese mixture.  Top 4 of the cheese slices with an apple slice.  Top with the remaining cheese-spread slices, cheese side up.  Add a pineapple slice to each and divide the carrot among the 4 sandwiches.  Top with remaining slices.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Date Bread

Date Bread is one of my favourite breads.  Toasted with butter it's delicious.  Matched with salty meats, or pickles in a sandwich, the  sweetness of the dates elevates any sandwich to a delightful experience!

Date Bread

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 90g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixer bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light.

Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined.  Stir together flour, salt, soda and spices.  Add flour mixture to creamed mixture with the milk, stirring until blended.  Stir in dates and walnuts.

Pour the batter into two greased and floured bread tins,  Bake at 180 degrees celsius until done (usually around 45-50mins).  Cool slightly and remove from tins,  Cool on wire wrack.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill overnight before slicing.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spiced Prawns, Pawpaw and Curry Mayonnaise

Just returned from travels in Spain and I was reminded of the lovely fresh salads and seafood combinations that I just don't take advantage of enough!

Here's a lovely combination of salad, fruit and seafood which I hope you'll love!

Spiced Prawns, Pawpaw and Curry Mayonnaise


1/2 lemon, sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups of water
375g green prawns in the shell
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
About 3 cups shredded lettuce
1 small, ripe paw paw, peeled, seeded and sliced

In saucepan, combine first 3 ingredients with water.  Heat until boiling, then simmer 1 minute.

Add prawns and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Peel prawns, halve lengthwise, and discard the veins.

In a small bowl, whisk together curry powder, water, cider vinegar and honey until honey dissolves.  Whisk in mayonnaise.

To serve, arrange lettuce or greens, the prawns and pawpaw on chilled plates.  Dollop with mayonnaise mixture to taste.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Swiss Chicken with Crumbed Carrots

Sometimes it's those simple meals of home which make you happiest.  I love this swiss chicken recipe coupled with delicious crumbed carrots.  It's enough to make your taste buds swoon!

Swiss Chicken 


4 chicken fillets (skinned and boned half breasts of chicken)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 x 220g can sliced mushrooms in butter sauce
2 tablespoons cream
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices swiss cheese

Flatten each chicken fillet with palm of your hand.

Heat butter and cook chicken on both sides until tender, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a heat proof dish and keep warm.

Add onion to pan and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in mushrooms, cream, salt and pepper.  Heat without boiling.

Spoon sauce over chicken and top each fillet with cheese slice.  Grill until cheese melts.

Crumbed Carrots


1 x 440g can baby carrots
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Heat carrots in their liquid, and then drain.  While carrots heat, saute crumbs in butter until golden, then sprinkle over carrots.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

ANZAC Biscuits

Australians celebrate ANZAC Day to commemorate the men and women who have served defending our country.

On this day we have a traditional biscuit called ANZAC Biscuits which are now eaten all-year round!

Crunchy or chewy - these are slightly addictive!

ANZAC Biscuits


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon bicarbonate soda

Add the flour, sugar, rolled oats and coconut into a bowl and mix.

In a saucepan melt the butter and add the water and golden syrup.  Stir in the bicarbonate soda.

Add the liquid to the bowl of flour and mix thoroughly.

Place balls of the mixture in a greased tray and bake at 175 degrees celsius for 15-20mins.  If you prefer them crunchy then leave until golden brown.  If you like it a little chewier take out whilst the biscuits are still soft (they will harden as they cool but remain soft on the inside).

You can see the live recipe at Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chicken Puffs

I love nothing more than rounding up the friends, slipping on the vinyl records and eating up a storm... Nothing beats delicious chicken wrapped in golden puff pastry with a fresh salad to make the night complete!

Chicken Puffs


3 whole chicken breasts, bones removed
1 medium size white onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brandy
250g of chicken livers
1 tablespoon soft butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon thickened cream
1 375gram packet of puff pastry
1 egg beaten

Cut chicken breasts into halves, making 6 pieces.  Lightly brown chicken and onion in the butter.  Cook gently for a few minutes until tender.  Add brandy and ignite.   Allow flame to go out and leave until cool.

Finely chop chicken livers and mix with softened butter, salt, pepper and cream.  Spread over cooled chicken breasts.

Roll out pastry thinly and cut into 6 squares each 15cm.  Place each pastry square over chicken breast and fold under, pressing edges together to seal.  Decorate with extra pastry pieces if desired.

Brush with beaten egg and place on a greased baking tray.  Bake in a hot oven approximately 20 minutes until pastry is cooked and lightly browned.  Serve hot.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Budin de Zapallitos - Zucchini Creamy Cheese Pudding

I loved when the ex-pat South American community would gather adhoc at different times and all bring wonderful dishes to enjoy at parties.  This one was a specialty from my Uruguayan friends and is a lovely recipe I found by Elisabeth Luard.

Budin de Zapallitos - Zucchini Creamy Cheese Pudding


3-4 large zucchini (grated)
2 large eggs
300ml of milk
2 tablespoons of parmesan
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
4-6 slices of white bread
4 tablespoons of cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to high at 190 degrees celsius.

Salt the grated zucchini and leave to drain for 30mins.  Rinse and shake dry.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions.  Once softened, add the zucchini's until the flesh turns transparent.

Mix the eggs with the milk and stir in the parmesan.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Lay half the bread in the bottom of a buttered gratin dish, cover it with vegetables and top with the bread that is left over.  Pour in the egg-milk mixture and sprinkle the top of the bread with grated cheese.

Bake for 20-30mins, until the cheese is gold and bubbling!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Crema de Palta - Brazillian Avocado Soup

Last year when in Sao Paolo I was introduced to the lovely Crema de Palta which was a fabulous new way to enjoy the lovely avocado in this great recipe from  Elisabeth Luard..  You can turn this to a vegetarian dish just by using vegetable stock.

Crema de Palta - Brazillian Avocado Soup


2 ripe avocados (skinned, stoned and sliced)
600ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice

To finish:
1 tablespoon diced cucumber
1 fresh green chilli, de seeded and sliced
A few fresh coriander leaves

Process the ingredients to a smooth puree.  If the mixture becomes too thick, slowly pour a little water until it thins out a little.  Salt lightly to taste.

Serve in a bowl with a few slices of cucumber, chilli and coriander as garnish.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cranberry Ham Wellington

Looking for a special Easter Dinner?  Nothing like having a nice prepped piece for lunch or dinner that you can prepare the day before so you can enjoy the festivities along with everyone else!

Cranberry Ham Wellington


1.5kg piece of boneless smoked rolled leg ham
2 cups cider or white wine
1 star anise
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated citrus peel
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Place ham in a small casserole.  Add cider and whole spice.  Cover and bake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour, basing occasionally.  Drain cool and pat very dry,  Remove any mesh from the ham.

Combine cranberry sauce, Dijon mustard, grated citrus peel, ground cinnamon and ground cloves.  Set aside.  Lay two pastry sheets side by side, over lapping by 2.5cm to make a rectangle.  Seal seam with glaze.

Centre the ham roll on the seam.  Spread top with cranberry mixture.  Fold pastry over ham to meet at top.  Trim seam if needed to overlap by 2.5cm.  Seal with egg.  Tuck in sides to wrap ham completely, and seal.  Brush roll with glaze.

Cut remaining pastry into holly leaves and berries.  Place over the top and brush with glaze.  Place on foil lined baking tray.

Bake at 200 degrees celsius for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven to 190 degrees.  Continue baking until pastry  is puffed and browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.  Serve hot or cold thinly sliced.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Salad Art: Spring Onion Brushes

Spring Onions are transformed with a simple split and trim!

Spring Onion Brushes

Spring Onions

Remove the coarse outer leaves and trim off the root ends.

Holding the onion flat on the bench, use a small, sharp knife to slit both leaf and stem ends into thin strands.

Soak in icy water until they curl. Shake dry and use immediately.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Salad Art: Radish Roses

A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose...unless it's a radish of course!

Radish Roses


  • Radish

Trim off coarse green leaves, leaving a few tiny leaves or  small portion of the green stems.

Using a small, sharp knife, make four straight cuts from the tip, almost through to the stem, to make eight wedges.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Salad Art: Sugared Violets

How to add a dainty beauty to your salads.

Sugared Violets


  • Sweet violets
  • Egg white
  • Castor sugar

Make these when the flowers are in full bloom.  You can then store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Brush the petals with egg whites, sprinkle with castor sugar, then stand until set.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Salad Art: Orange Roses

These lovely blooms transform a salad or are a nice side flower with meat dishes or sweet desserts.

Orange Roses


  • Small Orange

The smaller the orange, the more delicate the results.

Using a thin bladed knife, start at the base and cut of peel in a thin, continues strip, rotating the fruit until you reach the stem end.

Remove as much white pith from strip as possible.  Place strip on the board, pith side down, then roll it up tightly, beginning at stem end.  Stand flower.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Salad Art: Cucumber/Carrot Wheels

Chop up a carrot and Cucumber - why not make them into wheels!

Cucumber/Carrot Wheels


  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
Use a small, sharp paring knife with your unpeeled cucumber and peeled and well scrubbed carrot.  

Cut several small V-shaped strips at regular intervals, lengthwise around the sides of the vegetables.  You can use the cut out bits in your salad.

Slice the vegetable crosswise into thin spoke-patterned circles.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Salad Art: Strawberry Fans

Today we fancy up Strawberry's!

Strawberry Fans


  • Strawberries

Use ripe, but very firm strawberries.

Cut several thin, parallel slices from tip almost through the stem of each, then gently spread open to form a fan.  These look wonderful as decorations on salads and cheesecakes and for ice creams.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Salad Art: Carved Mushrooms

Sometimes you want to add a special little magic to a salad and nothing works better than a feature ingredient.  Over the next few weeks we'll be featuring a common salad piece that you can transform into a work of art!

Carved Mushrooms


  • Button Mushrooms

Use a small knife with a pointed tip to make slightly curved cuts from the centre of the cap to the edge, as you rotate around the circumference.

Dip the cap into lemon juice if serving raw in salads to prevent browning, or saute in butter and serve hot.

So simple!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wholemeal Scones

In the last of our scones special we have delicious Wholemeal Scones.  I love these coupled with a soft cheese or a nice quince jam...or both!

Wholemeal Scones


  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup white self-raising flour (sifted)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 cup full cream milk powder
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten

In a bow mix together first 5 ingredients.  Rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre, add combined honey, water and egg and mix to a soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.

Pat out dough to 2cm thickness.  Cut into rounds with 5cm cutter and place on a greased oven tray.  Brush tops lightly with milk.

Bake in 200 celsius oven for 12-15 minutes.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sesame Scones

I love scones with a little texture.  A nice addition to the classic scone mixture is sesame seeds which once tasted n the oven provide a delicious pop to the flavour of a classic scone!

Sesame Scones


  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup well-chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg beaten to blend (for glaze)
  • Sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 200 celsius.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until coarse mixture forms.

Make a well in centre of dry ingredients.  Add 2 eggs, honey, sesame oil and 1/3 cup buttermilk to well;  blend with fork.  Stir into dry ingredients, adding buttermilk to form sticky, but workable dough.

Gently pat dough into 1 inch-thick round on floured surface.  Cut dough into 10 wedges, cutting straight down with sharp, floured knife.  Brush each wedge lightly with glaze.  Place sesame seeds on plate.  Dip the glazed top of each wedge into the seeds.  Arrange sesame side up on a baking paper on a baking tray.  Bake until golden brown for 12 to 15 minutes.  Serve Hot.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Gluten Free Scones

Having more and more friends who have a gluten intolerance is making me learn many new recipes and inventing new ways for classics.  Good friend of mine made these litte gems for me one day and I was surprised at how delicious they tasted... I coupled mine with a dash of butter and honey - and was certainly reaching for a second, third and possible fourth serving!!

She published the recipe on her blog - from which I have taken this recipe and image below.

Gluten Free Scones

  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk (and maybe a bit extra)


Preheat the oven to 200C.  

Mix the flours, baking powder, xanthum gum and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture feels a bit like breadcrumbs. Pour in the milk all at once. Knead lightly. Add a little more milk if needed to form a light dough (coconut flour is very thirsty).

Press dough out and cut. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Apple-nut-cheese Scones

Scones come in such delicious varieties!  None more delicious than this lovely Apple-nut-cheese scone!

Apple-nut-cheese Scones


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 90g sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 30g butter, cut up
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 60g butter, melted

In a bowl combine sugar, nuts and cinnamon; set aside.

In a food processor combine flour, cheese and the butter pieces; process until mixure resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Add apple with machine running and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water, processing until scone dough is formed.

Shape dough into ball on lightly floured surface.  Divide into 18 equal pieces.  SHape each piece into a ball roll; roll into melted butter or margarine, then in sugar mixture.

Arrange in greased 23cm round baking tin.  Bake at 200 celsius until done (about 20-25 minutes).  Serve warm.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Plaited Herb Scone Loaf

Scones don't just come in little balls of dough... I love this savoury scone loaf recipe filled with delicious herbs.

Plaited Herb Scone Loaf


  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60g butter
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli paste (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Chopped fresh or dried mixed herbs to taste
  • Coarse salt for topping

Stir together flour, sugar and salt.  In a small saucepan, heat butter with garlic and chilli paste until butter melts.  Discard garlic.

Beat egg in measuring jug.  Stir in enough milk to measure 1 1/4 cups liquid.  Stir in chives and herbs.

Add garlic butter and milk mixture to flour; mix lightly until moistened.  Knead gently - a few strokes - on lightly floured surface.

Divide dough into 3 equals pieces.  Shape each into a rope, then plait togather into a loaf, folding ends under.

Place in a greased standard loaf tin (or 2 small bar tins).  Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.

Bake on a centre shelf at 200 celsius for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly in tin, turn out and cool completely on wire rack.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Country Scones

One of those foods that brings me instant happiness is scones.

It must be because as a treat mum would make scones every now and then - and the beautiful little buns pulled out of the warm oven was such a delightful treat.  I love mine with lashings of butter and honey.  I'll be posting a scones special over the next few weeks with all the different scone recipe variations.

Country Scones


  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 250g plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 75g butter
  • 250g sour cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, pour enough hot water over currants to cover; let stand for fine minutes.  Drain well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda.  Cit in butter until misture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in currants.

In a small bowl, blend sour cream and egg yolk.  Add all at once to crumb mixture, stirring just until dough clings together.

Knead dough gently on lightly floured surface for 10 to 12 strokes.  Pat or roll to a 23cm circle about 1cm thick.

Cut into 10cm circles with a round biscuit cutter.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Slice each circle completely through into quarters, but do not separate.  Brush with egg white.  Combne caster sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over surface of scones.

Bake in a preheated oven preheated to 215 celsius for 15 to 18mins or until light brown.  Cool for five minutes on wire wrack.  Break apart and serve warm.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

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