Friday, 14 September 2012

In the kitchen - Round-up 7-13 September

Sometimes, you just have a bad day in the kitchen.

On Friday 7th, I decided to make some Anzac biscuits. I got the "twins" to help me measure out the dry ingredients and then added the wet ingredients and put the biscuits on a tray and in the oven. I took them out a little early and they weren't cooked, so I put them back in for a bit more of a bake. Upon which I forgot about them. When I remembered, they were burned and I fed them to the dogs.

The reason I forgot the biscuits was because I was preparing a stuffed pumpkin for dinner. This is a recipe that my next-door neighbour introduced me to and I've made it before with great success. You cook rice and add vegetables, herbs, cheese and maple syrup (and sausage, if you're not going vegetarian). At the same time, you empty and roast a whole pumpkin. Then you stuff the pumpkin with the rice filling and roast it again. The flavour of the pumpkin goes through the rice and it's fantastic. This time, however, the pumpkin tasted AWFUL. So bad that after a mouthful, Darren, Miss 1 and I decided that we couldn't eat it. It was the foulest pumpkin on the planet. The awful taste had gone through the rice too. My theory on cooking has always been that I'll give any recipe a go and if it doesn't work, I'll get take away. I don't remember having to ever put this into practice before. We gave the whole stuffed pumpkin to the dogs and ordered take away. The dogs refused to eat the pumpkin too. You know that dinner is an ultimate failure when the dogs refuse to eat it.

On Saturday we went over to my parents-in-law's house for a lovely dinner. On the way, we stopped in Yarraville to visit our old neighbours, stock up on Andrew's Choice sausages, eat cheese kranskies in the park, browse gift shops and general sticky beak in our old neighbourhood. It was a lovely day... I miss Yarraville.

Having been out of the kitchen for over 24 hours, I decided that it was safe for me to venture in again on Sunday 9th. I tried making Anzac biscuits again - this time, success! The recipe is my dad's one:

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup sugar (white or raw or brown)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of boiling water
125 g melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons golden syrup
Can also add 30 g sultanas or currants or raisins or nuts

Mix dry ingredients. Dissolve soda in boiling water and add to the melted butter and syrup. Then add to the dry ingredients and mix. Place teaspoonfuls on greased trays. Bake 15 min at 160 degrees.

Anzac biscuits.

For dinner, I cooked tiger prawns in garlic, red onion, tomato and spinach. We ate them on some black rice that I had decided looked exciting in the supermarket. It was great!

Tiger prawns on black rice.

Several weeks ago, my neighbour gave me a bag of oranges in exchange for a bag of lemons. They were very sour and I have been complaining about how sour they are at work, whilst trying to eat them. Someone at work suggested that I should make a cake out of them. "But Darren can't eat oranges, and I can't eat a whole cake by myself," I said. "Make it for us," was the reply. So, on Monday 10th, I found a recipe for orange and lemon syrup cake in Sweet Food. I figured that the oranges were so sour that I could leave out the lemons. The result was a very nice, quite eggy, orange cake that was a big hit at work. People are planning what I should bake for next week.

Orange syrup cake.

On Tuesday 11th, we delved into our new sausage supply. Darren barbecued Thai chicken, chicken Montenegro, Greek lamb and Italian lamb sausages and we had them with some mashed potato that had grated carrot, mushrooms and cheese mixed through it. 

Other people cooking for you is a joy! On Wednesday, my mother-in-law made us dinner. Then, on Thursday 13th, I made a zucchini slice for dinner. I used the recipe from Stephanie Alexander's 'Kitchen Garden Companion', which is zucchini, onion, cheese, egg and self-raising flour, layered with sliced tomato. I made a double batch and it didn't set very well (did I forget to double something?), but still tasted good with a carrot, cucumber, mushroom and spring onion salad.

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