Thursday, October 25, 2012

Whats been cooking

As I mentioned a couple of blogs ago, we have been really into My Kitchen Rules this season. It had drama, cattiness, juries oh...and there was some cooking too. I don't know why, but watching Auzzies on this show just cracks me up. It was really cool having some New Zealanders in this season too. And don't get me going on the two judges/hosts.. Gotta love hearing Manu's french accent. 
I was hoping the guys would win, but alas it was the girls in the end. Both were worthy contenders.

Of course watching the show has been inspiring me to try a few new recipes. None of which turned out particularly fantastic...but it was fun none-the-less

The first was  Moussaka. The greek contestants Steve and Helen inspired me to try this one. Its a layered egg plant and mince dish (usually Lamb...but I just used beef). And then covered in a Bechamel Sauce with plenty of cheese. I never used to be a huge fan of egg plant as a kid...but my tastes are evolving and I am starting to enjoy it. And in this dish the mince and cheese flavour masks it a bit. 

The eggplants are sliced length ways into 3cm slices then "salted" for 20 minutes then spread out on a baking tray. Sprinkled with bread crumbs they are then baked until the eggplant is cooked and breadcrumbs are golden (20min). I used Panko crumbs here.

Layers are made with the mince sauce (similar to a bolognaise sauce) and the pre-baked egg plants similar to a lasagne. 
Place the layers so there is a little room on the sides of the dish. Cover in a bechamel sauce with a little more cheese on top. And bake until golden. 

 A nice hearty delicious meal.

Nic and Rocko got my cravings going for macarons. This is my second attempt...and needless to say, I might need some one on one lessons from Rocko for these. They sucked...but they still tasted yum, in their own special way. Maybe I could just invent a completely different cookie because they were nothing like the real thing. I think I know where I'm going wrong...
These were Passion fruit and white chocolate flavoured. 

The finished product looked like a cross between a "Yo-yo" and a macaron!

And lastly I had a go at making my own ravioli. Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with a tomato and basil sauce.  
Wow these little guys were super fiddley.  But I took the advice of contestants Nic and Rocco, dubbed the pasta kings, and used a kitchen whizz to mix up the dough instead of kneading it by hand. It worked a treat. Overall my pasta making skills are improving slowly. The first time we made home made pasta, the whole ordeal took us 2 hours! Now its more like an hour. 
Totally worth the effort though. 

Quite Delicious!

Between browsing on Pintrest and watch cooking shows, theres a million things I wanna try and make, but never get around to doing it so much. Are you a fan of trying new dishes?

Note: I haven't left any recipe here....because I googled them and tweeked per usual :)

I need one of these signs in my kitchen!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

blink and they're gone

"How'd the holidays go?" A colleague asked me last night. Hmmm...two weeks of holidays and blink and they are gone. At the beginning I dread two whole weeks of noise and hub bub with little space and time for myself, but then they are over.
All three kids have sported snotty noses, so perhaps they are a little run down from the school term anyway. I didn't plan anything too strenuous, just a smattering of activities with a whole lot of down time.

The first week I was husband-less which made it slightly harder than usual. He is usually in charge of putting everyone to bed while I cabbage on the couch. So I even had to do that as well as keep them entertained all day. No matter. He paid me back with  chocolate.
Holy Moly did you know that Sydney has a "Lindt Cafe". Hubby bought me back chocolates you cant get here. I-MUST-GET-MORE.
So we get these ones here. The best chocolates ever. BUT then you can get peanut butter filled ones and cookies and cream flavoured ones...and others. So good. Thanks Hubster.

he didnt get me this many....Image form here

I can't get over how much Mr Crazy Pants 2 year old loves stacking and making towers with these blocks. He has learned the colours and can name some of the shapes. Smart little monkey.

 Of course more important part of the fun is busting the tower down again. He's not called the destroyer for nothing. 

 Hubby had a day off work. With both boys occupied else where, we took the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with our first born. We did something grown up and went for a little bush walk. This track is in our city and yet I had no idea. It was a lovely walk. 

I took the older two to the movies twice. We saw Diary of a wimpy kid and Madagascar 3. Both times I smuggled in microwave bagged pop corn. Hehe. A bag each, way cheaper than the movie stuff, not sure if its healthier though.
The rest of the holidays were filled with play date, a craft session with Tracey at the Scrap Heap ,  overnight stays with Grandma, computer games, lego, free activities at the library.

What do ya know.... I guess we did do quite a lot.

I am looking forward to getting my house back on Monday...even if its only clean and tidy just for a few hours a day.