Zucchini and Feta cake

Zagorgeous friend Jennifer introduced me to this great savoury cake. It comes from the ever fantastic cooking site taste.com.
We had this for dinner last night, I served it with some salads and we plan to have the leftovers for lunch today!!

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I didn’t have the full quantity of feta so I used some tasty cheese too. I also used ham instead of pastrami. It all worked really well together. Click here for an easy healthy dish the whole family can enjoy.
Thanks for sharing Jennifer this was a winner at our house too.

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Caramel chocolate slice

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Zakidlets and I baked this caramel chocolate slice on Tuesday afternoon. This slice is a great classic Women’s Weekly Recipe, I don’t think I have ever come across a women’s weekly recipe that has disappointed me.
It’s my little boy Blake’s favourite slice and he was the one who requested we make it.
I got lots of assistance from 3 sets of little hands.

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Blake loves the recipe so much he has even started to write the recipe out himself.

Ingredients

BASE
1 cup self-raising four
1 cup coconut (as an alternative I sometimes use rolled oats or do 1/2 cup of each)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
125g butter melted

FILLING
400g can condensed milk
30g butter
2 Tablespoons golden syrup

TOPPING
125g dark chocolate chopped
30g butter

Method
BASE
1. Lightly grease 20cm x 30cm lamington pan.
2. Combine sifted flour, coconut and sugar in bowl, add butter, stir until combined, add butter (sometimes I need a little extra), stir until combined.
3. Press mixture over base of prepared pan. Bake in moderate oven 15 minutes.
4. While base is baking combine condensed milk, butter and golden syrup in pan, stir over LOW heat, without boiling, about 15 minutes or until mixture is golden brown.
5. Pour hot filling over hot cooked base, return to oven 10 minutes, then cool.
6. Combine chocolate and butter in pan, stir over low heat until smooth (I melt all my chocolate pan over heated water style see here for further instruction). I usually use a stainless steel bowl over the pan the other tip is not to let the water in the saucepan below be touching the base of pan your chocolate is in.
7. Spread warm topping over filling, stand at room temperature until set (I put slice in fridge for about 1 hour to set then I slice it up, pop slices in an airtight container and store in fridge especially in summer!!!) keeps in fridge for a good week.
Have a go at this slice its worth the effort.
Enjoy we did. It is now all gone!!!

Gluten free chocolate loaf

I have made this cake several times now and it never fails. We are not a gluten free household but I do have a few friends who are gluten free which was what originally led me to discovering this recipe, however now I bake it because we enjoy it so much. It is beautifully moist and chocolatey!!! I did discover it at taste.com they are my online cooking bible love their site!!!!
I don’t always use Lindt chocolate, I usually just buy the dark chocolate on sale with the highest cocoa content.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. Click here for a fantastic recipe!!!

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A Zamama date with the 2 older Zakidlets!!!

What a day we had yesterday!!! It’s not very often that I get some quality time with my Blake who’s 8 and Ella who’s 6, just the 3 of us, for those of you with a 2 year old in your house you will know exactly what I am talking about. I’m certainly not complaining about having a 2 year old, I love Alani to the moon, back and more!!! But when we have our usual days out with the 4 of us there are limitations on certain activities. So it was very special to just go and have a day out where Zaolderkidlets got to be the centre of my attention!!!
You will notice our day didn’t get off to the best of starts. Blake somehow tripped himself up on Ella’s foot as she was scooting past and he took a bit of a tumble. It didn’t take him long to recover. The day only got better from here on, we had a fantastic day to say the least!!!

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All I can say is how much I enjoyed a quality day out with these 2 little people see-saw ride included!! What a way to start the school holidays. Getting out in the fresh air and sunshine really does make you appreciate what you have.
My day ended perfectly when from the back of the car I heard (completely unprompted) ‘Thankyou for the day out Mum’, day was made. Thankyou Blake and Ella!!!
I hope you have all had a great start to the school holidays if you live in Australia!!!
Tomorrow will be a nice home day for us all, planning to do some craft with Mod Podge and Thongs, should be interesting.

Crunchy Salmon Casserole

This recipe is a great comfort food dish for the whole family to enjoy. It’s a fishy take on macaroni and cheese I guess. My beautiful Mother-In-law was the person who originally shared and served the crunchy salmon casserole recipe to me. It’s actually one of Zadada’s favourite dishes, he enjoy’s it best the next day when the cheese has flavoured the dish just that little bit more.
It keeps in the fridge for a good 3 days and reheats really well. It’s not a fancy dish but its easy and it gets gobbled up by everyone in our family.

We are a family of 5, the quantities below easily feed us all for 2 separate meals with more to spare.

Here are the ingredients you will need:
2 1/2cups (400g) uncooked macaroni pasta
250g packet Arnott’s Cheds biscuits, roughly crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
415 g tin pink salmon
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
Salt and Pepper to season

Method

Lightly grease 22cm x 30cm x 6cm baking dish.Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile pop a frying pan on medium heat and add butter and 12 cheds biscuits, stir to evenly distribute melted butter with biscuits. reduce heat to low , add milk followed by 1 cup of cheese and salmon ( I slice thru the salmon to break it up a bit before adding), continue heating through until cheese has melted. Season salmon mixture with salt and pepper, remove from heat.

Preheat a moderate oven.

Place cooked, drained pasta into prepared baking dish. Pour or spoon salmon mixture over pasta and stir a little to evenly distribute in dish. Use another 14 crushed cheds biscuits and scatter over the salmon pasta mixture. At this point I usually push some of the biscuits down into the mixture as well as leaving some lightly on top. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese over the top of prepared dish. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until cheese has melted and is lightly golden. Serve with a garden salad or some steamed vegetables.

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Chunky Nut Cookies

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These biscuits are delicious, it is the first time I have made them. I found the recipe recently in woman’s day, I think the recipes are my favourite part of gossip magazines but who doesn’t appreciate a bit of good gossip here and there?
I added some dark chocolate squiggles to the tops of the biscuits once they were cool and I think it finished them off perfectly flavour wise and visually (see note below). I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and I have to say I’m well and truly loving it’s work.It’s been worth the wait for my old mixer to finally bite the dust, sorry old Sunbeam you served me well for 10 years I won’t forget that!!! Anyway onward and upward I say, so here are the ingredients and instructions to a very satisfying chunky little treat!!

Ingredients
125g butter softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour (I also add a pinch of salt)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup, roughly chopped, raw mixed nuts. (I used pecan and macadamia)

Method
1. Preheat oven to moderate, 180 degrees celsius. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add syrup, milk and vanilla,beating until well combined.
3. Stir in combined sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda. Lightly mix in nuts until well combined.
4. Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls. Arrange on trays, 4cm apart,flattening lightly with a fork.
5. bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp (I found I needed to lengthen cooking time and reduce temp a bit as they were still very soft just keep an eye on them).
cool on trays 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Note: If you wish to finish the biscuits off with some chocolate squiggles I just melted 125g dark chocolate then spooned it into a snaplock/ziplock bag, snipped off 1 corner of bag and piped away. I totally recommend doing this especially if you enjoy a bit of dark chocolate.

Salmon, lentil and carrot patties

I threw a batch of these together on the weekend for dinner for Zadada and I. We were not feeling overly hungry but these patties put together with the green bean and golden Beetroot salad hit the spot perfectly.

Ingredients (makes approx 8-9 patties)
1 415g tin pink salmon drained & flaked
1 400g tin lentils drained
1 medium carrot grated
1 egg lightly whisked
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove crushed garlic
Approx 1/2 cup of plain flour to roll patties in.

Method
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Using wet hands mould together portions of salmon mixture to form a patty. Flour both sides of patty.
Lightly oil ( I used olive oil) a non-stick frying pan and heat to medium temperature. Cook patties until golden on each side. Remove from pan and place on absorbent towel ready to serve.
Enjoy with your favourite serve of salads or steamed veggies. The patties are also great for a sandwich filler the next day. They reheat fine too.

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Lamington Layer Cake

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So here it is, my attempt at New idea’s lamington layer cake. I must say it is a cake you need to dedicate a good morning to, which I was prepared for. I would definitely make it again as all cake samplers were extremely satisfied including myself. It made for a very rewarding Sunday afternoon tea to share with Zagrandma , Zaaunty as well as Zakidlets and Zadada.
Here is the link to this delicious cake.
I plan to take some to Zaworkbuddies today!!!!
For the record I should mention I made the dark chocolate version of this cake – we love dark chocolate!!!! I actually love any chocolate!!!

Roasted Gold Beetroot Salad

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This is a delicious salad that was introduced to me by my local fresh produce supplier
‘Tweed Fruit Exchange’. Every second Wednesday these fantastic people are giving out food tastings of recipes made from the ingredients they sell. I think it’s a fantastic idea and wanted to share one of the wonderful recipes I got to sample.

You will need
2 bunches gold Beetroot
200g Danish fetta
1sml salad onion
1/4 cup balsamic dressing

Method
Wash and trim Beetroot, wrap in foil and roast @ 180 degrees for about 1 hour. Let cool then peel and cut Beetroot into a wedge. Dice fetta and finely slice salad onion, then place all ingredients in serving bowl, season with salt and pepper if desired, drizzle with balsamic dressing and serve.

I also chose to serve the above on a mixture of salad greens. It was absolutely delicious.
I would never have known gold Beetroot existed if it wasn’t for ‘Tweed fruit exchange’ so I say thankyou to them and also I am looking forward to their next tasting which I believe will be this coming Wednesday yum. They are the best fresh produce suppliers around and they have amazing staff.