Tag Archives: delicious. magazine

Dinner for the kids

February 13 is all about me! T’hat’s right, it’s my birthday! You’d think i’d get the day off cooking, but alas, no.

Mr Picky Palette kindly offered to take me out to a place for grown ups (yay!) while B2 and B4 are left supervised by their Aunty Beck.

But before the grown up fun can commence, I made dinner and dessert for my three lovelies. Thinking something quick and kid friendly I opted for Bill Granger’s honey lemon chicken wings from February 2004 and for a special treat Real strawberry jelly from February 2011.

Chicken legs are very popular in my house. Actually, any food that does not require a knife and fork is pretty popular in my house. Knowing this, I swapped wings for legs and went ahead with making up the honey lemon marinade. Chicken legs go in the oven in their nakedness with a good sprinkle of salt  for 30 minutes at 200 degrees celsius. Then you whip them out. Pour over the marinade, swirl them round and throw them back in the oven for another 20 minutes. During the last 20 minutes I checked on them every 10 minutes and turned them over in the marinade to ensure an even coating of sticky, sweet, savoury, lemon yumminess! The legs do take longer than wings to cook so you just need to keep an eye on them. I cooked them an extra ten minutes, then they were ready to devour. Finger licking goodness!

Honey lemon chicken legs

Honey lemon chicken legs

Honey lemon chicken wings

delicious. magazine Feb 2004: Issue 24, p 104

Serves 8

16 free-range chicken wings, tips removed, jointed (or 6 – 8 legs, I used organic)

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, crushed

3 tbs (1/4 cup) honey

2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place chicken in a large baking dish. Toss with oil, season with salt and roast for 30 minutes

Place lemon juice, garlic and honey in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour over chicken and stir to coat well. Cook for another 20 minutes or until tinged golden and cooked through. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon.

– – –

Up next, jelly. Not just any jelly. Real. Strawberry. Jelly! Jelly where you know exactly what made it go that glorious pink colour. Jelly with only five ingredients, none of which are scary little numbers. Real. Strawberry. Jelly!

Until now, I didn’t realise how simple it was to make jelly. Why hadn’t I done this before? Why on earth, had I given my children green jelly from a packet, that 20 minutes later made them a little crazy? Never again…

This recipe is so versatile. Swap the strawberries for any seasonal fruit. Or any juice in fact. It is after all the juice or flavour of the fruit that you combine with a simple sugar syrup and gelatine that ends up as your jelly. I can’t wait to experiment with my juicer and make apple jelly or carrot jelly or pineapple jelly! My only criticism of this recipe is that it is super sweet (probably why the kids loved it!). The strawberries have a natural sweetness to them when they are really ripe so next time I would definately halve the amount of sugar I used and just double-check the gelatine packet to make sure that my liquid levels match up with the amount of gelatine required (the recipe calls for 3 tsp).

The method for the jelly is lengthy, but is not a true representation of how quickly you can pull this together. Don’t be put off by all the words. I had the mixture made and ready to eat in about 4 hours (including setting time.)

Fortunately, there was one left over, so I am off to enjoy it now. Jelly for lunch? Yes please! It is Valentine’s Day after all, and this is my gift to myself.

X Bree

Real strawberry jelly

Real strawberry jelly

Real strawberry jelly

delicious. magazine Feb 2011: Issue 101, p 144

3 x 250g punnets ripe strawberries, hulled

180g caster sugar

1 tbs lemon juice

3 tsp powdered gelatine

300ml thickened cream, lightly whipped

Halve 500g strawberries. Place the sugar and 1 1/2 cups (375ml) water in a large pan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Add lemon juice and halved berries to the pan, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until berries are soft. Carefully transfer berry mixture to a fine sieve set over a bowl, and stand for 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has drained from the berries. (Don’t push down on the berries or the jelly will be cloudy.) Discard solids.

Return the berry syrup to the pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until hot but not boiling. Transfer 1/2 cup (125ml) hot syrup to a large bowl, then sprinkle over gelatine and stand for 2 minutes. Whisk to completely dissolve gelatine, then stir in the remaining syrup. Transfer to a jug and chill for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until jelly is thick, but not set.

Pour the jelly into four 150ml serving glasses and return to the fridge for a further 10-15 minutes until starting to firm up.

Meanwhile, slice the remaining berries.

Gently press most of the berry slices into the jelly – being careful not to disturb the jelly too much. Return to the fridge for 6 hours to set. (Jellies can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days at this point.)

Just before serving, spoon a dollop of whipped cream over each jelly, then top with remaining berries and serve.

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Filed under family friendly, February

A delicious breakfast

I am so thankful to have such a wonderfully supportive family.

When I first toyed with the idea of starting a blog, they were the ones who encouraged me to take a leap of faith, providing me with the confidence I needed to get started.

However, when my older sister asked me to cater her boardroom breakfast last Friday morning, my initial gut reaction was to say “no”. But if there is one thing I have learnt since starting this blog, it is that every time I post something here I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone. And that is why I actually said “yes”!

For the purposes of keeping it simple but still delicious, I ventured a little bit outside of “February” in order to come up with my menu. Please forgive me for breaking “the rules”.

A Delicious Breakfast

A Delicious Breakfast

Here it  is :

I spent Thursday shopping and preparing for Friday morning. The omelette’s and fruit salad I would need to make fresh on Friday morning before delivery, however the rest I made in advance.

This was the first time I had cooked rhubarb. I was a little bit nervous. I found that the rhubarb needed to be cooked twice as long as what the recipe said. In the end, it didn’t hold its shape well, but it was sweet and cinnamony with a jammy consistency. Allowing the flavours to infuse overnight certainly didn’t do any harm. 

The bircher muesli was simple. Combine the oats with the freshly squeezed oj. Add the yoghurt and grated apple in the morning and spoon into the jam jars. I cannot believe how creamy and lush the end result was, with only the use of greek yoghurt. It tasted far naughtier! As for the sweet dukkah. Yum! Yum! Yum! I still have a little secret stash and have been trying to find excuses to sprinkle it on everything! You must try it. Even if you don’t make the bircher muesli. Sprinkle it on yoghurt, fresh fruit, poached fruit. Put a spoonful onto sweet muffins before you bake them. Whatever you can find. It is just so yummy. This will become a staple in my pantry.

For the fruit salad I just went out and bought the best seasonal fruit I could find – green grapes, red paw paw, raspberries, blueberries, passionfruit, pineapple, yellow nectarines, bananas, freshly squeezed orange juice. The result? Summer in a cup. I served it with more of the plain greek yoghurt and of course, sweet dukkah. The secret was to select perfectly ripe fruit. I am one of those weird people who sniff my fruit before I buy it. It has to have the smell of what you’re buying. If it doesn’t, don’t bother.

Ginger and almond slice

Ginger and almond slice

The ginger and almond slice was very easy. Except…I am currently without a mixer. My last one smoked up before Christmas and since then I have been avoiding all recipes that include “cream butter and sugar”. I don’t know what I was thinking when I emailed the confirmed menu through to my sister, but once I read the recipe properly and saw those four words “cream butter and sugar”, I panicked! So with nothing to lose (I had all the ingredients and I wasn’t about to change recipes) I made it in my food processor with the pastry blade. Surprise, surprise it turned out great. It rose like it should. It browned like it should. It tasted oh so good. Chewy, gingery goodness.

I can’t remember the last time I voluntarily got up at 4:30am in the morning. In actual fact I was awake at 3:30am! I was excited and nervous. I was about to cook something I had never cooked before for eight strangers. That’s how much confidence I had in the recipes in delicious. magazine.

I cooked the individual potato and chive omelette in muffin pans which meant they cooked quickly but would still be warm when I got to the venue. I sliced all the fruit and placed it in a bowl, ready for gentle tossing when I arrived.

Individual potato and chive breakfast omelette served with smoked salmon and crème fraiche

Individual potato and chive breakfast omelette served with smoked salmon and crème fraiche

In some kind of miracle I packed my esky, without actually forgetting anything, and headed off to Chelmer at 6:00am.

When I arrived I quickly assembled everything and presented it on the boardroom table, leaving quickly before all the guests arrived.

Success!

If there is one thing I learned out of this exercise it is to push myself more often this year. Say yes more often. When my gut says no (because it could be too hard or because I might fail or embarrass myself), say yes and just do my best. Because my best can be good enough!

X Bree

What is your favourite special breakfast recipe?

When was the last time you forced yourself out of your comfort zone and achieved success?

4 Comments

Filed under February, ground rules

And so it begins with a goodbye…

 

My collection of twelve "February's", ready for my first month of delicious cooking

My collection of twelve “February’s”, ready for my first month of delicious cooking

Today I farewelled Jamie and Donna, Bill and Kylie, David, Madhur and Thomasina, and a whole bunch of ‘old friends’ to make room for my delicious year. That’s right. I’ve packed up my rather large recipe book collection to make room for the 123 issues of delicious. magazine that have been lying low in my garage for the past 11 years.

I have set myself a very serious foodie challenge for 2013: 365 days of delicious cooking from my delicious. magazine collection. But as with all random/crazy/ “what was I thinking” challenges, I have set myself some ground rules:

  1. Every cover recipe must be cooked (No exceptions. Even if it involves eggplant…ugghh!)
  2. I must attempt one recipe a day. I’m a realist – I won’t be cooking three course brekky’s when my kids are very happy eating cereal and toast. But if I spy a yummy brekky recipe, it shall be cooked, and you shall hear all about it.
  3. As new issues arrive, they too shall be cooked from.

In order to keep it seasonal and relevant, I will be collating my magazine collection by month and cook from all the February’s in February, March’s in March and so on. Given that most of the issues include a December/ January combined issue I will feature the Christmas-type recipes in December and save the rest for January. Now there is something to look forward to.

Now to keep things interesting, I will include a food rating from the most feared food critic in Australia. No, not Matt Preston, but my dear husband, Mr Picky Pallete (MPP). From time to time I will also include an out-of-the-mouth-of-babes score from my two darling sons to be known as B2 and B4. As most parents know, kids are hard to please. And its even harder to get kids to try new things.

Are you with me?

I hope that along the way I might inspire you to try out a recipe or two or dust off your old recipe collection that has been sitting idle for a decade or more. If nothing else, I hope I either make you drool while you are reading this or have you banging at my door (or filling up my inbox) with demands for dinner invitations.

Let the games begin.

Stayed tuned for recipe number one – an encounter with a foodie crush of mine, Rick Stein. We all know what that means…seafood!!!

X Bree

Who is your favourite chef – celebrity or other?

What is the one cookbook that has been sitting on your shelf gathering dust that that you might try to cook from this week?

Four 46L containers no securely hold my significant cookbook collection. See you in 12 months!

Four 46L containers now securely hold my significant cookbook collection. See you in 12 months!

4 Comments

15/01/2013 · 9:38 am