Thursday, February 23, 2017

EwE - Sesame Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage - Travel to the Orient

For Eating with Ellie this week, Margaret chose the theme of Travel to the Orient.  I am off to China this week (at least in a Westernised sense) with my Sesame Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage.

This was pretty tasty - brown rice, prawns, cabbage, ginger, shallots, soy sauce, sesame seeds.  I made it and froze it for work lunches.

To see what the others made this week, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

TWD - Valentine's Day Share-a-Heart

The second cookie recipe for Dorie's Cookies this month is Valentine's Day Share-a-Heart.  The idea is to make two huge chocolate heart shaped cookies and little ones with the scrap dough, and for the two large cookies to be shared.

However, in my universe, people would not dig the concept of sharing a cookie with other people.  To avoid this potential awkwardness, I just made a half batch of smaller heart shaped cookies.  I ended up with 13 cookies.

Maybe it was the hot weather, but some of my cookies spread so much in the oven that they no longer resembled hearts.  The remainder looked a whole lot better once they had been iced and sprinkled with sanding sugar and non pariels.

I think that these cookies ended up looking very cute.  I couldn't resist posing my mini kewpie and my brand new Valentine's edition Sonny Angel with these cookies.  They are just adawbs and perfect for setting the Valentine's Day mood.  I made these cookies and took them to work on Valentine's Day - I think people may have found it a bit weird if I had brought in a batch of heart shaped cookies at any other time.

The cookies themselves were surprisingly delicious - the chocolate flavour comes from cocoa, but the cookies are quite chocolatey and are light and buttery.

To see what everyone else made this wee, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Seasons on Ruthven, Toowoomba

On a recent visit to my mother, our family went to dinner at Seasons on Ruthven, the restaurant attached to the Ambassador motel.  It was a very warm night, and we were lucky enough to be seated out on the balcony:

where we could watch the summer sun set:

My mother is a fan of herb and garlic bread, so we ordered the garlic, herb and parmesan baguette ($10):

The balsamic vinegar drizzled on top of this baguette was a delicious touch.  Our waitress was disappointed that we did not try the edible marigolds.

For main, my mother ordered a special of the day, almond crusted barramundi served with vegetables and tartare sauce ($27):

My brother also ordered from the specials, in his case, chicken breast with cherry sauce ($27):

I ordered off the menu - the pan seared pork fillet with apricot and prune grand marnier glaze, parmesan baked potatoes, almond broccolini, baby carrots, and of course, the ubiquitous edible marigold ($34):

I can't comment on anyone else's dishes other than to say that they were routinely well presented.

My meal was absolutely scrumptious - I adore meat and fruit together, and the pork was cooked to perfection.  However, after deciding to try the edible marigold, I can say that I am not a fan - it has a very grassy flavour that was not appealing to me.

The staff were very friendly and efficient, and of course, our table overlooking the sunset was just lovely.  I would definitely go to Seasons again.

Ambassador on Ruthven
Best Western Plus Motel
200 Ruthven Street Toowoomba
Ph: 07 4637 6800

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Banana Oat Smoothie

This month's recipe on the Red Tractor calendar is a Banana and Oat Smoothie.  Here is the accompanying calendar illustration and quote:

I can't say that I had ever had a smoothie before, and I was a little hesitant to make it.  However, I went ahead with it, and while it tasted OK, I can't say that I enjoy the smoothie texture. Drinking something so thick just feels wrong to me.

However, if you are a smoothie fan, this one does taste good, so you may enjoy this recipe:

1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 banana, cut into thirds
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed ice

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

EwE - Chicken Marsala - Your Heart's Desire

Kayte chose the theme of Your Heart's Desire to coincide with Valentines Day for Eating with Ellie this week.  I interpreted this to mean that I could make whatever I wanted to.  Where I took the theme is - if I was cooking Valentines Day dinner for my beloved, what would I make from Ellie's repertoire? 

I chose Ellie's Chicken Marsala from Comfort Food Fix.  It tastes a little bit naughty but is actually very nice, given its Ellie makeover.  The sauce is thick and sweet, containing marsala and mushrooms.  I served my chicken marsala with boiled beans and carrots that had been sexed up with a splosh of cream.

To see what everyone else desired this week, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TWD - Sunday in Paris Cake

Happy Valentines Day!  For the Valentines edition of Tuesdays with Dorie, I have chosen to make Sunday in Paris Cake - and why not.  It's a little like a Snickers without the caramel - chocolate, peanuts, peanut butter, more chocolate - hey. what's not to love.

Assuming that your beloved likes their chocolate not too sweet, then this cake could be the perfect treat to capture their heart this Valentines Day:

Personally, I really liked this cake.  It wasn't overly sweet, which was a huge plus for me, and of course I am a fan of chocolate.  It wasn't a moist cake, but nor was it dry and crumbly.

To see what baking love the other Dorie bakers made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vegetable Frittata

If you are looking for a delicious portable dish containing lots of vegetables for lunch, you can't go past a Vegetable Frittatta.  I shy away a little from frittatas because I have eaten some rather dry, rubbery affairs in my time, but a recipe in last month's Taste magazine  was bright, colourful, fluffy, not dry and packed full of veggies.  It tasted fab too.  I sliced it into the 4 servings recommended and took it into work for lunch.

To make this vegetable frittata, you will need:

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced
200g broccoli, cut into florets
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I didn't have any so left them out)
2 tablespoons fresh basil
70g feta
150g halved cherry tomatoes

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a 16cm x 26cm slice pan with baking paper.

Steam the asparagus for two minutes until tender crisp. Refresh under cold water, drain, and coarsely chop broccoli.

Whisk the eggs, milk, herbs and two thirds of the feta in a large bowl.  Add the vegetables and fold through the egg mixture.  Pour into the lined pan, and arrange halved tomatoes and feta on top.  

Bake the frittata for 25-30 minutes or until set in the middle.  Cool, then cut into 4 pieces to serve.