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Showing posts from June, 2014

Spicy Lentil & Corn Soup {Recipe}

Wintery weather has finally lashed itself over Melbourne and I just want to snuggle up in front of the fire with a big bowl of warm, comforting soup.

I try to make a big pot of soup every week. Not only is it economical, a bowl of lentil-laden goodness is filling and healthy too.

Soups are also a great way to use up the half or near empty jars of spice pastes you have languishing around in your fridge. The harissa paste was almost empty and a perfect match for the sad little capsicums rolling around in the crisper drawer. You could mix and match with whatever you have in your fridge (although I must say the harissa gives a nice hint of heat without blowing your socks off!)

The rest of the ingredients are basic pantry staples - tinned tomatoes, tinned corn and lentils.

This makes a very thick, almost stew like consistency soup (which we love). If you prefer a thinner consistency, use an extra 2 cups of stock or water.

Or why not leave it thick and turn it into a Mexican supper with a …

Itty Bitty Brownie Bites {Recipe}

This is my go to recipe whenever I get asked to bring a dessert but I'm pressed for time.
The basic brownie mix is so easy to whip up and can be as posh or simple as you want them to be. Dress them up with perfect raspberries, a drizzle of chocolate glaze or ganache or a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Or better still, simply dust them with icing sugar.
Serve them up as dessert canapé at a posh soirée. Bring them along to a morning tea or take it to your friend’s house for dessert next time you get invited for dinner.
It's also a great beginner's recipe for young learning cooks.
The first time I cooked them I was disappointed because they looked so flat in the pan. “They’re too small!” I wailed to Mr Di-licious.
That was until I picked up my little round cutter, cut one out and tasted it – absolute perfection!
And then there is the matter of the little cook’s treat you’re left with after cutting out the brownies – brownie corners!
Pop them in a bowl and serve them up with a cuppa or c…

Cleaning bathrooms - my least favourite job

I really hate cleaning the bathroom. I mean I avoid it for as long as possible - probably much longer than I should.
Normally I get propelled into action when I know my mum is coming over or we are expecting overnight guests. 
More often than not the shower languishes for a few weeks and then I think I really should attend to that this week and another week or two goes by until I shudder at the sight of it.  
Perhaps it's this bathroom in particular. Dark slate floors that never look clean; a clumsily renovated shower closet that doesn't recieve an inch of natural light; a badly sealed shower base that has mould growing under the silicone no matter how much mould cleaner or bleach I use. 
I feel defeated before I even begin.
Rationally I know that if I do it every week or two weeks, it won't get so far out of control. I think it's been almost two months. It was nasty this morning.
Aside from the act of cleaning the shower, I also hate the smell of most cleaning produc…

Spread the love - Lemon Butter {Recipe}

You could be forgiven for thinking that there is a strong lemon theme happening on the blog lately. And you'd be right. 

When you have unlimited access to a ridiculously abundant lemon tree - you don't cook with oranges.
Luckily we're all lemon fans here. 
Can I just say categorically that I love lemon butter. It's tart, it's sweet and it makes the most decadent white bread sandwich. 

It's perfect on scones and pikelets; is a divine filling for cakes and sandwiched biscuits; and unbeatable eaten straight from the spoon.
It's also pretty easy to make provided you're not in a hurry. If you rush it..... well, you're going to end up with lemony scrambled eggs.
Trust me. I've been there. 

I got asked what the difference was between lemon butter and lemon curd. I couldn't find an answer online but according to my CWA Judging notes, lemon curd/cheese is made with milk and cream whereas lemon butter is not.

A good lemon butter should:

have a fresh, delicate …

Good news and Special Lemon Coconut Cake {Recipe}

I'm in a very, VERY good mood this week. Why? Well for starters, I finally landed my dream part time job.

The company is a gourmet food producer and I'll be actively involved with promoting their products through food tastings as well as behind the scenes in the office and (hopefully) helping develop their website. I may even get my hands messy in the kitchen sometimes.....

The other reason I'm very happy this week is discovering my ultimate, perfect cake nirvana - this (very) Special Lemon Coconut Cake.

The recipe comes from the Country Women's Association Classics Cookbook. It was contributed by Mrs Elaine Youd from Devonport Branch, Tasmania who shared that it is her "friend Barb Parson's special cake".

Special is definitely the right way to describe this cake. The coconut keeps the cake lovely and moist, making it a great bake ahead affair. It freezes well and the icing......well tangy lemon juice icing with coconut... it just keeps the lemon coconu…

A not so perfect day in the kitchen

Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  I'm a constant offender in the kitchen.
Yesterday I tried to do too much: I made another loaf of bread, I made up a chicken curry in the slow cooker, threw together a soup, prepped for dinner and then baked a cake - all before lunch.
The soup wasn't ready so we had sausage sandwiches.
I let the slowcooker cook and cook......too long. It was pasty, dry, too acidic and just plain revolting. 
The cake turned out well but there was no one home to eat it because the rest of the household had gone to the park.
Feeling despondent and surveying the dishes already in the sink, I couldn't bear the thought of cooking our planned family dinner of sausage risotto. 
By the time Olive & Mr Di-licious came home from the park, I was in a complete funk.
I felt like a complete failure.
"You know what darling?" he said. "Everyone is allowed to have a cooking fail once in a while. Even you."
"How about I pick u…