Lemon Tea Cake


There are days when we want just something sweet and simple. Nothing too fancy but a cake to enjoy with friends and family. I took this recipe from a recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens (July09) and it was fairly ok. Wasn’t something that I thought it will turn out but taste wise it was lovely. What I did enjoy is the lemon filling which provides the ormph to the cake. Somehow I think that the size of pan they suggested (9inch) was too big as the cake turned out a little flat. These would have made great little patty cakes I think!

LEMON TEA CAKE

1 cup SR flour
135g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, finely diced
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
cream and icing sugar, for serving

LEMON FILLING

100ml lemon juice
100g caster sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
75g unsalted butter
2 tsp plain flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 18cm cake tin and line with baking paper. Sift flour and sugar together, put in food processor. Add butter and process until mixture resembles wet sand. Add eggs and yolk and pulse to form a soft dough.

To make lemon filling, put juice, sugar, egg and egg yolk and butter into small saucepan. Set over a very low heat and cook for 2 mins until butter is melted. Whisk in flour, then cook over medium heat for 2 mins or until mixture thickens.

Press two-thirds of cake mixture into prepared tin, top with lemon filling (leaving a 2cm border), then crumble remaining cake mixture on top.

Bake for 30 mins, then cool on wire rack for 15 mins.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.

Baked Lamb Meat Balls with Couscous

The thing about having a long weekend is that it gives us a taste of what it feels like having those few days not being at work. Apart from the usual mundane chores, hubby managed to put up wooden venetians plus curtain rod and curtains up.

I thought we took BEFORE photos ages ago when we proudly tried to install beige curtains up and removed ugly green ones. Due to our computer crashing on the 24th of April (YES! Our wedding day!), we lost alot of data and photos despite backing it up (must have forgotten that file) hence the only ones I could find were the ones my mum took when she came over. Even that I only found one that has a photo of our curtains…

Yup.. a photo of me and dad during my parents’ visit for my graduation.

And the now photos:
Interior look:


ah… Hubby said that since after the wedding, I have been itching to plan and do other things JUST to add on to my load of work to do. He was being sarcastic of course but in a nice way. Afterall, I had 3 weddings + a doctorate thesis to plan in 1.5 years. Well, right now, I have to say that work is enough to drive me crazy and cooking and home improvement is keeping my sanity in tact (plus alot of prayers of course).

Having said that, I am very proud of hubby as he took upon my crazy idea, even went with me to Ikea to pick these blinds up. AND despite the person saying it will only take less than 2 hrs (it took us 8!!!), it eventually did happen and we have pretty windows. Certainly add abit of warmth isnt it?

I’m also looking at adding some home ideas stuff on this blog- To add flavour (haha pun!!) but also to reflect our next stage of life.

Wait, I did not forget to cook! I was still in winter mode when I baked this but it was such a warm nice Sunday night meal to have. Add a glass of red and a good movie, life is meant to be enjoy isnt it?



Baked Lamb Meat Balls with Couscous
(Serves 5-6)
500 grams of lamb mince
1 tub of ricotta cheese (around 250grams)
1 chopped red onion
1 tablespoon of corn flour
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2-3 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper
1 egg
1 cup of bread crumbs spiced

Tin of tomato (I had mine with oregano and basil)
1 cup of cheddar cheese

1 cup of couscous (cook to packet instructions)

Marinate lamb mince with ricotta cheese, cornflour, sauces, seasoning, egg and bread crumbs for around 30 minutes.

Pre heat oven 200C. Shape mince to meat balls and place in cassoroel dish. Bake for around 25 minutes. Remove from oven and pour tin tomatoes over it.Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for around 5 minutes. Serve with couscous.

Cheesy Baked Broccoli Macaroni Cheese


A twist to the classic macaroni cheese, I added some broccoli to it. Now somehow, cheese and veges just go well together doesnt it? I love this addition of the crunch texture. Not to mention, it is good for us. LOL I have a small packet of prawns and squid left so this sort of became a seafood baked pasta. A little fancy for macaroni and cheese but all worth it for a quick and hearty dinner!


Cheesy Baked Broccoli Macaroni Cheese (serves 6)
250 grams macaroni cooked drained and set aside

1 tablespoon of spread
1 tablespoon of flour
1 cup of milk
1 cup of cheese + 1/2 cup of cheese
1 tablespoon of grainy mustard.
1 broccoli chopped
1-2 cups of prawns
150 grams of squid cleaned and chopped
seasoning

Preheat Oven to 200C. Melt spread in saucepan. Add flour and cook till it turns golden in colour. Add millk and whisk till smooth. Add 1/4 cup of more if too thick. Add cheese and stir till it melts. Taste and season.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss it with all the veges and seafood. Spoon into pan and sprinkle cheese on it. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serving this with my friends from Presto Pasta founded by Ruth. Sara from I’m a Food Blog is hosting.

Delicious Zucchini Smoked Salmon Slice with Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad


The best thing about blog hopping is that you get the most wide range of ideas for meals. I try to cook/bake something new or re-invented every week-just because we like to experiment with our food!

Well, this delicious recipe was from Petrina who obtained it from Exclusively Food. What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is and deliciously simple!

I made quite a few changes to the recipe-omitting that 1/4 cup of oil and adding about 3-4 tablespoons of milk. It was still moist and very tasty!

And the chickpea salad? One of our favourite hangout breakie place is in East Vic Park called Food for me. It’s wholesome yet simple food got us straight away. Sometimes, all you want is great service, good coffee and down to earth healthy food. Their chickpea was Moroccan but due to the lack of spices I used a mixture of cumin and curry instead and it turned out very addictive! What I might do next time is to add finely chopped red onion for that added crunch.

Delicious Zucchini Smoked Salmon Slice with Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad (Serves 3-4)
3/4 huge grated zucchini
1 cup of low fat cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup of self raising flour
200 grams of smoked salmon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 tablespoon of low fat milk
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Line slices tray with baking paper.

Squeeze water out of zucchini. Combine it with cheese, smoked salmon and flour. Using a fork, beat eggs, milk and oil in a bowl. Fold wet ingredients to dry. Spoon to pan and bake for 30 mins. Serve with a salad

Indian Spiced Chickpea salad
1 can of chickpeas drained
1/4 left over zucchini chopped
2 tsp of curry powder
3-4 tsp of cumin
1tsp of garam masala
pepper and salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1tsp of chili powder

Mix it all together. Serve on a bed of salad leaves and Zucchini Slice.

Friday Roast- Mint Lamb Roast with Veges


I have always been quite puzzled with why roasts are so popular in an English household or perhaps even a Aussie household? I used to think that chunks of meat can be so tasteless and tough!

Now though, I realise how easy a roast make a good hearty dinner. Pop it in the oven, cook it for 1 hr or so..and add some root veges..Tadah, dinner is served. I usually freeze a portion to cook it with pasta which makes a nice and tasty left over dish.

The only problem is it usually takes around 2 hours to make a roast!

Mint Lamb Roast with Veges
(serves 4-6)
1 kg of Lamb Roast-I bought the pre-packaged one marinated with mint and rosemary.
1 carrot diced
1/2 sweet potato diced
1 red capsicum
2-3 cups of mushrooms
1 red onion diced
2 potatos diced
1 small yam (happen to have that in the fridge!) diced

Roast lamb. Add veges mid way through. Served with some gravy and have a good meat attack!

Classic Baked Cheesecake


A girl got to do what she has to do when she has a sweet tooth right? Oh, not to mention, a good reason to make a cheesecake is when we realised we have been married for 4 months. Woah, time just flew by so quickly..and to think it’s 4 months already!

I have been eying this recipe from Donna Hay for ages now. And I suppose having a food processor makes this soo much easier too.No more crushing bickies using my handy roller! LOL.
I made mine with a few modications with the cheese-just because packaging doesnt come with 330 grams of cream cheese or 460grams of ricotta (What am i suppose to do with 40grms?). It still turned out creamy and light which is what I love.

Oh, and pardon the cracks- I do not have a light in my oven so I needed to open the door to give it a few checks. That is of course, a BIG no no to baking cheesecakes. This one is a smaller crack though so I’m giving myself a small pat on the back that it is not as huge as my last cheesecake that I baked.. LOL

Classic Baked Cheesecake
110 grams butternut cookies
2/3 cup almond meal
60 grams melted butter

filling
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
1 1/2 tbsp of water
250 grams cream cheese (original one was 330grms)
500 grams ricotta cheese (original was 460grms)
4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon rind grated
1/4 cup of lemon juice

Base: Process cookies in food processor till crushed. Add almon meal and butter and process till combined. Line 9inch cake pan. Press biscuit mixture over base and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 150C.
Filling- Mixx corn flour with water till it becomes a smooth paste. Process cream cheese in the food processor till smooth. Add cornflour mixture, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon rind and juice and process. Pour cream cheese over bas and bake for 1 hour 10 mins(Mine took 1 hr 30 mins) till set. Refrigerate till cold.

Creamy Chicken and Leek Pie

You know that sometimes, a break is needed to refresh mind, body and spirit. With our long working hours-AR and I barely stopped to breathe straight after our wedding celebrations back in late April/May. Our signs of needing a break starts with feeling tired and with little motivation to do much.

So the dear hubby booked us a night away at our favourite town-Mandurah. Happens to be where we got engaged too. This trip brought us to a little Cafe named Cafe Pronto- that served the best dessert style coffee ever. I think it was called Parfait Pazazz with Jazz. It features crushed hazelnuts on the rim-with creamy chocolate parfait(apparently made in its premises with cream and their chocolate).. with a hot espresso poured over it. Well, it’s like a jazz up version of affrogato except this one tastes much richer. My favourite part? Dipping the TINY gingerbread man into the glass.

Anyhow, we are feeling alot more refresh for a Monday!

My first recipe of the week? The Creamy Chicken and Leek is one that I made to freeze. I love the tasty splash of sherry or dry white wine in this (some left overs that we had!). Again, I used Carnations low fat creamy milk, hence it has the texture without the calories.


Creamy Chicken and Leek Pie (makes around 12 pies)
400 grams chicken breast meat diced finely
1 leek chopped (white part only)- would have preferred to have 2 leeks
1 tablespoon of spread
1 tablespoon of flour
1 can of carnations evaporative milk
1/4 cup of white wine/sherry
pepper/salt

3 puff pastry sheets

Melt butter. Cook Leek. Sprinkle flour and mix well. Stir in milk. Once it thickens, add chicken. Simmer for 10 mins till chicken is cooked and andd wine. Season to taste.
Pre heat pie maker and cut pastry to size. Spoon mixture onto each pastry case. Cover pie and cook per pie maker instructions.

Red Curry Pumpkin Soup with Mango Chilli Sausages and Parmesan Waffles

oops! Sorry about this long title but I really excited to share this soup with you today. It’s thick and rich and SPICY! A colleague of mine said to me that she added 2 tablespoons of left over thai red curry paste to her pumpkin soup and it had a huge punch to it. That got me excited and I returned home to try it that weekend.

As usual, I empty my fridge of vege-including one leek and a few potatoes to the pumpkin. The dear hubby then said to me he would prefer to have some MEAT in his soup which left me scurrying around-lucky though I did buy some Mango Chilli Sausages from Leanards so it was handy.


Red Curry Pumpkin Soup with Mango Chilli Sausages and Parmesan Waffles (Serves 6)
800 grams of butternut pumpkin
4 royal blue potatoes peeled and diced
1 red onion chopped
1 leek chopped (White part only)
3 carrots peeled and chopped
1 ltr of vege stock
2 tablespoon of red thai curry paste

1 cup of parmesan cheese

3 mango chilli sausages.

Saute onion in a deep pot. Add curry paste in and cook till it smells oh so good. Then add the diced pumpkin, carrots and potatoes. Add stock. Simmer for around 20-25 minutes.

Mean while, grill sausages till done. Rest. Sliced.

Cool soup for 5 mins.
Whizz the pumpkin soup up in batches (see, told u I love my food processor!). Return to pot. Add sausages.

Turn up the heat in your oven to around 200C. Sprinkle cheese on lined cookie tray. Grill it for around 5 minutes till it all melt. Cool slight. Break it up in pieces. Serve with soup.

Smoked Salmon Ricotta Pasta


I’m really not sure the looks of this one. Having said that, it is probably one of the most easiest pasta dish I have done. Nothing can be more simpler than folding a couple of ricotta cheese through warmed pasta with smoked salmon. I cooked some corn, peas and sliced up capsicum on a pan with a little garlic and oil. Toss them though with pasta and viola. All done!

oh.. and err.. hehe. I got the inspiration from an add from Perfect Italiano- this hunk folding ricotta cheese through some basil pasta. *giggle giggle*-it’s a hilarious commercial!

What surprises me though is how creamy, tasty and fulfilling this dish is. And bonus? I found more recipes on the Perfect Italiano webbie!

Smoked Salmon Ricotta Pasta (serves 4)
250 grams of pasta cooked and drained

1 cup of corn
1 cup of peas
1 huge red capsicum
1 tub of ricotta cheese.

Parmesan cheese to serve with.

Saute veges with oil and garlic. Toss through veges and pasta then add chopped up smoked salmon. Fold cheese through. Serve with Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.

Sharing this with my friends from Presto Pasta founded by Ruth from Once Upon a Feast. This week’s host is the awesome Rachel from Crispy Cook (love that name btw!).


*mid week bump* Just a gentle reminder to vote for me for the Bride of the Month please!!! As daily as you can. Thank you!!!! *muacks*

Yam Rice


Yam is probably one of my favorite root vegetables. It can be used as a dessert, snack and even in a main dish like this one. Yam chopped up add into “claypot rice” adds a texture to it.

I spotted Little inbox having an awesome recipe for Yam Rice as well (SOO love her presentation too!).

Yam Rice (Serves 4-5)
2 cups of rice (I use basmatic)

1 tsp of garlic minced
300 grams of Yam chopped
500 grams of chicken thigh meat diced
10 dried shitake mushrooms hydrated and diced

Seasoning
2-3 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 tablespoon of soya sauce
2-3 tablespoon of Hua Tiao Wine
dashes of pepper

1) Marinate chicken with seasoning. Set aside for around 15-20 mins.

2) Heat pan with oil. Cook garlic. Sizzle chicken and add yam and mushrooms. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover.

3) Meanwhile cook rice.

4) After around 10 mins, add chicken into the rice pot. Cook till rice is done.

Serve with veges! =)