Monthly Archives: January 2012

Happy Birthday & Watermelon Meets Fetta

On the weekend it was my husbands birthday so we went for lunch to a restaurant called The Stokehouse to celebrate.  We were in the downstairs section and the food was delicious.

I ordered the blue eye fish with cannellini beans and purple cabbage with a lime dressing.  My dad ordered his favourite meal of all time…risotto..this one was blue swimmer crab and lemon risotto.  Afterwards we had to walk off all the food so went for a walk along the pier at the end is a kiosk which is an icon of the area.  It burnt down years ago and was rebuilt exactly the same.

Afterwards we went home and had birthday cake, it was a Black Forest Cake bought from a patisserie called Fleischer’s Cakes.  Later I made this refreshing Watermelon and Fetta Salad as it has been so hot here in Melbourne this salad really hits the spot with any barbequed meats.
Watermelon & Fetta Salad
Watermelon, red onion, fetta cheese ( I use dodoni brand), 1 lime, olive oil
Slice red onion, place in a small bowl and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 lime and let soak for 5 minutes.
Dice watermelon, arrange on plate or in a bowl, scatter diced fetta over the top, then sprinkle with red onion also tipping lime juices over the watermelon and fetta.  Garnish with some thyme & a splash of olive oil.
Love Catherine

Being Australian

One of the foods we love eating in Australia is the meat pie.  We will be celebrating Australia Day on January 26th so I thought there is no better time to celebrate with some of our favourite foods.

You can have plain like above, but most Australians like their meat pies with some tomato sauce.

I like mine with tomato chutney or relish as well..as you can see from the jars it doesn’t last long in our house..our family can’t get enough of it.  I’m going to try making my own soon.

then finished off with a marshmellowy, meringue pavlova dessert topped with cream and lots of ripe fruit, I love piling it with all sorts of berries…you can also top it with sliced banana and passionfruit, peppermint crisp and flake..

Another favourite Aussie thing to do is go to the beach…last weekend my family and I went for a drive to this beautiful beach called St Andrews, it was a long walk through the sand to get there.

But so worth it once we did..

It is nearly the end of the summer school holidays here and we are trying to make the most of every day left by making lots of visits to the beach and catch ups with family and friends, we have had a lovely hot summer so far.  
It’s a very hot night tonight and I can’t sleep so am writing this at 2am in the morning…I’ll include the recipe for the meat pies first thing tomorrow.
Here we go, recipes for meat pie and pavlova…
Meat Pie/s
I make individual ones but it’s just as easy to make a big one if you don’t have the individual pie pans.
1 TBLSP oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 garlic clove crushed, 1kg (2.2 pounds) beef mince, 4 TBLSP plain (all purpose) flour, 1 1/2 cups beef stock, 4 TBLSP tomato puree, 2 1/2 TBLSP worcester sauce,  
1TBLSP soy sauce, 1 tsp dried mixed herbs, 1 sheet shortcrust pastry and 1 sheet puff pastry, 1 egg beaten, tomato sauce or chutney to serve.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion & cook for 5 min.
Add the garlic & minced beef & cook for a further 15 minutes.
Stir in the flour, then add stock, tomato puree, worcester sauce, soy sauce, dried herbs and I also add a little bit of vegemite (optional).
Partially cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally .  Set aside to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Stretch and fully line pie dish with sheet of shortcrust pastry.
Add cooled meat filling.
Top with puff pastry and trim excess pastry & pinch edges to seal.
Brush pie with egg and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until cooked and golden.
Note:  taste filling to see if it is seasoned to your liking, you many need to add more soy or worcester, some salt and pepper, I find a little vegemite (less than a 1/4 of a tsp) gives it some more body.  A substitute for this could be marmite.
Pavlova

8 large eggwhites, pinch of salt, 500g (16oz 1lb) caster sugar (superfine), 1 TBLSP cornflour, 2 tsp white vinegar.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Line your baking tray with the baking paper and draw a 20cm circle on the paper.

Beat eggwhites & salt until satiny peaks form.  Beat in the sugar a scattered spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.  Sprinkle over the cornflour & vinegar & fold in lightly.  Mound onto the baking tray with the circle, flatten top & smooth the sides.

Put in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150 degrees C.  Cook for 1 1/4 hours.  Turn off the oven and leave pavlova in it to cool completely.  If you’ve got an electric oven, open the oven door.  When cool decorate top with cream that has been whipped with a 1/2 tsp caster (superfine) sugar and a drop of vanilla essence and decorate with fresh fruit or any of the combinations mentioned above.

pavlova recipe:  Nigella from How To Be A Domestic Goddess
Catherine x

Breakfast

One of the things I love about the holidays is the time you have to make yourself a nice breakfast instead of the usual rushing off with a piece of toast in your mouth!  One of my absolute favourites is thick wholewheat toast topped with avocado squeezed with lemon, poached eggs, sea salt, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and some snowpea sprouts.  My idea of breakfast heaven ever since I ordered it at a cafe once.

You can have it with just avocado and sprouts if you prefer…
It’s nice to have some pretty flowers to look at while you eat…
Another breakfast I enjoy in Summer is mango, juice and coffee which my husband made for me the other morning while I was reading the paper on our deck!
I hope you all had a great New Years and look forward to spending 2012 with you, I know it’s going to be a great year for us all!
Love Catherine x