Rainy Day Blueberry Pancakes

August is supposed to be the hottest part of summer here, but I think the weather is trying to remind me of back home in Oz, because it’s been cold and rainy and really Melbourne-ish weather here for the last week or so. Bad weather makes me hungry, so on Sunday morning I decided that gorging on pancakes was the way to go.

on a plate with condiments behind

grey sky

Summer?

We’d been to a little farmer roadside fruit and veg stand the day before, hoping to find fresh strawberries, but they were out. And we got caught in a sudden freezing downpour. But on the upside, we got half a kilo of fresh delicious blueberries. And so of course they had to be incorporated into breakfast on Sunday!

all fruity

Basic pancake mix is: 

1 egg

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup milk

pinch salt

That’s it! But I embellished on this mix and added:

about half a cup of blueberries

1 tablespoon icing sugar (or castor sugar, I just used what  had)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix ingredients (minus berries) thoroughly, adding milk if it’s too thick and making sure to get out any big lumps. Once mixed, add the blueberries and stir through.

Add a little butter to a medium-hot pan. Ladle some batter mix onto the pan and tilt the pan back and forth a little, until you get a fairly even spread of mix. Cook for a couple of minutes, then flip. I keep my pancakes on a plate in a 50 degree oven until all are done, so they stay warm.

To serve, my absolute favourite topping is maple syrup with whipped cream, and adding any leftover blueberries (or any fruit, we had some raspberries in the fridge so they go in on the pancake love too). A squeeze of lemon juice and a little sugar sprinkled over is pretty yum-o as well. Here’s a gratuitous condiment shot:

kinda arty

So enjoy, I know I did!

Sorry for not posting last week by the way. Never fear, I’m not going anywhere. Scheduling is back to normal 🙂

Cheers,

Luci

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Avocado Carbonara

So we’re big pasta fans in this house, although as it’s been so hot here recently we’ve been opting more for salads like this, or BBQ, or anything that doesn’t involve having the stove on for too long. However, on this weekend just past, Dom took part in a triathlon, which means we spent the few days leading up to it doing that wonderful thing runners use pre-event – we carb-loaded. (by the way, no – I didn’t do the triathlon, but I had to join in on the food festivities to be supportive, right?)

in bowls

 

So I decided a nice creamy linguine carbonara seemed in order. It’d been a while, and also carbonara is freaking delicious. So off to the supermarket and home again, laden with pasta and cream and bacon and eggs and cheese. Only to discover, in my fruit bowl, an I-must-be-eaten-today avocado. Well, I can’t resist a good avo’, so that went in the mix too.

Here’s how I put it all together:

Ingredients (serves 4, or two over two days!)

500g pasta of choice, I prefer linguine or spaghetti

200ml cream

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

300g  bacon (no rind), diced

1 large onion, diced

2-4 crushed garlic cloves, depending on how strong you like your garlic. Actually I think I used 6…

about 50g grated parmesan cheese

1 large, ripe avocado (optional (but not to me)), chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh chives or spring onion, chopped

chopped avocado with compost

egg mix

 Method

Put a pot of salted water on to boil, then put the pasta in to cook until al dente. Drain, set aside, keep warm.

fry bacon until it starts to brown, then add onion and garlic and let those fry up in the bacon fat (note – watch out here for curious/hungry fiancees here who smell what’s cooking and want to eat everything immediately. Chasing said persons off with a spatula may be effective, though only temporarily).

bacon frying

Add the cream once the onion is fried to translucency, and reduce the heat. Once cream begins to boil, add the drained pasta to the mix. Pour the eggs over the pasta, mixing through as you go so the egg sticks to the pasta. Then add in the avocado, sprinkle the cheese and chives and a good bit of salt and pepper, stir though, and you’re done!

ready to serve

 

Serve to aforementioned hungry person and a generous amount to yourself.

By the way, he did great in the triathlon!

Oh and I know I’ve been more food-focussed recently but there are other things I’ve been up to that aren’t edible, so I’ll share those with you before too long. In the meantime, do you have any comfort food you like finding an excuse to eat, like I do?

Cheers,

Luci

Coriander-Mint Quinoa Salad Deliciousness

It’s full-on summer here now, and so hot I had to go emergency bikini shopping last week (my one from last season had died on me, I think I need back-up swimwear supplies…). That also means it’s too hot to spend much time in front of a hot stove, or to turn the oven on. That’s how this recipe was born.

Ready to eat

This is a fairly simple recipe, but so yummy I just had to share. Dom liked it too, he ate three full bowls (always a good sign)!

Ingredients:

About 1.5 cups uncooked Quinoa

1 ripe avocado

1 red onion

1 cucumber

1 pack cherry tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

A good handful each of fresh mint and fresh coriander

juice from 1 lime

Salt and pepper and chilli flakes, to taste

Olive oil

Method:

Rinse uncooked quinoa thoroughly, then cook according to packet directions, leave to cool.

While quinoa cooks, finely dice onion, avocado and tomatoes. Add to a large bowl. Add drained chickpeas.

Finely chop coriander and mint, add to bowl. Add lime juice and cooled quinoa, season with salt and pepper and a little chilli, if you’re into that sort of thing. Mix thoroughly and serve with a light drizzle of olive oil.

That’s it! It’s a mixture of crunchy and creamy and tangy and refreshing, and perfect for these hot evenings.

Rinsing

Rinsed

Ingredients on board

Ingredients in bowl

Herbs

 

ready blurry

An added plus – it makes for a great take-to-work lunch (yes, these finished-product photos are all in my lunch box, I was too hungry to remember to take photos of it all plated up nice so let’s just assume the presentation was amazing, OK?).

And just because the sunsets have been incredible recently, here’s a pic from at the lake last week:

Sunset

Until next time, Cheers!

– Luci

What’s your favourite hot-weather dinner? 

 

 

 

Smashed Potatoes.

Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside; that’s how roasted potatoes should be. Unfortunately, I don’t always seem to get them quite right when i bake spuds. Enter smashed potatoes! This is a super-easy recipe that is great on cold, rainy days like today (come back, sunshine!). 

photo 4

 

Dom’s out for a work dinner tonight which means I was just cooking for myself and my lunch tomorrow, so I took 8 smallish potatoes and boiled them whole in lightly salted water. Once they were soft through, I drained them and laid them in a baking tray. Then comes the smashing! I learned this from my cousin Jimmy a couple of years back but forgot about it until recently. Using a spatula or the back of a large spoon, press into the top of the potatoes until they get this squished, popped-open look. I think I could have boiled them a bit longer and they would have smooshed better, but I was hungry so this is how they are. Then simply drizzle with olive oil, add some salt and pepper, and pop in a 180 degree oven for half an hour.

Before:

photo 1

 

After:

photo 2

Yum! I served with sour cream and steamed green veggies, it was delicious. A big plate of  vegetables is one of my favourite comfort foods for rainy days. What’s your favourite? 

Cheers,

Luci

Addictive Chocolate Fudge Brownies.

fudge

Hi there! It’s been months since my last post so this is just a short-ish one to try to get me back in the habit of writing. My plan is to try for weekly posts so bear with me, and as a thanks for those who do, here’s the most delicious, addictive (seems that way anyway!), easy chocolate fudge recipe that I know.

Ingredients:

500g dark cooking chocolate
75g butter
400mL sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
pinch of each cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Method:
In a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, melt butter, chocolate and condensed milk.
When melted, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and spices. Pour into a lined baking tray, and put in the fridge to cool.
Cut into squares (it’s extremely rich so small squares will be best!) and serve.

It’s really that easy. Enjoy!

I’m really hoping to get back to creating and blogging again and I hope you’ll join me 🙂

Cheers,

Luci

Living in Germany, schnitzel is often on the menu. My fiancée would happily eat it with boiled potatoes every time, but I am more fussy and need to change things up a little, occasionally. I can’t take the spuds completely out of the equation, of course. I decided to do a cauliflower potato blend as I’ve been hearing good things about cauliflower mash – it’s high in vitamin c too, which sick old me needs at the moment! Mix with a little salt and pepper, milk, butter, and sour cream – guys, it was tasty stuff! The man of the house approved, too.

Image

That’s it, not too much to this one but I’m definitely satisfied. What’s your favourite mash veg combination?

cheers,

Luci

Hoisin Sauce.

This is just a quick one and it wasn’t my idea. I found it here, although I adapted it a little. It was one of the first things to get me started on this homemade trip, and it’s delicious! This is the recipe I ended up using:

4 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs peanut butter (I used my homemade stuff)
1.5 Tbs honey
1 Tbs rice vinegar
3 clove of garlic, finely minced. You could use garlic powder too.
1 Tbs chilli sauce – I used Sriracha
1 tsp dark sesame oil (the light stuff is useless for Asian recipes, it just tastes like canola)
fresh ground pepper

So I added more garlic and more chilli than the original calls for. The recipe also says just whisk and you’re done. Not true. I had to put the jar I was mixing in into a bowl half-filled with hot water, so that the honey and peanut butter would melt enough to mix. Depending on the particular honey and peanut butter you use this may be different.

No pics with this one sorry! I’ll update with some pics next time I make it. It’s seriously yummy though and really easy. The first time I made it the only thing I didn’t already have in my kitchen was the rice vinegar, and you could probably try it without that anyway, or maybe with a tiny bit of white vinegar instead.

Oh here’s a picture of one of my favourite foods, san choi bau. You could absolutely make that with this hoisin sauce. Just fry up some onion, garlic, and chicken or pork mince (or tempeh for my vegetarian readers, a few asian veggies and some hoisin. Serve in iceberg lettuce cups and yum it up!

Image

Cheers,

Luci

 

UPDATE: I made this again last night and paired it with prawns and veggies in a stir fry. Yum-O. So here’s a pic:

 

 

From above

 

Cheers, L 🙂