Oh Baby! #babyshower

Went to a fabulous baby shower today for my niece …wish I had taken more photos of the fabulous feast and the beautiful tea-cups…but here’s a taste!

Sticky date pudding for two

We are having a quiet night in and a special dinner to celebrate a New Year’s Eve as we wait to watch the annual fireworks spectacular on Sydney Harbour. It is always a special night as the first major city in the world welcomes in the new year.

It was a beautiful day here and we started with an early morning swim at Nielsen Park beach on Sydney Harbour, then divine coffee and croissants at The Grumpy Baker in Vaucluse. After the sea mist lifted this morning it turned into quite a hot day, but late this afternoon a thunderstorm cooled things down.

So, it’s going to be perfect to enjoy sticky date pudding with our French champagne in the lead up to midnight. As I write this the early 9pm “kids” fireworks show is already lighting up the harbour and Sydney skyline spectacularly. The rain has gone and Sydney is sparkling! Can’t wait to eat our dessert and see the “real” show as we welcome 2019!!

Thanks to Climb, Cycle, Repeat for this fab recipe for Sticky Date Pudding for two! I am going to add crushed walnuts to the batter to add some crunch!

http://climbeatcyclerepeat.com/sticky-toffee-pudding-for-two/

Pannetone Xmas Ice Cream Sandwich

The piece de resistance and finale of our Christmas feasting spree …toasted pannetone and Xmas ice cream sandwich. The Xmas ice cream involves softening (not totally melting) a 1 litre tub of vanilla ice cream with a jar of Mrs Robertson’s fruit mince mix and refreezing it. Reline the original tub of ice cream with glad wrap and then refill the tub with the ice cream mix overnight.

when you are ready, remove the ice cream from the fridge to soften slightly. Then toast your pannetone, slice the ice cream and make these “to-die-for” festive finishers! Divine dessert.

Puff pastry pot pies

This was easy as.

Just cooked up a diced lamb filling with onions, tomato, garlic, white wine, pepper, mushroom, peas, spinach and herbs …then lined the little buttered ceramic pots with frozen puff pastry, filled the pots, topped with a circle of pastry, brushed with egg and popped in the 230 degrees Celsius oven for 15-20 minutes until puffy and golden.

Quick and easy, perfect with salad but still warm and comforting.

Reminded me of the recipe for Lamb Curry Pot Pies but simpler and …I like the puff pastry better.

Ham and Turkey Pizza

Still getting through the leftover ham and turkey and other bits and pieces in the house…so decided to go Italian with homemade garlic bread, a nectarine and baby spinach salad and a homemade, from scratch, ham and turkey pizza using ingredients from the fridge.

Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: 20 minutes

Pizza base

Ingredients:

4 cups plain flour
7g yeast (1 sachet)
Pinch of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
400ml warm water
60ml olive oil
Flour for dusting Board

Method:

Place yeast and pinch of caster sugar with half a cup of warm water in bowl and allow to develop until froth forms about 10 minutes

Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre of the flour.

Add water to centre of well and then mix gently with your hands until well combined, then add olive oil and knead carefully to make a soft, elastic dough, making sure not to overwork.

Set aside covered with a cloth in a warm spot to allow to rise to almost double its size.

Knead dough back into a smooth round ball and divide in half. This quantity makes 2 good size bases but half the dough can be frozen for later use. (Just thaw for 24 hours in fridge before using)

Gently stretch and pat dough into pizza pan, working and spinning the dough carefully to stretch.

Your pizza base is ready for sauce and toppings.

Pizza sauce:

Ingredients
2 ripe tomatoes
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tsps mixed Italian herbs such thyme, oregano and rosemary – I used a combination of fresh and dried herbs
2 red chillies finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tspoon salt
1 tspoon black pepper
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Bowl of boiling water

Method:

Place tomatoes in boiling water and leave for 10 minutes, then remove skin which will peel off easily.

Cut tomatoes into quarters removing seeds.

Chop tomatoes into a fine dice and set aside

Finely dice onion

Crush garlic in a mortar and pestle or using a garlic press

Heat oil in non-stick pan and then add onions.

Sauté onions until transparent, then add garlic and heat through until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, salt, sugar and herbs and then white wine and water and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and tomatoes have softened into a thick sauce. You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of tomato paste or tomato sauce to the mix if you prefer a thicker sauce. Stir occasionally to ensure sauce is not sticking.

Set aside to cool before using on base.

Pizza topping: (use your favourite topping ingredients)

Ingredients

1 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup chopped turkey
3-4 hot pickled peppers chopped finely
2-3 artichokes in brine chopped into bite size pieces
6 anchovies (optional)
4 bocconcini balls or mozzarella
Parmesan cheese for shaving over
Basil leaves for garnish

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 230 degrees celcius

Spread pizza sauce evenly over base

Place toppings on base starting with ham and turkey, then other topping ingredients.

Tear bocconcini and/or sprinkle over mozzarella over the top. Sprinkle salt in bocconcini.

Place in oven for 15-20minutes until base is crispy and cooked through and cheese is melted.

Shave over Parmesan and sprinkle with basil leaves and serve.

Cardamom …warm, sweet and spicy!

Cardamom A fragrantly warm winter spice – I love it and the cardamom season is getting into full swing in my house where two of our top seasonal favourites flavoured with freshly ground cardamom are: Winter Fruit & Spice Cake and The BEST Gingerbread Biscuits

via Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice — An Edible Landscape