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Green soup recipe November 7, 2009

Posted by Sarah in dining in, food, green, health, home made, organic, recipe, soup, vegetables, yoghurt.
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I wanted soup.  Something bursting with greens.  Something healthy, light and tasty.  I had a head of broccoli and some home made chicken stock in the refrigerator, and after trawling my google reader feeds I came across Heidi’s recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  I used her recipe as inspiration and ended up with this magical green goodness.

I served it with a big dollop of organic yoghurt sprinkled with smoked paprika.  I imagine it would be great with Heidi’s recommended croutons, but we had cheese on toast instead, which was perfect in it’s simplicity.  The next day i reheated some for myself over the stove top, and poached an egg in it as it was warming through.  It was totally delicious, and added some welcome protein.  Enjoy!

10g unsalted butter

1 onion, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

300g podded broadbeans, blanched and peeled

1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces

1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped

1.25 litres chicken stock or water

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

40g grated cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium heat.

Add the onion and celery and saute for a few minutes until soft, add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the broadbeans, broccoli and chicken stock.

Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is just cooked.

Turn off the heat and add the spinach.  Stir until wilted and combined with the rest of the soup.

Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Add the chives, cheddar cheese and smoked paprika and stir until the cheese is melted.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

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Best pumpkin soup ever (recipe) September 15, 2009

Posted by Sarah in dining in, food, health, home made, organic, recipe, vegetables.
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I’m sitting here at my desk, eating the most delicious pumpkin soup.  It may just be the best I have ever made, which is ironic considering I made it without really paying much attention.  It seems a bit silly to be posting a recipe for something so simple, but sometimes simple is just what you need.

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1kg organic jap pumpkin

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves organic garlic, finely chopped

1 large organic onion, diced

1 litre chicken stock or water (I use my homemade stock, this blog post by Michael Ruhlman perfectly describes why you should too)

1 cup water

200 grams sour cream

1/2 bunch organic kale (about 300 grams)

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut your pumpkin into fairly large sized chunks, leaving the skin intact.  Discard seeds.  Place on a roasting tray and cook in a hot oven until you can easily slide a knife into the flesh, about 30 mintues.  You want the pumpkin to be soft before it goes into the soup, so be sure to check that it’s completely cooked before you remove it from the oven.  Remove the tray from the oven and leave the pumpkin to cool down to room temperature.

Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a large stock pot.  Add the onion and cook slowly until the onion is nicely caramelised, about 10 minutes.

While the onions are sweating remove the skin from the flesh of the pumpkin.  If the pumpkin is cooked properly the skin will peel off very easily.

Once the onions are cooked add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the pumpkin and chicken stock and/or water.  Bring this to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionaly.

Wash the kate well in a bowl of water.  Separate the leaves from the stems.  Discard the stems.  Place a frying pan over a medium heat and fill with the kale.  Put a lid on the pan, if you have one, and wilt the kale for three minutes, turning every so often so the kale cooks evenly.  Remove from the frying pan to a chopping board and leave to cool completely.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir through the sour cream.  Grind over some pepper and add 1 teaspoon salt.  Use an immersion/stick blender to blitz the soup until smooth.

Chop the kale and add to the soup pot.

Taste for seasoning.

Toast some of your favourite bread to serve alongside your soup.

Makes 4 servings

Self employed July 20, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, cake, cheese, chocolate, food, vegetables.
5 comments

I did my first paid catering gig last week.  The company requested round food to go with their theme of “The Wheels on the Bus”.

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Rosewater meringues, chocolate brownies, chocolate cupcakes.

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Oatcakes with blue and cheddar cheeses.

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Falafel with yoghurt dipping sauce, and lamb meatballs with tomato dipping sauce.

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Chicken and watercress crositini, and tomato and dijon tarts.

My business cards are ready and so am I!

Photos by my good friend Elizabeth Clarkson.

Eveleigh Farmers’ Market March 2, 2009

Posted by Sarah in bike, dining in, food, markets, organic, vegetables.
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This Saturday saw the Eveleigh Farmers’ Market start trading for the new year.  Joh and I rose early and rode our bicycles to Redfern. We arrived around 8.15 and were pleased to see that there was a bike stand right outside the entrance to the covered marketplace.

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The first stall we headed to was Yuri’s Sustainable Produce.  They had a wonderful deal where you fill your bag with anything from their tables for $8.  I decided to take a selection of their delicious fruit and vegetables.  They had some incredible looking black russian tomatoes that filled most of our bag, I couldn’t resist them!img_4478img_4479img_4477

The eggs we got from Egganic looked so good that I bought two dozen from them.

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The mini capsicum from Kemps Creek Farm were so beautiful I had to take a photo of them.  We didn’t buy any capsicums, but did buy some fresh chillies, prickly pears and three bunches of ong choy (water spinach).  The ladies selling the produce propped up the capsicum box so that I could take a photo of them!  Then they all proceeded to tell me about the dangers of using prickly pears without gloves.  I must admit they are still in the refridgerator, I did get a spine in my finger as soon as I got them home.

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We also brought home a piece of Berkshire free range pasture fed pork neck.  Unfortunately I didn’t get down the name of the grower, but the pork was certainly teriffic.

Joh and I headed home laden down with all kinds of goodies!

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For dinner on Saturday night Joh cooked our Barramundi from Infinity Fish on the barbeque with kaffir lime leaves stuffed into its belly.  I used some of our organic yellow squash and garlic from Lettuce Deliver Organics and stir fried them with the water spinach.  A very nice meal indeed.

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The Eveleigh Farmers’ Markets are held every Saturday and are well worth a visit.  I am so pleased about a weekly produce market, it’s a wonderful thing for Sydney.

Sunday lovely Sunday January 4, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, cheese, dining in, food, knitting, organic, vegetables, wool.
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Joh and I had the most lovely day at home today, pottering around the house.  We had three separate offers to go out to see our dear friends for afternoon drinks, but we decided to stay here and spend some quality time with our house (and each other, of course!!)

For breakfast we had the last two slices of our sprouted rye bread with organic avocado, tomato and fresh coriander from our garden.  Half way through mine I decided to try out some of our new alfalfa sprouts, and they were delicious!

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I can’t wait for our deliveries from Lettuce Deliver to start again.  We’ve been shopping at Fratelli Fresh while the Lettuce family are on a much needed break.  The quality at Fratelli Fresh is some of the best in the city, but it still doesn’t even come close to our beautiful organic deliveries.  We did pick up some Tasmanian walnuts, which I cracked with my monster of a mortar and pestle.  I’ve popped them in the freezer until I decide what to do with them.

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I did a bit of knitting, finishing off a monolith of a blanket that I’ve been using for months in it’s incomplete state.  Photos and gory details to come in another post.

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Joh and I had some cheese in the fridge that needed using, a Polish style cottage cheese.  Joh made a wonderful organic wholemeal bread dough and left it to develop for a few hours.  I made some organic caramelised onions while the dough did it’s thing.  Joh kneaded and rolled the dough to a wonderful carpet of carbohydrates on the kitchen bench.  Then we scattered olive oil, caramelised onions, polish cottage cheese, parmagiana reggiano, olives and basil leaves.  Joh rolled the whole thing into a log, and then we decided it would be best to slice and cook the pieces individually, kind of like the broiche dough we used to make when I was a cook in Auckland.  They worked beautifully!  We cooked half of them on our pizza stone, and half in muffin tins.  The verdict?  Joh prefers the look of the muffin tin variety, while i like the more rustic feel of the pizza stone cooked rolls.  Either way, they are delicious, and will make a great lunch for us tomorrow.p1040008

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A less than lazy Saturday November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in baking, beef, bread, chocolate, dining in, food, home made, markets, organic, recipe, vegetables.
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I like to spend time filling my larder.  Preparing for future culinary sensations.  Modern housewifery.

The weather here has been appalling for the last few weeks, and I love it.  I love the opportunity to stay indoors, don my apron and create.  This Saturday just past Joh and I embarked on a somewhat mammoth cooking bonanza.  Here’s what we achieved with our 10 hours.

First of all we had to do some shopping for ingredients.  Down to the markets for lemongrass, ginger, red capsicum, coriander, limes, chillies.  Off to the butcher for some beef bones.  To the supermarket for wholemeal flour and onions.  Back to the Thai supermarket later for tamarind and more lemongrass.  The first thing we did when we got home from our shopping trip was to heat the oven up to roast the beef shin bones.  This is to release the flavours of the bones to make really good home made beef stock.

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Joh prepared some capsicums for roasting while I got to work on some homemade bread.

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The bread was put on top of the computer to rise, then the beef bones and capsicums went in to roast.  The next step for me was to make some home made mince meat for my christmas mince pies.  This year I made a traditional fruit mince mixture, and also another mix made from figs, chocolate and ginger.  The second mixture is great for people that don’t like traditional fruit mince pies.  The recipe can be found here.  I tweaked the recipe slightly and used organic where I could.  I also used half white chocolate and half dark chocolate for a point of difference.

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The bones came out of the oven and went into the stock pot along with spring onions, brown onions and ginger that Joh prepared.  The stock was left to cook over a low heat for about 3 hours.

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The capsicums came out of the oven, were peeled and bagged in portions and popped in the freezer.

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I kept the organic apple peels from the fruit mince from earlier and made some fruit tea too.  This takes some time in the oven on a very low heat so we got to work on that while we waited for the bread to cook.

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Now the reason we wanted to cook today at all.  Chilli Jam.  This is a thai-style chilli jam, full of fish sauce and sprimp paste.  I love to have it in the fridge to give stir fries a lift, and Joh will just eat it by the spoonful whenever I’m not looking :)  We also made up a batch of Red Curry Paste so that we can make our own Massaman Beef Curries at home.  Thats the chilli jam on the left and the red onions and lemongrass dry frying in the right hand pan for the Red Curry.

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This is the finished chilli jam.  And the baked bread.  And the two types of fruit mince.

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The beef stock was cooled overnight and the thick layer of fat was removed.  The beef stock is now happily waiting in the freezer.  We froze the Red Curry Paste in ice cube trays so that we can just take out as many as we need to make a meal.  It’s 7pm and we’re both really tired and can’t be bothered cooking for ourselves after a huge day in the kitchen, then a big clean up.  We contemplated going out to eat but resisted the temptation and stayed in.

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The photo really doesn’t do this meal justice.  Organic scrambled eggs with coriander and organic tomatoes.  Organic sunflower sprouts, mushrooms and asparagus, and our own homemade bread.  Perfect, simple and easy.   We gobbled this down in five minutes, both very happy we didn’t leave the house to eat someone else’s food.

$50 the Organic way July 3, 2007

Posted by Sarah in food, organic, Uncategorized, vegetables.
2 comments

I’ve just received this weeks delivery from Lettuce Deliver Organics.

I went for the $50 box because the $35 box just wasn’t enough vegetables for two last time. We’ve used a different company and I must say I’m much happier. The service from these guys has been awesome. This box arrived today at 8:04am! They have their own drivers which is great because I don’t have to wait around the house all afternoon waiting for a courier like the other company we were using. The quality of this produce is stunning! The capsicum is probably the freshest I’ve seen in months. The salad bag looks tasty with little edible flowers through it. Nothing in the box is bruised, and it all came in a cardboard box! I can’t wait to cook with it all. And look! The potatoes even have mud still on them. Choice!
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$35 the organic way… June 22, 2007

Posted by Sarah in dining in, food, organic, Uncategorized, vegetables.
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I’ve just received this weeks box of organic fruit and veges from Abundant Organics
One of my tiny pears was bruised, otherwise so far so good. I like that they put a bottle of frozen water in next to the milk that ordered to keep it cool in the courier van.
Posts on what I cook with these goodies will be coming soon.
Brussel sprouts anyone?

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Venison Sausages for dinner June 21, 2007

Posted by Sarah in dining in, food, vegetables, venison.
1 comment so far

Wow. What a fantastic meal Joh and I just sat down to.

Joh has been sick today so I thought it an appropriate time to pull the Venison sausages out of the freezer and make a warming winter meal. We were anticipating the delivery of our organic veges today, but we got our days mixed up and have to wait till tomorrow afternoon for them. Just as well we had some ideas up our sleeves.

Pine nut and apricot studded venison sausages. Delicious. Joh made some delicious hassleback potatoes. As Joh said, it turns out that they were no hassle at all. I made a big pan of caramelised onions to accompany the sausages. A salad of raw sliced bok choy, slivers of sweet navel oranges and smashed kalamata olives was made just before serving. Juicy whole roasted radishes completed the plate.

The bottle of Bago vineyards 2005 Petit Verdot we had been keeping for a special occasion matched the meal beautifully.

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Monday night feast June 4, 2007

Posted by Sarah in beef, cosy, dining in, food, markets, vegetables, wagyu.
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Some pictures of tonights dinner:

Wagyu beef roast

Celeriac, potato and pear mash

Caramelised onions and pan juices, reduced to a sauce.

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