Uforic Food Cafe Torquay

Archives: January 2011

Coming up – Baking for dummies

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I have some very exciting news – I baked!!

That’s right, the girl who can’t bake put herself in the hands of a wonderful cook – to learn some of the ropes of baking.

Matt’s mum, Sandra, truly is a whiz in the kitchen – and while she says she’s “just a home cook” – her food is delicious!! I have been very jealous since I met her that she can just whip up cakes and slices and puddings, and they all turn out so yummy.

So, I asked Sandra if she’d give me a lesson, as I was determined to bring something I actually baked to my work’s monthly morning tea.

She gave me heaps of tips on what to do with pastry and all sorts of things and while I did have quite a bit of help to make my Pecan Pie – I feel much more confident about actually baking something and not being so terrified that it’s all going to go wrong.

Now don’t get my wrong, the pie didn’t turn out perfectly. The pastry did crack a little and I forgot to melt the butter for the filling, so I had to whisk it to get the lumps out, which made it go a bit bubbly on top. However, it tasted awesome!!! It went down a treat at the morning tea and I was totally rapt!

So, tomorrow I’ll be posting that recipe – and then in coming days – I’m going to tell you about the first recipe I tried from my new book from the Nigella Kitchen TV series – which is screening now. It’s Chorizo and Chickpea Stew with cous cous – and it was sooo yummy. I’m planning on making quite a few things out of this book – so you can follow along on that journey, if you’d like to. I have found the TV series mouth-watering – so can’t wait to make the recipes and see what they are really like!

See you tomorrow with my delicious pecan pie recipe. Even if you can’t bake, you’ll get rave reviews!

Be inspired~

Lisa

Your last meal … the verdict

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Last week I asked everyone what your menu would be if you were about to have your last meal on this planet.

I have to say, the last meals readers of Uforic Food chose were varied, to say the least.

Just to give you some ideas – here are a few examples of the responses:

The humble Australian meat pie

John said he would have the old Aussie meat pie (a Balfours, square pie, to be exact) as his last meal – coupled with a Farmer’s Union iced coffee. It wouldn’t exactly be my choice, but I’m sure there are many people out there who would totally agree!

You can't beat a spicy curry

Shelley said she’d love a hot, spicy curry with rice, finished off with a massive bar of milk chocolate. YUM!!

Pea and ham soup ... made from the heart

My dear friend Tabitha said pea and ham soup would be her ideal meal and it would be cooked by her mum because “she makes it with love and I always go back for more”. Awww -there’s nothing like food made with love 🙂

Pizza!!!

Now Ive decided not to take offense to this, but my boyfriend, Matt, said his perfect last meal would be a large meatlovers pizza!! I’m guessing he means a home-made pizza – but I’m guessing most likely one from a pizza shop. Oh well, he loves it and it makes him happy – that’s the main thing!

I thought this was an interesting bunch of responses – they were pretty different then the ones outlines in my earlier post my three famous chef/cooks (read it here). I guess we all have different tastes when it comes to food 🙂

I would love it if you would share your perfect last meal in the comments section below.

Be Inspired~

Lisa

Roasted lemon and garlic drumsticks

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Following yesterday’s post about freezing meals, I thought I’d share with you this recipe, which was emailed to me by a reader of Uforic Food.

She said she freezes these roasted drumsticks regularly – and that they are great to whip out of the freezer and re-heat when guests come over unexpectedly. She said the key is that the drumsticks stay moist because of the buttery sauce you pour over them at the end.

Last night was the big cook-up for my dad, and as a dedicated subscriber to this very blog – I’m sure he’ll let us know what he thought of this dish, once he has a chance to try it 🙂 (love you dad!! XX) I had a nibble on one before I packed them into containers, and I have to say, they were very delicious 🙂 Thanks to Kristy for putting forward this recipe for everyone to try – I will certainly be making them again!

Roast Lemon and Garlic Drumsticks

  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 tbs of olive oil
  • the zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 3tbs of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (c). Place the drumsticks into a shallow baking dish, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil and add the lemon zest. Toss the drumsticks, using your clean hands, through the mixture.

Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.

Once the drumsticks are cooked through, remove them from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the juice of half a lemon, along with the garlic. Do not let the garlic burns. After a minute of gentle cooking, add the parsley and some salt and pepper, to taste, right at the end.

Turn off the heat, place drumsticks on a serving platter, or in freezer containers, and drizzle over the buttery sauce.

There you have it. These should freeze well for up to three months.

To reheat, preferably thaw out first, then reheat by tossing them around in a frying pan, over a medium heat. However, you can just pop them in the microwave.

These would be great served with my warm potato salad and some crusty bread.

If you have any other recipes that are good for freezing and would like to share them with everyone, just like Kristy did – email it to me – I’d love to pop it on Uforic Food … lisa.foreman_media@yahoo.com.au

Be Inspired~

Lisa

Freezing meals – is it the way to go?

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Frozen food may not look that appetising in this state - but it's healthier, cheaper and quicker than take-away! Post your feedback below.

I’m still not too sure about the whole idea of cooking food and then freezing it – even though I have been doing it for years now – mostly for my wonderful dad, but earlier back in my uni days.

So, I wanted to call on you all to give me some tips, tricks and recipes that work well for you, which you can post in the “comments” section below.

As a food enthusiast, I always think it’s better to cook and eat everything fresh – but of course, that’s not always possible. People do lead very demanding lives these days with long hours at work, kids (not that I’d know anything about that, but I can imagine it would be hard), commuting, new exercise regimes (I know something about that – really need to get on the treadmill again!!). The list goes on.

One thing that does dismay me is that in order for people to fit everything in – they get take-away rather than cooking. I’m not talking on the odd occasion – I mean once a week is fine – but almost every night!! This just boggles my mind!

Take-away is soooo expensive!! Quite often (depending on your choices) it’s not all that healthy – in fact it can be fat laden and horrible! I also think it’s a bit of a falesy that take-away saves time. I mean unless you get it home-delivered, by the time you ring up, wait a bit, drive down to pick it up – probably wait a bit longer, and then drive home – you could have cooked a delicious, healthy meal at home. Just on this blog alone I can name five recipes I could have whipped up in the time it takes to pick up your take-away (garlic and chilli prawns, marinated lamb, whipped up quickly on the barbecue, Pollo alla Cacciatora, baked fish with tomato and lemon and of course – Matt’s Meatlovers Pasta).

I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I know all these dishes would taste better than KFC or pizza (don’t tell Matt I said that! LOL. It is his favourite food)

The reason for my critique on frozen food is that I am really enjoying doing weekly cook-ups for my dad – so that he’s always got food to eat when he gets home from a hard night working at Anglesea Fruitz. However, I’m afraid he’s getting sick of eating the same old things – as in stuff I know freezes well – like casseroles of all kinds, spaghetti bolognese etc. I even freeze risotto – although I know this doesn’t re-heat that well.

I was also hoping that your tips, tricks and recipe ideas might inspire others to cook and freeze, rather than opt for expensive take-away. I mean just imagine how much money you could save if you dedicated a day a week, or even a fortnight, to make a few nice casseroles, soups etc to stockpile in your freezer for busy nights when you just can’t be bothered.

I can imagine that if I’m lucky enough to have some little kiddlywinks running around one day, that taking care of them is going to take up almost all of my time. But I think we owe it to ourselves and to the health of our families to take some time out and cook food – even if it means we stick it in the freezer for later use. I mean simple pasta sauce like my marinara recipe is so versatile that you can make it, freeze it, and then use it to whip up quick pasta dishes where all you have to do is thaw it out, cook some pasta and then add some mince, bacon, or other flavourings like capers, olives, capsicum etc. In no time at all – you have a meal on the table and little washing up.

Tonight mum is coming over and we are taking over Matt’s mum’s kitchen to whip up some yummy stuff for dad to have for dinners for the next weeks or so – which will be served up into meal-sized containers and labelled accordingly. I am planning on making chicken and lemon drumsticks, bolognese sauce, chilli con carne and a lovely chicken risoni dish. Except for the bolognese sauce – they are all new dishes I found on the web. So, I’ll let you know how they go.

In the meantime, I’d really love to hear your stories around freezing meals. What recipes have worked well for you? Are there some important tips people should follow if they are going to head down this path.

Here are five things I always consider when I’m freezing meals:

  • How will the recipe go being reheated? I always avoid freezing meals that contain cream, as I’ve found it doesn’t work well
  • Always use good, air-tight containers that are labelled – so you know what’s in them.
  • Try not to keep frozen meals in the freezer too long – 3 months, tops.
  • I always figure out the meals I would like to make, and then do a comprehensive shopping list – including adding plastic containers to the list. There’s nothing worse then cooking a whole stack of food and then having no containers to put it in.
  • After putting the food in the containers, ensure it has cooler to room temprature before putting the lid on and putting it in the freezer.

Leave your tip in the comments sections below.

Cheers,

Lisa