Uforic Food Cafe Torquay

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A change to proceedings

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You know how sometimes life just gets in the way of a good thing?

Things get busy, things evolve – it’s just the way it is sometimes.
While Ruza, Laura and I have loved working together on Uforic Food – we have decided to take a break until the new year.
What does that mean for the blog? Well, you’ll still be getting plenty of food inspiration. I have some awesome recipes in the archives – which I look forward to sharing with you each week – and I will continue to pop in and post about my weight loss journey when I have something to say.
If I’m honest, life has left me slightly overwhelmed and with my wedding less than three months away, I feel like I need to focus on enjoying the process of preparing. I am also spending a lot of time in the pool at the moment, and my day job is kinda hectic right now. Ruza will stand beside me as a bridesmaid – and I want to enjoy our friendship – rather than focus on blogging.
I’ve loved having Ruza and Laura on board on Uforic Food – and I know you have too. We love each other as friends very much – and that won’t change.
So what will happen in the new year? Well, the three of us will have to sit down and chat with clear minds and fresh thoughts. 2013 promises to bring new things, new projects, and new ideas for all of us.
I would like to thank Laura and Ruza for their contributions to date. They are amazing writers with fabulous stories to share and I think I can take the liberty of saying their flavours have been very much appreciated on Uforic Food.
Until then, thank you for welcoming our trio – for reading, commenting and following. I hope you will keep enjoying the recipes that will feature in weeks to come – starting tomorrow with an apple dessert, without the guilt, which I’m sure you will enjoy.
XO
Lisa Mary

Not sure what to do with stale vegetables? Give them to the dog!

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Lots of people think dogs eat only meat – but that’s definitely not true.
My gorgeous dog Angel loves everything from sweet corn and potato to strawberries and watermelon. The only thing he really hates – no matter how much you try and hide them – is beans. I figure he is a dog – and if he doesn’t want to eat his beans, then that’s ok.

Lots of cheaper dog food is full of disgusting jelly filler stuff and lots of salt – which is not good for our furbabies.
So, why not use your leftover vegies to make them some homemade meals? Yes, it’s important to feed your dog a good quality canned or dry food – but a cook up of vegies, lean meat, some pasta or rice will be a welcome treat. You can also add in a clove of garlic – which helps keep the fleas away – and a handful of parley – it’s good for their doggy breath!

This is something my mum has been doing ever since Angel was a puppy – and after he was sick last week – I thought he deserved some home-made food, prepared with plenty of love!

Now my mum often chops everything by hand and stews it in a large stock pot for a while – which works just great. But, I was pretty short on time. So, I put the slicer on my food processor – pushed the vegies though, including carrot, potato, celery and silverbeet. I put it in the pressure cooker, added enough water to cover everything, along with garlic, parsley, 500gm of lean beef mince and a few teaspoons of stock powder to flavour the whole thing, along with a handful or two of pasta. I cooked it for 10 minutes once the cooker was pressurised and it was done! I store the big cook up in largish plastic containers, label and freeze it.

I know this idea of cooking for your dog sounds like only something crazy dog people who give their pooches heated beds and diamente collars would do – but it really is about ensuring the good health of your pet and also using up vegetables that would otherwise be thrown in the bin. It’s also very cheap to make, much cheaper than buying dog food, and as you can see by the above photo – your gorgeous doggy will love it!

Do you ever cook for your animals? What sorts of things do you put in it? My mum adds eggs to make their coat shinier. Would love your tips in the comments sections below 🙂

Silverside the way grandma used to make it – cooking under pressure

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Pressure cooking seems to be something people remember their grandmothers doing. While they remember the beautiful soups and casseroles made inside, they also too often have vivid memories of meals boiling so furiously that the lid exploded, hot liquid splattering everything, including the kitchen ceiling!
Sounds terrifying to me!
But after watching pressure cookers be used on high-pressure TV cooking contests like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules – I thought it might be the perfect tool for a busy foodie, like myself.
Imagine having the time to cook lamb shanks or osso bucco on a weeknight after work! I don’t know about you, but a bit of comfort food mid-week is awesome!

So once I got my pressure cooker home – I have to admit, after all the stories I had heard – I was pretty scared of it. How do you know when it’s under pressure – what if I get it wrong and my casserole ends up splattered across the kitchen? My adrenalin was pumping – and I have to admit – the first few times I didn’t quite get how to tell if the cooker was under pressure. I buggered it up because I was scared it was going to explode.

But, after a little bit more research (because it turns out the instructions for my brand of pressure cooker were pretty inept) I figured out that one needs to wait for the little blue knob to rise and show a white ring before the pressure cooker is doing its thing.

My first highly successful meal was this corned silverside.

I’ve never really cooked silverside the normal way before – but when my mum makes it – it seems to take hours and hours. Well, In the pressure cooker, all I did was put the silverside in the pot, add enough water to cover the meat along with 10 black peppercorns, two bay leaves, a few tablespoons of white vinegar and some salt. Whacking the lid on and popping it onto a large flame – I watched it like a hawk until the white ring appeared. That was my cue to turn the flame to low and start the timer. Just 40 minutes later – the pressure was ready to be released and the lid opened.

Now, as I said, I’m not a great connoisseur of silverside – but my mum and fiancée are and they reckon it was one of the best ones they’d had in a while. I was stoked and absolutely in love with my pressure cooker!

Have you ever used a pressure cooker before? Or perhaps you’ve heard some horror stories and are now too scared to give it a go.
I’d love to hear your stories in the comments section below.
I’m really looking forward to sharing more great pressure cooker recipes with you. I love any device which takes a little time and stress out of making a great meal. Pressure cookers, in my book, are definitely a winner!
Share your comments below – what kind of pressure cooker recipes would you like to see?

Moving forward to a bright future

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We’ve moved house!

Unlike some people – I enjoy change. For me, it’s like a holiday (as the old saying goes). But moving house has brought both pleasure and pain. Most of the pain came about because I have been very ill with a terrible bug that has been going around – Matt has had it too – so we have been a great pair!

This move has been pretty revolutionary for us. See, Matt and I have never lived in the same house alone together.
When we first met, Matt was living at home – and my dad was living with me.

A little while down the track when I had to sell my house, Matt’s parents were kind enough to offer me a place to live. Matt and I put a deposit on the block of land – and waited and waited for it to be ready.

So, for 10 months, home was with Matt and his mum and dad. Matt’s mum was even kind enough to share her kitchen with me, whenever I wanted. Talk about spoilt!

There was also lots of wonderful home-cooked meals. I used to do most of the cooking growing up – so I haven’t experienced coming home to regular meals cooked by someone else for a very long time. It was nice – and food tastes so much better when someone else cooks it!

In that time, Matt and I got engaged …

It’s been the happiest time of my life.

But in July, we found out that the land we have a deposit on is even further away from being ready. We already felt like we were in limbo and so we made the decision to pack up and go and rent!

So, there was lots of packing and unpacking – most of which was done by Matt because of my dreaded flu.

In between moving boxes – I made us a yummy lunch.

There were other new toys too – like a brand new, extremely comfy couch.

We also unpacked all our awesome engagement presents – which we had stored away. It felt a bit life Christmas! These particular measuring cups are a favourite – I reckon anything that helps you cook with love has to be a good thing!

Living together, despite our ills, has been lovely. No major domestics – ok, that’s a bit of a lie. I did have an incident with pizza, baking paper and some stone all getting stuck together. Being sick my temper was not flash and so I had a little hissy fit. But, other than that, it’s been wonderful being with my man.

Matt is also being introduced to all the things you get to do when you live out of home – and I’m remembering all those things – like being able to walk around the house naked, if you want to. No stressing about remembering to put something on when travelling between the bathroom and shower and no need to feel bad about being messy around the house.

Our first breakfast together was delish – and we have had a few more since – including a great omelette 🙂

Even our kitty cat Gus has made himself fairly comfortable too.

It’s also been awesome having my beautiful doggy Angel home. My mum has been baby-sitting him. Thanks mum!! I missed him terribly. He’s turning 10 next year – and for a big dog – who knows how long he’ll have left.

Other fun things about moving have included getting settled into a new kitchen – well – not all that new. But, it’s functional and it mostly works. The stove does need some help to light – but I can handle that.

And we got a great house-warming present from Matt’s mum – my first-ever teapot! I can’t tell you how much better tea is out of a proper, if not very sleek, teapot. Yum!! I am a coffee lover, but have been drinking a cup of English breakfast before bed each night. What a nice way to relax!

I also love my nick knacks and so have had a great time remembering all the pretty things I had in storage and decorating the whole house with them. It’s great to have all my cook books on display too!

It’s also been great to listen to music while we’ve been cooking – and we’ve been enjoying heaps of “doof doof” – as Matt liked to call it. One group we love is called Showtek – check out their stuff. As you can see – I’m very eclectic!

The house isn’t the Ritz, the kitchen isn’t state of the art – but we’re loving our new home.
One thing is for sure – Matt and I are very spoilt. We have great families, amazing support and a great life.

So, that’s what we’ve been up to. There’s also been plenty of yummy dishes, which I’ll be sharing soon – including amazing pork belly. So stayed tuned!