Best Ever Anzac Biscuits

Or at least that’s what my bowl tells me…

Anzac Biscuits

And actually I’ve modified this recipe to make them even better.

I couldn’t quite bring myself to add so!much!sugar, so I normally reduce the cup of sugar to 3/4 of a cup (every little bit helps). And unless you like them extra crispy, cooking for 20 minutes in my oven is far far too long. At 160 degrees in a non-fan-forced oven, my biscuits take about 15 minutes (it’s about 12 minutes in a fan-forced oven). If you have two trays, set the time for 10 minutes, and then swap them over for the final five. You’ll notice that there are no directions for the size of the biscuit dough balls (gasp!). A generous dessert spoon of dough makes an approximately 1 inch ball,  which in turn makes a biscuit that is generous but not excessive (remember – you can always eat more than one!)

Anzac Biscuits Anzac Biscuits Anzac BIscuits

To be fair I am not such an Anzac Biscuit connoisseur to be able to define these as Best Ever. However I often have all the ingredients on hand, which means whipping up a batch for unexpected visitors is very quick and easy, and they never last long.

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Pasta Porn

Fresh Egg Pasta Fresh Egg Pasta Fresh Egg Pasta

So we brought out the pasta making machine today, after a long break, and within 30 minutes we had sheets and sheets of fettuccine drying on the kitchen bench. Again, I cannot stress enough that fresh pasta is significantly better tasting than dried pasta, and it is *very* straight forward to make, particularly if you have a pasta machine! (To be fair, I wouldn’t bother without one!). It also stores well – either dried in the pantry or frozen in the freezer (funny that). In both cases, you just pop it in boiling water when you want to eat it. It only takes a few minutes to cook through.

Fresh Egg Pasta

I’ve blogged the main recipe I use for pasta before. Today we swapped out the optional oil with about 2 tbsp of finely chopped basil. (We had also to add a tbsp or two of water to get the dough to come together).

Fresh Egg Pasta (Dough)

Recipe: Ginger Rice Pudding

Ginger Rice Pudding

So a few weeks ago we accidentally bought 2L milk, when we had an unopened 2L milk in the fridge.  (The main use  for milk in our house is the BF’s cereal so it’s quite easy for us to use less then 2L in any given week. 4L of milk is a LOT of milk for us!).  So I went trawling for dessert recipes which used a substantial amount of mil (2L ideally), for which I had all the other ingredients already. Fairly quickly I came across this recipe for Milk Rice Pudding:  milk (check), aborio rice (check), vanilla, sugar and cinnamon (check, check and check), rind of a lemon… (um… no).  However, we had bought a really lovely piece of fresh young ginger yesterday – the sort you don’t see too often, with really thin translucent skin that comes off really really easily.  So I decided to swap out the lemon rind and cinnamon for ginger. The result pudding is super easy to make, creamy (despite only having 2% fat milk in it), and has a ginger bite that reminds me of nothing more than Arnott’s Ginger Snap Biscuits. It’s very moreish.

Ginger
Ingredients
1.8 L 2% fat (Hilo) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp grated ginger
3/4 cup of sugar
250 g arborio rice

Place milk, vanilla, ginger and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat, stirring fairly frequently.  Stir in rice, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40-50 minutes or until rice is cooked and thickened slightly. The mixture will still be quite wet at this stage. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature (it thickens up considerably during this time). I reckon you could eat it warm, after it has cooled for 30 minutes or so. However, we followed the original recipe to the end and refrigerate for 3+ hours or until chilled. We ate ours plain,  but I think stewed apples or pears would go particularly well.

Dal Palak (Lentils with Spinach)

Chana DalThis Palak Dal (Spinach and Lentils) was fortuitous in that it used chana dal from my pantry, as well as some spinach and tomatoes that were lingering in the fridge! It was very quick to cook, and very warming and comforting to eat.  It felt healthy 🙂

This was also my first time of roasting dal before using (lets face it,  i’ve used chana dal once before!), and it really enhance the flavour of the dal. The recipe is fairly self explanatory, although I did find the lentils dried up very quickly into the 1 hour cooking time – much quicker than I expected!  I will be ready with more water next time I cook. I also held off adding the spinach until right at the end, to preserve its bright green colour.

Dal Palak with Spinach

Zucchini and Eggplant Bake

Roasted VegetablesWith some nice eggplant and zucchini in my last vege box,  I was looking for a non-meat dinner option to make one night.  This Layered Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Casserole looked interesting and also would enable me to use panko breadcrumbs from the pantry. I made some changes, mostly based on  what I  had to hand,  and used two medium normal eggplants and two medium sized zucchinis. I swapped two tins of tomatoes for the fresh ones, includes some garlic in when I fried the onion, and used more basil than recommended (probably a good cup worth). Zucchini and Eggplant Bake

The end result wasn’t too bad but could do with some modification – firstly I found the long slices of veges unwieldy when it came ti eating it.  I’d probably cut the veges horizontally rather than length wise ( if that makes sense!).  I think the tomato sauce could have done with more flavoring – perhaps adding a jar of pasta sauce in stead of one of the tins of tomatoes would help here.

Zucchini and Eggplant BakeFinally pre-roasting the veges took a loooooong time (particularly if you are trying to save dishes by only using one tray!) I’m not sure the roasting added *that* much flavour to the dish, so I’d also be tempted to just put it together with raw veges, possibly up the tomato content (2 tins of tomatoes and 1 jar of pasta sauce perhaps?),  and just cook the whole thing in one go.

Red Quinoa Salad

Red Quinoa Salad

So getting rid of the quinoa was very easy. I cooked it one evening, let it sit overnight, and then mixed it with cherry tomatoes, green capsicum, cucumber, parsley and garlic chives from the garden, and a few squeezes from lemon juice.  It provided lunch for two days and it kept me surprisingly full. Quinoa is high in protein and has a complete set of amino acids, which is why I think I bought it in the first place.  Now I have an easy way to use it, I should probably get some more…