Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday baking with DISH

We humans can be strange creatures. 

In a time when cookbook sales are as strong as ever and television cooking shows are rating their socks off...we build apartments that lack a full functioning know, one with a full stove and sink...not to mention enough storage for crockery and cutlery

Food magazines are also as popular as ever.

I used to be a regular buyer of some of them... but then I started realising I wasn't actually cooking anything from them, just looking at the photographs. I was also having a bit of deja vu when looking through them, with similar recipes showing up across the different titles.

Then I accidentally found DISH.

It's a New Zealand magazine and it's fabulous. In fact, for me, it's probably the best of the lot.

I say I found it by accident because I was just going through a magazine rack one day, trying to find something to browse through while we were away on holidays...and the front cover caught my I flipped through it and found at least four things I would be more than happy to cook.
I bought that edition and the next ...and then started subscribing.

DISH  comes out every two months, so it's not something that's turning up in your letter box every couple of weeks before you've had a chance to get through all the things you want to make in the current edition

I can say I have cooked at least one thing from each of those magazines and they have all turned out well...including today's offering,

It's from the Friday Baking range on the DISH website, put together and photographed by Food Editor Claire Aldous.

(I didn't have any freeze-dried raspberries, so left them off)

Lemon Pistachio Cakes
You'll need: 12 friand or other small cake tins greased and bases lined with baking paper


70 grams pistachio nuts, finely ground
¾ cup instant polenta
⅓ cup self-raising flour
pinch salt
250 grams butter, soft but not melted
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest 2 lemons
4 large eggs
juice 1 lemon
11½ cups frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the pistachio nuts, polenta, flour and salt in a bowl. 

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until very light and pale. Whisk the eggs together in a jug then gradually beat into the butter mixture.

Add the dry ingredients and the lemon juice and gently beat to combine.

Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the tops. Dot over the frozen raspberries, but don’t press them into the mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the tops are firm and golden.
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the tins to loosen then remove the cakes and place on a cooling rack.

To serve: Combine 1 cup of icing sugar with 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice to make a runny icing, adding a little more icing sugar or lemon juice if needed. Drizzle the icing off the tip of a teaspoon over each cake.

Top with crumbled freeze-dried raspberries and pistachios if using, then a dusting of icing sugar. Makes 12.

They really are easy to make and even easier to eat!

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Sunshine Coast

The sun goes down in Queensland very early in Winter. Here in Melbourne it's still reasonably light around 6pm...but it's a different story up north. By 5pm you feel like it's time for bed.

The days are mild and sometimes pretty warm ...and the night's are cool and lovely. Perfect for sleeping. We slept with the windows wide open every night.

We drove through torrential rain. It was so heavy the windscreen wipers were working overtime but still didn't allow us to see the road ahead. When we finally rang the front door bell it had eased a little...and we were greeted with open arms and a very cold, long drink! I don't think I've ever been so happy to arrive somewhere.

My brother and sister in law moved to the Sunshine Coast some years ago

They bought a small yacht and sailed up the east coast from Western Port Bay...

They lived on their boat on Sydney Harbour for a while - near Birkenhead Point - until deciding the 2000 Olympics were going to make life there more difficult than they wanted it to be. So they sailed north. Settling first at Airlie Beach for a couple of years and then heading south to Buddina on the Sunshine Coast, where they've been ever since. Then last year, tragedy.

The view from the back of their yard is fabulous.

Sunset is glorious from their backyard

Their pool is lovely, but unfortunately it wasn't quite warm enough for a swim

My sister in law still works part time and has a great life on the Sunshine Coast.

She's decided against moving back to Melbourne to be closer to family. Why would she? She has a life and friends on the Sunshine Coast. Who could blamer her for staying there.

It's been a tough year for her - and our entire family - but  it was lovely being able to catch up and not be worried about shedding a tear while reminiscing....and MONT had a lovely time pottering around in my brother's shed. They had a lot in common - they both love tinkering, modifying and making things.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Designer luggage on a road trip? I don't think so...

No I haven't been stuck in Dubbo for the past few weeks...

I didn't get to see much of Dubbo actually. We arrived at the Endeavour Court Motor Inn just after 5pm....and it turned out to be a good choice.

We chose it because it was on the north side of the city and frankly, we didn't want to do a "U" turn and head back into town and start searching for another place to stay.

David was a great host..and had a chuckle  when I told him he needed to be careful with my "designer" luggage. It was a blue plastic IKEA bag. No, you don't need traditional luggage on a road trip. .

We walked to the Bowling Club for dinner - better known as SPORTIES. All I wanted was a tall glass of something cold and I almost skulled it

It was a buffet dinner - OK, but nothing to write home about. We slept very well that night though

It was still dark and raining steadily when we left Dubbo the following morning...the rain got so hard at times we could hardly see through the windscreen.

We made it to Coonabarabran and then headed to Narrabri and Moree, where we stopped for lunch. Then after a short break and a coffee...we headed for the border and Goondiwindi.

A few of our friends were a little surprised we chose to drive to Queensland instead of flying. Well...Mont had promised to do a few things around the house for my Sister in Law...and we also wanted to see how his new (to him) car would go as far as comfort and fuel efficiency would go.

...and it went great!!

Mont traded in his Toyota work truck for a Ford Ranger. It wasn't a brand new vehicle but didn't have a lot of mileage on the clock and was still "as new" inside.

The main difference for us? We were able to walk normally when we got out of the car without looking like we'd been crippled during the drive.

Our aim was always to get as far as we could without being silly about it. Little did we know we'd make it to our destination that night in torrential rain.

We headed for Toowoomba and arrived there just before 4pm. Then onto Esk, Kilcoy, Beerwah and our final destination, Buddina, in the heaviest downfall I've ever experienced.