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Recipe: Lemon Slice

Our lemon tree produced a bumper crop this year, so I decided to try out this recipe for Lemon Slice. It’s very like a Key Lime Pie in that the ingredients are similar, but the taste and texture is quite different.

Lemon Slice

Recipe:

Base

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

125 grams melted butter (1/2 cup)

1. Combine the dry ingredients with the melted butter and mix well

2. Press mixture into a tin lined with baking paper. The recipe suggests a 27cm x 18cm x 3 cm. I just grabbed a tin out of the cupboard. Smile

3. Bake the crust in a preheated oven for 10 minutes (180C – 160C if fan forced – 350F)

Topping

400g can condensed milk

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tablespoons plain flour

1. Place the condensed milk in a bowl and beat in the eggs. About one minute.

2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and flour and beat until combined.

3. Pour over the base.

4. Return to the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until topping is set.

5. Cool and dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar/confectioner’s sugar) before serving.

Shelley’s notes

1. I cooked my slice for exactly 20 minutes. Next time I make this recipe I’ll check it at 15 minutes. I think my slice was slightly overcooked, but it still tasted good.

Lemon Slice

Are you a fan of lemons? What is your favorite lemon recipe?

Key Lime Pie on a Stick

One of the great things about travel is getting to try new and unfamiliar foods. Before we arrived in Florida people told us that we must have some Key Lime Pie. Everyone had a lot to say about where to get the best pie, and we knew proper Key Lime Pie wasn’t bright green. It should be a creamy color and not full of green food coloring as some of the pies are, especially for tourists.

While we were wandering down a road in Key West I saw a sign for Key Lime Pie on a Stick.

“Let’s buy one,” I said to my husband.

Key Lime Pie on Stick

And yes, I know you won’t have any idea what it looked like since we only thought of a photo when we were almost finished eating the Key Lime Pie on a Stick. I can tell you that it was delicious. Key Lime Pie on a Stick is, as the name suggests, a piece of Key Lime Pie dipped in a thick layer of chocolate. The pie itself is tart and very limey, sort of catch your breath tart but definitely delicious.

The secret is the special Key Limes, which are smaller than the limes you’re probably familiar with.

Once we arrived home I decided to try my hand at a Key Lime Pie, using the limes off our own tree. After searching for recipes I decided on Jamie Oliver’s recipe.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

To make the crust:

• 12 digestive biscuits
• 45g caster sugar (1 oz)
• 135g melted butter (1/2 cup)

Crush the biscuits, add the sugar and the butter. Press mixture into a greased pie tin. Spread up the sides of the tin too. Bake for 10 minutes at 175 C/ 350 F or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven to cool.

To make the filling:

• 4 egg yolks
• 400ml condensed milk – this is one tin in New Zealand
• 6 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
• Lime zest (optional), to serve

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add the condensed milk. Mix in the lime juice and pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes and cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Decorate with grated lime zest and whipped cream if desired.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I added lime zest and some of the flesh of the lime to my pie filling to make it sharper.

2. When you’re cooking the base, make sure you don’t use a spring form tin because butter will leak out the bottom. I speak with the voice of experience. My oven was a mess!

3. This pie was delicious, although not as sharp to the palate as the original Key Lime Pie.

Key Lime Pie Slice

Have you tried Key Lime Pie before? Do you like to try new and unfamiliar foods?

Vegetarian Recipe: Carrot and Mushroom Loaf

Last week I mentioned a surplus of carrots in our vegetable plot. Some of them had turned woody, although they were fine when grated. Right, I thought. It’s time to make a carrot and mushroom loaf. As it happened we had visitors for dinner. They were all carnivores, but they enjoyed a slice of loaf on the side. This recipe comes from Alison Holst’s Meals Without Meat book, which is a good basic reference for beginners.

Carrot and Mushroom Loaf

My loaf differs in that I added extra mushrooms. I love mushrooms in everything!

Carrot and Mushroom Loaf

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

1 – 2 cloves garlic

2 Tablespoons oil

a good handful of mushrooms (200 grams) I used about 12 button mushrooms

1 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

3 cups grated carrot

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used fresh since that’s all I had on hand)

1/2 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

Topping:

2 Tablespoons dry breadcrumbs (used fresh again)

2 Tablespoons grated cheese

paprika

Method:

  1. Chop the onion and garlic finely and cook in the oil until soft.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until softened.
  3. Place these in a bowl and add the basil, thyme, salt, pepper, grated carrot, breadcrumbs, grated cheese.
  4. Beat the eggs and milk together and add to bowl. Mix well.
  5. Place in a well greased tin and smooth out. I usually line my tin with baking paper.
  6. Sprinkle the topping ingredients – breadcrumbs, cheese and paprika – on top of loaf.
  7. Cover tin with foil and bake at 180C (350F) for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes.

Notes:

  1. I used fresh bread crumbs rather than dried ones and it didn’t seem to matter.
  2. My oven cooks quickly so I didn’t cook my loaf as long as the recipe said. The cooked loaf should be firm in the center when pressed with your fingers.
  3. I served my loaf with green vegetables and a baked potato.
  4. This loaf also tastes good cold and served with salad.
  5. This is an excellent recipe for disguising vegetables when trying to please fussy eaters! Winking smile
Comfort Food Recipe — Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This week the weather has been cool here in New Zealand, and when I checked out the contents of our fridge, I decided to turn to comfort food – vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” ~ Oscar Wilde

This recipe comes from Alison Holst’s Meals Without Meat and I’ve given it my own twist.

Recipe:

Filling

2 large onions

2 Tablespoons of butter or oil

1 red or green capsicum

8 button mushrooms. (I used some brown mushrooms too)

3 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

2 Tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon soya sauce

1 1/2 water

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 can of kidney beans 440 grams

Topping

6 potatoes medium size

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup grated cheese

milk

1. Peel the potatoes and boil in salted water. Once cooked drain, add butter, a dash of milk and mash. Add half of the grated cheese.

2. Dice the onions and slice the mushrooms and fry in the oil/butter until golden brown. Add the sliced capsicum then add the flour. Stir until the flour has browned slightly. Add the stock, basil, oregano, paprika, parsley and soya sauce. Add the water and tomato paste and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Add the kidney beans. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste. Place in a baking dish.

3. Spread the mashed potato over the top and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

4. Cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes at 180 C/350 F. The top should be golden brown.

5. Serve with green vegetables such as brussel sprouts, beans, peas or broccoli and a nice glass of wine Winking smile

What comfort foods do you turn to when the weather turns cool?

Bread:The Staff of Life

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” ~ James Beard (1903-1985)

About a month ago I watched a River Cottage cooking episode featuring Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The entire show was about making bread. Mr Munro is a champion bread maker, and while we have homemade bread on occasion, we purchase bread on a weekly basis. After watching the show, I started to wonder. The price of bread in New Zealand has jumped during the last two years. It’s not cheap. What would happen if we made our own bread and didn’t buy any?

I thought about it for a few more days before mentioning the show and my idea to my husband.

“Okay,” he said. “We could try it and see how we go.”

Since there is only two of us, we’ve made bread about twice a week. It’s been a fun project and we both enjoy making bread by hand. The kneading stage is very therapeutic, especially after a crappy day at work.

We make the same basic recipe every time and vary the flavor additions. (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, onion, sundried tomatoes, olives etc) The only limit is our imagination. Sometimes we make focaccia bread while this weekend we made one loaf and half a dozen pull apart rolls. We’re finding the bread is staying fresh. It makes good toast, and it tastes good. Best of all we don’t have all the additives and extras commercially made bread contains.

Pull Apart Rolls & Loaf of Bread

Here’s Hugh’s basic recipe, which is quite similar to ours.

For one loaf or focaccia or to make half a dozen rolls:

1 Tablespoon yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/3 cups warm water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Mix these ingredients together and let sit until the yeast starts to froth. This won’t take long if you purchase special bread making yeast from the supermarket.

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

sprinkle of salt

Add the wet yeast mix to the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until a dough is formed. At this stage we knead the dough then cover with a plastic shower cap and leave to rise in the bowl. When the dough has doubled in size, we remove it from the bowl, knock it back, and place in a greased tin. Leave to rise again before cooking.

The cooking time depends on what we’re making, but we cook a loaf for about 20 – 25 minutes at 200C.

Note – Hubby always uses baking powder, but Hugh’s recipe doesn’t contain it. I’m going to try Hugh’s recipe next time.

Do you like fresh bread? Have you tried making bread before? What is your favorite type of bread?

ANZAC Biscuits: A Taste of Kiwi

New Zealanders and Australians celebrated ANZAC day today – the day where we remember our fallen soldiers, and in particular, the soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli during World War One.

At this time of the year I like to bake a batch of ANZAC biscuits. It’s said that mothers and wives baked these biscuits and sent them overseas to soldiers during the war.

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats (oatmeal)

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup coconut

1/4 1b /4 oz/1 stick butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup

2 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon baking soda

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and golden syrup together and add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well. Roll into small balls, flatten with hand and place on a tray. Bake until golden in a medium oven. About 10 – 15 minutes at 180C / 350 F

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I added a new dried cranberries and some sunflower seeds to my biscuits for a modern twist.

2. The biscuits will be quite soft when they come out of the oven. Let them cool a little on the tray before removing them.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Bun

Every Easter my mother used to make hot cross buns. I remember them being delicious and much better than the purchased ones. This year I decided to try making my own. They turned out quite well although it was a very labor intensive business.

Here’s the recipe I used, which comes from one of New Zealand’s famous cooks, Alison Holst. The recipe is divided into four parts.

Part One

1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) milk

1/2 cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) hot water

2 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon dried yeast granules

2 cups (250 g/9 oz) flour

Measure the milk, hot water, and sugar into a bowl. Warm to blood temperature if necessary, then sprinkle the yeast granules on top. Mix together. Stir in the flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place.

Part Two

100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter

1/2 cup (100 g/ 3 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup mixed dried fruit – sultanas, currents, peel, dried cranberries

2 – 3 cups (250 – 375 g/9 – 13 oz) flour

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the mixed spice, nutmeg, vanilla and egg. Once mixed add the dried fruit. When the yeast mixture has doubled in size add it to the creamed butter mix. Add the two – three cups of flour. (You might not need all of this flour. My mixture needed all of the flour). Mix well and tip out onto a floured board. Knead the dough. At first it will be sticky and difficult to work with. Add a little flour if necessary and knead until silky and it springs back if pushed with a finger.

Cut into four then cut each quarter into six. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a greased tray or piece of baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to let the buns rise to twice their original size. This will take from 15 – 45 minutes.

Part Three

60 g (2 oz) cold butter

1 cup (125 g/4 1/2 oz) flour

water

milk or beaten egg

Rub the butter into the flour and add enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll out thinly on a floured board, and cut into strips to make crosses for the tops of the buns. Brush the buns with milk or beaten egg then lie the crosses over the buns.

Bake the buns uncovered at 225 C (435 F) for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Part Four

Warm 2 Tablespoon golden syrup and 1 Tablespoon water and brush over the top of the buns as soon as they are taken from the oven. Leave for 3 – 5 minutes and enjoy!

Do you enjoy hot cross buns? Have you tried making them?


Weekend CookingWeekend Cooking is hosted by Beth F Fish and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Recipe: Chunky Oat Biscuits

Weekend Cooking Meme

Weekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love and is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. On Saturday mornings, publish your post — perhaps a cookbook review or maybe just some favorite food-related quotes.

Make sure to leave a link, so we can read what you have to say. I hope you’ll join in when your weekend (or recent) reading or movie watching fits in with the theme. Remember, the definition of Weekend Cooking is free and easy, if you think your post even remotely fits the theme, grab the button and sign in to Mr. Linky.


Chunky Oat Cookies

This is another new recipe that I’ve tried recently from the 30-Minute Vegetarian by Joanna Farrow. My husband likes this biscuit/cookie because it’s not too sweet. I’m quite fond of them too.

CHUNKY OAT COOKIES

125g/4 oz butter, softened

125g/4 oz caster sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g/4 oz porridge oats

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

150g/5 oz plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

175g/6 oz white chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, oats, sunflower seeds, chocolate then add the flour and baking powder. Mix together.

Place dessertspoonfuls of mixture on a greased baking tray and flatten slightly. Bake in a pre-heated oven 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes until risen and golden. Leave to cool on the tray for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Shelley’s notes:

1. I also added dried cranberries to mine. You could add raisins or other dried fruit if preferred.

2. If you prefer milk or dark chocolate use that instead of the white chocolate.

3. This biscuit really did take 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Recipe: Beetroot Risotto

Weekend Cooking Meme

Weekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love and is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. On Saturday mornings, publish your post — perhaps a cookbook review or maybe just some favorite food-related quotes.

Make sure to leave a link, so we can read what you have to say. I hope you’ll join in when your weekend (or recent) reading or movie watching fits in with the theme. Remember, the definition of Weekend Cooking is free and easy, if you think your post even remotely fits the theme, grab the button and sign in to Mr. Linky.


 

Beetroot Risotto with Horseradish

 

This year I’m making a point of trying out new recipes to increase my repertoire. When my husband told me the beetroot in the garden was ready, and I came across this recipe, it seemed like fate.

Beetroot Risotto with Horseradish and Greens.

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion. chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

400g/13 oz risotto rice

1.3 litres/2 1/4 pints hot Vegetable Stock

425g/14 oz cooked beetroot, finely diced

4 tablespoons roughly chopped dill

1 – 2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish or 1 tablespoon hot horseradish from a jar

50g/2 oz salted macadamia nuts or almonds

salt and pepper

mixed salad leaves, to serve

Method:

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Add 2 ladlefuls of the hot stock and cook, stirring frequently, until almost absorbed. Continue in this way until all the stock is used and the rice is creamy but still retains a little bite. This will take about 20 minutes.

Stir in the beetroot, dill, horseradish and nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and heat through gently for 1 minute. Spoon the risotto on to plates and serve with mixed salad leaves.

Shelley’s Notes

1. I used basmati rice instead of risotto rice. I always use basmati rice because it doesn’t go soggy, and I like it better.

2. I never bother with the slow addition of the stock. I just dump it in all at once. It’s quicker and it works for me!

3. I didn’t have any salted nuts on hand. Instead I used some raw almond slivers and toasted them for about thirty seconds in a dry fry pan. If you do this, don’t take your eyes off them. The little blighters burn quickly.

This recipe turned out really well and took 30 minutes from start to finish. I’d never have thought of combining beetroot and rice, but it was delicious. Hubby liked it as well, so we’ll be having it again.

How often do you try new recipes?

Recipe: Orange and Cranberry Biscuits

First things first, before I get to my post today – I’m visiting Get Lost in a Story and talking about my recent release, Cat Burglar in Training. I’m also doing a giveaway. I hope to see you there!

Weekend Cooking MemeWeekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love and is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. On Saturday mornings, publish your post — perhaps a cookbook review or maybe just some favorite food-related quotes.

Make sure to leave a link, so we can read what you have to say. I hope you’ll join in when your weekend (or recent) reading or movie watching fits in with the theme. Remember, the definition of Weekend Cooking is free and easy, if you think your post even remotely fits the theme, grab the button and sign in to Mr. Linky.


Author Maria Zannini shared this recipe with me a few weeks ago. The cranberry and orange combination works really well. Luckily this recipe makes a large batch of biscuits because they taste delicious!

 

Cranberry Biscuits with Orange Frosting

Cranberry Biscuits with Orange Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar/white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter softened/8 ounces
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 Tablespoon orange juice
1 egg

Mix all the above together using either spoon or electric mixer. Then stir in:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Then stir in:
2 cups chopped cranberries

Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease cookie sheets. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on the cookie sheets. Keep about 2" between them.

Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool them on wire racks for at least 30 minutes.

When they are cool, frost them with a mixture of:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar/icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
enough orange juice to make a soft spreadable frosting.

Sharing recipes is a lot of fun, and this one is going into my keeper file. Do you have a favorite recipe that you received from a friend?