Russian Caramels are quite easy to make, provided you don’t get distracted! The mixture does need to be stirred constantly. Even stepping away from the saucepan for a few seconds will lead to it burning on the bottom.
2 Tbl golden syrup
1 cup white sugar
395g can condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
Prepare a square or rectangular cake tin with baking paper. Spray or smear saucepan with cooking oil, and add butter, golden syrup, sugar and condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat as it comes to the boil, using a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to low and keep the mixture bubbling away whilst stirring constantly for about 10 minutes or until it starts to thicken and come away from the bottom. Remove from heat, and add vanilla. Pour into prepared tin and leave at room temperature to cool. Cut into squares and refrigerate.
Rum Balls are so easy to make! They are a lovely addition to a home made gift basket or to take as a hostess gift.
1 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 cup plain flour or almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa
125 g melted butter
2 Tbl rum
2 ts vanilla
Coconut to coat
Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls and coat in coconut.
This White Christmas Crackles recipe adds a splash of holiday season colour with the addition of pistachios and dried cranberries.
2 x 180g blocks white chocolate, broken up
80g dried cranberries, chopped
100g rice puffs
Line a tin with baking paper. Set chocolate over boiling water until melted. Set aside for 5 minutes and stir until smooth. Add cranberries, pistachios and rice puffs. Stir until well combine. Spoon into prepared tin, and refrigerate. Once set, cut into squares.
To make vanilla, simply pour vodka over a vanilla bean. That’s it. What could be easier? Use an interesting bottle or jar if you are giving it as a gift. Make it a month or so ahead of when you need it. Home made vanilla darkens as the weeks pass, and gets better with age.
Zucchini & Smoked Salmon fritters make a quick and delicious meal served with a salad or some vegies on the side.
2 large zucchinis, grated
3 shallots, finely chopped
150 g smoked salmon slices, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbs plain flour
salt and pepper
Squeeze out excess moisture from grated zucchini. Combine with salmon, egg, and flour, season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a pan and cooked heaped tablespoons of the mixture for a few minutes each side, until golden.
The sauce on the side is simply a teaspoon of sambal olek combined with a couple of tablespoons of soy mayonnaise.
There’s nothing like a cold snap to start me thinking about making and freezing soup for the winter months ahead. I don’t know about you, but I can make a meal out of a hearty soup. I harvested a handful of pumpkins this autumn, and wanted a thicker and more spicy alternative to this roasted pumpkin and apple soup. With lots of ginger and turmeric also growing in the garden, I created a spicy pumpkin soup recipe. Curried potato, tomato and garlic soup is another favourite; as well as a simple minestrone. And if you still have some sweet potatoes left from your last harvest, you could try this curried sweet potato soup. All served with home baked bread of course!
This is a thick and hearty soup, and is spicy in more of a fragrant rather than a really hot way. If you prefer a thinner soup, do try the roasted pumpkin and apple soup.
1 kg pumpkin, cut into pieces
1/2 knob garlic
1 Tbs finely grated ginger
1 Tbs finely grated tumeric
1 can coconut milk
Method: Roast pumpkin and garlic in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, at 180C for about 40 mins or until cooked through. Meanwhile, finely dice onion, and saute gently in a little oil with the ginger and tumeric, until the onion is softened. Add pumpkin, garlic, and onion mix to food processor and blend. Return to saucepan, add coconut milk, and gently heat without boiling. Serve with home baked bread.
Curried potato, tomato and garlic soup is probably my all time favourite soup recipe. It is vegan, gluten free, and freezes very well.
1 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 kg tomatoes, quartered
1 small knob garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs curry powder, or to taste
3 cups water (adjust for desired consistency)
Method: Place potatoes and garlic in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast at 190C for about 20 mins. Add tomatoes, stir through curry powder, and roast for a further 20 mins, ensuring that the potatoes are tender. Puree in a food processor and scoop out into a large saucepan. Add water, stirring thoroughly, and heat through. Serve with home baked bread.
Minestrone, packed with veggies, pulses, and pasta, makes a hearty and filling meal particularly when served with home baked bread. By using a bacon substitute this recipe is suitable for vegetarians, and choose a gluten free pasta if you wish. Please note that the bacon substitute I use contains gluten.
1/2 packet Vegie Delights rashers (or 3 rashers bacon if you wish)
1 large potato
3 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
300g can kidney beans
425g can tomatoes
1/2 cup tiny pasta – shells or alphabet
Saute diced rashers in oil, add peeled and diced carrots, potato and garlic. Pour in stock and simmer until vegetables start to soften. Add drained and rinsed kidney beans, tomatoes, pasta; and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until pasta is cooked through.
Our 4 lovely girls continue to lay 3 – 4 eggs every day which means I’m on the lookout for more recipes in which eggs are needed. I was really keen to try Miss Chardy’s pav because she promised it would be easy. This was also an opportunity to use some of the passionfruit pulp I had frozen after a big harvest in summer. So the day for making the pav in preparation for lunch guests arrived, and I followed Miss Chardy’s instructions almost to the letter, making an adjustment to the recommended oven temperature because my oven runs very hot. I cooked the pav on 130C for 20 minutes, and 75C for the final 10 minutes, then left it in with the door ajar for a couple of hours. It’s still perhaps a little too brown, and I might slow the oven down even more next time. I’ve read that the idea is to dry the pav out rather than cook it.