Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sometimes you just want quick and easy

Here are some of the yummy (easy) recipes that have been cooked in our kitchen over this last week.

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

I'm not a real lover of corn, I do like it, I just don't love it. I have always been against tinned corn and creamed corn. I guess, in a snobby kind of way really. It goes back to my childhood and dinners at my aunts house. My aunt cooked dishes with creamed corn, tinned tuna and frozen vegetables. At her house we ate rissoles and pasta bakes, dishes that I'd never eaten at home. (we ate meat and three veg at our place: lamb chops, roast chicken and steak with mushroom sauce) I just didn't like that style of cooking.

I have found my peace with tinned tuna (although, not that long ago) and this week I made this soup with creamed corn. I had bought creamed corn to make a savoury muffin recipe that I never got around to making. Every time I cleaned out my pantry that tin of corn sat taunting me.

I have been walking around with the cookbook "Hopscotch and Honey Joys" under my arm all week. I had read Lisa's words from the recipe introduction:

"When my kids are home from school with a cold, a bowl of this and some fingers of buttered toasted followed by an afternoon sleep on the couch under a fluffy blanket works a treat"

She had me, it sounded delicious and there was only four ingredients, all of which I had at hand. I quickly made this soup at 5:30 one night before heading out to my craft night. The next day, after being out all day, we came home to this. It was late, it was cold and this soup was so good. In a simple, comforting kind of way.

You could do as little or as much as you like with this base recipe. I threw in about 70 grams of Chinese egg noddles that I had sitting in the pantry. I had also thought of adding bacon, grated zucchini, spinach and chopped parsley. And if you really don't like creamed corn, you could make it with fresh corn if you had more time.

I will definitely be playing a little bit with this one.

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

serves 4

• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 brown onion (finely diced)
• 2 chicken breasts (cubed)
• 1.5 litres chicken stock (hot)
• 420 gram tin creamed corn
• salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and gently saute the onion. Add the other ingredients to the pot and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and continue cooking for 45 minutes.

This recipe is from "Hopscotch and Honey Joys"

Lemon 'Tray Bake' Cake

I have made this cake twice this week. Once at 4:30 in the afternoon before going out to my craft night and again yesterday. I put it in the oven before school, ready for morning tea visitors. It has been very well received by all, with just two piece left!

Lemon 'Tray Bake' Cake

makes 12-16 pieces

• 200 grams butter (softened)

• 1 cup caster sugar

• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup milk

• 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

• zest of 2 lemons (finely chopped)

for the top

• 1/3 cup lemon juice

• 1/3 cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a 20 x 30 x 4 cm slice tray with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the milk, beating until creamy. Sift the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour into the tray and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and sugar. When the cake comes out of the oven, prick the cake with a skewer making little holes over the top of the cake. Spoon the lemon and sugar mixture over the cake and allow to cool in the tin before removing and cutting into squares.

This is another recipe from "Hopscotch and Honey Joys". The book suggests that the cake can be eaten plain or with thick cream. We ate ours plain, although one night as a treat for dessert, I heated it a little in the microwave, poured over the last of some homemade custard and topped it with blueberries. Delicious!

Zucchini Slice

I have made zucchini slice for picnics a few times before. My kids were not interested. Perhaps it's an age thing, but on Wednesday, I crawled out of bed 15 minutes earlier than usual and put a zucchini slice in the oven while we ate breakfast and got dressed to go out. We took it to a friends house for our morning tea and later the kids asked for a piece to eat with their dinner. I sent the last two slices with them for their school lunches. It is a happy day when I don't have to make another vegemite sandwich!

They have been asking all day if there is any zucchini slice left?

Zucchini Slice

• 2 medium size zucchini's (grated)
• 1 onion (finely chopped)
• 4 bacon rashers (finely diced)
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 5 eggs (lightly beaten)
• 1 cup self-raising flour
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoon dill or parsley

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 20x30cm baking dish. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined and pour into the baking dish. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch. This can be serve warm or a room temperature.

Cooks note: If you have the time, you can gently saute the onions and bacon in the oil before adding it to the rest of the mixture. I'm not sure if it makes much of a difference.

This recipe is from my Kinder Kooks cookbook, I have added the dill, which I love, it was suggested in this book.

Easy Apple Pancakes

I photocopied this recipe from a friends book, "Jamie's America" and made them last weekend. The topping of yoghurt and honey and the freshness of the apple was a nice change from our usual Sunday morning pancakes that are liberally dolloped with thick cream and homemade jam.

Easy Apple Pancakes

serves 6

• 1 apple (cored and grated)

• 1 egg
• 1 cup self-raising flour

• 1 cup milk
• a pinch of salt

• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

to serve

• natural yoghurt

• runny honey

Preheat oven to 100 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. Heat a non-stick fry pan to medium heat. To make each pancake, use a soup ladle to spoon the mixture into the center of the fry pan and leave to cook until bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancake. When they start to burst, flip the pancake, cook for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Continue this process until all of the pancakes are cooked. Keep the cooked pancakes warm on a plate in the oven.

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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