Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

A lot of people have this notion that ice cream making is tedious. That was my thinking too before I was convinced otherwise by my mate cwl.

Homemade ice cream is made up of four main very basic ingredients.....milk, eggs, sugar and cream. How healthy or fattening your ice cream is depends on type of milk and how much cream and sugar you add in.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with choc chunks
This may not be the creamiest of ice cream but at least it is a healthier version and can be enjoyed with far less guilt. The fragrance from the vanilla beans was just divine.

I would like to thank my sil Cathryn who loaned me her ice cream maker, setting the wheels in motion to my journey into the icy world. The ice cream machine I have bought is cheap and basic but does a good enough job.

Makes about 1 Litre

375ml low fat milk (light blue top)
100g sugar
1-2 vanilla bean
2 eggs
250 ml cream
2 Tbsp vodka

25g rum n raisin chocolate, chopped

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plum Vodka Jam

Plums are in season at the moment and now is as good a time as any to make some jam. Plum jam is very versatile and can be used not only on bread but as a delicious sauce for ice cream.

This year the plum tree gave me a reasonably good crop which the birds kindly left alone. I have fourteen jars of plum jam safely stowed away in the cupboard. This should last us until next year.

Homemade Plum Jam
Makes 7 x 400ml jars

2.6kg plums (skinned)
¼ cup water
1.75kg sugar
2 Tbsp vodka (optional)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nan's Shortbread

Mr Redneck have given these shortbread the thumbs up and said they were very moreish.

Cookie press shortbread
I didn't want to make it into the traditional shaped shortbread but have instead used my Sawa Cookies press. The press started with small size cookies but half way through the size changed to big ones... I have no idea why! The press must have read the thoughts of Mr Redneck who like big biscuits whereas I like them small and cute.

Nan's Shortbread
I have given these out as Christmas gifts and the feedback I received was all positive except for the smart remarks on the 'cute' size. These would be ideal for Chinese New Year as well which is just round the corner.

Makes 24 small + 30 normal size cookies

200g butter, room temperature
90g caster sugar
60g cornflour
270g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Stir Fry Sambal Round Beans

When I bought a bunch of French round beans home, I got the "I don't like beans" look from Mr Redneck. I haven't had this dish for a while - infact I don't think I have ever cooked it here as fresh beans were expensive and not too readily available. Mr Redneck did enjoy this meal of beans.

Any beans....long, round or flat can be used. This dish is a simple yet delicious spicy stir fry using very few ingredients.

sambal round beans
200-300gm french round beans, cut to 2"
1-2 Tbsp oil

Grind together
2 Tbsp dry shrimp (soak to soften)
3 clove garlic
1 small onion
½ Tbsp belacan
1-2 tsp chilli paste

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mint Sauce

I bought a small mint plant to make ice cream. Unfortunately the plant started developing rust so had to strip it of its leaves. Now I know why I don't have mint in my garden even though it is suppose to grow like weeds.

With a pile of non 'rusty' leaves I decided to try my hand at making mint sauce. Mint sauce and lamb is not my cup of tea but Mr Redneck like his with it. Didn't realise it was that easy to make. The sauce will keep for a few months in the fridge.

Homemade Mint Sauce
1 cup (45gm) mint
2 Tbsp water
1 cup malt vinegar
3½ Tbsp sugar

1. Rinse the mint leaves and discard stalk.
2. Chop the leaves. I whizzed mine with the Amazing Bullet.
3. In a pot simmer the vinegar, water and sugar.
4. Add the chopped mint and remove from the heat.
5. Pour into sterilised bottles and keep in the fridge.

Bottled Mint Sauce

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