Thursday, January 20, 2011

Icecream at home, Cold Rock style

What do you do when you move house and are no longer 4 minutes walk from Cold Rock, and you've also come to the conclusion that it's really expensive, despite being delicious? Make it yourself!
A friend told me that Kmart were selling marble blocks plus scoops for $12 - bargain.

Step 1: get the marble slab out of the freezer, add a scoop of a favourite icecream (Cadbury flake) then top with mix-ins of choice (Twirl, Mars Bar and Toblerone).


Step 2: mix


Step 3: nom!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Pickled cherries and cherry jam (cookbook challenge #1)


The Cookbook Challenge is back! This year we are only doing recipes fortnightly, so I hope that I'll do a better job of keeping up with the challenge. There's a forum for all the posts and themes.

The theme for the first challenge is stonefruit. I was lucky enough to get a 5kg box of cherries for $10, and so decided to preserve them.


I found a recipe in Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion called pickled cherries. I added a couple of extra spices to the mix (star anise and cinnamon), and in hindsight I would have liked to have used red wine vinegar (or perhaps spike it with some pinot) so that it would be a nice rich red colour. Next time!

700g sugar
850ml white wine vinegar
24 black peppercorns
12 cloves
6 bay leaves
6 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 unpeeled clove of garlic
1kg cherries, rinsed and stems trimmed to 1cm long.

Dissolve sugar in vinegar in a large saucepan over gentle heat.
Add all other ingredients except cherries and simmer for 10 minutes.
Allow syrup to cool.
Pack fruit into hot, sterilised jars.
Pour syrup over fruit and seal.

The mix smelled great but it will be a while before I know how it went, as the cherries should be left for a few weeks before opening.


I also made my first-ever batch of jam using the rest of the cherries. I had a bit of trouble getting this jam to set, and overcooked it a little. It has a bit of a smoky smell - but still tastes great!


Tasmanian Farm Gate market

I finally made it to this market nice and early! We must have just missed the ringing of the bell when the market opens at 9am, but it was great to wander around and see all the goods on offer before anything had sold out. As a result, we ended up with a lovely selection of goodies.

1kg baby potatoes, $3
A bowl of apricots (babycots!)
Basil, $4


Half a kilo of oyster mushrooms for $5 (so cheap!)
Spring greens, $1.50
Blackcurrants, 2kg for $10, which I turned into jam.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas eats, 2010

My parents spent Christmas with J and I, and a feast was had!

I cooked this Night before Christmas cake for my dad, leaving off the icing and adding some raisins to the mix. It was tasty, especially after a couple of days, but I had two problems: one was that all the fruit sank to the bottom (not enough flour in the recipe to hold the raisins that I added?), and the other was that all the nuts on top made it particularly hard to slice (despite looking pretty spectacular).


The centrepiece of Christmas lunch was a roast duck (which I forgot to photograph!). It was served with the port and cherry sauce from a cookbook challenge entry.


Thit heo kho tieu (five-spice caramel pork) was delicious, and made the house smell wonderful all morning while it was cooking.


On the side we had my old favourite pumpkin, spinach and pine nut salad.


And roast carrots, potatoes and beetroot.


Lightly steamed beans tossed in lemon olive oil.


Mum made a glazed ham.


Which was served with a simply brilliant raspberry and apple sauce.


My plate of lunch shows the duck:


For dessert I made a pavlova, which was topped with berries from my parent's garden.


Mum bought a Christmas pudding from the Trevallyn Gourmet Bakery in Launceston, which was wonderful with some brandy double cream.


Later in the afternoon we got stuck into some simply amazing cheese that J bought. The two soft cheeses on the left were some of the best I have ever tasted.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taste of Tasmania 2010/2011

Happy new year! I managed to get to the Taste festival a couple of times this year, and was impressed with the revamped shed.

Huon Aquaculture taste plate:


Waji's Cajun calamari:


Tempura mushrooms with chilli plum sauce and wasabi mayo:


Summer berry pudding from Island Berries: (my all time favourite Taste of Tas dish)


And their raspberry pannacotta:


Plus their blueberry cheesecake tart:


Inn cider: (potent!)


Taste Cafe and Catering's paella:


Blue Nile's Ethiopian taste plate:


Crayfish pizza:


Chocolate fondue:


Last year's post is here. A bit of overlap... I guess I do have my favourites!