Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sweet & sour Carrot salad

I sourced this recipe easily 5 years ago from a Dish magazine and it's become a regular salad for bbqs and accompanying many other different dishes at my place. It's dressing is both sweet and sour, delicious! I used this to compliment steak and spuds a few nights ago.

Most of the cooking is being done by my mother or husband at the moment and boy am I being spoilt! So used to doing all the cooking myself, it's nice to try other's food and both Mum and Ray are fantastic cooks. It really is hard to get your hands free in the first few weeks as a new mum, I'm struggling to get the wee one to sleep in her bed during the day whereas she seems to go down fine at night so at least I'm getting some sleep. However... I'm not achieving anything but nursing and snuggles with my daughter in the day time so it's been amazing having support. Mum goes back to Dunedin on Sunday so next week will be interesting!?

Serves 6

1 kg carrots
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp currants
3 tbsp pinenuts, toasted
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley or mint

Preheat oven to 180. Slice carrots into long strips using a sharp knife. Place on a large baking tray, tossed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast until tender and lightly coloured, turning once during cooking. Transfer to a shallow dish

In a saucepan over a medium heat, add the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, garlic, currants and pinenuts. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Tip the dressing over the carrots and add the herbs. Toss to combine and taste for seasoning. Allow carrots to sit for a few hours before serving, tossing in the dressing a couple of times

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


This is such a good go-to pasta dish. It uses ingredients that I tend to have on hand so it usually gets thrown together as a last minute meal and saves us getting takeaways! I just love the saltiness of it with loads of anchovies, capers and olives

Serves 4
olive oil
400g spaghetti
grated parmesan
150g pitted kalamata olives
80g capers
12 anchovies
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp oregano (or use a tbsp chopped fresh)
1 tsp thyme (or use a tbsp chopped fresh)
1 onion
vege - use 400g of whatever you have on hand including courgette, eggplant, leeks, mushrooms (I used leeks and mushrooms this time)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Boil water and cook pasta according to packet instructions. In a frying pan, saute onion in 2 tbsp olive oil for 2 mins, then add anchovies, leeks and mushrooms frying for another 2 mins then cover with red wine and simmer for a few minutes before adding olives, capers, oregano, thyme, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, canned tomatoes & seasoning 
Drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss and then serve in bowls topped with grated parmesan cheese

Ray's banoffie pie

This has been going down very well after dinner, and maybe for breakfast...once!? Cheers Ray x

Biscuit base..
Break up malt biscuits and ginger nuts to a fine crumb, mix together or use one or the other. Traditional method uses digestive biscuits.
Melt 200grams butter with one packet biscuits.
Mix well with hands and press a cm layer into to a pie dish

Melt 100grams butter with can of condensed milk and 4 tablespoons of golden syrup or brown sugar. Stir over low heat until caramel looking. I also added a couple of rows of caramello chocolate which happened to be in the fridge... (optional)
Pour hot caramel mix over biscuit base, should be just under a cm thick depending on how sweet you like
Chop 2-3 banana length ways to form long 5mm thick slices and place on top of caramel once cooled a little
Place in fridge to cool and set.
Whip cream till stiff peaks form add vanilla and icing sugar to desired sweetness. Cover bananas with cream 2-3 cm thick then grate chocolate on top. Set for a 3-4 hours in fridge

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Instant bean hummus

I like to keep dips like this on hand. Its really useful to have your own homemade hummus for a sandwich or toast spread, an accompaniment to turkish & middle eastern dishes, a dip for pita crisps or fresh vege sticks or anything you want really!

Place a 400g can of drained and rinsed white beans (I'm using cannellini) into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of tahini paste, a crushed garlic clove, 1 tbsp lemon juice, sea salt and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth with a wand.

You can also use the obvious chickpeas for an original hummus! Served drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika with toasted pita crisps