Tag Archives: cooking

Beetroot adventures

Over the winter we had a crop of beetroot on the go. It wasn’t quite ready to eat until spring, and then we had a glut! We could have done what we always did, roasted them and then tossed them into a salad with some sharp fetta and rocket, but one needs to be creative when faced with a glut.

First, I tried making these beetroot burgers, and they were fantastic. I varied the other root veg (used sweet potato) and spicing (replaced the spices listed with a teaspoon of curry powder), and cooked them until they were charred on the outside. We ate them ‘Asian style’ – with rice, steamed greens, and a dollop of Greek yoghurt on top. Spicy, sweet, and very savoury, it was a great alternative to meat.

But I still had more beetroot to contend with. This time I decided to experiment with sweet. I had seen many TV chefs mix beetroot and chocolate, and when I saw this recipe for beetroot and chocolate muffins, I knew I had to try them. Instead of a single square of chocolate in each muffin, I mixed through the same amount of dark choc chips through the batter. The beetroot gave the muffin a savoury-ness against the bitter sweetness of chocolate, and I felt less guilty eating a chocolate muffin knowing that half of it was beetroot.

Beetroot and chocolate muffins

I would try both recipes again next year when faced with another glut of beetroot.

Pesto Muffins

I made up a big batch of pesto the other day with a big bunch of basil that I harvested from my in-law’s garden. After a few pesto pasta meals I was looking for another way to use it up, and found the perfect recipe in Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion. The muffins came out lovely and light and more-ish. The secret ingredient was the buttermilk (also a leftover). I also added some English spinach and grated cheddar to the dry ingredients for a bigger flavour hit. Yum!

Pesto Muffins

Winter Cooking – Part 3

To round off our mid-winter meal, we finished with my first ever pie – apple and blackberry. I made it using a recipe in my trusty Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook. Here it is baking in the oven.

Apple and blackberry pie

I’m quite proud of it because I made the shortcrust pastry myself – with the help of the food processor – and also the filling. BB was a huge help – he was the apple peeler!

Apple and blackberry pie

In the end the crust was a little burned (I put it on the top shelf at the beginning of cooking – should have been low-middle shelf), but it still tasted lovely.

Winter Cooking – Part 1

Last Christmas I got what has proven to be the best of gifts – a bread maker. Before this, I had never made bread before – working with yeast and dough seemed so daunting, and time consuming. Now I can make loaves like this. Well, the machine does.

Homemade wholemeal bread

My bread maker has rarely gone into a cupboard since I got it because I’m addicted to the smell and taste of freshly baked bread. Who wants to eat store bought bread after this?

Hot Cross Buns

It’s been awhile since I posted. I hope that everyone has had a peaceful Easter, and if you have been holidaying, a relaxing time. I have a lot of posts to catch up on, of course. My first offering is the batch of hot cross buns that I made (with the help of the breadmaker) on the Easter weekend. It was a pretty good first attempt, if I say so myself, and the homemade buns were divine.

Homemade hot cross buns

Favourite Feeds – Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins are staples of cafes, bakeries and take-away joints all around Australia, but often they’re stodgy and way too big. Hence my favourite blueberry muffins are homemade by me from a recipe I cut out of SMH years and years ago. It’s got the right muffin consistency but is light, moist, full of blueberry goodness, and cupcake size. The secret ingredient is natural yoghurt, which I think is better than buttermilk when making muffins.

Blueberry muffins