Tummy Tuesdays – Vegetables for Breakfast

800px-Veggies

Tummy Tuesdays – Vegetables for Breakfast

Photo Credit

#Tummy Tuesdays

If you would like to join in on the “Weekly Tummy Tuesday blog hop”, please use the above link. You can post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food-related.

Start the Day with Vegetables or Fruit.

Vegetables are healthy and a great meal to have anytime of the day, many are having vegetable for breakfast, by having smoothies, but it’s always nice to sit down and eat breakfast instead of having it on the run.

Here’s a couple of fast veggie meals for breakfast, not smoothies, but a Microwave Cooked breakfast in less than half a hour. In fact you can make both meals within the half hour.

Who ever thought of a breakfast and vegetables?

Back in the 1940’s my mother always cooked sausages and last night’s leftover vegetables called “bubble and squeak” for breakfast after our porridge.

I hope these recipes I have selected, make a great meal to start your day with.

Have a happy microwave veggie or fruit breakfast (which ever way you consider rhubarb is very nice and one of my favourites with my morning cereal.

721px-Tomato

Photo Credit

What’s for Breakfast? – Vegetables or Fruit

Try tomatoes, while tips for preparation are everywhere it doesn’t take a expert to make a meal for breakfast of tomatoes or mushrooms, the recipes below, make a tasty quick breakfast and are yummy.

Enjoy!

Tomatoes on Toast for Breakfast

  • 2 tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dessert spoon butter
  • pinch of sugar

Instructions

  1. Method:
  2. Slice tomatoes and place with remaining ingredients into a small micro proof casserole dish and cover.
  3. Cook on high 2 minutes.
  4. Serve on toast.

Savory Tomato Cups

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms – finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 4 poached eggs

Instructions

  1. Method:
  2. Cut tops off tomatoes and scoop out pulp.
  3. Sprinkle the cups with garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Layer mushroom, cheese and egg, in each tomato cup.
  5. Arrange on plate and cover with glad wrap.
  6. Cook on high 4 minutes in Microwave.
  7. Nice to eat with buttered toast for breakfast or potato cakes or hash browns
  8. Tip: Do not discard tomato pulp, it may be used in other vegetable dishes such as soup, pasta, pizza, and even a toasted sandwich.
  9. Cover and store in refrigerator until required.

800px-Edible_fungi_in_basket

Photo Credit

Are Mushrooms Vegetables?

Mushrooms are unique in that they are neither a vegetable or a fruit, technically they are not even a plant, they are a fungi.

Do Vegetarians eat Mushrooms?

Most vegetarians and vegans consider eating mushrooms to be OK for them.

Creamed Mushrooms

  • 250 grams (1/2 lb.) mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Method:
  2. Peel and slice mushrooms.
  3. Place in a small micro proof casserole dish with salt and pepper, lemon juice, water and butter.
  4. Cover. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Blend flour with milk.
  6. Pour in some hot liquid from mushrooms.
  7. Combine well and pour into casserole dish.
  8. Stir all until combined.
  9. Microwave, uncovered on high a further 2 minutes.
  10. Stir after completion of cooking, as it will continue cooking in the middle.
  11. Serve on toast with a cup of coffee or tea.

 Tummy Tuesday – Two Delicious Chicken Meals

Marinated Chicken Wings

 Tummy Tuesday – Two Delicious Chicken Meals

#Tummy Tuesdays

If you would like to join in on the “Weekly Tummy Tuesday blog hop”, please use the above link. You can post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food-related.

Chicken is a superb meal at any time, there are so many ways of cooking.

Roasting, grilling, frying, for casseroles, curries, stir fry, barbecued.

Chicken is a meal easy to cook for a family, but fancy enough for guests.

I have added a couple of easy chicken meals for cooling autumn weather, you can serve them hot or cooled, nice with a salad.

Marinated Chicken Wings

3 cloves garlic (crushed),
3 tablespoon soy sauce,
2 tablespoons liquid honey,
1 tablespoon tomato sauce,
2 teaspoons grated root ginger,
500 grams chicken wings

Method
1. Combine garlic, soy sauce, honey, tomato sauce, and ginger.

2. Brush chicken wings well with this.

3. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.

4. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden, turning once during cooking time.

Or alternatively, place wings in a roasting dish.
Cook at 200c for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Serve hot or cold.
Serves 4.  The Chicken meal is the above image

Chicken Stir-Fry with Cashews

Chicken_Stir-Fry

2 single boneless chicken breasts,
1 tablespoon cornflour,
1 egg white,
2 tablespoons oil,
2 stalks celery (sliced),
6 spring onions (sliced),
100 grams of button mushrooms (quartered),
2 teaspoons grated root ginger,
1/2 cup chicken stock,
1/2 teaspoon sugar,
2 teaspoons cornflour,
1 tablespoon dry sherry,
1/4 cup roasted cashew nuts

Method:
1. Remove skin and fat from chicken and cut the meat into 2.5 cm cubes.

2. Coat in the first measure of cornflour then in lightly beaten egg white.

3. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the chicken and cook until crisp and golden.

4. Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

5. Add celery to pan and stir-fry until just tender, add spring onions, mushrooms, and ginger. Stir-fry until spring onions are bright green in color.

6. Blend stock, sugar, second measure of cornflour and sherry together.

7. Add to the pan, cook, stirring until mixture boils and thickens slightly.

8 Add chicken and cashews, Stir to heat through.

9. Place in a dish to serve.

 Tummy Tuesday: Uncooked Chocolate Fudge

Choclate Fudge

#Tummy Tuesday: Uncooked Chocolate Fudge

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#Tummy Tuesdays

If you would like to join in on the “Weekly Tummy Tuesday blog hop”, please use the above link. You can post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food-related.

No Bake Cookies – Fudge

Some of the best tasting cookies are not baked.

They take less time to make, save money, as there is no heating the oven up, therefore saving on the power bill, also a cooler kitchen in the summer heat.

I have been making nonbaked cookies for some fifty years, and they soon disappear off the table, “my observation” (quicker than a cooked variety of cakes or sweets).

This easy nonbaked cookie will make life a little easier with baking, for that special treat or even school lunches.

Uncooked Fudge Cookies

You can use any biscuits, it just changes the flavor, wine, malt or even mixed broken biscuits can be a change using the same recipe, also icing lemon, chocolate, or spicy.

Also by changing the essence, you can have many types of fudge that no one would know you are using the same recipe.

Even leaving out the walnuts can add chopped dried cherries, or any other ingredient instead of walnuts.

Just try it you will be surprised with the results.

Ingredients

  • 125 grams Butter,
  • 125 grams sugar,
  • 1 packet 400 grams crushed biscuits,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence,
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa,
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts,
  • 1 egg

METHOD
Melt butter, add sugar and bring to the boil stirring to stop it from catching on and burning.

Remove from heat and add beaten egg, crushed biscuits, cocoa, walnuts.

One method is to press into a greased slice tin, ice and refrigerate, cut when set cut.

Another way is to put spoonfuls of the mixture in paper cups, ice and decorate for an extra special occasion.

No Bake Cookies are a boon for busy home cooks with a penchant for sweet treats. They make “first time” cooking for kids, fun. Even the youngest of children can help with measuring and stirring the ingredients while Mom, handles the more demanding tasks such as chopping nuts and melting butter on the stovetop.

Tummy Tuesday: Chocolate Lamingtons

800px-NZ_Lamington

Tummy Tuesday: Chocolate Lamingtons

#Tummy Tuesdays

Photo Credit

If you would like to join in on the “Weekly Tummy Tuesday blog hop”, please use the above link. You can post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food-related.

What is a Lamington?

It is made from cake, coated in an outer layer of chocolate (or sometimes raspberry) sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin mixture of the sauce is absorbed into the outside of the sponge cake and left to set.

I use 1 packet Golden Butter Cake Mix made in the microwave for the lamingtons.

it saves a lot of time, you can always buy a trifle sponge from the supermarket if you do not want to make it yourself.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of vanilla or any flavor you like Golden Butter cake mix
  • Chocolate icing
  • Coconut

Instructions

Prepare the cake as directed on the packet.

Spread evenly in a 23 cm (9 inch) microwave dish and cook on high (100%) about 4 1/2 minutes.

Let Cool.

Chocolate Icing
2 tablespoons cocoa,
6 tablespoons boiling water,
25 grams (about 1 oz) butter melted,
2 1/4 cups icing sugar,
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence,

Method:
Dissolve cocoa in boiling water and combine with the butter.
Stir icing sugar into a bowl.
Add cocoa mixture.
Add vanilla and stir until well combined.

Cut the sponge cake into squares.
Dip each square in the chocolate icing.
Roll in coconut.
Leave to set.

Chocolate Lammingtons

Jaffa Lamingtons

I make this with jelly crystals, this is made with an orange one that is why it is called Jaffa lamingtons, most times when making them with Jelly or jello I use Strawberry or Raspberry, no cocoa in the ones that make a nice red lamington I do not put cream in these as the flavour is perfect by its self.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet moist Orange Cake mix
  • Microwave cake according to packet directions (as above)
  • Jelly Dip 1 packet orange jelly
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Instructions

Mix jelly crystals and cocoa, add boiling water and stir till dissolved.

When cake and dip is cool cut the cake into cubes or fingers, dip into jelly (using a fork)
and roll in coconut. Leave to set.

Tummy Tuesday: Lemon Meringue Pie

Piece of Lemon Meringue Pie

Tummy Tuesday: Lemon Meringue Pie

#Tummy Tuesdays

If you would like to join in on the “Weekly Tummy Tuesday blog hop”, please use the above link. You can post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food-related.

Lemon Meringue Pie is a dessert dish that hasn’t been around much over the last 20 years, but it is coming back into fashion again, take a look at the internet every cook of importance has Lemon Meringue Pie recipes, Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart, Gordon Ramsey plus much more.

It’s a pie that takes a while to get it perfect, you can have many failures, but with perseverance, you will get it right, you will wonder why it took so long.

Cooked Lemon Meringue Pie

 

Ideas for Pie Crusts

These pies can be made quickly if you have a bought pie crust all ready to use, but I think it always tastier to have a home-made pie crust. There are many version available, it’s up to you to decide what kind you like best.

Here’re a few pie crust recipes I have been using over the years. This first one has lemon juice in it, appropriate for a pie like this.

Biscuit Pastry

1/4 lb butter, 2 oz sugar, 1egg yolk, 1 tablespoon water, 1/2 lb flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, pinch salt,

Method: Soften butter and sugar, add yolk and water, sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, add lemon juice.

Press into a pie dish, put baking pie weights in, and bake in a hot oven for 20 mins, remove baking pie weights if you have used them (recommended), then return to oven for another 1 minute to dry out pastry base.

Short Pie Crust.

1/2 lb flour, 1/4 lb butter, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, a small half cup of water.

Method: Soft the butter,(good if at room temperate) then rub it into the sifted flour, cream of tartar, dissolve baking soda in the water and add.

Roll out and line a dish for the pie, (not a sweet crust) follow instructions as above.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

1 cup standard plain flour, 250 grams (4 oz)

85 grams ( 3 oz) butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon water

METHOD:

Sift flour. Cut in butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in sugar. Add egg yolk and water.

Mix to a stiff dough.

Chill for 30 mins before using.

Use as required for sweet pies and tarts.

makes about 400 grams ( 14 -16 ozs, 1 lb).

HINT

Always use eggs that are a few days old (never fresh) and at room temperature for the meringue.

Lemon Meringue Pie

This pie is usually eaten as a dessert, very nice, cooled a little and eaten with vanilla ice-cream.

As in most food using lemons flavor is determined by the lemons you use as every lemon as a different taste, tatty, bitter or sweet.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

  • Three eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Instructions

  1. Method:
  2. Mix thoroughly the 3 egg yolks (beat lightly), add the honey, flour and lemon juice, flesh and grated rind of half the lemon, and melted butter.
  3. After mixing in the order given, add the milk.
  4. Pour into the pie dish which has been lined with a good crust, prick to prevent air bubbles.
  5. Bake until set.
  6. Cover with meringue ( 3 beaten egg whites, 3 tablespoons of honey, few drops of lemon juice), spoon on top of lemon filling
  7. Return to oven and bake until it is a nice brown, about 10 mins.

Links to Making a Lemon Meringue Pie. – Also, help for Meringue topping success.

There is an art to having a success when making these pies.

Here are a few sites that have lots of ideas to make this a successful occasion.

Meringue

Never use plastic bowls (Tupperware), wet or greasy bowls, as the egg whites will not beat nice and fluffy, it will be flat and not become peaky when beating.

Pancakes – Crepes – Flapjacks

Strawberry_Pancakes

Pancakes – Crepes – Flapjacks

#Tummy Tuesdays

If you would like to join in on the “Weekly Tummy Tuesday blog hop”, please use the above link. You can post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food-related.

Pancakes, waffles, pikelets, flapjacks, crepes are all batter-type foods that just have a few different ingredients in them to make them crisper on the outside or softer on the inside, also cooked different ways like on a griddle or a waffle maker.

Pancake

My Recipe for Pancakes.

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 2 egg whites beaten stiff

Instructions

    1. Sift flour, sugar, and salt twice.
    2. Mix milk and egg yolks together, then add the flour gradually.
    3. Mix to smooth batter.
    4. Add the butter.
    5. Fold in egg whites.
    6. Bake on a hot greased griddle, when bubbles are starting to break, flip it and cook the other side. I would keep them warm in the oven on a very low heat while cooking the rest.
    7. Serve.

Ways of serving:

Lemon juice and sugar

Spread with jelly or jam and roll.

Fresh berries and whipped cream and roll.

Butter and Golden syrup. Called Maple Syrup in other parts of the world.

Or for an evening meal, roll the pancake around a cooked sausage and bacon, also nice for breakfast.

I would serve pancakes to my family for a Sunday night tea after having had a Roast meal for Sunday at lunchtime.

Pancakes and Pikelets

Pikelet or crepe

There really isn’t any difference between pancakes and pikelets. Pikelets are made smaller which is a nice size to have with strawberry jam and whipped cream with a coffee.
Here’s the recipe I have been using for many years for making pikelets from my grandmother.

Pikelets

  • one cup flour,
  • 1 tablespoon sugar,
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt,
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar,
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda,
  • 1 egg,
  • Milk to mix to a stiff paste,
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • Put all sifted dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Break in the egg and mix in milk, add last the melted butter.
  • Mix well and let stand 1/2 hour.
  • Drop in spoonful lots on a hot greased girdle, when all bubbles are on the top, flip the pikelet over and cook the other side.
  • When cooked lift of the girdle and put on a clean tea tail on a cake rack and cook the next batch.
  • When ready to serve the warm pikelets, you can serve buttered with jam or jelly or just jam and whipped cream on it.
  • Eaten at afternoon or morning tea with a cup of tea or coffee.

More Pancakes Recipes

Egg Free Pancakes

Eggless pancakes really do taste like the real thing

    • 9 New Pancake Recipes.
      Give breakfast a wake-up call with these unique pancake recipes. We take your basic batter and add savory and sweet ingredients.

All about Microwave Ovens and Recipes

Microwave Garlic bread

Fresh Homemade Garlic Bread In Microwave Oven

Image Credit – by Praisaeng http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Microwave Cooking

Microwave cooking is a cook’s best friend, so much can be cooked, easier and without fuss.

These days with the modern kitchens, well-built appliances, you have an easy to care for a clean kitchen, and microwaves ovens are one of them, very quick to master up a meal in a few minutes, when you are short of time and family are waiting for a meal to be served.

There are not many meals that cannot be cooked in a microwave, it is just a matter of following some good recipe books on a microwave, and a little experience, it is quite simple for the average cook, hope this page will help you achieve that.

Tip for Microwave Cooking

Remember: Microwaves cannot be stored in the food.

When you eat food cooked in a microwave oven you are not eating microwaves.

Modern Kitchen

Photo Credit – Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – the Modern kitchen. 

Microwaves Oven Tips – What are Microwaves?

How does a microwave oven work?

Micro meaning small or electromagnetic waves are a form of radiant energy.

Microwaves travel at 2450 million times a second, as fast as the speed of light and also travel in a straight line.

In a microwave oven, these waves are concealed within the oven itself and are reflected off the walls and door.

Once the doorknob or handle is released all microwave energy stops.

As microwave energy comes into contact with a substance it is reflected, transmitted or absorbed.

Only when this energy is absorbed is heat produced in cooking, microwaves are reflected by metal, transmitted through paper, glass, china, ceramic, wicker or wood products and plastic utensils and absorbed by water in the food.

  • Microwaves cannot be stored in the food.
  • When you eat food cooked in a microwave oven you are not eating microwaves.
  • Microwaves are colorless, odorless and tasteless. They do not affect the flavor of the food.

When you plug in your microwave to a normal 240-volt power outlet, power is fed to a transformer which converts low voltage line power to the high voltage required by the magnetron tube.

The magnetron is the heart of the microwave oven, it converts electrical energy to microwave energy and then the energy is directed into the oven cavity.

When microwaves enter food, they simply cause the liquid or moisture molecules in the food to vibrate at a fantastic rate, friction, created by this vibration produces heat and this is conducted through the food.

Convection Microwave 

800px-TW_Panasonic_NN-SV30_2012-01

Photo Credit A microwave oven with convection feature

Food cooked in the convection microwave can be cooked quickly, as in an ordinary microwave oven, yet come out browned or crisped as in a convection oven.

Advantages of Microwave Cooking.

There is no preheating of the microwave oven, as you do for conventional ovens, this will save time as well as cutting down your fuel bill.

Food cooks more quickly but looks and tastes the same as conventionally cooked food, in fact, you will find vegetables do taste better as the true flavor is retained by using only small quantity of water and the nutritional value is far better for you and the family.

Food can be cooked in the dishes you serve to the table, no extra washing up.

Leftovers can be reheated and served without drying or loss of flavor.

Microwave ovens do not heat up the kitchen.

It remains cool and pleasant at all times.

With the Sunday roast, cook enough for the next day, cover with glad wrap and place in the refrigerator and reheat the next day or when required, take only about three minutes to heat, or deep freeze it and use at a later date, will take about 5 mins all depends what size meal you have saved.

Important Points to Remember for Microwave Ovens

Strips of aluminum foil may be used to cover areas of food that appear to be overcooking, like chicken wings, drumsticks or the tail of a fish, but NEVER allow the foil to touch the oven walls as the wall cause “arcing” and could damage the oven.

Do not cover food completely with foil as this reflects microwave energy and the food will not cook and can also damage the oven.

Don’t operate the oven empty.

Don’t attempt to cook eggs in the shell. Pressure will build inside the shell and it will explode.

How a Microwave Oven Works

About the Video above

Bill details how a microwave oven heats food. He describes how the microwave vacuum tube, called a magnetron, generates radio frequencies that cause the water in food to rotate back and forth. He shows the standing wave inside the oven and notes how you can measure the wavelength with melted cheese. He concludes by describing how a magnetron generates radio waves.

Useful Tips about Microwave Cooking

Maybe you used a microwave for heating food but have never cooked in a microwave oven for cooking.

  • Microwave cooking does not change your whole idea of cooking.
  • Your everyday recipes can be used.
  • But remember to cut down the cooking time.

Take a guide for timings from the cookbook supplied with your oven and learn to open the oven door and test or stir the food just as you would with conventional cooking.

  • Never overcook as this cannot be rectified.
  • Undercook and then you can always give a little more time to complete the cooking if required.

Microwave Oven Cooked Chicken.

Microwave Chicken small

Microwave Cooking – Poultry

Tips for best results for cooking chicken

Poultry (Chicken) is very nice cooked in a microwave oven as the flavor and moisture are retained.

Ensure that poultry is fully thawed prior to cooking: the microwave oven will do this in a much shorter time than by conventional methods (approximately 30 mins).

  • After thawing remember it must be washed, dried and prepared for cooking.

Chicken Pieces with bone – HIGH – 8-10 mins per 500 grams, 185 F / 85 C, Standing Time 15 mins

Chicken Filets – HIGH – 6 mins per 500 grams, 170 F / 75 C, Standing Time Nil

Turkey Whole – HIGH for 10 mins then reduce to Medium 10 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 C, Standing time 15-20 mins.

Turkey Hindquarters – HIGH 8-9 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 c Standing time 10 Minutes

Duck – High 8 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 c, Standing time 15 minutes

Cooked_chicken

Cooking a ROAST CHICKEN in a Microwave

1 x No 15 Chicken (1.5 KG)

1 onion

Seasoned salt or barbecue sprinkle

METHOD

1. Wash and dry chicken, place breast side down into a micro proof baking dish.

Cut onion into quarters and place inside the bird.

If desired, legs may be secured together with string or elastic band.

2. Sprinkle with seasoned salt or barbecue sprinkle and cover with paper toweling.

3. Microwave on high 15 mins. Turn chicken over and cook a further 15 mins.

4. Remove chicken from baking dish. Wrap in foil and allow a standing time of 15 mins before serving.

TIP –  Your favorite stuffing may be used to season chicken, cooking time remains the same.

Helpful Tips for Cooking Microwave Vegetables

By microwaving your vegetables, you save the food value.

If you boil most of the food value is discarded down the sink and very little nutritional value left.

Microwave cooking of Vegetables is superb, so little water is used and the color, flavor, and vitamins are retained within the vegetable.

Vegetables should be covered during cooking to trap the steam. This keeps them moist and hastens the cooking time.

Choose a casserole dish with a lid or use glad-wrap, to cover the utensil.

Use a shallow, wide dish for asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower to keep a single layer rather than pile vegetables on top of each other.

Piling creates a density resulting in longer and uneven cooking.

Remove any covering away from hands and face to prevent steam burns.

Vegetables cooked with their skins on, for example, jacket potatoes, should have the skins pierced prior to cooking to prevent bursting.

Frozen Vegetables can be cooked in their original packages, just pierce the bag as no additional liquid is necessary.

Season, before serving.

Glad freezer bags are also suitable for cooking vegetables, just twist the end and tuck under, no metal ties.

Cooking time will vary depending on quantity and type of vegetable used, however, it is advisable to test occasionally for doneness.

Keep in mind that cooking will continue for a brief period after the Vegetables are removed from the microwave oven.

Overcooking will result in dehydration, toughening the vegetables.

Here is a quick way to cook cauliflower that retains the flavor.

Cauliflower Au Gratin

CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN

1/2 head cauliflower,

1/4 teaspoon salt,

1/4 cup water

METHOD

1. Break the cauliflower into flowerets, wash and cut stalks with a sharp knife.

(the stalks are a lot firmer and by cutting they will cook better).

Place flowerets into a large pie dish plate (stalks down) with the larger pieces around the outside and small pieces in the center.

Sprinkle with salt and pour over the water.

2. Cover with glad wrap and microwave on HIGH 8-10 mins (depending on size, of cauliflower).

Drain off excess liquid, reserve for sauce.

3. Return glad wrap covering over cauliflower and allow to stand while making the sauce.

WHITE SAUCE

2 tablespoons butter,

2 tablespoons flour,

salt and pepper,

300 ml milk or a mixture of milk and cauliflower liquid

grated cheese,

dried breadcrumbs

METHOD:

Place butter into a micro proof mixing bowl, cook on HIGH 40 seconds to melt.

2. Add flour, salt, and pepper, stir well, cook a further 30 seconds on HIGH.

3. Gradually stir in milk, cook on High 2 minutes, stir around outside of bowl return to oven a further 2 1/2 minutes on HIGH.

4. Beat sauce well, pour over cauliflower.

Sprinkle with a mixture of cheese and breadcrumbs.

Return to the oven for 2 mins on HIGH to melt cheese and reheat cauliflower.

If desired place cauliflower under a conventional grill to crisp and brown instead of this last 2 minutes cooking.

P.S. You can prepare this CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN dish while cooking your meat in the conventional oven and brown under the grill, just before serving.

I will be adding more Microwave recipes, hope you try cooking in your Microwave oven, it is easier than you think.

Spotted Dick Pudding

Spotted Dick Pudding

Spotted Dick Pudding

I’m sharing an old British pudding (which is a dessert) the Spotted Dick, it is a very weird name for a dessert, but a dessert my mother made very often, and I love it, so I am sharing it with you, hopefully, one day you too may enjoy it.

The earliest recipes for spotted dick pudding are dated back as far as 1847, it is traditionally boiled in a cloth.

My mother’s family came to New Zealand in early 1900 century, every time my mother cooked it, it made me happy, I loved it and still do, but must humans would properly turn their nose up when I tell you how it is made.

Let’s Make Spotted Dick!

Spotted Dick Pudding Links – Link to the recipe also.

I haven’t added the original Spotted Dick Recipes as it will be duplicated so you will find the traditional recipe in the links below if you are interested.

Spotted dick is made with shredded suet, all though I do not use it now, I just use butter, but if I had a packet of Shredo, (Shredded fat from animals), I would use it.

  • What Is Spotted Dick Anyway?
    Spotted dick is a traditional British pudding made from suet or mutton fat. The suet is mixed with other ingredients, such as baking soda, flour,
  • Spotted Dick back on council menu
    Council chiefs have reversed a decision to rename the pudding Spotted Dick after receiving abusive letters and accusations of political correctness.
  • Traditional Spotted Dick Pudding Recipe
    Pudding, the backbone of British food and none more than a Spotted Dick Pudding. The name of this classic English pudding usually will raise a smile or look of abject horror

Pudding in Cloth

450px-Christmaspuddingonahook

Photo Credit

This pudding has been prepared with a traditional cloth rather than a basin.

Little more about the spotted dick pudding

There are many things you can serve this type of dessert with, vanilla custard, treacle, ice cream, a nice syrup – lemon flavored, chocolate, whipped cream, or even straight cream, instead like my husband those types of desserts he would just put milk on it, my dad loved it just by adding sugar and straight cream, (not whipped) to it, it wasn’t too bad like that, as it wasn’t a sweet pudding, I used to love crunching the sugar in my mouth as I ate it.

Now the main thing that made Spotted Dick Pudding a special for me was the cooking of it in a pudding cloth, ( which is usually an unbleached calico cloth used for boiling a pudding). I liked the outside of it the pudding the best.

Preparing a new pudding cloth for boiling a stream pudding

You only need to do this the first time, once you have used it once it all good to go ahead and add your boiled pudding as below preparing for boiling the pudding.

Soak in cold water overnight next day boil it for about 20 mins, once you have done this, keep it especially for boiling puddings, I always wash it every time after use in cold water to take the pudding dough of-of it then wash in hot water using no powder, hang out to dry and always put it away for the next boiled pudding.

Preparing for boiling the pudding

Preparing for boiling the pudding add the square (it all depends on how big your pudding is but about 60 centimetres – 24 inches,) into boiling water for about a minute, drain excess water off, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of flour on the hot cloth, shake of excess flour, and pour or place your pudding onto the prepared calico cloth, grab all the outside edges together, going around making sure there are no gaps and tie tightly, (leaving a little space for the pudding to swell), with string.

Place a saucer in the bottom of the pot (to prevent pudding catching on the bottom), fill the pot about 1/3 full of building water, making sure the water is boiling, place the prepared pudding in the cloth on the saucer slowly to keep water boiling (be careful that you don’t overflow the pot as you are adding the pudding), and cover with pot lid, now if it is boiling a little dry, which it will in most cases, you can add more boiling water to it, ( just boil extra water in electric jug and add boiling water to the pot quickly, on the edge of the pot, not the cooking pudding).

The photo above is a boiled Christmas pudding, it gives you an idea of how to tie the cloth when making the Spotted Dick dessert.

This is my recipe that I cooked for many years for my own family back in the 1970’s they loved it.

It is a version of the Spotted Dick recipe

This link may be helpful if you need to convert the cooking Units.

Spicy Spotted Dick

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup mixed fruit – sultanas currants raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 cup boiling water in which is dissolved 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 ozs butter

Instructions

  1. Method:
  2. Put all ingredients in a bowl except the boiling water.
  3. Rub in the butter.
  4. Add the boiling water and mix well.
  5. It may appear a bit sloppy, but it will turn out a lovely pudding.
  6. Tie up in cloth as preparing for boiling a pudding above.
  7. Boil two hours.
  8. Serve well with vanilla custard.
  9. Hope you enjoy it, great on a cold winters day.
  10. If you are making it for 6 or more people, double the recipe, boiling a little longer, it won’t take much longer.

Spotted Dick Suet Pudding and Custard

A traditional cloth boiled Christmas Pudding still showing the skin.

450px-Christmas_Pudding

Photo Credit

A traditional bag-boiled Christmas Pudding still showing the “skin”.

If it is of any interest to you.

The photo above is a Christmas Pudding boiled in a cloth, the cloth has been removed and it’s left like that to mature.

The pudding is aged for a month or even a year. It can age for a long time because it has so much alcohol in it, it never spoils.

Tradition Christmas Pudding Recipe

800px-Christmas-pudding-flamesPhoto Credit  Christmas pudding being flamed after brandy has been poured over it.

Tradition Christmas Pudding 

Traditionally puddings were made on or immediately after the Sunday “next before Advent“, i.e. four to five weeks before Christmas. They mature, bringing the flavor more intense and keep very well, in fact, many families keep one back from Christmas to be eaten at another celebration later in the year, often at Easter

Christmas pudding is a dessert traditionally served on Christmas Day (December 25). My mother always made a Christmas pudding every year, after getting married I continued making them, actually the year she died she enjoyed her last Christmas in my home using her recipe.

I have been making Christmas puddings for 50 years for my family, so here I am, after that many Christmas puddings, I must be an expert, and I have never had my family refuse to eat them yet.

Stirring_christmas_pudding

Photo Credit

Helping mother with Christmas pudding preparations

In my early years as a teenager, I would always help my mother prepare the Christmas Pudding, and my mother believed, that as tradition everyone in the household, or at least, every child, give the mixture a stir and made a wish while doing so. I know I had more than one stir while mixing it, maybe that is why my wishes never seem to come true. We always included small silver coins in the pudding mixture, which could be kept by the person whose serving included them. The usual choice was a silver threepence or a sixpence piece. The coin was believed to bring wealth in the coming year.

It is only in the last five years that I have stopped putting coins in the Christmas pudding, I know coins pose a choking hazard, but I never had anyone choke, because they all knew there were coins in it, but they took them out with their spoon and never swallowed them, because no real silver coins are available, no one ever got sick for eating Christmas pudding that had coins in it.

Every year I would search through the house looking for threepenny or sixpenny coins. There wasn’t a money box, drawer or handbag that wasn’t searched. They were all boiled up and added to the family pudding. The family used to see which one of them would get the most coins.

Once we changed to cents and dollars, there seemed to be ten and twenty cents added. Yes, and father never got any money in his, even when I made sure he had a coin as he would pass it over to someone else’s plate when they were not looking. At the end of the meal, everyone would take their money wash it, count it up, to see who got the most.

It was really great fun which the whole family joined in and the grandchildren loved it, it was the highlight of their Christmas dinner, which they looked forward to every year.

My Christmas Pudding

Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe

  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup shredded suet
  • 1 cup standard plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon brandy

Instructions

  1. METHOD:
  2. Put sultanas, raisins, currants into a large bowl.
  3. Add suet, mixing to combine.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into the fruit mixture.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add breadcrumbs and mix through.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat brown sugar, eggs, and milk together.
  8. Add to the fruit mixture, mixing thoroughly to combine.
  9. Stir in brandy.
  10. Spoon mixture into a well greased six cup capacity pudding basin.
  11. Cover with pleated greaseproof paper or foil.
  12. Secure with string. leaving a loop to lift the pudding when cooked.
  13. Place a trivet or old saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan half-filled with boiling water.
  14. Carefully lower pudding into the saucepan, making sure the water comes two-thirds of the way up the sides of the basin.
  15. Cover and cook for 5 hours, making sure water is constantly bubbling.
  16. Check water level from time to time.
  17. Remove from saucepan when cooked.
  18. Leave until cold.
  19. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  20. Steam for a further 2 hours before serving.

Christmas Cooking.

Christmas is a very special time of the year, a time to celebrate in joyful wonder, a time to embrace longstanding traditions and establish new ones. What better treat than baking a Christmas pudding which is really the making of a special Christmas bring the cheer to all.

How To Make The Perfect Christmas Puddin

Did you have coins or other tokens such as a tiny wishbone (to bring good luck), a silver thimble (for thrift), or an anchor (to symbolize safe harbor) in your Christmas Pudding? Love to know – Please leave an answer in the comments

Brandy Sauce.

Of course, you cannot have a Christmas Pudding without the Brandy Sauce, this is what my family loves.

I usually double the recipe, if there is any left over, it is nice to eat cold like custard.

Can be heated up for next day if you have any Christmas pudding over.

Brandy Sauce Ingredients

  • 55 grams butter
  • 55 grams corn flour
  • 570 ml milk
  • 55 grams fine caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp Brandy

Instructions

  1. METHOD:
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the cornflour and stir to create a thick paste.
  4. Cook for 1 minute taking care not to burn.
  5. Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously.
  6. Continue whisking until thick smooth sauce is formed (about 5 minutes).
  7. Do not have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn.
  8. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.
  9. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
  10. Finally add the brandy, taste for desired flavored.
  11. Serve with the Christmas pudding.

How to make brandy sauce

NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 23 – What do you call a Dessert?

NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 23 – What do you call a Dessert?

#NanoPoblano 2017

Pie for Dessert

With Thanksgiving here, I thought this post would give you food for thought as you are enjoying your sweets.

What do you call a dessert?

Sweets – Pudding, Dessert, or cake with a cocktail after your main meal.

What Is A Pudding?

In my younger days, we always called a Dessert “Pudding”, but in recent years you do not hear the word “Pudding” I thought I would check out what a pudding is. Though many don’t like to admit it, using the term pudding or dessert has connotations of class. Using “Dessert” is thought to be posher than a homely pudding.

This distinction has eroded with more traditional recipes making a fashionable comeback in recent times; many restaurants (including top end eateries) using Pudding to refer to the sweet course on menus.

Types of Pudding, baked, steamed and boiled puddings, which I still make and the family love them.

tart-1442275_640

Sweets – Desserts.

Homemade desserts or sweets are the easiest way to make inexpensive and delicious sweets, desserts or puddings for that special occasion Also when you make it yourself, you know exactly what has gone into the dishes you feed your family.

Cold desserts are always a joy to serve to guests, no one can pass on a good sweets dish, it is something you just cannot resist.

Sometimes it is just called a dessert with a cocktail after the main meal.

But a hot steam pudding with custard is even better when the weather is cold.

Fruit Crumble

Fruit Crumble

Ingredients

  • 2 cups stewed fruit – e.g. apple plums apricots
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup standard plain flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. METHOD:
  2. Place stewed fruit in the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  5. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  6. Stir in sugar.
  7. Spoon the mixture over fruit.
  8. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until pale golden
  9. If you would like a Wholemeal Crumble, replace flour with wholemeal flour. Increase the butter to 1/3 cup of butter.
  10. Nice with Custard or ice cream.

What do you call a dessert, love to know you thoughts about this post.