Flourless Lemon Syrup Cake

Combining my two loves of teacake and citrus this Lemon Syrup Cake ticks all the boxes. Made with almond meal so it is gluten free, also sugar free and deliciously soft and fluffy. Lemon in baking would have to be one of my all time favourite ingredients, it’s not heavy or sickening and the zesty citrus and honey gives just the right amount of sweet/sour combination.

(more…)

Classic Italian Pasta e Fagioli aka Pasta with Beans

Pasta e Fagioli or Pasta e Fasule, Pasta with beans as it translates is a traditional Italian homestyle soup that is belly warming, nourishing and tastes like a big warm hug from Nonna. My mother in law (Nonna) always makes homemade pasta with this dish. I use bought pasta most of the time you definitely can’t beat homemade though for a quicker alternative it’s still tastes quite similar.

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta with Beans)
(more…)

Spinach, Leek & Goats Cheese Quiche With Homemade Shortcrust Pastry

Making your own shortcrust pastry can feel a little daunting at first, but let me assure you it is worth the extra effort. Crumbly butter crust that melts in your mouth is what makes a this quiche so pleasing.

Quiche is perfect for lunch or a light dinner with a nice green salad, It also is freezable if you don’t have family or friends (as we are still in quarantine) to share this with. Maybe making this for a neighbour or family to door drop as good gesture is also a lovely idea at this present time. Only if your part of the world allows.

You will need a food processor to make this pastry. There is a few easy to follow steps to making a shortcrust pastry, resting time in the fridge and rolling out and blind baking. With this extra time home at the moment it’s been an ideal time to enjoy the art and process of baking wouldn’t you agree?

Once the pastry has set in the fridge it will be easier to handle without the butter softening making the pastry break. You will then need to carefully mould the pastry into the tin, prick the pastry and blind bake, using baking paper and baking weights or rice so it doesn’t rise, puff and bubble.

Blind baking simply means pre baking the crust before filling with uncooked fillings. It is important to do this process or the crust won’t cook and pie/tart will be raw and soggy.

Once you have blind baked your pastry you can now fill it with your choice of filling. I have chosen to make a vegetarian quiche with spinach, leek and goat’s cheese. The flavours work really nice together but you can definitely use other cheeses like feta or ricotta if you prefer or leave out completely.

Word of warning the crust is quite fragile especially when just removed from the oven. As you can see from the above picture I rushed handling it as I’m always a little too eager and impatient when I cook and some of crust crumbled, though to be honest I like the rustic look makes it seem more homemade and authentic. Leave the quiche to cool slightly before slicing and serving. I enjoy it warm but you can also serve this cold.

Spinach, Leek and Goat's Cheese Quiche with Homemade Shortcrust

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: a little time and patience needed
  • Print

Ingredients

Shortcrust Pastry

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp salt

150g cold unsalted butter, chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp cold milk

Filling

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 leek, cleaned & roughly sliced

170g english spinach, chopped

4 eggs large

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup pouring cream

1/2 tsp salt

pinch pepper

3 tbsp plain flour

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

75g goats cheese

Directions

  1. To make pastry: Place flour, salt and butter in a food processor and process until resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg, milk and process until a dough consistency forms.
  3. Roll out dough in between two sheets of baking paper to approx 4mm think. Place in the fridge for 15mins.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200’C. Lay the pastry over a tart form tin with removable pop out base. Gently push into the form trimming the edges. Place in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Prick the pastry all over with a fork line with baking paper and place baking weights or uncooked rice in the middle to weigh it down. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden.
  6. Meanwhile make the filling. Heat a frypan with the olive oil on medium heat and cook garlic and leeks for 1 minute add spinach cook until soft. Once cooked remove from heat and set a side.
  7. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and cream together. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese, mix well to combine.
  8. Once the pastry shell is cooked, remove and lower heat of oven to 180’C. Make sure you have the tart tin placed on a baking tray for easy movement.
  9. Spread the cooked spinach and leeks in the pastry shell evenly on the base, carefully pour the egg mixture on top. Crumble the goats cheese into large pieces and evenly place in the mix.
  10. Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 50-55mins or until golden and set. Rest for 10 minutes before removing from tin and serving.

Baked Haloumi Mushrooms with Roasted Tomatoes, Beans & Basil Pesto

With limited visits to the grocery store these days, testing our skills to create meals with little ingredients we have on hand somedays can be challenging. I had one of those days, with only a couple of veggies in the fridge, some beans in the house and some homemade basil pesto I had made from my garden. Luckily with some Portobellos on hand, I came up with baked mushrooms.

This dish came out a treat so delicious with the basil pesto and the crispy yet soft centred cannellini beans added a lovely texture. Juicy roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, topped with the halloumi cheese which I happened to find but if you have no cheese it’s still perfectly delicious as it is.

(more…)

Stainless Steel Clothes Pegs Why You Will Never Go Back

Are you sick of plastic pegs that continuously break and never last?

Besides the negative environmental impact contributing to our worlds plastic waste and landfill, the amount of broken pegs that end up in the rubbish even the oceans each year is something you just don’t ever think about.

60 pack of stainless steel pegs by Activated Eco in plastic free packaging

I wanted to share this amazing eco friendly product with you that is an earth conscious solution to the annoying problem of plastic peg breakages. These stainless steel pegs by Activated Eco are guaranteed to last a lifetime!

(more…)

The Perfect Autumn Salad Roasted Beetroot & Carrots with Orange Citrus Dressing

With Autumn (Fall) in full swing now here in Australia, the days are still quite pleasant and warm, the nights start to cool off just a little after dark which makes cooking warmer seasonal meals such as roasted vegetables more enticing. As the heat cools and the sticky humid days have past I find this is one of my favourite times of the year.

Not quite cool enough to get out the slow cooker Autumn (Fall) does brings out this earthy feeling of root vegetables and baked home style meals, back to simple home cooking. As we get ready to cozy up into our winter woolies Autumn is the perfect transitional time to start nesting and getting into the garden planting seedlings, vegetables and getting our hands a little dirty.

I have the perfect Autumn salad for you earthy beetroot with thyme, sweet honey sesame carrots topped with a fresh citrus orange dressing added to leafy green lettuce and Persian feta cheese. Not too heavy but still enough to make you feel satisfied and full. Delectable on it’s on or if you prefer as a side dish to a simple roast chicken.

(more…)