Sunday, March 27, 2011

My day on a plate

Hello :) My favourite part of "Sunday Life" magazine is the end section where a well-known person reveals everything they ate on a particular day, then a nutritionist analyses their diet and sees how they could make improvements. So basically, I thought it would be fun to do something similar today by photographing everything I ate. Of course there's no nutritionist though looking over what I've eaten- and thank goodness, because on the weekends my food habits generally relax...

10:00am. Breakfast! Decided to make an indulgent French toast with maple syrup, cinnamon, strawberries and caramelised bananas :) After eating muesli and tahini/honey on toast during the week it's so nice to take more time creating something super delicious...
12:30pm. A bunch of grapes! Because..."you can't study without food"
2:00pm. Weather was cold and windy so I made a soup with pumpkin, red lentils, leek, carrots and plenty of spices. Topped with greek yoghurt and cheese and had a side of steamed broccoli. Loads of veges!
4:30pm. My mother made rock cakes again! 
7:00pm. Made a mushroom risotto with swiss brown mushrooms, celery and plenty of fresh parsley. I haven't made a risotto in ages and this was delicious and very comforting indeed (especially with butter and parmasen stirred though!) I got the recipe from Jamie Oliver. Anyone want me to post it?

Of course I also drank plenty of water (and tea!) throughout the day but that's a little boring to photograph ;)

What have you been eating today? Do you find your eating habits relax on weekends?

Hannah x

Baked rice pudding

Hello :) I've been having a relaxing morning sipping chai tea, reading the paper and eating french toast (more on that to come!)....

Well last night my mother decided to make a baked rice pudding. I like it when she cooks yummy food because as well as being delicious, I have something to blog about ;) Did any of you participate in Earth Hour last night? We did our best to turn off most of the lights, but I can't say we sat around in the dark...

Even though I have the recipe here (from "The Complete Australian Cookbook") my mother used brown rice instead of white and cooked a larger quantity as well as using less sugar and milk than suggested. Oh and she also adds sultanas!

Recipe: Baked rice pudding
I cup cooked long-grain rice
2 eggs, separated
500mL milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (we used vanilla bean paste)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the milk to lukewarm in a saucepan and stir in the rice. Remove from the stove
2. Beat in the egg yolks with the sugar and salt in a bowl. Gradually add the milk mixture, beating all the time
3. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the milk and rice mixture. Stir in the vanilla essence and pour into a greased ovenproof baking dish
4. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees until set, about 40 minutes

And I think this piece of music would perfectly suit a Sunday. I've been having it on repeat this morning because I like all the layering of the piece, how each element builds upon itself. Even if that's not technically correct it's just a beautiful piece! It's from the Amelie soundtrack, which I've found particularly delightful to listen to on the train :) :) Tell me what you think!
Hannah x

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pancakes + Scones

Hello :) Every Friday I am very happy I don't have to go to Uni! It's the one day of the week I generally don't study- and very much enjoy sleeping in, catching up with friends for coffee and lazing about. And yesterday was no exception! I started the day off by sleeping in till about 9:45am then invited my friend A over for pancakes...
I know I've already shown quite a few photos of my pancake making but I couldn't resist taking a few more as they always turn out so well! The batter made enough for about 3 pancakes each. I had my first with lemon and sugar, my second with raspberry jam and berries and my third with maple syrup, caramelised bananas and cinnamon. SO yum!

Recipe: Pancakes

100g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk
175mL milk
25mL oil or melted clarified butter (I used rice bran oil) 

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, drop in the eggs and yolk and mix with a wooden spoon spoon or whisk, drawing in a little at a time. Combine the milk with 75mL water and gradually add until all the flour is incorporated. Beat in the oil or butter until smooth. Cover and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. ...There's a lot more instructions on how to cook the pancakes- but basically heat some oil or butter in a non-stick frypan and cook how you would usually. I just ladle however much mixture I'd like and after 'mountains' or bubbles appear you know it's ready to flip on the other side. 


Later on in the day we decided to make scones! Well to be completely honest my sister made the scones and we simply watched the process ;) My sister is the scone expert, so I kindly asked her to make some...
These were light, fluffy and delicious!! As you can see my sister stuck them together so they would rise all at once and you can simply pull them apart when they're ready! The recipe made 7 large scones (you could easily make them smaller) and is so simple, that she doesn't need to use the recipe anymore. Originally I found the recipe in Frankie magazine though and have I've adapted it here:

Recipe: Scones

2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of milk

1. Sift flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt
2. Incorporate cream and flour into the bowl, combining with a knife
3. Knead mixture and roll into balls or use scone cutters
5. Bake in a moderate oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned
6. Serve with jam and cream!


So, if you're after a recipe for pancakes or scones, why not give these recipes a go?! We've made both on countless occasions with lots of success :)


Hannah x

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My weekend in food...

Hello :) I'm having a relaxing Sunday studying, drinking tea and watching the rain. I haven't made anything too exciting over the past week, so I thought I'd share some photos of food I've eaten/made/bought over the weekend...

Friday night. I made mushroom and zucchini fettucini. Very simple dinner! All I did was fry zucchini's in olive oil until lightly brown then add some butter and the mushrooms and sauteed this for 7 minutes or so whilst the fettucini was cooking. And I added some parmesan on top to serve.
For dessert I had a sour cherry tart. I can't claim to have made this- but it was super delicious! 
Look at the pretty roses!
Saturday. Remember when I had a cooking day with my friend A? Well I went over to his house on Saturday and we did a bit of cooking. For lunch we made a simple pasta dish with mushrooms, red onion, asparagus, tomato pasta sauce and parmesan. 
I just added the asparagus to the pasta a few minutes before the end...saves using another pot!
Action shot!
Yummy!! And on Friday I decided on a whim to get a fringe cut which you can see. I had one a few years ago when I had short hair (a bob!) but since then let it grow out.
In the evening we just roasted some vegetables. Sweet potato, carrots and potato. We accidently burnt them a little but they still tasted good!
Sunday. This morning my mother made these delicious rock cakes. Little lumps of joy (ha ha). I must find the recipe to post sometime next week!

Well I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday :)

Have you been busy in the kitchen lately? Tell me what you've been making!! I'm always after new, quick vegetarian dishes to make for dinner (and take to Uni the next day) or yummy baking treats...

Hannah x

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Raspberry and banana bread

Hello :) Happy Sunday!! I'm feeling quite energised, as I woke up at 6:30 this morning (a sleep in to my usual 5:45, haha) to go for a walk/run around the local bay. Such a lovely time of the day- when the sunshine is just peering through the clouds.  Afterwards I came home to pancakes topped with passion fruit, maple syrup and strawberries! Gosh I love Sundays...

And I thought I'd share with you the recipe for "Raspberry and banana bread" I made, a few weekends ago, when I invited my friend over for brunch :) It's from Donna Hay- via the Sunday Magazine.

Recipe: Raspberry and banana bread
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1.5 cups plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1.5 cup mashed bananas
125g raspberries, fresh or frozen
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius.
2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, and beat well. Fold through the flour, vanilla, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
3. Add the banana and raspberries and gently stir to combine.
4. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper (I just sprayed with rice bran oil).
5. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

Well there you have it! I'd definitely recommend trying this recipe out because it's just so delicious and indulgent :) :) Best served with fruit, to feel that little bit healthier!

I also like to add another half a banana chopped up- to give texture! 

Now onto some other news...

1. Last night I felt like breakfast for dinner, and since I realised I hadn't eaten eggs for a little while (oh no!), so I decided to boil myself two eggs to eat with mushrooms and fresh herbs! It was simple, but very delicious! 
2. Remember my love for hats? Well yesterday I was very happy to find a new wide-brimmed hat from the opshop, to add to my collection! We've been having lots of sunny days in Sydney of late, so this will be perfect :) 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! I can't wait to get back out into the sunshine......
Wearing my new hat of course ;)

Hannah x

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vegetarian Biryani

Hello :) Hope your weekend has been relaxing thus far. Even though I have copious amounts of study to do (hello Anatomy&Physiology!) it's been nice to take time out at home drinking tea, catching up on blogs and planning some baking (including a blackstrap banana cake- so watch out!).

Well last post I mentioned my mother made a wonderful vegetarian biryani, and I thought I'd post the recipe :)  I'm not sure where the source is- as it's been handwritten.

Recipe: Vegetarian Biryani 
Cooked brown rice (we used a few cups)
2 tsp oil
onion and shallots
1/2 small fresh chilli pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
1 tsp curry powder
pinch cinnamon
large pinch of tumeric
300mL plain low-fat yoghurt (we used Greek-style yoghurt)
1 tbsp honey
almonds, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
1. Preheat oven. Heat oil and soften onion over a low heat for 8-10 minutes
2. Add chili, garlic and all spices. Cook for a few minutes, then remove from heat
3. Into onion, stir cooked rice, yoghurt, honey, sultanas and half of the almonds
4. Transfer mixture into a casserole dish. Bake (covered) for 30 minutes
5. Uncover, stir in lime juice, sprinkle remaining almonds on top and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Simple, full of flavour, nutritious and super-filling! You can of course vary the amount of brown rice etc used in the dish, however I'd recommend cooking a little extra as it's still fantastic the next day for leftovers or having for lunch!

And in other news...I was quite excited when my mother came home with this:
It's new Uncle Tobys multigrain oats! I'm not sure how recent this is- but since I have muesli most mornings for breakfast this is pretty cool. There's 5 grains of goodness (including buckwheat!) and the texture is finer and a little 'crunchier'. Has anyone else seen/tried these? I think we've made a permanent switch ;)

ALSO! We have eggplants growing in our garden, which are super cute. So now I'm on the hunt for easy eggplant dishes. The only one I can think of is ratatouille. Any other suggestions? 

Hannah x

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photos from the past week...

Hello :) I thought I'd be able to post a little more this week, but I've been a busy bee with Uni starting! I've had a great week though and it's been exciting going to lectures, writing notes, meeting people and so on! I can't say Chemistry is my favourite subject but I'm hoping as tutorials and student study sessions commence this coming week it'll get easier. (Any tips for a first year science (nutrition) student??) I still have to get used to the long train trips and the early morning starts but I think as time progresses, it'll become routine. As I (unfortunatley) have very limited time to cook during the week, I've been opting for healthy convenience foods. Here's a peek at some things I've been eating...

I usually eat breakfast around 6:15am and have a bowl of muesli with rice/oat milk and wholegrain toast with tahini, honey and sliced banana. It's super filling which is great as I don't generally get a break until close to lunchtime (although I tend to snack on nuts/seeds/dates in between lectures). I got the idea of putting tahini on toast from the lovely Natalie, where she posted her breakfast for a week (here) and as she mentioned, tahini a great calcium source which is a bonus!
This was my lunch on Wednesday. I didn't actually get home till about 9pm (very late!) so it had to last until dinner time! I had a sandwich with hummus, lentil patties, mushrooms and spinach leaves, an apple,  a bounce ball (purchased from the uni shop- these 50g balls are full of nuts/seeds and sweetened with brown rice syrup. Has anyone tried them?) and vegetarian biryani (leftovers from dinner) which I added chickpeas to for extra protein. 
And here's the vegetarian biryani my mother made for dinner the night before. It's a beautiful brown rice dish with strong flavours of cardomom, sultanas, chopped almonds and tumeric. 
A lentil dish I made one night which was super easy. It's healthy comfort food! Here's what I did:
1. Fry an onion for a few minutes in olive oil
2. Add spices such as cumin/tumeric/curry powder and stir for another minute
3. Add half a cup (or however much you want) of red lentils, stir for a minute and add a can of chopped tomatoes and some water (or vegetable stock).
4. Bring to the boil and simmer until lentils are cooked. 
5. Add this to cous cous and top with fresh herbs and a dollop of greek yoghurt. 
Yesterday my mother made a delicious cake with carrot, apple and walnuts :) It was moist and delicious, using some olive oil instead of butter. 
And finally some pancakes we had this morning! We used half white flour, half buckwheat flour which turned out to be a success! And maple syrup and strawberries is a winning combination :)

Well thats some food I've eaten this past week! As I don't have much time for blogging during the week I might just try to post recipes I've blogged about lately such as vegetarian biryani, raspberry and banana bread and that blueberry, apple and coconut crumble! 

Hannah x