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VANILLA BUTTER CAKE

March 2nd, 2009 3 comments

Ingredients

Cake

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter at room temperature

3/4 cup milk

3 large eggs at room temperature

2 1/2 teaspoons of double acting baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting

1lb or 500g confectioners/icing sugar

1/2 cup/1 stick or 125g butter at room temperature

1 teaspoon high quality vanilla extract

3-5 tablespoons milk

Method

Cake

Preaheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C.  Grease and flour 2 8 inch or 20 centimeter cake pans.  Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electic mixer for 5 minutes until well blended.  Pour the mixture into pans, dividing evenly.  Spread it in each pan with a slight indentation in the middle and raised slightly at the sides.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your finger and shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan.  Cool the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.

Frosting

Mix the sugar, butter and vanilla with an eletric mixer or in a food processor.  Gradually add the milk until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.  Be careful not to add too much milk.  Sandwich the two cake layers together with the frosting and then frost the sides and top.

Serves 10

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FINGERLING POTATOES WITH GARLIC AND PEAS

March 1st, 2009 2 comments

Ingredients

24 fingerling or new potatoes (six servings)

24 sugarsnap peas

4 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Clean the potatoes.  Place them in a pan and cover with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low heat.   Cook the potatoes until just tender.  While the potatoes are cooking wash and prepare the peas by cutting off the tops and bottoms and removing the strings.  Peel the garlic and chop finely.  When the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and set aside.  In the pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add the peas and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the potatoes and fry for 1 minute.  Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.

Serves 6

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MARINATED PORK FILLET

February 23rd, 2009 3 comments

Ingredients

2 pork fillets

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup soy sauce

Method

Butterfly the pork fillets.  Mix together the ingredients in a shallow glass dish and marinate the fillets for 30 minutes.  Remove the pork from the marinate and broil/grill in the oven or on a grill for about 20-30 minutes until just cooked.  Meanwhile pour the marinade into a small pan and boil for 1 minute.  Slice the pork and pour the marinade over.

Serves 6

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SPICY ASIAN SOUP WITH BUNASHIMEJI

February 23rd, 2009 No comments

Ingredients

Asian Chicken stock: 4 cups organic chicken stock, 2 garlic cloves smashed, small piece of  fresh ginger sliced, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander stems, 1 teaspoon tamarind paste or juice of 1/2 lemon, pinch of salt

Soup:

4 cups Asian chicken stock

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chile powder

4 small shallots sliced

2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3oz/100g Bunashimeji (Beech mushrooms) or other mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 scallions/green onions sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander leaves

Method

Bring the stock ingredients to boil in a large pan and simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain through a cheesecloth and return to pan.  Bring the stock to a simmer and then stir in chile powder (to taste), mushrooms and shallots.  Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Stir in fish sauce and soy sauce and simmer for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in the mint.  Serve topped with scallions/green onions and cilantro/coriander.

Serves 4

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CHICKEN SALAD WITH BLACKBERRIES AND BLUE CHEESE

February 22nd, 2009 1 comment

Ingredients

3 cups baby spinach leaves or mixed lettuce washed and dried

1 cup blackberries

1/2 cup blue cheese cut into small pieces

1/2 cup walnut pieces

2 chicken breasts (poached, grilled or rotisserie) cut in small strips

1 pear washed and cut in pieces

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Method

To make the dressing whisk together the vinegar, oil and pepper in a small bowl.  Place all the other ingredients in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.

Serves 4

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CURRIED CARROT SOUP

February 18th, 2009 1 comment

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon Madras curry powder

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 cups chopped onions

4 cups peeled, sliced organic carrots

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

5 cups of organic chicken broth

Plain yoghurt

Method

Grind the coriander and mustard seeds finely.  Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan.  Add the seed powder and curry powder .  Fry gently for about 1 minute.  Add the ginger and fry this for 1 minute.  Add the onions and fry for 3 minutes or until softened.  Add carrots, stock, lime peel and lime juice.  Bring to the boil and then cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.  Blend the mixture in a blender until smooth adding more stock if necessary.  Return to the pan to reheat.  Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

Serves 6

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