Vac Sealed Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

I always assume that when I post something and continue the story from my previous post, everyone is going to remember what the hell I was going on about the day before.

Of course people follow my blog as they do their favourite TV show…hanging on every word and anxiously awaiting my next post to see what happened next…”Today on pantryobsession, Helen makes a risotto – not from scratch!!!”

Well, I will tell you what happened next. I made the pumpkin risotto I found yesterday and it wasn’t from scratch. Remember that it was in a vac sealed pack, imported from Italy and I was sick and couldn’t be bothered chopping pumpkin?

I was not sure if this would turn out ok but it did. It was so great in fact that I’m never going to chop pumpkin for risotto again. They also sell a porcini mushroom one and I just might give that a go. This pumpkin one though, is a definite goer…it didn’t have chunks of pumpkin in it which is a plus for me and had saffron which gave it an amazing colour.

Of course I still had to stand there and stir and add all the usual ingredients (butter, onion, parmesan and more butter) but all that was worth it…this risotto was seriously good.

I’m just going to post the photo as I’m sure you all know how to make risotto and I’m still too sick to post anything too long.

Tonight I’m chucking that spanakopita I posted about yesterday in the oven and see how that turns out. Not everything has to be from scratch but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat some good grub!

I’ve taken a muscle relaxant people so I’m off to snooze (or just stare out the window) for a while…

Honey Honey…How I love You!

Honey Bread

I may not have posted for a while but I have been baking and cooking.

Sitting around the other night I had this sudden urge to have toast with honey…this made me think of fresh thick sliced bread with lots of butter and honey which in turn made me want to bake honey bread…love how the mind works!

I have never made honey bread before and I guess this is more of a loaf that looks like bread and it took less than 5 mins to prepare and about 35 – 40 mins in the oven to bake and less than 15 minutes to disappear!

It was simply delish!

Recipe

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup warm milk

1/2 cup cold milk

2 cups SR Flour

Method

1. Mix together sugar, honey and warm milk.

2. Add cold milk and combine.

3. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until well combined and smooth.

4. Pour into greased loaf tin and bake in 180C oven for 40 – 45 mins. (MIne only took 35 mins)

5. Leave to cool slightly before turning out.

6. Serve with butter. This is awesome!!!!

International Grocers and Ugg Boots

Comfort Shopping

So, my last post stated that I was sick today – head cold driving me insane! I also told you how I’ve been left on my own to fend for myself and my retail therapy day had been cancelled. Well, by 8:30am I was already going nuts thinking of the long day ahead of me…sick but thinking about food!

I was given strict instructions by Mr. Handsome to not stray too far from my bed. He needs to choose his words more carefully in future in that I see a comment like that as totally open to interpretation. I mean it’s all relative isn’t it? When you consider that a drive down the coast (more than an hour or two away) is definitely too far from my bed, a trip to the international grocers less than a 5 minute drive from my house is not far at all in comparison.

Thursday night was Greek food night in our house and Friday night was Thai. Tonight was going to be Italian with a wonderful pumpkin risotto. When I make pumpkin risotto I always bake the pumpkin first and caramalise the onions but the energy required for that was totally lacking today. Luckily I have a a jar of caramalised onions and garlic in the pantry.

I broke a rule today and it wasn’t the rule about not straying too far from bed…I didn’t!

I went out wearing ugg boots!

They are strictly indoor footwear for me, never to be seen outside the front door in case someone believes I have a desire to dress like Britney Spears!!! The thought makes me shudder!

So, with my ugg boots on (they are so warm and comfortable) and my head down (no eye contact with anyone) I headed to the grocers down the road and stocked up on a few things I thought I may need for the weekend.

I bought swiss cheese and a block of parmesan and a wonderful salami with fennel. They sell a frozen spanakopita imported from Greece ready to pop in the oven – no phyllo pastry but real traditional pastry…I swear it tastes just like the one my mum makes. I also bought some freshly baked olive bread and a vacuum sealed packet of pumpkin risotto imported from Italy so all I need to do is add butter, caramalised onion from jar, stock and parmesan – too easy.

I also bought some prosciutto, pancetta and bacon. This place is heaven for me!

I spied a box of Canadian Maple Syrup Cream cookies as well as some French Iced cookies, and not having any cookies in the pantry at all meant that these wonderful looking things were added to the list of things I may need over the weekend…hmmm, didn’t even realise that I might just feel like Maple Syrup cream but you just never know.

Ugg boots off now and back into bed…thank goodness for my laptop as using my daughter’s computer all the way upstairs in her bedroom…now that would be too far from my bed for me!

Another Pavlova

Honeycomb Pavlova

I don’t have the words to describe how good this Pav turned out…awesome! amazing! scrumptious! to die for!…none of these cut it!

Remember how scared I was of making Pavs at the start of the year? I’ve come a long way and even though I’ve baked things that are really tricky or look wonderful, the pav is what I’m proud of the most.

Was it for a special occasion? No! Just a lazy Saturday afternoon with just me and my handsome man and too many eggs in the house (my parents had driven out to the ‘hobby farms’ and decided we all needed dozens and dozens of eggs in the house).

The recipe is the same for my previous pavlova posts:

Just crumble chocolate covered honeycomb over the top and you’re in heaven šŸ™‚

A Summer Wish

Greek Salad

Yep I was right! I have caught a cold and am bed bound today. Annoying because I don’t like being bed bound and as it’s Saturday it has killed off my plans for some much needed retail therapy.

I don’t usually complain about the weather and colds don’t normally stop me from doing what I want to do but in this case there are no headache tablets left in the house or cough mixture as everyone has been sick so the medicine cabinet is almost empty. Lots of cups of herbal tea for me.

My partner left for work early this morning and my daughter stayed at her friend’s house last night so they could go to their part time jobs together so it’s just me, the dog and the cat all day. Sounds great…but my head aches and my throat is sore and I don’t want to keep getting out of bed to make another cuppa!

After all the wonderful food I serve up to my family and the fact that I look after them when they are sick, you would think that they would stay home and bring me my tea when I called for it and make me some soup for lunch and set up my doona on the couch and bring me my magazines and laptop etc…and make me toast with honey and…and…and…and no wonder they went to work!

What does this have to do with Greek Salad?…Not much really!!! Apart from the fact that the other night we were talking about going to Greece next year for a holiday and as it’s summer over there now and my facebook is full of posts from my relatives partying on Greek Islands and eating Greek Salads, I felt the need to make a Greek inspired meal.

So, Ā grilled lamb chops with olive bread and dip served with individual bowls of Greek Salad. I serve mine without olives (not a big fan), I serve my daughter’s without feta cheese (she hates it) but my handsome man gets the lot (he loves it all).

Do I need to provide a recipe for this? The bbq lamb chops had already been marinated in olive oil, oregano and crushed garlic before they were put in the freezer so they were so tasty and tender. The olive oil I use is from my dad’s olive trees in Greece that my cousin looks after and he sends dad a barrel of the stuff each year. Of course we are lucky enough to share in this as we all get bottles of this amazing olive oil, slightly peppery in taste…I just love it! Ā The oregano I use is always dried..my mum grows it and dries it and gives me heaps of it. Oregano is the only herb, I believe, that tastes better when it’s dried. The olive bread is from a bakery (funny I eat olive bread but don’t really like olives) but I will bake one myself one of these days.

A touch of Greece in our house on a very, very cold night!

Thai Food at home

Lemongrass and Ginger Seafood with Noodles

I’ve been MIA for almost a month. It’s been a crazy four weeks and things haven’t even begun to settle down yet.

Yes, I have been cooking and Yes, I have been taking photos and I will get around to posting as soon as I get a chance. Lots to sort through.

To kick things off tonight I made this wonderful Thai style seafood stir fry and it was simply delish! Probably one of the tastiest dishes I’ve made in quite a while!

No story behind this one. I just wanted seafood and didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. My throat is sore and I think I’m coming down with a cold. Surely the ginger and garlic in this recipe will help with that.

Ingredients

Prawns

Scallops

Calamari

Rice Noodles

2 onions, sliced

Bok Choy, thinly sliced (green leaves only)

Bean Sprouts (as much or as little as you like)

Lemongrass (Bash/bruise the bulb part and finely slice)

Ginger (as much or as little as you like)

4 cloves Crushed Garlic

4 Spring onions, cut on the diagonalĀ 

Coriander

Crushed Peanuts (for the top)

Sesame Oil and Peanut Oil

1/4 cupLight Soy Sauce and 2tbspn Fish SauceĀ 

Method

Heat peanut oil and sesame oil in a wok and add onions.

Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, lemongrass, crushed garlic in a bowl and set aside.

Add prawns, scallops and calamari to the wok and stir fry quickly. The seafood takes very little time to cook.

Add bok choy, bean sprouts and spring onions and continue to stir fry quickly over high heat.

Add the sauce and thin or thick rice noodles. (To make the noodles, place noodles in a large bowl and pour over hot water and soak for 3 – 5 mins then drain…or follow the directions on the packet).

Pile onto a plate and top with more sliced spring onions, coriander and bean sprouts. Sprinkle crushed peanuts over the whole thing and just wolf down…This is awesome!!!!