Hey Yeah…My Oven’s Back!

Chocolate and Ricotta Cake

3 weeks without an oven! Not really much of a problem considering it’s been a very hot Summer here in Melbourne.

However, when I no longer have access to something, I find myself desperately wanting it even more. So, if my oven had been working I would not have even thought of baking in 35 degree heat but you guessed it, with the oven broken, all I wanted to do was bake…so I ‘baked’ cakes on the stove top, however this did not give me quite the same buzz.

The first thing I did when the nice little oven man left was bake a chocolate and ricotta cake. Not overly sweet as it had cocoa rather than melted chocolate in it and had the slightest ricotta tang to it. Moist and delicious and was our dessert after we devoured those mammoth steaks!

very nice with a chilled black espresso...

very nice with a chilled black espresso…

 

Chocolate Ricotta Cake
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2.5 tbsp boiling water
2 eggs
1 tsp vanila extract
145g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
130g butter (must be room temp)
200g ricotta
140g caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water and leave to cool. While you wait, grease and dust the mould. When the mixture is cool, whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract and put to one side. Sift the flour and baking powder into another bowl. In a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and sugar together at medium speed. Keep going till it is light and fluffy – about 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 of the chocolate/egg mixture, beat to combine, then add a 1/4 of the flour. Add rest of the choc/egg mixture, then the rest of the flour. Mix until combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes –  A skewer/toothpick should come out cleanly when it is ready. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. Dust with icing sugar when fully cooled and serve.
(Serves 8 generously)

 

 

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You asked for Steak…

Rib Eye Steak with seasoned chips

There has been this amazing feeling of calm in our house this year. No more school lunches, school uniforms, homework and deadlines…my daughter has finished school and is taking a gap year. She has paid for her trip to Europe later in the year and is now working in order to save money so she can have somewhere to sleep as well as eat over there for 3 months.

It’s amazing how much money I have managed to save now that I don’t have to pay school fees or buy books etc…I may even get to go on a holiday myself this year!

This has meant that I have more money to spend on amazing food like these enormous rib eye steaks I bought over the weekend. When my daughter suggested steak and chips for dinner, I went to the butcher planning on buying a large piece of rump steak to chuck on the BBQ but instead came home with 3 huge rib eye steaks – they looked soooooooo good and I do love a big hunk of meat!

I kept the evening meal a secret from the fam – wanted to see the look on their faces when they were presented with these monstrous steaks….well, I can tell you that some of the reactions were:

(my daughter): “What the effing hell?”

(my partner): “Who are we, The Fintstones?”

(my daughter): “You’re a freak mum!”

(my partner): “How much did these mothers cost?”

Of course I made seasoned chips to go with these but decided against the salad – Yup, that’s right! Meat and Potatoes for dinner!

My daughter and I (normal people) like our steaks medium rare but my partner likes his a little more on the done side (not normal) so I had to chuck his on the grill a good 5 mins before ours, seared it well and then poured some Marsala over it and popped it in the oven – still juicy and not too bloody.

The other 2 steaks were seared well and also had the hit of Marsala but were nice and bloody on the inside – so juicy and the home made chips were seasoned with paprika and salt.

By the way, it took me 2 days to get through the steak – the second day I sliced it up cold and put it in a wrap with salad and had it for lunch at work!

Food, glorious food!!!

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What do you do during your holidays?…I did Bugger All…And I loved it!!!

Summer Holidays!

I’ve been off the radar for 5 weeks…and I’ve loved every minute of it.

In my real life I speak to hundreds of people every day. I rush from class room to class room. I’m dictated to by bells and timetables. I read, I write, I listen, I instruct, I yell, I wear high heels and make up, I go to meetings and correct work, I write reports and take industrial action, I watch my language and go to bed early, I do everything quickly and check/respond to emails, I do…I do…I do…everything except breath properly!

Well, during my holidays I do the total opposite to the above…and I love it!

No blogging, facebooking or TV nor wearing anything other than a singlet top and light cotton pj bottoms shuffling about with bare feet, no make up or high heels. I do, however shower and stay clean (dirty hippy was not the look I was going for)…I stay home and sleep and lounge but I still cook and bake…leisurely, quietly and serenely sometimes even gently humming to myself. Go to bed late but still up early, but that doesn’t matter at all because I don’t have anywhere to go and end up having a mid morning nap (as well as an afternoon nap) on my huge white leather couch…with my cat, Jack asleep at my feet on his blanket and my dog, Bella snoring on her 2 seater couch bed…my pets have it so hard!

I lost weight – almost 2 dress sizes – not deliberately though – combination of a week of gastro plus I just wasn’t awake long enough to eat and drink like I normally do! I did everything slowly and didn’t speak to many people at all – pure bliss!

Glass of wine with lunch and that was about it for drinking…not even one glass of Vodka…for 5 weeks! Surely that will change now that I’m back at work!

I did have a sudden burst of energy half way through the hols and went away to the Mornington Peninsula (Red Hill Wineries) for a whole one night with my girlie friends where we visited lots of wineries and berry farms and bought loads of wine and berries (blackberries and blueberries), ate some fantastic food, bought some award winning cheese, stayed in a wonderful apartment overlooking the vineyards and had girlie pillow fights wearing nothing but our undies!…(lol…jks…just checking to see if you were still paying attention)

I came home happy and exhausted and it took me the next two weeks to recover…

I’m back at work now so it’s time to get back into work routine. In true style of the best kind of procrastinator I know I can be, I should be getting my school work ready for tomorrow so the urge to blog has hit big time.

I have two awesome bloggers I have to thank for awesome awards I received … thanks http://foodisthebestshitever.wordpress.com/ and http://feedthepiglet.wordpress.com/ for your awards…I promise to get around to acknowledging them in a full post very soon. You are the light of my blogging world! Cheers!

So, here’s a snap shot of some of the stuff I made over the holidays. I will get back to regular blogging as soon as my school work load increases and I’m back into full time procrastination.

Cheers everyone and welcome to month number 2 of 2013 🙂

prawns with avovado and home made chilli mayo

prawns with avovado and home made chilli mayo

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Beef Salad with chilli sauce

Beef Salad with chilli sauce

Tuna Patties

Tuna Patties

How I like to eat my tuna patties - with sauce and home made lime and chilli mayo

How I like to eat my tuna patties – with sauce and home made lime and chilli mayo

Banana bread with butterscotch and chocolate chips

Banana bread with butterscotch and chocolate chips

I didn't make this but we took our dog to the beach for a walk

I didn’t make this but we took our dog to the beach for a walk

My oven broke so I made this dairy free chocolate cake on the stove top - success!

My oven broke so I made this dairy free chocolate cake on the stove top – success!

There was one cold day so I made lamb shanks with garlic mashed potatoes.

There was one cold day so I made lamb shanks with garlic mashed potatoes.

Potato Salad to go with our BBQ

Potato Salad to go with our BBQ

Bought loads of berries so made this blackberry and coconut slice

Bought loads of berries so made this blackberry and coconut slice

made ice cream - berries (blackberries and blueberries), mango and vanilla - so delish!

made ice cream – berries (blackberries and blueberries), mango and vanilla – so delish!

berry sauce - I had to do something with all the berries I had!

berry sauce – I had to do something with all the berries I had!

White chocolate, almond and blueberry muffins...told you I had loads of berries!

White chocolate, almond and blueberry muffins…told you I had loads of berries!

My little old man/cat Jack - almost 17 yrs old and is so very cute sleeping on a 45C day!

My little old man/cat Jack – almost 17 yrs old and is so very cute sleeping on a 45C day!

Spaghetti with sour cream and seeded mustard

Spaghetti with sour cream and seeded mustard

sweet and salty peanut/honeycomb chocolate slice

sweet and salty peanut/honeycomb chocolate slice

My daughter bought me a fairy floss maker so we had a fairy floss night! Yippee!

My daughter bought me a fairy floss maker so we had a fairy floss night! Yippee!

Christmas Treats

Stuff I Made for Christmas

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Well, it’s over! Christmas is done and it’s time to start planning food for New Year’s Eve.

This isn’t going to be a long post at all nor will it provide recipes (except for the rocky road) as I have provided the recipes for most of these before…but I will tell you that the Christmas Cake is a Nigella Lawson one and can be found in her “Nigella Christmas” book – it’s to die for (the cake – not the book although the book is pretty special too)…with cocoa and Tia Maria, it has to be the best fruit cake I have ever tasted.

The Christmas Tree ice cream cake was a hit with the kids – young and old –  home made vanilla ice cream with green food colouring – and the Greek Shortbread recipe has previously been posted (way back at Easter…my fist blog post, I think!)

The Rocky Road is something I have been making for years and am not really sure of quantities but it’s around 200g milk chocolate – 75g dark chocolate – 25g butter – 50g mini marshmallows (pink and white) – 100g macadamia nuts – 25g dried cranberries – 50g shortbread biscuits (cut into bite sized pieces)…Melt chocolate and butter – combine marshmallows, crushed macadamia nuts & shortbreads as well as cranberries and add to melted chocolate. Pour into pan and chill for at least 2 hours – awesome!!!

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Christmas Day was lovely and personally, I don’t think I over indulged (in food or alcohol) – a first for me!

Boxing Day was an altogether different story – lots of great left overs and the Vodka and Pomegranate was being poured by 11am – now that is me!!!

Hope it was a great one for everyone – Happy New Year to all 🙂

Awesome Rocky Road!

Awesome Rocky Road!

Home made ice cream cake - so much fun!

Home made ice cream cake – so much fun!

Christmas fruit Cake with Cocoa and Tia Maria

Christmas fruit Cake with Cocoa and Tia Maria

Walnut Shortbreads with Icing Sugar

Walnut Shortbreads with Icing Sugar