Sunday, 20 December 2015

Vegetable and Egg Slice

Vegetable and Egg Slice with Cheese

I just could not resist getting in one more breakfast or brunch recipe  before my holiday break. I'm heading out for a few days over the festive season to catch up with family, head to the beach and relax for a few days before the new year begins again.

Where ever you are and whether you choose to celebrate or not, I wish you a safe and happy holiday and thank you for stopping by and sending me many comments over the past 12 months. See you in 2016!

What's your favourite breakfast? Are you savoury or sweet? Or both? Traditionally during the festive season, I try not to eat too much at breakfast because I know lunches and dinners are going to be big!

The last time I hosted a brunch on Christmas day I really wanted to have a great variety of dishes to select from. Often the weather is unpredictable at this time of year so I needed hot and cold options but I didn't want to spend too long in the kitchen.

My good friend Steph sent me a recipe she had pulled out of the 'Australian Women's Weekly', many years ago, called a 'Cheesy Bacon and Egg Slice'. Now while the idea is great,  there was simply not enough green things in it for me. 

Based on the same principle as the slice recipe, I have made this into a very different meal with lots more vegetables. The slice is very colourful and of course you could select a different range of vegetable for this dish if you wish. 

What I like most about is that you prepare it all, put it in the fridge overnight and bake it the following day. So easy and yet it is deliciously filling and full of goodness.  Hope you enjoy it.

Vegetable and Egg Slice with Cheese - Serves 6 - 8


4 eggs beaten
750ml milk, soy or almond
a small handful fresh parsley, chopped
few sprigs of thyme leaves only
4 asparagus spears chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
1 small loaf of white bread unsliced
200g mushrooms chopped
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons worcester sauce (optional)
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
salt and pepper
2 zucchini thinly sliced
200g grated cheese, mixture of cheddar(tasty) and parmesan
butter or oil for greasing

You will need an oven proof dish, approx 3 litres for this recipe. 

Beat eggs and milk together and add salt and pepper, parsley and thyme.

Cut off all of the crust of the white bread (save these and make breadcrumbs)  and dice the bread into small cubes.

Prepare dish by greasing the bottom and sides with a little butter or oil.

Place the diced bread in a layer at the bottom of the dish.

On top of the bread add green pepper, red pepper, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini and grated cheese.

Add mayonnaise, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce into the egg and milk mixture and tip this over all the bread and vegetables.

Now cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

Cook uncovered in a preheated oven 180º/350 for 50 - 60 minutes until the top is nice and brown and the liquid has evaporated.

Set aside for 10 minutes before serving with a green salad.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis aux Cerises - Cherry Clafoutis

Goodness comes in ripe little red packages and I am over the moon that it's cherry season once again. I'm sure we have all tried on cherry earrings, moustaches, and hair ties when we were kids - or even older.

I could not let this season pass without making my favourite French recipe. Time consuming as it may be to take out cherry stones, you will thank yourself that you did because this dessert is so worth the bother. A Clafoutis is a creamy, custardy dessert stuffed with fruit, which should just melt in your mouth.
I think originally the stones were left in the cherries, but today I am so very fearful of losing fillings that I do pit them.

I must make an admission here - I made a Clafoutis the other day, not using my favourite recipe but trying out a new one and I'm sorry to say, it was a dud! 

Although the taste was there, the custard was rubbery and definitely not creamy.  Did I over cook it? Maybe, but I baked it for a lot less than the recipe called for.  It was a little embarrassing because I had friends for dinner! However, they weren't too unhappy to see the odd failure and the dish was licked clean nevertheless!

So here is my bog standard recipe - works every time!

Did you know?  Cherries have excellent health benefits if you suffer from Gout, as research shows that they reduce Uric Acid. Also Osteoarthritis flare ups can be reduced by drinking cherry juice every day! Now that can't be a bad excuse. Enjoy!

Clafoutis aux Cerises -  Cherry Clafoutis


2 cups cherries pitted
1 cup milk
3 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence
30 g flaked almonds
60g melted butter cooled
1/2 cup plain flour
50g almond meal
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
pinch of salt
Icing Sugar for dusting

Pre heat oven to 170º fan forced/325 degrees.

Butter a deep sided dish (around a 3 cup size)
Layer the bottom of the dish with flaked almonds and pitted cherries. Spread them out over the bottom of your dish but don't be too particular.

Whisk 3 eggs, in a large bowl. Add sugar, almond essence, vanilla, cornflour, salt and continue to whisk. Add almond meal, flour and gradually the milk and whisk until the mixture is a smooth batter.

Put the batter aside for 30 minutes to rest.

Place the dish of cherries in the oven and cook for 5 minutes, to allow the cherries to soften a little.

Pour over the batter and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. The top should be slightly brown and springy. Be careful not to over cook.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar and serve either warm or cold. You do not need to add any cream or ice cream to this dessert unless you are feeling really piggish!

Should serve 6 people - unless you have friends like mine that can demolish anything this size between 4 people.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Breakfast Muffins

I was watching Jamie Oliver on TV one evening and saw him make some delicious Breakfast Muffins. I didn't take down his recipe but based on his ingredients and my own muffin recipes I concocted a version of muffins to try. Once they were in the oven the kitchen began to smell so sweetly I couldn't wait for them to finish baking and the end result was great; colourful, fragrant, tasty and very healthy.

Celebrity Chefs are becoming a regular on Australian TV. It's not just on the cooking programmes but promoting various supermarkets and competing heavily for everyone's dollar. There's also the branding - the cake mixes, frozen desserts and spice mixes which celebrity chefs, or ex Master Chef contestants are now flogging.  I'm not sure I agree with all this commercialisation. There is nothing wrong with healthy, home cooked, seasonal food prepared well. It doesn't need frozen or pre prepared vegetables sold in plastic or cardboard; just adding fresh herbs and spices will bring out the best flavours in everything you cook.

Jamie's doing a good job in encouraging people to try something a little healthier and giving a heads up on how to prepare a meal with little fat and sugar! Can't be all bad! I honestly think you can eat these muffins at any time of day and if you are running late for work grab one to eat on the way.



600 grams peeled, grated sweet potato

3 - 4 large eggs
250 g wholemeal plain flour
4 spring onions finely sliced
1 red chilli finely sliced
200 g low fat cottage cheese
100 g parmesan or cheddar cheese grated
a large handful of parsley chopped
salt and pepper
Oil for greasing

For the topping

1 red chilli finely chopped

few sprigs of parsley

Grab your large muffin pan and some baking paper. Cut squares of baking paper that will fit nicely into the pans. Grease them using oil and a pastry brush and set aside.

In a large bowl add grated potato, spring onions, chilli, parsley and mix. Add the beaten eggs and the flour and mix again. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the cheeses.

You will need to use a large spoon to spoon the mixture onto the baking paper and into the muffin pans. I found the easiest way to do this was to take the paper in my hand, fill it and then drop it into the muffin pan. It made 12 nice sized muffins.

Finely slice the second chilli and sprinkle on the top with a little parsley and place in a pre heated moderate oven 180º/ 350 F for around 30 minutes. They should be reasonably firm and slightly browned on the top. Eat them warm or cold - delicious either way.