Monday, 31 May 2010

Quesadilla Time!

My Sister and her husband are teaching English in South Korea this year and they have a really cool apartment but... no oven! They have been making all their dinners in a toaster oven which basically means they can only cook things you can toast lol. Here is my tribute to Quesadillas just for them. For Christmas I got this awesome cook book that has 700 recipes! and it has about 15 Quesadilla flavours and how to make them. I've only tried the chicken, cheese and chilli one so here is the recipe and some other fillings they recommend.



Quesadilla with chicken, cheese & chilli:

Ingredients

For Quesadillas:
Salt
Hot sauce such as chipotle or Mexican green chili sauce to taste (1/2 teaspoon)
450g vine-ripened tomatoes (about 2 tomatoes)
60g unsalted butter
12 corn tortillas, preferably white
1 cup shredded cooked chicken (about 85g )
175g Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Colby cheese, thinly sliced

Lay 6 tortillas out and divide the cheese, hot sauce, tomatoes and chicken among the tortillas. (Its best to leave about an inch border on the edge of the tortilla uncovered to allow for the spread of the melting cheese.) Top with remaining tortillas and press gently to seal. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small pan or place on a plate.Cook turning once, until golden and little bubbles appear on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes in all. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas. Hola! Quesdillas!

Other filling ideas:

Ham, Gerkin and smoked cheese
Chicken and sweet onion relish
Feta cheese,olives and peppers
Blue cheese and bacon
Capcicum and basil
Corn and cheese
Refried beans, rice and chicken
Bacon and egg
Spicy beef like pastrami and salad.

Chicken and sweet onion relish.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Upside-Down Pear Chocolate Cake

This is a really delicious recipe for cold winter nights, served hot with ice cream it makes a great pudding or you can eat it cold too, it goes great with coffee. It's really easy to make, the hardest part is deciding how to arrange your pears in the bottom of the tin!


Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled (you can use instant if you must).
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

Preheat the oven to 180, lightly grease a 10-inch cake pan. Line the pan with cooking paper and lightly oil the paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Line the bottom of the cake pan with the pears in a circular design or anything pretty and decorative, this is going to be the top of your cake. Pour the batter on top of the pears. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a skewer can be inserted in the centre and comes out clean.

Place on a rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen them. Invert the pan onto a plate. Using the handle of a knife, vigorously tap the top of the pan, even shaking it a bit, to loosen the cake. Leave the pan over the cake for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Amazing cupcakes and blogs


So if you didn't already know I'm really into cupcakes!. I love to bake, make, decorate and collect anything to do with cupcakes so I thought I'd share with you some of my awesome cupcake finds in the last few weeks.

One of my favourite blogs to read at the moment is called 'Cupcakes take the cake' which always has amazing new cupcake ideas and recipes. http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/.

I also recently discovered this awesome cupcake blog from a fellow Wellingtonian called "Cupcake Sweeties" She sells awesome cupcake stuff online and at craft shops around Welly. I just bought some of her goodies last weekend and can't wait to make my next batch!

Last my not definitely not least I always check out Vegan cupcakes take over the world because she has Ah-mazing recipes, mostly with less sugar and fat than your traditional cupcake, bliss.This is a picture of her book below I think I'm going to ask for it for my Birthday.



Awesome Twilight cupcakes.



This is one of my favourite cupcake designs. There are a lot of Twilight cupcakes around at the moment and some of them look pretty nasty but this one is just fantastic! I also like these ones.



Their from a wicked shop called Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in New Jersey.Sweet Avenue Bake Shop bakes pretty much anything on a cupcake...At the moment they are making Lost themed cupcakes for the "Lost" finale and Sex and the City 2 cupcakes. I also love how their menu changes everyday of the week from strawberry margaritas on Tuesdays to cinnamon sticky bun on Sundays *sigh* I wish we had amazing cupcake shops like this in NZ!

I thought these were totally cute too and! they have marshmallow frosting. YUM!


Caramel mocha cupcakes:


Now,I'm not a big fan of Starbucks for obvious reasons but I do like their caramel mocha! and when I saw a recipe for this cupcake at 'Saucy sprinkles" I thought wow! This is so going on my 'to bake list'. http://www.saucysprinkles.com/2009/04/salted-caramel-mocha-cupcake.html

Mario cupcakes!


These are made by a lady called Naomi and you can check out her other cool creations (including the ice cream sundae cupcakes above) on her flicker page.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hello_naomi/1273806728/.

If you want to check out some more amazing cupcake designs have a look at these for inspiration.
http://www.toxel.com/inspiration/2009/03/31/21-unusual-and-creative-cupcake-designs/

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Taco Soup

This is a delicious soup I make almost every week. Its super quick and very tasty. You can add minced beef or chicken if you want it to be like Amercian "Chilli" or omit it like I usually do and its a yummy veggie taco soup.



Taco Soup:

Ingredients

* 500 gm ground beef (optional)
* 1 can of corn (drained)
* 1 can of spicy kidney/pinto beans
* 2 cans of tomatos
* 1 package taco seasoning
* 1 small onion (chopped)
* Tortilla chips (optional)
* Shredded cheese (optional)
*1 Cup of dried pasta
* 2 Cups chicken stock
* Sour cream (optional)

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain. Add taco seasoning.

Add remaining ingredients to ground beef(you can omit this and its still really great)

Boil for 1 hour plus until the pasta is cooked and the soup has thickened.

Top with shredded cheese, the hot soup will melt the cheese topping.

Add a tablespoon of sour cream and sliced jalepeno peppers (optional on both).
Serve and enjoy!

Tips
* Great as a leftover for lunch there's always heaps left so we freeze the rest and have it agian in the week.
*You can also add extra chilli or hot sauce if you like it extra spicy.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Ode to soup!

So I haven't had a post in aaages and am at home sick today. What better excuse to do some blogging. I dedicate this post to my new found love of soups. In the last week I have made 3 kinds of scrummy soup, Mexican taco soup, spicy bean soup and my newest discovery roasted capsicum soup. All served with crusty bread! there is something inherently good about eating piping hot soup and dunking crispy bread into your bowl, mmm delish. I dont think you can beat siting down on a chilly night with a big bowl of good soup.It's just such good stuff!

So here is my recipe for the latter of my soups which is perhaps the easiest soup you will ever make! its actually the first recipe for capsicum soup that comes up on google! the reason for this being I cut out a recipe for capsicum soup then proceeded to lose it after i had just bought 4 capsicums for my soup cooking purposes. Any who was a totally blessing because this soup is divine.

Roasted Capsicum Soup:




Serving size: Serves 4 but we had big bowls full so maybe 3.
Cooking time: Less than 60 minutes
Special options: Lactose free
Course: Entree, Lunch or dinner.

INGREDIENTS

4 red capsicums, deseeded cut into 8
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
2 red onions, cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
salt and pepper
4 thick slices sour dough bread
1 tablespoon garlic oil
1 tablespoon pesto

METHOD

Preheat oven to 250°C (230°C fan forced).

Place capsicum, tomatoes, onions and garlic in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile heat stock in a medium saucepan.

Combine roasted vegetables and stock in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle bread with garlic oil and toast on a preheated chargrill, sprinkle with sea salt.

Serve soup topped with pesto and the garlic toast.

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