Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes

Posted by Alison

So the question after every Christmas is what to do with all that leftover ham? Make Scalloped Potatoes of course! This is a recipe based on one from, but of course I think mine's better!

What do I need?
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1kg Desiree potatoes
  • 300ml milk
  • Sliced ham
How is it done?
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 6cm deep, 15cm x 24cm (base) ovenproof dish.
  2. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook for 4 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat. Set aside. Slice potatoes into 5mm-thick rounds. Pour cream into a jug. Add nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork to combine.
  3. Arrange a layer of potatoes over base of prepared dish. Top with a layer of onion. Drizzle with a little cream mixture. Repeat layers until all ingredients have been used.
  4. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Remove foil. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until top is golden.

Tips and Tricks: Leave out the ham for a meatless option; sprinkle with cheese before baking for a cheesy option, yum!

Friday, December 24, 2010

An Australian Christmas Lunch

Christmas 2010

We're off the non-cooking, cold served Christmas Lunch family and this year was no different.


  • A variety of pickled goods including peppers, gherkins, pickles and artichoke hearts (see above)
  • Spinach dip (see center item)
  • Brie with crackers

  • Oysters
  • Sliced ham off the bone
  • Crayfish
  • Balmain Bugs
  • Prawns
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Coleslaw
  • Potato salad
  • Garden salad

My birthday is close to Christmas so I requested the layered pavlova.

We also had:
Hope you all had a great Christmas, no mater what you ate or where you were!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Handmade Gifts: Quick and Easy Fudge

Posted by Rebecca

Yes, another Martha Stewart recipe, she calls it Foolproof Holiday Fudge and it was indeed foolproof.

Here's my version.

What do I need?

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup double cream

  • 3 1/2 cups marshmallows

  • 3 cups nestle milk chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • How do I do it?

  • Line a  baking pan with two sheets of waxed or parchment paper in a crisscross manner (one lengthwise, one crosswise) so ends overhang sides of pan.

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook sugar, salt, butter, cream, and marshmallows, stirring, until butter and marshmallows are almost melted, 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chips and vanilla; stir until chips are melted. Pour mixture into lined pan.

  • Let fudge cool in the pan at room temperature, 3 hours. Use edges of paper to lift out fudge; place on cutting board, and remove paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, or cut fudge into bars.

  • Tips and Tricks: Fudge can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Try sprinkling with crushed candy canes. Substitute the milk chocolate for white chocolate.

    So mine didn't end up so pretty, but it tastes delicious!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Handmade Gifts: Marshmallows

    Posted by Rebecca

    I'm a big fan of Martha Stewart's website and found these cute Christmas Marshmallows which would make great gifts.

    What do I need?
    • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    • 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
    • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
    How do I do it?
    1.     Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.
    2.     Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside.
    3.     Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes.
    4.     Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Gingerbread Men

    Posted by Alsion

    Just in time for Christmas, the Gingerbread men recipe from

    What do I need?

  • Melted butter, to grease

  • 125g butter, at room temperature

  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup 

  • 1 egg, separated

  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour

  • 1 tbs ground ginger

  • 1 tsp mixed spice

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • Plain flour, to dust

  • 150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted

  • 8-10 drops red liquid food colouring

  • 8-10 drops green liquid food colouring

  • Smarties or M&Ms, to decorate

  • How is it done?
    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
    2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
    3. Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
    4. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
    5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
    6. Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread men to decorate.