Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken, Spinach & Blue Cheese Pasta Sauce

My friend Anne is staying with me and this is one of the first dishes I ever made's quick, super tasty and you can pretend it's good for you because of the spinach!!

Serves 4
Prep Time 10 mins
Cooking Time 20 mins

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (170g)
  • 1 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 8oz (227g) low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy (double) cream
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh herbs (I grow Thyme, Basil and Oregano at home so I mixed these)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. In a large non stick saucepan heat the olive oil on a medium heat and then add the garlic & onion and saute for 5 mins, stirring to prevent burning.
  2. Add the chicken, salt & pepper, lemon zest and herbs de provence, cook for an additional 5 mins
  3. Add the sour cream, heavy cream and blue cheese. Cook down for an additional 5 mins. The cream should reduce by half
  4. Add the spinach and herbs and cover for the last 5 minutes, stirring half way through. The spinach will wilt down, don't worry if it looks alot!
Serve with some penne or spaghetti and some Garlic Garlic Garlic Bread


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Azurea - Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville - Restaurant review

Azurea Restaurant, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville $$$

Six People
$500 with tip (3 rounds of cocktails, 2 shared appetisers, 6 entrees, 6 desserts, 2 coffees)

What we had .....

Cast Iron Seared Jumbo Blue Crab Cake, Apple Cider Braised Collard Greens, Charred Heirloom Tomatoes, Crisp Smoked Bacon
Artisana Chesse And Wild Mushroom Tart, Watercress, Tomato Marmalade,Shallot Vinaigrette


Seafood “Mixed Grill”,Local Catch Hawaiian Prawns, Diver Sea Scallop,Tangerine Vin Blanc x 2
“Local Catch, 3 Ways”,Grilled with Stone Fruit Salpicone,Bronzed with Lime Butter Emulsion, Beignet Battered with Smoked Vidalia Onion Remoulade
Harris Ranch 16 oz. Beef Rib Eye Cipollini onion and Pancetta Relish, Béarnaise
Red Sea Salt Crusted Diver Scallops, Anson Mills Tasso Grits, Sweet Corn Fava Bean Sauté, Smoked Piquillo Coulis
Coriander Dusted Sea Bass, Spiny Lobster-Mango Gastrique, Cilantro Emulsion

Warm Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Center,Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Chocolate Pouring Sauce
Crème Brulee Two Ways, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Malted Chocolate, Assortment of Butter Cookies
One Ocean Dessert Sampler, Platter for Two x 2

On being invited to Azurea I was excited. I'd read good reviews and knew that our foodie fix would be very well satisfied.
We arrived a little late, walked through an amazing blue shell entrance which makes you feel like you are under the sea,
and found the rest of our party were already having cocktails on the outside seating area overlooking the ocean (it was dark, so we coudn't see it, but we could hear  and smell it!).
They quickly ordered us martini's and we settled in for a very nice evening. As we had an early table we were not rushed into coming to our table, and the wait staff outside were friendly and efficient.
Inside we were shown to our table and another round of cocktails swiftly appeared. I never saw the menu so can't tell you the prices, but they were delicious!
Our main server was a little over attentive, and seemed to appear without warning ! It was like he could materialise from thing air! but as he was not actually delivering the food we did not have to see him the whole time!

We were talking away when an amuse-bouche lollipop of grape, goats chesse and pecan was surprising yummy and fresh tasting!
Our appetisers were elegant, although two between six of us was just not enough as they were very moreish, especially the cheese and mushroom tart. A nice break and then on to the entrees... they were fresh, well-prepared and divine. My Local Catch was a yellow eyed snapper and was superb! My husbands steak was well cooked (rare) and very juicy.
We chose for the table Four Cheese Baked Macaroni, Sautéed Baby Savoy Spinach with Shaved Garlic and Wild Mushroom Fricassee with fresh Thyme Butter.Two of the couples had the dessert sampler which was chef's choice of 4 desserts, which looked nice, but I was extremely happy with my salty and sweet chocolate cake, and my husband with his creme brulees!
...all scrumptious!

Attentive service and elegant beach atmosphere!

The best meal we've had this year, and worth a night out for a special occaision...we will be back !

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Mighty Meatball Spagetti Dinner

My husbands favourite trick is to mark the recipes he would love to eat in each of the celebrity chef cookbooks with his initials…having made one, a special meat pasta, I was really disappointed with the taste or lack of it and the next night presented these meatballs…his initials have been crossed out on that page now!!! The rosemary gives the sauce a really fresh fragrant taste and the meatballs have that lovely background from the Italian sausage.

For 4 people
Enough pasta (we use spaghetti or fettucine) for 4 people (depends how big your appetites are!!!)

For the meatballs
  • 1/2lb minced sirloin
  • ¼ lb hot Italian bulk sausage
  • ¼ lb mild Italian bulk sausage
  • Buy sausages and split skins if you can’t get bulk
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ½ large red onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 tablespoon All purpose Flour
  • 1 egg
For the sauce

  • ½ large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • 1 16oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Steak Sauce (I use A1)
1. Combine all but 4 tablespoons of the flour and the oil for the meatballs in a large bowl. Use your hands to combine all the ingredients.

2. From the mixture take small sections and use remaining flour to help shape into meatballs. Set aside until all meatball formed.

3. Heat the Olive Oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Gently fry the meatballs until gently browned on both don’t need to fully cook they will finish in the sauce.

4. Reserve the meatballs to one side once browned.

5. In the same pan start the sauce. Add the oil and when hot add onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 5 mins (until carrot is soft).

6. Add the garlic, fresh tomatoes. Cook down for a few minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.

7. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried herbs, ½ rosemary, basil, red wine and steak sauce.

8. Turn heat down to low, cover and cook for about 20 mins.
9. Add back meatballs and any juices, cover each one with sauce and cook for another 20 mins

10. Add the heavy cream and reserved rosemary and cook for 5 mins. Cover and turn off heat
11. Cook the Spaghetti to taste ( I like al dente ) and drain

12. Take a few spoons of the sauce and mix through the cooked spaghetti. Turn onto serving platter. Cover with the rest of the meatballs and sauce and serve.

If you are really hungry serve with my Garlic, Garlic, Garlic Bread!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Garlic, Garlic, Garlic Bread

When you are married to a 6’5 construction worker you need to keep him well fed and I serve this gorgeous garlic bread with my pasta dishes….however this is so good it rarely even makes it to the table…you won’t ever buy shop garlic bread again!!! It's the lemon that gives it that extra kick.

Serves 4 people
Preparation Time 5 mins
Cooking Time 5 mins


  • French baguette sliced into ½ inch pieces at an angle.
  • Zest & Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Italian dried herb mix
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 150g mixed Italian cheeses (you can buy mixed bags at supermarket, but regular cheddar will get the job done too if you can't access any Italian cheeses!!)
1. Combine the butter, oil, herbs, zest and juice of lemon, pepper and garlic in either a microwaveable bowl or a saucepan.
2. Heat gently until butter melted
3. Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet – use foil to save scraping burnt cheese off later.
4. Pour a little butter mixture on to each slice (use a brush if easier)
5. Cover each slice with cheese
6. Place until a medium grill (broil) until cheese melted and bread is crispy


Clare's Super Beef Stew

My friend and her daughter arrive in Florida this week and I'm trying to get food cooked so that I can enjoy being with them rather than spend all the time in the kitchen. This Sunday we will be having this delicious beef stew which is a hybrid of my mothers recipe, homemade yorkshire puddings and veggies...yummy. PS..I'll add some pics on Sunday ;-)

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10mins prep, 2 1/2  hrs cooking


  • 1 1/2 lbs lean stewing beef
  • 1 large yellow onion medium diced
  • 3 sticks of celery sliced at a diagonal in 2 " pieces
  • 3 large carrots sliced at a diagonal in 2 " pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 3 medium potatoes peeled and sliced in 1/4 thickness ( you can add more if you are not going to serve potatoes with your meal)
  • 1/4 cup thyme leaves
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
You will need a casserole dish that you can fry in then transfer to the oven, or a frying pan with a casserole dish. I use a Le Crueset casserole
  1. Set oven at 300 F ( 150 C)
  2. Cut meat into 2" pieces
  3. Season well with salt and pepper
  4. Coat the meat with the flour and shake off excess
  5. Heat one tablespoon of oil at a medium hot heat.
  6. Brown the meat on both sides, you are looking for a nice crust, don't cook through and don't crown pan as the meat wont brown. Once all meat done remove from casserole and turn heat down to medium.
  7. Add rest of oil, heat and then add onion, celery, carrot, thyme. As you stir remember to scrape all the good bits off the bottom of the pan
  8. When the onions have started to soften add the meat back to the casserole, then add the wine, stock, mustard and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, stir well and then cover with lid or foil and put in oven.
  9. Cook for 2 hrs and then shut off oven and leave to cool down if you are going to eat another day. If not you can thicken if required with some corn starch (flour) and a little water - it depends how thick you want your stew.
We're having with Yorkshire Puddings, Roast Potatoes and Vegetables and all I have to do is take the stew out if the freezer now and heat up! Hurrah!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Lonely Can of Tuna Fishcakes!

Ever thought about what to do with that lonely can of tuna at the back of the cupboard? That was my dilema as I looked around for something to eat last night. I had 1 can of tuna (the only protein in the house) and a shelf full of pasta...hmmm...something with the Tuna I think...these turned out light and tasty, and tasted yummy with some sweet chilli sauce and a green salad....enjoy!

Serves 2-3 people
Preparation Time 15 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins

  • 1 185g can of tuna in brine, drained
  • 1 large potato, boiled and mashed
  • ½ stick lemon grass, bashed and finely chopped ( I had some in the fridge, leave out if you dont)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot or equivalent onion finely chopped ( I think you could substitute green onion too)
  • ½ green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • Black pepper & Salt
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
1. Combine tuna, potato, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, shallot, chilli, fish sauce, zest, coriander, egg and flour.
2. Season with salt & pepper
3. Heat 2” of oil in a frying pan or wok until hot.
4. Create ¼” thick, 2” diameter fish cakes and add to oil in batches. Don’t over fill oil as temperature will go down. Fry until golden brown then drain on kitchen paper.
5. Continue until all cakes cooked ( you should get 8 – 10 small cakes )
6. Serve with some Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, or maybe some lime mayonnaise

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lemony Chicken

This goes great with the Mediterranean couscous, but is great with salad to..

Serves 4 people
Preparation Time 5 mins
Cooking Time 10 mins

  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • Juice and Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper

1. Slice the chicken breasts in large goujons
2. Combine all the other ingredients and leave for 20-30 mins to marinade
3. Heat a non-stick grill pan, broil (grill) or barbeque in the summer
4. Cook chicken on both sides and serve hot.


Mediterranean Couscous

My husband hates being healthy, but this one I slip by him as it tastes too good to be good for you!

Serves 4 people
Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins

Nutritrion Facts

  • 1 large red onion – cut in eights
  • 1 red bell pepper – cut in eights
  • 1 yellow bell pepper – cut in eights
  • 1 courgette (zucchini) cut in ¼ inch diagonal pieces
  • 1/2 cup (handful) chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 1/2 cup (handful) chopped mint
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 60 g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 full garlic bulb
  • Zest & Juice 1 lemon
  • Zest & Juice 1 Lime
  • Zest & Juice 1 Orange
  • 50 g (1.75oz) Pine nuts, roasted
  • 2 cups Couscous
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Black Pepper

1. In a hot oven (350F, 225 C)  put the red onion, peppers, garlic and courgette in an ovenproof dish with a tablespoon of olive oil. When roasted (approx 40 mins) remove and place to one side until couscous ready.
2. In a heat proof bowl combine the couscous with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, juice and zests of lemon, lime and orange and hot chicken stock. Cover for 5 mins
3. Fluff the couscous with a fork and add the apricots, chopped mint and coriander, pine nuts, roasted vegetables and peeled, roasted garlic. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serve with some Lemony Grilled Chicken

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yorkshire Pudding gone mad!

I've been craving a roast beef dinner for an English girl living in Florida I sometimes (alot of the time) I miss my traditional roast on a Sunday. Roast Beef in the UK would be served with roast potatoes, lots of delicious veggies, gravy, creamy horseradish sauce and ......Yorkshire Pudding. Yorkshire Pudding isn't a pudding, or any type of dessert. It's a light airy pastry made with meat drippings ( I substitute vegetable oil)  served with the meat, often with gravy or meat juices.  Cooked in a very hot oven, the Yorkshire pudding puffs up, leaving large pockets of air, and becomes a pastry that is more crust than interior. It is excellent for sopping up juices, or for Americans, buttering and eating like a dinner roll.

I have alway bought a mix before, but Jacksonville doesn't have the same influx of English as Orlando does and I realised to my horror I would have to make from scratch. Anyway, that is what the internet is I Googled away and found the recipe from Chef Brian Turner.. if he (being from Yorkshire) can't make a descent Yorkie, then I don't know who can...

Well blow me down, it was simple...and the largest yorkshires ever made (in my kitchen) were born...enjoy!

(for 6 people...2 each!)
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (plain)
  • 1 cup of eggs (I used 4 large)
  • 1 cup of milk (I used fat free and it didn't seem to hurt)
  • 1 good pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil 
  • 12 space muffin tin (yorkshire pudding tin)
  1.   Heat oven to 425 F (220 C)
  2. Combine well all the ingredients except the oil
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to each compartment in the tin
  4. Put in oven and heat until oil is smoking
  5. Pour equal amounts of the batter into each compartment
  6. Put back in oven and cook for approximately 25 mins - try not to open oven as they might fall!
  7. Enjoy with gravy and roast beef


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tequila 'Key' Lime Pie

Ok...when living in Florida you can find Key Lime Pie everywhere, but this is my little take on it.. it's the same basic recipe that you find most places, but with an adult kick! I use Persian limes when I can't get Key limes. It's a light and refreshing dessert and my father's favourite.


  • Spring Form Cake Tin
  • 200g Crushed Digestive Biscuits (use gram crackers in US)
  • 5 Limes – Juice of all, zest of 2
  • 6 medium egg yolks
  • 397g (14oz) tin Condensed Milk
  • A good glug of Tequila (20ml)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 280ml Double Cream (heavy whipping cream)
  • 2 Tablespoons Icing Sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 50 g White Chocolate for decoration
1. Heat oven to 180 °C (350 F)
2. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the crushed biscuit. When combined press into the base of the spring form tin.
3. Gently break the eggs yolks then add the condensed milk, tequila, lime juice and zest of one lime. Gently mix until fully combined then pour into tin over crushed biscuit.
4. Cook in the oven for 10-12 mins – you are looking for a firm consistency, but not for the pie to go brown.
5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool
6. Whisk the cream with the sugar and cover the pie.
7. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the pie
8. Use the reserved zest and spinkle over the pie.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jamie Oliver's Oven Baked Spaghetti Bolognese

I normally make my own spaghetti bolognese, however my friend Anne (pictured left) has been banging on about me making Jamie Oliver's Oven Baked Spaghetti Bolognese after a successful attempt in Spetember. So I'm going husband has a love affair with pasta anyway and I think my spaghetti is his favourite meal...I'm guessing that Jamie Oliver should be better than me!

Anyway I'm back to the house tomorrow morning so I'll be leaving this as a surprise for my husbands Friday night supper. If he doesn't like it Anne, I blame you ( and you are not allowed back in Florida ;-) ).

  • 10 slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon rashers, sliced
  • 1 handful rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound chuck steak, minced, or best minced beef
  • 1 wineglass of red wine
  • 1 level teaspoon dried oregano
  • 14 ounce tin of tomatoes
  • 7 ounce tube of tomato puree or 1 small jar sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 2 handfuls of grated Parmesan or strong Cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2.  In a large hot pan that can go in the oven, fry the pancetta and rosemary in a little olive oil until lightly golden.
  3. Then add the onion and garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes, until softened, before adding the minced beef.
  4. Stir and continue frying for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the wine.
  5. Reduce slightly, then add the oregano, all the tomatoes, and the tomato puree.
  6. Season well to taste, bring to the boil, cover with greaseproof paper or a lid, and place in the preheated oven for an hour and a half.
  7. Towards the end of the cooking time, put your spaghetti into a large pot of fast-boiling salted water until al dente (check the packet for cooking time).
  8. When it's cooked, drain it in a colander.
  9. Just before serving, add some ripped-up fresh basil to the sauce.
  10. Serve with your spaghetti and some grated Parmesan or strong Cheddar.
Thanks Jamie, I'll let you know what he thinks..!


Restaurant Review - 'M' at the Point, Mandurah, Western Australia

Date: September 13th, 7pm
Dining: Just me
Price: AUS$54 (approx $40)
Meal: Fish of the day, roasted vegetable side dish, glass of local red wine

Downstairs underneath the Sebel Hotel is 'M at the Point' restaurant. ' Unique Modern Australian cuisine that may include anything from a wagyu beef burger to a delicious gourmet pizza.' was the description...sounded good to me!.

I love eating fish in Australia and had the fish of the day...not sure what it was called but it was delicious. Served on a bed of roasted potatoes and a creamy sauce, I soon polished the lot. It went very well with my large glass of cabernet sauvignon, which was from a Margaret River vineyard. I did make a mistake in ordering the roasted vegetable side dish as it was so large - enough for 4, but again yummy.
The staff are young, but were polite and well trained. This is not silver service but professional and friendly. I did have to take my bill to pay at the exit which is a pet peeve, this was not a diner, so marked down a little for that, but all in all recommended. Not the cheapest, but the food was note worthy.
Service: good
Food: above average
Price: a little pricey

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I've not made Margaritas before, but had one (or two!) at a friends on easy and no measuring involved..its all in the can!

For 4 Margaritas 
  • 1 can of Minute Maid frozen limeade mix
  • Tequila - use something nice like Gold - not the gut rot stuff!
  • 1/2 bottle of a light beer - like Presidente or Corona
  • Ice
  • Salt and Lime to serve

1. In a mixer combine the limeade then fill empty can with tequila and add to mixer. Then add the beer. Whizz on medium to combine - you can now add some extra ice for more 'frozen'.
2. Use a lime to 'wet' the rim of the glasses and then dip in salt
3. Serve!

Make sure you have extra limeade / and still half a beer left!


Scrumptious Sausage Casserole

Although it's far from Fall (Autumn) here (92 F yesterday, phew!) it's still nice to have some warming food - just turn the AC down and pretend!

This scrummy sausage casserole is a little bit spicy, but you can leave the chilli out if you wish and it will still be delicious. Enjoy!

Preparation 10 mins
Cooking time 1 hr

Serves 4

  • 2 small red onions - chunked
  • 1 red bell pepper - chunked
  • ½ green bell pepper - chunked
  • 3 cloves garlic - chopped
  • ½ large red chilli – finely chopped
  • 1 cup (glass) red wine
  • 1 cup (glass) stock
  • 1 1/2 cups  mushrooms - quartered
  • 1 cup smoky bacon – chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup chorizo sausage – chopped into bite size pieces
  • 6 good quality sausages- high meat percentage cut into inch pieces (use scissors it's easier!)
  • 1 14oz (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (200g) 7-8oz baked beans - in England in would use Heinz, however something like Bushes will work fine
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp mixed italian herbs
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 200C (390F)
3. In a casserole pot that you can use on the burners heat a little olive oil. Gently fry the sausage pieces, browning on all sides.
4. Add the bacon and chorizo and fry off for a few minutes until a little cripsy and the fat has rendered.
5. Remove meat from pan and add onions, peppers, garlic, chilli. Cook in meat juices for 5 minutes.
6. Add celery salt, herbs, chilli flakes and tomatoes – cook for 5 mins
7. Add wine, stock and mushrooms. Bring to boil then remove from heat.
8. Add back in the meat and stir in.
9. Cover and place in oven for 40 mins
10. Remove from oven and stir in baked beans. Cover and leave for 5 mins then stir and serve. The beans only need to heat through, we do not want them to break down....


Monday, October 5, 2009

Fake Jalapeno Popper Wontons

Along with the Fried Chinese Wontons we also took some of these delicious fake jalapeno poppers to the party. We love jalapeno poppers, but unless you eat them right away you can end up with a soggy how to get around that and still satisfy our craving...genius, we will create a filling to go in some wontons to mimic the taste of the jalapeno poppers..!! Yeah...please try these, you will not believe how good they are. Just serve them with some store bought sweet chilli sauce. Enjoy!

  • 2 ( 8oz) packs of cream cheese ( we used full fat Philadelphia, but I think you could lighten it up with low fat) - leave out of fridge to soften
  • 1 (4oz) can of chopped green chillies - drained
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped jalapenos - drained
  • 1 cup of mayonaise (I used low fat as we had to hand)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 packet of wonton wrappers (12 oz)
  • Canola or vegetable oil to fry in  
  1. Combine all the ingredients well in a large bowl
  2. On a flat surface lay the wontons out ( I do 4 at a time), and brush some water around the edges of each one.
  3. Place a heaped teaspoon of the chesse mixture in the centre of each wonton and then fold together. (if you prefere you could make triangles or other shapes, it is entirely up to you!)
  4. Repeat until all wontons are filled.
  5. Heat oil in a pan to a deep enough level to cover wontons. Deep fry the wontons until golden and crispy. Do not over fill the pan as you will bring the oil temp down and end up with soggy wonton...
  6. Drain and serve with the chilli sauce - delicious

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wanting Wontons....?

Ok this is the first blog of my new blog. My dog and I already write one...just day to day life goings on in sunny Florida..Yes, his name is Gary!!, however my friends have been trying to get me to write down all the wonderful recipes I come up with and finally I firstly a disclaimer.....

'If you should end up with food poisoning from any of my were doing something wrong!

Ok so why were we here?...ahh yes the first of my recipe blogs, well actually there are two... Fried Chinese Wontons and Jalepeno Popper Wantons, but lets start with the Fried Chinese Wontons...

We were at a football party yesterday and my mother always taught me not to go empty handed...these are what I came up with. A variation on the chinese dumpling, they are a little fiddly and time consuming to put together, but my, are they tasty and are sure to get you the requisite oohs and aahs ..think firework display!


  • 350g (0.8 lb) ground pork
  • 4 green onions (scallions), thinly slicked
  • 3 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce, available in most supermarkets
  • 3 teaspoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 1 packet (12 oz) wonton wrappers
  • Canola / vegetable oil to fry
  1. Combine the pork, green onions, hoisin, soy sauce, garlic and ginger with the egg in a bowl.
  2. On a flat surface lay the wontons out ( I do 4 at a time), and brush some water around the edges of each one.
  3. Place a heaped teaspoon of the pork mixture in the centre of each wonton and then pinch together. (if you prefere you could make triangles or other shapes, it is entirely up to you!)
  4. Repeat until all wontons are filled.
  5. Heat oil in a pan to a deep enough level to cover wontons. Deep fry the wontons until golden and crispy. Do not over fill the pan as you will bring the oil temp down and end up with soggy wonton...
  6. Drain and you are ready to serve.
Don't worry about the raw pork. The heat of the oil cooks the small amount through and they continue to cook as the drain.

I served with a little homemade sauce with the left over hoisin sauce...

  • 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  1. Combine together and chill

The Best Carrot Cake....ever!

I have loved carrot cake ever since I arrived in America. It started with Publix bought cakes ( which pale in to insignificance against this one) and developed in to a little project to develop a deliciously moist carrot cake of my own. I am a lazy frosting maker so I have used a shop bought one project, find a lovely frosting to go inside and on top. This is a big cake...make sure you have guests coming else you will feel decidedly sick because you wont be able to resist it!

  • 225 g (8 oz) carrots, peeled and grated
  • 200 g (7 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175 g ( 6oz)  dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) sunflower oil
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sultanas
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) pecan nuts toasted & chopped
For the syrup glaze & icing:
  • Juice 1 small orange
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 oz (75 g) dark brown soft sugar
  • 1 Betty Crocker Vanilla Butter Icing or make your own!
2x 8 inch cake tins –lined with baking parchments

1. Heat the oven to 180 °C (350 F)
2. Combine the oil, eggs and sugar and whisk until sugar dissolved.
3. Sift the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon and stir in
4. Add all the other ingredients and combine
5. Pour equal amounts into each cake tin and put in the oven for about 30 mins…you are looking for a springy but firm feeling…put a skewer in to check cooked through.
6. Melt the sugar and juices together, pierce each of the cakes with a skewer, and pour the syrup over.
7. Leave to cool (I leave in the fridge overnight) Then sandwich the cakes together with half the icing and cover the top with the rest.
8. You can toast some coconut for the top for decoration….delicious…..!!!!


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