Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lemon & Ginger Marmalade

You may remember that last year I was busy making all types of chutneys and jams around Christmas. They went over as fantastic gifts and so I'm re-channeling my Martha and out comes the canning equipment!

We have a Meyer Lemon tree now, and this year have 40 lemons to use up. They are large and slighly sweeter than shop lemons and make perfect marlmalade.

This recipe was from Fine Cooking Magazine.. and very delicious it is too

This golden-hued marmalade is right at home on toast, but it's also divine stirred into plain yogurt or dolloped on coconut ice cream. Find pectin where canning supplies are sold--try supermarkets or hardware stores--or online at

Servings: 5-1/2 to 6 cups

1-1/2 to 2 pounds lemons (6 to 8 medium)

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger

One 1-3/4 - ounce package powdered pectin

6-1/2 cups granulated sugar


1. Peel the zest from the lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Slice the zest strips crosswise very thinly at an angle to make strips about 1/16 inch wide by 1 inch long--you'll need 1 cup of zest strips. Put the zest in a 4-quart (or larger) saucepan.
2. Trim the ends from the zested lemons to expose the flesh. With one cut side down on the cutting board, trim the pith off the lemon all the way around and discard the pith. Quarter the lemons lengthwise and remove any visible membranes and seeds. Slice the wedges crosswise 1/4 inch thick-you'll need about 1-1/2 cups.
3. Add the sliced lemons, ginger, and 2 cups water to the lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the zest is soft and the membranes start to break down, 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Whisk the pectin into the mixture. Increase the heat to high, add the sugar, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to smooth lumps. Boil vigorously for 1 minute, whisking constantly (move the pan off the burner momentarily if it threatens to boil over). Remove the pan from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. 5. Skim any foam and seeds off the surface of the marmalade. Stir gently to redistribute the solids. Transfer the marmalade to heatproof storage containers, let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for up to 1 month.
6. For longer storage at room temperature, can the marmalade. See the canning directions below.

To can the marmalade:

Transfer the hot marmalade to clean, hot canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace in each jar, and wipe the edges clean with a paper towel. Screw the lids on tightly. Put the jars in a large pot of water fitted with a rack insert. The water should completely cover the jars by at least 2 inches. Return the jars to the pot of water and make sure the water covers them by at least 2 inches. Boil, covered, for 10 minutes. Use tongs to remove the jars; let them cool undisturbed on the counter. You should hear a popping sound as the jars cool, indicating that the vacuum seals have worked.

Check out the recipe section

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chew Restaurant, Jacksonville..

So our time in the JAX is nearly up and I will miss all the great restaurants here, and tonight we tried CHEW. It's been a favourite of my husband for lunch since he has been working in the city, but we've never made it out there for dinner.

So a 8.30pm dinner date it was, and as we are also out with work colleagues tomorrow night we agreed my drinking night and his tomorrow :-)

Their mantra:
At Chew Restaurant, we believe everyone deserves great food at a reasonable price, attentive service, and thoughtful surroundings. We pride ourselves on craftsmanship and attention to detail in everything we do. We use the highest quality products available – made in-house, sourced locally, or from all over the world. We work hard to make sure you get a great meal, prepared and served by people with a passion for food, in an environment designed to make you feel welcome.

Sounds good...and after having a delicious lunch there once I was really looking forward to it..

Super cute from the outside...

Nice exterior a Chew

We ordered a bottle of red and perused the menu... ooh too many delicious things to choose from, but we went for

and then we both had... (only 'cause I'd seen it on the Food Network earlier in the day!!)

Well it was all fabulous. Hubbies pork was to die for, melted in your mouth and left you wanting to lick the plate. My goats cheese was so creamy that I had to ask the kitchen the name of it to see if I could track it down for myself.
The hanger steak was a revelation. If you've never had it then only order rare or medium rare as anything more and it becomes chewy..ours rare was meaty deliciousness... and my mouth is watering at the thought of that garlic aioli!
We sheared a home made churro dipped in heavenly dark chocolate for dessert and wondered why the place wasn't busier... they are rammed at lunchtimes...

Recommended and sad we never tried it earlier... Chew was amazing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bowl of Pho - Restaurant Review

Last night we had been to the theatre and decided that we wanted something quick and easy for dinner. I suggested 'Bowl of Pho'. Its a Vietnamese Noodle soup restaurant 5 mins form our house.

We've been multiple times before and it never lets us down.

What we like
  1. Its clean and fresh looking inside
  2. The menu is extensive and great value (entrees $6.50 - $11!)
  3. Its frequented by Vietnamese (great sign)
  4. Food comes super quick
  5. Food is always fresh and delicious
  6. They have bubble tea (For the first-timers, ordering a Bubble Tea can be an event. The tea is likely to be in pastel colors of pink, green or yellow. The unique ingredient of Bubble Tea is the tapioca pearls . About the size of pearls or small marbles, they have a consistency like gummy candy (soft and chewy). Being heavier than the drink they tend to always stay near the bottom of the glass. These drinks are usually served in large see-through plastic containers with an extra-wide straw to sip these jumbo pearls. Just sucking on the translucent straw creates a show, with pearls floating up in succession)
Husband had a 'PHO' the big bowl of soup and I had a noodel dish with their delicious pork. It was, as ususal delicious, and with a shrimp appetiser and pineapple bubble tea for me the check was only $26  -can't beat the value really.

Please go  - the menu is in English, and I guarantee you will love it.

A bowl of Pho

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tex Mex Fiesta!

Being married to an American I have been able to pinch a few recipes from my husband. It would be fair the claim them as my own, but I do always help when we are having a Tex Mex night for our friends…and I’m always in charge of the Honeymoon Cocktails!!!!

Serves 4 people
Preparation Time 1 ½ Hours
Cooking Time 40 mins

Buy two bags of tortilla chips, any flavor it's up to you!

Summer Salsa

Ok so this is a lot of chopping but I could eat a whole bowl of this myself..and it’s healthy to. You could serve this on the side with some grilled chicken or pork…it would work equally well.

5 tomatoes – peeled, seeded
1 mango – peeled, stoned
¼ galia or cantaloupe melon
½ red bell pepper
½ green bell pepper
½ large red onion
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves grated
30g pickled jalepenos
2 roasted green chillies – peeled, seeded
Handful of chopped coriander

Cut all the ingredients into a small dice and combine into a large bowl.
Add the zest and juice of the lime
Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
Test and season with salt and pepper if necessary
Refrigerate until ready to eat

Gorgeous Guacamole

Really fresh, this tastes nothing like the over produced store bought guacamole…

3 large ripe avocados
½ large red onion – finely diced
2 plum tomatoes – skinned, seeded and chopped
1 green chilli, roasted, skinned, deseeded and chopped
10g of pickled jalepenos chopped
Handful of coriander leaves finely chopped
2 clove of garlic minced / grated
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 2 limes
Salt and ground pepper to taste

1. Stone and mash the avocado in a mixing bowl
2. Fold in gently the other ingredients
3. Season and transfer to serving dish
4. Refrigerate until ready to eat

Beans, Beans and More Beans Dip

Really simple these beans will have you dipping over and over again…but remember to leave room for your enchiladas!!!!

225g Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon of butter
2 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 handful of finely chopped coriander
120g cheddar cheese grated
Salt & Pepper

1. Soften the onions in 1/2 the butter in a large non stick frying pan.
2. Add beans and mash with a potato masher in with the onions.
3. Add cumin, salt and pepper and cook beans down until they take on a ‘mushy’ appearance
4. Add cheese and melt into beans.
5. Lastly add coriander and serve hot.

Jody’s Enchiladas

These have been hit every time we’ve served fact our friends ask us if they are having the tex-mex night when we throw dinner parties because they love it so much!!!

8 boneless chicken thighs – used breast if you can’t get thighs

For the marinade
6 limes zest and juice
1 lemon zest and juice
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
3 garlic cloves grated
Ground black pepper
Handful of chopped coriander

For the filling
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 yellow bell pepper sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced
1 large yellow onion sliced
2 garlic cloves grated
2 x 295g condensed cream of chicken soup
12 Flour Tortillas
225ml Fresh Soured Cream
230g mixed cheese (Monterey Jack and Cheddar is a good mix)
50g Green pickled Jalapeno Peppers chopped
1 roasted green chilli, skinned, deseeded and chopped
1 roasted red chilli, skinned, deseeded and chopped
Olive Oil

1. Marinade the chicken thighs in all the marinade ingredients for at least 2 hours.
2. Heat a grill pan and char grill the chicken, reserving the marinade – you don’t need to cook it fully it will be finished in the sauce later.
3. Heat the oven to 350 deg F.
4. Take the chicken and shred into small pieces. Reserve to one side.
5. In a frying pan heat a little olive oil. Fry the peppers, garlic, and onion until they begin to soften.
6. Add the chicken back to the pan with the marinade and roasted chilli and continue to cook until marinade is very hot – remember this has had raw chicken in it.
7. Take off heat and put to one side
8. In a large mixing bowl combine the soured cream, soup, pickled jalepenos,
9. In a large oblong casserole dish put a little of the sauce and spread over base.
10. Lay a tortilla out and smear a layer of sauce, put a line of the chicken mixture and a little cheese and then roll up and place in casserole dish. Repeat until casserole full. Cover the enchiladas with the rest of the sauce and cover with cheese.
11. Place in the oven for approx 30 mins until top is golden and melted.

Honeymoon Cocktail

We were lucky to be able to take our honeymoon at Villa Casa Bella in St Thomas in the USVI. I made this cocktail in ‘large’ quantities to drink by the pool…we rarely left the villa!!!!

200ml tequila
140ml triple sec or contreau
1 litre of tropical juice
Lots of ice

Combine all the ingredients in a large jug, stir, pour and drink….make sure you have another litre of juice for a second round!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Broccoli & Stilton Soup

Have you noticed that I'm on a soup making frenzy at the moment.. really tasty and super easy! jazz it up with some chopped crispy bacon (according to my husband everything is better with bacon!!!)

Serves 4 people
Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins


3 Shallots finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 tbsp butter
2 courgettes, cubed
450g (1lb) broccoli florets
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
500ml (2 cups) water
125g (1/4 lb)stilton
Salt & Pepper
4 tbsp Double cream

 1. Cook the courgette in the butter with the garlic. When courgette starts to soften add the broccoli florets and cover.
2. Make up the chicken or vegetable stock and add to the saucepan.
3. Cook until broccoli is soft then either transfer to liquidiser or use a hand blender.
4. Return blended soup back to heat.
5. Crumble Stilton into soup, melting through
6. Serve with a swirl of cream

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

I was in a 'couldn't be bothered mood' today. Couldn't be bothered to do the ironing, couldn't be bothered to put any make up on, didn't even make the bed until half an hour ago...really I wasn't in the mood to even chew anything for dinner.... So what can I make for dinner that I wouldn't have to chew? Well the easy answer would be to nip to Panera, 5 mins away, and buy some broccoli & cheddar soup... but hold on a minute, surely I can knock some up and maybe enough for the freezer too... On checking the fridge I had most of the here is my broccoli & cheddar soup.
I've tried to keep the calories to a minimum except for the cheese - in the end it is cheddar & broccoli !!Enjoy!

Serves 6-8 people

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves or garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1lb small chopped broccoli -you can use stalk and florets
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (low sodium, fat free)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free milk
  • salt & cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb shredded sharp Cheddar cheese - try and get block cheese and shred yourself, it melts better than the pre-shredded.
1. Over a medium-low heat melt the butter in a largish saucepan and then add the onion and garlic and saute until softened
2. Add the onion, garlic powder and white pepper and cook for a minute
3. Add the broccoli and chicken broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 mins until broccoli is softened
4. In the meantime whisk the flour with the milk until flour dissolved.
5, With a hand blender, rough blend the soup leaving some broccoli pieces. You don't want it completely smooth.
6. On a medium heat gradually add the milk mixture. The soup will thicken.
7. Once milk mixture added add the cheddar and melt through the soup.
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. If the soup is too thick, add some more milk to thin

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stuffed Turkey Breasts with Basil Risotto

Ever wondered what to do with turkey breasts? This easy recipe not only looks good it will change how you think about turkey!!!..You can make it as healthy as you want by substituting olive oil for the butter and using extra low fat cheeses.
Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Serves 2


• 2 turkey breasts
• 2 shallots finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
• 4 teaspoons butter
• 160g Arborio Rice (risotto rice)
• Handful of basil leaves, torn
• 1 glass dry white wine
• 500g vegetable stock
• 12 thin slices of pancetta
• 2 handfuls of baby spinach
• 150g cream cheese
• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
• Zest of 1 lemon
• Salt & Ground Black Pepper
• Cling Film

1. Heat oven to 200 deg C
2. Lay a sheet of cling film out on a flat surface
3. Lay out the turkey breasts on the cling film and then cover with another piece
4. Using a rolling pin or something else heavy to flatten the breasts until ¼ “ thick.
5. In a small frying pan gently fry half the shallots with half the garlic
6. When softened add the spinach and cook down until wilted
7. In a bowl combine the soft cheese, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper
8. Add the wilted spinach mixture and stir
9. Lay out 6 slices of the pancetta next to each other on some cling film
10. Lay a turkey breast out, one side level with edges of pancetta, season with black pepper & salt
11. Cover with half of the spinach mixture
12. Roll the turkey breast until you have a log shape
13. Repeat for second breast
14. In a frying pan brown the rolls on all sides
15. Place on a greased baking sheet in the oven for 20mins
16. Whilst turkey cooks make the risotto
17. Heat the stock
18. Heat the remaining shallots and garlic in a frying pan in 1 teaspoon of butter. When softened add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes.
19. Add the wine and keep stirring until wine has evaporated
20. Add a ladle of stock and stir and cook until evaporated – continue process until rice has doubled in size and is slighty hard in the middle
21. Add basil, parmesan and rest of butter
22. Season
23. Serve sliced turkey rolls on the rice


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