Minestrone – A Yummy AND Healthy Soup

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Friends, it’s been a while since I have blogged about food; other things have been keeping me busy.  A recent diagnosis in our family has made me pick up my spatula again and cook low GI. I thought maybe I should blog some of the newer recipes that I have included in my kitchen repertoire. I have incorporated more vegetables and fish into our diet and pretty much removed pasta, pastry and sugar.  I am trying to remove as much processed foods as I can; which hasn’t been too difficult since I’m not a lover of processed foods anyway.  By far, the removal of main course pasta dinners from our menu has had the biggest impact – but we’ve taken it in stride.  A HUGE winner in some of our new recipes is the old classic soup; Minestrone.

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Orange Tree Design – The Love Of My Life

Orange Tree tea cup & saucer stack

Readers, if you’ve been reading this blog and my sewing blog you’ll be aware that I love to collect sewing related vintage things and kitchenalia. I love old china and use it when we entertain friends outdoors; none of it matches – it’s just a higgle-dey-piggle-dey  group of pretty old wares. There is one collection that I’m very serious about; it’s my Crown Ducal, Orange Tree design china.

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Individual Chicken & Vegetable Pies

The evolution of a recipe is a wonderous thing.  Ideas are taken from one recipe and imported into another ending up with a completely different outcome.  Way back when I made  Jamie Oliver\’s kick arse chicken and leek pie I pretty much followed the recipe to a tee.  The next time, the filling evolved into something different and I used Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry.  The evolved filling become reminiscent of the pies my mother cooked when I was growing up.  This time, the filling stayed the same, as did the pastry but the instead of a family pie, the dish evolved into individual pies; something I haven’t ever done before.  So please join me on my ongoing pie journey…you won’t be disappointed!

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It’s been a while – The challenges of life; love and loss.

Yes, dear readers it’s been a while since i’ve posted.  The past year has been full of many challenges for the SuziWong family which have kept me away tending to our family.  Life is a challenge for everyone and it’s no different for us.  Some of the challenges have been met head on and others are on-going, but fear not, life while at times difficult, is still filled with joy.  This first post in nearly a year is about one of hardest challenges we’ve faced as a family; there have been a few, but this is one I felt I could share.  About this time 14 years ago, this lovable bundle of yellow fur came to our family.  His breeder named him fatso, which MrSW66 morphed into fat-arse.  Generally, this bundle of joy was called Casper….and yes he was a really was a bundle of joy.

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My Life in 10 dishes: A Food Biography – #1 Butterfly Cakes

At the end of July, The Sydney Morning Herald online published an article called “Write your own food biography: My life in 10 dishes”.  You can read the entire article here.  In short it was about writing your biography in food.  It didn’t have to be good food, just food that evoked memories from childhood to present; food that symbolised significant events in your life.  Being rather obsessed with food and culture, this article really hooked me in.  I’m going to write my biography in 10 dishes but instead of just writing a list and the memory or event that each dish evokes I’m going to blog each dish.  It’s REALLY easy to pick the first dish; Butterfly Cakes.  These cakes define most of my childhood birthday parties.  My mum, GroovyGranny, made these cakes from her school recipe book which was released by an English  flour company called Be-Ro .  I don’t even need to close my eyes to remember the taste of the buttercream and the gritty texture that it had in my mouth.  In those days fresh cream wasn’t the norm in cakes; certainly not the cakes in our family LOL

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Chicken Liver Pate – an old favourite

I’m not a lover of liver (dry retches) and have some very ugly childhood food memories surrounding it :evil:   You know how the smell of some things brings back strong memories?  Well the smell of cooked liver makes me feel ill.  While the cooking process of chicken liver pate makes me feel really ill, I love the taste of the pate once it’s all done :-) This recipe is from one of my many sisters’ in law.  LaLa, Mister Suziwong’s eldest sister, first made this for us many many years ago when she used to come and stay with us every year when misses 17 

20 and 20 23 were little.  LaLa got her name from miss17 who when a toddler couldn’t say LaLa’s name but could gabble out “LaLa”.  LaLa’s recipe is dead easy to make and even easier on the stomach if you don’t mind the smell of cooked liver :lol:

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Tiramisu – a new version

We have a family tradition where the birthday star picks what they want to eat for their birthday menu.  On more birthday menu’s that I care to remember, Tiramisu has been the dessert of choice.  I have a tried and tested recipe that calls for savoiardi biscuits, sweetened coffee and yet more sugar in the egg mixture.  However this recipe from the Italian Food Safari television series on SBS calls for no sugar in the coffee ,1 cup of sugar in the egg mixture and pavesini biscuits.  It also uses 2 more eggs than my original recipe.  Even though essentially it’s the same recipe as my original one, i’ll be using it from now on because quite simply it’s better in flavour and texture.

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Slut Red Raspberries in Sparkling White Grape Juice

You’ve gotta love Nigella Lawson; who else would be brave enough to name a dessert in such a saucy way.  My variation of Nigella’s Slut Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly is a made with less sugar and  non-alcoholic sparkling white grape juice instead of  the chardonnay.  Even though the alcohol can be cooked out of this fabulously easy dessert I chose to substitute it with a non-alcoholic version as my miss17 doesn’t partake in alcohol at all.

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Quick and Easy Potato & Leek Soup

Let me start by stating how much I hate winter.  Just so you get it… I HATE WINTER :-(   But one thing  I do love about winter is a hot filling soup.  Without doubt I like the slow method of cooking soup; making a stock, refrigerating it overnight, skimming and then finally putting all the other ingredients in.  But there’s not always time to invest in the slow cook method and this is where this recipe comes into its own.  You’ll have hot tasty soup on the table within an hour!  My sister-in-law MissMedia shared this recipe and I’m thrilled she did because  by no means is this quick cook soup a disappointment.

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