Tag Archives: tasty treats

Mint, Asparagus and Potato Ravioli

16 Sep

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These days I’m trying hard to be proactive in my food choices – for the most part this means planning ahead, consciously choosing ingredients that can be sourced locally and following or creating flavourful, veggie filled recipes.

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Dinner from last night was definitely one that’ll be repeated… we picked up some locally grown potatoes and asparagus at our farmers market over the weekend. I was scratching my head,  wondering how to combine them in something more interesting than your usual roast potatoes and plain old asparagus, when lo and behold I stumbled over this gem of a recipe in one of our Jamie Oliver books.

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I haven’t included the basic pasta recipe – that’s for an upcoming post – but it is something I make often. Once you know how and if you have the right equipment (a kitchen aid and pasta attachment!), its so worth the extra twenty minutes.

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This was a super easy dinner to put together, even though it sounds and looks way more complicated than it is! Give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it.

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I halved the recipe as I was only cooking for two, but you could make the whole thing and freeze them for another night – which in retrospect is what I should have done 🙂

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Ravioli of Minted Asparagus with Potatoes & Mascarpone

Ingredients

  • 225g potatoes, peeled
  • 680g asparagus, bases trimmed
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 good handful of mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • fresh pasta
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
  • grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until tender and drain.
  2. Remove tips of asparagus and set aside.
  3. Finely slice the asparagus stalks and fry with the garlic in a little olive oil until tender, placing a lid on the pan.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the potato and mash together. Season and add half the chopped mint.
  5. Fill your ravioli with a heaped teaspoon of filling (I’ll write more about this in a later post) and cook in salted boiling water with the asparagus tips for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Drain and toss the ravioli and asparagus tips with the butter, mascarpone, parmesan and the rest of the mint.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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Meringue Mushrooms and Levelling Up

3 Mar

Mini Meringue Mushrooms

I used to be really into World of Warcraft, like really into it.

One of the things I took from my time in the realms of MMORPG’s (massive multiplayer online roleplaying games for the uninitiated), was the whole idea of levelling up. I would spend hours grinding away at NPC mobs in order to level up my huntresses agility, undertaking quests to increase my health, fighting against other players to get to the next level. It didn’t take long to realize that life is pretty much the same (apart from there being less orcs, elves and gnomes).

Levelling up your real life skills is essential and the other day, being the crazy baker I am, I decided to level up my piping skills. In the grand scheme of things, being good with a piping bag may not get you far, but it’s certainly something I’ve long thought of being a master at. Plus, I’d never made meringues before, so when I found this recipe over at the Joy of Baking website, I decided I couldn’t resist.

And who doesn’t love cute,mini mushrooms?

A forest of meringue mushrooms

A forest of meringue mushrooms

Needless to say, it wasn’t a complete success, being my first time making meringues and my first time really using my piping bag (unless you count my past, messy cupcake frosting attempts – please don’t), but they tasted delicious and I think they look pretty cute 🙂 My first attempt came out looking like a reject from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory:

First attempt... failed :(

First attempt… failed 😦

The directions on the JoB page were a little daunting. I’m no perfectionist, more of a get ‘er done type of girl, so I used a tip for my bag that was too small (it was all I had) and I probably could have spent more time finishing them off, smoothing the tops and making sure they all stood up on their own (which they sure didn’t). I sprinkled them with a little cocoa and attempted to smudge them slightly to get that mushroom-y feel, but alas, they just look like meringues with cocoa on them. Luckily for me, my fiancee (the lucky recipient of my baking trials and errors) proclaimed them delicious and ate the lot.

+1 for my piping skill 🙂

Have fun levelling up! xo

What to do With a Bag of Almonds?

29 Feb

I’ve had a bag of chopped almonds sitting in my kitchen for about a month and a half now. Every single time I open that cupboard, they catch my eye, nestled in their Zip-Lock bag between my organic vanilla and baking powder. So I finally decided to do something with them. I went searching and I found this little gem of a recipe over at the flourishing foodie

Mine didn’t come out looking quite as pretty as hers, but after a long day and some serious hours spent in the kitchen beforehand making pork chops, I couldn’t have been happier with the tasty little treats. I also chose to dust mine with some vanilla bean icing sugar. I also ended up using raspberry jam instead of strawberry – worked just as well.

Next time I won’t be so lazy and I’ll get my Canon 5D out to take pictures with, instead of using my iPhone.

 

strawberry almond thumbprint cookies

(makes 18 – 20 cookies)
(recipe adapted from Herriott Grace)

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
1 egg, separated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Chop the almonds and set to the side. Separate the egg white and yolk and set to the side.

3. In a med-large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale yellow with a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

4. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and cream until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until all ingredients come together.

5. With a small ice cream scoop #100, measure out 20 small balls. Roll them between your hands to form a uniform ball ~ 20.

6. Dip them into the beaten egg white and then roll them in the chopped almonds. With the bottom of a cup, flatten into disks. With the end of a wooden spoon, create small indents on the top of the cookies. Drop a tsp or more of the jam into the indent.

7. Place onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Welcome to the foxy baker…

27 Feb

Welcome to the foxy baker. My name is Eliza (a.k.a the foxy baker) – I’m a 25 year old video editor who spends an unhealthy amount of time in front of a computer screen. In order to maintain functioning legs and to prevent my brain from turning to mush, I spend as much of my free time as I can creating tasty treats (and usually making a complete mess in the process) in the kitchen or turning whatever I can get my hands on into little works of art.

I’ve taken the plunge into the blogging universe (with some trepidation) for a variety of reasons:

1. To share my baking creations with other taste enthusiasts.

2. To motivate myself to keep trying new things in the kitchen (and out of the kitchen)

3. To meet others, like me, who are amateur cooks and crafters, in order to share what works and what dosen’t.

4. To finally meet someone who can tell me what to do with the inordinate amount of vanilla bean infused icing sugar I have in my kitchen. Seriously. If anyone out there reads this and knows of some good recipes that call for vanilla bean infused icing sugar, let me know what they are. There’s a cookie in it for you.

the foxy baker