Hello 2015!

Hello 2015!

I hope you’ve had a brilliant tasty start to the new year. I hope you partied hard, rested, celebrated with loved ones and ate much delicious food.

IMG_1384.JPG

It’s been (quietly) busy here as we begin the inevitable pack up of our home.

My little sister was in town and she was a superstar in helping me to pack. We came across many forgotten memories speaking of which, look at these happy kids!

IMG_1337.JPG
(You’ll be pleased to know my gap tooth got sorted with a ton of orthodontics, whew!)

It makes me look forward to creating great memories like this with my own little one soon, (3 months & counting now.) Third Trimester, here we come!

Moving is definitely a big enough change in itself. Yet to be moving cities & interstate and birth hospitals too… Let’s just say there’s a lot of paperwork! ;)

I still look forward to a fresh start though, which is exactly what the new year is about!

To make this year even sweeter…..

IMG_1362.JPG

…We got engaged!

I met the love of my life eight years ago and I feel so blessed to still be continuing the journey today.

I met you dear readers three years ago and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my stories, the journey & most importantly the food in 2015!

Speaking of food, here’s my take on the New Power Lunch, (aka) a tasty, yet simple Rice & Lentil pilaf.

Though it mightn’t be a #foodporn alert, I guarantee it’s still mighty tasty #food!

Rice & Lentil pilaf.
Serves 1, (20-25mins)

IMG_1401.JPG

Ingredients:
1/3 cup basmati rice
1/3 cup pre soaked Puy lentils (or used canned)
1/3 cup water
1-2 tbsp butter
1/4 brown onion diced
1 clove garlic
1 whole egg
Salt & pepper to taste.
Greens to garnish, I’ve used coriander

Method:

Melt the butter in a medium pot, over a medium heat.

Add the diced onion, along with a generous pinch of salt

Add the basmati rice, garlic clove

Sauté until fragrant.

Tip in the lentils & the 1/3 cup of water.

Cover pot with a lid and cook for 15 mins over a medium heat.

Set rice aside and cover with a tea towel to rest.

Pan fry the egg until golden & crispy.

Fluff pilaf rice with a fork, season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serve egg on top, with the greens for garnish & (devour!)

Casarecce pasta recipe for Barilla

casarecce pasta recipe.JPG

Sometimes we just need a quick & easy meal.

This tasty Casarecce pasta recipe for Barilla, is filled with Mushrooms & Pine nuts. Also made extra delicious with these Parmesan crisps! Luckily, it’s a great pantry meal too.

barilla australia goodie hamper.JPG

Nothing says comfort me more, than a bowl of beautiful Pasta.

None more so, than the delicious range of pasta from Barilla Australia

pasta recipe by girl in a food frenzy.JPG

Opening my goodie hamper, I’m struck by the incredible variety of delicious options & possibilities. Looking at this array, I can feel my inner carboholic kicking in.

At the end of a busy week, pasta is such a perfect solution to a easy night in.

mushroom medley & pinenuts.JPG

So what makes this particular Casarecce Siciliane Pasta, dish, special to me?

Feeding my inner mushroom lover, I love my pasta with some butter, good olive oil and more goodness. This time round, with the addition of toasted pine nuts, fresh parsley & some parmesan crisps.

The textures of silky mushrooms contrast so delicately, with the al dente goodness of the Casarecce.

It’s so simple & nourishing.

What’s your favourite Pasta night stand-by meal? Leave a comment below!

Casarecce Pasta with Mushrooms & Pine nuts:

Ingredients:

500g Barilla Casarecce pasta

500g Mushrooms assorted, button, enoki & shimeji

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese-

Clove of garlic-chopped

Olive oil

Butter-50g

Salt & pepper to taste,

parsley garnish for pasta.JPG

Garnish

100g Toasted Pine nuts.

Handful chopped Parsley,

Parmesan wafer-

Preheat oven to 220C/428F,

Sprinkle the parmesan evenly onto a clean baking sheet.

Bake in oven & check after 3 mins.

If the cheese has bubbled, turn off the oven & leave wafer inside to dry out.

Method:

Prepare Pasta & set aside,

Clean & chop the assorted mushrooms,

Roughly chop the garlic clove,

In a hot pan, saute the mushrooms in a generous knob of butter & olive oil.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute, or until fragrant

Season mushrooms well and toss with the Casarecce Pasta

Garnish with the pine nuts, parsley and finish with the parmesan crisps, Just before serving.

Bon Appetito!

casarecce pasta with mushrooms & pine nuts.JPG

Disclaimer:

The Products showcased in this post were provided by Barilla Australia. Further details regarding this blog’s disclosure policy, can be found here.

Smashed Pea Crostini Recipe.

wholesome-bread-sliced.jpg

Wholesome Bread, sliced.

Smashed Pea Crostini. I love it.

Fact: There are a variety of foods which always make an appearance on my foodie playlist. 1) Tin tomatoes. 2) Eggs. 3) Rice…and so on.

Frozen peas are on that playlist too. By playlist, I of course mean pantry list. Don’t you think playlist sounds so much better though!

I love beans on toast and I love beans in things; so I liken this version of crostini to a fresh light & zesty version of “greeny things on Toast.”

Only so much lighter, quicker and better for you… err yes, on my not so guilty days when I didn’t eat cake for lunch…. #foodblogger problems.

There have been a variety of no bake, no cook days recently. Sad to say and I know, this is a cooking blog.

Nonetheless sometimes there are just those days or weeks, or months, (you know exactly what I mean.) They’re the days when you have to drag yourself off to that next thing you have to do & a 10 minute quick fix lunch is all you have time for, aka what you need.

smashed -pea-crostini.jpg

Smashed Pea Crostini

Got a little more time? Then take this topping to the next level, or this Pea Pesto. It’s the best!  

It too can be made so very quickly and tastes damn fine with pasta, or runny eggs, *sigh.*

Is there no dish that can’t be elevated to rock star status, with a good runny egg! Sometimes you might like it cheesey, (parmesan, feta, brilliant!) Some days, you might want to go nuts! You decide.

Whatever the outcome, save those extra minutes in cooking time. Enjoy that time out of the kitchen and give yourself permission to say “Yes!” Sometimes it’s okay to just eat peas, but if you’re going to do it.

Do it with Style!

recipe-for-pea-crostini.jpg

Up close & personal, Smashed Pea Crostini

Ingredients:
Sliced Bread, toasted
1 cup of frozen peas
Freshly boiled water, to cover peas
Lemon zest & juice
Parmesan cheese (optional.)
Salt & Pepper, to taste

More delicious ideas for Crostini to be found here. Happy Cooking & Brunching.

Brunch crostini platter & frenzy free weekends!

20120923-183440.jpg

Happy Weekend everyone! Woke up this morning full of energy. A perfectly sunny day with not much to do. By this I mean no more moving, no cleaning or tidy ups of the old apartment and no boxes left to unpack hurrah!

So it’s time for a few favourite tunes in the background, a strong cup of tea and a cook-a-thon! To kick off a few of the recipe ideas in my head, I’ve decided on something quick and frenzy free for breakky today!

Even better, there are a few ingredients here which you probably already enjoy, but perhaps not in this combination. I’m hopeful that you’ll get to try these crostini soon and revel in these simple yet tasty flavours.

20120923-185312.jpg

Crostini:
You’ll need some olive oil and a nice crusty bread (or sourdough) for the crostini,

Drizzle the bread with olive oil before grilling or toasting, be as frugal or generous as you like. Toast until ultra crisp and golden brown, the firmer the better as it will hold the toppings without getting too soggy later on.

20120923-183329.jpg
1) Homemade Za’atar, greek yoghurt & olive oil crostini,

My version of the Home made za’atar mix includes Coriander seeds, Fennel seeds, Caraway seeds and Sesame seeds. Along with some good quality sea salt and cracked pepper you’ve got a pretty close substitute. Optional You can smash up the za’atar mix in a mortle & pestle or use as is, hint I find rubbing the mixture in a brown paper bag helps to release those aromas and break up the bigger spices.

Spread the Greek yoghurt generously onto the crostini and sprinkle lightly with the Za’atar mix and a drizzle of olive oil.

20120923-223334.jpg

2) Smashed peas with lemon zest & Fetta crostini,

Take a handful of frozen peas blanched in hot water and drained. Add some salt & pepper, mix in and using a fork, mash with some grated lemon zest. Lastly spread on the crostini and serve with the crumbled Fetta.

3) Glorious fluffy clouds of Ricotta spread thick on the crostini, topped with a generous drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon.

20120923-185829.jpg

Hopefully all breakfast cravings have been cured…till next time!