Sunday, October 31

Sunday baking project - Blueberry and cream cheese danish

Hello everyone

I hope you've had a relaxing or at least enjoyable weekend so far!  It's been a busy one for us here - getting ready for our garage sale in two weeks, I helped Corrie out at Mathilda's yesterday, friend visit in the afternoon, quickie BBQ for dinner then took the kids out to Ben and Jerry's in Manly for dessert!

Got a sleep in this morning too!   Today is going to be a bit of baking, a bit of shopping and a bit of trick or treatery!  What about you?

Maybe you want to make this... this one got a huge thumbs up from my hubby who thinks it's the best thing I've made in I quote:'aaaaaaaaaaaages'.  I must agree, it's pretty spectacular.   I tweaked a recipe I found The Fresh Loaf! (i.e. halved the total recipe but doubled the cream cheese) Thank you guys!

The dough is sweet and fluffy on the inside and crispy and sweet on the outside.  The only error I did make was to not roll my dough out wide enough because my danish ended up looking more like a cracked rib cage.  It still tasted good though!!

180ml warm milk
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 cup plain flour

Blueberry filling
I cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, I used frozen)
2 tb caster sugar
2 tb cornflour
1 tb lemon juice

1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
3 tb caster sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
80g butter at room temperature

1 egg
splash milk

Cream cheese filling
250g cream cheese
50ml milk
2 tb caster sugar
splash vanilla extract

Make you starter by placing the milk in a microwavable jug or bowl and heating for 30 seconds or until warm, not hot.  Add yeast, sugar and then flour, mix with a fork until combined.  Set aside for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile make your blueberry filling.

In a small saucepan heat all ingredients together over a low-medium heat, stirring well - the blueberries will break down a little and the sauce will thicken, when it does, take off the heat, set aside (cover or put in the fridge)

When the starter has frothed up, place in a mixing bowl, mixer with dough hook or bread machine.  Add in egg first and mix in well.  Then butter, sugar and salt, again mix in well.  Lastly add in the flour and mix until you get a smooth pliable dough.   Place in a greased bowl and cover with cling film and set to rise in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees c

When your dough has doubled in size (about 1-2 hours)  Roll out into a square-shape and cut the edges in a fringe shape.

Mix your glaze together and set aside. Then make your cream cheese frosting by mixing all ingredients together and mixing well until light and fluffy.

Return to your dough and roll out again to make wider (i.e stretch out) re-cut your fringes if you need to.  Place on greased tray. Place your cream cheese in the centre, and then put your blueberry on top.

Braid your 'fringes' over the top of each other and then brush with remaining glaze.

Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes (check it's golden brown on top) and then allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Great with icecream but just fabulous on its own!

Saturday, October 30

I love this and want a poster version

Here's to a fantastic weekend I say!  
Today I'm helping Retro Mummy at her stall at Mathilda's market - come and say hi if you're going!

Remember that the Lovely little parties giveaway ends tomorrow (but their discount code goes for an extra week!) and also you can win a Super Food Ideas subscription on the Frills Facebook page. 

Aaand those people getting organised with their Christmas gifts - the Silverwebb studios 20% discount ends TOMORROW midnight

Tomorrow, I have a really yummy Sunday baking project - I can't wait to share it with you - hubby told me it's the best thing I've baked in ages, and I think I agree - you'll love it!

Monday we are adding something new and exciting to the Christmas stocking too - plus the first newsletter is out!!!  Big couple of days here!

Can you believe it's November on Monday?  Where has this year gone?  

Are you making/doing anything for Halloween?  I might knock up some quick cupcakes for the treaters - we have quite a few here in the Hills.

Happy weekend all! xx

Friday, October 29

Cheaty Friday recipe: Quickie potato bake

Everyone has their own recipe for potato bake.  But the thing I don't like about potato bake is it takes so long to make!  I always feel like it when I really don't have the one-hour-plus or motivation to make one from scratch.

So I cheat.  Sue me.

1 kg new or chat potatoes, skin left on and sliced in approx 3mm slices.
1 leek, sliced
1 rasher bacon, diced
60g butter
2 tb plain flour
3 cups milk
1 tb french onion soup mix
2/3 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c

Put your potatoes to cook on their own, either steam or boil (I steam mine in the microwave for 10 minutes - I really recommend getting a microwave vege steamer if you don't have one)

Whilst they bubble away, in a frypan gently fry the bacon with the leek until the leek is soft.
Then in another saucepan, add some butter and melt, add the flour and whisk into a roux, add the milk gradually until it becomes a thick sauce - don't walk away - it happens quickly!  Add the soup mix, stir through and set the saucepan aside.

When the potatoes are cooked (well mostly cooked anyways) drain completely and place in oven proof dish.   Mix through the leek and bacon and then the sauce.    Top with cheese and bake in the oven 15 minutes (whilst you wash up and put the finishing touches on the rest of your dinner... or grab some wine..)


Season Savvy week 19 - Beetroot

Just a refresher for the kids at home - beetroot isn't only available in a tin.  That's pickled beetroot!  Roasting a beetroot in your roast needs to be experienced, and I'm looking forward to seeing some new ways to cook with it myself - aren't you?

So here were are, back at Season Savvy - I lost my season savvy mojo there for a few weeks, but it's back - and there's only so much I can do before we run out of produce sometimes.. and I don't know how I could have forgotten about Beetroot.  I mean, it's in my garden!!  I used it in a recipe here in the past week even.

Sheesh.  I'm losing my mind I think!

What is Season Savvy?
I'm all about using seasonal produce. When it's good. When it's plentiful, when it's cheap.

Each week I'm challenging you to use a particular piece of produce that is SEASONAL. Now if you're in a different season to me, don't panic. Maybe you have cooked something before with this ingredient, add it and play along....

Hopefully this way, we can use this as a bit of inspiration/education and show off what you can cook, and save some moulah!

So what do you need to do?
1. Find a recipe you love or a way you love to eat leek - it doesn't need to be the main ingredient, but it needs to be in the dish.. and it doesn't need to be fancy either!
2. Make it or find the link
3. Photograph it and/or share the recipe
(it doesn't need to be-step-by-step photos!)
4. Post your link down there with the Linkytool down below
5. Get visited, and visit other people's recipes!

Thursday, October 28

Berry gorgeous

Our little berry farm is going well.  Although surrounded in chicken wire to keep both the dog, wildlife and three very eager frills out..  look at that strawberry - I can't believe someone hasn't snaffled it yet!

And here's the blueberries... not blue yet!

And raspberries - now no fruit on this but it's over a metre high now, which I'm really impressed as I thought we'd almost killed during the winter!!

Can't wait til we can start picking berries!  These are all in pots at present, in full sun, anything stopping you from having a berry garden or do you have one?

I love berries, but I suspect I'd need a good many more plants to sustain us!

My new favourite way with sausages - Jazzed up snags!

My girls adore sausages - I don't know how many don't - and they're a great budget buster and take little time to make - but I get bored, bored BORED of sausages.   I make sausage pie, sausage hotpot, slow cooker casserole, cheaty cannelloni and yummy cassoulet....  because as much as I like the odd sausage sizzle - plain sausages don't fill me with joy.

This is based on a Nigella recipe I remember seeing in a Christmas entertaining special - she used honey - but I couldn't remember what else - so I just made it up (as you do!)  These are SO yummy!  I'm making them again and soon because I did it all in the oven and it was quick easy and very tasty.  I used some supermarket brand chipolatas and this really did lift them up.

How do you jazz up your snags?

1 kg chipolata sausages (I used beef, and please, cut this down by 500g, I made 1kg because we like cold sausages leftover!)
1 tb canola oil
2 tb honey
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/4 tsp chilli powder

Preheat oven to 200 deg c

In a baking tray or casserole dish place your sausages - pour over the oil and massage through.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes, take out, turn over sausages and return to oven.

Mix the honey, mustard, chili powder and 2 tb water in a jar or bowl, mix well.  After your sausages have been in the oven 5 minutes, take out, pour the mixture over the sausages and return to the oven for another 7-8 minutes.

Take out, and enjoy!  Drizzle any remaining mixture over sausages when served!

Wednesday, October 27

Be quick!

In less than 48 hours the very first Frills in the Hills Seasonal newsletter will be out!

This newsletter focuses on getting organised for Christmas with ways to plan, budget - it has some recipes, I get a little bit crafty!  You get it delivered to your mailbox and can keep it, print it, forward it to friends and family!

Don't miss out!  Sign up here!  It takes nearly no time at all!

Cheesy turkey loaf

I know.  It sounds weird doesn't it?  Turkey is something I've only taken to cooking with this year - many US recipes for it - I guess because beef mince is not as accessible and affordable as it is here?  Hmm.  Well I'm liking finding new ways to cook turkey mince - but you need to be careful, as turkey mince does have a tendency to dry out easily - so I thought I'd give meatloaf a try as our beef one is lovely and succulent - and bingo !

Now I know it looks a bit odd, but it's really tasty.  Even hubby the most dedicated red meat man was won over by this!  I think the cheese and herbed crumbs give it that lift the mince needs.  Add any sauce you like - I preferred BBQ but the frills liked tomato!

Our loaf made us dinner plus some lunches, so good value for money I think too - if there's only 3 of you in your family - cut the recipe in half, otherwise- enjoy!

2 pieces of bread or 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
10 medium fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried
1 sprig continental parsley
3/4 cup milk
1 kg turkey mince
1/2 large brown onion, finely diced
1 small carrot, grated
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated cheese

In a food processor, pulse bread with fresh herbs (or mix breadcrumbs with dried herbs).  Add the milk, mix and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c

In a mixing bowl, mix the mince, onion, carrot, eggs and soaked breadcrumbs, mix well and then lastly mix through the cheese.

Put the mixture into a greased loaf pan, cover tightly with aluminium foil and cook for about 45 minutes.  Turn off the oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before slicing in the pan and then transferring slices to your plate.

Cover in sauce!.... mmm!

Do you cook with turkey mince?  Tried my slow cooker Moroccan turkey meatballs perhaps?  Turkey burgers are or is turkey for the turkeys?

Tuesday, October 26

Christmas Fare - Candied peanuts

Yes, I know, Christmas recipes already - but allow me to fill you in on a little secret.  I've been in Christmas for a few months now - I have a number of articles appearing over the internets so I've been crafting, cooking and writing about Christmas for what seems like months and months.   I've really got my Christmas on now and I suspect by the time Christmas does actually roll around - all I'll want is a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich.

So indulge me, start bookmarking the recipes you want to use and sharing them with your friends!  Now, remember to sign up for the Frills in the Hills Newsletter - it's out on Friday and will help get your bells jingling!  It's about being organised!

Ok, on with the show..
How utterly gorgeous are these?  What are these??

These are candied peanuts!  I always associate them with Christmas because my Grandad used to always have them on his coffee table when we visited on Boxing Day.  The coffee table was saturated with yummy treats - columbines, cashews, scorched almonds, chocolate coated sultanas and these - I remember these so vividly because they were exactly that - vivid!

The are really easy to make - take about 15 minutes and they are gone in no time, they are mighty moorish but they look so gorgeous on a Christmas table.  Shame they don't last long.

You can use other nuts if you wish, and you can opt to not colour them or colour them different colours!

2 cups unsalted peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp food colouring (I used queens pillarbox red)

In a heavy based frypan, place all the ingredients - have a baking tray and a large metal spoon on standby!

Heat over a medium to high temperature until it starts to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Keep turning peanuts around with your metal spoon.

Then the sugar will granulate, turn down the temperature til low and when all the liquid is absorbed, spoon the peanuts onto a greased baking tray.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes (though I will admit, it's hard not to snaffle a few at this point!)


You can store in airtight container for up to a week if you like - but seriously, why would you?

Monday, October 25

What's in the stocking today? Something LOVELY to giveaway plus discounts for all!

Hello again - two months until Christmas today!  Don't freak out - I've got something LOVELY for you! x

When I say a LOVELY giveaway and discount today I am not kidding!

Lovely little parties is a gorgeous little store, that's getting bigger by the day!    Today we are starting a little giveaway with some wonderful Christmas-inspired party gear that could be used any time of the year!

PLUS an exclusive discount code!  Read on!

What we have up for grabs is a gorgeous pack with:

The package is valued at $30.40 !

What do you need to do?  Easy!

Enter by this Sunday (31st October 2010) and ensure you have an Australian postal address - you can enter once a day!

Now, want to go shopping?  Of course you do!
Use the code FRILLS on check out between now and midnight 7th November, and get 10% off your order!  We LOVE that!

Road test SFI November 2010: Oven baked risotto with chicken and chorizo

Happy Monday all!  How was your weekend?

Ours was a bit busy - but happy to get some things ticked off the ever-growing list.  Eloise has been wanting a more 'grown up room' for a while so hubby and I went out to Ikea last Friday and circled it twice getting her a new desk, bookshelf and duvet cover etc.  Saturday I went in search of matching curtains and hubby did the flat-pack stuff (we all know how hopeless I am with that!) and by last night it was done!  I have yet to re-paint some furniture and put up the new decals I ordered but she was chuffed.  My girl went to bed a happy girl on Saturday night!

Yesterday I made this - it was so easy and yummy - from this months' Superfood Ideas - Kim, the food editor does a section called 'Feed my family!' where she makes a meal for a real family.   It's quite delicious, but be warned, it makes a lot!    Hubby is allergic to capsicum so I have omitted, and I cheated a little bit with some of the instructions (you need to buy the issue to see the differences people!) but it turned out a treat, and the girls loved it - hubby is taking left-overs for lunch today and I've got another couple of lunches stashed away in the freezer.

Works out quite cheap too - about $10 for the whole meal I reckon!

pinch of saffron (or cheat like I did and use a tiny amount of imitation saffron)
2 litres low salt (that is important!) chicken stock (8 cups)
1.2kg chicken drumsticks
2 tsp paprika (I didn't use this as my chorizo had a lot of paprika in them, but it's up to you)
2 onions, diced
2 chorizo sausages 
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 cups arborio rice 
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
2 tomatoes, diced
2 sprigs continental parsley, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c

Put a bit of water (say a couple of tablespooons) in the bottom of a microwave proof bowl and pop in the microwave on high for about 40 seconds, then put the saffron in the bottom.   Let to sit for a minute or two.  and then top up with chicken stock.  Set aside.

Brown your chicken legs, if you want to add extra paprika, add 1 tablespoon to the chicken now.  Take the chicken legs out when done, set aside.

Brown your onion, add garlic and the chorizo and then the last tsp of paprika.   Add the arborio rice and about 1 cup of your stock and allow to simmer for a minute.

Add your chicken back with the rest of the stock and place a lid or cover with aluminium foil tightly.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until your rice has mostly absorbed the liquid.   Have your peas, tomato and parsley on standby.

Add in your peas, stir through.  Then sprinkle over your tomato and parsley - serve!

How good does that look?

Don't forget!  You can win a Superfood Ideas subscription merely by taking a photo of a recipe you found on Frills in the Hills and posting them on Facebook using these instructions!  This months' entries finish on Friday!!

See you this afternoon for the newest addition to the Frills in the Hills Christmas stocking - a discount AND a giveaway - everyone wins!!

Friday, October 22

Frugal Fast Food: Butterflied peri peri chicken

So, it's Friday and I certainly hope you've got a cocktail or a glass of your favourite poison planned for later today!  This week for me has been a bit busy, particularly at school - orientation evening and days, organising school uniform displays, presentations, Christmas shopping and a bit of organising as I'm having a garage sale in a few weeks - we're in a transition as a family - all the toddler/preschooler stuff is on it's way out!  It's a mixture of nostalgia and freedom!

So I'm planning myself a cosmopolitan tonight!

Peri Peri chicken is something I love to order at that burger joint but some years ago my Dad started to make it on the BBQ - and now I always want his instead of theirs. My Dad's a good lot spicier but if you like that chilli afterburn, add two red chillies into the marinade, and 'she'll be right'.  I haven't added them and although there is chilli powder you can't really taste it and it's super mild - even for the kids.  Usually my kids can detect chilli from a mile away - they didn't with this!

We also busted out the BBQ for the first time in spring for this recipe too and it made me so happy!  I love  BBQ on the weekdays in particular - it just feels so festive!


1 raw chicken (I used lilydale size 18 - 1.8kg)
70g butter
3 tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
1 tb paprika
2 tsp chili powder

In a food processor combine butter, oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika and 1 tsp of chili powder. It may seem a little curdled, but don't get discouraged!

Butterfly your chicken by cutting with kitchen shears, a very sharp knife or a cleaver (love our Ikea cleaver!) down the centre of the UNDERSIDE of your chicken.  Turn it upside down and push down so it sits flat(ish)

Rub your mix all over and under the chicken, sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp chilli powder over each side and then place in a ziplock bag or airtight container in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

Heat your BBQ and then put your chicken on - beware of flames as your chicken may flame up due to the oil/butter content,  don't worry!  If you have a hood, put it down and BBQ for 10 minutes each side!  Baste with the remainder of the marinade before you turn over.

 Remove the chicken from the BBQ and rest for about 5 minutes. then cut up your chicken as you like.  I like to cut into 6 pieces:  Down the centre, then under each wing and above the hip (top of drumstick)

It's incredibly juicy!!



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