Friday, 28 November 2014

I Aint No Hasselback Girl (well, actually I am now!)

Meet my first attempt at a Hasselback Potato!

The name Hasselback dates back to the 1700s in Sweden, where this dish was served at the Hasselbacken Hotel.

You start with an unpeeled potato. Make straight slices nearly to the bottom, but not all the way through. Keep doing this so they are 5mm apart. I mixed up melted butter, garlic, onion flakes and a little oil. Dredge this over the potato, then pop it into a moderate oven. Five minutes before the finishing time, I spread over a little grated parmesan. A medium sized potato will be done in around 45 minutes.


In My Kitchen - December 2014

I really cannot believe December has rolled around already! This year my 'foodie' gene has kicked in and I have been preparing for all things Christmas in the kitchen. 

As always, I thank the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for this IMK series. I look forward to each months posts, and the opportunity to tour into kitchens from all over the world and chat with some lovely bloggers. Check out the growing number of participants on Celia's blog.

In my kitchen this month there has been a lot of bottles of alcohol opened. Not for drinking, but for soaking and a bit of baking. Firstly, here is my 'boozy fruit mix' which I will soon bake into a monster Christmas cake. Look at how glossy and shiny all the fruit and nuts are. Right now, it smells amazing, and it has been soaking for about 4 weeks.

Next up is my attempt at homemade vanilla extract.  I have vodka and bourbon, and have popped in an equal number of split vanilla beans into each. They have been soaking for 2 weeks, and already the aroma from each is amazing. I hope to bottle these beauties in about 6 months time.

In my kitchen I baked a lovely apple cider bundt cake. I just happened to have pumpkin spice mix on hand (I acquired it from The cake was simply delicious. Real 'fall' flavours and perfect at this time of year for a Thanksgiving treat.

In my kitchen was an order from Aussie Farmers, from the 'Naked 'n Fresh' range from Spade and Barrow. The fruit and veg looks a little wonky and misshapen, but it is still perfectly good. At only $20 a box, I couldn't resist.

In my kitchen this month was a batch of rhubarb muffins, and leftover stewed rhubarb.

In my kitchen this month it was my birthday, and we celebrated with a lovely tropical sponge cake, purchased from 'The Cheesecake Shop'.

Lastly, in my kitchen this month are Christmas treats. I doubt whether they will last uneaten until Christmas day ; )

Saturday, 15 November 2014


C apital
R egion
F armers
M arket

Are held every Saturday, between 7.30am and 11.30am, at EPIC in Canberra.  I admit it is a bit of a trek from Tuggeranong, but so worth it. Every time I have been, I see new things and talk to different stall holders. Its a vibrant, buzzing place, where people catch up with friends, enjoy the day out with the family, and shop for all things veg, fruit, bread, honey, fish, meats, muesli, ice cream, pizza's, nuts, pies, coffee, plants, and flowers.

It is also a great place to snap some photographs.  I went there today, to try out my new 85mm lens, and boy it is a beauty. Such soft portrait like shots, so razor sharp in focus and a soft blurring of the background.

I was taking some shots of the lovely display at the Win's Creek Honey stand when Maryanne, the stall owner, mentioned she would love some updated photos for her website.

Well, we got talking and I got snapping! I'll send her a USB key filled with images.

I did email her my details afterwards, and added just a single photo as a sample pic, and she loved it!! She's already used that image on her website, and will use it on her Facebook page this week. I am stoked!! Ha, my first 'gig' as a photographer : )

Meanwhile, here is a smattering of some of the amazing photos I took, and some of the colourful, fresh produce that is available.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Smoque Woden

I must admit I have been a little slack and haven't blogged for days and days. I've done stuff, eaten stuff, visited places, cooked, and baked but haven't put fingers to keyboard.
Well here goes....

Hubby and I, and a friend of ours tried out Smoque in Woden last Tuesday night.  It was to be 4 of our, but our fourth was called to work at the last minute.  We wanted 6.30pm for our booking, but was told either 6pm or 8pm. Ho hum early dinner it was to be then. Not sure why though... there were plenty of spare tables while we were there.

So... now for the food.  We perused the menu. Not being overly super hungry, the boys settled each for a burger, and I chose the pulled pork.  We each chose a different side, to mix and match, at least then we could sample a few items.  Burger no. 1 was the fried chicken burger. A tad dry, not a whole lot of chicken and a bun that saw the sun a nanosecond too long. 

Not bad, but not noteworthy.  Burger no. 2 was a bit better. It was the double bacon burger, and looked meaty and moist. More bang for your buck on that one for sure.  My pulled pork was uber tasty, and came with a square of cornbread which unfortunately was a let down... dry and crumbly. All three dishes were served with the obligatory pickle which was a nice taste change. Sharp, salty and crunchy.

The sides we chose were coleslaw, fries and tater tots. Hands down the fries won. The tater tots were OK, but it was the sour cream and bacon crumbly bits on top that gave them much needed flavour. Tater tots = potato gems. I think that unless you cook them in pork fat, they are pretty bland on their own.

The dessert options numbered just two.  Ice cream (which our friend had) and 'pie of the day'.  We were expecting a deep dish apple pie, or a 'Twin Peaks' inspired cherry pie... but alas it was a cookies and cream cheesecake.  Cheesecake? T'was no pie.  Yes it was delicious, but in an over the top, sooooo creamy kind of way. The crumb base was nearly an inch thick at its thickest part.  Hubby and I shared a piece of the cheesecake. We should have had the ice cream.

All in all, we only sampled but a few dishes. I'll be back for sure, to try the other 'meat' options like ribs, wings and brisket.  Woden Smoque also does breakfast and their waffle dish descriptions are a hoot to read.  "Why yes please, I'll have The Fat Elvis"!!!!.  Good thing for me is that its just up the road from my workplace!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

In My Kitchen, November 2014

In my kitchen this month... is a new, large, shiny, very powerful blender. Its an Optimum 9400 and it makes a smoothie in virtually nanoseconds! I have had it for a week, and experimented with a different smoothie each morning for breakfast.

A recent trip to Sydney involved just a little shopping (of course!). I picked up this gorgeous, rustic Mason Cash bowl at Victoria's Basement in the QVB. It is a great size for whipping up a batch of scones, or mixing dough for a couple of loaves of crusty bread.

A new beer I had not had before.. Mango Beer. It was very, very nice! kind of 'shandy' like with the fruit flavour cutting through the 'beer-iness'. I paired it with a roast chicken which I marinaded in a mango curry spice blend.

On a trip to Costco mid month, I spied a fruit I have never seen before. Its a 'piel de sapo'. Also known as a Santa Claus melon, or a Christmas melon. Why? Because it lasts until Christmas before it turns ripe! I haven't opened mine yet, as it is still firm. Inside it should be pale green and taste much like a honeydew.

Lastly is yet another book to add to my ever growing cookbook collection. This one is Margaret Fulton's Crock-Pot Cookbook from 1976. It is full of no nonsense, sensible cooking. Easy to find ingredients, and recipe categories including casseroles, soups, desserts, making breads and jams.  

I hope everyone has had a great month. This 'In My Kitchen' post is part of the IMK series which is run by the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Pop by her blog and check out the IMK posts from bloggers all over the globe.

Cheers, Kirsty