Bits and Pieces

I hate it when you have people over for a BBQ and there isn’t any room in the fridge for a big salad, yet you don’t want to make it and leave it out at room temp on a stinking hot day, and you also don’t want to miss out on having a cold drink with your guests because you are stuck in the kitchen making the salad.
What to do!? What to do?!

Or coming home from a long day at work and having to pull everything out of the fridge to make that salad you crave?
Yet a pre made salad never lasts more than a day- wilted lettuce, soggy tomato.. What to do?! What to do?!

Make a bag of bits.
Easy!

I like to cut all the goodies that go in my favourite green salad, keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge, all ready to be layered with the greenery of choice to make a fresh, crisp, delish salad…

Ideas for bits:
Radish
Cucumber
Courgette
Capsicum
Spring onion or red onion
Tasty cheese (feta is a bit too soft for this- but easy to add after)
Mung beans
Whole cherry tomatoes (cut tomatoes are too messy- best to add later)
Carrot
Raw broccoli or cauliflower
Just to name a few!!Cut everything into salad size pieces, put in a plastic bag, mix around and keep in the fridge till you want to make your salad. All you need to do is layer the bits with your favorite greens- or not- after all the bits are the well best bits 🙂

20131129-175408.jpg

Advertisements

Twist & Tweak

Its funny what inspires you. Especially when it comes to food. I mean there are the classic combinations, then there are twists and turns and then there are the down right “No way that sounds weird” but it totally works.

The secret is not to be afraid. Trust yourself. Each to their own- as they say. If it does taste a bit weird- don’t give up. Tweak and make it work.

Beetroot and Orange is a bit of a classic. With a bit of a twist this afternoon I found a new way to use up some of Yummy Marmalade I made the other day!

Beetroot & Marmalade Relish

1 Large Beetroot- grated

1/2 Onion- grated

4 Tbs Orange Marmalade

6 Tbs Cider vinegar

6 Tbs Water

1 Cinnamon quill

2 Tbs Brown sugar

Put all ingredients in a pot, partially covered with a lid, over a medium to low heat.

Cook till Beetroot is tender and the liquid is almost gone.

Taste- dependent on your Marmalade you may need a touch more sugar.

This only makes a small amount- about one jar.

Great with cheese, on a burger, even in a salad with some feta and pine nuts… drooool

IMG_1394

Orange you glad you read this?

Mr Lid and I have a beautiful Orange tree, it is huge and gives us a heap of fruit every season, this year is no exception!

After giving my parents a bag when ever I remember, we still have buckets left.

And after tripping over them in the laundry every day I finally got my A into G and made MARMALADE!

Secret… I don’t actually eat marmalade as I don’t eat toast… but I put it in really pretty jars that would make great gifts (sorry to spoil the surprise if you receive a jar)

I guess the sudden influx of Marmalade in our house will inspire me to make some non toasty stuff with it, I’m thinking ice cream, or a cheese cake…

After reading for hours on the net and flicking through my Grandmas recipe book I came to one conclusion… Marmalade can be really hard and time consuming.

And then I found this recipe http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/absolutely-fail-proof-easy-marmalade-63706 super easy and quick, I added some Bourbon as I thought it would be YUM and it is..

Orange & Bourbon Marmalade

6 Oranges (or any citrus you like)

1kg Sugar (I used caster sugar)

1/4 cup Bourbon

Cut the citrus into quarters and blend rind and all in the food processor till the consistency you desire in your marmalade (the texture will not change after cooking, so it needs to be relativity fine)

Add Sugar, mix well.

Cook on a medium heat for 15min- string every so often.

Add Bourbon- cook for another 5 min- till desired consistency.

(Put a plate in the freezer, to test the consistency put a dollop on the plate and let set if its too runny, cook marmalade for longer)

Pour into sterilised jars

Eat .

20130807-191601.jpg

20130807-191608.jpg

20130807-191613.jpg

20130807-191618.jpg

Can’t get more Kiwi than this

My Grandma was a great cook, growing up in the country feeding the men on the farm, recipe after recipe passed down from generation to generation, friend to friend.

I remember making jam with grandma, it took ages, but oh my- nothing is as amazingly sweet, tasty and  satisfying as making your own preserves.

It makes me sad to think it is a bit of a dying art. Jams, relish, chutney, pickled vegetables all these things that everyone’s fridges are filled with, bought from the supermarket, costing a small fortune.

When all you really need to do is check what fruit or vegetables are in season, buy in bulk from the fruit shop and spend a day pottering in the kitchen.

Who has time, I hear you say… no one really- but make time. Teach the kids how to make a beautiful jar of something to give to their favorite teacher, or great Aunt? Invite a friend over and make it together, while the kids play- that is if you have kids. If not invite a friend over spend the day making relish and celebrate a hard days work with some wine. My parents meet up once a year with some friends and they spend the day pickling onions and gherkins- if you all chip in it costs next to nothing and you go home with a car boot full of tasty wares.

Mr Lid and I will spend a day pottering, he will make beer or fruit wine, while I make relishes to go with our favorite cheeses.

I had a flick through Grandmas Recipe book the other day and found a recipe for Kiwi fruit chutney- the hardest thing about making your own preserves it that it takes time to develop flavours, but I can not wait to open it and try some in a week or so.

Kiwi fruit Chutney

1.5 kg Kiwi Fruit- peel and chop

2 3/4 cups Brown Sugar

1 cup Raisins

2 3/4 cups Vinegar (I used Malt Vinegar)

6 Onions- peel and cut finely

3 Tbs Ground Ginger (you could use 2 Tbs fresh grated ginger)

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp each ground Cloves and Allspice

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Put everything in a pot EXCEPT the Kiwi fruit.

Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for around 30min- keep an eye on the liquid levels, if you find these are getting very low add some water or more vinegar.

You want the onion to be soft before you add the Kiwi fruit- this may take longer than 30 min.

Add the Kiwi fruit and cook for another 20min or till desired consistency.

Do not be afraid to taste the chutney while cooking (be careful not to breath in the vinegar vapors)

Like Grandma used to do make alot of this and put in steralised jars to keep in the pantry for ages- although it always gets eaten before then.

While the Chutney is cooking sterilise jars and lids

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.
2. Wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water.
3. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on an oven tray.
Note: If lids contain a rubber lining or look ‘fragile’, place them in a saucepan of boiling water and leave to ‘simmer’ on the stove while the jars are in the oven.
4. Leave jars in oven for 15-20 minutes.
5. When you remove from the oven, avoid contamination by moving the jars from the tray using sterilised tongs that have been dipped in boiling water for a few minutes. Avoid using towels or your hands, especially around the lid of the jar!

Tips: Bottle hot preserves in hot jars and cooled preserves in cold jars.

20130731-075520.jpg