Lemon berry cake

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The other day, Miss 3 begged me to let her make a cake. Begged. She said please, please, pleeeassseee mum can we make a cake. She wanted to “make a cake and keep it till my birthday”. It was June and her birthday is in October. Anyway, I said yes and let her know that she didn’t have to keep it till her birthday, that she could eat some straight away.

 

Normally I dictate what we are making but this time I let her decide. We waited until Miss 1.5 was asleep and then made a cake. Her decisions were that it was to be a big cake, it had to have blueberries on the top, and after seeing lemons on the bench (from my sister-in-law’s parents) that there was going to be lemons in it. She was very adamant that the cake had to have berries poked into the top and that she would be the one to do it. “Not you mum, I will do it”.

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I had made this version of a lemon blueberry cake for my birthday, so we loosely followed this recipe. As usual, I didn’t have everything I needed so the final recipe ended up more like below! The cake was beautifully crispy on the top, sides and especially the corners, and was soft and fluffy in the middle. It crumbled away and broke a bit, but I think that wouldn’t have been as bad if we hadn’t been greedy and taken it straight out of the tin after taking it out of the oven.

 

So here is the recipe of this delightful treat….

 

Lemon berry cake.

Ingredients

125g margarine

1 egg

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup milk

the juice and zest of 1 1/2 lemons

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

about 1 cup of berries for the top

 

Method

Preheat a moderate oven, 180 degrees.

Beat together the margarine and sugars until creamy, then add in the vanilla, lemon juice and rind, and milk. It starts to look a bit gross right now but trust me it comes together.

Sift in the flour and mix until smooth.

Put the mixture into a lined tin and bake until golden on the top. You can poke a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes out without any mixture on it (little crumbs are okay but anything liquidy means it’s not ready) then you are good to go.

Let it cool in the tin, unless you are too cake crazy like we were!

 

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea and hashtag a pic on instagram #thedietitianmummyrecipe

 

The Dietitian Mummy

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Nutty Friday – Pistachio edition

It’s nutty Friday time and today’s nut of choice is pistachio!

“Sugared dates, sugared dates and figs, sugared dates and pistachhhiiiooooossss” random market stall holder in Disney’s Aladin.

 Pistachios_amends

Who doesn’t love a good handful of pistachios? If you don’t, you can give me yours. The thing I love about pistachios is that there is the option to have them shelled. It really does slow down your ability to eat them so you can enjoy them for longer. I swear, I could eat cups and cups of them if they were in a bowl in front of me.

 

Today’s idea is a strange one for me, considering I usually don’t like fish. I am getting bwpid-20140623_170442.jpgetter, helped along by the notion that I actually never reach my omega 3 requirements. Like ever. Let me say though, this recipe made me like my most hated fish, and that is salmon. To the point where I don’t think I can even say that I don’t like it anymore. Anyways, here is the recipe. Have a go, it was surprisingly awesome.

 

Pistachio crusted atlantic salmon.

Pre-heat your oven to about 180 degrees.

Put into a blender (or stick mixer chopping apparatus) a handful of pistachios, 2 garlic cloves, a squeeze of lemon juice, some salt and pepper and a handful of herbs (chives and parsley were going well the day I made this). Blitz until they are a crumb-like consistency.

Spray a foil covered tray with oil, and lay out your salmon skin side down.

Use your hands to press the crumb into the fish.

Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, obviously depending on your oven. Watch it like a hawk because it can overcook easily.

I have watched enough cooking shows to know that you are looking for the fish to be just a little bit translucent in the middle.

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Hope you enjoyed your nutty Friday. How do you eat your pistachios?

 

The Dietitian Mummy

Nutty Friday – Almond edition

Okay folks, todays nutty Friday is about almonds.

Almonds 

I freaking love almonds. I eat them pretty much all day, snacking, on breakfast (porridge or yoghurt), in my muesli, in all sweet baked goods… you get the drift!

 

By earliest memory of almonds is going to my nana and pops house. The always had a huge container of dry roasted almonds on their bench care of a friend with almond trees. You were always allowed to grab a few sneaky handfuls when we were there.

 

Today though, I thought I’d do something different and feature them in a savoury dish. There’s no recipe because this comes straight from Save With Jamie and was a delightful addition to the usual cauli/broccoli gratin that we make. Do it now, while the weather is freezing, and enjoy!
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Nutty Friday – Walnut edition

It’s that time again, time for me to nut on about nuts!

 

Today’s nut is the walnut. I put walnuts in so many baked goods that I make, just a handful chopped in cakes, biscuits, muffins and most importantly today, loaves.

Walnuts_amends

When we were kids, mum used to make this nut loaf all the time. We used to eat it warm, fresh and delicious or a few days old with lashings of margarine. I re-created her recipe the other day in honour of this delish nut.

 

Mum's 1970's nut loaf tin

Mum’s 1970’s nut loaf tin

Mum’s old nut loaf

¾ cup chopped walnuts

1 cup plain flour

30g olive margarine

½ cup honey

½ cup chopped dates

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk

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Method

Soften the dates by soaking in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain well.

Mix the honey into the butter and add the drained dates and chopped walnuts.

Crack in the egg and give it a good old beat.

Sift the flour and baking powder on top and add the milk.

Grease a nut loaf tin (cylinder tins with a lid for the top and bottom), and pour the mixture into the tin.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) vertically (standing up) for about 45 minutes.

wpid-20140606_152535.jpgVisit http://www.nutsforlife.com.au for more nutty info!

 

Happy nutty Friday,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

 

Pumpkin and cheese scones

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I was making some scones the other day because my friend (sister in law) was coming over (biggest sweet-tooth there ever was) and started making them from a recipe out of one of my favourite books – The Margaret Foulton Cookbook. So I put in the flour and started rubbing in the butter and realised that this recipe was going to make tonnes of scones. I love scones, but I love fresh scones. After a day, they lose appeal to me (and everyone else in this house) and so they get wasted. What do seem to last a bit longer than one day in terms of taste are savoury scones. So in my effort to minimise waste I split the dry ingredients and made the other half into savoury scones – Pumpkin and cheese to be exact.

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I flicked through a few recipes, all of which said to pre-cook the pumpkin. Something I really could not be bothered doing. So I made my own recipe and grated the pumpkin. It cooked perfectly and teamed with the cheese created a steaming little nugget of deliciousness. They were yummo warm and just as yum a few days later with a bit of margarine.

 

Pumpkin and cheese scones

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

30g butter or margarine

1/2 cup buttermilk (I used Margaret’s tip of putting 1/2 tsp of vinegar into normal milk for the same effect), plus after mixing I ended up adding about another tablespoon of milk

1 1/2 cups grated pumpkin

1 cup grated cheese

Method

Sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingers (Miss 3 loves this part).

Add the pumpkin and cheese and stir to mix (can be done with hands).

Add the milk and stir again until formed. If it’s not coming together add in milk 1tsp at a time until its a slightly sticky dough that stays together.

Flip the dough out onto a floured bench top and give it a light knead and then form it into a semi-flattened circle (mine was probably about an inch high).

Use a cutter to cut out the scones and put into a cake tin lined with baking paper. Put them close together and they will help each other rise higher.

Bake in the oven (230 degrees) under golden brown on top and no longer mushy inside (sometimes difficult to tell with all that melted cheese in there) .

Let cool and then enjoy!

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Happy baking,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

Chicken Patties

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I made the most amazing chicken patties the other day. So simple and they were sooo yummy. I had been to the butcher (and for some reason went a bit mince crazy) and ended up with chicken mince among the other things I bought. I have always thought it is cheaper to buy patties already made and have bought them purely for ease but as with most things, I get a bit skeptical when I don’t know what is in something.

Anyhoo, the mince was $6.99/kg and I got half, so spent $3.50 and the chicken patties were 50c each to buy at the butcher.

This girl loves couscous

This girl loves couscous

I had 4 slices of old bread (week old wholemeal to be exact) that I put in my food processor, one of my favourite inventions in the kitchen, and made into fresh breadcrumbs. I chucked that in with the mince along with an onion, 2 garlic cloves, a handful of basil and sage from the garden, an egg and some salt (detailed recipe below).

Squished it all up with my fingers and then rolled those babies up. I used the left over crumbs to coat them then put in the fridge until we were ready to cook.

It made 14 patties which comes out at 25c each just for the meat. I’m not sure about the rest of the ingredients but they were things I have all the time so I kinda don’t count them. So I’m calling it as half price!

Leftovers that got frozen

Leftovers that got frozen

I fried them up at dinner (I didn’t measure but maybe 1 tsp of oil each batch of 4?), served them with a salad and Moroccan couscous and they were a little bit awesome. Husband agreed (and no he doesn’t always like my cooking, he is very happy to tell me if something is a bit yuck).

Happy cooking,

The Dietitian Mummy

Chicken patties

Ingredients

500g chicken mince

1 onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, chopped even more finely

1 egg

4 slices old bread (or about 2 cups packaged breadcrumbs)

Basil (6-7 leaves), chopped

Sage (4 leaves), chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the bread in a food processor and blitz on the highest speed until it is like breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a processor, fear not, just grate it.

Take out 1 ½ cups of the breadcrumbs and put it in a big bowl along with everything else.

Wash your hands (if you forgot at the start) and get those fingers squishing until it’s all combined.

Roll into balls then roll in the leftover breadcrumbs. Put them on a plate and chill in the fridge for as long as you have! I only had 20 minutes when I did this and they were fine.

Heat a pan with a splash of oil. When hot, put the patties in the pan and squash flat. Reduce the heat and cook until golden brown on both sides. You do this slowly so that the inside is cooked without the outside burning. It’s absolutely essential that these babies are cooked all the way through so check them before eating. You want them to look beige not pink on the inside.

And you are done. Serve them up with whatever takes your fancy.

Lolly-Cauli Pasta

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So I was in Coles the other day and was doing my shopping in the mad dash that is shopping with two kids. I was browsing the veggie section for bargains and my eye was caught by a burst of purple which looked a bit crazy! We went over and it was purple cauliflower and it was only $2. Miss 3 thought it was HILARIOUS and was laughing at it most of the shopping trip.

 

This continued throughout the week of it being in the fridge. Every time she saw it she’d say in this high pitched voice “purple cauliflower???”. So anyway, I was going around to my sisters for dinner (Pulled Pork rolls ahhhh amaze-balls, thanks Jamie Oliver and Save With Jamie) and she asked if I could make something for the little ones.

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Now knowing my cooking audience included Miss Niece 5 who is quite the food/vegetable critic I decided to pull out all the stops (in the form of purple veggies) and make what I decided to call Lolly-Cauli Pasta!!

When cooked and mixed in it is still really colourful and teamed with the other frozen veg, it looks like a bowl of lollies. Miss Niece 5 thought it was a bit funny and even took a few bites of the cauli, Miss 3 and Miss niece 3 thought it was a crack up, annndddd the fact that it was covered in cheesy sauce meant that they gobbled most of it up. Us adults also got into it because it was so damn cheesy and delicious!

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When I made this it made HEAPS. My girls are still eating it and it freezes fine.

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Lolly-Cauli Pasta

Serves about 10

1 bag pasta (I did spirals but use your imagination)

2 cups frozen vegetables

1 purple cauliflower (they also had green but not as lolly looking), chopped up

4 pieces of short cut bacon (could easily eliminate this if you are vegetarian)

2 cups milk (I used full cream because we only had Miss 1’s milk left but I’ve made it with skim and it still turns out yummo)

½ cup plain flour

2 large dessert spoons of margarine (can be butter or margarine, I used Nuttelex and it worked fine)

2 cups grated cheese (I used reduced fat)

 

Get some hot water on and cook your pasta. Whack the cauliflower in the microwave with some water for about 5 minutes (or until it’s just soft).

Put the margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat and melt. Once melted add in the bacon and let it brown a little.

Get your flour and milk handy and close. Add your flour and take off the heat while you stir like a mad woman. It will get gluggy. Add your milk straight away and stir like an even madder woman. If there are heaps of lumps then get out a whisk and whisk like crazy.

Leave this over medium heat to thicken and stir it every minute or so, so that it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom.

Once it gets thick add in your cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.

Then add your frozen veg, cauliflower and pasta and mix in.

Badaboom you have lolly-cauli pasta! Serve and watch your kiddies look at you like you are crazy!!!