Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Yep, I know, FOOD!

I really enjoy giving food as gifts, especially when I get to make it myself. Over the years I have made gingerbread trees, rum balls, coconut ice, white christmas, cookies, fudge etc etc.
Cowgirl Cookies, and more granny love!

gingerbread trees

Here are also some idea I found on Pinterest and can’t wait to try 😀

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Well, winter is here, and so is the soup weather. Every winter I make a few favourite soups in my slow cooker, and I keep them in the fridge for lunches, or light dinners. This week I have made a very thick pea and ham soup, because that is the way I like it. For something different, I also use yellow split peas instead of the usual green.

Ingredients

500g packet of green OR yellow split peas

2 small ham hocks

3L water*

1 onion, diced

1-2 carrots, finely grated

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 bay leaf

water, extra, to simmer ham hocks.

*if you have a small slow cooker (3/3.5L), add only enough to fill, and reserve the rest until the ham hocks have been removed from the slow cooker. You could also use salt reduced chicken stock

Method

1. Place ham hocks in a large pot, cover with water, and gently simmer for 45min-1hr to remove impurities, and some of the fat

2. Rinse split peas and remove and discoloured peas.

3. Place split pease, garlic, carrot, and bay leaf in slow cooker, mix to combine.

4. Place ham hocks on top of other ingredients. You may have to give them a good shove to fit them in, and submerge them in the other ingredients.

5. Pour over water until you reach the rim of he slow cooker pot. Set any leftover water aside for later.

6. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6hrs until ham is falling off the bone

7. Remove ham hocks. Trim fat and skin, and chop meat. Return meat to slow cooker, and top up with remaining water. Put lid back on and continue to cook for 45min-1hr

8. Taste for seasoning, and check for consistency. If you like a thicker soup, leave the lid off and allow to thicken slightly. If you like a thinner soup, top up with boiling water, and taste for seasoning again.

This recipe can also be cooked on the stove top, in a large stock pot, just follow the same process, and adjust the cooking times to suit 🙂

Ok, so it is not a traditional Risotto, and it is nowhere near as creamy, but it is a bit of a different take on the oven baked Risotto that I have made in the past. It was quick and easy, and the family seemed to enjoy it. The texture will vary based on the amount of stock used for cooking, and the amount of cream and cheese added at the end, but it cam be easily tweaked to get the desired result.


Firstly, I diced my onion, chicken, and bacon and sautéed them in some oil and butter until the onions were translucent, and the chicken just cooked through. I then added 2 cups of rice and stirred until it was all coated in the remnants of butter and oil. I then tipped this mixture into the rice cooker and added about 2/3 cup of diced pumpkin. I pored over some chicken stock, gave it a stir, then put the lid on and turned the rice cooker to ‘cook’.

When the rice cooker switched itself to ‘warm’ (ie: keep warm) I left the risotto sit for a while with the lid on. While this was happening, I prepared some baby spinach leaves, and fried some mushroom to add to mine, as no-one else eats mushrooms. I then put the risotto in a large mixing bowl to stir through the baby spinach, some cream and parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, I simple sprinkled with a little extra parmesan, and added the mushrooms to my bowl.

Ingredients (feeds 5-6 easily)

500g chicken breast, cut into about 2cm chunks

2 rashers bacon, diced

1 small onion, diced

2/3 cup pumpkin, cut into about 1cm pieces

1L chicken stock (I used stock cubes)

handful of baby spinach leaves

4 mushrooms, sliced

cream, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste

Method

Sautee chicken, onion and bacon in oil and butter.

Add rice to frying pan and stir well until each frain is coated, and starts to appear translucent. Transfer to rice cooker.

Add pumpkin, and stock, then stir well.

Place lid on cooker and turn on to cook. Once cooking has ceased, leave lid on for approx 10 minutes.

Fry mushrooms, or any other extras, and wash baby spinach.

Place risotto in large bowl and add cream, parmesan, salt and pepper, baby spinach, and mushrooms. Stir well, and add extra cream if desired to obtain a suitable consistency.

Note: if you like a more ‘liquid’ risotto, maybe try cutting the amount of rice by half a cup. I haven’t tried this yet, but I will next time as this made so much risotto!!

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F is for (Good) Friday, Food and Family…..all the things that were part of my day today.

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C is for Crochet…..and Chocolate……and Coffee……

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