Category Archives: In the kitchen

Quick edamame bean dip

I love how quick and easy this dip is to make, and that the ingredients can be kept on hand.

We recently had people over and I had been out mountain biking. About half an hour before they arrived, I realised I didn’t have anything for nibbles so I threw together this dip in about 5 minutes.

Ingredients

  • About 1 cup of frozen edamame beans, cooked in the microwave for 1 minute
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Optional, depending on what you have on hand and how much time you have.

  • juice of a lemon
  • few mint leaves

Method

Put everything in kitchen whizz or use stick blender. Process until the desired texture.

The leftovers are delicious on toast for breakfast.

Miso paste is available from the supermarket ( in the International aisle at Countdown. The one I buy comes in the tub in the pic )

Edamame beans are in the frozen section by the beans.

 

Super easy cheesecake

My husband loves cheesecake, in fact it’s his favourite dessert and I love baking but in 20 years I had never made him a cheesecake – bad wife! So I finally decided to make him one when we were going camping…yeah odd time to make a cheesecake but we had recently bought a camping fridge and think I was excited to try it out. Of course, I was also packing for camping with a busy 3 year old at home so something had to give. At this point I channelled one of my good friends who likes to type ‘easy’ when she searches for recipes on google and so it was that I found what I think is one of the easiest cheesecakes to make.

I think what has put me off making cheesecake previously is the use of gelatine. However, this recipe uses Tarurua Cheesecake Filling which I imagine is only available in NZ but am sure if little old NZ has a cheesecake filling that most everywhere else would too.

I have since discovered that not all cheesecakes use gelatine and even been brave enough to make cheesecakes from scratch but if I am in a rush this is my go-to cheesecake.

Super easy cheesecake recipe

INGREDIENTS

Base

1 packet (200g) of biscuits – can be any flavour so go as crazy as you like or keep it traditional with plain buscuits – finely crushed in a kitchen whizz or the old fashioned way in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. A good stress release.

90g butter

If I am going with a traditional cheesecake I might add some lemon rind to the base and/or about 1/3 cup coconut to the base. If adding coconut use a few less round wines.

Filling

Tararua cheesecake filling ( available in NZ, am sure other countries have this product if its made its way to little old NZ )

Any flavoured yoghurt

Anything else you like to add to cheesecake

METHOD

If you crushed biscuits in a kitchen whizz add butter and lemon rind (if using) and mix, otherwise mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Press into a 20cm ( or 23cm depending on how deep you like your cheesecake ) spring form tin.

Soften Tarurua Cheesecake Filling as per instructions on the pack and this is the bit I like as it makes it go further, add up to 500gm of any flavour yoghurt. I was just adding plain greek style and then putting berries on the top ( to make it super easy I was using berry sauce ) but just recently I tried other flavoured yoghurts and it was delicious.

I have also recently added glace ginger to the base and lemon yoghurt to the cheesecake filling with lychees on the side.

I can see I am going to have a lot of fun trying out variations on this recipe.

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

1 x broccoli head

1 x handful raisins

1 x small portion of nuts ( I use cashews )

3-4 rashers of bacon

1/2 red onion, diced ( I use less than this if the kids are eating the salad )

1 small pot of sour cream ( about 100gm )

1 -2 tbsp of mayonaise

1 x lemon

Method

Chop up bacon into smallish pieces and fry until cooked thru.

While the bacon is cooking cut up broccoli heads into small bite size pieces, place in a bowl. I don’t like wasting the stalk so I cut up into bite sized pieces and throw into the salad as well.

Once bacon has cooled slightly place in the bowl with other ingredients.

Add raisins, nuts, diced red onion put to the side.

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise and a squirt of lemon juice together, mix well.

Add the sour cream mixture to the other ingredients and mix well.   Serve chilled if possible

 

Top tips

I have started adding the cranberry, almond, cashew mix instead of the nuts and raisins.

I don’t always have sour cream in the fridge so have been using greek style yoghurt instead.

Xmas slice

When I discovered these super cute Xmas holly baking decorations20161123_101317 a couple of years ago I thought they would look adorable on the cream cheese icing of my Citrus Slice. I also changed the recipe a bit to make it more Xmasy. It’s great to have on hand to take to Xmas functions and looks cute in a Xmas box with some fudge as a gift.

INGREDIENTS

Base

200g butter

395g sweetened condensed milk

2 packets of 250g round wine biscuits, finely crushed

1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut

1 packet mixed peel

1 lemon, finely grated zest

1 orange, finely grated zest

( I don’t always use the lemon and/or orange as I think the mixed peel gives enough flavour )

1/2 cup chopped cranberries

1/2 cup toasted chopped pistachios

Icing

50g cream cheese ( not light )

50g butter

1 lemon, finely grated. Optional: to make it a little more Xmasy I leave out the lemon and add Wilton brandy flavour.

1½ cups icing sugar

METHOD

Grease and line the base of a 30cm x 25cm slice tin

Melt butter and add the sweetened condensed milk stirring to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients for the base and mix to combine.

Press the base into the slice tin.

To make the icing, soften the cream cheese a little and then add butter and continue to soften. Beat together. Add the lemon zest ( or brandy flavour ) and icing sugar to get the desired consistency. Spread over the base and refrigerate.

I cut into 3cm x 3cm pieces (and yes I use a ruler to measure it! ) and then put the holly on.

 

Top tip

In NZ, I got my Wilton Xmas Holly from Milly’s Kitchen. They do online sales but I can’t see these listed so if you can’t make it to Milly’s you could try ringing and see if they can do phone sales.

Look Sharp also stock Wilton cake decorating goods so you could have a look there.

Citrus Slice

My brownie used to be the crowd favourite but now it’s the citrus slice.

This recipe is also fun at Xmas time and with a few little additions makes a fun addition to a Xmas sweets platter but more on that closer to Xmas.

Citrus Slice Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Base

200g butter

395g sweetened condensed milk

2 x 250g round wine biscuits, finely crushed

2 cups desiccated coconut

1 packet mixed peel

1 lemon, finely grated zest

1 orange, finely grated zest

( I don’t always use the lemon and/or orange as I think the mixed peel gives enough flavour )

Icing

50g cream cheese ( not light )

50g butter

1 lemon, finely grated

1½ cups icing sugar

METHOD

Grease and line the base of a 30cm x 25cms lice tin

Melt butter and add the sweetened condensed milk stirring to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients for the base and mix to combine.

Press the base into the slice tin.

To make the icing, soften the cream cheese a little and then add butter and continue to soften. Beat together. Add the lemon zest and icing sugar to get the desired consistency. Spread over the base and refrigerate.