Thursday, 28 July 2011

no-potato 'potato' salad and barley porridge

hello lovely readers - thanks for your comments on yesterday's post, they always make me smile!

on monday i'm off up north in NSW, taking a 7 hour train trip to get to my destination, where i'll be experiencing an australian country town, rather than beachside. i'm looking forward to seeing new things and meeting new people... and trying new food, as always!

so, now onto my latest eats from the Central Coast - i've been trying out lots of blog recipes this week that have been otherwise piling up in my 'to cook' list for ages:

baked pearl barley porridge - thanks to Scandi Foodie for this recipe, it was gorgeous! i will definitely be cooking it again and again.

chocolate almond cookies - via the spunky coconut, though edited slightly with homemade applesauce rather than honey (which did make them kinda bitter, but i loved them still).

no potato 'potato' salad - via everyday paleo, this was gorgeous! i will be making this repeatedly for the rest of my life, no word of a lie. yum.

so, thanks for catching up with me, i hope you enjoy these recipes!

keep your eyes open for a guest post swap on Monday, it's going to be amazing... make sure to stop by and read, and then hop on over to my guest's blog to find the recipe for the celery flax bread / pizza base - which i know you're all dying to get hold of (and it is incredible, so i won't discourage your enthusiasm!)

currently watching: sister act - so hilarious, love Whoopi in that movie.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

mandarin almond torte and coconut chicken

g'day everyone! 

i'm very excited to be taking part in my first ever WIAW post! thanks to Peas and Crayons for hosting it :)

this week is going by pretty quickly so far - i'm not quite sure how it's already Wednesday, but no matter, i've been busy, so that's a really good thing!

breakfast this morning was a beautiful slice of mandarin almond torte - a recipe that would fit nicely into my breakfast cookbook, which is just wonderful to eat in the morning with a little greek yogurt. it's made with pureed boiled mandarins, and it's really zingy and fresh!

i spent the morning with the social committee from the retirement village going into the mangrove mountains to an orange grove to help pick some of their excess crop. so much fun, and we picked loads! i fell in love with their dog Jinny, who gave me the most welcoming lick on the face... (i really do miss our dog, Bruno, back in England)

for lunch a little pizza on raw celery flax bread (more on this to come soon!), with fennel, apple and cucumber salad and leftover cooked pumpkin and celery tops.

for dinner some cauliflower rice, avocado, and coconut chicken nuggets. i'm loving cauliflower rice at the moment - it's so tasty and easy. all i did was to shred up the cauliflower in the food processor, mix in a little dice red onion, curry powder, paprika, pepper and salt. then i put it in the frying pan with a little butter and cooked it for about 10 minutes covered with a saucepan lid, stirring occasionally. i actually had it for breakfast yesterday too... twas delicious!

this evening i'm going out to meet up with new friends, and i'm really excited to take them some of the oranges i picked today too :)

i hope you all have a great day!

currently watching: indiscreet with ingrid bergman and cary grant - it's so brilliant! i love discovering old movies that are totally classic...

gjetost cheese and avocado mash

g'day! i hope you are all well - the sun is shining once again down under, no more torrential rain (apparently it's been 52 years since they had so much rain in July!), instead blue skies and warm sunshine.

i've been really blessed here in Oz to be living near a store called Harris Farm, which contains loads of weird European foods, as well as lots of local produce and incredible fresh fruit & veg.

well, there's a couple of things that i couldn't resist picking up last time i was there:

gjetost cheese - it's basically caramelised sheep's cheese - sounds gross, but tastes like a sweetie! it's so delicious, and perfect eaten all by eatself straight from the Swedish slicer. naughty, but nice. i'm really not a cheese person, but this reminds me of my Nanna.

proper Swedish crispbread - i've mentioned it in a previous post, but i'm still adoring it. especially with mashed avocado, dill and boiled eggs. and i love the traingular serves!

i've loved Kalles Kaviar for as long as i can remember, and it's beautiful on crispbread or warm toast. of course, with no Ikea down the road, i can't buy Kalles, but i was able to pick up this brilliant creamed cod roe paste - which tastes exactly the same, salty and fishy, yum.

so, there you have it, my treats for the week. it's my firm belief that it's necessary to indulge occasionally in luxurious treats, lest you become boring and normal. so creamed cod roe, triangular crispbread and caramelised Norwegian cheese it is!!

what's your weirdest food favorite?

currently watching: sabrina - an absolute classic (think audrey hepburn, humphrey bogart and william holden all in the same film), which if you've never seen it, you really really should!

Friday, 22 July 2011

thai choko fries with chicken celery stir fry

today's recipe is one i never would have thought i would create before june this year - in fact i'd honestly never even heard of a choko before. have you?

well, if you haven't, then this is what a choko looks like:

it's quite a bland flavour really, and a cross between a courgette, pear and a watermelon. an odd combination, that leaves me quite confused as to quite how to eat and enjoy this vegetable. most people around here don't seem to have eaten them much, apart from as a bulking ingredient in stews or jams. but, i was determined to do something different with them.

and so, without further ado, i present to you:

thai choko fries

i served the choko fries with a chicken, cabbage and celery stir fry with a little more thai paste and some tomatoes. a very tasty dish!

thai choko fries recipe
1 choko
1 tsp thai curry paste
1-2 Tbsp water/stock
a little butter or coconut oil
salt + pepper

1. simply peel and deseed the choko, then cut into fries. 
2. heat up a frying pan with a little butter or coconut oil
3. add the choko and fry for 3-5 minutes.
4. pour in the water or stock and curry paste and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.
5. place on a baking tray and put in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes, until brown and crispy along the edges.

have you ever eaten choko before? and if so, how did you eat them?

currently reading: the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society by mary ann shaffer - it's so good i've already read half of it!

Monday, 18 July 2011

a happy birthday in Sydney!

thanks for the birthday wishes from you all for last week! i had a grand time, enjoying the Australian sunshine and spending time checking out the sights of Sydney. as well as feeling that little bit wiser as i add another year to my age (24 sounds alright doesn't it?)

i started the day with herbed baked eggs and buttered sourdough toast - a simple treat, that i truly love! it was the perfect birthday breakfast for me.

when we arrived in central Sydney we went to the Rocks for a look around, and of course took the very necessary photo in front of the opera house (what trip to Sydney would be complete without it?)

then we took a ferry across to Watson's bay for lunch. it's got a very European vibe, which makes me feel quite at home, and it's astonishingly beautiful.

we had posh fish & chips from the most famous takeaway restaurant on the quay - Doyle's. it was ok, but i ought to have had a big praw salad in retrospect as i felt pretty queasy afterwards...

the view from the top of The Gap was impressive. you can see the harbour bridge and the central buildings - worth the climb up, for sure.

then we took a bus back into the city, via Bondi Beach and a few other southern suburbs. it was a great way to see the city, albeit a little slow (though that suited me fine). the different districts have their own specialities, and i loved to dream of the lives of it's inhabitants. people watching is one of my favorite pastimes - and buses are perfect for practicing this fine art!

i'm really looking forward to going into Sydney again - perhaps to visit some of the markets and food fairs. and trying out some of the restaurants and cafes too!

i hope you are all well :)

currently reading: ani phyo's raw food essentials - i've wanted to read it for ages, to learn new techniques and find ways of experimenting with different ingredients. i am so glad to finally have a copy to read from the library!

Friday, 15 July 2011

fresh paw paw and swedish rye crispbread

the foodie experience in australia continues to be amazing! i'm trying to make sure i test out all the weird and wonderful things whilst i have access to them on this side of the world - to determine what things i enjoy, and learn new recipes.

one of my favorite things about shops here is the array of tropical fruits and asian vegetables you can buy - and i hope i can keep sharing amazing new discoveries with you each post. my only wish is that you could try them too - but we haven't quite reached that star trek level of technology yet!

so, here are my latest eats:

fresh paw paw is such good value, and in perfect ripeness. an absolute pleasure to eat! it's different from papaya, and actually tastes more like custard apple in my opinion - very delicious.

in the absence of anyone with tropical fruit knowhow, i seem to be making it up as i go along, which is great for learning about flavour and texture combinations. so, how to serve fresh paw paw? with honey and yogurt, of course! it was actually really good.

welsh rarebit is good in any country. especially next to a big bowl of cinnamon apple compote with peanut butter and yogurt.

leftover brown rice with capsicum, bacon, mushrrom, celery, onion, egg and cheese. so good. enjoyed whilst copying out recipes from my great aunt's collection of cookbooks and magazines.

in harris farm, they have a brand of swedish rye crispbread that is gorgeous! i love the shape and the crunch and it's also pretty cheap too, which is fab. it's the perfect accompaniment to a dill veggie scramble at breakfast.

in the next post i'm going to share with you photos from my birthday in Sydney central!! yes, that's right, i am now the grand old age of 24 - and so much the wiser for it :)

currently listening to: the a team by ed sheeran - it's grown on me...

ps. i've now got 2,500 subscribers on my alissaevelyn youtube channel! so thanks so much for your support, and there'll be a giveaway running shortly ♥

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

raspberry hazelnut roll and learning to crochet

g'day! so, i bet you're all wondering what i'm getting up to here down under, and how i'm spending my time? (well, maybe you aren't, but i'm going to tell you anyway!)

well, i'm basically doing the same things i was in the uk - i'm still running my own business, and writing a lot of the time. but, in my spare time, i'm experimenting with new recipes that i've discovered in some very old recipe books, and trying out new ingredients.

the first recipe that i stumbled across (from my great aunt's recipe collection) and absolutely HAD to make right there and then was a version of a raspberry hazelnut meringue roll, with the normal Alissa adjustments of no sugar, no flour, and lots of flavour!

easy to slice, and a great pleasure to share!

and did i mention it tastes amazing?

this is a really easy recipe to make at home, and i urge all of you to try this for your next special occasion - it will go down very well! i was fortunate enough to share this dessert with a few people who have been so gracious and kind to me in my first few weeks in Australia - and they all enjoyed it very much, and were pleased to take a slice of this 'lush mush' home with them too :)

it made 8 servings - the pictures show a half portion ♥

raspberry hazelnut roll

4 eggs
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1 cup ground hazelnuts
1 cup raspberries
1 cup double cream
a little grated dark chocolate to finish

start by separating your eggs. then place your egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk together with the honey/agave until thick, creamy and lemon colour (usually about 5 minutes with an electric whisk). stir in the hazlenuts.

then in a separate bowl, whisk up the egg whites until stiff peaks. fold the egg whites gently, 1/3 at a time, into the hazelnut mix.

pour the mixture onto greaseproof paper, spread out until thin and even. bake for 20 mins in a moderate oven, or until firm.

remove from oven once golden, wait a few minutes for the initial cool, cover with baking paper and turn over. after another few minutes, roll the meringue cake up lengthways, and leave to cool.

in a clean bowl, whisk up the double cream and then stir in the raspberries. spread the mixture throughout the inside and over the top of the cake roll. sprinkle with grated dark chocolate, and enjoy!

cook's notes: the cake base can be made a day in advance, and kept in an airtight container, or frozen.  the prepared and decorated dessert can be kept in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

i'm also taking the opportunity to learn to crochet - what better time to learn this particular skill than when staying on a retirement village?! a lovely lady named Clare was patient enough to sit with me for two and a half hours, until i got it right...

and i'm also enjoying the nearby shops... (if you want to see my first haul video from Oz, check it out here on alissaevelyn)

i hope you are all feeling great and having a happy day :)

currently reading: sunset house by lady fortescue - i've nearly finished now, and am totally loving it!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

custard apple and the view from killcare

so here it is - the long awaited first proper ozzie post!

i've already learnt so much from being here - experiencing new things and meeting new people every day. it has taken me a long while to get to know the prices of things, and where to find good quality/value food. i must admit to finding it a little difficult not being in control of the kitchen, but i do get to do a little cooking to keep my hand in!

i'm currently staying with my great aunt, who lives on a retirement village on the central coast - it's amazing meeting all the 'goldies' here, and one lovely lady has even taught me how to crochet (more pics of that to come!)

so, now onto my latest eats and treats:

the morning i left, i tucked into this delicious oat waffle (recipe in my upcoming book!) - which was incredible with english strawberries and cream.

on arrival in Sydney, i stayed a couple of days with a gorgeous lady called Barbara, who looked after me well and fed me lots of scrummy food. a few days later my great aunt arrived...

i've been enjoying trying out a few new tropical fruits - like custard apple (oh my goodness! pictured below) and proper pawpaw.

i've been getting comfy in Maureen's kitchen, making cheddar, bacon and spinach quiche with a spelt and buckwheat crust (pictured below) as well as a few different cookies and soups. she's a very gracious host, but it's tricky working through the logistics of living with someone new!

when i was staying with Barbara, in those first few days, she took me for lots of exploratory drives around the coastline, which was wonderful! we went to Killcare - a beautiful lookout point, from which one can see Sydney and Manly.

the stores in Australia are jam packed full of interesting produce, and 'gluten free' stuff is a really big thing here. i'm also really fortunate to live right next to an organic food store that is fill to the brim with incredible health foods (and natural beauty products!) which i am eager to experiment with!

i'm in love with harris farms though too - it's an awesome fruit and veg store, with only good food stocked on the shelves. i've purchased a really scrummy coleslaw, yogurt, Swedish crispbread, pumpkin, hummus and apples from there. i sort of wish i could afford to indulge there every day!

currently reading: the earth user's guide to permaculture by rosemary morrow - a fantastic guide to all things to do with permanent-agriculture, very interesting indeed.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

dark hot chocolate and easy chicken salad

thanks for all the buzz about my breakfast book - i'm so excited about it too!!

one of the things i really wanted to get right for the book was a good hot chocolate, and it was so much fun trying out different ways of making it to find the perfect one - can't say my mum minded either!

the perfect dark hot chocolate, and healthy to boot!

chicken salad ingredients - i'm never ever boring with my salads, and at home i had the luxury of using so much homegrown produce, it was always a delight.

the finished dish - in my favorite wooden bowls. how is it that it looks like such a mess but tasted so incredible?!

the chicken salad was video'd for my not just apples youtube channel - here is the final cut, if you haven't already seen it:

currently listening to: the sound of australian birdsong - so loud and mechanical sounding, but kind of majestic in it's own right.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

quick apple granola and herbed baked eggs

g'day! i hope all is well with you...

today's eats are simple, honest and rustic (as per usual, really) and remind me of the amazing food i was fortunate enough to eat back in england, before arriving on this beautiful golden coastline down under.

but before i start i want to just let you all know something really exciting... my proof copy for my breakfast recipe book came in the post yesterday!!! it looks really amazing, although there's still a little bit of editing of fonts and triple checking of recipes to do before it is available on amazon - i can't help but feel so pleased with it, and i hope you will enjoy it too :)

so, now onto tasty British fare:

quick apple granola - homemade coconut granola, with chopped apple and a dash of almond milk over the top. scrumdidlyumptious.

sausage, carrot, barley and tomato stew with green beans and peas. most delicious, and a reminder of the incredibleness of english cuisine - not at all bland or boring!

salad for three. a little bit of everything from the fridge. topped with chopped fresh mint from the garden, and on a bed of homegrown salad leaves.

really, herbed baked eggs should have their own post, because they are absolutely divine, and a new found favorite. this particular recipe is in my upcoming book, but keep your eyes peeled for an australian version...

currently reading: old copies of donna hay magazine - i love them!

ps. if you would like a copy of my new 'healthy breakfast recipes' book to review, please send an email to notjustapples (at) gmail (dot) com!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

pan fried komatsuna and tomato chicken bake

g'day everyone! so here's another delayed set of english photographs - just to tide over until the oz ones get to grips with editing through a dongle! but i hope you find these interesting...

spelt and rye sourdough with dill sauerkraut, avocado, tomatoes, proper english sausages (oh how i already miss these!), and cucumber salad with homegrown sprouts

pan fried komatsuna with butter and pepper, alfalfa salad, boiled egg and mashed tomato sardines - there are plenty of interesting greens here in australia, which i am so looking forward to experimenting with...


chicken with thyme, peppers, cauliflower and tomatoes, baked in the oven until beautiful. good honest food.

served with swedish red cabbage and oven baked carrot and swede fries - this meal was just lovely! it's the sort of dish my grandma would cook, and that's just how i like my food

catch up with you soon!

currently reading: sunset house by lady fortescue - just read the chapter in the coastguard house where she eats freshly caught fish by the sea - aah, perfection.

ps. do you know of any awesome australian food blogs i should be reading?