Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
-1 (2 1⁄2- to 3-lb.) whole chicken
-2 celery stalks, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
-2 medium carrots, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
-2 quarts water
-2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
-3/4 cup whole buttermilk
-Chopped fresh chives
Place chicken, celery, and carrots in a Dutch oven; add water and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a boil over high; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from broth, and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin and bone from chicken, and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Bring broth to a boil over high; stir in pepper.
Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender (or use your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead lightly 4 or 5 times.
Pat dough to 1⁄2-inch thickness. Pinch off dough in 1 1⁄2-inch pieces, and drop into boiling broth. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency is reached, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chicken. Garnish servings with chives.
Crockpot Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash
1 medium butternut squash peeled and diced into 1-in cubes (about 6 cups)
1 medium onion diced
6 cloves roasted garlic
2 stalks celery diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
In a 4-qt crockpot, combine squash, onion, garlic, celery, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour chicken broth over top. Cover crockpot and cook on low heat 5-6 hours or on high heat 3-4 hours until squash is very tender.
Working in batches, puree butternut squash mixture in a high-speed blender until completely. Return to crockpot and stir in cream and fresh thyme. Season salt with additional salt and pepper to taste and cook an additional 45-60 minutes on high heat. Serve soup warm and enjoy!
Rainbow piñata birthday cake
900 g (6 cups) plain flour, sifted
650 g (3 cups) caster sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
3 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
750 ml (3 cups) milk
180 ml (¾ cup) white vinegar
6 eggs, lightly whisked
3 tsp natural vanilla extract
600 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (see Note)
1–2 tsp each of 6 colours of food colouring (see Note)
1½ cups mixed sprinkles of choice
4 cups small mixed chocolates or lollies of choice
750 g cream cheese, at room temperature
150 g butter, at room temperature
400 g (2½ cups) icing sugar, or to taste
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need 6 x 20cm cake tins for this recipe.
Grease only the sides of 6 × 20 cm diameter cake tins with butter (see Note), then coat thoroughly with flour. Trace around the base of each tin with baking paper, then cut out and use to line the base of each tin.
Preheat oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan-forced).
Place the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Place the milk and vinegar in a jug and leave for 30 seconds to bubble. Add the vinegar and milk mixture, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter to the flour mixture, then whisk until the mixture is combined to form a smooth batter.
Using a measuring cup, divide the batter evenly among 6 bowls. Whisk food colouring of choice into each bowl to the desired intensity of colour, then transfer 1 of the different-coloured batters into each of the prepared tins.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean. Carefully remove the cakes from their tins and cool completely on wire racks before using.
To make the frosting, using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium–high speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
To prepare 5 of the cakes for stacking, carefully slice off the domed part of each of the 5 cakes to create a flat surface; leave the sixth cake intact as it will form the top layer. Stack the coloured cake layers in the order you like, setting the top layer aside. Using an 8 cm-diameter pastry cutter, carefully cut a circle from the centre of the 5 cake layers, leaving the top layer intact. Set the cut-out circles aside to use later.
To assemble the cake, place the first layer on a serving platter or cake board. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on top, making sure to leave a 5 mm border around the cut-out edge of the inner circle. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and more frosting, then, before adding the final layer (with no hole cut from it), pour your mixed chocolates or lollies into the hole.
Spread a thin layer of the frosting over the entire surface of the cake. Place the iced cake in a large, clean cardboard box or on a tray and gently cup the sprinkles against the edge so they stick to the frosting. Repeat this until the sides of the cake are covered well.
To cut out letters or numbers (if using), slice each reserved coloured cake circle in half widthways through the centre to form 2 layers. Using a paring knife, carefully cut out the letters or numbers required. Insert toothpicks or skewers in the base of the letters or numbers to add stability and a variety of heights; these also enable you to secure the letters or numbers to the assembled cake.
When cutting the cake, make sure a fair-sized wedge is cut and removed to give the chocolates or lollies room to tumble out of the cake nicely, then proceed with cutting the remaining slices. Serve.
• You can use liquid or gel food colourings in this cake. If you use only liquid colourings then you will need to use the full 600g of butter to ensure colour depth. If you use gel colourings, 500g of butter will be enough in this recipe.
• When it comes to the food colouring, for the artistically challenged, mixing mostly red with a little blue makes purple, mostly yellow with a little red makes orange, and mostly yellow with a little blue makes green. Make sure you don’t overcook the cakes as the intensity of the food colouring will fade as the cakes brown more.
• It is important to use six tins that are exactly the same and to divide the batter evenly among them so they six layers cook in the same amount of time and are the same size.
• If your oven is not large enough to cook all the cakes at one time, bake three tins on the middle shelf, then, when they are cooked, bake the remaining three cakes – don’t worry, as this batter is very forgiving and the ones waiting to be baked will not be affected.
Blender Chermoula Sauce
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4–1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems
1 cup (packed) parsley leaves with tender stems
1/2 cup (packed) mint leaves
Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a dry small skillet, tossing occasionally, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then lightly crush with a heavy skillet.
Purée toasted seeds, garlic, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes in a blender until spices are ground and mixture is very smooth.
Add cilantro, parsley, and mint; process until well combined but slightly textured.
Sauce can be made 3 days ahead; chill in an airtight container.
Easy Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
1/4 cup Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil, more for later
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp Harissa spice blend
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup heaping chopped dried apricot
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth (or broth of your choice)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 lemon, juice of
Handful fresh parsley leaves
- In a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until just shimmering. Add onions and increase heat to medium-high. Saute for 5 minutes, tossing regularly.
- Add garlic and all the chopped veggies. Season with salt and spices. Toss to combine.
- Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high heat, mixing regularly with a wooden spoon.
- Add tomatoes, apricot and broth. Season again with just a small dash of salt.
- Keep the heat on medium-high, and cook for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat, cover and simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Stir in chickpeas and cook another 5 minutes on low heat.
- Stir in lemon juice and fresh parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt or harissa spice blend to your liking.
Transfer to serving bowls and top each with a generous drizzle of Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot with your favorite bread, couscous, or rice. Enjoy!
Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
4 large pitas, toasted, cut into wedges
2 cups prepared hummus (from this recipe, your favorite recipe, or your favorite brand)
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) cherry tomatoes, chopped small, plus more to taste
8 ounces (225 grams) small cucumbers, washed, unpeeled, chopped small
1/4 medium red onion, chopped small
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sumac and/or za’atar (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or a mix of parsley, mint, and chives, plus more for garnish
Spread hummus on a large plate with the back of a spoon, creating swirls and cavities. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, just to freshen it up.
Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, lemon, about 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. If you have sumac, add about 1/4 teaspoon. Stir in herbs. Heap salad on hummus, arrange pita wedges all around. Finish with additional za’atar, sumac, and/or fresh herbs.
Lentil Coconut Curry
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
(You can put more if you want it thicker)
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 – 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 – 15-ounce can coconut milk
A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped cilantro
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and let it brown, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and sea salt to the pot and cook, stirring the pot a few times, for 5 minutes. Add the lentils and 3 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Stir the pot a few times to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. If the curry starts to look dry, add an extra 1/2 – 1 cup of water.
3. Once the lentils are soft, add the coconut milk and cherry tomatoes and bring the pot back to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
8 Rice Papers
1 Avocado (Thinly sliced)
1 cup Shredded Carrots
10 boiled Shrimps peeled or Prosciutto
Soak Rice paper in water for 10 seconds.
Place lettuce, Avocados, Carrots, and Shrimp and wrap them!!
Oh, and don't forget to buy Chili sauce:)
175 g butter
1 Tablespoon syrup
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 cups oats
1 cup dessicated ground coconut
1 cup flour sieved
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Melt butter, syrup together and when bubbling addthe bicarb.
Add this to the oats, coconut , flour, sugar, and salt and crumb.
Butter a baking tray 9x13in or 8x8in depending on how thick you want them. They will not rise much.
Pack the mixture tightly into the buttered tray by pushing down hard with the back of a metal spoon.
Bake at 350ºF/180ºC for 15minutes then turn down to 320ºF/160ºC for a further 10 mins.
Cut when hot but only remove from the tin when cold
Coconut Laksa with Shrimp
-1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp—shelled and deveined, shells reserved
-1 onion, quartered
-1 carrot, sliced
-3 large shallots, quartered
-4 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
-1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
-1/4 cup macadamia nuts
-1 teaspoon ground coriander
-1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
-1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
-1/4 cup canola oil
-2 plump lemongrass stalks—bottom 8 inches only, outer layer removed, stalk cut into 2-inch lengths
-One 14 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
-2 tablespoons light brown sugar
-1 pound Thai flat rice noodles (pad thai), soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
-Lime wedges, for serving
In a large saucepan, combine the shrimp shells with the onion, carrot and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the stock is bright orange and reduced to 5 cups, about 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock.
In a food processor, combine the shallots, jalapeños, ginger, macadamia nuts, coriander and turmeric with 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the canola oil; puree until smooth.
In a soup pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the seasoning paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture darkens slightly and the oil separates, about 10 minutes.
Add the reserved shrimp stock, coconut milk, brown sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Simmer over moderate heat until the soup is reduced to 6 cups, about 15 minutes.