Swallowed a fly.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. I don't know why she swallowed that fly, perhaps she'll die.

At last count I owned 123 cookbooks and there are some I have never even used. Have set the challenge of cooking at least 5 recipes from each book and am using this blog to track my progress.

Permalink Recipe 595/620. 
I love the look of this dish, the colour of the capsicums and pistachios work really well together. The recipe is parsley, oregano and date chicken with pistachio dust and it comes from the Gourmet Garden book Middle Eastern. 
It only took about 15 minutes to make and will keep it in regular rotation for an easy mid week meal. The only change I made to the recipe was to use whole pistachios instead of a pistachio dust as bambino needed some attention! 
Permalink Recipe 594/620. 
It was -2 when I woke up today so obviously a tropical juice is just what you want for breakfast. Aaahhh, the things I do to complete this blog! 
Juices and Tonics gave us the recipe for apricot, berry and orange juice and it was a really enjoyable drink despite the weather. It was very simple to make - just blending 8 apricots, 8 strawberries and the juice of two oranges. 
At 297 calories this would be a great breakfast when you’re on the go, will try it again in warmer weather.
Permalink Recipe 592/620. 
It was another freezing day here so I made tomato soup for dinner from the Australian Cooking of Today book. I thought this recipe used too much milk and would have preferred a more stronger tomato flavour and red colour to the soup. 
Was a little excited to put some fresh basil on the top though. I am sick of constantly buying herbs so have decided to grow my own in kitchen - starting off with coriander and basil, the two that never seem to survive in my outdoor veggie patch. 
I like how I phrased that, it suggests that it may be the outdoors that is the problem rather than the general neglect on my part that will also prove to be a problem with indoor plants as the fern in my dining room knows. 
Permalink Recipe 593/620. 
Have you ever been to a food-specific food fair? Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is home to the mushroom festival and they claim to be the ‘mushroom capital of the world’. Don’t know what that says about the locals, but will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The Best Recipes from America’s Food Festivals gave us the Kennett Square Cream of Mushroom Soup and I must say it tasted pretty darn good. I couldn’t find all of the mushrooms they suggested but used a medley of button, black fungus, enoki and button mushrooms. 
And lucky me, I’ll always be reminded of this recipe as I went to blend it without closing the lid properly and now this cookbook is filled with specks of mushrooms.
Permalink Recipe 591/620. 
This photo does not do the meal justice. I really enjoyed it but it looks quite dull and mushy here. The recipe was eggplant oregano and chick pea tagine from the Morocco section of the Gourmet Garden Middle Eastern cookbook. 
The recipe was lovely and sweet and had a great flavour thanks to the moroccan seasoning, dates and orange zest. 
I got this cookbook free from the supermarket when I bought some herbs and I noticed that it says “volume 4” on the cover. I also have the Asian cookbook in the series and both are just fantastic. I have emailed the company to see what the other titles in the series were and if they can still be obtained anywhere as I would love to complete the collection.  
Permalink Recipe 589/620. 
Entertaining with a newborn leads me to recipes that are simple, can be made in stages and can be made in advance. So lunch today was french onion soup with gruyere croutons from The Women’s Weekly Winter Favourites. 
I must admit that this is my least favourite of the versions of french onion soup that I have made (recipe #537 being my favourite) but it tasted ok. I particularly liked the thyme on the croutons and have decided I prefer versions of french onion soup where you strain the soup and don’t end up with the chunks of onion. 
Permalink Recipe 588/620. 
You can always rely on Bill Granger to deliver a great breakfast and mushrooms on toast from bills food was no exception. It was a simple dish to make, but the addition on tarragon, lemon zest and balsamic made it that bit tastier than I would think to do myself. Perfect with a cup of Lady Grey. 
Permalink Recipe 590/620. 
Everyone deserves an afternoon treat every now and again and today’s treat were the veryberry cakes from The Women’s Weekly Cupcakes book. I am yet to make a recipe from this book that I haven’t liked, they have all turned out so well. 
The cupcake base was a standard one with the inclusion of almonds and dried cranberries and then the icing was a cream cheese frosting. I attempted some sugared blackberries on top, but let’s just say that I don’t think David Jones will be hiring me for their Christmas treats anytime soon with that effort! 
Permalink Recipe 587/620.
The next trip in The Edible Atlas takes us to Morocco where we try pumpkin ‘tagine’. Author Mina Holland is quick to point out that this is actually not tagine nor a kedra and in keeping with naming things after the vessel they are cooked in, could just be called pumpkin saucepan. But that doesn’t have the same ring to it does it? 
This dish started off in a promising manner, with saffron, cinnamon and nutmeg but it quickly went downhill as it ended up tasting like mushy pumpkin with some random bits of green. I used kale as I am all about the superfoods but not even that saved it. 
Permalink Recipe 586/620. 
I picked this recipe based on the picture in The Women’s Weekly Winter Favourites, where it looks absolutely delicious and is accompanied by what looks like roasted vegies. 
I then quickly scanned the ingredient list - pork, a range of vegies, and ingredients for the sauce. Yep, we seem to have everything already for oven-braised pork with fresh sage sauce. 
It was only when I began to make this recipe did I realise that it was only a recipe for the pork and the sauce (I know, just like the title suggests), the vegies were actually just used to create a stock base for the sauce. THE ROASTED VEGIES IN THE PICTURE WERE A LIE. 
It was too late on a Sunday night to head down to the shops for more vegies so I scrambled around and found those steam fresh vegies in the back of the freezer that you just pop in the microwave for a few minutes. 
It saved dinner, but made me feel quite cheated about this whole dish. I wanted roasted carrots dammit. 
Permalink Recipe 585/620.
It’s hard to believe that this star anise tea counts as a recipe but it can be found in Juices and Tonics by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern.
It’s just english breakfast tea with star anise added to give it a soft liquorice flavour. Apparently star anise acts as a breath freshener, stimulates the appetite and can calm a growling stomach.    
Permalink Recipe 584/620.
I find the Women’s Weekly Cupcakes book really inspiring and since I got it I have always been meaning to make these fig and toffee crowns. 
The cupcake was a fig, caramel and walnut combination which was topped with a whipped milk chocolate ganache and then fresh fig quarters and curled toffee. 
They tasted fantastic and I was really proud of how they turned out. My husband thinks they are the best cupcakes I have ever made and I am inclined to agree.
Permalink Recipe 583/620.
Have never made Pakistani food before and can’t really remember eating it previously either. The recipe for keema garlic and chilli mince curry came from the Gourmet Garden Middle Eastern book from the Taste the World series. 
This meal was not terrible, but it is not something that I would make again. I found the flavour to be quite strange and the dish overall too dry. 
Permalink Recipe 582/620. 
We are nearing the end of the blog so I thought I had better cross check all my recipe books to make sure I had completed five recipes from each of them. So imagine my delight when I discovered that I had only made 3 recipes from Bill Granger’s Bills Food.
I have no idea how this happened, can only assume that at one point I was ‘saving’ the Bill Granger recipes so that I could spread out the meals from one of my favourite cooks. 
So it was with great delight that I made my Friday night dinner this week which was poached chicken and soba noodle salad with soy dressing. I love this recipe as it is really simple and very healthy. 
Permalink Recipe 581/620.
Zucchini and chick pea fritters with sweet potato, garlic and feta hummus was on the menu for lunch today. The recipe comes from the Lebanese section of the Gourmet Garden Taste the World Middle Eastern Cookbook.
These were quite moorish and luckily I packed them into containers quickly so there were some left for work lunches.