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 510/615.
When is a life hack a life hack vs. just the way you should be doing something?
For lunch today I made ham and pineapple canapes from 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega and as the grill in my oven wasn’t working properly I used my flat toasted sandwich maker to make them. 
The issue has always been that while great for making closed toasted sandwiches, this appliance doesn’t work for open faced sandwiches because the cheese would get stuck to the top grill part. So today I made the open faced sandwich and before putting down the top of the appliance I applied a sheet of baking paper.
The result? A toastie with melted cheese that remained on the toast, not all over the appliance. 
Now have I just discovered the best life hack ever or is this simply the obvious way of cooking something that I should have known all along?
Permalink Recipe 509/615. 
Felt a bit bad this morning as my husband went off to work after a long weekend, in pouring rain and his train had been replaced by a bus. Not a great start to the week for him! 
Anyway, it seemed that he was quite happy with the lunch I made which was from The Harley Biker’s Cookbook. It was Mario’s meatball sub and I packed it away in little containers for him to assemble at work and he sent me this photo back for the blog so that I could see the finished product. Fresh bread, meatballs, sauce, cheese and chilli. 
Permalink Recipe 506/615. 
Am always a bit skeptical when I make food for this blog out of The Harley Bike Rider’s Cookbook, but this dinner was surprisingly tasty. I have no idea who Carmelita is but I can attest that Carmelita’s fajita skirt steak with guacamole was good. 
The steak was marinated in oil, garlic, lime, coriander, cumin and tabasco for a few hours and then served alongside some guacamole (which incidentally didn’t contain tomato) and some mountain bread which I decided was a bit healthier than tortillas. 
Permalink Recipe 507/615. 
Am still trying to use up this never ending box of quinces and made a quince tart today. Have already made this quince tart recipe last year for recipe #352 but altered the recipe today so that I could use a recipe from another book for the poached quinces that make up the filling of the tart. 
The poached quinces recipe comes from Philip Johnson’s Decadence and includes the flavours of lemon, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and vanilla. I enjoyed the flavours but next time think I will stick to Stephanie Alexander’s recipe for poached quinces that was in the original tart.
Permalink Recipe 508/615.
Had my parents around for lunch on Good Friday and had a dilemma - fish or meat? It’s not like any of us go to church but somehow meat on Good Friday seems wrong. Normally I use Good Friday as an excuse to eat fish and chips (this is the extent of my religiousness for the year) and then accidentally order and eat a dim sim and the issue is somewhat resolved. But it is slightly different when you are serving a meal. 
My friend came over yesterday and said she faced the same dilemma and reckons that it has become more of a superstition thing for the lapsed Catholics of our generation - and now it’s just like bad luck to have meat on Good Friday, like having a black cat cross your path or some other such logical belief.
I went with the safe option and made blue grenadier with a citrus and pepper rub, spinach and pomme ecrasse. It was an easy dish to make and I served it all on one big platter so that everyone could help themselves. The recipe came from Ben O’Donoghue and Curtis Stone’s Surfing the Menu Again.
Permalink Recipe 505/615.
Apparently this is what chefs eat for dinner - a sardine sandwich. My husband is not a chef, but this is what I made him for dinner on Saturday night and he seemed to really enjoy it. 
It involved slicing up some ciabatta bread and brushing it with olive oil before chargrilling it, making an olive and caper tapenade and then topping it with some sardines. 
The recipe is courtesy of Ben O’Donoghue and Curtis Stone’s Surfing the Menu Again book. 
Permalink Recipe 503/615.
I made this tagine of lamb with dates and almonds from the Surfing the Menu Again book by Ben O’Donighue and Curtis Stone. I made it in the slow cooker and the aroma in the kitchen was fantastic. 
The recipe recommends using goat meat but I couldn’t find anywhere locally that sold goat so I made do with lamb instead. Perfect for a wintery evening.
Permalink Recipe 504/615.
Have been looking out for some vegetarian lunch ideas and stumbled across this spiced vegetable salad with tahini dressing from Ben O’Donoghue and Curtis Stone’s book Surfing the Menu Again. It consists of pumpkin, carrots, leeks, eggplant and mushrooms that have been mixed up with a ras el hanout and then topped with a tahini dressing. 
It recommended boiling the pumpkin and carrot but think it would have been nicer if they were roasted. The tahini dressing was really simple to make but absolutely delicious. 
Makes me want to go to Morocco!
Permalink Recipe 502/615. 
Had some friends over for lunch and served up ragu di maiale e finocchio - pork and fennel ragu. 
It was a simple recipe containing onion, fresh fennel, pork and fennel sausages and tinned tomatoes but was quite delicious. Served it with some fresh pecorino cheese and home made focaccia bread.
Permalink Recipe 501/615.
As I mentioned in recipe 494, our neighbour delivered us a big box of quinces from his tree so I have been searching for all kinds of quince recipes. I actually had a go at making some quince paste in the thermomix which I used in the recipe which required some fig paste. 
This apple, almond and quince tart was surprisingly easy to make. It just involved making a simple frangipane and spreading it over two puff pastry circles and baking it the oven. Meanwhile, I cooked up some apple, brown sugar, butter and home made fig paste in the fry pan until it was golden brown. 
Then I layered the two frangipane puff pastry discs on top of each other and poured over the apple mixture and popped it back in the over for a few minutes. 
Yummo! This recipe came from Decadence - Desserts by Philip Johnson.
Permalink Recipe 500/615.
Might just repeat that. Recipe 500. Woo hoo! A big milestone for this blog has now been achieved…can see the end in sight! 
My cousin came down from Sydney today to visit us and it was her 15th birthday. To celebrate, I made her the raspberry white chocolate cheesecake from The Women’s Weekly Cheesecakes, Pavlovas and Trifles book.
It was a baked cheesecake with a white chocolate and chocolate biscuit crust and the body of the cheesecake contained philly, mascarpone, raspberries, chocolate, cream and eggs. Loved the fresh raspberries on the top and I think my little cuz did too!   
Permalink Recipe 499/615.
I really dislike this Surfing the Menu cookbook from Ben O’Donoghue and Curtis Stone so it was a pleasant surprise that this salad tasted so good. Actually I have to say the food in the book is generally fine, it’s just a really poorly organised book that lacks a proper index and structure to it and that means that I am generally already a tad grumpy by the time I start the cooking!  
The recipe was for buffalo mozzarella, broad bean, mint and rocket salad and it went really well with the pasta we served for lunch. Broad beans are a vegie I don’t tend to eat too much but quite enjoyed them smashed up in the salad and mixed in with pecorino cheese.
Permalink Recipe 498/615.
Had a go at making ‘white lipstick’ tom kha gai - chicken in coconut milk soup from Pum’s Lazy Thai Cuisine. From memory, this was one of the dishes that we made when we did the cooking class with Pum in Phuket and it was a very warming, delicious meal.
The recipe only had a few ingredients but the flavours worked well together and it is a perfect 10 minute dinner!  To make it a little healthier, instead of coconut milk I used the coconut flavoured evaporated milk. 
Permalink Recipe 497/615.
It’s not very often that I have the time to make a cooked breakfast. However, I woke up this morning and don’t have to be anywhere for a few hours so thought it was the perfect time to whip up a cooked breakfast. 
I decided on the breakfast pie recipe from The Australian Heritage Cookbook and it was very tasty with sautéed onion and potato. The funny thing is that it only took about 30 mins to make, but I guess that is more time than I usually have! 
My husband initially said he didn’t want breakfast but quickly changed his mind when he smelt the aroma wafting through the house. 
Permalink Recipe 496/615.
Had friend come over for lunch today and it was pouring rain outside so I thought it was time I dragged out the slow cooker for its first outing of the season. 
I made the Italian farmhouse soup from the Best-Ever Slow Cooker, One-pot and Casserole Cookbook by Catherine Aitkinson and Jenni Fleetwood. This recipe contained a bunch of root vegies and some pasta and worked well with some freshly grated parmesan. 
The focaccia you see in the background is not a recipe for this blog, but is something I whipped up for the first time using the thermomix as I forgot to go down the street and buy some bread!