Sunday, June 27, 2010


I'm a bit obsessive with food. Once I like something I have to have it again and again until the obsession has turned into a repulsion. This can get really annoying as the foods I love often turn into foods I can no longer stomach. During summer I was addicted to a spinach salad I got from my local deli, but now that we're in winter I can't get my regular salad fix as I'm just too cold to munch on anything that isn't going to warm me up. I was craving something healthy the other night and found this vegetable casserole recipe which sounded pretty tasty. I gave it a go and was pretty happy with the outcome. I think I added a little too many liquids but see how you go. The egg makes this dish really hearty and great for winter. Enjoy!

{ Vegetable Casserole with Simmering Eggs }

1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g zucchinis, cut into 1cm pieces
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3-4 free-range eggs
4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
Crusty bread, to serve

Place oil in a frypan over low heat. Add onion, potato and carrot and cook until vegetables start to turn golden. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, oregano, vinegar and 3 cups of water. Season. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally or until thickened. Make 3-4 small indents in casserole and break in 3-4 eggs. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes or until eggs have set. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve from pan at the table with lots of crusty bread. Serves 4.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Greek Month

The Greeks gave us more than democracy - they're also responsible for spanakopita, galaktoboureko and honeypuffs - those gloriously gooey honey-soaked balls of goodness. It's Greek month, so to prepare for 30 whole days of Greek-inspired cuisine, we headed to Paniyiri - Brisbane's annual Greek Festival. It's better than Christmas. Really.


Thursday, June 3, 2010


For all you cupcake lovers, here is a bit of a treat for you.

{ Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes }


1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Vanilla Buttercream (see below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. Ice the cupcakes.

{ Vanilla Buttercream }

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food colouring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.