seasonal cooking July/August

Not particularly pretty cooking, but tasty none the less this month. I’ve been playing with a few new ingredients lately which is always good. Also trying to jazz up a few of the regulars as well.

The ever reliable apple crumble with a pastry base to give it a bit of a twinkle. Lemon zest in the pastry, raw sugar and a pinch of coriander cooked in with the apple and a dash of vanilla in with the crumble topping.

Chinese Cabbage is getting a look in. This is a variation of my standard winter salad. Chinese cabbage, pecans or walnuts, apple and what ever else is looking good at the time.

Lemons are plentiful at the moment. Whispering words such as pie…pie…pie to me. It doesn’t matter what kind of pie. As long as it involves lemons and pastry somewhere within. This particular pie had potato flour in it as a thickening agent. Different for me, and I have to say… I quite liked it.

Swiss brown mushrooms, on swiss cheese, on sourdough. My favourite lunch at the moment. Not Mr Chocolate’s favourite lunch, although he does assure me he loves mushrooms. Loves them so much he only wants one or two a month.

I’m not sure it’s quite the same love we have for them.

And my little truffle…

High hopes and grand plans little fella. You live and you learn and all that. Next time, I’ll either buy a bigger one, or use it a lot quicker than which I did. Delicious yes, but I think some of its oomph was lost in between the buying and eating time.

Still tasty though, eaten with some wilted greens, scrambled eggs, sourdough, and a side of Mr Chocolate’s favourite mushrooms. Then again with a little softly cooked egg and shallots. The third egg I cooked was the best, (unfortunately not the one pictured.) The subtlety of the softly cooked egg with the generously grated truffle was quite delicious.


So what else is in season round these parts in the winter months?

blood oranges– the very small window of opportunity is now open. I’m thinking a blood orange cake

rhubarb– I’m just waiting for the right bunch to come along and a rhubarb extravaganza is planned….but it has to be the right bunch.

potatoes– leek and potato soup for cool nights


What seasonal cooking are you doing at the moment?

eggs in baskets- Frugal Friday

I always thought Toad in the Hole was an egg cracked into a slice of bread and then fried. Turns out I’m wrong. (Thank you for the correction wikipedia) Apparently Toad in the Hole involves a sausage and instead my fried egg is called Egg in a Basket. I’m not sure that’s got quite the same ring to it, but it will have to do until I think of something else. I always liked the sounds of Toad in the Hole… makes me think of Wind in the Willows.

What you’ll need is some

small round bread rolls and

free range eggs

hollow them out, enough to hold a whole cracked egg

into a low oven (they are a good thing to pop in on your second shelf of the oven while something else is cooking up top)

eat them when you think they are ready

and serve with a little capsicum chilli sauce

(For me an egg is ready when it’s cooked right through, Mr Chocolate likes ’em runny.)


As for a new name…any ideas?

Bunnies in Burrows?

Fat Cat on a Cushion?

eggs two ways- Frugal Friday

Eggs are always a quick and easy thing to prepare. Cool or warm weather, these little fellas are easily adaptable to what ever your taste buds fancy.

For warmer weather or an easy lunch try and egg salad. Dictated by what’s in season, what’s in the fridge and pretty much what you fancy eating.

Egg Salad

boiled eggs




parmesan shavings

olive oil

Baked Eggs

In a baking dish add some tomato passata or left over pasta sauce. This one was a eggplant and zucchini pasta sauce. Make some slight hollows and crack the eggs in. Bake at 200 until golden. If you like your eggs still runny, bake until just the whites are cooked. Serve with some crusty bread.

Pasta Frittata- Frugal Friday

Pasta frittata. So darn tooting easy, it’s not funny.

About 5 minutes before you want to eat dinner. Get that left over cooked pasta out of the fridge. Depending on how much pasta is there, add a few eggs. Use a fork to mix it through, you want the pasta well coated. In a thick bottomed frying pan add a good couple of slurps of olive oil, then pop in your egg pasta. Spread it round until it’s even, whack the lid on, medium heat and it’s ready when there is no runny bits of egg.

Too easy.

Want a bit more taste to it? Add any cooked vegetables that are also lingering in the fridge, (garlic roasted vegetables, steamed broccoli, garlicky zucchini etc). What ever you’ve got, stick it in with the pasta and egg mixture, and pop that lid on.

Or keep it plain, and serve with a seasonal salad.

As this is a very budget friendly, minimal effort, easy peasy, healthy kinda dinner. It will leave ample room to savour the Chocolate Brandy Layer Cake for later.

Buon Appetito.

Cake eye

Coming back from grocery shopping my youngest little monkey decided he would help put things away. Before anyone could stop him he had ‘put away’ 5 eggs. Cracked and leaking but still within their shells, I had to make something with them straight away. I couldn’t waste 5 whole eggs. But what to make?


Scrambled eggs?

Cake?…Well that didn’t need too long thinking about. Of course it had to be cake!

Now I had just come home with some blueberries, and all week I had had the taste for some simple vanilla cupcakes. ( I had the *cake eye you see) So why not combine the two?

A vanilla blueberry cake!

The monkeys were napping so I whipped it up. I think it had 5 minutes too long in the oven but still not bad for a made up first effort. I certainly liked the way it looked.

The two monkeys woke up and I thought I would vacuum the place, just another few years and I will be able to get the two of them  to do that for me- for a nominal amount of pocket money of course. However until then, it was me.

Happily vacuuming away and started thinking….hmm, wheres the little monkey? Its been a whole minute since I have seen him and its very quiet.

Vacuum…. too quiet…. vacuum….really should check on him….. vacuum…. oh its been 2 minutes, where is he?

I had just vacuumed everywhere but the kitchen so he had to be there.

And there, standing perched on top of his little monkey chair that he had pulled up along side of the bench. He had a prime position to pick all the best bits of the Vanilla Blueberry Cake into his sweet innocent mouth.

He had the *’cake eye’ and he had it bad. Looking casually around to me, ‘oh good mama, you were taking awhile, so I thought I would help my self to some of this delicious looking cake I found on the bench’.

* CAKE EYE– Where you have a taste for something for sweet. You can think of nothing else but cake and you will not be sated by anything else until you get it. A term coined by my dear husband, and is able to explain sooo much in just two little words…. Cake eye.