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My Favourite Recipe: Stand-by CHOCOLATE Brownies

Donna Hay makes a comeback in my response to this week’s ‘My Favourite Recipe’ challenge which is (ladies and gentlemen)…the one and only, no-introductions-necessary, gloriously decadent…chocolate.

Funnily enough, though, there is no actual chocolate in this recipe – well, not of the dreamily-sweet-glossy-dark-chunks-of-heaven variety, that is. However, it does fulfill the difficult task of satisfying even the strongest chocolate craving with the help of just a few pantry staples…and this is why I love (and rely on) it so much.

Stand-by Brownies

(from fast, fresh, simple by Donna Hay)

Ingredients:
  • 150g butter
  • 1¼ C caster sugar
  • ¾ C cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ C plain (all purpose) flour
Method:

You can even watch Donna prepare the brownies herself!

Thanks to my fellow Blogging101 graduate B.TX for setting up this challenge! I implore all my fellow foodies to support this wonderful weekly event!

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My Favourite Recipe: Tomato

My Favourite Recipe Challenge: Each week we post a new ingredient, and you will write about it in a new post. Tell us why it is so special.

My contribution is a little late this time, but I couldn’t resist this week’s ingredient, which is tomato. Pomello. Tomate. Tomaat. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

Is there anything a tomato can’t do or add to a dish? In most cases fresh is best, but even when using the canned variety, you can always guarantee tomatoes will added freshness to any cuisine; from the richness of a tomato-infused pasta sauce, to a refreshing burst of soaked-up flavour in a spicy Mee Goreng or Tom Yum soup.

It’s so, so hard to pick just one favourite dish for such a versatile ingredient, but for me, the simplest meals are often the best. And if there are special travel-related memories attached, the votes increase tenfold!

Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad)

A taste of summer in the glorious colours of the Italian flag. I’ve enjoyed this recipe many a time – prepared in slightly different ways, but always with the same fresh ingredients. Of course, the most amazing ones I’ve eaten were in Italy (nothing beats a fresh, juicy Italian tomato), but I still very distinctly remember my first proper Caprese, which my travelling companion and I enjoyed with a delicious Garlic Prawn and Basil pizza and crisp Sem Sav Blanc on the banks of Circular Quay with the Sydney Harbour Bridge directly in front of us. It was pure bliss.

Ingredients:
  • Fresh, ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh mozzarella, torn or sliced*
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt

* If you can find/afford it, buffalo mozzarella is the most authentic; if not, a cow’s milk variety is perfectly reasonable. In my example below, I’ve used bocconcini (baby mozzarella), and it is perfectly lovely in my non-expert, non-Italian opinion…

Method:

Arrange tomatoes, basil leaves and mozzarella on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: some eagle-eyes may spot a speck of balsamic vinegar on my home-made version. This is based purely on personal taste and in no way an authentic addition to the recipe, which is why I’ve left it off of the ingredient list.

Simple. Beautiful. Delicious. How do you like your Insalata Caprese?

Thanks to my fellow Blogging101 graduate B.TX for setting up this challenge! I look forward to seeing all the different mouth-watering ways everyone interprets the ingredients each week.

My Favourite Recipe: MEATballs

My Favourite Recipe Challenge: Each week we post a new ingredient, and you will write about it in a new post. Tell us why it is so special.

This week’s ingredient is meat. Challenge. Accepted.

It was never my intention to post three times in two days, but as soon as I came across this new event, my impulsive streak kicked in and here we are…

On a side note, I can see my contributions to this event quickly turning into a showcase of my favourite Donna Hay recipes – not that that’s a bad thing! Frankly, she is my (kitchen) hero and a lot of my all-time favourite meals to prepare (and eat) generally have their origins in one of the many DH recipe books and and magazines I own.

The following recipe is probably the one red meat dish I cook the most (I usually leave the task of cooking steaks and roasts to the Other Half because I am simply rubbish at it). As well as being super easy to prepare, the combination of flavours is just incredible – using lamb mince instead of beef adds a tasty new dimension to the traditional meatball! Also, you can pre-prepare the meat mixture and freeze or refrigerate for later. If you don’t want ‘fiddly’ meatballs, you can make them into patties for burgers or larger rissoles.

Mint and Rosemary Lamb Meatballs

(from No Time to Cook by Donna Hay)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1kg lamb mince
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 C (250ml) beef stock
  • 3 C (750ml) tomato passata
  • 1/4 C finely chopped oregano leaves (I use parsley instead if oregano isn’t available)

Note: Feel free to adjust quantities as required (the intention of the original recipe is to have enough for a meal, and save some for later). Fresh is best, but if you must, you can substitute the fresh herbs for the dried variety – just halve the amount required.

Method:

Thanks to my fellow Blogging101 graduate B.TX for setting up this challenge! I look forward to seeing all the different mouth-watering ways everyone interprets the ingredients each week.