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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baked Ricotta Recipe

Have you ever ordered baked ricotta at a restaurant and the cost is around $10 to $12 for an entree serve? I have as I love it so much. I have a friend who had her own restaurant and it was one of her most popular items on the menu. She eventually sold her restaurant and she gave me her recipe for this lovely dish. It is just so easy to make and once you have tried it out on your friends, they will keep asking you to make it again. It is great as an entree or even as the main course for a luncheon, served with a tomato salad and some fresh crusty bread. I like to use turkish or ciabatta bread.


1 - 2 teaspoons good olive oil
1 tablespoons pine nuts
1 - 2 cloves of crushed garlic (can use bottled)
100g english or baby spinach
500g ricotta cheese (can use low fat)
1 egg - lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chives (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 180C in fan forced or 200C regular oven.
Lightly grease a six hole muffin pan of 1/3 cup capacity.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy base frypan on medium heat. Add the pine nuts and garlic and cook through until fragrant.
Wash the spinach thoroughly, blanch in hot water, then chop roughly.
Add the spinach to the pan and gently cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat and let cool down.
Stir the beaten egg through the ricotta, making sure it is well combined.
Add this with the parmesan cheese and snipped chives to the spinach and mix thoroughly.
Fill the muffin pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden on top and slightly cracked on the sides.
Remove from oven and cool in pan. Using a knife, run around edges then gently slid off onto plates for serving.
Serve with a tomato salad or some baked deli sized trussed romano tomatoes.
To bake tomatoes, place in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with a little virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bake about 12 - 15 minutes or until tomatoes begin to cave in.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Roasted Beetroot Dip Recipe

This is the other beetroot dip recipe I promised. It takes a little more effort to make but once you have tried it I am sure you will agree that it is worth it. I love this version of a favourite dip.


4 fresh beetroots
2 cloves garlic (can use bottled)
300ml tub of greek style yoghurt or light sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
100g roasted cashews
1 teapoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cummin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200C.
Scrub the beetroots gently and remove the stems.
Wrap individually in alfoil and roast in oven for approx 1 hour or until cooked through. Turn occasionally.
Remove from oven and when cooled enough to handle, rub beets to remove skin.
Chop nuts in a food processor, then add the beetroots and process until just smooth.
Add other ingredients and process slightly till mixed well.
Serve with turkish or lenanese breads or dipping crackers.
Leftover dip can be froze or stored in an airtight container for several days in the fridge.

Beetroot Dip Recipe

I first tasted beetroot dip about 3 years ago and loved it so much I asked the hostess for her recipe. She gave me 2 recipes. One is a very simple one to make and the other one takes much longer, has more ingredients but is definitely worth the effort to make. I will share the both of them with you to try.


1 can (450g) of baby beetroots
1 cup greek style plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cummin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Coaresly chop the beetroots and place in a medium size bowl with all other ingredients.
Combine well and add a little salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pieces of turkish bread or other dipping sticks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ricotta and Asparagus Pizza Recipe

I love pizzas and am always on the look out for something a little different to make. A friend served this up for a girls luncheon one day and I have to say, it is delicious, especially if you like asparagus. She made it with pita bread but you could also use lebanese as a base. It is quite easy to make and well worth the effort.


4 pita breads
300g ricotta cheese ( I used light)
200g fresh asparagus - blanched and thinly sliced
12 slices of prosciutto
1/4 cup finely grated lemon rind
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
olive oil
parmesan cheese - to serve


Preheat oven to 200C.
Place pita breads on oven trays and drizzle with a little oil.
Put ricotta, lemon rind, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir through to combine.
Put the mixture over the top of the pita breads, then top with the asparagus and prosiutto.
Drizzle a little more oil over this and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is golden.
Remove from oven and top with finely grated parmesan to serve.
Serve with a lovely tossed salad on the side that has some balsamic vinegar drizzled through it.

Porcupine Balls Recipe

I came across this in an old recipe file of mine and can only assume that I got it from my mother many years ago. I used to make these for my children when they were young and have to admit that I hadn't made them for a long time until just recently. They are so easy to make and everyone from children to adults will like them so I recommend them if you want something inexpensive and tasty to make.


500g mince steak ( I use a good one)
1 brown onion - peeled and finely diced
1 clove garlic - crushed (can use bottled)
1/2 cup uncooked rice ( I use basmati)
1 large egg
fresh parsley - chopped
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs ( I use multigrain or wholemeal)
sea salt and black pepper to taste (optional)

1 large can good tomato soup
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
sea salt and black pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients together, using your hands.
Roll into balls about the size of walnuts and place into an ovenproof dish.
Pour sauce over the top and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes.
Serve over the top of mashed potato and carrots and beans on the side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lamb in Apple Marinade Recipe

I love lamb and am always looking out for new recipes to use it in.
This recipe was given to me by a lady who, with her husband, were sheep farmers. They obviously had an abundance of lamb to use so she used to create lots of different ways to serve it.
I have used this recipe with lamb as well as with pork and I have to say they both taste equally as good using this recipe.


1 1/2 kg lamb chops (can use chump or loin)
1 small brown onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 small piece of fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped
1 cup fresh apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup good oil
1 tablespoon cornflour
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Combine all the marinade ingredients apart from cornflour, together in a large jug or bowl.
Arrange chops in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over them and place in the refrigerator for several hours, turning occasionally.
Remove from the marinade and cook on a hot barbecue or grill for several minutes on each side. Do not overcook them.
Blend the cornflour with marinade and stir over a low heat until it thickens. Simmer for a few minutes then either pour over chops or serve on the side in a small jug.
Serve with either a tossed salad or with some nice coloured vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and a jacket potato or french fries.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Low Cholesterol Whipped Cream Recipe

I girl I know has a cholesterol problem and has asked me to look out for recipes that are suitable for this. I have been asking around and a friend gave me this great recipe. She calls it whipped cream but it is really ricotta cream.
I made this myself and have to admit that although not a lot like the real thing, it was delicious and something that you would certainly grow to love, instead of using real cream.
If you need to lower your cholesterol I recommend that you scout around as there are lots of lovely recipes out there. This has only 14 calories per serve, 0.4g sat fat and 28mg of cholesterol. When you compare that to using traditional cream, it is a big difference.


1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
sweetener to equal 2 teaspoons sugar (I use Splenda as it contains no aspartine)
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatine
3 tablespoons non fat milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence


Blend the milk and gelatine together and stir over the top of a pan of boiling water.
Add other ingredients and mix until well combined.
Store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

Beef Burgundy Recipe

I love french cooking because of the delicious flavours and the addition of wines and good stocks that is often used in their cooking.
This is quite a rich tasting recipe but one that is wonderful to serve on a cold winter's night. You will find that it is one of those dishes that the men will love you for so it is worth the effort.
I love to serve this quite simply with mashed potatoes, beans and some carrots as you don't want to take away from this wonderful stew.


1 kg blade steak
2 - 3 rashers rindless bacon - chopped
1 tablespoon brandy
6 small white onions
200g fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic - crushed (can use bottled)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup red wine
1 carrot - peeled and sliced
sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste


In a large pan, gently fry steak, bacon and onions until browned.
Warm brandy over low heat then ignite and pour over meat.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, stock, wine, carrot and herbs. Lastly, add the seasoning.
Place the lid on pan and gently simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
If you prefer, transfer to large casserole dish, cover and cook in slow oven for same amount of time.
I have even used a pressure cooker as well as a slow cooker for this and other stew recipes and have found both to be equally as tasty when cooked. The beauty of a pressure cooker is that it only takes 25 minutes to cook, so if time is limited, I thoroughly recommend that you use that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chocolate Coated Strawberry Recipe

This is another recipe that my friend Margaret gave me to make when having a dinner party. I love to serve them up on the same platter that I put her chocolated coated macadamia recipe on. This is just so simple to make and always looks and tastes wonderful.


30g (1 oz) copha
250g dark cooking chocolate
2 punnets of strawberries (don't use the really large ones)


Melt copha and chocolate together in a small saucepan, over the top of a pan of simmering water. Do not allow any water or steam to get into the chocolate.
Wash strawberries and dry on paper towels.
Dip the strawberries into chocolate and set on a tray, lined with baking paper.
Place in the refrigerator until set.
These are at their best if served the same day of making them.

Chocolate Macadamias Recipe

A friend who used to do quite a bit of entertaining used to come up with some wonderful recipes, especially finger foods, including delightful chocolate recipes. She shared several of her favourite ones with me and this is one of them. This is just so easy to make and they taste divine. Next time you are having guests over for dinner, try these and I know they will love you for it.


270g dark cooking chocolate
230g macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut


Roughly chop nuts. Add to bowl with the coconut.
Melt chocolate in saucepan over the top of a pan of simmering water. Do not allow any water or steam to come into contact with the chocolate or it will ruin it.
Pour melted choclate over nuts and coconut and mix together until well combined.
Place heaped teaspoons of mixture onto a try lined with baking paper.
Place in the refrigerator until set.
Can store in an airtight container for several days in the fridge.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Potato Scones Recipe

About 38 years ago a farmers wife gave me this recipe. She used to make them often at breakfast time for when the shearers came for the shearing season and they were always a big hit. I loved them so had to get the recipe so I could make them for myself. I am sure you will love these as much as I do once you have tried them. They are very easy to make and taste yummy with a small dob of butter on top while still hot.


30g butter (do not use margarine)
125g (4 oz) SR flour
250g potatoes - cooked and mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
small amount of milk
extra butter for frying


Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add the pepper.
Rub the butter into flour with finger tips.
Add the mashed potatoes with enough mild to make a stiff dough.
Turn out onto floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into rounds with a scone cutter.
Place extra butter in heavy based pan and cook for approximately three minutes on each side.
Serve hot, topped with a small glob of butter.