A photographic food adventure

Archive for February, 2012


Yaaaay I think this may be our first dessert recipe! Except Tory has one that she can’t upload due to her lack of computerness 😦 so I shall dub this our second dessert recipe!

My flatmate Emily and I made some apple pie to take to a friend’s house in exchange for some good, non-budget, coffee-machine coffee. YUMMM. Except after stewing the apples, we now have 3 cups of sugary apple-cinnamon flavoured syrup that we dont know what to do with… [so if anyone has any ideas… holla please!]

I got this recipe from here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/maryhenrysproperappl_67463
but kinda changed it a little bit to suit us, as we usually do. I used to be so fussy with recipes, but now that I can’t afford to follow the recipe as is, I have developed a creative streak. Woohoo!


2 1/2 cups plain flour
half a teaspoon salt
280g butter or margarine [im just guessing its 280, but in all honesty we just estimated…]
some cold water

5 small red apples or 3 large red apples [we used Eve apples]
sugar to taste [we used brown sugar…and LOTS OF IT… because it goes well with apples]
2 teaspoons cinnamon [again an estimation. i put quite a bit in though]
a teaspoon of vanilla essence [we actually forgot to put this in. oops. try it and let me know]

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Dice the apples and place in a medium sized pot. Cover with water. Add sugar/brown sugar, and cinnamon. Heat at medium, bring to boil, then simmer until the apples are soft. When they are cooked, turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Apple Pie (13) Apple Pie (14)

While the apples are heating, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt together.

Apple Pie (7)

Using your fingers, rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Apple Pie (12)

Add the water slowly, using a knife to stir, then use your hands to bring it together so it becomes a ball of firm dough that is still a good rolling consistency. Divide this in half [we did kinda 60-40 because we were using a Corningware dish instead of the round one they recommended, so the “pie lid” has to be smaller than the base.]

Apple Pie (16)

Roll out each half so it fits the dish that you are using, and remember to make the “pie lid” slightly smaller. Oil the dish [just in case] and line the base with the larger piece of pastry. Put this in the oven for a few minutes to begin the cooking process. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Apple Pie (2) Apple Pie (17)

Drain the apples well [so the pastry doesnt go soggy] and add a splash of vanilla essence. transfer the apples to the dish and cover with the second piece of pastry.

Apple Pie (3) Apple Pie (4)

Wet the edges of the pastry so it sticks together, and seal with  fork. [the fork also makes a cool design.] Peel of any excess pastry. With the excess, you can roll it into long thin pieces and make patterns on top of the pie, then using your fork, prick the pie surface lightly and transfer to the oven.

Apple Pie (5) Apple Pie (6)

Bake for about half an hour [apparently the pie is supposed to move when its shaken, but we didn’t check], then serve!

Apple Pie (18)

I did get a photo of a piece of the pie, but apparently when I am in the presence of delicious desserts my hands shake far too much. Sorry!! 😦 It was yum though! 😀 Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



Fried Noodles [yeah, im making legit mee goreng]

OK I lied, its not THAT legit. It’s more of a cross between packet mee goreng, and real mee goreng
But before I continue, I’M SO SORRY about my unplanned gigantic hiatus… moving was more hectic than I expected, and for the first couple of weeks of Dunedin I lived off takeaways and two minute noodles [like one of those stereotypical poor students. It really does happen, guys.] So anyway, I was hoping to get a baking recipe in when I got back, but that kinda failed. Hopefully I’ll be in a sweet routine once uni starts up again and I can gift you with lots of delish treats 🙂 But in the meantime, hope you like this simple one!

PS: Photos might be a bit strange because I thought I would experiment with my phone this time 😀

half an onion, diced
3-5 cloves of garlic [this time I used garlic paste.. about a tablespoon]
2 cups frozen vegetables [my fav is the asian mix because it has capsicum in it!]
Flavouring sauce, stock, or some kind of chilli-based stir fry paste… [that sounds a bit confusing, but this recipe is so versatile that you can really use anything you want to flavour it. I used a packet Nasi Goreng paste, which is actually used for Fried Rice, but I thought i’d try it with noodles just for funsies.]
Packet noodles of any kind [most supermarkets stock packets of noodles that you can just chuck in boiling water for a bit and use]
Salt and pepper to taste

MeeGoreng (1) MeeGoreng (3)


Fry onion and garlic in a little oil until fragrant.

MeeGoreng (2)

Add paste or chosen flavouring and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the frozen vegetables.

MeeGoreng (4) MeeGoreng (5)

Stir the mixture until vegetables have been defrosted.

MeeGoreng (6)

Cook the noodles separately according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and add to the mixture.

MeeGoreng (7)

Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

MeeGoreng (8) MeeGoreng (9)

You can also meat to this recipe if you like, as long as its pre-cooked. As I said, very versatile. And I will probably show you fried rice sometime, but its basically the same method, but swapping the noodles for cooked rice. We will take pictures of that sometime 🙂


Home Made Pesto Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes

Hi guys,

Pesto is an amazing, versatile sauce for any meal. With this batch of pesto, I made pesto pasta (this recipe), pesto mashed potato and pesto on toast with cheese.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to buy pesto, it’s extremely easy to make and today, I’m going to teach you how from this Jamie Oliver recipe.

Garlic (Jamie suggests half a clove but as you’ll see, I used three haha but then it was a bit too overpowering so stick to just one clove)
Pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Lemon juice



Put garlic into a food processor.

Blend. Add basil and salt.

Blend. Lightly toast pine nuts in a pan.

Add pine nuts to blender. Blend.

Side note: This is where my camera went out of focus for a few pictures so a few steps are missing photographically but it’s not hard, just throw everything into the blender.

Add some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Blend. Add parmesan.

Add more olive oil until the consistency is correct. How do you know when the consistency is correct? You can’t see individual bits like you can in the above picture but it’s also not very runny. Also, keep tasting. If it needs more of anything to make it taste the way you like pesto, add more oil or lemon or even basil.

Chop tomatoes. Put them on a baking tray and into the oven at 200 degrees until roasted.

Boil pasta in salted water til cooked.

Toss a few teaspoons of pesto through the pasta. You don’t need much, it’s strong stuff. Add the roasted tomatoes on top.



Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Hi guys,

Sorry about the delay in recipes, I spilt wine on my computer recently and that’s meant being unable to post but I’m borrowing a friend’s computer today to post some recipes I’ve been making over the past week or so.

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni is very simple and quite cheap. It’s the first time I’ve made it myself, I’ve previously had it at restaurants and it’s pretty tasty.

One packet of cannelloni tubes, which can be found in the pasta aisle of your local supermarket
Spinach (I used frozen spinach, defrosted but fresh is great if you have it)
A tub of ricotta cheese
2 yolks
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/3rd of a cup of grated cheese

Tin of tomatoes
Mixed herbs
Tomato paste
Garlic (optional)


Put ricotta into a bowl.

Add spinach and garlic. Stir.

Add egg, nutmeg and salt.

Add cheese. Stir again.

Stuff cannelloni tubes with mixture. They’re quite small tubes so very fidgety to stuff but try using a knife to push the mixture down so the whole tube is filled.

Now you can focus on your tomato sauce. In a pan, fry garlic (if using), a tin of tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs. Boil for 5 minutes then take off the heat.

Pour half of the tomato sauce into your baking dish and put the filled cannelloni tubes on top.

Pour the rest of your sauce on top and add grated cheese on top too.

Bake in the oven for 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if cooked.



Chinese-style Poached Fish with a Summer Salad

Hey guys,

I’m a vegetarian who eats fish so today I thought I’d show you a really nice, easy poached fish recipe I always enjoy.

A piece of fresh (or frozen) fish (if frozen, defrost beforehand)
Garlic, crushed
Fresh ginger, chopped
Soy sauce
Lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
Chilli flakes
Spring onion

Summer salad with vinegarette
Cherry tomatoes
Spring onion
Cucumber (if you have or want it)
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil (I don’t usually like vinegarette but I recently went to the Martinborough fair and bought myself a nice olive oil from one of the local olive groves and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It made SUCH a difference to the vinegarette, it’s very much worth it if you can find a high quality olive oil. If not, extra virgin olive oil will be fine but I really recommend a high quality oil, mine was only $6 for a small bottle of Molive Gold at the fair).


Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

In a bowl, add 5 tablespoons of soy sauce. (More may be added later, this recipe is all about flavour balance so it’s important to taste with every new flavour you add to ensure the flavours complement each other perfectly and nothing overpowers anything else.)

Next, add a tablespoon of honey and mix it til it’s incorporated into the soy sauce. Add lemon. Taste to check the flavour balance. If it tastes too sweet, add more soy sauce, if it’s too salty, add more honey.

Add garlic and ginger, stir. Taste again. (Doesn’t have to be a big taste, I usually just dip a finger in and that gives me the general idea.)

Add chopped spring onion and chilli flakes. Stir. You know the next step: TASTE.

Grease tin foil with butter. Place the fish onto the greased tin foil.

Spoon the marinade over the fish. You don’t have to use all of it, try and use most of the garlic/ginger/spring onion but it doesn’t need a lot of liquid. (If you’re making more than one piece of fish, wrap each piece individually in it’s own tin foil package with marinade.)

Fold the tinfoil over the fish. Fold the long parts first then the short folded on top.

I folded mine wrong, as you’ll see in the pictures but just take my advice, fold the long sides then the short sides otherwise some of the juice spills out.

Put your fish package on a baking tray and into the oven.

The cooking time is SUPER important so listen closely. Use a timer or stopwatch or clock, or whatever. Cook for 5 minutes. Take the fish out of the oven and unwrap the package.  If the fish is white and falls apart easily when touched with a knife, it’s done. If it’s a thicker piece of fish, it may need more time (it may still be pink). Give it another 2 minutes if that’s the case. 8 minutes should be the very very limit the fish will need to cook for. You do NOT want to overcook the fish, it will be dry and disgusting (the flavour will still be amazing though!)

Meanwhile, (But don’t lose track of time!) it’s time to make your side salad.

Chop your lettuce, tomatoes and spring onions.

Add one part vinegar to three parts oil into a bowl (for example, I used one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to three teaspoons of Molive Gold olive oil). Whisk til the mixture has emulsified (or the vinegar and oil have combined, but fair warning, if you leave the mixture too long, it will separate again and you’ll have to whisk it again). Taste, then add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.

Place your salad onto the plate and drizzle a few teaspoons of vinegarette over it.

When the fish is cooked, place it on the other side of the plate (presentation is EVERYTHING, guys) and spoon a little of the remaining marinade over it.



Honey and Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

So as a ridiculously poor student, I like to make things as simple as possible, but as someone who grew up eating well-flavoured Asian food i cant stand anything too bland. This recipe is super easy, yet tastes amazing! It will take you about half an hour to prepare… not kidding. So if you’re like me and have labs or tutorials that run late and you end up far too lazy to cook anything interesting, this is pretty much perfect, ‘cause you can make it quickly and then freeze the leftovers for another long day.

1 onion
5 cloves [or more] garlic
4 chicken breast pieces [omit this if you are a vego]
half a packet of frozen vegetables [i like the asian style ones… lotsa capsicum. Alternatively, you can use fresh anything, it depends on what you like. Frozen is generally cheaper and easier to deal with.]
1 can or packet of honey ginger stir fry sauce. [or to be honest, you can substitute with any other sauces you find interesting. Honey and ginger is a good place to start though.]
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onion and crush the garlic. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces or thin strips.

HoneyGingerStirFry (1) 

Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until fragrant. Add the chicken and fry until the chicken is cooked. [can’t be too careful with chicken!!] This should take about 10 minutes.

  HoneyGingerStirFry (2)HoneyGingerStirFry (6)

Add the frozen veggies and fry for another five minutes, then add the entire can or packet of sauce [as you can tell, I prefer cooking in bulk rather than 1-serving meals. Keeps me fed when I’m too lazy to cook 😉 most of my meals are suitable to be stored in the freezer.]

HoneyGingerStirFry (7) HoneyGingerStirFry (8)

Mix well and keep mixing while it fries until the vegetables are defrosted and cooked. If it is too watery, turn the heat down and simmer for a few minutes until it gets to a consistency you like.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with rice or noodles! 🙂

HoneyGingerStirFry (10) HoneyGingerStirFry (11)

Hope you enjoy it!


Tomato and Red Capsicum Risotto

Hey guys,

This is one of my favourite recipes, something I make SO often. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes and or capsicum, this risotto can have anything added to it, including meat (if you MUST ruin a perfectly good recipe with meat).

I often make this recipe using mushrooms instead of tomatoes and capsicum. The only difference in that scenario is to fry the mushrooms before starting the risotto then leave them aside and re-add them later in the process. But anything can be added at the right stage (which I’ll specify in the recipe).

I made this with a friend this time and he said “this risotto is delicious” (he told me to quote him!), but also, I made the mushroom version for him once and even though he doesn’t like mushrooms, he still loved it so it’s proof that if you make something well, if you add heaps of flavour to food, it can be yummy even if someone doesn’t like an ingredient in the recipe.

This recipe is originally from Jamie Oliver, it’s his Basic Risotto with a few added twists from me. I know you may be thinking “OMG, if Jamie Oliver is making this recipe, how the heck will I be able to cope with it?!”, But just read the recipe and try it, risotto may be something you eat at nice restaurants but it’s actually REALLY easy to make.


2-4 cups of vegetable stock (start with 2, if the rice isn’t cooked with that much, add more.)
Olive oil
Half an onion, diced (I always use half an onion but you are welcome to use a whole onion if you like onion)
2-5 cloves of garlic, crushed (Like Nurul, I love garlic, as a vegetarian it is THE most important ingredient you will ever use)
1 cup of Arborio rice (Any rice can be used but Arborio rice is specifically used for risotto so works better. Can be found in your local supermarket in the rice section).
2 glasses (or half a bottle) of white wine (I enjoy using Sav Blanc wine, usually a cheap one, at that but the professional chefs always say “don’t cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink yourself”, of course, I love drinking cheap wine so quite happy to use it in recipes!)
One red capsicum, diced
One can of tomatoes
A sprinkle of dried mixed herbs
Chilli (Something you know I use in every recipe, can be left out but great for flavour)
Parmesan cheese (optional)



Heat the stock in a pot on low heat. Meanwhile in a frying pan or pot heat the olive oil, add the onions and garlic and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring.

When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt, the chilli and the herbs. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, make sure the last ladleful of stock is absorbed before adding the next in every step). This will take around 15 minutes.

After the wine has incorporated and you have added your first ladleful of stock and it has also incorporated into the rice, this is the step where you should add anything you need to add, whether that be fried mushrooms, capsicums, meat or whatever. However, don’t add the tomatoes just yet. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully.

Add another ladleful of stock. Wait for it to incorporate. Taste the rice to see if it’s soft yet. It shouldn’t be completely soft so add the can of tomatoes. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock until the rice is soft. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

Once the rice is oozy and soft and 98% of the liquid is absorbed, your risotto is ready to be served. Do not, I repeat DO NOT serve if the rice is swimming in liquid, the liquid must be mostly absorbed.

This is how your final plate of risotto should look, it should be able to stand by itself without oozing all over the plate but a bit of ooze is all part of it. Here you can add some parmesan and enjoy!

I hope you find this recipe as easy as I do. If you have any questions though, please contact me through the blog and I’ll be happy to help. I want everyone to enjoy this recipe as much as I do and not be scared of it.