Sunday, 13 August 2017

Peanut Butter Scones - #ISW2017

Yep folks, it's International Scone Week again.  If I remember rightly, it was started a few years ago by Celia from Fig Jam & Lime Cordial fame, when she discovered that several blogger mates had all done scone recipes that week.  For the last few years, the mantle has been taken over by Tandy from Lavender and Lime.


oh so tasty folks


So here I am again, having hunted up a new scone recipe.  Well, new to me that is.  This one is from an old CWA Tasmania recipe book - as in Country Women's Association.  It was the 21st anniversary edition printed in 1957!  So what does that make it? 81 years?  Crumbs; and to think the CWA is still going strong. 



a fabulous look into old-fashioned recipes




ingredients:


315g. (2.5 cups) of self-raising flour

1 dessertspoon (10g.) of sugar

1 tbs peanut butter

1 tbs butter

180 mLs of milk or buttermilk


Method:


Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar

Rub the peanut butter and butter gently but thoroughly into the flour and sugar till you have a crumb-like mixture

Add the milk a bit at a time till you end up with a light, moist dough - use a knife to mix the milk in

Knead it gently on a floured surface, then let it rest for 5 mins.

Pat it out with your hands to about 1 cm. thick

Now cut into rectangles or use a floured scone cutter

Brush with milk and place them closely together on a baking tray which you have dusted with flour - or try semolina like I did

Bake at 220C for 12-15 minutes




Notes:


Be gentle with your dough; overworking will make it tough

Make your own buttermilk by adding lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk; to 1 cup, add 1-2 tbs lemon juice

My dough made 13 scones just so you know:)


Delicious with lashings of butter, jam and cream


Head to Tandy's blog to check out other scone makers' delicious offerings this International Scone Week.

#ISW2017





ingredients gathered




a sticky dough



neatly patted out dough



pat it out to about 1 cm thick then cut it out with a knife or scone cutter




glaze with milk and pop into a 220C oven for 12-15 mins. 



golden and ever so slightly peanutty


These went down a treat with our friends from Hobart (7C there today and 28C here in Brissie!).  There was not even a crumb left:=)  So give them a try.  They were light and fluffy, and yep popular with the crowds.




my peanutty doodle


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Brick Bistro - Review

Mr P. and I like to go on Sunday (or any day) drives now and then. And when we do, we often like to hit the seaside.  There's nothing more relaxing than listening to the waves hit the shore, and see the whitecaps dancing in the sun.  I dream of faraway places as I see the small yachts heading out in the distance...

So what's that got to do with a bistro you ask?  We sometimes drive out to Redcliffe which is about 45 minutes from home.  There are lots of fish and chip shops, and cafés, and restaurants along the length of the esplanade, including Brick Bistro.  (Oddly enough, when we were in Hervey Bay last week, we only found one chippy on their esplanade - weird eh?)




looking back from the jetty to the Esplanade  


It was after 2pm, lunch was calling, so we stopped in at Brick for a drink and a bite to eat.  It was nippy outside but we sat on the footpath seats so we could watch the water.  Our waitress was a friendly lass, who served us efficiently and pleasantly.  We started with a drink - Zing Prosecco for me, and you guessed it - ginger beer for Mr P.




$10 and $5 (Mr P. is a cheap date- hee hee)



So Mr P. and I shared a few tapas, including: onion rings, rice balls, tempura veg., and chicken karaage.  No fancy Italian names for these ricey babies on the bill, though the menu calls them arancini:=)   




arancini balls $14


We had 5 rice balls and 2 of us; not sure who sneaked the last one. Very crispy on the outside as you can see, nice, soft pumpkin and parmesan on the inside.  Mr P. loved the tangy chive and yoghurt sauce that came with it.  Not sure about the plating; not a fan of big white plates myself.  



crispy onion rings $7

Both of us love onion rings.  Who doesn't, my friends?  These were great.  Beer-battered, crisp outside, soft inside.  House-made chilli jam went down well.




tempura veg $12
       
I wasn't such a fan of the tempura veg.  I found the batter floury and therefore a bit unpleasant.  It needed a few seconds more in the deep fryer.  Mr P. didn't mind!  He thought it was grand as is.  

  


chicken karaage $16

These crispy, tender little morsels of chicken were delicious.  The mayo was eaten with gusto by Mr P.  The karaage was like popcorn chicken, just small morsels, which added to the charm.    


I know; you're seeing a theme here - fried food covered in batter.   My excuse for all that delicious fried food is - Winter, sea breezes, sitting in the shade, folks!  It was all done well; crispy and tender where it should be.  Tangy accompaniments were a nice addition.  


  
looking out from the jetty nearby

A couple of weeks later, we took our mate Princess Pia here for dinner. It was a cold Thursday night, and a bit of a hike out there on a school night.  The restaurant was empty apart from the owner and a couple of his mates. It looked like his young son was the only waiter.  He was a friendly lad but he seemed a bit overwhelmed. Sadly dinner didn't come up to the heights of our late lunch on the Sunday. 



"classic" coq au vin $32


Maybe the lack of ambience due to no customers?  Also the food simply was not as good.  I chose coq au vin, which according to the menu was "classic".  For me, classic coq au vin never has tomato in it, especially not tomato paste or purée.  I am not a tomato fan, so this was doubly troubling to me.  I expected a chicken dish, full of the flavours of red wine and mushrooms.  I was sadly disappointed by this very "unclassic", and not very interesting dish.  I fear the purée was from a bottle; oh dear.  Red cabbage and potato chunks didn't add much to it.  I left a fair whack of this dish on the plate. 


We had started the meal with chicken karaage and arancini this time too; sadly knobbly little chicken bits. Just not as good as first time round. Princess Pia and Mr P. chose burgers for mains. Hubby loved his burger, and said there was nothing not to love.  He enjoyed his meal thoroughly. Wagyu beef, caramelised onion, chilli jam, aioli, beer battered fries - what's not to love?



Brick burger $23



Princess Pia enjoyed her burger too.  Sweet potato crisps were delicious (I snuck some).  Cajun crumbed chicken breast with lettuce and tomato was a safe choice.  Nothing to offend here.



Cajun burger $21


So, to conclude, our meals were okay; great if you were Mr P.  A couple of glasses of Prosecco each helped me and the Princess cope with the cold, while hubby scoffed down his usual ginger beer.  You can book online which is handy; they do functions and events; and have live music on weekends.  Head down on a Sunday arvo for a drink and tapas is my recommendation.



take a walk down Bee Gees Way next door as you go


Barry Gibb's head on Bee Gees Way

    


Brick Bistro Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Shirred Eggs With Potato Purée

Yep I'm at it again.  Ruth (Reichl) and I are like that I tell you - picture your index and middle fingers entwined.  I am still going through her latest book My Kitchen Year, as regular readers will confirm.  Having had such success with 3 of her recipes, I am going for number 4. Anyway, who doesn't love potato whipped up with loads of cream? You may be fibbing if you say no, my friends.

When I think of eggs, I think of our childhood stories: our neighbour's mad chooks that were insanely aggressive and attacked us as we sat on the outside loo.  I think of our little fox terrier who used to chase after another neighbour's chooks, and snap their necks.  And I think of a friend's dad who used to take their chooks by the neck and grab his axe... Nothing like seeing a headless chook run around when you are a wee girl.


Anyway, here is Ruth's recipe, which serves 4.  Eating these will certainly calm your nerves, and quieten the gory childhood memories.


ingredients:


500g. (a pound) of potatoes - (use a variety that's all purpose)

a few grinds of black pepper

60g. (3 tbs) of butter, plus extra for greasing the ramekins

185 mLs (3/4 cup) cream

4 large eggs

salt and pepper to taste

herbs for sprinkling on top; try parsley or chives



Method:


Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks, and plop them into a large saucepan

Cover with cold water and add 1 tsp sea salt

Bring to the boil, then turn down and let it simmer away for about 15-20 minutes till potatoes are tender but not soggy:=)

Drain them very well and then mash 'em with great gusto; use a ricer if you have one; you want these babies as smooth as... well, a baby's bottom

Grind in some pepper

Now melt the butter and stir in 125 mLs (half a cup) of the cream

Whisk the cream and butter mixture into the potatoes

Season to taste

Turn on your oven to 190C/375F

Put your kettle on the hob, or just switch on the electric one

Take 4 x 1 cup-sized ramekins and butter them with the extra butter

Divide the potato mix equally into each ramekin

Very gently break an egg over each one

Place the ramekins in a deep baking dish with boiling water (from the kettle/jug you just boiled) about half-way up

Bake for 8 minutes

Spoon the rest of the cream over the eggs and bake for another 6-8 mins. depending on how runny you like your eggs

Sprinkle on the herbs and a little salt and pepper

Great for breakfast, or add a big salad for brunch/lunch



Notes:

Don't worry if you have a bit over potato-wise; I used 510g. 'cos that's what 3 potatoes weighed





ingredients gathered




potatoes boiled and drained




potatoes mashed and ready for the good stuff 




butter and cream mixture whisked in 




break an egg over the potato purée 



spoon over the rest of the cream after 8 mins. baking  

after the second bit of baking, throw on the herbs and seasoning

oh so delish! a runny yolk makes it even better  



So yes kudos to Ruth; once again she has come up trumps.  Mr P. ended up eating 2 of these for his lunch.  The potato purée is just so tasty and moreish, it is hard to stop at one.  You may be seeing more of Ruth's recipes here soon.




my eggy doodle

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

In My Kitchen - August 2017

This is a quick IMK from me this month as we are currently driving back from Rockhampton.  So this has been put together before we left for Mr P.'s uncle's 80th!  I really hope you can join me in our monthly foray into global kitchens.  It is always a blast, and I thank you for being part of it.

As you may have noticed, there is no longer a sidebar for participants as the links are available through the little thumbnails when you link up.  My instructions on how to join in are here: http://sherryspickings.blogspot.com.au/p/how-to-add-your-in-my-kitchen-link.html  


So here's a few new things in my kitchen:



lovely sugar bowl for my birthday from Princess Pia 



another gorgeous cup made by Miss B. our potter mate 



birthday gifts from my cousin



cutest little milk jug




I love these ceramic spoons from my cousin  



prizes I won!

I entered the Neff recipe competition recently, and managed to win myself some Mount Zero goodies.  I love citrus-pressed oils, and I have a thing about salts; there are so many different kinds in my pantry. These 2 are chilli salt, and kalamata salt. 




home made cranberry relish 


We had a Christmas in July dinner for my sister and nephew a couple of weeks ago.  We did the whole turkey and roast veg. and relish and cauliflower gratin and gravy and...You get the picture.  I made cranberry relish with some frozen fruit I had in my freezer.  It was damn good!




Japanese goodies


Finally I got myself to the Japanese Mart down the road.  It was such fun.  There was a lovely Japanese man handing out green tea samples. The shop itself is full of Japanese foodstuffs; no idea what:=)  The raspberry Kit Kats were divine - and pink!  The soft salad, next to the Kewpie mayo, is actually rice crackers, full of MSG, bonito and shellfish apparently.  Bloody delicious I tell you folks.  I kept chuckling every time I looked at the packet.  What were they thinking when they translated rice crackers?!





   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   





                   
Sherrys Pickings


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Cloudland, Costumes And Crazies

Cloudland is a venue with function rooms, bars, bands and a restaurant. It is a really interesting space with a roof that opens up to the sky.  It has a bit of a 1920's vibe going, with lots of spectacular lights, chandeliers, sumptuous couches and a water wall.  It is situated in The Valley, which was once home to prostitutes, homeless persons, crooked cops and drug dealers.  I have a feeling there are still a few of all of those around if you look hard enough.




looking up


The Valley is great if you are under 25, and looking for some fun. We felt like fish out of water as we walked up to the venue for the awards night we were attending.  (Mr P. was up for some building design awards). But that may also have been because we were dressed in 1920's gear.




Mr P. doing his gangsta impersonation 



a motley crew :=) of gorgeous friends 


the menu


I am not a fussy eater, people!  Honestly!  I will eat just about anything presented to me; I have even eaten tripe, and chicken hearts, and veal when I was vegetarian.  But sadly I went home hungry this night.  I would have to say this meal was one of the worst I've (not) eaten.  So, 'nuff said about that.



the lamb

the pork belly


the cute English croupier


Yes folks, there were roulette tables, and vingt-et-un, and whatever else you play at casinos.  Such fun!  I stood around just loving this fellow's accent, and expertise with the cards.



the chicken

the rib fillet 


Funny story: Mr P. is disabled and can't use a knife so I was cutting up the chicken for him.  The waiter very kindly noticed and asked if we wanted it to be cut up for him.  Yes please!  The funny part is the chicken came back as beef.  Yes miraculously his chicken had been reborn as cow.  Oh how we laughed and we laughed...




macadamia tart

sticky toffee pudding



gorgeous lights



more gorgeous friends



looking up at the glass ceiling - tables reflected above 


It was a great night!  And why did I mention crazies?  Because going to The Valley on a Saturday night is an exercise in craziness. There are just hundreds and hundreds of barely dressed girls (in Winter!), and drunken people everywhere, all trying to get into the trendiest clubs. Now that they have introduced ID scanning, the queues are even longer. Thankfully, not my worry:=)


Cloudland - 641 Ann Street, 
Fortitude Valley
Ph: 07 3872 6600