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Everything posted by Saffy

  1. Interesting! I guess free range will mean different things based on the law of each state/country. This is an example of free range chickens here http://www.te-kinga.co.nz/farming/FreeRange in NZ. If you drive around you see paddocks of free range chickens like this - normally brown or red shavers for commercial use I think. Although not every farm is like this - I would say the majority are similiar ( for free range) I've noticed a growing trend in the supermarkets for free range eggs here. If you went into a supermarket here 10 years ago, you would be struggling to find free range eggs. Now I would say 2/3's of the eggs on the shelves are free range. Chicken meat is still a ways behind though, with the majority of the chicken still not free range - but it's definitely a changing trend.
  2. I've stopped buying anything but free range chicken, pork and eggs, which means that we don't eat chicken and pork/bacon etc as much as we used to. Not because I cannot afford it, it just seems to have worked out that way. That's fine, I've found as a result that I've added a whole lot of different dishes to my repertoire. Beef and Lamb I hear you say? I live in NZ where the beef and lamb is all free range and grass fed.
  3. I was looking for a Italian pancake recipe with a ricotta filling and orange sauce of some description which I think is called a Crespelle. I also came across "Crispelle" in my search. The two words seem to be used interchangeably. However I suspect that this is just poor translation? Can anyone tell me if I am correct since Wikipedia apparently does not know the answer. Crispelle - is a fried strip of rice dough which is deep fried and then smothered in sugar and served with a sauce of some kind Crespelle is a pancake like a crepe which can be served in a savoury way similar to pasta or with a sweet filling. I'd really like to know, since it just plain bothers me that I am not sure and there seems to be conflicting information all over the net and I don't speak Italian unfortunately I'm also curious if there is in fact any difference between an Italian pancake and a crepe. Many thanks to anyone that is able to help.
  4. I love Eddy's blog, it's very useful
  5. I live in New Zealand, I'm very lucky to be able to get all vegetables, all fish, all meat, poultry, eggs, dairy ( including terrific cheeses) wine, beer etc within 10 miles of my house. We have a fantastic farmers market. Chocolate is kind of local, since we have a Cadbury's factory in our city, but of course they will be sourcing ingredients from overseas. Most fruit is local, although citrus tends to come from the north island and I live in the south. Nuts/coffee/tea/sugar and spices, many of these would come from overseas also. Hazelnuts grow locally though, and are delicious Rice is not grown locally, but all other starches are, potatoes, wheat for pasta and grains etc. I would say that the majority of our purchases would be local within 20 miles.
  6. Thanks both of you, I will have another go tomorrow night and let you know how it works
  7. I made a really yummy pie with it this week Flakey pastry crust ( double ) Cook 1-2 onions in a pan with a small amount of evo until caramelised, add 1-2 cloves of garlic, fry gently for a couple of mins. Add chard that has been stemmed and chopped roughly, salt and pepper ( around two large bunches ) I also chopped around half of the stems into fine dice and added them in. lid on and steam until wilted. Squeeze out the excess liquid and drain off. Place filling into pie crust, sprinkle over cheese of your choice, and add sliced boiled eggs over the top and cover with the top crust. Bake until golden. I thought this might be nice with some added pinenuts or red pepper, looked yummy and tasted great.
  8. Thank you! I will give it another go this week and see if I can improve it
  9. I made a vanilla panna cotta the other night and I was really not happy when I turned them out and they had separated into a layer of gelatin milk and cream. I suspect this was because it was too hot when I put them into the fridge ? Can anyone confirm this for me ? The recipe I was using mentioned nothing about cooling the mixture before I put it in the fridge. The only other reason I can think of is that I'm in NZ and our cream may have a higher fat content than many other places. Love to hear ideas on this. I love panna cotta and I don't take well to kitchen failures
  10. There are some nice recipes about for chocolate Parsnip cakes. The parsnip kind of caramelises and has a slightly chewy texture. I make this cake a lot and people always ask for the recipe. I don't usually tell them what kind of cake it is until after they have had some
  11. After stumbling across a picture of macarons on the net and just having rediscovered cooking and baking after a long hiatus, this is going to be my project for the weekend. I have all the ingredients sitting waiting in my kitchen .. now all I need is some time to play! I thought I might start small with vanilla and strawberry macarons.. and hopefully my oven ( which is a little erratic ) will behave itself. Wish me luck
  12. Saffy

    The Fresh Pasta Topic

    I do a little of both, some by hand and some in the food processor. I strart it off in the food processor until it starts to ball up a little, then I kneed by hand. I also roll and shape the pasta by hand , papardelle being the most common since it is easiest to cut by hand. I also love to make gnocci by hand. I don't find the pasta chewy .. I do roll it very thin though .. I LOVE homemade pasta but it is very time consuming.. in my opinion worth the wait!
  13. I sometimes get this when I prepare a LOT of pumpkin, I think it must be something in the raw pumpkin that irritates the skin. If I only do one or two bits it's not an issue, but if I chop up a whole pumpkin I get the same symptoms as you descibe. I've found that if I wash my hands frequently during the preparation it's not an issue. But you could also wear light rubber gloves.. problem solved
  14. I keep mine in it's jar ( with a tight lid) and inside two snaplock bags.. seems to work for me!
  15. Oh .. did not see the whole question.. what other things do I like to make with pumpkin? Sweet things might include pumpkin /chocolate bars with cream cheese frosting. Pumpkin cake Pumpkin-Maple creme brulee Pumpkin waffles pumpkin pancakes. Pumpkin cookies. Savory things - Pumpkin and ginger soup ( a winter mainstay in our house) Or Pumpkin and orange soup Pumpkin and bacon fritters Pumpkin poached in Dashi Pumpkin roasted with garlic and rosemary Pumpkin and sweet potato curry ( another winter dish that often seems to be made) Pumpkins are cheap and plentiful here and work so well roasted with a medley of vegetables and a nice roast leg of lamb or chicken. I LOVE pumpkin!
  16. There is no such thing as canned pumpkin where I live. So I always use fresh, and have never used anything else. Either roast or steam the pumpkin, don't boil it, it retains too much water. Mash or if you really want a fine product mash and then push through a sieve. The best pumpkins for pie and baking are Crown or Triamble varieties. They are the grey/blue ones that don't look fancy but have the best flavour and texture. Good luck with the pies!
  17. Saffy

    The Chipotle Topic

    If you can eat cili padi ( birds eye chillies) you will not find Chipotle hot in comparison. They have a lovely flavour and I am sure you will enjoy them! My hubby is a big Chipotle fan and eats them with just about anything that he thinks they might go with. Of all the hot sauces we have in the cupboard the Chipotle usually gets used up first
  18. I too have been through a divorce and some very lean times. I think it was actually the BEST thing for my cooking skills. I was so broke I had to often try to come up with something out of very little. There are some excellent suggestions already given. Something else I would like to add is to try to incorporate lots of seasonal fruit into your baking. You can make some wonderful things and using seasonal fruit makes it much cheaper, especially if you are using bulk bought flour and sugar. I use essence rather than extract, but I also have some vanilla beans in some sugar so that when I really want to use the real thing I have it there. But for everyday baking the essence is fine. It is amazing how many things you can make with the seasonal fruit/vege.. it will really make you think creatively. Because I was broke we discovered beetroot and chocolate cake, zucchini cake, pumpkin and chocolate bars, homemade pita bread, homemade pizza and foccacia, homemade jellies and muesli bars. It goes on and on.. now I see it as a challenge, I never buy anything preprepared.. I will always try to find a recipe and make it from scratch ( whatever it is ) Look on it as a challenge to extend your repetoire and try out some new things based around what is on special or in season.
  19. Hokeypokey = small bits of honeycomb, not the real variety but the candy variety made with golden syrup, sugar and bakingsoda. in my case I cheated and used a chocolate covered honeycomb bar called a chrunchie. In the UK the equivalent would be a velvet crumble bar. Not sure what you have in the US.
  20. ::: sigh ::: I really want an icecream maker! They are all very expensive here in NZ. I did make a nice hokeypokey and maple semi-fredo the other night.. next best thing to icecream when you don't have an icecream maker.
  21. Could you use cashews and or macadamias like this too ? Would the same technique work? Just an aside.. walnuts are very cheap here but pecans .. wow are they expensive. A cup of pecans would cost around $7.00
  22. I love those nuts too! The ones I like are mixed nuts with a sweet and spicy coating, and yes they cost the earth! Most of the ones I have tried at home just just don't measure up to the purchased variety and I refuse to believe that there are commercial products that cannot be duplicated in a smaller kitchen just as well.
  23. Maybe a fruit combination that would be quite different but eye catching would be quince and pear.. with cardamom/cinnamon flavourings linked in somehow either in buttercream Nice on a spicy cake maybe .. Those are all quintessential winter tastes.. using quince you would have something that would be both eye catching and unique. When quince is cooked you have that beautiful clear pink/orange colour that only poached quince have. Just musing.. feel free to read and discard!
  24. Sorry! I had to do it. Gooseberry and Cape Gooseberry are not even related. However you were right about the Cape Gooseberry being related to Tomatillos Gooseberry: Ribes spp. Saxifragaceae Cape Gooseberry Physalis peruviana L. Solanaceae ( also known as Ground cherry) Related species are Clammy Ground Cherry (Physalis heterophylla), Tomatillo (P. ixocarpa), Purple Ground Cherry (P. philadelphica), Strawberry Tomato (P. pruinosa), Ground Cherry, Husk Tomato (P. pubescens), Sticky Ground Cherry (P. viscosa). There ya go.. more than you ever wanted to know! and btw.. My mother grows them in her garden.. if you live close to NZ you are welcome to come get some
  25. We had a meal last night that would suit your brother Lentil Soup Soak 4 cups of french green lentils in cold water for 2 hours. Drain and then complete next step In a large pot .. 1/4 cup of olive oil 2 tblspoons garlic crushed 1 large leek chopped finely 2 carrots diced 2 medium or one large onion chopped saute until leek and onion are transparent Add in 1-2 tspn ground cumin and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Add in drained lentils and 8 cups of vegetable stock. Cook with lid on over a low heat for around an hour. Lentils should be tender by this time. You may need to add in more stock if the soup gets too thick. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Some spinach added in towards the end of cooking can be a great addition as well. Very tasty.. very filling and enough left over for the freezer ( there are about 12 serves in this recipe)
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