Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Broccoli and Macaroni

Broccoli with Pasta

I absolutely love quick lunches.  Something warm and comforting, completed in under 15 minutes.

Broccoli and pasta fits this description perfectly.  I adore healthy carbohydrates.  Many of my friends have opted, at times, for a low or no carbohydrate diet which I think is crazy.  Your body needs carbohydrates for energy.  These same girlfriends are often seen devouring a whole chocolate block to get enough energy to substitute for the carbs they are no longer getting in their diet.

So keep it lean, tasty, fresh and nutritious and your body will repay you for all good carbohydrates.

Our winter broccoli patch is almost producing broccoli florets.  I watch these gorgeous leafed plants growing and know a good broccoli supply is soon to happen.  Until then I purchase some at our green grocers to curb my winter broccoli desire.

Bring water to boil and add some olive oil.

 Pour in about 200 grams of pasta, I have used macaroni but it can be any pasta.
When it returns to the boil
add broccoli, about 8 big florets, each cut into half and bring to a gentle simmer with lid on.
When it is simmering, add 1 sliced clove garlic, another tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of dried oregano with freshly cracked black pepper.
Simmer for 15 minutes, until pasta is cooked
al dente and the broccoli is soft.

Here you can see it is cooked.
Pour off some of the liquid but you want a little remaining in the bottom of your bowl.
Shave some parmesan cheese over the top,
a little cracked pepper and my favourite
chopped dried red chilli (optional of course).
Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.
This recipe serves 2 people generously.

The other serving was drained of liquid
and placed in a container for
my daughter's school lunch tomorrow.
This is why I used macaroni today!
We will add parmesan when it is cold
and possibly some fried bacon bits.

Simple but effective, a great lunch time offering in super quick time.
Buon appetito, if you enjoyed my post, please let me know.  Cheers Merryn :D 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Macadamia and Honey Cookies

Macadamia and Honey Cookies

A bonus of keeping bees is their gorgeous by-product - HONEY.  
Fresh honey extracted straight from the hive is incomparable in flavour, aroma and texture.
Combine this with macadamia nuts and you have a winner.

My mother recently returned from a holiday in northern New South Wales, bringing freshly picked macadamia nuts from a macadamia nut farm.  These were delicious and quickly sealed to keep in the freshness.  Some had been tossed in different seasonings from Italian to Australian bush flavourings, but all I wanted was the plain variety.  Along with the last of the honey harvest for the season, I was tingling with anticipation and reached for the flour and sugar to combine away.
I like to prepare biscuits, slices or cakes on the weekend.  As long as the cookie jar is filled every Sunday with a different offering - which usually lasts for about 3 days - I, and therefore the family, am happy.

Cookie baking is to be done quickly, as opposed to a gallant dessert which one can labour over for hours.

Beat butter, honey and  sugar until creamed.

Macadamia Honey Cookies 

125 butter, softened
2 large tablespoons honey
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup macadamias, finely chopped
2 tablespoons raw sugar (for dipping) optional

Cream butter, honey and sugar in a bowl with electric mixer until well combined and smooth.
Stir in flour, sifted bicarbonate of soda, coconut and macadamia nuts.
Roll into small balls, flatten slightly and dip one side into the raw sugar if desired, 
before placing on a silicon or baking paper lined tray.  
Bake in moderate oven 180C for 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on trays for a few minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.    Yield 35 biscuits.

Freshly baked biscuits.

Enjoy with a cappuccino, a cup of steaming black tea or a glass of milk.
Perfect for our Autumn weather when on some days, all you want to do is bake and cook.
Buon appetito, cheers Merryn