Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
Love life? Love all of life

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Cabbage Steaks - givng a new twist to a traditional vege

This recipe comes from my friend Alida.
Haven't tried it yet - but it sure does look yummo!

Worth a go, could use other spices or Dukkah. Caraway always complements cabbage too.
Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks

If you love cabbage, you are going to freak out about how good this is. Now, if you are on the fence about cabbage, you need to try this because this might be the recipe that converts you to a cabbage lover.

This is a simple side dish worthy of a dinner party and couldn’t be easier to make. Four ingredients, a couple of minutes to prepare and toss in the oven for an hour.

1 (approx 2lb) head of organic green cabbage, cut into 1″ thick slices
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
spray olive oil OR non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Pull outer leaf off cabbage (it’s usually dirty and nasty looking), cut cabbage from top to bottom (bottom being root) into 1″ thick slices.

2. Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.

3. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.

4. Finally, sprinkle each side with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

5. Roast on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown and crispy. Serve hot and Enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Of your charity, remember the prisoners during Christmas tide - and Paul Kelly tells of how to make gravy

My own recommendation is
the usual flour in the fat and add water etc. 
But there is a significant ingredient
to getting rich brown gravy every time. 
That ingredient is Parisian Essence.
Handle carefully. Not too much now. 
A few drops gives rich brown gravy -
even when you are cooking white meat like lamb or chicken.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some food plants in my garden - late September

My peas look gorgeous in this container -
the white flowers which will soon produce peas
are most satisfying

I have quite a few broad bean plants in the ground

This mint - the plain old mint - is in a pot.
But I also have some in the ground in a place
where I hope it takes over and chases the weeds away.
Ditto for some After Dinner Mint.
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Deluxe and desperate dessert - yoghurt, pears, and chocolate hazelnut sauce

Last night was a cold bleak July night in Ballarat.  I had been out for most of the day and it was too late to do the Apple Crumble I had planned for dessert. This should happen to-night.  So it was time to think outside the square or there would be no dessert at all ... and there is someone in the house who asks for it.

I have taken to the pear this winter since I substituted one night pears for apples in the Butternut, Apple & Cinnamon Soup.

What I rustled up - perhaps even invented - was a stunning close-yoour-eyes-in-rapture delight!

I had two pears and I fried them in a mixture of butter (yes, real butter!) and brown sugar. I sliced and chopped the pears into small pieces.  The butter and brown sugar melted together so I was effectively cooking the small pieces of pear in the butter & sugar mix to make a sauce.  I used Nestle's Ski Divine Vanilla Creme Yoghurt and spooned it over individual dessert bowls.  Onto this I spooned the pear, butter & sugar sauce.  Now this alone would have made a sufficient taste sensation - but there is nothing like luxury in one's desserts. 

I had in the store cupboard a bottle of Alice Langon's Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce.  It had been there for years unused.  I think I had purchased it at Simon Johnson's in Toorak.  I poured this around the circle of pear sauce.

Scrumptious! More-ish!  And the left-over of the dessert was wonderful for a Sunday morning breakfast as well.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Baking Our Blues Away - an exercise in neighbourliness and caring about and for others.


THINK of a time where life wasn't going so great.
A time where perhaps someone brought you something to take your mind off things. Perhaps that someone baked you a cake.
And maybe that offer of something to eat, with a cup of tea, promoted a conversation between you and that person.
On Monday, July 15, everyone is encouraged to take a moment and give someone they know, or a stranger, "a bit of baked or handmade love", for Baking Our Blues Away.
The event is an annual day of goodwill, now in its second year.
It does not aim to raise funds, but simply, raise the general wellbeing of others.
Daylesford baker and event founder, Michelle Symes, believes conversation has the power to change the way a person feels.
According to Beyond Blue, anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia.
On average, one in four (one in three women and one in five men) will experience anxiety at some stage in their life.
In a 12-month period, more than two million Australians experience anxiety.
"It makes people feel special because somebody's taken the time to hand-bake something."
For Michelle, the issue is close to home, having friends and family who have suffered anxiety and depression.
"My husband was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago and developed anxiety, triggered by the news he had the illness," she said.
"We'd never been exposed to it before, so it was a bit of an eye opener."
Last year, she started the initiative to raise awareness.
"I'm a big fan of feeding others and nourishing people ... when I know someone's not happy or well, I always cook for them, so it made sense to me to bake and make that part of the initiative," she said.
More than 5600 people took part last year, all over the world.
In Indonesia, one woman had an orphanage at the end of her street.
She took chocolate cupcakes to the children in the orphanage, who had never eaten cakes before.
She then posted a photo of the children eating cake for the first time.
Children at the Indonesian orphanage
"That smile and that elation that comes from the first taste of something sweet ... it was the most special photo and was lovely to have that impact on kids who had not experienced that kind of stuff," Michelle said.
Another participant posted a photo of her husband, who was terminally ill.
"He'd had four hours of chemo that day and she'd spent the day making a sponge cake," Michelle said.
"She put a photo of him holding the sponge cake, on our Facebook feed.
"We had other people take (the initiative) to their local schools, to their teachers, and do activities with kids."
A woman left these on her neighbour's doorstep
This year, she's hoping to get 10,000 people involved.
It has taken social media by storm, being supported on Twitter by Dannii Minogue, Shane Jacobson and blue Wiggle Anthony Field, who himself suffered depression.
Michelle maintains the initiative is not about whether someone has depression or anxiety, but primarily is about goodwill.
"Sit down, have a cuppa and let people chat about how their life's going," she said.
"People don't always get that opportunity and sometimes they need to be given that before they talk.
"It makes people feel special because somebody's taken the time to hand-bake something and I think it just makes people feel valued."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Soup's on at St Peter's.

 Bread and Soup and St Peter's.
At top, is the soup simmering away while Mass is on.
Those in serving in the Sanctuary remarked on the aroma 
all through Mass!
On the left is the Creamy Carrot & Coconut Soup.
On the right is the Butternut, Apple & Cinnamon Soup.
In the middle, is my Olive Bread.
I live in Ballarat where winters are very cold and very damp.  We haven't had snow this winter but it is not unheard of.  I attend St Peter's Anglican Church in Sturt Street, Ballarat. It is Ballarat's oldest church and famous for its historic peal of bells.  Now that winter is officially here we have taken to having Bread and Soup after the 10 a.m. Mass.  Yesterday, it was my turn.  I am basically a vegetarian so I was looking for something a little different in the way of meatless soups and I came up with these two which turned out to be very popular - with some people coming back for seconds.  So let me tell you what I turned up.  You can follow the original recipes (to which I link)  to the letter, if you choose.  I tweaked mine.  

Before I tell you the links and the tweaks, let me begin by saying that the basis of any soup meat-full or meat-less is a good stock.  This is the foundation on which the soup edifice is built.  Your basic stock can then be tweaked, modified, added to for a variety of wonderful soups.  Forty-eight hours ahead of my soup-making schedule, I made a huge amount of vegetable stock.  I used vegetables at hand, bought some others veges, and even threw in a piece of broccoli which had not been used for its original intention and now was past its prime.  I stored the stock in the frig - where, of course, as all soups and stocks do, it gained even more flavour.

Tweaks here were few.  Needless to say, I multiplied quite a bit.  I roasted the carrots ahead of time to add to the flavour.  I used Coconut Cream instead of Coconut Milk.

Tweaks here were:
  • Roasting the Buttnernut Pumpkin to add to the flavour.  This is a good ingredient at the moment because Butternuts are plentiful.  They are wonderful for their sweet flavour and their tenderness - so please be gentle with them.
  • I used one decent sized Butternut but added a few more apples.
  • I used something called Dutch Cinnamon. I think it may be a little more flavourful than other Cinnamon. Anyway, it was beautiful in the soup.  After all, we do know how well apple and cinnamon go together. Now, I can assure you, it goes well with Butternuts as well.

As you can see from the photograph, I made my soup pots three-quarters full.  This was because there has been a problem in estimating numbers.  This was the third week. The first week too much had been prepared. The second week there was not enough.  The third week seems to have been just right and some people were able to come back for seconds as well..

I served this with my own bread, buttered.  I had some jars of sliced olives in the frig (they are great when you do your own pizzas) and turned my plain dough into Olive Bread. 

All in all, the whole thing was well received.  The two soups were beautiful.  When I sup on the Creamy Carrot and Coconut, I think it is the best soup ever. And then when I sup on the Butternut, Apple & Cinnamon, I think exactly the same thing. 

I highly commend these soups to Tucker Lovers.  They are different, full-bodied, flavour-full soups.  The people I prepared these for had not come across them before - so you also have the novelty value to impress people.  Happy eating!
 Next week at St Peter's
Justin is doing the soup.
It sounds wonderful.
It will be based on a chicken stock.
Come along!
All welcome! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sustainable Gardening Australia - possibilities when communities grow their own food - urban agriculture

Sustainable Gardening Australia 

invites you to join an informal gathering where participants will engage in discussion regarding:

What are the possibilities when modern communities
grow more of their own food?

 The evening will conclude with questions 
addressed by a panel including: 

Natasha Kuperman (Founder of My Home Harvest)
Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth)

Monday June 17th 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm

Function Room, The Courthouse Hotel615 Sydney RdBrunswick

Tram, Train (Anstey Station), 

Car (Sydney Rd meter free after 6pm)

You can purchase meals and drinks at The Courthouse 
and there are lots of great eateries on Sydney Road.
Places for this free event are limited so book early, 
and please let us know if you are then unable to attend 
so we can give someone else your place.