...and his girl left behind. Justin Chambers is going to Antarctica as a chef, and leaving behind all that is normal, for a whole year. Together, but apart, we will document our experiences (well, he'll give me the info verbally and I will turn that in to a blog post!!) as we live in two quite different worlds for those 12 months.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Recipes galore

I admit I have slipped since I made the promise to try a new recipe every week so today, in a bid to make up for my lack of effort, I tried two.  After installing Mum at the market in what can only be described as really crappy weather, I came home and made a large pot of Minestrone using fresh ingredients from my garden.  I returned to the market in the afternoon, in the rain, to pack everything up and we came home, opened a bottle of bubbly and got to work decorating the Christmas tree.  I started to feel a little sad that I wasn't doing it with Justin this year but pushed that right back on down and kept going until we had a beautiful tree, adorned with all the decorations that we have collected on our travels including the tapa angel on the top of the tree from Tonga, the moose from Helsinki, matryoshka dolls from Russia and a tiki from New Zealand.  

Our neighbour's great niece, Julie who is visiting from the Netherlands, came over to use the internet and book some flights from Brisbane to Sydney on Xmas Day and stayed for a while sharing in our bubbly and nibbles while I made a batch of fresh pesto from the basil which is growing with great vigor.  It is the second time that I have made pesto and neither time have I ended up with that bright, rich green of recipe book photos... more of a muddy colour but I am sure that over-roasting the pinenuts wouldn't have helped!

My Minestrone (serves 6)
2 tsps olive oil
1 medium brown or red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 slices bacon, cooked 
(the actual recipe said proscuitto)

1 celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
1 medim carrot, finely chopped
1 medium courgette, finely chopped
2 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
1.5 litres chicken stock
1 medium potato, chopped finely
1 cup small pasta (shells or macaroni)
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 tin cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
1 cup mixed leafy greens (I used bok choy and silverbeet from my garden)
1 tablespoon finely shredded basil
1/2 grated parmesan

Heat oil in large saucepan.  Cook onion and garlic, stirring until onion softens.
Add bacon, celery, carrot and courgette.  Cook, stirring, 5mins.  Stir in tomatoes and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, 30mins.
Stir in potato and simmer uncovered, 15mins.
Add pasta, simmer uncovered about 10mins or until pasta is tender.
Just before serving stir in cabbage, beans, greens and basil.  
Serve in bowls with cracked black pepper, a teaspoonful of pesto, a sprinke of grated parmesan and a side of toasted Turkish bread.

The second new recipe was communicated via facebook this week and is extremely dangerous... I mean, chocolate cake in approximately 5 mins!  Called Chocolate Mug Cake... that's right, mug not mud, the ingredients are all put in to a coffee mug, mixed in there and then put in to the microwave.  And it is not too shabby!  We had it with vanilla icecream but I think that cream would have been the winner.

So hey, the weather may be really crappy and Noosa may be super sleepy but we are eating really well here!!

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