I might not have a teammate to bounce ideas off, trip over in the kitchen, lay the blame on when the pastry burns or nudge shoulders with while the judges give their verdict, but I still believe that last weekend, MY kitchen ruled!
On Thursday I read cookbooks, on Friday I wrote a shopping list, on Saturday morning I shopped and on Saturday arvo I donned my apron and began a little bit of a cooking frenzy.
First up was making shortbread. For making gingerbread. I’ve done my research and my preferred gingerbread recipe has got to be the most elaborate. But it’s a Jamie recipe and I’m a little partial to those. Plus it uses crystalised ginger (not just ground ginger), making it extra spicy. So I whipped up the shortbread. Quick and easy. Ready for Sunday and the next step to gingerbread.
Next up was Saturday night dinner. And an “it” grain. Quinoa. I’ve been a little slow on the uptake (and a little slow on getting the pronunciation right…) when it comes to quinoa, but better late than never right? Using a recipe for quinoa salad from the latest issue of Country Style, it was the perfect side to my stuffed squid (a Masterchef recipe from Season 1).
Red onion, tomato, parsley, mint and almonds, combined with the quinoa and a dressing of oil, vinegar, garlic and preserved lemon. Colourful.
Mini calamari tubes, stuffed with onion, garlic, anchovy, breadcrumbs, lemon zest & parsley.
Healthy and delicious. A super super-grain, with squishy seafood goodness.
Come Sunday morning, with a banana & raspberry smoothie and a cup of coffee (maybe two…) to kick start my day, I used my shortbread to make gingerbread. I had a little bit of a food processor blow out but recovered quickly, to produce a double batch of gooey g-bread.
Next up, an exciting new adventure. Bread rolls. I’ve made a loaf before, but not little rolls. But after an extensive conversation, that included note-taking, with one of the ladies in the office – a regular bread roll baker – I felt ready to tackle the mini version.
There is just something so cool about bread dough. It just puffs up and doubles in size in no time at all. Just like that. Pouffe!
To the dough I added finely chopped red onion, some grated cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of oregano. Rolled into balls, then in sesame seeds and plopped on an oily tray into the oven, it wasn’t long before I took up position on my kitchen floor staring in through my oven door. Who said a watched pot never boils? Those babies rose right before my eyes! And the smell! Eat your heart out Bakers Delight!
The best bit? I ripped one off the moment they came out of the oven and stuffed my face. Melted cheese oozing out of fluffy white rolls. Heaven in a puffy carb hit.
By this stage I’d begun to wonder whether I would spend more than 40 minute intervals outside of my kitchen, so I invited myself to my friends house for a cuppa (BYO gingerbread of course) and a break from my apron.
Then headed home with the setting sun to bake a chicken pie.
Sunday night TV dinner at it’s best.
And the bonus of my kitchen focussed weekend? The leftovers. And the excitement of the super compliments I got from the office gang when I arrived with fresh rolls on Monday morning.