Saturday, June 25

Watermelon soup?

BULA! I'm really pushing the boundaries of soup here, because really, it's just a fruit cocktail heehee.

Fruit is very cheap and plentiful here in Fiji, so every day I've been drinking all sorts of cocktails and fruit smoothies. I love to revisit my Restaurant, Wine and Bar days, especially the cocktail making component!

Here is one of the drinks I made, a refreshing watermelon cooler:
(My northern hemisphere readers should make one this summer for a tasty, refreshing drink)

You will need: 1 large lime, a generous circle slice of watermelon and pineapple and a few teaspoons full of raw sugar and ice!

Slice the lime in half and put both halves in the shaker, sprinkle the sugar on top and muddle it. (i.e using the muddling stick, crush all the juice out of the fruit and melt the sugar with it)

Do the same with the watermelon and pineapple. Really give it a good muddling, try and get out as much juice as you can.
Then shake with a good amount of ice, and strain into a cooled glass/glass with fresh ice.

Voila! Your tasty watermelon cooler is ready to drink.

Now laze by the pool, sipping your drink (or daydream that you are)


Sunday, June 19

Broccauliese soup

On Thursday I was going to make a tasty soup for lunch, but my dog began having her puppies at 11am! So the soup was delayed until dinner time.

I went for a cheesy broccoli and cauliflower soup.

I used:
2T olive oil
1 onion, chopped up
1 bulb of garlic, diced finely
5 cups liquid stock
1 broccoli
1 cauliflower
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
1 and 1/2c of grated cheese (I used a mix of gruyere and moz)
1c of milk

It's really simple and fast-ish to make:

Brown onion and garlic in the oil

Add stock and bring to boil

Cut up broc and cauli into small pieces

Add broc and cauli into the stock and cover, simmer until vegies are cooked through.

When cooked, wiz it all up.

Add milk, cheese and seasoning

Mix it in, then blend it up one more time til smooth

Add a sprig of italian parsley and serve!


And for those interested, this is what the puppies turned out like:

Wednesday, June 15

Breakfast soup?

I hope your soup drinking/eating is going well readers! I hope to have more example soups up soon, but in the mean time you may have been wondering what is a soup option for breakfast?

Well wonder no longer! I have your solution...Semolina!
Mum used to make this for us on cold winter days, especially the snowy ones. Once we even visited a hotel which had it for breakfast! Best hotel EVER.

Some people I talk to have never heard of the stuff, which is a shame, because it has slowly disappeared from our local supermarchés and can now only be found at (as far as I'm aware) Mercato and the MFW (sometimes).

So what is it exactly? Semolina is a Duram wheat which you can make into a delicious porridge-like breakfast! (But I hate porridge so semolina is a billion times more yum)

Here's how you go about it...
Buy yourself some raw semolina, or as it's called in Italian 'Semola'

Now make VERY sure that you don't buy the fine semola, it is a flour, for making pasta! It should look coarse like mini couscous grains.

This is how I like to make mine:
Put 2T of the semolina in a large bowl (trust me, it WILL overflow otherwise) - I do mine in a large size pyrex bowl.
Measure out 300mls of milk, add a little of the milk to the semolina to mix to a paste.
Then mix in the rest of the milk.
Add 1T of vanilla essence and 2T (or more, I always put in more) brown sugar, and mix in.
Cook in the microwave for 5mins on Med.High. (You can cook it in a pot too, but you have to keep a VERY close eye on it!)
It should be pretty well done by then. Or you could cook it a little more if you prefer.

Pour into bowls, add a golden syrup swirl and you are away laughing!

You can really experiment with how you make it. Some people like it with more milk, some with white sugar, some with jam instead! I think it's nice with some fruit too, like some yum peaches.

Tuesday, June 14

Croque Monsieur/Croque Madame

Continuing on the french theme... here is a délicieux snack that they eat in France, a Croque Monsieur! (Crispy Mr.)

It is on one hand, pretty much a cheese and ham sandwich, but on the other hand, it is so much more!

You will need:
-1/2C Gruyère cheese grated - a swiss cheese, you can find at the Cheese Mongers (now in the arts centre Montreal St side) Mediterranean food warehouse, Mercato on Fitzgerald St etc.
-1/8C Parmasen cheese, grated
-A few slices of Ham, preferably a French one, I made mine with a shaved Bordeaux ham
-4 pieces of thick white toast, sliced and toasted
-2T Flour
-3/4C Milk
-Salt, peper and nutmeg to taste.
You can use Dijon mustard too, but I didn't cause I can't stand the stuff.

Heat the oven to 200c
Make the roux sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan on a low heat, add the flour and cook, stirring. Slowly whisk in the milk, cooking 'til thick. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Add Parmesan and 1/8C cup Gruyère. Mix in until melted.

Butter the toast and lay them out on a baking tray. (I used one with sides!)

Add the ham and most of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Put another slice of bread on top.

Pour the sauce to the TOP of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then GRILL for another 5 minutes - until the cheese is bubbly and a little browned.

There you have it! Your very own Crispy Mr!
N.B: If you put a fried egg on top it becomes a Croque Madame!

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, June 12

Cute Animal Matreshkas

Irina Troitskaya’s Matreshkas « Daughter Earth

What a neat idea this is! I would like to get my hands on some unpainted ones to give it a go myself.

This is my first time posting from a Chrome plugin, so it could look really boring I suppose. But it does mean I may blog a bit more. (Things I find as well as things I make) We'll see.

Thursday, June 9

Les Macarons!

So cupcakes are fun, but macarons are my new fav to make!
Here are some I made for a Queen's B-day weekend-away in Hanmer.

They are simple and fast to make, but you must be very watchful of how you make them... you have to kind of 'get a feel' for each step... from beating the egg white, folding in the dry mix and the cooking.

These were from my first tray, the yellow were banana flavoured and the orange were maple! My second tray didn't work so well! They were strawberry and coconut flavour.
I used this recipe, however I felt it had too much dry ingredients... hence what ruined some of mine, so I'd only add a bit at a time if I were you, folding it in carefully.

Also, I waited a good 45mins-1hr before cooking them. (The first time I made them I waited 4!)

So, go on, it's not that hard, and it's really fun to experiment in making heaps of flavours and colours - like the maple I made, so good.

Friday, June 3


Here is my cheese soufflé! This is the thing I badly burnt myself doing - putting the soufflé in the oven, after which I promptly dropped one of the dishes full of soufflé mix onto the ground... it went everywhere :-(

This one survived though! And it turned out really good... considering it was the first time I've ever made a soufflé!
I just use this recipe, adding a bit of salt, pepper and nutmeg for taste.

They are actually really easy and yum for on these cold days.

The only trick is making sure you well grease and flour the dish and take care not to get ANY drips down the sides. It stops the soufflé from rising big time.


I shall try to make a dessert soufflé next time!
(I've got a big French-Cuisine crush atm, can you tell?)
The next post is French-Cuisine too... but something a little sweeter... mmmmm

Thursday, June 2

90 days soup-a-thon!

Every year over the winter months I do what I like to call '90 days soup-a-thon'.
Pretty much I try and have and make as much soup and soup related things as I can. It runs from June the 1st until the end of the 29th August (The 30th is my birthday, so no soup please)

I kicked off this year's soup-a-thon with a hot Vichyssoise, or you might know it as Potato and Leek soup. (Vichyssoise is usually served cold)

A few weeks ago I when to Melbourne to visit a friend and her and her bf made a really yummy hot Vichyssoise for dinner. I couldn't wait to try making it when I got home!

Here was the result:

I made one with bacon, and one without - (my brother is vegetarian).

My version pretty much consisted of:
A couple of Tbs of butter or oil
5 rashes of bacon
1 red onion
2 big leeks
1L of liquid stock (I used vegetable)
1.2kgs of potatoes
1 L of cream
And salt and pepper to taste!

Pretty much just add ingredients into a large pot, in the order you see. Obviously leaving things like bacon, leeks and potatoes to cook through before adding the next ingredient.

At the end just wiz it all up until super smooth and then drink!

I write this post to you while drinking chicken noodle soup, nursing painful burns I sustained from the oven whilst cooking the next item I will post about... oooooo, what could it be...?
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