Thursday, April 20, 2023

Authentically Scottish-style Lentil Soup


Lentil Soup is Food for Everyone, and I know you are thinking that there are just so many lentil soup recipes already on the planet. Why post another one? Whilst I am wondering, why haven't I put this superb Scottish soup recipe up before on HRK when I make it so often. It's my go to lentil soup. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

How to make a self-saucing Lemon Delicious Pudding


Lemon Delicious Pudding is a very popular self-saucing pudding in Queensland, and after harvesting the first crop of the year of precious lemons from our potted tree, this was the first dessert I wanted to make with them. When I say first harvest, I mean 4 lemons. The recipe produces a luscious and creamy lemon sauce topped with a soft lemon flavoured sponge cake which is an absolute joy to eat. It is also a cinch to make. The recipe is straight out of the iconic Stephanie Alexander's cookbook, The Cook's Companion. Some Lemon Delicious Puddings don't create enough sauce for my taste, they are all sponge and no sauce, but this one does. It is also very easy to prepare quickly and can be placed in the oven just before serving the main course.  I love puddings that can be cooking while we are eating our main course. Or, it is also the perfect dessert to pop in the oven and cook at the same time that the family roast dinner is cooking. Is your mouth watering, mine is just thinking about it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

A local Cairns Market tour at the iconic Rusty's Market

Red Dragonfruit and Custard Apples in the background

 There is no shortage of signage at Rusty's market.

Whenever we are visiting the Far North Queensland city of Cairns, a visit to the Rusty's market is a must for me. This market is in the Cairns city heart, and very easily accessible from Sheridan Street, one of the main thoroughfares in Cairns. The market runs from Friday to Sunday every week and offers a wonderful venue for local producers from Innisfail, south of Cairns, right up to Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands to sell their local produce, handicrafts, breads and much more each week. What I love about Rusty's is that whilst it starts early each morning, it also finishes later in the afternoon, which means unlike a lot of smaller regional centre markets, it's not essential to do your market shopping early in the morning if not convenient. It is also within walking distance of most of the inner-city accommodation for the tourist.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Easter Chocolate Fudge Cake with Malted Buttercream

This fudgy chocolate cake with a decadent Malted Buttercream icing is the real deal for an Easter extravagance. It's not too late, this cake doesn't take long to make. I've previously posted this Chocolate cake with Nigella's Coffee Buttercream, and because I am absolutely smitten with this cake, I am posting it again with the Malted Buttercream. 

Thursday, April 6, 2023

In My Kitchen April, 2023

The Easter Long Weekend starts tomorrow, and as I write this, I am under the lifesaving ceiling fan, as the Northern tropical heat hasn't abated like it's supposed to over Easter. I am in beautiful Cairns, in Far North Queensland at our daughter's home, and I know there is lots of chocolate "hidden" in the refrigerator waiting for Easter Sunday to be enjoyed by all of us. I the Easter bunny coming to your house? Delicious chocolate goodies and Hot Cross Buns are the theme of foodies and food bloggers around the world leading up to Easter, there's so much Easter excitement. However, my go-to fudgy, double layered Chocolate Fudge Cake will be our baked chocolate indulgence of choice over Easter. It will be the third time I've baked this beauty over the last few weeks. Whether it's iced with Malted Buttercream, or with Nigella Lawson's Coffee buttercream, it's a winner. 

This is my April submission to the #IMK series hosted by the wonderful Sherry from Sherry's Pickings. Each month food bloggers from around the world gather to share what is new in their kitchen.  I don't buy a lot of new merchandise for my Kitchen, just mainly food ingredients, but I love cooking and baking. This is a sample of what I've been very happily cooking In My Kitchen.

Chocolate fudge Cake with Nigella Lawson's delicious Coffee Buttercream

Mr. HRK prefers Nigella's Coffee buttercream version for icing. I also love a chocolate cake with just the old-fashioned chocolate icing which is so easy and very heat tolerant. It was almost Death by Chocolate when I made the Malted Buttercream version of the Chocolate cake for Jenny's birthday recently, so delicious, chocolatey and fudgy, and slightly challenging to transport in the North Queensland heat but we made it. Buttercream needs to be refrigerated, so as soon as I iced this cake which is the photo at the top of this post, it was in our frig, and she stayed there until it was transported very carefully over to Jenny's refrigerator to be eaten for dessert that evening. Here's the link to the Chocolate Cake and Coffee Buttercream recipe, and I'll post the Malted Buttercream recipe shortly.

On a more Savoury note, I made these cheesy vegetable muffins four days ago and I am thrilled with them, not only for how they tasted when first baked, but how after being refrigerated for a few days and now being reheated in Cairns for morning tea they are still light and fluffy in texture and even more improved in flavour. If you take a look at the recipe, you will see the various vegetable combinations that are possible for these muffins.

I baked a few loaves of sourdough bread in the morning and made Herbed Mushrooms with Goats cheese for lunch which was delicious on toasted sourdough.

I found a silver Beetroot server when I was in Brisbane shopping at my favourite Antique shop in Annerley. It's perfectly designed for serving Pickled Beetroot allowing all the beetroot juices to drain through. Let's face it, beetroot juice can be very messy. Here's a batch of my Pickled beetroot which is infused with cinnamon. It was really tasty.

And on a cooler, rainy day at home I made chicken soup. Here's a photo of the stock in the soup pot.

I think of Boiled Fruit Cake as contingency baking. If there's a boiled fruit cake in the pantry or the refrigerator there's always cake on hand to have with a cuppa for surprise visitors. 
This Cherry and Brandy Fruit cake recipe makes two 20 cm cakes. One has travelled to Cairns with us, and the other one is in the refrigerator at home. It'll be there on our return. I've made this cake so many times, as whole round cakes and muffins, it's my friend Mr. P's Mothers recipe and is a real goody. 

Sometimes it's handy to have a retro recipe up your sleeve, and Salmon Rissoles or fishcakes are very retro, but these have a couple of optional surprise ingredients. Anyhow they were really good, coated in egg and breadcrumbs and pan fried and very crispy, what's not to love. Besides being tasty, retro food generally also stretches the budget, that's pretty important right now don't you think?

Those of you who know me well will be expecting a new Traybake in this edition. Here it is my friends, Moroccan Baked Chicken with Fennel and Chickpeas.  Very tasty.

Creamy French Tarragon Chicken transported me to France, which was my intention and this dish lived up to expectations. I'm hoping the airlines do the same for me in a couple of weeks. I'm off to France, to visit our son and my beautiful grandchildren, and hopefully sample some delicious French cuisine while I'm there. Did you know Cuisine is the French word for cooking? Seems obvious, doesn't it? 

Mr. HRK gave a couple of little visitors a tour of our beehive. They loved it, morning talk about bees coming up. We're hoping there will be fresh honey to harvest in Spring. Usually our bees are quite placid, no gloves needed, however they didn't appreciate being visited at 4 pm in the afternoon and were quite angry for some reason. Mr. HRK was stung twice, once on his face and on his hand. His hand really swelled up for a couple of days. Thankfully the girls were well covered and were standing right back from the hive. After all, bees are wild insects.

Gracing my daughter's dining area, is this newly acquired and endearing painting and drawing of an owl gifted to her for her birthday, by a talented friend. Aren't the eyes just full of so much expression? 

Mr. HRK picked these flowers from the garden this morning while he was pruning. Tropical flowers are just so colourful.

Hoping you have a very special, restful and meaningful Easter. Safe travels if you are travelling.

Warm wishes,

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Light and Fluffy Weekend Cheese Muffins with Roasted Capsicum, Basil and Baby Capers

Homemade Savoury Muffins are at their best eaten on the weekend for an easy relaxing lunch. Are you feeling a bit peckish? As with most muffins the basic ingredients of flour, salt, cheese, oil or butter, eggs, and buttermilk, cream or sour cream need to be used with these, but then after that they are one of the most versatile baked goods on the planet. I made these this morning rather impulsively after I had baked a cake, using up bits and pieces left in the refrigerator.