Welcome to Little Miss Cookalot

I love to cook and try new dishes, and more often than not I am asked for the recipe, so I decided to start Little Miss Cookalot as a way of sharing my successes, and failures in the kitchen. The recipes that you find on LMC are what you would find if you came to my house. As a mother of two, there is a focus on food for fussy eaters and you may also notice I like to bake... Most recipes here are amended from well known chefs/cookbook authors, and you will find the source at the bottom of each recipe unless its entirely my own creation. Check back regularly as I hope to add at least 2 new recipes every week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The never ending Cheesecake

I have been meaning to make this Cheesecake for almost a month now, but have not had an 'excuse' - so when Greg randomly saw the picture and said YUM, I thought I would whip it up for Fathers Day.  I started preparing it around 9am, without really reading through the recipe, I thought it would be ready to take out with us at 11am.
Turns out it is a cooked cheesecake, which took ALOT longer than I had anticipated (lesson, read the recipe through til the end before you start, don't presume to know it all!)... end result being Cheescake has been cooling in fridge since Sunday night, and I'll be attempting to finish the final layer tonight for dessert (2 days later)Hmm.  Its actually not that hard, just wasn't what I was expecting... can't wait to taste it though, I have already eaten half of the caramel topping!  Watch this space....

Potato and Onion Pikelets

1C self raising flour
3/4C milk
1 egg
20g melted butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, grated coarsely
1 small potato grated coarsely

Place flour in a medium bowl; gradually stir in combined milk,egg and butter; mix to a smooth batter.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cook as you would pancakes.   Drop 1T batches into a (oiled/butter) heated fry pan, cook until bubbles appear, turn pikelets.  Cook until brown.  May be served with sour cream (I didn't on this occasion).

ELLA-ometre  Was very impressed and even took some to school

ZACH-ometre  He couldn't eat much more than one, but he did like them and took one to kinder today in his lunchbox, so I will be making these again in future.

Source: The Australian Womens Weekly, Babies and Toddlers Good Food

Crumbed Beef

Rump steak or other quality beef steak
1 egg
1/2C flour
1 C breadcrumbs

Trim any fat from beef, and using a filleting knife, slice the beef across the thinnest edge to create 2-3 very thin fillets of beef.  Lay flat on a piece of glad wrap and cover with more wrap.  Use a rolling pin or mallet and gently pound the meat to thin out even further.   Prepare 3 shallow bowls, one with egg lightly beaten, another with the flour and final bowl of breadcrumbs.  Cover each piece of beef with flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.  Heat a fry pan with a little oil and butter and cook each side until golden brown.  Do not overcook as meat will toughen.  Rest on paper towel before serving.  Cut into finger sizes.

ELLA-ometre   Ella loves this dish, and its a great way to get some red meat into her (I'll slowly cover with less and less breadcrumb until I get them eating juicy steaks!

ZACH-ometre Zach also loves this dish.  So nice to meat prepared a way they will both eat.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Double Chocolate Muffins

1 3/4C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1C caster sugar
1/4C cocoa
100g butter, melted
1 egg
1C yoghurt
1/2C milk
1/2tsp vanilla
1/4C choc chips

Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.  Measure out milk and yoghurt and set aside.  Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Combine butter, egg, yoghurt, milk and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and fold together until flour is dampened, but not smooth.    Divide between 12 medium sized muffin pans that have been coated with oil (or have patty cases).  Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.. or as I have done with one dark choc cooking button on top of each muffin.   Bake at 10-12 mins or until centres spring back when pressed lightly.

Big hit with Greg and I... and today I am finding it hard to resist heating them slightly, halving and topping with New Zealand butter.......

ZACH-ometre  He was excited to have one in his lunchbox today, lets see if he likes it.

Source: Alison Holts Marvellous Muffins

Monday, August 15, 2011

Modern Day - Pea and Ham Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 1/2C frozen peas
1 potato, peeled and grated
1L chicken stock
1/4C mint leaves
1/2C single (pouring) cream
sea salt and cracked pepper
6 slices prosciutto

Heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the oil and onion and cook for 4 minutes or until soft.  Add the peas, potato and stock and bring to the boil.  Cook for 6 mins or until the peas are tender.  Add the mint, cream, salt and pepper.  Place the pea mixture in a blender and blend until almost smooth.  Return the soup to the pan.  Preheat a grill on high heat.  Grill the prosciutto for 1 minute or until just crisp.  Break the prosciutto into pieces and stir through the soup.

Another one thats very easy to make, and I found this quite tasty.  I like the spin of adding the prosciutto at the end.   A simple Winters soup.

Source:  Donna Hay, Fast, Fresh, Simple.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Strawberry French Toast

2 thick slices white bread
2 tsp strawberry fruit spread
1 egg lightly beaten
1/4C milk
10g butter or margarine

Spread one piece of bread with the strawberry fruit spread and top with the other piece of bread.  Whisk together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl.  Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture. Drain off any excess.
Melt the butter in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat.  Cook the bread for 3 minutes each side or until golden brown.  Remove from heat and use a cookie cutter to cut French toast into shapes.

For a healthier option use a high fibre white bread and no-sugar style jam.

ELLA-ometre  Its been a while since I made this one, but its on the menu again this weekend.  Previously Ella loved it but I find the less jam the better otherwise it gets too sweet.

ZACH-ometre  Jam and Bread, whats not to love?

Source:  Baby and Toddler by Jody Vassallo

Cider Roasted Pork Belly

1kg pork belly
sea salt
8 sprigs lemon thyme
1 1/2C cider

Preheat oven to 220C or the hottest your oven will go.  Score the skin at even intervals using a sharp knife.  Place the pork in a baking dish and generously rub salt into the skin.  Tuck the lemon thyme under the pork and roast for 45 mins or until the skin has crackled and is crisp.  Reduce the heat to 120C.  Carefully add enough cider to almost cover the meat, but not the skin of the pork.  Bake approx 1 hour, until the pork is tender and the cider has reduced.  To serve cut the pork into slices and serve with pan juices. 

I don't like pork, but I know lots of my family do, so I wanted to know how to cook it.  My brother was in town so I asked him to show me how he does it.  Well wouldn't you know he likes Donna Hay too, and so we cooked it together.  We did 2 pork bellies, and whilst the recipe says to use a paper towel and remove damp from skin before coating with salt, I forgot to do that I mine.....but my crackling was far more crackly than my brothers (Ive since seen on Masterchef that they like to dip the pork in boiling water  for a crunchier crackling).  So I guess see what works for you!   Oh and for someone who doesn't like pork (and hasn't for pretty much all my life) - well I had to try a bit, and the crackling was delicious and I didn't mind the pork either.  I would never eat a whole serve, but next time I might have a few bites! 

If you don't have lemon thyme, use normal thyme and grate a little lemon zest over it.  Actual recipe is served with roasted fennel (put fennel into roasting dish immediately prior to cider), but we did the same with baby carrots and parsnips which were delicious.

Source:  Donna Hay - fast, fresh, simple

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kids Chicken Canneloni

1 portion Annabels Secret Tomato Sauce
4T cream cheese
6T cheese sauce (I used leftover Macaroni cheese sauce mix)
500gm minced chicken
1 onion, small dice
4 fresh lasagna or cannelloni sheets
grated cheese

Slowly cook onion in a little oil until soft.  Add chicken and cook until just starting to cook through.  Add almost all of Annabels Secret Tomato Sauce (leave approx 6T aside for topping).  Mix sauce through, and cook for approx 2 more mins, until chicken is just cooked through.
Remove 1/3 of each Lasagna sheet (if using Lasagna sheets), and put aside the small piece for a later date.  Spread 1T of cream cheese on to each of the large portions.  Put approx 3T of chicken mixture in a line across the middle of the lasagna sheet.  Roll sheet to form a cannelloni tube with meat encased.  Repeat with remaining Lasagna or Cannelloni sheets.  On a greased oven tray, line the completed tubes in a row. Spread approx 1 1/2T of cheese sauce across the top of each tube.  Next spread approx 1 1/2T of the secret tomato sauce on top of the cheese sauce mix.  Finally top with a little grated cheese.    Bake on 180C for approx 20 mins or until cheese is melted and golden.

There will be lots of left over chicken mix, but this is great for freezing to quickly roll cannelloni another day when short of time, or use it to make a quick lasagna.   This dish is quick to make providing you have a portion of Annabels secret tomato sauce in the freezer, along with some cheese sauce.  So make sure when you make a batch of either you also do extra to keep in your freezer for this tasty meal!

ELLA-ometre   Ella ate this without complaint.
ZACH-ometre  Zach seems to be off his food a bit, but ate about half of one without complaint after some coaxing.

Source:  Annabels Secret Tomato Sauce and Cheese Sauce mix from Annabel Karmels, The Fussy Eaters Cookbook

Chicken, Fennel and Sage Soup with Gruyere croutons

1T olive oil
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1/4C sage leaves
2L chicken stock
300g bulb fennel, thinly sliced
360g store-brought cooked chicken, meat shredded

Gruyere Croutons
8 slices sourdough bread
8 sage leaves
200g grated Gruyere cheese

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for a further 10 mins or until softened.  Add the sage and cook for 1 minute.  Add the stock, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins.  Add the fennel, chicken, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.  To make the croutons, place the bead on a baking tray and top with sage and cheese.  Place under preheated grill and grill for 3-4 mins until cheese has melted.   Serve soup with croutons.

The first night I made this, I thought 'yep its quite nice but...' it was a bit lacking in flavour, only because it doesn't sit on the stove all day long developing flavours.  However, I ate the left over soup the next night for dinner and the flavour had really developed and I loved it!  My mouth is salivating just thinking about making it again... and as for the croutons, I could eat them for lunch on their own.

Source:  Donna Hay Magazine, Jun/Jul 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kids Quesadillas

1T Annabels secret tomato sauce  (see my blog for recipe)
Courgette finely diced
Grated cheese
Sliced tomato
Shredded ham or  pre-cooked chicken
Any of your childs favourite meats or vegetables that are either pre-cooked or don't need much cooking
Flour tortillas

Sour cream, Guacamole and Salsa to serve  (my kids only like the sour cream)

Turn fry pan on to heat.   Lay a flour tortilla on your chopping board.  Spread a thin layer of Annabels secret tomato sauce across the tortilla.  Sprinkle the courgette, and cheese.   Ella also has tomato on hers and sometimes some chicken.  Zach will eat ham or chicken on his.  Don't put too many fillings as it won't cook properly.  Place onto bottom of fry pan (no oil required) cover with another tortilla and place a saucepan on top to help weigh it down.  Carefully turn over once bottom has browned.  Once both sides are cooked, cheese should be melted.  Cut and serve.

Last week I had run out of the secret tomato sauce, but had some left over tomato and mascarpone pasta sauce, so I used that instead and had no complaints.

ELLA-ometre  One of her favourite dinners

ZACH-ometre  Zach gets very excited when he finds out he is having the 'triangles' for dinner!

Annabels Secret Tomato Sauce

1T olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 leek, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 red pepper
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium courgette, chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
150ml  vegetable stock
1 1/2T tomato puree
1 1/2T sun-dried tomato paste
1 tsp caster sugar
1T torn basil leaves, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large fry pan and saute the onion and leek for approx 3 mins, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 min.  Add the red pepper, carrot and courgette, and cook for a further 3 mins.  Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato puree, paste and castor sugar - stir for approx 1 min.  Simmer uncovered for 25-30 mins, stirring occasionally until thickened.  Stir in the basil leaves if using.  Transfer to a blender and blitz sauce to a puree.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I usually do a double mixture of this so I always have some in the freezer.  I also like to freeze some in ice-cube trays, so that I can easily thaw a small portion if I need it for something like my Kids Quesadillas.

Source:  Annabel Karmel, The Fussy Eaters Recipe Book

Pasta with Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce

1tsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
30g carrot
30g courgette
15g celery
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g button mushrooms
400g passata or chopped tinned tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
2T torn basil leaves, optional
100g mascarpone cheese
200g pasta

Heat oil in saucepan and saute the onion, carrot, courgette and celery for 5 mins.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 mins.  Stir in the passata and sugar and simmer for 10 mins with lid on, stirring occasionaly. 
Remove from heat, add the basil and blend in a food processor.  Return to the pan and add the mascapone cheese.  Stir until melted and simmer for 1-2 mins.  Season to taste. 
In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.  Drain and toss with sauce.

I used some of the leftover sauce in the childrens Quesadillas, which I made the following night. Yum.

ELLA-ometre   She really enjoyed this,  and therefore took some to school for lunch the next day - although with only a small portion of sauce, as she found it rich.

ZACH-ometre  I think he had about 2 bites.  He seems to have gone off anything thats pasta - but he had no problems with it in his quesadillas!

Source:  Annabel Karmel, The Fussy Eaters Recipe Book

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dark Chocolate and Caramel Puddings

1x 380g can store-brought caramel
1/3C double (thick) cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
60g butter
3 eggs
1/2C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2C almond meal
cocoa for dusting

Preheat oven to 200C.  Place the caramel in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add the cream and mix well to combine.  Place 1/3 cup of the caramel mixture in the base of 4x 1 1/2 cup capacity ovenproof dishes.  Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 min or until double in size.  Fold the chocolate mixture and almond meal through the egg mixture and divide between the dishes.  Place on a baking tray and bake for 18-20 mins or until risen and the centres are soft.  Stand for 5 mins.  Dust with coca and serve with fresh cream or ice cream.

We thought this was going to be too rich.  My 85 year old Grandfather said he would have a bite but couldn't possibly eat it..... he ate the whole thing!  In fact I was the only one of 6 who couldn't quite get to the bottom of the bowl, even though I tried my best.  Will definitely make it again. 

Source:  Donna Hay magazine, Jun/July 2011 issue