https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz Food with a Conscience Wed, 24 Apr 2019 00:07:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 https://i0.wp.com/www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/VB_Podcast_200x200_1-e1530693755739.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz 32 32 83502621 Mediterranean Dip: Whipped Feta with charred tomatoes https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/mediterranean-dip-whipped-feta/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/mediterranean-dip-whipped-feta/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2019 21:44:08 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7360 Over the weekend I tried a lovely homemade spinach and feta dip at my neighbours. This inspired me to create my own mediterranean whipped feta dip. I then found a NY times whipped feta recipe which further inspired me.  This is my take on Sarah Jampel’s published recipe though I have tweaked it and converted … Continue reading Mediterranean Dip: Whipped Feta with charred tomatoes

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Over the weekend I tried a lovely homemade spinach and feta dip at my neighbours. This inspired me to create my own mediterranean whipped feta dip. I then found a NY times whipped feta recipe which further inspired me.  This is my take on Sarah Jampel’s published recipe though I have tweaked it and converted it to metric. Her original is here.

Let’s get started on whipped feta dip

This dip was so simple to make. It tasted beautiful and luscious. It is a creamy lightness of whisked cheeses with the hints of paprika, lemon and spring onion.

Whipped Feta dip ingredients

I started by piling sliced spring onions, lemon and olive oil into a bowl and tossing them to cover in oil. I did the same with the tomatoes and grilled them all on one long tray.

Char ingredients

Grilling accompaniments for whipped feta

I charred everything under the grill and forced myself to stay close. This was not the time to multitask as I needed to turn ingredients after 4-5 minutes and then remove things as they blackened. I may have left a couple of lemon slices a little too late!

I am lucky and own a Thermomix so everything can go straight in. See the notes in my recipe for how I utilised the Thermomix to get a gorgeous creamy finish on the dip.Thermomix Ingredients

Serving our whipped feta

Then I piled the whipped deliciousness into a large bowl (it made about 2 + cups) and topped with the charred spring onions and tomatoes. This is a large amount of dip so you may want to halve it. If you need to keep it then make sure you bring it back to room temperature before serving. You can also re-whip it if you like and then add topping on as required.

I ended up sitting down to eat some on toast immediately after this shot was taken. And boy what a great start to my day.

toast and whipped feta

  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • ½ lemon (sliced thinly)
  • 1 bunch spring onions (trimmed and halved crosswise)
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400 grams feta cheese (diced)
  • 200 grams cream cheese (smooth and spreadable)
  • cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  1. Heat the grill and line a baking sheet with baking paper or foil.

  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the lemon slices, spring onions and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on baking sheet. Now toss the cherry tomatoes in the oil and add to the baking sheet. Grill until blackened, tossing occasionally. Allow around 7 to 9 minutes for the spring onions and about another 3-4 minutes for the lemon slices and cherry tomatoes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly.

  3. In a food processor or thermomix, add the feta, cream cheese, 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, smoked paprika and hot water. Purée until very smooth, then add almost all of the spring onions. Pulse to combine, leaving some chunky scallion pieces. Taste for lemon, adjusting as needed.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, then garnish with charred lemon slices, charred cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a drizzle of honey.

If using a Thermomix. Puree the ingredients on #7 for 20 seconds. Insert the butterfly whisk and whisk on #3 for an extra 20 seconds to lighten and truly whip this dip.

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Anzac Day: The ultimate Anzac cookie ice-cream sandwich https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/anzac-day-the-ultimate-anzac-cookie-ice-cream-sandwich/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/anzac-day-the-ultimate-anzac-cookie-ice-cream-sandwich/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2019 05:14:02 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7340 I began mucking around today with ideas for Anzac Day baking. You shouldn’t steer to far from the delicious chewiness that is the traditional ANZAC cookie. I did however become inspired by the thought of an Anzac cookie ice-cream sandwich. This may have been due to the tub of Kapiti camomile and salted honey ice-cream … Continue reading Anzac Day: The ultimate Anzac cookie ice-cream sandwich

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I began mucking around today with ideas for Anzac Day baking.

ANZAC cookie Ingredients

You shouldn’t steer to far from the delicious chewiness that is the traditional ANZAC cookie. I did however become inspired by the thought of an Anzac cookie ice-cream sandwich. This may have been due to the tub of Kapiti camomile and salted honey ice-cream sitting in my freezer calling to be used. The rainy weather meant I could focus on something that may require a time commitment too.

Cooling ANZAC cookies

So here is the short-take solution to creating a batch of these at home. It is fiddly but not impossible. I tried a couple of different ways to get these to work easily. I’m sharing the method I found most simple in the end.

Cutting rounds of ice-cream

The teens hanging around my kitchen were groaning about how long I was taking! In their opinion it was all edible. So, if you are not worried about drips of ice-cream or slightly sticky cookies then you can pretty much just sandwich the ice-cream into two cookies at once. Just squash and freeze them from that step. I just found it neater to take a little effort and add the lid step separately.

Topping cookies with ice-cream

You can use which ever ice-cream you like. Vanilla would be perfect and you can always add an extra swirl of golden syrup through it anyway!

We ate a few of these and have left the rest in the freezer for our actual Anzac Day celebrations. Just thought I may as well get this out there today so you guys have a chance to stock up on ingredients 🙂

Ice-cream sandwich

 

ANZAC icecream sandwich

Make chewy ANZAC cookies and fill them with your favourite ice-cream for a delicious dessert this Anzac Day

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 140 g butter (diced)
  • 2 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Grease and line two baking trays.
  3. Mix together the oats, flour and sugar in a bowl.
  4. Melt the butter and golden syrup together, add bicarbonate of soda dissolved in the hot water. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Roll into small balls and place on the prepared trays. Use a fork to gently flatter the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden.
  6. Allow to cool and crisp on tray.

Assembling the ice cream sandwich:

  1. Soften your icecream and use a spatula to spread onto a baking tray.
  2. Prepare some baking paper onto a tray and place several of the biscuits top down onto the paper. These will form ½ of your sandwich.
  3. Use a round cookie cutter that is roughly the size of the biscuits and press into the ice cream. Lift it out using a flexible spatula to lift the entire cookie cutter with the ice cream in tact. Skim off any excess ice cream with a knife.
  4. Push the ice cream out of the cookie cutter and onto the biscuit. Repeat with the other biscuit lids you have assembled. Freeze these for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the cookies and icecream rounds from the freezer.
  6. Place another biscuit on top and press down just slightly.
  7. Place into the freezer for 1-2 hours to set completely.
  8. Remove from the freezer and drizzle with golden syrup and enjoy!

Tip: if you wish to keep these for longer then once frozen, wrap them individually in glad wrap or pop them into a sealable container and keep for when required.

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Top Easter Platter and Sharing Ideas https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/top-easter-platter-and-sharing-ideas/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/top-easter-platter-and-sharing-ideas/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 01:47:36 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7287 Easter Sharing Ideas Easter is a wonderful food occasion whether you are heading into Spring or heading into Autumn. It is a family occasion but if you are far away from family, create your own. Neighbours, orphans, friends, friends of your children. Have them over and utilise these platter and sharing hacks to create spreads … Continue reading Top Easter Platter and Sharing Ideas

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Easter Sharing Ideas

Easter is a wonderful food occasion whether you are heading into Spring or heading into Autumn.

It is a family occasion but if you are far away from family, create your own. Neighbours, orphans, friends, friends of your children. Have them over and utilise these platter and sharing hacks to create spreads of food to feed the masses

morning tea

Create a snack platter the envy of your friends and family who are far away.

Cook up a batch of mini cupcakes and ice them with the #1M tip for a gorgeous floral pattern. Find our easy-as icing recipe here.

Make up a batch of egg, cream cheese and parsley sammies and pile onto an oval platter with the cupcakes around the perimeter. Decorate with fresh flowers and some yummy mini eggs for fun.

main course

It is a festive time so be festive. We created this little salmon idea with a papaya or tamarillo salsa because it is both delicious and looks gorgeous. The wonderful benefit of a sharing plate is that you do not need to serve a wedge of salmon per person. Add to the meal with rice, fresh vegetables or a gorgeous colourful salad and some crusty bread. Find the salmon and salsa recipe here

hot cross bun pudding

If you feel like turning the already delicious Hot X Bun into something more decadent, or end up with left overs after Friday then this pudding is totally divine. We used a recipe from Farro Fresh here in Auckland but had a little play with it. See our version here.

 

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Steamed Salmon with Fruit Salsa https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/steamed-salmon/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/steamed-salmon/#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2019 01:45:52 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7310 Steamed Salmon A lush sharing dish for a special occasion Salmon 2 portions salmon, pin-boned 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil 2 tsp sea salt Salsa 1 Tamarillo or 1/2 small papaya 1/4 red onion Small fist full of coriander Dash of honey or maple syrup Dash of avocado and lime oil – or … Continue reading Steamed Salmon with Fruit Salsa

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Steamed Salmon

A lush sharing dish for a special occasion

Salmon

  • 2 portions salmon, pin-boned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Salsa

  • 1 Tamarillo or 1/2 small papaya
  • 1/4 red onion
  • Small fist full of coriander
  • Dash of honey or maple syrup
  • Dash of avocado and lime oil – or Olive Oil and a squeeze of lime.

Salmon

  1. Ensure your salmon is bone free.

    Drizzle with oil and sprinkle salt all over.

    Place in a steam oven for 8-10 minutes and allow to cook to your liking. 

    Use your fingers to gently pull apart to serve.

Salsa

  1. Chop and combine ingredients to form a salsa. Serve on top or along side the salmon 

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American Butter Cream Icing https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/american-butter-cream-icing/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/american-butter-cream-icing/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 01:35:03 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7305 American Butter Icing An American Buttercream Icing for Cupcakes 500 g icing sugar 150 g softened butter 60 ml milk Flavour (vanilla) Mix together with a whisk attachment in a stand mixer or in a thermomix. Pile into an icing bag with your favourite tip and get creating use immediately store left over in the … Continue reading American Butter Cream Icing

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American Butter Icing

An American Buttercream Icing for Cupcakes

  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 150 g softened butter
  • 60 ml milk
  • Flavour (vanilla)
  1. Mix together with a whisk attachment in a stand mixer or in a thermomix. Pile into an icing bag with your favourite tip and get creating

  • use immediately
  • store left over in the fridge or freezer
  • ensure you defrost and rewhip with a whisk attachment before re-use

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Hot X Bun Pudding https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/hot-x-bun-pudding/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/hot-x-bun-pudding/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 01:28:26 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7292   Hot Cross Bun Pudding A lusciously decadent pudding you can create with left over, day old, hot cross buns. 6 hot cross buns (1 or more days old) 3 tbsp butter softened 3 tbsp orange syrup or orange marmalade 50 g dark chocolate, grated 4 eggs 1.5 cups cream 1 cup milk Slice the … Continue reading Hot X Bun Pudding

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Hot Cross Bun Pudding

A lusciously decadent pudding you can create with left over, day old, hot cross buns.

  • 6 hot cross buns (1 or more days old)
  • 3 tbsp butter softened
  • 3 tbsp orange syrup or orange marmalade
  • 50 g dark chocolate, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cups cream
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Slice the hot cross buns into 1/3s horizontally. Line the bases of the buns into the base of a deep dish baking pan.

  2. Cover with orange sauce or marmalade. Sprinkle the grated chocolate onto the top of the marmalade. Return the bun lids to the top.

  3. Whisk the eggs, milk and cream together in a bowl and pour over the top of the buns

  4. Allow to rest for 30 minutes for the mixture to soak into the buns. Press down on the tops with a spatula to allow them to soak up some of the liquid.

  5. Heat the oven to 180C bake function. Bake the pudding uncovered in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the eggy mixture is set

This is heavenly served warm with drizzled pouring cream

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Party Platter Preparation https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/party-platter/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/party-platter/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 03:24:51 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7187 Feel fearful of preparing a party platter? It can be daunting to take a look at some of the foodie photos on social media where lusciously laden platters take over entire tables as alternatives to a meal. Don’t despair. They can be a simple and effective solution for easy entertaining, leaving the host to grab … Continue reading Party Platter Preparation

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Feel fearful of preparing a party platter?

It can be daunting to take a look at some of the foodie photos on social media where lusciously laden platters take over entire tables as alternatives to a meal.

Don’t despair.

They can be a simple and effective solution for easy entertaining, leaving the host to grab a drink and also enjoy their friends for a relaxed get together.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

The Four T’s for Triumph

When you create a platter at home here are 4 top tips for success……..

  • Theme is important because it will help you to keep “like” ingredients together. Think Asian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Meat Lovers etc. This way you will focus on flavours that already naturally fit together. One of the biggest issues with the modern ‘grazing’ food is that people are messing with putting too many ideas onto one space and it just doesn’t work.
  • Texture is vital. Ideally you can create interest with a variety of soft, crunchy, hard and smooth. For example, with a smooth dip, have some crusty grissini; pair a soft cheese with crusty bread or cracker; hard cheese with slivers of ripe pear.
  • Taste is undeniably the key ingredient. The way to ensure you get this right is to buy ‘in-season’ fresh produce. In hotter months try to create a platter of fresh fruits and vegetables with nuts and other wholesome snack style foods. (NB. you don’t want foods that sweat such as sliced meats and cheeses in hotter weather.)
  • Temptation is about feasting with the eyes. Start creating the platter by positioning your larger items first. Fill in the spaces with smaller ingredients. Use mini bowls and dishes to hold items and separate flavours. Add flowers or herbs to decorate.

For further ideas check out our recipes for Pesto, Pepita Dip and Energy Balls

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Pesto https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/pesto/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/pesto/#respond Sun, 10 Feb 2019 23:43:53 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7177   Pesto In Italy at a cooking course in Siena we made pesto in a pestle and mortar, with freshly plucked basil and the most divine olive oil from the region.  It was all about the ‘pestare’ – crushing and mashing – and using that pestle!  So now I feel super bad if I throw … Continue reading Pesto

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Pesto

In Italy at a cooking course in Siena we made pesto in a pestle and mortar, with freshly plucked basil and the most divine olive oil from the region.  It was all about the ‘pestare’ – crushing and mashing – and using that pestle!  So now I feel super bad if I throw it together in a food processor (even though it is way quicker!). So if you have time and have some friends hanging about willing to help – do yourself a favour and make this for real, from scratch with some muscly helpers.

  • 2 garlic cloves (preferably local, fresh and plump)
  • 4 bunches of fresh young basil leaves
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • 10 g sea salt
  • 80 g parmesan (freshly grated (or a mix of pecorino and parmesan))
  • 70 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Grind up the garlic in the base of the mortar.  

  2. Add in the leaves – a few at a time and grind them around the edges of your mortar. When you have the leaves all broken up you can add in the pine nuts and salt and work these into a paste with the fresh herbs. 

  3. Finely tip in the grated cheese. Scrape all the mixture into a bowl and drizzle in the oil, stirring to combine.

For another idea for your platter, click here to find a recipe for Pepita Seed Pate or Dip

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Energy Balls https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/energy-balls/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/energy-balls/#respond Sun, 10 Feb 2019 23:39:03 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7173 Energy Balls 1 cup dates (soaked for 30 minutes) 1 cup cashews (soaked for 30 minutes) 1 cup raisins or cranberries 1 cup coconut 2 Tbs cacao or dark cocoa ¼ cup dark chocolate roughly chopped ¼ cup coconut oil (as needed) Chop all the ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Add enough … Continue reading Energy Balls

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Energy Balls

  • 1 cup dates (soaked for 30 minutes)
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for 30 minutes)
  • 1 cup raisins or cranberries
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 Tbs cacao or dark cocoa
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (as needed)
  1. Chop all the ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Add enough coconut oil to bind the ingredients together. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to chill.
  2. Take scoop fulls of mixture and roll into balls. Add a little blackberry powder (or favourite berry powder) or cocoa/coconut for rolling on the outside of the balls.
  3. Chill to serve.
  4. Keep indefinitely in the freezer and for weeks in the fridge.

A great post school snack for kids or a pick-me-up for mid afternoon blues.

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Pepita Dip https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/pepita-dip/ https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/pepita-dip/#respond Sun, 10 Feb 2019 23:36:18 +0000 https://www.vanessabaxter.co.nz/?p=7169   Pumpkin Seed (pepita) Pate 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 cup olive oil 1 lemon juiced salt and pepper to taste Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a baking tray. Place pepitas on the tray along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and … Continue reading Pepita Dip

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Pumpkin Seed (pepita) Pate

  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a baking tray.
  2. Place pepitas on the tray along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Toss well with you hands. Roast for about 15-25 minutes or until seeds are cooked and begin to lightly brown. Stir the seeds every 5 minutes as they cook.
  3. Add the seeds to a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed. This may take 5 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric and pulse whilst drizzling in the olive oil to form a consistency you like.

If you have a thermomix just pile everything in and whizz until it is the consistency you like.

Click here for the energy ball recipe as seen in the photo

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