Pesto pasta with broccoli and sundried tomatoes

IMG_0265 Yes, lovely people, the title pretty much sums up this tasty little pasta dish we enjoyed recently. The weather was dreary, and we had a hankering for carbs. So pasta it was. IMG_0263 Simply – linguine – cooked until al dente – then thrown into a pan with steamed broccoli, basil pesto, sundried tomatoes and garlic – then allowed to heat through. IMG_0264 Topped with a good amount of parmesan cheese – and served alongside a garlic baguette – and our hankering for carbs was well and truly sated. IMG_0268 Yes I cant help but feel our tastebuds have been hibernating this Winter. Long gone are the salads and BBQs of summer. And in their place sit hearty stews, comforting pasta and firer curries. Even the little Miss got in on the pasta action! IMG_0273 (Actually I think she preferred the garlic bread…..) What about you? Have you got a favourite pasta combination?

Olive and sundried tomato focaccia

IMG_0356 Happy Monday lovely people. I trust that you all had a wonderful weekend. Truthfully, ours was not quite as expected. For the little Miss was unwell for most of it, so a lot of time was spent dozing on the couch – hopefully fighting off whatever bug has been present. We did, however, have a pretty busy week last week. We had guests for dinner not once, but twice, and even went out for dinner another night. And while my pants are perhaps a little tighter for it, we certainly enjoyed quite a few tasty meals. One such evening – it was roast lamb. With all the trimmings – roasted vegetables, a cauliflower bake, greens, gravy….. But besides all that  – I couldn’t resist creating a little bread dish to start. Olive and sundried tomato focaccia to be precise. IMG_0347 I followed this recipe, basically, but added some sundried tomato as well as the olives. IMG_0351 And while the end result was rather tasty – it perhaps lacked a little ‘rise’ but I’m blaming that on a shortness of proving time on what was a cold Canberra day. IMG_0353 We sliced and served the focaccia as a starter – still warm as it was fresh from the oven. IMG_0354 And it was just as yummy the following day – when I used it to make a toasted sandwich for lunch. IMG_0355 This was definitely an apt reminder at how lovely home-baked bread is – and a nudge to get my ‘bread-bake’ on more often! For it really is very simple – even if it does take a bit of prep work… IMG_0360 What about you? Do you like making your own bread?

Sundried (oven-dried) tomatoes

Happy Monday lovely people! I want to start the week by sharing with you a fantastic way to use any abundance of tomatoes that you may have. toms For over the weekend, I had just that. IMG_2599 A pile of tomatoes in my fruit bowl that were juicy and ripe, and needed to be used before they turned. Simply, I sliced them in half and placed them (cut side up) on a rack over a baking dish. Sprinkled with a little sea salt and a drizzle of garlic infused olive oil… IMG_2601 Then into the oven at 100C for 10 hours.  Yes you read that correct. 10 hours! But what a delightful sight I was greeted with when I opened the oven later in the day…. IMG_2609IMG_2607 Perfectly dried tomatoes, packed full of flavour. IMG_2611 And while the uses for these beauties are endless, on this occasion I turned to an old favourite….. IMG_2624 Homemade pizza! Tomato paste, basil, mozzarella and of course, those oven-dried tomatoes. IMG_2625 And, true to form, they were the star of the show. And so very easy to make. Win win really! What about you? Ever dried your own tomatoes?

Creamy pasta, minus the cream

40+1… the wait continues. But despite my ever-expanding waistline, it appears that it is still “business as usual” in the BBB household. More walking, more pottering around the house. And more home cooked meals. IMG_5120 Like this one that found its way to our dinner table last night. IMG_5124 I have had a hankering for a creamy pasta dish for a while now(which in itself is rather strange given that I normally prefer tomato-based dishes). IMG_5109 However, knowing that my tummy never really appreciates a big bowl of creamy carbs, I sought out an alternative that would make the dish a little more tummy-friendly. Enter: light evaporated milk. IMG_5111 All the cream taste, minus the heavy cream overload. And when coupled with a few extra ingredients… IMG_5110 Along with a pile of spinach that I had whirred in the food processor for a few moments… IMG_5114 IMG_5115 It produced a rather vibrant “cream” sauce indeed. Finished with cooked pasta and a handful of grated parmesan IMG_5116 And our dinner was complete. IMG_5122 Creamy – yet not overwhelming… IMG_5123 Just the kind of dinner I was looking for! IMG_5121 Pure comfort in a bowl. IMG_5125 And I think I may have just found my new ‘cream’ substitute when it comes to cooking! What about you? Ever cooked with evaporated milk?

Sundried tomato hummus

IMG_5065 Yep. Still here, still blogging, and still eating for two Winking smile  Baby BBB continues to thrive in utero, extremely well, and at our appointment today there was no indication that she is coming early. Rather, the race is now on as I found out my doctor is away as of next Tuesday, so fingers crossed she at least makes her appearance before then. I continue see a lot of walking and spicy food in my future. Last weekend we had what we thought might be our last dinner with friends as a couple (although it could very possibly be that we now have this weekend as well!) A simple BBQ was on the menu, and with the main course being taken care of by our friends, I decided to make a dip to share beforehand. A sundried tomato hummus. IMG_5059 And it really could not have been simpler. Just chickpeas, garlic, paprika, tahini, lemon juice, oil, water and of course, the sundried tomatoes. IMG_5060 Processed until smooth and creamy. IMG_5061 Sprinkled with a little paprika… IMG_5064 And an extra splash of olive oil… IMG_5067 Loaded with rice crackers… IMG_5073 And the sundried tomato dip was done. IMG_5074 Doesn’t get much quicker or simpler than that Smile  IMG_5084 But now, time for a walk and some curry Winking smile Sundried tomato hummus

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 tbs tahini
  • 100g sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil + extra
  • 1-2 tbs water
  • 1 tsp paprika + extra
  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add more oil / water if needed in order to reach desired consistency.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with extra paprika and olive oil.

What about you? Are you a fan of flavoured hummus?

Risotto for the busy girl

I. am. busy. And this crazy whirlwind of life doesn’t appear to be easing up any time soon. Work is crazy, my ‘social’ calendar is filling up, we have a nursery and study to finish, and a tonne of planting to do once our landscaping basics are completed. Throw in a couple work trips to Sydney and one to Perth….all in the next 7 days…and well you get the idea. So needless to say, quick and easy meals are the only ones making it onto our menu in the next few weeks. And tonight’s dinner was no exception. Helped, nay made, by my latest purchase… IMG_3674 A programmable rice cooker that has been on my wish for way too long! Into the rice cooker went oil and butter… IMG_3688 Followed by rice, IMG_3689 diced pumpkin and stock. IMG_3690 Then I hit start. And I walked away. And I returned 45 minutes later to find that I had a big batch of pumpkin risotto without ever having lifted a wooden spoon. IMG_3696 Finished with a few extras… IMG_3693 sundried tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese. IMG_3694 And our rice cooker risotto was complete. IMG_3697 Aka. Risotto for the busy girl! IMG_3700 While the texture may not have been as luscious as its stove-top counterpart, the convenience of a ‘throw-in-walk-away" meal was too much to refuse. I was able to get a few things done around the house, without being chained to the stove top as I normally am when making risotto. IMG_3702 And besides, although the texture may have been a little different, the flavours themselves were fool proof. Pumpkin, sundried tomato and basil – how can you go wrong??. IMG_3699 Delish! What about you? Do you use your rice cooker to make anything apart from rice? My new one can make porridge too – which I am rather excited to try out! ———— PS – Thankyou for all your lovely comments about the recent Soon Maternity fashion challenge – you guys are too kind. Voting is still open on the photos over at their Facebook page if you have the time SmileAnd, don’t forget that one lucky voter will win a $100 voucher of their own! Wouldn’t it be great if it was a BBB reader!

GF pesto and sundried tomato muffins

Over the course of the second trimester, I have found that food is starting to lose its appeal. I just don’t feel hungry all that often, and find myself eating more out of necessity and obligation than any real sense of hunger. And, with it, has come a waning desire to “get creative” in the kitchen. IMG_3676 So, when I had a craving for freshly baked muffins over the weekend, I wasted no time in using it as an opportunity to break my baking “drought”.  IMG_3677 With none other than…. pesto a big batch of gluten free savoury muffins! IMG_3679 Flavoured with sundried tomatoes, pesto and grated cheddar. IMG_3680 Baked until golden brown. IMG_3681 And soon I had the perfect mid morning snack. IMG_3682 Slightly crunchy on the outside…. IMG_3684 And, rather unusually for a GF baked treat… IMG_3685 Relatively soft and fluffy on the inside! IMG_3686 Certainly enough to solve both my baking drought and lack of appetite! Pesto and sundried tomato muffins (GF) – makes 12

  • 150g GF self raising flour
  • 20g brown rice flour
  • 50g sweet sorghum flour (or extra brown rice flour)
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 120g grated cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 sundried tomato halves, sliced (+ 2 extra, cut into 12)
  • 2 tbs basil pesto (or any pesto of your choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
  2. Combine the flours and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and oil. Fold in cheese, cayenne pepper, sundried tomatoes and basil pesto.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  5. Divide spoonfuls among the muffin holes, to about 3/4 full, then top each with a slice of sundried tomato.
  6. Bake for 20- 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Turn out onto a wire rack. Best eaten while still warm.

(NB. these are best eaten on the day they are made, as they became quite crumbly by the next day). What about you? Any fun baking experiments lately?

Sweet Sherry Sundried Tomato Sauce

With only 3 sleeps until our overseas adventure, tonight’s dinner was very much a mish mash of the ingredients we had left in the fridge. A delicious mish mash nonetheless. IMG_0027 And made all the more delicious by a sweet sherry sundried tomato sauce. IMG_0026 How’s that for a little dinner alliteration 😉 I found inspiration for the sauce from a recent edition of Good Taste (although sadly it seems that I threw it out before making note of the recipe). I do recall that it consisted of onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes and a good splash of sweet sherry. Simmered until thick, then spooned atop a grilled chicken breasts. IMG_0027 Add a bed of quinoa (cooked in chicken stock)…. IMG_0029 And a pile of brussels, broccoli and asparagus, IMG_0034 And we had ourselves quite the tasty dinner.  IMG_0035 But the sauce……oh the sauce. Sweet, sticky and “lick your lips” worthy. Note to self – must find the recipe  asap so I can share it with you! What about you? What is your favourite sauce to serve with chicken?