One thing I do, and do well, is cook. Check out Studly’s waistline if you don’t believe me. Yet it has always frustrated me to read a delicious sounding recipe and then have to figure out what to serve with it. Beans or peas? Fried or boiled potatoes? To salad or not. You get the idea. We’re not talking rocket science, but a clue or two from those big-buck chefs, whose books I constantly buy, would sure help.
So today don your aprons and grab those skillets because we’re taking a giant step to ease the burden of the overworked woman.
Every month a new menu will be posted. Please feel free to email me your thoughts, suggestions, or your favorite recipes. We’re all in this cooking thing together and might as well help out each other.
Vonnie Hughes is an author friend born and bred in New Zealand who now lives in Australia.
We were talking about holidays in our respective countries and Vonnie shared info about Anzac Day. This is a national day of remembrance in both her countries originally commemorated on 25 April every year to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during WWI. It now more broadly commemorates all those who served and died in military operations for their countries.
Vonnie told me about the Anzac Biscuit and that it has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. She also supplied the recipe which is terrific!
Anzac Biscuits (Cookies)
1 cup plain flour not self-raising
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup sugar
½ cup dessicated (shredded) coconut
2 tbsp. golden syrup (light molasses, looks like maple syrup)
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (raising agent)
125 grams of butter (4.4 ozs)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of boiling water
Preheat oven to 160C or 325°F (140C or 285°F for a fan-forced oven).
Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut, sugar and salt.
Combine butter and golden syrup and stir over medium heat until melted.
Stir the bicarbonate of soda in 2 tbsp. of boiling water and add to the mixture. It will bubble.
Quickly pour the liquid over the flour mixture and combine.
Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into small balls and place at 5cm (about 2 inches) intervals on the baking trays. Press the balls down with a fork to flatten.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
Note that these are not puffed up cookies but more a flat biscuit type of cookie.
Vonnie Hughes is a New Zealander living in Australia. She loves animals and jogging. Vonnie writes Regencies and romantic suspense novels along with short stories. She is presently working on a romantic suspense, working title: Innocent Hostage and a Regency novella, working title: A Tale of Two Sisters.
Her earlier book Coming Home is about a soldier and a nurse, thrown together during the Napoleonic wars, who find more danger on their return to England than they ever did on the Iberian Peninsula.
The Second Son is actually a prequel to Coming Home. A second son, filled with angst, stands to inherit a title and property through the death of a brother he has always loathed and mistrusted. A young disabled woman teaches him how to find his self-respect and how to love.
Another Regency Historical, Mr. Monfort’s Marriage, has businessman Matthew Monfort inveigled into marrying an earl’s daughter. With good reason he loathes the ton, so his new wife needn’t think she’s going to win him over, even though she’s quite delightful…and intelligent…and sweet…However Verity shows him that not all members of the ton are idle layabouts and that he can do much good with his largesse and with–shock, horror–the unexpected and embarrassing title conferred on him by Prinny.
If you remember, I have a rough time cooking pork chops that aren’t tougher than the soles of my shoes. Marinated pork chops braised in white wine was my first successful attempt. Since pork chops are a favorite of Studs, the New Year seemed like a good time to devise a second recipe that was easy and tasty. Give it a try and please let me know what you think.
• Pork Chops & Apples
• Fresh Green Beans
• White Wine – Riesling
Pork Chops & Apples
4 pork loin chops preferably on the bone ½ inch thick
1 tsp. dried sage, crushed
Pam nonstick spray coating
1 small onion sliced and separated into rings
1 apple cored and cut into wedges
1 cup apple juice
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cold water
2 tsp. corn starch
Preheat oven to 225°F.
Trim off the fat from the chops, then rub sage on both dies of the meat.
Spray a cold 12 inch frying pan with Pam. Heat the pan on medium until warm, add the meat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn, add most of the onion, and cook 5 minutes. Remove chops and onion to a plate, tent with foil, and set in oven.
Wipe the pan with a paper towel, then add the remaining onion, apple wedges, juice, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 3 – 5 minutes until apples are crisp-tender.
Combine water and cornstarch, then pour into the skillet. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, regulating heat to keep a slow boil.
To serve, arrange chops, rice, and green beans on dinner plates. Lay a few apple slices with sauce over the chops.
Your favorite brand
Follow the package direction for the rice, replacing half the water with chicken stock.
Fresh Green Beans
Plan 10 beans per person
Fill a medium-size saucepan with cold water, leaving enough room to add the beans. Cover pot and set on the stove over medium high heat.
Trim the ends off the beans, then rinse in a colander. Add the beans to the pot when the water comes to a hard boil. Cook 5-10 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and return to the pot.
Add the butter and pepper. Stir well and serve.
If your meal isn’t quite ready, cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven to keep warm.