February 27, 2013

Warm haloumi and vegetable pasta salad

This is one of my favourite salads, it can be served as a meat free meal or a side dish if entertaining for a large group of people.

What you will need:
240g penne pasta
250g haloumi cheese
1 zucchini
1 bunch of asparagus
100g rocket
8 cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 heaped tablespoon of sour cream
1 heaped tablespoon of basil pesto
Salt and pepper

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil, once water is boiling add the dry penne pasta.
2. Slice haloumi cheese into thin slices.
3. Spray a grilled fry pan with olive oil, once heated add haloumi and fry on both sides until golden brown.
4. Dice the zucchini and avocado. Chop the asparagus into 3cm pieces and the cherry tomatoes in half.
5. The haloumi should now be golden brown and can be removed from the fry pan.
6. Add the zucchini, asparagus and cherry tomatoes to the fry pan and cook.
7. Once the pasta is cooked to your perfection, remove from heat and drain.
8. Combine the lemon juice, sour cream and pesto to the pasta, season with salt and pepper.
9. Add the rocket to a large serving bowl and fold in the pasta.
10. Combine the haloumi, zucchini, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and avocado and fold into rocket and pasta.
11. Enjoy!

Serves 4 as a meal, can serve between 6-8 as a side dish.

February 25, 2013

Cauliflower mash

Do you like mash, but are tired of the same old mashed potatoes? Wanting a sightly fancier mash? Well I have the mash for you, cauliflower mash!

What you will need:
1 head of cauliflower
4 medium sized potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Peel and dice potato into small pieces.
2. Chop cauliflower into small florets.
3. Place diced potato and cauliflower florets in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce temperature slightly and continue to cook for at least 15 minutes or until you can easily pierce the potatoes.
5. Drain all the water from the pot.
6. Mash the potatoes and cauliflower.
7. Add the butter and parmesan cheese to the mash and stir.
8. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
9. Serve.

Serves approx 6-8.

February 23, 2013

The Baron, Castle Hill

Just outside Castle Towers is The Baron, with it's concerete floor and walls and mismatched furniture it stands out from other cafe's in the area.

After hearing only good words my husband suggested we have breakfast at The Baron this morning. Arriving at approximately 10 am, we were greeted with a warm welcome and were given the choice to sit at a small table for two or a communal table, we choose the small table for two.

Our drink order was placed almost immediately and we were given a reasonable period of time to go over the one page menu.

Pulled pork roll
The day menu isn't too complicated with approximately ten main items. We decided to order the New southern pulled pork roll and the Sausage sambo.

Sausage sambo
After a short wait our roll and sambo was served, and as requested was cut in half. It is hard to say which is the better of the two, the pork was beautiful and sweet and brought back memories from pulled beef we ate in America. The sausage sandwich was a step up from your traditional sausage sambo, it was on a fresh, crisp panini roll, with a beautiful chilli jam.

Overall I rate The Baron 8.5/10, prices are reasonable, the service was friendly, the atmosphere was good and the coffee is fantastic!

February 7, 2013

Baked ham and eggs

Have you got an excessive number of eggs in your fridge? Wanting a quick fairly healthy but satisfying snack than look no further than the below baked ham and egg recipe I received from a health conscious colleague of mine.

What you will need:
12 slices of ham
12 eggs
1/2 cup grated cheese
36 baby spinach leaves
6 small mushrooms
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cut slices of ham into quarters, using a muffin tin form an outer shell of ham. I used 3 pieces.
3. Place 3 baby spinach leaves at the base of the ham shell. Top with sliced mushroom.
4. Crack one egg into each ham shell.
5. Top with grated cheese and garnish with parsley, salt and pepper.

6. Place in oven and bake for 15 min for a runny egg or 20-25min for a firmer yolk.
7. Remove from the muffin tin and if you wish serve with a side salad or on its own.

Makes 12