The great thing about having my mum to stay with us is having someone else to cook or help out in the kitchen!  Lucky for me (as I am not much of one) Mum is a wonderful baker so we have been enjoying her biscuits/cookies over the past couple of weeks.
These are an adaptation of an old Edmonds Cookbook recipe - with the addition of almond meal, which can be omitted if there are any nut allergies.  Be warned though, these are so good they probably won't last long in your cookie jar!

Pantry Must Haves
 2 sticks soft butter (approx 250gm)
1 cup cornflour 
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup roasted, salted pecans

Makes 25 -30 shortbread.

With love, Jill xxx 

In a mixer, cream butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
Sift in cornflour, flour and mix with creamed ingredients.  Add in almond meal.
Knead gently to combine on a lightly floured board.  Shape into rounds, or other chosen shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet. 
Place a pecan half in the middle of each cookie and bake at 300F/160C for 20 minutes but CHECK them periodically as they can quickly burn! 

Nothing says summer like fresh fruit. Luckily my best pal Mara 
lives in the middle of a field...literally (check out the 
view from her front porch of the fields across the street being watered) and just down the street is Fifer Orchard's where she 
buys most of her produce often picked that morning.  

Lucky for me I showed up on a day she bought peaches and blueberries and this cobbler was our dessert with a scoop of Fifer peach ice cream.

Thanks Mara!
PS This cobble recipe is an 
adaptation of a Bourbon-Apple Crisp Recipe from John Shield's book: Chesapeake Bay Cooking

Pantry Must Haves:
5 peaches peeled and sliced
1 quart of blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
grated zest of 2 lemons
Ground nutmeg and butter as needed
A bottle of good bourbon whiskey, fitted with a pouring spout
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 stick butter softened
1 teaspoon each of nutmeg & cinnamon 
Ice cream for an accompaniment

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  

    Butter a 13 x 9 x  2 pan.  Fill the pan with the fruit.  Sprinkle with the granulated sugar lemon zest and a little nutmeg.  Dot with butter.  Drizzle some bourbon over all.  
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt oats, brown sugar, stick of butter, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.  MIx with your fingers until crumbly.  Pat down on top of the fruit.  Cover with aluminum foil.  
Bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 20  minutes more to brown the top.
Remove from oven and cut into squares. While still warm serve with a scoop of ice cream.  If desired, drizzle more bourbon over each portion.
500g of Rhubarb
Washed, top and tail.
Chopped into 2cm pieces using a sharp knife


100g of Raw sugar

Juice from 1/2 an orange

Place into a saucepan, sprinkle sugar over rhubarb, stir sugar through, let sit for approx 10 minutes, add the orange juice, then cook slowly to your liking, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.

Don't add apple, water or anything else, just enjoy the beautiful fresh Rhubarb...

Click here for more information about the Victorian Farmer Market Association and Di (of course) x

A secret Recipe from Di's Rhubarb...

Extraordinary colour


Extraordinary flavour

Live from the iphone comes this to die for curry - complete with a self-serve curry train. Now what is a 'self-serve curry train'? American Pantry mates you will love this one...your curry extras are put on the side for you to mix according to the way you like your curry prepared.  No more sifting through the food to remove your personal yukky bits!!

The master chef of this dish who will have you 'NEVER' needing or wanting for expensive Indian take away again, is a dear friend with fabulous flare. Julie, a Master Chef wanna-be, fashion guru and owner of 'Cradle Rock',which by the way is an awesome online kids store that stocks some brilliant 'Home-Grown-Aussie' labels such as Oobi Baby, Little Horn, Rock Your Baby, Minti, Pure Baby, Munster, Missie Munster, Coco & Ginger and Paper Wings to name a few, is a busy lady...who dreams of one day owning a 'CURRY-IN-A-HURRY' food truck with her dear friend Kate, okay Kate dreams (hehehehe)!!! 
Anyway if you like a curry, this recipe is must!!!

Click here to check out Cradle Rock xxx

Julie Lemmon's Indian 
Curry-in-a-Hurry recipe...

Preheat oven to 180 (350F)degrees while you are prepping the below.

1 kg of diced up oyster blade (flat iron) steak 
olive oil
2 onions
1 teaspoon of the all of the following:
Ground cumin
Ground ginger
Ground turmeric
Ground corrinder

1 tablespoon of the following:
Garam marsala
Crushed cardamom pods
Dry roasted fennel seeds and corrinder seeds (just dry roasted together in a
Freshly minced garlic
Freshly grated ginger
Freshly grated turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
4 cups of beef stock
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or 2 cups of passata
2 crushed garlic cloves

2 cups of chopped coriander (cilantro) for the end

Curry Base
In a heavy duty pot, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive olive and when hot, fry off the beef until browned.
Then take out and add in onions. Fry until fragrant, then add in fresh spices (garlic, turmeric and ginger) then the ground and dry roasted spices. 
Add beef back in and mix together, then add in 2 cups of beef stock and tin of tomatoes and the remaining beef stock.

Take your preheated oven down to 150C and cook with lid on for 2 - 2/12 hours.
Biryani (Rice)
1 cup of rice to 2 cups of chicken stock.

Cook in microve with a cinnamon quill.
Add in 1 cup of currants, 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, and some dissolved saffron.

Place on plate with curry on top then yogurt, chopped fresh tomato, Spanish
onion and chopped coriander/cilantro.
Recently we were lucky enough to spend a weekend out at Amagansett in the Hamptons with good friends.  With the temperature reaching into the 90's in the city, the cool ocean breeze was such a welcome relief - along with this awesome chilled soup served for lunch on our first day there!

The recipe had been handed down to our hostess, Phyllis, by a great friend of hers and is perfect for lunch or a summer starter.  I'll be making up a batch for the week ahead as it will keep in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.
Thanks Phyllis - you truly are the perfect hostess! 

Nikki xx

Beet Cucumber and Radish Soup

Pantry Must Haves
1 jar pickled or sweet slivered beets (juice, too)
1 large can Sacramento tomato juice

1 medium cucumber – partly peeled and seeded; chopped into thin pieces.

1/2 bunch (around 4 – 6) radishes – trimmed, halved, chopped into thin pieces.

3 scallions – all of the white portion and ½ of the green tops; cut in half lengthwise – then finely sliced; 

1 cup sour cream (or ½ plain yoghurt and ½ sour cream)

Fresh dill - minced.


Put scallions into a large bowl bowl, add salt and 2 -3 T sour cream and mash together. Pour half of the tomato juice and sour cream into bowl.
Whisk together to make a smooth blend [or put the scallions, dill and a little tomato juice and beet juice together with the sour cream/yoghurt in blender for a few turns].  
Add minced dill.
Add radishes, cucumbers and slivered beets with juice.
Add remaining tomato juice; shake well.
Add salt/pepper to taste.
OPTIONAL: Add a dash of Tabasco to taste, or add a chopped chili.
Cover and chill well; best served when very cold.

When serving, top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt) and a sprig of fresh dill

View of Amagansett Beach from the deck...
It being the Queen's Jubilee Day, and us feeling a bit homesick for our monarch (well for the public holiday we would generally be taking at this time of year anyway!) we thought we would bring you this British classic from the lovely Cath (Mum of five and counting?!).   Now our friend Cath is one to do things in bulk, and by bulk I mean the Cosco-once-weekly-stock-up-on-commercial-sized-boxes of tissues, wipes, goldfish, squeezy applesauce AND of course diapers!  So this recipe is normally quadrupled and frozen for later use...we'll leave you to adjust your quantities accordingly.  The other slight change to tradition is the inclusion here of delicious Latin American spices; cumin, oregano and paprika...(though we blame her El Salvadorean friend for this). xx

Cath's Cottage Pie (serves 6)

Pantry Must Haves
1 1/2 lb ground beef
2 onions - chopped

4-6 cloves garlic - chopped
2 carrots - peeled and diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tspn oregano
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 pack mushrooms - sliced
2 zucchini - diced
2 cups beef stock
1 Tbspn cornflour
6 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
sprinkle of cheese (optional)

In a large frypan or heavy bottomed saucepan, fry onion, garlic and carrots in a little olive oil, add beef and brown.  Add spices (cumin, oregano, paprika) and salt & pepper and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
Add veges (mushroom and zucchini) and cook over low heat for a further 20 - 30 minutes.
Add cornflour and beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes.  Transfer entire mixture to a casserole dish and cover with mashed potatoes and cheese. 
Bake at 350F for 30 mins or until filling is bubbling up through potato.

This lovely summery salad comes from our last Mamas and Papa Fair Trade evening via Mel, who, along with Mandy, boosts our Kiwi numbers by 200%...!

Pantry Must Haves
1 cup wild rice blend
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or almonds)
1/4 cup spring onions/scallions
juice from one orange
2Tbspns olive oil
1 tspn orange zest
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to packet instructions.
When done, uncover and stir with a fork and let cool til almost room temperature.

Use a microplane grater and zest the orange.
Squeeze the juice from the orange into small bowl.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir well.
Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

The Mamas (minus the Papa) at last week's Fair Trade was full of scrumptious surprises, including a whole pie for each of us from our pal and Mama to  a newborn, Jen.  She's got three little ones at home, so you know this is a manageable dessert that even a busy Mama can pull off.

Pantry Must Haves:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups blueberries
1 large or 6 small graham cracker pie crusts
Beat with hand mixer- cream cheese, sour cream and maple syrup. Spread evenly in crust. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. (optional- drizzle 2 tablespoons of maple syrup over the blueberries). Chill for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving.
T'is the season for outdoor cooking!  For us that means grilling and oddly enough FRYING!  Joe loves Granny's onion rings, but Granny doesn't like to stink up the whole house and make it smell greasy.  Luckily Bapa has a grill with a side burner.  So for Joe's birthday we had grilled steak with a side of Granny's onion rings.


Everything you'll need:

1-2 onions sliced into thick rings
flour, club soda, salt & pepper
A deep pan & 2-3" cooking oil
A tray covered in paper towels for draining & cooling the onion rings
(glass of vodka (pictured) 
is optional)

MIx 1-2 cups of flour with a generous dose of salt and pepper, then add club soda and whisk in a little at a time until you have a good consistency and not too many lumps in the batter.  

Heat the oil.  It's ready to go when you hit it with a drop of water and it sizzles.  Coat onions in batter and put in the oil, turn once to brown both sides, then remove to rack for draining.

Enjoy! XOXO Martha via Granny's Recipe

Time for a little BBQ-ing... 

From the Pantry's recent 'MAMAS and PAPAS Fair Trade' Event... 

From Mr H

(Adapted from Bon Appetit 2011)

Pantry Must Haves:
2 Pounds pork or prawns (shrimp)
1 1/2 cups of orange juice or Ruby Red Grapefruit juice
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup oregano, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
12 cloves of garlic
4 jalapenos -sliced into thin rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt 
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until salt dissolved. 
  • Reserve 2/3 cup marinade for sauce. Put pork or prawns into a dish. 
  • Toss with remaining marinade and cover for 3-8 hours.
  •  Remove pork or seafood from marinade, pat dry and grill.
  • Pour the reserved sauce over meat or prawns just before serving.