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Mars Bar Slice

A Revival of an Old Favourite

This is a recipe that has been hidden for more than 10 years. It is from my original handwritten recipe book, and is one of those recipes that (over the years) became invisible.  I am unsure of its origin and I haven’t made it in years. But when I do, it conjures up memories and tastes of years gone by. A taste of a particular time in life. Perhaps it was a baby’s playgroup where someone shared the recipe? Perhaps it was from a Tupperware party in the early days of marriage? Perhaps it was from the school fete where some clever mother had made trays and trays?

Whatever it is, it is definitely a guilty pleasure. A very sweet slice with a delicious chewy and light texture. Fun for a special (guilty!) treat.

So let’s give it a huge revival.

Mars Bar slice, welcome back to my grown up kitchen!

The original recipe. "Yum".

 

 

mars bar

This recipe was originally posted for #LetsLunch.

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David Lebovitz’ Italian Almond Cookies

Without a doubt, one of our favourite food writers is David Lebovitz. He’s funny. Really funny. He writes well. His recipes work. And he’s funny.

So a couple of weeks ago we found ourselves in a nut frenzy. This frenzy started when we were to go on a very serious Sydney radio station to talk about baking with nut meal. We have a lot of experience (and amazing recipes in both our books) baking cakes with nuts (what else is there to cook with at Pesach time?) but not so much biscuits or cookies.

I love the simplicity of these Italian Almond Cookies from David Lebovitz. It’s worth reading his post just for the stories on the way to the actual recipe! Who’d ever heard of pine nut syndrome???

But back to the cookies. They’re ideal for Passover, perfect for friends who follow a gluten-free diet and simply wonderful with a cup of tea.

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Jewish-Chinese Brisket

Sunday Night Brisket. A ‘Fusion’ Dish of Jewish-Chinese Heritage.

You may look at this recipe and think that it’s not Jewish at all, and you may have a point.  This cut of meat, however, and the basic way of cooking it, is attributed (by me!) to my mother Paula. She makes the ‘Jewish’ version of this brisket every year at Passover – same meat, same cooking method, but no sauce – only onions, oil and salt. It is truly delicious and is one of those dishes that transports me right back to my childhood. It is now part of the beautiful Monday Morning Cooking Club legacy – check out our MMCC video clip of how Mum’s wonderful brisket (and the accompanying ‘ulynik’) can be made.

The brief for this post is ‘Fusion’, and I want to pair my mum’s succulent, fall-off-the-bone, rich, sticky and very Jewish brisket with a rich Chinese-style sauce. I opened all my Kylie Kwong books for sauce inspiration and thought it would be great to make a cooking liquid based on a red-braising stock, but with what I had in the pantry.

The reason I have called it ‘Sunday night brisket’ is because the (tongue in cheek!) quintessential pairing with the Jews and the Chinese, is that Jewish people all over the world love to eat Chinese food on a Sunday night. Well at least that’s what we grew up doing!

I also see a beautiful similarity that goes a little deeper – both Jewish and Chinese mothers love to nurture and nourish their families with heartwarming food, so it’s no wonder we feel such a connection.

My apologies for the very average picture. Alan Benson – I need you!

(The original post appeared in #LetLunch)

 

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Almond Kifli Bonus Recipe

This treasured family recipe comes from the kitchen of Sharon Katz.

The kifli have become an MMCC favourite since this recipe was published in ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood’ in 2011.

Looking for these amazing Heilala products? Find them here. Use coupon code MMCC2014 for 20% off until 31.07.14!

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Al Fresco Dining ? Here’s A Perfect Party Pastry!

Spinach and Three Cheese Coils

Once every month, I post a recipe as part of the virtual lunch table known as #LetsLunch.

Anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’ at any time. I adore all the posts from the U.S but would really love to see more Aussies be a part of it! 

A topic is posted at the beginning of the month (everyone now takes it in turns) and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. 

So this month we are dining al fresco. It’s not quite al fresco weather here in Sydney but once this winter chill passes, we will all be back outdoors.

This is a quick and simple filo coil, stuffed with a delicious mixture of blanched spinach and three cheeses (yep – one is never enough!).

They are delicious straight out of the oven and equally good served at room temperature (although you will lose a little of that crisp filo crunch) which makes them perfect for outdoor eating, picnics and parties.

This recipes comes from the late Jack Sages and is published, alongside the stories of his Turkish heritage, in our latest book The Feast Goes On The book will be available in the U.S in September.

Check out the other LetsLuncher’s posts right here over the next few days – I will add them at the bottom of the post – they are always so wonderful!
MMCC2_prep shot spinach coils-2MMCC2_prep shot spinach coils-9MMCC2_spinach coil

 

Cheryl‘s Perfect Summer Pesto at Cheryl Lulien Tan

Annabelle‘s Butterscotch Brownies at Glass of Fancy

Anne Marie‘s Fresh Peach & Honey Lavender Goat Cheese Sliders at Sandwich Surprise!

Betty Ann‘s Adobong Mani (Peanuts in Garlic) at Asian In America

Karen‘s Watermelon-Mint Cocktails at GeoFooding

Linda‘s Spicy Nectarine-Tomato Salad at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Spinach & Three Cheese Coils at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Margaret‘s Pudding & Cookie Jars at Tea and Scones

Sonja‘s Lamb, Dukkah, Kale & Feta Scrolls at Foodnutzz

 

 

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Hot Russian Borscht

A Recipe to Warm the Cockles of Your Heart

This recipe comes from the late Manya ‘Booby’ Boorder and was published in Monday Morning Cooking Club. It was posted for #LetsLunch to celebrate the winter olympics in 2014.

Borscht is as much a part of the Russian culture as matzo ball soup is for the Jewish people. During the revolution and the pogroms, food was scarce. Hot borscht with potatoes and black bread (white bread was a luxury) was a great meal, particularly in winter. In warmer weather, cold borscht was the go. All Russian families knew how to make borscht and most tasted the same, although her family insist Booby’s was the best! In those days chicken soup was a luxury, so this was a great alternative. Unlike chicken soup, it does not claim to cure any ailments, but it sure doesn’t hurt. As the saying went: ‘Just have more borscht.’

(Apologies for the picture, it is actually the cold borscht, also from Manya, from the same book.)

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Tiny Lemon Tarts

A High Tea Treat: Tiny Very Rustic Home Made Lemon Tarts

This is the recipe I used for tiny little lemon tarts that I made for daughter Jessie’s birthday high tea.  I have had lots of requests for the recipe, so thought I’d better share. I tried a few different pastry recipes and this one was our fave.

Recipe: Lemon curd

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 125g unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1/2 tablespoon)

In a small heavy based saucepan, whisk the eggs, egg yolk & sugar to dissolve.

Add the juice and lemon zest and butter and cook on a gentle heat, whisking from time to time until nice and thick. It should take around 10 minutes. Allow to cool. stirring from time to time. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the surface. Refrigerate for at least several hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, pipe the cooled lemon curd into the tart shells.

YUM!

Lemon Curd Recipe by: Mish Lilley from her gorgeous blog at www.mishdelish.com

 

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Crisp Skinned Barramundi with Peperonata Agrodolce

A New Recipe and Video from The Feast Goes On

Back in March, we introduced the first recipe from our new title Monday Morning Cooking Club – The Feast Goes On, which was released on 1 April.
The recipe is a lovely combination of capsicum (peppers), onion with salty capers, sweet raisins with a slightly acidic dressing. It goes well as part of an anti pasto plate or as a simple entree (appetizer) on some well toasted sourdough bread.
The recipe comes to us from Harold Finger who has been making this for many years.
We are using it here as an accompaniment to a piece of crisp skinned barramundi as a main course. Check out the video here or below for a step by step guide in about 1 minute!

 

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Tuna Tagine

Monday Morning Cooking Club showcases Zoe and Adam Milgrom

This is a wonderful recipe from Zoe and Adam, a young couple from Melbourne who really know their food. The are featured in The Feast Goes On where they share a delightful and unique red cabbage slaw which (we have no doubt!) will grace many tables in the coming years.

Adam has recently opened Paperboy Kitchen in Melbourne’s CBD – it sounds like the perfect place to pick up a delicious Vietnamese-inspired quick city lunch.

For this dish, make sure you buy the best quality tuna you can find so it can shine when you gently steam it over layers of slow-cooked potato, capsicum (peppers) and lemon. A really innovative and interesting take on the tagine and on our usually-grilled-or-sahsimi’d tuna steak. Take care not to over cook the tuna.

 

 

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A Pinot Noir Mulled Wine.

Monday Morning Cooking Club: A Winter Tipple

We are celebrating the release of Cheryl Tan’s ‘Singapore Noir’, a provocative anthology of writers that capture the distinct neighborhoods and locals of one of Asia’s greatest cities. And our Let’s Lunch theme this month is the title itself: something ‘noir’.

I’m taking the easy option. It’s getting cold in Sydney, winter is showing its face. What better noir in our world than a pinot noir, and what better thing to do with a pinot noir in winter than to make a sweet and aromatic mulled wine. Light the fire, make me a cheese board, pass me my mulled wine. Yes siree, that’s happiness.

Thank you Kitchen Confidante for your beautifully photographed post and your mulled wine recipe inspiration.

PINOT

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join the monthly ‘lunch date’. The group was started by Cheryl Tan (A Tiger in my Kitchen) and Ellise Pierce (Cowgirl Chef). This is a random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world.
A topic is posted at the beginning of the month by the host (one month ahead), and all posts are then made on the second Friday of the month.
Anyone can join at any time – just join our group on FB, and then post on twitter by adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. 

Check back here in a few days and I will have a list of all other #LetsLunch posts.

A special thanks to the gorgeous blue-fingernailed Jessie Goldberg for assisting with the recipe and for being my mulled wine model!

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The Festival of Shavuot = Cheesecake Time

The Festival of Shavuot. Cheesecake. Cheese Blintzes. Lokshen Kugel. Yes Please!

This week celebrates the Jewish festival of Shavuot. We know it well as a time to eat dairy products. It is a time where many Jewish people all over the world fress (eat with abandon!) cheesecake and cheese blintzes. Any opportunity!

There are a number of reasons offered as to WHY.  The main one is that at the time Moses received the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai, it was Sabbath in the desert, and the new rules meant the meat they had already prepared for eating was not in fact kosher and they had no choice but to eat a dairy meal. (There are several other compelling reasons which you can read about by googling the question…)

But on this page, we are focussing on the food. As we love to say, it’s always about the food. It’s quite funny how things morph over time. We can imagine that centuries ago, a simple dairy meal would suffice. Now there are books, articles, blogs, competitions . . . all about the BEST cheesecake recipe or giving 8000 versions of cheesecake.

At the Monday Morning Cooking Club, we think we’ve done some of the hard work for you. Our years of research, testing and eating (yes it was so difficult . . . but someone has to do it) has produced the recipes for some of the best Shavuot recipes that can be found. Not to say that there aren’t still some great ones out there not yet discovered, but these ones are truly tried, tested and simply EXCELLENT. And we are honoured that ‘our’  wonderful cooks have chosen to share these recipes with us and with the world.

In our first book  ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club’ we have superb cheese blintzes from Melanie Knep,  ricotta lokshen kugel from Natanya and two types of cheese cake, a South African one from Lauren and the a Hungarian version from Eva Grunstein.

In The Feast Goes On, we also have a few Shavuot options: Judy Kaye’s sour cherry slice and Paula’s melktert. And of course Suzanne Goldberg’s wonderful ricotta cheesecake. This Shavuot, we are sharing it with you. Enjoy!!

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A New Dish in My Kitchen: Da Bombe Alaska

Overcoming My Fear of Putting Ice Cream in the Oven

What dish freaks you out? You know, the one that you’ve always wanted to try but have just been too afraid to actually do it. My list used to be really long. Whole fish, fish generally, whole chickens, whole anything really, chiffon cakes, puff pastry, just to name a few. I have braved them all. Not exactly mastered, but braved. Tick. I have a shorter list these days and I am still afraid. These dishes are insurmountable.  Perfect choux buns, Yorkshire pudding, buttery shortbread biscuits, home made filo pastry and a bombe Alaska.

With the bombe Alaska, my fear (among other things) is really how on earth the meringue browns without allowing the ice cream to melt. I also want da bombe to be da bomb. My kids tell me that means REALLY good.

I am going to attempt a bombe Alaska.

This post was originally written for #LetsLunch (the virtual monthly twitter inspired lunch date) when the theme was ‘new beginnings’. Translated into cooking lingo, I interpreted it as trying out a dish we hadn’t tried before. It was also Jake’s 16th birthday and we were in the middle of our summer vacation at the beach. In the context of the post, ‘at the beach’ is a euphemism for ‘ in a strange kitchen without any fancy cooking equipment’.

(I am only telling you the last bit so I can rationalise why I made this fabulous cake using every shortcut known to man.)

I start all of this the day before the birthday. Da bombe needs to be frozen solid  it is put into the oven to be ‘toasted’.

Ice Cream. Sure, we can all make ice cream (clears throat) but in the middle of a summer holiday I just can’t be bothered. And I don’t think Mr. 16 will care. In fact, I think he would prefer store-bough ‘cookies and cream’ to anything I could make. Unless it is chopped up maltesers in Blue Ribbon Vanilla but the melting and refreezing is just too complicated today. So I choose the ice cream based on a. the flavour and b. the shape of the tub. The shape of the tub is going to be the shape of da bombe.

Cake. Yes I can hear you all thinking out loud ‘she’s NOT going to BUY cake, is she?’. I am indeed. I buy supermarket sponge. It will be a better bombe with a good quality butter or pound cake, but I actually want to see how it goes with plain-ordinary-every-day cake.

Meringue. I decide on 3 egg whites to 1/3 cup sugar. I am skipping the suggested cream of tartar and vanilla because I am on holidays. I wonder if this might be a mistake.

Assembly. The idea is to clad the ice cream in cake, and to do it quickly so the ice cream does not melt. I learn quickly that ice cream melts equally quickly when it is hot outside (and therefore hotter inside) so I have to work so fast. The pressure is on. When done, wrap the entire cake-covered ice cream in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. Fast.

Meringue: Then it’s a matter of making the glossy meringue and covering the cake layer with said meringue. Then it’s time to toast da bombe in a very hot oven before serving and flaming with Grand Marnier liquer.

And the end result? I am proud. I do think da bombe is da bomb, and I have overcome my fear of cooking ice cream. It actually doesn’t melt! It’s a miracle. It is quite delicious and everybody is happy. My next bombe might be better – gourmet ice cream, home made butter cake and really glossy meringue – but nothing will erase the memory of our first Bombe Alaska.

 

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Sticky Pears Anyone ?

Monday Morning Cooking Club Revisits an Old Favourite – Slow Roasted Pears

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world.

Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check out the others’ posts right here over the next few days – they are always so wonderful!

So for this month’s Lets Lunch we are having a ‘Fruit Fiesta’. I’m looking forward to seeing all the other posts, most of which come from the Northern Hemisphere which is now (unlike us!) warming up. Here in Australia, winter is fast approaching. We are enjoying apples and navel oranges, pears, quinces and, at last, some juicy lemons. How about a winter fruit sangria ? Persian veal and quince stew from our first book? An apple tarte tatin?? So many options!

So I’m going to keep it simple. Slow-roasted pears. And I promise you they are the best cooked pears you will ever eat! The recipe comes from my friend Judy who got it from a well known Australian chef Marieke Brugman. Marieke used to run an extraordinary weekend-retreat cooking school called ‘Howquadale’ in the stunning Victorian Snowy River horse country (seen ‘The Man from Snowy River’? There!). Judy and I first made this recipe about 20 years ago and it has been one of my favourites ever since.

The texture of these pears is akin to a pear puree, yet the pears amazingly keep their shape. And of course it went straight into our first book, Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood because it is just one of those recipes that you know is a keeper.

 

 

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Lisa’s Basic Tomato Sauce

What’s your favourite pasta sauce?

We always have a hankering to find out what’s happening in everyone else’s kitchen, so what’s your favourite PASTA SAUCE ?

Here is mine. Quick and easy to make, only thing to remember – the longer you cook it, the better it will be.

It’s great with grilled eggplant and mozzarella cheese. It’s fantastic to cook meatballs in. It’s wonderful with a sprinkle of ground cumin and chilli flakes and used as a cooking sauce for eggs.

It’s great straight from the pot.

We have a few delicious ideas already, collected over the past little while, and they appear at the bottom of this post.

Please share with us your favourite pasta sauce recipes…and be a part of the MONDAY MORNING COOKING CLUB.

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Cook Republic: Great Recipe Ideas for Busy People

SUPERMARKET “ROAST CHICKEN” HOISIN NOODLES

One of our favourite (and we think most talented!) food bloggers (as well as graphic designer and creative supremo) is Sneh Roy of  Cook Republic. Her work is superb. She has her first book out just this month (it had same launch date as ours!) - Tasty Express - and we’ve already read our copy cover to cover. It is delicious!

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 5.43.20 PM

 

We are all looking for quick weeknight dinners, particularly after the feasting of Passover and Easter.

It’s just so easy to just pick up a BBQ chicken from the local chicken shop/supermarket/shopping centre (and many are now using organic chooks!) and here is Cook Republic‘s great idea to transform it into a really great simple meal. Use this recipe as a starting point and then go ahead and play with different vegetables, noodles and protein.

 

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‘Kindness Soup’: A Delicious Healthy Soup

A Soup For All Seasons

Many of us have been cooking, eating, eating and cooking over the past week or so, whether we have been celebrating Passover, Easter or simply the long weekend. We all overindulge from time to time, some of us more than others (pick me, pick me!)

And there are times when we need to give the strudels, kugels, chiffon cakes and baklava a break and nurture our bodies with something warm, delicious and simply good for us.

Since I’ve been following a healthier eating plan to lose a few of the KGs I gained from 8 years of SUPER DELICIOUS AND UNABLE TO RESIST recipe testing, this soup has been a godsend. The soup comes from the amazing Saimaa Miller from Aussie Body Diet and she has given me permission to share the soup love around. Her gorgeous book has so many wonderful, simple and always healthy food ideas.

It makes an excellent meal if you add some shredded grilled chicken and brown rice, or a lovely, filling snack in the afternoon. Enjoy!

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