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These are tried, tested and much loved recipes. Our families and friends are always unselfish and devote themselves to taste-testing these delicious creations and demand them repeatedly time and time again.

Our aim is to share with you our favourite meals and the little tricks and tips we have learnt along the way.
Time is precious.
Food is expensive.

Both are resources too valuable to waste.

We want to share recipes that deliver delicious, nourishing meals - making the most of your time and ingredients.

Life is way too short for bland, disappointing food.
So ... Feed your inner cook - and Enjoy!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Madeleines

Santa got it spot on this year. It's the time of year when you can put on your wish list all those small easy to acquire but somehow never get around to items.  Mine was a baking tray to make Madeleines
.

And hey presto Santa delivered. I had never made them before and will tweak as I practice. It's more of a batter mixture I feel, than a cake mixture and the finished texture does a have a little chewiness. But still delicious.

Ingredients

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Place flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, whisk to combine.
Beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes.
Add vanilla and beat to combine.
Sift a small amount of the flour over the egg mixture, sift the remaining flour over the egg mixture and fold in gently.
Fold this mixture into the melted butter.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours until firm (this will help them rise).
Grease and dust with floor the madeleine pan and then drop tablespoon of batter into each indentation.
Bake at 195 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes or until golden.

Dust with icing sugar.

Flavour options

Add to flour mixture
3/4 lemon zest or 3 tablespoons good quality coco powder.


Mamma Marmalade

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Rome. Exploring a special part of this world. At Nella casa dell'Angelo apartment in Testaccio Italy.

Italy has stolen my heart so I must return - as promised by the coin I tossed into the Trevi Fountain!   Aaah Italy!  The warmth and friendliness of the Italian people eclipses the history, the scenery and even the food. Despite our almost non-existent Italian vocabulary, we were welcomed with smiles, patience and good-heartedness. 

Before driving into the sublimeTuscan region we stayed in Testaccio, a true Roman neighbourhood - so close to the centre of Rome yet resonating with the day to day  heartbeat of authentic suburban life.  

Nella casa Dell'Angelo a Testaccio    became our Roman home during our too brief stay and it  is a true gem - not just for accommodation -  as they offer so much more - an unforgettable welcome and experience in their beautiful hometown of Rome. Comfortable beds, comfy sofa and sparkling clean bathroom and kitchen -  well stocked with so many extra comforts, as well as essentials, to make your stay relaxed and cosy. Tiziana, Donatella and Paul are so hospitable and go to great lengths to think of everything to make your stay enjoyable and comfortable so you can make the most of all that Rome and this local neighbourhood have to offer.   Attention to detail was well thought out and we really appreciated the information book giving much needed advice and suggestions - they covered local transport, sights to see, local restaurants as well as information about local shops and medical locations - but most importantly, where to find the gelato !  I am convinced walking there and back burnt all the calories - so many delicious flavours and so so much tastier than anything back home! 

Nella casa Dell'Angelo a Testaccio


Nella casa Dell'Angelo a Testaccio

The apartment is centrally located, very close to lots of excellent public transport options and is one flight up from the main street overlooking the Tiber River.  The road was not noisy for us, plus there is double-glazing and metal shutters: in fact we loved opening the windows and watching the locals on their way to work, school and cafes.  Just stroll around the corner and you are in another world - a local Church, children playing, families shopping  and neighbours exchanging gossip on park benches in the leafy Piazza.  Priceless -  a genuine glimpse into living like a local.  It is very easy to access public transport and visit those incomparable sights that you never tire of  - The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps, Vittoriano and the Piazza Venezia, the Centrale Montemartini, Capitoline Museum, the Roman Forum, Basiclica Di San Paola, Galleria Borghese - the list is endless.  We also caught a train to Ostica Antica, the harbour city of ancient Rome and major archaeological site - very impressive and not crowded when we visited.  We even caught a bus in the opposite direction to where we intended - and it turned into a fun adventure exploring more hidden local areas!

There is so much to explore in the local precinct which is famous for the Amphora ruins.  Close by is the incongruous  Pyramide as well as the cemetery resting places of Keats, Shelley and the Emelyn Story Angel of Grief statue plus unexpected Roman ruins and the Jewish Quarter.  Leisurely strolls will take you to the Aventine Hill with must-see Churches filled with historic statues and artwork, as well as the view of St Peter's through the Key-hole and the nearby Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) with breathtaking views of the city. But take a moment and people-watch.  The locals are meeting up for family picnics, friends and lovers are strolling under the green canopy and the Nonnas are  tickling grand-baby chins.  You might even spy a wedding group posing for photos.  To me, that is what travel is all about - the people - and appreciating the city as they experience it.  Yes, the buildings and artworks are magnificent. But even more magnificent is how history sits alongside modernity and how the local people weave both into their lives.  I love taking a moment to touch a wall or a tree and ponder how many thousands of people stood there before me over the centuries.  Coming from an Australian town where governments practically encourage the removal of anything old, I treasure seeing where people insist antiquity stands it's ground and keep it alive, vibrant and relevant to their lives.  
Church Testaccio Rome



Testaccio Rome
Deli near Testaccio Rome


Eataly.  Rome
Pecorino Trattoria near Testaccio Rome














And now the food.  Ooh ooh ooh. Delizia!  Sono pieno come un uovo!  When you visit Rome be sure to pop into the local delis, bakeries and markets.  Fresh. Delicious. Simple. Whether you choose to shop at the local Mercato Testaccio covered markets, the tempting delis such as Salumeria Volpetti dotted nearby or eat out at any of the cafes or Trattorias - you will never be hungry - the produce is fresh and vibrant and the cafe menus are seasonal and provide an authentic taste of Roman cuisine.   Order a coffee macchiato and try avoiding the tempting pastries for sale - resistance is useless.  We did our best to share one small gelato each time which meant we could sample more and loved the creamy treats at Gelato Giolitti and Gelateria La Romana as well as (too) many more!  There were so many delectable meals enjoyed. Bucatino served hearty delicious food. It was mushroom and truffle season whilst we were there so we did our best to savour as much as we could.  A truly memorable dinner  was at Pecorino Trattoria - all the food was amazing -  but the mushrooms - words cannot describe how delicious they were.  Stand-out.  Simple, uncomplicated delicately seasoned and cooked.  The best.  We were also treated to an evening feast at Molo 9/12 with fresh succulent seafood, good wine and great company.  Very indulged!  And of course the pasta - a taste of simplicity and perfection.  We sampled the Cacio e Pepe, Pasta alla Gricia, Carbonara, Suppli, Cornetto and so many more dishes - all sublime and delicious - even the ubiquitous paninis were mouthwatering.  Some nights we popped into one of the well stocked delis and selected olives and other antipasti morsels to enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine. Prices really surprised us - pleasantly - food, really good wholesome food was not nearly as expensive as we expected, especially compared to Australian prices.  One place that you must visit is Eataly - floor after floor of culinary choices.  - you can purchase such a variety of ingredients, utensils, books or select something to eat there.  A fascinating place - but I loved the local markets better! 

It was so difficult to farewell Rome but I am so grateful for the special memories of this beautiful part of the world that were made even more memorable by the kindness and friendliness of the Italian people and of course the hospitality and welcome from Tiziana, Donatella and Paul at Nella casa dell'Angelo in Testaccio. 

Molte Grazie
Mille Grazie
Grazie Mille
Grazie de Tutto
Grazie di cuore 💓


More information and booking advice:

Nella casa dell'Angelo apartment in Testaccio Italy AirBnB link

View of Rome 




Eataly.  Rome

Gelateria La Romana  Italy 

Eataly.  Rome
Eataly.  Rome
Molo 9/12   Rome











Street Art Rome
Street Art.  Rome

Ostica Antica  Italy 


Tree carving. Street art.  Rome

View of Rome 

View of Rome 

Roman ruins.  Rome

Pyramide     Rome

Angel of Grief. Emelyn Story grave.  Rome
Centrale Montemartini museum Rome

Testaccio Rome


 Enjoy! Ciao !  and see you in Italy!     Colleen 















Thursday, 27 December 2018

Boxing Day Hash

If you want your leftovers to taste as delicious as the main event then try this recipe using up excess ham off the bone.  If you are like our extended family there was not much left of the turkey, loin of pork or whole fillet of beef but there was still an excess of ham. We have made this dish for the last 10 years or so and is always a favourite. Don't think Christmas time is the only time to try this dish it works well any time of year.



Ingredients

2 large potatoes
1 small red onion or 4 shallots 
1 clove garlic crushed
Oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups diced ham
3 tablespoons of sour cream
2 teaspoons dried mustard powder or 1 large teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper

Serve 
Toasted fresh bread, garnish with chopped chives

Method

Peel and cut potatoes into cubes.
Cook in salted boiling water until par cooked.
Drain.
Heat a tablespoon of oil and butter in a heavy based frying pan.
Add drained potatoes and cook until brown, tossing gently to fry each side.
Then add diced onion or chopped shallots and fry till soft. 
Add garlic and stir.
Tip in chopped ham and warm through.
In a small bowl combine sour cream and mustard of choice.
Add to pan and gently toss to combine.
Season with Salt and Pepper

Serve warm on freshly toasted quality bread.
Top with chopped chives.

Yum

Mamma Marmalade




Sunday, 23 December 2018

Pfeffernüsse Scandinavian Pepper Spice Biscuits - Happy Christmas!


Christmas is a time to pause, reflect, share, appreciate life, our community and loved ones. 
We wish you a truly Happy Christmas.  May we all be a little kinder to each other - small gestures of thoughtfulness can change a person's day.

Unleash the kindness,  feed your Inner Cook -  and Happy Christmas 
with love and good Cheer from Colleen and Mamma Marmalade   ...   and Millie! 

ps. If you fancy a doggy cravat as cute as Millie's  - plus gorgeous artisan products pop into Handmade Uki in the beautiful Northern New South Wales township Uki in Australia - such an enjoyable drive through the Destination Tweed region  - cheers

Pfeffernüsse Biscuits by Feed Your Inner Cook

Pfeffernüsse biscuits are made throughout many European countries, but I like to think of them as Scandinavian!  Fragrant spices, citrus and pepper combine for an aromatic delicious festive treat - and they are perfect for homebaked gifts.  
Your kitchen will smell divine - Enjoy!  Colleen

Preparation   10 minutes and allow 10 minutes to roll dough
Cooking         10 - 15 minutes
Makes             50 - 60 small yummy biscuits

Ingredients
1/2 - 3/4 cup Icing Sugar - sifted with pinch of cinnamon  Do this first and set aside in a bowl

125 gram butter - softened
110 gram (1/2 cup firmly packed) brown sugar - dark if possible
fine zest of 1 large lemon and 1 large orange
I also add a half pinch of Gin Gin & Dry - Lemon Powder to boost the citrus if needed 
90 gram (1/4 cup) good flavoursome honey
1 egg 
40 gram (1/4 cup) Candied Mixed Citrus Peel - I substituted 1/3 for uncrystallised ginger - chop these up very very finely before adding. Don't want big chunks in the small biscuits
350 gram (2 1/3 cups) Plain Flour  - sifted 
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda -  sifted with the following spices
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder - sifted
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper  (when tasting might want to add a dash more)
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground Allspice   Note Allspice is a specific type of spice berry
1/8 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground Aniseed preferred but  If not available substitute ground Fennel seed
Pinch good quality Salt

Method
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and set aside for later.
Preheat oven to  155-160◦C  and line 3 biscuit trays

With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and citrus zest.
Gradually beat in the honey then the egg until just combined.
Mix in the chopped candied peel/ginger
Gently Stir through the combined Flour, Bicarb, Baking Powder, spices, pepper and salt until soft dough texture.  Only takes a couple of minutes.
Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough in your hands and place on the trays a few centimetres apart.  They spread about double size.
Bake for approx 10-12 minutes. Turn trays at halftime.
Biscuit tops should start to crack and be just cooked trough, not overbaked.
Remove from oven.
Whilst biscuits are still warm - toss 5 or 6 at a time in the icing sugar and coat generously.
Cool on wire rack.  Dust with a little remaining icing sugar and store in airtight containers.

Millie loves Feed Your Inner Cook
Happy Christmas from Millie and Feed Your Inner Cook Team!
Cheers !   Colleen

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Grilled Peach and Prosciutto starters

Ho Ho Ho it's that time of year where you need a few good platter crowd pleasers up your sleeve and this one is fresh and light as well as looking sophisticated.  I went to a little more trouble by creating a wreath look with fresh olive tree foliage and raspberries.




Ingredients

2 large peaches, destoned and quartered
8 slices of prosciutto
1/2 French stick, sliced on an angle 1 cm thick
Olive oil
120g goats cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon thyme

Method

Heat a gridle pan.
Wrap each peach slice in prosciutto.
Drizzle a little olive oil on each bread slice and cook on gridle until toasted and brown.
Add a little more oil to the pan and cook peach wedges.
When toast has cooled spread a thick layer of goats cheese, sprinkle on lemon thyme.
Top with a peach wedge wrapped in prosciutto.
Season with salt and pepper.


Merry Christmas
Mamma Marmalade

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Almond and Lemon Ricotta Biscuits

I previously posted a delicious Lemon Ricotta Biscuit recipe from Giada de Laurentiis which I really enjoy making and sharing.  
Recently, I had some leftover ricotta and decided to make an almond variation. They were a great success and perfect with a cuppa.  Hope you enjoy making them too!  
Great for a little 'thank you' or 'visiting friends' gift too!   
Either recipe would make for a yummy homemade gift for Festive giving!
                                              Cheers Colleen 

Almond Lemon Ricotta Biscuits by Feed Your Inner Cook 

Almond Lemon Ricotta Biscuits: Feed Your Inner Cook
I have little frozen icecubes of lemon juice on standby but sometimes don't have a fresh lemon for a hit of lemon zest or the zest lacks zing.  I found (and personally paid for) an amazing fruit product at Regional Flavours in Brisbane from GinGin and Dry  GinGin and Dry FaceBook - foil packed, dried powder lemon zest.  I think it is such a wonderful standby in the pantry - I have added the tiniest pinch when baking, cooking salmon, sauces - so versatile and the flavour/aroma hit is sublime.  I love supporting products from local towns - click on the names for the links for more information.  Excellent stuff. Plus their lime zest is a knockout too.  

Ingredients
makes  approx 40 small biscuits
Baking   12 - 15 minutes.     NB  need to allow cooling time before icing biscuits.

handful flaked almonds - toasted (for garnish)  (pop them on the biscuit tray and do this for 2 minutes whilst oven preheating - watch -  as they burn quickly )

200 gram fresh ricotta - mashed with a fork
60 gram butter - softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 egg
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup Plain Flour  (sifted)     
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Lemon Icing
1 cup pure icing sugar - sifted
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice  (amount depends on sugar absorption)

Method
Preheat oven to 180 -190 oC.
Prepare 2 biscuit trays.  
While oven is preheating - pop the flaked almonds on a biscuit tray and toast (approx 2-3 minutes - Don't Burn them! ) remove almonds and reserve for garnish after biscuits iced.

Beat the ricotta, butter, lemon rind and sugar until smooth in an electric mixer bowl.
Add the egg and beat again to combine.
Fold in with a metal spoon by slowly adding the sifted flour and baking powder along with the almond meal.
Use two dessert spoons to dollop small portions of the dough onto the trays (1 get 20 per tray)
If you want them to look nicer - dampen hands with a dash of water and roll the dough balls into small balls.  Then flatten just a little with the side of a table knife.
Bake 12 -15 minutes until golden around edges.
Allow to cool on tray at least15 minutes.
When completely cool - drizzle with the prepared icing and scatter with the flaked almonds.

Icing
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.  Add the lemon juice gradually (amount needed depends on the sugar absorption rate) until a thick paste with a bit of runniness.
Beat the mixture really well (I use a fork) and ensure no lumps.  
Drizzle over the cooled biscuits and scatter with the flaked almonds.

                                           Enjoy!  Colleen


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Fresh Bread Rolls in 30 minutes

So many times we would like a fresh dinner roll with our lunch or dinner but have not invested the previous 2 hours or so in making the dough, letting it rise twice and baking. So the solution is this very clever recipe from my favourite podcast "Dinner Sisters".





Ingredients

1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup Oil
2 Tablespoons of dried yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Egg
3 1/2 cusp of bread or "000" flour or plain flour

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, oil, yeast and sugar.
Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes
Add 2 cups of the flour, salt, egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook to mix.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time.
Shape dough into 12 balls and place in a 9x13 pan.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops are just golden.

It's as easier as that.

Mamma Marmalade