Delectable, Delightful Kiwifruit

KiwifruitKiwifruit consist of a hairy, brown outer layer which contains juicy green flesh with white pulp in the center that is surrounded by black, edible seeds. The fruit has a sweet taste, similar to a mixture of banana, pineapple and strawberry.

Now I am a real fan of Kiwifruit, firstly being a kiwi makes me biased to anything New Zealand related and secondly they taste great. There is nothing quite like slicing open a ripe Kiwifruit and spooning the juicy contents into your mouth. Some people are happy enough to eat the fruit whole, including the furry outer skin but that doesn’t appeal to me, I simply like to eat only the green fleshy part.

And don’t Kiwifruit look great on top of a white pavlova or chopped and added to fruit salad or a fruit comport.

The Kiwifruit didn’t actually originate in New Zealand, the seeds were taken there by missionaries from the Yangtze River Vally of Northern China and the Zhejiang Province on the Eastern China Coast where they were called “macaque peach’.

A number of plants were sent to California where the climate is very suitable to plant growth and the fruit is also grown commercially in Italy, South Africa and Chile.

The plants need a long growing season with at least 240 frost-free days. They can withstand temperatures to about 10° F. However they do not like sudden plunges in temperature which may eventually cause damage to the vine. Kiwifruit can be successfully grown in containers.

Kiwifruit contain potassium, vitamins A, E and C and the seeds can be crushed to make kiwi fruit oil.

Cookware Review – Calphalon Tri Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Review

calphalon-everyday-panOur latest review is for the Calphalon 12-in. Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Everyday Pan .

We can see why this is called an ‘everyday’ pan because it has such a multitude of uses.

It also looks good with its satin finish interior and could easily be transferred from stovetop to table as an elegant serving dish.

But most importantly you should be assured of good cooking results with this pan. The aluminum core ensures even heating and quick responses to temperature changes.

Read the full review here: Calphalon Tri Ply Stainless Steel Eveyday Pan Cookware Review

A Great Stockpot From Le Creuset

le-creuset-red-stock-potA stockpot is one of those almost essential items to have in the kitchen, especially in the winter months when soups and stews figure on the menu.

Le Creuset have a colorful range of beautiful stockpots made of sturdy steel unlike most of the Le Creuset range which is made of cast iron. After all if a pot this size was made of cast iron you would need superhuman strength to lift it.

The Le Creuset 20-qt. Stockpotis made from steel coated with double enamel so it conducts the heat evenly and rapidly.

This functional stockpot will stand up to everyday use and it is easy to clean. The handles are large enough to ensure you get a secure grip when it comes to lifting the pot from the stove. The lid has a chrome rim and it sits snugly on the pot so that all the juices and flavours are sealed in.

Le Creuset 8-qt. Stockpot, Kiwi

Big enough to make up enough chili, soup or stew to feed a crowd of people. So if you tend to entertain the footy crowd on a regular basis you may need the 20 quart stock pot but there is range of other sizes available  including this Le Creuset 8-qt. Stockpot in Kiwi that will make enough food to feed smaller crowds.

Either way you won’t regret your purchase as these stockpots are not only great looking but very functional.

We all know that Le Creuset stands for quality cookware products and the color range is modern and funky.

Your Le Creuset cookware will last a lifetime.

It’s Soup and Stew Time Again

seafood-for-stockOne thing I do love about winter time is that it gives me the opportunity to make wholesome soups and stews. There is nothing quite like the taste of Pea and Ham soup with chunks of ham to give it some body or even chicken and corn soup or our favorite home made vegetable soup.

None of these are particularly challenging to make, simply add some ham or beef bones or chicken carcass to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and let the bones continue at a slow rolling boil until the meat has fallen from the bones, usually around and hour will suffice. I usually throw in an onion and whatever herbs I have on hand. Cool the liquid and strain it so that all the bones and bouquet garni is removed.

Chop up any meat and add to the liquid with a fresh chopped up onion, a couple of cups of washed lentils, yellow for pea and ham soup, mixed for vegetable soup. Add fresh herbs for flavoring, chopped carrot, celery, capsicum. In fact add anything that your family likes. The beauty of home made soup is that you can just about add anything to it and it will just add to the flavor.

I am a fan of fish soup, although the smell of boiling fish isn’t all that pleasant. Simply boil up fish heads and carcasses to make a fish stock you can also throw in prawn casings, for about an hour at a rolling boil. Cool and drain the liquid and discard the bones.

To 8 cups of fish stock add:

2 large peeled potatoes
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 stalks of celery finely chopped
1/2 cup rice
1 tsp basil
4 drops of tabasco sauce
1-2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plain flour ( or 3-4 tbls of cornflour)
approx 1 cup milk
2 tsps curry powder (optional)
2 tsps anchovy sauce
lots of chopped parsley

I love adding heaps of parsley and my fish soup is often a greeny color but add only a couple of stalks if you’re not fond of parsley.

Heat the fish stock, add the potatios, onion, celery, rice. basil, tabasco, bayleaves, salt and pepper and cook for about 30 minutes.

Thicken with plain flour mixed to a smooth paste with the milk and the curry powder (remember its optional).

Stir the flour mixture into the stock and allow it to cook through and thicken. Add anchovy sauce, stirring it in well.

Add the parsley a few minutes before serving, saving a few sprigs to decorate the soup.

If you don’t wish to thicken the soup with flour simply add more vegetables such as potatoes or even cauliflower which does an excellent job of thickening if left to cook until it disintegrates into the soup.

Soup stock can be frozen for use in a number of fish recipes. It’s not difficult to make and it is very tasty.

I am a haphazard cook so I tend to add any ingredients I think will add to the flavor or texture of a dish. And this recipe is no different from anything else I cook. Throw in some cauliflower or broccoli, extra potatoes if you want the soup to extend around more people. If it starts to get to thick, simply add some more milk or milk and water combined. Don’t be afraid to experiment it’s all part of the joy of cooking.

Cooking Without My Jamie Oliver Tefal Cookware

jamie-oliver-grill-panI am currently out at our property in Tara, Queensland which is in a rural area far from what I consider to be the civilized world. My husband felt we were bringing quite enough stuff so I had to leave behind my Jamie Oliver frypan and skillet. It’s not that I am without the necessary utensils to create a meal, I have my Sunbeam electric frypan, turbo oven and an assortment of cheap brand frypans and saucepans, Weber and gas range. It’s just that now I have moved up to the better quality cookware I really miss all it’s great features.

After all Jamie Oliver cookware has a fantastic non-stick finish which means even the eggs don’t stick to the pan. Believe me the horrible mess of eggs I am serving up at the moment is not a pretty sight. Everything sticks to the cheap frypan and burns in parts even with the heat turned right down. This is something I am no longer used to as my T-Fal frypan has a red spot that lets me know when the pan is at the right temperature to add food and because of the conductivity of the metal used, it reacts quickly to changes in temperature.

Not only does my lovely Jamie Oliver cookware make cooking a breeze, it also washes up quickly and easily. A task that is not quite so easily undertaken with the cheap homebrand frypan.

So as much as I am enjoying the peace and quiet, the goannas, the ducks, the kangaroos bouncing over the paddock and sitting by the fish filled dam, I am missing my great new cookware.

Speaking of Goanna’s, this fellow came to visit while I was sitting out by the dam, throwing bread to the fish. I have been told that they make great eating but I am content just to take his photograph.