Monday, April 25, 2011

Anzac Biscuits

And so we are married!  23 days ago we were married in a small catholic chapel in Blackwood followed by a beautiful reception at the Belair Park Country Club.  Everything went to plan and every guest had an amazing time.  It was by far the most full on day of my life.  I did my best to take it all in.  The only time I felt completely relaxed was when Jared was next to me or talking to me, dancing with me or smiling at me. He made it the most wonderful day of my life.

Four days after the wedding Jared flew off to the USA and Canada for a two week work conference trip.  I really missed him but it was almost nice to have some time to myself to decompress and sleep.  The busyness of the time leading up to the wedding had wiped me out.  Plus we plan a proper honeymoon to Cairns in July.

He's home now and we've had 7 days off work together and it has been really lovely. We've been to Meadows for an Easter Fair, McLaren Vale for some camping, spent time in the garden, had a big bush walk, snuggled watching dvds in bed and cooked some fancy meals together over stunning bottles of wine.  Life is good!  Fantastic in fact!

And today is Anzac Day  - so what better thing to cook but Anzac Biscuits.  I cooked them using a recipe that won First Prize for Caitlin Fulton in a bake off in Penola.  As it's a public holiday I couldnt go to the shops for extra ingredients so I cooked using Ghee instead of butter and I used dark brown sugar instead of plain brown sugar.  The result - rich, moist, gooey anzac biscuits with loads of crunch around the edge.  Perfection.  Anzac Biscuits always remind me of my nana and I think most Australian kids would say the same.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
125g Ghee
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 160 degrees or 140 if fan forced.  Grease oven trays, line with baking paper.

Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.  Combine butter, syrup and water in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until smooth; stir in soda.  Stir into dry ingredients.

Roll level teaspoons of mixture into balls; place about 5cm apart on trays.  Flatten slightly.  Bake for 20 minutes, cool on trays.  Makes 25 biscuits.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weight Watchers Quiche

So its now 24 days until I become Mrs Jared Simes - so needless to say the diet is very much underway!  I'm actually doing Weight Watchers At Work which is fantastic because the meetings and weigh ins are during our lunch hour and in our building! Perfect.

I bought one of the Weight Watchers cookbooks called Simple - and this recipe really is just that and is so delicious! I've already made it twice and have been asked for the recipe by three people.  Its a real winner!  I was slightly worried it would be a bit bland initially (I generally find (healthy) quiches to be very boring and eggy) so I added a few extras to liven it up.  Even with the extras this quiche is still so low in points.  The entire thing is 28 points and with the new ProPoints Weight Watchers system you get 36 points a day!  So you could eat the entire thing and still be under your points.

Do yourself a favour and cook this little beauty!  I will be making it for years to come -whether I'm dieting or not!

8 sheets filo pastry
1 bunch english spinach, trimmed
1 bucnh asparagus, trimmed thinly sliced
100g lean leg ham, fat trimmed, chopped
75g reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
125g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch spring onions, white part chopped
60g tasty cheese, grated
1 teaspoon masterfoods moroccan spice
5 eggs
1/2 cup low fat milk

Preheat oven to 190 degrees or 170 degrees if fan forced.  Lightly spray 23cm round flutted tart tin with oil.  Lightly spray each sheet of filor with oil and fold in half crossways.  Layer pastry in tin, lightly spraying with oil between layers.  Place tin on baking tray.

Lightly fry off the ham and spring onions in a fry pan with a light spray of olive oil.  Place spinach in a large heatproof bowl.  Cover with boiling water and set aside for 30 seconds or until wilted.  Dran and rinse under cold water.  Drain well, squeezing out excess liquid.  Finely chop.

Arrange spinache, asparagus, ham, spring onion and feta over pastry base. Top with tomatoes, cut side up.  Whisk eggs and milk in a large jug.  Season with moroccan spice, salt and pepper.  Pour egg mixture over filling in tin.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is set.  Remove from oven and sit for 5 minutes.  Serve with rocket salad.