The New Cook

Have you visited Wednesdays with Donna Hay lately?  If you haven’t let me tell you – the group has changed.  No longer are we picking a weekly recipe.  We are picking weekly themes.  This week – Baby, It’s Cold Outside  – Kayte’s idea.

When it finally gets cold outside we tend to gravitate toward stews, soups, and gumbos to fill us up and keep us warm.  This week we had all three.  One of them was Donna Hay’s  sweet potato soup.


Sweet potato combined with ginger, coconut, cumin seeds, and lemon grass.  What a wonderful combination of flavors.  Although the lemon grass didn’t seem to add much to the mix.  Donna’s recipe said to boil the sweet potatoes but I chose to roast them instead.  Lots more sweetness and depth of flavor.  I liked the inclusion of the cumin seeds .  I didn’t like the inclusion of the coriander leaves so I left them out and garnished with some extra cumin seeds instead.  The recipe is in Donna’s the new cook page 68

Warm and filling.  Definitely a repeat as winter continues and the days get colder.

What do the others make when it’s cold outside?  Click on over to Wednesdays with Donna Hay and see.


Also known as BREAKFAST!!
This week’s theme for IHCC! We don’t eat breakfast very often – except on Sunday Morning or when we are traveling. There are so many breakfast foods that are typical. What to make…..Eggs for strata or quiche? Casserole? Waffles? Pan…yeah, PANCAKES!!

    with BLUEBERRIES from our own bush!


    1 cup self-rising flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    3 Tbl caster (superfine) sugar
    1 egg
    2 tsp lemon rind {I Left this out}
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    45g unsalted butter, melted
    8 oz frozen blueberries
    extra blueberries, to serve

Place the flour, baking soda and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Slowly pour into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the frozen blueberries and lemon rind. Heat a lightly greased non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook ¼ cups of the pancake mixture for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook for a further 1−2 minutes or until light golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Stack the pancakes, top with the fresh blueberries, and syrup (if using). Makes 16.

And they were good. While mine didn’t rise much they were still perfect with the tang of the buttermilk and the tartness of the blueberries. Definitely a repeat – but maybe with baking powder rather than baking soda.

Everyone is making breakfast this week so come on in for a quick bite with the other members of I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are celebrating Donna Hay through March 2014.

And if you want to join in…..HERE is how you can do that.

My pantry looks a lot different than it did a couple of years ago. What is basic today would have been nowhere near my pantry yesterday. So when this week’s IHCC theme – PANTRY MAGIC!! – showed up I knew I had lots more choices of good things than I would have!! Now I keep more herbs and spices, several different types of flour (there are more than AP and Self-rising!), capers, BLACK RICE. And I grow more of my own veggies, too. Like Pumpkins. I decided to use some of those new goodies to make


    Pasta with Shredded Chicken and Fried Basil

Like most of Donna’s dishes this was very easy to put together. Cook pastas. Cook and shred some chicken. Toss with some basil – done! Easy AND tasty!!

    400g (14 oz) fresh pasta*
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 chicken breast fillets, halved
    2 tablespoons olive oil, extra
    1/4 cup basil leaves
    125g (4 oz) fetta cheese, chopped
    cracked black pepper

Place the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked through. Remove, cool slightly and shred the chicken.
Add the extra oil to the pan and heat. Add the basil and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp.
To serve, drain the pasta and toss with the chicken, fetta and pepper. Pour over the oil and fried basil and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

I followed Donna’s recipe except I added some salt to the chicken before cooking it and I added some extra olive oil to the pasta after tossing everything together. It seemed a little dry.

This recipe came from Donna’s new food fast (page 30).

Check out I Heart Cooking Club for this week’s dishes from the other cooks/bakers of IHCC!

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