Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Footy finals week

It footy finals week and WOO HOO - our team has made it into the grand final again!!  We are a very excited family and can't wait until Saturday when the mighty Hawks take on the Sydney Swans. Hawthorn are the AFL team that wear brown and gold for all you out there who have no idea what I am talking about.  This is our family pic from last year (we are missing my step son but perhaps the man in the green shirt can be a stand in).

Here are a few recipe ideas for the grand final weekends coming up and even if you aren't a footy fan, just cook them anyway!!

Gingerbread footy biscuits

These are fun to make and fun to eat.  I especially love decorating them in my favourite footy colours but you can get the kids to do this job.  The only thing is that they may not look like footy guernsey at the end of it... 
  • 125g butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • ½ cup golden or maple syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 Tbspn ground ginger
  • 1  tsp mixed spice
  • 1  tsp bicarbonate of soda

Step 1 - In a large bowl, beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy.  Add golden/maple syrup & egg yolk & beat until combined. 

Step 2 - Sift in flour, ginger, spice & bicarb of soda. Stir until combined.  Bring together with your hands & knead on a lightly floured surface until firm. 

Step 3 - Flatten dough, cover with plastic wrap & freeze for 20 mins or refrigerate until needed.

Step 4 - When you are ready to use dough, preheat oven to 180oC & line 2 oven trays with 
baking paper.  On a heavily floured surface, roll to 4mm thick. Cut out footy players using gingerbread men cookie cutters and cut out little footies with a knife. Place onto lined oven trays.  

Step 5 - Bake for 10 mins or until golden. Remove from oven & transfer to wire rack to cool.

Step 6 - Decorate with icing, sprinkles, licorice etc to suit your footy team. 

Layered dip

Put this on your shopping list to make this weekend and I promise you'll LOVE IT! I have been making it for years now and is definitely a family favourite  
  • 250g spreadable cream cheese
  • 300g jar salsa
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/4 small red onion, very finely diced
  • 1 avocado, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • corn chips, rice crackers or baked pitta bread to serve
Step 1   Spread the base of a deep dish with cream cheese.

Step 2   Top with salsa & spread to cover cream cheese.

Step 3   Top with finely diced tomato & red onion.

Step 4   Add a layer of avocado pieces.

Step 5   Sprinkle with grated cheese as a top layer.

Serve with corn chips and watch it disappear!!

Hawaiian kebabs

Oh man... I love these, burnt bits and all!  They are a great addition to any BBQ and can be made ahead of time so you can sit back & enjoy the footy & the company of your family & friends.

  • Chicken breast, diced
  • Bacon 
  • Fresh pineapple, diced
Thread pieces of chicken breast, bacon & fresh pineapple onto skewers and grill on the BBQ until cooked through. Ensure all pieces of chicken are roughly the same size to ensure they are all cooked at the same time.

Tips: use good quality bacon (cheap bacon tends to fall off the skewer) & soak wooden skewers in water for 5 mins before threading.

Beef & vegetable pasties

I love these pasties and am thinking about making mini versions of them this weekend. They certainly beat the frozen variety and you can even turn them into mini pies by using a muffin pan. 

  • 1 Tbspn oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 Tbspn cornflour
  • ¾  cup beef stock
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • pinch salt
  • 4 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
Step 1 - Line 2 large oven trays with baking paper.

Step 2 - Heat oil in a frypan over medium to high heat. Add onion & cook until soft. Add mince & cook for 3 mins.  Break up lumps with the end of a whisk if required.  Add vegetables & cook for an additional 2 mins.

Step 3 - Mix cornflour & 1 Tbspn of beef stock to make a paste.  Add cornflour paste, stock, sauces & salt to the mince mixture.  Bring to boil & reduce to a simmer for 5 mins or until thick.  Allow mixture to cool.

Step 4 - While meat mixture is cooling, cut each pastry sheet into 2 triangles.

Step 5 - Place a large spoonful of filling onto each triangle & fold in half.  Completely seal the edges to avoid leakages.

Step 6 - Place the pasties onto lined oven trays.  Preheat oven to 220oC.  Brush top of pasties with beaten egg & cook, uncovered in  preheated oven for 20 mins or until golden.

Vegetables can be thawed & mashed before adding to mince. 
Add bacon & mushrooms for a richer flavour. 

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