Potatoes Two Ways

Pot Luck Potatoes & Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sometimes in the dead of winter nothing else quite hits the spot like a creamy dish of potatoes. Filling and flavoursome, we think both of these potato dishes do just that. They’re a bit special and are great for a family meal, but we tend to make them most often when entertaining.

Pot Luck Potatoes are an American scalloped potato dish with loads of creamy cheesy sauce and are great for pot luck dinners! They can be made ahead of time and reheated and are really very tasty. People always comment and ask for the recipe when we share this with friends.

Potluck Potatoes

The Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes are simple to make and can also be made ahead of time, which we think is one of the best things about them! Having guests for dinner can be stressful enough and it’s always great to have part of the meal prepared to just pull out and reheat. The quantities below will serve 4-6, depending on portion size, but the ingredients can easily be doubled to cater to a larger group.

Garlic Mash Potatoes

So this winter, if you’re looking for something to take out or just want a change from your normal potatoes, give one of these a try.

Pot Luck Potatoes

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

6 cups potatoes, peeled and sliced (about 1cm thick)

Potluck Potaotes

1 tin condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup sour cream

85 grams cream cheese

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup grated cheese (tasty)

1/4 cup spring onion, sliced

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

recipe-ingredients]

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Peel and slice the potatoes and boil in salted water for 10-12 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Drain and leave in the pot.

In a large bowl mix together the soup, sour cream, cream cheese and butter. Stir in 1/4 cup of the grated cheese, 3 tablespoons of the spring onions, the milk, garlic salt and pepper. Gently stir in the cooked potatoes and transfer to the prepared dish.

Bake for 25 minutes, until heated through. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and stand for approximately five minutes, until the cheese is melted. Add remaining spring onions. Serves 8-10.

Done!

Recipe from Better Homes and Garden cookbook

Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

1 kilogram potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

Garlic Mash Potatoes

100 grams cream cheese (can use light)

3 spring onions, chopped

1/2 tablespoon garlic salt

25 grams butter

1/2 cup cream

Salt and pepper

25 grams of butter (second measure)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease a dish (approximately 25cms x 25cms).

Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and cook approximately 10- 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft but not mushy.

Drain the potatoes and mash them a couple of times before adding the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together until smooth. Spread into the prepared dish. Cube the second measure of butter and spread over the top of the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes until the top of the potatoes are lightly brown on top and heated in the middle.

If you’re making these ahead of time, put them in the fridge after adding the cubes of butter to the top. They’ll need a longer cooking time – about 40 minutes in total.

Done!

Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Sicilian Apple Cake

It’s always sad to see the end of the fresh berry season, I guess because it symbolises the end of summer. But it also means that fresh new season’s apples are right around the corner. Our first love would have to be a crisp new season’s apple straight out of the fridge, but coming in a close second is apple deserts! We’ve posted several apple recipes including this super Easy Apple Cake, and the forever favourite Apple and Berry Crumble. Today we’re switching things up yet again with a delicious and impressive looking Sicilian Apple Cake.

This cake’s not particularly quick but is relatively easy and well worth the small bit of extra time. Leigh would like it noted that it does require more than one bowl (she tends to quickly lose interest with anything requiring more than one bowl!) but she agrees this recipe is worth the extra dishes.

Sicilian Apple Cake

The recipe came from an old Zarbo cookbook (Zarbo is a Deli in Auckland). Abby made it several times before losing the recipe. Then years later (like seven!) while on holiday in Vanuatu of all places, she found the recipe in the Zarbo cookbook that was in the kitchen of the house they were renting!! Needless to say the cake was made again soon after arriving home and has been a go to for special occasions (or just because) ever since.

Sicilian Apple Cake

Sicilian Apple Cake

  • Difficulty: Moderate
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50 grams walnut pieces

120 grams butter, melted

4-6 apples, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 a lemon, zest and juice

150 grams plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 eggs

250 grams sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

100 mls milk

1/4 cup raisins

1/8 cup pine nuts

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.  Toast the walnuts for about 10 mins, be careful they don’t burn. Line a 23cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. Pour a little of the melted butter into the tin and sprinkle over the toasted walnuts, and set aside.

In a medium bowl (bowl number 1), mix the thinly sliced apples with the lemon zest and juice. In bowl number 2, sift together the flour and baking powder. In bowl 3, gently whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence. Then add in the milk and the rest of the butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (bowl 2 with bowl 3). Carefully pour half the batter over the walnuts in your cake tin. Arrange half of the apples, juice and zest over the batter and sprinkle over half the raisins. Then pour the rest of the batter into the tin and arrange the rest of the apples/zest/juice and sprinkle over the remaining raisins. Finally sprinkle on the pine nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (maybe even a little longer). It should be set but still moist. Cover the top with baking paper if it begins to brown too much while cooking.  Now do the dishes!!

Done!

recipe from Zarbo

Apple Cake

 

 

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

We’re officially into winter here in New Zealand and today was the first frost of the season. We love summer, but there’s something special about a crisp winter morning when the sun’s shining, but the air is so cold that everything feels clean and fresh.  And then there’s sitting around the fire in the evening eating soups and casseroles….. but ask us again how we feel about winter in another month and we might be telling a different story!

This week as a follow up to the great chocolate chip cookie debate, we’re posting a variation on one of these recipes. Leigh would tell you this variation is better than the original recipe, but that’s a bold statement and the jury’s still out! Last week we posted Abby’s favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Today’s variation removes the milk chocolate and replaces it with white chocolate, coconut and dried cranberries. The end result is a much more robust cookie that is incredibly moorish and well worth trying!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

The original recipe makes about 40 cookies so there’s plenty if you want to split the recipe before adding the chocolate to the cookie dough and make half of each type. This recipe freezes really well so we think you should make a batch of each and freeze some for weeks when there’s no time to bake. Completely cool the cooked cookies and freeze them in snaplock bags ready for lunchboxes or whenever you need them.

 

They’re are also good warmed in the microwave with ice cream sandwiched between two cookies, not that we’ve tried that or anything!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

280 grams butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

200 grams white chocolate bits or chopped white chocolate

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

3/4 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line two cooking trays with baking paper.

Process the rolled oats in the bowl of a food processor until they turn into a coarse flour.

In one bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a second bowl, mix the brown sugar and sugar together.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy, approximately 4-6 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, then the dry ingredients gradually, keeping your mixer on low as you do this. Once all the dry ingredients have been added mix for another 1-2 minutes on medium. Add in the dried cranberry and coconut mix for 1-2 minutes. Gently stir in the white chocolate chips by hand.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared trays – we use a medium sized ice-cream scoop (1/8 cup capacity). Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly brown on top but soft in the centre. Sprinkle your cookies with extra salt if desired.Cool the cookies on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Done!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

Abby’s Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s time to continue our quest for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie! We’ve been debating various chocolate chip cookie recipes for what feels like years, as well as trying out quite a few of those recipes! People seem to have quite specific preferences when it comes to their cookies (and let’s face it, if you’re going to eat cookie calories, they need to be exceptional!). Do you like to spice your cookies up with nuts or dried fruit? Do you prefer a chewy or crunchy texture? Perhaps some rolled oats or peanut butter thrown in?

Abby's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

In October we posted these chocolate chip cookies which hands down are Leigh’s favourite cookie – no contest. However, Abby has different cookie preferences, and this is her favourite. She first saw this recipe on an episode of Rachael Ray where Rachael was cooking 10 things everyone should know how to make and this was the cookie recipe!

Abby's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is actually a huge recipe and makes around 50 cookies, depending on the size. It also uses a lot of bowls, but it’s totally worth it as these cookies freeze really well.

However you like your cookies, we’re pretty sure you’ll like these ones, so set aside an hour and give them a try!

Abby's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

We also have a great variation to this recipe… coming soon.

Abby's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

280 grams butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 1/2 cups chocolate bits or chopped chocolate

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Line two cooking trays with baking paper.

Process the rolled oats in the bowl of a food processor until they turn into a coarse flour.

In one bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a second bowl, mix the brown sugar and sugar together.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy, approximately 4-6 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, then the dry ingredients gradually, keeping your mixer on low as you do this.  Once all the dry ingredients have been added mix for another 1-2 minutes on medium. Gently stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared trays – we use a medium sized ice-cream scoop (1/8 cup capacity). Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly brown on top but soft in the centre. Sprinkle your cookies with extra salt if desired. Cool the cookies on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Done!

Abby's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Awesome Chocolate Brownie

This chocolate brownie is awesome for so many reasons – it’s quick, easy and really delicious! It mixes in one bowl, cooks in another and you’re done.

We’ve made this brownie for numerous school fundraisers and pot luck dinners and have handed the recipe around to experienced and inexperienced bakers alike and everyone reports success!

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There are a couple of tricks to making this brownie. The first is in the type of cocoa you use. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of cocoa and the darker and more chocolatey it is the better. Here in New Zealand we like to use Pams brand cocoa – it’s reasonably priced and a rich dark brown, rather than a watery insipid-looking brown that some cocoa brands seem to be! It’s a house brand cocoa but is brilliant and really good value. The other key is the cooking time. Don’t overcook this brownie (or indeed any brownie!). It should be wobbly in the center when it comes out of the oven, not raw but just beginning to set on the edges. An overcooked brownie will be crumbly and dry and an undercooked brownie will be, well, raw! The cooking time is the trickiest thing about any brownie, so pay attention to your oven! We find it helps to line the baking dish because the slightly under cooked mix might stick, especially if cutting before completely cool.

The original recipe calls for chocolate baking bits to be added to the mix. You can use whatever chocolate you like – we’ve used milk, dark, white (or a combination), or a chopped up bar of your favourite chocolate – all with equal success.

So there you have it – enough reasons to go ahead and make this brownie as soon as possible!

Awesome Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients

250 grams butter, melted

1 1/4 cups cocoa

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

150 grams chocolate of your choice (chopped up if you’re not using chocolate bits)

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line your pan (approximately 31 x 21 centimetres) with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the melted butter, cocoa, beaten eggs, vanilla and sugar.  Add the flour and baking powder and mix until everything is combined. Gently stir in the chocolate and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes – cooking times will vary depending on your oven so check regularly!  The brownie should be set on the outside but still a bit wobbly in the very middle.

Allow to cool in the pan completely before lifting out and cutting.  Store in an airtight container .

Done!

 

The No Fail, Perfect Chocolate Cake

‘The No Fail, Perfect Chocolate Cake’ is a big title to live up to, but this chocolate cake does – every time. And we can say ‘every time’ with total confidence as between us we’ve made this cake over 20 times. Birthdays, shared lunches, or just because, this cake is fantastic. It’s not a fudgy heavy cake, but nice and light with a depth of chocolate flavour guaranteed to satisfy any chocolate cake craving!

Perfect Chocolate Cake

May is the month of birthdays around here – which makes you wonder what was happening in August??! In Abby’s extended family there are five birthdays in May and another four good friends have May birthdays – including Leigh!! So this cake gets a good workout this month.

Perfect Chocolate Cake

This cake is well suited to being made as a sheet cake in a brownie tin or as a more traditional round cake, however the cooking time will vary dramatically depending on the tin you use, so keep a really good eye on the oven. The cake is really simple to make, you just throw everything in the food processor and whiz it together. It’s a very liquid mix but don’t panic – it all turns out perfectly in the end! Oil replaces the butter which makes the cake moist and means it keeps well. The coffee enhances the chocolate flavour and can’t be tasted so if you don’t like coffee don’t panic, there’s no residual coffee flavour (Leigh hates coffee and has approved its inclusion in this recipe so you definitely can’t taste it!!).

Perfect Chocolate Cake

How you choose to ice the cake is up to you. We have a great recipe for an American style frosting (recipe coming soon) but a cream cheese icing or chocolate frosting are delicious. These photos are some of the kids cakes we’ve made with this recipe, unfortunately the photos are always of the cake before it’s cut!

The No Fail, Perfect Chocolate Cake

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Ingredients

3/4 tablespoon instant coffee

3/4 cup water

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups plain four

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk (rice or soy is fine)

1/2 cup oil

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Dissolve the coffee granules in the water. Place all ingredients in the food processor and process till mixed. Pour into your desired tin (greased and lined). Bake for up to an hour. If making a sheet cake it will need less cooking time, approximately 30 minutes, but a round tin will need longer. The cake is done when you insert a skewer into the center of the cake and it comes out clean. Ice with your favourite icing.

Perfect Chocolate Cake

Done!

Recipe from Chelsea Sugar