Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brandy and Chocolate Ice-cream

(from Nicki and Emma Levy)

This delectable ice-cream was a favourite of our mum's, and is SO creamy and delicious.  No, we weren't brandy drinkers as children, but we loved this!!  It is REALLY easy to make and always impressed dinner party guests.  Enjoy!

3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
300ml whipped cream
2 tbsp brandy
1 dspn cocoa
little hot water

1. Beat egg whites stiffly.
2. Add sugar & beat well.
3. Add whipped cream. Stir lightly.
4. Divide mixture into two.
5. Add brandy to one half & cocoa melted in the hot water to the other half.
6. Put alternate spoonfuls into ice-cream tray.

Do not stir or mix.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thanks Nana

(from Becs Addison)

Today's recipe is a very special one, sent to us from a fellow blogger.  Becs Addison is a woman of many talents - using recycled materials to make wonderful creations that you can find in her blog, Born Again Creations.  Bec's most recent entry in her own blog was the story of her Nana's bran muffins, which she has shared with Pass It On.  Do check out her blog (you'll never look at your old tea towels in the same way again).

Bec's blog:
Bec's Facebook page:

Joyce Arend
12th May 1916 - 1st January 2010

When I was a girl my mum took my sisters and I to visit our maternal grandmother in Timaru in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. We stayed in her little brick house with the outdoor toilet and sturdy kitchen table for a few days catching up on family news and as always with Nana Joyce, laughing a lot.

One evening we were all a little peckish after dinner so Nana whipped up some bran muffins to fill the gap before bed. They were the best muffins I'd ever tasted and even as a child I just knew I had to get her to write down the recipe for me. And she did.

We haven't had much bran in the kitchen in the last few gluten free years. I hadn't really given this recipe any thought until one day last week I decided that one of Nana's muffins was long overdue so I added BRAN to my shopping list.

I love these muffins, they're sweet and nutty and have an almost caramel like flavour.

1 oz / 30g butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
1 C flour (I use spelt or wholemeal)
1/4 raisins or sultanas (optional)
3 Tbsp golden syrup or agave syrup
1 C milk of your choice, I use almond
1 C good quality wheat bran
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Melt butter, sugar, and golden syrup in a pot until brown and bubbling. In a separate bowl dissolve baking soda in milk then add to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.

Perfect for a breakfast on the go, a school lunch box, or with a cup of tea...

which is just how I like to enjoy mine - in one of Nana's cup and saucers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lemon Chicken

(from Emma Levy)

This is a recipe that I made, but has a special place in the Pass It On blog as it's possibly the ONLY dish I ever made for my dad.  When I was in Form 2 (12 years old) at Hutt Intermediate School, I did cooking lessons.  (Actually, a side-bar here, the girls did cooking and sewing and the boys did metalwork and woodwork, which I now can't quite believe!!  Fingers crossed that things are different in schools in 2012!!).  Anyway, we did cooking class for half the year, and you had a partner through that year.  Mine was Nicola, and I'm fairly sure we indulged more in giggling and mucking around than we did in learning how to cook, but at the end of the half year we had to invite a parent, or parents, in for lunch which we would cook and serve to them.  We had to source new recipes that we'd never made before.  As my mum worked in a school (not mine), she wasn't really able to leave during the day, but my dad was usually available as he ran his family's clothing store and could easily pop out.  So dad came along on this day to the cooking room, and Nicola and I each cooked up a meal for her mum and my dad.  All I can remember of the menu is that I made Lemon Chicken.  I found the recipe in the same Junior Cook Book that the CFP came from, and it was DELICIOUS.  The lunch was a great success, and Lemon Chicken found its way into the Levy family repertoire.  In fact, my brother Adam used to say that when I had children all they would eat was Lemon Chicken followed by Chocolate Fudge Pudding.  

Not a bad life, I thought.  

Lemon Chicken (Junior Cook Dinner Book, Mary Pat Fergus)
6 chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
100g butter

2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
A dash of salt & pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp grated green ginger

1.    Turn oven on to 180C (350F).
2.    Lightly grease a large flat baking dish.
3.    Put flour, salt & pepper into a medium size paper bag.
4.    Toss chicken in bag, one piece at a time.
5.    Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.
6.    Melt butter in a small pan. 
7.    Pour it all over the chicken. (these days I spray with olive oil spray instead)
8.    Put in oven.
9.    Bake for 30 mins.
10.  Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, oil salt, pepper, lemon juice, rind and ginger in a bowl.
11.  Take chicken out of the oven.
12.  Turn chicken pieces over.
13.  Pour sauce over chicken.
14.  Bake for 30 mins more.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

French Onion Soup

(from Emma Levy)

My mother was born in Belgium.  In her family home she spoke Yiddish, but in the rest of her life she grew up speaking French.  We kids gave her a hard time for not speaking it to us as youngsters - instead we plodded through high school French like everyone else.  I do remember enjoying getting a reaction out of her by speaking French to her in the most broad New Zealand accent I could possibly muster.  She always shrieked "DON'T, you KNOW how to pronounce it properly!".  I did, but that wasn't nearly as much fun.

To keep up her French-speaking, Mum joined the Wellington branch of the "Alliance Francaise". Each month she popped off to meetings to do whatever they did, but the best times for us was the once a year they were held at our house.  In the afternoon Mum would start the French Onion Soup, and by the time the guests were due to arrive, the smell of the soup would have drifted through the house. A short time later, the house would be full of chatter in French.  We really wanted to be in the room but had to be satisfied with hanging around until the meeting started, and then maybe being allowed back in the room when they stopped for food.  The weirdest thing about it was having my French teacher there (oooooo a teacher IN MY HOUSE!!).

The memory of the sounds of French and the smell of the soup stays with my sister and I.  Nicki, bless her, asked Mum for the recipe, so Mum typed it out for her, and I have copied it out below exactly as she wrote it.  As you will see, it's from an "old book" so is not metric - a treat for our Northern Hemisphere followers!

French Onion Soup
Old book, so with ounces and pounds!!
The recipe starts with
The onions for an onion soup need a long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock for them to develop the deep, rich flavour which characterises a perfect brew.

1 12 lb thinly sliced onions (I made a quiche and used 2kg onions, so would probably use that quantity for the soup)
1 1/2 oz butter
1 Tbsp oil
Cook onion slowly for 15 min in butter and oil, in a covered heavy bottomed pan.

1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar (helps to brown)
Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar.  Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.

1 1/2 oz flour
Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 min.

3 1/2 pints boiling brown stock, beef bouillon, or 1 1/2 pints of boiling water and 1 1/2 pints of stock or bouillon
1/4 pint dry white wine or dry white vermouth
slat and pepper to tast
Away from heat, blend in the boiling water.  Add the wine, and season to taste.  Simmer partially covered for 30-40 min or more, skimming occasionally (or, don't bother!) & check the seasoning.

*Can be left aside uncovered until ready to serve (or covered in the fridge).  Then reheat to simmering point.

3 Tbsp cognac (well, you don't HAVE to)
rounds of hard toasted french bread
1/4 to 1/2 lb grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese
Just before serving, stir in the cognac.  Pour into a soup tureen or soup bowls over the rounds of bread, and pass the cheese separately.

(Please yourself as to whether you do this last lot - but some brandy or cognac is rather yummy)

Bon Appetit!