Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Labneh Lebanese cream cheese made simply at home.

"This is the Lebanese version of cream cheese and is a lot tastier and lower in calories and additives than commercial cream cheese.
It is sort of a cross between cream cheese and yoghurt. I made mine with low fat Greek yoghurt. Next time I will try making it with Kangaroo Island sheep yoghurt.
I first tasted this at the Darwin markets with an amazing eggplant pickle that contained pomegranate molasses and other spices. It was served on a zattar pitta bread. Trying to develop this pickle recipe myself as I can't find one that tastes the same as I remember.
The good news is that you don't need any special equipment to make this cheese and it is very easy to make. The most important thing to remember is that everything must be scrupulously clean.
The concept is to strain the whey or liquid out of the yoghurt. Rather than using a colander over a bowl I used my stainless steel saucepan and steamer and it worked well.

I lined the steamer with a double layer of immaculately clean, undyed muslin and to be sure it was sterile I soaked it in boiling water.

2. I spooned in the yoghurt and sprinkled it with rock salt and gently stirred it in.

Put the lid on and place in fridge.

If you are using bowls and a colander then tie the corners of the muslin together to keep it covered. If you want the whey to be forced out faster, put a plate on top as a weight.
4. Leave for about 12 hours in the fridge.

When well drained it will be the consistency of cream cheese.
Spoon and scrape from the cloth, drizzle a little good quality olive oil over it and store covered in the refrigerator until needed.

You can mix in fresh or dried herbs, minced garlic, cracked pepper or anything you would use to make a herbed cheese. It also makes a great base for your favorite dip recipes.
Or you could add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some cumin and spread it on pita bread.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 18 February 2013

Fruit drinks from Darwin markets

I fell in love with the fruit drinks at the Darwin markets along with the food! Not really being a fan of fruit, other than berries and bananas in milk drinks, I was surprised to see fruit drinks made with water and ice.
Now that I am home, I am experimenting with mixes to get my drinks right.
The one I fell in love with was mango, banana, lime and ginger.
I have been using Buderim ginger refresher until I experiment with making my own ginger syrup, or try using fresh ginger.
For this I will need to get really young pink ginger and will need to go the Adelaide central market for this.
Today I made a peach, watermelon, lime and ginger drink. The lime and ginger makes the drink so refreshing.

Just peel and chop the fruit roughly and place in a blender, cover with ice water and about a large soup ladle of ice. Juice a lime and add this along with about two tablespoon of Buderim refresher.

Lots of short bursts in the processor seems to work best, at least that is what they do at the markets.

More if you are a ginger fan like me. Drink is best drunk with a straw, as it settles out, but I just used a swizzle stick.

I am addicted, and so refreshing when made with water and ice. From a dietary point of view, getting the benefit of the whole fruit. Enjoy and I look forward to experimenting with lots of different fruits.

- Posted using BlogPress from my IPad

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Darwin experience

I have always wanted to visit Darwin in the top end of Australia. I very much wanted to come in the wet season, which is supposed to be now. This year the monsoon is late so we have missed out on seeing the spectacular lightning storms Darwin is famous for. But the holiday has been great.
From the crocodile tours....

The amazing waterfalls,some of which are crocodile free, and you can swim in them.

We made the mistake of doing the crocodile tour the day before we went swimming in the waterholes! Did not make for a comfortable experience.

There is so much natural beauty!

Strange cup shaped mushrooms that collect the rain.

Large bats are hanging in all the trees.

Feeding the fish at Doctor's Gully.
I love Darwin and can't wait to come back.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Kookaburras in the garden

Love the kookaburras and their raucous laughter which is their distinctive birdsong. Just wish they didn't have to all start laughing when I appear in my recently acquired fitness gear. Perhaps it's because it has a certain 80's, "Jane Fonda" style to it!

Definitely not good for the confidence when even birds are laughing!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad