Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Random Recipe Challenge / Orange And Peach Filo Parcels

Hello! Hello! It's been quite busy here at home for me. I'm glad to be able to participate with this month's challenge. Dom from Belleau Kitchen have got us going again with Random Recipe Challenge that he hosts every month. We are to choose a random cookbook and open a random page and create the recipe. I gave my sweet boy the honour of choosing the book since he's not able to read as of yet. The cookbook he pulled out from our mini library is The Secret Ingredient by Sally Bee.

Sally Bee is a mother of 3 children, a wife, a writer and a TV presenter. At 36 years of age she suffered 3 massive heart attacks all within a weeks time. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has no history of heart disease and neither does the rest of her family. So, it was a surprise to her, her family, and doctors when it happened. Her story has touched me in a very personal way. I felt how she was feeling when she was telling  her story and while she was slipping away at the hospital, except it wasn't my heart It was my lungs. She is a living miracle as there is no cure for what she has. She tries to live a full life and be as healthy as she possibly can be. This was the cookbook I mentioned in my previous post that I found on the clearance table. I would've gladly paid retail for it. It's full of healthy recipes that she prepares for herself and family. My sweet boy opened the book to a random page. The kiddies eyes grew with delight when the page opened and they saw a photo of an Orange and Peach Filo Parcels. They were quite excited that we took our book with us to the supermarket and got all of our ingredients.

This recipe is quite easy but I've never worked with filo pastry before. I started out calm and collected then when it came to the part I had to separate the filo's to brush some oil on them, it kept breaking to pieces. The first filo I didn't mind breaking since I was learning how to handle them. Then the second one broke as well, I was still alright thinking to myself I'll get the third one right. They crumbled again!! It was 6 filo pastry I've broken! My face started to change and my forehead began to develop lines which looked like I'm in need of botox! I was having a kitchen nightmare with such a simple recipe. Don't get me wrong its not her recipe its me and my war with the filo pastry! "Oh its on baby!" The hubs wondered what the heck was going on in the kitchen! I had to ask my sweet boy/sous chef that mummy had to do this one alone for the sake of all the filo's I'm about to wrestle with. Didn't want him to see me sweating over thin little papers... lol. Finally!! The seventh filo didn't break I was very careful with them until I had to put them in the ramekins! They started cracking again! I could not get it nice and pretty as her photo and how she suggested to place them in the ramekins and twist the top of the filo so that it wraps the filling inside. I started pushing them in the ramekins and wrapping it like a burrito as they kept breaking and drying.

This was a definite Recipe Challenge for me....I tried to keep the filo's from drying by rolling the plastic back on the and covering it with a cloth but I'm guessing its the hot temperature and zero humidity we have here. I don't know it's my first filo experience. At the end of it all we had a delicious treat to eat and everyone was happy : )

This is what it looked like taken out of the ramekin. It's meant to look like a parcel with the top looking like a Victorian ladies draw string purse. Not even close...I shall keep trying and master how to work with a filo dough.

She's inspired me to live a full and healthier life for myself and my family and I shall try to cook a much healthier meals for us.


3 oranges
3 peaches and nectarines
2 tbsp maple syrup
50ml/2fl oz/1/4 cup water
1 tbsp light olive oil
12 sheets filo pastry, each cut 18cm/7in squares
icing (confectioners) sugar to dust
6 x 9cm 3 1/2 in diameter ramekin dishes (I've used the only kind I got, not sure what size it is)

Makes 6 Parcels


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.

2. Using a small knife, remove the peel and pith from the orange and cut in between each segment.

3. Wash and slice the peaches into small pieces as the orange segments.

4. Put the fruit, maple syrup and water into a large pan and simmer over a medium heat for 3 minutes.      Remove from heat and strain over a jug, saving the juices for later. Lightly oil the ramekins.

5. Brush one of the filo squares with a little oil then lay another square on top and brush again. Turn over so that the greased side is facing down then gently push the double filo squares into the ramekins,

6. Repeat with the remaining pastry to line the remaining ramekins.

7. Divide the fruit among the ramekins. Gather up the filo edges and twist together lightly seal. Transfer ramekins to a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

8. While your parcels are cooking pour the juices into a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half.

9. When the parcels are cooked, remove from the ramekins and put onto plates. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the reduced juice poured over.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Year Of Blogging

It's been a year since I started my blog. Well a year and one month today to be exact. I'm a month behind on posting. When I first started I really didn't know much about blogging. I moved to another state that was unfamiliar to me. I didn't have any family at all or friends. I had to start my life all over again with my 5yr old at the time. The hubs family lives here and they've been kind to me. I didn't have my mum, gran (Lola), brother, and sisters here. I was living in the middle of nowhere. There were times I felt very alone and I would find myself crying at times. I think that's a natural feeling for anyone isn't it?

When I lost my gran I was heartbroken. I was having a hard time healing. I started taking courses in Cake Decorating which I found quite therapeutic. I learned about blogging when a girl from class said she had one. I was missing loads of food I used to eat particularly the one's that Lola used to make. I started teaching myself how to cook home made meals. 

One day decided I would go for it. I would start my own blog I began visiting other blogs and saw amazing dishes, beautiful sites and photos. I started taking photos of what I was cooking and baking to keep records of what I have accomplished as a new home cook. I didn't have a proper camera so I've used my mobile phone. I discovered that I had a passion for cooking, baking, and collecting cookbooks. I found joy creating meals for the family. My kiddies are my biggest fans and sous chefs.

I started meeting blogger friends online who all have the same passion for food, creating them as well as eating them. I found myself drooling over everyone's dishes and being inspired by it all. I'm very thankful for the few who had been with me since the beginning of my journey as a blogger. They have often left me kind comments and to be honest their comments has helped my mending process and lifted my spirits. 

It's been a fantastic experience and I'm learning from each and everyone of you. I'm thankful for everyone who's joined my journey and the new one's that have just now stumbled upon my blog. I've learned that "Food does feed the soul."

TTFN : )