Tag Archives: italian

The ultimate pasta dish.

I learnt something the other day, well I tend to learn something new every day. One of my mantras, and not a bad one either. It’s so easy really. I digress, again, always.
We love our pasta here, in all shapes and sizes, with all manner of sauces (well, probably only four or five if I’m going to be honest) and I vaguely remembered it the other day when I went to make dinner. This may seem old news to some of you, but I a actually don’t make plain pasta dishes very often. Mac ‘n’ cheese is probably the most basic I make.
I started off with ham off the none, thick cut slices and thought I’d make a carbonara. Easy enough. Ham, cream, egg and the usual garlic/onion/pepper suspects. Midway through cooking the spaghetti I remembered the recipe I read some time ago.
the best Alfredo sauce. Now of course, most Italians have no idea about this sauce, they give it other names altogether, but the Americans, English and Australians love it.
I just went looking and although I couldn’t find the exact site this one is good enough.

What I ended up doing was frying the ham and some spring onions, then adding the spaghetti with a little of the cooking water.
A huge glob (or two) of butter went in along with the same of proper Parmesan cheese (not that powdered stuff) and stirred it all together. I did use a small glop of cream, just a little, nothing in comparison to the butter and cheese though.
My verdict? Divine. Mouth watering. Indulgent and heart attack food, but totally worth it.
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What is your favourite pasta sauce?

Postcards to and.. from Kelly

There was a surprise in the mail bag today as we were sorting the letters and parcels – yes, I’m working at the post office – with the arrival of another post card.
This one had very familiar writing with the exuberant ‘happy I’m on holidays’ vibe about it. Gee thanks Kel.
Kelly has gone on a well deserved and much-needed break and it’s taking two of us to fill her shoes. The locals have made all the jokes and poking fun at us about taking over nad staging a coup. Yeah, I don’t think so.

It’s certainly been a learning curve for many things, but the basics of customer service are still there. Plus, the locals all know one or both of us which does make it easier. As I know from my days with Hallmark and training my replacement, there are so many things we store in our head that getting them out for training purposes can be hard.
I am slowly getting to know new people. I could put names with mail boxes, but not names to faces. I found my training must be sinking in, a person was mentioned the other day in conversation and immediatly I thought to myself ‘box #such and such’. That has happened since college when I started dreaming and answering (in my head) in Italian.

Aside from Kelly’s there are a few other postcards, including one from my parents who have just returned from their trip overseas.

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From my parents, while in Ireland

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And from The Boss, aka Kelly

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If you can spare a few dollars and the few minutes it takes, please help Kelly fill her wall with psotcards from around the world. You don’t have to be on holiday, just one from your home town is perfect. If it’s not Woodbridge, Tasmania then it’s good for posting.
Let’s see where else we can ‘visit’.

Jennifer 🙂

Italian Ape Cake

I picked up this recipe while working in an Italian restaurant years ago and while I left on bad terms – that is a sorry saga all of its own – I did love this cake and have made it many times since over the last 17 years.
It is designed as an afternoon tea cake rather than a dessert cake, but with today’s alteration I think it will more suited for dessert.
The original was made in a donut tin and topped with icing sugar, served plain. It it is equally as good served with custard, cream or ice cream. I don’t have any donut tins, so mine is square, and I will dust with icing sugar before we leave this evening.

Tonight is the Christmas bbq at Westwinds and one ‘condition’ for coming is to bring either a salad or dessert. I picked this one to make as it is cheap, not too fancy, and will survive whatever the weather decides to throw at us. Stinking hot, or cold and windy, this will work.

After a slow start, no, make that a suddenly insanely busy start to the morning, I am glad that by the time I actually got home to start baking, that I had pre measured all the ingredients and left the butter out to soften.

My alteration to the recipe is the ape lol, apple content. You are supposed to slice apples and fold them in raw, I used instead stewed apples, which would make the finished product softer and moister than the original.

Recipe.
800gr apples, sliced thinly. I used approx 400gr stewed apple.
200gr sugar
200gr butter
300gr SR flour (self raising)
4 eggs
1lemon, grated rind (I only grated a quarter of the rind)
Vanilla
Pinch Salt – I don’t use salt.

Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time.

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Add flour, mix and fold in apples.

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Pour into greased tin, and bake in med-hot oven 40-60 mins, checking after 30 mins.
Mine took 45 mins.

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And baked, ready to eat. It smells really good.

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I shall edit and add a post script after I get home tonight.
Have a great day, and enjoy the weather – how ever Mother N has delivered it to you.
Jennifer 🙂

PS. Sitting amongst all the pavlovas, trifles, lemon and caramel tarts and plates of fruit sat my tin with its apple cake. I had to leave early to pick up mr 16 from work, and the message came through from my friend that she has my tin and the 3 pieces leftover. A success I would say.
My sister in law rang this afternoon to ask where her piece was and its name has mow been changed to Aunty Jen’s Ape Cake
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Did you know…?

Have a problem with papparazzi?
It actually means ‘buzzing mosquitos’ in Italian.  Yeah, sounds about right.
Actually, never mind the mosquitos, locusts more like…

Ever thought that maybe a watermelon would be nicer in a different shape..?   Well, the Japanese have square ones.
Wonder if they taste any better?

We all know that babies can be little animals at some point, but here’s something else to compare them… their sense of smell is so strong they can recognise their mother by smell alone.

Ever had anyone tell you they’ll be there ‘in a jiffy’…. well, it’s most likely that they wont, given that a jiffy is actually 1/100th of a second, Unless of course you’re some superhero.

Ok, okay, oh-kay… no matter how you say it, OK is the msot popular word in the world. Ok?

And even though the French like to kiss alot, it is illegal for a person to kiss another on railways… but it’s fine to kiss yourself..??

A bit more cooking…

While I work on my ‘the year that was’ blog and some piccies of Hobart’s NYE I started on a pot of my yummo vege soup.

I love vege soup coz there are no hard and fast rules, and you can toss any left over bits in. I have a few rules I stick by though.

– From an Italian restaurant I once worked in, a soup base consists of onion, celery and carrot.
– Lots of onion and garlic (garlic squashed and tossed in when the liquid is added).
– Always add spuds and pumpkin.  Last soup I made without these two wasn’t so crash hot.
– Fry up the root veges before adding anything else.

I then add as much liquid as is required by the amount of veges in pot, pepper, tomato paste, a shake of curry powder, bring to boil then reduce to low and simmer til it all looks mooshy.
Taste and add extra seasoning as you want, I usually add fresh parsley at this stage and maybe a dash of soy (I dislike using salt in its raw form).
Cool completely and then blend til smooth.

This freezes really well and is great with thick cheesy toasties, or fresh/toasted bread.

soup on the stove.

So my soup is now bubbling away as I start thinking about how to feed the hordes.

Enjoy the cooking and keep smiling 🙂

Jennifer.