Easter bunny is almost here…

Three days before the Easter Bunny arrives and I am still busily planning my menu for Easter Sunday lunch. If you could just see my dining table…I have open Donna Hay magazines strewn everywhere, a Nigella cook book on the floor, Gary Mehigan’s book flipped open to his crazy delicious brownie recipe and a carton of colourful rubber eggs that I picked up from Bed Bath and Table; perfect for MM’s first Easter egg hunt on Sunday as I’m trying to be a good Mummy and go steady with his chocolate intake! I’ve definitely decided on a starter to get the palate salivating but deciding on what’s to come…wish me luck!

For a while now, I have been enjoying making goodies to give at Easter, just like at Christmas too when I made a big batch of my Gourmet Chocolate and Apricot muesli and bottled portions of it up in glass bottles to giveaway. The smiles from people who are on the receiving end are so much bigger especially when they realise it’s homemade! And so I add this to my Thursday madness as while I am not attempting to make chocolate eggs, I may be planning to make something gooey which involves chocolate of course and maybe a bit of peanut butter…I will keep you posted 🙂

And yesterday out of all of the chocolate shops in Sydney, I paid a visit to the one I love best – Scrumptious on Cross Street in Double Bay. Quite close to another love; Papier D’Amour and two doors down from an endless love; Simmone Logue, Scrumptious is just as its name describes…utterly scrumptious. It is a small shop filled to the brim (especially around this time of year) with so many goodies; both edible and ornamental that it’s an overload on the senses. The scent of chocolate is amazing and the collection that the owners, Nicole and Briar, have amassed of glassware, bunnies, biscuits, eggs, vases, birdcages and baskets is truly extraordinary. On this particular visit, I picked up bits and pieces to decorate my Easter Sunday table and of course some chocolate to top it off.

I must now stop procrastinating and make some important decisions as to what to cook so I wish you all a beautiful Easter and hope you spend lots of time with family and friends relaxing over this long weekend, eating lots of chocolate and also taking some time out for yourself!

Happy Easter!

Scrumptious @ 4 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Simmone Logue @ 2 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Papier D’Amour @ 8 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Autumn’s arrival calls for Caramelised Onion and Potato bread puddings

Autumn; leaves turning orange, yellow and red. Clocks turning time backward and air becoming crisper and cooler. Nights are already dark at 6pm and no more long summer nights. Boots, scarves and pea coats are in store and my new Donna Hay magazine makes a timely arrival into my mailbox. However it’s not the donuts that entice me into the kitchen (cover photo) but a recipe that encompasses the heavenly words of caramelisation and puddings together. To me, autumn and winter signal the heartier and heavier meal; bakes, casseroles, slow-cooked stews…food to eat and devour that keeps the heart beating and soul ever so warm while the air chills down outside.

Making a couple of changes to the DH recipe; I used a 6-hole muffin pan and Pecorino over Parmesan. I also made my own caramelised onion from two small brown onions sauteed in olive oil with a bit of brown sugar and a dash of water added at the end of 20 or so minutes to complete this jammy goodness. I also had some leftover kipfler potatoes and used these instead of the prescribed chats. But sticking true to most of the recipe (see below) resulted in the most divine savoury bread puddings that partnered perfectly with a slightly thick roast pumpkin soup for a Sunday night session that also calls for an early night to bed to get the most out of that extra hour!

Caramelised onion and potato bread puddings

300g chat potatoes, thinly sliced

10 sprigs of thyme

Olive Oil for drizzling and brushing

4 large slices of thickly cut sourdough bread

20g butter, softened

quarter cup of caramelised onion (store bought/fresh)

4 eggs

125ml milk

25g finely grated Parmesan

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place potatoes and thyme on baking tray. Drizzle with oil and roast for 20 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and golden. Spread the bread with butter and caramelised onion and tear into rough pieces. Reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius. Whisk eggs, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper together. Cut 20cm squares of non-stick baking paper, brush each square with olive oil and press each square into lightly greased muffin tin. Arrange potato and bread mixture in the paper cases and pour over equal amounts of egg mixture. Top with thyme sprigs and bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cold.

See Donna Hay Issue 56 ~ Autumn; page 98

Enjoy because Mr ELG and I most certainly did!