Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Red Dirt... Beautiful!

Red Dirt... Beautiful!

Menindee is the Aboriginal word for Great Lakes... and that, amongst other natural wonders, is what I found on my second visit to Tandou orchard to help my friends pick and pack their oranges.
On the way out to Broken Hill, which is the closest air strip to the orchard, a cowboy sitting next to me leant across, peered out the window and said three words - "red dirt... beautiful!"  And I get that, 'cause I felt the same way.  I couldn't wait to get my boots dirty, kick up the dust and smell the dusty scent of the desert.
When I arrived at the packing shed I was amazed at the sea of orange bobbing along happily on the packing machines all shine and waxed then packed into boxes and off to the market

The taste was a perfect balance of sweet and tangy and easy to peel too, which was a bonus. We picked on glorious afternoons after the dew had left the orchard, moving quietly and contemplatively though the trees, picking buckets of sunshine.
At the end of each day, my picking buddies and I would go down to the billabong to "catch a feed"... We pulled up some lovely perch and took in the tranquility of the evening light.
I came home from my visit with a suitcase full of the must gorgeous oranges and made a big batch of my orange marmalade and will most definitely only ever buy Aussie grown fruit and I urge you to do so too.

I serve my blood orange marmalade on sourdough toast with lashings of butter in both my Cammeray and Double Bay stores. Pots of the liquid gold are also available for purchase.

Salad of Grilled Witlof, Orange, Chicken and Walnuts

4 chicken breasts, skin on
10 sage leaves
1 clove of garlic (peeled and minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 orange (juice and zest) - Aussie grown
1 orange (peeled, pips removed, and sliced) - Aussie grown
100g toasted walnuts

Cut into 4 length ways
1 tablespoon olive oil
40g butter
2 teaspoons runny honey

Marinate chicken for 2 hours in garlic, sage and olive oil.
Heat frypan on a medium to high heat.
Cook chicken skin side down for 4 minutes or until caramelised.
Turn and cook for a further 4 minutes, then rest.
Heat grill, line baking dish with baking paper and place witlof in with a dot of butter. Drizzle with olive oil and honey, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill for 5 minutes or until caramelised.
To assemble salad, place orange slices on a nice white platter, arrange caramelised witlof, sliced chicken, toasted walnuts and drizzle with cooking juices.

Happy cooking,
Simmone xxx

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Win a Hummingbird Cake baked by Simmone!

People often ask me why it's called a Hummingbird cake and, to be honest, I don't know the answer to that.  Although I can tell you where I got the original recipe.

I discovered it in a Vogue Entertainer magazine, circa 1982... A gorgeously moist carrot and pineapple cake, adorned with fluffy peaks of white Philadelphia icing.  Of course it caught my eye and later my taste buds to become one of our biggest sellers in the Simmone Logue repertoire.

I added some walnuts for crunch and a layer of fresh mango in the centre of the cake to embellish on the recipe... as I do... and created what has become a favourite of many of my customers.

I make the cake now in many formats: 10" and 7" round cakes, a 500g loaf cake (easy to slice into school lunch boxes) and our adorable little hummingbird cupcakes.

"Like" my Simmone Logue Fine Food Company page on Facebook this month, and share this post on your page to go into the draw to win a Hummingbird cake baked by yours truly!  Winner will be announced on May 28th.

Happy cooking
Simmone xx

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lovely Buttery and Velvety Cupcakes

Every day at around four o'clock I delve into the pastry cabinet at work and retrieve a fluffy, dreamy and luxuriously buttery pink cream cup cake... It's one of the perks of being Simmone Logue I suppose, and the little sugar hit coupled with a double shot latte is just what the doctor ordered to catapult me into a busy afternoon.... :)  Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!

This week leading up to Mothers Day I'm getting well prepared to mix, fold, bake and ice many of these pretty pastel cakes in a celebration of my Mum and both my Grannies on the one day of the year which we can spoil them.
 Next Saturday and Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day I will be with my team in my stores in Cammeray and Double Bay and at Thomas Dux in Paddington offering these fancy little pastel cakes on special, and packed in a pretty red gingham boxes with a gorgeous organza ribbon.

Come on down and try before you buy, and if I'm there with my cupcake stand you can even have a go at icing your own.

See you there and if you're time poor you can call us and we'll have your fresh box of cupcakes ready for you to collect ... No worries!
Happy baking,

Simmone xx