Friday, August 31, 2012

Minted zucchini tagliatelle with cucumbers and lemon

It's Friday, and I wanted to announce that chivalry is not completely dead.  I was struggling with a suitcase at the railway station this morning, and a young man in his twenties asked me if I was alright.  I said that I was (I wasn't really), but if I had said no, it sounds as if he would have gladly helped me to lift it up the stairs.  Thank you kind sir, you made my day.  The simple act of asking me if I was alright is such a rare thing in the hurly burly of city life, and I appreciate it. 

This week's FFwD recipe was minted zucchini tagliatelle with cucumbers and lemon.  It is not actually pasta, as I first thought - it is thin strips of zucchini with chunks of cucumber in a tangy dressing.

I don't have much to say about this - I really didn't like it much, so I stir fried it and ate it as a warm side.

To see what everyone else thought about this dish, visit the LYL section of the FFwD website.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WWDH - Baked Carbonara

This week's Wednesday with Donna Hay pick was Baked Carbonara, chosen by Margaret.  This dish is a baked fettucine with cheese and bacon.  

I used spinach fettucine, red leicester cheese instead of parmesan, and light evaporated milk instead of cream:

It was tasty, but quite rich.  To see what Margaret, Kayte and Chaya thought of this dish, go visit their sites.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pear, Almond and Marscapone Tart

Each Sunday, Neil Perry has recipes featured in Sunday Life magazine in The Age.  If I fancy making the recipe, I'll tear it out in the hope that I'll remember it in the future.

A couple of weeks back, Neil featured a recipe for Pear, Almond and Marscapone Tart, which is published online here.  It looked right up my alley, and besides, I had some marscapone to use up from another project.

Instead of using store bought pastry, I made Maggie Beer's  sour cream pastry for the tart shell. 

I used a Corella pear instead of a Beurré Bosc. I hadn't realised that you had to poach the pear for the tart, as Neil has written it in the ingredients instead of the method (grrrr).  I used Orangette's directions for poaching pears, a la Nigel Slater. 

Here is the golden, baked frangipane filled tart:


Once the tart has cooled, it is topped with a mixture of whipped cream, beaten egg whites and marscapone, then decorated with toasted slivered almonds:

Again, Neil put part of the method in the ingredients, so my egg whites were not beaten and my cream was not whipped.  As a kind of after-the-fact attempt at fixing my topping, I beat the whole lot together with a hand held electric mixer.  This did give it some volume, and in the end, I thought it tasted pretty good, even if it was not as fluffy as Neil's version.

I thought this tart was elegant and delicious.  I had no occasion to make it other than that I wanted to, but isn't that half the fun?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daring Bakers - Filled Pate A Choux Swans

Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

I wasn't even sure if I was going to participate this month, but two days before reveal day, I dragged my ass into the kitchen and made Choux Swans filled with vanilla pastry cream.  I had to make the choux twice - luckily, the first time, I only made a half batch, as the choux did not rise.  Not wanting to leave anything to chance the second time around, I abandoned Kat's Good Housekeeping recipe and turned to Australian kitchen legend, Margaret Fulton, instead.  That recipe requires the flour to be added while the butter mixture is boiling on the stove top, and for the oven to be 200 degrees Celsius (gas mark 6) - slightly hotter than Kat's recipe. To add that extra chance of success, I borrowed Delia's tip of wetting the greased trays slightly to make a "steamier" environment in the oven.

Hooray - second time around, I had success:

The pastry cream recipe from the challenge notes gave me no such issues - it worked just right first time around.

Thanks to our host Kat for taking us with her on living a childhood memory.  To see what everyone else did with their choux pastry and filling, visit the slide show at The Daring Kitchen once it is loaded on 27 August, US East Coast time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Double chocolate Mars Bar cookies aka Death By Chocolate

Happy weekend people!  Are you looking for the ultimate chocolate indulgence for the weekend - chocolate on 'roids, so to speak?  Well, look no further, as I present to you - the Double Chocolate Mars Bar Cookie!  These cookies contain no less than three types of chocolate - dark, white and Mars Bar.  They also contain cocoa. 

The recipe for this decadent creation came from The Kitchen Coquette's Daily Life feature in The Age.  You can find it online here

The recipe is a bit light on as to how to space the cookies on the baking tray, so let me tell you - leave a good inch or two between them on the tray when baking, as they spread quite a bit.   Some of mine were not so pretty because they spread into each other and I had to cut them apart - best to do this when the cookies are fresh out of the oven and are still very soft so that you can cut them without breaking them.

Here is a perfect example of the end product:

These cookies are soft and cake-like, almost like a flat brownie.  If you like your chocolate full on, these are the cookies for you.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

FFwD - Peach Melba

It's the end of the week and that means French Friday with Dorie.  This week's dish has an indirect personal connection - it is Peach Melba, named after Dame Nellie Melba, who, like me, was Australian, and lived in Melbourne (sometimes!).  Here is a statue in her honour at Melbourne Docklands:

This dessert is comprised of poached peaches, raspberry sauce, icecream, cream and almonds.  I used creme de cassis in my poaching syrup, and used Greek yoghurt instead of icecream in assembly.

The verdict - delicious!  I wondered whether all the steps were really worth it until I tasted it - but it was good, and surely one of the healthier desserts one can indulge in.

Check out what the rest of the gang thought of Peach Melba at the FFwD website.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

RSPCA Cupcake Day August 2012

On Monday, it was the RSPCA Cupcake Day 2012.  I was keen to participate, so I obtained permission from my work to sell cupcakes for the RSPCA in the breakout room at morning tea.

I baked 78 cupcakes all up, using free range eggs:

Suzanne at work also baked some chocolate cupcakes, which was great as we had more to sell.

My cupcakes were Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook's Very Vanilla and Dinosaur Rock Chocolate cupcake recipes, and Martha Stewart's Red Velvet Cupcake recipe:

I made my vanilla cupcakes into sheep from Martha Stewart Cupcakes, which you can find via video tutorial here

I made the chocolate cupcakes into koalas using the technique that I found online here:

And I made the red velvet cakes into dogs using ideas out of my own head - I cut ears out of cola sour straps, a tongue out of strawberry sour straps, the eyes were mini M&Ms and the nose was a regular sized M&M.  I piped on the mouth using black ready made writing icing:

The sheep and koalas were iced with the Crabapple Bakery's vanilla buttercream, as described in the link for the vanilla cupcake recipe, and tinted half of it grey for the koalas with a little black gel colouring.  On the red velvet cakes, I used the cream cheese frosting recipe from The Country Show Cookbook that I used for my recent carrot cake here

Suzanne and I raised over $300 for the RSPCA - thanks to my wonderful work colleagues for their support in this fundraising venture.

Wednesday with Donna Hay - Tomato and Garlic Stew with Prawns

It's Wednesday with Donna Hay, and our host this week is Kayte, who chose Tomato and Garlic Stew with Prawns.  The recipe is in Off the Shelf, and is also online here

This stew is like a lovely, spicy tomato soup dotted liberally with prawns.  I was pleasantly surprised - this was a really delicious dish.  I added hokkien noodles to my stew so that I had some carbs (instead of eating it with crusty bread as Donna suggests), and served it with some steamed vegetables.  Look at how wonderful and rich this stew is:

I was unsure whether I'd like this dish - in fact, I loved it.  To see what Kayte, Margaret and Chaya thought, visit their websites on Wednesday, their time

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BWJ - Popovers

Today's Baking with Julia challenge is Popovers, hosted by Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes and Amy of Bake with Amy.

Now, until I googled it, I had no idea what a popover was. My Mum thought a popover was something that you wear (which indeed, in another guise, it is).  I thought it might be a pop tart, and even when I googled it, I thought it was some kind of Yorkshire pudding.  I believe that Yorkshire pudding is its closest known relative, but popovers are way more delicious and light than Yorkshire pudding.  Here are my popovers fresh out of the oven: 

I only read the forum discussion after I made my popovers.  Accordingly:
  • I made my popovers in muffin tins;
  • I did not pre-warm the tin, the milk or the eggs;
  • I sprayed my tins with oil and the popovers did not stick;
  • I used low fat milk and the popovers did not suffer in any way;
  • I used Devondale Light instead of butter - ditto;
  • I baked my popovers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes, as my oven does not tolerate being turned down during cooking (it switches itself off);
  • I ended up with perfectly cooked popovers that weren't overly doughy in the middle.
Doesn't this look delicious to you:

I spread one popover with golden syrup:

And one with chunky quince jam and goats cheese (inspired by an online search of how to serve popovers):

Yes, Blogger decided the last two photos would be upside down, and I am too tired to care.

I absolutely adored these popovers!  I have never eaten anything quite like them before, but I would definitely make them again.  And best of all, I have three more in the freezer for another day.

Check out the LYL section of the Baking with Julia website for other reactions to this popover recipe.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Carrot Cake, Country Show Style

Carrot cake is always a popular choice, and there are many different ways to make it.  When one of the sales team at work challenged me to make carrot cake, I had plenty of recipe choices.  Ultimately, I chose a recipe by 80+ year old Heather Henry from The Country Show Cookbook.  The attraction of this recipe is that it contains glace ginger - yum!

I was pleased with the resulting cake, which comprises a single layer loaf cake iced with cream cheese frosting.  Here's a peek inside:

Have I piqued your interest to make this cake?  If so, you will need:


1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup sultanas (I used raisins)
1/2 cup chopped glace ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil, recipe used sunflower oil)


115g cream cheese
225g icing sugar
(Recipe also added 28g butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the icing - I skipped them)
walnuts to decorate

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.  Grease a 15cm x 25cm loaf tin, then line the base with baking paper and grease the baking paper.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into the bowl of an electric mixer, then mix in the sugar, carrot, sultanas, ginger and walnuts by hand.    

In a small jug, whisk together the eggs and the oil, then pour into the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes.  (I did this by hand for a shorter period of time, and everything turned out fine.)

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 55 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in the tin for 10 minutes for turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, mix the icing ingredients together in a small bowl, then spread the icing over the top of the cake with a metal spatula.  Decorate the top of the cake with walnuts.


Friday, August 17, 2012

FFwD - Cafe-style grated carrot salad

This week's French Friday with Dorie is another salad - this time, cafe-style grated carrot salad.

It may be winter and horribly cold (for a Northerner like me, anyway), but I actually enjoyed this salad.  I reduced the quantities down to a quarter to make a salad for one to go with my dinner, and I loved the sweetness of the carrots and currants, the tang of the dressing and the crunch of the walnuts. 

Check out some more carrot salads at the LYL section of the website.

I am very busy with work at the moment, so that's all for now.  Hope you are having a great week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zucchini and Apricot Muffins

It's nearly the end of the working week - hooray!  Weekend here we come.  To say that work has been hectic is an understatement, but them's the breaks - the work ebbs and flows, and you have to either ride the tide or sink.

Last week, I made some zucchini and apricot muffins from this recipe in The New York Times:

The recipe comes from the "Recipes for Health" section, so as you might imagine, they are not particularly sweet (due to a dearth of sugar),  and there is definitely no frosting (although a cream cheese frosting or a lemon glaze would work rather well, I think).  Here's a peek inside a muffin:

I was worried that these muffins would not be well received at work, but funnily enough, they disappeared fairly rapidly.  I won't say that I loved them, although there were OK - my tip is that they are better the next day after they have softened a little and the flavours have developed.  One lady told me she liked these for the very fact that they weren't overly sweet - which made me very happy.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesdays with Donna Hay - Chilli Cashew Chicken Noodles

After a hiatus, Wednesdays with Donna Hay is back.  We will still be cooking from Donna's website, but also from her books, Off the Shelf and Modern Classics Book One.

This week's recipe was chosen by me from Off the Shelf.  It is Chilli Cashew Chicken Noodles.  This dish has a beautiful combination of Asian flavours - chillis, soy sauce, fish sauce and coriander, to give the vegetables, noodles and chicken a flavour kick.  The cashews added crunchy textural contrast.

Loved this dish.  To check out what Kayte, Chaya and Margaret, thought, visit their websites.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BWJ - Raspberry Galette

Ok, I thought that the latest Baking with Julia recipe, Mixed Berry Galette, would be for 14 August, as we had baked on 31 July - making two weeks after that 14 August.  However, I shouldn't assume and perhaps should read the schedule instead, as apparently this was meant to be posed on Tuesday, 7 August, despite there only being a gap of one week since the previous bake.  Oh well, I have made it now, and I am posting it on 14 August, as I originally believed was the posting date.  Besides, tomorrow would have been Julia's 100th birthday - so I dedicate this post to Julia Child herself.

The sour cream dough for this galette was truly awful to work with - the euphemism "soft" was used in the recipe, but it actually meant really sticky.  I tried rolling the dough between two sheets of baking paper, as this is usually easier than the flour on the bench method, but on this occasion, it was just disastrous, as the sticky dough spread and would not come off the paper.  Back to the flour on the bench method then!  The extra flour incorporated into the dough so making it less sticky, but still quite fragile.  The final baked dough was lovely and soft and light, but sheesh! the dough was seriously hard work.

I used frozen raspberries in my galette as fresh ones are as dear as poison in Australia in winter, and not much better in summer.  I loved the jammy effect that the sugar had on the berries after baking.

If you love jammy dodgers, jam tarts or even bakewell tart, you will love this galette, as it is very similar.

Our hosts this (last?) week, Lisa of Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen, and Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness, and they will have posted the recipe.  To see what the other bakers made of this galette, visit the LYL section of the Baking with Julia for the Mixed Berry Galette. 

In closing, I wanted to share one of my favourite Youtube clips, covering the relationship of Paul McCartney and Jane Asher from start to finish in pictures and music.  Hard to believe all of this happened almost 50 years ago!  Enjoy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

FFwD - Warm scallop salad with corn, nectarines and basil

This week's French Friday with Dorie recipe is warm scallop salad with corn, nectarines and basil.  As nectarines are not in season here (it's winter!), I used tinned peaches in their stead.

I found making the basil coulis a bit of a faff that I could do without.  I think I would have been better to take my tube of ready to eat basil out of the fridge rather than make this basil coulis from scratch, and ended up with virtually the same result.

Overall, I enjoyed this salad - what's not to love about pan fried scallops.  The corn fascinated me, because it is not cooked in the usual way - rather, a lime dressing is drizzled over the uncooked kernels, presumably "cooking" it in acid, like the meat in a tartare.  However, this is definitely a summer dish, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been warmer than 10 degrees celsius outside.

To see what the other Doristas thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the FFwD website.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Treen's Cherry Ripe Fudge Cake

Food can provide comfort, taking you back to a happy time in your life that is fun to revisit, even if only in your memory.  When I saw a recipe for Treen's Cherry Ripe Fudge Cake in Julie Goodwin's new book, Heart of the Home, I was transported back to my childhood, when I used to think it was the coolest thing in the world to hang cherries off my ears like earrings, and I munched on Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, which used to be made by MacRobertsons and came in foil and paper. (Yes, I am a child of the 70s.)

As the name of the cake suggests, it looks, smells and tastes like a Cherry Ripe - swoon.  This cake is rather dense and heavy (like you'd expect fudge to be), and the recipe makes an enormous 26cm cake.  Accordingly, it is not for the faint hearted.  However, if the combination of chocolate, glace cherries and coconut sets your world on fire, then this is the cake for you.

Here is a cross section of the cake, modelled by my miniature kewpie (similar to a Sonny Angel):

To make this cake (adapted from Julie's version), you will need:

250g butter
200g dark chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla (I left this out)
400ml coconut milk (I used coconut flavoured evaporated milk)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used dessicated coconut)
1 tbs instant coffee powder
2 lightly beaten eggs
200g chopped glace cherries
chocolate icing, frosting or ganache of your choice (I used chocolate icing made from icing sugar and cocoa powder)
extra coconut to decorate the cake

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a 26cm springform pan.

Place the butter, chocolate and sugar in a large saucepan and stir over medium heat until melted.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Next, stir in the coconut milk, then set aside to cool.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.  Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, fold in the beaten eggs, then combine the mixture with the dry ingredients.  Fold one third of the chopped cherries through the batter, then pour it into the cake tin, and smooth off the top with a large metal spatula.  Scatter another third of the chopped cherries over the top of the cake, then place it into the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the cooked cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding the cake onto a wire cake rack and allowing it to cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, ice it with chocolate icing/frosting/ganache, and decorate it with the last third of the cherries and coconut.  Slice into thin wedges (a little goes a long way!) to serve.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pear Spice Cake

Hi everyone.  Hope you had a great weekend. My weekend was busy, but lots of fun for the most part.  I started off Saturday morning at the tax agent getting my annual tax return done.  This obviously was not my favourite thing, but it had to be done, and nothing like getting it out of the way bright and early. 

On Saturday afternoon, Tim and I went for lunch to China Red in inner city Melbourne.  The fun part about this place is that diners order using touch screens mounted on the wall near their table.  The only catch is that once you have ordered, you can't change your mind.  I ordered the pork in plum sauce, which was just devine - it was rich, fruity and spicy without being hot.  Tim ordered a sizzling beef, which was slightly hotter because of the presence of chillis.  I washed my excellent meal down with a red lemonade - gotta love a place that serves red lemonade.

After that, we went on to a matinee session of Eat Pray Laugh, Dame Edna's farewell touring show.  It opened with Sir Les Patterson spluttering all over the audience as he unveiled his new career as a celebrity cook, ably assisted by his "condiments", Basil, Saffron, Rosemary and Dukkah.  Someone in the dress circle became unwell during Sir Les' performance, and we had a brief unscheduled interval while they were attended to.  We then met Sir Les' brother, Gerard, a priest, for the first time.  Gerard wears an ankle bracelet, so you know that Gerard has been a bad priest.  Gerard held a seance to conjure up the resident ghost of Glen Iris (a Melbourne suburb), Sandy Stone.  We learn that Sandy's ashes were scattered on Eric Raven Reserve in Glen Iris by his wife Beryl, who now languishes in a retirement home.  Sandy gave a haunting rendition of My Blue Heaven, in honour of his long lost daughter, June, accompanied by an empty tricycle moving eerily by itself.  Only at the end of Sandy's stint did his well worn armchair and lamp, encased in dust covers, descend from the ceiling.  Sandy strapped himself into the armchair with a seatbelt and rose up into the heavens. 

After interval, Dame Edna herself appeared in fine form on an elephant, clad in a sparkling turquoise sari, shapely pins visible beneath her split skirt.  Her wit was as razor sharp as ever, although she seemed to be a little hard of hearing.  Tami from Michigan, Sandy from Ballarat, Noel from Brighton and an unidentified "senior" (a male) joined Edna on stage to discover who they were in a past life (you'd be surprised!).  Little seven year old Alana was also the subject of "special" attention from Edna and joined her briefly on stage. Of course, an Edna performance would not be complete without the waving of the gladioli, which was duly done after a spectacular quick change on stage by Edna into a bright red and purple dress.  The show finished with a stirring recording of Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye as the background to a parade of Barry Humphries' colourful creations on screen (none of whom I recognised apart from the aforesaid).  At the very end, Barry himself, resplendent in a black velvet smoking jacket, complete with frogging, came out to give us a bow.

On Sunday, Tim and I went to a preview screening of The Sapphires movie, very loosely based on the story of an all female Aboriginal singing group  who go to entertain the US troops in Vietnam during the war.   It is a very funny film, despite its serious backdrop, and features some terrific '60s music.  Chris O'Dowd (remember Roy from The IT Crowd?) is brilliant in this - so casually hilarious, and I understand that he was given some liberty with his lines so that his humour could shine through.  I'm a fan and hope that his career continues to soar. A bonus for us is that we got a free Connoisseur icecream  at the screening (mine was caramel honey macadamia).

Still with me?  Oh right then, the cake.  This pear spice cake recipe came from Martha Stewart via Sophistimom, and you can find the recipe here.  I didn't frost my cake, as I made it in a decorative  rose bundt tin which needed no adornment.  The cake was lovely and moist and sweet from the pear sauce, making the frosting unnecessary:

I loved this cake, which had perfect warm spicy undertones for winter, and it went pretty quickly at work.  It's also easy to make, so if you fancy a bit of cake with your afternoon tea, you won't go wrong with this cake.

Enjoy your week.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

FFwD - Tomato-Cheese Tartlets

This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is tomato-cheese tartlets.  These really couldn't be simpler - rounds of puff pastry, slathered with olive tapenade, topped with rounds of tomato and mozzarella, seasoned with salt and pepper, and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  You can also decorate these with fresh basil leaves, but at $3 a bunch, my tartlets can stay undecorated.

Verdict: tasty, but not exciting.
To see what the other Dorie participants thought of these tartlets, visit the LYL section of the website.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mushroom and silverbeet (chard) lasagne

Recently, Michelle Bridges of the Australian version of Biggest Loser has been publishing some really delish sounding recipes in the Sunday Life magazine in The Age.  I have been collecting them for a while, and finally got around to making one on the weekend. 

I selected Michelle's Mushroom and Silverbeet Lasagne. This recipe was not hard to make - it just took a while because there are a number of components (cooked mushrooms, cooked silverbeet, tomato sauce, white sauce), and of course, plenty of vegetables to chop.  Next time, I would not include the stalks of the silverbeet, or else would chop them much finer, as they ended up being a little stringy and firm.  I also didn't have quite enough lasagne sheets, as I made this with a view to using up the lasagne sheets that I had. This was a really nice vegetarian lasagne, with white sauce and cheese (so not vegan), and quite light and tasty.  Here are the layers:

The mushrooms make this lasagne surprisingly meaty and filling - I really didn't miss the meat. 

Instead of serving this lasagne with a salad, as Michelle suggested, I cooked up some peas:

To make this lasagne, you will need:

spray cooking oil
1 diced brown onion

400g chopped mushrooms
3 crushed cloves garlic
1 tbspn chopped thyme
salt and pepper (the original uses only pepper)
600g chopped silverbeet (chard)
400g can tomatoes

2 1/2 tbpsn cornflour
2 1/2 cups low fat milk
10 sheets dried lasagne
3/4 cup low fat grated mozarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and lightly spray an 8-cup oven proof dish with cooking oil.

Coat a frypan with a light spray of cooking oil and heat on high.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft.  Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme to the pan and cook for 8 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned.  Season with salt and pepper and remove the mixture from the pan.

Add the silverbeet (chard) to the pan and cook until the leaves wilt.  Add the tomatoes, bring the mixture to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Mix together the cornflour and 1/4 cup of the milk in a small bowl.  Put the remaining 2 1/4 cups milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the cornflour and continue stirring until the sauce boils and thickens.   Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Mix he two cheeses together in a small bowl

Cover the base of the oven proof dish with a little silverbeet/tomato sauce.  Top with lasagne sheets.  Cover the lasagne sheets with half of the silverbeet/tomato sauce, then half the mushrooms, then cover with a third of the white sauce and sprinkle with one third of the cheese.  Repeat.  Finish with a layer of lasagne sheet and the last of the white sauce and cheese.

Place the lasagne in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the lasagne is soft and the top is golden.

Serve with salad.

This lasagne is definitely a keeper - I will make it again for work lunches.

On the weekend, I also got the chance to see the gladioli sculpture at The Arts Centre in Melbourne, erected to celebrate the opening of renovated Hamer Hall:

The sculpture was dedicated by Barry Humphreys,"manager" of Dame Edna Everage, who is synonymous with gladioli.  I am going to see Edna's show, Eat Pray Laugh, next weekend at The Regent. The little "card" on the sculpture says "Melbourne, take a bow."  Unfortunately, the sculpture was taken down on Monday. I also got to see the sculpture being erected a week to the day before that, as I was at the art gallery that evening.

Hope you are having a great week.