Tim’s Birthday Celebration with the Fam

For Tim’s birthday we had family over for a meal.

We’ve been enjoying Karen Martini’s Slow-Baked Lamb Shoulder (page 199 from Everyday Cooking) and decided to cook that again. It doesn’t disappoint and the time spent in the oven means its so tender.  I thought it would be much nicer to have fresh pita bread with the meal and I found this Chef John’s Pita Bread recipe and made it. We cooked it on the BBQ but we’ve also done this recipe before on the frying pan and it works just as well. It’s well worth making the pita bread from scratch.

Tim’s sisters are vegetarian and I had some vegetarian sausage rolls pre-made for them. Way back in 2011 I was collecting recipes from The Weekend Australia Magazine and found this vegetarian sausage roll recipe from David Herbert. I have made it many times since then and it works perfectly to freeze the sausage rolls (uncooked) ready to pull out of the freezer and pop in the oven. I can’t find the recipe online to link so I republish here.

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
2 carrots, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 red capscium, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
100g chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
75g cheddar, grated
large handful of basil leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 1 extra for pastry
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chill
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry [I use more than this 4-5]

Directions: Process all ingredients, except pastry and extra egg, adding them one by one, in a food processor until combined. Season well. Halve each sheet of pastry. Divide filling into 4 sausages the length of the pastry; place on slightly off-centre on each strip. Brush one edge of pastry strip with beaten egg and fold over the other to enclose filling. Press down to seal with a back of a fork. Brush with beaten egg. Cut each roll into 3 sausages [I don’t cut if I’m freezing]. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Bake in preheated 220ºC oven for 25 minutes, or until golden.

As Turkish delight is a favourite of Tim’s, I found this Chocolate and Turkish Delight Cake to make. However, I couldn’t find rose petals and pomegranates are/were not in season so I left them out. I was excited to try cooking with Halva and it was a delicious cake! I do some work from home these days and I may have eaten too much cake one day.

It was a wonderful day to celebrate Tim with his family over a home-made meal.

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