Those of you who know noodlies Sydney food blog, would know that we eat out pretty much every night of the week; I confess as much in the About section of this food blog. I don’t cook because I don’t have the time or the skills. The people at Super Food Ideas think their magazine make cooking so easy that even someone like me can do it. They issued me with a challenge this week to road test the November issue of Super Food Ideas.

What grabbed me from the cover was that this magazine seemed to know about busy people’s lack of time and my poor cooking skills. The copy on the front cover was all about keeping it fast and simple: easy dinners, dinner party shortcuts, cheat’s sweets…

With daylight saving and as we head towards summer the November edition was timely too – it was all about fuss-free entertaining, with a special focus on barbecue recipes. The cover recipe: sweet chilli coconut skewers looked delicious and perfect for a warm spring afternoon.

But were these recipes easy and fast to make? After all, my aversion to cooking stemmed from my lack of time and cooking skills. I can’t even manage to boil and egg without a major drama; I like a runny egg yolk, but no matter how hard I try, the eggs I boil are either uncooked or stone-hard-boiled and always impossible to peel.

I started flicking through the November issue of Super Food Ideas….

I’m immediately attracted to the take 6 section: only six ingredients and relatively simple preparation that result in a delicious meal, or so Super Food Ideas promised.

There were five take 6 recipes this month:
• Chilli prawn tomato spaghetti
• BLT salad with poached eggs
• Tandoori chicken pizza
• Steak sandwich with caper mayonnaise
• Turkey, macadamia and grapefruit salad.

I cautiously settled on the BLT salad with poached eggs on page 39, even if I managed to poach an egg, it would be a giant leap forward in my cooking skills.

The six main ingredients for my BLT salad: bacon, ciabatta bread, salad mix, tomatoes, Caesar dressing and eggs… I managed to get them from the shops without any probs.

So far so good.

The instructions were clear, concise and simple. I fried the bacon until crisp and beautifully coloured, also fried the ciabatta bread – again crisp and very tasty. And, as you can see by the picture, I even managed to poach an egg for the first time, with yummy and runny yolk. It took me less than 30 minutes, preparation and cooking time.

And the result, I hear you ask?

When I compared my dish (pictured) with the photo in Super Food Ideas, I couldn‘t believe how close (you’ll have to get November’s magazine to compare) it looked to the recipe! Notice the lovely poached egg (smiling with pride).

And the taste?

The fried ciabatta bread was a delight – I could have had a plate of it on its own. The poached egg was magnificent – vinegar and swirling obviously did the trick. Even Walter, a tough critic, said it was delicious.

It was quite a boost to the old confidence, let me tell you!

Emboldened by the success of the BLT salad, I turned my attention to the stunning looking cranberry and raspberry slushie recipe on page 86. With the warmer weather I’ve been craving a good slushie.

This too was a simple affair that took less than 10 minutes. It involved blending raspberries, cranberry juice, apple juice and adding a little sugar… now where was that blender last seen?

The result was a dramatic looking drink that was smooth and refreshing. If a newbie like me can whip this up in a few minutes, the recipe must be pretty much fool-proof.

Fast, stunning and delicious was the promise and I think Super Food Ideas delivered!

I know it was a self-assessed challenge, but I’d confidently say I passed this one with flying colours!

I’m a convert to  Super Food Ideas, seriously thinking of a year’s subscription: 11 issues for $32 including postage – one of our dinners out cost more than that!

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