Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This week's recipe is a combo of pumpkin and pecan pie. Now, we obviously don't celebrate Thansgiving in NZ, and I have never made pumpkin or pecan pie before, so I wanted to make this to try what seem to be American traditions. Unfortunately, I had to race out the door to work yesterday at 1pm, so I left it for the family to try first. I didn't get home til after midnight, but noticed half the pie had gone...always a good sign...so I cut myself a little sliver. Mmmmm, this was scrummy, so I cut myself another sliver. Oh my gosh, and that was not enough. Blow it, I helped myself to a hunk and sat down to enjoy it!!
What a yummy blend of flavours. It was easy to make. I used store bought pastry rather than making my own. I had a triffid pumpkin grow last autumn with a ton of pumpkins so I used one of those to make the puree. I have never seen pumpkin puree in a can before, and I am not even sure if you can buy it here. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. I had to cook it for a little longer than recommended though.
Vibi from La casserole caree chose this week's recipe. You can find the recipe on her blog. And please check out what the other TWD bakers thought as well.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I have not been cooking much at all lately. Been hideously busy at work, so doing lots of overtime. As I work 12 hour days, it does not leave a lot of extra time at the end of the day to venture into the kitchen. Plus I have been trying to finish a post graduate paper. It is very easy to get distracted by food, the garden or the computer, so I decided no internet until I finished the paper! And I have just come back from a small holiday in Oz. So, this week is really the first chance I have had to catch up on reading all the blogs, and actually getting back into the kitchen again.
I have joined the Tuesdays with Dorie group in which we bake an item from Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking: From my home to yours" each week. I already use this book a lot and it is definitely one of my favs.
This week's recipe is Arborio Rice Pudding. This is one of those great comfort foods that I remember from my childhood. I haven't had Rice Pudding for years. Both my mother and grandmother always added juicy plump raisins to the pudding and we often had different variations of it. I remember the last time I made it was about 10 years ago when I had a Japanese friend staying with me. He was quite disgusted by the fact that we used rice in a dessert. He likened it to having potato in a pudding if he was to make it for me. That does kind of sound eeewww!
Anyway, with the kids harping for a pudding I decided to make it last night. Again, like many of the others I wish I had read the message board first as I only cooked it for 35 minutes instead of 50. Apparently the 35 minutes in the book is a typo and it should be cooked for longer! It was still quite runny, but definitely edible. I added lots of raisins cos that is just how rice pudding should be!! There is a chocolate version too, but I had no chocolate so decided to juct make the vanilla version.
I would definitely make this again. It got the thumbs up from everyone here. See what the other TWD bakers thought. Thanks to Ina at Les Gourmandes d'Isa for choosing this recipe which is on her blog.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I have decided to we need to eat more healthily. Not that we ever really eat a high fat diet or badly, but the pounds creep on over winter and with the warmer weather, that only means one thing...the layers of clothing need to be shed and the flab starts getting exposed!! We are off to the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks and the thought of putting on my bikini at the moment frightens me [and will probably frighten the rest of the swimmers as well :-)]
I love muffins but they are so high in fat. They make a good snack for the kids after school or for the lunchboxes, but thought I would try making a healthy version. I had a couple of apples in the fruitbowl, some buttermilk in the fridge that was near its due date so wanted something that combined these two things. Found a few recipes but nothing that looked particularly low fat so decided to make my own version adapted from Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins.
They were pretty good. Got a thumbs up from the kids and Tony. Next time I would probably put the cinnamon sugar topping on. I think they would be nicer warm rather than cold as well. It is a pretty wet mixture, but I think there is nothing worse than a dry muffin.
Oat Bran & Apple Muffins
I cup wholemeal flour
1 cup oat bran
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup raisins
2 egg whites
1 cup chopped apple
1¼ cups buttermilk
Mix dry ingredients into a bowl.
Whisk egg whites lightly. Add chopped apple and buttermilk and mix.
Quickly mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough.
Spray muffin pans and spoon muffin mixture into pans.
Combine equal measure of cinnamon and sugar and top each muffin with this mixture.
Bake 180 degrees C for approx 15-20 minutes.
Friday, October 17, 2008
A friend of mine gave me a recipe years ago that I made, loved, but never ever made again. I discovered it when I was having a sort-out of my recipes just the other day. I try only to collect recipes that I know I will make otherwise I end up with piles of magazines, bits of paper with recipes scribbled on them and notes jotted down here and there. I had bought myself a book to file all these jottings into and it was while I was doing this that I discovered this long lost recipe.
This Apple Bread is one of those comfort foods, when one piece is never enough. In fact, between three hungry kids and myself we polished it off for afternoon tea! *blush* The kids have begged me to make it again but, like any bread it needs time for rising and all in all it takes about 4 hours at least to make. However, it is very easy and well worth making.
1¼ tsp yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
180 mls water
1½ cups chopped or grated apple
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp raisins
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp salt
⅛ tsp cinnamon
Put dough ingredients into breadmaker and set on dough setting.
Cook filling in pot stirring until apple is tender. Remove from heat.
Roll dough into a 32cm x 20cm rectangle on floured surface. Spread apple filling over centre third of rectangle.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I made this in about 10 minutes literally. It was very easy. The most time consuming part was making the lemon zest!! It only made one jar, but has a yummy tart flavour which I prefer to anything too sweet. Mmmmm, breakfast with homemade wholegrain bread, toasted just enough with lashings of melted butter and lemon curd.....Okay, okay, so maybe this isn't such a healthy choice after all!!
I settled for scones and lemon curd for afternoon tea. Used my new book "Ladies, A Plate please" which had an interesting variation of using cream instead of butter. Much easier than rubbing all that butter into the flour. Would definitely make both the scones and the lemon curd again.
Been a busy weekend. Went to the Home and Garden Show in Hamilton on Saturday and got a phone call last night to say I had won the $1300 expresso machine and coffee grinder that the Red Cherry Cafe had up for grabs. I had bought some coffee beans and that entitled me to enter the draw. I was stoked and couldn't really believe it. I never win anything so I was very excited. I am such a coffee addict, so it will be a very welcome addition to my kitchen. The Red Cherry Cafe roasts its own beans and they do make very nice lattes! Not sure if I will be able to match them but it will be nice doing brunch on the deck with a mug of freshly brewed coffee.
Last night was my stepson's 10th birthday. It is a family tradition to have a meal and celebration with the family on special occasions like this. The birthday person gets to choose whatever they want for the meal, so his request was pizza, fries and cheerios. Pretty typical for a 10 year old boy and we just ignore any Heart Foundation warnings on this day!!! For his birthday cake he chose Devil's Food White-Out Cake by Dorie Greenspan.
I have always admired this cake on the front of Dorie's book, so what better opportunity than a birthday for it to make its debut. Unfortunately, my cake pans were a fraction too big, so it gave quite a thin layer of cake once it was halved. However, they were just what I had on hand, so I had to make do. The marshmallow frosting was easy enough to make, but it seemed to take ages for the syrup to heat to the right temperature, but my new candy thermometer came in very handy for this. The kids loved the cake, as did the hubby. It was very brownie-like with an interesting flavour coming from the marshmallow frosting. It didn't get the recommended time to refrigerate before cutting so was a bit crumbly, but certainly didn't detract from the flavour. It certainly kept his layers better today when I cut it.
Devil's Food White-Out Cake
From: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
½ cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
½ cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
For the filling and frosting:
½ cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
To make the cake:
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minutes after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully bakes, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don’t worry if the tops have a few small cracks. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cakes layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)
When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.
To make the filling and frosting:
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242° F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
When the syrup is about 235° F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable – don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it’s really better to use it right now.
To assemble the cake: Put a bottom layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with the third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about smoothing the frosting – it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs in to the filling with your fingers.
Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving. (If its more convenient, you can chill the cake for 8 hours or more; cover it loosely and keep it away from foods with strong odors.)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I have a very good friend who is gluten free and she was popping out for lunch today. Now, I knew Dorie Greenspan's chocolate chunkers were probably a no-go for a gluten-free lunch ;-) so I decided to check out a few blogs for some inspiration. Since we are heading into spring, I wanted something light and fresh.... maybe with a hint of herbs and crisp spring flavours.
Heidi at 101 cookbooks always has yummy, and very healthy recipes so I headed there. Found 2 great recipes...Lemon-scented quinoa salad recipe and Delicious big bowl - quinoa recipe. Hmm, which one to choose as they both sounded yummy, so I did a quick ingredients check.....Ok didn't have the entire ingredients for either of them, so amalgamated both the recipes. I added in asparagus (my first asparagus of the season, I have been waiting for this), cherry tomatoes, red onion and toasted pinenuts to the cooked quinoa and finished it with a lemon and garlic dressing and lashings of coriander. By now, you must know I love this herb, much to the disgust of the kids who always mutter, Oh no, not that smelly green grass again Mum!!!!
Quinoa is a fascinating grain. I love the way it goes from a hard, little ball and metamorphoses (is that a word, even?) into an alien looking worm thing. It is an ancient grain with a high nutritional value. It is light and fluffy when cooked, not unlike couscous, and has a slight nutty flavour. It is a versatile grain and can be used in loads of different ways. I prefer it as a salad and the beauty is that you can add whatever you like to it to have as a side dish or as a complete meal.
To finish we had Lemon and Blueberry Friands with coffee. A friand is a small French cake made with almond meal, egg whites, sugar and butter. Often fruit, such as berries, peaches or apples are added as well. They are crunchy on the outside, but light and sweet and melt in your mouth on the inside. These got another "Wow" from the Quality Control Inspector, as he tried to sneak a couple more from the plate when I wasn't looking.
The recipe I used for these was one by Allyson Gofton called Lemon Poppy Seed Friands. I didn't have any poppy seeds so omitted them. And to jazz them up a bit I pushed in 3 blueberries to the top of each friand before they went into the oven. Once they were cooked, I poured a lemon syrup over them. Mmmmm.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I really wanted to make the Chicken Cooked with Lentils and Vegetables but I didn't have all the ingredients so decided to make just a "Simple Homestyle Curry" that Camellia recommends as being very easy and delicious. As a PS, I went and bought all the ingredients for the previous dish and made it last night. It was divine and gobbled up so fast, there wasn't even time to take photos!! In fact, everyone was scrapping over who was going to get the last bit of juice in the bottom of the dish!! I served the Simple Homestyle Curry with basmati rice and the chapattis that were so easy to make.
I will definitely be purchasing this book, and I see she has a more recent edition out. I would be interested in knowing which are some of your favourite Indian cookbooks?
Simple Homestyle Curry
2 chicken breast fillets (or whatever meat you want)
4 tbsps oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ inch square piece of fresh ginger, chopped
¾ tsp coriander powder
pinch of turmeric
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
2 tomatoes, chopped
chopped coriander to garnish
Heat oil in pan. Add onion and saute over medium heat for about 20-25 mins or until deep brown.
Add garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add coriander powder and stir for a further minute.Add remainder of spices and saute for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of water and cook for 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Add chicken. I also added spinach. Add 1-2 cups of water, depending on how thick you like your curries, and cook for further 15 mintes.
Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.
1 cup chapati flour or wholemeal flour
⅓ cup warm water
2 tsps oil
Mix all ingredients together to make a dough. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook. Mix for about 8 minutes as this will make the final product softer in texture.
Preheat griddle or pan to a high heat. Break into 12 balls and roll out on floured surface. They should stretch to a thin pancake about 6 inches in diameter.
Cook until brown spots appear, then flip chapati over til the other side is cooked.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsps iced water
395g can sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsps golden syrup
3-4 tbsps flaked almonds to decorate
To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and process for 20-30 seconds until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk, vanilla essence and water and pulse until mixture comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the caramel, put all the ingredients in a saucepan (except almonds!) and stir over a medium heat until combined.
When ready to bake, spray 2 Texan muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray (or whatever size muffin pans you have). preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2-3 mm thick. Using a 9cm cutter, cut 12 rounds from the pastry and press them gently into the bottom of the muffin pans. The pastry should come up the sides about 1cm. If using smaller pans, adjust the size of the rounds accordingly.
Spoon the caramel into the pastry shells, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake in the lower part of the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. they may need a shorter cooking time if using smaller pans. Cool for 10 mins before lifting out onto a cooling rack.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Moroccan Bean Soup
1 cup dried baby green lima beans
1 cup dried pink beans
2 cups red lentils
2 cans Watties Moroccan tomatoes
1 can plain tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves
1 tsp crushed ginger
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups water
Cook the beans according to the type of bean. I soaked mine overnight and then cooked them for a couple of hours. The baby green beans cooked more quickly than the pink beans.
Cook the diced onions in a little oil until they are soft. Add the celery and cook a little longer.
Add the crushed garlic, ginger and spices and cook until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, corn, washed lentils, sugar, salt and extra water and cook until lentils are soft and soup has thickened.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander (cilantro).
Serve with crusty home made bread.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wow! was the first word my husband uttered as this chocolate taste sensation exploded in his mouth. I already knew that he would like them as I had quickly scoffed 2 when they came out of the oven...just for quality control purposes, of course!
After all the praise Nancy has given them, I knew I had to make these. Oh my gosh, these have now definitely become my new number 1 favourite cookie. If you like chocolate, you will adore these. I only made them yesterday and between me and my hubby we have nearly eaten the whole lot! The only trouble is you can't just have one...they are so yummy you just keep eating them.
The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate so I used Whittaker's Dark Ghana which is 72% cocoa solids. Perfect choice...I used chopped it into small chunks, probably chocolate drop size.
World Peace Cookies
1¼ cups all purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
4 ozs plus 3 tbsps butter
⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup caster sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 ozs bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks or chips
Beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add sugars, salt and vanilla extract & beat for 2 minutes more.
Add sifted dry ingredients and and mix just until flour disappears into the dough. For the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added. Don't be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly.
Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate.
Turn the dough onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it into half. Shape the dough into logs that are about 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Using a thin, sharp knife, slice the logs into ½ inch rounds. They are likely to crack as you cut them. Don't worry, just push the cookie back together.
Place on baking sheets with about 1 inch between cookies.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 12 minutes. They won't look done nor will they be firm but that is how they should look. Let the ccokies rest and transfer to a cooling rack.
Source: Dorie Greenspan's From My Home to Yours.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Well, the cycling got cancelled as Tony had to work late which meant I had no-one to look after the kids, so what is a bored foodie to do. I know, let's whip up some Moroccan bread as well. Trusty old Google came to the rescue and I found several great recipes. The one I liked best was an easy looking bread called Authentic Moroccan Bread
So the chicken recipe I chose was one by Simon and Alison Holst out of their book Year Round Recipes for Crockpots & Slow Cookers A great book that has a good variety of easy to make and tasty recipes. I just made some simple couscous to go with it...adding chicken stock, lemon juice, currants and a knob of butter. Easy peasy, but yummy!
1kg chicken pieces or large chicken chunks
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Chop the chicken if using chicken chunks and coat with flour. Heat 1tbsp of oil in large frypan and cook chicken until golden brown on all sides. Transfer into crockpot.
Put onion and garlic into small food processor and chop finely. add remaining oil, tomato paste, spices and salt and process until a thick paste is formed.
Zest the lemon and add this and the juice to the paste and pulse to combine.
Spoon the paste over the chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander
Monday, September 8, 2008
One of favourites from the night was Elephant Slice, duly named because if you consume too much of this slice you will end up the size of an elephant!! It was very rich and sweet, but very very yummy. Mind you, it was a tough call between Nigella's Triple Chocolate Brownies and this.
1 packet malt biscuits, crushed
125g unsalted butter, melted
250g dessicated coconut
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
Mix melted butter into biscuits crumbs and press into lightly greased slice pan. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the coconut and condensed milk together. Spread this over the top of the biscuit base and return to the oven for a further 12 minutes or until the topping is starting to colour. Remove fron the oven and ice while warm.
Mix 8 tbsp of brown sugar, 8 tbsp of icing sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 tbsps of milk to a smooth paste. Spread over coconut.
Refrigerate and cut when cold. Store in the fridge. Will last for a week if you are lucky!!!!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I had all the ingredients on hand, apart from the brown rice syrup. so I just substituted maple syrup instead. I guess this is one of those sorts of breakfast cereals that you could add anything you like to it. Not sure if that is a true granola, but I bet it would be scrummy!! I threw all the ingredients in a pan and lightly roasted the ingredients. Everyone had a taste as it came out of the oven, and indeed this was very tasty.I am definitely a must have breakfast girl and tried this today with yoghurt. It was a taste sensation, with lots of crunch and flavour. I think this has become our new breakfast cereal and I don't know if this batch will be enough for the Granola Grabbers now that everyone has had some!!
450g rolled oats
120g raw sunflower seeds
120g white sesame seeds
100g light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
250g whole natural almonds
175g apple sauce
120g maple syrup or brown rice syrup
4 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Mix everything except the raisins together in a large mixing bowl.
Spread this out on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes, turning and stirring regularly.
Mixture should be golden brown. Mix with raisins when cool.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I was lucky enough to live above a sushi shop, and so on many a night the family and I would share sake, green tea and laughter as we battled the language barrier. In amongst this, I learnt some of the cooking skills that Japanese women take for granted and I would share some insights into Kiwi life and food. I was also lucky enough to have lessons in Japanese cooking from one of the sushi chefs there. Becoming a sushi chef takes years of training and dedication and they are trained in all aspects of food and food presentation, so it hardly skimmed the surface, but I did take away some valuable skills.
I tend to use whatever vegetables are in season here, as fresh Japanese vegetables out of season are impossible to come by in this little town! I usually grow shungiku but not at this time of year, so I used pak choy. And shiitake mushrooms are hideously expensive, so I just used ordinary old button mushrooms. I threw in carrots as the kids love them, and brussel sprouts for Tony as he is a fan of them...(the only person I have ever met that likes that vegetable!). I just throw everything in my wok at the table. Half the fun is the novelty of dining like this.
Combine broth ingredients in the wok. Once it starts to boil, add some of the meat and vegetables. As it cooks, diners can help themselves to whatever they want, dipping the food into individual serving bowls of beaten egg before eating. Add more meat and vegetables as the meal progresses. And, of course, chopsticks are a must!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
They really are very simple to make. I just threw all the ingredients in my stand mixer and let it do all the hard work. Let it rise for a couple of hours, the rolled it out and smothered the dough in dried raisins and sultanas, brown sugar and butter. Rolled it up and then sliced it into 12 pieces.
I then let the dough rise for another hour or so. I cheated and heated up my oven then let the tray sit in there, so the buns could rise. Time was getting on, and I knew those hungry kids would be off the bus soon flinging open the cupboards and looking for food. The buns were soon in the oven and the smell of baking buns and cinnamon was filling the house. Yum!
While they were still warm I drizzled some a thin icing over the buns. I just mixed half a cup of icing sugar and a little water and spooned it over. If you want a crispier icing, then leave the buns til they are cooler. However, I like the softness of the icing all melted into into the buns.
Make the dough using a breadmaker or a stand mixer. If using a mixer, mix on low speed for 10 minutes using the dough hook.
Spray the dough and bowl with oil and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. Cover with plastic wrap.
Tip onto lightly floured bench and roll out to about 25cm x 35cm rectangular shape.
Spread over the bread dough then sprinkle with 1 cup mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants etc).
With longest side facing you, roll up the dough into a log shape, pinching it to seal. Cut the dough into 12 even sized pieces and place them onto baking tray. Spray with oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding. Transfer to cooling rack and drizzle with icing if desired.
Source: Foodtown magazine June/July 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Dorie uses raisins and peanuts in her cookies, but I decided to use brazil nuts and cranberries, which give a little bit of a contrast to the sweetness of the cookie.
⅓ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs, at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 cup store bought chocolate chips or chunks
6 oz premium quality milk or white chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 cup store bought chocolate chips or chunks
1½ cups coarsely chopped nuts, preferably salted peanuts or toasted pecans
Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
Set a heat proof bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and add the butter, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate. Stir occasionally until just melted. It should be smooth and shiny, but not so hot that the butter separates. Remove bowl from the heat and set to cool.
Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer on medium high speed for about 2 minutes, until they are pale and foamy.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add melted chocolate and butter with mixer on low speed.
Add dry ingredients. Mix until dough is just combined, then add the semisweet and white chocolate chunks, nuts and raisins. Dough will be very chunky!
Drop tablespoons of dough onto baking sheet about 2” apart and cook at 180° C (350° F) for 10-12 minutes. The top of the cookies will look crunchy, but inside will be soft.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Anyway, I was not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen after 4 hours sleep. I wanted something quick and easy, but with a bite to it. Allyson Gofton soon came to the rescue with an adaptation of her Tikka Masala Eggs. The hens have started laying again so have got lots of fresh free range eggs on hand. I only had Korma paste on hand so used that instead. I wanted to team it with some accompaniments, but did not have much on hand and was too lazy to whip up something from scratch, so found a cauliflower palya to go with it instead.
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
3-4 tablespoons of korma paste (or other curry paste)
400 gram can Indian spiced tomatoes
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup yoghurt
Hard boil eggs. Peel and quarter.
Cook the red onion with a dash of oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in the korma paste and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and water. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Fold through the eggs, youghurt and coriander. Do not boil.
Serve with rice, naan, raita, chutneys etc.
Source: Allyson Gofton's After Work Cookbook
The cauliflower palya was easy to make. I steamed the cauliflower first. Heated a smidgeon of oil in a pan, then added mustard seeds. Once they started popping, I added about a teaspoon of tumeric and about half a teaspoon of salt, then the cauliflower. The florets were quite soft, not usually like I have my cauliflower, but I don't think crisper florets would have worked so well.
Friday, August 29, 2008
These cookies were very nice but I don't think I would put quite so much cinnamon in them next time. They were quite spicy with the 2 teaspoons. I also added half chocolate and half raisins to give the illusion that they were a teensy bit healthy! Hubby has certainly given them the thumbs-up though. I am working tonight so will take a bunch along to work for those 3am munchies.
Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
Beat the butter, sugars and peanut butter on medium speed until smooth an creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, beating only until just blended.
Mix in the chocolate, raisins or whatever else you might want to add.
Drop rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets, placing 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Makes 60 cookies.
Source: Dorie Greenspan. Baking: From my house to yours.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Now, unfortunately, one of the cookie swapees is allergic to chocolate so that poses a small problem as all these contain chocolate apart from the Granola Grabbers. Imagine that...allergic to one of life's food groups!! So I thought about taking the Granola Grabbers and one other cookie.
The first cookie we made was the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops. These are an absolute taste sensation....chocolately and soft with chunks of chocolate and malt. Mmmmm! They spread a lot so I was glad that I had actually followed the recipe for once and allowed 2 inches between cookies on the tray. Usually I cram as many as I can onto the tray!
I have no idea what Whoppers are, but they sound very similar to Maltesers so I used them instead. I also used Ovaltine as I am sure I would not find malted milk powder in my local supermarket. Everything else I kept as the recipe said.
Dorie also says they are great with ice cream too and she is sooo right. I crumbled up a biscuit into a bowl of French Vanilla icecream for dessert. It was like cookies and cream, but oh so much better!
Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Ovaltine
¼ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 oz unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons
⅔ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
2 cups Maltesers
1 cup chocolate drops
Sift together the flour Ovaltine, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled-it will even out when the dry ingredients are added.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough-and that’s fine.
With the mixer on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix the malted milk balls and chopped chocolate.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonful onto sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. When done, the cookies will be puffed and set but slightly soft to touch. Let the cookies the rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: My house to yours
Monday, August 25, 2008
The traditional Scottish shortbread is generally made with butter, sugar and flour, cornflour or oatmeal, but there are lots of variations. Apparently, too, shortbread also has a national day on January 6th each year as well! So it is quite a famous little cookie. Anyway, upon perusing my own well worn recipe book I came across a recipe for Oat Shortbread. This seemed a little healthier than the shortbread I remember from my childhood so out came the baking bowl and tin. Took only a few minutes to mix up and none of that rolling out that ends up with more dough on the rolling pin than anywhere else!
And the taste....divine! Not like shortbread in the traditional sense, more like an anzac cookie. It was even better the next day as it had had time to harden more. And it got the definite thumbs up from the rest of the family.
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 ground ginger
1/3 cup sesame seeds (optional)
150g butter, melted
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add butter and combine well. Press into a greased swiss roll tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in tin, then cut into squares and leave in tin until cold.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Gosh, anything and everything cooking or food related. Another loud sigh from Tony!! Now I didn't really need anything specific, but I, too, had been after a friand pan for some time with no luck, so I found one of those, and then ummed and erred over some bread proofing baskets but decided to make do with what I had. And the great thing is they do mail order too I found out, so I can have my fix any time I like!!
So back in the Waikato, I devoured Nigella and decided on the Rocky Road after collective oohs and ahhs from the kids. It was very easy to make, especially as I decided to put it in a pan rather than doing individual drops as Nigella did.
200g milk chocolate
25g dark chocolate
75g brazil nuts
75g mini marshmallows
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a bowl over barely simmering water. Roughly chop the nuts and mix into the chocolate with the marshmallows.
Drop heaped teaspoons onto a lined baking sheet (or a lined pan) and leave to cool in a cold place. Don't leave in the fridge as it will take some of the gleam from the chocolate.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Source: peterpics924 With dreary winter upon us in New Zealand, an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is clearly lacking in my gardens. However, I can always rely on the citrus trees to produce a crop every year without fail, apart from the mandarin tree as the goats ate that, but that is another story! So what is a girl to do with all these lemons and limes?
Just by chance I happened to be flicking through a mag in my lunch break the other day and came across what appeared to be the perfect recipe. I remember the wonderful lemon loaf my mother used to make that was drenched in sweet, but tangy lemon syrup and this seemed very reminiscent of that. So as soon as I got home I got busy in the kitchen. And oh my, this was absolutely divine. It all disappeared that night and I was begged to make it again and again!
With dreary winter upon us in New Zealand, an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is clearly lacking in my gardens. However, I can always rely on the citrus trees to produce a crop every year without fail, apart from the mandarin tree as the goats ate that, but that is another story! So what is a girl to do with all these lemons and limes?
For the syrup, heat the lemon and lime juice with 50g caster sugar in a small saucepan on a medium element until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Cream the butter and 195g of caster sugar for 3 minutes on high speed until the mixture becomes white and fluffy.
Add grated lemon zest and lime zest with oil and whole eggs, and whisk until thick and pale in colour.
Add salt and yoghurt, mix for 30 seconds until combined, then fold in the flour. Pour mixture into a well greased loaf tin, or use baking paper.
Bake in oven at 160 degs Celsius for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. As soon as you remove the loaf from the oven, drown it with the lemon syrup, then sprinkle with vanilla sugar and allow to cool before removing from the tin.