Monday, 30 April 2012

Thinking thinking..

So I had half an hour today after dropping the kids off, going to the gym, taking the cat to the vets (stitches out) and popping up to the shops to get nappies, meat and produce to come home and get my house looking reasonable before leaving to pick them all up again. And it was a big job too, I ignored the house yesterday after partying it up on Saturday night haha!

I used to have my house running really smoothly. I am a big fan of FlyLady. I don't follow her routines anymore at all, but over the years I created my own ones that worked better for me. And I found I barely even had to think about housework, it just seemed to always be done. My friends hated me for it apparently. They hated coming to my house and seeing everything was done - made them feel inferior or something. I loved it though - not the part that it made my friends feel bad! - it just seemed so easy.

Fast forward 2 years and my house is often a shambles. I stopped caring about making sure the house was always done before people got here. My friends loved me for it lol. That's when it came out that they didn't appreciate my efforts before hahaha. I can pinpoint exactly when I dropped the ball. It was the day Mr2 was born. Even during my pregnancy with him, juggling my other 2 kids and I used to do home based care too so normally had 4 preschoolers most days, and I still kept on top of my housework. So why on earth has it been so hard since having Mr2??? Well it got harder still, once I joined the gym. I have 2 kid free days a week, and I now spend up to 2 hours a day on those days at the gym, those hours I might have spent tending to my house instead (haha who am I kidding?)

So I realise I need to go back to babysteps again. I need to reestablish my routines. I have a morning routine which is my biggest - that's when I get my house visitor ready. Then I have an afternoon routine which is getting everything ready for dinner etc, then my evening routine which is getting the house back in order around the time the kids go to bed (they are huge helpers here!). My evening routine is my most important - simply because it makes my mornings that much easier, which are my busiest time of day.

Then following on from my daily routines, are my weekly ones. My "zones" as FlyLady calls them. That is deep cleaning for a week in each zone. FlyLady has 5 zones, so do I. Only her zone 1 and 5 share a week. That wasn't working for me so I do a week in each zone, and have it all written on my online Cozi calendar (I actually have the FlyLady version of the calendar, I'm a geek like that!). So on my To Do lists on the calendar, I have all the jobs I can cross off in the zone. Things like cleaning the windows, dusting (because lets face it, I don't dust more often lol, who can be bothered?!), cleaning out drawers, under beds etc. The zone work is something I have *seriously* drop the ball on lol. But that comes after I have reestablished my daily routines.

Who is with me? Make up routines of stuff you do daily, weekly and monthly. Split your daily routine into morning, arvo and evening. And just start small and work your way up.

My first goal is to do my evening routine for a week, then I will check back in and all going well I will make sure I complete my morning routine too for the next week and so on. Slowly working up to reintroducing my Zone (monthly) lists.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

He was a Very Hungry Caterpillar

What a night last night. Lots of laughs, good friends, and best of all kids party food! I made the cake, and it was one of the quickest and easiest cakes I have ever decorated. Oh and the cake was really quite yum too. Was a recipe I hadn't used before - I forgot to buy the Coke to make my usual choccy cake I would make, and this one used everyday ingredients and was really moist and delish! That will be a keeper recipe too.

Check out my cake!

It only took me 1.5 glasses of wine to do. Yes, that's right, I time my cakes by how many glasses of wine it takes me to finish it hahha. I always drink wine when cake decorating - it stops me caring about the imperfections and by the time I'm sober enough to notice them, it's too late to do anything about it haha. 1.5 glasses of wine is about 45mins in cake decorating time (haha makes me sound like a lush... I'm not really..... hehe).

All you need is a ring cake tin, and a texan muffin tin (or some other small circle cake pan - maybe you could find a large round cookie cutter and cut the head from a larger cake).

Bake whatever cake you choose to in the ring tin, and I then made an extra 1/2 mixture and made 2 texan muffin sized cakes (the 2nd one was in case  something went wrong with the first).

Then I traced the ring tin onto paper so I could play with where I would make the cuts on the actual cake. You will see in this picture just above the board is the yellow paper that I used to shape the tail. Then placed the paper over the cake, cut it, arranged it like so, and voila. Now, normally I always ice my cakes upside down so I get a nice flat work surface for icing but as you can see with this cake, I left the ring cake up the normal way to get the rounded shape for the caterpillar but I did lop the round top off the head and turned that upside down.

Once cut, move over to whatever board you are going to serve the cake on, I just used a baking tray (I sometimes cover it with foil to make it look pretty, but didn't bother with this one). I then spread jam on the cut bits to stick it to the next bit. Then I highly recommend you do a crumb coat - just make up a quick plain uncoloured buttercream icing, and spread a thin layer over the tops and sides of the cake - it will look messy, but it will secure all the crumbs so that when you get to the proper icing, you won't have crumbs dotted through (this step is especially important on cakes that have been cut to shape).

Once the crumb coat has set, comes the fun part. Have yourself a glass of wine.
You should have a decent amount of icing left over if using my buttercream icing recipe, so you keep that for the main icing. Set aside about 1/3 or so of what is left, then colour the rest red. Ice the head. Make up another batch of icing, and split this one into 3 bowls. Colour each bowl a different shade of green. I have 2 green colourings - a normal green and an avocado green. Between these 2 colours I was able to make 3 different greens. Now, what I did was so easy - grabbed 3 snaplock bags (any strong smallish bag like that will work). Scooped each colour into one bag each, and then cut off one corner (the hole was maybe 1cm in diametre). I worked with one colour at a time, and put the other 2 bags in the fridge as it was a warm night. I did the stripey bits of that one colour, got the next and so on till the body was done. Here is the fun part - grab a fork and sort of fluff the icing up, to get the furry effect. Originally I had planned on using a piping bag with the grass tip on it and piping the icing on. Luckily the wine had taken effect by then and I stopped caring so much so took the easy option. That was a trick my friend Nicola taught me back when she used to help me decorate my cakes as I was such a dunce at it. The end effect is pretty cool.

Pour another glass of wine

Now it's time to find the icing you had set aside earlier. Split that into 3 (not evenly into 3, 2 smaller and 1 larger). Colour the smaller ones yellow and green. Now, I actually got an old medicine syringe and used that to do my finer piping! So I put some green into it, and drew the circle-ish shapes for the eyes. I used my fingers warmed under warm water to flatten it down all nice, then put yellow in the syringe and drew around the green.
With the larger left over icing, you want to colour it black-ish. Firstly I add some cocoa to the mix to make it dark brown, then some black gel colouring. And again, with the syringe do the nose, the ears and the feet. And again with the fingers warmed under water, pat them down and smooth them out.

And voila, you should be feeling pretty good right about now - the cake is complete and the wine has taken effect! hehehehe.

The girls loved their cake, it was very cool to see their faces when they saw it.

And now that brings me to Herman. The twins mum was one of the recipients of my Herman's offspring. We arrived at her house to discover somehow her Herman was not bubbling. We gave him a good stir and some bubbles formed, but apparently this morning he had totally flat lined. RIP little Herman baby.
Then I got another facebook message from the friend I dropped her Herman baby off to on Friday. Her Herman baby got mauled by ants and didn't survive the attack. RIP Herman baby #2.

On a happier note, my last Herman baby adopted by another friend is thriving and doing very well! Go lil Herman Jr, go!

Oh, did you want the chocolate cake recipe I used? Ok, Here we go then:

Fastest Fudge Cake - from

1 cup flour
3/8 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm (or I use salted butter... margarine actually, and omit the salt from the recipe)
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 180*c. Grease the bottom of an 8x2- or 9x2-inch round cake pan or line it with baking paper.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift only if the cocoa remains lumpy after whisking. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Pour the hot water over the batter; stir just until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes for a 9-inch pan; 35 to 40 min. for an 8-inch pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 min. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert the cake (peel off the baking paper if necessary). Invert it again onto the rack and let cool completely.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

On Facebook Now!

Now sure yet how to put a link on the side of my blog to link to my FB page, I will work it out at some stage when I have more time, I'm sure (though in the meantime if you know how, feel free to tell me!).
But here is the link to my blog's facebook - like my page and be the first to know there is a new blog post, and post any recipe requests, suggestions, questions, or whatever on the page.

And that leads me to this recipe request. It's a recipe I no longer make as I cannot make it lactose free (well I could if I wanted to shell out the big bucks for soy yoghurt which I do not want to do). Once upon a time Easi-Yo did a low lactose yoghurt starter - that was awesome! I was absolutely gutted when they took that off the market. Apparently it wasn't selling enough. Yet so many people I know used it! Was so disappointing as there is nothing else like it on the market.

Anyways, the recipe!

Photo provided from Ivana, who requested the recipe from me, thanks Ivana!

Peach and Yoghurt Slice

200g butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup yoghurt (plain, fruity, whatever. Doesn't really matter just changes the flavour slightly if it's flavoured which isn't a bad thing!)
2 peaches, halved and sliced (or use a well drained tin of sliced peaches, and slice them thinner)

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamed. Add eggs and beat.
Add dry ingredients and yoghurt to egg mix, fold through. Stir in 2/3 of the peaches
Spoon in a pan (20cm x 30cm). Arrange the rest of the peaches on top, press them down slightly.
Bake for 25-30mins at 180*c

Friday, 27 April 2012

My German Friend, the final chapter

So yesterday I passed on 2 of my sour dough starters to a couple of friends and I had one other friend request my last one, so I took that to her today. It's become a big joke amongst us all now, about our bubbling friend on the bench going to grow into a big strapping 6 foot German man. The 3 of us who are married, our husbands are just confused as to what the whole thing is - mine was grossed out about the idea of something sitting on the bench for over a week and not in the fridge haha. I am so glad I have my friends though - I thought they would just roll their eyes at me and biff their starters in the bin. But nope, I'm getting updates about how they are bubbling away on their benches etc and that they can't wait for him to grow hehe.

Anyways, today was the day I cooked Herman. I will be honest, I was sceptical about how he would taste (that sounds really dirty after humanising him!) after I had heard he is really quite foul. But never mind, had to see for myself!

I made him as per the traditional recipe, with apples and cinnamon, just minus the raisins. Here he is ready to go into the oven

And then just out of the oven:

And finally after cutting off pieces for the whole family to try:

Ya know what? He tasted pretty damned good! Quite moist. And I love a good Apple Cake. Even hubby agreed it was pretty good. The kids would eat anything, so their opinions don't really count for much but they all hoovered their piece down. So if any of my friends pass me another Herman, while I won't bother feeding him and splitting him and passing more on, I will most certainly cook him up into another cake! So guys, if you are reading this, I wouldn't mind another - double choc Herman is on the list!

For reference, here is the link to my original blog post which contains the recipe for the starter and the instructions on keeping Herman alive and when to bake him!  My Friend Herman

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Herman Update

Well Herman is doing well. Today I added his next lot of ingredients, and split the mixture. I have only given 2 away as the 3rd friend I was going to inflict him on bless with him wasn't able to make it to coffee group today. But that's ok, I might just do 2 different flavoured cakes for my family instead (here's hoping he isn't hideously disgusting lol!). So the extra one can be a double chocolate Herman or something.

This is what he looked like before I added the 3rd lot of ingredients in this morning:

Check out all those bubbles! So he seems to be thriving after I thought I had killed him before I even started when he took so long to start bubbling lol. So tomorrow I bake him and his buddy (no his buddy is not going to be kept and fed and split lol!). I also have the honour of baking a birthday cake for my friend's twins 3rd birthday. The request is for a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake. Watch this space to see how it comes out :)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

School's Back Tomorrow, so that means

School Baking!

Really, it was the last thing I felt like doing this arvo - spent 11 hours yesterday at mr 7's Taekwondo tournament, then up at the crack of dawn this morning to travel down to watch hubby in his first triathlon. So I am POOPED!

But then I realised school and kindy are back tomorrow (and we have a hospital trip too to get the cast off the little one) and they don't have a lot for their lunch boxes, certainly no baking! I have been a bit slack on the baking thing lately.

Wasn't feeling very inspired, and wanted to try something different, so browsed the Chelsea Sugar website for something new, where I came across this muffin recipe. Sounded different, but using all basic ingredients I have, so gave it a try.

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup Chelsea White Sugar (I used 3/4c)1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: sultanas or raisins (I didn't)

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Beat together eggs, vanilla essence and oil. Add to flour mixture. Add carrots, sultanas, pineapple and juice, mix well.
Fill greased muffin cups and bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. (I would start checking after about 12 mins to see if they are cooked)
Makes 12 large muffins.

I think 20 mins is too long for baking time. They are a bit dry. I should have watched them baking but it has been a big weekend, I bunged them in the oven, set the timer and blobbed on the couch till my alarm went off! They are still perfectly edible though, and are perfect lunchbox fillers. The kids will happily eat them, that's what matters aye!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Getting with the times

So I was a bit slow off the mark but I finally have a smartphone lol. So I thought I would do a quick post from my phone simply because I can! Right now I am doing voice recognition and speaking my blog post instead of typing. How cool. "Anyways ministering well tomorrow I have to see them" - fail! That Was meant to say anyways herman is doing well. Tomorrow I get to feed him!
School holidays are nearly over and we havent done much fun stuff. I guess that's what you get with a kid in cast. Fingers crossed it comes off on Monday!

Edit from the computer - Oh yeah, I think I forgot to mention the 2yo in the cast! It's made for a rather boring holidays, just a minor trampoline accident on Easter Monday, but his whole leg is in plaster! Been such a drag. They rekon it should come off on Monday when we have a follow up appointment at Starship.... well, it better!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Din Dins Tonight

So this afternoon I was talking to some people on FB about dinners and stuff, and I sent them a link to my blog (hey, gotta get it out there aye haha!)... I told them tonight we are having crustless quiche for dinner as hubby has had to pop out to work so won't be home for dinner and the kids are guaranteed to eat it all. I tried to find the link to my quiche recipe only to realise I haven't yet blogged about it! Must remedy that straight away haha!

I have adapted this recipe to suit my family. The original recipe made a much smaller quiche, and had a higher flour to egg ratio. I prefer it more eggy, so my quiche reflects that.

Serve it up with a side of salad in summer, or steamed vegies in winter and have it for dinner as a yummy kid friendly cheap meal. Otherwise it makes a great lower calorie higher protein lunch - especially if you put chicken in the filling! Or I make mini ones in muffin tins and mini muffin tins for the kids birthdays - they are always popular... oh if you do that, they work best in the silicone moulds than the tin ones in my experience.

Anyways, here is my basic recipe:

Crustless Quiche,
makes a large family sized quiche

8 eggs
3/4 c self raising flour (or plain flour with 3/4tsp baking powder, as I do)
2 1/4 cup milk (I use zero lacto milk to make it lactose free... I have previously made it with about 1 cup rice milk and the rest water, turns out great that way too. I don't like full rice milk as it's too sweet)
1 onion, chopped
a few rashers of bacon, chopped (I use the really cheap rolled stuff from the supermarket, more ham in texture than bacon lol, but works so well in cooking dishes, oh, and it's cheap! This last lot I got from Pak n Save for $4/kilo!)
1 cup cheese, grated (I omit)

Other extras I sometimes add:

Chopped up silverbeet or spinach (do this most times!)
Sliced tomatoes on the top (usually do this one, had run out of tomatoes tonight though)
Instead of bacon throw in leftover chicken bits
You can throw it whatever vegies you want really. Leftover roast vegies in with leftover roast chicken is yummy!

Preheat oven to 180*c
Sauté up your bacon and onion.
Whisk the egg, flour and milk together, doesn't matter if it's a lil lumpy.
Throw all your fillings (except tomato) in the egg mix
Tip mixture into a baking dish
If using tomato, slice them up and lay on top of mixture
Bake in oven for approx 45mins or until cooked through


My Friend Herman

He is a german friendship cake. Have you heard of this? You start with a sour dough starter, and basically stir it each day with a couple of days of adding a couple of extra ingredients. Then you split the mix into 4 and give a share of the starter dough to some friends, then the next day add the rest of the ingredients and bake him into a cake, and your friends get to tend to their starter dough and split to more friends and so on. It keeps on giving - a bit like a naff chain mail but with FOOD!

So guess what friends? Three of you get to be inflicted blessed with this friendship cake! Are you going to be one of them? I'm not saying who I am choosing (heck I don't even know yet), but it will be 3 people who live local so I can easily get it to you lol.

Here is Herman's website

It has all the instructions on there but they are all old school, so I have done some converting to get better measurements to use. Copy and pasting from his website, with conversions in purple

The Herman Starter Mix

If you have never been given a starter mix for a friendship cake, it is very easy to make. This way you can start your own Herman and get sharing right away. Here’s how:
  • 5oz (140g - slightly less than 1 cup, or just do 1 cup if it's easier!) plain flour
  • 8oz (about 225g - roughly 1 cup) castor sugar
  • 1 packet (about 2.5 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
  • Half a pint (1 cup) of warm milk
  • 2 fl oz (1/4c) lukewarm water
What to do:
  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes and stir.
  2. Add the flour and sugar then mix thoroughly.
  3. Slowly stir in the warm milk.
  4. Cover the bowl in a clean cloth.
  5. Leave in a cool dry place for 24 hours
  6. Now proceed from day one of the 10 day cycle.

German Friendship Cake Instructions

Hello, my name is Herman.
I am a sourdough cake. I’m supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on. You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.
  1. You get Herman and put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
  2. Stir well
  3. Stir well
  4. Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
  5. Stir well
  6. Stir well
  7. Stir well
  8. Stir well
  9. Hungry again. Add the same as day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the 4th one.
  10. Herman is very hungry. Stir well and add the following:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • half tsp (teaspoon) salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples cut into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 170-180C. When cold cut into finger pieces. Cake freezes well and is also delicious warm with cream or ice-cream.

Or if you follow this link here it takes you to different variations of Herman cakes you can make. Do you fancy a double chocolate Herman? Maybe a Ginger Herman? Have a look for ideas.

I'm thinking I might do the original recipe minus the raisins because there is a fusspot in my house who doesn't like them! I do quite fancy apple and cinnamon.

So... will keep you updated as to how my Herman turns out! This is what he looks like today:

Im a lil worried about Herman because he isn't bubbling yet, is he dead before he even started??

Monday, 16 April 2012

One of my absolute favourites

This recipe is one I adapted, from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Pretty much it's the same as hers, but in order to make it lactose or dairy free, I couldn't use sour cream like her recipe calls for. Instead, I sour some milk with vinegar (either zero lacto milk, or if we are all out I use rice milk).

These muffins stay moist for a good few days! If anything, they get moister as time goes on (moist, oh how I hate that word in general, but in baking it's the best thing ever! haha). They are awesome. Good winter time muffins, when pears are in season. But if pears are not yet in season, use tinned ones, that's what I ended up using today as my kids aren't big fresh pear fans (yet happily eat the tinned stuff, go figure!).

This batch are off to a friend who recently had a little baby girl... kinda wish I had doubled the recipe so we could have some too lol.

Pear and Ginger Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar (or use a lil less like I do, yeah, I'm a bit sugar phobic I think lol)
1/2 cup + 6 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger (make it a massively HEAPED teaspoon, or add an extra teaspoon if you love ginger like me)
2/3 cup sour cream - (This is what I swap for soured milk... 2tsp vinegar in a measuring cup, filled up to 2/3cup with milk or dairy free alternative)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon honey
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pears, peeled & chopped to 1/4-inch dice (or a tin of pears, well drained and diced)

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups
2. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, granulated sugar, the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, baking powder, and ground ginger.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream/soured milk, oil, honey, and eggs together and then fold this into the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated (don't over-mix).
4. Stir in diced pear and then divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
5. Sprinkle each one with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar and then bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Best eaten when still a little warm but still yummy cold!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Got into a bit of a Jam

Ok, so I came into a lot of feijoas this morning (like, 60-odd) thanks to a friendly local trying to offload them. There is no way we are going to eat that many feijoas before they go gross (they are older produce to start with), so I thought I would tick another thing off my 101 Challenges list... Make jam. I have NEVER made jam before. Now, Chelsea Sugar make a jam setting sugar. I wasn't so smart as to  buy some this morning while I was at the supermarket. So I am doing it the old fashioned way!

Found this recipe here, seems easy enough yep? Well, lets see how I go!

Feijoa Jam

 1kg feijoas, peeled and sliced
 1/2 cup water
 Juice and zest of 1 lemon
 4 cups white granulated sugar, warmed

1. Place feijoas in a jam pan or a large, wide saucepan.

Add water, lemon juice and zest. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook until fruit is soft – this should take about 15 minutes.

2. Add warmed sugar and stir until it dissolves. Bring jam to the boil, then let it boil without stirring for 20 minutes, or until the mixture reaches setting point.

A tad concerned it might boil over. That ended up being the least of my worries!

3. Pour jam into warmed, sterlised jars. When the jars are cool, seal them. The jam can be eaten straight away. Makes 6 to 8 cups

Had to do a bit of googling to find out what exactly "warmed sugar" is, had never heard of it before (having never made jam before - I have however made lemon curd previously but thats as far as my jam making knowledge goes!).

To warm sugar -

To warm sugar, spread it in an even layer in a deep-sided baking dish and warm in a slow oven 150C for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Do not overheat the sugar or it will start to lump together. To make sure, stir the sugar once or twice while it is warming.
And then to Sterilise Jars -

What I do is wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Place upside down on a baking tray that is covered with a tea towel, and put into the oven (about 150*c) for 10-15mins. Turns out it worked in perfectly with the warming of the sugar, put them both in together, then just left the jars in an off oven until it was time to use them.

So, how did my jam turn out?

Well I bloody burnt it didn't I!!! Argh!!! NOT impressed with myself, that took a LONG time to prepare only to be side tracked by facebook and then suddenly my house was being smoked out. Luckily I used my good non stick deep sided frypan - at least the burnt on crap off the bottom came off easily.

Oh Shit!

Maybe I should stick with making lemon curd. I really must blog about that one day, I can make a mean curd thanks to a recipe my friend Nicola gave me (yes, she has given me a few good recipes!).

So, yeah, my house is still all smokey. And I have a burnt mess to somehow dispose of. I was kind of looking forward to my jam!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The a-typical roast

One day last winter I stumbled across this recipe here - for Roast Broccoli. They dubbed it 'The Best Broccoli Of Your Life'. Ya know what? It really is pretty damned good. I would NEVER have even considered roasting broccoli before!

I love the combination, the garlic, the lemon and yes, I even add a small bit of grated cheese (not Parmesan though as we never have that in the house, but just whatever we have). The kids love it too (except the 2 year old, nothing will get him to love vegies at the moment!).

Of course, I made a few changes to make it cheaper and easier, so I will share my version of the recipe for the more budget conscious readers of mine.

Also, I now not only roast broccoli with that recipe, but I do cauliflower and carrot too. Those 3 make a great combination, and I wouldn't have thought about roasting cauli originally either. Normally I only like cauliflower if its covered in cheese sauce. But that's not really the most feasible option with 3 of my family lactose intolerant. They are ok with the tiny amount of cheese in this recipe, but not with a full dairy cheese sauce (I do actually make a lactose free white sauce these days using Anchors Zero Lacto, flavouring it with garlic flakes and whatever else I might like to add for some zing, and sometimes a small amount of cheese too).

The Amazing Roast Broccoli (cauli, carrot....)

Preheat oven to around 200*c
Cut your broccoli and cauliflower into florets, and cut up your carrot as you please
Put in a roasting dish and toss with oil, salt and pepper
Sprinkle over some dried garlic granules (original recipe uses real garlic cloves that are peeled and sliced, feel free to do this instead, I just always forget to buy fresh garlic and when I DO remember to buy it I always forget we have it haha).

Roast in the oven for 20-25mins

Zest a lemon over the vegies and squeeze the juice over them too. Sprinkle over some finely grated cheese (Parmesan if you have it).

The original recipe also used pine nuts and basil, the version in the link above left them out and I did too. I'd add the basil if I still had my basil plant, but my 2yo saw to my herbs a year or so ago, sometime after he learnt to crawl....

So yeah, try the recipe, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Cinnamon Goodness

I have always been a sucker for cinnamon rolls. So when I was browsing Pinterest one day looking for freezer biscuits recipes (as per my 101 Challenges thing), I came across this one.

I made up the dough last week to keep in the freezer for when needed. Tomorrow I am going to a coffee get together, and figured I would bake the biscuits today to bring with me to share (I'm less likely to scoff them all by myself that way you see!).

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter (dairy free spread has worked fine)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg white
1 T water


1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
2. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll it into a 9x12 inch rectangle. Whisk egg white with water until foamy, and brush on the surface of the rolled dough.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle it evenly over the dough. Starting with the long end, roll the dough into a log, sealing the edge. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
4. Preheat oven to 180*c. Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap it. Using a sharp knife, gently cut it into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer them to a baking sheet.
5. Bake the cookies 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Drizzle with a glaze if desired (I was too lazy to bother).

Yield: 2 dozen cookies (or in my case, nearly 30, though I admit 2 cookies didn't make it from the freezer to the oven as they fell into my mouth and accidentally got eaten).
Right, well this is a DEFINITE keeper this recipe. OMG soooooo yum! And so bloody easy. I'm going to make sure I always have cookie dough in the freezer now, just thinking of all the times it would be so handy - school shared lunches, picnics, people dropping over for coffee, behind on normal baking so whip some of these out for the kids etc etc. YUM!