Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baking Powder

I've just finished my packet of baking powder. This is good one one hand (means I've been baking - I've been experimenting with biscuits with varying degrees of success) not so good on the other (I want to bake but don't want to go and buy any!)

So, what can I do?

Simple!

I have some Cream of Tartar (from making play dough and a meringue icing) and also have Bicarb (doesn't everyone?) After a little bit of research on the internet, I have discovered that it is really simple.

1 part Bicarb : 2 parts Cream of Tartar

ie when 1 teaspoon is needed

1/4 tspn Bicarb + 1/2 tspn Cream of Tartar.

No, that doesn't equal 1 tspn, but commercial baking powder then has cornflour added to allow it to flow.

Happy baking days ahead!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back to Breakfast - Cereals

Ok, slightly behind where I was planning to be but not stressing! I'd planned to update my blog regularly but things happen and so then other things don't. I have learnt that sometimes things get done, other times they don't but the world will not fall apart!

So I posted about some toast topping options for breakfast. Now I'm going to look at some other options for breakfast, today being cereal based.

I often get bored with breakfast so having some different options helps with that boredom.

I'm not a huge fan of the breakfast cereal aisle at the supermarket. Most of them are packed full of sugar or boosted with soy flour and leave me hungry after about an hour. So in this house, cereal options are quite limited.

Porridge

We use organic traditional oats. I don't soak overnight but allow some added cooking time. I also only cook it with water and add the milk to the serving bowl. I allow 1/3 - 1/2 cup per person.

Variations

  • Sliced banana on top
  • Flaked / Slivered almonds on top
  • Almond milk instead of goat milk
  • 1 Tablespoon almond meal per serving and cook with oats
  • All of the above!

Muesli

It has been really hard to find mueslis that taste great, keep us satisfied and don't have added sugar. For me, the dried fruits are sweet enough. I prefer the ones without dried fruit but variety is good :) 

Tip
  • One of the hazards with muesli is that you can pour out too much so for each new packet, I test measuring cups to work out the recommended serving size and keep that cup in the packet.

Options
  • Carman's - available in most supermarkets, they have no added sugar and are flavoured with cinnamon. They are an Australian company.
  • Macro brand Traditional Muesli from Woolworths - this is available in the health food aisle.
  • Monster Muesli Sports Muesli - this is a new find in the health aisle at Coles. It contains quinoa and only a little fruit. It is also an Australian business. I am really enjoying this one as a pre-gym breakfast.

Other

The only other breakfast cereal we buy is Sanitarium Organic Weet-Bix. By itself, it doesn't sustain any of us so we add a spoonful each of organic sultanas, flaked or slivered almonds and chia seeds. This makes a very satisfying and tasty breakfast.


If you can suggest and other cereals, that would be great as I'm always up for trying new ones!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Cashew Milk

Unlike the almond milk, I just can't get the cashew milk to work that I like the taste. Sophie loves it but for me there is still a funny, almost dirty tasting after taste. The cashews have been soaked and rinsed. I also find it a lot harder to strain than the almond milk and tend to make a mess with it. It also doesn't work in my tea. :(

So I got to the point of having the recipe identical to the almond milk and not sure where to go from there. Any suggestions out there?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Almond Milk

One of the reasons we got a Thermomix was to make nut milks. With cow dairy an issue here, it's nice to have a variation on goat milk from time to time. The Thermomix is very powerful and grinds the nuts and dates easily. Once it has been strained (I use some fine muslin I bought from Spotlight) it makes a lovely creamy "milk". It does NOT work in tea or coffee! It splits! It does make REALLY nice hot chocolate though and is fabulous on porridge adding more protein and keeping me, at least, satisfied for longer after eating it! I am going to try and make some custard with it...  

The almonds (and any other nuts I use) are soaked overnight as apparently the skins have enzyme inhibitors. Soaking the nuts releases them and makes them easier to digest. I also find it makes them easier to grind. It's quite interesting how "dirty" the soaking water becomes. Here is an interesting piece of information about soaking times and sprouting.

After making the milk, you are left with the ground almonds and dates which can then be used to make other things, like some yummy chocolate biscuits, the recipe for which will be coming once I get a photo of them. They don't last long enough!

This recipe uses the Thermomix but any good blender will make it, it may just mean that it will take longer to blend. I don't know how long it will last in the fridge as we use it all in one go.

RECIPE

Ingredients

1 Litre water
100g raw almonds, soaked over night, then drained and rinsed well
2 medjool dates

Method 

Place water in the jug.
Add the almonds and dates.
Slowly take the speed up to 8 and blend for up to a minute.
Strain through the muslin into a jug, squeezing as much out as possible.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thermomix - I got one!!!

Since writing several months ago, we got a Thermomix!! Given my Mix Master died (again), my blender didn't seem to want to blend and I didn't own a food processor, it was time to get something! After lots of research and deciding it would actually be cheaper to get a Thermomix than 3 different appliances, and far more practical to get 1 appliance in our tiny kitchen, we splurged and got one. WOW! What an appliance! What did I do without one and why was I so sceptical about them? No, Thermie (as it is affectionately known in our house) isn't used every day, but certainly most! 

What do I make with it??

Rice, boiled eggs, beef stroganoff, bread, hommous, custard, steamed fish, steamed veggies, almond milk, pasta sauces, mashed potato and salads are all regulars and the number of things I am doing in it is increasing. There are still more things I prefer to do stovetop or by hand, like porridge, bolognese, stir fries, pancake mix and most of our dinners which tend to be grilled meats and veggies, but the repertoire is increasing :)

Since I keep forgetting my recipes or have to keep looking them up, I am going to start putting the recipes here so that I can at least just look them up quickly on my phone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Walk for Women

Wow! It's been a while yet I feel as if I only wrote yesterday! Between school holidays, my birthday, a holiday away, sick kids, preparing for a 5 day craft fair and training for a 50km walk, time does slip by!

Yes, a 50 km walk! I'm still amazed that I am going to do it but not only is it a personal challenge, but it is also for a good cause.

On Saturday, 11th June, there will be over 100 women participating in a walkathon to raise money for the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. Take some time and read about the incredible work they do there. You can do just parts of the walk but another friend and I have decided to do the full thing. The women we are raising the money for often have to walk a lot further than that with theses injuries so I figure a few blisters and some sore muscles afterwards is a small price to pay! For some reason, I have blister prone feet, specific points, but luckily I have discovered blister plasters - amazing inventions - so I will have some protection on the day. 

We will be walking from Coogee to Turramuarra via a very pretty but very hilly course! It is taking quite a bit of preparation fitness wise because until only a couple of months ago, I did no exercise. Now I can walk 30km and feel fine the next day. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and do challenging workouts and I LOVE it! Anyone who has known me for any amount of time will probably be rereading that thinking they have read wrongly! While I have been particularly conscious of good food for years now, exercise and sport has never been my thing, I got out of school sport whenever I could! 

Foodwise has been interesting too. For the longer training walks, I have found peanut butter on a grainy toast with a piece of fruit to be the best to get and keep me going. On the actual walks, it has been recommended that we have salty carbs (crackers etc) for snacks rather than fruit and nuts like I would have thought. We need the quick release of energy rather than slow and also the salt for hydration pruposes. So I have found Vegemite sandwiches and some jelly lollies to be the best to take for me. They are also the easiest to eat walking along.

Drinkwise I have always hated the thought of Sports drinks (particularly the unnecessary addition of food colourings. But really loathing the pharmacy electrolyte drinks, I decided to give one a go, at the recommendation of my trainer at the gym. For me, the Gatorade Endurance seems to be the one. It tastes ok (well, how good can sugar and salt in water taste?) and does seem to help with the hydration levels. Normally my hands and fingers get really puffy but on the walk I had some, they weren't nearly as bad. I tried another walk without it and I got really puffy again. So on the day I will be carrying one drink bottle with water and one with Gatorade. There will be water stations on the way where I can refill and Pepsi are apparently donating Gatorade as well. Thank you Pepsi! (Lucky I chose Gatorade to test!)

So would you like to sponsor me??? 

There are 2 ways to sponsor.

If you see me in person, I have a sponsorship booklet you can fill out.

If you don't see me, are overseas or would prefer, you can donate online. For the Event enter "Walk for Women BFox" and follow the prompts. If you are overseas, enter 0000 as your postcode. If you do donate online, please let me know as we don't get notified of these ones and I would like to say "thank you". :)

All donations $2 and over in Australia are tax deductible.

Thank you for your support of this great cause.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Breakfast - Toast

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day to get us going. But sometimes I get bored with the same repertoire so I'm going to start to compile a list of breakfast ideas.

To start with, TOAST. 

I've never really been a great fan of toast for breakfast; I have just found it too boring and doesn't keep me going for as long as I would like. But I have tried different breads and toppings and now it is one of my favourite quick brekkies.

Breads


I tend to like a good hearty, grainy or sourdough, low GI bread. Not only are they more substantial, but they taste better too. I do try and avoid the "supermarket" breads where possible as they contain soy flour. The reason I avoid this is a whole other topic! Some of the ones we get are: 
  • Rye Sourdough
  • Spelt Sourdough
  • Baker's Delight Wholemeal Country Grain (they no longer seem to put "anti-foam" in their breads so I do occasionally buy it now).
  • Tip Top 9 Grain - any of them really
  • English Muffins
  • Country Life Brand (gluten free available)

Toppings

  • Ricotta and honey (yellow box)
  • Hummus and sliced tomato
  • Avocado and sliced tomato
  • Avocado, tomato and cheese grill
  • Cheese and tomato grill
  • Mashed banana with cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter (love the Macro Organic brand - it's just peanuts! Fancy that!)
  • Baked beans (home made preferably or the Coles Organic tin is not too bad)
  • Cottage cheese, chives and sliced tomato
  • Tinned tuna and tomato (Greenseas in springwater)

What other breads and toppings do you recommend?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meal Planning

Well, it's been a busy time here the last few weeks with my first Craft Fair at the beginning of March and all the usual running around for children's activities. While the housework has been mostly neglected, the kitchen has been humming along. There have been a couple of non-planned meals eaten out due to unforeseen happenings or more likely not being able to move my craftwork off the table, but otherwise, not much has changed. The meals have been kept very simple and I must admit a little boring. Now that the Fair is over, I am hoping to do at least one new meal a week. 

I have had quite a few people asking me recently about how I plan my meals. I do actually plan all meals, not just dinner. I've toyed with the idea before of developing something to help people learn to do this, whether they want to do it for health, budget or sanity reasons. Would anyone out there be interested in this service? What format would be preferred? In person, via email, an eBook? This would be a paid service but I would put a lot into it for you.

Please leave a comment below if this sort of thing interests you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bayside Lounge and Passello Restaurant Darling Harbour

On Saturday, I went in to Darling Harbour for the Reed Gift Fair, a trade event, for my craft business, Cassis Craft. After an exhausting, brain exploding day, Greg and the girls came in to pick me up and to enjoy an early dinner out in the city.

While waiting for them, I wanted something refreshing and light so I plonked my blistered and tired feet in the Bayside Lounge at about 3.30pm. I thought a nice glass of mineral water, a coffee and a snack would be fabulous. Well, the snack was near impossible as they close the kitchen at 4pm (the trade fair is on until 6pm yet they still closed) so I opted for the parmesan and rocket salad with balsamic dressing. It was quite nice, with a good serving of cheese but the dressing was a little sweet for my liking. 

I'm an espresso drinker and it's fascinating how few places can produce a good one. You would think that since this is the base of all coffees, then it would be quite simple. I have been served long blacks, asked to explain what it is, had the crema poured off and even questioned why I wouldn't like milk in it! When this one arrived with what looked like a little glass of water, I was quite excited as traditionally, that is how it should be served. After drinking my quite nice, slightly bitter (as I like it) coffee, I nearly spat the contents of the glass out over the table! It was lemonade! Who serves lemonade with a coffee??? As for the service and trying to pay my bill, I could have walked out without paying and none of the staff would probably have noticed.

By that time, my beautiful family had arrived with some different shoes for me so we offloaded my catalogue laden bags in the car and went for a wander around and looked for somewhere for dinner. There are so many options at Darling Harbour so we perused the menus, looked at what others were eating and finally decided on Passello, an Italian restaurant with a head waiter with a lovely smile. :)

To keep it simple, we ordered garlic bread and marinated olives for starters and 2 pizzas for main. Greg had a Peroni beer, I had a glass of sparkling wine and of course, the girls had water.

To start, the drinks took ages to come and it wasn't busy. To say the strawberry served on the rim of my champagne glass was should not have been allowed past the counter is an understatement. The second one wasn't much better and she obviously had trouble cutting it! Greg's beer at $8.50 on the menu was rip off as it was one of those International beers with the International label but brewed under licence here in Australia. How restaurants get away with classing it as an International beer then I do not know or understand.


  
Dodgy Strawberry #1
Dodgy Strawberry #2





















The garlic bread and olives were nice, nothing out of this world though.

Garlic Bread

Marinated Olives

Before the plates had even been cleared, the pizzas arrived so Greg helped clear the plates to an adjacent table. We had the Passello Special and the Frutti di Mare. The Frutti di Mare was lovely and the fresh tomato and basil were lovely. The Passello Special wasn't so special but nice. The crusts were lovely and thin and crunchy :)

Frutti di Mare

Passello Special

While not blown away by the experience, it was lovely to be eating alfresco and somewhere other than the usual local haunts. We did notice during the night that the food must have been very salty as we were all up having drinks of water and experiencing weird dreams! Not sure we'd go again but given the number of restaurants down there, probably don't need to!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sultana and Cinnamon Pikelets



Sultana and Cinnamon Pikelets


These school friendly pikelets have a good dash of cinnamon which is thought to be good for circulation and for maintaining stable blood sugars - it also tastes great! They are sweet but contain no processed powdered sugar. I made them with goat milk but we have found rice and oat milks taste great in pikelets / pancakes too.

This recipe makes about 16 largish pikelets. I used a tin of baby food apple. The amount of milk needed will depend on how thick you want the pikelets, what sort of milk is used (less low fat needed) and the type of flour but at least 1 cup is needed. They can be made dairy free by substituting non-dairy milk and spread.

RECIPE

Ingredients

150g unbleached plain flour
150g wholemeal flour
3 tspns baking powder
2 eggs, beaten lightly
120g (1 small tin) apple purée
50g melted butter
milk

Method


  • Sift flours and baking powder together into a bowl and make a well.
  • Add eggs, apple and cooled butter into the well.
  • Begin to stir with a fork, slowly adding the milk until the desired consistency of the batter is obtained.
  • Over medium heat, drop spoonfuls of batter into a non-stick or greased frying pan.
  • When bubbles appear on the surface, flip over and cook through the other side.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lunch Box Zucchini Frittatas

Zucchini Frittatas


The girls LOVE frittatas for lunch at school so these are the latest ones. I used to do quiches with shortcrust or filo pastry but we discovered the pastry would go soggy in the lunch box. Amy will only eat zucchinis if they are grated and when they are she loves them. I've used goat cheese as we are now all on goat dairy products rather than cow. I can't believe that even I am enjoying it! I freeze most of the frittatas to defrost in their lunchboxes by lunchtime. Served with a chopped salad.


RECIPE - Makes 12

Ingredients

8 eggs
100g grated cheese
250g grated zucchini (about 3 small)
1 tomato
pepper


Method

  • Whisk eggs in a bowl.
  • Add cheese, zucchini and pepper to taste.
  • Pour into a 12 hole muffin tin.
  • Place a slice of tomato on the top of each.
  • Bake at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes until set and golden on top.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

School - Rant Alert!

I need to rant, vent and try to calm down. All input on thoughts are appreciated, even opposing views. I may even offend people with my views, but that isn't anything new! I may even go in circles as I write, but that is the reflection of what my brain is doing getting worked up about all this.

We're back at school and into the routine now. Sophie has now started school so it's lunches to go for 2 each morning. Morning tea, lunches and water bottles are packed each day and a lot of thought goes into what I send with the girls. I want them to take a healthy, balanced lot of food to school; protein carbohydrates, fruit, fats etc etc.

But no nuts allowed.

Hmm.

We eat a lot of nuts, foods based on nuts and I think they are such a wonderful source of protein, carbs, fibre, fats, calcium. They can be packed in a lunch box without fear of bacterial contamination or going soggy. 

I understand that there is a very small percentage of children with allergies but I am not sending these foods to be eaten by them. I do not want my children to share their food with anyone and I would assume that the school would tell the children that they shouldn't be sharing their food. These children would be exposed to their allergens in so many places; shopping centres, parks, buses, why does school have to be so different? Are they not told by their parents that they have to be careful? Sophie knows she can't have any cow milk products and she is so good about asking even when I am not around. At parties she asks and then doesn't have those foods with it in.

Where will the list end? What about eggs, dairy, soy, other legumes? Peanuts are a legume not a nut after all. Why do kids without a problem need to change their diets? For those with dairy problems, nuts are a wonderful substitute.

What about vegans and raw foodists? Vegetarians? Other cultures that also eat a lot of nut based foods?

It's interesting that on the DET website (of course I can't find the link now) the nut free is only a recommendation and they can't enforce it. So why make it sound like it is a rule that must be followed? Last year the school said peanuts but a note has come home from the class teachers including tree nuts.

Then there's the practice of birthday parties at school. I'm sorry, but aren't birthday parties for the parents to organise and hold? The number of cakes brought to school and lolly bags handed out is appalling! I object but what can I do? Look like the party pooper parent?  We can't send nuts for our own child to eat but we can send cakes and lollies for everyone to share. But write the ingredient list down for the teacher. If everyone in the class were to do it, that's approximately a party and a lolly bag every 2 weeks, more often in higher years. Let's give the kids sugar at school so they can have a sugar crash later. My girls do not do well on sugar so we don't eat much food with it added, which is another reason I love nuts! If it's the parents organising and holding the party in their own time, I have no problem and I can work the food for the rest of the day around it. Plus on a weekend, they don't need to have such good concentration.

You can't buy cakes, biscuits or lollies at the school canteen as they are red foods which are allowed once a term. No problems, just bring them to school to share around. Stop the sharing of any food! The note that has come home has also said no sugary, carbonated drinks. Well, the canteen sells flavoured milk and juice! They have just as much sugar! But cakes, biscuits and lollies are fine to share around.

My girls don't do fruit break which is at about 10am. We have a good breakfast at about 8 so they do not need anything then. Apparently it's targeted at those who eat early and to encourage healthy eating at school. Wash it down with some flavoured milk from the canteen at recess.

There are too many inconsistent messages about food at school. This may not be the case at other schools. I put a lot of effort into thinking about what I send only to have it all come apart at school.

Excuse me while I go and get the almond, date and cinnamon, sugar and dairy free muffins out of the oven. Pity they can't take them to school! Maybe I need to do choc chip ones for there.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Australia Day

The 26th January is Australia Day. This is the day the British arrived in 1788 to form a penal colony. While this date may cause some controversy in different circles, it is the day we all celebrate being Australian, the Australian way of life and how lucky we are to live in such a fabulous country.

This year, we went to Greg's parents for a family lunch for 17. My Mum came too. It was an absolutely scorching hot day, high 30's, but luckily their house is air-conditoned :)

For the main meal, we had pork spare ribs, potato salad, green salad and sesame beans, with each family bringing a dish. My mum's potato salad is really good, but no matter what I do, it's never quite as good as hers!

Australia Day Lunch 2011


I was asked to bring a cake as it was also the opportunity to celebrate 5 family members' birthdays in January and February. As it turned out, we had 3 desserts!!

I kept it simple, using my  dairy free vanilla recipe and the butter frosting. To decorate I used coloured M&Ms representing different aspects of Australia
  • Yellow - sun and sand
  • Orange - sunset
  • Red - sunset and land
  • Brown - land
  • Green - grass and trees
  • Blue - sky and water

Australia Day Cake 2011


It was a really pleasant way to spend the day :)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Birthday Baking

As if this time of year isn't busy enough, we had to go and have 2 children in January! At least now the parties are all over, the school year can start and I can get my business really up and running, especially since Sophie starts school this year!!

So once again, they could decide on which cake design they wanted. Amy only had a playdate with 2 friends instead of a party but she still had to have a cake. She chose a Donna Hay frangipani cake from her 2009 kids' issue magazine, using my dairy free vanilla cake recipe. Well, what a huge cake! 3 round cakes were needed, I bought a smaller tin than what she had in her recipe and it was still huge ! I had to use the lid off a plastic storage tub to put it on as it was too big for any of my trays! She thinks it serves 12-14. What is her serving size? The meringue icing was fabulous, but again, it made far too much.

Frangipani Cake


Sophie had a Pooh Bear party. I really don't know how she became so obsessed with him but at least he is cute and more age appropriate than some other characters! Her cake was super easy. She wanted a plain cake with a store bought Pooh Bear edible icing decoration on top of orange icing. Yes, her favourite colour is still orange. The decoration has instructions that it is best to put it on fudge icing made with "icing sugar, margarine and water beaten until fluffy". Well, no quantities were given and when I made it with the dairy free spread it all separated and was quite revolting so I made my normal butter icing and put the decoration on just when it was time for the cake at the party.

Pooh Bear Cake


I've just realised I didn't post a photo of her cake from last year! She ended up not wanting the fairy princess cake, opting for a butterfly, so long as it was mostly orange!

Butterfly Cake

Monday, January 24, 2011

Basic Cake and Icing Recipes

I have finally settled on a recipe for a basic cake and icing. The cake can be made dairy free by substituting the butter for a dairy free spread. I have found the Nuttelex Kosher to be fabulous! It makes a wonderfully light and fluffy cake. The same can not be said for using it for the icing! Major disaster! I'll stick to the butter icing or Donna Hay's meringue frosting. (p102 in her 2009 kids' issue magazine)

RECIPE - CAKE

Ingredients

150g unsalted butter / dairy free spread
150g caster sugar
1tspn vanilla extract
2 eggs
150g unbleached self-raising flour

Method
  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Add one egg, combining well before adding the next egg.
  • Add flour and mix lightly until batter is light and fluffy.
  • Add to greased tin or patty cases for cupcakes and bake at 180ºC until golden and cooked through.


Cooking times - 10 - 12 minutes for cupcakes
                        - 30 - 35 minutes for 20cm round


RECIPE - ICING

Ingredients

100g icing sugar, well sifted to remove and lumps.
50 g cold unsalted butter
1/4 tspn vanilla extract
Colourings of choice

Method
  • Combine butter sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Colour as needed, making sure not to add to much colouring as it does change the consistency of the icing.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nana's Christmas Pudding


Christmas Pudding


2 Christmases ago I decided I wanted to make a Christmas pudding and the only one to make is the one my Nana made! I don't actually like pudding but there is something about the smell and the ceremony around it. Growing up, there were sliver coins in the pudding but I don't own any and apparently jewellers are no longer allowed to sell the silver tokens that were for sale for a while because they are a choking hazard!! Really!! I only have vague memories of those Christmases being the youngest grandchild and the age difference between my father and his siblings.

Although Nana lived until 101, I was never given her recipe and neither was my mother.  An email to my cousin and the recipe was handed on. I am not going to put the recipe on here but keep it in my Christmas folder. Given it was never handed out freely, I feel as if I can't.

Having now made it for 2 Christmases, I must say, I LOVE the recipe, it really is quite easy but I still don't like pudding!! With the mix that doesn't fit in the pudding basin, I make cupcakes and bake them and those I really do like! I wonder if it is the whole boiling thing? ( I seem to only have photos of unbaked ones... )


Pudding Cupcake

So this year I made a double batch since it would be for serving 20 people. Not sure I needed that much but it was fun. (We ended up having a the spare small one in the new year with Greg's family). One thing I discovered is that the container the fruit is left to brew in makes a difference to the potency of the alcohol! This is not a recipe that calls for a couple of tablespoons of brandy, oh no, we're talking good size measurements of brandy and rum! Normally I put the fruit in my big stainless steel bowl and cover it in cling film. For the second batch, I put it in my stockpot, covered with cling film AND the lid. Oh boy! That pudding was VERY strong!

Flaming Pudding
Well, you can't see the flames but there is a puddle of brandy on top!


We served the pudding flaming with brandy and an icecream pudding made by someone else.

Pudding with Ice Cream Pudding

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spiced Biscuits

Spiced Biscuits


We were running low on food in the house and Mum was calling in for a cup of tea. Time to make some biscuits! With limited staples in the pantry, I think these turned out really well and will become a regular I think! The spices can be adjusted to taste, the pattern on top can be there or not and they are really quick. The recipe makes about 24 - depends on how much is taste tested while rolling - which are slightly crispy on the outside and softer on the inside.

RECIPE

Ingredients

50g butter
50g brown sugar
100g golden syrup
150g self raising flour
1 tspn ground ginger
1 tspn mixed spice
1 tspn ground cinnamon


Method

  • Preheat oven to moderate, 180ºC.
  • Place butter, brown sugar, and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until butter has melted.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly - about 5 minutes.
  • Add flour and spices to the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  • Make heaped teaspoonfuls into balls and flatten slightly using the back of a spoon or be fancy and put fork marks on top!
  • Bake for 10 minutes until golden, cool for 3-4 minutes on tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


YUM!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pea and Ham Soup

Wow, been a while between posts! Missed all the Christmas cooking and Amy's birthday. Never mind, got lots to catch up on then!

I'm not going to stress too much this year, as one of my New Year resolutions, I am going to be kind to myself! I am not going to feel guilty about not eating a 100% organic diet since with the price of food here about to go through the roof, it will be about eating well on a budget and supporting the Australian farmers any way we can! My craft business will hopefully bring in some revenue during the year :) Once the girls are at school, that should be easier to do! I can't believe Sophie starts school in 3 weeks!

So Christmas was lovely and as usual, we had a lovely big ham and therefore a lovely big ham bone to play with afterwards!! We LOVE pea and ham soup here so another big batch was cooked up. No, it's not the best weather for soup in Australia at the moment, being summer, but I'm not really sure there's much else you can do with a a ham bone! This recipe does make a lot as we had a whole ham leg.

I found the recipe I was meant to post last year (oops!) and made it again. Yummy!!

Pea and Ham Soup with homemade Rye Bread

RECIPE

Ingredients

Ham bones and ham from bones
2 small onions
1 Tblspn Massel Vegetable Stock powder / 1 cube
3.5L boiling water
250g yellow split peas
250g green split peas
3 tspns ground cumin


Method

  • Remove any excess ham from the bones and chop up.
  • Break up the bones at the joints and place into a large stock pot.
  • Brown the bones and ham pieces.
  • Add boiling water - approx. 3.5L - to cover the bones.
  • Add chopped onions and stock powder / cube, cover and bring to the boil.
  • Check occasionally to skim off and fat and scum from the top.
  • When the meat is soft and coming away from the bones, remove bones from pot, take meat off and add it back to the pot. Discard bones.
  • Wash and drain peas.
  • Add peas to the pot, cover and return to the boil.
  • Continue to remove scum from the top and stir occasionally to stop the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • As the peas begin to soften, add cumin.
  • Leave to simmer, covered until the peas are soft and soup has thickened.
  • Add more boiling water if soup becomes too thick or a thinner consistency is required.
  • Serve with fresh, crusty bread.