Showing posts with label Random. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Random. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


For the first time ever I completely forgot about TWD. And I mean completely!

Jayne of the Barefoot Kitchen Witch chose Coconut Butter Thins this week and they sound delicious. Nothing too fancy but golden, buttery, some nice flavours. I think I would have liked them. Oh well. Make sure you visit her blog for the recipe!

What I have been doing this week is some menu planning. The aim being to eat a fairly varied diet over the next few weeks and also to build up our frozen meal supplies for the babymoon:

Monday 30th - Apricot Chicken with Herbed Couscous

Tuesday 31st - Macaroni and Cheese with Sautéed Mushrooms and Bacon (Doubled for Freezer)

Wednesday 1st - Tomato Soup with Toast

Thursday 2nd - Hamburgers with the lot

Friday 3rd - Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Saturday 4th - Homemade Curry (Doubled for Freezer)

Sunday 5th - Tacos

Monday 6th - Fish and Chips

Tuesday 7th - Chicken and Sweet Potato Casserole (Doubled for Freezer)

Wednesday 8th - Lamb Steaks with Greek Salad

Thursday 9th - Tuna and Caper Pasta Salad

Friday 10th - Steak and Guiness Pie (Doubled for Freezer)

We also did minor bathroom renovations this weekend because I couldn't stand the 70s yellow walls anymore and I organised my baking cupboard.

Just on that issue, I have 16 muffin trays. Why would any sane person need so many muffin trays? Sure there are minis, regulars and texas sized pans, some have 12 holes (and therefore don't even fit in our oven here) and some only have 6. But still. I hardly ever make muffins. I shall have to remedy that.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

For the past couple of years Saturday has been just another working day for me. Working for yourself from home kind of means the days of the week are irrelevant anyway so I've never minded. Then for the past couple of weeks we've had birthing classes to go to which were a lot of fun but still an early start.

But now I am officially on maternity leave ... no clients, no classes, nothing to do but get ready for this baby who will be here in 6 weeks (!!!) And what better way to celebrate a Saturday morning than with pancakes!

I've been on an oats kick for the past month or so, having either porridge or bircher muesli every day without fail and although I wanted pancakes I wasn't ready to give up on my oats either. Lucky for me this recipe has been floating around for awhile, first at Joy the Baker, then at A Whisk and a Spoon.

They were the perfect start to the day. We also finally got out to the movies for the first time in about 6 months and saw Ghost Town. We liked!

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

1 1/2 rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries or raspberries ( I used frozen)
butter or oil to grease the pan

1. In a bowl mix oats and buttermilk. Let stand at least 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats mixture. Mix until evenly moistened, then fold in blueberries.

4. Place a nonstick griddle, or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, coat the pan with a few teaspoons of a light colored oil (you can eyeball the measurement).

5. Pour batter in 1/2 cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and the edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Coat pan with more oil as needed to coat remaining pancakes.

6. Serve the pancakes as cook or keep warm on a baking sheet, in a single layer in a warm oven (less than 100 degrees Celsius or they will dry out) for 15 minutes, or until you’re able to serve them.

7. Stack and serve with berries, maple syrup, ice cream - whatever takes your fancy!

This quantity will easily feed 4 people. We did find the batter a little runny. so next time I would use only 3/4 cup milk and double the baking powder to give them a little more lift.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Belated Chocolate Armagnac Cake

So clearly my tastes are fickle at the moment. Not 5 days ago I swore I was totally over chocolate cake and couldn't face making another one.

My reasons for relenting were threefold, firstly everyone else's cakes looked so fudgy and fantastic that I was already regretting my decision by last Tuesday night, secondly N's mum was coming over for lunch and we wanted something drool-worthy for dessert and thirdly, well, I'm pregnant dammit and if I want chocolate cake I want it now!

I subbed cranberry juice for the alcohol and let the prunes steep overnight. I also used ground almonds because it was easier though I imagine walnuts and pecans would complement the Armagnac (or regular brandy or scotch) perfectly.

How did it go? Actually it was the first unmitigated Dorie disaster I've ever had. It was a breeze to whip up and I even floured the tin (which I never do) just to make sure it would all work out. I gave it 35 minutes in the oven by which time it was puffed almost to the top of the tin, cracking on top, coming away from the sides and looking done for all intents and purposes. A skewer came out clean and I even used my snazzy new digital thermometer to check the internal temp (I stopped looking when it reached about 75 deg C).

The problems started when I went to lift it from the cooling rack onto a plate and it started to separate in the middle. I then realised just how underdone it was when I plonked the glaze in the middle and it started to sink. Seriously. There was a crackly topped cake tsunami effect going on with the glaze getting lower and lower in the centre and the cake being pushed out towards the edges. I persevered and spread it out anyway.

By this stage I knew it was rubbish so I cut a piece anyway and yep, it was liquid in the middle. Not chocolate lava cake but actual liquid cake mixture exactly like when it went in the oven. Ewww!

So it went back in the oven, glaze and all, for another 40 MINUTES! before it actually started to firm up. No photos of that, it would put you all off your food.

I have no idea what is going on. I haven't had any problems like this with our oven before. If anything it tends to cook faster because it is a convection oven.

I imagine if it had worked as intended it would have been fantastic. What we ended up with was 'meh'. While I am curious to see what would happen next time I can't see myself making this again.

Particularly when after one bite I decided I really am over chocolate cake. *sigh*

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day!

Today is the day we celebrate the beginning of modern Australia with the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788!

There is a lot of discussion this year, particularly since the naming of an aboriginal Australian of the Year, about whether January 26th should be celebrated at all. I for one think it should, but there should also be another day (a celebration? acknowledgment?) which is more inclusive of indigenous Australians.

To me Australia Day says hot weather, bbqs, the JJJ Hottest 100 and lots of sport on tv. We spent the day moving practically every piece of furniture we own in a big switcheroo that will make room for our new bub (who will be here in just 12 weeks!!!)

No recipes today, but we really enjoyed our lunch of homemade sausage rolls and potato salad. Yum!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Confession

My name is Susan, and I am a bakeaholic. Big shock considering I have a food blog and bake for both Tuesdays with Dorie and Daring Bakers!

I don't really do the whole New Years' Resolution thing but seeing my thighs have been expanding along with my pregnant belly I though I would take the first week of January off.

No baking at all.

I lasted 3 days.

It wasn't even that I wanted to eat something I made, I actually really missed the process of baking - playing with butter and flour, getting my hands dirty, having the kitchen smell homey.

So I bring you Dorie's Peanut Butter Crisscrosses (or what you bake when you shouldn't be baking and don't really have any ingredients). I ate 2 of these and the rest are in the freezer for later when the mood to eat but not bake strikes me.

Peanut Butter Crisscrosses
From Baking - pp78-79

2 1.3 c plain flour
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts salt
Pinch nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c chopped salted peanuts (I left these out because we didn't have any)
About 1/2 c sugar extra for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Beat the butter in a mixer on medium until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Ad the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then on low speed add the dry ingredients mixing until only just combined. The dough should be soft and mushy. Mix in the chopped peanuts.

Pour the extra sugar into a small bowl. Using a level tablespoonful of dough, roll into a ball in your hands then drop in the sugar, rolling it around to coat. Place on a baking sheet leaving 2 inches between them. Dip a fork in the sugar and press into each ball of dough to make crisscrosses.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets if you need to. When done the cookies with be lightly coloured and still soft. Cool for a few minutes before moving them to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Makes about 40 (I did half the recipe and got 15 big cookies)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

N's First Omelette

When I first met him, N was allergic to egg. This was staggering because it meant he had never tried cake, quiche, custard, meringue or pancakes. Can you imagine?? We did some research and found a treatment which cured his egg allergy (and yes it was a true, medically diagnosed food allergy from birth which played havoc with vaccinations etc) once and for all.

I'm amazed I hadn't cooked one for him before but he assures me that after more than 6 years together this was his first omelette. And he liked it!

After all my whinging about the weather the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees since yesterday which made it perfect to have an omelette on hot buttered toast for dinner.

We filled them with sauteed onion, garlic, mushroom, ham and asparagus with a smattering of chedder.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Coming Soon

No TWD this week for me but keep an eye out for the Linzer Sables over the next few weeks! We are planning on making our Christmas presents this year and these gorgeous cookies will be a wonderful addition. I know they are freezable but I would rather make everything fresh closer to the day.

Thanks to Laurie for being so flexible with this month's posting. I plan on making everything but it won't probably won't be in order or on a Tuesday!

And just because this is such a short and boring post, here is a pic of one of our cats... Yes he is sitting in a paper shredder :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Despite the lack of posts over the past week or so I have actually been cooking. And I've managed to make some pretty tasty dinners despite the recent development of light headedness practically every evening. Blah.

So in no particular order (and without recipes because to be honest I just made this stuff up) ...

Chicken Caesar Salad with giant homemade croutons, bacon and lots of crispy cos lettuce

Quick ham and asparagus macaroni cheese

Herb and mustard marinated pork steaks with herbed couscous and greek yoghurt

Chargrilled greek style chicken with rice and coleslaw

Quick vegetable fried rice with bbq pork belly


Monday, October 6, 2008

The price of gluttony is $12.95

This is all that remains of a bag of mini Reese's. Despite my best intentions we ate the entire bag in 24 hours!

A few years ago (actually 7 but it makes me sound old) I spent a summer at Marquette University in Milwaukee finishing off my law degree plus some extra time travelling around. The food was definitely a highlight ... real bagels in New York, deep dish pizza in Chicago, frozen custard in Wisconsin. Yum!

But the real highlight for me was the discovery of these addictive little chocolate and peanut butter treats. I ate them by the bagful. The problem is here in Australia they are obviously imported and considered 'gourmet'. While we were out shopping yesterday I spotted a bag in the window of a lolly shop and had to have them despite the fact it was $12.95 for a tiny 340g (12oz) bag. Aaah!

On the way out the guy told he was about to get much bigger bags in. Bags that would be much better value. Double aaah! For the sake of my thighs we will not be going back there anytime soon. *sigh*

On a happier note Nigella has a copycat recipe that is the closest thing to Reese's I've tasted. We'll be making them again for Christmas this year (and giving most of it away). Bring on Christmas!

Friday, August 15, 2008

TWD Update

I know I said I wasn't going to splurge on yet another cookbook but I caved and ordered Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. As this is the book Tuesdays with Dorie is based on, I can now officially join!

Can you believe how much packaging came for just one (admittedly heavy) book? I opened the front door to find a gigantic sack sitting there. It looked like something you would get potting mix or fertiliser in. Picasso helped open it :)

I'm looking forward to making next Tuesday's recipe from the book this time around!
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