Saturday, February 23, 2008
I am looking forward to getting back to some different kind of reading and no doubt a few of the ideas I read about will make their way on here!
Hopefully the gremlins who took my recharger return it soon, they are probably the ones that leave me with odd socks! Failing that I will have to get out my husbands oldy mouldy camera!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I also made some Date and Orange scones, again to pop in the freezer for after school snacks for the kids, as well as Apricot, Almond and Orange Biscotti.
They both turned out very nice, here are the recipes......
Date and Orange Scones
3c standard flour
6 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
75g butter, chopped
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 tbsp finely grated orange juice
1-11/2 c milk
extra milk to brush
Cashew and cranberry biscotti
The finished product
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I know knives are very much a personal choice but I loved the feel of these the minute I first picked one up. They recently topped the test of Chef's knives in the NZ Consumer Magazine too, which I am not at all surprised by. Here is a small snippet from their feature on knives that you might find useful.....
Getting the best from your knife
- Cut only on a wooden or polycarbonate chopping board. Glass, ceramic or metal boards will quickly blunt your knife. Clean the board well with hot soapy water - nicks can harbour bacteria. Ideally, use a separate board for raw meat and poultry.
- Hand wash and dry the knife immediately after use, especially if the knife has been in contact with acidic foods such as citrus or tomatoes.
- Keep your chefs' knife out of the dishwasher, even if it is billed as "dishwasher safe". The edge is likely to get damaged, the blade may show detergent marks and other articles may be damaged.
- Don't store unsheathed sharp knives in a drawer. The edge will inevitably get damaged. You also increase the risk of cutting yourself as you rummage around. Some knives are sold with sleeves to cover the blade. A knife block or magnetic rack is a convenient storage option.
have a go, it is good fun! I am apparently a 5, the investigator!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I popped the mix into a piping bag and piped the meringue in heart shapes onto a baking paper lined tray and then baked them for 1 1/2 hours at 115C. They came out lovely and crisp, but I was disappointed that the pink colour didn't quite hold as they got a little browning in my very temperamental oven! Not to worry, I planned on smothering them in cream, raspberry sauce and chocolate so they ended up looking (and tasting) fine. My husband has proclaimed that I am never to leave the rosewater out again, the addition of it gave them a gorgeous flavour!
125g unsalted butter, cubed then softened
Put butter in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until soft and loose, then beat in the sugar and continue beating until creamed.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
First up, BBQing....
I received a lovely Barbeque book from the lovely George as part of my last swap parcel. I have been salivating over many of the recipes including the one I made the other night, Ginger Hoisin Chicken Skewers. Typically BBQ food, lovely and easy plus very tasty. I used my trusty soy chilli paste to give it a bit of extra kick and it was perfect. My son's friend who stayed for dinner wasn't quite prepared for it though and politely tried to eat it while guzzling glasses and glasses of water - poor young man. I did tell him he could leave it but he soldiered through it!!! I loved it though and will be making it again! I couldn't get the spring onions to bend onto the skewers well enough, so only a couple had them on it.
The recipe is to serve 4
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp Chinese hot chilli sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
8 spring onions, trimmed
8 25cm presoaked bamboo skewers
Cut thighs into 2.5cm cubes. Combine everything except spring onions and add chicken to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate 30 mins. Divide chicken cubes evenly onto skewers. Thread a spring onion over the end of each skewer, to form a bow shape round the chicken peices. Grill on a BBQ until chicken is opaque with no trace of pink, approx 5 mins each side.
To go with this I found a yummy soba noodle dish in the same book. I was pleased to be able to use the noodles I had bought at Moore Wilson's, they are so yummy! Again this serves 4 and I wish I had made more as they would have been lovely the next day for lunch. Alas they were all devoured!
Technically muesli isn't baking but it does require the oven! I love making my own muesli and no longer follow a recipe, just bung lots of things in really! Generally I use a rolled oat 'base' and always toast it with about 1/2 runny honey. When toasting I usually put in some coconut too. I seperately toast almonds, cashews and pumpkin or sunflower seeds then stir that through. I then put in an assortment of dried fruit, like cranberries, apricots, raisins, apple, chopped dates. I mix that through and then to make it attractive to the kids (and a little lighter) I pop in a couple of handfuls of cornflakes and ricies. This makes a ridiculous amount, lasts us about 2 weeks. I have a yoghurt maker which gets pulled out to make a great accompaniment to this lovely breakfast food!
Lastly, I decided I needed to make some biscuits for the kids lunchboxes and wanted to try something new. I found a recipe for Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and although these look kind of nice, I wasn't that impressed with them, they are the gooey kind of cookie and I can't get past wanting them to be crispy! The recipe was unusual so am not going to include it as I would have to type it out and I just don't think it is worth recommending!
What was unusual was the creaming of the peanut butter and butter, with the sugar and eggs and golden syrup, it just didnt look right.
When I added the flour, baking soda and choc chips it seemed to go very tough, in fact I broke my wooden spoon trying to mix it! The next part that didn't seem right was putting the dough on the tray without flattening it, I tried it first without flattening and then did the rest flattened before baking. To be honest, they looked alot better without flattening first!
The kids did enjoy them though and as I doubled the recipe it made plenty to go in the freezer for future lunchboxes and after school snacks!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The brownie recipe is one from the foodie forum "Violet's Pantry", from the recipe exchange section. This is the most wonderful thing about belonging to a 'community' of foodies, sharing tried and tested recipes, which I really enjoy. Heather (Hevz) posted this recipe that she proclaimed to be the best brownie recipe she had ever made and I absolutely agree with her! I have tried to make brownies on a number of ocassions and they have never quite worked out, either they are too cakey, too fudgy or too dry! Countless amounts of melted butter, eggs and blocks of chocolate have been sacrificed at the altar of my attempts!
The last time my son tried he siezed the chocolate while melting it and ruined the whole mix, so I resigned myself to just not bothering!!!!
I quadrupled the recipe for the party and cut it into 36 generous sized pieces, dusted them with icing sugar and made a raspberry coulis to go with it. I was amazed and very pleased at how quickly they disappeared from the plate, with lots of comments on how yummy they were! So thanks Heather for the recipe, this is, as they say, a 'keeper' recipe!