Monday, 25 July 2011

Strawberries and Cream Muffins

Think of summer-time - strawberries and cream - not strawberry flavouring - but REAL strawberries.  This cake mix makes one big delicious round cake or the most scrumptious little strawberry muffins - so good for a summer picnic or even for breakfast on a Sunday morning.

Preheat your oven and prepare your muffin tray/cake tin then...

All you need is:

3/4 cup white sugar
4 Tbls. butter softened
1 egg
3/4 cup thickened (heavy) cream
2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups strawberries, sliced - I find one punnet is usually perfect

Simply mix everything together and then gently fold in the sliced strawberries.  The mixture is VERY thick.  Gently place in to your muffin / cupcake liners or into a lined round cake tin and bake in a moderate/slow oven until just lightly golden on the top.  Mmmmm, so good and so easy!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Granny's Cookbooks

When my grandmother passed away I was asked if there was anything of hers I would like.  I said I would like an old painting of bluebells that she loved and all her old baking tins and cook books.   Nobody else wanted any of these things.  The books are adorable and I love the smell of them, old and precious.  Some of the recipes have her hand written comments and others are so bizarre you wouldn't think of making them these days... brawn, aspic, brains - mmmm?  I loved the little treasures I found tucked amongst the pages - the old page from a magazine for chocolate crackles and even a little note with the names of all seven of the "Snow White" dwarfs.  Love it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Quail Eggs

You can buy quail eggs in our local supermarket - they are so pretty - i don't want to cook with them ... what do you cook with quail eggs anyway? fairy sized fried eggs?  i want to buy them and hollow them out and make a beautiful wreath for the house with them.  (thinking Crafty Sisters blog - they make the best wreaths - so beautiful).

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Jamie Oliver's baked potato - From Jamie's Family Christmas

• 1.5kg white potatoes, peeled
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
• red wine vinegar

flavour combo 1
• a good couple of lugs of olive oil
• a bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked

flavour combo 2
• 50g butter, cut into little cubes
• a bunch of fresh sage, roughly torn
• 1 clementine

flavour combo 3
• 2 tablespoons goose fat
• a bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• a couple of fresh bay leaves

Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Peel your potatoes with a knife or speed peeler and cut any larger ones so they’re all an even-size - twice the size of a squash ball is about right. Wash your potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch then tip into a large pot, cover with cold water and season well. Bring to the boil and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, so that they’re parboiled,
then drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 3 minutes. Give the colander a bit of a shake to help chuff up the potatoes – this will help to make them super crisp later on. 

At this point, you need to decide which flavour combo to go with. Tip your potatoes into a tray or pan in one layer, and add your fat – olive oil, butter or goose fat – then season really well with salt and pepper. At this stage, I’m not going to add any more flavour. Toss your potatoes in the fat, or use a spoon or fish slice to mix it all up. You could get the potatoes up to this stage the day before, simply cover them with cling film or tin foil and pop in the bottom of your fridge or in a cool place until you need them. Put your potatoes in the hot oven to cook for 30 minutes until lightly golden and three quarters cooked.

 Now’s the time for Jamie's trick. Gently squash each potato with a potato masher to increase the surface area – the more of your potato that’s in contact with the pan, the crispier it will be.
 Whichever fat you’re using, you now want to prepare the rest of the flavourings. Add a good lug of olive oil to a small bowl and add the herbs, garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar, then scrunch and mix it up a bit. If you’re using butter, peel in a good few strips of Clementine zest with a speed peeler – you won’t eat these but they’ll add amazing flavour. Add the flavour to your potatoes and give the pan a good shake, then pop back in the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes until perfect for your liking. You’re looking for gnarly, crispy, bubbly and delicious.
Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off some of the excess fat, then tuck in! I’d be happy with any of these flavour combos, but this year I’ll be going for butter, but maybe with the rosemary and garlic. So you really can mix it up however you like.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

zombie felties

Just received this book via the book depository.  A little creepier than I'd imagined but think the kids will have some fun creating zombies (or as the little ones call them "nombies") in the school holidays.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

chocolate cake recipes please

Happy birthday sweet 16!  Family all arrived with the above cake - mmm caramel mud and I didn't even have to bake it!  Moist and delicious.  However, when they left she still wanted Mum to bake a cake for later.  Made the chocolate cake filled with chocolate frosting and covered in whipped cream... it was okay, but really, not the best cake I've ever had... the recipe called for using sour cream and a packet of chocolate pudding mix... I'm thinking it may taste better today, but I'm at work, so will have some for afternoon tea.  Anyone have a really lovely moist dense chocolate cake recipe - like a REAL mud cake or fudge cake...mmm