Thursday, April 29, 2010

pear pie

When i saw a basket of 8 bartlett pears for $1.50, only slightly bruised on the edges, i couldn't resist the challenge. But when i got home i was all excited and indecisive about what to make. So i did my thing and browsed Flickr and found a great many ideas. Then my eyes fell upon pear pie. never before had i attempted so many pies, let alone a pear pie!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

apple spice bars

With good intentions i always buy apples along with my strawberries, kiwi fruit and oranges at the markets. But everything else gets eaten up and the apples get left behind. (same with bananas, again that's not a bad thing!) Well, gives me an excuse to try more recipes that involve them really!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

anzac biscuits

A favourite of mine, i grew up on these cookies. Everytime we visited my Grandma, Dad's Mum, she would have these in an old tin int he cupboard! I used to think it was one of those magically refilling tins because i never saw Grandma bake! My grandma's recipe makes nice round soft biscuits, @12 mins or nice flat crunchy biscuits @ 18 mins. There are so many recipe variations out there though, as i found on Flickr....YUM =)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

tangy bbq brisket

Everyone's doing it. Cooking the brisket. Apparently it's a fantastic cut of meat when cooked right. I first saw it on Travel Channel's Man V Food where they did them on a smoked bbq pit and laquered them with a special bbq glaze while cooking....i think i actually drooled a litle on the tv that day! (i'll try and find the episode it was on) but BIG thanks to Smitten Kitchen i managed to make it and boy was it GOOD!

There it is. The 5lb brisket. The recipe called for 8lb but i thought there is only two of us, so 4lb should do, and we could have leftovers. Leftovers of this kind are always delicious! When i went to the butcher to pick it up, it was about 5lbs. I figured ok, no problem, extra meat, it's only a pound. I still get confused as to how big that weight is, i'm so used to kilos! Crazy Canadians =P

Turns out it was too big for my slow cooker, i only have a wee one. So i cut it in half as best i could and decided to make a tangy bbq brisket (switched out the chilli for bbq as we don't like spicy much) and then if we didn't like that i'd try a different flavour with the other half! But as you can see it was the best thing i have tasted in a long time! I've always been a little intimidated by having to cook large pieces of meat. Always worried it won't be cooked right or i'll over do it. But after i cooked a turkey for Christmas (my first ever!) and it turned out great....i thought what the hell!

Tangy BBQ Brisket

Here it is as i made it, method taken from and recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen please make sure to go check out her original recipe =)

Serves 6 to 8 servings

2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups beef stock (unsalted or low salt)
1 cup Diane's Rib & Chicken BBQ Sauce
1 cup Diana's Original BBQ Sauce
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
5 to 6 pound brisket

Prepare the sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté onions in vegetable oil, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and most of liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add halved garlic cloves and saute for 3 minutes more. Stir in spices and seasoning (salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, oregano and thyme) and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the beef stock, Diana's sauces and brown sugar.

Place brisket in a slow cooker, spread onion mixture over the top, then pour sauce mixture over the entire dish. Cover with the lid and cook it on LOW for 10 hours. The meat will be tender and falling apart!

When the brisket is cooked but still hot, use a spoon to scrape off any large fat deposits adhered to the top and bottom of the brisket. (This part is easiest to do when hot. The sauce will be de-fatted after it has chilled.)

Ttransfer the brisket and all of its sauce to a baking dish.
Chill entire dish in the fridge for several hours and up to one day; this resting time will significantly enhance the flavor and texture of the meat.

An hour before you’re ready to serve it: Preheat your oven to 300°F, and remove the dish from the fridge. Remove all of the fat that has solidified with a slotted spoon for a less oily finish.

Carefully remove the meat from its sauce and place on a large cutting board. Cut the brisket into 1/2-inch slices.

If you like a smoother sauce this is a good time to run it through a blender or literally just smash up the onion and garlic strands with a wooden spoon. They’ll be so soft, that’s all it takes.

Carefully place the sliced meat (moving it in large sections with a spatula helps keep it together) back into the sauce and spoon the sauce over the meat. Replace the lid or cover the dish tightly with foil and reheat in the oven until it is bubbling at the edges — this usually takes up to to 30 minutes.

Remember to put it on overnight, so it's ready and full of flavour in the morning, or if you make it over the day, rest it in the fridge overnight for full flavour.

I can seriously recommend this cut of meat to everyone, if you feel like something a little different there is always Laura's Kitchen or Sassy Radish if you want to see it done a little different! I can't wait to make this on a BBQ, i can just imagine the flavour that would produce after 10 hours!! =)

Friday, April 23, 2010

strawberry rhubarb pie

Strawberry and rhubarb pie. It's all the rage right now, everybody is doing it. And after baking this beauty i can see why!

After a little rummaging around i found a recipe here on Epicurious via (i know Smitten Kitchen again? she's a big fave of mine!) go here Smitten Kitchen =)

The recipe is fairly straighforward. I read a lot of the reviews, which helped in regards to runny pie filling and baking times. I didn't have a problem with the pastry, i make enough of it these days i guess you end up getting a feel for it! I did use all butter, as i didn't have the vegetable shortening, and it still made great pastry! If you are unsure i suggest using a recipe for the crust that you know and are familiar with.

Serves 8

This is a pretty pie, with the perfect combination of strawberries, rhubarb and cinnamon, and a delicate, flaky crust.

Ingredients For Pastry
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For Filling
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
print a shopping list for this recipe

Preparation Make Crust:
Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

Make Filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

Personal Notes:
I read a lot of the reviews and there is a lot of comment about runny filling. I had a little bit of overflow and runniness during baking, but i baked it in total for 45 minutes at 200C, covered in foil, then 45 minutes on 180c uncovered. I just watched it closely in the last 15 minutes so it didn't burn. My sauce thickened up nicely!! And it tastes SO GOOD! =)

You know you want a slice!! =)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

neopolitan sugar cookies

I always loved neopolitan ice-cream as a kid. Admittedly the chocolate first, then strawberry and vanilla, if i had to. But lately i've seen cakes, cupcakes, cookies and desserts in this neopolitan theme! Fantastic! SO....i made sugar cookies =)

My standard sugar cookie recipe:
(if i make patterns and colours, i make the dough, colour it, shape it and leave it in the fridge overnight, it holds it's shape better when cutting and cooking!)

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp thickened cream (here i use 10%)

cream butter and sugar until light and sugar is dissolved.
mix in vanilla and egg, then gradually beat in flour, baking powder and salt.
dough should come together.
if it is still a bit crumbly i add a little cream, 1 tsp at a time only if needed.

bake at 180C/350F
for 10-12 minutes =)

just add colour, shape, mould, cut, ice!

I divided this batch into 3:
1 part Vanilla
1 part Chocolate (work in 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa)
1 part Strawberry (add a little colour and essence to taste)
Then i divided those parts each into three, to make 3 different designs.

Basically roll out the chocolate dough, on a sheet of plastic wrap,
into a rectangle about 3mm thick.
Repeat with the vanilla and lay it on top of the chocolate.
Repeat with the strawberry and lay it on top of the vanilla.
From the long side, roll it up using the plastic wrap to keep it uniform and smooth.
You should have a long tube rolled up in plastic wrap.
Seal the ends and refrigerate overnight.
I checked in on it to make sure it stayed round.
To bake slice into 4-5mm pieces and bake at 350/180 for 10-12minutes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

coconut biscuits

Afternoon tea. The best time of day. I love a nice hot cuppa....
Wait! Fresh cookies just out of the oven too? Perfect!
These little bites were easy to make and used only 5 ingredients!

Friday, April 16, 2010

quiche lorraine

Since trying quiche the other day i've had a hankering for a quiche lorraine. Lots of ham and cheese, onion and garlic and maybe some tomato to top it off! I sincerely apologise for the quality of photo in this post, it was night, and the light inside is terribly yellow....and i guess i couldn't wait until morning, in case the household ate them all!

coffee jelly

I have to admit, i'm a bit stuck on a couple of blogs at the moment. I have my favourites, then a few more that i pass by when i need more inspiration. Then i just browse page after page of Tastespotting (which is where i see many of my favourite bloggers posts!) and i recite exciting and yummy ideas pass my husband who so really doesn't care but amuses me by smiling and nodding and the occasional "ooh, nice" or "oh that sounds good!" while he watches tv, honestly as long as it tastes and looks good he will eat it =)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

fruit tarts with lemon cream

Fresh fruit, zesty sweet lemon cream and a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth shortbread pastry case. What could be more wonderful on the taste buds?

Monday, April 12, 2010

spinach and broccoli quiche

I felt like a change tonight, we have been eating heavy lasagne, meat pies, beef stew and lots of potato dishes over winter. The sun has been out quite a bit, the temperature has gone up and down, but it's starting to feel like salad weather. I could eat salad every day there are so many ways to have it. But alas it's not enough for my "meat and three veg" husband. But what to have with the salad.....i've been looking at so many recipes lately i'm all a flutter about what to make!

So i asked him what he thought about it all and as a complete shock to me, out of the blue he says "i quite like quiche". Well. So do i! Most guys don't really like it, or don't admit to it, hehehe. It is then more fondly referred to as the "egg pie" because real men don't eat quiche right?

Friday, April 9, 2010

apple cake with toffee caramel topping

Ok. SO how darn good does this look........tastes awesome too! The cake came out so moist and light and the topping matches it perfectly! It was so easy to make and turned out just as expected! It's more of a caramel apple cake...mmm...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

peanut butter & chocolate cake

Yes, i made my own birthday cake! But what fun i had, and how delicious did it turn out! The chocolate part was for my husband, he's not a big fan of peanut butter, so that part was for me!=)

Monday, April 5, 2010

peanut butter cream cheese frosting

Peanut Butter & Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen's it turns out so light and creamy, unlike a lot of other peanut butter frostings i have tried! A definate keeper! =) I used it here with great success!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

hot x buns

No Easter is the same without Hot X Buns! Toasted with butter, fresh outta the oven, drizzled with honey.....oh yeah! For the last ten years i managed a bakery/cafe that sold thousands over Easter and the week before, so i always had plenty for myself around. This year however, i made them myself. One because i have the time and two, it's been a while and they are always, ALWAYS better home made. =)

Now seeing as i have no recipe books at the ready, and my personal recipe book is stored away, i had to look around for a recipe i liked the sound of. I started with my trusty Taste(Australia) then decided to check out some of my favourite bloggers for anything a little different! There was Lemonpi who found a good recipe at Bron Marshall's but made these this year, there were these at The British Larder, something a bit different.....but alas i am on a budget so as much as those spiced stout buns, or cardamom infused buns sound really good, i need an ordinary everyday recipe but one that appeals to the eye (i LOVE recipes with pictures, so i know how it's going to turn out)

Then i went to a fave blogger of mine, Open Mouth Insert Cookie There was the recipe for me, i think it just sounded right and they looked soft and melt-in-your-mouth good!

So there is my dough after it's been proved for two hours (you can see above all my chit chat the dough before proving)

And here are my little rolled buns ready to prove and be dressed with flour/water crosses, or perhaps the odd smiley face! Only because i can't help myself!

Ah. buns straight out of the oven! That recipe was perfect! I was so happy with the outcome! The quantity and timing were spot on!

Hot Cross Buns
The recipe courtesy of Tofugirl at Open Mouth Insert Cookie =)

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature, in tablespoons
1 cup mixed raisins and dried cranberries, roughly chopped

1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup water

1/4 cup water
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the dough, except for the fruit. Mix either with a stand mixer or your hands until it comes together in a rough ball of dough. Turn out and knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Knead in the fruit, taking care to distribute it evenly. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled (approximately 2 hours).

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, deflate gently, and form into 16 round buns. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment, about an inch apart. Snip a cross into the top of each bun with scissors. Cover, and let rise again, until the buns are 1.5 times larger (about an hour). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the cross ingredients and stir until smooth. Place in a plastic baggie, and cut a tiny bit of the corner off. Pipe crosses (following the snip marks in your buns) on each bun. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, combine water, sugar, and honey in a cup. Microwave on high for a minute, then stir. If the honey and sugar aren't melted yet, give it another minute. Stir until smooth. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush each with glaze. If you can wait, let stand until warm, and the glaze has set a bit. Otherwise, eat immediately and lick your fingers clean!

Personal Note: I made them almost exactly the same, except for using 10% cream instead of buttermilk. Worked a treat! Just the right amount of spice, not too sweet and so delicious and soooo soft! I'm definately writing this one down! Happy Easter xo

Friday, April 2, 2010

chocolate pistachio tarts

Just for fun, seeing as i had leftover chocolate cookie dough. I thought i'd try to make tart shells out of them. I rolled it about 3-4 mm thick and baked them at 200C for 15mins. Not bad. Then due to lack of funds and it being Good Friday, i foraged what was left in my pantry and found a packet of pistachio Jello.

Ok, i was curious now, so i whipped it up popped it in the tarts and grated some chocolate on top. They look cute. Should have made these for St Patty's day!

I think the weird thing is the pistachio jello tastes good but ever so slightly false, but i think it's the cookie dough that's too much. Maybe a normal pastry tart lined with chocolate then the pistachio jello ....hmmm....and maybe a chocolate mousse in the chocolate cookie tart.....double hmmm....overall an interesting experiment =)

I have heard that people use the pistachio jello mix in their cake batters and such. Maybe i'll try that one day too!

coconut cream tarts

My husband asked me if he could have a cream pie this weekend. Now in Australia we don't do cream pies like you do in the USA or Canada. So i had to do a little research. Hubby said "chocolate, strawberry, coconut for example" and i thought Ohhh! I like coconut, and have always wanted to make more using it. I found quite a lot of yummy recipes, each using different techniques. I had the other half of the cream cheese pastry left from the butter tarts to use up!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

easter sugar cookies

As you can see I had a lot of fun with my cookies for Easter! It is amazing what you can do with a batch of sugar cookie dough, some colour and imagination! I sent most of these in with my husband for him and his workmates, apparently there were fights over who got more and they lasted 5 minutes! 160 little cookies!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...