Friday, December 30, 2011

Fruit of the Month: Cherries!

Who doesn't love cherries?? (My sister, apparently. Crazy!) I have been eating cherries like they were air this season. I have been buying cherries for $7.99/kg at my fruit shop for a couple of weeks now - they are the reject cherries marked down because no one would buy them at the normal price (15 or so dollars/kg) but I think they are still good, especially used in what I've been using them in!

Cherries are apparently an aid to sufferes of gout (and arthritis) - the flavonoids in the cherry juice help reduce uric acid levels in the blood stream. Doesn't work for everyone, but it does for many! They also taste good. For only 87 calories per 1 cup serve, they make an excellent snack choice for anyone. (Not that I care about the caloric content - I'd eat the whole kilo if I wouldn't feel sick!) That same one cup serving also has 3% of your daily iron needs, 16% of your vitamin C and 2% of your calcium. [Source:]

Now for some uses:
Freeze them for the long cold winter ahead of us. I've found this to come in handy. I've hardly bought any frozen berries lately (because my freezer is full of containers of cherries) and pitting all the cherries is quite relaxing. I just cut them in half, twist it apart and then pry out the pit with a knife. Don't cut yourself. Apparently if you freeze them whole they'll take on an almond flavour from the pit. I just put it all into plastic takeaway containers (or whatever container you want) and freeze. When I need to use them it only takes a second to pry them apart (once you get one the whole lot usually falls apart).
Use them in a tart or pie. (Top right obviously). This was our Christmas dessert table! I contributed the Pear Frangipane Tart from the Post Punk Kitchen. Everyone loved it. I've made it twice now. I'm sure the pear version is lovely, but I don't think pears are in season here right now. But when they are I'm totally making it. Again.
Put them in your breakfast smoothie. I have smoothies for breakfast quite often. Since my old food processor finally carked it (JUST when I was about to start making my christmas tart) and I bought myself a fancy pants new one with a blender attachment, smoothies will be much more regular. Here's one I had this morning:

Cherry-Almond Smoothie
I small frozen banana
1 cup frozen cherries
30g (1/3 cup) almond meal
30g (1/3 cup) rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 cups slmond milk

Blend. Makes about 2 cups.

This smoothie provides:  17g protein, 28% daily calcium, 10% daily iron, 23g fat (only 2 of which are saturated). Not bad huh? I was pretty impressed. It also lasted me for like, 3 hours.
Bake them into a cake or muffins. I made Lemon cherry muffins by Vegan in Bellingham. I chose this recipe while searching 'vegan cherry muffins' on the net because I already had all the ingredients. And they are so good. I made them yesterday afternoon and there's only 3 left. Good thing they are relatively good for you :)
And last, but not least, ice cream! I was gifted with an ice cream maker for Christmas from my mum and HOOFUCKINGRAY! I tested the wodnerful machine out today with a basic vanilla ice cream with what was supposed to be blasamic cherry swirl, but it turned out a little more like cherry ice cream. I used the lazy vanilla ice cream from A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise blog, except instead of creamer I used a can and abit of coconut cream. Unfortunately the shop only had light in the cheap brand, but full fat would definately have been better. This ice cream still rocks my world though!
I cooked 2 cups of pitted cherries down with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. This would be good on top of plain vanilla ice cream too, but I wanted something fancy for my first time use of the Wonder Machine! I'd chop the cherries up into little bits next time because I had to mash them this time and one squirted me in the eye. I thought I'd go blind. I didn't, obviously. So anyway, I let the ice cream maker do it's job for 20 minutes, and then I blobbed in this sauce (and 1/4 cup cacao nibs) and let it swirl around for a few minutes. Oooh it's good. The balsamic adds just a touch of a different flavour as an aftertaste. yum. I've had to stop myself from eating the whole lot. it's not even frozen yet!
Happy cherry eating! I hope they stay cheap for just a little while longer...I want to freeze more for when I hibernate.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just juice

I am busy packing and cleaning our flat at the moment and haven't had the energy to post :) (Did you know my kitchen door was painted cream? I sure didn't.) I shall return soon I'm sure. But here is an unintentionally festive juice: 2 carrots, 1 lg beetroot and 2 large leaves of a silverbeet. I got the star shaped ice cube tray as a fun gift from my dad and stepmum :) It's silicon and it pops out so easily! I'm already thinking chocolates or flavoured ice blocks...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas mince pies

For a few years now I've been meaning to make some fruit mince pies for Christmas day :) So this year I have.

Recipe for the fruit mince part:

1/4 cup currants
1/3 cup sultanas
2 tbsp mixed peel
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, quartered
1 overflowing tbsp scotch whiskey or brandy

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You should use this pretty much as soon as possible because it's fresh fruit, and there isn't much alcohol in it to preserve :)
This is a terrible picture.
I made a basic sweet shortcrust pastry with wholemeal flour and used my mini muffin pan as a mould. Put about a teaspoon of fruit mince into each hole and put more pastry on top as a lid. Press around the edge with a fork. I stuck a hole in each pie with a skewer and then sprinkled raw castor sugar on the tops. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 200 degrees C.
The fruit mixture was enough for 10 full size muffin pan sized pies, and 14 mini muffins, or about 30 mini muffin pan sized pies.

And they are delicious.

Monday, December 12, 2011

'Beef' stroganoff

A while ago I bought some of those Lamyong TVP beef slice things for some reason. They aren't that good, but they aren't terrible and they are good for a bit of a protein change. Before we move I'm trying to use up as much of my pantry food as possible so I don't have to move it all. Next on the list was the beef style thingamees so I decided on a take on a traditional beef stroganoff! This recipe is much better than the first one I posted. Much much better.
'Beef' stroganoff
Serves 4


1/2 a packet Lamyong Beef strips (75g)
2 tbsp wholemeal plain flour
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
450g portobello or swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white wine (I used sav blanc)
3/4 cup stock (I used chicken style but beef would be better)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup silken tofu, blended smooth (important)

Pasta to serve


First, put the beef slices in a bowl and cover with freshly boiled water. Leave until it's soft. Use this water to make the stock.

Heat a little bit of oil in a stock pot and cook onions and garlic until they start to soften. Add mushrooms to pot and cook until they start to release the juice. Mix together the wine, stock and tomato paste in a jug or cup or something. Start water boiling to cook pasta.

Put the flour in the pot with the mushrooms and stir quickly. Once it has cooked for a minute, pour in the liquid and stir so no lumps form. Let simmer for a while, sauce should thicken. Add in softened beef slices, mustard and paprika. By now the water should be boiling. Continue cooking stroganoff until pasta is ready. A few minutes before serving, stir through the tofu. It's important that it's blended so it's smooth. As you can see in my photo mine wasn't, and therefore came out all lumpy!

Serve on pasta and enjoy.
This is really good, even better the next day. however the tvp beef stuff does NOT freeze well. This would also be delicious with tofu chunks, tempeh, seitan, or some sort of bean, or double the mushrooms. For example, if I was serving to family I'd go for the beans or all mushroom version :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Moving time!

Nadine and I recently got approved to rent A REAL HOUSE. With like, a backyard (and a front yard!) and most importantly -  A KITCHEN! With a PANTRY. You have no idea (or maybe you do!) at how much of a luxury a proper pantry is. I am very excited. My new garden will have room for vegetables and it has a garden shed in which I'll have to store a lawn mower.

So, to celebrate, instead of beans and rice (pretty much what we'll be living on as we move) I made a pot pie from Veganomicon. The 'Cauliflower and Mushroom Potpie with Black Olive Crust' which we have indeed made before, though I could not remember it. Since cauliflower is so expensive at the moment we changed the ingredients a little. We were going to use brocolli instead but the tiny lone stalk left at woolies was very sick looking, so I went for the sugarloaf cabbage instead. It was on special :) I like cabbage. And I used some nice portobello mushrooms which were reducted to clear.

And it was a delicious and fitting way to celebrate the arrival of a next home.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Red Velvet for you, Red Velvet for me..

It seems to have turned into a tradition that I make Nadine something Red Velvet for her birthday since she told me that was her favourite when we first drunkenly met. The first cake I baked I stirred with a fork. It took hours and turned out shit and tasting like food colouring, but everyone ate it! The next I made red with beetroot, but it kind of baked brown...though I've read if you add lemon juice it retains it's colour. Anyone tried this?
So this lot of cupcakes I followed the recipe for Crimson velvet cupcakes in VCTOTW (I think that's what they are called), except I left out the almond extract for nut allergic eaters. I also only used about 1.5 tbsp of food colouring because two seemed like the WHOLE BOTTLE. It didn't seem to affect the recipe result. They turned out so red also because I used white flour. They'd still be red with wholemeal but not as brightly coloured.
WHICH WAS DELICIOUS! The cakey part itself isn't particularly stand-out (though still good), but to me a red velvet is all about the contrast between the cake and the cream cheese icing. My icing is just 1/4 cup each of margarine and vegan cream cheese, 2 cups of sifted pure icing sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Mmmm.
I really wanted to put those silver balls on them to make them all fancy and festive, but did you know those things have gelatin in them? Ew. They are rock solid balls of sugar, you wouldn't think they'd need it aye. Oh well, no silver balls for us :( (Nadine said she didn't like them anyway haha).

Anyway, yay cupcakes. Oh. and I know red food colouring is generally cochineal, but I looked up all the numbers in the ingredients list of Queen's Pillar Box Red (that you buy at Woolies) and none of them appeared in my handy little vegan additive food guide so I was pretty confident that it wasn't. However, I emailled Queen Fine Foods today to find out for sure so hopefully they get back to me soon :) The internet yielded no results.

We gave half of these to my sister and her boyfriend who were looking after the cats when we went away, so we didn't have to eat them all. Pretty sure they were much appreciated.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Progress :)

So, QLD queers can be civilly unified legally!

Can you guess what I'm cooking in the picture?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sangria, the best kind of summer cocktail

There's a nectarine pictured that I didn't end up using but would be a good addition
 I bought this lovely jug at Target like, years ago purely with the intention of making sangria in the summertime. It's been about a hundred summers and I still hadn't made any! (I also can't seem to write a grammatically correct sentence). Anyway, here is my recipe for a yummy sangria. I have no idea if it's in any way authentic, I'm just basically copying what I saw the Spanish bartenders pour into our glasses while in Spain. (Or what I think I remember seeing!)

I used an average wine glass for measuring since we were on holiday and there were no measuring cups

Makes 6-7 cups worth

2 glasses red wine (I used cab sav)
1 glass vodka (I used citrus vodka but plain is also good. I wouldn't reccomend vanilla.)
2 glasses sparkling plain mineral water
1/2 an orange, thinly sliced in quarters
1/2 a ruby grapefruit, thinkly sliced in quarters
1 lemon, thinly sliced in rounds
Ice for serving


It's pretty simple! Just mix together all the liquid ingredients and then add the fruit. Or you could put the fruit in first and pour the liquid on top. Either way.

Cover and put in the fridge for a few hours so the fruit can marinate. When ready to serve, pour into tall glasses with some of the fruit, add some ice cubes and some fresh cut lemon slices for garnish!

 At first, the vodka is a little strong in this, but by the time I'd finished my first glass I couldn't tell! (maybe that's a hint). Use only half a glass of vodka if you aren't a fan. I also like a drier red wine, but to make it a little easier to drink use a sweet, or sparkling red (such as Lambrusco). I've had sangria in bars served with sugar in the bottom of the glass, too - I don't like to add sugar to things when I think it's unecessary, but a little bit of agave nectar or rice syrup wouldn't go astray! Or a good way to sweeten without cane sugar would be to nix the citrus, and use apple, pear, necatrine and peach slices instead. The possibilities are endless!

We spent all day Saturday drinking this (Nadine's was watered down with extra mineral water because of her head cold) and then we decided to mix up some more! I'm sorry, but there IS such a thing as too much sangria.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Rawesome! raw vegan restaurant

This weekend just gone Nadine and I took a long weekend holiday on the Sunshine Coast! It was half a celebration of her birthday and half a celebration of her finishing her cert 3 in companion animal services. How exciting is that. The weather was perfect and we did pretty much nothing but lie on the beach getting sunburnt. Nadine was also quite sick so everything was just too hard...except lying on the sand. Haha.

Anyway I have a few posts, but this one first. I saw a review for this cafe called It's Rawesome! on Easy as vegan Pie and we decided we must eat there while we were up the coast (since it takes like 2 hours to get up there from my house lol).
I love going to raw food restaurants because I usually can't be bothered to do much at home myself. The drinks we had were the Pina Colada, which is pineapple, coconut water, lemongrass and ice (I couldn't taste the lemongrass, but it was still delicious) Nadine had a juice, the Betacarotene Booster which had carrot, ginger and apple. Also very nice.

When we buy meals out we always go halves so we don't have to miss out on anything (who knows when we'll get to go out again!) so we got:
California Burrito with avocado lime sauce, red pepper sauce and sour cream
and the Sun burger with apple mint relish.

We both liked the burger more than the burrito, but the burrito was still yummy. It was like a thin crepe wrap with fresh salad inside with a chipotle 'cheese' (all their cheeses are made from a cultured cashew nut mix [ I think, can't find it anywhere] and are so good).

The sun burger was worth it for the apple relish alone. And whatever the mushrooms are marinated in. And the mayonnaise was quite impressive.

We of course had a dessert which we forgot to take a picture of! It was a chai cheesecakey type deal though. Very rich but very delicious. Good thing we only got one dessert :)
Whenever we are up that way again I'll definately go back. It was actually quite busy for a little place out in the middle of nowhere (that's Rosemount, which is in the middle of Nambour, Bli Bli and Woombye). It's a good thing I like driving along random highways in woop woop aye! The only thing that irked me -and it's a really really tiny thing that shouldn't bother me - but the lady who was serving kept making sure I knew it was a vegan establishment and that the 'burger' wasn't a burger in the traditional sense rah rah rah. I don't know, little but annoying. I think that might turn people off - let them be pleasantly suprised by the delicious food they ordered!

Ps: lately I haven't been able to leave comments on blogs that have the comment form at the bottom of the post. Does anyone know how to fix that? It seems all the blogs I want to comment on have that form!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beans beans the magical fruit

This meal is so simple, yet turns out delicious. And it's so cheap! Inspired from a Chilean recipe in the Oxfam Vegetarian Cookbook.

Makes 6 servings
500g dry red kidney beans (about 2.5 cups)
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic chopped
250g pumpkin
3 cups corn kernels (from 3 cobs, or frozen)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 cups chicken style stock


Cook kidney beans (soak overnight, simmer for about 1 hour OR boil beans, let soak 1 hour, drain, and simmer in new water for about 1 hour) and set aside.

Fry onion and garlic in some oil (or water) until soft. Add pumpkin and corn kernels and cook until it starts to soften. Add beans, spices and stock, bring to boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and serve on rice! Or we used cracked wheat because I forgot to buy rice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sometimes it's nice..

..not to have to cook!
Nadine's had a few days off so tonight she cooked tea so I could sit on my arse. She told me to pick a random number and the Fusilli Roasted Veggie Primavera from Appetite for Reduction was my choice. Vegetables are cheap at the moment - apparently the cherry tomatoes were reduced to clear, woot!

It's nice to have a giant plate of vegetables sometimes. Colllooouuursssss. I've been sick lately so I reckon as many veg as possible is the best thing to do. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fresh produce - a veg*n's best friend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Perhaps a tad too soon...

...but here is a delicious recipe in celebration of bananas being almost cheap enough to buy again. It was inspired from my copy of 'The 21st birthday Cookery Book of the Country Women's Association in Tasmania'. Most of the recipes for meals hold pretty much no interest for me (laden with various animal parts and by-products) but the desserts and confections can mostly be made suitable for us!
Baked Banana Pudding
Serves 4-6


115g margarine (I use nuttlex lite)
2 med-large bananas
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup cold water
zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup raw caster sugar (or regular sugar)
1 cup of wholemeal self raising flour

Make sure you use McAlpin's!

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Mix chia seeds into water and set aside to thicken. Mash bananas in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Add lemon juice and zest and beat to combine. Beat in chia seed goo and bananas until well combined. Sift in flour (don't forget to re add in the bran) and beat again until combined. You may need to add a little bit of milk...the batter should be thick but not dry at all.

Pour batter into a greased or lined baking tin (I used a small brownie pan). Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
After baking
Serve with ice cream!
I served ours with half arsed frozen vanilla hazelnut iced milk cream mixture. Haha it was ok.

The pudding however was delicous! I'm kind of surprised it worked, but there isn't any reason it wouldn't have is there. It's soft and moist without being gooey and gross, it's not TOO sweet, though maybe next time I'll experiment with less sugar. It leaves room for any add ins - nuts, raisins, chocolate...And it''s really simple with few ingredients! If you don't want to see your chia seeds, try using a flax egg replacement for two eggs or you can buy white chia seeds. I don't care...they aren't noticeably crunchy in this either. If you don't like a lemony flavour, omit it and use vanilla essense. You'll probably need the milk at the end if you do that though.

I've bookmarked many many recipes in my book and I'm pretty excited about a few of them :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mexican inspired salad!

I finally got a new camera charger in the mail today! Woohoo! I forgot how to use it. BUT it means I can now start taking pictures again, I was going a little crazy. I even have a recipe. As you may or may not know, the salads I like best include carbs and more carbs, and protein...they generally aren't greens based unless it's on the side of something.

Serves 4-6

1 cup dry wheat berries, soaked overnight and then cooked (should make about 2 cups)
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half long ways
Kernels from one cob of corn
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked pinto beans
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
As much spinach leaves as you like

Dressing -
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp jalapeno hot sauce (I use this stuff)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the salad ingredients together. In another bowl whisk the dressing until combined. pour on salad, and mix that. Easy peasy! I am pretty excited about eating it for lunches this week.

Serve with some avocado to make it even more yummy.

The jalapeno sauce has coriander and mango in it - it's so so so good. And reasonbly priced (not that I can remember how much). I'm not sure how you'd substitute it, maybe a fresh chopped jalapeno, fresh mango and dried coriander...or fresh corinander but that tastes like soap. Let me know if you try it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Working with leftovers

Our old camera finally chucked in the towel, and I lost the charger for my new camera, so I haven't been able to take any pictures of any of the yummy stuff I've been making lately. I can barely remember what we had for tea last night. I am waiting for a new charger to come in the mail (it better be the right one darnit!) so until then I'm digging through stuff I haven't posted yet.
Last week sometime (or maybe the week before) I made up some mushroom stroganoff (recipe here) but couldn't bear just reheating it and eating it again. So I cooked up some bowtie pasta, mixed it through with some nutritional yeast and baked it in the oven for about 25 minutes. Two serves kind of turned into four, but we ate it all anyway. Everything is better baked in the oven.

Anyway, some things I have made but couldn't take pictures of that I'm very disappointed about:

This delicious Gluten Free Pumpkin pie - minus the praline because I'm lazy. It's so good. We're still getting through it so maybe I'll get a picture of it's amazingness soon.
Caramel slice - yes I bought a tin of condensed soy caramel purely to make this, and thankfully my stepmum was holding a morning tea for breast cancer research and asked me to bake we only ate one piece instead of the whole pan! So good. I used lindt 70% dark choclate for the top.

And lastly, the frosted grapefruit icebox cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar (also for Margaret's morning tea). I will probabaly make these again. They are so different but so yummy. Remember to soften your copha enough, and yours will end up even better than mine!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A blast from the past

I recently sold my old car, and after paying a fair chunk of it onto my credit card, I decided to go nuts and buy a heap of things I don't normally buy, and one of the things I got are those creepy frozen vegan prawns by Lamyong! (in the description of them on this page it says they contain gluten, soy and dairy. The packet says vegan on it though, and I bought them at the Green Edge, an all-vegan shop.) I know, right? Ew. They even had the pink bits on the back. I don't know how they do that. On the packet it says they have the texture of gnocchi. As unappealing as that sounds I still bought them just to try, because why not? Besides, I wanted to put them in Tom Yum soup (which I did, but my camera died so I couldn't take a good picture).

To test them out in all their fake prawny glory, I decided to make simple garlic butter prawns, a treat of mine I used to make back in the days when i worked at a fish n chip shop. I basically mixed together a lump of vegan margarine with a grated clove of garlic, and fried the frozen fake prawns in it until they were cooked. Didn't take long. I then tried to make my fake prawns swimming in garlic butter a little bit healthier by putting them in a bowl of baby spinach and a sliced avocado! Black pepper on top completed the lunchtime snack.

Okay, small review. These things made me feel sick they tasted so real. Gnocchi texture? Notsomuch. I'd say it was pretty damn close to a real prawn. If you are a vegan who has never eaten a prawn but may be curious, these are a pretty damn close substitute. I'm planning on making some sort of prawn salady thing with homemade cocktail sauce for Christmas lunch with these. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some Food We Ate This Week

I love food. I love thinking about food making food and eating food. I love having enough of a variety of stuff in my 'pantry' that I can come home and just throw some ingredients in a pot and call it a nutritional meal:
This is a pantry curry-like meal, it was so quick to make, neither of us knew what we felt like and this sort of thing is usually what I make in that sort of situation. Bonus points for having tins of tomatoes in the pantry and not having to go to the shops! I don't measure anything for this type of throw together but here are the ingredients: about 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, 1 400g tin crushed or chopped tomatoes, most of a medium sized cauliflower, onion, carrot, the end of a bag of mung bean sprouts, spring onions, about half a block of soft tofu I found lurking in the fridge (it disintegrated), and a fair chunk of garam masala powder and some dried chilli flakes. I think I served it on brown rice. No garlic left, decided I didn't care. Oh, I also grated some fresh ginger in the last few minutes of cooking because ginger makes everything better.
Terrible photo, I was in a rush to eat it.

This meal I planned! All day at work I'd been thinking about how I haven't had eggplant for a while, so by the end of the day I wanted it pretty bad. I also felt like lentils for the same reason - they are so quick to cook and are delicious, why then don't I use them more often? So I picked up my copy of Appetite for Reduction and found Lentil & Eggplant Chilli Mole on page 242. Mmm cocoa powder in a non-sweet dish. It always freakes me out a little, I mean, it sounds gross. It really does. But I have made a mole before (I'm sure I would have posted about it, it being so weird to me and all but I can't find it), decided I like chocolate spicy things and this one had both eggplant AND lentils in it so it was a winner. I served it with the suggested Corn and Scallion Corn Bread from page 244 of the same book and it was delicious. I love corn bread. I should also make THAT more often! 

The supermarket didn't have any of the big eggplants left so I had to buy a kilo of the little lebanese ones. I swear there was like a hundred of them. Cutting up one big one is sooo much easier than slicing a million little ones. They were the same price though, so it was okay. I thought it wasn't all going to fit but it cooks down quite nicely. One thing I find confusing about US recipes - the amount of chilli powder called for. Often it'll say a few tbsp of the stuff! (I just read this recipe again and it specifies mild, there's my answer.) Australian chilli powder (I just buy the stuff from the fruit shop) must be like a bazillion times hotter than American, a tsp or two is usually plenty, and I like spicy heat.
Onto a breakfast! I can't remember when exactly I made this, probably Sunday. For a plethora of deliciously interesting pancake recipes, go to Chocolate Covered Katie's blog. These are the Apple Pie pancakes, but Nadine had stolen my apple I had my sights on so I used a grated pear instead. Just as delicious I am sure! I made the Vanilla Ice Milk too, sort of - I should have frozen it the night before but I didn't, so I was lazy and had semi frozen blended almond milk on top of my pancakes. The semi frozen almond milk was freakin delicious by the way - almond milk is probably going to be my ice cream milk of choice when I finally buy my ice cream maker. I have no patience for the freezing and stirring business.

I'm so glad I love to cook. I have no idea what else I'd be doing with my spare time!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mmm carbs

Best flavour combination. Nadine and I went out and drank a fair amount of wine last night and the results are always NEED CARBS NOW and this is usually my fall back hangover lunch.

Long pasta, cliced chilli and garlic (and optional sliced olives and sundried tomato). Plonk a knob of nuttlex on top and voila.
This is what Bob does when it's stormy, like this morning. It's so sad :(
And this is what Charlee does when it thunders! We woke up this morning and found her under the covers too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Been baking up a cyclone lately.

First, it was the bagels. (I also baked some carrot muffins on the same day as the bagels that I've posted about before).
And now I am foraying even further into the vast world of Bread.
With these pumpkin scrolls I found randomly somehow on Actually, they are called Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls but to me they are scrolls. I've always called this type of thing scrolls. I opted out of the rum icing, because I had no rum (and whiskey would not suffice this time) and I don't really like icing. *get's shot by fellow bloggers* Besides, this bread is so sweet and so moist and so delicious it doesn't need any. When I make these at Christmas I'll probably put some on, you know, for presentation.
These are surprisingly easy to make. I only made a few substitutions: wholemeal plain flour + 1 tbsp gluten flour for the All Purpose, and rice syrup for the barley malt syrup.

These turned out so soft and like something you'd buy at a bakery. It tastes and has a texture like it was made with soft white flour. They taste to me like a perfect hot cross bun - I might even use this recipe for my buns next Easter. No one will notice they are orange...or they could just be pumpkin hot cross buns! They are sticky - I don't know how I'm going to manage one at work tomorrow, but we shall see.

So this is what I do when I chuck a sickie have a mental health day. Tell ya what, this business of breadmaking is very relaxing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homemade bagels!

You know, I don't know if I've ever eaten a storebought bagel before, but the idea of making my own has always been attractive...I'm just fairly lazy. I mean, they look like doughnuts but you put stuff like cream cheese on it. Or marmite. Mmm. All bagel recipes seem to be pretty much the same, but here is what I did.

Whole wheat bagels
Makes 8 smallish bagels


3 cups wholemeal plain flour (I use organic stoneground w/m plain flour, I buy it in bulk for $3.50/kg)
1 tbsp gluten flour
3 tbsp raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast (instant)
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water (I actually use a candy thermometer to check - 100 degrees F)


Mix together flour, gluten, yeast and salt in a med-large mixing bowl. Stir 1 tbsp sugar into the cup of warm water. Add water to flour mixture and stir until a dough forms.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth. Put in an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place for an hour. (I always turn my oven on for a few seconds, then turn it off and put it in there).

Meanwhile, fill a stock pot with water and stir in the remaining sugar. Bring to a boil when dough has risen.

Divide dough into 8 pieces, and knead lightly. Poke a hole through the middle and make into smooth bagel shape. Let rest in warm place for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Once water is boiling,  drop bagels in about 3 at a time (or however many fit in your pot) and boil for 30 secs, flip, and boil for another 30 secs. Drain.

Once all bagels have been boiled, put on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 10 minutes (check after this to make sure - my oven is gas powered and dodgy).
Remoe from oven and cool on a wire rack. I hope that all makes sense. I'm so tired I've lost my eyes.

Serve with whatever you like to eat on bagels! I first put peanut butter and rice syrup on mine, then tried one with plain ol' nuttlex. Both awesome. Next time I'm going to make at least a double batch so I can freeze them. or eat all of them at once. The flour I buy makes everything so smooth. I first found it at Mrs Flannery's (and it made me realise that the white wings wholemeal flour may be unbleached, but it isn't actually a whole's white with bran mixed through.) But found it at a local bulk food shop for much cheaper.
Bob is a laydee.

And I am very sad. I left the plate I used in the top photo on the arm of the couch...and Charlee broke it :(.