Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Nutty Anzac Biscuits

Not wanting to miss out on the patriotism, and besides I needed something to give my guests this afternoon as DH has just finished the whole packet of the “guests’ biscuits” I have in the pantry. What better day to make Anzac biscuits? I love the sweet oaty crunch, and decided to add some nuts to enhance the flavour and the crunch after reading NQN’s post. I adapted my recipe from Good Taste.

½ cup chopped nuts (I found some almonds and brazil nuts today)
¾ cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup castor sugar
1 tsp ground ginger (I used ½ ginger ½ all spice)
2 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp golden syrup/honey/treacle
125g melted butter
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1.          Preheat oven to 160C.
2.          Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3.          Stir the golden syrup into the hot water and the bicarb until foamy.
4.          Add in the butter.
5.          Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
6.          Mix well.
7.          Line cookie trays with greaseproof paper.
8.          Shape the biscuits with spoon or use your hands to make little balls.
9.          Flatten it with the back of a spoon and place them well spaced on the baking tray.
10.      Bake for about 15 minutes in the oven.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes

I’m in the process of baking and freezing some snacks and meals for the imminent post baby era. These cupcakes are just so divine and rich and I think will freeze well as they are very moist. The original recipe was for a cake from Australian Women Weekly, but I tweaked it a little.

Ingredients (makes 15 large cupcakes)
200g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
125g unsalted butter
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder

1.          Preheat oven to 170C.
2.          Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl on top of a water bath, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
3.          Gently stir till all the chocolate is melted. Add the sugar, then let it cool.
4.          Mix the eggs with buttermilk and add into the chocolate mixture alternating with the sifted flour  cocoa and baking powder.
5.          Spoon into muffin pans and bake for 18 minutes in 170C fan forced oven. If you bake it in a cake tin, you might need a longer baking time.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Bacon and Corn Muffins

This is a variation on my T&T savoury muffin recipe.

Ingredients (makes 12 large muffins)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup self raising flour
½ cup polenta
½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
½ cup chopped capsicum
½ cup corn kernel
½ cup grated tasty cheese
½ cup bacon pieces
½ cup chopped onion/spring onion
Grated cheese and pumpkin seeds as garnish

1.          Preheat oven to 180C.
2.          Put all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3.          Stir in beaten egg, oil and milk.
4.          Add bacon and vegetables, and lastly the grated cheese.
5.          Spoon into muffin pans.
6.          Sprinkle top with more grated cheese and pumpkin seeds.
7.          Reduce heat to 160C if using fan forced oven and bake for 15-17 minutes.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Chicken Congee with Turnip Omelette

Congee is a breakfast staple where I grew up. Actually it’s often baby’s first food. So I really did grow up on this LOL! It is made with rice cooked to a gooey state, one can have plain congee with just rice and water, and have it with various condiments, usually pickles or salty dishes. Or you can add meat and vegetables to  it to make it a one pot meal. This is the version I usually make with leftover roast chicken.

Ingredients for the Congee:
Leftover roast chicken (or 1 chicken breast fillet)
5cm knob of fresh young ginger, julienned
150g pumpkin or sweet potato, diced into 2cm cubes
2 cups of rice (you can use brown rice, or a mixture of jasmine, brown rice, or even barley)
5 cups of water or part chicken stock

Ingredients for the omelette:
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp of chopped Chinese preserved turnip
2 tbsp of chopped coriander
1 tbsp of cooking oil

1.          Place everything in a large pot and boil till the rice is softened and the water a bit gooey. I like to be able to see the rice grains still. Pick the meat off the bones, discard the bones and shred and return the meat to the congee.
2.          Add a bit more water if it dries up. If you’re not having it with other condiments, add salt and pepper for seasoning.
3.          To cook the omelette, heat oil in a flat pan.
4.          Add the eggs; sprinkle the turnip and coriander over.
5.          Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
6.          Serve with chopped spring onion and more coriander.

To make this baby friendly, omit the meat and ginger for really young babies, you can boil the congee with pumpkin and other baby friendly vegetables for a bit longer to soften it. When the baby gets a bit older, you can add mince to the congee.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Coming Up In April

I'm sounding like a broken recorder. Again apologies for not being more productive in the kitchen. There hasn't been much "playing" at all recently, cooking became a necessity, even then many shortcuts were taken, and takeaways featured heavily on our family diet recently. 

OK I do have a good excuse. We're having a baby in 4 weeks! Apart from the lack of energy, sore numb hands from carpal tunnel and backaches, I've been busy finishing up work, and setting up the nursery. I've tried to eat healthily enough for the baby though, but our family meals consisted of meat and veges, Woolies chicken and salad or a quick frittata.

This month I'll be doing some meals and snacks for the freezer. Since I have a month off work before the Eviction Day. Yesterday DH said he's been fixing up little DIY jobs in the house (that he's been putting off for ages!!!) because he's "nesting". OMG, ever heard of men nesting?

Here's a pic of the nursery.
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