Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TWD - Coconut Butter Thins

This weeks recipe was chosen by Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch.

I only got around to baking these this morning, last minute i know! Really straightforward to put together. I left the dough in the fridge for two hours. I didn't measure the dough for the 32 cookies, i just eyeballed it, and of course now i wish i had made smaller cookies :)

Most of mine spread but that was ok because they didn't last very long. That's right... all gone. My son ate three as soon as they cooled down, i brought some to a playdate and the feedback was good. I managed to save two for my friend Sandy (in exchange for two of her cinnamon rolls), she liked them but said she wished the macadamia nuts were bigger.

I really liked these, perfect with a cup of tea, or coffee, or anything really. I couldn't taste the coriander but I'm sure if i didn't add it it wouldn't be as flavourful.

Great choice Jayne, thanks for a great pick :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

TWD Blueberry Crumb Cake and CEIMB Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce

Apologies for the late and combined posts, my youngest son was in hospital with Gastroenteritis.
THANK YOU for the well wishes and prayers, we are very grateful to have him home and he is almost back to his usual self. :-)


I can't eat a lot of chocolate (i get headaches) and when i saw this weeks choice i was so relieved! There were so many chocolate choices last month and more to come next month, this and the yogurt cake are a welcome break :) I was really excited to make this! My friend Sandy loves blueberries so i promised her the cake, less a slice for me.

The only change i made to the recipe was to use pecans instead of walnuts. Everything seemed to go well. It looked great going into the oven and i was eagerly anticipating the first taste.

An hour went by and the middle of the cake was still jiggly and was very brown on top. Uh-oh. 20 minutes later and it was done. I cut a bit out and it was really soft and mushy at the bottom. I had no crumb topping on top, it wasn't even crunchy. I ate it with some double cream and rather than a cake, it seemed more like a pudding.

I wasn't thrilled by this and i'm not sure if i'll give it another go but i am glad i made it. Thank you for the pick Sihan!


I'll admit it, i was a little dubious. Mango barbecue sauce? When i told my husband what i was making for dinner, he gave me the same reaction. I was super confident 'don't worry, you'll love it. I have a feeling its going to be really good!'. Haha, i don't know why i put this pressure on myself.

I did make some slight changes to the recipe. Instead of pounding the chicken i left the breasts, browned them on the griddle, then put them into the oven to finish cooking. Additionally, after trying the sauce i found it far too tangy, so i added some ketchup and it was much better.

For my husband, i served it with broccoli and mashed potatoes, and i had it with boiled potatoes and broccoli. Delicious! I love the sauce and will make this again, and again, and again :)

THe reason why i don't have a nice picture of the final dish is because, well, we were so hungry and it was so good, it was all gone before i remembered. Sorry!

Thanks Aggie for the great pick!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I sorry but will have to post my TWD and CEIMB late this week. My youngest son has been hospitalised with a virus called gastroenteritis. So far he's doing well but he needs to stay a couple more days. I'll be back with you soon.

Happy baking and cooking :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CEIMB - Greek Style Stuffed Peppers

My first CEIMB post, yay!  Its kind of nice that my first recipe was very straightforward and was baked in an oven :)

The recipe was chosen by Ali from the healthy hostess.  

I was a little unsure about the recipe when i saw the list of ingredients, bulgar wheat (never tried it), zucchini (or courgette as i know it, and not that fond of it), and red peppers (hmm).  Well its my first CEIMB and i'm not going to give it a miss, and i do want to get over any irrational fears or apprehension of certain foods that i have.  

I loved the preparation of this.  Everything except the peppers, tomatoes and cheese, gets mixed altogether in a bowl, stuffed into the pepper halves then topped with the tomatoes and cheese.  How easy is that?  I did add the juice and some zest of a lemon as i still have lemons left over from my TWD French Yogurt Cake, and i also added some mozzarella cheese.  I actually made double the recipe as I have family staying with me at the moment.  Somehow i ended up with more stuffing then peppers so i just filled all the gaps with it too.

So in it went into the oven and an hour and a half later it was time to tuck in.  I served it with brown rice and it was really yummy.  Next time (yes i will be making it again) i will add some chilli and allspice to bring out the flavours a little more.

Thanks for a great choice and entry into CEIMB  :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Craving Ellie

OK, so the name of my blog isn't so appropriate anymore.  I love baking, that hasn't changed, but i also love cooking.  

I have now joined the cooking group Craving Ellie in my Belly.  I am very excited about this and am looking forward to joining in with my first recipe.  Keep a look out for it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie - French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze

I have been excited to make this recipe ever since I saw the recipe rotation for March.  I read the P&Q's and almost everyone said it was an easy and straightforward recipe and tasted delicious.  I made the cake as per the recipe and it was very straightforward.  The recipe called for Lemon Marmalade which i could not find anywhere (to be honest i didn't know there was such a thing as lemon marmalade, i thought it was only oranges).  I wanted to keep the lemon flavour strong so didn't use the orange marmalade and skipped the glaze.  I decided to make lemon curd to go with the cake.  I don't why but having never made lemon curd before i had the notion that it was really complicated with lot's of steps.  How wrong i was!  So easy, i will definitely make this again!

Instead of one big cake i used my 4 inch spring-forms and was able to make 3 cakes.  One for me, one each for my friends Sandy and Tracey.  The only thing with my cake, and this seems to happen to every cake i make, they domed and cracked.  I'd love to make a perfectly flat topped cake.  Hmm, i'll have to keep practicing ;)

The first bite i took i liked it but wasn't too impressed by it.  Then i took some of the yogurt i had left over and a spoonful of the lemon curd and ate it together with the cake.......
.....absolutely delicious!  As you can see from the photos, both my sons really like this cake.  Actually, they liked it before i baked it, they were fighting over the batter :)

My heartfelt thanks go to Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction for choosing this recipe.  Please check out her site for the recipe.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

My sons' school was planning a Family Day and when they asked if i'd bring something, I had to stop myself from shouting 'CUPCAKES'!  I love making cupcakes but I'm still practicing and trying to get it right. Usually i get the texture or icing wrong so the pressure was on to make these good.  They were going to sell these after all.

The colour theme for the Family Day was yellow, so Lemon Cupcakes was a pretty easy choice.  I had thought of a simple glaze but wanted something creamy, buttercream just doesn't hold well in this heat and humidity, so yellow tinted cream cheese icing it was to be!

These were so good, they almost didn't make it to Family Day, my son kept sneaking one after another out of the kitchen when i wasn't looking.

Lemon Cupcakes

2½ cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

8 oz (2 sticks) / 230 g unsalted butter, slightly softened

1½ cups sugar

   2 eggs, room temp.

3 egg yolks, room temp.

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon zest

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup milk


Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside. 

Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, gradually add the sugar, increasing the speed slightly until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually beat in the lemon juice on low speed (the batter will appear curdled at this point, but will smooth out after you all the dry ingredients). Beat in the the dry ingredients alternating with the milk and mix well. Fill the muffin cups almost to the top and bake in 350°F (180°C) for 18-20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange extract

In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and orange extract, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie - Vanilla Cup Custard

I was really looking forward to making this until two things happened.......  

....the first was my sons and my husband getting the flu.  Not just any flu, Manflu.  

Secondly, i read the P&Q's.  I felt so disheartened and really felt that if the recipe wasn't good then i wasn't going to waste any precious caregiving time making something that wouldn't be eaten ;)

It was monday night and i'm not sure what happened but i had a change of heart and decided to give the Lemon Cup Custard a chance.  I didn't have any lemons, lemon extract or lemon oil, so made the Vanilla Cup Custard.  I took Dorie's advice and used Almond Extract in addition to Vanilla Extract.  

I liked this recipe a lot.  It was light, sweet but not overly sweet, not quite a dessert but more like something to cleanse the palette (i mean this in a good way).  I didn't find it eggy, as some people did, i think this was due to the almond  essence.  A few spoonfuls were enough for me until i ate it spread on top of digestive biscuits (graham crackers), really good :)

Thank you Bridget from The Way the cookie crumbles for choosing this weeks recipe.  You can get the full recipe here.  

Sniffle, sniffle

Apologies for not adding any posts, my husband and sons have both been home sick with flu.  I did make the Custard for this weeks TWD and also a couple of other things (luckily i made them before the sniffles started).  I shall be posting and uploading pictures later today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rice Krispie Treats

I had not eaten these since I was a child and I forgot just how good they are.  I made these the other day for a birthday party, I needed to bring something that was wheat-free.  Instead of cutting them into squares I used my muffin tray, so much easier!

These were a huge hit, I wish I had made more :)

  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 (10 ounce) package regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniture marshmallows

Grease a muffin pan or baking pan.

Measure out Rice Krispies into a large bowl and set aside.  Melt the butter or margarine in a large saucepan.  Once melted, add the marshmallows and stir until melted.  

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the rice krispies.  Mix together quickly and press the mixture in to the prepared baking pan.

As soon as it has cooled its ready to eat, yum!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ok, so i should be doing the Chocolate Armagnac Cake for TWD this week chosen by Lyb of And I do the Dishes, but i really can't handle another recipe with chocolate in it.  Judging by the picture in From my Home to Yours it looks really, really, rich and chocolaty.  Additionally, it has Armagnac in it and as I don't drink.... well its not really a recipe for me.

I saw this recipe on smittenkitchen and my goodness they looked so good i absolutely had to make them.  I haven't had a good, i mean really good, oatmeal raisin cookie in a while so here goes!

The recipe was so easy to follow and it didn't make a huge batch of cookies which was great.  I did overbake some of them a little but these are really good.  I think it is missing something though, maybe a little more cinnamon.....

My oldest son who has a very sweet tooth did not like these at all.  I think it had to do with the raisins and him thinking the cookies were healthy.  However my husband loved these!