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Friday Food: Super Chunky Milo Choc Chip Biscuits/Cookies

Chunky milo choc chip biscuitsI made Milo brownies a few weeks ago for Mrs Reno and the rest of the tin of Milo was hanging about doing nothing. I can't have Milo and so it was serendipity when NotQuiteNigella's Lorraine posted this recipe. I made a batch that very same day and took them to the doctors and nurses at The Vet, and also to the lovely chemist who has been checking my injured finger every second day. Phew, that was a lot of information!

I find that if I leave Milo, or coffee or some other powdered drink, too long in the cupboard, it goes rock hard and is spoiled. If you don't have Milo you can use cocoa, drinking chocolate, Ovaltine, or maybe Quik. Lorraine calls for milk and dark chocolate to be melted together, and I did this, but you can buy Cadbury Dark Milk chocolate in a bar now. That would save some melting, cooling and chopping time.

I followed the recipe faithfully and I was very pleased with the way the biscuits turned out.  I used a 20ml tablespoon to measure out the dough and I made 28 biscuits. I think these would keep quite well in an airtight container for about a week.

 

Super Chunky Milo Choc Chip Biscuits/Cookies       makes about 28

  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 125g milk chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milo
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • extra 2-40ml milk in case the mixture is too dry

 

Melt chocolate

At least an hour before you want to start baking the actual biscuits, break the chocolate into chunks and melt in the microwave for 1 minute and then stir well. Melt in 20 second increments, stirring well. It only took 1 minute 40 seconds, and you should still have a few small lumps of chocolate and stir those into submission.

Cool and chunky

Spread onto some baking paper on a tray and leave to cool and set. I put mine in the freezer because I am impatient. Once cold, chop the chocolate into chunks and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160*C and line two trays with baking paper.

Dry ingredients

Put the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar, Milo and salt, into a bowl and whisk together.

Wet ingredients

In another bowl or jug mix the melted and cooled butter, egg and vanilla extract. Also whisk this together.

Combine wet and dry

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix together and a dough will form. If the dough is too dry, and mine was, add the extra milk until the dough comes together. It needs to be not too dry and not too sticky.

Add chocolate chunks

Finally, mix in the chocolate chunks and the dough is ready to go.

Make biscuits and bake

Use a tablespoon to measure out the dough and then roll into balls and press flat on the tray. I did find these spread a little I fitted 12 on a tray. Bake for 12 minutes, I turned and swapped the tray half way through. Allow to cool slightly on the tray or they will break apart. When they are set, move them to a cooling rack.

MrsDrWho has not tasted these, but I made some chunky chocolate brownies and she said they were best when the chocolate was cold and hard and you could taste the chunks. However, you might like the chocolate to be warm and oozy: these biscuits do double duty.

Super chunky milo biscuits


Friday Food: Hoisin Pak Choi Rice

Pak choi hoisin riceI refuse to re-title my Friday Food, Saturday Food. I am allowing myself some leeway. This is another recipe from Jamie Oliver's book 5 Ingredients. I made this last week and it is so delicious: tangy, hot, sour and sweet. It is ready in the time it takes to cook the rice, I used the rice cooker, so 10-15 minutes. The recipe serves two generously, but it is easily doubled or tripled to serve more people. I especially appreciate that most of the five ingredients used in recipes are easily found in the supermarket. I don't have to seek out something special or tricky. My Pak Choi were larger, last week I had a bundle with three that were smaller. The recipe asks for salt, pepper and red wine vinegar outside of the 5 ingredients.

Once the rice and Pak Choi are cooked, you drizzle over a tangy hot dressing made from the chillies, onion and vinegar. It is perfect. There's nothing else to say. I love this, it is a great lunch (or dinner after you have been to the Burger Junkie for lunch) And you can also add any meat or fish to make it a main meal. I'm definitely adding this to my recipe repertoire.

 

Hoisin Pak Choi Rice             serves 2

 

  • 150g basmati or jasmine rice (about a cup)
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 chilli, mixed colours just for the eye
  • 2 Pak Choi (250g)
  • 40ml Hoisin sauce

 

  • salt, pepper
  • 20ml red wine vinegar
  • 20ml olive oil

 

Rice onion chilli

Cook the rice using the method you favour. Gather your onions and chillies.

Dressing and glaze

Trim the spring onions and thinly slice, separating the white and green parts. De-seed and finely chop the chillies. Place the white part of the spring onions, the chillies and the red wine vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir together to make the dressing. Add the green part of the onions to the hoisin sauce and set aside.

Pak choi

Cut the Pak Choi in half and soak in some cold water to remove any dirt. There wasn't much in mine, but the first time round I didn't do this and there was a tiny crunch. I don't like that at all.

Char

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and pour in 20ml of olive oil. Carefully place the Pak Choi into the pan, cut side down, and leave to char. Char as much, or as little, as you like. I went for medium. It will take maybe 3 minutes?

Glaze

Add the hoisin sauce and green onions and toss to coat the vegetables for 1 minute. It will be nicely glazed.

Add rice then

Add the rice and mix together gently for 1 more minute. Remove from the pat and spoon over the chilli dressing and serve. I could have eaten both serves!!! I do think this would keep well overnight and be a delicious lunch the next day.

Hoisin pak choi rice


Don't Chew Want Me Baby. Don't Chew Want Me Ooh?*

It has been five weeks and three days since Hedy Lamarr accidentally chewed my finger, and I am doing very well: in fact the dead part of the fingernail fell of this morning when I was checking my injury. The skin covering my finger has died and is ready to slough off, like a snake skin. I realised this is why I had weird pins and needles feelings. When I touch the tip of my finger I touch the dead skin, then there's a layer of air and then the brand new pink skin. You can see some of the brand new pink skin below the fingernail. It is very strange. The dissolving stitches have dissolved and the remaining growing part of the fingernail should soon be growing. I hope. Because I have a suppressed immune system, it is a longer healing time than normal, but keeping the wound dry and clean has really helped.

Finger at five weeks

I have still not knitted or sewed. I have two almost finished knitted hats from Before The Chewing. The first is just a plain and simple beanie I am making up as I go along, in Felici Worsted in Time Traveller (Doctor Who stripes, but they can't say that) for Uncle Dutch's birthday. The second is the Fisher Cable Hat for MrReno's birthday. Both are covered in dog hair because Lorelai Gilmore has started moulting. She helpfully had a big cuddly pat right next to the hats and I am just not up to removing all the dog hair yet. I plan to make MrsDrWho a Pussy Hat, and MrsReno is making one too, both from some Caron cakes.

Hats

The Labradors went for their Dental check in August. Last year we found out that Gilly had her very own auto-immune disease and so it is marvelous that a year later she is almost better than good. Hedy scored a 10/10 and Gilly a 9/10 and she must have another check in six months. Her auto-immune illness is managed by one tablet every second day and she can't be immunised. This is a worry, but she is well and happy. She leaps over trees in a single bound!!!

Gilly leaping

And such a look of concentration.

Gilly leaping concentrating

Hedy Lamarr has a different look. She has a muddy look!!! The weather is warming up and so when we get back to the gate at the dam she insists on running through and cooling down in the puddle.

Hedy in her puddle

Hedy is also helping around the house, and by that I mean by making a mess all around the house. She has never been interested in toilet rolls, but last week this one just took her fancy. And she just doesn't care. At all.

Hedy and the toilet roll

MrsDrWho, MrsReno and I went to The Quilt Expo. Outside there was a patchwork Mini!!!

Patchwork mini

Inside there were some wonderful quilts. I bought 16 mixed green batik fat quarters for $20. Such a bargain. One of the prize winning quilts was hand pieced (3000) hours and hand quilted (2000 hours).

Quilt fair 3000

And here is the owner of Esme's Patchwork's Splendid Sampler. I started this when Hedy came to live with us and because she came to live with us I stopped!!

Splendid sampler

I have plans to make a quilt-as-you go baby quilt soon for my friend's first grandson. It will be a race between my finger healing and the baby arriving.

In Australia we are participating in a, what I consider to be ridiculously expensive and unnecessary, postal survey about same-sex marriage. We elect politicians to write and enact laws. And it is going to cost $122 million. I am voting yes. I believe that marriage is a civil contract. I am not religious, and feel very cross that some religious people want to tell non-religious people what to do. I think it is right and proper that churches decide which couples they will marry, that right is a binding law. But the world will not end, the sky will not fall if there is fairness and equality. Yes, there is activism on both sides, but without the brave and forward thinking Suffragettes, women would not now have the vote. I know that other people will not agree with me, and that is fine. Australia is a country where I can disagree with you, and you with me, and I can live with that. I will be very sad if the law is not passed in the affirmative. It's Time feels as appropriate now as it did back in 1972, albeit for a different cause. Here's a link to the video. I hope that if anyone disagrees they will do so in a polite and respectful manner. We don't have rudeness or swearing or cruelty on this blog.

It's Time

It’s time for freedom,
It’s time for moving, It’s time to begin,
Yes It’s time

It’s time Australia,
It’s time for moving, It’s time for proving,
Yes It’s time

It’s time for all folk,
It’s time for moving, It’s time to give,
Yes It’s time

It’s time for children,
It’s time to show them, Time to look ahead,
Yes It’s time

Time for freedom,
Time for moving, Time to be clear,
Yes It’s time

Time Australia,
Time for moving, It’s time for proving,
Yes It’s time

Time for better,
Come together, It’s time to move,
Yes It’s time

Time to stand up,
Time to shout it, Time, Time, Time,
Yes It’s time

Time to move on,
Time to stand up, time to say ‘yes’,
Yes It’s time

 

 

The ABC showed the first of thirteen Countdown specials, one for each year it was broadcast, last Sunday. I grew up watching Countdown and on Sunday I turned the sound on the TV up to 60 and did sad, old people dancing in the lounge room. Gilly and Hedy thought I was having a conniption. I knew all the words and all the tunes and all the people, and I am very much looking forward to the next twelve shows.

*Human League


Friday Food: Flaky Pastry Pesto Chicken

Pesto chickenFriday Food on Saturday. I am almost keeping up with Friday Food, so I feel I am managing a bit better. I bought myself Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients as it was on super special at The KMart for $24. I do like the way each recipe is set out, with the five ingredients photographed and arrayed to the left of the page and the recipe next to them. And one whole page for the photo. I really like having a picture. This recipe was very easy to make, though I think I tucked the puff pastry strips too far under the chicken and it was a tad under-cooked. So do 'just' tuck them under. It was easy to buy the ingredients, but I had to cut the chicken breasts as ours are much larger then the ones he uses.

I used one sheet of frozen butter puff pastry. I just cut strips in a kind of pattern and hoped for the best!

Other than that, I was very pleased. The flavours went very well together and it was exceedingly tasty. If I was serving this to my family I would add some potatoes, because I don't think it is a proper Australian tea-sized portion. If you don't like pesto, you could use a red pesto, wholegrain mustard, some relish or pate.

 

Flaky Pastry Pesto Chicken      serves 4

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, I used butter puff
  • about 500g chicken breasts, cut into approx 125g portions
  • 4 heaped teaspoons of green pesto
  • 400g ripe cherry tomatoes, on the vine if you can
  • 400g green beans
  • salt and pepper*
  • olive oil*

 

*These don't count as part of the 5 ingredients. I am OK with that.

 

Chicken flatten

Preheat the oven to 220*C and prepare two oven trays. Flatten the chicken breasts with your hand, or in my case the jar of peanut butter, so the fat end is about the same thickness as the thin end. I sandwiched the chicken breasts between some baking paper to do this. Place on the roasting tray and season with salt and pepper.

Pesto and pastry

Cut the pastry into strips. Spread a teaspoon of pesto over each piece of chicken ( and I somehow missed this photo) Then lay 4 strips overlapping on each breast, 'just' tucking the ends under.

And bake

On another tray, season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle them with olive oil too. Place the chicken on a top shelf and the tomatoes underneath and bake for 20 minutes. I turned the trays half way through. In retrospect the pastry could have been a little browner, but I was hungry and decided it would do.

Tomatoes and beans

While the food is baking, trim the ends of the beans and boil them in salted water for 7 minutes. I microwaved them for 5 minutes.

To serve, remove the tomatoes from the vine, squash half on a board or platter ( or each plate) and toss in the beans. Slice the chicken on an angle and serve on top of the beans, with the remaining whole tomatoes.

Chicken pesto


Friday Food: Baci Di Dama


Gallery_export_1504958126_1504958162I found this recipe in the September BBC Good Food magazine, through the Zinio for Libraries app. I liked this recipe because it could be made without any electrical mixers. Basically you cream butter and sugar with a spoon, or spatula in my case, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients and bring the dough together with your hands. It is a version of the Italian Baci, or kiss, biscuits. They are usually made with hazelnut meal, but these substitute almond meal and add chocolate. They are called Lady's Kisses.

The recipe made 100 individual biscuits and 50 sandwiched together. I was quite scrupulous and used a measuring teaspoon. The recipe says you can make 40 sandwiched biscuits. I found that 15 minutes was plenty of time to cook these, perhaps because they were smaller as I made 100 instead of 80.

I really like the idea of putting the melted chocolate for the filling in a piping bag, though I used twice as much chocolate as the recipe said. I just snipped the end and it was a snap to swirl on the chocolate. I think these would also be nice with a little ganache and maybe some orange zest for something different.

These biscuits would keep longer un-filled, and I think they could be frozen that way too. Otherwise keep them for up to a week in an airtight container. 

I am posting from my iPad again. The computer is working well, but I seem to need much more rest as I am healing my finger. So blogging from the iPad it is!!

 

Baci di Dama             makes 40-50

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g almond meal
  • 20g Dutch processed cocoa
  • 50-100g dark chocolate

Line two trays with baking paper and set aside. You do not need to preheat the oven at the beginning as the biscuits need to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. I turned the oven on when I started rolling the dough to make the biscuits after they chilled.

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The butter should be soft enough to squish when you poke it with your finger. Beat the caster sugar and butter with a wooden spoon until it is creamed. This should only take a minute as the butter is soft.

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Add the plain flour, almond meal and cocoa and mix well. It will be quite crumbly, but it is easy to bring together with your hands to make a dough.

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Flatten the dough and wrap in cling film or place in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. At the end of the chilling time preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan forced. Roll teaspoons full of the dough into balls and flatten slightly when they are on the tray. The biscuits don't spread very much. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. I swapped and rotated the trays half way through. Once the biscuits feel firm they are ready, if you cook them too long the chocolate will catch and taste bitter.

Cool for 5 minutes on the tray and then move to a rack to cool completely. They cool quickly, so melt the chocolate and pour into a piping bag and cut off the tip.

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Match the biscuits by size and organise them in pairs. Pipe a swirl of chocolate on the flat side of one biscuit and then sandwich with another. I found it was best if the chocolate had cooled a little, otherwise the top biscuits slid off the bottom biscuit!

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And the Lady's Kisses are ready to serve, perhaps dusted with a little icing sugar. They are a dainty bite, or two.

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Friday Food: Apple Crumble Cookies

 

Gallery_export_1504268287_1504268301I was reading some comments on a YouTube video where people were cross if they searched for a recipe and the person posting the recipe had things to say before the recipe. This is one of those posts, so skip ahead if you want just the recipe!!! 

My finger, chewed by Hedy, is healing well. I shan't put a photo, because it looks awful, but it is doing extremely well. It still hurts and I can't properly write, brush my hair, use keys in locks, bake, sew or knit. But I am getting there.

My iPad broke. The wifi antenna broke, and it would cost $420 to fix it, or $469-ish to buy a new one. I had to wait a fortnight, but I used my birthday money to buy one. MrsDrWho lent me one of her old iPads that she had taken to use at school. I am very grateful. My new iPad is silver and white and all shiny. I also have a military grade(?!?!?) cover to protect it from Labradors. 

Yesterday my computer went for its yearly service and they found it needs a new hard drive or something or other. I am not exactly sure, they did tell me, but I am still a bit swirly in the head.  I still have some birthday money and whatever happens, I have backed up and they can access all my data. 

So that is three things: finger, iPad and computer. I firmly believe that major appliances, and/or body parts now, know when your tax return is coming and they choose that moment to break down. Thank goodness for birthdays!! So I am blogging using my iPad, so please forgive any strangeness, well any more strangeness than usual. I also had a bit of trouble replying to comments, so please, bear with.

 

Gallery_export_1504268990_1504269016And now to the recipe. I bought the new Jamie Oliver book for Uncle Dutch for his birthday. I couldn't finish his hat (finger) but I made some Butterscotch Schnapps Boozy Fudge. I had a flip through Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients and chose the Apple Crumble Cookies. I haven't really baked so this was my first foray. The recipe is exceedingly easy, not so easy because I didn't use a food processor, and of course there are only 5 ingredients. I couldn't buy raw caster sugar anywhere, so I made my own by mixing half and half raw sugar and caster sugar.

I baked the first batch of biscuits at 200*C for 10 minutes but the dried apple pieces on top caught. I baked the second batch at 180*C for 8 minutes and also flattened the biscuits a little more. They turned out well, and I didn't bother with the extra dried apple on top.

The biscuits do taste apple crumbly, and are very moreish. They are quick and easy and really did make 24 as promised.

 

Apple Crumble Cookies.       Makes 24

  • 100g dried apples, finely chopped
  • 100g raw caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed and cold
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • and a pinch of salt, which makes 6 ingredients really

This is how I made the biscuits without a food processor, I'll put the food processor method at the end.

Preheat the oven to 200*C or 180*C fan forced and line two trays with baking paper.

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If you can't buy raw caster sugar, make your own by mixing together 50g of raw sugar and 50g of caster sugar.

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Add the cubed butter, self raising flour and a pinch of salt, and rub into the sugar until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Finally add the dried apple.

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Make a well in the centre, add the egg and then mix. I brought it together and kneaded it with my hands. My dough weighed about 480g, so it was easy to divide it into 24 balls, each 20g.

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Flatten each ball into a 4cm diameter biscuit. Press into some extra chopped dried apple. This is the first tray I baked. The dried apple caught.

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I recommend really flattening the biscuits and then baking them for 8 minutes at 180*C in a fan forced oven. Cool slightly, and then place on a rack to cool completely.

The biscuits should keep for about a week in an airtight container. I ate mine with a cup of tea  and Gilly and Hedy had one each when I knocked the first tray of biscuits on the floor!!

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To make the recipe the recipe using a food processor, whiz the dried apples until finely chopped and then add the cubed butter, flour, sugar and pinch of salt. Process for a minute until a fine crumb is formed. Add the egg and pulse until combined. Scrape down the sides as needed and continue on as in the recipe above, rolling balls of the mixture to make the biscuits.

I accidentally pressed Publish prematurely, so I had to go back and add this part in.