Friday Food: Choc Chip Hazelnut Biscuits

Choc chip hazelnut biscuits               Miss NewHouse at The Wool Shop can't have gluten and so a few weeks ago I found this recipe by Donna Hay: Choc Chip Hazelnut Cookies, well I say biscuits. They are gluten free. Then I was poorly, and then I baked a Banoffe Sheet Cake and Lamington Jam Drops, but today was the day for these biscuits.

As is my wont, I substituted almond meal for the hazelnut, and coconut flour for the cornflour. Coconut flour is more absorbent, so I added extra melted butter and then a tad more coconut flour until the dough felt "right". I added the whole packet of dark choc chips.

I baked them for an extra 5 minutes. They didn't spread at all. The first batches stayed as a rounded dome, so I squashed the last tray flatter. Honestly, I think semi-flat would be best. I made 17 x 40ml biscuits. Please feel free to follow the recipe!!!

Mis NewHouse thoroughly recommends the biscuits, she ate one, and then had another. I am very pleased that she is able to enjoy this recipe.

 

 

Choc Chip Hazelnut Biscuits      makes 12-17

  • 175g hazelnut meal
  • 40g cornflour
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 100g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 150-200g dark choc chips, or chopped chocolate

 

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

Dry ingredients

Put the hazelnut meal, sugars, cornflour, and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well to combine.

Add wet and chocolate

Make a well in the centre and add the butter, egg and vanilla extract. Mix well and then stir through the chocolate.

Measure out 2 tablespoons, (2x 20ml) for each biscuit. Squeeze together slightly and roll into a ball. Place on the tray and flatten slightly leaving an 8cm gap between biscuits.

And bake and cool

Bake for 10-12 minutes, I swapped and turned the trays half way though. Cool an the tray for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack.

The last of Miss NH's biscuit

I could not ask Miss NewHouse to eat another biscuit, just for my blog: Or could I?

 


Friday Food: Retro Ginger Snap Cream Cake

Retro gingersnap cream cakeI do like ginger, all things ginger, and yesterday when the new Delicious Magazine for March appeared it was straight to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for the Ginger Snap Cream Cake. It is a variation on the traditional Chocolate Ripple Cake. You only need six things, and it is quite easy to assemble and there is no baking at all.

I have just one quibble, which is a quibble I have been having with a few recipes lately: the sizes of loaf tins. I never have the right size. My favourite tin was too long, and the other one was too narrow. I bought some disposable foil loaf trays, which were also not the right size, but as close as I could get. With a little more cream and another packet of biscuits I made two desserts.

Australians are very picky about our Gingernut biscuits, we have several versions for various states. I used 1 2/3 packets or 400g-ish of biscuits and another 300ml of cream. I still had a little ginger syrup left over. I didn't use crystallised ginger. I am able to buy Naked Ginger, which is still sweet and sharp but not as sugary, which I prefer. If you don't want to use sherry, you could substitute orange or apple juice, or use lemon cordial.

You start this recipe the day before it is required, and I like the idea of being prepared for an upcoming dessert occasion. I am now prepared for Sunday dinner and the neighbours have a surprise dessert!!

 

 

Retro Ginger Snap Cream Cake        serves 6-8

  • 250ml (1 cup) sweet sherry
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) ginger cordial, I used Budgerim Refresher
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 100g white chocolate, melted
  • thinly sliced candied ginger to serve

 

Make syrup

Make a ginger syrup by pouring the ginger cordial and sherry into a small saucepan over a high heat and then bring it to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and it should have reduced by 1/3. I was chuffed when I measured to see I had exactly 250ml, so well done science. Set the syrup aside to cool.

Whip and chill cream

Whip the cream to stiff peaks and refrigerate until you are ready to begin. I added some sneaky vanilla extract, about 1 tspn.

Dip and layer

The recipe says to brush the tin with the syrup, I did this the first time, the second time I put a thin layer of cream over the sides and base of the tin. Now it is time to dip each biscuit in the ginger syrup, making sure both sides are covered, but it is not softened: it's a quick dip! Arrange the biscuits over the base of the tin. I tried two methods. With the first I broke biscuits to fill in the gaps. I didn't like that.

Cover and chill

In the second tin I overlapped the biscuits slightly, and just used halves to fill in the ends. I turned the tin around and started with whole biscuits at the other end as I layered.

Cover each layer of biscuits with about 1/2 cup of whipped cream, or as much as you need so you do not see any biscuits poking through. Continue layering until the tin is full, or the biscuits are all used up, and finish with a layer of cream. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate overnight. The flavours will meld and the biscuits will soften.

Melt chocolate

Meanwhile, make the chocolate shards. Melt the white chocolate using your preferred mentioned: I did 30 seconds bursts with stirring in between using the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate over a piece of baking paper and spread evenly. I used my offset palette knife because it makes me feel cheffy. Use a piece of paper that is bigger than you think you will need. I know this because I did not. Cover the chocolate with another piece of baking paper and smooth. This is where the bigger-than-you-think-you-need paper comes into play.

Spread  sandwich  roll  freeze

Wrap around a rolling pin, or the tube from the clingwrap, and secure. You don't want the chocolate to ooze out the ends. Freeze until set and when you unwrap it, you make shards!!

Ginger and choc shards

Slice the ginger thinly and you are ready to go. Top the cream cake with the shards and the ginger and serve while the shards are still cold, otherwise the wilt and they don't look as pretty: see below. It is very moreish and definitely a retro treat!!

Gingernut cream cake


Friday Food: Lemon Bars, not Key Lime

Lemon bars not key limeI love lemons, I love them even more because they are one of the dessert things I can eat. MrsDrWho gave me some lemons and I saw Sarah Carey make Key Lime Bars and so Lemon Bars were born. They are tangy, sour and sweet, crunchy and smooth: a delightful combination.

This is very similar to the filling for a Lemon Meringue Pie. Sarah Carey warns against eating the uncooked egg yolks, but in Australia our eggs are very safe and, unless you are pregnant or have some other condition, we eat raw eggs in mousse and mayonnaises all the time.

I used Granita biscuits instead of Graham crackers which I can't buy, because they crumb so easily and beautifully. I used fresh lemon juice and the zest of a lemon. And that's about it. You could easily use limes, though I have no chance of finding 23 Key Limes here! It works best if you use fresh juice, rather then bottled, but sometimes beggars can't be choosers so go with what you have.

I used the correct tin, 8" or 20cm square, but both the base and the filling were much thinner than the one in the video. Next time I would probably use a large bar tin instead of the square one. I don't know why this happened? In the past BH&G have made twice the caramel filling to achieve the look on the cover of their magazine, and I might just double the filling too.

This is best made the day before required and refrigerated overnight. It is simply served with a dollop of whipped cream and a decorative slice of lemon. It will keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Lemon, Not Lime, Bars         serves 9-16

 

For the base

  • 1 1/4  cups Granita biscuits, crumbed (I used 14)
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 50g caster sugar

 

For the filling

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk, 95g
  • 160ml fresh lemon juice

 

To serve

  • whipped cream
  • thin lemon slices
  • a dusting of icing sugar?

 

 

Make the base

Grease and line a tin, or just grease a glass baking dish. Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced. Mix the biscuit crumbs, butter and sugar til thoroughly combined.

Bake and cool

Spread the crumbs in the tin, pressing down evenly and firmly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and dry. Cool on a rack. Leave the oven on.

Eggs and cond milk filling

While the biscuit base is baking make the filling. Whisk the egg yolks and zest for 5 minutes until very thick, then pour in the sweetened condensed milk slowly and beat for a further 3 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and whisk until just combined.

Lemon juice and filling

Pour the filling over the base and smooth. It says to wait until the base is cold but I am too impatient. Bake for 10 minutes at the previous temperature, turning half way through.

Fill and bake

Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Slice and enjoy!!

Lemon not lime bars


Friday Food: Glazed Strawberry Doughnut Cake ...........(On Sunday)

Donut-ish cakeOnce again we have succumbed to the heat, but rallied when the temperature cooled. The Super Food Ideas magazine March 2018 says that in this cake they have " redone the doughnut so it tastes the same but doesn't require a deep fryer."

The cake is very easy to make, super simple in fact. The quick strawberry jam is also as quick as titled, but does need 30 minutes to cool. I used strawberries that were freshly picked and then frozen. I defrosted them and they didn't really dice as such. I added the vanilla extract as the jam cooled, as I have always believed that boiling heat kind of kills the vanilla. The jammy centre is a lovely surprise.

I had quite a difficult time finding the correctly sized loaf tin. In the end I bought a silicone pan from The KMart for $5 which was not wide enough, hence the jam dam situation I fear. It did mean the cake was a tad wonky.

MrsDrWho liked the cake, but said it didn’t really taste like a doughnut. I think of doughnuts as being sugar and cinnamon rather than having a strawberry jam filling, so maybe this is why it seems less doughnutty.

 

 

Glazed Strawberry Doughnut Loaf     serves 10

 

Quick Strawberry Jam

  • 250g strawberries, hulled and finely diced
  • 2 tbspn caster sugar (2 x 20ml)
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

 

Doughnut Cake

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

 

Icing

  • 2 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 40-60ml hot water
  • pink food colouring
  • long sprinkles

 

Quick jam

To make the jam, put the strawberries and sugar in a small pan and stir continuously over a medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. This did not take 4-5 minutes as the recipe stated, more like 1-2. Regardless, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan. Cool for 30 minutes and then stir in the vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced and grease and line a 10.5 x 21 x 6.5cm deep loaf tin.

Cream

Begin the cake by creaming the butter and sugar. It is creamed when it is paler in colour and lighter in texture. I also check the sugar is pretty much dissolved by rubbing a little of the mixture between thumb and forefinger tips.

Egg and rest of ingredients

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating till just combined. Then add the flour, coconut, milk and vanilla and whisk for 30 seconds or until combined.

En jaminate

Spoon 2/3 of the mixture into the loaf pan. Level and spoon in the jam, leaving a 1.5cm border. I found this tricky as the loaf pan was too narrow. I ended up making a bit of a dip with the back of a spoon down the centre and then built up the edges with teaspoons of the cake batter. Drop small spoonfuls of the rest of the cake batter over the top of the jam. I used a spoon dipped in hot water to smooth the batter over the top.

Bake

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then place on a rack to cool completely.

Ice and sprinkles

Once the cake is cool, make the icing. Put the icing and 2 x 20ml of hot water into a bowl and mix til smooth. Add a little more water if needed. Then add a little pink colouring and mix until you reach the desired shade. I added about 8 drops of a liquid pink. You would need far less gel colour. Spread the icing over the cake and then top with sprinkles. Leave for about 2 hours for the icing to set, then slice and serve.

Donut inspired cake


Some Like It Not Hot

Gilly has a new toy hedy wants it

We saw Bonnie the Labrador @randomknits had a new toy. I decided Gilly should have a new squeaky toy. Hedy wants it, Gilly has it, and so it begins.......


Oh so many things have happened. The heat is somewhat less, 27*C instead of 37*C, and the nights are often cool enough to sleep. I did have a little crisis. I heard a beeping sound in the middle the night and thought it was coming from the fuse box. I worried all night and I could feel my heart beating fast and my stomach swirling and I could not think properly. I rang The Lifeline people at about 6am because I didn't want to wake up anyone I knew!! The woman on the phone listened, and suggested I ring an electrician and ask their advice. I did. He answered the phone at 7am, and was so kind and understanding. He asked for a photo of the fuse box and I emailed one to him. He said it all looked absolutely fine and there was no sparking or fizzing or other weird things happening. I left a little gift of thanks for him, and for his dog, at his office.

I felt so much better, and that night when I heard the sound I called my next door neighbour and she said it sounded like a cricket. And over the next week we had all sorts of cricket noises because of the hot weather. I was just so hot and so tired and unwell that I could not employ any of my usual coping strategies. This year, if there are no medical or major appliance emergencies, we are going to buy an air-conditioner for the bedroom. Being able to sleep and be cool will be so wonderful!!!

I like to talk about my anxiety and/or depression because when I didn't talk about it, things became very terrible. And I don't want things to be terrible again. I also know to ask for help. That helps!!

Cobie again

Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr met a new friend. Sandy's dad and mum are respite carers for Guide Dogs and Guide Dogs in training. This last week they looked after Cobie. He has some Golden Retriever in his mix. Cobie is about the same age as Hedy but he is bigger than everyone and has beautiful longer fur.

Hedy gilly rafa cobie

From the left you can see Hedy, Gilly, Rafa and Cobie.  Lots of happy waggy tails. All the dogs get on very well and play happily together. Cobie is on his lead because he is worth a lot of money and must be kept safe from falling into gorges or over cliffs.

Lorelai Gilmore is feeling better now the weather is cooler. Hedy is always pushing to the front and demanding attention and pats, but Gilly just stands quietly and waits. I asked the other humans to pat her too, and she was as pleased as punch.

Lorelai is beautiful

Hedy just wants to play with her Billyball. She is more than a little obsessed.

Hedy ready to play

I love back to school time, I love all the stationery and the accoutrements. I have also had a lot of therapy and I no longer feel sad when my friends go back to teach their new classes. I did some lunch and recess prepping for MrsDrWho to make the transition a little easier. In the shops I saw a lot of coffee cups, keep cups, travel cups and on a pamphlet I saw a tea travel cup, which used tea leaves. I emailed the Sistema company, but they said it was discontinued in Australia. To my surprise and joy, Tash offered to send me the showroom Twist'n'Sip tea cup. I am very grateful and it is so lovely. I put tea leaves in and it brews. I can close the top so it doesn't spill and I can click it open to drink. Now I am likely to take this to the back yard, or maybe to a picnic, not in the car. Thank you Sistema, for your unexpected kindness.

Twist'n'sip tea

MrsDrWho and I went on a  little road trip to Latrobe to visit Reliquaire on the last Thursday of the holidays. Reliquaire was razed to the ground on Christmas Eve 2015, but they relocated and then rebuilt. It is a shop full of lovely bits and bobs, from a $1 badge to a $5500 giant bear and everything in between. We spent a few hours browsing and found lots of hidden things behind secret doors like these dinosaurs.

Reliquaire dinos

We had morning tea first, and later on lunch, and stopped at Ashgrove cheese for cheese supplies. I love cheese. I am glad it is chocolate I cannot eat because I could not live without cheese. I bought Harvarti with jalapenos, Double Gloucester and cheddar with cracked pepper. MrsDrWho bought matching Harvarti with bacon. I had cheese for dinner.

Cheeses

Artists and schools have painted the cows which decorate the Ashgrove grounds.  They amuse me.

Ashgrove cows

I am well enough to have knitted a sock, using Opal Fresh & Juicy in the Sweet Chocolate Dream colour. I used my usual pattern which I cobbled together. One sock down, one to go. I love the colours, and Opal does knit up beautifully, my stitches look so nice. None of the colours are really right. maybe the first one but a little less bright than the second?? I mainly watched Altered Carbon on The Netflix while I knitted. I have also sewed a little.....

Blueberry choc shake 2018

I bought two T-shirts from The KMart, one on sale for $5 and one for $10. I plan to make this raglan T-shirt in Autumn, with the Star wars picture and logo cut out and used with some green material.

Plans

I saw on The Instagram that people made a Make 9 goal. I think I will join in, but instead of nine patterns, I might choose the nine different materials I want to use to sew dresses. I bought this pattern from The Etsy. It is a trend, and I am at the very end of the trend, so far at the end that I couldn't buy it here. I like the low cut front, but even so, I shall raise it a little. I always feel my cleavage can draw the eye from other parts I would rather were not so prominent!!

New pattern

It is 21*C now, so it feels about 27*C and we shall lie in bed with the cool breeze blowing and hope to sleep. I have chosen something for my Friday Food, and there's a day up my sleeve so I am very hopeful!!

If you left a comment on Lorelai Gilmore's birthday post, expect an email in the next few days!!!


Friday Food: Blueberry Muffin Loaf ...........(On Sunday)

Some blueberry muffin loafMrsDrWho requested a muffin loaf. She had seen it on a food channel and was desirous of trying one. I found this recipe by searching and it is by British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley. I whipped up the muffin batter in no time flat, but it does take an hour to bake, so if you are after instant gratification muffins, stick to the individual ones.

I made no changes whatsoever to the recipe, other than using a long, rather than a loaf, tin. The crumble sprinkled on top just disappeared into the muffins, so I probably wouldn't bother with that next time. The muffin loaf is moist and both MrsDrWho, and her mum, declared it delicious.

The temperatures have finally dropped and we have had a few days to recover, which is why I can bake again. Also, MrsDrWho officially returns for the 2018 school year this week and I like to bake her consolation cakes. Not that she doesn't love teaching, it is the consistently getting up early that is the hard part.

 

 

Blueberry Muffin Loaf     serves 6-8

For the muffin loaf:

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 75g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 160ml milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 130g blueberries, fresh or frozen

 

For the Crumble topping:

  • 20g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 20g caster sugar

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced and grease and line a 900g loaf tin.

Crumble topping

To make the crumble topping, put all the ingredients into a bowl and rub together until they make a crumble mixture. Set aside.

Sift dry ingredients

Sift the flour, bicarb and sugars into a large bowl and mix.

Wet ingredients

In another bowl or jug whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla and cooled butter.

Add wet to dry

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.

Mix and add blueberries

Mix gently and sparingly until the batter just comes together, then add the blueberries and mix to distribute.

Add crumble topping and bake

Spoon the muffin batter into the tin, smooth the top and sprinkle over the crumble. Bake for about an hour. The muffins are cooked when the top springs back, they have come away from the sides of the tin, and of course a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

Cool, slice and serve. As with most muffins, this loaf won't keep for very long and is best eaten within the first two days. I suspect warm from the oven with butter is best!!

Blueberry muffin loaf

 

 

 

 

 


Friday Food: Cake Mix Chocolate Smartie Biscuits, Cafe-style.

Cafe style biscuitEvery week I watch How To Cook That with Ann Reardon on The YouTube. A few weeks ago she made ten things using a cake mix. I was intrigued by the Cafe style biscuits. Could I make them and would they meet MrsDrWho's approval?? I decided to bake them. As it has been hot, I also appreciated that they only needed 10-12 minutes in the oven. Ann's recipe doesn't say how long to bake the biscuits, so I searched other similar recipes. I did bake mine for the full 12 minutes, and they are deceptively soft and harden up on cooling.

My cake mix didn't have extra choc chips, so I added some. I was able to find a cake mix with frosting, which the recipe calls for. I should have listened to Ann, because I could have applied more Smarties/M'n'Ms. I only put 4 biscuits on a tray because I wasn't sure how far they would spread. Four was enough.

I measured the mixture using a 20ml Australian tablespoon and there were about 24, so I made each biscuit 2 tablespoons. I had a smidgen of mixture left over but not enough for another biscuit. It may have been that I added the choc chips.

MrsDrWho approved. I don't usually use a cake mix, but they have improved and don't have a cake mix "taste" really. They were very easy to make and cooked very quickly. I think they could be frozen baked, or unbaked.

 

Cake Mix Chocolate Smartie Biscuits    makes 12 large biscuits

  • 1 chocolate cake mix with frosting
  • 125g (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 egg
  • extra choc chips if you want
  • Smarties or M'n'Ms to decorate

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C, I chose 170*C fan-forced. Line 3 trays with baking paper, or  2, and then use one tray again!

Butter and egg

Melt the butter in the microwave, let it cool, and then whisk in the egg.

Cake mix

Pour in the cake mix, frosting and extra choc chips if you are using them.

Add dry to wet

Mix together with a spoon until the cake mix and frosting is thoroughly incorporated.

Stir and portion

Measure out the biscuits: 2 x 20ml tablespoons. Roll the biscuits into a ball, place on the tray leaving a lot of room for expansion. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand and then apply more lollies than you think you will need.

Flatten  enbellish  bake

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the tray and then move to a rack. Keep in an airtight container. These really are like the huge cafe biscuits that are always in giant jars on the counter. You only need one. Or two!!!

Cafe biscuits using a cake mix


Friday Food: Peach Melba Inspired No-Bake Cheesecake

Peach melba no bake cheesecakeThis week, in honour of the incredibly hot weather, I made a no bake cheesecake. I am not a big dessert fan, but I ate this and it was delicious. I saw a no-bake 4 ingredient cheesecake in the  Jan/Feb Taste magazine and was inspired, by the beautiful juicy in-season peaches, to create a Peach Melba no-bake cheesecake. Peach Melba is named after a famous Australian Opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, and it is scoops of vanilla ice-cream, topped with fresh peaches and a raspberry sauce.

The no-bake cheesecake part is flavoured with some citrus juice and zest. The ideal fruit is an orange, but I am allergic to oranges so I used a lemon, but I will imagine it is an orange in this recipe. I used Butternut Snaps (oat and golden syrup biscuit) as the biscuit base, but ginger biscuits would be nice or a plain sweet biscuit. You could go the extra mile and make a raspberry sauce, but it was Just Too Hot. This took all of 5 minutes and an hour chilling in the fridge. I filled individual glasses, but you could make one large dessert too.

All in all, a good idea brought to a very successful and delicious conclusion.

 

Peach Melba Inspired No-Bake Cheesecake      serves 4

  • 8 (about 75g) Butternut Snap biscuits
  • 1 orange, finely zested and juiced
  • 250g Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-2 fresh peaches
  • fresh raspberries
  • whipped cream, if desired

 

No bake cheesecake

Cube the cream cheese and place in a bowl with the condensed milk, the orange zest and 40ml of the juice. Beat until smooth. You can use a mixer or processor, or even a fork.

Biscuit base

Crush the biscuits to make a fairly fine crumb.

Cheesecake assemble

And now it is all about assembling. I bought some nicely shaped tumblers for $2 each at The Target. Spoon 1/4 of the biscuit crumb into the base of each glass. Then, careful not to sully the sides of the glass, spoon in 1/4 of the cheesecake mixture and then smooth it out.  I used two teaspoons, one to scoop and one to push the scooped cheesecake into the glass. It was like a game of Operation.

Fruity

Remove the stone and then slice the peach or peaches. Arrange the slices on top of the cheesecake and add raspberries. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, up to overnight. Embellish with some whipped cream and/or an extra raspberry. The cheesecakes will keep, covered or in an airtight container, for 2 or 3 days.

Peach melba inspired no bake cheesecake 


Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Gilly's Nine......

Gilly's birthday

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore, eighteen months ago we weren't sure you'd make it to eight, so nine years old is pretty wonderful!!! She'd had a dip in the paddle pool after her special birthday breakfast. (And nicely obscured Hedy Lamarr with her tail) Their breakfast today was chicken breast, carrot, celery and a little rice.

Gilly's birthday breakfast 2018

Here is baby Gilly, she was so cute!!

Baby gilly

Do not think that Hedy Lamarr was missing out. She likes to stand on your lap, dripping with paddle pool water, showing you that she really wants to play with her Billyball.

How close is hedy

In celebration of Gilly's birthday we are giving away a shopping bag, Labrador-ified. It is bag #134 and the second bag of 2018. Please leave a comment, and then in a week we will draw out a name from a hat. And we promise to send everyone a card with Gilly and Hedy's photo!!

Gilly birthday bag 2018 #134

It is a polypop bag in my favourite lime green colour with a strip of the Labrador fabric I "created" last year on The Spoonflower.

I am feeling a little more like myself again. Antibiotics are a wonderful discovery and without them I would be dead. Thank you, scientists, for all your life saving discoveries. I know doctors counsel against the overuse of antibiotics, but because I have a compromised and suppressed immune system, any small health issue can become serious very quickly. I am allowed ALL the drugs!!!

Here's a quick review of last year's craft and cooking. I didn't knit very much at all, basically because I was poorly, had a chewed finger that needed plastic surgery and had my eye operation. I made hats and cowls and small things. And only one pair of socks.

Knitting

I sewed a lot of shopping bags: thirty. I love sewing these. Someone asked if I would make them for their cool and trendy little shop, but I am not only unreliable health-wise, but I could not bear to have to make bags under pressure. I only make them when I need them, and I enjoy it immensely. I like to try and match the bag fabric to the person and it is fun looking and choosing.

Bags 2017

I sewed a variety of other bags too.

Other bags

I sewed some garments, which I was very pleased with. Two dresses for me and one for MrsDrWho's sister in Supernatural fabric.

Garments

I made a table runner, wall hanging and the final of three cat beds:

Cat bed wall hangings

And finally the "other" category, a baby quilt, a cross stitch and some tiny bunting.

Other

I was not very consistent with Friday Food last year, for obvious reasons. Here's what I did make:

Baking 2017

So all in all, in spite of being chronically poorly and having extra medical happenings this year, I was very productive. I like to keep as busy as possible and to be useful. Since I can't be a teacher any more, I have to find ways to make myself productive and useful.

Today I am baking some biscuits for Gilly, going to The Eye Hospital because I have an errant stitch sticking out of my scar, I think if there is a hole big enough for a stitch to poke out then germs can find their way in, and possibly baking a cheese and spinach slab quiche.

And we shall be resting after yesterday's heat. It wasn't 47*C / 117*F, but it was too hot for us.

Run labradors run


Friday Food: Layered Crunchy Noodle Salad

IE0C340CE-7627-4D13-AF08-7B0C12DB8C9E think I shall adopt, as my personal motto: better late than never. I am starting the year as I mean to go on, ie eventually getting around to things. It is far too hot to cook and so this week I am assembling a layered crunchy noodle salad from the Jan/Feb Taste magazine. 

There is a fair bit of slicing and dicing, which a machine or device would do more quickly, but I don’t mind cutting and chopping. In an amazing turn of events, I managed to follow the recipe precisely, all except for the optional black sesame seeds. Mine were the ordinary pale kind.

I think a lot of this salad’s wow factor rests in choosing the correct serving bowl. Mine is too wide, it needs to be tall and narrow with a 2 litre capacity. The dressing is on the bitter, rather than the sweet, side but it pairs well with the salad.

If you are looking for an alternative, I can recommend the Layered Garden Salad. There is a little more work as you actually have to turn on the stove and cook bacon etc, but it is a sweeter salad. I think all layered salads improve with time, and are best prepared a day ahead. I know this is at odds with the current advice not to dress salads until right before serving, but the layered salad is a different beast.

Of course, you can substitute and add to your heart’s content.

 

Layered Crunch Noodle Salad        serves 4-6

  • 1/2 wombok cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 100g snow peas, sliced thinly lengthways
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled into ribbons. I cut mine into chunks
  • 100g packet crunchy noodles
  • 3 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • black sesame seeds, optional

for the dressing:

  • 1 cup Kewpie dressing
  • 40ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tspn hot mustard
  • 1/2 tspn sesame oil

 

Prepare the dressing first. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Refrigerate and let the flavours develop. I left it for half an hour.

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And now it is just a case of assembling the salad.

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First the wombok cabbage.

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next the carrot,

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and then the snow peas.

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now drizzle the dressing over the salad.

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Add the cucumber,

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and radish, and finally the spring onions, crunchy noodles and sesame seeds.

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I think this is best eaten the day after it is made, though if refrigerated carefully it may keep another day without becoming soggy.

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