Bread making and I are sometimes friends, and sometimes not. I’ve had varying degrees of success with bread making and yeasted doughs and I’ve struggled to find foolproof, easy to remember techniques that always work. (more…)
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It has been rainy today, dull and grey – so a perfect day to spend time in a warm kitchen baking goodies!
I made hot cross buns (or hot non cross buns as I like to call them, we didn’t pipe crosses on to our buns, the recipe suggests Darwin fish but we couldn’t manage that!) from a recipe I found on Gastronomy Domine (my first food blog find!) and potato and sour cream bread from my newest blog find – The Knead to Bread.
I’ve never baked my own hot cross buns before, and I have been missing out all this time! They take a while to make, because you need two long proves but they are worth it at the end. The house smells amazing even now, and they are so much softer and fresher than the supermarket version.
We had potato and sour cream bread rolls with chili con carne tonight. The rolls were great, I though they would be stodgy like I imagine potato bread to be, but they are light and fluffy. Again, they take a long time to make but they are worth it in the end. We have 12 rolls and a loaf too!
Lately I’ve been cooking a lot with chocolate – brownies, biscotti, more brownies – I was really craving oatmeal raisin cookies after this blog post on Smitten Kitchen. I tried the recipe from Friends (I’m not sure if it was an official Friends recipe though, lol) a couple of years ago and they were indeed the best oatmeal raisin cookies ever. I don’t know why it took me such a long time to make them again, they are perfect cookies.
I used the recipe from A Spoonful of Sugar in the end and it turned out some gorgeous cookies – crumbly, chewy and crispy.
The only thing I’d change about this is the amount of sugar, as they are a bit too sweet, even for me. I think next time I will go down to 200g in total of brown sugar. The mixture was quite dry anyway so I think taking out the sugar will help next time.
The beauty of this recipe is that it makes LOTS of cookies, my batch made about 45 – probably more if I hadn’t made the first batch bigger than I should have, the cookies spread out quite a bit when they bake.
I froze half of the mixture. To do this form into dough balls, freeze on a tray and then chuck them in a freezer bag – you can cook them from frozen (I’d double the cooking time for this). I like doing this, nothing cheers up a bad day like fresh cookies made with no effort.
I think next time I am going to experiment with a bit of lemon zest or maybe cranberries and raisins.
A bit of a mixed last couple of days…
Firstly, I finally succeeded to make lemon drizzle cake! Normally it turns out a bit of a sunken mess, but this time it rose perfectly, was light and the topping nice and sweet and tangy and crunchy.
I used this recipe (it doesn’t come out as grey brown looking as that picture though, its very much golden and a lovely lemony colour inside).
It was gorgeous with a bit of ice cream.
We’ve also had a bit of cat drama in our household! We cooked a lovely roast chicken yesterday too, and kept the rest in the fridge to eat today. Got home from work this evening to find the fridge door broken into and a very greasy and guilty looking cat. She has had to be washed with pet shampoo as she had a greasy head, so that was her punishment. Look at the guilt:
She’s in the dog/cathouse this evening!
Quick, healthy and simple vegetarian food has made up about 90% of my cooking for some time now. As much as I love baking, I’ve recently found the challenge of producing nutritious and speedy weeknight meals to be much more enjoyable. It’s low stress (depending on the day) and very satisfying, and it allows me to stretch my creative brain on a daily basis.
When my husband became vegetarian we both tried really hard to include plenty of vegetables in our diets, not too much over-processed faux meat. We found ourselves indulging in carbs and cheese a bit too much in the early days, but 5 years on, we’ve got a good repertoire of vegetarian meals. Sure, there are some days where we pull veggie sausages out of the freezer or order a takeaway, but mainly we manage to eat well. Plus, when you live in a village the takeaway options are grim.
This tomato orzo is one of my favourites at the moment. (more…)
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