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Friday, April 18, 2014

HOT CROSS MUFFINS

Basic bread for Good Friday.

HOT CROSS MUFFINS


MUFFINS
25 grams of butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
CROSSES
1/2 cup icing sugar
25 grams butter, melted

Line 12 muffin pans with paper liners. Heat oven to 200C.
Combine butter, milk and eggs.
Place the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and sift in the spices, baking powder and flour. Stir in the sugar. Mix well. Add the liquid ingredients, stirring until just moistened.
Three-quarters fill the muffin pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
To make the crosses, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the butter. Add a tablespoon of milk if too thick. Pipe icing crosses on top of the muffins.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Foodtown Living Today
www.foodmag.co.nz/‎

Thursday, April 17, 2014

LAMB WITH PASTA

Lamb was a staple in our diet growing up in New Zealand, but it can be hard to come by on a regular basis in the supermarkets here in Arkansas. So when I see it at the store, I always pick up a pack and keep it in the freezer until I need it. I was thrilled to come across this ground lamb, and then a delicious recipe to use it in.

LAMB WITH PASTA


salt and pepper
1 pound of pasta of your choice
1 pound of ground lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 serrano chile, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 to 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
parsley and grated cheese for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, pat the lamb dry with paper towels. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, brewing up the meat, until browned, season with salt and pepper. Stir in the carrot, shallot, garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme and orange zest. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve sauce over the pasta, with a sprinkle of parsley and cheese.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray, November 2011
www.rachaelray.com/‎

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CARDAMOM BROWN SUGAR SNICKERDOODLES and CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT COOKIES

Always love a little sweetness!

CARDAMOM BROWN SUGAR SNICKERDOODLES


2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cardamom, divided use
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of the cardamom and the salt in a large bowl. Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and beat until very light and fluffy, 2 or 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the eggs, one at a time, add the vanilla extract.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until fully incorporated. Repeat 2 more times, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats. Combine the sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of cardamom in a medium bowl.
Scoop tablespoons of dough into the sugar-cardamom mixture. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are crackled and the edges are just barely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, November 2012
www.arkansasonline.com/news/features/food/‎

CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT COOKIES


1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups oats
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Heat oven to 375F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat brown sugar, butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 1 minute, remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Best Loved Cookies, 1999
www.amazon.com/...best-loved-cookies/dp/B001O8QBLO‎

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TRAVEL TUESDAY - CARROLLTON and GRAPEVINE, TEXAS

TRAVEL TUESDAY - CARROLLTON AND GRAPEVINE, TEXAS

We spent a very brief time in the Dallas area recently, arriving just in time for dinner, we found Kimchi Stylish Korean Kitchen, which was modern and fresh and fabulous.

Kimchi Stylish Korean Kitchen
Everything was beautifully presented, and the staff there were absolutely amazing - one sweet server even showed my daughter and I how to cast on a row of knitting when she noticed we were having difficulty following the written instructions.
We sampled many different dishes, Mussel Soup, Spicy Pork Belly, Organic Salad, Cool Smoked Beef, Fried Shrimp, and several varieties of Kimchi - my favorite being the radish Kimchi. The Spicy Pork Belly was delectable, the sauces with the Fried Shrimp were wonderful and the Cool Smoked Beef had a delicious and delicate flavor.

Cool Smoked Beef
The Kitchen didn't have a liquor license, but my husband walked a very short distance to H Mart and bought rice wine and sake to accompany our meal and adding an extra element of fun to the evening.


After dinner, we ALL went to H Mart, where we wandered the aisles of the Oriental market, choosing a package of interesting walnut cookies for dessert, and perusing the seafood and produce and imagining the dinner parties we would have if we lived locally.

The next morning we had planned to visit the Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine, but the line was so incredibly long, we decided to forgo the fishes and find a place to eat instead.
We explored - which on this particular morning simply meant, "drove down the main street of" - the historical downtown of Grapevine, and discovered a lovely little cluster of restaurants - Mi Dia, Bobs Steak and Chop house, Fireside Pies, ultimately settling on Winewood for our last meal in the country. The adults enjoyed Bellinis and Bloody Marys, and along with the kids, ate smoked gouda macaroni and cheese, chicken fried rib-eye, ruby red trout and grilled cheese with tomato bisque.
Then we returned to the hotel to pick up our bags and leave our car, and begin the next part of our journey.

The ruby red trout with white wine lemon caper butter sauce and roasted corn bean salad, from Winewood

Monday, April 14, 2014

ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS

My husband was out of town overnight, for the Arkansas Hospitality Association meeting, while
I enjoyed and appreciated the change in our weeknight routine, and took the opportunity to cook as little as possible, and to use up what was in the refrigerator.
I made this yummy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, slathered it on a sandwich with goat cheese, then piled on chicken, avocado, pan fried Prosciutto and arugula. My daughter took one bite, and suddenly half of my sandwich was gone.

ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS


1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup tahini
juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup roasted red peppers
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add roasted peppers and basil and pulse until the peppers are finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to a bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes
allrecipes.com/‎

Sunday, April 13, 2014

YOGURT AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

I made these "yogurt and blueberry pancakes" in minutes for a busy Saturday morning - I was off to an exercise class and the kids all had friends sleeping over. Once I had worked out, kids were all returned to their respective homes, my daughter at horse riding, and my oldest at karate, it was time for Max and Mummy time. We found our way to the nearest coffee shop, excitedly placed our order, and then had to leave immediately because I had left my wallet at home! We finally made it back for our treats, although our "special time" was a little briefer than we had expected.

Max and Mama time!!
YOGURT AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKES


Put 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add 1 egg and 1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt, and whisk until smooth. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, then drop blueberries onto each pancake. Flip and cook for a further 1 minute or until light brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.
Top pancakes with extra yogurt, a drizzle of honey and extra blueberries.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Australian Better Homes and Gardens, April 2014
www.bhg.com/recipes/‎

Saturday, April 12, 2014

DUCK EGG SALAD WITH BACON AND ROASTED BEETS

My husband picked up a dozen duck eggs for a dinner party, for the duck egg creme brûlée I planned to make for dessert, and two duck balut while he was at the Asian Market.
We had become intrigued by duck balut since talking with a friend who remembers her father eating the snack, and reading a book that introduced us to the popular Philippino street food. Although we still haven't been able to bring ourselves to cook and eat the fertilized and developing embryo, the man at the store where my husband purchased the balut, said he sells at least a dozen of them a week.
However, it took no act of bravery at all to use some of the duck eggs in this delicious, quick salad. I loved how all the components came together to form a delectable, absolutely wonderful meal.

DUCK EGG SALAD WITH BACON AND ROASTED BEETS


MAPLE DIJON DRESSING
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
SALAD
2 beets, tops removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 strips bacon
salad greens
1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
4 duck eggs

MAKE DRESSING
Whisk together mustard, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Continue whisking while drizzling in 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
ROAST BEETS
Heat oven to 350F.
Wash beets and place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle beets with olive oil and fold foil up and around beets to make a sealed package. Roast for 45 minutes, or until beets are completely tender all the way through when pierced with a skewer.
Let beets sit until cool enough to handle, then peel. Cut beets into wedges.
PREPARE BACON
Stack bacon and cut cross-wise into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Gently separate the pieces and place in a heavy pan set over medium heat. Cook the bacon until brown and crispy, stirring frequently. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain.
ASSEMBLE SALAD
Just before serving, toss together diced beets, bacon, salad greens and walnut pieces. Add enough dressing to lightly coat all the salad ingredients and divide salads equally between four plates. Divide the beets, bacon and walnuts evenly as well.
FRY THE DUCK EGGS
Heat pan over high heat, add enough cooking spray, butter or olive oil, to coat the bottom of the pan. Fry the duck eggs until the whites are very crispy and the bottom of the yolk is just starting to firm up. Flip the eggs and cook briefly on the other side.
Top each salad with a fried duck egg, sprinkle each duck egg lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from PCC Natural Markets
www.pccnaturalmarkets.com › Cook › Recipes‎