Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post from Mr B!

Hello out there. This is the OTHER HALF here. I was asked to do a guest appearence so here it goes.

It was early in the morning and there was a bit of racket going on in the kitchen so i thought i would investigate. When i got there i found Emily making hot cross buns so me being me decided to stay and give a hand. Luckily all the hard work had been finished :) and I ended up with the easy part. I got to roll the buns and place them in the pan then once they rose i had a crack at piping which isnt that hard lol dont tell EM. When they were ready all was left to do was to put on the glaze and yes I aced it

Yay they looked so shiney. Then all was left to do was my favorite part.... EAT and OMG were they good she is defenitly a keeper that one lol. Well im all out of words so i just want to thank you for reading my rambles and to EM for the opportunity till next time good bye. PS this is for you NETTY

Hot Cross Buns

2 x 8g sachets dried yeast
1 1/4 cups (310ml) milk, warmed
1/4 cup caster sugar
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp salt
60g butter
2 cups sultanas
2 eggs
1/3 cup self-raising flour
jam, warmed for brushing (I used a combination of marmalade and strawberry jam)

Whisk the yeast, milk and caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside for 10 minutes to foam.

Combine the plain flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the softened butter, eggs and yeast mixture. Use the dough hooks on your mixture to combine. Add the sultanas.

Move the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and leave in warm spot for around 45 mins.

Punch the dough down and knead until smooth.

Grease a 30cm x 20cm baking tray. Shape the dough into 12 balls and place in tray.

Set aside for a further 15 mins to allow the buns to finish rising.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200°C.

Combine the self-raising flour and 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small jug and stir until you get a thick (yet pipeable) paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto the buns.

Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 15 minutes. Brush buns while warm with jam.

Enjoy with butter and cuppa!!!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Broccoli and Cauliflower Cannelloni

We are definitely cannelloni lovers in this house....from your traditional beef, tomato and cheese cannelloni, right through to your spinach and ricotta and even your grated carrot and zucchini, hell Mr B will even eat lentil the other night we tried a recipe I have had hanging around for quite some time because I was abit dubious about it....but may I just say it was spectacular!! Brocolli and Cauliflower Cannelloni, it's cheesey, packed full of flavour and down right awesome! Plus if you have kids...they might be quite partial to the green filling...and not even notice it's packed full of vegies!!

All you will need is:

2 small heads of broccoli finely diced
1 medium head of cauliflower finely diced
2 tspns crushed italian herbs
1 tspn crushed garlic
1 x 565g jar of Carbonara Sauce
1 x 565g jar of Tomato Pasta Sauce
12 x Cannelloni Sheets
1/2 cup grated pizza cheese

Pre-heat oven to 180C

Combine the broccoli and cauliflower in a large saucepan with water over high heat and bring to the boil.

Once the broccoli and cauliflower are tender, drain the water and roughly mash. Season with salt and pepper and stir through the carbonara sauce, italian herbs and garlic.

Pour 1/4 cup of tomato pasta sauce over the base of a casserole dish.

Spoon 2 tbspns of the broccoli and cauliflower mixture along the egde of each cannelloni sheet, roll up and place in the dish. Repeat with remaining sheets.

You will have some mixture leftover. Spoon it over the top of the cannelloni in the dish, pour over the remaining tomato sauce and top with grated cheese.

Bake for around 20 mins or until cheese is melty and golden.

Serve with salad, friends, family and enjoy!!

Mrs B x

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Let's talk lemon and coconut....

with a little bit of lime thrown in for good measure!!

May I suggest if you are looking for a moist, light yet dense cake worthy of lunchboxes, morning teas, afternoon teas...hell it's even worthy of being toasted with butter for breakfast or heated up with cream for dessert....if you are looking for a cake that ticks all the boxes....try this one....honestly....

Lemon and Coconut Loaf
125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
rind from 1 lemon + 2 tbspns juice
1 tbspn lime juice
2 eggs
1 and 1/3 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup milk

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the lemon rind and lemon and lime juice. Beat until combined.

Add the flour, eggs, milk and coconut and beat well.

Pour the mixture in a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for around 50 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before removing. Now personally I find this cake much better if you wrap it up and leave in the fridge overnight and as always, best served with friends x

And what sort of wife would I be if I didn't show you the amazing potato topped beef pie that Mr B cooked for us the other night....chunks of tender beef and vegetables in a herbed gravy topped with crispy had us both drooling at the oven door!!

And on that note, I have been trying to convince Mr B to do a guest post here on the blog, he cooks once a week in our house and comes up with some delicious creations, plus this weekend he helped me make the hot cross buns and I have to say, he rocked the party....but he's is a bit dubious about the whole thing and some of the excuses I've heard include...

What would I write?
Who would be interested!
I have nothing to say!
I don't even cook that well?!
It'd take me forever to type out!

And as the every loving supportive wife do you know what I say???

Blah Blah Blah....and something about how he needs to just get over it!

So I'd like to put it to you, you're the reader...would you like to see Mr B do a guest post?? I know I would!

Mrs B xx

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chocolate and Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This week has been one of 'those' weeks. Everything has been so hectic, so flat out, I feel like all I have done is run and chase and not actually achieved anything. One of those weeks where the to-do list gets longer rather then shorter. But it's also one of those weeks where I feel useful and like I'm using my brain....which doesn't happen often!! Anyway, it hasn't just been me experiencing this week from hell at work, it appears to be a contagious thing, so last night I made this cake to take in and cheer one of my favourite people up :) I hope it worked. As I said to her, it was an effort to make up for all the nasty thoughtless people in the world, even though all the cake in the universe won't do that, it's a start....

Chocolate and Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

120g butter
250g cream cheese
2 cups plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
1.5 tspns baking powder
The juice and rind of two oranges
200g dark chocolate broken up into small pieces

Pre-heat oven to 160C and grease and line a loaf tin.

Soften the butter and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.

Add the caster sugar, orange juice and orange rind. Beat well.

Gradually add the flour, eggs and baking powder. Beat until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir through the chocolate pieces.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 50 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean or with only a few crumbs.

Make one for yourself and one for someone who needs a smile :)

Mrs B x

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things I've Learnt....

Lesson 1

.....if you're going to make ice cream, make sure you close the pouring spout before you pour the mixture in there....

Lesson 2

.....once you have cleaned up all your spilt ice cream mixture, had a sulk, re-made the mixture and decided to give it another go....make sure you close the pouring spout before you pour the mixture in there FOR A SECOND TIME!!!

Lesson 3

.....give up on the ice cream, snuggle you're husband and have a Baileys and milk instead. It will make you feel much better and be much less stressful.

Another thing that is totally not stressul - A jumbo size Devil's Food Cake with thick chocolate cream, covered with chocolate frosting and everybody's favourite.... smarties :)

Best served with friends!!

Mrs B xx

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mum's Tomato Chutney

It's that time of year again....home made tomato chutney time!!!

Now I have never made tomato chutney before, my Mum always makes it and she makes enough to last her and Dad and Mr B and I all year round. It's like having your own chutney exchange station, we take our empty jars to Mums and she sends us home with full ones. But alas, this year Mum and Dad had to forfeit their chutney making duties due to living in a caravan while they wait for their new house to be built.

That left only one was time to step up to the plate and accept the chutney making challenge!

Upon reading Mum's old recipe....I decided I didn't like it, no one wants to buy 8kgs of tomatos, boil them and peel I tweaked it a bit...and because I didn't know how it was going to turn out I decided to make a half batch, but then I discovered I had an abnormally small pot so it kind of turned into a third batch!

What you will need is....

2.4 kgs of tomatoes, skins removed (cheat note - you could use 3 x 800g tins of peeled italian tomatoes for this....)
750g diced onion (also as a cheat, feel free to use frozen onion)
2 tbspns curry powder
2 tbspns mustard powder
1 tbspn salt
1/2 bottle Ezy Sauce
1 kg sugar
1/2 cup plain flour

Begin by combining the tomatoes, onion, salt and sugar in a large heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil.

Combine the mustard powder and curry powder with a small amount of water to form a thin paste and add to the tomato mixture.

Pour in the Ezy Sauce and stir to combine.

Allow the mixture to simmer covered for around 2 hours, stirring fairly regularly or it will stick to the bottom and burn!

About 10 mins before the end of the cooking time, combine the flour and a small amount of water to form a thin paste and stir through the chutney. If you don't combine the flour with the water first, you will end up with white floury lumps through your chutney - trust me I know!!

Our house has been filled with the delicious smell of chutney ever since and believe me there is nothing quite like home made chutney on toast with melted cheese...or a fresh ham salad roll with home made chutney or hot zucchini pancakes with home made chutney....basically anything is better with home made chutney...did I mention scrambled eggs with home made chutney?!?! Oh my god!!!

Using the above recipe I got 7 standard sized jars which should last us a little while, and at least using tinned tomatoes I can have fresh home made tomato chutney all year round!!

Mrs B xx

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I scream, You scream....

We all scream for icecream!!

Yes it's true, we suffer a serious weakness in our house.

I mean we suffer several weaknesses really....frosting, licking the bowl, crunchy melty cheese, buttery toast, shoes, cute clothes that are really really cheap....

Ok to be honest most of those are my weaknesses, but Mr B's major weakness is ice cream....once a tub of icecream is opened it is like he is compelled to sit down and finish it and I cannot even begin to describe the number of nights I have listened to him complain about the icecream headache or the icecream belly ache or beg me to take the tub away from him....

So a few Christmas' ago when Mum and Dad brought us a cuisinart soft serve machine, I thought it would save us a tonne of money as we could just make all the icecream we ever wanted right here at home. But the machine was big, and it involved alot of washing up and after awhile we put it away and forgot about it...

....until last week! When I thought maybe we should give it another go....and the universe obviously agreed because I saw one of my friends post this recipe on facebook for what she described as the most 'lush' tasting icecream ever.

I was sold.

So the first batch I made, I added 2 tbspns banana topping to, it was creamy banana icecream heaven.

And the second batch I added a packet of crushed up Vanilla Icecream Oreos and oh my god we nearly ate it all straight out of the icecream maker, it was that damn good!

So let me share with you the recipe :)

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
600ml thickened cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tspn vanilla paste (don't use the essence, it's so much nicer with the good stuff!)

Heat the sugar and 1/3 cup of the cream in the microwave, just so the sugar dissolves so only for say 40 seconds - just keep an eye on it.

Combine all ingredients in a jug and mix well.

Turn your ice cream maker on.

Pour in the ingredients.

If you want to add any extras like banana topping or chocolate syrup or something you can do that now, but if you want to add chunky extras like crushed up oreos or tim tams or mint slice bikkies, then wait until the icecream has started to set a little.

And hey presto! We let ours go for about 30 mins I think, and then just scooped it all into a container and put it in the freezer overnight to let it firm up :) This recipe makes around 1L so for normal people, about a weeks worth, for Mr B....roughly 2 nights, sometimes only 1 night!

Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend :)

Mrs B xx

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

Recently a very special man in my life celebrated a milestone...

My Dad turned 50!

Now if you knew my Dad you would know that he is unique. He is an 18yr old boy stuck in a man's body, sometimes I swear him and Mr B only have one brain cell between them and they share it....they really are hopeless together....but at the same time he is a family man, he goes antiquing, he gardens, he reads AND when you look at him I mean he has the beard and the jewellery and he rides a Harley so he comes across on face value like a big tough bikie....but again he is a big teddy bear who doesn't even swear (and if he ever does, by God you know you're in the poo....). And that's my Dad. He is unique, he is special, he treats my Mum like a queen and me like a princess and now, he's just that little bit older too!!

So for his birthday, Mum, Dad, Mr B and I went away up north for a few days.

We went on a beautiful cruise up the Tamar River....

We played a horrendous game of mini golf, but we are still recovering from the traumatic events of that....

So moving on...seeing as Dad has managed to make it through 50 years with never having tried an oyster at all, the boys did it in style with Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters...

Never to be outdone, I decided we would have shots - but slightly more civilied versions with Baileys, Kahlua and snotty oysters insight!

And of course what sort of birthday would be complete without a cake...and a cake replica of Dad's tank at that!

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Mrs B x

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Accidental Successes.....

So everytime I go to make buttercream frosting I end up making way too much, like I mean waaaaaaaaaayyy too much. It starts off ok with the butter and the icing sugar and then somewhere in the mix of trying to get the flavours and the consistency's right I end up with a huge bowl full...and usually it's for a tiny little cake!

Like recently I was making my Dad's 50th cake...I needed a little tiny bit of yellow frosting, a little bit of white, some grey and some black....somehow I ended up with large amounts of all of the above. Now the yellow frosting was custard flavoured and seeing as I needed all of a tablespoon and had made oh I don't know like 3 cups worth, something had to be done.

And do you know what that something was? Add 2 eggs and around 1 - 1.5 cups self raising flour to 2 cups of frosting, beat it all up and chuck it in the oven at 180C for around 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Now I had no idea how this would turn or if it would even work at all, but I couldn't have predicted the amazing cake? tart? pie? that came out of my oven! It had a delicious chewy outside, a soft, moist chewy custard flavoured inside, oh it was heaven!!!

And for the record I have since tried this with chocolate frosting - if you use the above recipe plus 90g chocolate melted, you have yourself the quickest and easiest mudcake you will ever find!!

At this stage I feel I should say I am a recipe follower, I need a recipe infront of me, I might completely tweak the hell out of it and end up with something totally different, but I need the recipe as a starting point and I always say to Mr B I wish I could be like him and just throw stuff together. And now that I have, I am most proud :) So today's lesson is that sometimes it pays to just say to hell with it and experiment!

Mrs B x


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