Winter has well and truly set in now, which means it’s a perfect time to take advantage of winter produce. I’m very passionate about buying local and about supporting the small fruit and veg shops. On one hand, I hate to put money in the hands of supermarket chains that pay a pittance for produce then raise the prices sky high. I’d much rather support small businesses. But I also love cooking with seasonal produce. It makes you really think about where the food is coming from and understand the growing process. It’s cheaper, tastier, and most importantly for me it has a much lower environmental impact. It’s a win all round.
Rhubarb is one of those winter staples we all tend to turn to for dessert in lieu of all those wonderful summer berries. A staple I’d oddly not cooked with before. I grew up in a household of plain eaters, afraid to try anything outside the box they’d made for themselves. Rhubarb was well outside that box. In my adulthood I’m now trying to make up for that by trying all the different things I never got to as a kid. It was high time I knocked this one off the list. I bought a bunch with my weekly shop and settled for making a crumble. Then Cameron’s mum gave him a tart recipe to bring over on the weekend and I was sold.
The macaron madness continues! And shows no signs of abating. Since moving to using silicone mats I’ve started to run into macaron errors. I guess it’s better experiencing it now then during my first try of them, but it can be frustrating. It happens most when I tweak the base recipe, so that’s gonna be a given.
But making mistakes is an important part of the learning curve. Through making errors and working to correct them, I’m learning. And hey, an ugly macaron doesn’t mean a bad-tasting macaron. Just an unbloggable macaron. I can deal with more excuses to bake.
Perfectly formed or not, these babies seem to disappear just as quickly as I can make them. So while they’re still desired, I’ll keep on baking!
Time for some salted caramel…
This curry is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It's rich and flavour-full, but the addition of peanuts takes it to an extra level of taste and texture. I made this one for the family a few weeks back and wanted to share it with you guys.
While I typically use chicken for this recipe, like most curries you can swap the meat for whatever your preferred meat is. Chicken is such a cheap meat here that it makes a delicious budget meal, but if you live in a country where poultry is more expensive, feel free to sub in whatever cut of meat you like.
Let’s get started…
Last week I went out to dinner with mine and my boyfriend's immediate family to celebrate the completion of my Masters degree. We went to one of my favourite local restaurants, Azurea's and had a lovely time together. While Azurea's have a gorgeous selection of cakes and desserts themselves, I wasn't about to let go of an excuse to bake! Between mine and his family, everyone's preference for cake is many and varied, so choosing one is always a difficult task — someone is always not going to be happy! I eventually settled on this cake I had been wanting to try for quite a while now.
Every so often, Philly have one of those deals where if you buy so many products you get a recipe book for free. Unlike most of the freebies you get in supermarkets, these books are actually amazing and usually cost $35-45 each to buy on their own. Each is filled with 75 recipes, most of which I'm keen to try out at some point.
A while ago I picked up volume 2 at the supermarket. My dad found the first volume at the op shop. On last week's grocery shop I noticed volume three was out, and eagerly snatched it up. Flicking through the newest copy reminded me of how fantastic these books are, so I decided to dig them out for the cook book challenge. This week begins with the first volume.
I've got a lot of baking on over the next couple weeks, what with the Daring Baker's Challenge, a couple of other challenges, as well as a personal project you guys will find out about soon, so I steered away from the desserts section for once. While there were a bunch of savoury options begging to be tried, I decided to go with something that involved a technique I've always been too intimidated to try.
Bacon, Olive and Almond Filled Chicken
Every year when Father's Day rolls around, I often find myself looking to reinvent my family's favourite mudcake recipe, as mudcake is my dad's favourite cake. While my family are more than content to keep demolishing their favourites, I get bored of repetition and am often looking for new skills to learn. So this year, I started trying to come up with something out of the ordinary. Given how picky my dad is, this is a harder task than usual. If it's not mudcake, his next favourite is a fruit cake, but almost no one else in my household likes fruit cake.
I found a middle ground to strike. Pears are one of my dad's favourite fruits. Like me, he prefers them really soft. Our perfect pear is what others feel is overripe. A cake involving poached pears was going to be a hit.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
I've been a little quiet on the blogging front this week. I've been finishing off my final assignment for my last subject ever. Now I just have to finish off the research component of my course and I'll have a piece of paper declaring I have mastered science. Exciting. But scary.
While I've not been blogging, I've still been cooking. The masses always have to be fed, y'know. I've got lots to show you guys.
So now that I have time to take a breather, it's time for another cook book challenge post!
I didn't realise until doing this blog post that I took this weeks book from the wrong end of the pile. Now it's out of order. Ah! My OCD! *flail*
It's no secret that I love baking more than anything else in the kitchen. So a whole book on baking is always welcome. This week's book is Belinda Jeffrey's "Mix and Bake".
Crunchy Peanut Butter and Sea Salt Bisuits…
Chocolate crackles have such a power over me. They're one of those food items that can reduce me to giggly fits of glee at the thought of making them. You're never too old to enjoy that simple treat, but this slice offers a way to deliver them with a little more class than usual.
I've been waiting for the perfect excuse to make this. So when I threw a get together this weekend just gone these were the first thing on my list of party food.
Much more on these spheres of crackley heaven…
The fact that up until now I have never had cashew soup of any description is a big mistake on my part. Cashews are one of my favourite things in the world, and now so is this soup.
Grab a bowl…
Last Friday was my boyfriend's 29th birthday. One of his greatest culinary loves in life is custard. So when I was brainstorming ideas for a nice-looking, fondant-free cake that pandered to his tastes, I just knew it had to involve custard.
Celebratory photo spam and recipe after the jump…