Monthly Archives: April 2015

If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They Aren’t Big Enough!

So be scared, be very afraid and the sky will be the limit, ask any successful person who has and they will agree…dare to dream…..

I am and it took me long enough..ha ha…but now I am and now I will… so watch this space……. and carry on dreaming…I DARE YOU!

What is scaring me? at the moment Scrivener….but armed with a webinar, u-tube etc I will master it! Yes, I will, of course, I will, a piece of cake, I will!

Anyway..FOOD….it was my eldest daughters birthday last week and as we were chatting she told me she had a great birthday brekkie and had Banana bread with Passionfruit Butter.

Well after said conversation finished I turned to my best friend ” Mr Google” and lo and behold it looked easy and sounded yummy.

So into the kitchen I went…. after I sourced the Passionfruit pulp, bought a lovely big bag, ready pulped, no additives or mess and that’s what I like, frozen and ready to go and will last for a few Pavlov’s and more Passionfruit butter and maybe a fruit shake or two..a bargain! and who doesn’t love one of them?

Banana Bread.

Ingredients:

2/3 ripe bananas.

1/3 Cup melted butter.

1 cup sugar ( I only used slightly less than 1/2 cup) don’t like it too sweet.

1 egg beaten.

1 tsp vanilla essence.

1 tsp Baking Powder.

11/2 Cups Flour.

Handful walnuts chopped( optional)

Oven 350/175 degrees.

4 x 8-inch loaf tin.

Method:

Mash Banana, Stir in butter.Mix in Baking Soda and salt.Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla.Mix in flour.

Bake for 1hr- 1hr 10 mins.

Cool completely before removing from tin.

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Passionfruit Butter/ Curd:

Ingredients:

The pulp of 5 large passion fruits. ( I used my frozen pulp) thawed of course and half cup.

150g butter.

100g  sugar.

Juice of half a lemon.

1/4 teaspoon salt.

5 eggs beaten.

Method:

Melt butter and sugar in a heavy bottomed (or enamel) saucepan on low heat. Add lemon juice, salt and passion fruit pulp. Mix well. In a bowl, whisk all 5 eggs lightly. Increase heat to medium-low and add the eggs to the passionfruit mixture, whisking with a whisk. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, whisking continuously. Once smooth, stir with a wooden spoon while cooking. The butter is ready when the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon (pouring cream consistency/store-bought pouring custard consistency). Remove from heat. Fill in lidded jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Note:

Because egg sizes may differ, if you find the mixture is too runny (slides off your spoon very easily), whisk in another egg and also add a tablespoon of butter. This helps thicken the butter to lemon curd consistency.

My guinea pigs were at our lunch before Majong where we all take a dish and it received an overall thumbs up, in other words, it was yummy. So enjoy.

Until next time. Love you all xx

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There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

 

 

Well that’s a sweeping statement but true.

I am at a crossroads , I think, what to do?, where to go?, who with? when? why? shall I ? shan’t I ? will I? won’t I? the brain just whirls around and around in never-ending circles.

How many of us have agonised like this over our jobs, our kids, parents, holidays, cars, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, what to have for dinner? …well gotta eat!

I think it’s amazing that we ever get anything done given all of that.

Isn’t the human brain just  awesome ?

At last we have rain..yippee, surveying my garden this morning there are a few branches on the grass , oh yes and we had wind….the sun is showing it’s self albeit with a watery smile. It’s Songkram…Thai New Year…water fights galore..the shops full or not so full now of water pistols of varying colours and sizes..the fun will soon begin….

But not before I have had my morning cuppa.

I have been planning my way forward for the next year as in where I want my book to be..Finished would be good.

I plan to write a children’s cook book as my grandchildren love cooking even little Lily who is four  is a dab hand with the Mortar and Pestle and she can do mushrooms albeit they are different shapes and sizes ha ha. Aston at 12 a bit more proficient so I’m thinking lots of pics and simple recipes for kids to do.

And improve my blog as in change a few things..ha ha should be fun ‘cos the mind knows what I want to do..It’s the doing..so lots of U-Tube Tutorials later it will…I’m being positive here..take shape so that’s some of my plans..oh and finish my book!.

I have been experimenting making my own Smoothies, and I love it…the blender is just about working I needed a new rubber washr it was pouring out the bottom…. so who looked with the lid off.?????… No folks No pictures..just use your imagination …you are writers after all

Still researching the Sour Dough …… but we have Hot Cross Buns ..recipe on  the previous post….

And trying  different foods that is one thing I love about living here it is a melting pot of different cultures and recipes..yum..yesterday I had Bobotie it was great…. it is the National Dish of South Africa and very good.

My recipe for you this week is a simple Chicken and Mushroom Pate ( one of my grandsons favorites) and so quick to make.

Ingredients:

450gm/11b Chicken Livers.

4 Chestnut Mushrooms finely chopped.

220gm/8oz Butter.

2/3 cloves garlic finely chopped.

2/3 shallots finely chopped or small brown onion.

1 tblsn Brandy.

1tsp Mustard Powder.

Salt and freshly ground pepper.

1 bay leaf and 3 cranberries for decoration.

Method

Melt 4oz of butter in pan add chopped onions and cook until soft but not coloured. Add mushrooms about half way through cooking.

Add garlic and chicken Livers and fry until cooked through.

Add Brandy..my hands wobbled at this stage and I deviated slightly from said recipe..I put 2 spoons in..ha ha.

Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place Liver mix and 2oz of remaining butter in food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste and season again with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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Put in Ramekin or small dish, decorate with bay leaf and 3 cranberries ( I used small lime leaves as had no fresh bay leaves.

Chill and serve and enjoy!

Well that’s all for now until next time I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. x

 

One a penny, Two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

Yes it’s that time of the year when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simmel Cake on Easter Monday.

So without further ado here is your recipe so you can have them tomorrow hot from the oven.

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Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
  • 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g  butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

To decorate

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Method:

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well.If you want to adda little lemon or orange zest it can be added now. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas

When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

Tip: I put my mix for the cross in one of those plastic refill sauce bottles as I find I get all sorts of shape and size of cross if I use a piping bag/greaseproof. clumsy klutz that I am..ha ha.

Hot from the Oven! Yum now legend tells us that if sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time or if hung in the kitchen they are said to protect against fire and all bread will turn out ok this is replaced every year. And I’m sure there are lots more traditions but I just want the butter to put on my bun.

 

Enjoy your buns and have a lovely Easter.

Love you all xxxxx