A tiny slice of my life

This is a look at my life, and the many things I try to learn and do.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Daring Bakers Challenge February 2011

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Well my first ever Daring Bakers challenge, the days disappeared before I realised that I had to start cooking, but I made it in time !

The result, a beautiful creamy but not too sweet panna cotta and sticky chewy florentine biscuits, both a hit with my husband and daughter.

Panna Cotta Recipe - by Giada De Laurentis

I sachet unflavoured gelatin ( 1 tablespoon - 15 ml - 7 grams) 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
3 cups (720 ml) cream 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
pinch of salt 1 vanilla bean split in half seeds removed

Additional flavourings - food grade lavender buds and rosewater

Pour the milk into a chilled bowl, I placed a small glass bowl in the fridge while I was measuring out the other ingredients. Place cold milk into the bowl then sprinkle the gelatin over evenly. Leave for 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, over medium heat, heat mixture until hot NOT boiling. I whisked every couple of minutes, it took about 5 minutes.

Next add remaining ingredients, leaving it on the same heat, whisk until sugar and honey have dissolved and mixture hot again NOT boiling. About 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. At this stage I placed a generous third of the mixture including the vanilla pod in a glass bowl, the other third in another bowl to which I added 2 teaspoons of lavender buds and to the remainder in another bowl I added two capfuls of rose water.

Leave for 10 minutes. Pour the vanilla and rose panna cotta into seperate glasses/ramikens. For the lavender one I strained the lavender buds pressing them to extract as much flavour as possible. I retained a few to sit on top of the panna cotta, so that you could see it was lavender. Set in fridge 6 hours or overnight. Garnish and serve, I garnished the rose panna cotta with rose petals.

Nestle Florentine Cookies
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) unsalted butter 2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) granulated sugar 2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) plain flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to moderatley hot 190.C (375.F). Prepare baking sheets with silpat or baking paper.

Melt butter in medium saucepan, then remove from the heat. - I did this in a large jug in the microwave.

Add remaining ingredients to melted butter, mix well.

Drop tablespoons full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your trays. Flatten slightly with the back of the tablespoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until biscuits are golden. Cool completely on cake rack or baking sheets. I used the baking paper they had cooked but moved them a bit so they wouldn't stick to the paper when cool.

Melt chocolate in the microwave ( 1 - 1 1/2 minutes) or over a double boiler, ensuring that the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl.

Use the chocolate to sandwich the biscuits together or as I did spread some chocolate over the top.

Enjoy !

Thursday, February 24, 2011

knitting and new beginnings

Well I have been busy knitting cushion covers this week, my own designs using different types of wool. Why, because I have decided to start an online store for all the different craft things that I make, or would like to make.

I have several quilt tops that need to be turned into quilts them what, why not try to sell them that will then justify making new ones with all the material I have.

I have also several cushion tops crazy patchwork and beaded ones, to be made into cushions.

So hopefully this will be a new beginning for me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

potatoes, pickle and paypal

Well we finally dug up the potatoes we were growing we got several kilos ! They should keep us going for a while, the pink potato called cranberry red - yes pink - makes the best creamy mash and potato salad . I buy them from diggers club -https://secure.diggersgardenclub.com.au/c-35-potatoes.aspx

My youngest daughter came home last week with a bunch of beetroot that they grew at her work - what to do ahh ! More pickles this time I made beetroot and apple pickle, I used the apples from our tree, surprisingly the weren't ripe. Our friend got a very large jar, which put a smile on his face and the remaining jar went into the pantry for my husband, he is getting quite a collection of homemade pickles.

Paypal, well after the mess last year of someone trying to set up a skype account using my paypal account I deactivated my bank account. After so long I thought it would be alright to reactivate it again - wrong - last night I was reading my e-mails and to my amazement what do I see come in 8 e-mails in 10 minutes, 1 of which advising me that someone I didn't know was sending me money. huh !

Well, you can guess my horror at having to deal with this again. So what have I been doing this morning, 3/4 hour on the phone to paypal, 2 hours for a complete scan on my computer and it is fixed, they had blocked the debit but were going to allow me to keep the money that had been paid in ! After telling the second lady 3 - yes 3 times that this was also false she reversed that too and decided to send it to their fraud dept. Goodness I think I will give up on using paypal as it seems to be nothing but a nuisance !

Now my headache and I are going to have a lie down !

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A weekend away in the heat and yummy food eaten

Well my husband and I got away for the weekend, the humidity on Friday was unbearable, thank goodness for a air-conditioned car.

We won't mention lunch on Friday, but tea we went to the Imperial Palace at 2 High St Bendigo. My husband suggested I get the Singapore Rockling Fish, he had eaten it in Singapore. I ordered it the fish came with vegies in slightly sweet chilli sauce. It was absolutely beautiful, I am so glad he suggested it.

On Saturday on the way to Ballarat we stopped on Daylesford and had brunch where we shared a turkish roll filled with scrambled eggs onto of which was 2 rashers of yummy bacon, then 2 small italian sausages. A very filling meal, we didn't need to 2 slices of fruit toast that my husband had also ordered but we managed to fit them in ! I had spiced cha tea to drink something I had never had before but will be getting again, Yum !

The for tea we went to our usual chinese restaurant - The Golden Mountain - that we have been going to for 20 years whenever we are in Ballarat. My husband had chicken with vegies, a mountian of vegies, I had chicken and cashews we shared fried rice. Is was lovely as usual.

Back to the usual grind this week. Oh hum !

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hola, fuimos a una fiesta - hello we went to a party

Well not much cooking happening at the moment, although I did make a yummy chicken casserole last night to which I added a tin of organic butter beans. The were creamy when eaten, though some of the family - namely my husband picked everyone out - he doesn't like beans he has decided. Yet he eats baked beans ! You can't work them out can you.

I went to a friends house for lunch on Saturday, she is from Peru and she cooked peruvian food - YUM !!!

The was arroz con pollo - rice cooked with chicken, papa rellana - mashed potato stuffed with a mixture of meat, hard boiled egg , sultanas, olives and a sauce and - tamale - a mixture using corn kernals and steamed. We left there very full.

If anyone is interested I will post the recipes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

fabulous february

Well we are into February, before we know it will be easter.

Monday I made jerk chicken with a fresh romanesco sauce, very nice. The chicken is great for the BBQ.

Not much else happening, so until next time.