Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A weekend of sparkles, puddles and an energy slice

On the weekend we went to the city where we sat adoringly in front of Dorothy's ruby slippers at the Hollywood Costumes exhibition at ACMi.  In fact Sylvia and her little friend were dazzled by all the glitz and glitter on display.  I wish that I had a sparkly recipe to share today.  Actually I have had lots of interesting food during the weekend.  Just not many new recipes to share.  So I will give you an energy slice recipe which saw us through a busy weekend that started with a trip to the mechanic and ended with a squinky puppet show.

I made the energy slice on Friday after a visit to Wholefoods.  I love their energy balls but it seemed silly to pay for them when I had lots of neglected ingredients with which I could make my own energy slice.  I'd bookmarked a few sunbutter recipes in a hope of using some of the jar that taunts me from the shelf.  (I only bought it because Sylvia is allergic to peanuts but we both dislike it and my one baking experiment with it ended up in a batch of green biscuits!)

It was great to use up lots of things I haven't touched for ages - rice bubbles, spiced cocoa, cocao nibs, sunbutter, and rice malt syrup.  I also found my pantry was low in sesame seeds.  I liked the slice but I am still not keen on the sunbutter taste.  Any other nut butter would taste better.  Next time I might use cashew or almond butter and more seeds.

On Saturday we travelled by train to the city past creeks swollen by the previous nights thunderstorms.  The Hollywood Costumes exhibition was interesting but ridiculously busy.  My highlight was Scarlett O'Hara's dress made of the green curtains.  Afterwards we ate lunch next door in the Atrium.  Our soup and sandwiches were fairly uninspiring.  Across the way at Beer Deluxe we were more impressed with desserts.

I had flourless chocolate cake and E had white rocky road slice that he claimed was the best slice ever (which is more than he said about the sunbutter slice but at least he is eating it unlike Sylvia).  The cafe also had crochet rugs and soy babycino to keep us warm.  Lunch was followed by a wander through the beautiful St Paul's Cathedral and a visit to the park so Sylvia could splash in puddles. 

At home I made a quick pea curry to eat with leftover beetroot curry and rice.  The two curies paired exceedingly well.  I didn't take any photos.  Instead I have a photo of the leftover pea curry that we ate with vegie sausages and a potato-cauliflower mash.  I must make that pea curry more often.

On Sunday morning I rose to make focaccia, pikelets and sushi.  The bread was a riff on the recent rhubarb and raspberry focaccia.  I had been dreaming of remaking as a savoury bread.  I added parmesan to the dough and topped it with onion, parmesan and salt.  Too much salt.  The onion could have been cut a bit thicker and I probably shouldn't have returned it to the oven for 10 minutes because it was so pale.  Using a quarter wholemeal flour was fine though.  I will revisit and hopefully be happy enough to write more about it.

The sushi and pikelets were made for my niece's birthday lunch.  Sylvia was very excited and wrapped the presents all by herself, as well as writing in her card.  She also helped rolling the sushi.  We made it plain with just rice in nori sheets so it would please the fussy eaters (by which I really mean Sylvia).  I made the pikelets on a whim.  My curiosity was piqued after making picklets recently.

The pikelets were really easy to make.  Erica spread them with butter and jam.  They did me proud on a table heaving with butterfly cakes, peppermint slice, gingerbread biscuits and fairy bread.  They were tubby little pikelets so I will try the recipe again with a bit more milk.  In fact they were like a maiden aunt to the glamourous princess cake pops that Erica made.

The cake pops were sparkly skirt shaped with cut outs of Disney princesses above them.  If I was a little girl, I would have been very excited to have these for my birthday.  They appealed to both young and old.  The birthday girl loved them.  So did Sylvia.  In fact she had a lovely time despite wet feet from muddy puddles and admitting to eating too much sweet food.

After a wet drive home (apparently there was no rain back in our neck of the woods), we went to friends' for a lovely dinner.  Sylvia had fun playing with two little girls.  She could be seen carrying around squinkies in a net and announcing a puppet show called Squinkies on Holiday.  A fun weekend!

And for those of you wondering about the car at the mechanic, there were no problems.  It was merely a precautionary visit to check some small problems weren't indicative of bigger problems.  It made driving more comfortable for me, and meant that my parents could breathe easy as they relaxed in the Budapest public baths.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Lovely lunches: zucchini pizza bites, fritters and a sandwich
Two years ago: Design Dilemmas
Three years ago: Banana Weetbix Muffins for Sylvia
Four years ago: Green and black cupcakes
Five years ago: Rabbiting on about Cheese and Rarebit!

Choc sunbutter energy slice
Inspired by My choc almond slice, Averie Cooks and Oh She Glows 

1/2 cup sunbutter (or any other nut butter)
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
6 tbsp dutch cocoa (I used a spiced one)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
pinch salt
2 cups rice bubbles (rice krispies)
1 cup rolled oats, ground
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tbsp each sesame seeds, cocoa nibs, chia seeds

Mix sunbutter, rice malt syrup, maple syrup, vanilla essence and salt.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  It will make a very stiff mixture so I ended up using my hands to mix the ingredients in.  Press into a lined 20cm square baking tin.  Eat.

On the Stereo:
The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music - compiled by Alan Lomas

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've been eating well! I need to try that energy slice as a pick-me-up in the afternoon!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - the energy slice is great - a small piece is quite satisfying and it has kept well for days at room temp covered with a tea towel because I wasn't over the moon about it (not sure the party food counts as eating well but generally not too bad lately)

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  2. I can only imagine the wonder in Sylvia's eyes when she gazed at those Ruby Slippers, Johanna. I bet you were a bit star struck by that Gone With the Wind curtain dress too.

    It sure sounds like you had a good week for eating too. Where oh where do you get the energy to keep up with cooking and still go visiting. Kudos to you. It must be those energy slices!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing. Sylvia is getting so big!!!

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    1. Thanks louise - I think I would have been more lost in wonder if I wasn't battling to see the costumes. Ha ha - I am sure the energy slice has kept me going

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  3. The energy slices look wonderful. Could I use Lyle's (cane sugar syrup) instead of the rice malt syrup? And would it make a huge difference to leave the chia seeds out (I can't have them)?

    Thanks for the great pictures and all the delicious recipes!

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    1. Thanks ejelassi - yes you could use other sweeteners - rice malt syrup is not terribly sweet (I think it is like brown rice syrup but have never found that). If you mean lyle's golden syrup then I am sure that would work well - albeit changing the flavour slightly (might even mask the sunbutter more!). You could use any seeds instead of chia or just leave them out. Enjoy

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  4. The lunch buffet looks terrific--so many choices, and those cake pops--wow!! I have to admit that I'm not usually too fussy on the taste of sunbutter in baked goods, either, but do love it in my mocha sunbutter spread. I think it may be a bit of an acquired taste. :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - that makes me feel better to know it is an acquired taste - maybe I need to give myself 10 tastes of it to get used to it rather than rejecting it so quickly. It is probably just as well I don't love it as I am not tempted to just eat through the whole thing in one day. Still have a little more in my jar so may have another sunbutter recipe in me

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  5. Looks like you had a happy and delicious time! :)

    I haven't made energy slices yet but have been intruiged. Can you tell me how to store them? It would be nice to have a ready snack at hand, but then the recipes are always for a large batch and I don't know how quickly I'd eat them ...

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    1. Thanks Kath - it was a nice weekend - I have stored mine in an airtight container at room temp and they have lasted well for a week - but these snacks do get a bit old after a while. The Averie Cooks recipe recommends they could be kept at room temp for a week, in the fridge for a month and in the freezer for 3 months. They are better eaten at room temp but would be great to have a batch in the fridge or freezer.

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  6. Oh gosh, you totally just figured out potentially the only way to make me interested in cake pops. DISNEYFY THEM!

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    1. Thanks Hannah - surely there is a lot more to love than just disney about these cake pops - you didn't see how sparkly the skirts were but they looked really cute even without the princesses - though Sylvia loved naming the princesses and all the little girls wanted pink

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  7. Goodness me Johanna you've been SO very busy!! :D How do you find the time? :) BTW I love those cake pops!!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - it does seem to be constantly busy but it is fun too

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  8. Great looking energy slice! I adored the ACMI Film Costume Exhibition, and I understand why Sylvia was dazzled by the ruby slippers.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - it was a really interesting exhibition - hopefully you weren't reprimanded in front of dorothy's shoes like we were - twice when she started to sit on the platform and once when I sat beside her to get down to her height

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  9. The ingredient list for your slice certainly sounds good, so I'm sorry it wasn't quite what you were after. I don't think I've ever used sunflower seed butter though so can believe it might not be the perfect nut butter option. You've also given me a craving for pikelets and sushi (it doesn't take much!) :)

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    1. Thanks Kari - pikelets and sushi are such great easy meals - and there are so many nut butters that I love that it makes it hard to stick with sunflower seed butter

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