Once upon a time there was a princess. Nope. Not the little girl above. That is her cousin. The princess in question was totally spoiled with visits to farmers markets where she tasted much chocolate and apple followed by home made apple slice at home. She made loom bands and went to parties and ate lots of cake, but always left room to taste a lolly from the party bag on the way home.
Yes that is my little Sylvia and my busy weekend! As Vegan MoFo
draws near, I am trying to keep my blog backlog under control. Hence this action-packed and recipe-packed post!
Saturday morning we went along to Coburg Farmers Market
. It was very good and I ended up with my arms heavy with purchases. Some purchases never got home. Some of the apple juice just leaked out of my bag, a bagel went astray and the above chocolate cake was shared by Sylvia and me. We had planned to go out for lunch but couldn't find the information we needed about the cafe
(do you serve food?). Instead, at home I stuffed bagels with haloumi and salad for lunch. Then I baked apple slice.
I saw this apple slice recipe recently at The Life of Clare
. Not only was it a simple matter of a mere 5 ingredients but it came with a wonderful story. Clare's grandmother sent it to the newspaper years ago and readers are still baking it. I love all the quirky and innovative recipes I see online these days but there is something so lovely about a tried and trusted recipe. It reminds me of how my mum and grandmothers baked.
As I expected, my mum said she had a similar cake recipe. I gave her the recipe over the phone and she had baked it before the day was out. She added cinnamon and a splash of milk. I resisted any temptation to tinker with the recipe. I would love to try it with coconut sugar. You could just add other spices or dried fruit.
I really loved this slice as it was. It is almost a cake. On the day of baking it was so light and fluffy with soft apple that it felt like a cake. The next couple of days it was a bit firmer and felt more like a slice. It was so easy I am sure I will make it again, especially now that apples are starting to get past their best for eating fresh as winter draws to a close.
We spent some time in the afternoon making loom bands, ukelele practice, wrapping presents and grocery shopping.
Sylvia went to a school friend's party in the evening. I suggested making some carrot and cucumber tulips. Sylvia thought it a great idea. They are quick and simple to make. By the time we arrived pizza was being served. I think more people admired the vegie flowers than ate them, but they did make a pretty decoration.
We left Sylvia at the party on a torchlit treasure hunt by the creek. I returned home to make sausage rolls for my niece's party the next day. It seemed a good idea to make some gluten free sausage rolls for the gf members of the family. I had scribbled down a gf pastry recipe years ago and suddenly found myself with all the ingredients. It was fate. I liked the pastry. It was so much nicer than the soft gf mashed potato pastry
I made a few years back. I am just sorry I never recorded the source.
It was easier to just make all the sausage roll filling
gluten free. I found gluten free oats in the supermarket but forgot about the breadcrumbs. On the way to pick up Sylvia from the party I bought some gluten free breadcrumbs. I doubled the filling so I could make some extra sausage rolls for the freezer.
The gluten free sausage rolls are to the left in the above photo. They were a bit dry and crumbly but generally held together ok. The other half of the sausage rolls were made with some vegan puff pastry. I bought a bumper packet and need to think about ideas to use it up now. The sausage rolls are a tad pale in the above photo because I took it after baking them at home but I forgot to take a photo of them once heated up at my sister's place.
Here is the baking stack in the kitchen the next morning. We went to my parents' house for lunch and helped out with decorating little cakes and making popcorn. My mum makes it in a saucepan with a glass lid which was heaps of fun for Sylvia. She made some with salt and some with sugar, using a bit of pink food colouring in the butter for the sweet popcorn. No photos. My hands were too greasy from tossing popcorn with butter to pick up the camera. My mum also made kale chips. Quite an impressive snack for a 2 year old's party.
My sister Fran loves planning an event and always has such great party ideas. She hired the best party entertainment. They did face painting, craft, games, balloons. The kids loved it. The birthday girl was right in among it at the tender age of 2. I loved the strawberry and caramel milkshakes in little bottles. Sylvia loved them and the frog in a pond and the musk sticks. I also loved the caramel chocolate tarts and pastitsi.
My sister in law Erica baked the cutest ice cream cupcakes. Sylvia told me in confusion that they didn't take like ice cream. She also thought she had an S-shaped cookies in her party bag because everyone had their initial-shaped cookie. I didn't have the heart to tell her it was S for Stella. Oh the world revolves around a 5 year old!
There was a huge outdoor table which was great place for kids to colour in bandanas and eat the birthday cake. Sadly the good weather didn't hold up for the party. It was grey and overcast with occasional showers (as the weather forecasters like to say)!
I had a paranoid moment eating one of my sausage rolls and thinking
maybe I had mistakenly eaten a meat one. I wasn't the only one. My
brother and his wife were arguing over whether they were really meat or
not. These are amazing sausage rolls. I was comforted to hear that
mine were the only sausage rolls at the party.
By the time I drove home I was exhausted. Fortunately I had planned
my dinner before I left home. It was just a matter of throwing
together the remnants from the vegie tulips, some spinach and
strawberries that needed using and frying the rest of the haloumi I opened for lunch the previous day. I made a simple vinaigrette. A
fresh and healthy salad was just what I needed.
I am sending the salad to Eat Your Greens
at Allotment to Kitchen, Souper Sundays
at Kahakai Kitchen, and No Waste Food Challenge
at I'd Much Rather Bake Than... , the challenge coordinated by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
. I am sending the apple slice to Tea Time Treats
for the picnic edition
at Lavender and Lovage. I am sending the gf pastry to Alphabakes
at Caroline Bakes because P is for
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: WHB Creamy strawberry icy poles, a party and surprise
Two years ago: RRC Roasted potato salad with black olives and greens
Three years ago: Chickpea crackers and sweet potato stew
Four years ago: Taste of Melbourne: on a sugar high
Five years ago: Accidental Plastic Tart
Six years ago: Soup for the Leguminous Evangelists
Seven years ago: Blues Clues Birthday Cake
From The Life of Clare
2 cups self raising flour*
1 cup sugar
3 apples, peeled, cored and diced (1cm)
125g butter or margarine*
Toss apples with self raising flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in egg. Pour butter and egg into the apple mixture and mix until combined. Spoon into a greased and lined slice tin*. Bake at 180 C* for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Keeps for about 3 days.
*NOTES: For Americans: instead of self raising flour, used 2 cups all purpose flour (or cake flour if you prefer) and 4 tsp baking powder, 125g butter converts to slightly under a stick or 4 ounces of butter, bake at 350 F. A slice tin is 18 x 28cm or approximately 8 x 11 inches.
Gluten free shortcrust pastry (and sausage rolls)
100g each quinoa flour, corn flour and potato flour
125g butter or margarine
2-3 tbsp water
Mix flours, butter and salt in food processor until combined to make breadcrumbs. Add egg and then water one tablespoon at a time until you have a soft dough. Mine did not clump into a ball like gluten pastry does but I was able to roll a small handful into a ball. Tip dough onto floured surface (use corn flour or potato flour) and knead briefly until you have a smooth ball. (Perhaps a small crack or two.)
To make sausage rolls: Use a rolling pin to roll out pastry on a floured surface to make an approximation of a rectangular shape, about 0.5 cm thick. Cut in half lengthwise. Use the filling from this sausage rolls recipe
but use GF oats and GF breadcrumbs (I had to add an extra 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup oats for the GF filling). Proceed as in recipe but bake for 35 minutes at 180 C. The pastry only made enough to wrap about
Strawberry, haloumi and greens salad
serves 1 as a meal
50g haloumi, chopped into squares
60g baby spinach and rocket mix
4-5 strawberries, quartered
1-2 tbsp chopped cucumber
1-2 tbsp chopped carrot
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp strawberry vinegar
1/8 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp maple syrup
Fry haloumi until golden brown on both sides. Shake dressing ingredients together in a jar. Toss dressing and haloumi with remaining ingredients.
On the stereo: