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Friday, 29 March 2019
Irish Folk Festival early and had quick wander around the fete. It meant getting to the jams and cake when they were still in huge piles, having my pick of Granny's O'Reilly's jumble stall, walking through the creative market when it was quiet. I bought a plum relish, some peppermint slice (yes I know it was a little ironic) and an unused cactus water dispenser. I was very tempted by the Live Eco stall with lots of reuseable products such as bread bags and straws but was happy to see they have a store on nearby pako street.
More old fashioned Aussie slices for fetes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Apricot condensed milk slice
Coconut ice (gf)
Jeanette's coconut date slice (gf, v)
Marshmallow weetbix slice
Pooh bear honey slice
Peppermint Crisp Slice
Adapted from Best Recipes
250g packet of choc ripple biscuits
3 peppermint crisps
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
400g tin of condensed milk
225g dark chocolate melts
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
green food dye (optional)
Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper (I used a slice tin but it was a bit big so I would use a 20cm square tin next time).
Crush the chocolate ripple biscuits to coarse crumbles and chop the peppermint crisps. Mix with coconut and condensed milk. Scrape into prepared tin. Chill in freezer for an hour or so.
Put a drop or two into the coconut and rub it in to make the coconut green if you want to colour it. Melt chocolate and butter together. Spread over chilled slice and then sprinkle with coconut. Chill in the fridge. (I did this overnight but I think 4-6 hours should firm it up.)
Eat cold and firm or at room temperature and soft depending on your preference.
On the Stereo:
Discrete Music: Brian Eno
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
I had decided to serve the chickpeas in soft tacos. They were really good. And so simple to heat the stew and chop some vegies and cheese. It is a nice social sort of meal to sit around the table and everyone can take what they like. And I got to use up some sour cream and packet salsa.
I am sending these chickpeas to Shaheen of Allotment to Kitchen who is hosting My Lovely Legume Affair this month on behalf of Lisa's Kitchen who took over from The Well Seasoned Cook who started this event celebrating legume recipes of all kinds.
More chickpea recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chickpea hummus scramble (gf, v)
Chickpea, peach and pumpkin curry (gf, v)
Chickpea pilaf (gf, v)
Chickpea, potato and tomato stew (gf, v)
Mock tuna (chickpea) salad (gf, v)
One pot pasta with chickpeas and zucchini (v)
Slow cooked smoky chickpeas
Adapted from Backyard Lemon Tree
olive oil, a drizzle
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp seeded mustard
shake of dried herbs
good pinch of salt and pepper
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1x 400g tin diced tomatoes
water as required
Cook onion and carrots in olive oil in a heavy bottomed stockpot until golden (about 5 or 10 minutes over medium heat). Add garlic, smoked paprika, mustard, herbs and seasoning. Cook for a minute and then add chickpeas, tomatoes and about half a cup of water. Bring to boil and the reduce heat to low. Slowly cook for 30 to 60 minutes, adding a little boiling water from time to time until tomato sauce thickened. (NB only a small amount of water at a time so it does not get watery and have to cook a lot to thicken.)
On the stereo:
Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
here but bear in mind it was taken long before digital cameras or blogs graced our lives.)
I've done quite a few green cakes since. This year I decided to do green cupcakes for a school bake sale. It was easier to do because Sylvia was on a sleepover at a friend's house. It gave me time to bake cakes and shape shamrocks on the Friday night and then make buttercream and pipe it before taking them to the bake sale at 9am. And to make a peppermint crisp slice that I will share another time. (And to watch the tv news in horror as the Christchurch mosque killings were reported. So sad to see such hatred fuelling all that death and grief. So heartening to see Jacinda Ahern's compassionate and brave response.)
Submarine, written and directed by Richard Ayoade.) Fiddly work like that is easier when there is something else to concentrate on, whether a podcast, tv show or chatting with a friend. I kept the piece of fondant whole rather than trying to piece together little bits of fondant. I also made some fondant dots to use as sprinkles but didn't have enough time to use them. Maybe I will experiment with them at at later date.
In fact, I was so pleased with my shamrock cupcakes that I offered to take some to my niece's school fete the next day. Making them with Sylvia was a bigger challenge. Especially as before I began my brother rang to ask us to come down Saturday night rather than Sunday morning to have a family dinner.
More St Patrick's Day green food links on Green Gourmet Giraffe
More St Patrick's Day recipes on blogs elsewhere:
Colcannon casserole - VegHog
Irish goldrush cupcakes - Laws of the Kitchen
Shamrock cookies - Allotment to Kitchen
St Patrick's Day healthy snack board - Eating by Elaine
Vegan Guinness triple chocolate brownies - Wallflower Kitchen
St Patrick's Day Shamrock Cupcakes
Cupcakes, buttercream and fondant shamrocks can all be made the day before. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes to make a small swirl that still leaves some of the green cupcake visible. Place a shamrock on top. Sprinkle with green sprinkles. I tried making some small green dots with fondant to place in the buttercream but never had time to experiment with placing them neatly.
Adapted from Kidspot via Green Gourmet Giraffe
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp green food dye (I used Queens)
1 cup milk
2 cups self-raising flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and green food dye. Beat until smooth. Fold in half the milk and half the flour and then repeat with remaining milk and flour. Spoon into pattypan cups or a greased pattypan (or muffin or cupcake) tray. Bake at 180 C for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
250g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
Using electric beaters, beat butter til creamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar. By the time I added all icing sugar, it was like tiny pebbles. Beat in a tablespoon of milk at a time until the mixture is creamy.
Green food colouring (the good thick stuff)
Icing sugar for rolling out and shaping
Take a chunk of white fondant about 8 x 5 x 5cm. I dabbed on a good thick green food dye (because I did not want to dilute the fondant too much) and kneaded it to make the fondant green.
Lightly dust a board with icing sugar. Roll out the fondant to be 2-3mm thick, turning it over once or twice while you roll so it does not get too sticky.
Cut out a circle of fondant. (My cutters are about 2-3cm in diameter.) Put the remaining fondant in an airtight container to prevent it drying out while you shape each shamrock. Have a little icing sugar at hand to rub on hands if fondant is at all sticky but only use a little to avoid having it all over fondant and leaving white spots.
Cut four lines equally spaced from near the middle. Cut three of the quarters into thinner wedges by shaving off a little either side. Shape each of the three wedges into a shamrock leaf shape. I did some of these with making a small dint with my round cutter and the using my hands but found it easier to find a wavy cutter (a mini gingerbread man cutter worked as in the step by step photos) and use to cut some shape to found the corners as well as make a little dent in the middle before final shaping with my hands. Then cut the fourth quarter to be a stem a little thinner at the top than the bottom.
These can be air dried overnight. It will make them a bit sturdier for handling but still soft enough to eat.
On the Stereo:
Irish pub classics
Sunday, 17 March 2019
vegan greens pizza. I think this one would work with cashew cream but for now I have only tried cheese. I baked the pizza with cheese on top, then spread it with cream cheese and pesto and topped it with greens. Delicious.
Baby Shark to a crowd (nicely accompanied by my 6 year old niece) than anything goes with pizza too. Actually, as well as wanting to create a green pizza for St Patrick's day, I wanted to get some vegetables into us. It is easy to just do a Margherita pizza if we are tired.
Check out more St Patrick's Day green food if you are into green or more pizza toppings.
And I am hoping that Shaheen will accept this for to Allotment to Kitchen and Veg Hog for Eat Your Greens.
Healthy Greens Pizza
1 batch of dough for a large pizza (we used half this recipe)
Grated cheddar cheese
Cream cheese (about 2 dessertspoons)
Pesto (about a dessertspoon)
Baby spinach (a handful or two)
Broccoli, cooked and chopped (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Press out dough into large pizza tray (I line mine with baking paper but you could use polenta to line the tray). Drizzle with oil and cover with grated cheddar cheese on top. Bake until cooked but not too golden. I baked mine at 220 C for about 15 minutes on the middle tray of the oven so it did not crisp too much.
Mix approximately a couple of dessertspoons of cream cheese with a dessertspoon of pesto. Add a bit more pesto if you want a greener colour. (NB my pesto was home made and had been the in the freezer.) Spread over cooked pizza. Don't worry if it melts slightly.
Arrange baby spinach, chopped broccoli and cooked peas over cream cheese spread. Cut into wedges and eat hot. It should also taste good at room temperature or reheated but I haven't tried it.
On the Stereo:
No Need to Argue: the Cranberries
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Before Christmas, I saw this Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake in a supermarket magazine. I was determined to make it. Christmas came and went. Cherries season is often over in a flash. I decided to make it for a birthday lunch with my family. It seemed a good opportunity to use up some chocolate ripple biscuits and try the fancy cherry swirl in the photos. Then I made it gluten free for my sister and failed at the cherry swirl. At least I got to enjoy some seasonal cherries.
The next morning I packed it in the car with frozen bottles of water to keep cool in the heat and drove over an hour to my parents in Geelong. My mum is more experienced with cheesecakes and recommended sitting the cheesecake on a bowl to separate the springform side from the bottom (as in photo above).
- I reduced the butter because I used chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with a cream filling but it was too dry. I overcompensated and it was too much butter - I knew because it came out of the cheesecake and the outside of the tin was greasy. I recommend baking with a tray underneath in case. 150g butter was too much. I would take this back to 125g. However, there was too much biscuit base. Just having it on the bottom, rather than the sides and bottom, would be better.
- The cheesecake did not taste enough of cherries. My mum suggested putting in whole cherries but I was worried they would sink like the puree did. I wondered about spreading cherry puree on the cheesecake midway through baking when it would sit on top but am not sure if it would work. Would bottled morello cherries be more intense or pink?
- I have mused on whether food dye was added to the Taste photo to make it so pink. The colour was really disappointing.
- I reduced the sugar in the cheesecake filling from 1/2 cup to 1 tbsp. It wasn't that sweet. I think I would take it back up to 1/4 cup.
- I really wanted to do chocolate curls rather than little scraps of grated chocolate but this is not my area of expertise either. And it is not great in hot weather when cherries are in season.
I still feel a novice at cheesecakes and have a lot to learn. As I don't make them very often, I hope my notes will help next time.
More cheesecakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Baked lemon cheesecake (gf)
Berry ricotta cheesecake (gf)
Caramel chocolate cheesecakes
Chocolate pumpkin mini cheesecakes (gf)
Vegan peach cheesecake (gf, v)
Cherry chocolate cheesecake (work in progress)
Adapted from taste.com.au
360g gluten free "oreo" style biscuits
60g chocolate covered rice cakes
150g butter melted, 125g probably enough
250g cherries, halved, pitted
2 tbsp caster sugar
500g cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp caster sugar, extra
180g white chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
1 cup vanilla-flavoured yoghurt
1/2 cup sour cream
Cherries, extra, to serve
Grated chocolate, to serve
Grease and line a 22cm spring form tin. Preheat oven to 150 C.
Blend biscuits, rice cakes and melted butter in food processor. It should clump together when pinched together. Press into prepared tin. To line the side of the tin with biscuit crumb, use a straight edged glass to press into the corners and up the sides. Chill for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Mix cherries, 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water in small saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat until sugar has melted and then 5 minutes over high heat until syrupy. Cool slightly (ie while you make cream cheese mixture) and blend into a puree.
Blend cream cheese and sugar, then add eggs and then melted white chocolate melted, yoghurt and sour cream. Scrape down blender sides when needed. My liquid was very thin. Blend in half the cherry puree. Pour into chilled base and dollop with remaining sauce and swirl through. (I wanted the swirl to work but the puree sunk to the bottom.)
I baked it 60 minutes at 150 C and then 20 minutes at 170 until the edges started to singe. Cool in oven and then chill. I cooled mine with the oven door open but maybe should have just cooked it a bit less and cooled it in the oven.
Chill before serving. To serve, arrange cherries and grated chocolate on top.
On the stereo:
Little Eve: Kate Miller Heidke
Saturday, 9 March 2019
In fact, now that I have made a few flat breads such as Tortillas, yoghurt flatbreads and Staffordshire oatcakes, I find these pancakes more like a flatbread than a cake. However these pancakes don't have bubbles - no big bubble like a flatbread and no tiny bubbles like baking powder pancakes.
Sylvia did not like the look of the stew we had in the pancakes so she had a special cheesy mashed potato filling. By the time she had hers she was so hungry she had to take a bite before I took a photo. Fair enough after a day of school and 90 minutes of gymnastics.
These pancakes were pretty filling but we also had chocolate pancakes for dessert at Sylvia's insistence. You can see a photo of her pancake here. I did not take photos of half eaten pancakes and stacks of uneaten pancakes. We were so full from our main course. And I had a lot of stew to last the rest of the week because we made far more stew than pancakes.
I am sending these pancakes to Allotment to Kitchen and Veg Hog for Eat Your Greens.
More savoury pancake recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Aquafaba crepes with haggis (v)
Corn pancakes and salsa
Pancakes filled with potato and lentils
Spinach pancakes (gf, v)
Pea pancakes with sun-dried tomato pesto
Potato, chickpea and cauliflower pancakes
Adapted from Sarah Brown via Green Gourmet Giraffe
Makes about 7-8
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup wholemeal flour
- Butter, margarine or oil, for frying
Potato, Chickpea and Cauliflower Filling:
- 1 large cauliflower
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- dried herbs
- 1-2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- olive oil and seasoning
- Baby spinach
To make filling:
Break cauliflower into florets and roast about 30 minutes at 220 C or until it is soft when a knife goes through it. Once cauli is cooked chop the florets. Dice potatoes and simmer in salted water for about 10 minutes or until just cooked. Fry onion in about 2 tsp of olive oil (or a generous drizzle) for 20-30 minutes or until soft and golden brown. Add garlic and herb mix and stir for about a minute. Add tomato, chickpeas, potato and cauliflower. Cook about 5 minutes or until tomato is starting to wilt. Check and adjust seasoning.
To make pancakes:
Heat a non-stick frypan over medium head and lightly oil the frypan either with a little oil and some kitchen towel to wipe it over the frypan or using butter or margarine. Pour about 1/4 cup of mixture, or a little more, into the frypan and swirl around a little to cover as much of pan as possible. Fry the pancakes for a couple of minutes (a minute for the batter to dry out slightly and look cooked and another minute for the batter to fry golden brown) Flip and check the underside is golden brown. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on the other side until light brown spots on the other side. (NB these are thin pancakes and don't bubble up when ready to flip unlike the thicker ones.) Keep pancakes in a stack on a plate covered with a clean teatowel until you are ready to assemble with stuffing.
Lay a pancake on the plate. Spread a spoonful of hummus on the pancake. Scatter 2-3 spoonfuls of filling along middle of the pancake. Top with some baby spinach leaves. Roll up and eat.
NOTES: The stew is vegan. If you want a vegan pancake, you could use these Aquafaba crepes. And I made far more stew than pancakes so you could easily make more pancakes. Or if you preferred a baked pancake, you could wrap these around the filling and bake with some tomato sauce, bread crumbs and some cheese (vegan or dairy as you prefer) and bake at 220 C for about 15 minutes.
On the stereo:
Dua Lipa - self titled album
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Above is one of Sylvia's lunchboxes with some cheese stars, a strawberry from the garden, some apple quarters and a piece of packet strawberry cake that Sylvia insisted on baking. She added food dye as the mixture looked white. In the second layer of the lunchbox is a sourdough bread roll with vegemite.
creamy apricot and chickpea soup that I recently made. The above photo was taken while trialling the vegan yoghurt that ended up in the soup. I am sharing it to show you a new set of kitchen scales I bought just before. I really loved the colourful pattern and that the scales were a bit bigger for my bread bowl. My old scales seem to seize up regularly when I try to put a large bowl on them but these new scales work better.
My only quibble would be that in Australia we traditionally say macaroni cheese not mac 'n' cheese but I can let it go by as I understand it is another Americanism sneaking into our lexicon. And I think macaroni cheese comes from the UK anyway. As a friend used to tell me, "everything is derivative".
fluffy pancakes). However her is Sylvia's nicely styled chocolate pancakes with berries, ice cream and extra chocolate. I hope you are enjoying your Shrove Tuesday.
I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month. Or just head over to her blog to peek into more kitchens.