Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple and Coconut Friands

It's been six weeks since we moved into our new amazing home and the excitement ha died down at all. We spend so much time talking about all the things we love about our new home and things that we discover and what we'd like to add to it and ways to decorate.  Jared has found a new passion for gardening and has spent most weekends out the front planting native trees or at the nursery buying big pots and fertilizers. 
I, on the other hand, love being inside; and I've headed back to the kitchen in a big way.

We've had guests non stop since we moved in as everyone has wanted to check out the new pad, but now we've fallen back into our homely weekend routine and Jared has gone back to playing golf every Sunday.  So today I baked Apple and Coconut Friands and I'm in the middle of preparing meatballs for dinner. 

The friands were so easy to make.  I've always loved apple in cakes.  I used to have a recipe when I was in early highschool for an apple cake where I'd put tinned apple through the centre of a basic cake mix, then the icing was a simple mixture of milk and icing sugar.  I lost the recipe unfortunatley but these friands bring back those memories in a big way.  The flavour is so simple and delicate but so lovely and comforting.  I'll be taking them all to work to give away however, as I'm going to Sydney for a weeding next weekend and I must fit into my dress.  I'll definitely be making these again!

Post Script - Since baking these and delivering them to work and to my regular food critic Richard - I now have the below review to post:

Wow, I forget what those cakes things are called, but I'm not going to forget how they taste. Best of all I'm eating guilt free today because I've been to the gym. How many of them did Jared eat after the meatballs? They are deceptively small, but could stack up very quickly if you didn't have your wits about you. The coconut cake flavour was a great follow up to the meatballs. I'm now officially ready for a sleep.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Pie Floater!

It's AFL grand final time in Australia and I had a house full of boys tonight to watch to footy.  I asked Jared what he wanted for dinner (hoping he'd say home made cheeseburgers) and he said he wanted a Pie Floater!  Many people around the world won't know what a Pie Floater is.  I think it might be a purely South Australian cuisine.  A Pie Floater is a bowl of hot pea soup with a meat pie upside down in the middle.  And according to Jared, with vinegar sprinkled over the soup and tomato sauce on the pie. 

So I set about trying to find a recipe for pea soup that was quick and easy. It is Friday night afterall and I really don't want to spend hours in the kitchen.  I nearly gave up after finding countless recipes that involved pushing the mushy peas through a seive and blending garlic and other spices in a blitzer.  But in the dying seconds of Jared's dream meal becoming a reality Nigella Lawson came through for me.  I found her recipe for Quick and Easy Pea Soup.  And it certainly was.  I really enjoyed it, and so did the boys.  The whole dish was quick, easy and cheap.  I bought the pies from the Central Markets from a gourmet baker.  It was delicious.  I didn't add the olive oil or the parmesan cheese to the pea soup as I was dumping a great big pie in the middle, but I will use this pea recipe again and use those last tasty additives.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cookies & Cream Slice

I was searching online for inspiration for something to bake on the weekend and as usual found it at Taste.  I find that anything that is Cookies and Cream flavoured is generally a winner in my book so I started reading this recipe.  Underneath the recipe were 36 comments from other baking enthusiasts who said this slice is nothing short of amazing.  Everyone said it was rich, but also that it's a complete winner.  So I just had to make it.   The slice is very simple to make and turned out perfectly.

As the comments had said it is a very rich slice.  One piece is more than enough.  If you don't stop at one piece then you will start to feel sick; but having said that - I couldn't help but eat three slices in one sitting.  I brought the lot to work so my co-workers could try it and everyone was amazed at how beautiful the slice was.  They didn't last long at all.

I gave six slices to my Personal Food Critic, Richard.  He sent me an email asking if the slice should be eaten with a cup of tea or a hot chocolate.  I told him I prefer a big glass of ice cold milk.  He then sent back this below FABULOUS review which I think says it all....

In hindsight there was no need to ask what drink would be most relevant. I picked it up and never put it down. Two men saw the slice and asked to try some. I took the liberty of cutting the pieces in half so I only lost a total of one piece (I'd done this before they asked). After eating the slice one man offered to marry me, and the other, in a more manly way, asked me who he had to kill to get the recipe (not much more manly I grant you).

As you predicted it is clearly the type of slice you could continue to eat until it made you feel unwell. It has taken all the will power at my disposal, and the common sense to make a contract with myself prior to starting it, to limit my consumption.

My immediate response was of the seven deadly sins, and in-particular gluttony, but not only. One of the men has been back to my office three times since I started this (make that four). He refuses to accept it was a slice and insists on calling it a cheese cake. I'll direct him to the web site.

Back to my write up. 'Rich and naughty, with the bonus of leaving you not caring about the guilt. If this slice doesn't excite you then get therapy!' Simply stunning. 'It's tough to be consistently brilliant, however you seem to find a way.' The rest of the week is looking good from where I sit, although it would be better if I had a clear view to the fridge, just to keep an eye on things.