Friday, January 20, 2017

Phillippa's Raspberry Coconut Teacake

Since it appeared on Postcards, I have longed to make Phillippa's Raspberry Coconut Teacake. I own a copy of Phillippa's Home Baking, the book in which the recipe is also featured, so I can't explain why it took me almost a year to get around to making it.

This cake, as Phillippa mentions, is unusual as it does not contain any butter or eggs.  I also could not resist the fact that this cake is naturally  pink (my favourite colour for cakes!) and is chock full of raspberries.

The icing is quite unusual as it contains the juice of five raspberries.  I began to think that the raspberries I was sieving would never yield juice, but in the end, they did, to give the cake icing its glorious pink colour:

This cake is quite sweet, so it may not be to everyone's tastes, but I enjoyed it - it was definitely worth the wait to make this delightful cake.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

EwE - Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash - It's Cold Outside, Let's Warm It Up

Okay, campers, rise and shine and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cold out there today!
DJ, Groundhog Day

This week, Kayte's chosen theme for Eating with Ellie is It's Cold Outside, Let's Warm It Up.  I live in the opposite hemisphere to Kayte, so it's actually quite warm (and on some days, it's downright hot) outside.  However, as I love cold weather food (though not the cold weather), I was happy to make  something that I would like to make in the winter this week.

I chose Ellie's Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash  from So Easy. I adore stew on a cold winter's day, and this is a good one - beef, chilli, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, onion, butternut pumpkin.  I left the parsley off the top because all of my homegrown parsley has either withered in the heat or gone to seed, leaving me with nothing to work with.  The stew sits atop a bed of wholemeal couscous.

This is a terrific meal - the smell while it is cooking is amazing, and it is just the ticket to warm you up n the inside.

To see what the others made this week, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TWD DC - World Peace Cookies and Breakfast Biscotti

This week sees another twofer from  Dorie's Cookies for Tuesdays with Dorie.  First up is World Peace Cookies - chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks.  I have made these before for the original Tuesdays with Dorie group, not once, but twice.  When I think of all the water that has gone under the bridge since either of those times, I am gob-smacked. 

However, I can say that practice makes perfect with these cookies - I think my latest attempt has produced the best looking batch yet, and they are certainly just as delicious.  Who can resist a chocolate cookie with chocolate chunks?  I ate three of them this time all by myself.

Our next cookie this month is Breakfast Biscotti.  At first, I was not enthused about making these - my main experiences with biscotti are of the store-bought variety, which always seem rather dry and unpalatable.  However, these  biscotti are not like that at all.  They are chunkier than the store-bought variety, and much moister.  I used muesli with dried fruit which I did not pick out (although the recipe said I should), and sultanas instead of cranberries, both influenced by what I had in the house.  And I loved these cookies. So delicious and fruity and nutty, and not at all dry.  A winner in my books.

To see some more Dorie's Cookies baking experiences for this month, visit the LYL section of the TWD website. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Peach Oat Crumble

While I was staying with my mother over Christmas, I made a Peach Oat Crumble from this recipe.

The inspiration to make this came from the abundance of stone fruit in the house that was going to be wasted if I didn't intervene.  The main problem is that over Christmas, we have so much food that the good stuff like fruit is cast aside for puddings, pies and roasts.

This crumble, which I made with nectarines and peaches, saved the fruit.  The crumbs mixed through the fruit are all the sweetness that it needs, and the crumb on top adds a textural change from the soft, juicy fruit beneath. It was just perfect served warm with icecream.

My very fussy brother actually ate this crumble, which is a testament to how good it is.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

EwE - Eggs in Baskets with Smoked Turkey and Asparagus Topping - Barnyard Fun

Peggy chose Barnyard Fun as this week's theme for Eating with Ellie.

I made Eggs in Baskets with Smoked Turkey and Asparagus Topping from So Easy.  My barnyard components were turkey and eggs.  This entails cutting a hole in a piece of toast, cracking in an egg, frying it up and topping it with asparagus and smoked turkey.

This was delicious, especially when the egg yolk burst to form a sauce.

To see what the others made this week, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

TWD - Granola Cake

For my first Tuesday with Dorie recipe this month, I made the Granola Cake.  Dorie describes it as a snack cake, and I think that is a good description.  It reminds me of a big muesli bar or Anzac slice, as it contains granola (muesli).

Dorie said beware of using granola with hard chunks of dried fruit, but as that is all I had, I used it, and I think it turned out fine.  I found this cake to be surprisingly moist, despite the thickness of the batter.  I read Dorie's instruction to "jiggle the pan" to settle the batter, and thought "huh?"  That batter was not budging without some persuasion with a spatula.

This cake would be great for school or work lunch boxes, as it packs a satisfying chewiness and is not at all fussy.  However, as Dorie suggests, you can always jazz it up by putting a slice on a plate with a scoop of icecream!

To see what the others made this week and what they thought, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Las Tapas, St Kilda

Just before Christmas, a group of us met up for Christmas cheer at Las Tapas, a tapas bar in St Kilda.

Las Tapas is on the cosy side, so it is definitely important to book, especially if you have a large group.  However, the staff were very friendly and accommodated our  large group.

We went on a Sunday night, when paella is available as well as tapas.  However, we went with the tapas menu so that we could share.

We started off with some warm marinated olives, because who can go past good olives as a starter, right?

Our next dish was the heirloom tomatoes in olive oil:

Next up were some scallops:

followed by salt and pepper squid:

For something a little different, there was a tuna carpaccio:

There was pork belly and beef:

and garlic and chilli prawns:

and finally, there was chorizo:

We were all very full, as you can imagine.

Las Tapas is fully licensed, so you can enjoy a drink or two with your meal.

Las Tapas was a fun casual dining experience with great food.  I'd definitely go back.

Las Tapas
100 Chapel St
St Kilda VIC 3183