Tuesday, June 25, 2019

TWD - Pistachio and raspberry financiers


For Tuesday with Dorie this week, I made the very attractive red and green Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers.  How pretty are they!  Wouldn't they be perfect at Christmas?

These financiers are based on ground pistachios instead of the traditional ground almonds, giving the financiers a lovely green hue.  This colour is enhanced by a smidge of matcha.  I also added a splosh of Chambord to the batter, as suggested by Dorie as an optional extra.  The financiers are topped with a fresh  raspberry, like a ruby crown.  They also taste good - the perfect bite-sized morsel.

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

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Gingerbread Dachshunds for World Dachshund Day


                           Dachshund: A half-a-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long (H L Mencken)

I recently joined Instagram after years of resisting because I wanted to view a private account hosted by my work, and I had to have an Instagram account so that the site owners could verify who I was.  However, I am now hooked - it is so easy and instant, and I can post all manner of things that might not otherwise be seen outside my phone.

My Instagram feed informed me that today is World Dachshund Day.  Hooray, I am up for that.  I have had a dachshund as a pet, and I love the little long backed, short legged dogs.  I am guilty of owning numerous pairs of Peter Alexander's Penny the Dachshund pajamas, so even though I no longer have a dachshund living with me, I am a card-carrying dachshund lover.

I have had a dachshund cookie cutter for a long time, so I decided to make dachshund cookies to celebrate World Dachshund Day.  I was reminded of why I had never used this cutter much - the skinny tail is a major pain to deal with.  However, I persevered to make 18 dachshund gingerbread cookies, using the gingerbread recipe from Margaret Fulton's The 12 Days of Christmas:   


I still had lots of gingerbread dough left over but I was over struggling with dachshunds, so I just cut out squares instead for the rest:


I also hate the endurance required to decorate cookies with royal icing, which plays havoc with my back and neck, but I once again persevered for all 18 dachshunds, and breathed a sigh of relief that there were not any more. 

These cookies are very cute, so I am happy with them, despite their flaws and the endurance task of making them.

If you would like to try Margaret Fulton's gingerbread, you will need:

1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I substituted ground nutmeg)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g softened chopped butter
1 beaten egg
2 1/4 cups plain flour

Put the golden syrup, sugar and spices in a heatproof bowl over simmering water and stir until the sugar melts.  Add the bicarbonate of soda, and as soon as the mixture bubbles, remove it from the heat.

Add the butter to the warm golden syrup mixture and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the egg and 1 cup of the flour.  Add the rest of the flour and combine the ingredients with your hands to make a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead lightly until it comes together.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.  Roll out each piece between two pieces of baking paper to a 5mm thickness, then chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut out whatever shapes you desire, re-rolling the scraps and cutting until there is no more dough left.

Place the cut out cookies onto the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating the trays top to bottom and front to back half way through the baking time.  Once the cookies are golden and firm, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on the trays on wire racks.

Decorate as desired.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Lorraine's Bitter Lemon and Poppyseed Cake



Sunshine on a rainy day
Makes my soul, makes my soul, 
Trip, trip, trip away

                                      Christine Anu 

It has been grey and cold and wet for most of this week, and today is the winter solstice.  Winter has settled in with a vengeance, and has left us scrabbling for puffer jackets, umbrellas and beanies to shut out the cold while we huddle up and shiver on freezing tram stops. While the days will start to get longer now, the weather is likely to get worse before it gets better, which will be months away. 

A little piece of sunshine in this cold weather is Lorraine's Bitter Lemon and Poppyseed Cake from Not Quite Nigella - recipe here. Just looking at this sunny yellow cake makes me smile:


My cake was not so bitter because I used some beautiful Meyer lemons given to me by Emma at work.  They were the most glorious, blemish-free, bright yellow lemons that anyone could wish for - definitely sunshine on a rainy day!  


I used candied lemon slices to decorate my cake rather than fresh lemon slices and thyme, as I wanted the decoration to be edible. You can find out how here. I think it was well worth the effort (and the extra lemon) to make them.  They are little orbs of sunshine all by themselves.

I thoroughly recommend making this delicious cake.  The bright, sharp lemon flavour melds with the crunchy nuttiness of the poppy seeds in this soft, fluffy, tea-time worthy cake.

Enjoy the shortest/longest day of the year (depending on where you are), and see you on the other side!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

TWD - Blondies


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Blondies.  Dorie suggested making them in mini muffin pans to get a crisp outside and a chewy middle; however, it is a big effort for me to pull out my mini muffin pans, so I just baked my blondies in a square cake tin and cut them into squares.


These blondies contain coconut, chocolate and nuts (in my case, walnuts).  They were really delicious, and I'd definitely make them again.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.



Happy birthday to Sir Paul McCartney, who turns 77 today!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rosie Lovell's Christmas Apple Tart


Do you have any fruit mince in your pantry left over from Christmas?  I always do, and it is always a question of what to do with it.  You can find last year's fruit mince recipe here.  Previously, I have made Fruit Mince Donuts with my leftover fruit mince, but wanted to try something different this time.

For a housewarming gift last year, I bought a friend a copy of Rosie Lovell's book, Supper with Rosie.  Before gifting it, I had a flick through the book, and spied Rosie's recipe for Christmas Apple Tart.  One of the main ingredients is fruit mince - bingo!  I took a copy of the recipe and knew that I had to make it.  What's not to love - apples and custard and fruit mince, encased in pastry.


I did not use Rosie's fruit mince recipe, as the whole point was that I had my own that I needed to use up.  However, I did follow the rest of the recipe, including for the pastry.  I found the pastry to be a bit minimalist in flavour, not even containing an egg, so next time I would use a different shortcrust pastry recipe.  The filling was devine.  If you are a fan of apples and custard and fruit mince, you will love this tart. 


To make it, you will need:

Pastry

350g plain flour
175g butter
60ml cold water

Filling

3 large apples, cored, peeled and diced
juice of half an orange
3 eggs
284ml pouring cream
60ml milk
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons fruit mince
1 extra egg, beaten

Spray a 23cm loose bottomed tart pan with oil.  Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

For the pastry, in a large mixing bowl, cut the butter through the flour by rubbing the two together with your fingertips until you get a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the water and mix together until the dough just comes together into a ball.

Lightly flour your benchtop.  Put the dough  ball onto the floured benchtop and roll out into a circle that is large enough to line your tart pan.  Carefully transfer the pastry to the tart pan and press it into the base and sides.  Trim off the excess pastry and reserve it, as you will need it for the lattice top.

Line the tart with baking paper, pour in some baking beans or rice, and bake the tart shell in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.  Remove the baking beans and baking paper, and return the tart shell to the oven to bake until the pastry has just dried (around 2 minutes).  Remove the tart shell from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius.

To make the filling put the apples into a saucepan with the orange juice, and heat over a medium heat until the apples are softened.  Remove the apples from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the three eggs together with the cream, milk and sugar to make a custard.

Place the apples and fruit mince into the base of your cooled tart shell.  Pour two thirds of the custard mixture over the fruit.  

Put the tart into the oven and pour the remainder of the custard into the tart.  Bake the tart for 25 minutes.

Roll out the reserved pastry into a long wide strip, and cut into ribbons about half an inch wide.  Remove the tart from the oven and place the pastry ribbons over the top of the tart in a lattice pattern, and brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes or until the filling is set.  if your pastry is not golden at that point, you can monetarily put the tart under a grill to make it golden.


Serve and enjoy warm with icecream, or in a cold slab from the fridge.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

TWD - Bread and Chocolate Coffee Can Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches



This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Bread and Chocolate Coffee Can Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Once you have the brioche, the chocolate icecream "pucks" and the optional salted caramel sauce, it is just an assembly job.

You could bake a brioche from Dorie's book in a coffee can; I had part of a brioche left in the freezer from one of the Dorie recipes we had to make last year, so I used that.  I also had some ready made caramel sauce, and I bought some chocolate icecream to mould into a round using a cookie cutter.  

The frozen icecream round is placed between two similarly sized toasted rounds of brioche, then warmed caramel sauce is poured over the top to complete the icecream sandwich dessert.  My icecream melted a little when the sauce went on, but that just added to the rich sauciness of the dessert. 

This recipe would be easy to whip up as a dessert for entertaining when friends arrive unexpectedly - you can keep all of the ingredients on hand for use when required.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Monday, June 10, 2019

Apple Juice Cakes


A little while back, I had some leftover apple juice that I wanted to use up so as not to waste it.  I only had about a cup, so many of the recipes that I found needed more apple juice than I had.

I then happened on this Apple Juice Cake from Laura of Pies and Plots.  It uses two cups of apple juice, but I decided to halve the recipe and make 12 muffins/cupcakes instead.


It worked perfectly:


As Laura said, the texture is more like a quick bread than a light, fluffy cake, but I think that is perfect for the ingredients (apple juice, nuts and raisins).

Accordingly, next time you have some leftover apple juice in the house that you don't want to drink, why don't you give Laura's apple juice cake a go (either in its original form or as muffins, like me).

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Lemon and Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake


I love Helen Goh's baking recipes in the weekend newspaper, and particularly her recipes which feature fruit.

When a recipe for Lemon and Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake came up, it went "straight to the pool room" of recipes I wanted to make.  Lemon and blueberry is a winning combination by itself, but when combined with cream cheese, it goes to the next stage of lusciousness.


To make this cake, you will need:

240g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
230g butter
240g sugar
grated zest of 2 lemons
100g cream cheese
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
200g fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and flour a bundt tin and place in the freezer.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl.

Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest into the bowl of  a stand mixer and beat until creamy.  Soften the cream cheese and add to the mixture, and beat until well combined.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Beat in the sifted ingredients in three batches until just combined.  Remove the batter from the stand mixer and fold through the blueberries.

Scrape into the prepared bundt tin and bake for 55 minutes in the preheated oven or until cooked through.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to sit in the tin on the wire rack for 15 minutes before unmoulding onto the rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, optionally decorate the cake with a glaze made from icing sugar and enough lemon juice to make a pouring consistency.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

TWD - Sesame Sea Salt Cookies


This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Sesame Sea Salt Cookies, a buttery, savoury delight.  

I went with Dorie's Bon Idea and used a combination of sesame seeds, poppy seeds and sea salt to top my cookies (I don't have garlic powder or onion powder, so I left those out).

I only made a half batch of these cookies.  They were certainly tasty and a nice treat to have as a snack with wine, as Dorie suggests.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Creamy Coconut Beef and Vegetable Curry with Rice



Winter has come to Melbourne almost overnight.  After enjoying beautiful balmy, sunny days, a couple of days ago, the cold and rain hit.  People have become walking bundles of clothes (mostly black - it is Melbourne!), and I have dug out the scarf, wool coat, hat and flannelette PJs.  Some people enjoy the cooler weather, but I am not one of them.  Unfortunately for me, it is likely to stay cool now until January next year, but the really cold months are now through to September/October.

One of the only good things about winter for me is the food.  Soups, stews, curries and hot puddings with warm custard go down a treat in winter.  It is also a good excuse to find a pub with a warm fire and snuggle in with your favourite drop. 

I recently made this Creamy Coconut Beef and Vegetable Curry, based on this recipe from Taste, which is perfect for the cold weather.  It's made in the slow cooker, so is easy on the labour.  Next time, I'd thicken up the sauce (mine may have been thin as I used frozen vegetables, adding extra moisture), but flavour wise, it fit the bill.  Ginger, coconut and tomato flavours combined with the curry paste made this a wonderful dish.

To make it, you will need:

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/3 cup rogan josh curry paste
1.5kg chuck beef, cut into 4cm cubes
400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
500g packet frozen vegetables
1 tablespoon cornflour
270ml coconut cream
boiled or steamed rice 

Heat the oil in a large frypan, then add the ginger and cook until softened.  Add the curry paste and cook until aromatic.  Add the beef and cook until it is just browned.

Put the beef mixture into a slow cooker.  Add the tomato and stock, and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 5 hours.  Add the vegetables and cook for another hour.

Combine the cornflour with a third of a cup of coconut cream, and add to the slow cooker.  Cook with the lid off the cooker for 10 minutes or until thickened (which did not happen for me!).

Serve the curry with the rice.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

TWD - Crackle Top Cream Puffs

 
This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Crackle Top Cream Puffs.  These are little balls of choux pastry with a crackly pastry top, and filled with whatever you desire.

I made Dorie's chocolate pastry cream, but did not have quite enough to fill my 12 large cream puffs, so I filled two of them with Chantilly cream.  Here you can see all the permutations of my cream puffs:


Of course, these were delicious.  I have never made cream puffs with a crackle top before, and it was a revelation - so delicious.  It adds a sweet, crunchy layer to the top of the cream puff.  I have also never made chocolate pastry cream before.  Though tasty, it is very rich, so I prefer the vanilla version.

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

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Jordan Rondel's Lemon and Pear Cake with Rosewater Drizzle


Another fabulous Jordan Rondel cake that I made recently was her Lemon and Pear Cake with Rosewater Drizzle.  Luscious slices of pear adorn the top of a lemon cake, and a rosewater flavoured icing is drizzled over the top of the cake.
  

This cake is as light and flavoursome as it looks.  If you would like to make it, you will need:

2 ripe pears, cut into 8 wedges
200g butter
200g sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
200g almond meal
50g flour
pinch of salt juice and zest of 2 lemons

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Bake the pear segments in the oven until soft and caramelised for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool, but leave the oven on.

Line a 22cm round cake tin with baking paper.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Fold in the almond meal, flour and salt until just combined.  Fold in the lemon juice and lemon zest.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.  Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter, pressing in lightly.

Bake the cake in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through when tested.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the icing by mixing 110g of icing sugar with 2 tablespoons of rose water and the zest of one lemon.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Slice and enjoy!


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

TWD - Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies



This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies.  These are oatmeal cookies flavoured with chocolate and Biscoff spread (or in my case, Twix spread). 

My cookies spread like wildfire in the oven, so I ended up with two trays of connected cookies.  They spread so much that they were kind of like lace cookies.  OK, so my cookies are not the prettiest, but they tasted really good. 

I took them into work and they all got eaten - testament enough to their flavour, I'd say.  I only made half a batch as I was daunted by the thought of having a batch of 50 cookies (being a full recipe).

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

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Jordan Rondel's Miso and Caramelised White Chocolate Cake


Miso is an unusual ingredient that is more and more finding its way into sweet desserts for its slightly salty flavour.  I have miso in my fridge, so I am always eager to find recipes to use it up.  Accordingly, I jumped at the chance to make Jordan Rondel's miso and caramelised white chocolate cake

Jordan had sesame seeds in her cake as well, but contrary to what I thought, I did not have any in the house at the time, and as I had started making the cake, it was too late to procure them.  I don't think the cake suffered as a result.  The caramelised white chocolate is devine, and is offset nicely by the umami flavour of the miso.  The cake is topped with a tangy cream cheese icing.


If I have piqued your interest and you want to make this cake, you will need:

120g white chocolate chips
130g butter
150g brown sugar
4 tablespoons white miso paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
150g plain flour
50g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt

Icing 

150g butter
2 cups icing sugar
100g cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 22cm cake tin.

Place the white chocolate chips on a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool in the fridge.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and miso paste.  Add the vanilla and then beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Gradually mix in the flour, almonds and baking powder.  Add the yoghurt and mix until just combined.  Fold in 100g of the caramelised white chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.  Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add the icing sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth.  Ice the top of the cake with the icing and decorate with the reserved 20g of caramelised white chocolate chips.

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

TWD - Cookies-and-Cream Tartlets


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Cookies-and-Cream Tartlets.  In my case, I decided to go big or go home and made a single large Cookies-and-Cream Tart, using the same quantity of ingredients as the four mini tarts suggested by Dorie.

The cream in the tart is in the ganache, although you can also decorate the tart with cream.  A shortcrust pastry case is coated with a layer of cookie butter (in my case, Twix spread mixed with a little cinnamon to imitate the Biscoff spread that you were meant to use but is hard to get here), then filled with a ganache mixed with Speculoos.

I made my own Speculoos using Dorie's recipe as I could not buy them readily here:

   
As an optional extra, I decorated the top of my tart with more speculoos crumbs.  The tart is then refrigerated until set, before slicing and serving:


What I can I say - this was devine!  Silky ganache studded with biscuit pieces in a buttery pastry shell - what more could you want. 

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Peony Cake at Miss Biscuit Beginner's Cake Decorating Class


Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely mums out there!! 

I thought it would be appropriate for today to show off a cake that I decorated at a Miss Biscuit Beginner's Cake Decorating Class last weekend, which could have been given to mums today to celebrate.  (My mum is too far away and doesn't like cake that much, so my cake went to work.) 

This beginner's cake decorating course involved learning how to level and tort a three layer cake, stack and assemble the layers and fill and cover with buttercream, work with gold leaf and gold paint, and how to create a beautiful gum paste peony to crown the top of the decorated cake.

We were taught by the lovely Miss Lisa, who runs a wedding cake decorating business but who has chosen to also pass on some of her skills to us:

 
Lisa was very patient, helpful and kind throughout the class, happy to answer countless questions, and to assist the "all thumbs" people like me without judging.  (For the record, the balling tool and I were not friends, nor were I and the cake scraper used to level out the buttercream.)

Here is Lisa demonstrating how to roll out the gum paste and cut it into petal shapes:

 
We made three stamens, 4 x small petals, 5 x medium petals and 7 x large petals.

After veining and wiring the petals (wiring is not for the faint hearted!), you curl the edges using a balling tool - not my friend:

 
After the petals have been dried (we cheated and used a dehydrator for time reasons), you dust the petals and stamens with petal dust for colour and movement:


Then you bind the stamens and petals together using florists' tape: 

 
Et voila - your very own gorgeous peony:

 
While the petals were doing their drying thing in the dehydrator, we cut our commercially made mud cakes into three layers using both a knife and a wire cutter (to see which one suited us best), filled the layers with Over the Top brand buttercream, did a crumb coat, and finally covered the outside of the stacked cake with more buttercream and levelled it out with a scraper (yikes!).

Then we got to be arty again, and painted the deliberate rough rim on our cakes with gold paint (made from gold lustre dust + rose spirit), and carefully brushed some gold leaf onto the sides of our cakes (great for hiding the imperfections): 


Finally, we bent a hook at the end of the wire stem of our peonies and stabbed them into the top of our cakes, like a fairy queen atop a float: 


At the start of the class, I had a few moments where I wondered at the wisdom of putting myself through it all, but at the end, I was very proud of my cake.  It's far from perfect, but it looks very pretty, and I did it myself - under the patient guidance of Lisa.  My colleagues who knew the story behind the cake were very impressed with the end result - and so was I.

65a Charles Street
Seddon VIC
Ph: 9687 2916 
 
(Note that there is also a store in East Balmain in Sydney)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Peanut Caramel Slice


The latest thing in the supermarkets is chocolate flavoured like Arnotts biscuits.  I am yet to try these, but I think the Iced VoVo version is a must, as well as the Jatz (salt + chocolate = yum, right?).

In the meantime, I have made a slice that reminds me of a Snickers chocolate bar.  The recipe is for Peanut Caramel Slice from the April 2019 edition of Woolworths Fresh magazine.  It looked delicious in the magazine, and it did not disappoint. A biscuit base is topped with a filling of peanut-butter flavoured Top'n'Fill caramel (or do what I did and make your own dulce de leche from condensed milk), then topped with chocolate studded with chopped peanuts.  It is not one for the school lunch box because of the peanuts, but it sure is scrumptious.


To make this smashing slice for yourself, you will need:

250g packet plain sweet biscuits (I used Marie)
125g melted butter
2 x 380g Top'n'Fill caramel (or an equivalent amount of dulce de leche, home made or otherwise)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
250g dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts 
olive oil spray

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 30cm x 20cm slice tin with baking paper.

In a food processor, blitz the biscuits into crumbs, then add the melted butter and blitz again.  Press the crumbs over the base of the prepared slice tin, and freeze for 10 minutes.

Put the Top'n'Fill or dulce de leche into a bowl.  Add the peanut butter and stir until well combined.  Scrape the mixture carefully over the top of the biscuit base and spread out evenly, being careful not to disturb the crumbs of the base.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Mix together the chocolate chips and chopped peanuts in a bowl.

Remove the slice from the oven and spray the top of the caramel with olive oil spray.  (I forgot to do this and it didn't seem to hurt the slice.)  While the caramel is still hot, scatter the peanut/chocolate chip mixture over the top of the caramel layer, and return the slice to the oven for another 5 minutes.  Remove the slice form the oven and spread out the chocolate evenly over the top of the slice.

Chill the slice in the fridge for 4 hours to set the chocolate, then cut into bars to serve. Enjoy!

To finish off this post, I am proud to show off a cross stitch table cloth featuring kittens playing with balls of wool that I finished stitching while I was on holidays over Easter.  Isn't it pretty! It will go perfectly on the occasional table in my living room.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

TWD - Old Bay Pretzel-and-Cheese Cookies


This month's Tuesday with Dorie (Dorie's Cookies) recipes both present problems for me as an Australian.  One recipe calls for biscoff spread, which is not readily obtainable here; the other calls for Old Bay seasoning, which is non-existent here.

I went with the Old Bay Pretzel-and-Cheese Cookies.  Old Bay is a particular brand of seafood seasoning found in the States.  To make a substitute requires a list of ingredients as long as your arm.  The Old Bay substitute seems heavy on celery salt, which of itself is hard to get here.  I only needed a teaspoon of seasoning to make half the cookie recipe, so I ended up making the substitute seasoning sans anything that I did not already have (being celery salt, dry mustard, all spice, white pepper and crushed pepper flakes). 

These cheesy, savoury cookies, containing crushed pretzels and made by the roll and slice method, are quite tasty.  I agree with Dorie that they would be good to serve with a beer.  I'd definitely consider making these again as a savoury snack for guests.  In the meantime, I'll need to figure out an easier way to get the spices into the mix.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bull & Barley Inn, Cambooya


On a glorious autumn day, my family and I visited the Bull & Barley Inn in Cambooya, Queensland, for lunch.  Cambooya is a rural town on the Darling Downs that was once home to Arthur "Steele Rudd" Davis, author of the Dad and Dave stories.  Here is a glimpse of the countryside that you drive through on the way to Cambooya:


The Bull & Barley Inn was built in 1902, when it had the much less poetic name of the Cambooya Railway Hotel.  There is not much else in the township of Cambooya, so just come for the drive and a great pub meal.  I recommend booking for a visit to the Bull & Barley, as it was quite busy when we were there, and most tables were reserved.  

The extensive menu at the Bull & Barley is very reasonably priced.  We all ordered from the lunch menu.  You take the menu to your table and order at the counter when you are ready. 

My pick was the steak sandwich, with rib fillet, bacon, caramelised onion, cheese, salad and barbecue sauced on a bun (not really sourdough) ($20): 


All lunch menu items come with a side of very good chips.  I really enjoyed this sandwich - hearty, medium rare steak, and two musts - barbecue sauce and beetroot.

My Mum ordered the Club Sandwich ($24), with bacon, chicken, sans onion for Mum, cheese, tomato, lettuce and mayo:


I laughed when this came out, as the serving was huge and Mum doesn't eat much.  I was very proud of her for managing to finish the entire sandwich - a testament to how good it must have been.

My brother ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger ($20), with bacon, onion and salad - again not really a sourdough bun: 


He polished this off along with half of Mum's chips, again a testament to the quality of the food.

To down your meal, you can order a beer at the bar:


When you are finished your meal, go for a wander down the lovely tongue and groove board hallway, complete with archway:


and make your way to the pool room for a spot of billiards or darts (but no Daryl Kerrigan memorabilia):  


61 Eton Street
Cambooya Qld 4358
Ph: (07) 4696 1235