Friday, March 11, 2011

Things I know

It's that time of week already!
Here is my linked in 'Things I Know' post. 
(check out here for Yay for Home's post and others that are linked in)

* Making your own icy-poles is the coolest!!!  (pun intended :P)  I LOVE making Icy-poles!!!!

banana milkshake and soy choc milk icy-poles

* Sometimes you just want to eat a Hotdog.   Even though you know they are gross and bad for you.

* I am a bit OBSESSED with making cinnamon scrolls!  (and yes, with eating them too)
third batch this week!

*  Sometimes the simplest meal is the most delicious and comforting.
peas and rice

* Grapefruits have a stupid name. Well, they do! 

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sticky Cinnamon Scrolls (Vegan)

Following on from Friday's herb bread, I thought I'd share some pics of the sticky cinnamon  Scrolls I made yesterday.

Again, they are super easy to make and outstandingly delicious!!!!!!!

I use a crusty white bread flour mix (I use Laucke brand flour pre-mixes) and add some extra ingredients to make the cinnamon bread dough.

If you're making it in the bread machine, add the ingredients in the same order as I've listed them.

340ml Water
3 Tablespoons oil
3 Tablespoons sugar (I use raw sugar)
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons of milk ( I use rice milk)
600g/ 3.5 cups flour (this is one of the laucke premix packs)
1 Tablespoon of ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Mixed Spice
2.5 teaspoons of dry yeast

Put it on the 'dough only' setting and go do something else for a while.

The 'dough only' setting takes about and hour and a half, but I like to leave it in there to rise for a few extra hours... til it's puffing out the top of the machine.
nicely risen dough

In the meantime, you can get the rest of the stuff ready.  Turn the oven on to about 200C and then you can make the other bits, like the gooey mixture for the inside of the scrolls and the vanilla icing.

Gooey Mixture:
half cup of maple syrup
100g raw sugar
100g chopped up sultanas (you could also add some chopped walnuts if you like)
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Stir it all up and leave til you need it
gooey mixture

Vanilla icing:
half a cup of butter (or Nuttelex. I find the Kosher Nuttelex works best)
Vanilla extract.... about a teaspoon
1 cup of icing sugar

Mix til you have a smooth, creamy mixture. 

Now that you have everything you need, it's time to make those scrolls.

Make some space on the bench so you can roll out the bread dough mixture into a large pizza.Don't make the pizza too thin.  About 2cm deep is good.

Spread the gooey mixture over the pizza and then roll the pizza up in the way way as the herb bread.  So starting at the edge, start rolling it into a long roll.

rolled from pizza to roll with gooey mixture inside

Once you have your rolled up dough, you need to cut it into thick slices, about 5-8cm thick.

Place the slices on a baking tray so that the pretty swirly side is facing up.   You can pack them close together to get that bakery pulled apart look, or space them out for more individual looking buns.

roll cut into slices and placed on tray

bake in the oven til they are golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Once they are cool to the touch, you can generously add the vanilla icing.

OMG they are SOOOOOOOOO tasty!!!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Things I know

It's the end of the week again, and here are the things I know:

* wheat flour is great, until your kid tries to eat a handful of it.  NOT GOOD for anyone involved.

* It doesn't matter how much or how little of your own food you grow, it's always exciting to harvest.

* Just because you know the difference between Chorizo and Kielbasa, doesn't mean the chef at a cafe does. AND they are NOT interchangeable!!!

*  Apparently, I can eat green beans every day and still not be sick of them.

*  Watching the childrens get super excited about something they've cooked themselves makes the mess so worth it.

I'm linking in with the YAY for HOME! blog for another Things I know.   check it out!

Herb Bread

It's Friday!!!!  YAY!!!  

I thought I'd post about a recipe that takes a little bit of time and is perfect for over the weekend as you can organise it in the morning, go about your day and then whip it up in time for dinner.

For the last 5 years we have been making our own bread.  Well,  the Bread maker actually makes the bread, I just put all the ingredients in the tub thingy.

The only time I buy bread is if I have a craving for a french stick or baguette and that's coz I don't have a very wide oven or one of those fancy baguette bread trays.

Every now and then I will make up a bread dough in the bread maker and then use it to made a kind of herb and garlic bread scroll.

 It's SUPER easy and very tasty.  The childrens like it coz it kind of unravels into a fun green bread slinky :P

All you need is some bread dough and a herb spread.

To make a basic herb spread (a variation of my green sauce) I just use the Bamix to whizz up some garlic, oil, parsley and a bit of salt.

*HINT - whether you make your bread dough by hand or in the bread oven, you can make it in the morning and just leave it til the arvo when you're ready to bake.  It will keep rising, so don't worry if you come home to find that your placid little ball of dough has turned into a blob that is trying to take over your kitchen!  Just poke it and it will settle down again.

Once you have your bread dough, all you need to do is knead it out flat on an oiled tray, spread the herb mixture over it,  roll it up into a long sausage looking thing and bake in a meduim oven til you it gets a nice golden crust.

I don't really know how long it takes to bake because I usually forget I have it in the oven and then smell baking bread, start swearing and run into the kitchen with my arms waving about in a frenzy.  I always expect to find smoke and burnt bread, but it always seems to be perfectly done.  SO now I just subscribe to the 'don't worry! when you smell bread, it's done!' theory of baking :P
1. bread dough kneaded flat on oiled tray
2. spread herb mixture over dough
3. roll from pizza to scroll

I find that I will usually get two herb scrolls out of what would otherwise make one loaf of bread.

See??!!!  super easy, quick and tasty!

fresh from the oven!

ready to slice.

pretty!! :)

grainy goodness!

Now, go forth and bake!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Crack a Coconut

Every now and then I will buy a coconut.

In our house, every one LOVES coconut.  We like coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut water, coconut flour, coconut sugar, grated or shaved coconut and munching of fresh coconut flesh.

When in season (ummm don't know when that is actually) I will get the green ones.  Most commonly you will find them out of their green fruity covering, just leaving the pip...which is what we know as a coconut.

coconut and big arse knife!

There must be a dozen ways to crack a coconut open, but my personal favourite way is with a BIG knife.

1.  Hold the coconut firmly in your hand.
      You need to kinda cradle it so that when you whack it, the force goes into the coconut.  You almost need to move the coconut towards the knife as you move the knife towards the coconut.

2. Get the biggest, strongest knife you have.
      If you have one of those chinese cleaver style knife... use that.  I just use a big arse chef knife.
Whatever knife you go with, you will be using the BACK, BLUNT!!!! edge of the knife.
you will lose a finger or two and blunt your knife and stuff like that if you use the blade.  So don't do that!!  ok??

3.  Find the equator.
      Most coconuts will have what look like seams running around them.  There will usually be three of them.  They lead to the three eyes.  Think of the eyes as the top of the coconut so that  you can  now find the middle of the coconut... the equator.  That is where you want to focus the force of the BACK of the knife when you strike it.

4.  Start hitting.
    You just need to keep hitting the coconut until a crack appears.  Once you get a crack, you will know.  The sound changes.  Shuffle the coconut around in your hand so you can keep hitting along the 'equator' until you get a crack all the way around.

5.  pry it open.
      If you have been careful, you should have cracked the hard shell of the coconut, but left the flesh inside whole.  once you have peeled away the hard shell, you can then possibly remove that brown flaky skin around the soft white flesh.
once you have a nice clean white fleshy sphere, you can either pierce it to pour out the water, or just carefully cut it in half and pour the water our that way.

clean coconut flesh. no shell.

I took a video of my coconut cracking efforts recently, but the coconut must have been old or seomthing as when I cracked it open it was mouldy :(  very disappointing.

Here is the video clip anyway.  The technique is the same,  you just have to hop eyou don't get a scungey mouldy coconut like I did :(