Tag Archives: Baking

In Our Kitchen (and a Giveaway!)

Banana Ricotta and Honey on Toast

Making Cheese 2

Ricotta

Making Cordial

Pearl Oyster Mushrooms

Feta

Salads

Cooking

Scones

Thanks to some annoying oven issues, the last couple of months have been a bit quiet in our kitchen. When we moved into this old house we discovered the stove that was here needed to be replaced, as the hotplates worked but the oven did not. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to replace it right away, so for most of last year we made do with the existing hotplates and a little bench top oven. Then we bought a new stove and we were so excited to get back to normal with cooking, until the gas plumber came to install it and we discovered the new stove was 7mm too wide to fit in the spot where the old one had been, and there wasn’t anywhere else it could go! We didn’t want to pay a fortune to have major structural work done on our kitchen as we hope to replace the whole thing sometime in the next few years, so for a while after we discovered our new stove wouldn’t fit (and we’d already had the old one removed) we had no stove at all while we tried to figure out what to do next. Eventually Reubs just took an electric planer to the cupboard next to the oven space and a hammer to the tiles on the wall beside it, and we jammed the stove in. It’s not pretty but it works, and we are finally back to preparing the nourishing, yummy food we love!

This weekend was particularly productive in our kitchen. Reubs had been talking about making cheese for months and yesterday he finally took the plunge. Using the Deluxe DIY Cheese Kit from Urban Cheesecraft (which was a birthday gift from a lovely friend) and the recipes in the Gourmet Farmer Deli Book he made a great big batch of feta and then used the leftover whey to make ricotta. Both cheeses turned out beautifully! Reubs had the first of his ricotta on toast with banana and honey. The feta is currently soaking in brine in the fridge, but we can’t wait to try it in few days time. While Reuben was working on his cheese, I made some amazing salads, scones and lemon cordial. I used the lemon cordial recipe from What Katie Ate for the first time, and turned it out particularly nicely. So perfect for a warm day.

We’ve also recently had a go at growing gourmet mushrooms! The lovely people at Fungi Culture sent us a Grow Your Own Pearl Oyster Mushroom Kit and it was so much fun to watch the mushrooms grow, then pick and cook them straight from the box. We really had no idea growing such lovely mushies could be so easy. Our mushrooms grew incredibly fast with very little effort and they were ridiculously good on sourdough toast with goats cheese. The really good news is we were also given a second mushroom kit to giveaway! We’ll be using the random number generator to choose the winner from the comments on this post, so if you’d like to have a go at growing your own gorgeous gourmet mushies, just leave us a little something in the comment section.

Grow Your OwnPeal Oyster Mushrooms

What’s been happening in your kitchen lately? Anyone out there had success with making cheese or growing mushrooms? We are thinking that now we’ve gotten started, we need to start experimenting with making some different types of cheese and growing some different varieties of mushrooms, so we’d love to hear your stories!

Katie x

PS Unfortunately, due to customs restrictions, we can only offer this giveaway to Australian readers. Sincere apologies to all our international friends!

Update: This competition is now closed.

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Ridiculously Simple Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Tart

Ridiculously Simple Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Tart

I tend to go through phases where I obsess over particular foods. I’ll spend a month or so wanting to eat the same thing three meals a day, then all of a sudden it’ll change and I fixate on something else. My current obsession is cheese and fruit. I’ve been snacking on apples and cheddar, pinning recipes featuring blueberries and goats cheese, and daydreaming about figs and brie. Today I was poking around in the fridge, pondering what to have for lunch, when I was reminded of a glorious cheese and fruit combination – pear and blue cheese! I threw this tart together using just four ingredients and the result was delicious. And ridiculously simple!

Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Tart

1 Sheet Store Bought Puff Pastry (defrosted)
1 Large Pear (peeled and cored)
Chunk of Blue Cheese (I used about 50g but you can use more or less, depending on how cheesy you like things)
Handful of Roughly Chopped Walnuts
Olive Oil Spray

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and grease a 22cm pie dish with a spritz of olive oil spray.
2. Line pie dish with pastry, cut off excess, prick pastry with a fork a few times and place crust in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until pastry is beginning to puff, but not yet starting to colour.
3. Cut the pear into thin slices and spread pear slices evenly across partially cooked pastry base.
4. Crumble cheese over pear layer then sprinkle the pears and cheese with walnuts.
5. Bake tart in the oven for 20 minutes or until pear is tender, cheese is melted and walnuts and pastry are golden.
7. Serve warm.

Katie x

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Recipe: Raspberry, Coconut and Chia Muffins

Raspberry and Coconut Muffin

In recent months muffins have become a bit of a staple in our house. Reubs often starts work very, very early and I like to have muffins on hand so that he can grab one for breakfast on his way out the door. Along with my Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan Muffins, these Raspberry, Coconut and Chia muffins have become a fast favourite.

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins

Makes approx. 12 muffins

1 Cup Wholemeal Self Raising Flour
1 Cup Desicated Coconut
1/2 Cup Almond Meal
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Cup Coconut Cream
1 Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
At Least 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Raspberries (I use about 2 cups!)

Raspberry Muffins

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line muffin tray with paper muffin cases.
2. Combine all dry ingedients together in a large bowl.
3. Mix in egg and coconut cream and stir until well combined.
4. Stir in raspberries. (Use lots. The more raspberries the better, I think!)
5. Divide mixture into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes or until firm and slightly golden.

These are especially delicious eaten when still warm. Go on!

Katie x

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Recipe: Guilt Free 2 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Gluten Free 2 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Some time ago, when we were still living in Sydney, I shared my version of the 2 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake that has been floating around the internet. Unfortunately, all that butter, sugar and flour means those little cakes aren’t terribly healthy, and though I’m not at all opposed to a treat, recently I’ve been making a real effort to eat well and cook using more whole, healthy, nutritious ingredients. So I’ve been working on giving some of my favourite unhealthy recipes a little makeoever, and last week I was absolutely thrilled when my attempt to make a more nutritious version of the 2 minute chocolate mug cake worked out brilliantly! My new and improved version is low GI, gluten free, refined sugar free, high in protein, and could probably even be made vegan (with an egg supstitute). But what’s most miraculous of all, is the fact that I think the healthier version is equally as yummy, if not more so, than the original. It’s sounds impossible but it’s true! Here’s the recipe:

Healthy Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake

3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Almond Meal
1-2 Tbsp Honey (I use one but some might prefer it a little sweeter)
1.5 Tbsp Coconut Cream (or regular thickened cream)
1 Egg

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mug, until well combined. Don’t fret about little lumps.
2. Microwave for 2 minutes. (I actually found that the cake is done and is slightly moister if I take it out at 1 minute and 40 seconds, but this will vary from microwave to microwave. If you find the cake dry after 2 full minutes, next time try cooking it for 10 seconds less.)
3. That’s all folks! Enjoy!

Katie x

Update: A few people have asked whether or not this recipe could be baked in the oven, rather than microwaved, so I’ve given it a go and the answer is yes! It can! I baked the mug cake at 180ºC for about 20 minutes, and the result was slightly different from the microwave version but still good. The only thing I would suggest is, if you are going to bake it, mix the ingredients in a small bowl then transfer the mixture into a greased mug before popping it into the oven. I mixed and baked mine in the same mug and as a result the edges were really baked onto the mug.

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Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan Muffins

Pumpkin Parmesan Muffins 2

Recently I’ve been on a bit of a muffin kick. I’ve been trying to cut back on refined sugar and have been making lots of fruity, sugar-less muffins to keep my sweet tooth cravings at bay. And it’s been working a treat!

But this week I diverted from my quest for the perfect, healthy, banana muffin recipe, to make something savoury. Something cheesy. I often make pumpkin and feta muffins but the day I made these I didn’t have any feta on hand, so improvised with parmesan, and was delighted by the result! I’ve made two batches of pumpkin and parmesan muffins now and both have turned out wonderfully. Reubs actually ate five of them for breakfast yesterday. Yes, five! He has declared these his favourite muffins of all time. I’m not sure about that, but they are very moreish.

Pumpkin Parmesan Muffins 1

Makes approx. 14 muffins

1 Cup Wholemeal (AKA Whole-Wheat) Flour
1 Cup Oatmeal
1 Tsp Bicarb Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 Cup Parmesan
1/2 Cup Grated Tasty Cheese
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Tbsp Butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1 Onion Diced
2 Cups Roasted Pumpkin*

Pumpkin Parmesan Muffins 3

1. Saute onion and butter in a frying pan or skillet until slightly golden, then remove from heat.
2. Sift flour, bicarb soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add oatmeal, thyme, tasty cheese and parmesan and combine with a wooden spoon.
3. Mix in egg, milk and olive oil.
4. Add cooked onion and roasted pumpkin and stir it all together until well combined. The pumpkin will get a bit smooshed and broken up – that’s ok!
5. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan, so muffin cups are about 3/4 full, then bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes, or until firm and golden.

These are great served warm and I suspect they would be even more delicious spread with a little homemade tomato relish. Mmm…

*To get two cups of roasted pumpkin I put approximately three cups of raw pumpkin (chopped into small chunks) into a baking tray, drizzled it with a little olive oil and popped it into the oven at 200°C for about 45 minutes.

Katie x

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