Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jakes Coconut and Orange Cookies

I have been cooking with Jake lately as he has shown an interest in wanting to, loves eating and is very keen to help. The first experiment was a packet cupcake mix for kids. Although it comes with all the guff - cases, sprinkles, mixture and even icing sugar - it really didn't do it for me! It was easy but made hardly any baby cupcakes and was a vivid pink colour! I guess Jake loved it as its his favourite colour at the moment however thinking of the colouring really puts me off...
Experiment two, I decided to make cookies with what I had in the cupboard.

Coconut and Orange Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

125g soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons grated lemon or orange rind
1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar until pale.
Add lightly whisked egg, golden syrup, vanilla, orange rind and coconut.
Lightly mix the flour in.

With floured hands, make small balls and place onto baking paper.
Squash down with a floured fork.

Bake at 180 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes until pale.
They will crisp up when cold but still taste delicious warm if you cant wait.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I can't believe its not hummus dip

Butter bean and coriander dip

This is a quick and easy dip that will fool your guests. They will think they are eating hummus.
Its healthy, moreish and delicious.

1-2 tins of butter beans DRAINED
The juice of 2-4 lemons
2-4 garlic cloves
A handful of coriander
salt and pepper to taste
Splash or two of olive oil

Put all ingredients into the food processor and blitz until smooth.
Add as much or as little of the flavours as you desire - I love garlic, lemons and coriander so are quite heavy handed. The olive oil just helps to bind it together.

Other ideas add...
The flesh of a baked pumpkin
The flesh of a baked aubergine
A few jalapenos
Wilted spinach leaves
Sun dried tomatoes

Serve with crackers or a good crusty bread.

Camera inspirations...

         The before and after shots at a recent photoshoot!
Due to a clingy toddler, these were the only shots I could get!

Where have the beautiful plump NZ orange green lipped mussels gone?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sneaky peek in the neighbours back yard

Winter weather bought the neighbours fence down, spring bought the blossoms...
A perfect opportunity to have a sneak peek into the neighbours back yard.
Bring on summer!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kitchen Nightmares: Blind Baking

As usual I am cooking after Jake has gone to bed. Knowing what I know about myself, I work better in the morning however I have to work with the situation which means late evening cooking...

I decided to multitask and have facebook open at the same time and even better thought I would share with my cyber-buddies what I was doing as well as ask for a tip or two.

My post at about 10.30pm was - Blind baking - what can you use instead of the proper beans?
Lots of my wonderful friends messaged me back with dry rice or pasta suggestions. "Fantastic, I can do that - too easy!"

I did wonder how I was going to get the rice out of the cases and thought the only issue would be the cases falling into the sink with the rice - how wrong was I...

Instead of beautiful dry light brown pastry cases, I ended up with something that looked more crafty than edible - it looked like a rice mosaic pottery bowl!

Arggggghhhhhhh - what to do - surely my facebook buddies can help? Problem - it was now 11.30pm, they had all logged off and I was all alone with my creation and was expected to turn up at Ingrids with my beautiful mini apple pie pots the following morning.

Remedy - defrost sweet short crust pastry in the microwave, line the dish, spoon the spiced apple puree in and fingers crossed - pray for a sealed pie rather than a wet and soggy mess.

The food gods were looking out for me as the midnight hour beckoned...

Result - beautiful pale rustic looking apple pie pots. Two lids didn't seal properly so what better to do but sample...

Simple, comforting and delicious

"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness." Jane Austen

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kids and Lights

One of our ideas is 'Kid N Food - this is not quite what we had in mind! The beautiful Rhys decided to get in on the latest photo shoot and tuck into Ingrid's delicious coconut ice (OMG it was soooooooo delicious).
We are both loving the lights, a few hiccups and trial and error situations but the best use of our first pay cheque!

April 2011
Recent addition to hazzards of the job - not kids this time but cats!
My superstar cat, I guess it was the warmth of the lights or she just wanted my attention!  

Before and After - New Photography Lights

Life before our lights...
Life after our new lights - these pics were taken with a blink of an eye - no editing at all...
Very exciting - we LOVE them!!!
They are Lowel Ego digital imaging lights!
I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark. Muhammad Ali