21 December 2010

cake slice bakers: cranberry cake

The first fresh cranberry I ever ate wasn't ripe. I did not know this. In my defence I'd never seen a fresh cranberry in the flesh let alone eaten one. Needless to say I was not impressed. My mouth went dry, my face must've puckered and I quickly surmised that cranberries were obviously like rhubarb in that they're inedible fresh and can only be eaten dried or cooked! Disappointed but not about to waste anything, I threw my bag of cranberries into the fridge and promptly forgot about them. About a month later they resurfaced (now ripe) and I was brave enough to discover the true taste of a ripe cranberry.

mystery box cupcake: chocolate licorice peach cupcakes

Last New Year, my flatmate, Fran,  and her equally competitive sister challenged each other to go without chocolate for a whole year. I can understand the sibling rivalry/dare thing (I've got a date with my little brother to see who can eat a tub of ice cream the fastest) but chocolate? A whole year? It did not compute. Thankfully they had a clause in their contract* whereby they could eat chocolate if it was covering licorice.

14 December 2010

daring cooks: oeuffs en meurette

Blog-checking lines: Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

How I wish I could say that through this challenge I perfected the technique of poaching an egg but... not even close!

Oeuffs en meurette is basically just poached eggs in a red wine sauce but Anne Willan's recipe (which we Daring Cooks followed) gave instructions to poach the eggs in the red wine.

13 December 2010

avocado and strawberry ice cream

I wanted to combine the words ice cream and avocado to make a super word but all I could come up with was avice cream. Granted I only spent 15 seconds thinking about it but there's no way I'm using a word that when traced back to its origins means 'failing or defect'. Because there is nothing defective about this ice cream.

07 December 2010

pumpkin ice cream and chunky praline

I made a cinnamon pudding cake a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't help but think it looked a little sad sitting on my plate all on its lonesome. But who to keep Miss Cinnamon Cake company? Why, Mr Pumpkin of course! It's common knowledge that they’ve been in luurve forever and I just didn’t have the heart to keep them apart. I thought Mr Praline might be in with a shot for the love of Miss Cinnamon but, as evidenced in my photos, Mr Pumpkin dealt to his competition pretty quick smart and pulverized him. (Note to self: Do not mess with Mr Pumpkin).

toasted walnuts

04 December 2010

pumpkin whoopie pies

Got any pumpkin puree lying around? After making two pumpkin cakes I still did! I love whoopie pies and, with their soft, moist cakeness and a beautiful squidge of lemme-eat-it-on-its-own filling in every bite, who wouldn't...

Here are my tips for making sure your whoopies come out whooptastic:

30 November 2010

es apokat cake (avocado cake with mocha fudge tunnel) and avocado milkshakes

I'm super excited about this cake. It’s assembled in no time at all, has a gorgeous colour, is unbelievably moist, and it has one of my new favourite flavours! A lot of people have never considered avocado and sugar together but ohmygosh it's so worth being brave and trying it. 

29 November 2010

daring bakers: carrot crostata and crostata con la crema

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Crostata is pretty much just the Italian word for 'tart'. Tarts involve pastry. What a great excuse for me to practice making pastry! I've always found tart pastries difficult to perfect but I've learnt that there are tricks of the trade that, if you remember, will give you perfect pastry every time you try. When you are learning how to make pastry, don't follow my example and make pastry in the middle of the night - you will obviously stuff it up.

21 November 2010

cake slice bakers: cinnamon pudding cake

cinnamon pudding cake with pumpkin ice cream and candied walnuts

I'm a Cake Slice Baker Virgin no longer! Oooooohhhhh yeeeeeeaaaa........

Cake Slice Bakers (CSB for short, hollah!) is great because once a month, a group of bakers all over the world help each other out making something from a cookbook. At the moment the book of choice is Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman and this Cinnamon Pudding Cake is not only the first I’ve made with CSB but also the first I’ve made from the book.

15 November 2010

happy bundt day!

Sweet serendipity! Bundt day coincided with my mum giving me an awesome retro bundt pan! But what to make for bundt day? I desired also to get my bundt onto this bundt-loving website and for that I figured a BIG bundt was needed. So what to make, what to make… I tried to make a modified icecream bread but it was still a bit of a loser (more work obviously needed). I went back to the drawing board and Bingo! I had it. Here’s my thought equation: pumpkin puree + two circular bundts on top of each other + orange food colouring = pumpkin cake that looks like a pumpkin! 

14 November 2010

la vignarola (a food miracle)

I'm pretty sure that this meal is the reason why Italians are gorgeous and slim, even though they're gorgeously eating gorgeous pastries* every gorgeous-freaking-Italian-morning. La vignarola is so healthy yet SO delicious that when you're eating it you really do feel as though you're part of a food miracle. You are healthy. You are virtuous. You can eat cake for breakfast!

La vignarola IS Spring. It relies on the awesomeness and freshness of an amazing group of vege-chums that, for a few weeks every Spring, are at their peak all at the same time (miracle much?).

02 November 2010

FAIL: steel-cut oats and dried fruit compote

I've always wanted to try steel-cut oats so when I saw them in a bulk-buy shop, I snatched them up. I wanted to try a few recipes from Lorna Sass' Whole Grains Every Day so used her recipe for a dried fruit compote. It was no good. I ended up with a beigey-brown bland mix which pretty much ruined the oats. Bleh. It needed spices, salt and a bit of sugar. I'm all for healthy recipes and I hate waste but I really had to throw it out.

dandelion jelly

This is a conversation* Lovina Eicher and I had when I read her cookbook, The Amish Cook at Home:

Lovina: My family and I love eating dandelions.

Miri: You jest. Dandelions are a WEED, like lawn daisies.

Lovina: Dandelions should be eaten in early Spring when very young.

Miri: First of all, Lovina, stop ignoring me, and secondly, PEOPLE can eat dandelions?

Lovina: You can make dandelion salads and dandelion jellies.

Miri: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All these years of ignoring dandelions for daisies - I'm so ashamed! Well, I've got quite a bit of time to make up for it because fortunately (please don't hate on me if you're a lawn enthusiast) dandelions sure won't become extinct anytime soon.

20 October 2010


Fact: I love to cook.

Fact: I'm going to culinary school in less than four months.

Question: How do I not explode from excitement about all the food I come into contact with?

Answer: Start a blog.

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallatica.