Scandinavian Almond Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick (116g) melted butter

Instructions

Beat sugar, egg, extract and milk together well. Then add flour and baking powder, blend together Add melted butter and stir. Butter and dust 9″/23cm cake pan generously with flour. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350F/175C for 40-50 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Adjustments

I reduce sugar by nearly half.

I also use 1 1/4 C self-raising flour in lieu of flour and baking powder.


Lemon Lime Tart

PASTRY

  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 180g butter, chilled, diced
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons iced water 1 egg yolk

FILLING

  • 80mls (1/3 cup) fresh lemon juice
  • 80mls (1/3 cup) fresh lime juice
  • 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 60mls (1/4 cup) thickened cream
  • 5 eggs

Icing sugar, to serve

To make the pastry, place the flour, diced butter and caster sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles fine bread- crumbs. Lightly whisk together the water and egg yolk and add to the flour mixture. Process briefly until the mixture begins to come together. Remove from the processor bowl and bring together with your hands. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a disk about 35cm in diameter. Carefully lift the pastry into a 30cm tart tin with removable base and ease into the tin. Press pastry gently into the side of tin, trim the excess with a sharp knife and then place on a baking tray in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line the tart shell with some greaseproof paper and fill with, rice or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Remove the paper with the rice or beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, whisk together the lemon juice, lime juice, caster sugar and cream in a medium mixing bowl until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the filling is just set in the centre.

Serve the tart warm or at room temperature sprinkled with icing sugar.


Journey of discovery

AS YOU STAND ALONE ON THE PRECIPICE OF DESPAIR REMEMBER THIS: YOU WILL HAVE NO ONE BUT EVERYONE ELSE TO BLAME! (Kaz Cooke’s little book of crap).

The Devil made me do it, is a reply I have heard when someone is called to account for their actions, not that you or I as the reader of this would have, no, but we all know someone who has!

In times of change, which finds us being challenged in how we do life, we often look at who is to blame.

I often find myself seeing other peoples driving as less superior to my own, while sometimes being oblivious to my own inherent bad habits.

Some years ago, I undertook a two-day course to obtain my riders license. It was intense and challenging because it showed the ability, I thought I had, was not as good as I imagined and even though I had been riding for years bad habits had developed along the way that then became the normal. Of course, I didn’t know they were bad habits until they were pointed out, OUCH!

It was only when they were challenged, and when I took ownership of those bad habits, that change was possible, and this change was for the better. With guidance from experienced instructors I quickly discovered that if I had had relied upon my years of engrained habits, it may not have impacted on not me but also those around me, fellow riders, other vehicles and any pillions.

We at MWC face challenges in the COVID normal times, we do this together as we grieve what we may no longer do and embrace new ways of being, discovering new expressions of being together, ways of expressing our faith and we may find that rather than losing we have gained something new and invigorating.  This is something we do together not alone, are you ready to pack your bags and start journey?


Chilled Strawberry Soup & Spinach Bacon Salad

Chilled Strawberry Soup and Spinach Strawberry Salad

1C (250ml) apple juice

3/4C (175ml) water

2/3C (150ml) sugar (less to taste)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

3C (750 ml) strawberries

1/4 C (60ml) water

2C (500ml) plain yogurt

1tsp vanilla

Salad

1/4C (60ml) vinegar or lemon juice

1/4C (60m;) honey

1/8 tsp salt

1/2C (125ml) evaporated milk

4 slices bacon (I prefer streaky bacon)

1tsp flour

8C (2L) spinach leaves

1C (250m;) strawberries

3 hard cooked eggs (optional)

Pinenuts (optional)

Soup: Combine apple juice, water, sugar (to taste, I use a LOT less), cinnamon and cloves in saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool. While this cools, cut your strawberries into chunks. Pureé until smooth in blender. Pour into large bowl (preferably one that you can cover and put in refrigerator). Add yogurt to pureêd strawberries and add cooled juice mixture. Stir well, cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Salad: Blend lemon juice or vinegar, honey and salt in small bowl. I slice my bacon up before I fry it, but you can fry and crumble afterwards. Fry bacon in frypan place on papertowel to cool. Leave some bacon fat in pan (1TSPB or so?). Add 1 TBSP flour to bacon fat in pan. Heat and stir until smooth. Slowly stir in lemon and honey mixture. Heat and stir until thickened. Turn off heat and leave on burner. De-stem spinach leaves and wash and spin. Tear up. Add sliced strawberries, cracked pepper to taste, bacon bits (and chopped hard cooked eggs and pinenuts if desired). Some folks like to add warm dressing and gently coat, or you can decant dressing to self-serve. Dressing is best slightly warm.


Nature neighbours

The other night, I woke at about 3am and it was nearly silent.  We like to sleep with the windows open and usually there are night noises; local traffic, trams,  traffic on the M1, construction not overly far away, the bells for the pedestrian crossing of the train tracks five blocks away.  But those were all absent as I lay in bed, marvelling at the HUGE moon and listening to the magpie snore.

Yes, there was a snoring magpie somewhere in the neighbourhood.  And I could hear it.  Breathe in, little song, breathe out.  I would have said it was talking in its sleep, except the song didn’t change at all, except when another maggie would say the avian equivalent of, “Stop it.”  It was adorable. 

I will miss it when the hustle and bustle fires back up again.  It isn’t that the sounds of nature are getting louder or more persistent, but we’re slowing down, and being quieter, and so we hear these noises.  A magpie pie snoring, what could be weirder than that?

How about annoyed killer whales?  “From the Straits of Gibraltar to Galicia, orcas have been harassing yachts, damaging vessels and injuring crew.”  They’re breaking rudders, ramming boats ten or fifteen times, driving them back into ports.  “Scientists are baffled.”  I’m not.  “GO HOME!” is the message I hear, loud and clear.  Seems like they’ve also gotten used to our quieter, less messy, less invasive habits of 2020.  

I go into church every Wednesday to film the Sunday service with Siôn and Bubba.  The past few Wednesdays, I’ve also gone around Melbourne and picked up ballots of US citizens who want to vote, but are not comfortable, or able to drive into the US Consulate on St. Kilda Road.  Since I can do that, and have permission to be outside of my 5km bubble, AND I believe ‘if you can, you should; if you’re the only one who can, you must” I go and get these ballots.  It means on Wednesdays I am out of the house, at all, and have been out pretty much all day the last few Wednesdays.  This past Wednesday, when I got home, Luci, my sweet kitty who shares a birthday with me, gave me The Business.  She yelled at me for being gone, she followed me around, when I sat down, she sat down.  She was highly irritated at the amount of time that I had been gone and was quite clear that was what she was communicating to me. 

Our world is so interesting, diverse and dynamic.  There are so many neighbours (some of whom snore) that we simply have overlooked or ignored. How do we hold onto that (aside from staying in quarantine/lock-down for another year because we can’t behave)?    

Tags :

Category : Creation , Sara , Uncategorized


Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry and white chocolate muffins      Makes 12.

2 cups of plain flour

1 tablespoon of baking powder 

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2- 2/3 of white choc bits

1 egg

1 cup of milk

125 gms of melted butter

1 punnet of fresh Raspberries Or 3/4 cup of frozen not thawed

Dry ingredients
Sift flour and baking powder together.Add brown sugar and white chocolate bits and mix well.
Wet ingredients Place in a bowl or jug, 1 cup of milk and the egg. Whisk gently under mixed. Add cooled melted butter.
Make a well in the dry ingredient and add wet ingredients. Mix gently and do not over beat, ensuring that all the flour is incorporated into the mixture.
Add raspberries and gently fold in ensuring an even distribution of the berries.
Grease a 12 muffin non stick tin either with melted butter, canola spray or olive oil.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins, making sure that each muffin is the same.
Bake in an oven set at 190c or 180C in a fan forced oven for 20 mins.
Cool in tin for five minutes and then remove from tins.
Cool on baking tray.Delicious.

Category : Food , Uncategorized


Carrot and Almond Strudel

Carrot and Almond Strudel.

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup each of grated tasty and mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds (skin on)

I medium onion finely diced

4 teaspoons dried sage leaves

Sheets of puff pastry (keep in fridge until ready to use)

METHOD:

Mix the cheese and almond together in a bowl

Cook the onion until soft but now browned, add the sage leaves and stir through with onions with the heat on low.

(this allows the oils in the sage to be released)

Add the onions and sage mix to the cheese and almonds and stir through with a spoon before getting your hands in to the mix and get it mixed thoroughly.

Spread the mixture over a sheet of pastry leaving a small gap around the edges.

Roll up tightly and cut into sausage roll size pieces, place on tray, brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown.


Bagels by Bubba

Bubba’s actual factual bagels baked today!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons / 6 g active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ teaspoons / 19 g granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups / 300 ml warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup /60 ml more)
  • 3 ½ cups / 440 g bread flour or high gluten flour (you may need up to 1/2 cup / 60g for kneading)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons / 6 g salt
  • Optional Toppings: (Refer to Notes)

Instructions

  • In ½ cup /120ml of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture until it all dissolves in the water.
  • Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  • Pour 1/3 cup / 80ml of warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add an additional couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup/60ml of water. You want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  • On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
  • Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  • Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  • Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  • After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and then flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York-Style bagel with this option).
  • If you want to add toppings to your bagels, do so as you take them out of the water. Alternatively, you can use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before baking the bagels. You may want to use the “Optional Toppings” listed above to top the bagels. Use just one topping, or a combination to make your own Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  • Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown (I usually err on the side of 20 minutes).
  • Cool on a wire rack (Or, if you’re impatient like I am, slice one of these babies open and spread on some of your favorite cream cheese or softened butter. Take a bite… Oh babyyy!)

A Covid Lock-down Tale

Royalty-free ID: 1369386470 by Seventy-Four

Let me introduce you to the characters of this little story. Firstly there is Sean, he is a man after my own heart. If I ever met him I know we’d see eye to eye on most things; and then there is his faithful dog, a playful little thing called Lido. Together they are a great team, but it is a little like the blind leading the blind as both can be as silly as the other. There is Sarah, she is a helpful woman, always looking out for others, and then there is Bubbie, an old friend of Sean and Sarah’s – Bubbie comes from the spare the rod, spoil the child school of thinking but has fallen on hard times.

Sean and Lido had been happily resting in the land of nod one evening when the alarm on Sean’s watch went off. It was time to rise and shine because, as we know, there is no rest for the wicked. They both stretched and yawned and in the twinkling of an eye they were ready for their evening walk. It was 7.15pm, the eleventh hour because the curfew started at 8pm and they needed to be back by then if they were to follow the letter of the law.

That day the powers that be, who sometimes seem to be a law unto themselves, had announced another 2 weeks of lockdown. Two weeks, in the scheme of things is only a drop in the bucket but many where at their wit’s end with the whole lockdown thing and just wanted to go out and eat, drink and be merry. But it was a sign of the times that this just wasn’t possible.

So Sean and Lido were outside for their walk, “We have plenty of time,” said Sean, but that was just the kiss of death on their evening wander. Sean put on his Ipod, Queen’s another one bites the dust was playing and off they went around their neighbourhood to see what they could see. As they went down the street they saw a person standing on the side of the road, “Isn’t that Sarah?” Sean said, Lido just wagged, “She must be out fighting the good fight, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” 

As they drew closer Sarah waved and, staying 1.5 metres away, said, “Hi Sean and Lido a little birdie told me you’d be out here about now I’ve come to ask you a favour.” 

“Go ahead,” said Sean, “We’re listening.” Turning off his music.

Sarah looked at them both and asked, “Do you remember Bubbie?”

“Big headed Bubbie? The mouth of the south? Yes, what’s he up to?”

“Well,” said Sarah, “He’s not doing too well at the moment and I was wondering if you could help him?”

“Well pride goes before a fall,” said Sean, “What’s he need?”

“A little money”

“What? The root of all evil!”

“Anyone of us could fall by the wayside” said Sarah, “He’s changed.”

“A leopard cannot change its spots, he always was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, OH see how the mighty have fallen.” intoned Sean.

“Yes they have, and there but for the grace of God, go you and I, and remember it is always better to give than to receive. You once said you’d go to the ends of the earth to help people and I don’t wish to put words in your mouth but he needs your help. Will you?”

Sean thought about it and looked at Lido who just wagged, “Well it would be sour grapes if I didn’t, of course I’ll help. When the writing’s on the wall it’s what we do isn’t it?”

“Thanks” Sarah said, “There’s just one fly in the ointment, he needs it now.” 

“Sure”, said Sean reaching for his wallet and handing over some money, “here, take this, will it be enough?”

“More than,” said Sarah.

“We’d better go if we are to finish our walk before curfew, we’ll just make it by the skin of our teeth if we go now. See you and thanks for looking us up, glad we could help.”

They waved goodbye and Lido got her walk, not as long as usual but she understood. She is, after all, a very clever dog.

THE END.

What a nice story. When Sara asked me to write this blog she said to write it on Proverbs. Well I looked up proverbs from the Bible that are still in everyday use and in that little story are 34 of them. Not all from the book of Proverbs but all from the Bible. See if you can spot them. On Tuesday evening we’ll put up the list of what they are and where they come from but this little story goes to show that there is nothing new under the sun. (Number 35, from Ecclesiastes 8).

S.

Category : #Bible , Pandemic , Siôn


Mexican Hot Chocolate Shortbread

These cookies taste like a mug of rich hot chocolate. The deep mocha-flavor is followed by a kick of cayenne pepper. Don’t let the heat put you off; it only enhances the flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or finely ground coffee 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips 
  • About 1/4 cup granulated sugar for dusting

Special Equipment: Cookie stamp (optional)

Instructions

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

Whisk the flours together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until the mixture is pale in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the speed down to low, add the brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, espresso, salt, and cayenne pepper, and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in thirds until just combined. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the chocolate chips, mixing until just combined.

Transfer the dough to another bowl and finish mixing by hand to make sure no bits of flour or butter are hiding on the bottom of the bowl and the dough is thoroughly mixed.

Use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between the cookies to allow for spreading.

Flatten each cookie with a cookie stamp dusted with granulated sugar, or gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand and then dust the tops with sugar. They will have little cracks in the top. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 hours. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness (see Tip). Cool the cookies completely on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Tip: It is really difficult to tell when dark chocolate cookies are done. Pull them out when they are firm to the touch on the edges and the sweet smell of chocolate has begun to fill your kitchen. 

Sweet Note: I love stamping designs in the tops of our shortbread cookies. I use cookie stamps, which are available in a variety of designs, but I have also used the bottom of a decorative vintage glass in a pinch. To use, simply spray the stamp (or glass) lightly with cooking spray and dip into a plate of sugar, then lightly press into the cookie to emboss the design. You may have to reapply the cooking spray occasionally if the stamp starts to stick to the dough. 

This was originally found and is exactly what I have printed out, at https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2013/12/03/mexican-hot-chocolate-shortbread