Sunday, 1 September 2013

Change is in motion

So far I am doing quite well on my diet changing, even if I do say so myself :)  I'm not changing everything, just making better choices in the products I buy.  Trying to buy more natural and less added extras.  And definitely not buying diet lemonade etc anymore!  I always did because I liked the taste but now that I know they all have Aspartame in them, and can cause a lot of problems, I will be on the lookout for that one (number 951 if you're interested).

Anywho.  What have I made this week?  Ooh I made a yummy Cheesy Garlic Bread!  Homemade bread and everything!  This was served with Potato, Onion and Bacon Soup... Mmmmmmmmmm delicious!  Pear and Custard Ice Cream.  Forgotten Cookies.  Oaty Date Bars.

I shall start with the savoury dishes. 

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Loaf of Wholemeal Bread (homemade preferably :) )
Prenzel Garlic Butter RBO

So I started with a loaf of homemade Wholemeal Bread - just the recipe in my breadmaker book, and once it had cooled a bit I cut thick slices into the bread, not quite the whole way through.
I then brushed some garlic butter oil on each slice ( if you don't have this then you can make your own garlic butter using crushed garlic and melted butter)
Place slices of cheese between each slice.  Brush a little oil on top of the slices too, then wrap in tinfoil.  Bake for around 30mins at 180 C

This next recipe I got from a friend.  She normally makes a big pot of it, but I use less stock so that it is chunky and thick.  It never lasts more than one meal :)

Potato, Onion and Bacon Soup

Potatoes diced
Onion diced
Bacon diced (I use streaky bacon)
Chicken Stock - homemade is best, but otherwise the bought stuff works too

Melt butter in large saucepan, add onions and cook until softened.  Add bacon and cook for a few more minutes.  Add about 2Tbsp flour to thicken before adding stock - Depending on how thick you want soup, you can vary your amount.  I normally use about 3-4 Cups of stock.  Add however many potatoes you want - I normally do about 3 or 4 medium ones.
Let it simmer for around 30mins, add a splash of cream (this is optional) and heat through.
Check out that cheesy bread!

Now for the sweet stuff!  If you make your own ice cream using egg yolks, and don't have any use for those leftover egg whites, here is a yummy and super easy recipe for you!  Normally it makes heaps, but I found that this time, it didn't quite make as many as normal, and I'm not entirely sure why, except that maybe my bowl wasn't completely dry when I whipped them.  Anywho ...

Forgotten Cookies

2 egg whites (I used three cause that's what I had) at room temperature too
pinch of salt
1/2C caster sugar
1tsp vanilla
3/4C chopped almonds/pecans
3/4C choc chips (dark is best, and the drops so they are bigger chunks)

Preheat oven to 180 C
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt.
Add sugar gradually until it has stiff peaks and is glossy - now mine wouldn't hold stiff peaks so I added about 2tsp of cornflour to help thicken it, but this still didn't work.  But I pushed on anyways :)
Add vanilla, nuts and chocolate, mix together.
Drop teaspoonfuls on baking tray (if your mix isn't stiff enough, it will stick a little when cooked, but still good)  Put in oven, turn off and leave overnight or for a minimum of 3hours.
Normally these would be puffier
This recipe was shared with me by my sister, and I love her for it.  In fact I had actually forgotten about it, until recently when she had said she had made some.  I couldn't stop thinking about them and had to make them as soon as I had some spare egg whites!  The kids love them too :)

On the subject of eggs, my homemade ice cream was inspired by something I saw on Nigel Slaters cooking show.  I used proper homemade custard, stewed pears and a mashed banana, to make this delicious dessert.  However, I do feel that it tasted better hot than as an ice cream, so do with it what you will :)

Pear and Custard Ice Cream (or hot dessert if not frozen)

3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste
1C cream
1tsp cornflour
2Tbsp raw sugar
two pears, peeled and diced
raw sugar
lemon juice
banana mashed

Firstly, prepare the pear.  Put in a small saucepan with a sprinkle of raw sugar, not too much, maybe a Tbsp or so (as you would when stewing fruit) and squirt some lemon juice in there, again a few Tbsp.  Cover and heat until soft.
In another saucepan, put cream and vanilla in and heat gently until almost simmering.
Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a bowl.
While whisking, slowly pour cream into egg mix, then immediately pour back into saucepan and return to gentle heat, continue whisking until thick.
Mash the pears a little and add a banana, mash again.  Pour custard over and mix through. 
If making into ice cream then put into your ice cream container and leave it to cool slightly before putting in freezer - stirring after an hour.
Otherwise, just dish up and serve :)

The Oaty Date Bars are just straight from the Edmonds cookbook :) No alterations.  And they are delicious!  The lemon icing definitely makes them!  But I think I will leave it at that for now :)

Happy cooking!!