Monday, April 27, 2009

Soft-Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from fellow expat Laura English Painter's recipe!

1 1/4 cup plain flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (if you use salted butter leave this out)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (I was low so I threw in a few tbsp of cashew butter)
1/2 cup sugar (I used half splenda, so we can all get cancer)
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla (I'm known to be quite generous with vanilla when it comes to cookies)

Maybe, 1/2 cup chocolate chips? More? Whatever you'd like.


Preheat oven to 190C/375F

1. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
2. Cream butter, peanut butter, sugars.
3. Add egg and vanilla to creamed mixture.
4. Throw in your chocolate chips now (I just crushed up a bit of a left over dark chocolate bar)
5. Slowly add the flour mixture.

I used a small scoop to make the perfect small cookies. Just remember these make better small cookies, so don't be too generous when scooping on to your pan.

Bake for 6 minutes (mine needed 7, could be my oven).
Take then out of the oven and leave to cool for 1 minute on the pan. Then move to cooling rack.

I think these are best the next day. They will seem as though they are not done on the inside. If you leave them, they will be like soft bake the once they are entirely cooled!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pepperoni Pizza with Mushroom Sauce

Pepperoni Pizza with Mushroom Sauce

Jamie Oliver's Basic Bread Recipes:

• 1kg/just over 2lb strong bread flour
• 625ml/just over 1 pint tepid water
• 30g/1oz fresh yeast or 3 x 7g/¼oz sachets dried yeast
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 30g/1oz salt

This will make enough dough for three large pizzas. This is a great bread recipe, and its very very versatile. Thanks Jamie, you stud.

6 plum tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup water
1 heaped tsp oregano
1 heaped tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp black pepper and a dash of salt
4 chopped chestnut mushrooms

I would normally use a can of tomatoes but I didn't have any left. Thus the puree- but it worked out so well! Puree the tomatoes and garlic, add to sauce pan with the rest of ingredients, adding the water little by little until you have the consistency you like.

Whatever you want.
I used a layer of sauce, a fine layer of parmesan, a layer of torn up fresh spinach, a layer of large thin pepperonis, a layer of shredded and soft mozzarella (I was cleaning out the fridge with these pizzas!) and more parmesan. I added more mushrooms and onions to Cormac's pizza.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375F/190C or until its as crispy as you like it. The best pan for pizza is the kind with holes in the bottom, I find, or straight on the rack!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sultana Scones

Buttermilk Sultana Scones

2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup of butter
2 tbsp of sugar (preferably caster sugar, fine grain)
1/3 cup of sultanas/raisins/cranberries/blueberries whatever you fancy
2/3 cup buttermilk

Sift together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until its crumbly.

Stir in the sugar and fruit of your choice.

Slowly add the buttermilk and mix together-- just until its mixed. Don't over mix. If you over mix, they will not be as delicate and tasty. I'm warning you now.

Knead until a soft dough, and roll out the dough a little less than an inch thick. I like them on the thicker side. Cut them out with cookie cutters-- I use a round cutter, or the top of a cup will do. I get about 12 out of this recipe.

Bake on cookie sheet at 230C/450F for 8-10 minutes

Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato Curry with Chicken
adapted from Vegan Planet

1 small chopped onion (which I omitted because I hate onion, to Cormac's dismay)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 large red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 3/4 cup stock (I used fresh chicken stock from Easter roast chicken)
1 can of tomatoes
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, cubed.
dash of sea salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
Approx. 1 cup shredded chicken.

Heat some oil in a pan, saute onions for 5 minutes. I skipped this part.

Add curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne.

Add red pepper, garlic and ginger. Stir around for 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes and chicken stock.

Add sweet potatoes. Cover.

Simmer for around 30 minutes. I took out my trusty hand blender and smoothed out the mixture. Add in the chicken, dash of salt and brown sugar. Simmer another 20 minutes (I put on the rice after this). I served this over brown basmati rice. Delicious!

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