Rich Chocolate Cake for Easter

New spin on this "Great Depression" cake, which is easy to make from basic pantry staples, that you always will have on hand.

It's Good Friday! Easter is nearly here, so its time to make some cost effective chocolate treats:

 

When in you live in the country side you meet some lovely older ladies who are only too happy to open up their mother's or grandmother's handwritten recipe books to share with you.  When you have food allergies especially, its like they almost have them memorised and say "i'd think you could eat this great simple recipe from the 1930's" etc.

 

Well this is an old recipe given to me, its basic and turns out beautiful and delicious. I varied this time by only by adding gluten free flour instead of regular flour, I use the "Lauke" Gluten Free White Bread Flour, which acts very similar to regular wheat varieties.

 

I happened upon a really easy chocolate icing also and added crushed chocolate and hazelnuts on the top, which makes it really rich, but would be great for special occasions, like birthdays etc. For Easter, I have decorated it with Easter Eggs and used a milk icing. This cake also makes a great sheet cake for school birthdays as its just so simple, nearly as easy as a packet cake, to make. 

 

I hope you enjoy and find it delicious............

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Vanilla Maple Strawberry Dessert Sauce

Oh with the bizarre return of "high summer" temperatures, and a really dry brown view of our hills to contend with (poor farmers), ice-cream making has returned to lift my spirits while in the kitchen (aircon firmly back on while cooking). When it's really hot and the long weekend seems even longer, nothing is better than indulging with a sundae that calls for a rich strawberry sauce.  

 

It's simple, tried and tested (honestly more than a couple of times), and so delicious! 

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Healthy Zucchini Bread Muffins

All the "Back to School" hype of the last couple of weeks led me back to the cookbooks and trolling the internet for some healthy style snacks for the lunch boxes. My youngest son tends to be a "grazer" so I figured some light bread style muffins filled with vegetables from the garden might be just what was needed.

 

As I only bake gluten free (due to my own coeliac disease, I do not need to be inhaling flour dust), I decided to give these ones a go to see how they would turn out. They came together really well and actually rose, which is rare when using gluten free flour, but I did notice that putting them in the patty papers is not effective as they stick to the side a little, and I have adjusted the recipe to reflect this.

 

This recipe is a great snack that can also be made using nut milks so it can be made vegan. I noticed my gluten free mayonnaise was also vegan.

 

Serving suggestion: They would also be nice served, cut in half with a spread on it, a little like a savoury scone.

 

My son loved them, a win for the lunchbox! 

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How to Handle a Heatwave: Mango Lassi

It's been a hot one today, the mercury hit 40 degrees (celsius), and after an intense amount of watering the outdoors everything, it was time to spend the day eating cold icy things.

 

Think "Baking Day" but all icy recipes! 

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RecipeCard: Broken Biscuit Cheesecake

Broken Biscuit Cheesecake
Broken Biscuit Cheesecake

The easiest cheesecake recipe you'll ever need, especially if you're in a hurry......

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Apple Cider Mustard Zucchini Piccililli

This year we are having a late season on all counts, with all our summer vegetables in the garden.  I love to have a pantry full of bottles and jars for the winter, so I can literally open a jar of "sunshine" on a Winter's day and taste the garden.

 

This year I looked at my usual pickles recipe and decided to add to it and change it up a bit and added a few of my favourite flavours. For example instead of plain old vinegar, why not a full flavoured apple cider vinegar?

 

What is a Piccililli? It is a pickle of chopped vegetables, mustard, and hot spices, which is essentially what is in this recipe. 

 

I can tell you the end result was so delicious and the kitchen was filled with these great smells of warm vinegar and spices. 

Recipe:


#recipes

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RecipeCard: Kitchen Pesto

Year Round Pesto

I might be letting you in on a little secret here but I make Pesto all year round. Even though we live in a spot where we get rather cold (and icy) winters, I use whatever greens I have on hand to make this "Kitchen Pesto" recipe. The great thing about this recipe is that you will be living the dream of having year round pesto, but also your body will love you for eating the greens available in your garden, giving your energy a boost!

 

There is also an option in the recipe to substitute the cheese with lemon juice to make it vegan. It works quite well, giving the pesto some bitterness, which adds to the savoury flavour.

 

"Kitchen Pesto" is a versatile recipe to make use of your greens and whatever nuts you have on hand at the time, in your pantry and garden, so that it can be made all year round and you will always have Pesto in the fridge. I've also seen it called "Irish Pesto," as you can add in two scallions (aka spring onions).

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Brown Rice Muffins

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked Brown Rice

3/4 cup cheese

3 cups vegetables (of your choice, from the garden)

3 eggs

Salt and Pepper 

Rice Bran Oil (or olive oil) 

 

Method: Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

1. Beat 3 eggs in medium sized bowl

2. Grate vegetables. Add to Bowl.

3. Add cheese, rice, salt and pepper, and use a spoon to combine mixture.

4. Grease large (12) muffin with Rice Bran oil.

5. Fill muffin tins to top, and pat the top flat with a fork

6. Bake 200 degrees for 15-25 mins ( the more golden, the crunchier! 

 

These are so delicious, you can add to lunch boxes, keep in fridge, eat hot or cold and are great for parties. 

 

Tip: adding zucchini makes them fluffy! Enjoy! 


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Beetroot and Chocolate Mud Cake

new spin on this "great depression" cake by adding beetroot from the garden:

When in you live in the country side you meet some lovely older ladies who are only too happy to open up their mother's or grandmother's handwritten recipe books to share with you.  When you have food allergies especially, its like they almost have them memorised and say "i'd think you could eat this great simple recipe from the 1930's" etc.

 

Well this is an old recipe given to me, its basic and turns out beautiful and delicious. I varied it only by adding some lovely fresh cooked beetroot from the garden, which adds a lovely almost Turkish Delight flavour to it, and its handy for getting some extra veg into the kids. 

 

I happened upon a really easy chocolate icing also and added crushed chocolate and hazelnuts on the top, which makes it really rich, but would be great for special occasions, like birthdays etc.

 

I hope you enjoy and find it delicious............

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RecipeCard: Cream of Chicken Soup

Super chicken winter broth (easy)

Winter Time:

Meat Bone Broths are excellent for winter blues and flus, not to mention its packed with collagen, vitamins and minerals as well as being delicious.

 

We had a bit of an experiment and when used in conjunction with our Thermomix and Thermomix stock (which is packed with veggies fresh from the garden), its winner winner chicken dinner! 

 


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Recipe Card: Slow Cooker Chicken and Black Pudding Casserole

or crockpot cooking with an Irish twist.......

Last week I bought an electric crockpot (slowcooker). Where has this great yoke been all my life? I've used it twice already. Enough said. It will get used alot more. 

 

I don't have any big kitchen appliances, except for a Thermomix, as I like one having one contraption that does nearly everything in the kitchen. Saves time in the long run. I want more time now more than ever to spend not doing mindless standing over the stove in the kitchen. I'd rather spend the evenings with the kids and enjoying time with them.

 

After looking at countless recipe books I decided to make up a recipe with the 2 main meaty ingredients i had left out. Black Pudding (a staple in most irish peoples homes) and 2 chicken breasts.

 

I was kind of inspired by the "Gourmet Farmer" who puts black pudding in his baked beans and slow cooks them, so i decided to add it to a full blown chicken casserole to add good porky flavour. It was delicious. So delicious. Sometimes experiments work out well! 

 

I use Gotzinger Queensland brand (gluten free) award winning black pudding. Available from all good supermarkets and grocers in Australia. 

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