Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Live right here

Turn off the noise
Breathe the air
Feel the sun
See the world with eyes wide open
Step away
Feel the moment
Live right here.

I'm feeling a shift in the air lately. A pull towards the simpler things, quieter moments, and living kindly.
Where this will take me i'm not to know but to flow with the current is enough for now.


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Homemade walnut paste and Walnut and bacon pasta

Both the paste and pasta recipes are wonderfully wholesome and packed with flavour. A very nourishing meal that is comforting and healthy.

First up you need to make a walnut paste. 
This is easy and leftovers are delicious on sandwiches.

You need to roast 2 cups of walnuts in the oven. Do this by putting them on a baking tray and putting them in a moderate oven (180C) for about 10mins. Keep a close eye on them, stirring them every few minutes and pulling them out once they are golden brown. There is a thin line between toasted and burnt! trust me i've done it a few times.

Once toasted throw 1 1/2 C of walnuts (save the other 1/2 C for the pasta) ino the food processor with ......
1/4C grated parmesan
1 t minced garlic
the rind and juice of half a lemon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t white pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Pulse till finely chopped and then add in 1/4 - 1/2C olive oil - depending on how thick or thin you want it.

This alone is an amazing dish, perfect on sandwiches, meat, salads and in pasta....

Walnut and bacon pasta
1/2 C toasted walnuts
3/4 C walnut paste
150g sliced bacon
1 tin evaporated milk (or cream if you prefer)
1 C chicken stock

400g cooked pasta.

In a pan cook up the bacon and then mix in the walnut paste. Cook for a few minutes.

Then add in the milk and chicken stock mixing thoroughly. Heat until thickened. This should only take a few minutes.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and mix well, add in the last 1/2C of toasted walnuts for a bit of crunch.

This recipe is easy but packed with flavour. Perfect with a crunchy green salad and sure to impress.
Sharing again this week over at nourishing joy

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Homemade bagels

Well it's been a good start to the year with me tackling one of those things that been on my to-do list for a good long time - homemade bagels. Even though i'm a bread maker from way back they always seemed fiddly and difficult somehow. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only were they simple to make but they rise and cook in a shorter time than most breads. 
I forgot to take pictures of the early process but  the instructions are easy to follow. I used the recipe and instructions from the sophisticated gourmet . I prefer a more wholemeal product though and made this with half wholemeal and half white flour.

It's a standard bread recipe to start, once risen i divided it into 9 bagels, mostly because i can't count well and thought i had 8.

Each piece is rolled into a ball and a hole poked in the middle.

The hole is stretched out to allow for rising and put on a tray.

 The initial rise only took an hour and the second rise only about 10mins. 
That's a great speedy rise for bread in a hurry.

Then into the pot for a brief boil. This was the fun bit watching them bob around.

Once boiled they're into the oven for baking. A few sesame seeds were added to a few for some interest.

This is a great recipe and these were totally yummy. We ate them with salad, cold chicken, cheese and some fresh basil pesto for a delicious summer meal.

I was enjoying these so much i forgot to take a picture before i had eaten most the dinner! but you get the idea.
Still sitting on the to do list is homemade crumpets and english muffins. The other half wants to have a go at making hollandaise and suggested we team it up with homemade english muffins. Hello eggs benedict....
Guess i know what i'll be making next weekend.

Have a great week everyone

I'm sharing this week over at Nourishing Joy, drop over and check out what everyone else has been up to this week.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Salad of the season- Spinach salad with garlic basil dressing

The thing i love about summer is all the fresh salads we have on those long hot days. I love nothing more than  a brand new favourite salad recipe for the season and in the last few weeks i've been lucky enough to find two.

Christmas eating is filled with heavy rich foods and a bit of overindulgence of lovely sweet treats. Needless to say i was needing a break from all that richness and i was lucky enough to enjoy this fresh zesty salad made by my neice Michelle at a BBQ a few days later. A salad has never tasted better - light, crisp, simple and full of flavour it ticks all the boxes.
As with all recipes i've made a few tweaks to the original and it is oh so yummy.

Spinach salad with garlic basil dressing

4 handfuls of spinach leaves
chopped salad veges - capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes etc..
1/4C toasted pinenuts
1/2C chopped feta

Salad dressing

In a small bowl combine
 2T white vinegar
1 t wholegrain mustard
1t sugar
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/8 C olive oil (the original has 1/3C but i find this enough)
2 t fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

I like to set aside the dressing for awhile to let the flavours combine if i have the time.

Toss chopped salad veges together and add dressing just before serving.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity this is an amazing dish and something a little different too. The original recipe also had crispy chopped bacon which i can imagine would be wonderfully decadent too.
We will be seeing this one again. Maybe with bacon.....

Take care everyone.
(2nd favourite salad recipe of the season, beetroot, beans and feta salad, will be making an appearance here soon)


Monday, 7 January 2013

Moda jelly roll floor pillows

A new year a new craft project. This time using this jelly roll from Grandmothers garden - my absolute favourite patchwork and quilting shop.

I'm going to be making these amazing floor cushions from the Moda bake shop

So far this is a very relaxing project. I was worried about all those points and the possibility of it being a fiddly project. So far my worries have been unfounded and i've got a little production line going - sew, iron, cut, pin, sew, iron, cut, pin..... and on it goes, quite meditative really. Even better when you're watching the Doctor Who Christmas special while doing it.

This is my progress so far.

I love how the fabrics are all so different but are complimenting each other so well. I still have a range of blues and reds to come yet so it should look pretty good when it's all done.
 It is going to be huge though!

Hmmmm a few quiet minutes i might run off and do a little more now.
See you all later.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cherry pie

Following up on yesterdays cherry pie teaser, here's the finished product.
I was a bit worried the filling was a bit runny and drained a little of the liquid off before cooking.

I'm glad i did as the filling was still a little runny, but oh my it was delicious.

 And my lattice work is slowly improving too. A pie is even better if it's tasty and pretty right?

This recipe was amazing, i highly recommend it. I found it a little too sweet but oh so decadent and the cinnamon balances out with the cherries beautifully. Yup this recipe is worth every cherry pitting i had to do to get the 4 cups worth of cherries.

If you're lucky enough to have cherries on hand give this one a go, you won't regret it.
And i don't think the pie obsession is over just yet.....

Friday, 4 January 2013

Homecoming, cherries and more pie

Well we are finally back from our time away and settling into the home routine again. As much fun as i had on our holiday it feels like a collective exhale to be home again. Our little man was so excited he ran around the house squealing when we got home, at midnight... for about an hour then crashed asleep. Then a day after our first home coming we jumped in the car and headed away again to the beautiful Coromandel for new years eve with good friends.

So now we are home and there is unpacking, tidying and a little more relaxing still. Oh and maybe another pie. I know, i'm obsessed, but when you arrive home with 2 kilo of fresh cherries you have to make pie.

So far some cherries have made it to the freezer, some are being eaten fresh and some are now coated in sugar waiting for their rendezvous with the pie casing tomorrow.

I'm trying out a new recipe from here which sounds pretty good so i'll let you all know how it turns out.
Yum, there is never enough pie.