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Chicken sausage and chorizo pasta with baby spinach24. March 2014

The other night I tried out Lindsay’s recipe for San Marzano pasta E Fagioli. I’ve never cooked pasta in a sauce before, so I was a bit intrigued and a bit worried, because there was a lot of sauce in my pot at one stage and I didn’t know if it was going to boil down enough, but it did and this dish turned out pretty good. I made a couple of changes to the original recipe just because I didn’t use spicy chicken sausage like she suggested. I added some chorizo and a bit of chilli, which worked out pretty well, I also added some sugar because there is a lot of tomato that goes into this.

I must warn you, this recipe makes a lot of food, so either halve these portions or invite some hungry faces over for dinner.

Thanks Lindsey for the recipe….

 

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INGREDIENTS
  • 450 grams chicken sausages in casing
  • 1 whole chorizo sausage – chopped
  • 1½ cups chopped celery, carrot, and onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A couple of dashes of chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 790 grams tinned whole tomatoes
  • 400 grams of cannellini beans
  • 500 mls chicken broth
  • 450 grams small pasta
  • 160 grams fresh baby spinach
  • Shaved parmesan cheese for topping
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Remove the chicken from its casing. In a large pot, brown the chicken sausage over medium high heat and drain the excess grease. Near the end of cooking add the chorizo sausage for a bit. Set the chicken and sausage mix aside.
  2. Crush the tinned tomatoes and sauce in a food processor and set aside. Drain the cannellini beans. Place in a food processor. Refill the can with water, add to the food processor, and puree until very smooth.
  3. In the same large pot as step one, saute the carrots, celery and onions, garlic, oregano, salt and bay leaf (with a little olive oil if needed) until soft and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, pureed beans, sugar and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes. It’ll be very saucy.
  4. Add the pasta and simmer for another 20 minutes until pasta is cooked through as sauce is reduced. Throw in the baby spinach and the chorizo/chicken sausage from step one. If needed, add water or broth to adjust the consistency of the pasta before serving. Top with some parmesan cheese.

 

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The Kitchy Kitchen11. July 2013

I stumbled across this food blog The Kitchy Kitchen a few days ago via Pinterest. Last night I literally lay in bed talking to myself about all these recipes. I was a like a crazy person high on imaginary sugar. It definitely looks likes this lady knows how to wield her kitchen equipment and take a pretty picture of the end result.

Here are some of the things that caught my fat eye, I’d say check out her site for more, it’s totally worth it.

 

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Cherry Rose Pie

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Puff Pastry Donuts

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Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Cucumber Cilantro Rice

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Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake

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Banana Cream Pie with Dark Chocolate Ganache & Cardamom Custard

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Roasted Red Bell Peppers Baked with Goat Cheese, Herbs & Olives

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New York Cheesecake with Pretzel / Graham Crust and Salted Caramel Sour Cream On Top

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Pretzels with Honey Mustard Sauce

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Orange Poppyseed Pound Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze

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Churros con Chocolate

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Orecchiette Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Squash, Kale and Burrata

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Molten chocolate cake with maple whipped cream

 

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Happy birthday to my best friend and hooray for Oreo cupcakes.16. May 2013

On Monday night I threw my Shane a small surprise Rumdayillovo party. It’s his birthday today which means it’s pretty much impossible for us to go out because of Howl, so with Doug’s help I made prego rolls and potato wedges, hung up balloons with steamers, set-up a poker game and had our Rumday Illovo family over to surprise him. He was ALMOST surprised. Boo. He arrived home literally 10 minutes before everyone else arrived to shout the big ‘S’ word, but he appreciated it anyway.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SHANE, you are my best friend and I love you so so so much.

 

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I also, for the first time attempted to make Oreo cupcakes. They were actually pretty easy to make and they turned out really good, well that’s what everyone told me. I always feel weird saying things tasted good, like I’m blowing my own horn, but they were really nice. The Oreo after being baked in the cake batter turned out really soft and yummy, so when you bit into the cupcake everything was super soft and sweet. I made a simple cocoa buttercream icing for the tops, which complimented them nicely, it also made them look cool, white on the outside and brown on top, sort of like an Oreo.

Anyway here is the recipe for the cupcakes, the buttercream icing I just made up as I went along, but next time I’m totally making this recipe because it sounds amazing and who wouldn’t want the most amazing icing on their cake? Not me.

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Vanilla Cupcakes 

125g butter

150g castor sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs.

200g cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

125ml milk

Directions

Cream the butter and sugar together Add the vanilla essence and mix well Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well after each addition Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the mixture and beat well Pour a small amount of the mixture into the cupcake holders then place a Oreo cookie on top of the mixture before covering it with more batter. Fill the cupcake tin holes just under 3/4 of the way. Bake at 160° for 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are slightly golden brown. Once they are cooled you can ice them with whatever icing takes your fancy. Like I said I made some cocoa buttercream icing, but next time I’m using this recipe (below) but I’ll add some cocoa.

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Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)*

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbsp heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use clear if desired)

Directions

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle or whisk attachment whip butter on medium high speed (if using whisk attachment whip on high speed) until nearly white and very fluffy, about 7 – 8 minutes, frequently scrapping down the sides of the bowl. Add in powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until blended, then increase speed to medium and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 – 6 minutes, frequently scraping down the sides of the bowl. Immediately spread over cooled cake or cupcakes.

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Typography cake. Now. I want it now.15. May 2013

Good Lord, look at this amazing cake! My friend Clint always finds the coolest things like this and then mails me the link (he found Eyescream and Friends). He is the best at finding stuff that makes me want to backflip off a roof. I’m so so so going to try make this cake and when I do I will blog about the results, but for now check out these cool photos and read about how to make it. Here is a link back to the genius who actually made this in the first place – Victoria I’m sending you a virtual high-5, because your face and this cake flipping rule.

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- To make the cake you will need; 1 box cake mix, any flavor (we used white), edible dough (any color), mini alphabet cookie cutters (these will vary in size, make sure they are small enough that when your word is spelled out, it will fit in your pan), a 9×5 loaf pan (or any cake pan in which your message can fit; a bundt pan is a fun one to use), rolling pin, and confectioners sugar.

Take your edible dough and knead it into a workable, pliable consistency. Then sprinkle a little confectioners sugar on a clean surface and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Cut out the shapes of the letters you want to use in your message. For the cake in this tutorial, I used a whole package of edible dough and cut out the letters Y and A to spell YAY.

Make cake batter according to instructions on box. Grease your pan and pour enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom. Take your cut-out letters and place them in the batter, spelling out your word or message. Repeat this until you have crossed the length of the pan. Make sure the letters are lined up and straight.

Place the rest of the cake batter into a measuring cup (or piping bag if you want to really be careful) and pour batter slowly over the top of the letters, until they are covered and you have used up all the batter.

Bake cake in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes; check for doneness with a toothpick. Allow to cool before using a sharp knife to slice into the cake and reveal the surprise message.

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Tea time with my girls.28. January 2013

On Saturday afternoon I had a bit of a tea party at our flat. I baked some vegan cookies, set out some of my most colourful china and invited some friends over. I haven’t seen these 3 faces in one room all together for a while, so I was super happy to have them all at my house.

We tried out some teas from a lovely lady who came to see me the other day about her product Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour. She left me some samples and the girls and I tucked into them on Saturday. The tea was fragrant and really nice, subtle but nice and they complimented the super sweetness of my cookies well. I’m getting some of this tea into Wolves soon, you must come try it out if you like.

The vegan cookies went down a treat (Leigh I kept you some, but then we ate them. I love you. Sorry. ) I have made them before, except this time I cut them into hearts  - the recipe is at the bottom of this post if you are interested. 

I think I need more friend/tea parties in my life. They’re so easy to set up and they’re such a nice way to spend an afternoon.

 

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Vegan choc chip-pecan nut-cinnamon cookies  

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and half teaspoons cinnamo

handful of chopped pecan nuts

handful vegan chocolate or carob chips

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup water

Instructions:

1. Very important-make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. It will work if they’re not at room temp but it works much better if they are. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in chips and nuts. Make a well in the center and set aside. In a medium size bowl, add together sugar and oil; mix well.

3. Add the vanilla and then add the water; mix well.  Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it.  Add more chips if you need to.

4. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Put them in the oven.  Bake for 5 minutes and then flip and rotate the sheets (top to bottom and 180 degree rotation). Bake another 4 minutes and check them. The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool. I usually go in 2 minute increments from here until they get to where I like them.

5. Take them out when they are done and move them to wire cooling racks. If they split or come apart when you try to remove them let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring them to the racks.

I adapted this recipe.

 

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Books for my pudding compartment23. October 2012

I love baking, I love cooking too, but baking is my most favourite thing to do. I love it when a recipe comes together and I make something that looks as good as it tastes, which is not always the case, sometimes the things I try to make belly flop like no someones business and then I never touch the recipe again, but when I stumble on a winner I make sure I have it written down and saved.

I went online and ordered a few new baking books for myself. I tried to research them a bit before I pushed ‘add to cart ‘, but I think I may have been a bit more successful on some more than others.

So if you are looking for some nice books to keep your pudding compartment happy take a look at these.

1. Vintage Cakes

This is so far the book I’m enjoying the most, I have made 3 things out of it and all of them have come out really nicely. I just wish it had more pictures because I like to see what things are meant to look like, but it doesn’t. But it’s still a really cool book full of things that make you wish you could sleep face down in a cake every night. I would definitely recommend buying it.

 

 

2. The Back in The Day Cookbook

This is a sweet little book, it has good old fashioned recipes in it and it covers sweet and savoury. There are pies and cakes and biscuits and puddings and cobblers and it’s laid out nicely too. I would be scared to visit this bakery in real life in fear that I would never want to leave, it’s vintage and beautiful. This book also gets a thumbs up.

 

3. More from Magnolia

I also bought More from Magnolia, which is a book with recipes from a very famous bakery in America called Magnolia. This was the most disappointing visually. There are absolutely no pictures which really doesn’t inspire me to tackle any of the recipes inside. And they all seem so old fashion, but not in a good way. I haven’t even baked one thing from this book, which sucks because I could be completely wrong about it.

Do any of you own it and have a different opinion on it?

 

4. Loveless Cafe

The last book I bought was the Loveless Cafe, which is full of simple southern pies, puddings, cakes and cobblers from Nashville. This book is full of short and sweet recipes that don’t scare you when you are reading through them because they seem totally doable. The stuff is old fashioned, but it all looks so delicious. I’m happy with this one too and I think i’m going to enjoy it as much as the first and second one on this list.

 

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