Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daring Bakers: Donuts

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.




As The Boy can attest, for the past year every. single. time I smell cinnamon, I want hot donuts. As much as the prospect of flavoured donuts delighted me, I needed to have your standard, run-of-the-mill cinnamon donut. Like last month, I did this with The Uber-Blonde, and we had a delightful time in her new kitchen baking (and then nomming down). 


I'm also tagging this in "baking basics" - hopefully I'll modify this sometime soon and get some more delicious donut treats for you. Also, I'm headed to Sydney tomorrow night for three days so excuse me if the blogging is a bit sporadic!






Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Etsy Finds: Drink Up!

Goodness, has it been that long already? Sorry to have left you in the lurch for a week, dear readers! However, as anticipated, I ended up living on leftover pasta and noodles for the entire week so I haven't really done anything noteworthy in the kitchen. Actually, last night I made some spiffin' good pasta with EnviroGirl but we were too terrified by Criminal Minds (Season 6 Episode 1... GRACIOUS ME. WATCH IT) to remember to blog it.

So, here are some delightful Etsy finds for your Tuesday :D








Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tofu noodles

The smell of the stir fry sauce I bought reminds me of summer holidays, because there was one holiday where almost every day for lunch I made these. Minus the tofu, though, I wasn't quite as adventurous then. I still haven't found a really good way to cook tofu, so hit me up with suggestions!

I've spent today watching Criminal Minds and snacking on Subway cookies (white chocolate and macadamia, natch). I probably should have started studying for exams, but I love Matthew Gray Gubler too much. Also, uh, I study psychology, so that counts... right?



















Also, while I have your attention, how adorable are these chopsticks? The Boy got them for me for my birthday, along with heart-shaped measuring spoons. I think my adorable kitchen things need their own entire blog post, js.



TOFU NOODLES
Serves four

220g Hokkien Noodles
Stir fry vegetables - these can be frozen or fresh. I used mushrooms, carrot, peas, green beans and capsicum.
300g firm tofu, cubed
Stir Fry sauce/seasoning

1. Chop up the vegetables (unless you have pre-cut frozen ones - lucky you!) and fry them in the pan with the cubed tofu



















Surprise! Process photo!

2. Boil the kettle and pour it over the Hokkien noodles for a couple of minutes, to let them separate. 

3. Pour the sauce over the noodles and let that simmer in its own goodness for a spell

4. Add the noodles, mix it all together, and there you have it! I had a spicy sauce so (having learnt from previous summer lunches) threw some natural yoghurt on the top to balance it out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pasta al Diavolo

This is based on the pasta dish I had at the Uber Blonde's 21st last night (Happy birthday, my sensuous peahen!), and Miss Italia has just informed me that "diavolo" means "devil". Which explains why it was so spicy, so I hope everyone enjoyed that little Italian lesson.

Its Production Week Take Two this week - after Panto finished, I thought I was free, but one of my theatre units is backstage work for a production and its production week this week. Not quite as crazy as Panto (I don't anticipate any 3am finishes, let alone two!), but it does mean that I'm going to spend this week pulling a Nigella every night! And you know what? I'm okay with that. I'm a uni student, after all. The fact that I'm not  resorting to a week of Mi Goreng is impressive. I saved some of this for lunch tomorrow, I am excited!

PASTA AL DIAVOLO


1 chorizo sausage
10 mushrooms or so
Crushed garlic
500g fettuccine
Parmesan cheese
Chilli flakes
Jalapenos (if you're game!)
1 jar stir-through pasta sauce (I used Leggo's Tomato, Olive and Chilli)

1. While the water is coming to the boil for the pasta, chop up the mushrooms and chorizo and put some garlic and olive oil in a pan

2. Cook the pasta at the same time as you fry the chorizo and mushrooms. MULTITASKING, YO.

3. Drain the pasta, put it back in the saucepan, and pour the pasta sauce, chorizo and mushroom on top of it. Add some jalapenos and shakes of chilli flakes and mix it all about.

4. Serve with some parmesan sprinkled over the top - it softens the blow of the chilli a little!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Epic Cake

There are no words to describe how awesome this cake is. Miss Italia linked me to it on Facebook and then we decided to have a SKYPEBAKE session and both make it. Needless to say, hers turned out looking a lot fancier than mine (I had no piping bag but even still, I have less decorating skill than she does!), but it is still delicious. The combination was put together by vaguemotives on the bakebakebake livejournal, with chocolate mocha cake, chocolate buttercream icing and salted caramel frosting.

I also managed, at the time, to ruin a batch of pizza dough with my terrible multiplication skills (three cups of flour is not three times the recipe, Emily), somewhat successfully replicate Herbies original recipe garlic bread and make two pizzas with store-bought bases because it was getting late and I was trying to do too many things at once! That was made most evident when I took photos of the cake with no flash and I've had to spend the last half hour editing them to look presentable :P

I'm not going to type out the entire recipe for you (which I know is somewhat going against the point of the blog, but its really long!), however here are some tips:

- We started with the salted caramel frosting, as it has to sit for 25 minutes or so to cool, and then put it in the fridge to set for piping ease (for Miss Italia, for me it was more smooshing ease)

- I baked the cake in two batches, rather than cutting it in half, and it worked beautifully. So if you have the time, do that, although bear in mind that my Skype froze after two hours and 40 minutes and we weren't done :P

- As recommended in the original post, if you double everything in the salted caramel recipe except the butter, thats good.

-



From top: My finished cake, Miss Italia's finished cake, and a grainy-indie-wanker-shot of a slice of cake (which wouldn't be so bad except that there was the whole flash issue... anyway, now I know how to edit on iPhoto)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cinnabons

Dear body,

I am sorry for putting you through eating five of these, although that does only equate to one regular Cinnabon. I promise I will only ever make these once a year at the most, and will definitely never make them again the day after I have takeaway pizza. I think I put on weight just re-reading the ingredients. Please don't die on me!

E x



CINNABONS
Recipe from GroupRecipes

7g dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour
----------------------------
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
----------------------------
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Dough

1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk

2. Add the rest of the ingredients from section A to form a dough

3. Knead the dough into a ball, and leave to rise until it has doubled in size

4. Roll out the dough to a long rectangle, roughly 0.5cm thick

5. Preheat oven to 180C

Filling


1. Spread the melted butter over the dough. Use your hands, it won't kill you!

2. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the butter. Mmmm, calorific!

3. Roll the dough into a scroll. The best tip I found for this was from Pioneer Woman, to use a typewriter-style technique and roll from left to right, then right to left, then left to right. Like how you have to type to the end of the page and then push the typewriter thing back.

4. Cut the dough into thick slices and place into a lightly greased baking dish. At this stage, I refrigerated it because I was making them as a surprise breakfast, and they worked out fine! Otherwise, continue on your merry way and put them in the oven.

Topping


1. Combine the ingredients from section C and beat with an electric mixer until they are light and fluffy.

2. When the rolls are out of the oven, and still warm, cover them in the topping. It will get all melty and delicious and give you a heart attack, so I suggest sharing them between six or so people.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spicy Cous Cous

Hey Em, what'd you get up to yesterday?

Oh, you know, not a lot, went to uni and got APPLAUSE for the gosh-darn Facebook pages I photoshopped for Juliet Capulet and Count Paris, and then came home and made some SWEET-ASS spicy cous cous for me and Mama and Tara, then got picked up by Gordo to go see SMASHING PUMPKINS. LIKE A BOSS. Just chillin' on a Tuesday night at Smashing Pumpkins, you know how it is.



SPICY COUS COUS
Serves 4


2 cups cous cous
Lotsa pepperoni
Traffic light capsicum (one green, one yellow, one red)
100g black olives
Feta

1. Cut the capsicums into strips, cut the pepperoni into little circles, and fry those bad boys in some olive oil until they're char-grilled.

2. Put 1/2 cup of dry cous cous in each bowl and pour boiling water over until it just covers the cous cous. Cover with a lid or something so it can cook for a few minutes.

3. Drizzle some olive oil over the cous cous and use a fork to make it fluffy. Top with the capsicum, pepperoni, olives and feta and NOM DOWN.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Bake: How not-to do it

The Uber-Blonde came over today for procrastinationing. We ended up making her pumpkin bake. We put the baking dish down on the stove top. We (thank goodness!) decided to eat in the loungeroom instead of the kitchen. Just as we sat down, THE BAKING DISH EXPLODED.

This is my tiny, dear, sweet kitchen after the massacre (taken from where we would have been sitting!)



Nonetheless - Pumpkin bake!

PUMPKIN BAKE


Half a pumpkin, roasted or boiled until it is soft
Breadcrumbs
One can of diced tomatoes
One onion
Cheese

1. Layer the pumpkin over the bottom of a baking tray.

2. Sprinkle liberally with breadcrumbs

3. Dice onion and fry until transparent

4. Add diced tomatoes and heat until a little of the moisture is gone from them

5. Pour over the breadcrumbs and top with cheese

6. Bake until cheese is melted. Nomnomnomnom. Do not place your baking dish over the hot stove top!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Roast Pumpkin, Feta and Walnut Pizza

Following yesterday's pizza bases recipe, this is my favourite pizza ever. EVER. Hands down. And I love me some pizza.



ROAST PUMPKIN, FETA AND WALNUT PIZZA


One pizza base
Roast Pumpkin
Feta
Spinach
Basil Pesto
Walnuts
Parmesan Cheese

1. Cover the base with pesto. Delicious, delicious pesto.

2. Put a layer of spinach over the pesto

3. Put some pumpkin over the spinach.

4. Crumble feta over the pumpkin

5. Break up the walnuts and sprinkle them over the pizza

6. Grate some parmesan on top

7. Bake that bad boy until it looks delicious. And it will be. Trust me on this one.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cooking Basics: Pizza bases

In spirit of "Buy Nothing New" month, I thought I'd finally get around to posting this pizza dough recipe. We never seem to leave the pizza around long enough to take a photo :P

I got a recipe from Miss Italia, but sadly she is in Italia this semester and I had to google about for one. Not as cool, guys. :(

PIZZA DOUGH


2 cups flour
7g dry yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and knead a bit

2. Put it back in the bowl, cover with glad wrap and leave for 30 minutes to rise

3. Come back, take the dough out of the bowl, and punch the air out of it. Seriously. Punch it once. Bread-making is good for anger management.

4. Knead it and roll it out to the size you want.

Miss Italia taught me to put olive oil on both sides of the dough before you put the topping on it. And so did The Goon, whose mother is a cooking teacher. So there's a nifty tip for you!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Parmesan Crumbed Chicken

I've had this recipe bookmarked for flipping ages, and I finally got around to making it last night! *applause* Its originally from Closet Cooking, and now that I've got the basics down I think I'll be able to do it better next time. Thank goodness I took the picture when I did while it was cooking, shortly after that I burnt all of the crumbing! This is what happens when you don't slice the chicken so that its actually fryable. Lesson learnt.



PARMESAN CRUMBED CHICKEN
from Closet Cooking


2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup each breadcrumbs and Parmesan, mixed

1. SLICE THE CHICKEN BREASTS SO THAT THEY ARE THIN

2. Coat chicken in flour

3. Coat chicken in egg

4. Coat chicken in breadcrumb/parmesan mixture

5. Drizzle olive oil into frypan and cook chicken, turning once on each side.

That's it! I served it with a nice salad and some home-made wedges. Delicious :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cooking basics: Bread

This is a standard bread recipe that I adulterated from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef. The measurements are what I used to make five small (roughly palm-sized) rolls, but thats only because its what I had left in flour without breaking into a new packet! I'd suggest doubling it if you want a decent loaf of bread.



BREAD


200g flour
125mL lukewarm water
10g dried yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp salt

1. Place flour in a bowl and make a well. Pour in approximately half the water and add yeast, sugar and salt.

2. Combine ingredients to a porridge-like consistency, add the rest of the water and combine.

3. Knead the dough, cover in cling wrap and leave for half an hour.

4. Knock the air out of the dough (punching it a few times usually works) and form it to the shape you want. If you want to add fillings to your dough, do it now.

5. Leave the dough to prove until it has doubled in size (I normally cover it with a teatowel at this stage).

6. Bake the bread. DELICIOUS.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taco Night!

This is something T & I are hoping to make a weekly thing. Which will probably happen because I love tacos, and they are so gosh-darn simple to make! I realised we didn't have any seasoning when I got home, so I invented some, and I'm going to go all P-Dubz and show you photos of each step. Because I like that about her recipes.

TACO SEASONING


1. Put some minced or crushed garlic into a bowl and cover with Sumac. Sprinkle on some chilli flakes, salt and pepper



3. Combine it all unti it looks gross like this and is to your tastes.





Then you just add it to some browned mince! I think I'll have to refine this later, but it wasn't horrendous. And this is what the plate looked like (sans mince):