Friday, September 5, 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

I don’t have too much to report today. I’m in the depths of studying with my exam in 2 days time. I don’t think I’ll surface all weekend.

Although I really want to go see The Hundred Foot Journey. It’s a movie about food...in France. Totally my thing. I’ll probably go see that as a study break and then come back and be distracted thinking about food. Flawless plan!
Anyway, I’m sure your weekend will be much more exciting than mine. Are you having a party? A little get together per say?

Why you should make this dip!
I love making my own dips. They’re the best and there are no chemicals or high salt or any nasties to make you think you should not be piling your cracker a mile high.

Side note, I do not understand people who don’t like much dip. My ratio is pretty much 2:1 to the dip. It’s more dip with cracker, not cracker with dip.
It’s an art.

So this dip is great. Great depth of flavour in the tomato, and nice and thick for prime scooping.
Thumbs up all around really. Try it.

1tbspn coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained (reserve oil)
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup lemon juice

In a small frying pan, melt the coconut oil.
 
When melted, add in the garlic and onion and sauté until soft and translucent
 
Add to a blender or mini food processer with the remaining ingredients (not the oil). Blend until smooth. Be careful about the steam getting trapped. I like to pulse a few times, release steam and repeat until done. This is where you can now use the oil, or water, to thin out the dip to your desired consistency.
 
Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Passionfruit and Coconut Cupcakes

Apologies for the late post. I’m currently in cramming mode. My final nutrition exam is this time next week and I have SO MUCH to cram into my brain.

How do you cope with studying? Are you a stay-awake-for-56-hours-and-cram kinda person? Or do you start prepping a month out?
I’m a prepper. I’ve been studying solidly for the last 2 weeks or so, and will up the anty a bit this weekend. Although you definitely will not see me up past 10pm studying! Actually scrap that. Past 6pm. I like to have nights to myself. Cook a good dinner, settle in front of the TV, chat to whoever has taken residence in my house – anything except studying!

Anywho, I made these for my work colleague’s birthday. She’s that one person in the office who runs things. She knows everything there is to know about everything, and will happily help anyone with anything. Every office tends to have one of these ladies, and they’re the ones who really make everything run smoothly. She deserved cupcakes.
These are stupidly easy. If I can make them in 30mins while I’m cramming, you can make them anytime. They were a bit on the small side though. I had a new cupcake tray and they make wider flatter ones opposed to skinny tall ones. If ya know what I mean....

Still, cake is cake is cake.


Cupcakes:
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup coconut cream
125g butter, melted
2 eggs
2 passionfruit pulps

Frosting:
125g butter
1 3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbspn coconut cream
Passionfruit pulp for drizzle

Preheat oven to 180oC

Combine the flour and sugar and whisk together

Add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it just comes together.

Fill your patty liners until they’re about 3/4 full.

Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

While they’re cooling, make your frosting.

In a stand mixer (or hand held mixer....or your hands if you’re wonder woman), beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar and coconut cream.

When the cupcakes have cooled, frost as you see fit and drizzle with passionfruit!

 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Asparagus, Peach and Quinoa Salad

SALAAAAD TIMMMME

I’ve been slack for a few months. I stopped going to gym, I stopped having salads every day, I ate carbs every few days (big deal orright)....and generally everything else one could possibly eat. I went full fattime all day every day. Loved it!
But no more! I’m taking control!

Ok....I will try to take control. It’s hard ya know. Baby steps.
So I’ll ease myself in with some fancy salads. I love me some fancy salad. Those ones that do take some pre-thought, and do require some time to prep and chop and cool and mix. But they’re totally worth it.

Especially when you’re at work and you really need something awesome to eat to get you through the afternoon. Yeah. That happens.
This one? Totally meets the criteria. Juicy peaches, crunchy asparagus, fluffy, filling quinoa – what’s not to love!?

Get on it. Pronto.


Salad:

1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 bunches asparagus, cut into chunks
2 peaches, diced
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
Baby spinach
 

Dressing:

1tbspn lemon zest
6tbspn lemon juice
1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
5tbspn olive oil
Rinse the quinoa and cook as per the packet directions. Set aside to cool (shove it in the fridge if you’re in a hurry)

While that’s cooking, make the dressing by putting all the ingredients into a jar and shaking it around the room. Feel free to wack on some funky music and make a thing out of it.

Cook the asparagus. You can either do this by coating them in a bit of oil and grilling them until slightly charred, or you can blanch them in some boiling water. Make sure they’re tender but still crunch. We need texture people.

When the quinoa has cooled, arrange the salad. You can be hectic like me and just mix everything in a big ol’ bowl, or you can be nice and pretty and arrange the spinach on a big serving plate (use as much as you desire), and sprinkle over the quinoa, asparagus, peaches and walnuts. Drizzle over the dressing and serve to your favourite people.

 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Orange Cookies

I have a confession to make.

I’m not very good at making cookies.
THERE I SAID IT!

But really, I am far more comfortable making a 4 layer cake extravaganza that I am making 12 little cookies. I think in the past year, the majority of my cookie-making endeavours have been less than successful.
I don’t know why. They just never....work.

I know a few people who balk at recipes with yeast, or anything that requires multiple steps with lots of multi tasking – but me? Hand me a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe and I’ll give you a somewhat apprehensive look.
Cookies are my hurdle.

I made these when the local supermarket had a mega sale on oranges. I love those sales. You end up planning your whole week around that food. (Slight exaggeration but oh well).
So yes, orange cookies it was. These were one of my very few successful cookie attempts. I ate a few warm, and then froze the rest so I could enjoy them long after I baked them. It’s not every day that you’re able to make a good cookie ;)


Cookies:

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup sugar
2 tbspn orange zest
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 tbspn orange juice, fresh

 

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tbspn orange zest
1-2 tbspn orange juice, fresh
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In another small bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest, rubbing them together with your fingers until it is incorporated and you’re high on the scent.

With your mixer, cream the butter and the sugar/orange mix until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and orange juice. Mix until combined.

Slowly add the flour mixture, on low speed so it doesn’t cover the room in flour.

Scrape down the sides and wack the bowl in the fridge for 30mins.

When you take the dough out of the fridge, turn the oven on to 180oC.

Scoop out bits of dough, roll into balls and place on a baking tray. Bake for 10-12mins until lightly browned. Remove from oven and leave on the hot tray for 5mins before moving them to a rack to cool.

To make the orange glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, orange zest and enough orange juice to make it just spreadable.

You can either pipe squiggles over like I’ve done or just smother the whole cookie.