Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a little halloween treat...


Halloween is upon us, very soon in fact, and I thought I'd get in the spirt of things with some simple and inspiring treats!
I have yet to carve a pumpkin this year, but I want to. I better get on it, halloween it creeping up soon and I've been wanting some warm toasted pumpkin seeds for sometime now and there's no better time. Perhaps some spicy garlic roasted seeds? I think that sounds just about right.

very vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean whipped cream
very vanilla cupcakes recipe here
vanilla bean whipped cream
2 cups whipping cream
1tbs vanilla bean paste or beans from 1 pod
1/4 cup icing sugar
black gum balls for topping
-whip cream and vanilla paste in a mixer or if you have a power arm, feel free to mix it by hand, add icing sugar until stiff peeks.

I found these very cool halloween candy canes from Michaels craft store and this kinda creepy but fab milk glass vase from the thrift store, filled up with some black gum balls or other creepy candy turns it into something from Elvira's castle. Whether she had a castle or not, I'm not sure, but I could see it!

Are any of you very cool people doing something fun this halloween?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the last of the fresh herbs

I'll tell you now I don't have much luck in gardening. I like to buy plants and attempt to plant them, some might even reach a well worn pot, but then I forget to water them or forget about them all together, like a poor chili plant I had in the backyard. I had high hopes for that one and even visions of fresh chili infused dishes. I might have gotten one edible flowering out of it. I'm bad like that. What floors me though is that I have two tropical plants in the house, one upstairs and one down. One of them I've had for five years or more and the other, maybe three. They show no signs of giving up, especially the older one and I even forget to water that one sometimes too.
So this is starting to sound more like a spring post, no? Well, my main reason is my little kitchen pot of herbs... yes, sadly they are dying but I'm going to use up all the fresh herbs by golly even if I have to make more dishes, but I know that won't be too hard.
Pushing the sweetness aside I've made a couple of savory dishes that are perhaps a little elegant and super easy.

salt and pepper crusted pork with fresh oregano
dry pork chops with paper towel, heat a skillet with a little oil, rub the chops with salt and pepper and pan fry until cooked and golden.

caramelized onion and goat cheese tarts
1 pkg ready made puff pastry
1 onion
75g goat cheese
fresh basil
balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Preheat oven to 425 d, heat a skillet with a little oil, cut onions thick and place in heated pan for 3-5min a side. Cut 10mm rounds out of the pastry, stick on a baking try, spread on the goat cheese to each one and top with an onion. Baking for 15-19min or until puffed and golden.
Onion tarts recipe adapted from Donna Hay magazine, issue 46.

Oh, and one more month till New Moon!! *jumps up and down*

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

wicked good

Do you ever have a time when only a doughnut will do? The craving can get pretty desperate during that midday lull or late at night especially when all the shops are closed.
On contrary I woke up this morning wanting french toast and while passing an article yesterday in my copy of delicious was a recipe for doughnut french toast... well I just had to make that of course.

doughnut french toast
2 large free-range eggs
60ml milk
2 tsp good vanilla extract
4 slices of rustic chunky white bread
(cut thin)
25g butter, plus a splash of oil for frying
50g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla in a shallow bowl or plate with a lip. Soak the bread in the eggy mixture for 3-5 min on each side.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and add the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched in places. Put the sugar and cinnamon on a plate and dip the cooked bread until coated in sugar like a sugared doughnut.

This was quite the sugarlicious treat, a little to sweet for my liking especially in the morning, but this at night would be pretty darn good. Plus I liked the sugar crunch. But I won't lie and say I wouldn't mind waking up to this in morning with a piping hot cup of coffee if someone made it for me though.

I would also like to thank Uncle Beef for featuring some of my spice on his blog the other day. Cheers!

Plus you defiantly need to check out this cute little stop-motion video... starring none other then... a cupcake!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

easy peasy

One of the best ways to enjoy cinnamon is hot.. and perhaps with some creamy delicious chocolate ...lots, in a drink we all love.

cinnamon vanilla infused milk
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk
1 cinnamon stick (you can also use powder)
splash of real vanilla extract
chocolate bit
2 tsp cocoa powder per cup
2 tsp sugar per cup

bring milk to a simmer with the cinnamon stick (broken up) or just put in the cinnamon powder and vanilla until hot (sieve if you've used a stick). Then place in a milk frother or if you don't have one place in a Nalgene bottle or any other well-sealed bottle and give it a good shake (you WILL get frothy milk). Have your cocoa powder and sugar in the cups, add a little bit of milk to each cup to get the cocoa powder going, stir well (or put all together in the air tight bottle and give a few good shakes) then add the rest of the milk to top it up.
serves 2
recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's 'the best hot chocolate'

Sunday, October 4, 2009

where's the cinnamon?

   Hi everyone, I'm still here!  

    Yes this is another non-cinnamon post but I'm still trying to shrug off the last little bit of cold I seem to have... this thing will not budge!!  So what have I been doing then you ask?  Drinking lots of hot healthy tea and reading... a lot.  I've already gone threw two books this week and am surely almost finished the third.  I've decided that since no new episodes of TrueBlood were airing any time soon I figured I'd read my way threw it.  I fear I am now spiraling down into yet another vampire obsession. 

  I did have quite the busy weekend though, baking up some delicious little treats for a couple of cute twins for their first birthday.  Here's just one of the little cakes I did for the sesame street theme involving a certain furry red favorite and this little blue monster who sure likes snacks which involve cookies, and lots of em!