Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cookies! Perfect ones!

Remember our world travels?

WELL. 
We are extending our Asia part of the trip by 3 weeks!
For Muffin this is mainly for the joy he feels towards Asia.
For ME this is mainly for the panic I feel towards the price of 2.5 months in Europe!
This means 2 weeks each in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos :D



The stress of saving money is only really helped by one thing.. damn straight that that thing is cookies.




My cookie making has come far and with lots of research (and cookie eating.. for research) I think I have made the perfect peanut butter cookie!

EXCLAMATION! 


The Perfect Peanut Cookie.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (114 grams) softened butter
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (crunchy>smooth)
1 egg (or egg replacer)
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dark chocolate to melt (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C
Cream the butter until it appears light and fluffy. Add the sugars, cream for 2 additional minutes.
Mix in the peanut butter and egg.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and whisk out any lumps.
Stir this into the wet butter mix until combined.

Using a dessert spoon shape the dough into balls (wet your hands if it's too difficult and sticky).
Place cookies on a baking tray about 6 cm apart.

THIS IS THE TRICK NOW.. smoosh them ever so lightly with the palm of your hand. When I say smoosh, I think I mean slap! Mine made a slapping sound one after the other.

Leave them about 2cm thick and they will melt down to ultimate cookie width! Trust me!
Place the trays in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so they are cool to the touch.

Bake until slightly browned, 9-10 minutes.
Cool on baking trays until not soft anymore and then transfer to rack to cool completely.
If desired, melt dark chocolate and drizzle over cookies when they are completely cooled.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


NOM.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

spicy coconut punkin soup to kick sickness’ butt!

I AM SICK! Why am I always sick?!

My Muffin and I spent a lovely week in Tasmania visiting my best friend one last time before our world travels. Twas a lovely week apart from the chest/ear infection I gained about 1 day in! Gahhhh. 

Thus, today was the first day I had strength to stand and cook anything and this was what I was craving. 
I feel better already!

I packed in the garlic in this soup and had dessert of 2 oranges plus my antibiotics AND a glass of flat lemonade (my mum always said this cures sickness?!) - so surely I will be in tip top shape again soon! Don't you worry your little cotton socks. 


spicy coconut punkin soup to kick sickness’ butt:

1 Tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried chilli

1 onion
2 spring onions
6 cloves garlic
1 leek
1 carrot
1/4 cauliflower
1 small butternut punkin

1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
2-3 cups vegie stock
2 Tablespoons natural greek yoghurt
salt
pepper
love

oven roasted seeds from pumpkin (optional)

Chop all vegetables to similar size.
In a large saucepan fry onions, garlic and leek and when starting to soften add in curry paste and spices.

Fry until paste is fragrant. 
Add in the rest of the vegetables and stir until all coated.

Pour in the coconut milk, stock and coconut and let boil until vegetables are able to be blended. About 20 minutes. 

Add yoghurt and blend soup until smooth. Add more stock/water if it is too thick. 


Serve with crunchy oven roasted salty pumpkin seeds and swirls of yoghurt! 

Eat with crusty bread and hope that the bugs that have given you a chest AND ear infection bugger the hell off :D

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Best Pasta! (spicy roasted red pepper)

I'm a pasta lover. 

Who am I kidding.. I'm a CARB lover.

This pasta recipe was slowly brewing in my brain. 

I took inspiration from The Pioneer Woman and her quest for pasta perfection. I've added in every element that I love in pasta: 
  • Creamy sauce; but not too creamy
  • Sweet roasted capsicum
  • Delicious mushrooms
  • Fresh spinach
  • Spicy chilli
  • Cold avocado and crunchy nuts on top
  • PURE YUM.
and THIS, my friends... is as close to personal pasta perfection (hehe) that I have ever reached!

Now, with these final three words, (nom nom nom) I give you:


The Best Pasta. (like. ever.)
(serves 3 .. or 2 starving souls)

2 cups (uncooked) pipe rigate* pasta

150 grams semi sun dried tomatoes
1 whole roasted red capsicum, peeled (do this under the grill or straight on the flame)
a few black marinated olives

1 Tablespoon olive oil (or sun dried tomato oil)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, sliced
5 large swish mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine
100 mL light cream (or soy milk)
1 big bag baby spinach
Juice of 1 small lemon, zest of just half
1 Tablespoon dried chilli flakes or fresh sliced chilli (I like life hot and spicy! Ha!)

to serve:
small handful almonds/cashews
toasted sesame seeds
a few slices of avocado


Ok, go!

In a blender, blitz together tomatoes, capsicum and olives. Add a tiny splash of water if you’re having trouble blending it - try and get it very very smooth. Set aside.

Put the pasta on to boil in a big pot. Cook due to packet instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan heat oil. 
Fry garlic, onion, mushrooms and zucchini until browned. Turn heat up high and when the pan is very hot - deglaze with white wine and reduce.

Add in the tomato/capsicum sauce, cream, lemon, chilli and season with salt and pepper.

Drain your pasta and at the last minute add the pasta and spinach to the sauce. Stir to combine and serve.


Top with avocado, sesame seeds, nuts and share with someone you love! 

(Drink wine and eat bread with it if you’re feeling particularly naughty like I was.)




*I feel like a nut, but I’ve only JUST realised in all of my pasta eating years of life that this pasta is squished closed at one end to trap the sauce in. DID EVERYBODY KNOW THAT?! i thought I was just looking at faulty images online before I actually checked mah bag of pasta and was blown away!! 

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