Spring has been very drab this year. Cool and damp, with the odd warm-ish day in between. So it was a bit of a shock when Sunday turned blisteringly hot and dry and still. With girls giggling indoors with curtains closed – apparently rehearsing for a school talent show, and boys out in the backyard with a soccer ball (of course) getting sweaty and smelly, I decided that the parents sweltering on the back porch needed something to reward our parental patience and sooth our boiling insides.
This treat is quick, easy, healthy, and wonderfully refreshing.
- 5 ice cubes
- 1 c apricot nectar
- 2 c frozen raspberries
- 1 T icing sugar (optional – see how sweet your raspberries are…)
- raspberries to serve
Drop ice cubes into blender running at top speed. Once crushed add raspberries, nectar and sugar. Once blended, poor into serving cups and top with raspberries. Enjoy!
Idea adapted from “Family Circle”, Christmas 2008, p108.
I rarely have people over for dinner mid-week. It is just so hard to get a meal going, and then get the kids into bed in anything resembling a decent hour, that it’s all too hard. However, when I do go for the mid-week option, I look for impressive + easy. This is where options like store-bought puff pastry come in very handy.
These pastries make a wonderful crunchy, sweet/savoury appetiser.
- 5 sheets puff pastry
- 1/2 small blue pumpkin (or butternut squash)
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 200g marinated feta
- 200g ricotta
- handful continental parsley
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays. Oil additional baking tray. Grate or crush garlic and spread over the oiled tray. Chop pumpkin into large even chunks (you can leave the skin on at this point), and lay on baking tray in a single layer. Bake until just getting soft – flipping over periodically to coat in the garlic and oil. Once cool enough ot handle, cut skin off the pumpkin and chop into smaller pieces.
While pumpkin is cooking, separate the pastry sheets to defrost. Chop tomatoes into quarters, chop feta into small pieces, and finely chop the parsley.
Cut each piece of pastry into 4 squares. Prick the pastry with a fork. Place a teaspoon of ricotta in the middle of each pastry piece. Create small mounds over the ricotta with the pumpkin, feta, tomatoes and parsley, leaving a border around the mound. Brush the borders of each pastry with the egg and place on baking trays.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve immediately.
November is fete time at our school. Our fete is an annual event, and is a major source of the funds the P&C earns each year. It is HUGE! And of course no fete is complete without the ubiquitous cake stall. There is always a scramble at the first fete meeting to claim the cake stall for one’s class. Almost no prepration is required, and the whole school community contributes its baking efforts on the day!
I wasn’t so lucky this year, so my contribution had to be quick and easy to make, but pretty enough to sell well. Shortbread is the perfect option! These cookies have the most wonderful texture, along with a delicious buttery taste.
- 250g butter, softened
- 3/4 c icing sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 c plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 c cornflour
- 2 T icing sugar extra
Pre-heat oven to 160C. Cream butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add the flours, 1 cup at a time. Mix until a soft dough is formed.
Refridgerate for 15-20 minutes. Gently roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to the desired thickness. I like mine to be about 3/4cm. Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut into shapes.
Bake on lined cookie sheets for 12-15 minutes or until a hint of colour starts to appear. Sprinkle with extra icing sugar immediately. Leave to cool on cookie sheets.
I am very excited that I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award!
Thank you to http://createengwp.wordpress.com for nominating me (and check out the recipe for Red Bean Paste Pancakes – http://createengwp.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/red-bean-paste-pancake-recipe/ – they look SO good!).
Part of this award requires me to answer some questions about myself, so here goes…
1. Who is your favourite philosopher?
I don’t have one.
2. What is your favourite number?
3. What is your favourite animal?
My son asks me this question every day, and every day my answer is different. Today I am thinking tiger.
4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?
Baking Bohemian and @BakingBohemian
5. What is your favourite time of day?
Late afternoon / dusk.
6. What is your favourite physical activity?
7. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?
8. What is your favourite flower?
Another one that might change from day to day. Thinking right now about gerberas and tulips, and all those gorgeous jacaranda blooms enveloping my back porch.
9. What is your passion?
So many passions: family, cooking, reading, writing, gardening, music, craft, and suddenly, watching lots of soccer.
I also get to nominate other blogs for the Sunshine Award. Here is my list (in no particular order):
I should probably be posting salad recipes right after Halloween, but these cookies really need to be shared! And of course there is no such thing as too much chocolate is there?
These are our latest house favourite. So rich and intense! The good thing is, they are rich enough that you only need one or two to feel sated.
The key to success is high quality chocolate.
- 400 g good quality dark chocolate
- 125 g butter, chopped
- 1 T dried espresso coffee grounds
- 1 3/4 caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 c plain flour
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1/8 t salt
- 1 1/2 c dark chocolate chips (optional)
Heat chocolate, butter and coffee in a saucepan over a low heat until melted and smooth. Use a metal spoon to stir. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Beat sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed until thick and pale. Add chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients over the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. The dough is very soft so it is important that you keep the dough refridgerated between batches.
Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Drop heaped teaspoons of mixture onto prepared trays, allowing room for spreading. Bake 1 tray at a time for 10-12 minutes or until cookie tops are set. Stand on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to complete cooling.
Adapted from “Family Circle“, December 2008, p75