21 April 2011

Adventures with yeast

I've been living life true to the name of this blog and have been very 'grandmotherly' lately. 

On Monday at work when I told people what I've been up to over the weekend, I was pleased to report that I'd done lots of baking and met up with my crochet group for some crafty time!

On Saturday I baked some Jam Scrolls using this recipe. They were fine, but for the amount of effort I put in I expected more out of them.  I think subbing the jam for a dried fruit mix and some brown sugar, and icing them with some coffee icing would improve them greatly. 

The dough after it had risen.

Adding the jam.  I used a combo of strawberry and raspberry.

Rolling up the dough.

Before baking.

Fresh from the oven.
On Sunday I made these hot cross buns.  Instead of using the exact measurements of fruit, I just subbed in the equivalent amount from a 'mixed fruit' package I had.  I brought them into work on Monday to share, and while everyone raved about them, I think they were a bit too dry.  A bit less time in the oven next time methinks.
The dough after it had risen.

The recipe said to 'punch' the dough, so I did!

Adding the crosses, they're really just made of glue!

Shiny buns.
I've been crocheting quite a bit too.  As soon as I take some pictures of my recent projects I'll put them up!!

13 April 2011

Minestrone Soup

So first off, I have followers!! Hi!! I never expected anyone would actually follow my little blog, but welcome!!

And now, to business...

Thank goodness for colder weather! YAAAAYYY!  I love winter.  There are so many things I love about winter, and one of them is SOUP, and in particular the presence of bacon bones in the supermarket which facilitates my soup-making prowess.

On Sunday I made some minestrone soup.  It is a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens' Fast Ed.  It's SO tasty.  Like, ridiculously tasty.  And there is very little prep.  Cut up a few veggies and bung it in the pot, and forget about it! 

Here is the recipe, with my alterations.  The recipe calls for heaps of fresh herbs, which I find way too expensive as I never end up using all that I buy. I've instead opted for dry.  Also, dont worry too much about quantities. I find I need to add a fair splash of water at the end because the flavour can be quite overpowering.

Serves 4-5.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
2 bay leaves (I add 3-4)
4 sprigs thyme (I use a good couple of pinches of dry thyme)
6 cloves garlic (I was lazy and used minced garlic from a jar)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1kg bacon bones
1 L chicken stock
1 cup ml red wine
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 tsp brown sugar
50g parmesan cheese
250 gr macaroni pasta
half a bunch of silverbeet
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp sage
2 tbsp garlic chives

Crusty bread stick to serve


Super easy.
  1. Put the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and garlic in a pot, sautee until onion is soft.
  2. Add tomato paste, cook off for 1 min.
  3. Add stock, tomatoes, wine, cheese, sugar and bones.  Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Add pasta, continue to cook until pasta is aldente.
  5. Add herbs and silverbeet, cook until silverbeet softens.
  6. Serve with bread!!