Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Salad Art: Carved Mushrooms

Sometimes you want to add a special little magic to a salad and nothing works better than a feature ingredient.  Over the next few weeks we'll be featuring a common salad piece that you can transform into a work of art!

Carved Mushrooms


  • Button Mushrooms

Use a small knife with a pointed tip to make slightly curved cuts from the centre of the cap to the edge, as you rotate around the circumference.

Dip the cap into lemon juice if serving raw in salads to prevent browning, or saute in butter and serve hot.

So simple!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wholemeal Scones

In the last of our scones special we have delicious Wholemeal Scones.  I love these coupled with a soft cheese or a nice quince jam...or both!

Wholemeal Scones


  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup white self-raising flour (sifted)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 cup full cream milk powder
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten

In a bow mix together first 5 ingredients.  Rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre, add combined honey, water and egg and mix to a soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.

Pat out dough to 2cm thickness.  Cut into rounds with 5cm cutter and place on a greased oven tray.  Brush tops lightly with milk.

Bake in 200 celsius oven for 12-15 minutes.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sesame Scones

I love scones with a little texture.  A nice addition to the classic scone mixture is sesame seeds which once tasted n the oven provide a delicious pop to the flavour of a classic scone!

Sesame Scones


  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup well-chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg beaten to blend (for glaze)
  • Sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 200 celsius.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until coarse mixture forms.

Make a well in centre of dry ingredients.  Add 2 eggs, honey, sesame oil and 1/3 cup buttermilk to well;  blend with fork.  Stir into dry ingredients, adding buttermilk to form sticky, but workable dough.

Gently pat dough into 1 inch-thick round on floured surface.  Cut dough into 10 wedges, cutting straight down with sharp, floured knife.  Brush each wedge lightly with glaze.  Place sesame seeds on plate.  Dip the glazed top of each wedge into the seeds.  Arrange sesame side up on a baking paper on a baking tray.  Bake until golden brown for 12 to 15 minutes.  Serve Hot.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Gluten Free Scones

Having more and more friends who have a gluten intolerance is making me learn many new recipes and inventing new ways for classics.  Good friend of mine made these litte gems for me one day and I was surprised at how delicious they tasted... I coupled mine with a dash of butter and honey - and was certainly reaching for a second, third and possible fourth serving!!

She published the recipe on her blog - from which I have taken this recipe and image below.

Gluten Free Scones

  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk (and maybe a bit extra)


Preheat the oven to 200C.  

Mix the flours, baking powder, xanthum gum and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture feels a bit like breadcrumbs. Pour in the milk all at once. Knead lightly. Add a little more milk if needed to form a light dough (coconut flour is very thirsty).

Press dough out and cut. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Apple-nut-cheese Scones

Scones come in such delicious varieties!  None more delicious than this lovely Apple-nut-cheese scone!

Apple-nut-cheese Scones


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 90g sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 30g butter, cut up
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 60g butter, melted

In a bowl combine sugar, nuts and cinnamon; set aside.

In a food processor combine flour, cheese and the butter pieces; process until mixure resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Add apple with machine running and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water, processing until scone dough is formed.

Shape dough into ball on lightly floured surface.  Divide into 18 equal pieces.  SHape each piece into a ball roll; roll into melted butter or margarine, then in sugar mixture.

Arrange in greased 23cm round baking tin.  Bake at 200 celsius until done (about 20-25 minutes).  Serve warm.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Plaited Herb Scone Loaf

Scones don't just come in little balls of dough... I love this savoury scone loaf recipe filled with delicious herbs.

Plaited Herb Scone Loaf


  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60g butter
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli paste (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Chopped fresh or dried mixed herbs to taste
  • Coarse salt for topping

Stir together flour, sugar and salt.  In a small saucepan, heat butter with garlic and chilli paste until butter melts.  Discard garlic.

Beat egg in measuring jug.  Stir in enough milk to measure 1 1/4 cups liquid.  Stir in chives and herbs.

Add garlic butter and milk mixture to flour; mix lightly until moistened.  Knead gently - a few strokes - on lightly floured surface.

Divide dough into 3 equals pieces.  Shape each into a rope, then plait togather into a loaf, folding ends under.

Place in a greased standard loaf tin (or 2 small bar tins).  Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.

Bake on a centre shelf at 200 celsius for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly in tin, turn out and cool completely on wire rack.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Country Scones

One of those foods that brings me instant happiness is scones.

It must be because as a treat mum would make scones every now and then - and the beautiful little buns pulled out of the warm oven was such a delightful treat.  I love mine with lashings of butter and honey.  I'll be posting a scones special over the next few weeks with all the different scone recipe variations.

Country Scones


  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 250g plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 75g butter
  • 250g sour cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, pour enough hot water over currants to cover; let stand for fine minutes.  Drain well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda.  Cit in butter until misture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in currants.

In a small bowl, blend sour cream and egg yolk.  Add all at once to crumb mixture, stirring just until dough clings together.

Knead dough gently on lightly floured surface for 10 to 12 strokes.  Pat or roll to a 23cm circle about 1cm thick.

Cut into 10cm circles with a round biscuit cutter.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Slice each circle completely through into quarters, but do not separate.  Brush with egg white.  Combne caster sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over surface of scones.

Bake in a preheated oven preheated to 215 celsius for 15 to 18mins or until light brown.  Cool for five minutes on wire wrack.  Break apart and serve warm.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

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