Monday, 31 August 2009

The Simple Woman's DayBook . . .

FOR TODAY, August 31st, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

It's a different kettle of fish this morning than it was a week ago, or even a day ago. It's very overcast and there is the definite feeling of autumn in the air, but then again, I've been feeling that for a week or so now. Oh summer . . . thou art so fleeting . . .

I am thinking...
About all the lovely talks given in Sacrament meeting yesterday, and not just because mine was one of them. They were all good and it was a different way to do a meeting and quite enjoyable. There were four speakers instead of the usual three and each talk was on a different hymn and given after we had sung the hymn. I had chosen "Master, The Tempest is Raging." I had a hard time picking one hymn, I love a lot of them so very much, but this one kept speaking to my heart each time I prayed about it and so I chose this one. I think it was a very topical subject right now with so many people having to endure the problems and troubles that they are today, with health problems, job problems, etc. On Saturday when I tested it out on Todd (Todd is always my talk guinea pig) I could hardly get through it before I began blubbering, but yesterday, thankfully, my blubbering didn't start until close to the end! Whew!

I am thankful for...
I am thankful all of your thoughts and prayers. I am feeling better this morning, so far, so, fingers crossed, that's a good sign! There has been a nasty bug going around so I've been told! I wonder if you could spare a few thoughts for our friend Bob. He's been battling cancer in his mouth and face and was not feeling very well yesterday, so was not at church. They keep operating to remove it and he has chemo, and it goes into remission, but then it comes back and it's more operations etc. He could really use all our prayers. Thank you so much!

From the kitchen...
There's a tasty pan dowdy sitting on the counter, that was fabulous. All will be revealed soon! There's also the last of the Applesauce cake that will either be eaten today or frozen. I have a few plans for this morning before I go to work, so we shall see what happens!

I am wearing...
Pink and White check pajamas, kind of like a pretty table cloth. There is lace trim around the bottoms of the legs and adorning the collar. They are quite loose on me and I had not worn them before, they are new. I remember falling in love with them, and then I kept them for good. I decided yesterday I better wear them or before too long I won't be able to . . . not that I'm complaining, coz I'm not!

I am creating...

I have finished all my comissions for now and it's back to doing what I love most and that is creating pictures from my imaginations and inspirations. I still have those dolls planned and really need to get busy with them. I bought the yarn for the hair, and have a vision in my mind, but that's as far as I have gotten!

I am going...
Well, Home Study Seminary starts up again this week, so I have a lesson to plan for Thursday evening and the Young Women's Mutual starts again as well. We are having a Pajama party. Sounds like fun, eh?

I am reading...

Life in the Scottish Coal Mines, or any coal mine, was a horrible existance for any human being. This book follows the journey of several families who made the move from this hopeless existance, to the city of Edinborough and on across the Atlantic Ocean to America, culminating in the long trek across the American Plains to find the "Promised Land" which lay in a valley between two mountains. It's a fascinating and riveting historical novel about some of the early Scottish pioneers in the LDS church and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I highly recommend, even if you aren't a member of the church. To think that people once had to live and work under those conditions in the coal mines is mind boggling. I'll never complain about any job I have to do again!

I am hoping...
That things are going well for a dear friend of mine and her family. They have been much in my prayers and thoughts and I have not heard anything. It is so hard when you are waiting on the promises of the Lord at times. It can really try your patience and your prayers. It is hard to keep in your minds that He is in control and that all will work out in His way and in His time. The trials and tribulations that we must go through here on earth, the refining process can be so very hard to endure, and it can be so difficult to hang on to our faith and to endure. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with them, and hopefully things will turn around soon.

I am hearing...
It's all very quiet except for the ticking of the clock, Jess's breathing and the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves in the garden. A typical autumnal morning . . . the children will be back to the village school at the bottom of our hill soon and their happy voices will be echoing up through the orchards, albeit not this early in the morning, but it will be a welcome and sweet sound just the same!

Around the house...
Not a lot has gone on this past week, except for the things that had to be done. Hopefully things will look up this coming week!

One of my favorite things...
Is collecting inspirational quotes, poems and stories. I have volumes of them. One of my favourite ones is called Apples of Gold. I just love it and I can find some inspiring thought, quote or scripture within it's pages to sooth my every mood or sorrow.

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Oh I do love the Proverbs . . .

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Work, painting and cooking, with a dash of Seminary and Mutual thrown in. I have a Seminary Faculty meeting on Saturday that I will have to jump onto the train to travel to. It's the first one of the year and so I am looking forward to going to it and seeing what will be shared with us all!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I found this the other day and just had to share it. What a wonderful life philosophy. I prefer to laugh as well. You just got to love that Majorie Pay Hinckley. What a treasure she was!

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book for today. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)

I made Todd a delicious Chicken Crumble for his tea on Saturday, which we had with some crispy baked potatoes. Yesterday we had the leftovers with some mash. This is one of our favourites and I hope it will become one of yours.

*Chicken Crumble*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a tasty little casserole I made up a number of years back when I had to take something to a potluck supper one night. It turned out really lovely and I've been making it ever since. We always really enjoy it.

1 small chicken, cut into pieces
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into quarters
1 stalk of celery, preferably with the leaves attached
sea salt to taste
a few black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup milk
chicken stock cubes
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups chicken stuffing crumbs, or herbed croutons, coarsely crushed
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Place your chicken pieces into a large pot and cover with water. Add the onion, carrot and celery, along with some sea salt, the bay leaf and a few black pepper corns. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for about an hour and a half, until the meat is very tender. Remove from the heat and scoop out the chicken pieces, reserving the broth and the vegetables.

Once it has cooled enough to handle remove all the meat from the chicken pieces, discarding any skin or bone. Cut into bite sized pieces and place in a 2 litre buttered casserole dish. Dice up the cooked carrot and add along with the frozen peas. Set aside while you make the gravy.

Remove about 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and place in a large saucepan. Place the milk and flour in a large jar and shake together until smooth. Strain into the chicken broth. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Taste and add a few crumbled chicken stock cubes if needed and season with some Salt and black pepper. Pour most of this over the chicken and vegetable mixture in the casserole dish, saving back about 1/2 cup. Mix together the crumbs and cranberries. Sprinkle this mixture over top of the chicken. Drizzle with the reserved gravy. Cover and bake in a 180*C/350*F oven for about 30 minutes, uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer. Serve hot with baked or mashed potatoes and a salad on the side. Delicious!

*Note* - This can also be made with leftover cooked chicken and gravy. Just place your chicken, gravy and some leftover veg in a buttered dish. Mix the crumbs and cranberries together and sprinkle on top, drizzling with a bit of gravy or stock before cooking. Proceed as in recipe above.

If you'd like to take a notion at what came afterwards . . . check it out HERE!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sunday morning musings . . .

I've not had a really wonderful week this week, healthwise. Nothing to really worry about, but it's been a week where I've felt extremely nauseous, and not all that well, and so I haven't been able to spend a lot of time sitting at the computer. If I normally visit your page and I have been rather scarece this past week, that would be why and I do apologize for it, but computer work has made me feel rather queasy. This seems to be on the wane though and so that is good, so look for more visits from me in the week ahead! (Just in time too, as I have to give a talk in church this morning!)

As some of you know, I used to journal on a page on AOL Journals, which I called Marie's Muses. That was my first "blogging" home and it was a lovely place to be. I made a lot of friends there and I was quite sad when they decided to shut it down. Thankfully a lot of the others migrated over here to Blogger, and so we've still been able to stay in touch, although there were a few that didn't make the move, sadly. We were able to migrate our old journals over to blogger and I did do that, although I have never made it public here. I prefer to keep it private. I do visit it from time to time and occasionally I re-post a piece on here. I've decided to do that for you this morning and I hope you enjoy it. It's all about Comfort food, and was one of my very earliest blogging pieces, so be gentle with me. I've come a really long way since then! (Incredibly, it's all about food!)

What is comfort food? It's a term I have heard bandied about for several years now. Wilkepedia describes it as thus: "The term comfort food refers to any food or drink to which one habitually turns for temporary respite, security, or special reward."

To me, comfort food is something that takes me back to a kinder, gentler time . . . something that takes me back to the bosom of my childhood home, the security of a loving family, a slower pace, and mom's apple pie. It's soothing and comforting, creamy and buttery, or luciously sweet . . . and sometimes savoury, depending on my mood. It's like the giant "Nooker" of adulthood. (family term . . . meaning pacifier) Simple pleasures . . .

As consumers, we've gone from coveting food from abroad, to coveting food from the local farmer. Today, in the culinary world, the phrase "locally grown" has as high a standing on menus as fancy ingredients like foie gras and truffles. We want artisanal food, not corporate ingredients . . . We want meat that is organic and grass-fed, not stockyard raised and bio-engineered. In some ways, we've come to a point where the quality of the ingredients is more important than any fussing done with them. There is on the one hand . . . a desire to return to the satisfying, family-based meals of our past; and on the other hand, the desire to eat healthy, family-farm-based ingredients.

We want to go back to a time when life was not so complicated . . . or, at least, when we look at it from the distance of time . . . it was one that seemed much simpler. One of the few ways most of us can get there together . . . is through our food, and it can be as diverse as our culture enables it to be.

To someone from Japan . . . it could be dashi, tempura or soba noodles . . . an Italian might long for penne, panzanella salad and chicken cacciatore . . . an East Indian, Dal or curd rice. For me, it's more likely to be Meatloaf and Mashed potatoes or Chocolate Chip Cookies. Whatever your culture or background one thing is for sure . . . comfort food is food that when eaten soothes the soul and makes what seems wrong with our own little worlds . . . suddenly alright . . . and that can't be bad.

What are your favourite comfort foods? I'd surely love to hear about them! In the meantime, here is one of mine. When I was a kid and Swiss Steak was on the menu, it was a great day! We all loved it back then, and we still do.

*Swiss Steak*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

This was one of our favourite meals when I was growing up, and again when I was bringing up my own family. My kids still request it when I have the opportunity to cook for them. This goes great with mounds of freshly mashed potatoes made with lots of butter and hot milk.

1 1/2 pounds of beef rump steak, cut into serving size pieces
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 large spanish type onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups canned chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Season the pieces of steak with salt and pepper and pound the flour into them with the side of a bread plate, pounding on both sides and pounding until no more flour can be absorbed. This step is what makes the meat meltingly tender.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and brown the pieces of steak on both sides, removing as done to a plate. Once all the steak is browned, sauté the onions in the drippings along with the garlic.

Return the steak to the skillet along with the tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce . Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered, for about an hour and a half, to two hours, until the steak is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened.

*Note* The above recipe is by no means rigid . . . add your own twist to it . . . perhaps a dash of balsamic vinegar, or a squirt of tomato catsup or brown sauce. I sometimes add a dash of horseradish, and some sliced peppers, or even some North American Chili sauce. That's what makes comfort food comfort food . . . it is an indelible print of our souls . . .

More tasty food coming up in the week ahead, like my own Chicken cobbler and a few other surprises. In the meantime, why not pop on over to The English Kitchen to see what we had for breakfast yesterday. It was truly delightful, and I enjoyed every mouthful!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Got a minute to spare?

I was out walking one day and I happened to run into a friend that I had not seen in quite some time. The day was somewhat gloomy and the clouds threatened to burst and drench us with rain at any moment. Immediately, as I saw her, her face broke out into a smile as she greeted me with these cheery words," Hello, I was thinking about you this morning!" Suddenly, it didn't quite seem to matter that rain was threatening, and the day didn't seem to appear so gloomy anymore . . .

I felt all warm and rosy inside. Someone had been thinking about . . . me.

As usual, things like this get me to thinking. There's no such thing as a co-incidence you know, only "God-incidence." Everything happens for a reason and a purpose. The thought came into my mind . . . "Wouldn't it be nice if we could all stop for a minute once a day, and use that minute to think about someone else, instead of focusing on ourselves and our own lives???"

It only takes a minute . . . sixty seconds . . . not long. But if we all did this, there's no telling what we could achieve. We've all got 24 hours in a day. That's one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes. Surely we can, each one of us, spare just one single minute to think peaceful, loving, kind thoughts of another . . .

This is my challenge for you today. Do you think you're up to it? I think you can do it! One minute for others! There, that didn't hurt a bit, did it?

I'm a person that doesn't believe in waste, especially in the kitchen. Recent statistics have shown that, as a nation, we, here in the UK, waste an outrageous 6.7 million tons of food every year. That's 6.7 million tons of food that could be eaten. If we all stopped wasting food that could have been eaten, the impact on our carbon footprint would be massive. Not only that, but think of the money we would save . . .

Here's one tasty way you can use up the last bits of that Sunday roast and those leftover vegetables.

*Leftover Meat Casserole*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

This is a most delicious way to use up all those leftovers from your Sunday Lunch. It's an old fashioned recipe that I have had kicking around in my big blue binder for a great many years. It's really good, very quick and easy to put together and uses up all the little bits you may have leftover. It comes from a day and age when nothing went to waste. It's an oldie but a goodie!

2 cups cooked lamb, pork, beef or chicken, cut into smallish bits
1 cup diced celery
1 large onion, peeled and minced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups of lefotver cooked vegetables, diced
1 tin of campbells condensed cream of tomato soup, undiluted
1 tin of campbells condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3 cups cooked egg noodles
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup of meat stock (the kind depends on what type of meat you are using)
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease a casserole dish and set aside.

Put the onions, celery and garlic into a microwave safe bowl, along with 1 TBS of water. Cover with cling film. Pierce the top in a few places and then microwave it for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until they are crispy tender. Remove from the microwave and dump into a large bowl. Add the chopped meat and give it a stir.

Place the meat/onion mixture, vegetables and noodles together in layers in the prepared casserole dish, ending with noodles on top and seasoning each layer slightly with some salt and pepper.

Blend the soups and meat stock and pour this over top of the whole mixture. Combine the grated cheese and breadcrumbs and spinkle this mixture evenly over top of the casserole. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until nicely bubbling and lightly browned on top. Delicious!

Note - this also freezes very well. I break it down into smaller amounts. I end up with three small two person sized casseroles, one we eat on the day and two go into the freezer to have on hand in case of emergencies!

If you are looking for a tasty way to get rid of some of that ginormous cauliflower your gardening neighbour gave you, look no further than this. Cauliflower Cheese Fritters. Need I say more? Check them out NOW!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Meant to be shared . . .

We share our happiness with each other . . .
and it becomes greater.
We share our troubles with each other . . .
and they become smaller.
we share one another's griefs and burdens . . .
and they become possible to bear.
~author unknown

One of the very first things in life my mother taught me was, "How to share." I learned very early on in life that you have to share your toys with others, your candies, your cookies, etc. . . . Life, is . . . all about sharing.

Sharing is all about making life richer, fuller, and more filled with joy. It's a good lesson to learn. After all, what good is it to have all the toys . . . if you have nobody to play with?? A gorgeously decadent cake, only tastes all the better if you have a friend to share the oohs and ahhs with. Not so easy to understand as a child, but as an adult I have come to understand the wisdom of my mother's many lessons she taught me, not the least of which was to share . . .

I have been a sharer all my life. It is a custom that has brought many blessings into my life, which, in turn, I have also loved to share with others if I can. What an empty life I would have led had I not been taught this particular lesson. Being able to share has brought many good friends and loves into my life and indeed, the simple act of sharing and generosity with them had deepened our friendships and relationships, making them stronger and even more beautiful than ever . . .

Sharing not only means being able to share the good things with others. How much worse my troubles in life would have been, had I tucked them into my heart and not allowed myself to share them with others, thereby benefitting from their shared wisdom and advice. How much worse they could have been, had I not been able to get down on my knees and share them with my Saviour and Master in prayer, and then listen to His still small voice to help guide me through them . . .

When I have been sad or felt bereaved, how wonderful it has been to be able to reach out to others in my grief, partaking in the love of one who is willing to share that grief and burden with me, and indeed to help to carry me through it if they can . . .

There is an old saying that "Misery love company." I would go one further and say, "So does joy." A joy kept greedily to oneself, ends up feeling not like joy at all. What good is a kiss or a hug . . . without someone to share them with, and, a joke, a story or a laugh??? All the better for having been able to share them with another . . . pretty empty and hollow without.

I share with all of you on here each morning, and in that process, I have made some very beautiful friendships and acquaintances, and even though many of them are "invisible" connections, they are made all the more beautiful and tangible through the act of sharing . . . in some ways turning these invisible connections into something very precious to me, and if you, too, are a blogger, I am sure you know exactly what I mean.

Yes, sharing pays off in big dividends . . . most of them far more valuable than the item shared in the first place. In sharing of yourself and your bounty with others, you are able to help others and in doing so, blessed many times over in return. I reckon it's probably one of the best lessons my mother taught me. Life was just meant for sharing . . . it's quite simply . . . a good thing.

This is an old recipe from my old Muses pages that I wanted to move over into my data base here on Blogger. It is easily one of our favourites and I hope will become one of yours.

*Pineapple Pork Chops*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I can't think of anyone that wouldn't love a juicy tender pork chop that's been marinated in a delicious marinade and then baked in a tender crumb coating and topped off with a juicy pineapple ring! Can you? (plan ahead as these need to marinate for at least 4 hours)

4 thick slices of pineapple
2 TBS juice from the pineapple
2 TBS dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 bonless pork loin chops
1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 TBS liquid honey

Prick the porkchops all over and then pop them into a nonreactive container with a lid. Whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, powdered ginger, and 1/2 tsp of the garlic powder. Pour this over the chops, making sure they are all well coated with it. Pop on a lid and put them in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Place the breadcrumbs into a shallow dish, mixing them together with the salt, pepper, paprika and the 1/4 tsp of garlic powder. Remove the chops from the marinade and dredge them completely in the crumb mixture, coating them well on all side and patting them to make sure the crumbs adhere well. Place them in a single layer in the baking dish.

Bake them in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Remove them from the oven and carefully flip them over. Top each one with a pineapple ring, and drizzle them with the honey evenly. Bake them for another 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned and the juices run clear when pricked with a fork.

Serve hot to four of your favourite people!

If you'd like a tasty and easy dessert to go along with those chops, look no further. You can find a delicious one right HERE.

Also to those of you who asked, my delicious Tartar Sauce Recipe can be found here, along with a tasty recipe for battered fish.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

God's Eldest Daughter . . .

One of the things that Todd and I really love to do is to go and visit great buildings and gardens . . . cathredrals, mansions, castles . . .

We pay for a National Trust membership each year so that we can do just that. There is something very peaceful about walking about a great garden, amidst the flora and sound of bees buzzing . . . and we have visited these places all over England, each one magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful.

The homes filled with fine furnishings and magnificent artifacts . . . the architecture of each of them, grand and unusual in many cases . . . the rooms filled with stunning artwork, tapsestries and treasures . . .

But you know what impresses us the most about these fine homes, buildings and castles???

It's not all the finery that we might be priveledged to witness . . . or even the beauty of the gardens . . .

It's something so simple that many people might completely overlook it, but stunning in all of it's own glory. It's the way the sun shines through the windows, throwing it's great golden rays across the floors and walls and setting of the treasures inside in just the most wonderful way . . .

The great American poet Robert Frost described light as "God's eldest daughter" and praised it as one of the principle beauties of any great building . . . or even lesser buildings.

When I see the light shining through my humble kitchen window across my kitchen table . . . it is impossible not to think about and feel the presence of God . . .

All any man has to do, is to provide the windows for the light to shine through . . . then, He does the rest. It's simple, it's pure, it's beautiful . . .

I made us some delicious tuna patties for our dinner the other day. Simple and satisfying, they went together really quickly and they were a real treat with a tossed salad and some simple potato salad on the side. It was one of those nights when the air was too still and stifling to want to cook much of anything and these were just perfect. I made some of my homemade tartar sauce to serve on the side, but I've seen my kids eat these with just some catsup and be very happy indeed.

*Tuna Patties*
Makes 6
Printable Recipe

We just love these. They make a nice and quick supper. You can serve them with salad, or with potatoes, or (my favourite) macaroni and cheese. I like to serve my own homemade tartar sauce with them, but they also taste good with ketchup or chutney. They really are a very versatile main dish and very easy and quick to put together. I've never met anyone that didn't like them.

1 225g-jar of albacore tuna, in brine or oil, drained well and then flaked with a fork
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs, white or brown (your choice)
1 large egg, beaten
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp dill weed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
dash of tabasco sauce
Oil for frying

Combine the flaked tuna, bread crumbs, spring onions, mayonnaise, dill weed, beaten egg, salt, pepper and tabasco sauce in a bowl. Mash all together well with a fork, mixing together thoroughly.

Heat a larger skillet over medium high heat. Add enough oil just to cover the bottom of the pan. Once oil is hot, shape the tuna mixture into patties with your hands, flattening them. Cook in the hot oil, until golden brown on each side. Serve hot.

If you're looking for a light supper of a different kettle of fish, then why not make yourself some of my scrummy blueberry and granola buttermilk pancakes? Hop on over to The English Kitchen to find out how!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Sometimes I fall down . . .

"Train your minds and your hands that you may be equipped to serve well in the society of which you are a part. Cultivate the art of being kind, of being thoughtful, of being helpful. Refine within you the quality of mercy, which comes as a part of the divine attributes you have inherited."
~President Gordon B Hinckley

I try to be as good and as kind a person that I can be, most of the time. Sometimes I do very well at it. Sometimes though, I fall . . .

Yesterday I made an unkind comment about an aquaintance to another, and immediately, as soon as I had spoken the words, my conscience pricked me, and I felt bad. I felt as if I was letting someone down, as if I had been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I just knew, as soon as the words left my lip, that I had spoken in a way that was not befitting the daughter of a king.

How many times has my father had to forgive me for things that I have done or things that I could, and should have done better . . . How can I be so judgemental of another when they are, just like me, trying their hardest to do their best in a world that is not all that easy to cope with, and with all the failings and shortcomings we, as humans, have to deal with every day . . .

I have always tried to keep to the line of thinking that most people do the very best that they know how to do according to their experience . . . and that, when they know better, they inevitably do better.

I owe someone an apology. Not the person I spoke about . . . they don't know what I said . . . but to the person I said it to. I was trying to be funny, but, in retrospect, it wasn't all that funny after all, and it was very unkind . . . I've really let myself down there . . . but worse than that . . . I've disappointed my Heavenly Father . . .

Just goes to show, I have a long ways to go yet, before I am refined . . . but I'm getting closer. Thank goodness for repentance . . . and thank goodness for forgiveness . . . where would we be without it?

Speaking of mistakes . . .

I started off to make these yeasty sweet rolls one day at the weekend, but all I ended up with was a soupy, yeasty mass. I am not sure how that happened. Perhaps it was because I tried to take the easy way out and do the dough in the bread machine. Me and yeast doughs do not get along. At any rate, I ended up with a bowl full of filling and nothing to fill it with . . . and then I had a quick rethink and thought why not . . . We love cinnamon rolls done this way, why not these???

I was inspired. These are incredibly moreish. I love it when a mistake turns into something delicious! I bet you can't eat just one!

*Quick Cardamom Lime Sweet Rolls*
Makes one dozen
Printable Recipe

Imagine a flakey biscuit, rolled up and filled with a tasty, spicy filling of brown sugar, lime zest and cardamom. Sliced and baked and then drizzled with a delicious lime sugar glaze, these are incredibly moreish.

For the Dough:
2 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS milk
For the filling:
1/2 cup packed soft light brown sugar
the grated zest of one lime
3/4 tsp of ground cardamom
Softened butter
For the Glaze:
3 TBS fresh lime juice
1 cup sifted icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 2o5*C/425*D. Butter a 13 by 9 inch baking pan well. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Cut in the vegetable shortening with two round bladed knives or a pastry blender, until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk and mix together with a fork to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead several turns. Pat out into 8 by 12 inch rectangle. Spread generously with softened butter.

Mix together the brown sugar. lime zest and cardamom. Sprinkle this evenly over top of the softened butter, patting it down lightly to adhere. Roll up from the long side as tightly as you can, as if for a jelly roll. (Swiss roll) Seal along the long edge by dampening with some milk and pinching together. Cut into 12 one inch wide slices. Place in the buttered baking dish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until nicely browned.

Stir together the lime juice and icing sugar until smooth. Drizzle this mixture over top of the warm rolls. Serve warm. Delicious!

If you are looking for a delicously different way to serve fish, check out The English Kitchen. I share an incredibly tasty recipe for Haddock with an amazing salsa verde.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Not quite Tuesdays With Dorie . . .

Okay, I have a confession . . . I've been a really bad puddy tat. Today is Tuesday, and we all know that most weeks I bake with a tasty baking group on Tuesdays, the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. (I know I have been really slack this summer but I really thought I had gotten back into the swing of things last week!)

I've been oh so bad though. Each week, as a group, we each bake one tasty recipe from the tastiest baking book around, "Baking, from my home to yours," by the fabulous Dorie Greenspan. I have all of her cookbooks and I love them all, but this book is my absolute favourite and I just love belonging to this baking group as it gets me off my behind and baking from this lovely book. Most of my cookery books are lovely to look at, but I have so many that I rarely ever use any more than a couple recipes from out of each book. I am trying hard this year to make more of an effort to use more of them . . . um . . . more often!

This week Linda of Tender Crumb decided on Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie on pages 337-339. I really wanted to bake it, I really did. I love, Love, LOVE lime and this sounded so delicious, but time just got away from me, so my apologies to Linda for having given it a miss and my apologies to the group. I will get to it at some point, just not today . . . In the meantime though, you can go and check out the blog roll and see what all the other bakers came up with. I'm sure there will be some fabulous creations on tap!

Next week Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell has chosen Espresso Cheesecake Brownies, pages 104 and 105. I might give them a miss though, and do the pie from this week. Espresso and I do not get along at all.

I know that this is not much of a post this morning, but I'm actually setting it up on Monday afternoon, as I have to work quite late tonight and won't be awake when I normally post. Hopefully I will be in bed recovering and sleeping zzzzz . . .

In the meantime, here's a tasty recipe that I think you all will enjoy. It's been a family favourite for years. Last week I was sent a huge cabbage in my veg box and this is just one of the things I was able to make with it! Very tasty!

*Creamed Cabbage*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

This is a good old fashioned dish that we really love. I love cabbage in any way shape or form, but when you combine it with a delicious creamy sauce and cover it with buttered cracker crumbs, I just think it's the best! I could eat a big plate of this and nothing else, and in fact I just may have the leftovers for my supper tonight!

2 cups cold cooked cabbage, chopped
1 TBS butter
2 TBS plain flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
cracker crumbs
2 TBS butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Whisk in the hot milk, whisking continuously, and cooking until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place the cabbage in a buttered shallow casserole dish. Pour the cream sauce over top, covering it completely. Mix the cracker crumbs together with the melted butter and sprinkle on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the heated oven, until bubbling and nicely browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Okay, so I know cabbage is not really all that exciting, as delicious as it is . . . but these tasty little Melting Middle Chocolate Fondant Cakes are. Hop on over to The English Kitchen and check them out, and take heart, I'll be back tommorrow with the most delicious sweet rolls you have ever had the chance to oggle!