Tuesday, July 26, 2011

♥ beautiful morgans, beautiful baby shower snackies ♥

so we had our first lil babbas baby shower last weekend - 23 july 2011 - being the nut i am, i obviously went a little overboard when it came to the planning - what i did and didn't want... i pondered and schemed and then pondered some more and eventually came up with what i thought was the perfect baby shower menu.

but, when i first started planning - little did i know what it was also a rugby day and if it being a rugby day wasn't bad enough, the game had to be at noon! hubby and i decided to have a joint baby shower, so while he was busy planning lunch for everyone (a yummy lamb spit) my mom, my beautiful sis in law - tali - and gorgeous friend - cara - took on the task of preparing snacks for everyone!

♥ healthy vegetarian skewers ♥

♥ fruity skewers ♥

♥ teddy bear shaped sandwiches ♥
(apologies for the quality - photo taken with my phone)

♥ chocolate eclairs ♥

♥ carrot and cranberry cakes ♥

♥ apple tart ♥

♥ my moms famous tuna tarts ♥

♥ mini sausage rolls ♥

♥ neets fav - chocolate brownies ♥

♥ lemon meringue ♥

♥ a little candy buffet ♥

♥ tali's yummy scones ♥

♥ savoury muffins ♥

and then... no party is a real party without a stunning cake:
♥ morgans amazing baby shower cake ♥

please feel free to contact me should you need any baby shower assistance, i have loads of other options and would love to help you to make your day as perfect as ours!


Monday, July 25, 2011

♥ lemon meringue ♥

you'll unfortunately have to convert the ingredients in this one - will take a little longer, but sooooo worth it!

what you'll need...
♥1 can condensed milk
♥3 eggs separted
♥1/4 cup lemon juice
♥1 9 inch regular pie shell (storebought or home made)
♥1 teaspoon lemon zest
♥1/4 cup sugar
♥1 teaspoon vanilla

1. preheat oven to 375.

2. prick pie shell with fork on bottom and bake until light brown. remove from oven and let cool ten minutes.

what you'll do...
for the filling:
1. separate eggs, placing whites in clean,small mixing bowl.

2. in medium bowl, mix condensed milk, egg yellows, lemon juice, and zest, until well blended and thickened (just a few minutes should do it as lemon juice "cooks" custard.)

3. pour lemon mixture into pie shell.

for the meringue:

1. with mixer, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.

2. add sugar and vanilla and beat until nice shiny stiff peaks form.

3. spread meringue over pie with spatula, pressing lightly and lifting to make nice peaks.

♥ better than grammys milk tart ♥

what you'll need...
♥2 cups flour
♥1 egg
♥0.5 cup sugar
♥2 tsp baking powder
♥125g butter
♥pinch of salt

what you'll do...
1. cream butter and sugar well together and add the egg, before beating well.

2. add all other ingredients - making a stiff dough.

3. press into one or two round cake tins/pie dishes and bake at 180°C until light brown.

what you'll need...
♥4.5 cups milk
♥2.5 tbsp cornflour
♥1 cup sugar
♥3 eggs
♥pinch of salt
♥2.5 tbsp flour
♥1 tsp vanilla essence
♥a big spoon of butter

what you'll do...
1. bring milk to the boil.

2. beat eggs well and add sugar, flour, cornflour and salt.

3. mix well.

4. pour boiling milk into the mixture and stir well.

5. return to stove and stir well until mixture thickens.

6. add butter and vanilla essence and pour into cooked shell.

to decorate, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

♥ s'mores cupcakes ♥

this recipe makes 24. if you only have 1 muffin tin, halve the recipe.

what you'll need...
♥2 1/2 cups (360g) whole wheat pastry flour
♥1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
♥1/2 teaspoon baking soda
♥3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
♥1/2 cup (30g) oat bran
♥1/2 cup (30g) wheat germ
♥1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
♥1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons, or 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
♥3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
♥3/4 cup (200ml) honey
♥4 eggs
♥2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
♥1/2 cup (60g) sour cream
♥1 1/2 cups (340ml) milk
♥ganache (recipe follows)
♥marshmallowy frosting (recipe follows)
♥2 or three good quality chocolate bars, broken into 24 pieces

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 180C and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

2. in a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, germ, bran, and cinnamon.

3. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth, about a minute on medium speed. add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes more. with mixer on medium-low, add in honey. then incorporate the eggs, adding them in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. add in vanilla.

4. with mixer on low, add in a third of the flour mixer, followed by half of the milk and the sour cream. add in the next third of flour, the remaining milk, and finally the remainder of the flour mixture. mix until just combined. use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the mixture, being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

5. with an ice cream scooper, divide up the batter evenly among the paper liners. (use a scoop that holds 1/3 cup, which works perfectly.) tap pans on the counter to remove any bubbles.

6. bake at 180C, or until a toothpick inserted into the center ones comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. let cool in pans for at least ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack. let cool completely before decorating.

7. remove a bit of cake from the top of each cupcake with a melon baller, and using a piping bag or a teaspoon, fill with cooled ganache.

working quickly, use the ice cream scooper to top each with marshmallowy icing and use the back of a spoon to create little peaks all over the top. (if at any time the icing gets too dry and is no longer smoot whisk it up again in mixer until smooth.)

8. use a blow torch to toast the icing.

9. top each cupcake with a piece of chocolate bar.

for the ganache:
♥1 cup (240g) heavy cream
♥1 1/4 cups (212g) chocolate chips
♥1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

heat cream in a large glass container in the microwave until just boiling, about 60 seconds. pour in chocolate chips and vanilla and let sit for about 1-2 minutes. whisk until smooth. refrigerate for 10-20 minutes until almost cooled.

for the meringue:
♥2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
♥1 cup (250ml) water
♥8 egg whites
♥2 teaspoons of very good pure vanilla extract

1. combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until dissolved. bring to a boil without stirring, and continue to boil until the temperature reaches the firm ball stage, or 248 degrees.

2. while the sugar syrup comes to temperature, beat egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. with the mixer on low, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup.

3. gradually increase the speed to high, and whisk meringue until stiff and cool, about 7 minutes and whisk in the vanilla.

♥ chocolate fudge cake ♥

what you'll need...
♥200g plain chocolate, broken into chunks
♥200g butter
♥200g light brown muscovado sugar
♥100ml soured cream
♥2 eggs, beaten
♥200g self-raising flour
♥5 tbsp cocoa powder
♥1 can caramel

for the icing:
♥100g plain chocolate
♥170g can condensed milk
♥100g butter

what you'll do...

1. heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. line a 22 x 22cm square tin with baking paper. put the chocolate, butter and sugar into a large pan with 100ml hot water and gently melt together. set aside for 2 minutes, then stir in the soured cream followed by the eggs. finally, stir or whisk in the flour and cocoa until lump-free, then pour into the prepared tin. bake for 50 - 55 mins until a skewer comes out clean. sin the tin on a wire rack to cool.

2. meanwhile, make the icing. gently melt together icing ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, then chill or cool until spreadable.

3. to decorate, carefully turn out the cooled cake and peel of the baking parchment. spread the icing over the top and scatter with decorations, cut into triangles or fingers before serving.

per serving:
502 calories, 6g protein, 49g carbohydrates, 33g fat, 20g saturated fat, 1g fibre, 35g sugar & 0.66g salt


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

♥ nyummy chicken caesar salad ♥

what you'll need...
♥1 medium ciabatta loaf (or 4 thick slices crusty white bread)
♥3 tbls olive oil
♥2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
♥1 large cos or romaine lettuce, leaves seperated

for the dressing:
♥1 garlic clove
♥2 anchovies (from a tin is perfect)
♥medium block parmesan or grano padano cheese for grating and shaving (you won't use it all)
♥5 tbls mayonnaise
♥1 tbls white wine vinegar

what you'll do...
1. heat oven to 200C / fan 180C / gas 6. tear the bread into big, ragged croutons or, if you prefer, cut with a bread knife. spread over a large baking sheet or tray and sprinkle over over 2 tbls olive oil. rub the oil into the bread and season with a little salt if you like (sea salt crystals are best for this). bake 8 - 10 minutes, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so the brown easily.

2. rub chicken breasts with remaining oil and season. place pan over medium heat for 1 minute, until hot, but not smoking. lay the chicken on the pan (it will sizzle if it's hot enough) and leave for 4 minutes. turn the chicken, then cook for 4 minutes more. check if it's cooked by poking the tip of a sharp knife into the thickest part - there should be no sign of pink and juices will run clear. 

3. bash the garlic with the flat of a knife and peel off the skin. crush with a garlic crusher. mash the anchovies with a fork against the side of a small bowl. grate a handful of cheese and mix with the rest of the dressing ingredients. season to taste. it should be the consistency of yoghurt - if yours is thicker, stir in a few tsps water to thin it.

4. shave the cheese with a peeler. tear lettuce into large pieces and put in a large bowl. pull chicken into bite-size strips and scatter half over the leaves, along with half the croutons. add most of the dressing and toss with your fingers. scatter the rest of the chicken and croutons, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. sprinkle the parmesan on top and serve straight away.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

♥ best lasagna ever ♥

This recipe isn't as fast as the others but it is worth the wait! 

what you'll need...
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil 
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
1 (8 ounce) package part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
8 ounces lasagna noodles
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken

what you'll do...
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. 

2. In a large pot over medium heat saute spinach, cooked chicken, onion, oregano, basil and garlic in the olive oil. Pour in spaghetti sauce and water; simmer 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl mix cottage cheese, 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and egg. 

4. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan. Place 4 uncooked noodles on top of sauce and top with layer of sauce. Add 4 more noodles and layer with 1/2 sauce and 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles and repeat until all is layered, finishing with noodles and the rest of the mozzerella cheese. 

5. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 55 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.
Let sit 10 minutes before serving. 

Calories: 361 | Total Fat: 11.8g | Cholesterol: 51mg