31 March 2014

Just a spoonful o' sugar...

Cookies.  Biscuits.  Tasty morsels of awesomeness.  Call them what you will, but I think we're fairly universal in our love for them.  They pick you up when you're flagging mid-afternoon in the office; they make the sitting down and eating part of lunchtime at school fun; they're portable for those long car trips when virtually all parents have resorted to bribery at some time or another.  

I made some cinnamon and coconut anzac biscuits last week, which I've been thoroughly enjoying, but decided it was time to break out some more choc chips, for the younger members of our family.  Harry loves them with mini m&ms, so that's what I used, but any chocolate will do.  

125 g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar (or regular, or raw)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg 
1 3/4 cups SR flour (or same amount normal flour + 3 tsp baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup choc chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Grease or line baking trays.
  2. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla together until creamy (well, as creamy os brown sugar will go). Add egg and beat together. 
  3. Pour flour and salt in (sift it, if you can be bothered) and mix well.  Mix in choc chips. 
  4. Roll little balls of dough (about golfball size or a little smaller) onto tray and press to flatten slightly.  
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden.  
NB: Makes a good 40 biscuits - I make about 24, then freeze the rest of the dough, and then I've got enough dough in the freezer to whip up another dozen or so when we need them.  

SR = self-raising flour

01 March 2014


KB and I have always had a bit of a laugh about the prevalence of 'meat'-two-ways in restaurants.  Duck two ways, lamb two ways - it's a current trend, and one that eateries seem to have really latched onto as a way to give their menus a little bit of je ne sais quoi.  That's right, just throwing that in there, so I seem a little pretentious and trend-setting too.  

Anyhoo, tonight our little kitchen (big enough for two, not really for three) is giving up the teasing and jumping on the band wagon.  Salmon two ways...  

We have two pieces of salmon, both will be seared in the pan, then transferred to the oven to bake, until they're done to our liking (cooked all through, though if you prefer them still red in the centre, just take them out earlier).  

One has been brushed with a marinade (prior to going in the pan) - horseradish, tamarind chutney and peanut butter.  We had it last night on our stirfried chicken and it was so good we saved some for tonight.   

The other will be friend au naturel and then topped with a panko crumb before going into the oven.  The crumb is a personal preference thing, but ours has panko crumbs (obviously), grated parmasan, chopped capers, salt, pepper and freshly toasted sesame and sunflower seeds.  To toast the seeds (we toasted quite a few, so could save some in a jar for future use, they keep really well) just pour however many you want to toast into a pan and put on the stovetop - no oil.  I toast mine over a medium heat and it seems that nothing is happening for AGES.  But be patient - once they start browning they will cook really fast, so be on hand to move them round, to stop them burning.  

And that's about it - bake for about 15 minutes at 150 degrees (or more, or less, depending how you want your fish).  We're having them tonight with roasted mini new potatoes (the tiny tinys that came from the summer crop) and a fresh tomato, loads of fresh herbs, cucumber, red onion and apple salsa, drizzled with lemon juice (tastes great and stops the apple from browning, or from oxidising, if I'm being pretentious).  Bon appetit!