A Month of Baking

There must’ve be something in the water this past month because I was hit hard with the baking bug, searching my Pinterest food board for yummy recipes to try. I used to be hesitant to try things from Pinterest – I think most of us pin things to our boards with all the intentions but never get around to baking/making/doing/reading etc. Or is that just me?

This post is a quick snapshot of my month of baking with reference to all the delicious recipes. Maybe you might like to try some yourself?

I’ve gone back to my Instagram feed to find out what I made first (let’s face it, most things get shared on IG) and the first thing I baked were these Orange, Lemon and Lime Citrus Cookies.  As you know, winter is all about the citrus (although it seems totally odd to me that citrus is not a summer thing?) and I have some girlfriends with bountiful lemon trees that were only too happy to share their growings with me. These cookies were so good, always best straight from the oven. On this day, I also made some scones and a Lime Coconut Cake from a recipe that I found from the Taste website. This is the second time I’ve made this cake – this time I added a cream cheese frosting – but I still didn’t like it. It seemed a bit heavy and dry. Am I doing something wrong? Do you bake with limes? Can you give me any advice?

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Scones, Lime Coconut Cake and Lemon, Orange and Lime Citrus Cookies

These Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies were delicious! I’ve never made a glaze before but it’s so super easy. I shared these with friends and they seemed to like them too.

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Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies

I then went a bit loopy for muffins – a trio in fact. I wrote about it here. I made Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, Double Chocolate Muffins and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. All were delicious and very handy for lunchboxes for the kids. I shipped some off to my parents’ too for their morning tea.

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(L-R): Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, Double Chocolate Muffins, Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I didn’t “bake” this Korma Curry Paste but I did make it from scratch courtesy of Jamie Oliver and to say I’m a bit chuffed is an understatement. The best thing of all is that I finally used my mortar and pestle! Now that I’ve made this curry paste I can’t see me using the jar stuff anymore, as yummy as it is. This is a solid fave in our house now.

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Jamie Oliver’s Korma Curry Paste

Last week after school I whipped up these Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Girl Who Ate Everything (although mine weren’t big and fat, they were chewy and delicious!) I also made these Coconut and Oatmeal Cookies which were a hit, even for my fussy son. Winning!

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Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

And to round off the month, I finished it with baking a Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownie, fit for afternoon tea with friends. I didn’t have any chocolate chunks so I added some milk and white choc chips instead to the recipe. I also made a chocolate icing for the top but this recipe doesn’t really need it as it’s a bit sweet. Sugar overload!

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Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownie

So there you have it. A month of cooking and baking and eating and sharing yummy, delicious treats. Let me know how you go if you choose to bake anything that I’ve baked.

Aimee x

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A Trio of Muffins

  

Today I went a bit nuts in the kitchen and made muffins. Three different flavours: Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins; Double Chocolate Muffins and Orange Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. For once I had all the ingredients without having to ask the neighbours so I was good to go.

I sourced the recipes from my “Food” Pinterest board. The most difficult thing about Pinterest recipes is that a lot of them are American-based which makes it a bit tricky to convert the measurements. A Google search will help you with that though. www.allrecipes.com.au is a good Australian conversion website but there’s heaps of others too. If all else fails, have a foodie friend on standby (thanks Reannon).

Here is what I’ve made today and the links to the recipes:

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

  
Double Chocolate Muffins

I didn’t have any chocolate as described in the recipe so I substituted it for choc chips.

  
Orange Lemon Poppyseed Muffins 

So I did have to ask my bestie who lives two houses down for some butter as I’d ran out. These muffins are sublime. Perfect for using up some oranges and lemons that I had leftover. I do love citrus season. 

  
So there you have it. A very successful afternoon in the kitchen. Why not whip up a batch yourself. 

Happy baking …

Aimee x

I Quit Sugar – Week One

Well I’m still here and I haven’t murdered anyone so that’s a good thing.
 
Week One without sugar included a busy long weekend and I managed to get through it with minimal sugar intake. I also made a couple of recipes from the I Quit Sugar book.
First was the Coco-Nutty Granola which is so yum! It’s a fave of the hubby’s too. He’s doing this with me and he’s dropping weight like nobody’s business. Let’s not talk about that. Back to the Granola. I made a big batch of it and added rolled oats to bulk it up a bit. I put some in a small container to take with me when I go out and it’s also nice with a bit of milk for breakfast. Here’s the recipe link from Pinterest:  https://iquitsugar.com/recipe/coco-nutty-granola/
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I also made some Broccoli Pesto. It’s quite yummy – a tad garlicky so I’ll tone that down for next time. It’s nice with crackers and tonight I’m going to run it through some pasta. Yum!
On the scales it shows I’ve dropped a kilo so that’s nice however, with me and my hormones, who the hell knows. My weight goes up and down like an elevator! I try not to pay attention to that square thing in my bathroom that tells me the truth. Who needs it!
I haven’t craved sugar at all. I’ve had no headaches. I’ve gone cold turkey and cut out all sugar from my tea and coffee. I’ve always been one to add a teaspoon of sugar and thought I would struggle with this but I haven’t even noticed it.
So all in all Week One has been good. I will say though that I’m not going hardcore with this. No punishments will be handed out if I have some sweetness here and there. This is for me and me alone. Like I said from the start, I have been majorly overdosing on sugar for a very long time and I’m done. I’m over it. I feel crap. I need to do something and this is what I’ve chosen to do. How can it not be good for me?
Until next time …
Aimee x

I Quit Sugar

Today I bought this book. 

It has gotten to the stage where I have totally lost my way so an 8-week sugar detox couldn’t hurt, right? Time to take charge of myself and my body, my health and my lifestyle choices. Time to eliminate the shit that’s bringing me down.
Week One isn’t too strict – the trick is to not go hard-core cold turkey but eliminate sugar at a steady pace without wanting to rip another’s throat out! Plus, looking through this book (which is awesome by the way) I will need to head to the supermarket to buy a shitload of ingredients. 
I’m going to blog about this venture week by week and let you all know how I’m going. If for nothing else, this process stops me eating the whole block of chocolate in one sitting, then I’ll be happy. 
Until next time …
Aimee x

Every Which Way But Scrambled

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Tonight I thought for dinner we’d have an easy option: fried egg and bacon rolls – a fave of my son’s. I don’t like eggs. I’ll eat them in a cake but not on toast if you know what I mean.

My daughter doesn’t want fried eggs tonight. She wants boiled eggs mashed into a sandwich. And so here’s the question: Are you a mum that makes different meals for your kids?

I must confess that I am one of those mums. And I NEVER thought I would be. My friend Hayley would be yelling at me right now saying “they eat what you cook or they don’t eat”, which is how she rolls and that’s perfectly fine. However, I was a very fussy child and am a somewhat fussy adult (don’t get me started on dirty old tomatoes!) so I kind of make exceptions for them.

As a child of the 80s I grew up with the mentality of “eat your dinner or you’ll eat it for breakfast” (this was threatened to me by my mum a few times but I don’t remember ever having to). I remember the anxiety I felt at dinner time about what was going to be put in front of me. The question of “what’s for dinner?” and finding clever ways to hide my peas under my plate. My mum was not a bad cook at all. I was just a big fusspot. Poor Ma.

So because of this, and because I grew out of my fussiness, I make allowances for the kids. My son is worse than my daughter and I do get them both to try things before saying they don’t like it. Although, it is frustrating when I’ve cooked a nice meal and he’ll have Weetbix or toast for tea.

What do you do in these situations? Are you a hard arse mum that only cooks one meal and too bad if they don’t eat it? Or do you accommodate the fussiness of your children?

#nojudgment

Aimee x

The Best Cheese Sauce This Side of Texas

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I’ll tell you something for free. Are you sitting down? Here goes: I make the best cheese sauce this side of Texas.

Well, according to me that is.

My cheese sauce is the one thing that I can ace everytime. Every. Time. (Note: now that I’ve said this out loud, I’m going to stuff it up the next time I make it). I know a lot of people can make cheese sauce without error but I also know that some people can’t make it. They get lumps (🎶my lumps, my lumps, my lumps🎶. Sorry, I got off track there). Or it’s too runny. Or not cheesy enough. So it can be a little difficult to make.

If you’re here for a recipe … well okay, here it is:

(Disclaimer: Now I’m not a chef which means I’m not an expert but I have made this heaps so i believe I can share it with you and you should be able to ace it too).

2-3 tbspns Butter
3 tbspns Flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
(I don’t measure my ingredients. This is a guesstimate of what you’ll need)

1. Melt butter in a saucepan
2. Take it off the stove and, with a whisk, stir in flour, salt and pepper.
3. Gradually add milk to flour mixture so as not to get lumps.
4. Add cheese
5. Return to heat and stir continuously until it thickens.

Like I said, it’s very simple so give it a go next time you’re making a lasagne.

But what I want to know is what it is that you ace everytime in the kitchen? What’s the one thing that you are shit hot at making? Share how awesome you are in the comments below.

Aimee x

That’s One Big Cookie!

Over the last few weeks, two of my gorgeous friends, Reannon and Hayley, have both baked giant cookies which have been rather impressive to say the least! However, as much as I was impressed, I never thought “I’d like to try that one day”. Until I saw this …

Surfing through Pinterest the other night before bed, I came across this big ass cookie recipe and I just had to give it a go myself! So here’s my attempt at Sally’s Monster M&M Cookie.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons beaten egg (crack an egg, beat it, and use 2 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter (if using natural peanut butter, use a thick no-stir variety)
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup M&Ms
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F degrees (160oC). Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugars until creamed. Add egg and vanilla mixing until well combined. Stir in peanut butter then add flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Fold in M&Ms until combined. With a large spoon, scoop into a ball onto prepared baking sheet. The dough will be sticky. Make sure the cookie dough ball is tall and round. Press the chocolate chips into the top of the cookie.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. The center may appear undone, but it will set as the cookie cools. Let cool ON the baking sheet for 10-20 minutes.

*You may make four smaller cookies using this recipe. Just divide the dough into 4 smaller mounds on the cookie sheet rather than 1 large mound. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

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Raw cookie dough. Yum!

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Fresh out of the oven!

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Divided into four (because I have to share)

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The verdict … a thumbs up from the daughter. Winning!

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Yum yum bubblegum!