So it occurred to me a few months ago that it’s been AGES since I’ve posted a recipe – not since October last year in fact. It’s not that I don’t cook often because we eat regularly at home and I do bake for people’s birthdays and other special occasions, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered styling the food and taking photos of it. I just want to eat it.
So I thought it was time to get my mojo back, and even though I still haven’t quite got this food styling thing, it’s nice to be able to share recipes and baking successes – so here is my first recipe post in over 6 months.
I’ve had a chiffon cake tin for years and always had the intention of making it, but the thought of flat and dense chiffon cakes had always scared me off making them. I don’t know why I was so worried because after doing a bit of research and finding a recipe, I made my first chiffon cake with much success!
I chose matcha flavour because green tea is awesome and also because I’d just come back from Japan and was craving matcha desserts. The green tea flavour is quite subtle in this cake but what I particularly love about chiffon cakes is the light and airy texture which makes you feel like you’re eating a cloud. A green tea flavoured cloud!
I used a recipe that I adapted from Keiko Ishida’s book Okashi: Sweet Treats made with Love. The recipe calls for 5 eggs but uses a 20cm tin, so I have increased the amounts to fit my 25cm tin. This recipe worked really well for me and I’ve used it to also make a pandan flavoured chiffon cake and chocolate flavoured chiffon cake. Yep, there’s definitely going to be plenty of chiffon in my future! Continue reading
You can tell that summer is just around the corner, with some of the 30+ degree days we’ve had lately! The heat just makes me feel like eating something cool and refreshing for dinner, and home made tacos are a great option, with minimal cooking required.
The steak filling is marinated in some spices, lime juice and tequila, and then seared on the stove until medium rare. You can also use other meats as well – I’ve tried the marinade with chicken and it tastes just as good.
The flour tortillas are also made from scratch, which admittedly requires a little bit of elbow grease. You don’t have to make your own flour tortillas, but once I realised how easy they were to make, it was well worth the effort and now I can’t go back to the store bought kind.
Once you’ve browned the tortillas, rested the steak, chopped up some avocado and tomato and squeezed on a little bit of lime juice, you have your very own home made tacos for dinner. The best thing about this recipe is that you can really throw in whatever takes your fancy – some chopped cabbage or lettuce, Spanish onion, pickled jalapenos, some corn or cheese… The possibilities are endless!
Moving out of home has its perks, but it also means that there are fewer people in the household to eat the products of my baking. Sure, Sir D and I could (and would!) eat a whole chocolate cake to ourselves but in the interests of our blood sugar levels and waistlines, I’ve been baking less than I used to.
So I do love it when there’s an occasion to bake for and I can make a giant cake or 30-odd cupcakes for people to enjoy. It was L’s birthday and a while back I had received one of the Magnolia Bakery cookbooks as a gift from L, but a year later still hadn’t baked anything from it! It seemed only fitting to bake some Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet cake for his birthday.
The recipe in the cookbook is for a tiered 9-inch cake, but I decided to make cupcakes instead. Instead of the Creamy Vanilla icing that was recommended with the cake, I decided to go with Magnolia Bakery’s cream cheese frosting. I tried to do the iconic Magnolia Bakery frosting swirl, but the frosting was a bit too soft and it was getting late so I kinda just did what I could with it. Not that it really mattered anyway because the cupcakes went down a treat!
It’s been a weird couple of months for me lately. You may have noticed that my posting frequency has decreased (sorry about that) but sometimes life just takes over and before you know it, the months have flown by and you’ve barely managed to get a post in. My usual late night blogging activities have been replaced by late nights at work, and caring for a family member of mine who is quite ill.
I like to think of myself as quite an optimistic person, and that even amongst all the crap there is still a silver lining. Although it’s sad when someone is very sick, it has brought out the best in all our family and everyone has shown so much support, with relatives flying from all around the world to visit and help out where they can. And even though I’ve been swamped at work, I’ve been able to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while which is always cause for celebration.
On one such occasion, we had a girly night in for a friend’s birthday, and I had been fortunate enough to have been sent two bottles of a new pink moscato courtesy of Bimbadgen Winery. It was the perfect reason to crack open a bottle to share with friends, who really enjoyed the pretty pink colour and the sweet, almost honey-like flavours in the moscato.
I saved the other bottle to make these bubbly moscato jellies to celebrate this humble little blog’s 4th birthday. It’s a pretty, slightly spritzy, and sweet treat that is very easy to make and it’s a nice way to enjoy the fruity flavours of the moscato. I think I say this every year, but I’m always surprised that four years on, I’m still blogging (and I thought this was just a temporary procrastination tool!) and I’m still loving every moment of it, even though it’s sometimes hard to get posts out on a regular basis.
To say thank you to all the readers of Penguin says Feed Me, I have three bottles of Bimbadgen Moscato to give away thanks to to Agent99 and Bimbadgen Winery. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering the following question:
“What’s your favourite celebratory drink and why?”
Entries close at 11.59pm AEST, Sunday 7th July 2013. The winner will be selected by Sir D based on creativity and entertainment value. You may enter as many times as you like. Please enter a valid email address – this will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winners. Winners will be notified via email. Good luck!
Now that we’re experiencing a cooler change in the weather, I’m starting to crave more comfort foods. One of my ultimate comfort foods is lasagne – I mean, what’s not to love about a rich and saucy mince layered between pasta sheets and that creamy, cheesy bechamel? I’ve tried out a few lasagne recipes over the years, but this Neil Perry one is definitely my favourite.
When I’m not gorging on the whole lasagne myself (spread out over a few nights…. of course), this is my go-to dish when I have guests over. It’s easy to make, and most of it can be prepared in advance which means there’s no freaking out in the kitchen in the 30 minutes before people arrive, because your lasagne is just sitting in the oven cooking. While the recipe looks lengthy, it is actually quite a simple dish to make if you break it down into its components.
I like to serve the lasagne with a simple rocket salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic, and a glass of red wine. So far it’s been a crowd pleaser – and it makes so much that there’s always leftovers for the next day, which taste even better :)