Saturday, 27 August 2011

Randomness with creamy fizzy baking

When he awoke in the morning, the first thing he saw was Tigger, sitting in front of the glass and looking at himself.
"Hallo!" said Pooh.
"Hallo!" said Tigger. "I've found somebody just like me. I thought I was the only one of them."
- The House of Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

I've been thinking about this for a while now. I don't tend to blog much about myself here, trying, attempting to keep it all about food and keep my world (mostly) anonymous. Seemed to make sense to start with but as time has gone by most people (that I know of) know who I am or at least a lot more about me than I blog about. Also sometimes I just don't feel like blogging about food or food and life are often so linked together that it is hard to seperate the two. Plus my brain is always a little scattered and all over the place so I thought I might try something different sometimes.

Kinda unrelated, but last week we ran to work in the snow because we couldn't get the car out of the street. It was entertaining, especially when we got interviewed by the newspaper partway there...!

So to start, and because it's kinda scary, I will tell you five things that aren't related to food.
  1. My favourite song is Yellow by Coldplay. It has been for years, probably since the moment I first heard it.
  2. My favourite colour is yellow. I didn't even think about the fact that my favourite song had the same name until people asked me if that was why I liked the song. All I know is that I love the colour yellow.
  3. When I was younger I knew all the words to Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Princess Bride.
  4. I love running or riding up hills. It's the best thing ever. I hate coming back down again with a passion. Bit of a problem when the hill behind our house is massive so the downhill stretches on into eternity.
  5. I can't spell so spell checks, little squiggly lines under words and google are my best friends (I had to use them to work out how on earth to spell don't even want to know my first attempt).

Top of a mountain (holding on for dear life so I didn't blow was that windy)? Check.
Yellow jacket? Check.

Anyway, to make everyone feel at home again (myself included), I will let you into my kitchen for some baking. Imagine you have some soy cream and a can of lemonade (Sprite for those of you who aren't kiwi or Australian). What can you make. Obviously you will need some more ingredients like, um, flour, baking powder and sugar but I'm sure you knew what I meant?

Scones of course!! Lemonade and cream scones to be exact, from the Alison and Simon Holst bread book. Super easy and super delicious. I found I needed more liquid (lemonade) than the recipe called for but I think that's because the cream is thicker. Can't find soy cream (and live in New Zealand)? The Safe shop delivers super fast!

And how does one serve these scones? For a lazy breakfast with more cream and dollops of jam, that's how.

Anyone want to come round for breakfast?

Monday, 15 August 2011

Pumpkiny, gingery snow

Something cold and soft was falling on her. A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Golly gosh, it's been an age since I've last posted! That snow I mentioned may not have come on Sunday but it sure was around by Monday. So much so that we couldn't get into work. Snow day!!!

The park on our street

I wish I could tell you that I spent the day cooking and baking up a storm to keep us warm but instead I spent most of it on the couch or in bed horribly sick. Thankfully I managed to redeem myself today as snow blanketed the city yet again (I could get used to these long weekends!).

Look at the magic you encounter when you go running in the snow!

Cooking in my brand new fast slow cooker is a big pot of pumpkin, coconut and lentil soup (to go with five seed loaf from the breadmaker). I hope it works out because the instruction manual did my head in!

M was cutting up part of a huge pumpkin for me to use in the soup but it was too much so I pondered what to do with the extra. In the end I boiled it up and then blended it to make a puree. Half went in the freezer but half went into a ginger and pumpkin loaf which has already been partly devoured. I am trying restrain myself from eating the whole damn thing right now!

Gingery Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from a couple of recipes in Kris' The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes.

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup apple puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup milk (I used oat milk)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a loaf tin (a smaller one is better since it doesn't get all that big).

In a large bowl mix together the flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl whisk the pumpkin puree, oil, apple puree, brown sugar, molasses and milk together until smooth.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes until, well, done. It might take a tiny bit longer but our oven is fan-forced and I can't figure out how to stop it!

Leave in the tin for at least half an hour before turning out onto a cooling rack.