Although I live in Australia and didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day this week, I thought it was still appropriate to take a little time to think about the things I am thankful and grateful for, and wish everybody else a happy thanksgiving. Sometimes I get stressed and grumpy very easily so I’m taking the time to think positively instead.
I am incredibly thankful for….
- My loved ones – my family, my boyfriend (also my best friend) and my closest friends. These people are always there when I need support or someone to enjoy the fun times, and I’m lucky that they still love me even when I snap at them because I’m tired.
- Having an interesting job to go to every day (even though I sometimes don’t want to roll out of bed) and the opportunity to continue being educated.
- Being mostly healthy, and that having a cold this week was the worst illness I have had to whinge about for a while.
- The fact that when we lost my grandfather a few months ago there were so many people rallying around to help wherever they could. I’m looking forward to a new baby joining our family next year as the start of the next chapter.
- Living in a country where I have the opportunity to safely vote in a democratic election today.
- Being narrowly missed from being hit by two different cars yesterday makes me feel even luckier to be alive today.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend with your loved ones and can find many things to be thankful for xxx
Posted in food, home
Tagged breakfast, tea
My boyfriend and I loved the ricotta hotcakes that we recently ate at Bill Granger’s restaurant in Sydney. Now that I have a copy of the cookbook bills sydney food it was time to make them myself at home.
It is such a luxurious way to start the day (or end it if you have a dessert craving at night). Create a stack of fluffy ricotta filled pancakes and fresh banana … dust it all with icing sugar…. and cover it with honeycomb butter. Delicious!
I also managed to find a copy of the recipe online – Click here!
Here are some of the things I am enjoying this morning for the start of the weekend…
A warming bowl of porridge with honey and milk
Beautiful Australian wildflowers that my dad bought for my mum
A big stack of new cookbooks to work my way through
What are you enjoying this weekend?
That’s right, more Bill Granger loving. Perhaps bordering on an obsession but it’s difficult when the guy creates such amazing sounding food (including homemade english muffins and pasta, spinach and sausage bake).
The recipe for baked porridge caught my because I have never tried it before – I love stove top porridge but had never even thought of baking it in the oven. Bill says he was “inspired by the old-fashioned aristocratic tradition of baking porridge in the Aga overnight” and that this is the urban version without “the country house, the Aga or the butler”. The fact that this recipe is both simple and needs a while in the oven means it is perfectly designed to stumble out of bed, quickly prepare and put in the oven while bleary eyed, and creep back into bed while it bakes.
The baked porridge has a completely different texture and taste to stove top porridge and is definitely worth a repeat make!
Recipe adapted from Bill Granger, serves 2
- 2/3 C rolled oats
- 1/3 C hazelnuts, chopped
- 1/3 C sultanas
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 300 mL milk
- 100 mL yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 130C (fan forced).
Mix all the ingredients together in a baking dish.
Place in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Enjoy. I’m pretty sure it can’t get any easier than that – no mixing bowls or special method of adding the ingredients whatsoever.
Today’s recipe is another one from Sophie Dahl’s cookbook “Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights”. I still have lots of Sophie’s lovely orange yoghurt and polenta cake to eat in the afternoon, but I needed to make something to enjoy for a quick breakfast during the week. I definitely don’t have time to whip up a batch of english muffins during the week!
This recipe for tawny granola, tucked into the autumn breakfast section of the book is my most used from this book. I like making this granola in bulk and storing it in a tin so that I can make a quick and delicious breakfast every day. The introduction to this recipe says that it “makes one feel very fifties housewife, because as it bakes the house is bathed in a warm cinnamon-y glow”, and it’s true, the house really does smell delicous when this is baking!
(recipe adapted from Sophie Dahl’s book)
- 2 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C whole almonds
- 1/2 C flaked almonds
- 1/2 C desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 C honey
- 2 tbsp apple juice
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Combine all the oats, almonds, coconut and spices together in a mixing bowl. Add the apple juice, vanilla and half of the honey and stir to combine. Add the remaining honey and stir a few more times until all ingredients are well combined.
Spread the mixture out on a baking tray fairly evenly and pop in the oven. Keep an eye on the granola, when it browns stir it a little to break it up and ensure it cooks evenly. It will need about 30 – 40 minutes in the oven in total. After taking it out of the oven allow it to cool before using.
The ingredient list is very flexible and it also tastes good if you swap some of the almonds with seeds or if you mix in some dried fruit such as currants or apricots after the granola has cooked. Try it with some yoghurt and poached fruit or fresh berries for a tasty and healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.
P.S. How cute is my little breakfast cereal tin? It makes for a lovely start to the day!
We woke up to a gorgeous sunny day this morning – so different to the cold and rainy days earlier in the week. S and I decided to walk to Limonatta in McKinnon for breakfast and make the most of the lovely weather.
Limonatta is a busy family friendly cafe with a tiny little kitchen. There are heaps of choices (even a breakfast pizza) and the menu takes on more of an Italian slant as the day progresses. It took a while for our food and drinks to come out but it was worth the wait in the end.
I had a huge bowl of bircher muesli with lots of yummy currants, almonds and coconut throughout, topped with extra yoghurt, grated apple and berry compote. The colours reminded me of Christmas! S had a cheesy toasted egg and bacon sandwich with a hint of mayo and pesto. We also had long glasses of fruit smoothies – banana and mixed berry.
On the way home S bought me some lovely flowers – I have no idea what type they are but they are very pretty! I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon relaxing on the couch with a cup of tea and some movies.
I bought a copy of Bill Granger’s new book Bill’s Basics a couple of weeks ago. It is full to the brim of Bill’s 100 favourite recipes covering everything from chocolate chip cookies and baked lemon cheesecake to thai beef salad and french onion soup. As Bill is such a breakfast champion I decided to make something from the breakfast section first. There were so many great sounding choices but I was intrigued by the recipe for homemade english muffins – and that’s what I woke up bright and early this morning to make!
It is really easy to make your own english muffins and they taste infinitely better than the ones you can purchase at the supermarket. And I finally learnt what gives them that strangely appealing dusty feel (polenta). Want to make them yourself? Here’s how…
(recipe adapted from Bill Granger’s book Bill’s Basics)
- 2 tsp instant yeast (equivalent to a 7g sachet)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 4 C (600g) plain flour
- 1 1/4 C (300mL) warm water
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- polenta for dusting
Combine the yeast, baking soda, water and half the flour. Leave for at least five minutes. In the meantime beat the eggs until they form stiff peaks. Fold the eggs into the dough.
Slowly add the salt and the remaining flour into the mixing bowl. When the dough thickens, tip out onto your bench and start kneading. Knead until the dough becomes smooth, this will take about ten minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling wrap. Leave it in a warmish area until it doubles in size, this will take about an hour.
Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 2 cm and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Dust the surface of a baking tray with some of the polenta. Use a circular pastry cutter (I used a 6 cm cutter to make mini muffins but feel free to use a bigger one) to cut out pastry circles. Re-roll any remaining dough to make extra muffins. Place them on the tray and dust with some extra polenta. Cover with cling wrap and leave for 45 minutes for the dough to continue proving.
Put a large frypan over medium heat and drizzle with a little oil. Cook the muffins in batches, they will only take a couple of minutes each side. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before eating. It will be really easy to pull the muffins apart with your fingers, but if you can’t use a fork. It’s better than using a knife as you don’t destroy all the little chewy nooks and crannies!
While cooking the muffins I quickly whipped up some scrambled eggs on S’s request. So delicious, and totally worth waiting for all the muffins to rise!