Shortbread Sunday

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I thought I’d stay on board the whole food processor easy biscuits thing, and add a recipe on the heels of the parmesan biscuits recently posted.

These are equally easy to make- and why would you ever buy a packet of shortbread when you can make them so easily? From a block of butter, some flour and icing sugar, you can make a wonderful gift too; the next time you are thinking of a present for a hard to buy friend, Izzy, make up a batch of these!

Saw the Chuck Close exhibition today- it was good being at the water on a sunny day with so many people about. There is a huge P&O ship parked next to the MCA-quite a sight in the middle of the city! I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to seeing these huge ships, right in town!

 

Ingredients

  • 100 grams icing sugar
  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 100 grams cornflour
    200 grams softened unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Put the icing sugar, plain flour and cornflour into the bowl of a food processor and give them a whirl.

Add the softened butter.

Process again until the soft mixture begins to form a ball, loosely clumping around the blade.

Turn this out on to a buttered cookie tin and press to form an even layer.

Using the tip of a sharp knife cut the pressed-out shortbread into fingers.

Using a fork, make little holes in each marked-out biscuit.

Put the tin into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, by which time the shortbread will be pale still.

Remove the tin from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so. Store the pieces in an airtight container.

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Snack Time: Little C’s Kale Chips

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You want to make WHAT? And yes, your sister was quite determined this week-end morning to make kale chips. I did have a bunch of kale in the fridge, no, I did not need to use the kitchen that very moment, so why would I have a problem with that?  I have to tell you Izzy, than once made, I could not keep my hands off these chips!

Little C is keen that we continue to include as many of the ‘superfoods‘ in our diet as possible. She made a great contribution with this snack!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • ¼ cup dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

  1. Line two pastry sheets with baking paper, and turn oven to bake setting, on 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Cut the stems off the kale leaves, including the spine. A nice clean pair of scissors will do the trick neatly. Cut the leaves into pieces.
  3. Wash the leaves and dry them thoroughly.
  4. In a large and shallow bowl, mix all the ingredients together to form a nice loose paste.
  5. Drop a few leaves at a time into the bowl and ‘massage’ the leaves lightly, coating them well with the paste.
  6. Lay the leaves on the baking tray.
  7. Pop the trays into the oven, bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, turn the leaves over gently ; they will be crisping up at this stage so handle carefully.
  9. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Serve with a cocktail, beer or a cold white wine ; delicious!

IMG_2715IMG_2720IMG_2724IMG_2731IMG_2696It’s the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere, and today certainly felt like the onset of summer: warm sunny skies and a scent in the air of flowers. The garden, green all winter,  is stirring. buds are popping up on everything- the wisteria, the agapanthus, and gardenia. I’m glad to hear you had a lovely time in Lorne this week-end. IMG_2706IMG_2735IMG_2726

Home Made GRA-NO- LAH! And You Are DONE With Your Degree!

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Here I am in the centre of the universe  (Sydney), and I go out to buy granola. I cannot find anything that fits the bill, Izzy! Too sweet, all of them.  Then of course, catering to our PARTICULAR tastes: none of us in this family likes too much dried fruit in our toasted cereal.

I tried all the supermarkets and delis and even the health food shops.  I was actually in the local health food shop, and while talking to the lady there about the perils of store bought granola, we both came upon the same conclusion: make your own!

As I write this now, you have written your very last essay for your Bachelor of Arts degree.  Dad and I are so proud of you, Izzy!  I remember clearly how we dropped you off one cold and windy Melbourne night at Ormond College to begin your life at university. The rest of us made our way back to the Northern Hemisphere without you, feeling empty and sad. You were so BRAVE, cheerily waving us goodbye!

I am thankful that is all behind us now, and we live on the same continent. You have been amazingly independent and positive, carving out a new life in Australia, away from your family. Your kind and sweet nature has been rewarded by deep friendships, and Melbourne has been a good home to you.  Grouse is a group house most people would envy. You are a wonderful group.

Wow- back to…….granola! I think having road tested a couple of varieties with the wider family here, and across the way at Darling Point, and a nice compromise has been reached.  But here’s the thing: granola is so PERSONAL! You might like raisins in it but not coconut. I love coconut in mine, but not dried apricots and cranberries. So Izzy,  add what you like, and leave off what you don’t, but the base works well, and isn’t too sweet, and is as always…….easy to make! I’ve been eating mine with a dollop of yogurt and some sliced fresh fruit over it. Very fine!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or a combination of seeds you like: try linseed, chia, flax seeds,pepitas, etc.
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • ¾ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce or pear or prune compote if you prefer it
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2  cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups almonds slivers
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups raisins or other dried fruit of your liking

Method

  1. Mix everything except the raisins together very well in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Spread mixture evenly on cookie sheets lined with grease proof paper, and bake in 170°C oven, turning over regularly. Should take anything from 40 minutes to an hour.
  3. Once golden brown,  allow to cool and mix with the raisins or other dried fruit. Store in an airtight jar.

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