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I Love This and That

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How Many Guide - Kitchen conversions

I thought this is such a clever chart - while we are on the subject of kitchen conversions let me share this with you.  It is available at S.B. Lattin Design in the form of a tea towel, cabinet sticker or a poster. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How much does a cup of dry ingredients weigh?

For those that don't like weighing your dry ingredients - here is a chart of the estimate weight of each of the dry ingredients.  Happy baking!

If you have a problem with printing this out and would like the pdf file - feel free to send me an email and I'll forward it to you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to make fried chicken

Fried chicken drumsticks are a perfect finger food for a picnic or party. Who can resist a feast of fried chicken? If you are not one for fried chicken you can always sprinkle the flour covered chicken with oil and place in the over to bake.

What you need:
500ml Buttermilk
1 Egg
2 small Chickens into portions (or 10 drumsticks)
650g plain flour
pinch of Garlic Powder
11/2 tsp Dried thyme
11/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp All spice
pinch of Chilli Powder (optional and add more if you would like more of an bite)
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Canola Oil for frying

For a few hours or ideally overnight, soak the chicken in the buttermilk, this makes them lovely and juicy.

Beat the egg.

Combine the flour, garlic, thyme, paprika, all spice, chilli, salt and pepper, and mix well.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, and dip in the egg.

Cover the chicken well with the flour mixture and allow to rest for 5 min.

Heat the oil to 170 Degrees Celsius.

Deep fry 12 - 15 min (depending on which cuts of the chicken you are using.

You can also bak in the oven for 40 min at 200 degrees Celsius.

Remove and put on a paper towel so that the excess oil can be absorbed.

Serve with a large salad or some fries.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Basic Humus

 Making humus is actually so easy, I promise you once you made this you will find it very hard to buy humus from the store again.

My favourite way of eating humus is with celery sticks or on a toasted ciabata - it is as if humus was made to go with celery.  This can be made an kept in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container.

What you need: 
1/4 cup Tahini paste
a tin (425 g) Chickpeas
1 tbs Lemon juice
1 clove of Garlic crushed
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Paprika

Tahini (you can also buy it in a jar from the store)
1/2 cup sesame seeds (not hulled)
1 tbs oilve oil

Roast the sesame seeds on a medium heat in a saucepan on the stove top until seeds starts turning a golden colour.  Just be careful not to burn the seeds - it will take about 10 min to roast them. Allow for the seeds to cool down.
In a mortar and pestle add the seeds and the oil and work it until it is a smooth paste. If you would like it runnier you can add a bit of extra olive oil.

To start the humus put the Tahini paste and the lemon juice in a food processor and blend for about a minute.

Then add the Chickpease and blend until smooth.

Add the garlic, olive oil, salt, ground cumin and paprika and blend for about a minute after each addition.

Once you have a smooth texture your humus is done.

Put it in an airtight container if you would like to store it in the fridge until you need it.


Monday, May 12, 2014

How to make a drawstring favour bag

These little bags are doing it's rounds at weddings, baby showers, and kitchen teas as cute little bags to put a favour in for the guests to say thanks.  They are so pretty that you can almost give them as is with a message or a picture stamped on them and a mint in them.

This is just a basic tutorial on how to make the drawstring bag with the least effort.  In a next post I'll give you ideas of what to do with them to make them look even prettier.

What you will need:
Material of your choice (depending on how big your bags will be but for a bag 15 x 12 cm you will need 34 x 25cm piece of material)
Drawstring (rope or ribbon)
Safety pin
Sewing machine

To work out the amount of material you will need, first decide how big you want the bags to be (or what you want to put in it).  I made these 15 cm x 12 cm - which is a good size for a few sweeties, a lollipop, a cookie cutter, a roll of washi tape ect.

What you will do is to double the size of the piece you need, thus 15 x 12 cm = 30 x 24 cm

Then add 0.5 cm for the hems on each side = 31 x 25 cm

Then you will need 3 cm length wise (1.5 cm folded double) for the casing for the drawstring.  I used a thin cotton rope for the drawstring, but I do suggest if you would like to use anything like a rope that you increase this measurement = 34 x 25cm for one bag.

You can now do the math if you would like to make more bags, or bigger ones.

I like ironing in the hems so that it makes life easier when folding.

1. Iron a 0.5 cm hem on each side of the piece of material - both sides, top and bottom.

2. From the top 0.5 cm hem, fold over 1.5 cm and pin it down as in picture below.  The side hems should be folded in, see picture. Now sew straight through from the one side to the other side on the line of the 0.5 cm hem that you have pinned. You have now created the casing.

3. On both sides, lift the top hem up and cut the side hem so that you can open it up as in the picture below.

4. Fold the piece of material in two with the two sides together, and pin it on the hem that you have ironed on the sides as well as on the bottom.  Sew or overlock on this hem line.

5. Turn inside out, and just give it a few stitches to and fro just below the casing to reinforce it.

6. Using a safety pin, tread the rope through the casing.

7. Knot the two ends of the rope together

There you have your very basic drawstring bag. Now you can decorate it with stamps or fabric paint.  Just remember to put a piece of board inside the bag before stamping or painting to make sure that it does not seep through the material.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Porcini Mushroom and Leek Pappardelle

During this years Food Bloggers Indaba in Cape Town, we each received a packet of dried porcini mushrooms from novelle mushrooms. We were asked to blog our own recipe with the packet of mushrooms.

To be honest, I have never worked with dried mushrooms before, so this was a challenge for me.  I soon found out, that these dried mushrooms are very similar to the fresh ones, and no need worry.  A packet of dried mushrooms has now become one of the have-to-haves in the pantry.

Because porcini mushrooms are nice and fleshy mushrooms, I decided to go for a meat-free dish, which might but not be the healthiest pasta you have had but surely very tasty and a perfect dish for meat free Monday's.

I made my own pasta, but you can used store bought fresh pasta, and if you really can 't find that, you can probably use the dried pasta. But don't be intimidated by making your own pasta, it is so worth the while.  If you don't have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin to roll out the dough nice and thin (it just takes a bit more time) and then as in the recipe below, cut them into strips.

What you need:
For the pasta:
2 cups of Cake Flour
3 Large Eggs
Half a tsp salt
Half a tsp olive oil

For the sauce:
20g Cake Flour
20g Butter
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
50g Novelle Dried Porcini Mushrooms (2 Packets)
4 Leeks
1 clove of Garlic
3 Thyme
1 cup Cream

Fresh Parmesan and ground black pepper for serving

What to do:
On a clean and smooth surface place the flour, making a well in the middle of the flour with steep edges.

Break the eggs in the middle of the well, and add the salt and the olive oil tot he eggs in the middle of the well.

Using a fork, start mixing the eggs with the flour slowly until most of the egg is mixed with the flour.  If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of extra flour.  If it is too dry add a few drops of water.  Then start using your hands and work the dough for about 10 minutes.  You will see that the texture of the dough starts becoming more pliable.

Once you have worked the dough through, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for about 30 min.

Remove from the fridge and allow to reach room temperature again.

Divide the dough in four equal parts, and dust lightly with some flour (not too much) and start rolling out the dough.  I made pappardelle which is the name for a flat, broad (2 - 3 cemtimeters) pasta.

So once the pasta is rolled out in flat sheets, you simply cut the sheet into wide strips.

Into a pot with boiling water, half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil, you drop these wide strips in and boil until al dente (about 2 minutes), strain and drizzle with olive oil.

The basis of the sauce is a veloute, which is basically a mixture of equal butter and flour with some stock.
To start off with the veloute we first make a roux, which is a mixture of the butter and flour that is cooked before the stock is added, but not browned, thus over a medium heat.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, until it becomes foamy, then add the flour you will see that it makes a beautiful paste that you stir to cook the flour.  Then add the stock and mix it until you have a smooth sauce.

In the meantime you need to soak the dried mushrooms in a bit of boiling water for about 30 min, until soft.

In a difference saucepan, fry the leaks and garlic. Add a bit of olive oil and slowly fry the garlic and the leaks until it is cooked.

To the veloute, add the leaks, mushrooms, thyme and the cream.

Over a low heat simmer the sauce for about 20 min until all the flavour have combined.

Pour the sauce over the pasta.

Dish up and service with parmesan shavings, and black pepper.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sago Pudding

Sago pudding is one of the winter comfort puddings that I make a lot in the winter, and everyone loves it.  I have however noticed that the sago itself is much more popular than the meringue part.  What I have dome is fold the meringue into the sago mixture and bake it like that. It looks prettier with the meringue at the top though and who cares if nobody has the meringue, sure you will have the takers for the meringue. I sometimes I even have it for dinner, milk, egg, jam why not ;-)

What you need:
4k Milk
1k Sago
2 Tbsp Butter
3/4k Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
A few Tablespoons apricot jam

What to do:
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

In a Saucepan simmer together the milk, sugar, salt, and sago until the sago is see through. (Be carefully not the burn the milk - if you are scared of this you can do this in the microwave in a microwave friendly bowl).

Allow this mixture to cool slightly.

Then add the butter.

Beat the egg yolks and the extract and add to the sago mixture.

Spoon into an oven safe dish.

Spoon some apricot jam on top of the sago mixture.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 6 tablespoons of sugar.

Spoon the egg whites on top of the apricot jam.

Bake in the pre-heated oven until the egg whites are light brown.

Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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