Snickerdoodles

Try to resist .. I dare you!!

Try to resist .. I dare you!!

What is a Snickerdoodle you ask? A little puff of cinnamon, sugary bliss. These American classics have a soft, chewy sugar-cookie center with a cinnamon sugar coating, perfect with hot cocoa or just because. They are also ridiculously easy to make ..

Lemon ‘n Lovage Whitefish

Lemon 'n Lovage Flake

Lemon ‘n Lovage Flake

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There are distinct nutritional benefits from eating whitefish such as Flake, Hake and Tilapia. They are packed with phosphorous, selenium, zinc and magnesium as well as B Group vitamins, especially B12. They are also very often cheaper than their darker, oilier cousins, but are (sadly) usually sold frozen, a process that ruins the soft, delicate texture of the meat. At the market today I found some delightful, super fresh Flake (shark) so I pounced on it with glee. This is my favourite, low fuss, low mess way to cook it .. and it’s faster than driving to the Chippy for takeaway too!!

“Old Reliable” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies and Milk, the ultimate comfort food

Cookies and Milk, the ultimate comfort food

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Over the years, I have trialed dozens of recipes for Choc Chip Cookies with varying success.  Most of them are too sweet, many are finicky and unreliable recipes, others too chunky or just the wrong proportion of cookie to “bits”. This is the one I come back to. It produces cookies with a nice crunchy texture that will survive a dunk in fresh milk. The subtle vanilla-peanut flavours are perfect with cocoa or fresh coffee too. What’s not to love?

Of course we all know the true joy of cookies lies in their childhood associations. The smell of them baking, filling the house with delicious smells and anticipation. The guilty pleasure of eating the dough or burning tongue and fingers because we were unable to resist them fresh from the oven. They featured on the menus of tea parties, picnics with friends and solitary midnight snacks. Most of all they eased the pain of skinned knees and broken hearts. I have vivid memories of a sympathetic Dad sharing cookies, cuddles and the odd hanky on these occasions. That makes them the ultimate comfort food for me. On the anniversary of his death, I am feeling the need for a little comfort, so I shall put some Bach on the stereo and whip up a batch to share with the Junior Sorority.

Easy Light Pizza Dough

perfect dough for the perfect pizza in under an hour

perfect dough for the perfect pizza in under an hour

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If you have access to activated yeast, bread flour and an oven, you need never buy frozen pizza again. Away with the tasteless cardboard commercial stuff and its hidden chemical nasties, embrace the delectable possibilities this recipe offers. The hardest part of the process is deciding between soft or crunchy base .. plain crust or decadent cheesy, herbed goodness. Don’t save it just for flat pizza either .. this dough makes fantastic cheesy breadsticks, Pizza cups .. even wonderful desserts. Stay tuned and I’ll fill you in on these treats.

Kiwi’s Semolina pudding

you should have seen her face ..

you should have seen her face ..

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Kiwi was not born in New Zealand, any more than Kiwifruit comes from that picturesque, rugged country. She does however, really love the flightless bird native to the Land of the Long White Cloud, so “Kiwi” she is.  For the past month she has been visiting us and we’ve enjoyed both her company and the excuse to revisit favourite spots. There really is nothing like playing Tour Guide to help you see your surroundings through some else’s eyes. Having braved a long arduous journey,  trial-by-vegemite and the attentions of local wildlife (some of it eight-legged), Kiwi has thrown herself into life in Casa De Chaos. Her delighted smiles as we explore food, wine and scenery has been a highlight of our year. Sadly, we are about to bid her farewell which called for a special pull-all-the-stops menu. Comfort food is the priority here, and it’s hard to go by this traditional Northern European dessert. In Germany it’s Grießkoch or Grießbrei. In the Netherlands it’s Griessmeel or Griesmeel pap depending on whether you make it with or without almonds. In English speaking countries it’s Semolina Pudding or Sweet Grits. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious and Kiwi wore a seraphic smile as she devoured it. I doubt I shall ever be able to make it again without thinking of that smile 🙂