Category Archives: I’m hungry! What can I eat?

Master Minion A - rockin' the food processor

Lime Tart

And the ‘tartier’ the better, I always say!  This recipe is so easy, even a pre-teen can make it – and here are the photo’s to prove it too!

Master Minion A - rockin' the food processor

Lime Tart (the tartier the better, I always say!)

Ingredients

  • Pastry Ingredients:
  • 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 125 g good-quality unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • A splash of milk
  • Lime Filling Ingredient:
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • Grated zest & juice of 2 limes
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup thickened cream

Instructions

  1. Tart Base Method:
  2. Process sifted flour and icing sugar with butter in a food processor until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and milk and process until it forms as dough – don’t overwork it! Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Forced). On a lightly floured surface, gently roll pastry to 3mm thick and use to line a greased and floured pie or tart dish. Line your pastry base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, rice or barley. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove pastry weights and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. Set aside on a baking tray to cool slightly.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C (130°C Fan Forced).
  5. Lime Filling Method:
  6. Lightly whisk together eggs, egg yolk, lime zest, lime juice and caster sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Stir through cream gently until mixed well.
  7. Pour filling into Tart base and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until just set. The centre of the tart should still be a little wobbly.
  8. Let cool to room temperature. Serve dusted with icing sugar and with a spoon of whipped cream.
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Rolling out the pastry - and doing a better job than me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Originally posted on 20th January, 2015

Movies Mean Popcorn . . .

But not just any popcorn!  Oh no, not tonight.  Tonight is a Sweet and Salty Popcorn kind of night, I think.  Now, there’s nothing I like more than lounging all over my couch, watching a movie with my Minions, with a big bowl of buttery, salty popcorn.

BUT!  Tonight, this Minion Family is going to share a bowl of popcorn with Minion J’s friend (we’ll call her Minion B) because he invited her over for family movie night, and what better way to introduce a new friend to family movie night than with Sweet and Salty Popcorn?!  And maybe, just maybe, I may be able to fight the Minions off long enough to grab a handful myself!

I love how simple this is!

First, dissolve 3 – 4 teaspoons of caster sugar in a tablespoon of water.  Once it’s dissolved, take it off the heat and melt through 30g of unsalted butter.

We have a Popcorn Maker, so I just use the scoop that came with that to measure out the popcorn, and this is just the right amount for Minion Dad and I . . . when the Minion Kids are home, I make double, or even triple because this stuff disappears quickly!  If you don’t have an air popper, pop your corn as you would normally using about 1/3 cup of uncooked corn.

Once your popcorn is finished popping, throw it in a large saucepan over a low heat, pour over the butter syrup (it needs to cool a bit first or your popcorn will go to mush before the magic happens), stir quickly to cover all of your popcorn and salt to taste.  We use Pink Himalayan salt, which adds a beautiful flavour.  Keep stirring your popcorn over a low heat until the syrup has dried and your popcorn has a lovely crunch to it.

This is a very subtle flavour and it doesn’t overpower the taste buds, which makes it really, REALLY easy to munch on.

Enjoy!

*  Originally posted on 21st November, 2014

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Jaffa Pancakes with Spiced Orange Compote and Chantilly Cream

20151025_095405From the imagination of Minion Dad came THE BEST breakfast in bed for my birthday!

Before making the pancakes, it’s important to make the Orange Compote as this takes more time & requires undivided attention to avoid the syrup turning to toffee (Oh but, orange toffee would also be DABOMB…right???)

Part 1 – Spiced Orange Compote

Ingredients
4 – 5 small oranges, preferably seedless (I used Valencia as these have thin pith & are quite sweet)
2 cups water
5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 – 4 whole cloves (depending on size)
1 star anise

Method – With a paring knife or zester, carefully peel the rind from all but 1 or 2 of the oranges & place to one side, being careful to avoid a much, if not all, of the white pith as possible as this can be quite bitter.  Remove the top & bottoms of the oranges & slice into 4-6mm thick slices, removing any seeds & excess pith.  Using a fine grater or zester,  finely grate the zest from the remaining oranges & set aside for final garnish.

In a wide based pan bring the water & caster sugar to a light boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the zest, lower the heat & simmer for a further 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the zest & discard.  Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the sugar water and add the pod along with cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise, together with the orange slices & simmer until reduced to a light syrupy consistency.  Remember, it will be thicker when it cools so try not to let it reduce too much.  Reduction should take around 20-30 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon, star anise, vanilla pod & cloves.  Set aside to cool slightly while making the pancakes.

Part 2 – Chantilly Cream

200ml – thickened cream (we’ve always used long life with great success – refrigerate before whipping)

3 to 4 Tblsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Method – in a glass bowl, combine cream, vanilla & sugar & whisk to medium peaks.  Being careful not to over whisk as this will cause the cream to separate & stiffen.

Part 3 – Chocolate Pancakes

1 1/2 cups Milk

1 Egg

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups SR Flour

1/4 tsp Bicarb Soda

1/3 cup Caster Sugar

2 Tbsp sifted Cocoa Powder

15-20gr melted butter

Method –   Beat milk, egg & vanilla together in a jug & put to one side.  Sift SR flour & bicarb soda together in a bowl & add caster sugar.  Make a well & while mixing gently with a whisk, add milk & egg mixture.  Combine until smooth then, sift cocoa powder evenly over the top of batter & gently whisk together until mixed well.

Cooking –  If possible, use a cast iron skillet as these will always distribute heat more evenly.  Heat pan or skillet over medium/low heat & brush lightly with melted butter.  Using a soup ladle & cooking one at a time, slowly pour one whole ladle of mixture into the center of the pan & cook until bubble appear evenly across the surface.  Flip & cook for equal amount of time.  Stack & cover lightly with foil to retain heat.  Wipe pan with paper towel between pancakes to avoid burning the butter & lightly brush fresh butter.
20151025_095429Put it all together on a plate and destroy . . . I mean enjoy! 
20140419_131427

Hot Cross Buns

I nearly fainted while I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago when I saw Hot Cross Buns, 4 for $8!!!!  Whaaatttt????  $8 for only 4 Hot Cross Buns???  Honesty, I don’t care whose name is on them, if they’re not making it for me personally, they’re not finding their way into my shopping trolley!  Besides, according to my Minion Kids and Minion Hubby, mine taste much better than store bought!

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Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients

  • 1kg bread flour (if you can’t find bread flour, make sure you get a bakers’ flour or strong flour)
  • 21g dried yeast
  • 450ml milk, warmed
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 tsps mixed spice
  • 2 – 4 tsp fine salt (to your own taste, I only ever use 2)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • Extra Ingredients:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • Enough water to make a piping consistency paste
  • For glaze:
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Method: I always use a mixer for this. You could do it by hand, however as you all know, I’m a lazy baker and the mixer is always easier!!
  2. In a large bowl, place 350g of the bread flour, yeast and 450ml warm milk. Beat on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes until sticky. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and allow to double in size, approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Add lemon rind, mixed spice, salt, eggs and honey and mix together with a dough hook.
  4. Add remaining 650g bread flour and butter. Mix with a dough hook at low speed until it comes together as almost dough.
  5. How you do this step depends on whether or not you’re a fruit or not person! We don’t do fruit or mixed peel in our Hot Cross Buns, so I skip adding the extras! Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured board. Spread out and add 1 cup currants and 1/2 cup mixed peel. Knead thoroughly until it’s a smooth dough. Put into a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Divide the dough into 24 buns and roll into balls – this will be easier if you dust your hands with flour first. Arrange close together on lined baking trays so they will end up touching when they are baking. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Brush each bun with beaten egg. Add plain flour and melted butter to the remaining egg and mix well. Add enough water to this mix to make a piping consistency paste. Pipe the paste across the buns to make a cross – I find it easy just to pipe one long line across all of them in each direction.
  8. Bake at 180°C for approxiately 25 – 30 minutes.
  9. While buns are baking, make a glaze with caster sugar and water. Boil until sugar has dissolved and brush buns immediately after taking out of the oven, while they are still hot.
  10. Spread with butter, watch it melt and chow down!!! Hide the rest of the buns from the family, and you may just have enough left for the next day!
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It was very hard not to get stuck into these straight away!  I ended up scoffing half a bun before I could drag myself away long enough to take a photo!

 

 

* Originally posted on April 19, 2014

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Spice and all things nice!

Watching Abby hand out Christmas biscuits on an old NCIS episode a few nights ago made my mouth water and immediately I craved some Cinnamon Biscuits.  As soon as the kids hopped on the bus the next morning, I gathered up my ingredients and went on a baking spree!  Well, not really a spree but we did get some pretty yummy Scones and amazing Cinnamon Biscuits out of it!

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When you’re baking these delicious biscuits, keep a close eye on them after the 15 minute mark until they bake to your liking.  I baked mine for 20 minutes, ’cause that’s how I roll.

Absolutely delicious no matter how you have them!  These didn’t last long at all . . . in fact, I think I’ll head back into the kitchen and make a double batch!

Spice and all things nice!

Spice and all things nice!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 125g butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 teaspoons golden syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C (140°C fan forced) and line baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour, bicarb and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture has a fine breadcrumb texture.
  3. Beat the egg and golden syrup together and add to dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon and then bring it together into a dough by hand.
  4. Roll into balls – I used about a tablespoon because Minion Dad likes big bikkies! – and flatten slightly, leaving about 5 cm between each biscuit. You don’t have to do this, they’ll spread just fine without it and will actually end up a little thicker in the middle.
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, slightly longer for a crispier biscuit. Keep a close eye on them after the 15 minute mark until they bake to your liking.
  6. Cool biscuits on tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack, IF they last that long!
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Back to School!

These past few weeks have been more than a little bit frantic with the kids going back to school after holidays and hubby going to stay with my folks for a few weeks to work on a commissioned art piece.

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I know that I can get a little lazy when it comes to school snacks when it comes to hectic times, so this time around I pushed myself to get some baking done instead of cheating and buying snacks instead.

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So last week, I made Banana and Oat Muffins, Rolled Oat Slice and Banana Bread (recipe courtesy of Mrs K., a long standing loyal client turned friend!).  This particular Banana Bread recipe never lasts long in our house, although I did manage to save about ¼ of it to send with hubby, along with ½ a dozen muffins.

I’m sure I’ll find myself back in the kitchen at some time this week . . . in between washing, mowing and taking the Minions to visit their Daddy!

* Originally posted on the 16th October 2013

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Banana and Oat Muffins

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Banana and Oat Muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 small ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ cups wholemeal Self-raising Flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup rolled oats (not quick oats)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (170°C fan forced) and place muffin papers into a 12-cup muffin tray. This makes between 12 and 18, depending on how you fill your muffin papers.
  2. Place mashed bananas, egg, milk, butter and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Mix well with an electric mixer.
  3. Add flour, cinnamon and sugar and mix well.
  4. Spoon mixture into the muffin papers. I make sure they’re about ¾ full. They’re not too big for my Minions this way.
  5. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until cooked through (use a metal skewer to check). Do not overcook.
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* Originally posted on 16th October 2013

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Rolled Oat Slice

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Rolled Oat Slice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Wholemeal Self-Raising flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 150g butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (170°C fan forced).
  2. Combine flour, oats and sugar in a large bowl. Melt butter and golden syrup, then mix into dry ingredients.
  3. Press into slice tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Cut into bars while still hot (if you try and cut after it has cooled down, the bars will crumble), and leave to cool before removing from tray.
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* Originally posted on 16th October 2013

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Banana Bread – Quick, Easy and Delicious!

 

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Banana Bread – Quick, Easy and Delicious!

Ingredients

  • 115g softened butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 3 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (170°C), and prepare a loaf tin. You can either line it with baking paper, or prepare with butter and flour.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time (mixing well between each egg).
  3. Add the flour and bananas and mix well until smooth.
  4. Put into the prepared loaf tin, and bake for approximately 40 minutes until golden. Use a skewer to make sure your banana bread is cooked through.
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* Originally posted on 16th October 2013