A few days of cooking

5543e-12797839_974259416002813_1315141602_nI’ve been craving time in the kitchen, making a bunch of favourite recipes.

Perhaps it’s because the headaches from the methotrexate are really limiting me to inside, with all blinds down. I have to be very careful with my energy and movement, or my head explodes.

So I’ve been carefully cooking (and eating) a few of my favourite things.

  • Orange cranberry bundt cake – this freezes so well, and is delicious when heated in the microwave with some ice cream. Oh, and home made vanilla bean ice cream too!
  • Roast chicken with honey and orange – Roasts are easy, once all the veggies are prepped. Just into the oven and forget until it’s ready to eat. I mix this up by varying the herbs, spices and citrus fruits. And I save the bones to make my own stock – nothing beats homemade stock!
  • Speaking of awesome homemade stock, another really easy dish that uses a few cups  is an asparagus and chicken casserole. It’s asparagus season at the moment, the only time when I can get good quality green asparagus in Germany. Most asparagus is white and tasteless here!
  • Another wizz vegetables up, put it all on the stove and forget it for an hour meal is mexican chili. It’s never the same twice as I keep changing the spices, herbs, vegetables, beans and meats (and I don’t measure!)
  • Strawberry and forest fruits jams have been a favourite since I was a kid, and it’s just coming into berry season. The four jars I made last week won’t last all that long, especially if I make some more scones.

Next up, I think some marmalade is in order, as I’ve run out. I’m also looking forward to the start of the tomato season – my fav parmesan-scone pie is best with homegrown or local fresh tomatoes.

Inspired by insomnia.

Next time I won’t use a prosciutto liner on the larger quiches – lots of stuck bits underneath. But still tasty! Works fabulously in the baby muffin tin.
Onion, capsicum, garlic, zucchini, corn, spices and eggs. A little parmesan, cheddar, and panko breadcrumbs on top.
By Kymberly Fergusson (http://instagram.com/p/3qH6t7tJME/)

Christmas Fruitcake – the best recipe

Christmas Fruitcake

It’s that time of year again, when I bake loads of pineapple fruitcake to share with my #EFL and #ESL classes.

It’s been a hit so far with all the classes, and dispelled many a preconception that fruitcakes are dry and tasteless.

This one is moist and fabulous, made even more so with the fruit soaked in strong rum, and a little more drizzled over the top when the cake comes out of the oven.

Here’s the pineapple fruitcake recipe I use every year!

If you like it, please share!

Regular Foodie Reads

20130719-100831.jpgJoanne Choi of Week of Menus regularly posts delicious cake and slice recipes as well as healthy, quick and oft spicy dishes. If I need inspiration for a bundt cake recipe, or simply want to cook something tasty for dinner, this is often the first port of call.

I love the bright photography by Maike at The Culinary Trial. Plus her recipes are also delicious and sweet, featuring lots of fruit.

Makiko Itoh runs two blogs that I regularly visit Just Hungry and Just Bento. I love Japanese cooking, and Makiko makes the recipes seem easy. Although I don’t make bentos for myself at the moment, the healthy recipes are great as side dishes.

The Bonjon Gourmet also has beautiful photography and delectable recipes by trained chef Alanna. She seems to also be a multipotentialite like me, with interests in a wide range of areas.

After sourcing some of the harder to find ingredients, I’m ready to challenge myself and start making wagashi – Japanese sweets. The best site I’ve found is Wagashi Maniac, with awesome, easy to follow recipes and great photography.

The best toffee apple – as a cake!

I love this apple cake, especially when made with tart Granny Smith apples – it pairs beautifully with the sweet and crunchy toffee and shortbread-like base.

It may not look beautiful, but you can’t beat its flavor! Of course, you can dress it up with cream and ice cream when serving, but I prefer it plain.

Although it’s best eaten on the first couple of days, it is still delicious a few days later, although the toffee becomes a little soft as the sugar starts to ‘melt’.

Bundt cake recipe collection

I love baking, and I love the form of bundt and kugelhopf cakes.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t particularly like icing, and I really dislike whipped cream that I shy away from making the traditional cakes – I don’t like eating them!

At the moment, I only have the one bundt cake form, but will be adding to my (starting) collection at Easter, instead of getting chocolate for presents. On my list is a half-size tin, better for a two person household, and at least one of the Nordicware tins.

At the moment, my growing collection of bundt cake recipes include:

  • apple with a warm rum glaze – my personal favourite, and the one I’m asked most often to make.
  • dark chocolate with a kahlua coffee glaze – very strong, best eaten warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.
  • Orange cranberry – keeps fabulously in the freezer, and is delicious even when frozen!
  • lemon and lime – a variation on my orange, to use a glut of lemons and limes that I was given. Very tangy!
  • in development – black forest with a cherry liqueur glaze

AppleRumBundtCakeChocolateBundtCake

OrangeBundtCakeLemon and lime bundt cake

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