Sunday, November 16, 2014

{My Granola}

I used to eat toast with peanut butter for breakfast everyday, then one day I got over it.  I tried some cereals and they mostly tasted like their boxes or had stuff in them I didn't like so I started to make my own.  I've been making granola for over a year now, every week I bake a new batch and I change up the nuts and fruit depending on what I feel like, or what I've got. I burnt a few batches in the beginning so you need to watch it, I would even recommend hovering nervously around the oven the first time you make it because your oven is different to mine and I'd hate for you to burn a batch, its a real pain in the ass. 

3 cups whole rolled oats
2 cups puffed rice
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup goji berries
1 cup nuts 
(almonds / macadamias / hazelnuts / pistachios)
1 cup dried fruit 
(sultanas / currants / dried blueberries / cranberries)

Preheat oven to 180.  Combine the oats, puffed rice, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and chia seeds in a large bowl, add in the salt, cinnamon, cardamom, maple syrup and olive oil and stir thoroughly to combine.

Tip out onto a large baking tray lined with baking paper, spread out and flatten it down with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 10 minutes then stir, bake for another 10 minutes then stir again, sprinkle over the nuts then bake for 5 more minutes so the granola is nicely toasted and the nuts are ever so slightly toasted.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool and become crunchy.

Once cool pop it into a lovely big jar, add in the goji berries and the dried fruit and shake to combine.  Eat with yoghurt and fresh fruit.  Feel good and healthy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

{Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream}

Oh my lord there are literally buckets of lollies everywhere, I've hidden some in the laundry waiting for the kids to forget about them, Halloween is to blame, don't get me wrong I do love it and afterall I am responsible for filling plenty of other little monsters buckets.  I was supposed to be a werewolf this year but one of the first kids to come to our house said (after yawning no less) "you're a puppy" ??!!  

Anywho the last thing we need right now is more sugar but I've been meaning to post these for a while.  My kids love my cupcakes, in fact everyones kids love my cupcakes, I feel like the pied piper when I produce a batch of these babies and they are so so easy.  Don't tell the boys that though, I'm not wanting to diminish my cupcake baking rock star status just yet.  

1 1/4 cups of self raising flour
2/3 cups caster sugar
125g softened butter
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

125g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of icing sugar
food colouring
splash of milk as required

Preheat the oven to 180, pop paper cases into 12 holes of your cupcake / muffin baking tin. 

Pop all of the cupcake ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on a low speed until combined then increase the speed to medium, high and beat for around 3 minutes or until completely smooth and pale in colour.

Spoon the mixture amongst the paper cases, I generally use two tablespoons to do this, one to pick up and one to scrape off.  Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until your cupcakes are golden and a skewer comes out clean.  Pop onto a rack and cool completely.

To make the vanilla buttercream beat the butter and vanilla in the mixer until very pale and creamy, add in icing sugar 1/2 a cup at at time and continue mixing til lovely and light and fluffy, colour the buttercream as you wish and if you feel it needs it add a few drops of milk to achieve your desired consistency.

Spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.