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Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Recipe: Beetroot, Feta and Pistachio Muffin Slice

I often bake a batch of muffins, and when I saw this recipe in Robyn Martin Bakes I had to try it. The end result was delicious and I’ve made it a couple of times.

Muffin Slice


1 x can baby beetroot

2 cups plain flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh chives or spring onions

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 1/4 cups milk

100 grams feta cheese

1/2 cup pistachio nuts, shelled


1. Drain the beetroot and cut in half lengthwise.

2. Place flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Chop the chives or spring onion and add to bowl.

3. Beat the eggs, oil and milk together and combine with flour mix. Do this part carefully and don’t over mix.

4. Spread the mixture into a greased or paper-lined sponge roll tin – 20 x 30 cm in size.

5. Arrange the beetroot on the top of the batter, cut side down. Crumble over the feta cheese and the pistachio nuts.

6. Cook at 190C/375F for 30 minutes.

7. Cut into slices and serve.

Shelley’s notes

1. If you don’t like beetroot try other things such as sundried tomatoes, artichokes or other favorites.

2. I ran out of pistachio nuts and substituted pumpkin seeds. They worked well.

3. I didn’t bother measuring the beetroot, cheese or nuts. I just arranged and sprinkled to my heart’s content.

4. Like all muffins, this slice is best eaten on the day of cooking.

Recipe: Cider Crumble Slice

Cider Crumble Slice


This recipe comes from High Tea, recipes with a sense of occasion.


20 grams butter (3/4 oz)

1 1/2 tablespoons of golden syrup or light treacle

150 ml apple cider (alcoholic) (5 fl oz)

250 grams (2 cups) self-raising flour

pinch of ground ginger

45 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar

75 grams (2 1/2 oz) chopped and pitted dates

75 grams (3/4 cup) walnuts chopped

1 egg


1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F)

2. Grease a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inch) baking tin. I use baking paper, which is much quicker.

3. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the cider.

4. Sift the flour and ginger into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, dates and walnuts.

5. Beat the egg and add along with the butter mixture and spoon into your tin. Smooth out.


1 large granny smith apple

40 grams (1 1/2 oz) butter

2 1/2 tablespoons of caster sugar (fine sugar)

60 grams (1/2 cup) plain flour

75 grams (3/4 cup) chopped walnuts


1. Peel and core the apple and slice thinly.

2. Melt the butter.

3. Add the butter to the sugar, flour, apple and walnuts and combine well.

4. Spread over the uncooked base.

5. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. Cool in the tin, cut into pieces and serve.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. This was delicious and would be nice served hot with a little yoghurt or cream for dessert, but it was also great with a cup of tea.

2. I’ll be making this one again since both hubby and I enjoyed it very much.

Recipe: Bread Made in Crockpot

Firstly, I’m visiting out and about on the web today:

I’m with Taige Crenshaw and have a post and contest.

I have an interview and contest with Kate Hill.

And I have a writer craft post over at Savvy Authors.

During the weekend I experimented with two different recipes. There was the Ginger Oat Slice, which I posted yesterday, and today I’m posting the recipe for Bread made in a crockpot. This recipe came from Robyn Martin Bakes recipe book.

Crock Pot Bread


15 grams dried yeast (1/2 ounce)

4 teaspoons sugar

2 1/2 cups warm water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups wholemeal flour

4 cups bread making flour


1. Place the yeast in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Add 1/4 of a cup of the warm water and leave for around five minutes until it looks frothy.

2. Place flour and salt plus remaining sugar in a bowl. Add the rest of the water plus the yeast mixture to the bowl and combine well.

3. Turn out onto a floured bowl and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. Add more flour as necessary.

4. Oil your crock pot/slow cooker bowl and switch your crock pot onto high.

5. Place the dough into the crockpot and cook on high for two hours. The bread is cooked when it gives a hollow sound when tapped.

6. Cool on a wire rack.

Shelley’s notes:

1. I make bread several times a week and didn’t follow the instructions exactly.

2. After the initial kneading stage, I let my bread rest a bit in a warm place until it had risen.

3. Once it had risen, I punched it down and shaped it. At this stage I plopped it into my crock pot to cook.

4. I had to cook my bread for a bit longer than what the recipe said. I suspect that some crock pots are hotter than others.

5. I also turned my bread over and cooked the top for about ten minutes before I took it out to cool on a wire rack.

6. The final result was soft and yummy. I’ll definitely make this recipe again. I’ll probably add sunflower or pumpkin seeds and experiment with different herbs and flour.

Crock Pot Bread cut

Do you use your crock pot much?

Recipe: Ginger Oat Slice

Ginger Oat Slice

This is a new to me recipe from Robyn Martin’s book called Bake.


150 grams butter (5 oz)

1/4 cup golden syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut

1 1/2 cups wholegrain oats (that’s oatmeal to Americans)

1/2 cup wholemeal flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger


1. Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan until the butter is melted.

2. Place the coconut, oats, flour, baking powder and ginger in a bowl and add the butter mixture.

3. Combine well.

4. Line a 20 x 30 cm tin with baking paper then press mixture into the tin.

5. Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes or until golden.

6. Mark into squares while still warm.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. My final result looked nothing like the picture in the recipe book. It tasted great, but I’m at a loss to explain the difference.

2. The square tasted good, but when I make it again, I think I’ll reduce the sugar a little. It was quite sweet.

3. I put a little lemon icing (frosting) on top – a sort of a drizzle – and that was a nice combination.

Have you tried any new recipes recently?

Recipe: Cinnamon Scrolls

I used to make cinnamon scones a long time ago, and after a couple of moves, I managed to lose the recipe. This recipe below is very similar and once I saw it arrive in my inbox as part of the Columbus Coffee newsletter, I had to make them straight away.

Cooked Cinnamon Scrolls

They’re quick and easy to make and much as I remembered.


3 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)

1/2 cup soft brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 egg

50 grams/2 ounces softened butter (cut in half)

3/4 cup of milk


1. Rub half the butter 25 grams/1 ounce into the flour and icing sugar.

2. Add the milk and beaten egg to make a soft dough.

3. Roll the dough into a rough oblong shape.

4. Spread the other half of the butter over the top of the dough.

5. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the butter.

6. Roll up the dough then cut in slices. Should make about 10 portions.

Uncooked Cinnamon Scrolls

7. Bake at 170C/340F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Shelley’s notes:

1. When I make this recipe again I’d mix the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together and spread the paste over the dough. Doing it by the method in the recipe means that the sugar and cinnamon go everywhere. By mixing them with the butter there would be less mess.

2. The scrolls don’t keep well. Eat them the day you make them. Not a chore, believe me!

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Recipe: Sugary Lemon Cake

Our lemon tree is laden this year. There is so much fruit, the tree is looking sick, and we picked most of it before our tree decided to give up and die. One can drink only so many lemon drinks, and since it’s winter the idea of lemonade isn’t very appealing.

After perusing recipes to use lemons, I chose a recipe on the Baking Makes Things Better site.

Piece of Sugary Cake


110 grams (4 oz) butter

1 cup sugar

3 x eggs

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flour

120 gram (4 oz) sour cream

Lemon Glaze:

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 Tablespoon hot water

1/4 cup of granulated white sugar plus a little extra for final dusting of cake


1. Cream the butter and sugar

2. Add the eggs and the lemon rind and beat.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder.

4. Fold in the flour a bit at a time, alternating with the sour cream.

5. Mix and pour into a greased tin.

6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C/320F for 35-40 minutes.

7. Leave cake to cool for five minutes.

Sugary Lemon Cake

8. To make the glaze add the water and lemon juice to the sugar. Stir well to dissolve.

9. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer and pour the glaze over the top of the cake.

10. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of the cake for decoration.

11. Remove the cake from the tin once it has cooled.

Cooked and Sugared Cake

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I didn’t have any sour cream. Instead I used some thick Greek yoghurt.

2. I heated my glaze for 10 seconds in the microwave so that the sugar dissolved properly.

3. I cooked my cake for 40 minutes and used bake rather than the fan-forced setting.

I served my cake with yoghurt. For dessert tonight I’ll be using cream. A scoop of ice cream would work well or even custard.

What would you serve with your cake?

Recipe: Polenta and Vegetable Hotpot

With the current wintery blast through New Zealand, I checked my recipe books and decided to try a new recipe, one that would cook in the crockpot while I worked on my writing. I came up with this recipe for Polenta and Vegetable Hotpot from One Pot, a book published by Bay Books.

Polenta Vegetable Hotpot


300 grams (2 cups) polenta

2 tablespoons oil

1/4 teaspoon paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock or water

3 spring onions, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 courgette (zucchini), chopped

1 red or green capsicum (bell pepper), chopped

300 grams (10 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into small dice pieces

100 grams (3 oz) button mushrooms, chopped

300 grams corn kernels (either tinned or frozen)

100 grams (1 cup) grated parmesan cheese

1 handful chopped parsley

125 ml (1/2 cup) cream (optional)


1. Pour one tablespoon of oil into the slow cooker and spread over the bottom and sides to prevent the polenta sticking.

2. Pour in the polenta, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper.

3. Stir in the stock and the remaining oil and combine well.

4. Add the spring onion, tomato, zucchini, capsicum, pumpkin, mushrooms and corn and mix well.

5. Cook on high for 2–3 hours or until the vegetables are cooked and the polenta is soft. Make sure to stir several times during the cooking to prevent sticking.

6. Before serving, add the parmesan and parsley. You can also add the cream if you want to add extra creaminess.

7. Test seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with a green salad.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I enjoyed the end result very much, but if I made it again, I’d fry off the vegetables for a few minutes in a pan and add them a little bit later in the cooking process. I think this would add a little more flavor and color to the end product.

2. I don’t think the cream is necessary.

3. I’d serve it with a salad plus some garlic bread.

4. This really was delicious and would work for a vegetarian who eats dairy products.

Tomatoes and Cookies

Tomatoes, Barcelona market

This photo of a stall selling tomatoes was taken in Barcelona. I loved the colors and all the different shaped tomatoes. The sight certainly put me in a cooking mood. There is nothing tastier than a freshly made tomato sandwich, garnished with basil.

Today I’m visiting Romance Cooks where I have a yummy cookie recipe for you to try. There are lots of other recipes at this site too. If you enjoy cooking Romance Cooks is an excellent site for you to check out.

Do you like tomatoes and what is your favorite way to eat them?

Recipe: Moroccan Chickpea Soup

This is a new recipe I made to use up some chickpeas. It’s simple and easy to make and tasty too. I’ll definitely make this again.

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Note the cute bread roll, shaped like a small loaf of bread. We purchased a new tin in the weekend. Smile


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 100g frozen broad beans
  • zest and juice  of ½ lemon
  • ground black pepper
  • coriander or parsley to garnish


1. Heat the oil in a pot and add the onion and celery. Fry until the vegetables are softened then add the cumin and fry for a minute.

2. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes and chickpeas plus some ground black pepper. Simmer for ten minutes.

3. Add the broad beans plus the lemon juice and zest and cook until the broad beans are tender.

Shelley’s notes:

1. I didn’t have broad beans and substituted frozen soya beans. This worked well.

2. I served mine with a spoonful of natural yoghurt dropped in the top and a bread roll.

3. This soup is not only delicious, but it’s low in calories.

Source: BBC Good

FANCY FREE Tour Banner

My Fancy Free tour continues. Today I have spotlights at:

Reading Between The Wines

United by Books

Recipe: Warming Winter Carrot & Lentil Soup

With the arrival of cooler weather, I decided to make soup the other night. I wanted to make a soup in the crockpot and chose this recipe for carrot and lentil soup from Joan bishop’s New Zealand Crockpot and Slow Cooker Cookbook.

Carrot and Lentil Soup


1 onion, chopped into dice

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 large carrots

7 cups of vegetable or chicken stock

300g split red lentils (about one cup)

2 Tablespoons lemon juice



1. Preheat the crockpot.

2. Combine all the ingredients apart from the lemon juice and the salt in the crockpot.

3. Cover with lid and cook on high for five to six hours.

4. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.

5. Cool a little then puree either in a food processor or with a blender. Return to the crockpot and reheat.

6. Serve with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt swirled in the top and fresh bread or pita bread.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I added some chopped leeks to my soup since I had some in the fridge.

2. This soup was really easy since I dumped everything in the crockpot and left it to cook. The final product was delicious. I’d definitely make this soup again.

What is your favorite soup to eat/make?