Archives for the month of: February, 2013

The other day I was in the mood for baking something new, but not too complex. So I decided to make some friands. I pulled out my baking cookbooks to browse a few recipes for ideas (and method), and to my surprise there wasn’t a friand recipe in any of them.

So I jumped onto the internet and went straight to taste.com.au. A quick search later I had seven recipes to look through. I decided to try the lemon friand recipe (given my love for all baked things with citrus in them).

In writing this now, I stopped for a moment to think about why I keep buying cookbooks when there are so many recipes on the internet these days. I suppose the simple answer is I like looking through cookbooks, getting inspiration, new ideas and learning new things. I can find recipes, flavour combinations or cooking techniques I didn’t know existed. Whereas with the internet, I usually already know what I’m looking for, and am looking for different ideas and ways of doing things before I go off and try my own thing.

Okay, cookbook collection justified, back to the friands.

I decided I wanted to add some raspberries to my friands, so off I went to the shops to stock up on almond meal, frozen raspberries and some fresh lemons. I got everything else, but my local big chain supermarket didn’t have any lemons! They did however have limes so I decided to give the recipe a go with limes instead of lemons. I like using limes in my baking, as I think they have a more complex, sweeter citrus taste rather than the straight, strong tartness of lemons (which I also love) and I will often use both lemon and lime together when a recipe only calls for one or the other.

The friands themselves were quite simple to make and turned out well. Although I think I overfilled them so they were a bit bigger than they should be, and also meant I couldn’t serve them the right way with the pattern on top. I liked the combination of lime and raspberry, resulting in a fresh, sweet tartness that balanced well with the sweet and textured friand mix. I’m certainly going to make them again.

Lime and raspberry friands Click here for the recipe

I really like watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks. However, a lot of the food featured in these shows and books isn’t the best for everyday cooking and eating. I also love to bake, but I know I can’t eat desserts and baked goods every day. Well I could, but it wouldn’t be very good for me.

A few years back, when browsing the cooking magazine section, I discovered the Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine. This magazine is different to other cooking magazines, with half of the magazine devoted to articles on health, food and nutrition, and the other half healthy recipes. The magazine and website are now my first stop when looking for a quick, easy and healthy weeknight meal, like this frittata. A few of the recipes from the magazine are now regular weeknight favourites of mine. Reading the articles in the magazine gives me a better understanding of healthy eating and nutrition, and the recipes demonstrate that healthy food can still be exciting and tasty.

Frittata

Click here for the recipe

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. I think I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I’ve been able to read, and there are photos of me, only a few years old, reading to my brother when he was a baby. And others of me at only nine months old reading a book. Okay, at that point I was probably only looking at the pictures, but still, I liked my books. And I remember as a child, sneakily trying to get away with reading a book under my covers with a torch (I think that was probably about as rebellious as I ever got, trying to read after it was lights out time). And although I’ve previously stated that I read cookbooks like novels, I do like reading novels and my “go to” genre would have to be sci fi/fantasy.

A few months ago, a friend of mine recommended the A Modern Witch series by Debora Geary. It didn’t take me long to be hooked on Debora’s books and I very quickly worked my way through the whole series (that has been published to date that is).  If you like a bit of magic in your books, I would certainly recommend this series.

You may be wondering what this has to do with a cooking blog and nutella cookies. But there is actually a connection. It is almost impossible to read Debora’s books with out getting hungry and/or having the urge to start baking. Food plays quite a large role in these books. Cookies most of all with nutella cookies and snickerdoodles featuring the most prominently. This made me curious to try to bake these cookies, as I had never tried either. And as a recipe for nutella cookies had already been posted on Debora’s website, they seemed like the best place to start. I have also tried to make the snickerdoodles, but I wasn’t that happy with the recipe I used, so I am going to do a bit more research on those and will post a recipe when I am happy with the results. If you have a recipe you recommend, please let me know.

Now I don’t actually like nutella, so judging the success of the cookies was a bit difficult for me. However the cookies were very popular at work, and I got a few requests for the recipe.  I liked the texture, but because I don’t like nutella, the flavour wasn’t really for me. Jerome, who likes nutella, liked them but suggested that they would be better without the extra nutella on top, as he preferred just the cookie itself. Just remember, the most important thing with cookies/biscuits is that they  keep cooking after they come out of the oven, so if you wait until they are completely finished, they will then overcook. I found the recommended bake time worked well for these cookies.

Nutella cookies

Click here for the recipe

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