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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Calm Days

seaweed2 003
Mostly calm autumn days  lovely for hiking, and collecting seaweed off the beach for the garden. Some very high tides on full moon that nearly came across the road and make you wonder if that is normal, or a sign of global warming.
Easter brought lots of families from Christchurch  to the village, escaping from all the quakes, they are fed up and some of them were sounding very stressed, with no idea of when they will ever have a normal home life again, it was good to see the kids playing in the estuary and on the beach.
 fayes mokapuna 029 
This is a stunning recipe, at it’s best made for up to four people, have all your fillings ready, make the crepes first and then each omelette separately.
crepe 001       crepe 002       crepe 006 
with a nod to Judith Cullen
For two people
3 eggs [Judith uses smoked eggs]
60gms flour
2 tsp oil
Milk to mix
Plus fillings 
CREPE [makes four or more, but can only eat one each so save for later or biff]
Place flour in bowl, add egg and oil, whisk together adding milk until consistency of cream.
Set aside for 30 minutes or more if possible to let starches expand. 
Heat and spray pan with oil
Make two crepes and place each on board or plate.
Whisk other eggs with 1 tbsp milk.
Heat pan and spray with oil.
Add half mix to make thin omelette, tip out onto crepe. Repeat.
Let your imagination go.
Here I mashed some avocado with lemon juice and spread along lengthwise
Then a drained can of smoked tuna.
Roll up and slice in half on an angle.
Looks fantastic and a very healthy and filling, I like eating them warm, but you can place in fridge and serve cold.
Other fillings to try For breakfast could use fried chopped bacon and mushrooms and even a squirt of maple syrup
Good with smoked salmon and avocado
Diced tomatoes and avocado
Feta cheese crumbled with avocado and bit of chopped sundried tomato or pesto
For a sweet
Try chopped fresh nectarines and mascarpone or other soft cheese.
PITA BREADS a friends recipe and it is well worth making they are so much nicer when fresh than the brought ones.
pita 1                      pita
Makes 6 Pitas
1 cup warm water
½ tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 ¼ cups plain flour
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp olive oil 
Place 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar over the water. Stir to blend and let sit until dissolved. 
Place flour, salt and oil in a large mixing bowl.
Add yeast mixture and remaining water and beat with hand until flour is completely integrated.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed -- about 5 minutes.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and oil top of dough lightly.
Cover with a warm kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubles in size, about 1 1/4 hours.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead to remove the air bubbles.
Roll into a log and divide dough evenly into 6 pieces. Pat each piece of dough into a ball; them use a rolling pin to flatten into discs about 1/4 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter.
Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 260° c and place oven rack in lowest position.
Bake the bread, one pan at a time, until puffed and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool breads on a wire rack. 
BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES from Mind Food Magazine
I love these, so good in a bread roll with cheese and salad, or with cold meats.
bread & butter pickles 1                        bread & butter pickles 2 
1 kg telegraph cucumbers [approx 2]
¼ c salt
1 ½ cups white or white wine vinegar [I use white]
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
Few sprigs fresh dill if you have it
Wash and trim ends off cucumbers.
Cut them into quarters lengthways and then into sticks the size of standing up in your jars.
Place in ceramic or glass bowl, sprinkle with the salt and mix through, cover and stand overnight.
Throw into colander, drain and rinse thoroughly, drain again.
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and mustard seeds in pot and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.
Add cucumbers, bring back to boil and remove from heat immediately. Cool slightly.
Lie sterilised jars on sides, and pack with cucumbers and sprigs of dill.
Stand up, cover with vinegar mix and seal.
You can eat them as soon as cold, I can’t stop, love em.
JAMMY DODGERS  from Chef Adam Newell
jammy dodgers 007jammy dodgers 004       
Ingredients Makes 18 depending on size you want, these were huge.
170 gms icing sugar

1 vanilla pod [ I didn’t have one, so just added extra vanilla]

180 gms unsalted butter, softened

240 gms all-purpose flour

120 gms cornflour

4 drops vanilla essence

50 ml cold milk

caster sugar to sprinkle

75 gms of your favourite jam
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Place the icing sugar and vanilla pod in a food processor and blend until the pod is like powder. Add the butter and mix until smooth.
With the mixer still on add the flour, cornflour and vanilla essence. Slowly add the cold milk and mix until smooth.
Remove the dough from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours to cool.
Dust the bench with icing sugar and roll out the dough to just over 1 cm thick.
 Cut out round shapes with a cutter, squashing up dough and re-rolling until you have 24.
Using another cutter cut a smaller heart shape out of the centre of 12 of these discs.
Place the shapes on a greased tray and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake in a preheated 160ºC oven for 12-15 minutes.
Allow to cool then spread each disc with a little jam and top with those with the heart shapes holes.
You can of course be creative with the shape of the little holes, I wasn’t and next time I would make smaller ones and get about 18, I think, as by the time they are joined together are bit much when you just want a biscuit with your cuppa, they are very very good.
Real estate seems to be quiet at the moment, don’t know how people can resist the charming cottages I have at the moment, look at this:
Fireplace 018              lounge area
Harcourts Karitane

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